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Instrumental Invasion, 8/17/22 August 18, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Comedy, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV.
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The August 17 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded entirely on June 27, along with the first segment of next week’s show, the most segments I’ve recorded in one day. Coincidentally, this came five days after the previous show recorded in one day aired. June 22’s show was recorded entirely on April 18, but whereas that was the last show produced before the Smooth Jazz for Scholars hiatus, this was the first show after the WCWP Hall of Fame hiatus.

The playlist was created on June 21 while I was in the early stages of what turned out to be an ear infection. COVID-19 was ruled out by two negative home tests (that day and on the 23rd), and a doctor trip on the 24th showed it was an ear infection rather than my fallback assumption of a cold. Since my voice was compromised, albeit slightly, I chose to start working on next week’s show, annotating and talk break script drafting simultaneously with the intent to record them both once I was better. (I still sounded nasal while recording.) This week’s show was annotated on the 23rd with the first two segments of the next show, and the talk break script was drafted on the 25th.

I continued the new habit of recording segments out of sequence to determine which to shorten, accommodating for ones that run long.

It was the second week in a row with only two songs in the middle segments of each hour. The “Shim Wha” gag came to mind while listening to The Dave Brubeck Quartet‘s Time Changes album on the way back from the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Marlins at Citi Field on June 18. I combined all the photos I took at that game in a slideshow that’s part of this blog post. I hope to have the slideshow of photos from last Wednesday’s game finished before October.

The “Cahla” gag for “Carla” by Peter Horvath had been in mind since watching every episode of Cheers on Netflix over a few weeks in March 2017.

Speaking of 2017, with a lack of music to play from new releases, I replaced the first 2017-present segment with another 1984 and earlier segment.

Click here to download this week’s aircheck MP3 or listen below:

The aircheck includes a new promo I recorded on Tuesday.

9:10 AM UPDATE: It’s been a while since I made a mistake that went unnoticed until after airing, but I made one here. Jay Beckenstein did play soprano sax on “Captain Karma” by Spyro Gyra, but his solo was on alto.

Instrumental Invasion, 7/27/22 July 28, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Boating, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games.
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The July 27 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the fourth show in the last five with the 1-3-2 recording configuration: one segment on May 30, three on May 31, and two on June 1. Pickups were recorded on June 3, 5, and 9.

The playlist was created on May 28 and annotated on the 29th. The talk break script was drafted before recording on the 30th. I made a timing error in the last segment of the show, requiring a condensed script for the last talk break and ten extra seconds, the first time I went over 18 minutes since May 11.

Speaking of that last talk break, a week after referencing John McLaughlin‘s The McLaughlin Group sign-off, my sign-off this week referenced Chet Huntley‘s at the end of The Huntley-Brinkley Report. And speaking of the first, this imperfect Google translation is what led me to assume “Dinorah, Dinorah” by Ivan Lins (covered on the show by George Benson) was about a love affair with a teacher. I listened to the original for reference and to confirm the pronunciation:

And here’s a mellower 2017 duet in a lower key:

Despite obsessive listening, I said “gene-orah” instead of “gin-orah” in the initial first segment recording before going on a boat ride with my family. I redid any references to the song when I got home. I didn’t have a boat ride in mind when I added “Boat Ride” by Jay Rowe to the third segment, but it helped that I did (recap here) because it gave me talk break-padding material. I did away with some of that padding on June 9, shaving off four seconds, to make up for going over in the last segment.

A running gag established while recording – that I missed while drafting the script – was “thing/things” and all the songs written for someone. “Our Thing” by Jazz Funk Soul has made me think of the Mafia ever since More Serious Business arrived at my door 6 1/2 years ago. (Yes, the link goes to the MP3 version.) I sincerely believe the title of Jeff Lorber‘s composition is coincidental, and that’s why I always get a kick out of it.

The June 3 pickups were recorded after learning that my friend Pete Bellotti was named WCWP’s new director of broadcasting. I came out of Earl Klugh‘s cover of “If I Fell” with a liner that Pete recorded in 2020 while only working for CBS Sports Radio. Pete is still with CBS Sports Radio, but it didn’t feel right using a liner where he only identifies from there. I replaced the liner with one Game Dave recorded, giving new significance to my Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection reference. I said the low viewership was a humbling experience, but Game Dave reminded us of the big picture last July:

I clipped the relevant portion.

Playing off what Game Dave said, I performed in front of between 43 and 190 people, depending on the Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection video (as of June 3).

The expanded talk break meant I had to move the Bernie Bernard liner up one segment and put John Commins’s liner in her place.

Just this week, Dave posted a video chronicling his month-long weight loss journey with the help of exercise video games:

The June 5 pickup was recorded after learning new information from this interview Brian Pace conducted with Ivan Lins during his 2016 Blue Note engagement:

Click here to download this week’s aircheck MP3 or listen below:

SJFS 2022 Night 1 recap May 6, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Health, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel.
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Other SJFS recaps: 20082008 meet-and-greet20092010201120122013 Night 12013 Night 22014 Night 12014 Night 22015 Night 12016 Night 12016 Night 22017 Night 12017 Night 22018 Night 12018 Night 22019 Night 1, 2019 Night 2, 2022 Night 2

Updated with videos on 5/15.

After a two-year absence due to COVID-19, keyboardist Jay Rowe‘s 18th annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars (benefiting the Milford Public Schools music department) finally happened!

It’s a good thing I didn’t throw away my 2020 tickets because they were honored on both nights.

As noted in my promotion back in February, this was the first SJFS without Rohn Lawrence on guitar in the house band and Nick Colionne as a potential headliner. We lost Rohn to COVID on December 30 and Nick on January 1. This year’s SJFS was dedicated to their memory.

The first night’s headliners were Peter White, Nelson Rangell, and Marion Meadows, plus three surprise guests! More on them later in the recap. Now, the preamble:

I had been in the habit of going to sleep early and waking up early, but last week, I tried to train my body to stay up and wake up later so I could not only chronicle both nights of SJFS, but attend the WCWP station dinner on Thursday night.

I awoke Friday morning after only six hours of sleep and carried out my typical morning activities: exercise, cereal for breakfast, and treadmill running (and showering after, of course). Nowadays, I watch streaming content on my phone while I run rather than listen to music or audiobooks. With this run, I totaled 180 miles in a month for only the third time (July 2018, April 2020)!

Next on the agenda, packing up for the trip to Milford, Connecticut (“a small city with a big heart“), with my dad Bill. I had an hour or so left until our 12:30 departure, so I edited the photos from the station dinner and posted them to Facebook. I finished just in time, then checked to make sure I packed everything I wanted to.

It took about two hours to reach Milford’s Hampton Inn, the official hotel of this year’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars, as it has been most of the time. I photographed road signs on the way, but I’m saving those photos and the ones from the return trip for a later post.

Upon arrival, Dad and I went back out to Big Y World Class Market a block southeast of the hotel to replace expired shampoo and mouthwash, and buy snacks to make up for the ones I forgot to pack at home. We were briefly back at Hampton Inn before going to dinner (and dessert for me) at Applebee’s up Boston Post Road in neighboring Orange. Marion Meadows was checking in as I walked through the lobby, so we spoke briefly. I returned one more time before the show to relax and wait for my girlfriend Kelly to pick me up at 6:30. On the way out this time, I saw members of the LIU Sharks baseball team! I’ve been at the hotel with college athletic teams before, but not a team from my alma mater! They were in town for a three-game series against the Sacred Heart Pioneers (ironically, LIU Post’s team name before the One LIU unification). Sacred Heart won the first two games, but LIU avoided the sweep Sunday. I would see players in the lobby again on Saturday and Sunday mornings, letting some know on Saturday that I was an alum and had a weekly radio show.

