February 12th and 13th at the Olympics

Categories: Olympics

Olympic ringsMonday and Tuesday at the Olympics with Amanda and Lisa (and various other members of our growing team). There’s some good stuff here. Speed skating. Snow boarding, crashes, etc. You know, the normal stuff.


Amanda: It’s happening. I’m going to Korea next week to see some snow boarding!!!!

Lisa: Snow boarding!!
“Hey Mom, if they all go the same speed then no one can lose.” – Iddo, watching long track speed skating.
If I stand up while watching long track I find myself swaying back and forth while they go down the straightaways.

Amanda: She’s not wrong.

Lisa: Showing a crazy luge crash, “This is a testament to the safety of the sport, no injuries.”

Amanda: But were injuries from the crash?

Lisa: Apparently there were no injuries from that particular crash, which means the sport is safe.

Amanda: Hmm. Okay. If they say so.

Lisa: Thank you, women’s Olympic hockey, for showing me the interesting similarities and contrasts between the Swiss and Japanese flags.

Amanda: One is a cross and one is a circle. Am I missing anything?

Lisa: White on red and red on white.
It’s kind of cool to see the two next to each other.

Amanda: Right! That’s an important detail.

Lisa: I think the Japanese goalie has cherry blossoms on her helmet.

Amanda: If there are flowers, then probably yes!
Tuning in. Watching a profile on Chloe Kim?

Lisa: Yup.

Amanda: Snowboard flips on the trampoline!

Lisa: I was wondering how they practice those things.

Amanda: It makes sense.

Lisa: She’s cute. And now I feel sexist for saying something about her looks.

Amanda: She has a cute personality too. Spunky and fun.

Lisa: I’ll make sure to comment on the looks of the next male athlete they highlight to balance it out.
I liked the juxtaposition of her with her dad. That looks like a fun combination.

Amanda: 👍🏻
Yes it does.

Lisa: I definitely like Shaun White better with his shorter haircut.

Amanda: Real possibility: I could meet Shaun White next week! Just run into him at the snowboarding.

Lisa: Tell him I like his haircut.

Amanda: Can do!

Lisa: If you do any souvenir shopping, I’ll paypal you for a patch.

Amanda: Any patch in particular?

Lisa: Not really.

Amanda: Okedoke. I will see what I can do. I’m buying a ticket and getting a ride from a fellow MilSpouse. If possible I would like a chance to buy some of my own Olympics swag, so I will see what I can do.

Lisa: Awesome! They all bowed to each other after the goal. Apparently it started as a joke ten years ago and now do it for good luck.

Amanda: The Japanese team bow at each other!
There is a bowing emoji!
I still haven’t gotten a good look at the Japanese goalie’s helmet.

Lisa: Iddo thinks national flags are a way to say Happy Birthday because they sing the international happy birthday song in primary and the music leader uses the flags to prompt the words.

Amanda: While that’s a good way of her music leader to do it, that’s not actually how it works.

Lisa: They have three goalies so it might just be one of them. A cursory google search didn’t bring up any images.
Iddo thinks everyone at the Olympics is having a birthday.

Amanda: If you saw flowers, Sakura 🌸 is a safe bet.
Somebody probably is. But not everyone . . .

Lisa: Branches with small pink flowers.

Amanda: Almost definitely.
They have other flowers, but Sakura are the most important.

Lisa: They might not be having a birthday today, but they all have one eventually.
Something with the tiger on it.

Amanda: This is true.
That makes sense!

Lisa: Men’s half pipe live.

Amanda: Heading home so I can watch! (Also heading home because that’s where I live.)

Lisa: That’s a good reason.

Amanda: I thought so. I wish I didn’t have to leave again tonight, but I have taiko and that will be worth it.

Lisa: Definitely.
Brett said doing taiko made him feel very martial. I thought it reminded me of doing a haka.

Lisa: Kind of an “I’m powerful, don’t eve think about messing with me” kind of thing.

Amanda: Yeah, there is definitely some power to it, so I can see that.

Lisa: Interesting. They’re saying the snowboarders have transponders on their ankles that are letting the judges know how high they are getting.
That was a great last piece of advice from the coach – Have fun!
Korean boarder. Apparently “Have fun!” sounds the same in Korean as it does in English. Looks like he definitely had fun too. If I were his mom I wouldn’t have been able to watch it though. Oh I was nervous for him.

Amanda: I was curious about how they knew exactly. Eyeballs didn’t seem reliable.
Always good advice.

Lisa: I think this guy is Mormon.
Born in Ireland, lives in Park City, Russian mother, British father. He could represent any of those four countries.

Amanda: Interesting. I can’t remember if one of the Mormon guys we saw on the list was a boarder.

Lisa: Nope. Not the Mormon guy. There’s a Mormon guy skiing the half pipe next week for Ireland who lives in Park City.

Amanda: Oh. Okay.
Are you watching the primetime coverage?

Lisa: I was.
Now I’m watching speed skating.
Now I’m watching Primetime Plus.
So snowboarding again.

Amanda: Cool. Shaun White boards again in 5 minutes.

Lisa: I get nervous watching them.

Amanda: I don’t, thankfully. Shaun’s run was awesome!

Lisa: They are so high and upside-down!

Amanda: And all the flips! Repeatedly upside down!

Lisa: Yup.

Amanda: 18 feet!

Lisa: Out of a 22 foot pipe. That puts him 4 stories up in the air.

Amanda: That’s insane.

Lisa: Upside-down and backwards.

Amanda: Not my thing, but I can be impressed by those that do.
Have you seen anything with Mary Carrillo?

Lisa: I haven’t.

Amanda: Curious. I like her.

Lisa: I do too.
I could see the camera guy reflected in the winner’s sunglasses.

Amanda: Me too!

Lisa: And now I must to bed.

Amanda: Sleep well! If you can!

Lisa: Thanks!


