Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chuck the Writer's blog is moving on up... to another location...

Today is moving day.

I normally hate moving - I moved around as a kid so many times, as the old joke goes, my local paper was USA Today.

But this is a big opportunity for me.

My blog has been accepted by the Times Union to join their family of blogs.

Which is a very nice touch. I appreciate joining the TU.

Right now, the stint at the TU is scheduled as temporary. We're going to see how everything works out. I get to kick the tires, test drive around the block, etc etc.

If it works out, the engagement between yours truly and the TU could extend indefinitely.

If it doesn't work out, I'll come back to this weblog, try to remember what my access password is, and resume my posts here.

Thus begins another chapter in my life.

Not as momentus as my other chapters... but an interesting new chapter nonetheless.

Oh yeah - change your bookmarks around for this link:

http://blogs.timesunion.com/chuckmiller

And see you over there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

K-Chuck Radio's Hit of the Day: Blotto, "I Wanna Be A Lifeguard"

This song should have been a bigger hit than it was.

I know it sounds like a goofy surf tune, but it's a fun little track - and it could have been the first track from an Albany-based rock band to hit the national charts. As it was, it did get on a lot of college radio stations, and even the local Albany broadcasters like FLY 92 and 3WD gave it some love.

And if Blotto never recorded another track in their lifetime... there's always this song.

K-Chuck Radio's Hit of the Day: Stevie Wright, "Evie"

While there are some fantastic three-minute pop songs out there, there's also a lot of love for songs that stretch to at least seven minutes of music. "Hey Jude" - "Layla" - "Stairway to Heaven" - "American Pie" - the list goes on and on.

But how about a song that clocks in at over 10 minutes of music - with three distinct and separate "movements" - and it actually hit #1?

Today I bring you "Evie," an Australian #1 hit by Stevie Wright. Wright was the lead singer of the Easybeats, who most non-Aussies know as the group behind "Friday On My Mind." He recorded this song in 1970, and it has three separate movements. The first movement is a hard rock track as the guy meets the girl; the second movement is a tender ballad as the guy falls in love with the girl and the baby they've made; the third movement is a frenetic rock song as tragedy strikes the young couple (the baby is stillborn).

So here's movement #1 -



and movement #2 -



and movement #3 -



I don't know how they got this all on one 45 - I would suspect two of the movements were moved to Side 2 of the record. But still, it's a helluva a mini-rock operetta. And it's here... on K-Chuck Radio.

Monday, August 24, 2009

K-Chuck Radio Hit of the Day: The Staccatos, "Half Past Midnight"

Today we have some sweet baroque pop from The Staccatos, a five-man band from Ottawa. "Half Past Midnight" was a Top 10 hit in Canada in 1967, and won several awards. In America, the song was released on Capitol's subsidiary label Tower, but the song went nowhere in the States.

Here's the single version of "Half Past Midnight" on K-Chuck Radio:



As an added bonus, here's The Staccatos performing their hit on Montreal's CFCF television station.



The Staccatos eventually morphed into another group, Five Man Electrical Band, and had a monster hit with the song "Signs."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chuck the Writer WINS HIS FIRST COMPETITIVE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD!!!

It's Saturday afternoon, and I'm trying to get my front lawn mowed before we get another rain storm. The mailman always drives up our street around Saturday afternoon, and he steps up to my porch with the mail, just as I'm flattening the last blades of grass.

He hands me the Saturday mail, and I can see in the distance two post cards. I know where they're from. Syracuse. And the New York State Fair.

I don't even want to look at the back of the cards. Each card has the name of the picture - in my cases, the postcards were designated "Washington Park After Dark" and "Action Under the Basket," the names of my two photos.

On the back of each card were three check boxes:

[_] WINNER [_] ACCEPTED [_] NOT ACCEPTED

I slowly turned the card over for the first postcard, "Washington Park After Dark.

[_] WINNER [_] ACCEPTED [X] NOT ACCEPTED

Darn.

