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Instrumental Invasion, 1/11/23 January 12, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Books, DVD, Internet, Jazz, Laserdisc, Media, Music, New Age, Personal, Photography, Radio, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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The January 11 edition of Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day between November 24* and 25. This show brought me back to a comfortable seven-week buffer.

*Thanksgiving, my parents’ 45th wedding anniversary, the 30th anniversary of Sonic 2sDay (release day for Sonic the Hedgehog 2)

The playlist was created on November 21, annotated on the 22nd, and the talk break script was drafted on the 23rd when not working on last week’s show.

Speaking of Sonic 2, I referred to video games and video game consoles again this week: the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and Virtual Boy. Jeremy Parish’s Virtual Boy Works video series can be viewed here and you can buy his book here. (Yes, my story about trying out the Shapp cousins’ Virtual Boy was true.)

I played another cut from the compilation True North, starting the show with “One More River Passing” by James Reynolds. Hear it in a Weather Channel local forecast at this link. Click here for a local forecast featuringDown Hill Racer” by Patrick O’Hearn.

With only two new albums left that hadn’t met my requisite six tracks to play, I added a second 1996-2006 segment and moved the remaining 2017-present segment to the middle of hour 2. That allowed me to make up for not ending hour 1 with the live 2002 version of “Kukuc” (“koo-kooch”) by John Favicchia, the second week in a row with a version of “Kukuc,” both from Tangible. The second segment of hour 1 and first of hour 2 only had two talk breaks thanks to “Spain” by Return to Forever and “Kukuc.”

This week’s version of “Kukuc” was performed at Backstreet Blues in Rockville Centre, the venue where I was introduced to Fav and his Dharma All-Stars on July 13, 2005. Here are the photos I took that night:

Backstreet Blues is now known as The New Vibe Lounge.

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

Instrumental Invasion, 1/4/23 January 4, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, DVD, History, Internet, Jazz, Laserdisc, Media, Music, New Age, New Year, Personal, Radio, TV, VHS, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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The January 4 edition of Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the first show of 2023 and the second show in the last three to be recorded and mixed in one day. Fittingly, that one day was the 23rd of November, 2022, and thankfully, recording talk breaks wasn’t as physically taxing as the Christmas show.

The playlist was created on November 20, with annotations starting on the 21st and continuing into the 22nd, followed by the talk break script draft. As you can see, I went way over with the first segment and spent the rest of the show compensating. Ironically, I had to make that first segment even longer due to a surplus after principal recording.

Just Like That” by Dan Siegel was first played on October 14, 2020, but I included it again as a prelude to Ken Navarro‘s “Just Like That.”

The video version of True North was on LaserDisc and VHS, then reissued on DVD in 1998. I bought a DVD copy for posterity, but haven’t watched it yet. “Whispers of Light” by James Reynolds was the latest in a long line of Weather Channel local forecast staples, as demonstrated here.

Not only did I play Mario Kart 64 back in the day, but I received the official soundtrack on CD for free through my Nintendo Power magazine subscription. I led off the January 25, 2002, edition of The Mike Chimeri Show with the game’s title screen cue, proclaiming I was back for another semester.

Norman Caruso, The Gaming Historian, chronicled the story of Super Mario Kart, the N64 game’s predecessor, in a video last month:

I ended the show with “Kukuc (koo-kooch) 2020″ the first track on drummer John Favicchia‘s new compilation CD Tangible. It coincided with the debut of a liner I had Fav record for the show. I neglected to tell him how to pronounce my last name, so I took the “sh” sound from Tom Schuman‘s liner and slowed down the “im” part. Here’s the end result:

And here are recaps of the last nine Dharma gigs I attended:

July 24, 2008

September 7, 2008 (preceded by Alan Bates)

June 4, 2009

July 30, 2009

April 8, 2010

August 19, 2010

September 14, 2011

January 16, 2015

June 24, 2016

Next week’s show recap will have photos from the first gig I attended on July 13, 2005.

For now, click here to download this week’s scoped aircheck or listen below:

Bonus: the “Kukuc 2020” video:

Instrumental Invasion, 12/28/22 December 29, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Christmas, Computer, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, New Year, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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The December 28 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on November 17, my 41st birthday, and 18, followed by pickups and remixing. An additional pickup was recorded on the 19th.