Lisa: Iddo wants to know why the figure skaters can’t dance inside the track for the short-track speed skaters.
Women’s 500M decided by 22cm photo finish, kind of.
Okay, that luge crash wasn’t good. Not when the commentator used the words “crunches to the ground.”
Also using the word, “violent.” Yup, that’s a safe sport.
Here, let me do this interview before going to get my back x-rayed.
Um, priorities?

Amanda: You know, why can’t they?
I hope everyone is okay! I watched the gold medal curling match last night. I learn something new about curling every time.
From Blake: Chasing the bouncing puck sounds like a reference to drug addiction.

Lisa: “That man [Scott Hamilton] has a yellow band-aid on his finger.” – Iddo
I hadn’t even noticed. But I guess she doesn’t understand what they are talking about so she’s just going to notice the things she does understand

Amanda: That makes sense. I like that our commentary tradition, which was just us in the beginning, has grown with new and interesting perspectives from the people we’ve added to our team.

Lisa: We have a good team.

Amanda: Most definitely.
Malcolm even has feelings about Olympic events. He prefers the ones without whistles.
I’m in the waiting room at the dentist and they’re playing the primetime Olympics and my first look at Jonny Weir this year. I don’t even have words.
Walked out of the dentist and past another waiting room in time to see Shaun White’s first run of the finals. I just stood and waited for the run and the score. Very nice. Watching a profile on him now. He had a gnarly crash in New Zealand.

Lisa: I haven’t seen him yet. But I can imagine.
We just missed it. Heard him talking with his coaches and he said, “I was like oh my g—!” and Iddo heard “oh my yup” so that’s what we’re going with him saying.
Saw the Japanese guy crash though. That was bad.
“I love commercials. I want to watch them when I grow up.” – Iddo

Amanda: It’s pretty flashy.
Definitely missed that. Has anyone ever died in the Olympics?

Lisa: I have no idea. But now I’m curious.

Amanda: From two hours ago! https://www.google.co.jp/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/5155540/athletes-who-have-died-competing-in-the-olympics
I vaguely remember the Vancouver.

Lisa: I seem to remember that too.
He hit the edge of the pipe.
You know, the original Olympics were done naked and covered in grease. The guy from Tonga is just honoring that tradition.
Shaun White’s second run reaction from Shimri: He got back up.

Amanda: Truth.
Heh. How did he do?

Lisa: Huh. Shaun White had 2 open heart surgeries before his first birthday.
55.00. He fell 3/4ths of the way down.

Amanda: Ohhh. He was the one that fell. That explains Iddo’s comment. Is there a third run? Was his first score enough?

Lisa: A Japanese guy is 1 point ahead after round 2.
Iddo: I want to know how those guys got there.
Me: Got where?
Iddo: Got there from Tucson.
Me: Oh. An airplane. An airplane and a lot of practice so they’d be good enough someone would want to put them in an airplane.
Iddo: Why’d they have to practice being in an airplane?

Amanda: Heh. Good logic there.

Lisa: I love what they come up with.

Amanda: Saw the snowboarding tiger ceremony.

Lisa: I think that tiger is adorable.

Amanda: I agree.
Shaun White’s gold was the 100th Winter Olympics medal for the USA ever.

Lisa: As long as he’s aware of it I guess that’s okay.

Amanda: Yep!
I hope to have enough time to see this! https://www.instagram.com/p/BfJdVoih18g/
No idea how close it is to where I’ll be.

Lisa: That’s awesome!
I have an “I Speak Portuguese” pin from the Salt Lake Olympics and actually got to use it on Trax one day.

Amanda: Fun!

Lisa: I loved how Salt Lake took advantage of the mass of unofficial interpreters that live in the area.

Amanda: I think the event will end with a few hours before I have to catch my ride back to Seoul. I will definitely be using that time for hunting this center, Olympic swag, and Olympians.
Me too.

Lisa: As you should.

Amanda: Probably in this order: swag first, Olympians, this center.

Lisa: I approve.

Amanda: Thank you. I also scouted where I can buy Olympic swag in Seoul, so if it doesn’t work out at the park for any reason, I should be okay. I want a patch for you, a keychain for me, and maybe a hat or something.

Lisa: I have a hockey puck from the Salt Lake games because that’s the event I went to. And a headband to keep my ears warm because I didn’t want to spend the money on the hat everyone else was buying. I don’t know that you should get a snowboard though.

Amanda: Hmm. Probably not. I went to a hockey game in 2002 too!
That hat was SO popular.

Lisa: Insanely popular.
Okay. I need to sleep tonight. Tomorrow’s plan is to stay home, watch the Olympics, and fight germs. Ugh.

Amanda: Good luck! My plan for tomorrow is stay home, watch Olympics, and hermit well. Busy weekend ahead!

Lisa: I like our plans.
Well, except for the germ fighting bit.

Amanda: Agreed. But I especially hope that part is successful.

Olympics Day One and Two

Categories: Olympics

Olympic ringsI’m dividing up our commentary based on the time zone I’m in because it’s my blog and that makes the most sense to me. That means Amanda starts it off while I’m asleep and then I catch up and then she goes to sleep and then we end the day together. It’s weird but it works.

