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Turning 40! November 20, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Food, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, Video.
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As noted in this week’s Instrumental Invasion recap, I turned 40 the day the show aired. Celebration of my birthday began 11 days earlier with a late lunch with my friends Kelly and Lori and my mother Lisa at La Strada of Merrick. After pizza and pasta, I was treated to a birthday cannoli:

The following Saturday, my aunt Donna treated me to two games at AMF Wantagh Lanes, a bowling alley half a mile from my house:

Saturday afternoon bowling at Wantagh Lanes was a tradition for just over a decade of my life, most of which was in Nassau P.A.L.‘s handicap league.

Aunt Donna and I were on lane 24:

It took until late in the first game to regain my form, salvaging an 83. I bounced back with a 149 in the second game.

My ninth frame spare, via cropped vidcaps:

My first shot in the last frame:

The final scores for game 2:

Aunt Donna also shot video of three spare conversions, which I’ve compiled here along with my video:

Four spare conversions

I posed with my ball, which I’ve had for 25 years, before putting it away:

Aunt Donna then treated me to lunch at Margarita’s Cafe a few minutes to the north. We got caught in a severe thunderstorm on the way to King Kullen where I bought a pint of ice cream:

The storm contained small hail, slightly larger than sleet:

Finally came my 40th birthday on Wednesday. Here’s what greeted me in the kitchen that morning:

At one point in the day, I read Wikipedia’s entry for November 17. I was surprised how many pivotal events occurred on that day and how many notable public figures were born that day.

Dinner was at Umberto’s in Wantagh’s Cherrywood Shopping Center.

I was joined by my parents Lisa and Bill, sister Lauren, and family friends Janice and Joe, Mandy and Kevin, and Janine. This was one of my gifts:

My dinner was meat lasagna:

The staff sang “Happy Birthday” to me as they brought out my vanilla and chocolate tartufo:

I waved to the other guests and thanked them as they applauded, then let them know what milestone I was celebrating: “40!” I got more applause.

My 40th birthday concluded back at home with a Carvel ice cream cake:

Throughout the day, and all the way into this morning, I received hundreds of birthday wishes on social media. Thank you to each and every one of them. I greatly appreciate it. My 40th birthday was a rich, full day; just how a milestone birthday should be.

Working from my 30th birthday post where I said I was a tricenarian, I learned that I’m now a quadragenerian.

I’ll leave you with a simple photo I whipped up in Photoshop:

Five days of scanning January 30, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Education, Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology.
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As snow fell outside Monday afternoon, I was going through a drawer in my room where I keep some personal mementos. Then, I was struck with inspiration. I had been using my Epson WF-3520 All-in-One Printer in the guest room to copy a few documents this month, via the printer’s sheet feeder. Why not use that sheet feeder to scan any personal mementos that were on letter-size paper? That’s what I did all this week.

I started with bowling scorecards between 1998 and 2006, plus a handful more between September 2007 and September 2014. Then, I moved on to my final college transcript, a paper I wrote for Introduction to Journalism, an e-mail reply from Tom Snyder, two e-mail replies from voice over talent Dan Chandler, a flyer promoting my Mike Chimeri Show interview with Colin Mochrie, and radio show and Live365 radio station playlists. I scanned anything that wasn’t letter-size on the traditional scanner platen. This included dot matrix score sheets from AMF Wantagh Lanes and two desk calendar pages that were dated September 11, 2001. Playlists that were handwritten on letter-size legal paper had to be scanned on my Canon CanoScan LiDE210 in my room. Since what I wrote on the other side could be seen, I had to scan in black and white – not grayscale – giving the scans an old photocopy or fax look.

The radio show playlists spanned my career to date: The Mike Chimeri Show, The Instrumental Invasion, MCJN (Live365 station), a few demos, the night I filled in for Martin Phillips on the defunct Thursday Night Jazz show, Evening Jazz, CJazzPlus (Live365 station), and all my homecoming weekend shows.

In addition to the copy of my Intro to Journalism paper, I also saved papers by two of my classmates. The paper had us write a profile of a few of our classmates, based on press conference-style interviews our professor, Bernard Bard, previously a reporter for the New York Post, had arranged one week in mid-semester. I remember little about my presser, but there was one quote each of the classmates that wrote about me used:

Broadcasting is my thing, my calling. I belong in that field.

This was in March 2001. Seven months later, I began at WCWP. While I may have had volunteer success, I’m still waiting and hoping for professional success. If “my thing, my calling” doesn’t pan out, at least I have photo and document scanning to make a career of.

Latest 200+ Wii Bowling game February 28, 2009

Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Personal, Sports, Video Games.
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Early this morning, I bowled the latest 200+ game in Wii Sports’ Bowling: a 202!  I was able to get marks in every frame but the last, where I got a 6-7-10 split.

Here is a picture of the final score that I took of the basement TV, where the Nintendo Wii has been back in for two weeks:

A vidcap of video I shot while I had the Wii connected to the VCR:

And finally, the video itself:

Another 200+ game! November 18, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Personal, Video Games.
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Only nine days after my 219 in Wii Bowling, I bowled another game in the 200s.  This time, a 234!

Here’s a vidcap from after the game:

It’s a vidcap this time because the Wii was in a different room and was connected to a standard-definition (SD) tube TV.  I tried taking pictures of that TV, but didn’t like how they came out.  So, I grabbed one of my two VCRs that I use for capturing video to my computer, along with a tape.  Then, I recorded video to use for making a vidcap, which is displayed above.

And since I bought an extra 5 GB of space earlier tonight, I’m now able to upload videos to WordPress without having to go through YouTube.  So, here’s the video I recorded from the VCR:

Finally, a new post! November 16, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Bowling, Jazz, Media, Personal, Technology, TV, Video Games.

I have not posted anything to my blog in a week and a half.  So, let’s get a few things out of the way:

1. Last Saturday afternoon, I went to the Barnes & Noble in Carle Place for a book signing and discussion event.  The author was Steve Doocy, co-host of “Fox & Friends,” the Fox News Channel’s daily morning show.  The book is “Tales from the Dad Side.”  I had purchased the unabridged audiobook on Amazon a few weeks earlier, but I bought the book itself before I went up to the discussion area.
When it was my turn to have my book signed, a female employee was nice enough to take a picture of Steve and me:

It was a pleasure to meet him in person.  Thank you very much, Steve.

2. Last Saturday night, I bowled another 200+ game playing Wii Sports’ Bowling for Nintendo Wii.  You may remember back on August 31, I bowled a 257.  On this night, I wasn’t able to match that score, but I did come close: 219.  Here’s the final scorecard, as seen from a picture of the TV taken after the game:

3. Though I had said in early June that my computer was working and “back to normal,” nothing could have been further from the truth.  The blue screens of death (BSODs) continued, becoming a matter-of-fact occurrence.  I would get at least one per day.  On some days, I would get up to four BSoDs!  I mistakenly believed they were the result of my NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA drivers not working with Windows Vista Home Premium Service Pack 1.  Then, in mid-October, it finally hit me: it’s faulty memory causing the BSoDs.  That’s what I get for buying four discounted 1 GB (gigabyte) memory DIMMs in late May.  I replaced two of them with Dell DIMMs after ordering them from the Dell website.  They were made exclusively for my computer, a Dell Dimension E521, based on my Service Tag.  I have not had a blue screen since installing them (knock on wood).

4. Since my last pre-order update, I’ve ordered a few more CDs:
Tom Scott, “Desire” (Wounded Bird; re-release)
David Benoit, “Jazz For Peanuts” (Peak)
Kim Waters, “I Want You: Love In The Spirit Of Marvin” (Shanachie)

Saxophonist Tom Scott’s “Desire” was originally released in 1982 on Elektra, but was re-released on October 14.  The tracks on the album are: the title track (re-recorded on “Them Changes” in 1990), “Sure Enough,” “The Only One,” “Stride,” “Johnny B. Badd,” “Meet Somebody,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” and “Chunk O’ Funk.”  I’m hooked on “Stride,” and also like “Chunk O’ Funk” and “Johnny B. Badd.”

“Jazz For Peanuts” was released on October 29.  Six of the tracks were newly recorded by David Benoit:

  • “You’re in Love, Charlie Brown” (Vince Guaraldi); This track features horn player Christian Scott on trumpet.
  • “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” (Vince Guaraldi)
  • “Wild Kids” (re-recording of track from “Urban Daydreams” in 1989); This track features pianist Taylor Eigsti.  2:16 into the song, David and Taylor kick into a lively improv section.  Like Tom Scott’s “Stride,” I’m hooked on this section.
  • “Be My Valentine” (Vince Guaraldi)
  • “Rollerblading”; This track also features Christian Scott.
  • “Re-Run’s Theme”

The non-Benoit tracks were:

  • Wynton Marsalis Septet – “The Buggy Ride” (unreleased, recorded for “This is America, Charlie Brown: The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk”)
  • Dave Brubeck – “Benjamin” (from “Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown!” in 1989; recorded for “This is America, Charlie Brown: The NASA Space Station”)
  • Kenny G – “Breadline Blues” (from “Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown!” in 1989; recorded for “This is America, Charlie Brown: The Smithsonian and the Presidency”)
  • Vince Guaraldi [Trio] – “Linus and Lucy” (from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in 1965)

Kim Waters’ “I Want You: Love In The Spirit Of Marvin” was also released on October 29.  I just got this in the mail today.  So, it’s too soon for me to review it.  But I like the instrumental tracks I’ve heard so far.  The “Marvin” is the late, great Marvin Gaye.

5. Tomorrow, I turn 27 years old (or young).

I think that covers everything that needs to be covered for now.  Hopefully, it won’t be another week and a half until the next post.

257! September 1, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Personal, Sports, Video Games.
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Last night, while playing Wii Sports’ Bowling for the Nintendo Wii, I bowled a 257!  This is the highest score I have ever bowled, surpassing my previous high of 221 on February 23, 2002.  But that was bowled in real life as opposed to in the video game world.  My score is usually in the low to mid 100s, but my Wii score – prior to this 257 – has reached as high as the upper 100s.

Immediately after the game, I rushed from the basement – where the Wii is located in my house – to my room, grabbed my digital camera, came back down, and took a picture of the TV.  Here is the final scorecard:

Final scorecard for 257

11:15 PM UPDATE: 24 hours later, all that bowling – along with swinging from playing three games of Wii Baseball before the one game of bowling – has made my right arm sore.  It’ll wear off in a day or two, as it always does.