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Name: Michael
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Tuesday, November 30, 2004
TV Tuesday
What'd you watch?

ACK! It can't be Tuesday can it? *checks calendar* Oops! Sure is! Since I took a week off let's find out what you were watching!

1. What's your favorite thing you've watched in the past week?
Star Trek: Enterprise "Awakening." I am enjoying the heck out of the Vulcan arc on Enterprise and this episode was exactly what this Trek fan wanted.

2. Have you found anything new you liked? (You can use disliked or any other adjective you want.)
I have not tried any new shows this week, though I did watch The Longest Yard on AMC over the weekend. Hadn't seen it before and I enjoyed it.

3. For those who had access to them, did you see any really cool parades on TV?
Nope...I'm more into football.

~Bonus~ Holiday dinner: TV on or off?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/30/2004 01:32:00 PM | |

Humbug, I say! Bah, humbug!
As we were warming up in spinnng class yesterday, one of the participants said that something was missing outside of Target stores this year--the Salvation Army ringers. She went on to say that Target had made the corporate decision to not allow the ringers outside the store this year due to their non-solitician policy. I was skeptical, wondering if this was one of those urban legends.

Apparently not.

Thanks to the power of the Internet, I found all kinds of confirmation about this policy and an interesting editorial piece.

All together now...

"You're a rotter, Target stores,
You really are a heel..."
(to the tune of the song from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas")

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/30/2004 10:07:00 AM | |

TV Round-Up
Enterprise: Awakening
Four years ago when the first details about Enterprise were leaked out to the Internet, there were rumors that the female Vulcan character would be named T'Pau. For those of you who remember, T'Pau was the powerful Vulcan woman who presided over Spock's "marriage" ceremony in the original series "Amok Time." She was "all of Vulcan in one package" to quote Dr. McCoy. So, the idea that she would be a central figure on Enterprise was intriguing and also scary. It was intriguing because it would give us the chance to see what happened to T'Pau that led her to be the only person who had ever refused a seat on the Federation council. But it was also a scary proposition because the producers could royally screw-up the continuity and back-story big-time. The producers changed the character's name to T'Pol and I wondered if Enterprise might have missed a ripe story-telling opportunity.

Looking back, I'm glad they missed that storytelling opportunity to give us this one. In the second leg of the Vulcan trilogy, we meet T'Pau (who was referenced last week but got little screen time). We see that she's incredibly xenophobic and we are beginning to understand why she might refuse her seat on the Vulcan council. Suddenly, her insult of Spock in "Amok Time" (which was GREAT to begin with!), "Art thou Vulcan or art thou human?" begins to make more and more sense. And it's this kind of storytelling that Enterprise has been screaming for since mid-season two. At last we're seeing how the universe that Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway inhabit was created and it's utterly compelling. These last six episodes of Enterprise have consistently felt like Star Trek and that is a good thing.

Not that "Awakening" was a perfect episode mind you. It wasn't quite on par with last week's "The Forge" and there seemed to be a lot of treading water here--especially the scenes on Enterprise. But you have to love the little homage to classic Trek where captain and first officer are off ship, leaving the head of engineering running the ship. I also loved the feel of "A Taste of Armageddon" in the conversations between the Vulcan high command and Tripp. Seeing that Tripp refuses to leave without the captain was nicely done and brought to mind Scotty in a lot of ways. (About the only thing missing was a fussy ambassador who makes Tripp's life a living hell...Sloval doesn't count this time as he's helping). But the revelation that the Vulcans are planning for war with Andoria was shocking but it did make sense--given that the P'Jem incident is referred to yet again. And Archer's flashbacks with Surak were interesting though I'm wondering why Archer is the chosen one to lead Vulcan back to the path they've lost. In season two, I would have lost hope that we'd ever get any kind of explanation of this, but with way the storytelling is going this year, I am hopeful we'll have a satisfying and reasonable resolution to this storyline next week with this arc concludes.

Veronica Mars: The Purity Test
I finally got around to seeing Mean Girls a few weeks ago (great movie BTW) with the whole "slam book." Interesting how Veronica Mars takes the slam book concept and brings it firmly into the cyber-age. The web site with the purity test was intriguing. I liked what the show had to say about the different purity standards for guys and girls. Overall, that whole plotline was entertaining, though it was fairly easy to guess who was behind the web site from the start. But hey, if that's the only part of the mystery I guessed, that's a good thing. Meanwhile, Veronica continues to look into her past. I love how we're getting little dribs and drabs of it--and how we question if the answers are true or not. Is Veronica Keith's biological daughter or not? And does it matter since from where I sit, Keith is doing a damn fine job as her father. I just keep tuning in to this show and it just keeps getting more and more enjoyable. How can you not love that?

Two and A Half Men: The Salmon Under My Sweater
Week after week, this show just makes me laugh. Not just giggle, mind you, but out and out laugh. This week's duelling plotlines were an absolute riot--with the Jake trying to avoid reading Lord of the Flies just winning out in the hilarity department. (Jake, buddy, I feel your pain. I hated Lord of the Flies when I was forced to read it. It's overrated crap that too many English teachers have tried to make sound better than it is by introducing symbolism and all that other crap!) I also liked Alan and Rose's attempted dating, mainly because it gave Melanie Lynesky a chance to show off as more than just the funny girl who climbs over the deck. I think there's some potential there for those two as a couple, but only if it's done right. And this was a first good step towards doing it right and not making it just a gimmick.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/30/2004 08:18:00 AM | |
Monday, November 29, 2004
You can always tell the time of year.
You can always tell what time of year it is at the Y by how crowded it is. There is always a bit of a spike upward in people coming to work out right after Thanksgiving and right after New Years. For Thanksgiving, it's post-turkey guilt--the whole "holy cow I ate an entire large bird myself?!?" syndrome. After New Years, it's the "well, I made a resolution to be in better shape this year so I might as well go and work out some." Usually these spikes last about a week and a half, two weeks.

Tonight at the Y was one of those nights. Usually when I swim laps in the late afternoon/early evening, there is next to no competition for the lap lane. At most, I've had to share with one other person. I've found in most cases, everyone is very generous and will share the lane with you. But I always go out of my way to acknowledge the person swimming laps first and ask if I can share with them. It's just swimmer courtesy.

Not so much tonight. I got into the pool first and had the lap lane (the other two were taken by swim team) all to my lonesome little self. Then a guy shows up and asks if I'd mind sharing. I don't and we agree on the best way to split the lane. Swimming along and sharing the lane when suddenly two people who I've never seen before show up. Before we can get down to at least figure out the best way to share, they're in and swimming. Now, this is a huge problem since one of these is an older guy who swims SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW and takes his half down the middle. as I find out. Also, the girl who jumped in has no clue how the whole circle swimming works and so she's creating havoc.

Finally after the old slow down the middle guy makes me run into the wall because he can't be bothered to a)wear goggles (sorry but if you share a lane you MUST wear if's, an's or but's!) and b)observe there are others in the lane with him, I stopped and asked him to please make sure he stayed on his half so I wouldn't run into the wall again (which have I mentioned--kind of painful!). At this point, you'd've thought I'd asked him to turn over his first born child to be a Bama fan or something else truely horrific.

I tried to be polite...I really, really did.

I can only take consolation in the fact that we probably won't see these two in the lap lanes for long.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/29/2004 07:27:00 PM | |

24 Season Four Preview
If you're like me and eagerly awaiting the new season of 24, this trailer is must-see. If you're not yet into the greatness that is 24, check out the trailer to see what you've been missing and join the rest of us obsessive fans on Jan. 9th when the new season kicks-off...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/29/2004 03:05:00 PM | |

Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas
If you're looking to surprise that special someone with all the gifts from the popular song, "The 12 Days of Christmas" you'd better have a bit of extra cash saved up or be Donald Trump. According to PNC Financial Group in Pittsburgh, the total cost of all the gifts this year is $66,334.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/29/2004 01:25:00 PM | |

Big Orange Survivor Mangolia Week 12 Results
Well, wasn't that an interesting episode this week? I loved the shock on Ami's face--especially when not two seconds earlier she'd nodded at Eliza like "Yep, you're going home tonight" only to see buddy LeAnn get the ouster. Sometimes you just gotta love reality television...

