Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Big Brother 19: Meet the Cast - Part 4

Cameron Heard is 24, originally from North Aurora, IL and now resides in Woodridge, IL. His bio on cbs.com lists him as a microbiologist. Hmm ... I'm of two minds regarding Cameron. I like that he names Ian Terry as his favorite. I like that he's smart, a gamer kind of guy and a rather newly-hatched BB superfan (BB14 start). He has watched the live feeds and follows RHAP and all.

That's all in his favor. What I don't like is that he is a bit cocky about it. True, he might have a better social game than either Ian or Steve (which he mentioned) ... but don't knock them until you bring home the moolah, Rubik's Cube Boy! 
Megan Lowder is 28, originally from Cathedral City, CA, currently living in Phoenix, AZ. Her online bio lists her occupation as a dog walker. Another professed superfan, at least of the last five seasons or so, her favorite previous hamsters are Frank Eudy, and Victor/Paul from last season. 

In her Jeff interview, she brought up her Rachel-like laugh. Oh, geez. In her bio info, she mentions that she will need to control her constant analyzing everythin because she doesn't want to end up like Tiffany Rousseau. I guess we'll just have to see how it goes.
Matthew Clines is 33, from and still living in Arlington, VA. His online bio lists his occupation as a renovation consultant. In that bio, he lists Donny Thompson as his favorite -- cool beard, fun guy he says.

Hmm. He mentioned in the Jeff interview that he's actually in sales, not the renovations themselves. For the Jeff question about losing but being loved or winning and being hated, he chose losing. Not a great sign right there! He also mentioned how nice he is several times. Y'see, in my book, nice guys don't need to mention how nice they are. Prove me wrong, Matt. Right now you're not on my list of favorites.
Alex Ow is 28, from Thousand Oaks, CA, currently residing in Camarillo, CA. According to her CBS bio, she's an eco-friendly marketing rep -- whatever that is! In that bio, she also thinks she's adorable. Sigh.

She loves Nicole Franzel and claims to be a huge show fan. Yet, in her Jeff interview she started talking about a BB wedding and it didn't even dawn on her until Jeff mentioned it was his wedding. Oh my. Yes, her boobs are fake and she admits it. She will miss seeing herself on TV while she's on TV. Um. I don't think there will be too many mind-provoking late night talks with Alex! 



While this is my last Meet the Cast installment, there will be more to come as I post about this season's house and twists in the coming days! You can catch all my Big Brother 19 posts at this link right here.

Big Brother 19: Meet the Cast, Part 3

Mark Jansen is 26, from and still residing in Grand Island, NY. His CBS bio lists him as a personal trainer. Being originally from New York myself, I had to look up exactly where Grand Island is -- it's in Erie County in western New York. Y'know, I honestly LIKE this guy. He seems like such a nice, well-balanced good guy. Alas, that isn't always the best candidate to win the show.

His favorite previous hamster is Brandon. I'm not all that keen on that choice, but Brandon too had a lot of nice guy kind of qualities. I do understand his choice. While Mark comes across as a nice guy, he also seemed interesting and intelligent enough that he won't bore me. But he just might be too nice a guy to win it all. He will need to throw some sneak in there. 
 
Raven Walton is  23, from and still living in DaValls Bluff, AR.  As per her CBS bio, she's a dance instructor. I need to get this out of my system -- I'm not a fan of Mickey Mouse ears hairstyles with bows. I'm just not. That said, I kind of like this gal.

Mentioned in the Jeff interview, but not her online bio, Raven has a pacemaker and takes life on as a second chance to live. Very admirable! Yet, she did turn me off with mentioning Frankie as her favorite previous hamster. It makes me wonder if she'll treat this opportunity as some kind of audition much as Frankie did. Gah! I'll have to play a wait and see game whether I'll enjoy her on the feeds or not.

Dominque (the Dominator) Cooper is 30, originally from Tuskegee, AL, currently residing in Woodbridge, VA. Her CBS bio lists her has a government engineer. While she claims in that bio that her hair and skin mean everything to her (and she's very pretty), this young lady is anything but shallow!

