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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Are Olympic sports becoming too extreme?

Ski jumping freaks me out, so does bobsledding. If the bobsled tips over on one of those walls, the driver is dragged along with his head exposed. That's scary enough. Skeleton has always freaked me out. It's an open sled the athletes ride head first. Sadly, someone died this year on a luge run. That's an open sled, feet first. Crash into a pole head first at 90 mph and it's certain death. Did I mention they fly down the flume at up to 90 mph???

Someone had the nerve to say "skeleton is not a sport. They don't even do anything." And she knew this from her years of experience doing it.

After Nodar Kumaritashvili's death, watching someone take a potentially brain-shattering spill on a downhill slope sent chills down my spine. But now ski cross features the largest hills I have ever seen including a 15 foot wall they must ski over and land.

Ice skating was set free to evolve quickly once the figures portion was dropped. Time "wasted" in training for that was used to develop stunts. Doubles led to triples and then quadruples and even head-over-heels flips. Ice dancing is now where pairs skating once was in terms of difficulty. And now people say ice dancing is hardly a sport? I can guarantee those people don't ice skate.

The only place where I might agree with people is with curling. However, just because it's boring to watch doesn't mean it's not a sport.

The more extreme things become, the more jaded we become towards sports. It must be outrageous to be considered a sport, even when the average person can't keep up. Even an athletic person can't keep up with the extremes. They don't just ski moguls, they have to insert flips and tricks.

Olympic athletes make the most outrageous things seem easy. Freestyle skiing realllllly freaks me out. The spectacular seems obtainable or even ordinary. By that standard half pipe snowboarding is a sport, but curling? Are you serious?? Curling? In that case, why not get rid of golf? Archery?

Well kids, according to the definition, curling a sport.

an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf,bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

And if curling meets that definition, then so does ice dancing. And for that matter, so does equestrian, and even golf which bores me to tears when I watch it. And that's why I think most people just don't understand what sport really means. Plus people judge sports they don't engage in.

And this from the IOC website might answer a few questions.
How does a sport become Olympic?

To make it onto the Olympic programme, a sport first has to be recognised: it must be administered by an International Federation which ensures that the sport's activities follow the Olympic Charter. If it is widely practised around the world and meets a number of criteria established by the IOC session, a recognised sport may be added to the Olympic programme on the recommendation of the IOC's Olympic Programme Commission.
Here's a site which lampooned ways to make Olympic sports more extreme:

Luge death. It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Let's not forget that a family lost their son.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Power of Positive Thinking

When I was upset, experiencing neck pain and asking for prayer, someone told me to read "The Power of Positive Thinking." I said it was on my reading list and I started to read it.

No amount of positive thinking can change the fact that sometimes bad things really happen and that it's not your fault. No amount of "putting it out into the Universe" or wishful thinking makes things happen.

I've used all of the visualization techniques. Seriously, folks, some things have just not come true no matter what my vision. And no matter what the vision, the wild card is that sometimes things happen that you couldn't have ever imagined until you actually live through it.

When I took my teaching job, I thought I was going to have an award winning choir and win festivals and competitions. I thought they would like me--no love me. I certainly didn't think I'd be out on work comp disability because I had to have shoulder surgery, unable to play piano and looking at different career options.

Yes, I hope. Yes, I dream. Yes, I'm thankful. Maybe if you expect the worst and good things happen, then it's a wonderful surprise rather than the given expectation positive thinking or putting it out into the universe teaches.

The one nice thing that happened this week was that a friend preyed with me on the phone when he called to get directions for something. Made me feel less worried. Maybe God does care and I'm just not seeing the plan.


What's your take on it?

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Need To See You Again

I went out to see a band recently and hung out with an entourage of friends after the show. It was fun. One of the guys was really super nice and got drinks for people, including me. Guys like that are very appealing because it is one of the ways guys show they care about people. Apparently, he liked me back, but I can't be too sure...as everyone was saying goodnight, he gave me a hug and said in my ear:

He: Are you coming out with the group next time? I need to see you again.

Wow! I was floored.
Me: Are you on Facebook?
He: No, I'm not. I don't do the online thing.

Sadly, this ended up being kind of joke and I didn't know how to take what he said. In olden days--just a few years ago--I would have flirtatiously offered my phone number. I wish I had said something else, like, that I liked what he said and maybe we could see each other again sooner. I wondered if I would ever see him again really. I mean, there is no way to communicate...I would just have to hang on until the entourage assembled yet again.

I sat at church this evening and out of the corner of my eye I saw movement across the church...IT WAS HIM! My heart skipped a beat. He went here and I never met him before? Wow!

