Shovel a path for Santa. It’s going to be a white Christmas. The odds will shiver your timbers, says Steve Gottschalk, semi-professional weather prognosticator. Steve, the country boy from Lowden, Iowa, is rarely wrong. He puts the chance of snow on Dec. 24 and 25 at 73 to 87 percent.
“Christmas Day occurs during the week of the last quarter moon; that means a 73 percent chance of snow on the ground,” says Steve. "Christmas comes during a weak La Nina, which still gives us an 87 percent certainty of a white Christmas.”
La Nina is a weather pattern that can do bad things. He warns that 2017 arrives during a week of a new moon; that means a 71 percent certainty of snow. All this is an omen to head south.
How not to fall out of bed
My bumpy night when I fell out of bed three times has brought advice from readers:
MARY RUFFCORN of Buffalo is sympathetic. “I hope you get yourself a sturdy bed rail. There are many types available at places like Walgreens and medical equipment suppliers. Take care of yourself, Bill, and take care of your wife.”
A NUMBER have scolded, like a writer who signed her note as “Marvella.” She said, “For goodness sake, do we need to put a railing of your side of the bed? You are no longer a child. You should be careful when you sleep. I feel sorry for your wife.”
“HI, FRIEND,” writes Kathryn Poyner, a newcomer to Davenport from Waterloo. “Do like we do for kids. Put a pool noodle, a toy for swimming pools, UNDER the edge of the fitted sheet. It serves as a railing and doesn’t have to be sewed in.”
CHRISTOPHER Epting offers advice: “Time for assisted living, my friend. Consider it for your family’s sake, if not your own. Seriously.”
Hot dogs and home runs
After my Sunday plea to save good old Levee Inn on D’port riverfront, Dave Heller, enterprising owner of River Bandits, suggests: “What would you think about moving the Levee Inn and relocating it on the back side of Modern Woodmen Park? We would make it part of the ballpark, still sell hot dogs, and give it the love and attention it deserves. What do you think? Would the city go for it?’’
Blue Devils are here to stay
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Scott McKissick, the jovial principal of Central High in Davenport, debunks the talk that Blue Devils are on the way out as the symbol of his school. “It’s curious how that ever got started,” he says. “Blue Devils will always be the school’s identifying logo, our signature for everything.”
Long live the Blue Devils! Now, is everybody happy?
Mystery of the missing spoons
You know how it goes, there’s always one abandoned shoe on the street or sidewalk. Never two shoes; always one. There’s the missing sock in the dryer. The dryer yields only one. Where does the matching sock go? Does every washer or dryer have a sock-eating monster?
“Lately, I’ve been thinking about spoons,” says Tom Gilsenan, who runs Uptown Bill’s, an Iowa City coffee house, gathering place, performance venue, used bookstore and other enterprises.
“Where do the spoons go? I inventoried silverware at the coffee house before our community Thanksgiving dinner and found that we have one-third fewer spoons than forks. I know there was exactly the same number of spoons and forks a little over a year ago.
“Thinking about this, I realized this happened at home, too — home when I was a child as well as home now. So, what could be happening to those spoons? Is that a universal problem?”