Feb 17

11-hour Fridays

Morning show this morning. Everyone arrived early. One of the students brought donuts for our engineer. He and I realized none of them knew the songs “I Can’t Drive 55” or “I Wanna Rock” or “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”

That sorta dampened the moment, donuts or no. They produced their show, the very famous Ed, from one of the popular nearby restaurants was their guest:

He’s a New Yorker who has been here for 30 years. He’s had that restaurant for 10 years. He says he’s doing the same thing he did in college, which was acting as the party host. And, most days, if you go into his store, that’s not that far off.

After the show I retired to do more editing. I’m reducing a lengthy, but not-entirely-dense technical document to create what will essentially be a piece of brief marketing material. Today I turned 26 pages of great notes written by a colleague into about one page of language.

In junior high and high school I had the same English teacher for four of six years. Mrs. Newman was sharp and intimating to teens, but she was hard and fair. Every Friday, for all of those four years, she made us write a one-page précis, or a brief summary, of a Newsweek article of her choosing. As we got progressed, the articles became more demanding, the summaries more challenging and her expectations grew as the selections became more complex. It never got easier, but we maybe got better at it. She graded those on a scale of one to nine for some reason. I don’t remember every article I read or every grade I got on them, but I do recall one where she noted I could do better. That stuck with me because it stung me. On days like today, with a lot of editing, I think those précis were as valuable as any aspect of my formal training or years of professional experience.

So I thought of Mrs. Newman today. Oh, looks like she and her husband have a beach home now. Good for her. She retired a good while back, I wonder if he’s still practicing law.

We did some practice in the studio. One of our shows had auditions for next year’s hosts. So that was the afternoon. Also the sun came out, glorious and brilliant, acting like it had forgotten what to do with us after such a long time behind the clouds. Of course the cloud cover returned. Of course it’ll be another week before the sun is seen again.

In another studio, in another building, we also launched a brand new late night show. I went over to watch it get underway:

Rob is the guy on the right. He’s actually studying standup comedy as a major. We had a nice chat about it. He’s a smart young man. Going to be a great show.

And for the year so far that makes three new shows we’ve launched. These are full time students, and all of the productions are entirely student run. We’ve assembled three new crews and put together three new shows, in addition to three pre-existing shows. Not bad for being in a new facility and the students having to deal with me and every other thing.

Feb 17

Talking about the cyber

Among the other parts of my day, editing a big document, watching students produce a sports show, handling the various comings and goings of emailing and scheduling and so on, I had the opportunity to hang out at an important panel this evening. And I took notes.

Also, even if you aren’t interested in cybersecurity as a journalist or in your own professional role, this slideshow that gets mentioned people is accessible and worth your while. Check that out. Anyway, on to the tweets …

Feb 17

I’m editing, this will be brief

I started a new memoir today. It isn’t really a memoir, or an autobiography. The blurbs may be right, it is a first-person account. But pretty quickly, this one suggested it would stand apart:

That’s Robert Leckie in his first book, Helmet For My Pillow. I generally find memoirs interesting, though often the writing isn’t of a high quality. Leckie is writing about his time in the Pacific in World War II — so far he’s just made it out of boot camp — but he’s not just a Marine, he started out as a sports writer and became a reporter, a family man and the author of more than 20 books. The guy has chops.

Makes me wonder why I waited this long to read it. As a Marine of the First Division he fought in two of the bloodiest island campaigns of the war, and he kept those stories alive here. This book, his first, was published in 1957 and again in 2010. If you remember the HBO miniseries, The Pacific, you met Leckie. This was one of the pieces of source material for the production. Leckie died in 2001.

Here’s the news show the students shot last night:

And here’s the entertainment show, where you can learn all about what to wear in this season’s fashions and various other goings on:

I liked the sunglasses myself.

A talk show tonight, and then a late night dinner and early to rise to do it all again tomorrow!

Feb 17

Live! From earlier tonight … and also this morning …

I ran five miles this morning before work. I’m not a morning runner. Wait. Let me start over.

I jogged five miles this morning before work. I’m not a morning jogger. I’m barely a jogger, but it certainly isn’t the thing I wake up and think “Oh, boy! Let’s get out there and pound some pavement!”

I’m much more of a pound the snooze button sort. I mean, sure, I can stretch, get in five miles and walk a cool down back home in an hour, or I could sleep for another hour in nine-minute increments. That’s what I am, a morning snoozer.

Nevertheless, I jogged.

There is a walking path out back of our house, and if you do the full length and go up and down the access paths to the road in front of the house you can almost get in a full mile in just over one complete trip. So I did that twice and then jogged out of the neighborhood and up the hill to the big intersection and then back down hill for a mile and a third. Then I turned and jogged back uphill to finish my course, five miles, just entering the neighborhood. It was damp and chilly and foggy and I had a full sweat. Some people were walking dogs and I found a few more signs of spring:

Of course the temperatures will fall through the floor by the weekend again, and you can’t see any sky for the clouds therein just now, but we’re in the 60s. We’ll hit the 70s on Thursday, for a day. And spring:

Anyway, in the studio tonight, I thought I’d take a picture to show you what the on-camera folks see. This is the corner where our interview area is. We have four red chairs for a more casual sit-down segment or, as seen here, the prep for one of entertainment shows.

What is weird, to me, is that I should show up in the monitors attached to the cameras. I’m standing right behind both of the hosts. And yet, you can’t really see me. I zoomed in to the original, just to be sure.

Funny, I don’t feel any different.

After What’s Up Weekly they taped their news show. I stood in between the cameras and did a brief video of my own, because I suddenly remembered I could do that.

Status: getting ready for another installment of Hoosier News Source on @iustv.

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

I should plan those things better.

Feb 17

Signs of spring

We had a beautiful weekend here, how about you? When the clouds finally moved out on Saturday it got up into the 60s. And it stayed sunny on Sunday, too. Early spring? I’ll take it.

I had a nice medium-sized run. It should have been longer, but that’s the way of it sometimes. I did seven miles and then got hungry. I guess I needed more than a bowl of cereal. So I went inside and had a sandwich and went back out. By then, though, I’d cooled off, so I only did three more miles.

So this means I ran 10 miles and that was disappointed.

I do not know what is happening.

But! I saw the first new green stuff of the year:

Just behind that, was this:

Now, you can walk or run parallel to that fence and it just … ends. There’s no corner, no gate, no extra posts where the wire should be. It just stops. So I’m not sure how this is supposed to keep anyone in or out.

Down the other way, about a half mile, was this handsome old American sycamore:

In a few more weeks, maybe, the trees will be in bloom. Won’t that be a sight?

On Sunday I rode my bike to campus. I’d forgotten to bring something home on Friday and I needed it and it was such a beautiful day and so I slow-pedaled for about an hour and that was delightful. Just a beautiful day. I shot some video on my bike ride that is now on the front page of the site. I like that path, and I like the scenery, but I was trying to be sure I didn’t hit a few walkers while I was shooting that. I’ll have to go back and try again when there’s something on the trees.