Sunday, September 28, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - September 28, 2014

Good morning! It's Sunday, time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. This post has no television content, but I guarantee you the next post I make will be about television! Stay tuned.

Now that I said there will be no television content, I'll have to add that I'm glad the season of Big Brother has ended! Ahh ... no more skimping on my sleep to watch silly hamsters. The show has been renewed for two more seasons, though. So, I'll be back at it next summer.

Not much has gone on this week for me. I went back to work after my staycation. While I'm glad that I've had a job (or jobs) all these years through good economies and bad and I've never been unemployed, I'll be happy when the time comes for me to retire. I could find plenty of things I enjoy doing to keep me occupied. It's just that pesky money thing that keeps me going to work.

Perhaps today I'll pretend I'm retired. I'll peruse my Sunday newspaper over coffee and a leisurely breakfast. I'll watch the CBS Sunday Morning news show. I'll later take a leisurely bubble bath while playing jazz, maybe classical, music in the background. I'll bake some blueberry muffins. I'll read. I'll fix a nice little dinner for myself, perhaps accompanied by a Weyerbacher Merry Monks Belgian-style tripel beer (yes, I bought some of that this week). I'll watch some television, play with Vincent.

And then tomorrow, it's back to work.

Sigh.

Onto this week's photos! Clicking on an image will bring up a Photobucket window. There, you can make the image larger twice by clicking on the magnifying icon at the top of the image. To return to the blog, just close that page. With the flowers slideshow, the diagonal arrow on the bottom right of the page will bring you fullscreen.

Pardon me, I have a lot of relaxing to get in today ...

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NJ Transit, the way to go

Or, so say their ad slogans. The trains on my line (Raritan Valley Line) are usually on time. It has to be recorded with the government if they're more than six minutes late. The buses, on the other hand, aren't all that timely. The schedule isn't bad at all. But, the traffic is! I took this shot on a beautiful (obviously) afternoon at the Plainfield Train Station.

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Whatchoo lookin' at?

Nature truly makes better aliens than does Hollywood. This was a huge grasshopper I met the same day I took the photo above. As a matter of fact, he was on the train station platform. After taking some photos of him, I helped him get to the grass. He wasn't too spry. However, I thought the grass was a better place for him.

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Reflection in a puddle

The just post sunrise sun lights up the red brick building reflected in this puddle. I never get tired of taking puddle shots! Bridgewater, NJ

*CLICK THE 'READ MORE' LINK TO SEE THE REST OF THE PHOTOS AND THIS WEEK'S FLOWER SLIDESHOW!**

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Amazing Race 25: Season Premiere Blog Party and Pool


Are you ready? On your mark, get set ... blog party! It's the 25th season of Philiminations and people who don't take the time to learn how to drive a manual transmission car! As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. Refresh the page to get the latest! As always, the party is in the comments area (we've soundproofed the comments room so our party doesn't disturb the neighbors). Come join us there!

Before we get started, the Magnificent Margo and Mom have made the random picks for the blog pool. Yes, she rocks and that's how we roll! I'm making a bit of a "cheat sheet" with small photos of the teams, names, brief bits and the blog members whose pick they are. Without further ado:

Keith and Whitney: engaged couple, both 29, both Nashville -- #TeamNashville, she's a singer/songwriter, he's an energy advisor, they met on Survivor. They are no longer engaged. They recently married.

Pool Pick for: Jean, Jennasmom, Nana in NW, PDXGranny


Kim and Alli: friends, 30/26, Master Instructor for Soulcycle and YouTube MOGUL er, (sorry, Frankie outburst) channel and Alli is a personal trainer, Brooklyn and New York, New York. Of course, Brooklyn is part of NY, NY. Hmm. Maybe Manhattan? #TheCyclists

Pool Pick for: Brenda, meb, Nicklepeed, Rochelle, Terry in TX


Lisa and Michelle: Sisters, 28/22, both in real estate, both from Miami, FL. They already work together as a team in real estate, so that should benefit them in the race. Together, they're one of the top sales teams in Southern Florida. #MiamiRealtors

Pool Pick for: Becky, Delee, dla, Donna in AL


Maya and Amy: Lab mates/friends, 29/24, both are Ph.D. students (Food Science) at The University of Wisconsin, Madison. They're out to prove scientists can be fun! #SweetScientists

Pool Pick for: Ed in OH, Karen in CA, Lynn1, Margo



Michael and Scott: Friends/firefighters in the same ladder company, 40/39, Boston, MA/Chelsea, MA. I can only think that their jobs will help them in some of the Detours and Roadblocks -- you know they're not scared of heights! #TheFirefighters

