Saturday, August 30, 2008

No Man's Land

I'm seriously considering geeking out tomorrow by heading down to Seattle for PAX. But now I'm left in a bit of a quandary. I might be ridiculed by my less geeky friends for going to a gamer convention, but at the same time be shunned by the gamers for not being geeky enough. I'm fairly amateurish when it comes to gaming, and Wii doesn't exactly have major street cred going for it.

I'm mostly going to play the newest games being released later this year, and to fanboy over some bloggers and online comedy purveyors. Plus there might be swag!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Catching Up

Haven't blogged since Day 4. I'm in serious catch-up mode with the PVR because I had several outings over the weekend. Apparently I was right to stay in for the first 4 days of the Olympics, because it was the only way to stay current in my viewing schedule. I'm 2 days behind as of right now, and I've got about 8 hours to watch Aug 18 & 19th events before getting back into a live schedule.

Watching volleyball at high speed is fairly entertaining though.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Canadian Results: Day Four

Canadian swimmers keep coming in 6th or 7th in finals so far, but the lack of medals is deceptive. There have been 16 Canadian records broken by our swimmers, so they're doing extremely well. The men's 4x200m relay team qualified for the finals (in a Canadian record time, natch) and even sat out 2 of their best swimmers while doing so. Medal hopes are getting high for that race. Brent Hayden swam a qualifier for the 100-m freestyle, and came in first in his heat. Julia Wilkinson is posting great times in all her races as well.

Keeping alive the streak of placing 6th/7th in the pool, divers for the Synchronized 10m Platform event came in 7th. The two girls are apparently very good at their optional dives, but didn't perform as well during the competition. No rip entries and some missed dives. Good moment at the start though when they first appeared on the platform: you could overhear cheers from Canadian spectators in the crowd, and by lip-reading I could see the one girl turned to the other and said "That's my mom!"

Canada's softball team blew away Chinese Taipei yesterday. Apparently there won't be softball played at London 2012 because the sport is so one-sided? There's a possibility it will return in 2016 depending on the level of play shown in Beijing's tournament.

Women's soccer continued last night, and Canada lost to the more favoured Swedish team despite starting out the game with a lot of energy. The loss didn't matter too much though, as Canada already qualified for the next round. Next up, playing top seed USA. Canada was ranked 9th worldwide coming into the games.

Missed seeing the actual event, but David Ford placed 6th overall in the K-1 Slalom.


Um, wtf?

Tried to log in to the blog, was told to connect it with my google account (of which I don't have one), then got no explanation as to why. Researched the Blogger Buzz to no avail. Tried to log in again like normal, and it worked.

I have no idea if I'll ever be able to again, so I may need to stay logged in permanently?

I am so tired of creating account after account after account to use anything on the internets.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Canadian Results: Day Three

Phew... an exciting day!

Canadian team rowers finally got their start in the water after the missed Day 2 heats. The Women's 8s didn't get a great start, and pulled together towards the end of the race to take 3rd. First place, and the guaranteed spot in the final, went to the US team. The women will race in the repechage on Wednesday and hopefully will make it to the final that route.

The Men's 8s blasted out of the starting gate and handily won their heat, and will race in the finals on Sunday. These guys are enormous and powerful - the team's average height is 6'5". Average. Whoa.

Anna Rice is Canada's top badminton player, and she won 2 matches early on in her competition. The third match was against a Chinese player ranked 2nd in the world. Anna played well, looked like she was having fun, but ultimately lost. But can these women ever play badminton! It's crazy, it's impressive, and looks very fun.

Never watched field hockey at an international level before today. Playing it in school doesn't count. The Canadian men's team, in their first Olympic game ever, played the top ranked Australian team. Needless to say, the Aussies won (6-1) and didn't have too much of a challenge keeping the Canadians contained. The Canadians made a powerful hip check against the top Aussie player, potentially injuring him, so at least our international reputation is intact. For a non-contact sport, field hockey looks painful at times. Odd fact: the field is wet on purpose, they use water cannons at half time. It apparently aids players when sliding on the astro turf.

Fifth time Olympian and medal hope Susan Nattrass lost trap shooting in the third round. She'll likely show up again in London 2012.

K1 Slalom (whitewater kayaking) began today, and a Canadian, David Ford, advances to the semis.

It's now 8:40am in Beijing, and the start of Day 4 is coming up. I'm considering tracking the number of hours I've spent watching so far, but I think I'll be scared by the final tally.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Canadian Results: Day Two

It felt like not much happened on Day 2, but I think that is mainly due to sleeping through the night on my part, the crashing of our PVR (so no overnight recording), and a tendency to see the same coverage over and over instead of something new.

Water polo is vicious... remind me not to play, I don't like punches to the back of my head or eating water continually. Canada lost to Spain. But it was our first time qualifying a men's team to the Olympics... or at least one without any boycotts.

