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There it was in black ….

There it was in black …. There it was in black ….

There it was in black and white. A 50-degree difference in the temperature this morning and a year ago. A mild January, 21 degrees above this morning compared to 29 below a year ago. How can that be? I’m not a weather expert, I’ll just take the facts as I see them.

Two nice things in the forecast too. Let’s hope they materialize. We should see the sun on Sunday and Monday and there is one day when it will hit 40 degrees. What happened? I guess we just turned the calendar from January to February. All I can say is, bring it on, we’ve had enough cold the last three months to last us all winter.

One thing I’ve noticed this winter is that many little streams you wouldn’t think of as running are still open and running. I guess when you hear we are about 12 inches above normal for rain this past year, that probably explains that.

Another thing I’ve noticed is the Mississippi River at La Crosse is only a few feet below flood stage. If all our snow suddenly melts, there could be trouble down river.


I’ve mentioned before about getting several weekly newspapers and always find something interesting in them. For example, The Turtle Lake Times where I learned the printing trade, or at least was introduced to it.

Their police blotter is always interesting. From trying to catch dogs running loose to checking on accidents in the village’s two traffic circles.

There are always two other items that take up lots of officer time. One is unlocking cars when the owners left their keys in them and locked the car doors. I’m glad that can’t happen to me as my doors won’t lock if the key is still in the ignition.

The other big issue is calls to the Casino Hotel for the smell of drugs. There must be at least a half dozen calls a week and in most cases someone is charged with possession and hauled to jail.

What is amazing is that there is another hotel in town, but not related to the casino and I can’t remember the last time I saw their name in the police report.


There was a story from Washington, D.C., this week that I read, but didn’t react to it. Someone else did and sounded the alarm. Seems our Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, didn’t like a question a reporter from National Public Radio (NPR) asked. First he ignored her, but finally called her into his office and gave her a real scolding. He even brought out a map and had her find Ukraine on it. When she did, he really got mad.

The Secretary has or had a trip planned to Europe and the Middle East and NPR reporters were banned. It is one thing to get mad at a reporter, but to try and include the entire news network is going a bit too far. At least someone else caught it and spread the alarm. That is how Hitler killed off the free press on his way to the top in Nazi Germany. I think we need to be paying attention, as our president and his cult think he can do anything he pleases.

ÓÓÓÓÓ For some unknown reason, I wake up in the night and just lay there and can’t fall asleep again. Maybe it is the amount of naps I take during the day that causes it, but I figured out a way to spend the time.

There is that story about someone who worked in the U.S. patent office committing suicide because he thought everything that could be invented had and he would be out of a job.

I guess we all know that isn’t true and that is where I end up at night when I can’t sleep. Have you had a cup of coffee lately and found a whole bunch of coffee grounds in the bottom of your cup?

That got me thinking about old coffee pots. Just a big container and then inside was something called a percolator in which you put the coffee grounds. The lid had a little glass knob in it and once the coffee started cooking it bubbled up into that glass. Apparently some of the grounds got out and ended up in your cup when it was poured.

I remember my Mom had something a bit newer that she used when we had company. It had a glass bottom and you filled that with water. Then you placed another glass globe above that and it was connected with a little tube. When the water got hot it rose to the top, and kind of told you the coffee was done, so you took it off the burner, or stove and the coffee ran down into the bottom again.


When we were first married, we had a pot that had a top and bottom. You put the grounds in the top part and filled it with hot water. The water dripped through and was done when it had all run through.

It was just about the time Jackie was starting school and one day had an accident, either falling off or jumping off the slide. The end result was a broken leg which seemed to heal all right but she continued to walk with a limp.

Then one Sunday morning Florence had started the coffee and a few minutes later asked me to get her some. Well, I didn’t jump right up and hurry out, but Jackie thought she was going to be the helpful little girl. The problem was the water hadn’t run through yet so the pot was a bit top heavy. Most of the coffee hit her leg which resulted in a burn.

One thing handy in Turtle Lake at the time was our doctor. He and his wife had eight kids so I guess he was used to accidents. He came to the house and doctored up the bad leg and left. Now Jackie had to limp on the other leg, which was kind of awkward, so she soon forgot all about it.


I guess cars would be another subject to talk about. I recall we bought a car from Zupanc Motors that just happened to be Al Dahl’s demonstrator. It was loaded and I soon discovered it had a nice radio. An AM-FM model. When I discovered what it was, I complained I didn’t need all that fancy stuff, but of course, I’d bought it, so I had to live with it.

Next up I decided to trade it in and wouldn’t you know I settled on Al’s new demonstrator again. Only this one had a radio, but only AM. Well, I was disappointed now that I couldn’t get FM, but I’d bought it so just had to live with it. How spoiled we have become.