TELEVISION & RADIO
KETC, Channel 9
Tuesdays, 8 p.m.
Ordinarily, we wouldn't be promoting the "cool factor" of warfare. But this is old-school warfare! A PBS series that combines history with reality TV, "Warrior Challenge" is one of those weird public television shows that'll suck you in and have you waiting for the next episode. British and American firefighters, police officers and soldiers storm castles with gusto, eat foods made for Roman centurions and compete in militaristic arts like jousting. Mixing and matching cultures and eras, "Warrior Challenge" gives a fascinating look at historical Europe, through the lens of the day's combatants. Try it, you'll like it. (TC)
KDHX, 88.1 FM
Tuesday/Wednesday overnights, 2-4 a.m.
A relatively new show to the KDHX line-up, Nick Aquisto's "Space Parlour" digs into an artist's back catalog, playing b-sides, rarities, import cuts, covers and other odds-and-ends. On a given night, you might hear Ween, Leonard Cohen and The Cure. Nice stuff. (TC)
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Riverfront Trail Rides
Tuesdays at 6 p.m., through August
Trailhead at old Laclede Power Station, north end of Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd.
Had a bad day at work? Feeling, for whatever reason, kinda off? Hit the Riverfront Trail for some of the most effective self-prescribed therapy out there; after 20 minutes on the paved (albeit admittedly sometimes stinky) route, you'll forget what had you all worked up. On a recent evening in May, my riding pal and I saw red-winged blackbirds, a fast-moving rabbit or two and hawks aplenty. It's like we live right on a major river system! Take a peek at the myriad living options (homemade houseboats, trailers, school buses) that people bring to the bluffs and if you're really hardy, stick out the traffic-heavy stretch of Riverview to get to the ultimate cool spot: the Chain of Rocks Bridge. Rumor has it that if you keep going across Chouteau's Island and one more bridge into Granite City, frozen yogurt awaits. I wouldn't know yet, but plan to find out later this summer. Skip the pay lots on the Landing and just park at the trailhead, instead, if you're headed down in your internal-combustion cage. More info at www.trailnet.org/events.html. (AED)
FOOD & DRINK
Miller's Country Made Homestyle Jams
There are a hundred good reasons to head down to Soulard Market on a Saturday morning and the most compelling of the lot might be Miller's Jam. Granted, you can buy any number of jams at your local market, but the Miller line is remarkably tasty, full of chunky goodness and priced to move at $3.50 for a 19-ounce glass. Look for it in the northwest stand, on the left side as you move out of the market. You'll want to break out some Black Bear wheat to make yourself a sandwich on the spot. Yum! And for the religious among you, there's even a cute Biblical phrase on the label. (Miller's Country Crafts Inc., 392 Tanner Road, Ava, IL, 62907) (TC)
"The One-Hour Star Wars Trilogy"
Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre
There have been some funny moments in the short history of the Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre, but it's hard to remember a play given more hilarious treatment than the recently concluded "Star Wars." (Special mention, too, for the five-minute "Lord of the Rings" preview.) With a larger-than-normal cast and some special props needed to even mimic the glitzy grandeur of "Star Wars," the cast and crew pulled off the trilogy with appropriate campiness and respect. The Ewoks and Yoda, in particular, provided laugh-out-loud moments. Granted, the brains behind this annual operation are busy the rest of the year presenting The Bard to the masses, but we entreat them, again: please, please, please, two Monkey shows a year! (TC)
We'd recommend Julia's site for her humor columns, alone, but there's a new reason to go: forums! Having access to Frontpage, our favorite digital columnist has added a forum feature, allowing fans and friends the opportunity to chat on topics great and small. My only question to date: what will wind up my regular posting handle? (TC)