Nov 19

Happy Thanksgiving

… from a couple of turkeys.

Hope you have enjoyed a day of peace and joy and great food and good leftovers.

Nov 19

Sports Nite

I pulled this picture off Instagram, which is why it is a little fuzzy, and also why I converted it to black and white. At the end of tonight’s television production, much of the crew got together. It was the last sports show of the semester. The young woman that directs the highlight show is graduating. She’s been a part of IUSTV for almost four years, and a member of the station’s management for three years. They created a nice little goodbye montage for her. The sports director was anchoring tonight. They’re friends. She, in fact, brought him into the program. To keep the video a surprise he called the package from the desk, which was a cool little moment.

There’s also a few people in that photograph who have been a part of the station for three years or more. There are hot shot freshmen. There are people who, this very evening, made their first on camera appearance. The sports director, who won a statewide award last year, is in there. A lot of these students, working on the same show last year, can claim second-place in the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Awards, which is aptly named. Second in the nation.

When I talked to the group in their post-production meeting tonight — after the director’s cut of the touching goodbye montage was shown — I got to say how different things were when the outgoing director first started here. How much stronger and how much smoother an operation it is. The sports crew have sent three people to ESPN and a handful to local stations across the country in the last four years. But now we’re starting to get good at this stuff.

And I thanked them for doing this. We have a joke that the Thanksgiving week holiday really starts on the Tuesday the week before Thanksgiving. Students have often mentally checked out. And then those cliched “My parents bought my airline ticket, but my flight is on Wednesday … ” jokes. And most of our students don’t have classes on Fridays, anyway. But here they are. Late Thursday night. Most people have skipped town, but the student media are still doing the things they love, with people they care about. It says a lot about what they want to do, and it’s a special thing.

The guy who designed the studio is in that picture, off on the far left. He works with us a lot. We’re both just happy to help this group learn how to do this.

Nov 19

And in 5 … 4 … 3 …

In the studio tonight, watching IUSTV make television magic:

I haven’t put any of their programming here recently, so let’s do that!

The power went out last Friday just as the morning show was about to start their show. We learned the power wasn’t coming back anytime soon (it took about 10 hours) and they found another way to produce their show, demonstrating some nice flexibility.

Want to know what’s up this week? They have a show they call What’s Up Weekly:

News, sports and weather:

Or, if you prefer, a deeper dive into campus sports:

And here’s the show from the photo above:

That’s five shows — three of which routinely are recognized nationally — in less than a week, all produced by students, all around their classes and internships and jobs and their lives. They’re an impressive bunch.

Nov 19

I made do

I decided I would visit a few stores after work today, so I picked two stores that were seemingly at random.

Seemingly at random because you didn’t know where I was going or why. And seemingly at random because I haven’t told you they were both places I’ve been before — at least one of them frequently. And seemingly at random because you did not know, until this precise moment right here in which I am telling you this part that is very important to the overall story in absolutely no way, that both were between my office, where I spend a lot of time, and the house, where I spend the rest of my time.

I walked through several sections of the first store and found some things, but nothing I had to have. This was really just an excuse to be somewhere, you see. I get in these circumstances and begin to think OK, if you find one thing, two things more you sorta like, you can buy them all. There’s no logic or rationale for this. But if you have some things you’re thinking about getting but you don’t need in the moment, it is a good way to avoiding extraneous purchases. If, that is, you don’t put too much effort into your secondary rationalization skills. And, really, you shouldn’t, because you’ve already built up a credible argument for why you aren’t buying this thing. (e.g. It is only worth it if you find more things.)

So I went to the second store, where I did have a purchase. I needed to buy a picture frame. And not just any, but one that is a random size. It isn’t random, it’s just a standard that applies only to the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and most of South America. This is a real thing, and we, the Canadians and paper and photo connoisseurs of Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines are the outliers.

And do you know how hard it is to find an internationally accepted frame size in a Hobby Lobby?

I found one. One. The guy was making his patient announcements that the store would close in 15 minutes, and so please bring your purchases to the front and thank you for shopping at Hobby Lobby, where the store will now close in 10 minutes … and don’t you know I waited until the last possible second to go to the register, because if that patient manager sort was going to make his staff work the full shift, I was going to do my part, for them, to see that he did too.

Hobby Lobby is a fascinating place, really. There’s all kinds of carefully distressed things that I would appreciate if they were authentic. But I’m afraid most of their offerings have more attention to the detail of manufactured shabbiness and not enough in overall quality. But it is hard to do much better than Hobby Lobby for a picture frame. Unless you need an A3. And if that’s the case you should go back to the collage frame section, where there is always a miraculous 50% off sale the day you are there, and hope you find something close.

I like the nomenclature of the international, or ISO 216, system. It is only odd if you’re not accustomed to it. But if you think about it. It is a standard defines the “A” and “B” series (and a secondary C series) of paper sizes, which are the most commonly available paper size worldwide. If you’ll round to millimeters, they all have the same aspect ratio. And, while this is more of a paper feature than a photo feature, if you cut or folded a page in half along the width, those halves also have the same aspect ratio. These are great for design elements. And the naming system is simplified. I’ll have an A3, please.

If you, like me, need a 16 1/2 inch by a 11 10/16 inch frame, you might be making do. I made do.

But here’s the thing. I found this frame that some frame maker designed would be great for a matted triptych of 5x7s. It was my only option, so I got it. I liked it a little, but I wasn’t wild about it. I got home, put the print inside the frame. It didn’t fit perfectly, I have a little under a quarter of an inch on both the left and right showing an extra black background, but it fit well enough.

And the look of the frame perfectly complements the print.

You can do worse than making do.

Oct 19

This week we show color

For Halloween, this fall dressed as winter. It snowed today. Pretty much all afternoon and into the night. The Yankee, who says this is the earliest she’s ever been snowed on, is ready to plan spring break. Embrace the pain of the cold and the wind. There’s five months to go. Five months of this.

Where I’m from, those monster masks were too hot to wear on Halloween. Tonight was one of those never-warm-enough nights. Five more months of this.

Anyway, more foliage! We must enjoy them while we can. That’s what this week is about around here. After the wind and this cold snap, they’ll likely all be scurrying across the ground by the weekend.

All of these are on campus which is, to be sure, quite beautiful during the leaf turn.

Twigs are less beautiful. Oh, sure, they are important. Those leaves don’t just hang there. They don’t pull the nutrients out of the very air. They just don’t put on the same show as the leaves, no matter their color of the moment.

And we’ll have a long time to enjoy those poking up into the air. It isn’t the winter or the cold or even the snow or really the grey skies, you understand. OK, it is a little the grey skies. The immutable grey skies are a part of it. But the cold and the wind and the snow all have their place. I guess. And I can stay inside to avoid most of that, like a reasonable human being.

It’s that we won’t see any signs of spring until the first week of April. The sheer necessary endurance aspect of it all. Knowing that, sometimes just after Valentine’s Day I should see green things emerging, but instead, it’s another two months of twigs. That’s the unembraceable challenge.

Now if I had a spring break every month or so, some place warm, or, heck, even mild. That’d be OK. Alas.

Anyway, happy Halloween, and happy winter.