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Archive for August 2012

The “F” Word

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It’s everywhere, from seemingly everyone’s mouth. We’ve all heard it and most of us have probably said it at one time or another; the “F Bomb”. I hear it on the street, on TV, in music and even in my workplace. To some, that word is no big deal but to others of a certain generation, it’s still quite offensive.

I was out at a local bar/restaurant the other night shooting pool with a friend. There was a group of early twenty-somethings across the room, telling tales and swapping stories. One young man was regaling his friends with his tales of derring-do, bar fights and other sorted deeds. While his story was quite entertaining, he must have used the F-word two or three times per sentence. I was both saddened and disgusted by his choice of vocabulary as I am most times when I hear that word.

I remember one incident in my past when I laced my conversation with that particular vulgarity. I was running in an indoor track meet in NYC and had just won my heat in a 400M event. My track coach, who was also my English teacher, met me in the hall outside the arena. I hadn’t run much yet that season having joined late but I owned that particular event. I was just as excited as my coach and could hardly contain myself. My coach was excitedly talking to me and asked me how I did what I just did on the track. In my cockiness and bravado, I blurted out how I just got out there and “effing” ran!

If I could go back in time, I would travel to that particular moment and choose a much more appropriate and thoughtful response. I saw in my coaches’ face and heard in his voice the disappointment of my particular choice of wording. I’m sure as an English teacher that word offended him quite a bit. I’ve apologized to him in my mind every time I think of that moment and I’d just like to say here, Hap, I’m truly sorry. You deserved a much more articulate and thoughtful discussion of my awesome performance. 🙂

To those of you who might read this and think the word is no big deal, it’s still a shocker for some to hear. There are so many words in so many languages to choose from, do we really have to resort to that one?

Written by David A. Ufer

August 27, 2012 at 6:58 am

Posted in Language, Me

The RNC Is Coming! The RNC Is Coming!

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Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, I welcome you to the greatest show on Earth! Oops, sorry, my mistake; this isn’t the Ringling Brother’s circus but only the Republican National Convention. I would much rather have the real circus in town.

The chaos, road congestion, road closures and general annoyances brought about by this political circus will be a nightmare. The actual convention won’t begin until next week but the pre-show parties and meet-and-greets start mid-week. Luckily, I live far enough way to avoid most of this mess but I’m sure I’ll be inconvenienced by some of it, somehow, somewhere.

Whether the Democrats or Republicans come to town is irrelevant. What matters is this country has been and still is in a world of hurt. We can blame the past administrations all we want but at some point the current administration needs to be held accountable for continuing and even increasing the mess this country is in.

The upcoming dog and pony show won’t make a bit of difference if there is no clear and decisive plan to fix America.

Written by David A. Ufer

August 20, 2012 at 6:32 am

2012 London Olympics – Week Two

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And now, the end is near…….

Week two of the Olympics came to a close with some absolutely outstanding performances!

Let me start with one of the most inspirational athletes of the Games, Oscar Pistorius of South Africa. He may have finished last in the 400M semi-final race running on his artificial carbon fiber legs but inside his chest beat one of the most spirited hearts in the competition. Look for Oscar in the upcoming Paralympics in a couple of weeks.

My next choice for inspiration and guts goes to Manteo Mitchell of the United States. Running his leg of the 4x400M relay, Manteo broke his lower leg at the 200M mark but never even considered stopping. I can’t run that fast with two good legs!

Next up is the athlete I would most like to hang with (no pun intended), Bulgarian gymnast Jordan Jovtchev. I knew nothing about this guy except he had an instantly likeable face. There’s really no explanation for it, he just looks like someone you could hang out with and have a great time. Congratulations to him for his sixth Olympic games. Now that’s dedication!

A world record in the Men’s 800M was set by David Rudisha of Kenya! A Maasai warrior who truly showed the heart and spirit of that group with an unbelievable run! His father won a silver medal in the 1968 Olympics in the 400M relay. Like father, like son….

The USA Women’s 4x100M relay team literally ran away from the field with their awe inspiring 40.82 world record! That race was perhaps the most exciting relay I have ever seen with just perfect passes from leg to leg.

Which brings us to the King of the track. You know him, you love him and you’ve probably struck the pose once or twice during this past week….Usain Bolt! Usain is a curious mixture of cockiness and humility wrapped in one tall, explosive package. For two consecutive Olympic games, Usain proved himself unbeatable. He won all his heats and finals in the 100M and 200M races, setting a World Record of 9.63 seconds in the 100M. He even slowed down at the end! Why? Why would he do that? Watching that was extremely frustrating. Dude, run through the tape! Break the record, you know you could!

The Men’s 4x100M relay was all but decided before it even began. With Usain running the anchor leg, that race was never a contest. Picture perfect hand-offs ensured the Jamaican team a World Record of 38.84 seconds. Amazing!

All the Kinesio tape on the athletes makes me wonder. Are these athletes approaching the limits of the human body? At what point do they stop progressing and improving? How fast can they run? How much can they lift? There was talk of possibly seeing an eight second 100M race. Is that even possible?

Perhaps I’ll see it in 2016 in Brazil. Yep, I’m all jazzed up for a trip to the next Olympic Games.

Congratulations to all the athletes of the XXX Olympic Games! Thanks for a great two weeks!

Written by David A. Ufer

August 13, 2012 at 6:40 am

Posted in Olympics, Sports

2012 London Olympics – Week One

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Swimming, gymnastics and trampoline…oh my.

The first week of the 2012 London Olympic games is in the record book, literally. There were a few surprises, both good and bad, but in the end, the events pretty much went as expected.

Michael Phelps started out very slowly on his quest for another round of Olympic dominance, so much so that many questions were raised as to his ability and dedication this time around. Those questions were answered in short order when medal numbers 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22! were draped around his neck to become the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time! Is his Olympic career finished? Michael Phelps says yes but 2016 is not that far away and we’ll see if the pull of the pool is too much to walk away from.

The United States women’s gymnastic team put on a wonderful show of strength and agility despite not having one of the best gymnasts in the team finals. Little Gabby Douglas showed the world that her ability was as great as her smile by taking the individual gold after the USA won gold in the team event.

And then there is my new favorite Olympic athlete name, Dong Dong. Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards held that title since 1988 and he still holds the title of goofiest Olympic athlete but Dong Dong clearly takes the gold medal for his name alone! The fact that he actually took the gold medal in the trampoline is secondary in my mind. I couldn’t watch much of the trampoline events, and really, who could? But I did happen to see his performance. Great job, Dong Dong.

Track and Field started and now the action is really getting hot! I’m looking forward to men’s 100M, 200M and 400M races and also some of the field events.

So far my pick for my favorite Olympic parents goes to Missy Franklin’s mom and dad. They seem totally down to Earth and it was a pleasure to watch them watch their daughter swim.

Go USA!

Written by David A. Ufer

August 6, 2012 at 6:45 am

Posted in Sports