Saturday, December 3, 2016

Weekly Weigh-in #175

Thanksgiving is over ... we still haven't put up any Christmas decor. Hubs has decided to get a hot tub, so that's had him preoccupied a bit this week. NUMBERS: Official weight still over 180. Down .2 from last week, but average is up 2.26 (179.3). No deficit, over by 331. Average intake 2471, average daily burn 2772. Step average 19469. 30minWeights, 109 Cardio minutes, 61.02 exercise miles. FITNESS: Got in my hour of elliptical five days, Zumba four days, no bike or treadmill, but did get to weights once. No 30k days, but was over 3000 burn three days.

Here's a quick recap day by day:
  • Friday (1125): Intake 2300. Burn 2468. Black Friday, but I barely left the house. Got in a couple sessions on the elliptical and did a little practice Zumba over at the church while the boys got in some basketball. 
  • Saturday (1126): Intake 2300. Burn 2268. An hour of elliptical for exercise.
  • Sunday (1127): Intake 2000. Burn 2245. Got in two 20min sessions on the elliptical. Busy with some craft & basketball stuff. Sunday Circles for breakfast and popcorn in the evening.  
  • Monday (1128): Intake 2300. Burn 3225. Zumba with Southziders and four 20min sessions on the elliptical. Huge snowstorm in the evening as we had to drop off auction items. 
  • Tuesday (1129): Intake 2700. Burn 2997. Zumba with Marian and 80minElliptical. 30min weights too! Finally!
  • Wednesday (1130): Intake 2700. Burn 3123. Just an hour of elliptical, Zumba with MZL.
  • Thursday (1201): Intake 3000. Burn 3079. Zumba with MountainView and 80minElliptical. #2 and his buddies met at the house in the evening before heading to the a pre-game dinner.

 Five Featured Photos:

 Hubs took #3 in to get his driver's license!

Spent some time sewing - made these hanging kitchen towels.

 Gathered up a bunch of scrapbook supplies for the basketball auction.

Snow ... gotta wipe the feet so you don't slip in the gym during Zumba!

Tried pigtails ... I think I liked it (pony has been flipping in my face).

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Zumba Stats 2016

This is a post in progress ... updated monthly.

Since I started going to Zumba classes a couple years ago, I've tracked my stats (steps, calorie burn estimate, heart rate, etc.) from the beginning. At first, I'd grab a photo of my Fitbit and Polar, and post the picture on Facebook. Then I started keeping an excel file, and posting the results monthly. For 2016, I think I'll just keep it a running blog post, just one, updating it each month.  

I regularly hit four classes a week, Southziders on Monday, Marian's class on Tuesday, MZL on Wednesday and MountainView on Thursday. I'll try to fit in a Friday if I can make it work. I wear the Fitbit ChargeHR and the Fitbit One. This year, I also added the Sosche/Digifit combo for some additional heart rate estimates.

Numbers vary from class to class ... sometimes I don't know the steps, or I'm just not feeling it that day. The length of the class will impact calorie burn and steps too of course. Goals are at least 400 calorie burn on both Fitbits, 7000+ steps in the hour, and TRYING for a HR average of 130+ (this is SO hard, my HR is hard to bump up). All time records for my FitbitCharge is a HR average of 142, and a calorie burn of 591. The Sosche is coming in quite a bit higher on all counts, so it will have it's own set of record setting stats, I'm still on a learning curve with it.

I'll continually update this post,  so although it will look familiar, 
it will have new information added each month.

January 2016
I only hit 14 Zumba classes in January, which was slightly better than December, but not up to my usual activity ... especially considering the whole "new years resolutions" motivation for the month.  I was building myself back up I guess. Two classes the first week, three the next, four the following, and finally the full five for the last week of the month. In addition to my regulars, I was able to hit a couple Fridays, once with Debbie, and once with Nicole. I've highlighted the highs for the month, nothing quite record setting, but some good stats. With the Scosche being new, the January highlighted numbers are the ones to beat ...