Pool Pick for: Donna in FL, Glenn, Jackie, Marlo


Misti and Jim: Married dentists (married to each other -- she's a cosmetic dentist, he's an orthodontist), 36/37, Columbia, SC. Hmm ... we may have the Bickersons here. She says there's no filter between his brain and mouth. He says they may have problems working as a team. #The Dentists

Pool Pick for: Cheryl in NC, Laurie, ML, OrkMommy

Shelley and Nici: Mother/Daughter, 42/24, both are flight attendants, Detroit, MI. Ah, flight attendants! That may be a plus in airports! Heh. Shelley says she's proud to have raised children who don't seek out therapy. I think I'll like these two! #MomDaughter

Pool Pick for: Buzzmaam, Merrilee, Rbennie, SueGee


Adam and Bethany: Married, 24/26, she's a pro surfer and motivational speaker; he's a "professional husband." (Now, there's a gig for ya!). Both Princeville, Hawaii. She's the woman who lost her arm to a shark while surfing back when she was a teenager. #SoulSurfers

Pool Pick for: chrob61, Kathy in Brooklyn, Kelsey NY, Zoetawny 

Brooke and Robbie: Dating, 29/30, both professional wrestlers, she's from Houston, TX/he's from Woodbridge, NJ (hey, NEIGHBOR!). We might have the Bickersons Redux here. I'm not too keen on them although they just might do well. #TheWrestlers

Pool Pick for: Caela, Sharon, Sharon N, Willie J
 
Dennis and Isabelle: Dating, 30/28, she's a model; he's in financial accounting. Both come to us from Tustin, CA. More bickering possibilities? Eek. #TheDatingCouple

Pool Pick for: Auntie Leigh, Brian, David, Donna NY, sanra


Tim and Te Jay: College sweethearts, 23/24, flight attendant/server and female impersonator. South Pasadena and Pasadena, CA. They think they're fabulous. Maybe by the end of the race (or their end of the race), they'll think they're fierce. I dunno. #CollegeSweethearts

Pool Pick for: Babs, Brent McKee, Dusty, Monty924  


Ready to race around the world and PARTY! GO! 

They're starting the race from Manhattan like they did 25 years ago. They're starting out in Times Square. How did I miss going over there to see that?

The winner of the first leg also wins The Save -- if they're in trouble, they can use it at any time to save themselves.  Going to St. Thomas, only five teams on the first flight. The second flight is 40 minutes behind the first. 

Once there, they have to sign up for seaplane flights. Yikes! The sisters stole the pen from the firefighters as they were signing up for their flight. Okay, that was down and dirty. 

Take a leap of faith, must leap two stories into the sea from an outcrop of rocks to retrieve their next clue. They're off to a pirate ship where they get the next clue. And that leads them to their next clue.

Roadblock - Navigate beach with compass, shovel and use coordinates to find a treasure chest in the sand to find their next clue. 

The Dentists dude is the only one who seems to know how to read the compass. They're heading to the Pit Stop. He even helped several other teams understand the compass. 

The Pit Stop! 
1. Misti and Jim -- they win the Save 

All of the other teams are having problems with the Roadblock. Finally a few are getting it. 

2. Tim and Te Jay
3. Kim and Alli
4. Brooke and Robbie
5. Adam and Bethany
6. Amy and Maya 
7. Dennis and Isabelle
8. Shelley and Nici 

The sisters and Keith/Whitney want to take a four hour penalty and not finish. The firefighters agree to do it, too. 

Good. The firefighters stole the cab from the girls.

9/10 - Mike/Scott and Keith/Whitney (not sure of their order)

Lisa and Michelle are Philiminated. Good. Karma. The firefighters wouldn't have pushed their way into the cab had the girls not stolen their pen from them to sign up for the seaplane. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Big Brother 16: Hamsters do Interviews Galore

First thing ... we all must bow to blog pool winners Ed in Ohio, Jessica UNderwood, Marlo, Stormy, Erinkate. They had Derrick in the blog pool and we know how that turned out! I myself had PaoPao. Lucky me.

Okay, I was up way too late last night watching the one website which was streaming the backyard interviews live (linked at the top of last night's finale post). I know the guy was in the media day at the house, but he drove me crazy last night -- although I'm thankful that SOMEONE live streamed some of the interviews.

How did he drive me crazy? You don't realize how many times you say the word "when," especially WHEN doing interviews. Instead of the word "when," each time he would say "whenever." Ack! Maybe it's a regional thing out of Topeka, I don't know. The only hamster to call him on it was Jocasta. Praise the lord! Hallelujah! It wasn't just me!

