Monday, August 29, 2016

The Best to Worst Host of Family Feud Ranked By Me

The Family Feud is one of my favorite game shows. Over the years it has had several host changes, but some of them were pretty bad and some of them were pretty good. I will rank them in order from worst to best, in my opinion. So here they are starting with the worst host the show ever had!

John O'Hurley (2006-2009)
The 5th host of the show, John O'Hurley always reminded me of his character J. Peterman from Seinfeld. He was great on Seinfeld, but as the host of Family Feud he just fell short in so many ways. He was almost too refined and although he came off as friendly, it seemed to be very fake and forced. He wasn't very funny either. I think the show really suffered under O'Hurley's time there. I will say that I thought he was the perfect host for his other game show, To Tell the Truth. Unfortunately, the Family Feud was just not his best work and in my opinion, he was the worst host the show ever had. It seems to me that overall he had the attitude of "I don't really want to be here."

Richard Karn (2002-2005)
The 4th host of the show, Richard Karn was always trying so hard. That was part of the problem. You'd watch him and want to say, "Oh that poor man, he is trying so hard to be a good host and he just sucks." The problem was, for me anyway, that all I see when I look at Richard Karn is Al Borlen from Tool Time. There's nothing wrong with that as far as I'm concerned, but for Richard Karn to step out of the role of Al from his Home Improvement days, has been something almost impossible for him to accomplish. He tried to be energetic and funny and friendly but at the end of the day, it looked like acting, and poor acting at that. I really feel that if Richard Karn was to do a show about fixing houses and tools and stuff where he basically portrayed his character of Al, I think that show would be very popular and successful, because it's just what we all want to see from him. But nobody listens to me and this is about the Family Feud, so I have to say that  overall he had the attitude of "Look, I'm trying!"

Louie Anderson (1999-2001)
The 3rd host of the show, and a very odd choice at the time, was Louie Anderson. Don't get me wrong, I love Louie Anderson. (Loved your cartoon show Louie!) It was just a strange choice for host. I never found him to be fake or unfriendly, but he just has such a strange voice and his type of comedy didn't seem to fit the show very well. That picture up above makes me want to say, "Shut up, Louie." I guess the powers that be agreed because after a few seasons, they let Louie go for another comedian, Richard Karn, and that didn't go well either. I think finding a suitable replacement for Ray and Richard Dawson was proving to be a very difficult task. It was also the same time they changed the sets and music and that just didn't work for the show either. It was all reflected in the host's overall attitude which was, "I don't really care if I'm here or not."

Steve Harvey (2010-Present) 
The show's 6th and current host. FINALLY, a host that is doing a good job! Steve's upbeat personality and comedic timing has found the perfect fit in the Family Feud setting. The show also returned to its roots with the original theme song, and I think we were all happy about that. Unlike the other hosts, Steve Harvey has the ability to criticize answers and players without coming off as rude or some kind of jerk. This adds a whole new dimension to the show. Richard Karn attempted to do it too, but you just wanted to say, "Shut up Al, you're not funny." Steve gets away with it and does it well. Not since Ray Combs has this show had a worthy host in my opinion. He looks like he is actually having fun and the energy he brings is very apparent. Overall he has the attitude of, "I love this job!"

(I was going to make a Steve Harvey Miss Universe joke but at the last minute decided against it.)

Ray Combs (1988-1993)
The second host of the show. How on earth do you replace a legend??? Answer: With Ray Combs. This is the guy that I grew up with knowing as the host. He was full of life and energy and looked like he was just having a ton of fun hosting the show as much as the families had playing it. He could laugh along with a bad answer but it never came off as he was making fun of the contestants. He had a great way of yelling out, "Survey says!" before an answer was shown. As we know, he committed suicide while on suicide watch at a psychiatric center. Where was the staff on that one??? Ray had big shoes to fill after Richard left but he surprisingly did a good job and brought a new life to the fading show. For the 93-94 season, Richard Dawson returned as host before the show's cancellation and it would be several years before syndication brought it back with Louie Anderson. Overall Ray Combs had the attitude of, "I'm having a lot of fun doing this."

