Crashing through the block

I’ve had a bad case of blogger’s block lately, brought on by a double whammy of: 1) the worst cold I’ve had in years (which is also my third cold in 2011, ugh), and 2) News Paralysis – the state whereby anything I might hope to write or do seems inconsequential and indeed pointless compared to the events unfolding on my TV screen and on the news websites I seem to keep obsessively refreshing. I’ve had a couple of posts brewing in my mental drafts folder, but musings on the Harper Government’s slow but steady erosion of Canadian democracy, my liking for post-apocalyptic science fiction, and humorous lists of my latest pet peeves, all seem horribly insignificant and/or inappropriate right now.

There are two possible ways to deal with this situation. The first is to write something incredibly deep, meaningful, and significant, to prove that I still can. The second is to post a video that’s about as trivial, inconsequential, and insignificant as it gets – but also 100% AWESOME. Guess which one I’m going for?

After watching the Vancouver Whitecaps’ fantastic MLS debut on Saturday, we stayed tuned as the network switched to coverage of the Crashed Ice final in Quebec City. Crashed Ice is like a cross between ski cross, speed skating, and the luge – competitors strap on skates and some padding and hurl themselves down an icy track with jumps, bumps, hairpin turns, and 45o slopes – all with the gorgeous old city in the background. It’s sponsored by Red Bull, and one participant stated “my favourite food is meat” – it’s that kind of event.

Here are the 2010 highlights:

The 2011 highlights aren’t on YouTube yet, but the official video is available here.

As AWESOME as the real event is, I think my favourite part was when four ex-pro hockey players took on the slope – and proceeded to skate almost as badly as I skate on regular, smooth, flat ice. It really brought it home what a tough event this is – I just hope it makes it into the Olympics!

Right, hopefully that’s broken my blogger’s block. Off to try and think of new post ideas!

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
This entry was posted in current affairs, meta, personal, politics, sport, videos, whining. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Crashing through the block

  1. Frank says:

    I think your definition of block is different from mine! You seem to be producing a steady stream of posts. Sorry to war about the cold. Hope the spring equinox will work it’s magic on weather and health.

    • KristiV says:

      Different from mine too! I had hoped to finish a post this weekend, but the beginning of the medical neuroscience course, plus my ongoing evo-devo graduate course, plus tweaking and submission of a manuscript, have conspired to block my non-work-related writing. Maybe I’ll try some artwork instead.

  2. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Hmm, I’m not sure that re-posts, archives of sidebar features, and photos of signs outside toilets really qualify though!

    Thanks for your good wishes – I’m hoping the weather will improve, too! It was sunny this weekend, but when I went out to try some half-hearted weeding of the garden on Sunday, everything was still absolutely saturated (I lasted all of five minutes before giving up – already soaked to the skin through my shoes and trousers, and muddy). And it’s raining and cold again today. But at least it’s lighter in the evenings – a nice psychological boost!

  3. Alyssa says:

    You can solve your problem by doing what I do: never ever watch the news and be so self-absorbed in your own world that you don’t know what the heck is going on anywhere else.

    A friend of mine participated in the Crashed Ice tournament last year! Very cool stuff.

  4. Mermaid says:

    Crashed Ice looks like one of those events that would be an absolute blast to watch, but something you may not bring up in casual conversation with people you would like to impress. Kind of a guilty pleasure, like admitting to being a Buffy fan and STILL watching the DVDs.

    Not that I would admit to that.

    Maybe you can bring back one of my favourite series, the one I call Testy Tuesday? I am sure your name was much classier. I always liked the Tuesday rants.

  5. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Alyssa, sometimes I would really, really like to do that! Unfortunately, my own little world isn’t really interesting enough right now to hold my interest for long ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, my entire family, plus Mr E Man and the friends we spend the most time with, are major news addicts too – if I stopped watching the news, I’d be left out of most of our conversations!

    I’m very impressed that your friend took part in Crashed Ice! Is he/she (or is just men right now? We only saw men compete) a hockey player or speed skater? After watching those ex-pro hockey players try the course, I can’t imagine someone going into the sport unless they’re already an EXCELLENT skater!

    Mermaid, is that better or worse than admitting to still occasionally watching X-Files DVDs? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was thinking of doing a pet peeves post, but I don’t really have any major peeves left that I haven’t blogged already. I was thinking of turning it into a Wednesday Whines thing instead, but all the items on my list were really pathetic things to whine about at any time, but especially in juxtaposition to the news from Japan, NZ, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, etc etc etc…

  6. cromercrox says:

    Crashed Ice looks gloriously barmy. For some reason it reminded me of Gloucestershire Cheese-Rolling, in which people throw themselves down a very steep hill after a round of Double Gloucester. Neither the people nor the cheese wear skates, though.

    Oh yes – get well soon.

  7. Amelie says:

    That looks awesome! Could be fun if one was actually up to it (I’m certainly not). Thanks for the laugh, I had a not-funny morning and needed that.

  8. ricardipus says:

    Hm. The last time the Olympics trialled an event as mental as this, someone died. Remember speed-skiing?

  9. chall says:

    Wow, that looks so fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Crazy, but fun!

    The writers block, I need to get going too…. some work stuff… it’s hard, but I usually try and write something “easy” and then realising that it isn’t that hard and keep going.

    As for the side discussion about DVDs… all those series are totally OK in my book (not that I was that much into X-files). I think Charmed DVDs might be more guilty… (no, I don’t have them. Might have borrowed them during a convalecence time though ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  10. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Cromercrox, yes, it does seem to stem from the same crazy impulse as chasing a cheese down a steep slope, doesn’t it?

    Amelie, glad to be of service! I hope things are improving.

    Ricardipus, I don’t remember it being in the Olympics, but I’ve seen the national championships at Sun Peaks up by Kamloops, and I’m not surprised there was a fatality. I’m thinking that events like snowboard- and ski-cross are paving the way for stuff like this to become mainstream enough for the Olympics though. I mean, even the more traditional winter sports aren’t safe – remember poor Nodar Kumaritashvili in Whistler?

    Chall, yeah, easy posts definitely help to get the momentum back.

    Things you watch while sick or convalescing don’t count ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. ricardipus says:

    Speed skiing – I think it was a “demonstration” sport (or whatever they’re called) at… Whistler maybe?

    Call me a conservative, but sports like snowboard-cross (and short-track speed skating) that rely on touchy-feely, car-racing-style positioning really don’t do it for me in the Olympics. Most of the middle-distance running events fall in this category too. Put the athletes on a level field (so to speak), each in their lane, and let them race. Or do it time trial style, like downhill skiing or cross-country.

    And then bring back poetry and drama competitions, for the full Classic Olympics experience.

  12. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Oh, but head-to-head races are so much more exciting than racing against the clock! They’re some of the best spectator sports in the Games IMHO, other than hockey of course. We had tickets to the snowboard cross in 2010, but didn’t get to go because the cheap seats spectator area was so waterlogged they had to close it ๐Ÿ™

  13. ricardipus says:

    I’m fine with head-to-head races (e.g. long-track speed-skating, or track and field sprints), as long as they don’t include the option to interfere with another athlete’s progress. Any sport where the leader can lose due to incidental (or especially intentional) contact with another athlete – well, those I can do without.*

    Of course, the IOC will approve or deny all kinds of random things without any input from me…

    *given that this will rarely happen in some of the ones I’m willing to accept, of course.

  14. Alyssa says:

    Cath – he used to be a hockey player…well, back in high school anyway!

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