February 10th

Amanda: Events we’ve watched so far tonight: men’s slopestyle snowboarding, men’s short track speed skating, and now watching men’s luge. Nothing terribly exciting yet and the commentary is fairly dry and merely informative.
Realized a few minutes ago that I hadn’t heard about an LDS athletes, so we looked it up. There are 5 and apparently one of them is in luge, so it’s good we just switched and can watch for him!
Two of the LDS athletes are also military! Army, specifically.
It’s a very different experience to have a lot more choice in what Olympics events we watch. Instead of watching whatever just happens to be on (“Ooh! Kayaking!”, for example), we are watching every run or every heat and eventually reminding ourselves we should go check out what else is on.
Blake’s suggestion for a winter sport: polar swim. The water has to be a certain temperature. Maybe even cut out of the ice. But that’s actually a terrible idea because a lot of people would be injured.
Mormon luger!
Apparently you can experience more g’s in a luge run turn than in a space shuttle launch.
5 for luge, 3 for space shuttle
It’s also interesting to see all of the runs. Not just the Americans and the leaders and other interesting runs as you might see with NBC Olympic primetime coverage.
You may or may not see the Ukrainian who falls off his luge sled on his birthday. 😢 But, since he was able to get back on, he will get to continue.
Time for some biathlon. Not the most exciting to watch, but everything else is either on break or we’ve already watched that particular sport.
Switched over to the edited package content feed in time to see a nice little profile on Korea, but I think they’re about to start showing short track, which we’ve already seen. Living in the correct time zone, when events will end at reasonable times and the news feed isn’t just running constantly unless I look for it, I won’t feel the need to stay up late.
Ooh. Short track relay. We didn’t see this. Never mind. Not switching.
The South Korean speed skating helmet is really neat.
Women’s Hockey! Unified Korea v Switzerland.
Only showed a minute or two of that. Back to some short track. US helmets are cool too.

Lisa: Norway curling shirts have a Nordic sweater pattern printed on them.
Luger just beat the current leader by .090 and the commentator said that was a huge margin. Um? No it’s not!
The closest I’d get to luge – laying on top of our minivan and holding on to the luggage rack while I drive down the freeway. Speeds are the same.
The kids were duly impressed with ski jumping. Iddo wants to fly like that and Shimei is now running around the house with his arms behind him like a ski jumper saying he’s flying.

Amanda: Have you seen the movie Eddie the Eagle? It’s pretty good. Family friendly.
Because that’s super cute.

Lisa: I haven’t seen that movie but I’ve heard a lot about it. We’ll have to check it out.
Slope style!
I will let our kids ski jump. I will not let them snowboard.

Amanda: Why not?

Lisa: I like their necks in one piece.
There was a piece about the Norway alpine skiers. I did not know they referred to themselves as the Attacking Vikings and have for a couple of decades now.

Amanda: That’s a good point.
I didn’t know that either. Interesting.

Lisa: The culture of snowboarding is interesting too. Although if my kids decide that’s what they want to do I’ll support them and figure it out.
And while there are bobsled teams from Jamaica and Ghana, Tucson might not be the best place to take up pretty much any winter sport. Although we do have a hockey team.
Speed skating. I want a cool helmet.
I need to put some more bling and personalization on my equipment for the sport of “mom of littles.” I’m still debating the images and designs I want to put on my backpack, which is kind of like a helmet because it protects me from a whole lot of unexpected. It’s my Batman belt.
I think I like long track speed skating better than short track. Short track is only interesting at the very end. Long track is interesting the whole time.
Probably why I’d rather run a 5K on the street than on the track too referencing summer sports.
Long track has super suits too.
I never liked Ono’s soul patch.

Amanda: I told Blake that I had a friend in high school who competed in long track speed skating. He was surprised but then I reminded him I went to high school in Utah, which is different from high school in Arizona. You can build an indoor skating rink anywhere, but it’s more likely in places where you can also do it outside.
I like short track because things can get crazy fast. More leader changes. More danger.
Watching a long track replay now. It’s always a little surprising when they take off their hoods and they have hair. Really surprising when the South Korean took off her hood and had bleached yellow hair.
I can hear the announcers at the actual venue. They’re providing color commentary for the spectators, which is cool.
Blake and I sometimes ask or say “Ready” the way long track speed skating officials do. “Reeeaady”.

Lisa: Because why wouldn’t you.

Amanda: Exactly.

Lisa: I’m supposed to be able to watch snowboarding right now but they’re still showing curling. Which is an unexpected choice.

Amanda: Interesting.

Lisa: If we can get together over £1,500,000 we can buy the island they quarry curling stones from.
China has fun curling pants. They also yell “hard” in English.

Amanda: Um. I’m not sure I want to buy that island.
I did not remember the pants, but I did notice them yelling hard. Is this the mixed doubles game with the Hamiltons? I watched that all the way yesterday morning.
Oh. Looks like they are playing Norway right now. Is that the game you’re watching?
Right now being what’s in my tv now. May not be actually now.

Lisa: Yes.
China and Norway. The back of China’s pants has a fun design so when they’re down pushing the stone you can see it.

Amanda: We’re watching the same thing! Yay! And yes, that’s a cool pattern.

February 11th

Lisa: Watching men’s cross country Iddo commented, “I don’t see any with beards.”
Iddo: Hey, Momma, who’s up ahead?
Me (not even looking): The Norwegian guy. (it was a good guess, and I guessed right)
NBC has a color commentator – David Feherty, who did a bit on biathlon. Afterwards, back in the studio, he was talking with the other commentator and they were wondering how some of these sports got started. He said something to the effect that it must have been crazy. Ski jumping – let’s jump out into the wide blue yonder and land like a yard sale, and then do it again. I don’t know how yard sales land, but I’m thinking I need to add that phrase to my vocabulary.

Amanda: Do they need beards?
Yeah, that’s a safe bet.
Ha! I imagine some very odd but necessary things (like milking cows for milk) were inspired by heavenly parents. (hey! Autocorrect suggested parents instead of Father! I don’t know why, but I’ll take it.) But yeah, others, like ski jumping, were probably some sort of accident. Like chocolate chip cookies.

Lisa: Dutch guy just won the men’s 5000K speed skating long track race, third Olympics in a row he’s won it. I heard the commentators explain the other day that the reason the Dutch do so well at the speed skating is because of all the canals in the country that freeze over and everyone gets around all winter by skating on them.
Second speed skating thought – they have to do some serious cross-training to not end up with a seriously lopsided body from going counter-clockwise all the time.

Amanda: That makes sense. I watched a super close preliminary heat yesterday. Current world record holder won by a tiny bit of his skate tip.
Probably. I hope they switch it around sometimes. Not for races, but for training. Maybe?

Lisa: Right.

Amanda: Probably even worse for short track, since don’t get nearly as much of a straightaway as long track.

