Few Random Things

Sad to see that actor Lance Reddick passed away. Remember him most for playing Phillip Broyles in Fringe. Was nice to see all the tributes posted on social media about how nice a guy he was. Rest in Peace

Only one week until the MLB season gets underway. The NY Mets took a hit with Edwin Diaz getting hurt celebrating a Puerto Rico win in the World Baseball Classic. But they should still be OK as they have a solid lineup and some veteran relievers who should be able to keep the team afloat.

Had one Fantasy Draft and have another coming up. Have to admit, its getting harder and harder to keep up with all the new players. A lot of times during the draft, I was thinking who is this? or I can’t believe that this guy had these stats. But once the season gets started, and I watch some games (Hoping the I get the MLB Network Free Preview for the 1st week like in the past), I should be able to make some moves to keep my teams at least respectable.

Just saw this video posted on Twitter. I actually remember watching this at a friends house back in 1980. Once of the few SNL performance that has been in my memory for over 40 years

B52s – Rock Lobster – SNL

Really enjoying Survivor so far this season. Like some of the new twists they have come up with (Actually like the bird cage idea). Not sure who I’m rooting for (nobody is a real stand out).

I do think that Survivor has missing that stand out player(s) who is memorable after the season ends. I can remember the winners of the early seasons, or players who got voted off early. Not so much in the later years. Not sure what this is (Same thing for American Idol). Not to say the seasons haven’t been great, just nobody has really stuck out to me in a while (Although I will give Gabler from Season 43 credit — He said he was going to give away his winnings to Veterans, and he has done it)


Saw this GIF and made me remember how good a season Boston Rob played

That’s it for now


Posted in Jeff Probst, Mike Gabler, Music, NY Mets, Reality Shows, Sports, Survivor, Television | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SiriusXM Volume 106 is no more

In September 2016, SiriusXM Launched VOLUME: The First-Ever 24/7 Music Talk Radio Channel – Where Music Is the Conversation. Over the past 7 Volume Chanel 106 has been my go to place for everything music, from discussions on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees / inductees, to reviews of the biggest music shows and concerts, from a space to reflect when high profile artists passed, to top 10 lists of everything music, from great interviews and in-studio performances, to great discussions, and contests. All that started to change a few months back, when shows were moved to a new channel, to a new time, and some of the talent was let go. And on Monday when the rest of the talent was let go and the Volume Experiment came to an end.

It feels like a big part of my routine was pulled out from under my feet. I understand that it was a business decision, but its still a tough pill to swallow. One of SiriusXMs selling points was the variety it offered. Now it seems if its not Howard / Sports / Politics / and music, then its not for SiriusXM Even with that I still like the service, and as a sports fan It does give me things to listen to. And even though the music can be a bit generic and repetitive there are still some good stations

Just seems to be that their is a large audience for what Volume106 offered and it should be able to survive. Going to miss listening to #NikCarter, #LoriMajewski, #MarkGoodman, and #AlanLight along with the countless number of guest DJS that kept me up to date on everything music for the older generation. Maybe that was the problem. The station did skew older (I would guess 40 and up) but these would be the people who are willing to pay for the service. The younger generation can stream music and listen to podcasts multiple ways, an most likely are not taking long periods of time to listen.

The reality is that time marches on, and things change. But that should not mean that we need to complete give up on the way things were. As I mentioned in my last post, everything seems to have become individualized and tightly focused. Gone are the days of everyone listening to, or watching a common program. I remember going to the beach in the summer and hearing all the radios tuned to the same statins (102.7 WNEW, 100.3 Z00, 92.3 KROC playing the top songs of the day. Now everybody has there ear-pods on, and are all in their own little world, listening to there own things.

Maybe someone will give the Volume Radio Experiment another chance at some point (Maybe Audicy or I-Hart Radio). There is an audience out there waiting. Can only wish


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Thoughts on Survivor and other things

Survivor returned on Wednesday for Season 44 with a 2 hour premier. I was looking forward to the return, and it did not disappoint. Being a fan since the beginning (over 22 years), Survivor still keeps my attention and I still find it fascinating to watch and analyze. I also read Dalton Ross’s recap on EW and love how it gives me another perspective on things.