Okay, we’re almost up to the first night of SJFS.

Kelly and I waited in her SUV until we saw the line of attendees file in to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium at the Parsons Complex. The line began to move at 7:15, so in we went.

After having my ticket checked, I set up my equipment in the orchestra pit and mingled with my fellow photographers Katherine Gilraine and Ron Hancox, Jay Dobbins, Dolly Moye, Estella Greene, Billy and Sandy Okumu, Ron’s wife Nydia, and Jay Rowe’s mother Mia DiStasi. I was elated to see all of them in person after so long. I only wish photographer KT Jones was still with us. (He succumbed to cancer in late February.)

The auditorium interior underwent an upgrade between 2019 and 2022. Monitors were set up throughout the lobby. Most cycled through a slideshow of images from past Smooth Jazz for Scholars, including pictures with Rohn Lawrence, Nick Colionne, or both of them. Two monitors had an overhead view of the stage. The sound system, lighting, and seating were all improved.

Friday night’s set began at 8:15, an hour after the auditorium doors opened. Kevin McCabe of Jumpstart Jazz Productions enthusiastically welcomed us back:

I simultaneously recorded the show (mostly for private use) (5/15 UPDATE: exceptions below) with my recently-acquired professional 4K camcorder (and detachable handle unit). Four minutes into Kevin’s spiel, a system error occurred and I had to turn the camcorder off and back on. After that, no problems. It recorded two hours and 32 minutes continuously; no starting a new file every 20 minutes like my previous camcorder.

As for the photos, I have the same DSLR camera but with a superzoom lens I bought last year. No more switching between 18-140 mm (18-55 before that) and 55-300 mm. I have one lens to rule them all.

Here are the photos! The house band was led by Jay Rowe on keyboards:

Andy Abel on electric and acoustic guitar (seen on electric):

Dave Livolsi on bass:

Trever Somerville on drums:

…and percussion by Tony Cintron:

(If you’re wondering, Steve Scales is alive and well.)

The headliners were Peter White on acoustic guitar and harmonica (seen on guitar):

Marion Meadows on soprano sax:

…and Nelson Rangell on alto sax, flute, piccolo, whistling, and vocal percussion (seen on alto):

SET LIST
1. East Coast West Coast (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Red Hot & Smooth (2006)
Featured musician: Jay Rowe (keyboards)

2. Smooth Ride (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Smooth Ride (2016)
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Peter White (guitar)

3. Promenade/Could It Be I’m Falling in Love (The Spinners cover) (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Promenade (1993)/Reflections (1994)
Featured musicians: Peter White (guitar), surprise guest Vincent Ingala! (tenor sax) (watch him surprise the audience)
Peter introduced “Promenade” with the “-naid” pronunciation, not “-nahd,” as I’ve been saying all these years.

4. Here We Go (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Here We Go (2012)
Featured musicians: Peter White (guitar), Nelson Rangell (alto sax)
I’d been dreaming about this collaboration ever since I heard David Sanborn on the original.

5. Vonetta (Earl Klugh cover) (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: Soul to Souls (2006)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (flute), Andy Abel (guitar)

6. Body Rhythm (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: Body Rhythm (1995)
Featured musician: Marion Meadows (soprano sax)
As usual, Marion began this song in the audience, working his way to the stage.

7. Treasures (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: In Deep (2002)
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Andy Abel (guitar), Jay Rowe (keyboards)
Andy channeled the spirit of Rohn Lawrence on his solo.

8. Caravan of Dreams (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Caravan of Dreams (1996)
Featured musicians: Peter White (guitar), Vincent Ingala (tenor sax)

9. Peaceful (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Music for STARLUX Airlines (2019)
Featured musicians: Peter White (guitar/harmonica), Vincent Ingala (tenor sax)

10. Marcosinho (Dave Grusin composition for flautist Dave Valentin) (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: Whisper (2013)
Featured musician: Marion Meadows (soprano sax)
A harmonica-like filter was applied to Marion’s sax for his solo intro.

11. Suede (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: Player’s Club (2004)
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Andy Abel (guitar)

12. Geopolitics (Nelson Rangell)
Featured musician: Nelson Rangell (alto sax)

13. Sonora (Hampton Hawes cover) (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: Destiny (1995) (alto sax), My American Songbook, Vol. 1 (2005)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (whistling/piccolo/vocal percussion), Peter White (guitar)

14. Muff (John Tropea cover) (Nelson Rangell)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (alto sax), surprise guest Jeff Kashiwa! (tenor sax)
Jeff headlined Saturday’s set, but he played on “Muff” and the finale.

15 (Finale). I Wish (Stevie Wonder cover)
Featured musicians: Everyone
Arti Dixson sat in for Trever Somerville on drums.

Here are groups of pictures by artist, starting with Peter White:

Marion Meadows:

Nelson Rangell on alto sax (during “Geopolitics”):

Nelson on flute for “Vonetta”:

…and “Sonora”: whistling, piccolo, whistling with the piccolo in his hand, vocal percussion:

Surprise guest Vincent Ingala:

Surprise guest Jeff Kashiwa:

Jay Rowe (during “Treasures”):

Andy Abel:

Dave Livolsi:

Trever Somerville:

Tony Cintron:

Peter and Jay:

Peter and Nelson on “Here We Go”:

Peter and Vincent:

A wide shot during “Geopolitics”:

…and “Vonetta”:

Nelson and Jeff:

The finale: “I Wish”:

It was a great night, but it wasn’t over yet. There was meeting and greeting to do; photos with musicians, friends, and musician friends.

First, a photo with Peter White, who I hadn’t seen since the Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas show at Tilles Center in December 2017:

Next, me with Nelson and Jay Rowe:

Jay Dobbins introduced me to Andy Abel and Tony Cintron. I complimented both of them on their work that night. Andy complimented me on noticing a flaw at the end of the title track on Jay Rowe’s Groove Reflections album and I told him I liked his guitar work on Jessy J‘s new album, Blue. He had plenty of insight on the recording process for the tracks with him, Jay, Trever, and Dave Anderson. (Dave couldn’t make it this year because he was performing with Chieli Minucci at the Tarrytown Jazz Forum on both nights, an engagement booked before SJFS was announced in February. That’s also why Chieli couldn’t make it.)

I took a photo of Jay Dobbins, Marion, Andy, and Tony:

Then, I had Jay take one of me and Marion:

I said my goodbyes and Kelly drove me back to the Hampton Inn. Click here to read about what happened before, during, and after Saturday’s show. I’ll leave you with a photo of Billy and Sandy Okumu, and Mark and Phyllis Abrams:

Billy Okumu, Phyllis and Mark Abrams, Sandy Okumu

Audiobooking 7 March 26, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Audio, Audiobooks, Baseball, Books, Comedy, Commentary, Drama, Film, Football, Health, History, Internet, Media, Music, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Rock, Sports, TV, Video, War, Wrestling.
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Another year of audiobook listening is in the books. I’m still an Audible member and use each month’s credit on a new book, but throughout my membership, there will come a time where I pay $35.88 to buy three extra credits. I listened while exercising, running (or walking) errands, doing household tasks, and at bedtime.

