Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It occurs to me ...

- Michael Phelps has won the most medals in Olympic history, but it shouldn't necessarily make him the "greatest Olympian ever." Taking nothing away from Phelps' swimming prowess and longevity, but the fact is he had many more opportunities to win medals, given the number of events in which he competes. Several other names immediately come to my mind as "greatest Olympian", Jesse Owens, Rafer Johnson and Jim Thorpe high among them.

- I like seeing young women in skimpy bikinis as much as the next guy, but I can't say I was disappointed that many of the Olympic beach volleyball players had to cover up. The chilly, damp London evenings through a monkey wrench into NBC's plans, which gave me perverse joy, given the commercialization and jingoism the network exemplifies when it "covers" the Games. That said - and despite the "old news" pre-recordings NBC has aired in prime time - the network's ratings are golden and it may actually laugh all the way to the bank with an unexpected profit.

- Political journalists have largely let Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., off the hook. Reid floated an unsubstantiated claim that Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years. Instead of insisting that Reid prove it, most of the press knee-jerked over to Romney and put him on the unfair defensive. Understand, I, too, think Romney hasn't been forthcoming enough on releasing tax returns. His relative silence is suspicious. But if a candidate has to disprove every wild charge, this and all campaigns will further deteriorate and the public won't be well-served.

- Spent part of my Sunday in Kingston, Ontario, during a long weekend on the Canadian side of the Thousand Islands region. Kingston, Ontario, is about four times the size of Kingston, N.Y. We found our way to its waterfront. Not bad. But Ontarians ought to send someone down to the Rondout for pointers on how to make it better. That said, I wouldn't have expected to find the kind of quality Tex-Mex joint that we enjoyed north of the border.

- By the way, don't believe in the rumor that even in mid-summer you'll always find "cool Canadian air" to escape the heat. The temperature and humidity were as brutal in Canada last weekend as they were here. And air conditioners, generally not necessary, were in short supply. Stifling.

- Headline of the day from ABC News: "Unnecessary heart surgery can be dangerous." You think?
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