jump to navigation

10 years of blogging! April 15, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Personal, Technology.
2 comments

13 years ago, I created MikeChimeri.com, which was a WYSIWYG site created in software called Yahoo! Sitebuilder. One of the pages on the site was “News from Mike.” Before I knew what a blog was, I used that page to periodically update visitors on the latest events in my life. Over the next three years, I learned what a blog was, learned that WordPress was a common site for blogging, and decided to create my own blog.

Ten years ago this evening, The Mike Chimeri Blog was born. I published four posts that evening. I linked to the first two sentences ago, but here are the second, third, and fourth posts.

I kept MikeChimeri.com up for four years before deciding to merge that site with the blog. I completed that merger on May 14, 2012. As I wrote that day…

The Mike Chimeri Blog is now the new MikeChimeri.com. This change was two months in the making. Resources from the old MikeChimeri.com were moved here, the domain was transferred to a different host, and the nameservers were transferred to WordPress. It’s the old MikeChimeri.com pages and files combined with The Mike Chimeri Blog pages, posts, and files.

But don’t worry. You can still reach this site from the old mikechimeriblog.com domain. You’ll just be redirected.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading The Mike Chimeri Blog and the current MikeChimeri.com for the last ten years.

Advertisements

The end of the Wii Shop March 21, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Personal, Technology, Video, Video Games.
add a comment

The Wii Shop Channel on the Nintendo Wii is closing for good on January 30, 2019. Next Monday is the last day to buy points to download Virtual Console and WiiWare titles in the shop. Buy now. You have until 4PM ET/1PM PT that day. 3/27 UPDATE: Points can no longer be purchased.

I didn’t know about the Wii Shop’s fate until last Thursday when the YouTube channel My Life in Gaming, run by Coury Carlson and Marc “Try4ce” (or just “Try”) Duddleson, posted this video:

The video highlights select Virtual Console games from retro consoles and arcades, as well as select WiiWare titles. Each console segment has a guest selection from other YouTubers. Those YouTubers are Jonathan Williams a.k.a. The 8-Bit Duke, John Linneman from Digital Foundry, G Gracin III of G to the Next Level, Joe Redifer of Game Sack, Derek Alexander of Stop Skeletons from Fighting, Anthony Cavallo a.k.a. AntDude, Chris Alaimo who runs the Classic Gaming Quarterly channel, and Erin Plays.

$1 is equal to 100 Wii Shop points. Points are sold in $10 increments between $10 and $50, plus tax.

I was reluctant to buy points for the first few days after the video went up. I had 900 points left over from a shopping spree last year and used them on Sunday afternoon to buy the original arcade version of Golden Axe. That spree led me to purchase the four Donkey Kong games for the NES, Sonic 1 and 2 on the Sega Master System, and Pilotwings and Kirby’s Dreamland 3 on the Super NES. The only Virtual Console purchase prior to that was Yoshi for the NES. I didn’t utilize the wired internet connection adapter until a few years ago and didn’t know the Wii was Wi-Fi compatible until last May when I bought a refurbished Wii U and transferred my Wii data to it, leaving the Wii for Gamecube games.

Monday evening, I took the plunge, twice shelling out $50 plus tax to buy 10,000 points. I used those points to buy the following:

  • Arcade: Altered Beast, Ninja Gaiden, Rygar, Shinobi, Space Harrier, Tecmo Bowl, Wonder Boy in Monster Land
  • Neo Geo: Neo Turf Masters
  • NES: Kirby’s Adventure, Startropics
  • SNES: Kirby Super Star
  • N64: Mario Party 2, Super Smash Bros.

Let me explain some of my purchases: I bought Kirby’s Adventure because I know the save battery in my cartridge will go sooner or later. Neo Geo consoles and games are ridiculously expensive. Cart only, Mario Party 2 is at least $23 on eBay while Super Smash Bros. starts at $32. The DS reissue of Kirby Super Star starts at $14 loose on eBay; $21 with the case and manual. The original Super Nintendo cartridge goes for at least $40. The arcade purchases were to avoid using MAME or buying the original PCBs.

About an hour after my farewell spree, I wrote a truncated version of the above on Twitter. It was in reply to My Life in Gaming’s follow-up tweet about the video which tagged all YouTubers involved, I didn’t list the arcade games. Chris Alaimo selected Golden Axe, Coury recommended Shinobi and Space Harrier, and Try touted Wonder Boy in Monster Land. None of the other games I listed were recommended in the video, which led Joe Redifer to facetiously reply:

Nobody in the video recommended any of those games. Please return them and download ONLY the games we recommended. Thanks!

