Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Blog Party - November 26


Good evening! I'm kind of surprised that it's not a clips show tonight, Thanksgiving Eve. To be honest, I'm not sure how many folks will be showing up as so many are traveling. I'm here. Well, kind of here. I'm still off from work with my head injury, still feeling like scrambled brains. I'll do my best to update with the major events as the show goes along. Refresh the page to get the latest! And, as always, albeit might be a bit quieter tonight -- the party is in the comments area. Come join in!

Here are the latest blog pool standings from Lovely Lifeguard Laurie --

Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo
QUIT -- Julie = Donna NY, meb

Jury:
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW

Survivor fans ready?

I can't believe I'm saying this. But I'm actually liking Natalie. She wants to get rid of John. She feels herself blindsided by Jaclyn/John blindsiding Jeremy. Meanwhile, Jon tells her he has an idol and says they're still with her.

Reward challenge - in water, to platform, key, puzzle. Two teams. Reward is delivering baseball gear to needy kids, enjoying baseball food. It's a schoolyard pick. Keith wasn't picked.

Jon, Jaclyn, Reed and Alec won Reward. Reed gives his spot up to Missy because he thinks she needs it. Wes goes to Exile Island.

While the others are away, Reed works on ousting Jon.

Natalie took Baylor looking for an idol. Natalie has it! She thinks they need to target Reed first, then Jon.

Immunity challenge. Balancing your feet on narrow perch holding a handle.

Jeff tries to tempt them with a dish of candy. Jon goes for it. Missy is out next, no treats for her. Jeff brings out cookies and milk -- Baylor and Jaclyn are down. Wes goes for chicken wings and two beers. Keith is out, feet are purple and in pain. Alec out.

It's Reed and Natalie remaining. After 3 hours, Natalie asks Jeff for food and gets it. Reed wins immunity.

Lots of confusion and whispering at Tribal. Jon plays his idol!!! Votes cast for him don't count. Keith plays his idol! No votes for him count.

The tally: Jon, Jon, Jon, Keith, Keith, Jon, Keith. Wes, Wes.

Wes is out. Natalie and Reed voted Wes, I think.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - November 23, 2014

Sometimes you feel like a nut

I realize it's Sunday, the day I usually post a gazillion off television topic photos of the week gone by. But this week, I didn't really take many photos. I pretty much only went out of the apartment to go to a neurologist appointment (bitter cold, nothing interesting to photograph), go have an MRI done (dark outside, not cameras allowed in MRI room itself) and hit up the local bodega around the corner a few times.

The neurologist ruled my injury indeed a concussion and ordered the MRI to rule out anything more serious. The MRI experience was ghastly, but I didn't move and they didn't have to redo any of it. The only cool, yet weirdly creepy, thing about the MRI is that they gave me a CD of it for my own records. There's a built-in viewer and everything. At least I know I still do have a brain even though it's not working quite right at the moment. 

Sometimes you're always a nut

A tough nut to crack?

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Amazing Race 25: November 21 Blog Party


Good evening! After a week off for an awards show, TAR is back on tonight! The only problem is that I might not be. I need to have my head examined. Oh, yes. I know what you're thinking -- it's long overdue! But, more seriously, I have an appointment for an MRI of my brain to rule out anything more serious than a concussion. I might not be back in time for the start of the show. So, I'm setting this to post automatically. Hopefully, that won't be needed and I'll chime in on my return.

The blog pool's standings from the Marvelous Margo -- The last episode was a non-Philimination leg with Tim and Te Jay arriving last:

Adam & Bethany - chrob61, Kathy in Brooklyn, Kelsey NY, Zoetawny
Brooke & Robbie - Caela, Sharon, Sharon N, Willie J
Kym & Alli - Brenda, meb, Nicklepeed, Rochelle, Terry in TX
Maya & Amy - Ed in OH, Karen in CA, Lynn1, Margo
Misti & Jim - Cheryl in NC, Laurie, ML, OrkMommy
Tim & Te Jay - Babs, Brent McKee, Dusty, Monty924,

Sorry you have been PHILIMINATED
Lisa & Michelle - Becky, Delee, dla, Donna in AL
Dennis & Isabelle - Auntie Leigh, Brian, David, Donna NY, sanra
Michael & Scott - Donna in FL, Glenn, Jackie, Marlo
Keith & Whitney - Jean, Jennasmom, Nana in NW, PDXGranny
Shelly & Nici - Buzzmaam, Merrilee, Rbennie, SueGee

Please make yourself comfy in the comments area and party hearty! If you can throw in an update or two, that would be appreciated!

Okay, I'm here. They're off to Malta. After a balancing glasses/booze act, they will rappel off a cliff in Malta.

Detour - Flag or Shine - no explanation for them. Grab flag at the end of a greasy pole (each get one) over water.

Tim and Te Jay's speed bump is to paint a Maltese cross on a shield.

Shine has them shining each other in armor.

While the others struggle, Adam and Bethany use their Express Pass to skip the detour and head to the Pit Stop.

Pit Stop -
1. Adam and Bethany! Each won $10,000
2. Misti and Jim
3. Kym and Alli
4. Amy and Maya
5. Brooke and Robbie
6. Tim and Te Jay -- Philiminated

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Blog Party - November 19


Hey, welcome to the blog party! Due to some health issues (concussion), I don't think I'm going to be able to update this entry while watching the show. It's going to be hard enough for me to concentrate on the show! So, I ask folks to put updates in the party comments below. I will include whoever gets their torch snuffed at the end.

Supposedly, tonight will have the biggest blindside of the season. We'll be the judge of that.

The latest blog pool standings from Lifeguard Laurie:

Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo
QUIT -- Julie = Donna NY, meb
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie

On with the show ...

Baylor wins immunity.

No idols played.

Keith, Reed, Keith, Reed, Reed, Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy.

With an idol in his pocket ...Keith remains.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - November 16, 2014

Good morning! It's Sunday, time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. My next post will be about television -- stay tuned!

Gah, What a week. I had banged my head at work last Saturday. Throughout the day Sunday and into Monday morning, I was having nausea and bad headaches, ringing in my ears and more. So I went off to the doctor's office approved by our workers compensation insurance carrier. That office was in the middle of nowhere. I was diagnosed with a concussion there and had a follow-up reevaluation on Thursday. I was still having issues, so now I've been trying to get an appointment (as referred by the doctor) with a neurologist on the WC carrier insurance list. So far, I've striked out. I can't go back to work without clearance from one and I'm still having problems.

Enough about that.

The Plainfield Library Photo Competition was yesterday. I won first place and felt honored to receive that with all the talent out there. This year was their largest amount of entries, lots of new photographers and some very amazing shots. I'm going to have to step up my game!

Onto this week's photos. Due to the doctor's visit, I took many shots in Somerville where the train stops (and then took a taxi to Hillsborough where the doctor's office is). I also took shots around Library Park in Plainfield yesterday and, when my friend Barbara gave me a ride home, we took a scenic leaf and house-ogling ride through the mansions and expensive homes on winding roads in Plainfield. 

 photo IMG_7184a_zpse8137d10.jpg
Autumn Library Park Lamp

The trees are in that odd stage of many barren, some still brilliant reds and yellows and even a few greens. Thankfully a colorful tree was near this lamp! Library Park, Plainfield.

 photo IMG_7087a_zps00c55e9c.jpg
Stylin' in da 'hood

Okaaay ... skinny jeans and leather while bearing a red-tipped squared-off flat-top 'fro. Yep, that's my Plainfield neighborhood!

 photo IMG_7216a_zpsc57d4de5.jpg
Ex-Governor McGreevey's mansion

Jim McGreevey, the Governor of NJ prior to the Chris Christie regime, the one of "I am a gay American" fame and controversial resignation bought and lives in this ivy-covered mansion in Plainfield. While this mansion isn't all that far from my apartment building, it's definitely not in my 'hood.

This week's flowers and foliage slideshow features one of my favorites -- ornamental kale! I found flowers and kale growing in planters when I was in Somerville this week. The foliage shots are from Plainfield, Somerville and Hillsborough.



**CLICK THE 'READ MORE' LINK TO SEE THE REST OF THE PHOTOS**

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Blog Party - November 12


Hey, welcome to the blog party! Due to some health issues (concussion), I don't think I'm going to be able to update this entry while watching the show. It's going to be hard enough for me to concentrate on the show! So, I ask folks to put updates in the party comments below.

The latest blog pool standings from Lifeguard Laurie:

Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo
QUIT -- Julie = Donna NY, meb

On with the show and my apologies for not being able to keep up with updating this entry ...

Brief update -- Jeremy won Immunity.

Josh was voted out with one more vote than Baylor. He's the first member of the jury.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - November 9, 2014

Good morning! It's Sunday. Yes, it is. That means it's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way. My last post and my next one will be all about TV! I swear!

There's really nothing remarkable to report this week. It was warmer, then it got colder. It was sunny, then rainy and windy. Today is fairly seasonable. After all, it is getting that time of the year. Right now I'm sporting a bump and bruise on my left temple, making me look like I've been beaten. No, I haven't been beaten. I'm just a dummy and hit my head on a very solid object as I bent down. Foolish me. Clumsy me. Gah.

Other than that, it's been another week in the life ...

