Takin' care of business

Welcome to this week's Reno News & Review.

I hope you all had a great winter solstice and will have a healthy and happy new year.

I got a letter from a reader, J. Tyler Ballance, who suggested some interesting ideas. I guess I find them interesting because they're along the lines of my thinking for 2014. Basically, my mantra for 2014 is this: Fix things that are broken; in the meantime, don't break things that work.

I just decided to run Ballance's whole email on this page, so I won't bother repeating what he has to say, but let me tell you where I'm coming from.

Since I moved into my house more than 10 years ago, people in the shower get scalded every time somebody flushes a toilet, waters the dogs or runs the dishwasher. I'm going to have a tempering valve installed. Once it's fixed, it will probably never be broken again. My house is 50 years old; it's about time.

At this newspaper, our user interface with our calendar system has been screwed up since its creation. We should have the best online calendar in the city, but it's horrible. People use it, but I hear complaints about it at least two or three times a month. Start the countdown, by Dec. 31, 2014, I intend to use all my influence to get it fixed and usable. If I learned anything this semester, it's about the ramifications of not making things work for the people who want to use them.

I've got a closet in my guest bedroom more than half-filled with books in boxes. They've been in those boxes for a couple of years. Time to either put them on the shelves at my house or at the library.

I'll bet everybody has some of these sorts of things. This year, I'm going to spend a bit of time identifying a few. Maybe I'll write a list to myself, or maybe I'll publish it, so I can be mocked for my failures.

As I look at the above drivel, it occurs to me I came dangerously close to making a new year's resolution. Right now, lets just call it “hope.”