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5
Jun 17

Back in the U.S.A.

We arrived safely and on time and only inconvenienced by the inconveniences of the modern convenience of air travel.

Which is, at times, inconvenient.

But we were well-fed. Customs was a chore, even in the fast lines. And, like all things in New York, the moment you stepped onto the curb you knew exactly where you were and why you didn’t want to be there.

We made it back to the in-laws to find that Allie hadn’t missed us at all:

That was Friday. I flew back yesterday. The Yankee dropped me off at the curb:

I made a video of the flight:

And, now I am back in town, back at the office, back to the regular routine, now with jet lag! If history is any guide, I still have another two days until I can walk that off.

The above video makes the 31st video I’ve produced in the last two weeks. Add to that 103 photos that have also been uploaded to the site. And that’s just what I’ve shared here. So, with the trip well-documented, it seems a good time to take a little break on the blog. There’s an anniversary post coming up, of course. And if anything interesting happens in the next few weeks I’ll throw it here as well. But, otherwise, let’s say hiatus until July. In the meantime, follow along on Twitter and Instagram. They never seem to stop.


3
May 17

A new thing in the video below

I had a nice meeting today with some thoughtful and talented people and we discussed creating a podcast that highlights some of their interesting work. We’re just getting started with the idea, but it could be a very promising project, based on all of the enthusiasm in the room. This one is not the podcasts about podcasts. Nor is it the one which is just the ranking of things. (I’m going to call that one “We Rank Things.”) No, this one will be full of interesting topics and experts. It should come online in the summer or fall.

On my desk there is actually a notepad full of potential show types. It is a slightly annoying thing, this list.

I also spent time in a production studio today. And I spent time in email today. I spend time in email every day. This long note here, this short note there, a summary that probably has more information than any one reader will need, but all of them might think to consult, and recommendation letters.

There’s a late semester rush for references. I am happy to provide them, especially for some of the more talented people like I discussed today, but it does seem unusual that there are places out there still filling their internships.

Also, right as I was walking out the door to go home for the evening I learned of another graduating student’s big interview come next week. If my math is correct that means fully a half of the seniors I’ve worked with this year have jobs before graduation — not too shabby in the journalism and broadcasting game — and another one interviewing 48 hours after graduation. I believe almost every member of the underclasses will be either in school or interning over the summer. That must say something about the quality of their work and the curriculum they’re in.

Also, today, I picked up this book:

I’ve read pretty much the entire book online. This was the source material for the map that we made to help us understand my great-grandfather’s time in the Army. There are a lot more photographs in the book, of course. Here’s the map I made a few years ago:

I tried to look up the men that compiled that unit history book, but they all have remarkably common names, good, solid, middle America names. People of that sort, from that particular era are sometimes hard to find on simple Internet searches. Now, in the back of the book there is a partial roster of the regiment. Probably recalled from memory and various early rosters and whatever names showed up on subsequent reports, so not hardly complete. My great-grandfather isn’t it. But there is one man who had the same last name, a Texan. He was a lieutenant, got married, shipped out, made it home and lived a long life as a successful rice farmer and rancher. He died in 2003 at 86. My great-grandfather passed away just shy of 82 in 2001. (And think of all that you would see in a lifetime of that span.)

The commander of the 137th was Maj. Gen. Paul Baade. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana and educated at West Point, Baade was in the 87th Infantry during WWI, fighting in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in the final hours of that war. And then, three decades later, he returned to the region commanding the 35th Division and maneuvered them over 1,600 miles through the end of the war in Europe. Must have seen some familiar territory. He retired in 1946 and died in 1959. And his is a fine obituary. The regimental commander during my great-grandfather’s time in Europe was Col. William S. Murray. He was a highly regarded commander, and after the war Murray taught at the Infantry School, before retiring in 1948 and dying in 1949. We don’t know what battalion my grandfather was in, so everything about his service is at a basic, bird’s eye level.

I like to wonder, then, if my great-grandfather, the medic, knew the medics in those photographs in the video above.

Anyway, my Google searches have now started wandering for the evening, obviously. So let’s wrap this up … rain tomorrow, starting tonight, even. We are wearing jackets again, like you do in May.

Hey, what did you think of the new video bumpers? Didn’t notice? Scroll up and play it again.


28
Apr 17

And we’re clear



7
Mar 17

Back to it, then

We spent all day yesterday traveling. And this was one my views:

So on the one hand, it is amazing that in just 12 hours of actual travel time got us back from California, by way of Atlanta, because Delta. On the other hand, it took 12 full hours of travel to get from the hotel to the house.

And then work today! The good news is the best part of my post-race soreness was yesterday. By the end of the day today I was actually trotting downstairs. And any runner will tell you it is going downstairs that hurts. Which suggests, to me at least, that maybe I didn’t run as hard as I could have on Sunday. But who cares? Marathon, done! A few days of resting up are before me now, and then hopefully by next weekend I’ll be ready to start anew!

The other downside to traveling all day is that you eat like complete garbage. There’s just no getting around it. And while I am usually ready to eat right after a big exercise, I didn’t even have my usual appetite yesterday. But it came back today, and my choices were … less than ideal. But at least most of the snacks were healthy. And I am well and truly hydrated and aside from some achy feelings that you would expect after many consecutive hours of exercise I feel surprisingly good. Like, we should be outside running or riding right now, good.

That’s a weird feeling.

This week I am working on a big writing project in the office. But I came up for air to poke my head into one of the podcast booths:

These guys are working on a 14-channel digital Axia board than be configured for about a dozen different user preferences. It is a pretty remarkable setup. And there’s a turntable to the left of the board operator. I wonder if it has been used yet.

We did use the television studio tonight. At least one-and-a-half shows were produced in there this evening. Interesting sensation. I left town for two days and felt in the way of everything when I got back.

Anyway, this project I’m presently working on will probably eat much of the week. (Think of it this way, I’m writing, but I also talked podcasting with those three students above and then sat in on a few television projects this evening. I do enjoy the variation.) I am collaborating with a medium-sized group on a non-technical technical document. It started out at more than 45 pages. My goal is to get it below six. This has absorbed my day today and the entirety of my evening and night. And while I am occasionally a decent writer and from time-to-time an acceptable editor, I am not good enough at either to make the actual work behind them interesting. So it may be a bit slow around here for a few days.

We’ll always have pictures or some sort of other interesting thing going on here, so do stop back by throughout the week. Also, there’s of course the ever-present Twitter and the sometimes popular Instagram.


4
Jan 17

Back to the office, then

Back at the office, where things are slow, but productive. They’re moving around a few editing bays and I’m dealing with email and various administrative things like deadlines and deliveries and purchase orders and its all great fun.

My watch beeps and I have to walk around a bit. I discovered that someone brought their foosball table. Not sure who, or if there is an expectation that it will be played, but it is in a common area, and does make that particular room feel something like a startup:

Students will be back next week. I bet it sees some use.

I made this video as a quick experiment. I wanted to see which version looks better when it is embedded. There are three versions of the same below, but more words following that.


My mother-in-law always gives me a few office supplies at Christmas …

A video posted by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on



I think the last one has the best quality and look. What do you think?

It was 11 degrees outside, so we went to the gym. I joined the gym. Now I have to see what all they have. They do have a nice track, though:

Eight laps equals a mile. The place is newer, cleaner, brighter and has people on it, which is an improvement from the track I was running on last year. That was 10 laps per mile and about 55 years old and I’ve only just realized how drab and lonely that track was.

But indoor running anywhere beats 11 degrees outside. And laps, when you find a rhythm, go fast. I got in six miles tonight. Six miles before a salmon dinner. Salmon is good, but it fills me like an empty lecture. I’ll be snacking again in an hour, I bet.