Saturday, August 4, 2012

Late Into the Olympics

Among all the amazing wonderful upheavals caused by the arrival of babies is the relegating of the Olympics to the level of forgettable.
Now that we're settling in to being a family of 10 (!!), I remembered that the Olympics are going on. We scrambled around to find a way to watch it, since we don't have a TV, and I have less than no interest in getting one.
I quickly found out about NBC streaming the Olympics online, but only for customers who have a cable subscription.
That would not include us.
A friend told me about "rabbit ears" that connect to the computer via USB, but I really really REALLY don't want TV *at all*, so I knew I'd break them / throw them away after the Olympics were over, & that I'd probably end up not letting anyone watch anyway, because I'm like a fire breathing dragon when it comes to commercials.
Then, a dear family member (who shall remain nameless in order to protect them in case this was unethical) allowed us to log in to the NBC streaming using their cable subscription's username and password.

So I got the delight of watching my children's eyes glaze over as they watched people do what they dream of, seeing the blend of dreamy and explosively excited as they realize that people really DO that and it IS possible, hearing them interrupt themselves to shout "WHOA!!! Mama- did you SEE that?!?!", and make statements like "When I get my gold medal, I'm going to hang it right by my bed, so I'll see it first thing every morning and know I really did it."
But there were some gripes with the NBC stream. The grainy video quality, choppy playback, ubiquitous "buffering"... I thought it was our computer until I read others' comments on the same thing.
After a wee bit of digging, I found this:
and WOW!!
Silky smooth playback, sharp, clear picture, and access to MORE events (did you know trampoline was an Olympic sport??)!
I set it up tonight, quick, painless, about 3 minutes worth of finagling. It was easy enough to do, and I had a newborn on my lap, a toddler leaning on my leg asking questions, and an elementary age child discussing hacking with me while I did it. You can do it too!
One caution I'd give- turn this off when you're doing anything besides watching the Olympics, as it's NOT secure, and others can see what you're watching, as well as what you type in (username, password, credit card number...)

Next couple of weeks, as we swing back into school after our "baby break" (what we do instead of summer break), we'll do some belated studies on the history of the Olympics, which, now that I think of it, might very well be more interesting now that they've *seen* the Olympics than they would've been before, and *that* is a nice thing to think, after I've been feeling guilty and sub-par for not having done extensive lesson planning and projects *before* the opening ceremonies!


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