Texting pilots “to reduce flight delays”: What could possibly go wrong with that?


Writes The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Pilot to co-pilot: Can you figure this out?


“This morning’s news brings us many disturbing glimpses of the troubled world around us, but one headline in particular has me thinking about a bunker again. The banner reads: ‘MSP air traffic control tech aims to reduce flight delays.’ Soon the air traffic controllers will be texting pilots (several at once) instead of talking to them on the radio.

“What could possibly go wrong? I can just imagine some of the landing instructions if the predictive text option has anything to say about it: ‘Delivered fight 239 turn leftovers and decide to 1000 female.’

“Thanks anyway, but I don’t mind waiting a little longer.”

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon?

Tuesday email from MM, Wife of FT: “I just had either an enjoyable B-M or a cool Joy of Juxtaposition. I will defer to your expertise. At minimum, a Simple Pleasure for me.

“Father Todd just returned from a special life event: a weekend at the Masters. On Sunday, hole 9, first row on the edge of the green, he ended up sitting in one of those cute little chairs. FT is the social one in this relationship, so he began a conversation with the elegant woman next to him. Her tag gave her name as Angela, the spouse of a member. She said her husband was somewhere on the course, in a buggy, working with the tournament rules committee. She was the wife of Sir Michael Bonallack. FT did not know the name (and I have never heard of him, either). Angela said he could learn about him if he would Google him. Spectators are not allowed to bring cellphones on the grounds, so unfortunately FT had to wait to do so. Sir Michael’s story is impressive, to golf fans at least. He is one of the best amateur golfers in history. You can read about him here. FT regretted it was the last day, so he did not have a chance to talk to Angela again.

“This evening we were watching the special on Jack Nicklaus, because four straight days of all-day golf is not enough for FT. I said: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if that man was on this show?’ Thirty seconds later, guess what? Commentary provided by Sir Michael Bonallack. [Bulletin Board rules: Great Joy of Juxtaposition — though the two-day gap between encounters with Sir Michael technically invalidates its B-Mness.]

“Also, this gave my husband the chance to say to his buddies after they looked up Sir Michael: ‘He’s a bloody amateur!’ I know you are a golf fan; you saw that coming, didn’t you?) [Bulletin Board says: Saw “bloody amateur” coming? No. But we certainly knew who Sir Michael Bonallack was  . . . and are mildly surprised that FT didn’t!]

“Have a happy day.”

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon — plus!

Semi-Legend: “Subject: B-M with a P.S.

“I was reading ‘Chicago Noir: The Classics,’ which included a 1948 short story by Fredric Brown, ‘I’ll Cut Your Throat Again, Kathleen.’ I thought the title . . . distinctive, if a bit of a spoiler.

“That evening, I was reading 2017’s Lumina, an annual publication from Sarah Lawrence College. It included an essay, Kathleen Sweeney’s ‘Scrolling at the Border,’ in which she describes ‘The Piano Roll Project held in a loft space and former factory in New Brunswick, Maine[,] in the fall of 2015. Each invited artist was given an antique player piano roll to transform into a work of art. As chance would have it, the curators sent me a song roll that triggered childhood: my father singing ‘I’ll Take You Home Again[,] Kathleen.’”

“I was unaware of the song, which apparently stems from 1875.

“P.S. I mentioned the Fredric Brown story title to my wife, who began to laugh uproariously. She said: ‘I’m not bloodthirsty. I loved the play on words.’

“She assumed I knew the song because it came up in a ‘Star Trek’ episode. Nope.

“This is an account at the link: ‘In the Star Trek episode, “The Naked Time” (first aired Sep. 29, 1966), the crew of the Enterprise is affected by a substance, unknowingly picked from an uninhabited frozen world about to break up, that brings repressed feelings and behavior to the surface. One crewman, Kevin Thomas Riley, who fancies himself a descendant of Irish kings, locks himself in Engineering and shuts the engines off, causing the ship to fall out of orbit toward the disintegrating planet. While the behavior-altering disease spreads through the ship, and the ship continues to fall toward the planet, Riley adds to the stress by repeatedly singing, “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen” in a half-drunken way through speakers he has locked open throughout the ship.'”

Unfamiliar quotations

From Sally, the Cleaning Lady of Shoreview: “Subject: My favorite subject.


“’The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.’ — William Wordsworth, poet (7 Apr 1770-1850)

“’Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.’ — Theodore Rubin, psychiatrist and writer (b. 11 Apr 1923)”

The highfalutin pleasures

Vertically Challenged reports: “I have a BAHA hearing aid (which stands for a ‘Bone Anchored Hearing Aid’). I recently got a new version, which can be paired wirelessly with your music device or a device to stream your TV sound directly to this — so besides the TV, it’s paired with my iPod Touch. I thought at first this could be annoying for some things, but now I’ve got a new pleasure! I can listen without earbuds! I couldn’t always keep the earbuds in and would always lose them as I moved around — so a lot of rewinding when listening to a book, for instance.