She boasts advanced degrees, likes to write and is definitely a very intelligent woman. What is she doing on the show, I ask? Well, she's a fan. Hopefully her people skills and intelligence will keep her in there for some time to come. I'm a bit tired of vapid folks in the house.
Cody Nickson is 32, from Lake Mills, IA, but currently residing in Plano, TX. I actually liked a lot of things in his CBS online bio -- he knows the show, he has never taken a selfie shot, his favorite previous hamster is Evel Dick, he's a show fan, he will never allow himself to be put up as a pawn, like Cameron (to be delved into in my last installment) he's into Rubik's cubes, etc. 

But his Jeff interview was disappointing -- he came across as boring, hating his job and rather distant. Some of the things he mentioned in one or the other is that he never cries, never wore a suit, never wore cologne. Hmm. Will the real Cody please stand up? 




More to come! You can catch all my Big Brother 19 posts at this link right here.

Big Brother 19: Meet the Cast, Part 2

Jessica Graf is 26, originally from Cranston, RI, but now residing in Los Angeles, CA. According to her CBS bio, she's a VIP concierge.  She's a fan of the show, listing Janelle as far back as BB6 as her favorite player. She says her boobs are real. Um. Okaaaay.

She wants to team up with a strong male competitor. She claims that, when she was young (!), showmances made the show for her. Yuck, I say. She isn't adverse to being in one. I'd be willing to bet she just might try her hardest to get in one. Next!
Christmas Abbott is one of the "older" hamsters at 33, originally from Lynchburg, VA but now resides in Raleigh, NC. Her CBS bio lists her as a fitness superstar. Now, I personally have no clue about any fitness superstars. But I am impressed that she has written a bestselling book and just published a second book. Her favorite previous hamster is Helen Kim because she could manipulate people.

That aside, I liked her in her Jeff interview -- she made me laugh! If they can get me in that interview, they just might have me on their side for the entire season. We just might have a contender in Christmas.
 Elena Davies is 26 years old, originally from Fort Worth, TX but now living in Dallas, TX. Her CBS bio lists her as a radio personality. She lists James Huling as her favorite hamster because he made things fun. Okay. Not sure I'd want to be the recipient of his pranking, but I have my own James soft spot. 

We know her boobs are real -- she mentions that she had a breast reduction. Now, that's different for a BB hamster! I kind of like her. Will she win it all? I just don't know.
Jason Dent is 37, the second oldest hamster. He is from and still resides in Humeston, IA. I have no clue where that is. From his Jeff interview, I see he has no clue about BB. So, we're even. His CBS bio lists him as a rodeo clown. And that is what he is -- a rodeo clown named Whistlenut.

I've seen rodeo clowns -- they're the ones who distract the charging bull. They have to be very fit. If he makes it to a slip and slide comp, he should fall well and recover! While he doesn't know the show, he realizes that he can't really set a strategy beforehand because conditions may change. Many of the big show fans going in don't realize that. He, like Christmas, made me laugh a bit in his Jeff interview. I think he will be entertaining.

More to come! You can catch all my Big Brother 19 posts at this link right here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Big Brother 19: Meet the Cast, Part 1

Jillian Parker is 24, originally from Celebration, FL but is currently living in Las Vegas. According to her bio on cbs.com, she's a timeshare sales rep. She says she's bubbly. Hmm. I'm not too keen on bubbly. One thing not in her bio online is that she told Jeff that she has lost 50 pounds since January with weight loss surgery. 

Her favorite BB hamster is Daniele Donato. She has this convoluted strategy of an alliance of guys and giving them information from the girls. We'll see how that works out. I say ... I doubt she'll win it all.
Josh Martinez is 23, originally from Miami, FL and now residing in Homestead, FL. According to his CBS bio, he's in hair care saies. My gosh, this guy is jumpy. I watched his Jeff interview and he couldn't keep still. Plus, he seems to have no control of his cussing in an interview like that! 

He's way too confident in his own bad little self. He might rub people the wrong way, I think. His favorite previous BB hamster was Evel Dick in BB8. I liked Evel Dick, but I'm not sure I like Josh.
Kevin Schlehuber is 55, from Boston and still residing there. According to his bio on cbs.com, he's a stay at home father. Oh geez, BB did it again -- stick ONE person who's more than 20 years older than the rest of the cast! Gah! He likes Derrick, possibly because he met him. It sounded to me in the Jeff interview that his kids wanted him to try for the show. He has seven of them!