The playlist was the third of three created between November 7 and 9. I created it solely on November 9, started annotating on the 9th and finished on the 12th, with the talk break script drafted on the 15th and 16th.

For the second year in a row, I played Christmas-adjacent songs the week after the Christmas show. “December Dream” by Fourplay was originally in mind for last week, but I replaced it to allow for a longer third song in its intended segment.

For the second show in a row, I played two versions of the same song, ending each hour with “Auld Lang Syne“; first by Kenny G, then by Jessy J. Yes, I know J is technically not her last initial, but for poetic license, it was in this show.

All of the last three shows have had segment gaps filled by songs less than three minutes long. And speaking of last initials, I searched my blazers for a suitable (no pun intended) nickname to go with “Armani B” by Brian Simpson. Jos. A. Bank made the most sense; ergo, “Joseph A. Bank M.” By the way, I bought a CD copy of Closer Still just before publishing this post.

Busta Move” by Julian Vaughn was originally played on August 17.

I’m still not finished listening to my iTunes Christmas music playlist, which I’ve been listening to incrementally since early November. I got through big portions of it during a Christmas Eve party and then on Christmas Day at home, but there were over a hundred songs left. I’ll update this paragraph once I finish. 1/2/23 UPDATE: I finished this morning.

Mid-November Mike (another nickname) could not have foreseen a historic winter storm, an explosive cyclogenesis (“bomb cyclone” in media hype lingo), when he included “Black Frost” by Grover Washington, Jr. to fill out the first segment. Crazy as the storm and aftermath were here on Long Island – southwest winds ushering in cold air?! – it was much worse elsewhere, particularly in Buffalo! Here, temperatures plummeted from the mid 50s (Fahrenheit) to the single digits! That meant there was black frost ice on the roads, and patches of ice on the sidewalks, from floodwaters brought on by rain and coastal flooding. I haven’t talked to Ryan “A Ripping Good Time” Grabow since the storm, but I know from its Wikipedia entry (first link) that Central Florida – where he lives and works for the Orlando Fox affiliate – had a period of sleet and snow flurries in on Christmas morning! (Okay, enough exclamations.) Christmas also marked record cold highs for Fort Lauderdale and Miami: 49° and 50°F, respectively. Reading that took me back to similarly cold Christmastimes in 1989 and ’90 in Crystal Beach, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area; not to mention how cold it was outside LaGuardia Airport before flying to Tampa in ’90. Maybe weather conditions are cyclical.

I’m further reminded of a video I watched on YouTube five years ago that exemplified the cold Christmastime in ’89: the start of NBC Sports coverage of the Miami Dolphins’ Christmas Eve regular season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs at then-Joe Robbie Stadium in not-yet-incorporated Miami Gardens. As you’ll see in the video below, the game time temperature was 39° with gusty northwest winds. No wonder it was dubbed The Miami Ice Bowl.

Yes, that was “Carol of the Bells” by Mannheim Steamroller (from A Fresh Aire Christmas); yes, that was Charles McCord announcing (“NBC Sports presents…”); and yes, John Tesh‘s “Gridiron Dreams” was the NFL on NBC theme song.

Anyway, click here to download the last scoped Instrumental Invasion aircheck of 2022, or listen below:

See you in 2023!

Festival of Games 2022 recap December 16, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Aviation, Christmas, Game Shows, History, Internet, Media, Military, Personal, Photography, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Last year’s Festival of Games (the first)

Last Saturday, the second annual Festival of Games was held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum along Museum Row in East Garden City. The so-far one-day spinoff of Long Island Retro Gaming Expo (read about the 2022 LI Retro here) was my latest chance to walk and snap photos in as many sections as possible. Then, back to the vendor halls to add video games to my multi-console, multi-generation collection.

Thanks to my past recaps, I have made friends with the organizers, volunteers, and a week before this Festival of Games, the museum’s director of marketing and community relations, Jerelyn Zontini. I’m honored to know them and to promote special events like this.

I did not think to check the Festival of Games website for this year’s schedule, so I missed out on the panels in the main stage (planetarium) and classes in the classroom, but I saw everything else on offer, and was surprised to meet legendary collector, YouTuber, and streamer Pete Dorr at his vending table. More on that later.

To photograph the event, I brought my Canon EOS R7 with RF-S 18-150mm lens and Speedlite 430EX III-RT. When writing about my initial experience with the mirrorless camera, I did not lower the resolution on test photos. Considering the camera’s higher native max resolution (6984×4660) with the same 3:2 aspect ratio as my previous camera, it made sense while editing Saturday’s photos to increase my default blog post/social media resolution. Thus, going forward, photos will be no lower than 2000 pixels vertically, stepping up from my max horizontal resolution of 2600 pixels.

Again planning on a two-hour stay, my mother dropped me off at 12:43 PM:

Once inside (and having my bag searched), I presented my e-ticket printout to a box office attendant who stamped my left hand.

A promotional banner for the first leg in what’s now my annual triple crown: Cradle-Con:

I bought my weekend pass for Cradle-Con Monday afternoon. No more New York Comic Con for me. I was already disenchanted with them last year, but went anyway and had a good time. The uncertainty and last-minute additions this year were my tipping point, as noted in the third paragraph of my Dutchess County trip post. I’m optimistic that I’ll have a much better time at Cradle-Con.

Each section I walked through at Festival of Games has a dedicated photo gallery. We start with the vendor hall gallery:

The board game section:

In all the years I’ve been inside the Cradle of Aviation Museum, I never observed its exhibits. I rectified that after passing the board games section.

MY ANSWER: Most of them, thanks to my proximity to John F. Kennedy International Airport. The planes are either on final approach or just took off. I also see general aviation aircraft coming to or from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, which is even closer to my house.

Back to video games in the free play area:

Tournaments:

On to the second floor:

Of course, most of the arcade games were housed on the Air & Space hall sky walk:

I chose not to play any of the arcade games or free play console games. I just wanted to buy games, and where better to start than at Pete Dorr’s table? I didn’t introduce myself to him right away, but he approached me after a few minutes of rummaging. That’s when I complimented him on his work. I ended up buying five Sega Genesis games from Pete’s table, which he gave me a great discount on. Then, we posed for a photo:

An hour of vendor-hopping yielded 42 games in all, including seven imports! Four games were for the Family Computer (Famicom) and three were for the Super Famicom. Final Fantasy V was a timely get as GTV Japan posted a retrospective the day before (last Friday).

Satisfied, I proceeded to the parking lot for my mom to pick me up.

Back at home, I spent nearly two hours photographing my pickups, removing price stickers, and cataloging the games.

Now, photos of all pickups by console, starting with Family Computer (Famicom):

Super Famicom:

Nintendo Entertainment System:

Yes, I passed on Deadly Towers again.

Super Nintendo:

I didn’t notice a crack on the upper left of Tecmo Super NBA Basketball until cataloging later. I bought a better condition cart on eBay Tuesday night and put in an offer for another Looney Tunes game, Speedy Gonzales: Los Gatos Bandidos. I bought that on Wednesday when my offer was accepted.

Sega Master System:

Now, I have the original Zillion to go along with the sequel I bought last year.

Sega Genesis (Mega Drive outside North America):

And one Nintendo Wii game: The Price is Right: 2010 Edition:

That last pickup was the culmination of all the time that I spent this year watching various winning pricing games and showcases from the Bob Barker era of The Price is Right, and with my resulting renewed obsession with Barker era music cues, many of which can be found on this YouTube channel.

It was another successful and enjoyable Festival of Games. Thank you to Pete Dorr and all the vendors I bought from, to the LI Retro staff including George Portugal (who I saw on Saturday), and to Jerelyn Zontini. It was great to meet her in person after she connected with me on LinkedIn a few weeks ago.

Until Cradle-Con.

Photos from Dutchess County trip, drive back home October 28, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Aviation, Baseball, Biking, Comedy, Film, Fire, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Politics, Radio, Running, Sci-Fi, Sports, Technology, Travel, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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In two of my Homecoming Weekend posts (live show, main post), I referenced a family trip to Dutchess County the prior weekend. This post is about that trip.

