Month: February 2012


I’ve been remiss in my blogging for the past several months, and am overdue for a “major change in my life” post. And until I do that, I can’t really feel as though I’ve closed one chapter and begun another.

It’s perhaps the only obsessive-compulsive aspect of my life.

About three weeks ago I ended my career in journalism (or did I?) to begin a career at the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Prior to leaving the Georgetown News-Graphic, I had a conversation with good friend Byron Brewer, former News-Graphic managing editor. Byron also made the transition from journalist to state worker, and I asked him if I needed to pace myself in my new position. “No,” he said. “You need to slow yourself.”

Still, three weeks into the new gig, I can’t help but miss the old profession. I miss the people I worked with and the folks I talked with each week. I don’t miss going out to wrecks in the worst of weather, risking my ass on an icy road in order to illustrate to other fools why they shouldn’t risk their respective asses on that same road. I don’t miss politicos behind the curtain calling with tips and then telling me that what they told me is off-the-record. I don’t miss my butt going numb in the peanut gallery at court enduring two hours of “I didn’t do it,” in order to get an update on the case I really care about. I’m not going to miss the crazed Birther who took away 12 minutes of my life trying to convince me that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and that he was, in fact, born to Sarek of Vulcan and Elizabeth Taylor. Who knew? Anyhow, that’s a dozen minutes I’m never going to get back, so thanks a lot.

Off-the-record has always bothered me anyway. Here’s Tom’s little piece of trivia for today (whatever day you read this): There’s no such thing as off-the-record. One day I’m going to write a book about all the things told to me off-the-record, and there’s not a shyster in the world that can do anything about it.

But before I do that, I’m going to do an open records request for all text messages sent by Georgetown City Council members during city council meetings. I’m no lawyer, but I think even most strict interpretation of the Commonwealth’s open meetings laws will stand behind me.

My one regret in 15 years as a journalist, though, is that I never rose to prominence enough to merit being put on a mafia payroll.

Although I write all this out of conceit, I don’t want to be missed. Some reporters suffer from the delusion that they are irreplaceable or that their voice is unique. In my case, not only was I replaceable, but I was replaced by a better, more experienced version of me. That’s a win for the paper.

If you do miss me, thank you. If not, I’m not going to beg you. The work, and not the accolades, was the reward, every day.

Coming soon: Less than a month into his tenure as a state employee, how is Tom taking the transition? Has his head come close to exploding as he tries to reconcile the idea of ending his work day at 4:30? How many inches does his butt rise out of his office chair whenever he hears a siren outside? And the capital of Nebraska is Lincoln!