Then I looked at the second card, the card that represents "Action Under the Basket," the photo you see above.

[X] WINNER [X] ACCEPTED [_] NOT ACCEPTED

I looked at it a second time.

[X] WINNER [X] ACCEPTED [_] NOT ACCEPTED

Oh my God in Heaven! I WON! My photo that I shot straight down from the rafters of Blue Cross Arena during the PBL Playoffs between Rochester and Manchester WON AT THE NEW YORK STATE FAIR!!

(you can't see it right now but I'm doing the Dance of Joy)

Now I won't really know what level I won - 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place or honorable mention - until I actually attend the Fair. So now I need to check my calendar and see what day I can actually get out to the Fair and do some celebratory basking!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chuck the Writer notes Megan Hauserman was DAMN LUCKY Ryan Jenkins didn't become HER millionaire

Okay. Before I start this post, although I've got my full-fledged snark on, my sincere thoughts and prayers go to the friends and family of Jasmine Fiore. What happened to her should never happen to any one, and the sadistic and brutal and misogynistic evisceration was undoubtedly the shameful work of a sadist.

Without having to defend my appreciation of trainwreck reality television (yeah, if there's a hottie being pursued by 20 guys, or a rock star getting pursued by 17 hotties, and it's on VH1, I'm watching it), I've been following closely the Ryan Alexander Jenkins criminal manhunt.

Unless you've been living under a rock, Ryan was one of the 20 eligible millionaires looking to woo the heart of Megan Hauserman, the anorexic ferret-faced lazy-eyed Playboy cybergirl Paris Hilton wannabe whose 15 minutes of fame is bordering on 14:45 and ticking.

Anyways, the premise of this show is - after Megan got turned down by Bret Michaels, came in third place on the reality competition show I Love Money, and got her hair weave torn out by Sharon Osbourne in Rock of Love Girls: Charm School, VH1 gave her her own dating show, where she got to pick from several different eligible bachelors - each with at least a net worth of over a million dollars.

Anyways, among the trust fund babies and older-than-dirt Hollywood producers was Ryan Jenkins. Now if you haven't seen Megan Wants a Millionaire (it only had three episodes aired before VH1 pulled the entire show off the network), you don't know how Ryan Jenkins operated and interacted with Megan Hauserman.

Luckily for you... I have the three episodes on my computer.

No, I'm not going to post them here. Nice try.

What I AM going to do, however, is give you at least a word-for-word transcript of the conversations Ryan Jenkins had with Megan, with the other men in the dating house, and his "confessional" interviews (which I suspect, with all the VH1 dating and competition shows, were taped months after the series ended filming, and were interspersed with the original action).

So grab some popcorn - and since this is involving one of those Rock of Love girls, have some Bactine handy -

EPISODE 1: MEGAN WANTS A MILLIONAIRE

Megan stands in front of the obligatory VH1 mansion, waiting to greet her eligible suitors. After sixteen suitors arrive, Ryan Jenkins, the last suitor, steps out of the limousine.
RYAN: Hello, Megan.
MEGAN: Look... we're matching already. (both Megan's minidress and Ryan's button-down shirt are purple)
RYAN: We are matching. Have you met any Canadians before?
MEGAN: Never.
RYAN: Well, it's about time, don't you think?
MEGAN: Absolutely.
RYAN: Can I let you in on a little secret?
MEGAN: Please do.
Ryan brings Megan close and whispers in her ear.
MEGAN (to camera): Ryan whispers in my ear... you're going to love Canadian bacon. (giggling)
RYAN: Save me a spot for dinner, okay?
Later in the episode, Megan gives each suitor gifts - everything from fuzzy handcuffs (for a guy nicknamed "Sex Toy Dave") to a glittering piggy bank for one of the trust fund babies. Ryan is one of the last to receive a gift.
RYAN: I'm a little bit of a Prince Charming, a little bit of a bad boy.
MEGAN (to camera): Yummy.
Megan gives him his gift.
MEGAN: It's a pimp cup!
RYAN (to camera): I typically date girls that turn a lot of heads. I love the chase.
Later, Megan meets with several of the suitors in a social mixer.
MEGAN: So you think that you could leave Canada?
RYAN: Well, I can do my job anywhere.
MEGAN: So why do you live there?
RYAN: I can't legally work here unless I'm married.
MEGAN: Oh... So you're using me for a green card.
RYAN: I tell you this. When we get married - I won't get you to sign a pre-nup.
RYAN (to camera): Megan was definitely into me, and I'm definitely into her. And I'm definitely not going home tonight.
Ryan survives the first round of eliminations.

