Fine Print.

My work schedule is a little wonky this week as several group members are in training, leaving a skeleton crew behind. Naturally, I’m one of the bones. Because of this I really couldn’t get out and about for lunch today in case of a telecommunications tragedy, so I opted to sit in the lunch room at work, enjoy my serving of Progresso soup and do something I haven’t done in a long time.

I read the newspaper. I actually touched a newspaper, turned the pages and read the articles.

Normally I catch up with the day’s news online. I read the funnies, catch up on the latest world happenings and browse entertainment, all with a few clicks of the mouse on some strategically bookmarked web pages. It works well, I feel somewhat informed. But reading the newspaper was a fascinating exercise. For example, there’s a column where people write in with their medical concerns and a doctor responds, right there for all the world to see. Today’s medical problem had to do with a reader concerned with their ears turning red when they become embarassed. Apparently this affliction is causing them social distress and they want to know what they can do to prevent it. Instead of having the reader deal with the issue that is causing them embarassment, he opted for “better living through chemistry” and suggested she contact her family doctor for a beta blocking drug that she should take before she becomes embarassed. “Please wait before you insult my behavior, I need to take my Embarassax so my ears don’t turn red.”

Had I not read the newspaper today, I would not have known that 300 violent sex offenders are moving into one of the number of local prisons in this area. Now there’s something to look forward to, especially during my summer bike rides. (Earl and I use to live right down the street from this prison, and the prisoners would always yell and carry on while I rode by on my bike. The area where they air out the prisoners is right near the road.)

So while the news is not as immediate as the world wide web, it was a welcomed change of pace. I look forward to doing it again, maybe in a year or so.