Out with 2020 and in with 2021

Here are some quick thought to close out 2020

We lost another part of the Star Wars family as Jeremy Bulloch, who played Boba Fett, died on December 18th at the age of 75. One of the few Star Wars actors I met at convention years ago. Jeremy Bullock (Boba Fett) has become an iconic part of the Star Wars Universe and will be missed

Jeremy Bulloch (1945 -2020)

Congratulations to Will Jardell and James Wallington as the winners of The Amazing Race Season 32. It was a really good season, and I am happy for them to be the winners. Although the tight alliance between the top 3 team did eliminate some of the excitement and drama, the team played within the rules and it got them to the final 3.

The Amazing Race 32 Winners

Sad to see that Singer Leslie West passed away at age 75. Best know to me for the song “Mississippi Queen”, I actually saw him play with the band Mountain as part of a triple bill (Triumph / Loudness / Mountain

2020-12-24 12.07.46

Triumph / Mountain / Loudness

Watched the H Natural Live stream last week on You Tube. Was great to see some live music from the lead singer of Marillion (Steve Hogarth (H)). The Band is in the studio working on their next album which should be out sometime in early 2021. Looking forward to this and then the possibility of a US Tour some time in 2022


Going to try and find some time in the next few weeks to catch up on some reading (New books by John Grisham, Ernest Cline, James Patterson) and some music (continue listening to Pink Floyd) and some TV (Going to finish the Mandalorian)

Its been a tough, strange, and very interesting 2020. Hoping things return to some kind of normal in 2021.

Hope everybody is wearing their masks and staying safe,

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Joyful New Year

Andy



Average Andy will return in 2021 with more thoughts and observations in 2022


Posted in Amazing Race, Books, Marillion, Movies, Music, Pink Floyd, Reality Shows, Star Wars, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sad News, Happy Days and Music

Been a while since I wrote, and unfortunately we have lost a few more people.

Alex Trebek, longtime host of Jeopardy passed away on November 8th after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Jeopardy was always a constant in my life, something that could be counted on day after day. Whether it was watching it with friends in college, with my in-laws all the time, or at home with my wife and daughter, Alex Trebek had a way of making you feel comfortable, engaged, and smart while making learning interesting. He touched many people over he 35 plus years of hosting and had a great career as a game show host. He will be missed.

Alex Trebek – Wiki

We also lost David Prowse, the actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movies. While unknown to many, he was well known among Star Wars fans and will be missed. As time goes by, and more and more of the original Star Wars actors get older and pass away, we need to remember the joy they brought so many. He will be missed

David Prowse – Wiki

Hard to believe we made it to December. Been a crazy year and hopefully December and the holiday season starts to bring peace and happiness and joy to everybody. I am feeling a little bit better each day as I get over my Lyme Disease and am looking forward to some Christmas cheer.

Here are a few You Tube Channels I have been watching that have helped perk me up over the past few months


Finally, I think its time to revisit when I pick a musical artist and then listen to there entire catalog in order (based on the bands Wikipedia discography). The artist I choose if Pink Floyd. I never really listened to there really early stuff so this should be interesting

Will be starting with The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and will let you know what I think as I proceed through the 15 studio albums

Still not 100% but hopefully the Christmas holiday season and some Pink Floyd help in getting me ready for a great 2021

Andy

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Sad days, and Big Brother All Star Winner

Been a sad few days.

First, the great Sean Connery passed away at the age of 90. Although he had been retired from acting for close to 20 years, he left his mark as one of the great actors of the time. From playing James Bond in the 1st James Bond movie “Dr. No”, to playing Harrison Fords father in “Indian Jones and the Last Crusade”, he starred in numerous great films as I was growing up. While most we big budget movies, he did show up in small films like “Time Bandit’s” and “The Highlander”. RIM Mr. Connery. Your craft will live forever and you will be missed

Here is a link to his IMDB Page:

Sean Connery – IMDB

Today I saw that Nikki McKibbin, who finished 3rd on the 1st season of American Idol passed away of a brain aneurism at the ages of 42. I was was an original fan of American Idol, starting with Season 1. I remember Nikki with here bright red hair and super outgoing personality. There are some people that you will always remember for whatever reason and she was one of them. RIP Nkki – You will always be remembered and will be missed

