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The Buckhorn

Copyright (c) 2010
Winters Express
13 Russell Street
Winters, CA 95694
(530) 795-4551
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Was it going to be late delivery of the Express or no delivery?

It has been awhile since I was in panic mode at the Express. Last Tuesday afternoon my computer was acting funky, so I turned if off and let it sit for a second or two. It wouldn’t restart. Almost everything we need to put the paper out is on my computer so it wasn’t a good feeling staring at a blank screen with a spinning wheel.
I like to joke that we put out a daily paper once a week, with that day being Tuesday. There are usually four, sometimes five, of us working on Tuesday afternoons, all using my computer’s hard drive. When my machine dies, everyone’s computer is on its own. It is like having four tires with no car to put them on.
I have a backup drive that contains all of our stories, ads and pictures, but I realized I didn’t have a way to send the finished pages to the pressmen in Fairfield, which is the last thing I do each week when the paper is finished.
I drive over to the Fairfield Daily Republic on Wednesday morning to pick up the printed papers. I was planning on putting the pages on a memory stick and driving them to the Daily Republic, but I was told they didn’t have a way of using my portable drive to get the paper out. I’m working on a plan B for this week if everything turns to mush again.
By the time I copied the files needed to get the paper out onto Debra’s computer, we were only a couple of hours behind schedule.
Linda, our trusted borrowed Davis Enterprise employee, was trying to put her pages together as best she could. There were a few missing pieces on my backup system, but we were making headway. Linda is used to putting out the paper in Davis three days a week and has worked on Tuesdays at the Express for years, but I could see she was getting nervous about not getting the paper out at all.
My brother, John, strolling through the office, mentioned that the paper had always come out for 134 years and this would be a first. I told him he wasn’t helping and to get out of my office.
I contacted the computer tech for the Davis Enterprise and he had me trying everything he could think of, with a few hints from the Internet, about how to get my computer “re-booted.” Nothing worked.
Debra and Linda were making headway, but it was taking longer than I thought it would.
With no computer to work on, I was just sitting at my desk trying to figure out how to get the electronic pages to Fairfield when my computer blinked and came back to life.
The office has looked more like a sick bay than a newspaper office lately, with everyone hacking and sneezing throughout the day. As we were plodding along last Tuesday, Barbara mentioned that she wasn’t feeling well, and we voted to send her home. After the paper was printed, I noticed a few mistakes, mistakes that had been corrected before the crash and not re-corrected on the backup pages. But, the paper was out and that is all that matters.
Barbara told me that on Wednesday morning she came into town and looked at a newsrack and saw the paper. She said it put a smile on her face. I’m glad the paper came out, too.
There have been fires, earthquakes and floods, but the paper has always come out. When I was younger, my father printed the Dixon Tribune for a month while their press was being repaired and I know even the bigger papers will step in and help when there is a problem, even with their direct competitors. I didn’t have to make that call, but I was running out of ideas.
Enjoy your newspaper and have a good week.