7 Quick Takes: Olympics Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Simone Biles. As I’m starting to draft this post on Tuesday night, this is the best thing I’ve read concerning Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from the team final. (The Tl;dr of it is that people are horrified 25 years after the fact regarding Bela Karolyi ordering Kerri Strug to “shake it off” and vault again on her broken ankle.)

P.S. Kerri Strug supports Simone’s decision to withdraw.

— 2 —

Why Simone’s departure was important. Want to know why Simone said she was not comfortable competing with “the twisties”? Hannah Renno explains the damage that can happen with a bad landing on a twisting element.

There’s also the story of Elena Mukhina that illustrates why gymnasts need to be able to advocate for themselves.

— 3 —

Also… HOW COMPLETELY AWESOME WERE GRACE McCALLUM, JORDAN CHILES, AND SUNI LEE ON TUESDAY NIGHT?!?!?!?!?!? HOW AMAZING WAS SUNI LEE TONIGHT?!?!?!?!?

They proved that the US Women’s team is not just Simone Biles. The girls gave Russia a challenge on Tuesday night. Suni Lee fought hard and won a well-deserved gold medal tonight.

— 4 —

Katie Ledecky. She may not have won gold in all her events in Rio, but she had the fastest split time of every swimmer competing in the 4×200 relay. She was also swimming the 1500m race faster than some of the men at the US Swimming training camp in Hawaii, so I’m not remotely surprised that she won it.

I can’t wait to see her in the 800m freestyle final tomorrow.

— 5 —

Caeleb Dressel. Loved the 100m race last night, and I’m looking forward to the 100m butterfly final tomorrow night!

— 6 —

The Olympic dream. One of the really cool thing has been when an unexpected person wins the gold. Case-in-point: Ahmed Hafnaoui, the teenager from Tunisia who won gold in the 400m freestyle. It was an absolute shocker to everyone in the pool.

— 7 —

Divided loyalties. There’s an Irish gymnast that is a medal contender on the pommel horse as well as an American who is also in the event final. Do I go with the ancestral homeland or the USA? Decisions, decisions!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: COVID, Politics, and 21st Blogging Anniversary Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Andrew Fauci vs. Rand Paul. I saw this meme today and was curious about it.

Apparently, Rand Paul (who has a medical degree but is not certified by any reputable board) decided to repeat the fallacy about Anthony Fauci having ties to the lab in Wuhan that created COVID. Sorry Rand, I’m with Dr. Fauci on this one, given that he actually has the credentials to back him up, something you don’t have.

— 2 —

Dispatch from a doctor. My friend Katie is a pro-life Catholic hospitalist (adding the adjectives in case people might listen better with them), and she posted the following message:

Vax up!

For those who aren’t aware, a “hospitalist” is a doctor who takes care of you IN THE HOSPITAL. (The red spot on her forehead is from the faceshield she wears in addition to her mask when she walks into a patient’s room.) In other words, she’s seeing scary cases coming into the hospital again. Listen to Katie. Vax up!

— 3 —

Break-through cases. For those who are going to cite the fact that there are still people who are vaccinated that get COVID, here’s the difference between someone who is vaccinated and someone who is unvaccinated:

Vax vs. un-vax

— 4 —

Make good choices. I thought this was interesting advice.

Make good choices.

— 5 —

Finally, someone putting my feelings into words. For those people who say that other people should deal with [insert thing] because they had to deal with it, I have a message for you:

Weird, miserable energy.

— 6 —

U.S. residential school stories. For those who remember me blogging on residential schools for Native Americans a few weeks ago, one of the things I promised to do was learn more about the issue in the USA. Here are a few stories I read this week:

AP: US churches reckon with traumatic legacy of Native schools

AP: Tribe claims remains of kids who died at assimilation school

Salt Lake Tribune: Lost lives, lost culture: The forgotten history of Indigenous boarding schools

— 7 —

My blog is old enough to drink. So, um, my blog turned 21 on July 20th. *raises my can of Coke to it*

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Home Free Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’ve been binging Home Free’s music lately, so here are some cool vids with my sparkling commentary.

— 1 —

“Everybody Walkin’This Land”. My priest shared this on Election Day, and I blame him for addicting me to this group. It made an impression me, both because of the words and the harmonies.

— 2 —

“Children, Go Where I Send Thee”. I usually post a song on the church Facebook page on Sunday mornings that has something to do with the readings or Fr. Paul’s sermon. This particular song happened to be the one I posted last Sunday.

— 3 —

“American Pie”. Yes, that is the amazing Don McLean (the person who WROTE AND RECORDED the original song) singing with them. No, I am totally not singing along. I’m not! I’m not! I’m not!

