Jerre Redecker: Having a perfect summer with computer switch done

We’re having the kind of summer South Sound natives live for: sunny, hot but not miserable, a little rain mid-week every once in awhile. Visitors this year must think that our reputation of endless gray and rain is a lie.

It’s certainly been perfect for our summer festivals. Summer in Thurston County is one big family-friendly party.

Lakefair opened to sunshine and closed with clear skies for the fireworks. Festival-goers could eat their Demoburgers and elephant ears in the sunshine while listening to local entertainment and screams from the carnival.

The Thurston County Fair wraps up Sunday, after hundreds of local youths showed their animals, ranging from guinea pigs to butcher pigs, rabbits, dogs, horses, goats, sheep and of course, the prettiest cow.

Next up is the Pet Parade, The Olympian’s 85th annual celebration of children and their pets takes to the streets of downtown on Saturday, Aug. 16. This year’s theme is “The Monster Mash.” There’s no sign-up fee — just show up at 8 a.m. at Heritage Park, and volunteers will sort attendees into the appropriate categories. The judging begins at 8:30, and that’s a real challenge for the judges, but everyone gets a goodie bag, some ice cream and great memories.

The parade starts at 10, making a loop through downtown, up Fifth Avenue, across on Franklin Street and then down to Sylvester Park. The streets are lined several people deep all along the route. Let’s hope the weather holds, so all the monsters, animal and human, have a great day.

The summer wraps up with Sand in the City Aug 23-24, with plenty for kids and adults. And finally, Harbor Days, with the classic tugboat races on Labor Day weekend.

We have reporters and photographers at all of these festivals, and you can find it all at theolympian.com.

It may seem like we’re running out of summer, but there’s still plenty left. Just don’t tell your out-of-state friends how great it is here.

Back in the newsroom, we’re finally on the other side of a full systems conversion that makes our stories flow seamlessly to the website and mobile apps and then into the production system for print. Anyone who’s gone through a computer system change knows how complex it can be, when everything you do now has a different twist, key stroke or follow-through.

Reporters are now directly managing their stories and adding photos for the Web and mobile devices. Editors and reporters can update stories multiple times a day and refresh them online with a couple of clicks. The copy desk and designers then pick up the stories and produce the newspapers that are delivered each morning.

As tough as learning a new system can be, we weren’t sorry to see our antiquated system, and the older computers that ran it, go away. Readers won’t see the results directly, but we hope you’ll notice more timely and lively online presence as we continue to find ways to bring you the news any time of day, anywhere you are.

Thanks for reading.