Sunday, March 01, 2015

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - March 1, 2015

Good morning! It's Sunday. You know what 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.

Once again this week, the photos are a bit lacking. It's been way too cold to play with the various features of the new camera. They've determined it to be the third coldest February on record here. Only 1934 and 1895 were colder. But, of course, they didn't measure windchill temperatures back then. It probably hasn't been much colder than where I spent a good part of my youth in Saratoga County, New York. But I was a kid then. Cold doesn't matter as much to a child! Nor does a child have a fancy-schmancy new camera to explore!

We're due more snice (snow/ice) later today and during the overnight hours. We haven't had the snowfall amounts of Massachusetts. But, for some reason, every time it snows, we come out of the deep freeze momentarily and get ice, then return to the deep freeze. 

Unfortunately, because the new camera is too big to fit in my pocket and I didn't take it with me for a brief walk to PetSmart (someone demanded I not come home without cat treats) one evening at my workplace, I missed what probably was a shot of my lifetime.

I kept hearing ooo-oooo noises and footsteps behind me. I thought a child was imitating an owl. I slowed to a stop and the maker of the footsteps walked by. It was an older woman! I heard ooo-oooo again. I looked up. There was a HUGE OWL atop the nearby parking lot lamp! It wasn't a snowy white owl -- it was brown or grey, hard to tell in the dark. But it was HUGE! I told him to stay there and ran back to work for my camera. When I returned, he was gone. ARGH! I haven't seen an owl in person since childhood and never one that big.

Other than that, I don't have much to report from this end. I'm still not 100% health-wise and realize I probably will never be. I still really, really, really want to retire and do something I enjoy. Yet I don't dare as I can't cut my income. Gah. Childhood was a lot easier.

Onto the photos for the week --

 A very cold Big Top

You would think that, after last year's horrible winter, the Big Apple Circus might think of scheduling its annual appearance in Bridgewater, New Jersey, a few weeks later. Nope. There they are! I would imagine there's some kind of heat in the tents. But going there in this frigid weather to watch a dog and pony show would be amongst the last things on my list of fun stuff to do.

Like ships passing in the night

It's trains passing in the day! I took this shot just east of the Plainfield Train Station. While the locomotives are both facing the same way, the locomotive on the right is pushing the train while the one with the headlights is pulling the train.

The one coming my way (headlights) is a newer dual duty locomotive -- both diesel for my train line and has an extendable doohickey to attach to overhead wires, thus being powered by electricity to go into NYC. Diesel trains aren't allowed in the tunnels. (We're all gonna DIE!) Most of the trains on my line stop at Newark Penn Station and passengers have to transfer to get into Manhattan. Now they're up to several trains daily directly in and out of the city or, as they say, one seat rides.

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

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Amazing Race 26 Blog Party - February 27


Yes, we're here on Friday nights once again. I hated the Sundays due to delays. However, I really think they must have had a fall-off in ratings moving it to the Friday 8pm ET/PT slot. I know that many of the readers here kept forgetting it was on or had Friday evening plans.

In the premiere the other night, we saw three of the "blind date" couples arrive at the mat in the top three. Will that repeat tonight?

Here's the updated blog pool presented by the Magnificent Margo:

Mike and Rochelle - Cheryl in NC, Laurie
Aly and Steve - Jackie, SueGee
Lebya ang CJ - Donna in FL, PDXGranny
Harley and Jonathan - Becky, Willie J
Matt and Ashley - Delee, Merrilee
Bergen and Kurt - Nana in NW, Rbennie
Blair and Hayley - Terry in TX, Margo, Chris
Jeffrey and Jackie - Brian, Donna in AL, ORKMommy
Jelani and Jenny - Marlo, Lynn 1, dla
Tyler and Laura - Ed in OH, David, Nickelpeed

PHILIMINATED:
Jeff and Lyda - Jennasmom, Paula Bell, meb

Attention CHRIS -- I saw your name was on the list to sign up and was somehow missed. You now are on the Blair/Hayley team! My apologies!

As the show airs here on the East Coast, this entry will be updated 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!

Heh. They all have to sleep in tiny places that Tokyo is known for. 

