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9/11: A 20th anniversary retrospective September 13, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Commentary, Fire, History, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Travel, TV, Video.
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Saturday marked 20 years since the September 11 attacks. On the tenth anniversary, I posted part of an essay where I recounted my experience on that morning. I wrote it in December 2001 for an end-of-semester portfolio. Following the excerpt, I elaborated on the events of the day and how I coped.

In this post, I’ll elaborate further and share what has happened in the years since.

There were increased expressions of patriotism after 9/11, including flying American flags outside homes and wearing American flag lapel pins. We flew a flag and, for about two years, I wore a lapel pin, usually with a red, white, and blue ribbon attached. For a while, I also wore a patriotic button, but I don’t remember what it said. Here are photographic examples, starting with my friend Joe Horst’s 20th birthday party on October 3, 22 days later:

Sitting in Ehrhart’s Clam House in Freeport (part owned by my family) with Joe Horst, Scott Schoenberg, and Scott Condenzio

Side note: Joe was wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers t-shirt that day. Coincidentally, it was the 50th anniversary of the Shot Heard ‘Round the World: Bobby Thomson’s home run off Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca to win the National League pennant for the New York Giants. As Russ Hodges said on the Giants radio broadcast: “The Giants win the pennant!”

Back on topic, my 20th birthday, November 17:

Christmas at the Falco house:

Joe Falco, a family friend and FDNY firefighter in Engine 1 Ladder 24, survived the South Tower collapse. He was the subject of a documentary that served as my senior project. You can watch it here:

Ringing in 2002:

For eleven years, inspired by a news report I saw on New Year’s Day in 1994, I saved each year’s desk calendar pages and had friends and family throw them as confetti:

Throwing calendar page confetti

I saved and scanned the September 11 pages:

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? calendar 9/11 page, front
Back

It’s ironic that the Millionaire calendar question involved the Department of Defense. The Pentagon was one of the targets that morning. 9/14/21 UPDATE: Further irony involved a PAMS jingle for WABC (770 AM) during its Musicradio era: “Flight 77, WABC, nonstop…music.” Earlier in 2001, I discovered Allan Sniffen’s Musicradio tribute site and that was one of the jingles I listened to obsessively, assuming I heard it there if not elsewhere. Obviously, I could never listen to it the same way again. A variation was among jingles recorded by JAM Creative Productions, PAMS’s spiritual successor, for SiriusXM’s 60s on 6.

Weather Whys and Wonders calendar 9/11 page

Hosting The Mike Chimeri Show on March 1, 2002:

One last photo: July 12, 2002, heading back from Atlantic Canada aboard the Carnival Triumph:

The cruise embarked from the Hudson River side of Midtown Manhattan, taking us past where the towers fell ten months earlier:

Cruising past Lower Manhattan aboard the Carnival Triumph, ten months after 9/11

I still have the lapel pin, which I showed on social media Saturday morning:

On September 12, 2001, I added angel wings and a halo to the twin towers portion of a backdrop I made five years earlier for a home video/audio show I did with my cousin – The Chris and Mike Chimeri Show – based on a video bumper for The Late Show with David Letterman. I kept the backdrop up until September 30, 2019, during a basement cleanup. I photographed the backdrop for posterity before taking it down (for privacy, I’ve blurred my signature):

My family lit memorial candles in the backyard, as seen on the 14th, three days after the attacks:

I did not know any of the victims personally, but Cynthia D’Arpino, my learning assistant in ARC (C.W. Post’s Academic Resource Center), lost her brother-in-law Tim O’Brien who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. On the tenth anniversary, I photographed the TV when his name was read:

I did the same for Richie Muldowney:

Like Joe Falco, Richie was a Freeport native and firefighter, also serving in the FDNY, Engine 16 Ladder 7. He was among the 343 FDNY firefighters lost on 9/11. Beginning in 2011, I got to know his niece Lauren, mother Anne (who passed away in 2020) and surviving siblings: fraternal twins Kevin (Lauren’s father) and Colleen (Andello), and Mary (a.k.a. Mary Mo). I have yet to meet Brian, but for all I know, I met him, and Richie, when I was younger. My father Bill says it’s possible I saw Richie when I worked in Ehrhart’s Clam House (May 2000 to November 2001). In April 2012, Kevin married my mother’s friend and co-worker Mandy.

In 2013, I attended Freeport’s 9/11 memorial ceremony. The attacks led my dad to become a firefighter himself in 2002, in Truck 1, Joe Falco’s Freeport Fire Department company. I took a photo of him before the ceremony:

My father, Bill Chimeri, at Freeport’s 9/11 memorial ceremony in 2013

During the ceremony:

The following year, Dad and I ran (and walked) the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K.

Along the way, I photographed the new One World Trade Center (a.k.a. Freedom Tower)…:

…and a banner with Richie’s photo:

It’s become a 9/11 tradition on Facebook to link to the 2011 “My 9/11 experience” blog post, the Joe Falco documentary, and sometimes, a photo of the World Trade Center that I took in December 1999, after touring the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park:

Last year, a podcast host discovered my documentary and asked to use portions of it in a special 9/11 episode. I happily agreed.

A wealth of retrospective documentaries have aired on various channels this year and I’ve watched them all. It may be a cliche, but we can never forget. Those documentaries are a permanent reminder of what happened, along with stories of survival and how the victims’ children have grown into adulthood.

I wasn’t sure I would be able to muster up a blog post to mark the 20th anniversary, but here we are. Thank you for reading.

9/16/21 UPDATE: Game Dave‘s latest video is a Q&A edition of Digitally Distracted. For that video, I submitted a 9/11-related question, which he answered (video cued up to relevant portion):

Instrumental Invasion, 8/18/21 August 19, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Food, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Rock, Travel.
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The August 18 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded two segments per day from July 8 to 10.

The playlist was created on July 7 and annotated on the 8th. This time, I drafted the script as I recorded.

Since the show aired on my father Bill’s birthday, just as March 10 was my mother Lisa’s birthday, I chose to play “Daddy’s Got a New Girl Now” (even though I’m a boy) by Spyro Gyra and David Benoit‘s cover of “Secret Love” since he recorded it with his father Bob. As usual for my dad’s birthday (which he shares with David), we went out for dinner at Sushi Time 560 in Bethpage.

I also made sure to include Road Runner sound effects leading into “Roadrunner” by Boney James. I said “meep meep” myself when talking up the song in my overnight Homecoming Weekend show in 2017 and coming out of Lee Ritenour‘s “Road Runnerlast December 2.

“Hipster” by Alexander Zonjic was previously played on January 6. I referred to irony, at the root of hipster culture, in both talk-ups.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

The left channel audio was barely audible, so the aircheck is mono from the right channel. (8/26 UPDATE: The next show had the same problem.)

Mini golf in Bethpage, walking the Jones Beach boardwalk August 6, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Aviation, Golf, Personal, Photography, Travel.
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My friend Kelly visited from Connecticut last weekend. Among our Saturday exploits were a round of mini golf at Bethpage Mini Golf, located within Batter Up, and a walk along the Jones Beach boardwalk.

First, the mini golf photos:mc73121001-smallermc73121002-smallermc73121003-smallermc73121004-smallermc73121008-smallermc73121006-smallermc73121007-smallermc73121010-smallermc73121011-smallermc73121012-smallermc73121013-smallermc73121014-smallermc73121015-smallermc73121016-smallermc73121017-smallermc73121018-smallermc73121019-smallermc73121020-2-smallermc73121021-smallermc73121022-smallermc73121023-smallermc73121024-smallermc73121025-smallermc73121026-smallermc73121027-smallermc73121028-smallermc73121029-smallermc73121030-smallermc73121031-smallermc73121032-smallermc73121033-smallermc73121034-smallermc73121035-smallermc73121036-smaller
Kelly kept score:bethpageminigolf-73121-1
Upon scanning the card when we got home, I noticed that there was a five-stroke limit, rendering the score incorrect.

Here is the corrected scorecard:bethpageminigolf-73121-correction-1

After about an hour at home, Kelly and I headed down to Jones Beach to walk the boardwalk.

