IU


6
Sep 18

How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

I woke up before the sun this morning, before my alarm went off, even. And sometime after that I got my act together and walked out the door with my bicycle and had a little quiet ride. Some of the roads were mine alone, as the day stirred into action.


I could go for more rides like this. It is only the up and at ’em part where I struggle.

Class today was a continuation of sportswriting. We had a guest, a local writer of considerable talent and ability. The only problem is that in addition to his talent and experience, he also has some sort of stomach bug. So I was on my own.


Fortunately I had just enough time to dash off some slides and we discussed lead writing for an hour.

Then I caught up on email and went into the studio for the evening. There was television to produce.


They shot two different shows tonight. One, a highlight show, will be out tomorrow. The other is a talk show, and they are really getting those segments down to something tight and special. That show will be out sometime over the weekend. This was week two for the sports crew, and they’re off to a great start. Next week the news folks start their shows for the semester.

I made it home just in time for dinner.


4
Sep 18

Almost every goal of the day was met

I got out for a morning bike ride. This was a special treat, which mostly involved me waking up early enough to do it.


Being on empty roads was easily the highlight of my morning. Later, I went to work and put together a quiz and wrote an AP Style primer and then lectured a tiny bit on news writing. I was supposed to go into the studio this evening and watch some historic television being made, but that got delayed until next week. History waits for no one! Except when it does.

I did get to do this, however:


A few times a week I walk by the building named in honor of the scrawny old Indiana journalist. We’re just rich with the Ernie Pyle stuff around here. His desk is one floor beneath my office. Two floors down they’ve recently created an installation showing off his medals, some of his books, his war correspondent field jacket and a whole bunch more. Just outside our building is a sculpture of him sitting at a table and banging away at a story, somewhere in Europe or the Pacific. One day his ghost will show up and point out my typos. (He’ll be a busy spirit.)

Also, I got to ride my bike this morning:

I climbed two little hills on my short ride. It was all a freewheeling, downhill adventure from there.

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4
May 18

Strategic planning

There is no parking here. This makes sense in a parking lot adjacent to campus on the day before graduation. This isn’t the biggest lot, and it is filled with faculty and staff. But if you block the bulk of it off those people have to of course go elsewhere with their cars for the day and that’s going to be an imposition on others.

It isn’t a problem for me. I typically park in a deck behind all of this. But it is amusing. I’m sure someone had a reason for this and it will become obvious soon.

At the end of the work day the barriers have been reconfigured. (I wonder, too, what was behind that move.) It gave a few spaces back, but for the full day these spots were removed from service for some reason:

I’m sure someone had a good reason for this.

Tonight we are trying a new side-head grip for her face cuddling.
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She loves having her head held. It’s not a squeeze or anything, and no one makes her do this. In fact she’ll work her little face into your hand if you leave it still long enough. I’ve looked this up, and it seems she might be trying to make me smell like her. Guess I’m the wrong kind of smelly.

Cat noses, what are you going to do?

We had some fine company recently, and our company brought us gifts and Allie got gifts, too.

They’re going over very well, as you can tell. Any toy that gets in her box is a sure hit.

OK. The blog is taking off next week, I think. But there will be a lot, a lot, of cool stuff in the few weeks after that. So do mark your calendars. And, in the meantime, you can find more on Twitter and check me out on Instagram as well.


3
May 18

Now here’s something of a different time

I had lunch with this guy today. It was, as you might imagine, very cool.

Dean Martin died when I was a freshman in college. And I wasn’t yet hip to who or what could bring about a lasting cool. I suppose he was always the guy that played drunk, or did the occasional telethon. He was one of the old guys that ran around with Sinatra and was old. I’m sure I knew he had done movies, but I didn’t know much about the Rat Pack and I certainly didn’t know much of his music. It was too far removed for me to be anything but too far removed myself, I suppose. (“Little Ole Wine Drinker Me” was a Charlie Walker song that Martin covered. It stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks. It peaked at fifth on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart and was also a hit in Australia that year.)

I really discovered him after college. His music. His cool. His sound. Dean Martin had the best sound of the Rat Pack.

And, man, he was funny. Just look who is on the stage with him here:

There’s a great Christmas-themed Pillsbury Flour spot and a too-artsy for 1975 America Revlon promo in the middle of the video, too.

And even when he was playing a song for laughs he could sing and sing:

I love that song.

One of our hallways at work has a lot of historic photos from the program. This lady is a part of one of the pictures:

She’s a copy editor in the 1940s at the IDS. But she’s given up her seat in the slot for Ernie Pyle, who has returned to Indiana to visit family and friends. And when he was home he was never far from campus, so here he’s back and reading the paper. The front page story that he’s reading is about the Romanian armistice, so she is looking over his shoulder as he reads a late-August, early-September paper from 1944.

I wonder what she was thinking about, sitting there, posing with the great Ernie Pyle in her seat. He’s a legend now, and he was well-venerated then. I wonder where those lamps got off too.

I looked her up. She might have become a school teacher. The woman I found online passed away just a few years ago. But I’m not 100 percent convinced I have the right person.

Tonight I’m hanging out with Allie, The Black Cat:

No better way to wind down an evening.


30
Apr 18

What I did at work on Saturday

We are going to finally, officially say it:

Spring is here, at last:

It was late, but is not here to last. We’ll probably move directly into summer in a week or two. But for the moment, you revel in it. This is what I was doing on Saturday. Outside, dancing between the daylight and the shade, enjoying the breeze and the temperature and my sunglasses and the sun, waiting on a donor to show up to our building on campus.

A gentleman wanted to give something to the Media School. It fell to me to help get the thing in the building. The gentleman chose Saturday, so there we were. And he was on his way, late, but on his way.

He hopes out of his SUV, his two middle school children and a film student, and they all start offloading chunks of cast iron. I knew what it was, or what it would be again when he had it indoors and reassembled, but in its constituent parts it didn’t look like much. And then you started looking at details. It’s an old car:

It has great tags, and easy-to-use controls:

The thing still worked, the donor said.

And this particular tag gave you the timeline. This is from about 1937. Still in working conditioning. Mechanically mint.

It was all made in the US. The East Coast and the Midwest. Do you know what it is yet?

The only problems are a few scratches on the finish, like this one:

And some peeling 80-year-old paint:

It has a glass piece on top, still original, still pristine:

And if you’re still trying to figure it out, this piece should look a bit familiar:

Here’s the top part, beneath is the big heavy cast iron setup:

And here’s the full machine:

This is a movie projector.
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It was donated by a locally-based actor, James Lee Guy, who is very successful in Chinese cinema. He donated it to The Media School because he is a passionate, passionate film fan. He’s owned it for several years, having picked it up from a man who was running a private screening room in his home a few towns away. Before that this had been in a drive-in theater. Guy estimates it was made in about 1937. It still works and now is a fine display piece.
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A most generous donation, indeed.