Richard Dawson (1976-1985) and (93-94)
The original host and in my opinion, the best. Richard Dawson just had something about him that made him the perfect host for this show. He always respected the families, he was famous for kissing every single female contestant, and he never, EVER made fun of a bad answer. He was quick witted but his dry humor sometimes had the audience missing his jokes. He was sharp and a sharp dresser, always wearing a boutonniere with every three piece suit. Richard was always kind and many of the families would bring him gifts and present them to him on air. He would be missed when he left and that's why he was asked to come back for the shows, would be at the time, final season. Overall the attitude that Richard Dawson had on the show was, "I love this show and I love all of you." And that to me is why Richard Dawson was the best host of the Family Feud, but that's just my two cents.

Ok, I decided to do the Steve Harvey Miss Universe joke after all....

Steve Harvey Best Host of Family Feud in my opinion. 

And the number one host of all time....STEVE HARVEY!!! YES, YOU WON STEVE, YOU WON, YES! YOU'RE THE BEST HOST, OH LOOK HOW HAPPY YOU ARE NOW! Wait.....wait.. hold up......I'm sorry.....I'm sorry Steve, I meant to say Richard Dawson is the best host of all time.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Beauty and the Beast Relationship Arguments

What happened if the Beast didn't turn back into a human at the end of the movie? I like to think their relationship would have had a lot of rocky spots to overcome. Everything I know about relationships tells me that Belle would have left the Beast for Gaston. Here are a few of the inevitable arguments I feel they would have had while living together. 

Belle: "Beast, you left a ton of hair in the sink! Look at this mess!"
Beast: "Have you seen my face??? I look like Bigfoot and an Italian guy had a baby! I shave and it doesn't even matter! Besides, I'm getting my summer coat so I'm shedding a lot more, cut me a break."

Belle: "Who tore up the couch cushions, as if I had to ask??"
Beast: "Ok, first of all, it is MY couch. I had to sharpen my claws on something around here and did you think to buy me a scratching post?? NO, YOU DIDN'T!"
Belle: "If you keep ruining our furniture, we won't have any servants left when they all turn back into humans! When is that happening by the way? Cause I hear about it all the time and yet, do I see a single person around here??"
Beast: "You keep this shit up and the only single person around here will be YOU."

Beast: "The meatloaf is a little under-cooked."
Belle: "Oh is it??? I'm sorry, how do you usually like your gazelle carcass prepared?
Beast: "I was just saying..."
Belle: "Don't you usually just chase these things down and bite their necks until they stop kicking?? I'm surprised you want the stupid thing cooked at all!"
Beast: "It's still good, I just meant..."
Belle: "You know what Beast??? Maybe you should have captured and enslaved a chef for you because I'm not your cook, I'm just your prisoner!"

Belle: "I wish you wouldn't be such an animal when we're being intimate."
Beast: "What can I say, I'm a prince on the streets and a beast in the sheets."

Belle: "I want a job, I don't want to be a house queen, sitting around all day raising your cubs."
Beast: "Well, I don't think there are many job opportunities for women here in feudal France..."
Belle: "What's THAT supposed to mean?!?! Are you saying women can't do the same jobs as men?! You think I'm inferior, is that it?!"
Beast: "No, I'm just saying we live in a castle and have an army of servants, you don't even have to work at all."
Belle: "What we have is an army of furniture Beast, and the second they turn into humans, what are we going to sit on?? I'm not going to keep sleeping on your maid after she turns back!"

Belle: "Good lord what is that smell??"
Beast: "I can tell you're not so much asking as trying to make a point."
Belle: "And yet, I don't see you doing anything about it."
Beast: "I took a shower Belle, Ok?! That's what you wanted, but it's worse cause now I smell like a wet dog! I only did it for you!"
Belle: "Did you use my towel??? Ohhhhhh, you son of a....YOU DID!"
Beast: "That's the last time I ever take a shower!"
Belle: "Really? So it was the first AND last time??"

