21
Mar 18

Its still winter, in spring

I’m not accustomed to seeing cotton bolls in March. Then again, I’m not accustomed to seeing snow in March, either:

It’s still spring, by the way. And at lunch I saw this second, or third, sign of spring:

It’s hard to keep count, there have been daffodils and the eternal budding-but-not-opening of trees and my first robin of the year, and pointless, too. Winter isn’t hardly done with us yet.

But, for this afternoon’s neighborhood 5K, when it had warmed up to an impossible 46°, I wore a sweatshirt. I did that for the first 1.8 or so, and then discarded it. I ditched it just before the shady and cold segment.

Now, normally that would be one of those things you’d laugh and shiver about. Timing, am I right? But I did this in the neighborhood. I did this in the neighborhood, the place where, presumably, I know where the shady spots are.

So this was a lovely experience. Ten years ago we were at Peju, got a few of these and held on to one. And held on to it and held on to it and held on to it. After a while it became a joke.

Then, as I tend to do, I got sentimental about it. We got some more, so that solved the nostalgia problem. And by then we figured we should probably ought to wait until the 10th anniversary.



And here we are. Tonight was the 10th anniversary. The cork didn’t cooperate, but we filtered out the debris.

It was quite tasty after we let it breathe. I don’t know if it was worth hanging on to for all of that time, but it was worth getting sentimental about.


20
Mar 18

The day of the spring equinox, and more winter

No one told the weather it is now spring:

So this is all about weather today, then, I guess.

A podcast I made today, which is not about the weather at all, as it turns out. Except today’s guest is enjoying more winter than we are. Well, he’s receiving more winter. I don’t know if he is enjoying it:

A video I shot this afternoon:

‪The first day of spring, and the return of #AShortFilmOfNoConsequence #XVI‬

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

One of those things you never shake:

I did two nights of this in Little Rock, and a few of these in Alabama, including two on the national news. The outtro in the late night and early morning hours is always so sadly similar. “Authorities are waiting until the sun comes up, when daylight shows us what the true scale of the damage is … ” I always hated those stories, standing out there listening to people wondering what their lives had become is no way to spend an overnight. And so it is in Jacksonville, Alabama, right now, where I know many of the folks covering the storms, and the people there are seeing a lot of damage, but fortunately the campus of hard-hit Jacksonville State was enjoying Spring Break. That fortuitous timing, and early warnings, probably helped saved lives and kept the injury count low.


19
Mar 18

This got a little Twitter heavy

This was Saturday morning:

I’m not sure who’s fault this was — or put another way, stayed in bed longer — but I’m sure it wasn’t Allie. That’s a Saturday morning, though, and that’s not too bad.

Here are a few things I found interesting this weekend and today …

Think about that. A man born before the Civil War, became president twice and had kids comparatively late in life. And then most of his children were long-lived. Three of them into my lifetime. His youngest died when I was in college. If you were in New Hampshire, you might have met the man who died as the oldest presidential offspring. Francis Grover Cleveland was in the poultry business, and was in the theater. He ran a barnstorming summer stock program that he founded in the 1930s.

Starting in 1966, Mr. Cleveland perennially talked of retirement and the possibility that his aptly called nonprofit theater might have to close. Yet, despite failing eyesight, Mr. Cleveland again directed some of last summer’s fare, opening the season with “The Front Page” in July and closing with “The Fantasticks” in early September.

Mr. Cleveland was born in Buzzards Bay, Mass., the youngest of four children of Grover Cleveland, the nation’s 22d and 24th President. His father, a frequent summer visitor in Tamworth, died in 1908, when the boy was 5.

Mr. Cleveland graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard College. He briefly taught private school in Cambridge, Mass., but then opted for the stage. He acted in Boston and later in New York, where he had cameo roles on Broadway in the original productions of “Dead End” and “Our Town.”

