May 22

To make up for previous long posts, this one is just 200 words

I’ve been trying for three days to get the next bike ride in. So, needing the content and having been cheated out of bike photographs, I stood on the porch, and in the rain and in the driveway, and did …

… that.

Not as good as a bike ride. But the grass is nice and green!

I also updated the images on the front page. You’ll want to check those out; there are a dozen amazing new shots to enjoy. (See all 12! Then let them recycle and count each one, to make sure you’ve seen all 12!)

Otherwise, I’m just explaining things to the cats.

I should have shared the weather radio one, too. But that would have just read like crazy talk.

More tomorrow. Until then, did you know that Phoebe and Poseidon have an Instagram account? Phoebe and Poe have an Instagram account. And don’t forget my Instagram. Leep up with me on Twitter, too.

Apr 22

A stroll down memory lane, and some basic site stuff

I changed a visual element of my website today. This is the first time it has been changed in 15 years, which is an unreasonable amount of time. It’s a front-end thing, and you’ll never notice it. No one will even be aware that this particular thing has changed. But, if you look at the top of the page, or the tab you’re reading here, you might figure it out.

Tomorrow I have to start looking at viewership data at the office, so this evening I examined some of my own YouTube metrics. There’s a wealth of information in the analytics dashboard these days. You could go blind and silly trying to put all of it into some sort of coherent explanation. None of it makes sense.

All of it makes sense. How it is reflective of user habits makes very little sense. Let us, for example, consider a few videos and a key metric, the average percent viewed. The scope covers the month of April.

(And, before we dive in, I must say: If you press play on any of these videos, watch them to the end, or you might throw off the whole analysis, or at least the space-time continuum.

This video is from 2017. It is Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of the mainland of Great Britain. (The most northern Scottish isle is still some 170 miles farther on.)

Scapa Flow – a prime naval base region for the British and the final resting place of much of Germany’s WW1 high seas fleet – is out there in the distance. Today petroleum, tourism and diving are big. Here, you are asked to imagine standing watch, like the British boys of the 1930s and 1940s did.

The people that have watched that this month have watched an average of 92.1 percent of the video.

This is a video last fall from The Yankee recovering from her first popliteal artery entrapment surgery.

It’s a seemingly rare problem, involving compression of one of the arteries in the leg because of muscle development. A week before that video she limped back into the house after the procedure at the Cleveland Clinic. Every day was a bit more walking. She started rehab on that leg a week later. (Last month she had surgery on the other leg. Today she went out for her second post-op run. We had our first bike ride last weekend.)

The people that have watched that this month have watched an average of 94.9 percent of the video.

This video is from May of 2018. I’d gone on a walk and saw these geese flying toward me from some ways off. I had just enough time to fumble for my phone.

This one has an average percentage viewed rate of 96.8.

Ahh, our old friend, the Short Film of No Consequence series makes an appearance. This is from a candy store in Savannah. I shot, and edited this, in the store, in January 2016, and I hope all of those delicious treats found happy homes.

Viewers here have watched an average of 97.5 percent of the video this month.

In the summer of 2017 we visited Scotland. Ceannabeinne Beach, in Durness, is known as the beach of the burn of bereavement and death. The story goes that an elderly women fell and drowned in the burn here and her body was later washed down to the shore. There are ruins of a small fire here, but like all of the other locals, the tenants were forced out in 1842 for sheep farming. Just off the coast there’s a small island, Eilean Hoan, or the burial island. It once was prime grazing land and home to four families, until the Clearances. Now the island is a national nature reserve.

That beautiful scenery has earned a 99.1 percent video view.

Let’s goo to another beautiful part of Scotland. These are a few extra bits from an afternoon walking around Torridon.

I can brag about this one having a 99.7 percent viewed rate this month.

(You can see why on these. All of Scotland is stunning.)

This one feels like a cheat. It’s an eight-second clip. But it got a perfect 100 percent on the ol’ view-o-meter.

We’d just returned from a red-eye flight across two-thirds of the country. And I thought that would mean a nap. For most people it would mean a nap. For me, it meant going on a really hard bike ride. It was great.

Which brings us to this video, which I shot late last summer in Alabama.

It is presently enjoying 179.1 percent, meaning people are watching it almost twice.

Which means you have to watch it almost twice, to keep the numbers consistent.

The most viewed video this month? This 2017 flooding footage.

One other analytical note which, also doesn’t matter, but my site, for reasons that escape me, this month hit 4.6 million views.

Thanks for clicking the refresh button so often, everyone!

