Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Amazing Race: March 31, 2013 Blog Party

Due to March Madness basketball, we have yet another delay in the start of the show. The water skiing with crocodiles better be worth it! Once the show starts here on the East Coast, the party will start in the comments area.

I'll be updating this entry with major happenings as they air. Well, once the show starts, that is ... it should be starting about 8:41pm EDT. (Grr)

Finally starting!

Teams are remaining in Botswana, heading to a village for their next clue.

Bates and Anthony are going for the Fast Forward tucked in with their Roadblock clue. They're going to try water skiing with crocodiles. Fun! They complete the task with relative ease.

The Roadblock is "Who wants to go up the creek without a paddle?" Transporting two goats up the creek in a native boat. The little goats are adorable!

The country-western gals (Caroline and Jennifer) and Max and Katie both got speeding tickets which have to be paid before they continue.

1. Bates and Anthony - Also won $7,500 each

Max and Katie, after getting/paying a speeding ticket, bumping a power pole,  and now have a Speed Bump. They have to perform a native seduction dance wearing grass skirts.

Detour: Brains or Brawn, Horse or Donkey -- searching for animal cut-outs and placing them in order. Doneys -- deliver wood.

2. Mona and Beth
3. Caroline and Jennifer
4. Chuck and Wynona
5. Joey and Meghan
6. Max and Katie
7. Pam and Winnie - Philiminated

Pam and Winnie were my blog pool team. I'm now a free agent.

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - March 31, 2013

Easter 2010 photo HapEaster10JackieMA31501004-0001.gif

I hope everyone is having a fine Easter Sunday! Since it is indeed Sunday, it's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. The blog party post for The Amazing Race will be up tonight approximately 8pm EDT. Come on by and watch the show with us!

I have a small ham I'll be making for today's meal here, along with cabbage I bought very cheaply in my Peapod grocery order last week. I timed my order so that I was catching the end of their St. Patrick's Day specials. The corned beef was way cheap and out of stock. They issue rainchecks, so I'll try for cheap corned beef on my next order. They had actually been out of the sale ham for the last three orders I made and that came through with this one. So I'll have a bit of a feast today for myself. Every day is a feast for Vincent the Cat.

Although the nights have still remained cold here, the daytime highs are finally in the 50s. Woohoo! Unfortunately, I leave for work so early that I'm still wearing my winter jacket. By the time I go home, a lighter spring jacket would do. But I'm not lugging spare jackets back and forth to the train station.

I still haven't met or seen my new upstairs neighbor. However, I did ask Lee (building gossip) if he had seen him. He certainly has and it explains a few things. It's an African man, not to be confused with African-American although it's a possibility that the man might be a US citizen.

Aha! The mellow music that I can't identify explained. The chanting I heard explained (religious maybe?). This could very well be the perfect upstairs neighbor. My next door neighbor on one side is from Africa -- the one whose mother was confused in the hallway during a fire alarm. All that man does is work a lot and live quietly. While I'm sure not all African folks work a lot and live quietly, it appears my new upstairs neighbor falls in that category. It's not likely that the man will throw wild parties or play rap music with heavy bass. Nor will he have live Mexican polka bands playing up there. YAY!

Living in this building is like living in a real melting pot -- Peru on one side, Africa on the other, Jamaica, Costa Rica and well, Georgia (US) across the hall. Africa above and um, well, New Jersey below. I'm certainly not in Round Lake anymore, huh? 

Not much else has been happening. I so want spring weather so that I'm more willing to get out and about. The cold makes me just want to stay home a lot.

Onto this week's photos ...

Spring! photo IMG_5697a_zps551bc4c5.jpg

Yes, these were planted by a landscaper. But, the main thing ... they didn't die and keel over in a frost. It's finally SPRING!

Almost full moon photo IMG_5694a_zps50daf918.jpg
Not so full Worm Moon

The full moon this past week was the Full Worm Moon. I didn't get a good shot of it with definition until it wasn't really full anymore. Oops.

