Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Amazing Race: Season Premiere Blog Party

Oh my ... the premiere is even going to be on time-ish. 60 Minutes started here on the East Coast at 7:04 PM. So, a few minutes off. It looks like there are a lot of strong teams in the cast this season. Plus, the winner of the first leg wins TWO million dollars if they win the show. That has happened six times over the previous seasons, so it's a possibility. We'll have to see the first leg to judge whether we want that team winning so much, though. After all, it's OUR show. They're just there for our entertainment!

Margo has finalized the random picks for the blog pool --

                              **Pool Match Ups**

Abbie & Ryan - Donna in AL, Sharon, Rbennie
Amy & Daniel - Auntie Leigh, DKNYNC, ML
Caitlin & Brittany - JOEY, Lars, tlynsta,
Gary & Will - PDXGranny, Buzzmaam, Jackie
James & Mark - Caela, Jennasmom, Sydney, Brian
Jaymes & James - Margo, Becky, Zoetawny
Josh & Brent - Sharon S, MEB, Dusty, Monty924
Natalie & Nadiya - Lynn1, Glenn, Ed in OH
Rob & Kelley - Laurie, JonMd1267, Delee, Nana in NW
Rob & Sheila - Terry in TX, Brent Mckee, ChicMc
Trey & Lexi - SueGee, Merrilee, Donna in FL

Very cool -- I have the team Phil called "not normal." I actually like that as long as they don't go out early! They look like a fun team. I'm so not into the drama with some of the teams we have to endure.

As the show airs here, I'll update this entry with the major news. However, the real fun is always in the comments area. Come join us!

The race is starting off in Pasadena, CA. They're heading to China! Now, there's a way to start the race!

Roadblock - Who's ready to get paddled? A table tennis challenge.

Double Roadblock - Who wants to go tubing? Eating the fallopian tubes of frogs, a delicacy. EW.

Yikes, the second four teams (including my pool boys) just arrived when the first are almost through with the second roadblock!

Teams are off (some of them) to the Bund Observatory, the pit stop for the first leg.

Abbie and Ryan are the first team to arrive. If they win, they get the two million.

2. Danny and Amy
3. Caitlin and Brittany
4. Natalie and Nadiya
5. Rob and Kelly
6. James and Abba
7. Josh and Brent
8. Gary and Will
9. Trey and Lexi
10. Jaymes and James (by 15 seconds)
11. Rob and Sheila -- PHILIMINATED 

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - Sept. 30, 2012

It's Sunday morning. That means that 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. Tonight will be the big season premiere of The Amazing Race. I will be posting a blog party post for the show and would love to see you there!

Hmm ... my week, eh? Well, it was nothing for the history books of most fantastic times of my life, for sure! I'm still under the weather. However, I did return to work on Thursday. Sure enough, the rain came to join me for my work return. It's held off for the most part for the past few days. But I ended up making sure I had my umbrella with me anyway.

On Tuesday I dropped off my entries for the Plainfield Library Photo Contest. It was also my first time in the library since they remodeled and reopened a few weeks back. Wow. I'm impressed with the changes! It's definitely a change from the libraries I grew up loving. Heck, all they had were books! I really enjoy the staff working there, as well. Good people, some fantastic artwork, BOOKS and more. If I lived next door, I might just develop an addiction.

I think I'm just going to head into random notes of the week or my observations. Yeah, I know it's cheating, but ...!
  • There is an elderly man on my street who has a motorized wheelchair. He has a boom box on his wheelchair. He plays Jamaican music. It's like it's coming over a PA system. He needs to stop.
  • Then again, there are also those fools who feel they need to use their cellphones as mini-boom boxes. It's all tinny and annoying. They need to stop, too.
  • Sure, just as I was walking up to my building, I hear a voice shout, "Do you need a ride?" I turn around and it's a police car. It was one of the narcotic detectives, albeit it in uniform and on patrol. He's a good guy I know from the bus stop downtown. I told him I lived here.
  • I guess it's good that the narcotics/gangs cops "know" me, but haven't a clue where I live.
  • Not that it would matter if they did. I lead the ultimate in boring well-behaved lives these days. My drugs of choice are ibuprofen and caffeine. My only "gangs" I might belong to are fellow local bloggers and folks who say hello on the streets.
  • The school year has resulted in more school kids on the morning train. Their conversations SO differ from when I was in high school. Three boys were talking about how many lives they had gone through and how to get a special weapon to get to the next level.
  • We talked about rock concerts at Saratoga and anti-war protests.
  • Vincent the Cat is now addicted to Temptations cat treats. It's my fault. I'm an enabler.
Onto the photos for the week. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window, clicking again will make it even larger. To return to the blog, just close the Photobucket window.

Flower with bee
Late season bee

I'm really not liking the yellow jackets who have started to bumble around bumping into me. They can be aggressive. But the bumblebees themselves are always laid back and good photo fodder. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Walking upright
Uh-oh, walking upright!

If they get opposable thumbs, we needn't fear a takeover from birds anymore. It will be squirrels overthrowing mankind. East Front Street.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Amazing Race: Phil Keoghan's Season Breakdown

So ... have you signed up for the pool yet? Margo hasn't announced a cut-off time unless I've missed it. I think midnight tonight (Saturday, Eastern time zone) should be the latest you can sign up. That would be fair, I believe. Of course, if Margo has indeed indicated a cut-off earlier than that and I missed it ... oops and she's the Pool Boss!

