Survivor Game Changers Thoughts

Survivor used to be the only show I insisted on watching live. My daughter would get popcorn and we would watch the show together. I would live tweet the show and read tweets to her as the show was happening. This all changed at the end of last season when I changed jobs and had to start working on Wednesday nights. Now we watch delayed when I get home from work. Since I can no longer tweet the show, I thought I would try a weekly blog post the day after. I didn’t take any notes this time because I didn’t decide this until this morning, but after this week I will try to take notes and maybe include some of the things I might have tweeted had I been watching live.

I would start this first post by saying that I realize that armchair quarterbacking the game is a lot easier than playing the game and I’m sure I would make plenty of mistakes in the heat of the moment if actually there. Now, on to the show:

I used to complain about returning contestant seasons and longed for new faces. We have had a few seasons of new faces recently so I was ready for some familiar faces, especially since many are favorites of mine. It does change the dynamic of the first episode for me as a viewer. If it is all new faces, I spend the hour trying to decide who I might like and who I might root against. This can change as the season progresses, but it is all about getting to know the players. This time I know the players so I have some favorites going in and can focus more on the game play. I have to say that the game play surprised me from the start when Jeff said there was a tool kit in the water and only one tribe went for it. I don’t get Malcolm saying that there was no point because Ozzy went for it. Are you already conceding that he is a stronger player? Shouldn’t you want to prove otherwise, especially with a major reward at stake? I think they just made a mistake and tried to cover it up with that statement.

I’m not surprised that Ciera went first last night. She’s not someone you look as being vital to winning challenges and she was the first to start openly talking strategy. I like her and would be more disappointed if there weren’t so many other favorites still in the game. I was surprised by the second boot. Your team is losing challenges and you vote off a strong challenge player and keep a weaker player who has already won twice? I know some strategy is to keep her assuming no one will award her a third win, but everyone loves her. I would not want to sit next to her in front of the jury. Now you have made your team weaker and kept a bigger threat than Tony in the game. I don’t get it. I also don’t get having Varner out in the water and Micheala on shore and then not even letting her help at the end. I know they don’t know much about her, but I see no reason to keep her on the sidelines. I don’t have much of a feel of the other tribe yet, so I have no comments on that end.

Favorite scene:

Tai and JT and the chickens. I side with JT on that one. You aren’t there to marry the chickens. You are there to win the game.

Rooting for – Malcolm, Ozzy, Michaela

Rooting against – Sandra, Cirie, Tai

The Ozzy and Cirie thing because I like Ozzy and it seems like it will be one or the other gone first.

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Planning My Funeral

I went to a memorial service yesterday. At the beginning of the service, they invited family and friends to come forward to speak. I love this. It is so much more personal than a random pastor who may or may not know the person giving a standard, generic funeral service. I was telling my friend who was there that I liked services like that and that I need to plan my own funeral so it isn’t boring. I’ve already told some friends that they have to have a wake for me when I die. I want people to get together and drink and laugh and remember the good times. I think maybe I should also plan my own funeral.

I would want friends and family to be invited to speak. I would hope that they would know that I would want them to balance the sad with some funny stories about me. I would need someone to be in charge of the “Oscar music” to play people off stage if they got too boring, or perhaps a gong to tell them they are done. There are plenty of pastors out there who actually know me, so finding one who could personalize that portion of the service would not be hard. Also, someone needs to tell Chris Moore that he has set a precedent after yesterday and is now required to write a letter to be read at my funeral.

Music – no piped in music, no slow, sad hymns. I want something like in this clip from the show The Wedding Band where the band sings Don’t You Forget About Me at a friend’s funeral. Maybe someone can round up some of the HCLS Teen Idol kids to sing some interesting songs like that.

After the service, instead of a meal at church, everyone would be invited somewhere for the aforementioned wake.

Hopefully, the event of my death will be so far in the future that no one will remember this post(who am I  kidding, no one will remember this post tomorrow), but I really am serious that I really don’t want my funeral to be boring. Everyone reading this is now in charge ofg making sure that doesn’t happen.

The Road Taken – Photo Challenge

We had the opportunity to go to Zambia for a conference and stayed at a resort at Victoria Falls. Our first day there we headed over to the falls and on the walk back to the hotel we came across these guys. It was startling to be walking along and run into this family. At this point we didn’t know how careful we needed to be around them so we froze for a few minutes while trying to decide what to do. We eventually ventured on and they left us alone.

road

 

via Photo Challenge: The Road Taken

Drywall and Dead Birds

This is my late day so I’m at home until 12:30 and work 1-9. My wife left for work and then called me to tell me to watch the garage door when I leave because it was really loud when she left. So, even though I am the least mechanically inclined person I know, I decide to go out to look at the door to see if I can determine the problem. Luckily, it turned out to be a manual labor issue, not a mechanical issue. A piece of drywall has come loose and is hanging over part of the garage door mechanism.

This is the perfect job for me. No brains required. Just climbing up and pulling the drywall down. This is complicated by the fact that the door can’t be opened until the drywall is down and the Mustang she inherited from her dad is directly under the drywall and there is not a lot of room for a fat guy like me to squeeze past with a step stool to get to the drywall. So, I put a load of blankets on the car to protect it and eventually was able to angle the drywall around so I could pull it loose and bring it down without damaging the car or myself.

The worst part of the whole thing was what was on top of the drywall. I could see when I started that something was on top of it. I thought it was a plastic bag and didn’t really worry about it. Unfortunately, it was not a plastic bag, but a dead bird. I don’t know how long it had been in our garage or how long it had been dead. All I know is that it came crashing down with the drywall and it was not fun. So, once I worked my way off the stool and through fat man’s squeeze while holding a giant piece of drywall, I had to try to get the dead bird in a plastic bag and in the trash can without touching it and then sweep the feathers and drywall pieces up.

So, there you have a small look in to my glamorous life. I am now using all of that as an excuse to do nothing the rest of the morning.

Friday’s Random Tater Thoughts

In an effort to avoid doing something productive on my day off , but with no one topic I want to address, I bring you another random collection of Tater Thoughts. I know you are excited.

Powerball:  Unfortunately, I did not win the Powerball this week. This means I have to continue trying to be a productive member of society with a job and stuff. I do have a plan if I ever win, though. I wouldn’t quit my job right away. That would be too suspicious and people might figure out I’m rich and want money. I would keep working for a little while and then one day overreact to something, go on an epic rant about everything that has ever annoyed me over the past 20 years and storm out. Of course, now that I’ve posted this everyone will know if I do this then I have become wealthy. Time to come up with a new plan.

Weather: I know that 70 degree weather in February should be a reminder that global warming is real and a serious problem, but I can’t help being very happy about it. The older I get the more I hate the cold and the snow.. I would happily move somewhere where 70 degree February is the norm, but I also don’t want extremely hot summers. I fear, though, that I will be in Maryland forever.

Political Stuff: This week the Trump administration ended the Obama guidance that schools should allow transgender students to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity.  A good portion of the people out there who agree with this move somehow believe the untrue assertions that this will reduce the rapes that have or will occur if transgender students are given the right to use the restroom they want. I have yet to see any reports of any rape stemming from these policies. Many people also applaud the move because they hate, fear or don’t understand the transgender community. What you need to understand is that other people’s’ rights should not depend upon your personal feelings, your religious beliefs or, really, anything to do with you.

Civility: Lastly, let’s talk about civility. This election season and the first month of the Trump administration has been marked by a lot of harsh words, insults, etc. I know that people are angry about the election and about most of what the Trump administration stands for. I know people on the other side feel empowered by the win and think the rest of us should just shut up already. Passion about your beliefs is great and I’m all for protests, calls to Congress, posts on social media, etc to make your voice heard. I will continue to post when I have something to say about political issues. I hope my friends continue to post their thoughts as well, from both sides of the issues. What I would like to see less of is –

posts from incendiary/slanted news sites(Infowars, Breitbart, Occupy Democrats) designed to make people mad instead of inform

name calling. you can get your point across better and get people to listen more with reasoned debate without insults.

dismissive comments – if you just tell me to shut up and deal with it, call me butthurt, sheep, etc I will stop caring what you think. This does not help at all. feel free to disagree, but disagree with facts and debate, not this stuff.

hate – this one most of all. Way too many people out there saying Muslims don’t belong in our “Christian country” that people in the LGBTQ community are mentally ill, unnatural, etc and don’t deserve to be treated equally. Too many reports of racist and anti-Semitic violence and vandalism. Too many attacks on people who aren’t like you. Please stop. You say we are a Christian country, but then you act like the complete opposite of a Christian.

Disagreement is good, but we will get nowhere if we can’t learn to disagree and debate civilly

The Perfect Match – Photo Challenge

This week’s photo challenge is to post a picture of a good match. I will admit that I cheated again and went to an old picture because what else could a Kentucky boy post for this than RC Cola and a Moon Pie.  My family laughed at me when we stopped to buy snacks for vacation one year and I was excited to find Moon Pies. I still love them.

 

moon

 

 

via Photo Challenge: A Good Match

Reentry Is Hard

This weekend was the first weekend in a while where I was actually able to relax.  To make it even better, it was a four day weekend. I didn’t do anything exciting. On my birthday leave day on Friday I went out and got some free food from Panera and Dickey’s and watched a movie on DVD. Saturday was so uneventful all I remember is that I took the dog for a walk and watched a basketball game. Sunday I went to church and out to eat with the family for a late birthday celebration. Yesterday I spent hour scanning pictures from 2001. Even so, the four days off makes it really hard to think about heading out in a few minutes to reenter the real world.

I don’t hate my job. I don’t hate working. I’ve just reached the point in my life when I am ready to move on from the career and to the retirement phase of life. I would even take the ability to work from home. Actually, I think I’ve always been at this point. I would have gladly been a stay at home dad if it had been feasible for our family. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never been a career focused person. I do my job to the best of my ability and I do apply for new jobs/promotions when they come up, but I’ve always been someone who would quit to stay at home if given the opportunity. I think this got more pronounced toward the end of my time at the jail. Corrections has a 20 year retirement, so I spent the last few years of my time at the jail watching people I worked with retire knowing that I still had 10-15 years left. I’m closer now, but not close enough.

So, I head back to work today but I would much rather be one of the people who have the ability to spend their morning with friends at Panera instead of heading off to another day at the job. Reentry is hard.