February 2016

February is a short month ... even with an extra day this year. Still, I got more classes in than I did in January. 20 in total. With some early morning basketball practices on Fridays, I was able to hit five classes a week a few times this month (with both Debbie and Nicole). No double days. I've highlighted the top stats for the month. Steps beat January's high, as did the ChargeHR calorie estimate (just squeaking in the last, extra day in February).

March 2016

22 classes in March. I did pretty good hitting Friday classes this month (the middle school was out a few times which alleviates the carpool conflict), even doing an hour all on my own one week. No night classes (double days), I'm not sure if I'll ever get back to that. I just don't have the energy in the evenings! I did hit one new high (steps) this month. I love seeing how the stats stack up class to class, month to month!


April 2016
Only 15 hours of Zumba in all of April ... not only was the number of classes wimpy, but so were my stats for many of them! My highs were decent, competitive with the previous months (The ChargeHR is actually a new record). The Scosche high probably WOULD have been on April25 also, except I forgot to charge it. I missed a Monday and a Wednesday ... just because I wasn't feeling up to it those days. I hit one Friday class in April .... on day 1.

May 2016
22 hours/classes/sessions of Zumba in May. That ties for March! I was able to hit a Friday class, a couple of Saturday classes, and even got in a double dose one day (the second hour was just me practicing, but still ...)  Some highs, some lows ... a new "steps" high at 7980. Almost into 8000+ (it does help when the class runs long *Ü*)

June 2016
There was a LOT of dancing in June! Marian, the instructor for my Tuesday classes, was taking the next couple months off. Rather than cancelling and then trying to rebuild the class, she asked if I would sub for summer. As I have the key to the building, and two little boys who love basketball, we've been making tons of trips to the church gym where they can play, and I can practice. It's been great for me to be able to go over the songs and steps and gain confidence as I attempt to teach once a week now. I also hit some Friday and Saturday classes. 21 classes (with instructors/other students), and 14 hours on my own ... a total of 35 Zumba sessions for June! New highs too! Charge HR calorie burn of 522 is a new record (this year anyway). That day also holds this month's highs on "time in cardio zone" and average heart rate, as well as Scosche stats. New all time highs on the One estimated calorie burn (at 571) and 8146 steps ... granted that MZL class did exceed the hour, but still, new records!

July 2016
24 Zumba classes, and 7 hours on my own ... that's 31 Zumba sessions for July. I guess the novelty of going to the church for Zumba Practice/Basketball wore off for both the boys and me, as those practice sessions petered out as the month went on. Interesting to see how the highs in each category happened on different days, in different classes ... I'm still not sure I understand how all these gadgets work, but I love looking at the numbers! I hit several Saturday classes, and made it to a couple classes I hadn't been to before (or it's been a LONG time ... HeatherB, Coriann and Melody/Underground).

August 2016
24 classes for August, again (same as July). I consistently hit my Mon-Fri, and got in one Saturday session. Hit my highs at the start of the month ... I remember that class. It was Marian's, that I was running while she was gone for the summer. I only lead four songs myself, but by planning the playlist, had put my favorites and songs I knew, and was really able to push it that day! The stats sure can vary from day to day and class to class. With the end of August came the start of school, which doesn't impact ME too much ... just Fridays, as with middle school carpool, I can't hit the classes. I was able to do an hour on my own the first Friday kids were back at school. We'll see if I can keep it up!
 September 2016
21 classes for September. Had a Monday off (Labor Day) and while I hit a couple Fridays, they are now mostly a miss. I did try a new Saturday class, but alas, it ended already. I did hit a new high with my ChargeHR calorie estimate ... 549 is now the number to beat there. Some other good numbers, but also some really low stats some days. It can really vary, from a class where I don't know the songs, to my energy (or lack thereof) for the day.

