Apr 17

An engagement, and a movie

So this happened in the studio the other night:

Tonight: In honor the Little 500 races, which take place tomorrow and Saturday, we are tonight watching Breaking Away.

The Yankee has never seen it. I grew up with this movie. It holds up pretty well, even if the race now seems like the weakest act of the movie.

This part is true. The part where Dave picks up the young woman’s book and chases her down has that nice little chase sequence through the campus (which isn’t shown in a logical linear order, of course). When he turns right, by the greenhouse, he’s going on to 3rd Ave. We drive that road regularly and it also seems a miracle no one gets hurt there on a regular basis.

Hey, look! That’s our building!

Here’s a slightly different perspective of Franklin Hall:

That tree is also not there.

That scene plays a lot different to me now. The whole sequence there is perfectly touching.

We’ll be at the real thing this weekend. The women’s Little 500 is tomorrow and the men’s race is Saturday.

Apr 17

Racing the flowers

It is a fine day, thanks for asking. Rode to work on my bicycle. Coasted, really. You don’t want to overheat too early in the day and all that. I rode home a bit faster. The terrain is more favorable and it doesn’t hurt to sweat.

But I lovely day for it. Here’s a photo of a flower I took to belabor the point:

That’s just across the street from the office, so that’s nice to see on a trip out for lunch. It is a day worth being outdoors. But, inside, I found this story about the work some other people are doing outside, in the great northwestern expanses of Canada:

I wonder, if you framed archeology as playing in the mud and dirt if more of us would be digging up clumps of the stuff in far flung places.

Apr 17

Finally, Greenville, South Carolina

So you’re going to drive about eight hours, as we intended to do yesterday. A good thing to do is to have an almost-violent flat tire in the first hour of your trip, things change.

So there I was, side of the highway, tiny little shoulder, inches from trucks whirring by as I pulled off an empty case of vulcanized rubber and put on a smaller tube of air. Sometimes the trucks move over. Sometimes they can’t, because there’s someone in the left lane. Sometimes you could look down the road and see they were going to be so close I’d simply stand up and move away. I’m used to cars and trucks not leaving me any room on the road, but on the highway it seemed a bit much.

Anyway, to another rental car office, where they could not give us a new sedan. Finally, after the three staffers tried for a long time to reconcile our route and their other stores along the way, they gave us a Dodge Ram pickup:

And you’ll forgive me, but I didn’t take a photo of the first rental car. Why would you? Anyway, it was an Altima, a few years newer than mine, but there is virtue in renting a car with which you are familiar. This was one of the reasons I wasn’t interested in a pickup. I don’t normally drive a truck and I’m not interested in parking one all weekend and gas mileage and so on.

Also, the big, bad Dodge Ram doesn’t have a gear shift. It has a knob:

Odds are pretty decent, you’d like to think, that Sam Elliott didn’t know about that when he signed on to do the voiceover work in their TV spots. He might have. He probably didn’t care, but it fits the idea in your mind, doesn’t it?

So we drove the Dodge for about an hour yesterday, which was the plan, to another rental car shop, where the crew would have either a sedan or a small SUV waiting for us. So we got this:

I moved the luggage in the first part of the rain while The Yankee handled the paperwork. We got into the Liberty and realized it didn’t have a USB port. She wanted a USB port. So we changed to this Mitsubishi:

If you’re keeping track, that’s four rentals in a few hours. And through part of Kentucky and all of Tennessee we drove in the big storms and learned that the Mitsubishi is not an especially fun thing to drive. Crosswinds were pushing us all over the lane. I would have looked like a DUI if there were any police on the road, but they were probably off stopping floods or something. The storm was intense, but hey, the Mitsubishi did well with standing water and hydroplaning.

We may try to swap this one out this weekend. How can we get to rental car number six and seven if we don’t get number five, first?

Crossing over the Ohio River to Louisville, just before the traffic and the storms turned this eight hour journey into a 12-hour odyssey.

Which made this morning’s panel no less fun.

Hey, we’re here now — and the subject matter improves, too. There were storms and almost everyone had a tough time getting in, but we’re all here, from Texas and Mississippi and Indiana and the fun and friends and scholarly talk can begin.

Mar 17

Just a Thursday

Two of our television shows made the front page of the paper today. You can read the story here.

And I didn’t spend the night in the studio, which is also nice. Thursday evenings usually means a night shoot, but they did two shows last night. Here’s one of them now:

That dual-shoot meant the last thing I’d have to do today was a meeting at 6:30. But that meeting got canceled just before my 4:30 meeting, so I got to go home at 6 p.m. And that meant my 12-hour day was cut to nine. Because I also had the good fortune to attend a meeting at 9 a.m. Sometimes you work 12-hour days, sometimes they don’t materialize. And rather wonder over how the 12s happen, you just enjoy when they don’t. So when you work a full day and you still get home hours before you usually do, why it feels like the weekend starts early.

So fortunate was I that the rain held off until I got back to my office after my last meeting and stopped just in time for me to get in the car and drive home, in the gray daylight.

Would have been better if the skies were blue. But, hey, we might see the sun by the weekend.

Mar 17

This post solves no mysteries

I saw this truck a few weeks ago and thought of this joke. But, that day, he left before I had the chance to take a picture. And you really need this snapshot for this:

Do you ever see trucks that make you think the people in charge of creating the shell corporations or government fronts aren’t even trying? There’s a company in town with vans that say “Commercial Service” on the sides. What is that? The generic handyman? Is that like those no-brand-name vegetables you can get at the grocery store? And where do those come from, anyway? A white truck with the word “Veggies” in big block lettering on the side? Probably picked those up at a place called “Farm.”

Commercial Service. Circle City. Uh huh. I’m on to this. And it has nothing to do with the sort of things I’ve been watching on Netflix recently.

Circle City is a second-generation family concern, founded in 1946. Joe Corsaro’s son, Daniel, has been running the operation for the last 40 years. I watched a brief video where one of the family members, another Joseph Corsaro, said they ship to “roughly 14 states.” Phrasing like that jumps out, doesn’t it?

I looked in the newspaper archives. Seems there might have been at least two families with that name. One Joe Corsaro became a police officer. While I’m not sure if that’s our guy, the other big newspaper mention is from 1919, when a Joe Corsaro, 10, accidentally shot his little brother, Peter. In 1920 Peter, then just 6-years-old, was hit by a car.

Peter lived. A book called Indianapolis Italians told me his business name. The About Us section on that site says he bought a newsstand in 1946, grew it for decades, sold it to his kids in the 1980s and stayed on until he died in 2002. Considering his 1919 and 1920, that’s not too bad.

And it is that sort of attention to detail that really does make you wonder whether it is all a front.

More spring:

Yes, most everything is blooming now. Why, I even saw some weeds in the neighbor’s floor bed.

I’m sure there are some in ours, as well. The neighbor’s you can see from our kitchen window. I just haven’t yet look that closely at ours. So, you might say, I have looked for no clues.

Here’s something else you have to look closely at:

I no longer have a young fighter pilot’s eyes. I’m fine up close, but I lose some detail at distance. Even still, I had to get within eight or 10 feet to see it. Even then I was thinking, What kind of stick-figured character with no feet would hula hoop anyway? And why do it on this little access road? The motion lines were actually selling me on the idea, but the asymmetrical eyes made me look a bit closer.

The mysteries of the ages are always around us.