Sunday, December 28, 2014

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

Yep, it's yet another Sunday. While I've been on a bit of a holiday season mixed with health issues hiatus from television posting, this is another rather abbreviated photo post of the week gone by.

Um. Oh, wait ... it was Christmas, wasn't it? I hope you all, all who celebrate Christmas that is, had a great holiday.

Me? As per my usual, I had a quiet holiday at home with a certain cat. The holidays aren't a great time of year for many people, including me. With my parents gone for decades and no relatives close by, Christmas tends to be just another day in my life. Oh, I did make it a bit special meal-wise. I had bought a small butterflied boneless leg of lamb and had that with mashed potatoes, cauliflower and a fancy-schmancy chocolate pie for dessert.

I feel a bit better with my post concussion syndrome, but still have some dizziness problems and headaches if I watch TV or am on the computer too long. Every now and then I forget stuff, but I'm thinking that might just be me. I don't know.

Before I forget to mention it -- my new blog, I Shoot Stuff I See, is updated every day with photos I've taken in the past ten or so years. And, you really should check it out from the first post on. I hope you enjoy it!

I really didn't get out much this week, just a few walks to the bodega around the corner. I even walked with peanuts in my pocket hoping to get some squirrel shots and saw NO squirrels! Gah! Thus, my photo pickings were a bit slip again this week.

I hope everybody has a good week!

New era fuzzy dice

It used to be fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror in cars. I guess fuzzy soccer balls are now the in thing. I found these abandoned near the sidewalk on East Second Street in Plainfield. I would imagine whether dice or soccer balls, they're probably all illegal as they block the driver's view. There used to be a time when folks wouldn't get stopped for that. But, back then, seatbelts in cars were a rare thing.

Going downhill fast

This was taken early in the week. Today the "new" scratch pad is looking downright downtrodden. Yet, as I type this us, Vincent is catnapping in what's left of it.

I was so tempted

Yes, it's a VCR. I had recently been thinking what will happen if/when my VCR dies. While I have a collection of movies and TV shows on DVD, I have a lot of movies on VHS. I'm not sure how long VCRs will remain on the market. I recall buying one of the last 8-track tape players when I knew they were going down. But that technology sucked while VCRs were actually very good. My personal guess on this one by the sidewalk on Berckman Street in Plainfield is that it probably works and was just put out there due to its upgrading of technology. I passed it up, then it was gone when I walked back by.

In the long run, it doesn't matter. Amongst some other things my neighbor gave me due to his upcoming move was a VCR/DVD combo.

In a catnip daze

Vincent bids all adieu until next week!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and an Announcement!


Merry Christmas to all of my family and friends, near and far.
(I haven't been able to get Vincent to wear his Santa suit for years now, so this is far from a new photo of him!)

The announcement? Well, I've been working on a separate photo blog since summer and I'm releasing it today! Nothing will change on this blog -- it will still be TV and the weekly photo review posts on Sundays. However, the new blog -- I Shoot What I See -- will be updated daily with one or two photo posts. Some might be new photos; most are ones I've taken over the last ten or eleven years. 

At the moment, there's a lot of content on there. But the posts are short -- few words, one or two photos per post. If you click on the month on the right side column of that blog, you can quickly go through them by the month. When you first check it out (IF you do and please and thank you!), click on the link to the welcome/about post I have linked in the sentences written across the top. (Please and thank you!)

I hope you enjoy it!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - December 21, 2014

Oh my gosh ... Christmas is just about here! Welcome to my weekly off television topic (kind of) photo post. I say "kind of" because, once again, I don't have all that much in the way of photos taken this week. I've certainly found out that post concussion syndrome really messes with you. Since I didn't have any doctor appointments, I really didn't go out or do much this past week. I even had a Peapod grocery delivery, so I didn't have to go out for food.

On a television note, I was pleased with the winners of both Survivor and The Amazing Race. Both shows look like they're going to have good seasons starting up in February.

I did take trash out to the Dumpster at my apartment building and spotted this --

Huh? Whazzat?

Why, it's a kitty cat!

I hate to see cats out loose on these streets in town. Yes, there are a lot of feral cats who seem to be wise in the ways of traffic and such. But this little one is too clean to be feral. And, we haven't had a regular population of feral cats in the immediate neighborhood in about a decade. This one is probably someone's pet and, unfortunately, its life expectancy is cut way down because they let her out. (Yes, it's a "her" -- it's a calico and they're always female.)

On the other hand, there's a certain Vincent cat who got a new scratching pad handed over to him this week. He had killed his last one and I have a few that I bought a while ago and tucked away in the closet. Yes, he does scratch on it. But he also sits in it, sleeps in it and bites chunks out of it (and spits them all over my floor, thank goodness for hardwood instead of carpet). Silly Vincent!




Oh! And I took the next shot of a bit of color remaining from the fall (happy winter, y'all!):

Hanging in there, as am I

I should have a post up later this week for the holiday, so stop on back! Heck, I might even try for a television post!


Friday, December 19, 2014

The Amazing Race 25: Season Finale Blog Party


Here we are ...the season finale! For the first time, we have four teams heading into the last leg. Who's going to win? As the show airs here, I'll do my best to give your the major updates. Refresh the page to get the latest. As always, the real party is in the comments area. Come join us!

Here's the latest blog pool standings from the Magnificent Margo:

Adam & Bethany - chrob61, Kathy in Brooklyn, Kelsey NY, Zoetawny
Brooke & Robbie - Caela, Sharon, Sharon N, Willie J
Maya & Amy - Ed in OH, Karen in CA, Lynn1, Margo
Misti & Jim - Cheryl in NC, Laurie, ML, OrkMommy

Sorry you have been PHILIMINATED
Lisa & Michelle - Becky, Delee, dla, Donna in AL
Dennis & Isabelle - Auntie Leigh, Brian, David, Donna NY, sanra
Michael & Scott - Donna in FL, Glenn, Jackie, Marlo
Keith & Whitney - Jean, Jennasmom, Nana in NW, PDXGranny
Shelly & Nici - Buzzmaam, Merrilee, Rbennie, SueGee
Tim & Te Jay - Babs, Brent McKee, Dusty, Monty924
Kym & Alli - Brenda, meb, Nicklepeed, Rochelle, Terry in TX

Ready to race?

Teams are flying to Los Angeles. All teams are on the same flight. The vehicles they get into after the flight are Ford product placements. The scientists, followed by the surfers make it to the first clue. Then the dentists arrive. Now the scientists seem to be in the first place.

The have to perform a stunt crashing through a plate glass window for the Roadblock. Who wants to be a Hollywood action hero?

The wrestlers are totally lost, haven't made it to the city hall first clue.

Scientists still in first place, wrestlers still not to first clue. Scientists forgot to take the costume off from the Roadblock and now the surfers pass them onto first. Wrestlers finally got their first clue.

They have to go on a search and rescue exercise with the Coast Guard. Adam and Bethany running first place, then the scientists followed immediately by the dentists.

Now the dentists are in second place.

Uh-oh. The wrestlers are at the stunt man task and Phil is approaching. Onto commercial. Yep, Phil told them they missed their "call time" for the stunt and they're Philiminated.

Another Roadblock. Who can contain themselves? They have to find nine shipping containers that represent nine cities and get them in the right order. Bethany has to do it as Adam did the stunt.

