Monday Haiku and what I learned this weekend – 13 Aug 2012

Mo Farah takes the 5,000 meters Gold

This weeks weekend relevant prompts for Monday Haiku are:

  1. My Wife’s “Award winning” Mac & Cheese – Around new years eve, my wife’s sister invited some friends round, and part of it involved a “cook off” for Mac and cheese. You bring your own, everyone tries everyone elses and chooses a favourite. The votes are counted. My wife’s, who I don’t think will mind me telling you, she is not much the cook, won, beating her sister, who is more the cook. The joke is now that we refer to it as the “award winning Mac and Cheese”. It made an appearance this weekend at a family BBQ.
  2. US women winning “Soccer” Gold – I have no qualms what so ever about either the mens or the womens teams being good at “soccer”. It would be good for both to be competitive teams and join in with what the rest of the world is playing. So congratulations to the women.
  3. The Graveyard book – I just finished reading Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” recommended by blog friend Dying Note. It was a good recommendation, the book is fabulous.

So here we go:

Slide out burnt chicken

award winning mac and cheese

a piquant pasta?

Well as good as Mac and Cheese can be anyway.

Women Soccer Gold

Other teams playing football

That is why they won

Soccer won on this occasion. Truth be told, they deserved it.

Nobody Owens

to grow up in the graveyard

learn a way of life

Book much recommended.

Bonus Haiku is again having a week off. I did write something for this, but “What I learned this weekend” is also having a rest this week for some final olympic thoughts. The bonus haiku just didn’t fit in with this, so I shall use it next week. So as it is the conclusion of the Olympics, and I am a Brit, albeit living in California, I feel I should comment on some of the things I liked, or didn’t:

What I liked / Highlights

  • The opening ceremony – Oh cynical me thought it would be rubbish. It wasn’t, it was brilliant and made me proud.
  • The Brit medal haul – Better than ever, in lots of different sports, although cycling events seem to be a big one. The day the Brits took all three Golds on the track and field events ( and some away from it) was another proud moment.
  • The BMX racing. I thought this would be daft. It was, but it was great entertainment, especially in one race when someone wiped out and took almost all of the rest of the field with him. One guy was left to complete the race on his own! Sadly that wasn’t a medal race, just a qualifier.
  • Some individual sport winners or winning moments I liked:
    • Mo Farah winning the 10,000 meters might have been my favourite moment of the lot. I didn’t know much about him, but he had me leaping up and down by the finish. And then again with the 5,000 meters for a second Gold. The last mile was run in sub four minute mile time, which is incredible.
    • Jessica Ennis winning the Heptahlon in dominant fashion. Jessica is the world’s best female heptathlete, and she proved it.
    • The American womens gymnastic team , the way it came together for them to take Gold (in the way it mostly didn’t when they were competing individually).
    • The American womans 4 X 100 world record. Again an event where it just all clicked into place and was pretty amazing to watch.
    • Much like David Rudisha winning the Gold and destroying the 800 Meter record. The Brits like middle distance running (probably because of the Seb Coe, Steve Ovett dominance and rivalry from the early eighties).
    • Usain Bolt winning the 100 and 200 “dash” and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce winning the 100 in the womens.
    • The men’s 4 X 100 world record by the Jamaican team, with Bolt running the final leg. The American team had an incredible run, but the Jamaicans are just that bit better.
    • Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated Olympian. Even if you don’t like him, you have to appreciate what he has achieved.
  • NBC coverage – although there are some negatives to this, (see below). The commentary was mostly of a good standard, explaining little things such as where points are scored in various events, and what causes deductions.
  • The Closing Ceremony. Not as good as the opening ceremony, and there was some music I was not keen on, but generally, I thought it a little cheesy, but enjoyable.

What I didn’t like / Lowlights

  • The NBC coverage. What is with all the water polo (surely one of the most dull sports ever) and volleyball coverage? Why was the “Track and Field” not live on the West coast, and mostly only on the evening highlights show? NBC could argue that you can watch whatever you want via their App and online service. Well yes, but with two negative points. 1) I had to get either my laptop or phone, the latter hardly ideal. 2) The bloody web feed kept getting stuck or via the web browser would not work at all.
  • NBC not showing the tribute to the London bombings during the opening ceremony, and instead showing some boring Ryan Seacrest interview. Did they not understand the significance? London won the right to host these Olympics, then the next day the bombings happened, so the two events were hand in hand – Shame on you NBC. I didn’t even know this part had been missed until I read about it the next day on blogs.
  • The daft American descriptions. The 100 meter “dash”, or “sprint” as it is known most everywhere else. The “stick” in the relay, aka the “baton”. And the most stupid, the way that NBC converted field measurements to feet and inches, when it was clear onscreen that it was being measured in meters and centimetres. What century are we living in here?
  • The Closing Ceremony – Who is Jessie J, and why did she have so much time?

Not a lot of negatives for the Olympics. I enjoyed it for the most part. Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: Prestidigitation.

