I recently received an iPod Shuffle as a gift. I didn't know what to make of it the first time I tried it out.So naturallyI turned to my in-house expert—my college daughter—for advice. "Don't mess with my iTunes list," was her first reaction.

Now, my daughter continually monitors my additions to the shared-music files on the computer. I think she's concerned I might try to slip James Taylor, Bob Dylan, or Emmylou Harris into her world.

How does something so small, designed to help the world share great audio experiences, become addictive? Now I know. Music is the way to soothe the troubled, stressful soul. And I've vowed to make it work for me.

For the past few days I've been assembling my World of Concrete playlist. The annual event is a marathon of activity for me. As you know, our magazine sponsors exclusively two important conferences—the Economic Forum and Women in Concrete Luncheon. Then I enjoy watching our readers show their best at Producers' Challenge events—the Mack Truck Driving Skills Challenge and John Deere's Load America. And if that wasn't enough, I can't wait until next Sunday to see how much work has been done on the Hoover Dam Bypass project since we took a group tour there last year.

While I enjoy all of these activities, my real job is to try to catch the pulse of the industry. There are dozens of press conferences, booth visits, and seminars to take in.

All in all, World of Concrete in Las Vegas is six days of stressful work. So I plan to relax by shuffling through my iPod throughout the show.

I've been carefully crafting a playlist that includes songs that will help me throughout the event. I have soothing songs to wake up with. Trucking songs to play while I watch the drivers. Marching songs to help me tread down the aisles. And there's even a song ideal for the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) auction.

I'm sure that you'll find World of Concrete an enjoyable experience, even if you don't have a soundtrack. All kidding aside, the exhibitors have invested millions of dollars preparing for this event. It's a safe bet that you will find these new technolgies and products at construction sites by summer. And there's still time to attend.

So if you see me at the show, stop me, and have me remove my earplugs. Or if you'd like to reduce your own stress, e-mail me and I'll send you a copy of my playlist.

Rick Yelton
Editor In Chief

ryelton@hanleywood.com