Friday


18
Oct 19

Let us look at a new book

Today is Fall Break. The university gives the students the day off. Just the day, not a full week like you see in the spring. And since it was today, that means it really began in earnest on Wednesday or so. By yesterday afternoon the building had a Night of the Comet feel.

Fewer teens, yesterday and no zombies yesterday, though. Thankfully. We’re not really built or kitted out for zombies. And it would give the safety people fits.

The zombies were today.

We’ve got a new book today. This is a Reader’s Digest from 1969, and it is the last one Reader’s Digest from my grandfather’s collection that I’ve inexplicably saved and will have to do something with. Like take photographs of the ads and make fun of them. They’re dusty and moldy and I’ve realized you have to wear a mask even to deal with them. The cover on this one is pretty rough …

But some of the stuff inside is worth seeing, and in much better shape. If you click the cover you can see the first six samples from this issue. We’ll probably get about five or six weeks out of this book before we move on to some other piece. If you click here, you can see all of the books I’ve put on the site so far. There are eight textbooks, notebooks and magazines so far, and there’s a huge stack still to go.

So, anyway, the April 1969 issue has ominous titles like “Is Congress Destroying Itself?” Still? Again? “Our Son is a Campus Radical.” Get in line. “Man vs. Virus,” Now you’re just trying to scare the parents of campus radicals.

Another selection is “Can Baseball Be Saved?” Yes, Cal Ripken did it just 26 years later. I was watching at my grandparents house, where this book lived all those years, in fact the night he broke Lou Gehrig’s streak and did his lap around Camden Yard. It seems baseball is always in need of saving. Someone probably has to do it again these days. But we won’t read about it in Reader’s Digest, I bet.

“NATO: An Alliance in Search of a Future.” I think we could all argue that’s a good thing. And a weird thing, given we were still at a high part of the Cold War when this was being written. “Frenzy on the Freeways,” but mass transit will save us all, I’m sure. “From the Brink of Extinction,” some themes stick around, what can I say?

But you want something a bit more contemporaneous, I hear you say. That’s fine. Here’s some sports television the Award-Winning TM sports crew produced last night:

It’s a brief show, but they did it in one take, which I think was a first.

What’s your weekend like? We’ll have some beautiful weather, and we have to find ways to enjoy it all, while it lasts. I hope yours is incredibly long lasting.


11
Oct 19

The wind is rising; the air will soon be wild with leaves

The wind changed and Canada sent a telegram: We’ll be coming to visit soon. The note was delivered on the back of an intermittent series of rain showers this morning. You could see it in the sky and see it on the ground and you could feel the season’s first cool temperatures in the air. Fall finally showed up. It was nice that it waited this long to arrive, I suppose, because it somehow would seem greedy to ask for more summer.

Even still, no matter how much you love summer, there comes a time with hitting 90 degrees seems tiresome. These days that occurs in late September for me. Whereas fall, you want that to stick around. The air smells fine and things are crisp and all the parts of the offerings of fall seem appropriate. The leaves and some of the dishes and how every day is allowed to be different, these are the best things about autumn.

Once you get used to the idea of bracing yourself for something different every time you open a door, you fit right into fall. And about that time the whole thing changes again. But not too soon. You waited long enough to arrive, do us one more solid and forestall winter. How’s January sound to you? And of course we’ll be waiting for the early arrival of spring. Because the weather patterns here owe me, and I’d like to cash in next year in the form of spring arriving in mid-March, and thank you.

That’s really the problem. Winter is such a thing it sort of ruins the rest of the seasons. Spring arrives too late, and goes too soon. The summer is rather nice, but it’s July before you get over the shell shock of winter in April. And then from July on you are just dreading the inevitability of … that … again.

We are wrapping up the last of the fun advertisements from my grandfather’s Reader’s Digest. I’ve been slowly putting interesting things from his old books on my site. His books being one of the best ties I have to the man, it seemed like a nice exercise. Plus some of this stuff is just fun. If you click this link you can see all the books that are online so far, including some of his elementary and junior high text books. If you click this one you can see all of the images I’ve uploaded from this particular Digest, which was from October 1966. If you are all caught up, however, just click the image below to see the last four ads, from 53 years ago.

And next week we’ll start working our way through another book. I believe there’s one more Reader’s Digest in the stash, and after that we’ll dive into some other dusty and ancient tome.

