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Entering the Belly of the Beast Tomorrow --- Victoria Home and Garden Show --- Review to Follow

Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Tomorrow I will atttend this glorious event. I don't expect to be drawn to the dark side but I hope to see the latest-greatest in gismos that I can live without.

I will review this event and take some pictures.A few potential catagories for examination are ----

Best Ideas

Worst Ideas

Most Wasteful

Most Energy Efficient

Best Salesperson

Best Snake Oil Salesman

Most Thought Provoking

Most Ridiculous - I haven't checked out the exhibitors. --- BUT THERE IS AN EARLY LEADER --- There is a contest that I won't be entering which entitles the winner to a private audience with Mike Holmes,Bob Vila and Queen Elizabeth nope not them - a girl who starred in a season of the high brow T.V show "The Bachelorette". BOY, THIS IS A CLASSY EVENT.

I've never been to a home show before, so there are bound to be additions to this list.

Who knows, I might get talked into something and abandon green building altogether in favour of a metal clad double wide heated with oil, complete with polypropolene carpeting and a poison emitting air freshener in every room.

We have a large elderly population. If I were peddaling something , I would cater to MOBILITY ISSUES WITH A SIDE ORDER OF FEAR. This will be fun.
Dale Hodgins
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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The show was well attended by builders of upscale custom built homes. There were dozens of displays showing high end wood and stone along with very professional looking portfolios that looked good enough for Architectural Digest. I found a timber frame builder who wants to buy recycled beams and a mason specializing in restoration who needs bricks salvaged from my demolitions.

The baccalaureate had a microphone. Although I was already aquainted with the word "eclectic", I was treated to a 10 minute explanation.

The best products for my purposes were the solar pannels. Only one exhibitor with these. Another company had wood chip burners for commercial heating and hot water. The sales guy blamed head office for booking him into a residential type show. A typical installation runs around $250 000.00 He was totally out of place. He did have a smaller gas water heater, but the attention grabbers were units that were at the wrong venue.

The top salesperson was an elderly lady who gave animated demonstrations of a really neat steam cleaner. She had it all,product knowledge, customer participation, a good stage presence and a shrill voice that could crack glass.

Honorable mention goes to a chiropractor who conducted several "tests" which all demonstrated that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my back. I stood on two scales at once. Resisted push and pull tests, demonstrated the body mechanics I use when moving heavy objects and I answered a battery of questions. She agreed that I take very good care of my back and that I'm not suffering from any issues. "But still, you should see me once a month, just in case". I explained that my budget would allow me to either buy all of the best safety gear or I could afford to see her. I then clearly stated that I am only willing to do one of these things. "Which one should I choose ?" Failing to understand my question --- She said, "I think you should do both."

The most wasteful product has to be the giant $33 000 hot tub pictured below.

There was a tie for the title of stupidest , ill conceived product. The solar powered butterflies pictured below are meant to scare off birds. The plastic bracelets are infused with magic healing powers.

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Dale Hodgins
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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The railing system shown below is made from stainless steel. The high grade wire sells for $1 per ft. I am able to salvage most materials for this sort of railings but I will buy the wire. I like this much more than glass pannels and the cables would lend support to vines on my aquaponic roof.

This and the solar panels are the only show items that I'm likely to buy.

I made several contacts with those who need my products, so it will be easy to recoup the $10 admission.

I'm bound to move some wood and bricks. I left my # with hot tub dealers in the hope of getting paid $100 each to dispose of old tubs before the new one arrives. These tubs will become aquaponic tanks. One man's junk ...

I was surprised to find no stair climbers, scooters, ramps or other services targeting our large elderly population. The alarm guys have moved beyond fear as their primary sales tool. Instead they offer light timers, remote thermostat control and video monitoring so you can see your house on the net while you're away.

The venue has concrete floors and very few spots to sit. The best rest spots are the seating provided by those selling orthotic shoe insoles and there was a row of chairs with pricey back massagers attached. I went to a similar event a while back and the formula was the same. Run people around on concrete for hours without a break and then sell them some relief while pretending that this is a normal day for their feet or back. After refusing to buy $2 water I finally found a fountain after questioning about 25 different employees. All were hidden behind curtains against a wall that was covered in booths. I stood in back of the adopt a kid booth in a foot wide corridor that hid every fountain in the place. I never succumb to that sort of manipulation. I sat on the floor a few times and told everybody about the hidden drinking fountains. When public events lack an adequate # of toilets, I make a point of peeing as it suits me.

I met a volunteer who was assigned to watching a door to prevent unpaid entry. She wasn't provided with a chair, water, or anything else. She had to pay for her own parking. The door faces the police station and was unused by rowdies. I brought her some water, some magazines and a chair I stole from the security booth.

The event was a success dispite the efforts of the management and staff of Save on Foods Memorial Center. A good day overall. Really tired feet. Nearly died of thirst.

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