Hawk in flight photo IMG_5661a_zps31f67661.jpg
Hawk in flight

I caught this hawk in Bridgewater. Well, I didn't literally catch it. What would I do with a hawk? That's just silly!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan Fans vs. Favorites - March 27 Blog Party

Cool. No basketball tonight, so we get to watch our show! It should be interesting to see how the castaways mesh in their new tribes. I do think the fans are at a disadvantage as evidenced by Matt's boot last week. But, is Phillip at a disadvantage as well? I guess we'll see!

As the show airs, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. So, if you're peeking in for the big news, make sure to refresh the page. However, if you're here for the party ... head on down to the comments area! The water is fine!

Lifeguard Laurie has some real life stuff as of late and probably won't make it. She wants y'all to behave in the pool! Here are the latest blog pool standings:

Gota -
Brenda -- Brian, Laurie, Petals
Eddie -- Glenn, Monty, Zoetawny
Malcolm -- Glenn, Monty, Zoetawny
Erik -- Donna in AL, meb, Rbennie
Reynold -- Brian, Laurie, Petals
Sherri -- Becky, Joey & Julie, Nana in the NW
Andrea -- Becky, Joey & Julie, Nana in the NW

Bikal -
Dawn -- dla, Margo, Rochelle
Phillip -- Jackie, Nickelpeed  
Cochran -- Ed in Ohio, ML, Terry in TX
Julia -- Donna in FL, Merrilee, SueGee
Michael -- DKNYNC, Lynn1, Rbennie
Corinne -- DKNYNC, Lynn1, Rbennie

Reward Challenge time! It's the old belted together carrying sandbags through water bit. We've seen this before. Winners get a trip to a local island with a coffee, cookies, croissants and more feast.

Another total massacre. Gota wins reward!

Ah, Malcolm tried to get Reynold aboard with him and Reynold told him he has the idol. Of course, Malcolm has his own idol and has told no one.

Immunity Challenge time! It has them rowing, diving for statues, throwing grappling hooks to snag keys on land, etc.

It wasn't a complete massacre, but Gota won yet again. Man, these teams are really not balanced with the power players!

Phillip told Cochran that he deliberately threw the challenge so they could vote out Julia. @@ Corinne really wants Mike aboard, so that makes Phillip want him gone.

The tally: Mike, Julia, Mike, Julia, Mike, Julia. It's a tie. Re-vote without Mike and Julia participating. They can only vote Mike or Julia.

The second tally: Julia, Julia, Julia.

She's gone.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Amazing Race: March 24, 2013 Blog Party

Although I'm putting this post up and out there on time, the show is delayed here due to March Madness basketball. 60 Minutes started at 7:46pm ET, so I expect TAR at 8:46pm ET. Once the show finally starts, I'll update this post with the major happenings as they air. But, as always, the real party is in the comments area. Come join us!

From the promos, we know the teams are off to Africa. It sounds like a good episode. Since we have to wait for it, it better be good!

It's starting!

The teams are heading to Botswana. All the teams hit Africa at the same time, but the next safari charter flights divide them into three groups.

Roadblock: Who wants to make new friends? Get taught new skills from indigenous folks. In this case, scorpion hunting.

Detour: Fire or Fowl. Making fire with two sticks or hunting guinea fowl.

Well, the tides are changing -- Bates and Anthony are in the lead after so-so showings previously.

1. Bates and Anthony - also won a trip to Thailand.
2. Pam and Winnie
3. Chuck and Wynona -- Oh my!
4. Joey and Meghan
5. Caroline and Jennifer

Oh geez ... Mona and Beth decide to drive when they should make it on foot, then realize their error. 

6. Mona and Beth
7. Max and Katie - Non-Philimination leg, still in the race. They will have a speed bump in the next leg.

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - March 24, 2013

Good Sunday morning to you! Since it is Sunday, it's time for my off television topic reflection of the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. Later tonight, I'll be posting the blog party post for The Amazing Race. I expect the show to be delayed due to March Madness basketball, but I'll put the post up at 8pm ET anyway.

