Apr 15

I re-define spring

Happy Good Friday.

Productive morning. Reasonable lunch. Nice chat with the dean. Two classes this afternoon, talking feature story generation in one class and profile stories in the other.

And, then, this:


So this is my current definition of spring: I am jealous of people noodling around on cruiser bikes in a cul-de-sac.

Sat with friends and had a grand time watching a baseball game this evening. Then The Yankee and I went to Mellow Mushroom for pizza and pretzels. They’ve been renovating and they moved the wacky, grinning, blinking, glowing cat:


And that’s about enough. I feel like a nice long springtime nap. Probably I’ll dream about riding my bike.

Mar 15

Hours of ping

Today Auburn played a doubleheader against Vanderbilt. There’s rain in the forecast today, so let’s play two! … Against one of the best teams in the country and the defending national champions. No biggie!

We watched almost eight hours of baseball today. Good thing we got in a bike ride this morning, however so brief. In between games we got a snack and then went back to sit in the cooling night air, get rained on and watch a marathon, 10-inning game. Auburn was down, but not out. In the bottom of the ninth all of this happened.

And then, with the score tied, Vandy went ahead by a run in the 10th. In the bottom of the frame it all came down to a bloop single in right field.

Apparently the TV announcers said the umpire blew the call. Our DVR recorded three hours of the game, which got us through the first eight innings, but not the next 63 minutes of game time.

It was a long day. Auburn lost the series, but it looks like they proved to themselves that they can hang with a great team. In the press box, meanwhile, the poor guy ran out of songs to play from his iPod, I think.

Good times, nice people and plenty of fun.

Mar 15

Your typical perfect Friday

This morning we went to the Barbecue House for breakfast. I had the BLT with egg and cheese and a side of hash browns. It was delicious.

I found another bookstore and, finally, the AP Stylebook. It only took four stores, but I have a new book with the latest entries and misuse of the more than/over construction. There will be a new book any day now, of course.

We hit the pool. It was not my best day between the lane lines. My shoulder hurt. But The Yankee gave me some good tips on how to improve my wonderfully terrible form. Only one of the tips she gave me threatened to drown me. I did not swim far, but it was quality. Or so I’m telling myself.

We stopped by a friend’s house. Twice, actually. We were there to check on cats. We were about 15 feet short of pulling into the driveway when we realized we did not have the house key. So we went back home to get the keys, and then back to the friend’s house. These are some of her flowers, because it had rained, and drops make the flowers pop:




We went to the baseball game and watched Auburn beat the top-five ranked Vanderbilt 6-4. It was an exciting game and something of a surprising win. Then we had pizza at Mellow Mushroom, which was delicious. Tomorrow there’s a doubleheader.

Mar 15

You’re here for the music, I don’t blame you

This evening I did a 1,800 yard swim, toweled off and then had a 5K run. Finished at 75 percent target heart rate. The swim was about at my normal slow and sloppy pace and style. The run was probably at the lower end of my pace. But that’s a brick to start the season of exercise, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m feeling pretty good after, too.

You know, there’s a time when you don’t think about doing those sorts of things. And it doesn’t take all that long to look at those numbers and think to yourself, “That’s all you did?”

The mind is a weird place, is what I’m saying. I do not know what is happening.

So I swam in the indoor pool, naturally. I had the far left lane all to myself, hitting neither the wall or the room any at all. I did these in 50 yard increments, because I’m still trying to find some form of breathing that works. And having completed the mile I staggered out of the pool, into my flip flops, up the stairs, into the locker room, into some dry clothes and my running shoes and then out and over to one of the old gyms on campus. The gym was closed for a boy’s lacrosse practice, but the track above it was open, and I jogged and sprinted along on that, listening to the sounds of my footfalls and wondering just how long that track has been in place. This is what it looks like from underneath it.


And so to the parents that were there, sitting on the bench, watching their sons play lacrosse and listening to me trample 15 feet above you and wondering “Is this going to be the lap? Will this be the time? Are all of my affairs really in order?” I apologize. But you should have seen me in the pool.

I have this mental image that my swim looks really good for about 1,000 yards. Really it probably only looks really good for 15 yards, which is most of the push off the wall and that first stroke. But I can really make a nice streamline shape, boy, and I’m proud of that.

I got through some portion of the run by wondering what I would have for dinner. I can just look at a body of water and my appetite gets out of control, so, to have actually burned some calories, this could be a real meal. But I didn’t want this, and that would never seem filling and … for some reason there were two big burritos wrapped up and sitting on the floor of the track. So I somehow talked myself into Moe’s, because I guess I was getting hungry by then. Moe’s, I said aloud tonight, making it real, seems like a better idea in theory than in execution.

Please remind me of that as necessary. But, at Moe’s, there was this:

So now it is back to the newsroom, where the award-winning staff of The Samford Crimson is working on what will surely be another fine edition of their august publication. They’re celebrating their 100th anniversary this spring, ya know. We should have a party.

Things to read … because reading is always a party.

This one doesn’t surprise anyone, but it is nice to see: Huntsville ranked among top cities for STEM jobs

Turns out there is going to be a lot of stuff going in this summer: Redevelopment of Toomer’s Corner set to start after A-Day.

This is written in a sports talk context, but you get the sense that the anecdote might carry over to other programming: Is Sports Radio Ready For Its Future?:

Two discussions in particular stuck with me and have had my mind racing for the past few days. First, I was in Dallas for the Radio Ink Sports Conference and during my time there I had the chance to moderate a panel which focused on the mind of millennial listeners. I was on stage with three college students. Two were 21-years old and the other was 26.

Over the course of 45 minutes, I hit all three students with a barrage of questions on their perceptions and interest in sports radio and I along with the rest of the room learned that they live in a different world where content is only king if it can be consumed quickly. If it requires sifting through your podcast to find it, waiting through a commercial break or needing to wait for a host to finish rambling off-topic, they’re gone. Even the big name guest means little if it doesn’t include a hook worth sticking around for.

And that whole essay is a pretty nice read.

They got that right. Rickwood Field ranked among best baseball destinations


Really, I just mention that to dust off this Rickwood piece I did some years back. The oldest continually operational baseball park in America, in 20 minutes:

The place is 105 this year. This is a painstakingly recreated manual scoreboard you’ll see in the outfield:


And, over on Facebook, I’ve started The Best Single of the Last 45 Years game. So far there are eight great choices, including mine, which I heard tonight, and whose intro inspired the entire thing:

If you can’t get in a good mood with those horns the very reverend Al Green is right behind them, ready to work everything out.

He’s still doing it, too.

Yep, that’s all you want.

Mar 15

Where you learn how the picture craze started

Slept in, by a great deal. I was going to go ride my bike this morning, but my body had other plans it seems. I slept in by a lot. I’ll probably be asleep early tonight, as well.

In between I did see an 11-inning baseball game. And I had Aubie take a selfie for me.


A lot of people don’t know this, but if you look at those two words you should be able to figure out who invented the style. Aubie –> Selfie. He’s a man of many talents.

I also cleaned a corner of the office this evening. And I sorted through some stuff in the garage. If you’re interested in any of that come back tomorrow, I’ll tell one of those stories then.