Wednesday, January 23, 2008

January 23, 2008
I flew to Cody yesterday to attend the annual Dude Ranchers Association confab. I'm speaking tonight in the ballroom.

It was 14 degrees when we landed last night at 8:30. Snow and ice on the runway, rough landing. I felt like we bounced to the terminal. Bummed a ride to the Holiday Inn with an insurance guy from Estes Park who rented a car.

On the Denver to Cody leg I sat next to Russel True who owns the White Stallion Guest Ranch outside Tucson and we chatted about the challenges facing both of our industries. I feel that we are in the same business really: selling people on the Western experience. So, it's interesting to hear about trends and problems they are having. For example, it's a long standing rule that dude ranches don't have phones in the rooms. Makes sense. Takes you out of the experience. On our end, I had Meghan remove a photo of a crowded freeway in a feature sidebar in the last issue because I felt like it takes the reader out of the fantasy of being in the Old West.

So, I asked Russell, do you have high speed internet access? He kind of winced, but yes, they do. There are some things they have to provide and broadband is one of them. So, no phones, but internet access? Hmmmmmm. Russell also told about the problems with cell phones on trail rides. They try to discourage them ("Dammit Bill, sell those grain futures immediately!" "Nothin'. I'm on a horse. What are you doin'?") but some guests can't survive without them. He also told of isolated instances where a guest will sit in the lobby and be online for the entire stay and not partake of any activities.

I heard about a new book out called "Love And Sex With Robots" or something similiar, which predicts that we will be able to have sex with robot-computers in the next ten years and that people will fall in love with these programmed humanoids within the next forty years, I believe it was. The good news is they will need their own magazine and I intend to supply it. Here are a couple titles I'm working on:

• Cyber Love Secrets: Sixty Sexy Ways to Satisfy Your Computer. Plus, 12 Tips For Cleaning Out Bodily Fluids From Your Computer Afterwards.

Okay, it needs work, but I'm all over this.

"Is that a computer in you pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
—Mae 10-Gigibites West

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