Nikki McKibbin (1978 – 2020)

Nikki McKibbin – Wiki

Big Brother All Stars ended last week with Cody Calafiorie being crowned the champion.   I really like this season and thought they did a great job of getting the show on the air during these tough times.   Cody was a deserving champion, but I am ready for an all new cast next  summer

Next is the Amazing Race, which started a  few  weeks back and is off to a good start.  Its really what I need to get my mind off of all the craziness going on

Staying away  for things, just a reminder that Tuesday is election day, and we will all watch and see what  happens and what direction the country goes going forward

I’m sure I will write something but may take a while

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Harry Chapin Documentary

Here is the trailer to the new Harry Chapin Documentary Film that was just released

In these crazy and messed up times, its a breath of fresh air that is needed

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Eddie Van Halen (1955 – 2020)

Very sad to see that Eddie Van Halen has passed away at the age of 65.   While not a super Van Halen fan, I did enjoy their music and his guitar playing.   He was a genius in his craft and will be missed.

As I was thinking about Eddie and Van Halen,  I realized how much they were part of the memories I have with my best friends over the past 40 years.  From hanging as friends houses watching the Van Halen videos “Jump” and “Panama” on MTV, to attending the Monsters of Rock Concert at the old Giants Stadium.  From watching the classic “Better off Dead” with friends and air guitaring to the claymation “Everybody Wants Some” to hearing new singer Sammy Hagar belt out “Why Can’t This Be Love” on the radio as we pulled up to my freshman dorm at Lehigh University.    I remember getting up early to pickup friends and going to the record store on release day to get in line for the new Van Halen Album.  All these great memories are related to Eddie and Van Halen

So thank you Eddie for being part of the background of my life.      

Here are some videos special to me from Van Halen


Plenty more to write about (Big Brother, Amazing Race, new AC/DC, Card Collecting

Hopefully soon

Andy

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Steve Hogarth. New singer since 1989.

Great article about Steve Hogarth – Lead singer of Marillion

30 Years of Steve Hogarth

Marillion – A Better way of life

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Lyme disease sucks, and a few other things

I started feeling strange last year and was eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease. Took a while for the doctors to figure things out as I didn’t have any skin rash or bulls-eye marks. Just felt very fatigues and had some pains in my arm and leg. Eventually somebody mentioned it could be lyme disease and I went and saw a specialist who comfirmed things. I never knew there multiple strains of lyme disease and different types of medicine for them. I was given medication and it has helped but almost a year later I still have some lingering effects. Add the Lyme disease to the ongoing threat of Covid 19 and its been a rough year so far. I’m getting better as the days go on and hopefully will be able to feel like myself again

Very sad to hear of the passing of Charles “Chuck” “Thor” Seldon a few weeks back. Growing up, he lived a fee blocks up the street from me, and we went to the same Elementary, Middle, and High School. He was a very nice person. I would run into him over the years, mostly at high school reunions, and it was always fun to catch up on things. He will be missed

Charles “Thor” Seldon (1967 – 2020)

Big Brother All Stars (Season 22)” is back, this time its Big Brother All Star’s.   The season was delayed due the ongoing pandemic but they managed to quarantine the contestants and the crew to try and keep everybody safe.  there is no live audience for the evictions,  but so far it’s been fun to watch

I have also been enjoying “Tough as Nails“.   Phil Keoghan returns to CBS with an all new reality show featuring average people.   Its been fun to watch and I like the concept of having both team and individual challenges.   It’s a good tie over until The Amazing Race returns in the fall.   Its taking the place of Survivor which has been put on hold due to the pandemic and hopefully will be able to return in the spring.

Baseball is back and I have been enjoying watching the Mets play.  Its is a bit strange with no fans (I like the cardboard cutouts), and the piped in crowd noise, but I have gotten into the games.   Funny how I went from not missing baseball to yelling at the screen and sending / receiving texts from friends.   I am interested to see if I get the same feelings when the NFL returns.   As for the other sports,  I have enjoyed watching golf, and looking forward to tennis.