Belle: "That's odd....somebody dug up my rose bushes...."
Beast: "Oh ya? Hmm, odd."
Belle: " is odd, considering we don't have a dog."
Beast: "Must have been the neighbor's dog or something?"
Belle: "Must have been. Odd....there are muddy paw prints all over the floor too."
Beast: "Those are mine. Obviously."
Belle: "Dirty from what Beast? Being outside perhaps?"
Beast: "I was outside for a little bit today, so what?"
Belle: "How much longer are you going to pretend it wasn't you that dug up my flowers?"
Beast: "I was going to go on indefinitely."

Belle: "Who got into the garbage??? Maybe it was that invisible dog we supposedly have!"
Beast: "YOU threw out chicken bones, what was I supposed to do?!"
Belle: "Oh I don't know Beast, maybe act civilized for once in your life?"
Beast: "I'm not getting into this again with you."
Belle: "No, but you'll get into the garbage again?"
Beast: "I told you, if you don't want me getting into the garbage, put it up high where I can't get to it."

Belle: "I'm going to curl your fur!"
Beast: "Oh please no Belle, I hate this..."
Belle: "Oh come on you big teddy bear, you'll love it! Just sit still for a few hours."
Beast: "No, it will make me look stupid!"
Belle: "Yes Beast, THAT will make you look stupid. Not the fact that you're a half bear, half bison, all asshole freak of nature, that wears clothes, it will be the curls that make you look stupid. Out of everything about you, the curls will make you look stupid. God you're dumb."

Belle: "I think I have Stockholm Syndrome."
Beast: "Is that what they're calling herpes nowadays?"
Belle: "You're such a jerk! I knew I should have stayed with Gaston!"
Beast: "Oh here we go, let's just talk about how wonderful your ex boyfriend was and horrible I am. Sorry, please Belle refresh my memory, how big was his castle compared to mine??"
Belle: "It wasn't his castle that was bigger! And he would never treat me like this! He was so nice!"
Beast: "That's because he was seeing blonde triplets! If I was seeing blonde triplets maybe I would be in a better mood too!"

Belle: "I see how you look at that feather duster skank."
Beast: "I don't look at her! She's an employee, and besides, I think she's seeing that candle stick guy."
Belle: "That candle stick is GAY!"
Beast: "No he isn't! He's french, can be hard to tell sometimes."
Belle: "Whatever. Don't talk to me. Why don't you go dust something."
Beast: What the hell would I want with a feather duster anyway!?!?"
Belle: "You tell me, you're the one that wants her!"

Beast: "Who ate the last hot-pocket?"
Belle: "I think it was that clock guy...or something."
Beast: "The clock guy ate it? The clock guy ate it!? Do clocks even eat food?!"
Belle: "How the hell should I know, it's your freaking enchanted castle!"
Beast: "Why can't you just admit it was you?"
Belle: "Why is it that when food goes missing, it's automatically the HUMAN being that ate it???"

Belle: "I hate this mirror of yours. It makes me look so fat."
Beast: "It must be broken! I'm sorry Belle, that a magic mirror STILL can't make you look thin enough."
Belle: "At least I don't weigh 400 pounds you ox!"
Beast: "Just give it some time! And my weight is healthy and attractive for my height!"

Belle: "You know, I am REALLY getting sick and tired of cutting the crap out of your fur everyday."
Beast: "Not as sick and tired as I am of HEARING about it every damn day!"
Belle: "If you'd like to do it yourself, please, by all means, GO AHEAD! I have better things to do with my time than that!"
Beast: "Such as?? What do you do around here anyways??? Reading your stupid romance novels and eating Bon-bons in the library all day can hardly be considered doing work!"
Belle: "I do plenty around here, and having to be the one that cuts crap out of your ass fur is by itself more than enough of a contribution!"
Beast: "FINE! Don't cut the crap out of my fur and tonight when you're complaining about how I tracked crap throughout the bed, you just remember this conversation, you just remember it!!!"

Belle: "Beast, I want to move my father into the castle with us."
Beast: "The town nut-job?? I don't think so."
Belle: "You have an entire castle of freaks, and you won't let one little old man live here too??"
Beast: "Ok fine, and while we're at it, let's ask your mother to move in with us too, OHHHH, so sorry, I forgot, she left you when you were little hu???"
Belle: "At least my parents weren't considered livestock! Where are your parents Beast?? Probably mounted on Gaston's wall."
Beast: "..........You know Belle, I don't think you know how much your words can hurt me sometimes."
Belle: "You are such a sissy. Go put another ribbon in your hair."

