Fall 2011 Television

Published under Reviews,Television.

As the new television season approached earlier this year, I set out to do something that sounded impossible – I was going to try every single new show and separate the good from the bad. It turns out that it was impossible. There are some shows that I just never watched despite the fact that my TiVo recorded them for me.

But it was nearly possible. I started with a spreadsheet of 39 shows (counting old ones). I watched most of them, and now that we’re 2 months into the season, they have been properly separated into the ones I’m keeping and the ones I’m dumping.

So I thought I’d blog the list of new shows that I chose to keep. This list ignores shows that were not new this season. I still watch a lot of “old shows” and they really set the bar for the new shows. The new shows have to compete with my existing love of the old shows. If they can’t compete, they get the boot.


Terra Nova – This one is a strong contender for my favorite new show of the season. Though I know a lot of people have issues with it, it’s so Star Trek: TNG that it’s not even funny. They’re in a little colony instead of a starship, but the plot lines are very similar. The characters can even be split out into similar roles if you want to take it that far. It’s had a rocky start at times, but go back and watch season 1 of TNG before you complain.


Last Man Standing – Tim Allen is just a funny man. I had my doubts about this show, but it delivers some pretty solid laughs for me every week. It’s primarily Allen that’s able to carry the show, but his delivery and humor are enough to keep me coming back. I really like this recent return to the traditional sitcom.


Suburgatory, American Horror Story, Free Agents - Two comedies and a horror show couldn’t be further separated, but I like all three. Sadly, Free Agents is already off the air but I figured I’d list it here since that’s through no fault of my own. Suburgatory owes a lot to its leading lady, and a supporting cast of Jeremy Sisto and Alan Tudyk keep the laughs rolling. American Horror Story is a really impressive show for being able to capture that horror movie feel week after week.


Charlie’s Angels, Whitney – Okay, so Charlie’s Angels has already been canceled and it is pretty dumb at times but I defend it for what it is. It’s slick, easy on the eyes, and the episodes fly by quick enough to make it easy to ignore the inanity of it all. Whitney is a great classic sitcom that’s really grown on me. It’s my favorite new comedy, with a special mention to her boyfriend on the show for delivering the funny. The situation of it reminds of me my life both past and present, which is going to make it funnier to me than perhaps everyone.


A Gifted Man - You know, I don’t actually like the medical dramas. I’ve never liked any of them. But there’s something about this show that keeps me tuning in. The premise is of course a bit unorthodox with ghosts and all, but I think at the end of the day it’s just that Patrick Wilson is a charismatic guy that’s fun to watch.


Once Upon a Time - I know Grimm got a lot of hype for the fairy tale show to watch, but I found Grimm to be dumb. Once Upon A Time is a bit truer to the fairy tales of old, and the mysteries it’s setting up are intriguing enough to keep me tuning in each week. It’s not my favorite of the bunch, but it’s worth hanging onto for now. If they try to stretch this one for more than a season or two, though, I’m out.

I dumped some new shows and old to arrive at the 21 shows that I’m now watching. So with 9 new shows, new programming makes up just shy of 40% of my weekly television viewing. I’d say the Fall 2011 season was a pretty big success at adding new shows that I’m willing to commit to. If only every season could be that strong!

Cool & Crazy

Published under Photography.

Cool & Crazy

I like this photo because it pretty much captures my cats personalities in one pic.  It would have been a bit better if Forge was better in focus with Havok, but I decided to post it anyway.

Forge is stupid and crazy.  Which is pretty much exactly what he looks like there laying on the table.  Havok, on the other hand, is smart, cool and collected.

Not a perfect photo, but my first with my new 55mm-200mm lens.  I can get better pictures of the cats by zooming in from afar because they tend to change their behavior if I’m in their face with a camera.  Go figure.

Cat Play

Published under Photography.

Cat Play

Before talking about the picture, I just want to say that the cat toy pictured here is absolutely, without a doubt, the best cat toy ever invented.  It’s the only toy they seem to never get tired of.

It’s back to cats for this one, but that’s because they’re such interesting subjects and I can photograph them no matter the time of day.  I wanted to play with my 35mm prime in low light and Havok was engaged in a game so I thought it would be a good test of capturing motion.

He wasn’t just standing still when I snapped this photo, but I managed to “freeze” him in place with a wide aperture, flash, and high shutter speed.  The ball was moving faster than Havok, so it blurs a little but it makes for a neat effect in this case.

A Perfect Home

Published under Personal.

Though I don’t hate my townhome here in Ashburn, I don’t love it either.  It’s adequate, but not exciting.  Plus it shares a wall with others which hasn’t always worked out so well for me.

While on a recent trip to Arizona, my wife and I had some time on our hands so we thought it’d be fun to tour some model homes in the Phoenix area.  We settled on checking out a development by Fulton Homes and off we went.

I don’t know when or if I’ll ever have the chance to get a new customized house in such a development, but we absolutely fell in love with the floorplan pictured below.

It’s such a perfect use of space.  So many of the models we looked at had formal dining rooms or two living rooms.  Wasted space.  I have little ambition to host a fancy dinner.  We don’t even have a complete set of china to serve it on.

The front Den would be outfitted with blackout curtains, surround sound and a nice big television; 55″ or so should suffice.  The bonus room would be floored with the same flooring as the garage for climate controlled storage and cat litter boxes.  Ideally, I’d put a door that led from there to the garage.

The master shower is a glass block shower.  It’s awesome.  It’s not a container like other showers.  You just walk into it.  You don’t have open a door or any such nonsense.

The kitchen is large but not overly so, and the pantry is absolutely amazing in its size.  There is no shortage of places to store dishes and food.

I’m not sure if a house such as this is a goal or a dream, but I like it enough to blog about it.  That’s something.

Silly Woods

Published under Photography.

Silly Woods

Because sometimes the primary purpose of a camera is just to have some fun.