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My day at the final round of The Northern Trust August 29, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Golf, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
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Previous event recaps: 2012 (The Barclays), 2016 (The Barclays)

For the second year in a row, a Long Island golf course hosted the PGA Tour event now known as The Northern Trust, the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs. Last year, which was the last year as The Barclays, the event was held at Bethpage Black Golf Course. This year, The Northern Trust was about 12 miles west at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury. Glen Oaks is adjacent to SUNY Old Westbury and not too far from NYIT (New York Institute of Technology) or LIU Post, my alma mater. In fact, as you’ll see near the end of this post, I wore my WCWP shirt that you’ve seen in previous posts. As for the other two colleges, I went to day camp at them for a few childhood summers. In 1989 and ’91, main camp activities were at NYIT while swimming was at SUNY Old Westbury. In 1990, activities were exclusive to Old Westbury.

My father Bill and I attended the final round of The Northern Trust, which began 50 years ago as the Westchester Classic, on Sunday. Jordan Spieth (-12) and Dustin Johnson (-9) were the last group of the day. Would Spieth hold on? Could D.J. catch him? Or would it be someone else?

Dad and I left for general parking at Nassau Coliseum at around 11:30. Once we arrived, we boarded a shuttle bus. On board, a welcome video looped on TV screens. The shuttle arrived at Glen Oaks Club just before 12:30. Weather conditions were excellent: partly sunny skies with warm, dry air and a cool breeze.

I would have loved to bring my Nikon D5500, but only smartphones on silent were allowed for photography. Thus, the pictures in this recap were taken on my iPhone 6 and edited afterward in Adobe Photoshop Elements 15. Since the phone lacks an optical zoom, I preserved the original resolution rather than shrink the pictures, as I usually do on this site. In most cases, you’ll have to zoom in to see the far-away players.

With that out of the way, let’s begin:

From here, pictures aren’t entirely in chronological order. Until we get to the 18th green, pictures are in order of the hole where they were taken.

The practice green:

The 1st hole:

LaGuardia Airport is close to the course, so there were plenty of low-flying planes in their final approach:

The 2nd hole:

Henrik Stenson and Martin Laird:

Bubba Watson and Jhonattan Vegas:

Paul Casey and defending champion Patrick Reed:

Dottie Pepper and Peter Kostis of CBS Sports walking ahead of…

Jordan Spieth…

…and Dustin Johnson:

Robert Streb and Scott Brown on the 4th hole:

Stenson and Laird at the 5th hole:

The 6th green:

The 7th hole:

The 8th hole:

Jason Day and C.T. Pan:

Matt Kuchar and Jon Rahm:

The 9th hole:

The 10th hole:

David Lingmerth and Louis Oosthuizen:

Bubba Watson and Jhonattan Vegas:

The 11th hole:

Jason Kokrak and Morgan Hoffmann:

A jib passing the 12th hole:

Dad and I followed Robert Streb and Scott Brown from here to the 17th:

There was a horse stable next to the 13th hole:

It’s rare that I hear horses neighing and sputtering in real time.

The 13th hole:

The 14th hole:

The 15th hole:

The 16th hole:

The 17th hole:

The 18th hole:

David Lingmerth and Louis Oosthuizen:

I spent the last two hours of the tournament at this spot by the 18th green:

I had to endure a few men behind me, who I assume were in their 20s, not necessarily following etiquette (that’s all I’ll say), but it was worth it.

The TV tower where Jim Nantz and Sir Nick Faldo called the action:

The Northern Trust is the last tournament of the year for CBS. The remainder of the FedExCup playoffs are on NBC.

After Lingmerth and Louis Ooie (as voice actor Jeff Bennett calls him) finished their round, the next pair to play 18 was Robert Streb and Scott Brown:

Followed by Bubba Watson and Jhonattan Vegas:

Vegas shot a 65 to finish at -9.

Then, Patrick Cantlay and Russell Henley:

Justin Thomas, who won the PGA Championship two weeks earlier, and Chez Reavie:

Justin Rose and Jason Dufner:

Keegan Bradley and Kevin Chappell:

Matt Kuchar and Jon Rahm:

Rahm finished tied for third with Jhonny Vegas at -9.

