Friday, January 30, 2015

Survivor: Brad Culpepper - Workers Comp Fraud?

Oh my. Brad Culpepper, who appeared with his wife Monica on Survivor: Blood vs. Water, is being sued by the insurance company who handled his workers compensation settlement case. The original Good Morning America segment and article can be found at this link.

Now, as a true Survivor fan (as if you couldn't tell) and also a person who once received a workers comp settlement for an injury, I feel the need to comment on this. Just to clarify my own workers comp experience -- I injured my right knee about 20 years ago. After surgeries and much pain, about six years after the accident I was rated as a 40% permanent disability of the entire right leg and received a settlement but a fraction of what Culpepper received.

Now that the Culpepper disability bit is coming to light, I'm surprised that:
  • He's been rated as an 89% TOTAL disability due to the injuries he received as an NFL player. To me, that kind of rating should just about put him in a wheelchair!
  • He only received $175,000 for that rating in view of his NFL income (or perhaps it just might be what I perceive as the income an NFL player gets). It would seem to me that if an NFL player were to lose his livelihood due to injuries, that amount should be much higher. If I'm not mistaken, the settlements take into consideration future medical costs (unless dealt with separately) and loss of future income based on income itself.
One of the problems with Culpepper's performance on the show that's being brought up doesn't seem quite fair. The insurance company claims that he said he has trouble getting in and out of a bathtub, then shows him jumping into the water on Survivor.

Two totally different things, I say! Due to my original knee injury and later knee replacements, I myself have problems getting into and out of a bathtub. Yet, I could easily jump into the water like that. My doctor might recommend against it, but physically it's really not hard to jump into water from a platform! That particular athletic "feat" shouldn't even apply to the lawsuit.

That said, he shouldn't have gone on the show. He was a powerhouse that season. Sure, he "worked through the pain." But it does seem to me that if he has an 89% total disability rating, he simply shouldn't have been able to physically DO the stuff he did on the show. With that kind of rating, there should be no way he could physically perform like that, pain or no pain.

I'm not saying that the man doesn't have some serious injuries and probably does have pain. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve workers compensation for those permanent injuries. I do question the extremely high rating of disability when he can exert himself to the level he did on Survivor. He simply shouldn't be able to physically do the stuff he did. But then again, I think that in view of his income as an NFL player, the amount he received for such a high rating is quite paltry.

All in all, he shouldn't have gone on the show. By doing so and performing as he did, it makes a mockery out of his disability rating. In my opinion, he wasn't out to defraud workers compensation. The amount he received probably was adequate for the injuries he received. It's not like he got millions. My only concern is the rating. Brad Culpepper is obviously not 89% totally disabled. I realize the man was/is an athlete. But I couldn't have done the show with my dinky 40% permanent disability of one leg. However, in my own experience, I had nothing to do with the final rating I received. I could only present the medical findings. It was all doctors and lawyers who came up with the rating. I'd imagine with Brad Culpepper, it was the same sort of thing. He presented with his injuries and "they" decided the rating and settlement.

What are your thoughts on this?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Survivor: Worlds Apart - No Collar

I've already chatted about the two other tribes -- Blue Collar (BCT) and White Collar (WCT) -- which you can find with my Worlds Apart Casting tag for the blog. I will continue my lazy tribe monickers with NCT for No Collar Tribe. CBS might be calling this tribe Nargarote, but for me ... NCT!

Hali might currently be a no collar, but she plans to be a white collar. She's 25 years old, a law student presently residing in San Francisco, California. She seems smart and even athletic. Oh ... and she knows how to clean a fish. Does she know how to make a fire? I doubt it. Sure, she might know the concept, but I don't believe she'd take the time to actually try to make one. I'm getter neither great nor terrible vibes from her bio.I am getting that if she's studying to be a lawyer, she's not quite the free spirit I expect of NCT.