Lisa: I’ve wondered why their suits are a bit different on the inside of only one leg. But watching today I noticed that when they go around the corners that leg rubs the other leg right where the suit is different. It probably has something to do with the friction between their legs.

Amanda: Hmm. That would make sense.

Lisa: One of the snowboarding coaches keeps his calm at the starting gate by knitting.
That’s rather awesome.

Amanda: Ha! I like it!

Lisa: Iddo, listening to the commentators describing biathlon, “Why do they have to take real good pictures? Shots, I mean.”
I like that she associates shooting with cameras, not guns.

Amanda: I’m glad too.
So, I know there are just generally fewer events during the Winter Olympics.
And I live in the same time zone as the Olympics, so I’m aware of what’s happening now, not a recording of an event of that was packaged from hours ago.
And with streaming I can watch whatever is happening at this moment, which is great.
But due to some combination of these things, there are noticeably fewer things to watch. It’s not an overwhelming inundation of Olympics.
A welcome inundation at times, of course. I love them. But there are definitely times where there isn’t anything watch due to all of the above.
Slope style snowboarding is delayed for at least the next 45 minutes.
Maybe there is actually some figure skating happening. I will investigate.
The live feed commentary is definitely different than the packaged. Lots of accents. Heard a Scottish accent for curling last night. Some British accent right now.
Interesting, they are also showing a running tally of the technical score.
And now either my Roku has frozen or my remote batteries are dead. First world problems.
Remote batteries. Working now and there is definitely nothing live now. Guess I’ll watch the primetime from Sunday night?
And it just went on about how giant slalom is canceled and they are waiting for figure skating too. Soooo. Yeah. Not much on right now.
The US female figure skater for the team event has something on her inner thigh under her tights. A tatto? Kinesio tape? Probably the former.
Based on twitter, I’m guessing the women’s figure skating for the team competition is also on primetime, but with commentary for Jonny Weir and Tara Lipinski. That’s definitely not who I’m listening to, and I’m enjoying the way this is moving along. No cuts for commercial. No extra dramatics while waiting for results.

Lisa: We thought that was really interesting too. Scoring used to be so easy. Out of ten at the end.
I saw that and wondered what it was.
It’s a bit odd to be watching these events live and realize it’s Sunday night for me but Monday morning for them but still live.
It’s like I’m watching the future.
Ice Skating to the Piano Guys – Beethoven’s Secrets.

Amanda: I often feel like I’m living in the future.
I fell asleep on the couch and missed that one. Good nap though.

Lisa: Couches really are the best place to have naps. I’m not sure why.

Amanda: Me neither, but I like it. Woke up in time for a snowboarding victory lap. Now I think my options are limited again.
Considering I was up by 4:30am, our of the house by 6:30am and had been to the doctor, the commissary, and back home by 10am, I feel justified in that nap too.

Lisa: Definitely

Amanda: Looks like there really isn’t much scheduled on the live feed until this evening. Interesting. There really are fewer events.
Prelims and trainings and a hockey game between Switzerland and Japan at 4.

Lisa: I can get curling mixed doubles semifinal #1.
Canada vs. Norway right now.

Amanda: The NBCSN feed is the slopestyle I just watched the end of. And now it’s buffering.
Found this in the replays, but it’s not loading.
I think it’s time for an Olympic break. That’s okay too. This is only the third full day. There will be plenty more.

Lisa: NBC says I should be watching Speedskating.
Curlers have a teflon surface on one shoe and a rubber surface on the other. Apparently they are things that can be slipped onto any shoes.

Amanda: Cool!

Lisa: Ah! Women’s half-pipe.
Half-pipe always makes me think of President Hinckley. He made a comment about it during the 2002 Olympics.

Amanda: I remember that! Turning it on here!

Lisa: You can buy a slip on gripper on Amazon for $14 and a slip on slider for $20.
I was just thinking about how many different uniforms our country needs for the Olympics – Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony, medals ceremonies (I’m assuming they are doing these separate from the events because I’ve only seen them hand out white tigers at the events), and then something different for every sport.

Amanda: Of course you can.

Lisa: I was surprised at the price. Actual shoes are more what I was expecting.

Amanda: I could have sworn I saw them setting up a podium on some ice at some point, but yeah, I think they are different too.

Lisa: They’ve done the podium thing and had the athletes stand at them, but all I’ve seen handed out at the podiums is a stuffed tiger.

Amanda: Does one of your commentators have a British accent?
Ah. Ok.

Lisa: Nope.
I have a mixed doubles commentating team, sound American.

Amanda: So you’re still watching curling?

Lisa: No. I switched over to half-pipe. I just thought I’d use that term for the commentators. :D

Amanda: Heh. Okay. Different feed then.

Lisa: Brett and I make a good mixed-doubles parenting team.

Amanda: That’s good.

Lisa: We each have our strengths. Pretty sure he can throw rocks further than me but I’m probably the better sweeper.

Amanda: Hehe. Nice analogy.

Lisa: Back to the slope style I’ve already seen.

Amanda: Second half pipe run.

Lisa: Back to half pipe.

Amanda: Australian. My color commentary is Australian. He even just said “crikey”

Lisa: Let me know if he says “Bob’s your uncle.” That’s my current favorite Australian saying.
Pretty sure nothing at the Olympics is Bob’s your uncle though.

Amanda: I like that one.

Lisa: The guy who does the tutorials for my video editing software is from Australia and that’s where I learned it.

Amanda: The commentator just congratulated the Japanese snowboarder on excellent runs IN Japanese and I understood it!

Lisa: Yea!!

Amanda: I’ve been in and out actually (decluttering the top of my dresser), so I’m glad I didn’t miss that!
I am amused that Bob’s your uncle would even come up in such a thing.

Lisa: He was explaining how to do something and you push this button and click that option and Bob’s your uncle and you’ve done it.

Amanda: That’s what I guessed. That’s fun.

Lisa: I had to look up whether that meant it was hard or easy.

Amanda: Yay for learning new things while learning other new things!

