The Big “L” ~ Disqualifications at the Olympics

In the last couple of days, there has been a discussion about the hype of winning.  The pressures that are put on coaches and players for the ultimate ~ to win.  For bragging rights?  For additional revenue?  Glorification of the masses?

In reading this morning about different events yesterday at the Olympics, seems one badminton team blatantly should signs of “cheating” to lose….during competition on Tuesday.  Why? ~ Strategy! Purposely doing poorly to “secure a more favorable position in the next phase of the event.”  From what country? China!

Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli were one of four doubles teams which appeared to play poorly on purpose. The Chinese star of badminton is apparently ‘stepping down’ from the sport after she was one of eight players disqualified from the doubles tournament at the London Olympics for trying to lose.  It was verified by Tencent Microblogging Service late Wednesday, that Yu was quitting ~  ”This is my last game. Farewell Badminton World Federation. Farewell my dear badminton.”  Other teams disqualified from competition were two from South Korea, and another from Indonesia.  Unlike, failed drug testing where the athlete is dismissed from the Olympic grounds all together, they are allowed to remain at the games.  Even though, this is the largest number to be disqualified in Olympic history.  In my view, not a good record to hold ~ to be apart of by any athlete, no matter the country.  The repercussions will be strong not only to themselves but to others, also, in their near future.

The team’s performance was so bad and obvious to what they were doing….those “who attended the matches Tuesday night at Wembley Arena – they chanted, ”Off! Off! Off!” – and to incredulous television broadcasters and viewers watching around the world.” Even the announcer, BBC’s David Mercer said in disbelief. ”They are both trying to lose, … unforgivable….”.

“The official Xinhua news agency quoted Yu apologizing ”to all the badminton fans and friends over yesterday’s game, because we did not comply with the Olympic spirit, and did not deliver a match with our true level to the audience, the fans and the friends.” The Chinese head coach, Li, made a statement taking full responsibility for their actions.

So does this prove some games are “fixed” to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a Gold?!  This is the Olympics. This is the one arena where winning is the highest honor a proven athlete can achieve. No matter what country they represent ~ the disgrace of such a calculated performance is disheartening. To purposely lose, in this case, is nothing short of dishonorable.  Years of hard work, dedication, respect of skills, honor of representing their country who has supported them in their efforts ~ ending in such a dim light. Sadly, those involved will not be remembered for their achievements to reach a grand pinnacle ~ but those who were disgraced in front of the world, putting ill light upon their country, being disqualified.  Fair? It’s human nature.

Is winning important? In the Olympics ~ decidedly yes …. simply in the pride of one’s accomplishment in a competitive sport. To reach the highest pinnacle of one’s career. To hold such an honor being the best in their chosen sport ~ this goal they worked so hard to achieve….for themselves, for their Country.  To be the “Best of the Best” in the most highly acclaimed athletic arena. This is the Olympics ~ the arena of qualified and exonerated athletes, representing respective countries around the world.  To “throw” a match by poor play to reach their ultimate status ~ is totally unacceptable.

I can only say that the return home trip for Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, members from South Korea and Indonesia, along with their coaches, will not be to a welcome committee of countryman.  And now, the remaining teams left in the Badminton event will be left to always wonder ~ are they truly the best in the world.  No matter which team walks away with the Gold metal … they can hold their heads high knowing they did their very best….without playing the odds.

To all ~ have a great day and may we not see such a performance by any member/team of any event in the remaining days of the Olympic games.

Always, Elichap

A Morning in Wisconsin ~

In past years, I have enjoyed different parts in the State of Wisconsin, visiting family, friends or just getting in my car to where it led me.  A beautiful area of our country, especially in the early morning hours ~ seems that has become my time  to reflect with the rising of the sun.  But, I do enjoy the coolness of the evenings when the stars begin to appear filling the the night’s sky with diamonds and the shadows the moonbeams create.

But in tribute to one of our great states ~ and to those who live in Wisconsin, I want to share the following with you all ~~ simply …

Wisconsin

The hour was between

Night and dawn.

The moon greeting the sun

Hazy transformation seen.

 

The warmth of the earth

Coupled with cool night air

Creating a foggy cover

Blanketing the dells girth.

 

Smokey clouds moving slowly

In and around the evergreens,

Rolling over the hillsides,

Gently caressing the earths’ form.

 

The sun began to peek

Bidding good morn to the moon,

Bidding farewell to the morning star.

Warming the foggy cover to morning dew.

 

Sleeping life began to stir

To welcome yet another day.

Feeling the heat of the sun

Clearing the sky to a crystal blue.

 

The sight of such beauty did spawn

A peacefulness in my being.

Only to await the hours’ return

Between night and dawn.

Elizabeth Deakin (Chapman), June 26, 1989

Hope you enjoyed a “morning in Wisconsin” ~ truly a beautiful creation of God’s work.  We are truly blessed to have such artwork to enjoy …. each and every day ~ everywhere.  For this, I’m truly thankful to Him.

To all have a great day! Enjoy the beauty around you ~ it’s free and gives one peace, but only if one takes the time to view such marvels all around.  God Bless.

Always, Elichap

 

 

Paraprosdokian ~ ??? What the heck? “)

Since we all are enjoying one event or another watching the Olympics…and, since the games are in London ~ thought I’d throw this in.  Winston Churchill loved using a paraprosdokian phrase …. one of his favorite things to use when speaking ….

Paraprosdokians  ~ are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous. Enjoy!

1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right–only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit… Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

10. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, Notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR’.

11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure..

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

16. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

So truly ~ one can have fun with the English language, “sting someone” before they even know what everyone is laughing about!! 

Have a great day … and share a funny-haha with someone!  Always, Elichap

2012 Summer Olympics ~ Opening Ceremony in Olympic Park, London

Oh, what a night with performances of excellence and humor, only the British can deliver.  With Queen Elizabeth appearing in a video, “The Queen” and James Bond parachuting in for the occasion, Mr. Bean at his best bringing laughter to the seated crowd of 62,000 and millions of  TV viewers.  A very strange, but entertaining version of Peter Pan, and …. I have never seen so many “Mary Poppins” to protect the children from the nightmarish figures!  David Beckman  in a beautiful boat at top speed with the Olympic torch bringing  it’s journey over 70 days and 6000 mile relay to an end.  As “an Australian TV commentator described the show … “brilliant but bonkers” ~ pretty much sums it up.

It has been reported that there are 204 “countries” participating in the games. However, in actuality, there are only 196 independent countries around the world.  A bit confusing? ~ yes.  Technically, save 3, there are 193 independent counties that have athletes in London for the games.  There are 11 territories, or other entities, that have been permitted by the International Olympic Committee to have their own National Olympic Committee (NOC).   Thus, 204 stated “countries”.  The three independent countries not represented are South Sudan, Kosovo, and Vatican City/Holy See.

Interestingly enough ~ South Sudan declared their independence from Sudan in July, 2011. Quickly being accepted into the United Nations, the war-torn country is working to get  theirs lives and country back in order.  Unfortunately, for the few athletes they do have, creating a NOC has not moved its way up the priority list.

Kosovo is our second newest independent country, officially as of 2008.  With continuing status issues with Serbia, has not obtained international recognition.  Even though they created their own Olympic Committee of Kosovo ~ their athletes are unable to participate without a NOC in their country.

Vatican City/Holy See ~ which is recognized as an independent country, does not have a NOC. Nor does the Vatican City have any aspirations to have a committee in the future.

For the 204 “countries”, there is an approximate total of 10,690 (and one report was 17,000 ~ so somewhere in between!) athletes participating in 26 sport categories, 36 disciplines (Defined event within the category. Exp:  Swimming category ~ breaststroke, free style, relay, etc. are “disciplines”.) equaling approx. 300 events for one to choose from.  Per individual  “country”, representation ranges from 5 to 557 members.  Great Britain (557), United States (534), and Russia (441) topping the list.

