I Blogged Myself

Why do you always come here? I guess we'll never know. It's like a kind of torture, To read this blog, y'know.

Welcome to the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational blog since Kermit left just a little bit of the swamp in his pants.

Friday, March 31, 2006

TAR 9 - Update To Come

I haven't watched TAR 9 for this week yet, but I've taped it and will get to it as soon as I can. Wifey and I are entertaining my parents for a few days (who are currently visiting from Sydney), and will be rid of them saying our good-byes to them on Saturday morning.

So at some point over the weekend - or maybe on Monday - I will get to my weekly TAR 9 review. Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience.

Until then, have an ace weekend, everyone.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Post # 150

Not a massive milestone by many other bloggers' standards, but still the highest number I've reached so far. My parents even made the trip down from Sydney for the occasion.

I plan to celebrate by going out and letting Mum & Dad buy us some baby toys.

(Muppets, of course.)

Our baby (due early October) may even be allowed to play with them one day.



Monday, March 27, 2006

What Were You Expecting?

6 weeks ago ...

Yesterday ...

In another 27 weeks ...


Friday, March 24, 2006

Worth The Wait

... Spoiler Alert! ... Spoiler Alert! ...

If you haven't yet seen (and you intend to see) episode 3 of The Amazing Race Series 9 (TAR 9), do not read any further!


The last TAR 9 episode we saw here in Australia was two weeks ago, and ended with the Token Gay Guys (TGG) being the first team to be eliminated. The pit stop was located on a soccer field in Brazil. Note: If you're already ahead of this point in the series, please refrain from giving any spoilers in your comments. Thank you.

Although we had to wait two weeks before we could see this episode, it was worth the wait. If for no other reason than we were desperate for the next installment of the show! I'd been having Lost and TAR 9 withdrawals all week, and by the time Wednesday night rolled around, I was practically salivating at the mouth in anticipation of the following night's viewing.

As always, I’ll provide my thoughts on each team in this episode, listing them in the order in which they arrived at the pit stop (hence the 'Spoiler Alert!').


1. Freaky Hippy Guys (FHG) - they played a good game this week, although they'd better watch out and not be too trusting of other teams who may appear to be helpful and friendly. As we saw in this episode, not everything is as it appears to be, when it comes to friendships formed and alliances made. As with any reality TV show, people are going to break alliances and turn on each other sooner or later. These guys seem to already be setting themselves up for an easy fall. The first chance any other team gets, they're going to screw the FHG over, no matter how nice either team is. I still really like the FHG; I don't think there's anything to dislike about them so far. I'm also very happy they won a spot-prize of a romantic holiday away together (!), but I must warn new TAR viewers not to expect a prize for coming in first at every pit stop throughout the race (unless they've changed it this year). The last season I watched (which was TAR 7, featuring Rob & Amber from Survivor; this was the one before the family version which will apparently air in Australia after the season currently being aired is completed), I think prizes were awarded for first place at the pit stop for most legs, but not all. (I may be remembering this wrong, though. Does anyone remember this part with certainty?)

2. Buff Frat Guys (BFG) - unlike the above team, there seems to be plenty to dislike about these characters now. They made a few too many crass comments for Wifey and I to warm to them, and it even got to the point that I was laughing at them (not in a good way; I said I was laughing at them), due to the amount of times they made comments like, "You gotta be nice to the girls so you can get into their pants later" (funny enough once, but in the context of so many other similar remarks, it wore thin pretty quickly). Not to mention this exchange, while they watched Monica from Team MoJo (DWC) running from her car ... BFG # 1: "Too bad she's got a boyfriend." BFG # 2: "Yeah. I'd spank her butt." Neanderthals. It's guys like this who give the rest of us a bad name and reputation. I wonder if Spankk and others still think as highly of them now as they did before this episode was aired. However, all of that being said, the BFG did have the best line of the show, when approaching host Phil Keoghan at the pit stop. They were frustrated with themselves for having 'allowed' the FHG to get away from them and come in first because the BFG lost faith in the local guy leading both teams to the pit stop, and had stopped to ask for directions (letting the FHG move ahead on their own). So as the BFG ran up to the mat, one of them yelled out: "Phil! Do you know how angry I am with you? I'm going to slap you, woman!" I laughed long at hard at that, and also at Phil's very Spock-like reaction of raising one eyebrow in a show of distain and not being amused. Hilarious!

3. Dating WASP Couple (DWC) - these guys played a surprisingly good game, and as is often the case early on in the race, we didn't see enough of the teams that arrived at the pit stop in the middle of the pack because generally they weren't racing for the lead or striving not to come last or be eliminated (this lack of coverage is due to there still being so many teams to fit into one hour at this early stage of the race; it usually settles down into a good hour where we get to see a lot more of and know a lot more about each remaining team when we're down to seven or six couples ... and from there it just gets better and better!). From memory, both members of the DWC climbed the waterfall thing very well, and that's about all I can remember about them. It was a good leg for them, or so the editing would have you believe.

4. Nerdy Dork Couple (NDC) - what impresses me most about this duo is their happy outlook on everything. They're in love, they're having fun, they're out there going places and doing crazy stuff, they're dorks and proud of it, and they're just having a great time. I think their positiveness is a credit to them, and perhaps part of the reason for their relative success up to this point. On the other hand, we haven't seen them in too much hot water yet (arriving at the wrong gate at the soccer field for the first elimination and seeing the team behind them overtake them has been the closest we've come to seeing them slip up), so maybe their cheeriness will flicker and die if they encounter troubled times. So far, they're having a great time while still playing a good game and coming in at a reasonable time (unlike the SSM, who only appear to be having a good time and not caring about the rest).

5. Token Black Couple (TBC) - hmm, again we didn't see too much of them. At least we got to hear Ray talk this time (although it was mainly in his interviews to camera after the event). He strikes me as a bit of a sulker, which would be a shame for him if it turns out to be true. The chick was a far better waterfall climber than he was (although he happily - and proudly - admitted this fact to the camera himself, bless him), so it's good to see a strong woman hidden inside her small and fairly mousy frame. They're both pretty quiet people, so I guess we'll see if the mounting pressures of the race will bring more friction and/or personality to the surface as time goes on.

6. International Mom & Daughter (IMD) - not as impressed with them in this episode (the mother's silly comments while doing the sugar cane challenge especially), and they also started to have doubts about the number of their arrival at the pit stop, as no one was behind them after they completed the sugar cane challenge. But they didn't go overboard about it. All-in-all, they did a good job and didn't really make any major mistakes. They were only put back in the pack because they had to grab a ticket for one of the later buses, but I think otherwise they would have made good time.

7. Bigoted Southern Couple (BSC) - I was a little surprised by the fact that the BSC guy didn't lose his temper at his wife; especially after they got on the wrong bus and went to the wrong terminal. I could see that he was grumpy (once they were on the third of the three chartered buses), but he was pretty level-headed with her and seemed to maintain his cool. Frankly, I expected far less of him and am happy to be proven wrong on this point. However, that doesn't mean I'm gonna change my ways!! :) I think he'll be even more ready to 'crack it' with her this coming week! Or the one after. Or the one after that. It'll happen, and it might be very soon. For her part, she brings a massive amount to the team; namely ...... um ...... right.

8. Blonde Bimbo Sisters (BBS) - these girls are more than simply "narh-dee" (that's "naughty", if you can't read the accent). They're also dumbasses. They shouldn't have run up the staircase they ran up, if three teams had already chosen that one. It would only mean they were going to have to wait for ages while teams on other staircases overtook them (which is precisely what happened). They could have stopped to help the DEC when the latter's car broke down (or at least checked they were okay before proceeding), but frankly I think in the same circumstances I would have driven past them as well (let's hope that selfish decision doesn't come back to haunt them, though, eh?). And here's a tip: If you're afraid of heights, DON'T VOLUNTEER TO DO THE RAPPEL CHALLENGE DOWN THE SIDE OF A FIFTY-STORY BUILDING, YOU STUPID PINK WOMAN!! Seriously, I've seen smarter potatoes than these girls. I can't see them getting very far in the race - sorry. I think they're there for their looks and sex appeal, but not their brains. And I think that will become self-evident when they inevitably stumble across the line at a pit stop in last place and get eliminated. It's bound to happen. They haven't had very good results at either pit stop so far, so we'll just have to see how long they can last.

9. Deceptively-Elderly Couple (DEC) - buckle up; this is going to be a long one. So it turns out that these guys aren't 'deceptively elderly' after all; they're just elderly! The three things that have turned me off them in the three episodes we've seen so far have been: (1) missing the cluebox repeatedly AS THEY WALKED STRAIGHT PAST IT; (2) choosing the motorbike-building challenge when they clearly didn't have any idea what they were doing; and (3) opting to go with the waterfall climb, which could easily have cost them the game this week (if not for a team even more useless than them). As promised, I've given up on them. Three strikes; they're out. In this episode, the DEC did three things wrong. First, they (like the BBS before them) ran up the first staircase in that rappel challenge. Both of these teams would have been far smarter to have run up the same staircase as the FHG, because the FHG was the only team to use that staircase, so the others would not have had to stand around waiting for their turn anywhere near as long. Most of the teams were guilty of making this error, but none moreso that the DEC and the BBS. Even if they didn't see who had run up each staircase, they could have worked it out by who was left on the ground, and where they were looking. It was poor game-play that put them back into last place at this point in the leg; particularly after the BBS team member freaked out at the top of the building. Second, they chose to do the waterfall climb rather than the sugar cane thing, based on a fear of having to work out how to turn it into ethanol. It would appear that they didn't read the clue's instructions very carefully, as they didn't have to work this out at all. I think it would have been far better for them to complete the sugar cane task than the waterfall one. Third, and by far the most important, was that when their car broke (itself not something they can be blamed for), they immediately started wailing about their impending elimination and how they were definitely going out this time for sure. They did it all again! Did they not learn their lesson last time, in the helicopter??! As Spankk said, they (particularly she) go/es on so much, that their defeatists' attitude is very annoying. I'm quite disappointed with them now, to be honest. I expected a lot more from them and wonder if the producers of the show did as well, when they selected them. After showing so much potential in their pre-race interviews and sounding so promising ('for an old team'), I have to say I feel let down. Maybe they'll bounce back and 'wow' us, but for now, they're not winning any friends in my household. Case in point: It was getting very dark when they arrived at the pit stop. How far behind the others are they now, in terms of time? We won't know until the teams all set out next week, and we can read and compare their starting times on the bottom of the screen. I suspect they may be quite a while behind the others, but there's always an "airport equaliser" or similar that may give them a chance to get back in the game. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, most legs - in fact I think all legs - have an 'airport equaliser', which basically means all teams generally have a chance to catch up to each other at some point throughout the leg ... unless they've fallen really far behind. In this episode, the equaliser was the building that didn't open until 8am for their rappel challenge (no flights were required for this leg because they're still in Brazil at the end of the episode), but more often than not the 'equaliser' takes the form of an airport where everyone pretty-much catches up with each other. Some (not looking at anyone directly, John B) have expressed a very real (and in a sense, fair enough) annoyance at this, arguing that anyone who breaks away from the pack based on good fortune, strategic game-play or just old-fashioned skill, should be able to maintain that lead and not let everyone catch up and nullify the advantage they worked so hard to gain. While I completely understand this point of view, I also accept that a better hour of television can be gleamed from a show that isn't as predictable or ridiculously weighted in one particular team's favour. The pit stops would also be much harder to manage if the first team started reaching these stops up to days ahead of the other teams (if the advantages were cumulative as has been suggested). This would also make the show boring, and it wouldn't be the suspense-filled show it is now. I know there are more elements to this debate that could be addressed (and perhaps will be, in the comments), but I'm getting way off point, here ... and I want to post this thing tonight, if I can!

10. Silly Sister Moms (SSM): ELIMINATED! - I'm so glad they're gone; they were driving me insane with all their squealing and carrying-on and uselessness and their incredibly slow pace. I'm glad I tipped them last week to be eliminated this week. I found it quite amusing that the most annoying of the two - the slightly taller and (fake-)blonder one - started to cry when they were eliminated. Not because I'm overly cruel and enjoy other people's misfortunes*, but because she then wailed to Phil, "I wanted to do this so bad." Well, darlin', don't worry your pretty little head - that's precisely what you did. In fact, you did it atrociously! < -- START TIRADE -- > Can any Americans out there please explain to me why, as a nation (and I know I'm generalising, but we hear it in American movies and on American TV shows all the time) you always say this kind of thing instead of the correct "so badly"? I'm serious - it's a disgraceful indication of someone who doesn't know what they're saying. Is this what gets taught in schools over there? I mean, did she want to do a really bad job of it (which is what she said), or did she want really badly to do it (which is presumably what she meant)? This really irks me. My favourite moment in the season two premiere of Lost was when Kate made a similarly ignorant comment to Locke and he corrected her. Bravo! At last! Someone who understands that dropping the "-ly" off a word like that actually makes it mean the opposite thing to what was intended, and causes the speaker to look both uneducated and dumb. I'm so glad the writer of that Lost episode was clearly as annoyed about this as I am to bother including such a throw-away remark in the show. < -- END TIRADE -- > Anyway, if she wanted it as badly as she claimed she did, once she'd been eliminated, perhaps she should have considered showing a little more enthusiasm while she was playing the actual game! She and her sister were both wet blankets, in my opinion. Their departure is no loss whatsoever.

I mean no offense to Americans as a people, and I certainly don't mean to sound like I'm attacking them as individuals. I love all Americans as individuals, but sometimes their culture leaves a skidmark on our planet that not even the best nappy-poo-stain-remover can do anything about. If I have insulted anyone with my above tirade, I apologise.


Last week's tips:

First Team: BFG - (Wrong - but close!)
Last Team: SSM - Correct!
Elimination Week? Yes - Correct!
Biggest Argument: BSC - (Wrong - it was the SSM in the Volkswagon)
Smartest Team: DEC - (Wrong - it was either the BFG or the DWC; and my preference would be the latter)


Next week's tips:

First Team: BFG (I think the boys will reclaim their lead)
Last Team: DEC (They seem to be a disappointment on most levels; let's make it official by getting rid of them next, shall we?)
Elimination Week? Yes
Biggest Argument: BSC (I’m sticking with this guy's short fuse - I'm sure it's going to cause problems, and I reckon it'll be sooner rather than later)
Smartest Team: DWC (They impressed me this week, so I think they might hold it together for at least one more leg before he blows his top at her; which I also think is inevitable)


* Although of course I do -- who doesn't!!?


Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Australian Commonwealth Games

So I received my gold medal in the mail today. It's shiny and pretty; quite heavy, too. Australia's been winning so many gold medals at these Commonwealth Games, everyone living in Melbourne is being given one, and if our winning rate keeps going like this, it'll be everyone in Australia before too long.

I mean; really. The tally's starting to get a little embarrassing.

Are we going to match or better our record of 207 medals from the last Games? I don't think so. But are we going to be overtaken by our closest competitor, England? Not if we packed up now - at the end of Day 8 - and went home, leaving all the other medals for England to challenge in our absence.

(But thanks for turning up, England. We couldn't have done it without you.*)

* Yes we could have, but ... you know ...

My review of tonight's episode of TAR 9 will come tomorrow. It's "half-writ", but I need to go to bed now (so Clokeeeey and Riss don't get angry with me again).


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Special Guest Post: MC Hammer

Hey - wassup, y'all?



Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Take My Fridge, Puh-lease

Ya know that Simpsons episode where Homer gets a free trampoline ("trambampoline!") and has a great time with it until too many of the local kids injure themselves on it, forcing him to try to return it, however he then discovers what all trambampoline owners know to be true: that once you have a trambampoline, it quickly loses its charm and causes too many broken bones, and eventually you can't even give it away ... and then Bart advises his father that the best way to get rid of the thing is to put a bike lock on it, turn away, and count to three? You know the one?


Well then, that makes this difficult. Let's just pretend you do know the one I mean.

You do? Excellent. Well, I've experienced the same damn thing this week at my house. Okay, maybe not the same damn thing, but a similar damn thing.

Wifey and I live in a house that was the original house on a very long property. Naturally, sometime during the 70s or 80s, the owner decided to build three units behind the house and divide the place into four. So now, although our place is the original and the biggest (slightly) of the four, and it's most definitely a house, it has to be referred to as 'Unit 1'. This also means that we have who-knows-who layabouts and ruffians living in the other three units at any given time, doing who-knows-what to the place and not caring, because it's not theirs.*

* Note: I don't hate all renters; but I do hate inconsiderate renters.

One such example occurred on Sunday afternoon, when the young lads from Unit 3 dragged a fridge out of their garage and brought it down to the nature strip, where they left it, with total disregard for us who had to look at it and move around it, and the fact that it now appears to be our discarded fridge. Because these guys are particularly useless when it comes to disposing of their own rubbish and taking responsibility for their own gear, I silently fumed as I looked out my window on-and-off Sunday afternoon and realised that they had no intention of doing anything about this fridge now that it was out of their sight. It was someone else's problem now that they don't have a clear view of the street. Namely my problem. Thanks, fellas.

It's a big fridge, too. About as big as the one in this picture.

First thing I did was go out there and open the door right up, because anyone with half a brain - which means not the guys from Unit 3 - knows you're not allowed to leave a fridge or washing machine, etc, on the nature strip for hard rubbish collection or the like with the doors still attached. Kids climb in these things and suffocate when they can't open the doors again from the inside. Animals, too - although animals probably aren't playing 'hide and seek' at the time. Also, it means nothing dangerous is hiding away inside the thing to jump out and attack in fear/self-protection when the council workers come to lift it up and take it away. So the guys from Unit 3 were already pissing me off on a few counts for leaving the door closed. And also because our next hard rubbish collection date is over two months away.

Also, one of their number parks his car (complete with his trailer for a home renovator's service - think Jim's Mowing, although it's not that company) parked right along the front of the property in the street, although he doesn't do the clever thing and roll down a bit so passing cars can see the fridge - oh no - he parked so that he completely (and unnecessarily, I might add) blocked the sight of the fridge from any passers-by who might want to load it onto their own trailer. They'd have to have a trailer handy to take it away, too - and because of this dude's lack-of-parking-skills, anyone coming from one end of the street wouldn't even see the fridge. Talk about making it difficult!

(I should also mention here that when I opened the fridge door - and the little freezer door inside it, just to be sure - I noticed that it was very cool inside, and half the freezer was frozen over with huge chunks of ice. So it was definitely a working fridge they were throwing away!)

All Sunday afternoon and night, the fridge just sat there ... half-obscured by the trailer, and not going anywhere. Monday morning I noticed that the fridge door was shut again, so out I went once more and opened it wide. The ice had all melted away, revealing half a packet of fruit loaf and three ice cube trays which had been impossible to detect in the un-defrosted freezer section the previous day. I dread to think how long they've been in there. I didn't dare touch them.

All day Monday, the darn fridge just sat there, stupidly shielded from anyone driving left to right down the street. It looked like it was going to be there forever, or at least until I did something about it.

So last night, remembering the aforementioned Simpsons episode, I took a simple A4 sheet of paper, a black texta, and four bits of sticky tape, went out to the fridge, and stuck the following sign on the back of it, facing the road:


This morning it was gone.

It had sat there, totally ignored, for over 50 hours, and then I added that sign to it, and it didn't even last 11 hours.

I don't know whether to be amused or disgusted.

(I was tempted to stick a sign to it which read: "DO NOT TAKE", just to test the experiment even further, but I didn't want to risk people actually leaving it there who might otherwise have taken it away. I still find it amazing that it took a sign giving people 'permission' to take the fridge away before anyone decided to help themselves to it.)

So what are we? Just a pack of feral scavengers, who only find interest in something if it's free and/or not meant for us in the first place??

And does anyone want any fruit loaf? I have extra.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Fessin' Up

Yay! It's "Confession Time"! I'll go first.

I hope you don't mind, but these are all related to TV. One of my favourite subjects.

1) I read TV Week, and we buy it every Monday. It's my little guilty pleasure, and at $3.30 per week, it could be a lot worse. When I get it home, I go through the guide section and circle all the shows I want to watch and/or tape. The magazine then sits on the coffee table, open to the relevant day, for the entire week. I organise the rest of my life around whatever's circled in that mag. And there ain't nobody talkin' me out of this process!

2) Wifey and I watch each episode of The Biggest Loser (the Australian version). For the entire time, we have been avid supporters of The Red Team. For a moment on Monday, we thought they were going to disgrace themselves with some nasty practical joke, but it was nothing to worry about. It was just The Blue Team being precious and hypocritical again. Although he's the 'big ego' in the house, we've always kinda liked Wal, and now that he's on The Red Team anyway, it makes it really easy to favour one whole group over the other. Artie, Tracy and (to a lesser extend) Fiona completely destroyed their chances of winning this game when they stupidly voted off Harry. They thought they were playing strategically, but in truth, they shot themselves in the foot. In fact, they wrecked the game. I reckon that's why this pairs thing had to be introduced. Otherwise the three of them would just get voted off and there'd be practically no game anymore. Artie and Tracy make the perfect pair; they're both bitchy and bitter old hags who are much less intelligent than they think they are. Not to mention the mean streak in Tracy. Wifey thinks of her as this woman. Ruth's a bit of a mess and a no-hoper, I quite like Shane and think his shyness and gentleness and politeness are being misinterpreted as weird behaviour with an evil glare (I see it a lot in people around me, and myself, so I reckon he's being similarly misinterpreted by some of the other contestants), Adro's cool, Kristie's great, and with Fiona - some days I can't stand her (the box-of-chocolates temptation was a fine example of her stupidity, and Harry was right with what he said about that being a stupid thing for her to do), and other days I find myself hoping she'll do well (like with the raft challenge, although maybe that's because she's now partnered with Shane). Anyway, I hope the final four come down to Wal, Kristie, Shane and Adro. They're my faves. I reckon Wal will win, and that's probably fair enough. Love him or hate him, he's played a clever game, has been entertaining, and has lost a LOT of weight.

