Joe Falco Documentary September 10, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Fire, History, News, Personal, Video.
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Five years ago, I posted my 9/11 experience, via a written summary of a portfolio I submitted in college a few months after 9/11. Two years after that summary, for my senior project, my dad Bill and I interviewed Joe Falco, an FDNY firefighter who survived the collapse of the World Trade Center’s South Tower. I never posted it to YouTube until tonight. Here is the resulting documentary, with pictures added two years later:
A day at the 2016 PGA Championship July 30, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Golf, Health, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
I spent my Friday with my father Bill at the second round of the PGA Championship, held this year at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. The championship was held two weeks earlier this year because of the Olympics. This is a photo recap of our day. Regular cameras weren’t allowed, so all pictures were taken on my iPhone 6.
A few months ago, I listened to the Audible version of Love That Boy, a book by National Journal senior political columnist Ron Fournier. (I ended up buying the book and then buying a copy for my dad for Father’s Day.) It’s mainly about his relationship with his son Tyler, before and after he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at age 12, about five years before I learned I had it. After the diagnosis, Ron began taking Tyler on trips to presidential museums and to meet a few living presidents, whom Ron covered while a reporter. My dad and I have also taken trips since my diagnosis: to golf tournaments, especially major championships. He used to go to golf tournaments with his friends and father, my grandpa Carmen. In particular, he attended the 1986 and 1995 U.S. Open Championships at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, and the 1993 U.S. Open at Baltusrol. Since 2002, when the U.S. Open was first held at the Bethpage Black Course in Bethpage State Park, we have been to six majors and a handful of regular tournaments. The majors we’ve been to, counting the one that’s the subject of this post, are:
2002 U.S. Open, 3rd Round – Bethpage Black Course
2004 U.S. Open, Final Round – Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
2005 PGA Championship, Final Round – Baltusrol Golf Club
2006 U.S. Open, Final Round – Winged Foot Golf Club
2009 U.S. Open, 3rd/Final Round – Bethpage Black Course
2016 PGA Championship, 2nd Round – Baltursol Golf Club
In 2005 and 2009, play was suspended due to thunderstorms (PGA) and darkness (U.S. Open). I watched the rest of those two majors on TV the following day. In 2009, I also went to the course twice before the first round; once with my mother Lisa and once alone. Here’s how that went.
Dad and I didn’t plan on going to this year’s PGA Championship, even though it was in the tri-state area, but earlier this month, my uncle Jim gave us two grounds tickets to the second round. We would be going, after all.
Rain was in the forecast for Thursday night and yesterday, which I thought would mean no trip or a wasted trip. But play was only delayed 45 minutes and the rain subsided shortly before we left Wantagh around 10AM. General parking was about a half hour away from Baltusrol at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, New Jersey. We arrived there a little after noon.
Shuttles traveled to and from the park and Baltusrol around the clock.
We got to the grounds just before 1PM.
We watched Soomin Lee, Joost Luiten, and William McGirt finish their second round starting at 16.
Phil won the last time we were at Baltusrol in 2005.
In his second round, he recovered from a triple bogey at the 1st to shot an even par 70, making the cut at +1.
He went on to shoot a 68 after starting at the 10th tee. At -3 for the championship, he was six shots back of Jimmy Walker and Robert Streb (-9) after two rounds.
Gaffney reached the green and was able to save par, but he shot a 74 (+4) in the first round and 73 (+3) in this second, missing the cut by five shots.
From there, we watched two groups that started at the 10th:
1) Omar Uresti, Greg Chalmers (who had an autism awareness patch on his bag), Ross Fisher
2) David Muttitt, Smylie Kaufman, Zac Blair
Here, we watched a few groups:
1) J.B. Holmes, Brian Stuard, Hideki Matsuyama
2) Matt Dobyns, Tyrell Hatton, Harris English
3) Ernie Els (whose son is autistic), Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson
We left the grandstand before Jimmy Walker’s group reached the 9th green.
He did make the cut and was five shots back (-4).
Since it was rush hour, the shuttle ride back to Oak Ridge Park took about 40 minutes. From there, Dad and I drove home, listening to the coverage of the rest of the second round on SiriusXM’s PGA Tour Radio. Heading up the coverage was the voice of the New York Giants, who play a half hour away at MetLife Stadium, Bob Papa. We arrived back at the house at about 8:30.
