May 14

Running in the rain

Received an email from a student that read, in part, “I just wanted to thank you for your character and personality throughout this year … ” So maybe I got something right this semester. I receive a few of those a year, and they are all appreciated and gratifying.

Today I graded things, working down the stack to the point where, really, it can’t grow back into something insurmountable. There is only 113 more things to read, if you’re keeping track.

We listened to baseball on the radio and the good guys won, 8-1.

We went for a run. We got caught in the rain:


This is the time of the year, suddenly, where it is warm. And after it rains it is proportionately more intense. On the one hand I could run under tree branches, jump up and shake one down upon me. On the other hand we have 90 percent humidity.

I’d much rather ride my bike in the rain. I don’t know why, but riding in it is just amusing. Running is something else. At least the cleanup is easier.

Things to read … because reading in the rain would be the best.

This is just hard to conceive. After 6 siblings lose houses in Limestone tornado, family ‘home place’ burns week later:

April 28 was the only time the Farrar siblings didn’t consider living in close proximity a good thing. The homes of six of the seven siblings were struck by the EF-3 tornado that ripped through western Limestone County just before 5 p.m., but the family emerged from a nearby storm shelter grateful. They were all unharmed and “the home place,” built by their late mother and father, sustained the least damage of any of the five homes.

The siblings, children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren moved into temporary housing in local motels and tried to regroup.

Then, exactly one week later, on Monday, May 5, the home place on Parker Road burned after catching fire when power was restored to the area.

This sounds like a lovely family. IRONMAN Mourns Passing of Dean Bullock:

It is with great sadness that we pass on the news that 2013 Kona Inspired winner, Dean Bullock, succumbed Thursday to the brain cancer that forced him to call it a day at the IRONMAN World Championship last October.

A day after Bullock was pulled off the bike course, his wife and nine children did the marathon course for him to take care of his “unfinished business.”


Last August, Gaylia Osterlund wrote a profile on Bullock. “He talked about death openly,” Osterlund remembers of her interview. “He told me if he died tomorrow or when he was 100, he did not want to be remembered for racing. He wanted to be remembered for his now 37 years of marriage, his kids, grandkids and his faith in his Heavenly Father. He truly believed nothing else mattered.”

He was 59, running the Ironman and had 17 grandchildren.

This one is unique: Denmark’s unprecedented media scandal – A gossip mag takes a page from News of the World’s playbook.

Analytics are the key here: Internal innovation report says the New York Times needs to up its digital game or else.

Have a nice day: ‘We Kill People Based on Metadata’.

May 14

The kisses of Delores

I made it home in time to watch baseball. It was a tough night for baseball. There was defense and home runs and unfortunate umpiring:

But, hey, a beautiful spring day was before us. The sunset behind home plate and we spent the evening with friends and then we went out to eat with some of them and we laughed until the restaurant made us go home. So it was a great evening and a fine start to the weekend.

Things to read … because the reading never stops.

Toomer’s Corner officially poison-free

Workforce Participation at 36-Year Low as Jobs Climb

If police say it’s cocaine, no lab test required for drug conviction, court rules

Newspapers are lagging behind in the mobile traffic boom:

The Internet is becoming an increasingly mobile medium, but it appears that newspaper publishers are not only struggling to make the transition, they’re falling behind.

This year, for the first time ever, the amount of time Americans spend consuming media on mobile — smartphones and tablets — will exceed that of the desktop Internet, according to an eMarketer report released in April. Nearly a quarter (23.3 percent) of Americans’ daily media consumption will be on mobile in 2014, compared to 18 percent on desktop.

What is news?:

We get it. You think that story we shared via social media and posted on our website is ridiculous, stupid and far from newsworthy. And we hear you, and we appreciate your opinion. But that’s not going to stop us from sharing it.


For us, news is anything popular or trending or being talked about. It’s often serious, but not always. It’s often bad but sometimes good.

And sometimes, it’s just plain silly. Or not helpful.

And, now, for a whole bunch of “Awwws” from the best story of the day: Teenager takes his great-grandmother to prom.

Delores Dennison never went to her high school prom. Times were tough. Money was scarce — just enough for the necessities.

But if she had gone to the prom, Delores might have imagined wearing a lovely dress and promenading through a sea of balloons and dancing with a handsome young man on a crisp April evening. She might have imagined the band playing the Frank Sinatra song, “How I love the kisses of Delores.”


A few months back, Delores received a telephone call from her great-grandson. Austin is 19-years-old, a senior at Parkway High School in Rockford, Ohio. And he had a very important question for his “Granny DD.”

“I asked her if she would be my prom date,” Austin told me. “How cool would it be to take my great-grandmother to prom?”

But wait, there’s more:

What a cool guy.

Apr 14

I saw bling

Caught a rare mid-week baseball game. Auburn hosted and defeated South Alabama 6-1.

That reminded me I haven’t shared these pictures yet. Last weekend they gave championship rings to the 2013 team. A guy we now in the stands at baseball works as an equipment manager (I think) for the football team, so he got a ring too. He showed it off:




Pretty nice, right?

Things to read … because reading is always nice.

Facebook Page Reach Plummets to 1%: What Marketers Need to Know

The state of cybersecurity: Attacks are on the rise in the cloud and threats are more diverse

Egypt: the world watches as journalism goes on trial

Thousands die of thirst and poor care in NHS

4 Alabama counties have more active, registered voters than adult population

The Buzzfeed headline … we don’t need it. Which federal agency pays an average of $167,146? The answer will surprise you

From the You Made Your Bed Dept: Man on Trial for Murder Worried “MURDER” Tattoo Might Hurt His Case

Apr 14

A Saturday outside

I so rarely see cyclists on the road. They’re almost always, always going the other direction. And, without fail, I am struggling up some tiny incline when they go by. They’ll just be breezing along happily and I’m obviously struggling to turn over the pedals. It is uncanny.

I think I’ve passed maybe four or five cyclists on the road in a casual day’s ride because they are always going the other way. But I saw this guy, and that was pretty great:


Right through this area, recently, my CatEye said I touched 40.5 miles per hour. I can be a little faster through here, I know:


Around midday, on a cool, overcast, windy, rainy day, a spring day that featured a public football practice, thousands of people were crawling over campus. And this was hours before the actual festivities. Auburn folks are ready for some football:


We went to the baseball doubleheader instead. In the first game we listened to the crowd and the audio from the big screen. We could hear a tailgating band and the marching band each vying for attention. It was a wonderful day to be on campus with friends, a group which keeps growing each time we get together.

This guy’s been in the group for a long while. He was born just after the Georgia game two years ago. (His mom was at the tailgate right at her due date. Where were you?) He’s a cool dude:


A year ago, now, some of us were listening to scanners in Boston again. This is what we heard:

I loved that one call: “America.”

Mar 14

Baseball shots

Auburn won 7-3 today and avoided a sweep at the hands of Missouri, a club that took their first series over a ranked team in five years.

Jordan Ebert put Auburn on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. He also drove in a run in the sixth and then scored there as well, the last run of the game:




Ryan Tell had three hits. He stole second base in the eighth inning, his first of the weekend. He was thrown out at third twice in the series.


Jay Wade picked up the save, allowing only one hit and one run in four innings of work: