The journalist and blogger's beagle Daisy died today at the age of 15. I'm getting sniffly just posting this:
This was not like waiting for someone to die; it was a positive act to end a life – out of mercy and kindness, to be sure – but nonetheless a positive act to end a life so intensely dear to me for a decade and a half. That’s still sinking in. The power of it. But as we laid her on the table for the final injection, she appeared as serene as she has ever been. I crouched down to look in her cloudy eyes and talk to her, and suddenly, her little head jolted a little, and it was over.
I couldn’t leave her. But equally the sight of her inert and lifeless – for some reason the tongue hanging far out of her mouth disfigured her for me – was too much to bear. I kissed her and stroked her, buried my face in her shoulders, and Aaron wept over her. And then we walked home, hand in hand. As we reached the front door, we could hear Eddy howling inside.
Her bed is still there; and the bowl; and the diapers – pointless now. I hung her collar up on the wall and looked out at the bay. The room is strange. She has been in it every day for fifteen and a half years, waiting for me.
Now, I wait, emptied, for her.
Read the whole thread. Make sure you have tissue handy.
The Washington Post Co. has agreed to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations.
Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men, will pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications to the Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses.
Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days. The Post Co. will change to a new, still-undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without The Post thereafter.
WaPo's story about itself is lengthy and a must-read.
Update: James Fallows wieghs in: "Newsweek's demise, a long time coming, was a minor temblor by comparison; this is a genuine earthquake."
About a week ago, Chicago Public Media CEO Torey Malatia got fired. Crain's has more information today:
The Chicago Public Media board, led by Baird & Warner Inc. CEO Stephen Baird, last month requested the resignation of CEO Torey Malatia, 61, who gained national prominence with program hits such as “This American Life” and “Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me” early in his 18-year tenure. Lackluster ratings and fundraising at the nonprofit precipitated his downfall. Mr. Malatia declines to comment.
Meanwhile, WBEZ's ratings declined in the past two years, to a range of 1.4 to 1.8 percent of total listening time for the first half of 2013 from a range of 1.9 to 2.5 in 2010. Its revenue from listeners and grants remained about the same, though Mr. Baird says the outlet is in “good financial shape,” with 65,000 members and income up from five years ago. By comparison, public radio station WBUR-FM in Boston has some 64,000 members in a smaller market.
Chief operating officer Alison Scholly has been promoted to acting CEO.
James Deen tries Google Glass and...well...don't play this at work:
That has to be one of the only porn trailers I've ever laughed through.
This past week, my company put me in charge of operations. The job includes responsibility for our tools and technologies: bug tracking, client request tracking, code repositories, internal knowledge sharing, and Agile process management. Right now we use a collection of tools that we've used for three years: Beanstalk, Sifter, Zendesk, Yammer, and a home-grown Agile tool called Storyboard.
Well, Storyboard runs on the Azure SDK 1.4, which Microsoft will stop supporting at the end of November. Beanstalk, which just turned on support for Mercurial a year ago, has decided to turn it off six weeks from now. Sifter and Zendesk are all right, except they don't really give us the integration we want with each other or with Beanstalk—which, anyway, is going away.
We haven't picked a new tool set yet. But the search has led me to think about changing my own development tools, starting with this blog.
I mentioned about three weeks ago that I'd started playing with Orchard, an open-source content management system that came out of a Microsoft demonstration project.
I want a blog/CMS that can handle the 3,800 entries I've created here. I also want to continue tagging each entry with its location and local time (like this, whose time stamp would look really bizarre without the local time zone), which means I need an extensible application.
Oh, and it either needs a kickass import engine or a way for me to write one.
I can't say for certain when I'll migrate, given how busy I am with everything else. I hope I'll get this done in the next few weeks.
Parker and I have walked about 90 minutes today, and we'll probably walk some more half an hour from now. It's 23°C and crystal clear, with a forecast for more of the same all weekend.
I may not get anything done until Monday. Pity.
Via Sullivan, a look at a 45-story abandoned tower in Caracas that now houses 2,500 people:
Welcome to the world’s tallest slum: poverty-ridden Venezuela’s Tower of David. Squatters took over this very unfinished 45-story skyscraper in the early 1990s, and they’ve been there ever since. The tower was originally intended to be a symbol of Caracas’ bright financial future, complete with a rooftop helipad, but construction stopped because of a banking crisis and the sudden death of the tower’s namesake, David Brillembourg.
Today, as the government is grappling with a citywide housing shortage, the tower is a stark monument to what could have been in the country’s crime-plagued capital. The tower is dogged by accusations of being a hotbed of crime, drugs and corruption. But to residents, many of whom have spent their entire lives there, it’s just home.
More from Wikipedia, the New York Times, and the Beeb.
Ezra Klein points to this graph and raises the question:
The core issue here is that the unemployment rate only counts people actively looking for work. That means there are two ways to leave the ranks of the unemployed. One way — the good way — is to get a job. The other way is to stop looking for work, either because you’ve retired, or become discouraged, or begun working off the books.
The yellow line on the left shows the official unemployment rate since 2008. It’s fallen from over 10 percent to under 8 percent. But the red line on the right shows the actual employment rate — that is, the percentage of working-age adults with jobs. What should scare you is that the red line has barely budged.
The economy is a lot worse than a glance at the unemployment rate suggests. And instead of doing anything to help those people get back to work, Washington canceled the payroll tax cut, permitted sequestration to go into effect, and is now arguing about whether to shut down the federal government — and possibly breach the debt ceiling — in the fall.
This is yet another consequence of the opposition party refusing to participate in governance.
...because I didn't have time to read them today:
I will now go home and read these things on the way.