Oct 22

There’s a(nother) video at the end

I made this late last night, early this morning. Losing sleep for mashup art is a questionable choice, but when you have an idea …

There’s another video, a better one, at the end of this post. This photo, taken earlier this evening, offers a visual cue about what you’ll see in just a few hundred casual words, and after a few weekend photos.

Keep scrolling down to see that video.

We had an incredible weekend of weather. I didn’t even know what to do with it. Just warm and bright enough to feel like it could and would go on forever. Not so warm that you’d believe it to be true. And somewhere in there, amid the sun and the shade and the breeze, you can be held in a powerful grip of indecision.

We took a nice little walk on Sunday. Saw this wooly bear caterpillar, which was very much in a hurry to get to wherever it is that caterpillars go.

On the nearby goat farm they’re putting in another asphalt path. I look forward to exploring that when they remove the construction tape. One must respect construction tape, but this looks all but done.

How many colors can one tree sport, anyway?

This is on another path, and with more colors.

I got photobombed …

It doesn’t pop in the photo as well as it did in the daylight, but this tree is both yellow and red. It was fantastic, and that’s another problem of autumn. It’s too temporary — despite what I said above.

We stood under the trees and felt the breeze and caught the leaves.

If you don’t know what to do with a fine autumn day, catch the leaves.

Another work week has begun. My contribution to the cause today was this. Three-quarters of a running project are completed, and the rest will wrap up later this week. And then I’ll talk about them, perhaps, unless something more interesting takes place that day.

(Cheer for something more interesting.)

We set up a new system to show off student media work on the big screen. Wednesday we’ll roll that out. I also met two scholars visiting from France.

I got to the house just in time to take a quick bike ride. Got back in before dark, could have gotten a bit more out of the ride if I’d put a little thought into the route, but, no matter, it was 20 miles.

Went slow on this road, just for these views. Hopefully the video is worth it.

And now it’s time to get ready for tomorrow. The faster we get to it the faster I can get through it. Also, the quicker I can get to bed the quicker I can … fill my weary head with useless ideas like that Bryce Harper video. Pretty good one though, wasn’t it?

May 22

Let’s go back in time

Ten years ago I took this photograph, and published it on my Tumblr site. (Remember those?) This is the agapanthus, the African lily. From the Greek agape (love) + anthos (flower).

The plant is believed to have a hemolytic poison and can cause ulceration of the mouth. It does have other medicinal properties, however. There are about 10 species in the genus.

(Haven’t put anything on that Tumblr since November 2014. I wonder why? Probably just rightly remembered I should put everything here.)

Nine years ago I was at a baseball game, and the good guys won. We found our friend watching from a nearby parking deck.

(Happy times!)

Eight years ago we ran a triathlon in the morning, and watched a baseball game in the afternoon. (Good guys lost.) And I got Aubie to take a selfie on my camera.

(Happy times!)

Seven years ago we ran a 10K. I did it in brand new shoes.

This was a fundraiser in London, and on part of the route we ran around Wembley Stadium. The guy that won the race was an Egyptian Olympian. He lapped us. It was amazing to watch him run. He could not stick around to get his medal, they said, because he ran off to run another race. Long distance runners, man.

But look at this awesome bling!

(The next day we were in Paris. It was a whirlwind.)

Six years ago, plus one day …

I’ve never been able to eat watermelon without thinking about that. And I can’t eat watermelon without being a bit sad. Had some this morning, in fact.

Five years ago, boy, I was right about this one.

Four years ago, we were in Tuscany, specifically, Siena, and just one of the beautiful things we visited that day was the Duomo di Siena. In the 12th century the earliest version of this building starting hosting services, but there’d been a church on this spot for centuries by then. The oldest bell in the church was cast in 1149! These beautiful facades started appearing in the 1200s.

That was a grand trip. We’d do that one again, I’m sure.

Three years ago, the 17th was a Saturday, and we went on an easy bike ride.