Huh. He was Mr. Massachusetts in 1986 and won a Hunk contest on Geraldo Rivera. Oh my. He came across as mellow. I think I'll like him, but I don't think I'll like him for the win.
Ramses Soto is the youngest hamster at 21. He's from Grand Rapids, MI and still resides there. According to his CBS bio, he's a cosplay artist. I watched his Jeff interview. He comes across as a bit Floyd-ish (TAR fans will get the reference). He's a comics fan. I like that! He calls himself a superfan, but he's only two years older than the show!

His favorite previous BB hamster is Dan Gheesling. Well that's a good choice. He has all these big strategical plans that I feel will all fall to the wayside once he's in the house. He thinks his social game will be strong. That I do believe. 



I will be following up with more tomorrow evening ... and at an earlier hour than this!

BB19 Cast Reveal on CBS All Access Today!

Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I won't be able to post immediately today on the cast. Expect me to delve into a few of them late tonight, more tomorrow evening and I should have a look at all of them posted by Wednesday!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day!

An undated photo of my father and I in sailor hats at my grandparent''s house. I recognize the furniture and wallpaper of that home! I'm thinking I was about two years old or so in this photo. My father was a great guy; a hard-working man who passed much too young. He's been gone around forty years now. I often wonder what he would think of the world today. I wish I had gotten to know him better on an adult child level, but that opportunity never really came.

Good morning! Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I took along the way. Things here on the blog will be changing up this week.

Tomorrow is the cast reveal for Big Brother 19. Unfortunately, I won't be home from work until after 10pm and have to be up early for work on Tuesday. But I'll post what I can and should be all caught up by Wednesday, my day off. 

Life goes on here. Well, to think of it, that's a good thing. The alternative isn't really acceptable. Let's see ... what's been going on here?

Um. Um. They've been repainting the fire escapes at my apartment building. Ten years ago they did that. The last state five-year inspection passed them. Now they failed once again. I'm not quite sure how painting them increases a safety level, but there ya go. I also noticed the super doing lots of work in the apartment next door which was a showplace just over a year ago and the current tenant fought to keep the state inspector out. I wonder what happened.

I haven't heard anything about my apartment. I would guess I'll get word that they will need to replace my bathroom ceiling tiles, damaged from the last flooding from upstairs but not a current leak. I don't think there's anything else. I certainly hope they don't feel the need to paint. I hate my life disrupted.

The landlord/company raised my rent with the lease renewal. Yeah, I have an increase of $3 a month! Outrageous, I say. Heh. An ex-landlord here raised it $50 a month more every year he had the building. Now that I have the letter with the increase, I'm going to call the landlord office to complain about kids once again -- 1A and 3G. I see the security glass near 1A is now broken. (I think it was intact during the inspection.) NO, it's NOT okay to let your children run loose in the hallways. Be a parent, for gosh sakes! 

I'm also going to report Joe's apartment across the hall. I really think he might have passed (at a hospital, not in the apartment) and relative/friend squatters are in there. They put trash bags in the hallway for hours or even overnight before taking it to the dumpsters. There are people coming and going at all hours. Joe wouldn't accept that. He's definitely not there. They also threw out most of his stuff. I didn't want to complain until I got my rent increase/renewal notice because I don't want them to think I'm a chronic complainer. But things are going downhill after doing so well under this new owner. Sigh.

Oh! Something good! I bought an 8-speed tower fan with a remote control this past week. I LOVE IT! It works so well that I'm sure to save on some air conditioning bills this summer.

Onto the photos for this week ... clicking on an image will open a larger version in a gallery setting.

One open, three closed

The flower of an hour was closing as I caught this shot. They seem to actually be open for a bit more than an hour. In this shot, it's clear they are related to hibiscus.

New awnings

They installed awnings on Maria's and the adjacent restaurant on North Avenue. Nice, but now you can't really see the names on the businesses -- which is why I'm calling the one restaurant "adjacent." I forgot its name.

Where is he?

A solitary starling on a wire. She seems to be looking for someone.

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

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - June 11, 2017

Good morning! Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I took along the way. I have a bit of a blogging rest before Big Brother starts up. The premiere for that is slated for June 28, but the cast information and such should start coming out a week before that. I'll be watching for news. Stay tuned right here!

Until the last few days, we had more rain and more cool temperatures. As of yesterday, that's all changed. We're facing what should be the first day of a heat wave, the second one this year. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 90s starting today and lasting through Tuesday. I'd actually prefer the cooler temps. I hate the heat!

