Saturday, August 9, 2008

Decathlon Rules of Play

Cheryl, Drew, and J.B. at last night's HLA party

Remnants from Peggy's HLA Party

Good morning, everyone.  If you were an early bird, you noticed that I slept in this morning.  All our partying last night wore me out.  As it turns out, I couldn't turn off the olympics. I was afraid I would miss something.  I was glad I got to see China enter the stadium and yes, the lighting of the torch was really something.

Part of last night's fun was the announcement that beginning Monday, highlowaha readers will compete in our very own decathlon.  Today I thought I would talk a little more about the rules of play.

Announcements at the end...

Highlowaha Decathlon Overview
In the spirit of the true decathlon - an event combining ten track and field events - highlowaha readers will compete in ten events.  Unlike our decathlon teammates in China, we will not compete in our events over a two day period.  Instead, our ten events will be spread out over ten days, excluding Saturdays and Sundays.

While our Beijing counterparts are competing in a menu of events designed to test an individual's speed, strength, skill, endurance, and perserverance... our decathalon will test an individual's creativity in a variety of areas, including skills such as creative use of words, "craftiness," and problem solving.  

As is the case with decathletes, you do not have to be amazing in any event to be a champion of the 10 events.  Instead, you must range from adequate in your weak events to good or better in other skills.  It is in fact true, that because decathletes must do well reasonably well in all ten events, he/she has little opportunity to perfect any one event.  Such is the case with you.  The champion will have the highest AGGREGATE score.  You have probably surmised by this point that a decathlete must participate in all ten events.  If for some reason, time is limited on a particular day, it is still better to make a fast and feeble attempt, than to make no attempt at all.  You might not win that day's event, but you will be registered as competing and you can make up for it another day in another event.

Here's my pledge to you.  I know we are all busy, so I have tried to come up with a menu of events that range in difficulty and time required to complete.  Events range from 10 minutes to longer, depending upon how involved you chose to get.  Only one event will require a commitment of time on your part, but I will give you plenty of notice to complete the event should you be interested.  The events will, however, require some endurance and perseverance on your part.  The decathlon winner is traditionally given the title of "World's Best Athlete" and, we too, want the title, "Highlowaha Decathlon Champion" to really mean something.  

Besides, highlowaha decathletes will be competing for a GOLD medal package from me, complete with your very own, authentically purchased Olympic PATCH from China (thanks to Alden).  Actually our gold, silver, and bronze medalists will receive Olympic patches from China (for you patchwork jeans), but only for the gold medalist will it be accompanied by a package that is good as GOLD!  ...One other small departure from the Beijing Olympics, where medals are only given at the end of the ten events.  In our decathlon, a winner of each event will be named (and receive a prize), but still ONLY THE PERSON WITH THE GREATEST AGGREGATE SCORE WILL BE NAMED HIGHLOWAHA DECATHLON CHAMPION.  My point.  Jump in and participate!  

Entries for a particular day's event will have to be submitted no later than 10:00 p.m. (CST).  I have arranged for three Olympic judges to review daily entries, but because their schedules are also busy, winners will not be announced until the following evening (and then again the next morning).  For example... the winner from Monday's event will be announced Tuesday evening and then again on Wednesday morning. 

If you have questions, feel free to post them at any point this weekend.

Now Announcements:
  • With 22 entries in last night's fortune cookie contest, we have our winner.  Congratulations Heather!  You are the lucky recipient of the P.F. Chang's $40.00 gift certificate and free appetizer.
  • I have one more gift card for a free appetizer (lettuce wraps) at P.F. Chang's.  It will go to the first person who can recall the answer to this question, based on information provided during last night's coverage.  Because China does not have an alphabet, and the order of countries is usually determined by first letter in the alphabet, how did China determine the order in which countries would enter the stadium?
  • Cheryl inquired as to how you might acquire the number patches for your jeans.  There is a Girl Scout Store not far from where I live, so I will purchase them on your behalf and then send them to you.  Make a post letting me know you want a set to give me some idea of the number I will need to order.
  • Speaking of number patches... I happen to have an extra set in my hot little hands.  Lets award those to the first person who can tell me the designer responsible for the outfits worn by USA athletes.
  • Ray's taunting me.  He tacked this to my door yesterday with a note that says something about having "Fun in the sun", and that he would be heading north for some cooler air.  Do any of you know anything about this?  Where in the world is Ray?
Get some rest and get those creative juices flowing.  I'll meet you back here on Monday and we'll let the games begin.

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