One Hundred Monkeys in Texas

July 31, 2008

Dallas’ mournful news

Filed under: Journalism,Newspapers — alancochrum @ 12:32 pm
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A rumor reached me this week, and then I read a report. The Dallas Morning News is embarking on another round of cutbacks.

Parent company A.H. Belo is planning to dump 500 jobs — 14 percent of its work force. The Morning News “is expected to lose around 40 of its approximately 390 full-time newsroom staffers,” the report says.

My mind flashes back a few years. The News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (then my employer) are fighting over eastern Tarrant County. The competition is fierce — so fierce that the Star-Telegram‘s managerial regime at the time basically tells news staffers that if they’re even caught playing job footsie with the Enemy, they’d better hope that a place has been prepared for them, because they’re out.

Flash-forward to the present. That particular turf war is history. The Star-Telegram recently laid off about 130 people, myself included. The News has seen even more severe weight reduction and is going under the knife again.

Something tells me that at both papers nowadays, the news that a staffer is planning to jump to the other side of the Trinity River would be greeted by secret relief (except, perhaps, in the case of a handful of Big Names). When your big concern is trying to keep the ship afloat, having one less person aboard is not necessarily a problem.

Julia’s Child?

Filed under: Children,Food — alancochrum @ 11:48 am
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An eyewitness account:

I am in the kitchen; my newly minted 13-year-old has just boiled some spaghetti for his lunch. He puts the pasta in a glass bowl and then pours upon it a generous portion of … lemon juice.

Yes, you read that correctly: lemon juice.

“Where did you come up with that?” I ask with a grimace, expecting a reference to some of his peers.

“Trial and error,” he replies.

I’m sure that a lot of people would nod. On the other hand, they and my son probably would disagree about whether the results should be filed under “error.”

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