Feb 18

A return to the books section

Today I’ll direct your attention to another part of the site. This area is devoted to my grandfather’s books. I never got to know the man, he died a few months after I was born. But he was one of those people that you only hear good things about. And, over the years, I’ve been given a few of his things. Including a lot of books. This is a lot of fun because, in his old text books, you see the man as a boy. If you click the link above you’ll see the books already uploaded to the site.

For the next few installments, I thought we might look at a few publications he had when he was a bit older, because the advertisements are always fun. And so here we have the November 1960 Reader’s Digest:

Click the cover and you’ll get four interesting pages out of that issue today. I figure there’s about a month’s worth of material we can check out. Also, check out the main section and you can see a classic literature book, some great science illustrations, some notes, newspaper clippings from his youth and more.

You remember the Manhattan gold heist in 2016. A guy just reached into an armored truck, grabbed a barrel and walked away. No one reacted. It was broad daylight, middle of the city and who he was and how it did it was a mystery, but for the ubiquitous security camera footage.

Well, that guy got caught and did a little time. And now he’s talking to the media, which makes it a story, which means we talked about it on the podcast. NBC correspondent Chris Pollone returned to the program to tell us all about it. It’s a great episode:

You can hear more episodes of the show and you can also subscribe to the syndicated versions on Google Play or Stitcher. And follow the show on Twitter: @BestStoryShow.

And some student work:

More on Instagram and check me out on Twitter as well.

Dec 17

A nice medium-run on old haunts

If you look way down this pedestrian lane, you’ll see The Yankee:

This is a mile-long bridge, and if it wasn’t for all of that chainlink, which is at times brings up feelings claustrophobic, and then absurdly pointless, it would feel meditative. It is a relatively new bridge. It’s only about 15 or so years old, already on its second name. It was originally the Patton Island Bridge, but now it is the more elegant, and historical, Singing River Bridge, which is the name the Yuchi tribe gave to the Tennessee River.

Most of the road traffic goes over this bridge, but it hasn’t always been that way, of course. Just a few miles away, there’s a dam.

This is a view from Wilson Dam, which was built between 1918-1924 and was later incorporated into the Tennessee Valley Authority:

It is a narrow, two-lane dam. It was always a bit intimidating when I was a kid. My mom and I would drive it, one of the last little bits of road on the two-hour trip to my grandparents. And she would tell me about how she learned how to drive on that dam, in the snow.

Well, I haven’t done that. But last summer I did ride my bike over the dam. And this weekend I ran over it. (On the sidewalk.)

It has less traffic now, because of the Singing River Bridge, but it is still narrow:

Here we are on the dam, midway through our run, still on the sidewalk:

The dam, named after President Woodrow Wilson, was put on the historic registry in 1966, and boasts the highest single lift lock east of the Rocky Mountains.

And here’s the Wilson Dam, once more, from the Singing River Bridge:

It was a seven-mile run, and it was fun, the weather was pleasant, and uncomfortable. I was beginning to think my shoes might be done. And after a three-mile run today, and checking the miles on this pair of Saucony, I decided it was official:

So, at 300 miles, on the nose, actually, I have to go shopping for new jogging shoes.

Elsewhere, there was plenty of family and visiting this weekend. Heading back out tomorrow for a few more days of work, and then more holidays.

More on Twitter and on Instagram.

Nov 17

Happy Thanksgiving

From us to you, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend.

My uncle and aunt are hosting the big meal in their new house. We’ll spend the next few days bouncing around among the family.

Catch up with you next week. Don’t save any cranberry sauce on my account.

More on Twitter and Instagram.

Nov 17

And now, another installment of Storytime

The Yankee was out of town visiting with friends and family this weekend. It goes like this: her godparents have known her parents, individually for years. Her godfather and father grew up together. Her godmother and mother met in nursing school.

Now the two of them met at their friends’ wedding. They got married. Along came The Yankee and they became her godparents. The godparents had two daughters and The Yankee’s parents are their godparents. Now those young ladies are of course grown and have beautiful families of their own. They all got together this weekend.

The oldest of those kids was up for a story. So I found myself digging through, and passing along, photos last night.

Here are two now.

This first one is from the Cayman Islands. It was a graduation trip. We were off diving for a week and the locals helped us find a dolphin. He’d just turned up one day, they said, and was very social. They figured he might have been a part of a Central American dolphin venue, where customers likely interacted with him, but a hurricane had damaged where he lived and so he was back in the wild. But he enjoyed people. He didn’t like SCUBA divers, but he’d swim with you. And if you tried to out-swim him, he’d let you know who was boss.

But to swim with a dolphin, to pet and play with a dolphin in the wild, that was a terrific experience, just one small part of a great trip.

And here’s one of The Yankee and me:

It was one of our first family trips. My bunch went to Belize, where we did a lot of diving and horseback riding and exploring Mayan ruins. We didn’t see any dolphins this time, but I did get to catch a bunch of reef sharks by hand while SCUBA diving. (I’ll have to find those pictures.) That was another great trip. Even the snorkeling selfies were great.

Oct 17

On the road – to home-ish

We are in Louisville for the weekend. This included a stop at one of the family stopping grounds. Up this path is one of the ancestral domiciles:

Looks pretty cool from down here, doesn’t it?

It’s a nice place. Quiet, secluded. I always liked visiting because if you woke up before everyone else the place has this perfect stillness to it, and some great window views.

And out the back:

And down the drive:

Anyway, Louisville this weekend, the Ironman. Big doings. I’ll have a lot of happy details for you on Monday. Until then, enjoy your weekend.