Feb 20

We don’t focus on the flaws in the plan

So, again, the nice thing about extending your weekend thoughts is that if you devote Monday and Tuesday to looking back and enjoying the things you might have had the opportunity to do over last weekend, you avoid the front part of the present week. And since you’re going to look forward, anyway, on Thursday and Friday to whatever you have planned in the upcoming weekend, you really only have to be confronted by the work week on Wednesday.

There are flaws in that plan. Not paying attention to detail isn’t something that can safely be done in every workplace. Mentally checking out isn’t something that every profession will allow. But if you have the opportunity — perhaps during a lull or your regular lunch break, while waiting on hold or staring at that screen willing an email reply that you know isn’t coming in a timely fashion or during a meeting where someone else clearly hasn’t done their homework — it could be worth considering. You’re already subscribing to the philosophy of Dean, Reno and Frenette, anyway.

So onto to Thursday, which is basically the prelude to the weekend, right?

Sports shows in the studio this evening. And aside from being able to pronounce sophisticated words like “Mobile” things went well:

They talked sports on the sports talk show, as well. Novel concept, I hear you say. We’re innovators around here. Tonight’s topic was baseball:

And before I realized it, they’d wrapped their two shows, returned everything in the studio to their home positions, shut down the lights and had gone on to their post-production meetings, editing, homework, parties or wherever else they may go.

I returned to my office to stare at the screen waiting for email replies. Dreaming of the weekend already.

Feb 20

No one even made the “Oh my!” joke

I met this guy last night in the television studio. He took part in a nice little segment about the local petting zoo of discovery and wonder:

The handlers, for lack of a more appropriate term, were wonderful with both the animals and the students who were working the show. And some of their creatures work school and other promotional events all the time, so they apparently take it in stride.

The ladies said the animals would do better out of their carriers than in them, so after a moment of “Awwww,” and a second moment of photographs, the crew got down to work and did a nice job pulling the program together. And the hosts created a tight little segment with their furry guests.

Off-camera the lemur jumped on me. And I learned that a bengal cat will grow to be a bit larger than a domestic feline. This one was still growing. We were told that you can tell them apart mostly by their softer coat and their personality. They generally behave more like dogs, she said. But this guy was too chill to be bothered by anything going on around him. That lemur wanted to be the star, however. You can see it in here:

The news show was done after that. I missed a lot of it, trying to be useful, downstairs working on other things.

Driving home this evening, I had a nice view of the sun:

Something about the angle of it in the sky, even as it was descending toward the horizon, is starting to feel different. Like the sun is bigger, brighter, and should-be-warmer. It isn’t yet. But either some ancient neuron in my brain has begun to detect the seasonal shift or my keen powers of critical observation are seeping into my subconscious.

It still isn’t warm — nor would you expect it to be warm here just now, but on general principle I demand it nevertheless — so either instinct or perception is wrong. But there was a feeling that an optimist might ascribe to optimism.

I’m a resigned realist.

Probably I owe Phoebe a photograph. It was a rare evening, indeed, when she chose to sit on me. If she’s going to choose to cuddle with someone it will be The Yankee. (And almost always on one of the blankets.)

This is a thing she does near the end of her time cuddling. Having rolled over, she stretches her full body out. I’m not sure if she’s surveying the ground below her, or just enjoying the moment or trying to wake up or fall back asleep.

Eventually, she pushes off with her back legs and gracefully rolls toward the floor. Here’s the side view before that happens:

I think we’d now, finally, have to use three hands to count the number of times she’s voluntarily sat with me. It’s progress. Maybe she was jealous of the bengal cat. Maybe she’s noticed something about the sun, too.

Feb 20

To get us through a Tuesday

Since we’re trying to mentally stretch out weekends around here, and since we were just talking about the sky and the weather and all of that. This is what it looked like during Saturday’s late afternoon run:

Not too bad. Sunday was an even more picturesque day. The Yankee had a rest day planned, but she said “You should go for a run and enjoy it.”

Meaning the weather, I think, which is more likely than enjoying the run. It looked like this:

And so I got in five quick miles. Quick for me. At one point I was running a 6-minute-and-change pace. During several phases I had a comfortable seven-minute mile pace. And then my legs or my lungs would remember I’m not a teenager anymore.

