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At the Mike: January 5
2018 is upon us; give a resolution or two a try
Mike - At the Mike

Well, 2018 is here. I have already written checks and put 2017 on them.
January, here in the heartland, can be a pretty tough month weather-wise. But so far, it hasn’t been too bad. Yeah, there was a cold snap and probably more will come, but as far as January’s go the weather has been pretty darn good so far. Especially when you look at other parts of the United States.
The old saying goes, December is the darkest month, January is the coldest month and February is the snowiest month. At least I think I’ve heard that saying. Or is January the snowiest and February the coldest? Oh well.
Around our house, January is a month of parties. We just hang the Happy Birthday banner early and leave it up. My birthday is in January, Katelyn’s birthday is also in January. She actually turns 18 this year. That just isn’t right.
Donovan already turned 18 this month as well. My mother’s birthday is in January, my mother-in-law’s birthday and Kansas’s birthday. Actually, my mother-in-law and Kansas have the same birthday. Waffle, our dog, will be three this month as well.
For me, I think I turn like 35 this month. Something like that.

Prep Thoughts
Ready, set, go. Take a deep breath because if you are a parent or fan following local basketball teams you may not get another good breath until March.
The season will now get fast and furious. Great Bend hosts Garden City Friday, Hoisington host Kingman, Larned hosts Hillsboro, Central Plains travels to Macksville and St. John will head to Ness City on Friday as well.
So get the oil changed, check the tires and make sure there is plenty of anti-freeze to keep the car warm. The marathon portion of the season is here.

Kansas Fun Fact
I think it’s time to educate some folks on the great state we live in. Kansas turns 157 years old in just a couple weeks. We will use this space to learn some fun facts about the state.
This week’s fact will feature an item most of the people in Great Bend have seen at one time or another – the ‘Hot’ and ‘Cold’ water towers in Pratt. The towers were originally built in 1901 and 1909. The hot and cold were added in 1956 after the towers were no longer in use.
But did you know Pratt is not the only town in Kansas with ‘Hot’ and ‘Cold’ water towers? Canton, a town of about 750 people on the other side of McPherson, also has a pair.
For those proud Prattans, like my wife and her family, don’t fret – the ones in Pratt came first.

And Finally
A new year. Resolutions are flying about as 2018 takes over atop the calendars.
Me, well I tend to stay away from resolutions. They never usually get past the first few weeks anyways.
The most popular resolutions are – according to somebody that wrote something on it and looks somewhat official – are to spend more time with family, get more fit, lose weight, quit smoking, quit drinking, enjoy more and get out of debt.
Like January in Kansas is the perfect time to start that running regiment or eat healthier. I guess if you plan ahead you can fatten yourself up over the holidays so you have some extra weight to take off.
Anyway, like I said, I’ve never been one to make many resolutions. But, what the heck. I will make a few this year.
I resolve to act like I’m paying better attention to my lovely wife Crystal and wonderful daughter Katelyn when they are talking to me. Like I’ve said before, I have the ability to make them background noise. I don’t plan on changing that, I just feel the need to work on making it look like I am paying attention a little better.
I resolve to not talk to the television while KU is playing basketball. I will do my best not to tell the announcers they are stupid. I will do my best to not ask them what they are talking about. Understand, though, if Bill Walton is doing the game, this resolution gets a waiver for that game.
I resolve not ask Crystal if she wants to drive or make some other smart comment when she is driving from the passenger seat while I’m actually behind the wheel. I will just look forward, smile, and say ‘yes dear’.
I resolve to have my Christmas lights down by, let’s say, February.
I resolve to have the Christmas tree down sometime before, oh, April.
And finally, I resolve to practice all year on Jingle Bells so I can sing it properly next Christmas. It’s a one-horse open sleigh not a one-horse soap and sleigh.
So there you have it. A few resolutions that I am sure I will not keep.
Happy New Year.

Mike Marzolf is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at