I Remember, the Now Abandoned, Forest Zoo

These creepy images were taken of a once really fun and exciting place. We've all heard of ghost towns, but what about a ghost zoo? That's what this place is to me. I actually went here when I was a little kid but this sure isn't how I remember it. 
 The Forest Zoo and Fantasy Forest are now abandoned and shut down forever. I remember a different place than what it has become. 

Central Pennsylvania once had a zoo. It sounds strange because it isn't something you'd think would be in the middle of nowhere, but it really was in the middle of nowhere. I have some very distinct memories of this place but they were in the back of my mind until I drove past it a few years ago and had one of those, "Ohhhhhh yaaaaa, I remember this place" kind of moments. If you ever drove through Gallitzin Pa, you might say to yourself, "wait, this place had a zoo??" As strange as it seems, it did!

The Forest Zoo of Gallitizin started in 1962 and was for all intents and purposes, a real zoo. It had lions, tigers, and bears, (I wasn't trying to be cute, it really did). It also had other exotic animals such as a polar bear, an elephant, and leopards. This wasn't some farm animal place with the zoo label slapped on it, Forest Zoo was a real zoo and it was much closer for a lot of us than driving to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. The zoo here also had less exotic animals like llamas, elk, cows, and deer. Plus there was a petting zoo area, which was great for little kids.

Another cool part about coming to Forest Zoo was the Fantasy Forest part of it, which was like walking through a bunch of fairy tales come to life. (Don't confuse this with Storybook Forest of Idlewild Park, that is a different place) I remember the Little Old Lady That Lives in a Shoe house. You were able to go right into a lot of the little houses. As you can see now, Father Time has taken a baseball bat to this place.

In the mid 90's it closed its doors for a final time and the animals were sold off. Most of the buildings are falling down and in ruin now.

One memory that stuck with me all these years, is seeing the peacocks. Some boys were grabbing handfuls of gravel and throwing them at the peacocks, and I figured that's what you were supposed to do, so I gabbed some rocks and threw them at a peacock. My grandmother yelled at me and said it was mean. She asked if I would like someone throwing rocks at me and just because other people were doing something, doesn't mean I should do it too. I've always remembered that.

I remember you could ride the elephant and my cousin did, but I was too afraid or just didn't feel like doing it. I did watch her ride it though.
One final memory that I have had for years was on the car ride there. My cousin and I were saying how we wanted to see the black panther. I don't know why that was our number one animal, but that's what we wanted to see more than anything. On the car ride home we were saying how disappointed we were that we didn't get to see it. My grandmother said she saw it and we would have too, but we were running around too fast and missed it because we didn't take our time. I don't know why she didn't point it out to us but I remember being very excited when we were walking past the lions and tigers and all the big cats.

 I think a lot of people my age and older will remember it because a lot of schools in the area took field trips to Forest Zoo. I was glad that I got to see it when I did. I wish I remembered more of my various visits.

The Forest Zoo and Fantasy Forest are gone and the only things that remain of this captivating place are merely shadows of the past. It was a great place to take a family for a weekend, but that's just my two cents.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Trying New Cheeses: Entry 11, Rougette, Kaserei Champignon

Straight out of Germany comes Rougette! Here's a cheese that is 3 decades in the making. You would hope that in that time the cheese would have been perfected. I tried some of this German cheese in my 11th edition and first new tasting for 2016 in my Trying New Cheese series. Germans are well-known for their beer making abilities, so how does their cheese stack up? I found out for myself.

Kaserei Chamignon, Rougette
Milk: cows
Type: soft
Country: Germany
Region: Alluga Region of Bavaria 
Pasteurized: Yes
Description: Small round, rind washed soft cheese like Camembert with a red mold rind
Claim to Fame: Orange soft-washed rind cheese, cousin to Brie

History: Rougette is a German cheese made in the Alluga region of Bavaria, and it is in the Brie family. It is very similar to Camebert, another Brie family member. Rougette comes from Bavaria and has a distinctive red-orange rind that is washed 5 times during the cheese making process. It is known for its buttery flavor. Rougette comes from a family of cheese makers that have 100 years of experience.