Apr 22

So close to spring you can hallucinate it on the shrubs and trees

Green things! I saw this on our Saturday walk. All of this started budding three weeks ago, but it’s been gray and damp and chilly for most of that time, and so the growth, and the various blooming of the trees, has gone largely unnoticed. Which is a shame, because the springtime explosion here is usually worth seeing. But so is this, up to and beyond the point where it feels rote. And, after this year, that seems a long way off, meaning we can marvel for some time. Green things!

It got cold again on Sunday. Who knows when spring will finally show up for good. Probably by next fall, at this rate.

Of course, my hypothesis is that spring always shows up here just in time for the Little 500 bike races, which are next weekend. So there’s hope, I guess.

Because it was cold on Sunday I spent most of the afternoon being sat upon by one cat or the other. And they are over the chilly temperatures, too.

And so let’s check on the kitties, who are the most popular feature on this site. Also, we haven’t shared them here in about three weeks. So we’re overdue.

Here’s Phoebe, cuddling for warmth.

And, a few days ago, she was trying to soak up some sunshine.

Poseidon, god of water, sub-deity of fuzzy blankets.

He’s angling for a promotion.

Oh, one more thing I did this weekend. I started building a photo gallery of photos from our most recent dive trip. I’m hoping to tweak the style a bit, going forward, but in case you somehow missed a few, you can see all 130 photos I’ve published, right here.

Click on any of the thumbnails there to see the larger photo. Click it again to see all the thumbnails.

And, for no greater reason than that I like it, here’s the bottom of the dive boat.

Gotta get back to that view soon.

Apr 22

Hours of video, 10 more photos from the bottom of the ocean

And how was your weekend? Cold and gray Saturday here, sat on the porch and enjoyed the warm of a brilliant Sunday. Took a nice walk. A low-key stretch by all accounts.

More improv comedy from a live production on Saturday night. This should go right to where it starts, but if it doesn’t, scrub your way over to 12:48 to see all the funny stuff begin.

And if you’re not in the mood for young comedy — and how could that even be a possibility? — let’s have some sports talk with another fun episode of the B-Town Breakdown.

And here’s a package on a historic moment in this year’s Little 500.

I hope they did a version in Thai, too.

Let’s look at some more stuff under the sea! This is some sort of pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus), I think.

Here’s another juvenile stoplight parrotfish (Sparisoma viride) hanging out with some beautiful branch coral.

This is a good place to mention that I updated the front page of the site this weekend. There are now a lot more cool images rotating through. Some of them you might find familiar from recent days here. I have a lot of really nice ones there, so we’ll be able to keep that fresh for some time. Check back often, as they say. (But keep scrolling for now.)

There’s a barracuda just hanging out under this rock. I got to within probably three or four feet of him. He was unfazed by the attention.

I’m not sure what’s prettier here, the color of the ocean, the coral or the the queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris). This species, it is believed, communicates through temporary changes in color. Also, the juvenile fish are a different color. You thought you had difficulty reaching teenagers!

Always look in the vase coral. You never know what you’ll find inside. Like this lobster!

This is a moody picture, isn’t it? There must have been some passing clouds in front of the sun as I passed by this setting.

The light changes everything. You might think this is a lonely or spooky feeling, but you’d be mistaken.

There’s all sorts of interesting things to see and critters to meet, after all.

And if the fish and all of their natural wonders aren’t enough, you also have your dive buddy.

Best fish in the sea!

That is, by the by, the 100th photo I’ve published from the Cozumel dive series. And, if you’re wondering, I can probably get two more days out of this. So stick around!

Jan 22

We return to television

This was the view the first thing this morning, as I walked into the building thinking of the to do list of seven big items that needed attention today. These were the seven things that needed to be done, around all of the small things that sneak into your day and chip away at your time and attention. Somehow, those seven things became a list of 10 things.

I managed to get eight of those things done over the course of the day, and pronounced that a win as I headed into the studio this evening.

That’s a sports show, because it’s Wednesday. All of their shows will be uploaded later this week. I’ll be sure to share them here.

Meanwhile, here’s a show the news division shot last night. They got everything in they’d planned, and they ended on time. Now we’ll start adding extra things back in.

I’ve learned a few things working with student media over the last 14 years. One of them is this. Resets are fun — they haven’t been in the studio since December, and they’ve changed directors, too — but building on momentum is an encouraging sign of the program’s health. I’m proud of them for that.

Patron saint of IU journalism, Ernie Pyle, would be proud of them too. He told me tonight that I can’t complain about the long hours — a 10-hour day, today, after yesterday’s 11-hour day — because he’s on deadline and, as you can see, Ernie is still banging keys on his Corona.

He’ll be there when I go in gray and early tomorrow, too. Because he’s a statue.

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

It is difficult to make this suit work.

But I occasionally do enjoy trying.

I’ve lately realized this is a silly feature, and it’s going away, but not today. I’m going to end on a strong one.