Last night on the way home I pass an opening party for the new trendy store (the name escapes me...Mark Jacobs maybe?) on Bleecker & 11th street, across from the Magnolia Bakery. Celebrities, TV cameras, beautiful people spilled out onto the street drinking Sauvignon Blanc. I think: there goes the neighborhood. The last thing we need in the West Village is another flurry of overpriced, high-overhead trendy stores. It's bad enough that Sex In The City is constantly being filmed here.

I tried to watch the Olympics again last night. Thank God we have a TiVo, because otherwise it would be entirely unbearable. NBC seems to think that Olympic coverage should consist of 20% commercials, 65% "human drama" stories and awards coverage, and only 15% actual footage of sports. In fact, TiVo didn't even help much: I started watching with a 1/2 hour delay, and I caught up to live almost instantly as I zipped past several useless interviews and Bob Costas rambling on about the Chinese. I paused it, watched most of a ST:TNG rerun, and when I returned had to zip through another 15 minutes of drivel before getting to the U.S. women's volleyball game, which they started covering in the second set.

On NPR this morning they ran a story about Americans who live near Canada who are watching Canadian Olympic coverage just because it doesn't suck ass the way NBC's does. It bugs me that a company like that can pay $705 million for exclusive U.S. broadcast rights and then fuck it up so much. Why do we tolerate the sale of exclusive rights to broadcasters in the first place? I think some kind of Dutch auction strategy would be preferable, where the top three are given access. At least then we have a decent shot of getting at least one network that is willing to just point the camera at the athletes and get on with it. I can't wait for interactive television to mature, so we can do away with the overproduced crap that the networks want to foist on us.

The worst bit of last night (while I am in rant mode) was the coverage of the men's gymnastics. I already knew the result, because NBC is tape-delaying everything, and I saw it on CNN's website yesterday afternoon. At first their coverage angle is: show every last thing the U.S. competitors do, including stretching out and wiping their noses, and almost nothing else from virtually any other country except a smattering of the major competitors that were a threat to the U.S. medal: Russia, and to a lesser extent, China. It's as if NBC misses the Cold War, because of the drama that would surround the Russia-U.S. rivalry. Except that Russia didn't win-China did. In fact, Russia didn't even get silver: Ukraine did. How many Ukrainian gymnastics did we see? Virtually none! Only the last few when it became obvious that the Russians had lost the silver, and if so-and-so doesn't stick his landing in the parallel bars they will lose the bronze to Japan, which is "unthinkable" in the words of NBC, since they are Russia after all. They didn't even get the name right: it's "Ukraine" not "The Ukraine". It's a sizeable country with the population of France and an abundance of natural resources. They have nuclear missiles. But the average American has no idea where it is, since it was part of the Soviet empire until it broke free in 1991. Instead of taking the time to tell us this, or (better yet) show us some of their athletes doing their stuff, it was ignored. No drama. I don't know which possibility upsets me more: that NBC thinks this is what people want, or that they did their homework with focus groups, etc., and that it actually is what Americans want to watch, and hence I'm a mutant for actually wanting to see a volleyball game start-to-finish.

OK, I'm feeling much better now.

The Amazing Donut Guy apparently didn't show up this morning, so my neighborhood indy coffee bar just had bagels and muffins. Sigh. I made my way out of there past the sea of leashed dogs playing and sniffing each other, and off I went to work.

Passing Bank Street, I couldn't see any evidence of yesterday's 7-story geyser, but then again the streets were wet from rain, so who would know?

3:15 -- Lunch, finally. It's ark-building-level rain out there right now, so I just hit the "gourmet deli" thing in the building. It's not great, but at least you don't have to go outside. They must double their business on days like today. The upside is that they have Yoo-hoo(tm) chocolate drink, alias chocolate milk. At least, I think there's milk in it...hold on a sec: water, dairy whey (dairy whey?), high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar, non-fat milk! Also "7 vitamins and minerals". Phew. Boy do I feel better after reading the ingredients.

5:19 -- Ay me. It continues to rain. The thumpa-thumpa-thumpa against the glass on my window is kind of soothing, but at some point I have to go home. That won't be anytime soon, though: And miles to code before I sleep

I love the quiet of the middle of the night. You can feel the sleeping going on. I have to get up tomorrow, but I don't care. I have Sierra Nevada in the fridge, I have books to read, I have a digital VCR full of programming, I have the web and E2. There's 120 minutes more until the hour of the wolf. Let's get busy.