October 2016
October wasn't uber impressive for Zumba. 20 classes. Only hit a 500 calorie burn once with the Fitbit trackers. Only one day with 7000+ steps. I did get in a couple Friday classes though, and even a Saturday session.

November 2016
Not a great November ... not sure if I'm just tired, or a little burned out, or what. Only 16 classes this month. The Thanksgiving weekend really only excused me from Thursdays class. My usual MountainView was taking the week off, but there were others that were still on. If I'd wanted to, I could have hit one. As it was, I took the day before off too (the kids were out of school and I just wasn't feeling it). I didn't hit any Friday classes (middle school's late start conflicts), nor any Saturday ones. My numbers for the ones I went to weren't very impressive either. I highlighted the "highs" even though they weren't that high.


Stay tuned for more stats... 

***2016 in Pictures ***

MountainView - January 21, 2016
Marian had a meeting so we three "babes in black" ran the class. I do tend to get higher numbers when I'm up on stage, and when I get to pick the playlist ... as it's all songs I know and like. So it's not surprising this day was one of the highest in January.

 All shapes, sizes and colors are welcome at Zumba.

... and see, I'm not the only gadget girl!
Even if you don't have a Fitbit, I'll be your friend ;)

 Kids are allowed at these Zumba classes ... and sometimes they join in :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

TV Tuesday - Fall 2016 (Take Two)

It's TV Tuesday.

I recently did a 2016 Fall Premiere's post, showcasing some of the new shows I decided to try. Of course, I'm keeping up with some old favorites ... although the list is pretty small! Really ... only TWO shows are on my list.


I don't remember when I started watching Grey's Anatomy. It wasn't at the very beginning. I remember getting DVDs from the library, so I was at least a season or two late, but here I am current with Season 13 starting up.

It's a bit of a joke between Hubs and me.
His name is Grayson.
Gray. Gray's Anatomy?
I like Gray's Anatomy.
I like Grey's Anatomy. 

I don't watch live on Thursday nights ... but Friday I make sure I record the latest episode, and I generally get to it within a day or so. Gotta avoid spoilers!  I know so many fans were mad when Derek died and said the stopped watching. I was sad, but I'm still keeping up with it ...



... and then ...
I like post-apocalyptic stuff, so it's no surprise I've been enjoyed TWD. Hubs and I had been watching it together for years, but last fall, we just weren't finding the time. I was afraid of spoilers and I admit ... I cheated. I watched it on my own down in the gym. It's a great show to watch while working out. Adrenaline gets pumping! Hubs has never caught up on Season 6, so again, I'm watching Season 7 on my own while I elliptical. I record the episode as it hits the Internet Monday morning and try to get to it before I hear too much. I knew about Abraham and Glen going in to that first episode. That's a risk you take when you don't watch live I guess. The stories are getting SO spread out though. Characters are in different places and usually an episode showcases only one storyline, so it just doesn't move much week to week (I've thought the same for Game of Thrones).


Our family has been a little hit and miss with The Voice. There was a season where my boys were absolutely fanatical about the show! Other seasons ... no interest whatsoever! Many people indicated they were turned off by the new judges ... my boys said that too. I decided to give a few episodes a try this season. Personally ... I love the BATTLE rounds. The harmonies of the voices coming together. I know they sell the songs on Itunes, but it's the individual artists versions ... I like the duets! I didn't bother with the blind auditions, but just watched the battles. You get background on the contestants anyway, there is so much repeat info.Once they were over ... I'm out. I figure I have at least a working knowledge of who some of the singers are, so as the season continues and I see an ad or catch a conversation, I might know who they are talking about.

And then of course ... BASKETBALL! I really think we could quit cable completely if not for basketball. My #4 is such a fan.  I did a TV Tuesday post back in February, when I finally caved and ordered League Pass for the remainder of the season. 

This year? We went ahead and ordered it upfront. In fact, my son really wanted to see some of the preseason games, so we ordered it early.

