The Scoop

About 1:15 in the morning. All was calm.

I had finished my work. Page eight didn’t look too bad. It had been dropped in the server and sent away to the publisher and everything online was updated.

In fact, it was only the front page to finish up. In about five minutes we could pack up and turn off the lights. Time to head home.

We were sitting around, enjoying a week of hard work now done and watching assembly democrats ramble about anything that could fill enough time to continue a 61-hour bill stall.

I’m not sure who noticed it first, but suddenly, there was a lot of activity coming from that laptop screen. Someone was calling for a vote. Everyone was shouting. Within 30 seconds, the speaker called the vote and half of the assembly chamber was all but running out a back door, while the other half shouted… huh?

They’re definitely shouting ‘shame.’

We were all a little stunned, but instinct took over and we mobilized. We left a few people behind to run the newsroom, and the rest of us took off for the Capitol.

What the hell just happened?

Hustling up State Street, we hit the Capitol steps and a hustle became a run. Once inside the building, I’ll admit, I had no idea where to go. The protesters that were still up at 1:30 all appeared upset, but strikingly calm.

It smelled awful in there.

We soon found the stairs to the chambers blocked off with a dozen State Troopers, and with no credentials, we were stuck.

Two orange shirts appeared, coming down the stairs a minute later. Rep. Cory Mason was one. When he ducked between the troopers, I asked him, simply, ‘Sir, what happened in there?’

I was sure he was ignoring me. He kept walking away until he turned around slightly and mumbled angrily, ‘We were screwed.’

Fortunately, another one of our writers caught him in a more talkative mood a few minutes later and we had our quotes. Two of our photographers appeared out of nowhere as well, and now we had our photos.

Heading back to the news room, we were beat, but still running on adrenaline.

It took until 3:30 to completely make over the front page and finally put it to print.

We had beaten everybody, though. The competitor simply changed their headline and added a few informative paragraphs to a pre-existing story. They had not gone up to the Capitol. They had no quotes, no photo.

None of the regional papers had anything either. They obviously have a much stricter print deadline, and were likely putting ink to paper by the time we were just scrambling for quotes.

Only one paper Friday morning had a fresh photo and story from the night before.

And it felt pretty damn good.

Random Fact: The word “cabbage” only appears once in the works of Shakespeare.


Cost Versus Benefit

In order to fully understand this blog (and life), I ask you always keep in mind one important idea.

Cost vs. benefit.

The idea is simple. Every action has a cost and every resulting action has a benefit. If an action has a low cost and a high benefit, then it is generally regarded as a good action. If instead you find yourself with a high cost and low benefit, you will probably look for a different option.

I will also use the idea of risk vs. reward interchangeably. They are, in essence, the same idea.

Don’t believe how important this idea is? You just put it to good use by reading this sentence. In the back of your mind, you weighed the cost of reading that sentence vs. the potential benefit. Reading that sentence (and this one) cost you time that you could have used for anything else in the world. Yet, you found the benefit of satisfying your curiosity (or appeasing your pity towards me and this blog) was worth that cost.

Consider for a moment whether or not you will eat a banana in the next sixty seconds. If you are hungry, enjoy bananas and happen to have one near you, the costs of eating the fruit are low and the benefits are potentially high. Perhaps you do not have a banana readily available. Poor you. Even though you might love the taste of bananas and even if you are starving, the cost of leaving the comforts of your current location may prove higher than the potential benefits of satisfaction.

I really have not told you anything academically earth shattering. I am not a trained economist nor am I a certified psychologist. But you do begin to look at every decision in life a little differently when you examine each decision you make as a balance of cost and benefit or risk and reward.

And that will be key.

Random Fact: A red, yellow or orange bell pepper provides more vitamin C than a navel orange.