Sorry it took so long to get the results for this week posted. But here we go...

1. Who gets the first confessional of the week? Eliza.
2. Who tries to solidify their spot in the final four? Scout
Reading the info above, this looks like the episode where a friend and/or loved one shows is part of the Reward Challenge. So, for each Survivor left, who is the loved one who comes to the island? (1 point each)
3. Ami Her girlfriend/partner
4. Chris His girlfriend
5. Eliza Her mother
6. Julie Her best friend.
7. LeAnn Her friend
8. Scout Her partner
9. Twila. Her son
10. Who wins Reward? Eliza
11. Does the "quality time with a loved one" take place at camp or away from camp? At camp
12. At the Immunity Challenge, where does the "surprise help" come from? Family member/friend
13. Who wins immunity this week? Ami
14. Who approaches another tribemate with a plan for tribal council? Chris
15. Who is the tribemate approached? Twila
16. Who votes first at Tribal Council? Eliza
17. Who votes last at Tribal Counil? LeAnn
18. Who is voted out this week? LeAnn

And now to our leaderboard....

Vickie 71/169
Clayton 71/169
Michael 61/169
Dar 59/169
Amanda 57/169
Leslie 52/169
TW 53/169
Kurt 40/169
Bill 24/169

Danielle 23/169
Jessica 20/169
Tudy 15/169

There's a tie atop the leaderboard with only three episodes left. See y'all later this week!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/29/2004 01:06:00 PM | |

Christmas Challenge
"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go, why not blog, why not blog, why not blog?"

The Christmas season is upon us.

A couple of months ago, Dana over at Pretty Purple Princess issued a challenge for the month of August--post one thing each day that makes you happy. Last week, we had the Thanksgiving Challenge that I hinted was a warm-up for a bigger challenge I had coming. Well, here it is. After talking with Amy, we have decided to issue a Christmas Challenge to our fellow bloggers.

It's similiar to Dana's challenge back in August but it's related to the Christmas season. Starting on Wednesday, December 1, post something Christmas related in your blog/journal/xanga every day. It can be anything from family Christmas traditions, pictures of your house decked out for the holidays, favorite Christmas cookie recipe, memories of Christmas, that present you always wanted as a child, the present you want now, the joys of holiday shopping, favorite Christmas songs...anything related to Christmas. It's all good.

But since this is the holiday season and it's better to give than receive, we'll give out a set of meme questions each Wednesday until Christmas. You can answer them all on Wednesday or break them up and answer them during the week if you draw a blank.

Please feel free to use this idea and to "steal" this and put in your blog. Encourage friends, family, any of Santa's helpers to participate.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/29/2004 08:15:00 AM | |
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Assistance needed.
My niece loves the stars and the moon. She especially likes it when Uncle Michael takes her outside on clear nights for her to see the stars and the moon.

For Christmas or her birthday, I'm looking for a book that's good for a 3-year-old that has pictures of the moon and the stars. Can anyone with kids out there point me in the right direction?


posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/28/2004 03:25:00 PM | |

Apparently if you're a Tennessee football team...
...the officials turn a blind eye when it comes to enforcing the rules.

At first, it was limited to the Vols, but my beloved Titans just got screwed on an bad instant replay call...we should have a safety but apparently tackling David Carr in the end zone means--oh, he was on the half inch line.

UPDATE: (1:25 p.m. CST) Two more poor was a phantom unsportsman like penalty on us and then we just got a fumble but they ruled the guy down. Stop home cookin' officials and call it consistent!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/28/2004 01:56:00 PM | |

Tennessee 37, Kentucky 31
You know, if you'd told me at the beginnng of the year that the Vols would go 9-2 in the regular season, win the SEC East outright and represent the Eastern Divsion in the Championship Game on Saturday, I'd've been a happy, happy man. Add in that we'd beat Florida, Georgia and Alabama and I'd be eccstatic.

It's this "small" fact that I have to keep reminding myself about as I consider the Vol's last couple of games. I think I've been spoiled by the Vol's previous November successes. We've had an awesome winning percentage in November under Fulmer and it's easy to forget that some of those games were closer than we care to remember. For every drubbing of Vandy, there were a couple that were close. I remember Peyton Manning going up to Lexington and the Vols falling behind early only to see Peyton will us to a win based on his sheer talent and leadership alone.

Let's face it--when you're as a down in football as Kentucky and Vanderbilt are and you've been losing to Tennessee for 20 years and you rarely, if ever, have hope of going to a bowl game, you're gonna bring your best game to Tennessee. Also, with the game being the last one of the season for each team, it's their bowl game. Look at Tennessee the past two years--two good seasons marred by the memory of a less than stellar bowl performance. You're remembered by your last game. So, it's easy to see why Vandy and Kentucky would come out and play like there was no tomorrow--because for them, there is no tomorrow. At least Kentucky can say, "Yeah, but wait til basketball season." Vandy's women used to be a dominant program, but it's fallen off in recent years. You almost gotta feel sorry for Vandy--they've really got nothing to look forward to anymore. They stink and it ain't gettin' any better. And the outloook don't look good for any time soon.

I'm happy that Tennessee won. Don't ever doubt that for a minute. But the way we won didn't necessarily thrill me. I know in the end what matters most is that we took care of business and certainly it was cruel of us to toy with Kentucky for so long--to let them hope they might win. But I'm concerned that the Vols are playing up to or down to the level of their competition. I don't think we've had a great game since Georgia. I haven't felt the same intensity from the team--the will to win. I hope they can find it for the Auburn Tigers next week, but it's not a switch you can flip on and off.

But as for the UT/Kentucky game yesterday, let me say a few things. Once again the officials need to be fired immediately. There were at least TWO pass interference calls on Bret Smith that were NOT called. Also, the same definition for personal foul hit out of bounds should apply to both sides. The officiating was absolutely terrible, which has been a major complaint of mine all year. Another thing that bugged me in this game--and in a couple of other games this weekend--was the coverage calls another coach, player, school official and starts talking to them on the phone and the announcers don't call the blessed game I'm watching. I did not tune in to hear about Spurrier going to South Carolina or to hear Tommy Tuberville talk about his sesaon. I tuned in to see the game I tuned in for. I want to know who is doing what and feel like you're paying attention to the game I'm watching and it's not an afterthought on your agenda. At least being in the great state of Tennessee, I could tune into the V0l Network coverage while JP blathered on about SC for five plus minutes.

Finally, I saw this quote in the paper this morning:
''Our guys played a heck of a game, and the wrong team won,'' said a visibly upset Kentucky Coach Rich Brooks, who slammed the table during his post-game interview
No, coach, the right team won. Your team went into self-destruct mode in the last ten or so minutes of the game...and as a Vol's fan, I thank you. Also, I think you're crying because you are gonna get fired. And this lastest self-destruct doesn't help your cause.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/28/2004 01:33:00 PM | |
Friday, November 26, 2004
Thanksgiving Reflections
Thanksgiving--one of my favorite holidays. You gotta love any holiday that combines family, good food and football (notice I didn't say good since neither NFL game was much to write home about).

For first time in ten years, my entire immediate family was able to gather around the table for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. We had turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmellows, pineapple casserole (family favorite), sweet pea casserole (Mom trying something was really good), broccoli and cheese casserole (notice the word casserole figures in here a lot!), cranberry orange relish, rolls and corn relish. It was all very good...and I was very hungry by the time we got to eating. We ate later than usual to allow Gracelyn and Davis to have their proper nap time. (I found out last week that Gracelyn not taking a nap....not so pretty). I was glad I'd eaten our traditional from scratch pancakes after I went and worked out (yes, the Y was open yesterday morning so I went and burned off some calories to make room for turkey) earlier in the day later than usual. But I was still pretty ravenous by the time we got to dinner. I always struggle when it comes to eating Thanksgiving meal. While dieting a few years ago, I learned that there's eating until your satisfied and eating until you are too stuffed too move. It's a delicate balance, especially when you're a stuffing addict like I am (I need some help recovering from my sage there a 12 step program for me?!?). But I did pretty well--enjoying everything but not getting stuffed. After all, there was pumpkin pie to be had.

