Friday, November 17, 2006

Nielsen Extended Ratings

Did you know that USA Today carries the weekly Nielson ratings? They publish the usual list of Top Shows. They also carry some extended ratings information. Some examples are "Top Cable Shows," "Top Broadcast News," and "18-49 year olds". This week a new category showed up. Look at the list below, and see if you can guess the demographic. (My own guess would have been 20-something women!)

RankShowNetworkAvg. viewers (millions)
1.Extreme Makeover: Home EditionABC1.4
2.Survivor: Cook IslandsCBS1.2
3.Dancing With the StarsABC1.1
4.Funniest Home VideosABC1.0
5.Dancing With the Stars resultsABC1.0
5.Deal or No DealNBC1.0
7.The SimpsonsFox1.0
8.Grey's AnatomyABC0.9
9.Family GuyFox0.8
9.Desperate HousewivesABC0.8

And just who is this elusive demographic? Children aged 2-11!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Unit - Midge

* Warning: Spoilers *

I watched The Unit last night (I'm on TiVo, it's always a day late) and just rolled with laughter. If you have not watched The Unit yet, it concerns a special group within the military that conduct special operations. The show is a mix of what the soldiers themselves do on missions, and what the wives back home do.

In this episode, titled "Old Home Week," the wives are organizing a fund raiser to send calling-card minutes to troops overseas. At one point they come across a letter from WW-II of a soldier on his apparently last battle before he dies. The author, Jim, writes of his love to Midge as he contemplates that this may be the end.

The wives work to identify the letter writer and locate his wife, Margaret. They do this by finding a photo of Jim with another soldier that they identify and get an address for. Both
Midge and the old soldier are brought in for the fundraiser.

The highlight of the fundraiser is to read the letter to those gathered, then present this last letter proclaiming his love to the wife.

But as the letter is being handed to her, the old soldier say "But I am Midge." A look of confusion across the crowd, and he repeats that he is Midge. Everyone is just left speechless!

I watched that and just rolled with laughter! The stunned look that everyone had was just priceless!

For a show that usually caters towards the macho, this is a pleasant surprise. It was good to see that the show was willing to touch on gays in the military, even if it did occur going all the way back to World War II. I will be interested in seeing if there is any follow on this particular instance, and/or whether the issue will be explored in more detail in future shows.

But those stunned faces were awesome to see!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Busting a Belt

Okay, so I wrote the previous entry over 2 months ago. I'm here now, okay?

I wrote about how I had quit smoking and started lifting weights. Both of those are really new to me. I've smoked since I was a teenager, and weight lifting looked like a waste of effort. But I changed. I figured if people complain about gaining weight after smoking, I might as well make sure it was muscle.

To be sure, it has been a success! In those 2 months I have put on close to 30 pounds! Most of that has been muscle, especially since I can easily see it on my arms, legs and chest. Unfortunately I also saw a lot going to the belly.

Being a newcomer to all of this, I figured I needed to eat. Lots! And I did. I knew enough to know that sweets and such weren't the way to go. I knew I wanted protein, so anything that had protein quickly slid down my gullet.

I fell in love with the sausage, egg and cheese croisants at Burger King. I had one every morning, then a big lunch. Of course snacking and eating all through the day. The pounds came quick, and so did the stomach.

Now being a normally skinny person, I freaked out when my stomach suddenly became a belly! I think anyone who is naturally thin can relate to the horror of having body fat on your own body! Have you ever seen a skinny guy with a beer belly? It's worse looking than almost any fat person!

The breaking point came when my belt broke on me. I was putting it on, stretching to get to the usual hole when the buckle came flying off!

So, I am revisiting the diet and what actually gets eaten. That's a major change. Plus getting some aerobic workouts in between the weight sessions should help burn off fat.
I may not weigh in at 200 pounds by year end like I wanted, but the muscles will look a lot better if they aren't covered in fat!