Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Survivor 26.3

Here is the Official Bodacious Baldies Survivor: Caramoan Recap for week three:

Two down. After Ally's untimely demise at last week's Tribal, Gota tribe returned to camp angry and upset. Shamar began screaming and yelling at Reynold for what he thought was a master plan to get him voted out. Shamar was losing control until Sherri stepped in to try to calm him down. For some reason, Sherri seems to have a handle on this hothead and he listens to her.

What Shamar doesn't seem to have a handle on is the “outwit” part of Survivor. He quickly starts questioning his ability to play the game at all because it involves lying! Now, this I love because it happens every season. People who watch this show know there are going to be lies told yet every season there's some chucklehead on the tribe that is taken aback that lies are told. Really?

Over at Bikal, things are going along swimmingly. So much so that weird Special Agent Phil gets the chance to do a little beachside exercise training video where he does bicep curls with conch shells and lifts a log over his head. He says it keeps him fit and young and then he teaches us that none of the others can play Survivor quite like he can and he likens it to “old school basketball” ala Larry Byrd. Yeah, I didn't make much sense to me either.

Corinne starts hanging around my Malcolm because no one else will really hang around her. They go off and start looking for the Hidden Immunity Idol. As usual, the idol was hidden in a place so remote and dark that it took them literally hours to find it. NO! It took them seconds. At this point the producers should just put a sign with an arrow stating, “Be sure to look in the tree!” because that's always where it is.

Who is hiding these things? Seriously! Why bother hiding the idol at all at this point. Just drop them from the sky and let them catch them as they fall. Ridiculous! Corinne better watch herself too. She started saying that she thought Malcolm was smart and referred to him, as “eye candy” and I will not have that!!

Cochran, meanwhile, was waxing lyrical on how great it was to play Survivor because being on Survivor was like watching it at 8pm on CBS every single day…except he's also in it. He also expressed that having some seriously scantily clad women walking around every day was a bonus for him because he never gets that in real life. Cochran, with his goofy sunburn (yet still the whitest man alive!), is starting to grow on me.

Andrea approaches Cochran because she is taking a page from season's past and remembers to “always be thinking”. She's decided to get in an alliance with him and Brandon Hantz. Brandon is all for it but then again paranoidally (it's a word…honest) cautious because he's been lied to before. He professes that he will reek havoc on the camp if he is lied to again by peeing in the rice and setting the camp on fire. In his words, he says, there will be “hell to pay”. Somehow, those words coming from a Hantz should sound more ominous but they're coming from teeny tiny Brandon so they kind of lose their affect.

Back at Gota, Shamar has stopped yelling but is now sulking. He says, “My happiness isn't worth a million” and starts to talk about quitting. He tells his story about how hard it's been to readjust to civilian life after two tours in Iraq and that he has had anger and alcohol issues but had gotten over that. He also says that all he does is try to be “uplifting” to people. I'm not sure I've seen the uplifting side.

Thing is, I want to be able to back Shamar and cheer him on. I think his military duties have been admirable and something to be honored. But I also think he's a major jerk. He's a loose cannon and a whiner and incredibly needy. His need for total attention is annoying and I wish he would go! In the end, he decides it would be “unloyal” of him to quit so he stays and everyone says a quiet “yay!” Everyone except Reynold who isn't buying the load of crap Shamar is selling.

At the Immunity/Reward Challenge, the teams have to swim out to a cage, untie it, drag a crate back to shore, hook pieces of a track together and push the crate to the end. If they win they Immunity and some comfort items – blankets, pillows, chairs, etc.

It's a pretty close race right from the start. Laura (who? She's on Gota) is a poor swimmer but not so bad to stand out really. Shamar gets into a scuffle about some swim goggles but it doesn't really stop the action. So neck and neck, the tribes duke it out to the end but the Faves take it and win when Brandon hooks the last piece of the track and they push their crate to victory. The Fans win something Jamie Burhani Cairo would love – a date with Jeff Probst! Hehehe…

Sherri (who? Again, at Gota...she's a bit of a player this one) masterminds a scheme to take out Hope (who?? I know...but these people are so non-descript!) She tells her alliance to split the vote between Eddy and Hope and somehow that will get Hope out. She tells Shamar to keep his trap shut and not say a word but he immediately turns around and tells Hope to save herself by voting for Eddy. Hope turns around and tells another Gota woman (I can't even remember this one's name!) who runs back to tell Sherri and the rest that Shamar blabbed.

So, as they go to Tribal it's all a mess and no one is really sure what's going to happen. At Tribal, Shamar tells Probst how misunderstood he is and how everyone lies about him all the time. Hope tells them how Shamar told her to save herself and Shamar calls her a big fat liar. He called Reynold a liar too even though he's not allowing Reynold to speak to him anymore.

The vote comes back with a three way tie because not only did Eddy and Hope gets votes, so did Shamar. So they revote…and finally it's Hope that's sent packing. Probst tells them they are dysfunctional but Sherri is sitting there with a smirk because she knows she is the Queen Bee of this island and no one else seems to realize how she's orchestrating everything right now. I'm keeping my eye on her!

Fellow Survivor Geek Auntie Janet was right – TOO MUCH TALKING! Each week, before I start writing my portion of the recap, I call up my Auntie Janet to get her take on went down in the episode that just ended. Invariably, at some point, she will say that there was too much talking and not enough action. And tonight she definitely spot on with that assessment.

There was absolutely no action of any kind for the first 27 minutes of the show. None whatsoever! It was right around 7:23 that I realized there would only be one challenge tonight. Ya, the dreaded Immunity/Reward Combo Challenge. I don’t know about the rest of the Fellow Survivor Geeks out there, but I always feel cheated when we only get one challenge.

Up until the Combo Challenge occurred, very little happened. Here’s my notes:

After last week’s Tribal Council, there is a whole bunch of Shamar drama at the Gota camp. Thankfully, Sherri fancies herself the Shamar Whisperer.

Over at Bikal, Corrine and Malcolm are pairing up. She digs him. They find a Hidden Immunity Idol. Mary Beth is right. Whoever is responsible for hiding those things should be fired.

Cochran said that being on Survivor is great because every day is Wednesday night on CBS. Then he added that all the women were basically walking around in their underwear and compared it to a “Freudian Picnic”.

Then Andrea talked to Brandon about wanting to eliminate Corrine. Then Brandon started talking all spastic and brought up pissing in the water and the rice and possibly burning the camp down. Ya, ya.


Honestly, that was the first 27 minutes of the hour. Talk about a snoozefest. I was greatly relieved when the Immunity/Reward Combo Challenge rolled around. The reward portion was two chairs, a couple of pillows, a blanket and a tarp.

The challenge itself was a good one. At least if we are only getting one challenge, they are making it fresh and original. This was also quite physical. It involved swimming, climbing, diving, dragging a giant chest and, finally, ring toss.

The Faves (Bikal) jumped out to any early lead because Laura from the Fans (Gota) couldn’t swim. Or lower herself to help drag the giant chest. Remarkably, when it got to the ring toss portion of the challenge, it was dead even. Pretty boys, Reynold and Eddie had their chances, but the Faves came out on top behind the tossing of Malcolm, Special Agent Phil and Brandon.

This meant that the Fans would have to send someone home. Award-winning host Jeff Probst did his usual ubiquitous job of instigating just enough arguing and backstabbing to make Tribal Council bearable. After the bickering and Shamar was done defending himself, they voted.

The first vote was three-way tie with three votes each for Shamar, Eddie and Hope. This necessitated a revote and this time Hope was voted off, leaving only Reynold and Eddie from the Pretty People Alliance.

All in all it was a pretty blasé hour with only 13 or 14 minutes of actual entertainment. Actually, there were a couple positives that I failed to mention. Try as I can, I don’t recall the insipid Erik’s name being mentioned once. Also, I think I have finally found my girlfriend for season 26 – Laura. While she is no RC and totally sucks at challenges, she is kind of cute and is starting to grow on me.

Until next time…from the booth.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Arno Got His Lunch

It’s time to drag out another Arno Anecdote from the Koos Vault Inc. You remember Arno Schubert, the cantankerous old Kraut who was known in every watering hole from downtown Kenosha all the way out to Paddock Lake. The only time he didn’t have a cigarette in his mouth is when he removed it long enough to quaff a beer or spew an obscenity, both of which he did with great regularity. His beer of choice was Pabst Blue Ribbon and his favorite expletive rhymed with rock-tucker.

A while back I wrote a blog about this Koos Inc. icon that was titled, “Arno Was On Fire!” Today I will share with you a story about when Arno got his lunch.

In “Arno Was On Fire!” I mentioned that Koos Inc. was extremely cold during the winter months because the antiquated structure was, for the most part, unheated. There were only two areas in the dilapidated building that had any heat – the shipping dock office and a small room that housed a Hayssen packaging machine. If it was 10° outside, it wasn’t any warmer inside, so you dressed accordingly.

Well, I lied. Sort of.

Around the bagging areas we had salamander heaters. For the uninformed, salamander heaters provide heat for outside workers and are generally found at construction sites. They are portable and provide warmth and are gas-powered, although there are now electric types available for use.

Depending on which type of unit you have, they can use natural gas, propane gas or kerosene. Whether you are a construction employee or an employee of Koos Inc., the salamander heater can come in handy.

Check out the photo at the top of the blog to get an idea of what a salamander looks like. Besides yielding a modicum of warmth, salamanders also provided several other “benefits”.

The old, obsolete models that we used at Koos Inc. were kerosene fueled, so they spewed out an exhaust that left a black, sooty film on everything it came in contact with, including your lungs. I ruined many a bath towel by blowing my nose into it after a 10-hour shift in that filthy ice melter plant.

The other service that the salamander could provide was that it could warm up a frozen TV dinner in about an hour. Put your Swanson Hungry Man dinner on the top of the salamander at 11:00 o’clock and by noon it was piping hot, ready to eat. It really worked. Honest.

Now, I want you to venture a guess who cooked more frozen TV dinners on top of those salamanders than anyone else at Koos, Inc.

That’s right, Arno Schubert.

Because he drove the front-end loader downstairs by the raw materials, Arno made it a point to get his TV dinner on top of the noxious fume-emitting heater before anybody else could.

You knew it was 11:00 o’clock when you saw that crusty, old German in the raggedy orange snowmobile suit putting his lunch on a salamander. He always told the bagging crew to keep their frickin’ hands off of it before disappearing back downstairs to his front-end loader.

On one particularly chilly February morning in 1976, we were working on line #3, bagging 50 lb. bags of ice melter. At 11:00 o’clock, like clockwork, Arno popped up out of nowhere to start “cooking” his lunch.  I believe meatloaf and mashed potatoes were on the menu that day. Then, just as quickly as he appeared, he cursed at us and vanished.

Pretty much business as usual until our supervisor told us to finish the pallet we were working on and go down to line #4 and start doing 25 lb. bags. No big deal, all we had to do was drag the salamander down there with us so we had our little bit of warmth.

That would be the salamander with Arno’s delicious meatloaf dinner on top of it that we were dragging.

As you might guess, a salamander gets very hot and you can tell by looking at the photo, that there are no handles to grab onto. What you had to do was loop a length of twine around one of the supports on the base and drag it, being cautious not to spill any of the flammable kerosene contained inside.

This was no easy task because the floor at Koos Inc. was tremendously uneven and depending on the weather, it was either covered with slimy mud or with an inch of dust. On that day we were dealing with the dust factor.

Again, please keep in mind; Arno’s meatloaf is going along for the ride. Unfortunately, none of us remembered this fact.

Halfway to line #4, Harry Leipzig hit a rather deep pothole in the severely pitted floor and the salamander bounced, nearly tipping over. Luckily, it did not. Regrettably, Arno’s TV dinner didn’t make it, landing on the grimy flooring.

Yes, it fell upside down, spilling meatloaf and mashed potatoes all over the place.

After we finished laughing hysterically, we realized that we had a problem on our hands. A big problem. If Arno discovers that his precious TV dinner had met such an untimely demise, there would be hell to pay.

What would we do?

Jim Weber, thinking quickly, grabbed a shovel and scooped up the meatloaf and mashed potatoes back into the aluminum tray. Granted the shovel was rusty and was used to clean the filthy floor, but our options were limited. We didn’t want to incur the wrath of that cantankerous Kraut.

We checked the clock; it was nearly noon so we had to work fast. After Weber had gotten most of Arno’s lunch back into the tray, we pushed it around to make it look as presentable as we could. Fortunately the gravy was dark, which made it hard to see the dirt. We carefully covered the sloppy mess with the foil before returning it to the top of the salamander.

We could only pray that he wouldn’t notice.

We had just finished moving the salamander into the line #4 area when a hungry Arno showed up. Grabbing his TV dinner, he sat down on the conveyor belt, ready to eat his lunch.

As he pulled a spoon out of his pocket, we watched breathlessly, not knowing what to expect. He smiled his toothless grin, pulled back the foil ready to dig in.

He scooped up a big spoonful of the brownish slop and brought it up to his scarred lips. Was he really going to eat it?

Just as he was about to put the disgusting mixture into his mouth, Weber blurted out loudly, “Don’t eat it Arno, it fell on the floor!”

After throwing what was supposed to be his lunch against the wall, Arno let loose with a string of expletives that was legendary. Without going into a lot of detail, most of the words contained the hard “k” sound.

The story did have a happy ending because Arno got his lunch. Weber graciously offered to run over to McDonald’s and buy Arno a Big Mac. After carefully pondering the proposal, Arno called Weber a rather offensive name and said, “Make it two.”

If you enjoyed this Arno Anecdote and would like to read more about Arno Schubert and his hijinks, click on either Arno or Schubert in the Labels section below this blog.

Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Survivor 26.2

Here is the Official Bodacious Baldies Survivor: Caramoan Recap for week two:
As excited as I get about the season opening episode of Survivor, I have to admit that I enjoy the second episode even more. Why, you ask? Because that’s when they start getting into the personalities of the players and let us, the viewers, start to see who these people really are. Now, tonight's episode was pretty standard Survivor fare – showing highlights from each tribe as they learn to live together and work together as a team. 

Yeah, well that didn't start out very well.

Coming back from the first Tribal Council, Brandon Hantz gets his undies all in a bundle because he thinks it was heartless to vote Francesca off first again. For some reason, he goes after Dawn for this though I seem to recall there were many other votes for Francesca, not just Dawn's. Dawn tries to explain herself but Hantz kind of blows her over.

The next thing we know, Dawn is crying because Brandon is being “mean” to her. Crying?? Really?? It's only Day Three for craps sake! There's no crying allowed! Least of all because someone is being mean to you! Hantz tries to invoke the spirit of his Uncle Russell and threatens to reek havoc on the island for some sort of avenging of the ousting of Francesca! Sheesh!

Over at Gota, Shamar is lying around doing nothing and generally annoying the others who are all doing something. He believes he's conserving his energy and his two tours in Iraq have somehow made it his right to do so. I have to confess I have a problem with Gota. I, for the life of me, cannot remember any of these non-descript players’ names. I remember Shamar and Reynolds. Then there are a lot of blonde people and some other young guy.

They are so uninteresting that even when I see their names on the screen I immediately forget them! Anyway, there's an older blonde that wants to keep Shamar around and she's got 5 other people on her side against the “pretty” foursome so it looks like they're at least trying to make it interesting.

Back at Bikal, Cochran is trying to counsel Brandon to help him be a better person. Brandon calms down and decides he can't be like his Uncle so he tells Cochran he'll be good. Is it me or does Cochran, in a very short time, look like some kind of homeless wino elf? Cochran, AKA Captain Obvious, declares that Brandon is “unpredictable”.

Speaking of unpredictable, Philip, still in his pink undies, tries to psychoanalyze Brandon telling him that he, Philip, is the CEO of the corporation and Brandon is Middle Management on a “need to know” basis. Sheesh!

At Immunity/Reward Challenge, the two tribes compete in a watery ring toss challenge where they first have to swim out to get on a raft, get towed to a pier, jump in and release some inner tubes, then get the inner tubes back by being towed to shore when a tribe mate then has to ring three posts.

It all started out pretty close but then something weird happened. No one on the Fans side could swim all of a sudden. When they got to the part to jump in and release the inner tubes no one could do it! The same blonde person kept jumping in over and over again but they could only get one tube. The Faves easily won Immunity and for reward they won fishing gear.

Afterwards, Philip started talking about how he is the leader of an organization called Stealth R Us. He gave all the other members of his alliance nicknames. They all smiled politely and nodded but I could hear their collective thought that this guy was completely crazy!

Before the Fans head off to Tribal Council, Reynold takes a look around for a hidden immunity idol. Now, in my opinion, whoever is in charge of hiding these “hidden” idols needs to fired. It's been way to easy to find these things for the past few seasons now. I swear he looked for about 30 seconds and he found the damn thing.

His joy was short lived though when one of the blondes saw him put it in his pocket. He wears these really tight cargo shorts and he either had an idol or he was happy to see her! She made this an issue at council and he was forced to reveal to the rest that he had it.

Reynold and Shamar get into it some more when Reynold's tries to point out what a lazy sack he thinks Shamar is. Shamar again tells them he's not lazy, he's a Marine and has been to Iraq! (I will never understand his logic with that excuse but there it is.) It didn't matter anyway because the non-pretty people banded together and voted out one of the pretty people leaving Reynold's to shake his head in wonder and Shamar hanging on for one more try. 

I do believe this is going to be an outstanding seasons. Man, oh man! There are already numerous alliances being formed. We have more interesting characters than you can shake a stick at. The challenges have been new and challenging. We got it all this time around. I have only two minor complaints about tonight’s show. One is that they combined the Reward and Immunity Challenges. I always feel cheated when that happens. The other was that Reynold found a Hidden Immunity Idol in less than a minute. Please. Who does he think he is, Russell Hantz?

Because Mary Beth always does such an excellent job going over the details of the episode, I thought that I would elaborate on the current alliances and some of the more entertaining personalities.

So far there are three main alliances, of which the Gota (Fans) Tribe has two – the Pretty People and the Misfits. The Pretties consist of Reynold, Eddie, Allie and Hope. The Misfits are made up of ZZ Top wannabe Matt, Michael, Julie, Sherri, Laura and 300 lb. Iraq vet Shamar.

Unfortunately for the Pretties, after Allie got voted out, they are down to only three. On the plus side, leader of the Pretty People does have the afore mentioned Hidden Immunity Idol. How much of an advantage this will be remains to be seen, because everyone at Gota knows he has it. This is due to the fact that Misfit Laura noticed the “bulge” in his pocket.

On the Bikal (Faves) side of the island there is only one alliance, but it is a doozy – Stealth R Us, Inc. headed up by Special Agent Phil. He even assigned official names. I’m not real clear on all of them, but here’s what I got:

Special Agent Phil – The Specialist
Corrine – The Dominatrix
Malcolm – The Enforcer
Cochran – Intelligence Attaché
Andrea – The Eliminator
Dawn – True Grit

Quite an impressive group and leaves only Brenda, Erik and Brandon on the outside of Stealth R Us, Inc. But truth be told, I’m not sure how long this alliance will be together. I think Special Agent Phil is the only one that is real serious about it. But it sure is amusing.

I mentioned that there are a good number of eccentric characters in season 26. Special Agent Phil heads that list. Some of the others:

Cochran – Fellow Survivor Geek Jamie’s favorite geek. He does sort of grow on you.
Shamar – the Iraq vet that is not only large, but also loud. And very obnoxious.
Matt – the tattooed and bearded one who tends to overanalyze.
Sherri – she wants to mold Shamar into her personal Special Agent Phil. Okay, let's see how that works.
Michael – I think he has been holding his flamboyance in check so far.

Last, but not least, is Brandon. Wow, where do I start? Since he was last on Survivor he has added more bad ink to his body than Dennis Rodman. Plus, it looks like he has a broken pencil sticking out of his left earlobe. That’s not the crazy part of Brandon. That would be his schizophrenic personality.

If he isn’t attacking someone viciously, he’s either crying about or talking to God. There’s no in between with this boy. As if that weren’t enough, tonight he told Erik (why is this guy a Fave) that he felt like going “Russell Hantz” on everyone. Will he morph into his evil uncle? I don’t know, but during next week’s coming attractions he was threatening to piss in the water and the rice and possibly burn the camp down. Sounds reasonable to me.

That being said, I can’t wait to see if he does! I love this show. Until next time…from the booth.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A True Basketball Star

Over the past few days sports talk radio has been inundated with stories and memories of Michael Jordan. Evidently he turns 50 today. Yippee. Plus, the National Basketball Association’s All-Star game is being played this evening. Because I couldn’t care less about either of these events, I decided to bring out a classic from the Koos Vault and honor a true basketball star from Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

You guessed it – the name of this local legend is none other than that crusty Kraut, the iconic Arno Schubert.

Although this man never played in the NBA and technically was never an All-star, he certainly deserves to be acknowledged for his contributions to the game of basketball.

In order to pay homage to this phenom, I would like to share with you one of the many stories that have been written chronicling his greatness. It was originally posted January 10, 2010.

On a cold Saturday afternoon in January of 1977, Kenosha Tap’s basketball team took to the court at Bullen Jr. High School. Led by player-coach Kurt Plaisted, the squad was warming up for their 1:00 pm City League tilt with the Jubilee Lounge. As fans began to fill the bleachers, Plaisted nervously watched the locker room door as he tossed in a long practice shot.

All of Kenosha Tap’s players were present and accounted for, except for the special secret weapon that Plaisted had counting on. It was almost game time and he was beginning to become anxious.

Suddenly Plaisted’s anticipation disappeared.

With a thundering bang, the door from the locker room burst open and a loud cry of “Let’s kick some ass you sons-of-bitches” was heard throughout the large gymnasium. Dressed in a torn t-shirt and dirty sweatpants, Plaisted’s special secret weapon had arrived.

With a predominantly toothless grin, Arno Schubert clumsily dribbled a basketball as he took the court amid boisterous cheers, mixed with a few chuckles from the astonished crowd. A relieved Plaisted tossed a scarlet Kenosha Tap jersey to Arno and said, “Here, get this on and put out that cigarette.”

Arno tossed the butt to the hardwood floor and ground it out with his well-worn Chuck Taylor sneakers. As he attempted to tug the jersey over his large head, it was obviously a size too small, causing it to fit the hung-over German like O.J. Simpson’s glove.

With the game ready to begin, Plaisted gathered his team into a small huddle. “Okay guys, the starters are Cliff, Stan, Harry, Gino and Hall. The rest of you be ready!” No sooner had Plaisted stopped speaking, Arno blurted out, “What the (expletive deleted) Kurt! I ain’t starting?!?”

Plaisted smiled at his special secret weapon and said, “Not yet Arno, not yet.” Arno, cursing under his breath, sat down on the bench and shot a dirty look at Plaisted. If looks could have killed…

The referee tossed the ball into the air and the game between Kenosha Tap and Jubilee Lounge was under way. The contest was a typical City League basketball game and the score went back and forth. It was also a very physical game, with the players needing frequent rests.

Every time Plaisted would put in a substitute, Arno would jump up and beg to be put in the game. Each time, the response was the same, “Not yet Arno, not yet.” Arno would return to the bench and curse at his coach a bit louder.

At halftime, the game was tied and Plaisted told his crew to hang tough. He then, much to Arno’s chagrin, announced that the guys who started the game would start the second half as well. 

Knowing what was coming, he turned to the disgruntled German and said, “Not yet Arno, not yet.” This time Arno didn’t even bother cursing; he just waved his hand at his coach and went to the far end of the bench.

The second half was a different story, with Kenosha Tap pulling out to an early lead. Before long, the margin had grown so large that Plaisted knew what he had to do. With the game seemingly in hand, he stood up smirking, winked at the crowd and shouted out, “Now Arno, now!”

The special secret weapon was about to be unleashed.

Arno sprang to his feet, almost falling as he pulled off his grimy sweatpants. Initially the crowd roared its’ approval and then broke into laughter when Arno finally succeeded in getting his sweatpants off, revealing shorts that were only slightly larger than a pair of Speedos.

What ensued was not for the faint of heart.

The special secret weapon went on a vicious rampage and nobody was going to stop him. His elbows were flying, knocking opponents out of the way. He threw up high-arching hook shots that came nowhere near the backboard, let alone the basket.

He dove for every loose ball and challenged his opponents for every rebound. At one point he leapt high for a rebound, curling both legs underneath himself. It was a thing of beauty. The only problem was that he forgot to straighten his legs out and crashed to the hard wooden court, landing on his boney knees. The fans gasped, shuddered and cringed before beginning to giggle.

It should be noted that this all took place in a span of about 5 minutes.

As the beer-guzzling, chain-smoking man from Germany attempted to get up, he looked to the bench and beckoned to Plaisted to take him out, he had had enough. Plaisted broke into a wide grin and replied, “Not yet Arno, not yet.”

For the next 10 minutes, the feisty Kraut struggled up and down the court, his weather-beaten face growing redder each step he took. Every time there was a stoppage of play he would plead to be taken out of the game. Each time, Plaisted’s response was the same, “Not yet Arno, not yet.”

Almost mercifully, with 2 minutes left in the game, Jubilee Lounge took a timeout. A crimson-faced Arno hobbled over to the bench and glared at his coach. Plaisted, fighting back laughter, decided to give in and said, “Okay, Arno, you can sit down now.”

But Arno did not sit down. Instead he kept staggering down the sideline, wheezing and gasping for breath every shaky step of the way. There was a hush over the crowd; all eyes were now on Arno as he continued his unsteady journey toward the corner of the court.

Ultimately he disappeared behind the bleachers in the southwest corner of Bullen Jr. High’s gymnasium. Fans, players and officials stared at each other, questioning what had become of Arno, the special secret weapon.

The powerful retching noise that was emitted quickly answered everyone’s question.

After he finished regurgitating, he finally came back toward the bench. With tears streaming down his face, he wiped the remnants from his mouth and said, “Thanks you dirty rotten (expletive deleted).” He then took a seat on the bench and quietly watched Kenosha Tap seal its’ victory over Jubilee Lounge.

Okay, today is Michael Jordan’s birthday and the NBA All-Star game is being played. Whoopee. I just hope that you enjoyed my tribute to this true basketball star. If you would like to read more tales about Arno Schubert click on either Arno or Schubert in the Label section below the blog.

Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Survivor 26.1

BREAKING NEWS!!! Jamie Cairo, author of the Dr. J’s Prognosis portion of the Trilogy has just signed an obscenely large contract to be witty and snarky for a large organization that must remain unnamed. The immensity of this new undertaking will require Jamie to embark on a worldwide tour during the upcoming season of Survivor. Sadly, this will prevent her from being a regular contributor to the recap. I am, however, proud to announce that she has agreed to make an occasional guest appearance. Trust me, this came at no small cost.

Therefore, for the most part, the weekly recap for season 26 will not be a trilogy. Hopefully, between Mary Beth and myself, we will be able to fill some of the enormous void left by Jamie. So, without further ado, here is the Official Bodacious Baldies Survivor Caramoan Recap for week one:

 It was with much anticipation that I sat down to watch the season opening episode of Survivor. And I do mean MUCH ANTICIPATION! I've been jonesing for this show since the end of the last season. By the time Probst said, “This is the Caramoan Islands!” I was almost out of my skin. I am a geek and proud of it! So, Fans vs. Favorites started off with a bang. The Fans (The Gota Tribe) arrived to the islands by boat while the Faves (Bikal Tribe) were flown in air-conditioned helicopters to the beach.

The Fans reactions as the Faves were introduced one by one were pretty funny. When Brandon Hantz departed the chopper someone yelled out, “That's Russell's nephew!” Indeed, he is. There was a decided groan when Philip disembarked and a stunned awe when my Malcolm was the last to hit the sand. I must say he looks every bit as yummy as he did last season. Yes, I said yummy.

It was time for a Reward Challenge immediately and the two tribes were pitted against each other in a sort of flag football using an inner tube. Two member from each tribe against each other as they fight/wrestle/drag/pull or do whatever they can to get the inner tube to their tribes flag. The winner would get flint for making fire and 20 lbs. of beans.

So, there we were 15 minutes into the new season and Philip was cavorting through the challenge in his pink undies. I could have lived my whole life without seeing that again. But one thing I saw that I was both shocked and happily surprised at was Malcolm's butt! While he was playing in the challenge his shorts came off and his entire luscious bumdiddily was hanging out. Curse those censors and their blasted pixilation!!

The Faves won the challenge, no doubt spurred on by the sight of Malcolm's muscled behind and the Fans looked so dejected at their loss I almost felt sorry for them. One of the Fans, not sure of their names yet but I think his name is Lamar, stunned his team mates and Probst when he started yelling “Break her wrist!” to his teammate. It was a little weird.

He continued to be weird when he started to get very confrontational with his tribesmen that were attempting to build shelter. According to him that was a waste of time because he felt they needed to make fire and get water boiling but he didn't lift a finger to do anything. Finally, once a bunch of the others tried to make fire he stepped in and claimed that this was his plan all along. He's seems kind of a jerk and I'm not sure he's going to last that long in this game.

Over at the Bikal camp, Malcolm expressed being worried about his first impression on the others. Believe me, with that butt he has nothing to worry about! Phil equated his storming the beach at Bikal to those who stormed the beach at Iwo Jima. Um…okay…except no one's shooting at you, Phil so there is a difference!

Francesca immediately goes into overdrive to make alliances and strategize while Phil explains he's playing by the Boston Rob Rules – make an alliance, make an alliance within that alliance – so he starts recruiting alliance members too. He pretty much threatens Erik into the alliance by telling him it didn't matter either way if Erik joined. Nothing like making someone feel they're needed, Phil!

Over at Gota, people are doing their own version of strategizing. They're pairing up in twos and it seems to be based on looks and who's cooler. That night cuddling for body heat took on a whole new meaning for some, which was noted by the others. When will the Fans learn that couples are always the first to go? Especially conceited good-looking cool couples that think they're smarted and better than everyone else?

Somehow within a second of being exposed to sunlight, Cochran develops a blistering sunburn and his Hobbit feel swell up and look like yams! This doesn't deter him from making a pretty good showing in the Immunity Challenge though. Teams of two have to run up one to four flights of steps to toss down crates of sandbags. Once they're all tossed, the last person plays Baggo with them. The Faves had an amazing lead when Brandon just about flew up four flights! But dear Malcolm just could not get the bags in the holes. He did a good job but Reynold, from Gota, was a dead eye and hit the mark nearly every time. The Fans won Immunity, which meant a Fave was going home first.

Let the jockeying begin! Francesca starts telling everyone to vote off Philip but Andrea tells Philip this, which leads him to quote Machiavelli and burning down villages or some such nonsense. Gotta love that Phil is still crazy after all these years. At the last minute Francesca worries that Phil has an Immunity Idol. What? Really?? Whoa…she's paranoid! She decides to tell everyone to split the vote using Corinne as a fall back just in case ol' Phil has an idol. Seriously...she's paranoid!

At Tribal, Probst points out several times that she was the first to go on her last season. I could tell that was getting under her skin! But lo and behold, who was the first to go? Francesca! I'm not sure why everyone thought she was a threat because the truth is no one ever got to see her play at all in her first season. No one could be really sure what she was capable of and I'm not sure she wouldn't have imploded on her own eventually because of her paranoia. But, off she went, lamenting that maybe…just maybe…Survivor wasn't her game after all!

Wow! So much happened and it was only the first week. I have to admit; I was real pumped up at the beginning. I am such a Survivor Geek, I really am. When they were announcing the Favourites as they came out of the helicopters, I was getting goose bumps. It was like watching the opening at a major sporting event. All they needed was a spotlight and a big-voice guy on the P.A. Well, I guess Jeff Probst wasn’t too bad.

Immediately we were treated to a Reward Challenge, and I was quickly reminded how much I dislike Erik. How is that knob a Fave? The challenge was a good one, very physical and in the water. I was deeply engrossed in the action when season 26 had its first defining moment. Mary Beth’s boyfr… oops, Malcolm began to lose his shorts in the water. It finally got to the point where they had to blur out his derrière. I was flabbergasted!

It was at that point that I heard a loud shriek of ecstasy coming from the shore of Lake Michigan. Could it be? Was it Mary Beth? I promptly messaged Patty to see if she had heard anything. She said that she had! And she lives on the other side of the Cheddar Curtain. I do believe Mary Beth is going to enjoy this season. A lot.

The Faves were victorious and for their efforts earned fire, in the form of a flint and 20 pounds of beans. Already with the extra food! Plus both tribes had a supply of rice waiting for them back at their respective camps. Richard Hatch and Rudy Boesch never had it that good 25 seasons ago…

There are some interesting characters over on the Fans side. A clique of “cool kids” has already formed – Eddie, Hope, Reynold and Allie. Eddie made the narcissistic observation that he and Hope are the “two best looking people there”. Got much of an ego, son?

Over at the Fave camp we were being treated to the antics of Cochran the nerd and Special Agent Phil. Cochran, somehow, someway acquired an award-winning head-to-toe sunburn almost instantaneously. It was really quite impressive. Except for that huge whitehead he developed on the right side of his nose.

Special Agent Phil was entertaining just by being himself. Of course, he was proudly wearing his trademark pink Jockey briefs while talking strategy, forming alliances and assigning roles to his fellow castaways. The high point was when he referred to himself as the “undercover brother”. Man, I love this show!

The Immunity Challenge was fairly impressive and after some considerable physicality, came down to a beanbag tossing contest between Reynold and Mary Beth’s boyfr… oops, Malcolm. Remarkably, in a valiant come from behind effort, Reynold secured the victory for the Fans. All that was left was for the Faves to vote off someone from their tribe.

At camp before Tribal Council, we were led to believe that the enigmatic Special Agent Phil was the targeted man and would be sent packing. However, when push came to shove, it was Francesca that was voted out with by a 6-4 margin over Wisconsin’s very own Andrea.

It should be noted that in the very beginning of the show, Francesca, who was voted off the first time she was on Survivor, promised to eat a rock if it happened to her again. Unfortunately we never learned if she kept her word…

Before wrapping things up tonight, I would like to explain why we are calling this the “Official Bodacious Baldies Survivor Caramoan Recap”. While Mary Beth and I currently possess luscious, full heads of hair, that won’t be the case in another month. We are both shaving our heads to raise money to help fight childhood cancer through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. I will be bald as of March 14 and so will Mary Beth, two days later on the 16th.