They're staying in Japan for now, but don't ask me to spell the name of the next town. They have to get there by bullet train.

Roadblock - Open a trick box by using a series of complicated moves, follow clue inside. There's a spa trip for one couple to be used the pit stop. A loud band is there for annoyance while the puzzle box is being worked on.

CJ and Lebya, already trailing, missed their train while talking about the train. 

Tyler and Laura are the first through the Roadblock. Jelani and Jenny follow them.

Detour -- Hitting the Ice (Chair) or Noodling with a favorite dish (share). Share has them feeding each other a bowl of noodles. A fan is blowing to make the noodles fly in the wind.

Tyler and Laura are the first heading to the Pit Stop. They did not hold their taxi. Jelani and Jenny finish and their cab is waiting. They take the lead. 

Chair has them pushing their partners around in a chair while on skates. Most chose Share. The Olympians chose the Chair.

Pit Stop:
1. Jelani and Jenny - won a FitBit kit, a year of gym, a year of groceries and more. 
2. Laura and Tyler 

Jonathan and Harley got the Date Spa Night slip. 

3. Aly and Steve 
4. Jonathan and Harley
5. Bergen and Kurt
6. Jackie and Jeffrey
7. Matt and Ashley 
8. Mike and Rochelle 
9. Blair and Hayley 
10. CJ and Lebya -- Philiminated

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Amazing Race 26 Season Premiere Blog Party and Pool!


Whoa! What a night of television! First we had the season premiere of Survivor: Worlds Apart, now the big twist on the premiere of this season's The Amazing Race! For those of you who might be unaware (I don't know how, but ...!), the theme for this season is "dating couples." That's not a big twist until you note that five of the eleven couples are on a blind date around the world. TAR hasn't really been a show full of "twists" like Survivor or Big Brother, but this season we have one.

After tonight's season premiere, The Amazing Race will be shown in its new (as of last season) time slot -- Friday nights at 8pm ET/PT. That will start THIS Friday, February 27th! I will have a blog party post set up for the show ... please remember it's on!

As tonight's show airs here on the East Coast, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. Refresh the page to get the latest update! 

The Magnificent Margo (and Mom) have made the random matches for the blog pool and here they are:

Mike & Rochelle - Cheryl in NC, Laurie
Aly & Steve - Jackie, SueGee
Lebya & CJ - Donna in FL, PDXGranny
Harley & Jonathan - Becky, Willie J
Jeff & Lyda - Jennasmom, Paula Bell, meb
Matt & Ashley - Delee, Merrilee
Bergen & Kurt - Nana in NW, Rbennie
Blair & Hayley - Terry in TX, Margo
Jeffrey & Jackie - Brian, Donna in AL, ORKMommy
Jelani & Jenny - Marlo, Lynn 1, dla
Tyler & Laura - Ed in OH, David, Nickelpeed

Without further ado, it's onto the show ...

The five single men are standing apart. Phil will bring on the gals. And, there they are. They have to race through a mud run course to get the first flight (eight tickets) to Tokyo. An Express Pass will go to the winner of the leg and there's a U-Turn on this first leg.

Haley/Blair, Mike/Rochelle and Lebya/CJ are one the second flight. I think. I'll fix that if I'm wrong. The first flight will land 45 minutes earlier than the second.

Each team has been given a "selfie camera." @@ 

Detour - Synching Steps (choreographed dancing) or Samurai Sake (memorizing traditional sakes and taking orders).  

Jeff and Jackie get through the Detour first. They don't U-Turn anyone. They're now heading to the Pit Stop, but that's a challenge in and of itself. It's a parking garage. Jelani/Jenny and then Tyler/Laura come through, didn't U-Turn. NSYNC is lost.

Jelani and Jenny win the first leg and the Express Pass!
2. Jeff and Jackie 
3. Laura and Tyler
(Note all three are blind dates.) 
4. Aly and Steve
5. Harley and Jonathan
6. Bergen and Kurt 

Mike/Rochelle U-Turn the only team behind them they know of -- Jeff and Lyda. The other two teams come through, don't use the U-Turn and are shocked that Mike/Rochelle did that to Jeff/Lyda. 