Edit: Since drafting the above paragraph, I've now watched Friday's weigh-in episode. Fiona again annoyed me with her inappropriate grins on the scales. I don't think she realises it, but smiling when she's done something to advantage herself at other contestants' expense is a bloody stupid thing to do. It's actually rude - and it's like she's taunting them. She should be thinking more clearly than that. Why would anybody like her and want to keep her in the game (if given the chance to vote her off)? She's basically gloating at them when she does things like drinking a lot of water, and then telling everyone about it! She'd be wiser to keep that information to herself, because doing it and then telling everyone straight away only makes enemies amongst the other contestants. At least Shane had the good grace to act like it wasn't entirely down to him loading up with water before the weigh-in. Silly girl. That ankle won't work in her favour, either. And I sooooo hope Artie and Tracy are voted off the show on Monday, but it could easily be Ruth & Adro. It depends how the others want to play it - get rid of the more threatening team (A&T), or get rid of the so-far-ineffective team that still has the most weight to potentially lose (R&A)? Tough choice, but I think I'll finally be saying good-bye to the blue bitches. At least I hope so.

3) Despite my earlier attempts to swim against the tide / upstream / whatever, of apparent global dissatisfaction with Bert's Family Feud, Wifey and I have basically stopped watching it. Which is a bit of a shame. Despite the bizarre nature of giving Bert something so small to host (although it's not his only gig at Channel 9), and his obvious discomfort and unsuitability with the game show format, we'd hoped it'd do better. Hopefully they can come up with something better for him to do at 9, once they finally let the (inevitable) axe drop on the show. (Note: We stopped watching it before the Commonwealth Games started.)

4) I have to say, those two actors who appeared on Friday's episode of Neighbours, playing future teenage versions of Oscar (Lyn's noisy kid) and Charlie (Steph's as-yet-unborn son) were probably the best bit-part actors ever to feature on the show. I was very impressed ... and I also thought the lookalike qualities of teenage Oscar (in particular) were brilliant. I am full of praise for the look of the actors, and also of the way they performed their roles. Teenage Charlie also had to act with Carla Bonner grabbing him, walking through his line of vision, and talking over him ... and he did it perfectly. He dropped the volume of his voice appropriately when she spoke over him (so we could hear her), and made it sound effortlessly easy (which it's not). I commend the two actors, and also those in charge of selecting them. I was surprisingly impressed.

5) Another guilty pleasure Wifey and I have enjoyed for the last little while (certainly not for its intellectual content, though) is Friday Night Games. True, it's basically just a bunch of B- and C-List "celebrities" doing some very stupid things and falling over a lot, while Ryan "Fitzy" Fitzgerald, Bree "Blonde Bimbo" Amer and Mike "Mike Goldman" Goldman make heaps of bad jokes and terrible puns, ... but I think you can see why it appeals to the likes of me! For Friday night fodder when you just want to slump on the couch and not put your brain through anything too strenuous, it's perfect. And you gotta admit, it's much more successful than that other Big Brother spin-off, The Up-Late Game Show. (PS - I don't know who submitted the photo of the Up-Late Game Show "studio" to the previous Wikipedia URL, but it's gold! I laughed out loud at that.)

6) I've been keeping quiet about it, but a few of you will be pleased to hear that I've been watching Futurama almost every week since Channel 10 started airing it (and I've been very much enjoying the show). However, I noticed that although they started airing the first season (or at least the pilot episode - to explain the show's premise, I have no doubt), they are now airing episodes from season three or something! What gives? Anyway, I hope my friend John B will be especially pleased with this news, and will hopefully see fit to loan me his copies of the entire series on DVD sometime?? I think I'm ready.

7) I have a half-drafted post that's been sitting there in the list for something like six months. It's crazy. It's the final part of my mini-series of posts o the topic of (what else?) TV, and I haven't forgotten about it. I got up to Part 6 of "My Addiction" (remember that?), and had a fair few more ideas to nut out in the final bit. But, as with most things, it got put back and put back and put back ... and now here it is, way too much time later, and it's still sitting in draft. Hopefully I'll find the time to finish the damn thing and post it at last. If and when I do, I'll be sure to link to the first six parts in the first section, so you can refresh your memories on what came before (if it interests you enough).

8) Is anyone else watching The 4400, which Channel 10's airing after The Late News and Sports Tonight on Tuesday nights? I quite enjoyed it last year and got quite annoyed (some of you may recall) when it was suddenly pulled off the screens in favour of piece-of-crap British 'science' show Brainiac, which was just a lame-as-hell excuse to put unattractive busty women in low-cut tops. The 4400 is a well-produced science fiction show and I was enjoying it very much (although I completely understand that sci-fi is not to everyone's tastes). Well, it started back a couple of months ago (picking up exactly where Channel 10 had left off half a year earlier - mid-season!) and thanks to my wonderful TV Week magazine, I was able to spot it in the guide (and with absolutely no advertising about it from Channel 10 whatsoever, there's no way I would have known about its return if I didn't have TV Week). I've watched (or read the online scripts to) every episode since, except for last week's. I missed it, and the website I was using to read the online scripts before (if I missed a show) has not been updated to include the transcripts of the last few episodes, even though they aired in America last August. Because tomorrow night's episode is the final episode of series two (they've just announced that series three has been given the go-ahead to start production), I was kinda hoping someone had either seen it (and could send me an email detailing what happened - my address is on the top right of my blog), or could find a detailed episode summary of it somewhere online, which seems to be escaping me. I think the former is more likely (not because I think many people watch the show - in fact, I'm sure very few people do - but because I've searched and searched online and could find no proper transcripts for the episode, which is called "The Fifth Page", by the way).

9) I've also found myself getting more and more into Smallville. I know it's a silly little show for teenagers, and although its production style reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it's nowhere near as good), but I'm a fan of Superman, and I like what they're doing in regards to showing the way things started out for Clark Kent, Lex Luthor, Lana Lang, and their families and friends. They've filled it with many clever nods to actors of the 80s movie versions (Christopher Reeve and Terence Stamp being two of those who've guest starred - not to mention the Lana Lang of the movies, Annette O'Toole, who is now playing Clark's mother Martha Kent as a series regular), and we've met 'young' versions of Lois Lane and Perry White (and probably others in episodes I haven't seen - an eight-year-old kid called Jimmy Olsen, perhaps?). [Out of interest (to me, anyway), Perry White appeared in only one episode that I know of, and was played by comic actor Michael McKean, who is the real-life husband of actress Annette O'Toole.] While I wouldn't cancel an appointment to stay home and watch the show, I'm enjoying it for what it is and can see myself getting more interested in it as time goes on.

