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dewelar

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  1. dewelar

    Dungeons and Dragons

    Did not even know this topic was here... I started playing D&D just before the original AD&D came out (nearly 40 years now...crazy), and currently run a weekly group for the blind and visually impaired (although we do have a couple of fully-sighted members now) on Discord. The group has been active for nearly 20 years now -- we started out with Basic, then moved on to 2E after our first few adventures. We tried to switch to 3E, but it never stuck, so we still use 2nd, albeit with tons of house rules.
  2. dewelar

    Best Baker In America

    I wasn't really into this season. The challenges were a bit off, the judging was odd, and while I like Jason his shtick seemed much more forced this season. His sayings seemed to flow much more naturally in the past, but now it really seems like he's doing them because the producers want him to do them. It's been kind of sad to watch, and if I'm right, I hope the producers let Jason be what Jason wants to be going forward. Oh, who am I kidding? FN wants their personalities in their boxes, and if you stray too far they WILL cut you. *sigh* That said, this finale was worth the missteps of the rest of the season. All the cakes looked great, and even if Joshua and Jeffrey (got it right that time :D) had outshone him to a degree over the course of the season, Eric deserved that win. I knew it was coming when they only thing they brought up during the final review was that it wasn't big enough, and when it did I pumped my fist a little. Has anyone heard what's going to fill this slot over the summer? Last year I know they did another cycle of the Kids' Baking Championship, but I don't remember seeing any promos for anything this time around.
  3. dewelar

    Best Baker In America

    Sorry, not sure why I've got a mental block about that. I'll try and remember that if/when I comment again. Well, sure. But then, neither would I think that, if I were told that my dessert should be about 1 inch around, that I should make it (at minimum) twice that size. Also, again, they weren't told to make a twelve-layer cake -- remember that Marcela told Marian after her cakes failed to rise that she could call them a cookie, so it apparently didn't even have to be a cake, it just had to be a dessert with at least twelve layers. Thus, Marian fulfilled the instructions as (we were shown they were) given, and Jeffrey (arguably) did not. Marian was dinged, and Jeffrey was not. Side-eye still in effect. And FWIW, I'm also rooting for Joshua.
  4. dewelar

    Best Baker In America

    To me, his tarts looked at least three times as long as his other item was wide, so that was my gauge. In any case, as you say, the rules to the challenge were vague enough that they could be interpreted however the producers wished. I absolutely agree with that, and indeed that was part of the point I was making. This, however, cuts both ways. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that it was ever stated that the desserts had to be twelve layers OF CAKE -- just twelve layers, period. On that basis, Marian's dessert could have been passed if the producers so desired. They didn't, so it wasn't. I'm not saying that she should have been kept over Jeremy, just that due to how fast and loose the rules are played, the producers get a side-eye from me anytime they use them as the primary reasoning for booting someone.
  5. dewelar

    Best Baker In America

    You mean like Jeremy didn't meet the first challenge -- the miniature desserts were supposed to be one inch around, and there's no way his fruit tart was less than three inches long -- and yet won the thing? As with all these shows, the actual rules here mean what they want them to mean, always.
  6. dewelar

    Best Baker In America

    The Buzz Lightyear cake was perhaps the most amateurish looking thing I've ever seen on this show that was an actually completed piece and deserved to get Yulie sent home. On the other hand, Jeremy's Forky is going to live on in the nightmares of both me and Mrs. Dewelar. Not a good episode all around, really.
  7. dewelar

    S16.E14: The Tao of Macau

    Except what she said was "who has my baby?" which...I'll just leave without further comment.
  8. dewelar

    Where Should They Go Next?

    It's Minnesota. Hockey or nothing.
  9. dewelar

    S16.E09: Music City USA

    Hank Williams is one of the biggest icons of country music, EVER. He is to country what, say, Robert Johnson is to the blues, or Miles Davis is to jazz. I would be surprised if anyone who's a fan of classic country music DIDN'T sing "Jambalaya" or any one of several dozen songs that Hank sang or wrote. And if not, it's more likely her dad would have heard the version by The Blue Ridge Rangers (a/k/a John Fogerty) than anything by The Carpenters. It was the first version of the song that I heard in the early '70s when I was a wee lad, and I loved the hell out of it.
  10. dewelar

    Where Should They Go Next?