7. Mike and Rochelle 

Jeff/Lyda U-Turn Jeff/Jackie not knowing they're already through.

8. Hayley and Blair
9. Matt and Ashley 

Lebya and CJ are totally lost. But they're there!

10. Lebya and CJ
11. Jeff and Lyda -- Philiminated.

Survivor: Worlds Apart - Season Premiere Blog Party and Pool!


Survivor fans ready? Tonight's 90-minute season premiere will be followed up by a 90-minute season premiere for The Amazing Race 26. The TAR blog party post will show up a few minutes before that premiere. So, if you're watching both shows, refresh the blog main page at show time to join in on that party!

Here we go again. This time the gimmick, er ... twist, is that the castaways are separated by the kind of jobs they have in real life. Like every other twist separating castaways, all will be null and void once it comes to the merge. But, let's see how they do.

As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll be posting the major happenings in live time here on this entry. Refresh the page to get the latest news!

The Lovely Lifeguard Laurie is once again running the blog pool (thank you!)  Any castaway(s) booted tonight will result in the blog pool people who had them being reassigned to another castaway. Here are our random match-ups for the season:

Blue Collar
Dan - Brian, CherylinNC 
Kelly - Petals, Ed in Ohio 
Lindsey - Donna in FL, David 
Mike - meb, Nickelpeed
Rodney - Margo 
Sierra - Jennasmom

No Collar
Hali - Zoetawny, monty924 
Jenn - Merrilee, Becky 
Joe - SueGee, Chris 
Nina - Lynn1 
Vince - Delee 
Will - Rbennie

White Collar
Carolyn - Jackie TerryinTX 
Joaquin - Laurie, Rochelle 
Max - PDX Granny, Marlo 
Shirin - NanaintheNW 
So - ORKMommy 
Tyler - Donna in Alabama

Okay, it's on with the show we will go!

Jeff is introducing the tribes. All newbies, no veterans of the show and many are big fans. Yellow is WC, Blue is BC and Red is NC. Jeff wants them each to pick a leader. WC chooses Joaquin. BC picks Dan. NC picks Will. Each of them have to pick a second member. So for WC, BC has Mike, NC has Jenn. Once they get to their camps, the two "in charge" must make a big decision for their tribe. Hmm.

Deceive -- they can a small bag of beans to camp and get an idol clue
Honesty -- they can bring big bag of beans back, no clue.

Jenn/Will take the big beans, Mike/Dan the same -- their tribe is already talking about how they actually took the small bag. Joaquin wants the advantage and ally with So. They go for the small bag. So feels like she's making a deal with the devil. She just might be. Their tribe also thinks they're lying.

BC has a fire built in less than two hours.

Must Dan wear a speedo while he calls himself a fat man? He's alienated most of his tribe due to his mouth or bossiness.

Joe earns brownie points with his tribe because he has now made fire without a flint.

Oh my gosh ... Carolyn, my pool person, found an idol without a clue. Mind you, Joaquin and So did NOT share the clue nor the fact they had one. Ha! WC can't start a fire, nor build a shelter.

Immunity Challenge -- free a ladder and bring it through a series of obstacles, then choose a puzzle to solve out of three. The puzzles each address a different approach to thinking. First place winner gets reward of a fire-making kit, second place gets a flint.  Last place gets to go to Tribal.

NO COLLAR wins! Blue Collar wins second place. White Collar gets to go to Tribal and someone will go home.

So is working on getting Carolyn out even though Shirin is the one who blew the puzzle. Thankfully Carolyn has an idol and a clue that her name is being brought up. She tells Tyler (who let her know the others are talking about her going) about the idol. Now Carolyn is working to get So out.

Tribal Council time! Catfight time. Meow! So voted Carolyn and vice versa.

The tally -- Carolyn does not use the idol.

Carolyn, So, Carolyn, So, So, So.

So is voted out first of the season!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Amazing Race Blog Pool OPENS!



The Magnificent Margo is once again in charge of the blog pool! We all know how much she rocks!