Speaking of history:

This was about five months before I started blogging, so thankfully there are no archives to look through, but I remember that trip well. I got some pretty good tape for my journalism career out of the deal, and I landed a terrific friend out of the trip, and some other friends still carry on the long-running Ann Taylor gag because of this trip. I remember much about it and have yet to figure out what it should feel like in a capitol city when the nation has just gone to war. I walked through Dupont Circle thinking everyone seemed very casual, considering.

Just casually moving on in the WNIT tournament:

The only time of year I even take a stab at paying attention to basketball is during the postseason, of course. And, of course, the women’s game is always more entertaining.

Somewhat entertaining:

And, finally, this is very entertaining, some people re-made the Avengers trailer on the cheap:

I’d watch that movie.

More on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and more podcasts on Podbean as well.


16
Mar 18

No wendigos allowed

Here is today’s podcast. And if you’re hungry before you listen, we’ll either solve that problem or give you some ideas. It seems there’s a new kind of meat that may be making its way into your grocery shopping list. I doubt, very seriously, that it will happen, but it is fun to contemplate, as you will soon see.

I went for a run after work, sneaking in a quick four miles around the neighborhood before our dinner with friends. And I told them about this episode. Everyone agrees it is an unusual one, even the guy sitting at the table next to us.

We were at an upscale fancy kind of place, our friend who suggested it promised the best burgers in town. And that’s always one of those things you should follow up on. Because it would be a shame to not know where the best burger in town is, first of all. Plus, the previously nominated best burger in town was merely pretty decent. There was nothing wrong with it, but we went the one time and haven’t been back in 15 months, for whatever reason.

But this place, maybe we’d go back. The burgers were certainly good, if a bit overpriced. But you’re paying, you see, for the pleasure of sitting quite close to the next table over. And those people are paying for that same privilege. So it only seemed right that I should talk about recording a podcast where we discussed what is called clean human meat.

The guy at the next table was a little put off by this. Probably because I was talking about it. Definitely because I was talking about it with a little volume. Hey, these podcasts don’t publicize themselves, you know.

Anyway, we probably stayed at that places for about three hours, on the strength of burgers and fish. And everyone had a lovely meal and time. Our dinner dates work in the library and the art museum, so they have plenty of interesting things to tell us about. And we decided in the course of all of that that there are movies we all haven’t seen, but should.

How do you know which movies those are? It seems like we’d all need the input of someone else on this. But who knows all of the movies you’ve seen? No one, really. So it is down to self reporting. And so we decided on a methodology — because this is what you do on a Friday night in a college town. After much debate and thought, we figured we would self-nominate five films each from the Oscar nominated Best Screenplay and Best Film categories dating back to 1980. So you have to go over those and find five movies per. Mine were:

Her
Grand Budapest Hotel
Lady Bird
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
The Savages

Elizabeth
In The Bedroom
The Theory of Everything
Get Out
The Post

Next, someone is going to gather all of those in a spreadsheet and we’re going to start watching the common overlaps. There will be popcorn and merriment and, I’m sure, endless critiques.

There will be no human meat.

Happy weekend!

More! On Twitter, on Instagram and more podcasts.


15
Mar 18

Old dusty books

Back to the books! This part of the site is devoted to my grandfather’s books. I never got to know the man, he died a few months after I was born, but over the years, I’ve been given a few of his things. Including a lot of books.

If you click the link above you’ll see the books already uploaded to the site. Right now we’re checking out a few publications he had when he was a bit older, because almost 60-year-old advertisements are always fun. And so here we have the November 1960 Reader’s Digest:

Click the cover and you’ll get today’s installment, which gives us pages five through eight in our quick flip through this book as I attempt to once again make this a weekly feature. Also, check out the main section and you can see a classic literature book, some great science illustrations, some notes, newspaper clippings from his youth and more.

Slow day around these parts. Spring break for students, most of the faculty and staff have ducked out of town too. So it is quiet and sunny everywhere, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Let’s celebrate with song! I heard Lake Street Dive at lunch today and that meant I stayed in the restaurant for three more minutes to enjoy the tune. Now you can enjoy it too:

The TV group made for a cool photo essay feature in an alumni magazine. I don’t think I’ve shared that here yet, but here they are now.