My Friday Five: Olympics Talk & Some Updates

Photo: Chris White

1. Five More Minutes

Have you ever wanted five more minutes? Maybe to sleep, or to finish up a project. Maybe to spend with someone that’s no longer here. Scotty McCreery performed a new song he’d been working on at his book signing in Garner a couple months ago. The song was named “Five More Minutes” and Scotty wrote it after his grandfather passed away. I know this kind of thing all too well. About six years ago, I had all three of my grandparents with me and I thought it would never end. Fast forward to 2016 – right before Scotty’s book signing in fact. My last surviving grandparent passed away. Not a day goes by without me thinking about them. “Five More Minutes” really hit home and I think it’ll be a very popular song for Scotty. Check it out below!

2. Ticketmaster Update

The frustration continues. Last week, I wrote about a lawsuit settlement involving ticket buying giant, Ticketmaster. The settlement allowed for customers to receive several discount and free ticket vouchers but, as I stated last week, the free vouchers could only be used on eligible shows determined by Live Nation and Ticketmaster (whoopee). The list of eligible shows was garbage at best, especially for my neck of the woods here in North Carolina.

I finally determined that someone should be contacted in order to hear feedback on this whole process. I emailed the settlement administrator, Garden City Group, and voiced all my frustration in the most constructive way possible. The response I received was even more infuriating – just have a look below.

Am I surprised that Garden City Group actually defended Live Nation and Ticketmaster? Not really. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have a strong feeling that additional litigation will be forthcoming. In my opinion, this “settlement” has been nothing more than a scam on top of the scam that caused a lawsuit in the first place.

3. Computer Woes Part Dos

You may recall that I’ve been having some computer troubles as of late. In fact, the last good computing experience I had was with an HP that lasted throughout my college career before the battery died and I could no longer find a comparable one for it. I then purchased a (much) lower priced Toshiba and it lasted for about two years before something happened with its battery and it had some other glitches – quite frankly I blame Windows 10 for it.

I later wrote what I thought would be a post celebrating my new laptop purchase. Unfortunately, I had to return it to the Microsoft Store. I just wasn’t satisfied with it. A glaring issue it had was the “Blue Screen of Death” popped up after Windows did updates. The computer would restart itself and all would be okay. It did that a few times before I decided to return it. I went through crap like that with the aforementioned Toshiba so I was determined not to go through that again. Now I’m back to square one and, having already deemed 2016 “The Year of Change” I’m thinking about making a huge switch. After additional research and wise council provided by some of my Facebook peeps, I’m heavily considering making the switch from PC to Mac. I’ve never owned a Mac in my life – and probably said I never would at some point – but almost every article I’ve read and every person I’ve talk with has lauded the Mac on its longevity which, despite the price, is what I’m shooting for. It’s crazy to keep spending $500-700 every two years on a new laptop when I could spend the money for a Mac and, hopefully, get several years of use out of it. Heck, the HP I had that lasted through college cost at least $1,000 itself. Seems like one must spend that much to get a quality machine nowadays.

4. Pack in the Olympics

A big congrats to N.C. State swimmer Ryan Held for earning a spot in the 2016 Olympics! Although he didn’t qualify for the Men’s 100m Individual Freestyle on Thursday night, Held’s third place finish in the event earned him a spot on the 400m Relay team. It’s always great to see my fellow Wolfpackers having success. I can’t wait to watch how he does in Rio!

5. Big Name Golfers Backing Out

Speaking of Rio, it’s looking more and more likely that a trio of pro golfers often touted as the “Big Three” – Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Speith – will not be there to represent their countries at the Olympics. In fact, both Day and McIlroy have already backed out while Speith said earlier this week that he’s still undecided, all having cited Zika Virus fears as their reasoning. Sure, Zika may be a valid reason, but I think it’s about a lot more than that. I’ll give ya a hint: $$$.

I’m not in these golfers’ heads but I can’t help but think the money is a contributing factor at least. Take this article from Golf Digest. The article goes into detail about the financials involved for athletes competing in the Olympics. Using Team USA as an example, there is no stipend offered to play in the Olympics. Additionally, the U.S. Olympic Committee provides commercial airfare for the trip but athletes are on their own if they want to fly privately. The same goes for accommodations, where athletes must pay their own way if they choose more luxurious accommodations as opposed to staying at the Olympic Village. Lastly, golfers would be unable to collect those lucrative pay checks from sponsors for wearing shirts, pants, etc. with corporate branding like in traditional tournaments on Tour.

You picking up what I’m putting down, here? Yes? Good.

I’ve been watching the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials this week and I’ve seen swimmer after swimmer look ecstatic to be representing their country as a member of Team USA. I haven’t seen it as much with the golfing pros and it’s disappointing. Sad, actually.

Thanks for Reading

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