Tales From Turin
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Olympic Blogger Shares Stories, Talks Coverage

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Dan Steinberg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 17, 2006; 11:00 AM

So why, in the middle of February, is a college basketball writer trying to figure out how to use a Nescafe instant espresso machine in Italy?

In his blog "Tales From Turin," Washington Post staff writer Dan Steinberg answers this question, dishes about the 2006 Winter Olympic Games and characterizes his latest cheese of the day. (Barba Buch anyone?) Let's not forget the weather. He weighs in on that, too. And Mike Wise.

Steinberg was online Friday, Feb. 17, at 11 a.m. ET to talk Turin: the scene, the people, and of course, the Olympics. Steinberg is also curious about how much of your Olympic experience comes through choices in NBC coverage. And, yes, about cheese. Questions about Toma del Maccagno? Ask now.

Steinberg also chatted online Monday, Feb. 13. Read the transcript for more information on, well, cheese.

The transcript follows.

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Dan Steinberg: Hey everyone. Sorry, a little late. The 2 p.m. women's curling session ran long; I think the Americans and Russians are in extra ends right now, and I was just trying to interview former Canadian figure skating champion Elizabeth Manley, who apparently is a big curling fan.

As always, I'd love to hear what NBC is showing you and what you think of the coverage, because that will shape your Olympic experience as much as anything else. To prepare, I watched hours of Euro Sport last night.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi Dan - Some Americans get our Olympic experience through the CBC. Almost all major events are shown live throughout the day.

Dan Steinberg: Do you really get CBC in Arlington? How's that work?

I grew up near the Canadian border and we used to watch CBC during the Olympics. Some of the CBC folks say they hear that from Americans all the time, and that their ratings would be a lot better if American households were counted (I'm not a TV expert, so I can't vouch for that).

What I guess I don't understand is, if everyone out there insists that they'd like fewer sappy stories, and less American-centric coverage, and more events shown beginning to end, why doesn't NBC comply? They're not dumb, presumably. Maybe Internet chatters and blog commentators have different tastes than the average American.

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Curling Controversy: Here's your illegal broom link - dated back to Monday.Sheesh! (But again, I'm not bitter or anything, not when I have a slab of expensive Robiola taking up space in the lunchroom refrigerator...)

Dan Steinberg: Sorry everyone, my mind is so filled with curling tales that I've apparently breathlessly posted a story about a curling controversy twice, days apart.

This poster went out and bought an expensive cheese with the hopes of getting a backpack that I have since promised to someone else. Tragic in so many ways.

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Upstate New York: My local curling club is having an open house and demonstrations all next week, thanks to you I am going to go check it out. And on Sat. it's open curling for all. So my question is, what do I wear for my first curling adventure?

Dan Steinberg: I posted a link to an open house in the D.C. area later this month. Apparently a lot of rinks try to capitalize on the Olympic fervor to get people in the door.

Since I certainly don't know the answer to this question, I'll throw it open. Although the Potomac Curling Club does recommend the following:

Bring warm, loose-fitting clothes (sweatshirt or sweater) and clean sneakers or rubber-soled shoes.

One of the Canadian women rolls her sleeves up all the way, despite the fact that it's very chilly in the rink.

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NBC stinks: Ugh. Awful. Terrible.

Not as much treacle as before, but very packaged and managed. And when figure skating is on the main NBC channel, they show ordinary stuff on their secondary channels. Why not use CNBC to show us curling during prime time?

Dan Steinberg: I've heard a lot of journalists asking when NBC is going to realize that, in the Internet age, tape delay just doesn't make sense. I know I discussed this briefly a few days ago, but I would think this might be the year. Within a very few years, I would imagine the idea of showing a sporting event on tape delay would be completely preposterous.

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Stone Ridge, Va.: So in 1 short week you've become the Washington Post cheese expert (useful in case this sportswriter gig doesn't work out), become the Washington Post curling expert (useful in case, well, hmm, just useful, I guess), traded shots with random members of the U.S. luge team, turned a chance encounter with Roberto (who?) Donna into a gourmet feast at his mother's house (don't bother coming back, btw, because we all hate you - not really, but really) and at the same time gave vegetarians everywhere a bad name for turning up your nose at the roast rabbit, sausage ragu, and blood sausage (mmm, blood sausage), gotten in tight with the totally cool Kiwi curling team, and just generally have been given the run of the entire northwestern Italy.

What's the plan for Week 2?

Dan Steinberg: I very carefully worded my entry about the luge team to make it unclear whether I was actually accepting the drinks that were offered to me.

In truth, I have a notebook (and now camera) with me at all times and need to stay reasonably on my toes.

Tomorrow I have to go back into the mountains to find my cell phone, and I might wind up at ski jumping, which intrigues me. But my new friend Nick from BBC Radio has completely jumped on the curling bandwagon; probably I've already posted this and forgotten, but the Swedish women's team starred in a heavy metal video, and Nick is getting audio of the song pronto for a radio spot. So if he's going to push me like this, I'm sticking around curling.

I've just been told that an adjoining rink is offering journalists a chance to throw a few stones right now. It's all I can do not to blow off this chat and sprint out the door.

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New York, N.Y.: I've been watching the Olympics and I have a question, what is the...Zzzzzzzzz.

Dan Steinberg: Yeah, that's what a lot of Americans are telling us.

So who do you like in American Idol?

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Silver Spring, Md.: For the first-time curler: Definitely DO NOT wear jeans. You need something really loose-fitting on the bottom because of that stretching move when you lose the stone. And layers! It's cold at first, but then you get going a little and want to get down to your sweatshirt.

Have fun!

Dan Steinberg: Curling clothing advice.

With hipsters embracing bowling in recent years, and hipster bowling alleys springing up, I wouldn't be surprised if curling manages to catch on.

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McLean, Va.: Advice on dressing for curling: curl in layers. First time I went, I discovered it was more of a workout than I expected, and by the end I was in a t-shirt, in spite of being out on the ice.

Dan Steinberg: And more clothing advice.

The Russian women are completely bundled in jackets out there, and two of the Canadians are wearing short sleeved shirts, so there's obviously some individual discretion.

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WMATA, Washington, D.C.: How's Mike doing?

Dan Steinberg: Last I heard from Mike he was, at the least, alive. He said he wants to tape some video spots with me tonight, so I assume he's reasonably healthy. But he has to cover some hockey, so I'm not sure whether the video will happen today or tomorrow or even later. I've been promising for days, I know.

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NBC Today - Cheese Segment: These bozos apparently flew out "noted cheese gourmand" Terrance Brennan from NYC just to review a very pedestrian cheese course featuring parmesan, romano, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and the like. You blow these morons away.

Dan Steinberg: I'm not posting this to be self serving, but gee, did they really do a cheese bit on "Today?" There's nothing left that's unique to my blog. That's what happens when you drop 10,000 journalists in one city, I guess. More importantly, this almost definitely kills any chance I had of appearing with Katie and Matt this week.

Before I forget, I hope you're all planning on dropping in on the Vanilla Ice chat at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Coming up next week: Naughty by Nature.

Not really.

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TV coverage: Dan, you juste wrote: "What I guess I don't understand is, if everyone out there insists that they'd like fewer sappy stories, and less American-centric coverage, and more events shown beginning to end, why doesn't NBC comply?"... well, one word: monopoly. Most viewers don't have Canadian TV, so we're stuck with NBC if we want to see the Olympics rather than read about them or follow Eurosport's tiny live cam.

Dan Steinberg: Right, but I'm just thinking if people really wanted live and unedited, that would imply a market that NBC could exploit in some way. But I guess they just can't get the ad dollars for live 1 p.m. biathlon that they can for well-edited 9 p.m. figure skating, despite all the people writing me to the contrary.

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Bethesda, Md.: So, are Phyllis Richman and Roberto Donna dating?

Dan Steinberg: Wow, more than one person wrote to ask this. I hope I didn't imply that in any way. Both are married; very happily, as far as I could gather. Phyllis was hoping to write a freelance piece about Roberto's travels through and around Turin during the Olympics.

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Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C., USA: Why is there so much hostility toward Bode Miller now that he failed to medal in the downhill and GS? I never had the impression that he was some sort of blowhard or braggart beforehand. If anything, he's been kind of gracious in defeat. Is this a red state/blue state kind of thing?

Dan Steinberg: Interesting question. I think the sentiment is, gee, we read about you for weeks, we saw you on 60 Minutes, we saw you on the cover of Time and Newsweek (and the Hyde Junior High newsletter, according to Mike Wise), we read about you in Rolling Stone, and now you've showed that you aren't worthy of the hype. Many journalists were complaining after his fifth place finish about how the event was a waste of their time.

