Friday, December 30, 2011

No resolutions here

There will be no resolutions to start the new year. Never made them, never broken any.

Nothing about resolving to lose weight ... which may explain why I'm too heavy.

Nothing about exercising more ... which may explain why I'm out of shape.

Nothing about eating better ... which may explain why I need two arms to carry the takeout Chinese food, even though my wife only eats one small container of it.

Nothing about reducing stress ... not when you've been in the business I've been in for more than four decades.

Thing is, it will be three years in April since I was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia. (I know, "treatable" and "leukemia" don't seem like they belong in the same sentence.) I'm in remission and they tell me I'm likely to die from something else. Given my weight, my diet, my stress and assorted minor (so far) medical issues, that sounds like a good bet.

Oh, and did I mention my family history? My mother died at 50, my father at 60. Cancer. I'm 63. Whoever holds the record for longevity needn't feel threatened by me, you think?

I'm not fatalistic as much as I'm realistic. For now, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm working harder than ever, too hard, you might say, for someone nearer the end of a career than the beginning. (This is the newspaper business, after all.)

But family life is good (40 years of marriage to the same woman and we haven't had a disagreement since yesterday; two successful married sons; two wonderful daughters-in-law; a cute-as-a-button granddaughter; and one grand-dog).

I'm fortunate to be living comfortably, if not ostentatiously. And I can afford that takeout food for which I referred.

In other words, I can't complain (although my wife will tell you I do plenty of it).

So we step lively into 2012. Make the most of each day. Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday leftovers

*The usual routine on Christmas Day is movie and Chinese food. That was the plan again this year, too. But our two Chinese restaurants of choice were closed Sunday. Amazing. We wound up in - of all places - Ruby Tuesday (no, not Ruby Foo) and it was just fine.

*This year's movie, by the way, was "Young Adult" with Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt. As has been noted elsewhere, Theron's character may be the most unlikeable comedic heroine in Hollywood history. But don't let that scare you. Good movie, excellent performances.

*Another front-line National Hockey League player suffered a concussion this week (Sean Weber of Nashville). The league should be and is concerned about this rash of concussions, starting with the one still impacting the game's No. 1 draw, Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh. Lots of smart minds trying to figure out what to do. No easy answers, but I'd start by widening the rink. Players are too big for today's ice surface and that means less skating and more collisions. It probably won't happen though, because widening the ice will mean eliminating a couple of rows of prime seats, thus cutting revenue.

*If you have children and grandchildren who live far from home and you're still not "visiting" them on Skype, do yourself a favor and make the connection. (Oh, it does help if you have a computer.)

*This is the last week of the year, unless you're bookkeeping as we do at Journal Register Company and other businesses, in which case it's the first week of the first period (not month) of 2012. It's known as 4-4-5 accounting, which creates 13 weeks in each quarter.

*We'll get our share of snow this winter, no doubt. But for those of us who don't care for snow, look at it this way: It's nearly the end of the December and we haven't had any yet (save for that freak storm in October). Each day without snow is another day closer to spring.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I was going to tell you ...

Yes, yes, it's been too long since the last blog. I'm violating perhaps the most important rule of Blogging 101: blog regularly.

Has it been since Nov. 4? I can list all I've been doing to distract me from my blogging duties, but that would come across pretty much like "the dog at my homework," so I won't try.

All these little items I've jotted down as pearls of wisdom seem so trivial now.

I was going to tell you about why one Kingston mayoral candidate wasn't invited to the newspaper's livestream debate way back before Election Day. (So that the primary candidates - those with the best chance at actually becoming mayor - would have more time to talk.)

I was going to tell you about the newspaper's budgeting process for 2012 and how a publisher better have quality numbers people on his team or else it won't get done accurately and on time. (I do and it was.)

I was going to tell you how our parent company's budget review has been transformed from a tedious audit marathon in the old days to the current productive day-long planning session, involving corporate executives and the key people from our four New York newspapers, all in the same room (in Kingston, by the way), exchanging ideas and setting realistic goals, particularly for our Digital First environment. (How did the business world survive before PowerPoint?)

I was going to tell you how little I've missed pro basketball and how much I disapprove of football players who prance in celebration after scoring a touchdown, even though their teams are hopelessly behind on the scoreboard. (By the way, sadly, I fear the great broadcaster Marv Albert's voice finally is showing its age.)

I was going to tell you about the nice awards party our newsroom had to honor our Ivan Lajara, Patricia Doxsey and Tania Barricklo on their recent statewide honors. (Winning awards isn't what journalists think about as they go through their daily grind. But it sure is nice when others recognize your good work.)

Yes, I was going to tell you all about that stuff and more since my last blog on Nov. 4. I was also going to tell you I'll be more faithful to and current with this blog going forward.

Get that dog away from my homework!