The recipe for a long life: Take a slice of homemade bread, spread with goose grease, sprinkle with salt?

Our community of strangers
And: You are what you eat (responsorial)

Norton’s mom of Eau Claire, Wisconsin: “I was disappointed when it was announced that Bulletin Board would no longer appear in the weekday paper, but I am now delighted with the lovely photos. Thank you!

“Responsorial to Dolly Dimples, regarding eating lard:


“My grandmothers both spread goose grease on homemade bread, sprinkled the grease with a generous amount of salt and enjoyed it. My paternal grandma was 10 days shy of her 100th birthday when she died, and my maternal grandma was 87 when she died.

“Guess the goose grease didn’t hurt them!”

One & Done

The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Watching news video of bombed-out buildings, with their exterior walls missing but their interiors revealed, caused this memory to surface:

“Prior Lake was flooded again, 30-some years ago, and I was out in my canoe exploring the new shoreline. I eventually paddled up on a mobile home that was on low ground, but now was up to its waist in water. Both of the side doors were open, so I figured: ‘What the heck, open house.’ I drifted through the living room and into the kitchen, complete with furniture, appliances, even knickknacks on shelves and pictures on walls. The silence intensified the eeriness when I stopped for a moment and just sat suspended in time and place.

“I’ll obviously never forget that once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Everyone’s a copy editor!

Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul: “Subject: Anyone seen our bid?

“The headline on the front page of the MINNESOTA section in Saturday’s edition of the paper west of St. Paul read: ‘Vikings irked over talk of soccer games at stadium.’

“This was the subhead: ‘Team owners, who their lost bid for an MLS franchise to a rival now in St. Paul, threaten to sue.’ ”

Fun facts to know and tell
Leading to: Till death us do part (responsorial)

Monday’s Bulletin Board included a note from IGHGrampa: “In the ‘Science & Health’ section of that other paper, there is a story about a unit of measurement that scientists can use to measure how long it takes for things to happen in an atom. Someone gave it the name ‘zeptosecond.’ It’s one trillionth of a billionth of a second, 10 to the minus-21st power of a second. This thing (this little word processor) doesn’t have what it takes to properly represent that small a value, but it’s a pretty short time, even shorter than an attosecond, which is a pokey 10 to the minus-18th of a second.

‘It’s always nice to learn something useful — like when the wife is calling me, I can reply: ‘I’ll be there in a zeptosecond.’ ”

The Puppysitter replies: “If he tells his wife he’ll be there in a zeptosecond, would he reach her before he finished saying the word?”

The eternal questions
Christmas Division

Cheesehead By Proxy (“back in Northern Minnesota”): “I received one of many mail-order catalogs this week, but this one caught my eye and I looked through it. They advertised a pillow featuring a felt reindeer decoration, but called it a ‘Donner’ pillow in the description. I was thinking: ‘Wait, shouldn’t that be Donder?’

“Wasn’t Donner the name of that sad party of people who resorted to cannibalism to stay alive while trapped in the Donner Pass over the winter, back in the 1800s, that stranded them? [Bulletin Board says: Well, yes — though it wasn’t called the Donner Pass in those days.]

“Well, I looked online, and people are apparently still arguing over the reindeer’s name after Gene Autry sang it incorrectly back in the ’50s.

“Donner or Donder or Dunder? You decide!”

BULLETIN BOARD DECIDES: Donner, German for thunder, would be the natural companion to Blitzen, German for lightning. So we say: Donner, it is!

Till death them did part
And: Fifteeen nanoseconds of fame — leading to: There’s a signpost up ahead . . . (responsorial)

In reply to the December 1 Bulletin Board, here is Willard B. Shapira of Roseville: “I have been a big Sinatra fan for many years. I have many of his CDs. I missed the chance to hear him in person many years ago when my friend Bob Protzman, then a music writer for the Pioneer Press, told me one afternoon he had an extra ticket for a rare Sinatra concert that night at the old Minneapolis Auditorium. I immediately responded: ‘Take my wife. Please. She will love it.’ He did, and she did.

“Twin Cities Sinatra fans should listen each Sunday evening at 9 to ‘Sinatra and Friends,’ hosted by Sinatra collector and expert Wayne Selly on our wonderful jazz station, KBEM 88.5. [Bulletin Board notes: Or listen online, to that program or any other KBEM offering, at]

“Bob Protzman is now in retirement in his home state of Pennsylvania, and when my (first) wife died recently, I thought of his thoughtfulness and generosity in giving her one of the most enjoyable nights of her life. Thanks, Protz, and enjoy retirement.”

Our birds, ourselves

LLjk: “Subject: Winter scenes from my deck.

“Two winters ago, this pair visited my deck and suet feeders daily.


“Then I got a new deck, and Mr. and Mrs. P. were very upset. They stop by now and then, but do not like new cedar wood. Sometimes when I’m out on the deck — summer or winter — I hear them still ‘yelling’ at me. The hairy, downy, and red-bellied woodpeckers are here constantly — born and bred here (as well as juncos, chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, red-winged blackbirds, nuthatches, etc.)