Every five years in New Jersey, multi-family dwellings get inspected by the state. This past week we had our inspection in my apartment building. It's a big pain, but I do understand that these inspections can catch fire and safety issues and neglect by landlords. The first time I went through this here, they came up with tons of violations resulting in new power outlets in the kitchen and bathroom, scraping down and painting all of the fire escapes and more. This time it didn't seem like much at all. We have new windows, the fire escapes remain in good shape, etc. The main thing the inspector seemed to be concerned about was working smoke/CO detectors.

Earlier in the week, the super (who is no longer Mario ... sniffle) came through testing to make sure the apartment doors self-close, have the privacy chain locks and testing the smoke alarms. Mine is working although my door likes to self-close rather slowly. The inspector never actually checked my door. If I have to run from a fire, I'll make sure it closes! That, or I'll buy a tiny can of oil and oil it. I think that's all it needs.

Vincent is tired of hearing the smoke alarm tests! (So am I.)

Joe's place across the hall apparently had a broken chain lock. Hmm. I would guess someone forced it at some time or another. Mine is always in use yet vintage to the building.

Both times of the visits -- the super's initial sweep and the actual inspection -- my neighbor next door fought with them refusing to open the door for the longest time. Now, I don't answer my door usually, either. But I could hear it was the super and he even yelled, "It's the super! I'd like to check your smoke detector! We have a state inspection coming!" I let him in.  Technically, other than an emergency, we're supposed to have (I think) 48 hours notice for them to enter. But it wasn't a huge deal. He tested the door, the smoke alarm and made sure my chain worked. 

The neighbor finally let the inspector in for the inspection -- we did have two weeks notice and then a 48 hour reminder the inspection was coming. But there was a whole lot of yelling goin' on. Sheesh. Well, maybe it made the inspector inspect less on me because he was so bad! I didn't want to move furniture to show them outlets and such aren't overloaded. He didn't ask that -- the whole inspection took about a minute. He didn't even look under my sinks for leaks, just asked me. (And, no, I have no leaks under my sinks.) He never even turned lights on in the bathroom, kitchen and dining room (built-in fixtures they tested last time) or flush my toilet to make sure it works and doesn't leak. Of course, my toilet is only a few months old and still looks brand new, so maybe that's why he didn't check that. 

The last five-year inspection was a huge headache with the inspector going through everything with a fine-tooth comb, wanting to look at every electrical outlet, check all possibilities of leaks and more. This time, quick and easy -- test smoke/CO detector, glance about in kitchen and bathroom, check access to the fire escape in the bedroom. Now, since the last inspection, I do have a new bathroom vanity and sink, toilet, new windows, new refrigerator (my own, but my last used one looked horrible; this one still looks brand new), new kitchen floor and more. So, maybe the apartment just looks like there are fewer problems and he didn't feel the need to inspect as much.

The neighbor also gave the exterminator a lot of grief early in the week. I don't know what's going on there. The inspector was in his apartment a lot longer than in mine. He better not have safety or bug-causing issues going on there! When Carlos left that place about 18 months ago, it was a showplace in beautiful condition with an updated kitchen, gorgeous hardwood floors and all. Mine has beat-up hardwood never refinished before I moved in 17 years ago and original building kitchen cabinets.

Oh, well. It's over for the next five years now.

Onto the photos from the week -- clicking on an image will open up a larger version.

The flower of an hour has sprung!

Last fall Bernice gave me some seeds to grow these. I tossed them across the ground in an area adjacent to the parking lot at my apartment building. It's on the neighbor's property, but a small strip between our fence and their garage. They seem to neglect that rocky strip in their lawn maintenance, so I didn't think they'd mind flowers. There's no good place on the grounds of my building to plant them. They took root!

Yay, it's bee season!

Although I've an allergy to bee stings, these little guys are a vital part of nature. And, for the most part, bees tend to be non-aggressive. Yellow jackets and other wasps are a bit different. 

Caught at the right time!

These "flower of an hour" blossoms come to life in the vicinity of 9am. They're closed up for most of the day and night.

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

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - June 4, 2017

Good morning! Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I took along the way. I have a bit of a blogging rest before Big Brother starts up. The premiere for that is slated for June 28, but the cast information and such should start coming out a week before that. I'll be watching for news. Stay tuned right here!

We had more rain around here this past week. We're expecting more rain this upcoming week. Well, I must say all is green and lush. But ...! Although, I certainly prefer the cooler temperatures rather than heat waves. So, that's good.