The season premiere is tomorrow night at 8 PM ET or after 60 Minutes, whichever comes last. (Sigh.) I really hate that so many of my favorite shows are on Sunday evenings with a haphazard schedule due to sports coverage. I seriously think that they'd be better off scheduling sports to end at 8 PM and cutting out one primetime show. Ah, but that might lose them some revenue, huh?

Anyway ... I'm including Phil's breakdown of the teams we'll be watching this season. I so agree with him about those teams who claim they want to test their relationships. I mean, are they serious? Under super pressure when the best of friends might crack, silly folks want to test themselves. Okay. Go for it, fools!

I'm taking an immediate liking to several of the teams just based on the videos I've seen at this point. But I'm going to need to see them in action to really judge them. How about you? Do you have an early favorites? 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Survivor: Philippines - Jeff Kent Wants Penner Gone

I know blog reader Petals isn't going to like this, but I have to agree with Jeff Kent. He wants Penner out first from his tribe. His reasoning? This is Jonathan Penner's third attempt at a win! While he was medically evacuated the last time, that's not the story of his first shot on the show. In that season, he was voted out.

Kent's reasoning is solid. Not only has Penner had the chance before and it would be nice for a new castaway to win, but they don't really need Penner. He helped them set up the camp and there honestly isn't much else he can help them with at this point. It's not like Penner is a challenge winning hero or anything. We know Penner has the idol, Kent merely suspects it. If they can blindside him, all the less of a chance of it being used. 


As long as they don't throw a challenge in order to take him down, I'm for them getting Penner gone. How about you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Survivor: Philippines - Sept. 26 Episode Blog Party

Well, last week they did seem to get the most foolish person off the island. I mean, c'mon ... what kind of strategy is it to tell everyone to vote you off unless you're Dr. Will on Big Brother? Hopefully, this week my blog pool dude, Russell, will improve his social game some. If not, I fear he won't last long.

A non-related note: If you want in on The Amazing Race blog pool, please stop by this post and get your name added in!

The show will be starting in a few minutes here. As it airs, I'll update this post with the major events. However, as always, the real fun is in the comments area. Come join in cahoots with us!

Survivor fans ready?

The blog pool picks are as follows:

By tribes:
Carter : Deb, Pam M in NJ, Syd
Dana : Auntie Leigh, Joey
Dawson : Brent McKee, lynn 1, Zoetawny
Jeff : DKNYNC, Jennasmom
Jonathan : Brian, JonMD1267, Tammy G
Katie : Glenn, Merrilee
Angie : Donna in Alabama, Monty924
Denise : Buzzmaam, Karen in CA
Malcolm : Dewan, Margo
Roxy : Dusty, Lifeguard Laurie
Russell : Jackie, Petals
Zane : Ed in Ohio, Russ in CA, Sharon VOTED OUT
Abi-Maria : Chrob61, meb, SueGee
Artis : Delee, ML
Lisa : Gaylos, Nana in the NW, Terry in TX
Michael : Donna in FL, Lars
Pete : Becky, Rbennie
RC (Roberta) : ChicMc, PDX Granny, Sharon S


RC found the idol clue and Abi caught her, so they're "in it" together.

Penner found the idol in his camp.

Lisa feels alienated.

Immunity Challenge time, reward included -- blankets, pillow and tarp for first. Tarp for second. Tribal Council for third. They're dragging heavy sleds of puzzle pieces across a dirt field. Three puzzles.

Tandang wins first place, Kalabaw second. Matsing to Tribal Council ... again.

Angie is targeted because she's been cuddling Malcolm. Roxy is trouble. So, who will go home?

The vote tally: Roxy, Angie, Roxy, Roxy ... is OUT! Her mouth did her in. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - September 23, 2012

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

Since my last off topic post, unfortunately I have been quite ill. Last Sunday night, I awoke to a high fever, chills and various aches and pains. It only got worse. On Tuesday, I went to the doctor who decided blood tests were in order to determine what's wrong. It's all due to a mosquito. Grr. I'm not naming the illness here as I don't want a gazillion whackos finding this post in a search. However, it's the "fever" version rather than the "virus" version. I do have a list of symptoms to watch for which, if they happen, would necessitate a trip to the hospital. 

At this point, I don't think that will happen. I'm still running a low-grade fever and still feel all kinds of fatigued. My appetite is slowly returning. I've arranged to be off from work until Thursday in hopes that I'll be more chipper then. Well, as chipper as I get, anyhow.

As a result of going to work only one day this past week and staying in bed for most of said week, my photos are a bit lacking. I did go out yesterday for a run to CVS in Scotch Plains to pick up my photos for the Plainfield Library Photo Competition as the deadline is looming ahead. My printer here at home always wants to print photos off center and, with ordering them online at CVS, it's a snap! 

While in Scotch Plains, I stopped by their Farmers Market. Oh my! I rarely make it to Farmers Markets as the one here in Plainfield is on weekdays I work and the others (Scotch Plains, Westfield, Bound Brook) are all on Saturdays, another regular workday for me. I have been to the Plainfield one before. It's nice, but quite small. Going to the one in Scotch Plains gave me a different perspective. There were several farms involved and the market took up the entire municipal parking lot.

I didn't buy a lot as I didn't feel like carrying a lot on the bus on the way home. They had green peppers three for a dollar -- sure, they were small, but I don't plan on making stuffed peppers with them. I took peppers right off my latest Peapod list when I got home. I also picked up some very nice cucumbers at two for a dollar. And, best of all, I bought some apple cider doughnuts. I have a craving for them every fall and rarely see them in stores around here. I really should have bought some small gourds for the window.

