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Thu, 01 Jan 2004
Figure skating: sport, art, or soap opera?
I'm not big on sports. I wasn't very athletic when I was young, and I've shied away from most sports. It wasn't until college that I started picking up athletic physical activities -- ultimate frisbee and ice skating of all kinds. I think that it's harder to avidly follow a sport that you haven't participated in.

The major sports that I've followed in my life are major league baseball (when I was a kid -- and we played lots of backyard wiffleball), and figure skating. For some reason following ice hockey just doesn't get into my blood, although I enjoy a good hockey game, I'm just not into it enough to follow it. Figure skating is something else, because I've actually tried to do it, and I understand what people are supposed to be doing. It also combines my interest in music, so there's another plus.

Tell someone that you're interested in figure skating, and many people will tell you it isn't a sport. The judging has a lot to do with it. I suspect the the outfits and music have something to do with it as well. That's fine by me, I don't really get too hung up on the competitive / scoring aspects of it, even though I can critique.

All sports have their social / political dimension, and skating is no different. The "semi-sport" nature of it seems to exacerbate it. Take for example this week's news that American sensation Sasha Cohen is switching coaches (again). To make the drama better, her new coach is Sarah Hughes' old coach, Robin Wagner. I've been a big Hughes fan -- more of her off the ice behavior than her on ice performance (the Olympics certainly helped), so this will be interesting to watch. The 2003-2004 skating season has been mostly dull this year. There are competitions, people are winning, and there's a new judging system, but most of the skaters are uniformly boring. I wish that Alexei Yagudin wasn't retiring... The standout skaters that I've actually seen are Canada's Jeffrey Buttle, Belgium's Kevin van der Perrin, Japan's Shizuka Arakawa, and Italy's Carolina Kostner, each of which has had at least one memorable skate, but none of which have had consistent performances throughout the system. I've no opinions on the pairs or ice dancing, because ABC isn't showing any of those events.

[23:50] | [skating] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
pyblosxom updates
James Jones submitted a patch for lucene.py that makes the results header a little bit nicer. I've committed the change and updated my blog. Also, I'm now running search using Lucene 1.3. Those of you wondering about Lupy can keep on wondering, because lupy is quite a bit slower than Lucene.

One other reason to upgrade to Lucene 1.3 if you are on Mac OS X. There are some permission problems on Apple's JVM that are related to the java.io.tmpdir property . When I upgraded to Lucene 1.3 they went away. So much for write once, run anywhere...

[23:26] | [computers/internet/weblogs/pyblosxom] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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