Friday, June 27, 2008


And by B.C. I mean "before clickers".

Back in the day, there was some real competition for viewers between the big 3 networks.

For example, check out this TV prime time lineup from 1970 (from the Super Seventies website- just click to enlarge):

Check out Sunday. You could watch for 2.5 straight quality hours, going from 'Wild Kingdom' to 'Hogan's Heroes' to 'Ed Sullivan' to 'Bonanza'.

Monday's even better. Not only do you have 'MNF', but you could catch 'Gunsmoke', 'Here's Lucy', 'Doris Day' and 'Carol Burnett'. Or 'Laugh In' if none of that floats your boat.

Just pick a night. It's like an All-Star lineup. One could even argue a Hall of Fame lineup. There's something to watch every night of the week.

And the 1960s are even better.

Nowadays, except for sports, I'm lucky to find something once a week I really don't want to miss.

Note that this is all pretty much before cable TV's boom.

I'm not going to completely knock cable. Cable certainly has had it's TV advantages. Particularly when it comes to sports coverage. I think it's not a stretch to suggest the Olympics are no longer as big a deal now as opposed to then because there is so much sports saturation.

But the thing that makes this TV lineup better than today's is simple- today there is just too much TV. Way back then, only the most talented actors, entertainers, writers and producers got a chance to work at this level. If you weren't that good, you just didn't make it.

Now, with 500 channels, no talent hacks can put something on everyday. It's diluted the quality down to nothing.

Not unlike how the quality of pitching goes down when baseball expansion occurs. With more roster spots to fill, those who never would have gotten to the big leagues before become major leaguers due to this competitive advantage.

Anyway, I find such useless information fascinating. There's a lot more old TV schedules out there to peruse if you're interested. Just Google the TV year and have at it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Since Angus Didn't Post It...

...I will. But credit him for finding it on YouTube.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Designing Ice Road Cardinals- A Sunday TV Trifecta

Yesterday's Cards-"Sawks" baseball marathon was exciting enough, yet disappointing ultimately. It also didn't leave me time to get much done before Design Star and Ice Road Truckers came on.

Since when did Ice Road Truckers become a comedy? A laugh track could easily have been put on the last two shows, what with Drew and Rick's comic shennanigans. Hugh and Alex are again showing why they are old-school tough men, while the comedy team of D&R are showing us how weak, juvenile and lazy they are. The sight of Drew driving a fork lift and cube truck last week was only surpassed in hilarity by Hugh's scornful guffaws aimed at Drew.

Rick getting in two accidents in less than a week, costing his owners thousands of dollars of repairs, and yet seeming to have no remorse or awareness of his driving shortcomings, is pathetic. He sits around acting angry that he can't get out and make money, completely missing the obvious fact that HE ALONE is the reason he can't get out and make money.

I have to say last night's Design Star left much to be desired. Disappointments with the quality of the finished rooms and the contestant bickering seem about equal, both with me and with the message boards.

As I posted earlier, D. Paul had no chance to win, and last night the deal went down as he was sent home. But did he really deserve to go?

The answer is yes. Although a strong argument could be made for Tracee or Jennifer.

D. Paul's mistake was in missing the point of the whole challenge, which was to incorporate his garage sale junk into the sitting room in some way.

He was too distracted by the sheer height of the room's ceilings, and it cost him.

So what does he do? He appears to wait until there is only about an hour left before deciding what to do with his junk piece, which is what he should have been thinking of from the beginning. He destroys it, then assembles some goof-trap sculpture out of its remains.

Really inspired stuff. There's no way anyone can seriously argue he didn't deserve to go out.

What blew me away the most, however, was the judges lack of attention to detail. They didn't even notice D. Paul's molding treatment that had consumed his 3 days work.

I'm not sure what the judges want this year. And Vern has been particularly petulant, almost virulent. Unless your name is Matt or Michael.

None of the other contestants brought anything inspiring to the scene last night. Which I blame on the $5,000 budget. That's not enough for a room that big with no furniture in it.

Tracee is everyone's villain. No one even spoke to her at the end when she entered the green room instead of D. Paul. Which means she has no chance to win. No one in America will vote for her now.

Unless she is paired in the final two with the annoying Michael. In which case I predict this season of Design Star will be the last, because he almost has as many negatives as she does. No one would watch those final two shows, and no one would call in to vote.