And, thankfully ... it is autumn. After some storms passed through late last night, we have beautiful autumn weather on the schedule this week. Hopefully I'll feel better enough during my scheduled time off to spend some time outside.

Onto the photos -- clicking on an image will open it in a new window, clicking again will make it larger. To get back here, just close the new window.   

weed's last stand
Its days are numbered

The blossom on this weed is still holding up, but its leaves are in a sad state.

Teensy spider web
The itsy-bitsy spider in its itsy-bitsy web

I have some sad news. The one day I went to work, I noticed that Venus the Spider was gone. Her web is in tatters and she's nowhere about. However, I saw that these tiny spiders -- this web is only about two inches wide -- have taken up residence in the poison ivy by the Bridgewater Train Station. This particular web was shining in the sunlight and caught my attention.


Friday, September 21, 2012

The Amazing Race Cast Video ... and Pool?

The new season of The Amazing Race makes its debut Sunday evening, September 30 at 8 PM ET (sports permitting, of course). The Amazing Margo has offered to host the blog pool if folks are interested. Will YOU be watching? Do you want in on a pool? In the days ahead, I'll be delving more into the cast. But, here's the Phil intro for now ...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Big Brother 14: The Interview Aftermath

What? I looked totally DUMB all summer? Thanks, DAN!

Alas, I can't post the live feeds backyard interviews. We got another super open-mouthed gape from Danielle when Missie told her that Dan told Shane that Danielle was playing him (Shane) all summer as Shane got evicted. Last night, Danielle's love affair with Dan came crashing all about her. She told all the interviewers she sees a future with Shane.

Meanwhile, the live feeds interview with Shane saw a man who went on about being broke, jobless, maybe homeless after wasting a whole summer. He said the long distance relationship has no future. On the other hand, I really liked Mike Boogie's backyard (live feeds) interview -- he's so happy with Ian he could bust. It's good to see another side of Boogie. He's actually human. Go figure!

On The Talk, Ian showed his before season plan was exactly how everything went down ...

Hit the 'Read More' link for more Jeff backyard interviews as well as reliving the jury grilling and final speeches. I have too many videos on the main page and it's slowing the loading. But, there are more ... trust me!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Big Brother 14: Season Finale Blog Party

BB12 Blogo 3

Welp, this is it. Since early July, we've watched hamsters in the house off each other, many indirectly (but effectively) at the hands of Dan, the Man With a Plan. It's down to Ian, Dan and Danielle. Who will be in the final two and who will snag the majority of the jury votes? As the show airs, I'll update this entry with the major events. But, true to tradition, the real excitement is in the comments area -- come join us!

And, while I have y'all here -- I'd like to thank you for the kind words about me and about the blog. If you so desire, I'm always willing to accept donations at the Paypal link on the side. Mind you, you don't have to donate. But, y'know ... if you feel like it, I appreciate it. Donations or not, I do appreciate each and every one of you. (I refuse to say 'preesh!)

But, first ... let's get on with the HoH final competition! Final three -- quack.

Dan talked to Ian before part one and convinced him to throw it. Then he got Danielle to drop by telling her he would do better against Ian in Part Three (and bring her).

Dan schemes with Danielle to have her get all mad at Ian if she doesn't win. Dan thinks he can talk Ian into throwing the third part of the HoH to him. We'll see about that.

Part Two is the BB Skyscraper. They have to scale a building and place eliminated hamsters in the correct order. Danielle - 7 minutes, 31 seconds. Ian - 6 minutes, 4 seconds. Ian wins Part Two!

Heh. Ian tells Dan he won't throw the comp. He's "risk-averse."

The jury talks over the final three. Joe and Britney are pro-Ian. Frank and Jenn are still bitter. Onto Danielle -- riding Dan's coattails, but then thinking she's smart. Dan -- Britney is in awe. Dangerous. Frank, Joe and Shane are reserved about his gameplay.

The final part of the HoH -- Ian pitted against Dan. It's how well you know the members of the jury. Ian is a point ahead! Two points ahead!Three points ahead! IAN IS THE FINAL HOH!

Ian votes to evict ... Danielle because he "has to honor his commitment to Dan."

Jury questioning time.

Ashley -- Ian, credit for the Quack Pack, did you make the decisions or follow?
He takes credit and Dan tries to interrupt.

Frank -- Lying and backstabbing (Dan), wedding ring -- Had to be ruthless, but it got me to this point.

Jenn -- Ian, don't respect snitches. After reset, had to play my own game.

Joe -- Up to elbows in blood (Dan), how with no HoH? Dan talks about all the stabbing in the back he had to do.

Britney -- Ian, why do you deserve to win over Dan? Build my own destiny, made my own alliance, played a slightly cleaner game.

Shane -- Satan, er, Dan ... why do you deserve to win over Ian? Britney brought Ian by the leash. Ian is saying BULL. 

Danielle -- Ian, did you know Dan had a final two deal with me? No, he gave me his grandfather's gold necklace with cross.

Speech time: 
Ian -- Disgusted with what he just heard in the questioning. He lays into Dan. Stands up for himself well.

Dan -- Does his practiced speech I posted this morning. "I beat you, but I love you." Danielle has daggers in her eyes.

Voting time - Ashley first. then Britney, Frank, Joe, Jenn, Shane, Danielle (try to keep her word).