Back in the spring, my mom sprung the trip on me: a few of my relatives were going to run a race – The Fall Foliage Half Marathon and 5K – in Rhinebeck on the Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend and we would all be put up in a nearby AirBNB. I initially panicked, worried that it would conflict with Homecoming Weekend (henceforth, HCW), but one of my alumni friends assured me the LIU Sharks‘ Homecoming football game would likely be the following weekend. And in recent years, it has been held on the third Saturday of October. My conscience was clear and I was prepared for the trip.

I assumed the AirBNB would be in Rhinebeck and my parents, sister, and I would leave for there on the morning of Friday, October 7. Instead, we were to leave in the mid-afternoon and the house was in Staatsburg. I had an extra day to prepare since I decided not to go to New York Comic Con this year, or ever again, due to my disenchantment with the event and a need to save money for paying off my PC build. (And then, a week later, I went and bought a new camera and related equipment, which I’m still trying to get the hang of.)

I have a mixed record when it comes to time management. More often than not, I mismanage my time, and that’s what I did prior to departure on Friday afternoon. In the days leading up to the weekend, I tried to get as many radio shows recorded as possible to allow for a sizable buffer of weeks ahead. I only managed to produce and record the HCW prerecord and one regular show (November 16). I finished creating the playlist for the live HCW show with only an hour to spare before leaving the house.

Annotations for the live show and next regular show (November 23) were done from my laptop during downtime at the AirBNB. It was not an easy task with constant action at breakfast time or with babies occasionally crying indefinitely, all amplified by the hardwood floors on the main floor. Most of the regular show annotations were done on Sunday evening when I had the house to myself and then in my bedroom with white noise blaring in my earbuds.

Don’t chalk this up to disdain for the experience that weekend. Overall, I had a great time seeing the sights and catching up with relatives.

My parents and I left at 3:15 Friday afternoon and drove five minutes east to pick up my sister at her apartment. Four hours of traffic and spotty cell service later, we arrived at the AirBNB on Connelly Drive in Staatsburg.

For privacy’s sake, I won’t include photos of the house’s interior or of my family, but here are two exterior shots I took Saturday afternoon:

The rest of the post is dedicated to scenery photos taken from Saturday, October 8, to the ride home on Monday, October 10.

First, two more negatives:

  • The Mets completed their unraveling by losing their National League Wild Card Series to the Padres. I found out about their game 1 loss Saturday morning, game 2 win Sunday morning, and game 3 loss seconds after it happened Sunday night. It was extremely demoralizing. I spent five months of my life believing this was the year the Mets would win their third World Series, allowing me not to care if they’d win a fourth in my lifetime. Five months of my life were wasted for nothing, including hours spent editing photos from the two games I attended. Obviously, I won’t make a slideshow of photos from that second game, which turned out to be the apex of the Mets’ season; all downhill from there. I hadn’t thrown away so many months expecting an outcome that didn’t happen since the 2012 presidential election. And I was away from home that night, too, at a family friend’s house in Rockville Centre, waiting for power to be restored back at my Wantagh home. (It was the next afternoon.) (11/1 UPDATE: Whoops, forgot to note power was lost during Sandy. I wrote about my experience here.) Incidentally, that family friend now lives an hour north of where we were and she met up with us Sunday in downtown(village) Rhinebeck.
  • In another case of time mismanagement, I hurriedly and anxiously shaved my face and neck on Saturday and Sunday, making everyone wait before we could drive to wherever we were going. I cut myself in multiple places, and contemplated going back to an electric razor after nearly 20 years of a manual razor with five-blade cartridges. My dad generously bought one for me as an early birthday present on Monday morning. As of publication, I’m still mastering it. Most of my face is easy to shave, but I can’t get all the hairs off my neck, above my chin, or below my sideburns.

Now for the photos. Saturday morning, October 8, included a trip to the Kesicke Farm Fall Festival (more alliteration) in Rhinebeck. One day after warm and slightly humid conditions, conditions were sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 50s. I brought a winter hat and light gloves on the trip, but only needed the gloves.

