20
Oct
2005

The Apprentice:Martha Stewart started off with a major shake-up to the teams. Martha first asked who on Primarius had not yet been project managers, and from those she selected Ryan to head the new Matchstick and Jennifer to lead the new version of Primarius. She then asked them to choose their teams in a school yard, one at a time, format. Matchstick contained only two original members, David and Marcela. Martha assured everyone she did not think the name Matchstick was cursed, just the people, so let’s refer to them as Matchstick 2.0.

Back in the loft, Ryan talked with Marcela about the fact he had picked her last and that he wanted her to understand he felt she just hadn’t had a chance to shine yet and that he hoped she would step up in whatever the new task was. Over at Primarius, Jim made an ass out of himself. I know…you are all shocked.

The next morning Martha video-conferenced from her home’s kitchen since she would be working from home today. (House arrest anyone?) She explained that they would be creating limited edition salad dressings for Wish-Bone, along with it’s packaging. They would then take the toppings to two different Stew Leonard?s grocery store locations and the team to generate the largest gross take would win.

The teams headed to Wish-Bones offices and test kitchens to come up with their flavors. Ryan put Marcela in charge of Matchstick 2.0′s dressing, seeing no reason why anyone should question a proffesional chef’s domain over the kitchen. To call her giddy and energetic would be an understatement. Her first try tasted great, but didn’t look the best. Her final attempt was Rosemary Lime Vinaigrette. Over at Primarius, they did the same with Bethenny since she has a background in being a natural foods chef. Jim, who has a degree in graphic arts, was assigned the task of designing their packaging. Their final mixture was Asian Vinaigrette. What is with the Vinaigretes? Oh well, neither of these will be for me.

The teams went to their respective stores and set up for business the next day. It would do good to mention her we were clearly shown the motto of Stew Leonard’s, which happens to be on a huge rock next to the front door:

“Rule #1 — The Customer is Always Right”; Rule #2 ? If the Customer is Ever Wrong, Re-Read Rule #1.”

Well, they have never worked for me it would seem. Anyway, Matchstick set their price at $3.49 and Primarius went with $3.99. The difference in the teams was astounding. Matchstick 2.0 was energetic, orgnaized, Marcela was rocking the sales in English and Spanish while setting up the demos at the same time. The only fall down was last weeks disaster-of-a-project manager Leslie, who thought it was ok to just places bottles of the dressing in people’s carts without permission. Yeah, that was a winning idea and bottles of their product were found all over the store. Nothing like selling the same product twice.

Over at Primarius, well…yeah…things weren’t pretty. All of the problems can pretty much attributed to Jim and his…”sales tatics” which were over the top and offensive. After he used the “F” word while talking with his team, and a customer overheard, the grocery story manager, Les, stepped in to tell him to calm down or the team would be thrown out. Wait a minute! Les? What is up with reality shows this week and guys named Les? (If you don’t get that, see my Amazing Race recap) Jennifer considered moving Jim off of sales, but thought he might cause a larger scene if she did that, so she left him on there.

Back in the conference room, the teams were brought in to be told who the winner was. Primarius sold 391 bottles for a total of $1560.09. Matchstick 2.0 sold 453 bottles for a total of $1580.97. Wowzers that was close. It was pointed out that Marcela needed to be credited with much of the win and she beamed like a lighthouse. Good for her. The team was rewarded with a trip on a large Schooner. Quite amusing how Martha was thee to greet the team, but informed them she would be unable to go with them (darn that house arrest!), but she brought them all blankets to keep them warm. I think this is part of the problem with this version of the show. People are only paying attention to these aspects of Martha, but as was seen in this weeks conference room, Martha is not to be trifled with.

Up in the suite, Jim went around to his team telling them how they can’t slay “this dragon” and not to even try to come after him. Howie, who I feel is one of the strongest players in this game, took exception to this. Can’t say as I blame him, and I for one would have seen nothing if he had snapped Jim like the twig he is. Can anyone tell yet I really feel that Jim is one of the worst people to appear on reality television EVER? He brings nothing to the table besides an amazing ego that has nothing to back it up.

