I don't know about you, but I think my brain is starting to develop perma-frost.
* So here is my question of the day: Is there a point where the cold temperatures just all have the same effect and feeling? Personally, I can't tell the difference once it gets below zero. It all just seems (bleeping) cold and miserable. I've tried to look at pictures of warm places, but it doesn't seem to help. The forecast doesn't have us getting above 20 until Thursday next week, so it's more of the same. You just know the first time we have a string of three or four days over 35 there will be someone wearing shorts like it's normal.
* Enough can't be said about the anonymous donor at Alpena Regional Medical Center. A $1 million gift to the hospital that will be directed to the Alpena Cancer Center is an amazing donation. The reach of that gift will be vast and will help out so many people. It's another example of the giving nature in Northeast Michigan, this time on a much grander scale than many of us usually see. So many residents will be helped by this gift and we should all be thankful to have a resource like the cancer center in our community. Sometimes we take for granted that we have some of the resources available to us that we do. This is a reminder that we shouldn't do that.
* In his column today, Publisher Bill Speer opines about people having to make choices with the upcoming increase in water rates. If you take a look at the gas pumps with their current 3.72 rate, water probably will be the choice. You know - and the city does as well - initially people will modify their water consumption. Eventually they'll return to the usual consumption, but will that initial reduction put another hit to the expectations of revenue for the city?
* For all the complaining we do about our government, we all should be thankful we don't live in Ukraine. During the story on CBS News Thursday about Ukraine, they interviewed one young woman and you could hear and see the fear she has about what might happen. Russia looms like an unwanted visitor and the last thing the world needs is more instability, especially with a military power being involved as a major player.
* I was thankful for the reprieve from snow the last week or so, even though it was still bone-chilling cold. My feet needed a break from boots and I was able to wear some lighter, more comfortable shoes just to get back to feeling normal. And as seasoned northern Michigan residents, we all know we still have a month of winter left. The optimists among us will say less than that, the pessimists will say more than that, the realists will just grin and bear it. I will say, however, I was a bit surprised by the online poll results. I thought a few more people would have been tired of winter by now, mainly because of the cold.
* Going back to the water issue for a second, I hope this issue doesn't cause a long-lasting rift between the city and township. And if this issue continues, I hope it's the only issue that causes tension because the cooperation of all local government entities has been stellar. The cooperation they've all shown the last 15 years or so is so much better than it used to be. I just don't want to see a return to the old days. We are friends, neighbors, and co-workers. This isn't like the government squabbles in the metro Detroit area, we see each other and know each other.
* I'm hoping for a long tournament run for the Posen girls basketball team. This is the last year for Korynn Hincka wearing a Vikings' uniform. She has set all sorts of school records and will finish her career well up the list of all-time scorers in Michigan girls basketball history. The school has had incredible success and she has had played a major role in it. It would be nice to see her and her teammates get beyond the regionals and take everyone along for the ride.