site


11
Jul 17

This is going to seem sarcastic, but it isn’t

The Tour de France is on. I have turned on an inordinate amount of lights in the house. Chicken parm for dinner. I spent the evening sitting in my office recliner. Time of my life.

In my recliner, I was typing on a section of the site. Actually, I was thumbing through old books. And digging through a storage space for other books. I have a lot of books. These are my grandfather’s books. I’ve been flipping through them and reading them and enjoying the photographs and sharing them on the site. I have a big shelf of dusty old textbooks and agricultural reference books. I have a huge stack of magazines, and those will get included before too long. But, first, there’s the 1943 edition of Occupational Guidance:

There are seven more pictures just like that if you click the link above. (I’ll add a few more next week.) You can also see the growing collection here.

I also did some back end work on the site, but you aren’t interested in that and it is mostly just fun for me anyway. Also, much like people hold dear the goal of Inbox Zero, I have a similar goal for browser tabs. I’ve lately found it challenging to reach the goal numbers. (The goals are: four tabs on my computer, two tabs on my iPad and two tabs on my phone.) What, you don’t have goals like this?

The phone has reached two tabs. I’m down to just five tabs on my iPad. I was able to wipe a few off my computer, but there are still 10 open tabs to deal with. But I’m making progress. Time of my life.


5
Jul 17

She is the original multitasker

What does this image have to do with anything? I’m so glad you asked, because there is an answer and you will find that answer, and be intrigued by the premise behind it, just below this now ancient comic strip cell:

I’m returning to the dabbles of a long-ignored section of the site, Aubra’s Books. It started with a Bible, and then five other books. And now I have all of my grandfather’s textbooks and magazines and things. So I have a few boxes of great mid-20th century illustrations and advertisements to check out. Some of them I’ll scan and upload, of course. Today I’m sharing a few pages out of a couple of notebooks. And you can find them, including that comic, here. I also have a few images from an old English and science text here.

I haven’t touched this section of the site in years, so now I’m wondering if I should redesign the site. I had to re-work a few things tonight, so I hope not. But, style being such as it is …

To distract us from that, there’s this. On campus right now there is a group called the Mandela Fellows. They are 25 of Africa’s young leaders from about 20 countries, taking on a six-week academic and leadership program. I’d met a few of them last week.

Today, however, I had the chance to sit down with four ladies who are taking part in the fellowship. They are recording a few podcast-ish shows about their experiences and today I did a little board op work for them.

It’s an easy thing, it involves two buttons and a few mixers on a board. You could do it blindfolded, and they made it easy. But the ease of it let me hear some of their stories, and listen to them talk about their work back home, which they are all very passionate about. There’s a dean and a journalist and some activists that you might say are similar to our social workers.

To hear them talk about their work, and what they see here, and what they want for their communities, is moving. I hope they’ll show me where they post the conversation, so I can share it with you here.

Tonight, dinner with an old friend from out of town. He has some family here and he makes a visit every summer and his aunt and uncle are nice enough to share him with us for a few hours. It wasn’t nearly enough time to catch up completely, but plenty of time to consider our next two or three meetings.

Between one of those, and a bicycling trip we recently dreamed up, our next two vacations may be spoken for.


5
Jun 17

Back in the U.S.A.

We arrived safely and on time and only inconvenienced by the inconveniences of the modern convenience of air travel.

Which is, at times, inconvenient.

But we were well-fed. Customs was a chore, even in the fast lines. And, like all things in New York, the moment you stepped onto the curb you knew exactly where you were and why you didn’t want to be there.

We made it back to the in-laws to find that Allie hadn’t missed us at all:

That was Friday. I flew back yesterday. The Yankee dropped me off at the curb:

I made a video of the flight:

And, now I am back in town, back at the office, back to the regular routine, now with jet lag! If history is any guide, I still have another two days until I can walk that off.

The above video makes the 31st video I’ve produced in the last two weeks. Add to that 103 photos that have also been uploaded to the site. And that’s just what I’ve shared here. So, with the trip well-documented, it seems a good time to take a little break on the blog. There’s an anniversary post coming up, of course. And if anything interesting happens in the next few weeks I’ll throw it here as well. But, otherwise, let’s say hiatus until July. In the meantime, follow along on Twitter and Instagram. They never seem to stop.


9
Feb 17

What’s in the middle? Eh, there was a cookie at the end

Thursdays … where do they go? I’m really not sure. They start here and end there and stuff surely happens in between, but a lot in the middle doesn’t seem to stand out for some reason. Strange.

On the one-block walk from the parking deck to the office this morning, I saw this:

A video version of this is now the background video of my home page. See it, as no one says, before the snow melts. Because who knows what will replace that video, or when. I’m trying to keep them somewhat topical, and weather is as good an indicator of that as anything else. And right now the weather is changing a bit. Snow one day, almost spring the next, and so on. All of that is better than being in the single digits, so don’t take it as a complaint. But if we hit, and stayed, in the 60s that wouldn’t be so bad, either.

Do you like those videos? I do. They’re a lot of fun and easy to make. There’s some trick to quality I need to resolve, but we’ll get there.

I didn’t spend anytime in the television studio, as I do a few days a week. The show I watch was being produced at the basketball coliseum, where the good guys lost a rivalry game. Here’s the show to tell you all about it:

So, instead, I went to this panel:

Because it seemed like the sort of thing I’d be interested in, right?

Also, when I got there, I saw that they had cookies.


11
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:

outdoors

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:

map

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.