Right off the bat, things were crazy. I cringed when Bruce dove head first under the first obstacle narrowly missing his head. And then before I could even regain my thought, he dove head first under the second obstacle, only this time he wasn’t as lucky, and bashed his head. It hurt me to watch, and I wasn’t surprised when he eventually had to be medically removed. Its interesting to me how the rest of the contestants acted like Bruce was there best friend in the world and how sad they were that he was out of the game. This is one of the things that has always fascinated me and made me want to be on the show to see how I would react. Not to be mean, but would I be sad if somebody had to leave the game early due to injury, or would I be thinking there is now one less person to worry about on my way to the end.

Here are two things stood out to me during the premier (actually three things)

1. It does seem again (similar to the last few seasons), that the contestants are treating this more of a fun adventure than a survival contest for One Million Dollars. They just don’t seem to get that mad or upset when things don’t go there way and it could cost them the game. “I know we lost the challenge, but hey it was fun and we all did really well”. This is really a parallel of society in general. Again, I would love the opportunity to see how an older player like myself would feel and react.

2. I liked the new twists (the locked bird cage and the new prisoners dilemma set up). Really liked how there were different rewards instead of them all being the same. Really makes things interesting. And I liked how the contestants sitting out of the challenge talked to each other to get information (Maybe this happens all the time, but I don’t remember them showing this in the past). As long as the twits do not effect the game in a completely random and unfair way, I’m all for mixing things up (Never liked the Fire Making challenge for the final four introduced in Season 35, or the Do or Die twist in Season 41. They are just to random and basically reward single players for losing a challenge)

3. I am amazed how many haters there are on social media who dislike the introduction of new twists with a passion, and want things to be like the early seasons with now idols / advantages / twists. Or the people who read into everything and act like Survivor is ruining there lives. I shouldn’t be surprised as again this parallels society in general. I do realize by “society in general”, I really mean the small percentage of twitter / Instagram / facebook users who seem to have taken over everything)

I’m looking forward to getting back into the routine of watching Survivor on Wednesday and Daltons recap on Thursday. I also plan on listening to Jeff Probs Survivor Podcast when I get a chance (Hopefully while getting out and going for a walk over the weekend)

Decided to head back to Stable Arena on the Lehigh campus last night for the Lehigh / Lafayette Patriot League Quarter Final game. Did not turn out as I wanted, as the Mountain Hawks took the 1st half off and found themselves in a hole that was to big to climb out of. The did come out and give a great effort in the 2nd half but simply ran out of time to make a full comeback. The season is now over and we will have to wait another year to see if Lehigh can find its way back into the NCAA Tournament for the 1s time since 2012 . It was a fun season (I found out I somehow get ESPN+ and was able to watch a bunch of games this season). Thanks to the Engineers / Brown and White / Mountain Hawks in 2022 – 2023 and looking forward to 2023-2024

TV Shows I’m watching / and ones I need to find time to watch

Star Trek Pickard Season 3
The Mandalorian Season 3
A Million Little Things Final Season
CSI: Las Vegas
The Accused
Not Dead Yet
The Black List
The Last of Us

Spring Training Baseball is in full swing, and the World Baseball Classic starts on Monday, March 6th The MLB season officially opens on Thursday, March 30th. I have two Fantasy Drafts to prepare for and looking forward to having baseball back

And finally, I miss the days of people being in the office on a daily basis. Use to look forward to chatting with people about Sports / Movies / TV and the world in general to help break up the day. Now with most people remote, there is really no commodity between team and co-workers. Chatting on Messenger and Zoom calls is just not the same. Gone are the days of coming into the office and everybody laughing about last nights Seinfeld or other comedy shows, or discussing / complaining in person about the local sports teams (Great game by the Mets last night, Boy were the Giants terrible yesterday). Its just not the same and I find it one of the major downsides of working from home. Throw in social media and you are now getting observations and opinions from strangers (most who just like to bitch and complain about anything). There were always a few of these folks at work, but you learned how to get along and have a civil conversation.