The eliminated non-jury hamsters dish before the votes are read.

The votes:
Danielle -- Dan
Shane -- Ian
Jenn -- Ian
Joe -- Ian
Frank -- Ian 


Everybody is QUACKING! Ashley and Britney also voted for Ian. The vote for Ian to win was 6-1 with the one for Dan being Danielle.

Frank won the favorite HG. How did that happen?

Thank you, everybody, for the summer of fun here and the kind words! Quack!

Survivor: Philippines - Season Premiere Blog Party

The show is about to start here on the East Coast. As it airs, I'll update this post with any major events. But, as with every blog party, the real fun is in the comments area. I hope to see you there!

The finalized random picks for the blog pool are:

By tribes:
Carter : Deb, Pam M in NJ, Syd
Dana : Auntie Leigh, Joey
Dawson : Brent McKee, lynn 1, Zoetawny
Jeff : DKNYNC, Jennasmom
Jonathan : Brian, JonMD1267, Tammy G
Katie : Glenn, Merrilee
Angie : Donna in Alabama, Monty924
Denise : Buzzmaam, Karen in CA
Malcolm : Dewan, Margo
Roxy : Dusty, Lifeguard Laurie
Russell : Jackie, Petals
Zane : Ed in Ohio, Russ in CA, Sharon
Abi-Maria : Chrob61, meb, SueGee
Artis : Delee, ML
Lisa : Gaylos, Nana in the NW, Terry in TX
Michael : Donna in FL, Lars
Pete : Becky, Rbennie
RC (Roberta) : ChicMc, PDX Granny, Sharon S

Thank you, Lifeguard Laurie! Survivor fans ready?

Hidden immunity idols are in play this season. They get to scramble at sea for supplies including chickens. Jeff Kent already hurt his knee in the scramble. The red tribe, Kalabaw, even lost their chickens they snagged.

Matsing (blue) built fire within 45 minutes of landing at their camp.

Jeff Kent, whose knee is still hurt, already is leading his fellow Kalabaw to get rid of Jonathan because he's a repeat player.

On Tandang, RC is getting on with Lisa (not THAT way)! No one seems to recognize Lisa except Skupin, who hasn't said anything. RC makes an alliance with Abi, Pete and Skupin.

Ah, Dawson recognizes Jeff Kent. She tucks that knowledge away for when it's needed.

Mike Skupin tells Lisa he recognizes her. He likes her. She doesn't want it revealed unless someone else recognizes her.

Zane is lining up the gals in his corner. then the men -- Russell and Malcolm. Meanwhile, Malcolm and Denise (the sex therapist) seem to have their own little alliance.

Skupin is already getting himself all banged up!

Penner found a clue to a hidden idol. Russell, not searching like Penner was, accidentally found a clue. Zane saw Russell find the clue. He thinks Russell has the idol and wants him out first.

Immunity Challenge -- First two tribes to win get Immunity and Reward. Race to get paddles, boat out for puzzle pieces, then a puzzle to be solved. Kalabaw wins first place -- Immunity and a fire-making kit. Tandang -- Immunity and a flint. Matsing goes to Tribal Council.

Zane throws himself under the bus in a weird scheme that they'll get Russell out instead. I'm not really understanding. Russell has turned off most of his tribe with his leading while insisting he's not a leader.

Tribal Council time. They're not pleased with Russell being a dictator. Zane votes Russell and vice versa. The votes: Zane, Russ, Zane, Zane, Zane. His plan didn't work and my blog pool dude Russell lives to play another comp!   

Survivor: Philippines - Jeff Probst's Cast Assessment (Video)

I watched this after I posted my thoughts. Some of them coincide with Jeff's. Remember, the premiere is tonight leading into the Big Brother season finale!

Survivor: Philippines - Blog Pool Picks

Lifeguard Laurie has come up with the random picks for the blog pool. This is an image file, so you can click on it to get a larger image --

Big Brother 14: Live Feeds Tuesday Into Wednesday Dawn - Sept. 18-19

Win or lose, BB NEEDS to give Ian the hammock!

With the exception of Dan's jury plea practice in the wee hours of this morning, the live feeds have been on the mundane side. For the most part, Danielle has calmed down and seems to accept her third-place fate. Ian's still hammock rocking planning while Dan is always scheming. Here's what happened into the wee hours inside that Big Brother House of Three Hamsters Standing:
  • The Talk segment they taped yesterday (blocked to the feeds) is now being advertised to air today. It's on at 2pm here, but check your local listings.
  • Dan fussed about Diary Room interference and how they're stirring ^#% up. 
  • But we didn't get the full story on that because ...
  • "Houseguests, you are NOT allowed to talk about production!"
  • Then we get fish.
  • No, it's never FOTH anymore -- that's been gone for years. (Front of the house which sometimes sported a cute lawn boy watering the plants.)
  • I always liked chicken cam (BB1) or spider cam (BB7) best.
  • Lots of meaningless talk -- such as who physically has the bigger head, Danielle or Dan?
  • The answer is Danielle. #bighead to refer to Danielle.
  • They rehashed just about everything and I refuse to. I already hashed it.
  • They drank beer, but no one got drunk.
  • Danielle told Ian she has breast implants.
  • "Shh ... only you and Dan know."
  • As well as the rest of the Internet, Danielle.
  • Ian practiced his jury plea speech while rocking in the hammock.
  • He's thrilled with the Quack Pack.
  • He's happy to be a Renegade, too.
  • Dan will only be happy with the big win.
  • Danielle told them that she never saw Dr. Will's gameplay.
  • Perhaps that's why the Mist worked so well on her?
  • Today's feeds are scheduled to cut off at 3pm ET.
  • If anything of any consequence happens, I'll post. However, I'm a bit under the weather and I have a busy night ahead.
  • So, no promises!
  • I will definitely have blog party posts for both the Survivor: Philippines season premiere and the Big Brother 14 finale tonight.
  • Be there or be square.
  • And bring snacks.  

