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.

My Unpopular Opinions

A friend posted his 10 non-political unpopular opinions on Facebook recently and then I saw someone else ask the question on Twitter. I’m not sure I can think of 10, but I decided to post some of mine.

  1. Elvis over the Beatles – It is probably because I grew up in an Elvis house and didn’t really know the Beatles’ music until late teens, but I’ve always liked Elvis more than I like the Beatles. If I had to make the choice to never listen to one of them again I would choose to keep Elvis. I do like the Beatles. I just like Elvis more.
  2. Pineapple on Pizza – My friend had this in his list as well. I also didn’t realize it is as controversial as it is. I love pineapple on pizza. It is one of my favorite toppings. Ham and pineapple, bacon and pineapple, chicken and pineapple. It all works and works well. Why would you not want pineapple on your pizza?
  3. Benching High Priced Players – I hear all the time “They can’t bench him. He makes too much money.” This makes no sense to me. The purpose of a professional sports team is to win games. If your high priced, QB, RB, point guard, pitcher, outfielder, etc is not playing well and there is someone on the bench who might be better why would you not make a change? Is this like the Wall Street bailout of “too big to fail”? If I thought Ryan Mallett would give the Ravens a better chance to win(he wouldn’t) I would be fine with high priced Flacco on the bench, It drove me crazy when the Braves would play Dan Uggla. I don’t care they you overpaid for him. He is not good and shouldn’t be on the field. I also think there are times when you should be able to bring in a “relief QB”. If your starter has thrown 3 picks in the first half and can’t get anything going, go to the bullpen. It works in baseball.
  4. Various Education Opinions – College isn’t for everyone. Instead of pushing all kids in to a college prep curriculum schools and parents should work instead on removing the idea that non-college work isn’t good enough. You can make a good living as a plumber, carpenter, mechanic, police officer, etc. but no one is working toward those careers because we are insisting that everyone go to college. College isn’t for everyone. Similarly, why are we requiring kids to take 4 years of math but not offering a variety of math courses for those who aren’t going in to a field where they need calculus. There should be business or “every day” math available for those students who don’t want or need to move on to higher math just to get the 4 years done. There should also be English classes that teach practical writing skills for those who don’t want or need to take AP Lit. Of course schools get money for the number of kids who take AP classes, so they will keep pushing kids to take them to get the money and the rankings.
  5. I Like TV – This one isn’t as unpopular as it used to be as we are in what they call the golden age of TV, but I’ve been a big TV guy since I was a kid. Working in libraries I got a lot of the “I don’t own a TV” over the years said in a way that made it obvious that the person who said it thought it made them superior. I still read books. I’m at 92 for the year right now and that is below my average, but I love TV. Not just “quality” TV, but sitcoms, cheesy dramas, Survivor, etc. One of the things that makes me sad about my new work schedule is that my weekly daddy/daughter night watching Survivor gets pushed to tape delay. Every Wednesday night for years we have popped popcorn and watched Survivor together. I’m sad about Alan Thicke’s death because watching shows like Growing Pains was a big part of my younger years. I even wrote a poem for English class in high school where I turned the TV Guide in to a poem.

So, that’s all I can think go for now. Feel free to add your own in the comments or make fun of mine.

Tuesday Morning Shuffle

It’s been a while since I did one like this, so I am going to put my music on shuffle and write a sentence or two about the songs that come up. I might cheat and skip some songs.

  1. Hey Diane – Bowling For Soup – Off their new album. The interesting part of this song for me is that the Diane on the cover of the single is someone I met when I went to her house to hear another artist play her living room. Of course anyone who knows me knows BFS is my favorite band.
  2. Hey Six – Patent Pending –  Another of my favorite bands, but I tend to skip this song for some reason. I guess it’s not one of my favorites. Or maybe I just skipped it once or twice and it became a habit. I will listen next time it comes up to see if I remember.
  3. Dream On – Aerosmith – One of my favorite bands of all time. I should probably dig up my “Best of” CDs and listen to them again. You can’t go wrong with Aerosmith.
  4. Let Your Light Shine – Unsearchable Riches – This is leftover from when my son used the same Apple ID as me and he bought this after seeing them at a conference We sing this song in church sometimes. I like it so I kept it.
  5. Ifly – Ball Park Music –  Another leftover from my son that I kept because I really like the song. It does contain the f word, so don’t click if that offends you I like a few more of their songs as well.
  6. Cheaters Never Change  – Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors –  From the new album. Ryan is the artist I saw at Diane from #1’s house. I discovered his music when he worked with Jaret from BFS in the band People on Vacation. I really like his stuff and he seems like a really nice guy. He gave me the wrong time for the show at Diane’s house so I arrived way early and ended up spending time sitting around the house with them until the show actually started. They were all really nice about the weird guy hanging around even though I’m sure they wished I would go away.
  7. This Love Can Save Us All – Patent Pending – Can’t find a good link for it. I also found Patent Pending via BFS. They opened the show in Baltimore when they had to move to a rooftop terrace when Sonar was closed. It ended up a small acoustic show where my son got to meet members of BFS while Patent Pending played. They are very good and also seem like nice guys.
  8. Never Wanted Your Love – She & Him – This was a free song from Starbucks. I skipped it forever, but recently listened again and remembered I really like it. Not my normal style of music, but it is very good.
  9. All Shook Up – Elvis – My favorite artist of all time and one of my favorite songs. I will always sing along with this one with gusto. If you drive past me and I am really into singing with the music, it will likely be this one. I was always more an Elvis guy more than a Beatles guy.
  10. This Gigantic Robot Kills – MC Lars –  This came up on the BFS Pandora station. It is one of two MC Lars songs I have on my phone. This one also features Suburban Legends, another band I really like. Just a really fun song.