More to come

Average Andy

If you have a Facebook account, give this video by Debbie Gibson a watch. Love here take on the issue of what’s considered right or wrong based on other peoples behavior (if even known)

** https://www.facebook.com/reel/508509214692169 **

Posted in A Million Little Things, Accused, Baseball, CSI:VEGAS, Debbie Gibson, Fun and Games, Jesse Tannenbaum, Lehigh, Lehigh University, Mark Burnett, Reality Shows, Seinfeld, Shrinking, Sports, Survivor, The Blacklist, The Last of Us | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More thoughts

Need to catch up on a few things.

Was sad to see that Tom Batiuk ended his comic strip Funky Winkerbean after 50 years. I have enjoyed reading Funky Winkerbean for as long as I can remember, a staple of the weekday and weekend comics in the Newark Star Ledger. Loved following the adventures of Funky and his friends, especially Les Moore, who is one of the best comic characters ever created. Thanks for the memories

Funky Winkerbean and Friends
All good things must come to an end

With the Super Bowl ending, its now time to stat thinking about baseball. Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training this week, and there will finally be something new to talk about on the sports radio stations.

The past two weeks of Super Bowl talk and hype have been painful to listen to. I actually tuned most of it out and used the time to listen and enjoy some music. It was actually very refreshing. As far as the coverage, I never have cared for the 2 weeks of Super Bowl week coverage leading up to the game (Especially on TV where I never have had any interest). On the radio side, looked like things opened up again after the past years due to the corvid pandemic, and radio stations sent multiple personal to the game. Radio stations should have saved their money — What ended up on the radio was 2 weeks of self promotion and worthless interviews. It was topped off with FOXs over the top coverage (seemed like they had a meeting and said “We need to fill 8 hours of TV with worthless sketched and interviews and puff pieces – Anybody have any ideas?). By the time the game started I had had enough.

I actually enjoyed the game, although it was a bit of a let down having the referee call a tick / tack penalty that basically decided the game. Was it a penalty?, probably. Can the referees call that same thing on most pass plays?, yes. Should they have called that penalty at the end? No. But it is what happened and how Super Bowl 57 will go into the record books.

Did like hearing some classic “Men Without Hats” and “Culture Club” in the Super Bowl Commercials

Tough week for Lehigh Basketball. Couple of tough losses as the season winds down. Hopefully they can beat Navy this week and hold on to the top 4 of the Patriot League and get a home play-off game.

And Seton Hall needs to pick up a few more wins going into the Big East Tournament. Hopefully they have a late season run in them.

Netflix needs to get some better writers. Both “You People” and “Your Place or Mine” wasted some good actors, characters, and ideas, and instead went for the cheap laughs had some of the dumbist dialog I have heard in a long time. And its not just Netflix. The Julia Roberts, George Clooney movie “Ticket to Paradise” was also horrible. No chemistry between characters and idiotic dialog made this a tough watch. I like a good slapstick comedy with over the top stupidity, if that’s what you going for. But it seems the movies I listed don’t really know if they want to be funny or serious, and what audience they are targeting. You expect certain things from certain actors in certain roles, and if your not aware of this, it ends up confusing everybody and falling flat.

Finished the latest Isaac Bell novel “The Sea Wolves”. Thought it was really well done and written and I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one. Switching things up a bit, and reading “The Inner Game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey. Its a nice change of pace, and hopefully will learn some mindful techniques on tennis and life in general.

Two weeks until Survivor returns for another season. So far I have been good at tuning out anything that would be considered spoilers, and hopefully will be going into this season with no preconceived notions.


Posted in Adam Klein, Christine Hofbeck, Clive Cussler - Isaac Bell, Comics, Football, Funky Winkerbean, Jeff Probst, Jesse Tannenbaum, Mark Burnett, Music, NY Mets, Parvati Shallow, Radio, Reality Shows, Sports, Survivor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lots of little things

I have had a hard time recently getting motivated to update my blog. There were a bunch of stories I wanted to post about, but every time I thought about writing, I would tell my-self, not now, tonight, or not tonight, tomorrow

Finally decided to dive in, so here are a bunch of little things that got my attention over the past few weeks

RIP David Crosby (1941-2023) – While not the biggest Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young fan, I really enjoyed all there music over the years. Great songs with harmonies made them a easy listen. You know they’re good when your 22 year old daughter has some of there songs on her play-lists.

