August 14, 2004

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch

Let's see. I've finally finished Drake's Lord of the Isles series (for the time being; there's a new volume due out in November), so I'll probably post a review of that tomorrow. In the meantime, I've been riding around in my new car, working on Snit, and watching the Olympics.

We watched about half of the opening ceremonies before we fell asleep last night (pretty cool), and I'm watching Bob Costas blather on (competently, I'll admit) as I type. The best TV commercial of the Olympics that I've seen so far was the Budweiser ad last night with the Clydesdale in the field, dreaming of pulling the Budweiser wagon--and I think I've seen it before.

They're profiling a 16-year-old swimmer named Michael Phelps at the moment; he's incredibly happy because he has a Cadillac Escalade like the ones the rappers drive. Hmmmm.

He's fast, though--he just won the Individual Medley--and set a new world record time to boot. He was ahead of everyone else for the entire race. Another American named Vendt took silver.

Update: Yet another outstanding Budweiser ad--this time, it features a donkey who dreams of being a Budweiser Clydesdale. (He even tries wearing hair extensions.) Very, very cute.

Update: The U.S. Men's Gymnastics team is turning in some really good routines all the while having some nasty problems. Apparently two of the team members were told just two days ago by the head judge that their high-bar routines weren't going to be scored the way they had thought--to get the scores they'd need to medal, they'd need to change them. This is huge, as they typically practice their Olympic routines for at least a year prior to the event. What I want to know is, why was the scoring changed at this late date? So far there has been no word on that.

Update: Back to swimming, and it's nearly 11PM. Time for bed.

Update (Sunday): Interesting. The high bar judge who devalued moves performed by three American gymnasts three days prior to the competition is Japanese. The team that's in first place after the first rotation (just ahead of the American team) is...Japanese. I don't say that the judge's ruling was motivated by a desire to see his country's team beat the Americans--but to date, I haven't heard any explanation for the change, either. Apparently, the three gymnasts affected by the ruling used the moves at the last two World Championships without comment from anyone.

Posted by Will Duquette at August 14, 2004 08:38 PM

Mark D. said:

Did you hear the version of the National Anthem played at Phelps' medal ceremony???!! Ye Gods (Greek or otherwise)! It made my blood run cold - an over-arranged, reharmonized, fey, twinkling thing that couldn't stir the blood of anyone, much less an athlete in their triumph. Yikes.

Will Duquette said:

I did, but I didn't pay attention to it. I was too busy watching Phelps subvocalize the words.