I have paid little attention to the Winter Olympiad in Vancouver this week, although I did watch the snowboard half-pipe competition tonight while having a glass of wine at a local watering hole, and damn, that Shaun White is da dude, dudes.

But I also, for the first time, watched curling analytically (Swedes vs. Brits, women's competition), and got eerily fascinated. So, a minor digressive story:

Me and the wifeperson spent a couple of weeks in July last year motoring around British Columbia, and a great trip it was. We were amused at seeing, in virtually every small town of any substance in the southern portion of the province, a big building housing, by label, a curling club. Now, most of these towns were within fifty miles or so of the U.S. border, but in towns of similar size in Washington, you won't find any damn curling club, that kind of building having been replaced by bowling lanes.

The two activities are considerably similar. And in watching the curling tonight, I saw a level of skill considerably more impressive than I've seen in U.S. style bowling competitions. Not to mention actual strategy and teamwork. I left feeling like we Yanks are really missing something here. Especially us Yanks who live northward of most Canades.