We drove south on the Wantagh Parkway:
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I periodically photographed planes that had taken off from Republic Airport… or were approaching John F. Kennedy International Airport. This one just left Republic:MC73121044MC73121045-smallerMC73121046-smallerMC73121047-smallerMC73121048-smallerMC73121049-smallerMC73121050-smallerMC73121051-smallerMC73121052-1-smallerMC73121053-1-smallerMC73121054-smaller
We briefly drove west on Ocean Parkway before turning into Field 4:
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We parked in the H section:MC73121059-smaller
This is one of many planes approaching JFK:MC73121060

Thanks to FlightStats, I was able to identify each plane. Above was JetBlue Flight 4 from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (San Juan).

MC73121061-smallerMC73121062-smallerMC73121063-smallerMC73121064-smaller
9/11 memorial:MC73121065-smallerMC73121067-smaller
This was the best view of the water tower:MC73121068-smallerMC73121069-smallerMC73121070-smaller
AgustaWestland AW109, owned by Area 109 in Brooklyn:MC73121071MC73121072-smallerMC73121073-smallerMC73121074-smaller
Kelly and I posted for photos along the south end of the boardwalk. Here’s mine:MC73121076-smaller
Lufthansa Flight 10 from Franz Josef Strauss Airport (Munich):MC73121077MC73121078-smallerMC73121079-smallerMC73121080-smallerMC73121081-smallerMC73121082-smaller
This GA (general aviation) aircraft was arriving at Republic: MC73121083MC73121084-smaller
Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater:MC73121085-smallerMC73121086-smallerMC73121088-smallerMC73121089-smaller

We turned back for Field 4 just shy of the East Bathhouse.

EgyptAir Flight 985 from Cairo International Airport:MC73121091MC73121092-smallerMC73121094-smallerMC73121095-smallerMC73121096-smallerMC73121097-1-smallerMC73121098-smallerMC73121099-smallerMC73121100-smallerMC73121101-smaller
I didn’t notice a rainbow in the sprinkler stream until editing on Monday:MC73121103-smaller
Aer Lingus Flight 305 from Dublin Airport:MC73121104
A close view of Jones Beach Theater off Bay Parkway:MC73121106-smaller
Back on Wantagh Parkway:MC73121107-smallerMC73121108-smallerMC73121109-1-smallerMC73121110-1-smallerMC73121112-smallerMC73121114-smallerMC73121115-smallerMC73121116-smallerMC73121117-1-smallerMC73121118-smaller

From here, Kelly and I traveled west on Merrick Road for dinner at La Piazza in Merrick.

It was a fun afternoon, and weekend, for both of us.

Instrumental Invasion, 6/9/21 June 10, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, Personal, Radio, Travel, Video.
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The June 9 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded two segments per day from May 4 to 6. Pickups for the first two segments of the second hour were recorded on the 20th.

The playlist was created on May 2 with annotations and the script draft following on the 3rd. In spite of additional time allowed for talk breaks, I still wrote too much for myself to say, but I also didn’t write enough for two breaks. The latter issue allowed me to share a Jaco Pastorius tidbit I couldn’t share earlier due to the former issue. The drive through Oakland Park occurred on March 3, 2019, the day after my cousin David’s wedding to Talia. Here’s a photo:

The song I played before sharing the tidbit was “Jaco Smiled” by Ken Navarro, whose birthday coincided with last night’s show. As the show was winding down, he posted this video on Facebook, thanking everyone for the birthday wishes:

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

For the second week in a row, one of my spots ran during a break. This time, it was for the community calendar. You can hear it at the 3:58 mark.

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

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

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

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

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 4/28/21 April 29, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Rock, Travel, Video.
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The April 28, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over four days. One segment was recorded per day on March 23 (at home) and 24 (away on my laptop), and two per day on the 25th and 26th, both at home.

The playlist was created on March 21 and annotated on the 22nd, after which the script was drafted. While drafting, I forgot to include a tidbit about David Benoit‘s cover of “Your Song” by Elton John. The original came out in David’s last year of high school and he’s been a fan of Elton ever since. I added that tidbit in a March 27 pickup.

