Oct 20

Human beings! We saw some!

You have to like the colors. The colors are rather glorious in this, our peak time of the leaf turn.

It turns colder tonight, and we’ll have a few cool days. At some point, eventually, it has to rain — there’s a moderate drought on just now — and then the rest of the leaves will fall and it’ll be stigs and twigs and the long, boring sigh of a gray, drab winter.

But those colors are something else today!

We visited with our friends Mike and Kate for a few minutes this evening. I dropped off a bunch of milk jugs that they’ll use to start some container planting project. They’ve got a quiet spread out beyond the suburbs and we stood in their driveway and enjoyed the waning sunlight and the nice warm air and a view of a few acres of trees and their company for a few minutes. Many jokes were made! Some of them at my expense!

Even their neighbor came over to say hello. He said his wife had recently retired from 45 years at the university library. Nice fellow, the neighbor. I see him when I ride through that area on my bike. He’s always outside puttering around with something. That might be the wife’s doing.

After he left we stood around and talked about their upcoming trip to see family. What an exotic adventure they will have this next week. I wonder what that’s like. Going places. Staring at different walls. Hearing different creaks in the floorboards. Pitching in with some little project at their place, rather than your own. Seeing people.

Sometimes it is nice just to see people. Well, some of them. You’d like to see them more. In limited and carefully controlled doses. But, as they say, 2020.

This came up in our visit. Why is this the hip thing to say? Why do people think that January 2021 is going to be any different from Apritoberember 2020? And what do New Year’s Resolutions even mean anymore?

Something to think about, alas.

Here are some shows the news team produced Tuesday evening. New anchor, a first-time interview and other fun stuff:

And here are some programs the sports gang put together, that I forgot to include late last week:

Tomorrow they will produce more sports. I’ll be there. I’ll share them here. Tonight, I don’t have anything else to share, except for the dishes. If you’re interested in helping there, come on over. I’ll be sure to give you plenty of social distancing.

Oct 20

A long night

Are you enjoying Catober? Phoebe is very serious about her naps. I don’t know how any creature can look that intense, if I can mis-anthropomorphize, while relaxing, but that’s how she does it. Click that link to catch up, if you’re somehow behind. Tomorrow’s Catober entry will feature Poseidon. There will probably be hijinks.

Didn’t get all of the things done today, but a few more items are off the list. The rest will, no doubt, get at some later date. More phone calls and forms to fill out and an oil change for the car. All of that will happen next week, I suppose. Or tomorrow. But probably next week. Because tomorrow is fully about email.

I spent a lot of time on the phone today, and then the evening in the television studio, watching the sports gang do their thing. After that, a late meeting with some students before I could leave. It looked like this:

The building next to ours has a chime in the tower and that’s how I knew the time: 8:45.

At least I don’t have an early morning meeting tomorrow.

Here’s some programming the television people produced this week. The late night show brings you some funnies:

And here are the two shows from the news team:

We had soup for dinner, and around here we say “Hooray soup!” Mostly, I think, because it’s good. Now, with the dishes done, I’ll put another armful of laundry through its paces and then get ready to start tomorrow, and, then, the weekend. Thursdays in the fall are just a preface.

Oct 20

Have some leaves, make your down payment today

To mark the changing seasons I’ve updated the front page of the site. Go check it out. Or just imagine it, based on this hint.

Those maple leaves are from our yard. And the grass is ours, too.

One day I’ll get around to digging under it to see if we happened on anything profitable with the mineral rights. Probably not. They don’t build houses over valuable resource reservers very often, I’d guess. Surely there were surveys once upon a time. And since no one ever found a gold nugget or enriched their britches with oil or natural gas or found some other valuable thing around here, they decided “Houses it is! Put out some nice sod and sidewalks and run some utilities out there and we’ll make money off it that way!”

Anyway, the leaves look grand, wouldn’t you agree?

This maple tree is turning in stages. It’s the arboreal version of a combover, maybe. The tree that’s kidding itself, and not fooling anyone else. How could that tree fool anyone with that bright bit of vibrance. There is, as they say on the ‘gram, no filter here.

Now if everything looked and felt like this for the next five months.

Oh, I forgot to add this show yesterday. The morning troupe doing morning things.

It was a studio night tonight, where the news team worked on news shows. They’re due out tomorrow.

Tonight, we’re upgrading the sofa! We bought memory foam to support the cushions. You trace outlines of each section, cut the three-inch foam, and then jam the foam inside the upholstery underneath the old stuff. That last part was a bit of a workout, but now the seats look full and new again. It’s an easy refurb of a 15-year-old set of furniture which is, otherwise, perfectly great.

