Monday, December 31, 2007

Corry Pub turnover rate

OK, just to tie up a loose end... I worked at Corry Pub for like six years. It really afforded me some great opportunities while I was there. In fact, the current business I am in was purchased from Corry Pub, it's a pretty good gig, and I wouldn't have it, nor would I probably be able to live in Erie (for better or for worse) without Corry Pub.

That said, they have historically had a very high turnover rate, no matter what they say. When I started there in 1996, I think there were eight people in the editorial department. By the time I left in 2002, all eight were gone. As far back as 1993-94, I remember a friend of mine (who incidentally still works there) told me I should apply for a writer's job. However, I was working in Union City at the time (just up the road from Corry) and was warned by people there that they churned through people pretty good. I resisted applying until they advertised anonimously (presumably because of their reputation), and then point blank asked the publisher about the turnover rate. He, of course, assured me their policies had changed.

Of course, many things have happened there since I was hired as employee number 25. Maybe, they really have changed their policies to reduce turnover. But, if you're applying there and you're worried about that sort of thing, I'd ask to see some hard numbers.

Okay, I just wanted to get that all out there, so nobody can say Ralph's Place is hiding "the truth" from the people.



Friday, December 28, 2007

Commenting on deleted Corry Pub post

Shit, I was just doing a Google to locate my blog on an alternate computer and came across this post, which really takes me to task.

(Here's my comment, which I attempted to post on the linked to site, but for some reason I wasn't allowed to because comments on that blog are restricted to team members. Seems like an ironic policy for a blog that is basically ripping on me for deleting a comment I never even saw, but hey, it's a free world)
Sorry - I never saw the comment that the anonymous person has posted here. My colleague at the blog, Dr.D - a former Corry employee like myself made the original post. I think basically what he posted is accurate - or at least moreso than the story Corry tells, but hell, everybody lies a little... (and Brutus is an honorable man.)
Anyways, after Dr.D posted it, we both decided that it might appear a bit unprofessional, so we made a decision to take it down.
I guess it's back up now- as I'm including this link that has the original post plus the comments. Please feel free to comment, but I don't really appreciate snide, behind the back, peronal attacks. I really had no idea that anyone had even read this post and honsetly never saw the comment.
I am all about encouraging open, honest discussion.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

You know you're a Bills fan if....

1. You think Lou Saban is one of the greatest coaches ever.
2. You know O.J. did it, but you’re willing to forgive him.
3. You’ve ever wanted a Joe Cribbs throwback jersey.
4. You know that Jim Kelly was a better quarterback than Dan Marino.
5. You can name all 10 backs who’ve ever gained 1,000 yards for the Bills.
6. You wonder whatever happened to Cookie Gilchrist
7. You lament the trade of Joe DeLamielleure to the Browns.
8. You revere Joe Ferguson.
9. You considered voting for Jack Kemp for president even though you’re a liberal.
10. You remember where you were the day the Bills traded Greg Bell and draft picks to the Rams to get Cornelius Bennett from the Colts. ( with Eric Dickerson going to the Colts.)
11. You remember that Scott Norwood was once a Pro Bowl kicker.

These are some of the things I think about on holidays. Also, I figured 11 was a perfect number because, well that was Mr. Norwood's number.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry X-Mas

That's about it.
We've been pretty busy on this end, getting busy, buying the kids toys..
Got my wife a neat gift, but I can't say what it is, for fear she might read this and ruin the surprise.
I can say we went shopping for two hours yesterday
And I was passed out by 8, after watching Jeopardy. (Remember that old Greg Kihn? song - "Our love's in Jeopardy" that Wierd Al converted to "I Lost on Jeopardy.")

Anyways, hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.

And yes, I love eggnog and rum.



Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Weekend

Lot of snow. Did some shoveling and lit two fires. Can't ask for much more.



Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Viking of the Year

If they can pull this off, I nominate Continental Airlines for the Viking of the Year. I could barely make it driving the 15-20 minutes from my house to the Erie Airport this morning and saw one person spinout on the short stretech of I-79 between 26th and 12the streets. But, per usual, Continental's 24-seater or whatever is warming up and ready to go on the runway when I got here. "We're boarding at 6:45 because we have to de-ice" is all they told me. I sure hope we get out of here, because I'm headed for Miami, which will be a lot nicer if I have some time to unwind there this afternoon before conference festivities begin tonight.



Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Vanity Fair-Transylvania Heist

I keep trying to let my subscription to Vanity Fair run out, but they keep sending it, which is fine, because, it really contains some entertaining (and sometimes even informative) stories when you have time to read it. I got the December issue last week and found this wonderful article on a theft of some rare books by these pot-smoking college freshman/sophomores. Unfortunately, the article is not available online, Here it is - but there is a fairly decent summary posted on a Kentucky newsite. The heist took place in Lexington, Kentucky.

