RICHMOND - It's that time again. Time for one day of resolving all sorts of grandiose things and for 364 days of backpedaling. Since old Janus looks both forward and back, he's well aware that we resolve early and dissolve quickly.

But here's a few for me and a few other people might make. First, I resolve not to speak sharply at, curse or otherwise address impolitely my computer. Basically, I love the magical machine, so yelling at it implies no ill will. The lack of sincere venom is proved by all the years I yelled at our children, and I adore them.

I resolve to walk the dog farther than my feet want to go. But if it's 8 degrees (has already been), his paws freeze and require holding, preferably with a bare, warm hand that quite quickly is more like an ice pack. Perhaps we'll wait for summer to carry out this resolve.

I could resolve not to sigh. Everyone hates it when you sigh. A retired Eagle editor was ever the king of sighing, but we all sigh -- with disappointment, with chagrin, with plain annoyance. One of the problems with giving up sighing is that it's probably physically beneficial -- taking in and letting out all that breath in a whoosh. Perhaps I'll sigh at the computer.

I ought to resolve to love making beds. That will be hard. The first day I went back to work full-time, my husband made our bed. Having shipped everyone out the door, I went to do that (my mother would never want to think a close relative's house might have an un-made bed) and had a delightful surprise. He did it every day thereafter, until his arthritic fingers protested too much.

In advance of spring and summer, I should resolve to sweep and dust and vacuum before I fly outside to plant and weed and mow. But that would be silly.

Enough of my promises-that-will-be-broken. Here's some for other people, starting with everyone: Please answer your phone. If my late sister-in-law didn't answer on the second ring, we knew she wasn't home. These days, almost everyone screens -- so you have no idea whether they're home or in Africa. And when the machine message begins with "You have reached ..." it's laughable. You haven't.

Government: Tell us who the long-time unemployed are. They are losing extended benefits. But who are they? People we need to train so they're employable? People who perennially can't hold a job? Single mothers who need to take care of little people? Lazy bums? Folks who have exalted ideas about what their careers ought to be and have decided no job is better than any job? Inquir ing minds need to know so we can abuse or excuse, support or desert.

Congress: Go back to preschool where unruly 4-year-olds are tossed into a room and told to get along. Some of you may be hopeless. In any case, you may have noticed that bullying is not considered de rigueur these days.

Warmongers: You hawks need to squawk but keep your talons covered. We need peace -- everywhere -- not war.

Banks: Share the wealth. Report edly, bank profits are at record highs, although the third quarter brought a little slump. They're coining it and their executives are making a mint. What a shock it would be to find a bank that decided to pack on a couple of percentage points to short-term CDs, those precious savings that so many elderly depend on. The present rates are insulting, especially since we the savers bailed them out not so long ago.

Frankly, I don't want my bank to be "exciting," but it would certainly be a thrill if someone like "America's most exciting bank" led the way with 2 or 3 percent on a short-term CD. Now I sigh.

Ruth Bass is a former Eagle Sunday editor. Her web site is