I think it's a little silly, when the time difference between winning and losing is so minute, and when it was an event that Miller hasn't dominated by any means this season. I guess that's the problem with becoming a media darling.

I understand why there were stories about Miller--he's interesting and outspoken--but I don't know why so many publications seemed to decide that he was THE story of the olympics.

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Arlington, Va.: On your blog you say Nick works for CBC radio, now you say BBC. Which is it?

Dan Steinberg: Sorry, typing fast. He works for CBC radio. He's a Canadian through and through, which is why he says "Eh" so bloody much.

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Philadelphia, Pa.: So have you really begun to enjoy curling or is this some sort of sarcastic trope you are employing to amuse your readers?

Dan Steinberg: Great question.

I came out here originally because

1) It's a pretty manageable bus ride, which is important if you're trying to post frequently

2) I thought it might be fun to follow around the Kiwis

3) It seemed like it would be good scene.

I actually enjoy curling because

1) You can see and hear the athletes, see their facial expressions even, which is something you can say about hardly any other winter sport

2) As I mentioned before, you can at least sense the progression of a game without being an expert. I can watch a luge run and have no idea if it was good or bad, and the same with figure skating and all sorts of skiing events. This is closer to the types of team sports I usually cover.

3) The athletes are such a diverse group: ages, genders, interests, careers. And they're all so willing to talk after their games, win or lose.

So yeah, I am really enjoying it. But I won't really do this every day.

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Alexandria, Va.: Can I just say, as a straight, married male, I love the Olympic Ice show? The one on the USA network where it's all about figure skating? Lots of great info, I'm learning tons, a very deft sense of humor, and Jamie Sale is a honey.

Dan Steinberg: Interesting. Many of my co-workers were really enamored with Sale during the 2002 Olympics. We really need a controversy like that judging scandal to juice up the interest over here.

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Vienna, Va.: Seriously, the BBC is showing 5 live feeds over the Internet, and NBC can't even get us one??? Instead we have to wait until after the local news to get highlight clips on NBCOlympics.com

There's got to be a better way. I'd give anything for a live Internet video feed of curling during my workday!

And apparently, USA actually cut away from the US women's curling game, which as you noted was going into a sudden-death extra end, so that they could show the Women's hockey pregame. The viewers will never know how it ended. What a joke.

Dan Steinberg: Journalists here are incredibly down on women's hockey. Every year, every competition comes down to U.S. vs. Canada. I don't know that there's more interest in that than in women's curling. Seems to me there's less suspense in the women's hockey tournament than any other event at these games.

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Johnstown, Pa.: How does the Washington Post compare with other major news outlets with regard to sheer quantity of journalists on the scene? It seems like your paper is out-doing the NY Times. I think you're doing a great job. I'd NBC bash but I think it's all been said already. My wife might make the ultimate protest and watch Hope & Faith tonight instead of olympic "coverage."

About curling ... I don't know, I guess it's kind of like watching baseball where you're first learning to understand the rules --- lots of rules, some things don't quite make sense, and it is compelling and interesting but also too tedious to watch every night on TV. The U.S. curl girls are real easy on the eyes though, so that helps a lot.

Dan Steinberg: I can't give you a definitive answer on numbers. We have seven sportswriters, one editor (who also writes), one administrative person, one IT person, and we briefly had some help from a foreign correspondent. From what I understand, it's fairly similar to what the L.A. Times and Boston Globe have, and a bit less than what the NY Times has. USA Today has many, many more people than us.

When Hope and Faith beats the Olympics on TV, though, it's probably time for us to pack up and go home.

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Vienna, Va.: Seriously, the BBC is showing 5 live feeds over the Internet, and NBC can't even get us one??? Instead we have to wait until after the local news to get highlight clips on NBCOlympics.com

There's got to be a better way. I'd give anything for a live Internet video feed of curling during my workday!

Dan Steinberg: I'm sure that things will change very quickly. Most media organizations are still trying to figure out how to handle the Internet with events like this, and I've heard from enough people who are outraged (as have my co-workers) that I can't imagine we'll see another Olympics like this. Just my guess.

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Bloggin' from Beijing?: This is simply the best blog! Your chance encounter with Roberto Donna at the Alpine Hut of Cheese was too much. I emailed you earlier in the week encouraging you to keep the C!O!T!D! segment and you wrote back! What an unexpected surprise. Surely, you're too busy rushing from cheese shop to curling venue to write back to your adoring blog fans!

