The More Things Change, The More They Don’t

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Wow, I’m like my own little history book.

Looking over past posts and I found this entry. Originally published August 18, 2008.

Four years later and Olympics in London looked a lot like Olympics in Beijing.

Without the communism.

Damn you, NBC.


——————–

So disappointing


I’m just going to say it. The Olympics. MASSIVE disappointment.

Ok, not the games themselves. No. The coverage. NBC should be shot……and their little dog Bob Costas too.

I have twice now…just twice, sat down to watch coverage during “prime time” hours.

Once was Thursday. As soon as it came on, The Good Man said, “Is Bob Costas sick or something? He looks pale.”

No. Not sick. Just over made up, I think.

We tried to watch it but it was hard. The commercials. The interstitials. The “back story”. The over focus on one athlete to the detriment of the others. The cutting away from beach volleyball just when it was finally getting GOOD. Ugh.

We did get to see Phelps and “the touch” that launched another gold medal.

And we saw a Swiss volleyballer throw a hissy fit.

And some track and field ladies who kick butt.

But it was SO hard to watch.

Second try was last night. As soon as I turned it on The Good Man said, “Is Bob Costas sick or something? He looks pale.”

No. Still not sick. Just bad coverage.

Best line comes from Jim Baca on his blog Only in New Mexico:

“We watched the Olympics last night, or should I say the commercials on NBC which were interrupted by competition once in a while.”

I tried to watch. I really did. But ended up switching over to MythBusters instead.

I remember watching the Olympics when I was a kid. It was all about the athletes. About the competition. About this amazing every four year event showcasing the best of the best.

Now it’s Chinese government coverups, overblown corporate sponsorships, and focus on the most “media ready” athletes.

Depressing.







Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier, found on Sports Illustrated, and used here under fair use.



Important Distinctions

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My British education continues. This time, the lesson arrived over what my coworkers call “a curry and a pint.”

At a local Indian restaurant, I tucked into some buttery Tikka Masala and we discussed the day’s events.

I’ve been watching a lot of morning television, particularly the news shows, and so I had a lot of questions.

One question burned uppermost in my mind.

Thus:

“Is the Mayor of London insane? Because I’ve been seeing various video clips on the news and he seems…well…batshit crazy.”

Boris Johnson, you mean? What leads you to that conclusion?” asked a wise coworker.

I told them of the video I’d seen that morning of Mr. Johnson, filmed just after London won the Olympic games. In the video, the honorable yet wild haired Mr. Johnson goes on at some length about how people in England used to play lawn tennis on their dining room table and it was called wiff waff. He kept saying “wiff waff” and rambling along that England originated table tennis and is the center of the sporting world and so on.

The man standing behind him is doing all he can to not laugh hysterically as an elected official natters on. (You can watch the video here, or Google Boris Johnson and wiff waff)

This video was played to set the stage for the next video, a clip that had been filmed earlier that day. In this video, they showed a large set of Olympic rings being hoisted and put in place under the London Bridge. When interviewed, Mr. Johnson went off on a repetitive rant that this adornment of the well known landmark was a wakeup call to London and an invitation to the world. His hair was surprisingly calm this day considering the wind.

So that, I told my curry crew, was the basis for my question.

Here was the reply and my lesson:

“Oh, make no mistake, he’s barking mad. However, his father was a member of Parliament and he is from a very posh family. He attended some of the best schools in the country. He was an MP of a small town for a while and then made his way to Mayor of London. The people love him.”

She went on to say, “You see, the difference between bonkers and eccentric is money. Boris Johnson is merely eccentric.”

Oh I see.

I took a sip of my beer.

Then another.

I nodded thoughtfully.

“Fair enough,” was the extent of my reply.






Image found here



I’m not ashamed to admit it

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I love the Olympics.

I really, really adore watching the Olympic games, both summer and winter.

I can’t explain why, but I’ve always been a fan of the Olympic games. I used to lament that it took SO long between games (back with both summer and winter games were done in the same year).

It probably harkens back to my youth. I’m of the era that watched the U.S. Men’s hockey team do the impossible (the so called “Miracle on Ice“) in 1980.

I am also of the Mary Lou Retton generation. Watching that tiny girl full of courage stick the landing on a flip over the vault and land squarely on a bad knee to win the gold. Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.

I’m also of the Dorothy Hamill era (tho I never had the haircut), the Kristi Yamaguchi era and while we’re at it, I’m of the Carl Lewis flying through air with the greatest of ease era.

Man. Am I ever excited for the games to start tonight!

And hey, this time around, I’m not so many time zones away from the games, so no events that I might want to see that are scheduled for 3:30am. Yes!

I’m fired up to watch Apollo Ohno skate again this year. I have a big fondness for men’s speed skating (and it’s not just the tight body stockings, but that sure doesn’t hurt!).

I’m also ready to see who emerges from these games as the athlete with heart, crazy endurance, or able to pull a feat of magic out of the Olympics. Michael Phelps did that for the summer games last year.

I wonder who will we be talking about long after the winter games are over?

The show begins tonight. I’m ready!

Decisions!

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A couple weeks ago, The Good Man and I took the Fabulous Mom-in-Law out to dinner at a really beautiful San Francisco restaurant (if you know the area, it is located at the Marina, at Fort Mason, right on the water, with stunning views of the Golden Gate.)

As I enjoyed the “wine pairings” with my meal, this meant that it wasn’t long before I had to take myself and my walnut sized bladder to the ladies room.

With business complete, I went to flush the toilet and was presented with…a choice.

The top of the toilet had a button that was divided in two. One side said .9 The other side said 1.6

And I thought to myself…is this a .9 or 1.6 sized event?

Hell if I know!

Well, TMI and all that, but I determined it was really only a .9 sized event so I pushed that one. Then, when that was done, giddy with all this decision making and wondering how big a 1.6 flush was, I hit the other button.

Then realized that this ingenious toidy is supposed to save water. So what did I do? Gratuitously flushed, that’s what I did. And used up 2.5.

Oh the humanity!

As the old saying goes, you can dress me up, but you can’t take me out…

(This is not my picture, but it was *exactly* like this)