– 30 –

I was going to post something last night, but saw my editor had this column ready to go, so I held off. To save you a click, Deadline Detroit is closing up shop on Labor Day, which means the Summer of Nance will end with a bang: Retirement, more or less.

I say “more or less” because I expect I’ll work again, somewhere. One thing about losing your job: It opens a lot of doors you might not have considered walking through. Maybe I’ll re-activate my lifeguard certification and become one of those old bags with a whistle. This sounds appealing – working part-time for an airline to cop the free-flights benefit. I always thought it might be fun to work in one of Michigan’s weed dispensaries; there has to be a book in it. There’s a labor shortage in this country. I won’t starve.

But before any of that happens, we’ll be doing more traveling – Spain, this time, mid-September to mid-October – and I’ll spend that time thinking about what I want to do next. Something election-related might be cool in the short term, because democracy ain’t gonna save itself.

Don’t worry about me. We saved our money, our house is almost paid off, I’ll be on Medicare November 1 and I still have my health, as they say. I told Allan (boss Allan, not husband Alan) that I’d stick it out until Deadline ran out of money, and I thought it would happen well before this. Truth be told, I have a spring in my step. It’s…interesting to not know what you’ll be doing January 1.

Mostly, I’m grateful that, in the last years of my career, I was able to have fun at work again, something that’s been missing since roughly the turn of the century. The News-Sentinel was like being aboard a sinking ship. Bridge was fine but Stress City. The Research Council was fine but so quiet and cloistered it could have been an insurance office. I didn’t make a lot of money at Deadline, but the stress was low and we had some good times. So I’m at peace with that.

I’ll hear your suggestions for how I should play out my string.

Speaking of democracy not saving itself, I have one piece of bloggage, and I beg you to read it: Jane Mayer’s deep dive on how state legislatures are, in the headline’s word, torching it. It concentrates on Ohio, but the same thing could be said about Michigan (although it’s looking up here), Florida and many other states. I read it and was chilled to the bone. Please do so yourself.

Now I’m going to finish one of my last DD newsletters and maybe make some calls for one more story. Later, guys.

Posted at 8:22 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

46 responses to “– 30 –”

  1. David C said on August 17, 2022 at 9:46 am

    I don’t plan on retiring for another seven years but I’m already planning for what my part-time retirement job will be. It’s not like I’m going to start playing fucking golf so I have to do something. So my dream post-retirement job is working at a bike shop. I like bike people and who better to sell late boomers and early gen-xers e-bikes than a chunky guy who still (I hope) can do a 30 mile bike ride just for the hell of it.

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  2. JMG said on August 17, 2022 at 9:48 am

    I hope you will be able to fit going into the Basque country on your visit to Spain. San Sebastian and surrounding area are super beautiful and the food is amazing.

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  3. Jessica weissman said on August 17, 2022 at 10:11 am

    Congratulations. Lots of fun possibilities. My retirement part time job, which involves doing fancy things with Excel and creating low-code applications, is the most fun I’ve had at work in a good 15 years. You’ll find something low stress and enjoyable too.

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  4. alex said on August 17, 2022 at 10:16 am

    My dad, who belabors memories a whole lot these days, was quite enchanted by his and my mom’s trips to Spain and if I do any more foreign travel it would be tops on my list, especially for the food.

    Wish I could work up the nerve to liberate myself from a job I no longer enjoy. Too bad I didn’t do it at the beginning of summer.

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  5. Bob (not Greene) said on August 17, 2022 at 10:30 am

    Man, I could retire right the fuck now if it was possible, but for many reasons, including the big ones — I don’t qualify for Medicare yet and full Social Security is 67 now — it ain’t. I turn 60 next month and for the first time in my life I am struggling with an age milestone. I did tell my boss earlier this year that August 2023 will be my 20th year in my position basically covering the beats of three communities, and I am making that anniversary a hard deadline. I’m done with that job when it the calendar hits that date. If they have another job here great, but if not I’m content to walk. I have no idea what I’d do, but being a beat reporter is a young person’s gig, and I’m worn out. My mom died late last month and we had to put our dog down earlier this week, tying a ribbon on the Summer of Suck. I’ll be damned if I’m going to work until I keel over. Life is too damn short.