Gracelyn, by the way, loves pumpkin pie. She thought it was great. Davis thought that turkey was pretty good and he also thought sweet potatoes with marshmellows melted on top were fun to play in.

On Thanksgiving, we sit in the dining room and use the good china and the good silver. And we just enjoy being a family, which is wonderful. We also put up a Christmas tree. As some of you may know, I'm allergic to live trees--yes, my future children, should I ever be blessed with any, already hate me. We put up our patriotic tree--which is red, white and blue. Luckily, my father bought some of those tree bags last year so we didn't have to spend hours putting the lights on the tree again. We just assembled, fluffed the branches and decorated. Virtually instant Christmas decorations.

My parents made plans for which sales they're going to hit today. We did not get up at four a.m. to get out to save, save, save. I did that last year, but really only because I'd claimed that I would buy Brian (my brother-in-law) the Indiana Jones trilogy on DVD and it was on a really, really good sale. Also, I had to go to work anyway, so I got up, got the gift and then went to work. I was there a bit early so I got to leave early. I got a catalog a few weeks ago from Family Christian BookStores with stuff they were going to have on sale and I wanted a couple of CDs. And I actually went up to the mall, but the line was so long and the catalog misplaced that I couldn't remember which ones were on-sale. So, I gave up and came home after getting a new copy of the Sims (I lost the old one) cheap at BestBuy. The lines were moving and it wasn't quite the swarm I expected, but then again it was mid-morning and not the early rush.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/26/2004 11:40:00 AM | |

Friday's Feast
How much money do you plan to spend this upcoming holiday season?
Honestly, not as much as I ususally do. I'm going to try and be conservative in my holiday spending this year. Which should last about 18 seconds after I get into Toys-R-Us and see all the cools toys for my niece and nephew that I can they can play with.

What was the last television show you watched, and was it good?
Without A Trace last evening. It was OK, but not as great as usual.

If you had to paint the walls of your living room tomorrow, what color would you choose?
Light blue.

Main Course
Name something clever or practical you have thought of that should be invented, but hasn't yet.
I was going to say something to help get lids off jars of pickles, spaghetti sauce, etc. but I saw that someone beat me to it.

List 3 things you would like to receive as gifts this holiday season.
Spider-Man 2 (widescreen) on DVD, a devotional book for 2005, Seinfeld on DVD.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/26/2004 08:57:00 AM | |

No wonder I'm so worn out during the holidays...
Wow to you, jolly one! You are the generous, kind
Santa Claus. You are unselfish, and care mostly
for the good of others, which could be a rare
trait amongst us people. You are definitely one
of a kind, and are happy when the ones you care
about are happy as well. People know about your
very good heart and cherish you for it. You are
loved and could be admired by many. Merry
Christmas =)

What Christmas Figure Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tip of the Santa hat to Stacy for this....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/26/2004 08:54:00 AM | |
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope that everyone out there has a blessed, happy and safe Thanksgiving. I'm headed off to watch the Lions/Colts game.

But before I do, I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all my new-found blogging buddies I've met this past year. Y'all are the best.

Have a great turkey day, everyone!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/25/2004 11:36:00 AM | |
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Thanksgiving humor
Uncle Vito is posting a Thanksgiving joke an hour until it's time to sit down and eat turkey tomorrow afternoon. Definitely worth a look.

Tip of the Native American headdress to Stacy for the link.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/24/2004 08:44:00 PM | |

It's already started.
I had to run into Wal-Mart this evening to pick up some buttermilk for the "from scratch" pancakes in the morning.

Apparently I wasn't the only one with the brilliant idea to run into Wal-Mart. And apparently everyone else has left common courtesy at home. I can't tell you how many times I was almost run over with a cart or walked in front of. Then, in the parking lot, I'm trying to get out and this lady in a mini-van sits and blocks the aisle for five minutes waiting for somone to come out and pull out close to the store. Now, don't get me wrong--I can see if you saw someone get in a car in a prime parking space...I have no problem with that one. But when you sit and wait on the off chance someone might come out...that bugs me.

And the bad part is--it's only gonna get worse.

You know, I may seriously look into doing most of my shopping on-line this year.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/24/2004 08:21:00 PM | |

Thanksgiving Challenge
A couple of things that I'm thankful for:
  • My family and friends.
  • Our service men and women who are out there putting their lives on the line so that we can enjoy this time of the year with family and friends.
I just realized last night that for the first time in a decade, I'll be together with all of my immediate family for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. That is cool and I'm definitely thankful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/24/2004 10:58:00 AM | |

TV Round-Up
Smallville: Bound
One of the things that's hardest about this show is that as a viewer, we know where all this going to end, so sometimes the discoveries along the way aren't as shocking to the audience members as the character in the show. Such as this week's dramatic revelation that--gasp!--Lex Luthor has a dark side. Yeah, no kidding. You don't grow up to be a meglomaniac bent on world domination and not have a tiny little dark side.

As much as I liked this episode, I came away wholly unsatisfied by it. Why? Becuase nothing in the history of the show remotely suggests Lex picks up women, beds them and then tosses them aside. If anything, he's looked for serious relationships only to have the women betray him in some way or another. It might have been nice if the producers had thought ahead about this and sewn some seeds of this if not in previous seasons, then at least in this one. But, nope. Instead it's the "someone is pissed at Lex and let's get some backstory to go with it." It worked in season one because that was season one and you could get away with tricks like this. By season four, you'd hope they'd have a better grip on the characters. Apparently not so much. And it's this little trick that mars an otherwise enjoyable episode--espeically Lex's idea that the world might be better off without him.

I think I've said this before, but I love the dual standard Clark has. He constantly judges Lex for lying and keeping things from him, but Clark has pretty much done the exact same thing or worse to Lex since day one. Remember that last year, Lex went to the looney bin because (indirectly) of Clark. No wonder Lex hates Superman so much when Supes finally arrives on the scene.

Meanwhile, the Lana plotline. Lana meets Jason's mother, who she saw the night before in a dream. Why Jason is still around I'm not sure--he was fired and Lana is, well, a certifable looney. How many guys do you know that would stay around after all the crazy crap that happens to Lana and not think--maybe something ain't right here. And then the scene in the back of Dr. Quinn'....excuse me, Jason's mom's limo...the only thing it didn't have was neon lights going off saying "Foreshadowing! Foreshadowing!" Yeah, you gotta love the subtlety.

The Amazing Race
If you want a hilarious and snark-filled recap of this week's episode, you can't go wrong with Stacy's recap over at Outwit, Outblog, Outsnark.

You know, I hate to say it, but I am having difficulty coming up with a team that I am rooting for to win this thing. Yes, I know it's only two weeks into the season, but last year we had all kinds of intereting teams and people to root for. This time around, all I can do is bring myself to pull against people--such as Jonathan and Victoria, the professional wrestlers Lori and Bolo and the fomerly-dating-but-might-be-back-together couple of Adam and Rebecca. Boy, watching this year, Jonathan sure makes Colin look tame and sedate. He yells at everyone. It makes you wonder if he's like this all the time not just during the stress of the race. This week, his style of leadership (I wills shout until everyone does what I want!) helps his boat come in a distant second. You can tell during the challenge that his fellow racers are looking around wondering what reality TV god they pissed off to get stuck with him. Meanwhile, Adam and Rebecca fight over his taking off his glasses and leaving them in the boat. And did anyone else think Phil looked scared that Bolo was going to pile drive him in joy when Phil told them they were fifth? I bet Phil will be glad to see these two go...and will the rest of America, I think. I have to admit, part of me was kind of pulling for the roommates to pull it out--especially when Freddy and Kendra were given the penalty (did they think the cameras wouldn't catch that?!?). But, alas, it wasn't to be. Also, I love how Lena and Kristy are popping out of their tops in the cars, but when they run up to the mat to check in, suddenly they get all modest, holding their coats closed across their chests.