Danielle has adjusted her attitude a bit

Now, you know the feeds were boring if I played with screencaps to turn them black and white with a bit of color ...

His future's so bright, he had to put on shades

It's (not) in the cards, Danielle

BB warrior mode

Survivor: Philippines - The New Castaways, Part Three

Alright! We've gone through the familiar faces, the Matsing and Tandang tribes, so now it's the Kalabaw tribe. Kalabaw has familiar faces Jonathan Penner and Jeff Kent in it, everyone else is a newbie. Survivorfans ready?

Dana Lambert - Age 32, current residing in Winston-Salem, NC but she's originally an Arkansas gal. We have yet another superfan here, but this one's a bit different. She seems to be doing it as much as for her life resume as she is for a win. She's a cosmetologist who thinks she's most like Boston Rob in her game approach. Y'know, I kind of like her. At this glance stage I have to say I don't think she'll win, but I could be wrong. Again, she's another one who looks much younger than her actual age. I can just see her being a Southern belle now! :-)

Carter Williams is 24 years old, a track coach and a fairly recent college grad who's been concentrating on getting on the show. He currently resides in Shawnee, KS. Huh. He's a runner, but lists surfing as a hobby. I didn't realize surfing was a big thing in Kansas, did you? He seems to be at least a quasi-superfan and says he'll play challenges with the heart of Ozzy, but has more of a personality of Eric Reichenbach or Fabio. He seems very likable, but I'm getting a laid-back vibe from his video. I'm not sure how well that will do for a win. His tree-climbing skills may not a win make.

Katie Hanson is a 22 year old college senior from Newark, Delaware. She's studying criminal justice and plans to be a state trooper. (You go, girl!) She's also a pageant girl having been Miss Delaware 2011 and in the national Miss USA pageant. Oh my. She thinks she's most like Danni Boatwright. She's one I'm of two minds about. I think, with her passion for police work, she might very well be a strong competitor. But then, I see that one of her reasons for wanting to win (other than the money) is to meet a hot guy ... well, that's not so good in my book. We'll see.

Sara Dawson, called Dawson for some reason, is a 28-year-old insurance salesperson currently living in Silver Springs, MD but hailing from Georgia. She thinks her gameplay will be a mix of Sugar and Sandra. Hmm. Yet another huge fan of the show, she plans to concentrate on her social game. She does seem to have a likable personality, but also comes across as a bit fake to me. I can't really get a take on her. I think I'll have to say that how she'll do will remain a mystery until she does it.

Keep in mind that if you want to be in the blog pool, you need to reply before 3 PM ET (noon PT) to this post or email to

Big Brother 14: Live Feeds - Dan's Plea Practice - Sept 19

Dan goes over his speech to the jury

"When this game was reset, I knew I was in trouble. On the pirate ship, I saw two huge physical competitors in Frank and Shane that I couldn't beat. I saw two huge social competitors in Jenn and Joe ..." On and on.

He's using a stopwatch to time himself. He's basically going on the fact that everyone's game was so great that he had to play a ruthless game, not because he wanted to, but he had to. He couldn't depend on winning competitions. He had to get people to do something for him, then stab them in the back. He had to do the funeral to make it seem like he wasn't working with Danielle. When Joe figured it out, he had to go. The funeral was also a cover to make a deal with Frank -- if Britney knew, she would have stopped it.

He goes from mentioning that Ian said nasty things about Ashley to the fact that he doesn't have a photographic memory like Ian. I think he's settling on the latter one. I personally think that's a better choice. If he trashes Ian, it looks sleazier and childish.

But, he's obviously setting all of this up planning to be sitting next to Ian ... NOT Danielle. I think he will indeed throw the comp. After all, if he's practicing the speech and timing it, it would throw everything awry to be sitting next to Danielle.

For some reason, his speech is reminding me of a domestic abuser telling his victim, "You MADE me do it. I love you, baby." Oh, sure. It's a bit nicer. Jus' sayin' ...

I will put up another post with the highlights of yesterday and last night. But I felt this deserved immediate attention. Nothing else has been as newsworthy. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Survivor: Philippines - Blog Pool OPEN

Lifeguard Laurie will be running the blog pool once again this season. (Yay, Laurie ... you ROCK!) If you want in on the pool -- remember, the winner gets bragging rights until the next season -- please respond to this post. I apologize for the short notice, but we need your name in by 12 PM ET or 3 PM PT tomorrow (Wednesday). You can also email

Who wants to go swimming?