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  6. basset said on August 17, 2022 at 10:34 am

    I’ve enjoyed part-time post-retirement work as a practice patient at one of our local medical schools – I play a character with some ailment or issue and students diagnose, advise, discuss, whatever. Got to be the active shooter in a safety training session last week, that was interesting.

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  7. Deborah said on August 17, 2022 at 10:43 am

    As I’ve said here a million times, I love retirement. Doing things on my own timeline is the best. I’ve done a few design projects here and there, a big one is coming up. Those can be done remotely, living in 2 states makes it hard to have a regular part time job or even volunteering.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on August 17, 2022 at 11:08 am

    Oh my. When I saw The End, I thought it was about Liz Cheney. I’m sorry you didn’t get to retire on your own terms, and sorry Detroit is losing another journalistic voice.

    I’m not sure I’m actually retired since I’m helping Mom a lot, but I do enjoy staying in bed late, swimming whenever I want, and not waiting for weekends to go have fun. D seems busier than ever with church work and extended family stuff and of course this aging home. So far neither of us has thought about a part-time job.

    His niece has been writing a book for the last five years, and he’s helped her through the last stages, along with marketing tips. Our copy came in the mail yesterday, and I look forward to sharing more when appropriate.

    So, do we think Cheney has a chance of defeating Trump in the Presidential primaries? I have my doubts.

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  9. Aaron Foley said on August 17, 2022 at 11:12 am

    Coming from experience of announcing a career change and being questioned about it on the same day, but…might you have a moment during this sudden retirement to explain why your series of tweets here was deleted? https://twitter.com/aaronkfoley/status/1123682433352830978

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    • nancy said on August 17, 2022 at 11:26 am

      I don’t know, but I was messing around with a tweet deleter a while back, and that might have cleaned them out. Glad to know you’re still nursing old grudges; makes me feel less alone in the world.

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  10. Deborah said on August 17, 2022 at 11:50 am

    I don’t like to comment on people’s looks… who am I kidding I do it all the time, but Harriet Hageman is scary looking and she’s a kook to boot, a dangerous one. Does the democrat running against her have any chance at all? Oh wait, it’s Wyoming, never mind.

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  11. Heather said on August 17, 2022 at 11:52 am

    Wishing you all the best, Nancy. Sounds like you have a great attitude. A friend of mine retired recently–she’s around my age but was a C-suite HR exec for years, no kids. Hope I’ll get to to do it by the time I’m 65, but who knows.

    If you need tips for Andalucia/Sevilla, hit me up! I was there a few years ago. And I’m your girl if you decide to go to Lisbon.

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  12. JodiP said on August 17, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    I try not to focus on retirement–it’s 5 years out and every day I would rather not be working. So, I have to focus on what is wonderful abut my life and that I have a good job with good people.

    Today that includes being in a good leadership training, hosting a gathering for master gardeners, and continuing to learn a little Dutch before our trip to the Netherlands late September.

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  13. lynn said on August 17, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    Do research project with Lynn on Werner Spitz bio.

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  14. Brandon said on August 17, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    By the time you go to Spain, the Metaverse might be up and running, then you see how its Europe compares to actual Europe.

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  15. Suzanne said on August 17, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    My and my husband’s retirements have been thrown into chaos with my leukemia diagnosis. I haven’t worked for months but I am not officially retired yet. My husband put his retirement off for a year to keep our insurance in tact since I am not old enough for Medicare yet.
    So, at this point, I want to live long enough to retire and do some fun things! And sign up for Medicare!