10) One of my favourite bands at the moment (and I expect a bit of a nasty backlash about this - whenever I'm honest about my tastes and preferences, that's usually what happens) is the Rogue Traders. I dunno why, I just like 'em (for their music, in case you try to dream up less-than-pristine reasons why I might like 'em!). Please note: This one counts as TV-related in that their new lead singer, Natalie Bassingthwaighte (and boy, what a crazy surname, eh?), plays uber-bitch Izzy Hoyland on Neighbours. I don't think Wifey shares my newfound interest in the band, but she doesn't seem to mind too much that I'm getting so 'into' their songs.

Okay, now it's your turn.*

*Or not. I'm not trying to usurp Ms Fits' "Confession Booth" post. You don't have to list your own confessions; just bag me out for mine, if you like.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Shout Out # 4

Today I'm returning to my Shout Outs. As most of you know, I'm calling these things 'yuyus' (which is the opposite to 'memes', because they're not about me - they're about one of yu).*

This time, the 'yu' in question is my good friend Riss.

When I was President of the student drama group during my university years (for two magnificent and glorious years -- and an unprecedented outstanding Presidency it was, too!), Riss was my always-reliable, ever-ready, intelligent, faithful Secretary. This doesn't mean she made the coffee and did the filing. I hate coffee.

*drum fill*

No, she was the Company Secretary, and was in charge of all the Minutes, Agendas, Actions, written records, paper trails, and a plethora of other things as well (in addition to usually being the Vocal Director for the annual musical). And she handled this administration nightmare with aplomb.

Considering what her current job entails, it's not so surprising.

Riss is fiercely loyal, generous to a fault, bakes a brilliant pavlova (with your choice of topping!)**, and is warm, caring and cheery.

Each post on her blog generally starts and ends with a line from a song from musical theatre (or, from memory, sometimes just from a 'normal' song). She has a unique way of looking at life, and even if you're not in to musicals, I know you will still enjoy reading her thoughts and observations (after all, not all my readers are into The Muppets, nor are all of Clokeeeey's readers into sport, etc).

Riss is very well-read (there's nothing she enjoys more than snuggling up in bed with a good book, or someone who's read one ... which is usually her husband Logan), and it shows in her strong writing style and careful, deliberate, perfect typographical skills.

None of this diminishes her ability to tell a story or make her readers smile, though (in fact, it certainly strengthens this ability), so a day spent deep in Riss' back catalogue is a day well spent. (Does that sound rude to anyone else?)

I like Riss. She leaves comments here and there, is always friendly and polite, makes strong arguments, provides wise advice, loaned me a few discs so I could fix my computer (which I did!), and helped me install my new version of MS Office (yay!).

And it also happens to be her birthday today. She's 48.

( ... In anticipation of the whack I'm going to get on my arm for saying that, she's actually 30.)

So head on over to Riss' blog and leave her a special birthday message. She doesn't post too often these days, but she's all about the comments on other people's blogs. And she's a top friend.

* Stay tuned for when I credit the person who cleverly thought up the term 'yuyu' ... but only when they're on the receiving end of one of these things. (Oooh! The suspense is killing me, etc!)

** To thank me for this lovely post, I'll have a Violet Crumble pav thanks, Riss.


Monday, March 13, 2006

I Now Spell 'November' With 2 'U's, Like This: "Novembuur"

That's right, U2 had to cancel their Australian tour later this month due to the illness of a family member of someone in the band. (Top tip is The Edge's son.) And then tonight, on an Enough Rope interview with Andrew Denton on the ABC (which is still going on behind me -- on the TV behind me, that is ... I'm not in the room with them and turning my back on them!), Bono revealed that the new dates for their Vertigo tour would probably be in November. Dates to come soon; "hopefully tomorrow".

Here's a bit more of the story, including some other grabs from later on in the interview (which was quite revealing).

So that means Wifey will be attending the U2 concert near the end of the year, not near the start. I believe Bono when he says he feels really bad about having to postpone the concert, and agree with him that it's almost bizarre that the only other time in their long career as a band that they've ever had to postpone a tour (or a gig) was three or four concerts in Sydney in the 80s. !! Oh well, it could have been worse; they might have simply cancelled the tour.

It's not as simple for those previously-happy ticket holders who had arranged flights and other travel arrangements so they could see the shows, though. Bono also expressed sincere apologies to those affected by their decision in that way.

The plus side for me is I can continue to milk my gift to Wifey of the U2 ticket for pretty-much the entire year. My St Valentine's Day present was ace enough in February, and I thought I'd be able to ride the wave of goodwill until late March. Now it turns out I can continue to draw on my own generosity and thoughtfulness for another nine months, and reap the benefits of being such an ideal husband.

Because that's what it's all about, after all. What's in it for me, and how much I can take advantage of the situation to make myself look good.

I love you, Bono.

Friday, March 10, 2006

So Much Blasphemy, So Little Time

... Spoiler Alert! ... Spoiler Alert! ...

If you haven't yet seen (and you intend to see) episode 2 of The Amazing Race Series 9 (TAR 9), do not read any further!


Before I get started on this post, I have to let you know that this is my second attempt at putting this one together. I spent almost two hours last night writing a massive write-up on the episode, going into a lot of detail on each team and their good and bad points, but just as I pressed 'Publish', it lost it all. Normally I copy the entire text before hitting 'Publish' (for just such an emergency), but of course the one time I don't do it, I lose it. So I went to bed fuming mad. Therefore, what follows is a poor second, because I was very happy with the version I wrote last night and haven't been able (or felt inclined to try) to reproduce it all here. I’m sure you can appreciate my intense frustration, and hopefully the below post will still be ‘worthy’.

Last week's episode ended with 'the frat guys' getting out of the helicopter on the roof of the building, with 'the freaky hippy guys' about to land on the same rooftop in their helicopter.

I’ll provide my thoughts from this episode on each team, listing them in the order in which they arrived at the pit stop (hence the 'Spoiler Alert!'). I’ll follow this format each week, so that anyone who missed an episode and wants to know which team was eliminated, which team came in first, and so on, can come here and easily see for themselves at a glance.


1. Buff Frat Guys (BFG) - they played well this week, although they were already so far through the leg that not much was required of them, really. They found their clue on the building, were pleasant enough to the FHG as they waited for their helicopter to land and pick them up, got to the candle-lighting ceremony, then made it to the soccer/football stadium first. Not much to say about them, although I was pleased that they didn't rat on my buddies (the FHG) after they were all congratulating each other on the rooftop. I'm happy enough that they won $20,000 to share between them for coming first in the inaugral leg (a TAR tradition; the contestants don't win money for arriving first at every leg throughout the race, although in some years they have spot prizes at random pit stops - we'll just have to wait and see as the series unfolds), but I would have been happier if the FHG had won the cash. I'm certainly not upset about it, though.

