Jan 17

Notions of time

I was going to write more, but the day got away from me. The days all get away from us from time to time, even as we know the days are always going some way or another. That’s the thing about us, we can seize the day, occasionally, if we are so inclined. But we can never grab the day and hold onto it. Not for very long anyway. I assume this has something to do with how our brains perceive time. We’re flowing through it, or it is flowing around us or some thing or another and the net you are holding isn’t woven with small enough mesh. Or some such.

But, hey! I did entirely rework a page on the site you’ll never see! And I found two or three things there that I need to fix. It is an administrative thing and you don’t care at all. I might not, either, but I started it long ago for reasons that probably didn’t make much sense then and probably mean less now. But I have it under control. For a time.

Also, I have added new images to the top and bottoms of the blog, here. As you might have noticed those are rotating images, built with a bit of code that offers the viewer a random image based on numerical sequence. Presently there are 81 headers and 81 footers. They all have varying heights and they are all 900 pixels wide. So I’m staying with this format for a long time, I suppose. I’ve been with this format for a good long while, as well.

I’ve been watching HBO-produced biopics. There was an Lyndon Johnson movie based on a play and then a two-parter on Winston Churchill that I’ve started. They are both interesting and probably have some accurate anecdotes, and they compress years of civics lessons into two-hour capsules. But try as I might, I see Anthony Mackie and Frank Langella rather than Rev. Martin Luther King and Sen. Richard Russell. Bryan Cranston fills out LBJ pretty well.

But I don’t know that you can really portray LBJ’s in a PG environment. The trailer was really good, I felt, so I watched it. The movie was worth seeing if you like political pieces or period pieces. There were a few really quite powerful moments. I think it captured the best parts of the worst parts of a hard, challenging time.

Stephen Root was J. Edgar Hoover. He is great in everything and there’s one little moment he has that nods at all of the things the cinematic audience we’ve learned about Hoover in recent years. Which makes me think of this in much the same way as we do comic book universes. Except, of course, this was real life. The most fake thing was the makeup they put on poor Josh Lyman to try to turn him into Hubert Humphrey. Should have spent more time on that.

I was half-listening to the Churchill story (turns out this is a BBC-HBO co-produced project) when I heard Lena Headey. Nothing takes you out of the 1940s like an accidental Game of Thrones reference. The problem is that these sorts of films always come off as cartoonish, either in a harsh way or in a soft focus, after school special sort of way:

I’ve been running indoors. Someone left the door open and Canada is cooling all of outdoors so we’ve been at the track. The track is a fine three-lane affair. Eight laps to a mile, only slightly better paces. It is made from special grade painful cement designed to hurt old joints, I think. But it looks like this outside:


So it is a trade off. Eighteen miles in the last couple of days. And now it’ll be a few more days before I set off again. Hopefully outside, where my stride is sometimes better.

The nicest part about being inside, after avoiding hypothermia, I mean, is that my running app can’t cope. For the first three miles or so it things I’m running at a world class pace. I am not running at a world class pace. Also, it thinks this is my course:


That is not my course. My app is just going through a modern art phase. It takes no time at all to imagine that is an aggressive effort.

Dec 15

“You ever fought a dinosaur, kid?”

So we’re back at it again. Another late, late night in the newsroom. This was the view when it was still daylight outside. I did make it outside at some point. Some days it is difficult to know for sure, but here is documented evidence:

Sometime I think I should walk around to trees and just start yelling “Quitter!” at them. That wouldn’t be strange. Would that’d be strange? That’d be strange. Right?

A few more photos from the weekend. We ride bikes through here. It looks different at dusk and at different speeds. And it is dark enough and we’re fast enough here and I was maybe just hasty enough that it makes everything look soft and blurry and distant. But look at those colors:

We went to the movies this weekend. We saw Creed, which was emotionally impactful in ways that I wasn’t expecting. And no one saw that happen, either, since The Yankee didn’t glance over at entirely the wrong time or anything. It had nothing to do with an aging Rocky or mortality, but probably had something to do with thinking of Mickey Goldmill. (Did you know there’s a story about Mickey being written? You want this one to make it.)

Walking out of the theater this little girl saw this poster and walked up to it.

“What’s this movie about, Mommy?”

Mom walks over, reaches down for her hand and says “You wouldn’t like it.”

Don’t worry, kid, no one is going to like this one.

This weekend we also learned that Allie likes cupcakes, or at least the paper.

Nov 15

Back on the road again

We went to see the new James Bond movie late last night. Here’s my proof:

We went because some of the kids in the family just had to go see the movie. And if they didn’t they might die. As in, tomorrow. Or perhaps today. It is hard to say with Sudden Onset Bond Deprivation. So we went to the film. The kids were out before the first action sequence was over. Now, to be fair, we were at basically a midnight showing. On the other hand, these are teenagers. And we old folks managed to tough it out.

