Of websites and worksites
I remember when there used to be something called “the off-season.” No longer. Websites don’t like downtime, and so there’s always something needs doing over at VeloNews.com.
My days in the barrel as online editor at large are Monday and Wednesday. Come important events, like the Amgen Tour of California or any of the grand tours, it’s all hands on deck for the duration of the cruise.
It’s not physically demanding work; there’s no heavy lifting to strain the back, though calluses on the brain are a common occupational injury. But it can be wearisome, especially amid distraction and when combined with other tasks.
The resurrection of the basement has begun with a vengeance, and work crews have been scuttling in and out of there like roaches, dismantling the futon and carting it away to storage, replacing drywall and sealing concrete. This both disturbs and fascinates the cats, who as a consequence have been spending far too much time confined to my office. Turkish loathes and despises all characters of the two-legged persuasion, while Mia just wants to gallop downstairs and leap into the middle of it all.
So yesterday I had a basement full of drywallers and an office full of cats while I pushed pixels around the website in consultation with various colleagues, banged out two columns and a cartoon for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News and tried to diagnose a couple fresh computer issues that popped up like virtual Whack-a-Moles (O, the joys of working on 10-year-old equipment). No healthy, restorative exercise was to be had, but there were a couple bottles of wine in the kitchen and so recreation of a sort was available.
Today it’s more drywallers, and perhaps carpet and vinyl selection. But that’s not until the afternoon. And so with all deadlines met and no pixel-pushing until Monday, I think I’ll get outdoors for a couple hours and run a little fresh air through my headgear.
Late update: Damn, leave the office for an hour and look what happens: E.W. Scripps Co. throws the Rocky Mountain News on the scrapheap. I know at least one journo’ there — Chas Chamberlin, a former VeloNews art director — and I sure hope he can land on his feet. It’s an evil job market out there for us ink-stained wretches. But it looks like The Denver Post is picking up a few lucky sorts.
Meanwhile, Google is sticking a toe in the local-news market with Patch, a new online venture that aims to provide local reportage in backwaters ignored by cash-strapped newspapers. Public service or another step on Google’s march to global domination? We report, you decide. Thanks and a tip of the green eyeshade to Indiedoc on Twitter.