I slept the day away, quite literally. But I did manage to … let’s see, I caught up on some stuff on the DVR. I was only two months behind, so this is viewed as progress. I cleaned out a part of the refrigerator and did some dishes. I admired the sink which I repaired earlier in the week. And there’s the book thing here and … really, it the day was dominated by that cold and rainy vibe.

(The title, above, is a slight adaption of a line from Humbert Wolfe, an early 20th century British poet. He was a famous author in his own time, though slightly read today. He published about 40 books in his free time, as he was also a civil servant, which seems the appropriate speed for a poet. I imagine him surrounded by a lot of tweed and smoke.)


4
Oct 19

At least three decades are referenced here

Another morning in the studio. We talked news and guests — and I had an incredible flashback moment to newsroom meetings from 2006.

Back then we were tasked with writing promotional material about news at a 9 a.m. Friday meeting for a Monday morning newspaper paper advertisement. Every Friday I somehow managed to forget my crystal ball at home. And there was a similar dynamic in the conversation this morning. It made me question everything about my career.

Not really, but I did enjoy the idea of how some things can’t change, because they are realities. The reality is we simply haven’t yet found ways to predict the news three days in advance. Maybe the students I work with will do what I have not, and invent a way to accurately predict such a thing and retire fabulously wealthy and incredibly young.

Probably they’ll be having the same sort of conversations in 2035 about what to beam into people’s brain pans.

I used to think, maybe even during those 2006-era meetings, that was a novel idea. Wouldn’t it be great to have the web in my brain. Everything there with a flick of the eye, because the typing was too tedious, I guess, and we didn’t yet really think in terms of a flick of the thumb.

We also didn’t think about all of the data collecting the smart house features would do, or the listening in that the big companies would do, you know, in the name of improving the customer experience.

Around here the customer experience is just fine. And today we’re looking at the advertising experience of 1966. Today there are three new ads from Reader’s Digest. Click the book cover to see the new additions:

Or you can see all of the best ads from the October 1966 issue by clicking here. This was my grandfather’s magazine, and I’ve been irregularly putting some of the more interesting things that I find in his books on the site. You can see the full collection here.

The rest of the day? Well, there was a late meeting, and another, later meeting. And lunch at my desk. There was also breakfast at my desk. The experience was an experience, to be sure.

Tonight I’m having chili at home, like a normal person.

Have some sports!

And, if that’s not enough, here’s a bunch of guys talking about baseball.

And have yourself a lovely weekend, as well.

More on Twitter and on Instagram. Also, Catober continues tomorrow as well.


27
Sep 19

Sounds like a productive production day

Three different trips into the television studio today. One for a simple Q&A recording, then students had their morning show, of course. That episode will come out … sometime between now and then. I think they’re still honing in on their editing system. Somewhere right in there I had to duck into an audio booth, because sometimes you’re asked to deliver all of the finer points of audio production in under half-an-hour.

(You can’t deliver all of the finer points of audio production in under half-an-hour. But I can give you some of them. So you get some, and I will hope they are the right ones and enough.)

After that, Jonathan Banks — of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and Airplane! among others — stopped by to talk about acting. It’s a program they call “Expert Workshop” and it does get great experts. I’m assuming this one will wind up online at some point. Most of them do. Aside from the famous name, this one was special in that it was entirely student produced, which is something I first suggested three years ago, and we’ve been working slowly toward ever since.

I see students produce programs every week as a part of the student television station, for example. There’s no reason other students couldn’t be producing for classroom projects or special events such as the Banks visit.

Here are the two shows the sports side of the student television station produced last night, in fact. First, the show with all the highlights and updates you need:

The Award-WinningTM sports crew also put together this talk show. New host, new hijinks, same fun:

An interesting thing happens every year. They start off and they build a little momentum, and then there’s an episode or two where they struggle with this or that, or a key piece of gear goes on the blip, throwing a wrench into things. Then they bounce back and find a groove they’ll hold all year. That might have been last night. And despite that sort of thing, they still put together two nice little shows. which means that in a week or two they’ll really be rolling.

And you? How are you? Are you rolling into your weekend yet? You should be. Get to it.


20
Sep 19

News to be used

As of today all of the student shows are up and running. The semester’s first episodes of the morning show and the comedy show will be airing on Monday or so, but I have been remiss in sharing the other things that have already rolled out this week.

Here’s the news:

And the vitally important pop culture updates:

Catch all of your sports:

And here are people talking about sports:

It’s a good solid start to the year. They’re going to produce some great stuff as the year progresses.

But now: the weekend. Have a good one.