Somehow I came across the video from one of my original crushes, the great Debbie Gibson. Have to admit, I actually cut a hole in my jeans, and drew a smiley face on my knee way back when. Great memories of the 1980s and listing to “Out of the Blue” and “Electric Youth”

Here are some of the Television Shows I have been watching the past few weeks

Jack Ryan (Season 3) (Amazon) – Really liked this season

CSI: Las Vegas (Season 2) (CBS) – Glad they brought the show back and hoping is back for another season

Shrinking (Season 1) (Apple TV) – Always been a fan of Jason Segal, and when you through in the great Harrison Ford it makes for a good show.

The Expanse (Season 1) (Amazon) – I know I’m late to the party, but have heard its a really good show, so going to give it a try

Accused (Season 1) (FOX) – One of my favorite new shows. The 1st three episodes have been some great television. Hope they can keep it up. Highly recomended

The Last of Us (Season 1) (HBO) – Really enjoying it so far. Never saw / played the video game, so going in blind, but like the style and how things interconnect. Also interesting to see Pedro Pascal out of his Mandalorian costume.

In other news, Survivor returns on Wednesday, March 1st, (Season 44) and they have released the list of new contestants. I have not looked at the list, and am doing my best to not read / see / hear anything about the cast. Call me old school, but I like to find things out by watching the episodes as they are released. Not interested on any kind of info or spoilers.

It is a bit sad, how Survivor and other reality shows has become such a media driven operation. When Survivor aired its 1st season in 2000, it didn’t feel like the any of the contestants were doing the show for any other reason then it sounded like a cool thing to do. As the seasons progressed, and Survivor became more popular, there were some contestants who felt like they were trying to use the platform to promote there career as a reality TV personality. Then as other types of reality shows started to air, there were places for want-to-be celebrities’ to go, and Survivor settled into a nice little niche of a sophisticated and serious show and players again started playing the game for the experience and not as a launching pad. This lasted a good 15 years. But now things have started to swing back to the dark times although not so much as the contestants, but by the production and outsiders who seem to think that the way to get more viewers is to make sure the show and contestants are pushed to social media, and heavily promoted. If your a Tic-Toc or YouTube star, come on in.

The funny thing is that this has been tried before and never seemed to generate the results expected. Form adding hashtags to the players kyrons, to having Jeff Probst read users Tweets during the reunion shows, it seemed to me to have more of a negative effect. The true fans just want to watch the show and be entertained regardless of who the contestants are or want to be

Also, it is getting a bit annoying seeing past contestants of the CBS Big Three (Survivor, Amazing Race / Big Brother) out there campaigning and promoting themselves to return to the show they were on, or one of the others. While I did enjoy seeing some of the contestants come back for multiple seasons of Survivor, or go on The Amazing Race, those contestants had the charisma and likeability that made them fan favorites. Most of the contestants are just average, and somewhat forgettable. There is nothing wrong with that, and in fact its a good thing that allows the show to move forward and evolve instead of hanging on to the past.

I will continue to apply to both Survivor (as my self) and the Amazing Race (Along with both my sister and my daughter who would bot make excellent team mates) until I hear back. As the top of my blog states ” Because the world (and certain Reality Shows) need an average guy”

Thanks for reading and listening to me rant a bit. Will be back soon with a more positive view of things

Average Andy

Posted in Accused, Crosby Stills Nash Young, CSI:VEGAS, Debbie Gibson, Jack Ryan, Jeff Probst, Jesse Tannenbaum, Mark Burnett, Music, Reality Shows, Shrinking, Survivor, The Expanse, The Last of Us | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things are good

Been a crazy start to 2023. Adam Rich (Nicolas on Eight is Enough) passed at age 54, Robbie Knievel (son of great daredevil Evil Knievel) passes at age 60, and Astronaut, Cosmonauts stuck on Space Station extra month. But there has also been a lot of good things happening, including

NY Giants win 1st play-off game in 11 years – THE NY Giants beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 to advance to the next round of the NFL Play-Offs and will face the Philadelphia Eagles for a 3rd time this year. The Giants finally have a component coach who has figured out how to get the best out of Danial Jones (Something dopey Pat Shurmer and even dopier Joe Judge could not do). They are finally believing that they can win close games and have a good shot of beating the Eagles on Saturday night

My wife got us tickets to see A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical . I have always been a big fan of Neil Dimond, and the show was really good. It showed the history of Neil Diamond as told by present day Neil. Was a great trip through his life and songs. Highly recommended, especially if you are a Neil Diamond Fan. Also, give the sound track a listen. Its a good take on the show

My wife also got me Clive Cusslers “The Sea Wolves”, the latest Isaac Bell Adventure. I was extremely surprised and shocked to see the return of Foss Gly, one of the best villains from the Dirk Pitt books. I wrote a while ago on this blog about how Foss Gly was on off my favorite characters.

