Now that I'm writing op-ed columns on a regular basis for both The Suffolk Times and The News-Review, I suppose this is going to happen. I have two different columns I'd like to post this week. I'll post each of them separately below: "Fighting cancer one step at a time" and "Riverhead's budget vote failure." (Please scroll down to read — and comment!)
This was a grueling week at the papers — a grueling couple of weeks, actually. Last week was our Memorial Day issue. It's a big holiday issue, and that means lots of pages to fill and produce. We have an incredible crew at Times/Review (and that most definitely includes the folks at our "outposts" on Shelter Island and in Wading River). It was a herculean task, and they did it, did it well and did it gracefully — and more or less on time, too.
Then, following the big holiday editions, we have a three-day weekend, which in this business simply means you have one less day to get the papers out. You come back from the weekend and — bam — it's Tuesday. The community section has to go to press, and the bulk of the stories in the main section are filed and must be edited and proofed — not to mention ad production! This is what we call "a short week," i.e. cramming five days into four — 14-hour days become 18 hour days.
And in the middle of everything in the past two weeks, two different network servers had unrelated hard drive failures, putting just a teeny glitch into the production process. Thank God for mirror drives and tech people, who manage to keep it all running, somehow. Rubber bands?
One staff member has a great bumper sticker posted at his workstation: "Another deadline, another miracle."
So if you see any of us around town this weekend and we've got a glazed-over look on our faces, now you know why. We just need a little R&R and we'll be fine.
Actually, I'll be capping off this week with a one-day trip to Hershey Park, Penn. with the Riverhead Middle School 8th Grade class. As if I need any more roller-coaster rides! And somehow, a bunch of Suffolk Times staffers are going to find the energy to stay up all night tomorrow night for Southold's Relay for Life!