To whom at washingtonpost.com do I submit a letter of endorsement? In this letter I will insist that the Post send you to Beijing in '08, where you could do a S!P!O!T!D! (Soy Product Of The Day) segment.

Another hard working government employee (and Tales from Turin fan)

Dan Steinberg: Just in case any of my editors are reading this.

I'm still planning on going to a Chinese restaurant here, just to see how it might be different from a Chinese restaurant back home. There's one right around the corner from the media center. So that might be as close as you get, but it's something.

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Glenn From Fairfax, Va.: I agree with the whole tape-delay debacle. Why would I want to spend my evenings with NBC watching a competition that I already know the outcome of? USA Network has live coverage in the mornings, but I'm sure they're losing the ratings game to The Price Is Right and The Nanny reruns on TBS

Is there any solution?

Dan Steinberg: My idea: have Bob Barker ask Norway and Finland to stage a Plinko contest, or try guessing how much a barca lounger costs, in order to win a ski trip.

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Washington, D.C.: I imagine you're probably not getting to see any college basketball games while you're over there, what with having all those live sporting events to attend, eh? But I imagine you're at least getting the scores, so, what do you think about GW? Not quite blowing people out yet, are they?

I hear good things about Mason too, but haven't gotten to watch any of their games yet....

Dan Steinberg: After GW barely beat Marshall in overtime, I was very down on them. But after GW beat Saint Louis in overtime the very next game, I officially decided that I would no longer judge the Colonials on style points or margin of victory. All that really matters is your won-loss record, and the Colonials keep winning and winning and winning, no matter how badly they play or how close they come to losing.

That doesn't change my concerns about the team, but I don't think there's such a thing as a "bad win" when you're undefeated in the Atlantic 10 in late February.

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Washington, D.C.: Has Tom Sietsema e-mailed you to say how appalled he was that you didn't recognize Roberto Donna? I can hear him banging his head against a curling stone in shame at your cluelessness.

Dan Steinberg: A lot of people were upset with me. I just didn't know what the guy looked like. Very sorry.

More importantly, I had already been blogging for almost a week, and he didn't recognize me. Send him your outraged e-mails.

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Bethesda, Md.: Wait...can we watch these Internet feeds on the BBC, or are they limited to UK addresses?

Dan Steinberg: Help?

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Silver Spring, Md.: I look back and have to think that the "Miracle on Ice" and the US-dominated LA olympics changed the tone of US coverage to more nationalistic star-making than a celebration of sport. In today's climate, would the coverage let us fall in love with Nadia Comaneci?

Dan Steinberg: Maybe so, although that was a little before my time.

Before I left the States, my editor and I discussed strategies for provoking comments in the blog. When I blogged from the ACC tournament, all I had to do was make a mildly polite comment about Duke, for example, and I was guaranteed a huge and immediate response from Maryland fans, for example. I said I didn't think the same thing would happen here, because I'm not sure that people feel a rivalry with other countries. I mean, which country here do Americans feel even mild dislike for? Finland? New Zealand? Switzerland?

I think you've got to sell people on the thrill of the competition, but that gets back to the problem with the time difference.

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Columbia, S.C.: Did you ever find and talk to the young chef from South Carolina?

Dan Steinberg: I never did find him, but I haven't been down to the medal plaza. That's definitely on my list of things to do.

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College Park, Md.: Who is the best mid-major curler?

Dan Steinberg: I think he plays for Northern Iowa. Ask Eric Prisbell next Wednesday.

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Johnstown, Pa.: Currently the ' Catching up with Vanilla Ice ' chat is the most viewed discussion of the day, and it won't start for 90 minutes! I think that might be a problem.

Dan Steinberg: I have no hope of competing with him. Although this makes me think that Mike Wise could probably do a little Ice Ice Baby for me.

All right stop collaborate and listen

Wise is back with my brand new invention

Someone, please ask Vanilla this for me: Why did he think that "listen" rhymed with "invention?"

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Vienna again: Sorry for double posting that earlier comment. I got a little upset when they cut away from curling.

The BBC feeds are UK only, sorry.

Dan Steinberg: I'm getting so confused, but as long as Vienna keeps writing, I'll keep posting.