In the conference room, Martha dismissed the fact that the win was only by a margin of $20, she was more concerned with the fact it was a margin of 15% difference in the number of bottles. Instead of answering this, Jennifer complimented her team. It was quick to be pointed out how Jim had been admonished for his language and sales tatics. Here was another thing got me about Jim, his posture in the conference room. He sits as if he owns the room and shows no respect to anyone else in there. Man I just want to smack that smirk off his face.

Martha asked Jennifer directly why she did not pull Jim off of sales and she gave the answer of fearing he would explode more. It was fairly evident that Martha was not impressed with this answer. Instead of giving the usual choice to Jennifer of who to bring back in, Martha proclaimed it would be her and Jim and the rest were to return to the loft. The two were called back in and both fought like crazy to defend themselves, in the end it was Jennifer’s inability to manage a problem such as Jim that caused her to be sent home.

I have to say, this was a tough call. As much as I despise Jim (oh how I despise Jim), Jennifer’s lack of willingness to control Jim is what made her the better one to be let go. How could she manage anything if she can’t take care of a problem such as him out of fear of what might happen? She couldn’t.

It has to be said, I am actually enjoying the Martha Stewart Apprentice more than Trump’s. Her ratings are lower, Trump is now bad mouthing her and I don’t care. She is sharper and more decesive than Trump, her tasks are deceptively easy and fluffy and I am just constantly impressed by her, far more than I ever anticipated.

19
Oct
2005

Amazing Race:Family Edition started where it left off, at the Space Shuttle Pathfinder mock-up at Rocket Town, USA in Hunstville, AL, also known as Space Camp. The teams were instructed to drive 100 miles to Anniston, AL and locate the world?s largest office chair, a roadside attraction built 24 years ago. I tell ya, the worlds biggest ball of twine is coming! I feel it in my bones!

Once at the office chair, one member of each team had to climb on to the office chair and grab the clue. Yes, Carissa, the 9 year old girl from the Gaghan family, did climb up there. She is quite the little firecracker. The clue instructed the teams to drive 18 miles to Talladega, AL to the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame. Um…does anyone rember the crazy Weaver family lost their father in an accident at a race track? Needless to say, the Weaver’s were not thrilled at the prospect of being around race cars.

At the Hall of Fame, teams located a clue that instructed them to go to the Talladega Super Speedway and complete one lap of the track on a contraption known as a Party Bike. A bicycle built for seven people, it just looks blasted odd going around the track. I really, really hope this stop on the race was decided on before the Weavers were chosen for the race. This was also where we saw the first indications that the Schroeder family was breaking down, and especially Stassi, the teenage daughter. When Mark was having problems with the bike seat, he stopped to adjust it which led to a Stassi freak out. Also, we were treated to Carissa being unable to reach the peddles, and her declaring that her legs weren’t tired when the task was over. Too funny.

Upon completition, the teams wereinformed to drive 260 miles to Hattiesburg, MS and find the Southern Colonel, a trailer home dealership. Once there, the teams were told to search the trailer homes for yellow cards with departure times. Once they pulled a time they could not switch trailers, and they would be spending the night in the trailers they were in. Departure times were 7:20 AM, 7:40 AM and 8:00 AM.

And prepare yourselves for Stassi freak-outs take 2 & 3! As they searched Hattisburg for the Colonel, the Schroeder’s stopped to ask a cop if he knew what it was. He told them it was a home dealer and exactly where it was. Mark, the dad, said that didn’t sound correct to him and he wanted to search more on his own, Stassi freaked saying they should listen to the cop. Once they stopped at a gas station and learned the cop as been correct, Stassi freaked out some more, but full-blown freak-out #3 was still to come. Once at the trailers, the family wanted to grab the first time they found, 8:00 AM, Stassi said no to it, but the rest of them said yes. And yes! full-on freak-out #3 commenced!