It felt a little strange to sit on them for the first time, but better. For the first time in who knows how long, hips and knees are at the proper positions relative to one another when you’re relaxing. The important question: Is it good for naps?

So I have a weekend chore, then: taking a nap.

Oct 20

Into the weekend

Phoebe was a happy model for today’s addition to Catober. She’s hanging out in the hallway. She likes to sit there and wait for you to walk by so she can stretch out and demand pets. She’s a cute little highway robber of belly rubs.

There’s a little post it note on the door behind her. It’s for Poseidon, who is always trying to get into my home office and cause trouble. The sign is meant to keep him out. That’s why it is posted at cat-eye level. It does not.

We have a debate about whether he can read the sign, or if the verbiage is too sophisticated. He’s obviously just ignoring the sign. Phoebe can come into my office occasionally, because Phoebe is a good girl.

Here’s a talk show from last night. They talked about sports. Sports are what they talked about. Baseball, and it’s 4,725 post season teams, deserve attention, and you can get most of it right here:

And another set of students were hard at work in the studio this morning. They had a great guest and a fun time and things went smoothly for them. And someone has finally added a calendar feature to their programming:

After the show was over and we wiped down all of the consoles and the cameras and everything else everyone touched, they all went about their days, going … wherever they all go. I went to my office and whiled away the day worrying over a To Do List.

I think I cut it down to something manageable for next week. I have an important letter of recommendation to write and dealing with a bunch of file transfers. And about a half dozen meetings already on the books, and some voiceovers to work through and some audio editing to tend to and whatever other things that haven’t appeared yet … It’s nice to know a little about what’s in store next week, is what I’m saying.

Take this weekend, for example. It’s gray and damp and cool this evening and so there wasn’t much to that. There’ll be lunch and a bike ride tomorrow and then a video chat and football. I’ll do some housework. Sunday there’ll be breakfast and looking out the window and a lot of reading and maybe some football and that’s the weekend. It’s nice to know a little about what’s in store. One day the weekend schedule will change itself. I won’t know how to act. They all kind of run together at this point, is what I’m saying.

But things are just grand. Everyone here is healthy. The cats are happy. Dinner was good. I get to sleep in tomorrow.

Oct 20

A true multimedia day

Happy Catober! We’re showing off the kitties in a separate post every day. While shot is of the two of them sitting together, most of the upcoming photo feature will show them off one at a time. You’ll have a nice shot of Phoebe tomorrow, and Poseidon on Saturday, for example. Today’s opener is also a classic photo, from this summer. They’re both relaxing on a cover I built to keep them … off … the stove top.

So, in a sense, that cover works. In a sense.

My day started with a morning meeting about spreadsheets. At least I wasn’t filling them out, because this particular database is organized in a somewhat mysterious way. The end product promises to be promising, but the front end has unique demands. Fortunately, a very nice person was interpreting what I had to say about the information involved and she was able to make that work within the spreadsheet.

If you can be lucky enough to find pleasant, talented people, the database mysteries become less mysterious.

And so it was a long day, because it started in that Zoom meeting and then it moved directly into a podcast, and then into a whole host of other things.

Careful and attentive listeners — and that’s you, right? — might remember I interviewed Dr. Baggetta a few months ago about running a political campaign during a public health crisis. (And tonight, boy, that seems like an interesting topic, doesn’t it?) I wrote him during the debate and asked if I could follow up with him on one quick point. He wrote me right back and said “We need to talk about all of these things.”

So we did. It is public service podcasting, basically. People in this state have a few days left to register to vote, and he gets into that and much more. It was an easy interview, a clean edit and I had it all online in a few hours, including lunch and actually driving in to the office.

The work day ended after 8 p.m. in the television studio. And in between it was a blank, windowless world. It looked like a nice evening from the studio, though:

They did sports tonight. I watched from the studio, and peered into the crowded control room and remain impressed by how it feels more like March than September. Which is to say there’s a degree of prompt professionalism already coming into the group. You never know how each group within each year will go. Interpersonal dynamics, a new team and new leadership every year and all that. And then you add in the time we lost in the spring, the longer layoff, and maybe, just maybe, all the other things going on in the students’ regular lives this year, and I really had no idea what to expect this year.

They’ve been focused and efficient and ready to get the job done. Now, in the case of the sports crew, they just need more sports. But until that happens, they’re starting to expand their boundaries, which we are encouraging. It is, I keep saying, a great year to experiment.

Here is a brief news show from Tuesday. Just needs some more news.

And a real-life celebrity on the pop-culture show.

I hope they figure out ways to get more of those types of interviews on their shows.

Anyway, home just in time to shower and have dinner and then do the dishes and stare at the many different glowing screams.

It was worth it, for this: