Travel Blog


Houston space Center

January 25th, 2015 ernie Posted in Entertainment No Comments »

Houston space CenterWe went to see the Houston space Center in Webster Texas which is just outside Houston. We stayed at a Holiday inn Express in Webster, Texas which is about six or eight minutes from the site. It was very easy to get from the Hotel to the space center. The Houston space Center is also known as the Johnson space Center.

The Houston space Center is an interesting place with lots of information and lots to see. Be prepared to spend the day and doing lots of walking as you move around the center. There is one main building with a variety of demonstrations. There’s also two trams that will take you to different buildings on the site. Try to sit on a rear tram away from the engine so that you can hear the narrative as you move between buildings.

Houston space Center – Tickets

You can also get into the Houston space Center by buying tickets on site. You can get them cheaper by purchasing them at the hotel we are staying. Customers can save about seven dollars per ticket.

There is also an audio tour that can be purchased. However, you really don’t need the audio tour on the first day. If you go back a second day it would be interesting and more informative. Their presentations at every location are given by resident astronauts and other specialists. Plan to be there for the day and also plan to do lots of walking.

For more posts about things to do while traveling and entertainment, click here.

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Is this the end of Duck Dynasty

December 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Reality Shows No Comments »

the end of Duck DynastyThe recent controversy surrounding the patriarch of the Robertson clan, host of the reality show Duck Dynasty, has created a firestorm of comments across the country. In one interview he managed to alienate many segments of society based on his religious views. We are wondering if this is the end of Duck Dynasty?

While there is freedom of speech and freedom of religion in the country, there is also a civil way to living in our society where we don’t have to alienate many people. Apparently he made comments against blacks as well as gays which are really uncalled for in the writer’s mind and totally unnecessary. At the same time A&E host of the duck dynasty reality show had to know about this interview and had to know what this client stands for when they signed up to do this reality show.

The End of Duck Dynasty – Share the Blame

They are as much to blame as the patriarch of the Robertson clan and all of the rednecks that support his comments.

What is even more unsettling, is the number of people who I stepped up to support him and his comments. They are doing so standing behind free speech and free religious views but not really taking into account the specifics of what he said. This is the trouble with many reality shows in that it demonstrates the worst of our society.

If you have an opinion on this blog, leave your comments as long as they are constructive and civil we will be glad to post them on this blog.

For more thoughts on reality shows, click here.

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Dancing With the Stars 2013

April 24th, 2013 ernie Posted in Dancing W T Stars No Comments »

Dancing with the StarsDancing With the Stars 2013: Zendaya Coleman, Kellie Pickler and Aly Raisman are top contenders for the mirrorball trophy with Kelly Pickler at the top of the leader board. She is a sweet country girl that is also extremely good looking as well. We hope she does well. In fact all of the contenders at the top of the list have great personalities and are also very attractive which helps when it comes to popularity votes on a show like dancing with the stars.

This show is by far the best show on TV for TV viewers. Lots of entertainment, family oriented and humorous. Last night they also had Stevie Wonder and all dancers danced to one of his musical hits. What a night!

The dancers find it very challenging with the long days of practice and all of the physical work that goes into it. They find it hard and challenging, but they love it, especially to hear the audience appreciation for their efforts.

Dancing With the Stars

This is one of the best entertainment shows, reality shows, whatever you want to call it on TV right now. It is interesting to watch how the various contestants improve over the season. Even Nancy Grace was on Dancing With the Stars on one of the seasons. She did moderately well compared to some of the younger people who are more flexible and agile.

We have to give her a lot of credit for just getting out there and being on the dance floor. Personally this writer would find it very intimidating to be on the dance floor with millions of people watching. My two left feet would trip myself or my partner for sure. So we applaud Nancy Grace and all of the other participants for being out on the dance floor taking on some of the more challenging numbers.

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Grammys 2013

February 10th, 2013 ernie Posted in Entertainment No Comments »

The Grammys 2013 are on tonight we’re wondering who’s going to win the best vocalist of the year. We will be Adele, Katie, Rhiana or someone else who is relatively unknown let’s watch the Grammys tonight.

Well they stuck to the dress code! No boobs showing and no bum cheeks showing, well maybe except for Katy Perry maybe. She was dressed tastefully but with lots of cleavage showing. I do not mind cleavage, but some times it is beyond good taste. They are used to showing themselves sometimes almost naked, so what does a little cleavage matter.

