February 22nd, 2006

Olympic Logo

Impressive Figure Skating; Classless Speed Skating

I've been accused of only watching the women's figure skating because of the skimpy outfits, so I suppose folks might expect I would be disappointed in recent rule changes that allow the women to forgo the short skirts and wear pants, but Russian skater Irina Slutskaya's outfit was just as attractive as any of the other women's and she placed a strong second.

I was impressed by all of the performances, even those that didn't go as well as the skaters would have liked. The amount of strength and flexibility it takes to perform is astonishing, and the pressure must be nearly impossible.

The American women did quite well, even late substitute Emily Hughes. The big performance was from Sasha Cohen, who finally managed to live up to the much-discussed "potential" and hit all of her moves. The tiny lead she has means that she'll still have to be perfect in the long program.

I'm no expert on figure skating; indeed, I'm predisposed to not like it. But tonight's performances were good, and the new scoring system appears to work. I can't claim to understand the fine points of it, but I'm pretty sure that if things weren't right, the NBC commentators, who include Dick Button, would be saying if things were not right. Button, in particular, is reputed to know just about anything there is to know about the sport.


Usually the soap opera is at the figure skating, but at these games, it appears that the speed skaters are stepping up to the drama plate. Over at speed skating, the Americans went 2-3 in the 1500m, and the simmering feud between Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick continued. For those of you not following the dispute, Hedrick is annoyed that Davis took himself out of the team pursuit competition, ruining the USA's chances in that event. Davis responds in kind, complaining that Hedrick didn't shake his hand when Davis won the 1000m event, although Hedrick did shake his hand after the 1500m. Showing how little he values the silver medal, Davis stormed out of the post-1500m press conference saying, "Shakes my hand when I lose. Typical Chad."

Grow up, guys, both of you! So you don't like each other, but this sniping at each other is really classless.


Curling starts again Wednesday morning 5 AM my time. I'll see some of it, because I'll be up relatively early and working from home, taking a departmental conference call at home before heading off to the dentist. Unfortunately, it looks like the men's semi-final will be on tape delay. I'll be taping what I think is the right time and will try to avoid the news so I can watch it when I get home Wednesday night.
Conrunner Kevin

Dental Work

Yesterday was my semi-annual dental cleaning and checkup. My dentist informed me that an old filling that he had been watching was getting loose; in addition, there was a small crack in the tooth at that spot. An appointment of the right length opened up in the next day's schedule, so they slotted me in this morning.

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Now I just have to keep from chewing on the right side of my mouth until after lunch tomorrow. Fortunately, neither hot nor cold liquids affect the bond, so I can still drink my coffee. And I finally made that pea soup using the split peas I bought at Whole Foods, so I have a relatively soft food to eat tonight.
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