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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.

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April Snow April 3, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Photography, Weather.
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This year, Easter Sunday fell on the same day as April Fools’ Day, April 1. The meteorological April Fools prank came the next day, yesterday. So much for March 21 being the last snow until the fall. Overnight through mid-morning, a few inches of wet snow – 3.9 according to the National Weather Service – coated the ground, though not as much on pavement.

It didn’t take long to shovel what fell, nor did it take long to melt afterward. I was able to run 4.8 miles late in the afternoon without encountering snowfall on the pavement. There was only occasional mud and puddles to go around.

Shortly after I woke up, at 8:57 AM, I took pictures in the front and back of my house:

I spent 45 minutes shoveling, then periodically photographed the melting progress.

Noon:

1:52 PM:

For a time Sunday night, it seemed that there would be still more snow on Saturday, 15 years to the date of another period of April snow, but that is not happening now. For the record, here are pictures from April 7, 2003:

I’ve had my fill of snow. Let’s stick with rain until at least November. But no tropical cyclones, please.

4/4 UPDATE: Snow is back in the forecast for Saturday. I’ll have a post up afterward.

4/6 UPDATE: Measurable snow is back out of the forecast. There may be snow showers, but they will leave little or no accumulation.

4/8 UPDATE: We didn’t even get rain showers.

Fourth nor’easter in 19 days March 23, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Photography, Weather.
1 comment so far

I said last week that if we ended up getting a fourth nor’easter in nearly three weeks, I would write about it. We got it and I’m writing about it.

The spring equinox came at 12:15 PM (Eastern) on Tuesday afternoon, but the first full day of spring saw a major winter storm. It was the fourth nor’easter in 19 days, which led to the Twitter hashtags #foureaster and #noreaster4. As usual, in the days leading up to impact, the forecast models yo-yo’d between a lot of wet snow, a little wet snow, and nothing. We ended up with a lot.

Precipitation began at 5PM Tuesday in the form of intermittent sleet. It began to mix with and change to wet snow around 10AM Wednesday morning. It coated all surfaces, but melted slightly as the day progressed. Snow fell lightly or stopped altogether in the afternoon and early evening. As the sun set, snow began to stick to pavement again.

After 8PM, the real snow arrived. Bands of moderate to heavy snow set up for several hours, tapering off early in the morning. Thankfully, wind was not an issue, but wet snow on the power lines was. Power went out for a split second each at around 12:20 and 3:30. I slept through the latter outage and figured out when it occurred when I saw the blinking stove clock.

The end result was 10 inches of wet snow on the grass and an inch less in the driveway.

I thought me or my dad would finally get to use the snow thrower that he bought after January’s blizzard. However, just before 9AM, while my dad was in court (for legal work), my mom and sister had to get to work in Freeport, where school openings were delayed two hours. My sister shoveled around her car, but I was tasked with shoveling around my mom’s. After I finished my task, I went into a mental zone and kept on shoveling. After an hour and a half, I had shoveled the driveway, the left side of the house, and the sidewalk up to the property line. I couldn’t shovel everything. Any snow packed in by tire tracks was left intact. I didn’t bother to shovel any snow that fell off tree limbs in areas I’d already shoveled. As you’ll see below, the sun and 40-degree temperatures did a great job melting most of the snow and turning the tire tracks to slush. So, at sunset, I shoveled as much of the slush as I could.

My dad returned from court to change, but not to throw snow, though he did throw a snowball at the porch before he went back out to his law office. The snow thrower will have to wait until next winter (or late fall) to make its debut.

Now for the photographic timeline, starting Wednesday at 8:04 AM:

10:36 AM:

12:54 PM:

2:52 PM:

5:19 PM:

7:02 PM:

9:03 PM:

Without the flash:

A few minutes later, I rushed to photograph a plow:

11:01 PM, with and without the flash:

I only kept the flash picture for this one since the results were identical:

Thursday, 7:05 AM:

10:34 AM, after shoveling:

A Northern Cardinal spotting at 12:03 PM:

2PM:

5:04 PM:

Finally, this shot at 7:18 PM, after shoveling slush:

Surely, this was the last significant snowfall until at least November.

