Monday, August 18, 2008

Yesterday's News

OK, the Sunday Morning show has ended with cow pie toss and waterfalls and cowboy clothes, the 10 mile ride is complete, and a trip to Kroger for p-towels, tomato, and onion. Now its time to put on some strange music called “There Will Be Cobwebs Spun Back and Forth in The Sky” (very appropriate for my little room covered in webs).

Now let’s see what’s in our newspaper ( I say “our” since I have worked there almost 38 years). * Note: Remember I read the newspaper backwards.

First the “Real Estate” section. Sometimes called the “Find” section, used to be called “Classifieds”. Let’s take a look at real estate in Zone 20 (my neighborhood). Holy Crap.
$300,000.00 - $700,000.00! Who are they kidding. *Note: “Casino” by Tommi Eckart is an excellent bike riding song. The pace is right.
Next look at the Musical listings, in hope of finding a treasure. Nope. Same old people trying to dump pianos. Already had two of those.
Jobs listings. Don’t know what I would look for. Art, Science, Technology? There is a much younger market out there. Hope I don’t need to find out. A few more years, give me a few more years.

Moving onto “Commentary” or the old Editorial section. This is where the newspaper gives “it’s” opinion. Story about how the Richmond Braves are leaving town so we don’t have to move the Diamond ball park. Russia’s global misery problem. This could go very bad, very quickly. Flip to the back and read how a proud papa is to see their offspring grab that sheepskin. Toss up election? Fighting poverty (how long have we talked about that Prez. Johnson?), The Money Pinch reviving the thought of “NO” from depression years. Using the term “Retard” for “special needs” people. (My first wife’s brother had down syndrome and whether it was the drugs or what, there is a lot of communication going on in that mind). Offshore drilling? What will we do when it runs dry? Paying for the “Bail Out”. How can we prop up the ever declining budget?

Now turn to “Celebrations” section. This is a new section. Or a remake of part of the Flair section. It’s focus is the positive uplifting things in life that are worth celebrating.
As I turn to the back page I see a full page color filler. That cost us a pretty penny to advertise the Richmond Chic ad, Although it was not created in our department the artwork is good and it promotes the online dot com business, which is where the newspapers are going. Weddings and engagements. Lot’s of smiling faces. Run, I tell you. It’s not going to be what you think. And very few advertisements. Ads pay for sections and this is a early printing full color 8 page sections. Who’s paying for this??

Move on to the real meat and potatoes section: Flair. Life + Leisure section is what it calls itself. Turn to the back and the Travel directory. Tiny little ads promoting Timeshares, Rappahannock cruise, Kimarnock Inn and Wintergreen. I don’t travel much so I turn the page, which has already been edited. I’m caught by a Travel page with James town parade and a photo by Dean Hoffmeyer of a recreation of a Civil War
calvary ride featuring General R.E. Lee. It looks like a painting. The dept. of field.
Puzzles and movies listing. Funny story about the bust of Tommy Chong over selling bongs. More puzzles and television listings. Hand me down clothes and Bruce Springsteen coming to town (Wasn’t he just here this spring?). The Richmond Chic page with shoes, tables, flowers, handbags, and cellos. Is that a vampire in the Inspiring Self-Expression ad with the small type dropped out of full color and bad registration so you can not read it. Greek yogurt and high body-age number. All very motivational. Can
you touch your toes from a sitting position? Wine your way through VA and 14 ways to end your summer. OK that’s done. Oops, almost forgot, as it falls to the floor, the “Books and Authors” flysheet. That’s what newspapers call a single page section. Nothing catches my eye. Already reading the #1 nonfiction book.

Ah “Business”! This should be fun. Advise on selling and holding annuities, stocks, frequent flier miles, and mutual funds. You got to be rich for this to be important to you, and I’m not. Bartering! Wow. Now that is something I’m into. No money changes hands, just a fair trade for services rendered. Works for me. NimrodStudios believes in this method of payment. Menu design for a restaurant in exchange for a couple of meals.
“Sports” and the Phelps phenomenon.... then it’s basball, soccer, football, scores, more baseball, olympics, nascar, golf, more football and ending with little league baseball.
And there you have it.

“Metro & State” section. The local stuff. Old car fans, and the “Down Home Family” reunion festival with celebrates traditions and black heritage. Remember Richmond is over 60% African Amercian. “Remembering” the new term for the obituaries, death notices and in memoriams. Shiver. That’s creepy stuff. Two full pages of dead people.
Stories of a dead librarian, woman killed in a crash in King & Queen county, new water meter system, Fort Lee construction and Hanover park upgrades. Obama to visit Martinsville, task force in Henry county looking for clue in murder of girl and parents, run to pay tribute to American’s fallen soldiers, Longwood student honored for rushing into a burning building, and school officials working on security crises. And the cover story?
Teen’s shooting still unsolved. So what’s new. And a commentary about the ever increasing departure of city officials. Run for cover. Meanwhile Johnny Cash is singing
“Purple Haze”.

Ah the A-section. The main news. The front page covered in Phelps, banks cut back home equity credit lines (duh), Russina digs in Georgia, Murder for hire (why hire someone? It’s easy. Just do it as the saying goes. The big problem is what to to with the body. Leave it there for someone else to clean up? Take it with you? A dead body is much heavier than you think. Dig a hole and drop it in. Remember the body will take up some of the space so there will be a mound. Or sink it in water? The body decomposes
faster there). And the continuing story of how the former chief of police got a degree from VCU (formerly RPI) without meeting all the requirements. Turn to the back page and see that FEMA is still helping a Katrina group. Good going Bush. Book on Mormon massacre and Zimbabwe opposition leader offers deal. Get real. Positive news: former toxic site is now a wildlife haven, next to cult leader who deprived a one year old of food and water is now being charged. Hurricane coming to Florida (hunker down little girl).
Candidates talk about religion and more bombs in Iraq.

Oh, I almost forgot. Those inserts. Those pieces of slick full color ads that fall out of your newspaper when you open it. Walmart, JCPenney, K-Mart, Staples, Rack Room Shoes, Mattress Warehouse, Lines-n-Things, Five Blow, Taraget, Dick’s Sporting Gods, Walgreens, CVS, Parade, Kroger, Smart Source coupons, Northern Tool, Direct TV, TJ_Maxx, Berlington Coat Factory, and the comics, with that awful half page fold over called a spadea featuring Firestone tires. “For Better or For Worse” a family story which is all confused now because everyone is grown up. “Blondie”, who are we kidding, this is so old. But Blondie is still hot. “Zits”, I see myself in that, many years ago. Good teen capture. “Get Fuzzy” dogs talking depressing thoughts. “Peanuts”. Give it up. “Shoe” our one and only locally drawn cartoon, but it is a pick up from Jeff. “Prince Valiant” used to
be drawn in much more detail, but still not bad. The stories go on forever for a three frame cartoon. The rest is easy to pass over.

And that’s it for the Sunday paper. It’s taken 2 1/2 hours, 3 CDs, and 6 cans of beer.

Now onto pickup up leaves, putting away trash, and then some homemade music.
Perhaps later a grill time (but it’s pretty dry).

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