Everyone... think of where you are sitting, and where the sun sets. Get your bearings. Now, look toward the west, where the sun sets, and think about The Games. Look west. The torch is almost at its destination and The Games will soon begin.
I am still enroute to Vancouver watching the CTV preamble to the Olympics on an HDTV in Regina. I'll be in the midst of it all in by tomorrow morning and will have to head across the city to pick up my volunteer apparel and my accreditation. After that, I'll be inside the games, moving through the city, in and out of the Vancouver Olympic Centre, and searching for WiFi nodes so I can sit and deliver a version of the games to cyberFriends and colleagues.
I've started to deliver hokey webcasts, for free, at this link: www.ustream.tv/channel/nelski-curls. I will stream video and audio showing backgrounds of where ever I happen to be writing. You will get the sights and sounds of whatever I see. I will announce broadcast times here, there at uStream, and on my FB. I'll probably record for about 10 minutes so there is a small archive, and then just broadcast freely. It is the same utility that showed us the Scotties Arena shot from The Soo. You don't have to log in or sign up to watch the WebCam, but if you do, you can comment. Ideas and feedback are appreciated.
Yesterday I drove 400 kliks to get within reach of the airport. In every gas bar along the way, there was a buzz about the Olympics. While driving I heard on the radio that Men With Brooms is becoming a TV show.... something like Corner Gas. I'm thinking we'll have some stereotypical Bob and Doug McKenzie type curling icons that might evolve from the program that is being produced by CBC. Do we want our cigar-smoking, fedora-wearing grandpas to be the stereotypical Canadian curler that is portrayed? If I get my vote, I say yes. I can still see them sliding out on their oxfords and smell the scotch whiskey and hear the gravelly-voiced cussing as I wove my way between their legs to rub the smokey steam off the glass to try to find my dad, curling somewhere out there on the ice. I was a rink rat, and that is what made me a curler. It is a cellular thing with me. I can smell it and taste it. I hope the new TV show captures some of that. I think flash-backs a few decades to the early curling days, in Canada and across the pond, could add a lot to uncloaking the mystique of our roaring game.
And I sure hope that the fans in the Vancouver Olympic Centre don't take themselves to seriously over the next two weeks as our best, the world's best, put on the coveted Olympic bonspiel. After all, it is still only a bonspiel.
As I leave the Vancouver airport in the morning and breath the spring-like seaside air, I'll be thinking of my curling comrades back home, and back east, all the way to the Atlantic. I'll think about you stomping the snow off your boots as you enter your local club. I'll think about you tying your curling shoes and standing at the home end of sheet 4 shaking hands before your weekly club game. This week, say,, "Good game." or "Good curling", and add "Go Canada Go". I feel kinda choked and proud watching the dragon boat and war canoe cross False Creek as the torch nears the Olympic cauldron. I'm ready to dive in to the games. See you when I get there. Good Curling.