She was happy with her front-loading washing machine — till the day “it looked as if there had been an explosion”!

Built to last (responsorial)

Little Sister: “I have a washing-machine story, but it is definitely not a built-to-last example.


“We bought our first front-load washer about 20 years ago. We were compelled by the promise of cleaner clothes and less water use.

“All was fine and dandy until our second year. Unbeknownst to us at the time, this leading manufacturer had failed to notify customers of a door-latch fail issue.

“We found out firsthand one day when running a load. I went down to the laundry room to investigate a rather alarming noise about halfway through the cycle. I found the door to the washer wide open, as well as sopping-wet clothes, suds, and water sprayed everywhere. It looked as if there had been an explosion.

“When my husband saw the mess, we both burst out in a fit of laughter at the hilarity of the scene. In order to finish the load, my husband had to stretch his heavy-duty towing straps around the washer a few times to keep the door closed. That crazy picture got us cackling all over again.

“The company did replace the door latch, but the machine went on to have one problem after another. We eventually got some money out of them after I gave them a piece of my mind a few times over the phone.”

Highfalutin displeasures
Or: Our times

MNBirdee of Rochester: “Two weeks ago, when I couldn’t access the Internet on my Dell desktop, and after checking with Charter (who, of course, said it wasn’t their problem), I called Dell. They told me my 6-year-old computer was no longer compatible with Windows 10. So I bought a Dell laptop from Best Buy (along with a one-year Geek Squad protection) and Office 2016, and paid for files to be transferred.

“Well, some files weren’t transferred, and I subsequently spent over six hours in online chat, and on the phone and in store.

“This morning, I talked for over an hour with my brother, who does know computers. I now understand more.

“He just sent an email suggesting I buy ‘Office 2016 for Seniors for Dummies’!”


The Permanent Family Record

Arizona Susan: “On December 23rd, 36 years ago, our family was given the best Christmas gift.

“We were recent Minnesota/Wisconsin transplants, living in Mesa, Arizona. We had two children, and we were awaiting the arrival of our third child, a baby girl from Korea. All the ‘red tape’ had been completed, and we were waiting until we heard when she would be making the trip to join us.

“We were going to Minnesota for the Christmas holidays, had our plane tickets, and two days before we were to leave, we got a call from the adoption agency: Our baby girl would finally be on her way to us, and we would be picking her up at the Seattle airport on December 23rd. The adoption agency said she had to be picked up in Seattle, not the Twin Cities, even though we told our story of being in Minnesota for Christmas. We had to figure out how we were going to get from St. Paul to Seattle during the Christmas travel rush — at the last minute, too. So, as we had planned, we flew up to Minnesota, and a family friend who had a travel agency arranged the flight for us, in and out of Seattle on the 23rd.

“In the early hours of the 23rd, we flew out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport to Seattle. No sooner got off the plane in Seattle when the plane from Seoul arrived . . . and off came a woman carrying our sweet 8-month-old baby girl, Jennifer Marie. Signed some papers, and we were on our way to fly back to Minnesota. Jennifer never cried, just sat on our laps the whole trip, staring at us.

“We landed in Minnesota, and as we walked into the terminal off the plane, bright lights hit us, and a huge crowd was there. The travel-agent friend who had arranged the flight had also contacted WCCO and the St. Paul newspaper about this Arizona family, in Minnesota for Christmas, flying to Seattle to get a baby.

“The morning paper on December 24th had our family picture on the front page and a story about us. WCCO came to my parents’ home on the 24th to talk with us, and even followed us to the doctor as we took our baby in for a checkup that day — so the evening news also had our story on it. The cutest part of it all was when our daughter Kim, who was 2 at the time, saw her new sister and said: ‘I like my new sister, glad she came.’ Kim is also adopted from Korea, and when baby Jennifer looked at her for the first time in the airport, she broke into a huge smile — the first smile we had seen.

“Indeed, a very memorable Christmas. Jennifer is now the mom to three children — of course, all adorable!”

Life as we know it (responsorial)

Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul: “Subject: No one has ever said it better.

“I was enthralled by the opening of Al B’s piece on December 20: ‘I visited a friend at a nursing home. She was like the rest of us: She knew more than she could remember.’

“The man has a beautiful way with words.”

Where’ve you gone, Mrs. Malaprop?

The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: The Shadow knows.

“I didn’t get the beginning of the conversation, but I did hear Charlie Rose make this comment: ‘He cast a huge footprint.’”