The Lehigh and Seton Hall Basketball teams have been playing well and hope they can continue to rack up wins against conference teams.

And we are only 4 weeks away from Pitchers and Catchers reporting for Spring Training. Its a bit earlier this year due to the return of the World Baseball Classic. The Mets should be good again this year (even without Carlos Correa, who almost signed, but ended up back in Minnesota).


Posted in A Beautiful Noise - The Neil Diamond Musical, Announcement, Baseball, Broadway, Clive Cussler - Dirk Pitt, Clive Cussler - Isaac Bell, Football, Lehigh, Lehigh University, NY Giants, Sports, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to 2023

Hope everybody had a Happy and Healthy New Year and welcome to 2023.

Just going to jump in and write down some thoughts and observations

Here is the new song “Panopticom” from the great Peter Gabriel. Really like it and looking forward to his new album in 2023

Watched all of “Kalidescope” on Netflix. The idea is that you can watch the episodes in any order (they are all named after colors) and get the whole story. That is true, but after watching all of it, I agree that watching it in chronological order would probably be the best as there is a beginning, middle, and end. It is an interesting concept and hopefully somebody can do it where the order truly doesn’t matter

Was thinking the other day about how the internet has allowed people to do some things easier and quicker than in the past, which is great. Today you can search and download a book on any number of portable devices. While reading, if there is a word or subject you are not failure with, you can usually click a hyperlink and it will instantly bring up the definition. This is much better than in the past, when you would need to write the word down, and then sometime later, if you even remembered, go get your dictionary and look it up. But there are some downsides. By making things too easy, we loose the ability of critical thinking. People used to write notes in the margin of books, and mark pages to go back to later and review. For words they did not know, they would pause and try to figure out what the word meant (or go to the dictionary). There something to be said about making things a bit challenging to keep our brains working

I really enjoyed “Fleishman is in Trouble” The last few episodes were really good and thought provoking. Again, it is refreshing to see a show tackle real life problems in a realistic way. Highly recommended

The NY Giants were able to beat the woefully awful Colts last Sunday to secure a play-off spot for the 1st time in 6 years. After being so bad for years its strange to be still paying attention this late in the season. They finish the season this week in a meaningless game against the Eagles (They are locked into the 6th seed no mater what) and then we will see who they end up playing the following week in the 1st round of the Play-Offs.

Went to the NJ State Park 1st Walk of 2023 Event on January 1st at The Round Valley Recreational Area. It was great to see so many people show up (had to be over 40) and enjoy a nigh 2.5 mile hike through the forest and along the reservoir. Our guide was very knowledgeable and I learned some things about the history of the reservoir. Will defiantly be checking the website for future hikes

More to come


Posted in Books, Fleishman is in Trouble, Football, Fun and Games, Music, NY Giants, Peter Gabriel, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RIP Pele (1940 – 2022)

RIP Pele – The best ever to play the game of Soccer.

Will always will remember Pele for his bicycle kick for a goal in the classic movie “Victory” Highly recommended.