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  16. Mark P said on August 17, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    I’m 72 and have been retired for I’m not sure how long. I was an independent contractor (“consultant”) since around 1996, and had been easing out for a while. One day I just told my bosses I wouldn’t be coming in any more. I had worked with them for a long time, and they knew I wasn’t happy working any more. After I retired I have done a specific task I created that is unclassified and can be done at home a few times a year. It was associated with Army missile defense flight testing, and I think they believe they don’t need to test any more. It’s been nearly a year since I heard from them. That’s no big deal, but it was nice to get a couple of thousand extra a year.

    I had hoped to do some traveling after I retired, but my wife doesn’t want to, and I can no longer leave her at home by herself. At least now I can forget what day it is without worrying about missing work. Oh, I forgot. I can’t forget what day it is for fear of missing one of my wife’s doctor appointments, or one of my own. Damned knees. Damned shoulders. Damned lungs. Damned spine. I think that about takes care of it.

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  17. Icarus said on August 17, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    I’m 53. Been looking for FTE since July 2020. Had a contract job from Oct 21 – May 22. Since July 2020 have had a myriad of interviews that went from “I’m sure they’re hiring me” to “OMG WTF was that!”

    I have no desire to work until the maximum retirement age because you might die the next day. But even though we are good savers and in decent financial shape, I don’t want to retire this early either.

    tl;dr: if you have the means, retire now. Otherwise, aggressively save and invest so that you can retire sooner than later. Your body will betray in a heartbeat.

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  18. David C said on August 17, 2022 at 6:01 pm

    My plan is to work until I’m 70. I like what I do so why not. We’ve been single income for most of our married life so saving wasn’t always so easy. I’m catching up now. If I have a short or no retirement at least I’ll know my wife will be able to take care of herself. Nobody knows what’s going to happen anyway. My wife’s brother in law retired at 58 from a job with the city. He had a good pension and health benefits until they yanked retirement health insurance. He thought that was so unfair. A promise is a promise after all except a Supreme Court with Justices from Presidents he voted for said no a promise isn’t a promise when it comes to promised health benefits. So he had to buy his own health insurance and he couldn’t live the RV hobo life he wanted to and had to go back to work until Medicare kicked in. Then he couldn’t afford the RV for the RV hobo life. They’re fine and healthy but they didn’t get the retirement they wanted. They probably could have had it if he had waited until he was 65.

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  19. Deborah said on August 17, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    I’m very happy about the hearing aid part of the new bill that was signed into law. My hearing has been slowly getting worse, I looked into costs about a year ago and yowza, expensive. I don’t think I’m quite there yet to need it. But if I was still working I would get the hearing aids now for sure. LB will tell you that both my husband and I are past due. We have friends in their 80s who have them and they still say “what?” a lot. We’re in our early 70s.

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  20. Susan Gillie said on August 17, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    I retired I 2016. Went to Paris and some other places in 2017. Had what I thought was an infected tooth, turned out to be lymphoma. Went through treatment, plus after affects and decided I needed to learn and do something new.
    So, three days a week, I work with cognitively disabled adults (great job). Irony is that’s what I wanted to do when I went to college, but one semester of education courses and I said, “Skedaddle.”

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  21. Mark P said on August 17, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    My father retired in 1974 at age 57. He had Post Office and Army retirement because he stayed in the Reserves for a long time after WW II, and went out a Lt Col. His retirement income was probably four times what I made as a reporter at the good, old Augusta Chronicle. He took a reduction in his retirement pay so that my mother could draw part of it after he died. That was good, because she outlived him by 13 years and her only income would have been a small social security check and $86 a month from her 20 years at Celanese. My father didn’t get SS as a postal employee. As it was my mother had about $30K a year, plus a paid-off house.

    They traveled by RV a couple of months every year from around 1975 to around 1998. I so wanted to do that myself.

