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Widely scattered thoughts while wondering what is taking U.S. biathlon favorite Tim Burke so long to cross the finish line.

* It’s not appointment television, but if I’m in a room and the Winter Olympics are on, I’m mesmerized. Doesn’t matter what event — moguls. bobsled, Nordic combined, figure skating. I don’t even like winter. Maybe it’s because the thought of doing things that by their very nature are done in an icy cold environment just fascinates me. Then there’s the whole patriotism thing.

* For some reason, the Winter Olympics holds much more attraction for me than the Summer Olympics. I’d like to see jai alai become part of the Summer Games.

* One of my guilty pleasures, Survivor, promises to be one of the best seasons ever. So far, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains hasn’t disappointed. Your favorites from the past 19 seasons — Boston Rob, Rupert Bonham, Coach, among them — are in the Pacific trying to outwit, outplay and outlast.

* On the other hand, I’m still holding out hope that 24 will turn it around. Up to this point, eight hours into Jack Bauer’s 24-hour day, I’m left, shall we say, wanting.

* Interesting little factoid: Every state in the nation, with the exception of Hawaii, has had snow this year. My son at school in South Carolina got hit with a 6-to-8-inch snowstorm last week. How do all the global warming people explain that?

* Speaking of global warming, why were there no demonstrators at the Daytona 500 last week? You know how much junk those high-powered vehicles emit into the atmosphere? Just kidding. I’ve always thought it the height of arrogance to think that mankind could actually make a significant difference in the environment. I’m not a scientist, but don’t you just get the sneaky suspicion that this whole global warming thing is about government funding?

* First lady Michelle Obama has found her cause. Childhood obesity. Isn’t that special? Expect more government intrusion into the lives of American citizens. The sugar police will be out in force. Soon, Double-Stuf Oreo cookies will only be available through the black market. You’ll find me in the seediest areas of town in the shades of night waiting for my Snickers fix. I don’t ask much of my government. Protect the borders, Pick up the trash, plow the roads and deliver the mail. Beyond that, leave me alone.

* The equipment truck pulled out of Fenway Park last week, headed to Fort Myers, Fla. Keep the groundhog; for me, the equipment truck is the first sign of spring. The Boston Red Sox made some good moves in the offseason and have a good chance of winning their third world championship in the past 10 years. Or at least playing deep into October, which is all any of us can ask, right?

* Eric Clapton’s “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” ranks up there with the great works of Mozart and Beethoven in my humble estimation.

* After almost 21 years of marriage, my wife got me the most beautiful Valentine’s Day card in memory. The Hallmark sentiment: It’s hard to complain about the rain when you’re married to sunshine. Wasn’t that nice?

* Is it just me or are newspaper comic strips these days just not, you know, funny? Other than Dilbert or Pickles, not much in the funny pages give me a tickle.

* Getting back to television for a moment, have you seen Undercover Boss? The show involves the head of some giant corporation, like Waste Management, getting down and dirty with the employees and discover firsthand the cruel challenges faced by the working men and women on the lower rungs of the corporation. It’s pretty good stuff, if not a bit contrived.

I thought about some of my bosses sitting in a boring planning meeting trying to stay awake. Then I realized, those poor folks have to read and edit my copy.

Have a comment? E-mail Dennis at dshaughnessey@lowellsun.com.