I probably couldn’t recount a lot of the plot points to you. I was awake, it just seemed an eminently forgettable film.

We got Chinese food for reasons that were almost immediately regrettable, post-Thanksgiving feast. Our fortunes:

Because philosophy cookies never sell at the same pace as fortune cookies.

We left town to this sign. And this is how you know the meme has reached pretty much all four corners of the globe. If it makes it up there … where, N.W.A was probably very late in arriving … it has made it everywhere.

And so we were back on the road today. We were doing the four hour drive at a slower rate because two teenaged boys were in the car behind us. They’re coming to spend the weekend and going to the Iron Bowl. Did I mention the cat went on our Thanksgiving tour with us?

I wonder if she’d eat turkey.

Oct 15

Somehow I made this all about cameras

The park, the crack of the bat, umps making bad calls, managers doing their best to make the umpires look good. (Seriously, you don’t make the last out at third.) Ahh, baseball. It is a communal sport to me at this point. I’ve long since stopped watching it on television. I don’t follow standings or stats or side stories of any league at any level. But I will go to the park to watch a game. And I’m always pleased to do it if there are people around I know a little bit.

Mostly, though, I go for the peanuts. Peanuts are usually a springtime food for me. But I had a few today, and that seemed like something to take a picture with.


This is the other side of having a camera in your phone. It sometimes creates the opportunity for an uninspired pic. I would have never brought my Canon to my eye, let alone changed the aperture or adjusted the shutter speed for that snapshot. But, it allowed me to get a few sentences on sport and legumes, so there’s that.

Here’s the podcast I recorded yesterday. This is with one of my students, and the features editor of the Crimson. He’s my first student guest on this program. Hopefully the first of many. Jimmy did a great job and this episode shows how easy it could be for others interested in such a conversation. If you like movies, you’ll find this a very interesting chat. And, he said, his mother was proud to hear it. Hi, Jimmy’s mom! Check it out.

It occurs to me now that I should have pulled out the phone to take a picture of him in action. I bet his mom would have liked that even more. Except the background would have been pretty flat. So I could dress up the room. At which point I would be inclined to take that shot with my DSLR …

In a mostly-unrelated story, this is at least the third television outlet to give this a try:

It is in play at a Scandinavian station. It underwhelmed in an American news shop. But I’m sure it’ll be tried again. We already have the technology to do this sort of thing from our homes on the cheap. I’m shopping for green screens right now. Someone, in their den or an extra bedroom or basement, is going to resurrect the phrase “When news breaks, we fix it!”

It’ll be all downhill from there.

Sep 15

You will never see John Cage Travolta the same again

Views from a ride I had this weekend:


It was one of those rides where you do a few things surprising, while not doing other things. This is not a disappointment. You huff a little, you sweat a little. You might think it is a bit late in the year for that sort of thing, but you see that sun sinking and you realize you notice that it is falling earlier. And that you noticed that is important, because you know you’ll soon wish for more days when it was warm like that, and you had scenes like this:


Here’s a good read. The Spiritual Path to Kona:

Lantz has raised more than $100,000 for charities over the course of his 13 IRONMAN races, but his focus isn’t just on the money. “I always pick a person who needs added inspiration in their life to go with me on the race,” he explains. He laminates a small picture of the person to carry with him on the course, proudly holds the picture up in his own finisher photo, and then gets a keepsake from the race to give to the person. “I want them to have something to remind them of their worth in the eyes of God, and my love for them,” says Lantz.

One such person was Josh Lucio, a boy with NF1 (neurofibromatosis Type 1) from Mesa, Ariz. “What Josh has had to endure is far more challenging than doing an IRONMAN,” says Lantz. “Despite his severe scoliosis and having tumors around his heart, he is a positive human being and a warrior. If I was able to play a small part in helping him stay focused and healthy, then I’ve used my IRONMAN journey to bless another.”

Lantz raced for Josh at IRONMAN Lake Tahoe, struggling to make it over the finish line before the 17-hour cutoff. “I had to finish for Josh at all costs,” Lantz recalls. “He watched me cross the line from his house.”

Allow me to make you rethink the entire second half of your 1997.

Face/Off came out in June of that year. And now I’m going to shake it all up. What if they were miscast? What if Travolta was originally Castor Troy and Cage was FBI agent Sean Archer, and they switched?

In the inevitable remake, I vote for Robert Pattinson versus Taylor Lautner.

Podcasts! Here are two of them. First, looking around the SEC.

And, second, trying to unwrap the Auburn enigma while looking at foreboding statistics:

Chadd there was my first radio mentor. Great guy. Learned a lot from him. Still do.