I even listened to one book on YouTube rather than Audible. Find out which one as I list the audiobooks I listened to since last year’s Audiobooking post:

  • Apropos of Nothing by Woody Allen – It’s sad that the abundance of Woody haters made him feel compelled to passionately, and rightly, defend his character through most of the book.
  • Talking to GOATs: The Moments You Remember and the Stories You Never Heard by Jim Gray (with guest voices including Bob Costas, Vin Scully, Tom Brady, and Snoop Dogg) – GOAT is an acronym for “greatest of all time.” – Vin was recorded over the phone while Bob and Tom were on Zoom via their webcam or phone. You can tell by the audio quality. – I remembered where I was during the moments Jim recounted, especially the Pete Rose interview. Jim didn’t deserve the grief he got. I’m glad he and Pete are on good terms these days
  • Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (read entirely by Robert Petkoff) – This was certainly enlightening. I had no idea the mob’s tentacles ran so deep, or that they had a boss in Tampa, of all places.
  • On the House: A Washington Memoir by John Boehner (“bainer”) – This was one of three books I returned. – The early stages of Speaker Boehner’s book were more of, apropos of the previous book I listened to, hits on his enemies. I mean verbal ad hominem attacks, not murders.
  • Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling by Jim Ross with Paul O’Brien (read by Jim; Vince McMahon’s foreword and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s afterword read by R.C. Bray) – I bought this with my On the House return credit. – Both Slobberknocker and Under the Black Hat have an instance of “at the end of the day.” I had yet to encounter that in Black Hat when I published last year’s post. – I watched many WWE documentaries on Peacock in my first two months as a subscriber (before “at the end of the day” fatigue made me quit watching what was left). I now realize that for all WWE-sanctioned media, you are required to say “-E” instead of “-F,” even when referring to the WWF days. Only clips can show the old logos and utterances of “-F” or “Federation.” Slobberknocker didn’t have that requirement, but Black Hat did. – I met Jim and Jerry Lawler at New York Comic Con in October.
  • How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived by Leslie Jordan (or should I say Leslie Alan Jordan?) – How can you not love Leslie? – I saw little of him on Will & Grace, but enjoyed him on The Cool Kids and enjoy him on Call Me Kat. – He’s worth following on Instagram.
  • Just When I Thought I’d Heard Everything!: Humorous Observations on Life in America by Charles Grodin (1934-2021) – Compilation of radio commentaries, but newly read (in 2013) for the book. – Wow, was this poorly edited. So many flubs were left in. I don’t know how I made it to the end
  • Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life by Julianna Marguiles (“margh-u-leez”) – I have seen little of Julianna’s work outside of the 1997 live episode of ER, but I enjoyed learning about her. – I was watching Friends on HBO Max at the time I heard her book, and it was neat seeing her older sister Alexandra (referenced in the book) recur on that show.
  • Mayor Kane: My Life in Wrestling and Politics by Glenn Jacobs (a.k.a. Kane) – Like Talking to GOATs, I remembered where I was at the time of some of the events Glenn recounted from the period when I was a wrestling fan. – “-E” instead of “-F” – In pro wrestling terms, I was a mark early in my fandom and Isaac Yankem, Glenn’s first WWE character, genuinely scared me. So, I was surprised that he hated the character – The Fake Diesel angle began on Monday Night Raw on September 23, 1996, two days before my sister’s bat mitzvah. – Early Kane scared me, too. – Glenn’s position as mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, would be known as county executive in most other regions. I was unaware of county executives going by mayor until I heard a public address announcement by the “mayor of Broward County” in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on March 5, 2019, while waiting in the JetBlue terminal for a flight back to JFK. (See photos from my trip here.) – I didn’t enjoy Glenn’s libertarian commentary toward the end, but at least it’s on my side of the political aisle, and he didn’t attack anyone like Boehner did.
  • Five Minutes, Mr. Byner: A Lifetime of Laughter by John Byner with Douglas Wellman (read by John) – I had better luck with John Byner than with John Boehner. – Long Island represent! Byner grew up all over Long Island, including Bohemia and Merrick. (Since Bill O’Reilly’s book, and Brian Kilmeade’s later, aren’t memoirs, I didn’t/don’t acknowledge they are also from Long Island. Bill’s from Levittown and Brian’s from Massapequa.) – I forgot John’s last name at birth was Biener. Unlike the Biener Audi folks, the phonetic spelling John legally adopted is how his family said it; like my last name, people kept mispronouncing his, calling him “Beaner” or “Beans.” – I don’t remember if he brought up playing Gurgi (and Doli) in The Black Cauldron, but I watched it on Disney+ a few weeks ago, as I work my way through (most of) Disney’s theatrical animated releases in chronological order. – Just as I prepared to published this post, I learned of The Super Bob Einstein Movie documentary on HBO Max. Bob created Super Dave Osborne for The John Byner Comedy Hour and would later appear on John’s Bizarre series and his own show, Super Dave.
  • Past Imperfect: The Autobiography by Joan Collins – Originally published in 1978, revised in the mid ’80s to include her Dynasty work, recorded in 2021. – Maxwell Reed was her husband, but I came to hate him just as much after listening. – I thought back to Slobberknocker as Joan referenced Bill Watts, obviously not related to Cowboy Bill.
  • Tropical Attire Encouraged (and Other Phrases That Scare Me) by Alison Rosen – Free with my Audible membership – Each chapter ended with an impromptu commentary by Alison and after finishing the book, there’s podcast-esque commentary by Alison and her husband Daniel Quartz. – I became a fan of Alison during her days as a guest on Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, proudly supporting the original livestream (UStream) incarnation of Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend. It was an honor to be the Fan Phone Call one Sunday evening in 2010; I listened to some episodes of the podcast version that continues to this day, but haven’t heard an episode in quite a while. – I’ve since gravitated toward podcasts by Gilbert Gottfried (with Frank Santopadre) and Ken Levine. – Listening to this book made me nostalgic for the halcyon days before politics drove a wedge into everything.
  • My Inappropriate Life: Some Material Not Suitable for Small Children, Nuns, or Mature Adults by Heather McDonald – Written and read in the days of Chelsea Lately, which again, I didn’t see much of, but I knew of the regular panelists and staff, including Heather.
  • The Long Slide: Thirty Years in American Journalism by Tucker Carlson – I can’t stomach his Tucker Carlson Tonight commentaries anymore (too dour, goes after right-wingers I like), but I was willing to buy The Long Slide. – After an introduction lamenting the way things were at the time of publication (summer 2021), the rest of the book is made up of past columns with present-day prologues. To that end, it was edited better than Charles Grodin’s audiobook.
  • You Look So Much Better in Person: True Stories of Absurdity and Success by Al Roker – I’ve been a fan of Al’s since his days at News 4 New York (WNBC), and thoroughly enjoyed his journey. – “You look so much better in person” was a well-meaning, unintentionally backhanded compliment someone gave him in Rockefeller Plaza one time on Today. Don’t ever tell anyone that.
  • Parenting for the Digital Age: The Truth behind Media’s Effect on Children and What to Do About It by Bill Ratner – There are occasional references to Bill’s career, but it’s mostly parental help, as the title indicates.
  • Oh, Nothing…: An Audio Collection of Stories and Memories from Alan Sues by Alan Sues (“sooz”) (1926-2011) – Since the book’s price was $9.79, I bought it that way rather with a credit that costs an additional $1.17 if bought with three ($11.96 x 3) or $5.16 with the monthly credit ($14.95). – Again I say as the title indicates, this is less of a book and more of an interview or one-on-one conversation. – There was so much more to Alan than his days on Laugh-In.
  • The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone – I felt deep empathy for Sharon as she recounted all that she’s endured. – Left-wing politics comes up throughout, but I made it to the end.
  • Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo by Jo Koy – “Josep!” – Jo’s brother reminded me of my late uncle Carmen, who also suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
  • After Mixed Plate, I encountered the second book that I had to disappointingly return for left-wing political reasons. I prefer not to name it or its author (and co-author), but I will say that they were also born and raised on Long Island.
  • Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography by Billy Connolly – I started listening just after I had finished watching Billy in the final season of Head of the Class on HBO Max, and earlier this week, I heard him in Pocahontas on Disney+. – Like Jimmy Johnson, these days, Billy lives with his wife in the Florida Keys.
  • Bad Republican by Meghan McCain – Double entendre: “bad” because she’s not conservative enough and she and her family hate [the 45th president], and “bad” merely as a Republican. The latter “bad” is how her former co-hosts of The View perceived her. – Three audio clips are used: two of her father Senator John McCain and one of her impassioned eulogy at his memorial. – One “at the end of the day”
  • God Bless This Mess: Learning to Live and Love Through Life’s Best (and Worst) Moments by Hannah Brown – Vocal fry galore! – Felt nothing when she won her season of Dancing with the Stars and didn’t get along with her dance partner Alan Bersten (only referred to by his first name) – That admission, with about an hour left in the book, let me to make my third return of the year. I was so distraught, having wasted my time supporting her (even though I thought she didn’t deserve to win that season!), I couldn’t finish my workout on the morning I heard that part.
  • Dear Hartley: Thoughts on Character, Kindness, and Building a Brighter World by Jedediah Bila – Speaking of former hosts of The View, Jedediah’s Dear Hartley is a series of hopeful letters (chapters) to her currently-toddler son. – Each “letter” ends with “I love you more than life, Mama.”
  • Kind is the New Classy by Candace Cameron Bure – One “at the end of the day” – Hey, three The View ex-pats in one year! – While Candace spoke positively of her co-hosts in the book, since she was still on it in 2018, she has since admitted her experience was as bad as Meghan’s.
  • Based on a True Story: A Memoir by Norm Macdonald (1959-2021) – Yes, the first “d” is lowercase. – This is not a nonfiction memoir, but a fictional novel “based on a true story.” – It’s the story of egomaniacal Norm and his timid sidekick Adam Eget (“e-ghit”), intertwined with confessions from the supposed ghostwriter of the book, voiced “splendidly!” by Tim O’Halloran.
  • Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) – Before my animated theatrical journey began on Disney+, I watched all nine episodes of Star Wars (the Skywalker Saga) in episodic order. After finishing the original trilogy, I watched Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, a documentary produced by Carrie’s brother/Debbie’s son Todd, on HBO Max. Then, I decided to buy this audiobook and three of the next four below. – Left-wing politics, but through a 2008 lens
  • Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) – A chronicle of Carrie’s experience with ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) treatments – It includes another hater-facilitated defense, this time of Michael Jackson. Good.
  • The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher – She talks about her experience making the original Star Wars trilogy and shares diary entries written during filming of the first one (Episode IV). – The diary entries are read by her daughter Billie Lourd. – Ends with modern-day dramatizations of fan encounters at conventions, which Carrie referred to as “celebrity lap dance(s),” a term she also used in Bright Lights.
  • The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family by Ron and Clint Howard (foreword written and read by actress Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron’s daughter) – This is a real memoir about Ron and Clint’s youth and the lives of their parents Rance and Jean Speegle Howard. (I thought it was “Spiegel” as I listened since I have a friend with that last name.) – I’ve since heard Clint in The Jungle Book and two Winnie the Pooh shorts, via The Many Adventures of…, on Disney+. – This was temporarily the longest audiobook I’ve ever listened to, surpassing I’ll Be Back Right After This by Pat O’Brien.
  • My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie by Todd Fisher – Todd’s memoir and point of view of the events chronicled in Carrie and Debbie’s books, which are occasionally excerpted – Todd says “two thousand and” for 2001 and beyond, even for 2010 and beyond. – He kept saying “in the end,” but I’ll take a million of those over one “at the end of the day.” Bravo, Todd. – Only five minutes shorter than The Boys
  • The Masked Man: A Memoir and Fantasy of Hollywood by Tom Wilson – This is the book I listened to on YouTube. Tom posted chapters to his channel daily over three weeks in January. – Like Norm’s book, there’s a fictional aspect (“and fantasy of”). You don’t really think Clayton Moore followed him around like a shadow, do you? – I made a playlist of all the chapters, but you may buy on Audible if it’ll clear your conscience.
  • The President and the Freedom Fighter: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Their Battle to Save America’s Soul by Brian Kilmeade – A book about the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass
  • But Enough About Me: A Memoir by Burt Reynolds (1936-2018) with Jon Winokur (read by Burt) – Burt lists many of the people that helped shape his life. – I don’t know if it was the frailty of age, but Burt’s delivery was mostly whispered. – I’m thankful to Burt for reminding me of Sally Field’s verbatim acceptance speech when she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, her second, for her role in Places in the Heart, and how it alluded to her previous win for Norma Rae. Read about that in her Wikipedia entry.
  • I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This!: and Other Things That Strike Me as Funny by Bob Newhart (abridged) – The book is from 2002, so Bob’s speech was still clear and his voice wasn’t high. – Bob’s signature routines are sprinkled throughout. – I’ve since seen Bob in The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under on…guess where?
  • Coreyography by Corey Feldman – Empathy strikes again as my heart ached for what he and Corey Haim endured as children. – I have a hunch I’ve heard his father Bob Feldman on some David Benoit albums, but maybe it was a different Bob Feldman. – Corey, too, set the record straight on Michael Jackson. – Yeah, he was in one of those animated theatrical films I saw on Disney+ (that’s where): The Fox and the Hound.
  • Who I Am by Pete Townshend (“town’s end”) – Even longer than The Boys: 17 hours and 56 minutes. I still have around four hours left, but it’s quite an adventure. – The title is a play on his song “Who Are You?” for The Who.