Scrubs: My Unicorn
In case you missed the umpteen commericals, Matthew Perry guest starred last night on Scrubs. Certainly if half the people who tuned in to see the Friends finale tuned in to Scrubs, they might discover the best comedy that not enough people are watching. Once again, Scrubs mines gold out of a guest star. I admit I was worried that Perry would do nothing more than give us Chandler reheated, but instead he shows a bit of range here. The role of a son who can give his father a kidney was well done--especially based on the big revelation halfway through he's not dad's biological son. I loved seeing how Perry's character and J.D. are both looking to guy who aren't their biological fathers for guidance in the story. Also, I loved the subplot about Elliot trying to use her femine wiles to achieve the results she wants and how that affects her chances for a fellowship next year. The Janitor running out to buy her a ring and then showing up with the orange soda were hysterical.

How has this show not won an Emmy yet?!?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/24/2004 10:06:00 AM | |

Weather postpones Turkey Toss 2004
The rainy, stormy weather across the southeastern United States has led to Rick and Bubba postponing Turkey Toss 2004.

For those of you unfamiliar with the hilarity that is Rick and Bubba, Turkey Toss is when people gather to hurl frozen turkeys for distance. The one who tosses the turkey farthest wins fabulous prizes.

They are looking to reschedule, thankfully.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/24/2004 08:08:00 AM | |
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
I am officially a sad, sad person...
I got a 92% (aka I only missed one question) on this quiz about Realty Television. I really need to get a life....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/23/2004 07:10:00 PM | |

For the sports fan with everything....
One of the cups used in the Ron Artest brawl Friday night is for sale over on E-Bay. The seller even says they will include a ticket from the game as a certificate of authenticity. I guess now you can find something unique for the sports fan who has everything...

If you were going to buy a copy of his rap CD to give as a Christmas present (you may recall, he was taking some heat last week for asking for a month off to promote the CD), looks like you won't be able to do that. This article tells us that Artest has a record label and needed time off to run it, not to promote a rap CD.

Well, there goes my gift to all my fellow bloggers this Christmas. Sorry, guys!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/23/2004 06:41:00 PM | |

News from around the entertainment world.
41 years ago today it began....
Forty one years ago, the first episode of the greatest television series ever produced Doctor Who aired. The show ran for 26 season before it was put on "hiatus" back in 1989. In 1996, FOX aired a 2-hour movie that was intended as a new pilot for the series, but it never took off. Now, eight years later, as we celebrate the series history, we can look forward to new episodes staring next year. I can't wait! Until then, I will have to watch a couple of old episodes on DVD and VHS to celebrate my favorite show's big day...

From the set of the new Dr Who series Posted by Hello

Long banned Family Guy finally airs on FOX.
IT'S A GUY THING: Fox is doing an about-face regarding a controversial Family Guy episode that it once feared might seem anti-Semitic. On Monday, the network announced that "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" — an episode it previously banned from its airwaves — will make its broadcast debut Dec. 10 at 9:30 pm/ET. However, the episode, which pokes fun at Jewish stereotypes, will air with one minor alteration, per The Hollywood Reporter. When Peter breaks into a song called "I Need a Jew," a lyric that originally read "Even though they killed our Lord" is cut in favor of "I don't think they killed our Lord."
Yeah, that'd be exciting FOX if the episode hadn't already aired on Cartoon Network about umpteen zillion times and was also part of the season three DVD set.

Desperate Housewives gets highest ratings yet.
Free publicity in the wake of last week's Monday Night Football opening propelled a new episode of Desperate Housewives to its highest ratings to date . Yep, there's no such thing as bad PR. But you know someone at ABC has to secretly be happy that the NBA brawl Friday night pushed this topic off the front burner....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/23/2004 10:39:00 AM | |

How much am I worth?
I'm worth $2,609,000.95! How much are you worth?

So, I'm off to the bank to see if I can use myself as collatoral for a huge loan.

Tip of the hat to My So Called Blog for this little quiz.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/23/2004 08:58:00 AM | |

Big Orange Survivor Magnolia Week 12
Welcome to week 12 of the Big Orange Survivor Magnolia challenge. This week's episode falls on Thanksgiving, so I'm posting the questions early to give everyone who wants to a chance to participate. Let's just hope that with the episode airing on Thanksgiving we don't get any "unique" food challenges this week.

Also, I have to ask--how the heck does Eliza keep surviving? I'd make it a question, but I'm not sure there'd be enough room in the comments field to try and explain this essay style...

Here's who's left in the game....

Here's what CBS's web site hints about this week's episode:
One Survivor tries to solidify a Final Four position, but is crushed to learn that things aren't always what they seem.

The Survivors are surprised by an emotional reunion with their loved ones. But only one castaway gets quality time with their loved one.

At the Immunity Challenge, castaways are surprised to get special help for the competition.

One Survivor approaches a tribemate with a plan for the upcoming Tribal Council vote. Caught off-guard, the tribemate tries to deflect the vote. How will the voting go down?
With that in mind, here is this week's contest.

1. Who gets the first confessional of the week? (1 point)
2. Who tries to solidify their spot in the final four? (1 point)
Reading the info above, this looks like the episode where a friend and/or loved one shows is part of the Reward Challenge. So, for each Survivor left, who is the loved one who comes to the island? (1 point each)
3. Ami
4. Chris
5. Eliza
6. Julie
7. LeAnn
8. Scout
9. Twila.
10. Who wins Reward? (1 point)
11. Does the "quality time with a loved one" take place at camp or away from camp? (1 point)
12. At the Immunity Challenge, where does the "surprise help" come from? (1 point)
13. Who wins immunity this week? (1 point)
14. Who approaches another tribemate with a plan for tribal council? (1 point)
15. Who is the tribemate approached? (1 point)
16. Who votes first at Tribal Council? (1 point)
17. Who votes last at Tribal Counil? (1 point)
18. Who is voted out this week? (1 point)

Please cast your votes by Thursday at 8 p.m. EST. Good luck to everyone and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/23/2004 08:24:00 AM | |
Monday, November 22, 2004
Sad news.
Driving home tonight, I heard about the passing of Knoxville News-Sentinel sports writer, Gary Lundy. (Registration required to read) I was stunned by the news and offer my condolences and prayers to his family.

I never met Gary in person, but I feel respected his work in the News-Sentinel and I enjoyed his segments when he'd be part of SportsTalk on WNOX. He will be greatly missed by the UT faithful.

If you want to offer condolences and read more about Gary, you can visit No Silence Here.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/22/2004 07:08:00 PM | |

20 Questions to a Better Relationship
Here are my results from taking the quiz. You can take it here and discover the way to a better relationship.

eXpressive: 7/10
Practical: 3/10
Physical: 2/10
Giver: 8/10

You are a XSIG--Expressive Sentimental Intellectual Giver. This makes you a Teddy Bear.

Hee! I just want to give you a big squeeze. You are tender, honest, generous and fair. You are an excellent kisser and a sensitive, communicative lover, and you know it. You would never intentionally hurt someone's feelings or overstep his/her boundaries. You have beautiful eyes.

Most people take your laid-back attitude, blazing wit and subtle sexiness and stick you in "friend." But some see your extreme hotness for what it is and latch on. This means you have a few members of your target sex in the bank at all times -- I call this "money in the sex bank" -- but you're too sensitive and thoughtful to exploit them. More than once.

You are so rational and deliberate in an argument that it can frustrate and exhaust your partner. Your fights can take forever, but your press on with them until they are completely resolved and both you and your partner are satisfied. If your partner is weak of will, s/he may just give in -- be wary of this! An emotional or passive-aggressive outburst later will hurt and horrify you.

It is *critically important* that you are able to respect your partner. The moment you lose respect for him/her, you lose everything.

When you make friends, you make them for life -- you can go without speaking to a friend for years and pick up right where you left off. You are completely faithful, both physically and emotionally. You are the second best (to XPIG) parent of any type.

If you are male, you have a huge shlong. Just saying.

Of the 157824 people who have taken this quiz, 8 % are this type.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/22/2004 06:09:00 PM | |

Thanksgiving Challenge

You Are the Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

Pretty cool, since homemade stuffing is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal.

