Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kiss Cam Fail

The Kiss Cam at a University of Minnesota Gophers hockey game...
The dude is quite prepared...
In Minnesota - it's taboo to tongue-kiss your sister...
In Alabama The South he'd have pulled out the sign and still kissed her.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Black Dog Sadness

July 12, 2003 - February 24, 2014

You'll forgive me if I don't have words to express my feeling on this.
It's very dusty in my office and I'm having problems seeing the keyboard.

Please go visit Brigid and offer your condolences.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Canada Owns Us...

Bad enough that the Canadian women's hockey team beat the US Women in OT.
Especially when shit like this happens...

As Maxwell Smart would have said: "Missed it by that much."

But last night the US men screwed the pooch.

Man, the Canadians are going to be apologizing for that all week...


Rosa Khutor Snowfall

My man SpongeMark skyped me a lovely picture a couple days ago...

"It's snowing up here at Extreme." he wrote.
A cursory glance didn't show anything spectacular...

"You have to zoom in..." he followed up.

Russian innovation...
"Quick tovarische- go to town and collect all the bedsheets from Alexandrovskiy Sad apartments. Tell them it is for The Good of the Games. Do not bring back the ones with floral pattern."

I wonder what thread-count they are using?


Cone Of Shame - You're Doing It Right


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Well, I'm Not Going To Carry Him...

...But we've got to get him home after Closing Ceremonies somehow...


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sochi Randomness...

Working for the Company, I kind of fixate on our niche in sports- especially TV graphics and oddities therein...
One of my favorites from Vancouver was an interesting OBS graphic that illustrated one of the 'ZOMG! Athletes has a private life' pieces they were using to scandalize the 2010 Games.

0? Poor bastard. Forever alone.

This year some of my minions sent me a great graphic that I truly hope made the air...

Man. That takes the cake.
It's an OBS/WorldFeed graphic... Not from NBC thank Ghod.

I do loves me some fubared graphics...


Starbukkin' -

This is why we can't have nice things!

I doubt most Constant Readers even noticed it when it came across the WSJ, except possibly the most caffeine addicted of y'all out there...
But it seems that the super-seekrit Starbux spot finally made the national news...
(So secret it's been published by Yours Truly several times... Like here and here...)

An article was published in the Wall Street Journal and really threw a monkey wrench into the works here in Sochi...

After 10 days in Russia's sparse Olympic frontier, Sonari Glinton glimpsed a beautiful green siren: the Starbucks  mermaid on a crisp white coffee cup.

But after Mr. Glinton, a journalist for NPR, trailed the mystery cup for several hundred feet, its owner told him that he was out of luck. It came from the "office," she said—the Olympic broadcasting center where NBC has its own secret Starbucks.
Man- that sent the waves a-ripplin'...
McD's got pissed, IOC got involved...

Not a pretty sight...
All of a sudden there was a moratorium on Starbucks cups and cup sleeves...
Logos were covered with gaffers tape or otherwise obscured, all the unused cups were confiscated or marked for internal use only...

Nat, the caterer up at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park has too much time on her hands, modding these cup sleeves.

I think I'll send a message...


This Is A Test see if I can get past the Ring of Steel here in Sochi.

Please disregard, or...
Even better:
Have some vodka.


Monday, February 17, 2014

There's This Thing Called Irony... Perhaps You've Heard Of It?

I caught part of a current social activism program that is currently in progress on one of the cable networks, the channel I usually refer to as "NCIS Network" since that's all they seem to play- unless they are re-running one of their programs...
(I have to say I did enjoy the first couple seasons of Burn Notice, and Suits had a good start, but I couldn't keep up with them as they started to get even further and further from any kind of possible reality...)

So, last week I was noshing in the commissary -  In one of the  many program monitors that are installed in there, out of the corner of my eye I caught a segment of the current iteration of their Characters Unite program... The "I won't stand for _____ " campaign.

I saw it for a second, then tuned out.
As a rule I, try to ignore the overtly political crap here and just focus on my job...

Until I saw someone here wandering the halls with one of the program shirts...

This isn't the culprit, but it's one of these type of shirts.
Ok dumbass.
I don't know if you can comprehend this- but when you say "I won't stand for intolerance" I have to wonder if you have any kind of grasp on reality.

Really?- Because I can't believe you would try to wear this 'ironically', as a hipster might.
Because since I'm not part of your 'movement' (and when I hear that, I think 'bowel movement') the over-the-top irony just looks stupid.