The end of the Wii Shop March 21, 2018

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

Guest reading at my old elementary school a fourth time March 5, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in Books, DVD, Education, Personal, Photography, TV, Video, Weather.
4 comments

Previous guest reading posts: 20152016, 2017

Friday was March 2, Dr. Seuss‘s birthday, which meant it was time to read his books at Leo F. Giblyn School in Freeport. It was my fourth year as a guest reader. I finally learned what this day is commonly known as: National Read Across America Day.

I read to seven classrooms and two remedial reading classes. For the latter, which were taught by my friend Lori Downing, I read Green Eggs and Ham. As the other seven classes, I read The LoraxIf I Ran the ZooHop on PopDr. Seuss’s Sleep BookMr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?, and Gerald McBoing Boing, the book that started my guest reading journey.

What separates me from other readers is I incorporate voice acting into my reading. I even take cartoon character requests. My throat grew scratchy after doing certain voices, but it was worth it to entertain the kids.

Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book has a newscast tone, so I read it like a news anchor. For The Lorax and the end of Green Eggs and Ham, I based my delivery on the acting in the 1970s CBS specials. Green Eggs and Ham was part of Dr. Seuss on the Loose in 1973 while The Lorax was a full half hour the year before. I first saw them on VHS in the late ’80s and then again on DVD about a decade ago.

As I read, I had the teachers take candid pictures. I combined those, and one Lori took of me, into a collage:

While I was inside Giblyn, a nor’easter was raging outside. A mix of rain and snow fell as coastal flooding affected streets around the school, at least in the morning at high tide. I didn’t grasp how bad the storm was until riding home and then arriving home. A few small tree limbs were in the driveway while a bigger one fell in my neighbor’s backyard. Power went out twice around 3PM, based on my mother’s DVR recording of General Hospital and the time flashing on the stove clock.

I may not be able to guest read next year. My South Florida-based cousin is getting married on March 2. If that’s the case, I had a nice four-year run with so many great memories.

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

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

Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall: 2018 edition January 14, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel, TV, Weather.
4 comments

Previous Lisa Hilton recaps: June 2011January 2014January 2015, January 2016

Thursday night marked my first time at Carnegie Hall since I saw comic ventriloquist Jeff Dunham 15 months ago, and my first time seeing jazz pianist Lisa Hilton in two years. (I couldn’t make last year’s show.)

As with all Carnegie shows, I was not allowed to take pictures during the performance. That means I have to compensate by describing what I saw and photographing what happened before and after. That’s not a complaint; just an explanation.

Until my dad drove me to the Wantagh LIRR station at 4:40, it was a typical Thursday for me: grocery shopping, treadmill running, and YouTube and Netflix watching.

As I waited on the platform for the 4:59 Penn Station-bound train to arrive, I took a couple of pictures, the first ones taken on my iPhone X, a generous Christmas gift.

About 50 minutes later, I was at Penn Station, where I walked to the 34th Street subway station and took an uptown E train to 7th Avenue and West 53rd Street.

All but one of the remaining pictures in this post were taken on my Nikon D5500:

When I exited the train, I was greeted by the Ed Sullivan Theater, home to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert since September 2015. (David Letterman retired that May.)

I planned on eating dinner at Lindy’s, but was walking up Broadway when I should have been on 7th. So, I missed it.

I turned east at West 56th Street, but couldn’t find a restaurant I liked. I did take pictures along the way.

I turned north up 6th Avenue and then west at West 57th.

I figured I would try the Russian Tea Room:

The staff seated me at a booth, generously moving the table so I could get in. Unfortunately, there was nothing on the menu to my liking. I apologetically relayed that to the waiter and left. I felt embarrassed, but I’m sure you, the reader, feel I shouldn’t have been. At least I can say I’ve been to the Russian Tea Room.

I passed by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, where Lisa Hilton was to perform, and found a restaurant on 7th Avenue called 9Ten:

The atmosphere was great. Contemporary jazz was playing on the speakers through what I assume was Pandora. I recognized “Max-O-Man” by Fourplay, Eric Marienthal’s cover of “Work Song” by Cannonball Adderley (written by his brother Nat), “Slammin'” by Nick Colionne, and “Step On It” by Pieces of a Dream.

