That dratted rodent that pops out of his heated condo in Pennsylvania and divines how much longer winter will hold us in its icy grip saw his shadow this morning, which means we're still not out of the woods yet. But there are signs of hope: The Strictly Sail Chicago boat show drew some solid numbers over the weekend [including Sailing World editors-at-large Gary Jobson and Peter Isler], and a vast fleet of one-design sailors are doing their final road checks before their trip to St. Petersburg, Fla., for the first Sailing World NOOD regatta of the year, slated to begin February 13. On the West Coast, the Mexico races are ramping up, and down at the Derecktor yard in Dania, Fla. Farr 40 and other boat's captains are getting their rides ready for the Acura SORC, which starts on Feb. 26. Crew looking to get a ride to Bermuda in June are starting to get serious about attending one of the many Safety at Sea seminars offered, and their navigators have already started looking at Gulf Stream data. In short, it's now time to stop worrying about whether or not Janet Jackson meant to be exposed, or why the Carolina Panther's coach told his team to try for two points, and start getting ready for the upcoming racing season.