Topical Fruit

My internal debate rages on: Should I get dressed and go outside and fill the bird feeders and take a few photos and run to the grocery store even though the wind is howling and it’s cloudy and the current temperature (27°) is steadily dropping to its eventual nadir of 0°? Probably. OK. BRB.

OK. Back.

FullSizeRender (6)The birds got fed. Look at that canning funnel getting a workout.


IMG_0740I had a cherry tomato accident in the co-op parking lot. Someone stopped to offer help. I demurred. She called my predicament “heartbreaking” and moved on. But I saved most of them, I wanted to call after her. All but two, and they were in sad shape to begin with. 


IMG_0741As I mentioned, the wind is quite something today. You can’t tell from the photo, but the clouds are hustling across the sky and the dead garden is bending and waving and getting tossed around.


“While writing, shooting, and editing are often solitary activities, great work emerges in the spaces between people… evaluations will be based not just on your efforts, but on your ability to bring excellence out of the people around you. ” – David Carr

Last night, I read more and more about the NYT‘s David Carr, who passed away Thursday. While we were in MPLS at the same time in the late 80s/early 90s and had friends in common, I didn’t know him personally or anything. Like many others, I enjoyed his work and occasionally was completely taken with some of it, especially his writing about media. Anyway, last night I ran across this short piece about a syllabus he’d developed for a class at Boston University, and the quote above just yelled at me. Absolutely hollered. That, right there, is the spirit of collaboration for me. It’s about making things – the kind of things I like to make, as it happens – and understanding that the greatest things a person can make are done when that person takes that shit seriously and does the best work they’re capable of doing… while working with and learning from others without egos getting in the way. I also love his standards for personal conduct in class, such as this:

If you don’t show up for class, you will flounder. If you show up late or unprepared, you will stick out in unpleasant ways. If you aren’t putting effort into your work, I will suggest that you might be more comfortable elsewhere.

I’m pretty damn sure that’s also good advice for plain old living life. I’m so sad he’s gone.

I have a long list of ideas for blog posts – the “topical fruit” to which I refer in the title. They’re big digs, like friends moving away, nightmares (actual ones), respect for home and the work our homes do for us, stuff like that. The importance of farmers markets, which I know I’ve mentioned wanting to write about. More. I don’t know when I’ll get to them. It seems easier right now to just describe what’s happening here at 909 and to post a bunch of open tabs, and I’m fine with that – this kind of posting has gotten me back in the habit of writing more frequently and with some semblance of my own voice. But I’m due to tackle something with a little more depth soon.

LOTSA (Lisa’s Open Tabs Saved Aggressively):

David Carr remembrance on On point Radio

Roxane Gay: Women shouldn’t have to lead like men to be successful

What Silicon Valley thinks of women (this article and the comments ENRAGE ME)

A Storified Twitter chatabout advice for young food journalists (applies to all ages)

How the Google fiber rollout went/is going in KC

That @RandomFacts person 

The leader of one of my employer’s motherships (NPR): Jarl Moen

Alien space seeds? Sounds right up my alley

Today’s corn vs corn from 9K years ago


Hi, February. I baked you a cake.


Despite my efforts, February, it appears Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow today, so this winter isn’t over yet (also confirmed by a look out the window here). However, February 2 is also that magickal day, Imbolc, where we’re about halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. The days are noticeably longer, especially at the end of the day, and a month from now, our day will be about an hour and  a half longer on both ends than it is now. THAT is exciting. Oh! And! Tomorrow night’s full moon should be spectacular if the skies clear. I love marking time by watching the sky. It’s a way for me to stay connected to the natural world, which is a lot harder for me to do now than it was 10 years ago, when I was home with the kids and the skies ruled our days; I now spend way more time in an office than I do outside, unfortunately. Thankful for windows.

Related: Today is a particularly interesting day for me at work. The meetings themselves pack a wallop just by their sheer number (and on a Monday!), but one of those meetings involves a project I’d love to work on and I hope it goes well.

This is Red Five. I’m going in.


Hey! New logo up there! What do you think?

We’re all friends here, so I’m not sure why I continue to bore you by talking about the weather, but… dang. This winter. It’s been 20 years since we’ve had consistent, Midwest winter. Twenty years! My kids have never experienced this, the kind of winter where I make all kinds of references to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter even though this winter is nothing like that winter; as far as I know, the trains are still getting through.

At any rate, I’d think the ten-day forecast was actually funny if it weren’t for the GDMF potholes in our fair cities. I wish I was kidding. Instead, I’m mad that it continues to be cold and I’m mad that there might be more snow and I’m mad that my car is suffering because of the roads. MAD. Last week we saw several inches of snow, slush raining out of the sky, a really nice warm-up that helped melt the foot of snow on the ground, a tornado watch, and an inch of rain in 30 minutes on top of all the snow. Tonight’s low temperature: Two degrees. Barf. Jim called this month “Apruary”, and I think it works for me.

There were a couple BYI radio segments in February. I talked about food in bowls here and I blabbed about making your own yogurt here. I have something else in the hopper for that first week in March (also known as next week). BYI video #1 is being edited right now; we have music thanks to my friends at Automatic Empire (thankyouthankyouthankyou). BYI #2 is scheduled to be shot next week, if it’s NOT TOO COLD. Here’s a hint as to its subject matter:


I have lots of other ideas, too… but first I need the weather to improve so we can GET OUTSIDE.