Philosophically, this program (and the concept of 'tolerance' as it is being pushed these days) is asinine and self-contradictory in and of itself.
After all - shouldn't tolerance be extended to people that choose to be pig-headed, bigoted, prejudiced assholes?

If you want them to put up with you, should you be tolerant of them?

That IS want tolerance is all about... Right?


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Creepy Creepy Creepy!

This is the creepiest thing I've seen in a long time...

Not for the squeamish...
(If you DO watch, turn your audio up.)


Dunn Trial & Armchair Legal Activist Morons

Jeebus Pete!

The jury finally came back with verdicts on the Michel Dunn trial...
They did convict on 3 counts on 2nd degree attempted murder, and one count of "throwing missiles" but the jury was hung on the 1st degree murder charge.
 (Read all about it here at Legal Insurrection...)

Here's what grinds my gears-
No one I know has ever offered one word in support of Dunn's position or his actions.
Even my most rabid 2A proponents, my Open Carry advocates, and even the folks that I know are just waaaay over to the right of the cultural spectrum - Not one has ever said-
"Yep. I'da done the exact same thing. Dunn's my hero!"
The whole thing has been a pretty sad affair.

As with the Zimmerman/Martin trial, the label on the tin was NOT what was actually in the package... Just as Z/M was not "White Guy Guns Down Skittle-Eating 10-Year-Old Choirboy", the Dunn trial wasn't exactly "Racist Shot My Baby Because Music Was Too Loud."

I personally think that Ms. Corey once again 'overcharged' - the same thing occurred in the Z/M trial. On this case, she will go back and spend another shit-ton of taxpayer money to re-try him on the same charges. A do-over, if you will...

But it seems to me there is an entire storm brewing for the Low-IQ sector that seems not to have a firm grasp on what a hung jury (and resultant mistrial on the charges) implies.

Folks out there on Twitter (via Twitchy) are just blowing up...

Dumbassery on parade... But then, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Sadly- Opinions are like assholes- everyone has one and most of them stink.
Twitter, unfortunately, lets way too many people circulate their stinky opinions among people that really don't care.

Y'know what doesn't make sense? You happy assholes.
Learn about case, the charges and the actual disposition before you shoot your mouth keyboard off.

Oh Desi... if it was only that easy to get away from the rest of you blue-state idjits.

Sorry- no. Nice try.

The last part of this one is closest to the mark...
Not necessarily the Justice System failing - Just Angela Corey, trying to make headlines and to make up for 'mistakes' in how she handled the Z/M trial.

Ok... Back to square one.
(Is there a way to make it so that if a mistrial is declared in a trial, the $$$ for a second trial comes out of the prosecutor's own pocket?)


Quote of the Day - USA Hockey Edition

"The American heroes are wearing camo. That's not me."
- TJ Oshie on being called an American hero.

T.J. Oshie leads USA to thrilling shootout win over Russia


Friday, February 14, 2014

Citius, Altius, Fortius

Faster, higher, stronger.

I'm good with that.

Pushing the limits, training harder, dedication.

As long as someone can train and condition themselves to run faster, jump higher, etc
Someone else can train just a little more, push themselves a little harder, and break that record. That's what world records & Olympic records are about...

But- where would the Olympics be without Figure Skating or Gymnastics, and all the other judged sports. (Snowboard, freestyle skiing, diving, synch swimming, etc).

And although those sports are nice and the are an integral part of the Games, I'm a little troubled with awarding gold medals to anything that is open to interpretation by 'judges'.

Give the folks who participate in judged sports medals- sure.
Just don't equate it with a gold medal in a track discipline, swimming or say, weightlifting.

The Olympic hendratris is 'faster, higher, stronger'.

It doesn't mention 'prettier'.


WINTER Olympics

It is a puzzler to me why we're having the Winter Olympics at a location known as a summer destination.
I guess they are paving the way for the 2022 Olympics- cities currently in the running are Las Vegas, Miami Beach, Maui and Cairo.

Just like 4 years ago- it has been colder (on average for Olympic days) back in North Florida than it has been for the same period here in Sochi/Adler.

Weather still be fucked up, yo.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

SpeedSkating Chat Goes Horribly Wrong

Overheard on Skype

(Skype chatting with SGK at Speedskating - The Nederlanders are kicking ass at the Adler Arena. SGK is running the Graphics control and I'm watching the feeds back in the IBC, and making fun of the proceedings.)