I had the follow-up visit with my vascular surgeon on Friday. As expected, the most recent Doppler ultrasound showed nothing alarming. He's very pleased with the progress ... even though I stopped wearing that horrible thigh-high compression stocking after the first week. It kept rolling down and cutting into my skin. I have been faithful with the knee-high compression socks. I can definitely feel and see a difference in the leg. I no longer have a bundle of veins like snakes sticking out on my calf and the pain level after standing and walking has improved a lot.  Thanks go out to Leonia and her husband for driving me to the appointment!

Today would mark my brother Gary's 63rd birthday. He and I were the middle children of four, only 14 months apart. He passed away at the age of 59. Time marches on.

Other than that news, nothing much is going on here. Work, work, work. Sigh. Onto this week's photos ... clicking on an image will bring up a larger version in a gallery setting.

The Magical Marigold

What's so magical about it? Beside the opportunity for alliteration, all of nature is magical and wondrous!

The uncooperative bee

This bee just wouldn't pose for me! He's missing out on becoming famous on the internets! Bridgewater, NJ

I see dead people

... with feet on seat! Ack! Why can't people just SIT? You don't need to sprawl all over the place! It's not your home! It's a commuter train! I personally don't understand the sleeping on the train line -- I think from end to end it may be about an hour, perhaps an hour and fifteen minutes. I always think if I fall asleep in a public place, someone will steal my stuff. Or worse, take photos of me and post them online! New Jersey Transit, Raritan Valley Line.
 
**CLICK THE 'READ MORE' LINK TO SEE THE REST OF THE PHOTOS**

Thursday, June 01, 2017

The Amazing Race Season Finale Blog Party - June 1, 2017


I'll be live blogging the show's events as they air here on the East Coast. Refresh this page to get the latest news! The real party is in the comments area -- come join in on the fun!

Lifeguard Sharon C has made the random match-ups for the blog pool 

London/Logan - Delee, Sharon N
Brooke/Scott - Chrob61, Becky
Tara/Joey - SueGee, Willie J, Monty924

PHILIMINATED:
Jessica/Francesca - Brenda, David, Sharon C
Seth/Olive - ML, Cheryl in NC
Shamir/Sara - Indiana Jane, Jenna's Mom
Vanck/Ashton - Nickelpeed, Donna in FL
Liz/Michael - Judi Sweeney, Dolores in Hollywood, Ed in Ohio
Becca/Floyd - Janice, Brian
Matt/Redmond - MerriLee, Jackie

Are we ready? Yes, we are! 

Okay, a brief recap of the previous and remaining teams is over. It's time for a commercial! 

Teams will be flying 6,000 miles to Chicago. They'll get some rest, for sure! Once they land, they need to head to ChicagoLand Speedway. One team member gets behind the wheel, the other must change a tire in 40 seconds. The "race" has to finish in 48 seconds to move on.

Brooke is freaking out changing the tire. Why am I not surprised? Oh, geez. Scott got it first. They have to go downtown to a train station for their next clue.

They next have to solve three puzzles regarding the city's landmarks. They have to collect postcards at each site. Next it's off to City Hall to collect a clue from the city beekeeper.

Uh-oh. Joey/Tara are at a wrong place to pick up one of the postcards. Meanwhile, Brooke is whining. But we knew that would happen. 

Scott and Brooke are leading. (Grr.) They're off to Wrigley Field. They have to make Chicago style hot dogs, deliver them to people on a rooftop overlooking Wrigley Field. After the delivery, they have to go to the marquee entrance to Wrigley Field.

The last challenge of the race was posted on YouTube. Phil explains it better than I can, so I'm embedding it here.



Ack. Scott and Brooke are in the lead. Sigh. They have their clue to head to the Pit Stop.  Joey/Tara are doing the scoreboard bit. London/Logan are far behind.

SCOTT AND BROOKE WIN THE AMAZING RACE.

I think I need a drink. 

Tara and Joey are in second place.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - May 28, 2017

Good morning! Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I took along the way. The latest season of Survivor finished up this past week and this week will wrap up The Amazing Race. Then I have a bit of a blogging rest until Big Brother starts up. The premiere for that is slated for June 28, but the cast information and such should start coming out a week before that. I'll be watching for news.

It's Memorial Day Weekend, with tomorrow being the official holiday. While it's turned into the unofficial start of the summer season and folks tend to have all kinds of fun plans for an extended weekend, we need to remember the reason behind the holiday. It's the time to honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to this country. My father and grandfather both served, but both made it home although they're both long gone now. I salute those who serve!