Here's how the blog pool works --
  • Blog readers are randomly matched with a team
  • They can cheer on that team until the team gets Philiminated or win the million!
  • There is no wagering! We're playing for the bigger stuff of life here -- bragging rights!
  • If you wish to be in on the pool, please sign up in comments in THIS POST ONLY. If you ask on another post, it could be inadvertently missed.
  • The cut-off for getting in on the pool will be Tuesday, February 24 by 6pm ET.
Ready to race?

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - February 22, 2014

Good morning! It's Sunday and that means it's time for my off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way.

On a brief television note, Lifeguard Laurie is taking names for the Survivor blog pool -- you can sign up for that on the post for the pool. The cut-off is Wednesday by noon Pacific (9pm ET).

About the only positive thing that happened for me this past week is that I received my new camera on Thursday. Unfortunately, it was so brutally cold that I didn't do much with it as I was shivering and need to take my gloves off to take a photo. I like what I see of the camera so far, but I long for days of spring to comfortably take photos.

Most of what else I have on my mind would be construed of as whining. A lot of it boils down to "I'm tired of ..."

Onto the photos -- clicking on an image will make it larger.

Venus and the crescent moon

I took this shot from the Bridgewater Train Station leaving work on Friday evening. Mars is there, but not very visible in the dusk. 

Once I got home

The dark clear skies were great for the shot! Mars is more noticeable with the darker skies, too. This is with the new camera. I took it on the front walk of my building juggling a half-gallon of milk, no tripod, shivering because it was record-setting cold and I had to take my gloves off.

Testing the zoom

It was too cold to do much, but I wanted to test the zoom a bit. I took this photo from the other end of the Plainfield Train Station. Where the fence is marks about a block distance from where I stood. I didn't even have it at full zoom, but it was too cold to do anything more. The windchill was about 20 below zero.

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Come One, Come All! Survivor Blog Pool Now OPEN!



Survivor: Worlds Apart premieres this coming Wednesday -- February 25, 8pm ET/PT.

The lovely Lifeguard Laurie has once again volunteered to run the blog pool for the season. (Need I mention how the woman rocks?) The way the blog pool works is:
  • Blog readers are randomly matched with a castaway
  • They can cheer on that castaway until the castaway gets the boot or is the sole Survivor
  • There is no wagering! We're playing for the bigger stuff of life here -- bragging rights!
  • If you wish to be in on the pool, please sign up in comments in THIS POST ONLY. If you ask on another post, it could be inadvertently missed.
  • The cut-off for getting in on the pool will be Wednesday, February 25 by NOON Pacific Time (or 3pm ET).
Survivor fans ready?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Amazing Race 26: Casting the Couples, Part 1

I've done the looks at the blind dates in the casting for this season's The Amazing Race. Time to delve into the already existing couples they'll be up against!

LEBYA AND CJ

CJ Harris, age 26, is an IT tech who's been dating Lebya Simpson, age 25, a medical support assistant for the VA Hospital, for over ten years. Yeah, she wants him to put a ring on it. They both hail from Tuskegee, Alabama. They've known each other since childhood.

I'm not sure how well they'll do on the race, but I like this couple. I think they're going to be entertaining.




ROCHELLE AND MICHAEL

Well, these two are a bit different. Michael Dombrowski is 26, a truck stop manager (his parents' business) and pro-wrestling promoter, living in Traverse City, Michigan. Rochelle Nevedal is 29, a contract engineer who does business with companies such as ATT, plus she's the co-owner of a roller derby league in her hometown of Kalkaska, Michigan. They've only been dating eight months.

She wants to use the race to "test" the relationship as she has a young son and wants to make sure she makes good decisions about her future relationship. Um. Okay. I'm not sure the stress of the race is the best way to fast forward a relationship. We'll see. They both better not keep saying "actually" and "at the end of the day" throughout the show!



JONATHAN AND HARLEY

Squee! Squee! It's a NKOTB member! Of course, they kind of came after my teenage years. I'd like to know how Jonathan Knight is actually 46 years old these days?!? That makes me feel even older than my years. His partner is Harley Rodriguez, age 41. Harley is a master fitness trainer. They have been together seven years and live in New York.