Amy is first to try to write the clues down. Then Bethany. Then Misti. All relatively close. It's a run to the final pit stop in a taxi.Uh-oh, Bethany and Misti screwed up their numbers. Misti gets it first. (Grr.)

Whoa! MAYA AND AMY win The Amazing Race! If Bethany and Adam can't win, they're the best second choice for me right now! They're only the third all female team in 25 seasons to win it.

Then come Jim and Misti.

Then Adam and Bethany.

Next season is "dating couples" with five couples meeting as a blind date to run the race. That's different!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Season Finale and Reunion Blog Party


Oh my. It's the season finale tonight! On a Wednesday even. How odd is that? I'm personally hoping for a Natalie win because she's the only one who's been consistently PLAYING the game. Of course, I don't always get my way in these things. We'll see, I guess.

Tonight is a two hour show followed by an hour of reunion. I'm really not sure how well I'll be able to do with the updates. Last night I was quite ill and still a bit iffy today. But I'll try my hardest to update this entry with the major events as they air here on the East Coast. Refresh the page to get the latest!

As always, the real party is in the comments area ... please join us there!

Here's the latest on the blog pool from the Lovely Lifeguard Laurie:
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo
QUIT -- Julie = Donna NY, meb

Jury:
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1
Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie

Survivor fans ready?

Ah, a recap of the season so far starts us out.

Aw, Jaclyn is crying. Too bad, so sad. Baylor and Missy want a final three with them and Natalie.

Reward Challenge - Attached to a rope, unspool rope, build a bridge, use sandbags to knock down blocks. Playing for an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge. Missy cannot compete with fractured foot yet remains in the game.

KEITH wins reward! He sends Jaclyn to Exile Island.

This is being done a bit differently this year with Jeff segments live from California interspersed with show segments.

Keith's advantage is a practice table for the Immunity Challenge. Once he walks away, he can't return. It's an odd doohickey transferring balls via spoons.

Immunity Challenge time. Keith didn't do great in his advantage tries, but at least he has a heads up. Missy is actually going to compete in this. (About time as she should have gone out rather than skipping challenges!)

Keith WINS individual immunity, guaranteeing him a spot in the final four!

Jaclyn tries to work on Natalie to team with her to vote out Missy. Baylor wants Natalie to give her idol to Missy. Don't do it, Natalie!

Tribal - Not overly exciting prelude. Jaclyn is pretty sure she's going home.

The Tally -- Natalie plays her idol for JACLYN! (Jaclyn had promised not to vote for her in the next tribal.) This was the last time the idol could be used.

Jaclyn, Jaclyn, Jaclyn, Baylor, Baylor!

The jury is thrilled! Baylor is voted out! She goes graciously and even says it was a good move.

Missy is taking it surprisingly well, too.

The plan is to vote out Keith if Natalie or Jaclyn win -- he's the bigger threat.

Immunity Challenge time again. It's very physical. Missy won't be able to play. There are obstacles and puzzle, then raising a flag.

OMG! Jaclyn WINS immunity!

Uh-oh. Jaclyn is thinking Natalie for the vote out. oh noes!

Tribal, the tally --
Keith, Missy, Keith, Keith.

Keith is gone. Rats, guy did his best and got far. It's an all female final three!

And, best of all, Natalie is still in it. The power shifts to the jury.

Final Tribal Council, jury questioning.

Opening statements:
Missy -- Humbly sit here, I could be there. You will affect the rest of my life, loyalty was my game. Voting out Jon biggest move, broke my foot.
Jaclyn -- Ups and downs like real life. Felt alone, still fought. Align with others, middle position. I took over the reins. Brings up her medical condition which doesn't allow her to bear children.
Natalie -- I feel I deserve it. I have outwitted, outplayed, outlasted the other two. Went from surviving to trying to win. (Great speech!) She admits that had they made the right decision last night, she would have gone home instead of Keith. (Did I say great speech?)

Jury questions/statements:
Jon -- Jaclyn, present a big move or decision she was solely responsible for making and affected the game. She says the Josh out vote.

Keith -- Nat, how does it feel that the last words you ever spoke to me was a lie? Nat says that she knew if it wasn't him, it would be her. He sticks on the lying aspect and how he didn't lie.

Alec -- Nat, biggest one move and impact? Voting you off, she says. She explains the chain of events.

Alec -- Missy, mother? I directed people to vote who I wanted out.

Baylor -- Mom, much more than a game for us. We've been through the wringer. (On and on.) Most incredible thing you've ever done. Love you.

Josh -- Jaclyn, reason you're here on your merit or choices from stronger players. She talks of Jon being her stronger player. One move yours and no one else? Voting you out.

Wes -- What was it like to play with your loved one? Eh. Natalie is so proud to make it this far.

Jeremy -- Student of the game. Likes big move. Best player is going to win. Give Natalie her credit. Don't be mad.

Reed -- Nat, loved watching your gameplay, congrats. Enjoyed getting to know Jaclyn. Missy, you cast yourself as motherly, really wicked stepmother of the tribe, feels entitled. Lights into her!

Baylor cries.

Jon writes down Jaclyn, Jeremy wrote Nat, Baylor voted Missy. No surprises there!

Onto Los Angeles --

The tally: Jaclyn, Natalie, Jaclyn, Missy, Natalie, Natalie, Natalie!

NATALIE WINS (as she should)!!!

Next season teaser -- White Collar, Blue Collar, No Collar -- Survivor Worlds Apart

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - December 14, 2014


Is it that time of year?

Well, I got a few shots this week, better than last. This post concussion syndrome is really knocking me for a loop. I have no energy to go anywhere. I can't read or watch TV or be at the computer screen for too long or a nasty headache and lack of focus kick in.

Let's see ... what happened this week?
  • I got a FedEx delivery which was left outside the main door of my large apartment building without even ringing my intercom. Just because it didn't require a signature doesn't mean it should be left where anyone can steal it! Luckily I had gone online to track it a bit after 9am and it was listed online as delivered already. I ran down to retrieve it. I didn't get the text from Amazon that it was out for delivery until an hour later. Two hours later I got the text that it had been delivered. Grr.
  • I went to the neurologist and now have another month off from work, returning to him the second week of January. It's the first time in forever I've had time off around the holidays. I only wish I could enjoy it.
  • I had to go into Westfield to get cat treats and run a bank trip. I've been spoiled with direct deposit. Workers comp sends actual checks and I don't have a bank branch right near me. The only bank easily in walking distance is Bank of America. And, I don't like them.
  • As a matter of fact, I have to go to the bank again today.
  • But I do have a Peapod grocery delivery coming tomorrow. Yay. That's one thing I don't have to worry about.
  • There was gunfire in the middle of the night last night at the house in back of me where they have the live Mexican Polka bands in the summer. It woke me up, but I wasn't sure enough that it was gunfire to call. I turned on the scanner and they had gotten a Shotspotter alert on multiple shots fired. Police all over, flashlights, spotlights. No one seemed to be shot, although they did tow a car away. It must have been shot as they took it to the police station, not the regular towing yard.
Oh, well. That's all for now.



Aw, look at Vincent in his box like a normal little kitty cat! He usually just bites the cardboard and spits it out.


I wonder if that yellow is Bodega Yellow. It seems to be prevalent at all the bodegas around here. This is around the corner where I go for emergency milk, etc. purchases.


