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Chronicle Shopnotes – fall opener

Chronicle designer Steven Boyle produced, directed and stars in the award-winning cinematic achievement “Cooking With Steve.”

Chronicle designer Steven Boyle produced, directed and stars in the award-winning cinematic achievement “Cooking With Steve.”

We don’t know who Max is, but he probably knows Phil Matier, who was overheard to say on the phone, “Max, come on, Max, it’s 5 o’clock, Max, I need a statement, Max, come on, write it out, just do it Max, come on, Max I want to know what your fricking statement is”…The readers write!  Former Chronicle Sunday Punch editor Peter Sussman dropped us a line after reading last month’s item about the job descriptions on the Chronicle employment website: “Why doesn’t the Chronicle save some money by merging the positions of circulation retention manager, digital sales strategist and customer success manager? The successful candidate would have to demonstrate that he or she could ‘maximize customer success by leveraging customer touch points through digital strategies.’ It used to work for me in my younger days.”  Meanwhile, there are even more Chronicle job opportunities!  According to that same website, the circulation department is looking for a single copy manager who can “apply comprehensive project management protocols” and “understand and leverage your advanced knowledge of circulation sales and single copy operational demands.”  We’re not sure, but we think it has something to do with getting people to buy the paper…

The Great Earthquake Drill was a lot of fun, with reporters calling in as directed from throughout the Bay Area to inform the rewrite staff that absolutely nothing was happening.  Carolyn Said even checked in from Midway Airport in Chicago to report it, too, was spared.  “Hundreds Not Dead in Huge Quake,” went the cry through the newsroom, more than once.  Of course when the quake does hit, the phones may not work.  Oh well…

“This is going to get into Shopnotes, isn’t it?” asked former Guild member Audrey Ann Cooper during a recent staff meeting, after referring to Demian Bulwa’s upcoming brown-bag session on gathering background info as “How to effectively brown bag.”  Well, ordinarily we wouldn’t have included it, but Shopnotes doesn’t want to discourage former members from taking an interest in Guild activities.  Meanwhile, we found out why Audrey was looking all over the newsroom for a copy of the fabled beefcake “Men of the Chronicle” calendar that came out 15 years ago.  Audrey said she wants to show it to the marketing folks so they can come up with a Dogs of the Chronicle calendar…This just in from Jason Lloren:  “We’re installing a pay meter on the copy desk candy dispenser. After using it five times, you’re asked for your email address.”…

Freelance photographer Noah Berger, on assignment for the Chronicle covering the Clayton Fire in Lower Lake, took a break from shooting to carry a baby goat to safety, and an AP photographer took his picture. The picture, posted on social media and SFGate, went viral, and even made the pages of something called Goat News Today…. And congrats to former freelancer Gabrielle Lurie, now a staff photographer…Carl Nolte and his main squeeze are going to sail to Australia on the QE2 in a balcony stateroom that Carl says has plenty of room for stowaways…Thank goodness the bad guys only took the cell phones, not our common sense.  After a few well-crafted memos from the Guild, the company changed its mind and decided not to seek reimbursement from the victims for the cost of replacing two company cell phones that were stolen from two reporters in separate San Francisco muggings.   The original thefts, apparently, were deemed sufficient…The irrepressible Sean Sposito, who towered over us mere mortals, has zoomed off on his Harley Davidson to pursue a career in tech consulting.

Come say hello to the Guild’s own Carl Hall and Kat Anderson at meet-and-greet gatherings on October 5 at noon at Joe and Fi’s and on October 6 at 5:30 in the newsroom.  Be sure to claim your free doughnut, another Guild benefit.  With any luck, maybe Carl will play his harmonica and, with even more luck, maybe he won’t…

Welcome to new columnist and voice of the East Bay Otis R. Taylor Jr. and to Hearst fellows Michael Bodley, Filipa Ioannou and Sarah Ravani.  And welcome to new HR representative Julia Silbergeld, formerly of Greenpeace, now charged with keeping the peace among the newsroom leviathans.  She cleared her head for her new duties by backpacking through Sequoia National Park…Welcome also to Daisy, newest newsroom dog, a rescue from Taiwan who is by no means the first mammal to cross the Pacific in steerage to seek a better life…

Dept. of Waste Not, Want Not:  Which resourceful reporter fished through the office trash can and retrieved a stylish Chronicle fabric advertising banner (“Honest.  Fearless.  Startlingly Original.”)  that he promptly converted into a tent groundcloth for a startlingly original Labor Day camping trip?…