Tip of the hat to Busy Mom for the quiz.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/22/2004 01:59:00 PM | |

TV Round-Up
Enterprise: The Forge
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Now this is what I want from Enterprise. Holy cow, an episode that gets just about everthing right and does it an interesting, compelling and intelligent fashion. At long last, we're delivering on the promise of the show--to show us the first steps toward creating the Federation as we know it from TOS on-ward. Once again, Enterprise delivers an episode steeped in continuity from the original series and it gets it all right. Also, the show slowly begins to answer the question of why the Vulcans seem a bit different from the ones we know and love in the other Star Trek shows. And did I mention that it does it in an intelligent, coherent fashion?

Of course, having tons of great continuity shouldn't come as a huge shock based on who the writers are--Jan and Gar Reeves-Stevens, who have ghost-written all of Shatner's continuity heavy Trek novels and wrote the superlative novels "Prime Directive" and the book that should've been the movie Generations "Federation." You've got fans writing for fans and doing a great job, which is why I loved this episode so much.

I really feel as though the backstory is starting to move foward. I like how they took a minor and beloved character such as Admiral Forrest and made him a pivotal part of the story. His death was nicely handled--not over the top and exactly in keeping with character. And then Soval's reaction to it and the apparent corruption of the Vulcan High Command. Soval's use of a mind meld to discover who delivered the bomb was great--right down to the musical score that had echoes of Spock's theme used in "Amok Time' and onward.

As good as Spiner's appearance as Soong was, this was better. It was Enterprise finally delivering on its promise and leaving me fully satisfied for the first time in a long way. I am cautious though as this was only the first of three let's just hope it continues to be this good.

Stargate SG1: Endgame
The mid-season cliffhanger for SG1 comes with a culmination of several of the building plot threads from early this sesaon. The Trust returns, steals the Stargate and starts using it to deliver a virus that wipes out the Goa'uld symbiotes. The team must now race against time to stop them, which, of course, they do. But O'Neal makes a choice of getting his people back and thus leaving the Trust with enough of the virus to wipe out a few more worlds should they choose to do so. Honestly, as compelling as all of this should have been, the storyline lacked a good deal of dramatic intensity. Think about it--holy crap, they've taken the Stargate...that should be huge. And it does get some play in the storyline, but not as much as it should. There is no dramatic ratcheting up of the tension like we see over on Stargate: Atlantis with their mid-season cliffhanger. I just wonder if this mid-season stopping point was more forced upon the story telling than naturally occuring. SciFi's scheduling splits seasons into two halves and so the producers must come up with a way to keep interest up during the long delay between new episodes. And sure, I'm sort of interested but I'm not really hanging by the edge of my seat wondering how all this will turn out.

Stargate: Atlantis: The Storm
Meanwhile over on Atlantis, we at least get a cliffhanger. And it's one that feels a bit more natural, though I do still think it was a bit forced into the storytelling by the needs of SciFi's scheduling. During a trip in a puddle jumper, our heroes discover a huge storm is coming--apparently these things happen every couple of dozen years due to Atlantis having such huge oceans. Two huge storms are colliding to make one super storm that is gonna wreak havoc. So, our heroes try to find safe refuge off world while trying to figure out how to keep Atlantis from being destroyed. McKay finally remembers he's seen Back to the Future and figures they can harnass the power of the storm's lightning to save the city. But that's not before the people who said our heroes could use their world as a camp out spot betray our heroes to the Ganai, who ain't too happy with us. Before you know it, Sheppard is left to go Die Hard on the Ganai as he tries to free McKay and Weir before said storm wipes out the city. There was a lot of backstory to this one and if you just wandered in, you might not get all of it. That said, the storm at least gives some dramatic punch to a storyline and some type of race against time. Adding in the Ganai seizing an opportunity and you've got some good stuff--though it does seem a bit quick for the Ganai to be training to take over Atlantis this way. But give them credit--the cliffhanger works pretty well and while we're fairly certain that both Weir and McKay will survive, it's enough to keep my interested until new episodes come in January.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/22/2004 10:39:00 AM | |
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Whatever happened to good sportsmanship?
Somehow, we've made it close to 24 hours without a fight at a sporting event. It started Friday night with the brawl between the Pistons and the Pacers and their fans. Then, yesterday, South Carolina and Clemson got into it a brawl.

What ever happened to good sportsmanship?

I guess it's gone. I hope that the players on both sides of the SC/Clemson fight are suspended for their respective bowl games and, if they have an eligibility next year, for a couple of games next year.

As for the NBA--that was an ugly scene all around. I've only seen the footage 1800 times on SportsCenter and the news. First of all, I have to say the players had no right to go up into the stands like that. But, on the other side of things, the fans do not have the right to throw things at the players on the court. In this case, both the players and fans are in the wrong.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/21/2004 03:32:00 PM | |

Thanksgiving Challenge
Continuing the Thanksgiving Challenge I started a couple of days ago....

We tend to eat our big Thanksgiving dinner mid-afternoon. We tend to sleep in a bit, get up and have a big breakfast--usually from scratch buttermilk pancakes--and then get cooking on the dinner. Then, we eat aroudn mid-afternoon, watch the games and have pie in the evening.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/21/2004 01:27:00 PM | |

How do I choose?!?
So, my two most hated NFL teams of all-time are playing each other right now--Dallas is visiting Baltimore. I honestly get a great deal of pleasure out of seeing both teams lose. Which presents me with a dilemma--who do I most want to lose?!?

UPDATE: (3:40 p.m. CST) Well, the Cowboys lost. And ya know, any day the Cowboys lose, it ain't necessarily a bad day.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/21/2004 01:02:00 PM | |
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Thanksgiving Challenge
Not a huge shock here, but I'm thankful the Vols beat Vandy today and I'm also thankful that they're having a good season. It certainly has exceeded my expectations. Not that it's alwasy been fun to watch--I swear these guys are the new Cardiac Kids...but hey, it's still been great to beat Bama, Georgia and Florida.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/20/2004 05:14:00 PM | |

Vols defeat Vandy, secure trip to Atlanta to face Auburn again.
It was certainly not the prettiest win the Vols have ever had, but it's still a win. It's a win that secured a trip to Atlanta in two weeks for the SEC Championship game. It's a win that secures at least a tie for the Eastern Divison crown of the SEC this year--something that very few thought was possible when the season started. It's a win that the Vols got with the third-string quarterback who was benched to start the season. It's a win that extended the winning streak over Vandy to 22 years--one of the longest current, active win streaks in college football.

As I said before, it wasn't a pretty win. In the fourth quarter--this season when Vandy has struggled--they looked like world-beaters. Tennessee kept giving Vandy hope that this might finally be the year. Thankfully, it wasn't.

Not that Vandy wasn't helped by the refs. I guess I know where all the revenue from the ticket hike went--to pay off the officials. The calls were horrible against the Vols and they clearly missed many calls against Vandy. Horrible officiating. I hope Fulmer files a protest with the league office. The calls were terrible.

Of course, the whole Vandy stadium is sub-par. This was my first time going to Vandy's stadium and what a joke. First of all, it's embarassing that you can't even get enough fans at a game to keep it from being Neyland Stadium West. Second of all, your band is puny. Worst in the SEC. The band the Vols have for basketball games is better and larger. Give it up, Vandy. You need to stop taking the hand outs from the SEC and move out of the conference--get a real team in here that might win a game occasionally and not be as huge a doormat as you are.

Now I'll admit...I was there and totally biased toward Tennessee. And that was OK until the middle of the second when a guy and his kid showed up, who were for Vandy. Apparently my cheering for Tennessee and mocking their kicker who can't make an extra point, mind you--bothered them. Now, I wasn't using profanity, I wasn't cheering for injuries, I didn't make any threats. I did clap when Vandy's player got up after an injury--because that's just good sportsmanship. I did jump up and down and cheer when we got the final interception to seal the game. I booed the refs for bad calls. But I was pretty civil and didn't say anything directly to them...but yet, they took the time to me I was rude. Look, buddy..there are huge chunks of open seats in the stadium...if you cant' take it that I paid my money to come and cheer for my team, there is plenty of room eleswhere.

When Vandy does something--such as not losing to Kentucky--then we can talk.

