Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X Blog Party - December 7

As Survivor airs here on the East Coast, I'll be live-blogging with the major events. Although tonight's show is only an hour, two castaways will get the boot As always, the real party is in the comments area. Please feel free to join in on the fun!
Here are the blog pool match updates from our good buddy, Lifeguard Laurie:

Adam Klein - Brian, Kelsey NY, Sharon N
Bret LaBelle - Brandi Peralta, Judi Sweeney, Skyriverblue
David Wright - Buzzmaam, MikesGirl, Sharon C
Hannah Shapiro - David, meb, Terry is a Texan
Jay Starrett - Becky, Jackie, Shayne
Ken McNickle - Dolores in Hollywood, Margo, Russ
Sunday Burquest - Brenda, Kristen from Ohio, SueGee
Will Wahl - Cheryl, Indiana Jane

Michelle Shubert
Taylor Lee Stocker 
Chris Hammons 
Jessica Lewis
Zeke Smith

Survivor fans ready? 

Will has delusions of manhood from his Tribal Council vote to oust Zeke. Bret is trying to think of how he'll stay alive in the game without his ally Zeke. He and Sunday go to Adam saying that David, Will and Jay are the most dangerous players left in the game.

Will? Dangerous? Um, well, maybe because he can't be trusted. 

Oh, right to the Immunity Challenge! Race out to disks, stack them, over balance beam and wire maze ... reminds me a bit of a recent BBOTT comp.  Will is dangerously keeping in last place.

JAY wins Immunity! 

Jay talks to Will about taking out either David or Ken. Will, who's the Big Man on Campus, thinks he's calling the shots and goes around telling people to target David. David thinks he himself is the target, too. Adam isn't too keen about Will thinking he has the power. So, HE goes around bad-talking Will. He tells Bret. Bret and Sunday will both target Will. Hmm. Adam tells Hannah. Now she's a Nervous Nelly all over again. 

Now Adam thinks HE's in charge of the game.

No time wasted tonight, it's off to Tribal Council! No real clues in the questioning.

The tally:
David, David, Will, Will, Will, Will, Will.

Ha! That's what happens when you get too cocky!  

Jay knows he's all alone in the game. He tells Adam not to take David to the end. Adam tells us Jay needs to go home. 

Onto the second Immunity Challenge! Solve a block puzzle, timer in the form of a Survivor pinball doohickey that times them out in errors. Good challenge! They have to toss a ball through a maze, work on the puzzle, retrieve the ball before it gets caught in the pinball time-out.

Adam is helping Ken! KEN wins Immunity! 

Adam's plan is for David to go home. David is worried. Jay wants David to go. David thinks they should set Bret up to go. Meanwhile, Hannah thinks they should target Sunday because she thinks Sunday will be brought to the finals because she'd be easy to win against. Adam tells Ken and Hannah they need to vote for Jay. He wants either Jay or David out. 

Adam tells Jay he needs to use his idol tonight. Then he tells him his Mom is dying of cancer and he's playing for her. Jay's Mom also has big health problems. Now they're besties once again.

Hannah is still pushing the Sunday Out Bit. She doesn't want David to go as she loves him.

Time for Tribal Council.   

Jay plays his idol.

The tally:
Jay, David, David, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.

Woot! David stays, Jay's idol is flushed out and Sunday goes!  

Next week is the two-hour season finale!  

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - December 4, 2016

Good morning! Since it's Sunday, it's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. This is a regular Sunday part of this blog in addition to the television posts. 

After what seems like an eternity of covering Big Brother and Big Brother Over the Top, that's done and over with until summer comes around. I might post newsy bits now and then about BB stuff in between now and BB19, but (thankfully) no juggling blog coverage of it and work at the same time. I'm live blogging Survivor episodes as they air on Wednesday evenings. Come join the blog parties! I might also post some other television-related stuff, but I'm definitely going to take a bit of a breather from other daily show posts for a bit.

Work in my real world is exhausting me. At least now I'll get a bit more rest. I hope.