I will write some more soon, including some thoughts about the card collecting I have been doing while stuck at home and  self distancing.   Picked up some new cards, and sold some on e-bay to help pay for things.  Also been listening so some interesting podcasts

Average Andy



Posted in Amazing Race, Baseball, Big Brother, Football, Non-Sports Cards, NY Mets, Phil Keoghan, Podcasts, Reality Shows, Sports, Survivor | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

RIP Joel Schumacher

Just want to mention the passing of director Joel Schumacher.   He directed some of my favorite movies, including “St Elmo’s Fire”, “Flatliners”, and “The Lost Boys”.   Movies that I still think about and enjoy today.

Joel Schumacher (1940 – 2020)

 

 

 

 

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Gary Lee Cavagnaro (Bad News Bears)

Came across this video while looking for some of the cards to complete the Panini Golden Age Bad News Bears insert set that was released in 2013


Some of the cards are hard to find (minis and white borders) but hopefully some day will be able to complete the set.  If anybody does have any of these cards, reach out to me and maybe we make a deal

Needs:

White Border:  146, 147, 148, 149

Mini:  (Red): 148, 150, (Black): 148, 149, 150, (Purple) 148

And as I have mentioned previously, any info in the current status, or whereabouts of actor Chris Barnes who played Tanner Boyle would be truly appreciated.    Still is one of my all time favorite character from a movie and would like to be able to tell him ho much Bad New Bears and his character have meant to me.

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Hard to believe Survivor premiered 20 years ago

On May 31st, 2000, a new reality show called Survivor premiered on CBS. I member watching as I had read a small blurb on the website slashdot about the show and though it sounded really cool

Slashdot – Survivor to premiere

Which is harder to believe – that Survivor has now been on for 20 years, or that I have never missed a single episode.

Survivor – Wikipedia

I starting watching on my old 27 inch tube TV in standard definition.   If I had things to do when Survivor was on (, I would need to manually record the show onto VHS Tapes (Yes – Survivor started before DVRs were a thing).  For the first 10 years,  Survivor was on Thursdays, and I remember being upset when it would be pre-empted for 2 weeks for the NCCA Basketball Tournament.   Eventually we got a DVR and I was able to set up automatically recording to make sue I never missed an episode (Although originally I needed to set things up each year as the title would change and early DVRs were not as smart as the ones today).  

Also I remember when Survivor finally went to High Definition for Season 17 in 2008.

While it did take me a few more years before getting a HDTV my self,  seeing Survivor in widescreen format (with black bars along the top and bottom of the screen) madeit that much more fun to watch 

Survivor switches to HD for Season 17

Having been a fan since the beginning,  the show has continued to fascinate me on lots of levels.   I really love the way the players have changed strategies over the years to try and keep up with the producers as they continue to tweak the game.

Over the years, there have been players that stand out for one reason or another.  While there are far to many of my personal favorites to name, there are a few that I remember for specific reasons.   Like Sue Hawk for here tribal council speech, to Johnny Fairplay lying about his Grandmother.   From being a jerk like Russell Hantz, to just being an interesting person like Rupert Boneham or Benjamin (Coach) Wade

Which brings me to what got me started on this post in the 1st place.   Saw a post from Dalton Ross who has been covering Survivor from the beginning about Sonja Christopher, the 1st person ever voted off of Survivor.  

Sonja Christopher – 1st person voted off Survivor

Glad to see that she is still alive and well and fondly remembers here time on Survivor and embraces her place in Survivor and Reality TV History

One of  main reasons I remember her is that as a non-sports card collector, I have always wished a company would put out a set of Survivor Cards.   While there was a set of cards put out by Upper Deck for Season 2, it was  more of a Collector Card Game then a true card set. 

So a few years ago, I decided to try and create a set of my own for Season 1.   There are still photos of the contestants on some webs sites, so I designed and created  a custom set for myself.   And the 1st card I created was not of Season 1 winner Richard Hatch, but of Sonja Christopher, the 1st person ever voted off Survivor.    Bellow is a gallery of the cards I created.   Let me know if I did a good job

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

That’s it for now.   Going to try and write more soon

Andy

 

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