The Daily Bongo

June 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013 -- Evening

Big Brother's Second Show
Now we get to find out some of the things that the rest of us who have been watching the feeds know: that Elissa was MVP, nominated David, and then was nominated herself when McCrae won the veto. I wonder if we will hear all the racist things that Aaryn has been saying about homosexuals, blacks, and Asians. You can find details here..

As the show starts, everyone talks about the MVP and how scary it is. Aaryn thinks she is going to get it more than once. Someone says that it could be hardest on the HOH because he may put two people up, and those two may wind up staying in the house. As Andy says, now you have to suck up to everybody. Jeremy and Judd talk about America voting for girls. Jeremy said that Kaitlin has his vote. Jeremy said in DR that he is going to have to have a snuggle session with all the girls to keep himself safe. The girls say that David's code name is Ken. Nick's is Big (at first it was Manhattan. Jeremy is the sailor. Kaitlin and Jessie have the first hint of both having a crush on Jeremy. McCrae was blown away by his HOH room, since he was a super fan, and knows what it means. Everyone in the HOH room start talking about Rachel. Elissa believes that being Rachel's sister will put a huge target on her back.

Nick and Jeremy go out to play hacky sack, and then wind up talking strategy. Nick says that they should put together a guys alliance. Nick says that they switch up on the girls who are in the guys alliance. Nick then goes and talks to Spencer, Howard. Then Nick goes up to talk to McCrae about the Nick, Jeremy, Spencer, and Howard alliance. McCrae figured ou the alliance, just missing Spencer. McCrae says it is an offer he should not refuse. The guys go up to the HOH room. Nick says that statistically they should go far. They talk about who to put up. The guys want to either put up two girls or a girl and David. They call the alliance the Moving Company.

Aaryn and David go into a hammock to talk. Aaryn thinks David is strong and handsome. Aaryn says that they will be a power couple. David said that he came on the show for the showmance, not for the money. Amanda and Jessie talk about who Jessie likes. Amanda says in DR that any guy who looks at Jessie gets Jessie's motor running. Jessie seems conflicted over Nick and Jeremy. Amanda makes fun of Jessie in the DR, saying that she wants to slap Jessie in the face. Amanda suggests Jessie go for McCrae. Everyone talks about Elissa being Rachel's sister. Aaryn claims to be 100% sure that Elissa is Rachel Reilly's sister. David doesn't know who Rachel is. Aaryn tells him to keep quite, but then starts telling everyone herself. Amanda feels like the biggest idiot not to notice it. Everyone seems upset that Elissa is hiding that she's Rachel's sister. Aaryn wants to know what else Elissa is hiding.

Time for the Have and Have Not competition. Jeremy still has to compete even though he has the Have Not pass. They are split into three teams: yellow, red, and blue. The losing team is the have not. One member of each team has to paddle a boat across a little lake. They get a can from a cooler, paddle back, and put the can into a pyramid on a swing. Then the next person has to paddle to get a can. If the pyramid falls, they have to start again. Howard can't paddle, and he forgets not to breathe under water. Howard is a real loser. Red keeps in last place because Howard sucks, and Judd is no better. Aaryn goes on and on about how gorgeous David is. Elissa thought that red had the best strategy. Yellow couldn't understand how to hold the top. Kaitlin complains because Candice wasn't listening. Red team drops all the cans. Blue finished first. So it's down to Yellow ans Red. Helen said that Red can win if they concentrate. Yellow was two cans away when their cans fell. So Red is still in it. Elissa looks like the Joker in Batman with her red lipstick. Elissa said that no one comes between her and a hot shower. Kaitlin dropped the last can and had to go back. But Yellow team made it up. Red (Judd, Howard, Elissa, Helen, and Andy) were Have Nots. The BB beds are plane seats. Howard says that he has a first class body, and he needs first class accommodations. Kaitlin and Amanda complained about Candice not listening. Howard was giving the girls an eye.

Amanda is talking to McCrae, so she wants to influence him to get things to go her way. She takes it a bit far on the feeds by giving him handjobs. Amanda tells McCrae that no one likes Jessie. Amanda is jealous of Jessie's ass, it seems. McCrae sai that putting up weak players will keep the target off his back, but it would be a waste to not put up a strong player. Elissa goes to McCrae's HOH room. She is afraid that her secret is going to come out, so she tells McCrae that she is Rache's sister. McCrae thinks it's awesome and cool as a BB fan, but he thinks the house might go against him for not getting rid of Rachel's sister. David,, Aaryn, and Jessie got to talk to McCrae and say that McCrae should put up Elissa and Helen. Aaryn really has her claws into Elissa, and for some petty reason, Aaryn seems to be really angry, which I don't understand. McCrae says that he has to play the game for himself.

Nick talked to McCrae right before nominations. McCrae said that it is pretty much Elissa on everyone's radar because of the Rachel connection. Time for the nomination ceremony. The keys pulled out in order are: Nick, Jeremy, David, Aaryn, Kaitlin, GinaMarie, Elissa, Helen, Amanda, Andy, Howard, Spencer, and Judd. So Jessie and Candice are nominated. McCrae said Candice is strong and wants her to play for the veto. He said Jessie has a good social game. Jessie vows to win the veto. Ha! McCrae wants the MVP to get the blood on his/her hands.

Saturday, June 29, 2013 -- Evening

Cover of I Watch, Therefore I Am by Gregory Bergman and Peter Archer
I Watch, Therefore I Am by Gregory Bergman and Peter Archer
When I was in college, one of my favorite courses was on the philosophy of ethics. Since then, I have always found the topic of ethics and philosophy interesting. In my writing courses, I devote a class to professional ethics. So when I saw I Watch, Therefore I Am by Gregory Bergman and Peter Archer in the library, I was very excited. Who wouldn't want to see the connection between philosophical principles and television? Whenever I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, I would pay special attention to the ethical issues that would confront the crew of the Enterprise. I thought that's what I Watch, Therefore I Am would do, talk about the philosophical issues presented in series television.

Imagine then, my disappointment when I discovered that the book gave a very quick and superficial overview of different philosophical ideologies while making a rather lame connection to some television show. I think in most cases the connections between the philosophical principle and the show was rather tenuous. For example, the authors made a connection between All in the Family and faith and reason. I was hard pressed to see the connection or to see how the example dialog illustrated anything about faith. The book is extremely quick and easy to read because there isn't much depth, and there are blank pages between most of the chapters. If you are looking for something entertaining or that looks at the philosophical elements in a particular show, you will probably be disappointed with I Watch, Therefore I Am. I know that I was.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 -- Evening

Big Brother Returns!
I am so excited! For me, summer starts when the Big Brother season starts, and tonight was the night. Julie started by telling the audience that we would have a major impact on the game. Then we got to see screaming, happy house guests. Aaryn said she is a Texas girl who can tell if people are lying. Nick says he's going to be the hardset working person. Helen talks about having two jobs: mom and politician. Spencer says he's a train conductor. David is a life guard who likes to look at himself in the mirror. He says he loves the ladies and the ladies love him. Barf! Elizza, looks like Rachel. She's going to try to keep that secret. Andy is really annoying. He says that he teaches public speaking and teaches lying. Kaitlin hopes to manipulate guys. McCrae just desires to deliver pizza and be a clown. GinaMarie had a Staten Island accent and says she coordinates pageants. Howard says he has the eye of a tiger and heart of a lion. Jessie claims to be a leader, and mentions all the things she leads. Of course, girls are always jealous of her. Jeremy lives on a sail boat, but he was rarely on a boat before he bought one. He also claims to be Cherokee. Amanda is a realtor in Florida. Candice found out at 26 that she was adopted. She has a black and a white family. Judd (J-u-double d) says that people have to keep an eye out for his schemes.

Packing shows McCrae packing hats, David packing V-necks to show off his pecks, and Howard packing his Bible. After packing, everyone heads out for the show. At the entrance to the house, Julie says that this year is going to be more difficult than every before. She says that they have to stay in the house for 90 days. First four into the house: Candice, GinaMarie, Judd, and Andy. They go in search of beds. Andy said as a super fan it is all very surreal. Judd is excited to be in with GinaMarie. Next: Elissa, Jeremy, Kaitlin, and McCrae. McCrae is really out of place and socially inept. Next: Howard, Helen, Jessie, and Nick. More screaming ensues. Helen claims to be a huge fan. Howard is just overwhelmed with the beautiful women. GinaMarie loves Hoard's muscle. Elissa wants to form an all girl alliance (for the first time, she says). Kaitlin doesn't get along with other girls and promises cat fights. Jessie says she's the prettiest. Finally: Aaryn, Amanda, David, and Spencer. David is confused on whether he wants to sleep with the girls or the guys.

Next up is the champagne and boisterous talk. Candice talks like she has a speech impediment, which is funny considering she is a speech therapist. David sounds stupid. Jessie thinks Jeremy looks like Taylor Lautner. Helen doesn't want to say she is into politics. Kaitlin says that Andy will be her gay-mance. Howard immediately talks about religion, and McCrae talks about how cut Howard is. Spencer is really annoyed by GinaMarie's constant talk and laugh. No one believes McCrae is a pizza boy. David says he can stare into Aaryn's eyes forever. Judd thinks Elissa familiar.

The guys walked around checking out doors. Jeremy, Howard, and Spencer start talking about a secret alliance. Spencer thinks that they will make a good alliance. Then Jessie gets David and Jeremy together to talk alliance. She wants to make a good looking alliance. Jessie thinks all the girls are going after her because she is so beautiful. Barf! Jeremy said that they have to keep the alliance secret. McCrae breaks up the alliance talk. Everyone meets in the living room. Julie tells the house guests the rules and to expect the unexpected. The summer's twist is that there will be three nominees every week. Howard is overwhelmed. Andy was not expecting this. The HOH nominates two house guests. Julie is not saying how the third person is selected. Then Julie uses Rachel's quote of "floaters get a life vest." The house guests are now realizing that game is on.

Time for the first HOH competition. It's called Popsicle Factory. The house guests have to climb onto a huge popsicle looking object. The last person hanging on wins HOH. Elissa wants to win because she is afraid of the Rachel connection. David and McCrae also want to win. Judd is the first person down. He didn't want the first HOH. Then Howard fell. Howard didn't want to be too big a threat so he threw it. Then Candice was down. Then they sprayed water on the house guests and swiped the popsicles with a big tongue. Candice realized that Elissa looks like Rachel. Judd says he is going to keep it to himself. Then Amanda fell, followed by Spencer. More spraying happens. David said he doesn't know if he can take having the competition messing up his hair. McCrae thinks it's intense. Kim is down next, then Jessie. Elissa falls, then GinaMarie, and Andy. Six people are left. Caitlin fell after two hours. Aaryn is the last girl standing. Two hours and 43 minutes have passed. Jeremy thinks Aaryn is a competitor. Aaryn fell at 3 hours, 2 minutes. Andy thinks they were way too into the competition. Julie has a proposal for the next two who fall. There are two lunch pails. One has a pass to never be a Have Not all summer. Nothing is in the other. They all talk David into dropping. He dropped at 3 hours 55 minutes. David got nothing. Then Jeremy dropped so he could get the Never Not pass. Candice said it's like giving a super hero another power. Nick and McCrae make a deal. McCrae claims on his life to not put Nick up at any time. So McCrae is the first HOH. McCrae comments that he delivers.

Julie tells them about the third nomination, which will be made by someone in the room. So the deal is that America votes for a BB MVP. That person will make the third nomination. That person can do it anonymously. The BB MVP will be revealed right before the Veto competition. McCrae realizes that the two he nominates might not go home, and he might be in trouble. The MVP will be revealed in the next episode.

Monday, June 24, 2013 -- Evening

Cover of Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters
Night Train to Memphis
All I have to say is "wow!" I just finished reading the fifth book in the Vicky Bliss series, Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters. I really liked the first two books in the series: Borrower of the Night and Street of Five Moons, and Night Train to Memphis rivals them for my favorite of the batch. This one started with Vicky wondering what the heck was going on with Sir John Smythe. He had been incommunicado for around six weeks, and she was sure that something was up. When she was approached by the Munich police asking her to go on a cruise because she might be able to identify a criminal, she knew that it had to be Sir John. The Munich police try to get her boss, Herr Schmidt, out of the picture on a trumped up museum purchase, and Vicky went off to Cairo to be a Egyptian art expert on a Nile cruise for wealthy tourists. Imagine Vicky's shock when Sir John was on the cruise with...his wife! The twists and turns that follow as Vicky tried to figure out what was going on, and who was threatening her and Schmidt. Peters has always been great with all Egyptian plots, and Night Train to Memphis has tons of excitement and chase scenes as Vicky and John try to escape from the baddies.

There were so many things that I loved about this book. First, we found out that Sir John's real name was John Tregarth. Then, if you do a careful reading of the book, you find tons of references to the Tregarth history. Peters always alluded to the connection between John and the Emersons (of the Amelia Peabody Emerson mysteries). It's easier to pick up the clues when you know to look for them. If you haven't read any of the Vicky Bliss books, you really need to get cracking!

Thursday, June 20, 2013 -- Afternoon

Welcome to the House Guests
We finally got to know who the house guests are for this year's Big Brother. I noticed that none of them are over 40. Most are in their 20s with Helen being the oldest at 37. Check out all the house guests to see if you have any favorites. I wait to see how they are on the feeds/show before I make a decision.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 -- Afternoon

Big Brother Twist and House
Julie Chen shows us the HOH bedroom in the Big Brother house Julie Chen was on Entertainment Tonight to give a tour of the Big Brother house. One of the twists could be annoying. There aren't nomination chairs in the living room. So how do house guests leave the house? My mind is divided on that one because it could mean that the viewers vote people out. Of course, there was also talk that there would be no floaters this year, so maybe it means the person who finishes last in the competitions is up for eviction. We won't know until next week.

There will also be sixteen house guests this year since the show is running longer than usual. Now that will be fun, if we get to see them all. The house has a 60s feel to it, in homage to Mad Men and its popularity. It does give the house a very cool retro feel.

As Julie mentioned, America's role will be huge this season, and it will affect nominations. Out of the sixteen house guests, there will be one familiar face, but it won't be what we think. Boy, this year sounds like it it really going to be a good one! Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen! The start is just around the corner.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 -- Evening

Cover of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle I read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle for the first time. The book is a child's classic that was written in 1962, and surprisingly, this is the first time that I read the book. I'm not sure if I tried to read the book as a child, but I'm sure that if I did, I would have been confused and probably stopped reading the book. The story is about the Murry family, especially, Meg and Charles Wallace. Their father went off on a secret assignment for the government, and wound up going missing. Mr. Murry is a physicist, and Mrs. Murry is also a scientist. Although everyone in the town thinks that Mr. Murray left his family for another woman. However, the family knows he's out there. Charles Wallace, five-years-old, doesn't talk much, and others think he is an idiot. However, when he talks to his family, he has a much more advanced vocabulary and intellect. Charles Wallace mets some strange women in the woods near his house: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Who. Of course, the three women turn out to be from another realm, and they help Charles Wallace, Meg, and new family friend, Calvin O'Keefe, find and rescue Mr. Murry. Of course, there is lots of talk about time and distance travel via a tesseract, or a wrinkle in time/space. The three kids eventually find Mr. Murry, but run into the evil IT, the darkness that takes over planets and life on those planets.

As I said, the book is very confusing at the beginning. It's hard to figure out what is going on. I could imagine that some kids might just give up with the confusion. Also, there are definite religious overtones throughout the book with the fight between good and evil, and supreme goodness and supreme evil. There is also some discussion of mathematics and science. The tesseract is a product of the fifth dimension. The book is a quick read, and I really enjoyed the book. The key message to remember is that love wins out over evil. I can imagine that several readings would needed to pick up all the details in the book. Wrinkle in Time is indeed a very thought provoking story.

Friday, June 14, 2013 -- Evening

Cover of Split Second by David Baldacci
Split Second by David Baldacci
I love to find new-to-me authors with a batch of books that I can read. David Baldacci fits that description. Yes, I heard of him before; that is how Baldacci got on my to-be-read list in the first place. I would see his books on the New Books tables. Since the books appear to be thrillers, I thought they would be right up my alley, and I was right. I started with the King and Maxwell series. The first book is Split Second starts with Michelle Maxwell, Secret Service agent, losing the presidential candidate that she was watching. John Bruno was kidnapped from a funeral home while the Secret Service agents waited outside the viewing room for him. This, of course, leads into the last time the Secret Service lost a presidential candidate when Clyde Ritter was assassinated on Sean King's watch eight years earlier. King was distracted by something, and did not see Arnold Ramsey shoot Ritter. However, King responded and killed Ramsey. What's the tie between the two cases? Will King and Maxwell join forces and catch the psychotic mind behind the events?