After a run like that, though, you get to use the compression boots. And so I did enjoy that this evening, and it inspired my last Valentine of the season:

Something about all of this meant I was a trending topic on Twitter:

It wasn’t me, but The Jet. This happens from time to time. I’m going to claim it anyway, of course.

Tonight, we had to move around one of the cats’ play things. They protested, as cats do, by sitting on it:

Sit-ins have a long tradition of respect. You wonder if the animals have been checking things out on Wikipedia when you aren’t looking. Maybe there’s more to it than you realize when your pet does the “I know you don’t want me in here, but I’m going to flop down, roll over, go cute and limp” routine. It could be a powerful social statement, when the cat tries to get into your closet.

Go check me out on Twitter, I might be trending! And there’s more on Instagram as well.

Feb 20

There’ve been worse weekend ideas on Mondays

There’s a difference between personality and style. Personality, at its most basic, demonstrates characteristics that help the rest of us distinguishes one character from another. You can see this in siblings. You can see it in twins. Style, meanwhile, is a way of doing a thing. I am talking about the connotation of style that is to do that thing in an appreciable way. Appreciable in the sense of I see the nature of how you handled that, and I admire, sir or ma’am, your elan. Style.

This cat has personality, at the very least:

That personality is usually: Let me aggravate you as much as possible with my understanding of where you don’t want me and my immediate, continual and pressing need to always be in or on those places.

His sister, who I managed to take just one picture of this weekend, has a style. She’s aloof and insistent on very much having her way in controlling whatever is going on. Not in a bad sense, it’s just about her terms. And if you can’t oblige that, well, she needed to be somewhere else right now, anyway.

Here was my original Valentine e-card on Saturday:

And here’s a picture from Saturday’s run:

It was a nice-enough day. Generally cloudy, occasionally a bit of sun, and finally warmed up to 43 degrees. Still that snow, though. So we had a nice easy neighborhood run, and then ran through the next neighborhood, too. Got about four miles out of it, and in no particular hurry.

More from the weekend to pad out our tomorrow. Hey, if your weekend goes to fast, just look back on it with a fond nostalgia for the next two days. Then, before you know it, you’re already at Hump Day. You’re going to spend your Thursday and Friday thinking about the next weekend anyway …

Feb 20

Happy Valentine’s Day

And a cold one it is. But the sunny is out, and it became one of those days when the sun made all the difference. If you were dressed in the appropriate amount of layers.

This was the view this morning. Just look at that fog rolling of the creek.

Here is my official work Valentine:

That’s a giant sloth skeleton. Well, it is a 3D-printed recreation of a giant sloth. Story goes that he was discovered on the banks of the Ohio River in the 19th century. Sometime later he was donated to the university and the fossilized remains were on display in a science building. Then, in the 1940s, the bones “got thrown out.”

There’s a bigger story there. That story may be lost to history, but anything told, misremembered, perhaps obfuscated and then glossed over 80 years later becomes an easy recitation of “facts.”

Eventually, it was decided by the Office of They that the sloth should be put back on display as a part of the university’s ongoing bicentennial celebration. Only, no one has the bones. But better than fossils, we can reprint them. Technology is grand! Some of the bones were apparently not lost to history, carelessness, conspiracy or whatever it was. And they were used as a model, along with careful consultation of other ancient sloth specimens. Ultimately, it became a collaborative effort among several aspects of the university, which was probably the most important thing. Our part is … hosting the sloth. The original didn’t sit in this building, but this one is, for a time. The orientation is unfortunate. It is pointing at the newspaper’s offices and it really shouldn’t. Apparently he’s going on tour after Spring Break. A very slow tour, I’m sure.

Had a cookie:

I walked down to the local little cookie bakery where they make custom-ordered treats. Made a video of it for a friend, shared the cookies with some people in her honor. I made sure to enjoy one for myself.

And I saw this on the way to the car after the day’s work was done. Tulips! Sun!

I want to be heartened by this, but I won’t be tricked. Not this year. I remember the video from this morning, after all. And I’ve come to realize: after you see the first tulips here, you still spend two months in sweaters and coats. Three winters, lesson learned.

OK, here’s an important part of the cookie video:

Happy weekend! Find yourself a cookie. Probably you deserve it.