Returning to the AirBNB:

Sunday, October 9, brought us back to Rhinebeck. I packed my camcorder and tripod on Friday because I thought we’d be watching the end of the races Sunday. I thought wrong. I did use the camcorder Saturday afternoon to record soccer practice with my sister and our cousin. We did, however, walk up and down Market Street in Rhinebeck. That made me think of a song bearing that name by Yellowjackets from the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home soundtrack. Of course, the film was based in San Francisco, not Rhinebeck, but Rhinebeck was the location of Spyro Gyra‘s last album of original music to date, The Rhinebeck Sessions.

Another pair of road signs on the way back to Staatsburg:

While I was walking through Rhinebeck, my dad biked to and from the Ashokan Reservoir via the Ashokan Rail Trail. Those are the first two photos below. He took the third Sunday evening while everyone but me traveled to the Walkway Over the Hudson. (I stayed in Staatsburg.)

Monday morning, October 10, I spotted three wild turkeys walking through the AirBNB’s backyard. I went outside to take photos with my phone, and ended up following them several yards into the woods.

Trembling from excitement and anxiety (I wanted to go home), I shot this shaky video:

We left for Wantagh at around 10:30 AM. These photos were taken on the way to the Taconic State Parkway:

On the parkway:

I-84:

I-684 (briefly in Connecticut):

I-287:

The Hutchinson River Parkway/I-678 (supplementing my photos from May 1):

The Cross Island Parkway:

And finally, the Grand Central Parkway/Northern State Parkway:

It took less than 2 1/2 hours to drive from Staatsburg to Wantagh. After a short treadmill run to compensate for Friday’s shortened run, I tried my best to unwind. I edited Saturday’s and Sunday’s photos at the AirBNB, but took care of Monday’s photos at my remote location on Tuesday and Wednesday (October 11 and 12). After uploading the scenery photos (and selfie) to WordPress and making a rough draft of this post with only the photos, I shifted my focus to HCW (Homecoming Weekend, if you forgot) and finally wrote a recap on the 24th, publishing today, the 28th. Thank you for reading it all and I hope you liked the photos.

Instrumental Invasion, 10/19/22 October 20, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Comedy, Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Weather.
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The October 19 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded (and mixed) non-sequentially on August 31 (segments 1, 5, 6) and September 1 (segments 2 through 4). Pickups were recorded on September 2.

The playlist was created right after finishing last week‘s playlist on August 25, annotated on the 27th, and the talk break script was drafted on the 30th. I was able to break even this week with a total duration of exactly one hour and 48 minutes. Starting next week, I will go to 18:10 segments, a total of 30 more seconds. This should limit the amount of dead air before automation’s fill song kicks in.

I did not expect the story of “St. Thomas” to be so involved. The Sonny Rollins interview (from April 5, 2007) where he shared the origin story is accessible via this link, but the media player disappears from sight after you start it. So, I downloaded it to share here:

He definitely wrote “Airegin,” though.

Regarding my talk-up after “Hello Tomorrow” by Larry Carlton, Lloyd Lindsay Young‘s “hello…!” bit had been circling in my head ever since a recent George Carlin documentary showed his introduction at the start of George’s 1988 special, What Am I Doing In New Jersey? I’ve said it before, but only on Instrumental Invasion can you get references like that. That goes for the MythBusters reference I made at the end of my “St. Thomas” origin story. On that series, if a myth in a given episode couldn’t be replicated, it was given a “busted” rating.

Speaking of Larry Carlton, I acknowledged that he was Fourplay‘s second guitarist, Lee Ritenour was their first, and Chuck Loeb was the third. Kirk Whalum played tenor sax on “Hello Tomorrow,” and I neglected to mention that he was the fourth member of Fourplay whenever there wasn’t a guitarist.

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

2022 Long Island Retro Gaming Expo recap August 21, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Aviation, Books, Education, History, Internet, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Podcast, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Previous LI Retro recaps: 2017 (Sunday), 2018, 2019
Spinoff recaps: UPLINK (2020), Festival of Games (2021)

Part 1: Introduction

The Long Island Retro Gaming Expo‘s long-awaited return came on Friday, August 12, after a three-year COVID-caused absence. Yes, the expo was expanded to three days starting this year, running from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening. The venue was the same as always: the Cradle of Aviation Museum, situated along Museum Row in East Garden City on the former site of Mitchel Air Force Base.