I myself actually have a weekend off. No, not a three or four day weekend -- just two days in a row. That's one more than I usually have, so I'll take it. I may or may not go to a cookout at a friend's home either today or tomorrow, weather permitting. I may just rest up and goof off for the two days. I don't know. I do know that I'm constantly tired. So, a rest will do me good.

My leg seems to be healing up nicely from the varicose vein treatment despite the fact I had to give up the thigh-high compression stocking due to it cutting into my skin and rolling down all the time. I've been wearing the knee high and hope that will suffice. My follow-up visit with the doctor will be this coming Friday.

Other than that, not a heck of a lot going on here. So, it's onto this week's photos -- clicking on an image will open a larger version in a gallery setting.

Stars and Stripes

An iris grows in Plainfield

As with so much that's beautiful in nature, these don't last long enough. At least I can capture the image. Berckman Street in Plainfield.

A bug on the marigolds

I'm not sure if the bug makes the shot or takes away a bit of the marigold magnificence.

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Amazing Race: Blog Party - May 25, 2017


I'll be live blogging the show's events as they air here on the East Coast. Refresh this page to get the latest news! The real party is in the comments area -- come join in on the fun!

Lifeguard Sharon C has made the random match-ups for the blog pool I might even have a chance at my first blog pool win this season!

London/Logan - Delee, Sharon N
Brooke/Scott - Chrob61, Becky
Tara/Joey - SueGee, Willie J, Monty924
Matt/Redmond - MerriLee, Jackie

PHILIMINATED:
Jessica/Francesca - Brenda, David, Sharon C
Seth/Olive - ML, Cheryl in NC
Shamir/Sara - Indiana Jane, Jenna's Mom
Vanck/Ashton - Nickelpeed, Donna in FL
Liz/Michael - Judi Sweeney, Dolores in Hollywood, Ed in Ohio
Becca/Floyd - Janice, Brian

Are we ready? Yes, we are! 

Teams are heading to Seoul, South Korea. All teams are on the same flight, so they'll all start out even. Matt/Redmond took the subway while all the other teams took taxis. They're heading to a disco place to get their next clue from Gangam (sp?) dancers.

Roadblock -- Who stacks up? Sports stacking of cups. The subway had the boys running in last. Uh-oh. Yikes! BROOKE finishes first and remained positive through it!

Teams next have to make kimchi, the national food of Korea. They have to make six batches, then bury them to start fermenting the dish. 

After all the other teams left the Roadblock, Matt/Redmond arrived -- subway and a bad cab ride. 

Joey and Tara finish the kimchi first and are in the lead.  Oh, geez, Scott and Brooke passed them in the cab.  

Another Roadblock - Who's going to take control? Win a round of a martial arts video game against pros. They are not having a good time with it.

Matt/Redmond are making the kimchi.

If I vanish, I'm hearing severe thunder out there. Just a warning!

They are handicapping the pro video players -- first down to one handed, then a blindfold. London's through, Scott's through. They're off to the Pit Stop. 

Pit Stop:
1. Brooke and Scott. Gah. 
2. London and Logan 

The last two teams are racing in cabs and then on foot ...
3. Tara and Joey

I'm keeping my streak of never winning a blog pool Matt and Redmond are Philiminated. 

Yipes! I thought tonight was the season finale! I guess it's not!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Survivor: Game Changers - Season Finale/Reunion Show Blog Party


Everybody ready? Got your snacks? Got your tasty adult beverages? As the show airs here on the east coast, I'll be live-blogging with all the major happenings. Refresh the page to see the latest news! But, as always, the real party is in the comments area. I hope to see you there!

We're in for the big two-hour season finale followed by the one hour long reunion show. I'll probably fade away a bit live blogging during the reunion show, yet the party will keep going in comments!

Who will be the sole Survivor? Who will win the blog pool?

Here's the updated pool from the Lovable Lifeguard Laurie:
 
Aubry Bracco - Ed in Ohio, meb
Brad Culpepper - Brian, Sharon N
Cirie Fields - Leonia Hart, Terry is a Texan
Sarah Lacina - Delee, Rbennie
Tai Trang - Cheryl in NC, Sharon C
Troyzan Robertson - Donna in Alabama, Lifeguard Laurie

JURY
Hali Ford
Ozzy Lust
Debbie Wanner
Zeke Smith 
Sierra Thomas
Andrea Boehlke
Michaela Bradshaw

Survivor fans ready?

The finale reunion is in Los Angeles once again. I'm biding time as Jeff goes through narrating what's gone on so far this season. 

Sarah tells us she targeted Michaela because she was Cirie's right hand man. Cirie wants to salvage her relationship with Sarah. She tells Sarah in front of Tai that Tai was the "rat" who wanted Sarah out. He admits it -- he wanted to vote out Sarah. Now he's known as Tai the Liar (in his words). But he does have two idols. He tells Brad about them. Brad doesn't quite trust him, but thinks he might be able to use him.

Immunity Challenge time -- Race through maze, collect three bags puzzle parts, rose dial puzzle. The winner also gets a feast reward. It's also not an easy puzzle -- 41 pieces!

Brad wins! He picks Troyzan to go with him to eat, then goes for Sarah, too. The three decide that Aubry should be a target. Brad wants to flush out one of Tai's idols. He tells Tai that Aubry is going home. He wants Tai to play one idol for himself and let him hold onto the other one as a show of trust.

Oh, my.

Tai goes to Aubry, tells her that Brad said she's going home. He shows her his idols. Cirie joins in and talks nicey-nice to Tai. She tells him they need to unite and vote out either Sarah or Troyzan. Tai goes off crying.

Why do fools tell people about their found idols!?!?! 

Tai cries some more.

Tribal Council time! They talk about Tai being the rat in camp. They're acting like all will be voting for Tai. He doesn't cry now ... not yet, anyway.

Jeff tallies the votes. Tai plays an idol.  Then he plays the second idol for Aubry! Sarah plays the Legacy Advantage to save herself. Troyzan gives up his idol to save himself, too!

The tally:
Cirie is the only one who can go. No one voted for her, though. She's voted out without a single vote. She's gracious and gets kudos all around. In LA, she gets a standing ovation from the crowd. 

It's right to the next Immunity Challenge. Use paddles to maneuver balls through a series of obstacles. First to get three balls through wins. Sheesh, Brad is blowing them all out of the water even though it's not a water challenge! He wins his fourth individual immunity challenge. I have to say he needs it, though. He cries.  

Aubry is worried. She needs numbers. She plans on making a pitch to Brad. My guess is that it will either be her or Tai out. Maybe I'm wrong. 

Troyzan, Sarah and Brad want Aubry out. Aubry and Tai talk to Sarah -- telling her Troyzan is too close to Brad and they need to target him. Sarah isn't sure she can trust Tai. She talks to Tai; he tells her Aubry should go tonight. Brad tries to bully him into voting whoever he (Brad) wants him to vote. 

Tai tells Sarah he won't be bullied. He will now vote for Troyzan to go even though he had already decided Aubry.

Tribal Council time. Whoa. Troyzan may have blown his game -- says no one could beat him in the final three.

The Tally --
Aubry, Troyzan, Aubry, Aubry 

What a shame. They should have gone for Troyzan! 

Final Immunity Challenge! Race through an obstacle, down a waterslide, collect bags of puzzle pieces, solve puzzle. Sarah is in the lead. But, of course, the puzzle solving can change that all around. Brad has taken over the lead.

Brad Culpepper wins Immunity for the fifth time. 

He's very smug. I hate to see that in a winner, no matter how good they do. He tells us no one can beat him and Tai will go home. 

Tai wants Sarah to consider a tie ... and the fire challenge.  

Tribal Council time. Lots of tie talk.

The Tally:
Tai, Troyzan, Tai, Tai

Bye-bye Tai. 

After their peaceful night and food, it's time for the jury questioning.

Jeff says they're changing things up -- center around Outwit, Outplay and Outlast.  

Outwit - Social Aspect
Zeke - Sarah, gave you my jacket. Bad-ass. Sierra gave you Legacy advantage. I'm your champion tonight.
Sarah tells them her personal relationships were 100* real. Ozzy accuses her of going low. He gives Brad props for his wins. He will be Brad's champion. Cirie said that Sierra was voted out because she was Brad's brains. Brad speaks of his tie with JT. Michaela asks Brad how much he knows about her seeing as it's a social game. Tai thought Sarah was real with him. She claims she did whatever she needed. Sarah brings up her undercover police work. Debbie doesn't respect her. Debbie is for Brad. Michaela asks Brad what he's done in the social aspect. Ozzy calls Troyzan a passenger rather than a driver.Brad is once again defending his social game. Tai brings up the bullying aspect. Heh. Hali says he used condescension as a tool. 