Gymnast Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs made it into the all-round final. Team Canada did not. I am still not surprised by their failure to advance, since it seems every Olympics the women's team fields mediocre performers. I'm not an expert by any means, but even I can spot sloppy performances and lower difficulty levels. By far the low confidence level hurts their performance.

A Canadian lost in the early rounds of Epee. Tried to watch a match but I had no clue what was going on. I like my swordfighting to resemble The Princess Bride. Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya...

Still haven't seen any rowing, despite early heats being completed and apparently a couple Canadian teams advancing. The men's 8 race was supposed to be aired, but it has been delayed due to lightning. I don't think I've ever seen that as a reason for sport delays before. Zap!

Coverage could use some work

Considering CBC is running Olympic coverage 24hrs a day, you'd think you'd be able to watch entire events from start to finish occasionally. So far they are mainly showing Canadians in their portion of a competition instead of the other competitors or the whole event. Fine, they can't really miss showing Canadians compete, but it's extremely difficult to get a good picture of the competition if you only see a small portion.

The website indicates there are up to 8 CBC channels broadcasting simultaneously, but on tv I only have access to CBC1 and BOLD. The webcasts of the other channels are so small and low-res, you can't comfortably see the action on screen.

The most annoying thing thus far is the inaccuracy of the show descriptions. There was supposed to be live coverage of 3 events starting this evening, but instead they replayed shortened edited versions of Day 1 events. I'd already seen those events 'live', and had been waiting to finally see some Day 2 events begin. Grr.

Now the coverage appears to have ended for a few hours, so I get to nap. Unless I want to finish watching the sleepy slow quiet sailing race on BOLD. Zzzzz.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


One thing about watching events live is you can't avoid the commercials. And since there is a crop of new commercials made specifically for Olympic coverage, you end up seeing the same ones over and over and over. But while I'm already sick of most of them, the Wonder Bread commercial with the little kids dressed as athletes in the same clothes the full-sized athletes wear is damned cute. Especially the bobsleighers and the wee curling boys holding the full sized brooms.

Canadian Results: Day One

The 245 km Cycling Men's Road Race ended last night, with Canadian Michael Barry in 9th place. Fellow teammate Ryder Hesjedal spent a good portion of the 6 hour race in the lead pack, but failed to maintain his lead on the grueling course, finishing in 56th place.

Gymnastics, Men's Team qualifying round: Team Canada, including medal hope Kyle Shewfelt, failed to qualify for the finals, only earning enough points to come in 9th overall. Only the top 8 teams move forward. Shewfelt also did not score high enough to qualify for the individual floor mat event, where he won gold at the Athens Olympics. Only Nathan Gafuik and Adam Wong will compete in the Men's All-Round event, each earning enough points to qualify individually.

Women's Football: Canada and China played a round robin game to a tie 1-1 score. Canada's goal was scored by team star & captain Christine Sinclair.

Women's 48kg Weightlifting: Canada's Marilou Dozois-Prevost lifted 166lbs to come in 10th. China's Xiexia Chen won the gold, making the clean and jerk portion look effortless, lifting a total 212lbs (more than twice her body weight) in her 2 lifts. These are tiny women, weighing in at 105lbs.

Opening Ceremony Highlights

  • firework footprints 'walking' in the sky from Tienanmen Square to the Bird's Nest stadium
  • 2008 drummers playing in perfect synchronicity, then in the complete darkness with only their drumsticks lit up to finish their performance
  • Chinese flag bearer Yao Ming walking with a 9 year old Sichuan earthquake survivor during the parade of nations
  • gymnast Li Ning running around the top of the stadium, suspended by wires, with the torch to light the Olympic flame to start the Games

Lowlight: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is one of the few governmental leaders to not appear at the opening ceremony, despite Canada being the next nation to host an Olympics.

Let the Games Begin

I am an Olympics fan. I watch every one, winter or summer. I volunteer at VANOC. I get giddy and teary-eyed at big emotion moments. I remember certain parts of my childhood solely because they revolved around the Olympics. So the Beijing Games started Friday, and my crazy viewing schedule began with the opening ceremonies.

There's a wee bit of a time difference to deal with this time around. The opening ceremonies started at 4am. (fine, the pre-show started then and the official start was 5am, but I've already mentioned I'm a fan). I woke up early, watched the ceremonies until 7am and only took a nap because I had somewhere to be Friday afternoon. It's now Saturday and I'm finally watching the end... of course I am recording everything too. I don't mess around.

I've got some catching up to do today, since I could only see part of the first competition day last night before crashing. The drunkeness of my party-going last night had everything to do it that. I saw the men's Urban Road race (very cool winding around the Great Wall) and most of the men's gymnastics team preliminary round. I'll get caught up on the remainder of Friday's events at about the time Saturday's events are being broadcast live. The plan is to be fully on the proper timeframe by tomorrow... assuming I can nap appropiately.

So I'm foggy and disoriented right now, but still very excited. w00t!!