There hasn't been a heck of a lot going on here this week. Our weather is still in a holding pattern with winter wanting to hang on. We're expecting more snow tomorrow -- one to three inches. It won't stay around long. Even with the cold temps, once the sun comes out, the snow melts. 

I hear that there's one winner of the big Powerball lottery jackpot. That winner is in New Jersey. I don't often play the lottery, maybe just a handful of times a year. Well, I bought a ticket for this one! Put your minds at ease. You don't have to worry about how the wealth will throw my life into heck in a handbasket. I didn't even have one number. I spent two bucks! I want a refund!

The new neighbor upstairs has been less quiet this week. He still walks in sock feet, but I'm hearing his stereo more. It's still not unreasonable and it's not gangsta rap or hip hop with a thumping beat. It's actually rather mellow and pleasant. However, it has to be loud IN his apartment if I can hear it down here. He still has the rating of best upstairs neighbor yet here, so I can't complain. I still have no clue what he looks like or who he is.

Meanwhile, new tenants in the front of the building are keeping with the stereotype of front of the building riff-raff. Last week they had a big party with the police responding to break it up. This week, when I went to get my Sunday newspaper before someone stole it, a woman was on a cell phone screaming at somebody that "If you don't let me in to get my clothes, I'm calling the cops!"

She rushed right into the building when I opened the door. I wasn't going to fight with her! She obviously wasn't a burglar. She went to the door right next to the landing and started pounding on it, still screaming on her cell phone. Now, that apartment had been empty for a good eight months and they just moved in this month (same as my upstairs neighbor). I predict they will break their year lease, the only kind offered, within two months. They don't really affect me as I'm on a different floor in a different wing of the building. But they can go. Buh-bye!

I'm only grateful that they're not who moved in upstairs from me!

Onto this week's photos ... 

Sunrise 2 photo IMG_5500a_zps2738f3a0.jpg
A Bridgewater sunrise

Dandelion photo IMG_5607a_zps6e6c734c.jpg
Determined dandelion

Bridgewater, NJ

Squirrel photo IMG_5604a_zps3e2b7406.jpg
Squirrel king of the tree

This squirrel posed on a branch over Watchung Avenue in Plainfield. What a cooperative little fella!

Evening train photo IMG_5610a_zpsff1df025.jpg
As the sun sets

Pretty, but cold. Bridgewater Train Station on Saturday evening.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Fans vs. Favorites - March 20 Episode Blog Party

Well, I'm not sure tonight's episode can beat last week's in the outrageous aspect. But, with the promise of the tribes switching up (not necessarily merging, I don't think), it should be interesting.

As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. So, be sure to refresh the page for the latest! As always, the party is down in the comments. Be there or be a Hantz. EW! I can't believe I said that. My apologies to mankind.

Drop your buffs ... we are switching tribes.

They have to smash an egg, inside the color will dictate tribe.

Orange - Gota - Brenda, Eddie, Malcolm, Erik, Reynold, Sherri, Andrea 

Purple - Bikal - Dawn, Phillip, Matt, Cochran, Julia, Michael, Corinne

Reynold is already playing up to Erik that Sherri needs to go while Sherri is telling the girls that Reynold needs to go.

Phillip is driving Corinne bonkers.

Immunity Challenge time! Rolling six large crates, build staircase which reads "Fans vs. Favorites" with them.

Gota wins Immunity while Bikal was pathetic.

Phillip enlists Matt and Mike in StealthRUs.

At Tribal, both Mike and Matt vote for Julia. The tally -- Julia, Julia, Dawn, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt.

The Bearded One is gone! I really thought they'd vote for Julia.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Amazing Race: March 17, 2013 Episode Blog Party

Yipes! The promos say that one team will quit tonight, another will be eliminated! I fear it may be David and Connor quitting. I sincerely hope not as they are very enjoyable to watch and they're pretty darn incredible, too. But, with David's Achilles tendon injury and being on crutches, I don't see how they can last much longer.

