Sunday, January 28, 2007

Apprentice: Arrow Stages Coup d'Etat

It was "Viva La Revolution" on the Apprentice tonight as the Arrow team was able to finally gather it's resources and win a task and send Kenetic out to tent city.
The show began with Trump calling the teams, like he does in every show, it's time to even things out. Arrow decides it wants Suryea, a dead serious focused player.
The task this week is to create and market a new menu entree for El Pollo Loco, a drive through Mexican Restaurant.
Kenetic has Marisa(pictured above), an excitable, somewhat creative lady who has somehow alienate her team much like Michelle did to Arrow. Marisa does marketing and gets frustrated because her ideas get vetoed consistently by Project Manager Heidi. Arrow pulls together, gets out their signs and balloons, and more importantly sends an outside sales force to hustle business. Arrow wins the task. The new member Suryea contributes very little except may a little more discipline, he does however get to stay in the mansion. Arrow's reward an afternoon at Malibu Beach to hear Andrea Bocelli, they then get treated to a fireworks display. Smug as ever, Kenetic packs up to move to the tents, they continue to degrade the other team for their cleaning habits. The boardroom is pretty clear cut. Marisa talks about her ideas, but does not know when to shut up. It becomes clear there is something wrong with her as far as she comes across as a 5 year old who needs a bathroom pass. Trump fires Marisa, while Heidi and Amy put their noses up and head to their new quarters.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Superbowl XLI It's Glamourous vs Glamourless

Two Midwest Powerhouses will collide one week from this Sunday in Miami in this year's Superbowl. The Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts represent 2 cities that are close in distance but lightyears apart in lifestyle.
Representing the NFC is the Bears from Chicago, home to Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Ernie Banks, Kathy Brock, Lou Piniella and Wrigley Field, large enough to have 2 major league baseball teams. Chicago's last Superbowl appearance was 1986 when Walter Payton and William "The Refridgerator" Perry lead the team to it's only Superbowl win. It is good that the team that barely knocked our Seahawks out of this year's playoffs is the one going to the Superbowl.
The Colts (from the AFC) are playing in their first Superbowl since their midnight move from Baltimore some 20 years ago. Indianapolis has the Indy 500 and is capital of Indiana, and has a small town feel to it. It will also be the first Superbowl for Superstar quarterback Peyton Manning.
Two other Superbowls that had teams from neighboring cities were in 1995 when the San Francisco 49ers beat the San Diego Chargers and 1991 when the New York Giants defeated the
Buffalo Bills

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Apprentice: There's Something About Michelle

If you caught the last half hour of last week's show, you know that Arrow Corporation had zero respect for one team member. The candidates singled her out for being disagreeable and unable to make a decision at crunch time. This week, Michelle made her very first decision and when the heat was on, almost seemed to want to back away even from that.
Team Kenetic has won exemption from an entire task, Trump sees them as real winners, what Trump may be forgetting is that in the first season of the Apprentice, Protege won every task for several weeks and not one of them made the final two.
Everyone meets poolside at the Loewe's Hotel in Santa Monica, Kenetic gets to stay poolside for a day of pampering. That leaves Arrow, Trump splits them into two teams. Aaron enthusiastically volunteers to be project manager. Trump asks Michelle if she would like to be PM. She says yes in a rather "if I have to" tone.
This week's task is to run a "Starliner Bus Tour" James, the Seattle based software engineer comes up with the idea of having the Laker Girls cheerleading squad as a promotional gimmic. The team seems to be all together on what they want to do. James takes a tour himself to see what the tourists like and dislike. Michelle's team cannot figure out what to do, never mind that planning a tour in LA is like finding candy in Hershey PA, she is indecisive. Her idea of "A Day in the life of the Rich And Famous" falls through when she finds out that Hollywood is a dump and Beverly Hills is boring. The sad part is that she lives in Santa Monica. Hello? She makes her team stay up all night and then her tour is a big disaster. Aaron's team found that James, although full of ideas, is a lousy tour director. That is no surprise, how many software geeks are good at PR?
Aaron's team wins the task and their only reward is that they did not lose. We are all ready for an intense boardroom when Michelle decides to chuck it and quit. Trump grills her and it almost looks like she may change her mind. She does not and Trump decides to let her walk, her teammates fear that one of them could be fired. But Trump decides that the team has suffered enough.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I Must Really Love Politics

