I actually managed to get some TV watching in this weekend, something I don’t do as often as I used to. A few highlights of the weekend:
1. I got to watch the Military Channel’s coverage of this year’s Best Ranger competition. The team I was rooting for came in third, but I was impressed by all of the competitors. For me, the biggest hero of the competition was eliminated during the night after the first day of competition. The competitors work in buddy teams of two. One team had a member who had injured his ankle climbing during an obstacle course. At the end of the day, the teams had to race each other in a 21-mile march carrying 65 pound rucksacks. The buddy of the injured ranger, a young lieutenant, carried both rucksacks for his team. That’s 130 lbs plus of gear. They didn’t complete the course in the required 6 hours in order to remain in the competition, but they were still marching at the end. As the Lt. put it, “We may not finish in time, but we didn’t quit!” These are the people who are defending our freedoms, folks. Watch this show and feel a little more secure.
2. I found myself watching an Indian movie on the AZN network. It was a war movie, and while I can’t remember the title, it was set in the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. It was actually a very well-made movie. The actors, according to the menu guide, are some of the big names in “Bollywood”. It used some pretty standard and recognizable plot devices and themes, but the depiction of combat was intense but not gory, and the acting was as good as most you’d see in a Hollywood war flick. The soundtrack was an Indian/Rock fusion that worked well, and the cinematography, especially of the mountain climbing scenes, was amazing.
3. I watched bits of a National Geographic Channel special on animal communications, and especially enjoyed watching the section on dogs, especially a study that indicates that dogs can distinguish cancerous tissue from normal tissue just by their sense of smell. I’ll be honest; I was biased, because I’m a huge dog fan. I love my own dog like a family member (albeit not as much as I love my wife or child), and tend to like most dogs I meet. I like big dogs, small dogs, smart dogs, dumb dogs, active dogs, and lazy dogs. I admire their loyalty to their pack mates (us), their
general tendency to accept us unconditionally and even worship us, their playfulness, inquisitiveness, and empathy. I read the results of a study that indicates that dogs have an incredible aptitude for reading human body language -- even higher that that of animals with a reputation for even higher intelligence, such as chimps. Other studies indicate that just petting a dog or cat can lower your heart rate. So naturally, I was a sucker for even more praise for our canine den dwellers.
4. I watched the latest episodes of "The Next Food Network Star". So far I've been unsurprised and fairly in agreement with the eliminations. I'm torn between rooting for Hans, who's the best cook on the show, and Eric, who has the most enjoyable personality and seems the most like a truly good person.
I also find myself saying "My gosh, I could have done that better!" a lot. I really wish I'd tried out for the show. I've had a passion for cooking for a long time, and have even contemplated culinary school in the past, but I'm a bit intimidated by the process of becoming a chef. However, the more in love with cooking I fall, and the more praise I get from people who read my recipes and eat my food (especially from TFR. She's very blunt about any dish that doesn't stack up), the more I think I might have finally found my calling.
Thanks for the Memory to a comment by Triticale for reminding me:
5. I watched one of those "Week in Science" shows that highlighted, among other cool stuff (Like the imminent launch of the first solar sail satellite), a new device that uses UV light to detect counterfeit Single Malt Scotches.
Anyone who would counterfeit good Single Malt should be soaked in cheap bathtub gin and then lit on fire.