The things I picked up in last night's interviews more so than these select CBS ones I'm posting are:
  • I was right. I know I saw on the live feeds whenever Donny promised Cody he'd vote for him if he made the final two.
  • SEE HOW AWFUL "WHENEVER" SOUNDS WHEN YOU MEAN "WHEN'?!?
  • Donny promised him once. When he promised him, not whenever ... that implies multiple promises! But that is why Donny voted for Cody.
  • That said, every time it was mentioned that Derrick is a cop, Donny really reacted a bit off to me. He seems to have a dislike of police officers going on there.
  • Donny also admitted to be the one to cross Victoria's name off the bathroom stall wall. Everyone (including me) figured that was Zach's work.
  • Nicole and Hayden are officially dating. They're even talking about both relocating to perhaps the Chicago area. I like them as a couple and think something might just happen with them down the road.
  • Not like the split-up of McCranda. I saw that one a mile away.
  • What I missed on the live feeds is that Jocasta also promised Cody she would vote for him if he made the final two.
  • So, there ya go. The two votes for Cody to win weren't bitter jury member doing at all. BOTH were promises made and kept.
  • Although, though I really like the guy, Donny seems to be a bit bitter about Derrick in almost all the interviews I've watched. Whether it's the cop thing or just the fact that he tried to get people to realize Derrick was the mastermind and no one listened ... I don't know. The man does have an edge to him that I saw very little of in the house. Maybe the time in jury had him stewing.
  • He's absolutely thrilled with America's Favorite.
  • On the other hand, Cody has been absolutely fantastic even knowing that he pretty much gave away nearly a half-million.
I'm posting mainly the interviews I'm interested in watching from the CBS website. You can find other interviews at --







 

Remember ... if you wish in on the blog pool for The Amazing Race, you need to sign up by Friday noon ET on this post << that would be the post! Not THIS post!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Big Brother 16: Season Finale Blog Party

UPDATE -- Backyard live interviews at this link.



About a week after it should have ended, it's finally ending! While us live feed watchers know who won the first two parts of the final HoH competition, they haven't even aired the end of the first part on the show itself yet. Oy. It seems like so long ago! They're going to have to cram a lot into tonight's show.

Before this gets too long, I'd like to thank all of my friends and folks in the blog community here. Thank you for your participation! Without you, this blog would be just me rambling on to myself with a cat draped over my shoulder! I also want to thank those who donated to the blog via the Paypal link on the sidebar. Every donation is appreciated -- thank you all so much!

The only remaining people in the blog pool as we head into tonight with the final three hamsters are:
Cody - Delee, Nickelpeed, WolfpackRed, Nell the Southern Belle, Sally in Indiana
Derrick - Ed in Ohio, Jessica UNderwood, Marlo, Stormy, Erinkate
Victoria - Dr_Celine, ORKMommy, Sharon N, Faye
I was out of the pool long ago with PaoPao.

In my opinion, from watching the live feeds and the shows, posting live feeds reports and all but living with these hamsters ... I'd like to see Derrick Levasseur win it all. I personally picked him as my favorite for the win back when I first introduced the cast pre-season. I wrote, "Derrick Levasseur might be the brains of this operation." And, he certainly lived up to it. Far from the most exciting hamster ever, he played hands-down the best mind game ever on the show -- convincing everybody he cares (and actually seems to) about them, manipulating others, getting folks who caught onto his puppetmaster ways out, yet still remaining off the block for the entire season. If he doesn't win, I'll be very surprised.

Cody Calafiore played a decent game and is definitely a decent guy despite letting Christine touch and pet him all the time. But, other than winning competitions and teaming up with Derrick, sometimes there was no "there" there with Cody. Derrick made most of his decisions for him, often (like he tended to do with others) making Cody think they were his own decisions. Instead, that old reality blood went on his hands more than Derrick's. I honestly think he realized that with the Caleb eviction and that's why he brought up the Hitmen reveal. He wouldn't be a totally undeserving winner, but Derrick is definitely better at the game.

Then there's Victoria Rafaeli, probably one of the most surprising final three hamsters ever. Although she was definitely brought all the way by Derrick and was often totally clueless, sucked in competitions, chomped her food ... she's in the final three. But, listen folks ... she worked her apparent life strategy as game strategy. It's been said that she is used to people doing for her. Well, Derrick did for her and got her to the final three. Will it be enough to get her to the final two? And, if she makes it to the final two, will the Bomb Squadders on the jury keep their promise to vote for her to win in spite?

It all happens now ... on Big Brother.

Okay, that was my Julie Chen impersonation. As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. But, as you all must know by now, the party is in the comments area. Come join in with us! Let's CRUSH this finale!

Recap, recap ... onto the first part of the final HoH comp. Surprise, surprise ... Victoria is out first. Derrick and Cody talk about what they're going to do. The original plan of theirs was to have Cody win this physical one, Derrick to take on the mental comp with Victoria. Derrick goes down. Cody wins part one.

Part two is Egyptian theme. They have to scale a wall, step on stones and place faces in order of eviction and who was with them on the block. Derrick went first and seemed to do well. Now Victoria is up. She's having trouble going up and down the wall.

Derrick's time: 15:29
Victoria's time: 30:03

Derrick CRUSHED that one. Now Victoria is talking about her final two deal with Derrick.

Dr. Will leads the jury roundtable. They think that Caleb will be next. Nicole thinks Cody because he did nothing through the game. Huh. They're talking Derrick. They are impressed with him. He's a master manipulator. They Cody is smart. Hayden thinks Victoria is dumbing down for the house. Zach thinks she IS dumb. Jocasta says she will vote for her. So will Caleb.

Final part of the final HoH comp -- Derrick and Cody. How well they know the jury -- Scales of Just Us -- typical how the juror completed a statement. 8 questions.

Derrick 1, Cody 0
Derrick 2, Cody 1
Derrick 3, Cody 2
Derrick 3, Cody 3
Derrick 4, Cody 3
Derrick 4, Cody 4
Derrick 4, Cody 4
Derrick 4, Cody 4

Tiebreaker question. In seconds, how long was part one of the final HoH comp from starting horn to when Cody won.

Their answers were close, but CODY wins the final HoH!

Caleb is going to be ticked. Julie just announced that Frankie will be on The Talk tomorrow.

Eviction time! Cody evicts Victoria, sticks with his fellow Hitman.

Bitter jury interrogation coming!

Christine -- Derrick, denied responsibility for sending us home. Yes, I did. Part of my strategy to stay behind the scenes.

Frankie -- Derrick is puppermaster, Cody is puppet. Cody says played a huge social game. Played as good as Derrick.

Caleb -- My boy Derrick, used your family to manipulate us. Cross the line? Never used them, think the world of them.

Hayden -- Cody ... biggest strategic move you made personally. Claims responsibilty for Zach going out.

Nicole -- Why do you deserve to win over Cody? Derrick -- never on the block.

Donny -- Cody, why win over Derrick? Cody -- social game, related info to Derrick.

Victoria -- Loyal to Hitmen over me? Friends always, but couldn't betray Cody's loyalty.

The speeches:
Cody -- Hurt by puppet monicker, sent them out, brings us to final two.
Derrick -- Best social game I could play, never nominated, won four HoHs.

Time to vote --
Jocasta -- Fake praying works.
Hayden -- Person who will give me best pedicab tip
Zach -- RI is where my heart's at.
Donny -- Hate I left my Skittles at home.
Nicole -- Person who I think played best
Christine -- Not bitter, hard decision, going with gut
Frankie -- You look hot, but I've had better to Cody, best win
Caleb -- Both welcome where you are by BS, best game winner
Victoria -- The one who remained loyal to me since day one.

It sounds like a landslide for Derrick to me, but it's not being announced yet. Next up are the earlier evicted hamsters and the reveal of secrets of the summer.

Joey now has pink hair.

Tea America reveal. Lots of fun!

Then Derrick reveals his real job and they show the casting tape in which he said he'd use his undercover police strategy as strategy in the game.

The jury's votes:
Jocasta -- Cody
Hayden -- Derrick
Zach -- Derrick
Donny -- Cody
Nicole -- Derrick
Christine -- Derrick
Frankie -- Derrick

DERRICK WINS! As I thought he should since the season started!

Caleb and Victoria also voted for Derrick, 7-2 was the final landslide.

Over 10 million votes for favorite -- Zach, Nicole and Donny were the top three. More than 5 million votes for DONNY! Woot!

Derrick is coming on The Talk tomorrow, too.

Not the most exciting season, but I'm very pleased with how it ended.

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur - Season Premiere Blog Party


Survivor fans ready? We're heading into another season of Blood vs. Water! Albeit with a few familiar faces, (baseball's John Rocker, the "twinnies" from The Amazing Race), at least it's not former players. I like to see different faces on competition reality shows, perhaps with an "all-star" type season now and then. But I'm not too keen on previous players playing new players. I would rather not see the twinnies from TAR, but working apart they just might be bearable.