EPISODE 2: MEGAN WANTS A MILLIONAIRE

Megan asks the suitors to create a gift for her for Valentine's Day. Ryan gives her a card.
RYAN: I decided to appeal to all your senses, and first I'd like to start with your mouth.
MEGAN: My mouth is not a sense, though.
RYAN: So this is your mind -
MEGAN: That's not a sense either, but we'll go with it. Because you're so cute.
Not much of Ryan in this episode. But he stays on for another week.

EPISODE 3: MEGAN WANTS A MILLIONAIRE

The challenge for the rich dudes involved them designing a promotional campaign for Megan's pet chihuahua, Lily. We start the episode with Ryan chatting with two other suitors on a sunny lawn outside the mansion.
RYAN: There's a few different kinds of girls in my book, I narrowed it down to three. You got your Princess, you got your Betty, you got your Playa. My book's all about the three main types of girls you're gonna like, and the approaches you use with them.
RYAN (to camera): I've always rolled on kind of an echelon, and I've never really rolled with any girls that could keep up with me.
RYAN: Like working on the first draft or whatever.
RYAN (to camera): I need to hold a clinic for these dudes, just to teach them a little bit of game.
RYAN: You know what I'm calling it - The Ins and Outs: A Playa's Guide to Success.
Ryan's team wins the Lily challenge. As team captain, Ryan gets a solo date with Megan.

As part of the date, Ryan spent money to "upgrade" his date with Megan, so instead of a picnic, he takes her to an exclusive French restaurant, couriered in an Aston Martin DB-9.
RYAN: Look at you, gorgeous.
MEGAN: Hi, Ryan.
RYAN (to camera): I hear the click of Megan's heels on the hardwood floor, and I see her legs slowly emerge, and then boom, she's gorgeous, I know I've got the keys in my pocket to an extremely exotic car, and I know she's gonna be happy.
They go to the restaurant. Ryan orders a bottle of champagne and they drink the bubbly beverage in long slender glass flutes.
MEGAN: What do you plan on doing this summer?
RYAN: You'd look good in a bikini with sand stuck to your butt. And I'll rub some coconut oil on your back.
MEGAN: That's what I was thinking.
Although we don't get to see any other episodes, there are some clips in the "coming up on the season of Megan Wants a Millionaire" that bear noting. Ryan tosses a drink at another contestant (Al), who rips his shirt off and looks like he's about to throw down. Al later confides in Megan (while Al's massaging Megan's back) that Ryan may have bragged about other girls that he has conquered.

So were there signs right there on the TV show that Ryan Jenkins might have been a whack job? Or did he completely baffle everyone on the show - the producers, the directors, the other men in the house, Megan - convincing all of them that he was just a normal millionaire?

And there's one thing that's still unanswered. And it may never get answered.

WHO WAS THE MILLIONAIRE THAT FINALLY WON MEGAN'S HEART??

Personally, I'm betting on either Big Mike or Sex Toy Dave. Sounds like both of those would be right up her alley.

Chuck the Writer would LOVE to try this on I-787

Can you imagine standing on a walkway across the Tricentennial Bridge... with your Guitar Hero game controller in hand... And just rocking out like these guys on Collegehumor.com did?



Of course if they really used I-787, most likely the only track fast enough to handle the cars would be something like "Colour My World."