A sign of the times, in the L.A. Times

November 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

My power of observation, much like many of my previously super powers, seems to be fading.

After my post yesterday on how those ads for the “Black Thursday night / Friday morning” sales had bloated the Los Angeles Times daily edition past the usual bulk of their Sunday paper, I had another look at this paper that I grew up with (o.k., more or less grown up with), and I found that the paper itself is on the way to being history. The issue in question now has far fewer columns, and is about 1/2 to 2/3rds the width across than how I remember it was. I suppose that this might help save a tree somewhere, but it really comes down to, like most things in life, the basic “follow the money” paradigm with savings on the purchase of paper stock, ink, and distribution costs on a daily basis factoring in there. I do look at this paper and the New York Times on line each day, but there’s something about holding a real newspaper in my hands that I’m going to miss when they’re gone.

Under close scrutiny of  todays paper, with the exception of a cars for sale section, I find that there is no ordinary sort of classified section included. Exactly when did this omission start, and why didn’t I get a notice from them about it? This rivals the day when the paper ceased publishing the scary and close to the bone specific daily horoscope by Sydney Omarr, but at least that had a reasonable explanation when I found that Sydney had ceased breathing. The replacement they found is, in a word, worthless, full of nothing but generic crap that anyone can find a way twist to make it seem like it’s relevant to something in their own life.

A list of the obvious suspects (besides the economy, stupid) for this demise of the “want-ads” section would likely be topped by “Craigslist“, an online site where ads from most of the world for anything you can imagine are carried (for the most part for free), with postings that can be started, changed, and stopped in about a heartbeat by the lister. Also, these ads are searchable by a variety of ways that their newspaper equivalents could never do except for area, and you can choose parameters like a maximum or minimum price range to search, if they have included photos, and much more using keywords and search methods.

Not to jinx things, but at least the L.A. Times still has a crossword puzzle, which is my constant for measuring my remaining cognitive ability. The Monday edition is usually solved in about 5 minutes, until each days progressive rise in difficulty terminates on Saturday when it might take me up to a half hour to figure out those obscure hints. There may have been a few days that I wasn’t able to finish the puzzle, but that’s a subject for another posting. Again, the crosswords serve as a constant to monitor my slide towards “Old-Timers” disease, and after all, this blog’s all about me.

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