“This morning when I was thinking of sending the photo, nine wild turkeys wandered by …


“Three Christmases ago, I had a hawk visiting the deck as well.


“I think it’s a sharp-shinned hawk. I’ve seen him since, but not as often. That is not a hawk egg but a Christmas light . . .

“That picture, as well as the one of Mr. and Mrs. P., had to be taken through the sliding door.”

Our birds, ourselves (responsorial)

161204bbcut-hawkonfeederMomkat of Apple Valley writes: “While the hawk on top of the bird feeder was spectacular [BB, 12/4/2016], I couldn’t help but notice that Mary Lou’s Daughter of Inver Grove Heights and I have the same supposedly squirrel-proof feeder. My question to her is: Does that big fat baffle really keep the squirrels out? We haven’t come up with anything successful against those little athletes as yet.

“And don’t get me started about the raccoons.”

Everyone’s a (book) critic!

A few days ago, Tim Torkildson asked us if we’d be interested in receiving some short book reviews.

Our first reaction: Why not? We have a lot of book readers who write well, here. Go for it!

Our second : Sure — particularly if the books in question are hidden gems: recent books unjustly ignored, or, of greater interest, books that — whatever acclaim, if any, they got when they were published — have fallen out of public view.

Here’s a good example, courtesy of Mr. Torkildson: “Scholars attempting to wrest knowledge from the skimpy shelves of the Marshall-University High School library in Minneapolis in the Year of our Lord 1970 would have been sadly vexed by the giggles of a slender youth who just happened to bear a remarkable resemblance to me.

“This beanpole of an adolescent, all Adam’s apple and beaky proboscis, was bent over a tome titled ‘The Most of S.J. Perelman’ and enjoying himself tremendously with such classic pieces of literary insanity as ‘The Idol’s Eye’ or the numerous manic memoirs prefaced as ‘Cloudland Revisited.’

“He cared not that most of the pieces involved a vocabulary that would baffle a Rhodes Scholar — the sheer insanity of the wordplay and blistering sarcasm shone through like a beacon on a pitchy night.

“There has never been, nor can there ever be, another writer of the ilk of Sidney Joseph Perelman. But I refuse to try to cajole you into reading his work. If ever a writer were an acquired taste, it is Mr. Perelman. He disdains to use a simple word when a 10-dollar whopper is available. He uses French, Italian, German, and Yiddish phrases extensively, with no translation. His references are archaic and obscure to the point of Gnosticism. I still need to have a dictionary at hand when I read him.

“So who wants to bother with such a showboat? I, for one — and anyone else who admires an artist of the first water. For Perelman is undoubtedly a virtuoso with the English language. He makes it do his manic bidding with deceptive ease.

“You want I should give you an example, boychick? Here’s all the example you’ll get from me, boyo: Perelman co-wrote several of the early Marx Brothers movies. So if you’ve always been a closet Grouchophile, you’ll realize just what kind of magical stuff Perelman is capable of. Nuff said.

“Sadly, I’ve never been able to interest my family or friends in the brilliant work of S.J. Perelman. The common complaint is always: ‘He’s too hard to read!’

“Well, gold and diamonds are hard to find — that’s what makes them valuable. Anyone who will go to the trouble of exploring Perelman for even a half-hour, wading through his coruscating prose with an encyclopedia in one hand and a LaRousse in the other, will be rewarded with lapidary writing the likes of which no longer exists in American literature.”

Our times (responsorial)

Monday’s Bulletin Board featured a note from Cee Cee of Mahtomedi: “Subject: What everybody needs.

“Now I’ve heard of everything . . . well, maybe not EVERYthing.

“Imagine my surprise when I opened Sunday’s Pioneer Press to the Homes section and discovered that Americans are ready to update their toilets. Well . . . I thought . . . sure, my toilets could probably use an update . . . so I read on. Like home models, these toilets have names: the Veil, C3 230, and Puretide. The Puretide is billed as the perfect entry-level cleansing system, but if you want a step up, get the Veil: ‘an ultimate, one-piece intelligent toilet with integrated cleansing functionality that provides a suite of features to offer optimum hygiene and individual comfort, from personal cleansing to an LED nightlight to hands-free opening and closing, and flushing — all of which are easy to control on a touchscreen LED remote control.’ And someone gets paid to write this stuff?

“Apparently, ‘once you try one, you won’t be able to live without it.’ I wonder if it’s too late to add the Veil to my Christmas list.”

We presently heard from Semi-Legend: “Subject: Buzzwords.

“I loved that phrase ‘integrated cleansing functionality.’ My bathroom has that: soap and water at the sink, a towel within reach.”

Band Name of the Day: The Donner Party

Law Firm of the Day: Donner, Donder & Dunder

Website of the Day: The Sunday Long Read


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