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13 comments on “Monday Haiku and what I learned this weekend – 13 Aug 2012

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    I am horrified to admit I saw none of the Olympics this time around other than Usain Bolt’s 200-meter dash. The first week I was off on vacation, and the second week I spent going through line edits and then a final Errata for my book. Which means I’m pretty much blind now. So, it was a treat to read your highlights and insights. 🙂

    • Elliot says:

      I watched quite a lot of it this time, luckily because I was at home a lot. I love it these days. This is the high point for most of the sports involved, so to see the very best in the ultimate competition situation is great. And I think a part of that is I have a better appreciation these days of what it takes to get there.

      I forgot to add in Missy Franklin’s swimming wins, which were also incredible. She is due back at school in a couple of weeks. Can’t imagine a teacher telling her “you won’t amount to nothing”.

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        Isn’t that the truth.

      • Elliot says:

        Question for you, unrelated to the above. Obviously we both know of the blog tag. However I had an idea where it starts with a post, then you select another blog (who needs to agree to do it) which you provide a prompt or post title, or idea for. The next person does a post on this, then selects the next blogger, and provides prompt, post title, idea. And on it goes.

        There might be some limited rules like, having a week to write the post, and perhaps there could be a central blog page somewhere, where the links to each post also go. That way someone could follow the whole trail if they wished, seeing the various prompts etc.

        Does this sound a reasonable idea, or something you think people might not be interested in?

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        I think that’s a great idea. Especially if the prompt is fairly non-specific and each blogger could tailor it to his or her own style. For example, I’m not one to write a flash fiction piece or poetry, but if someone gave me a prompt of, oh, I don’t know, dark alleys or something, then I could take it where I wanted. Same for other bloggers. At the very least, it provides a topic if someone doesn’t know what to post on anyway. I say, go for it. I think you could get enough takers. If someone hasn’t posted on the prompt in, say, a week or two, (or they prefer not to participate) then the last person could pass it onto someone else.

        Much easier than passing a tag onto several other bloggers at once and also less restrictive in its content.

      • Elliot says:

        That’s what I was thinking. To pass on the subject of some kind but the blogger could deal with it however they wish, in any form they wish. The passing on is also limited, so you don’t have to give it to e.g. 15 people, and it can go to someone who wants to have a go at whatever they are given, then pass something new on.

        Perhaps if they all looked back to a page as well, then any participants can follow the trail if they wish and see where it came from. I might put together something in the next week or two.

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        I think a common page is a good idea. Put it on your blog. We’ll all come have a look. 🙂

  2. jmmcdowell says:

    The major US networks have all declined in quality since I was younger. I don’t know if it’s the competition from other cable and newer outlets, or just a feeling of privilege because they’ve been around so long. Frankly, I think the onslaught of 24-hour coverage has made things worse, not better. But that’s a subject for the novel….

    • Elliot says:

      I thought generally speaking it wasn’t bad, but could have been a bit better organised. Perhaps, as you say, it is a feeling of privilege. It is a shame, because the level of sport was good. What I could tell from the people I know in the UK, they did a good job of it, and a good job of the tv coverage as well.

  3. Smaktakula says:

    Damn straight we convert back to feet and inches–we don’t want no foreign rulers!

    I didn’t watch any of the Olympics this year (I’m facing a September 3 deadline), but generally I heard two things which jibe with what you’ve written. 1) The Olympics were awesome, and 2) the NBC coverage was flawed (although you’re commentary on NBC was much more nuanced).

    I didn’t know they had BMX at the Olympics. BMX is awesome. (“Daft” is also an awesome word, as is ‘prestidigitation.’)

    I love how the word “Soccer” obviously leaves a bad taste in your mouth,

    I’ve never even heard of the Graveyard Book. I love Gaiman’s work. I’ve read innumerable comics he’s written, as well as “Anansi Boys” and one other the name of which escapes me (it’s about modern-day Gods), and they were very good.

    And, as always, your haiku were charming.

    • Elliot says:

      I was constantly both impressed and frustrated with NBC’s coverage. I forgot to mention, but the two chaps commenting “track and field” (athletics in the UK), looked funny in their blue tracksuit tops.

      I didn’t know about the BMX either. It amazes me that they had to build a small stadium and track to run it in, for what was a relatively short event (just a few rounds and short races). But if part of the olympics…

      The Graveyard book (which I also had never heard of), is a teenage / adult level book, but has that good spirit, and characters that kept me entertained. Most of all I was just impressed with the ideas, which was the main reason I enjoyed it a lot. Plus it was a short read. I had heard of Neil Gaiman before but never read anything of his. I now purchased “Smoke and Mirrors”, “American Gods” and “Neverwhere”. Was “Anansi boys” good, that was another I looked at?

  4. Seems only fair that your wife make the best mac and cheese. If her sister is generally the cook in the family, your wife needs to have her niche where she kicks butt in the culinary department too. 🙂

    Graveyard Book is on my Ipad waiting to be read. 🙂

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