Thursday, August 30, 2007

Video Killed the Radio Star

Say Evil Chicken – what do you like on the radio?

Ah Gentle Reader, I can say with no stutter or doubt in my mind; NOT MUCH. I made mention of my dislike (disdain is more like it) for broadcast top 40 radio in general (see “DON’T TOUCH ME!” 6/30/07). I said that these days I am into talk radio; specifically New Jersey 101.5 (97.3 if you’re in the Swamps of South Jersey) here in the Garden State. While this holds true I’ve had the good fortune of discovering a few things on the radio that I have as presets. With I hint of OCD I like to keep the stations from lowest to highest – ascending order. So let’s press button # 1

Preset 1, I owe to two wonderful ladies; Bella Candy and Zelda Parker, they both highly recommended (and I highly agree) WXPN 88.5 FM as Wikipedia says is a “public radio station operated by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.” The call letters stand for “Experimental Pennsylvania Network” and they play adult album alternative music or, in other words, this is where the musicians have found a harbor and the melody still means something. Good stuff.

Preset 2, the mighty New Jersey 101.5 FM (which is 97.3 in my neck of the woods and therefore preset # 2). Dennis and Judy and now the new version of “The Jersey Guys” in the afternoons with Ray Rossi and Casey Bartholomew make the day move along. For those of you who are wondering whatever happened to Craig Carton, he has taken over for Don Imus in New York leaving New Jersey for greener pastures and Ray Rossi and the rest of the crew behind. “Casey” is his replacement and, so it goes, the same man that Carton replaced back in 2002; is filling in until the next Jersey Guy is found.

Preset 3, WPOV Calvary Chapel of Vineland, The Vine 99.9 FM, is contemporary Christian radio; great music and teaching. I dig it and find it refreshing. When it comes to walking the straight and narrow I need all the help I can get. Give it a shot; it’s worth checking out.

Preset 4, WMGK 102.9 is a classic rock format that is quite familiar to anyone who has grown up here in the Delaware Valley over the last 30 or so years. Many of the DJs did their rounds on the great stations of the seventies and eighties such as John DeBella, Debbi Calton and Andre Gardner. For me this has been and always will be the sound of Philadelphia.

Preset 5, WRFF Radio 104.5 FM is alternative rock – the stuff that you will not hear on top 40. Beastie Boys to the White Stripes and most things that you wouldn’t expect on the radio in between. It’s not as peaceful as WXPN but sometimes that’s just what you (or at least yours truly does) want; eclectic alternative music that you beat your steering wheel like a drum kit to. This station has made me feel younger than I am these days.

That’s it. No more presets on Evil Chicken’s radio.

Happy Listening!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Second Chances (and Why I'm Not a Sports Guy)

I’m not a sports guy. I think this is due to the fact that I was part of a generation of people with a hip disorder (Legg-Calve-Perthes) that, at the time, was treated with casting and immobilization; in other words, Gentle Reader, yours truly was in leg casts for three months and a leg brace for nine. I missed some school and when I did go back I could only get onto “the short bus”. Yes – THAT short bus. The other children would line up to watch their new quadruped (two splayed legs and a pair of crutches) classmate descend via a hydraulic lift and inquire, “Are you retarded?” No big deal, although to this day I wonder why they continued ask every single day I arrived as if expecting my answer to change. Every now and then I’d switch up.

“Are you retarded?”

“Yeah, I’m feeling a little retarded today. Tomorrow’s looking a little better though.”

Good times… good times.

Break out the violins? Nope, I view that time as something that truly shaped my life. You see even when I was able to get out of the braces I still required the crutches. After the crutches were gone I was not allowed to participate in gym class and I was never allowed to participate in organized sports. Not only did this give me the Rubenesque physique I have today but it taught me early insight into human nature of both those around me and my own. The experience taught me how to escape and to get lost in books and in movies. Hey, I couldn’t participate in organized sports but I could go toe to toe with anyone when it came to the concept of the construct of a story or a film.

Behold the birth of a Geek! Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

But enough about me. I tell you this tale because I think that Michael Vick should be allowed to return to the NFL. Yep, that’s right; he should return to playing football. Why? Well, I liked what he said in the apology (I’m gonna paraphrase since it’s a sports report and for reasons already mentioned – ergo it’s not my bag) about being sorry for the inhumanity and for letting down so many children who look up to a guy like him. He also said something about paying his debt and reiterated that he was sorry. R.L.White said, "As a society, we should aid in his rehabilitation and welcome a new Michael Vick back into the community without a permanent loss of his career in football We (NAACP’s Atlanta chapter) further ask the NFL, Falcons, and the sponsors not to permanently ban Mr. Vick from his ability to bring hours of enjoyment to fans all over this country."

I like the concept of second chances.

A friend of mine has desperately wanted to run with the bulls in Pampalona Spain for the last twenty years or so. One of these days he’ll get there. He wants to participate in an event that traces it’s roots back to the 13th century. It has become a major part of the culture of the region. Once the bulls are run from the pen to the stadium the majority of them are killed. Bullfighting is big in Spain. It certainly got a shot in the arm when Hemingway wrote, “The Sun Also Rises”.

In South/East Asia, Pakistan, the Philippians, India, Mexico, Venezuela & other parts of South America and the Caribbean cock fighting is accepted as commonplace entertainment; again going back thousands of years. The founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed the sport right here in the United States. Irish and the English brought over their favorite fighting breeds. It was illegal in 49 states until June 27, 2007, when the Louisiana legislature voted to ban cockfighting. The last domino fell. Now it is completely underground. Deemed a crime by our culture.