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  22. Deborah said on August 17, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    We have some friends in Chicago in their late 70s who do the RV touring thing a couple of months out of each year. Their RV isn’t one of those giant things but has a shower and toilet plus enough kitchen area to do some cooking and cleaning up and of course a sleeping area. They love it and have taken some fabulous trips. But we don’t really have any desire to do that because driving a vehicle larger than an SUV seems too unpleasant. Maybe if we had a driver… dream on.

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  23. Jason T. said on August 17, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    With apologies to John Donne: Any journalism’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in journalism. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

    You, and Deadline Detroit, did great work. This is a loss.

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  24. Mark P said on August 17, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    My parents started with an Airstream trailer before they became the rich person’s plaything they are today. They had others but that was always their favorite.

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  25. Dexter Friend said on August 18, 2022 at 12:03 am

    The days, weeks, months, turned into years then decades as I counted down the time until I had achieved 30 years of seniority and could walk out the factory door and drive out the big gate forever. Hell, a few men I had run into at bars over here in Ohio only had to garner 25 years service time at the GM foundry in Defiance; one man I met at an apple orchard had just retired for good at age 43. This was the goal of UAW workers; in my case, we who started in the early 1970s. Banking on getting 30 years was risky as hell, witness the International Harvester Fort Wayne shut-down in the early 1980s. GM workers chasing the pension were labelled “GM gypsies” as they traveled the country working for a while before the inevitable next lay-off.
    When my sojourn was complete, the company told me I was short 3 years, what the hell was I trying to prove? I had actually saved enough old pay stubs to prove I had the time in, not losing any to lay-offs, and I was awarded my pension. From my age of 53 until age 62, I received a small company pension and an early retirement check every month to make up the difference as to what an age 62 Social Security recipient got. I had to go on SS at age 62 then, and the supplemental check ceased immediately. Then things went bad and badly, too. My medical insurance just went to hell, paying hardly anything, just as Carla Lee’s health went into steep decline. These were the hell-years as I entered credit card danger. When we hit 65, Medicare helped. I began paying off the goddam cards and now am above water, nicely, for me anyway.
    So, yeah , my “class” of 2002 retirees yakked incessantly about our retirement jobs. I even had a job lined up doing what I had been doing, forklift driver. One day Jim B. told me “…everybody’s going to go work another job, ya know what I’m gonna do? Huh? Nothing, not a goddamned thing, that’s what.” He went on to say he did have a re-modeling of his bathroom ahead of him, then it was just doing whatever the fuck he wanted to do until he keeled over.Amen. And me? Never did a lick of work since 2002. Just constantly fucking off watching sunrises with my Contigo coffee mug in one hand and my dog leash in the other.

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  26. candlepick said on August 18, 2022 at 12:09 am

    What Jason T. said.

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  27. jerry said on August 18, 2022 at 2:35 am

    My cousin really didn’t care for his job. Finally age 60 in December he persuaded his employer he should be allowed early retirement from the following Easter. He died in February. Very sad.

    He was unmarried and in his will left everything to the church. Unfortunately he had a serious falling out with the pastor some two years before his death but never changed his will. When I contacted the church the pastor didn’t even remember him!

    So two morals for me: get your retirement in when you can and keep your will up to date.

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  28. Dorothy said on August 18, 2022 at 8:48 am

    Was the original title of this post “The End” (reference Julie at comment #8) and then you changed it to “-30-“? If so I’m feeling dumb cuz I cannot figure out what the 30 means…

    Also I’m kind of clueless about what Aaron Foley was talking about, nonetheless I enjoyed your response to him. Turns out you don’t have to be fully clued into conversations to laugh or at least be amused by someone’s answer!

    Retirement to me so far has been pretty smooth and unremarkable. I spend time sewing, knitting, reading, walking the dog, walking myself, going to the library, watching the grandkids sometimes, enjoying some Netflix, etc. programs. Coming up I’ll be training to be an election poll worker and we have three trips (wedding in upstate NY in September, Disney in October, QuiltCon in February). So it’s not a bad deal. Some days drag a little bit but not so much that I’m clawing my skin off my face or anything.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on August 18, 2022 at 9:30 am

    Dorothy, it’s an old journalism symbol signifying the end. My dad taught me to use it for press releases way back when.