Last Wednesday evening would have been just perfect for heading home for a little R and R. Most of the snow was still on the ground and driving conditions were less than perfect. However there was a 5th District Democrats meeting and I had a chance to get back my position as 5th district representative to the State Board. A group of representives statewide who work on party policy. I had been the male rep (each legislative district and a number of counties send one male representative and one female rep), a couple years ago, but decided to step down because a veteran member wished to challenge me.
The meeting took place in Preston, which seems like the edge of the earth. In defense of Preston residents, many people feel that way about my town of Maple Valley. It was a dark night and I was going by directions off of e-mail. Preston is several miles east of Issaquah, about 30 miles from Bellevue where I work. When I found the meeting place, I drove up an icy road and grabbed one of the few remaining parking spots. It was all worth it as the members enthusiastically endorsed me for the position. A deep hearted Thank You to all my friends in the 5th District Democrats!
Brandi Carlile: What Can I Say

National singing star Brandi Carlile is a resident of Maple Valley. Brandi grew up in nearby Ravensdale according to her website.

Palouse Slaughter--Cougs Maul Huskies

The Pullman version of the "Mini Apple Cup" ended today not long after it was started. The red hot Washington State Cougars trounced the Washington Huskies 75-47. Guard sensation Derrick Low scored 20 points to lead the Cougs. The Dawgs went almost 9 minutes in the first half without a score, Washington was able to close the gap to 11 by halftime. The Cougs responded by going on a 21-4. It was the Coug's largest defeat of the Huskies in the history of men's basketball.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dr Martin Luther King

We pay tribute to one of the great men of American history.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Apprentice: A Risk Is Only Good When It Works

In this episode, we saw a side of the candidates that we really had not seen before. Literally! The candidate were charged with designing swimwear for Trina Turk, the idea was that it was to be modeled at a fashion show at Santa Monica Beach.
For Arrow, the team that lost, this was a chance to get out of "Tent City" the backyard campground set up for losers. Carey, says that this is his dream come true. He comes up with a loud pink tight short bathing suit for men. The candidates are horified. One candidate, Michelle, speaks up but it winds up annoying the rest of the team. Nicole, who has stepped up to be project manager takes a "laid back" aproach.
Kenetic, the other team has problems of it's own. Heidi, who gets to stay as project manager as long as Kinetic keeps winning, cannot seem to get along with Marisa. Kinetic, comes up with a safe conservative line that of course wins. Four of the candidates modeled the swimwear, with
Carey's design raising some eyebrows.
Being out in LA and with the tents, sometimes I tend to wonder if I am watching Survivor or The Apprentice.
The reward for Kenetic, an evening at the Playboy mansion was rather odd, maybe something that would have played better in the 70s. I wonder how that would have flown if Caroline was part of the crew.
Arrow comes to the boardroom amid the traditional boardroom gazes and Trump scolding. The team likes Nicole, dislikes Michelle and hates Carey's design. These 3 go to the boardroom where Carey is fired!

