Friday, August 18, 2023

Harborlight Sessions Radio Network, My New Internet Radio Station

More updates on my seemingly unending list of projects- I am pleased and proud to welcome my new Internet station to the world, called the Harborlight Sessions Radio Network. This is an endeavor that I've always wanted to do and I'm super excited about the possibilities of what I can do with it. Admittedly, I have a lot to learn. One of the things I do know is that I would like to jump in with play by play with it- in fact, I've already scheduled a game to do on the air- November 13, I'll be covering a hockey game between the Bridgewater Bandits and the Boston Jr. Terriers live at the Bridgewater Ice Arena. 

I am exploring ideas for content- of course, sports, but music I think will play a large role in this. As I said, I feel that the possibilities are endless. 

What I like most about this is the ease of how people can listen. The player is located directly on the brand new Internet radio page of my website. All that they need to do is navigate to the page and hit the play button. If you'd like to check it out, please surf on over to 

As for the name, it was born of my two favorite types of music. The word "Harborlight" came to me as I thought of my love for the tropical, laid-back music of Jimmy Buffett. That escapist, carefree, tropical kind of life. Steel drums, petal steel guitars, and ukuleles. Margaritas. This stage of my life, and my personality, is totally reflected in that laid back philosophy and those types of songs. I wanted my radio station to incorporate that.

Sessions, the other part of the name, comes from my love of Irish music, which has been a huge part of my life for over four decades. A session, or"sei-shun", as they refer to it in Gaelic, is a type of musical experience where a group of musicians sit around a table and take turns singing songs. It's great fun and usually takes place in a darkened pub with plenty of alcoholic refreshment. The funnest session I ever took part in was down in Savannah, GA, in a pub called "Kevin Barry's." It's one of the funnest experiences a musician can ever have. So I wanted a part of that too. So there you have it. The Harborlight Sessions Radio Network. 

You'll also notice the very clever artwork on the webpage that houses my station- a palm tree decorated with Irish markings. My sister Katie cleverly put that together. A very brilliant way to capture those two worlds coming together. 

I also have to thank Meg Ortel for her technical assistance. She has been invaluable in helping me with my website, and she seamlessly added the new page and got everything up and running for me. I was communicating with her today and I told her that she was helping a lifelong dream become a reality. I think she liked hearing that she was a part in this process. 

So where do I go from here? Learning, learning, and more learning. I'm learning about the mechanics of the station itself. Learning about the business aspect and how to make money at it (right now, I've got that deer in the headlights look), but I'll be reading, studying,  experimenting, and running tests. I'll make mistakes. I'll run into bumps in the road, but it will all be worth it. I'll be using a state of the art mixer with a recording function built in, so I can do post game clips. This is going to be special. 

Please forgive me if this takes a little while. I want to get everything up and running quickly, but there is a learning curve, so it may take a little time. But I'm taking action. 

All live events I'll be doing will be marked on the calendar on my website. Go to the MORE tab and then Calendar of Events. I've already put the date of the game I'll be doing on the calendar. 

It's time to get serious, and it's time to broadcast. I've spent the money. I've put the sweat into it. Now, I do what I love. Broadcasting and entertaining. Mahalo and Slainte. 

Monday, August 7, 2023

Book Updates

 I felt it was the right time to discuss how my books are coming along. As mentioned on my website, my two books, Living A King's Life and Breakaway Wisdom, are being re-released to the world. I have reached an agreement with a Pennsylvania based publishing company to re-publish the books. I have added and updated content in both books. 

The total time I was told for the publication of both books are 8-10 months. It is an involved process- but the publishers are taking care of everything. And at the end of the process, these books will be on sale everywhere- Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and of course through my personal website at I also plan to hopefully do some book signings. It may also require a trip out to Michigan to re-promote my book about the Kalamazoo Kings. 

Living A King's Life is ahead of Breakaway Wisdom in the process, I just finalized the deal on the hockey book last week. The baseball book will be done first. 

I also plan to do an audiobook version of the baseball book. There will not be an audiobook version of the hockey book, since it was audio interviews, it wouldn't make much sense. 

My third book, Calling the Shots, will also be re-published down the road, but that one is on the back burner for now. 

To say I'm excited and impatient is an understatement. I've worked so hard to write these books and it's important to get them back out there into the world. 

All updates will occur through the website and here on the blog. Looking forward to more updates. Stay tuned! 

Thursday, July 13, 2023

My Favorite Personal Hockey Story

 As a broadcaster and now podcaster,  I've seen my share of stories happen over the years. People sometimes ask me if I have a favorite story from my experiences that would rank as my favorite of all. I do, and here it is. 

On one very cold and frigid Monday afternoon in February several years ago, I was preparing to head to Boston for the annual Beanpot tournament at the TD Garden. It's an event I never miss. Walking out of my house I started to walk towards my car which was parked on the lawn near our driveway. I don't typically like to park there, I'd rather park in the street- but we had snow and they want you to pull the cars off the street during snow situations. So I'm walking to my car, and I'm walking on a sheet of ice. I took a wrong step on the ice, and I wiped out. I fell, and landed squarely on my hip. I remember my iPad flying out of my hands, sliding across the ice, breaking the protective covering. As I lay on the ground, the pain was excruciating. I thought for sure my hip was broken. I literally had to fend for myself. My phone was with me, but I was determined to get to my feet on my own. Somehow I managed to roll over and collect the items that had left my hands as I fell. I remember my wrist was killing me just as my hip was. My wife was at work so her helping me was not possible. 

It took every ounce of energy and fortitude just to get to my car. It was pure agony as I literally rolled myself over to the car. I was able to somehow unlock it and put my belongings in there. The brutal part was getting myself in the car. Lifting my leg to get situated in the car was a major challenge, to say the least. But I got there. I was sure I had a broken hip. Thank God I didn't land on my head. 

