I have a little time between the end of the Spring semester and the time when things pick up for the summer. Cindy still has a couple of weeks to go before the schools are done. Recently, I have taken advantage of this time to make a trip from Grand Forks to Iowa to visit my mom.
I really like traveling long distances by myself. I load the ipod with something interesting and take my tech toys. I like the opportunity to think.
For years I have noticed an old building just over the line into South Dakota. I have always wanted to take a picture. It is a tough picture to get. Even when I have my camera sitting next to me, the building appears just over the top of a hill and there is typically not time to pull over. The same thing happened this trip, but I was by myself so I took the next turn-off and circled around. After all these years, I finally have my picture.
The audiobook for this trip was Obama’s “Audacity of Hope”. I purchased the book several months ago and read part, but I buy so many books and sometimes don’t have time to read so I decided to purchase the audiobook for this trip. I like the message and I admire the writing talents of the author. There are many interesting ideas that are worth considering no matter what your political orientation. Perhaps the notion of political orientation and how we are influenced by self-defined orientations is even a topic worthy of comment. Positions have been reduced to simple statements and issues are really so much more complex. We probably really know this. Perhaps the simplicity of the 30 second TV ad contributes to the problem. Six plus hours of listening to a book offers a better perspective.
One of the problems of thinking while you drive is what you should do if you happen to have an interesting thought. My ipod touch would allow an input option, but those folks who text while driving are a danger. What I do is use my phone to talk to myself. Actually, I call a service called Jott and record a message that is then sent back to me as an email.
Here is an example (from the book). I think it says “magnitude of problems versus the smallness of politics”. Voice recognition is a great technical challenge, but it works pretty well. Perhaps the limitation is me. Cindy claims I mumble a lot.
This from the “how strange is this” column. The image I include above was taken just short of Watertown, SD, where I then stopped for lunch. I get to Iowa and learn that Barak Obama was speaking in Watertown, SD.