I loved the book! The action was constant. Every few pages, someone was threatened or killed. There were a ton of lose ends, and it didn't seem to me to make any sense about how the two events were connected. I did manage to figure out the twist with one of the people involved in the mystery. However, there were so many loose ends that I didn't think Baldacci would be able to tie them up. But Baldacci did a great job doing just that. I'm looking forward to reading more in this series and the Camel Club books (the other series Baldacci writes). As I was reading the book one evening, I noticed that TNT has a new television series based on the books called, what for it, King and Maxwell. I'm not sure if I'll watch the series, but I will definitely be reading the books.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 -- Evening

Cover of The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The Ice Limit is a standalone book written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. This book does not have any connection to the Pendergast books. In The Ice Limit, Sam McFarlane is a meteorite hunter. He used to be a partner with Nestor Masangkay, and when Masangkay turns up dead, after finding what may be the biggest meteorite ever found, McFarlane finds himself a wanted man, wanted by Palmer Lloyd, one of the richest men in the world. Lloyd wants to get the meteorite for his museum. So Lloyd hires McFarlane, and then hires Eli Glinn, head of Effective Engineering Solutions, Inc. (EES), to get the meteorite from a deserted island off the coast of Chile. Stuff gets tricky when Lloyd wants the meteorite yesterday, which means that the EES and McFarlane have to go around Cape Horn in July, which is the winter in the southern hemisphere. EES converts a tanker into this high-tech vehicle. The tanker has been made to look like a crappy tanker that won't arouse the suspicions of the Chileans. The ship's captain is a woman who had lost her ship's command by grounding the ship while drunk. However, she is extremely competent, and now no longer drinks. There is lots of talk about the Ice Limit, which is the area around Cape Horn where the ocean is so close to Antarctic that is full of icebergs and dangerous waters. The group is determined to get the meteorite out of the ground even with all the obstacles. The meteorite turns out to be much heavier and dangerous than they originally thought. The meteorite seems to fit into McFarlane's pet theory that there might be meteorites that came from outside of our Solar System. As McFarlane and Rachel Amira try to figure out what the meteorite is, while Glinn tries to get the meteorite into the tanker's hold before Commandante Vallenar of the Chilean navy shoots the tanker out of the water.

The Ice Limit is a typical Preston and Child thriller. At times, as I was reading it, I was strongly reminded of Michael Crichton. I spend most of the book on the edge of my seat, just knowing that something awful was going to happen and that none of them were going to get back to New York. I read the Kindle version of the book, and it contained the epilogue that Preston and Child had on their website. The epilogue contained a variety of news articles about the incidents in the book after the fact. There are some rumors that Preston and Child will write a sequel to The Ice Limit. Since The Ice Limit came out in 2000, I'm afraid that means there won't be a sequel. Come on, Preston and Child! I want to more! Cover of Max Finder Mystery volume 1 by Liam O'Donnell and Michael Cho
Max Finder Mystery
I love a good graphic novel, and my favorite type is the mystery/adventure type. One of my favorites is the Case Closed manga, and recently I found Alison Dare. Right after I finished the Alison Dare stories, I went to the local library to scan the shelves for more entertaining graphic novels. I came across Max Finder Mysteries by Liam O'Donnell and Michael Cho, and I got the first three volumes of the collected cases. The books are a collection of short stories and puzzles, sort of in the same vein as Encyclopedia Brown. The stories are four pages each. At the end of the story, you get the chance to play detective and see if you can figure it out. The answers are included at the end of the book. Between each story is a one page puzzle. Each puzzle is different, ans are things like cracking the code, tracking the footprints, and completing sentences.

How do the stories compare to Encyclopedia Brown? Well, the Encyclopedia Brown stories are much more clever. However, I really enjoyed Max Finder. The cast of characters is small, and everyone makes nicey-nicey at the end. I liked Max Finder, and I plan on looking for volumes 4 through 6. Next up on the graphic novel list is Leave it to Chance.