The Big E-Durham Road Trip, 2017 Edition

This is a great way to wrap up Competition Season 2017.

Two of my pictures, Stone Saltwater Surf and Seagulls and Step and Pivot, are at the Big E’s Photo Salon at the Eastern States Exhibition.  Those two pictures, along with What the Grasshopper Saw and The Cumulo-Nimbus Eclipse, are also appearing at the Durham Fair in Connecticut, just a couple of hours away.

Wanna go on a road trip?

Sure you do.

But I gotta warn you … you need to get up VERY EARLY in the morning.

We’re leaving at 6:00 a.m.

Continue reading “The Big E-Durham Road Trip, 2017 Edition”

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7 and 7 on Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sorry if I seem a bit rushed today.  I have a major project that I have to complete in less than a week, and something else just came up that requires my attention.  Yeah, this is what happens when I have to do fifteen things at once.  It’s not fun, but I manage.  I have to.

But one thing I must certainly take time for is the weekly recap of my favorite blogs, both from the old Times Union blog portal and from my personal blogroll.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Continue reading “7 and 7 on Saturday, September 16, 2017”

I have respect nouveau for Alex Trebek

You know him, you love him, you acknowledge his existence as the host of the long-running quiz show Jeopardy!.  If you’re a trivia geek, you might also know him as the host of such game shows as The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers, and others.

Yep, I’m talking about Alex Trebek.

And this morning, I want to share a very interesting clip with you, as shared by a friend of mine, fellow trivia player Dan Blake (he of the Dan 2017 trivia squad).  This clip aired in 1978 (you can tell because Alex has a big old’ Robert Reed perm going here), and it’s a collaboration of two quiz shows, Reach For The Top and Génies en herbe.  Both programs feature high school students throughout Canada as they compete in a battle of brains and trivia knowledge.  Génies en herbe ran from 1972 to 1987, while Reach For The Top aired between 1966 and 1989, with a revival a decade later.

Well, in this show, the champions of both programs compete against each other for what appears to be the coveted Beaver trophy.  And your host is none other than Alex Trebek.

But here’s the catch.  Génies en herbe features students from predominantly French-speaking educational institutions, while Reach For The Top has English-speaking champions.  Yeah, in case you haven’t heard, Canada has two official foreign languages.

Does that stop Alex Trebek?  Mais non.  Trebek, who normally hosted Reach For The Top from their studios in Toronto, did this entire episode IN BOTH LANGUAGES without hesitation or confusion or complication.

Take a look at this clip and see what I mean.

Wowie.

You get the feeling that Alex Trebek doesn’t need to look at the answer sheet when he’s quizzing the contestants on Jeopardy! these days?  😀

 

Another test of my IRIX lens

Of late, I’ve really enjoyed my new Irix 15mm f/2.4 super-ultrawide rectilinear camera lens.   I used it last month to capture my Stone, Saltwater, Surf and Seagulls picture, which is already aimed for Competition Season 2017.

Stone, Saltwater, Surf and Seagulls. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

But one picture does not a lens purchase make.  I need to see what else this lens can create.

And with that in mind, I decided another trip to the North Country was necessary.  I slapped the IRIX 15mm f/2.4 lens on my Nikon Df camera, and it’s off to Corinth I go.

Continue reading “Another test of my IRIX lens”

The Ugliest Fish and the Black Bubble

Yesterday I went to the retinal specialist, Dr. Templar (he’s a bit of a saint), for my second of what I hope will not be too many more vitreal eyeball injections.  Ugh.

So while I’m waiting in the doctor’s lobby, I notice that he has a fishtank with some very large fish in it.  Okay, looking at fish is a very peaceful way to pass the time.  Heck, how many people out there want to get a fishing pole and a carton of red worms and go out to the lake for some nibblers?

Yeah, it’s still too cold for nibblers…

And I’m staring at the fish in the aquarium, and all of a sudden I’m greeted by what has to be the ugliest fish I’ve ever seen in my life.  This fish is FUG-LY.  It looks like it bumped into the ugly coral and tried swimming through it to get away.

Don't call me ugly…

A post shared by Chuck Miller (@kchuckradio) on

Anyways, after having a staring contest with Mr. Ugly, Dr. Templar called me in for my eye injection.  First, his assistant dabbed my eye with some numbing agents, then they dropped in a few squirts of yellow antiseptic.  Then came the needle.

Yes, I know.  I cringe every time I think about it.

But a moment or two after the injection, I noticed something strange.  As my eye was readjusting to the medicines that were injected in me, I saw what appeared to be a dark black bubble in my field of vision.