Onto the photos I've taken this week. If you click on an image, a Photobucket page will appear and you can make the image larger there, then just close out the page to return to the blog.

 photo IMG_6971a_zps7e6e45de.jpg
The Beaver Moon

The full moon earlier this week was the Beaver Moon. Back in the day, it was named such to signal colonists and American Indians to set their beaver traps before the swamps froze. That way, they'd have furs to keep warm for the winter. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a totally clear (and definitive) shot of the moon, thus this obscured a bit by a building one.

On Friday, a tractor trailer truck rammed and got stuck under the bridge at the Plainfield Train Station, Park Avenue. Thankfully, they let my train pass over the bridge coming into the station. They were off-loading the cargo and the tires were all hissing as they deflated them when I went by. I think it will need to lower more than that! The trailer was two feet higher than the clearly marked bridge. There were industrial tow trucks at either side. I guess they have to unhitch the trailer and tow the tractor and trailer out separately from either side. Here's a slideshow of the stuck truck ... clicking on the diagonal arrow on the bottom right will make it full screen --



 photo IMG_6864a_zpsa2217aab.jpg
Colorful sunrise

My timing on my early days now with the change back to standard time coincides with the sunrise. I took this shot looking at the end of the platform at the Plainfield Train Station.

 photo IMG_6932a_zps9e43157e.jpg
Speaking of the train ...

This is my NJ Transit train approaching the Bridgewater Train Station one afternoon this week as I headed home. The double-decker trains always look short in photos, but they're actually pretty long. Oh, not like being stuck at a crossing waiting for a long freight train to pass. Not long like that at all!

My flowers and foliage slideshow this week is colorful. While we're past peak in autumn foliage, we still have some brilliant colors and even some green leaves left. Soon we'll be ankle-deep in leaves on the sidewalks as freezes hit more steadily. I took most of these shots in and around my neighborhood and the Plainfield Train Station --



**CLICK THE 'READ MORE' LINK TO SEE THE REST OF THE PHOTOS**

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Amazing Race 25 - November 7 Blog Party


Good evening, folks! Ready to race? Er, let me rephrase that ... ready to party? Ah, much better.

As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. Refresh the page to get the latest! As always, the real party is in the comments area. I hope to see you there!

Here's the latest update on the blog pool from the Magnificent Margo --

Adam & Bethany - chrob61, Kathy in Brooklyn, Kelsey NY, Zoetawny
Brooke & Robbie - Caela, Sharon, Sharon N, Willie J
Kym & Alli - Brenda, meb, Nicklepeed, Rochelle, Terry in TX
Maya & Amy - Ed in OH, Karen in CA, Lynn1, Margo
Misti & Jim - Cheryl in NC, Laurie, ML, OrkMommy
Tim & Te Jay - Babs, Brent McKee, Dusty, Monty924,

Sorry you have been PHILIMINATED
Lisa & Michelle - Becky, Delee, dla, Donna in AL
Dennis & Isabelle - Auntie Leigh, Brian, David, Donna NY, sanra
Michael & Scott - Donna in FL, Glenn, Jackie, Marlo
Keith & Whitney - Jean, Jennasmom, Nana in NW, PDXGranny
Shelly & Nici - Buzzmaam, Merrilee, Rbennie, SueGee

Are we ready? GO!

Starting out in Morocco, they're flying to Sicily. The dentists have found a flight which will get them in at 8pm. The cyclists book the same flight. Kym and Alli decide the dentists are TeamNoFun.

They dance the night away and leave at set intervals. The cyclists were working with the dentists. Only due to need, of course. It's not like they like them or anything.

Roadblock - They have to race cool go-carts! Brooke and Robbie can't find a taxi to get there. After they complete the Roadblock, they're off in coo classic cars to meet up with their partners.

Detour - Painters - restore a fresco. Posers - listen to ten opera singers, writing the characters and operas on a board. Only four teams can do the painting, the more popular task. The scientists have to head over to the opera task. Robbie and Brooke already decided to go for that one.

Sigh. The dentists are on their way to the Pit Stop. The cyclists are just behind them.

The 300th leg Pit Stop -
1. Jim and Misti ... won another trip.
2. Kym and Alli

Brooke/Robbie and Maya/Amy worked together on the opera task (which is actually easier than the painting) and finished. The opera task was actually remembering the costumes in order.

3. Maya and Amy
4. Broooke and Robbie
5. Adam and Bethany
5. Te Jay and Tim ... non-Philimination leg ... they're still in the race!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Blog Party - November 5


Well, the merge is supposed to be on this week. That will certainly change the dynamics a bit. Will we see those with loved ones try to ally with the like? Or the singles? At the very least, we won't be seeing Coyopa continue to decimate weekly. Or, is that weakly? Of course, there might be some tribal loyalties going on there and the old Hunahpu members could still trounce the ex-Coyopa. It's all so complicated! That's why I sit at home at watch.

