Monday, February 12, 2018

For Janice

I was asked about my strong feelings about the Olympics. That was one of my very first rants, almost exactly 8 years ago. In that time I haven't seen much reason to change my mind. Yes, call me a curmudgeon if you feel that it's right. I envy the athletes their hard won abilities and skills, but this display of their prowess is obsolete, and should be consigned to the history bin.

Calgary's games are estimated to cost 4.6 Billion dollars. Money we don't have. The odds of making money on the games are trivial. It's not quite fair to play the 'what could we spend the money on if it wasn't on the Olympics?' game, when we probably wouldn't have the money anyways. None the less, it would be another substantial chunk of the Green LRT line, and is about what we are spending on the SW portion of the ring road. One might argue if either of those projects is absolutely the best value we could have had for big dollars, but we know they will be used daily by many people for at least the next several decades, maybe more.

The economists are arguing about what the return is for that money. Mostly I think they end up with whatever opinion the people who are paying them want. Not that they're corrupt, oh no! They just deem certain things to be externalities, and not relevant to the calculation, and so it gets 'overlooked'. They are happy to argue with anyone about it, and will do so until you give up.

To happier topics. Whenever I see local water, I think of my Nova Scotia buddies Janice and Janet. They are close to some of the loveliest beaches and seafront in all of Canada. And a killer good bakery, let's not forget that. But we have nice bakeries here too, and I'd be happy to take them on a tour.

But we don't have nice seafront. Not even close. We have some private lakes that have small private beaches. The closest Calgary comes to a public beach, other than Sikome pond, is some of the gravel bars on the Bow River, the Elbow, and Fish Creek. In the winter, today for example, they look like this.

This is bridge 15 in Fish Creek, at the very north east end of the park. In nice weather it would take me 45 minutes to ride my bike through the park to this bridge from my place. A little further along there are footprints out onto the that big white flat space, that's why I'm pretty sure it's a gravel bar. I don't think anyone would be stupid enough to walk on it if it were ice. I'd like to think that.


  1. Would love to have you and Linda come back this way, IS awesome ( +10 degrees this morning meant a nice run outside :) Will be in Calgary visiting University friends and Northern friends, who are now in Cochrane, in May...hoping to catch you and Linda at home for a brief visit :)

  2. Okay, okay. I agree with almost everything in your rant from 8 years ago - except you're wrong when you say curling isn't a real sport, and that figure skating can't be judged fairly. Big improvements have finally been made in regards to the judging and are paying off. Can't argue with you about much else and, in fact, I did boycott most of the Sochi games - mostly on account of how obnoxious Putin and his crowd were towards the LGBTQI community. But still...I love curling and figure skating and I love that the athletes who represent us do it with such humility and grace and determination, so I'm afraid I will be watching at least some of the games in Korea and cheering my little head off.

    And I'm with Janet - would love to have you folks come back this way for a visit soon!


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