My days are numbered at the Mercury News. We just settled a new union contract that punishes everybody to the tune of hefty pay cuts in the next year, but a few of us were singled out for extra spankings. All production — copy editing and page designing — will be moved to our sister paper in Walnut Creek, which generously pays its people at about 20 percent less than we earn. It looks like half of our production team will be laid off and the other half will get to soldier on with smaller rations.

Great time to be in the newspaper biz, eh?

I could just put my foot down and refuse to go, but I figure 80 percent of my Merc wages drains my savings considerably more slowly than zero percent, so I’m putting in for one of the Walnut Creek jobs. Walnut Creek is a nice town in the East Bay, close to tons of great trails. It also has BART access to San Francisco, unlike my current abode, and the rents are cheaper, so I don’t have any issues about living up there if I survive the cut.

I once wrote that I wouldn’t give up on the newspaper biz till it gives up on me. Well, the biz has its chance; we’ll see how it goes.