Now I'm faced with a dilemma. Do I go to the emergency room and get checked out and forego the Beanpot, or do I suck it up and try to go in to Boston? Believe me when I tell you, as I'm sitting there racked with pain I thought about what I would do. After about five minutes I came to a decision. I decided to fight through the pain and head to the Beanpot. After all, I'm a hockey guy, right? 

So I decided I'll go to the Beanpot, then go to the ER after that. I knew that moving around would be extremely difficult, so I was determined to be as stationary as possible. Driving to the T station in Braintree was OK, but getting out of the car when there to limp over to get the train was immensely painful. Needless to say, it took me a LONG time to get there. I was able to limp onto the train, and I was on my way. 

Of course, any movement by me was brutally hard. So when I got to Boston, I had to navigate getting out of the subway station and limping into the Garden. That took a long time too. 

I finally made it into the Garden, limping in to get my credential and going up to the 9th floor. The media section. I was set. 

I went down (very slowly) to the media room for dinner in between games and was sitting with my good friend and hockey guy Brion O'Connor. I remember telling him what happened. I said to him, I'm going to try and go this alone, but maybe I'll need your help to stand up. 

I wasn't sure how long I was going to last, and when I was going to leave. The pain had become excruciating- and I was determined to tough it out and leave the minute the second game ended. I remember Northeastern was playing in Game 2. And wouldn't you know it, the second game went into overtime. At the end of the third period I said, " I have to go. I can't take it anymore." So I did what I would never do under normal circumstances- I left a hockey game before it's completion. 

As I hobbled down to the North Station Orange Line train, I had the game on the radio. I'm listening to Rob Rudnick, the Huskies broadcaster, call the overtime, and then subsequently, the game winning goal on the platform waiting for the train to come. I smiled knowing that I had toughed it out. All for the love of hockey. 

I somehow managed to get on the train and get back to Braintree. I hobbled over to my car (and remember it's February, so the cold is not helping the situation).... and after gingerly getting back into my car, I drove straight to the emergency room of Woonsocket Hospital in Rhode Island, near our house. They evaluated me and found no broken bones after an X-ray- which shocked me. It as determined to be a very deep tissue bruise. It looked very purple and very ugly. But they started me on the mend. Crawling into bed at around 1:30 AM and still hurting, I had made it back safely. 

All for the love of hockey. 

Saturday, May 20, 2023

My New Website Launch, Other Upcoming Projects

 Greetings friends, great to be here communicating with you again. As you are probably aware, 2022 hit me real hard. I lost my Dad to Alzheimer's Disease and we had a myriad of problems with our house. It was a constant state of stress. Consequently, some things had to be put on the back burner. This blog being one of them. 

Resolving to give this blog more attention here in 2023, let me just start by saying that I could not be more pleased at the re-launch of my personal website. You can find the site here. I have repackaged the site, incorporating all of the old material that I had, in addition to updating with fresh new content, the biggest change being the addition of audio and video play by play clips, an essential element to any broadcaster's website. Much thanks to Mike Machnik and Brock Hines for lending their voices to the clips, it really gave it a genuine feel. A HUGE thank you goes out to the Pack Network and our ESPN colleagues for assisting me with the video clips- Jared Fieldsend, who helped me capture and organize the clips, Tom Casanova, and of course, K.J. Cardinal. We have the best production crew in the business with these professionals. It was a joy working with them all season long and I look forward to more games with them in the future. 

I wanted to incorporate as much of my life as I could with the website, touching on as many facets of my creative life and interests as I could. Sportscasting is my life's work and passion, but there's more to me than just that one area- so I thought I would devote time to each of those areas- podcasting, audiobooks, music, writing, and so forth. 

As for the website itself, there are two people I need to thank. The first is Meg Ortel, from Sandbox By Design. She is a website architect- and is brilliant at what she does. I am so grateful to her for all her hard work and her patience- she walked me through some pretty technical areas- areas I knew nothing about. The website design looks fabulous and seamless. And the fact that she remains so available to answer questions is a huge help. If you want to learn more about Meg and her great work, give her business a look here. 

The second person to thank is my sister, Katie Bartel. Katie provided the creative direction for a lot of the project, helping out with photography and design applications. She pointed me in the direction of Meg, and that in and alone was huge and greatly appreciated. Her creative ability is amazing and her imagination and ingenuity was unparalleled. I'm forever grateful for her time and energy with this. Katie has a thriving business herself and her work is outstanding. Please check out her work at her online home here

Having the website now fully editable is so wonderful now. I migrated to the new WordPress site from Network Solutions, who I originally connected with when I first built the site many years ago with my Dad. We used a now no longer available piece of software called Microsoft Frontpage to edit things, and I edited on an old Windows machine that has since gone to computer heaven. As a result of that, for several years my website was sitting out there, dormant, and I couldn't edit it. Over a Thanksgiving meal at my sister's home last year, we got to talking about the website and how we could resurrect it. Katie directed me to Meg, and the result is the website you now see today. 

With the website now up, you'll see some cool new features, one of them being a calendar which I will be updating on a regular basis. It will have music gigs, podcast releases, broadcasts, everything. That will be fun. This has now motivated and inspired me to move on to the other area that has troubled me for years- getting my books back in circulation. It's a long story as to why they are not in circulation right now, but I have contacted a new publisher and I will be re-submitting my manuscripts to them in the hopes that we can get these books back up and on sale. Podcasts will be continuing every Wednesday, and I also plan to get the books for sale in audiobook form. Also, I endeavor to launch my Internet radio station sooner rather than later. 

So that's the latest update. Thanks for tuning in, as always. Lots of fun things to look forward to!