Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

January 4

Welcome to Tuesday. Not much to report today. Went to work, came home, watched some TV. That's about the size of it.

One of the shows I watch is "The Amazing Race", its a reality/game show which pits couples on a race arouond the world follwoing scavenger hunt type clues, and performing in various challenges along the way.

The show left us with a cliffhanger ending from two weeks ago, then just shows a recap show last week. This week we saw the teams start out in an Internet Cafe in Budapest, Hungary. Teams had to log onto AOL (crass product placement) to get their next clue. The Internet cafe opened at 10PM, and they could not perform their next task at the Historical Railroad Museum) until 10AM. The cliffhanger involved a team missed the last train to Budapest, and were thought to be so far behind it was hopeless they would catch up, which meant that a train the ticket agenet did not know about juse happened to show up and got them to the Internet Cafe in time to get to the railway museum in first place. Mind you they did not have the luxury of an overnight in a hotel, but by going straight to the museum instead of the hotel, they went from worst to first, and the entire cliffhanger premise dies within the first 5 minutes of the episode. Just as cliffhangers usually do.

This weeks challenges/activities were interesting. At the railway museum, they had to ride a special railcar that consisted of one bench on the front of the car completely exposed to the elements, with an operator sitting on a bench behind them controlling the car. They had to ride down the raillines "at high speed" to a clue box out in the woods. Sounds like a neat amusement ride to me, and you can tell from my Blog I am a fan of amusement rides.

For this weeks "Detour" (The teams get to choose 1 of two tasks), the teams could either score 1 goal against a Hungarian water polo player, or paddlle a rubber raft accross the river with a strong cross current. Most teams chose to play water polo, and unless they edited out a lot of missed shots, the perception the film gave is that the water polo task was very easy. 1 team chose the paddling task and seems to have lost a good deal of time to it, (They first had to inflate the raft (capeable of holding two contestants and a 'safety' person) using handpumps.)

The first place team (which were the ones who were in last after the Cliffhanger) got to bypass te Detour and Roadblock tasks and come to the next Pit Stop well ahead of the other teams through use of 1 of 2 Fast Forwards available. There are only 2 Fast Forwards (a special task that allows a team to bypass all other tasks and clues in that leg of the race) only 1 team can use a Fast Forward in a leg, and a team can only use 1 fast forward the entire race. But getting the Fast Forward pass was no walk in the park, first they had to find an underground labyrinth, then navigate to a special room in the labyrtith where each had to drink a goblet of pig's blood. Eeeeeewwwwwww.

The teams that did not do Fast Forward choseeither the polo or the paddling, and eventualy wound up at a deisgnated restaurant where the Roadblock task awaited. (Roadblock - tasks only 1 team member may perform, each tem member can only do 6 the entire season, must chose who does task based on a vague clue) - this weeks task was to go into the restaurant and completely eat a 24oz. serving of a traditional Hungarian soup which has been made to be exceptionally spicy. One team likened it to eating a bowl of tabasco sauce. Lot of puking going on, and other general nastiness.

But completing that tasks they could make their way to the Pit Stop (a checkin point where standing are taken, and in most cases the last place team is eliminated from the race.) This week we lost Gus and Herra which were one of the nicer teams on the race. Of the 6 teams that are left, one team involves an abusive husband, another team that is now repulsed by each other, a team of snobs who can't deal with anything below first-world standards, so thats a 50/50 shot of a 'good' team still winning this thing.

L - Chilli Salad
D - Golden Corral


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