Ray Hari

Zoom or be doomed

Ray Hari

October 2020

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We grew up in a society where we learned to plan for everything. From early childhood we were taught that to have a better future we need a good education, we need to plan ahead for retirement by having a 401k, and for an accident that may or may not happen in the future we need to have insurance. But for some reason the world did not plan what to do about a pandemic though similar ones had happened in the past.


After our March meeting, even before any government mandate about social gatherings, we decided to cancel the April meeting for the sake of the health of our members. But it did not occur to me at that time that March was going to be the last time we meet as a social gathering in 2020. While I was sitting and pondering what to do next, I got a call from Bob Bley asking me whether SVW would be interested in doing joint online meetings with West Bay as an experiment. He had wasted no time in thinking this whole thing through.


I have always been an optimist, always thinking that when you have a bad day, it ends when you go to bed and you wake up to a brand-new day full of sunshine. Only time I know things are bad for the long haul is when I get on a municipal road with potholes, I know I am in it for the long haul and it is going to be potholes for eternity.  In the middle of summer, I felt that schools will reopen in time for the new school year and we will slowly get back to having our regular meetings in the school shop. But Bob, though not a pessimist, thought differently. He said we are in this mess for the long haul, and he was right.


There are many people in our club with the hindsight. But Bob is unique. He has the insight to understand what is happening, and he has the foresight to do something about it. He knew, for the survival of the clubs, that we must adapt and do that fast.


When Bob asked me, who can be another host (a representative from SVW) for the Zoom meetings, I could think of no one else other than Greg Peck. Greg had done many online meetings before as part of his involvement in city and neighborhood planning activities.


Mike Lanahan is another guy who does not take a back seat when it comes to challenges. He is always there to help with any challenge we have in front of us.


Together, the three amigos (Bob Bley, Greg Peck and Mike Lanahan) have refined the process and presentations for our online Zoom meetings. There is a lot involved behind the scenes in setting up an online Zoom meeting every month. They go through the process of collecting all the pictures from the members, putting it all together to create the PowerPoint presentations ready for the meetings. It is time consuming.


Though we miss the social aspect of gathering in a room, we have learned a lot out of the online meetings. For some people who did not enjoy the ride every month to come to the meetings, this is a blessing in disguise when they can attend the meeting sitting in the comfort of their home. These online meetings have also given us a new opportunity to show others the different stages of making our turnings which was not possible in a traditional show-n-tell format we had before.


As a club we owe a big debt of gratitude to Bob Bley, Greg Peck and Mike Lanahan for making sure that our organizations (SVW & WBW) were able to smoothly adapt to the situation.


Please join me in giving a salute to Bob Bley, Greg Peck and Mike Lanahan.


Though I have dreaded driving through pothole ridden municipal roads I have always managed to get back onto a smooth tarred road on the way home. And we shall overcome this pandemic too.


~ Hari ~

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