What a weekend, where to start? Winter Olympics? Snow? What else happened? There was something else... never mind, it'll come to me. Guess I should do the Olympics since I put this one off already. Friday night we bundled up the kids and headed off to the official opening of the Richmond Olympic Oval. The Canadian speed skating team has been practicing on it since October, but this was the first time the public was allowed in. The mayor was there, some city councilors, gold medalists and the Premier (US viewers-read governor). The Prime Minister was supposed to be there, but I guess he was too busy trying to figure out how to keep his job to show.
We've been able to watch them build it from the beginning because we have to drive by it most days of the week and it's on my bike route as well.
I'd like to tell you I took these amazing shots, but it was actually somebody from Reuters who probably wasn't using a Sony Cybershot. The majority of my shots sucked, but I did manage to get a few good ones.
The roof on this building is amazing. It's almost 6.5 acres in size and made up of a million board feet of pine which is the equivalent of 6000 trees. Whoa! Easy there, tree hugger, wait for the rest of the story! Those 6000 trees came from the interior of our province and were all killed by a rotten son of a bitch bug called a pine beetle. The trees were salvaged by the government in an attempt to show these trees can still be used commercially. Otherwise they'll just have to be burned. Sadly an area almost the size of Colorado has been devastated by the pine beetle and aside from cutting down the trees and burning them, there's not much else to do with them, so this is a good thing.
The picture above is a storm water runnel which captures run-off from the roof. The roof, because it is so big, collects a lot of rain water, and instead of just siphoning it all off into the river it is diverted into a big sediment pond beside the oval. Some of the water is brought back into the building and used to operate toilets. It's also used for some other stuff as well, but damned if I can remember what. Whatever, I know two little boys who enjoyed playing in them.
The most memorable part of the evening though would have to be returning to our car. Because the building isn't finished yet, it doesn't have a parking lot. Oh, and there was only room in the grandstands for two thousand people. And it was raining. We parked a few blocks away and walked along the dyke to get there. When we left the rain had been joined by gale force winds and the wind chill had to be somewhere near what emperor penguins have to endure in Antarctica. De-light-ful. I typed this holding a pencil between my teeth.
Skateboarding on frozen sand
2 days ago