Monday, August 30, 2010

The Dead Zone

We're nearing the end of "The Dead Zone." This is the annual period of time where little or no meaningful sports takes place.

The Dead Zone pretty much ends when the traditional school year begins. Children going back to school. Parents are gleefully happy to see the kids out of the house and out from in front of the television set they have stared at for 3 months eating cheetos and drinking soda pop yet at the same time freaked out that junior is now in middle school or high school. Been there done that. Our sons are 23 and 21 and in medical school and college, respectively. We don't take pictures of them on the first day with new clothes on, hair slicked back, and toting new backpacks although I do miss the ceremony of those days....they went by so fast. Too fast. Like a once cute puppy growing into a monster pet chewing it's way through the house. It just happens.

A harbinger of the end of The Dead Zone is preseason football - it has been going on for 3 or 4 weeks now and the ONLY good thing about preseason football is that it means the real season is about to start.

Baseball's brutal 162 game schedule finally ends in a month and then we can all get stoked for the playoffs. Basketball is just around the corner; college hoops and the pros. The US Open tennis slam takes place now....It's like the planet is back on it's axis again. Oh, I forgot to mention hockey - it starts in a month or so.

Let's get down to the discussion of the proposed 18 game NFL schedule in 2011 or 2012 which is an increase of the current 16 game season. Players are complaining that it's already too long of a season. My response to that is simple: don't play then. There are thousands of athletes who would gladly put on the pads to play in the NFL. Going from 4 preseason games to 2 is fine for us fans and an 18 game regualar season would be awesome. Sure records will be broken by adding 2 more games but that same argument existed when the league went from 14 to 16 games some 30 years ago. That there may be a lockout next year is, frankly, freaking me out and it should freak out the players and owners too. If the players union and owners can't agree on a labor deal, then the future of the NFL and next year in particular is in jeopardy.

This Thursday college football kicks off. Jake and I love college football. We'll watch college football all day on Saturday and then watch the highlights at night until we fall asleep on the couch. College football don't have any preseason games and about the only way to make it to the national title game is to run the table - win all of your games. Until there is a college football playoff ( my lifetime), it's about the only way a team can be assured a crack at the title. Even then, like undefeated Utah and Boise State and Auburn of a few years ago found out, you need alittle luck on your side too.

The absence of a college playoff is astounding considering the revenue it would generate and that a true champion could be crowned and then the debate over who is better would finally be decided. This argument has been going on for years and will continue to go on.....sadly.

We've endured another Dead Zone. Let the games begin.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)",

As a huge fan of music from the 1960's and 1970's I heard The Byrds "Turn! Turn! Turn!" this morning on the way to work and wanted to blog about the meaning of song to me. For those who don't know the song, the lyrics are noted below.

Suffice to say that in Las Vegas, the change of traditional seasons doesn't often allow the perspective that other areas of the country have - we don't go from steamy summers to crisp falls to winter wonderlands to spring thaws. For better or for worse, we live under a scorching sun 360 days a year and the heat that goes along with it. Our 10 days of winter ususally occur in January, following by a week of spring and 2 months of windstorms, then the heat sets in from April to November. Nice.

I am using the heat as a metaphor for absence of change that living in the desert brings. The subtle changes are just that - subtle, slow and often imperceptible to those of us who live here. That's why the song Turn, Turn, Turn had me humming it long after my radio had moved on to Peter Frampton.....

There have been some seismic life changes happen in our family over the past few months and just like the song says, there is a time for every purpose.

As I embark on a new business venture, I've left the weirdness of my past employer behind me. In the wake of that train wreck some relationships became collateral damage and were jetisoned but others were gained in the process. Alec and Tiffany have left Janae's (and mine) "Camelot" (Salt Lake City) and moved to Reno for medical school leaving friends and making new ones where his days are filled soaking up biochemistry, histology, and anatomy lectures that he loves so much. Tiffany is ready to bring their first child into the world within a month while our Jake-Jake is preparing for school at UNLV and to be one of the student team managers for the Runnin' Rebels basketball team that he loves so much. Janae continues to keep us all on track in her own wacky and wondeful way.

The song paints a picture of what life is really all about. Change. If you're not living, you're not changing (I just made that up, haha).

So read the words to the song and realize that stuff happens, shit happens, and then it starts all over again. Life is like that and that's what makes it so wonderful, sad, happy, funny, joyous, and fun.

Words-adapted from The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes
Music-Pete Seeger

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

Monday, August 16, 2010

Med School

We attended Alec's white coat ceremony the other day at the Nevada School of Medicine. The cloaking of each student with the white coat symbolizes their entry into the medical profession. The next day Alec was vaccinating kids at a free clinic. Nothing like being tossed right into the frying pan - here's your white coat and stethoscope, go draw some blood and give out some shots.

One of his fellow students fainted while attempting to draw blood so that will be a fun memory......for the rest of his life.

The class is small - only 62 people which is great for the students. I met at least 1/2 that many Deans, Assistant Deans, and professors. I believe this is a good place for Alec. We loved the Reno area too. They live in Sparks which is 15 minutes and a world away from The Biggest Little City in the World. Rolling hills, the Sierra Nevada's to the west, a brilliant blue sky......just like watching Bonanza when I was a kid. The school has two new medical school buildings opening soon; one this month and one next year so the facilities are top-notch. He'll get to experience rural medicine in some small areas of the state and also spend a great deal of time in Las Vegas at University Medical Center which will be a circus - imagine the ER on any night in Las Vegas.....go ahead, think of all the crazy stuff that happens in this town....I can't wait to hear the stories.

The life experiences of the class of 2014 are so diverse; 28 languages are spoken, 19 lived abroad for a period of time, many served medical missions outside of the United States...a neat group of young people. All seemed excited. What a fun adventure lies ahead for each of them.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Runyon & Woodbury

Last week the Nevada DOI made us an official insurance agency.... so we got that going for us.....which is nice. Plus, we also got our name on the door, and on the building directory. No going back now.

Starting a company is an unbelievably tedious process but filled with comical moments, meetings with dozens of people (more comical moments), racing around town in 113 degree heat, and ordering everything from paper clips to office furniture to pizza....Finally, it's about time we got down to the real business of being in business and that is selling insurance. We are thisclose to that time.

I spent a few days in Oceanside but my head was in the surf thinking of all the stuff I needed to do. I spent some good time with the kids, daughter-in-law and wifey-poo before heading back to the circus.

Everyone is starting new stuff...

Jake got his official acceptance to UNLV so he's excited about that new adventure. He will be working as a student team manager for the Runnin' Rebels basketball program so he is more than fired up about that experience.

Alec began medical school TODAY so that is the continuation of his lifelong dream of becoming a surgeon. Their first day? Orientation and a trip to Lake Tahoe to bond. I'm jealous.

Janae as always is holding the fort down. I found it incredibly difficult while she was gone juggling all the things she does for our family from taking care of the 4 cats and 2 dogs to managing the people that come in and out of our lives each day. Man I was beat coming home from work only to have to do more work....and then find something to eat although my mom hooked me up with lots of good stuff.

We're all on a new journey of sorts and that has me mentally re-engaged. I'm excited for what is happening in the Runyon family....change is good.

Grandbaby #1 is due in 5 weeks....+/-