Lisa: Always learning.

Amanda: As we should.

Lisa: Tiger ceremony explained – https://slate.com/culture/2018/02/the-winter-olympics-stuffed-animal-ceremony-explained.html
That was my guess.

Amanda: Oh, okay. I’m good with that. I hadn’t realized that the nightly ceremonies were Winter tradition. I remember it from SLC, not since.

Lisa: I was thinking the same thing. I remember them doing it in SLC but hadn’t paid attention at other ones.
Yikes – bad commentating, let’s replay another rider’s fall that let’s someone else move on to the finals and say “Here’s the fall that let’s Arielle Gold into the final.” Rude. Show us Arielle’s run, not the Canadian who fell down.
That was just bad form.

Amanda: Yeah, that’s kind of lame.

Lisa: They did show Arielle’s run, but they first had to show the Canadian’s fall, in slow motion, with that comment.

Amanda: It may not be untrue, but it seems unkind.

Lisa: Exactly. And that’s not what the Olympics are about.

Amanda: Current live offerings: figure skating training, doubles life training. Let’s see if the NBCSN feed works.
Oh cool. Speed skating.

Lisa: I’m watching the speed skating.

Amanda: Men’s 5k? Sven Kramer?

Lisa: Yup.
It’s a replay. Still fun.

Amanda: Tom Hammond commentating?

Lisa: Possibly. I’m not sure who all the commentators are.
“He hasn’t gone to all the gears that everyone seems to have” or something like that.

Amanda: He’s one of the few I know by voice.
I’m a few seconds behind you, but I heard that.

Lisa: It took me a while to type that.

Amanda: I have three laps to go.

Lisa: Check out the inner right thigh. There’s something different on their suits there.

Amanda: Yep!

Lisa: Bell lap.

Amanda: So about a minute behind. 30 seconds per lap.

Lisa: 🎶 Somewhere, out there, beneath the pale blue light, someone’s watching speed skating, and loving me tonight…

Amanda: Hehe. Yep! That’s twice we’ve used that song lately. The first being the blood moon.
His arms are really skinny.

Lisa: It’s probably just that his legs are really thick.
I’ve decided to just be amazed that their legs are equally thick.

Amanda: I think it’s a combination.
8 foot stride! That’s huge!

Lisa: Brett was commenting that they seem to go side-to-side a lot, but apparently they’re supposed to.

Amanda: Side to side in their stride or switching lanes?

Lisa: In their stride.
I remember a few Olympics ago someone got disqualified because their coach gave them the wrong lane changing information. It was devastating.

Amanda: Okay. Thought so. Just making sure.
I would not like to do a wall sit for 6.5 minutes thank you very much.

Lisa: Nope. Me either.

Amanda: Oog. A crash right away. That’s not great.

Lisa: Oooh!! This race is awesome!

Amanda: This was a Sunday event, right? I feel like we had it on yesterday, but it was as we were getting dinner on the table.

Lisa: We watched it about 12 hours ago.

Amanda: Then, yeah, probably. It was 24 hours ago if this was the same event. Very cool!

Lisa: It was great to talk with Iddo about it because she fell during her last race but got back up and finished.

Amanda: Good for her!

Lisa: We’re trying to help her learn that when she doesn’t succeed the first time or when things get hard that she should keep going.

Amanda: Very good thing to learn.

Lisa: She gets real frustrated when things don’t work the first time.

Amanda: I think that’s normal.

Lisa: I heard her crying like her arm had fallen off the other day during nap/quiet time. Nope. She just hadn’t mastered drawing a heart yet and is frustrated because Valentine’s Day is coming.

Amanda: Poor girl!

Lisa: Bed time.

Amanda: Good night!
There are a lot of “yeah, duh” moments in response to the Olympic commentary. I guess they need to talk about something, but explaining that the loser of a bronze medal match goes home empty handed is a “yeah, duh” moment. But I’m watching the curling match where you learned about the shoe covers.

Olympics Opening Ceremony Commentary

Categories: Olympics

Olympic ringsThe interesting thing about our commentary this year is the time zone difference. Amanda watched the Opening Ceremonies over twelve hours before I did. So she and Blake (her mixed doubles partner) made their comments. And then hours later I watched it with my team and made my comments and replied to a lot of hers. Just sort it out best you can. Because of the time zone difference there are even events we get to watch live together.

Also interesting, I get NBC commentary. Amanda gets either no commentary, random commentary of unknown origin, or NBC commentary.

So, here it goes.

Amanda: Watching the Opening Ceremonies without NBC commentary is a very different experience. If there was a story with the dance-y stuff, I don’t know it. Recognized a few cultural items from my travels there. They got right to the parade of nations too – a much shorter cultural presentation thus far. I like how they are projecting the country names onto the stadium floor.
The country names are being show on the screen too, but no info on how many athletes.
Our delegation seems smaller than usual. I realize that in general, the Winter Olympics are smaller than Summer, but still.
I love that Bermuda always wears Bermuda shorts.
Blake’s comment on Slovenia’s team uniform – none of them are getting run over tonight.
We are just cruising through this. Smaller delegations. Shorter track. Maybe because there are no commercials and so it’s proceeding at the proper speed.
Also, since this is proceeding in order of the Korean alphabet, I have no idea where we are in the process.
Blake points out that it’s interesting that it’s Chinese Taipei and not Taiwan.
There is an athlete from Turkey who winked at someone. But who!? And how did she know to wink at that moment? Did she know that the camera was on her?
The Tongan flag bearer is back.
Puerto Rico gets its own delegation!?
Do any of our other territories?
Getting a little teary with the joint Korean delegation.
More cultural presentation!
This flame has done everything!

Lisa: I’m excited to watch it! I’ll let you know if there’s any interesting commentary. And especially if there’s any crazy commentary.
Iddo, looking at a bag of Japanese candy: I see that they wrote it all in Japanese.
Me: Yup.
Iddo: Why didn’t they write it in Hebrew?
Me: Because they don’t speak Hebrew in Japan.
Awesomeness about doing our commentary on WhatsApp this year – easy copy/paste from the laptop version to my blog.

