Sunday, August 17, 2008

Greatest Olympian

I'm not writing this to take anything away from Micheal Phelps, who certainly had an unbelievable Olympics. 8 Gold with 7 world records is going to be a record I expect to stand for quite a long time. Mark Spitz's record of 7 gold and 7 world records held up for 36 years. However I do think you have to look at more than just total medal count. Here are some people I think deserve to be counted in discussions of great Olympians.

Carl Lewis - Won 4 consecutive long jump gold medals. Lewis was also unusual for being a gold medal sprinter as well. It is unusual for an athlete to be world class in both a track and a field event.

Jesse Owens - Carl Lewis duplicated Jesse Owens accomplishment in the 1936 Olympics, Gold in 100m, 200m, Long Jump, and 4x100m relay.

Al Oerter - Other than Carl Lewis, he is the only person to ever win 4 gold medals in consecutive Olympics. Al overcame severe injuries in a car wreck (life-threatening according to wikipedia) before his second Gold, and set a world record with torn cartilage in his ribs before his third Gold.

Johan Olaf Kass - While he won medals in the 1992 Olympics shortly after having surgery, he is most famous for the Lillehammer games in '94. He won gold in the 1500m, 5000m, and 10,000m speed skating events setting world records in each event.

As you may have guessed, I've been watching a lot of the Olympics. When one of my nieces pointed out that I had been watching Olympics all day, I responded that I would keep watching all night. She didn't like that answer.

Hide and (sort of) seak

Last night, we were watching all four of Michele and Robert's children. One of the things we did for entertainment was to suggest a treasure hunt for Regan's Webkinz poodle. Lauren wanted to help me hide it for Regan and Taylor to find. She picked my room, and liked my suggestion of hiding it in a paper bag that was up there.

When we came back down Lauren announced to here sisters, "Here is a clue. It is in a white bag and it is in Uncle Eric's room. That is a clue." Of Course, Regan and Taylor had no trouble finding it. As Blake commented, "That's too big a clue."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Summer Games

I really love the Olympics. One of my earliest memories is being down in the basement in '76 in the house on St. Thomas. I was too young then to remember any specifics of those games, but something stuck with me.

I'm a big fan of events that can be scored with a stopwatch or tape measure. This includes any sort of race, and the field events in track and field. As I'm writing this, I'm watching a rowing race. I particularly like the way you can see physics in action as the boats speed up and slow down on each pull of the oars.

Other things I like are archery, wrestling and weightlifting. Of the sports with judges who score the competition, the diving family of events is my favorite. The only thing I would say I really don't like is synchronized swimming, but then, does anyone like watching that?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's Alive

Well, I had to wait a bit for parts, but I got my computer booted last Thursday, and the OS installed Friday after work. The weekend was devoted to program installs and gig upon gig of download. I've still got a few things that I want to install, but my new computer is up and running well.

I had trouble with getting the CPU fan locked in place, and then I overlooked the 2nd power hookup for my video card. However I had the most trouble with the IO plate for the motherboard. That was my mistake in thinking I could install it last. I kind of forced it into place, which I decided was better than basically starting over.

My new machine scored just over 12,000 on 3D Mark 08, which is almost 3 time more graphics power than my PC that died. I think I should be happy with this machine for a few good years.