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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

 One of the disadvantages of having a colleague out -- much work.

One of the great advantages -- I'm wandering out more to places I wouldn't otherwise see.

Last weekend, I went to a sledding hilltop where the wind chill was about 20 degrees below zero. I met hearty Wisconsin folks, the kind of people who say "it doesn't get real cold until 30 below." There was enough hot chocolate to drink and more cookies than could be eaten inside a warming shelter. And a bonfire tended to by town of Hayward officials.

The day before, I attended a boys basketball game (the Hayward locals were slaughtered) but a high school basketball game is never just a sport. It's a dating ritual. It's a social event. It's local bonding. I could see boys sitting next to a red-faced girl or a rush by the junior varsity team to attack hot dogs in order to replace calories left on the gym floor. Teachers mixed in with students to make sure nothing bad was happening -- and to cheer on the boys.

One day last weekend, I attended a boys hockey game and a girls hockey game on the same day. (My nipples are still angry about these assignments.) Here in Hayward, it's like a conference game in most other cities. There's a laser light show and then a smoke machine through which both the boys and girls skate. The girls team is one of the best team in the state this year and I was happy to see nearly the same attendance for each of the games. Also, in the warming center next to the rink, a little group of boys gathered and often shot glimpses of girls who returned in kind. The place smelled of hot dogs and hot chocolate, which sounds disgusting to me but was a pretty good combination for a photographer with angry nipples.

Life is pretty cool so long as you're paying attention.

Peace unto Ukraine and peace and a life unto you my brothers and sisters.

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