Time doesn't fly.

Life does.

One day you're a young - but earnest - new reporter with writer's block pecking away on a banged up Royal typewriter with a ribbon that needs changing.

Next thing you know, you're a gray-haired, about-to-be-retired editor with writer's block pecking away at a silvery Apple laptop that keeps sending you e-mail alerts with a chirpy "dee-dee-DAH!"

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Today's my last day on the job.

After 39 years with The Press of Atlantic City - 21 of them as editor - there is much that I will miss about helping to produce a daily newspaper in southern New Jersey.

There is also much that I will decidedly NOT miss.

And so, instead of yet another recitation of the many changes that the newspaper business has experienced over the years (zzzzz), I thought I'd "do a Letterman."

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"Top 5 Things I'll Miss Most Starting Next Monday"

1. Hearing and sensing the hum of human energy that builds and washes across a newsroom when a significant news story begins to unfold and the newsroom's coverage scramble begins.

2. Listening to and contributing to the - sometimes passionate - daily arguments and discussions about which stories or photos "belong" on the front page of the paper or on the section fronts of the Sports, Life, Region and At The Shore sections.

3. Reading ALL the letters to the editor that come in the mail or arrive as e-mails and picking the "best" ones to publish: the thoughtful ones, the clever ones, the sad ones, the angry ones, the funny ones, and even the ones that criticize The Press (appropriately) for errors of fact or judgment.

4. Reading Press stories about to be published that document significant, positive changes taking place in southern New Jersey. (Particularly stories and photos about changes that might never have happened if The Press hadn't brought a problem or an issue to light.)

5. Watching young - but earnest - new reporters, photographers, editors and graphic artists develop confidence and experience with amazing speed, and quickly start to make important contributions to our print and online journalism efforts.

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"Top 5 Things I'll Miss Least Starting Next Monday"

1. Rejecting the publication of letters to the editor that compliment The Press, the news staff or other Press employees for their "good work." (We don't use limited letters space for complimentary letters about the "good work" done by anyone who is SUPPOSED to be doing "good work" for the public.)

2. Seeing all the data analyzed each year by our newsroom on the state's school test scores that show - consistently - UNremarkable performances by almost all of southern New Jersey's public schools compared to the rest of the state.

3. Hearing local radio stations that don't employ ANY reporters shamelessly stealing the work of Press reporters and passing it off as their own "news reports."

4. Seeing Atlantic City politicians forget year after disappointing year what "public service" really means.

5. Getting angry calls and e-mails alleging Press coverage "bias" from passionate band parents, crew parents, softball parents, mock trial parents, hockey parents, diving parents and the parents of other terrific kids who participate in all sorts of demanding, competitive activities. (If I were writing this on a banged up Royal typewriter, I would hammer out this next sentence very hard in all caps: THE PRESS DOES NOT HAVE A "FAVORITE" SCHOOL ACTIVITY OR SCHOOL.)

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"dee-dee-DAH!"

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Gotta go. Good luck, Neill.

Neill Borowski succeeds Paul Merkoski as executive editor on July 1. Merkoski can be reached via e-mail - for a few more days - at pmerkoski@pressofac.com.