It's Christmas in September.
After an inexplicable absence last year, the Roundup's review copy of the 2005 edition of the "The Old Farmer's Almanac" has arrived, "containing, besides the large number of Astrological Calculations and the Farmer's Calendar for every month in the year, a variety of New, Useful & Entertaining Matter."
As always, "Around the Rim Country" is the first to bring you the very latest from "The Old Farmer's Almanac" (except last year for inexplicable reasons), so let's get on to the weather forecast for next year (derived from a "secret formula").
The good news is the almanac forecasts a mild but wet 2004-2005 winter. The bad news is the summer of 2005 will be hot and dry once again.
With that out of the way, we can focus on the really important information contained in the 2005 edition of "The Old Farmer's Almanac."
- Did you know, for example, that if you're a guy who likes to flirt, you'll find the women in Kansas City and Oklahoma City most responsive? Or that if you're a woman "boasting a few extra pounds," the men of Albuquerque are most likely to "appreciate a little extra to love."
What does it say about male and female Rimaroos? If you're a woman who likes your man sporting a Payson Concrete & Materials cap, you've come to the right place. And guys out there who are hankering for a little tough love better make a "beeline" for the Rim country.
- Did you know there are pet competitions for nearly every type of animal, including rats? The 2005 edition of "The Old Farmer's Almanac" has some tips for growing and showing your rat:
"Rats are very clean and spend much of their time grooming themselves," the book says. "Of course, if a rat is dirty, give it a bath."
And the personality of a winning rat:
"The ideal rat is curious and active. Some judges prefer an animal that has been trained to give kisses, to walk a tightrope, or to jump up on its owner."
- Then there's the story of Edward Payson (honest) Weston, who, in the late 1800s and early 1900s was known for his power walks around the world. Carrying a small riding crop in his hand, he delighted crowds as he bested all comers in distance walking events.
Weston kept up the pace into his 70s, walking around the country and lecturing on "The Vicissitudes of a Walker." He wasn't stopped until 1927, when, ironically, he was hit by a taxi while walking across the street.
- And the story headlined "What on Earth Is Earth Day?" It's introduced by this statement from late American anthropologist Margaret Mead: "We won't have a society if we destroy the environment." You think?
- And what almanac would be complete without a little fishing folklore, including, "Eat the eyes of a fish and you'll never be afraid of the dark." And, of course, it's good luck to spit on your hook and into the mouth of the first fish you catch. And don't forget to take your fiddle or guitar when you go fishing. "The fish will come to the top because they love the music."
- Doubt that Payson is a worldwide leader in water conservation? In Calgary, Alberta, the almanac reports, residents can receive a $50 government rebate for installing a low-flow toilet. Heck, in Payson you can get an entire low-flow toilet for free, and it's a state-of-the-art Toto brand.
- And last, but certainly not least, here are some trends guaranteed to make you glad you are safely ensconced here in the Rim country where they're easy to ignore:
- GPS locators inside your keys so you can't lose them.
- Combining two hot hobbies -- gardening and model trains.
- Organic peanut butter in flavors like deep chocolate and spicy southwestern.
- Self-powered fishing lures that attract fish by making the sound of their mate.
- Spray-on hosiery invented for Tokyo women required to wear stockings, even in the heat.
- Gin as a fragrance for men and women.
- Lying and cheating (43 percent say they are necessary for success).
With this kind of useful information in the almanac, you have to wonder how The Weather Channel manages to stay on the air?