Monday, March 30, 2009

New house drawing in the works

I am working on another house drawing. This is another one in walnut ink. It’s 8x10, and it’s a charity prize (a charity drawing drawing!) There was a combination auction/raffle/spaghetti dinner at my daughters’ preschool to provide funds for new playground equipment. Is it still called playground equipment if it’s one of those big jungle-gym/slide/bridge items, or is the term “playground equipment” only used for things like kick balls and jump ropes? I don’t know. Anyway, there were lots of people who donated items for the auction, and I donated my services as a house-portraitist. A couple who lives a little farther up Highway 22 won, and I started my drawing of their house last week. I’m not far into it, but it’s going well. Next comes the shading and textures, which is more interesting than working to get all the angles right.

Kim said she noticed that the folks at WHAS dodged my question about the Chuck Mangione music, which made me realize that I didn’t complete the story. In responding to my last email, Mr. Duncan said that they probably were just too busy dealing with the ice storm to reply to my query. In fact, he said, anybody there at the station could have answered me, because it’s something that everyone there has been asked repeatedly for 30 years.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More from WHAS


And this from Mr. Duncan, the WHAS News assignment manager (man, are they on the case now!):


Thanks very much for your email....
Believe it or not, I actually have the answer to this mysterious question (because I asked it myself the very next day after we started using it about 3-4 years ago).

Believe it or not, it's supposed to be a camera lens.  That's what we were told by the folks with the company that produced the graphics package.   It was not something we produced.  Stations typically produce a package of graphics like this that are used for just about everything on their air, from newscasts to promotions, etc.

When we asked what it was they said it was depicting a camera lens rotating, etc. as it focuses, etc.   I think the whole idea was for it to just look very technological, etc.

Hope this helps....




To which I replied:


Dear Mr. Duncan,


Thanks very much for your response. Mr. Szesny also responded.  This wasn't a big deal, certainly, but I haven't seen one of your news programs in the past few weeks and not wondered what I was seeing!  Now I know.


I also wrote a couple of months ago, during the ice storm, to enquire about the music you play during school closing listings.  I wondered what the piece was.  I never heard back from anyone at your station, but my brother somehow managed to track down the information (it's Chuck Mangione's "Bellavia.")


At any rate, WHAS has been using the music at least since 1978, and it brings back fond memories of snow days from my childhood.  Please don't ever change it!




Mark Tabler

Camera lens!

This is the response from Mr. Szesny at WHAS:


"Hi Mark,

The object you're seeing is a 3D rendition of a camera lens in motion.

Thanks for watching WHAS11!



Another email to WHAS

...I hope they answer this one.  I never heard back from them about the music they use for school closings, but fortunately Kevin found the information I sought.


Dear Sir or Madam,


I have a question that has been bothering me off-and-on for several months. During the WHAS-11 newscasts, there is often a computer graphic used that depicts a rotating object.  Your station uses this frequently in the background behind the anchors, and occasionally elsewhere.  I cannot figure out what this rotating object is.  I mentioned it to my wife, and she doesn't know what it is, either.


Is this object a spinning film reel?  The wheel of a reel-to-reel tape audio recorder?  Or is it something more abstract, perhaps representing the ceaselessly turning gears of journalism?


It looks good!  I would just really like to know what it is.




Mark Tabler

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bracket finished; my championship picks!!!

I've never filled on of these out before; it was way more difficult than I expected it to be.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Maple leaf

The girls and Grandpa Len at the Maple Syrup Festival.

Garden helpers

Last weekend we planted spinach and peas.

Back in business

I received my repaired metal detector in the mail, and took it out during lunch on Monday. When I was re-assembling it I discovered that the manufacturer, Garrett, had returned it with new batteries in it. Another reason to appreciated them!

I went to Robsion Park (which, by the way, is a City of Lyndon park, and not a Metro Park) for about 25 minutes and found some old junk, a dime, and a quarter. The detector worked perfectly.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

detector returning

Here's a response I got from Garrett Metal Detectors, about 45 minutes after I sent an email to them asking if they received my metal detector, which I sent via UPS one week ago today:


Good morning Mark,


Just want to let you know that your detector has already been repaired and shipped back to you. I tracked the packaged and shows your detector should be arriving to you today by UPS. The problem they found was you had a bad coil, so they replaced the bad coil and recalibrated your detector. Let us know if you have any more trouble out of your detector.

Garrett has a good reputation for customer service, and I'm impressed with how quickly they did this.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I try to edit as I type, but I always miss at least one error until after I publish a blog update. After I read back through, I notice it. However, going back in to edit is messier and more difficult than the initial post. In the post below, I used an "a" when I should have used an "an."  So sorry.  Maybe I'll fix it sometime. Maybe I won't.


Maple Syrup Festival


The Maple Syrup Festival continues this weekend at the Sugarbush Farm in Salem, Indiana.  You might want to go. That's the reason I bring it up.  If your tastes bend toward the rustic and you like sugar from trees and don't mind the 45 minute drive, head on up; the weather this weekend will likely be much better than it was when we went last weekend, for which I would have added the adjectives "cold" and "muddy" to "rustic" when informing you of the event.


My favorite part came right after we arrived. There was a outdoor fire tended by a woman in Native American costume and a man in a pioneer trader outfit. They explained how the American Indians used maple sap and maple sugar. They had a hollowed out wooden log to act as a trough, which was full of maple sap; using wooden tongs, they pulled hot stones from the fire and dropped them into the sap, rapidly bring it to a boil. They then added some buffalo meat, cooking it.  Maple sap and maple sugar, they said, was a favorite additive to food, but salt was rarely or never used. The man used his knife to pull some of the buffalo meat from the steaming liquid and offered to share it. I, of course, had to try it, and it was pretty good.


We took the girls on a mule carriage ride, which was bumpier than I imagined. Kim's dad bought us a pancake lunch, which was delicious. He also bought us a whole gallon a maple syrup and some other treats.  We looked at a few farm animals, petted some llamas, and tried to console Jill, whose patience with the cold was draining away quickly and whose tiredness and boredom were casting a pall over my enjoyment.


It ended up being one of those things that I wanted to leave long before we actually did, but which was fun and interesting in retrospect.  You know, more fun to talk about and remember than it was to actually do. I'm glad I went and I was glad to be home. I'm also really glad to have a gallon of maple syrup.