Oh my gosh ... a bunch of fallen innocent little trees!


The Christmas tree trailer appears as if by magic every year.


Oh, go stand in your box, Vincent!


Where they chopped the trees down by the Plainfield Train Station does allow for better train shots from East Third Street, but it's ugly. I had to walk downtown in order to catch the 819 bus to Edison for the doctor visit.


This was about the only interesting thing I saw near the doctor's office in Edison's backwoods territory. I was waiting for the bus at the little strip mall (bus stop sign under traffic light, no shelter). There's a 7-11 there, a paint store and a few small restaurants. What was the crime going on here? Um. I think it was lunch at either the pizza place or the Chinese restaurant.



Now, Vincent ... that's not polite. Stop sticking your tongue out at people!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Amazing Race 25: December 12 Blog Party


Here we are ... the penultimate show of the season! Next week is the big finale! As the show airs here tonight, I'll do my best to update this entry with the major happenings. Refresh the page to get the latest. As always, the real party is in the comments area. Come join us there!

Here's the latest blog pool standings from the Magnificent Margo -- the same as last week due to the non-Philimination:

Adam & Bethany - chrob61, Kathy in Brooklyn, Kelsey NY, Zoetawny
Brooke & Robbie - Caela, Sharon, Sharon N, Willie J
Maya & Amy - Ed in OH, Karen in CA, Lynn1, Margo
Misti & Jim - Cheryl in NC, Laurie, ML, OrkMommy

Sorry you have been PHILIMINATED
Lisa & Michelle - Becky, Delee, dla, Donna in AL
Dennis & Isabelle - Auntie Leigh, Brian, David, Donna NY, sanra
Michael & Scott - Donna in FL, Glenn, Jackie, Marlo
Keith & Whitney - Jean, Jennasmom, Nana in NW, PDXGranny
Shelly & Nici - Buzzmaam, Merrilee, Rbennie, SueGee
Tim & Te Jay - Babs, Brent McKee, Dusty, Monty924
Kym & Alli - Brenda, meb, Nicklepeed, Rochelle, Terry in TX

Ready to race?

They're heading to Manilla. The Speed Bump is at the Detour clue. The Detour is This or That. Bethany and Adam get there first. The Speed Bump has Brooke and Robbie helping reload a street vendor's goods. The other two teams took transportation (jeepney's?) in the wrong direction, so they're behind.

The This detour has them scoring 21 points at a basketball hoop against local guards.

Adam and Bethany are in the lead, but seem to have lost their clue. Brooke and Robbie made it to the Detour before the other two teams who finally realized they went the wrong way for an hour.

The other two teams go for That when they arrive (wrestlers did This). That has them pedaling a bike cab with a sidecar.

Gah. The wrestlers stole the lead from the surfers. Roadblock is Go Coconuts, delivering items to shops. Robbie missed some instructions as he headed out. Hopefully he'll screw up and the surfers will find the Roadblock. They know the street.

Now the surfers found their clue, Robbie figured the instructions but screwed up the amount of coconuts, Jim and Adam both missed the locations just as Robbie first did and Maya/Amy just started.

The wrestlers get through the Roadblock first.

Now, the only team left at the Roadblock is the Scientists.

Pit Stop --
1. Brooke and Robbie - Final leg starts right now and they race on, must fly to Los Angeles.
2. Adam and Bethany
3. Misti and Jim
4. Maya and Amy -- they're still in it! For the first time in TAR, four teams are going into the final leg. Phil warns them that one team will be eliminated during the final leg!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Blog Party - December 10


Thankfully it's not another double episode tonight! I overdid it last week with the two hours and got a killer headache. The promos hint there might be a medical evac tonight. Maybe it will be a concussion? As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll try to get the major events updated right here in this entry. Refresh the page to get the latest!

As always, the real party is in the comments area ... please join us there!

Here's the latest on the blog pool from the Lovely Lifeguard Laurie:


Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo
QUIT -- Julie = Donna NY, meb

Jury:
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1
Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee

Survivor fans ready?

Natalie tried (and succeeded) to convince Jon that she was confused with the splitting of the vote and voted Alec by mistake. Heh. She's still on her agenda against Jeremy.

Reward has them going through haystacks, filling buckets of water, solving a plank puzzle. Two teams. Reward is a spa and feast. Keith, Missy and Jon win it. Jon gives the reward to Baylor so she can be with her mother. Natalie volunteers and gets chosen for Exile. The lovebirds will be alone at camp.

Missy got hurt in the challenge.

Immunity. Missy's ankle looks at least sprained. The others brought Natalie some rice to eat before the challenge. Missy refuses to quit. Jeff thinks medical has to look at her ankle before the challenge. The medic thinks at the least it's a severe sprain, possibly broken. He says he has to pull Missy from the game to go have an x-ray. Ah, but then he says he can immobilize it and she can stay in the game, sitting this challenge out.

The challenge has them balancing on a teeter-totter while balancing a vase.  Jaclyn out first. Baylor out. Keith out. Jon out. Natalie wins immunity!

Jon thinks Natalie is still on board to get Keith out. Meanwhile, Keith bonded more with Missy and Baylor at reward.

Natalie wants the vote split between Jon and Jaclyn. Missy doesn't want to vote him, though. 

The tally - no idols played - Keith, Jaclyn, Keith, Jaclyn, Jon, Jon. Three way tie. Revote -- only Baylor, Missy and Natalie can vote.

Re-vote --  Jon, Jon. YAY! Jon is voted out!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - December 7, 2014

Vincent says hi

It really wasn't much of a week. I didn't take any good photos. I went nowhere. It rained a lot. My mind is fuzzy.

Friday, December 05, 2014

The Amazing Race 25: December 5 Blog Party


Wow, time is flying this season! We're down to the final four. As the show airs here, I'll do my best to update this entry with the major happenings. My mind is still on the fuzzy side, but I'll do my best. Refresh the page to get the latest. As always, the real party is in the comments area. Come join us there!

Here's the latest blog pool standings from the Magnificent Margo:

Adam & Bethany - chrob61, Kathy in Brooklyn, Kelsey NY, Zoetawny
Brooke & Robbie - Caela, Sharon, Sharon N, Willie J
Maya & Amy - Ed in OH, Karen in CA, Lynn1, Margo
Misti & Jim - Cheryl in NC, Laurie, ML, OrkMommy

Sorry you have been PHILIMINATED
Lisa & Michelle - Becky, Delee, dla, Donna in AL
Dennis & Isabelle - Auntie Leigh, Brian, David, Donna NY, sanra
Michael & Scott - Donna in FL, Glenn, Jackie, Marlo
Keith & Whitney - Jean, Jennasmom, Nana in NW, PDXGranny
Shelly & Nici - Buzzmaam, Merrilee, Rbennie, SueGee
Tim & Te Jay - Babs, Brent McKee, Dusty, Monty924
Kym & Alli - Brenda, meb, Nicklepeed, Rochelle, Terry in TX

Since there are two more episodes after tonight to air, I predict a non-Philimination leg. What do you think?

Are you ready? Let's GO!

Teams are flying from Singapore to Manilla, the Philippines.

Ah, good. The dentists are on a different flight, getting in a little later than the others. That might not mean much as they could catch up, but ...!

