Tuesday, July 30, 2019

    • Tonight I served as a safety pilot for Jack, a fellow instrument student. The role of the safety pilot is to be the eyes and ears of the pilot while he or she is flying under the hood and monitor the overall safety of the flight. It was nice to sit in the right seat for a change. Unfortunately, just prior to receiving our takeoff clearance our attitude indicator failed and the suction gauge revealed a vacuum failure. After a quick discussion, we decided to return to the ramp and fly another day.
    • Really enjoyed Caveh Zahedi’s short video about his encounters with Bob Dylan. Watch Bob Dylan Hates Me.

The Card Shop

In the late 1980s, around the ages of 10 or 11, I took refuge in a small sports memorabilia shop called the Upper Deck that was located in an upstairs corner of a dying neighborhood mall in Urbana. It was owned by Jay and Linda, a young couple who would rock their newborn baby while watching baseball on a small television. I gazed into racks of autographed baseballs and cases of bluechip cards. My imagination would get lost in large portraits of DiMaggio, Mantle and Mays. Being at the Upper Deck made me feel less lonely, less anxious.

The card shop had its own language: Donruss. Topps. Bowman. Fleer. Beckett. Griffey. Ripken. Canseco. It’s all still there in the recesses of my mind. All quickly accessible. I still chase the memory of the Upper Deck. A wall in my media room has the holy trinity –– Mantle, Williams, Dimaggio –– all three signed perfectly in rich, blue ink and forensically examined and authenticated. I can still get lost in those portraits, and when I stare into them I can feel that old card shop.

The One About the Award

Michael Castellon Accepts NAGC Award

In June I traveled to Washington, D.C. to accept an award from the National Association of Government Communicators on behalf of dozens or more of talented people who helped produce our economic analysis of Hurricane Harvey.

Chris O’Neil, chief of media relations for the NTSB, presented the award. NAGC is a fantastic organization, and I can’t recommend their events enough.