Here is is a link to Peles’ Wikipedia Site

@Pele @TheSlyStallone @themichaelcaine

Average Andy

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Only 3 more days until Christmas. While it doesn’t look like we will have a white Christmas here on the east coast, it is supposed to be very cold (especially on Saturday). But not as cold as some parts of the north west where temperatures are supposed to be brutally cold (Temperatures 30 to 40 degrees below average will cover three quarters of the country into Christmas). So bundle up, stay warm, and don’t go out unless you really need to

As far as the past week, Its been pretty eventful. The New York Mets continue to spend big money, signing a bunch of free agents. While I am happy that the Mets are willing to spend money, and not hold back on players for budgetary reasons, it does feel a bit over the top. As a life long Mets fan, (and baseball in general) I can remember the times when the Mets were very good as well as the times they were really bad. But they always had players (such as Ed Kranepool, Tom Seaver, Darryl Strawberry, Davis Wright) who you just associated with the Mets. Today with players becoming free agents and jumping from team to team it just kind of feels weird (and a bit sad). When I think back, the teams that I best remember who won championships used to have players who I associated with the teams (Kirby Puckett with the Twins, Jose Conseco and Mark McGuire with the Oakland A’s, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada with the Yankees, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz with the Red Sox). But on the flip side are the Florida Marlins, (who basically did what the Mets are doing today). They went out and signed a bunch of free agent stars, and rode them to World Series wins in 1997 and 2003. But most people (and I’m sure even some die hard Florida Marlins Fans) don’t look back at these championships and think about about the all-time Marlins players were on those teams. Even if the Mets do go onto win the World Series, I just hope I don’t look back many years from now at the current Mets team and remember them more for just spending money, like the Marlins, then of a team of players I got to know and follow for many years.

I went to see “Avatar: The Way Of Water” last weekend and highly recommend seeing it (especially in 3D with good sound). The movie really got me immersed into the world of Pandora, and it truly felt like you were there and along for the ride. The dialog was a bit childish, and the story was kind of open ended, but with possibly 3 more sequels on the way, I’m sure things will be further explained going forward. The way the 3D was used (to mainly show depth) worked really well. It was also very cool how the different groups of people all were unique in there own way (slightly different skin colors and dialects) much like the ways things actually are.

I remember reading an article about the making of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Three of the main people responsible for the movie (Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Lawrence Kasdan) worked closely together to make sure everything came together. They hashed out the dialog, to make sure it fit with the move, one thing that I wish they had done more with Avatar. Sometimes it feels like movies are dumbed down a bit to tailor a younger audience. That works for some movies, but others need to trust the audience is sophisticated enough to have authentic dialog. While everything James Cameron and crew did was great in this movie, a bit more work on the dialog and it could have been amazing. I will probably go see it again, and am looking forward to the next chapter

Speaking of good dialog, I am watching “Fleishman is in Trouble” on Hulu. I am really enjoying it and feel the dialog really captures the characters. Jesse Eisenberg, Claire Danes, and Lizzy Caplan are all excellent along with a good supporting cast, including Josh Radnor. (Always will be remembered by me for playing “Ted Mosby” in “How I Met Your Mother”). I find it refreshing to see a show that shows the ups and downs of peoples lives in a true manor

Other shows I’m watching:

National Treasure: Edge of History (enjoyed the first 2 episodes. Its billed as a continuation of the movies. Want to see how they tie things in

CSI:Vegas – Big fan of the original CSI and enjoying this continuation

Jack Ryan (Season 3) – Liked the 1st 2 seasons, and the first episode of Season 3 was really good

Big game for the NY Giants on Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings. A win would almost guarantee a spot in the playoffs. Hopefully they can win so I can relax while watching the last 2 games. The Football schedule is a bit chaotic this year due to Christmas being on a Sunday

Want to wish everybody a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season. Have a Very Merry Christmas and be sure to find some down time to relax and recharge as we roll into 2023. Thanks all who spent time some of there time reading this. It is appreciated

See you in 2023


PS: Remember that Survivor 44 Returns on Wednesday, March 1st

Posted in Avatar: The Way of Water, Baseball, CSI:VEGAS, Fleishman is in Trouble, Football, Movies, National Treasure: Edge of History, NY Giants, NY Mets, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Sports, Survivor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Survivor / The Amazing Race recaps plus random thoughts on a Rainy Friday

Both “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” ended there latest seasons last week and both did not disappoint, While the Amazing Race took a while to gain its footing (thanks to it being pushed back an hour for failed experiment of “The Real Loveboat”), I ended up really enjoying the places and challenges the players saw and completed during their race around the world. I did enjoy most of the teams and was happy with the final 3 teams that got to finish the entire race.

