Archive for August 14th, 2008


How do they KNOW: an Olympic query

For a week now, I’ve been diligently watching the Summer Olympics. Virtually every second I’ve been home and awake, I’ve had coverage of some event or another on TV… even tennis, which I’ve never been able to comprehend. I’ve had few greater joys as an Olympic fan than watching Michael Phelps rack up gold after gold in the pool. Erin is convinced he’s Batman.

But there’s something that I still find perplexing, and it’s in the gymnastics arena. I appreciate a magnificent gymnastic performance, and I get why certain mistakes bring with them certain penalties. A girl falls off the bars? Make a deduction. Someone bounces out-of-bounds in the floor exercises? Make a deduction. Dude misses on the vault and winds up smashing himself in the jibblies? Make a deduction and put it on YouTube.

But sometimes I’m listening to the commentators discussing these microscopic errors and the microscopic point deductions and I’ve just got to ask: how can they tell? “Look at how she wobbled there, Johnny, almost one-thirteenth of a millimeter. That’s a three-tenths deduction.” “Oh, his shoulder is pointing in the wrong direction while he’s hurtling through the air at a trillion miles an hour. That’s gonna hurt him.” “Oh no! Did you see how her foot brushed against that uneven bar? That’s going to be a catastrophic error! Japan is going to clean house!”

These events take place so fast I don’t understand how the human eye can possibly keep track. Even with the instant replay option, it seems so unlikely that they could pick up on something like that. Plus, I’ve just got the knowledge that there’s no way in hell I could ever do it, so I give them total respect. Honestly, if a dude can get off a pommel horse and still has the ability to father children, I say give him the gold.

Bless Me, Father update:

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’m directing a play over at the Thibodaux Playhouse. While I’ve still got a couple of roles that need to be cast, we’ve begun rehearsing in earnest. The first few rehearsals are always a little rough. We’re blocking out the scenes, telling people where to stand, when to move, when to sit, all the nit-picky stuff. Once that’s out of the way, we can really start to work on things like timing, character, and just plain comedy. But even in the blocking rehearsals, we’re laughing an awful lot. I’ve got a really good cast. I know I’m going to be proud of this group when they take the stage.

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