Speaking of the good ole’ U.S. of A, how about dog racing, horse racing, hunting, fishing and (let us cross another line and throw human’s into the mix) Boxing. These are all sports where a living thing is used, victimized or brutalized – no? Now of all of them I’d have to say that the one that involves HUMAN BEINGS is the scariest. Chickens (present company excluded), dogs, horses, deer and fish just don’t hold as much weight for yours truly. When a boxer dies in the ring it gets my attention in a way that a chicken does not. A human is dead. It resonates on my conscience more.

This is not to say that I endorse dog or cock fighting, I find them both too brutal a spectacle where everyday survival and living are brutal enough fights. I don’t hunt but have no problem with those who do. I enjoy venison. Would I run with the bulls? No. I’m a coward; besides someone has to hold the camera. I’ve never bet on a dog race but this is probably due to the fact that I have no idea where the nearest stadium is. I think the Three Chicks would love it (although I’m still perplexed at how tiny the jockeys must be). Fishing? Please – I’m from down the shore, I grew up fishing and crabbing. Horse racing? Before the Atlantic City Racetrack practically closed I LOVED having a cheep cigar in one hand and a racing form in the other.

Good times… good times.

Evil Chicken – just what are you getting at? Well what can we take from this gentle reader? You now know why I’m not a sports fan, that I believe after Michael Vick has done his sentence he should be allowed to play again in the NFL, that I enjoy Wikipedia way too much for my own good and you could say my favorite sports revolve around things that I can either bet on or eat.

Yeah, that’s about right.

BTW, I don’t count Geocaching as a sport – it’s more of a pastime; although we do eat well.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


56,271 Vineland NJ

31,473 Bangor ME

22 million, NY City

162,683, South Philly PA

5.8 million, Philadelphia PA

79,589, Monroe County FL., the Florida Keys

3,849,378, Los Angeles CA

709,893, Austin TX

1.2 million (post Katrina) New Orleans LA

4,034 year rounders, 100,000 seasonals, Cape May NJ

271,015, Atlantic City NJ (including Ventnor, Margate and Long Port)

185,951, Orlando FL

7,173, Ocean City Maryland

582,454, Seattle Washington (3.3 million metorpolitan)

My my my… Where to relocate after hitting the lottery? Goodness… the possiblities are endless.

Ready for some confessions? I hate people but I’m passionate about individuals. Yep, yours truly is at his heart of hearts someone who wants no neighbors and is, therefore, able to flip burgers in his underwear on the ole’ Webber grill. NOTE; the underwear is still a caveat since the three chicks are still in the nest. When they are in college naked BBQ is in my future.

Life is good. But I digress.

I compiled the above list because I felt like it. You see, I’m from the swamps of New Jersey and I live in a little hamlet of only about 7,436 souls and I find it interesting that the nearby metropolis of Vineland NJ has more of a populace then Steven King’s hometown of Bangor Maine and that Philly PA, where one of the three chicks had major spinal surgery is only the fifth largest city in the good ole’ U.S. of A. South Philly (EC’s favorite section) is outnumbered by Austin TX., almost 6 to 1! Yowsa.

Interesting demographics, no?

I post this only for your consideration, Gentle Reader. I hope you enjoy the data!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Time is the Fire

So Evil Chicken – whatever happened to that Bradbury Challenge of yours – you remember that don’t you? You were going to write 52 short stories in a year. What’s the deal?

Now there’s an interesting question. It has been said that “time is the fire in which we burn”. Brother, ain’t it the truth. There never is enough time. I’ve got 99 projects in my mind at any given moment – maybe that’s an exaggeration; 92 is more like it. I’m always moving from one thing to the next, rapid succession – you set ‘em up and I’ll knock ‘em down. I’ve got ideas but I’ve also got ADD and am prone to be captivated by bright and shinny objects.

The simple truth is that The Bradbury Challenge is not finished. I continue to love writing short stories but my first compilation is not done yet.

I’ll let you know when it is.

Most recently my time has been devoted to another project that I really can’t go into too much detail in right now. But that too has succumbed to the ravages of time. Gentle reader, I’ll fill you in when the time is right and now ain’t that time.

So… what’s next?

Good question Gentle Reader. I do believe that you’ll be seeing me a great deal more than you have grown accustom to. Also I have unfinished business to attend to. The Bradbury Challenge awaits (as well as a novel and the unnamed project).

What can I say – I’m a hack. But I’m a hack with a good memory. It’s put up or shut up time for ole’ Evil Chicken. I’ve got the ideas but I need to work on my follow through. It’s time to dance.

That being said I’m adapting one of my short stories “No Returns” into a screenplay. I think it would make a good short film. Once that’s done I’ll start peddling it.

Hey, no problem – it’s just another idea…

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Rumors of my Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.

Words quietly uttered; whispers on the wind.

Has Evil Chicken deserted the Nest? Is it possible that he’s found greener pastures or perhaps been taken into captivity? Is there no balm in Gilead?

Gentle Reader, I beg your forgiveness. I have been away tending to pressing matters that (one day) I will share with you. Until then know that Evil Chicken is alive, well and happy. There has been much Pandemonium recently but it is all good.

By way of travel, most recently the EC-5 attended a photo shoot in front of the Aletsch Glacier. It was like the one in Mexico City a few months back. Once again I’m the one in the third row about eight people deep from the lower right hand corner of the picture.

I don’t know if it will help global warming but I can say that it was a cold day in Aletsch!

Talk to you soon.