Happy new year

Welcome to this week's Reno News & Review.

It's my first column of the new year!

The tradition among columnists is to write about hopes for the new year, but I don't have a goal in my head. I didn't make a new year's resolution. I don't have any burning desire for self-improvement. I guess I have some expectations of changes for 2015, but as the Magic 8 Ball used to say, “Reply hazy, try again.”

My son will turn 18 on July 4 and will heading off to college in August or so, and that's going to be a giant change. For the last 10 years or so, Hunter's going to college has been unofficially attached to a countdown. I don't know exactly how my life is going to change when I'm on my own again, but it's going to change, and I hope it's dramatic.

The mind just reels, doesn't it? There are only a few times in a person's life where there's an opportunity for a complete change. When? After high school, after college, divorce, change of jobs, released from prison, empty nest, retirement—that's about all I can come up off the top of my head.

You know one constructive change I could make? I could jettison Facebook and its ilk as the failed experiment in communication it turned out to be. Is that the radical change I'm talking about? Maybe, in that I would move away from the appearance of communication to actual human relationships that don't include wires and silicon.

I can't change jobs and stay in Northern Nevada. I don't have the best-paying media job in Reno, but there's no other media outfit I would work for. I suppose I could start writing books—which has always been my ultimate plan—and stay in Reno, but really, why would I change one and not the other? I'm pretty sure we can expect a real estate bubble when Tesla comes to town, and that might make an opportunity.

Who knows? All I know is I hear a whistle in the distance. It might be Amtrak; it might be the train at the end of the tunnel.