Like last time, we hit some snags! I was going to order it through our cable company, but Comcast said it wasn't "in season" yet (even though the preseason games were being advertised). I could upgrade to NBA TV (different from League Pass, and includes some games League Pass doesn't) so we did do that.  I went directly to the NBA website and ordered League Pass through them. 

There is almost always a "free trial" of League Pass offered each year, in an attempt to hook new customers. Apparently there was one going the times my son was watching via Comcast channels. When the trial was over ... the channels no longer worked. We could still access game via our Roku, but then it's streaming, using data, and is a bit more work to flip between games. Although the NBA site seemed to indicate a way to link the cable with our current subscription, a call to customer service said it wasn't going to work that way. We ended up having to cancel and get a refund from NBA.com and reorder League Pass from Comcast (now available, as the season had started). So, a lot of rigamarole! #4 does still watch down in the gym at times, but he's not as active as he was last Spring. He prefers watching upstairs. Hubs ended up calling Comcast and upgrading to HD too. So yea ... cable bill is going up. 

Coincidentally, as we made our upgrades, some special pricing plan we'd been on ended, so our costs increased even without any additions. We'd been given HBO and another channel free, as part of our programming. Now, we were being charged for them. I cancelled them. Not worth the cost. Hubs is a little unhappy, because GOT is starting up soon, and without our HBO, we won't be able to watch. We'll have to see how much he misses it ... or if it will fall by the way, like TWD did for him.  I'm willing to wait, grab it when it hits DVD, or pay for a month of service when the season is done and watch the episodes back to back. Will we be able to avoid spoilers though?


What Fall Favorites have you looked forward to?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Unstoppable Songs

Another edition of Musical Mondays! 


I was looking for an image to go with my "Unstoppable" theme ... Love it!

When I first started working out, music was my inspiration. After a while, I switched to TV. But that doesn't eliminate music from my exercise routine. Some of my favorite song discoveries come from television. Background music, intro or credits ... I try to keep my phone handy to Shazam any songs that really strike me. "Grey's Anatomy" has had some awesome covers, familiar yet so different. I always notice the music in that show! "Finding Carter" (and MTV production) unsurprisingly had a lot to offer. I just finished up the CW show "Containment" ... I'd noticed and liked quite a bit of the music in it. I even looked it up to see if there was a soundtrack available.  I found an awesome website that showcases music from anywhere, a great resource! It's called TuneFind (and here's the Containment Soundtrack).

The other day I was catching up on the new Fall Premiere "Pitch" when some music made me pause my elliptical, grab my phone and find out what it was.

I stopped ... for Unstoppable. 

A new song by Sia. I liked the theme of the song, as well as the music itself. Plus, it sounded like a song that would work as a soundtrack for when I make muvees of my boy's basketball games.  It worked perfectly I think. So instead of linking to the official video on YouTube to introduce the song to you, here are the highlights from a recent basketball game ... (my boy is #5).


Didn't that chorus just grab you? Great lyrics! Inspirational song!
I love it more each time I listen to it.

My husband was in the room as I was finishing up the muvee and the song was playing. He asked "What song is that?" and he really liked it too. Love songs that grab you the first time you hear them!

Ironically, it's not my only Unstoppable song I used as a basketball soundtrack.
I'd used another one with the same title earlier in the season!

This song is by Kat DeLuna ... from the "Confessions of a Shopaholic" soundtrack.
Movies are a great source for new music finds too.

Do you notice background music in movies and television?
Do you use Shazam or other apps to find out the name/artist of a song you like?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weekly Weigh-In #174

I had this week in the bag ... in the garbage bag! BAD week for weight, food and fitness. I'm at a bit of an "I've given up" point. Still tracking and getting some activity in, because it's habit. I did get decent stats at my Monday Zumba class, actually got the heart rate up. But other than that, exercise has been a bit half-hearted, what little I have been doing.