I really don't have much to report on for the past week here. Nor did I even get any great photos this week. Oh well. Onto the photos anyway! Clicking on a image will bring up a larger version. 

What? No one going to Manhattan?

I could jump on that bus and head into Manhattan for the evening. Nah. When I took this shot, I just wanted to go home. Home is where the cat is. Watchung Avenue, Plainfield.

There it is! Plainfield's Christmas Tree!

While I didn't stick around in the cold and wind on Thursday for the actual lighting of the tree, I could see it on Friday from Watchung Avenue across from the police station. I had had a rough day at work and didn't feel like walking over there. I will do that someday.

Trying to stay warm

With no hawk around, the pigeons gather where the sun shines on the brick of the Chotola Apartment Building on North Avenue. 


Thursday, December 01, 2016

BBOTT: Season Finale ... the winner is ...!

Tonight is the first and only live Julie Chen hosted show of the season! One of the final three -- Jason, Kryssie or Morgan -- will be voted the winner by America and win the grand prize. This version only has a grand prize of a quarter-million rather than a half-million. I believe second place still gets the 50 grand, but I could be wrong on that.

So, let's see which of the two win. Oh. Did I say two? I guess I did. Eh. I'll go with it. Let's see whether Jason or Morgan win ...! 

I had no sound when Julie started the show. Once we went back to Jason winning HoH, the sound came back.

Mostly recapping at this point. They're doing diary room speeches with video from the season.

Speeches over, the previously evicted hamsters are brought on stage.

Neeley's opinion -- impressed with Danielle kicking it into gear.
Scott - Shelby's being a lawyer shocked him.
Monte - Sister twist was good, proud of Morgan.
Whitney - Surprised at Shelby's secret, but knew she was smart.
Alex - Her alliance was scared America would target them if they targeted Jason.
Morgan and Alex are both sure they'll be closer now.
Shelby - Live diary room helped her, didn't hurt her.

Now we see diary room highlight clips.  Julie mentions the bad language.

Justin - A clip of his dancing. Strategy or being himself. Being himself.
Shane - Sacrificed game for Danielle? Regrets? None. Now has short hair.
Danielle - In a relationship with Shane now. 
Cornbread - Surprised to see Kryssie in the final three. He's blown away.         

Online voting.
Alex, Whitney, Shane, Neeley and someone else voted Jason.
None voted Kryssie
Justin didn't vote.

Now it's speech time with the two minute speeches from yesterday.

Julie announces the votes have been tallied.
The 2nd prize is 25 grand, not 50.

Third place and evicted -- Kryssie. What a shocker! 
Julie talks with her.  

MORGAN wins!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X Blog Party - November 30

As Survivor airs here on the East Coast, I'll be live-blogging with the major events.  As always, the real party is in the comments area. Please feel free to join in on the fun!
Here are the blog pool match updates from the Lifeguard Luau Laurie:

Adam Klein - Brian, Kelsey NY, Sharon N
Bret LaBelle - Brandi Peralta, Judi Sweeney, Skyriverblue
David Wright - Buzzmaam, MikesGirl, Sharon C
Hannah Shapiro - David, meb, Terry is a Texan
Jay Starrett - Becky, Jackie, Shayne
Ken McNickle - Dolores in Hollywood, Margo, Russ
Sunday Burquest - Brenda, Kristen from Ohio, SueGee
Will Wahl - Cheryl, Indiana Jane
Zeke Smith - Beachmom, monty924 , Glenn

Michelle Shubert
Taylor Lee Stocker 
Chris Hammons 
Jessica Lewis

Survivor fans ready? 

Hannah is beside herself about the Jessica rock pick. David is ticked that he burned his idol for no reason at Tribal. Zeke thinks he's winning the war over David. 

Ken came across the Legacy Advantage note he received from Jessica. If he can make it until Day 36, he'll be using it!

