photo


24
Jan 22

A day with everything in it

It was a do-most-everything day. A bit of writing here, a bit of editing there. Consulted on a Snapchat campaign. Some social media, some file uploading. Casted a student for a recruitment campaign. Discussed a physical mailer. Hired some students. Shot some photographs. Recorded some video. The only thing I didn’t do was any audio, but I’ll have a podcast Thursday, if I make it that far.

I also had two meetings this morning, and I got pulled out of both of them for nonsensical reasons. Maybe it made me look important to the people I had to leave. It felt rude, but when you’re called, you go, right?

Was I needed when I got there? Wherever that was? I was not. The first time it was because someone else couldn’t be found, and I was to be the stand-in. (When I got there, the other person had turned up.) The second time there was a question about microphone audio. (It was fine.)
A
So I got to go back to my meetings. Probably didn’t look all that important after that.

This was Saturday, a rare clear winter’s day. Cold, and worth it.

But that’s the miracle of it, really. Not every day is like that. Most aren’t. In fact, this was Sunday morning, after it snowed.

And this was this morning.

What’s the point of this? We’re nearing the end of January, and I don’t know. It’s been a mild winter so far, thankfully. Had a bit of real cold, but that’s to be expected. No real snow. I told a former student who is working in North Carolina that she got more snow this weekend than we’ve had all winter so far, and I was glad for it. (She’s a meteorologist, so all sorts of weather makes her happy.) We’ve just had the gray. And we’ll get a lot more of that. Maybe that’s the part that will be cruel this year. If it’s just comparatively mild, it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking it is almost spring. But it’ll be almost three more months before views like this are the norm.

It was stunning to see that this evening. It was stunning that I got out of the office and back to the house in time to see it. And this is the second real sign of the progression of the seasons: though you’ve known it, intellectually, for a month now, this is when you can now notice the days are getting a bit longer without carefully noting the clocks. The longer days, of course, being the best part about the place.

The first real sign of the coming change of seasons, of course, is seeing commercials for the Masters on TV. I don’t watch the tournament, but hearing Ray Charles, seeing those beautiful views, you know: Augusta is getting ready for their spotlight, and it’s OK to pine for the pines, and springtime.

In two more months. Until the end of March it is perpetual gray punctuated by false hopes — and I’ll only talk about this two dozen more times. At least Saturday looked nice!

The daily duds: Pictures of clothes I put here to, hopefully, help avoid embarrassing scheme repeats.

Love this shirt, until it comes time to pair it with something.

Got a nice compliment on that pocket square, though. It’s one I made, which made it all that much better. And prompted me to show off the day’s cufflinks. No one was counting on that.

I made those, too.

I am a man of fashion intrigue.


21
Jan 22

May your weekend move more slowly than your week

Bright and early once again this morning, headed in for a first-thing-this morning meeting, and was rewarded with a bright and clear morning for my effort.

I run a small Friday morning meeting and 80 percent of us were in attendance, a success given these pandemic times. The rest of the people are all students and, at the end of their second week of classes, they are all in full-on “Let’s just get to Spring Break mode.”

Oh, but aren’t we all?

When that meeting wrapped I went into one of the television studios, because there was television to produce. We will see the first shows on Monday, or thereabouts, but I was taken back by a philosophical conversation that evolved while we were transitioning between shots.

The host of the film show was discussing his move to wear suit coats this semester, because it is cold, you see. But he likes the cold. Prefers it. But he also likes warm temperatures. He might even prefer that, we decided, as he leaned into the bit. And before long he found himself saying that he imagined a place where he would be all the temperatures at once, and what would that feel like? Would it feel like anything at all?

Which gave us the moment to wonder what the absence of temperature would feel like. Certainly it couldn’t be room temperature, for obvious reasons. It also wouldn’t be the cold vacuum of space, for similar adjective-driven logic. So what would it feel like, the absence of temperature? And I found myself wondering about that for the rest of the day.

Mind you, this is a group that debates about which prepositions make the best puns.

After they’d wrapped up their second show in the studio I was able to retreat to my office to do office stuff. Until it was time to go into another studio to teach a few students how to use a new software setup.

It was there that I realized that, for the next week and a half, when I have to be in tight quarters with any of these people I will ask them if they were at the Purdue basketball game. If they rushed the court. You can find the footage online. Lots of people. Filled the stadium and then filled the court. The only people wearing masks were the cheerleaders.

I don’t know any of the cheerleaders right now, but, it turns out, I know a lot of these other people who enjoyed their moment of fandom. The rest of us are doomed.

