TV-America's Got Talent; Hell's Kitchen 09, Design Star; Thoughts-Ted Kennedy/Monarch Butterflies; Book-"Bringing Elizabeth Home"

TV Reviews of Hell's Kitchen where Chef Ramsey keeps cussing the wannabe chefs keep smoking.

Also a dark horse HGTV reality contest for interior designers…."Design Star".

And as "America's Got Talent" rapidly gains as a challenge to "American Idol" it now has a final top 20.

First guess at the top five here with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

Ed and Lois Smart tell the harrowing tale of the search for their abducted daughter Elizabeth.

She'd been taken from her bed in her own home one night and as the Smart family suffered the insults of a community the Salt Lake Police blew this case so bad that Elizabeth suffered many more months for their dereliction of investigative duty.


For one can never get enough Ted Kennedy.

But more importantly, on Thoughts this week we have a tender story about butterfly babies and backyard habitats. Plus a story about a new computer malware that is particularly nasty.

And of course, as we all need more of the wonderful Ted Kennedy in our lives, my tale of just how I shall explain the story of Ted Kennedy to my granddaughter.

Much more.

Pic of the Day

The Scam From Hell

I was doing a google search on monarch butterflies, more on this later.

The list of sites on my requested subject came up and I clicked on one that seemed to cover my curiousity. It was taking a long time for the screen to come up and in disgust I stopped it from loading, figuring Comcast had slowed down to a crawl again and a modem reboot would be required.

Suddenly this screen appeared on my desktop informing me that a vicious virus was discovered on my system. Pic of the screen below.

Now you got to admit that this is a handsome thing, this Windows Antivirus Pro thing. I had no idea where this came from but as these things go, it had only been a few days prior that I had downloaded a Windows update so I figured that perhaps this antivirus pro was part of that update.

One button asked if I wanted to clean up the infected files and to just click here if so. Well of course I wanted to clean up all these worms just then infecting my computer so I clicked.

“Enter your certificate number” the program instructed with a box to do just this. Of course I did not have a certificate goodness I didn’t even know I had this program on my computer much less need any sort of certificate. I was not, however, born yesterday, and I do know that the request of a certificate usually is a way for the program to verify that the user had, indeed, purchased the program. I figured this was some sort of “trial” program from Windows that was on my recent update and there would be a way to get out of it.

Which there was.

Windows kept popping up, all sorts of windows, windows that told me that my computer would be murdered, windows warning me that a nuclear bomb was about to detonate over New York, windows excoriating me for not fixing these files.

My computer had an anti-viral program which did not complain a whit about all these programs which I thought curious.

I told my husband I’d never seen a trial run program so insistant and such a nuisance and let me get rid of all these annoying warnings and I intended to write Microsoft a letter giving them a piece of my mind.

Only the windows wouldn’t go away. They kept popping up everytime I managed to clear them out and over and over and over again. Finally I tried to run Excel. “EXCEL CANNOT RUN AS IT IS INFECTED AND WILL DAMAGE YOUR COMPUTER” this new message informed me.

Now I was in deep trouble. For I could get no programs to run. Husband told me to do a “restore” but I couldn’t get the control panel to work at all.

Again, I was not born yesterday. I was able to get in the task manager via control-alt-delete and removed this program completely from memory but within fifteen seconds it CAME ON AGAIN!

“I guess I’m just going to have to go buy this program,” I told husband, still unsure what was going on, perhaps my files were all corrupt and perhaps I’d invited this trial program on my computer with that Windows update and a curious combination of circumstances caused my computer to freeze up with the “infected files”.

I was doubtful however. I’d never seen a trial program act like this before. And yet if all my files had been infected…

Meanwhile husband was busy at his computer. Just when I was in a panic and about to click the button that would have me buying this wonderful Windows Antivirus Pro, he shouted for me to stop.

Husband then read something off of his screen to the effect that this WINDOWS ANTIVIRUS PRO was a grand hoax and even if I did purchase their “product” it likely wouldn’t fix a thing and they’d probably peg me as an idiot and demand more money.

