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LSU AgCenter photo

Roses are red, snow is white…

As we found out again this year, in south Louisiana we are more likely to have a White Valentine’s Day than a White Christmas. Records show that most of our substantial snowfalls over the last century or so have been in February.
This year’s snow began on the day after Valentine’s Day, but the cold snap that preceded it — and lingered way too long afterward — was here well in time to freeze creamy chocolates and wilt red roses.
But that’s not the first time it’s happened. The snowfall that set still-standing records in south Louisiana began on Valentine’s Day 1895.

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Joe Guzzardi

Spring training and the grapefruit nickname

Baseball fans got good news earlier this month — or at least as good can be expected during COVID-19.
Major League Baseball approved a plan to go forward with Spring Training, also known as the Grapefruit League. Fans, who may or may not be allowed to watch the games, think that the reference to grapefruits evolved from the Florida camps where citrus grows in abundance.

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Danny Tyree

Product recall notices: Friend or foe?

The relentless airbag recall notices concerning my mother’s old truck have progressed from a mailbox-clogging nuisance to a grim reminder that our unresponsiveness has felled more trees than Paul Bunyan in his prime.
Okay, I realize more consumers should be conscientious about product recalls, for the safety of themselves, their families and mankind in general. But when you’re a husband, father, son, inventory clerk, writer and Sunday school teacher, arranging your schedule around somebody else’s screw-up is not necessarily Job One.

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Christine Flowers

It’s too late to turn down the temperature

One of my favorite allegories is the one about the frog in the pot of water, who got used to the slowing rising temperature of a warming pot and ended up boiled to death.
In some ways, I feel as if society has been on the menu for quite some time now. But here we are, in 2021, and life is very different from the way it was when I was born in 1961. It all happened incrementally, while very few of us noticed that the temperature was rising in the societal pot.

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Tom Purcell

Biden, Social Security, my retirement and the wealthy

It’s February. It’s cold. To fend off the winter blahs, I dream of one day retiring to a warm beach, where I’ll stand in the surf, sipping beverages from glasses with little umbrellas in them.
I spend hours using the Social Security Benefits Calculator to determine how much Social Security will pay me, after I’ve paid in many thousands of dollars throughout my working life.
And I wonder if my full Social Security benefits will be there when I retire, so I can afford to escape cold, gloomy winters.


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