But in the end, the Vols silenced him. He and his son left as soon as the interception took place. Which is a shame because I was honestly going to shake his hand and tell him they had a good game and mean it. But I didn't get that chance....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/20/2004 04:40:00 PM | |

UT vs Vandy
Well, I'm off to watch the Vols take on Vanderbilt. (Thankfully, we found some tickets for less than face value so we weren't ripped off by the money-grubbing administration at Vandy). If everything goes as it should, the Vols will be headed to Atlanta in two weeks to take on Auburn for the SEC Championship.

Score prediction: Tennessee 48, Vandy 0

Other predictions:
Clemson 24, South Carolina 17
Auburn 38, Alabama 10
Florida State 35, Florida 31
Arkansas 20, Miss State 14
LSU 30, Ole Miss 20

GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/20/2004 09:40:00 AM | |
Friday, November 19, 2004
My lightsaber color is...
You were destined to have a Red Lightsaber.

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is
associated with energy, war, danger, strength,
power, and determination as well as passion and
desire. You have seen the Strength and Power of
the Dark Side of the Force and have you thirst
for more of it.

What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tip of the hat to Danielle over at Missives Anonymous for this quiz...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/19/2004 02:24:00 PM | |

Big Orange Survivor Magnolia Week 11 Results
Here are the answers to this week's questions:

1. Which Survivor gets the first confessional of the week? Chris
2. Yes or no: Will a Survivor complain about the storm? Of course.
3. Does this storm occur before or after the Reward Challenge? After
4. Is the Reward Challenge the one that involved tying someone up? Yes
5. Which two Survivors get tied up? Eliza and Julie
6. Who wins Reward? Eliza, Ami, Chad, Chris
7. Who do they take with them to share the reward? It's a team reward so no one else gets to share. This question will not count toward totals this week.
8. Who does Jeff Probst single out first with a comment at the Reward Challenge? Julie
9. What is the reward that someone "overindulges in"? Kava
10. Who does the tribe decide is the most useless tribemate? Eliza
11. Who holds the camp together during the storm? Scout
12. Who is torn about joining a new alliance? Twila
13. Which tribemate exploits that? Chris tries to
14. Who wins the Immunity Challenge? Twila
15. Who does snark boy Jeff Probst single out first for comment at the IC? Ami
16. Who tries to sway a tribemate in a "last ditch" effort before TC? Scout
17. Who votes first at TC? Scout
18. Who votes last at TC? Twila
19. Who does Jeff Probst talk to first at TC? LeeAnn
20. Who gets voted out this week? Chad

And now, the results...

Vickie 71/151
Clayton 65/151
Michael 56/151
Dar 52/151
Amanda 50/151
Leslie 46/151
TW 45/151
Kurt 40/151
Bill 24/151

Danielle 23/151
Jessica 20/151
Tudy 15/151

Thanks to everyone for playing! I'll have the contest posted early next week so hopefully everyone can vote before the holiday.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/19/2004 01:40:00 PM | |

Thanksgiving Challenge
Day One of the Thanksgiving Challenge:

Of course, being the football fan that I am, I love watching the games on Thanksgiviving with my belly full of food. It's usually better if the Cowboys find a way to lose since I despise the Cowboys.

When I went off to college at UT, my mom started making the pumpkin pies early because I'd come home on Wednesday evening and be ready for a slice of pie. That has continued and I have to admit I like it. I love pumpkin pie. But on Thanksgiving, we have so much great food that sometimes you get too stuffed on stuffing, turkey, etc. to really enjoy the pie. Now this way, I can enjoy the pumpkin pie and also all the great food on Thanksigiving.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/19/2004 08:18:00 AM | |

Three questions.
More fun! More craziness! More comments!

(A) First, recommend to me:
1. a movie
2. a book
3. a musical artist, song, or album

(B) I want everyone who reads this to ask me three questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want.

(C) Then I want you to go to your journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends to ask you anything & say that you stole it from me.

I "stole" this from KP over at The Latest Obsession. So, a Big Orange tip of the hat to KP.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/19/2004 08:15:00 AM | |
Thursday, November 18, 2004
The Thanksgiving Challenge
No, I'm not referring to finding a way to stuff in that extra piece of pumpkin pie or trying to stay awake as the Cowboys play next Thursday afternoon.

Some of you may remember that a while back, Pretty Purple Princess issused a challenge to all the bloggers to take a month and post at least one thing a day that made you happy. (This was back in August if you're looking for it in the archives). It was a pretty neat idea and one that I enjoyed taking part in, though I started to run out of song titles with the word "Happy" in them by the third week (that'll show me for getting all cutsy!)

Well, last week, Amy over at Prochein Amy sent me a note wondering if I'd be doing it again because she liked hearing stories about my niece and nephew. (And I swear, there is a huge post of cute stories about them coming, Amy!) But that got me thinking about a new type of challenge for the blogging community.

So, here we go...

The Thanksgiving holiday is almost upon us--one week away. I am challenging my fellow bloggers to post at least one item a day related to Thanksgiving. It could be...
  • Something you're thankful for.
  • A Thanksgiving memory.
  • A family tradition.
  • Your favorite Thanksgiving food and why.
Just try and get into the spirit of the season and share a bit with your fellow bloggers. Also, it'll be a good warm-up for...well, that would be telling now then wouldn't it?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/18/2004 03:55:00 PM | |

What does the month of your birth reveal about you?
Take the quiz: "What does your birth month reveal about you?"

Here's my results....
Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people's flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking andproductive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very Stubborn and money cautious.
A lot of that is true--heck, the "likes to criticize" pretty much sums up my ever TV Round-Up in this blog. And I'm not exactly "neat', though I do like to have certain things in their proper place (Star Trek DVDs for example). And I am not sure if "money cautious" describes me 100%...yeah, I'm pretty responsible with it, but I do have my tendencies to buy stuff that I don't really need just cause I want it--again, let's go back to the Star Trek DVDs...

Tip of the hat to Ashley over at MaeveKerry for making me aware of this little quiz....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/18/2004 03:49:00 PM | |

TV Round-Up
Lost: Solitary
A couple of weeks ago, I was proclaiming my fandom for former Buffy and Angel scribe David Fury after his brilliant effort in "Walkabout." Now, six weeks later, he returns with "Solitary" another solid, entertaining episode that had me on the edge of my seat, eyes glued to the TV and not wanting the show to end. How does this man do it? (I think some of the genius that is Joss Whedon rubbed off on him).

Part of what made this hour so great is the contrast between the two main storylines. Sayid's capture by Danielle (more on her in a minute) and his backstory were pretty heavy, so in the other plotline, we see the rest of the castaways struggle with the need to have some downtime and fun in order to relieve the unrelented stress of being trapped on an island with something that may or may not want to kill everyone. So, Hurley finds some golf clubs and sets up a course, which helps to relieve some of the tension on the island and may help draw everyone back into a community instead of two groups--one living in the caves and the other living on the beach. Interesting plotline and it we did have a nice moment or two with Sawyer trying to become part of the overall community by betting whether or not Jack would sink the putt. (Did we see if Jack sank the putt...I'm not 100% sure we did).

Meanwhile, Sayid is out exploring the island when he's capture by Danielle, who just happens to be the French woman on the repeating message that blankets the island. Danielle, played by Babylon Five's Mira Furlan, reveals a lot of information...or does she. She's been there for 14 years and has apparently found a way to have electricity on the island. She's kept the transmission running all these years, but the broadcast point is at a different location. She was part of a group that became stranded on the island and she's the only one left. There may or may not be other people or something on the island. And apparently we shouldn't go near the black rock because after her group went near it, things weren't quite the same. Now, how much of all this is actually true and how much of it is Danielle's been hearing voices for too many years while being alone on the island, I'm not too sure about. But that's part of the fun of the show really--we're not too sure if we have any more answers than we did at the start. Of course, that also made the X-Files fun for the first couple of years until you realized that Chris Carter and company had no clue where this thing was going and it collapsed under its own weight. But I'm cautiously optimistic to see how this all plays out.