Once again, she's another castaway not really from where they list her in the bio. She's a "Southern Belle" from Nashville, Tennessee. She most definitely isn't a real No Collar type. She aspires to be a public defender dedicated to helping the indigent. She does talk a good talk about the game. And, it is indeed likely that she might be able to do well in endurance challenges. She's obviously seen her tribemates, but hasn't really mixed with them before this clip was shot. I'll have to figure out the curly blond guy she wants the alliance of two with as I go along. Is she going to be able to walk the walk until the end? I don't think so. Maybe she'll prove me wrong.


Okay, she's a bit more No Collar than Hali. Jenn is 22 years young, a sailing instructor currently residing in Long Beach, California. Huh. That's the second one mentioning Long Beach this season. She seems to be quite athletic, can swim and might even know woodsy kind of doings. She's been a fan of the show since the first season when she was in third grade. She's seen all the strategies. The only thing I found off-putting was her referring to the fact that she should "kill it." Okay, I get it. Confidence. Let's just see about that.

Now, she currently lives in Sonoma, California but is FROM Long Beach. I know I'm being a Picky Patty, but can't they make all these residence references uniform from bio to bio? She's without a doubt more of a free spirit than is Hali. Like many other women, she'd rather ally with men than with women. I think this girl has spunk even if her life work ambition is a bit lacking. She might be good at the game.


Here's another one that doesn't come off totally No Collar to me. Although he lists his occupation as a jewelry designer, he is a college grad and was actively involved in sports. Joe is 25 and currently residing in Scottdale, Arizona. I believe he's probably the blond guy with whom Hali wants to form an alliance of two. Another young one with long-term memories of the show and aspiring to be on it for years. His bio is really long-winded. I kinda sorta like him, but need to see his video.

Hmm. He just might do well. He has the country and athletic background as well as a love for the show. My only thing about him after watching the video is that he just might be too nice a guy to win this. While he says he'll lie to people and such, I think he just might be a bit naive and trust others a tad too much. Is he cut-throat enough to win? Again, another with my jury out until I see him in action.


I guess my personal perception of No Collar is way skewed. I think of hitchhikers or young ones traveling through Europe with backpacks. I think of people waiting tables or tending bar until the next inspiration strikes them. I think of street performers. I don't necessarily think of someone like Nina -- 51 years old from Palmdale, California. She's deaf but can hear with cochlear implants. As a result, she's an advocate for them. She's proud of her Mom, apparently from Japan, who moved here, learned English and became a citizen despite bearing the brunt of prejudice and bigotry. Then comes her downfall in her bio. She likes Tina Wesson (that's not the bad part) and wants to play the game with integrity. Uh-oh.

At least she realizes she's going to have to lie to get through the game. The problem is ... will she be a good enough liar? She thinks she might have a problem when conversations overlap. She also hopes her work around the camp will keep her in the game. In the video she mentioned being a housewife and I can only assume she has children. I'm going to peg Nina as the Camp Mommy and I'm sure they'll keep her for a while. But when it comes to staying on her own through challenges and such, I doubt she has a chance to "kill it."


Now, here is true No Collar. Vince is a 32 year old coconut vendor residing in Santa Monica, California. His online bio is fairly short and just a bit full of himself reveling in his rather freewheeling lifestyle. Okay, I get it. He doesn't like stuff stuck in his teeth. He likens himself to a mix of Parvati, Coach and Fabio. Um. Well. Let's go to the video.

Cross him off as a true No Collar. This dude first off doesn't mention Santa Monica at all in the video. Instead, he has homes in San Francisco and New York City ... both places are rather prohibitive to reside in without a decent amount of income. He doesn't mention coconut vending; he's a "life coach." I'm thinking more Coach than Fabio going on here but with a better physical game than Coach. He might be one to watch unless he puts his tribe mates off with his Kung Fu moves.


Will's bio is rather short and sweet. He is listed as a YouTube sensation, age is 41 and he's from Sherman Oaks, California. Now, YouTube sensation isn't quite a long term occupation for a man that age. As I never was a Leno fan, I had to check out the YouTube video that created such a sensation. Okay, he was a bartender before his big viral video. He's married to a personal trainer. I think I like him. I'm glad to actually come across a black person in this age-diverse, but not racially diverse so much cast. But does he have a chance?

In his video, he doesn't even mention YouTube at all. He talks about his people skills and bar tending. He also does mention his wife and daughter. I think he's going to be enjoyable to watch on the show. But I don't think he really has a chance to win it all. He comes across as too nice and easygoing to win. I can't see him being a fantastic liar or a villain.

There. The cast peeks are done here. Now we just have to wait until Wednesday, February 25 to see the premiere!

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - January 25, 2015

I realize I was a no-show here last Sunday. You have my apologies. I really didn't have much to update and hadn't taken any photos.

For those of you interested in television, I've checked out the cast for the upcoming Survivor season in posts at this Worlds Apart Casting blog tag. The last installment of that will be up this afternoon. I also continue to post daily photos from my archives on my photo blog I Shoot Stuff I See.

Although I'm still having headaches and some dizziness, I'll be going back to work tomorrow. I have a new doctor who actually prescribed some medication instead of the last one who just kept telling me to take over the counter drugs and giving me time off from work -- roughly doing nothing for me. I actually don't think the new meds are helping a lot, but I'll see how it goes.

We had a snowstorm here Friday night into Saturday, but I didn't go out for photos. Apparently I'll get plenty of opportunity to get snow shots as we have a storm forecast for tomorrow into Tuesday ... or Wednesday. Oy. I needed that on my return to work! (No, I didn't!) Right now a Winter Storm Watch is up starting 1pm tomorrow with heavy snow expected to come tomorrow night. If it's heavy enough, it will turn to a Winter Storm Warning. And, if it's bad enough, I may end up staying home Tuesday. We'll see.

Onto what photos I've taken, none a work of art:

Vincent in nap mode

Vincent is going to miss me being around. I'm sure he'll nap a lot. But he won't have me to be his human couch. This is him in his chair by my computer chair. Yes, he has a comfy toss pillow atop the chair.

I met a dog

I actually met the dog twice in the same spot. His owner ties him up to go into the local bodega. The first day I saw the owner tying the dog and entering. A few days later, I saw the dog already tied up and spotted the owner inside. The owner seemed tickled that I knew it was his dog and said the dog is safe to pet. I got out before him, so I approached the dog. Awww, it's a sweetie. When I got home, Vincent was not happy. He knew I petted a dog.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Survivor: Worlds Apart - White Collar

I delved into the Blue Collar Tribe (hereafter referred to in this blog as BCT) in this previous post. I'll be tagging all my casting posts for the show with the tag Worlds Apart Casting for easy reference. I'm just thoughtful like that. Yeah. That's the ticket!

Now it's time to take a look at the White Collar Tribe -- WCT for my lackadaisical posting purposes. Sure, CBS calls them Masaya. But what do they know?

Yes! A 52 year old corporate executive from Tampa, Florida. She's originally from Queens, NYC. Already I'm digging the age. She's been married for 36 years (which is much longer than some of her fellow castaways have been on this earth). She has three "successful kids." She likes softball and Hilary Clinton. But, what really caught my interest is that she participates in Tough Mudders. I have some friends who do that. I would never do it; I'd keel over. If she can make it through Tough Mudder events, she should be able to handle any challenge Survivor throws her way.

Definitely not a Florida accent on her, huh? After watching the video, I'm not as sure about how she will be in the social game, especially with those younger than her. I think she might come across as bossy. That said, it would be fantastic if the sole Survivor was a 52 year old woman, wouldn't it?


Joaquin is another relative New Yorker -- from Valley Stream, which is on Long Island adjacent to NYC. He's a 27 year old marketing director. Although his online bio is rather short, I'm getting smug vibes from it. He claims he likes leading the sort of life that allows him to overindulge. Now, I've never known that kind of life myself. (Except when it comes to chocolate, that is.) He says he has little tolerance for people with no common sense. That, I like. He also claims to be smart, social and "unbelievably athletic." @@

After watching the video, I feel the need to up his chances a bit. No, I don't like him -- he's not someone who'd be on my friends list on Facebook, even. I did like that he admits he has "the attention span of a goldfish." While he admits his very smug traits and seems to realize many of them aren't always ones which make a person admirable or popular, he just might have what it takes to go far in the game. I can see him being decent in challenges and underhanded, too.


