Apr 22

The ways we fill our days

I washed my car this evening, because winter is over — I hath proclaimed it, he proclaimed — and because there was still daylight left after my work day.

And by “I washed my car” I mean I took it to one of those middle-of-the-road drive through car wash companies and spent $11 to get dust and salt and grime off the car.

This one doesn’t have the dryer jets with the big wheel that descends onto the car as you drive out. Those always concerned me as a child. The wheel landed right there on the windshield, and then rolled over the car. Why is this not a problem for anyone else? Instead, this one has two vertically mounted dryers on either side of the exit. There’s a helpful clock in blue lights, telling you how long until these things stop blowing hot air which, as I type this, seems like a feature we should all be required to carry.

You try to time it just right, the whole of the car deserves the same amount of time in the drying phase. Except you’ve no real idea when the front of your car begins to really feel the warm air, so it’s just a guess. The experience will likely be uneven. And then you try to rationalize it. Why shouldn’t this part of the car get more drying time? Then you wonder if you’re somehow distributing the air flow unevenly, as you creep through the blow zone, because of driver bias, or a misperception of the precise size of the passenger compartment, or something. Finally, you’re thinking, I paid for it, you should use the whole of the 60 seconds. Don’t give any of the air back for free!

Anyway, my car is clean. And, for the moment, the exterior smells nice. I was going to vacuum the inside, but this place charges for that air, too, and I have vacuums I can use at home on some future nice day. And I will! I like a clean carpet.

When I got to the house a spontaneous bike ride occurred. Why not do 20 miles! It’s a lovely way to spend a few minutes.

I wasn’t intending to ride today, but riding is fun, plus it was a bonus after the 25-miler I had yesterday morning!

And these are the ways we fill our days.

Here are some sports shows that the IUSTV crew produced last night. All the local stuff from IU is in this highlight show.

And on the talk show they discussed the upcoming NFL draft.

By now, if you’ve been here every day over the last two weeks and change, you’ve seen 130 photos from our recent dive trip to Cozumel. (My next chore is building a proper photo gallery for them. Perhaps that’ll get done in the next day or so.) Maybe, perhaps, you missed the larger videos. I’ve got you covered. Day-by-day, the best footage from 13 dives on the beautiful reefs of the Caribbean Sea. Check these out.

This is our second day, when we got in five days. Four of them are represented here.

And this video was shot on a Thursday, not that the day of the week matters to the fish in the sea, or the turtle, which appears right at the beginning of this dive experience.

And everything you haven’t seen so far, you’ll see in this great video.

Now, about that photo gallery …

Apr 22

A totally professional day

I edited a podcast today, and spent time in two different television studios for three different shows. At the end of the day I set up a Disney movie for students. In between, I watched these shows. And, now, you can too!

This is the news show from last night I mentioned. The interview with the new provost is there. It’s an interesting moment to have the provost in-studio.

They talked a lot about bike racing on What’s Up Weekly, because the Little 500 races are coming up next week. Very exciting stuff for campus.

I gotta tell ya, IU Fanshop, now in just its third episode, is growing on me. It’s a show about fans, and as they start to really lean into this, they’re going to find some great stuff going forward. This is fun.

You know what else is fun, photos of people at varying depths below sea level!

Yes, we’re wrapping up the photos today. But I’ll round out the week with more diving stuff, somehow. (We’ve already planned our next two trips, and I’m only a bit sad that neither of them involve diving. Yet.)

Anyway, on to the photos!

Gymnasts, man.

Sometimes I float to one side, sometimes I float behind people. Occasionally I float above them.

That is, of course and without fail, the moment they decide to look for you.

Everything is a-OK on the bottom of the sea.

And sometimes people float above you, too.

Selfie time at a safety stop.

This is probably another safety stop, a designed part of the dive, during the ascent, where you’re allowing your body the opportunity to expand a bit more of the nitrogen that builds up under pressure. This is a planned and good feature. And, clearly, carefully done.

I wonder what she’s looking at here.

Best fish in the sea!

And, also, me.

Yes, I all but blinked during my own selfie. I was on vacation.

Apr 22

Hours of video, 10 more photos from the bottom of the ocean

And how was your weekend? Cold and gray Saturday here, sat on the porch and enjoyed the warm of a brilliant Sunday. Took a nice walk. A low-key stretch by all accounts.

