BBC panel shows update

Thankfully I have found a couple of reliable sources for my 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown obsession. A lot of the last series I could not find but I am able to watch the new episodes. So far in this series they have had a number of replacement team captains, I’m not sure if they are going to pick a permanent one, how could anyone replace Sean Lock? Anyway, since Cats is just once I week I went down the rabbit hole looking for other across the pond entertainment.

I spent a few weeks going backwards in time with David and Lee and Rob in Would I Lie to You. It was an enjoyable journey but with so many episodes in a row the Lee Mack shtick, while funny, grows a bit tiresome and predictable. So last week I found Taskmaster, and I am a big Greg Davis (the taskmaster) fan. So with football (American style) on the telly last weekend I watched the last few series of that show. I didn’t know all of the guests as well as I have come to know the Cats guests but the couple of series I watched were fun. I didn’t want to go to far back historically with Taskmaster so I went in search of another show and this time found QI I think I tried this one once before and it didn’t click but I am into it now, just have to get into the right mindset of learning and laughing at the same time. Also love that episodes are short and has new guests every time (as far as I can tell after only a few episodes). Now I need to figure out the scoring system.

So, that is where I am now, waiting for new episodes of my new favorites and going through old episodes of QI. Incidentally I don’t know who those two guys are in the bottom right quadrant of the pic, but they are probably candidates for upcoming viewing. Always open to suggestions.

Christ the King Church – East Cleveland, Ohio 1928-2009

I was doing some routine backups at home today when I came across this montage that I had seen in the past but not for a long time. It is a video collection of pictures of Christ the King Church in East Cleveland, Ohio which existed from 1928 to 2009. The most relevant years in my life in this community were the 70s and 80s. This was the church where I and many of my brothers were baptized and confirmed. This is the church where all three of my children were baptized in the very same baptismal font. A church where I spent a good deal of time at mass, in the choir loft, and as altar boy for many years. It was in this church that I gave the eighth grade valedictorian speech for the Christ the King School class of 1985. I know there is a lot of backlash against the catholic church and priests, much of it warranted, but in my time here it was never an issue for me. A number of priests were pastors here and while I was an altar boy, parishioner, landscaper, janitor, and after hours secretary in the rectory. One of these priests was highly inspirational to me and while he never actively recruited me for the priesthood, he certainly did passively (it didn’t take). I know this place from top to bottom, I have been in every nook and cranny from the roof to the hidden rooms in Shannon Hall. The physical buildings are still there; the church, the rectory, the convent and school but they are no longer Christ the King. Sometimes I still drive by. Someday I will stop back in.

2016 Ford Escape Battery Part 2

As I mentioned in a previous post, my car needs (needed) a new battery. So I dropped it off at the local service station in the evening to get it replaced. I got this the next morning:

First of all, it shows just how buried the battery is. Also I thought it was pretty cool of the service station to send me a video of the service they were quoting me on. Bravo Conrad’s! Anyway, I have a new battery and it was very reasonably priced and quickly taken care of (especially knowing how much crap they had to move to get it replaced).

Betta Bilbo Baggins

My daughter got me a betta fish before she went back to school. Please meet Betta Bilbo Baggins and his supervisor Rick Sanchez, both of whom live on the shelf above my home office. Bilbo, specifically, lives in a pineapple under the sea, on the shelf, above my desk.


2016 Ford Escape Battery Madness

Since it has gotten cold it has been more and more of a struggle for my car to get started. It is a 2016 and I have had it since I bought it new and it is still on the original battery. OK, time to change the battery. Although my skill set in fixing automotive things is limited, this is one task I can undertake. I recently changed the battery in our other older car. So I go out this morning and open the hood to pull the battery so I can trade it in. This is what I find:

The battery is buried underneath the top sill, back by the firewall. WTF? There must be some logic for putting it there but for the life of me I can’t figure it out. You have to rip everything out that is in front of it, or pull off the windshield wipers and the whole double layer of plastic sills about it. Brutal. This is probably something I could do, I’m pretty sure I could get it out but then getting it back in and everything put back together… lots of doubt. So local Total Car Care, you can thank Ford for the upcoming $$$ you will be getting from me to swap out my battery this week. Ooof.

Vacation Watch list Part 2

Vacation is winding down, just a couple of more days and I found another BBC show that I enjoy and is available here in the states. But First:


Marvel: Although I may not have stated it here yet, while I thoroughly enjoyed the early Marvel movies the whole explosion of the MCU has let me indifferent to them at best. I definitely prefer all things DC at heart. I about swore off of MCU completely after I had to sit through the utter garbage that was Thor: Ragnarok. But they re-re-rebooted Spiderman again and released of the third one (which I hear is doing well). I hadn’t watched the first two so I gave them a watch. I did not love either of them, not surprisingly. I like the new Spiderman actor but really enjoyed Ned and the way they characterize MJ in these movies. Apparently half of the population died, or didn’t die, or some died, but now they are back, but not back, between the first and the second movie and there were some other minor (major?) plot lines I did not follow. Again, I don’t follow MCU that closely so I’m probably a couple of movies behind. All that being said, not a waste of my time, a fun couple of movies. As I have said before, all things are better with JB Smoove in it. Will likely never watch them again.

Matrix: I am about 1/3 to 1/2 way through the new Matrix movie. This was one of the first movies I started when vacation began so the fact that it has been back in the queue for that long doesn’t bode well. Maybe it will come around in the second half.


BBC: Since my desperate search for the last two seasons of Eight out of Ten Cats Does Countdown has come up short, I blindly flailed around the internet searching for “BBC Panel shows” and was delighted to come across Would I Lie to You? It has all the brit whit one could hope for in short 30 (closer to 23) minute segments. The guests are generally lovely as is the host, but all the heavy comedy lifting goes to the team captains. I have a new found respect for the impromptu hilarity that Lee Mack brings, having only seen him a few times on Cats in the past. On the other side is the very well known David Mitchell (aka the luckiest man alive see: Victoria Coren Mitchell) who just excels at everything I love about British comedy and why I think it is far ahead of anything produced in the states.


BOWLS: My team did not fare well early in the day. Many, many of the regular players were not playing in The Outback Bowl. Although I understood the reasoning behind this, I was a little miffed that we were watching third stringers and first time players and losing. I watched most of the rest of the Bowl games in the background, and then completely changed my mind when I saw what happened to the Ole Miss QB in the last game. Unfortunately, these are just scrimmages and these guys don’t want to risk it all when they already have a professional spot lined up.


ITS ALWAYS SUNNY: I did not realize I was watching the latest season so I got caught up soon after my last post and then went back to the season before, which is even better. The episode at the zoo when they are texting each other is as funny a sitcom as I have seen in quite some time. Bravo.


That is probably all the vacation watching updates, back to work in a couple of days. Of course, I’ll be sitting exactly where I am right now, just staring at a different set of monitors! Hopefully my Wednesday and Thursday night gaming groups are starting up again this week as well.

Vacation Watch list


Browns: Ravaged by Covid for two weeks they had two close games, but still two loses. Now 7-9 with an outside chance to make the playoffs. 4 turn-overs, bad kicking and again getting rooked by the refs, they still ended only two behind the Packers.


The Lord of the Rings: My youngest has been wanting a sword for sometime and she got Hadhafang for Christmas. Surprisingly, she has not seen the Lord of the Rings movies. We have been through Fellowship (stayed up until 2:30am) and Two Towers. Still have to watch Return of the King.

8-Bit Christmas: Watched as a family movie, was fine, not very memorable though. Not a new Christmas Classic.

Pitch Perfect: Always a go to in this house. One of the best movies ever made, with only one possible better movie, Pitch Perfect 2. Plus:

Don’t Look Up: Finished this one last night, an excellent biting treatise on the recent and current state of affairs in politics and in general in the United States. All star cast.


Altered Carbon: This is the second time I’m trying to watch this series. It 100% should be right up my alley but I just cannot get into it. I’ve gotten through two episodes and maybe I’m not paying enough attention but I was pretty lost by the end of it. This falls in line with The Expanse which I feel like I should also really enjoy but do not, and I have watched many more of those episodes.

Lost in Space: Really enjoyed the first few seasons, started the new season and was pretty disinterested. Someone suggested to me to go back and re-watch the first two (three?) seasons before watching the new one, but who has time for that?

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: I have and on and off affair with this show. I have watched most of the seasons and just started the newest one that is streaming. I always enjoys it’s take on the current state of affairs and this season is no different. I just have to be in the right mindset for their particular style of self-loathing comedy.

Curb your Enthusiasm: An up and down season that just ended, not even close to their best effort. Some genuinely hilarious moments, but never enough JB Smoove for me.


Jimmy Carr: His Dark Material: I do not watch stand up comedy specials, as a general rule. However, loving all British Comedy shows and desperately missing an outlet where I can watch Eight out of Ten Cats does Countdown (I was able to watch this years Christmas Special) I decided to give it a go. It was interesting to see the difference between his PG-13 BBC stuff and his R and X-rated show special material. Pretty funny, seemed a little over-written and over-produced to me, but again I don’t watch stand up that much. His crowd work was pretty much on point.

That is all I can think of for now, still have a bunch of vacation ahead of me so there will probably be another update in a few days.



On Friday I went to get my hassle-free, in and out, Pfizer booster from CVS. It had taken me a bit longer than I wanted to find the dose I wanted at the location I wanted but things finally aligned. I had no reaction from the first two shots, also Pfizer, and I didn’t think I was going to this time. So 9:30 rolls around and I usually burn the midnight oil on the weekends but I decided to go to bed. In addition to the booster it had been a long week and I had to physically go into the office a couple of days (how did we used to do that five days a week?!). Anyway, I went to bed and slept until 9:30 the next morning. I haven’t done 12 hours in a long time, and this was a hard 12 hours, I might have gotten up for one bathroom break but then right back to sleep. Boosted!