Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sarasota Herald-Tribune again. Damn I hope that this is accurate: (via Mother Jones Magazine)


The best journalism-job want ad ever ever.

You should, like, strongly consider applying to work for this guy:
We want to add some talent to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune investigative team. Every serious candidate should have a proven track record of conceiving, reporting and writing stellar investigative pieces that provoke change. However, our ideal candidate has also cursed out an editor, had spokespeople hang up on them in anger and threatened to resign at least once because some fool wanted to screw around with their perfect lede.
We do a mix of quick hit investigative work when events call for it and mini-projects that might run for a few days. But every year we like to put together a project way too ambitious for a paper our size because we dream that one day Walt Bogdanich will have to say: “I can’t believe the Sarasota Whatever-Tribune cost me my 20th Pulitzer.” As many of you already know, those kinds of projects can be hellish, soul-sucking, doubt-inducing affairs. But if you’re the type of sicko who likes holing up in a tiny, closed  office with reporters of questionable hygiene to build databases from scratch by hand-entering thousands of pages of documents to take on powerful people and institutions that wish you were dead, all for the glorious reward of having readers pick up the paper and glance at your potential prize-winning epic as they flip their way to the Jumble… well, if that sounds like journalism Heaven, then you’re our kind of sicko.
For those unaware of Florida’s reputation, it’s arguably the best news state in the country and not just because of the great public records laws. We have all kinds of corruption, violence and scumbaggery. The 9/11 terrorists trained here. Bush read My Pet Goat here. Our elections are colossal clusterfucks. Our new governor once ran a health care company that got hit with a record fine because of rampant Medicare fraud. We have hurricanes, wildfires, tar balls, bedbugs, diseased citrus trees and an entire town overrun by giant roaches (only one of those things is made up). And we have Disney World and beaches, so bring the whole family.
Send questions, or a resume/cover letter/links to clips to my email address below. If you already have your dream job, please pass this along to someone whose skills you covet. Thanks.
Matthew Doig
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
1741 Main St.
Sarasota FL, 34236
(941) 361-4903

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

I read it in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Dog bites man) Bleah

I do not subscribe to our local newspaper, partly because I prefer not to waste money on the Sunday paper with its ton of advertising supplements, none of which interest me.  I have often said that "if you do not wish to purchase furniture, and/or you are not interested in sports, then don't get the Sunday paper".

But I do  buy the paper six days a week, putting my 75c (a more than fair price) into a nearby vending machine which I pass as I take Penne for her early morning walk.

There were three headlines (each above the fold) on the front page of today's paper. 

One was about the pursuit by police of a suspected  bank robber - a pursuit which ended in the death of the alleged robber.

Another was a piece about the issues regarding "development" in the nearby City of Venice, with the likelihood of new suburbs, and the concern of local residents.

The third headliner was a stunningly creative and original 2 1/4" headline about some shocking and late breaking news.
It read  "TAX DAY",  the sub headline "Local post offices will not be open for last-minute filers, but you still have options"

Under this was a 4 1/4  x 6 1/2" photo'  of a building which I have longed to see for many a year. Taken last Sunday at daybreak the photo' depicted the Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington D.C.  Oh my - wondrous and creative photography indeed!

I write of course partly in jest, and with my tongue in both cheeks. And I'll warrant that 75% of local papers in the U.S.A. had  similar "fillers (not new items) on their front page.

I cannot jest about the opening lines of the "story" by local writer/reporter John Hielscher. He writes: "Tax Day, one of the most dreaded days on the calendar, has arrived"

"One of the most dreaded days?" This is either a figment of John Hielscher's imagination, or a piece of lazy journalism, or a ghastly inheritance from President Ronald Reagan who conned the nation in to believing that taxes are bad.

There are many citizens such as I who pay our taxes with civic pride, knowing that in a democracy we all have the privilege of providing the monies to run the government.  Some of us may wish that less of these monies were spent on national defence and "security", and more on health care, education, unemployment benefits and the like.  But we are still pleased to be tax paying contributors for the common good, unlike many of our major corporations and the oligarchs with their wholesale "tax loopholes"

A story in the Business section of the paper also caught my attention. Justine Griffin reports that retail giants Wal-Mart and Costco Wholesale plan to expand organic offerings in an effort to attract a younger demographic to their stores.  She goes on to write that "Millennials live in a world where smaller but more-expensive brands such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's rule.

Partial Fail!  Trader Joe's is by no means more expensive. Many of us whether we be millenials or old farts shop there mostly because their prices are so reasonable. I reckon this story to be another bit of lazy or "not-thought-out" journalism.

Of course I will still buy my H-T each morning. Penne wouldn't have it any other way.
P.S.  and for the  record
In 2011 the H-T's Paige St. John won a Pulitzer prize for her investigative series on Florida's Insurance Industry
In March 2014 it was reported that the H-T's  J. David  McSwane had won the 2013 John Jay College/H.F. Guggenheim award for reporting on Criminal Justice matters.

Monday, 14 April 2014

CPAP/Apnea and all that stuff

Two weeks into using the CPAP machine.........
1. I found that the so called "pillow"(nose only)  connection did not work well for me. The soft plastic nasal buds kept falling out of my nostrils.
2.  Now I am using a mask which covers my snout and my gob. It is more comfortable than I expected it to be.
3. The CPAP machine has all manner of readings, and it also has a removable card which I can download onto my computer.
For instance the card showed that I had 7.9 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night, whilst the CPAP machine readings indicated that my Apnea is not "normal" but that it is slightly above "mild", and well below "moderate". (There is no way of knowing how many Apneas I  might have had without the machine)
4.  However these readings are affected because I also have "lazy leg syndrome" which the machine might register as Apneas, and  also because there is about a 30% leakage around the perimeters of the mask (I will tighten the straps for tonight)..
ALL this is technical and may not amount to a hill of beans  (ain't technology wonderful!), for the precipitating problem remains -  I am still very tired for most of the day.
NOT TO WORRY I'll continue to use the CPAP machine until I see my Primary Care Physician in May, and the Sleep Disorder Doctor in early June.
IN THE MEANTIME I will do my best not to be a GRUMP, and to remember that CPAP machines and the like would be considered health care luxuries for more than 90% of the world's peoples.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

FROM MY FAMILY The words of a child which will make you be glad, and maybe bring a tear or two.

I was putting Sophie to bed and she said "Mummy saw me and want me. Daddy saw me and want me." Bless, she was talking about when we adopted her.
(Sophie is my great niece, the daughter of my nephew R. and his wife C.)