As I crafted this post, adding one book at a time, I had no idea how many books I had listened to: 34, plus three that I returned! That far exceeds the amount of books in earlier posts.

Until next year’s “Audiobooking” post, happy listening.

2021 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming Weekend, WCWP’s 60th Anniversary October 19, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Aviation, Football, Health, History, Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Radio, Rock, Sports, Technology, Travel, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Other recaps: 20082009WCWP 50th Anniversary (2011)20122013201420152016, 2017, 2018, 2019

After a year away, Homecoming Weekend was back in full force! And WCWP’s 60th anniversary on Monday made it a four-day weekend!

It was my first time back on the campus of LIU Post since October 28, 2019 – a week after the last Homecoming – with Ryan Grabow.

On Thursday, October 14, I charged up my camcorder and changed batteries in the shotgun mic and audio recorder. I also charged up my GoPro Hero 7 for multi camera production, but didn’t use it.

Friday, October 15

I left for LIU Post via Uber at 10:30. Upon arrival, I gave my COVID-19 self-check form – which I filled out before I left – to the gate attendant. Then, I was driven down to WCWP in the Abrams Communication Center. I immediately went to work as Art Beltrone and Hank Neimark pre-recorded an interview in studio 1 for Monday’s 60th anniversary broadcast. The guest and recorder was Samantha “Sami J” Negron.

Here is the interview:

After that, I moved my equipment into studio 2 to record part of Art Beltrone’s solo show, WCWP’s Early Years, which kicked off the 60-hour (hey, 60 hours + 60 years!) Homecoming Weekend programming block. Jeff Kroll was the board operator and his wife Pat was producer.

Hank Neimark was Art’s first guest:

Jay Elzweig introduced the songs, all from 1961, the year WCWP signed on:

Several WCWP alumni were interviewed via Zoom:

Two of the Zoom guests were Stewart Ain…:

…and Steve Radoff:

Another show feature had Art reading Post Pioneer newspaper articles. This one was “Message to the Students from the Provost”:

Jay showed off his t-shirt:

The show closed with a preview of 4:00’s Strictly Jazz with John LiBretto and Hank Neimark:

Art also asked Jeff and Pat Kroll their thoughts:

After Art’s closing remarks, the show was over.

Here’s video of portions of WCWP’s Early Years:

Joan Yonke, LIU Post Campus Director of Employer and Alumni Engagement, dropped by the station during Early Years and came back again afterward. It’s always nice to see her.

While the pre-recorded WCWP Career Paths with Bill Mozer ran, I took some photos in the lounge area:

Here’s Homecoming Weekend coordinator Zach’s dog Diesel:

Strictly Jazz started a few minutes after 4PM due to technical difficulties, but ran without a hitch after that.

As you saw, Jeff Kroll ran the board again.

Joining John LiBretto…:

…and Hank Neimark…:

…was Rita Sands, appearing by phone.

They spoke to Jon Korkes via Zoom (after John held Jeff’s “un-mute” message up to the webcam):

They spoke to me in studio 2:

And after my dad picked up to drive me home, Ted David on Zoom:

Here is my video of the first hour:

And the scope of the entire show, just as in 2019 when it aired before mine:

10/20 UPDATE: John Zoni took over studio 2 at 6PM:

Sami J was on at 8PM with Total Access:

My friend and ardent supporter Jay Mirabile had a special edition of his DFK Show at 10PM. Here’s a photo he posted with Sami and Peter Sacoulas:

And his aircheck:

Saturday, October 16

I spent much of the morning editing media and drafting this blog post. I left for Post, this time with my dad, shortly after 1PM.

Both gates were open with no need to check in. So, when we got to campus at 1:30, I photographed the turn into the east gate:

Bernie Bernard and Adam Smook were congregating in studio 3. Adam and I are both from Wantagh – Wantagh Woods, at that! – as we discussed. We also talked about fellow alumnus Frank D’Elia, who worked with Adam at WOR and then WABC.

Jay Elzweig and Jett Lightning came in, as our WABC discussion continued, eventually turning to jingles. Bernie mentioned how JAM Creative Productions recorded a name jingle for her. That jingle has become part of her annual Homecoming Weekend show, which airs after coverage of the football game.

The LIU Sharks‘ Homecoming football game was against the Merrimack Warriors. Merrimack won convincingly 43-5. The Sharks only got a safety and a field goal. I walked toward Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium during the third quarter.

I planespotted to and from Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium, watching planes turn toward JFK. This is Delta flight 169 from BCN (Barcelona El Prat Airport):

JetBlue flight B6192 from ACK (Nantucket Memorial Airport):

Carnival attractions in the parking lot:

“Hoco”? That’s a new one on me.

The stadium entrance:

A play on Bronko Piersall Field:

The scoreboard:

The new press box and stands:

The opposite side:

That’s enough for me. Back to the station.

Emirates flight 201 from DXB (Dubai International Airport):

Jeff Kroll told me he’s been on that flight in the past, all 13 hours of it.

Delta flight 858 from ATL (Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport):

Delta flight 4721 from BNA (Nashville International Airport):

WCWP’s transmitter:

When the game was over, I got to work photographing the postgame show, hosted by John Zoni:

Here is my aircheck of the postgame show, which includes final thoughts from the broadcast booth by Tom Scavetta and Alex Damiris:

Next, the aforementioned Bernie Bernard:

The first page of her playlist:

Jett Lightning was Bernie’s first guest:

Then, me:

Meanwhile, WCWP’s internet station, The Wave, hosted a barbecue outside. Zach was the grillmaster:

Dave asked for a picture:

Seconds later, Qatar Airways flight 701 from DOH (Doha Hamad International Airport) was flying about as low as the earlier Emirates plane:

Jeff’s been on that flight, too. It’s 14 hours long! Nonetheless, he raved about their service.

One last Delta plane: flight 1984 from SAL (San Salvador International Airport):

Back inside, John Zoni and Lew Scharfberg wrapped up the bagels from earlier in the day:

Jay Elzweig was the last of Bernie’s guests that I photographed and video recorded:

In addition to reminiscing, he gave the weather forecast, right up my alley as a fellow weather buff:

The weather Friday and Saturday was warm and a little humid, but a cold front came through Saturday night, leading to seasonably mild and dry conditions Sunday and Monday.

Video of all three segments (my vidcap is the thumbnail):

I chose to leave earlier this year, but there was more to do before I left.

I photographed Art Beltrone’s interview with Nick Mattina and Griffin Ward:

Art:

Nick:

Griffin:

Art’s notes:

A candid shot of Art’s off-air conversation with Lew Scharfberg:

Then, I recorded Art’s interview with me. Here are vidcaps:

…and the video itself:

I mentioned Dan Cox’s predecessor as WCWP’s Director of Broadcasting, and Dan himself who has held the position for 19 years and counting, but forgot to acknowledge Joe Manfredi, the Director of Operations when I was a student. He’s my fellow 2021 WCWP Hall of Fame inductee along with Jay Mirabile. Participating on Zoom during the broadcast to remedy my omission voided the chance for this interview to air; no double-dipping.

Finally on Saturday, posed photos, starting with Peter Sacoulas and Sami Jo Negron:

Me with Peter and Sami:

John Zoni:

…and Tom Scavetta:

Art Beltrone, Bobby Guthenberg (a.k.a. Bobby G.), Joel Mahan:

Art, Bobby G., Jerry Reilly, Joel:

I met Joel and Jerry in 2019 and was so glad to see them again this year. Joel was eager to listen to my regular Wednesday night show and Bobby complimented my work.

Jett Lightning and Jay Elzweig:

Bernie Bernard:

Bernie and John Mertz:

A candid shot of Art Beltrone and Alan Seltzer:

…and posed:

And with my dad having arrived in the parking lot, the last photo was me with Bobby and Alan:

Like Art at the end of his interview with me, Bobby thanked me for everything I do. I told him I appreciate that.

It’s an aircheck palooza from here on out, except for any photos I find in the WCWP Alumni Association Facebook group. To that end, here’s a photo of another guest on Bernie’s show: her former student Joe Connelly:

Alan Seltzer and Bobby G., followed by just Alan:

And Bernie’s outro:

Bobby G. and Mike Riccio were next at 7PM. Here is a scope of their first hour:

Again, courtesy of Bernie, it’s Bobby and Jett:

Mike Riccio:

And the four original hosts of The Rock Show: Bobby, Mike, Alan and Bernie:

A partial scope of Alan’s 10PM show, Seltzer with a Twist:

Sunday, October 17

Once again, I spent the morning editing content from the day before and the aircheck of Instrumental Invasion. Full details about the show are in a separate post, but here’s the scoped aircheck:

I airchecked a handful of Sunday’s shows, also of the partial scope variety. Jay LaPrise was on at 8AM with The Why I Work in Television Radio Show:

At noon, “Jammin'” Jamie Mazzo and Sara “Sadie” Dorchak hosted The Ladies of Prison Break Radio. This is a partial scope, but a long one: 49 minutes. The aircheck begins with a trailer-style Homecoming Weekend promo voiced by Zach:

10/20 UPDATE: Next, at 4PM, Joseph P. Honerkamp. You can call him Joe. Here’s a full scope:

There’s also a video:

I made a scoped version with re-synced audio and the end part that the video missed:

Jett Lightning came on at 6PM with Lightning’s Hits and Rarities Reliquary. As you’ll hear, Jay Elzweig – weather forecast in tow – joined Jett later in the show:

Rock ‘N’ Soul Gospel followed at 8PM, hosted by Grandfather Rock Chris MacIntosh. His scope includes a community calendar spot voiced by me and a promo for Monday’s 60th anniversary special voiced by Jeff Kroll:

And as midnight approached, Zach wrapped up the weekend that was:

Monday, October 18

I had yet another morning of editing; in this case, Sunday’s aircheck scopes heard above.

Noon came, and so began the WCWP 60th anniversary broadcast, hosted by Art Beltrone and Hank Neimark, board operated by Jeff Kroll, and produced by Pat Kroll; same as Friday.

My initial plan was to listen to the stream, but as noted earlier, I joined in on Zoom. Here are some screencaps:

Show timeline:

  • Introduction with sign-on audio
  • Dr. Jennifer Holmes, Dean of Arts, Communications, and Design; and Michael Berthel, Chief of Staff and Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Hank counts down to 12:15, pops champagne, cuts cake
  • Dr. Kimberly Cline, LIU President
  • Jeff Kroll
  • Dan Cox, WCWP Director of Broadcasting, reads citation from Nassau County Executive Laura Curran
  • Hank Neimark
  • Bruce Mahler (via Zoom)
  • Jon Cole (via Zoom)
  • John Commins (via Zoom)
  • Joel Feltman (via Zoom)
  • Diane Taylor (via Zoom)
  • Stewart Ain (via Zoom)
  • Joe Honerkamp (via Zoom)
  • John LiBretto (via Zoom)
  • Jon Korkes (via Zoom)
  • Rita Sands (on the phone)
  • Bernie Bernard (recorded Saturday)
  • Jeff asks Art and Hank to share their recollections
  • Harry Lowenthal (via Zoom)
  • Mike Chimeri (via Zoom)
  • Bobby Guthenberg (via Zoom)
  • Zach Parker
  • West Side Story opened in theaters the same day WCWP signed on
  • Alan Seltzer (via Zoom)
  • Ted David (recorded via Zoom)
  • Jeff’s recollections, John Commins and Mike Chimeri’s interjections
  • Aleen “Junie” Thomas (via Zoom)
  • Dr. William Martinov, LIU Director of Athletics (recorded Saturday)
  • Andrew Scarpaci (recorded Saturday)
  • Art and Hank re-read citation
  • Pat Kroll
  • Joe Honerkamp and Stewart Ain share stories about Mrs. Abrams
  • Lew Scharfberg (via Zoom)
  • Bruce Leonard (via Zoom)
  • Fred Gaudelli (via Zoom)
  • Bill Mozer (on the phone)
  • Jon Cole, Mike Chimeri, Fred Gaudelli, Joel Feltman speak to Bill
  • Elise Person (recorded on the phone)
  • End

The show was 2 1/2 hours, but I’m posting audio in three parts. Here’s part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

And my pre-record-voiding appearance:

Pat Kroll also took several photos, starting with the cake:

Art with the cake:

Hank, Jeff, Art:

Hank cutting the cake:

Dr. Cline:

Dan Cox reads County Executive Curran’s citation:

The citation:

Thank you very much for reading, viewing, and hearing all the way to the end. To repeat myself, I greatly appreciate the support I get for the work I do. This was a labor of love and friendship.

60 cheers to WCWP! See you next year.

My experience at Day 1 of 2021 New York Comic Con October 9, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Art, Audio, Audiobooks, DVD, Health, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Technology, Trains, Travel, TV, Video, War, Wrestling.
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Other New York Comic Con recaps: 2012 Day 22014 Day 1, 2017 Day 1, 2018 Day 1, 2019 Day 1

I returned to the Javits Center on Thursday for the first day of this year’s New York Comic Con, my sixth time at the event. It was also the first time I set foot in Manhattan since a failed trip to Lisa Hilton’s performance at Carnegie Hall, nearly two years ago.

The days and weeks leading up to my trip were filled with trepidation. I felt anxious about what to expect. Would there be a capacity limit? Would I get scolded by staff or security? Did I waste my money on a badge? Why did William Shatner have to go to space, leading his events to be moved to the evening?

The day turned out to be as exciting as it was my last time at NYCC in 2019.

Under the assumption that I’d be meeting Shatner, I tweeted him about my concerns:

Been going back/forth on replying, but here goes: I have Asperger Syndrome, & I’m going to day 1 of NY Comic Con on Oct 7. I’m worried about what to expect, including photo op w/you that I bought. I’m hoping staff are nice, not angry/scolding. Will wear mask, of course.

Mike Chimeri

He replied encouragingly. I was hoping to link to that reply, but it seems to have been taken down.

Regardless, that led to many more replies from fellow fans. One fan in the UK made this suggestion:

Hi Mike, not sure if you have the same in the States, but in the UK we have a scheme where people wear a lanyard with sunflowers on, this signifies that the person wearing the lanyard may perceive life differently and to be a bit more understanding around them.

Mark ELVIS Goddard, @GBsBestElvis

He followed that up with…:

They are just a subtle way to let people know to be kind I work in the tourist industry & if a customer is wearing one we automatically know 2b kind & maybe a bit calmer around them, but they don’t have that awkward conversation of explaining why they don’t do lifts for example!

Mark ELVIS Goddard, @GBsBestElvis

So, I paid about $8 for a set of artificial sunflower heads. They shed like dog fur, but I proudly put one in my ticket holder above my badge.

My day began like any other Thursday since last April, in the days when the Javits Center was a field hospital for COVID patients: edit Wednesday’s Instrumental Invasion aircheck, make a scoped version for my blog, publish the blog post, and share the post on social media. That left me about 45 minutes to eat breakfast (a bowl of cereal), shower, and get dressed and packed.

An Uber driver picked me up around 9:00, dropping me off at Wantagh LIRR station within ten minutes. Once there, I bought my ticket and walked to my usual spot on the west end of the platform, above Wantagh Avenue. The train arrived at 9:28:

I was hoping for the new M9 railcar, but it was the old M7. Oh, well.

I listened to much of my aircheck on the platform and then on the train.

Penn Station has changed drastically since last January, as seen in these photos taken on the way back from Javits:

When I arrived at Javits, my Clear app vaccination voucher was scanned, then my badge, and I went through security. It was hassle-free, thankfully. I took the first photo at 10:42, snapping away until I reached the autographing area in hall 1E:

Knowing I’d be meeting Dee Bradley Baker, earlier in the week, I ordered a compilation DVD on Amazon of Phineas and Ferb episodes centered around Perry the Platypus, Dee’s character. Assuming I’d be seeing William Shatner’s panel at 11AM and getting a photo op at 12:10 PM, I bought a 1PM ticket for Dee. Thankfully, it was accepted at 11:00.

As I waited in line, I saw Dee and other celebrity guests assembling behind the curtain. I waved to Dee and he signaled back to me, pointing two fingers at his eyes and then toward me, as if to say “I’m watching you.” That was flattering. When I was next in line, I learned that photos were not allowed at the table; autographs only. I asked the representative if he had a photo op. Yes, at 3:40, an hour and 50 minutes before the rescheduled Shatner photo op would have been. I was fine with that.

Dee and I spoke briefly as he signed the DVD box art:

To Mike!

Dee Baker

Agent P (Perry’s code name in the O.W.C.A. [Organization Without a Cool Acronym])

Dee’s autograph

Then, he graced me with Perry’s signature vocal effect. We said our goodbyes and I proceeded to the sales table to buy my photo op.

It took half an hour because neither my credit nor debit cards worked and I had to withdraw cash from an ATM, then going on the line for cash payments.

I had 3 1/2 hours to spend until it was time to wait in the queue. What to do?

First, I bought lunch at the food court: chicken fingers with waffle fries and a Sprite. I ate as I finished listening to my aircheck. When I went to out my Bose SoundLink wireless headphones away, the ear cushion for the right channel came loose. I had to buy a replacement set from their website.

After that, I proceeded up to the show floor:

What?! Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim “Good Ol’ J.R.” Ross?!

I was a big pro wrestling fan growing up, along with my sister Lauren and cousins Chris and Sam (Samantha). After another ATM trip, a dream of mine was fulfilled: an autographed photo…:

To Mike!

“King” Jerry Lawler (WWE) HOF 07

Jim Ross

WWE HOF ’07

Jerry and Jim’s autographs

…and a photo op with King and J.R.!:

As you can see, I wore my 2020 U.S. Open shirt, previously seen in my pretend Winged Foot photo.

Before the photo, I told King that I didn’t know he’d be there. True to form, he quipped that he didn’t, either, but found himself and J.R. there anyway, or words to that effect. Don’t quote me. All I know is my comeback was “yeah, that’s how it goes,” meaning that’s what happens. After the photo, I told J.R. how long I’d been a fan and that I really enjoyed his two books, Slobberknocker and Under the Black Hat, which I listened to on Audible. He thanked me. (I synopsized Under the Black Hat in my latest “audiobooking” post.)

I took some more photos on the show floor…:

…then went back to the food court for seltzer (sparkling water) and a cookie. I engaged in conversation with my table mates, then called a few friends, and texted Lauren and Chris with a photo of the photo:

There was still plenty of time, so I sought out room 1E01: the Quiet Room:

As the name suggests, it’s a place where you can silently contemplate. I used my time in the room to charge my phone and draft the post you’re reading now.

My plan to pass the time worked. 3:15 came and I walked to the queue:

I spent the next 20 minutes or so chatting with my fellow queue members, then it was time.

I handed a staff member my ticket, put my belongings on a shelf, and was reunited with Dee. Here is our photo:

I was looking straight ahead, so I didn’t know what expression he made. I love it: Jack Benny-esque.

I said goodbye again, grabbed my belongings, picked up my photo print, and left the Javits Center. I may not have seen and met William Shatner, but I made many lasting memories. I’m so happy with how the day turned out. I will definitely be back.

Incidentally, there are articles on Bill’s 6:45 panel – which I would have seen if it was still at 11AM – on CNN’s website and Mediaite. Mediaite’s article includes a YouTube video of the panel (by Gragon Productions):

I watched on Friday night. It was like I was there in person.

10/13 UPDATE: Bill’s space trip was this morning. I didn’t realize it would only be a few minutes, but those few minutes were literally awesome for him. Watch the Blue Origin webcast replay:

10/14 UPDATE: Then, watch the moment of apogee inside the capsule:

10/17 UPDATE: Blue Origin had one more video up their sleeve: a recap:

Back to October 7.

Here’s my photographic journey back to Penn Station:

I reached Penn at 4:05…:

…and took the 4:12 bound for Wantagh, which was another M7:

When I arrived in Wantagh at 5:02, my mom was waiting to drive me home. As it turns out, the Penn-bound train was an M9:

Back in my room, I took photos of all the day’s belongings:

POSTSCRIPT: While perusing the New York Comic Con site on Friday afternoon, I noticed George Takei, Bill’s Star Trek co-star, was in the Q&A portion of his panel. So, I watched, periodically taking screencaps. In addition to Star Trek, he fielded questions about the animated film Kubo and the Two Strings, the video game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, his political activism stemming from internment during World War II (I ached as he told his story), and fond memories of Leonard Nimoy, another Star Trek co-star. One anecdote in particular was about how George saw Leonard perform in the play Equus on Broadway and Leonard returned the favor when George performed in the L.A. production. After the last question, George stood up, thanked the fans in the hall, and gave them Spock’s Vulcan salute. Now, how about those screencaps?

Well, thank you for making it this far. My next task is to chronicle the return of WCWP Homecoming Weekend. Till then, so long.

Instrumental Invasion, 5/19/21 May 20, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel.
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The May 19 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded entirely on my laptop through an Apogee MiC 96k. The first hour was recorded on April 12, with the second hour recorded on the 13th (one segment) and 14th (two segments). I thought I’d be doing one hour each on the 12th and 14th, but symptoms from the second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were low enough that I spread out the second hour’s recording.

The playlist was created and mostly annotated on April 10 with further annotations on the 11th and 12th once I acquired the albums three hour two songs appeared on. Expect to hear more from those albums, and two others that I purchased, in the coming weeks. The script was drafted on the 11th.

“Grey Area” by Cindy Bradley had been played before, but I didn’t acknowledge Mike Broening‘s piano solo. I made up for that this time. As you saw in the link, he goes by Michael professionally, and I will address him as such in the future. I’ve called him Mike because I once heard Cindy call him that in an interview.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 2/24/21 February 25, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Audiobooks, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, TV, Video Games.
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The February 24, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days. The first hour was recorded on January 22, the first two segments of the second hour on the 23rd, and the last segment on the 24th.

The playlist was created on January 21 while chasing lost opportunities to buy a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X from GameStop, and then Walmart. I annotated the playlist on the morning of the 22nd and drafted the script for each segment of the first hour as I recorded. I scripted the second hour’s talk breaks on the 23rd while digitizing a book on tape: How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: The Secrets of Good Communication by Larry King with Bill Gilbert. Larry, who was one of my broadcasting heroes, succumbed to COVID-19 that morning and I wanted to revisit the audiobook that got me through the latter half of 11th grade.

For the second week in a row, I had to pad out the last talk break of hour 1, then did it for both talk breaks in the last segment of the show.

I played “Serious Business” by Jazz Funk Soul in an effort to give airplay to their first two albums: Jazz Funk Soul and More Serious Business. I had previously only played tracks from their latest, Life and Times.

As with the last segment of last week’s show, the first segment of hour 2 this week was remixed to incorporate a new liner from guitarist Nick Colionne. The talk break coming out of his song, “Nite Train,” was rerecorded to compliment a vintage WCWP liner, and the end of that break was rerecorded following news of Chick Corea’s passing.

I ended the show with “Revelation” by Yellowjackets and WDR Big Band to make up for the last ten seconds getting cut off back on December 9.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

As a bonus, here’s a blooper from the first segment:

Instrumental Invasion, 12/30/20 December 31, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Football, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, TV.
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The December 30, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days. The first segment was recorded on November 25, the next two on the 26th (Thanksgiving), and the second hour on the 27th (Black Friday). A pickup for the first segment of hour 2 was recorded on the 29th and the segment was re-edited. All segments were truncated from 18:45 to 18:40 on December 10.

The playlist was created and annotated on November 23.

The show was a scaled-down version of the 40-year musical journey special I had in mind for Homecoming Weekend, had there been one. Obviously, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Homecoming itself was canceled, along with the LIU Sharks football season, if not merely postponed to spring. There were plans to have an abbreviated virtual Homecoming programming block, but those were scrapped in September. (Click here to wistfully read about the 2019 Homecoming Weekend.)

Had the weekend gone on and my proposed special aired, the playlist would have looked like this. As you can see, most of what I had in mind ended up in the December 30 show. “Snake Eyes” by Grover Washington, Jr. was put in the November 11 show, and I played “Born to Be Bad” by Joe Sample on December 2. Like “Snake Eyes,” “Message to Michael” by Earl Klugh and “Strikes Twice” by Larry Carlton were included to make up for an unaired segment in the April 8 show. The inclusion of “Silverbird” by Jeff Jarvis and “Cruisin’ Down Ocean Drive” by The Rippingtons made up for the July 8 show‘s unaired segment.

My talk-up for “Going All the Way” by Nelson Rangell was inspired by Chris Berman‘s catchphrase “(and) he could…go…all…the…way!,” which he used when narrating NFL highlights on ESPN.

“That ending sneaks up on you,” my line coming out of “Aniversário” by Fourplay, was recycled from my live 2016 Homecoming show.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

I’m happy and thankful for the opportunity I was given in 2020 with Instrumental Invasion. Here’s hoping 2021 is happier and healthier for all of us.

Attending the 2020 U.S. Open in spirit; how I got through the COVID-19 lockdown September 22, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Dogs, Golf, Health, Internet, Media, Music, New Age, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Tennis, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games.
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2020 would have been the third year in a row I attended a PGA Tour major championship held in the New York metropolitan area and fourth year in the last five. In 2016, I traveled to Baltusrol Golf Club for the second round of the PGA Championship. In 2018, I was briefly at Shinnecock Hills for the third round of the U.S. Open. And last year, I witnessed the final round of the PGA at Bethpage Black Golf Course, the third time a major had been held there.

This year, the U.S. Open was to return to New York in June, as usual, to be held at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck. As my dad and I had done in 2002 and 2018, we opted to attend the third round so that he could watch at home on Father’s Day. We attended the final round the last time the championship was at Winged Foot in 2006. We were on the periphery of Phil Mickelson‘s collapse on the final hole. So many people stood by the 18th green that we could only hear the undoing. It was a depressing walk to the bus terminal and ride back to general parking at Orchard Beach in the Bronx.

Shortly after Dad bought the 2020 third round tickets in December, I bought a polo shirt that I would proudly don as I walked Winged Foot’s West Course. I had visions of aerial shots of the course along and ground level views of flags flying in the breeze while Brian Tyler‘s epic theme for Fox SportsUSGA coverage – “Triumph of the Spirit” – danced through my head.

Meanwhile, an insidious disease was spreading its way around the world. By March, Coronavirus Disease 2019 – also known as COVID-19 and the coronavirus – had reached the United States. State and local governments put residents on lockdown. Events were canceled or postponed left and right. Sports were put on hold indefinitely.

It was a sudden, sharp, and scary change that was very hard for me to bear. I was so scared and paranoid that I avoided watching or reading the news. It was torture passing by the den as my parents watched New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefings. His voice was the last thing I wanted to hear as it served as a harsh reality check. Social media wasn’t any better. Every day, another public figure became a casualty. Some of my friends lost their friends. My dad lost two of his friends.

From March to June, I kept busy at home. I retouched photo scans, removing dust and scratches, and adjusting contrast and color. While I worked, I listened to music or to interview podcasts that didn’t reference the news. Once I landed a weekly radio show at WCWP, recording and producing the shows became another preoccupation. In my downtime, I watched videos on the various YouTube channels I subscribe to, learning about technology and video games. I also watched traditional TV programming: sitcoms like Last Man Standing and Man with a Plan, and the documentary miniseries The Last Dance, about the Chicago Bulls championship dynasty in the 1990s. I worked out religiously and watched what I ate. I bought groceries and other necessities online.

On social media, I limited my Facebook posts to treadmill running milestones, post-radio show blog posts, and photos from the past on Throwback Thursday (#TBT), Flashback Friday (#FBF) or #MemoryMonday. Instagram had some of those photos from the past, but I also began the Cocoa Photo Series, with new entries posted every two to three days. It’s photos of my late Chocolate Labrador from his puppy days in 1998 through Christmas 2006. Here’s an example.

As states and localities were phased back to somewhat normal, I left my house more often, disposable mask in hand when walking through the neighborhood and covering my face when necessary, especially when shopping. I still buy some things online, though.

For a few months now, I’ve begun to follow various dog accounts on Instagram, mostly for Labrador Retrievers. Watching dogs grow up is just what I need in these difficult times.

This concludes the COVID-19 portion of the post.

In April, I learned that three of the four PGA Tour majors were rescheduled for later in the year, with the [British] Open Championship being canceled outright. The U.S. Open was rescheduled for September 17 to 20, the first time the event was in September since 1913. (This meant it would occur a week after the conclusion of the tennis US Open, sans periods, held south of Winged Foot within the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. For the record, Naomi Osaka won the women’s singles title for the second time in three years while Dominic Thiem won for the men, his first grand slam title.)

Assuming spectators would be allowed, I would be attending the third round of the U.S. Open on September 19. I put the date in my iPhone calendar and hoped that fans got the okay to attend. On July 29, access was denied. I felt like I had wasted my money on a shirt for an event I couldn’t even see in person. At least Dad got refunded for the tickets.

Indeed, to date, I’ve only worn it once since this Instagram post. That one time was on September 10, a week before the first round. It was for a photo project that would put myself at Winged Foot in spirit.

I connected my Nikon D5500 to a tripod, attached a remote, and photographed myself in front of a blank spot on my bedroom wall, clad in what I would have worn to the third round:

The hat is from 2006 and the ticket holder is from 2018.

Then, I applied an effect to make it seem like I was outside in the sun:

The third step was to combine the image with a shot of Winged Foot I found on Google:

I used the magic wand tool to highlight the wall so I could delete it, leaving only myself. Then, I copied and pasted what was left over the Winged Foot image. After initially placing myself in the center of the image, I cropped it down and re-centered myself. This is the end result:

For publicity’s sake, I made sure to note it was a “fake photo.” I posted to Facebook upon completion on the 10th and to Instagram on the morning of the 19th.

Fall conditions were in effect in the area, which meant I’d have a jacket on if I was truly in person, as I did last year at the PGA:

I watched all four rounds of the U.S. Open on TV like everyone else, but not on FS1 and Fox. The rescheduling put Fox in a bind as they were committed to college football on Saturday and the NFL on Sunday. The only solution was to relinquish their USGA rights back to NBC Sports, which they did on June 29. Starting this year, Thursdays and Fridays would be seen on Golf Channel with weekend coverage on NBC. This also meant the previous U.S. Open theme, “In Celebration of Man” by Yanni (pardon the audio quality), made its return. (A bagpipe-infused version was made for Open Championship coverage, as heard in 2016.)

At the end of 72 holes, Bryson DeChambeau was the 120th United States Open champion. He was the only player to shoot under par in the final round and the only player under par for the championship. Bryson joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods among players to win an NCAA individual title, the U.S. Amateur, and the U.S. Open. It was his first career major victory and I was very glad for him.

The end result motivated me to include the polo shirt in my regular rotation, just as I do with shirts for most of the other tournaments I’ve attended.

The next major to be held in the New York metropolitan area comes in May 2022 when the PGA Championship is held at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey. I hope the world is post-pandemic by then so I can be there in person. (Other future sites can be found here.)

1/11/21 UPDATE: The 2022 PGA has been pulled from Trump National Bedminster due to the riot at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday by some of the outgoing president’s supporters. An alternate venue has not been chosen yet. I hope it’s one in the New York metro area as Bedminster would have been.

2/4/21 UPDATE: The PGA announced their replacement last week, which I didn’t find out until this morning. It’s far removed from the New York metro area: Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They were originally scheduled to host the PGA in 2030, which means a new venue will have to be picked for then. The next major in the New York metro area will be the 2026 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

I’ll leave you with video and additional articles related to the final round of the 120th U.S. Open.

VIDEO:
John Pak finishes as low amateur
Final round top shots
Final round extended highlights
Bryson DeChambeau, every televised shot
2020 U.S. Open top shots
Every televised shot from DeChambeau’s victory (all rounds)
Trophy presentation
Press conference
Bryson with Todd Lewis on Live from the U.S. Open
Bryson with Todd Lewis on Morning Drive

ARTICLES:
Will Gray, Golf Channel: Bryson DeChambeau cruises to U.S. Open win for first major title
Michael Bamberger, Golf.com: Victory & Validation: Bryson DeChambeau won the U.S. Open on his own terms
Mike Dougherty, Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Bryson DeChambeau vindicated after dominant finish at Winged Foot
Bill Pennington, The New York Times: Bryson DeChambeau wins U.S. Open his way: in commanding fashion
Mark Cannizaro, New York Post: Bryson DeChambeau runs away with U.S. Open for first major title
Greg Logan, Newsday: Bryson DeChambeau powers his way to his first major at Winged Foot