Mar 16

Those are Virginias, not Valencias

Took a carload, and I do mean a car full, of stuff to Goodwill today. A nice lady came out with two giant bins and helped me pull stuff out of the car and then into their storefront. She told me stories of things she has found in the donations they receive. You wouldn’t want to believe them, really. But then she also noticed a pair of cufflinks that she was pretty sure I didn’t want to donate. And she was correct.

She thanked me and told me to bring the rest — because there’s more to donate — and then gave me the tax forms that I tried to avoid and then literature:

That trip thinned out two closets and some stuff from the attic and garage.

Later there was baseball, which has become an event more about people and friends than the game itself. And, also, peanuts:

You don’t see as many three-kernel peanuts as you used to, you think. But then you remember, oh that’s about varieties. And when you get the three-kernel prize out of a giant bag of Virginia peanuts. Or maybe runners. Hard to tell.

May 15

Brown shoes in my size, the second hardest thing to buy

This morning it was laundry. This afternoon it was errands. I had to buy shoes. Buying a specific kind of shoe in my size — and at a price I want to pay — is sometimes very difficult. This is one of those times. But, on the third store, I picked up some nice brown casual shoes that might feel comfortable.

Since we’ve started doing triathlons I’ve come to think of the comfort of my feet as a very important thing.

I also bought some new running shoes this week. I just eclipsed 400 miles in the old shoes and they were letting me know. Three times in a row I went for a jog that turned into an aching-calf shuffle. Well, you don’t have to tell me a fourth time. So that’s two new pairs of shoes in one week.

Didn’t get all of my errands done. The loafers took too long. So we’ll push that on to next week. Today there’s baseball. And then dinner, with friends. And we met our friend Sally Ann and her niece.


We all dined with our friends Jennie and Jeremy, who we bumped into by chance:


Oh yes, I bought a selfie stick today. You’ll soon see why.

Mar 15

Got any AP Style?

I was looking for a book, a new Associated Press Stylebook, but one place didn’t have it. A second store was closed.

Going to a third place I had your standard “Don’t see that every day” moment. A bicycle-mounted police officer pulled over a car. The officer turned on a little blue light and the car pulled over.


You can almost imagine the mental calculus going on in the car. But that was a good move, stopping. Oh you’ll get away from the guy on the mountain bike with the fat tires. But he has friends just down the street. And those people aren’t riding bikes.

I believe that’s the first traffic stop I’ve seen by a cycling officer. Now I want to see the officers on the ruggedized Segway-trike get someone making an improper turn.

I rode 22 miles on my bike this afternoon and I didn’t see anyone that would stop for me. But I don’t have a badge or a blue light. I just have the lycra.

Anyway, the third bookstore didn’t have the book. I can try another place tomorrow. I hit Walmart. I was looking for two things, but I only found one. I got a watch battery for an old watch. (Still works! Now I have three watches that might, from time-to-time, help me out. I’ll be late somewhere tomorrow.) So I only found the one thing at the retailer, that let me make a withdrawal at the cash register. These are the details of my day.

I needed the cash because as I was going from one place to the next I got a message from an e-bay seller. We’ve been negotiating the sale of two Gloms. A deal had been reached. He’s in town and so we set up a meet.

So I find myself watching the sun go down from the Kroger parking lot, waiting on this guy to show up. He brought two books. I paid cash. He felt like he got a good deal. I felt like I got a good deal. We were both happy.

Turns out the guy’s a picker. He’s telling me stories about how he used to go dumpster diving, how it is different now. Once, he said, people would come up to him and strike up a conversation. Now he’s afraid they’ll just call the police.

But is it the times or his age? You can probably get away with more in your 20s than 40s, I’d guess.

He feels like he covered the entire area, going through old abandoned buildings, salvaging and scavenging. I wonder how many of those roads I know because of my bike and how many I have no idea about.

The newest condos being built are going up on a large tract that previously had several old, decrepit houses. He says he got the call to go into those houses, that he was the only guy, and that he got to pick them clean for leftover property, repurposed fixtures and, of course, the copper.

The stories of all of the local stuff he finds sounds like a lot of fun.

We probably talked for an hour, mostly with me just trying to get him to show me his collection. Never know what else he might be willing to sell.

Probably should have asked him if he had a Stylebook.

Jan 15

Things I’ve received

I got a pair of broken glasses in November and an eye appointment two weeks ago to replace them. Ignored at that doctor’s office, I made a new appointment, today, with another eye doctor.

I got my appointment rescheduled earlier this week. Seems the doctor didn’t want to come back to the office after lunch. So this morning, then, I waited 75 minutes to meet the doctor. I got this picture of the chart while I waited. I zoomed in on my camera phone, and then zoomed in on the picture so I could read them. When the doctor did come in he managed to not introduce himself.


I got into a long debate with this new doctor because he somehow ascertained that his machine told him a radically off result for my vision. That meant a lecture by the doctor because, I think, he somehow assumed that this error was something I was advocating. We followed that up with the pleasure of someone sticking their fingers in my eyes.

