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Bits and Pieces for March 8
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The radio weatherman said bright and early Thursday that the Wausau area had set a record for cold temperatures.

When the readings skidded below zero Wednesday night and early Thursday, it was the 56th time during the winter of 2013-2014 it had happened, at least in Wausau. The previous record was 55 days, and it seems to me we’ve had 56 of those chillers and perhaps more here in Antigo.

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With that chill have come added responsibilities and the city’s street department has been socked.

PIPE PICTURE

As we all know, the snowfall has been tremendous and the time those men are sitting in graders, loaders, blowers and trucks is substantial.

Then mix in the cold and problems with water connections freezing, and they have really been putting in hours and often in less than hospitable conditions.

Minutes of the city’s Public Works Committee from Feb. 25 reflect appreciation by members of the council for the municipal employees and the efforts they have made this winter, especially in connection with water problems.

Bob Piskula, the city’s street commissioner, explained his crew has really been on the job, some men without a break in four weeks. Two public works employees worked a lot of hours, one 151 and another 120, in two weeks.

According to the minutes, he said some other nearby cities have had residents without water on weekends, but not here.

There are about 1,100 homes running water to prevent freezing, putting hundreds of thousands of gallons into the wastewater system, and that causes problems.

The workers and supervisors have done an excellent job. It is a matter of community pride, and we have it.

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I paid attention when friends and a few of the motor route drivers came to the office with tales of predictions by the almanac that there would be up to 50 inches of snow during the month of March.

I got out my edition of the Farmer’s Almanac and couldn’t find a mention of 30 to 50 inches of late snow. But it was right about the snowy and cold winter.

Tim Rusch, who watches things as the Langlade County Highway Department Commissioner, knows well what’s going on. He told me thatat least 72 inches of snow has fallen in the fields and forests and frost on the plowed roads goes down about seven feet.

I have no idea what the depth of the frost is off those roads, and that could be the key when it starts to melt around here.

Rusch said the department started clearing culverts and ditches known to handle spring runoff on Friday, but if the heat comes quickly and there is rain, all bets are off.

PICTURE OF DAM HERE

Those of us in Antigo, especially in Peaceful Valley, know that all too well.

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Reading news and listening to the media during the past week or so, I kept thinking about a Reaganesque figure who might step from the shadows and take care of things for the United States and perhaps, the world.

Putin demonstrated what appears to be a thuggish behavior in the Ukraine and the rest of the nations in that region and has rebuffed advances by the United States to address the situation.

The last of the confetti from the Sochi Olympics likely wasn’t cleared up yet when the Russian troops moved into the Crimean Peninsula.

Recalling a touch of history, in the moments after Ronald Reagan took over as President of the United States, Iran released our hostages after they were held 444 days.

Reagan restored the U.S. military, which had been gutted during the Carter administration. And those casual sweater-wearing days of the presidency were over — the U.S. had a regal leader.

And the world paid attention with respect.

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Aroma is a tremendous influence when we select what to eat.

Some mornings when I arrive at the Journal, they are frying onions on the grill at the Dixie Lunch and I start lusting for a burger.

It would seem the world of high-tech may have caught up with smell-linked hunger.

The Oscar Mayer organization, based in Madison, has created a bacon-scented mobile device for your iPhone. It was developed by Oscar Mayer’s Institute for the Advancement of Bacon, plugs into the headphone jack and emits a small puff of bacon scent when it’s activated, along with the sizzling sound.

Oscar Mayer says the app won’t be sold in stores and quantities are limited. The company is giving away the device at www.wakeupandsmellthebacon.com.

If it works, the device should be a tremendous lure. I understand the aroma from the theater popcorn machine and the onions frying on the Dixie grill, but how do you get the aroma of bacon from an iPhone?

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There was an opportunity last weekend to see “Monuments Men” at the Palace Theater, a World War II movie that even features a bicycle made in Antigo.

A replica of that film bike is on display in the Palace lobby — Sony is keeping the original.

I recommend the show. It was a film with some violence simply because it was set in the time of an exceptionally brutal war, but nothing by today’s standards.

For me, it was an interesting piece of history because I write the 1939 Peeps at Our Past column and one of the often-discussed subjects 75 years ago was the Nazi seizing of valuables, including art, from the Jewish population.

That is the basis for the movie and unlike so much of the craziness on screen these days, it is factual.

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The theater is on the “to do” list this weekend, too, but this won’t be factorial.

Being a creature of the 1950s and 1960s, the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon show was a must watch. Many men and women in their 60s still remember that show fondly and my interest lingers.

Mr. Peabody was one of the regular features of the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon show. Peabody is a dog and has a pet boy, Sherman.

The new cartoon version of the Mr. Peabody and Sherman is playing at the Palace and I’ll be there, with popcorn.

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Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead an hour tonight.

But don’t look at it as the loss of an hour of sleep, just moving one hour closer to spring.


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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

WEEKLY
JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

*Member WNA & NNA

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