Home > European Vacation, General > Building a blog: This is why we have children

Building a blog: This is why we have children

June 28th, 2009

A story in yesterday’s New York Times talks about how Acer, the computer company, has surpassed Dell in sales and is now No. 2 to Hewlett-Packard – an unprecedented achievement for a foreign-made computer.

It caused me to reflect on one of the goals of our RVing through Europe – not just to experience an incredible adventure with our daughter, but to share our stories and pictures with family and friends.

To do that, we bought a little “netbook” – smaller than a laptop – a few weeks ago. It was an Acer. Cute little thing. We wanted small so we could keep it in my backpack when we walked around, but it also had a ton of memory and other features.

So fine, we bought a netbook, but now what? What the heck do I do with it? Co-workers asked if I was going to blog our trip. Blogging? Do I buy a blog and download it? Are blogs at Costco next to PhotoShop and Quicken on the software table? I have not seen iBlogs anywhere.

This is one reason why we have children. In time, they become smarter than us, and each brings different gifts and skills to the table. Our son’s gift is a mind-blowing understanding of computers, both software and hardware. To be candid, he curses computers a lot and after having had computer-related jobs, now he makes his living doing something different: he is in charge of video operations at a big Las Vegas Strip resort.

But the son grew up on computers, starting with his first TI-99, when he discovered something called “programming languages.”  And I am convinced there is nothing, not a thing, that he doesn’t understand about computers or the Internet, or that he couldn’t find an answer to if allowed 10 minutes to study. He has his own Web sites, he hosts them for others, and they operate safely, securely and without breakdown. (He is hosting this Web site.)

Enter into the mix his wife, who may be in a generalist way perhaps the single smartest person I know. If I was on a game show called “Common Sense Survival/Think Fast/Your Life Depends On It,” and were allowed only one lifeline, it would be our daughter-in-law.

Together, then, our son and his wife are a powerhouse. They offered to help us create our blog, the one you’re reading now. I won’t go into details of what they did because if you understand the infrastructure behind a blog, you’ll already know what they did, and if you don’t, then there’s no use trying to explain it because you won’t get it and you don’t need to.

But for all the technical expertise they brought to our dining room table, spending hours sitting next to us with their laptops and my Acer, the most amazing thing is that they taught me how to type what you’re reading now, where to type it, how to publish it, how to download pictures and insert them in a gallery and then into the blog post, and to put in very very excitable links (“hyperlinks”) so people can see the larger photos, all so that, voila!, we have a blog.

And the gift wasn’t just their knowledge, and imparting it onto me, but their gift of time. They have very little time together. She works a conventional 8-to-5 work week, and he works swing-shift hours with a mid-week split weekend.  What kind of quality downtime to they have together? It’s probably measured in minutes, not hours. For the past couple of weeks, they have spent time with us, so we can share our stories. And once we started writing, they weighed in with advice, thoughts, suggestions.

They empowered us. The kids empowered the parents. And that is very cool.

So yes, this is a tip-of-the-hat to our son and his wife, who for all intents and purposes are the directors and producers of GormanStories.com.  We love ‘em more than they know.

Comments are closed.