Here's the guy I really want to watch. Max has a PhD and he's 37 years old currently from Topanga, California. He lists his occupation as a media consultant. But, he's an ex-professor who taught a college class about the show. That is why I'm going to have to see how he does! I like a few more things about him -- he'd love to have a black cat on the island as "you always feel better petting a cat." His favorite on the show was Jonathan Penner, a pretty wise choice. He's coming across a bit smug about his brilliance factor. I'll have to see how that plays out. He's very pale, almost a Cochran level of white.

He comes across better in the video. He seems to have grasped the "important" lies to tell -- about idols and the social game itself rather than what he does for a living. I like that he wants to do honor to the game. Mind you, he's not saying honesty to the game. He means he wants to play the game well. You can't throw honesty into that criteria. It's Survivor, after all. He'll be interesting to watch.


Shirin is a 31 year old Yahoo executive living in San Francisco, California. She's an ex-Google employee who apparently played a big part in making Google calendar the #1 online calendar. She's happy to be able to help her mother financially. She likes Larry David because he's a "hilarious weirdo" and RuPaul. She doesn't like quitters and morons. She will be good at the nasty food challenge and plans to play the "ultimate social game." I don't know. I'm actually kind of liking her touch of crazy, yet dedication to her work and family. Has she won me over?

I think she might be someone I actually LIKE on the show. Mind you, that doesn't necessarily equate to me thinking she will win it all. Other than the food challenge and perhaps puzzle solving, she might have problems with the physical parts of the challenges. No, she's not out of shape. However, she just isn't screaming POWERHOUSE to me. I hope she can work out the moodiness from the lack of sleep. I'd like to see her do well. She's been a huge fan of the show for years.


So, I wish everyone had such easy to spell short names! So is a divorced 31 year old retail buyer currently living in Long Beach, California. (Or do you live ON Long Beach? I'm so confused ... but I digress.) If she were one of the guys, I think I'd say she seems full of herself in her online bio. Instead, for some reason, she comes across as confident. Maybe it's some weird sexist agenda in my head. She thinks she's a mix of Ozzy, Cochran and Parvati. Now, if she is ... just call her the winner now! She says she wants to make big moves and not play it safe. Huh. That's admirable, but it's been the downfall of many.

She doesn't seem as cocksure in her video. I also notice that she claims to be living and working in New York City, contrary to the online bio. Her strategy is to use her intellect, but show the smiling face to the others. She might have a problem when the food deprivation kicks in big time. My personal jury is out on her at this time.


Tyler is a 33 year old ex-talent agency assistant currently living in Los Angeles, California. Reading his bio, I'm a bit speechless. It's odd. He claims to like dressing as a bearded hobo and scaring children as others won't do it. He said "Ha!" when asked about his favorite sport. He claims to be a flirt. He doesn't look too athletic in the photo for the bio, yet claims to have played on seven professional football teams. On the pro side, he's never missed an episode of the show and survived the political cut-throat environment of a talent agency. Oh. But he's not there anymore. He says he has two masters degrees. Maybe the video will clear this up --

Go figure. His video has him living in Pasadena. Plus, he admits to being roughly a secretary at the talent agency. He mentions being an NFL player at one time, but I've never heard of him. Of course, that means nothing as I'm not a fan of the game. I still have no clue how he'll play the game. He seems like he might be able to do well both socially and in challenges. He could be a wild card.

Your thoughts?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Survivor: Worlds Apart -- Blue Collar

With the tribes broken into three, it makes my decisions on the casting posts much easier -- I'll go by tribe! The Blue Collar Tribe, while in my mind is BCT, is called Escameca.

Dan is 47 years old and very married. In his online bio, he mentions his wife more than a few times. He's listed as a postal worker, but he's also a landlord and he's a technician at the post office. Definitely a fan of the show, he thinks he should be good at all comps except perhaps for ones involving running. He also thinks he should be good at the social game as he can "schmooze."

Dan has been trying to get on the show since the second season! Y'know ... I think I like this guy. The downside might be his age although I love older people cast on reality competition shows! But if he comes against some young athletic alpha dude with Survivor smarts, he just might be toast.

