IU


13
Dec 19

We made it — last day of the term

A video our student-employees produced today, the project being the video game design student’s big contest. The student groups pitch their games to industrial professionals. Many teams enter. One will be crowned a winner … at some anticlimactic later time.

Video looks pretty good though. This is the second thing that we’ve produced, at the school-level, that has been entirely run by students. It’s something I suggested about four years ago — something that was probably already an idea — and we’ve finally realized it this fall. And while this particular pitch project is now a traditional event, this is the first time we’ve put it in the studio.

Stars aligned nicely. They did a fine job with it.

Those are the students who are working for the Media School. And now a moment about the students working for the television station.

All of which is pretty great, considering they have to put up with the likes of me. And you just know they’re happy that today is the last day of classes.


11
Dec 19

nasses Nickerchen

I saw this word used a few years back and immediately fell in love with it: administrivia. It is an American thing, of course, and apparently came out of the 1930s. Can’t imagine why. And it became popular in education circles in the 1960s. Can’t imagine why.

Which is not to say that we’re the only ones burdened with the thing. Administrivia is everywhere. But the way it’s used is delightful. Even summoning up the word is a judgement: This isn’t cool, I know, but I also know it is necessary, and know you know, by my using this word, that I know it isn’t cool. And maybe it isn’t even necessary, but that’s bureaucratic inertia, kid.

Even saying the word is a bit of a challenge the first few hundred times you do it. It makes you sympathetic to the German speaker’s use of komposita.

The first time I saw this word, administrivia, it was on a syllabus. Which was perfect. It was in a bold font. Which seemed useless.

Anyway, that was my day, dealing with the details that must be dealt with in order to do more interesting work.

There was the approval of travel funds, the approval of payroll and the sending out a contract which had most assuredly been sent before. Arrangements had to be made for an office key to be turned in, and the first question about the next term rolled in about that same time. Somehow, another approval was required for the same upcoming travel funds. This prompted a great many notes. There are always programming notes to consider, both looking back and looking forward. And then there were the emails, always there are the emails, and the brief doorway meetings and so on.

The Germans don’t seem to have a word for administrivia, which seems like it would be an embarrassing oversight on their part.

I did learn a fine German proverb looking for it though. Wer den Acker nicht will graben, der wird nicht als Unkraut haben.

Speaking of komposita …

Hey, it was either that or going long on this little news note today: Wet-Nap maker planning to build area production facility, add 90 jobs

Nice-Pak Products, a manufacturer of wet wipes for consumers, health care, food service and other commercial markets, announced plans Wednesday to build a 760,000-square-foot production and warehousing facility in Mooresville, creating 90 jobs.

The Orangeburg, New York-based company already employs 413 people at its existing administrative and production facility at 1 Nice Park Road in Mooresville. The company, which has 2,500 employees worldwide, has operated in Mooresville for 45 years.

A man named Julius had an idea and started it all. He and his son got in bed with Colonel Sanders, and then things really took off. It’s an industry that is projected to have compound annual growth of about seven percent over much of the next decade. Everyone needs clean skin, after all, and some of that growth is going to come from just up the road. And that’s 90 new jobs rolled into what is already that county’s biggest employer.

The company makes products as varied as Wet-Nap, Nice n Clean Wipes and Grime Boss. What, you didn’t think you’d diversify in the wet napkin game? There are all sorts of pre-loaded moisture needs out there, friend, and businesses have to meet those needs.

It isn’t clear from that brief story if this means an additional facility, or a full upgrade and replacement project. Here’s what they have now. The exterior looks as clean as you would expect of such an enterprise.

The new place will be about five miles down the road from the old place, which is opposite a concrete mix supplier. Adjacent to the new locale are a small car dealership and a gutter cleaning service. It just seems a logical place, said a guy who was counting on those civic tax breaks to build the new facility.

They’ll start moving dirt late next year. It’ll be a project where no one goes home with grime under their nails.


10
Dec 19

And now, two quick television stories

When I got here smilin’ Joe Canter was a freshman. He was probably born good at this, but he’s gotten better at it. And someone here, no one seems to remember who now, has given him a franchise he can carry for years: Banter With Canter.

This was the last Banter With Canter on the last show of his college career. He’s graduating in a few days. It’s been a pleasure to work with him, to watch him grow and develop a very steady confidence. Plus, he’s just an all around pleasant guy. Some newsroom is going to get a good one with him.

And of course we took the “So I can say I knew him when” photo.