Just a few notes before we get on with the blog pool and the show:
  • Remember! The 90-minute season finale of Big Brother 16 directly follows this 90-minute season premiere of Survivor! Claim your comfy spot early and settle in with snacks and tasty beverages! You're in for the long haul tonight!
  • I'm setting things up so that the blog party post for the BB16 finale will show a few minutes before Survivor ends. So, when the party here wraps up, refresh your page so the new BB16 blog party post shows and join in there!
  • Although entries for the blog pool for Survivor are closed (see list below), you still have time to enter the blog pool for The Amazing Race! If you want to enter that pool, please go to this TAR blog pool entry post and leave a comment there by Friday, noon ET. Only enter on that post as you might be (probably will be) overlooked if you put your entry request in on any other post. Merci!
As the show airs here, I'll update this post with the major happenings. You'll need to refresh the page for the latest news. As always, the real party is in the comments area. Come join in on the fun!

Lifeguard Laurie has revealed the random picks for the blog pool -- who's your hamster er, castaway? Laurie adds: "First people out of the pool will be randomly added to teams with only 2 people. Just think nobody should go home the first night. They barely get their feet wet!" You know, she rocks! 

Pool People
Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee,
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Dale = Brian, Margo,
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie,
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW,
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie,
Josh = crob61, Rochelle,
Julie = Donna NY, meb,
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny,
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Nadiya = Jackie, Lynn1
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY,
Reed = David, Kathy,
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed,
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra


Oh, wow! I get one of the twinnies! I'm so darn lucky in these random picks!

On with the show we will go ...  

Silly castaways, they think they'll be working with their loved ones. So silly! They're being given flints as the duos to learn how to make fire. 

Monkeys! I see monkeys! Luck be a monkey tonight. Okay. Now I'm being silly. 

It will take me some time to tell who's whom on the show. Right now we're getting an intro into each "team." Who, of course, aren't teams and will be split up to compete against each other.

Now, they're split into two tribes. John Rocker feels he should take care of his woman. Keith tells us he recognizes John and that he's an "ass" -- was one in baseball and seems to be one now. 

First Reward Challenge -- one person races to retrieve rings from ropes and get two platforms. Jeremy goes for his tribe; competes against his wife Val (first twist of the game according to Jeff). They're playing for flint and a bag of beans -- loser will be sent to Exile Island. Oh my.  The one exiled will be back for the Immunity Challenge.

Jeremy wins reward for his tribe and sends his wife Val to Exile Island.  Jeremy has to pick one person to go with Val to Exile Island. He chooses Keith, part of the father/son team (father) because he thinks he's a woodsy type who will protect his wife. Keith is on Jeremy's tribe -- he had to pick someone from his own tribe to go.

Jeremy feels very bad about sending his wife to Exile, but wastes no time running around trying to get together an alliance.

On the other tribe, Dale is already being typecast as the "old guy." He finds a decal doohickey on the water source cover, pockets it thinking it's not the hidden idol but might save him at one point. He breaks his glasses in half to double their power and create fire.

On Exile, Val got a clue for the hidden idol at her camp while Keith got a blank note. 

John Rocker is trying to deny who he is, but it's not working with Wes. Now he wants to target Wes at the first tribal they go to. 

Immunity Challenge time. Val and Keith return from Exile Island. Race to top of tower, under obstacle, get three bags, climb three walls -- one with ropes, one with pegs, one just each other helping. Then three build a puzzle. (The making of this challenge is on the CBS website -- it's supposed to be the toughest ever. The puzzle pieces to make the Mayan puzzle weigh 50 pounds each.)

The tribe with Jeremy on it wins. Natalie, the twinnie, is also on that tribe.  

Coyopa (sp.?) is the tribe that lost. I have to get these tribe spellings down right. Ah, Hunahpu seems to be the winning tribe's name. Eep. Why can't they just be Smith and Jones?

Ohh ... Val's clue led her to the water source. That indeed could have been the idol Dale found!

Dale tells the others that Nadiya should go because she was a backstabber on TAR.  Val tries to put together an all girl alliance which includes Nadiya. They want to include Josh, the gay guy. @@ Oh noes! They want to target DALE. I like Dale! I'd rather they target Nadiya, please.

Tribal Council time. Time for Jeff's "Probsting" questions.

Time to tally the votes: Nadiya, Dale, Baylor, Dale, Nadiya, Dale, Nadiya, Nadiya, Nadiya!

Yay! I'm free from my random blog pool pick gal! (I really don't care for the "twinnies.")

Coyopa also got flint after the tribal council. 

The Big Brother 16 season finale blog party post is up and running if you wish to head there. 

