Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 12, 2013

FROM THE VALLEY: Uncle Tom's cabin fever

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — We aren’t that far into December and already I’m suffering from the effects of the winter-time blues. My golf clubs are sitting in the corner of my workshop just staring at me. I don’t know what to tell them. It doesn’t look good.

Fortunately, I did get out golfing a few times in November. But it was cold. And when the temperature drops, not only do I have to bundle up, but the ball doesn’t go very far. In my case, that’s a problem because I don’t hit it far to begin with. A friend of mine suggested that when it gets chilly, I should try putting my balls in the microwave first. He volunteered to show me how to do it.

I was ready to end our friendship and take up bowling until he explained what he was talking about. It wasn’t what I thought. I’m glad he cleared it up.

Elsewhere, my fishing pole is in the opposite end of the shop. I’m always amazed that if I come within 20 feet of it, no matter where it’s stored, I get snagged on a loose hook. Yet, I can sit in the boat seven days a week for 10 straight hours without ever catching a fish. Why a fish doesn’t get hung up, even by accident, defies all odds and ignores the rules of physics.

I catch nothing until I reel it in. And then, once the hook gets above the water, I’ll snag the anchor rope, the boat’s carpet, the dog’s ear, a cloud or whatever else there is within a quarter mile. I once set the record for puncturing the motor’s rubber gas line. “Pass the matches, so I can see where the leak is!”

One of the things I do enjoy, while waiting out the winter, is staying in touch with people. I heard from my nephew, John, the other day. John lives in Texas with his wife and two kids. He was extremely proud, he told me, that his youngest daughter was “a card carrying pickled-egg lover.” That’s something he and I have in common. We both love our pickled eggs. Comfort food for me. I’m glad to hear the torch is being passed on ... as well as the gas.

My other nephew, Scott, bemoaned the state of affairs his beloved NY Jets are in. I told him it could be worse, he could be a Bills fan.

I’m also watching a lot more television than normal. Can anyone explain to me why the same stations are on so many different cable channels? As I scroll through the line-up, I see the exact same program-carriers assigned various channel numbers. What gives? Does Time-Warner think I’ll forget what I just saw 30 channels ago and be impressed with how high the numbers go?

What was I talking about?

Another thing: I thought viewer ratings drove the bus when it came to deciding what was on TV! Apparently, that’s not the case. I’m talking about C-Span. Never in my life has anyone approached me and said “Did you catch C-Span last night?”

So I ask you, did the people in charge, those who determine what should be on the air, get together and say “Hey, you know what? Since viewership is zero, zilch, nobody at all watching, why don’t we add a C-Span 2 and a C-Span 3 to the lineup?”

And “Oh yeah, let’s throw in The New York State Legislative Channel!”

Hello ... anybody home?

Pass the pickled eggs, please. I need some comfort food. And I can hardly wait to get my “hooks” on one.

I wonder when it’ll start warming up again?

That’s the way it looks from the Valley.

Tom Valley is probably out Christmas shopping for his wife. You can leave him a message at: tvalley@rochester.rr.com or call Dollar General and see if he's still there.