I replied in kind with “At once, sir!,” following up with “I assume we’re both kidding.” Both were liked by Joe.

Chris was next to quip:

Honestly. It’s like why do we even bother? 😛

So, I said:

I’m only one man. Surely, others that haven’t replied bought all the games you all recommended.

And he replied:

They better have. I have kids to feed.

Then, yesterday morning, I rewatched the arcade portion of the video so I could finally note that I did buy the arcade games that were recommended.

Farewell, Wii Shop. You will live on through my Virtual Console purchases. I didn’t buy any WiiWare titles, though.

3/22/18 UPDATE: After watching the “Franchise Killers 2” episode of Game Sack, I decided to buy one WiiWare title: Castlevania The Adventure Rebirth. Bye again, Wii Shop.

Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection videos, outlines, slideshows, and script January 17, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Video.
add a comment

Last night, I received an e-mail from YouTube that announced changes to the YouTube Partnership Program that affects my channel. One paragraph in the e-mail stood out:

Under the new eligibility requirements announced today, your YouTube channel, Mike Chimeri, is no longer eligible for monetization because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. As a result, your channel will lose access to all monetization tools and features associated with the YouTube Partner Program on February 20, 2018 unless you surpass this threshold in the next 30 days. Accordingly, this email serves as 30 days notice that your YouTube Partner Program terms are terminated.

This completes the failed experiment that was Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection. Having been inspired by other YouTubers, I worked from May to July last year putting together eight videos while preparing for four more that I never made. The videos were watched by as many people that watched most of my other videos: ones to tens of people, not thousands or more. And I only picked up tens of subscribers. It was heartbreaking. All the work was for naught. Money was wasted on a Parrot TelePrompTer, camcorder light, and chroma key matte. I hope to find uses for those items in the future, but I think only the light will be put to use.

The videos that got the most views were live performances from Smooth Jazz for Scholars, some of which I took down when I applied for monetization in the first place. And the highest-viewed video couldn’t be monetized because of the subject matter.

This morning, I scanned PDFs of the outlines I wrote for the eight videos I posted, the four I never completed, and one scrapped introductory video. I also made slideshows of the pictures I would have used for the four videos I didn’t complete. I am sharing all of that, and one partial script, below. (NOTE: The slideshows were uploaded to WordPress rather than YouTube.)

Introductory Video outline (scrapped)

Episode 1: 6 Albums from 1981
Outline
Video

Episode 2: 1970s Debut Albums
Outline
Video

Episode 3: 8 Albums from 1992
Outline
Video

Episode 4: 2000s Debut Albums
Outline
Video

Episode 5: 9 Albums from 2000
Outline
Video

Episode 6: Albums by Sidemen
Outline
Video

Episode 7: 1980s Debut Albums
Outline
Video

Episode 8: 1990s Debut Albums
Outline
Video

Episode 9: 9 Albums from 1977 (incomplete)
Outline
Slideshow:

In addition to an outline and slideshow for the first incomplete video, I also have a partial script that I worked on one day in September.

RAMSEY LEWIS – TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD
Ramsey Lewis released two albums in 1977.
The second of the two was Tequila Mockingbird, a play on To Kill a Mockingbird, the Harper Lee novel-turned-Academy-Award-winning film.
Tequila Mockingbird continued Ramsey’s association with Earth, Wind & Fire that began with Sun Goddess a few years earlier.
EWF keyboardist Larry Dunn produced three tracks: the title track, “Skippin’,” and “That Ole Bach Magic.”
He wrote the title track himself and co-wrote “That Ole Bach Magic” with Eddie del Barrio.
I like all eight tracks on “Tequila Mockingbird,” including the ones produced by Bert deCoteaux.
But my absolute favorites, thanks to Ramsey’s solos, are the title track, “Camino el Bueno,” “Caring for You,” and “Intimacy.”
Ramsey would re-record “Intimacy” on Chance Encounter in 1982 and Taking Another Look in 2011.
He re-recorded the title track on Ivory Pyramid in 1992, his first album with GRP after two decades with Columbia.