Amanda: Please do!
Ha! Silly girl.
I also realized that we will be able to watch some things simultaneously with the live feed. It will be the packages and edited prime time stuff I miss.

Amanda: Curling time!

Lisa: 👍🏻
Opening Ceremonies start here soon.

Amanda: I’m curious how long they take for you. Without commercials or commentary or editing, we were done in 2 hours 15 minutes.

Lisa: Broadcast started almost 30 minutes ago and we still haven’t gotten to the ceremonies.

Amanda: Interesting.
We turned them on just after start time right as the countdown hit 1. No filler here!

Lisa: Iddo: Mom, why are they having them talk about it?
Me: So that you can get to know them and care about them.
Brett: Iddo, do you care about them?
Iddo: No.

Amanda: Also, the commentary for live curling sounded different than the replay from yesterday. More dry and only one person. I feel like there were two during the replay.
Also, I’m heading out for the day. So, no new commentary from me until we get home. Looks like we have at least luge and short track speed skating to look forward to!
It’s Norway with the crazy pants https://www.metro.us/sports/crazy-curling-pants-norway

Lisa: I got the first half hour of the Opening Ceremonies broadcast. I’m going to miss the first half hour of the replay now. But by the time I go to bed tonight I’ll have seen the whole thing.
Things Brett learned while watching the Parade of Nations with the kids – there’s a country called Togo. It has 2 delegates. The Tongan athlete that followed them was shirtless and covered in coconut oil, which Brett believes was freezing to his body. He was in the summer Olympics two years ago and switched sports.
What is up with the gloves on our Opening Ceremonies outfits?
It was a representation of the origins of Korea from the mountains and how everything comes from the same source and so it’s possible for everything to exist in peace and harmony. The two sided drums represent the Yin Yang, which originally meant the north and south side of the mountain, which both represent the mountain, and now means opposites existing in harmony. The drumming was showing how we can accomplish so much together. Now you are all caught up on the commentary before the Parade of Nations.
It’s the largest winter Olympic team ever actually.
And not just from us, that’s all countries.
I noticed that while watching curling yesterday.
Vice President Pence was there as the political leader from our country. He brought as his guest Fred Warmbier, whose son, Otto, was a prisoner in North Korea for 17 months before being sent home in a coma and shortly after died. Seated behind VP Pence was Kim Yo Jong, the sister of Kim Jong Un. Just how many political statements can be made in one night?
Brett thought that was a rather interesting statement as well.
The song after the Parade is 600 years old and about how you can find beauty in tragedy.
The thing that gets me about Asian cultures is how ancient they are. And so continuous.
The US coats have a heating element in the back to keep the wearer warm.
I actually do not like the song “Imagine.” We need to live for more than just today. We need something to die for because then you have something to live for.
The song presents a false illusion of peace. It’s a good illusion though because a lot of people have bought into it.
The lighted rings over the ski slope were drones.
Wind chill at the raising of the Olympic flag is -14. I hope the Tongan guy had a coat waiting for him.

Amanda: I saw that he switched. Wonder if he’s actually any good at his new sport.
They looked like reindeer or something in the brief glance I got at them.
Nice! And very interesting! Thank you!

Lisa: They are leather with fringe on the side of the pinky fingers.

Amanda: Cool!

Lisa: I figured that was the type of commentary you’d be interested in.

Amanda: We figured out Pence and the Sister. I also recognized the prime minister of Japan and his wife very quickly. Did not know about Mr Warmbier. Wow.
Also neat!
I agree about this. I love it.
Nice! I could use a coat like that.
Agreed. The sentiment of doing away with the things that divide us is good, but I don’t agree with these specifics.
Changing trains. Brb.

Lisa: I’ve noticed that the prime-time type commentary is different than the on-demand and live commentary.
Dang! Talk about a stair workout getting that Olympic flame up that hill.
The two women carrying it up the stairs are on the Korean women’s ice hockey team, one from the north and one from the south.
They said that due to time there were some aspects of the ceremony that they weren’t broadcasting but all of it, sans commentary, is available online. Running time including commercials from the finish for broadcast was 2.5 hours.

Amanda: Thanks! We were wondering! They were really neat.

Lisa: Goblins have magical abilities that help humans and give us luck.

Amanda: 😬 I hope so too.

Lisa: It’s goblins dancing after the cauldron lighting.

Amanda: Okay. That’s definitely weird. Makes about as much sense as reindeer.

Lisa: I like watching the Opening Ceremonies for the cultural information they share.

Amanda: Makes sense I suppose, though that does make for extra work and cost.

Amanda: Seriously!

Lisa: Here’s a good picture of the gloves – https://slate.com/culture/2018/02/team-usas-opening-ceremony-outfits-for-the-pyeongchang-games-reviewed.html
Pretty sure our kids didn’t see all these fireworks at the end because I didn’t hear them crying, and they would’ve.

Amanda: The announcers at the stadium announced that, and the other torch and flag bearers names and roles.
Hmmm. I wonder what you missed.
I am not currently remembering the goblins. 🤔

Lisa: Fire dancers at the end.

Amanda: Are they going horseback riding later? 🤨

Lisa: Probably just shortened songs and dance things.
They’re taking up falconing.
We’re all cowboys here, remember?

Amanda: Ha!
Okay. Sort of coming back.
Bummer. Those were cool. Also probably didn’t see ALL of the parade of nations.

Lisa: I think they showed every country for at least a moment.

Amanda: Me too! I’m looking forward to the Tokyo Games to see what I already know and can figure out without commentary. I also suspect I will get homesick.
That must be it.
We got equal time with all of them.

Lisa: I had to watch the US team take selfies for probably 10 minutes as they walked in.

Amanda: So, to have this all make sense in a blog, you’re probably going to have to put my responses as if we were actually going back and forth and responding immediately.