The show is going to be on time again here -- I believe that just might be a world record. As it airs, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. So, if you're trying to keep track, refresh this page to see the latest. But, as always, the real party is in the comments. Come join us!

Teams are on their way to Hanoi, Vietnam. Sigh. Dave said they're going to fly to Hanoi and be eliminated since doctors recommended surgery on his leg within seven days.

Caution -- U-Turn ahead.

They hit a bunching up point in Hanoi and still don't know who was eliminated in the prior leg.

Yes, Dave and Connor went to the mat early ... to disqualify themselves. What a great father and son team! Now, they're someone I'd like to see be given another chance in the future.

The rest of the teams plan on targeting the Roller Derby Moms and YouTube couple (Joey and Meghan) with the U-Turn.

The Roadblock sounds way complicated. Listening to a song touting Vietnam socialism, finding a poster with phrases used in the song, etc. After completing the Roadblock, the teams have to take part in a Vietnamese bamboo stick dance which looks like another level of Double Dutch without ropes to me!

Detour: Make Your Move -- a giant chess game using people. Or Make Your Meal, pick up live chickens, purchase ingredients, prepare two dishes of a cultural Vietnamese dish.

It's a Double U-Turn and they remain anonymous doing it. Pam and Winnie, first there, U-Turned Meghan and Joey.

1. Pam and Winnie - also won a trip to Whistler Ski Resort. They're my blog pool team. Yay!

Joey and Meghan U-Turned Chuck and Winona, a team which has all but U-Turned themselves anyway.

2. Max and Katie
3. Mona and Beth
4. Bates and Anthony
5. Caroline and Jennifer

Chuck and Winona are pitiful. 

6. Joey and Meghan
7. Chuck and Winona ... NOT Philiminated because Dave and Connor left the race. Apparently they don't have a Speed Bump ahead either like in a non-Philimination leg.

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day to y'all! Erin go Bragh and all that stuff. While I'm saying "Forever Ireland" and I do have red hair, I'm not Irish. Neither is my old high school friend who played the bagpipes in the NYSDOC marching band in yesterday's big parade in Manhattan. She's Italian and about 5'1" tall. She grew up to be a NYS corrections officer and play bagpipes. Who woulda thunk it? 

Since it is Sunday, it's time for my off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. Later tonight, we'll have the blog party for The Amazing Race. I fear it will be the father/son team quitting due to Dave's injury. Sigh. Stop back and enjoy the show with us starting at 8pm ET!

I scored a good buy on corned beef yesterday at Target. I had checked their prices the week before and the briskets were just too costly. Yesterday I went in there on my way to work and one brisket remained in their sale bin -- less than $6. Yay! So, today (although I'm not Irish), I will have traditional corned beef and cabbage, then have some leftovers for sandwiches during the week. I like corned beef, but the only time it's reasonable is on sale during St. Patrick's Day. I should check at Target again tomorrow. Perhaps the sale goes to midweek. I could stock up.

I'm still suffering from the daylight savings time change. Wah. I'm walking to the train station in the dark once again. The sun isn't quite up as I get into work.

My new upstairs neighbor is still a mystery. It's definitely only one person up there who takes off his shoes for walking around on the hardwood floors. He's taken showers without flooding my bathroom, so it can be done! Every now and then when I don't have my television or music on, I can hear muted sounds of music or television from up there. Nothing unreasonable, so he's still the best upstairs neighbor I've had in a dozen years of living in this building. We're talking two weeks now!

In other apartment building news, I've mentioned before that the front of the building is like a revolving tenant door. My hallway/wing/floor is very quiet with long term tenants. Who knows who lives in the front wing? I had my police scanner on shortly before hitting the sack last night. What? A three car call to MY building? Yikes! Someone in the front wing, first floor, was apparently having a party with people going wild in the halls, etc. I couldn't hear a peep from my apartment. Apparently it wasn't too wild as the first cop who arrived called in that the tenant is turning the music off and people are going home. I really didn't see any signs of hall abuse when I went out early to get my newspaper this morning.

