Have you had enough winter? Me too. A sure sign you've had enough is when you give your snow shovels names. I've given mine distinctive monikers, but I can't tell you what they are because this is a family newspaper. In a move to (hopefully) kick winter out the door, I decided to purge the crate beneath my desk of the last vestiges of winter topics. 


For those of you who have not had enough snow, the March issue of Popular Mechanics has an article that instructs you on how to create a man-made blizzard in your back yard. “The Home Snow Gun” touts: “A snow gun is a ludicrous thing to purchase. But when I’m old and wizened, looking back on my life, am I going to regret buying a snowmaker? That is a completely excellent thing to buy.” (


To accomplish this all you have to do is go to to purchase anything from a $498 snow gun to a $2548 complete snowmaking system. “It is tons of fun to have the ability to make snow in your own yard for skiing, sledding, snowboarding, or any snow related activity.” (


Of course, all that snow could have a tendency to get on your nerves. That might figure into why Ishpeming in the upper peninsula is the divorce capital of Michigan. According to 24/7 Wall Street, the divorce rate in that Yooper city is 20.3 percent. The cities with the highest divorce rates in the country are: 1) Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 26.8 percent; Brattleboro, Vermont, 24.8 percent; and  Rochester, Indiana: 24.3 percent. (


Perhaps one way to alleviate the cabin fever tension between couples would be a nifty thought problem. If you like hockey and math, answer this question. How long would it take for a Zamboni to resurface Lake Superior? 


The good folks at U.P. Supply Company in Marquette tackled this problem. To begin: “Lake Superior is 31,700 square miles, the standard North American ice rink is 17,000 square feet (200 X 85 feet), and a single Zamboni machine takes approximately 7 minutes to resurface a standard ice rink.”


Those figures lead to some interesting calculations.  “One frozen Lake Superior  equals 52,020,513 ice rinks. At about seven minutes per rink it would take 364,143,591 minutes to resurface all of Lake Superior. That is 252,877 days. In all, that means it would take approximate 693 years to resurface Lake Superior in its entirety. The ice resurfacer will have driven approximately 39,015,384 miles.”


By the way, if you want to Zamboni all of the Great  Lakes it would be the equivalent of 154,666,667 ice rinks. See all the data at:


Another way to beat the winter doldrums is to see a heart warming story. That happened recently at a Canadian ski resort where a group of young teens are being hailed as heroes. “This group of teenagers who had been skiing rushed over to help an 8-year-old when they spotted him dangling from a chairlift 20 feet above ground.


The boy’s father was trying to hold on to his arms as he dangled in the air. The boy’s father had frantically attempted to pull his son back into the lift, but had a difficult time with the maneuver. The group of teenagers began to think of a quick plan to help the boy, and are credited with the boy’s save.” 


In an amazing video you can watch the teens spring into action and rig a piece of snow fence into a makeshift safety net. They had the child snap out of his skis and then drop the twenty feet into the net. The child was unharmed and the teens had completed a potentially life-saving rescue. The entire process from spotting the dangling child to formulating a plan to the happy ending took less than a minute. You have to see this for yourself at:


At this point, if all you want to do is sit in front of a crackling fire and chat with friends here is something for sports fans to discuss. USA Today is currently running a series of articles about changes they would like to see in sports. “We're unveiling the 11 things we'd like to change in sports, as voted upon by the USA TODAY Sports staff — reforms that we believe would have a positive impact on the world of sports. Every day, we'll explore a new idea, how it would work and why it makes sense.” 


The first four topics were: Ban tackle football for children under 14, Seed playoff teams by record regardless of conference, Adopt a split-season schedule in Major League Baseball, and Why golf needs a shot clock. You can see all of the articles at:


Finally, author W.J. Vogel offered some sage wisdom about how to make winter go by faster. “To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring.”


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and