Five Things to Retire in 2014

New years are times for promises and hopes.

But they are also a chance to leave in the past what should remain there, to shelve old things that have outgrown their usefulness, to let harmful habits recede in the rear view mirror. Hence, I begin what I hope will be an annual ritual of finding Things I Will Retire in the New Year.

The five for 2014 (I’m sure others will suggest there are plenty more things I could discard):

“Gov. Sunny” The point has been made. Gov. Brian Sandoval is preternaturally optimistic about….everything. It’s three years old now and has outlived its usefulness. Or cleverness, if such ever existed.

“Newspaper” This was especially accurate during 2010, when the Las Vegas Review-Journal became, from top to bottom, simply an anti-Harry Reid mouthpiece. It no longer functioned as an actual journalistic outlet; it morphed into a political hit sheet, and a pretty ineffective one. But the publisher and editor from that time are gone and while the new regime seems more concerned with cost-cutting than quality newspapering, there are some excellent journalists there. Thus, I retire the quotation marks.

Sniping at Sun and RJ. Both Las Vegas newspapers have their problems. The Sun seems to have all but surrendered, with local content either stale or nonexistent in print, and the RJ, as I said, poised for yet another round of cuts. They are what they are. I have fond memories of my employment at both, although I also have bittersweet feelings about my tenures. Nevertheless, unless especially egregious acts occur, I shall let them alone.

Dealing with trolls. They take many forms – on Twitter and elsewhere. But I too often engage these ankle-biters, elevating them and debasing myself. No more. I shall use the “block” feature on Twitter without engaging while continuing to ignore those who have not earned credibility or starting to ignore those whose credibility I have only enhanced by mentioning them, obliquely or otherwise. I know there are those of you who doubt I am capable of such a retirement, but just watch.

Texting/emailing/tweeting and driving. Yes, I broke the law a lot in 2013. And I am a reckless fool for doing so and quite lucky I did not hurt someone and/or myself. No more. Is there something, even BREAKING NEWS, that can’t wait until I am stopped? I have been doing this for too long – heck, the governor even caught me once! It’s time to cease this dangerous practice. Now to get the voice-activated function working....

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