“One thing with this BAHA being paired: I think it could be amusing watching somebody with one. You don’t realize they are listening to whatever — music or book; seeing their reactions to things, probably someone would think they’re really nuts. Like rocking or humming to music, or an array of emotions while listening to a good book, like laughing at amusing parts or crying in sad parts, with it appearing to be for no reason why!”

Keeping your eyes open
Photography Division

Gregory J of Dayton’s Bluff: “Last May, I was taking photographs around the Cathedral of St. Paul and happened to look up. It was midmorning, and from where I was standing, the top of the dome was blocking the sun. I decided to take some pictures of the Cathedral back-lit by the sun. I could see something happening near the top, but couldn’t make out what it was. I zoomed in on the area and took more photos, but it was hard to see much on the camera’s screen.

“When I got home, I looked at the images on my computer.




“The final photo was the most interesting, so I digitally expanded it. It showed many tiny points of light surrounding the cross on the dome.


“What I had been looking at were these lights in motion. I couldn’t help but think of the ‘fireflies’ John Glenn saw when he was in his Mercury capsule so many years ago. (For you younguns; Google it.)

“The logical explanation is that water was evaporating off the Cathedral’s dome and the vapor was being illuminated by the blocked sun. A slightly less likely scenario is that angels got tired of dancing on the head of a pin and decided to perform aerial maneuvers above our Cathedral. Whatever the case, I got some interesting photos by sheer luck that I doubt I could ever repeat on purpose.”

Only a __________ would notice!
Or: Where’ve you gone, Mrs. Malaprop?

From The Choir Director: “Is it just me [Bulletin Board interjects: It is not], or has anyone else who’s seen the MyPillow commercial heard this: ‘Hello, I’m Mike Lindell, inventure of MyPillow.’

“Hmmm . . . I’m not sure what ‘inventure’ means, and it doesn’t appear in any dictionaries I’ve checked, but maybe Mr. Lindell meant inventing MyPillow was quite an adventure!’

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Selling it certainly has been.

Why I Write (cont.)

Norton’s mom of Eau Claire, Wisconsin: “DebK of Rosemount asked (BBonward, 4-10-17): Why do writers write?

“Here’s my answer: I initially sent a contribution to Bulletin Board when it appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on a daily basis. I had read the BB column for years and loved it. I’d read it while sipping my coffee before getting ready to go to work back in the 1990s, when it was included in the St. Paul Pioneer Press a few days a week — in the Express Section, if I recall correctly. [Bulletin Board notes: It debuted along with the Express section, on March 26, 1990 — five days a week, to start. Within a couple of years, it was 365 days a year.] It was my start to the day, and back then I believe one had to call in to contribute, or perhaps mail an item. I have ‘The Best of Bulletin Board,’ published in 1994, which I recently re-read. I’d always wished that something would happen in my life that would make a good story to submit to BB. It never seemed to happen.

“Then I skipped reading BB for a few years (I’m sorry!), but eventually, a few years after getting married, moving to the country, and retiring from my job, I started reading the St. Paul Pioneer Press again. One day I experienced what I thought was a Baader-Meinhof moment. I could e-mail my story — which I did, and I was thrilled when it was chosen to be included in Bulletin Board. I kept writing, trying to hone my writing skills and loving the fact that I could share some of the strange, but true, things that happened in my life. I was always thrilled when something I’d written to share with others was included in the column.

“I keep writing because I like to share. I could never write a novel, but I do enjoy writing these little stories about my life.

“I haven’t submitted anything to Bulletin Board lately, as my mom was in hospice for several weeks and I was kind of busy, but my most recent project was writing her obituary. It was an act of love, and I received many comments from people who said that even though they’d never met my mom, reading that obituary made them feel like they had known her and would have really liked her. My best piece of writing ever, from the heart, and a tribute to the nicest mother anyone could ask for.

“And that’s why I write.”

Kathy S. of St Paul: “I write because I am on the autism spectrum, and distilling things around me into words helps me figure out what I think and what I should do. I decided that people are more important than things, for example, which simplifies many decisions.

“Writing also helps me deal with the injustice, abuse and all-around dumbness of the way people have treated me for being autistic. I decided long ago that being rejected by some people is a compliment.”

Doris Day: “My motivation to write includes the same reason as DebK (to see my name in the paper/blog). I acknowledge being a bit needy, so any positive feedback is a bonus. I also do it as a way to ‘pay’ for the delightful stories my fellow BBers share. I have learned much from the group, and the enjoyment gained is unquantifiable.

“Thanks to all, and keep those cards and letters (and emails and photos!) coming.”

Band Name of the Day: The Bloody Amateurs

Website of the Day: Sir Michael Bonallack: Britain’s greatest amateur







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