Bears Strike Gould--End Seahawk Season

The Seattle Seahawks played hard today, but were unable to come up with the victory. Robbie Gould, an undrafted kicker from Penn State, kicked a 49 yard field goal in sudden death overtime for a 27-24 victory over the 'Hawks in round 2 of the NFC Playoffs. Matt Hasselbeck had some flashes of brilliance, but made a few critical errors, like a late interception on the next play after the Seattle's Pete Hunter came up with a critical interception of his own as the Bears were threatening to go for a touchdown. All through this season, the 'Hawks showed an inability to execute in short yardage situations and that came back to haunt the team in this game.
Saun Alexander showed signs of his old self with a 106 yard, 2 touchdown performance. The critical question for the 2007 season is whether he will be able to get his step back and be the dangerous running back that he was in 2005-2006.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

No Business Like Snow Business

Snowy week here in Seattle. You may remember the blizzard last November when Seattle played Green Bay on Monday Night Football.
Well our second storm happened last Wednesday, you have to understand Seattle drivers. It is very rare that it snows even once around the Puget Sound area. There are enough Seattle drivers with no experience with the snow. Often, they drive much slower than normal, that is probably fine, but the worst is that they often just leave their cars, sometimes in the middle of the road. That makes no sense at all to me, especially when the temperature is rapidly dropping. Where are you going to walk to? Aren't you afraid someone is going to hit your car? If driving is miserable, walking would have to be 10 times worst.
Last Wednesday, we got back from work (Deb and I rode together) at 10:30. Deb had an appointment in the afternoon about two miles away and it took her 2 hours to get back. Nothing paralyzes this area more than snowfall in the late afternoon on a workday.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bring On The Bears

The Seahawks will take on the Chicago Bears, Sunday at 10:00 PST.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Apprentice 6: When Ya Gotta Go--Ya Gotta Go

Greetings, Apprentice fans! From the Seattle area, where inhabitants have spent the winter in a virtual wrestling match with Mother Nature. Yes, the Apprentice is back and for the first time, they have left New York for Sunny Southern California.
Donald Trump begins by driving up in his mucho deniro sports car wearing wraparound sunglasses, it's time to meet his new candidates but first he joins his wife and baby, Baron. Instead of Downtown New York, the action begins in probably the Hollywood Hills, where there are two mansions, one for the Donald and his beautiful wife Melania and number 5 heir apparent and one for the candidates.
The candidates arrive in Limo and they introduce themselves. Their self descriptions are shown very briefly with lots of cuttaways until Angie comes up, she was a goalie for the US Hockey Team in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Donald gives her a hug, an act of patriotism on his part. Introduced next is Martin (pictured above), kind of a Lionel Richey look a like. In an awkward attempt at a joke, he says he will "hug Trump" if he would let him use the bathroom! One thing is for sure, you would not want to hug him until he goes and I don't think Donald would want to ever hug him no matter what. Oh well.
The first task is to pitch a tent in the backyard. We the viewer know the idea behind that, but not the candidates. After that is done, the candidates are asked who were the leaders, they decided that Frank and Heidi should lead. Frank had a loud squeaky voice, Heidi was steady, with a slight resemblance to Rebecca from Apprentice 4. The two were told to choose sides and also that the winning PM stayed PM until they lost. Interesting because that way how do they get to see everyone in that role. One thing I noticed is for the first time, the teams were not named. Hopefully that will be later.
I like the first task that the candidates did because it was similar to the first task in the first show. It was to put on a car wash. Maybe that was because they could not find many sponsors for this season.
Mr Trump's "eyes and ears" would be daughter Ivanka who also blogs this season for yahoo
Ivanka comes across as more personable than Caroline, an amiable intelligent beauty.
Instead of printing fancy signs, Heidi's team scratched crude signs on cardboard and had shirtless guys hold them up. Frank on the other hand was tied up most of the day at Kinko's maybe a different store would have had better results, I have one in mind.
Heidi's team wins and gets 2 rewards, they can sleep in the mansion and they will have dinner at Spagos with owner chef Wolfgang Puck and of course Donald and Melania. Frank's team get a trip to the boardroom and also, like all losing teams will, has to sleep in the tents. They have shower booths and porta potties. Not the best way to get up and ready for visiting LA business people the next day, I'm dying to see how that plays out.
Frank's team goes to the boardroom and the team is split between Frank and Martin on who should be fired. Not only had Martin done the "go to the bathroom" remark, but also during the task, told Ivanka he was tired. Martin will be able to spend all the time in the bathroom that he wants because he was fired!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Seahawks Still Alive After Nail Biting Win