It was a memorable day at the PGA Championship. Thank you, Uncle Jim, for the tickets.
I will update this post after the final round.
7/31, 7:30 PM UPDATE: The rains came yesterday (Saturday) afternoon and suspended play until this (Sunday) morning. Jimmy Walker briefly trailed in the third round this morning, but regained the lead heading into the final round this afternoon. Moments ago, Walker held off defending PGA Champion Jason Day, and his own nerves, to win the 2016 PGA Championship. He won wire-to-wire, leading or tied for the lead after every round. Day showed class by congratulating Walker on the 18th green.
I’m glad to have been part of the tournament as a second round spectator.
7/31, 8:41 PM UPDATE: Post-championship links:
PGA/CBS Sports: Walker’s winning par putt
PGA/CBS Sports: Wanamaker Trophy presentation and interview
Nick Menta, Golf Channel: Walker bests Day by one to win PGA Championship
Kyle Porter & Robby Kalland, CBS Sports: PGA Championship 2016 leaderboard, highlights: Breaking down a wild ending
8/1 UPDATE: More links:
Matt Stypulkoski, The Star-Ledger: Jimmy Walker continues trend of first-time major winners
Steve Politi, The Star-Ledger: Jimmy Walker’s PGA Championship victory is a win for grinders everywhere
Hank Gola, The Star-Ledger: Is it still Jimmy Walker’s day if he had been paired with Jason Day?
Andy Vasquez, The Record: Walker holds off Day for first major
Tara Sullivan, The Record: Walker’s wire-to-wire act was dynamite (a reference to “dynomite!,” the catchphrase of J.J. Evans on Good Times, portrayed by namesake Jimmie Walker)
Michael Bamberger, Golf Magazine: Jimmy Walker Edges Jason Day, Wins 2016 PGA Championship
Art Stricklin, Golf Magazine: Party Awaits Jimmy Walker at His Home Club in Texas
8/2 UPDATE: Even more links:
PGA: Full Sunday Highlights
PGA: Full Tournament Highlights
PGA: Jimmy Walker’s Full PGA Champion Press Conference
PGA: Top 10 Shots of the 2016 PGA Championship (#9 spoiler: I saw John Senden on the practice green after he completed his second round.)
January 23 blizzard pictures & video January 25, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Technology, Video, Weather.
Last Monday, I hinted at the end of my Lisa Hilton post that there could be significant snowfall by the end of the week. And there was.
Whereas the first major storm of last winter was initially supposed to bring up to three feet of snow, then brought half that, this year’s appeared to be destined for six inches at most. But by Thursday night, the forecast began trending toward the worst case scenario. Strong winds were also in play, which brought the flooding fear to waterfront residents and the downed trees and power outages fear to me, an inland resident.
Luckily, the wind wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. There were a few big gusts in the morning, but that was it.
Below is a photographic timeline of Saturday’s blizzard from eight hours after snow began through a few hours before it ended.
Every few hours, I shoveled the front porch to keep the snow from piling up. I chose to wait until after snow had ended to shovel the rest of the driveway.
I tried to go to sleep around 11:30, but I was too eager to shovel. So, with snow still coming down, albeit lightly, I began to shovel the driveway. I made it to the center, the widest part, before giving up.
According to the National Weather Service, 25.1 inches of snow fell in Wantagh, but I measured a few inches less in my driveway.
Then, it was time to shovel. It took three long hours, with a few short breaks mixed in. But with help from my mom, the task was nearly complete. All that remained, following a shower, was to shovel snow that had been under my dad’s car at the edge of the driveway. That took ten minutes.
I usually shovel the sidewalk up to the property line, but there was so much snow that I didn’t bother.
Over the next few days, daytime high temperatures are forecast to be above freezing, perfect for melting. Good.
There are snow showers in the forecast for Thursday night into Friday with little accumulation expected. I hope that forecast stands.
I’ll leave you with the video timeline shot on my Panasonic HC-V770 and iPhone 6 (with an Otterbox Defender case):
2015 in review December 30, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Weather.
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The following is an excerpt of an end-of-year post WordPress created for MikeChimeri.com. Scroll down for my editorial.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
2015 was an on-and-off year for MikeChimeri.com. But when we were on, there was plenty to write about: eight jazz shows, five WCWP events, five winter storms (plus more that I didn’t post pictures from), this website’s 10th anniversary, and a bit more. Check the archives (screen left) to see what I posted by month.
There will be more to write about in 2016. Until then, have a happy, healthy, and gainful new year.
Audiobooking 2: Listen Up! November 12, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Audiobooks, Basketball, Blu-ray, Christmas, Comedy, Commentary, DVD, Film, News, Personal, Politics, Sports, TV, Video.
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Early last December, I listed all the audiobooks I had listened to while working out between June and the day I wrote the post. I said “there [would] be more audiobooks to come in the weeks ahead.” This follow-up post will list those books, all of which I listened to on Audible.
Since my misadventure with Dick Cavett’s left-leaning
book collection of New York Times blog posts, I’ve only listened to apolitical or right-leaning audiobooks.
From last December to now, here is what has guided me through workouts, bedtime, and boredom:
- Rush Revere and the American Revolution by Rush Limbaugh & Kathryn Adams Limbaugh (read by Rush) – This was the first fiction audiobook – historical fiction, to be exact – that I listened to. Rush Revere and his talking horse, Liberty, take a boy named Cam back to the year 1775.
- All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, and Me by Jeff Dunham – Last December, I immersed myself in all things Jeff Dunham. I bought DVDs of his first three comedy specials – Arguing with Myself, Spark of Insanity, and Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special – watched The Jeff Dunham Show on Amazon Prime, and bought Blu-rays of his next three specials – Controlled Chaos, Minding the Monsters, and All Over the Map. Those got me through the last week of 2014 and the first few days of 2015. It was a refreshing change of pace after watching
allmost episodes of Wings on DVD for seven weeks. All By My Selves took up half of January. It was written back in 2010 and chronicles Jeff’s life from birth to meeting his now-wife Audrey, and all my favorite characters: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, Jose, and Bubba J. For the record, I’ve pre-ordered Unhinged in Hollywood on Blu-ray. It comes out next Tuesday, my 34th birthday.
- 41: A Portrait of My Father by President George W. Bush – A biography of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, as told by the 43rd. It was quite a journey. I know more about the Walkers and Bushes than I knew before.
- Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe – The title speaks for itself
- The YES Factor: Get What You Want, Say What You Mean, The Secrets of Persuasive Communication by Tonya Reiman – I bought this back in 2010, but I felt like listening to it again.
- Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas – There was plenty of advice in this book, but one stands out in my mind: “Next play.” Toughness and The YES Factor were both published by Gildan Media, which meant the theme music was the same.
- End of Discussion: How the Left’s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun) by Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson – As someone that can’t stand the outrage culture, this book really spoke to me. I found myself agreeing aloud and nodding my head several times.
- Getting Real by Gretchen Carlson – Another autobiography.
- Daddy, Stop Talking! And Other Things My Kids Want But Won’t Be Getting by Adam Carolla – Adam’s take on parenthood, and certain musicians, with a little help from Sonny and Natalia, his fraternal twin children.
- Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard – It was late September, which meant it was time for the latest “Killing” book from O’Reilly and Dugard. While John Hinckley did not kill President Ronald Reagan, the assassination attempt did accelerate his Alzheimer’s disease. The book isn’t a deification, which has irked people like George Will, but I loved it. I also liked actor Robert Petkoff’s narration. This was the first audiobook I listened to that wasn’t read by the author. Bill O’Reilly did, however, read the introduction and epilogue.
- Yes, My Accent is Real, and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You by Kunal Nayyar – How do you follow up a historical thriller? With a lighthearted autobiography, of course. Each chapter is an essay, working in chronological order from Kunal’s youth in New Delhi to his marriage to Neha Kapur. I just finished listening yesterday while peddling rapidly on my portable elliptical machine.
I have many more audiobooks I plan on listening to between now and the next post, whenever that will come. Just today, I started Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes’ book on Jack Kemp. It’s called Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America. After that, I’ll move on to the another Rush Revere book: Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner. Then, a series of autobiographies should keep me occupied through the summer. Until next time…
Don’t Be a Pinhead Tour at Westbury recap May 3, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Comedy, Commentary, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Theatre, TV.
According to WordPress, this is my 350th post at MikeChimeri.com.
My dad and were seated in Section B, Row H.
The show was scheduled to begin at 8:00, but didn’t start until 8:09. At that time, Bill got on the P.A. system and directed the crowd to “please greet Dennis Miller!”
