Sunday, February 19, 2006

 

Televised Olympics


NBC sure does a lousy job year after year with their Olympic coverage. Too many boo-hoo stories, too much hero-worship, too much blabbing by the commentators, too little coverage of other countries, too little actual sports. Why can't they just shut up and let us watch the action?

The worst are the skating commentators. Rather than let us watch the skaters and make up our own minds about the performance, they start criticizing and discussing their perceived flaws, etc. What makes it worse is that sometimes after having to hear their negative comments the judges award that skater the highest marks. I'd turn off the sound, except then we wouldn't be able to hear the music. (I liked how the one guy skated to "The Swan" by Camille Saint-Saens - I wonder who played the cello in that version? - he even wore an orange glove and during a sit-spin he gradually raised that arm as if it were a swan lifting its head.)

The Bode Miller hype got so far out of hand that I wasn't surprised to see him flub it. If you can believe the coverage, he didn't bother coming out the day before and doing some practice runs on the course - then he blew it on his run by not really knowing the turns. However in another event, he did an amazing recovery after his left ski got tangled behind him - it cost him the gold, but he stayed on one ski for some time as he got control of the other one and managed to bring it around and back into place - awesome.

I didn't mind the coverage of the curling - you need some commentary to explain what the heck is going on. But I was p.....d when I learned that the curling had all been pre-recorded for later showing on TV in the US, yet they would run the tape during their interminable commercials, so we missed the first third of each set.

I played another two hours this morning on my cello. I had intended to go back to it this afternoon, but I just didn't feel up to it today - I've been having sinus troubles, lately. I'm slowly progressing through the four newest pieces. I think I've gotten the first half of the book down pretty well. I'm finding that my left hand is starting to "know" where to go on the fingerboard without having to look or adjust too much. I still have to consciously think about my right hand position on the bow and my left arm height.

I'll be returning this cello to the violin store right after my new cello arrives. I wonder if they'll care if I tell them the C string is muddy, the D seems to frizz, and the A is too nasal; but the G string is great! Would they make any adjustments to it, or just clean it up and shove it back into the stock for the next renter?

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