Reward Challenge time! Jeff starts bringing out loved ones. Tears all around as usual. Adam, whose mother is in stage four cancer and whose brother came, mentions his advantage to steal someone's reward. He will not be using it. 

They have to be tied to a rope and go through obstacles. Prize is the loved one at a barbecue. Jay wins Reward! He takes Will along as he had promised. For his second, he chose Sunday as "they" had made a promise. He gets to pick one more and even though they've been "brawling" all this time, he chooses Adam. 

Whoa! Adam, in appreciation of Jay's move, gave Jay his advantage with no strings attached. 

Will decides to defect to David and company. Hmm.

Immunity Challenge time - Endurance, they have to clench a thing holding a bar. David out first. Hannah out. Will out. Bret out. Sunday out. Zeke out. Jeff is torturing them about the hot sun baking their minds. Ken out. It's Jay versus Adam. Jay out.

Adam wins Immunity!   

With Will aboard, the move is on to vote out Zeke. Zeke thinks something is amiss because the others are too calm. He thinks David might have another idol and he needs to throw someone else under the bus. That someone is Hannah.

Ken gives Will a third-degree treatment before being willing to trust him. Will tells Ken that "they" will be voting for him. Uh-oh. Ken tells Jay that Will is saying his name. Will claims he needs to play his game for himself.

Gah! Adam calls it right that it was a stupid move on Ken's part! Now Will is going to be solid with the others as he can't trust his "new" group.

Tribal Council time. Both sides vie for Will's vote. He may be the youngest, but he has the deepest voice! 

Adam pulls out his idol! He plays it for Hannah!

The tally:
Hannah, Hannah, Hannah, Hannah, Zeke, Zeke, Zeke ...

Zeke is out!   

BBOTT: PoV and the Final Three - Tuesday, November 29

Determined to win?

Well, well, well. Of course, the only really big news of the day was the Power of Veto comp.
  • It was called End of the Road.
  • They had to run through metal police crowd control barriers set up in a switchback kind of queue.
  • Jump over hay bales.
  • Grab a hamster face picture, then return back the same way they came.
  • Nine pictures in all. Had to get one at a time.
  • The puzzle questions might have more than one possible answer.
  • But there is only one correct solution using all nine.
  • Justin was into making sound effects and cussing as he went along. He started to put faces in the spots first, getting a few wrong.
  • Morgan decided to get all the faces first and solved some as she was bringing them back.
  • In the end, it wasn't really any contest. Morgan solidly beat him, had all the answers right while he had some answers wrong on the board and didn't have all the faces.
  • Surprisingly, in view of his behavior the last few days, he left the house on a good note.
  • Julie came to the final three in video form, congratulating them and telling them they need to prepare a two-minute speech each.
  • Those speeches will air live on Wednesday at 7pm ET/4pm PT. 
  • The final three -- Morgan, Kryssie and Jason -- popped the champagne and got giddy. 

All spiffed up to host the comp

Monty was there.

Game faces on

The running was unreal.

It wasn't an easy puzzle, either.

Morgan WINS! She's in the Final Three!

Says he loves them. Yeah, right.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

BBOTT: Nothing to see here. move along - into Tuesday, November 29

Eddie McGee, BB1 Winner

The Power of Veto comp isn't scheduled until 5pm today, Tuesday. I will report late tonight on its results. Otherwise, things have been pretty much the same in the house with even more tension due to the boredom.

In other news, I watched the Elementary episode from November 20th and immediately recognized BB Season One winner Eddie McGee in it! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

BBOTT: Into Monday, November 28

Jason being mellow? That won't last!

