The weather has dominated the news for the past two weeks.
I used to make fun of WTAJ-TV, calling it a wannabe Weather Channel, and former news director Jim Frank (yes, he's the brother of Mirror Sports Editor Buck Frank) used to tell me that management loved any such reference.
Because, the theory goes, weather affects us all.
I just want to see Joe Murgo fighting the wind like Jim Cantore.
Mirror Assistant News Editor Mark Leberfinger, known around here as "The Finger Weather Center," likes to compare his predictions with the experts in State College.
Anyway, there is a point here (don't rush me), and it's that weather makes us more flexible to present the news that is important that day.
The main story on today's Page 1 about the transition of councils and school boards where contentious elections took place, since updated, was set to run two weeks ago, only to be replaced by the weather.
We tried to blanket, pardon the pun, the weather angles - both in print and online - from accidents to the economic impact to the humanitarians who shoveled their neighborhoods all day.
Then there was the story of the 94-year-old Cambria County man who was injured knocking down icicles with a 10-foot pole.
So be careful.
While winter can wear us down, it's also a beautiful time that we should expect in the Northeast, even occasionally snowstorms of 2 feet.
Some of my favorite memories growing up involved huge dumpings of snow. My two brothers and I would pile on our dad - four Rudels stacked up - as we rode a sled down Club Drive in Johnstown.
You can't do that in a region where the seasons don't change.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
Sometimes you don't learn much about someone until you read the person's obituary.
Mary Geraldine Weakland died Feb. 8 at the age of 89. She retired as the Mirror's night editor in 1980.
Having landed at the Mirror about a year earlier, I didn't know much about "Gerry," other than she was meticulous and didn't care much for the smell of Frank Polito's usually burning cigars.
Her obituary said she was the founding editor of The Altoona Collegian in 1942. In the 58 years since, Penn State Altoona's weekly newspaper has helped produce a significant number of journalists who have spent their careers in the industry.
Today, the paper is advised by Mirror staffers Margaret Moses and Gary Baranec.
What's in a name?
An Associated Press writer has the longest last name I have ever seen - 18 letters.
Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili covered the tragedy involving the Olympic luger from the Russian country of Georgia who died Feb. 12.
The byline would not fit in a single column, and unless the page designer used a wider column, it would have to be hyphenated.
The longest last name in the Mirror newsroom is Cory Dobrowolsky - six letters shy of Misha D, who must be one heck of a writer.
Check out Go Editor Keith Frederick's new blog on www.altoonamirror.com. It's called The Rough Cut, the same as Keith's column that runs in Go and focuses on pop culture.
Part of Newseum
One of the cooler Web sites is www.newseum.com.
Newseum is a Washington, D.C., museum devoted to the newspaper and media industry.
Without traveling, you can click around the site and find today's front pages of newspapers from around the country, including the Mirror.
Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.