The Olympics, costs and benefits

Though I love the Olympics, the institution faves a major problem. The massive costs of hosting a Games almost never balance out against benefits.

This article considers the financial impacts upon cities which host the Olympics.

A fitting postscript to my post yesterday.

After considering such details as infrastructure investment, marketing and meeting the expectations of the International Olympic Committee, most often the Games cost more than they earn. In some cases the loss is massive.

My first thought: the IOC must start considering the long-term impact. With that, they must seek to mitigate the effects of over-enthusiastic boosters. They struggle with a perception of boondoggle. Several cities’ citizens shut down bids for games.

I feel it important to note that LA actually pulled s profit from the games. Utilizing their existing infrastructure, the cost control worked nicely. The article actually notes several hosts who successfully navigated development and execution. Key considerations for anyone desiring to host a Games.

I see an Olympics as several months of headache with little upside. Most of the promised benefits never materialize. I’m not alone. Seattle’s few attempts to garner support to bid to host a Games failed miserably. And that’s happened elsewhere, too.

Anyone wanting a Games near me must account for this study before I give my support. And I love the Olympics.

As these kids go off to college

Looking at these great young men and women I know going off to college, into the service, into the world I’m struck by their potential greatness. I see this in them all.

I don’t buy the trap, though, of the unit form of greatness is one of public accolade. Really, most of the great things in life are done quietly, un-lauded, just done. Society grinds to a halt without this work. With the quiet doers in our world, we freeze, with nothing valuable happening.

There are downsides to fame. I’ll leave the specifics for another day.

But greatness is immensely satisfying. Arrogant as it may sound, I’ve felt greatness roaring through. Often counterbalanced by moments where I feel minimal competence.

I wish for these dear ones to feel the greatness within. Knowing their value. Whether thousands come out to see you, it you only hear the positives from friends and family, I want them to have that sense deep within them. Knowing they’re valuable and unique. To feel the deepest of the loves. 

An evening with geeks and nerds 

I’m part of a Facebook group titled Nerds. Been part of the group for years, along with about a hundred or so others. Most of these folks I hadn’t met in real life. Well, one if the families decided to host a BBQ tonight, bringing a ton of us out if the woodwork/internet. Sadly, even with lures, there weren’t any Pokemon. And this wasn’t some farm in the country. Thus, to no-one’s surprise, I’m sure, the PokeGods chose not to shine their blessings today.

 It was a delightful evening, meeting the humans behind the personas, profiles and posts. Deepening connections that were in place for years. There is something enriching about that face to face interaction that’s important. Even though many of these folks were connected with me on multiple channels, the in person interaction enriched I’m ways I couldn’t have guessed. These intersections really are important and I’ve come to value them. I’m really delighted to have had the chance. I’m richer for it.

Dad Joke Of The Evening

Sorry to torment you with this…
…ok, not sorry….

There’s a cop on the side of the road, checking for speeders. A car flies by and the cop sees 12 penguins in the back of the car. The cop hits his sirens and pulls the guy over, runs up to the window, and says, “What are you doing with 12 penguins in the back of your car?”

The guy says, “I dunno.”

Cop replies, “Well I think you should take those penguins to the zoo.”

 “OK,” the guy replies.

Next day, the cop’s on the side of the road again. Same car flies by, 12 penguins in the back of the car. Cop hits the sirens, pulls the guy over, runs up to his window, and says, “I thought I told you to take those penguins to the zoo!”

Guy replies, “I already did. And now we’re going to the movies.”

Not Able To View Tabs In Google Sheets

We had an issue today of not being able to view the worksheet tabs across the bottom of a Google Sheet spreadsheet. This one was extremely annoying as I couldn’t see the screen of the user in question. Oddly, when I opened up the same sheet, I couldn’t either. But simply scrolling down brought the tabs into view. Didn’t work for the person I was helping, though. So, I poked around the internets and found this discussion in Google Docs Help. There are a couple of things they recommend.

  • if you have the Ask toolbar in your browser, remove it
  • try opening the spreadsheet using “incognito mode”
  • if that works, then we need to disable extensions until we determine the one causing the problem
  • try resizing the browser screen
  • try using Firefox (or another browser. If you’re in Firefox, then try Chrome or IE)
  • Anyway, I hope you find this helpful. Let me know in the comments.

    Real Estate Update – Good Mortgage News

    Was just reading about a few really nice changes coming up with two key loan types: USDA and FHA.

    The USDA has been directed to shift to a direct endorsement model. Right now, my understanding is that a representative from the USDA reviews every USDA loan. They take significantly longer than other loan types to close, which makes them less desirable than others. This change will speed up the process and make it more aligned with VA and FHA loans.

    And the FHA is looking at their condo approval process. Right now only 10% of condos are approved for FHA loans. One thing they’re doing to tackle this is streamline the approval process. It’s pretty onerous for any condo that doesn’t have professional management. The other thing they’re exploring is the owner occupant threshold. Currently at 50%, they’re looking at dropping that to 35% of unit owners. This will also open up the number of units available to FHA financing.

    So, TLDR: more loans will be available. This should help keep housing affordable for the more modest incomes. Like most of us.

    To really understand the different loan types, talk to a lender. I’ve developed solid relationships with several and can put you in contact with an excellent one. Let me know!

    Bloody Small Screens

    If you know anything about me, I LOVE the mobile revolution. However, I’m noticing that posting on the small screens increases the rate of small errors. Little autocorrect word substitutions, mainly. Ones small enough, and having enough of the right letters in a similar sequence as the desired word that they go live wrong.

    Had such this morning. Posted an update to a Facebook page I manage with “create” in place of “great”. I read the post several times before hitting publish. Ugh!

    I take my writing seriously, so even small grammatical errors bother me. So, with that, I have been trying to post more from a computer, something with a monitor. I notice that my erorr rate is much smaller that way. Plus, I feel more focused.

    And I need to recognize I’m human and mistakes will happen. But I never intend to like it, and will be satisfied with any mistakes. Ever.

    Friendship in the Digital Age

    Lately I’ve pondered “connection”. With several hundred Facebook friends, LinkedIn connection, over a thousand Twitter followers….maintaining connection starts to feel easy. Too easy.

    I’m noticing that I interact with a smallish group of the same people on those different channels. These are dear friends, but not  even close to the larger group of people I want to maintain relationship with. So many good folks that I keep thinking “why don’t we get together more often?” That bothers me.

    I signed up for Plaxo ages ago, and I really haven’t done anything to maintain that list. But I get emails reminding me of birthdays and any other events (anniversaries) that I noted in my contact when I synced. These reminders are nice in that they trigger me to reach out. That’s a start.

    So, I’m trying to “up my game”. Going to build a list of those contacts to, well, contact. I would like to start sending notecards out, too. That just seems nice.

    Any of you feeling this lament? This disconnect from connection. What are you doing about it?

    Fixing Youtube “Embedding disabled by request”

    So, one of my team’s videos was showing this error: “embedding disabled by request”. I have no idea how that setting got changed, as I simply uploaded it and then tried to embed it into our website.

    As you’d expect, this was obnoxious. Finding the solution was a bit annoying, too, as the most recent post I found, from 2009, Which, as you might expect, wasn’t helpful. However, I did get it figured out.

    • Go to This will give you the master list of all your videos.
    • Skim through to the video in question, click “Edit”. 
    • Go to “Advanced Settings” 
    • Scroll down to “Distribution Options” & Click Allow Embedding”