NUMBERS: Weekly weigh-in was up 3.6 pounds. BUT ... it's a little unfair to have official weigh-in the day after Thanksgiving isn't it? Does that really count? Average was actually down a smidge (-.56 to 177.4). I was over on eating this week though ... 1782 over. Average intake was 2364. Average daily burn was 2442. Step average was 13742.  FOOD: Under 2000 one day, but over 3000 one day. There was a double donut day, a birthday dinner out, turkey cookies and Thanksgiving ... hard week for controlling calories. FITNESS: Only hit my hour of elliptical three days this week. Only two Zumba classes. One treadmill walk. I didn't get in a weight session again, but did spent 10 whole minutes doing some resistance stuff. 487 cardio minutes, 39.59 exercise miles. FAMILY: It's was Hub's birthday on Saturday. Donuts in the morning, dinner in the evening. Birthday cake on Sunday. Only two "routine" days (Mon/Tues) as the kids were out of school on Wednesday. Doctor's appointments and some shopping. Thanksgiving prep ... we were hosting this year.

A look at the day to day ...
  • Friday (1118): Intake 2200. Burn 2456. A bit of a frustrating day with calling for doctor appointments, dealing with some account fraud, late carpool ... got in my four 20min sessions on the elliptical.
  • Saturday (1119): Intake 3200. Burn 2192. Hubs and #2 brought home donuts. Double donut day! Hubs birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse in the evening. Uber over on calories. Did get in a couple of elliptical sessions. #5 had his championship basketball game ... they lost, but seemed to handle it better than the last time.
  • Sunday (1120): Intake 2200. Burn 1921. Pancake breakfast, as Hubs had the smoker going for our pulled pork dinner later. Took a rest day, no exercise.
  • Monday (1121): Intake 2400. Burn 3053. Good Zumba class with Southziders, even though I forgot my water! Double carpool morning and triple carpool afternoon. I did get in my four 20min sessions on the elliptical in throughout the day.
  • Tuesday (1122): Intake 1950. Burn 2964. Four 20min sessions on the elliptical and Zumba with Marian, although I didn't walk today. Made turkey cookies.
  • Wednesday (1123): Intake 2300. Burn 2263. No school, so slept in. Was feeling off, and bagged going to Zumba. Only hit the elliptical once. Sports physical for the two older basketball boys, then some clothes shopping for #3. Hubs took the three youngest downtown to the Jazz game in the evening. Great seats!
  • Thursday (1124): Thanksgiving! We were hosting, so we'd done some cleaning yesterday, finished prep today. Hubs smoked the turkeys and tried out his new ricer for mashed potatoes. Even with family over, it was just a dozen of us, but it went well. I did hit the treadmill after dinner for an easy 30min walk, 10min resistance.


 Some weeks I struggle to come up with five photos to feature ... not this week!
 We visited Maga's kitties on Saturday ...

 Then out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse.
Happy birthday Hubs!

 My annual turkey cookie tradition ...
I ate more than my fair share.
These have slightly more carbs than the traditional bird ;)

 Great seats at the NBA game (price on each ticket was $650!)

Hubs made sure there was plenty of food for Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

School Schedules, School Lunches

 
 My #5 ... starting 5th grade

It was about three months ago that school started up again. As summer came to a close, I wondered how the shift into a school schedule would go. Honestly? I like it. The return to routine. While I enjoy sleeping in, I get more accomplished with the requisite early rising. School adds some Mom duties ... there are lunches to be made, chauffeur services to/from school, homework help. I must admit though, I love those few "alone" hours each day while the boys are in school. 

Back to school, means back to making lunches. The youngest likes taking hot lunch, but the other three prefer packing from home. Disposable lunch bags are easier than lunch boxes they have to cart back and forth. Every morning, one of the daily duties is making lunches. Two of the boys accept the healthy alternative of wheat bread. No go for #3 (or me). A fruit medley for the older boys ... clementine, kiwi, strawberries and grapes. #3 has gotten picky and now needs his fruit in separate bags. #4 only goes for grapes, or the occasional apple. The travel Nutella has been a popular addition for the older boys. The drinkable yogurt a trend for the younger ones. Often I'll include a drink or a bag of chips. The boys specifically said they do NOT need a treat. They don't get THAT from me!