Two years ago I apparently sat around and thought of little more than Covid. Remember the pandemic?

And last year at this time I was recovering from my first long drive in a year. We’d just come back from visiting my vaccinated family members. It had been my first drive out of the county in more than a year. It took a day or two to recover.

I did have a reason to re-use this gif, however.

The guy on the left is a sports director at a television station in Illinois now. The guy on the right is a 2L at a Washington D.C. law school. (We’re all going to work for one of them one day, I’m sure.)

So a bit of everything on this day in the last decade.

Jul 21

Recycling a Twitter thread

I pulled all of this together right after Cleveland announced their new team name. I like these montages and appreciate the work that goes into these rollouts. In this case they’re doing nothing less than staking out their new identity in front of a multinational audience. It’s no small thing, and worthy of a bit of study.

(And if you think this is nerdy, ask me about the breakdown I used to do with the more effective Super Bowl spots as a classroom exercise.)

Anyway, I let this sit and breathe for a few days. I watched the video again and was pleased with my off-the-cuff impressions. And since I don’t have anything good for you here, please enjoy the new Cleveland Guardians video.

More on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and did you know that Phoebe and Poseidon have an Instagram account? Phoebe and Poe have an Instagram account.

Sep 20

Two campus notes, just before the full moon

Checked my mailbox on campus today and there was a little poster tube there. It was from the Office of the Bicentennial. The university, early this year, celebrated its 200th anniversary and, while it was a bit abbreviated because of the coronavirus shutdown, we’d been marking the event for a few years.

From time to time I had the good fortune to help them with this or that, and someone there was kind enough to send me a little thank you. I got a nice poster and some cool lapel pins:

So my question is, can I wear those in 2021?

Meanwhile, there’s baseball going on. And today I used my awesome powers to put three simultaneous playoff games on the big screen:

No one was there to watch them, because few people come into the building these days under the university’s wise safety precautions. But just as it is weird to consider 16 teams in baseball’s post season, it seemed normal to put sports on the big screen.

I wonder what they showed on that screen 200 years ago.

Ha! That’s a trick question! That building is only 103 years old! Back in 1917 you would have watched the Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants in the World Series. The Sox, who won the series, were managed by a man named Pants Rowland. The Giants were managed by John McGraw, he of the bony old fingers.

Did you know there was a real Moonlight Graham? Burt Lancaster put poetry to the thing, but his is a beautiful and common tale, even without the book or the film. (The one inning the real Graham played in was a bit earlier than the film, in 1905. He passed away in 1965.)

There’s a book about him. Let me know if he ever made it down this way.

Sep 18

Sports as culture and 9/11

Showed part of this in class today.

Thought a lot about almost everyone on campus doesn’t have a clear personal memory of that day. And that’s both good and unfortunate. Maybe documentaries and all of the many media opportunities we have make it seem both far away and close at hand.

Fewer people, about quarter of America now, know of the hundreds or thousands of small personal moments like this:

The jets would be armed within an hour, but somebody had to fly now, weapons or no weapons.

“Lucky, you’re coming with me,” barked Col. Marc Sasseville.

They were gearing up in the pre-flight life-support area when Sasseville, struggling into his flight suit, met her eye.

“I’m going to go for the cockpit,” Sasseville said.

(Lt. Heather β€œLucky” Penney) replied without hesitating.

“I’ll take the tail.”

It was a plan. And a pact.

And there’s a full generation of people for whom the large, greater, moment onboard United 93 is only a piece of history. That’s the way of it. That’s the way of time. The way of moving on.

You wonder if it always happens that quickly. Did someone feel like this in December of 1958 when they read about another anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor? Did people have a similar reaction in the fall of 1934? Was it like this in the early 1880s? Of course news come so fast now that seemingly endless wars and almost-secret wars seldom get any attention at all. Of course pivot points in history are inevitably due to be swallowed up.

But through it all, Ray, there’s been baseball.

I should have played that in class, too.