Big Brother 16: Last Live Feeds Update of the Season - September 24

The Memory Wall

Welp, this is it! My last live feeds report on the BB16 happenings inside the house. Granted, there has been little to report on the last few days. But, here goes Hamsters in the Hole:
  • BB has been kind enough to bring in food for their lunches the last several days.
  • Victoria has given up begging Derrick for the final two.
  • They lamented the loss of the pool table and yard when lockdown came yesterday.
  • Every time they're somewhere, it's like, "I/we am/are the last one(s) here to be in this room, play pool, be in the yard, etc."
  • Lots of reminiscing.
  • It's Derrick and Cody vying for the final HoH comp win tonight. 
  • It doesn't matter which one wins.
  • Derrick will take Cody to the final two. Cody will take Derrick to the final two. Victoria will just go out the door.
  • There was an interesting talk between Derrick and Victoria in the wee hours of the morning today.
  • He all but came out and told her that he will go with Cody to the final two.
  • He said that he brought her along this far to show that she deserves to be there and to give her the chance to win comps and go on on her own.
  • He just thinks, due to things said by others, that he'd have no chance to win against her in the final two.
  • He has to think of why he's there -- to better his family's finances for the future.
  • And, he can't do that if he makes the wrong decision now.
  • He told her he thinks he has a much better chance to win against Cody in the final two.
  • She, in his mist, agrees and says she'll totally support him. She said she just didn't want to hear that he liked and worked with Cody more than he liked and worked with her.
  • He's no dummy. He ain't gonna say that! He said the perfect thing to her, as he has said to so many so many times this season.
  • Hopefully, he can mist the jury, too.
  • They had a final bit for BBAD last night and for the live feeders this morning.
  • Bring on the finale!

Now he snuggles with Victoria

Yesterday's lunch

Saying goodbye to the live feeders

Derrick telling Victoria his reasoning

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Amazing Race 25: Blog Pool OPENS and Meet the Cast Video

Wow. This is the 25th season of The Amazing Race! Of course, since there are two seasons per year, we're not THAT OLD. We have a new night for the show this year -- one which should rid us of that pesky sports lead-up and delay problems. About time ...! The show starts this Friday night (September 26) at 8pm ET/PT.

The Magnificent Margo and Mom will be once again running the blog pool for TAR. If you wish in on the pool, please sign up on this post (and this post only) by noon ET on Friday. If you sign up on any other post, it might be missed. In the pool, you'll randomly be assigned a team to cheer on until they are Philiminated or win it all. Come join in on the fun! The prize? Why, bragging rights, of course.

I think it's time we meet the cast --


Ready? GO!

Big Brother 16: Live Feeds into Tuesday - September 23

Derrick packs for the first time on the show

What? There are still hamsters in the house? Here's what's been going down in that Big Brother House of Prolonged Misery:
  • Lots of pool playing. I mean LOTS of it.
  • At least that's a bit better than watching them play chess.
  • Of course, the pool players are Derrick and Cody. Victoria has rarely played all summer.
  • She's barely played the game of Big Brother, either.
  • Cody is the only one exercising. He runs, lift weights, does sit-ups and crunches. He needs to regain his manly figure.
  • Derrick has alternately been teasing Victoria about "knowing the real me" and "you don't know the real me."
  • Derrick got his suitcase for the first time all summer. He found a pack of cigarettes he had bought to use to schmooze with if there had been smokers in the house.
  • He scared Victoria by telling her he was a smoker.
  • He's not.
  • They're all excited about seeing their families.
  • Victoria told the guys that she can't talk to them after Sundown on Tuesday because of Rosh Hashana. 
  • They're probably relieved.
  • Cody wants BB to give them the comic page art from that comp. I don't blame him. I'd want mine if I were in there!
  • BB gave them a small amount of booze. Cody was thrilled.
  • Cody wants to become friends with fellow Jersey BBer, Enzo.
  • The Meow Meow and Model Boy. Hmm.
  • Derrick and Cody were glad there were no racist incidents in the house this season like last year's debacle.
  • I said debacle.
  • They didn't.
  • They'd probably think I'm a college professor at Harvard if they heard me using the word.
  • Victoria has calmed down a lot.
  • Derrick has told her plenty of times that, by getting her as far along as he could, it had been up to her to win comps to further herself.
  • That's about it.

Prone to loud outbursts of joy

Is sure Derrick will win it all

Monday, September 22, 2014

Big Brother 16: Live Feeds into Monday - September 22

They gave us comp goggles!

