January 11, 2012 - It's the 184th edition of the Old Fanner's Almanac, which is now Blum's Farmer's and Planter's Almanac.
It reads, "Surprise!" 2012 is a presidential election year. These elections are always held on the Tuesday between November 2 and November 8. This year's is November 6.
If you are superstitious about a Friday the 13th being unlucky, then you have three of them to worry about in 2012.
This Almanac covers the sinking of the Titanic in a big way. On its charter voyage April 14, 1912, it hit an iceberg. Of the 2,223 people on board only 706 survived.
The Almanac has always claimed a high percent of correct weather predictions. One of the things that going to help them this year is they have expanded the zone.
Used to be Michigan was linked with Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. Now the Zone includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. They did break it down to February having flurries for the Great Lakes Feb. 8-11, storm over the Great Lakes Feb.23-29, and snow flurries for us Feb 24-29.
The Almanac says, "This is our 20th year that we have published this amazingly accurate method of long-range weather predicting by Philip S. Wood."
Since our son-in-law Bob and friend Tim were going fishing at Engadine on New Years, I looked up the Almanac's Fisherman's calendar for December 2011. It showed results being nonexistent for the last week of December. The two cut a hole through six inches of ice in the Milliquoquin River and caught the largest pike, 38 inches, we've heard of in our 40 years of membership in the Hiawatha Sportsman's Club.
The fish were taking the bait so fast these two sportsmen took their tip-ups off the lake.
Sounds fishy to me.
One last Almanac story, on religious stamps.
Marie went to the post office to buy stamps for her holiday cards. "What denomination?" the clerk asked.
"Good heavens! Have we come to this now?" she said. "Well, give me 30 Methodists and 30 Baptists."
I know I watch way too much football, but there are just so many Simpson-type cartoons, dating game shows, soap operas, etc that my choices are few. So I've collected some observations to share:
* The longer a football player's hair, the bigger their ego and the longer their celebration.
* The most popular jersey number for wearers of long hair is 1.
* Football plays haven't changed all than much through the years. Hike the ball, block, tackle, run or catch. But nowadays players have to have plays written on their sleeves.
* Forever, linemen had to wait for the ball to be snapped by the center before moving, yet there are more off-sides than I can ever remember. Seems to me the rules haven't changed but discipline has.
I hope my Jottings reader has noticed the new year has not diminished cynicism.
The 2112 Almanac's lighter side of golf:
It takes longer to learn golf than it does brain surgery. But you can't ride on a cart, have a beer and eat hot dogs while doing brain surgery.
And, golf is the perfect thing to do on Sunday because it makes you pray a lot.
Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.