A Lesson in Fandom

It is pretty amazing how this story works.

It's as if I was living in an episode of Full House. In the end of this blog, feel free to cue the cheesy synth string music!

A few weeks ago I went back to my parents' home for the weekend. The big news was that Notre Dame's sellout streak of home football games was snapped with the Navy game. The streak started in 1973 and lasted for 273 games.

(With all this talk of Notre Dame lately, you'd think I'd turned into a fan of the Fighting Irish. I am not. It's just a proximity thing! Keep reading for your dose of Michigan Wolverine goodness.)

But since I was home and that was the news on the radio (which my dad still listens to), it was worth talking about with him!

We both agreed that with Notre Dame's subpar season and the uninteresting visiting teams, it was only natural that the games not sell out. When people have large flatscreen televisions and computer screens at home, why bother going to the stadium? In hom…

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K: The Second One

With a little more relaxed Thanksgiving schedule this year, I decided that I could once again participate in a Turkey Trot. Three years ago I went over to Niles with my brother because that was the one that was most widely publicized. After I'd registered, I found that Benton Harbor also had a Turkey Trot, which would have been a little closer to travel to!

So this time around, I registered for the Benton Harbor Turkey Trot, especially since I found out where the proceeds of the race would go. According to the website, "Proceeds benefit the Benton Harbor Police Athletic League (PAL), with a mission to promote community relations and cooperation between the youth of our communities, their families, the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, and other law enforcement agencies."

Sounds like a worthy cause to me!

The entire event is mainly put on by the SWMI RACERS group, which is the running group in our area. They actually offered early early packet pickup, which worke…

A Tokyo "Test Run"

On Friday I attended my first ever Friendsgiving, where I got together with a bunch of people and we had traditional Thanksgiving foods! Throughout the evening we ate and laughed and talked about a bunch of stuff. Someone brought up the fact that I was going to the Olympics, and everyone became envious. I realized that I have a lot of people who are going to be excited to hear about all my travels and see all the cool things I've done. That's a big responsibility!

The best thing to do is to practice a little bit. I need to be able to get comfortable getting around an unfamiliar place, get into an arena with little difficulty, wear weather-appropriate gear, and be protective of all my stuff. 
Luckily, earlier that evening I was offered a free ticket for the next day's Notre Dame football game in South Bend, Indiana, a mere 45-minute drive from my house. I decided to execute the practice - a test run, you could say - at the game. 
With less than 24 hours of prep time, I qui…

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Update: Flights and Events!

Tier 3 of the Tokyo 2020 planning has been achieved!

I was going to wait until 2020 to purchase flights to and from Tokyo for the Olympics, but my eagerness got the best of me. Well, that and the fact that I found tickets for a good price and without a long layover anywhere.

If you haven't used Google Flights, I highly recommend you use it. Better yet, use Google Flights on Chrome while in incognito mode. I have found that this method give me flights and dates that I might not find while in another browser or on a different website.

The biggest thing about purchasing flights like this is making sure you spend a lot of time researching different ways. I tried a lot of airports and a lot of different days before finally settling on my purchases. After I noticed that a lot of the flights had to go to Los Angeles, I was looking at separate flights to LA. I attempted flying in and out of different international airports in Japan. Heck, I even tried to see if flying to Hawaii and then …

Too Much Talk, Not Enough Walk

Technology today has provided people a chance to communicate in many different ways: short form texts, long form blogs, videos, and face-to-face chats. Everyone gets a chance to talk, talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. 
But as I've grown up, I've realized something: people talk too much. 
If something happens, people react. They talk if they're happy about it. They talk if they're unhappy about it. They talk if they want to make sure an acquaintance sees something about it. They might even talk if they just want to make sure their acquaintances know they're alive, and they don't care about the topic at all!
However, it just becomes too much talking. It just becomes noise, and no one listens to each other because they're too busy talking!
People feel like if they talk enough, action will be taken. But action only gets taken if people act.
This is an Olympics blog, so there is definitely relevance here. 
For years, professional swimmers have complained ab…

Parade of Nations: The Best Entrance Music Ever!

An Olympics Opening Ceremony is best defined by its music. That music needs to cover three items:
What music will reflect the host country the best?What music will create an atmosphere that breeds positivity and a reflection of the future?What music will make people want to party? In the Olympics of the twentieth century, the music chosen was done to emphasize #1 in the list above. When it came to the music heard, it was usually played by a marching band. The entrance music for the parade of nations likely featured almost stereotypical music for each country. (Mexico came in with a mariachi band tune? How novel!) 
Nowadays, there is a desire to cover all three. The spectators should be enveloped in the spectacle with sights and sounds. The athletes that come in should show an excitement that they are there. And that energy should continue as people exit the stadium and the Games begin. 
No Olympics better covered all three items above than London 2012. 

London 2012 was the first summe…

Learning About Japan Without Actually Being in Japan!

When I say "Japan" what do you think about? I'm guessing that if you hear about Japan in the news, it's probably about some technological innovations or a natural disaster. And now, Japan is in the news because of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!

A lot of people are going to be attending these Olympics. To be honest, some of the people reading this blog are going to be attending these Olympics! Heck, I am attending these Olympics!

I know that as soon as the flame was extinguished in Rio, I made a commitment to get to Tokyo in 2020. To get myself ready, I started looking online for content creators that could help me understand the country even better than I did in 2016.

My background knowledge of Japan at the time was their involvement in World War II and anime. Yup, I had no real understanding about the culture, language, or people of the country. So I wanted to change that!

Over three years I have discovered many different people who live in Japan and make it their living…