It took me four hours that night to get this thing off of my computer. We had to use all three computers to get it worked out. Husband found a site that had instructions on how to remove this nasty thing. That site warned to print out the instructions and indeed, yes indeed. Because to fix this thing required actually changing the registry file and removing various operations and applications via the task manager. It was not for the faint of heart.

May God drive a stake through the heart of whatever evil people came up with this.

My question to husband and perhaps yon readers, whoever did this, aren’t they breaking the law? I mean they took over my computer, hijacked same as if they’d broken into my car while I drove it and demanded I give them money at gunpoint.

Further, wouldn’t it be easy to catch these characters? Obviously they have to have some sort of credit card thing set up for those poor fools who fall for this scam and I’m thinking there’s quite a few who would be fooled. The thing does keep ALL programs from running on your computer. The popup screens are very professional, made to look like Windows. A person could easily believe their computer had been badly infected, it’s a scenario that could fly.

I am looking for how to turn these people into the authorities. I heard it was an FCC issue but reader input is appreciated, send me an email.

For this is as cruel a robbery as any I’ve encountered and I don’t see why they should get away with it.

The Joy and Drama of the Monarch Butterflies

I actually paid for this plant. I forget what it was called but it had the word “butterfly” in it. It could have been “butterfly plant” or maybe “butterfly weed”. I figured it would attract butterflies and what gardens is complete without butterflies?

Heh. Well I didn’t know the thing would become a nursery for monarch butterflies but in the past ten years of my existance this fact is right up there in my top ten of most delightful surprises of my life.

I saw the bright yellow and black caterpillar and immediately did the only right thing to do. I called my husband outside to see.

“You’re sure that’s a monarch caterpillar?” husband asked. Well damn, it was yellow and white and black and any fool could see these were the colorings of the monarch butterfly.

As a Backyard Wildlife Habitat Specialist, trained by the National Wildlife Federation, of course I want to plant those plantings that will provide nesting places for the creatures, maybe fruit to eat, cover from predators. It’s what having a Backyard Wildlife Habitat is all about, after all, inviting God’s beautiful creatures to live right alongside you, to grow and thrive with the humans, to provide human children the chance to view life, survival, birth, even death.

Still and so, when it really happens it just takes my breath away.

The next day there were over 30 of the handsomest caterpillars on the planet, all of them munching away, getting big and fat and happy. I wondered aloud to husband just what the hell…?

“This is sold as a butterfly plant,” husband explained after a research of the Internet revealed some of the facts. “But it is really related to the milkweed, the ONLY plant used by the Monarch butterfly plant to lay its eggs. They don’t want to call it a ‘weed’ cause maybe people don’t want to buy something called a weed.”

Which, of course, I’d have bought it if it were called a weed so long as it had butterfly in the name but that’s just me. But I did think that it was a plant that would attract butterflies of the flying type and yet the plant bloomed some kind of orange flowers in early July, not really full=fledged butterfly season, and while a butterfly or two might flit by, the plant didn’t especially attract butterflies any more than, say, my fine coneflower plant.

In my wildest dreams I didn’t think it would be a monarch butterfly nursery, goodness this tidbit wasn’t included in the garden catalogue. Maybe they were afeared that folks not want to buy a plant that would be covered with fat caterpillars and would, in due course, be stripped naked as if a hoard of locusts had mowed it down.

I didn’t care. Both husband and I were delighted with our “babies” and visiting them every day became part of the day’s joy.

Below is a movie I made and hey, it’s kind of boring some might say. But I captured all of the happy caterpillars and provided some insight as to what was going on better than I ever could have done with a picture.

While we were joyful watching our caterpillars grow fat and incredibly handsome, there soon began to be a daily decrease in the amount of caterpillars even as the plant became bare from all the chewing. I worried that some predator was eating my children!

“After so many days they crawl off and can go from 40 to 80 feet away from the milkweed. They find somewhere safe and make their chrysalis. So it looks like it’s their time,” husband told me after more Internet research.

As of this writing we don’t know where they all went. It is my hope as I go about my late summer garden chores that I might come upon a chrysalis. If nothing else, may my garden soon be full of beautiful monarch butterflies that shall feast on my coneflowers and cover my Joe Pye Weed. This is the generation of monarchs that will migrate, at least as I figure.

The best thing of all, every year my infamous butterfly “weed” should become a nursery for those most handsome of caterpillars.

I will welcome them to eat my butterfly weed until they become so fat they can barely crawl.

National Tea Party

Keep eyes and ears open yon ladies and gems. For there is a large caravan of fed up folks traveling across country from California to D.C.

Now the State-controlled media might not cover it but thousands are expected to descend on the mall on 9/11/09, right when President Obama, every mindful of that most sacred of America’s somber days, holds his silly “national day of service”. This guy ought to just flip us all the bird and get it over with.

Anyway, click here for more information.

Just Because

Here’s a video of a group of nurses, all male, singing a fine tune in a fine fashion that will make you grin.

Hey, I needed a break from endless Ted Kennedy adulation.

Good Guy of the Week-Glen Beck

Good Guy Header

On sure sign that the left is worried about someone becoming popular is when they go after him or her with an unreasonable and insane vitriol. My goodness you’d think Sarah Palin was the devil in a blue dress this harmless woman from Alaska. You can almost hear the Star Wars Darth Vader song whenever anyone mentions Dick Cheney and God knows their hatred of George W. Bush was beyond clinical insanity for a guy they called such a goofball.

And so one of Obama’s czars and his communist organization, “Color of Change” has gone after the sponsors of Glen Beck’s Fox news program and, heh, that stupid action is going nowhere.

First, advertisers are trying to sell stuff and even though somebody gives Keith Olbermann over a million bucks a year to be a liar and big hateful zero and somebody keeps stupid MSNBC alive even though NOBODY watches the show, Fox news is watched by more viewers, TRIPLE all the other cable news shows combined. Thus advertisers aren’t going to pull their ads from the most popular shows to advertise to the three people who watch Chris Matthews, one of which is his mother.

The advertisers are pretending to be cooperating with this silly stunt to thwart legal economic activity not that the presidential czar shouldn’t be encouraging such positive activity but hey, he’s a communist.

Do we really want President Obama appointing known and self-professed communists as his “czars”? Further, what the hell is a “czar” anyway, who oversees their appointment, where is their salaries in the federal budget?

This is the sort of thing Glen Beck’s been questioning this past week and again, when the left goes after someone with no rationality, believe that they are scared of this person.

More on the Glen Beck expose of the past week.

At this point I’d ask where the hell are the Republicans but why? They are all in the tanning booths or fixing their head hairs, they have no courage, they don’t dare question what an opposition party SHOULD be questioning, and so we need fellows like Glen Beck.

Now they’re going to do what they always do. For Glen Beck is a sort of funny looking guy, harmless really but to listen to the left Beck carries around a nuke in his pants which he might set off any day for his crazy rants.

Beck is a pundit, yes, and he’s an entertainer. His “crime” is to dare to ask just whey the hell is this President appointing communists on his advisory team and hey, I think it’s one damn good question, silly me.

At the end of the week Glen came up with the following five sensible pledges that he asked his viewers, all deprived of Walmart advertising, heh, to send to their congress critters.

Knock loud and hard on all the tanning booths and pull those Republican gonad-less wonders out and tell them the following:

1. I believe in a balanced budget and therefore will vote for a freeze in government spending until that goal is realized.

2. I believe government should not increase the financial burden on it's citizenry during difficult economic times therefore I will oppose all tax increases until our economy has rebounded.

3. I believe more than four decades of U.S. Dependance on foreign oil is a travesty therefore I will support an energy plan that calls for immediately increasing usage of all domestic resources including nuclear, natural gas and coal as necessary.

