Before anything else, let’s get this one thing out there and out of the way: Picking on the Square is this Saturday, 10 a.m. to Noon at the courthouse in Clinton. Feel free to come by and listen. You can shout out some requests, and one of us might even know ‘em.

On top of that I’ve been, guitar in hand, going to a lot of these Friday night gospel signings in the area. There’s one at Plant on Highway 110 this Friday and I’m looking forward to it. Van Buren County is a musical area.

It’s Tuesday, a little after lunch as I type, this, and I’m a little tired. I’m not complaining or anything, it’s just a statement of fact.

Monday’s one of those days, often spent wrapped around a keyboard and doing all the administrative stuff to get the newspaper lined out for Tuesday deadline. Tuesday, of course, is press deadline, a deadline which moves for no man, and by this afternoon this paper has to be done, period, done, finished, hands off, over, done, stop (I could go on).

You know in the (old) movies where somebody picks up the phone and screams “stop the presses!” Yeah, that only happens (happened) in the movies. In today’s world I could have alien spaceships landing at the high school and it wouldn’t matter: We’re on deadline, get it all in and posted. You can call and ask for a deadline extension, you can call and ask for your youth back, same answer: No. One does not put off the deadline.

I knew Fairfield Bay council was that night as I came in Monday, so no goofing off. The newspaper “stuff” had to get laid in before I drove up there in the evening. But that’s where the wheels came off the wagon. The sexual assault story (also Fairfield Bay related) was breaking and it was time to go out there, make sure everybody agreed with what I was reading in the police reports and working to make sure what I thought I knew was, in fact, what there was to know.

Police information - and again forget what you’ve seen in the movies - often as not comes from police reports, the paperwork. So you read the paperwork, get out and make sure there were no updates since the paperwork was filed, and get to typing.

The story’s on the front.

But meanwhile that cut into the time needed to lay the newspaper out Monday, and it wasn’t like they were going to delay the city council meeting for me, so I was off to Fairfield Bay Monday night.

It was, as far as that goes, a routine city council meeting. Nothing earthshaking, but things, as there always is at these events, worth paying attention toward, and it was covered. The outcome of this, also, on the front of today’s paper.

But do the math: Running around Monday on one story, at a meeting Monday night, deadline looming … so I didn’t get much sleep last night.

Consider this my way of apologizing if the sentences are a little more strained, the syntax and little more (what) disheveled. It’s nothing personal, it’s just been one of those weeks.

(An interesting part of the job is that as soon as this issue is released to the press the internal alarm clock resets and begins ticking. One week from now and the hot breath of deadline is back upon the shoulder.)