Monday, March 23, 2009

Final P-I grace notes

I'm still making my way through Tuesday's final print edition of the Seattle P-I, and there's some great fine-print stuff hidden in there among the big-headline commemorative features I highlighted last week.

Buried on Page A32 with the rest of the obits -- between "PETERSON: Susan A." and "RASKOV: Marcia C." -- is this two-line listing under "King County Deaths": "POST-INTELLIGENCER: Seattle, 146, of Seattle, March 17.

And then my favorite, in the Sports section's agate-type transactions column -- where, for example, you might normally learn which spring-training baseball players were cut from their major-league rosters -- the Monday transactions include "Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Department." Listed there are the "released" sports editor Nick Rousso, who joined us for Friday's M&M poker game, and baseball reporter David Andriessen who, in the jargon of the form, is said to be "placed on irrevocable waivers for the purposes of granting him his unconditional release."

Everyone in the sports department is given a similar send-off. Funny, sad, classic gallows-humor stuff.

The best transaction report, though, is the final entry, which doubles as a parting shot at the new, skeleton-crew online P-I:

"Optioned Gerald Spratt (night editor) and Greg Johns (reporter) to their minor-league camp."

Spratt and Johns are staying on at

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Family Movie

I made this little video of the girls (using the iSight camera on the MacBook 13'') during our Thanksgiving trip to Grandma Rita's house. I finally got around to getting permission from Jon Brion's people to use his beautiful song "Little People" with the video, so can finally post. Enjoy!


(Sorry, I had to remove the video. I only had the right to use the Jon Brion music for a little while. Thanks Jon Brion!)

Inaugural M&M home game

Never play poker with a guy named Doc, they say, so maybe our first mistake was inviting Rayo “Doc” Inouye to our little card game at Casa M&M on Friday night.

Rayo, a retired copy desk chief at the Seattle Times, is now a semipro poker player whose identity as Doc is so ingrained in local card rooms that, as we laughed about again the other night, he was once called upon to perform CPR at a table-side medical emergency. He’s a fun guy to have in a home game, full of stories about the old days in newspapers and gambling halls.

It was about time that Michelle and I reciprocated by inviting some journo friends over for a game here. We’ve been mooching off pals like P-I managing editor David McCumber and Seattle Timesers Jim Simon and Jack Broom for years -- in fact I played with Jack and Rayo in a regular game 20 years ago -- and when we lived in LA we had a semi-regular game that always seemed to be at the home of our friends Donna Wares and Ed Humes, never at ours. Some kind of Matassalosi aversion to cleaning, I suspect.

This time Broom, Simon, Rayo, McCumber and former P-I sports editor Nick Rousso all came out to West Seattle -- and everyone brought something to eat or drink, including some splendid salmon and delicious salami under McCumber's arm. It was quite the party.

Also a great seven-handed poker game. Michelle, unsurprisingly, drank the other six of us grizzled old-school reporter/editor types under the table and took our money too. My kind of chick.

Doc made it through the night without being called upon to practice medicine. But his poker skills were scalpel-sharp; he was the game’s biggest winner.

We’re hoping to make it a regular M&M event, even if that means we have to tidy up every few weeks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jefferson, improvised

Now that I have received permission from Flickr user little.brain (Paul Fankhauser, until this week a P-I tech expert), here is the photo I mentioned yesterday of Thomas Jefferson's famous quote about newspapers. The quote, painted in a P-I newsroom stairway, was modified by a commenter apparently unhappy with the paper's online future.

By the way, there was some speculation online that this is a Photoshopped picture, with the snarky amendment to Jefferson added digitally. Paul assures me the sign was real, that it was still taped to the wall late Monday night but was gone when he arrived at work on Tuesday.