It won't mean much. They all have to wait for a flower vendor at 6:30am.

Detour - Catch or Coach. Filling three buckets of fish or mounting a sidecar to a bike. Maya and Amy are behind because they didn't follow a clue and lost time. Robbie is freaking out about handling fish.

Brooke and Robbie, the only ones doing the fish, finish first and head off for the next clue. Then Bethany and Adam finish the bike first.

Yay! It's the "I broke my ox" challenge. They have to use a water oxen to find a clue in a huge mud field.

Jim and Misti find the clue in the mud first, then the scientists. It's off to the Pit Stop on foot.

1. Jim and Misti - won a trip to Vietnam
2. Maya and Amy

The wrestlers and surfers were almost simultaneous in finding the clue.

3. Bethany and Adam
4. Brooke and Robbie.

I was right. It was a non-Philimination. All teams still in.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Double Episode Blog Party - December 3


Well, this is going to be an interesting challenge. I'm not sure how well I'll be able to do with a double episode tonight. I'll give it my best shot to update this entry with the major events as they air here on the East Coast. Refresh the page to get the latest.

As always, the real party is in the comments area ... please join us there!

Here's the latest on the blog pool from the Luverly Lifeguard Laurie:

Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo
QUIT -- Julie = Donna NY, meb

Jury:
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra

Survivor fans ready?

Ah, good. Jon and Jaclyn are arguing.

Reward == How well do you know your tribemates. The chopping at a rope one. The reward is a horse ride to a resort, barbeque, overnight.

Reed is the first one out of the challenge due to being chopped by the others. Alec out.  Keith out.

Since the rest were so friendly about it and wanted Missy to win, Jeff gave it to her. Jon goes to Exile. Missy can bring two people -- Baylor and Natalie.

Stand off between Reed and Missy because Reed called Baylor a brat.

Jon found another idol. Oh, well.

Baylor and Natalie are upset that Alec and Jaclyn are flirting (after they return from reward).

Immunity Challenge -- Balance oversize paddle on a stand, roll balls into holes, must get six. Keith wins immunity!

Huh. Jon and Jaclyn had another argument. Reed tried to get J/J to work with his side. Jaclyn is pouting. Jon told Missy he found the idol before even Jaclyn knows (unless I missed that).

Tribal - Missy votes Reed, Reed votes Missy. No surprise there.

The tally - (no one plays an idol) --
Reed, Missy, Reed, Reed, Reed, Reed.

Reed is gone. Whoa ... even Alec voted Reed!

Jon thinks he's controlling the game. Huh.

Reward - Standing on a small block holding a ball with a thing against a frame.  Winner gets a king size canopy bed and feast.  Alec out. Missy out. Keith out. Baylor out. Jon out. It's Natalie and Jaclyn left. Jaclyn out. Natalie wins reward! She sends Alec to Exile. She chooses to share the bed with Jaclyn, then Jon, too.

Heh. Natalie is being strategic. She tells us she wants to build Jon's trust, then wham him out! Good for her. She wants revenge for his part in getting Jeremy out. Meanwhile, Jon is getting cocky, sure he has Natalie in his back pocket.

Immunity Challenge -- Pull on a rope balancing a table, retrieving blocks, first one to stand all their blocks wins.

Gah. Jon wins Immunity.

He wants Keith to go, as does Missy. They plan to split the vote between Keith and Alec. Natalie and Baylor are not happy.

Natalie is talking to Keith, but thinks she could flip the game, get Alec out and use Keith to get rid of Jon. Meanwhile, Baylor is getting smitten with Alec.

Tribal - Natalie knowing it's not time to make her move, talks about the solidarity of the alliance of five. We'll see the vote.

Tally --
Keith, Alec, Keith, Alec, Keith, Alec, Alec.

WHOA! She did it! Alec joins the jury. Jon and Missy are befuddled.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - November 30, 2014

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! This is my weekly off television topic post in which I reflect on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way.

Speaking from Concussion Land here, while I've rested a lot this past week, it hasn't been necessarily easy. The fuzziness is really bothering me. I'm not used to thinking of each word I want to say, nor taking five minutes to write a coherent sentence.  I have found that I'm better at typing than actual writing. But, still ...

My only outing this week was to the neurologist follow-up on my brain MRI. The results of the MRI were good (which I already kind of determined from looking at the CD the MRI place gave me -- no huge splotches, etc.) So, the doctor says it will just take time and told me to take another two weeks.

My own Thanksgiving was quiet, just Vincent the Cat and me. I roasted a chicken, made stuffing, cheated with frozen Brussels sprouts, frozen Green Giant garlic-roasted potatoes, canned cranberry sauce and triple chocolate gelato for dessert. My appetite and sense of taste seem a bit off. I'm still living off the leftovers. Vincent had turkey with gravy canned cat food.

I find the events of Ferguson this past week incredibly saddening. It seems hard from all sides. Living in a black majority community (with Hispanic rising) here, I can't imagine a basically all white police force. While Plainfield definitely needs more Spanish-speaking officers to keep up with the population influx and language barrier, this traditionally diverse town has a majority of black officers.

The community here still bears the scars of racially-incited riots back in 1967. While I was aware of the Newark and Watts riots of the 60s, I was young and living in upstate New York at the time. I didn't know about Plainfield. I was advised upon moving to New Jersey, NOT to live in Plainfield, mainly due to racial and crime issues.

Guess what? I've lived in town for thirteen plus years now. While I've seen the increase of Hispanics and do have a bit of communication issues with them due to the fact that my Spanish is horrible, I've had absolutely no problems with the black folks in my community. If anything, the people here are the friendliest of any place I've ever lived. People are people. There are good and bad, wise and foolish, people of every kind.

That said, I can't imagine a situation like Ferguson going down here in Plainfield these days. First off, a one-man unit would call for back-up in a situation like that. It sounds like back-up wasn't called for until after Michael Brown was already down on the ground. Wilson shouldn't have even left his car until he had back-up. He knew the kid was shot and would have to seek medical help. He didn't see a weapon other than his own. Maybe it's not typical of Ferguson, but there seemed to be no common sense in how the officer handled the situation. Brown himself was no angel. It's a shame that his own actions paint him in the light they do (as a faraway observer), but Wilson was also wrong. Brown didn't deserve death for being a stupid big kid pushing his weight around. I really don't think the situation would have gone down the way it did had Brown been white.

It saddens me to think that there is still such a racial divide in our world. I'm glad there's not that kind of hate within me, but wish everyone would just accept folks as inherently the same regardless of color, religion, etc.

I have no answers. I can only do my part by thinking every person I meet on my path might add something positive to my own life, every interaction might be warming or thought-provoking.

If only ...

This post at the Friends (Quakers) Meeting House in Plainfield has the saying in four different languages. This past week's events across the nation and some of the hate I've seen on the internet is disturbing and very sad. What does it say for us as a people? I mean ALL of us.

Tom Turkey and wreaths

This duplex on Berckman Street in Plainfield is always symmetrically decorated each season. I always wonder if it's one person's doing or a joint effort. Either way, it's always pleasant. This house also had the ONLY clear sidewalk perfectly shoveled and salted on the block last winter. I caught a woman doing that. Go figure.

