Aug 17

That thing that everybody’s working for

There’s just something about today that makes it feel like Friday. Maybe it is that there is a three-day weekend ahead. Maybe because there is football tonight. There’s just something in the air to make it feel like today is the getaway day.

Maybe it is the little informal ceremony we had today. The Media School did a very low key thank you for Ed Spray. He’s an IU alum that has just had our television control room named in his honor. The studio is named after his classmate, Ken Beckley, who became quite successful on camera. Spray became a star off screen, and in media administration – Emmys in Chicago, management in Los Angeles, co-creator of HGTV and president of the Scripps Networks. Lovely gentleman, as unassuming as could be.

That’s the dean and Spray, on the left, in the control room. We decided that while there is a strict no food or drinks policy in the room, his name is on the door, so what can we do about it if he brings in a water bottle?

And then, this evening, I turned on the big screen, which usually shows off six different channels, to just the one for the big game. Thursday night football in 25-foot by 12-foot glory:

So, yeah, it seems like the weekend is already here.

But, then, there is always tomorrow.

Aug 17

First live show of the year

So here we are, on the fourth day of classes, presenting the first live broadcast of the year. It was an almost-four-hour broadcast. There were about 11 students running the production and, after the first few minutes, they really found a nice groove and made a neat little show covering various media topics du jour. Four locations, eight cameras, four hours. This was broadcast on my students’ campus cable station, syndicated on the campus radio station and one of their internet streams and pushed out to Facebook Live. Again, this was the fourth day of class.

You can watch it here:

Having been in the studios and the control room, I hope I managed to in no way sneak onto a camera.

Aug 17

Sometimes it is easier to sit than to do

This is a video I shot last weekend. We were at the Olympic Distance Triathlon National Championship where The Yankee was racing. She was out on her bike at the time, which gave me a few minutes to sit and enjoy the nice weather and the shade. Those are two things, I think, we don’t do often enough.

So there I sat and I looked up and this was above me and I decided to make a video. I’d intended it to be a meditative thing for the front page because sitting under a shade tree and watching the sunlight blink through it. That’s one of the most relaxing things I can think of doing, roughly ever. When I sat down to edit the video last night I found that the file size was just too large. But I really liked the video. Fortunately, in this age of wonders, there are more places than just the front page of your website where things like this can go. So it is going here:

There, isn’t that better?

Well, it was, except for this:

Aug 17

You just think you know square jaws

I’m not seeing things, right? You’re seeing this too, aren’t you? There’s a face in that shadow, yeah?

Which led me onto a long series of thoughts about the impermanence of shapes in clouds and the more permanent but still shifting nature of the shadows of buildings and maybe how the buildings are wiser, but the clouds have it better. So that was lunch.

Also, I meant to order the bourbon chicken, which is a sweeter dish. But I instead ordered the first chicken item I saw on the menu, which was the voodoo chicken. That was red and spicy and the word “voodoo” should have been the clue, dude. I wondered if the shadow man somehow knew. His jaw was jutted out just so, in that brutalist blockish manner. I strolled back by later but the sun had moved over by about half an hour and the shadow man had moved on for the day.

We’re moving today, too:

We are in Omaha this weekend for a race and fun. Lately I’ve come to realize it is difficult to travel and eat. Something about the schedules and the options and habits. It is a challenge. This was dinner:

We had a burger at a pizza joint when we got to The Big O.

At the pizza joint, which was using a Chicago theme, because it is pizza in Omaha, one surmises, there was a claw machine. You remember claw machines. Those were the games you couldn’t win no matter how good your manual dexterity was on its own. You couldn’t win at it such that you began to think, and then watch, and then know, that no one could win at the claw game. And then you saw the little feature on that one guy cleaning up at the claw game and you thought “Huh, why does one guy need that many stuffed toys and obviously cheap watches anyway? The claw game. It was waiting for you, at the Chicago-themed pizza joint in Omaha, Nebraska.

I’m not sure if it was a sad game because someone had been so successful or if someone was so successful because it was a sad game. When you see them near empty like that, it effects you. Probably it was sad no one was pumping quarters into it at the moment.

That was at about 11 p.m. and thus it was the best burger possible. Probably because I didn’t ask for the voodoo anything.

Aug 17

There’s a lot of odd stuff in this post, so, the usual

Do you know the significance of this building? It has some important history.

You’ll learn about this building on the most recent addition to the historic markers site. If you just can’t get enough of the historical markers you can see them all right here.

Today I helped put stickers on cameras for a few minutes. All of that Sunday school training paid off. Except for on the few stickers that were a millimeter or two off-center here or there. (But don’t tell.) Four stickers per camera. One on the body, one on the lens, another on the power adaptor — it does a slow focus pull in video mode — and another on the external microphone.

This is the funniest cruel thing — is it the funniest, cruel thing or the cruelest, funny thing? — that I’ll watch. The premise is the expert explains the topic over hot peppers. Some people get through it just fine, this lady tells an interesting story and she’s really hurting. And I’m sympathetic to her plight. But I learned some neat things:

We watched this last night. Just an incredible hour of television, which took place in 2005 and I just discovered. It is amazing, in a way, that this made it to network television. And it was the fourth highest rated episode of the last season of West Wing. And of course, this would never happen in real life, ever. But it is a fun watch:

The West Wing S 7 Ep 07 – The Debate

Or maybe you just have to be a certain kind of viewer to appreciate that. But I enjoyed that, didn’t want it to end. I dreaded it ending, and how often do you say that about a single episode of television? I realized why Alan Alda is there and put away, for an hour, my Unifying Theory of Alda, because this was more important, than that. Which is saying something for a fictitious debate in a non-existent presidential campaign in a world that we don’t live in — with issues similar to ours.

But, then, I spent a lot of my master’s degree working on debates and writing and researching campaign material, so maybe you have to be an especially specific kind of viewer. I’m going to have to stop it during the opening credits right now, or I’ll end up watching the thing again …