Grammys 2013

Adele was dressed in a frumpy dress, but who cares, she can sing better than just about anyone . Some stars showed lots of bare leg but stayed inside the guidelines. Who cares really about the Grammy awards and whether they dress well or properly or not. The television programmers will not show you anything risque anyway.

If you were lucky enough to be there at least as a spectator, it would be interesting. The security would really be tight and it would not be fun. Most likely you would be so far away that you would need binoculars to see anything. I think you can actually see more by watching the television programs that carry it.

Also you can watch the interviewers on the red carpet and get see and hear some of the stars. Not so if you are there in person. If you are even close to the red carpet, you might be able to see some things but not hear anything, so why go to the Grammys 2013? for more entertainment posts, click here or here for entertainment posts.

 

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Reality Shows Fake or Not

January 25th, 2013 ernie Posted in Reality Shows 1 Comment »

Reality Shows Fake or NotReality shows fake or not? Of course they are not real in the sense that the show is not scripted at all. These shows have some things that are based on reality and they are enhanced to improve their appeal to the audience! Even dancing with the stars is planned in every detail with the main exception that the outcome is really up to the skill of the dancers, the judges scores and the scores from the audience. It is probably the most realistic of all of the reality shows. One show that is clearly scripted and actually not very well is the show called Storage Wars.

Reality Shows Fake or Not

Even its participants have indicated that some of the units that go up for sale have planted items in them to make it more interesting. The vast majority of units that go up for sale are just junk piles that need cleaning our. If you have ever been to an auction you know they can be pretty boring. No tv audience is ever going to watch this unless you spruce it up!

How many lockers do they go through for example before they find something interesting? How come other buyers never seem to win a locker? Barry for example never seems to make money!

For more posts about reality shows, click here.

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Dancing With the Stars Winners

December 7th, 2012 ernie Posted in Dancing W T Stars 1 Comment »

Dancing With the Stars WinnersMelissa Rycroft and professional partner Tony Dovolani, dancing with the stars winners, danced their way to victory during the latest Dancing with the stars competition which pitted former winners and runner ups against each other to really elevate the level of skill, entertainment and quality of the show. Rycroft, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader got a perfect score on Monday night to put her in the top position in terms of points from the judges. But it is always a cliff hanger when you build in the audience vote the following that many of the stars have.

Dancing With the Stars Winners – A Good Following Helps

Melissa Rycroft and partner Tony Dovolani really did not have a strong following in terms of supporting fans from previous shows and activities. Many of the others were TV stars, football players and race car drivers along with Olympic athletes. They all have a fan base which Melissa really did not have, however both Melissa and Tony had something else that really none of the other contestants had.

They had desire to win and the work ethic was so strong for these two. They worked to make everything absolutely perfect in their routines and were rewarded with perfect scores. There was another factor as well which really contributed to their wining the trophy.

Throughout the competition there was never any false sense of drama and none of this phone sexual thing that another contestant  tried to show and garner more votes. Throughout the competition they always had huge smiles, a great attitude and an endearing personality that we thing endeared them to the audience and built a fan base among the Dancing with Stars viewers.

This is really what gave them the edge over the other two runner up contestants. We do not want to take anything away from either of the other two. They were excellent and provided a fantastic show and skill level with all of their dances. They just did not endear themselves to the audience as much as Melissa Rycroft and professional partner Tony Dovolani did during their dances and any interviews and conversations they had in front of the media.

We really love to watch this show. It is such a positive motivation and uplifting show, we either watch it life or we record it and watch it as soon as possible after words.  Tom Bergeron does a fantastic job of keeping everything on schedule and filling in sound bytes to bridge the gaps in conversation. Don’t’ change the format guys, just give us more of the same and keep the level of competition very high.

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Bristol Palin Weight Loss

November 14th, 2012 ernie Posted in Dancing W T Stars 1 Comment »

Bristol Palin Weight LossDid Bristol Palin lose weight or was the perceived weight loss from some work by a surgeon? We are not sure but something sure looks different this season. She looks great and she looks more mature than she did last season. However although her looks are better her dancing did not improve at the same rate. She was being kept on the show just because of her mothers voting friends. She does not have the work ethic to get ahead on this show. These other people on the show are very competitive and hard working. Bristol is out of her depth and it shows.

Bristol Palin Weight Loss – DWTS

You may be thinking that we are picking on Bristol, however we are categorically not picking on her. She has improved from last time, she looks better, but she just does not measure up to the rest of the competitors. She has now gone home and we will no longer poke fun at Bristol Palin for her dancing or whether she lost weight or not.

DWTS is an absolutely fantastic show. all of the stars improve and all of the stars lose weight throughout the show. they are really working hard and when you basically exercise for 8 hours a day or more, then you are bound to get in better shape and lose weight as well. Wish we could be in such shape!

Well this is the last post about Bristol and DWTS unless something monumental comes along. We really like the show and in fact think it is the best show on TV these days. It takes hard work, talent and skill to win the trophy, contrary to many of the other reality shows that are on TV these days. We strongly support what this show is doing and look forward to many more weeks of great entertainment.

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Lance Armstrong Evidence Against

November 1st, 2012 ernie Posted in Reality Shows 2 Comments »

There is a great deal of evidence against Lance Armstrong concerning doping in the Tour de France and other races. We have no idea whether he did or did not, however there are just too many people who have either testified or gone public with the information that it is really difficult not to believe that he did not master mind the entire thing.

Every year since more and more Tour riders have been found to have use some sort of doping methods and have had their titles removed. This sport along with almost every other sport seems to be trying the doping drugs. They get away with it for a little while and then the authorities say enough is enough and crack down on them. If someone is doing too well in a sport, chances are that they are going to be accused and are going to be tested. Folks if you are reading this, it is inevitable that you will be caught some time. Can it all be worth it?

He Should be Ashamed

Sure Lance Armstrong is now rich and he did start the Live Strong charity for cancer which is a very noble thing, but the way most measure things and remember people is for their success in life without resorting to what is frankly cheating. He will be forever labeled as the cheater who got caught and brought everyone down with him.  Were I come from your integrity and measure as a man or women is that you:

  • Do not cheat
  • You do not use enhancing drugs
  • Do not lie
  • You do not run around on your wife.

Lance Armstrong has done all of these things and a lot more based on what we have read in the media and although he is rich, he has lost all respect and of his colleagues and his fans for the most part. This is not something that I would be proud of if it were me, regardless of whether I had many millions in dollars or not.

Tour de France

I love to watch the Tour de France and will record it every year and watch all 21 days of racing, much to my wife’s disgust. I am not sure that I can watch it any longer knowing that the winners are likely doping and have not been caught yet. What a sad thing for sport, particularly bike racing in the professional sphere.

If you have comments either way about this phenomenal or Lance Armstrong in general, feel free to leave your comments. You might not even agree with me. That’s ok; it is freedom of speech in operation. Rude and derogatory comments will not be approved for publication.

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Dancing with the Stars and Bristol Palin

October 10th, 2012 ernie Posted in Dancing W T Stars 1 Comment »

Bristol PalinWell Bristol Palin made it through another night and two former winners went home last night that danced much better than she did. How does this happen? Why should talent not count for more? Clearly Bristol has not got what it takes to train and perform at a level that other contestants have. She is young and immature and has not had to really compete for anything in her life compared to the other contestants. There are very successful people competing with her that know how to work hard , to prepare and to go out and give it everything they have. Bristol simply is not in this category. So why is she still there and not even in the bottom two or three?

Voting Structure – and Bristol Palin

The answer is pretty simple really and it reflects on the way the voting system is set up. The judges are responsible for 50% of the vote and the voting public is responsible for the other 50%. Last night, Bristol Palin improved from the previous week, the judges indicated this and as a fan of DWTS, I would have to agree. They kept her at the lowest score, but they also rewarded her with a score that really was not too bad at all, 7.5 across the board for a total of 22.5! Although having the lowest score she did not even make it into the bottom two!

In order to get a lot of votes from the audience you must have a following and franking some of the folks that went home before her are not in the mainstream any longer and do not have a strong enough following to enable them to get the votes. They also scored better than Bristol, but not significantly better, being only a couple of points ahead of her and well behind the leaders who had 27.

You Need a Strong Following

Bristol Palin has a following, or rather her mother does. Her mother is a big fan obviously and she has stated several times that she is rallying her followers to get out there and vote for her daughter. And they do vote so much so that they keep her out of the bottom two every week so far. These people are not voting for excellence, they are not even voting for themselves. They appear to be mindlessly following what Bristol’s mother tells them to do. Sad but true and this is how you end up with what we have. The voting is working exactly the way it is supposed to.

Are the Judges Doing Their Job

The writer happens to think that the judges are not doing their job. Bristol’s performance was so far below that of the other performers that her score should have been much lower. With a greater separation, there might have been a better chance of her going home much earlier.

