By the way, I have strong disdain for the cold [I was going to say I hate it, but mom told me it wasn't right to hate things]. I don't know where the cultural tradition began where manly men were supposed to like the cold, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Sarasota. I was watching the NFL Conference Championships yesterday, played in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and all these guys are playing in short sleeves while their breath crystallized before their very eyes. I want to yell at them, "Go ahead and put a turtleneck on. I won't be insulted." To the best of my knowledge, there's no extra credit awarded for scoring a touchdown in sub-freezing weather with bare arms.

Anyway, we're finishing up a cold spell brought on by some Canadian weather system [can Canada do anything right?] so it's been a struggle to keep warm the past few days. We've even had the electric blanket on the past couple of nights to fight the chill. So early this morning, as we woke up, I told Kelly I couldn't believe that the furnace went off. "I guess it's warming up." Yeah, or the power went out. I ran downstairs to get a flashlight and I was already freezing. OK, I'm a wuss, but at least I admit it.

This all leads me to the question of the day: Why do people choose to live in Alaska? A few weeks ago I heard news report about a northern Alaskan town that had lost all power. And it was so remote that it was out for about ten days. Daytime temperatures in the village reached a balmy ten degrees below zero. And I'm supposed to feel bad for these people? Do they not have television, the internet, or even books up there? Don't they know that the further south you travel, the warmer it gets? No way. Couldn't do it. I'd rather burn to death than freeze to death.

The good news: the power was only out at our house for about thirty minutes. The bad news: it's still January in the Cincinnati. But at least it's not Alaska.