In the morning, the teams were told to drive 84 miles to Richland, MS and locate Les at a BP gas station…..Les….an Amazing Race clue where you have to find a guy named “Les”….I’m speechless. Along the way, the Linz and Bransen families had some good natured fun as they were driving literally neck-and-neck. The Linz boys were treated to the sight of a Bransen girl girl mooning. Dad must have been so proud.

Stassi freak-out #4 came when the family had to get gas at the BP station. After meeting “Les” (I am still speechless), the teams told to drive 151 miles to Madisonville, LA and locate the Fairview Riverside State Park. The Stassi freak-outs continued as the Schroeder family made the mistake of taking a smaller highway as Mark felt the interstate would take them too far out of the way.

At the park, it was detour time and, as always, I will cut to the official webite explanation:

In this Detour, Teams had to choose between Work and Play. In Work, Teams would use a two-person handsaw to cut four slices off a log 12 inches in diameter. In Play, Teams would make their way to a riverboat and play 21 against a professional dealer. To win a round, the hand of each Team member needed to total more than the dealer?s hand. Once Teams win three rounds, they would earn their clue.

Tough, tough call. 21 was further away, but sawing is hard work. I think I would have gone with the sawing as it was right there. And blast it if the Gaghans didn’t switch half-way through! I hate that! Never a wise choice! Stassi had some mini-freak-outs, but nothing major darn it.

The teams new clue told them to drive to New Orleans,LA (yes, this was filmed pre-Hurricane Katrina) and find Preservation Hall, a 255-year-old landmark in the famed French Quarter which was serving as the pit stop for this leg.

We also had another family freak-out this time with the Goldlewski sisters. when Christine insisted on taking her backpack while her sisters didn’t want to, not knowing how far they would have to walk. Christine cried at this…me thinks the pressure of the race is too much for some people.

As the teams came racing in, the Bransen family took first again, and won a trip for four from Travelocity. The Paolos, whom I prefer not to discuss at all as they irritate me so much, came in second.

And in last place, and eliminated…the Schroeders. I find it interesting this is the second family eliminated, the other being the Rogers, that had a ‘kid’ not be listned to, the father laying down the law and they ended up being eliminated. Think there is a moral here?

18
Oct
2005

The Netherlands are on their fifth edition of Big Brother, but they are on a global first….one of the contestants just gave birth in the house. Tanja, a 27 year old, aspiring lawyer, entered the house pregnant.

After some wrangling with the Dutch goverment, the newborn can be seen for a total of 8 hours over the course of the show. (it seems the baby hamster violated some actor’s union rules) For the time being, Joscelyn Savanna is being kept in a camera-free room where nurses watch over her and Tanja and the grandparents can visit her undisturbed.

According to the above linked article, this is part of a bizarre trend in Dutch television that also included a news journalist this week also snorting cocaine and then being interviewed about it. Fun place the Netherlands.

17
Oct
2005

Found this really interesting. Seems the largest wi-fi “hot spot” is 700 square miles of rural Oregon. Great idea for a test location for something this massive, but as the article states, I think they will have a hard time ever doing something like this in a major city like groups such as Google are trying. I think there will be too many complaints from the likes of SBC and the such, but I don’t care personally, this IS going to happen at some point.

I don’t think for a second that there won’t be some day in the future where I will be able to open up my laptop anywhere I want and log on to the net. Think of how that will change the world. VoIP anytime, anyplace? Instant messages in your car? (not while you are driving hopefully) Just as the internet changed business, this will change things just as much as no one will be locked down to a desk any more. You will also the price of laptops begin dropping radically as more and more people switch to just buying them for the conveniance.

The time is coming folks, and I for one can’t wait.