Lisa: 8 other countries were announced while they kept showing us. After the commercial break they went back and showed the ones they missed for just long enough to say what the country was and who was carrying the flag.
I’m not sure how I’m going to organize it for the blog. I’ll figure that out tomorrow.

Amanda: 😂

Lisa: Also tomorrow I have to figure out more than what socks I’m going to wear for my lesson on Sunday, like, the lesson.

Amanda: For a second I was worried because that would be too late. But then I remembered that it’s Saturday tomorrow for you.

Lisa: Time zones are crazy things.

Amanda: Very.

Lisa: I’ll be picking it up with snowboarding and luge tomorrow morning it looks like from the broadcast schedule.

Amanda: 👍🏻

I’m feeling very Olympic today!

Categories: Olympics

Olympic rings


Nope. Not excited or anything. Just totally looking forward to them again and plan to have them on as much as possible during my awake hours.

Also looking forward to doing the now traditional commentary with Amanda, which will be slightly different this year since she’s in Japan and I’m in Arizona so our time zones are completely off and I’ll be listening to the NBC commentary (and commenting on it) and her not so much. But since we’ve already started it last night during some preliminary events and I woke up this morning to her commentary on the opening ceremonies (she’ll get my responses tonight), we can already tell you it’s going to be good.

Events I’m looking forward to:

  • Snowboard anything, particularly snowboard cross because that sport is just crazy.
  • Moguls
  • Curling (got some in last night)
  • Luge & Skeleton, because those scare me
  • Bobsled. Go Jamaica!
  • Hockey
  • Speed skating, particularly the sprint track

I remember being completely fascinated with figure skating when watching the Olympics as a kid. And I’ll still watch it (because it’s going to dominate prime time). And I’ll still enjoy it. But I’m kind of over it.

What I’m most looking forward to: watching our kids watch it. Two years ago we got this bit of awesomeness from Shimri:

She still remembers her trick too. We’re going to make her do it every two years for the Olympics for as long as we can and then we’ll pay her to do it after that. Because awesome. Here’s her doing it earlier this week for our friends at the children’s museum.

Doing her Olympic trick

And here’s our pre-Olympic commentary to kick things off.

Amanda: Since I live in the same time zone as the Olympics and will be watching mostly through the NBC live feed (if not in person, still need to sort that out) and not the coverage packages, our commentary tradition will be quite different.
Lisa: True. But still fun. Traditions change or die.
Amanda: This is true!
Lisa: Watching USA vs Korea curling. 🥌
Mixed doubles. The US team is a brother/sister team.
I could switch over to figure skating right now, but I’m kind of invested in this curling match now. A match we are losing miserably.
Amanda: There will be more figure skating I’m sure.
Lisa: Prime time will be all figure skating. I want to see more of the other events.
Amanda: I fully support that. And agree. I think this live streaming thing will be handy.
Lisa: Two years ago Iddo told me to turn off the TV because she was tired of it being on. I’m expecting her to do that again.
She also refuses sugar treats regularly as well. She’s an odd duck.
Amanda: It does get to be a lot by the end.
I just spent an inordinate amount of money on fancy KitKats. I do not understand her.
Lisa: Interesting, both the US and Korean curlers yell “hard” when they want their partner to sweep fast.
I was surprised to understand the Korean screaming.
Amanda: Hard is easier to say than fast I think. Must be easier in English than Korean too.
Lisa: I want a pair of curling shoes.
They aren’t using the Korean word though. They are using the English word.
Amanda: Don’t they have awesome pants too?
Lisa: It’s probably the term used in the sport and since they’ve adopted the sport they’ve adopted the terms too.
Amanda: Right. So hard in English is easier than its korean equivalent. That’s what I meant.
Lisa: The shoes slide so easily. It’d be fun to go around the ice in those shoes instead of skates.
Amanda: I would appreciate that. Skates and my ankles are bad news.
{photo} One of my fancy KitKat boxes.
Lisa: Brett is duly impressed with Japanese KitKats.
I want to see as much snowboard as I can too. Snowboard cross is insane.
And I love the moguls.
Really, kind of over figure skating.
Amanda: Me too. Too impressed maybe.
{photo} Other fancy box.
I’m excited that they can use songs with words now. And one pair is using a cover by a BYU student.
I wonder when that is and if it’s while I might be there. I’d forgotten that one and it’s great!
Lisa: KitKat has always been one of my favorite candies. I think I need a Japanese passport stamp to check out this phenomenon myself.
Amanda: I’ll keep sending you KitKats too. Just not these fancy ones. Too expensive to share. 😉
Lisa: Understand. Brett loves white chocolate too so that was a great send in the last box. His favorite candies right now are cookies and cream Kisses.
Amanda: Those are tasty.
I’m glad the white chocolate was a hit!
Lisa: I can’t decide which would scare me more – luge or skeleton. Luge you can’t see where you’re going. Skeleton you can and your chin is an inch from the ice.
Amanda: I was so glad my toboggan at the Great Wall had speed control
Also, auto suggest had Redeemer instead of Wall. Probably because I did hymns for sacrament recently. Still. That was nice.
Lisa: That is nice.
Iddo was rhyming with “itch” the other day and I texted the results to Brett. I’m still waiting to see what that does to my predictive text.
Crap! These lugers are going 75+ miles per hour!
Amanda: My dad’s voice to text accidentally typed b***h (unedited) to the whole family the other day.
Lisa: Brett’s voice to text took “Also, I forget, do you prefer an M or a G as your primary middle initial?” and did this “Also, I forget, do you prefer an orgy as your dining room and I want to shop?”
Amanda: And now I’m trying not to lose it on this train.
But I’m laughing hard on the inside.
Lisa: 😁
Amanda: I am down to 14% battery. Good thing I’m close to home!
I blame maps.
Using my battery.
Lisa: Totally blogging all this. I’m feeling very Olympic!
Amanda: Yay!
As I suspected! My fancy KitKat tube has a keychain! This justifies the purchase more!
(Just got home)
Lisa: I don’t think I would’ve ever suspected a keychain in a KitKat.
Amanda: They had the contents of the tube on display, which included a keychain.
Lisa: Ah. In which case I might have suspected it.
Amanda: Yep. 😊
Amanda: All set up with the Olympics on my Roku. This is the way I’ve wanted to watch them for years – on demand and live. I can watch the USvKOR curling match!
Some team 4 years ago had great curling pants. I don’t remember who. Maybe the Swiss?

