As if I needed yet another example, the universe always strikes when it is least expected. The other night, as I was doing the dinner dishes, the thought came to me that I hadn’t had a flat tire on my bike in a really long time. The universe was listening, of course, and I got a flat tire on my way into work the very next morning. My bike got new tires this week, and should be getting a rack in the next week or two. The new tires will hopefully perform better in the snow than my old ones did. The old ones (Panaracer Paselas) were great road tires, but were terrible in the snow. They slipped and slid all over the road. The new tires (Tioga Bloodhounds) are just a hair wider than the Paselas and have a mountain bike-style tread. After a long time of carrying the world on my back (and in my Timbuktu bag), I decided to get a bike rack when they went on sale recently. After I get the rack (via the ever-so-slow United States Postal Service), I’ll be able to strap certain parts of my load directly over the rear tire and give my shoulders and back a break. The curling team on which I play won its fifth game in a row last night. We started out losing three straight. However, we somehow managed to turn things around, and our record is now 5-3. We had to win some really close games (including last night when we were down by one point going into the final end, where we scored two points to pull out the win) to get our record where it is. Regardless of the win-loss record and the scores, it has been really fun to play the game. A new billboard has gone up here in Madison advertising a tanning service. However, the satisfied client depicted on the bulletin board appears to have spent the entire winter indoors, and most assuredly not in a tanning booth. Would it have been too much trouble to find a picture of a tan person to put on a tanning salon billboard? The last time I checked, the city of Madison was located in Wisconsin. Historically, snow falls on Wisconsin during the late fall, winter, and early spring months. Why, then, does the city of Madison’s street department act completely confused about what exactly it is supposed to do with its fancy, expensive snow removal equipment every time it snows? I’ve never seen a city that has such a hard time getting the streets plowed. The sad thing is that the city doesn’t even plow every street. They only plow certain streets unless there is new snow on the ground that meets or exceeds some arbitrary value. A major bike lane through the city was not plowed on Monday, even though the three auto lanes, the bike lane running the other direction, and the bus lane (all of which are on the same street) were plowed on Monday. The City of Shorewood Hills (which for all intents and purposes is a neighborhood of Madison that just happens to elect its own Mayor) doesn’t plow their streets at all. Apparently, Shorewood Hills residents are wealthy enough to trash their vehicles periodically by sliding down hills and into trees and each other. Perhaps Madison could take some snow removal lessons from towns and cities in Minnesota and the Dakotas that don’t seem to be flustered by white flakes of frozen water falling from the sky.