As I waited for my food, I took a selfie on my iPhone X:

The food was great: mozzarella sticks, Penne Bolognese, and vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

On my way back to Carnegie Hall, I could see Times Square to the south. The ball was still there, eleven nights after it dropped:

I walked in to the Weill Recital Hall at 7:07. I had to wait in the lobby for about 20 minutes until the hall doors were opened. I was the first to arrive, but within 15 minutes, the lobby was packed. I briefly heard Lisa Hilton and her band rehearsing.

A few minutes after the doors opened, my ticket was checked and I walked into the hall. As usual, my seat was front row center, though barely right-of-center.

As I waited for Lisa and the band to come out, I took a few pictures:

I should have taken a picture of the audience behind me. The turnout was big at the orchestra level where I was. They were ready for a great performance.

Lisa came on stage at 8:07, followed closely by J.D. Allen on tenor saxophone, Luques Curtis on upright bass, and Rudy Royston on drums.

Most of the songs in the set list were from Lisa’s Escapism album, which she composed music for between April and July, and released on December 1. Thursday night was the first time the music of Escapism was performed live. Weill Recital Hall doesn’t have a sound system, so the instruments relied on the acoustics of the hall for amplification. I couldn’t tell. It sounded great; it always does.

1/17 UPDATE: Lisa posted a few of Justin Bettman’s pictures from the set to her Facebook page:

I’m in the center, to the left of J.D.:

Talking to the audience between songs:

The set was about an hour and contained the following songs:
1.
Hot Summer Samba
2. Meltdown (also on Sunny Day Theory, 2008; and Nuance, 2010)
3. Zero Gravity
4. Too Hot (not a cover of Kool & the Gang)
5. 29 Palms
6. Mojave Moon
7. Waterfall (from Cocktails at Eight, 2000)
8. A Spark in the Night (from Nocturnal and Day & Night, 2016)
9. So This is Love (from My Favorite Things, 2005; Sunny Day Theory, 2008; Nuance, 2010; and Day & Night, 2016)
10 (Encore). Seduction (from Seduction, 1997; Cocktails at Eight, 2000; My Favorite Things, 2005; and The New York Sessions, 2007)

J.D. didn’t play on “Meltdown” or “29 Palms.” He had a solo at the end of “Seduction,” which was otherwise performed as a trio. “Waterfall” was a solo piano piece, considering its origin on Cocktails at Eight, a solo piano album.

“Hot Summer Samba” was reminiscent of “Tequila” by The Champs. “Too Hot” was inspired by a trip to New Zealand in extreme heat. “Zero Gravity” brought to mind astronauts floating aboard a space shuttle. “Waterfall” initially had a Celtic feel, but then tensed up. Two years later, I still think “A Spark in the Night” had a Latin feel. Specifically, it reminded me of drummer John Favicchia‘s “Kukuc,” but at a slower tempo. That might be why “Spark” was my favorite song in the set.

I caught up with Lisa afterward, and then got to meet J.D. Allen and Luques Curtis. We all posed for a picture:

I put my coat and backpack on and left. I impatiently opted for the stairs over the elevator, then briskly walked north and west to the 59th Street-Columbus Circle subway station.

The station is adjacent to the Time Warner Center, home to CNN’s New York bureau:

As you can see, I arrived just as the downtown 1 train arrived. I boarded it and put my camera away for the night.

Thanks to Lisa, J.D., Luques, and Rudy for a great hour of music in the Weill Recital Hall. I hope to be back next year.

January 4 blizzard, January 5 aftermath January 5, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in News, Personal, Photography, Weather.
3 comments

There had been a few brushes with snow in the last days of fall and the first days of winter, but the first major storm barreled through Long Island yesterday.

The initial forecast didn’t call for more than a few inches, but as I expected, the accumulation prediction went up as the storm approached. Nassau County also ended up in the blizzard conditions that were originally supposed to stay in Suffolk, particularly central and eastern Suffolk.

My plan was to wait for the snow to end before shoveling it. Until then, I periodically took pictures outside my bedroom window.

