Monday


2
Apr 18

Speaking of April fools

It snowed yesterday. This being spring, and that being the first day of April it made perfect sense:

And it stuck around until this morning and this afternoon.

This being spring, after all. Last night’s snow was the third we’ve had this spring and the fourth or fifth since these guys came out of the ground …

Better to stay inside, curl up and be warm indoors. Because its spring and all that. Here’s a podcast we did for today. It has to do with sports, primarily basketball, which is played indoors.

Also, it’s a good day to cuddle up to the black cat, who, I’m pretty sure, just wants warmer weather. And tuna:

A show the sports crew produced last week and released yesterday:


26
Mar 18

I stayed indoors

It snowed this weekend …

And I found this Alec Wilkinson quote: “One of the reasons there are so many terms for conditions of ice is that the mariners observing it were often trapped in it, and had nothing to do except look at it.”

Wilkinson was writing about S. A. Andrée, the visionary Swedish aeronaut who, in 1897, during the great age of Arctic endeavor, left to discover the North Pole by flying to it in a hydrogen balloon.

Andrée and the two other members of his expedition crashed and then lived on the ice for another three months, before they died in some way that’s still a mystery. It was 33 years before the bodies were found, so it’s not as bad as all of that here, I took that picture and went back inside, but still.

It kept snowing.

So I worked in the garage. And I turned my hand sander into a mounted tool. I just cut out a hole in a box and wedged the sander in there:

It worked really well. I could move a piece of wood around the belt rather than the sander over the wood. So I guess I’ll need to build a more permanent version of this one day.

It let me sand this piece into something approaching an even roundness:

I’m making a gift for someone. And I took a bit of scrap pine:

And cut, and sanded, it down to this:

Its a book holder out of a bit of scrap wood. It helps prevent hand strain and keeps the book from closing up on you. Works pretty well, but the thumb hole is too big. That’s why you make prototypes.


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.


12
Mar 18

A human typed this

Yesterday, and today, under Daylight Saving Time, in three photos:

We talked robots and bricks with journalism professor Joe Coleman today.

I remember I worked for a news director at the beginning of my young career and she said ours was a business that would never be taken over by robots. Machines won’t report and write our copy, she said. But that was 17 or 18 years ago and now AI is writing basic stories. Of course we have more wonderful ways to tell great stories today, too; there are always tradeoffs.

This is what made the second half of the program so interesting to me. There are a lot of people in declining or changing industries who can see or feel, that that change is coming. There are people at certain points in their career where they fear that it will happen to them, or they’ve been told as much. Industry comes and goes, and a workforce can be adaptable, but a person, a singular individual at the wrong point of their career might be less so. And when an industry begins to fade away due to advancing tastes, or innovation or regulation or anything, there can be a lot of those individuals thinking “Now what?”

This has long been a part of the cycle, if you think about it. But think about it a little bit more: It is possible that we’ll soon AI and blockchain and quantum this and that our way into more of these types of change than any generation before us. Which, hey, more time off. But a person still has to pay those bills. That person still has to work. You’ll have to retrain a workforce at various stages of their lives, in various family and medical conditions, in a rapidly evolving professional ecosystem.

Coleman, my guest, wrote a book titled Unfinished Work: The Struggle to Build an Aging American Workforce. Here’s a blurb:

The era of the aging worker is here. The forces driving the first decades of the 21st century — globalization, technology, societal aging, and jarring economic instability — have made later retirement a necessity for many, but those who choose to stay in the workforce are frustrated by a job market that fails to take advantage of their talents. As government’s ability to finance retirement and health care declines, making space for older workers in the labor force has emerged as a chief challenge for the coming century.

This starts pretty much now through a time when the labor force is entirely aged out of working, or we radically shift economies. It’s hard to see any reason why it wouldn’t end.

But, for now, we learn in this episode, we’re still laying bricks faster than robots. It’s a great conversation. Scroll up a bit and give it a listen.


5
Mar 18

My lovely weekend

We went for a run on Saturday, it was a perfect spring day in the south. I do miss it.

I did 3.1 miles out.

The middle of the dam, just a few yards farther up, was my turnaround point, after which I retraced my shuffling, jogging steps and called it an honest 10K. I had good splits, but that rainbow was the best part. The government started building that dam in 1918; it took a century to make that rainbow.

The spillways were wide open, and apparently have been for days. The region has been overwhelmed with rain and apparently right now there more water is coming through the dam than what goes over Niagara Falls. (We did a little research and math on that. If the TVA numbers are right, then

Anyway, the company was lovely, a birthday was quietly and then we had to drive all the way back yesterday.

It was worth it to see the spring.