Bloomington


26
Apr 22

Pro movement

This blocked traffic this morning. I’ve sped this up, because it is a three-minute effort and let’s be honest about our web habits but this beam and assorted other things started on that truck and it’s an interesting move.

The car in the foreground is close to the move. The small tree and the truck are very much involved. Those power lines aren’t exactly far away. This is a fair effort. And these guys handled it ease.

I do believe they’ve done this before.

We never think that much about the hard parts of putting up a building we are in. We don’t even know what the hard parts are. This might have been the easiest thing they did all day — and, if so, I hope everyone got a good night’s sleep. When the owner walks in the door when that build is complete, they’ll never know.

I did that thing today where you struggle with technology and you can’t find the solution to the problem and someone has to come by and show you the obvious thing you’ve overlooked. That happens to everyone. Except, when it happens to me it’s always the same guy who wanders by just in time to solve the problem. And I’ve never seen him do that brain-lock oversight thing. He must think I never get a good night’s sleep.

But, later in the day, things went pretty smoothly in the studio. It was the last news production of the semester. Everything is winding down this week, but it’s winding down with enthusiasm!

That’s the pop culture show. Also, Ashton just got a haircut and somehow that becomes a feature. And there was a taco hat and that was purely a serendipitous thing. I’ll need to get the full story on that.

We got a proper springtime forecast.

And a quick summary of the biggest stories going on abroad.

And, of course, all of the local headlines.

These shows will be online tomorrow, and I can share them then. But, until then, I can share the latest from the Behind the Curtain crew. They’re highlighting a student spec commercial. (The commercial is good, if long.)

And maybe this has gone on for too long, as well. So I will thank you, and step aside until tomorrow.

If you have some more time to kill right now, however, there’s always more on Twitter and check me out on Instagram, too.


25
Apr 22

If you’re keeping count, this is week 17 of the year

Let’s get this week started off the best way possible, by recounting our weekends! It’s as good a way as any to work through the reality of a Monday, I suppose. So, most importantly, how was your weekend? Great and warm and as precisely relaxing or fruitful as you planned, I hoped.

Mine started at the track. I left the office to catch the end of the Women’s Little 500. I briefly talked with the race director on Wednesday and it didn’t occur to me until later that I should have asked him why they start the thing at 4 p.m., when most of us are working. We ran into a guy we know who is a professor at a nearby school. We’ve had dinner with him before, worked on a paper together, used to hang out a bit socially, when that was a thing. This was the first time I’ve seen him since before Covid. Since then he’s bought a house, gotten married and had a child. The kid is already solving mid-level mathematical equations apparently. Time flies.

On Saturday was the men’s race. They take 200 laps around the track that surrounds the soccer field. Here’s the start and finish.

There were just three crashes. One was small and early in the race and the three or four guys that got tangled up in it popped right back on their bikes. One other I missed, and the guy seemed to be OK-ish when they hustled him off the track. And the last was in turn four of the white flag lap. They never threw up the caution flag — perhaps they have rules about that, or they just messed up — but this one was in the lead group. One of the guys was still crawling off the track when the remains of those hard-charging riders came back around 30-some seconds later. Most importantly, the group of eight contenders was whittled down to three or four guys, and that was the race.

Also, if you are wearing your best overalls, but somehow forget a shirt, a copy of the newspaper is highly adaptable.

Let’s check in on the cats. Here’s Phoebe at play in the cat tree.

And here’s Phoebe catching up on her time in the sun.

You can’t see it from the angle here, but Poseidon is sitting with his back legs on the sofa, and his front legs on me and his torso is hammocked in mid-air.

He seems to think that’s comfortable.

He also seems to think he’s a model.

I saw this car on Friday. I’m still surprised this was the first time I’ve seen this car around here. You think you’d notice that. It does stand out.

And, finally, a bloomington tree in blooming bloom.

Spring is upon us, thankfully.


19
Apr 22

Just the regular stuff

It was a sunny day. I know that because I drove in the sunshine. Because I have a late night on campus, I enjoyed a late start. So I lazed around a bit and read and did some laundry and generally wasn’t productive enough for most of the morning. A shame, really, because productivity is the mark of your downtime! Otherwise you’re just staring at the clock, waiting for your chance to spring into action.

And after I’d sprung, I spent the day in a room with no windows, which always helps productivity. So the sun could have done any number of things over the next six or so hours, and I’d be none the wiser. But I did see this streaming from a colleague’s office as I went up to the studio.

This will bake your bean: what if the universe is telling you something, but you just don’t understand the symbols?

That’d be too much to think about in the control room, where there was a lot going on this evening.

And, next door, in the studio, they were talking table tennis.