Will it Make a difference in Who Wins Dancing With the Stars

Will it make a difference in the long run? Probably not, Bristol will never measure up to the leaders and will go home eventually. The people who have gone home already would have also gone home before the leaders as well unless they significantly step up their game. So will it make a difference in who wins, probably not? But should she have gone home last night? We think so!

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Bristol Palin – Dancing With The Stars

October 3rd, 2012 ernie Posted in Dancing W T Stars 1 Comment »

Bristol Palin - Dancing With The StarsCan you believe it, Bristol Palin is still on Dancing with the Stars? She had the lowest points going into this session, week two of the 2012 season by a long shot and who gets booted off? Instead Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson were given the boot, much to our disgust.

Bristol cannot dance and worse, she is not even trying.  She does not seem to have the work ethic which is so symptomatic of many young people these days. So what is keeping her on the show. Well in our opinion it has to be the republican right. Also all of the young single mothers who are pulling for her. And then of course there are her mothers follower’s who must be voting for her.

Bristol’s Work Ethic

We predict that unless she changes her work ethic and picks up her style, the judges will give her an even lower score next time just to try to get her off.  the rest of the dancing crew are so far above her in skill and entertainment value that it is really embarrassing. Even the MC, Tom Bergeron does not know what to say. Everyone was shocked last night. If this continues like it did in the last Dancing with the Stars show she was on, other much more talented people are going to be going home before she does.

Let us know what you think about Bristol Palin being on the show and also what you think of her dancing. She has a long way to go before she catches up with the others on the show who have much more talent.

What About Mark Ballas

We also feel sorry for Mark Ballas. He is an extremely talented dancer with tremendous energy. To be stuck with someone who has stated she does not care that much about the show and who apparently goes home early, must be very difficult to take. fortunately for Bristol, he is a professional and will keep plugging away at her to try to improve her dance skills. There are other people on the show younger than her and with far more energy and work ethic that are doing well and will be in the finals I am sure unless the voting really gets out of whack.

Vote for anyone but Bristol so that she goes home next week regardless of how she does so that the real competition can begin with the people who are working really hard on Dancing with the Stars. We need to see a real competition and not a popularity show that is really attributed to her republican mother. She probably is a really nice girl, but get with the program and start competing. Work hard and at least try to improve!

That is our take on last nights elimination with Dancing with the Stars.

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Pablo Loves Texas Roadhouse Happy Hour

December 21st, 2011 ernie Posted in Entertainment 2 Comments »

Texas Roadhouse Happy HourThe Texas Roadhouse chain of restaurants is one of our favorite places to eat and to enjoy happy hour. They are scattered primarily across the US Southwest , although we have seen them in some of the mid west states as well. We really like the one in Amarillo Texas. There is nothing better than arriving during happy hour, sitting at the bar enjoying a few cold beers, some peanuts in the shell and a nice steak with all of the sides at a reasonable price! Prices change, however draft beer can often be had for $2.00 during happy hour.

Texas Roadhouse Happy Hour

Our latest stop was at a Texas Roadhouse in Amarillo , Texas. We arrived at 5:30pm. Happy hour went from 5pm to 7 pm and you had to sit at the bar or in the bar area to take advantage of the happy hour prices. We had several 22 oz beers served in frozen mugs for $3 each. What a good deal!

They also had peanuts in the shell which you crack open and let the shells fall on the floor.  This is a great way to sit back and relax after a hard days work or in our case a long day of driving. As an aside we were traveling from California to eastern Canada and this was one of our stops along the way. Some people might think that this is messy and not very classy, but it just happens to be a very nice way to enjoy an evening. Of course if you do not want to eat the peanuts, then don’t, it is entirely up to you.
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Kim Kardashian’s Marriage

November 14th, 2011 ernie Posted in Reality Shows No Comments »

Kim Kardashian's MarriageWe cannot help but be drawn to the Kardashian mess. It is just so outrageous that the news channels and the gossip columns just cannot get enough. They do not even have to make it up , the Kardashians provide it for free. The latest of course is the wedding and the subsequent divorce which is now making the rounds. Lately she is pregnant with another man and still married to Chris Humpfries. The Kardashians are simply white trash who unfortunately made it big.