4. I believe in the sovereignty and security of our country and therefore will support measures to close our borders except for designated immigration points so we will know who is entering and why and I will vehemently oppose any measure giving another country, the United Nations, or any other entity, power over U.S. citizens.

5. I believe the United States of America is the greatest country on earth and therefore will not apologize for policies or actions which have served to free more and feed more people around the world than any other nation on the planet.

Ted Kennedy, When All Is Said and Done, May He Rest In Peace

RANT header

It’s not as if the death of Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts was a surprise or anything. It’s been known he’s had brain cancer for almost a year now.

And while I never much liked the guy, it’s only this past weekend, as I watched the spin, the lies, the struggle to fill the 24/7 air waves with impressive anecdotes, sound bytes and insights, that I gave Ted Kennedy so much thought.

Further, who the hell cares what some humble Blogger feels about the whole Ted Kennedy thing when reams have been written, spoken and emoted on the matter?

Well I was alive and very much involved when Ted Kennedy left Mary Jo Kopechne to die at the bottom of a shallow pond. I lived my life with Ted Kennedy as part of my national scene what with the fine but rather dimbulb folks of Massachusetts constantly electing the man. Now I am living through the man’s endless funeral and someday may my granddaughter read the musings and true thoughts of one who struggled desperately to understand it all, one who lived through it all.

Let’s begin, for reference, with a site of the statistics of Ted Kennedy’s life.

On to a pic.

And to Mary Jo…I bet I think about her more than Ted Kennedy ever did.

So if I had to tell Kaitlyn about Ted Kennedy, I’d first say that he was a Senator for 47 years although I’d caution the child that this man would have went away in shame in any other state but Massachusetts, that Massachusetts is a state that regularly elected Ted Kennedy the murderer, John Kerry the plastic soldier and Barney Frank, dear Lord, enough said.

I’d also tell Kaitlyn that Ted Kennedy NEVER would have been elected president because I don’t know what they put in the drinking water in Massachusetts but the rest of America would NOT elect this man as we think our presidents should not be murderers.

I’d tell Kaitlyn that I was very much and just coming of age when Ted Kennedy got drunk, drove his car into a shallow pond, and left Mary Jo Kopechne, his passenger at the time, to die an excrutiating death at the bottom of the pond. I’d tell her that Kennedy got out of the car, swam away, headed to a hotel and climbed into bed, slept for a while, then called up his lawyer.

I’d tell Kaitlyn to pay attention here, because she should note that this man did NOT bother to not only rescue Mary Jo because hey, maybe he couldn’t. But what, he couldn’t call somebody, maybe tell someone she’s at the bottom of a pond, maybe get some help?

He was too tired, Kaitlyn, and drunk, likely.

Only the state of Massachusetts elects guys like this over and over and over and over again and yeah I think Mass. Is a bunch of idiots and I’d beg Kaitlyn to please do not EVER move to that state because it makes you real stupid.

There was no Internet back in 1969 when the coward left that girl to die in his car, there was no talk radio, there were no Bloggers. Still there was a Lamestream media and they did cover the story. It was the first big news story of my lifetime in fact and while all I had were the newspapers of the era, I was mesmerized by the story.

I didn’t believe a word of his story, which was that he was in shock and while he tried and tried and tried to rescue Mary Jo that he could not and from the fatigue of his effort he finally had to give it up and…well go to bed in a nice hotel it would seem.


The thing that really disgusted me the most and I remember it well, was the time he came out wearing that stupid whiplash thing on his neck. Good God, the entire country was laughing at this bit of drama but the fellow, hey, he had to do something to look like he was injured. I’ll never forget this although Massachusetts, whose residents regularly get peed upon while believing it is raining, they must have believed.

The folks in Massachusetts evidently bought that silly story but at my tender age of 19, Kaitlyn, I never believed it and I had nothing but derision for the man, and rightfully so.

I’d also tell Kaitlyn that evidently Ted Kennedy bought off the Kopechnes because those people closed their mouths, fought against an autopsy on their dead daughter that most normal people would have demanded and the Kennedys did have money. The Kopechnes, I’d explain to Kaitlyn, were, after all, from Massachusetts. That explains everything.

I’d tell Kaitlyn that the Kennedys were a strange group of folk, rich, not at all smart and I’d argue genetically inferior. This is a family that’s had all manner of unusual cancers, weird brain things and retarded sisters. Then they get into all sorts of accidents, often in an airplane, including Ted Kennedy once. There’s also the very intelligent Kennedy who got killed by ramming into a tree while playing football on the ski slope and while, Kaitlyn, going downhill at a very fast speed. Tree-1, Dumb Kennedy on Skis-ZERO. Even John Kennedy Jr., a handsome fellow with a brightest of future to look toward, got on an airplane after two or three hours of flight training and thought he could pilot a plane at night, through a foggy haze and he ended up at the bottom of the water because, like I’d tell Kaitlyn, the Kennedys are not all that bright and they too are from Massachusetts, do not forget this.

There is one thing about the Kennedys, that I’d explain to Kaitlyn, that provides an insight as to why Ted Kennedy, a man with no morals and those inferior Kennedy genes, was given such a break with this life.

For his two older brothers were both assassinated and the country, yes even those of us not living in Massachusetts, thought we owed something to a family that had given so much to the country.

I was alive during the Camelot presidency of John F. Kennedy and like the young liberal lass that I was, I adored JFK and his dreamy wife Jacqueline. He named his brother Robert the country’s Attorney General and he was mocked for nepotism. I never got angry at JFK for this, Kaitlyn, because hey, I loved him and by extension I loved Robert Kennedy.

It was a horrible day for America when John F. Kennedy died. I was a mere 14 years old and like everyone else who lived through this most shocking thing, I remember it well. A few years later, Robert Kennedy was shot as he sought the job of the presidency.

One of them was the president and one wanted to be the president and if Ted Kennedy had just a little bit of decency, he would have had the presidency handed to him. He was only tolerated, and then only by the state of Massachusetts, because of his two older brothers. America felt like they owed Ted something and I’ll defend the state of Massachusetts for a moment for the Kennedys were from that state and no doubt the citizens of Massachusetts thought one of their favorite sons deserved some position in American government to make up for two of their state’s sons who were so brutally murdered on the national scene.

The summary is that Ted Kennedy was pretty much a zero of a man. I’ve no doubt he’s in hell now, God forgive me. He was rich and he didn’t care about the poor. He left a young woman to die a slow and horrible death in the back of his car how on earth can I ever overlook this lack of decency? He was a drunk, he cheated on his wife, he behaved horribly in public, twice being caught in sexually explicit positions in public restaurants. He once actively tried to consort with America’s enemy, the Soviet Union, in order to bring down President Ronald Reagan.

He was mean and nasty during what should have been a decent civil hearing for the nomination of Judge Bork for the supreme court, calling the man horrible names including a back alley abortionist.

During all the verbiage surrounding this funeral this late summer 2009, one stupid liberal pundit reveals, in the video below, that Ted Kennedy like to joke about the incident at Chappaquidick. Well this just makes me love the man more, leaving young women to die in your car is just so hilarious, don’t you think?

Ted Kennedy didn’t deserve a minute of his glory or his magnificent life. He got it because the country, America, wanted to somehow repay the Kennedy family for the very sad deaths of two sons. While history shows that neither JFK or his brother Robert were quite the saviors the press made them out to be, they were basically good men and they were the target of a couple of crazies for no other reason than their service in the public eye of the American political system.

What’s the saddest thing of all about Ted Kennedy’s pathetic life is how he didn’t take advantage of, and live up to, that which America, that shining city on the hell, wanted so much to give him. His legacy is forever tainted. Not all the Kennedy money in the world can change this.

Ending With a Smile

Well I’m not sure the relatives of the cows who willingly and for no discernable reason plunged to their deaths off of a cliff but it is odd as all get out at the very least.

story of the suicidal cattle HERE.

 Posted by Hello

”Bringing Elizabeth Home”

by Ed & Lois Smart with Laura Morton

Amazon link for this book.

So okay, I figured as I fingered this book at the local yokel library, I’ll bite.

For the story of the abducted Elizabeth Smart was one of the more compelling true crimes of the era.

Elizabeth Smart was a young adolescent at the time a homeless kookoid named Brian David Mitchell, AKA Immannuel, broke into her house and took her from her bed.

Mitchell had an even kookier wife, Wanda Barzee, and the two of them not only took Elizabeth from her bed, they kept her captive for almost nine months before she was finally discovered, alive and well and in the company of these two nut cases. This no thanks to the totally inept Salt Lake police department.

Understand that this awful police work is a deduction made by this reader. The Smarts made no such assertion as they are entirely too polite to do such a thing. But they told the story and this reader has brain cells to arrive that two plus two plus the Salt Lake Keystone Kops does not equal four.

Right now consider it firm that Elizabeth’s sister, Mary Katherine, God bless the child, told the story of Elizabeth’s abduction, she never wavered from her story and in the end, after the Keystone Kops of Salt Lake totally ignored the girl to go after a dead end lead fellow who eventually died, in the end…Mary Katherine had been right all along.

It was when Ed Smart took the case to America’s Most Wanted that Elizabeth was found. The Salt Lake City Kops were still blaming it all on the dead Ricci guy.

I, of course and I’ll admit, was curious about what happened to Elizabeth during what had to be a miserable captivity. Right from the start the Smarts make it clear that they will not be discussing details from Elizabeth’s ordeal, that if she wanted to tell her story it would be up to her to do so some day.

The Smarts are a fine, religious American family that took the homeless into their homes to help with home repairs, chores, etc. This turned out to be a big mistake and as I recall during the uproar after Elizabeth’s disappearance, the Smarts were criticized brutally for it. Brian David Mitchell AND the Ricci fellow were both such homeless people who came into the Smart home to help with chores and hey, this reader has learned a lesson from it and I’ll not be bringing drifters and such in my home under any circumstances.

In fact, the Ricci fellow actually stole Ed Smart’s vehicle and it was an ordeal for them to get it back. It was Ricci that the Salt Lake Keystone Kops honed in on as Elizabeth’s abductor and many months were lost as the Salt Lake Kops ignored Mary Katherine’s story and Mary Katherine had it right, yes she did, yes she did and the child even NAMED the abductor of Elizabeth, I hope those Kops sleep well at night for failing to keep at least a small focus on the one and only witness on the case. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

John Walsh, however, host of “America’s Most Wanted”, did NOT ignore Mary Katherine’s description of Elizabeth’s abductor and after his description was televised Elizabeth was finally found.

Elizabeth was sexually and physically abused during her captivity. One knows this by the charges brought against Mitchell. Beyond that, not many details of her captivity were revealed in this book by Elizabeth’s parents. I say enough was revealed to give a feeling of how it all came down and the comedy of investigative errors that allowed it to continue.

Someday this will be a good movie, perhaps a Lifetime movie. Elizabeth deserves any profits made from her story. And the Smarts are really good people, too good some would argue.

There are many great pictures in the book of the Smart family as well as Lois’ family. I did quite enjoy the story, thought it was told well and look forward to someday reading the story as told by Elizabeth.

 Posted by Hello

”America’s Got Talent” 2009 Down to Top 20

This reality competition show is growing in popularity, thanks in no small part to Susan Boyle.

The show began in Great Britain and the American version is produced by Simon Cowell of “American Idol” fame.

Actually I enjoy this show way more than American Idol for the diversity of the talent, the outrageousness of some of the acts and I quite like that you never know just what kind of talent act is going to win the thing.

On the show aired on 8/19/09, the acts were indeed diverse and the ones voted through were quite surprising.

Two dance acts were featured, one a group called FootworksZ, a so-called “urban dance team” and the other a single dancer, a fellow named Hairo Torres. Both of these acts were voted through into the top 20.

