Mar 18

A day was had

Here are two news show. They talked about campus news and pop culture events.

The two hosts of the pop culture show are seniors, but the anchors on this particular episode of the news show are sophomores, which is quite impressive, really.

Otherwise, my day was full of meetings. A student here, studio time there, a meeting about meetings upstairs. Your standard Wednesday. The best thing about it being that tomorrow is Thursday.

Mar 18

Its still winter, in spring

I’m not accustomed to seeing cotton bolls in March. Then again, I’m not accustomed to seeing snow in March, either:

It’s still spring, by the way. And at lunch I saw this second, or third, sign of spring:

It’s hard to keep count, there have been daffodils and the eternal budding-but-not-opening of trees and my first robin of the year, and pointless, too. Winter isn’t hardly done with us yet.

But, for this afternoon’s neighborhood 5K, when it had warmed up to an impossible 46°, I wore a sweatshirt. I did that for the first 1.8 or so, and then discarded it. I ditched it just before the shady and cold segment.

Now, normally that would be one of those things you’d laugh and shiver about. Timing, am I right? But I did this in the neighborhood. I did this in the neighborhood, the place where, presumably, I know where the shady spots are.

So this was a lovely experience. Ten years ago we were at Peju, got a few of these and held on to one. And held on to it and held on to it and held on to it. After a while it became a joke.

Then, as I tend to do, I got sentimental about it. We got some more, so that solved the nostalgia problem. And by then we figured we should probably ought to wait until the 10th anniversary.

And here we are. Tonight was the 10th anniversary. The cork didn’t cooperate, but we filtered out the debris.

It was quite tasty after we let it breathe. I don’t know if it was worth hanging on to for all of that time, but it was worth getting sentimental about.

Mar 18

Turns out, it isn’t that cold

I went to Menard’s Monday, which has become a source of fascination for me. You can buy a lot of stuff there! From Pop Tarts to post hole diggers, from clothes to claw hammers. From deck chairs to dish soap, it’s amazing!

I looked at a few things, I picked up a few pieces of wood for future projects. I went outside because, for everything that the inside holds, the outdoors setup behind the store has to be twice as big.

Here’s one of the two drive-through warehouse shed things:

This one has siding, insulation and drywall and the like. The other was just stuffed full of lumber. You can get just about any kind or cut of cedar you want. I don’t think you can find a dimensional lumber they don’t carry. And then there’s the island in the middle of it all, the Ray’s Discount section. Right next to that, the railroad ties:

Used, mind you. I bet no one ever asks them what they were used for.

So, that’s what I did Monday, I shopped. But I bought no railroad ties. (I don’t have a train.) It was chilly, but not so bad you couldn’t walk around in a giant retail wonderland. Tuesday, I shot footage of the snow in our backyard. And now there’s a cat to be held. I have mentioned here before the lava blanket game. Allie will tolerate the brown fuzzy blanket. There’s something about the white blanket, which is of exactly the same material, that she will go out of her way to avoid. If you cover up from shoulder-to-toe under the white blanket, she will lay on the part of you that is exposed. Anything but that blanket, which must be lava. And if she tolerates the white blanket, you know it is quite chilly, indeed.

Anyway, I was under the white blanket, and she came to lay on me, and managed to park herself on the blanket. She’s getting over the lava game, I figured. And then I covered her up with the back half of the blanket. I looked over and said “Look! She likes it!”

“No, she doesn’t,” The Yankee said, took this picture.

Often when I greyscale a picture for the site it is a subtle reminder to me that I didn’t take this picture. But those eyes are the point, and so I returned the saturation, so that you could get a true sense of the “Get me out of here, hooman!” that was playing out on her face.

Mar 18

“Ich hoffe, dass jemand meine bekommt …”

Here are some pictures I took from the Sunday drive back up that I didn’t put anywhere. We simply can’t have that. One mustn’t take photographs for the pure joy of hearing a shutter close, or for seeing the fake version of that a phone offers. No,
no. How would anyone ever know you were there? How could they tell you’ve done the thing? Or saw the stuff?

