Friday, October 22

the inner workings of friday morning

for the last almost-four-and-a-half years, my friday mornings have consisted of publishing the paper.

amidst proofing, changes, captions, headlines, typos, additions, subtractions and lattes, i've also helped with the weekly market update for a while. coworker jody takes care of the regional sale barn figures and the charts, while i find the usda numbers for the week's national beans, grains, sheep, wool and hay markets.

it might look like a boring page, but all these prices, columns and figures represent the general state of agriculture at the time. this time of year many calves are moving through the sale barns, as weaning, shipping and fall work progress.

there are five different usda websites i visit to find the text in the lower half of the page, and i combine them all into one document, import them into indesign and proceed to format, resize and set the tabs in the columns. as with all layout and design of a publication, it's a puzzle that you have to figure out how to solve in a different way each week. and if you don't know the tricks to getting the tabs to work, it'll never happen. thankfully, i've had practice and have developed a pretty good system, so usually it comes out looking nice and neat and doesn't take much time.

so, usually by 10 a.m. all my work for the paper is done. i print the paper thursday afternoon to take home for proofing thursday night or friday morning, so i can take my time and not rush through it. usually i do it thursday evening, but with dinner guests last night i didn't get it done. no worries, though, scott always gets up at five - a habit i've adopted. i'm not yet sure if it's by choice. :-) but, having three hours before heading to the office gives me a lot of time to get things done. this morning i proofed, watched the news, did the dishes and frosted some pumpkin-chip cookies for scott and bob to take hunting this weekend.

after arriving at the office i typed out my changes - according to page number, column number and paragraph number - for tracy, then added heather's and dennis's and sent them along. i also write the 'inside box,' an index of sorts, to lead people into four of our 'inside articles.' then i finish up the markets and send them off to tracy, and i'm good to go for the week. usually jody has to wait for last-minute ad changes on a couple ads, and we have it completely to the printer by 10:30, usually.

so now i can go home!

well, not really. next week is our hunting/wildlife special feature edition, so i'm going to get a start on some of those articles. my two for the cover focus on a new gps application that helps landowners track trespassers, and the other is about landowner licenses, and why the game and fish commission won't let landowners sell or donate them to other people. the commission can transfer their own to other people. funny, isn't it?

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