Train in Brackenridge Park

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Beaver mania


We managed to leave Buc-ees without this gem — a beaver neck rest complete with smiling Buc-ee face, paws and a flat tail. The store on I-10 has added a lot of beaverphernalia, including boxers, but no briefs.
Mobile post sent by charlotteanne using Utterz. Replies.

The original journalists


petroglyph

Originally uploaded by charlotteanne.lucas
These petroglyphs were etched on a wall in in a wash at the Valley of Fire in southern Nevada more than 3,000 years ago.
There is something thrilling about the fact that I can take a picture of them with my Treo, and in a matter of minutes, upload it to my Flickr stream and directly down into my blog.
But I can only vaguely understand what these ancient storytellers were trying to describe and chronicle.
Still, they are magic.
As is the technology that let’s me share this so easily and quickly.

Beaver redemption

I had a delightful conversation yesterday with Don Wasek, co-owner of Buc-ee’s, and an acknowledged novice blogger.

“I am new at this,” he said in an email responding to my complaint that the Buc-ee’s blog had lifted my words. Then he asked if he could call me for some advice.

We chatted on the phone for a good bit, talking about blogging and the whys and hows. He said he uses the Buc-ee’s Blog to post the testimonials and comments that pour into the corporate Website from Buc-ee’s fans. (By way of explanation, the other co-owner of the convenience store chain is “Beaver” Aplin.)

Wasek explained to me that he didn’t use people’s names with their comments because the woman who set it up for him told him not to use people’s names without their permission. But he said he really thinks it’s more believable when you use people’s names.

Well, we sure agree on that one. I suggested he start soliciting permission from people who send in comments so he can use their words with their names on the blog — most of them would probably love it.

As for other bloggers, I told him that we like being picked up and quoted by blogs like his. The blogosphere works best when you quote other blogs in your blog and you link out to them. That helps people find your blog, and it lends credibility to your blog.

So I walked him through the blockquote format and showed him how to link out to another blog, in this case, to mine. (It’s all better now, he even spelled my name right!) I also suggested that he do the same link thing on another post he had on the blog quoting a story about Buc-ee’s from my alma mater, MySanAntonio.com.

As we were winding down, he asked if all of my students at UNLV just communicate through blogs. I chuckled and explained that I was teaching the students to use blogs to commit journalism.

But I said I’m thinking that we also need to teach the marketing and public relations students how to blog, since corporate blogging is a fine art at places like Dell and Google.

And then, maybe we could offer up a student intern to be Buc-ee’s blog guru for the summer. Ya think?

Buc-ee’s


Buc-ee’s in Luling, Texas is fast becoming the Wall Drug of the 3.5-hour stretch of Interstate 10 between Houston and San Antonio.

They’ve got a couple dozen billboards along the highway, including one that says, “Eat here, get gas,” and my husband’s favorite, “Ice. Made from scratch.”

Since we drive the route often to go see my favorite oncologist, it’s become a tradition for us to stop in just to see if the restrooms are as clean as they claim. (To quote another billboard: “Clean restrooms or your money back.”)

What they really need on their Website is a Flickr feed for photos of their billboards …

Tonight I succumbed to two fridge magnet versions of the billboards at the checkout. One says:

“Ice. Beer. Jerky.
All 3 Food Groups!
Buc-ee’s
46 miles”

True story.