These guys almost pulled off this $10 million theft of some rare books stored at the University of Transylvania library. Now, they did mug a librarian, and this sort of theivery is by no means an honorable thing, but I was quite impressed by their ambition and that fact that they really almost succeeded. It took some serious planning and major cajones.

Basically, these three or four late-teens were sitting around getting high, going to college, and getting involved with petty crime. Then, they came up with this idea for this major heist and actually followed through with it. Personally, I've been through the first three things, and we may have fantasized about major crime back in the day, but we never had the ambition or wherewithal to actually go for it. I have to applaud these guys for their initiative.

It turns out, however, that there was one hole in their otherwise very smart plan. I blame too much marajuana for the fact they didn't recognize this hole ahead of time. The article makes a reference that one of the guys kept thinking the heist would be called off when they hit a major snag in the planning, but then describes how they were able to seemingly circumvent every snag. However, as I was reading the article, I could tell that their idea for getting an appraisal at Christie's was a bad one. This indeed is where the plan fell apart.

I guess the coup de grace about this whole thing is that these guys don't feel bad about what they've done. From my standpoint, it serves kind of like a brilliant college project for them - almost something you'd be proud to put on your resume. So, they're all serving seven years in the federal pen right now. The conclusion is that they're young, they'll be out in a few years, and that the whole thing was a great experience and gives them a great story to tell.

If you taking it from the mythological standpoint, the experience seems to have helped them cross the threshold into adulthood. Prior to the event, you get the feeling they felt they were suburban youths whose manhood was being suffocated. Now, they have established their own identity was would-be big time thieves.



Monday, December 03, 2007

Bizarre Bills win

The first thing I told my neighbor when he called yesterday after the Bills' game was, "We're supposed to lose those kind of games." And, maybe it's the curse of having former Bills head coach Gregg Williams as their defensive coordinator, but the Redskins truly lost in Bills-like fashion.

With 23 seconds to go, Bills wideout Josh Reed managed to get open 30 yards down the field on a post and make a catch to put us in field goal position -albeit a long 51-yarder in the rain. Well, thanks to Redskins Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs calling 2 consecutive time outs, the Bills found themselve 15 yards closer, on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and the kick was up and good. Bills win by a point.

The pass that rookie quarterback Trend Edwards threw to Reed was money. It looked like star receiver Lee Evans ran a deep route over the middle to clear some people out, and then Reed ran a post underneath. Edwards released the ball as Reed as making his cut, so the defense had little time to react. That landed perfectly in Reed's arms 35 yards from where it was launched and Reed was summarily smothered, but it was too late.

A great catch and run for 10 yards on the play before by Roscoe Parrish set up the Reed play. Parrish even managed to fumble out of bounds on the play to stop the clock. These are the types of games we always lose.

To add to the bizarre feel of the game was the fact that the Redskins were grieving safety Sean Taylor's shooting death earlier in the week. They may have been a bit off because of this, but it was a home game, and they also should have been somewhat inspired. However, inspired once again was not good enough in the cutthroat world of the NFL. (If you remember the Bills had severly injured tight-end Kevin Everett gives an inspirational talk right before they got waxed by New England two weeks ago.)

Here's SI columnmist Peter King's account of the first play of the game from his excellent Monday Morning Quarterback column on

"In an attempt to fire up his unit, assistant head coach in charge of defense Gregg Williams told his players on Saturday night they would play the Bills' first offensive snap with 10 players, as a tribute to the absent Taylor.

'When coach told us that,' Fletcher told me Sunday night, 'I can't tell you how excited we were. We thought it was a perfect tribute to Sean.' One problem: Williams neglected to tell Joe Gibbs, who, from all indications, did not know about it until the game began.

It wasn't a happy surprise for Gibbs, who watched Buffalo running back Fred Jackson rip off a 22-yard run on the first snap."

Right. Not to mention that the game-winning pass was completed in an area of the field that likely would have been Taylor's responsibility as a safety.

Anyhow, we're headed up to the Bills-Dolphins game next week. Takin' Joey to bust his NFL cherry. Got some pretty inexpensive seats off of eBay. Should be cold. Should be fun. A win would move the Bills to 7-6 with three games remaining - Browns, Giants and Eagles in that order, with the toughtest team-the Giants, in Buffalo

They're all must-wins if the Bills hope to make the playoffs, but the Browns game at Cleveland is shaping up to be the biggie-especially for fans around here. Cleveland is one of the teams battling the Bills for an AFC Wild Card spot. Now, I'm not saying the Bills have a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl or anything, but a 10-6 finish and makng the playoffs would at least take some sting out of that embarrassing national TV waxing by the Patriots.