There were plenty more tidbits to go around, including one that required a pickup to make clear I was saying “funky” and not some other word. The personal tidbits are true and I have photographic evidence. Here I am in Florida at Christmastime in 1992, possibly the day that Cedar Walton‘s Manhattan Afternoon was recorded:

And this was taken during that trip on March 28, 2004, wherein I listened to “Expression” by Joyce Cooling and other songs on This Girl’s Got to Play:

One tidbit, however, was cut for time in the first segment:

Here is the cover of “Palladium” by Weather Report that I recommended in the outtake:

As for what aired, click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 4/14/21 April 15, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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The April 14, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was painstakingly recorded over four days. The first hour was recorded in the early morning and mid-afternoon of March 9. The second hour took three days with the first segment recorded on March 10 on my laptop through an Apogee MiC 96k, and the last two segments back at home on the 11th and 12th. Pickups were required for a talk break in the third segment of hour 1 and one talk break in each segment of hour 2.

The playlist was created and annotated on March 7, and the script was drafted on the 8th. For the second week in a row, I made a timing error. Worse yet, two timing errors. In the last segment of hour 1, I put in a 4:32 song rather than 5:32. The replacement song faded out incredibly early, which still left me with too much time in the talk break that followed. I had to vamp. I made the opposite mistake in hour 2, inserting a 4:55 song in the second segment when I needed 3:55. The irony is the first segment was mainly comprised of songs that I had to cut from the last two shows, one due to timing and the other because of a wordy talk break. (9:35 AM UPDATE: I forgot to account for the replacement, which was from 2011. That meant listeners heard me refer in the vamp to a 2010 song that they wouldn’t hear until a week later.)

The inclusion of “Outside Solaris” by Clifford Marshall Van Buren is another of my loving tributes to the heyday of local forecast music on The Weather Channel. You can find an example of its usage on Matt Marron’s TWC Classics tribute site. I don’t always do this, but I prefaced the description of Solaris with “according to Wikipedia” to acknowledge my lack of knowledge. You learn something new every day.

The “fun fact” preface to the Dan Ingram tidbit was an homage to a catchphrase on the Technology Connections YouTube channel.

Picking up on what I said coming out of “Whispered Confessions” by Lisa Hilton, here is a side-by-side comparison of the song’s melody and what’s played between levels in the NES port of Pac-Man:

That remains a pleasant coincidence seven years after hearing the song for the first time at Carnegie Hall.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 3/10/21 March 11, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
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The March 10, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days: one on February 3, three on the 4th, and two on the 5th, which is when I added the first segment pickup “ready, and appear!” Like last week, the first segment of hour 2 was remixed on the 16th after Patrick Bradley e-mailed his liner.

It was my mother Lisa’s 65th birthday, but I superstitiously didn’t acknowledge that. To celebrate, she, my father Bill, sister Lauren, and I went out to dinner at Vittorio’s in Amityville. It was my first time at a restaurant since Mom’s 64th birthday. (The next day, the country began to shut down.) I was only required to wear my mask when not seated at the table, so I adapted quickly.

The playlist for this show was created and annotated on February 1 as a snowstorm raged outside. I added annotations for “Snapshot” by Richard Elliot on the 2nd after my copy of Authentic Life arrived in the mail. The script was drafted on the 3rd.

I was inspired to play “Nautilus” by Bob James after watching this video the night before creating the playlist:

I had wanted to play a John Philip Sousa march for a while, and chose this show to incorporate my appreciation for his marches and for Monty Python by playing “The Liberty Bell,” which was the theme to Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In the talk-up, referencing the show’s intro, I quoted John Cleese‘s BBC continuity announcer character and imitated Michael Palin‘s “It’s” Man.

I paid homage to another favorite series of mine, Rocky & Bullwinkle, while talking up “Why Not” by Fowler and Branca. One episode of the Banana Formula story arc found Boris and Natasha stealing the tape recorder they used to capture Bullwinkle hiccuping said formula back from Fearless Leader after he was knocked out by a spring in the machine:

NATASHA: Now what, Boris?
BORIS: What else? We run like rabbits.
NATASHA: Good idea!
BORIS: On second thought, we take secret formula (on the recorder) with us.
NATASHA: You mean steal it?
BORIS: Why not?
(pause)
NATASHA: Funny, I can’t think of a reason.