Kim Kardashian’s Marriage

We think that Saturday Night Live got it right with their skit, when her ex-husband was quoted as saying, ” When you are living in Minnisota and raising kids, you will not need to worry about your reality show and clothes lines” or something to that effect. That line would scare almost any women away, let alone someone like Kim. We do not know if he actually said that or not, probably not. However it is pretty close to reality and something similar probably went through Kim’s mind and she suddenly realized that this marriage was not for her.
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Reality Shows are not Reality

August 30th, 2011 ernie Posted in Reality Shows No Comments »

Reality Shows are not RealityMy wife and I, love reality shows! We have our favorite shows that we watch all of the time.  There are so many these days, that we think that Hollywood has gone over board with these shows as they try to capture market share and produce shows that have a very low budget compared to regular produced shows.  But reality shows are not reality! Sure they are inexpensive to produce and they offer some good entertainment most of the time but there are a couple of things wrong with Reality shows these days, that we just cannot get from regular produced shows with a good budget..

First they are not reality or even close to what most people would call reality. Secondly they are portray human beings at their worst for the most part. There are a couple of shows that are ok, such as Dancing with the Stars, and Expedition Impossible, or even the Amazing race but the rest are just plain bad. Even these three shows cannot be considered reality shows! They all have relatively big budgets as well which contributes to their overall quality.  At the end of the day they are just entertainment with little or no reality to them at all.

Reality Shows are not Reality

All of these shows are filmed virtually 24 hours a day and we get to see them with the activity condensed from 24 hours into 30 minutes of activity portraying whatever the producers want us to see. Secondly these people are told to act outrageously to attract the audience. Jersey Shore and the Housewives of whatever city are big examples of this kind of reality show. They end up with outrageous behavior and attract an audience for some reason. This is not entertainment.
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Nancy Grace on Dancing with the Stars

August 30th, 2011 ernie Posted in Reality Shows No Comments »

Dancing with the StarsWell they just announced the cast of Dancing with the Stars last night and a big surprise was part of the announcement. Nancy Grace is going to be on the show, Dancing with the stars! What a surprise. We watch Nancy Grace all of the time and enjoy her tenacity as she deals with other lawyers , particularly defense lawyers. Participation on this show, Dancing with the Stars , is really going to take her out of her comfort zone! This will be interesting to see how she handles it.

Now she is going to way outside her comfort zone and dealing with other stars that are competing with her. She is not a stranger to competition, but this is really different for her. She claims she cannot dance and this will be a big stretch for her, but with her fans carrying her for the first few episodes we are sure she will stay long enough that she can show she can learn and become proficient at dancing.
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The Kardashians

August 20th, 2011 ernie Posted in Reality Shows 1 Comment »

The KardashiansWell I must be from the planet Mars, since I am probably one of the few people who really do not understand the attraction of the Kardashians. Kim is pretty but not really that pretty and as she gets older will not be pretty at all. The others try but they really do not have what it takes to get the guys, although they probably do based just on money and notoriety.  There are lots of provocative poses like the one in this picture and as time goes on and as her fame begins to fade, they will become more provocative. I do have to give them credit for the marketing they do and the success they have had in turning notoriety and semi good looks into a rumored $65 M dollars last year.

Then there is the $10m dollar wedding that is coming up shortly. Boy that will not last a year. Two people with big ego’s and high maintenance. It is just impossible. This is a publicity stunt and nothing more than that. By the time they sell the rights to the pictures and the video of the wedding, they will have paid for the wedding several times over and made a huge profit.

The Kardashians

They have done a lot to reach the level they are at in terms of sponsorships and income. The entire family seems to be involved, but Kim seems to be the main front person in terms of generating news, pictures and video. The worst part of this entire thing is that she has become a role model for many people which frankly is just disgusting. The reason that I decided to write this post is that one commentator said that this is the American equivalent to the English Royal wedding!
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Who Are Our Role Models Today?

August 18th, 2011 ernie Posted in Reality Shows No Comments »

Role ModelsRecently there have been a series of articles that are discussing the role that Cable TV and reality shows are having on our society. Regis was being interviewed on TV this morning and said that Cable TV has brought our culture down with all of the reality shows that are on cable. It is just not the reality shows, rather it is a specific segment of those shows. Some appear to be relatively harmless, such as “Kate plus eight”, Survivor and Big Brother. While others have even caused some of the people on the shows to commit suicide! Since we wrote this post in 2011, nothing seems to have changed and perhaps it has even got worse than it was before. Today it is the gun violence that is taking the front page which just shows how bad it is.

Role Models – The Housewives of XXX!

The Housewives of whatever city, there are so many of them now, expose the worst in relationships that are already fragile, and the people on these shows go out of their way to make them even more provocative. One man killed himself this past week apparently because he could not handle the information about his personal life being all over the world on TV. His marriage was falling apart, he was broke and he was already having emotional problems before the show even started. Is this what we want our kids to watch?
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