Feb 18

King of the dairy section!

The only thing better than a Friday meeting is a Friday meeting to discuss the details of a Saturday you’ll soon work.

That’s a thing you’d say, but this particular upcoming Saturday that I’ll work is a program for incoming students. And the program looks pretty good, too. I’ll be in the television studio for an hour or so. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday.

Now the following Saturday, that might be a different thing.

Today I talked with Robert Quigley, a professor of journalism at the University of Texas. He brought us what is, I believe, the first profile we’ve ever discussed on the show.

Then I interviewed someone else, for something else, which was great. And I coughed through most of it. There’s nothing like working with a microphone when you’re sick. And I’ve been half-sick for a week. But I’ve held it together until today and my guest was kind enough to give me a piece of hard candy to help me through, because my cough drops were all in my office. The odd thing is that I am today actually starting to get better.

After that I spent the rest of the day in the other television studio — we have two, Studio 5 and Studio 7, and they are both incredible. In Studio 5 this afternoon we had some students taping the first episode of a new late night show. I sat in the back, in the dark and caught up emails and schedules and talked marketing and watched them shoot a few segments. It is a pretty clever show, even if they did have to explain one joke to me, and the host has the most ridiculous sports jacket you’ve ever seen. The show should be out next week.

And on our way home we went to the grocery store. We did the thing where one of you climbs on the front of the cart and the second person pushes. I did a lot of the pushing, because The Yankee was taking things off shelves and that let me get to the handle part of the cart. So I pushed her around the store a lot, which made everyone around us smile. I like to think we started a grocery store trend, and started people’s weekend off right. That’s what happens when you put me in charge of picking Saturday night’s dinner.

Feb 18

Welcome to your weekend

I went into the studio first thing this morning and recorded this.

And I walked out of the audio booth and down the hall some 75 feet, let’s say and immediately into the television studio, where I produced an oral history. And that somehow ran until about lunch.

So I had a quick bowl of noodles at a place called Noodles, with The Yankee, which has the benefit of being right across the street and, usually, pretty good lunch fare. And they are quick, which is good.

After lunch it was right back into the studio where I worked with some students from the newspaper who are wanting to do movie reviews. This reporter is creating some no-doubt award-winning content and I am watching her in the viewfinder and trying not to giggle at her movie review:

She did two takes and decided she had what she wanted for this trial run episode. And after that I was down to the little this and that parts of the day, the tidying up the desk for the weekend, part of the day, and the answering all of the many emails part of the day.

On Fridays you can get all of that into one part of your day, if you are suitably motivated.

And then it was home, home to sit and read and pet the cat and enjoy doing nothing for a little while. The problem is, you could get used to that, so I ended up straightening up my office a tiny bit and doing some laundry and thinking up new projects and plotting out the weekend and, now, here we are. I’m sort of caught up on things, for a change. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do about that. Any thoughts?

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Jan 18

That day which starts the thing toward which everyone is working

Sometimes you get to know people and you come to realize that they’re going to do just fine and the world is liable to turn out just fine when they are one day running the show. And I typically meet people preparing to go into some media field or another. And I spend a little more time around the news people, of course. And they can be pretty squared away folks, which is always nice. And today I got to interview one of those people.

Carley Lanich aspires to be an investigative reporter. This semester she’s the editor-in-chief of her campus newspaper. And today we talked about some of the coverage being done by her peers at Michigan State. It’s a pretty smart conversation:

And if you’ll excuse me:

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Jan 18

There are two podcasts embedded in this post

I have this friend that is a designer in an architectural school. We used to sit and discuss things, trying to find some way that we could put this thought process and that expertise together. There was always something there, we thought, but we never could quite grasp it. Probably because the rest of us all think design is one of those things that is easy, and the folks who do that just generally graceful enough to not laugh at us in person.

What do the rest of us know, anyway? Just because we’re binge-watching E.R. right now, after all, doesn’t mean I’m ready to run a trauma code.

“Give me CBC, Chem-20, lights and dip the urine!”

See what I mean?

I, of course, know absolutely nothing about design. But I do love all of those pictures you see online about design versus user experience. They are an insufferable way to point out that we see, in retrospect, what someone else couldn’t get right beforehand. “Haha, we are nerdier than you nerds, but we are casual about it, and only making jokes about it online, using someone else’s designed interface that may, or may not, be a well designed user interface. But believe me, I’m getting to that, just as soon as I find where I stored all my really cool gifs.”

Really, what those photographs always suggest to me is that we are a path of least resistance species. And right angles, while aesthetically pleasing, are inherently asking a lot more than a lazy person is willing to give.

I thought of that this evening, when we were walking out to the car and I saw:

When there isn’t snow on the ground there is a slightly worn path there. I’d have to really check, but the user experience path might be even longer in the snow. Because it is cold, I suppose.

Hey, Spencer Elliott of The Tennessean joined me on the show today. We talked about Uber and Lyft and how you work and communicate with your peers when you don’t have bosses or colleagues and what it all means for the future and there is some really interesting stuff here:

This is another good argument for driverless cars, I think. But I’m not sure how I’d feel about my Nissan logging on and then getting bummed out by something it saw on

And because my Nissan is a car, and not a person, it would never crave Chinese, never get the pork noodle thing I ordered tonight and never read the fortune that came inside the cookie that the guy dashed into the bag at the last possible second:

Why, yes, I am already lucky boy. More lucky than I deserve, I am sure.

I actually recording another little thing today, just because I love this story and it will be dated before the weekend is up. It is only five minutes of my soothingly smooth monotone:

Jan 18

They’re good at taking care of the roads here

Look how pretty! Snow falling on our building on campus …

And from inside that building, from a corner window in an unused office on the fifth floor …

All of the schools and the city government closed down. We worked. And the road crews did too …

Sorta …

Happy weekend!