Tuesday, February 25, 2014

London Olympic pool now open for the swimming public - Come one, come all!

For the pool to be "swimmable" they had to remove 15,000 temporary seats at the edges and cover the sides of the pool with windows. It seemingly works very well. I don't really like this architect very much for I find her designs a bit repetitive but the London Olympic pool is a majestic spectacle and I look forward to swimming it. 

China on the other hand really dropped on their grand aquatics center. Gala to see England is more industrious.

SCAQ may challenge Great Britain's masters swimmers to a meet. (Ooops! did i just say that? The keyboard may have been drinking here.)

 From Dezeen
In a statement released ahead of the centre's reopening on 1 March, mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "After a post-Olympic makeover, London’s majestic aquatics centre is now flinging open its doors for everyone to enjoy, whether an elite athlete or enthusiastic amateur." 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

They paid the rent but will they be able to use the pool - "Poolitics" slams a swanky block in Manhattan?

I read the article three times and I still have no clue how New York manages it real estate and the ownership issues therein. For instance, people in L.A. rent apartments whereas people in New York buy apartments. A landlord in Los Angles owns the apartment building but in New York "co-ops" can own the building. We call those people investors or stock holders.

Hmmm, Co-op? Isn't that something hippies did in the 1960's in places called communes and pig farms? I digress,  there are only 150-pools in Manhattan and most of them really suck. With that in mind pools are such a scarce resource there that there is a lot of "poolitics" surrounding which higher "forms of life" get to use them.

From the New York Times:

"... And now it has become the object of a dispute that threatens to divide the city within a city that is the venerable London Terrace apartment complex in western Chelsea — the four taller buildings on the corners, known as London Terrace Towers, and the 10 smaller buildings in between, known as London Terrace Gardens. [Read as really swanky gentrified apartments] 
At issue is how much the landlord of the Gardens buildings should pay the Towers, a co-op that collectively controls the pool, so that Gardens renters can continue to swim, work out in an adjacent fitness center and lounge on a nearby roof terrace. A 20-year deal runs out at the end of the month, and some renters in the Gardens worry that they will lose access. They fear that co-op owners in the Towers have concluded that continuing to share the three facilities would hurt property values. ..." 

Let's take a step back here and consider what New York is - I have only been to New York once and when I was there I spent three days walking through the whole place, ten miles a day, just to see what life there and on the streets was all about.

A lot of people envy New York: John Lennon once said that if the United States were the Roman Empire than New York city is Rome. Though I agree with that statement one thing must be clear, New York is nowhere near being an urban paradise or otherwise.

Consider this: New York is so overly centralized and cramped that the upper class mentioned in the article has to go to a roof top to lounge in the sun. Their beach water is dirty, and their pools scarce and fought over by people with the most money. Prices there are expensive and the weather is formidable. The only thing to envy about New York is its centralized art districts such as Soho, Broadway, the Met.

So when you are laying on deck in the sun waiting for your next event or walking to pool through a meadow or a field of wheat to get to workout you have more space more freedom and less hostility than John Lennon's Rome.

BTW, Ringo Starr had a different take on where to live. I saw him driving a 1956 something with flames on the side of the car and a big smile on his face driving through the Santa Monica mountains. Ringo Starr's "Rome." - I predict Rome 2.0 will be either be Shanghai or Los Angeles.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Techsuits in Ice Skating competition but not swimming.

That's not a swimming techsuit circa 2008. That is a suit worn by Olympic speed skaters sanctioned by their governing body so the sport could evolve and become more exciting rather than staying put somewhere in 1972.

I look forward to the day when our sports "primo uomo" (the male version of a prima donna) lays down his techsuit and goggles and gives up the holy sport of swimming for golf or whatever. I wish he would leave the stage and allow another slew of "tenors" to "sing."

I look forward to the day when swimming is filled with dozens of "primo uomos" because – well, because the playing field will then be leveled and swimming will not be a sport where only one or two genetic freaks, or those who cheat, can be the center of attention.

When the "Greatest of All Time Leaves" the pool, the techsuit will return form its temporary exile and once again the standard of living of swimmers via world record bonuses will buoy incomes for both themselves and swim suit companies alike. Finally they will be able innovate again and make a living.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hey kids, you too can turn your bed into a swimming pool.

Yes you too can dream about lane-4  victories while you sleep between the lane lines. No diving though!


Monday, February 03, 2014

Ian Thorpe found dazed, confused on a Sydney, Australia street - He has elected to go to rehab

Confronting addiction is commendable, rehab is a courageous decision, being honest about it helps others.

I am just going to come out and say this: Australians feel intense shame over the "A-word", the other "A-word" and finally the "R-word" Read as Alcoholism, Addiction and Rehab. Look how Ian Thorpe's mouthpiece aggressively tries to keep alcohol or drug abuse out of the story.

Read between the lines from this article:
SYDNEY (AP) -- The manager of Olympic swimming great Ian Thorpe says the five-time gold medalist is in rehab after being found disoriented on a Sydney street early Monday morning by police responding to a call from residents.

James Erskine told the Australian Associated Press that Thorpe was affected by a combination of antidepressants and the painkillers he was taking for a shoulder injury.

Police spoke to Thorpe after residents near his parents' home in Panania in Sydney's southwest reported a man allegedly breaking into a van. He was taken to Sydney's Bankstown Hospital for assessment and was later transferred to a rehab facility.

''He is in rehab for depression,'' AAP quoted Erskine as saying.


As mentioned above, the hospital sent him to a rehab center and NOT a depression treatment center. Is that a red-flag or what?

Huge drinking culture in Australia and that can't be denied. 8% of the population has been beaten up or assaulted by a drunk and other alcohol related statistics there are just as dismal. Australian consume as much alcohol as Russians and even their beer ads in the United States brag how big their Beer cans are.

Australian Alcohol Stats: [Link]

So, we just lost Academy Award winning actor Phillip Seymore Hoffman over the weekend after he was found dead with a needle in his arm and perhaps as many as 50-bags of heroin under his bed.

Here are some quotes from users and ex-users about being an addict:

"All any drug amounts to is tweaking the incoming data." -- William Gibson

"I ain't no preacher but drugs have killed a lot great men" -- Neil Young

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge..." -- Edgar Allen Poe

“Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self esteem.” -- Kurt Cobain 
“Selling my soul would [have been] a lot easier if I could just find it.” -- Nikki Styx from The Heroin Diaries
“I think if you were Satan and you were settin around tryin to think up somethin that would just bring the human race to its knees what you would probably come up with is narcotics.” -- Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men 
“Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.” -- William S. Burroughs