I took the first picture at 8:25 AM, about two hours after I woke up:

9:41 AM:

11:52 AM:

2:07 PM:

4:06 PM:

An hour later, the last snowflake had fallen from the sky, but snow continued to blow off roofs, trees, and cars as winds gusted above 40 mph.

6:38 PM, before shoveling:

After shoveling the front porch, I stuck an 18-inch ruler into an area with flat accumulation; no drifts. I measured 13 inches of snow on the ground.

8:06 PM, after giving up shoveling until morning:

I felt guilty for giving up so soon, but I just didn’t have the stamina to go on. I went inside, watched The Big Bang Theory, played a couple of games on my Nintendo 3DS, and went to sleep.

I figure I got eight hours of sleep and was half-asleep thinking of shoveling for an hour. Finally, around 7AM, I bundled up and finished what I started. My dad had to leave for work, so he came out to help. My mom followed after that, but she wasn’t out for long. Dad went inside to get ready for work, then he came back out to drive there. I finished on my own for 45 minutes.

I took this picture at 9:18 AM, after grabbing my camera to shoot outside:

…where the rest of the pictures were:

There will be more winter storms this season, and I’ll post about them afterward. Until the next one.

Smooth Jazz for Scholars 2018 dates/lineup January 5, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal.
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Keyboardist Jay Rowe has announced the dates and lineup for this year’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert series. The announcement came yesterday on Facebook:

Tickets for this year’s 16th annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concerts are on sale now!! This year’s shows will be held on Friday 4/27/18 and Saturday 4/28/18. The shows will be held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium at the Parson’s Complex 70 West River Street Milford, CT. 06460. Doors open at 7p.m. showtime is at 8 p.m. This year’s artist line-up on Friday 4/27/18 is David Benoit, Marc Antoine and Marion Meadows. The artist line-up on Saturday 4/28/18 is Paul Taylor, Nelson Rangell, Jessy J and Matt Marshak. Tickets are $40 each for 1 night and $70 for both nights. Tickets can be purchased by sending a check or money order payable to Smooth Jazz For Scholars Inc. to P.O. Box 3723 Milford, CT. 06460. The first 250 seats are reserved seating first come first served. The rest are general admission seating. For additional info call (203)874-4150 or (203)415-8878 or go to jayrowemusic.com. Thanks!!

It’s the 16th Smooth Jazz for Scholars, and the 12th I will have attended.

I’ve been dreaming of David Benoit and Jessy J performing at SJFS for years. That dream has come true. David will be there on the first night while Jessy will be there on the second night. I just saw David last month at the Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour stop at the Tilles Center, but I haven’t seen Jessy since she performed at the Iridium six years ago. Jay was part of her band, as was guitarist Rohn Lawrence. I don’t know if he’ll be at either night, but it would be nice.

Matt Marshak is back for the second time in three years, the same night as Nelson Rangell. I keep envisioning him playing with Nelson on “Sonora.” Will that happen? We’ll see.

Paul Taylor hasn’t been at SJFS since 2012, one month before I transitioned to DSLR cameras.

Marc Antoine was last at SJFS in 2015, but I wasn’t there. SJFS conflicted with the WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony in 2015 and ’16. I went straight from Milford to Tilles for the ceremony in ’15, but opted not to go in ’16. (Sorry, Joe Honerkamp.) Thankfully, the ceremony has not conflicted since. In fact, this year’s ceremony is the following Saturday, on May 5.

Friday, April 27
David Benoit
Marc Antoine
Marion Meadows

Saturday, April 28
Paul Taylor
Nelson Rangell
Jessy J
Matt Marshak

Location:
Veterans Memorial Auditorium in the Parsons Government Center
70 W. River St.
Milford, CT 06460

Tickets: $40 for one night, $70 for both nights

Reserved seating tickets can be purchased by check (like I will) or money order payable to:
Smooth Jazz for Scholars, Inc.
P.O. Box 3723
Milford, CT 06460

For questions or additional assistance, call:
(203) 874-4150
(203) 415-8878
or go to: jayrowemusic.com

I leave you with recaps of the first and second nights of the 15th annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars.

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.
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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.