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  30. Deborah said on August 18, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Some days drag a little for me too, but I can always find something to do or a place to go, like a drive up into the mountains, which is heavenly. When I’m in Chicago and it starts to get boring I go to one of the museums, or window shopping on Michigan Ave.

    Thanks for clearing up what -30- meant, I couldn’t figure it out either. Question: why does -30- mean the end?

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  31. Dave said on August 18, 2022 at 10:26 am

    Retirement came at 60, one qualifies for full retirement at age 60 and thirty years service, I had over 39 altogether. We’ve had a lovely retirement since then, for the most part, coming up on twelve years now. We’ve only been out of the country once but we’ve been able to do pretty much whatever we wanted when we wanted. We tried Florida for six years but realized one day we were missing too much with our grandchildren and we never really found Florida all that attractive, it was put up with six or eight months of miserable heat for those nice Februarys. From mid-December through mid-January, what passes for Florida winter wasn’t all that nice. Oh, and some of the outrageous costs in Florida, house insurance went up and up and continues to go up and car insurance is double, so we did something I once thought we’d never do and returned to Indiana, not Fort Wayne but central Indiana, north of Indy. Despicable politicians in Florida, despicable politicians here.

    Even if I have one of those days I do nothing, it’s far better than having to report to work.

    I knew what -30- meant but I’ve no idea how I happened to know that.

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  32. Icarus said on August 18, 2022 at 10:41 am


    This is what Uncle Google told me


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  33. nancy said on August 18, 2022 at 11:27 am

    I don’t know why -30- means “the end,” other than it is rooted in that era of mystery, Ye Olde Linotype Days. It had been over for some years when I entered the biz, but the elders remembered it. The over-staffed composing room in Columbus was over-staffed mainly because they had a decent union, and they’d all been typesetters back in the day. The company was waiting them out and letting their numbers drop, one fatal heart attack and retirement at a time. A lot of linotype lore is based in one credo: The Fewer The Characters, The Better, and one has four and the other seven, so. (That’s why UPI style (mis)spelled words like “employe” and “cigaret.”)

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  34. tajalli said on August 18, 2022 at 12:37 pm

    Deborah@30 regarding -30-:

    I put your question directly into Uncle Google’s ear and came up with an entire article on it. It originates from the 1890’s telegraph code (92 numbered commands) and #30 was where “the end [of transmission]” was placed. The codes were placed between dashes and designed to reduce the amount of letters needed to get a message across. In turn, I suspect this was the origin of the expression “telegraphing” for shortening any information, such as “telegraphing a look across the room.”


    Here’s a listing of these codes. Maybe we can start a fad and use these when texting.


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  35. tajalli said on August 18, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    Okay, here’s the listing for all 92 codes, to really go down the rabbit hole of stress-free minutiae. That way we can set our brains to -25- so we can’t think of any awful stuff or sign off with Sheldon Cooper’s favorite number -73- (born in 1973 and also a train/code afficianado).


    Edit: I’d written an earlier post but it somehow got deleted. ?? Here’s the clue I started out with. https://altitudemarketing.com/blog/why-press-releases-end-with-30/

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  36. tajalli said on August 18, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    Or sign off with -88- if it’s a friend. I’ve written 2 earlier posts with interesting links but each has been deleted and replaced by the following one, including this one.

    The first post’s link https://altitudemarketing.com/blog/why-press-releases-end-with-30/

    The second post’s link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire_signal

    -73- as Sheldon Cooper might say, being a huge fan of trains and codes.

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  37. jcburns said on August 18, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    tajalli, as you (may be able to) see, all your posts are there.

    Which is just fine!!

