Category Archives: Dan Smith

The Pencil Today:


“Biggest ‘Brown-Noser’: Paul Ryan” — From the Joseph A. Craig (Janesville, Wisconsin) High School 1988 yearbook


Lake Monroe was the place to be last night at midnight.

The middle of Lake Monroe to be a bit more precise.

The Loved One and I lolled on a pontoon boat with friends, all of us craning our necks, watching nature’s spectacular light show, the Perseids meteor shower.

The Perseids

We were not at all disappointed.

We sat around in a circle, covering a 360-degree visual range, and let the streaks and flashes evoke involuntary oohs and aahs from us. It was 47 times better than a fireworks show.

At one point a massive meteor lit up the sky in the southeast, behind me. I couldn’t see the meteor’s arc myself but I saw the faces of the people facing me illuminated by its glow. Fantastic, I tell you.

Just to show you I’m not a complete religious bigot, I can understand why some might conclude after watching such a display that there must an uber-mighty fellow who put this whole shebang together just for our pleasure.

Many thanks to Hondo Thompson and his saintly bride Les for the invite. And listen to Hondo every Friday afternoon on WFHB from 1 to 3.


IU Kelley School of Business Dean Dan Smith is back in town after traipsing around the country this summer.


He’s only going to be the big man at Kelley for another couple of months. He’s been named the new prez of the Indiana University Foundation.

He raised plenty of dough for the Kelley so the U figured, hell, let’s let him raise cash for everybody.


Paul Ryan is a Roman Catholic.

Not This Jesus — The White One!

Willard’s moment of praise for his new bottom: “A faithful Catholic, Paul believes in the worth and dignity of every human life.”

What that’s code for: Ryan’s anti-abortion.


That skull found in the White River in Indy a month ago?

It’s not Lauren Speirer’s.

And the wait goes on for her mother.

In related news, some chucklehead was found in the public parking garage across Walnut Street from Kilroy’s Sports Bar where the missing IU student partied the night she disappeared. The guy was carrying two loaded semi-automatic pistols and had a loaded shotgun in the trunk of his car. He also carried a digital rangefinder, according to the IDS.


So the cops hauled him in and questioned him about Lauren Spierer. Turns out he met her once. When the cops determined he had nothing new to add to the missing person investigation, they turned him over to the psych ward at Bloomington Hospital.

The shrinks there gave him a clean bill of mental health and turned him loose within hours.


Carrying all that artillery is no crime in this state.

People, we are fked up.


How do you feel about the earthquakes that hit Iran, killing some 250 and injuring more than 2000?

And be honest with yourself.

How many American deaths in a weather-related event or some other natural catastrophe equal 250 dead Iranians?

Two? Maybe three.

Iranian People

That’s the way we think.

That’s the way people all over the world think.


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Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

I Love Charts

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

Present & CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

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Caps Off PleaseComics & fun.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Max’s PlaceKid Kazooey, children-friendly tunes; 3-5pm

Bryan ParkYoung Professionals of Bloomington mac n’cheese bakeoff, free tasting; 4-6pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Creek Dogs; 5-7pm

Bryan ParkKrista Detor outdoor concert; 6:30pm

Bear’s PlaceRyder Film Series: “The Pigeoneers”; 7pm


◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th
  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:


“Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (But who will guard the guards themselves?)” — Juvenal


So now Monroe County Auditor Amy Gerstman is facing another charge: She hasn’t been taking minutes at county meetings, as she’s required to do by state law.

This, of course, is on top of the charges that she used credit cards issued to her office for personal expenses like groceries, gifts, and even her kids’ private school tuitions. The county board voted to censure Gerstman yesterday.

The Soon-To-Be Ex-County Auditor?

Board members say Gerstman has been notably absent from board and committee meetings even though it’s her duty to record their proceedings. For her part Gerstman says she’s entitled to send a proxy to do that grunt work.

That would be fine if, say, Gerstman came down with the flu on the date of a meeting. But, if county board members are to be believed, this “flu” has lasted a long, long time.

I suppose we can’t blame Gerstman for not wanting to show her face at public meetings, considering the silly and embarrassing things she’s been doing with county dough. Admittedly, she has paid it all back but, as I cracked earlier, the bank robber who tries to return the sack of cash he took at gunpoint still is a bank robber.

Gerstman didn’t show up to work yesterday, indicating she may be contemplating doing the right thing. That’s resigning.

I mean, honestly, the woman is the auditor, for pity’s sake. Her job is to make sure the county’s money is being spent correctly. The Gerstman saga is the equivalent of learning that Sheriff Jim Kennedy runs a local crime syndicate.

And, BTW, Gerstman hasn’t been the only official who feels the county’s credit cards are really hers. Human Resources Director Rhonda Foster quit her post abruptly last week after it was learned she, too, had played fast and loose with county plastic. If not the flu, then something‘s going around the Showers Building.

The Ex-HR Chief

A regular county commissioners meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at City Hall at 9:00am. The smart move is for Gerstman to submit her resignation at the meeting and, perhaps, issue a heartfelt public apology at the same time.

We’re forgiving folks around here. We’re happy she’s paid back the money that she used for personal expenses. We hope she’s learned her lesson and will go on to thrive in the private business world.

But we know this: We don’t want Amy Gertsman watching our public funds anymore.


Yes, I realize I may be run out of town for this statement, but I’m glad somebody’s giving Indiana University a pile of cash for something other than a sports cathedral.

Kelley School of Business Dean Dan Smith and IU President Michael McRobbie are patting each other on the back for scoring a $33M grant from the Lilly Endowment for an expansion and renovation project. Kelley’s undergrad factory will gain an additional 71,000 square feet and will be decked out with all the latest hi-tech gadgets by 2015.

Excessively Straight-Backed Biz Students Watch Vid Screens In Their New Digs

That thirty-three large will be thrown in with some $27M already collected from alumni and other donors to round out the planned $60M job. The Lilly grant is the largest the Kelley has ever received as well as one of the biggest in the university’s history.

Smith says: “The new facilities will allow the school to more fully execute an experiential learning approach to business education.” I think he means the new plant will make Kelley students smarter.

Which I’ve always thought was the aim of a major university. Or even a minor one, for that matter.

See, I only arrived on the scene a couple of years ago. Native Bloomingtonians may be used to it, but I was shocked at the size and scope of IU’s sports facilities. And the area’s deep-pocketed usual suspects, like the late Bill Cook and the still-kicking John Mellencamp, seem always to be donating bread for another towering, sprawling gym or shower room.

How clean do our “student-athletes” need to be after a workout?


WFHB Music Director Jim Manion dropped by the Book Corner yesterday. He’s still crowing about his daughter Riley’s nomination to the Phi Beta Kappa Society in December.

They say pride is one of the deadly sins but when a guy is walking on air because his daughter has been named to one of the most prestigious academic societies on the planet, well, that ain’t no sin, baby.

Riley (l) And Jim Manion

The Pencil extends its warmest congrats to Riley and Jim.


Barrett Strong‘s “Money…” can be considered the granddaddy of all Motown hits. Start-up record impresario Berry Gordy, Jr. released the 45 in 1959 under his Tamla label and it became a hit in early 1960. Its success spurred Gordy to incorporate under the Motown banner that spring.

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