Author

Mike Olson

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Clowns to the left of me Jokers to the right Here I am Stuck in the middle with you – Stealers Wheel One of the most rewarding parts of getting to work in quantitative and qualitative research has been the opportunity to teach some of the guiding principles to the next generation of researchers coming along. When I am at…...

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In my dream, I’m riding my hoverboard around the square to the diner, where I make a stop for a soda at the counter. But just as I sit down, I look up in the mirror behind the counter, and I see him. The bully who is about to put his hand on my shoulder. But when I look at…...

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When both of my daughters were little girls, I bought them a swingset to put up in the backyard. Having had one as a kid, the pieces were completely obvious coming out of the box. Between the picture on the front and the pieces in front of me, I hardly even needed the directions. Less than an hour later, I…...

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“If you have to eat sh–, best not to nibble. Bite, chew, swallow, repeat. It goes quicker.” – Bud, The Walking Dead, Season 6 YOUR DENVER NUGGETS ARE ONE OF THE FAVORITES TO WIN THE NBA TITLE, WITH THE PLAY OF… Ouch. Well, I mean, they might still survive it if they… Oh. Well, that’s just the starting backcourt, maybe…...

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It was the f—ing Penguin that was screwing with me. No, not the Penguins. Not the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not them. Not a rogue Denver Zoo runaway from the Aviary. No. THE Penguin. Batman’s second-worst arch enemy. That son of a bird had been f—ing with my eight-year old self all summer long. Pepsi had put out a set of collector’s…

“Styles make fights, and our style against theirs was superior.” – Chauncey Billups One of the most famous and successful athletes in Colorado sports history ought to know what he is talking about. In this case, Mr. Big Shot was referring to the NBA Finals that his Detroit Piston captured the title from a stacked-to-the-max L.A. Lakers squad that featured…...

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Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come. – Dwayne Johnson I have smelled what Mr. Johnson is cooking. I took bowling in college as a Phys. Ed elective, knowing that it had to be the easiest class on campus. So when I was two thirds of the way through the semester…...

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“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson Sitting in a courtroom is such a different experience than the one they typically show on television, especially in a civil trial. Though there can be the occasional drama, the bulk of the time can be maddeningly boring. But when a good deal of your future…...

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“Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.” – George Whitefield “It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth.” – Thomas Fuller It was pretty damned dark for your Colorado Avalanche 17 days ago, having just lost their third game in a row, and finding themselves on the…...

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“Give me one man from among ten thousand if he is the best.” – Heraclitus I well remember where I was at the night that Halley’s Comet passed by earth in 1986, as I was just starting to fall in love with astronomy and astrophysics at the deepest dumb-it-down for me level. The rarity of the Halley’s event combined with…...

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“It’s one thing to have the faith to get started, but it’s another thing to have the fortitude to finish strong.” – Kami Dempsey Believe it or not, during the fourth quarter of the Denver Nuggets game against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night, it was a close affair. Toronto had played tough all evening, with neither team seeing much…...

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You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step. – Martin Luther King As an awkward and shy kid, I’d struggled to find many team sports that suited me when I’d try. When I got to middle school, a couple of posters hung around campus were shilling for athletes who liked to do things “solo”, and…...

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A problem is a chance for you to do your best. – Duke Ellington Life is designed to lull you to sleep. While you always want to think you’re giving your best in every circumstance, human beings are made to budget their energy. Whether it’s our brains glossing over repetitive tasks, or choosing to coast when we know we have…...

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“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ~ Carl Jung I still remember it as clearly as day. I was goofing around with a few of my dearest friends, and I looked across the room. She… stunning, beautiful she was sitting in a chair, chatting with…...

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“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle, sort of As a kid, I grew up watching a ton of cartoons, especially on Saturday mornings during my second or third giant bowl of Fruity Pebbles (don’t judge me). The capstone of my Saturday funfest was Voltron, a Japanese series that was rewritten and revoiced for American…...

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“You can’t win if you don’t play as a unit.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar “You can’t win if you don’t play.” – The Colorado Lottery In my fourth year of club soccer, our team had hit the apex of its possibility. We’d squeezed every bit of juice we could out of our current roster, and still couldn’t make things click. We…...

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It was the first test in my collegiate music history class, and I’d spent hours getting my Bachs, Beethovens, and Mozarts straight so I could regurgitate who did what where, when, and how. I was ready for anything. Anything. My professor walked into the room with… a record player. Uh oh. He strolled down to the far end of the…...

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“My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.” – Mizuta Misahide Quite a beautiful attitude, isn’t it? The picture of the resilient spirit. I could only aspire to such things, as if my barn were burning, I would not be thinking of the view, nor breaking out the marshmallows. I’d more than probably be lamenting my poor…...

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“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” – John W. Gardner Most tasks, no matter how complex they seem, can often be broken down into a series of simpler goals. This is especially true in professional sports, where complex sequences that seem outside the bounds of mere mortals can usually be broken down into more mundane bits and bytes. In…...

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“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt I’d been playing club soccer for four years when the famine hit. Our league ran across three states, and played a 12-game regular season, with the upper half of the league meeting for a playoff every year. In…...

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