16
Oct
2005
Written by  |  under General  |  No Comments

Stolen from hambam

1. What did you do last night? Cured cancer, ran a marathon and dined in Paris….or maybe I just sat here watching TV

2. Who was the last person you called? Brian

3. What does the 5th text on your phone say? Nothing since I don’t have text messaging.

4. When was the last time you thought about sex? How long ago did I start this?

5. When was the last time you got hurt? Friday night, stepped on a sewing needle, hurt like hell.

6. When was the last time you cried? Little over a week ago for reasons I would rather not discuss.

7. When was the last time you lost something? About a week ago.

8. What are you listening to right now? Cash in the Attic on BBC America

9. Why did your last relationship end? Because she insulted me…DEEPLY insulted me.

10. What bothers you the most about the opposite sex? Lord…where does one even start? *laugh*

11. Where was the best date you’ve ever been on? Hmmmm, dinner and a movie quite a while back.

12. What was the last thing a guy/girl bought for you? A DVD

13. Do you date more than one person at once? No.

14. What was the last movie you watched? Serenity

15. What was the last t.v show that you watched? Cash in the Attic on BBC America

16. What do you want for your b-day? Money.

17. What are you doing tonight? Watching Rome, Footballer’s Wives and writing Ebay auctions.

18. When was the last time you went on vacation? Labor Day weekend 1996…I am not kidding.

19. How do you feel right now? Tired as always.

20. Who do you think will do this survey next? Someone else avoiding work.

16
Oct
2005

I can not stress this enough, I do not agree with neo-Nazis, white supremacists or any of their ilk. I think a fun evening would be to transport them all back to 1940′s Germany and mark them as being Jewish to see how they enjoy it.

That being said, what in the world happened in Toledo, Ohio this weekend? For this of you who do not know yet, the city had approved a march by a neo-Nazi group known as the National Socialist Movement. They were wanting to march through a certain neighborhood, under police protection, to protest recent gang violence. Around the middle of the week, the police got word that gang members and other assorted folks were planning to protest the protest. The police came prepared, but things quickly spiraled out of control. After the neo-Nazi’s were surrounded by protestors hurling rocks, the police asked the NSM members to get out of there for everyone’s safety, which they did.

Here is where I personally get confused. The locals had accomplished what they wanted by stopping the march, but they continued to riot. Twelve police were injured by flying rocks and once received a concussion while sitting in her cruiser from a brick coming through the side window. Cars were vandalized, a gas station had it’s windows busted out and a local pub was burned down.

How did all of this relate to the neo-Nazis in any way? How does burning down a local business serve any purpose. One person summed up the anger heard in many articles though:

“This never should have happened,” 80-year-old Ed Kusina, who has lived in the neighborhood nearly all his life, said Sunday. “They should have never let them march here.”

And there’s the problem, they couldn’t be stopped. Like it or not, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution gaurentees that the goverment may not infringe the freedom of speech or limit the right to assemble peaceably. No matter how disgusting this group of people may be, they are protected by those rights, just like anyone else.

People have asked why Mayor Jack Ford did not do anything to stop the march before it even started, and this was the only defense of his I could find:

“Mayor Jack Ford said there was little the city could do to stop the supremacist group because they did not apply for a parade permit and instead planned to walk along sidewalks.”

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that I am just boggled by this. I understand the neo-Nazis are idiots and they had soemthing to say, got that part. I understand residents of Toledo were unhappy about this, I don’t blame them one bit. What I don’t get is why they continued destroying property after the idiots left? What possible purpose did all of that serve?

15
Oct
2005

It amazes me how little coverage some of the other global disasters are getting as of late. You can’t turn on the TV without hearing about the POSSIBLE (and I mean to stress that) pandemic of the Asian Bird Flu, but you are hearing so little, in comparisson, about the death toll from the earthquake in Pakistan and the floods in Gautemala.

Don’t get me wrong, the Asian Bird Flu could be horrific, but that is not an immediate problem. There are people suffering in Pakistan right now because there isn’t enough relief getting to them. There are more people reported missing each day in Gautemala. There are still people homeless due to Hurricane Katrina. But let’s spend lots of resources, meaning journalistic resources, on a possible story that may or may not happen. (I know you were all wondering where this was going, yes, it is yet another rant against journalists.)