Y'know, I think these two might very well do quite well on the show. Between the used to traveling and physical factors, they're light years ahead of a few teams. A seven-year relationship is probably more stable than the eight months of the previous couple.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Amazing Race 26 - Casting the Singles, Part 2

Finally I'm on to the remaining singles headed for the blind date of their lives on the upcoming season of The Amazing Race ...

JACKIE

Jackie Ibarra is 27 years old, a Las Vegas showgirl. (She quite obviously differs from Jackie, your loyal blogger.) In her video, she talks about needing respect and how she'll "keep him in his place." Oh my. That wouldn't necessarily be my own first thoughts about a possible relationship. She might have some issues, methinks. In her online bio, she's listed as a "professional dancer" instead of a Las Vegas showgirl. Hmm. She seems to enjoy traveling and trying new things. I'm a bit hesitant about her due to her also mentioning either "respect" or "disrespect" more than a few times in the bio in addition to what she said in the video. I'm wondering if things are going to be her way or the highway.

She's teamed up with:


JEFFREY


Jeffrey Weldon is 26 and works as a sales account executive in Tampa, Florida. In his video he says he has no filter and will probably say things without thinking first, but he's determined to make it work. He's looking for someone with a sense of humor and hopefully good at building things because he's not. In his bio, he mentions (amongst other things) that he's looking for someone with a great-looking face. Sigh. I'm not sure how this couple will mesh. I get the feeling there might be some fireworks.

***************************************************

LAURA

Laura Pierson is a 29 year old talent booker living in Los Angeles. In her video she says she needs to feel loved and cherished in a relationship and that she can be bossy. Uh-oh. I think I see a few red flags! It could be just me, but I'm not getting a heck of a lot from her online bio despite the fact she "talked" a lot. I have no clue how she'll do on the race. But I do know she enjoys cooking and doesn't want to be with someone who doesn't like her friends. She's teamed up with ...

TYLER

Tyler Adams is 26 and living in Santa Monica, California. In his video, he says he's looking for a partner to help him win and doesn't care for whiners. In his bio, it sounds like he develops those games which annoy me so much on Facebook! Yikes! He doesn't like a girl with a negative or pessimistic attitude. I wonder how he does with bossy? After reading his bio, I'm much more impressed with him than I am with his blind date. He sounds a bit like a dream guy and I like that he mentions attributes other than looks in what he's looking for in a romantic partner.

There you go. I'll delve into the actual couples in my next TAR post!

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - February 15, 2014

Good morning! Is everybody warm enough on this frigid winter day? This is my weekly off television topic post in which I reflect on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way. Between my real job and not feeling well, I didn't get around to posting more on the cast of the upcoming Amazing Race season during the week last week. I swear I will get it done before the premiere on February 25! Really!

I haven't received the new camera from Amazon as of yet. So, the photos this week were taken with an old point and shoot that has little zoom to it. I like zoom. I also forgot that, unless you turn it either on or off, the camera itself decides to flash or not on its own. The camera I broke had a flash you flip up if you want to use it -- as will the new one. That sounds a bit more unwieldy, but it's better than having the flash go off when you're not expecting it or wanting it.

My return to work has been really rough. I haven't had a good day yet. If it were a few years from now, I'd seriously consider an early retirement. Sigh.

While we haven't had the snow of the Boston area this winter and it's not as bad here as it was last winter, it hasn't been all that pleasant. We have had periods of bitter cold, then warm-ups just about in synch with snowstorms thus resulting in a lot of ice. I would personally prefer a few inches of snow rather than a quarter inch of ice!

Last night there wasn't any ice. But it looks like we might have only about three inches of snow out there. Not bad at all. That is, until you consider the temperatures and the fact that we're due for hurricane force winds. That will take the teens (F) expected today down into the negative digits. When I went down to get my paper this morning it was almost shocking to the body cold.

My new neighbors are due to move in today. I've met the husband in the family. I can only hope that they're considerate. He doesn't look the type to go for surround sound systems and the bedroom for the children is on the far end away from me. I don't know how old the "two small children" are. I'm hoping infant and toddler! In this building, once they're five or six, the parents often feel it's okay to use the long common hallway as a playground. My other neighbors and I will nip that in the bud if it happens. I'm hoping for the best.