The purported 2020 edition of LI Retro was announced in February of that year. I immediately bought a weekend pass (still just two days). Little did anyone know that the faraway disease then referred to as the Coronavirus would reach the United States a few weeks later. As COVID-19 spread and a pandemic grew, venues shut down and events were either canceled or postponed. LI Retro’s postponement came that May. 2020 tickets would be honored in ’21. UPLINK, a virtual expo, was scheduled in its place on August 8 and 9. Of course, I attended and wrote a recap.

Even as vaccines were rolled out going into 2021, the organizers felt it was too soon to resume. Thus, they postponed again to ’22; and again, tickets for the postponed years would be honored. Another edition of UPLINK was held virtually in February. I attended, but was overwhelmed by the amount of transcribing and note-taking I’d have to do for the panels I planned on watching. So, I abandoned the recap in favor of continued radio show production.

Last December, LI Retro held its first annual one-day Festival of Games. I was in and out within two hours after a photographic walking tour (similar to the one you’ll see later in this post), arcade game sampling, and buying games from vendors. There was a recap for that.

As August drew closer, a third day of LI Retro was introduced. I considered attending, but opted to stick to the weekend.

With a week to go, I feared I’d compulsively take too many photos, a habit that’s gotten out of hand (i.e. Memorial Day boat ride, June 18 Mets game). I only took 353 photos at another Mets game on August 10, but sure enough, I went overboard at LI Retro. To that end, this is the first post with photo galleries.

The bulk of my photos were shot with my DSLR, but I took supplemental photos with my iPhone.

I arrived at the Cradle of Aviation Museum at 10:06 AM on Saturday:

Within 15 minutes, I was inside. I walked to the box office and handed my ticket to the attendant in exchange for a badge. “Finally,” I told her, “after 2 1/2 years, I get to use this [ticket].” She handed me my badge and my adventure began.

Part 2: Panels

My first panel – after meeting and greeting, and photographing the vendor rooms, was by Brett Weiss. “I Survived the Video Game Crash of 1983” began at 11AM in Panel Room 2. I joined it in progress, grabbing a front row seat, but oddly holding back on photos.

Brett talked about his experiences with arcade games and home video game consoles from the second generation into the third, and how the rise of home computers played a role in the 1983 crash.

During the Q&A session at the end, I relayed (but didn’t ask, so I apologized) my video game experience growing up. I was a home (and school) computer guy, fluent with Apple II, and my sister and I received an NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) in February 1990, as the third home video game console generation gave way to the fourth.

The book in the last photo is the one I bought from Brett afterward.

After snacking on a protein bar, I entered the Main Theatre for Pat Contri and Ian Ferguson’s 12:30 PM panel. I spoke to Pat and Ian during my meet and greet session two hours earlier, reminding them that I met them in 2019 and immersed myself in content from Pat’s YouTube channel after buying (at their merchandise table) the four DVD sets of Pat the NES Punk and the book Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library. I subsequently bought the SNES guide. I wrote reviews of each – NES, SNES. (And you can buy the DVDs and books here.) This year, I bought two stickers and a CU Podcast (Completely Unnecessary Podcast) t-shirt. It was the last large size they had. I said I’d probably get along swimmingly with Frank, Pat’s older friend from New Jersey who settled in San Diego before Pat and Ian made their respective moves there.

Pat and Ian’s panel was a live portion of their next episode of the CU Podcast. Before it started, and while I settled into my front row seat, the volunteer assigned to the theater asked them to “say something into the microphone” as a mic check. Ian jokingly parroted the request: “say something into the microphone.” I amusingly replied, “I knew you were gonna say that.”

Continuing from prior episodes, Pat and Ian criticzed Tommy Tallarico and his vaporware console that would have been (or could still be?) the Intellivision Amico. On display above them was the console’s leaked “fact book.” There will be audio and video, but first, the photos:

You can hear the panel-turned-podcast-episode here. My portion of the Q&A starts at 1:57:08, but I’ve clipped it here:

The word I used to describe Frank was “luddite.” Yes, I stumbled on the title Ancient Aliens, coming out as “ancient alenins.”

