The grind ahead.

Here’s our situation so far: My editing employer, for whom I drive a giant combine four hours a day, harvesting news for the edification of our corporate clients, has asked for some extra help today. So has one of my colleagues, who has an unexpected conflict. I have agreed to both, and this morning it dawned on me what my schedule will be: 1-3 p.m., 4-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-1 a.m. From doing a variation of this one day last week, I know how I will feel by the end of it — as though my eyeballs were dipped in sulfuric acid, then pounded back into my skull with sledgehammers. This will not stop them from crossing, however. I tell fellow journalists that the closest equivalent to this job in their world is wire editor on the desk of a single-topic newspaper. Even though the topic is interesting (health care), by the end of eight hours I will have followed the news cycle from Australia to New York, and by then you don’t know if the story you found in the Sydney Morning Herald at 1 p.m. and in the Wall Street Journal 12 hours later is the same one, a significant update or maybe about the Yellow Wiggle, only written in code.

Did I mention that over the weekend, my computer, which had settled down, developed another fever? Fortunately I have Alan’s, but still.

Anyway, I did something over the weekend that I want to tell you about, but I need time to do it justice, and right now I need to sleep some more and try to dream about something other than trends in heart-disease treatment.

So let’s all wish our good friend Kirk a happy birthday and you talk about current events in the comments. Please, no college football. Last time I checked, the “Michigan was robbed” story in the Freep has 100 comments and rising rapidly. You go over there if you have something to say about that.

Posted at 9:02 am in Housekeeping |

14 responses to “The grind ahead.”

  1. alex said on December 4, 2006 at 10:22 am

    Damn those “let’s put Christ back in Christmas” people. Their little word game has now got me thinking “Turd” whenever I think of Turducken.

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  2. brian stouder said on December 4, 2006 at 10:39 am

    Hey – the plot thickened a bit on the Shine deal; reading the newspaper reporting is like working one of those word games back near the comics….

    Cluesinclude that Knuth met with Hizonner the Cheerman, and then apparently deleted several posts from his blog;

    Shine apparently got a restraining order against his wife, and a legal eviction order against her(!);

    every elected law enforcement and prosecutorial official in Allen County has done the duck-and-cover on this case, except for the ones who are actively running away from it as fast as they can!

    Missing clues: the 911 call recording, and any comment from Ms Shine

    The impression one gets (or is supposed to get) is that Ms Shine knocked lumps onto Hizzoner the Cheerman’s head…..OR that he is a much better lawyer than I thought!

    But in any case, if as NN said, this story would never have seen print a few years ago – listen carefully and you can hear the struggle to stuff the genie back into the bottle (so to speak)

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  3. Dorothy said on December 4, 2006 at 10:43 am

    Happy birthday, Kirk, and also my brother Greg, who is 58 today. How the hell did that happen!?

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  4. mary said on December 4, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    I can’t get to Flickr from my work computer, so if you email me your email address, I’ll send you some dog photos. My work email address is

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  5. Danny said on December 4, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    Happy B-day, Kirk!

    mary, in the future, you may want to write your email in longer form so that it is less easier for spammers to harvest.

    mary dot poole at providence dot org

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  6. mary said on December 4, 2006 at 2:59 pm

    It’s my work email and it’s pretty spam proof.

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  7. Dorothy said on December 4, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    Danny is one smart cookie.

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  8. mary said on December 4, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    my email address is all over a lot of sites already, so if anyone wants to send me junk, it’s very easy.

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  9. brian stouder said on December 4, 2006 at 6:20 pm

    My e-mail address is apparently in the hands of people who think I am fat and bald and that I could use a large new mortgage (cruel, but true enough I suppose), and obsessed with having a small tool of manhood (no comment)

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  10. mary said on December 4, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve training managers at this hospital how to use the software for informing HR of open positions. The managers enter the bare bones of the open job into the software, and I add “knock-out” questions like, “are you a licensed nurse,” or “do you have a criminal record.” Then for training purposes I create some fictional applicants for the managers to match up with their jobs and hire or not hire. Today I had the Bush twins both apply for nursing jobs and get turned down (underage drinking issues…) and I had Leona Helmsley apply for a surgery envirnomental tech job (cleaning the operating rooms between surgeries.) Charo applied for a job as a palliative care nurse and gave Merv Griffin as a reference.
    It passes the time.

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  11. mary said on December 4, 2006 at 7:18 pm

    I wish you had never mentioned the clown porn site. I don’t want to see it, but I’m disheartened by the knowledge it exists.

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  12. brian stouder said on December 4, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    Charo applied for a job as a palliative care nurse and gave Merv Griffin as a reference.

    That one got me laughing out loud!

    Maybe at some point you could have Brittney Spears apply for a position (so to speak) as a urological nurse, with Pee Wee Herman as a reference; or OJ could apply as a phlebotomist (but his wages would have to be garnished); or maybe Mel Gibson could apply for a job down at the chapel (might have some issues with being ecumenical, plus there’s that DUI thing) with Michael Richards as a reference.

    A few years ago, I noticed that our purchase orders never have a signature on the ‘authorized signature’ line, so I would sign Generalissimo Francisco Franco, or Amelia Earhart, etc etc. It was all great fun until we re-faxed one with Bugs Bunny’s signature, at which time the practice was retired! (come to think of it, Bugs could apply for a job with Food Services as a nutritionist, with Elmer Fudd as a reference…)

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  13. Dorothy said on December 5, 2006 at 8:55 am

    Off topic, but did anyone else discover that the real Governor of Maryland appeared in this past week’s episode of The Wire? I read the HBO synopsis yesterday, and it said the actor playing the state trooper who said “Mayor Carcetti, the Governor can see you now.” was the Gov! Cool, eh?

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  14. tom bulger said on December 5, 2006 at 11:06 am

    Dear NN,

    Do not do this job any longer than necessary. As my grandmother didn’t used to say, don’t ask Michelangelo to paint houses.

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