Yours Truly: Goooo to the Start..... Ready.....   Bang!
                      Holy crap, they shot him!!
SGK: They Killed Kenny!!!!!!


SGK: Wish they would shoot something. Make it more exciting.

YT: Someone needs to shoot those bastards with the horns...

YT: honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk!     honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! honk!

SGK: Hey they got nothing else to do.

SGK: They could shoot the horn, it would make a big boom.

YT: honk! honk! honk! honk! honk! BANG! Hgnkghc....(Thud)

SGK: Nice


YT: They are the orange people.

SGK: Yes they are.

SGK: NEDs take it again.

SGK: Go House of Orange

YT: Of course. That's all they f'ing do in Ned Land.  Skate fast and smoke dope.

SGK: Well, what else is there to do there,  grow tulips?

SGK: Stand around with their fingers in a dyke?

YT: ...fingers in a dyke...

SGK: yes I know your head exploded
YT: Because there is a difference between a Dike and a Dyke.

SGK: I hit enter and cringed when I read it
SGK:Ok a wall that holds water back then

YT: I like the other kind better.

SGK: You would

YT: Well... How entertaining is a guy standing around with his finger stuck in a hole in the wall?
The other is much more entertaining, since she would probably not be too happy about the whole situation. Might be some shouting, or perhaps bloodshed.

SGK: A new Olympics sport is born

YT: Hmm. Scoring might be a little complicated.
SGK: Wonder if it would be timed or judged

YT: I'm blogging the crap outta this.

If 'they' are monitoring Skype I guess I'll be getting my ticket punched early.


Heap Powerful Linkage, Kemosabe...

Very linkage
Much blog

I've been getting a few great links lately-
First, I'd been pandering to the dread & awful Czar over at the Gormogons
and wound up with a nice retweet:

Then my post calling out the recent media BS also got retweeted with excellent results...

But man, when you get an offhand link from The Tam, hoo boy look out for the tamalanche, kids!

Top of the world, Ma!... Top of the world!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Pictures, We Got 'Em!

How about a few Olympic (and Olympic-ish) pictures...
Conditions were pretty harsh heading up to Krasnaya Polyana the other morning...

I'd say the Sochi SWAT Team is looking pretty good for a berth on the 2016 Russian Rifle Team in Rio.

And the Interweb memes have arrived. Doge makes an appearance at Speed Skating...

Very skate, forsooth!

The Canadian Skeleton Team has some great helmet art...

I don't know which is scarier- the one on the left or the one on the right...

Someone is getting into the spirit up at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.


Saturday, February 08, 2014

Opening Ceremonies Fail

The Cisco guys and I were sitting in our 'office' in the IBC watching the Opening Ceremonies when the first major FAIL of the night went off...
The 5th ring in the Olympic logo didn't bloom from it's original snowflake form...

It immediately became quite the conversation starter.
Was it sabotage from the LGBT community- inserting a stylized chocolate starfish into the production?
We could see the Rainbow Commandos high-fiving each other "Yeah! We did it!"...
Some other choice comments revolved around current events and trending memes-
The incomplete logo is a tribute to the unfinished hotel rooms and broken services,
and my favorite- "Oh 5th Ring.,.. You had just one job. One. Job."
Of course there are already t-shirts available...

Get yours here.

The kids up at the mountain cluster were gathered in one of the local watering holes to watch some of the fun...

SpongeMark, the young программист ученого, Marco, the Fair Mrs. Spongemark and Nick from Sanki were in a bar in Rosa Khutor- a/k/a Rosa Hooters...
SM & MSM are still suffering from their 'too much hot water' problem.
We have Top Men from NBC's hotel police on it.
Top. Men.