BOB JAMES – HEADS
After putting out his first four solo albums on CTI, Bob James started his own label, Tappan Zee Records, in 1977.
His inaugural album, the second of the year, was Heads.
From One in 1974 through 12 in 1984, most of Bob’s early albums were numbered directly or indirectly.
Heads refers to the Buffalo nickel.
Nickels are 5 cents.
Ergo, Heads is Bob’s fifth album.
The album personnel is who’s who of New York City musicians of the day: Eric Gale, Steve Khan, Steve Gadd, Idris Muhammad, Gary King, Will Lee, Richard Tee, Ralph MacDonald, Hubert Laws, David Sanborn, Grover Washington, Jr., the Brecker Brothers, Michael and Randy, Jon Faddis, Eddie Daniels, and Mike Mainieri.
And that’s just the beginning.
There are six tracks on the album, but Bob only wrote two of them: the title track and “Night Crawler,” not to be confused with “Nite Crawler,” which Larry Carlton wrote for The Crusaders.
More on that later.
The other four tracks are what I consider to be the ultimate cover of Boz Scaggs’s “We’re All Alone,” “I’m in You” by Peter Frampton, Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful,” and a classical ballad by Henry Purcell: “One Loving Night.”
“One Loving Night” features recorder by George Marge and tenor sax by Grover Washington, Jr.

THE CRUSADERS – FREE AS THE WIND
Free as the Wind was the first Crusaders album without original member Wayne Henderson and the last album with Larry Carlton as a member.
Larry would appear as a guest on Standing Tall in 1981, which I showcased in the first episode, and The Good and Bad Times in 1986.
The rest of the Crusaders at the time were Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Pops Popwell, and Stix Hooper.
Like Tequila Mockingbird, Free as the Wind contains eight tracks.
The title track leads it off, followed by “I Felt the Love,” which first appeared on Chain Reaction two years earlier.
After that, you have “The Way We Was,” a Pops Popwell composition with intermittent chatter, and the aforementioned unrelated “Nite Crawler,” which Larry would play on his eponymous solo album the next year.
Fifth on the album is “Feel It,” written by the entire band with a lyrical refrain by Lamont Dozier of Holland-Dozier-Holland fame, followed by the longest track – “Sweet N’ Sour,” and the shortest track – “River Rat.”
Free as the Wind closes with the Joe Sample ballad, “It Happens Everyday.”
Joe would re-record the song 20 years later on his solo album, Sample This.

PAT METHENY – WATERCOLORS
Pat Metheny Group debuted in 1978, as I shared in the second episode of Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection.
Pat’s solo offering in 1977, Watercolors, was like the group’s beta test.
75% of the band is here: Pat Metheny on guitars, Lyle Mays on piano, and Danny Gottlieb, now of the Lieutenant Dan Band, on drums.
Playing fretless bass on Watercolors was Eberhard Weber.
This is the third album in this episode thus far with eight tracks on it.
Two of them are a suite: “Florida Greeting Song” and “Legend of the Fountain.”
The title track leads off the album, followed by a solo guitar piece called “Icefire,” “Oasis,” a duet with Eberhard and with many layers of guitar.
The middle tracks are my favorites: “Lakes,” an exercise in chord progression, and “River Quay” (“key”).
After the two-part suite, Watercolors ends with the ten-minute “Sea Song.”

WEATHER REPORT – HEAVY WEATHER
The lone Weather Report album in my collection is the commercial smash, Heavy Weather.

That was as far as I got.

Episode 10: Best Ofs with New Tracks (incomplete)
Outline
Slideshow:

Episode 11: Collaborative Albums (incomplete)
Outline
Slideshow:

Episode 12: 11 Albums from 1987 (incomplete)
Outline

And with that, Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection is officially a thing of the past. It lives on through all that I’ve shared here.

I made a mere 68 cents in ad revenue while my YouTube channel was monetized. That’s $99.32 short of the point where I’d get paid.

Now, my channel will go back to its previous purpose: blizzard timelines, aircheck videos, and WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony videos. Thank you to anyone that watched Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection. You’re in rarefied air.

Audiobooking 4 December 12, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Audiobooks, Comedy, Country, Film, Game Shows, History, Internet, Media, Music, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Technology, Theatre, TV.
add a comment

Here is a list of all the audiobooks I’ve listened to in the 51 weeks since my previous “audiobooking” post:

These audiobooks got me through workouts, bedtime, long walks, and boredom.

In the case of Ron Perlman’s book, I found out after the “Legacy” chapter that Ron is politically active on social media. But I digress.

While I was obsessed with Game Show Network (now GSN) in the early 2000s, I saw plenty of Bill Anderson on Goodson-Todman game shows like Match Game and Password Plus. So, it was nice to be reacquainted with him and introduced to his music.

When you read a book, you don’t hear the tone and inflection that the author had in mind. Listening to Shelly Peiken read Confessions of a Serial Songwriter put what her words I read 16 months earlier into perspective.

Next year’s post will be #5, but will not mark five years of regularly listening to audiobooks. That milestone comes in a year and a half. In the meantime, I hope I’ve inspired you to give the above audiobooks a chance. Happy listening.

Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour at Tilles Center December 4, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Comedy, Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV.
1 comment so far

Saturday night, my friend Lori Downing and I saw the Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of my college alma mater, LIU Post. Saxophonist Dave Koz’s friends are guitarist Peter White, horn player Rick Braun, pianist David Benoit, and singer Selina Albright, daughter of saxophonist Gerald Albright. (She plays the sax, too.) The rest of the band was made up of music director Randy Jacobs on guitar, Brian Simpson on keyboards, Nathaniel Kearney Jr. on bass, and Jay Williams on drums.

There are 149 pictures waiting below, but first, the backstory.

This was my first time at Tilles for something not involving WCWP since July 2009 when I saw John Tesh perform. It was also my first concert since Smooth Jazz for Scholars in May. Rick Braun was there for the first night.

I have been meaning to see Dave in concert for almost 11 years. My dad bought tickets to Dave’s Valentine’s Day show at Best Buy Theater in Manhattan in 2007, but an ice storm kept us from going. Four Februarys later, I had another opportunity to see Dave at the same theater with my friend, and loyal Dave Koz fan, Kelly Dacey. Unfortunately, plans came up for her and I missed out again.

For four years in a row, I saw Peter White Christmas – a spin-off of sorts of Dave’s Christmas tour featuring Peter and Rick Braun, along with saxophonist Mindi Abair – at the defunct IMAC (Inter-Media Art Center) in Huntington. (Here’s my recap of my fourth year.)

This year, to use a cliche, Dave got the band back together to mark the 20th anniversary of his tour. The inaugural tour coincided with his first Christmas album, December Makes Me Feel This Way. With Peter, Rick, and David Benoit, whom I hadn’t seen perform since five days before Hurricane Sandy, on board, I felt compelled to finally see Dave in concert. When I noticed in early September that the tour was coming to the Tilles Center on December 2, I immediately bought two tickets, inviting my friend Lori Downing to come with me. I picked those tickets up at Tilles’s Will Call booth on October 13, following my WCWP Homecoming Weekend show.

I was anxious in the days leading up to Dave’s show, worried that something would go wrong. Thankfully, nothing did.

Until Lori picked me up around 6:30 PM, it was a typical Saturday for me. I exercised, ran on the treadmill, went grocery shopping with my friend Rob Leeds, and watched NCAA Division I FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) conference championship games.

I guided Lori from my house to LIU Post, going the route I’ve known for 18 years of my life: the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway (NY 135) north, the Long Island Expressway (I-495) west, NY 106/107 north, breaking off into 107 north, Northern Boulevard (NY 25A) west, and the west entrance to LIU Post. I usually went in the east entrance to be let off at Post Hall (where the Academic Resource Center was) or WCWP, but I directed her to the other one since we were going to Tilles.

We arrived just after 7PM, but had to wait a half hour for the concert hall doors to open.

Our tickets were for row JJ, which I affectionately called the Uecker seats, a reference to an infamous Miller Lite commercial from 1984, starring Hall of Fame baseball player and broadcaster Bob Uecker, a spokesman for Miller beer at the time:

Our seats weren’t that high. The view of the stage was great (and less filling). It still helped to have my 55-300 mm lens for the pictures I was about to take.

The show began at 8:08 when David Benoit, offstage, announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host for the evening, Dave Koz!”

“New York, make some noise!

Before you see the rest of the pictures, I present the set list:
1. Opening Medley: Winter Wonderland/Happy Holiday/The Most Wonderful Time of the Year/Angels We Have Heard On High/Sleigh Ride
Dave Koz – lead vocals on “Happy Holiday”
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

2. Let It Snow
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

3. Little Drummer Boy
Can be heard on: December Makes Me Feel This Way (1997), A Smooth Jazz Christmas (2001)
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

4. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Rick Braun, trombone

5. The Christmas Song
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Selina Albright – lead vocals

6. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Peter White, Rick Braun – background vocals
Peter White – spoken verse
Randy Jacobs – electric guitar solo

7. White Christmas
Can be heard on: December Makes Me Feel This Way (1997)
Dave Koz only
Dave’s saxophone: alto

8. Together Again (Dave Koz)
Originally heard on: The Dance (1999)
Dave Koz/David Benoit
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

9. Possible (Selina Albright)
Originally heard on: Conversations (2017)
Selina Albright only

10. Everything is Alright (Rick Braun)
Originally heard on: Around the Horn (2017)
Rick Braun/Dave Koz/Peter White
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Rick Braun – lead vocals
Randy Jacobs, Nathaniel Kearney Jr., Peter White, Dave Koz – background vocals
Randy Jacobs – electric guitar solo
Brian Simpson – piano, dance solo
Jay Williams – drum solo
Rick prompted the audience to sing the “hey, hey, pretty mama” line.

