RIP Luke Perry

It’s taken me a day to write about the passing of Luke Perry on Monday, March 4th due to a stroke he suffered last week.  His death has hit me pretty hard as was the same age as me (52) and is one of the first of my contemporaries to pass.   He has been a part of my life ever since Beverly Hills 90210 premiered on FOX on October 4, 1990.   I had graduated from Lehigh University a year before, and can vividly remember watching the premiere episode and then talking about it the following day at work.   90210 became an obsession and one of the few shows that could not be missed.  It was one of the 1st prime time network shows I can remember featuring an ongoing story instead of stand alone episodes.   If you missed a week you needed to ask around to find out what happened

I always though as myself as Brandon Walsh (played by Jason Preistley).  The kid who always wanted to do what was right, and whos heart was always in the right place.  Unlike Dylan McKay (played by Luke Perry) who was the cool but mischieves type.  But Luke Perry made you believe that even he was a softie and really did care about the uncool people.

As a non sports card collector, I occasionally come across the 90210 card set released by Topps in 1991 at the Philly Non Sports Show.  I may just need to pick up a set in the future.

The Original 90210 ran for 10 Seasons and was always there (like a best friend), as I grew up.  Luke Perry left after 6 seasons, but returned for the last 2 before the show was cancelled.   Thank you Luke for those years and the great memories that I will never forget.  You will be missed

Beverly Hills 90210 Wiki

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Lots of random thoughts

We are 2 episodes into the new season of Survivor, I am am interested in how the  Extinction Island twist plays out.   Wondering if each new evicted contestant will need outwit / outlast / outplay  the one before them to see who stays.   Like most Survivor fans, it was a bit tough to watch Keith actually debate if he wanted to stay or not.  It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, and every minute (whether its easy or hard) should be savoured and  enjoyed.   I would like to think I would be running to the boat with my torch, thanking the Survivor Gods for the opportunity to stay in the game.

As far as returning players,  I think I would try and align with them, and kind of use them as a shield.   They would be a good source of knowledge; both how to play the game physically and mentally.   The more information the better.  I think a lot of players get confused early if they should play short term or long term.  i.e – Do you vote off the weakest person to try and win challenges, or the  biggest threat and hope you are not voted off.  I fell the returning players would help in determining the best way based on their past experiences.

Was sad to see that Luke Perry (best known as Dylan McKay on the classic TV Show 90210) suffered a stroke on Thursday.    Was one of the first big hits on FOX and I was a fan from day one.  I never missed an episode, and back in the days when 90201 was on, you would actually spend the next day talking to actual people about it.

I was also a fan of the reboot that ran on the CW Network and had recently seen that most of the original cast are returning  for a new chapter on FOX

90210- Summer 2018

Hoping he is OK and wishing him a speedy and full recovery.

Luke Perry – Wiki

90210

As far as other TV, here are a few shows I am watching and enjoying

Big Bang Theory – Been enjoying the final season and thought the episode with William Shatner was one of the best in awhile.  I will miss this show when it ends this season

The Masked Singer – Was very susceptible when this started, but caught the 1st episode and was hooked.  While dopey at time, it was a fun watch, and actually though the list of singers was great.   And if everybody did not know it already – Gladys Knight is awesome

Gladys Knight – The Masked Singer

Actually – Big Props to all the Masked Singers  (including the winner T-Pain).   They all took a risk and put themselves in a uncomfortable situation and are all better for it.  Everybody should be inspired by them and take more risks and follow your dreams.

A Million Little Things – Liked this show from the beginning and how they jumped right into conflicts between the characters.  While things got a bit slow in the middle, the finale was really we done and  total took me by surprise.    Looking forward to its return

The Blacklist – Still enjoying this show after 6 seasons.    James Spader is such a great actor (from Stargate to Boston Legal, to The Blacklist) and make it fun to watch.  Like how they mix things up, but still throw in references to older characters and seasons

The Walking Dead – At this point, I am so invested that I almost have to continue watching.   I like some the new stories (the Whispers are an interesting group), but am getting a bit board or underwhelmed with others.   There are only so many times the group can get trapped in a building full of walkers, and then fight there way out unharmed.

And finally,  The Jonas Brothers are back.  Here is their 1st new song in 6 years.  Say what you want, the guys are really talented and have put out lots of great songs over the years (as well as starring in their own show and starring in Camp Rock, one of the best Disney Music movies)

 

Will be back with more

Average Andy

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Peter Tork

Sad to hear that Peter Tork, a founding member of “The Monkees” has passed away at age 77.  I have vivid memories of staying home sick when I was a kid, and watching episodes of the Monkees.   Always remember Peter Tork’s bowl shaped haircut and actually had a haircut like that when in grade school

The Monkees were truly original and their contribution to television and music will long be remembered

Here is a post from 2016 listing the Monkees 10 best songs.   Find some time today to play a few (or all) of the songs and remember the greatness of the Monkees

AXS – Top 10 Monkees Songs

Andy

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Burnell Cotlon – Hurricane Katrina Survivor and Local Hero

If you are looking for a podcast to listen to, check out of Phil Keoghans’ excellent  “Buckit” podcast.  In this Podcast Phil shares his own BUCKiT list and asks his guests to share theirs. He endeavors to find out what motivated them to say BUCKiT and swerve off the predictable road, shed their inhibitions, break new ground, test the limits and pursue a life rich in experience

Phil Keoghan – Buckit Podcast

In the latest episode Phil talks to Burnell Cotlon.  Its an inspiring story of a Hurricane Katrina Survivor and Local Hero, and his passion of rebuilding the Lower 9th Ward Brick by Brick.   It was eye opening to hear that this area of New Orleans is still suffering 15 years after hurricane Katrina hit.   Burnell took it upon himself to open a small grocery store to help the few people who remain in this area.

