May 20 ē 11:38 AM

Observations from near and far

August 27, 2008
While I'm dismayed by the controversy surrounding the female Chinese gymnastic team and the gold medal winners that may have been underage, I'm not surprised. None of us would have to be surprised if we'd just face a fact or two.

Let's start with the name of the sport: 'Women's Gymnastics.'

For years and years and years female gymnasts from each and every country have been less 'women' and more 'girls.' This is not hard to understand if you know anything about the sport. Of course young bodies are absolutely more capable of the variety of contortions, stretching, leaping and the like required by the sport. When you've trained from age 4 or 7 you also don't have to "unlearn" something that hinders your performance. You've learned it the most efficient way from the get go. Coaches know this. Athletes know this.

It does not mean, however, that people over the age of 16 cannot perform—they can. Just not in the same way as a 13 or 14 year old. Female bodies change, and when it comes to gymnastics the change isn't necessarily the best for the sport. It has to do with the center of gravity and how that affects ability to leap and spin in a very short amount of time, regardless of how strong your legs are. More height is required with more mass. It's simple.

So, first of all I think we should quit calling the sport 'Women's Gymnastics,' and call it what it is. If it's amazing performances from undeveloped little girls that bring in the gold, let's all just admit it and lower the minimum age for competition. We can call it 'Girls' Gymnastics' and go from there.

Then there can be another category called 'Women's Gymnastics,' where the minimum age would be 18. The routines would surely be different but not less amazing or thrilling to watch...

...Speaking of watching things, I saw some amazing community spirit over the weekend at a couple of work gigs. The Almont firefighters who sacrificed a good part of their Saturday (and then Sunday too for the Open House) to spend time with kids in Kingsbrook Estates mobile home park was very nice to see. New school liaison officer Ryan Wilson's presence was also great and very kind. As a person with a job that requires weekend work quite often I truly appreciate their gestures in service of their community...

...The animal community around my home has been more and more interesting of late. For the first time in the 17 years I've lived there I saw a buck at the pond. A big, beautiful buck with antlers and all that. It was early in the morning and it was by itself. I often see deer at the pond and around my property, and when I don't see them I see the evidence that they've been there by way of chewed off impatiens. While it used to bug me a lot because those are some hard earned plants, I find it almost amusing the way they chomp them off. They had a feast on some pots they'd yet to discover on the side of the barn the other night. It was kind of cute that among the bitten down nubs of impatien stems they left behind, there was a completely untouched skinny little maple tree that had randomly planted itself but was hidden by the impatien plant's formerly colorful blooms. Nature is so amusing...

...Amusement is something I need a little bit more of, so it's always like a bonus when I find it in the simple things. Like the potholes in my driveway. Huge. Many.

Well, the Tri-City Times building is undergoing a bit of a facelift that's almost done. Early on in the project the workers had to strip bricks off of the top half of the building. They had to save a portion of those bricks to reuse and therefore had to chisel the mortar off of the savable bricks and, of course, off of the building. One day I noticed how all that chiseled material somewhat resembled 'gravel' if one stretches their imagination to the outer limits.

I ask Maria and Tom if it would be a good filler for the holes in my driveway (I'm not a natural born country girl) and they say yes. I ask the bosses, they say have at it. Every day I take home a couple of five gallon bucketsful of the stuff, sometimes twice a day. I dump it in the holes and it works great. I no longer bottom out riding up my driveway. It looks a little funky, but that's come to be expected at my place...

...Well, looks like my place on this page is just about filled, just like my new Tri-City Times rubble driveway.

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Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
05 - 20 - 19
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