Good Morning

As a kind of follow up to the last post, please enjoy the first movement of Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg concerto:

As mentioned in the last post, Bach submitted his Brandenburg concertos as a kind of job application to a Prussian prince of some sort named Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt, who is chiefly remembered today as the guy who didn’t give Bach a job. At the time, Bach was employed as Kapellmeister for Prince Ludwig of Anhalt-Köthen and, apparently, Bach was not happy with his boss. However, Christian Ludwig stuffed the compositions in a drawer and didn’t have them performed. The manuscript went undiscovered for 99 years after Bach had died, and the Brandenburg concertos were performed in public for the first time the following year, a full century after Bach had died.

This second concerto has the particular honor of being included on recordings sent into space with the two Voyager probes.

Wild, Wild East

Watching the equestrian section of the men’s modern pentathlon on live stream. Quelle une hoot. The contestants have to ride a horse they’ve just met for the first time around a jumping course. The horsies have their own plans, however. I think they’re planning to give a gold medal to the horse that causes the most trouble. One poor South Korean rider was not only bucked off, he was rolled on. He and the horse were both OK.

NBC? OMG!

I think I’ve finally figured out why NBC’s Olympics coverage is so … frustrating. It’s designed for people who hate sports and don’t want to watch them. Otherwise this makes no sense.

Last night, a 19-year-old runner from Grenada named Kirani James won the 400-meter race by a substantial number of feet…. This was all wonderful but, for some reason, the entire NBC broadcast crew decided that James’s talent and personality weren’t enough to carry the story. Or, perhaps, the story just wasn’t American enough. So they larded up their coverage with paeans to the moment in 1983 when Ronald Reagan arranged to liberate Grenada from the clutches of Cuban construction workers.

And in the amount of time they were going on about Ronald Reagan, they could have covered several pole vault attempts and maybe some wrestling.

Why NBC’s Olympic Coverage Is Frustrating the Bleep Out of Me

As I keyboard this, there are several events in progress according to the schedule. These include equestrian jumping (individual final) and women’s gymnastics parallel bars, both awesome to watch. But the only event NBC is showing right now is women’s field hockey, China v. Japan. That’s on MSNBC. On NBC they were showing some blond lady mixing popular British cocktails.

Yes, you can catch some events via live stream, but it’s hard to watch a live stream and work on a computer at the same time. Plus the live stream hangs up a lot.

I shouldn’t complain, as I ought to be working and not watching sports. But one does wonder what genius at NBC is deciding what they broadcast.

Secretariat Wins Again

In a somewhat slow decision, the Maryland Racing Commission has awarded Secretariat the record for running the all-time fastest Preakness Stakes. This means Big Red is the record-holder in all three triple crown races. His official time for the 1973 race is now 1:53.

Jockey Ron Turcotte didn’t use a whip. After blowing past the field beginning at around :40, Secretariat cruised the rest of the way.