Well, Justin got up a bit more today ... 
  • Unfortunately, he decided Morgan is his buddy now.
  • Now, they're both slated to go head-to-head in the Power of Veto comp (today, Monday) together.
  • She's been almost constantly studying or spending time with Jason and Kryssie.
  • In comes Justin.
  • The not so smart thing he does is to keep talking about how he has to win this comp, then the game, then "rub it in their faces."
  • Um.
  • He's saying that to his competitor.
  • Morgan has been actually restraining herself quite well -- not saying much about how SHE needs to win the comp and then the game!
  • Kudos to her for her restraint!
  • At one point, she did say something. Justin claimed none of the people in the house have souls. She said, rather quietly, "Everybody has a soul."
  • Justin, at one point, sat down with the rest and ate something. As they all talked, I noticed he was paying absolutely no attention to the others, would occasionally glance up at a camera and then start dancing in place to music in his head. 
  • The others are right that he's very camera-conscious.
  • I don't know how Morgan is putting up with all of Justin's bragging about his game and how he will win.
  • Darn it, she wants to win, too!
  • He told her how the LNJ had to keep fighting to keep in place and now the ones remaining have deserted him.
  • Heck, Justin. Morgan's side also had to fight with the up/down power changes week to week! And, she's the sole remainder from the Ball Smashers!
  • I'm also sick of hearing him tell how many women are willing to have sex with him and how much he misses having sex. @@
  • We'll know more once the PoV comp goes down.
  • May the best woman win that one!
  • Heehee. 

Justin actually posed for one HoH camera shot

Morgan studies some more

I don't like any of these people

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - November 27, 2016

Good morning! Since it's Sunday, it's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. This is a regular Sunday part of this blog in addition to the television posts. Right now I'm covering Big Brother: Over the Top daily -- you can find those posts at this link. I'm also live blogging Survivor episodes as they air on Wednesday evenings. Come join the blog parties!

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! As per my usual, I spent the day here with Vincent. I don't really have much family left and, of what few are left, no one is local. I often turn down invites to join families of friends for the day. I would feel like an intruder and, after all, it's not my family. After decades of such, I've grown to like the peaceful solitude of the day. I made a turkey breast feast for myself and relaxed. I always have to work the Friday and Saturday after the holiday, so I can't travel anywhere. I'm also in a very busy and stressful work environment, even worse at the holidays. So, I'm content with what I do for the holiday. Maybe, if I ever do get to retire before I pass, I'll travel to visit family. But for now and many decades gone by, as they say, it is what it is. Christmas is pretty much the same.

So, this isn't really my favorite time of the year. I do enjoy seeing the excitement of children, especially toddlers, seeing the hubbub and lights. I do have some very good memories of the season. But it's all photographs and memories at this time for myself. And, work, work, work, then more work.

I am thankful for the friends and family I have in my life, as well as you folks who faithfully follow this blog! I'm certainly thankful for Vincent, as well as my previous cat companions over the years. I'm thankful I've always held a job and kept a roof over my head even though I'm so ready, beyond ready, to retire and pursue things I want to do rather than things I have to do. I'm thankful for Peapod Grocery delivery so I don't have to deal with supermarket madness. I'm thankful I live in an area with so many different kinds of people with lives so different from my own, yet enriching my own life and enforcing the realization that the majority of people are good at heart.

Okay, onto this week's photos! I didn't really get great shots this week. I managed to arrive near the train station one day just in time to snag a few photos of another (the same?) Red-Tailed Hawk atop the Chotola Apartments Building on North Avenue just as he was preparing to fly away. 

Sitting in the railway station ...

... got a ticket for my destination. Whoowoo. ('Homeward Bound' - Paul Simon) I was actually homeward bound. This is last night when I arrived back home in Plainfield after yet another workday in life. Although the train itself stretches perhaps a long block, only about ten people got on or off at this time at the Plainfield Station. However, inside the train -- the two cars that were open -- it was quite full for a train this day and hour. Many people were heading home to NYC from the holiday or just heading into town (Manhattan) for holiday season happenings. I just wanted to get home and put my feet up.

Where'd they all go?

Y'know ... there was a party going on with pigeons and starlings here. I come and they all flew away! Do I have bad breath? Am I inappropriately dressed for the party? Every time I try to join in on the bird fun, everybody leaves me here alone! I feel shunned! It's enough to give me a complex! 

Getting ready to swoop away.

