Monday, May 28, 2007

There and Back Again. A Chicken’s Tale

We are home and thanking God for a wonderful time together and a safe trip back home. As you know if you’ve been following the “On The Road Again” series we the Evil Chicken 5 (EC-5) attended GEOWOODSTOCK 5. What a gathering. When we first arrived on the scene on Friday we were met with the sight of scores of campers & tents and cars with license plates from far and wide all converging at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. I don’t know what the official tally was yet but both the Friday Night Meet and Greet and Geo-Woodstock 5 will qualify for “Mega-Event” status. After registration you moved onto one of three maps; one of North Carolina, one of the United States and one of the World. Colorful pins gave a hint at the scope of this Event. There were people from Europe, Canada, California and, yes, New Jersey! At the event were different coin venders, REI & Ground Speak tents, dozens of boxes for travel bugs heading in all directions around the globe, silent auctions, cache runs with kayaks & 4x4’s, food, presentations & workshops and a whole boatload of likeminded people. The pig roast was legendary which is good since that’s how I like to eat.

Yesterday we chose to make the drive back to NJ; caching along the way. We racked up a total of 926.6 miles on the Explorer and a million miles of memories that we can always take with us wherever we go. The sponsors and volunteers of this event all deserve a standing ovation for this one. There was so much that went into the planning and execution of this event; procuring an area, food, health services (just in case), sponsorship and a host of other concerns are no easy feats when dealing with an event of this caliber. Seriously.

The announcement came from the stage on Saturday as to where Geo-Woodstock 6 will be held – Sacramento California. I do believe that I’m gonna have to start saving my pennies. I sense a road trip in our future…

Saturday, May 26, 2007

On The Road Again Part III

The kids and I are basking in the glow of beholding “Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End” last night here in Raleigh. A word of warning before I go any further; I will try to be fair and balanced with my review but please understand, I have a serious preoccupation with the source material. I’m a pirate fan and a “Pirates of the Caribbean” (POC from here on) and, let’s face it, I’m jaded; that being said, the third film in the trilogy delivers – big time. For my money, I’d have to say that it has been the finest movie at the multiplex thus far into the summer movie season and that’s saying something. “Spiderman 3”, which was flawed but still well worth the price of admission to date was POC’s only competition to date. All that may change when “Transformers” is released on July Fourth but for now, Pirates is king – as it should be. I was too old to fully appreciate the “Transformers” craze of the eighties but piracy? Piracy is timeless.

I will tread lightly with the spoilers but if you wish to remain unscathed by the following paragraph and discover the joys of POC yourself at your local multiplex then skip this paragraph. …Still here? Great. Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio (the screenwriters) have done a great job of tying up all of the loose ends. Really. All the plot points; just who does Elizabeth really love, Davy Jones lost love, Norrington, is Jack dead, the Kraken, Bootstrap Bill’s fate, will Will Turner get the chance to plunge the dagger into Davy Jones’ heart and the very fate of piracy on the high seas; all of ‘em, tied up nicely in a close to three hour long package. The time flew by in a swashbuckling blur and we were not disappointed. All of the actors did a wonderful job of bringing these characters to life once more and Gore Verbinski knows how to tell a story. Keith Richards delivers as Sparrow’s father. His scenes aren’t long but they are memorable. Even with all the resolutions in the plotlines there is the possibility of a part IV. Logistically speaking would Disney walk away from a film franchise that has netted them over 1.3 billion dollars? Nope – I don’t think so either. Go see it before you hear about what happens second hand (I hate when that happens).

We will be heading over to Geo-Woodstock 5 in the near future to soak up the festivities and atmosphere. We’ve already seen many friends and familiar faces. The event promises to be pretty amazing with the gathering of close to 2,000 cachers. There are different vendors, presentations, workshops and chances to meet a whole boatload of likeminded people. We’ll hang, maybe come back to the Hotel for some swimming and then head back for the pig roast. I hear it will be legendary. That’s a good thing since that is how I eat.

