Aug 20

It goes much faster now

We’re counting down the days until classes begin again next week. That’s something to look forward to. No matter what you do, no matter how much you work ahead of time, whether in a normal semester or, as we’ve learned this year, a pandemic, there’s always a huge crush right at the starting line. There’s always more. Always the last minute thing, the unexpected, the sudden memo that subvert’s some previous week’s work.

So it was that at one point this morning I was in a Zoom, and on a webinar, and following a work-based Slack chat and having a text exchange all at once.

That, as I noted elsewhere, is Friday-level bandwidth.

On the bike, it was a rare day. It was almost fast for me — though admittedly average for others. It was one of those rare days where I could look down and proudly note I was pulling 20 mph up a hill and pushing through 38 on a slightly ramped down -1 percent decline … and still get dropped.

But on two segments I really worked on I set new PRs. On the first one I knocked off 19 seconds off my best time over that 1.2-mile stretch. That was a nine percent reduction. Who knows if I could do that again through there. (I know. I know how I felt at the end of it. I might find a second or two, but not much.)

And on the segment nearest the house at the end of a swift (for me) I took four seconds off my fastest time in a 1,000 meter sprint. If I can cut 16 more seconds off my time there I’d make the all-time top 10 on that Strava segment. It seems … improbable.

Kyle Anderson, is an economist at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business at IUPUI. I talked with him today to discuss the state’s economic condition as we make our way through August. He talks about the prospects for recovery, sectors hardest hit, evictions, personal advice and more.

He isn’t as optimistic as the last time we talked, but he does see some positives out there. I wonder if economists figure “At some point, no one is going to listen to the gloom. I need some silver linings in here.” One supposes an added benefit of having all the data at your disposal that an economist can call upon has to lead to something good, somewhere.

After we wrapped it up he said I asked good questions. So my minor in economics is paying for itself once again.

Some stuff from Twitter …

This was amazing, and I should have stopped watching the conventions right here. No way anyone comes out with anything much better than Rep. Gabby Giffords.

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Aug 20

To get even with yesterday

This was yesterday. We had a bike ride and I worked at it a little bit and sweated and probably made some straining faces in-between big gasping breaths and managed to stick on her wheel for a while.

And then I passed her and she had to chase me for a change. She, of course, was able to do this effortlessly.

And when I got in I did the thing I’ve been meaning to do for a few days now, but I’ve gotten a little negligent and forgetful about for some reason. I cleaned and lubed my bicycle chain.

It’s a simple process, you take off the computer, flip the bike over, wipe all the gunk and grease off the chain and the put a little drop of this on the links and then spin it around the cassette on the big gear and the little one, enjoying the smell and the satisfaction that you’re ride will at least be quiet the next time you get outside.

We’re going to learn. Eventually. Today will not be that day.

This was my biggest contribution to the internet today. I think you’ll appreciate it, as well.

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Aug 20

Tuesday is getting even with me

I worked on campus yesterday. And I’m feeling it today! It was the sort of day that makes me glad I went to college. It was a highly physical day. We moved furniture. I sweat a lot. I only hurt myself twice, and on two separate tables.

One, I was trying to flip over a table and dropped it squarely on both big toes. You walk that off, in time. The other time, we were moving tables, via under-sized hand trucks, from one building to the other. This was a half-mile odyssey upon which only one table was destroyed. It wasn’t mine, at least.

It was sunny early, and then turned gray by midday.

And when we left at around 4 p.m. we were heavily invested in dodging rain drops. And that’s probably the part that left me the most achy today.

Probably not, but let’s go with it!

Anyway, it was nice to see people, at least the part of them between their masks and hairlines. It was nice to pitch in on a big project and make some progress on it. We were replacing furniture in a computer lab and rebuilding some edit bays and the like. Later this week we’ll go make some videos. It will almost feel like normal, if that’s your sort of thing.

I visited the grocery store on the way back to the house yesterday. I mention this only because the sport of mask watching seems to be obligatory at this point. The only people I saw sans-face covering were young people.

College town! What could go wrong!?

The only people I saw wearing masks incorrectly were three older ladies whose noses were born to be free, dagnabbit. What could go wrong, indeed.

I picked up the five items I went in for, stuffed them all in my semi-impermanent fabric shopping bags, forgot to look for the sixth item I was considering and made my escape, through the continuing rain. I was in and out in five minutes, and avoided both the mask deficient utes and the mask inefficient oldz.

The nicest part of all of this is that I loaded up the car with new music today. And, considering how much time I’m not spending in the car right now, it could last a good long while.

I predict you’re going to see more about this story in the next week or two.

The home state is also rocking the good personal decisions, I see.

That’s unfair, as generalizations go. Not everyone who is sick should be characterized as making poor choices. But a great many people seem to be intent on ill-informed decisions and it’s easy to sweep others into that group. To that subset of people, I apologize.

Perhaps you’ve already seen the instantly famous Axios interview. If not, you might. Either way, you might come away with some questions about what it contained. Seth Abramson put himself through the ringer to unpack the whole thing. It’s really something else. Do him a favor and reward his dedication to an unsavory job by reading about it.

And do me a favor by checking out these other places. There’s a lot more on Twitter, and I hear Instagram is popular these days, as well. Also, you can catch up on the work podcast On Topic with IU as well.

Jul 20

Just a quick self-promotion

The key to landing good morning show appearances is in having excellent representation.

You’d think your publicists would be able to get that right. You’d think they’d acknowledge the joke. Nope. They just meekly deleted their mistake, tagged the right guy — who is a good four or five inches taller than me and it shows in his headshots — and moved on with their day.

It would have been nice if they’d played a long, imagine the many creative muscles they could have flexed! Oh, the fun we could have had today. It’s Friday, it’s the end of the month, it’s a stay-at-home environment, after all. But, alas.

Anyway, I watched the segment — it was good and you’d expect nothing less — and I’m sure Rogers and Cowan will have a laugh about this later.

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Jul 20

This is thin, I know

This is how the week is going so far. I kicked three consecutive field goals in the office last night.

And then I shanked one off the left upright and the football skittered off the desk and across the floor, which is a pretty good average for me.

I had a nice short run today. I’ve decided to just do one-milers for a while and see if I can get down to a respectable pace once again. And, from there, I’ll put some distance back in. Who knows if this is the right way to go, but I figure running less might mean I can, ultimately, run more.

For the briefest moment I had a running partner.

Here’s one thing you should know by now, but just in case you’re new here (and, if so, my apologies for this first impression) or you’ve forgotten: she’s faaaaast.

More on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and more On Topic with IU podcasts as well.