Big Brother 14: Live Feeds Monday Night Into Tuesday - Sept. 17-18

Are they ALL still alive?
With the HoH room closed off since last week, I guess they occasionally show us the fish to show that most are still alive. It's weird, though. A single camera will be on the fish instead of two trained on the room from different angles. It shows that they indeed could have four cameras in four separate places instead of the normal two rooms, two angles each. Here's the latest from inside that Big Brother House of Wasted Days and Wasted Nights:
  • Not feeds per se, but ... Julie Chen was on Craig Ferguson last night. (Not literally ON him, but on his show!) She just started talking about Dan's gameplay and he cut her off. Every time she started to talk BB, he interrupted. Grr.
  • It sounds like the final three will be on The Talk either today or tomorrow while the winner will be on The Talk Thursday.
  • Dan kept asking Ian questions about Survivor. Ian is as much a fan of that show as of BB. I too have watched every season, but can't just list the seasons in order and spout out the winners.
  • I'd say he should go on the show. Alas, I fear he'd weigh 20 pounds at the end of it, though.
  • Danielle is coming back to life and being better around Ian. She even played cards (Speed) with him last night.
  • And, she even smiled occasionally.
  • Hmm ... Ian heats up peanut butter to go over his ice cream. I never thought of that. I need to try it with chocolate ice cream.
  • Danielle admitted to Dan that he carried her through the game even though she claimed she carried him through it the night before.
  • Dan put on a big sad act for Danielle with his own pity party about how bad he is.
  • Hook, line and sinker if I believe him!
  • Danielle believes him.
  • She tells him she'll get the whole jury to vote for him.
  • @@
  • Remember, she gets about five minutes jury time before they vote (if she gets tossed by Ian or Dan).
  • Ian hammocked. 
  • Danielle, never learning, popped more pimples in the mirror.
  • I hope they clean that mirror soon.
  • Not much game talk (other than previous seasons and Survivor).
  • They're asleep as I post this. 

Fountain of Survivor knowledge

Will she ever learn not to do this? Ever?

Quoting the bible ...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Survivor: Philippines - The New Castaways, Part Two

The season premiere is Wednesday, 8 PM ET/PT, leading into the season finale of Big Brother. I've already posted about the familiar faces on the show and the Matsing Tribe. Tonight I'm taking a look at the Tandang Tribe. Two of the familiar faces are on this tribe -- Lisa Whelchel and Mike Skupin.

Abi-Maria Gomes is 32 years old, presently living in Los Angeles, but hailing from Brazil. She claims to be a business student. I don't know. When watching her video, she came across as much younger. Although I admire her moving here and earning her citizenship, I'm not quite getting how she feels being on the show will change the world for the better. She seems a bit narcissistic in the video, too. She might just annoy me.


Artis Silvester, age 53, is a government IT guy currently living in Terry Town, LA. He beat stage 4 cancer and, as he says, he's a survivor playing Survivor. He thinks he's a combination of Rupert, James and Rudy. Well, that's different. The man doesn't look 53! I love in his bio that one of the reasons he's playing is because he's sick of yelling at the television when the castaways do stupid things. I think I'm going to like him.


Pete Yurkowski, age 24, is from Holmdel, NJ. Hey, I know where that is! (No, it's not near me -- it's further south). He has his engineering degree, yet he's a model. I do like that he's not into the Jersey Shore persona. Those who don't live here tend to get a skewed version of the state. He seems pretty full of himself and plans to be a Russell. Not a Good Russell, mind you. Sigh. Hopefully he has a better social game. I'm curious whether others might immediately tag his as a threat or not.

RC (Roberta) Saint-Amour, age 27, from NYC is an investment banker. She has swum the English Channel, worked several years as a lifeguard. And, though she's from the city, she thinks she just might win this thing. Here we have another show super fan, having watched every season. I like that she says she's an original and no other previous castaway is like her. I like her. Hopefully that won't change when I see her in action.

Tomorrow, I check out the Kalabaw tribe!

Big Brother 14: Live Feeds Into Monday Evening - Sept. 17

"To be the best, you have to beat the best."

Next season, they really need to rework this final three thing. Or, perhaps just not have Danielle in there. Yeah, that's the ticket. Here's what's been happening in that Big Brother House of Put It Out Of Its Misery, Please:
  • In the late hours of last night, Ian made the mistake of trying to be friendly to Danielle.
  • She lit into him, going on and on about how she can't believe what he's doing to her.
  • She accused him of having a final two deal with Dan.
  • Ian really didn't say much at all, admitted to very little.
  • He basically sat there and let her rant at him, albeit looking very uncomfortable.
  • He pointed out that Dan has betrayed her more than he ever did.
  • "I expected that from him, but not from you!"
  • Say what?
  • After she finished ranting at him, she went inside and plopped herself down on a couch fussing that she needed to go to the Diary Room for a good fifteen minutes.
  • Heh. BB ignored her.
  • Instead, Dan came in and kept smiling at her.
  • He's deliberately trying to push her off the edge, it seems.
  • Well, if there's any edge left to her psyche, that is.
  • When she retold the Ian conversation to Dan, she claimed he cried a tear.
  • He did not! He looked horribly uncomfortable, but didn't cry. Not one tear.
  • Instead of taking her rants seriously, Dan kept giggling.
  • Now, that's where I would decide to stop talking and pull the covers over my head or something.
  • Instead, she just kept going on about Shane, Ian and how Dan had betrayed her.
  • She's a bit better today.
  • Apparently the Diary Room warned her about her physical threats regarding Ian.
  • Dan has again confirmed Ian will take him to the final two if he wins the third part of the HoH.
  • I'm still not even sure Dan will try to win.
  • All I can say is that, thankfully, it will all be over tomorrow night for the live feeds. 
  • My apologies for saying tomorrow night and not specifying. The SHOW is Wednesday night.
  • However, tomorrow night will be the last night of the live feeds. The show day itself is usually cleaning or blocked. 

