memories


21
Mar 18

Its still winter, in spring

I’m not accustomed to seeing cotton bolls in March. Then again, I’m not accustomed to seeing snow in March, either:

It’s still spring, by the way. And at lunch I saw this second, or third, sign of spring:

It’s hard to keep count, there have been daffodils and the eternal budding-but-not-opening of trees and my first robin of the year, and pointless, too. Winter isn’t hardly done with us yet.

But, for this afternoon’s neighborhood 5K, when it had warmed up to an impossible 46°, I wore a sweatshirt. I did that for the first 1.8 or so, and then discarded it. I ditched it just before the shady and cold segment.

Now, normally that would be one of those things you’d laugh and shiver about. Timing, am I right? But I did this in the neighborhood. I did this in the neighborhood, the place where, presumably, I know where the shady spots are.

So this was a lovely experience. Ten years ago we were at Peju, got a few of these and held on to one. And held on to it and held on to it and held on to it. After a while it became a joke.

Then, as I tend to do, I got sentimental about it. We got some more, so that solved the nostalgia problem. And by then we figured we should probably ought to wait until the 10th anniversary.



And here we are. Tonight was the 10th anniversary. The cork didn’t cooperate, but we filtered out the debris.

It was quite tasty after we let it breathe. I don’t know if it was worth hanging on to for all of that time, but it was worth getting sentimental about.


20
Mar 18

The day of the spring equinox, and more winter

No one told the weather it is now spring:

So this is all about weather today, then, I guess.

A podcast I made today, which is not about the weather at all, as it turns out. Except today’s guest is enjoying more winter than we are. Well, he’s receiving more winter. I don’t know if he is enjoying it:

A video I shot this afternoon:

‪The first day of spring, and the return of #AShortFilmOfNoConsequence #XVI‬

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

One of those things you never shake:

I did two nights of this in Little Rock, and a few of these in Alabama, including two on the national news. The outtro in the late night and early morning hours is always so sadly similar. “Authorities are waiting until the sun comes up, when daylight shows us what the true scale of the damage is … ” I always hated those stories, standing out there listening to people wondering what their lives had become is no way to spend an overnight. And so it is in Jacksonville, Alabama, right now, where I know many of the folks covering the storms, and the people there are seeing a lot of damage, but fortunately the campus of hard-hit Jacksonville State was enjoying Spring Break. That fortuitous timing, and early warnings, probably helped saved lives and kept the injury count low.


19
Mar 18

This got a little Twitter heavy

This was Saturday morning:

I’m not sure who’s fault this was — or put another way, stayed in bed longer — but I’m sure it wasn’t Allie. That’s a Saturday morning, though, and that’s not too bad.

Here are a few things I found interesting this weekend and today …

Think about that. A man born before the Civil War, became president twice and had kids comparatively late in life. And then most of his children were long-lived. Three of them into my lifetime. His youngest died when I was in college. If you were in New Hampshire, you might have met the man who died as the oldest presidential offspring. Francis Grover Cleveland was in the poultry business, and was in the theater. He ran a barnstorming summer stock program that he founded in the 1930s.

Starting in 1966, Mr. Cleveland perennially talked of retirement and the possibility that his aptly called nonprofit theater might have to close. Yet, despite failing eyesight, Mr. Cleveland again directed some of last summer’s fare, opening the season with “The Front Page” in July and closing with “The Fantasticks” in early September.

Mr. Cleveland was born in Buzzards Bay, Mass., the youngest of four children of Grover Cleveland, the nation’s 22d and 24th President. His father, a frequent summer visitor in Tamworth, died in 1908, when the boy was 5.

Mr. Cleveland graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard College. He briefly taught private school in Cambridge, Mass., but then opted for the stage. He acted in Boston and later in New York, where he had cameo roles on Broadway in the original productions of “Dead End” and “Our Town.”

Speaking of history:

This was about five months before I started blogging, so thankfully there are no archives to look through, but I remember that trip well. I got some pretty good tape for my journalism career out of the deal, and I landed a terrific friend out of the trip, and some other friends still carry on the long-running Ann Taylor gag because of this trip. I remember much about it and have yet to figure out what it should feel like in a capitol city when the nation has just gone to war. I walked through Dupont Circle thinking everyone seemed very casual, considering.