    I would go along with the idea of going to regions of the country we haven't seen yet. Like the Southwest, the Midwest has seen minimal representation (Chicago doesn't really count), so I'll jump on the Twin Cities bandwagon. I lived in Minneapolis for four years and have a lot of family there, so it would be interesting to see what they decide are the important places to go there. Kansas City (or St. Louis) would also be a good choice. Portland, Philly and Atlanta (in that order) are good choices, too, but IMO they can get in line behind MSP/Missouri and New Mexico.
  11. dewelar

    Halloween Baking Championship

    When I saw that, all I could think of was Scrump from "Lilo & Stitch" -- which would have been totally appropriate if he'd actually sold it. Instead, it was just sad. Not much else to say this week that hasn't already been said. Andrew definitely deserved to go, but I cringed a little when the judges started actually praising his scarecrow as abstract or whatever. I felt like they were making an excuse to the viewers about why they were keeping him, and it was painful. Between that and the airing of Zac's splintered fondant soapbox, the judges did not acquit themselves well this week.
  12. dewelar

    Halloween Baking Championship

    As far as I can remember these have always been the judges. This is the second season for this team. Carla's the only one who's been on the show all four seasons. The first season had Ron Ben-Israel and Sherry Yard with Ms. Hall, which I still think is the best team of judges they've had for any of the Baking Championships. Second season had (ugh) Damiano along with Sandra Lee. This episode was definitely a breath of fresh air after the just-completed mediocre Kids cycle. It seems like they've amped up the Halloween...ness of things this year, which suits me just fine. The main challenge was interesting, since they recently did something similar on GBBO, and a lot of the posters on that board (and I) had never seen it before. And yes, I agree that Andrew got lucky that Brian bombed harder than he did. Neither of his creations worked very well. I also wasn't a big fan of Lyndsy at first, but the fact that she actually told a story around her creation earned her that win. Looking forward to the rest of the season!
  13. dewelar

    Kids Baking Championship

    My first reaction was "well, I suppose a disappointing season deserves a disappointing result". I wound up liking Natasha best of the finalists, and I agree that Taylor seemed a bit more caustic than usual in this episode. However, to me Taylor's cake looked by far the best, and it sounded like at least some of her flavors came through as opposed to none of Natasha's. Then again, I am not a big fan of rosettes, and when your only decoration on your cake is rosettes I'm going to hate it, not to mention that her work on the rosettes was sloppy. Yes, the leprechaun was sort of cute, but he was sitting in a bed of cake crumbs -- yes, she baked them into cupcakes, but as they pointed out it was the same batter as her cake, so she barely met the twist. It feels like she beat Taylor entirely on the strength of her leprechaun legs, because every other part of Taylor's cake was better, and that's just wrong. But, you know, standard disclaimer about not being able to taste things, blah blah blah... Actually, that about sums up my opinion of this season as a whole: blah. Maybe go back to doing this once a year and the talent level will go back to what it was.
  14. dewelar

    Kids Baking Championship

    Which, sadly, is a sizable step up from most of the season. This was the first episode that felt even remotely like last season, even if it was only from a flow standpoint rather than a talent standpoint -- no meltdowns, no truly catastrophic errors in the final products, and I didn't feel like I wanted anybody to GET OFF MY SCREEN FOREVER ;-) . The most annoying thing to me was already mentioned (sherbeRt). Still, none of these kids would have made the top 5 last season, I think, but at least it's back to being a nice show to watch as background/filler instead of making me uncomfortable. So...yay?
  15. dewelar

    Kids Baking Championship

    I don't think anybody is doubting that it's believable that these kids are melting down. The problems are that (a) nobody really wants to watch a meltdown happen to a child (a villain/cocky type on a non-kid version of a show, I can see, but not a kid), (b) there have been a lot of them this season, and (c) the show is milking them for all they're worth. It's making a show that should really be almost pure fluff and turning it into something uncomfortable. Bad form, Food Network. Anyway, it's now four weeks in, and I'm still not enjoying this show like I did last season. It may be time to drop it for this cycle and hope that the Halloween version is better.
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