Why can't winter ever go away quietly? Two weekends ago I was sitting out on my deck, enjoying the warmth and the sun, thinking it wouldn't be long until trees start budding and flowers start springing up through the ground. Today I'm looking out my window (it's too cold to sit out on the deck) and I see snow. It's spring. So, Mother Nature, give us a break. We've waited long enough.

The NCAA basketball tournament brackets present more than 9.2 quintillion combinations. That's a 9.2 followed by 18 zeroes. So, if you're wondering why your selections aren't going according to your predictions, just think, there's millions of other March Madness fanatics who are in the same boat.

If you're ever wondering how much clout the National Rifle Association (NRA) has in this country, just read this. An assault weapons ban won't be in the gun-control legislation that Democrats bring to the Senate floor next month. Why? Because politicians are afraid that endorsing such a ban would spell political suicide for them.

I don't care if I win the office pool for the NCAA basketball tourney. I just want to beat Obama's score. Wonder if he's going with all the favorites?

When Derek Jeter is playing shortstop again in a regular season game for the Yankees, all will be right with the sports world.

Much like Sen. Dave Argall, I also support Sen. John Wozniak's (D-35) bill that would require the Department of Public Welfare to develop and implement a drug screening progrram for all applicants and recipients of public welfare. That might give us an idea how that money is being spent.

The Shamokin School District recently hired three armed security guards to patrol the school district.

Expect more stories like this in the future. It's a firm reminder of the society we live in now.

Here's some thoughts from a reader who sent this along to share.

I Just Realized Something

It just hit me!

My dog sleeps about 20 hours a day.

He has his food prepared for him.

His meals are provided at no cost to him..

He visits the doctor once a year for his checkup, and again during the year, if any medical needs arise.

For this he pays nothing, and nothing is required of him.

He lives in a nice neighborhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, but he is not required to do any upkeep.

If he makes a mess, someone else cleans it up.

He has his choice of luxurious places to sleep.

He receives these accommodations absolutely free.

He is living like a king, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever.

All of his costs are picked up by others who earn a living.

I was just thinking about all this and suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks.

My dog is a CONGRESSMAN!

The saddest story of the week is the one involing the 86-year-old man who went into an Allentown Hospital and shot his 83-year-old wife to death as she received hospice care. He then turned the gun on himself as he couldn't bear to see her suffer any more, and he didn't want to live without her.

An Associated Press story this week, naming two surveys, revealed that, at just under $175,000, Pa. Governor Tom Corbett is the highest salaried governor in the nation. Are we getting our money's worth?

Since when did the National Weather Service start giving human names to winter storms? I thought that perk belonged exclusively to hurricanes.

The number one Lenten food that I haven't tasted this season? Bleenies. Maybe this weekend.

Finally, I'm not happy to learn that the guy who is the voice of Elmo (one of my three-year-old grandson's favorite characters) is being sued by a man who claims the entertainer lured him into drug-fueled sex when he was 16.