So, there you have it. A look at my weird music selection.

Tired Monday

Don’t worry, only the first paragraph is politics:

As I was scrolling through Twitter and Facebook this weekend,  I saw several people posting that a “conscience vote”, a “protest vote” or any 3rd party vote is a wasted vote. I was thinking how tired I am of hearing this every election. I might agree that the protest votes are dumb, especially if you are voting someone with whom you don’t agree on the issues. I don’t agree, however, that any 3rd party vote is a wasted vote of that voting your conscience is bad. If you truly believe that a 3rd party candidate is the best candidate then it is not a wasted vote.

Other things that I’m tired of:

Betty White – I know everyone loves her and her feisty old lady act, but I just find it tiring at the point. I saw the news that she will be on Bones again for the final season and I feel like that just means a large part of the episode will be wasted with her “I’m an old lady who talks about sex” routine.

Quitters – People who declare they are never watching a show again because an actor left or a character was killed. People who declare they are leaving Facebook or Twitter(and then inevitably return). People who stop watching their team because they have a bad season. Quitters never win.

Nerds and Introverts – I’m both, bur I’m still tired of the “celebration” of both. Big Bang Theory, Scorpion, articles about how great introverts are, celebrities and random people declaring they are nerds or introverts. People who aren’t either pretending they are because they are being celebrated. Just stop already.

Bandwagon Jumpers – Since my team was not in the playoffs and my second team(the local one) lost I had two things I cheered for in baseball – a Cubs win and a Nats loss. I got both of them. I was happy the Cubs won, but now I go back to being a Braves fan. I’m not going to buy a t-shirt or be a Cubs fan until they are bad again. One good thing about the Braves being bad for a while is that we shed all of the bandwagon fans who once laughed at me for being a fan of the worst team in baseball. There is nothing worse than someone who is so desperate to feel like a winner that they latch on to winners to feel good about themselves.

Complainers – people who make lists complaining about things they are tired of. Also, people who end sentences with of.

Edit: I’m also tired of me forgetting to add a title to posts before I hit publish. That’s really dumb.

Changing my reading and tv habits

Each year I set a reading goal. That reading goal has always been a quantity goal. Usually 100 books. I always meet that goal and this year I am ahead of my goal. I sometimes add in a page number goal. I’ve been thinking that I need to change the type of goal I set next year. I read a lot of books that I finish, but don’t love. They aren’t bad, but they are forgettable. I read a lot of authors out of habit even though they write the same book over and over again. I can read a Stuart a woods book in a day, but it’s not different than the last Stuart Woods book I read. I don’t discover new books anymore because I’m reading through my books from my reserve list instead of browsing the shelves. Many of those books are on my reserve list because they are written by authors I read regularly. Some of these authors are still consistently good their books might be in my top ten list for the year. Some of them are like the aforementioned Stuart Woods. They are consistent and boring and after I finish I wonder why I still read them. It is time for me to stop reading based on habit and start discovering new books and authors.

I do the same thing with TV. It’s really hard for me to give up on a former favorite show once it is not as good as it once was. Watch them becomes a chore. Something I’m doing out of habit not because I’m still enjoying it. I think in addition to habit, this also stems from my misguided belief that the show will return to its former level of entertainment. This never actually happens. If I can cut the cord on some of these shows, I will probably find time to read some of the new books mentioned above. I need to remember quality is better than quantity.

When There’s Something Female in Your Neighborhood, Who You Gonna Call

It was announced recently that Paul Feig will be making a new Ghostbusters movie and that the new Ghostbusters will be all women. From reading twitter it seems that a lot of people are really upset about this and will not watch a new Ghostbusters if it stars all women.