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

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Amazing Race 25 November 28 Blog Party


Hello, Black Friday survivors! As it is the Big Shopping Day of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we might not have a big turnout at the blog party. My concussion-related issues may make my updating this post as the show airs here may end up being a bit muddled, but I'll try. You've been warned. The real party is in the comments area ... come join us!

Here's the latest blog pool update from the Marvelous Margo --

Adam & Bethany - chrob61, Kathy in Brooklyn, Kelsey NY, Zoetawny
Brooke & Robbie - Caela, Sharon, Sharon N, Willie J
Kym & Alli - Brenda, meb, Nicklepeed, Rochelle, Terry in TX
Maya & Amy - Ed in OH, Karen in CA, Lynn1, Margo
Misti & Jim - Cheryl in NC, Laurie, ML, OrkMommy

Sorry you have been PHILIMINATED
Lisa & Michelle - Becky, Delee, dla, Donna in AL
Dennis & Isabelle - Auntie Leigh, Brian, David, Donna NY, sanra
Michael & Scott - Donna in FL, Glenn, Jackie, Marlo
Keith & Whitney - Jean, Jennasmom, Nana in NW, PDXGranny
Shelly & Nici - Buzzmaam, Merrilee, Rbennie, SueGee
Tim & Te Jay - Babs, Brent McKee, Dusty, Monty924

Are you ready?

Teams are off to Singapore with a Double U-Turn ahead. Most of the teams have made a pact to U-Turn the cyclists. I'd rather they did it to the dentists.

Uh-oh, due to a bad move by Bethany/Adam, they are on the second flight with the dentists.

Fast Forward - Riding the Wave - surfing in a special water park type place. The cyclists are going for it.

Roadblock - Tightrope walking 600 feet from the ground between hotel towers.

Surfers Adam and Bethany head for the FF even though they were on the second flight. Maya and Amy are currently in first place having finished the Roadblock.

Detour - China cups - removing toxins by getting cups applied to skin, Chili Crabs - preparing local dish crabs.

Adam and Bethany WIN the Fast Forward!

Pit Stop -
1. Adam and Bethany - Also won a trip to Bali

Maya/Amy and the wrestlers decided to U-Turn the surfers and cyclists. Maya/Amy got there first, U-Turned Bethany and Adam. Good luck with that, girls. Brooke and Robbie didn't U-Turn anyone. They figured the surfers would go and the cyclists were way far behind them. Jim and Misti (dentists) also don't U-Turn anyone.

Duh. Amy and Maya believed the lies the wrestlers told them about not finding the clue to the Pit Stop and are wandering about.

2. Brooke and Robbie
3. Jim and Misti
4. Amy and Maya
5. Kym and Alli -- Philiminated

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Blog Party - November 26


Good evening! I'm kind of surprised that it's not a clips show tonight, Thanksgiving Eve. To be honest, I'm not sure how many folks will be showing up as so many are traveling. I'm here. Well, kind of here. I'm still off from work with my head injury, still feeling like scrambled brains. I'll do my best to update with the major events as the show goes along. Refresh the page to get the latest! And, as always, albeit might be a bit quieter tonight -- the party is in the comments area. Come join in!

Here are the latest blog pool standings from Lovely Lifeguard Laurie --

Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo
QUIT -- Julie = Donna NY, meb

Jury:
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW

Survivor fans ready?

I can't believe I'm saying this. But I'm actually liking Natalie. She wants to get rid of John. She feels herself blindsided by Jaclyn/John blindsiding Jeremy. Meanwhile, Jon tells her he has an idol and says they're still with her.

Reward challenge - in water, to platform, key, puzzle. Two teams. Reward is delivering baseball gear to needy kids, enjoying baseball food. It's a schoolyard pick. Keith wasn't picked.

Jon, Jaclyn, Reed and Alec won Reward. Reed gives his spot up to Missy because he thinks she needs it. Wes goes to Exile Island.

While the others are away, Reed works on ousting Jon.

Natalie took Baylor looking for an idol. Natalie has it! She thinks they need to target Reed first, then Jon.

Immunity challenge. Balancing your feet on narrow perch holding a handle.

Jeff tries to tempt them with a dish of candy. Jon goes for it. Missy is out next, no treats for her. Jeff brings out cookies and milk -- Baylor and Jaclyn are down. Wes goes for chicken wings and two beers. Keith is out, feet are purple and in pain. Alec out.

It's Reed and Natalie remaining. After 3 hours, Natalie asks Jeff for food and gets it. Reed wins immunity.

Lots of confusion and whispering at Tribal. Jon plays his idol!!! Votes cast for him don't count. Keith plays his idol! No votes for him count.

The tally: Jon, Jon, Jon, Keith, Keith, Jon, Keith. Wes, Wes.

Wes is out. Natalie and Reed voted Wes, I think.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - November 23, 2014

Sometimes you feel like a nut

I realize it's Sunday, the day I usually post a gazillion off television topic photos of the week gone by. But this week, I didn't really take many photos. I pretty much only went out of the apartment to go to a neurologist appointment (bitter cold, nothing interesting to photograph), go have an MRI done (dark outside, not cameras allowed in MRI room itself) and hit up the local bodega around the corner a few times.

The neurologist ruled my injury indeed a concussion and ordered the MRI to rule out anything more serious. The MRI experience was ghastly, but I didn't move and they didn't have to redo any of it. The only cool, yet weirdly creepy, thing about the MRI is that they gave me a CD of it for my own records. There's a built-in viewer and everything. At least I know I still do have a brain even though it's not working quite right at the moment. 

Sometimes you're always a nut

A tough nut to crack?

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Amazing Race 25: November 21 Blog Party


Good evening! After a week off for an awards show, TAR is back on tonight! The only problem is that I might not be. I need to have my head examined. Oh, yes. I know what you're thinking -- it's long overdue! But, more seriously, I have an appointment for an MRI of my brain to rule out anything more serious than a concussion. I might not be back in time for the start of the show. So, I'm setting this to post automatically. Hopefully, that won't be needed and I'll chime in on my return.

The blog pool's standings from the Marvelous Margo -- The last episode was a non-Philimination leg with Tim and Te Jay arriving last:

Adam & Bethany - chrob61, Kathy in Brooklyn, Kelsey NY, Zoetawny
Brooke & Robbie - Caela, Sharon, Sharon N, Willie J
Kym & Alli - Brenda, meb, Nicklepeed, Rochelle, Terry in TX
Maya & Amy - Ed in OH, Karen in CA, Lynn1, Margo
Misti & Jim - Cheryl in NC, Laurie, ML, OrkMommy
Tim & Te Jay - Babs, Brent McKee, Dusty, Monty924,

Sorry you have been PHILIMINATED
Lisa & Michelle - Becky, Delee, dla, Donna in AL
Dennis & Isabelle - Auntie Leigh, Brian, David, Donna NY, sanra
Michael & Scott - Donna in FL, Glenn, Jackie, Marlo
Keith & Whitney - Jean, Jennasmom, Nana in NW, PDXGranny
Shelly & Nici - Buzzmaam, Merrilee, Rbennie, SueGee

Please make yourself comfy in the comments area and party hearty! If you can throw in an update or two, that would be appreciated!

Okay, I'm here. They're off to Malta. After a balancing glasses/booze act, they will rappel off a cliff in Malta.

Detour - Flag or Shine - no explanation for them. Grab flag at the end of a greasy pole (each get one) over water.