11. Do I Do/Promenade (Peter White)
Originally heard onGroovin’ (2016)/Promenade (1993)
Peter White/Dave Koz/Rick Braun
Dave’s saxophone: alto

12. The Music of Charlie Brown: Christmas is Coming*/Skating**/Christmas Time is Here***/Linus and Lucy**** (David Benoit)
David performs these songs on:
* – Remembering Christmas (1996), 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas (2005), Believe (2015) (part of “Guaraldi Medley”)
** – Remembering Christmas (1996)
*** – Christmastime (1983); Remembering Christmas (1996), Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years! (2000)
**** – This Side Up (1985); Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown (1989); Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years! (2000)
Dave’s saxophone: soprano on “Christmas Time is Here,” tenor on “Linus and Lucy”
Selina Albright – vocals on “Christmas Time is Here,” vocalese on “Linus and Lucy”

INTERMISSION

13. Hark! The Herald Angels We Have Heard On High (Medley) (Dave Koz & Friends)
Originally heard on20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

14. Silent Night
Can be heard on: 20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Selina Albright, end verse vocals
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

15. Feliz Navidad
Can be heard on: 20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Dave Koz, Rick Braun – background vocals
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

16. Joy to the Wonderful World (Medley) (Dave Koz & Friends)
Originally heard on20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Dave’s saxophone: alto
In a year where Lori and I went to the Louis Armstrong House and Museum, and 50 years since “What a Wonderful World” was recorded, this song warmed our hearts.

17. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

18. The Hanukkah Song/Eight Candles (A Song for Hanukkah) (Dave Koz)
“Eight Candles” originally heard onDecember Makes Me Feel This Way (1997), A Smooth Jazz Christmas (2001)
Dave Koz/Peter White/Rick Braun
Dave Koz – lead vocal on “The Hanukkah Song”
Peter White – accordion on “Eight Candles”
Rick Braun – trombone on “Eight Candles”
Dave’s saxophone on “Eight Candles”: soprano

19. Every Step of the Way/Kei’s Song Redux/Freedom at Midnight (David Benoit)
Originally heard onEvery Step of the Way (1988)/Conversation (2012)/Freedom at Midnight (1987)
Dave’s saxophone on “Freedom at Midnight”: tenor

20. Bueno Funk (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Glow, 2001
Peter White/Dave Koz/Rick Braun
Jay Williams – drum solo
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

21. Grazing in the Grass (Rick Braun)
Originally heard on: Shake It Up (with Boney James) (2000); Sessions, Volume 1 (2006)
Rick Braun/Dave Koz/Peter White
Mid-song vocal medley: Groovin’/Just My Imagination/Shotgun/Soulful Strut (instrumental)
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

22. You Make Me Smile (Dave Koz)
Originally heard on: Lucky Man (1993)
Nathaniel Kearney Jr. – bass solo
Rick Braun – trombone
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

23 (Encore). Celebrate Me Home
Part of “The Home Medley” on 20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Dave Koz, Selina Albright – lead vocals
Rick Braun, Peter White – background vocals
Everyone, even the audience, joined in on vocals at the end
Dave’s saxophone: alto

Now, the rest of the pictures. We start with Dave Koz on tenor sax:

Soprano sax:

And alto sax:

Peter White:

Peter played accordion on “Eight Candles”:

Rick Braun:

I never knew Rick played trombone until Saturday night:

Marching back and forth during the “Eight Candles” refrain:

David Benoit:

The “Linus and Lucy” solo, complete with Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree:

Selina Albright:

Randy Jacobs:

Brian Simpson:

Nathaniel Kearney Jr.:

Jay Williams’ “Bueno Funk” solo:

On to wide shots, starting with the opening medley:

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”:

“Together Again”:

“Everything is Alright”:

…which featured a dance solo by Brian Simpson, accompanied by drummer Jay Williams:

“Promenade”:

“Linus and Lucy”:

“Hark! The Herald Angels We Have Heard On High (Medley)”:

“Silent Night”:

“Feliz Navidad”:

“Joy to the Wonderful World (Medley)”:

“Eight Candles”:

“Freedom at Midnight”:

“Bueno Funk” began in the audience:

The James Bond routine:

After Selina put the sunglasses on, Peter played a wolf whistle riff, which made me chuckle.