I’ll tell you all about it later. Until then, keep a weather eye on the horizon.

Friday, May 25, 2007

On The Road Again Part II

We are in the process of field-testing “Maggie” our new Magellan Roadmate, a windshield mounted GPS unit. Maggie has a great voice and is pretty good with directions; pretty awesome, in fact. The unit takes much of the guesswork and white knuckle – Road Warrior driving tactics out of whatever road trip you are making. I am very impressed. I’m told that it is my Father’s Day present. I don’t mind in the least. Our other GPS unit is a Garmin Legend. It’s seen over 760 geocaches or so; and it’s still going strong. Yeah, yeah – product loyalty and all that… You really need to hear Maggie’s sweet voice when she says, “make a right in two tenths.” Ah, it’s music to my ears.

We spent our first night camping at Pocahontas State Park in Virginia. What a beautiful spot. I highly recommend it. Mother Hen did an amazing job of finding this park; as usual. Not to brag but we’ve gotten pretty good at putting up and taking down our Coleman tent. We love this thing; it’s big enough to fit the whole crew (including the dog) with gear but the feature that I love most has got to be the door – it’s on a hinge and Velcros shut; too cool. We show this feature to other campers who walk away both in shock and awe. Any way we left after breaking camp and drove about four and a half hours to Raleigh North Carolina to our hotel room at the Holiday Inn (where I am typing this from BTW, Gentle Reader).

We are about to head out to the Raleigh Fair Grounds for a Geo-Coin extravaganza number one and, hopefully getting something to eat (I’m wasting away). After that we’re heading to Geo-Coin extravaganza number two. I do believe that there is a viewing of “Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End” in the cards for the evening too.

Oh yes… We shall see what we shall see. I’ll check in with you later, Gentle Reader; until then – adieu!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On The Road Again

The EC-5 is hitting the open road once more. We are going camping in Virginia and then pressing onward to Geo Woodstock 5 in Charlotte North Carolina.

What’s a Geo Woodstock 5? Oh Gentle Reader, I am never unimpressed with your curiosity. Geo Woodstock 5 is a Mega-Geocache Event. It is held each year at a different location. There will be over 2,000 geocachers from all over the world there. That’s a lot of people. It should be a hoot. I’m taking the laptop so maybe I’ll be able to update from the event? One never knows. There is going to be a big Geo Coin Gathering as well. Mother Hen was bitten by the coin bug and is very excited to be going. Yours truly and the Three Chicks are going to check out “Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End” at a local multiplex.

I can’t wait; neither can the girls.

We might be camping our way back to Jersey too. I hope that this is the case since I’m off from work and I’m not getting any younger. I am so thankful that I can share this time with my wife and kids. We want the Three Chicks to look back on these times with a smile and say to each other, “How about the time our crazy parents took us on all those crazy adventures!” No. It would be even better if they said to their own individual families, “Hop in the Jeep and let’s go see what’s around the corner!” They would be plotting their own travels and reporting the back to us, Grand Ma & Grand Pa. They would be charting their own courses and having their own grand adventures. That, Gentle Reader, would be cool; too cool.

These are the good old days my friends; make them count.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Drive-In

I grew up (partially) right outside of Wildwood, NJ. Waaaaay back in the seventies there was a double drive-in theater in Rio Grand; it was aptly named the Rio Drive-In. It was great. You could go with your parents or your friends parents, sit on the top of the station wagon and if the film you were watching wasn’t your bag for the evening then all you had to do was turn around and see the rated “R” horror fest playing on the other side. Hey – that’s how I saw “JAWS” for the first time. My mother had taken me to see “Peter Pan” but what I really wanted was all of the carnage that Bruce the rubber shark could dish out, so up to the roof I went. After seeing the film I couldn’t get into the bathtub without thinking of how “a shark’s eyes are like a doll’s eyes…” I knew for a fact that that soulless fish would find a way to swim up through our pipes and devour me whole. I still check for dorsal fins before adding the bubbles.

