Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fazekas' Time

Just a quick update on the best player to come out of Nevada being recognized as such:


Since my post about Nick being added to the AP 2nd team All American, he has also been named to the ESPN All American First Team, and more recently, he was named Wednesday to the 10-player Wooden Award All American Team. He is in some pretty elite company these days.


He earned it.


Way to go, Nick. We are really going to miss you around here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Zen and Quality

"What is quality?"

This is the all-important question that drives the dialogue of my current (re)-reading. How does one define quality? Try to answer the question yourself, and you may find an impasse. We all KNOW what quality is, but try and define it and it becomes elusive.


No matter.

I know that quality is now. I know that quality is a trait used in comparison, but also that it is not necessary to have the lesser in order to appreciate the greater.




Some things just are quality things...all by themselves. This view of Sean on his bike is the highest quality view on earth. THIS time, the time spent following behind the little man in the yellow vest as he decides which direction to go and at what speed we shall travel...THIS is the best quality of life.

Maybe you believe my finding to be of little significance to your own vision of quality. If so, then you are correct. What happens to be the highest quality of your own existence? How do you define quality? I'd actually love to know.

You know what quality is, and you seek it. You aim for quality, and you are sad and depressed and unfulfilled when it is absent from your life. Everyone needs quality.




I'm following mine.

Work it out...

Coelho just told me this story:

An old fable passed on orally: As soon as he died, Juan found himself in a very beautiful place, surrounded by the comfort and beauty that he had dreamt of. A person dressed in white came up: ‘you have the right to whatever you want: any food, pleasure, fun”, he said.

Delighted, Juan did everything he had dreamt of during life. After many years of pleasures, he looked for the person in white:

“I’ve already done everything I wanted to”, he said. “Now I need some work, to feel useful”.

“I’m very sorry”, said the person in white, “but this is the only thing that I cannot get for you. Here there is no work”.

“To spend eternity dying of tedium? I would prefer a thousand times to be in hell!”

The person in white came up, and said in a low voice:

“Where do you think you are?”

Monday, March 26, 2007

Team2

Our boy Nick was named to the AP's All American 2nd Team. I've said it before: his career was more than impressive. Nick will be missed, as will his 2,000 (or so) points and 1,000 (or so) rebounds. Lots of rumors making their way through the sewing circles today about the fate of our beloved Wolf Pack. Time to wish Fazekas the best and cross our fingers that we can keep enough of our talented assembly of players and coaches in tact for at least another year. Only time will tell...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Beaujolais

Last night, my beautiful wife and got a babysitter and went out to Beaujolais Bistro on West Street. We've only dined there a handful of times, but it's always a treat. Having established itself as one of the unique, high-end cozy hideaways since 2002, this place has remained consistently at the top of the gourmet game. I don't know too much about French cuisine, but I know that chef Gilbert's rich sauces and warm atmosphere are appealing to all of the senses. The exposed brick walls and friendly staff help as well. Our waiter suggested a very nice Zin to drink, (CG Di Arie Southern Exposure Zinfandel 2004) and we put the bottle away in good pace with the meal.

Babymama stepped out of her comfort zone and had the venison chops with huckleberries, and I had a wonderful pork tenderloin. We split some strawberry crepes for dessert and headed off to less exciting events. I just love the occasional splurge on a really fine meal.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

SXSW 2007 - 21 - Introduction to the bros

Here's a couple of dudes I know. They popped up on this Flickr account that I have listed in my "friends" category, and it was cool to see some familiar faces. If you are from Reno, you probably know these guys. If you are from Boise or Seattle, you might also know them. I had the good fortune to work with both of them at one point in my life, and just wanted to give them the biggest shout out from the meekest little blog in the world.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Give it away, give it away, give it away now...

I was serendipitously listening to one of my favorite Chili Peppers songs of all time, when I happened upon this recent news blurb. Click the title for the whole story, but to summarize, a Japanese real estate mogul is handing over several of his Hawaiian mansions to poor families to live in :

Kawamoto, one of Japan's richest men, said he planned to open eight of his 22 Kahala homes to needy Hawaiian families. They will be able to stay in the homes for up to 10 years, he said.

Nice.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Blogcast Fun

Click on the title to hear a great podcast from a couple of smart young men from Twelve Horses interviewing Erin Kuo. She's an outspoken leader of the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network, an EDAWN brainchild. YPN is a necessary step in diversifying the human capital of our local economy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Of Me and Men

One of my current reads is a little daily number called "The Intellectual Devotional", by Kidder and Oppenheim. It is just what it sounds like, and the requisite page-a-day format is a great way to start the morning off with some new found knowledge.

Yesterday I happened upon the following footnote regarding one of my favorite California authors:

In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Steinbeck asserted that any writer "who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature."


