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Marg-Ins - Never A Dull Moment
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As September gives way to October, the weather - hopefully - is changing to more of a fall feel, baseball (at least in San Francisco and Oakland) has given way to football and it's time to start preparing for the next big few holidays. I see Halloween costumes, turkeys and stockings in the near future.

In my world, the Sharks are also back on the ice and even though the Giants won't repeat as World Series champions, I am satisfied that they went as far as they could, making it interesting by staying mathematically alive for the playoffs up until the final week of the regular season. If you follow baseball at all and take into account the vast number of injuries, some of them to key players, that the Giants sustained this year, it's pretty amazing we were still scoreboard watching in September. And of course, I will pay attention to football scores to see if the 49ers can come away with a winning record.

On the local front, Escalon has completed its fall Homecoming and this week we have the same festivities for Oakdale and Riverbank, another autumn ritual. There never seems to be a 'down' time in our business, as each week brings more and more to do.

Every day also seems to include something new and I recently had the opportunity to meet with some Chamber of Commerce members in Oakdale to talk about the three newspapers we put together here, offering some insight into how the production schedule plays out. When you are in the midst of your week, getting things done, you think of it as just business as usual. But when you step back and outline for someone what you do on a daily basis, it's easy to wonder how you fit it all in. By the time I arrived at the Chamber presentation in the early afternoon, I had already made four stops on different stories in Escalon, many of them also requiring photos. A recent evening saw three events on my schedule between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., juggling to spend enough time at each before moving on to the next.

With such a great variety, though, it never gets dull and there's always a story to work on that gets your creative juices going.

It probably won't surprise people that we go through quite a bit of coffee here, what with early morning duties and some late night deadlines. I committed the cardinal sin of actually breaking the coffee pot this past week. On a Monday.

Not a good day not to have an ample supply of coffee. One of our two biggest deadline days of the week.

We had already had a pot of coffee that morning, though, so it wasn't as tragic as it could have been. And I was doing a good deed, rinsing and swishing out the coffee carafe to brew a fresh pot when I swished a little too close to the counter and struck the bottom of the glass carafe on the unyielding countertop. It didn't exactly shatter, but it definitely would not hold coffee anymore.

We looked for an extra carafe but to no avail. There was talk of bringing in instant until a new coffee pot could be procured. But I also remembered a mini four-cup coffee pot that had been used years ago in the Escalon office - where I was the only coffee drinker of the two of us in that office - still visible on the top of my filing cabinet.

So I hauled it down, wiped it off and figured at least those most in need would get a cup out of the little four-cupper.

Well, I don't know what kind of cup they used for measuring but it certainly wasn't this-is-a-newspaper-I-need-a-mug-of-coffee cup. It was more like a measuring cup for a child's pretend tea party.

Regardless, it worked in a pinch, even if we had to brew multiple pots to make sure there was enough for everyone to get a few sips. It would have been perfect if we'd had an E-Z Bake oven. Then we could have had pretend cookies.

Thankfully, a brand new coffee pot arrived - grown up size - by midweek and we got our caffeine levels back to normal again. Just in time to make sure we met this week's deadlines.

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