Tim and Te Jay's speed bump is to paint a Maltese cross on a shield.

Shine has them shining each other in armor.

While the others struggle, Adam and Bethany use their Express Pass to skip the detour and head to the Pit Stop.

Pit Stop -
1. Adam and Bethany! Each won $10,000
2. Misti and Jim
3. Kym and Alli
4. Amy and Maya
5. Brooke and Robbie
6. Tim and Te Jay -- Philiminated

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Blog Party - November 19


Hey, welcome to the blog party! Due to some health issues (concussion), I don't think I'm going to be able to update this entry while watching the show. It's going to be hard enough for me to concentrate on the show! So, I ask folks to put updates in the party comments below. I will include whoever gets their torch snuffed at the end.

Supposedly, tonight will have the biggest blindside of the season. We'll be the judge of that.

The latest blog pool standings from Lifeguard Laurie:

Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo
QUIT -- Julie = Donna NY, meb
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie

On with the show ...

Baylor wins immunity.

No idols played.

Keith, Reed, Keith, Reed, Reed, Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy.

With an idol in his pocket ...Keith remains.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - November 16, 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. My next post will be about television -- stay tuned!

Gah, What a week. I had banged my head at work last Saturday. Throughout the day Sunday and into Monday morning, I was having nausea and bad headaches, ringing in my ears and more. So I went off to the doctor's office approved by our workers compensation insurance carrier. That office was in the middle of nowhere. I was diagnosed with a concussion there and had a follow-up reevaluation on Thursday. I was still having issues, so now I've been trying to get an appointment (as referred by the doctor) with a neurologist on the WC carrier insurance list. So far, I've striked out. I can't go back to work without clearance from one and I'm still having problems.

Enough about that.

The Plainfield Library Photo Competition was yesterday. I won first place and felt honored to receive that with all the talent out there. This year was their largest amount of entries, lots of new photographers and some very amazing shots. I'm going to have to step up my game!

Onto this week's photos. Due to the doctor's visit, I took many shots in Somerville where the train stops (and then took a taxi to Hillsborough where the doctor's office is). I also took shots around Library Park in Plainfield yesterday and, when my friend Barbara gave me a ride home, we took a scenic leaf and house-ogling ride through the mansions and expensive homes on winding roads in Plainfield. 

 photo IMG_7184a_zpse8137d10.jpg
Autumn Library Park Lamp

The trees are in that odd stage of many barren, some still brilliant reds and yellows and even a few greens. Thankfully a colorful tree was near this lamp! Library Park, Plainfield.

 photo IMG_7087a_zps00c55e9c.jpg
Stylin' in da 'hood

Okaaay ... skinny jeans and leather while bearing a red-tipped squared-off flat-top 'fro. Yep, that's my Plainfield neighborhood!

 photo IMG_7216a_zpsc57d4de5.jpg
Ex-Governor McGreevey's mansion

Jim McGreevey, the Governor of NJ prior to the Chris Christie regime, the one of "I am a gay American" fame and controversial resignation bought and lives in this ivy-covered mansion in Plainfield. While this mansion isn't all that far from my apartment building, it's definitely not in my 'hood.

This week's flowers and foliage slideshow features one of my favorites -- ornamental kale! I found flowers and kale growing in planters when I was in Somerville this week. The foliage shots are from Plainfield, Somerville and Hillsborough.



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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Blog Party - November 12


Hey, welcome to the blog party! Due to some health issues (concussion), I don't think I'm going to be able to update this entry while watching the show. It's going to be hard enough for me to concentrate on the show! So, I ask folks to put updates in the party comments below.

The latest blog pool standings from Lifeguard Laurie:

Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo
QUIT -- Julie = Donna NY, meb

On with the show and my apologies for not being able to keep up with updating this entry ...

Brief update -- Jeremy won Immunity.

Josh was voted out with one more vote than Baylor. He's the first member of the jury.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - November 9, 2014

Good morning! It's Sunday. Yes, it is. 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. My last post and my next one will be all about TV! I swear!

There's really nothing remarkable to report this week. It was warmer, then it got colder. It was sunny, then rainy and windy. Today is fairly seasonable. After all, it is getting that time of the year. Right now I'm sporting a bump and bruise on my left temple, making me look like I've been beaten. No, I haven't been beaten. I'm just a dummy and hit my head on a very solid object as I bent down. Foolish me. Clumsy me. Gah.

Other than that, it's been another week in the life ...

Onto the photos I've taken this week. If you click on an image, a Photobucket page will appear and you can make the image larger there, then just close out the page to return to the blog.

 photo IMG_6971a_zps7e6e45de.jpg
The Beaver Moon

The full moon earlier this week was the Beaver Moon. Back in the day, it was named such to signal colonists and American Indians to set their beaver traps before the swamps froze. That way, they'd have furs to keep warm for the winter. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a totally clear (and definitive) shot of the moon, thus this obscured a bit by a building one.

On Friday, a tractor trailer truck rammed and got stuck under the bridge at the Plainfield Train Station, Park Avenue. Thankfully, they let my train pass over the bridge coming into the station. They were off-loading the cargo and the tires were all hissing as they deflated them when I went by. I think it will need to lower more than that! The trailer was two feet higher than the clearly marked bridge. There were industrial tow trucks at either side. I guess they have to unhitch the trailer and tow the tractor and trailer out separately from either side. Here's a slideshow of the stuck truck ... clicking on the diagonal arrow on the bottom right will make it full screen --



 photo IMG_6864a_zpsa2217aab.jpg
Colorful sunrise

My timing on my early days now with the change back to standard time coincides with the sunrise. I took this shot looking at the end of the platform at the Plainfield Train Station.

 photo IMG_6932a_zps9e43157e.jpg
Speaking of the train ...

This is my NJ Transit train approaching the Bridgewater Train Station one afternoon this week as I headed home. The double-decker trains always look short in photos, but they're actually pretty long. Oh, not like being stuck at a crossing waiting for a long freight train to pass. Not long like that at all!

My flowers and foliage slideshow this week is colorful. While we're past peak in autumn foliage, we still have some brilliant colors and even some green leaves left. Soon we'll be ankle-deep in leaves on the sidewalks as freezes hit more steadily. I took most of these shots in and around my neighborhood and the Plainfield Train Station --



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

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Amazing Race 25 - November 7 Blog Party


Good evening, folks! Ready to race? Er, let me rephrase that ... ready to party? Ah, much better.

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 real party is in the comments area. I hope to see you there!

Here's the latest update on the blog pool from the Magnificent Margo --

Adam & Bethany - chrob61, Kathy in Brooklyn, Kelsey NY, Zoetawny
Brooke & Robbie - Caela, Sharon, Sharon N, Willie J
Kym & Alli - Brenda, meb, Nicklepeed, Rochelle, Terry in TX
Maya & Amy - Ed in OH, Karen in CA, Lynn1, Margo
Misti & Jim - Cheryl in NC, Laurie, ML, OrkMommy
Tim & Te Jay - Babs, Brent McKee, Dusty, Monty924,

Sorry you have been PHILIMINATED
Lisa & Michelle - Becky, Delee, dla, Donna in AL
Dennis & Isabelle - Auntie Leigh, Brian, David, Donna NY, sanra
Michael & Scott - Donna in FL, Glenn, Jackie, Marlo
Keith & Whitney - Jean, Jennasmom, Nana in NW, PDXGranny
Shelly & Nici - Buzzmaam, Merrilee, Rbennie, SueGee

Are we ready? GO!

