Well, it’s about time. So much for trusting the NBC schedule – I’ve been here an hour and not seen more than a passing glimpse of the Stadio Olympico (and that with a commentator telling me about its construction at the request of none other than beloved humanitarian Benito Mussolini. Nice.) – but I have it on
good MSM authority that the real opening Ceremonies will begin after these commercials…and our coverage will begin after you click below the fold.
(21:00) Bob Costas is talking. Insomniacs everywhere are nodding off.
Wow. The U.S. Olympic team has some really stupid-looking uniform hats. Why do all the uniforms say ?Roots? on the right front? If that?s a manufacturer?s trademark, it?s just about the most aggressive ? and tasteless ? form of advertising I?ve seen on an official uniform in recent memory.
Chris Witty (speed skater and Olympic medalist) will carry the U.S. flag into the stadium.
(21:04) Gymnast with hammer hits anvil, makes fire. The commentator tells us this represents ?passion.? (Glad they told me. I thought it represented a gymnast with a hammer. Particularly since they just said that in his homeland his nickname is ?the Lord of the Rings? ? where I come from, the Lord of the Rings is not the guy you want standing at the forge. One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them. One ring to start the games with fire in the dark to blind them?)
(21:06) Modern dance. Yikes. Irony levels rising, Captain?we can?t stop them?
Legs?lots and lots of wiggly legs. I admit, I don?t get it. Now they?re representing a beating heart (the universal symbol of passion? It has a universal symbol ? like ?walk? and ?don?t walk???) Enough of this. Show me some athletes.
Ok, inline skaters ? on fire. THIS is better. It?s not athletes, but it?s people on fire, which is at least entertaining.
(21:10) R. Yak: Guys with those big Alpine horns play them (sounds like yaks?reminds me of home) while little kids raise the flags of the Alpine nations.
Hold on a minute. COWS? They?ve got Cows on the ice! No, no no. Where are the yaks? Yaks live in the snow ? not cows. I?m feeling repressed.
(21:15) R.Yak: protocol portion of the ceremonies. They?re explaining that the Italian flag stands for the cardinal virtues: Green for hope, white for faith, red for charity. That?s kind of nice.
(21:20) Three dudes dressed like Napoleon Bonaparte. One takes the flag. (Still no athletes?) They?re running it up the flagpole. Raising the flag to the Italian national anthem. Nicest camera shot so far: one of the guys in the Napoleon costumes is crying ? or at least, fighting hard to control it ? as he raises the flag.
(21:22) I think the Maniyak has abandoned the proceedings. We’ll see if he updates later.
On the other hand, Yak the younger has joined me in the living room. So have two of the cats, both of whom seem unimpressed by the proceedings. The spotted one has decided to let YtY share the couch, so long as he continues to pet her.
Uh-oh. The dancers are back. They have what appear to be spotlights on their heads. (Isn?t that the universal symbol for cluelessness?)
I think they just made a skier out of people. Yep. From a distance, that?s kind of interesting. Much better than nonrepresentational modern dance, that?s for sure. OK, the ski jumping representation was kind of cool.
TINSEL GUNS! Awesome.
And the men on fire are back. Even better. Tinsel and fire within thirty seconds of one another. This is better than I expected.
RMyak: Wow! Did you see those two spectacular crashes? No, of course not. They were my DSL connection. If a Yak?s computer crashes in the forest while liveblogging, but no one can read about it, does it make any noise?
Admit it. You did not even notice that RMyak had gone the way of all yaks. (Edit: R. Yak.: they noticed. I mentioned it two paragraphs ago.)
While I was out: the Opening Ceremonies. Fire spouting anvil, face-guarded (OSHA-approved) hammerer. Rhythmic dancing. Announcer has to tell us that the red-clad bunch of dancers represents a “beating heart,” symbolizing what? Valentine?s Day? And dancers in black and while cow costumes? Moo-ve it along please, Elsie.
“XX”-rated games? Whaat?
Who decided that people who love sports would want to sit through abstract theatrical spectaculars for Opening Ceremonies?
You know, these Olympics have a familiar ring about them. Five rings in fact.
Here comes Albania. Can Zimbabwe be far behind?
