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’cause phil said.

The dawn at Punxsutawney was bright and clear, so Phil saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. That part made me happy. Unfortunately, Phil didn’t offer any guidance as to when that six weeks would start.

I learned something even more illuminating while watching the broadcast this morning. Predictably, a Terrible Towel had been placed within Phil’s stump, so when Bill Deeley, his handler, hauled him out at 7:20 this morning, there was a towel waiting to get the crowd “farred up,” as they say around here.

Except that when Deeley held Phil up for the kinda lethargic crowd — it was more fun when drinking was tolerated up on the Knob — Phil let loose, peeing all over the stage. And Deeley, who has been Phil’s handler for so long that he’s actually retiring from the job after this year, took the only resourceful course available to him — he wiped Phil’s butt with the towel.

And now I know what a Terrible Towel is for.


As far as we know, Punxsutawney Phil is probably already ensconced in his stump at Gobbler’s Knob by now, ready to make his prediction tomorrow morning. It’s televised live in Pennsylvania, and I’ll be sure to haul my ass out of bed in time to watch.

Memo to Phil: Cold and snowy, baby. Think cold and snowy. Uncle Crappy and The Wife need to ski more before they head to Colorado.

Things are progressing nicely for this weekend’s party, although I still have a shitload of stuff to do before I head over to the campground on Friday. But the food contributions are all lined up, we all have places to sleep, and although the Reduction Ceremony will be as small as it has been for a while, I think it’s going to be a good one.

parties inc.

I wouldn’t be so freaked out by making sure everything’s in good shape for Groundhog Weekend if we were holding the event on an autumn Saturday morning outside Ohio Stadium.

ready. go.

Sorry. Getting caught up with work, dealing with hangovers, taking care of business, just being lazy. Cooking. Eating. Rocking. Rolling. Zigging. Zagging. Sleeping. Waking. Baking.

And now I’m back.

While Uncle Crappy was away:

* Winter ended. That’s been part of my alarming lack of focus since I last posted. No more college football, and no skiing to take its place. College basketball just isn’t picking up the slack, and the Penguins and Blue Jackets both suck. Pray for snow. Soon.

* I’ve been delving deeper into the soundtracks of the Warren Miller films I own — and some I don’t — via iTunes. Pretty cool stuff. But it doesn’t make the skiing jones any easier to deal with.

* Did I mention college football? We’ve already discussed the Fiesta Bowl, of course. Sugar Bowl? Happy that WVU won, especially since The Coochie Doctor’s new husband has been so supportive of our cause, and he deserves a BCS win for his boys. Orange Bowl? Happy with the outcome, but just an ugly freaking game. And I couldn’t help but think Ohio State would have kicked the shit out of Penn State if we had played in January. Rose Bowl? Wow. Vince Young? He’s good, and coming out to the NFL now is the right decision for him.

* Some of you are aware of the Groundhog thing. Info is coming soon. I promise. Keep the first weekend in February open. Spread the word.

* Remember my mention of the kick-ass chef’s knife I got for Christmas? I finally put it to use yesterday, while I prepped to make a Thai stir-fry kind of thing for dinner. The recipe wasn’t as good as I had hoped, but using a knife that feels that good in your hand is pure pleasure.

* Really. I meant it about the knife.

* I just got the XM Radio unit I got The Wife for Christmas up and running. I’ll never be without satellite radio again, boys and girls. If you haven’t tried it for yourself, Uncle Crappy gives it his highest recommendation.

* Work? Getting caught up. Dead bodies. Municipal-level bickering. Pretty much the same as it was last year.

* My picks in this year’s office Dead Pool: Ariel Sharon, Lady Bird Johnson, Patrica Kennedy Lawford, Ronnie Biggs and Karl Malden. Wish me luck.

* Via several friends, we’re about to be overrun by new babies. Uncle Crappy is available for light playing, babytalk and singing the occasional Grateful Dead song. But don’t look for me to change any diapers. It just ain’t happening.

* This year? There’s changes coming. I’m cautiously optimistic.

OK. We’re ready to go.