Going Camping

Gimme a few days before I start thinking about fandom again, because I’m going back here:

Lake Wilson, Kansas

Lake Wilson

Kansas is prettier than you think!

Took my sons to see the Arctic Monkeys and Voxtrot last night. Very fun, but I sure am glad I invested in ear plugs. Yowza! The Arctic Monkeys are my 7-year-old’s favorite band, and he thought they were “great!” I love this trend toward all-ages shows.

This semester’s courses

Today is my first teaching day for the Fall semester. I’m teaching two courses, an undergraduate course called Communication and the Internet, the syllabus for which conveniently mirrors the outline of the book, Personal Connections in a Digital Age, that I am writing (to be published by Polity Press).

The other is a graduate seminar in Qualitative Research Methods in Communication. Since I’ve had many people comment that they appreciate that my syllabi are available online, I thought I’d let you know that updated versions of both syllabi can now be found here:

Communication on the Internet

Qualitative Research Methods

The former has links to several online readings.

I get my kicks on Route 36… and 18

The easiest way to get from east Kansas to central Colorado is to hop on I-70 and just drive. It’s also so boring it makes your heart sink down to your toes, out the floor of the car, and wind up as roadkill somewhere around Colby KS (perhaps at the Colby Oasis where one can find huge fake palm trees and a Starbucks). So coming home this time we took the backroads. Takes longer, but way funkier. And along the way, we saw lots of signs of highway fandom — messages in our guidebook that if we went north a few miles then west another mile we could see the sign for the Old Old Highway 81, for instance. Those old roads are a funny mix of rural tranquility and sad decay, but they sure have their fans. So I’ve been looking for road fandom sites.

Most are either informational sites or travelogues rather than interactive discussion spaces, which seems a bit of a shame since it makes it hard for the buffs to cohere. It seems like the east has the best sites:

New York City Roads

Scenic Highways of New England

Philly Roads

But I found some nice midwestern ones too:

The Indiana chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association

And, hooray, Highway 36 across Colorado and Kansas, which really does look like these pictures.

And some nice art photography sites based on lost highways:

Ghost Highways and Stations

Edgar Praus’s photoblog

Route 18 in Kansas doesn’t seem to get a lot of web-loving, though, so here’s a contribution or two:

Zurich, Kansas:

Zurich, Kansas

Paradise, Kansas:

Welcome to Paradise

Cornfield in the middle of nowhere, Kansas:

Dragon on the Plains

If you know of any outstanding highway fandom sites, send them my way!

I still exist!

It’s been a little quiet here these last several days as I’ve been winding my way back home from Colorado. But I’ll be back soon! Don’t go anywhere! Well, ok, click over to a more interesting website for now. Or go weed the garden. But come back later cuz as soon as I come out of my ‘rats! there are no mountains here’ funk I’ll be posting away again :)

The Eyes of Aspen Are Upon You

Aspen Eyes

Aspen is beautiful close-up too.