Can you hear me now?

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Here we are with a weird, short week, due to Thanksgiving Day, so let me tell you about the recent award ceremonies I attended. Not that relevant, but I’ve got to move some copy through.

First, I was at Nevada EcoNet’s last Golden Pinecone Awards ceremony on Nov. 16, accepting a special award for Kat Kerlin, our former environmental reporter. The Golden Pinecone is given to local people who’ve shown commitment to the local environment.

Kat couldn’t be there, so I was honored when she asked me to accept it for her.

I’d accepted the highly coveted Golden Pinecone for this newspaper once before in 2003, so I knew that the acceptance speeches could be somewhat long-winded, but the best ones were succinct and funny. And, as most of you know, I’m neither.

So I did what any red-blooded American editor would do, and when I reached the microphone, I called Kat on my cell phone so she could receive her own applause and give her own damned acceptance speech. When the crowd applauded, I told Kat that they were giving her a standing ovation, which they weren’t, but it seemed funny at the time since she couldn’t see us and all. Now I can’t bring myself to tell her I was kidding about that. I know none of you will tell her.

The next night, I was lucky enough to go watch my friend Matt O’Brien win the Silver Pen Award over at the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, which is truly a prestigious honor for Nevada writers. I really can’t recall how someone comes to be awarded the Silver Pen Award, but when I look at the past recipients, I see a rogue’s gallery that any writer would be proud to join—for cocktails anyway.

I didn’t get to accept Matt’s award for him or anything, but I did manage to have a few drinks with him afterward. And the next morning, I awakened to people texting me to ask if I was being evacuated.