Jan 22

Which one of these birds decided it was time move?

I stepped outside the other evening to take the twice-daily sky picture (#IndianaSkyStudy on Instagram) and caught the shift change at some of the local ponds.

Just any old day now, one hopes, the Canada geese will head back north.

And they will, in two or three long months.

Speaking of long, today was my first 11-plus hour day of the semester. And a first-thing-tomorrow meeting, too! It started in one of our podcast studios, where I had to refresh a faculty member on basic production techniques. My morning continued with a longer session teaching production techniques to a student. Then there was a lot of editing, meetings, Email and Slack messages. Regular office stuff.

It ended in a television studio. IUSTV Sports started back up tonight.

And so we’re underway for another exciting term. It’ll feature almost 100 television programs and four or five different podcast programs and live reporting on all of IU’s varsity sports and quite a few more 10- and 12-hour days between now and the end of April.

The daily duds: Pictures of clothes I put here to, hopefully, help avoid embarrassing scheme repeats.

And today I opted for a simple, classic look.

That’s a pocket square I made last year. I’m fancy.

Jan 22

Of color and cats

We are in an idyllic moment of January, I suppose. The skies are clear. It won’t last long, but you don’t expect it at all, so you’re grateful for the moment. I often lament that I can handle the cold, because I’ll stay inside for most of it, just give me some blue skies. There aren’t a lot of those here, this time of year. The first half of December was surprisingly variable, but we’re in it now. And we’re in it until April. This is why I’m posting the #IndianaSkyStudy series on Instagram. Happily, as you’ll see in a moment, these last two days have thrown us for a loop. Yesterday and today I saw the sun for the first time here in almost three weeks. And, sure, part of the reason for that might be that we were gone for the better part of two weeks. You’d be correct in pointing that out.

I’d also be correct in noting the general overcastness of things here during that time. And that I did see the sun and the blue skies in the five states I was in during that time. Furthermore, I’d point out that I chose my words carefully above. And also, my site — my rules.

So it’s just a colorful post all around today, OK?

First, here is a colorful photograph that I took in Connecticut over the holidays. It’s here because who doesn’t like berries that you can’t eat in December?

It was sitting on my phone. I wanted to use it. I wanted to delete it. This is the deal I made with myself. Upload it late, and then get it out of here.

Speaking of late to uploading things, we have to do the weekly check in with the cats. They are the SEO experts in our house and they were telling me earlier today that I’m behind on the most successful feature here.

They are also the meow experts in our house, and when they talk, you’ve really no choice but to listen.

Anyway, Phoebe loves cozy blanket days. And what’s not to love about this?

She is, just so you know, completely covered by one blanket, while relaxing on top of another blanket, which is sitting on the sofa. These cats have it pretty good.

We’ve been back from our holiday travels for almost a week now and, soon, she’s going to get over her lack of cuddle angst.

Phoebe is also a fibber. She got plenty of cuddles while we were gone. She’s just turned into a “Pet me? Pet me. Pet me! PET ME!” monster. And to think, when we first got these two misfits she wanted nothing to do with me.

Do you ever wander what a pet is thinking? You should stop doing that. Poseidon would tell you that down that path lies madness.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it, but on a weekend morning The Yankee and I actually sit down and have breakfast at the little bar in our kitchen. After she’s made eggs and put the custom cover back on top of the stove, Poseidon jumps on top of it and rolls around soaking up the ambient warmth. He tries to get under the cover a lot, too, which is a fun, and then frustrating, and then fun, and then again frustrating exercise. But he stays there until my little plate is done. And he waits patiently there while I wash all the dishes. And then he finally gets his moment. I pull out some leftover napkin and rub his face with it. He loves it. Can’t get enough of it. And lately, he’s posed for pictures with the napkin.

Sure, cat’s are programmed for routine, and they’re observant. And it’s probably because we’re sitting at the kitchen island bar that he knows which day he gets to play the dirty face game. But I like to think he’s glancing at a calendar every once in a while, trying to remember, “Is this the morning I get the napkin? Do I have to wait until tomorrow?”

See? Never wonder what your pets are thinking. Because suddenly they have schedules and agendas and then your mind wanders and it suddenly gets complex.

Since I complained about the gray skies, and mentioned we’ve enjoyed two clear days, I figured I should show you proof. (I do go on about the gray a fair amount, after all.) So here’s the rare and surprising early January we’re enjoying. This was from yesterday evening.

And this was the brilliant view when I walked into our building on campus this morning.

And though I’ve been back in the office just two days, and classes don’t start until next week, I still managed to be there after hours today. But I did catch a glimpse of a sunset you don’t typically get here in January. (Or February or March.)

Tomorrow might be clear too! And it’s supposed to snow on Thursday. So we’ve got all that going for us, I guess.