Welp, that's just about it. I hope for a better week next week.


Livin' for the city

A truck obviously not from MY neighborhood waits at the traffic light at Berckman and East Second Street in Plainfield. Now, I'm not saying Plainfield doesn't have its issues, but undecipherable graffiti on box trucks isn't one of them. This has to be a truck from either Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Aw, ain't that sweet

Get your nasty feet off the seat, buddy! Flowers, candy and a Teddy Bear balloon accompanied by leather pants on the train on Valentine's Day. Alas, when he stood up to leave, his leather pants were drooping below the butt and ruined the whole effect. On the other hand, his braids were almost as long as my hair. But the droopy pants blew it all. Tsk, tsk.

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

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - February 8, 2015

Good morning. Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way. If you're a fan of The Amazing Race, I've started going through the cast videos and online bios for the upcoming season. I should be posting more on that subject soon.

Okay, to the week. Hmm. Gah. It certainly won't go down in the history of the best weeks in my life, that's for sure. Here's a round-up.
  • An ice/snowstorm on Monday practically crippled my personal travels until mid-week and there are still some rather treacherous areas. 
  • I really don't feel well and work is doing me in.
  • While having to walk atop an ice-soaked snowbank, one leg went through nearly to the hip. I thought I might have to call for a winch to get me out from where I was stuck. Nobody had better have recorded my efforts to get free and put it on YouTube. If someone did, they'll die.
  • My apartment superintendent told me a family with two small children is moving in to the apartment vacated by Carlos and his wife. Joy, joy. At least that apartment is a two-bedroom. I never understand outright families of more than a couple moving into the one-bedroom units.
  • I dropped my best point and shoot digital camera and then completely killed it while trying to fix it. I have back-up cameras, but they're not as nice. I ordered a new camera on sale ($150 off!) from Amazon that's much better than the one I killed. Yet I mourn its demise.
  • Ritz Garlic Butter crackers are da bomb.
  • The Grammy Awards are on tonight. I'll be watching The Walking Dead as it returns tonight.
Onto this week's photos. Alas, none are works of art except perhaps Vincent just because he's Vincent. 

Ice Ice Baby

A combination of snow and ice clung to the trees for days after our ice/snowstorm early in the week. While the sun melted a bit of it, the sun couldn't win the battle with the frigid temperatures.

Somebody is way too comfy

Vincent has practiced sleeping on just about every inch of the new couch. 

ONENANYAY

The ONENANYAY sign is much more visible since they took out the bush in front of it this past summer. 

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

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The Amazing Race 26 - Casting the Singles, Part One

I think this "blind date" bit for a twist this season might be rather interesting. Perhaps the five couples will be strangers at the start. However, by the end they'll have shared a special experience and should either love or hate each other.

Oh. That's kind of like the established already couples on the show. Never mind. Let's check these people out:

KURT

Hmm. He seems to place more emphasis on physical qualities in his "blind date" than the real stuff of a relationship. Now, I'm not talking physical qualities as in what's needed to endure and compete in the race. Nope. He's talking the shallow stuff.

Kurt Jordan Belcher is 24 years old and hails from Butler, Kentucky. His online bio kind of confirms the video with little else thrown in there for us to ponder. He's matched up with ...

BERGEN

Bergen Olson is 23 and currently living in Sunnyvale, California. He's originally from Minnesota. While Kurt tends to go for such deep things as good looks and muscles, it seems that Bergen tends towards more laudable traits in his online bio -- good personality, sense of humor and commitment. That conflicts a bit with what he says in the video (in which he's also going for looks a lot). Overall, I think I like him better than I do Kurt. Neither has ever been out of the country.

*************************************************

JELANI

Jelani Roy is a 32 year old lawyer from New York City, New York. I like him. He comes across as both smart and knowing that the concept of the date is to WIN THE AMAZING RACE. Unlike the first person in the last couple I looked at, Jelani seems a lot more laid-back regarding any sort of romance. It sounds like, to him, if that happens ... cool. If not ... he still wants to win the race. In his bio, he mentions the fact that he passed the NYS bar exam on the first try. He seems confident and I'd certainly partner up with the dude! He's matched up with ...