At least I got nice detail on that red tail of his!


BBOTT: It's Official - Two of the Final Three Confirmed - into November 27

Just a few more days ...

Nothing much has changed in the house.
  • Jason is still HoH.
  • Kryssie is still Kryssie and will always be Kryssie.
  • Morgan has been repeatedly going through all the comps, things in the house and hamsters trying to prep for the Veto Comp tomorrow.
  • Justin has been in Audrey mode, occasionally coming to life, but mostly in bed.
  • The decision to take someone to the final two became official yesterday.
  • But we knew since he won HoH, Jason was choosing to take Kryssie.
  • That's what started Justin's poor behavior in motion.
  • On the other hand, I've been very impressed with Morgan's behavior in the house since her best and last ally Shelby got the boot.
  • She's mixed. She's mingled. She's been partaking in things. Plus, every moment she can, she's studying.
  • I hope she wins the veto!
  • As for Justin, I'd say I'm disappointed.
  • But I'm not, really. I've said all along he was just coasting and being himself. He's entertaining when he wants to be, but he hasn't been playing the game of Big Brother
  • In this last stretch, he has to play the game or get the boot.
  • Instead, he's still working on America's vote -- talking to the camera about all is love and how he wants to start a fishing program for the kids in New Orleans.
  • True, that's a worthy goal. But it's not something you need a half-million dollars to put in motion! If he really wanted to do that, he could get active in the community and work on getting people to sponsor the much less than a half-million needed to get it off the ground.
  • I think he wants to convince America that he's all that, a bag of chips AND has these lofty goals to give back to the community.
  • Personally, I don't care what reality show folks do with their winnings ... with the exception of the arrest/drug stupidity of a few. That's total stupidity.
  • It's their money. They went before the public eye, endured mocking and ridicule to win it. They can spend it however they want -- college loans, bills, homes, cars or wasting it away. I don't expect anyone to suddenly become a philanthropist and give it all away to a good cause. Very few do that.
  • All will tell tomorrow when either Justin or Morgan win a place in the final three.
  • At this time, I'm really hoping it's Morgan. She's been very impressive lately. Well, with the exception of that 11 minute time in the Maize Maze, that is. 

It's AUDREY! Er, I mean Justin.

Repeatedly going over days and comps

Opening last nicotine patch

Saturday, November 26, 2016

BBOTT: Dwindling Days - into Saturday, November 26

Memorizing the days, the comps

The Justin rift in the house continues.
  • Justin said his poor behavior on Thanksgiving was due to being homesick.
  • True, he is young. True, he's often said he's never been away from home for more than two weeks.
  • But, as his fellow hamsters tried to tell him, they're all pretty much in the same boat.
  • Had he told them that he was homesick and needed alone time, it may have been understood.
  • Instead, he just slept the day away, showing up to eat only. He didn't partake in any of the special things BB had set for them for the day.
  • Kryssie ended up preparing Justin's mother's turkey recipe.
  • He didn't even help clean up.
  • And, coupled with his bragging about how great his game has been and his obvious bitterness about not being Jason's one safe pick this week ...!
  • He went around apologizing "if he offended people" instead of owning up to bad behavior on his part.
  • Morgan tried to tell him there's a difference between confidence and arrogance ... and he's been coming off as arrogant.
  • Yet he maintains how he's made so many moves and been a great player.
  • Go figure.
  • The others are right that he's been playing up to America.
  • One thing I've noticed is that he tells his fellow hamsters that he's thrown comps. He's told us that he has sucked at them.
  • Even now he's putting on a different face for us than he is for his fellow hamsters.
  • Kryssie really lit into him.
  • Jason grouses about him. However, this Justin imploding might be one of the best things ever for Jason's own game. I think he knows that.
  • While Morgan has spent an inordinate amount of time studying and preparing for the Veto Comp, Justin has been working out, napping and spreading insincere apologies. 

Listening (or not) to Kryssie

Playing for second ... or third place

He thought he'd be gone first week