Oct 21

On to another week

I’ve been asked about all the sky pictures on my Instagram. I am recording the conditions, you see. There will come a day, all too soon, when everything here will be gray. So, while it lasts, I’m showing off the blue skies.

Because in a few weeks it’ll be gray, almost every day, until April.

Or, at best, it feels that way because it very nearly will be that way. And this year, we’re going to chart it.

Apropos of nothing, here’s a tiny bit of Saturday’s sunset.

And Sunday afternoon the sun came through a window and the light bounced off something just right. So now we are studying geometry in the kitchen.

Now I wonder, if I’d waited 10 minutes more, if that light would have fallen over the cat bowl. Or maybe the directions are all wrong. Or the neighbor’s house would get in the way.

You could unpack all of those possibilities for six or seven more paragraphs and, before you were halfway done with even the basics of the celestial mechanics of two unfixed points I’d be back to marveling how people figured out even the solstice and agriculture, and maybe even sun dials. I know the longest and shortest dates of the year because it’s learned. If I were farming, I’d plant crops because a calendar and directions on the seed packet told me it was time. Shadows give us an approximate time of day because the sun moves across the sky, east-to-west, just like we’ve always been taught, and just like that spot will move across the floor for a while. But, then what?

A lot of trial and error, I’d guess, hungry trial and error. It’s fascinating to think about how all of these original understandings and discoveries came to be.

You could study the movement of that spot for a few days, over and over, until you had it figured out, but there was probably something good on TV at the time. Right?

This is also from Sunday afternoon. The Yankee is out taking short walks, each day a new distance record, until physical therapy begins the week after next. She’s doing great!

And a lot of rest this weekend helped with that a great deal. Now it’s back to a busy week. A busy, busy week.

More on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and, if Catober isn’t enough and you need more Phoebe and Poe, check out their Instagram account.

Sep 21

Another multimedia Tuesday — or as we call it, a Tuesday

Did something a bit different this morning, and it worked out well.

It’s National Clean Energy Week, and so I talked with a guy who researches bioenergy and land-use and the impact of changing vehicle fleets and we talked about some of these things and a whole lot more, like ethanol, switchgrass, private use, government programs and so on. It’s delightfully nerdy, so please press that little orange play button in the top left corner.

We did that one over Zoom, which is the part that was different. I (finally) discovered an ingenious setting for my computer, Zoom and mixer. So, on my end, it sounds like a studio. On Dr. Jerome Dumortier’s end, it sounds like he was in his home office in Indianapolis. You can hear the sound of his voice bouncing off the drywall, but it’s much better than the typical compression you experience when I record these as a phone call.

So I am pleased both by the outcome of the interview, and the aural quality. I’m only kicking myself, a little, for not doing that interview earlier, and discovering how I could integrate Zoom audio much sooner into these episodes.

The daily duds: Pictures of clothes I put here to, hopefully, help avoid embarrassing scheme repeats.

Today’s was not the best look, I think. I like the pocket square. It works with the jacket and the shirt.

And I like the cufflinks, which worked well as a contrasting splash of color on the shirt.

But I think three points of contrast are too many for my limited style.

They can’t all be the best combinations, I tell myself. And I was a bit rushed this morning, I keep telling myself.

But my mother-in-law said she liked the cufflinks, so I’ve nothing to worry about on the day, right?

Studio tonight. News time, and so we go the desk …

It occurred to me this evening that I need to think up a few new ways to shoot studio gifs.

There’s always next week. And tomorrow.

And tonight! This is our view of the cloud-covered harvest moon.

Jun 21

When things float to the surface

I don’t even recall what I was looking for, but it wasn’t in the same subdirectory. Anyway, I ran across this shot from the Crest Building. It was 2002 or 2003. And I really don’t recall what this was about.

I’m sure it was a very important news story. Let’s go with it being a Roy Moore story. Could be a Don Siegelman story. Or a Richard Scrushy story.

I was doing a lot of work covering people destined for infamy, or worse, just then. It could have been an election piece.

One of those guys, the chief justice of the state supreme court, was removed from the bench. Two of them, a governor and a captain of industry, wound up in jail. The state’s narrowest gubernatorial election was held. The difference was something like 3,000 votes, as I recall. And there was a sublimely ridiculous mayoral race. It came down to a runoff. One candidate refused to do media interviews and she, ultimately got trounced.

I was at her watch party that night and reminded her that, if only she’d talked to us …

She ran again a few years later and did do interviews and finished a distant, distant third.

I’m looking at that 2003 mayoral field. Almost everyone in it was a mayor or a city council member (the glacial impasse between mayor and council was a big issue that election cycle) or has been convicted of something, or a combination of the three.

Good journalism. Good times.

Speaking of which …