Friday, February 07, 2014

Sochi FGAs

Frequently Given Answers - Sochi Edition

1. Tired Tired Tired.
2. Of course I have a good tan. I live in Florida and ride a motorcycle.
3. No. Nyet. Negatory, good buddy.
4. Ok, yes then.
5. 140 kilos. 150 when I get mad.
6. Yes, but only on Thursday. Only LAST Thursday, as a matter of fact.
7. It is supposed to be slippery.
8. I could kill you, but then I'd have to hide your body, and you're not worth the trouble.
9. Let me spell it out for you... "Y-O-U A-R-E A-N A-S-S-H-A-T"
10. Get away from me.
11. Milk. MOLKO... How about latte? Screw it. I'll take it black.
12. The cable is broken, that's why.
13. I'm not not sure we can get a gallon of flea shampoo here in Sochi.
14. The bus driver got lost. The bus driver ALWAYS gets lost.
15. Take this photocopy. You cannot take my passport.
16. No more pizza. No pasta either.
17. This isn't the right road. I've never heard of Estosadok. Sounds bad to me.
18. That's not a dog, it's the waitress.
19. I said unlock the fucking door before I break it down. ITS A FUCKING FIRE ESCAPE!
20. There are no more. There won't be any more. Ever.
21. You're screwed. (Every Olympics evar.)
22. No, honestly. I really like fly eggs in my horse meat.
23. A rum and coke doesn't have ANY vodka in it.
24. Just drive through them. What are they going to do, chase us down?
25. I don't need a jacket. I have my anger to keep me warm.


Thursday, February 06, 2014

Well- That's Something I Didn't Expect...

At the Olympic Coastal Cluster everything is completely built from scratch. There was virtually nothing on the site where the Fisht, the Iceberg, the Adler Arena, the Bolshoy and the Shayba are now.

Virtually nothing... Because one little section has not been touched.

2005 Aerial

March 2013 Aerial - See the tiny forest?

December 2013 - Much easier to see now with the ring of tall trees around it.

It is a cemetery- almost 100 years old, filled with Old Believers from a purist sect of the Orthodox church in Russia. No one really knows how many people are buried there because of incomplete records.
Many of the Old Believers fled Russia centuries ago, scattering around the globe. Invited back by Czar Nicolas II in 1911, hundreds resettled on this edge of the Black Sea.
Families of those buried here have been able to visit during construction, and the actual site will be open to the public during the Games...
It will be quite a reminder of the thousands of people that were relocated from their homes to build the Olympic Park, quite a contentious issue for the Sochi Olympics... I think it is quite an interesting facet of the ongoing saga that is the Sochi Olympic Games.

I shot this over the fence one evening.
Note the Fisht Arena in the background...
It is the one place I will definitely make an effort to go see when the gates are open.
(Yes, I know. I'm morbid and creepifying.)


Hotel Issues in Gorki - Not What You Think

I was talking to SpongeMark this morning and he was relating the 'problems' he and Mrs. SpongeMark were encountering in their apartment in Esto-Sadok.
SpongeMark: "So... There was a yard sale in our apartment when we got home yesterday."
Yours Truly: "Ergh?"
SM: "Yeah- seems like they bought out the entire kitchen section of Ikea and put one of each in our apartment. Pots and pans, plates, utensils."
YT: "Nice. I have a kettle."
SM: "You'll love this... This morning we had no cold water."
YT: "Ergmhrd?"
Their water was dangerously hot- like no-bullshit 2nd degree burn possibility.
He regaled me with the tale of how he and Mrs. SpongeMark had to perform their daily ablutions with bottled water and other makeshift methods to cool the water.
YT: "I hate to say it, but man- First World Problems- "We have too much hot water at our hotel in Sochi."


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

You Forgetful Bastard

Let. Me. In.


Letters To People Unlikely to Resond - More Sochi

Dear Alarmist Media
(you know who you are...)
Will you knock off the "ZOMG Sochi are teh Worst Olympics Evar - Everyonez gonna die!" crap?
 When Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair, who is covering the Winter Olympics for the newspaper, arrived at her hotel, she was informed that there was a problem with the water and it had been shut off.
Then hotel staff delivered an ominous warning: “Do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.”
There are problems with plumbing in new buildings.
Happens in the US too.

And guess what happens when you try to talk to people (under pressure) trying to do a good job and English isn't their native language?
Messages get lost in translation. Duh.

Hey Stacy- I'll bet you dimes to doughnuts that I can find 10 hotels in Chicago that have shittier water than the water in my hotel...

I know, "If it bleeds, it leads", but for crying out loud- it's not like we (people working here) were expecting it to be perfect. It's a farking work in progress.
Give them a chance.

My nephew-in-law sent me a link to an article on about the horrors in Sochi.  Staying In Sochi Is A Hilarious Adventure (article on Dogs, Water, new hotel issues and toilet paper flushing.)
He asked: "Has this been your experience?" 
I couldn't give a one-word answer...
(Hell, I can never give one-word answers.)

