Time for #RandomThoughts.

The other day, I saw gas in town for $1.76 per gallon. I have to tell you, I never thought I'd see it get below $2 again in my lifetime. I also saw a quote from a Saudi Arabian prince speculating that oil would never again reach $100 per barrel. I'm no financial expert, but whatever is causing this, please let it continue. #MyCarWon'tEvenTake$30InGas

As much as I love the technological age in which we live, it seems to be having a negative effect on some basic skills. For instance, I used to be a tremendous speller. World class. Well, maybe not world class, but good enough to finish second in several elementary school spelling bees. But when typing that last paragraph, I had to look up how to spell "barrel". #NotProud

My wife likes to point out my advancing age, and she's right, it's advancing faster than I ‘d like. But I prefer to point out that, until I turn 35 in March, I can't even be President yet. So, yeah. #Parkhouse2016

Regarding the city's $5.5 million budget shortfall, there is likely a lot of blame to go around. While I'm sure this is finger pointing going on behind the scenes, I'd like to point out the 73 percent property tax collection rate is the ultimate culprit. #PayYourTaxes

Everyone knows Michigan City is sort of known for the Festival Of Lights at Washington Park. And, as always, it was quite the spectacle this year. The surprise of the winter, however, was the sublime light display in the Uptown Arts District. It was simple, yet elegant. Taking a stroll or a drive through uptown Franklin St. was truly a joy, and kudos to those responsible. This is yet another sign of great things happening in the UAD. #MoreToCome

The news that J.C. Penney would soon close at Marquette Mall was really disheartening. I can't honestly say I'd done much shopping there, but whenever I went to the mall, we always entered through there. It makes me nostalgiac for how cool that mall used to be. I remain hopeful that something awesome can be done with that space, either with the existing structure or something new altogether. #ChangeNeeded

Soon, and unbelievably, it will be February, which is #BlackHistoryMonth. You may remember in 2014 the N-D did a Q&A profile of 28 members of the community to celebrate black history. The series was so well received, we've decided to do it again. As we did last year, we are focusing many of these stories on lesser-known members of the community who we think you need to know about. Our staff is already working hard on profiles for this upcoming February, and we hope you enjoy this edition as much as the last.

Though I honestly believe both of today's games are a coin flip, I'll predict a Seahawks-Patriots matchup in Super Bowl XLIX. #SorryColtsFans

Sticking to football, I want everyone to know I was on the #FireEveryone bandwagon early on in this Bears season. I'm glad they did the right thing and hopefully the new hires will push the franchise forward.

Finally, #JeSuisCharlie.

Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at aparkhouse@thenewsdispatch.com or 1-219-214-4170.

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