I was wearing something cute. Check.
After the service, I was going to smile really big and say...
I couldn't think of what in the world I would say...what if he didn't really mean it? Should I say I liked what he said? Should I say it made an impression on me? Should I say...

And then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement again...he and his friend left. I mean, seriously, guys don't go to the bathroom together. I just knew they were leaving. Panic. I thought I might try and catch them and walked quickly to the exit. I heard a car start in the distant parking lot. The only thing I could have done was run all the way down the hill and flag them down...

And that's just not my style. Too much. Seriously, that would just seem desperate. I wanted to, believe me I did. And say what?

I turned around to go back inside and the door was locked. I had to walk all the way around the church building to go back in the front. The whole time I felt like a fool. Maybe this guy says this kind of stuff all the time and doesn't think twice about it.

One of my dear friends said:
If he likes you, he'll find you. If you have some of the same friends, then he can find you, if he wants to.

Meanwhile, I fell for it in the same way I fall for alot of things. I'm vulnerable to these kinds of illusions because I hoped yet again that someone might have feelings for me. Perhaps for this Lenten season, I should give up hope.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

How to Sell Your Gold--Or Not

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]
WATCH GOLD PRICES CAREFULLY! THE MARKET IS VOLATILE!! I have decided to hang onto my gold as of 10/20/08 when gold dropped below $800. As of 2/1/10, gold prices shot up. How I wish I had bought gold back then. Now is the time to sell!

I have some gold jewelry sitting around that is basically scrap; unused, unwanted and languishing in a drawer. However, these tight economic times are ripe for disreputable people taking advantage. I decided to look around on the internet and came up with a bit of a litmus test for who to sell to. Please feel free to poke around and do a Savvy Search but then come back to the places I have researched. The market is volatile, who knows if gold might someday top out a $1500 an ounce.

GreenforGold.com :

1. Reputable--They give actual payout estimates quotes per ounce on their page. No smoke and mirrors guesswork.

2. Easy to recieve payment via PayPal or whatever method you choose.

3. They cover the postage and insurance.

4. They take out very little $$. When 24K pure gold was at $1200 per ounce. GreenforGold.com paid around $1100. Their website also tells you the current stock market value of gold. It's important to be informed so you don't get gouged. Oh to have bought gold when it was $300 an ounce and sell it now. Oh well.

Please note that I am sharing my savvy about my experience and a company that I think is reputable. I am not getting any kind of payback of any kind. You could also go through what I went through at a jewelry store:

Savvy: I'd like to sell my gold.
Manager: Oh, yes, we spoke yesterday.
Sav: Oh, wuld you mind telling me how much this particular piece weighs. I'm curious.
Mgr: Sure.
Sav: Hey, so what is it that you're doing, would you mind showing me?
Mgr: Sure, we have to do this test to see if it really is gold.
Sav: It is, but how does that work.
Mgr: Oh, it doesn't hurt the gold, see.

(It doesn't hurt it. It's an acid test Savvy found out later. They basically scribble on a scratch plate like a pencil but with your gold. If it is a substance other than gold, it turns a color.)
Sav: Oh, that's very interesting.
Mgr: The necklace weighs 69 grams. I'd be willing to offer you $600 for the items you brought in.
(I brought in alot of items besides, but 69 grams--that's 3 Troy ounces. 14K gold is about 59% gold, so there are 2 oz of pure gold in that necklace. Gold was at $892 that day. Plus I had some rubies and diamonds on another necklace.)
Sav: Are you kidding me?
Mgr: The price of gold is down.
Sav: It's not down THAT much.
Mgr: Plus, we have to send it out to a refinery.
Sav: So, how about I send it myself? Thanks, but no thanks.
(Gold hit an all time high of $1000 earlier this year. It is now climbing again because the demand for gold is increasing.)

I took my gold and walked out the door. It's a good thing I did.

Don't be undersold. Know what you are getting into. Get Savvy.


If there are other companies that meet the same litmus test above, please put them in the comments and I will check them out. If they prove to be reputable, I will publish your comment.

1. Kitco, a Canadian company both buys and sells gold and is considered an authority. You can also boy gold which they will keep in an account for you. Hmmm, I'm thinking about it. But I have to start with an ounce and I currently have a negative net worth.

2. Things We Buy.com and Goldkit.com appear to be legitimate. Run by the same company, Lippencot LLC, they belong to the Better Business Bureau. Things We Buy purchases and resells fine jewelry, whereas Goldkit refines scrap gold. Goldkit doesn't reveal their payout system, however, if you aren't happy, you can send the check back and get your items back.

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]