Monthly Archives: November 2006

The Difference Between North and South

I spent Thanksgiving partly on the road- we went to see my husband’s dad who lives just outside of Nashville, TN. You very soon get the impression that you are “not in Kansas, anymore” Dorothy- a different world awaits.

Take Opryland.  Opryland, in Nashville, and the mall next door, in an interesting mix between Disneyland (redneck style), a pretty fancy resort, and Vegas without the gambling.  There are great shows, decorations bordering on over the top, and huge families, easily accommodated at restaurants.  They were filming a cable show on Camp Cooking- cuisine over the campfire; The Rockettes had a Christmas Show; and families moved into their hotel rooms with coolers and mimi-fridges, not a common sight north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Much of Opryland leaves you feeling like you’ve just been on a trip to Frontierland mashed up with the Grand Floridian- the Conservatories are gorgeous and many hotel rooms have New Orleans-esque balconies you can sit on and watch the world go by (indoors of course.)  The service is fantastic- everyone, from the housekeepers to the maintenance people, to the guest services people are friendly and helpful.  They have put alot of money into making this place a destination, and have succeeded.  It’s a familoy safe destination with lots of eye candy and country music, and if this is your thing,  you should make the pilgrimage.

I have posted a bunch of pictures of Opryland and the ICE show on my flickr site- wsh1266.  Go take a look!

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Video On the Net revolution

There’s a great article by Jeff Jarvis- you can read it here.  The video on the net revolution is here.  High quality video is available (at least to those with broadband and dual core processing machines) that is much more intriguing than regular TV.  It’s direct creative content from it’s source, and I love it.  While I think the evolution/revolution is still young, it will explode as broadband connections increase; free wi-fi increases, and the machines to process all of this audio and video continue to get cheaper and more readily accessible.  I think the infrastructure still lags behind the content producers, but it will catch up fast.

You should check out fdome of the great video on the net shows- like Taste TV- wonderful cooking shows; Rev 3- ctrl alt chicken and other great shows.  Things are changing faster than we can keep up, and this won;t be contained and small for long.

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The Pennsylvania Elections

I have to admit- the elctions are tommorrow, and I have regrets already.

I recently have found out about how much Rick Santorum has done in congress to help the underprivileged, to help those that cannot always speak for themselves, and I think he has done a great job in that respect.  But I do not like his views on the war, his role as one of the president’s yes men, or the fact that he likes to mix religion and politics.  I have to trust that his opponent will do as well as Rick Santorum has done for the  poor, although I have no basis for believing that this will be so other than I thought Bob Casey’s dad did a great job for Pennsylvania.  I would like to be able to vote for Rick Santorum because of the great job he has done, but I find the negatives are deal breakers for me in the voting booth.  I can’t say I have absolute confidence in Casey.

I do want to say that I think Rick Santorum and other politicians make a huge mistake by underestimating the intelligence of the electorate.  I want politicians to be able to say things like “There are many hard decisions we have to make, not all of them are going to be popular.   Rather than trying to run a popularity contest, we are trying to run a country, and that requires serious ideas from serious people, not people who are only interested in generating fear or slick sales pitches to the public.”  This is what I want from our leaders, and we are long overdue for someone to give us the respect we deserve, rather than playing to the least common denomenator.

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Raising Kids in A Global World

There’s a new challeneg on the web- to write a novel or a book in 30 days, by writing blog posts daily.  I thought I might try this, with parenting ideas, and see what gets generated during the month of November.

I was at a brunch this weekend with some neighbors, and we got into a discussion of how quickly technology was changing, and what this meant for our kids.  The children of the adults in the group ranges from just one year old to 17 years old- each facing a different challenge and a different set of metrics.

How do you prepare kids for a world in which the jobs they think they want now,  but might be gone, or at least drastically different by the time they graduate from high school, if not college? When most of us grew up, you could see yourself in a job similar to that your parents had- ranging from working in a factory, to working in business, to working at a bank or grocery store.

Within the past few years, grocery clerks are being partially replaced by self-checkouts.  File clerks are being replaced by electronic medical record systems, and other online datat collection systems.  Even most case law appears online, making online research easy and efficient, and this alone will gradually begin to replace the need for many paralegals.  People bank online, making the number of tellers needed much smaller than in the past.

My step-father ran a printer’s supply business with his brothers for years.  They went out of business because small, community printers went out of business.  Engraved wedding invitations are largely printed by a few, large companies, not by the guy around the corner.  Places like Kinko’s and Alphagraphics run printing and design jobs, and help even the smallest business get the kind of results that used to take alot more time and money to produce.   With the creation of word processing, and good quality, affordable home printing of documents and photographs, whole industries are gradually being phased out to a lower cost, more instantaneous, self-serve digital solutions.

I was asked to lecture a class at a local university on podcasting recently.  The class, taught to seniors in the business school, was all about mobile technology and its implications.  One of the students asked me what my five year plan was for my podcast (The LD Podcast- http://www.ldpodcast.com)  Since podcasting itself isn’t really five years old, nor is the concept of RSS feeds , this is a question without an answer.  How will user-generated content affect main stream media?  Will we all get our 15 minutes of fame?  Are the impossibly cheap entry costs to blogging, podcasting and even videocasting going to create or destroy traditional media as we know it?  How will the new media revolution change us and the future?  It’s going to be a fun and wild ride, but it still doesn;t answer how we prepare kids for the future.

The only answer we could come up with among this group for friends, was to give our kids the fundamental skills that really mattered.

  • A sense of self, and what they were good at- their individual talents.
  • The ability to problem solve and look at problems from different points of view
  • Creativity
  • The ability to adapt in ever-changing situations; know ehre to go to find answers even if you don’t have them yourself.
  • Give them the ability to take chances, experiment, and the chance to fail and then try again, after doing some analysis of the problem.

These are probably the skills everyone should have, but that all of our kids are going to HAVE to have if they are going to succeed in an ever-changing world.

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