When Sam Ogborn and I started #cookchat, we did it with the intention of growing it into a chat that would be a thriving community. While we both still have that desire, we’ve come to the realization that neither of us view cooking as anything more than a hobby. We don’t have the passion it takes to take #cookchat to the next level.
So, we’re offering #cookchat, free, to a good home. Our only requirements are that this person, or persons, be a real foodie. Whomever #cookchat is given to must have a real passion for talking food. Both Sam and I are afraid that we aren’t expanding your culinary horizons, which is something we had hoped to do. So, if you have interest in taking over #cookchat, you can email either of us (check out Sam’s website for hers, and mine is lacamat [at] gmail [dot] com. If no one chooses to take it over…then, the Thanksgiving edition will be the last #cookchat. We would rather do that than to let it languish.
We appreciate everyone who has participated in #cookchat since March. It’s been such a pleasure. When we have someone, or someones, lined up, we’ll make an announcement. Thanks so much to all of you for your support.
Over the weekend, Alexia Tsotsis penned an article for TechCrunch saying the phone call is dead, outpaced in irrelevance and annoyance only by the hand-written letter. She brings up some very valid points such as Neilsen data indicating that those under the age of 54 are using their phones for actual voice calls less and less. Another point is the increased use of Skype:
Sorry telecom industry, we are increasingly provided with reasons to not use your voice services. While still not exactly mainstream, we now have access to a plethora of free, internet-based calling options like Google Voice.When I’m interviewing startups and ask to “get on a call” they usually direct me to their Skype usernames.
I’d point out, first, in that quote the phrase “not exactly mainstream yet”, but I digress. Skype is a fantastic tool, one which I would use more if my dumb computer’s built-in microphone hadn’t gone on the fritz. Can it replace the phone call? Maybe, though citing Skype as a reason the phone call is dead is premature at best. A quick Google search tells me Skype has in the neighborhood of 340 million users, which is sure to continue growing. Compare that though, with the estimated number of people with a phone number. I don’t know what that number is, but I’m willing to bet it’s close to the total number of Americans counted in the 2010 census. In other words, many more people have a phone number they can be reached at as opposed to owning a Skype username.
Text based communication is certainly a huge part of communication with the rise of social media, smart phones, the Internet, etc. However, to declare direct, person to person communication via voice “dead” is, frankly, a bait for page views and rebuttal articles such as this one. Yep. I fell for the trap.
Tsotsis claims she’d rather have family members speak to her via Twitter, calling their phone calls “annoying”. I can only speak from my experience, but in my early 20′s, I too found the weekly phone calls from my parents somewhat annoying. I didn’t have anything new that had developed in the last week…why the need to call? Let’s just email if we need to exchange info! I realize I’m about to sound like I’m 90, but phone calls are personal. A phone call requires much more finesse and interpersonal skills than shooting off an email; or a text message; or a tweet; or a blog post.
I genuinely fear if Ms. Tsotsis’ prediction comes true, we as humans will become nothing more than drones, each staring at our own glowing box, incapable of actually SPEAKING to one another. She claims that because most 22-year olds communicate without the need for phone calls, this is what the world will do moving forward. Somehow, I find that very difficult to believe. Especially if those 22-year olds get married and have 22-year olds of their own someday. Those phone calls might start to seem less annoying and more a symbol of love and caring by those you can always count on.
Granted, I am quite biased as I spoke to my mother for 30 minutes on the phone yesterday afternoon. Arguably 30 of the best minutes of my weekend. The thing to take away from my little rant here is this: just because you view something as obsolete, doesn’t mean it IS obsolete. Step outside your own views and look at the world a whole.
Last week, Heather Whaling emailed me and asked if I would be willing to help out on the next round of #WhyWeCelebrate for Veteran’s Day. This is a movement she and Justin Goldsborough started over 4th of July to honor our veteran’s and thank them for their service.