And I got a trial pair of contacts and the persistent sensation that something is in my eye. Perhaps because something was in my eye. Even now, with them out, and maybe I did that right, it feels like there’s something in my eye. Also, so far, I find that putting them in is easier than taking them out.

I’m still not sure what all of the letters are on the last line.

I got the perverse pleasure of watching my 16-gallon gas tank fill up beyond 16 gallons. Coasted in again. And I received the joy of filling up for less than $40, which was great after the expense of the eye test.

I got a very average haircut from a stylist perfectly uninterested in small talk. The extent of it was pointing out the cowlicks.

And, tonight, we got to have dinner with Mae Margaret, an old Auburn friend.

Dec 14

Where I amend my reindeer antler policy

Enjoy the Glomerata post I put up earlier today? Have you been checking out the Battle of the Bulge map posts? I’ve got about two more weeks of those, tracing my great-grandfather’s time in Europe.

I woke up this morning and did one of my favorite things, which is sit with breakfast, or tea or both, and read. I got a lot of reading in this morning and then we did some paperwork errands this afternoon.

I drove The Yankee to Target and she picked up two shirts. We walked down the street to a store called Ulta, which is not missing an R from the sign. I’m not sure I knew this store existed until this afternoon, but then I’m so rarely on the cosmetics market these days.

We picked up grain and sourdough bread at the grocery store. I remembered we needed some eggs, so I hustled to the back corner and got the six-pack container. The first one I opened had a busted egg, which reminded me of my best poultry story. I told it to my lovely wife and the cashier at the front of the store. One of them found it funnier than the other, but they both smiled politely.

We saw this car. Now, ordinarily, I’m not a fan of the reindeer antlers, but I’m willing to change this stance. The rule now is this: if you put those things in your windows, you must commit to the giant red nose on the hood of your car.

Red Nosed Mercedes

We had a dinner guest tonight, one of our sweet friends who brought a soup and stayed for brownies and a movie and uses the word “assuaged” correctly. It was a lovely evening.

Things to read

I remember waking up on this December morning in a full sweat. It was unseasonably warm. That afternoon we watched the F-4 tornado ravage Tuscaloosa, just 35 miles away, on television. That night, up the road in Birmingham, I drove home under the largest snowflakes I’ve ever seen in the South. It was a tragic and weird day. Celebration Of A Life Saved

Many of your remember this remarkable photo by Michael E. Palmer that was in the Tuscaloosa News, the day after the December 16, 2000 EF-4 tornado that killed 11 people. Michael Harris carries an unconscious Whitney Crowder, 6, through debris in Bear Creek Trailer Park after the tornado passed through. Whitney’s father and 15-month-old brother were killed in the tornado.

That post is two years old, when young Whitney was graduating from high school. It was a nice bookend to that tale.

So these two guys are political activists. They represent different parties and they are brothers. They were on C-SPAN to promote this documentary about the weird dynamic all of that creates. They got into a political name-calling debate and then the show started taking phone calls. Then … well, just watch and see:

This is worth a read. Former AP Reporter: I Didn’t Leave Journalism, It Left Me

A journalist for more than 40 years, Mark Lavie was based in Jerusalem for most of them and then in Cairo for two – during the “Egyptian Revolution.”

Lavie is no longer a journalist.

But he didn’t leave the profession, “it left me,” Lavie says.

Now Lavie is speaking out in as many fora as possible. He seeks to alert the public about the dramatic difference between what journalism used to be – and still pretends to be – and what it actually is.

Meanwhile, in Sweden, Advertisers Will Pay Up To 40% More For TV Sponsorship Deals Linked To Social Media, Says TV4

“It means that we need to work with story-telling on digital platforms, and that we need to engage and potentially also reward our users,” she said. “This is obviously very interesting for us, both from our perspective, and also from a commercial perspective, in terms of what we can offer our advertisers on these platforms.”

Lundell said that TV4’s experiments with extending linear TV formats into the social media sphere had shown that “you need to pay more than for ordinary sponsorship – and advertisers are prepared to do that. So, yes, we’re making money.”

The first thing I thought when she said “work with story-telling on digital platforms” was wondering why plots of scripted shows aren’t continued on other platforms. You already see supplemental webisodes of some of your more engaged shows, why not story arcs on Instagram?

First there was ESPN, the movie channels, last month it was CBS and now … Up To Speed: NBC to jump into live-streaming

This is solid. 5 tips for streaming live video from a smartphone

Livestreaming video from a mobile phone is a way for journalists to get footage which may not be possible to film with more traditional broadcast equipment.

“There are sometimes these stories where you don’t want a big camera crew, you want to try and keep a relatively low profile, in riots, in public disorder, or in places where you need to be sensitive,” Sky News correspondent Nick Martin told

“You can use that technology which is smaller and more compact to still get what you want to, but not [have] all the big crew considerations that we have.”

Media organisations such as ABC News have also started looking at mobile livestreaming as a developing part of their video programming.

For journalists who want to incorporate video streaming into their work …

As I told a colleague this evening, within the next year or two we’ll likely say if you’re not doing video with almost everything, you’re going to find yourself behind.

That’s why I spent the better part of my Saturday night building up video templates for future projects.