Taste: The Rougette cheese will remind you a lot of Camebert, but it is not the same. It has a pungent smell when you open it and it is soft but not nearly as soft as Camebert, and I liked that. It had the consistency of a Brie, so it held together nicely without oozing. The rind was orange, as is its trademark. The taste was mild but very flavorful. The rind was more like Camebert than Brie, and I didn't mind eating it. Unlike Brie, the taste of the rind didn't seem to overpower the center with its own flavor.  The texture was smooth and creamy and it went really well with the raspberries I was eating at the same time. 

 The small wheel was 4.4 oz and at $4.98 that seems a little steep, but after trying it, I feel it was worth it. If you make a cheese board consisting of soft cheeses, you'll definitely want to add Rougette. It is different enough from Camebert and Brie to be a nice unique addition that will offset the other two while it remains a strong member of the same family. 

I give the German Rougette an 8 out of 10, and that's as close to a 9 as it can get. I didn't enjoy it as much as Camebert but it was very close. It also cost almost double with being the same size! Eating it with berries is suggested and since this is what I tried, I can tell you that is a very good idea. It goes very well with fruit or fresh bread. It isn't uncommon for this cheese to be placed in the oven and then the top sliced open for dipping purposes. I think the strength of the rind would make it perfect for this kind of use. I recommend trying this cheese for sure. 

Germany is known for their beer, stuffed meats, and chocolate, but when it comes to soft cheeses the French have an edge. After trying Rougette, you might find yourself saying Auf Wiedersehen to the French soft cheeses, but that's just my two cents. 

CHEESE FACT: For Queen Victoria's wedding in 1840, the farmers in Somerset, England, made a Cheddar cheese weighing 1,100 pounds and measuring more than 9 feet wide!'s good to be the queen. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What is a Cheese Cave, and when can I move in??

Ever since I began making my own cheese, I had to find a way of aging it. Most cheese is aged for months, sometimes even years. Traditionally, especially in Europe, a cheese cave is used because of the perfect specific cheese aging conditions. The home cheese maker has to find a replacement for these cheese caves for aging their cheese.

Not all cheese has to be aged. Mozzarella, for example, can be made and eaten in the same day. Cheddar, however, has to be aged for weeks before it develops its trademark flavor. The longer a cheese ages, the sharper it gets. Some extra sharp cheddars are aged for years at a time.
How do you apply for that job???

"Wait, Andrew, are you saying the cheese I buy in the store has been sitting on a piece of wood in some cave for months???" Yes, actually, that's exactly what happens.

Add a bed and I'm moving in! 

In factories and for the commercial cheese producer, a room with temperature and humidity controls suffice for underground cheese caves of the past, but the idea is the same. The cheese you eat has been sitting around in some room for weeks or even months before it ever makes it to your table.

So why a cave? Well, cheese needs to be aged at 55 degrees with a humidity at about 80% and that's pretty much how a normal underground basement or cellar is on its own, making it an ideal setting for the cheese aging process. When a natural cave wasn't around, cheese makers started digging into hillsides to create tiny caves, just for their cheeses.
That's one fancy homemade cave!

My cheese cave is simply a wine cellar refrigerator, which is a modern way of keeping wine. However, it can also be used as a cheese cave and that's what I have to use because there are no basements or cellars in Texas.
Not a true cave, but does what I need it to do.

The cheese you eat from stores is probably all aged in controlled factory environments, but if you get some imported cheese, you might actually get to eat a true cave-aged cheese!

(the best cheese is in the 56th row, 35th from left) 

Here are some amazing examples of cheese caves from around the world! Each one makes me want to pack up my stuff and move in!

It's as if Bilbo Baggins makes cheese! 
A manmade modern cheese cave! 
First I would dress up as Link, then I would eat everything I find in this cave.
Long hard day in the cheese mines???
Congratulations, it's a cheese! 

If caves have taught us anything, it is that awesome things come from them. Whether it be lions, bears, Neanderthals, wine, Batman, or cheese, a cave is going to produce something really awesome but that's just my two cents.