During all this, we learn a bit about Sayid and his past. Nothing terribly mind-shattering, except that he helped the young woman in the picture escape and she may or may not be alive at this point. His flashback also brings into focus why he felt the need to separate himself from the tribe last week after his torture of Sawyer. And then, after he escapes from Danielle, Sayid hears voices in the woods--one of them that sounds a lot like Danielle, thus making us question if it was real or not. I am leaning toward it wasn't because she had too many things Sayid wanted--such as finding her, knowing that the transmission has a source on the island that can be stopped and she had the maps and information he went out looking for without him having to put in the time and effort. We've seen the island's effect on two people (well, at least so far): Locke and the pilot. So, maybe this is Sayid's chance to come face to face with the force at work on the island and we just got to see it this time around.

Time will tell, I guess.

It was great to see Mira Furlan getting a good role, though it was interesting that her character's name was Danielle with sounds a bit like Deleen, who she played for five years on Babylon Five.

The Amazing Race
And they're off...and a lot of them are really, really annoying.

I'm hard pressed to find a team that I'm really pulling for to win the Race in the first episode--unlike last year when I really liked Jim and Marsha right out of the game. And there's not really a team with instant reality TV break-out star status written all over them Charla and Mirna.

Instead, what we have is a lot of people to root against. We've got Lori and Bolo, who apparently think that yelling at each other and him calling her "bitch" all the time is effective communication and the signs of a good marriage. I guess if it works for you, but it is alarming to those of us outside...and it makes the scenes where they are cuddled up and saying, "Oh that's just how we are" seem very, very questionable. Then, we Adam and Rebecca, who were formerly dating but have hooked back up for the show. Now, I may be just slow here, but I don't think the Amazing Race is going to be the best way to get back together--because if you fought all the time when deciding whether or not to have McDonald's or Wendy's for fast food, imagine what's going to happen when you pull a move like not bothering to read the gas cap and find out what kind of fuel your car takes. Yeah, I see wedding bells in their future--maybe with Lori as maid-of-honor and Bolo as best-man. But the most annoying are Jonathan and Victoria. Apparently "married entrepreneurs" is a code word for "we like to scream a lot." Because every little thing causes them to erupt like Ray Lewis after making a big play.

"We are starting the race! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"
"We found a car! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"
"We are fighting like cats and dogs! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

Of course, what do you expect from a team that invovles an entrepreneur and a former Playboy Playmate. (I'm sure Hugh is lining up a follow-up pictoral even now...maybe it'll be a special Girls of Reality issue with Julie from this year's Survivor). And you can see just see Phil, who faced down the idiocy that was Colin and Christie last year with grace and dignity visibly flinch at the pit stop. All of these teams need to face elimination soon.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/18/2004 08:26:00 AM | |
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
I am not making this up!
This may come as a shock to some of you, but apparently after a promo for ABC's new hit series Desparate Housewives the other night, the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles played a football game. (In a related story, the Eagles demolished the Cowboys on national TV, thus making me happy, though not as happy as if a giant sink hole had opened up swallowing both teams)

I'm as shocked as the next person by this unsettling turn of events.

Of course, we all know who the real winner is from this hullabalo surrounding the intro--Bill Parcells. In all of the debate over whether or not it decent, indecent or somewhere in between, everyone is forgetting how horrible, pathetic and weak the Cowboys looked on national television. I hear Jeff Fisher is begging Teri Hatcher to do a simliar promo piece in a couple of weeks with Priest Holmes when the Titans play Kansas City.

The other winner: Desparate Housewives which has had two days of free publicity out of this. I will be intrigued to see if ratings spike Sunday night.

The losers: All of us who are sick of hearing about this non-story.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/17/2004 08:42:00 PM | |

It's Wednesday....
Which only means one thing--new episode of Lost tonight! Woo-hoo!

USA Today has a nice article about the show and some speculation on just where the survivors are and what's really happening on the island. Hopefully that'll help tide us over until tonight...

In related news, TV Guide On-Line reports that the new season of Alias will air after Lost on Wednesday nights starting in January.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/17/2004 01:10:00 PM | |

Big Orange Survivor Mangolia Week 11
Last week, Sarge and company tried to split the female alliance only to see Godmother Ami win immunity and pull strings to get Sarge voted out. Of course, Sarge didn't know that one of his alliance-mates would turn on him. Meanwhile, Jeff Probst made snarky comments.

Here's a look at the new Alinta tribe....

The previews on CBS have promised a huge island storm, shattering alliances and challenges that will knock your socks off, including people getting tied up. Here's what the CBS web site has to say about this week's episode...
Two Survivors become "sacrificial lambs" and are tied up by their tribe.

A surreal Reward drives one Survivor to overindulge and pay for it later.

After a tumultuous night in which one castaway struggles to keep the camp together, it is decided that the most useless tribemate should go.

One Survivor is torn between joining a new alliance or thwarting an existing one. A tribemate exploits this indecision to work a plan.

Before Tribal Council, one Survivor makes a last-ditch effort to sway a tribemate. Will it work?
With all that in mind, here are this week's questions:

1. Which Survivor gets the first confessional of the week? (1 point)
2. Yes or no: Will a Survivor complain about the storm? (1 point)
3. Does this storm occur before or after the Reward Challenge? (1 point)
4. Is the Reward Challenge the one that involved tying someone up? (1 point)
5. Which two Survivors get tied up? (2 points)
6. Who wins Reward? (1 point)
7. Who do they take with them to share the reward? (1 point)
8. Who does Jeff Probst single out first with a comment at the Reward Challenge? (1 point)
9. What is the reward that someone "overindulges in"? (1 point)
10. Who does the tribe decide is the most useless tribemate? (1 point)
11. Who holds the camp together during the storm? (1 point)
12. Who is torn about joining a new alliance? (1 point)
13. Which tribemate exploits that? (1 point)
14. Who wins the Immunity Challenge? (1 point)
15. Who does snark boy Jeff Probst single out first for comment at the IC? (1 point)
16. Who tries to sway a tribemate in a "last ditch" effort before TC? (1 point)
17. Who votes first at TC? (1 point)
18. Who votes last at TC? (1 point)
19. Who does Jeff Probst talk to first at TC? (1 point)
20. Who gets voted out this week? (1 point)

So, there are the questions. Good luck to everyone! Don't forget to vote before 8 p.m EST Thursday by leaving your votes in the comments or a link to your answers!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/17/2004 11:18:00 AM | |

Forget's Tuesday I can't get the hang of.
In my seemingly never-ending quest to find employment, I was pursuing the want ads Sunday when I came across an ad that caught my eye--do customer service during the holidays to earn some extra money. I've done customer service and so I called the number around 9 a.m. Monday morning. I was told that applications were accepted on Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at their 0ffice on West End Avenue. I asked for directions from Smyrna (just in case there's some tricky turn in there) and thanked the woman on the phone for the information.

Fast forward to Tuesday. I am up at their office around 9:30 or so (if I have to drive into Nashville, I try to let traffic clear out a bit). I go inside and find out--oh yeah, by the way, we filled that job yesterday. And there are other things that can consider me for--it's a temp agency--but I need to fill out an application. If I didn't want to stay and do it there, I could go on-line and do it. At this point, I lose it. I politely but firmly tell the woman speaking to me that I was told yesterday that applications were accepted on Tuesday through Thursday. I called early enough that I could have made it in before the deadline on Monday for new applications or if I'd been told they had a web site, I could have done it at home, on-line and been considered for the position I came in for. I then went on to say, I would be happy to fill out the application, leave my resume and contact information with them and when they saw it, they were going to be upset that I hadn't been in the running for this job since I know I'm better qualfied for this job than 90% of the people who probably were finalists for it. At this point, I figure, what can it hurt? They don't have to hire me for anything and if they say--well, glad you think so, see ya, I've only wasted my time and gas getting up there...which I'd already wasted to begin with!

Well, this sparked something. Because when I left, I was given the number of every agency they had in town and the woman who was helping me said while they might not help me, she could see how qualified I was and determined and that she would try to network me. Now, I don't know if they were saying this because they meant it or to get me out of the office but I'm going to take the positive approach and figure they might actually help me out.

Then, I come home and stopped in for a haircut. I was by the discount bread outlet in Smyrna, so I stopped in for some bread. I saw some chips that I wanted so I figured I'd get both. So, I walk up to the register to pay for my goods. The nice woman (who I think lives at the bread store because she's always there!) rang up my purchases and said, "OK, your bread is free today." At first, I'm thinking--man, that's nice. And then, it hits me. It's Tuesday. It's "Senior Citizen Day." If you're a "Senior Citizen" you get free bread with any purchase. Well, apparently being 31 qualified as a "senior citizen."

