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Jane Wyatt, ''Amazing Race,'' Odds and Ends

By RD Heldenfels Published: October 23, 2006

My new world order continues in the office and out. On the office side, I've begun two new things: ''The HeldenFiles,'' bits and pieces about personalities and pop culture, which will run Sunday, Wednesday and Friday; the first one appeared yesterday. Today saw the first ''Talking Points,'' a roundup of news and cultural items from the weekend, for Monday morning conversations at the office. Last Friday also saw the debut of ''Pop Quiz,'' a brief daily reader question-and-answer in addition to the weekly mailbag column.

Outside the office, it was a busy weekend of chores. The biggest shock may have been getting asked if I wanted the senior citizens' discount at a local eatery. This came a couple of days after a waiter simply factored in the seniors' rate on a bill for the bride and me. Let the record show that, even though I'm eligible for the rate, I've never asked for it. Bit of a shock to have people make that assumption then. Must be that smidge of gray in my hair.

Jane Wyatt has passed. You can find an obituary here. She had a career of considerable merit in TV alone, from ''Father Knows Best'' to ''Star Trek'' to ''St. Elsewhere.'' And while people like to lump ''Father Knows Best'' in with syrupy family comedies of the '50s and '60s, the show had moments of real grit.

I'm still enjoying ''The Amazing Race'' -- which I think is the only thing the bride and I managed to watch in real time over the weekend -- and especially liked Sunday's episode. One of the better messages in this season has been the way contestants from different backgrounds have bonded. The Cho brothers took that dangerously far last night when they helped the Kentuckys get a free shot at the fast forward -- since in doing so the Chos risked their own survival. So it was great to see that their good deed did not lead to their elimination. And I had had enough of Peter and Sarah -- well, of Peter anyway -- that I didn't lament their elimination. Also nice to see at the end that Sarah had pretty well figured out Peter.

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