— 4 —

“Sea Shanty Medley”. This is absolutely worth watching, especially as I grew up listening to people like The Irish Rovers and The Kingston Trio do these… and Home Free is just as good if not better!

— 5 —

“The Gambler”. I think I actually prefer this to the Kenny Rogers version.

— 6 —

“How Great Thou Art”. It’s an amazing video, beautiful harmonies, beautiful scenery, and they even mix a little bit of my favorite hymn (“It Is Well With My Soul”) into it. 🙂

— 7 —

“Elvira”. This video one big fanboy jam session with The Oak Ridge Boys. They all look like they are having the absolute best time!

— Bonus —

“Castle on the Hill”. I had never heard the Ed Sheeran song, so this inspired me to go look it up. (I like Home Free’s cover better.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum. While you’re there, congratulate her on Accepting the Gift being a semi-finalist in the OSV Challenge.

7 Quick Takes: Residential Schools and Other Things Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Residential school take #1. I’ve been horrified in recent weeks by the discovery of 751 unmarked graves at the Indian residential school in Marieval and the discovery of the remains of 200+ kids at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. I mean, these are the kids who went missing for decades, and families were told that they “ran away”. Yeah no, they didn’t. One of the most horrifying things for me to see is that Marieval was functional until 1997. In other words, THESE SCHOOLS EXISTED UNTIL I WAS A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL.

I also just found out while reading about the situation that there’s another cemetery of 182 unmarked graves near Cranbrook, BC that was found a few days ago.

— 2 —

Residential school take #2. This is all hitting me hard because I used to judge speech meets in north-central Montana, and one of the teams was from Browning High School. Browning is located on the Blackfeet reservation. Most of the students are Native-American as are the coaches. The reservation looks like the ghetto of a major U.S. city because of the poverty there. It’s not surprising that there’s a lot of crime, alcohol and drug use, and poverty there given what the government has done to many Native-American tribes. The high school is beautiful, however, and the kids were amazing competitors. We got to know some of the kids and the coaches in the 3 years we judged speech meets, and I got to judge two of them AT the high school. Their team fed everyone (judges, kids, and parents) an amazing lunch (Indian tacos and blueberries), and they stocked the judges room with every kind of snack food and soda imaginable. For the awards ceremony, they had a cultural program aspect. I’m really bummed that I missed the hoop dancers one year, and they’d have an elder from the tribe doing an honor song every year. Miss Heart Butte (in her special tribal dress) would hand out the awards.

When I hear about the mass graves at the residential schools, it’s these speech and debate kids that I am envisioning. Many members of the tribe were sent away to Chemawa Indian School in Oregon among others, and I only found out about it while reading the obits in the Great Falls Tribune few months ago. While Chemawa isn’t a horrible place (at least today), I’m really wondering if some of the blight I saw on the Blackfeet reservation is due to the abuse done in some residential schools that tribal members attended.

— 3 —

Residential school take #3. Something that I think is meaningful was the Calgary City Council going to the Treaty 7 First Nations and asking them the city should do. The Treaty 7 leaders told them to make Canada Day an occasion to actually *TALK* about what happened so that there could be an ability to move on together as a nation. The fireworks went ahead at night, but they were in honor of the lost children instead of celebrating Canada’s confederation.

My friend Dave posted a picture of his family on Canada Day, and I was heartened to see that the flag was at half-staff per Justin Trudeau’s instructions.

— 4 —

Residential school take #4. As much as I’m talking about Canada’s horrible history, the same thing happened in the USA, and I haven’t seen a lot of talk about it except for some statements by Deb Haaland, the Secretary of the Interior. She has created the Federal Indian Boarding Schools Initiative to investigate the damage done by them further and to see if there are unmarked graves. I’m really happy that President Biden chose her as the Secretary of the Interior for many reasons and this is one of them.

One of the things I’m going to be doing is learning more about the issue in the USA as well as learning more about the tribes in my area. My church is actually reaching out to one of them to get to know them, so that is going to be part of it for me.

— 5 —

Heat wave. We survived the weekend where we had temperatures of 104F. We thankfully have air-conditioning, and we used all the tricks we know from not having A/C in my childhood home. We are pretty lucky because a lot of homes don’t have it, and people were having severe problems with it as a result. I think the HVAC industry is going to be jumping for a few months…

— 6 —

Progress. On Tuesday, I managed to tell my depression to take a flying leap, and I got my desk cleaned off as well as a corner of my room decluttered. I feel proud of myself even though it’s kind of pathetic.

— 7 —

Mount Rainier’s Osceola Flow. This is my latest YouTube rabbit hole. It’s fascinating that a lahar from Mt. Rainier created the bedrock on which the city of Tacoma is built.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.