Friday, August 29, 2008

Catching up with Oprah

OK, she gets to take the summer off, so I only checked in on the OShow occasionally. But meantime the Soul Series on XM Radio has had a steady stream of guests, and it's clear to me that she's switched media for dispensing spiritual advice. I had a conversation with someone who listen to O's show on XM, and that started me thinking. The TV show has a certain demographic/audience that has to be different -- more mainstream -- than the radio demographic/audience. Talk radio has very distinctive, niche-y audiences. Oprah seems to have figured this out somewhat late, but that's probably because she was busy making billions on TV. The Soul Series is, in its own words, "talk radio that stimulates your brain and feeds your soul." Eclectic, holistic health-oriented, prosperity-oriented, with a dose of brain science and Buddhism. Oprah is far from her Christian home, but so are many Americans, and some come from different homes. More later.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

More green adventures

The Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford were an hour's drive (and gas is now under $4/gallon). They are walkable and shaded, with lots of lovely hardscape, from boulders to bridges to tea houses. The 12-acre site has pools and an impressive waterfall (a 20 foot steel wall supports it), so the sound of water is often in the background as you walk. The koi seem pretty Americanized -- some looked obese. Garden founder John Anderson often did business in Japan, and was inspired to develop this after seeing the wonderful Portland Japanese garden . Anderson is now the #1 ranked Japanese garden in the U.S. and Europe, according to the Roth Journal of Japanese Gardening . I could have stayed there all day, but instead we finished the day by using the Rockford Park District bike trail that runs along the Rock River, since the weather was good for biking. That trail was a lot less crowded than what we might have encountered had we instead chosen to go into Chicago for a lakefront ride.