If Michael would just tone it down a little, he'd have a shot.

Matt seems to have the inside track, doing well each of the last two weeks. Mikey V. also has a good shot. That would make a good final pairing. I think I like Mikey V a little better so far, but think Matt is probably the favorite.

Two contestants down, six to go.

So here's my odds after week 3:
Matt still holds the edge at 2:1.
Mikey V. 5:1.
Trish 10:1.
Jennifer 10:1.
Michael 15:1.
Tracee 200:1.
Stephanie 200:1.

Odds to leave the show THIS NEXT episode:
Stephanie 2:1.

Tracee 2:1.
Michael 5:1.
Trish 20:1.
Jennifer 20:1.
Mikey V. 25:1.
Matt 50:1.

I was pretty right on this week, so don't forget to watch next week to see how I did!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Design Star's New Sub-Title- "Let's Get Ready To Rumble"

The fireworks started early this year on Design Star. What a contentious group this is!

Wow. Let's review last night's show.

First off was the totally lame practical joke HGTV played on their own potential prodigy. That building a shelter thing from last week turned out to be a scam. Ha ha.

The new digs for these 9 finalists turned out to be pretty cool, but boy did our heroes do some butchering to it. And then, back in the studios, the gloves really came off, thanks mostly to our UK girl Tracee.

Boy, she didn't do herself any favors. She came off looking like a shrew. Her first mistake was not speaking her mind. Better to get things out in the open from the start than to start firing your first poison darts in front of the judges. She now has 7 other contestants who don't trust her and seemingly hate her guts.

Scottius Maximus Rules For Design Stars #1- Speak now or forever hold your peace. If you go along with something, don't come back later and say you didn't like it. Unless you like having enemies.

Then Tracee went at it with the judges. She has quite the air of arrogance. She started arguing with them, like they were her underlings.

Scottius Maximus Rules For Design Stars #2- If you want to keep your job, don't mess with the judges.

I was quite surprised by Scottie's departure. I liked that guy from the beginning. And no, he didn't do the greatest job with that bedroom, but let's face it, he went it alone, as opposed to everyone else teaming up. It was a gamble that didn't pay off. I like the motto "no guts no glory." But in this case it was more "lots of guts no glory."

Remember last year's first challenge? Who was the first to go? That's right- the lady who worked alone.

Scottius Maximus Rules For Design Stars #3- Never work the first week alone.

Scottie's bedroom wall color was okay- it worked last year, and I think the judges liked it then. Isn't it weird they seemed to hate it this year? The problem with the room was in what he chose not to do- put stuff on the walls and buy furniture. They never said what his budget was, but I wonder if they short changed him because he was only 1 man, not a 4 person group?

Too bad, because there are some others that really have to go.

1- Stephanie. She should have been toast. And she knew it. Why else would she commence sobbing? That dining room was a total disaster. I just about said a bad word when she dumped paint on that beautiful half-ton oak(?) table she managed to sucker the others into carrying into the house.

2- Michael. He's like a pinball bouncing all over the place. He acts like a gay Ed Grimley. I think there is the outside possibility that if they are not kept separated, Tracee will throttle him. As I said before, he should never have made it on this show in the first place. Please, America, make sure this guy doesn't win. I don't ask you for much.

3- D. Paul. I don't think he did a single thing except agree with Michael all night long. Either he made no contribution or HGTV edited it out. But they wouldn't do that, would they?

The living room was beautifully done, so I knew that group of 4 was going to make it. No matter how hard Tracee tried to blow it.

I liked Matt's thinking and execution. His and Mikey's bedroom (that's an awkward way to start a sentence) was the only other room that was a success. But what was with that platform on top of the beds- it was unfinished...I think.

What was up with Trish? Did she or did she not volunteer to join the 3 man group in order to work on the sunroom? So what exactly was her contribution to the festivities?

That sunroom was a mishmash of I don't know what, but I think a sunroom is supposed to be bright and cheery. A pool table and dark brown walls are not sunroom material in my world.

But I think the ugliest of the night award went to that monstrous dining room. The single worst thing I have ever seen on Design Star was that painted fireplace. It looked like someone took a tan magic marker to it and just tried to "color" it. Beyond hideous. Very unprofessional looking.

Candace Olsen probably had a seizure if she saw that. Someone call Canada to check on her, please.