Groundhog Party!

Categories: Happy Things, With the Kiddos

Last year on February 2nd I thought it would be fun to do shadow puppets with the kids to celebrate Groundhog Day, but not last year because I hadn’t thought of it soon enough and I didn’t think Shimri and Shimei particularly would be that interested in it given their age. So I put that thought away for later.

About two weeks ago I remembered that thought and had a second thought. I knew it would be fun to do with our kids, but I also knew that Iddo loves getting together with her friends so I suggested to her that we invite some of her friends over and we have a Groundhog Day party. Because why not. She LOVED the idea and was so excited. She started counting down till Groundhog Day. Nobody has ever looked forward to Groundhog Day more than she did this year.

So Iddo colored some groundhogs and we put together some invites and she was so excited to take them around to her friends. Then I started pulling together all the activities I could that dealt with shadows and sunlight. We live in Tucson, so we could pretty much count on a lot of sun for a Groundhog Day party.

We were definitely doing shadow puppets. I had some sun print paper left from the solar eclipse last summer. Amazon suggested I buy some UV reactive beads to go with the sun print paper, so I did. And for some strange reason I have a prairie dog/groundhog cookie cutter, and fun days at our house always involve sugar cookies.

We started the party by stringing the beads to make some bracelets that changed colors every time we ran outside to do another activity (the photo below was taken inside so the beads all look white). I cut out some shadow puppet shapes – animals, butterflies, suns, and moons, for everyone and after making our bracelets they each got to put their shapes on a piece of sun print paper and we watched the shadows make a design on the paper. After making the sun prints we taped the shapes to skewers and they each got a chance to sit behind the shadow puppet screen and tell us a quick story. To finish the party they each decorated a huge groundhog cookie with M&Ms and sprinkles.

Speaking for myself, and based on the noises from the girls, it was a successful party.

Watching the show
Party results

Happy Groundhog Day!

The Moon!!

Categories: Family, Happy Things, Learn Something, With the Kiddos

In August we were in Kentucky to see the total solar eclipse. Our kids thought it was awesome. And it was. This morning they got to see a different type of eclipse and were pretty excited about it as well.

Last night before bed I took them all outside our front door and we looked up at the giant super moon that was big and bright in the sky. We told them it was a blue moon but they all agreed it actually looked white. I told them I’d be coming to get them real early in the morning because the moon was going to go into the shadow of the earth and wanted them to see what color it was going to be then. We had them guess. Shimei guessed blue, it’s his favorite color and we had told him it was a blue moon after all, or black.

At 6:00 this morning (normal wake up time at our house is 8am) I picked up each of them out of their bed one at a time and took them into the backyard so they could see the moon in a total eclipse, and then they all went back to sleep. They were excited to see that it was red. I talked with Iddo about how if the moon is in the Earth’s shadow where would she need to point to be pointing at the sun. We noticed how many stars we could see with the moon darkened. Shimei was next and after noticing the color told me, “The stars can play with the moon!” And then Shimri was last. She thought the color was great.

Photo by Amanda Roberts

Izri didn’t get to go outside to see the moon but I found it fascinating how before the eclipse I could sit in my chair by the window to nurse him and enough moon light was coming through the blinds that I could see the details of his face but when I got up with him at 5:30, well into the eclipse but not at totality yet, it was too dark to see more than his outline.

We’re going to go back out tonight before bed to see what color the moon is again.

The miracle of the stockings

Categories: Life

Brett and I got married in November 2009 and a month later needed stockings for Christmas. So I told Brett we would be making them and called him from Hancock Fabrics and asked him what he wanted to decorate his with. He told me he wanted to use gold glitter. In his mind I was buying cheap ready made stockings and we’d be decorating them with glitter and Elmer’s glue. That evening he discovered otherwise. I had red satin fabric that we appliquéd gold and silver lamé to (him a gold Aleph and Tav, me silver snowflakes). Then I quilted them and put them together and we hung them up for Christmas. The following year I embroidered our names on them.

At Christmas 2012 I was pregnant with Iddo and went to JoAnns to buy some red satin to make another stocking with. But when I got home the JoAnn satin was too orange compared with the Hancock satin so I returned the JoAnns and bought more from Hancocks and made another stocking. This time with a green satin Christmas tree. The following year (after she was born), I embroidered her name on it.

At Christmas 2014 I was pregnant with Shimri and Shimei. I went back to Hancocks and bought some more red satin and made two more stockings. Shimri’s has a white and yellow candle and Shimei’s has a yellow and white star. The following year (after they were born), I embroidered their names on them.

In July of 2016 Hancock Fabrics went out of business. But that was okay. We were finished with our family and I had a matching set of five beautiful red stockings.

At Christmas 2016 I was pregnant with Izri. I just didn’t know it.

So Christmas 2017. Izri is very much a part of our family and he needs to be included as such. Which meant I needed a sixth red satin stocking, made out of red satin from a store that doesn’t exist any more. I found scraps from Brett’s and my stockings that would be enough for me to do the front half of a stocking, but not a whole stocking. I’d heard rumors that Michael’s had bought the fabric line from Hancock and was selling it online. I could order a swatch to see if the red satin matched for $2 plus shipping, or I could throw caution to the wind and buy a whole yard for $5 plus shipping. I bought the yard.

The package arrived and I nervously opened it up. I pulled it out. It was definitely the right type of fabric. I got my scraps out to compare the color.

Perfect match!

And so I made a sixth stocking. This time with a gold present with a green bow.

Next Christmas I’ll embroider his name on it.

The full set