Wednesday, January 27, 2010
THE 2010 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
THE 2010 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
So what is the relevance of the games to the woodworking scene in Vancouver? Well a few years ago I received an email from I don’t know where suggesting I sign up for invitations to bid on Olympics related products and services. I filled out a form in which I checked off some boxes for the type of work I do. Although there were no boxes directly related to my business, I checked a few that I thought might include my work. I don’t think their system worked because I started getting “opportunities “to bid on everything from catering to toilets. I stopped accepting the emails.
I was also contacted with respect to producing a conceptual model of an Olympic venue to be presented as corporate gifts. I attended a meeting at a large design firm to “discuss” the project. This turned out to be a kind of job interview. As I was leaving the meeting room I noticed another guy sitting outside with what looked like his portfolio beside him. I never heard back from the design firm but later got an email forwarded from a woodworking group by a guy looking for someone to do some cnc work for a project related to the Olympics, a conceptual model of an Olympic venue. This gives you an idea of how small the woodworking community is here and how everybody is pretty closely connected.
I know I said this blog is not about the construction industry, but if I am going to find something about the Olympics relevant to woodworking I am going to have to go there. There has been a lot of hoopla about the fantastic engineering innovations involved in the wood structure of the Richmond Olympic Oval. Maybe I’m a moron but it just looks like a variation on the old Safeway stores we used to see all over BC.
The general sentiment around the Olympics at this time seems to be one of trepidation and dread. I don’t know anyone who has a ticket to an event or is renting their home out for a windfall, and I am including everyone I talk to, not just family and friends. Personally, I think that the Olympics are representative of a kind of social madness like the big heads on Easter Island, and I think a lot of people here instinctually feel this, even if they don’t consciously think it.
I think that the extraordinary decadence and wastefulness of the games has given people a feeling of dread and trepidation in the sense expressed by Margaret Atwood in her lecture “payback”.
As far as the weather is concerned, I am glad it is mild. I hope it gets even warmer. This is not to spite the games but simply because the shop I rent is so poorly insulated that to heat it is very expensive. The last year of recession has been tough and I need a break somewhere. Which makes me wonder, how much would it cost to upgrade all these energy sucking, green house gas producing old buildings in BC? Probably a drop in the bucket of the Olympic budget.
A very popular sport here, maybe not an Olympic sport but popular none the less is thinking of all the things that the money spent on the Olympics could have bought. Here are a few of my most recent contributions.
1. I understand that the Olympics (a 2 week party) cost 6 billion dollars. To rebuild the totally destroyed country of Haiti is estimated to cost 10 billion.
2. To bring all of the public schools in the province up to acceptable structural and health standards would cost 500 million. The cost of the security alone for the games is close to 1 billion.
3. And so on, and so on…………