Starting out in Morocco, they're flying to Sicily. The dentists have found a flight which will get them in at 8pm. The cyclists book the same flight. Kym and Alli decide the dentists are TeamNoFun.

They dance the night away and leave at set intervals. The cyclists were working with the dentists. Only due to need, of course. It's not like they like them or anything.

Roadblock - They have to race cool go-carts! Brooke and Robbie can't find a taxi to get there. After they complete the Roadblock, they're off in coo classic cars to meet up with their partners.

Detour - Painters - restore a fresco. Posers - listen to ten opera singers, writing the characters and operas on a board. Only four teams can do the painting, the more popular task. The scientists have to head over to the opera task. Robbie and Brooke already decided to go for that one.

Sigh. The dentists are on their way to the Pit Stop. The cyclists are just behind them.

The 300th leg Pit Stop -
1. Jim and Misti ... won another trip.
2. Kym and Alli

Brooke/Robbie and Maya/Amy worked together on the opera task (which is actually easier than the painting) and finished. The opera task was actually remembering the costumes in order.

3. Maya and Amy
4. Broooke and Robbie
5. Adam and Bethany
5. Te Jay and Tim ... non-Philimination leg ... they're still in the race!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Blog Party - November 5


Well, the merge is supposed to be on this week. That will certainly change the dynamics a bit. Will we see those with loved ones try to ally with the like? Or the singles? At the very least, we won't be seeing Coyopa continue to decimate weekly. Or, is that weakly? Of course, there might be some tribal loyalties going on there and the old Hunahpu members could still trounce the ex-Coyopa. It's all so complicated! That's why I sit at home at watch.

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 news! As always, the real party is in the comments area -- come join in on the fun!

Before it's on with the show, here's the latest blog pool standings from Lifeguard Laurie --

Coyopa
Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra

Hunahpu
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Julie = Donna NY, meb
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ
Dale = Brian, Margo

Survivor fans ready?

Keith is predictably disturbed about getting votes in the last tribal. Missy and Baylor owned up to it. Now he knows how much he can(not) trust them.

Tree mail has Hunahpu packing up for the merge. Coyopa got a similar email. Hmm. Where are they going to set up shop?

We have the usual feast going on.

Ah, they're going to the former Coyopa home.

Jeremy wants to get together with some singles, plus John/Jaclyn and Missy/Baylor. Huyopa is the new tribe name. And now it's Wes's birthday.

Josh wants to get the couples together. Surprise, surprise.

Aha! They found out that Julie was hoarding a supply of trail mix from their feast. Oh noes for her!

Immunity Challenge time. Josh is worried that his name will be on the chopping block. They have to balance a ball on disks supported by ropes and it gets tougher as time goes by.

Whoa! Jeremy is out first! Missy out, then Julie.

Second round starts. Reed out, Baylor, Alec out, Jaclyn out. Natalie out.

Josh, Wes, Keith and Jon left in.

The next round has two balls balancing on the disk. Josh out. Jon out. Keith and Wes, father and son, are the last two vying for victory. Keith wins the first individual immunity!

Jon told Jeremy that Josh is the target. While Josh wants Jeremy out, he also ponders breaking up Jaclyn/Jon. Lots of scheming going on. Now Jon wants Jeremy out and the couples stick together. Oy!

Uh-oh. Will Julie quit? She met Jeff away from camp. She is bereft without John. Poor baby.

She quits the game.

Jeff meets up with the others and tells them.

No tribal council tonight with Julie quitting! Jeremy stays another day.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - November 2, 2014

Welcome to my weekly off television topic post! Each week I take a journey through the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. My next post will indeed be about television -- stay tuned!

Random musings about the week:
  • I could do this get an extra hour of sleep thing every day.
  • We had nice temperatures and some nice days, then some really icky cold rain. Now it's just cold. I guess it's really late autumn. Sigh.
  • At least it didn't rain for the kids on Halloween. Not that I had any trick or treaters knocking on my door. I never do here.
  • My superintendent told me the person upstairs is a younger guy. I think the "younger" bit is relative. He can't be too young or he couldn't afford to live alone there. I'm think probably 30ish-young. But I did kind of call it right. I still haven't seen him. He's still not annoying. Yay!
  • I'm tired. Can I retire yet? I'm really getting tired of being exhausted day in and day out. There has to be a better way!
  • While I had way too many "out of stock" items on my Peapod grocery delivery order this week -- they're still adjusting to the new huge distribution center in Jersey City -- they more than made good on it. They told me they'd remove the delivery charge and put the sale items missed in my cart at the sale price for my next order. Well, since I ordered on Super Saver Wednesday, instead of $6.95 delivery, it was $5 off, then another $1 off as I chose the wide delivery window which they narrow down to two hours the day before. So, technically, my delivery cost a 95 cent delivery charge. (I also get $1 off for paying by electronic check, so ...!) I received an email from them. They took $10 off the order.
  • I also received an email from the Plainfield Library in regard to the photo contest. I won something, but don't know what. The awards presentation and exhibition is slated for November 15th.
Onto the photos for this week -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new Photobucket window. You can make it even larger there and just close out that window to return to the blog.

 photo IMG_6798a_zps42ae3613.jpg
A touch of color

I took this shot of ivy on a building adjacent to the Plainfield Train Station.

 photo IMG_6824a_zps291feb0d.jpg
Oh my

What the heck broke into that locomotive engine car? This is one of the new fancy/schmancy locomotives which runs diesel and can convert to electric for a one seat ride on the Raritan Valley Line into NYC. Since our line is diesel, we've always had to switch trains in Newark as diesel locomotives can't run in the tunnels. Now, with these new locomotives, some of the trains run directly into the city, but not every train. There are also tunnel crowding logistics running amok in the planning. I'm thinking this locomotive might have struck a tree branch. I'm innocent. Plainfield Train Station.

This week's Flowers and Foliage slideshow has photos taken in Plainfield, Westfield and Bridgewater. Clicking on the diagonal arrow on the bottom right will make it full screen for you!



 photo IMG_6812a_zps6f7568a1.jpg
Yes, I see you, Squirrel.

Is it Rocket J. Squirrel? East Front Street, Plainfield.

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

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Amazing Race 25 - October 31 Episode


Happy Halloween, folks! I'm anticipating few to attend this blog party due to Halloween plans. But, if you do come by, stop in the comments section! 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!

Here's the latest blog pool standings from the Marvelous Margo --

Adam & Bethany - chrob61, Kathy in Brooklyn, Kelsey NY, Zoetawny
Brooke & Robbie - Caela, Sharon, Sharon N, Willie J
Kym & Alli - Brenda, meb, Nicklepeed, Rochelle, Terry in TX
Maya & Amy - Ed in OH, Karen in CA, Lynn1, Margo
Misti & Jim - Cheryl in NC, Laurie, ML, OrkMommy
Shelly & Nici - Buzzmaam, Merrilee, Rbennie, SueGee
Tim & Te Jay - Babs, Brent McKee, Dusty, Monty924,

Sorry you have been PHILIMINATED
Lisa & Michelle - Becky, Delee, dla, Donna in AL
Dennis & Isabelle - Auntie Leigh, Brian, David, Donna NY, sanra
Michael & Scott - Donna in FL, Glenn, Jackie, Marlo
Keith & Whitney - Jean, Jennasmom, Nana in NW, PDXGranny

Ready for the race?