    Y’all need to have faith in your browser (which caches stuff sometimes) and don’t assume what you’re seeing is what everyone is seeing.

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  38. tajalli said on August 18, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    JC, The Buddhists have a saying, “As a thing is viewed, so it appears,”* as commentary on how one’s mindset informs how one filters data for input and how one interprets that filtered data.

    Nancy said my posts were in the pending folder as suspicious, so only The Shadow knows for sure.

    I cleared the cache of my browser before submitting the 3rd post to make sure the page was capable of refreshing properly. Algorithms happen. The Church of the Great Browser is full of more bugs than an British Museum’s entomology department.

    *The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation or The Method of Realizing Nirvana through Knowing the Mind, edited by W.Y. Evans-Wentz with commentary by C.G. Jung, 1954, Oxford University Press.

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  39. jcburns said on August 18, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    As I’m sure Buddha would say, DO NOT WORRY if your comments do not show up. Don’t email Nancy, or me. Just breathe. Go look at the sky. Relax.

    And “clearing the cache” is not what you think it is, often.

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  40. susan said on August 18, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    tajalli – I have learned if you put more than one http link in a comment, it goes to a holding pattern/pending/remission(?). Thus, if I have a comment where I want to include more than one link, I turn it into multiple comments with one link each.

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  41. Icarus said on August 18, 2022 at 4:58 pm

    So not to threadjack on Nancy’s post, but I blogged at ChicagoNow since 2012, although haven’t really published much since Boris and Natasha were born. Anyway, the Powers-That-Be at the Chicago Tribune closed the site down today.

    No one communicated anything to us either by email or on our Facebook Group. We knew it was coming when our last community manager resigned at the end of June and said we’d heard something in a few days.

    Some bloggers continued to post even though the Front Page (landing page, home page whatever term you prefer) wasn’t updating. A few bloggers wrote goodbye posts that apparently caught the higher-ups’ attention because those were taken down.

    It’s a kinda crappy the way they chose to go about it. Some of those blogs brought in large audiences which I’m sure led to decent passive revenue. I suspect our site didn’t cost them much especially once they cut the monetary rewards for Best Post and Best Gallery (which I won a few times).

    No skin off my nose as I wasn’t one of the paid talents (they use to pay some of the heavy hitters but stopped that years ago and the heavy hitters went elsewhere). But I was hoping to post a Last Post on my blogoversary in October and was also hoping to link to a podcast I might be on; the ChicagoNow traffic would have helped.

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  42. Deborah said on August 18, 2022 at 4:58 pm

    I love learning arcane things like -30-. We call those kind of things “little known facts for Catholics”. I have a friend who was raised Catholic and her family got a
    newsletter that had that as a regular column.

    Our windows are being replaced right now and they may even be finished by the end of the day. Tomorrow they will be done with all of the units in the building. We had to move everything 3 feet away from our windows this morning and take down the blinds. Although we paid extra for the blinds to be taken down and put back up. Aggravating. But the guys are doing a good job otherwise.

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  43. tajalli said on August 18, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks, susan, for sharing your experience; I’ve heard other folks mention that they were unable to post comments with more than one link.

    I have on several occasions successfully shared comments with two links; they showed up immediately in the feed and stayed up, perhaps because of the extra spacing I take care to place around them, so a formatting issue ?? – still gathering data on how the site software performs.

    Today, the posts were found to be sequestered for administrative review, not a browser or cache issue with my computer at all.

    It’s possible that I may have tripped Word Press’s “suspicious comment” algorithm by posting several comments containing multiple links in rapid succession – a spam-like behavior.

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  44. nancy said on August 18, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    John, Tajalli’s comments were indeed in moderation. Lately WP hasn’t been telling me they’re there, however. I should check the dashboard more often. Today was a busy-ish day, though.

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  45. jcburns said on August 18, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Or just get to it when you can, and hope that your writers are patient.

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