I’m really not of a mind that a dance act will win this thing but that might be my own prejudice. Now Hairo Torres, featured as part of the remixed video below, is enough of an intriguing dancer what with dancing on the wall and everything, that he might win this thing. If nothing else, both of these acts make fine introductory type of vehicles for a more major performance.

Jeffrey Ou is a young pianist and we’ve got a couple of pianists in this year finals. Jeffrey will be competing against a younger Arcadia Broad if a pianist were to win this thing, which I think not.

Mario and Jenny are one of the most unique novelty acts in the top 20 this year. They like to dabble with fire and while there’s always a bevy of fire and other “dangerous” type of acts in the initial and zany phases of this competition, this particular act is quite good and could, as a dark horse, sneak through to win this thing.

Lawrence Beam is a singer. Singers are a dime a dozen on this reality contest show, most of them coming in at very young or over the age limit allowed on American Idol you should note. Lawrence Beam, however, has quite a unique voice, a very deep baritone that is so unusual that once heard will stop many in their tracks.

Lawrence Beam could possibly win this thing but in the realm of solo singers he’s got one mighty competitor, a cancer survivor, who I think will edge him out, more on this later.

Below a remix of the acts described above, with mine own fine commentary written upon, of course.

On the America’s Got Talent aired on 8/26/09, the final five of the top 20 for this year were chosen by America (with a little help from the judges).

We begin with a cancer survivor, a pretty woman with a young adopted child, all played up that Americans will weep and phone in a vote for Barbara Padilla. Barbara is a singer but she too is unique in a most intriguing way. For Barbara is an opera singer and she does, indeed, have a beautiful voice.

I think she’s got a real chance at winning this thing. She’s definitely the most talented of all the individual singers put through, at least as I see it, and her story’s as interesting as Susan Boyle so I argue.

Erik and Rickie are a little pre-teen dancing couple and they do feature these things on “Dancing With the Stars” but the notion of such an act winning on “America’s Got Talent” surprises me. I do not for one minute think these children will win this thing but they are interesting to watch and keep viewers tuned in. This team has a right bright future on Dancing With the Stars, at least as I argue.

Drew Stevyns is a solo singer and he’s not all that talented. Look for him to be booted off soon as Lawrence Beam and Barbara Padilla head to the finals. Even Kevin Skinner, the goofy guy who wears his baseball hat so stupidly backwards, will go on beyond Stevyns.

I did predict that the novelty act team of Recycle Percussion would likely go through out of the twelve or so acts featured on the episode aired 8/26/09, yes I did. Again, I’m not a big novelty act fan but the ones that do a good job of it do a REALLY REALLY good job of it. This group plays drums and other rhythm type stuff by using old trash barrels, electric drills and all sorts of weird things that, hey they do entertain. They had a stage that turned 90 degrees, the electric drills put out sparks and a weirdly strange but pleasant type of music. I don’t think this group will win but they’ll not go home forlorn. This group will definitely have a future in the Las Vegas or other gambling type arena.

The EriAm Sisters are very good but they sibling group Voices of Glory are better. However, these sisters, three of them, are very good and every one of them sings well, an unusual thing. I think this group could make the top five, definitely the top ten. For sure they have a future as they are very talented.

Below a remixed video of all the acts featured on the America’s Got Talent on the evening of 8/26/09, again with my commentary spliced into the remix.

Top 20 2009 “America’s Got Talent”
Kevin Skinner-bluesy type singer
Acrodunk-acrobat team
Grandma Lee-senior comedian
Arcadia Broad-classical pianist
Drew Thomas-Magic Act
The Texas Tenors-barbershop type group
Pardizo Dance-unusual novelty act
The Fab Five-dancing sisters from Utah
Voices of Glory-siblings sing in harmony
Tony Hoard-dog act
FootworkZ-an "urban" dance team
Jeffrey Ou-pianist
Hairo Torres-single dance act
Lawrence Beam-bass singer beautiful and unique voice
Mario and Jenny-novelty fire act
Barbara Padillo-opera soprano singer, cancer survivor
Eric and Rickie-preteam dance team
Drew Stevyns-singer
Recycled Percussion-novelty act plays drums on trach
EriAm Sisters-sister song and dance team

For now, and with the complete right to change my mind, I will predict the top five for this series, not necessarily in their order of finish:

Barbara Padillo
Voices of Glory
Drew Thomas Magic Act
Recycled Percussion
Hairo Torres

HGTV’s “Design Star” Contest-2009

I really do enjoy both fashion and home decorating shows and such as reality contest shows featuring same capture my fancy.

