Archive for January, 2010

The Pacifica Geological Drama: Man, With Equipment vs. Nature, With Power

January 26, 2010

Dear Diary,

At the Chit-Chat Cafe in Pacifica, tables were rearranged Sunday so that cafe patrons could watch boulders being unloaded from trucks. That gave me the idea of just rearranging all the information in my competition’s article and writing it up like it’s a real journalistic blog.

This entire entry will consist of quotes and paraphrases I’m directly lifting from my competition’s story, but don’t worry, I’m totally advancing the story by changing el boring-o sentences like this: “In 1998, seven homes on Esplanade were demolished before they crashed into the ocean” into unparalleled masterpieces like THIS: “Seven homes on the street were demolished in 1998 before they could plummet into the ocean.”

Some might call such blatant copy and pasting of someone else’s labor some variation on plagiarism, but unfortunately that long P word is not in my vocabulary so I don’t know what they mean. Come to think of it, I think plagiarism might be some sort of new social networking site that I don’t know how to use or something. Oh well.

Now, I do know that every day we do roundups endearingly called Sampler, linking to stories we think our New York readers will find exotic or cute, and since I didn’t actually pick up a telephone for this story it might have been a wee bit more appropriate for me to put this link there. But I needed to produce a blog this week and I just really miss my Chihuahua-free family right now, and I’ve gotta go home and just double check it hasn’t snowed lately though even if it did, I’d make fun of the pathetic Bay Area media for mentioning it. Besides, Carolyn Jones already did all this work – there’s no sense in TWO people doing journalism in a single day, is there!



What Kind of Weather Makes News?

January 20, 2010

Dear Diary,

While taking a break from the quasi-plagiaristic practice of ripping off my competitors’ reporting instead of doing my own, I decided that a sardonic attack on the news judgment of the region’s journalists whose work I routinely steal would make me feel good about myself.

So I did it.

Growing up in Chicago, I knew that a “partly sunny” forecast meant gray skies. And a “partly cloudy” forecast meant gray skies. That might have been because I never paid enough attention to anything around me to notice the months of oppressively hot, sunny days or the passing thunderstorms that painted fat bolts of lightning on a canvas of clouds as dark as night.

On rare occasions, there were days so cold that school was canceled, but there were no snow days because the city began salting the streets faster than a flurry could make its way to the pavement. I assume that you give a shit about that, Bay Area folks. The only one in my life who howled about lightning and thunderstorms was my family’s golden retriever. We thought of it as a peculiar personality disorder.

Judging by the fact that people who live in the Bay Area are interested in intense weather events that directly affect them, I can only assume that they also have peculiar personality disorders.

It’s taken me some time to adjust to the idea that meteorological commonplaces in the Midwest are big news here. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to adapt to a new culture. Perhaps it’s because I do not possess the traits of a journalist.

The Bay Area’s news outlets were consumed Wednesday morning with the most recent in the wave of storms that have rushed through the area this week. Monday and Tuesday’s weather gave the region whiplash with a succession of downpours followed by sunny skies followed by downpours and thunderstorms. That’s right. Whiplash, bitches. A potentially life-changing injury that can occur when somebody’s head is ripped violently from one side to another. That’s what the storms gave the region.

That was a preview of what has been happening Wednesday. Read more…

Are Tom Cable’s Days Numbered as Raiders Coach?

January 5, 2010

Dear Diary,

Today I thought to myself, you know what, we’re experts at stealing local news content and fluff created by other hardworking journalists and writers, but we hardly ever rip off our competitors’ sports reporting. So ripping off our competitors’ sports reporting was something that I resolved to do today.

A competitor reported that that Oakland Raiders Coach Tom Cable’s job is at serious risk after the team’s 5-11 season. So far, there’s been no public word from the team’s owner, Al Davis, and it appears from another news organization with which we compete that Mr. Cable survived the National Football League’s so-called Black Monday, when coaches of struggling teams are often dismissed after the regular season.But the first competitor that I ripped off in this blog, citing sources close to Mr. Davis, suggested that an official announcement of a coaching change could come next week. Read more…

CalTrain Ending Year With Near-Record Fatality Count

January 5, 2010

Dear Diary,

Today, I ripped off a competitor’s news story and also told my handful of readers that I found out the news through a different competitor’s Twitter feed. KGO Radio tweeted the depressing news mid-morning: the second fatality of the day happened on CalTrain’s tracks when a train hit a truck in San Jose. Earlier, a woman had been killed by a northbound train in Santa Clara. It probably amazes most people that there were only two fatalities in a day, and that they both happened on CalTrain’s tracks, but not me. I’m concentrating busily on how this affects me.

One of us rides Caltrain regularly. If you read this piece of shit blog regularly, you would know which one it is, because we can’t stop telling you about our personal lives. It’s so much easier than doing journalism. The intercom announcement that begins, “There has been an incident…” is sadly familiar. It presages a long wait. It frankly pisses most people off, but I’ll characterize everybody’s emotions as generally sorrowful. It’s nicer than being accurate.

Read more about how I feel about stuff …