- GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS: The bad news is the NBA lockout might mean no Jazz basketball games this year.

The good news is, the lockout might mean no Jazz basketball games this year.That's how I'm looking at it.

I've been crunching some num-bers.

I figure last year I spent 120 hours watching Jazz basketball on television. And that means I'll have 120 hours free time this year to do something else.

Do you know what a soul can do in 120 hours?

As book editor for the Deseret News, I could read every Pulitzer Prize-winning novel published since 1975.

I could read all of Dickens.

I could read all of Twain.

I could take a second job and earn enough money to pay for my son's senior year at Southern Utah University - or at least pay off my VISA card.

I could see 50 classic movies I've never seen.

I could train our dog to bring in the paper, stay out of the neighbor's yard and jump through flaming hula hoops.

I could become "volunteer of the year" at a local nursing home.

I could hand-shovel all the snow in Mantua, Utah.

But what I think I'll do is work here at the News and get 30 columns ahead.

I won't have to write another Friday column until next year.

Have a nice fall.

See you after Christmas.

- TALKING ABOUT A YEAR OFF: After last year's 150th anniversary celebration, this year's Pioneer Days seem downright pas-sive.

I'd already begun this column before realizing it would appear on July 24th.

Most people I know are taking a breather this year as well - doing some fishing or golfing. Mowing the lawn. Repairing the lawn mow-er.

Last year was a drainer - emotionally, physically and spiritually.

This year more people are "refilling their tanks."

The parade's taking a new route, the fireworks have been put on hold.

I probably won't even make the rodeo this year.

After all the 1998 hoopla I feel like a marathoner after finishing the marathon.

Just give me a spot of shade and some green grass to rest on.

And you there! Bring me some water to help me cool down.

- QUOTE OF THE DAY: The heat got you down? Looking for a sympathetic ear? Mathew Arnold knew the feeling. He felt it 150 years ago:

With aching hands

and bleeding feet

We dig and heap,

lay stone on stone;

We bear the burden

and the heat

Of the long day

and wish `twere done.