More improv comedy from a live production on Saturday night. This should go right to where it starts, but if it doesn’t, scrub your way over to 12:48 to see all the funny stuff begin.

And if you’re not in the mood for young comedy — and how could that even be a possibility? — let’s have some sports talk with another fun episode of the B-Town Breakdown.

And here’s a package on a historic moment in this year’s Little 500.

I hope they did a version in Thai, too.

Let’s look at some more stuff under the sea! This is some sort of pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus), I think.

Here’s another juvenile stoplight parrotfish (Sparisoma viride) hanging out with some beautiful branch coral.

This is a good place to mention that I updated the front page of the site this weekend. There are now a lot more cool images rotating through. Some of them you might find familiar from recent days here. I have a lot of really nice ones there, so we’ll be able to keep that fresh for some time. Check back often, as they say. (But keep scrolling for now.)

There’s a barracuda just hanging out under this rock. I got to within probably three or four feet of him. He was unfazed by the attention.

I’m not sure what’s prettier here, the color of the ocean, the coral or the the queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris). This species, it is believed, communicates through temporary changes in color. Also, the juvenile fish are a different color. You thought you had difficulty reaching teenagers!

Always look in the vase coral. You never know what you’ll find inside. Like this lobster!

This is a moody picture, isn’t it? There must have been some passing clouds in front of the sun as I passed by this setting.

The light changes everything. You might think this is a lonely or spooky feeling, but you’d be mistaken.

There’s all sorts of interesting things to see and critters to meet, after all.

And if the fish and all of their natural wonders aren’t enough, you also have your dive buddy.

Best fish in the sea!

That is, by the by, the 100th photo I’ve published from the Cozumel dive series. And, if you’re wondering, I can probably get two more days out of this. So stick around!

Apr 22

Another brand new show launched, and still more diving photos

Just your average day today. Started with a meeting. Ended with a different meeting. Some things took place in between, I’m sure. I learned something every step of the way. Now it’ll be up to me to make it useful. But that’s the way of things, right?

I got to the house in the daylight which — between my normal abnormal schedule and the still-recent emergence from daylight standard time — still seems unusual somehow. It rained. I rode my bicycle indoors. At the end of what should be a warmup period I was already feeling it. First time I’ve turned the pedals in two weeks. It’s like that with me, and I could do something about it, but I haven’t yet. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll ride for a second day in a row. And next week I can start building back up to the mileage that was doing … just last month. Anyway, 20 more sweaty miles were behind me at the end of today’s pedalpalooza. Then it was time to shower, have dinner, and turn, mentally, toward tomorrow.

But first, let’s look back. These are the shows the IUSTV sports crew produced on Wednesday night. (Told ya, this schedule of mine. I really begin to feel it each April.)

This is Hoosier Sports Nite. And, a fun fact I learned after the fact: the guy on the desk, he did his tour here one year and one day ago. And now he’s anchoring sports shows.

(Getting involved early and throughout is a huge selling point for our programs.)

And here’s the talk show. They discussed Major League Baseball at some length. ‘Tis the season.

Some elements of the sports division are also working on this new project. It’s a soft launch new, national sports show, believed to be the first of its kind in, well, this country.

How cool is that? The proper launch is coming this fall.

Being a news nerd I likewise want a national program for that side of things, as well. Perhaps one of these days.

Let’s look farther back. About three weeks, now.

Look at this gorgeous condy anemone (Condylactis gigantea). They are loners, no colonies of these guys. And they are carnivores. Also, it’s generally considered more mobile than most anemones. It crawls around on its pedal disc, and tends to be quite territorial. I need to add witnessing an anemone turf war to my list of things to do. This species provides shelter to small fish and shrimp, and can be sort of like a car wash for fish cleaning activity.

Of course this stoplight parrotfish (Sparisoma viride) turned away just as I took its photo. This fish is a protogynous hermaphrodite and changes its sex from female to male during its lifespan. It will also change color as it changes sex and ages. The timing of the sex change can apparently vary depending on population density, growth, and mortality rates. Based on its coloring here, we can tell this is an older parrotfish.

I wonder what feature of the current, an untold number of years ago, made this little artistic sand draw possible.

Remember the movie, Cocoon?

I’m feeling younger every day. (Except for when I stand up. Or walk. Or generally try to do anything too quickly.)