So for the next 17 days ~ we will be entertained and watch with enthusiasm as athletes from around the world compete for the Gold, Silver and Bronze. GOOOOO USA!!

Everyone, enjoy your events of choice ~ and, maybe watch some new ones.  Unfortunately… baseball, nor softball, is included in this year’s Olympics.   ~  Have a great day!

Always ~ Elichap

“I’m Melting” …..

…. Yes, it is summer ~ a very hot, hot summer for this part of our country, the Midwest.  I do believe I could serve breakfast outdoors ~ the heat coming from the sidewalks, I’m sure I could fry up some bacon and eggs!  It must be really dry in the southern states ~ we now have Armadillo’s in Northern Kentucky and Southern IL!  Nope ~ have never seen them this far north before.

I reckon Mother Nature is trying her best to tell us ~ we are just not that far away from Hell because it sure is making it’s presence apparent with the plants that sit upon this earth beginning to dry up and die off.   People are even “buying ice blocks” to cool their pools ~ have not seen that in many years….since the mid 1970’s.  One must eat ice cream or a popsicle very fast if outdoors.  Must be El Nino making it’s presence known ~ robbing the moisture in the air to bring our much needed rain.

However, we are not to the 1930’s Dust Bowl …. yet. Way back when, not only lack of rain, but due to little crop rotation, crops died off leaving the top soil to swirl in the arid winds across the U.S.  No, we aren’t to that stage ~ yet.  However, the birds sit with their little beaks open, spreading their wings to cool themselves while sitting in the shade.  I know how they feel ~ sitting in the shade one finds little relief.  Even though there is a breeze … it’s hot!  But we have experienced “droughts’ in the mid-1950’s, five years in the 1960’s, got by with only two years in the 70’s.  Entering the 1980’s ~ selected years, 1983 and the worst across the country, 1988.  Mother Nature gave us a bit of break from 1990 into the 2000’s. But 2010 ~ we began to see more days with extreme heat, but at least we had rain in the mix of swelter.  This summer ~ long hot days, no measurable rain thus no humidity in our area. Very strange, indeed, since that is one of our “summer personalities” in the Midwest that usually makes 80 degrees feel like 101….with “instant” glistening as one walks out a door.

Global warming, I would say so….but also, history repeating itself.  However, will this be a record summer that certainly will affect crops, people lives … death due to the extreme heat.  Our weather patterns certainly have changed, season’s have shifted and we have seen over the past few years one weather disaster after another all over the globe.  Mother Nature’s furry has been letting off steam everywhere, cracking the surface of our earth ~ shaking us up??!

Yes ~ it is a very H~O~T summer and I just pray …. our air conditioner continues to work!  Spoiled, yes we sure are.  Taking it for granted…no, I don’t.  Thankful ~ from the bottom of my heart.  This too shall pass ~ just not quite sure when.

Stay as cool as possible!!!  Always ~ Elichap

The Championship, aka=British, Open ~ On to Day Three

Once again, while many are sleeping, the third round of the British Open is under way.  The course at Royal Lathym-St. Annes is in beautiful shape, and as far as weather goes, for the United Kingdom, has been picture perfect ~ chilly ~ but the rains have stayed at bay.  Even though, either from a sprinkler system or Mother Nature ~ there is standing water in the bunkers and the course sand is very wet to hit out of which only adds a degree of difficulty in the infamously deep bucket “traps”.  Just not the ‘light and fluffy’ golfers are used to in the States.