    There is quite a bit of stuff in that article...
    Here's a few things from my experience:

    1. Dogs. Lots of feral dogs everywhere, including inside the Olympic sites. They are friendly and hungry. Being feral dogs, they go where they want, and they fight, get hit by cars, etc. Lots of them limp or are otherwise injured.

    2. My hotel room is good. Clean water, AC/Heat, WiFi, etc.

    3. Other people in my hotel complex (other buildings) are not so lucky. Sketchy water, no hot water on some mornings, non-existent wifi, etc.

    4. My only concern (and it has me more worried than possible terrorist attack) is that hotel security locks (deadbolt, keyed) the exit door of the emergency stairwell at 10pm, and unlock it at 6am.
So... if there is a fire the security guy will have to run and open the doors.
Guess how likely THAT is...
My plan in case of fire: Out to balcony, over railing. I'm on the 2nd floor- no problem.

    5. Plumbing. Same issues occurred in Torino, Athens, and now Sochi...
The plumbing and sewer systems in many Euro countries are not able to handle the amount of TP that Americans typically flush. The paper blocks the system and then there is a backup.
    In Athens in 2004, this happened in Compound 4 outside swimming and diving- a literal Shitcano erupted right outside the NBC dining tent. On this past Saturday, the exact same thing happened at the SkiJump venue- the sewer system overflowed INTO the dining tent in the broadcast compound.
    Rule of thumb in Euro countries- if there is a trashcan INSIDE the stall/near the toilet, do not flush the bog paper.

    Photo from SpongeMark:

I really like this one. The Engrish level is awesome.
'Hope for understanding', indeed!

    6. Open manholes.
    Yes. Watch your step. (I already covered this)
    Carry a flashlight if you're out after dark.
    Be alert when driving.
For Chrisssakes, step it back to DefCon3, will ya?
You're scaring our friends and families back home.




Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Letters To People Unlikely To Respond - Sochi Edition

Dear Mr. Starts-With-P-and-Rhymes-with-Shootin',-Lootin'-and-Tootin',

I'm one of the hundreds of people that were detoured off your 8.6 billion dollar highway to Krasnaya Polyana then road blocked on a 2-lane highway outside Monastyr for over an hour today.

Let me ask you- did you know that when you pay a visit to a location that your security forces shut things down for miles and miles around?
That while you're glad handing the IOC and playing slap and tickle for selected media, there are people that have shit to do, and cannot get it done because there is a 45KM lockdown.
Let me give you a little hint-
If you want the games to be a success, don't come in 2 days before the competitions start and shut everything down for 3 hours...
That only does two things-
It causes delayed or unfinished tasks, and generates bad press...
Because those 4 reporters from AP that were in the car behind me that were on the way to a mixed-zone interview with a top US skiier and missed the opportunity- guess what they are going to write about now... And it probably won't be flattering.

This same shit happened the last night in Kazan when some tin-pot politician came to the city for closing ceremonies and security forces shut the whole city down from the time he landed until his plane was wheels-up on the way back to Moscow.

 Does the possibility of coming into contact with the hoi-polloi cause such fear and trepidation in the hearts of Russian politicians that they must immobilize the entire region?

Get over yourself,


The Big Guy


Remiss In My Obligations to the Constant Readers

I know- I've been slacking.

I've been dealing with hardware and staff issues-
Getting hardware installed and getting our hard-working staff to their venues and getting them oriented- pointing out the various flora (look- bare trees) and fauna (look- snipers in that blind up on the hill) as we make our way to the sites.

We did get out one evening and I was able to enjoy my favorite local specialty-

Great googly moogly it was good!
The other kids at the table had the lamb shislek and I had a little bowl of lobio...

A few more pics from around the venues...

Olympic Dogs-
A few of the strays around the Olympic Park.

SpongeMark sends a little reminder in Engrish about not flushing bog paper in the hotel bathrooms.

And they've started gluing down the manhole covers.
(At least the ones that are still intact.)

Let's see- Some of the security forces that are on-station here in Sochi.
The Freddy Kruger Ninja Squad is here...

The high-stepping Radio City Snow Commandos

I'm not sure who these guys are, but I just suggest staying in your hotel room after dark. You don't want to run across these guys near an open manhole cover...