As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. Refresh the page to get the latest news! As always, the real party is in the comments area -- come join in on the fun!

Before it's on with the show, here's the latest blog pool standings from Lifeguard Laurie --

Coyopa
Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra

Hunahpu
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Julie = Donna NY, meb
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo

Survivor fans ready?

Keith is predictably disturbed about getting votes in the last tribal. Missy and Baylor owned up to it. Now he knows how much he can(not) trust them.

Tree mail has Hunahpu packing up for the merge. Coyopa got a similar email. Hmm. Where are they going to set up shop?

We have the usual feast going on.

Ah, they're going to the former Coyopa home.

Jeremy wants to get together with some singles, plus John/Jaclyn and Missy/Baylor. Huyopa is the new tribe name. And now it's Wes's birthday.

Josh wants to get the couples together. Surprise, surprise.

Aha! They found out that Julie was hoarding a supply of trail mix from their feast. Oh noes for her!

Immunity Challenge time. Josh is worried that his name will be on the chopping block. They have to balance a ball on disks supported by ropes and it gets tougher as time goes by.

Whoa! Jeremy is out first! Missy out, then Julie.

Second round starts. Reed out, Baylor, Alec out, Jaclyn out. Natalie out.

Josh, Wes, Keith and Jon left in.

The next round has two balls balancing on the disk. Josh out. Jon out. Keith and Wes, father and son, are the last two vying for victory. Keith wins the first individual immunity!

Jon told Jeremy that Josh is the target. While Josh wants Jeremy out, he also ponders breaking up Jaclyn/Jon. Lots of scheming going on. Now Jon wants Jeremy out and the couples stick together. Oy!

Uh-oh. Will Julie quit? She met Jeff away from camp. She is bereft without John. Poor baby.

She quits the game.

Jeff meets up with the others and tells them.

No tribal council tonight with Julie quitting! Jeremy stays another day.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - November 2, 2014

Welcome to my weekly off television topic post! Each week I take a journey through the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. My next post will indeed be about television -- stay tuned!

Random musings about the week:
  • I could do this get an extra hour of sleep thing every day.
  • We had nice temperatures and some nice days, then some really icky cold rain. Now it's just cold. I guess it's really late autumn. Sigh.
  • At least it didn't rain for the kids on Halloween. Not that I had any trick or treaters knocking on my door. I never do here.
  • My superintendent told me the person upstairs is a younger guy. I think the "younger" bit is relative. He can't be too young or he couldn't afford to live alone there. I'm think probably 30ish-young. But I did kind of call it right. I still haven't seen him. He's still not annoying. Yay!
  • I'm tired. Can I retire yet? I'm really getting tired of being exhausted day in and day out. There has to be a better way!
  • While I had way too many "out of stock" items on my Peapod grocery delivery order this week -- they're still adjusting to the new huge distribution center in Jersey City -- they more than made good on it. They told me they'd remove the delivery charge and put the sale items missed in my cart at the sale price for my next order. Well, since I ordered on Super Saver Wednesday, instead of $6.95 delivery, it was $5 off, then another $1 off as I chose the wide delivery window which they narrow down to two hours the day before. So, technically, my delivery cost a 95 cent delivery charge. (I also get $1 off for paying by electronic check, so ...!) I received an email from them. They took $10 off the order.
  • I also received an email from the Plainfield Library in regard to the photo contest. I won something, but don't know what. The awards presentation and exhibition is slated for November 15th.
Onto the photos for this week -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new Photobucket window. You can make it even larger there and just close out that window to return to the blog.

 photo IMG_6798a_zps42ae3613.jpg
A touch of color

I took this shot of ivy on a building adjacent to the Plainfield Train Station.

 photo IMG_6824a_zps291feb0d.jpg
Oh my

What the heck broke into that locomotive engine car? This is one of the new fancy/schmancy locomotives which runs diesel and can convert to electric for a one seat ride on the Raritan Valley Line into NYC. Since our line is diesel, we've always had to switch trains in Newark as diesel locomotives can't run in the tunnels. Now, with these new locomotives, some of the trains run directly into the city, but not every train. There are also tunnel crowding logistics running amok in the planning. I'm thinking this locomotive might have struck a tree branch. I'm innocent. Plainfield Train Station.

This week's Flowers and Foliage slideshow has photos taken in Plainfield, Westfield and Bridgewater. Clicking on the diagonal arrow on the bottom right will make it full screen for you!



 photo IMG_6812a_zps6f7568a1.jpg
Yes, I see you, Squirrel.

Is it Rocket J. Squirrel? East Front Street, Plainfield.

**CLICK THE 'READ MORE' LINK TO SEE THE REST OF THE PHOTOS**