Kym and Alli leave the Pit Stop first -- have to deliver hay with a horse-drawn carriage, reward the horses with an apple each, and then get their 'product placement' vehicle. Ah, good. Bethany and Adam have pulled into the lead.

But Kym and Alli get to the next clue first. Detour -- Camp, set up a camp to exact specifications. Cream has them milking a goat and making butter with the milk. Rats. Misti and Jim are there.

Oh geez. Jim and Misti are the first through the Detour. Grr. Shelley and Nici are totally lost and are the only team who hasn't made it to the Detour.

Roadblock -- Teams have to go over canyons on ziplines and swinging bridges and solving a puzzle.

Jim and Misti are heading to Casbah Dif, the Pit Stop. Oh my gosh. Bethany chose to do the Roadblock despite having one arm. Yikes!

Pit Stop--
1. Jim and Misti - Won a trip to Brazil
2. Adam and Bethany
3. Kym and Alli
4. Tim and Te Jay
5. Brooke and Robbie
6. Amy and Maya
7. Shelley and Nici

And, they have been Philiminated

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Survivor San Juan Del Sur Blood vs. Water Blog Party - October 29


Will Jeff give in and give Hunahpu more food? And, if so, at what cost? No tribe has ever begged for food before! What about Coyopa? Will they continue to lose even with the reshuffling of tribes? Then there's Dale's fake idol. Are they gonna buy that it's real? These questions and many more should be answered in tonight's episode.

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 real party is in the comments area -- come join in on the fun!

But, first ... the blog pool update by that Lovely Lifeguard Laurie:

Coyopa
Alec = Karen in Case, Merrilee
Baylor = Glenn, maquinn78, Sharon S
Dale = Brian, Margo
Jaclyn = CYW Coleman, rbennie
Josh = crob61, Rochelle, Jackie
Wes = Buzzmaam, ORKMommy, sanra

Hunahpu
Jeremy = Becky, Nana in the NW
Jon M = Donna in Alabama, Laurie
Julie = Donna NY, meb
Keith = Donna in FL, PDX Granny  
Missy = Ed in Ohio, Monty924, Sharon N
Natalie = Jennasmom, Kelsey NY
Reed = David, Kathy, Lynn1

Out: Nadiya
Val = Brenda, Nickelpeed
John R = Cheryl NC, MikesGirl, Terry in TX
Drew = Delee, Petals, SueGee
Kelley = Babs Dud, ML, Russ

Survivor fans ready?

Dale showed John his fake immunity idol. John thinks it's real. Silly John. Jeremy thinks it's stupid to ask Jeff for rice -- they should suck it up. After all, they might win food tomorrow!

Jeff arrives with a huge bag of rice. Jeff lectures them about losing their flint and eating all the rice. He wants all of their comfort items. They'll only keep a machete, a pot and a flint. He thinks they've been winning because they've been eating better than the other tribe. I think he's right.

Reward challenge has one person from each tribe racing blindfolded through obstacles studying masks by touch and then recreating them. The reward is a Survivor BBQ feast. It's Reed against Baylor.

Reed wins for Hunahpu! Now they have food. Baylor goes to Exile. Reed picks Julie to go, but Natalie volunteers. Natalie "wins." She goes to Exile with Baylor.

Baylor got the clue to the idol and showed Natalie. I find Natalie much more bearable without Nadiya. Natalie thinks that she's in with Missy, Balyor's mom. She is. Now she thinks she's in with Baylor, too.

It's raining on the tarp-less Hunahpu tribe. Sucks to be them, eh? Julie is crying. Jeremy hopes she goes home before him.

Immunity Challenge time! Race up and over a wall, push a cube through posts, collect puzzle pieces, solve puzzle.

Jeremy got his bag stuck on the coil they have to remove it from. Will Coyopa actually win a challenge? Maybe not. Hunahpu has taken over the lead. Hunahpu wins Immunity again!

Heh. Dale told John that if he (Dale) isn't voted out tonight, he'll give John his "idol." He wants Missy targeted.  They all (not Dale or Keith) decide they should split the vote between Dale and Keith. John thinks it might be best to align with Dale. He really wants himself and Jaclyn to be a "power couple" after the merge.

Tribal -- lots of talk about loyalty. Keith votes Dale

The tally -- Dale, Keith, Missy, Keith, Dale, Dale.

Dale is voted out.

Next week is the merge!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - October 26, 2014

Good morning! It's Sunday morning, time for my weekly off television topic reflection of the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way. If you're looking for TV stuff, my last post and my next post will have some.

We had several days of rain this week. But I did take advantage of the few nice days when I could take some photos going to work and coming home. Alas, my day off on Wednesday was raw, chilly and rainy ALL DAY. I didn't even step out of my apartment all day. On the days it was nice, it was VERY nice with warmish (for this time of the year) temperatures and sunny skies. On the days it was not nice, it was dismal with a cold, cold rain and grey skies.

I personally prefer brisk temperatures over the heat (and humidity) of the summers here. I actually don't even mind the cold of winter. I can always layer and dress warm enough. But in the heat and humidity of summer, there's only so much you can take off! And, you could be naked and still sweating! Ew! If we could train the ice and snow to stay off the roads, parking lots and sidewalks, I'd have no complaints about winter whatsoever.

Two years ago at this time we were anticipating being in the "cone of concern" for Hurricane Sandy. There are still signs of the superstorm all about in mismatched roof shingles, tree damage, trees gone and such. I must admit I enjoyed the excitement of the storm, but the aftermath was way too much. Almost two weeks without power, four months of train issues, a wacko snowstorm a few days after the hurricane while I had no heat (or lights or anything). It was a surreal kind of existence for weeks after the storm. I don't want to go through that again. Thankfully, there isn't anything like that in the forecast here now.

Onto this week's photos -- clicking on an image will bring you to its Photobucket page where you can make it larger. Just X out the Photobucket page to return here to the blog.

 photo IMG_6638a_zpsa010be38.jpg
Downtown autumn colors

The trees surrounding the Park-Madison complex are turning all kinds of pretty colors for autumn. I took this shot looking at the corner of Park Avenue and West Second Street in Plainfield. To my right (off camera) is East Second Street -- Park Avenue in Plainfield is the dividing line between East and West.

 photo IMG_6605a_zps5fdd64a0.jpg
Pretty pre-sunrise

The sun is actually rising after I get in the door to work these days. Well, except for Saturdays when I go in to work later. With our three (four?) days of rain this past week, I had rather dismal non-sunrises most of the week. But this one was nice. Bridgewater, NJ

 photo IMG_6691a_zps0e144251.jpg
Ladybug, ladybug ...

... fly away home. Your house is on fire and your kids are alone. Eep! What a HORRIBLE little saying! Bridgewater, NJ

This week's Flowers and Foliage slideshow is once again probably more foliage. I took some shots of flowers in the dark with my flash. And, the rain and some warmer temperatures have some of the roses blooming again! The shots were all taken in Plainfield and Bridgewater as I went nowhere and did nothing this week (except work). You can make the slideshow full screen by clicking on the diagonal arrow lower right of the window.



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