Showing posts from August, 2012

What the Heck is an All-Skate?

Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from the TRUE start of the century, 2001.

My oldest daughter has done something completely horrible and utterly impossible.

She has asked me to take her roller skating. Apparently she overhead her mother talking with her aunt about the great and wonderful times they had at skating parties when they were kids, skating to "Copacabana" or "YMCA". My daughter thought this was something we should do.

"No, Honey. Daddy doesn't like roller skating."

Here comes the lower lip. "But Mommy said we could go roller skating."

"Oh, she did, did she? Why can't you just go with Mommy? I'm sure she just meant you two."

"But I want you to go," she whimpered.

How can you say no to that? Maybe if I just tag along, but don't actually go out on the floor. . . No, no, what am I saying?!

What my little angel doesn't understand is that some people — namely me — have emotion…

British Bureaucrats Ban Paper Fasteners

When you think of dangerous office equipment, what comes to mind? A pointy letter opener? A paper cutter? A 29-cent ballpoint pen? An industrial-sized paper shredder and you're wearing a tie? Or maybe a heavy duty stapler and an administrative assistant who's sick of your crap?

If you're part of the Manchester (England) NHS Trust, it's metal paper fasteners.

Yes, paper fasteners. Those dagger-like strips of metal that are pushed through holes in office paper, and then folded and clipped, to create an official report.

According to a story in the Metro UK, officials at the Manchester NHS (National Health Service) declared that they would no longer use paper fasteners after a staff member received a small cut on their finger from one.

It's important that we understand that these are paper fasteners, even though the original story had said "paper clips," and the entire western hemisphere went bat crap crazy that yet another British bureaucracy would ban something…

Final 2012 Swish-Whack, Take That! Awards

I thought the Swish-Whack, Take That! awards were done for 2012. But after I submitted last week's column, the final weekend of the Olympics began. And I saw some Swish-Wackiness that made me realize it ain't over until the last racer crosses the finish line.

The first SWTT goes to American BMX racer, Alise Post, racing in her first Olympics. During the semi-finals, on the final rhythm hills — the small hills the racers take two at a time — Post landed on her bike wrong, sailed over the handlebars, and planted her face and helmet into the up-slope of one of the jumps.

"Honestly, I couldn't tell you what happened," she told the Washington Post. "It's really a blur. I'm just glad, I guess, that I'm physically OK."

Post may have had the sense knocked out of her in the crash, but it also knocked out the quit. She was so dazed, she tried to get on her bike, fighting the two Olympic officials who tried to help her off the track.

Once she realized she …

Olympic Swish-Whack, Take That! Awards, Week 2

It's week two of the 2012 Summer Olympics, which means it's week two of the Swish-Whack, Take That! awards. I give these to an athlete after an extraordinary, odds-defying, nose-thumbing performance that silences critics, doubters, and complainers. The award is named for US fencer Mariel Zagunis who won America's first fencing gold medal in 100 years in 2004, and then successfully defended it in 2008.

As we always do, everyone is trying to figure out the best athlete in the Olympics. Is it Michael Phelps who won his 22nd Olympic medal? Is it Usain Bolt who broke the sound barrier during his 100m gold medal run? Or is it Gabby Douglas, the first African-American gymnast to win the all-around gold?

No, it's American sprinter Manteo Mitchell who ran his leg of the 4x400 relay on Thursday morning's qualifying heats. That's the first round of the relays, and that's when "sprinters" from North Korea, Micronesia, and Lichtenstein all try to finish sometime…

The 2012 Olympic Swish-Whack, Take That! Awards

In 2004, I created the Swish-Whack, Take That! awards to commemorate Mariel Zagunis winning America's first fencing gold medal in 100 years. NBC, showing signs of awfulness even back then, aired a 30 second clip of Zagunis' three points, and then skipped her medal ceremony.So every two years, I give out Swish-Whack, Take That! awards to athletes and others who do something cool during the Olympics. You can read about the origins of the Swish-Whack, Take That! awards here.

This week's first SWTT award goes to our very own Mariel Zagunis, who because of her gold medals in both 2004 and 2008, was given the great privilege of carrying the U.S. flag into the opening ceremonies. But that's not why she received her award.
Sadly, she did not win a medal this year, which ended up gaining more attention and being a bigger story than her gold in 2004. So, she gets a Swish-Whack, Take That! because people are now recognizing the sheer awesomeness of what she has done over the last e…