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  • Reply to: Sound Doll/Bran Doll   1 year 1 week ago

    I think the GA tags right now are in the Rs. I see a lot of RJR plates, which leads to memories of post-training-ride, sweaty spandex clad fancy dining in Reynolda Village's Village Tavern - you know, back when we were fat and old. 

    It's perhaps a bit futile to mention that I prefer all of ABBA's  non-disco songs. I'm not going to change the disco connotation over here, when they were more a pop folk schlager fusion band over there.

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  • Reply to: Sound Doll/Bran Doll   1 year 1 week ago

    We can do lots with that I bet.

     

    More typed on my ohone: I really enjoyed Mott the Hoople and Ian Hunter. His book, Diary of a Rock'n'roll Star, was an interesting read, as I recall. I have strong memories of visiting my brother in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. He handed down much great music when he upgraded his stereos and vinyl. Among the Disco bands, ABBA have survived well in my ears, and I've enjoyed seeing their documentaries and performances. 

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  • Reply to: Sound Doll/Bran Doll   1 year 1 week ago

    After many days of not feeling like using my computers, I am finally feeling well enough to catch up on roadskater.net on my phone, no less. Yes that's harder, perhaps, but it's working surprisingly well. All I have to contribute is firings that are tenuous at best:

    Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

    Its a mighty long way down rock and roll.

    Beatles broke out of it by stooping touring and forming a fake band, SPLHCB.

    How long has this been going on? 

    Tracks of my tears.

    Ok that's it. No reply necessary unless there's a spark. Thanks for reminding me why y'all are fascinating friends and why the hours roadskating can feel so short.

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  • Reply to: 2018 USA Olympic Long Track Speed Skaters and Social Media Links   1 year 1 week ago

    That's good useful stuff there to keep up with the words and images of the roadskaters and indoor inline skaters who have become such an important part of the Olympic and World Cup long and short track world. I guess some of them are ice first types, and we'll forgive that, ha. Thanks for the links!

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  • Reply to: 53-Year-Old Speed Skater Attempts to Make US Olympic Team   1 year 5 weeks ago

    That's one way to make sure your muscles are being worked out - fear of dropping weights on your head.  Very enjoyable video! Thanks. They do look a lot more ice-skatey on the road with their inlines, and it does look like they're maximizing the swing of the recovery leg. They are skating super low there. Good training inspiration!

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  • Reply to: Crowd-Sourced Color Names by XKCD   1 year 5 weeks ago
    Ooh

    I could spend a lot of time and money on that site (Loudmouth Golf)!

    It's good to know someone has already gone to the trouble to create all this clothing, since it's not a passion of mine to make it all myself for various performances. 

    I'm not sure about the Opposuits clothing material, but yes I think it's substantial.  I think one of our trombonists was wearing this yesterday.  I'll ask next time! Some of these have actually made it to mall department stores (JC Penney' etc.). 

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  • Reply to: 53-Year-Old Speed Skater Attempts to Make US Olympic Team   1 year 5 weeks ago

    Much food for thought there, eebee. I watched some hockey technique videos (inspired by a Joey Cheek comment about hockey players who cross over to speed skating and how "easy on their skates" they are) and that's all about transitions, even learning to push straight back when accelerating from a dead stop.

    On my recent Country Park visits, I've been thinking about how easy it is to fall into the habit of skating up the hills hard, then coasting the downhills and flats and maybe making a few flippy pushes while standing upright until the next hill. I'm trying to focus more on skating in a low position with full-length pushes, working on form and range of motion. It might not be the fast way around the park, or the easiest way, but I think it gives me more of what I go there for. And I often think about the effect of the free leg, swinging that quite heavy appendage, which I believe matters more than most realize.

    Anyway, for your analysis enjoyment, here's video of the mighty Sven Kramer and his teammates in past years, including lots of inline skating beginning around the 3:00 mark.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHHG__CxUfw

    (Be prepared to mute audio or be overcome by the Eurodisco soundtrack.)

    One more thing re Theron Sands: I re-watched some of the US Olympic Trials, which I still had saved on my dvr, and noticed that he also competed in the 5000 meters event. His attempt wasn't televised but his time was in the results, and he finished 10th, notably 6 places lower and 18 seconds slower than four-time Olympian K.C. Boutiette, who at 47 years old is only 6 years younger than Sands!