This is just another example of a story having to be “sexy” to get any coverage here. New Orleans is no longer sexy. The city is dry, it’s cleaning up, people are moving back in and in a couple months we will get an update story about how the city recovered. The Pakistan earthquake is hardly getting any mention due to no good video to go along with it. Gautemala, well, I doubt it would even be covered if Survivor wasn’t currently taking place there. (I kid you not on that)

But Avian Bird Flu…oh very sexy. It has an exotic name. It has lots of images to go along with it like men in hazmat suits moving birds around on a farm for testing and close images of the virus. They can stroll out dozens upon dozens of ‘experts’ on the coming menace and it is easy to rotate them amongst the networks.

Meanwhile, 38,000 are dead in Pakistan while another 62,000 are injured. The death toll is expected to rise in the coming days due to a lack of tents and dropping tempartures. The higher altitude villages, that have not yet been reached with aid, will have many more deaths before anyone ever gets to them.

Let’s see that footage of the guys carrying around birds by their feet again for testing, can’t get enough of that.

15
Oct
2005

This week opened with both teams of the Apprentice 4 standing around waiting to see the women return from the board room. They were all fairly certain that Rebecca would be the one fired since she hadn’t taken Toral back in with her. Surprise everyone, here comes Rebecca back.

The women sat down for a tame chat later so Rebecca could explain her reasoning. Kristi was point blank that she expected Toral to step up more in this task to pay Rebecca back for saving her behind. Toral said she would do what she could.

The task was set this week as coming up with a new mascot and promotional materials for Dairy Queen’s popular Blizzard brand of ice cream treats. Clay stepped up to lead the men and on the women’s side, Toral stepped up, then backed off, to lead the women. To end the arguing, Felisha finally said she would lead the team. You could tell the women were not impressed with Toral’s half-hearted attempt at stepping up, but they moved on.

The teams headed to Dairy Queen headquarters to start tossing around ideas for their characters. Clay turned into a dictator while Felisha demonstrated a total lack of advertising knowledge. The women came up with Zip the…well…no one was quite sure what Zip was except big-eyed and logoless. Who makes a mascot for a company without a company logo on them? And bonus points to Jennifer M. for being the one to bring this point up numerous times while they were designing their…thing.

Over on the men’s side, they came up with “Ginny the Blizzard Genie”. I will admit I was turned off by the concept at first because they seemed to be making her too sexy, but in the final design her assets were massively toned down from the original drawings. At the designers they asked who would be wearing the costume, and Mark, the self-confessed redneck stepped up. While the women, mainly the four I referred to as “The Blonde Squad”, Jennifer, Kristi, Alla, and Felisha, decided it should be Toral to wear the costume. They called her since she was still at DQ headquarters and asked her if she would. She said she had problems with the costume and felt it was degrading. Kristi was quick to say she was done with Toral and that she didn’t care what happened ot her from here on out. In the end, Kristi stepped into the costume.

Honestly, the episode was fairly boring because it was so much about the girls new found hatred for Toral, other things got overshadowed. The meeting to show off the characters were interesting since the DQ execs were quick to point out that Zip was too directed at children when the main demographic for Blizzards is teenagers and he lacked a DQ logo anywhere on him/her/it. Gee, didn’t Jennifer M. bring that up in the meeting? Thought so. The men hit it out of the ballpark with Ginny though as she had mass appeal, had a quickly noticed DQ logo on her and her hair even resembled soft-serve ice cream. I do have to say the fruit and cheese plate they brought to the meeting was over the top, but oh well, they got the win.

The prize for this week was a trip to Shay stadium to play baseball with the Mets and the men decided to give Clay immunity, even though he had been rather unbearable during the task. Mark informed the audience that dressing in drag got him time playing baseball with a major league team, he would dress in drag every day. You can now find Mark performing under the name Chantilly Lace down in the drag queen bars in New York. On a side note, the men of the Apprentice also won the game against the Mets, no big surprise. (yes folks, my tounge was firmly planted in my cheek on both of those last items.)

