making owls cool since 1986

We moved to Arizona to see burrow owls. Where the hell are all the burrow owls?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thunderstorms and Olympic Monotony

The Big One

The other night Tucson was hit by a huge thunderstorm. It rained, it hailed, and the wind was strong enough to take the metal lid off the grill. Pretty serious stuff. Thousands of people lost power for over a day. It was a weird storm. The lightning was going off close to our house for a long while before the rain started. This gave me time to get plenty of pictures.

Lightning Bolt

Lightning pictures are impressive and fairly easy to take. Actually, they're pretty difficult to take during the day. I tried that at Tumacacori National Monument (an old mission) last week and I couldn't get a single bolt. However, at night all you need to do is turn the ISO way down, the aperture way up, put the shutter speed on bulb, and wait. I choose the low ISO and high aperture so I can leave the shutter open for a long time. This increases the chance that lightning will go off while it's open.


There are more lightning shots on Flickr, as well as pictures from two recent hikes I took: Mount Humphrey and Four Peaks. I'll be posting our pictures from our trip to Tumacacori soon.

On a completely different topic, I have been watching the Olympics. This is mostly because Erin watches them. I am not entirely enjoying the Olympics because I can't stand the commentators. The competition is fun to watch. It's fun to cheer on the United States. It's fun to watch Micheal Phelps set records and break records. However, it is NOT fun to listen to the asinine, repetitive dialogue of the commentators that NEVER STOPS! This is what I have learned from listening to hours of Olympic commentary:

1. Michael Phelps is God.
2. His mother is there.
3. Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte are friends, which is apparently surprising because they compete against one another.
4. Ryan Lochte is laid back.
5. The Olympics are in Beijing.
6. Dara Torres is 41.
7. Dara Torres is 41.
8. Nastia Luikin was born in Moscow.
9. Nastia Luikin and Shawn Johnson are friends, which is apparently surprising because they compete against one another.
10. Nastia Luikin's father won a gold medal for the Soviet Union.
11. Dara Torres is 41.

That's it. Over hours of coverage. If you tried to take a shot every time they mention that Dara Torres is 41, you would die faster than she could finish a race. Yes, it's impressive that she's 41, but have you seen her? She's in incredible shape! If she was 80 and winning races, that would be surprising. If she was a big, fat slob and winning races, that would also be surprising. If she had some sort of mental or physical handicap and was winning races - surprise! An incredibly fit, athletic woman in her early forties should be commended for staying competitive, but I'm sure there's a lot more to Dara Torres and her story than just her age.

Can you tell that I hate the Olympic commentators? They are ruining the Olympics for me. I'm pretty sure dolphins and horses have more communicative vocal variation than these people. Shut up and let us watch.

The interviewers are idiots as well. When poor Alicia Sacramone made a mistake in woman's team gymnastics, they couldn't rub it in fast enough. The Chinese team's difficulty scores would have prohibited the U.S. team from getting gold anyway, so Sacramone's mistakes did exactly nothing - U.S. still took silver just like they would have if she hadn't made any mistakes. Still, the reporters couldn't rub her nose in her failure fast enough and torture her by asking other teammates how they felt when Sacramone fell right in front of her. Her teammates gave classy answers, but someone should have told the reporter to shove it.

Did anyone notice how the commentators kept insinuating that the Chinese women gymnasts weren't 15-years-old? They have no proof or evidence other than the fact that they don't look 15-years-old. Shawn Johnson doesn't look 16. Maybe Chinese audiences don't believe that she's 16. They're not used to looking at 15-year-old American female gymnasts, just like we're not used to looking at 15-year-old Chinese gymnasts. Stupid.

I wonder what they'll find to repeat over and over and over during track and field.

Did you know that Dara Torres is 41. She is. She's older than dirt. Paleontologists have discovered new Dara Torres fossils in Montana. Carbon dating has confirmed that she's been in the Olympics 5 times, one of which was the original Grecian Olympics in 776. B.C.E. God actually created Dara Torres on the second day.

I think I'm ready to be a commentator in London in 2012. By then Dara Torres will be 45. I can't wait.


Anonymous Sean said...

I really like lightening photos.

I can't stand how the news keeps implying that the Chinese gymnasts are underage. I'm sure that the Olympics committee is on top of that sort of thing and would have taken action if there was an ounce of truth to the accusation.

I'm also tired of hearing about how the little girl lip synced "Ode to the Motherland" during the opening ceremony. Yes, I feel bad for the girl who sang but that doesn't mean that we should treat the 9-year old who appeared like dirt.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Jen + Kev said...

the lightening pictures are amazing- what great shots those are!!
and i agree that it shouldn't be so surprising that Dara Torres is 41 and in the olympics- she is in amazing shape. haha its funny though cause kev's mom always talks about her she calls her -her hero.

9:19 AM  
Blogger the unreliable narrator said...

We sat on our front lawn and watched the lightning and shivered and were glad we weren't 90 miles to the south of here. (Even though it's, like, the Berkeley of central AZ down there. You have Sprouts and Charles Olsen conferences and everything. You're *both* traitors now.)

If Dana Torres is older than Miss Havisham, I am glad, because that means I'm positively YOUTHFUL.

9:29 AM  

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