Anyway, as I wrote last year, it's hard to make odds on this show, because there is no resting on laurels. There is no "immunity". You have a bad week, you're on the hotseat. One week a star, next week you're gone.

But that won't stop me. In honor of Scottie and his no guts no glory attitude, I present this weeks odds for winning and this week's odds of departure (for entertainment purposes only!) I don't have enough money to "make book".

For winning:
Matt 2:1
Mikey 5:1
Trish 10:1
Tracee 10:1
Jennifer 15:1
Michael 30:1
D. Paul 100:1
Stephanie 100:1.

For going off THIS week:
Stephanie 2:1
D. Paul 5:1
Michael 15:1
Jennifer 20:1
Tracee 25:1
Trish 50:1
Mikey 75:1
Matt 100:1.

Remember- on this site there is no wagering. What you do on other sites is entirely up to you! And don't forget to tune in again next Sunday night to see how I did!

The State Of Golf

How pathetic is it when a man on one leg is superior to all others on two? Why don't they all just give up? The only alternative is to hamper the one man in some other, not-yet-attempted way. Maybe at the next major golf tournament, the powers that be can tie both of the man's feet together, you know, just to give everyone else a chance. Unbelievable.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hit The Ground Running, Part 2

So after watching 1st episode of 'Design Star 3' Sunday night, I hit the play button on the DVR and watched the 1st episode of 'Ice Road Truckers'. Little did I know I was about to witness the most hilarious and at the same time insanely idiotic moment of 2008 TV history. More on that momentarily.

It's good to see they brought back Alex and Hugh. At least there'll be a little competition for 'top dog'- to see who hauls the most and gets paid the most. And the new guy looks good, too.

What I didn't expect to see was the return of two of last seasons quitters. Both Rick and Drew couldn't last the season with Hugh when we last saw them.

I loved Hugh's reaction when Drew showed up- he didn't really even look up. The disdain was palpable. Hugh must have been laughing to himself, "what a joke!"

I'm glad they moved to a different route this year. Driving the same road might have been a little boring. They're even farther north this year, Inuvik, NT, Canada.

So what was the funniest moment of the year? No, not Rick's blue hair. It was Drew's incalculable foolishness. If you didn't watch, let me explain.

The premise of the show is that a group of truck drivers haul mining equipment across winter ice roads in the Arctic. The water, including parts of the ocean, freezes, and roads are cut out of the snow-packed land that is formed.

The temperature on that first day was a balmy minus 32 degrees. Sounds a little cold right?

So what does Drew do?

Drew shows up to work with a briefcase (in case I didn't mention it, he's a truckdriver) and...get coat!

Yeah, that's right- no freaking coat! He states he forgot it at home. His wife had to call him to tell him he forgot it.

Nice packing job, Einstein. Dude leaves for his job within the Arctic Circle, only he forgets to pack a coat.

Heck, when I've packed to fly to warmer climates, I always packed at least a light jacket. Just in case.

But, hey, why bother when you're flying to the Arctic. They're bound to have plenty of things like coats lying around.

I don't know about you, but if I showed up for work in the Arctic without a coat, I'm not telling anyone. Because the pain of freezing to death could never be as great as the humiliation of having to admit to someone I'm the biggest moron in the world by asking them if I can borrow a coat. I'd rather die.

The question, "was Drew ever a boy scout?", has been answered.

He had to borrow one. Needless to say, I'm sure his co-workers think a lot of him.

Then Drew gets mad because the first two days go by and he isn't given a load to haul.

Do ya think the coat thing had anything to do with it?

If I'm in charge, and I'm responsible for putting millions of dollars worth of equipment on trailers and having them hauled by truck over an ice ya think, I mean, do ya really think, I'm putting all that responsibility in the hands of a guy who forgets to bring his coat to the Arctic. GET REAL!

He's never leaving home base for that reason. Oh, and for that other reason- he's already quit again!

Hit The Ground Running

(Thanks to HGTV for letting me "borrow" their logo.)

Whenever starting something new while going to school all those years, it seemed someone would invariably give this advice. But I don't think the good people at HGTV have heard this one, because Episode 1 of Design Star 3 started very slow.

I wasn't one of those who went to the the website to see the cast before the first episode aired. Everyone was a new face to me. I like starting out fresh with no preconceived notions.

