Mar 18

Old dusty books

Back to the books! This part of the site is devoted to my grandfather’s books. I never got to know the man, he died a few months after I was born, but over the years, I’ve been given a few of his things. Including a lot of books.

If you click the link above you’ll see the books already uploaded to the site. Right now we’re checking out a few publications he had when he was a bit older, because almost 60-year-old advertisements are always fun. And so here we have the November 1960 Reader’s Digest:

Click the cover and you’ll get today’s installment, which gives us pages five through eight in our quick flip through this book as I attempt to once again make this a weekly feature. Also, check out the main section and you can see a classic literature book, some great science illustrations, some notes, newspaper clippings from his youth and more.

Slow day around these parts. Spring break for students, most of the faculty and staff have ducked out of town too. So it is quiet and sunny everywhere, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Let’s celebrate with song! I heard Lake Street Dive at lunch today and that meant I stayed in the restaurant for three more minutes to enjoy the tune. Now you can enjoy it too:

The TV group made for a cool photo essay feature in an alumni magazine. I don’t think I’ve shared that here yet, but here they are now.

Mar 18

Everything is local, except Perth, Australia

Spencer Elliott came back to the podcast today to talk about the “buy local” marketing phenomenon. He started all of this out with a little anecdote designed for my neck of the woods …

Little could he know that Milo’s has become a too-important part of my routine these days. It’s a little bit of home. Indeed, the stuff is brewed just eight miles from where I grew up. I can plot out three routes from A to B without thinking about it and there was a time I could have probably driven the thing with my eyes closed.

I’ve never done that, because I drink tea and that keeps me awake. It’s an expression. But, then, so is the phrase “Buy local” and its many derivatives. The point is a clever marketing of something here at home. Makes you feel good. Propping up the local economy. Sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars, as Elliott explained.

But, he said, there are no tea plantations in Alabama. Fair enough, but I’m assuming that water — and I don’t know anything about their actual production — ran down Muscoda Hill and directly into some fanciful and terrific tea cistern they have on site.

Why, look, they put it right out front!

Obviously that’s a drainage system. In point of fact the taste comes from the red clay, it gets into everything else, may as well be mixed with the international tea leaf blend.

Anyway, fun show. It wasn’t all about tea. I tried to ask of him all of the questions a shopper might ask. To do that I imagined myself at a grocery store, standing next to a guy who knew about this stuff and was ready to answer every nagging thought and worry and concern I had about things from produce to artisanally stirred, fair trade stomped, sustainably green LEED certified, child labor law obeying, down the street pasta sauce some fictitious grandma made, buongiorno!

But it’s interesting how we are attracted to that, isn’t it? I had a family member, years ago, that made these fried fruit pies. This aunt of mine would go door-to-business door selling them to the local shops and they’d put them right up on the counter and they sold like, well, hot fruit pies. It was a thing in her hometown for a little while, and that’s probably all it ever needed to be. But you would have sworn they tasted better just because, maybe, you knew her, or you’d heard of her name, or because the merchant told you it was the lady who lived over by the river, you know the one. But everything is local if the world gets small enough, anyway. That local appeal might not be entirely instinctive, but it’s got to be fairly close.

Instinctively, I know this is the wrong time of year for this:

‪Do not want. #snow #March‬ #Indiana

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This morning it wasn’t even in the forecast, now we’re going to be in a squall for an hour or two. I don’t even know what a squall is, really. Turns out it isn’t about volume at all. Nor is it about the weather hating me in mid-March.

A bit more of yesterday's snow squall. Yesterday, as in mid-March.

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Stuck to the ground, but not anything to worry over. No need rush out to the grocery store. All the local stuff has already been picked over anyway.

You’ll find more on Instagram and still more on Twitter. And you can hear more podcasts on Podbean as well.

Mar 18

My part has, hopefully, been done for the day

I did my part this morning. It was either that or just accept my plastic and aluminum and cardboard fate. As I did all of the on-site sorting, it started flurrying again.

‪"Now stop the snow and make with the spring."‬

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And I’m not even asking much in return, except for a little meteorological recognition of the time of year.

It’s springtime. It should be sunny and warm. People should be taking vacations and … oh … well, I sorta wrote myself into a corner with this one. The podcast today was about vacation photos and a very popular Instagram account.

And, finally, I did an impromptu and unscripted sports show tonight. I played co-anchor with the guy on the right, in the video below. It was entertaining, at least. And then they all sat down and produced this show, which is still pretty neat to me:

More! On Twitter, on Instagram and more podcasts.

Mar 18

Very quickly …

Saw this on our walk to lunch today:

John and Paul were wrong …

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Clever sign. Didn’t eat pizza, though.

Today’s podcast featured an interesting talk about the design of the bicycle. And I got to do it with someone who rides bikes and designs things and teaches design for a living. It’s a delightful example of a person explaining things in an approachable way, and me asking questions about it.

And the news crew was back in the studio tonight. Here’s what they did:

More on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and more podcasts on Podbean as well.

Feb 18

The Monday that was, and the weekend before it

I worked on Saturday. Two Saturdays in a row! Last week it was a pre-admissions program for incoming students. Today it was a video program for current students producing short stories on local businesses and programs. Good turnout:

And outside, things are beginning to sprout!

… but after a rainy four-mile run I can definitively say it isn’t yet springtime:

Nor will it be for some time yet, I’m afraid.

Putting up some clean clothes, which Allie doesn’t like, because she likes a big pile and she sat there staring at me as this one got smaller and smaller:

So, of course, I left the last little bit on the bed for her, and then surrounded her in more clothes. This might sound unreasonable, but she stayed like that for a few hours last night. She was happy.

Here’s a monologue I recorded this morning:

And, finally, a program we produced today. Skip beyond the first little bit …

And now we’re on to Tuesday, where we should get up to about 60 degrees, but it still won’t be spring, though it should be.