Paul Casey and Patrick Reed:

And finally, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson:

Jordan and Dustin came to 18 tied at -13. Johnson’s tee shot landed in the rough and his second shot was short of the green. He would end up with a long par putt. Spieth, meanwhile, had a long birdie putt.

Spieth missed his birdie putt:

That meant D.J. could force a playoff if he parred…

…and he did!

The camera didn’t focus properly, but you get the idea.

Here’s how the putt looked on TV.

Spieth made his par putt to ensure the playoff:

The playoff:

Johnson hit a massive tee shot that landed within 95 yards of the hole. Here’s how it looked on TV. (6:42 PM UPDATE: The shot was shown in last night’s episode of Feherty when guest Darius Rucker listed D.J. as one of his three favorite golfers of all time. Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods were the other two.)

D.J.’s approach shot landed near the hole:

The shot looked like this on CBS.

Spieth missed a long birdie putt to extend the playoff:

But Johnson made his birdie putt and won The Northern Trust:

The winning putt can be seen at the end of these extended highlights.

Dottie Pepper interviewed Dustin afterward:

Here’s the interview.

Our last two times at The Barclays, Dad and I stuck around to watch the off-air trophy presentation. This year, after a playoff, we were eager to head home, which, after buying a hat and shirt in the shop, we did.

Three FedExCup playoff tournaments remain. Can Dustin, Jordan, or anyone else in the top 100 win it all? We’ll know by the evening of September 24. (9/24 UPDATE: Someone else: Justin Thomas.)

On the way to the shuttle bus, Dad took this picture of me:

We got home at exactly 8:00. It was an exciting eight hours. What a finish! Our next golf trip will be next June for the third round of the U.S. Open, held at Shinnecock Hills.

I’ll leave you with a few news stories on the final round (subscription required for Newsday/News 12 links):
AP (via PGATour.com)
Newsday
Newsday column by Mark Herrmann, who also wrote the story in the above link
News 12 Long Island

I can be seen in the background in one clip from News 12’s video. Here’s a high-resolution screenshot from my TV:

And here’s a closer look:

3:29 PM UPDATE: I just learned I was actually in the background during CBS’s telecast, not in News 12 B-roll. Here is a vidcap:

8/31 UPDATE: Inside the Ropes segments of this week’s Inside the PGA Tour:
Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Final Round

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9 Albums from 2000 August 28, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music.
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In this episode of Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection, I go through nine albums from the turn of the millennium.

Links from the video description:
Acoustic Alchemy, “The Beautiful Game”: https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Game…
Acoustic Alchemy’s website: http://www.acoustic-alchemy.net/

Jay Beckenstein, “Eye Contact”: https://www.amazon.com/Eye-Contact-Ja…
The late Chuck Loeb played a role in this album. I recorded this episode before he passed away.

Boney James & Rick Braun, “Shake It Up”: https://www.amazon.com/Shake-Up-Boney…
Boney’s website: http://boneyjames.com/
Rick’s website: http://www.rickbraun.com/

Fourplay, “Yes, Please!”: https://www.amazon.com/Yes-Please-Fou…
Fourplay’s website: http://fourplayjazz.com/

The Rippingtons, “Life in the Tropics”: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Tropics-R…
The Rippingtons’ website: http://rippingtons.com/
NOTE: After uploading this video, I learned from a Jeff Kashiwa Facebook video that the “c” is silent in Dave Kochanski’s last name. I’ve been saying it wrong for years. Sorry, Dave.

Nelson Rangell, “Far Away Day”: https://www.amazon.com/Far-Away-Day-N…
Nelson’s website: http://nelsonrangell.com/

Ken Navarro, “Island Life”: https://www.amazon.com/Island-Life-Ke…
Ken’s website: http://www.kennavarro.com/

Gregg Karukas, “Nightshift”: https://www.amazon.com/Nightshift-Gre…
Gregg’s website: http://www.karukas.com/

David Benoit, “Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years!”: https://www.amazon.com/Heres-You-Char…
David’s website: http://benoit.com/

Title music: “Wishing for Something” by Jay Dobbins, from “Anything for You” (2013): https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jaydobbins

2000s Debut Albums August 22, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music.
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The fourth episode of Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection focuses on five debut albums from the 2000s, all but one of them by saxophonists.

Links from the video description:
Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, “Swingin’ for the Fences” (2001):
Original release: https://www.amazon.com/Swingin-Fences…
Reissue: https://www.amazon.com/Swingin-Fences…
Big Phat Band website: http://www.bigphatband.com/

Shilts, “See What Happens” (2001): https://www.amazon.com/See-What-Happe…

Mindi Abair, “It Just Happens That Way” (2003): https://www.amazon.com/Just-Happens-T…
Mindi’s website: http://www.mindiabair.com/

Eric Darius, “Night on the Town” (2004): https://www.amazon.com/Night-Town-Eri…
Eric’s website: http://ericdarius.com/

Jessy J, “Tequila Moon” (2008): https://www.amazon.com/Tequila-Moon-J…
Jessy’s website: http://jessyj.com/

Title music: “Wishing for Something” (a tribute to Jessy J) by Jay Dobbins, from “Anything for You” (2013): https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jaydobbins

Long Island Retro Gaming Expo, Day 2 August 14, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Art, Football, Internet, Music, Personal, Photography, Sports, Technology, Travel, Video, Video Games.
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I’ve been to jazz performances, comedy acts, and New York Comic Con. But yesterday marked my first time at a retro gaming convention. I made my way to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in East Garden City for the second day of this year’s Long Island Retro Gaming Expo.

Within the last year, I’ve become a regular YouTube viewer, gravitating toward channels about computers, music keyboards, video games, video game and console collecting, and what equipment to use to get the best picture quality out of video game consoles on an HDTV. These videos inspired me to start the Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection YouTube series. Here’s the latest episode:

Two of the YouTube channels I watch are The 8-Bit Guy and 8-Bit Keys, both run by David Murray. (He also has a website.) In a video earlier this year, David announced he would be appearing at the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo. With that in mind, I bought a ticket for the second day.

When I purchased my ticket, I was automatically subscribed to the expo newsletter. With a month to go, the schedule was released. It turned out the first day would be more eventful, with many guest speakers, including David. In fact, my friend Jill and her son Mark went on the first day and saw him speak. But I chose to stick with my decision to only go to the second day, since David was also listed as a vendor.

I left for the Cradle of Aviation Museum, part of Museum Row, at 11:30. 20 minutes later, I was there.

I was directed to a desk, where I exchanged my ticket for a wristband.

I also bought into a raffle at the information desk:

After a few minutes of walking by vendors, I spotted David Murray. I introduced myself and we had a brief conversation. He graciously allowed a picture with him, which his wife took:

It slipped my mind that he should sign something until he brought it up after the picture. I had him sign my program:

It turned out David wasn’t a vendor on the second day because he had sold all his merchandise on the first day. I was disappointed, but still honored to meet him and his wife. Be sure to check out The 8-Bit Guy and 8-Bit Keys. And if you like what you see, consider supporting the channels on Patreon. I do.

After that, I toured the rest of the vendors.

I held off on buying anything until I was ready to leave.

The tournament room:

The second floor had freeplays on various consoles and CRT TVs, as well as arcade cabinets:

I gave Mega Man and Castlevania a try, but struggled and gave up after losing a life:

I played a successful level of Dr. Mario, a favorite of mine:

I’ve always liked how the “Chill” tune briefly pays homage to “St. Thomas” by Sonny Rollins.

I first discovered the arcade version of Tetris at the since-closed Kutsher’s Hotel in 1995. My former dentist also had a Tetris cabinet for many years. Back in 2010, I bought the rare, unlicensed NES port on eBay. The music and gameplay sound just like the arcade. I also have the licensed Nintendo version.

I subscribed to Nintendo Power for several years. Game Genies for many consoles helped me greatly. The NES version allowed me to beat Super Mario Bros. 3 many times.

Here are R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy), the Virtual Boy, and the Power Glove:

One of my cousins had a Virtual Boy, which I tried in 1995, six months after the Kutsher’s weekend, and did not like.