Here ... a quarter into the school season ... and #4 has switched to hot lunch. This is HUGE for him (anxiety issues). He's only taken hot lunch once or twice for the past five+ years. #3 is taking hot lunch on B days, and #2 is going out to eat with friends on A days. So, it's been a bit of a switch-up, I'm not making my assembly line lunches in the mornings any more.

For the first quarter ... #3 was taking early morning driver's ed. This required a 6:00 alarm, and out the door by 6:30. I'd then get #2 out the door and drive middle school carpool at 7:15, back home for just a bit before off to the elementary school at 8:20. During this morning, between waking up kids, making breakfast and lunch and chauffeur duty ... I'd try to get in a couple of 20min elliptical sessions. I was quite successful too.

When the quarter ended (and all four boys got great grades BTW), early morning driver's ed ended. Did my 6:00 alarm end as well? I could sleep until 6:30 ... BUT NO! I was determined to keep the habit, and see if I could get an addition elliptical session in. This coincided coincidentally with Daylight Savings "Fall Back" ... and the 6:00 early rising is still happening.

Most mornings ... I'm able to get in a full hour of elliptical as I get the boys off to school. I get up, weigh myself, get dressed and hit the gym. Wake the boys, get some breakfast going (they are also very self-sufficient, often they do breakfast themselves), make lunches and hit the elliptical a second time. I make sure the high schoolers are out the door, and I drive middle school carpool. Time to check email, then hit another elliptical sessions before dropping off #5.

Then off to Zumba!

My mornings are pretty productive. 

Unfortunately ... my afternoon alone time hasn't been lately. I'm not sure what my problem/excuse is. I have a couple hours each day where I could be getting things done, and I haven't had much to show for it. I need to improve in this area.

But I'm pretty good at my mornings!






Saturday, November 19, 2016

Weekly Weigh-In #173

While the official weigh-in is down a little, the average is up (177.6) ... weight was up all week. NUMBERS: Down .8, average up 2.33. No deficit this week, over by 593. Daily intake average was 2508. Daily burn average was 2713. Step average 19760. 818 cardio minutes, 63.37 exercise miles ... no weights again. FITNESS: Hour of elliptical achieved five days, Zumba four days, twice on the treadmill for an easy walk. Over 3000 burn three days, but didn't get over 30k any day.


Daily Recap ...

  • Friday (1111): Intake 2000. Burn 2390. With the shift in schedules (late start, early out) Fridays haven't been very productive. #5 was out of school again this week too. Only and hour of elliptical. Afternoon was busy with making cookies and running kids.
  • Saturday (1112): Intake 2400. Burn 2508. Only two 20min sessions on the elliptical, but kept active anyway. Cleaning house in the morning, a basketball game in the afternoon, then we had my folks over for smoked ribs in the evening. Aunt Olivia came and gave the boy's haircuts.
  • Sunday (1113): Intake 3200. Burn 2025. Big breakfast, tons of treats ... I just couldn't stop. Then Hubs made his popcorn while we watched a show. I did a two mile walk on the treadmill, but that couldn't combat the calories!
  • Monday (1114): Intake 2300. Burn 3057. Zumba with Southziders and 80min elliptical. Busy afternoon with carpools, smoked meat and puppy playtime.
  • Tuesday (1115): Intake 2900. Burn 3039. I walked/from Zumba with Marian, and gotten in five 20min sessions on the elliptical.  Trying to eat better ... but then scarfed some chocolate pretzels, and Hubs brought home chic-fil-a after a derby. 
  • Wednesday (1116): Intake 2200. Burn 3028. Zumba with MZL and 80min elliptical. Headache, needed to pop some pills and lay down for a nap. "Meet the Team" night at the high school, followed by a parent meeting ... and SNOW.
  • Thursday (1117): Intake 2550. Burn 3086. Zumba with MountainView, 80minElliptical and a 1.75mile walk on the treadmill. Hubs had a derby, and a reluctant #5 went along to help.