Here’s a bit of what you see on parts of I-69 somewhere around Evansville, I think.

I don’t know for sure. We’d been in the car for hours already, and at some point you just lose track of where you are.

And when that happens I spend time thinking about how I would tell the person on the other end of an emergency call if I had to reach them.

“There’s been an accident by … this sunset. But it’s a really beautiful sunset, and you should roll some people out here to see it.”

The Yankee was on the podcast today. We talked about the newest old discovery, a message in a bottle.

It was a German bottle, dropped off to test currents. And it is now thought to be the oldest known message in a bottle. (By now you should be thinking of the Police song, and that’s a good thing.)

Have you ever put a message in a bottle? (We talked about that in the podcast.) Did you hear anything back from it?

How many do you suppose you’d have to drop into the ocean to be sure you’d get a response? And does anyone even do this anymore? After elementary school, I mean. It seems an action that is a metaphor, really. There’s a bit of whimsy and hopefulness in the whole process. What should I write? Roll this up and jam the message in the bottle. And then, finally, the heave. A lot goes into that throw, which is probably a metaphor within the larger metaphor. Whatever the message in the bottle, we’re really saying something important here: get back to me.

Because my commander really needs some ocean current data.

Feb 18

Where I remember journalism class things

First the shooting in Parkland, Florida happened. And then the boycotts of businesses that do business with NRA came. And then a few of those businesses reacted, or just acted. (One can never be sure and, for our purposes here, it doesn’t matter all that much.) One of those businesses was Delta, which said they would pull their NRA travel deal.

Then, the great state of Georgia decided this was a political moment with which to motivate. So there’s this moment where one state office-holder wants another office and figures, if Delta doesn’t back NRA, I can make some hay in the next election by picking a fight with Delta.

And this impacts Delta because the carrot in this “and the stick” formulation is a $50 million gas tax chit. Georgia will vote on this sooner or later, but civic officials elsewhere aren’t wasting time, and the courting of the airline has begun.

This is the basis of today’s podcast, which features a return of one of the original way-back-when guests, my old friend and now Knight Journalism Fellow, André Natta.

The only problem with having Natta on this particular program is having to cut about 10 good minutes of material to keep the show in its format. That’s one of those good problems to have, really, but it doesn’t make any nicer to edit. Also, he tends to select stories that let us recycle the program several times, which is very nice.

Anyway, he’s out at Stanford just now with this fellowship, and it is the first time I’ve spoken with him in person in some time. Sounds like he’s doing well, too, plus he also met Ted Koppel today, which is one of those things you can do at these great big programs. Last week we had Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, a freelance journalist killed in Syria, in to speak. Anthony DeCurtis, from Rolling Stone, was just in a class. So was Pat Walters, from Radiolab. That’s just the last few days around here, and just on the journalism side. Kathleen Jamieson Hall is here right now doing her usual amazing work with political communication. It was really neat to meet her this week. (As a journalist, I used to interview David Lanoue. As a grad student I studied under the great Larry Powell and Gary Copeland. You can fairly say my political science communication cup has runneth over.) Oh, and Dan Balz will be here next month. Balz is a chief correspondent at The Washington Post, where he started in 1978. He’s been covering politics there my entire life.

The only speaker I remember from my undergraduate program was a guy from the local paper and a man who was a bombardier shot down over Schweinfurt, Germany during World War II. The guy that taught us photojournalism was the biggest star they ever managed to land. And he worked there. He’d also cut his teeth in the business covering the Civil Rights Movement, the Freedom Riders and Bloody Sunday, so this was no small thing. He was far and away the best journalist we ever heard from, and he was on the faculty. And that was, for the time, a decent journalism program. Maybe its different now.

Tomorrow night I’ll hear Hall, who is the director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center for the third time this week. You might say that’s working out in my favor.