If there is an outbreak I wouldn’t be surprised. Of course it might be difficult to find in the current trends. Of course “what even is an outbreak?” is now a thin rhetorical device. Well, here, it’s …

Computer, enhance …

We’re breaking records across this state, and locally, every day now. Consider that for a moment. Two years in and we are still breaking daily records of most any metric you’d care to examine. It has all led to some interesting stratifications. (Further complicating apathy and exhaustion.) I could spell this out, but I’m sure the same is happening around you.

Around my family, it is happening again. The testing positive part, I mean. Someone with youth and vigor and the general healthiness that most of us are blessed with in our younger days is out doing things without regard for the impact of others, then brings the disease to their older, infirm relatives.

And not for the first time, because we can fix neither indifference nor selfishness.

(Which is as kind as I could be toward specific family members after two re-writes.)

Anyway, near the end of the day I had a pleasant conversation with someone I don’t normally have the chance to talk with. That chat ran longer than I realized and so I left the office at about 5:30.

I worked late all four days this week, then.

Next week I hope to only do it twice.

The daily duds: Pictures of clothes I put here to, hopefully, help avoid embarrassing scheme repeats.

This is a new jacket. Bought it in the fall, cut the tags off last night. And it’s a shirt I bought ages ago, but have maaaaaybe worn once or twice, and a new pocket square. I like all three of these things.

Just not together.


20
Jan 22

Another long day

Without even intending to, I managed to stay in the office late for a third night in a row. But I got out by 7 p.m., so that’s an improvement?

“Improvement.”

Not that anyone acknowledges such things, or even notices. Makes you wonder, sometimes, why you spend so much time under the ol’ florescent lights.

Well, first of all, it’d be too cold to be outdoors just now.

Anyway, the extra bit of the day that shook up the routine today featured interviewing a bunch of students and a lot of Zoom meetings. And I learned how some new hardware and software will work together in one of our new studios. Not that I have high or demanding expectations for January, in general, but that’s almost enough to make for a banner day.

Except for the extra hours.


19
Jan 22

Which one of these birds decided it was time move?

I stepped outside the other evening to take the twice-daily sky picture (#IndianaSkyStudy on Instagram) and caught the shift change at some of the local ponds.

Just any old day now, one hopes, the Canada geese will head back north.

And they will, in two or three long months.

Speaking of long, today was my first 11-plus hour day of the semester. And a first-thing-tomorrow meeting, too! It started in one of our podcast studios, where I had to refresh a faculty member on basic production techniques. My morning continued with a longer session teaching production techniques to a student. Then there was a lot of editing, meetings, Email and Slack messages. Regular office stuff.

It ended in a television studio. IUSTV Sports started back up tonight.

And so we’re underway for another exciting term. It’ll feature almost 100 television programs and four or five different podcast programs and live reporting on all of IU’s varsity sports and quite a few more 10- and 12-hour days between now and the end of April.

The daily duds: Pictures of clothes I put here to, hopefully, help avoid embarrassing scheme repeats.

And today I opted for a simple, classic look.

That’s a pocket square I made last year. I’m fancy.


18
Jan 22

To the four-day week

The best part about a three-day weekend is that it also means a four day work week. Good thing, too. Given how things have started today, this week will feel like it will last eight days.

To sum up: At least Tuesday is done. Twenty-five percent of the work week behind me. Just 175 percent left to go.

Phoebe knows how I feel.

She had a nice opportunity for a suntan this weekend, and she enjoyed the early morning rays in the living room.

Poseidon, we might have mentioned, has recently discovered the joys of the space heater. And I mean this spoiled cat has really discovered space heaters.

To be fair, I put the blanket on the ground for him. Not so much that he’d have a blanket, but because he’s guaranteed to lay on it, and that might, hopefully, help him make the connection between the tall white thing and the hot air blowing out of it.

He is, as you might imagine, appreciative.

And a few quick scenes from indoor bike riding. Here’s that volcano I’ve been riding up and around and through.

I think I might have done all I can do on that course. I’d like to find another minute somewhere on the route. Two rides ago I took about 30 seconds off my bet time up the volcano. Which means that, on this last ride, I really had to push to get a few seconds off my next PR. But I did. And on this last ride I had my best time to, and up, the volcano. I worked so hard that I was 20 seconds off my pace for my best descent down the volcano. I was so tired I slowed down on the downhill part! But even if I can put those things together, I’d still be looking for 40 more seconds, somewhere. So, now, I’m making mind bets. If I could just somehow go a little harder for five extra seconds every mile …

And I’ll try that after I let my legs rest for a day or two. That always seems to serve me well.

There’s another mountain in the background of that same course. This digital mountain, as you can tell, causes digital weather.