2. Freaky Hippy Guys (FHG) - they were very pleasant to the BFG as well, and didn't turn on them and bad-mouth them after they'd left (in fact, they both said "They're good guys"). They were having fun ("Dude, is this the most 'James Bond' thing you've ever done?"), and apart from dancing around with the candle-lighting people a bit too much (didn't they realise the pit stop - and a cash prize - was where they had to go next? They should have, if they've watched the show in previous years!), they did nothing I could fault them on. And to be fair, most of the teams danced around a bit with the candle-lighting people. It must have had that kind of vibe.

3. International Mom & Daughter (IMD) - again, with these first few teams, we didn't see too much of them this week because they were almost finished already. This pair was particularly invisible. But they managed to come in third, proving my point from last week that they could end up being a real 'sleeper' team worth keeping an eye on.

4. Nerdy Dork Couple (NDC) - another team we didn’t see for too long, but they did okay. Their biggest mistake was not getting the taxi driver to let them out at the right entrance to the stadium, and it seems like this is what allowed the IMD to overtake them at the last moment. Will they have learned a lesson from this? Or will they be unaware that they 'should' have come in third? I’m glad they’re having a good time while still playing a fairly good game, but I wonder how much of their success here was down to good fortune and how much was clever game-playing. If it was mainly the former, they could be in trouble in future legs of the race; if the latter, they should continue to do pretty well.

5. Bigoted Southern Couple (BSC) - I completely understand his reluctance to help the DEC with the motorbike challenge. If I was on the race, I wouldn’t want to be put on the spot like that by being asked for help by one of my competitors. It could go either way, and each option has the potential to be my undoing. The team I help could overtake me and I might be eliminated, or if I say no, the other teams may turn against me and give me a reputation of being horrible, which would in turn create many potential issues on future legs of the race. It’s not fair of the DEC to ask him to help them like that. Therefore, I thought it was very good of him to give them the ‘useless’ assistance he gave them. Although I prefer the DEC to the BSC, I understood and respected his "That goes there; that goes there; gotta go!" brand of help. However, his level of enthusiasm is a little scary. The way he carries on when he thinks (or she tells him) that he's done a good job of something is a bit startling. It’s this sort of person whose mood you can never predict, and he jumps from one extreme to the other, almost without warning. I’m sure she lives in constant uncertainty of whether or not he’s about to blow his stack and scream bloody murder at her. I don’t know how or why anyone can live with people like that. < WIFEY! DAMMIT, WOMAN - BRING ME A BEER NOW! >

6. Dating WASP Couple (DWC) - we didn’t see too much of this team, with the exception of them getting very frustrated by their useless taxi driver - and he did certainly seem fairly useless. I noticed with interest that when they got out of the taxi and the FHG went to get in, the DWC didn’t bother to warn them about the driver. Interesting, that. (And good game-play, even though the FHG are my boys*.) Thankfully, the FHG didn’t appear to have any problems with the driver (although maybe he contributed to them remaining in second place). As for their cute little nickname, ‘MoJo’ (because their real names are Monica and Joseph), it shames me to say that I’d have done exactly the same thing if I was in their place. I know it’s ‘dicky’ and embarrassing, but silly little nicknames like this are my style entirely.

7. Token Black Couple (TBC) - we didn’t see too much of these guys either. What’s with him not reacting to a whole streetful of goon making ‘whoop’ noises at his wife/girlfriend? Maybe he was concerned for their safety if he said anything or even gave them the evil eye (he gave the camera the evil eye for a moment, as if we were to blame, but that didn’t do him any good). I'd have told them to get lost (but maybe I'd have been knifed or beaten to a pulp for my troubles). Still, the dude just doesn’t talk. I’m hoping he’s just been a bit shy or something so far. I want to see more of the sparkling wit (if that’s what it was) from last week, where he introduced himself to the husband from the BSC with a slight trace of insult thrown in. At least, that’s how I chose to interpret it. If he’s still the brooding silent type next week, I’ll discard his amusing introduction as an accidental joke and nothing more. See the comments section to last week’s TAR 9 post for details on this introduction if you didn’t catch it or don’t remember it.

8. Deceptively-Elderly Couple (DEC) - considering they spent so much time lollygagging at the motorbike shop and running on par with the SSM and the TGG for last place, I thought they did very well to come in eighth overall. But like I said earlier, they should have just watched the BSC put their bike together and copied them ... and probably not chosen the worst bike there when they arrived at the place. However, that being said, when they finally made up their mind to go to the helicopter instead (and boy, did they seem to take a long time to reach that decision … although it could have just been the way it was edited together), they made good ground and moved up a few places in the list. I was wondering who’d be coming in last, for a while there. I trust their lapses in judgement are over now. If they’re going to prove me right with my tip last week that they’re one of the ‘sleeper’ teams who will surprise us (and the other teams), they can’t spend an hour walking straight past the clue box or umming and ahhing over whether they should try the other task in the Detour.

9. Blonde Bimbo Sisters (BBS) - I don’t know what happened to these two, because they left the motorbike place before the DEC, and I think they caught a helicopter before the DEC did as well, but somehow they fell behind them by the end. I haven’t seen much of them to find very impressive just yet, but I hope out hope. Slightly. (Next week looks interesting, with them ‘getting to know’ the BFG better. We’ll see if this is actual flirting, or more game-playing.)

10. Silly Sister Moms (SSM) - how many times can you say ‘Oh my God!’ in one five minute period?! Seriously, if you’re going to keep praying to and thanking Jesus for finding you a taxi, and ‘asking the angels for protection’ on the helicopter you’re flying in, I’d suggest you not take the Lord’s name in vain so frequently. Here’s my tip: He doesn’t like it. Pick a side. You’re either his buddy, or you’re someone who treats his name like it’s a swear word; you can’t be both - that’s just insulting to everyone. Also, they still seemed to be slow-off-the-mark and acting like they’re just on a holiday (taking a casual stroll, not looking around them properly, etc) for my liking. Where’s the drive? Where’s their hurry? I just sat there wondering how many other teams didn’t make it onto the show who would have shown far more enthusiasm and taken the opportunity more seriously. These women are basically wasting their chance at being in the game. Be gone.

11. Token Gay Guys (TGG): ELIMINATED! - I am neither surprised nor disappointed by this outcome. I’m just glad they stopped arguing long enough to find a ‘positive’ thing with their short stay in the game. And what was that ‘positive’ thing? They were both very impressed with the really gay one’s ability not to panic in the helicopter. Woop-de-do. (Nah, good on him.) What a shame that ‘Genie’ wish thing didn’t work out for them, eh? Apparently it’s never failed them before. Whadda ya know. The first time it fails them, it’s on international TV, and makes them look like a pair of tools. Oh well.


All-in-all, a reasonably good episode, although certainly not the best I've seen. I think it has something to do with them splitting one leg of the race over two episodes and weeks. I'm sure I'll enjoy next week's episode even more when I'm seeing the full departure, Roadblock, Detour, pit stop and general mayhem in one sitting.

What a fantastic show.