The aforementioned snowstorm inspired me to play Nelson Rangell‘s cover of “Sweetest Somebody I Know” by Stevie Wonder. One of the first times I listened to it was on the back end of a 2015 winter storm, also in early February. That storm began as snow, changed to sleet and freezing rain, then changed to rain, after which I shoveled, and changed back to snow, which led to more shoveling because it was accumulating.

I said “album” a lot!, but I don’t care.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 2/17/21 February 18, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, Video.
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The February 17, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on January 19 and 20. I recorded the second hour shortly after waking up. You could hear it in my voice.

The playlist was created and annotated on January 16. The playlist scan is not in color because the scanner I used yielded bleed-through unless I switched to black and white.

I planned on drafting the script and recording the first hour on the 17th, then recording the second hour on the 18th. Unfortunately, I was couldn’t get any sleep the night of the 16th. After a successful night of sleep on the 17th, I drafted the script on the 18th. As noted at the top, recording occurred on the 19th and 20th.

One week after swapping it out for time, I successfully played “Starlight” by Lee Ritenour.

The last segment of hour 1 and first of hour 2 ran short, which required padding out talk breaks – particularly, the talk-up for “Big Turtle River” by Earl Klugh. On the other hand, each hour’s middle segment ran long due to wordy talk breaks. I had to fade out songs early, edit out pauses in speech, start songs under liners, and in one case, cut out a tidbit. I really wanted to share how All Night Nippon adopted a Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass song as their theme: “Bittersweet Samba” from Whipped Cream & Other Delights. Here’s the outtake:

I learned the tidbit in a video on the GTV Japan YouTube channel. Here is that video:

I think Sunplaza Nakano-kun looks like Paul Shaffer.

The man behind GTV – K.J. McClain, a.k.a. Gaijillionaire (derived from the word “gaijin“) – will be speaking at UPLINK by LI Retro this Saturday at 8AM (10PM for him).

I referred to another YouTube video in the last talk break of the show, this one on the 8-Bit Keys YouTube channel:

The last segment of the show was remixed on February 2 after receiving a liner from guitarist Nick Colionne. This new liner replaced one I had repurposed from The Mike Chimeri Show. A similar remix was made for next week’s show.

As for the February 17 Instrumental Invasion, click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 2/10/21 February 11, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Comedy, Country, Film, Jazz, Media, Military, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel.
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The February 10, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on January 14 (first hour, first talk break of hour 2) and 15 (the rest of the show).

The playlist was created on January 12 with annotations starting that day and completing on the 13th, after which the script was drafted.

In the early months of Instrumental Invasion, I avoided dated references, but now, I’m mindful of when shows air. Valentine’s Day is on Sunday, so I worked that in and played relevant songs. Drummer Eric Valentine’s presence in “Sunday Strut” by Blake Aaron was coincidental.

As long as I’ve had Boney James and Rick Braun‘s Shake It Up, I’ve thought of the main theme for The Magnificent Seven while listening to “Love’s Like That,” their collaboration with Fourplay. So, I had to mention that after I played it. Unfortunately, the explanation and side-by-side comparison led me to pick a shorter Lee Ritenour song from his Dreamcatcher album. “Starlight” was out, “Storyteller” was in. That also meant I needed to share more information about “Song for Barry” after the Airmen of Note‘s cover of the Brecker Brothers song on Return of the Brecker Brothers.

The recurring theme in this show was travel: by airplane, car, and train.

I finally got to use the Game Dave liner coming out of a David Benoit song, and from the same album, so I could say “that was Gamer David Benoit.”

Now, the bad news: I was unable to aircheck the show. It’s the third time that’s happened. On August 5, it was because my cable went out two hours before air (and stayed out until the 8th). On November 4, the FM stream was down for maintenance. I was asleep at the time, but I can only assume this third blunder was due to an automatic Windows update that made the computer restart. Microsoft Edge was still open on restart and Easy MP3 Recorder apparently still conducted its timed recording even though the stream wasn’t active. Ergo, two hours of silence.

So, click here to download the “aircheck” MP3, culled from the original segment files (plus the underwriting and Legal ID from last week’s aircheck), or listen below: