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Marg-Ins - Of Mets And Machines
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So usually being at work until late night Tuesday is not my favorite thing. Let’s just start there. Because if I am at work late Tuesday night it means there was a problem with production and the paper (or papers, depending on when the problem occurred) did not go to press on time.

For those that are unaware, we do three papers out of the office in Oakdale, first sending The Riverbank News to press (Monday night), The Escalon Times (early Tuesday afternoon) and The Oakdale Leader (ideally mid-Tuesday afternoon). There are deadlines throughout the week for all three papers and additional deadlines for certain sections within those papers.

Yes, it sometimes is hard to keep track of what is supposed to happen when and what paper I am working on at any given moment.

So this past Tuesday as I was working with the production folks in Manteca (where the press is located) we had what could be considered a major hitch. We were just about finished with Escalon when our computers decided to stop talking to each other. Luckily, we had a second option for me to send the material for the pages, the paginator to lay them out and send them back for me to proof and okay (or make changes, depending on what needed to be fixed) for the press. It only happened with the final couple of pages in Escalon and then it randomly started working again.

So, no problem – on to Oakdale.

From my end, I put in all the pages that needed to be done but got concerned when I hadn’t seen any come back to me in quite some time. Long story short, our paginator in Manteca could see what I put in to our ‘shared’ data file between computers but when he put them back in, all laid out, they didn’t show up on my end. Even the second option failed us that time.

That required a lengthy process of uploading huge files of pages to email and sending them off, me downloading them on this end, checking them, calling with changes, having those changes made and those revised pages re-uploaded, re-downloaded, re-checked … etc., etc., etc.

It was a very time-consuming process that neither the paginator in Manteca or myself were very happy about, but, what’s a newspaper team to do? You have to get the presses rolling eventually.

Probably the only good thing that came out of the whole debacle was that I wasn’t home watching TV as the Giants lost to the Dodgers in the National League West-clinching game. I had the game on the radio here at work, but was just as happy to NOT watch the Dodgers celebrating their postseason berth at AT&T.

Guess we should have not expected a lengthy October run from San Francisco anyway; it’s not an even year.

What did make me happy about 2015 is how long we had a chance. If you look at the line-up we put on the field for that Sept. 29 game, I think there were three players in our starting nine that were starters when the season began. The others were brought up from the minors or obtained during the season, as the Giants battled a rash of injuries even a hypochondriac couldn’t have dreamt up. But they made it work and gave us hope until the final week of the campaign.

Now I just need a little poetic justice – the Dodgers play the Mets in the National League Division Series. The New York Mets. The team the radio station I worked for when I lived in New York was affiliated with, the team I rooted for, the team I celebrated when they beat the Boston Red Sox in the ’86 World Series.

I’m not necessarily asking for another championship for the New Yorkers – but I’ll happily take a first round win over the Dodgers. Go Mets!


Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.