Top 10 Moments of 24

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Well, a television institution has come to an end in the past week, and I’m not talking about LOST. By the way, creators of LOST, you can suck it. Seriously. Way to ruin six great years of television. Thanks so much for crapping in our collective cereal bowls for the last three episodes. I could write an entire post about this, but I’m not going to waste my energy.

Like I said, I’m not talking about LOST. I’m talking about 24. Maybe the only show on TV that rivals LOST in terms of being a completely groundbreaking show when it first aired. Sure, it had gotten tired in the last few seasons, and if it were up to me, we’d just pretend seasons 6 and 7 didn’t happen at all. But with its 8th and final season, 24 gave a fitting ending to its amazing run, and hey, that’s more than we can say for that other show that I’m not talking about. For the first four seasons, there was nothing finer on television, and those four seasons were so amazing that I stuck with them through one year of mediocre (season 5) and two years of senseless drivel. I’m so happy they upped their game for the final year.

My cousin Brad made a list of his Top 1o 24 Moments, and challenged me to do the same. I will confess that I didn’t give this the time I should have, because it really could have eaten up about a month of my life, but here are some of my favorite 24 moments in no particular order. If you read Brad’s list, there will be a ton of repeats, but I did find a few gems he missed.

Nina Kills Teri – Nina going rogue at the end of Season 1 was a huge plot twist, one that set 24 apart from any other show at the time. But the death of Teri was what really put it in a league of its own. To end your first season with your hero cradling his dead wife in his arms, a death that was essentially his fault, was gutsy to say the least. I think with everything else that happened on this show, we sometimes forget about Teri, but this was a big deal when it happened.

Jack Kills Chappelle – Without question, the most shocking episode of the entire series, and also one of the most difficult scenes to watch. Chappelle can barely walk, Jack has to help him out of the helicopter. Then Chappelle asks Jack to let him shoot himself, but in the end he can’t do it. I just never thought they would let this happen on the show. Even after he shot him, I expected there to be some sort of twist in the next episode to bring him back (like Nina in Season 1). Certainly the most questionable thing Jack ever did, at least until season 8.

Edgar’s death – I don’t even remember all of the circumstances of this death, I just remember the scene where he died, and it was brutal. Whatever had happened, Edgar had gone to do something that saved a lot of lives at CTU, but it made him too late to enter the “safe zone” (which was a mere glass wall away). He comes into the frame and sees Chloe behind the glass wall, and immediately realizes it’s over for him. He looks betrayed and hurt and resigned to his fate all at the same time. His colleagues watch from the other side of the wall as he suffocates. Not ashamed to say it got a little dusty in our living room during that one.

Jack cuts off a dude’s head – Maybe my favorite “I am a total badass” moment ever in 24. Mason is trying to get Jack back undercover with some dudes (you know, bad dudes), and Jack tells him he can get back in if Mason lets him interrogate this henchman they have in custody, a guy that also turns out to be into kiddie porn in addition to being an enemy of the aforementioned bad dudes. The guy realizes he’s in the driver’s seat since they need info from him. Instead of interrogating him, Jack shoots him in the chest and then cuts off his head with a hacksaw and puts it in a bowling ball bag. Showing this head to his old buddies gets him back in the circle. Two problems solved at once!

Logan’s in on it – I hated the Logan Presidency, and I especially hated where this season went after we found out that Logan was behind everything, but when it happened, it was a truly shocking moment. I thought Logan sorta ruined 24 after that, but he redeemed himself in season 8, where he was really one of the best things about the show.

Jack cries – I guess we all remember Jack finally breaking down at the end of season 3 and crying in his car. After what I still think of as the most trying day in all the seasons, it was appropriate and brought some humanity back to Jack.

Jack says goodbye to Kim – This was in season 2, when Jack was flying a plane with a nuclear bomb on it into the desert, where he assumed he’d be crashing the plane and saving the world. Turns out Mason did that for him, but not before he called his daughter Kim and said goodbye. Another very dusty moment in our living room. If you listened to this speech and didn’t tear up, you’re not a real human being. Again, bringing some humanity to Jack after a long day of torturing suspects.

Jack cuts off Chase’s hand – What else is there to say?

Jack kills Nina – This was just a big moment of resolution for the show, and one of the few cold blooded murders of Jack’s long career. Nina made an attempt to kill Kim in this scene, but unfortunately, Jack was able to save her. Nina tried to tell Jack that she had more valuable information, but he sensed her bluff, and as soon as he knew she was of no value, he shot her. There had been much tension in this season (again, season 3) as to whether Jack was merely acting crazy around Nina in order to get her to talk, or if he really wanted to kill her. This scene made it pretty obvious.

Jack kills the Russian ambassador along with all of his security – This just happened in season 8, and I think many folks will overlook it, but Jack killing a member of the Russian government in cold blood along with an army of security guards was maybe the most heinous thing he’s done in 8 seasons of television. It was so disturbing that they didn’t even show it happen. Personally, I had been debating whether Jack was in the wrong or not at the end of season 8 until that moment. It was obvious from that scene that he was out for blood and not justice.

Okay, that’s 10. Since Brad got some honorable mentions, here are a few from me:

Jack lets Audrey’s ex die on the table (after torturing him) – Electrocute his nipples with a lamp cord, then force a doctor to work on a terrorist instead of him. This was a pretty intense turn of events, no two ways about it.