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Reruns of CSI and Dancing with the Stars: I watched a rerun of CSI at 8 then switched to Dancing with the Stars rather than watch Olympics. It isn't that I am not interested it is just so hard to watch with them jumping from one thing to another and never finishing anything (and then there are the commercials but that we all know about). NBC is blowing it bigtime.

Dan Steinberg: For an event that feels, over here, like much of it is made for TV, it's hard to imagine a major network "blowing it bigtime."

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tape delay: I kind of like the tape delay. I have been tivoing the olympics on NBC and check the web to see who won competition. then i can fast forward through the losers (i know that is bad, but we all have limited time). Last night it was particularly useful for ice skating, which i like, but i don't like it enough to sit through 20 different skaters. i am a true american, in that i watched the winners and the three americans - that was it!

Dan Steinberg: Well, this is the first person who has written in favor of tape delay, so I might as well post it.

I guess I will slightly amend one of my earlier comments. I said that you have to sell us on the thrill of competition, which is hard to do on tape delay. Maybe that's not totally true. When I cover college basketball games, I often miss the best national games, which are often reshown soon after on ESPN Classic. If I stumble on those games in the following days, I'll often watch, and I often find it highly entertaining even if I know which team will win, and how. So maybe it is possible.

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NBC Coverage: Dan, I am with you. If there really was a huge groundswell for live, unedited Olympics coverage, that is probably what NBC would give us. I presume they have done many, many surveys of what Americans want, and it is not 24/7 coverage of curling.

Last night I watched Snowboard Cross, which i thought sounded really exciting, but it was kinda boring. they just had heat after heat. I had to stop watching. so anyways, I just wanted to say that I enjoy figure skating and seeing a bit of every sport, but (and I hope Mike Wise doesn't kill me for saying this) I don't want to see the entire Biathalon.

Dan Steinberg: If Americans wanted to see tons of live biathlon, we'd probably hear about it more often than every four years. Frankly, as much as I love this curling out here, it's hard to imagine curling is worth hundreds of million dollars.

Canadian officials, however, said the 3 a.m. games are getting hundreds of thousands of live viewers.

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Fair Lakes, Va.: So I'm guessing that you're on the hook for a really special souvenir for the lovely Mrs. Dan Steinburg upon your return, especially given your private Valentine's dinner at Chez Donna Momma sans the aforementioned Mrs. Dan Steinburg. What do you have in mind? Fine Italian jewelry? Expensive cheese? A purloined "Passion Lives Here" banner?

Dan Steinberg: Now this is really a great question. I've been trying to figure it out myself. Suggestions?

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Reston, Va.: Just went to the BBC site .....I think we ought to pettition the BBC to buy NBC. They've got this 'red button' that'll allow you to watch FOUR events at once. AND they've got a video clip of a rocket powered mini going off the ski jump at Lillehammer.

Dan Steinberg: Thank you all for doing my work.

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Aldie, Va.: So Donna couldn't convince you that blood isn't meat?

Dan Steinberg: Has anyone out there tried blood sausage? Even if I were a meat eater, not sure I could have done it. The consistency was very, very strange looking. Then again, I'm not very adventurous.

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Washington, D.C.: Loved watching the snowboard cross last night! However, one aspect of the sport left me puzzled: why do they still wear those baggy clothes in this race? It seems like they'd trade them in for something a little more aerodynamic. Any thoughts on this?

Dan Steinberg: I do not know the answer to this, but I have a question of my own: why would snowboard halfpipe get olympic medal status before skateboard halpipe? Did I already ask this? I can't remember. Seem to be nearly identically deserving of Olympic status to me.

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Washington, D.C.: Have the winter olympics become passe? The cold war gave the olympics a certain edge, which seems lacking now. Most of these sports are barely followed by American audiences outside of the olympics. To my way of thinking, the NBC telecasts seem little more than a souped up version of the "X Games". Am I being too harsh?

Dan Steinberg: I guess this would seem harsh if you think the X Games are terrible, which I don't.

I just don't know that the Olympics will be the kind of event that will captivate a country with unlimited access to e-mail, VH1, Iron Chef and Paula vs. Simon

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Keep primetime: You can hate tape-delay, but some of us have to, you know, work and sleep from time to time, so having to watch everything live means missing a lot! I'm no fan of the All American Highlights that make up primetime coverage, but I don't mind the tape-delay, because I'd rather at least watch some of the action.

Dan Steinberg: I have often wondered who all these people are that watch Euro Sport's round the clock live coverage over here. Don't people work in Europe? When you're at work you're not supposed to be watching live TV, you're supposed to be covertly reading blogs!

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Blood sausage: Yes, I've tried it, and it's exactly as disgusting as it sounds. Sorry, but I think I'll stick with regular sausage instead. Sure, I can't identify the parts inside, but I do know it's not just blood!

Dan Steinberg: It's almost dinner time over in Italy, by the way.

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Arlington, Va.: The bus situation seems ridiculous. Your story about the bus almost running over Mike Wise is horrible! Not only do the buses seem to be aiming for people, but you keep hearing how poorly trained the drivers are. Is this the worst example of bad planning by Italy? Is this a big story over there?

Also, I thought I saw on NBC the first day that there was a subway/light rail of some sort in Turin, but haven't heard anything about it again.

washingtonpost.com: Tales From Turin: BREAKING NEWS

Dan Steinberg: I'm supposed to be promoting my own blog entries by posting these questions with links. So here goes.

I've had one problem with a bus driver, but both my problem and Mike's problems were, at least, based on drivers who really wanted to stick to their schedule.

Virtually none of the drivers I've met speak English, but aside from my one problem every one has been polite and helpful and willing to engage in the smile and gesture and smile and gesture games that all of us non-Italian speakers play. I don't want anyone to have the impression that people here are rude.

And while venues might be empty at times, people here have been really pleasant and welcoming, so I would rather not engage in Turin bashing, like some of my colleagues at other papers have done. Being slightly smelly is no crime.

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Beltsville, Md.: Thanks for the great work, Dan. You have innoculated me with the curling bug (with help from the smokin' U.S. womens team and the redoubtable Kiwis) like a fine Blu de Moncenisio cheese. Speaking of cheese, did the Food editor tell that this week's (2/15/06) " Food 101 " article by Robert Wolke was on... CHEESE?! Are we on the way to achieving perfect formaggio synergy? He basically described ripening in cheeses as controlled, er..., "spoilage." Please keep up with The!Cheese!Of!The!Day! anyway & more videos.

Two quick questions: How is "Mad Dog" Wise doing and how was dinner with Phyllis Richman?

Thanks!

washingtonpost.com: Soft on Cheese (Post, Feb. 15)

Dan Steinberg: Cheese is big. Roberto and I discussed this the other day. Just in the last 10 years or so, the interest in cheese has skyrocketed, and the selection at restaurants and stores has done the same. I wouldn't have chosen my them to be, say, citrus fruits, because not that many people care about citrus fruits, but people really do seem to love their cheese.

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Reston, Va.: Dan, love the blog.....makes the day go faster.

Here's something to get into: Clear seats. I've noticed that several venues have clear seats. What's the deal with that?

washingtonpost.com: Tales From Turin: An Olympic Journal By Dan Steinberg

Dan Steinberg: I have not noticed this, but a lot of the venues are quite new, so maybe clear is big.

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Turin: A lot of reporters have commented that the venues are not very full. Has there been talk that Turin just wasn't a very good pick for the Olympics? I remember how in Salt Lake City there seemed to be a lot of stories about how well organized it was and very well attended (but that was probably in comparison to Atlanta, which must have had the worst-reviewed Olympics in recent history).

Dan Steinberg: To continue the work of the Piedmontese Tourism Board...yes, there has been that talk (at least among journalists), and some have told me this was a bad spot for my "first olympics," but I'm not sure why. The ski village I visited yesterday was completely gorgeous. Bus trips are long, and maybe there's one bus driver out here who wants to run down Americans, but in the grand scheme of things a two hour bus ride through the Alps isn't the worst thing in the world. And the city is interesting.

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Clear seats: Modern looking, plus it helps with security. Easy to see if something is hidden underneath when they do the pre-event sweeps of the venues!

Dan Steinberg: Makes sense to me.

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Blood Sausage...: Is great. I would give it a chance Dan. it is not as weird tasting as you think, it kind of tastes vegetables, particularly because they usually throw a lot of herbs and spices in with it.

If you are skeptical, ask them to slice up the sausage and fry it up in some olive oil. And if you don't like it, you can always chase it with your COTD.

Stay away from sweetbreads. Because they are neither sweet nor bread.

Dan Steinberg: I think I'm going to close with this advice, and go up and get some pizza before the New Zealand-Italy match kicks off.

Thanks for reading, and keep checking back.

The email, as always, is steinbergd@washpost.com

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