Tuesday


12
Feb 19

What are you going to take from today?

In the considerable series of incredible things that happens to each of us, even on a “normal day” something has to stand out. This evening I watched some television being produced, and then watched some other television at home. I saw highlights of two of my students calling a dramatic wrestling meet. I read about some promising medical breakthroughs. In no particular order, I did a little work, had a weird dream, ate lunch with my lovely bride laughed at a joke, made someone else laugh, learned something new, talked to a graduating senior about his upcoming plans, passed along some good news, recommended some people for scholarships and on and on and on.

But even on a normal-ish day, one thing or another is going to be the moment of the day. This, for me, is that moment:


5
Feb 19

We were somewhere in England …

I haven’t told this story in a while, so I may as well tell it again.

We were somewhere in England, see. I know precisely where we were, but it just seems to sound better that way. We were somewhere in England when someone took this picture:

We were in England, you see. And that was the first leg of a terrific multi-nation trip. And I was tired of taking pictures where you could see a lot of us and a little of what was going on behind us. Rather impulsively, for me, I went to a store that sold clothes and other odd things that people think are a good idea in the store and bought a selfie stick. A friend took the picture above. The picture I was taking looked like this:

Right now we’re discussing a vacation for this summer and starting to dive into the details of it. We’re planning a friend trip. And one of the selling points is, apparently, that I have a selfie stick.

Oh, sure, The Yankee made fun of it, but she quickly came to admit that it occasionally helps make better photos. She still makes fun of it.

Also, the selfie stick is pink.

(It was the only color the store had that day.)

(I told you it was impulsive.)


29
Jan 19

Send hot chocolate

It got cold, as promised. It is going to get colder, as promised. You’ll see. It is easy to notice the difference if you spend an entire day inside. It is one thing in the morning and the hammer part of a two-part cold front moved in during those 10-or-so hours. Overnight the anvil part of the cold front will be here. No one will be singing when the two collide.

One of the shows our students produced tonight invited a comedienne on. This was my favorite part:

There were about eight of us in the studio and she was doing this for television cameras and without the rest of the troupe she’s accustomed to. And she’s relatively new to comedy and none of this is easy. But she was game for it and that means a lot.

On the way out to the car I shot some footage and then I filed a report to the social media video networks:

The temperature fell another 10 degrees before I could actually upload that video. Think warm thoughts.

Under the very real possibility of -40 degree temperatures in the next 36 hours, the IU campus decided to cancel classes tomorrow. So no school. But campus isn’t closed. So some people, including some students, will still be working. And it will still be way down in the negatives. Think warm thoughts.

More on Twitter, and please check me out on Instagram as well.


22
Jan 19

We’re back and it is cold and frozen

So since everything, included the roads, are frozen here, still*, let’s talk about some place warmer. Here are a few pictures I took yesterday just before we left Savannah. (Truly, we toted our luggage inside.)

This is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. It’s a lovely building, and it marks the local Catholic diocese.

The diocese was installed by Pope Pius IX in 1850. At the time, it covered all of Georgia and part of Florida, totaling about 5,500 Catholics. Another Pope Pius, the XII, split the territory in 1956. So now this covers south Georgia. Much of what was the original church at this location was destroyed in an 1898 fire. The outside walls and two spires were saved.

There was a big renovation project in the middle of the 20th century and a massive repair project in the 1980s put the high altar in the background. Then there was another round of renovation in the late Nineties. So the pews aren’t that old.

Indeed, much of everything here is new compared to some of the beautiful church buildings we have seen over the years, but this one is still lovely, and as impressive to me as the first time I saw it 14 years ago.

The stained glass windows went in around 1904:

Many, if not all of them, were removed, cleaned and re-leaded during the last restoration project.

I didn’t realize you had to do that to windows.

Now, about that organ …

The first recorded organ at the cathedral was installed in 1837. (They held a fundraiser in 1836.) That original organ is now on display, but not in use, at the First African Baptist Church a few blocks away. Organs came and went, one was rebuilt after a hurricane, but lost in the fire. At the turn of the century an organ builder in Delaware installed a new one. That one was removed after 1938, and some of the pipes wound up in local classrooms. During the reconstruction in the 1980s a Massachusetts firm, Noack Company, was selected to build the new organ. A protestant, a Lutheran even, helped bring the organ project to life. The cathedral’s website says that was a first. And that man’s church choir, from the local St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, was the first Protestant concert in the cathedral in 1991.

*The snow was Saturday. You could barely drive around downtown today for the ice in the roads. They have some kind of plan, I’m sure. You’d like to see it activated. You’d like to see warmer temperatures, too. They’ve got about 13 degrees on us today.


15
Jan 19

So much was accomplished!

Woke up this morning for a run. The windchill was 22. There were snow flurries. I ran through something the National Weather Service called freezing fog. I don’t know what that is, meteorologically speaking, but let’s say what I ran through fit the bill.

It fit the bill.

Here’s one of my views, from just under halfway through my run:

This little field runs down into a man-made pond. I bet it is frozen right now.

I do not know what is happening.

All of the pavement was dry. But I did run on a path next to the local middle that was iced over. It seemed a bit inexplicable. Either the soccer field above the school had been storing up a lot of moisture and released it in sub-freezing weather or some middle schoolers had a little fun in the hopes of shutting things down.

They did not shut things down; the local educators are a hardy bunch. The pranksters, or the weeping field, only succeeded in slowing down my run.

My run didn’t need the help in slowing down.

Hit a grocery store for a few essentials, and wondered once again how it is that people can’t be bothered to put away their shopping carts. It is a small store, and is most decidedly used more by regulars than one-offs. Especially thoughtful is the person who routinely parks their cart in the handicapped parking spot. You know who was really appreciative of that soul? The elderly lady who climbed out of her SUV while I was moving that cart. She had to shuffle around the frozen snow piles on her cane, because she couldn’t park in the handicapped spot.

That’s at least the third time I’ve seen that happen there. I’m counting now. Last time I saw a guy actual leaving his cart there. It was a nice move, seeing as how he was in his work truck, covered in company livery, at the time. We had a pleasant conversation about it. For my part I complimented him on his ability to at least push the cart away from his own quarter panel.

Anyway, in the studio tonight:

Meredith, Caroline and Andrew have the latest stories and weather covering campus and town. That episode should be out in the morning.

Tonight I visited a tailor because there are alterations to be made to pants and, really, I needed the new adventure. Two pairs of slacks are getting taken in, and they’ll be ready for me next Tuesday. Whereupon I might take a few more pairs of slacks, as well. It was, as you might surmise, a great big ol’ party.

The nightcap was spaghetti and zinc and vitamin C chewables. And if I stop this here, I’ll have established a trend of finding my way to bed earlier and earlier.