Outplay - Shelter, etc.
Ozzy says Brad leads in this aspect. He's really in Brad's camp. Debbie agrees with Ozzy. (Troyzan is really getting neglected in all of this despite the fact that he claimed he could beat them all.) Sarah says building the shelters, etc. weren't what it's all about. She claims that her own gameplay got her there. 

Outlast -
Brad tells them you don't have to deceive and lie, talks about relationships and relying on winning immunities. 
Sarah tells them you have to strike first. Sarah thinks the jury members could have beat her. She was in on every vote. Again talks about police work.
Troyzan tells them he wasn't the best, appreciates them all for the adventure. (He knows he's out of the running.) 

As we could guess, Michaela voted for Sarah as did Zeke. Ozzy voted Brad as did Debbie. 

It's off to the arena in Los Angeles. 

The final tally for the win:
Sarah, Brad, Sarah, Brad, Brad, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, SARAH!

SARAH wins! 

Congratulations Delee and RBennie, winners of the blog pool!

I'm glad Sarah won. Sure, she was sneaky and all. But one thing she never was ... was smug. Brad's cockiness made me want him to lose. And, Troyzan was never in the running, as it should be.

I want to thank everyone for taking part here on the blog this season. Y'all rock! 

Next season is in Fiji, separated by Heroes and Healers. Oh, and Hustlers.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - May 21, 2017

Good morning! Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I took along the way. If you're here for Survivor -- you can find any Survivor posts I make at this link right here You can find any posts I make about TAR at this link -- The Amazing Race. The season finales for both shows are coming up this week -- how time flies!

In regard to television watching -- I haven't been able to get into this season's Fargo like I have the previous two seasons. I fell asleep the week before last and I actually forgot it was on this past week. I'll catch up with it today. Maybe if I'm not watching it after live blogging a show and at such a late hour, I will be more into it.

So, how is my leg doing? Hmm. I went to the hospital this week for the scheduled follow-up Doppler ultrasound test to make sure no blood clots have formed and to track the progress of the injected vein-collapsing Varithena. The tech performing the ultrasound told me all looked good to him, but the doctor will read the report more thoroughly. My next doctor appointment isn't until June 2nd. I do see improvement. Where I had the bundle of veins like snakes under my skin in my calf, a marked improvement. There is a rather large painful swelling at one of the injection sites, but I'm thinking that should diminish in time. The blisters from the tape are gone, but my thigh still has a lot of discoloring and bruising from that big injection site and that foam roll thing that was so tightly strapped to it in the bandaging.  All in all, it feels better than it did pre-Varithena even at this early stage. But, then again, I have been taking it easy on it although I do my daily walks as recommended.

A shout out to blog reader/friend Leonia and her husband for their graciousness in offering me rides to medical dealings! I try to schedule things I can get to via train, bus and/or cab, but life is so much easier when someone goes that extra mile and offers a ride when you're not feeling well! 

We had our first heat wave of 2017 earlier this week ... in MAY. Grr. The criteria for a heat wave is three consecutive days of over 90 degrees.  One day we maxed out at 97. I don't like the heat. As I get older, I like it even less. I'd actually prefer the cold of winter (sans ice and snow) than hot humid weather. Of course, I'd prefer spring to be SPRING, not SUMMER! 

Onto this week's photos -- clicking on an image will bring up larger versions in a gallery setting ...

Is it a Potato Beetle? Or is that a falsehood?

This beetle showed up as I was shooting mites on concrete at the Bridgewater Train Station. I got a bunch of great photos of him/her. But, upon returning home, I wanted to make sure I knew what it was. I thought "Potato Beetle" but found out that this area also has False Potato Beetles! The way to tell the difference is something about white showing under its wings when it flies. I didn't see it flying, just checking out the concrete for mites or something. So, I don't really know. 

Posing for the camera

The A Team - Azaleas and Allium

It's a good thing I took this photo last Sunday when I went for my walk. Yesterday the azaleas were brown and the allium had passed and was drooping. Berckman Street, Plainfield.

Friends-ly flowers

A row of irises grow in front of the Friends (Quakers) Meetinghouse on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield.

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