He told us tonight — it is a bit of a tradition now, I guess, sharing this news with the crew at our last productions — the stations he’s been interviewing with recently. It is exciting to see the notice our crew gets right out of the gate. I’m eager to see where he lands. Of course you can follow people pretty closely these days, but there will come a day, in two or four years, when he will make a market change. And maybe then, or in the year or two after that, he’ll make a big market change. And I’m excited to see what that’s like for him.

Speaking of sports, which is what Joe does, my old be-ready-at-every-moment anecdote around here used to be about sports, but now it is about weather. The old story was that the sports guy didn’t turn up one night. He’d taken ill, apparently, and we only realized this at the last minute. So a producer stepped in. And she’s was, and remains, one of these people that does everything well. She wasn’t a close follower of sports, she said, but you wouldn’t know it by how she just did the job that night. And they chose her to fill-in because she was awesome anyway, but also because she was camera-ready. It’s a good story. (And today, she is a producer in a top 35-market, which is a nice place to land in your second job still freshly out of school.)

Well now I can update that story to weather. My friend Charlee is a pop culture show host, but when the student who is actually training to be a meteorologist couldn’t make it this evening, Charlee stepped in. And, being another one of these people that does everything well, she also drilled it.

She won’t be a meteorologist anytime soon — that takes some science and know how — but if she isn’t updating her LinkedIn account this week and figuring out how to parlay that into a job interview anecdote then I didn’t sell her hard enough on how she should be updating her LinkedIn account and figuring out how to parlay that into a job interview anecdote.

And with that, the calendar year and another semester of television wraps. A tweet-sized summary:

More details fleshing out the numbers at some later date.

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


6
Dec 19

Friends, let us weekend

My friend Bryce took this picture of me, outside the studio this morning. It was an ambush job which, as a shutterbug myself, I appreciate. This was somehow the only pose I could imagine at the moment:

I assume that was because my mind had already been melted for the day after an early meeting.

Also, in looking at it, this is the photograph that told me I needed a haircut. And some go-to poses for photographs.

Anyway, the morning show was in the studio this morning. It was their last show of the term. We have one more night of productions, next week, shooting our last two shows of the semester.

I’ve been looking for a new fall guy for stories. Somehow, this never occurred to me until today:

It’s a big fib. My roommate was a great guy. He dated nice people. But it’s just far enough removed to not seem mean-spirited, but close enough to feel plausible.

I mean there was that one young woman he dated from back home. She really worked him over at one point. Set him free for other people though, but not until after many, many nights of ballads and conversations trying to figure out what just happened.

What just happened was … hang on … let me check his social media. OK, good, that’s not the woman he married.

See? Seems realistic.

Got in a nice little 5K this evening. And then I got the laundry in the washer. I did this because I like having laundry done before the weekend, but completely forgot about that fact on Thursday. So I’m doing laundry on the weekend. It’s a nice domestic feeling, knowing the clothes hamper is empty, the dresser and closets are full and there’s no noise coming from the laundry room.

It’s better than the alternative, washing clothes tonight, wondering if I’ll forget to finish all of this and have to put clothes away on Sunday night. What a modern sadness: I must go to the office tomorrow, I must sort the socks tonight.

Thursday, then, is an ideal time for laundry. Someone please remind me of this every other week.

But now it is time for the best part of postseason football:


5
Dec 19

Revved up

I saw this car at lunch today.

I was walking downtown to meet a former student. He graduated in the spring and moved to California and has an interesting-sounding job that should set him up nicely for networking and he’s enjoying California and snow and surfing and taking photographs. He gave me a hug. He showed me his new camera.

This is a 1945-ish Plymouth. It’s difficult to say, because this basic body design dominated the decade for the car maker. The engine was pushed forward, the trunk was bigger, there was more glass. And it boasted, boasted, 84 to 91 horsepower.

Just parallel parked outside a little pizza joint, as one does. It is difficult to imagine seeing people preserving 1977 Toyota Celicas, taking them downtown for a slice.

It was nice to see an old friend, even if it only seems he’s been gone for a few minutes. He said he got a good deal on a red eye and decided to come make a few rounds. I wonder if that’s a thing people in California do, to tell others about it.

Two former students of mine are working out there now. Graduate, point the car west. I’m sitting here. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. How could you not? Their Instagram accounts are full of the beauty of things. At least we saw the sun today.

That’s two days in a row!

Tomorrow? Cloudy. Chance of rain.

I guess all the clouds are good to help reduce the chance of paint oxidation on old cars.