BULLETIN BOARD MUSES: If he cast a huge footprint, he could make a huge-footprint sculpture. Might be a prize-winner!

Our community of strangers (responsorial) (responsorial)

The Monkey Lover’s Wife of Northfield: “I just saw Fudge Brownie’s note in today’s BB, and she voiced something I think of every time I see The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills’s handle: Which one of my teachers was he? (He? I think it’s a he. Hmmmm. Now I have to think back. . . .) The RP of AH has left hints, and even mentioned my best friend’s brother in one of his (her?) posts, so I’m convinced the contributor in question was a teacher at Mounds View High School during the years I was there.

Fudge Brownie said she tries to picture the contributors and wonders what it would be like to talk to them. But do I really want to know?

“On the one hand, I’ve enjoyed knowing the ‘real’ identity of Ms. Linda of Eagan (unbeknownst to her, because she’s in another not-completely-unrelated-but-much-more-public role). On the other, I think there are only five, maybe six people in this world (not including my family) who know my true identity, and I’d like to keep it that way. The great anonymity of this endeavor is one of its many endearing and magical qualities (along with figuring out the reasons behind the creative handles).

“But it is tempting to imagine a huge BB picnic — potluck, of course, with a Moth Radio Hour-style performance stage for those who are brave enough to share their stories at a microphone. Perhaps someday!”

‘Tis the season!

Writes NaNa Ellie from Birchwood: “Last year, you made my granddaughter Savanna’s year by featuring her Nutcracker troupe in the Bulletin Board. Friends, family, and neighbors appeared at her door step, with article in tow, asking for her autograph. What a self-esteem boost! Attached is a shot of Savanna’s handiwork this year.


“She insisted on posing sans smile, like a true Nutcracker.”

What’s in a (band) name?
Including: What’s not in a Band Name of the Day?

Mattzdad of Rochester reports: “We made toast for breakfast today, and as it started to smell like burned bread, we realized it was time to dump the Crumb Tray from our toaster.

“I know this makes it ineligible for Band Name of the Day, but my thought at seeing the words Crumb Tray stamped on the front of the crumb tray pull: What a great band name.

“Rock on, Crumb Trays!”

Know thyself! Know thy body parts!

Tim Torkildson writes: “Good morning, arteries. Your mission, should you decide to accept it . . .”


Then & Now
Including: Today’s helpful hint

From Willard B. Shapira of Roseville: “I was not at Holman Field in St. Paul, where my Minnesota Air National Guard unit was based and in which I served from 1954 to 1958, when the following happened, but … we had a number of P-51 fighter planes left over from World War II and several pilots who were trained to fly them. To maintain their flight status, the pilots had to keep up their ratings by doing the maneuvers these planes were expected to perform in wartime.

“We learned  by word of mouth that on a misty, rainy day, when two of our pilots had finished their maneuvers and were landing, one landed on top of the other and both were killed. I didn’t know them personally, but knew who they were.

“At one point during my military career, I thought I might have the right stuff to become the second person in a two-man observation plane called a radar observer, but when I took the tests, they found out I needed glasses, which automatically disqualified me but at least awakened me to the fact that I had better get fitted for glasses ASAP, which I did at a bargain rate at the U of M Health Service as a U student. Been wearing them ever since with various prescription changes after several procedures for cataracts and glaucoma, apparently inherited from my mother.

“This part of my story is a cautionary tale: Yes, some eye diseases can be inherited, so children and grandchildren should be tested frequently for whichever eye ailment(s) a person might have. It’s not funny, but the eyes just might have it.

“Glaucoma is particularly troublesome. It is painless and irreversible, but, if caught in time, can be checked with drops, which I take twice daily. And don’t forget that because he never was given an eye test, the Twins’ great player Kirby Puckett woke up one morning nearly blind. The diagnosis was glaucoma, and suddenly his great career was over.

“My three children and five grandchildren are sick to death of my admonitions to get their eyes checked regularly, because glaucoma is hereditary, but I refuse to believe they are being tested until I hear it from them and their parents. It’s a cliché, but better safe than sorry. So far, none of them has been found to have glaucoma or cataracts. Fingers crossed.”

Then & Now
5/7/5 Division

Another haiku from WriteWoman of Shoreview:

“Found this pic from 1943-44 and had to write a new haiku:



“Oh to be so young

“again looking for the path

“to take me to now”

Band Name of the Day: Dump the Crumbs

Website of the Day: Monkey See: Pop-Culture News and Analysis from NPR



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