I want to take it a step further and say that any man that does not believe in such perfectibility has no place in my space. Click the title for more on one of my personal fave's.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Afterpaddy

What a weekend. I wanted to make this post of some kind of Irish relevance or significance, but as I have thought about all of the fun goings-on this weekend, it seems that Downtown Reno might be a better generality. Onward.

This is my brother from another mother, Cody. He's a percussionist and a muse. We got a cocktail at the Imperial.

Much later that night, I met up with Cody at Seven Tea House. It's a very chill little hang in the Arlington Towers building, and they had a group of local guys playing music. I forget what they were calling themselves that night, but they all have some serious jazz chops. Left to right is JK on drums, Mayhall the younger on upright and a piano player named Jay (I think). They own it.


I begrudgingly left 7 for the Green Room to see Sol Jibe. I love all of the talented guys in SJ, and was pleasantly surprised to witness just how evolved their music and presentation are these days. They put on a high-energy show that overshadowed the very impressive opening act from San Diego: The K-23 Orchestra. I got a couple of cameraphone pics of SJ in action.

The Green Room is a very late-night, very young crowd, and I felt appropriately out of place hangin out by myself waiting for my buddies to finish. There were other friends in attendance, including Z, but for the most part it was a solo experience until the fat lady sang...I mean, until Sol Jibe wrapped it up. When they finally did, (and after I helped my bros pack their shit...don't go there...) Cody, Ferd and I headed down to Scruples for the obligatory after hours burgers and chicken wings. My whole reason for staying out so late was to spend time with Ferd and give him a big hug...he's going through some tough stuff, and I know that in those times it's good just to have some buddies and normality around. I like to think I can bring that to the table.

Saturday was equally diverse. I hung out with my family during the day, then got a call from my brother to meet up for a requisite St. Patrick's Day beer at Foley's. My brother's name is Paddy, so I do what he says on March 17th. Here we are with our Uncle, (an O'Driscoll, fer fooks sake) who also made it out for some early festivities.



From there it was back to the Imperial for Irish Car Bombs and joviality, and then on to a lovely family dinner at my brother-in-law's house. We celebrated several birthday's that evening, and he uncorked a 12-year-old bottle of Jameson just for me. I absolutely love this family, and always feel lucky to be a part of it. As you can see, they are all beautiful. My mother-in-law volunteered to babysit after dinner so that my wife and I could wrap up a fun-filled St. Paddy's day together, doing what the Irish do on that day.
Back to the Imperial. It was awesome to hang out with my wife and some other friends of ours. We weren't out too long, but it was quality time. Especially seeing the drunken masses at Reno's hottest new locale. We laughed and had fun and went home just as the real partiers were getting on the scene. All in all, a great holiday.
Sunday's mellow activities involved drinking a lot of water and watching Nevada lose to a better Memphis squad. It was sad to see the season come to an end, but I am just grateful for all of the excitement that they provided.

All in all, it was a great weekend, but one I won't try to re-create any time soon. I'm too old to try and hang with the pros anymore, and that's what St. Patrick's really is: a day for the amateurs. I will say that the good people of Reno sure know how to do it right. With so much going on, the weather so perfect and energy abuzz, this little city is not short on all kinds of activity - family friendly or otherwise.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Imperial


The Imperial Bar and Lounge (or maybe it's just called the Imperial, I'm not sure), is tough. I mean this in a good way. It's well-rehabbed brick exterior, it's exposed steel trusses, it's concrete bar and leather chairs, it's nana wall window, it's black-shirt clad staff, it's menu, it's new streetwise-king-of-the-hill rep (after being soft-open over the weekend), it's dialed-in owners, and yes, even it's black imperial parked out front on the East side of Arlington between 1st and 2nd streets...it's all fucking tough. I love the place.


As my brother said, "I think we have ourselves a new headquarters."

Pardon the cameraphone snaps, but please look closely and note the Pabst tap tucked stubbornly amoungst it's high-brow counterparts. Perfect.



Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Coelho told me...

Envy and ethics: For the scientist and researcher Dr. William M. Shelton, envy is a reaction provoked by losers, who seek to evade reality by hiding behind a crusade seeking to reinstate “moral values”, “noble ideas”, and “social justice”. The situation becomes dangerous when the school system begins to develop in the student the conditioning for despising all those who manage to be successful, always attributing any success to corruption, manipulation and moral degradation. As the pursuit of success is something inherent to the human condition, the students end up in a schizophrenic process of hating exactly that which would lead them to happiness, thereby increasing the anxiety crises, and reducing the capacity to innovate and improve society.

Monday, March 12, 2007

That and a pair of testicles






What makes a man?






Well, to be honest, I can't answer that for you. All I can tell you is that I certainly feel more and more like one these days. I am enjoying the family that I have created and which I provide for. I am in love with my children and wife. I fuck up. I try to do better.