(21:34) R. Yak: More modern dance. This time the
weirdos artists are painted red and gold, and they seem to be giving me the universal symbol for ?go get a Coke now, you?re not missing anything.?
I see five illuminated rings. Bet they turn – yep, here they go. Didn?t see that one coming. Mentioning that one of the five colors in the rings appears in the flag of every nation in the world. I always sort of liked that.
(21:36) I had to wait an hour and a half, but here come the athletes!
Greece first, then the rest, this time in Italian alphabetical order.
They?re entering to ?Good Times??? No Motown at the Superbowl, but we?re going to get Motown at the Opening Ceremonies?
Albania: nice flag. Only one athlete, an alpine skier. Hope he does well.
Algeria: one of six African nations competing at the games.
Andorra: 3 athletes, but more mechanical lifts per capita than any other country in the world.
Argentina: Commentators telling us no South American country has ever won a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. Let?s hope that changes this time.
Armenia: They?re calling Armenia part of ?an interesting neighborhood of the world? ? (what does that mean? That sounds vaguely snarky to me. Hand over that ski ? you?re going downhill on one).
Australia: (We have readers in Australia ? enjoy the games!)
R.M.Yak: Hey. NBC is tivo-ing the broadcast. It?s breaking away for commercials and picking up right where they left off, skipping no one in the parade of nations. Kinda let?s the secret out of the bag about time-shifting this not-live broadcast. When the Yaks can figure it out, you?re not fooling anybody.
Oh. It?s 3-1 in the 80th minute of the USA-Japan football (soccer) game. You?re welcome.
(21:40) R. Yak:
Austria: Home of Hermann Maier, R. Yak?s choice for the men?s downhill gold.
Azerbaijan: (Yes, I will be commenting on them all?)
Belgium: As usual, the athletes have their video cameras with them.
Bermuda: One athlete ? who competes in the Skeleton. He?s not wearing shorts tonight. Good choice.
Belarus: ooo. Same hat designer as Team USA. He should be shot.
Bosnia/Herzegovina: (I love the Winter Games?average athlete age has to be at least a decade older than the Summer Games)
Brazil: Commentators are saying figure skating tickets are selling for up to $400.00 a seat. Face value (I can?t imagine the scalping). That?s insane.
Canada: (Oops, I missed someone while snarking about figure skating tickets. We have readers in Canada. Lots of you.) More commentators talking about figure skating ? scandals now. Figure skating and hockey.
Czech Republic: Commentators telling us the NHL players won?t arrive until Monday.
R.M. Yak: Ok, we?re at a break after the Czech Republic. How many countries can you name that begin with the letter “F”? You?ve got two letters to get your list together. Winner gets a snowball.
If you Google “Chinese Olympics team” on China Google, do you get arrested?
Korea, North and South together. Cool. Sports can bring Koreans together, in Italy. Not across the DMZ.
Denmark. Cute PMS cartoon characters on their caps.
(21:50) R.Yak: Chile: They?re wearing black? Interesting design choice.
People?s Republic of China: Largest winter Olympic team the Chinese have ever sent ? 76 athletes. Apparently this is the first time a female athlete has carried their flag into an Olympic stadium. Commentators are trying to be nice: ?under a lot of pressure around the world? (as in, clean up your dissenter-beating act before 2008. Thank you, drive through).
Korea: (did it again, missed a country while snarking about China.) North and South marching together again. Apparently the signs say ?Koreas? (Note: it?s spelled with a ?c? in Italian).
Costa Rica: wow, those guys look happy.
Croatia: pretty big contingent for Croatia.
DENMARK: BUY DANISH! Even the Commentators are discussing the controversy, and the fact that Italy has spent much less on security than many countries hosting the games.
Estonia: (The commentators are now talking about the Muslim population of Italy?still on the Danish issue)
Ethiopia: Only a single athlete ? we wish him well.
Macedonia: In Italian: the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia?hence inclusion with the F?s
Finland: cut to commercial, and moving to the next entry: Liveblogging the Opening Ceremonies, 22:00-23:00
R.M. Yak: So, how are we doing with the “F” countries? Finland, France, uh, Fiji here? Maybe for ice surfing?
Technorati tags: Olympics Opening Ceremonies Liveblogging Torino
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