Next week's tips:

First Team: BFG (I think the boys will maintain their lead)
Last Team: SSM (I really hope they stay at the end of the pack)
Elimination Week? Yes.
Biggest Argument: BSC (It’s only a matter of time before he cracks it at his wife)
Smartest Team: DEC (I’m giving them one last chance to impress)


* I’m not calling the FHG my testicles.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Time to do a little Spring-cleaning on various mini-topics; sort of a pot pourrii, if you will, of stuff I want to say:

1) I am getting more into my job hunting this week than I have previously been. My 'holiday' is over, and I need to get serious (so we can eat, etc). This may mean a reduction in the amount of time I spend online, so my blogging may dissipate for a while. Don't take it personally; I love you and think of you often. You know that. Remember the time -- no, you go first -- oh how funny, we're thinking of the same time.

2) Comment Moderation is here to stay. This means that after you leave a comment, it will stay in 'cyber-space' (a term I invented myself, because the space in which it's residing is totally 'cyber') until I come along and have a chance to 'review' it. (I invented the word 'review' as well, because it will be the second time it is viewed, after yourself. Clever, aren't I.) Rest assured that unless you're flaming me or trying to sell stocks and bonds, etc, I will post it onto the blog when I get online and find it. Apparently Blogger has lost a couple of comments after I approved them, but I cannot be held responsible for that. I promise to try and read/approve comments as frequently as possible.

3) I have a huge, long list of 'Shout Outs' and a few official 'Muppet Question' posts to get to -- all of which exist in draft format, so they won't be forgotten. I will endeavour to get to them as soon as I can. Please don't be alarmed. Simply be alert. (The world needs more lerts anyway.)

4) The shin bone's connected to the < beat > knee bone.

5) I want to go on the record (again) to publicly apologise to Steph and TFS. I tried to make a joke the other day which was poorly constructed and sounded like quite an attack on TFS, plus I got angry at Steph's readers for what I deemed (and still deem) to be their narrow-minded views on a certain topic. I think you will agree that the way I came across was not in the style of my normal, cheery blog persona, and the following day I apologised on three separate areas of the forum in which I made these remarks. I think Steph and I are okay again now, but I wanted to be the mature adult about it and also be man enough to apologise in public. Not enough people are big enough to admit when they acted like a jerk, but I think apologising for doing wrong is a good sign of maturity.

6) 'Knickers' to you.

7) I have recently added a new section to my template index, over on the right-hand side of the screen. Down towards the bottom, I've added a list of links (only the first of which is working as I type this) for episode synopses of The Amazing Race 9. Each Thursday, Friday or (at the latest, I hope) Saturday, I will update this index after viewing each episode. Those of you following along at home can read these episode reviews and comment as you see fit, whether it be to agree wholeheartedly or argue most angrily (or anything in between); I don't mind. Just feel free to contribute if you're watching the show and have an opinion. If you miss an episode, my reviews may help you fill in the gaps (although it's not - strictly-speaking - going to be a summary of the episodes ... however, I'm sure it will still help to bridge the gap in your knowledge, somewhat).

8) I need to buy Microsoft Office Suite and switch to broadband. Dial-up and Windows 95 are both driving me insane!

There; all done!


Monday, March 06, 2006

I Think I'm Alone On This

I don't care what anybody else says; I think Bert's Family Feud is very amusing, thanks to (some of) Bert's one-liners ... and the game is actually entertaining to watch, as well. I'd forgotten how much I loved the format of the show. I might even try to get on it with Wifey, Dad and my brother.

For those of you outside Australia who don't know: Bert Newton is a genius.

... with a very large head.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Birthdays In The Nick O' Time

My Dad and one of my best friends growing up share the same birthday. And it's today.

So I'm sending out a quick birthday cheerio to them both (so I can evermore claim that I didn't actually forget it - despite all the evidence to the contrary).

Happy XXth birthday, Dad.

Happy 30th birthday, Tigger.

from BEVIS.



Thursday, March 02, 2006

It Has Begun

Okay, before I get started, please read an important word to all our overseas friends (especially our American and Canadian buddies) ...

I do not appreciate 'spoilers', so please, please, please - when reading and commenting on the below post about The Amazing Race Series 9, do not say anything that will prevent me from enjoying this show properly and completely as it unfolds! We're watching the two most recent series out of 'sequence' (or 'order'), which means that the 'family' version of the series will be aired here in Australia after this ninth series has finished airing. This in turn means that we're watching the one that was produced after the family one, BEFORE we see the family one. (I think this is to get the Australian audience 'into' the concept of the 'normal' show before they air the riskier, less commercially-viable family version of the show, because it's been a ratings dud in the past here, although it's steadily increased in viewership in recent years.)

Apparently we're seeing each episode of this series something like 'only 30 hours or so' after you guys are seeing it over there, instead of the normal six to nine months' delay we usually have to wait for 'clearance'. The only other exceptions to this that I know of are with Survivor and American Idol (and the same reason would be the cause of it: The Internet spoiling everything for us in the interim, when it comes to reality TV shows).

So please don't say anything here about either The Amazing Race Series 8 (the 'family' version - which will probably start airing here in September or so), or The Amazing Race Series 9 (which has just started airing) ... unless I've already referred to that episode on this blog. Otherwise you'll be upsetting the monkeys who run the joint. Thank you.

Alright ... on with the post.

So we've just seen the first hour of the first episode of The Amazing Race Series 9 (heretofore referred to as TAR 9). I have to say at the outset: I love the freaky 'hippy' guys! How could you not love them? I don't know if they're screening the series premiere overseas as a two-hour or one-hour episode, but here we got the one-hour version (ie. part one only; 'to be continued ...').

So it ended with 'the frat guys' getting out of the helicopter on the roof of the building, with the freaky hippy guys about to land on the same rooftop in their helicopter. The gay guys are walking the streets, unable to find someone who speaks English, and the 'frosties'* or middle aged sisters/mums** are still in their taxi, waiting to reach the bridge for the clue that eluded the elderly couple for so long.

I don't want to say anything more about it at this stage, except to quickly run down my initial thoughts of and reactions to the teams. In no particular order:

