Friday, July 6, 2012

Cars And Boats

Anytime TigerBlog takes his car in to be serviced, he lives in fear for a few hours that the phone is going to ring and he's going to hear that there's a crack in the engine block or something and that he needs to get a new car.

TB is always nervous when he has a new car, and he much prefers his current situation of 108,000 miles on a car that still runs well. That way, he doesn't have to worry about a scratch here or getting some mud there.

Still, taking an older car in for an oil change isn't the same as taking in a newer one.

TB takes his car to a guy named Ron, who has sort of become the unofficial go-to car guy for the OAC.

Through the years, a total of six OAC people have taken their cars to his shop, even if it is a bit out of the way, which has led to years of conversations that begin "who can pick me up at Ron's tomorrow?"

The best part of taking TB's car to Ron is that he knows that Ron is not going to tell him he needs new spark plugs or new tires or something else if he doesn't really need them.

TB has to trust Ron, because he knows nothing about cars, other than to put gas in them and then press down on the pedal on the right to go and the one on the left to stop.

There has to be great satisfaction involved in figuring out what's wrong with a car and then fixing it, especially since TB assumes most car owners are automotive illiterates like he is and therefore have no way of knowing what's wrong when they bring it in.

TB took his car in this morning, which leaves him with the odd feeling of being stuck without a vehicle should he need one, or at least having to borrow someone else's if he needs one. Of course, he doesn't really have anywhere to go and his car will be done early this afternoon, so it's not all that tough a situation, though it will limit his lunch choices.

When TB got to his office, he was able to see Roger Federer close out Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semifinals. As Andy Murray prepared for his semifinal, TB learned that no English player has won the Wimbledon title since Fred Perry.

Considering that Perry lived to be 85 and died 17 years ago, yes, it's been awhile.

TigerBlog also saw an NBC commercial for the upcoming Olympic Games, which actually begin in less than three weeks. TB cannot remember if it is normal for the Olympic Trials to have been held so close to the start of the Games themselves.

The Olympic commercial featured a wide range of athletes who made very brief appearances and very brief comments about the Games, comments that TB couldn't hear because he had the sound turned way down.

He did see the people in the commercial, as their names were included under their pictures.

Among those who were included was Caroline Lind, a 2006 Princeton graduate who will be competing for the United States in rowing, specifically the women's 8.

Lind already has one gold medal, which she won four years ago in Beijing. She was also in the U.S. boat that recently set the world record, a sign that the Americans mean business in London.

Of Princeton's 16 Olympians, there are more in rowing than in any other sport. A total of seven Princeton alums will row in London.

It's so easy to take rowing at Princeton for granted. The boathouse is its own separate world, and it's a sport that most people never really try.

And yet there are more rowers than any other athletes at Princeton. They are among the most loyal to their program after they graduate, and most have enjoyed tremendous success on the water here.

The rowing program's excellence is directly attributable to the coaching staff, led by head coaches Lori Dauphiny, Greg Hughes, Marty Crotty and Paul Rassam. They are a remarkably close-knit group, and that only enhances the effectiveness of the program.

Much like fixing cars, TB knows little about rowing boats.

Also like the cars, he has great respect for those who can make the boats go fast, even without an engine.

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