Yep, the three hamsters are still in the house! Here's the latest from inside that Big Brother House of About Five Days Too Long:
  • They haven't killed each other yet.
  • Cody and Derrick have verified and reverified that they will take each other to the final two when one of them wins the final part of the final HoH.
  • Victoria, having lost the first two parts, is totally out of it unless one takes her with him.
  • That just ain't gonna happen.
  • BB has told them they cannot tell her that they (Derrick) won't take her to the final two.
  • She's calmed down a bit at bugging him about it.
  • However, sometimes she bursts into begging.
  • I still think her jury vote will go to Derrick for the win anyway.
  • Nonetheless, she keeps hoping for a miracle.
  • (Ain't gonna happen.)
  • Yesterday, BB ordered lunch for them from Panera.
  • Lots of pool playing.
  • Some playing in the pool.
  • Much sitting around wondering about the jury.
  • At one point they discussed Survivor. Cody didn't like the winner Tony because he lied about being a cop.
  • Heh.

Dreaming of getting out of the house

Baking for the boyz

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - September 21. 2014

Good Sunday morning to everyone! Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way! If you're looking for my latest Big Brother television show lives feeds reports, you can find those right here at this link.

I don't really have much to report on this week. I was on a staycation. I rested. I enjoyed my new refrigerator. I went to the park one day. I rested some more. Onto the photos --

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Stretching my wings

This is but a teaser for the slideshow below. The ducks of Mindowaskin Park will put on a show for any human who comes along.

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Late season bees buzzed about

Enjoy the ducks at the park! If you click on the diagonal arrow on the bottom right, this slideshow will go fullscreen for you.



Big Brother 16: Live Feeds into Sunday - September 21

I don't want to talk about this for four days!

As with any final three in the dwindling days in the house, there isn't a lot going on in the Big Brother House of Antsy Hamsters:
  • The final part of the HoH comp will be on the live finale show -- Derrick against Cody.
  • Victoria knows she's out of the whole shebang unless one of them, either of them, take her to the final two.
  • She doubts Cody will take her.
  • She thought Derrick would take her, but didn't realize until last week that Derrick and Cody had a final two deal.
  • When Cody and Derrick talked, Derrick told Cody that the Diary Room told him he cannot tell Victoria that he wouldn't/won't take her to the final two if he wins HoH.
  • Meanwhile, Victoria is coming to the realization that Derrick probably won't take her to the final two.
  • And on and on.
  • Derrick had a big long talk with her pretty much telling her he doesn't want to talk about it.
  • He claims that he doesn't know what he'll do.
  • But he did tell her (and she knew) that if he's in the final two with her, others have promised in spite that they would vote for her to win.
  • All the time they talked, Cody played pool by himself and amused himself.
  • It looks like we'll have a Cody/Derrick final two.
  • But I don't want to talk about that for the next four days!

But ... but ...

Still friends?

Just tell her, dude!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Big Brother 16: Live Feeds Part 2 HoH winner - September 19-20

Cody in agony locked in HoH room waiting

Well, part two of the final HoH comp is over.
  • Cody was locked forever in the HoH room alone. The feeds had been blocked for more than a few hours when BBAD came on and they finally showed him on the feeds and the show.
  • The comp had them scaling walls and putting placards with hamster faces in order.
  • Victoria apparently did not throw the comp.
  • She lost it anyway.
  • Part three will be Cody and Derrick on the live show.
  • Victoria cried before joining the boys.
  • The boys congratulated each other as winners of the show before Victoria joined them.
  • In his alone time in HoH, Cody definitely said he would take Derrick to the final two.
  • It's still a mystery which one Derrick would take if he wins HoH.

BB gave them Chinese food earlier today

Victoria cries after losing comp


Friday, September 19, 2014

Big Brother 16: Final HoH Comp, Final Three Show Blog Party - September 19

Big Brother summer on Make A Gif

I hope everyone remembers that the show is on tonight! As it airs here, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. Refresh the page to get the latest news!

As always, the real party is in the comments area. Come join in on the fun!

BB gives the final three breakfast complete with champagne. Now they can reminisce.

And reminisce.

And reminisce.

Yay! Izzy the dog's visit!

Finally they show the hang gliders over the way cool set. The final HoH starts. All three can complete. "Fly high or Bye-bye."

Big Brother 16: Live Feeds Thursday into Friday - September 19

I think I'm here for a reason

Good morning, hamster watchers! Before I get started with the latest oh-so exciting live feeds coverage (yeah, that's sarcasm), I'd like to direct anyone who wants to be in the Survivor blog pool over to this post here to sign up. Please do not sign up on this post. That post linked is the only place Lifeguard Laurie will be looking for pool requests!

Okay. Onto the hamsters:
  • We thought it was boring before.
  • That was nuthin'!
  • I'd like to know what's going on with the word "crush" this season. They don't eat a bag of chips; they CRUSH it. They can't win a comp; they CRUSH it. It's not a popular expression around here, but I've heard it all season on the show. What's up with that?
  • Time for me to CRUSH this live feeds report!
  • Yawn.
  • The feeds were blocked for a good part of their morning for the final three's reminiscing party, complete with champagne, orange juice and brunch.
  • Derrick, who hasn't had alcohol all season (until they gave them champagne on Wednesday night for final three) drank some. Then his tummy hurt.
  • I dunno. If it were me, I'd rather frozen strawberry margaritas rather than champagne. But, of course, they don't ask me. Nor am I there.
  • They talked about their families coming for the finale. Victoria is worried because finale night is Rosh Hashana.
  • They napped.
  • They shot baskets with the fake limes again.
  • BB gave them cards.
  • They played cards.
  • They played hide and seek.
  • They napped.
  • They studied for the memory comps and rehashed the season.
  • They talked about what the jury might think of them.
  • They snacked.
  • Today should be predictable. Victoria will either lose the comp against Derrick on her own or throw it to him so he goes against Cody in the last part.
  • Derrick has told told her that he understands her situation and cares about her. He has told her he'd take her to the final two.
  • I think he understands his own situation and cares about himself in the game ... and winning it all.
  • As it should be.

A boy and his rolling pin

Yep, I'm still here!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur - Blog Pool OPENS and Jeff's cast assessment


The latest incarnation of Survivor (San Juan Del Sur: Blood vs. Water) starts Wednesday night, September 24, at 8pm ET/PT. That, of course is the lead-in for the season finale of Big Brother 16.

Lifeguard Laurie has graciously offered to run the blog pool for the show once again. (Need I say she rocks?)

I want in! What do I do?
If you want in to the blog pool, you need to sign up in the comments of this post and this post only! Please don't try signing up on any other posts -- we might miss your comment.

Is there money involved in this?
Of course not! You needn't pay anything to get into the pool. You don't need to buy a seasonal beach pass or anything! Mind you, you don't win any money either. What you do win is bragging rights until the next season and the smugness that goes with it.

How does it work?
 Lifeguard Laurie makes random picks betwixt the castaways and the blog folks. You cheer on that castaway all season until they either win or get kicked off the island. (Well, off the Nicaragua coast, that is.)

When is the cut-off for entering?
All pool requests must be in comments to this here post and submitted by Tuesday, September 23, 5pm PT (which is 8pm ET). Be there or be square.

Without any further ado, here's Jeff Probst's cast assessment video for the season:


See you in the pool!

Big Brother 16: Live Feeds into Thursday - September 18

Cody celebrates his HoH Part 1 win

Not too much to report today (unless you missed my endurance comp post from last night). But, here ya go:
  • Yeah, Cody won the comp. He would have liked to see how long he could actually have lasted up there but no one (Derrick, Victoria) would play along.
  • Derrick smoothed over the Hitmen announcement with Victoria.
  • Victoria (unofficially) has offered Derrick part of her winnings if she makes it to the final two and not him.
  • Shh. That's a secret and it's not allowed.
  • According to the Derrick/Victoria plan, she was supposed to win this part of the three part comp as he's stronger on the mental challenges.
  • Instead, surprise of all surprises, she went out first.
  • Who woulda thunk that would happen?
  • Okay, yeah. All of us.
  • Derrick was ticked a while at Victoria because she hinted that he threw the comp.
  • I personally think he probably did. He knew he couldn't win it against Cody and basically just wanted to stay up there a "respectable" time.
  • The feeds blocked as he went down and even Victoria missed his fall/jump as her head was down. 
  • He claims he slipped.
  • We'll see about that.
  • Now Derrick and Victoria will have to go against each other in the second part of the comp.
  • Derrick tells her he can't tell her what to do, BUT he needs to win because she wouldn't do well in the third part against Cody.
  • Then he tells her she has to do what she wants.
  • But he needs to win.
  • Heh. The puppetmaster strikes again.
  • Who wants to bet right now that the final part of the comp is between Cody and Derrick?
  • What? No one?
  • Good. There's no wagering on this blog!
  • Lots of talk about the alliances of the summer.
  • Cody and Derrick keep telling Victoria that she's the Hitmen's little sister and they kept her safe all summer albeit not telling her outright about them.
  • Both Victoria and Cody think they will be in the final two with Derrick.
  • Only one of them can be.
  • Either of them would pick him.
  • It's hard to tell which one he'd pick as he has such a convincing scenario presented to each of them and he hasn't confided in us.
  • Of course, with Cody, his story is Hitmen, Day 2, etc.
  • With Victoria, it's special relationship, little sister, will remain good friends forever.
  • Today they should have the reminisce breakfast for taping.
  • I'm not sure when Part Two of the HoH comp will be. It might be live on Friday's show. I just don't know.
  • We all know Part Three will be on finale night.
  • Lots of time between now and then.