1. Freaky Hippy Guys (FHG) - simply put, I love 'em. They're my early favourites, and I think they could prove to be a lot of fun. Their approach, while not terribly strategic (or so they claim), may prove to be of great help or a great hindrance to them. Other teams may not see them as much of a threat (at least not a malicious threat), so that could work in their favour, although at the same time, their seemingly cavalier approach could earn them some disrespect and ire from the other teams. I hope they can knuckle down and be serious when they need to be.
2. Buff Frat Guys (BFG) - these guys also have the potential for providing humorous content to the show; although I'm sorry to say that it's more likely that they'll reveal themselves to be obnoxious meatheads, and rude and/or hurtful. I hope I'm wrong about that. I'd like to see them be 'good guys', because most guys of their ilk on the show in the past (brothers Brian & Greg from TAR 7 being the obvious exception - although they were more like an amalgam of BFG and FHG) have been intolerable pricks. It'd be great to see these guys be nice and sporty and respectful and funny and clever and fair at the same time. Their introductions to the girls in pink was amusing because the girls thought they were trying to crack on to them (and their conversation earlier would have us believe that they were), but in reality, they wanted the girls to get out of the taxi so they could have it. I think they were partly trying to distract the girls so they wouldn't tell the driver to wait for them, at which they succeeded. (I viewed their earlier conversation about wanting to get to know the girls as joking around for the cameras, as they were on the 'rush' and 'high' from just setting out on the race, but I may be proven wrong on that in future episodes ... and female viewers may have a totally different take on the whole thing than I do! :)
3. Deceptively-Elderly Couple (DEC) - good potential for being a really effective 'old team'; possibly one that will surprise the younger teams by being a seemingly harmless foe, but in reality shock them by being much stronger and more capable that they appear (if they can learn to open their eyes and find the clue boxes that are right under their noses!). That happens to someone each year, though. Good move with getting the driver to hold their taxi for them at the boat-shaped 'Unique' hotel.
4. Token Black Couple (TBC) - they seem okay, but he's perhaps a little timid ... and she seems to take her lead from him, meaning that they could meet a premature end. Other than that, I haven't had a chance to form much of an opinion of them yet.
5. Bigoted Southern Couple (BSC) - the dentist and his dental assistant wife from the south didn't appear too bad in the introductions, but once the race started and it became clear that she will pander to his every angry whim without standing up for herself (and he was on the verge of making racist remarks about the TBC - but then they showed the TBC making the same sort of remarks about themselves, so that was okay in my book***), I lost a lot of respect for them both. He's this year's jerk husband (there's always one, and I make no more excuses for him as a man than I would for him as a white guy. He's pretty-much a disgrace on both counts, at this point).
6. Silly Sister Moms (SSM) - they took their time so much and strolled around too casually for me to think their hearts are really in it. I suspect they may be the first team to go, but you can never tell when we haven't yet reached the 'ROADBLOCK' in any particular leg of the race. It's certainly anyone's leg at this point. The SSM frustrated me by being too uncaring about things, not to mention the telling line "I thought Spanish was the universal language of the world".**** They may have been playing down their desperation because they knew they were in last place, and the more they acted eager not to be eliminated, the more embarrassing it would be for them to be the first ones to go (I understand that), but they were still just a little too non-committal for my liking. If they survive the first leg, they'd better up the ante ... or there'll be hell to pay!
7. Token Gay Guys (TGG) - a bit too argumentative a bit too early on in the piece for me to warm to them very much. At least not yet. If they stay in the game, maybe their mood will change and I'll see a more enjoyable side to them. For now, I'm not overly impressed. Were they really worthy of getting on the show? Or were they just the most vocal gay couple the producers could find? The 'fear of flying' thing I could do without. Whatever, dude.
8. International Mom & Daughter (IMD) - I say 'international' because I couldn't think of another way to put it in one word. But this is one of the potential 'sleeper' teams (along with the DEC) that I think could surprise us. They took the lead a couple of times in this first hour, and I think the mother's language skills in particular could set them apart somewhat. However, there is clearly also a panic issue there, and the daughter gets understandably stressed by it all. I see equal parts strength and weakness here. I'll need to see more of them before I go either way on them. Also, panicking and taking the furthest building in that helicopter challenge was a pretty stupid move - they should have kept looking for a closer building, but because the other teams were all leaving, they jumped at the first one they had. Silly and costly decision? We'll have to wait and see. There are still plenty of teams behind them. Taking the time to find one of the closer buildings could mean the difference between coming in first on this leg and possibly pocketing some cash, or coming in second and getting nothing for their troubles. Or worse. (I'm just sayin'.)
9. Dating WASP Couple (DWC) - her near-tears at the first airport stop and his total inability to be supportive in any way (in fact, he went out of his way to draw attention to it and give her a nasty glare for DARING to embarrass him so), cost them any inclination within me to think highly of them. It's bad enough that she finds their 'airport woes' to be worthy of getting so emotional over so early (they hadn't even DONE anything yet!); but his disgust at her for it really sealed the deal for me. Be gone. (Yes, I recognise the total hypocrisy of the above statements - me having no patience with her and then being disgusted with him for feeling the same way I do about it - but I'm not the one in the race with my beloved, am I!)
10. Blonde Bimbo Sisters (BBS) - sorry, but they always get stereotypes and token groupings. Dani and Danielle (the Double Ds, apparently) are just as atrocious a pairing as I've ever seen on the show. They may well blow the 'bimbo' tag out of the water in time (maybe that's not a fair assessment of their intelligence levels, but we can't tell just yet); however, their behaviour in this episode and the simple fact that they chose to wear matching hot pink outfits on the first day, cement them firmly in my mind as race 'fodder' (until further evidence presents itself). Oh, and I know they're not sisters ... in fact they probably have the same name, if Dani is short for Danielle as well ... but they've basically done themselves up as twins, so that's what I'm callin' 'em.
11. Nerdy Dork Couple (NDC) - this couple is pretty funny too, in their own way. They're very sweet and cute together, but they seemed at times to ham it up too much. How long will we be able to bare their nerdy references and rejoicings? Hopefully for quite a while yet. I'd like to see them do well (especially as I predict that they'll be insulted by some of the more cruel teams behind their backs. Just like the FHG were, although they gave as well as they got: "Ken & Barbie".)

Wifey and I have been on the edge of our seats, waiting for this new series of TAR 9 to start, so I'm glad the moment has finally arrived. Other friends of ours are also big fans, so I hope they managed to catch the first episode tonight.

The teams are apparently coming to Australia this season, as well. The ads ask whether it'll be Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth. My money's on either of the latter two, as I know they've done Sydney and Brisbane (or Cairns, actually) before, if my memory serves me correctly. And I heard that in one of the earlier seasons (which I didn't see), they came to Melbourne. I'll take a complete stab in the dark and say it'll be Perth this time. We'll have to wait until right at the end of the show to find out, I reckon!

If you've never seen TAR before, give it a red-hot go. I know you'll love it. It's on Thursday nights at 9:30pm on Channel 7, directly after Lost at 8:30pm. Both shows are excellent, and well-worth your viewing time.

Bring on next Thursday night!!

* Can someone explain this nickname to me? I know of Frosty Flakes - is it related to that? Sounds like a pretty severe insult if it is, but the gay guys told them about it and they laughed (although they'd already heard it said about them, so maybe they'd had time to pretend it didn't offend them).

** Or 'moms', if you don't speak Rest-Of-The-World.

*** I disagree that there are forms of racism that are okay for some but not others. As far as I'm concerned, just because you're a particular race, that doesn't give you the right to make racist slurs against that race without being labelled a racist like anyone else would for saying the same things about you. But this is a rather heavy topic for so light-hearted a post!

**** How disgustingly arrogant and ignorant at the same time. I think she's referring to Esperanto, but either way, the sentence itself highlights her ignorance. "I thought Spanish (a country) was the universal (the universe) language of the world (the planet)". Country, Universe, Planet. Three very different things. (But I'm really joke poking fun at her now - of course I know what she meant; she just annoyed me with this line.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Scoff 'Em Down!

Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnut Giveaway in the heart of Melbourne CBD!

A first for Melbourne and a first for Krispy Kreme! We will give away 10,000 Original Glazed doughnuts in the heart of Melbourne's CBD this Thursday, 2nd March from 10:30am.

Tell your friends, tell your family, that the place to be is QV - but be quick ... the question remains, "How long does it take to eat 10,000 doughnuts?" Come along and find out.

You will find the Krispy Kreme team and 10,000 Original Glazed doughnuts at QV Square – Corner Swanston & Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne City.

Don’t miss out!