Whew. I'm enjoying a break. Not a college-style Spring Break, but some rest nonetheless. Spring marks the end of another busy trade show season for the SNIPS staff. While there may be a few small events over the summer, we get a few months off from the regular travel that marks October through March every year.



Whew. I'm enjoying a break. Not a college-style Spring Break, but some rest nonetheless.

Spring marks the end of another busy trade show season for the SNIPS staff. While there may be a few small events over the summer, we get a few months off from the regular travel that marks October through March every year.

As I've said before, I enjoy traveling, but being on the road every couple weeks starts to wear on you after a while. Housework doesn't get done and it takes a bit of juggling to schedule personal obligations.

Being back in the office also allows us more time to work on stories. We don't get as many story ideas from readers as I'd like, but we still get more than associate editor James J. Siegel and I are able to get to. But please keep sending them in.

Some time off the road also gives us time to work on other projects. A few months ago, we redesigned the magazine's look, adding new graphics, more color and a lot of subtle changes that would likely only interest those in publishing. We also redesigned our Web site, www.snipsmag.com. The new design provides more continuity with the Web sites of other publications owned by BNP Media, SNIPS' parent company, and allows for more pictures and content.

The Web site redesign is a work in progress and you'll likely see more changes in coming months.

Another new feature we're offering on the Web site is the chance to subscribe to SNIPS' e-newsletter. The newsletter arrives every month in e-mail inboxes, typically shortly after the print issue arrives in the mail.

James J. Siegel compiles and edits the e-newsletter. It includes some information on what's in the current print issue, along with a preview of the next edition. While we're also still developing the newsletter, we hope to include some late-breaking news as well as exclusive content.

To subscribe to the e-newsletter, go to www.snipsmag.com and click on the e-newsletter icon on the right side of the Web page. And let us know what you think of it. E-mail me at mcconnellm@bnpmedia.com or James Siegel at siegelj@bnpmedia.com.

HVAC on TV

On a different subject, many of my co-workers know I'm an avid fan of the Fox television series "24." The show, for those of you who haven't seen it, stars Kiefer Sutherland as government anti-terrorism agent Jack Bauer, who inexplicably finds himself in one crisis after another. The show is set in real time, with each episode covering one hour in Bauer's daylong drive to root out the terrorists that seem to always target Los Angeles.

The show is often highly implausible, but always a lot of fun. A recent episode had Sutherland's character trying to stop terrorists from releasing nerve gas in the ventilation system of a suburban Southern California shopping mall.

The reason I'm mentioning it in SNIPS is because the episode focused on the mall's HVAC system, with the characters discussing it at length. It isn't every day that you hear "HVAC" on television, let alone on a TV series. I was a little excited to see a TV show where the ventilation system was a major part of the plot.