JENNY

Jenny Wu is a 32 year old lawyer/blogger from Los Angeles, California. A blogger! Woot! Woot! I think she's got a good match with Jelani. She doesn't seem to be searching for the love of her life -- she wants someone she can work with. Unlike Kurt (and to a lesser extent, Bergen), she wants strengths of the mind, humor and athleticism. In her bio, she mentions photography being a hobby. I already like her! A relationship deal-breaker for her is "an aversion to desserts." Boy, I like this gal. I'm not sure if she'll see any resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio in Jelani, but she'll get over it. I think these two could be contenders!

******************************************************
HALEY

Haley Keel is looking for the win and the man of her dreams. Okay. Haley is 28 years old, a registered nurse currently residing in St. Petersburg, Florida. She original hails from Ohio. She's um ... perky, bubbly and upbeat it seems. I personally don't do those traits, but more power to her. She's intelligent and likes to do athletic kind of things. Having a need to control might not work in her favor seeing that she's on a blind date race around the world. We'll see. She's partnered with ...

BLAIR

Blair Townsend is a 31 year old physician from Amelia Island, Florida. He's originally from Virginia. Obviously, TAR is really trying to set up relationships here -- lawyer/lawyer, doctor/nurse. From his online bio, he mentions doing Ironman competitions and such. Haley should like that! I really like how he came across in his video. If Haley is strong, these two could make a formidable team on the show. I think I like him more than her. Bubbly tends to get on my nerves. Hopefully she won't be bubbly on the show. (No offense meant for those who enjoy bubbly.)

What do you think of these matches?

The new season premieres Wednesday, February 25.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - February 1, 2015

Welcome to my weekly off television topic post in which I reflect on the week gone by and photos I've taken along the way. If you're a Survivor fan, please check out the most recent posts I've done on the topic at this link right here. Otherwise, we're onto the week that was ...

I returned to work this week, kind of sort of. I ended up missing the end of the week due to severe adverse reactions to the medication prescribed for me, almost ending up in the hospital. I'm now off the medication, still having headaches, but at least feeling better than I did.

Let's see ... this week we had a blizzard Storm of the Century that wasn't. All told, we ended up with about five inches of snow. I had left work early on Monday as they were talking about shutting NJ Transit down and it had started snowing and getting slick. After all, they were predicting the end of the world as we know it! Didn't happen, though.

I arrived at the Plainfield Train Station just in time to witness the ticket agent kicking out all the homeless and street bums so she could close the station. Now, I tend to use the machines to buy my train passes, so I never really go in there. The few times I've been inside have been way early in the morning -- it's only open from about 5am to 1:30pm or so.

It was cold and blowing snow rather heavily when I arrived (despite the fact it petered out overnight). There had to be 35-40 people she had to get to leave the warmth of the station! Yikes! Some, like Omar, were regulars I've seen before. Many I've never seen. I'd say a good percentage are homeless folks. But others probably have someplace to stay, yet would rather hang out with the drink and drug crowd. I felt sorry for the woman trying to get them all out so she could go home. I'm sure many headed to the library from there. Most of the shelters only do nights. Sigh.

Supposedly we're to have another winter storm tonight overnight into tomorrow. They've changed our Winter Storm Watch into a Winter Storm Warning here in Plainfield. But, after last week, I'll believe it when I see it. I am very irked that the winter snow held off until I returned to work!

The Cool Cat Snowman of East Front Street

He's got his shades. He's got his cap and scarf. He doesn't seem to have arms, but I'm thinking they must be in his pockets.

The "blizzard" starting on Berckman Street

I left work a few hours early on Monday because the snow had started and things were getting slick. As I walked up Berckman Street towards my place, the wind was whipping ice pellet-ish snow into my face. Little did I know this would be the blizzard that wasn't. 

The day after the "blizzard"

Yep, what a blizzard! Notice my walk where I'm standing is cleared properly. The walk next door is cleared about 8" across. They did that all last winter throughout the season, thus making their section of the sidewalk the most treacherous on the entire block. Shame on them.

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