“Doctor Templar,” I said, “something’s wrong here.”

“What do you see?”

“There’s a big black bubble.”

“Don’t worry.  It will go away.”

Five minutes later.

It was still there.  When I looked down, it actually centered into my field of vision.  As I looked from left to right, the black bubble bounced boldly into my brightness, bothering and bugging and bewildering me.

“It’s still there, Doctor Templar.”

“Now don’t you worry.  It will go away soon.  This can’t be the worst thing you’ve dealt with this week.”

Really?  Let me tell you about the day I had last Saturday …

As I left the doctor’s office, I stopped to take one more gander at the aquarium.  That big ugly fish swam over and gave me what must have been the equivalent of a fish stinkeye.  Okay, buddy.  Just wait until Friday, you and me are going to a little place called Ted’s…

I drove home.  The black bubble was still bouncing in my field of vision.  It wasn’t painful … it was just annoying and frustrating.

Again, just like last Saturday.

I went to do my domestic chores – clothes aren’t going to wash themselves – and yes, the black bubble was visible all night.  In the wash, in the dryer, when I folded my clothes.  Yes, I do know how to fold my clothes.  No, I don’t fold my clothes in “wad” patterns.  Try again.

After a quick view of WebMD – which, after I read the diagnoses, I discovered that I have some sort of rare, incurable and fatal disease (I think it’s called Big Ugly Fish Face Syndrome), I learned that the black bubble is just leftover medicines from the injection, and that they will dissipate from my eye within 24 hours.

Okay, black bubble … you’re on the clock.

I used my wristwatch as a measuring gauge – I was able to raise my wrist until the watch face was completely obscured by the black bubble.

By noon, the watch was as high as my chest.

By 3:00 p.m., the watch was as high as my stomach.

By 6:00 p.m, the watch was as high as my hips.  The dot was actually shrinking.

Whew.

Okay, I guess I can handle these eye injections.  I have to.  There’s no other way around it.

I guess that old saying is true.

Black bubbles in your eyes may go away … but ugly on a fish will always stay.

 

Well, that was an adventure…

So let me fill everybody in.

Last night, I received my Times Union archive of blog posts from the past eight and a half years of blogging for them.  I thought everything would be fine, I simply would upload my files and combine old blog posts with new.

Unfortunately, the second I did this…

My chuckthewriterblog.wordpress.com site went crash.  Locked me out for violations of terms of service.

WHAT???

Never mind.  It actually gave me the impetus to create a dedicated HTTPS:// compatible website.  So now I have chuckthewriterblog.com.

I’m sorry to put everybody through all this.  But please bear with me.

I have to rearrange the furniture again.

I have to hang up the pictures again.

But this time … I’m making damn sure that we’re operating at full capacity.

Count on it like three follows two.

Chuck the Writer and the new portal

So it’s time to enter a new chapter of my life.

First of all … welcome.  Nice to meet you.  Pull up a chair.

Who am I?

My name is Chuck Miller, I’m a writer and photographer and blogger from Albany, New York.  My blogs have been a mixture of my life’s overview, my time in the world, and how a guy like me survived all the horrors of life and came out only slightly singed.

This will be my new portal going forward – for the past eight years or so, I’ve blogged consistently for the Albany Times Union, my local paper of record.  Before that, I had a blogspot.com portal, for which I wrote semi-frequently.   I also wrote several columns and articles for various publications, so being a “writer” is almost an extension of my personal soul.

It will take some time to get my bearings here on this wordpress.com plug… but if you bear with me, I think it will all work out in the positives.

So why am I venturing into a new portal and a new avenue?

Many reasons.  But the biggest reason of all is that, for all purposes and extents, it’s time to move on.  The Times Union blog was fun and entertaining and it opened me up to a new audience.  Now it’s time to take that audience on new adventures and new projects.

Now I’m sure someone’s going to say to me, “Chuck, now that you’ve moved onto your own portal, aren’t you worried that the only people who might read these posts are yourself and your three imaginary friends?”

To which I say … nah.  I write for myself.  This is my blog, my personal space, my observations and ruminations.  I’m good with this, believe me.  And no, this is not an April Fool’s Day joke… this will be my new portal and I will write whatever I want, whenever I want, as often or as infrequent as I choose.

So if you all have my Times Union blog on your portal… that’s fine.  But you may want to add this URL to your blogline.

And I know this space is a bit bare boned …

But bear with me.  I just moved in.  The furniture hasn’t all arrived yet.