And this is a video excerpt from the panel – shot with the iPhone on the table – that was posted to Pat’s YouTube channel:

I was the voice at 16:44 saying that Sean Astin narrated a video game documentary. I was thinking of Video Games: The Movie, but a comment to the video said the fact sheet was referencing the later docuseries called Playing with Power: The Nintendo Story.

I liked Ian’s quaint pronunciation of wanton, “wonton” instead of “wantin’.”

Video of the Q&A portion:

My questions start at 18:26, “Tommy” starts at 25:13.

Theater guests had to exit on the third floor, so I bode my time by taking photos of the few console freeplay tables there. Then, I snapped pics for most of the second floor exhibits prior to the Axinn Air and Space Museum Hall entrance. I saved that for after the 2PM panel back in the theater.

In that 2PM panel, John Blue Riggs performed a live ROM hack of Super Mario Bros. for the NES, the first game I played in February 1990 via the Duck Hunt combo cart. With the right software, John imported tiles from whatever NES game ROMs the audience requested, and he altered the SMB code to altered the colors and text. Let the editing begin!

I spoke to John during the meet and greet, letting him know that like his son, I am on the autism spectrum, specifically with what used to be called Asperger Syndrome. While at his table, I bought a Sega Genesis ROM hack that put Scott Pilgrim from his titular video game in Streets of Rage 2. We posed for a photo, but when I got home, I was dismayed to find that my DSLR’s lens didn’t focus on us when his tablemate Dave took our photo. They graciously allowed a do-over with my iPhone Sunday morning.

Here is John’s aforementioned vlog of his LI Retro experience:

I’m in the vlog at 13:30, going through my DSLR camera roll before John’s panel. At 19:56, he and Dave ate at Friendly’s in nearby East Meadow. I ate there with my girlfriend Kelly during her visit in April.

After the panel, I photographed what I believed to be nearly every other nook and cranny of the freeplay and tournament areas. John saw much more than I did.

The last item on my Saturday agenda was to buy games from vendors. (See the end of part 4.)

The combination of excitement from earlier in the day and a loud block party somewhere south of my house kept me from relaxing and easing into sleep. I probably slept two to four hours, at best.

I arrived at day three of the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo at around 10:30 AM. I met Justin, Marshall, and Kieran from Cinemassacre/Screenwave Media (and bought Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie), got the second chance photo with Riggs, and hung out at Leonard Herman‘s table. I’ve known Lenny (to his friends and family) since meeting him at the 2018 LI Retro and then reviewing his video game history book, Phoenix IV. In 2019, I met his associate Jeff, and this year, I was honored to meet Patrick Wong and Mark W. Baer, the middle child of Dena and Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of videogames (one word). They’re all nice and friendly, and it was my pleasure buying Ralph’s book Videogames in the Beginning, and Kate Hannigan‘s biographical children’s book, Blips on a Screen. I will definitely read that to Leo F. Giblyn School students next March, another annual tradition of mine.

Lenny and Mark’s panel was at 11:30 AM in Panel Room 2. Again, I sat in the front row. Lenny grew to be like a surrogate son to Ralph, and the brotherly love between he and Mark was on display throughout the panel, especially in the first two pics.

I linked to it in the gallery, but here again is Ralph and Bill Harrison’s 1969 Brown Box demo:

Part 3: Meet and greet photos

Lenny Herman and Mark Baer:

Patrick Wong:

Jeff, in his Pac-Man suit:

Brett Weiss:

Pat Contri and Ian Ferguson:

John Riggs:

The Cinemassacre/Screenwave Media crew, Justin and Marshall:

…and I met Kieran while browsing a vendor’s games:

You’ll see merchandise and games in the pickups portion of this recap.

Part 4: Touring the expo

Musical performance: 88bit (a.k.a. Rob Kovacs):

88bit was featured in John Riggs’s vlog.

The other performers were ConSoul, Retro & Chill, and Super Thrash Bros. (also in John’s vlog).

The line ahead of the cosplay contest, held Saturday at 3:30 PM in the Main Theatre:

High score challenges:

Galaga:

Just Dance 4 (to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley):

Tournaments:

Game Boy Selfie Station with the Game Boy Camera and Printer:

Console freeplay: