Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let's Be Brutally Honest: It's Difficult To Like Milk

A few years back or so, I watched one of Andy Rooney's segments about milk and agreed with him 110%. He mentioned that, "the reason why people aren't drinking their milk is because it really isn't the milk you should be drinking..." or something of that notion. I will not only provide my background on such a statement, but add the increasing interest of other non-dairy milks that are becoming popular. Perhaps a message that converting from milk to orange juice isn't so bad after all.

Milk is supposed to be the beverage you drink with your meals, because it has calcium and gives you strong bones like your a bodybuilder. Well first off, I do not drink milk. I have not had milk the beverage for twelve years and I have no intention of doing so. I eat cheese and ice cream and enjoy both thoroughly. I'll even have frozen yogurt when I feel like it. Milk, on the other hand, I will decide against each time. Why? The answer is this: milk is not necessarily creamy like it was when the milkman would come to your house and deliver it for you. Speaking of which, when the milkman went away, milk became a simple staple, because it was an additive to making something that tastes dark, like coffee, a bit lighter and creamier.

What I found funny was how Andy Rooney went after Half and Half. While it should be fifty percent milk and fifty percent cream, simple as that, he evaluated how Half and Half is additive after additive. Isn't that what most drinks are? I like to buy my things natural and I will stick with products that have the key ingredient before anything else. Whether it be orange juice or iced tea. I am turned off by anything that starts with concentrated product, filtered water, or a specific additive. For instance, the first ingredient in milk should be milk. Not water, but milk. The first ingredient in orange juice should be orange juice (or liquid orange). Not concentrate, but orange juice.

Speaking of this notion, organic, non-dairy milk is beginning to seek popularity as an alternate option. There are people that are lactose intolerant and there are others that just want to live a healthier lifestyle. I have seen products such as soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and even coconut drink (which for some reason does not meet the qualifications to be called "coconut milk" by the *insert name* Dream company) coming about into people's diets. In each of these products, the first ingredient is... filtered water. The "soy," "rice," almond," or "coconut" only make up the second largest portion of the milk, which is incredible given the definition of milk. I have also smelled rice milk when attempting to try it. Whew... it smells so bad, like old salami, that I could not get myself to drink it. If for some reason you are unable to drink milk because of lactose intolerance, don't drink milk at all.

In fact, there really isn't much need to drink milk. It tastes like cream flavored water, only the cream taste is just about gone. Unless milk is an ingredient, it really isn't a star like it was when the milkman was a star. Orange juice (without pulp, of course) is a far better choice. Orange juice has calcium in it (primarily the one that says it has calcium on the box or bottle) PLUS your daily source of Vitamin C. If you want the nutrients found in milk, have a piece of cheese. Each cheese has a different nutrient to offer and its quite tasty, too. Yogurt is even a decent and more reasonable option (and yogurt is NOT a favorite food of mine). So when it's time to wake up in the morning and have yourself something nice to drink, have a glass of orange juice to lighten your day. Save milk for its friends, like coffee and cookies.

By the way, if anyone asks where rice milk comes from, tell them that it comes from a Minute Cow.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Response To NFL Predictions And Q&A

Due to the hectic schedule I have had, blogging has been something I have not been able to do as often as I wish I could. I will, however, do my best with regard to reviewing and expressing my opinion on what I am able to. At the moment we speak, I have had over 13,000 views of my page and of my posts, which is quite the thrill. I look forward to being able to seeing that number increase and also be able to reach 200 posts, which I could likely achieve by the end of the year (at the very least). Otherwise, I will be using this post to respond to my accurate original NFL prediction and encourage another round of Q&A.

The Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in a Super Bowl thriller earlier in the month with the score of 34-31. The Ravens look like they had it in the bag, but following a power outage, the Niners made a comeback, but the Ravens held on. I accurately predicted the Ravens winning the Super Bowl in my original predictions and while I should have done the same for the playoff predictions, that's the way things go. I also made a prediction about Ray Lewis retiring after the season if he were to end his career on top, which he was able to achieve. Next season should be quite exciting to say the very least. What happens to the Ravens, I have no idea.

With that being said, I am opening up for a Q&A, which means I am taking questions from all of my readers about one of my topics of interest or about a previous post I wrote or a statement I made. If you have a question, please reply to this post with that particular question and I will answer them in one of my Q&A segments. I will likely come up with this particular post in March.

If you have questions, please submit them and I'll get to them!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Let's Be Brutally Honest: The Time For A "Match Game" Comeback Is Now

At the moment we speak, we have a handful of daytime and syndicated game shows on television. There's the popular block of Jeopardy! and Wheel Of Fortune, which are perhaps the most popular, then there is The Price Is Right, Let's Make A Deal, Millionaire, and Family Feud, the first an all-time classic, the second a striving comeback, the third being complicated by so many new rules, and the fourth okay when you're able to find it. Then there are the game shows on GSN, the reboot of The Newlywed Game being the most successful. As for prime-time game shows, they are have trouble lasting during this period of time. If we want to get even more specific, it seems as if the celebrity-centered game show has become a rare to nonexistent breed. Since the cancellation of the reboot of Hollywood Squares, celebrity based game shows (game shows, not reality shows, so Dancing With The Stars and Celebrity Apprentice do not count) have not been able to last at all. The only two I remember seeing was a short-lived show called Wanna Bet? and more specifically, Million Dollar Password. On the subject of this show, it could have lasted if had a fair chance to do so. They were on a role placing Regis Philbin as host and selecting the right celebrities. It was here that Betty White's grand comeback arguably began, as she made appearances in two weeks worth of competitions. Unfortunately, the arrangement was so condensed that you could figure out that contestants were likely not going to go all the way.