Palmer is shot – Easily one of the most shocking moments, but it’s not in my top 10 because I hated this decision. Palmer was the best character on this show besides Jack. Chloe became great of course, but Jack and Palmer carried the show. It was never the same after they killed him off.

Jack tortures his girlfriend’s sister – Remember that crazy scene from season 2 where the cute blonde was the terrorist and Jack kept sticking his finger in the bullet hole in her arm to get her to talk while her sister (and his new lady-friend) watched? The whole “cute blonde is the terrorist” thing was one of the better twists in the show, and she was great in this scene.

Robocop “kills” Tony – This absolutely would have made my list if he had stayed dead. Zombie Soul Patch was such a stupid idea, almost as stupid as killing Tony in the first place. However, if Tony was going down, it’s only fitting that he was taken out by an cyborg from the future.

Okay, that’s a fitting goodbye to one of my favorite shows ever. 24, you weren’t perfect, but 2 terrible seasons out of 8 is a pretty good record. Thank you for an amazing run, and for writing a real series finale. There are some other great shows that could learn a thing or two from you.

Death of a food blog

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Well, as you may have guessed by now, the daily food log has officially been dissolved at this point. This is not because I’ve given up on this diet. To the contrary, it’s really because I feel pretty comfortable with this new way of eating at this point, and so cataloging everything I eat has become a boring chore rather than an exciting way to keep up with meals and hold myself accountable. In other words, this experiment worked! I can honestly say that I’m not ever going back to eating the way I ate in the past.

When I started doing this, I framed my diet changes in the light of trying to go vegan. I think looking back, I’d revise that a bit. I really never had any intention of going completely vegan, it’s just more work and planning than I really want to put into this. My goal here isn’t political or even environmental (although I recognize the validity and importance of both of those aspects of what we eat), it was really all about health. In that respect, I’ve certainly succeeded. I feel much better than I did before, and my measures of health are better too (blood pressure, weight, activity level). So, this was a major change, and big win, and I’m happy with it. Because of that, no more daily food diary.

Of course, I’ll certainly still post here about interesting meals we make, and I’ll also try to keep a decent account of our garden this year, which we have high hopes for. So there will still be lots of posts about food, but expect to see other things pop up here as well.

I’d highly encourage anyone that’s remotely interested in changing how they eat to give this approach a try. Just cut meat and meat products down to a bare minimum. Don’t beat yourself up about it, but do what you can to avoid it. Try to be totally vegan for long stretches of time, and just see what effect it has on your life and health. I can almost guarantee the effects will be positive! They certainly have been for me.

Celine’s flute recital is today, so we’re at U of O getting ready for it! I’m off to help sound check.

More on the flood

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I think this graph from the USGS says it all:

That’s the water level of the Cumberland River since May 1st. Notice in the stats at the bottom, the max was 27.25. The river peaked at 51.86 feet late yesterday, practically double the max for the past 7 years. The water came within .64 feet of taking out Nashville’s second and only remaining water treatment facility, according to this article. From what I’ve heard, the entire region is about to be declared a federal disaster area, which is a good thing for the people there.

In addition to the terrible losses so many individuals have suffered, many of Nashville’s most beloved landmarks are also in bad shape. The Grand Ole Opry was flooded, the extent of the damage there isn’t really known yet. Here’s a video taken inside the Opryland Hotel, which is just hard to believe:

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center had its performance hall spared, but the basement where they kept all of their instruments, including many grand pianos and their organ, was flooded. The Country Music Hall Of Fame, also flooded. It’s a sad time to for my favorite city, but stories of neighbors helping neighbors have been truly inspiring! Nashville, I’m coming your way in two weeks, and I’m excited to see all of you and help in any way I can.

If you would like to help, there are many ways to do so. You can text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Nashville Flood Recovery. If you’d like to check out some other options for donating your money or time, Nashvillest has a great post where they are keeping a list of ways to help. Feel free to share these links and information wherever you’d like, the more exposure the better!

The Flood of 2010

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In case you haven’t heard, Nashville is underwater. It’s sort of infuriating that the media has completely ignored the disaster that is happening there because it is really terrible from what we’re seeing on the internet. The entire city is flooded, and we have many friends that have basements full of water and extensive damage. Many people completely lost their homes, and Interstate 24 was a river until this morning, under at least five feet of water. In case you haven’t seen this clip:

That was my route to work when I lived in Nashville. It is hard to believe some of the pictures we’re seeing from our friends.

Anyway, if you are in Nashville right now, we are thinking of  you and hope you are safe! I can safely say I’ve never felt more homesick for Nashville than I do right now, and I wish we were there to help. If you’re not in Nashville, you should know what’s up there. It is not just a little bit of rain, the entire city is underwater. The Cumberland River is at 48 feet right now (11 feet would be high enough to cause some flooding), and it’s still rising. The rain has stopped and the creeks are starting to recede, but they are all dumping into the Cumberland, so it continues to rise at this point. I can’t figure out how to embed this on WordPress, but just click here to see some pictures of downtown Nashville.

Depressing.

Hopefully though, in the long run, Nashville will emerge from this just fine, and the greatest legacy of the Flood of 2010 will be the Nashville Weather Penis:

Stay classy, Nashville. And seriously, be safe out there, we hope you’re all okay.

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