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Written by Lee Pitts   

You gotta read this

There’s one thing I simply must buy every year: The Old Farmer’s Almanac. In this digital age you’ll know it’s the end of the world when the Almanac ceases to exist or goes totally digital. The 2012 edition is the 220th consecutive U.S. edition. Yes, it’s been printed continuously for 220 of the 236 years we’ve been a free country!

Besides the weather forecasts, planting tables and schedules of tides, eclipses and gestation found in every issue, in 2012 we’re told the best days to quit smoking, castrate, pollinate, graft (for Congressmen) and the best days to see a dentist. Although I’d submit there are no best days to see any dentist.

The 2012 edition also contains interesting articles on spit, wild pigs (Ham On The Lam), the hottest peppers and biggest blowouts. The latter referring to volcanoes, not the peppers.

This year’s edition has valuable information on what to do if you come face to face with a bear or a tornado, and how to properly use a broom. As a slouch I was interested to learn that men who sit slump shouldered have lower testosterone levels than those who sit erect. And did you know 71 percent of Americans make their bed every day and crows can remember the face of a dangerous human for two years?

How can one live without knowing such things? I was also interested to learn a new way to hypnotize chickens and that the winter of 2009-2010 in Europe was the coldest winter in decades with hundreds of folks freezing to death. They could have kept warmer by burning all the books and speeches about global warming.

The articles in this year’s Almanac that really got my attention were the ones predicating what was going to be hot in America. And you have to pay attention to anyone’s prognostications who can predict a year in advance the winter temperatures and precipitation totals with over 90 percent accuracy, like the Almanac did.

For 2012 the Almanac editors see more chocolate for breakfast and mac and cheese for dinner. They see fireplaces that rotate, bright red front doors and plants climbing up walls for cheaper insulation.

On men we’ll see more worn out t-shirts and garments that can be worn upside down and backwards. We’ll also see women’s jewelry made from rivets, nuts and bolts, but I have my doubts on that one.

What do you think the average woman is going to do if, instead of a diamond engagement ring, you give her one made out of a 10 penny nail? You’ll get slapped and remain single, that’s what!

Other things we’ll be seeing more of include washable tuxedos, gold panning, indoor trampoline parks, rented clothing, pets sending get well cards and wheelchairs for injured llamas, goats, pigs and chickens.

They predict driverless cars that steer by GPS, spray-on fabrics, fingerless gloves for those who want to text in cold weather, and vending machines that sell fruits and vegetables. Although I can’t see kids putting a dollar in a vending machine and getting back a banana or a stalk of broccoli.

Nor do I see poor people who cannot afford a little Old Spice or Right Guard rubbing slices of lemon or lime under their arm pits like the Almanac suggested. I can however see the sport of couch surfing catching on in which people look online for folks offering up their couch to sleep on for free. I call such people your adult children.

I like the idea of fast and low lanes on sidewalks and of “technology cleanses” in which people turn off all their electronic devices for a period of time. But I don’t foresee, as does the Almanac, typewriters and parlor games making a big comeback. Record players maybe, but not Smith Coronas.

My favorite quote in the entire 2012 version was this: “How is it that we put a man on the moon before we figured out it would be good to put wheels on our luggage?”

Gems like that are found on every page of the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Get yours today wherever wisdom and common sense are sold.



Holyoke Enterprise March 22, 2012