Five Featured Photos ...

 Haircut Housecall ... so nice of Aunt Liv to come over to cut!

Hubs put the brisket in the smoker before leaving for work on Monday. I kept watch on the temperature and when it hit 160° I wrapped it in foil, and pulled it at 200° ... this was my first time helping. Other than EATING it that is. (I also try to do the clean up when Hubs does the cooking). 

...as I often refer to my offspring numerically, I was thrilled when my #2 and #3 got THEIR numbers for the upcoming basketball season (my #5 is #5 on his little team too). I got to see them in action Tuesday night.


Our neighbors were working longer hours this week, and asked if the boys would come over after school to give their puppy a potty/play break. We helped out Mon/Tues/Wed and the boys loved it.

 ... but Wednesday, there must have been a little more licking contact to #4's face. Allergies. He'd been just fine the first couple days. This happens with our cats too. Sometimes a scratch or rub just causes a reaction. A little Benedryl and he was fine ... but also OUT for the night.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

TV Tuesday - Fall 2016

Once upon a time, there were but re-runs on during the summer. Now,  there are several summer series ... but Fall, that is when the new premieres hit the small screen.  Personally, I haven't been one to watch anything "new" in years. I wait until the season is done and it hits the streaming services or DVD and then catch up. I know, TV people must hate people like me. But this year ... well, I decided to do my TV duty, to give some of the new shows a chance and a review. I'm still not watching them as they air.  I record them via my PlayOn service, then stream them to the TV in my gym, watching while I workout. My interests lay with the longer (40min without commercials) dramas. The action/intensity and emotion add to my adrenaline as I elliptical, and hopefully keep me captivated so I can't wait until my next workout.  So while there were some comedy/sitcom premieres, they didn't make my list.

I've always liked shows about the law. My favorite John Grisham novel was "The Runaway Jury" which really added some interesting insight to jury selection and such. Here, Dr. Bull and his team make an art of picking a jury and presenting arguments to sway them. I really requires some "suspension of disbelief" for me though. After "reading" the possible jurors to pick those they think best, they form a "mock jury" by gathering twelve people who "match" the actual jurors. The same age, race, employment, hobbies ... people who happen to live close and can drop their real lives to come attend the trial (with electrodes attached to give feedback). I guess that's what I found to be the most far fetched, even more than the cases, or the fact that they always win. But still, several episodes in and I'm entertained ... but not hooked.

Conviction is another new law drama. Here, a team has been put together to re-look at old cases, to determine if justice was served, or if it should be over-turned. A bit of a spoiler here ... but the first few, all were incorrectly incarcerated. You know ... I realize it's just a show, but it really doesn't promote faith in our legal system (nor does "Bull" who is manipulating the system. He's a good guy and those watching are meant to be rooting for him, as he's taking cases "good" cases, getting the underdog off. But ...who is paying for it? IRL ... only the wealthy would be able to afford something like his services). Again ... with Conviction, I like the show, but I can take it or leave it.

One of the more talked up shows for Fall Premieres. And I'm a Jack Bauer fan! I'm not sure if that helps or hinders here ... because while Kirkland is a likeable guy, he's not Jack. I don't know why, but I'm a big fan of the post-apocalyptic genre (TV Tuesday - Is it the End of the World?) so this is right up my alley. Also, I do better with serial dramas, where the storyline continues week to week, with cliffhanger endings on each episode, rather than wrapping up characters and cases each week. This does that ... but watching weekly? As it airs (or the day after in my case)? It interrupts the continuity for me. While I like the show, I think I'd prefer to just wait until the season is complete and watch the episodes back to back. I haven't decided what to do on this one yet, finish out the season week to week, or record them but wait to watch ... I think I'd be fine waiting, but can I avoid spoilers? Some good reviews, but others are irritated with its "agenda" ... I personally don't tend to focus on things like that, but just enjoy the story. But it is interesting for me when it gets pointed out and I perhaps hadn't picked up on it.


