Category Archives: Giancarlo Nardini

That Was Then, This Is….

I got my first cell phone in the summer of 1997. At the time, I was one of the few who had one. Everybody, back then, had land lines. In fact, you weren’t even allowed to list a cell number as a contact on official documents or applications. The thinking went, if you didn’t have a land line you were either homeless or somehow deranged.

So, I’m not being Luddite here. Truth is, as far back as the mid-1980s, when I was starting out in the freelance writing racket I had the idea that there should be a teensy, battery-powered telephone that one could carry around at all times. See, I couldn’t stand the idea of sitting home all day long waiting for sources or editors to call me back. I wanted to be out and about and still able to catch important calls. I imagined that teensy phone to be something I could fit in my shirt pocket as I strolled down North Michigan Avenue, outside the Wrigley Building, on a sunny spring day.

I don’t need to tell you that my mid-’80s musing has become an early ’20s reality. Today, I know few people who still have land lines, mainly those who, shall we say, are d’un certain âge. Again, I’m not Ludd-y. Rather, I’ve been a seer, at least as far as mobile phone tech goes.

All this is preamble to an anecdote. I was bartending at Club Lago, working the lunch shift, in…, oh, I’d say the spring of 2002. The joint was packed, as always. I, of course, was behind the bar and Giancarlo, who with his brother Guido ran the place, was greeting customers at the door and seating them.

Giancarlo was always the most voluble character in any room, especially when the room was his own, literally. He had a wisecrack, a compliment, a philosophical observation for everyone who’d come in the door of his restaurant. This day, three guys, businessmen, judging by their dark suits and purposeful strides, entered Club Lago in a single file. Giancarlo asked, “How many?”

The first held up three fingers. He couldn’t talk, as he had a cell phone pressed to his ear. So did the guy behind him as well as the one behind him. Giancarlo planted his feet and put his hands on his hips. “Why,” he asked, almost dumbfounded, “are you guys together?”

The Apex of Mobile Technology, c. 2002.

Two of the three laughed. The two put their phones in their pockets. The third guy kept rambling into his device, his business clearly either that of a world renowned neurosurgeon advising another such practitioner, wrist deep in gray matter, in the nuances of microsurgery. Either that or he was a member of the US Air Force’s emergency response team and he was giving orders to a B-52 wing to cool its heels at its fail-safe point before turning it loose to incinerate a half dozen Russian cities. He hadn’t the time nor the inclination for laughter.

Anyway, I tell this story because I laughed deeply at the time and it endeared Giancarlo to me more than ever. Why, indeed were the three guys together, going out to lunch, if all they were going to be doing was yapping on the phone to three different people? It was ridiculous, right?

Only it’s de rigueur in the year 2022.

And, yeah, I’m old. But I swear to you, I’m not a Luddite. Not much, anyway.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Touch a scientist and you touch a child.” — Ray Bradbury

SAINT RONALD SPENT LIKE A DRUNKEN SAILOR

I love bits of info like this. Deep thinkers like Ted Nugent, Rush Limbaugh, and John Boehner all would have us believe Barack Obama’s the most profligate president when it comes to spending our hard-earned tax dollars.

Hah!

It really was He Who Has Been Assumed Into Heaven. And our “socialist” Commander in Chief? He’s been the tightest with a buck over the last five decades.

Lest you suspect this is misinformation from the Kremlin’s Commissar of Propaganda, it’s actually from that bastion of capitalism, Forbes Magazine (h/t to Giancarlo Nardini of Club Lago in Chicago).

Hehehe.

Of course, these are mere facts. Facts, as we know, are meaningless to the electorate of this holy land.

NAILS, 90

A contingent of Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls is gliding down to Bedford this AM to pay respects to Nails Parton.

“Nails” Parton

Early roller derby tough gal Esther Eileen Parton, nee Nail (she incorporated her maiden name into her rink moniker), died Tuesday. She pitched the elbows up and down the eastern seaboard in the late ’30s and early 40s, back when women’s roller derby resembled more a marathon race than a series of short-burst, two-minute jams.

She became the BHRGs’ elder stateswomen superfan when this town’s girl gang was just getting started. For home bouts, the Rollergirls set Nails up with her own special easy chair behind suicide seating.

Bloomington’s skaters have sent a special flower arrangement for the funeral. It’s heavy on BHRG colors, and the vase has been implanted in a vintage roller skate. BTW: Nails  and her fellow derby-ists wore wooden-wheel skates.

Delicate Flowers

Speaking of wheels, dig those gams on Eileen. I bet that dame could move.

BOOM-SHOCKALOCKA

Old Sol blew off a monster flare Thursday. Goddard Space Weather Lab geeks predict the gargantuan tongue of energy will hit the Earth today at 5:14pm, our time.

Burn, Baby, Burn

If we’re awfully lucky and the skies clear, we may be able to see an aurora display late tonight and early tomorrow morning, thanks to the flare.

Astro-nuts say the flare — AKA, a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) — erupted from a sunspot that directly faced the Earth at blast time, meaning our rock will get the full dose of solar wind, magnetic field, and an extreme ultraviolet radiation pulse when the plume hits.

(You can find a video of the CME in a separate post below this one.)

Solar flare events can interfere with our planet’s electrical grid, GPS signals, and high-frequency radio communication. This CME isn’t expected to do appreciable damage.

BTW: Don’t pay any attention to New Agers and woo-woo enthusiasts who might claim the event will affect anything other than the electromagnetic spectrum here. But you’re too smart for that anyway, aren’t you?

SUNSHINE SUPERMAN

By Donovan. It charted in late 1966 and early 1967. This vid features the album version of the song, complete with guitar solo.

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

Showers Plaza, City HallFarmers Market; 8am-1pm

Hoosier National ForestArcheological Dig open house, see excavated farmsteads of the German Ridge community; noon-4pm

Stable Studios, Spencer — Bluegrass festival 2012: The Travelin’ McCoury’s, The White Lightning Boys, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Flatland Harmony Experiment, New Old Cavalry, the Stuttering Ducks, The Seratones; 1pm-midnight

The Rumpke Mountain Boys

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterBloomington Storytelling Project, “The Shocks & Surprises,” true stories; 7pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — David Dwyer; 7-9pm — DW Brykalski; 9:30-11:30pm

◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”; 7pm

Boxcar BooksMysterious Rabbit Puppet Army production of “Donny Quixote!”; 7pm

The Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army

Brown County Playhouse, Nashville — Musical, “Footloose”; 7:30pm

◗ IU Wells-Metz TheatreMusical, “You Can’t Take It With You”; 7:30pm

Cafe DjangoJared Hall Trio; 8pm

Buskirk-Chumley TheaterFilm premier, “Found”; 8pm

◗ IU Woodburn HallRyder Film Series, “Elles”; 8pm

Mike’s Music & Dance Barn, Nashville — Mike Robertson & Smooth Country; 8pm

◗ IU Memorial UnionUB Films: “The Breakfast Club”; 8pm

The Player’s PubBelow Zero Blues Band; 8pm

The Comedy AtticChelsea Peretti; 8 & 10:30pm

◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series, “Gerhard Richter Painting”; 8:30pm

Max’s PlaceMerrie Sloan & Friends; 9pm

The BluebirdPam Thrash Retro; 9pm

The BishopSoul in the Hole: Soul/Funk dance party; 10pm

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • John D. Shearer, “I’m Too Young For This  @#!%”; through July 30th
  • Claire Swallow, ‘Memoir”; through July 28th
  • Dale Gardner, “Time Machine”; through July 28th
  • Sarah Wain, “That Takes the Cake”; through July 28th
  • Jessica Lucas & Alex Straiker, “Life Under the Lens — The Art of Microscopy”; through July 28th

◗ 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:

  • Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show; through July 21st
  • Bloomington Photography Club Annual Exhibition; July 27th through August 3rd

◗ 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 Cultures — Closed for semester break

Monroe County History Center Exhibits:

  • “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
  • Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

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