I wanted to include the kids I work with, which happens to be in Leeton, Missouri at the moment. When I asked the kids on Monday if any of them would have an interest in sharing their thoughts about veteran’s on video, I got an overwhelming response. There are days these kids drive me up the wall, and then they go and say things like this and TOTALLY REDEEM THEMSELVES!!
I’m man enough to admit that more than once putting this video together, I teared up. It’s amazing to hear what these kids have to say, especially since the military is such a huge presence in their lives as Whiteman Air Force Base is a very short drive from where they live. Feel free to share this post and video with whomever you think would enjoy it.
My thanks to Mike for taking time out of his weekend to write-up a recap of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. I watched the event on TV, but wanted to know what it was like on the ground in DC.
It was a Clusterf*** of Fear and/or Sanity.
Hundreds of thousands of people travelled from around the nation (and maybe beyond) to descend upon the National Mall this weekend to witness the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.
Here are my reactions:
Reaction #1 – Transportation
As a native Washingtonian, I know rallies, protests and celebrations. I’ve been to inaugurations, marches, parades, races and festivals along all corners of the nation’s capital, covering the full spectrum of topics. However, none of these events have EVER clogged the public transportation system like this. The out-of-towners were smart and came into DC VERY early Saturday morning. My first report from a friend on the Mall came nearly 4 hours before the event started.
Us locals, however, took our sweet time getting down there, which was our downfall. By the time my friends and I headed down, the Metro was basically of no use and buses weren’t even stopping to pick up people, since there was no room. So we walked. And walked. And then walked some more. But the vibe was joyous and light…it was an adventure!
Reaction #2 – The Mall
The streets headed to the Mall made us feel like sardines in a can. Thousands of people crammed into mini-mobs, collectively looking to get closer to the rally. Again, though, everyone was so darn happy, we didn’t mind being squished, at least for a while.
It was plain to see that the crowd shattered what the organizers had prepared for. People climbed on top of trees, streetlights and, disgustingly, port-a-pots. The video and sound systems were no match for the crowd (with some estimates putting it near 300,000).
Reaction #3 – The People
I’ve seen reports that say the rally attendees were young and white.
In a word: hogwash.
I saw every age, from infant to elderly, and every race and religion on the planet very well represented. As mentioned above, some estimates, placed the attendance at 300,000. I didn’t count each person, but my thinking was well over 100,000. It was a stunning turnout for the event (see #5).
People came in costumes of all types. My favorite was someone dressed as “The Bill” from School House Rock.
People came carrying signs. These ranged from poignant to absurd. One sign proclaimed the holder’s fear of his recent double-cancer diagnosis amid the healthcare crisis. Another said a kitten dies every time a certain former Alaskan governor Tweets. The sign of the day (non-political), to me, was one that asked “What Would Jesus Do?” with a photo of Jesus, the purple-jumpsuit-wearing bowler in “The Big Lebowski.” For obvious reasons, my favorite politically-oriented sign will NOT be included here.
Reaction #4 – The Rally
Well, we could barely see or hear anything, so after about an hour of trying to get a better view and enjoying The Roots, we walked back up 7th Street to a tapas bar, ordered some sangria pitchers and watched the rest of the event on TV.
I recorded the event on Comedy Central and will watch it soon, but, that gets me to…
[Note: Upon watching the rally start to finish, it was a mix of funny, corny, entertaining, strange content. The highlight was clearly Yusuf and Ozzy Osbourne, with Jon Stewart’s event-closing monologue coming in a close second and Kid Rock at #3.]
Reaction #5 – Overall
This is a strange event to evaluate. Was it a PR stunt or a political movement? A liberal gathering or a variety show?
Maybe it was something in the middle. A marketing event that electrified and captivated. A leftist shout-out with moderate content. A plea to vote, no matter who you cast your ballot for. A Halloween weekend jamboree for an excuse to put on a costume a day early. A sermon preached to the choir. An inside joke the audience was totally in on. A fun day with friends. A touchstone pop-culture event, blending truth and comedy, celebrities and politics. A platform to recognize good people without shouting and bickering and name-calling.
Maybe each person turned it into what they wanted it to be.
And that sounds just fine to me.