I though it was funny that in countries where they don’t speak English, the contestants would always default to trying Spanish. And then when they were in Spain, they defaulted to trying English. Also the more I watch The Amazing Race, the more I realize how little is taught in American Schools about foreign countries. Its cool seeing most people around the world speak at least a little English and being hospitable to the contestants. I can only imagine what would it be like if a bunch of people from a different country were running around American cities asking for help in their native language?

Congratulations to the winners Clair and Derek for running a great race, playing hard but keeping it fun along the way. Was well deserved. Looking forward to next season. While I have applied religiously to be on Survivor (sending in applications each year, I have sent some applications in for The Amazing Race as well – Both with my sister (who lives down south and we don’t get to see each other as much as we should), and my daughter who recently graduated from college and it would be nice to spend some time with here before she goes on with her own life). Hopefully we will get chosen one day as I feel either of them would make a great team.

As a sat down to watch a season finale of Survivor for the 43rd time, I again realized how much I love the show and how it has now been part of my life for over 20 years. I can remember times coming back from vacation when the finale was on a Sunday night, and then watching the 3 hour finale till early in the morning to make sure I saw it. I can truly say that I have never missed an episode in all 43 seasons (although there have been times when I had to watch it on a VHS recording, my DVR, and On-Demand, but don’t think I was ever more than 1 week behind at any point.

I will admit that this season was a bit strange with a lot of the players sometimes coming across as too friendly and not as scheming and upset I would be if I was a contestant. But I seem to say that a lot of seasons. I guess I will really never know how I would feel or react until I am chosen as a contestant and experience the game for myself. When Jesse mentioned ‘imposter syndrome’, I could relate as sometimes I also have a hard time believing in myself and abilities. But I also feel truly motivated every time contestants say they didn’t know how much they were truly capable of and did things they never thought they could do. This keeps me dreaming of becoming a contestant and pushing myself past what I have been able to do in my 55 years. Its a scary though and doubt does penetrate into my mind, but watching Survivor year after year keeps pushing the doubt out and the excitement and motivation it. And for this I am truly appreciative

As far as this season, I was glad to see Gabler take home the grand prize. I will admit it made me happy to see an older person Outwit, Outlast, and Outplay contestants half his age. It was also interesting to see how the jury seemed to respect his honesty and thoughtfulness towards each and every one of them, with out sounding manipulative or degrading. Simply repeating personal information back to players and hoping it makes then like you more only works if its genuine and heartfelt, and not robotic. Gabler made the jury feel appreciated and important. One of the only other people who I saw this was Dr. Will on Big Brother. He was able to vote off people while at the same time having them truly like and respect him.

Big game for the NY Giants this Sunday night against the Washington Commanders. The winner will have a great shot at making the play-offs. Looking forward to the game and to see if Daniel Jones can finally come up big in a big spot. And the fact that I need to root for the Jets this weekend against the Detroit Lions and in 2 weeks against the Seattle Seahawks is what makes football exciting but mentally draining at the same time

One 10 days till Christmas. Should be pretty slow at work, so should have some time to get things that I have been procrastinating about done. Should also be able to listen to music (including the latest Marillion Web UK Christmas CD (received mine the other day and been getting one from the band every year since 1999).

Both Topps Bunt and Topps StarWars Card Trader will again be doing there 12 days of Christmas, giving away special digital cards free each day until Christmas. I really enjoy these apps and the special giveaways and promotions they do through out the year. Will try to post some pictures of the cards I receive.

Finished reading “Heat 2″ and really enjoyed it. Liked how the authors were able to intertwine the book with the original movie ‘Heat” that made sense and kept the feeling of the movie. Good job and I would recommend the book to fans Michael Mann and the movie.

I started reading “We Are The Night” by Matthew Quick. I actually won a free copy of the book on GoodReads a month ago and am finally giving it a go. Will let you know how it goes

As far as the NY Mets go. I am glad that Steve Cohen is open to spending money, but a little torn on the amount, as I was always hard on the Yankees, Dodgers and other times for simply spending as much as needed to ‘buy’ a championship. I always was more of a team fan and liked it when players were here for a ling time. Will be interesting to see if this spending spree works, or if in a few years it will be the same thing over again.

More to come

Remember to smile, think happy thoughts (even when things are tough) and listen to at least 3 songs a day.

Average Andy

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