Compared to Dan, Kelly's online bio is really short. She's 44 years old, a state trooper from Grand Island, NY. For those who only think NYC when it comes to New York, Grand Island is actually an island abutted by the Niagara River, not far from Niagara Falls. Hmm ... her bio lists "commitment" as her biggest pet peeve. Well, apparently she committed to be a state trooper, that's not an easy undertaking. Hopefully, she'll commit to being the sole Survivor! One of the things she wishes she could bring is a camera. Oh! I like that!

That video doesn't tell us too much more about her. One thing I picked up on is that she seems a very young 44. She seems pretty upbeat, too. I personally hope she can escape the "Mom" stigma which seems to follow any female castaway over 40.


Okay, Lindsey is more of the ilk we often see on Survivor. Pretty, 24 years old and a hairdresser. She lists dating as her favorite sport. Um-hmm. She knows she's pretty. She uses extraneous exclamation points in her bio!!! "I’m the most strategic, stubborn and athletic girl I know! I’m resourceful, I’m vicious and I think I do very well under pressure!" Okay! You can talk the talk but can you walk the walk, Lindsey?

The video reveals that she's a single mom. So what. Half the world seems to be single moms these days. Have her come back to me when the kids are adults and we'll see how things go. One thing I picked up on in the video is that she says nothing should make her quit. Wha ...? Why would quitting even come into the conversation? I peg her for not being a worker at the game and for possibly being a quitter. So there. We'll see.


Mike is 38, an oil driller from North Richland Hills, Texas. He sacrificed with a lot of ramen noodle nights to pay his house off in two and a half years. Good for him. What is it with this disc golf stuff? Dan Foley also mentioned it. I have no clue what it is. I'll have to Google it. He's a punctuality and proper spelling fan. I like that in a man! His favorites are Cochran, Ozzy and Boston Rob. Decent choices. Huh. He mentions quitting too -- as in "I'll die before I quit!" But, with him, I don't think there's any possibility.

Oh my gosh. He sounds like he's talking with a throat full of gravel. Maybe he's been breathing in too much drilling debris. In a way, I want to cheer him on. But I have some kind of nagging feeling that, for some reason, he might rub some of his fellow castaways the wrong way unless he can really turn on the country charm.


Rodney is 24 years old, a general contractor out of Boston. His online bio is fairly short, but quite full of himself. I get that he's a big football fan still living his high school football glory days. That's fine. Maybe when he hits 30, new dreams will take the place of his high school jock days. He mentions his bachelor's degree as almost an afterthought. While he's probably going to be strong athletically, we've seen so many young dudes like him before. Onto the video ...

No surprises there. He's very cocksure and full of himself. While he isn't bad-looking, he's no Tom Brady (his apparent idol). I really don't have too much more to say about him other than I love to see young blowhards fall hard. I can only hope! Maybe he'll come across differently during the game. I reserve the right to change my mind about him. But, you've got my first impression!


Sierra is another pretty blonde rather young'un, but seems different to me. She's a cowgirl! She's 27 years old, a "barrel racer" from Roy, Utah. What's a barrel racer? I don't know. It's something to do with rodeo, not an area of expertise for me. She's a national champion at it, though. Dang ... she's 6'1" tall! She's going to dwarf some of the men! She's very country with fishing, hunting and hiking. She's also into sports other than rodeo. She's a big fan of chocolate milk and Parvati Shallow. 

Hmm ... the only drawback I can see from the video is she might be a bit too trusting although she mentions she can't be. I think she'll be good in comps, probably a good worker. She seems smart. But, with her life being so "good people" based, will she be cut-throat enough for the win? I don't know. I do think she's got a lot more game than the other blonde gal on BCT.

Your thoughts on this tribe?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Survivor: Worlds Apart -- Casting Video

Earlier I brought you the casting announcement video for the upcoming season of The Amazing Race.

Now it's time for the Survivor: Worlds Apart casting video of the same ilk.

As with the cast of TAR, I'll be delving into these castaways as the days go on. After all, the season premiere for both shows isn't until February 25!

