Today's column, which gives readers a chance to turn "Marmaduke" loose:
Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree, but I can't resist: Would you be willing to trade "Marmaduke" for a Sudoku puzzle?
Marmaduke is the big goofy mutt in the one-panel comic on our comics page, right next to "Family Circus" and the Jumbles puzzle. As we've made changes in our comics page recently, I've heard from a notable number of readers that "Marmaduke" is ripe for replacement.
And what's a Sudoku puzzle? It's a new type of puzzle that's all the rage among people who love crosswords, cryptogram puzzles and numbers games.
A Sudoku puzzle uses numbers but it's not a math quiz -- it's a logic and reasoning puzzle that tests your mind in a whole different way than, let's say, "Marmaduke."
How about it? Let me know what you think, and I'll tell you the results and our plans in next week's column.
Single copy price drop
Beginning Monday and continuing weekdays through Friday, Dec. 16, we're dropping our single-copy price to 25 cents. A time or two a year, we drop the newsstand price to entice people who don't get the paper at home to take a fresh look, and with all the changes we've made recently -- and with some of our strongest advertising of the year -- we think it's a great time to make connections with new readers.
Focus group next week
If you're a dedicated P-B reader and have feedback to share, you're invited to join us for lunch Tuesday.
We're putting together an informal focus group to talk about the new front page design, the move of local news into the A section, major changes in our lifestyle sections, and other issues near and dear to our journalists' hearts.
Give us an hour of informed conversation about the P-B and we'll give you the same, plus a tasty box lunch. If you're interested in joining us from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, call me or send an e-mail.
Whither the weather page
Just in time for the winter of our discontent, we're redesigning our daily weather package to provide more local information, a stronger regional weather map and other irresistible data.
Copy editor Denise Nelson is working on a new package that will feature more area towns; air quality and environmental data; more details for sky watchers; and a more representative sampling of weather info from world cities.
If you have ideas for making our weather coverage even better, pass them along, and I forecast a 100 percent chance that you'll get a response from me pronto. Look for changes in the page by Jan. 1.
Jay Furst is the Post-Bulletin's managing editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or to P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55904. Also check out his daily Web log at www.postbulletin.com.