Some continue play today, and others won’t be among the qualified.  Unfortunately, after yesterday’s round ~ Phil Mickelson was cut, ending his two day appearance at +11.  A great player having a very rough go in his past twelve of fourteen rounds ~ two rounds of last weekend’s Scottish Open, he did shot under par. Mickelson finished fifth in that tournament. But, he found the Royal Lathym was unyielding. Hitting into a bucket bunker at the green on the sixth hole…was just part of his downhill round yesterday. His ball landed within a 1/2″ from standing water in the bunker, did get a free drop away in very lumpy course sand.  Blasted the ball only to disappear on the lip of the bunker in very high water grass. At that point, Mickelson asked the official ~ “Isn’t there a rule about being able to see your ball to hit it?”! Unfortunately for Mickelson, the answer was “no”.  He missed his two foot putt which circled the cup but refused to drop giving him a double bogie for the hole.  Mickelson had shot a 73 the day before and confident he could improve.  Alas, his game only got worse for him yesterday with a 78.  His last cut from a major was in 2007.  From all statements made ~ I do believe Mickelson was as perplexed as anyone as to where his game went array.

A highlight of the tournament ~ “A 2-over 72 landed Tom Watson just inside the cut line at 143, enabling the 62-year-old five-time Open champion to extend his own record as the oldest man to play on the weekend since the British Open went to a 36-hole cut. Watson is 13 strokes behind.”

With Brandt Snedeker holding the lead in the British Open at -10, one stroke behind is Adam Scott. However ~ Tiger Woods is right on their heels.  Tiger is only four off the lead at -6.  He shot a round of 67, which matched his 3 under the first day.  His shot of the day!! Hole #18 ~ out of the bunker, to the hole and outta sight! The Tiger pump and roar followed …. good to see that back.  Some say arrogant ~ I say, yeeeessss!   “)    He has played steady and precise golf, without getting into too many problem areas for the past two days. He will be teeing off a bit later today ~ and I certainly will be watching. Baseball will just have to wait another day.

Along with those at the top, we have Therbjorn Oelesen at -5, Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar -4 (5 way tie), Ernie Els -3, Steve Stricker -2 (4 way tie), Bubba Watson -1 (14 way tie), Vijay Singh +1 (after today’s round at even par), and Padriag Harrington +2…currently on the 16th and holding.

As we know in any sport ~ much can happen between present and near future. As we have seen in many golf tournaments, the lead can change hands many times.  So will be interesting to see just how “the wash comes out”!   However, with conditions at the Royal Lathym-St. Annes being so ideal ~ makes for a plus to those playing.  Therefore, so far, poor play can’t be blame on the “elements”.

To everyone ~ enjoy your games of choice today.    Always ~ Elichap

Oh, These Hot, Hazy Days of Summer ~

I have been trying to reincarnate the “rain dance” used by our Native Americans …. but to date, Mother Nature is just not cooperating.  However, I must say ~ her breezes that move the leaves have been a blessing moving the muggy out of the air, and makes sitting in the shade at least pleasant.

But I sit here, thinking back ~ when we were kids. As I bring back memories ~ we never seemed to mind the heat of summer.  Being outdoors was wonderful. There were cowboys and indians to fight. Trees to climb. Rocks to find.  Hide and seek when evening began to fall. Laying in the coolness of the grass, in a shaded area, but still able to view the sky watching the clouds as they floated by. Taking turns as to what we saw ~ a hand, a dog, a marshmallow ~ tigers and bears, oh my!  Listening to different birds and watching the them flutter from one branch to another ~ keeping us entertained. With our dogs, Rocky and Peanuts, lazily enjoying our restful existance, they would both perk-up hearing the squirrels chatter, letting us know ~ “we” all were in their territory. Watched in amazement as the dogs tried their best to climb the tree. Soon, they’d give up and come back, but keeping a close watch just in case those noisy squirrels ventured to the ground.