Bellow is a short documentary from 2017 of his story, as well as an interview Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News

 

 

Burnells’ story also made its way to the incredibly generous Ellen DeGeneres in 2015 where she donated 3 new washing machines to his store as well as gave him a new car to use for local deliveries of groceries to the elderly.

 

I want to say thank you to Phil Keoghan for doing an episode on this incredible person,  and keeping his story alive.   It is incredibly sad that in the United States, one of the richest countries in the world,  there are still people suffering from Hurricane Katrina 15 years later.   But with people like Burnell, (and the generosity of others) there is hope for the Lower 9th Ward.

AverageAndy

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Some thoughts on Survivor

The new Season of Survivor (Season 38: Survivor:Edge of Extinction) starts next Wednesday (February 20th).   As for every season I am really looking forward to this.  Looks like they are changing things up a bit, with contestants getting the opportunity to get back into the game once they are voted off.    I like the fact that the producers of Survivor constantly change things up to keep the contestants guessing, as long as they keep the spirit of the game the same.   The game of Survivor should alway be based on the contestants ability to outwit, outlast, and outplay the other contestants, and should never come down to pure luck.   The time that it did (when winner Ben Driebergen got saved because of the new final 4 firemaking twist that nobody knew was coming) was a bit of a let down and I didnt think that was fair.

As another season starts, I will again be putting together a application video and applying for a spot on the show.  Believe it or not, going way back, I have applied by sending in video tapes, sending in DVDs, uploading videos, as well as attending a Open Casting call, and even entering the fan contest they had one season.  I have filled out countless applications over the years.  The original application was pages long with lots of questions, and you had to send it in through the mail with your DVD and copies of your passport.

To try and make the best possible video, I have read and watched interview, and watched videos by Jeff Probst, Mark Burnett, Lynne Spiegel Spillman, Robyn Kass, and cast members such as Parvati Shallow.   I listened to every episode Dan Gheeslings podcast “How To Get On Reality Tv”, and read his book as well as other books about getting on  Survivor.   I follow Survivor on Facebook to try and gather information (although I am one of the few who hates all spoilers, so I have to be careful when reading through feeds).   I even watched the Rob and Amber Get Married TV special in 2005

As a Non-Sports Card Collector, I love looking for the Survivor Trading Cars that were released for Seasons 1 and 2, and recently created my own set of Season 1 Cards with the through of trying to get them autographed from all the Season 1 contestants


I actually remember when Jeff Probst was the host of “Rock and Roll Jeopardy”, and actually really enjoyed “The Jeff Probst Show” during the one season it aired.  Every season, I look forward to reading Jeffs weekly column for Entertainment Weekly

I have been obsessed with the show ever since reading about it back in 1999 on the website slashdot

cbs-to-pay-one-million-to-desert-island-survivor

Starting with Season 1, I have never missed a Episode (I remember having to set my VCR to record the show to VHS tapes back in the day before DVRs).   When my daughter was born in August of 2000, I remember watching Rudy running through the jungle on his way to the Final 4.   I remember when Survivor was on Thursday nights, and would be interrupted for 2 weeks during the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

cbs-moving-survivor-new-wednesday-night-time-period-this-fall

Early on, I played in several Survivor Fantasy Leagues, where you got points for choosing which player would be eliminated, or who would go and get / read tree mail.

More recently I have really enjoyed watching the Ponderosa videos on the CBS website after contestants get voted off.   Love seeing the contestants from a different perspective and getting great insights to how the game actually affects people.

Survivor has become a major part of my life; from 1999 when I was a young aventuras 33 year old, up until now as a older (but still aventuras) age of 52.   I still get excited every time a new season starts, and plan on continuing to watch for many more years.

But besides how much I have enjoyed Survivor myself over the years, the best part of all of this, is that my wife and daughter are also a big fan of the show.  I am grateful to Survivor and its producers, creators, and contestants for creating such a great show, and giving my family the great times sitting down together season after season rooting for our favorites (and villians) to make it to the end.   These memories will last forever and for that I am grateful

Hopefully one day, I will be able to write about my adventure on Survivor from the view of the winner of the best reality show ever

Average Andy

 

 

 

 

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Jeff Kent checks all the boxes and deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame

While looking at the list of players eligible for the 2019 MLB Baseball Hall of Fame, I started thinking why some players are more likely to make it over others, regardless of their career statistics.

