Alas, you'd think Friday would bring forth a work-week's sigh of relief. Well, not this week. And, not often in the mag-publishing world. Deadlines are deadlines. And they're not tidy; nor, do they necessarily fall into perfect position on my fantasy calendar. And, EVERY year, I somehow forget just how tight these dang deadlines are around the holidays. After six years, you'd think I'd be prepared for the stress.
I think because Thanksgiving was so late this year, we literally came back from the Thanksgiving holiday and had something like 9 days to put an issue together! N-I-N-E! OK...I'm done playing the martyr. It's not as if everyone isn't working their rear-ends of this year. It's been a tough one for all of us, and I, for one, am grateful and equally thrilled that I have the job I do. Plus, we're on the homestretch! Believe it or not, your February issue will be leaving my fingertips in days. Yes, I said February. Happy Valentine's Day on Christmas!
And, although I will still be finishing up an article, editing, proofing and frantically pulling February together with my great shipmates here all day on Monday, Erin and I have a surprise dinner date Monday evening! ?The One-and-Only Mr. Albert Dunning!
Al has been in Fort Worth the last few weeks for all of the cutting events, and with this deadline, we just never got a chance to go hang out with him over there in cowtown. He returns to Arizona next Tuesday morning, but will be at the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport for a conference on Monday. So, Erin and I are going to kidnap him after work for dinner.?
Now, here's your chance to...ASK AL ANYTHING!!! If you guys will send me some questions over the weekend for Al, I promise I'll deliver. Anything (that is, within reason), and I bet Al would tell ya! He's just that kind of guy. As long as I've been working with Al now (primarily via phone and e-mail), I think I've only met him once in person (see photo below) and somehow was nervous and managed to call him "Bob." Rest assured, he's never let me forget that one.
At the 2008 Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio, my marketing pal Shelly Mix and I put together a little Team H&R dinner party one evening. Al, Bob Avila, Clinton Anderson, and Stacy Westfall attended. In this photo, Shelly gave little thank-you speech to our Team members and presented them with a lil' Team H&R gift. And, apparently Al was very excited about getting his Team H&R monogramed vest.
So, this is your big chance! Write to me over the weekend or on Monday. Shoot me a question for Al, and I'll do my darndest to get a "good" answer for you. And, eh, if we get several, we'll just do a post on 'em, so we can discuss.?I'll start by asking him his most embarrassing riding faux-paus ever.
So, yes, even after super-tough deadlines, there are definitely diamonds looming ahead. Hope everyone has a great weekend! Go ride! I haven't seen my Memphis-Pooh in two weeks and am way homesick for him. Heading out first thing in the morning, even though it seems to be in the 20s in Dallas.