One quick observation -- that professor is going to sunburn SO bad.

The Amazing Race 26 -- Dating Couples

Of course, the hitch to this is that some are on a whirlwind competitive race around the world on a BLIND DATE!

I'm wondering who might have the edge here. We've seen how actual dating couples bicker at each other constantly. Will "strangers" be better off? Will they end up being bickering couples by the end of the season?

The CBS website has the bios of the teams up. As the days go by, I'll be sharing my thoughts on the teams. Have you any initial impressions or thoughts about the strangers on a race bit?

And, yes. I'm still alive.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Still Here

Yes, I'm still here -- just not feeling well today. I also took only a few (bad) photos this past week.

A rather unfocused cardinal

Plus, he wouldn't turn around!

After the sunrise

This morning on one of my many trips down for my Sunday Courier-News which never came (or was stolen). The supposed redelivery also never arrived.

Catnap needed

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - January 4, 2015

Yep, it's another Sunday. Nope, haven't been watching too much television. I have a few reasons for that. First, if I concentrate on the screen or try to follow a story too long, I get a whopper headache. Or, at the very least, I tend to lose focus. Unfortunately, that goes for reading books and computer use, as well.

That said, I was happy to see a new episode of Blue Bloods this past Friday. I think it might be the first new episode of any show I watch since the beginning of December! That might be a good thing due to my health. But I really need to work on building up my tolerance for such things. I go to the doctor on Thursday -- high temperature of 19 predicted as opposed to a high of 57 expected today. I'll see what he says. I really wish they could do something or give me something! I feel like I'm in Limbo.

Wednesday night was New Year's Eve. I spent my time loosely following the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy. I was a bit surprised that some of the episodes were ones I don't remember. I'm not sure if that was because of the post concussion syndrome or I just don't remember them. As it went for midnight, I turned to the ball drop and then headed to bed. I lead such an exciting life, don't I?

On New Year's Day evening, there was a homicide just outside my own neighborhood.  That's not the best way to start the year in Plainfield. Not to worry about me, though. As an older woman, I'm really not the demographic of crime victims in town. Plus, I don't wander around in sketchy neighborhoods at night. Where the murder happened, though only a five minute or so walk away, is not anywhere I'd be after dark.

Once again, I didn't really go anywhere this week. So, once again, the photos offered up this week are suffering. You can always check out my other blog -- I Shoot Stuff I See -- for updated photo fodder daily. They're not new photos, mind you. They're just ones from my computer files over the years. Anyway ... onto the sights from this week.

I see hamburgers

I noticed these on Berckman Street as I walked to the bodega around the corner. Hamburgers and cheeseburgers. On the road. No buns, no traces of buns. I have no clue. They didn't look like they were edible, even in their prime. But they were gone the next time I walked through there a few days later. Maybe the fox my neighbor sighted last week found them.

A touch of snow

Before it turned to slush, then vanished in the rain yesterday, we had a touch of white in the Jersey 'hood. I was hoping to see the fox, but I did not. I will keep watching for it!

The gnarly tree

Its branches were covered with snow until late afternoon. Now all is just wet out there. (Still no fox.)

My other injury

The day after Christmas, I heated some mashed potatoes covered with Saran wrap in the microwave. Stupid me (I blame the concussion, it can't be my own stupidity!), even though the Saran had puffed up like a Jiffy Pop pan from the olden days, I grabbed a corner and got a steam burn. It hurt at the time and turned a section of one finger a pretty pink. But I didn't think it was too bad. While it only hurt a day or two, it now LOOKS bad. But it doesn't hurt.

Think OUTSIDE the box, Vincent!

I keep telling him that if he wants to be successful, he needs to think outside the box. There are too many internet kitty stars out there. He needs to be unique in his talents. Alas, he thinks he should just retreat to the box and let me support him in his luxury cat ways. I'm actually surprised this box has lasted this long. Maybe that's due to the scratchy thing being more tempting to chew apart and spit all over the floor.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!

Wishing all of my friends here on the blog the happiest of New Year wishes! Thank you all so much for hanging out here year 'round!