There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, February 2, 2009

Books, buses and unicorns

Damn, I'm addicted to the bus. Or I'm just incapable of focusing on reading for more than three minutes without the rolling jostling of a ride on Sacramento Regional Transit. Either way, I enjoyed a little jaunt down to the SacramentoPress offices this afternoon.

Since my full-time job in Oakland got downsized to part-time work from home, I haven't been out of the house much. If it weren't for the class I'm taking Wednesday evenings at American River College, I'd have no reason to ride a bus at all.

I did a lot of reading during the six-hour plane trips to and from the memorial service for my father, but nothing since. That's why it seemed such a luxury to have the hour "alone" with my book on light rail and the bus today. If I don't find a job that allows me to commute on the bus, I'll have to find another excuse to ride. Maybe I'll set up shop in one of three Starbucks on the No. 82 route.

Today's relaxing transit reading was the bread on either side of the meet of the day with Ben Ilfeld, one of the entrepreneurs behind If you haven't visited this community-generated community news site, do so. Ben and his partner, Geoff Samek, have this fascinating vision for community journalism on a microlevel. And after having been discarded by my employer after 28 years of macrolevel work in journalism, finding anyone who is still enthusiastic about journalism and the value quality journalism provides for a community is a rare treat. Probably as rare as seeing unicorns nowadays, I suppose.

Howard Weaver, a onetime supervisor of mine before he was elevated to lofty heights of vice president of news for McClatchy Newspapers, has an excellent post today on his blog entitled "Who knows where babies come from?" Weaver, who retired this year from McClatchy, should chat with Ben and Geoff and the staff at SacramentoPress. Maybe together there is a way to salvage journalism before it really does become as rare as unicorns.

1 comment:

cindyn said...

Read your Sacramento Press article, "Chatting With Mike: All About RT and More." Thank you - hoping you'll be able to write frequent articles about RT issues and related topics. As an aside, I know we're in a budget mess, but it's too bad RT couldn't offer free rides downtown for tomorrow's free museum day.