Now, some of you who have read my blog for a while now know that if anything I'm usually accused of looking younger than I am. I've got some posts about it here and here. Needless to say I will NEVER (or for at least two weeks) complain about that EVE R again...

My family thought my free bread was a riot, though.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/17/2004 08:12:00 AM | |
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Take that Vandy!
Last week, I got a bit snarky (OK, a lot snarky) with some of these Vandy fans who suddenly had these visions of beating Tennessee for the first time in 20 plus years because we'd lost our two freshman phenom QBs for a couple of games. Needless to say, I am still gloating that Kentucky managed to beat Vanderbilt Saturday afternoon, thus deflating a lot of hopes. I loved how yesterday all the fans who last week were trumpeting Vandy's chances to be the Vols Saturday have turned this week and are calling this the worst team ever and talking about how the team is going no where and there are no signs of improvement.

Which brings us to this week's game...

Now, if you're a UT fan, you know that pretty much the Vandy game is a Vol's home game in Nashville. Has been for years. Well, this year Vandy decided they'd stick it to the fans in an attempt to keep the Vols' fans out--by hiking up tickets to $55 each! Now, the average Vandy ticket for any other game is $32. I think part of the idea is to discourage UT fans from coming to the game.

The funniest part--it ain't working. There are 5000 plus tickets left for this weekend's game according to this column by Joe Biddle. We know Vandy fans aint coming...why pay $55 to watch the train wreck that is Vandy? And the thing is--come Saturday, UT fans will get those tickets, come in and turn your stadium orange. So stop trying to stick it to the UT fans the only way you can--off the field. You ain't' scored a point on the Vols in three years.

Oh and in case you were wondering--yes, I am planning to go the game Saturday. My sister found tickets for less than the price Vandy is asking and so I'm heading up to the game. And yes, I will be wearing orange and white.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/16/2004 01:44:00 PM | |

TV Tuesday
Holiday Habits

The Holidays are quickly coming upon us, what will be on your TV?

1. Any holiday favorites you can't live without?
A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. On the movie front, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story.

2. Holiday viewing: Parades or Football?

3. What's your favorite holiday TV memory?
That Three's Company where we had a Christmas mis-understanding, that was classic....Seriously, though, I like the holiday themed episodes of shows that don't go over the top with the syrup and holiday cheer. Also, when I was young, we lived in Hawaii--this was in the days when satellite TV wasn't used as readily as it is today. So, we'd be a week behind on all the shows because they'd ship them over to us, so we sometimes saw all the Christmas specials AFTER the holidays.

~Bonus~ Holiday remakes, are you a faithful fan of the old classics or do you prefer the newer versions?
It depends. I really liked seeing Patrick Stewart take on the role of Scrooge, but I honestly am a bit tired of everyone and his uncle having a chance at the role. It just feels as if ever year we have a new version that "will warm your heart." I love the story, but there are umpteen million versions of it. Also, I far prefer the Chuck Jones cartoon of the Grinch to the Jim Carey movie.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/16/2004 08:07:00 AM | |
Monday, November 15, 2004
Well, that was another wasted Sunday afternoon.
Thanks to the Chicago Bears for putting a dagger into the heart of our playoff hopes yesterday. I'm going to be positive and say it's better to know we're out of it now and start building for next year instead of hoping against hope each week and then having our spirits crushed in mid to late December. So, we're playing out the string now...maybe that will help the Titans, oh I don't know, show up as a team for the game.

Sorry to be so down on my team, but when your defense plays out of their minds allowing only three points by the opposing offense and you lose because of poor offense and special teams that aren't special, it's disheartening.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/15/2004 09:04:00 AM | |
Saturday, November 13, 2004
A wacky day in college football...
What a wild, wacky day in college football. And it's not over yet....
  • No matter how much I hate to admit it, I think Auburn deserves national championship consideration. They throttled Georgia today and if they make it through the SEC season undefeated, they deserve the chance to play for it all over USC who plays in a weak conference and has no championship game.
  • Vanderbilt--did you overlook the Wildcats dreaming of a possible win against Tennessee? I fell on the floor laughing when I head they lost by one point--all because they missed an extra point. It's official--Vandy is the crappiest team in the SEC.
  • Texas gave Utah some hope to sneak into the top six of the BCS standings with the Longhorn's last second win over Kansas.
  • But then, Wisconsin gave hope back to Texas as they got beat down by Michigan State, thus having one more undefeated go down in flames.
  • So, Boise State moved their game up to 9 a.m. local time to be on ESPN at noon EST and impress the voters. Yeah, barely beating San Jose State by seven in double OT ain't gonna make your case for a BCS bid of any kind.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/13/2004 08:13:00 PM | |

TV Round-Up
Enterprise: The Augments
In references about this week on Enterprise and it's not necessarily a bad thing. If you're a huge Trek geek like I am, then you kind of smile getting all these little in-jokes but they're not such that a casual fan will feel left out or like they're missing some huge part of the storyline if you don't get them. Here are a couple of them I caught:
  • A reference to the area of space known as the Briar Patch, last seen in Star Trek: Insurrection.
  • Malik's idea to go find the Botany Bay, aka the ship with Khan on it. (Though this brings up an interesting nitpick--how did they know about Botany Bay? In "Space Seed" we get the impression that no one could confirm or deny if the Botany Bay had left Earth with Khan and his followers and it was pretty well covered up that their bodies were unaccounted for. So how did any of the Augments get this information if it was so hush-hush? )
  • Archer's bluffing scene was classic Kirk, stopping just short of threatening to use his "Corbomite device."
  • During that time, Archer throws in the insult of a "garbage scow" which you may remember is the insult that drives Scotty over the line in "The Trouble With Tribbles."
  • After his ship is disabled, Malik crawls across the bridge to set the self-destruct, ala Khan from Wrath of Khan.
  • Soong says he's gonna give up on genetic engineering and turn to cybernetics. And it might "take a generation or two." (OK, that was the most blatantly obvious and the one I liked the least).
But fan-boy references aside, was the episode any good? Surprisingly so. I say surprisingly becuase Trek multi-part epics have this bad habit of a solid opening episode or episodes and then completely falling apart in the final segment. This time around, they did a solid job, though I'm not quite sure it's as solid as the previous two weeks. Honestly, I think Enterprise caught lightning in a bottle with "Borderland" and while the past two episodes were good, they didn't live up to the promise we saw there. I think a lot of it was that Malik quickly turned into a cardboard cutout of a villain and beyond Persis, we didn't really get much of an insight into the other Augments. And Persis brings up an interesting question--why was she the lynchpin for loyalty to a leader? I didn't quite get what her role was other than female who kicks some butt. But why she was involved in so many power plays is a bit beyond me.

Also, Malik's plan is interesting--let's use the pathogens we took last week to go and destroy a Klingon colony, thus giving Earth something to worry about while we slip away. Yes, it was a bit Snidley Whiplash, but it had some merit to it, especially in light of his determination to go find Khan.

And we even got a scene that talked about T'Pol's marriage a few weeks ago and how that is affecting her working relationship with Trip.

But, again, the real highlight of this one was Soong. Brent Spiner acts his socks off in the episode, yet again. You can tell he really feels as if he is the father of these children and their betrayal really registers with him. Also, his obvious pain at his children being killed was nicely done. It's interesting to see Spiner and Scott Bakula share scenes, especially in the light of an interview a few years ago that Spiner felt Data was the best role on TV with the exception of Bakula's Dr. Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap.

But what I really loved about this episode was the incidental music. I am a big fan of the incidental scores for television episodes and I think a good musical score can only enhance an episode. Early on TNG did a good job as did DS9, but somewhere in Voyager, they scores got less and less memorable. There was music there, but it didn't really stand out like a "Best of Both Worlds" in my mind. With Enterprise, we've moved back to having some more memorable scores--and the one here really worked. It added the right amount of tension, it helped set the mood and it was memorable without being instrusive.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/13/2004 09:23:00 AM | |

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