I quickly walked the third floor where there was PC LAN freeplay:

Back on the second floor, AfroDJMac played our favorite retro tunes:

Madden:

A corridor of freeplay:

Back to the first floor:

Board games, or tabletop games:

In just over an hour, I’d seen everything. All that remained was to go back to the Vendor Hall and buy some games I’ve always wanted, but never owned. Consider this the equivalent of a pickups video. The games I bought were:

Nintendo Game Boy:

  • Monopoly
  • Elmo’s ABCs (don’t judge)
  • Mickey’s Speedway USA

Sega Genesis:

  • Tecmo Super Bowl

Nintendo 64:

  • Cruis’n World
  • Top Gear Rally

Nintendo Gamecube:

  • Super Monkey Ball

Nintendo DS:

  • Kirby Mass Attack

I also bought a Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP model AGS-101:

For over a decade, I’ve had the frontlit AGS-001. I was satisfied with the quality until I found out in this My Life in Gaming video…

…and this Metal Jesus Rocks video…

…that there was a second model, the AGS-101, which was not only backlit, but brighter! The difference is amazing. On top of that, as you saw, the GBA SP I bought was a Limited Edition Pikachu version. I’m not into Pokémon, but it’s still special to have.

I was hoping to get a Sega Saturn at a decent price, but did not succeed. I’ll have to settle for eBay sometime in the future.

There was one item I bought that was neither a game nor a console. It was pixel art by Joseph Uzzo who has a blog called Nestalgic Bits. I picked out a standing sprite of Raccoon Mario from Super Mario Bros. 3:

I may have only been at the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo for a couple of hours, but I had a great time. Thanks to the expo staff, the vendors, the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Joseph Uzzo, the Murrays, and my fellow game enthusiasts.

8 Albums from 1992 August 14, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music.
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In the third episode of Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection, I look at eight albums from 25 years ago, and also share my memories and experiences listening to the songs. You’ll be hearing more of that in future episodes.

Links from the video description:
The Rippingtons, “Weekend in Monaco”: https://www.amazon.com/Weekend-Monaco…
The Rippingtons’ website: http://rippingtons.com/

After Five Jazz, “Expressions”: https://www.amazon.com/Expressions-Af…

Bob James & Earl Klugh, “Cool”: https://www.amazon.com/Cool-Bob-James…
Bob’s website: http://bobjames.com/
Earl’s website: http://earlklugh.com/

David Benoit, “Letter to Evan”: https://www.amazon.com/Letter-Evan-Da…
David’s website: http://benoit.com/

Larry Carlton, “Kid Gloves”: https://www.amazon.com/Kid-Gloves-Lar…
Larry’s website: http://larrycarlton.com/

Spyro Gyra, “Three Wishes”: https://www.amazon.com/3-Wishes-Spyro…
Spyro Gyra’s website: http://spyrogyra.com/

GRP All-Star Big Band, “GRP All-Star Big Band”: https://www.amazon.com/All-Star-Big-B…

Ken Navarro, “The Labor of Love”: https://www.amazon.com/Labor-Love-Ken…
Ken’s website: http://www.kennavarro.com/

Title music: “Wishing for Something” by Jay Dobbins, from “Anything for You” (2013): https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jaydobbins

1970s Debut Albums August 7, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music.
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In the second episode of Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection, I showcase six debut albums in my collection from the 1970s, released in a three-year span.

Links from the video description:
Earl Klugh, “Earl Klugh” (1976): https://www.amazon.com/Earl-Klugh/dp/…
Earl’s website: http://earlklugh.com/

Lee Ritenour, “First Course” (1976): https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Ritenour-F…
Lee’s website: http://leeritenour.com/

David Benoit, “Heavier Than Yesterday” (1977): https://www.amazon.com/Heavier-Than-Y…
David’s website: http://benoit.com/

The Jeff Lorber Fusion, “The Jeff Lorber Fusion” (1977): https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Lorber-Fu…
Jeff’s website: http://www.lorber.com/

Spyro Gyra, “Spyro Gyra” (1977): https://www.amazon.com/Spyro-Gyra/dp/…
Spyro Gyra’s website: http://spyrogyra.com/

Pat Metheny Group, “Pat Metheny Group” (1978): https://www.amazon.com/Pat-Metheny-Gr…
Pat’s website: http://www.patmetheny.com/

Title music: “Wishing for Something” by Jay Dobbins from “Anything for You” (2013): https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jaydobbins