bunt sign

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Some people can play a game once and pick up some strategy. If they play it twice, they have all the nuances down and you can't beat them, even if you cheat. My nephews are like that (not that I'd resort to cheating). They love card games because they have the kind of brain that can see patterns and possibilities and can look six steps ahead, which is about five more than my brain can handle.

It's not that I really mind losing, just that I don't like playing a game I know I have no chance to win. I actually like losing at games I'm good at, like Trivial Pursuit. Most of the time, though, when somebody pulls out a deck of cards, I'll hide behind a book or pretend to be asleep. (That's not cheating, is it?)

So, and this is my point here, after watching a whole week of curling, I've finally picked up some of the strategies for success in that very intense sport. Thanks to NBC's crack announcing crew, I can sometimes tell ahead of time whether a player should throw up a guard or draw the rock into the house. (Mostly, I wait for them to tell me, but sometimes I do know.)

Still, I learned some of the finer points from USA Curling's web site. This helped me appreciate the great shot the U.S. men's team made in the tenth end tonight against Denmark, and then groan loudly when a horrible shot cost them the game in the eleventh. The U.S. women's team came up with a dramatic come-from-behind win over Germany to stay in medal contention. (They tied it with two in the ninth and then stole the winning point in the tenth.)

And if you think NBC showed us any curling that didn't involve the home teams, you've probably never watched the Olympics on a U.S. network. I just wish our teams were doing a little better, so I could be sure they would keep covering the curling competition.

It's kind of fun to get excited about a sport I've never watched before, and to find myself throwing my fist in the air and shouting a big huzzah when I see a stone placed exactly where it needs to be to help a team score an important point. I'm sure my nephews, were they inclined to sit still long enough to pick up on what's going on, would have had this all figured out several days ago.

I'm not sure I like this short track speed skating, where the slowest guy wins. At least, that's what happened in the men's 1000 meters, when Steven Bradbury of Australia was the only one who was so far behind the lead group that he didn't fall on the ice when a sixteen-year-old from Korea took out all the other skaters. Bradbury just raced past the pile of bodies and claimed the gold medal. It was Australia's first gold medal ever in the Winter Olympics, though, which almost makes up for the fact that the whole race was a travesty.

looking west

This isn't a sunset, just the late afternoon sky on a cloudy day.

A huge rainstorm hit us about six o'clock tonight, and the news earlier had told us it would last all weekend. But it blew through here in about an hour, and now they're saying another fast-moving storm will be gone by midday tomorrow. It's dark and cold, though, and I wasn't tempted to venture out today. Last night I was thinking maybe I'd catch a movie today, but as soon as I talked myself into bagging that idea, I breathed a sigh of relief. I guess that means it was the right decision.

Good thing, too, because the Boss had some serious typing for me to do. He's working on a spec for a big job that he thinks might keep us in business for another couple of years. I was only too happy to help out with the typing on a Saturday afternoon, if it means job security. I didn't think I'd still be typing at midnight, but there you are. You do what you have to do to keep the fridge filled with Diet Dew.

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Latest recommendation:

Bob, And If I Die Before I Wake, February 16, The Hidden Life

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Keeping Up With the Birds
"I don't know what it is about bread crumbs, but the birds attack them as if they were laced with rum."

Two years ago: The Child's Rights
"I can see someone believing that he's truly in over his head. He could really think that he needs the money more than his kid does."

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