As the women prepared for yet another trip to the board room, Felisha made it clear that Toral was the cause for their loss because she was such a weak link. Let me be clear about this, I am not defending Toral, she was a waste, but to blame your entire loss on her is silly. Did the DQ execs say “Well, we were going to let you win, but then we spotted Toral wasn’t in the costume, so you lost.” No, you lost due to lack of market research and a lack of branding, both are items that rest firmly with the project manager, not with the weakest link in the team. As Felisha made the rounds to make sure everyone was on board with getting rid of Toral, Jennifer M. Did ask about the branding again, but was informed that was a team fault, not an single person’s fault. Right Felisha, you keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better.

Up in the board room, the lack of a logo again was brought up, but was quickly brushed off as everyone focused their attacks on Toral. Again, no defense of Toral, but I really don’t think this weeks loss can be blamed on her, but she made a large mistake when she changed how her objection to wearing the costume wasn’t just based on it being degrading, but also went against her religious convictions…..huh? Could someone please inform me which religion says you can’t wear silly costumes? Guess I missed that one when I read about religions. My bad. I think in the end, it was that change of story that sunk her with Trump. I do blame the loss on Felisha, but Toral was a weak link, and at this point, a liar. See ya later Toral, we won’t miss you.

14
Oct
2005

Oh how I had been waiting all week for this week’s Survivor Gautemala just to see how Judd’s old teammates would treat him after his betrayel at the tribal council last week. Needless to say, Cindy and Margaret were not happy with him, but he let them know he was not phased by this and he was here to do a job. Gee, how many times have we heard that before? A bunch I believe.

The tribes prepped themselves for the reward challange, which is becoming daunting in the 100 F degree heat each day. Both tribes lamented their lack of ability to swim in the lake due to the crocodiles that populate it. Well low and behold, Probst tells them part of their reward will be a croc proof cage they can get in to enjoy the water, complete with deck, lawn chairs and umbrella. They also would be receiving margaritas, chips and dips. Yes, when temps are that high, its a good idea to give them booze and dehydrate them more! Good thinking.

Reward involved one tribe member cutting through ropes with rocks to release two handles, then another tribe member would chop through a log to release two more handles. They would then go to the top of a ramp, and four more tribe members would insert the handles to crank a cart towards themselves. Once there, the six tribe members to work so far would get in the cart, the seventh tribe member would cut the remiaing rope, and the other six would go for a fun and fast ride. At the first station it was Brandon cutting for Yaxha, and Jamie for Nakum. Brandon made fast work of the ropes and Nakum moved on to station two while Jamie continued to work on the ropes. Bobby Jon chopped through the log like a champ and got the next two handles for Nakum. Jamie was still using his rocks. Up at the top, Amy, Blake, Brian and Gary turned the wheel to get the cart to the top…while Jamie continued using his rocks. The cart made it to the top, everyone but Danni jumped in and she cut the rope, sending the cart racing back down the hill…pass Jamie still using his rocks to cut the ropes. Bobby Jon did a silly little dance and Nakum headed home to victory, and Yaxha back to another defeat.

Back at the Nakum camp we saw their lovely crocodile cage and at Yaxhi we saw a lot of moeaning about the loss and Stephanie complaining about Bobby Jon’s winning antics, considering he knows how it is to lose just like her. The team was down, but they knew they were going to have to rally.

Over at Yaxha, the team basked in their new deck while Brandon told everyone stories of how wonderful his life was. Brian informed the confessional camera that this was great because it drew attention away from him. (He would learn differently later)

The morning of the immunity challange, Lydia woke up and decided she had to single-handidly cheer up her tribe to get them in a better mood for the upcoming immunity. We were treated to something that looked like an act from a play called “Tales of an Inasane Fish Monger”. The tribes then headed off to the challange which was a catapult launch. Each team had two teams of three members running around with nets to catch the missiles. The teams could catch the balls from either team, first team to five catches would win it. Low and behold, Stephanie was on a winning team! Someone alert Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Back at the Yaxha camp, the usual mis-directs were happening, but in the end the vote was 5-2 for Blake to go. The other 2 went to Brian. Now, this is what I find interesting, since the shake-up of the tribes, in both tribal councils, we have seen former Nakum members turning on each other, powering up the former Yaxha. What is up with this? Old tribe alliances are falling apart and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. What purpose is this serving and when will people realize this may come back to haunt them in the future.

