Let’s not blow this out of proportion

August 31, 2014
Will this be the year I buy a snow blower?
I’m always afraid the year I do will be the warmest, driest ever. Then I’ll look at it sitting in my garage and think I could have been watching football on it.
So I consulted with an expert — the 2015 edition of the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
The guide has been published for 222 years. It boasts the farmer’s calendar for every month and “a variety of new, useful and entertaining matter.”
On my way to the weather predictions, I found a few pages on trends. It says young male home gardeners spend about $100 more than other households because many are growing hops for beer brewing or grapes for wine making. No mention of growing marijuana for medicinal use.
I was surprised to read the mortality rate of volunteers is 22 percent lower than that of non-volunteers. And women who ate three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week were a third less likely to have a heart attack.
Here’s a curious trend — diapered chickens running around the house. I can’t figure out how they get them on.
How about collar pedometers and electronic toys for pets?
They are making purses with solar panels that recharge your electronic devices. I wonder if I could put one on my expense report?
Under “stuff we love,” the almanac lists corduroy upholstery and baby changing tables that become bookcases. Six out of 100 young American adults can’t locate the United States on a map. Yet they could all find a Dunkin’ Donuts in 30 seconds.
And — this is scary — one in four American adults doesn’t know the earth revolves around the sun.
I was getting close to the weather section, when I came across an article with this subheadline:
“no such thing as bad weather — just bad clothing.”
It was across the page from a Viagra ad.
I spent some time in the comfort food section, which included recipes for southwestern pumpkin burgers, carrot ginger soup and warm brownie pie. Then I finally made it to the weather section.
According to the almanac’s map, we are on the border of regions 2 and 3, making predictions, well, unpredictable. I went with region 3, the Appalachians.
According to the almanac, the winter will be warmer and slightly drier than normal. The snowiest periods will be in mid-December and early February.
Hmm, warm and dry — doesn’t sound too promising. On the other hand, do I want weather forecasting advice from a book that advertises a love potion, a “Litter Robot” and “Goat Milk Soap?”
No, I think I’ll get that new iPad. It will be useful despite the weather, and maybe it can tell me why those chickens are wearing diapers.

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