We built a fort among the bushes in our neighbors yard ~ seeking the coolness it provided.  We looked forward to the days the “men” would come to open the fire hydrant, just at the corner of our street ~ what a delight and  the water was so cold!  How could that be when it was so very hot out.  We would ride our bikes, feeling the wind that seemed to be so strong ~ cooling us off. But when we stopped! No breeze at all.  Looking down a sunny street ~ a glistening mirage of “water” would catch our eye.  Racing on our trusty bikes, we would try our best to catch it, only to have it move further down the street. The kaleidoscope mirage was beautiful ~ rainbow colors that seemed to float just above the pavement. Eventually, tired and hot from the chase ~ we were never able to step into the “pool” that we tried to capture in the distance.

There was no public swimming pool in our town; nor, did we have water slide parks “back in the day”.  Our only “sprinkler” was the hose that mom would string through to the top of a ladder ~ more like a shower without soap ~ but cool!   Then one day, my dad brought home the most marvelous invention ~ a hose with a hundreds of little holes in it which allowed a multitude of light spray to come out, in all directions.  We were in heaven the first time he hooked it up and saw how it worked.  Then unhappily we heard, “This is only to be used to water the lawn”, he said.  But, when dad was at work, mom would hook it up for us ~ one, two …. three!! ~ squealing as we ran through the wonderful water fountain of cold water. It was the best half hour ever!  My brothers would “get me and my girlfriends” out of the way by sneaking up with a frog or worms in their hands, threatening to put them on us.  Ooooo ~ nasty!!  Mom!!!!!  She was my hero in so many ways ~ but a very stern “ruler of the roost” when necessary ~ of course, concerning my brothers. She was never one to wait for dad to get home!

My girlfriends and I would spend hours, it seemed, playing jacks on the concrete slab we had as a porch ~ so cool to sit on before the sun warmed it, late in the afternoon.  We would play with dolls on the shaded patio of my best friend, creating plays of our own with kings and queens holding court. It was fun announcing that my brother’s head was to be chopped off!  We would color, making pictures and creating our own stories of far-away lands.  We also made up our own “secret code” for notes among us, so the boys (or teacher’s) would not have a clue to the message.

The best adventure we had was when mom and dad would take us to Pounds Hollow … a lake in Southern IL among a forest of very tall pine trees. My first memory of the lake was when I was 4 years old. We had to park on top of the hill and walk down the earthmade steps between the trees.  You could not see the lake until you were about half way down the hill…then, thru the trees, you could see the sparkling lake ~ full of what looked like bright  jewels floating, changing, as the sunbeams danced upon the water.  Back then, $.50 must have been precious because dad always huffed and puffed because it cost so much just to “swim in a lake”!  Mom just smiled and we knew ~ he loved it just as much as we did.  So excited I was to get to the lake, play in the water, build sand castles, but didn’t venture too far into the water on my own ~ squishy mud! Ick!!  So mom would carry me out a ways with me clinging to her neck for dear life. We never went out too far because she didn’t know to swim, either.  Once she got me disconnected from her neck and holding my hands, she would swirl me around in the water ~ reassuring me, she wouldn’t let go. We’d watch as dad and my brothers would swim to a large raft ~ seemed like a very long ways out.  It had a diving board attached.  Dad would do “swan” dives which made me and mom laugh. My brothers would just dive off the side.  But thinking back ~ when did my brothers learn to swim?  We didn’t have swimming classes ~ who taught them? I’ll have to ask dad. We would stay all afternoon, then have a picnic before heading home.

Summer ~ as a child, I just don’t remember minding that it was hot, because it was summer. No school, no set agenda ~ free to do whatever we found to keep us occupied, which seemed to make mom very happy.  Able to visit our cousins, have home-made ice cream, fresh strawberries right out of the patch with shortcake freshly made that day by grandma.  Going to the drive-in with mom and dad. Finding hiding places away from my brothers!! Life was much slower and peaceful then or, so it seemed. Sometimes I think ~ “if only I could go back” but instead just sit back and take a walk down memory lane.  Makes these hot, hazy days of summer seem almost bearable.

To all ~ enjoy your summer….one day at a time.  Always ~ Elichap