I left SO much to come here!

I wish Danielle would just shut up

Call the psych! Call the psych!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Big Brother 14: Live Feeds Sunday Into the Evening - Sept. 16

Danielle's body language says it all. She's defeated and resistance is futile. This could very well be the most awkward final three ever in the house. Here are the non-events from inside that Big Brother House of Misery:
  • Danielle is not only acting about being mad at Ian, she's actually mad at him.
  • She told Dan she wants to punch him (Ian) out and can't stand talking to him.
  • Say what?
  • All Ian did was win a comp. It's DAN who's bamboozled her all season!
  • She told Dan she never liked Ian and was only putting up with him due to the alliance -- she doesn't need to pretend anymore. She also said she doesn't like Ian because he's an atheist.
  • Dan corrected her with "agnostic."
  • Doesn't matter. Still enough reason for misdirected anger and "hate."
  • She spent most of the day sulking, pouting, sighing, fake-crying, a few real tears here and there and playing the martyr.
  • Ian hammocked a good portion of the day away.
  • Dan sleazed Danielle acting like he's got her best interests in mind and she basically bought it again.
  • Oh, not hook, line and sinker (heehee) like before.
  • But seeing as it's DAN she's talking to, not IAN ... something is still awry in her mindset regarding who did her in.
  • Of course, it was Danielle herself who did herself in by falling for Dan's "coaching."
  • She might just realize that but is now too dependent on Dan's input.
  • Pavlov's dog hamster-style!
  • By evening, she was acting civilly with Ian, but not having much fun at anything.
  • We have three more days of this.
  • BIG SIGH and I feel I need to put on my pouty face. Whatever did I do to deserve this kind of treatment from these hamsters?
  • It's not fair! I've lived and breathed the live feeds for three months of my life and this is my thank you! HUH!
  • Er. 
  • Ahem.
  • Danielle told Dan he's sitting pretty either way, whether he or Ian wins the third part.
  • Heck, she doesn't really know it, but he's been sitting pretty with the final three, as well.
  • She knows Ian won't take her.
  • "What? You don't think I can win against Ian?" Dan asked her, referring to the last part of the final HoH comp.
  • She didn't answer.
  • Dan is still making sure Ian will bring him to the final two, but seems to have stopped thinking about how to get him (Ian) to throw the comp.
  • That's because Ian said that would never happen -- he's planning on playing for the win.
  • Good Ian.
  • Dan, on the other hand, is thinking of throwing the comp so that Danielle's exit is at Ian's hands.
  • He seems to think he might have a chance with the jury against Ian.
  • Sigh. Three more days of this. 

Big Brother 14: Shane Eviction Fallout, Season Reflection Show Blog Party - Sept. 16

BB12 Blogo 3

Apparently CBS is just now learning its lessons -- due to sports, the show is scheduled to begin at 8:30 PM ET here in the NYC viewing area. I'm putting this post up at the regular time as I know folks look for it and the show might be on time in other viewing markets.

Once it finally starts here, I'll update this post with the major events. I don't believe they'll be showing the two parts of the HoH comp already played, but I might be wrong on that. If you don't know and want to know, go back a few days in my posts and you'll find out.

The real fun is in the comments section. Come join us dissing ... er ... DISCUSSING ... the show!

8:36 PM ET and 60 Minutes just ended here. I'm ready for the show, how 'bout YOU?

It's the aftermath of the Shane eviction. Silly Danielle. "Dan lied AGAIN."

Celebration champagne brunch time ... and reflection time, too.

Finally, all the reminiscing is over and they're starting the Hook, Line and Sinker endurance comp. We know how it and part two end, but that won't be aired until Wednesday.

Survivor: Philippines -- The New Castaways, Part One

I already covered the familiar faces on this season's cast. Now it's time to take a look at some of the new faces coming aboard. 

First up are members of the Matsing Tribe (which include the previously discussed familiar face Russell Swan):

Zane Knight is a tire repair dude currently living in Danville, VA. Country and tattooed, he's obviously no high fashion recruit for the show. I'm not quite sure what to make of a man who has a pet peeve about ice cream sprinkles. He's 28 years old and married, loving his wife and Jesus. He wants to be on the show so he can afford to buy his own tow truck. Lofty dreams indeed. I'm wondering how he'll fare in the sun. He's more pale than I am! He claims he'll be most like Brandon. Sigh. I'm guessing Hantz not the Brandon Quinton from Survivor: Africa. Eww.


Roxy Morris, age 28, is a seminary student residing in Brooklyn, NY. While her online bio definitely touts religion, she isn't coming across as some very religious folks do in her video clip. She comes across quite secular and I'd bet she's spot on with her statement that she would assimilate well. She's an Army Chaplain and seems not only personable, but physically fit as well. Uh-oh. She also likes Brandon. Oh my gosh, what is wrong with people? The guy was a flake! I feel that Roxy will have a good social game, but I can't see her being overly conniving. While nice guys win now and then (Ethan comes to mind), the schemers usually win more often.

Malcolm Freburg is a 24-year old bartender living in Hermosa Beach, CA. While his video claims all the Dartmouth greatness, he's a bartender like so many reality show contestants we've seen in the past. I'm sure he didn't study "mixology" there. While he comes across way too cocky in his video, there's actually something about him I like. He's definitely a student of the game -- like Ian on BB14, he grew up watching it and wanting to be on the show. I like that he enjoys the strategic part. It looks like he'll have no problems in the physical arena. He believes he'll play a bit like Russell (Hantz). Oh my. I only hope he has a better social game. He's certainly better eye candy than Hantz!