Also on the scanner last night ... I heard a definite firework sound -- the whistle and bang -- coming from East Second Street in back of me. Nothing all that unusual. Well, a cop responding to an alarm call up the street reported it to headquarters as shots fired! A second one whistled and banged. The whole police department went rushing to the apartment complex further down the street from me. The Shot Spotter technology didn't report it although some civilian also called it in as gunfire. It was fireworks, people, fireworks. Apparently the Mexican Polka Band in the summer people who shoot off fireworks (and sometimes guns) for every holiday must have been celebrating St. Patrick's Day. 

It snowed all day yesterday, but didn't stick. It's supposed to snow tomorrow night into Tuesday. I want spring. Although, looking back on some old photos, I noticed that in 2004 we had deep snow cover and at least two decent sticking snow storms around this time. Eep. It can stop. I want spring.

Onto this week's photos ... 

Sunrise3 photo IMG_5461a_zpsb4a74c65.jpg
Just before the sun rises

Bridgewater, NJ

K Radiator photo IMG_5456a_zps98a74e8c.jpg
Predawn K Radiator

One morning my now dark walk to the Plainfield Train Station had a stunning velvety blue sky. I took this looking at K Radiator down Church Street.

Plainfield Train Station photo IMG_5474a_zps3e967621.jpg
Plainfield Train Station


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Fans vs. Favorites - March 13 Blog Party

Ready for some action tonight? The promos have Brandon losing it, running about destroying things and being a general idiot. Why does that not surprise me? What is surprising to me is that they haven't aired him crying yet this season!

As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. So, if you're looking in from elsewhere, refresh the page now and then to get the latest! The real party is in the comments area, though. Come join us!

Oh geez ... Brandon is missing his family. He actually volunteers to be the next one out if they go to Tribal Council. He admitted his "pee on the rice" plan to the others. @@

Then he decides he's going to give it his all and play his best game ever. 


It's Reward Challenge time. Two members from each tribe hold a rope from which hangs a rope basket. The others throw coconuts in it. Brandon was out first. Phillip - once again the hero - wins it for the favorites. Steak and all sorts of goodies go their way!

Heh. Reynold found his second idol! Hopefully he'll keep it a secret this time. He tells his boy Eddie.

Meanwhile, Unstable Brandon goes for Phillip. What a whack job! It's all so odd that it makes Phillip look normal.

"I'm a Hantz. I feed me!" Gah. They get tree mail which indicates the Immunity Challenge has to do with boxing. Phillip thinks they should throw it to get rid of Brandon.

Brandon lost it. He sabotaged the food and yells for Phillip to vote him out. Phillip walks away.

Immunity is up for grabs! Brandon decides to talk to the other tribe -- tells them he's their second chance and not to let Phillip win. The favorites decide to forfeit the challenge. Brandon throws Phillip under the bus and screams at him. He goes on about not crying this season.

No. He's whacked out instead.

The Fans get the idol due to forfeit. Tribal starts right at the site of the challenge. Everyone votes for Brandon. WHACKO IS GONE!

No, Brandon. You weren't the author of your elimination. You were an idiot once again -- this time a dangerous idiot instead of merely unstable.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Amazing Race: March 10, 2013 Blog Party

The show is starting on time here once again tonight! Miracles will never cease, eh? As it airs, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. However, as always, the real party is in the comments.

Will the father/son team of Dave and Connor make it through this "longest leg ever" with Dave's injured Achilles tendon? I'd love for them to do so, but I can't imagine they'll be able to hang in really long.

The teams are off to Bali, Indonesia. No one was eliminated at the very brief "Pit Stop." Chuck and Winona were last, but no mention of a speed bump.

Detour - Sandy Bottom or Fruity Top. River sand to the brick maker or fashioning a "hat" of fruit.

Roadblock - Who's ready to get totally tubular? Selecting the right surfboard and heading to the Pit Stop.