Picking up the sweet spot after Grey's Anatomy (Scandal airing there previously) is Notorious. While I do love Grey's Anatomy, since I'm not watching live on Thursday nights, the timing doesn't impact me... but I still figured I'd give the show a try. The setting is a TV studio,  "Louise Herrick Live" a flashy news show. There is a main backstory continuing week to week, with a weekly story wrapping up each episode. Stretching reality, as all shows do, some eye-rolling moments for me. It's entertaining and caught my interest,  but I'm not sure if it's really enough to keep it. 
I heard some buzz about this new show. I enjoyed the premiere and have continued for a few episodes. It's a good one to watch while working out. As it's an athletic show, it is a little more inspiring as I'm sweating it out on the elliptical. I like the continuing story line, but it doesn't quite have the excitement to keep me coming back, eagerly anticipating the next episode. As I looked at it on IMDB, I was BLOWN AWAY that one of the main characters, Mike Lawson was none other than Mark-Paul Gosselaar, the cute blond boy from "Saved by the Bell" ... not even a spark of recognition from me!
Of all the new shows this season, THIS was the one I heard about the most. Maybe it had the biggest advertising budget? For some reason ... this one was NOT appealing to me. It reminded me of the show "Sliders" which ironically, I loved back in the day. While it's technically a drama (I mean, history of our world as we know it is at stake!) it has it's comic relief, and sometimes it's just a little hard to take the whole whirring time machine seriously. It did have a couple moments that really touched me though. One thing I like about this type of program, is I learn a little bit. I know it's a ton of fiction mixed in with a little bit of fact ... but still, I come away from it with a little more.

Back in September I did a post featuring several series with Time Travel as their theme. In that post I mentioned Timeless coming up, and also Frequency. While not technically time travel, Frequency has some of the same aspects (changing something in the past impacts the future). I loved the movie that came out some years ago ... I wasn't sure if I was looking forward to this redo or not, but I've liked it thus far. 

... and finally, another premiere that has been talked about a ton. Lots of people are watching apparently. Rave reviews. I like it ... again, it just doesn't quite have the excitement and action to make it a "must watch" but I've enjoyed the story. I am absolutely ashamed to admit that I didn't quite get it there in the pilot episode. Usually I can call twists like that from a mile away. I generally struggle with settings in the 70s ... I don't like the clothes and the hair ... or the smoking in the hospital! They were pretty sneaky with the presentation up until that point, and I think I was just SO disturbed by the smoking in the hospital that I couldn't stop and process the twist. I've enjoyed the continuing storyline and plan and watching week to week, as I'm pretty sure spoilers would spoil it if I waited to watch.
... as for continuing shows, I have been keeping up on Grey's Anatomy and TWD. That's pretty much it. I generally get in 80min on the elliptical each day during the week. That's two episodes a day. The weekends I usually only get an hour ... or an episode (or not even that). But every episode I've watched, I've been on the elliptical or treadmill. Unfortunately ... even when I have one of each series waiting for me, I haven't been uber excited. I do pretty good at getting the exercise in ... it's habit at this point, but if I have a show that GRABS me and makes me excited to get back down to the gym, so much the better! I may be branching out back to Netflix or Amazon for a series to keep me coming back, and then filling in with these ones here and there.
Your thoughts on the 2016 Fall Premiere line up?

Because of the way I watch (recording them via PlayOn after they are posted online) I'm not really in the know as to what night's they are on, which Networks produced them, how many episodes will be in the season, etc. I love that with PlayOn and can just set a "subscription" and it will automatically record said shows as a new one is added. With "ad skip" I don't have to wade through commercials. But I'm already hearing a little about Fall Finales? When did that become a thing? I still think I prefer my traditional wait and watch method ...






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