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Winter looms no matter what the global warming crowd has to say.

Certainly one’s fireplace deserves something emphatic as the wind whistles through the yard like this Olde World Iron Log Holder, which comes with a sumptuous deep red suede carrying case for firewood. The whole thing weighs in at 16 pounds, is priced at $122 and measures 28 inches high and 14 inches wide.

From Fireplace Screens Etc. way up in Green Bay, Wis. For information, consult their Web site (www.fireplacescreensetc.com) or call toll free (877/416-6491).

By the numbers

Things are getting better. No, really. They are. Sort of.

61 percent of Americans overall believe the country is on the wrong track, down from 75 percent in October.

57 percent of Democrats say we’re on the wrong track, down from 84 percent last month.

67 percent of Republicans say we’re on the wrong track, up from 64 percent.

30 percent overall believe the country is headed in the right direction, up from 18 percent.

8 percent of us approve of the job Congress is doing, down 1 percent in the last month.

25 percent of us approve of President Bush’s job performance, up from 21 percent in October.

51 percent of Republicans give Mr. Bush positive ratings, up from 42 percent.

8 percent of Democrats give Mr. Bush positive ratings, up from 5 percent.

Source: Zogby poll of 1,014 likely voters conducted Nov. 13 to 17.

Days of yore

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