1. Connor and Dave! Won $5,000 each
2. Pam and Winnie
3. Max and Kate

Caroline and Jennifer got the wrong board and had to head back. Then they got the wrong board again.

4. Caroline and Jennifer (finally)
5. Joey and Meghan

Mona and Beth -- wrong board.

6. Mona and Beth

Chuck and Winona -- wrong board

7. Bates and Anthony
8. Chuck and Winona
9. Jessica and John, Philiminated still holding the Express Pass.

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - March 10, 2013

It's Sunday morning. Did you spring forward an hour? While I relish setting the clocks back an hour in the autumn, this spring forward throws me askew every year. Also, my walk to the train station in the morning was just getting light and nice ... now it'll be back to the dark.

Anyhow, since it's Sunday morning, that means 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. At least with the snow we had this week, I had some new photo fodder. I've grown very bored with nothing growing, nothing changing for photos. Without snow, it's like a Groundhog Day movie over and over (and over) again. At least in the other seasons, there are always new flowers, new bugs, etc. Things CHANGE. In winter, all remains dead and dirty without snow.

But I'm over it. This can be the last snow of the season, fine by me. It's actually mostly gone now with the exception of plowed (dirty) snow piles in parking lots and the occasional patches of snow on shady lawns. We got maybe four or five inches of thick wet snow before it turned to rain on Friday. At least it was a pretty snow, sticking to everything around -- except the streets. That's how things should be!

I have a new upstairs neighbor. From the voice I could hear, it's a male. There seems to be only one person -- always the best for overhead walking on my ceiling! Since folks tend to move mother and various children into one bedroom apartments around here, I was a bit worried. This might be the best upstairs neighbor so far here. He takes off his shoes upon entering and doesn't thunk or stomp on the hardwood floors. Yes, I can hear the shoes thunk on the floor as he takes them off. So far, no loud music, no wild parties. Eventually I might meet him. I'll have to check with Lee, the apartment building gossip, to see if he's met him.

Onto this week's photos ... 

I see the light! photo IMG_5329a_zps44b4d217.jpg
I see the light!

My train to work approaches on Friday morning. Plainfield Train Station.

Snow Kidding photo IMG_5319a_zps96d1b7ec.jpg

Looking towards East Third Street from Track 1 at the Plainfield Train Station.

Crocus Snow photo IMG_5369a_zps92e40683.jpg
The crocuses want to come out

Soon! Soon! I took this at the Plainfield YWCA at the corner of East Front and Church Streets.


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Fans vs. Favorites - March 6 Blog Party

The show is about to start here on the East Coast. I should warn you that we've been having strong winds and sporadic power outages. So, if I seem to vanish, carry on without me -- I'll just be sitting in the dark.

That said, my plan is to update this entry with the major happenings as they air. But, as always, the real action will be in the comments area. See you there!

Philip is giving more people their names for the StealthRUs alliance.

They're into a separate Reward challenge. The reward is a local expert who will be used as a resource ... he'll also bring food. They have to untie planks in the water and transport others from one platform to the next. Then all tribe members have to get on the final platform. Favorites win!

Shamar's latest problem (other than being an obnoxious lazy dude) is that he scratched his eye. Medics come to see him. Oh gee. They want to pull him from the game. Gosh. What a shame. I'll miss him so much.

Shamar who?

Immunity time. Another swim to a platform ordeal. They are smashing tiles and retrieving keys this time around. The favorites win Immunity with Phillip being the big star. Oh my.

Reynold and Eddie are still outcasts. But there is a movement afoot to get Laura out and keep the strength in the tribe.

Tribal Council time! Reynold plays his idol. The tally: Laura, Laura, Reynold, Laura, Laura. She's out, the weakest link. And Reynold wasted his idol. Oh well!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Amazing Race: March 3, 2013 Blog Party

Oh my ... it looks like the father/son team have severe difficulties tonight. Apparently David (father) really did tear his Achilles tendon. They show him racing on crutches while we know that folks with two good legs have problems with many of the challenges. I really hope they make it as they're a team I truly enjoy watching. But I fear that if they don't go tonight, it's just a matter of time. Sigh.

