This is quite exciting, as in teaching this old dog new tricks.
Mack Male and I have kicked off a weekly podcast, "Mack & Cheese."
You can listen to the introductory episode at http://www.mackandcheese.ca/2013/02/02/episode-1-introduction/
(For you even older dogs, a "podcast" is like a discussion/interview/conversation on talk radio, except you can listen to it at any time, from any computer. Just go to the website and click on the appropriate button.)
I'm intrigued by where Mack & Cheese is going to go.
I've always said that Mack's Mastermaq blog is today's "Hicks on Six", that Mack is equally intrigued, enthusiastic and concerned about all things Edmontonian as I was over the 20 years I wrote the five-times-a-week column for The Edmonton Sun.
In fact, I pitched Sun Publisher John Caputo on the idea of Mack replacing me at The Sun when I retired as a full-time columnist at the end of 2010, three weeks after my 60th birthday.
(I still think Mack should be writing in "my" newspaper ... which has the best online portal of any print media now migrating to the Internet, at www.edmontonsun.ca. I still freelance for The Sun, a Saturday (Friday night online) business column entitled "Hicks on Biz" and a restaurant review column, The Weekly Dish that appears on Wednesdays (Thursday night online).
But given I'm now self-employed, I have this blog, two Twitter handles, Facebook and LinkedIn channels, and three e-mail addresses. As a communications advisor to TEC Edmonton, I work on dozens of other "social media" channels as well. In this era of real-time Internet communication, old dogs have to learn new tricks!!!
I like the potential within Mack & Cheese for cross-generational dialogue, given Mack's 30 years younger than me.
I like the fact we're both curious and committed to this city; that we both really enjoy living in Edmonton and want to encourage the great progress being made to make this city one of the most "livable" in North America. It's a dry cold and a beautiful river valley.
Our differences should liven up Mack & Cheese. Personally, I'm an urban, small-car, right-wing artsy kinda guy. But professionally, I admire and appreciate the rough, tough trades folks and industrial technicians who drive the pickups, live on acreages or in the 'burbs. They're the folks creating all our wealth, and we don't pay enough attention to them.
I don't quite get Mack's big deal about preserving farmland in the city's northeast, when the farmers themselves decided to cash out and sell their land to developers.
He doesn't get my fascination with the energy sector, and I haven't convinced him (yet) of the "greening" of the oil sands, that, thanks to new technology, is making fossil fuels just as environmentally clean as far-more-expensive solar and wine power.
I'm excited about learning from Mack. Nobody understands social media like him - he's actually a computer programmer by profession, and I have been confused by computers since big bundles of punch cards were waved in our faces at school in 1971.
On a more universal scale, perhaps Mack & Cheese will be part of the new trend that baby boomers don't "retire" anymore, that we simply change gears, and, if we keep up with the technology, reinvent ourselves in ways benefitting the communities in which we live.
Mack and I can get a "conversation" (Alison Redford's favourite euphemism) going between generations that hasn't been much present in our town.
One of my heroes/mentors is Bob Westbury of Telus, who at the age of 74 or so, is the company's community-relations ambassador to Northern Alberta and is superb at the job. Mack's likely to be a mentor too.
And we both love cheese.
Hope you have time to listen, love to hear your comments and thoughts.