Dennis’ first joke was “Hi, #Hello #GoodEvening.” Here are some of the topics of his 35-minute set:
- Hillary Clinton
- James Carville
- Other potential Democratic presidential candidates
- Bill Ayers
- John Kerry
- Potential Republican presidential candidates
- John Boehner
- Green hotel
- Apple Watch
- Weird sports day – “Floyd Mayweather won the Kentucky Derby”
- Harry Reid
- Pope Francis
- Nancy Pelosi
After the last Pelosi joke, Bill walked toward the stage and exclaimed, “Dennis Miller, everybody!” Bill’s 35-minute set included:
- His hard scrabble upbringing in Levitttown
- Hillary Clinton
- President Barack Obama
- One poll on each of the two
- James Carville
- The previous two presidential campaigns (McCain, Romney)
- Romney’s 2012 primary opponents
- How Bill got the five living presidents to sign pictures of them to raise money for track chairs
Intermission was 15 minutes, after which Bill and Dennis returned to the stage for Q&A. Once again, they sat in chairs while the stage rotated. Highlights of this part were:
- A question from Barry in Syosset led Dennis to joke “Barry’s got Syosset?”
- Dennis’ nicknames for Vice President Joe Biden: “Jar Jar Biden,” “Plugs MacKenzie”
- The Saturday Night Live parody of Hillary Clinton’s campaign launch
- Bill and Dennis won’t endorse any candidates for 2016
- Dennis’ stories of traveling with Pres. George W. Bush
- Stories from Bill and Dennis’ trips to Iraq
- A plug for the Rockin’ the Boat benefit on May 21
- What is a pinhead?
- The Killing books (Dennis’ book: Killing Lincoln Logs)
- Bill’s infamous appearance on The View in October 2010
And with that, the night was over. Bill and Dennis left to a standing ovation. Dennis paraphrased Jackie Gleason by saying “Long Island audiences are the greatest audiences in the world.” It was certainly an entertaining two hours.
If you want to see the Don’t Be a Pinhead Tour, get your tickets fast because the shows sell out in a hurry. The next three shows in Cleveland and Memphis next month, and Atlantic City in August, are all sold out. I recommend watching the Miller Time segment every Wednesday on The O’Reilly Factor to see if new dates are added. So far, Atlantic City is it.
If any viewer e-mails from audience members are read on The Factor this week, I will update this post with those e-mails and Bill’s replies.
5/8 UPDATE: There weren’t any viewer e-mails from audience members this week, but dates were added to the tour this fall. You can find them here.
2015 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 28, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV, Video.
Saturday afternoon, the WCWP Hall of Fame inducted four more alumni in a ceremony inside the Goldsmith Atrium at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. In order of induction, this year’s inductees were Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio.
It was the third year in a row where the ceremony coincided with bright sunshine outside, allowing for plenty of natural light to illuminate the atrium.
I arrived about 90 minutes early following a drive of the same length from the Hampton Inn in Milford, Connecticut, after attending the first night of Smooth Jazz for Scholars. Slowly but surely, the inductees, their families, and fellow alumni filled the atirum and the ceremony began.
Now that you’ve seen the pictures, enjoy the video:
Congratulations to Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio, the 2015 WCWP Hall of Fame class!
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In a 52-hour period, my area went from snow to sleet and freezing rain to rain and back.
It all began late Tuesday afternoon. A couple of inches of snow fell before the evening changeover, but it was washed away by the rain. Temperatures got as high as the mid 40s on Wednesday, allowing me to clear any slush set into the driveway by tire tracks.
For a while, it seemed like there wouldn’t be too much snow on Thursday. Computer forecast models were pushing the snow south. But as night fell, the models yanked the storm back north and had it starting and ending later. 4 to 8 inches of snow were forecast, with News 12 Long Island upping that to 5 to 10 on Thursday morning.
The rain changed to wet snow at around sunrise, switching to regular snow as the morning progressed and temperatures fell.
By afternoon, temperatures were down in the mid 20s and the snow continued to accumulate. I periodically brought my standard ruler to the driveway to measure. There were 2 inches at 11:40 AM, 4 1/2 inches at 2:22 PM, and 7 inches by 4:12.
But at 4:40, even though it was still snowing, I went out to the driveway and began shoveling. My sister came home ten minutes after I started and helped me shovel. We finished at 5:30.
After an hour break, which included a dinner of pasta and homemade ground turkey meat sauce, I went back outside for more shoveling. By now, the snow had ended. Another inch had fallen on top of what I shoveled earlier. This time, I only took a half hour.
The 8 inches of snow in my driveway matched the snow totals in Levittown, North Merrick, and Rockville Centre, according to the National Weather Service. Melville and East Northport ended up with 9 inches.
Below is a photo timeline of the snow from beginning to end, and then the day after (today).
Temperatures were in the low 20s, but the March sun was strong enough to melt the snow anyway. The high today was 30 degrees.
This is the last day with high temperatures below freezing for the foreseeable future, and maybe even for the season. And if this turned out to be the last snow of the season, it went out on a high note.
Five days of scanning January 30, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Education, Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology.
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As snow fell outside Monday afternoon, I was going through a drawer in my room where I keep some personal mementos. Then, I was struck with inspiration. I had been using my Epson WF-3520 All-in-One Printer in the guest room to copy a few documents this month, via the printer’s sheet feeder. Why not use that sheet feeder to scan any personal mementos that were on letter-size paper? That’s what I did all this week.
I started with bowling scorecards between 1998 and 2006, plus a handful more between September 2007 and September 2014. Then, I moved on to my final college transcript, a paper I wrote for Introduction to Journalism, an e-mail reply from Tom Snyder, two e-mail replies from voice over talent Dan Chandler, a flyer promoting my Mike Chimeri Show interview with Colin Mochrie, and radio show and Live365 radio station playlists. I scanned anything that wasn’t letter-size on the traditional scanner platen. This included dot matrix score sheets from AMF Wantagh Lanes and two desk calendar pages that were dated September 11, 2001. Playlists that were handwritten on letter-size legal paper had to be scanned on my Canon CanoScan LiDE210 in my room. Since what I wrote on the other side could be seen, I had to scan in black and white – not grayscale – giving the scans an old photocopy or fax look.
The radio show playlists spanned my career to date: The Mike Chimeri Show, The Instrumental Invasion, MCJN (Live365 station), a few demos, the night I filled in for Martin Phillips on the defunct Thursday Night Jazz show, Evening Jazz, CJazzPlus (Live365 station), and all my homecoming weekend shows.
In addition to the copy of my Intro to Journalism paper, I also saved papers by two of my classmates. The paper had us write a profile of a few of our classmates, based on press conference-style interviews our professor, Bernard Bard, previously a reporter for the New York Post, had arranged one week in mid-semester. I remember little about my presser, but there was one quote each of the classmates that wrote about me used:
Broadcasting is my thing, my calling. I belong in that field.
This was in March 2001. Seven months later, I began at WCWP. While I may have had volunteer success, I’m still waiting and hoping for professional success. If “my thing, my calling” doesn’t pan out, at least I have photo and document scanning to make a career of.
January 26-27 blizzard pictures January 28, 2015Posted by Mike C. in News, Personal, Photography, Weather.
The first major storm of this winter hit Long Island from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon. It was shaping up to be a catastrophic blizzard with snowfall amounts near three feet. But Nassau County was spared the worst, with amounts averaging to a foot and a half on the east side of the county and less than a foot on the west side. Like with the February 2013 blizzard, Suffolk County got more snow, especially on the East End. New England got what I feared we would get: two to three feet of snow. It makes me feel bad that my area was spared the worst.
What follows is a photographic timeline from the first of the storm’s effects to the last of them.
About a half hour later, I went outside to shovel what had fallen so far. I only shoveled the front end of the driveway. At the time, I assumed I would have another two feet to shovel the next day.
As the night progressed, computer forecast models pushed the storm further and further east, which meant less snow by us.
Judging by the snowfall total for nearby Seaford (16.6 inches) and Massapequa (17.8 inches), I figure there was about 15 inches in Wantagh.
The shoveling was a team effort between me and my parents. We shoveled the driveway, including the curb, and I shoveled a path to the oil tank cap on the side of the house. I thought about shoveling the sidewalk, but my dad talked me out of that. I saved that for the next day.
I kept my word and shoveled the sidewalk, but only as far as the property line. My neighbor took care of his side.
A clipper is set to drop a quick inch or less tomorrow night. We may or may not have another winter storm Super Bowl Sunday night into Monday. If you don’t see a recap titled “February 1-2 winter storm/blizzard,” then the storm missed us to the south, as is currently forecast. I hope that’s the case.
2/3 UPDATE: It wasn’t the case. We got it.