Winter snow on Friday

Just three short-long months ago I stood outside and shivered while pumping gas and watching the snow. It was notable because it was Halloween and three long-short months ago. And now, today …

To be fair and just, which we always are on the Internet, it has been a mild winter so far. You shouldn’t say things like that, because even with the qualifier “so far” you imply that it is over. It is not over. If you used the “… so far” formulation that’d look ominous, like you were going for drama or fright night. Which might be appropriate, or overwrought. It’s weather, so it is difficult to tell. And if there’s one thing that we know is not allowed on the Internet, it is the inappropriate jumping to conclusions or an overwrought and emotional reaction.

We’re going to have sunny skies (for a change) and the low 60s on Sunday. Winter will, no doubt, return in short order.

Anyway, cold, slow day today. I suppose the two might be correlated. Probably not, but it’s an easy connection to make, and that’s really what the Internet is for.

The following things aren’t related, but they are two signs of these times. Not all of the times, but, indeed some of them.

Somehow, I thought there’d be more of a ceremony, or at least done after hours. Anything to keep it from looking this pitiful.

Locally, the newspaper, which has been a part of two corporate transactions under recent moons, is losing it’s local printing operation.

This is how it continues. We’re well past how it begins. The printing will take place up in Indianapolis. It isn’t far, but it’ll mean a few professionals will lose their jobs locally. And this local paper will be put in a queue with the bigger Indianapolis Star, whatever other papers and contract jobs must be done. Then the design of the actual papers will be moved out. You’ll see, or perhaps you are already seeing where you are, formulaic layouts done by specialists who are trying to crank out two more front pages before their lunch break. It consolidates jobs, and the technology helps, but it compresses the work. We see papers that fall into formulas and a lot, a lot, gets lost along the way. A bit of institutional knowledge here, local history and importance there.

Perhaps it matters less these days. Newspapers, sad to say, have a reduced importance because they have a reduced readership. This isn’t pure nostalgia. Part of it is, sure, but there’s a lot to be said about the function that a truly healthy newspaper can provide to its community. I believe in that more fervently than I do in a newspaper. I’ve always been married more to the ideal of the service, the function, the role, than the medium. It just so happens that well-attended newspapers are, or were, the best medium we had for that. This isn’t chicken-or-the-egg stuff, but it feels like it. The economics of the industry are such that closing presses is the next step in trying to keep something solvent, for a time, before the inevitable selloffs take place. When Warren Buffett is getting out

This is how it continues.

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