Denise Stapley is a 41-year-old sex therapist. Well, that's something new and different for a career on the show, eh? She currently lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On the surface, she should do well. She's into triathlons and such. As a therapist (sex or otherwise), she should know how to build a decent social game. She thinks she'll be most like Stephenie ... a good thing, I say. All that said, there's something about her which turned me a bit off in her video. I can't put my finger on it, though. Maybe it's the fast talking; maybe it's the therapist peeking through. I reserve judgment on her. 

Angie Layton, age 20, currently lives in Provo, UT. 20? She's a CHILD! She's a model, go figure. Oh, and if you watch the video, she mentions she "said yes to Survivor." Can we say recruit? She is very pretty as she should be having been Miss Utah Teen and runner-up for Miss Teen USA. She thinks she'll be considered a "dumb blond" and compares herself to Fabio. One of her reasons for being on the show, other than to win, is to "meet some hotties." I just don't know about this one.

That's it for the Matsing Tribe. Tomorrow evening, I'll post about the Tandang Tribe, Tuesday evening the Kalabaw Tribe members. On Wednesday, the season premiere leads into the finale of Big Brother 14.     

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - September 16, 2012

Good Sunday morning, world! Since it is Sunday morning, this is my weekly off television topic post reflecting on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. If you're looking for Big Brother content, never fear ... it's right here. But if you want a peek into my life, feel free to read on.

After a spritz of overnight rain early in the week, it was glorious weather here for the remainder. On the anniversary of 9/11, the weather was hauntingly like it was that day. Teenagers and college kids don't remember that we didn't used to have huge planters around the corners at Penn Station. They've grown up with security checks at airports. Not me. I remember a day with more innocence. I will never forget 9/11/01, the lives lost and the way the world has changed.

On the home front, the not as new now landlord had new washing machines installed in the laundry room. Oh my. An incentive to do laundry before it grows to two loads! They also put down gray carpet on the stairway and landings in the front of the building. That, at least for the immediate entry area, might be a mistake. The floor covering right at door level was some kind of fake stone-looking stuff. People entering the front door in bad weather make a mess. Oh, well. At least the carpet is gray already!

There is another thing about the landlord, this one a bit disturbing. For the second time, I noticed Craigslist apartment for rent advertisements for units in the building ... only in Spanish. Um. Is that even legal? It's not that they (landlord and company) even speak Spanish although many of their workers do. It sounds like they want Hispanic tenants rather than any other to me. I personally just want decent neighbors in the building -- I don't care Hispanic, black, white, Indian ... whatever. But many folks won't even know the apartments are available if the ad is solely in Spanish. Hmm.

We had a fire alarm go off in the building yesterday. As usual, I went out to make sure there was no real fire. It's always either a malfunction or someone's bad cooking. I know not to open my door if my cooking sets off the little alarm within my apartment (which it does sometimes as the CO/smoke alarm is way too fussy!). But, when fools open their doors, the main building alarm goes off and we get fire department response and all.

When I went out to make sure there was no fire, there was a tiny elderly black woman who looked very frightened and disoriented. She was obviously blind, about 90 years old and she just clutched my arm when I asked if she was okay. She was saying something, but I couldn't make it out. I've never seen her before in my life.

I released myself from her grasp when I saw a fire engine pull up, went and told them there was no fire, but I was worried about an elderly woman in the hallway. They didn't have much better luck communicating with her than I did. They called for an ambulance. She had house slippers on and obviously couldn't have come far. No one passing by in the halls recognized her, either.

One firefighter decided to check all the doors on the second floor. I was thinking the front of the building as I didn't know her. What? The apartment next door to me was unlocked and, upon opening it, there was a heater on (yikes, it had to be 90 in there) and the apartment even smelled like the elderly woman! Mind you, that's not a good thing. Now, I know the man who lives there. He's lived there for about four years now. I thought he lived alone. 

When I mentioned his name to her, she nodded. He's her son. Oh my. The firemen got her to call him. Upon discovering where she lives, I realized why she wasn't talking to us. I know the man living there is from Africa, although he speaks English. She doesn't speak English. She speaks Swahili. The poor woman. The fire alarm scared her and she left the apartment, but didn't know how to get downstairs. Between her blindness, her language barrier and probably what seems like a bit of dementia ... it's all a bit sad. At least if I ever see her again, I know where she belongs.

In other news, it was indeed my birthday yesterday. I want to thank everyone who sent me greetings and cards. Vincent didn't give me anything! 

Onto the photos for the week. Clicking on an image will open it on a Photobucket page, clicking again will make it larger. To return here, simply close that page.  

Snake 1
My new friend

I met this beautiful python walking on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield yesterday. No, the snake wasn't walking, I was! When I asked the man carrying it if I could take a photo, he offered to take photos of me holding it. I figured if he ran off with my camera, I'd take off with his snake.

The Alley
The Alley

This is an alley off of East Front Street (Plainfield) leading to what's normally a parking lot. There were dueling Hispanic festivals going on yesterday in two adjacent city parking lots. One has been held for four years now in celebration of the independence of Mexico and Central America. It gets a huge turnout and I've enjoyed it each time I've attended. I'm about as non-Latina as one could be. But it's a fantastic thing for the city and draws more folks from all over the state each year. This year, with a second Hispanic festival adjacent, the crowds had to be several thousand.