Friday, 27 February 2009

Spiral of the Newspapers

For those who hadn't noticed....newspapers are failing all across America. Big-name newspapers in fact. This week....the Rocky Mounain News out of Colorado finally failed. They'd been up for sale....for a long time.

Today....the annual convention of newspaper editors was canceled. Basically, they admitted that this was mostly to save money....not wanting to admit that their previous habit of renting four or five $300 rooms and taking along a newspaper entourage was a bit costly. They also didn't want to admit that the booze tab for $1,000 was likely a bit hard to explain to the stockholders.

So they save money.

It's only the second time that American Society of Newspaper Editors haven't met in recent history. The last time a year was skipped? 1945.

Next year's episode.....in Washington....is still scheduled, but they might come and admit that they just can't afford it either.

The primary issue? Well....for me....they started to focus on topics that local folks just didn't see wisdom in. They refused to focus on local interest, local news, local crime, local political figures, local issues, local business.

Journalist wannabes, claiming a certificate from major university came onto these precious pages in the 1960s and said they were "capable". For forty years, they felt the heat, and simply kept going into a spiral.

TV, radio, and internet met the papers head-on. The wannabes of journalism....simply kept their format, avoided change, and discouraged the readers from being part of the solution.

How many will fail? I'm guessing dozens will go down, and in some cases....the one and only paper in a town...even towns of 50,000....will go bankrupt.

Wednesday Evening and Thusday Morning

What some of you may not know....I'm kinda on the hunt for a new job. I kinda have to leave my present job by October of this year. So for two months...I've been looking around. There was this potential job deal down at Stuttgart....new contract...bunch of contractors to be hired....so I thought I might get in on this deal.

As I came to discover by Tuesday....there is a one-day job-fair for this deal....Thursday morning. Based on schedules....I would have to leave Wednesday night....drive down with a co-worker.....stay at the Army-run Inn (which I won't tell you which one)....and do the interview bright and early on Thursday.

My associate, who I will leave unnamed....is one of those people who need to relieve their boredom when driving by talking....constantly....for one hour and 50 minutes. Yes, it did start to get on my nerves.....just slightly. I should add, I'm the opposite....I'd rather just look out the window for the whole trip and relax.

My GPS should have gotten us near the post where the post hotel was located....but it didn't. We drove around for twenty minutes and eventually found the front gate. Then, we found the "inn". At 9PM, its run by "Uncle Larry" (my name for my host). Uncle Larry can type one letter at a time on the keyboard, and he's really not computer smart....so this fancy program that the Army runs....is a bit hectic for him.

My associate took almost twenty minutes to get registered. Then came my twenty minutes. I stood there and kindly waited. Finally, I got my card and proceeded to the room. As I entered....it was around 95 degrees....full blast with the radiator. I almost fell over. I opened the window and turn the radiator down to almost zero.

I turned on the TV to discover the sound was set for a guy who had absolute hearing trouble, and it had no remote control or ability to reset the sound. So I turned it off. Then I found the bathroom to be a work of art (for 1966). The bed? On a comfort FIRM level....this was easily push "20" on a scale of one to ten. I closed the window and felt better. So naturally, I barely slept.

Along about 1AM, I woke up and realized the temperature in the room was down to 60 degrees.
It was then that I discovered a major crack in the wall with a nice breeze from the outdoors. I turned the heat back on.....and by 0530, it was back to 90 degrees.

We had a cup of coffee compliments of the hotel in the morning and then "lost" ourselves finding the next post, where the interviews were to be.

On Patch Barracks....there is the chow hall and Burger King for places to eat breakfast. We ate at Burger King. To be honest, it was one of the worst meals I've had in a year. The amusing thing? The Burger King is in a former motor pool building. I just stood there laughing, and looking at the operation.

The interview was good on the first round, but then came the second round....it didn't go well.

So I doubt that I got anything out of the deal. I spent $59 for the hotel room....and wasted half a day of leave to do this stupid interview.

So its back to the grindstone, and putting out more resumes to GS jobs in the states. I've basically decided to give up on contracting jobs and settle for GS. In fact, this morning, my resume for a IT supervisor job in Billings, MT got moved to the second round and maybe this might be my golden chance to work for the Bureau of Land Management there.

Stressful....well...to a fair bit. I haven't played this game in a number of years, and with the economic downturn.....there is a bit of extra pressure there. I kinda like my present job, but to honest, I've been here way too long, and should move elsewhere.

So if you are ever in the Stuttgart area....in need of a post hotel....Uncle Larry is there. Sorry, I won't tell you which....but you'll know when you get there. Be kind, he is a nice old fella, as we'd say in Bama, and be patient. He will finish that Army form sooner, or later.