AND NOW, as we wet-wool our way through the after-effects of another storm of Alaskan proportion, I present 10 happy thoughts to help us through The Blizzards of 2010.
1. If you drive a Toyota, and the weather has kept your car off the road for a week, you're a week safer than you were before the snows fell. A couple of more Nor'easters and you can postpone those recall repairs until Arbor Day.
2. For once, Philadelphia is superior to Vancouver. Usually, the shimmering jewel of western Canada is everything that our humble burg is not: sexy, cosmopolitan, envied hostess of the International Winter Olympics. But - bless you, Mother Nature - we finally have something that twinkling city desperately needs.
Vancouver's majestic ski slopes are, unexpectedly, as dry as an October cornfield, and it has thrown a hilariously heavy set of moose antlers into the XXI Winter Games.
Suck it, Vancouver!
3. The Phillies' home opener is just 61 days away. Even if it's still nippy outside the stadium by then, it'll be toasty inside as hot gossip moves like The Wave over the cheap seats: Is Ryan Howard still snuggling with that Eagles cheerleader? Did Cole Hamels get his pre-daddyhood mojo back? Has Charlie Manuel carved any more girth from his gut?
4. Speaking of girth, snow-shoveling burns 400 calories per hour, more if you weigh over 150 pounds. Since most Philadelphians older than a toddler weigh much more than that, these blizzards have major chub-melt potential. One more Snowmageddon, and citizens of Philly - now the country's 20th fattest city, according to Men's Health - will be more buff than the Salt Lake City health freaks that the mag dubbed as America's fittest urban dwellers.
5. Philly schools are closed again, so that's yet another day that kids at South Philly High aren't getting bullied or trying to steer clear of all the bullying going down around them. See how easy it can be to put the kibosh on classroom smack-downs?
6. The Philadelphia International Flower Show opens Feb. 28. The fragrant show will transform the Pennsylvania Convention Center into a climate-controlled biosphere where paving stones and soft pretzels can be purchased in the same deliciously warm setting. This year's "Passport to the World"-themed extravaganza features a 28-foot-high hot-air balloon plastered with 79,000 dried flowers. Which oughta take our minds off our own dried, cracked hands.
7. Home Depot is offering free shipping on any back-yard grill.
8. The city's unemployment rate is at 10.6 percent and the economy is in the crapper, so not many of us can afford a bone-thawing getaway to the tropics (all the airplanes are grounded, so we couldn't get there anyway, right?)
At least we have the Irazu Falls exhibit at Camden's Adventure Aquarium, where, trills the aquarium's promos, "your ears will be filled with primitive, tribal music and exotic animal sounds that'll make you feel like you're actually deep within an Amazon Rainforest."
Here's an idea: If you rub Coppertone onto your frozen nose before you go, the emollients will soothe your winter-chapped nostrils while filling them with the smell of summer.
9. Philly is about 60 miles from the closest ocean beach, so we needn't fret that the storm whipping the Atlantic into a land-hungry froth will erode anything that will require us to beg municipal workers to take a pay cut so we can fix it.
10. According to weather Web sites, when the sun rises this morning in Fargo, N.D., the temperature will be 0 degrees Fahrenheit - and that's without a blizzard having preceded it. On the other hand, when the sun inches above the Delaware today, Philly's mercury will hover at a kind of balmy 28.
Smile, then repeat after me: We are not Fargo. We are not Fargo.
Doesn't that help?
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-854-2217. For recent columns:
http://go.philly.com/polaneczky. Read Ronnie's blog at