Hello hello! I'm back from my short hiatus, having delved deeply into the Olympics over the past 2 weeks. I'll have more on that shortly. I also will try not to keep such a time frame between posts (almost 2 weeks).
The Job Front: I'm currently working at a new assignment in Fort Washington (about 15 miles from home). It's primarily clerical, really easy, workable for now. My third state test result came back this week... unfortunately, it wasn't very good. But I have moved up in the rankings on my other two tests. Although they are not currently hiring in Philadelphia, I am number one on the list for caseworkers. Got an interview survey from Montgomery County this week...things are looking up.
Olympics: Only a day from their end, but I would say they have been highly successful, particularly for the Americans. 30 medals as of this typing, with at least one more guaranteed for the US hockey team. And let's talk about them for a minute. What a turnaround from 1998. They've played very well on the larger ice surface, and have gelled wonderfully as a unit. I think a lot of that can be traced to Coach Herb Brooks. The gold medal game against Canada should be exciting. Scandals...almost every Olympics has something that goes not quite right. First, we had the pairs figure skating. Sale and Pelletier definitely earned that second gold medal awarded...and mad props to the IOC for stepping in quickly. Then, there are the Russians. Pissy mad b/c their cross country skier was disqualified in a pre-run drug test (which they admitted). Then, they weren't overly happy about the pairs figure skating. Now, they're bitching b/c they think Irina Slutskaya deserved a second gold medal for the womens figure skating. Oh, and lastly, their complaints about the officiating in the hockey games. Lastly, the South Koreans are angry b/c Kim Dong Sung was disqualified in the 1500m short track speed skating race, giving the gold to favorite Apolo Anton Ohno. Here's how I see all of it: --Sarah Hughes skated perfectly. Slutskaya made a few noticeable errors. I seriously doubt that the judges are going to play around now after the pairs controversy. --Jamie Sale and David Pelletier also skated flawlessly. However, given that Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze had already been given the gold medal, you certainly could not take it away from them. Apparently, there was an admittance that there was some collusion involved in the judging process. This was a serious controversy in a sport already known for controversy. --The Russians ADMITTED that Larissa Lazutina tested high on hemoglobin in the pre-race drug test, though they say no performance- enhancing drugs were used. Hey, I don't like some of the weird issues with the drug tests. The Romanian gymnast who took cold medicine and flunked the test, and the US bobsledder who says he got tainted supplements and flunked his test...these quickly come to my mind. But she failed the test...officials did the right thing in disqualifying her. --I hope that Russia makes good on their threat to boycott the Athens summer games in 2004. The Russians/Soviets were gone from 1912 to 1952 in Olympic competition, and I'm sure that not many were shedding tears over it. If they take the crybaby stance, they will only allow Americans to absolutely crush everyone else in the Olympics. Period. --I've heard at least 2 people note that Russia is not doing as well as they normally do in the Winter Olympics. Why is this? Certainly, the Americans got a boost in these games, given the fact that the Olympics are here in the US. However, I think it is a combination of other countries (especially the US) performing better in the Olympics, and that the Russians are simply not as good as they once were. From what I've seen on TV, many of them train in the US. In the case of many of the hockey players, they play in the NHL. So...where's the problem here? --Russian President Vladimir Putin commented that the games are slanted towards North America. So, let me say this. Hey, dumbass! If the games are so slanted, why is Germany the medal leader and Norway in 3rd place? --The speed skating event looked like it was a judgment call. I had no idea what happened...I figured Ohno just waited too long to try and take over. Apparently, the Australian judge saw something that is illegal in speed skating, called "crosstracking." In addition, someone mentioned that the situation was similar to basketball, where a player "acts" very well in order to draw a foul on an opponent. If Ohno was acting, he did a great job, and the judge saw nothing wrong with it. What can you do? Lastly, let's not rule out that the South Koreans just might not be the superior force anymore. Look what happened with Ahn Hyun Soo in the 1000m race last weekend. We've seen some great performances by Americans Tristan Gale, Derek Parra, Jimmy Shea, Sarah Hughes, and Jill Bakken and Vonetta Flowers. They were not expected to win, or at least not to do so well. But they won Olympic gold...lots of feel-good stories to pass around. We also saw Todd Eldredge, Michelle Kwan, and Picabo Street say goodbye. And let us not forget the other great performances, not only by Americans like Bode Miller and Apolo Anton Ohno, but by athletes such as Croatian skier Janica Kostelic, Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann, and Russian figure skater Alexei Yagudin. For 2 weeks in Utah, the greatest winter athletes in the world came here to show their stuff. Since being awarded the games, there has been a vote-buying scandal and a terrorist attack on our soil. Not to mention the complaining during the games. Yet Salt Lake City provided us with a lot of great Olympic memories to cherish for years to come.
Random Political Thoughts --Dubya is still a dummy. "Axis of Evil"... what the hell is this? World War II again? --Enron...pffft! Idiots. --China and "political freedoms" don't go hand in hand.
Finished. posted by sycamore 2/23/2002 at 16:24 EST