I am taking the time to enjoy the little things in life, like how awesome a first ride on a swing set can be for a 7 month old girl, or how quickly my son has figured out that safety goggles are probably a good idea when using power tools.


I love being a dad.


I know that being a man, to me, means being responsible to the people that rely on you. Accountability is a good thing, and is rewarded with self-respect.


Sometimes, however, being a man means you get to put a set of balls on your truck, like the guy I followed on my way to work.


Hey, whatever floats your boat.








Thursday, March 8, 2007

KEWL

I'm adding coolhunter to my list of reccomendo...check it out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Reno and Own

I got a tour of the under-construction addition to the Renown Medical Facility (formerly Washoe Med) this morning. This project is headed up by Clark and Sullivan and is massive. Incredibly, it's also very near completion. The amount of steel and concrete that has already been put in is on a monster scale, and the infrastructure is pretty user specific. To give you an example, the separate utility building (via underground tunnel) pumps and pipes in chilled water to control the temperature of the building and (more importantly) operating rooms. The tunnel, (which our Project Manager tour guide led us through) also ducts in air and electrical conduit that is bigger than any I've ever seen. Of course, my exposure to stuff like this is pretty limited, but it was still cool. Inside the tower, there's even a pneumatic messengering device that sends equipment throughout the hospital the same way the drive-up teller at the bank gets your deposit. It's computer controlled, and not just one-directional, so I think it's actually going to be more Willy Wonka than Wells Fargo. The place is going to be awesome, and I hope that the next time I get to see it (not in skeleton form, of course) I will only be a visitor and not a patient.



I had the opportunity to snap a couple of pics on the roof: The first is where the 2 heli-pads will be located with water-warmed concrete to prevent snow from sticking. The second is the awesome view from the top.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I wish

Randomly, while reading a newsletter about my industry, I came across a closing line that hit home:

"I wish you the best of times, robust health of loved ones, and prosperity that allows you to enrich the souls of others."



Thanks, Sandy. That's actually exaclty what I want.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Say goodbye



Nevada finished the season in good form on Saturday night, defeating the aggressive and well-coached New Mexico State at Lawlor. In the four years that I have been watching Nick Fazekas from courtside, this was probably the most memorable night. It wasn't even Nick's best night, (Marcelus Kemp had the game high with his awesome 32 points). I've seen Fazekas do some incredible things over the years, with last-second game winners and consistent double-doubles. What was amazing about this game, Nick's last in Lawlor, was the audience participation. The cameraphone pictures here won't do it justice, and it was really one of those "you had to be there" kind of nights, but it was something special to see everyone in the same white shirts. It was even a bit emotional to see Fazekas and the rest of the seniors walk out with their parents and hear the audience scream out their cheering adoration and gratitude for 4 seasons of really good entertainment. There was an energy in the air that I hope to experience at Nevada again some day, but it will be hard to match. Go Pack!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Think about getting a life

Graffiti and Artist are, unfortunately, the two words that actually belong together maybe 2% of the time they are used.

I like a lot of different art, and some of the people who practice the positive application of their art in a permissible environment.
I hate graffiti. Some little talentless piece of shit sneaking around in the dark with a sharpie or a spray can, destroying other people's property or writing some stupid name (probably theirs) on a public sign or whatever...it's just the bottom of the barrel. Let me reinforce this concept: IT TAKES NO TALENT.

Anyway, I've been dealing with taggers a lot lately, including on our building and even on our signs. Here's an example of one I cleaned up today:


The irony in what this person wrote is that he (or she) says "I Think..." No they don't. They don't think about the fact that somebody else paid for that sign or building or house or billboard. They don't think about the time that the other person has to spend cleaning up this utterly boring and irritating drivel, and the fact that the time it takes to clean it up basically translates (in my case) to time not spent hanging out with or taking care of my family.

Maybe worse, even, is that they don't think about the fact that maybe they have a creative instinct and (except in the case of the hack seen here), that maybe they should find a way to channel that creative urge into something that they will actually be able to MAKE MONEY with some day. Be a fucking Citizen. Do something with your fucking life. Put something less damaging and of better karmic quality out into the Universe and perhaps you won't end up a 37-year old who repeats the phrase "do you want fries with that" 100 times a day...maybe.

I'm not holding my breath. In fact, I'm venting and expelling the smell of paint thinner along with each one. All I can do is try and teach my kids the difference between right and wrong and hope that they figure out that destruction of property is wrong for everyone. I'm pretty sure the confused little child who went down the street tagging some scribbled name on a bunch of buildings last night didn't have the benefit of parents who actually gave a shit. Sadly, this is what I attribute most of our society's problems to.

I did decide, for the time being, to keep one little piece of the tagger's display. I hope they come back and see it some time. I doubt they will know what it means.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Inspirado


Georg Wendt
Originally uploaded by franceslean84.
Where is fancy bred, in the heart or in the head?
-Willy Wonka