And next week, it looks like Jamie and Bobby jon get into it. Yay!

13
Oct
2005

Best moment of this weeks The Apprentice:Martha Stewart had to be the confused looks on the members of Primarius’ faces when they realized some of Matchsticks suitcases were back, but no one could find the team members. As they tried to puzzle out what had happened in the conference room (even wondering if the whole team had been fired), they quickly saw the return of the team minus Shawn. Some of them thought she was the only capable member of the team, if only they really knew the truth of how inept she was.

Moving into this weeks challange, it was decided that someone from Primarius was going to have to move over to Matchstick and try to lead them to a victory. Leslie was the only one to take up the challange. And the challange was an interesting one. Each team was given a suite at a Westin hotel and a team of eight workers to transform it in to a “renewal suite”. Amanda took up the position of project manager for Primarius.

After scoping out the suites, the teams set about designing their themes. I’ll just cut this portion short because it flat out dictated the winner. Primarius quickly came to a conclusion about their theme, a fun, game driven room for the business man on the go. They had it nailed down, got their workers on the job and got everything they needed ordered.

Matchstick, on the other hand, took six hours to design their theme that seemed to have no real purpose except to look pretty. Let me make no bones about it, the six hour delay falls squarely on Leslie’s shoulders for not making any tough calls. They wasted a good chunk of their construction crews day with nothing to do, and they got to Crate & Barrel with only minutes to spare to order their furniture. All of the furniture purchasing was left up to Bethenny, who, with the time she had, did a fantastic job.

The teams worked through the night, and up to the last minute, and at the last minute Matchstick realized Crate & Barrel had not delivered all their items, especially their couch. Technically Matchstick did not complete their task, but were still judged as if they had. The Westin executives, and a select group of frequent customers judged each room. On the Primarius room, one frequent customer said the greatest compliment he could pay the room was it did not look like a hotel room. Of the Matchstick room they said it reminded them of an early dorm room. Primarius won yet again.

In the conference room, Martha was torn over who to fire. Leslie had brought in Bethenny due to the couch delivery problem and Dawn for once again being argumanitive with the team. Martha admired Leslie for stepping up to help a losing team so made it fairly clear she wasn’t going. She wanted Bethenny to have been more assertive about the couch, but in the end Dawn had finally drawn Martha’s attention for being brought in to the room in all four challanges. While I admit to defending Dawn in the first task, ever since I have disagreed with everything she has done. So, adios Dawn, we won’t miss you.

The previews indicate a bigger shake up of the teams coming next week, with Jim really showing how large a pain-in-the-butt he is. About time people noticed him.

12
Oct
2005
Written by  |  under Technology  |  No Comments

At the speed Apple is coming out with new iPods, you have to wonder when you should just hold your purchase and wait a month. Back on September 7th, they announced the iPod Nano, now comes the regular iPods with video playback. White versions in 30GB & 60GB and black versions in 30GB & 60GB flavors.

They both feature 320 x 240 pixel, 2.5-inch, 260,000 color display, 20 hours of battery life, and supports playback of H.264 and MPEG4 at 30 fps. Killer news is they also feture TV Out jacks so you will be able to plug the iPods into your TV for full screen viewing. The killer part is the 30GB version being 31% thinner than the current 20GB iPod and the 60GB versions will be 12% thinner than the 20GB iPod. They are estimated to hold 75 hours of video for the 30GB versions and 150 hours for the 60 GB ones. 30 Giggers will set you back $299 and 60 Giggers will know a coll $399 out of your waller.

So the big question is, what will you play for videos on your new gadget? Well, Apple also released iTunes 6 today that will be selling (currently) 2,000 music videos and episodes of Lost and Desperate Housewives for a $1.99 each.

Next month, iPods that make toast. Mark my words.

12
Oct
2005

Amazing Race:Family Edition took us into familiar territory today…airports. Oh how I have missed you in this race.

The teams began deprting the pit stop at 2:26 AM and learned they must take chauffer driven vans to Washington Dulles Airport and fly 500 miles to Charelston, SC and find a gazebo located in an area known as the Battery. The teams were tightly packed in their departure times and only two teams thought to borrow their drivers cell phones to call ahead, the Gaghan and Bransen families. Always a good move, not sure why only two teams thought of it though. At the actual airport you had the usual speculation of who was finding a better flight.

After everyone was booked, the Weavers, who are unfamiliar with air travel decided to ask some ticket agents some general questions about what to expect. This immediately drew the attention of other teams and when they were asked by Kevin, from the Aiello family, if they had found another flight, the Weavers refused to even answer. Shocked by such a response, the Aiellos shared this information with the Schroeder family who expressed a deep dislike for the Weavers.

This carried over to the waiting area as Hunter Schroeder talked and goofed around with Rolly Weaver as they are the same age. Char, Hunter’s step-mom, came over and told him to stop talking to him for fear of him spilling strategy. After she walked way, Hunter was heard to mumble to Rolly “She’s a bitch.” HELLO! Who thinks it was a fun time in the Schroeder houselhold after that aired? And Char had just told everyone how close she was with her step-children. Oops. Egg, say hello to the face.

As the teams arrived at the Gazebo they were presented with the leg’s detour. As usual, I cut to the CBS website for the description:

“Teams had to choose between Forrest Gump and Muddy Waters. In Forrest Gump, Teams needed to drive seven miles to a fresh seafood company, hop on a traditional shrimp boat and, using their hands, dehead 200 pounds of shrimp. While the location was nearby, working through 200 pounds of shrimp could take awhile. In Muddy Waters, Teams had to drive 37 miles to the Ridgeville Mud Run and jump in a 4×4 to drive round trip through a 400-foot gulley known as a mud bog to earn their clue. While the location was in another town and their 4×4 could get stuck in the mud, Teams with monster driving skills could finish fast.”

My personal choice would have been Muddy Waters. As the teams chose their destinations, the Linz family again demonstrated how three brothers and one sister can have problems as two of the brothers didn’t believe Megan has spotted the sign for the shrimp boats. Nice guys. The highlight of the detour was the Aiello’s fourteen attempts to get through the mud bog. You have to wonder when you would realize you were not meant to do a challange, especially when the Gaghan family got through on thier first try.

As the teams finihsed this detour, their clue directed them to the Charelston Visitor’s Center where they would sign up for one of two buses destined for an undisclosed location, departing two hours apart. Needless, to say, the teams on the first bus were in little danger of elimination. The second bus was treated to the Weaver family going slap happy for a period of time which was odd to watch.

The mystery destination was finally revealed to be Rocket Town, USA in Hunstville, AL, also known as Space Camp. Once there, they were thrown into a Roadblock that had two members of each team were directed to ride the centerfuge to a level of 3.2 G’s (or 3.2 times normal gravity). As this was first come, first served, each team were assigned a number to go in order. After the centerfuge, the teams were directed to anoter pare of the site where htey logged into AOL to receive a video email from Phil directing them to find him at the pit stop located next to the Space Shuttle Pathfinder mock-up.

The first team in was the Bransen family who were awarded a lifetime supply of free gas to each licensed driver in the team from BP and Arco stations. All I can say to that is wow! The last team to arrive was sadly the Aiellos, who I had been rooting for.

My only big comment on this has to be about the Weavers. How can you possibly go on something like the Amazing Race and not do at least a little research on taking flights? That just blew my mind.