The first half hour was a little tedious. I get that the selection process for the finalists is interesting to some people. And there was a good smattering of goofballs to laugh at.

But there shouldn't have been goofballs. These are the finalists, for crying out loud. These people should have been weeded out a long time ago.

Then again, we are talking about designers, here. Everyone's bound to have a little goofiness to their personality.

This does look like a good group, but it seemed the HGTV people went out of their way to state how much better this year's group was. Implying last year's group was subpar.

Ouch. Did anyone else pick up on that? I have to admit, however, I agree with them- last year's group was subpar as a whole, especially compared to the first season. Just look at the two finalists.

Whether this year's group is better, however, remains to be seen.

It's good to see old Clive-boy back again. And our 3 judges.

The unquestionable leader of the judges again this year is, of course, Vern Yip. Some have said on other sites that they wanted different judges, but I like these 3 and think they do a good job.

But they made a horrible decision in giving that Michael guy a second chance. He is too young and inarticulate to host his own TV show. That was obvious at his audition. But the judges felt sorry for him. I'll never forget the sight of Vern running down the hall after this cat. That was pathetic.

And didn't this happen with a finalist last year, also? I must go to the archives of last season to see.

"America, it's official- Michael blew up under pressure."

At any rate, are they going to give the other 8 contestants second chances when they flame out? Doubtful. So the whole "contest" is already unfair.

And what's with D. Paul and his Elvis soul-patch persona? He and Michael were really the only finalists I disagreed with.

Anyway, I love the first week's challenge- 1 week and $100,000 to design and build their own living quarters! That was brilliant! I can't wait to see what happens.

The look on their collective faces- that "we're sleeping where?" look- was priceless.

So, let's play Oddsmakers, like on PTI.

I love making the odds- and this week based only on first impressions. Remember, though, just like last year- no wagering allowed on this website, please.

The favorite: Tracee at 2:1.

A good chance: Jerome (or is it "Scottie"?) and Matt at 5:1.
Fighting chance: Trish 10:1, Jennifer 10:1, Mikey 10:1.

Puncher's chance/no chance: D. Paul 20:1, Michael 30:1 and Stephanie ("I've never used a power tool") 30:1.

Who to root for? So far, I'm behind Jerome and Mikey. One's an engineer and one's a police officer. And I can pull for Matt, he's a historian, and also Tracee, a UK grad.

Remember to tune in Sunday night to see what gets built.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Another Lost Episode Of The Chris Farley Show

" being here again, Paul."

"You're welcome, Chris."

"Remember...remember those red ball balls with the handles...what...that...were big and giant...remember those rubber...balls you'd sit on as a kid...and bounced around on?"

"Yeah, Chris. They were called Hoppity Hop Balls in America. Some people called them Space Hoppers, or Kangaroo Balls or just Hop Balls."


"What about them Chris?"

" does Cardinals announcer Mike Shannon sit on one in the Busch Stadium broadcast booth?"

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Few Of Us Don't Do This

This video makes me embarrassed to be a Cardinals fan (hanging head in shame).

What were the good folks at Busch Stadium thinking?

You want to hold a dance contest?

Fine, but next time don't sell adult beverages at that game.

Why not?

Exhibit A- Busch Stadium, beyond the centerfield area.

Busch Stadium Fan Battle - video powered by Metacafe

And before all the wiseacre comments begin, let's get one thing straight- NO, NEITHER ONE OF THESE DUDES IS ME.

Although I did once have a home-made Superman outfit. (Okay, and too-short shorts, too).

Quipper? You there? Here's two quick nominees for So Many Idiots, So Little Time.

Hat tip for the link to John Sebben.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Get Ready!

HGTV's "Design Star" is back on Sunday at 8 p.m. CDT.

They're starting a little early this summer. But that's okay. Hopefully that means more episodes.

The History Channel's "Ice Road Truckers" is also back. At the same time slot- Sunday at 8 p.m. CDT.

In the past such scheduling shenanigans would have put me through the roof, but thanks to the magic of DVR, I'll just watch one 'live' and then the other right behind it.

But which one should I watch live? How does one make such decisions?

I'm a little concerned about the quality of contestants on 'reality' shows after the first season or two. Just a hunch, but it seems the people that are picked in later seasons are picked to fit a particular niche-stereotype, rather than for who they are.

My two favorite summer series are back- watch out for more posts from me this summer.