I remember moving to Vineland in the early eighties and being very pleased that they had a drive-in too. Heck there was even one over in Bridgeton – a town not all that far from my new home. I was there for them all – to take in the splendor of the love affair between the car and the cinema. I was also there when they started to die away. The Beta Max and VCR began to take their toll. People could watch B-movies right from the comfort of their own homes now; why on earth would you want to put yourself out and go to a drive-in? My beloved Rio Drive-In was the first to succumb – it became a series of strip malls. The Delsea Drive-In in Vineland had a slow death as a porn theater before passing away into that good night (if Pee Wee Herman only knew!) and the Bridgeton Drive-In became a Shop Rite.

That’s progress. Well, for the past few years it has been re-opened and now the Delsea Drive-In Theater lives again! Gentle Reader, if you get a chance go and support them. It is New Jersey’s ONLY Drive-In Theater. It would be nice to see it stay around. I don’t know if there is a way to get it onto the national list of historical places but that’s a petition I would sign.

Here’s their web site: The features change weekly so keep checking in. Bring a radio and some lawn chairs or just do it the old-fashioned way and watch from the comfort of your own car. They’ve got concessions and flushing toilets (wow!) but plan your bathroom breaks accordingly since the line can get deep just after the first movie.

So what are some great movies to see at the Drive-In? Just like the flavor of Soylent Green, it varies from person to person. I think it would be great to have “Mad Max”, “Close Encounters”, and “Night of the Living Dead “,” Twister, “Blade Runner” and, of course, “JAWS” in their repertoire but what do I know… What do you think would make a good triple feature at the Drive-In?

See you in the line for the bathroom!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

You know what? I’m a glutton for punishment. I just wanted it known. I usually write a short script each week for the puppet ministry at our church (hey – that’s ok, it’s for God’s glory; not mine) but… I’m also heavily involved with several other major writing projects including this blog, my own personal “Bradbury Challenge”, a novel that I stepped away from for a period of time AND now – Script Frenzy ( Yep, one of my writing partners and I are hooking up for this event. It should be a blast. It’s a good time to be a writer but not a good time to be a writer who has to tend to things such as family, career and assorted other obligations. Man oh man – thank God I keep a notebook at hand.

Look – I know that I’m not the next Kurt Vonnegut or Hunter S. Thompson; but I don’t have to be. All I have to be is right here baby, yours truly, Evil Chicken.

Man, I’m tired – but more on that later; I have tales to tell…


Saturday, May 05, 2007

And Now… Haiku

There’s a Haiku game going on over at the boards of Script Frenzy. What’s Script Frenzy? Well here’s their website… I mentioned it before on Chicken Scratch (check out the 4/14/07, blog entry).

Why Haiku? Hey – why not?

Twenty Thousand Words
There are Thirty Days in June
Time to Start Typing

That’s Quite a Deadline
I Know It Can Be Done
Coffee is Our Friend

Format? Worry Not
Not as Daunting as it Sounds
You’ll Write a Screenplay!

The Month is Looming
You May Not Have Done So Yet
But You Can Do It

So there you have it; encouragement in Haiku. Gentle reader, what do you say? Are you in or are you out? It’s a great concept and how many people do you know who write screenplays or plays in a month’s time? If you enjoy writing and having fun assembling plot lines and dialogue, then this is for you.

Yours truly, Evil Chicken, highly recommends it. Step out of your comfort zone, do some gymnastics with your word processor and become a screenwriter! You may walk out of the month of June a playwright and just how cool is that?

Very cool, gentle reader; very cool indeed.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I Am Iron Man

Geek alert…

E.W. has broken the first look at the Iron Man Mark III Armor from next May’s Iron Man staring Robert Downey Jr. The casting is perfect and this…,,20037509,00.html is spot on the money.

This one is an opening nighter – no doubt.