“Grazing in the Grass”:

“You Make Me Smile”:

Finally, the encore: “Celebrate Me Home”:

Dave had everyone pose for a picture – albeit, a small one – posted to Facebook and Instagram:

Here’s how it looked:

“… God bless you, Happy Holidays, good night!”:

About an hour after the band left the stage, there was a meet and greet in the Tilles Center’s Herbert and Dolores Goldsmith Atrium, which has hosted the annual WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony since the first class was inducted in 2012. Coincidentally, I was wearing the same shirt that I wore at this year’s ceremony. Rick was the first musician Lori and I met and greeted while we were in line for Dave, Peter, and Selina:

Then, at the table, I caught up with Peter, and introduced myself to Selina and Dave. I told Dave that Kelly Dacey said hello. He appreciated that and asked what she’s up to these days. I told him. 15 minutes later, after the autograph portion of the meet-and-greet was over, I posed for a picture:

As we were posing, Dave said it was great to meet him. Through my posed smile, I said “likewise.” Selina got a kick out of that, which led me to quip “I’m a regular Jeff Dunham.”

Then, Lori joined us:

I told Dave about how we’d been to the Louis Armstrong House and Museum earlier this year and how special it was to hear “What a Wonderful World” following the trip.

After that, Lori and I packed our things and left the building, but not the campus. First, I wanted to show Lori around WCWP; or at least, since the door was locked, the exterior of the Abrams Communication Center that’s been home to it since its switch to FM in March 1965. (It began as a carrier current station in October 1961.) She was fascinated.

The clock struck midnight as Lori and I drove back to our homes. It had been a fantastic five hours on the campus of LIU Post and its Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. I had a blast! It was great to meet Dave and Selina for the first time and see Peter and Rick again. I spoke to David on Facebook on Sunday, letting him known how things went for me, complimenting him and the band, and wishing them all luck on the rest of the Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour.

Merry Christmas to all that observe it and Happy Hanukkah to me, Dave, and our Jewish friends and family.

P.S. As I finish this post, I’m at the end of my 302-song iTunes instrumental Christmas music playlist, which I started listening to on November 9. Okay, let’s take it from the top!

2017 WCWP Homecoming Weekend, first five hours October 14, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Video, Video Games.
4 comments

For the third year in a row, I led off the 60-hour Homecoming Weekend block of alumni-hosted shows on WCWP, LIU Post’s campus radio station. Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri kicked off the festivities yesterday at noon.

The Homecoming Weekend block began in December 1977 as Oldtimers’ Weekend. Here is a flyer made for the inaugural block:
OldtimersWeekendFlyer

And here’s the press release.

The block would move to the weekend of homecoming the following year, but wouldn’t be called Homecoming Weekend until 1980.

Back in the present, my mother drove me up to LIU Post at 8:10 AM. I arrived at LIU Post about a half hour later.

Three hours remained until my show. I passed the time by setting up in Studio 2, browsing the web in Studio 3 (which is as an editing room and classroom) on my laptop – which I brought to edit the airchecks audio and video after my show – and played a word search in a Nintendo 3DS game called Crosswords Plus.

Along the way, fellow alumni Jeff and Pat Kroll arrived, as did Joel Feltman.

Eventually, noon came and I was on the air. While my first song – “Happy Hour” by the recently departed Chuck Loeb – was playing, I took some pictures:

An hour into the show, I had Pat Kroll take a picture of me:

Ted David, who came on after my show, listened to me on his drive up to the station. He was very complimentary of every facet of my show, especially my music selections and delivery. He repeated those compliments early in his show. After spotting my camera, he took this picture of me:

Ted’s right. This was a great show. From my perspective, it was nearly flawless. The only mistake was having the CD 1 pot (potentiometer) down at the start of “One More Time” by Herman Jackson. Here is how I looked and sounded during the airchecks:

Thanks to Shanachie for not penalizing me for the excerpt of “Stratosphere” by Najee. They claimed the copyright on the video and are getting revenue. I thank them for the joy their artists provide me.

11:45 AM UPDATE: I just noticed that my camcorder swayed back and forth on the tripod while recording. I hope it doesn’t give any viewers motion sickness.

10/17/17 UPDATE: I have since acquired an alternate recording of the show via internet stream. The constant tone from my FM tuner recording in the above video is gone. Here is how the airchecks sounded on the stream:

I mentioned during the show that David Benoit hosts a show on an 88.1 FM in Long Beach, California, but neglected to elaborate. The call letters are KKJZ-FM and it’s known as KJazz 88.1 FM. Like WCWP, it emanates from a college campus: Long Beach State. David’s show airs weekdays from 8AM to noon Pacific (11AM to 3PM Eastern).

Here’s how the transitions between songs during the show sounded (10/17/17 UPDATE: Also via the stream):

And here’s the playlist.

As I noted Ted David followed my show:

As I further noted, Ted complimented me during his show:

Thank you, Ted, not only for the compliments, but for the aircheck.

Ted then gave way to Pat Kroll:

Pat had me take a posed shot:

Then, I took a pic of Pat and Jeff:

Next door in Studio 3, I asked Bruce and Tamara Leonard to pose for a pic:

Then, Bruce had me pose with Tamara:

And before I left for home, a shot of Ted David and Joel Feltman:

It’s 8:05 AM as I post this. I’m headed back up to LIU Post this afternoon for Homecoming, the WCWP Alumni Barbecue and the announcement of the 2018 class of the WCWP Hall of Fame. I should have a recap of the day up by Monday.

Two shows on WCWP this weekend October 10, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Education, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sports.
add a comment

The WCWP Homecoming Weekend is just three days away. For the third year in a row, I lead off the 60-hour block of alumni-hosted programming on 88.1 FM and WCWP.org.

Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri airs live Friday at noon Eastern with music from albums released in the last three years. The show begins with a four-song tribute to guitarist Chuck Loeb, who passed away from cancer on July 31. You’ll also hear Jay Rowe, Pieces of a Dream, Peter White, Will Donato, and many more.

Also for the third year in a row, I recorded a separate Instrumental Invasion that will air on Sunday at 4AM Eastern. This year is the 40th anniversary of Homecoming Weekend, originally known as Oldtimers Weekend. So, the show will feature songs in five-year increments from 1977 to 2017. Expect to hear Spyro Gyra, David Benoit, Norman Brown, Brian Simpson, and a host of others.

Both shows can be heard locally at 88.1 FM and worldwide at WCWP.org and on the TuneIn app.

In between shows, I’ll be at LIU Post Homecoming on Saturday afternoon and evening. Most of my day will be spent at the Abrams Communications Building, home to WCWP, but I will briefly walk to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium to check in on the Post Pioneers‘ homecoming football game against Southern Connecticut State University, or Southern for short. My friend Kelly occasionally attends jazz concerts at Southern’s John Lyman Center. As for the game, the Pioneers need to win to avoid their third loss in a row following a 3-0 start.

Before the game, you can hear me on Pete Bellotti’s show, which starts at 11AM Eastern. I recorded voice over and a segment where I share my fondest memories of my time at WCWP.

Around 5PM, during Bernie Bernard’s show, the 2018 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame will be announced.

I hope you’ll be listening to WCWP all Homecoming Weekend long, or as long as you can. I’m honored to be the leadoff hitter for the third year in a row. And once again, Jeff Kroll wraps up the weekend Sunday at 10PM Eastern.

My experience at Day 1 of 2017 New York Comic Con October 6, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Art, Comedy, Internet, Interviews, Media, Personal, Photography, Technology, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

Previous New York Comic Con recaps: 2012 Day 2, 2014 Day 1

Yesterday, I was at the first day of the 2017 New York Comic Con, held annually at the Javits Center in the Midtown West section of Manhattan. It was my third trip to NYCC.

I almost didn’t go this year. When I planned on buying a badge (ticket) in June, I learned that fan verification was required. Unfortunately, fan verification was closed. Luckily, last month, I learned on the website that verification was open again. So, I immediately got verified and bought a badge for Day 1.

I woke up at 6:20 yesterday morning. I looked out my window and saw a picturesque sky. I took a couple of shots of it, without and with flash:

After that, I put my camera in my backpack, where it stayed for a few hours.

In between, my mother drove me to the Wantagh LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) station at 8:40. Nine minutes later, I was on a train bound for Penn Station.

50 minutes later, I exited Penn and walked to the Javits Center. Those that had a badge, including me, were directed to the green entrance via West 39th Street, five blocks north of where I’d been walking.

I made my way down to Level 1 to meet five voice actors and get professional photo ops with four of them.

First up was Tara Strong:

As you can see, I wore my Northern Trust golf tournament shirt. I got it back on August 27, after walking Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury to see the final round.

After Tara, it was on to Rob Paulsen:

Rob is a throat cancer survivor (knock on wood), having battled it last year.

Tress MacNeille:

Jim Cummings:

And finally, Jess Harnell:

When I noticed Jess had his sunglasses on, I put my glasses on:

In all, I spent about four hours in five lines. It was a thrill to meet and chat with them all. I won’t get into the details of our brief conversations, but they were all very nice. Jess even gave me a hug.

I also enjoyed chatting with fellow fans – like Kelly, Sierra, Dave, and a few others whose names I didn’t get – while waiting in line. There was even a woman ahead of me on the Jess Harnell line who was not only dressed as one of his characters – Cedric from Sofia the First – but her name is Jess Warner! Her first name was the same as his, and her last name was the same as his Animaniacs character Wakko Warner. More on that below.

Afterward, I headed to the Epic Photo Ops area for a pair of professional photo ops. Since I had just met the actors at their autograph tables, there was a familiarity in the booth. It was like visiting old friends.

Jim Cummings suggested we “look intrepid”:

I love the outcome.

The second photo op was with Rob, Tress, and Jess, the stars of Animaniacs:

They were the Warner siblings: Yakko, voiced by Rob, Wakko, by Jess (as I noticed before), and Dot, by Tress.

All that remained was to walk the show floor on Level 3. But first, a few shots taken in the lobby on Level 2 after entering around 10:15:

The show floor:

I mostly focused on the video game developers section, as you’ll see below.

The next six pictures were taken in the morning:

I took this in the afternoon:

It was a fun day, but I was ready to head home. I left satisfied.

I walked south on 11th Avenue until I reached West 34th Street, where I alternated between walking and running, hoping to make the 4:12 train back to Wantagh. I did, with time to spare.

Thank you to Tara Strong, Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, and Jess Harnell. As I said, it was a pleasure to meet and chat with you all.

I’ll conclude this post with a picture of my program and badge:

10:25 PM UPDATE: While searching in vain on YouTube for video of the I Know That Voice: The Series panel that took place at 5:30, shortly after I got home, I found this interview of Jim Cummings:

10/7 UPDATE: The only video I could find of the aforementioned panel was this:

The video stops before the Q&A portion.

1980s Debut Albums September 12, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Music, Radio.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

The next-to-last episode (for now?) of Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection focuses on 1980s jazz debut albums. It’s the first of two episodes where I worked off a script. I didn’t quote it verbatim, though.

At one point, I share a funny story about talking up one of the Rippingtons songs one week on The Mike Chimeri Show.

Links from the video description:
Dan Siegel, “Nite Ride” (1980): https://www.ebay.com/sch/Music/11233/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=dan+siegel+nite+ride
“Nite Ride/The Hot Shot/Oasis” (without “Valdez in the Country”): https://www.amazon.com/Nite-Ride-Hot-Shot-Oasis/dp/B01FWBZ09M/
Dan’s website: http://www.dansiegelmusic.com/

Kenny G, “Kenny G” (1982): https://www.amazon.com/Kenny-G/dp/B000002VC4/
Kenny’s website: https://kennyg.com/

Special EFX, “Special EFX” (1984): https://www.amazon.com/Special-Efx/dp/B000008CAX/
Chieli Minucci’s website: http://chielimusic.com/

Richard Elliot, “Initial Approach” (1984):
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Initial-Approach-Richard-Elliot/dp/B000005HH8/
eBay: https://www.ebay.com/sch/Music/11233/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=richard+elliot+initial+approach
Richard’s website: http://richardelliot.com/

Najee, “Najee’s Theme” (1986): https://www.amazon.com/Najees-Theme-Najee/dp/B00000DQTI/
Najee’s website: http://www.najeeofficial.com/

The Rippingtons, “Moonlighting” (1986): https://www.amazon.com/Moonlighting-Rippingtons/dp/B0000001QV/
The Rippingtons’ website: http://rippingtons.com/

Gregg Karukas, “The Nightowl” (1987): https://www.amazon.com/Nightowl-Gregg-Karukas/dp/B00005U5CD/
Gregg’s website: http://www.karukas.com/

Gerald Albright, “Just Between Us” (1987): https://www.amazon.com/Just-Between-Us-Gerald-Albright/dp/B000002IM3/
Gerald’s website: http://geraldalbright.com/

Acoustic Alchemy, “Red Dust & Spanish Lace” (1987): https://www.amazon.com/Dust-Spanish-Lace-Acoustic-Alchemy/dp/B0000001VE/
Acoustic Alchemy’s website: http://www.acoustic-alchemy.net/

Nelson Rangell, “To Begin Again” (1988):
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Begin-Again-Nelson-Rangell/dp/B0002AAOG8/
eBay: https://www.ebay.com/sch/Music/11233/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=nelson+rangell+to+begin+again
Nelson’s website: http://nelsonrangell.com/

Eric Marienthal, “Voices of the Heart” (1988): https://www.amazon.com/Voices-Heart-Eric-Marienthal/dp/B000008BOC/
Eric’s website: http://ericmarienthal.com/

Kim Pensyl, “Pensyl Sketches #1” (1988): https://www.amazon.com/Pensyl-Sketches-Vol-1-Kim/dp/B000008BZ2/
Kim P.’s website: https://www.kimpensyl.com/

Kim Waters, “Sweet and Saxy” (1989): https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Saxy-Kim-Waters/dp/B0000010HV/
Kim W.’s website: http://kimwaters.net/

Title music: “Wishing for Something” 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.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

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.