Just casually moving on in the WNIT tournament:

The only time of year I even take a stab at paying attention to basketball is during the postseason, of course. And, of course, the women’s game is always more entertaining.

Somewhat entertaining:

And, finally, this is very entertaining, some people re-made the Avengers trailer on the cheap:

I’d watch that movie.

More on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and more podcasts on Podbean as well.


13
Mar 18

Everything is local, except Perth, Australia

Spencer Elliott came back to the podcast today to talk about the “buy local” marketing phenomenon. He started all of this out with a little anecdote designed for my neck of the woods …

Little could he know that Milo’s has become a too-important part of my routine these days. It’s a little bit of home. Indeed, the stuff is brewed just eight miles from where I grew up. I can plot out three routes from A to B without thinking about it and there was a time I could have probably driven the thing with my eyes closed.

I’ve never done that, because I drink tea and that keeps me awake. It’s an expression. But, then, so is the phrase “Buy local” and its many derivatives. The point is a clever marketing of something here at home. Makes you feel good. Propping up the local economy. Sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars, as Elliott explained.

But, he said, there are no tea plantations in Alabama. Fair enough, but I’m assuming that water — and I don’t know anything about their actual production — ran down Muscoda Hill and directly into some fanciful and terrific tea cistern they have on site.

Why, look, they put it right out front!

Obviously that’s a drainage system. In point of fact the taste comes from the red clay, it gets into everything else, may as well be mixed with the international tea leaf blend.

Anyway, fun show. It wasn’t all about tea. I tried to ask of him all of the questions a shopper might ask. To do that I imagined myself at a grocery store, standing next to a guy who knew about this stuff and was ready to answer every nagging thought and worry and concern I had about things from produce to artisanally stirred, fair trade stomped, sustainably green LEED certified, child labor law obeying, down the street pasta sauce some fictitious grandma made, buongiorno!

But it’s interesting how we are attracted to that, isn’t it? I had a family member, years ago, that made these fried fruit pies. This aunt of mine would go door-to-business door selling them to the local shops and they’d put them right up on the counter and they sold like, well, hot fruit pies. It was a thing in her hometown for a little while, and that’s probably all it ever needed to be. But you would have sworn they tasted better just because, maybe, you knew her, or you’d heard of her name, or because the merchant told you it was the lady who lived over by the river, you know the one. But everything is local if the world gets small enough, anyway. That local appeal might not be entirely instinctive, but it’s got to be fairly close.

Instinctively, I know this is the wrong time of year for this:

‪Do not want. #snow #March‬ #Indiana

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

This morning it wasn’t even in the forecast, now we’re going to be in a squall for an hour or two. I don’t even know what a squall is, really. Turns out it isn’t about volume at all. Nor is it about the weather hating me in mid-March.

A bit more of yesterday's snow squall. Yesterday, as in mid-March.

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

Stuck to the ground, but not anything to worry over. No need rush out to the grocery store. All the local stuff has already been picked over anyway.

You’ll find more on Instagram and still more on Twitter. And you can hear more podcasts on Podbean as well.


2
Mar 18

On the road again

On the podcast I talked with Ken Booth, a man who used to be my boss a few jobs ago. I have always enjoyed chewing the fat with him. He’s a clever and well-read person, so it was only a matter of time before he was on the show. Also he let me work for him for four-and-a-half years, so he’s clearly very smart.

Actually, he took a chance on me. I was leaving broadcasting and he was running what was then a news site that was something between a startup and a mainstay. They were making money and hiring and I was a journalist who could code a little and do some other things and we found ways to make it work and it became one of those things that led to other things and turned out to be pretty important, that job and the things I did and learned there. So I was clearly very smart to take the job.

And now here we are today, about 14 years since he hired me and nine-and-a-half years since I left — it seems like two lifetimes ago – talking about the success of the young craft brewing industry:

Also, most of today was spent in the car. Allie came along. She’s a great traveler, but we think she might not like the leather interior of my car. She spent most of the trip in the floorboard:

We drove for about seven hours — which is about four more hours than anyone should ever be in a car, but the cat was fine — and finally made it through a land where they now advertise on buses:

And now we have arrived, for a quick family trip and a birthday and more time in the car. And that’s the weekend. How’s your weekend shaping up?

More! On Twitter, on Instagram and more podcasts.