If you would like to sponsor Mary Beth, click her name. To sponsor me, click my name, Paul. It doesn’t matter who you sponsor, either way it benefits a great cause. Hey, I know, just split your donation between the two of us!

Oh, one last thing. Let’s see how smart we are. After only one week, go the poll to the right of the blog and choose whom you think will be the Sole Survivor. Come May, it will be interesting to see how many votes were cast for the eventual winner. Until next time…from the booth.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What the heck is TRadio?

Technically, TRadio is a radio rummage sale. It takes place every Saturday from 1:00 to 2:00 on AM 1050 WLIP. According to its webpage, “TRadio is the place where you can buy, sell and trade your stuff and it’s free!” People call in attempting to sell a wide range of things. How wide a range you ask? The current TRadio list features such eclectic items as a Wurlitzer jukebox, four gallons of kerosene, a couple of snowboards and a pair of Air Jordans.

Jim Selovich host of TRadio
The host of this quirky show is my longtime friend and all around great guy, Jim Selovich. Besides hosting TRadio, Jim is, or has been, an on air personality, a producer, an engineer, an actor, a director, an improvisational comedian, a Dairyland greyhound park announcer, a driver school instructor…

You get the picture. Jim has done it all. He is as diverse and multifaceted as the articles he is talking about on his unconventional show. In other words, he is perfect for the job. It takes special talents to make a show of this nature work and, at the same time be entertaining. Fortunately for WLIP, Jim possesses that skill set.

I can personally testify that not only is TRadio amusing, but it really does work. I have had many Tradio success stories. Over the years I have sold books, sports memorabilia, telephone batteries and even action figures. Not dolls. Action figures.

As most of you know, I am presently trying to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation by having my large head shaved on March 14. If you weren’t aware, you must be living in a cave. Anyway, I recently had an epiphany and decided to sell some of my “stuff” on TRadio and donate the proceeds to St. Baldrick’s. Pretty clever, huh?

And trust me, I’m not just talking about everyday junk that was in the back of the closet. No siree, Bob! I started out a couple of weeks ago by offering DVD sets of classic TV shows. I sold 3 sets right away. Thanks, Patty and Clyde. If you are interested, here are the DVD sets that I have remaining:

First 2 Seasons of White Shadow - $20 each
1st Season of Cheers - $10
1st and 2nd Season of NewsRadio - $10
3rd Season of NewsRadio - $10
1st Season of Hill Street Blues - $10
2nd Season of Hill Street Blues - $10
First 5 Seasons of Monk - $10 each

If DVDs don’t float your boat, I might have something that does. I am also selling my framed autographed poster of Danielle Colby from the hit TV show American Pickers. The poster is done in sepia tones and has a burlesque feel about it, but in a tasteful manner. The accordion Danielle is playing is strategically located. I am only asking $20 for this hard-to-get gem. Don’t wait too long; this piece is no longer available from Danielle.

Still not excited? Well, today on TRadio I broke out the heavy artillery. In a blockbuster move, I have put my entire collection of Green Bay rookie cards up for sale. I’m talking Lombardi-era Packers. Honest. The only ones I don’t have are Paul Hornung and Bart Starr. Here are the rookie cards I do have:

Zeke Bratkowski $20
Dave Hanner $20
Jim Ringo $20
Gary Knafelc $5
Don Chandler $5
Ron Kramer $10
Max McGee $10
Jerry Kramer $15
Jim Taylor $20 (error)
Dan Currie $5
Forrest Gregg $25
Jim Taylor $30
Hank Jordan $20
Fuzzy Thurston $15
Carroll Dale $10
Willie Wood $20
Ray Nitschke $100 (autographed)
Herb Adderely $25
Willie Davis $20
Elijah Pitts $5
Dave Robinson $15
Bob Jeter $2
Jim Grabowski $5
Donny Anderson $5
Doug Hart $5
Bob Long $1
Gale Gillingham $5
Lionel Aldridge $5
Ken Bowman $1
Travis Williams $20
Bill Curry $1
Bob Brown $1

I also have all 12 cards that make up the Topps 1963 Packer set. The Thurston card is autographed. The set includes the Nitschke (autographed) and Wood rookie cards. I’m selling this set for $250 with those two, or $125 without them. Hopefully there is something here that trips your trigger. If not, I have a few other random Packer cards from the ’60s.

If you are interested in any of the DVD sets, the Danielle Colby poster or any of the Packer cards, please contact me. I will consider any reasonable offers and will combine items. Reach me via a Facebook message or by emailing me at I am very serious about helping St. Baldrick’s Foundation in their fight against childhood cancer.

Also, remember, now that you know what it is, you can listen to TRadio every Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00 on AM 1050 WLIP or streaming live at Call in and say hi to Jim, he doesn’t bite. At least I don’t think he does. Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Here’s The Deal…

One week from today is going to be a special day of sorts for me. A few significant things will be happening on February 13. Here’s the deal; the most important thing is that it is Ash Wednesday, a Christian observance that marks the first day of Lent. It follows Fat Tuesday, which typically features Mardi Gras celebration. It is a time for fasting, abstinence from meat and prayer in preparation for Easter. I do the fasting and no meat thing on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, with no meat on any Friday during Lent.

Besides the standard dietary adjustments for Lent, I am once again giving up pizza. This has pretty much become a tradition for me. I even “practiced” by abstaining from pizza back in December during Advent. It’s really not that tough for me anymore. The only real problem is deciding where to purchase my final pre-Lent pizza.

Now here’s the deal, this year I’m going to use the blog poll to help me make this crucial decision. The choices are– Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen, Pa’s Pizzeria and Valeo’s Pizza. These are currently my three favorite Kenosha pizza parlors. The poll will be open until Sunday night at 7:00, so please make sure you vote.

It should be noted that in addition to my gastronomic restrictions during Lent, I will also increase my prayer quotient. Starting next Wednesday, I will read the daily Scriptures, say the Rosary along with a couple of chaplets. The plan is to do this each morning either before, or right after breakfast. Ideally, I should be doing this on a daily basis. Hopefully I will be able to continue this practice after Lent.

On a much lesser note, I am also giving up something else for Lent – playing games on Facebook. That’s right, no more Words With Friends, Bejeweled Blitz, Candy Crush Saga, Scrabble® or Song Pop until Easter. So don’t start any new games with me after next Monday!

Okay, Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent is one reason why February 13 will be a noteworthy day for me. However, there is another event worthy of attention. Here’s the deal, at 7:00 pm, Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites premiers on CBS. Remarkably, the two-hour special celebrates the 26th season of the award-winning reality show. The Fans vs. Favorites format makes this season opener even more of a red-letter occasion.

Here are the lineups for the two 10 castaway teams:

The Fan tribe, Gota is made up of: Hope Driskill, Eddie Fox, Allie Pohevitz, Michael Snow, Julie Landauer, Matt Bischoff, Reynold Toepfer, Sherri Biethman, Laura Alexander and Shamar Thomas.

The Bikal tribe consists of these Favorites: Corinne Kaplan, Phil Sheppard, Francseca Hogi, Erick Reichenbach, Brenda Lowe, Dawn Meehan, Brandon Hantz, Andrea Boehlke, John Cochran and Mary Beth’s boyfr… oops, Malcolm Freberg.

Speaking of Malcolm’s boyfr… next Wednesday marks the return of the Official Survivor Recap Trilogy featuring my talented friends, Mary Beth and Jamie. This will be the fourth season that this sharp-witted duo joins me in writing the recap. This is just one more reason that February 13 is a day to look forward to.

To recap, first of all, help me choose where I should purchase my final pre-Lent pizza by casting your vote in the poll. Secondly, finish all your Facebook games with me by next Tuesday. Next, don’t forget to set your DVR or TiVo for CBS at 7:00 pm on February 13.

Finally, there is one other thing for you if you are still in need of something to do. After next Wednesday, there is only one short month until I get my rather sizable head shaved to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s fight against childhood cancer. Forty generous people have already stepped forward and sponsored me. If you can find it in your heart to help, click on this sentence to be linked to my donation page. Thanks.

Until next time…from the booth.

Monday, February 4, 2013

We All Have A Charlie

Over the years I have made numerous friends on Facebook, people that I never would have imagined becoming acquainted with. Of course, some of these relationships are closer than others. One of the more noteworthy connections I have made is with a family in England. It started out by playing online games with a lady named Bev. Before I knew it, I was friends with her six sisters and four brothers. Today I have 20 Facebook friends from across the pond. Not only the brothers and sisters, but also their children, nephews and nieces. I consider it a blessing to have these lovely people in my life. Without them I would have never learned about a very special little boy named Charlie.

Charlie was the son of a close friend of Bev’s sister, Debbie. Charlie’s mum and Debbie were so close that Charlie called her his second mum. He even referred to her young son Jake as his brother. Even though Charlie was 4 1/2 years older than Jake, they were best buddies.

However, things began to change for Charlie. He developed a tumor in his leg. It was found to be cancerous and he had to have his leg amputated just below the knee. The doctors thought this was the end of the cancer, but regrettably it was not. The cancer had spread into Charlie’s bones; he would need treatment to battle the disease.

It was during this treatment that there was another metastasis and the cancer had spread into Charlie’s lungs. A short time later, Charlie could no longer fight the disease and passed away at the age of 9. Jake, who was only 5 at the time, could not understand where his friend had gone. His parents told him that Charlie was now in heaven and was a star shining in the sky. Seven years later, Jake still looks into the evening sky for Charlie.

More children are lost to cancer in the United States than any other disease, in fact more than many other childhood diseases combined. Worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes. Before they turn 20, about 1 in 300 boys and 1 in 333 girls will have cancer.

Because Charlie’s story had moved me so deeply, I wanted to do something to help fight childhood cancer. I was familiar with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and decided to get involved with their cause. The idea for St. Baldrick’s began in 1999 when Tim Kenny issued a challenge to colleagues John Bender and Enda McDonnell to shave their heads for donations in order to raise funds for kids with cancer.

In 2004 the St. Baldrick’s Foundation was created to maximize this volunteer-driven effort. The priorities were to spend as little as possible to raise each dollar, and making sure every donation goes to the best research to find cures for kids fighting cancer.

Last year, St. Baldrick’s volunteers raised more than $30 million by shaving heads. That record-setting fundraising effort allowed the foundation to hit a milestone — $100 million in childhood cancer research grants since 2005. Each passing milestone means the lives of children with cancer are being dramatically improved through the support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Obviously, in order for the momentum of this effort to continue, volunteers are needed. That’s why I have committed to having my head shaved on March 14th in an effort to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Hopefully, I will find enough generous sponsors to help me make a difference.

Young or old, cancer sucks. Whether it’s family or friends, we all have been touched by cancer. My good friend Jamie’s brother John Burhani is battling a rare form of cancer, NK T cell Lymphoma. Because the cost to fight cancer is so very expensive, there is a fundraiser for John on Sunday, Feb. 10th from 2 pm to 5 pm at the UAW 72 Hall on Washington Road.

We all have a Charlie in our life. If you would like to help me fight childhood cancer, I would be honored to have you as a sponsor. For details, I can be reached on Facebook or via my email at

This was the “My Turn” column in today’s Kenosha News. Please help fight cancer. Attend the fundraiser for John Burhani on Sunday. Sponsor me by clicking here for the link to my St. Baldrick’s page. Thanks.

Until next time…from the booth.