The Seahawk's dream of returning to the Superbowl is still alive after a heart stopping 21-20 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the NFC playoffs. The Hawks had just grabbed the lead from the Cowboys. After a failed 2-point conversion, the Cowboys marched right up the field led by their brilliant first year quarterback Tony Romo. With less than 2 minutes remaining, the Cowboys did not even have to get a touchdown to get a first down. They could get to the 1 yard line and get a new set of downs. They had all their time out and the Seahawks had none. The Seahawks were able to make a couple key stops and the Cowboys sent out their "can't miss" kicker Martin Gramatica. Roma bobbled the snap though and using his instinct grabbed the ball and headed for paydirt, on the way, he met Seattle Cornerback Jordan Babineaux who stopped Romo in his tracks causing him to fumble, an alert Seahawk picked up the ball. Although the Seahawks had to eventually punt, the team was able to take the game down to the final ticks when it punted to the Cowboys, the ever despondent Romo (thinking his place in historywould be next to Bill Buckner's) threw one last second desperation pass, that the 'Hawks were able to bat away.
Jeramy Steven caught 2 touchdown passes for the Seahawks. Matt Hasselbeck threw 2 interceptions that will be forgotten now that we have won the game. Kelly Jennings, helped cause a Cowboy fumble that was initially called a touchdown but wound up being a safety.
Despite earlier concerns, it was nearly a perfect evening weather wise.
The Playoffs continue next week with the Hawks playing either Chicago or New Orleans.

KING-5 TV Reporter Josephine Cheng

If you have to work on New Year's eve--you may as well work at a party. Posted by Picasa

New Years Eve--Inside the Space Needle

We were entertained by this juggler. What you cannot see is that he is balancing on a plank over a barrel while performing. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 05, 2007

What's New? Bad Weather Predicted Again For Big Game

The Seahawks have a big game on tomorrow and just like the last three nationally televised games, there is a storm warning. When the 'Hawks played Green Bay on Monday Night Football, the Puget Sound area was caught in a Blizzard. A few weeks later, they played San Francisco in a Thursday Night match up that turned into one of Seattle's worst wind storms.
For tomorrow's 5:00 game, it could be either rain or snow and once again I am wondering if the power will stay on long enough for us to watch the game. A strong performance by our team would be awesome.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

It's Blue Friday!

Residents of the greater Seattle area and Seahawks fans all over the world should where blue this Friday to support our defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. The 'Hawks play Dallas on Saturday in the first round of the NFC Play offs

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Boise State Two-point conversion to win Fiesta Bowl

Boise, ID has gotten more national attention in the last couple days than the last 20 years. First Miami plays in a bowl game there. Then the great, but unheralded Boise State Broncos take down perienial powerhouse Oklahoma in a heart stopping Fiesta Bowl.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Eve Atop The Space Needle

We spent New Year's Eve at the bash on top of the Space Needle. I should have some pictures up soon. Deb's sister and husband who now live the Bay Area joined us in the celebration atop the Seattle Icon. This was the first time that we been to that party although we have watched the fireworks from a distance almost every year. We spent the night at the Westin Towers in Downtown Seattle.

Seahawks Face Dallas Cowboys In First Round

The Dallas Cowboys will come riding in to Qwest Field this Saturday to face the Seahawks in the first round of the NFC Play offs. The Seahawks have the daunting task of covering wide receiver Terrell Owens with both starting cornerbacks (Marcus Troufant and Kelly Herndon), and possibly reserve cornerback Jimmy Williams out with injuries.
The last meeting between the two teams was in 2005, when a late interception off Drew Bledsoe set up a field goal by Josh Brown to give the 'Hawks a come from behind victory. It is widely thought that that game gave Seattle the momentum they needed to get to Superbowl 40. Even though Bledsoe is now on the bench and Tony Roma is the new quarterback, it would be nice to see lightning strike twice!