This year we’ve got Project Runway on Lifetime, to be covered on a future Blog post, and HGTV’s Design Star’s annual contest.

So far the 2009 episodes of Design Star have been very entertaining but I’ll allow as such as home decorating shows are not everyone’s cup of tea. My husband would rather hang by his tongue in a vat of red-ant filled honey than watch such a thing is what I’m saying here.

What I find very intriguing about Design Star is the final reveal be damned, if a designer screws up, the final reveal will show such as bad paint jobs, unfinished tile jobs, cleaning rags left laying about.

It’s more real is what I’m saying here.

The show began with ten contenders and after the episode aired on 8/23/09, there are four left. They are Lonni Paul, Dan Vickery, Antonio Ballatore, Torie Halbert.

Lonni is quite good at what she does, she’s more mature and not out there with the crazies or the gay. Dan is, well not so much. He’s quite gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but he giggles like a gay guy and his hosting abilities are suspect.

Speaking of gay, Jason Campion was sent home this past week and he so deserved it. After watching his presentation and his final reveal Jason’s only comment was “I’m so gay.” Well damn, yah think?

Not that using placemats as a headboard helped keep him and a chandelier in an adolescent’s room, even if female? And that stupid thing he painted around his client’s window was dumb as all get out.

Torie Halbert is definitely a contender but of the two final females, Lonni is better, as I see it anyway.

Antonio Ballatore is, for now, the most likely to win this thing. Again, as I see it. Although he’s a guy, Antonio presents no obvious and silly gayness. To me that sort of thing tends to detract from the presentation and the drama of the final reveal. Don’t go calling me a homophobe. I don’t care a whit about the sexuality of the decorator but it isn’t about the decorator, it’s about what he or she decorated.

At any rate, Antonio is very talented and throughout this series he has consistently won every challenge and by me his rooms have always been both practical and attractive.

The most recent challenge on the episode aired 8/23/09 had the final five re-doing a child’s or adolescent’s room. They had a budget of $5,000, a handsome amount thus no need to use placemats for a headboard, damn.

”Hell’s Kitchen” 2009 Summer-The Cussing & Smoking Go On

Fox’s Web Site for the Series HERE.

Gordon Ramsey continues to cuss and the chefs continue to smoke and life goes on in Hell’s Kitchen in late summer 2009. So okay, as this show narrows down to fewer contenders it begins to get more interesting. My eyes tend to glaze at the beginning of this contest with so many chef contenders, all of them looking pretty much the same.

After a while I begin to know them and take an interest in their individual progress.

On the episode aired on 8/18/09, we had each team, the guys and the girls, whip up a menu of under 800 calories. Chef Ramsey was the judge and the girls won handily.

On the HK Episode aired on 8/25/09, Robert was finally sent home. This makes two times over a span of two contests that Robert had to be sent to the hospital and yes, it was time for him to drop out. If he’s not healthy enough to compete, clear the way for a healthier contender.

Robert, I am sure, knows he’s extremely overweight and obviously he’s got health issues. By me he looks as heavy as he was last year when he got sent home and he doesn’t seem to care an awful lot.

In this episode Ramsey had something called “Chef’s Tables”. Well damn, is this cool or what? They have actual tables set up in the kitchen and chefs sit and dine at the tables.

The guys lost this challenge of the Hell’s Kitchen service. Van and Andy were chosen for possible elimination. Robert had not been chosen but Ramsey called him out and sent him packing.

It was time.

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