Shopnotes Fun Fact:  Former reporter Mike Taylor spends summers at his second house in Brooklin, Maine — located directly across the street from the home of the great E.B. White and the barn where Charlotte the spider spun her famous webs.  Curiouser and Curiouser, who was a recent visitor, was immediately put to work yanking out some old rose vines from Mike’s overgrown backyard.  The thorns drew C&C’s blood!…Hottest freebies at Warren Hinckle’s send-off at Ss. Peter and Paul Church were the complimentary eyepatches handed out at the front door.  Not wearing one was Warren’s basset hound, Toby, an official pawbearer…

Jaxon Van Derbeken was spotted in Hayward wearing a necktie…Shopnotes Quiz!  Unscramble the following phrases to identify your colleague:   “Energy Lime,” “Ultimo Dry Geezer” and “Blather at Peru.”  Answers below…

On September 1 (the 77th anniversary of the start of World War II), an official ruling was issued decreeing that the Chronicle no longer considers it a “conflict of interest” for a certain copy editor to edit stories written by her reporter husband.  The ruling does not address whether such editing may be grounds for one or the other to “sleep on the couch”…Special guest at the latest Irish Newsboys monthly performance at Lefty O’Doul’s hofbrau was the naked upper body of none other than Donald J. Trump, who scowled throughout.  Sculptor Joshua Monroe, the fellow who had also made the naked Trump statue that appeared in the Castro (and four other U.S cities)  was on hand for the festivities.    Songbird Kevin Fagan wrote a song that the Newsboys performed to mark the grand occasion, although his original lyrics (“where are your balls?”) were changed (“where are your clothes?”) in the interests of not ticking anyone off.  The Newsboys’ tip jar raked in $53, much of that being contributed after the music stopped.  Coincidence?   Come on down to Lefty’s for the next Newsboys gig on October 7 — your chance to hear Kevin, joined by Chronicle pals past and present Jay Johnson, Josh Zucker, Ellen Huet and Steve Rubenstein, along with Woodstock legends Barry Melton and Peter Albin, and the incredible Catherine McSharry and the Oakland Trib’s Bob Loomis and maybe even catch a return visit of naked Donald…Answers to Shopnotes Quiz:  Emily Green, Melody Gutierrez and Peter Hartlaub….

The reason John King was wearing a fedora and a natty tie in the newsroom the other morning was that he was to moderate a roundtable discussion about some famous SF building.  “I don’t know the name of the building and I don’t know who’s holding the event,” said John.  “It’s not until 6 p.m., so I can find out later.”

We’re already missing Hearst fellow Kevin Schultz, who has moved on to cover education at the Norwalk (Conn.) Hour.  In his farewell message to his beloved colleagues, he writes,  “Despite sitting next to the much beloved M&M dispenser for my entire year here, I managed to avoid consuming a single one until Libby Rainey pressured me into trying one on a long, early August afternoon. Since then, I became a secret M&M fiend. So maybe its best for both the blood sugar of the newsroom and my waistline that my time at the Chronicle has come to an end”…As for his fellow fellow Libby, she’s off to study in Cambridge, England…Designer Jillian Welsh has departed, and moved to New Orleans.

Congrats to Steven Boyle, the big winner in the Videolicious contest, for the unique “Cooking with Steve”; and to Reid Sams for his poignant entry lamenting that everyone thinks he’s Shay Quillen.  Well done, Shay!…

Tony Bravo was working on a photo shoot with Russell Yip when a photo tour of San Francisco, led by former fashion writer Sylvia Rubin, happened along, so the photographers wound up taking pictures of the photographers.  For fashionista wannabes, Tony is  teaching a couture class at city college….Our beloved Copy Desk was recently reminded of the age-old Chronicle Protocol for A-1 Stories.  One spy reports:  “The rimmer who’s reading the proof marks fixes and questions and gives the proof back to the rimmer who copy edited it, so then if THAT person agrees with a question, he/she deals with it as he/she chooses. I just asked whether to call it a yellow Lab. If it’s something significant (unlike this) and the original rimmer doesn’t agree, that can get awkward.”  Well, that clears that up.  (In other words, woof)…It’s true.  Metro desk denizens Trapper Byrne and Terry Robertson both eat the entire apple, include core, seeds and stem.  “It’s an editor thing,” said Trapper.  “We also eat our young.”…

— Curiouser and Curiouser

Pacific Media Workers Guild

Pacific Media Workers Guild

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.

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