Eat my vegetables

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

If you’ve have been reading this paper for a while, you know I’m a bit of a geek. I study computer operating systems for the sheer joy of it. I barely turn on the TV (except for cartoons and news), I love the political dialogue and the behind-the-scenes strategizing, and I’d rather work in my garden than go to a football game.

This month, I passed my 20th anniversary as a Reno resident, so you know I know what I’m talking about when I say this was a great summer for gardening. Virtually no insects this year. Except for that hot spell a few weeks ago, temperatures were perfect for growing flowers and vegetables, and now all my plants have come to harvest.

So, I’m a geek. I admit it. (My former intern told me my fascination with gardening is effeminate.) But this weekend, I raised the garden geek bar for myself to the point where I’m a little embarrassed to admit it. I did something that will probably kill your respect for me as a bad-boy culture critic and hardened and cynical news guy: I entered some of my vegetables in the Nevada State Fair, which will run from Aug. 25-29. As this paper runs through the press, the judges will be looking over my hot peppers, bell peppers, beans, carrots and beets.

To be honest, I don’t know why that admission is important enough to write about, but I think that when the newspapers, radios and TVs are bleeding American election lies into our jaundiced ears, maybe we need to realize that this is the way democracy is supposed to work, and when November and winter have come and gone, we’ll go back to digging in dirt, thinking about the little things American politics are supposed to preserve.

Finally, don’t forget to send in your “Best of” ballot. It’s on pages 35-36 this week. You can fill it out online at

Reason to vote No. 41: Third-party and independent voters will very likely decide the presidential election in Nevada this year.