Because we had the recently crowned national champions in for an interview. These guys are twins, born 40 minutes apart. They’ve been playing internationally for about a decade, already. And one of them was an Olympic alternate during the most recent Games.

They said they practice about three hours a day. Later, the studio gang had a talk about all the things we could all be good at if we practiced it three hours a day.

Aside from autonomous things, like blinking and breathing and so on, what do you do for three or more hours a day? I probably read that much, presumably making me an expert reader. It gets pretty thin after that, though.

Also, Mia told us it is going to warm up just in time for Little 500 weekend. Every year since we’ve been here, that weekend has marked the precise retirement of winter, and beginning of spring.

Why they can’t have these races, then, in February, or March, remains a mystery to me.

Just as mysterious, where they’re going next with this show. It’s a mix of scripted and improv comedy, and we’re all just going along for the ride. Anyway, this week’s premise is that we’re on the search for a new co-host, and all of the awkwardness that you can possibly imagine from that is probably under consideration here.

Here’s the new longform interview show. All of the guests are IU or Indiana type folks, and that’s not a bad hook. So far they’re three-for-three on big names, including Michael Uslan, who’s the guy responsible for all of the Batman movies you’ve seen since Michael Keaton put on the cowl. So the caped crusader is probably going to come up in this conversation.

And this is a rock ‘n’ roll show. Three bands came into the studio, including one brand new band. This was the first song the three-piece band ever played together. Fooled me.

It was after 8 p.m. when I left the building, and still vaguely daylight when I made it outside. I walked to the parking deck and drove up to the top floor to look to the west. The gloaming hadn’t even begun.

That’s a great feature here. The best one, if you ask me.


5
Oct 21

A stationary front

The signs of summer are still with us. Saw this lovely little bit of shrubbery on a walk late last evening.

The signs of fall are coming slowly, and then suddenly. Same walk, just a little farther up on the same path.

So today my pocket square is autumnal.

Two years ago we observed Halloween and a snowfall. I’m going to try to not think about that every day between now and then. Each day in the next week or two when we have temperatures in the 70s and low 80s are a gift. A confusing gift.

But that weather out there? My friend Caroline Klare told me it would be like this.

In 2017 IUSTV decided to incorporate some weather into their newscasts. Someone knew someone studying atmospheric sciences. The first student-meteorologist was great, figured the TV thing out very quickly and did a fantastic job right up to graduation and went out into the world and got a job at BAMWX, a weather tech company. Two more students came through, one went to graduate school out west. One landed a great TV job in North Carolina, and Caroline is the last of that original cohort. Incredibly smart woman, wise beyond her years. She’s had a meteorology job waiting for her since her junior year.

Often as not, she orders me up some lovely weather, too.

I’m thinking about going to study atmosphere sciences.


27
Aug 21

Downstream from here

It rained this afternoon. Less than 20 minutes of the wet stuff fell from the sky. Something between a trace and a measurable amount. Just long enough to make me stay at the office a few minutes more, you understand. I rode out this randomly appearing rain cloud with purpose, doing a computer networking test that I learned earlier in the day on an extra classroom.

By the time that chore was done the rain was gone. And the little creek that runs alongside the building looked like this.

There’s something about the limestone that’s all around the place that slows drainage. If the water can’t go into the soil it just rolls to wherever the terrain wants it to and, here, that means Spanker’s Branch and down into the underground system just after that last shot. In an appropriate number of hours or days I’ll be using this same water to clean up after dinner.

It’s comforting, really, knowing there is a cycle to this, and we have integrated a system into it.

Saying a thing like that, about the dishes, is just one short step from trying to assign a story to that particular bit of water. The happy bubbles, and all of that. At which point you’re simply anthrophomorizing dihydrogen monoxide.

“What’s this ‘you’ stuff, pal?”

You’re right. You’re right. Not one among you has ever wondered about the hopes and dreams of the water you use while doing the dishes. That is the most ambitious part of the water that comes into our house. How else to explain how it gets on the countertops, the cabinets, my shirt, under the dish drainer and everything else?

I got some under the drainer this evening. No idea how that happened.

We’re hitting the books again before the weekend begins. We’re looking at a few of the interesting bits from one of my grandfather’s magazines, the January 1954 edition of Popular Science. We started this particular magazine a few weeks ago now, and you can see the first ads if you click that previous link. Click the image below and you can enjoy the next nine photos and bring yourself great worth and merriment.

But if Popular Science doesn’t interest you, you can see the rest of the things I’ve digitized from my grandfather’s collection. There are textbooks, a school notebook and a few Reader’s Digests, so far. It’s a lot of fun.

Just like your weekend. Unless you’re getting rained on. Watch out for Ida.

I’m taking next week off here, but we’ll be back for more fun of this sort the following week. See you on Labor Day!