If you go strictly by statistics, Jeff Kent should be a sure Hall of Famer. But he is now in his 6th year of eligibility and it looks more and more like he will never make it.   Why is this?   Looking at his stats, he seems to check off all the boxes needed for the Hall of Fame

His 377 HRs are the all time leader for 2B
His 1518 RBIs are 3rd all time for 2B
His 2461 Hits and 1320 Runs are 11th all time for 2B

He had 8 seasons of 100+ RBIs
He had 3 seasons of 100+ Runs

He made the playoff 7 times, and got to the World Series with the S.F. Giants in 2002 

But for whatever reason, the baseball writers overlook most of this and simply do not think he has what it take for he the Hall of Fame. 

But they did vote in Craig Biggio, with 80 less HRs, 350 less RBIs and who never had a 100 RBI Season in 3 mores seasons then Jeff Kent. 

The one difference is that Craig Biggio got 3000 Hits.  For the Baseball Writers, this seems to override all of his other shortcomings and automatically gets him elected 

Jeff Kent – Baseball Reference

There are other players besides Jeff Kent such as Fred McGriff (10th Year) and Albert Belle (No Longer Eligible) who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, but for various reasons other than their stats will not be elected

Hall of Fame case for Albert Bell

So I ask – Why are some players more likely to get voted into the Hall of Fame than others?

And it’s not only true for sports figures, but also true for things like Movie and Music.  There are plenty of movies that check all the right boxes (Superstar Director and Actors, with a great story) that just do not connect with Academy of Motion Pictures (Oscars). Or there are bands with great musicians and songwriters, with songs that people love, that simply do not register with the Recording Association of America (Grammys)

What makes people and groups look at Superstar Athletes, Movies and Music and decide that while it checks off all boxes of what are needed to be one of the greatest, they still see some flaw that keeps them from giving them the highest honors. 

Does it have to do with a individuals charisma that subconsciously make people feel just a bit less towards them than others.  Or are there other reasons that make people care more about a person’s perceived personality or attitude, and overlook their talent or skill.

Just something to think about

 

 

 

 

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Happy Holidays

Been a crazy few months, so sorry I haven’t written lately

First off, would like to congratulate Nick Wilson for winning this season of Survivor. Was one of the better seasons and Nick was a deserving winner. Really liked how the contestants played this season. Instead of forming early alliances and just floating through, there were lots of big moves as people tried to add things to their resume. I did find it very interesting how some things worked (Carl playing the Idol nullifier was seen as a good move), while others (Angelina making a big deal about here trade for rice, and then trying to orchestrate her playing her hidden immunity idol) kind of fell flat with the jury. And speaking of the jury, I read somewhere that this jury seem not to hold grudges and voted on who they thought played the best game, which is how it should be. (In the past, there have been votes from some jury members against people they just did not like, as opposed to voting for who they wanted to win. I think this shows that the contestants not only played a great game, but also played a fair game

Average Andy will be submitting his next video in the near future for the upcoming seasons. As the years go by, it is becoming clearer that Survivor needs to cast me as somebody who is a big fan, but started watching when I was in my mid 30’s and am now slightly over 50. I thinks this is just as compelling as somebody who started watching as a child and is now in there mid 20s. Both have connected with Survivor and stuck with it and deserve a shot at being a contestant Older people have dreams of what they would love to do as they get older, just like young kids have dreams of what they want to grow up to do. If anybody out there agrees with this, and has some way of letting CBS / Jeff Probst / Mark Burnett or the rest of the Survivor Team, please let them know you would like to see some older contestants get a chance to live their dreams.

So much for the Football Giants. They were unable to rebound from their dreadful 1 – 7 start, and will again miss the play-offs. It was a strange season as they were not as bad as their record would indicate, but were also not as good as they should have been. Hopefully they can end the season with a win against Dallas and then regroup for next season. As a Eli Manning fan, I have no issues with them giving it one more try next year with him. Through free agency and the draft, they should be able to fix issues with the offensive line, and improve the defence (One great pass rusher could really make them a contending team)

On a sad note, I saw that longting Lehigh Football Coach Andy Coen was forced to step down due to health issues. He was a great coach for the program, winning 5 Patriot League Championships in his 13 years. Wishing him all the best

Lehigh football coach Coen steps away to focus on health issue

Also, the Lehigh Men’s basketball team is off to a good start with big wins over Princeton and Arkansas State. Hopefully they can keep things going into Patriot League play, and earn a NCAA birth this year.

I finished reading the laters Dave Gurney book by John Verdon. I have really enjoyed reading the entire series.

Dave Gurney Books by John Verdon

Started a new Dean Koontz book (The Silent Corner – Jane Hawk #1). Have read almost all of Dean Koontz books and they never disappoint. He has written some of my favorite books (The Odd Thomas series, Watchers and Strangers among them).

And my daughter gave me “The Escape Artist” by Brad Meltzer for Christmas, which will be next on my list.

I hope everybody was able to take some time off and enjoy the Christmas Holiday with family and friends. I was able to take a nice hike / walk with a few friends and then enjoyed Christmas with my family

 

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