As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll update this post with the major happenings. Remember to refresh the page to get the latest! However, as always, the real fun is in the comments area. Come join us!

The teams are off to New Zealand. John and Jessica did indeed give David and Connor the Express Pass. Good. David's Achilles tendon is diagnosed as torn. He's planning on staying in the race as long as he can. All the teams are on the same plane to Auckland, NZ, then have to fly to Christchurch. Chuck and Winona screwed up and booked the last flight available.

Oh my gosh! Connor and Dave got the first jet boat reservation!

Detour - Rev it up -- drive ATVs to then race cars on a course or Reel it In -- catch one fish at least 12" long.

Dave and Connor use the Express Pass.

Roadblock - Who wants to keep their race from going to the dogs? They have to race to deliver eggs through a course with dogs. Molasses and feathers for free!

Dave and Connor are heading to the Pit Stop!

1. Dave and Connor -- Won a trip to Bangkok

The race is still going. Phil gives them their next clue. They're undecided whether they should continue with Dave's injury.

It ends there. Oh my. A cliffhanger!

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - March 3, 2013

Good Sunday morning to all! It's grey skies and flurries for me here today. I hope someone somewhere has sunny skies. It's time for my weekly reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken. Once again, due to a mainly cloudy blah winter kind of week, the photos are far from my best. While we haven't had snow all that often this season, it's still just kind of boring out there -- everything looks dirty and dead. I want spring with something inspiring every day!

My work and personal life seem to be stuck in a winter mood, too. While not particularly dirty and definitely not dead, it's been very routine. The children who treat the upstairs common corridor of my apartment building as a playground have been quiet some evenings, then going until nearly ten at night other nights. 

I've enlisted the assistance of three neighbors in my own hallway in complaining. I really wish there was something in the leases which could assess fines for breaking lease policies. About all the landlord can really do is not renew their lease due to all the complaints. It's hard to evict for much other than non-payment. 

I just don't understand why parents move in here knowing there's really no place for children to play -- no playground, no safe outdoor space for them, etc. Then those parents don't take the time to enroll their children in after school programs or even take them to the huge lawns of nearby churches where they could run and play without disturbing neighbors. 

Why would parents let their very young children out of their sight in the evening hours? While the building is secure as of late, people come and go. Strangers can get inside. Not only is it a disturbance, it's really not a safe place for kids to play at all. I swear I pay more attention to my cat than some of these so-called parents pay to their children.

By the way, there are two apartments with children in my own floor/wing. Neither of those parents send their children out in the hallway to run amok for hours. One of them live under one of the offending upstairs families. She said the kids are up running and jumping most of the night and they're the worst upstairs neighbors she's had in her fifteen years here.

Meanwhile, I'm still under an empty apartment. Jasper and his wife moved out during Sandy and they rehabbed the whole place. I noticed the ad on Craigslist for it was pulled over a week ago and thought I'd have new people. But, no. No one moved in. That's fine with me. I like having no one walking on my ceiling or flooding my bathroom!

You can tell by my extended rant, I've had a boring week, eh? Onto this week's photos ... 

Colorful dawn photo IMG_5204a_zpscdc4cbb2.jpg
As the sun rises

Despite that, once again, we've been mostly in grey clouds for a good part of the week, there was one colorful morning. I took this shot on Roosevelt Avenue on my way to the train station. It was a pink and orange world for just a few minutes. Today I'd have to put on my rose-colored glasses for any real color.

Hawk photo IMG_5253a_zpsb8e91f28.jpg
My friend Cooper ... hawk

When I got to the train station on Saturday, I noticed the usual crowds of pigeons were absent. Since folks along North Avenue throw out bread for them, that's unusual. Then I noticed not one, but two hawks circling above the train station. Due to the proximity of Watchung Avenue where I got buzzed twice by a swooping hawk, it's likely that one of the hawks is my "friend." Unfortunately, they wouldn't stay still for a good photo.