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  • Reply to: Crowd-Sourced Color Names by XKCD   1 year 5 weeks ago

    Neat! I'm impressed as much as anything by how low their prices are. Do you have any sense of how substantial the material is? Looking for more about them, I saw a comment somewhere saying that they aren't costumes and are made to be worn more than once, faint praise but that's a baseline anyway.

    I'm reminded of the stuff from Loudmouth Golf, who will once again sponsor the Norwegian Olympic Curling Team this year. (Although, re manly men and what they wear, I've definitely seen more LPGA players wearing Loudmouth skorts than PGA players wearing their trousers.)

    With names like Guus, Jelle, and Jasper, the Opposuits guys could have been road musicians who backed up Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid. But it turns out that they're Dutch (translation), which explains the "oranje" suit on the guy in the middle of the picture on their "About" page. I'll be looking for their suits around the skating oval in Pyeongchang.

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  • Reply to: Sound Doll/Bran Doll   1 year 5 weeks ago

    Wasn't aware of the Sandie Shaw song. Thanks for including that. I guess I only knew her as one of the 60s pop singers Morrissey had become obsessed with as The Smiths were falling apart. That title brings to mind, "Open up the heaven in your heart and let me be the things you are to me and not some puppet on a string," sung by Andy Gibb and written by Barry Gibb, whom I can pardon for helping out his little brother but never ever for Saturday Night Fever.

    There's also Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham's "I'm Your Puppet," best known as sung by James & Bobby Purify, although recorded first by Penn as it turns out and covered many times since. With all of the "baby" songs of the early/mid 60s ("Be My Baby," "Baby, Where Did Our Love Go?," "Baby Love," "Don't Worry Baby," etc.) branching out to toys and games might have been the natural next step.

    Anyway I was curious about the "poupée de cire" half of the title, wondering how popular actual wax dolls might have been. Coincidentally I was zooming around the net looking for information on ice skating form and technique, and I noticed several references attempting to connect skating with Marie Antoinette. (Apparently ice skating was indeed fashionable during Louis XVI's reign in France and it wouldn't be too surprising if his Queen had an Austrian's love of winter sports. I'm skeptical of claims that figure skating was invented as an entertainment either for her or by her though.)

    An essay about her, which only tangentially mentions skating but was interesting nonetheless, was, "The Queen's Closet: What Marie Antoinette really wore," which brings up poupées de mode, "elegant fashion dolls" sent as models from Paris "to foreign capitals, including the Vienna of Archduchess Marie Antoinette's childhood." She's said to have had a very large collection of them and I wondered if maybe some of them might have been made of wax. But sources say that they were either wood or ceramic,  and really wax wouldn't have traveled very well. It's also anachronistic, since wax figures were introduced by Madame Tussaud and her lesser-known anatomist uncle in Paris during the time of Louis XVI.

    Like figure skating and Marie Antoinette, Tussaud's biography tends to be muddled by the back-story promoted for her later Wax Museums, but evidence seems good that she was in fact living at Versailles as an art tutor to the King's sister at the time of the Revolution, and her experiences during the Reign of Terror--narrowly escaping execution herself--are prominent in her later legend. There's a macabre sense to the museums (at a minimum, nearly all the figures portrayed there are people no longer with us) and I wonder if "poupée de cire" was at least meant to be a little bit creepy in that way.

    It's also interesting to me that the French in the 1960s would still refer to phonograph records as "wax," as in English, when it had gone away with Edison cylinders when they faded out for good in the 1920s. (78s were generally a compound based on shellac, 33s all vinyl, and 45s usually polystyrene.)

    But back in the early days of the Internet, the first really cool thing I found online  was a trove of electronic transcriptions of cylinder recordings, including the first million-seller in history, Enrico Caruso's "Vesti la Giubba." (Believe the hype, he really was that good.) It really was recorded on wax and, as with France Gall's song, it's another tale of a performer complaining about having to go on stage, in this case a clown who has to make the audience laugh while his heart is breaking.

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  • Reply to: Crowd-Sourced Color Names by XKCD   1 year 5 weeks ago

    Here you go! I think some of our band members wear some of these. 

     https://www.opposuits.com/suits.html

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