Last week, the TV in the family room died during Monday Night Football. This was doubly disappointing as the Titans were playing the Texans: a game I wanted to watch.

We also have a couple of small televisions, but they only get Channels 5 and 12. MNF is on ESPN so I was out of luck. Yet, it would have been even more aggravating had the TV quit working the day before, during the New England Patriots game! Small silver lining in a very cold and sunless November.

So the next day, during winter storm No. 3 for our region, I headed to Brewer to buy a replacement television.

Crossing the I-295 bridge, I gaped at the Coast Guard icebreaker, hard at work on the Penobscot — on Nov. 27. A very cold November indeed! MDOT reports they have already dumped 27,000 tons, or 54 million pounds, of salt on state roads! That’s more than five times the amount for the same date last year. Sunday River equaled its earliest opening date ever, with skiers hitting the slopes on Oct. 19.

And it is not just Maine. My brother lives in Maryland. He sent me a picture of 4 inches of fresh snow on his deck. Snow in Maryland is unusual anytime and unheard of in November. Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, more than 200 sea turtles froze to death on Cape Cod beaches. Where the heck is this global warming when we need it?

We certainly had a warm summer, but, for me, it’s the winter season that defines Maine’s climate. How long will it be this year? Four months? Five months? Six months?

Last year, winter was a bit warmer than the historic average, but that good news was buried under the unrelenting snows of March. When we got home from a month in sunny, warm Florida, I had to call our neighbor to come with this bucket loader and clear a path through the more than 3 feet of snow clogging our driveway. This on April 7th!

Just six months later, it is snowing again! I repeat: Where is that global warming?

The best measure of a winter temperature-wise is total heating degree days. The more degree days, the colder the weather. The historic average for Bangor is about 7,750 degree days per year, depending on exactly what method you use.

Based on degree days, six of the last 10 years have been warmer than average and four have been colder than average (2008, 2009, 2014 and 2015). Of the last ten years, 2012 was the warmest (~1,200 fewer degree days than average) and 2015 the coldest (~400 more degree days than average).

Obviously, this heating season is off to a colder than normal start (about 100 more degree days than average so far). In fact, for many locations on the eastern seaboard, including Bangor, November 2018 was the coldest November in history.

It really puzzles me how anyone can be worried about our climate getting too warm when we are setting records for cold!

But I digress. Back to my TV story. In Brewer the much-hyped winter storm is more rain than snow but, thankfully, the big box store is still mercifully empty. All the Black Friday and Cyber Monday foolishness must have tired out most shoppers. I am literally all by myself looking at televisions when a salesperson pulls up and asks if I need help. Yes, Please!

I explained I am a bit of a Luddite. And, therefore, I am looking for a simple TV — one I can hook up without help from my son or some other tech-geek. He understood and promptly showed me the store’s selection of “dumb TVs.” That is what he called them: Dumb TVs. Apparently, the smart televisions run various “apps” (whatever they are) and maybe cook breakfast. It is all over my head.

Overall, I thought the prices were surprisingly low. I bought a 40-inch Sanyo for just $200. According to the carton, the TV weighs only 15 pounds. Amazing. And the sales person was right. Even with the inadequate instructions (in four languages), this Luddite successfully had the new TV working in less than an hour.

Now, I cannot wait to watch the Patriots beat up the Minnesota Vikings on my new dumb TV. Even better, how about a big snowstorm in Foxboro. Watching football played in the snow is the one part of winter I still love!

Did you know?

You may have missed the report that the city of Saco just spent $20,000 to tear down its 100-foot windmill on York Hill. Originally installed in 2008 with great fanfare, the windmill was supposedly guaranteed to pay for itself. That never happened. The original cost was $207,000 and, on top of that, the windmill had numerous, expensive-to-fix mechanical problems. Even when working, it never produced even close to the amount of electricity guaranteed by the manufacturer, Entegrity Wind Systems.

The bottom line is, Entegrity made outlandish guarantees to sell their products and then went bankrupt, leaving Saco, and many other customers, holding the bag. Saco’s windmill broke down for the last time in 2016. Estimates to repair the turbine were in the $100,000 range. Now it is gone and York Hill will be the home for Saco’s Christmas tree!

Randall Poulton lives in Winterport. He writes a monthly column for The Republican Journal.