If there's one game show that definitely deserves another chance during this day and age, it would be Match Game. This is a show that many confirm as the greatest game show of all time. I can confirm that this is the greatest celebrity game show of all time, but I would really have to think about whether or not I would go out and say it's the absolute greatest, bar none. The object of Match Game was simple, you were given a sentence and you had to fill in the blank and match as many celebrities as you could. In the Super Match and Head-to-Head, where you would win your money, it was somewhat shorter. Examples would include George______ or ______code. If you matched the audience in the former and the single celebrity in the latter, you would win money. 

The earliest version, with a different structure, ran from 1962-1969 and was hosted by Gene Rayburn. However, the most successful and highest acclaimed version (and my own favorite) ran from 1973-1982 and was once again hosted by Gene Rayburn. Regular panelists included Richard Dawson (until 1978, who also hosted the Family Feud from 1976-1985 and 1994-1995), Brett Somers, and Charles Nelson Reilly, while semi-regulars included Betty White, Fannie Flagg, Dick Martin, Bill Daily, Nipsey Russell, McLean Stevenson, Gary Burghoff, among others. This series could easily be split into three editions. There was the general edition that ran from 1973-1979 and was labeled by the year (Match Game 73, Match Game 74, etc. etc.), Match Game PM, which brought together plenty of memorable moments and felt slightly more laid back, and ran from 1975-1981, and the syndicated version that ran from 1979-1982, and was filmed in the season format.

After cancellation, there were three more versions that did not do as well. Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, combining the two, ran from 1983-1984, and was hosted by Gene Rayburn and Jon Bauman (who was better known as Bowzer, but did not host the series as such). While there were attempts to relaunch the series, the next relaunch would occur in 1990, which was supposed to be hosted by active game show host and former guest Match Game panelist Bert Convy, but was replaced by Ross Shaffer after Convy was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. The only consistent regular in that series was Charles Nelson Reilly. That version ran from 1990-1991. The last version ran from 1998-1999 and was an incredible disappointment. It was hosted by Michael Burger and used just two panelists who were formerly on the show. These two were Nell Carter (who was on the final week in 1991) and Vicki Lawrence (who was actually on the first week in 1973, a week in 1978, and a frequent panelist in the early nineties). The struggle to find a network and the top prize being just $5,000 in an era where shows were giving away millions of dollars did not cut it. The most recent pilot was filmed for TBS, but instead rejected in favor of a show hosted by George Lopez.

My suggestion would be to create a Million Dollar Match Game. To make it exciting and keep people on their seats, make it so that the games are two half-hour games. The panel should be six celebrities (not five, not two, but SIX... or at least six chairs) and there should be two contestants. Hold three rounds of competition and you win money per every celebrity you match (perhaps $500 in the first two and $1,000 in the third). The winner advances to the Super Match, where they have a chance to win more money. Three answers would be enough and $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 should be how much the answers are worth for the first, second, and third answer. Like in the PM version, this should be done twice, before you are granted an opportunity to play for ten times the amount. The head-to-head, like in many versions, would be decided by the star wheel. However, instead of so many opportunities to double, each celebrity should have three spots. One of double, one is triple, and the last is ten times. That means contestants could win up to $1,000,000 if everything works out in their favor. Keep it simple, perhaps that will work...

Another key reason to resurrect the series now of all times is because this may be the last opportunity to garner a great group of celebrities from past and present together. You have a great group of celebrities that have a history of being active on game shows to choose from, such as Brad Garrett, Neil Patrick Harris, Rosie O'Donnell, among others. Having older celebrities appear will be key as well, such as Betty White and plenty of others. Match Game has had a history of its risque humor and it could easily pick up some dirty celebrities, such as Lisa Lampanelli, Jeffrey Ross, among others, but that would be more of a Comedy Central gig. I am much more supportive of a Drew Carey kind of route, like from his sitcom, from Whose Line Is It Anyway, and from the short-lived Improv-A-Ganza. Carey would do an excellent job as host and bring plenty of celebrities who are naturally much funnier and can do so without being too raunchy, dirty, and making mention of genitals for every other answer. In the seventies, genitals were banned from being used as answers. While it shouldn't be banned, it shouldn't be center. Besides, the group of Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Kathy Kinney, Wayne Brady, among others are just excellent as being funny and should do well on here. Plus while I don't always agree with them, Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell (second mention) seem to prove quite entertaining on game shows, even Charlie Sheen would do great on a reboot of this show. Then you have celebrities like Betty White, Vicki Lawrence, Marcia Wallace (who voices Ms. Krabappel), Bill Daily, Jack Carter, Rip Taylor, Joyce Bulifant, Orson Bean, William Shatner, Jimmie Walker, among others that could potentially make an appearance for a week of the series. Even current celebs like Bruce Vilanch, Kathy Griffin, Sherri Sheppard, George Takei, Jim Parsons, Penn and Teller, Sarah Silverman, Norm MacDonald (Silverman and MacDonald were on an unreleased pilot), and plenty of others that would do quite well, much like Hollywood Squares did when it returned. 

Match Game should definitely consider relaunching the series for this point in time, because it could really bring back a surge and pick up new fans of a long-running franchise, which includes recognition of celebrities from different areas and periods of time. Game shows are really a special thing and they are brilliant if executed the right way. Now's the time to arrange for a relaunch of this classic and come up with what could be a grand chemistry of celebrities and happy contestants winning thousands and perhaps millions...