Sometimes you have to look up, because sometimes there’s something swimming — no? Nothing? OK then.

There’s not a term, so far as I know, for this feeling of the color and the shadows, and the interplay of it all. I’m going to call it Caribbean gothic.

These next two are another example of that issue of taking more than one, and liking more than one.

I’m honestly not sure if the damsel fish scurrying about above and behind the coral even registered when I took these photos.

Our daily installment of the local yellow tube sponge and what I still think is the fused staghorn coral.

And here we are being silly at our safety stop on one of our ascents. (A safety stop is standard procedure. Basically, it is an opportunity for your body to release some of the excess nitrogen that builds up in your system during your dive.)

That’s three minutes of silliness, or three minutes of extra zen — or many more minutes of internal pouting about having to break the surface — every dive.

Apr 22

It goes me, Robert, Dan, Festus

Back in the studio this evening, after an uneventful day in the office. We coordinated things that needed coordinating. We tested locks. I wrote emails about plans and set up Google Drive folders for those plans. I edited audio. I booked a podcast interview for next week. I spent the evening in the television studio.

We were also in the studio last night, and I can show you those programs now. Here’s the standard news show.

And there’s the pop culture and events show, as well. The theatre program here is hosting Carrie, and the actor playing the title role stopped by and sang a song. Having seen the classic movie, I was very nice to her and stood well away, just in case.

There are other shows I haven’t shared with you yet, so let’s catch up! Here’s the late night crew.

Following the video that surfaced of Sebastian’s surveillance of the NTL writers room, Sebastian and Mia are forced by IUSTV to show a scene from IUSTV’s newest spinoff show, “The Adventures of Duncle and Snephew.” Additionally, Sebastian and Mia sit down and chat with the Editor in Chief of The Crimson Post, Kyle Reynolds.

Somehow, I don’t think that tongue-in-cheek spin-off is going to make it.

A show with a lot of staying power, it’s been around five years or so now, is the morning show. Let’s check in with those guys. They interviewed two of the riders from last year’s winning Little 500 men’s team.

The show about films has a new episode, too. Behind The Curtain talks to a guy about his first production. It sounds spooky to me.

Speaking of film, fans of the format know of the legendary John Ford. Well, one of IUSTV’s newest programs interviewed Dan Ford, the filmmaker’s grandson, and author of the biography on John Ford.

Dan Ford is from a big Hollywood family. In addition to his grandfather, John, Dan’s father was Patrick Ford, a writer and producer of several westerns. Dan’s aunt was a film editor. He had a cousin who directed dozens of projects. His uncle was Ken Curtis who has 65 acting credits to his long career, most notably in hundreds of Gunsmoke episodes.

No one is ever prepared for the day when they discover they are three degrees of separation from Festus. Sometimes the amazing just happens.

This is the black sea rod or Caribbean sea whip (Plexaura homomalla). It contains an abundance of prostaglandin A, possibly as a chemical defense against hungry fish. Prostaglandin, in mammals, is a muscle relaxant. It also used to be used to induce labour, until a synthetic version was developed in the 1970s. It can also cause nausea and vomiting. The fish don’t like that part, either.

Here’s the black cap basslet (Gramma melacara). It’s a territorial fish, and that’s why you only see one in saltwater aquariums. I’m not sure what that little guy on the left is.

Look! More yellow tube sponge! There’s going to be some more Aplysina fistularis below, and I don’t even want to apologize for that, but I guess we’ll have to get into some new facts for it.

This is an anemone! Macrodactyla doreensis, I think. Don’t touch them, either.

Now back to the tube sponge. Did you know this is what SpongeBob is supposed to be? Now you know.

Look at it, sitting up there all tall and proud. Yellow tube sponges are filter feeders, taking in ocean water, and extracting plankton, bacteria, and dead organic material to consume.

And they must be hungry. Every minute this sponge can apparently pump an amount of water equal to five times its volume.

I like the little bits of reef that just pop up out of the sand.

Also, I like the sand. I’d like to just sit in that little sliver and do nothing for a few hours.

But there are currents! And I must follow my dive buddy.

Did you know I’m putting all of the little video clips on social media? They are getting rave reviews in the twos and threes! If you have some more time check them out on Twitter. You can also find them on Instagram, too.