Personally, if there was going to be a new Ghostbusters, I wish it could have been done before Harold Ramis died and was an actual sequel with all of the originals. I’m not against reboots and remakes like a lot of people, but bringing back the original three would have been great. Obviously, with Ramis dead and Bill Murray not interested anyway, that will not happen. So, if there is to be a Ghostbusters, it will have to be a reboot. Here’s what I think about the reboot and the women issue:

I think the script is much more important than the gender make up of the cast. If you have a bad script, the gender of your cast won’t make a difference. Bad script equals bad movie. Of course, the cast is important and if you have a good script, you need the right cast to make it a good movie. Once again, this is not dependent on gender. I would much rather see a Ghostbusters with women like Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Aubrey Plaza, Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Mann, Aisha Tyler etc. than a Ghostbusters with less talented male actors. The gender isn’t the issue for me. The talent is and all of those women, plus plenty more, are extremely talented and would make a good movie with the right script.

I assume the people out there who think I am wrong and that an all female Ghotbusters will automatically suck are the morons who believe women can’t be funny. I think Paul Feig is probably ok with them skipping the film.

What’s in TV Tonight, September 26, 2014

The good news for boring old people like is that Friday night is no longer a TV wasteland where they send bad shows to die. There is things to watch tonight even with Grimm, Last Man Standing and Whose Line is it Anyway premiering later in the season.

NBC – repeat of Mysteries of Laura, 2 hour Dateline NBC
FOX – Utopia, repeat of Gotham
ABC – 2 hour Shark Tank, 20/20
CBC – Amazing Race, Hawaii 5-0, Blue Bloods
Cable – for the kids, Jessie, Girl Meets World and Dog with a Blog are new on Disney. Syfy has a new episode of Z Nation(Sharknado version of Walking Dead)

Tonight will be all CBS. I’m happy to be able to watch Amazing Race with no football delay. I don’t watch Hawaii 5-0 but others in my house do. I still really like Blue Bloods.

What’s on TV Tonight, September 25, 2014

Another night with not much on that I plan to watch. Looks like as much as I talk about a possible DVR crisis, I won’t watch enough this year to really have one. Last night I did try Black-ish. It seemed OK, but I was half asleep through a good portion of it. I am happy that it seems Survivor will have a strong season this time around. So, on to the list

NBC – Biggest Loser(2 hours), Parenthood
FOX – Bones, repeat of Sleepy Hollow
ABC – Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal(Grey’s In the White House), How to Get Way With Murder(Grey’s in law school)
CBS — Thursday Night Football
Cable – Project Runway on Lifetime

The only series premiere tonight is How to Get Away With Murder. Another Shonda Rhimes show, this one about first years law students. If you like Grey’s and/or Scandal you should watch this.

Normally. I would just recommend football, but I have to admit that I am addicted to Grey’s, so I will start football late to watch Grey’s first. I’m also a big fan of Bomes, but we still haven’t watched the end of last season, so I will have to record it. I will also give How to Get Away With Murder a shot at some point. So, my advice, watch Grey’s and then football. Record Bones and Murder for later.

What’s on TV tonight, September 24, 2014

Day three of the new season and I’ve only watched a couple of shows. If this keeps up, I will have a major DVR crisis. I did watch Gotham last night. I liked it, but I’m not a comic book nerd who will get angry about changes to the story. So, tonight..

NBC – The Mysteries of Laura, Law and Order: SUV, Chicago PD
FOX – Hell’s Kitchen, Red Band Society
ABC – The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Black-ish, Nashville
CBS – Survivor, Big Brother
Cable – TNT has Legends and Franklin and Bash

The only new show tonight is Black-ish, a sitcom starring Anthony Anderson as an ad executive who, as the Post puts it, ” upset with his family’s blithe acceptance of the whiteness all around them.” I’ve always liked Anthony Anderson and this was well reviewed, so I will give it a try.

What to watch: watch Survivor live. Always watch Survivor live if possible. Tonight’s episode is 90 minutes, so record The Middle, Modern Family, Black-ish and Red Band Society for after Survivor is over. I’m a big fan of the ABC comedies. I should probably try The Goldbergs as well. I will also record Franklin and Bash for later.

What’s on TV Tonight, September 23, 2014

The first Tuesday of the new season and the first night I will actually be home to watch shows. All I managed to watch last night was Scorpion. It was OK, my family loved it, but not one I would be sad to see canceled early. So, tonight…

NBC – another 2 hours of The Voice followed by Chicago Fire
FOX – Utopia, New Girl, Mindy Project
ABC – Dancing With the Stars, Agents of SHIELD, Forever
CBS – NCIS. NCIS: New Orleans, Person of Interest
I see nothing of note on cable.

The only new show premiering to tonight is The newest edition to the NCIS family that I shall call NCIS: GUMBO. This is NCIS relocated to New Orleans and starring Scott Bakula in the Mark Harmon role. I like Scott Bakula and NCIS isn’t horrible, but I think Dawn will be the only person at our house watching this. If you are a big fan of NCIS you will probably enjoy this.

My suggestion: watch The Voice until 9, switch to Shield and finish The Voice later. I like New Girl, but my DVR can’t record Voice and New Girl while we watch Shield. I should really upgrade to the new one that can. I will also be recording the entire CBS lineup for my wife who is apparently an elderly person with a love for CBS procedurals.