Mar 17

I was not awake at 5 a.m.

A good singalong makes one happy:

Too-high, too-wide photo still to come.

I found this today:

Two young men hit by a train in 1917, both lived. And then I found this and this. One lived to 80 and had three kids. The other lived to 85 and had four children. And this quick look online tells me that a man who died at 85 in 1983, in my lifetime, knew his grandfather, who fought at Kennesaw and Nashville and against Hood in Georgia and Alabama. That man, in my lifetime, could probably recall his grandfather who fought in the Civil War on land I know fairly well.

So it is a small world, I guess. Though anything is possible if you start a story with “So this guy found himself crawling out from under an actual trainwreck.”

Today, Indiana fired their basketball coach. Just as the tournament begin, his tenure ended. He’d gone to the Sweet Sixteen last year, indeed, three of the last six years he’d been there, and he won the conference championship twice. But they decided to go a different way, so there was an announcement, and a press conference. And, despite this also being Spring Break, the student media was there:

Dedication, hustle and showing up will get you places in that business. So it is great to see students from both the television station and the newspaper reporting it at full speed. Good for them.

Mar 17

Still looking for today’s first clever thing

Oh, look! More spring!

Snow is in next week’s forecast.

Today I worked my way through a third edit of this big document I’ve been working on this week. It describes the entire building, and part of another, and it is going to come in around six or seven pages. Also, I started writing my next paper, which will describe in just the tiniest bit of detail, one of the rooms in that building. (Clearly I’m tapped out for the evening.) That paper is currently at four pages. I hope will finish at six before I pare it down to five.

This reminds me of listening to friends in college complain about these huge four and five page papers they had to write by Monday. They had to go get to work on it, they’d say, on a Thursday night. And we journalism majors would laugh. We’d crank that out Sunday night or Monday morning.

Turned out, as you learned to write concisely, you also found that writing long was not a problem. But, then, writing long has never been a challenge for me.

Next week is Spring Break. And, as you might recall, Spring Break begins for many people early. So while the break begins next Monday, a bunch of people have already split or at the very least have that look in their eyes. Now, tonight, the basketball team is playing in a conference tournament game and Spring Break officially begins in hours. I still had a full sports crew in the studio tonight. They did a practice session.

A full crew to do a practice sports show while a big sporting event was going on and warmer environments or home cooked meals on the horizon. That’s dedication.

Mar 17

Another sign of spring!

Pretty soon I can stop counting, them, right? The signs of spring? It’ll just be spring. But, even still, even with that knowledge, you point in wonder:

And then you do the most sensible thing you can think of. You travel north:

And then west, because that’s better than going farther north in the winter. So we have arrived in California, by way of Minnesota. We flew from Minneapolis to Sacramento this evening. We passed over Reno and Carson City, I think. And we had the option of driving on into the night or staying at a hotel near the airport. We chose the latter. It was the wiser choice. We’ll go to Napa Valley tomorrow.

Tonight, a few things for you to watch, which some the IUS crews produced this week:

Feb 17

Talking about the cyber

Among the other parts of my day, editing a big document, watching students produce a sports show, handling the various comings and goings of emailing and scheduling and so on, I had the opportunity to hang out at an important panel this evening. And I took notes.

Also, even if you aren’t interested in cybersecurity as a journalist or in your own professional role, this slideshow that gets mentioned people is accessible and worth your while. Check that out. Anyway, on to the tweets …

Feb 17

The cuffs were stained, and it got stinky

From time to time a student asks to interview me about something or other as part of a class project. I try to be a difficult interview, thinking maybe the word will get out and people will stop asking.

I don’t actually act like a bad interview subject. I try to be helpful while they’re learning their craft, but the thought always occurs to me: I could derail this. I could send this off in an entirely different direction. But they’re going to get that experience soon enough.

Today I got interviewed as part of a magazine writing exercise about the importance of clothes. It seemed an unusual topic, what clothes are important to you. So I thought, for whatever reason, about outerwear. This jacket, that coat and so on. I guess because it has been cold, I was thinking of the things that help keep you warm. Somewhere in there I mentioned this old denim jacket I had as a kid. Denim, which has made a comeback once more, was a big status symbol back then. And of course the interviewer seized on this as her topic.

I didn’t have a denim jacket for the longest time, because they were expensive and we didn’t have that kind of money. But finally, for Christmas one year, I got one. It was, I told my interviewer, an off-brand and it was probably about 15 minutes after denim was the thing, but I loved it. Loved it. I wore that jacket constantly. Day, night, overnight. And I suppose I just eventually physically outgrew it. But I remember the joy of the gift and the smell of the jacket. And it wasn’t a good smell, because I wore it constantly and I was a little boy. My mom had to wait until I went to sleep and then took the jacket off of me to wash the thing.

The interviewer asked good questions, as I imagined she would. Made me really think of my answers. It became an almost psychological exercise.

Afterward, I sent my mom a text, telling her about this interview. I figured she’d have a funny anecdote for me that I could pass along to my interviewer and we’d all have a good laugh. She didn’t remember the jacket.

In her defense, it was a few decades ago.

Also, when I was little, The Count always scared me. (I was a sensitive child.) But Brielle doesn’t have this problem. Plus, she’s adorable, and knows her stuff:

In the studio this evening, the sports show took over. David and Griffin are going places:

We’ll get to say we knew them back when. They do such great work. But you could say that about a lot of people around here.

And this: