Why did he say “titular character”? Why not just “title character”?

Till death us do part
Including: Know thyself! And: The great comebacks

Dr. Chrysanthemum: “My beloved wife, Mamallama of Como Park, noted the other day that my recent submission to Bulletin Board (about ‘The Zookeeper and His Wife’) was published. She asked: ‘Is that a correct use of “titular”?’


“I replied: ‘Yes, it is. “Titular” has several different meanings, but you can use it to refer to a title character.’

“‘Why didn’t you just say “title character” then?’  she asked. ‘Isn’t “titular” a little pretentious?”

“I quieted any further quibbles with my response: ‘But I am pretentious!’

“Maybe I should have used ‘eponymous.'”

Vanity, thy name is . . .

Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul: “The Santa Fe in a White Bear church parking lot had this personalized plate: ‘R KAY O.’

“Why did the picture of a tower transmitting waves from on top of the world cross my mind?”


Keeping the peace
Domestic Chicanery Division 

Fevered Rabbit: “When Grumbling Bear was married to his first wife and raising his kids, there was an ongoing battle between family members as to how warm the house should be during the colder months.

“Grumbling Bear wanted the house to be cooler; it was more comfortable to him, plus cheaper when it came to the heating bills. Some of the family wanted the house to be warmer. Everyone seemed to take a turn at adjusting the thermostat to what that individual thought would be comfortable. This led to frequent ‘discussions’ about the right setting for the little round dial.

“My husband is a peace-loving man and was tired of the disagreements over heating the house. He is also an innovative man. He added a working thermostat in the basement; then — without the other family members knowing — he disconnected the thermostat on the main floor, though it looked unchanged.

“Thereafter Grumbling Bear would set the thermostat in the basement to what he thought was right for the house. The others could reset the thermostat on the main floor however many times they wanted; it had no effect on the furnace, though nobody else knew that. Often one or the other would furtively sneak over to the thermostat. Grumbling Bear would pretend the sneaker was unseen, though inside he was laughing. That person would reset the temperature and later might comment on ‘how much better’ the house felt after the heat was ‘adjusted.’

“They never figured out the secret of the thermostat.”

Our birds, ourselves

Pollyanna of Lakeland: “Subject: Happiness!

“Last summer, while on a walk in our neighborhood, I saw a bluebird. I don’t see them often. A few years ago, we had several in the lilac tree in our back yard, but other than that, I had maybe one sighting every few years.

“The one I saw last year spurred me to buy a bluebird house. My husband, Bubba, stained it for me, and it sat in the garage.

“Last weekend, I was on another walk and saw another bluebird. I told myself I needed to ask him to install it that weekend. I didn’t want to miss out on the house shopping!

“Lo and behold, as I rounded the curve where I could see our back yard, the house was up! Some chickadees were checking it out.

“I hadn’t seen any activity over the last week.

“He sent me the attached picture today. Sorry the quality isn’t better — it was taken through the screen, so as not to startle the bird.


“So excited!”

See world
Photography Division

Mounds View Swede: “In 2015, mid- to late-April proved to be a great time for spring blossoms. Our cousins live in an elder-care community called Riderwood. It is quite large, with 16 separate multistory buildings sprawling over many acres in a wooded area. Just walking around there provided many opportunities for spring flower photos.

“This first is a magnolia blossom on a young tree, so some blossoms were at my height.


“The Eastern Redbud tree puts on a nice, early display — often one of the first trees to brighten up the woods and roadways in the spring.


“The Riderwood ‘campus’ includes ponds and woods and a variety of photographic opportunities.


“I saw these blossoms in a wooded area, but do not know what kind of plant they belong to—some kind of tree, I think. I could only photograph them from below, and I was drawn to the red areas on each blossom.”


Where we live

The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: We knew it all the time.

“The latest issue of Time arrived today with this item on Page 4:

‘MOST STRESSED STATES. TIME Labs mapped data that used 13 factors — like credit scores, divorce rates and sleep rates — to quantify stress in every U.S. state and D.C. (Lucky Minnesota fared best.)’

“We’re not lucky … we’re that good!”

Everyone’s a (fruit) critic!
Including: Games people play (responsorial)

Possibly inspired by Saturday’s lead story, here is Eos: “Another story from Loosewheel;  I’m so glad she wrote these stories down for us:

“‘During the drought years and dust storms of the mid-1930s, our Lake Emily (Pope County, Minnesota) dried up completely. We could walk across it, and there were large cracks in it.

“In 1936 my folks planted a big watermelon patch just below our house on the lake bed. The melons grew huge, and so plentiful we hardly knew what to do with them. My dad passed the word around that he could fill up anyone who came. We had a table set up in the yard, and I can still see my dad cutting melons while people stood around eating, talking, and laughing. Dad had built a tank by the windmill where we could keep things cold. The water, which ran into the tank right from the well, was icy cold. We kept a good supply of melons in it, as well as milk, butter, etc. Dad took some of the melons to town to sell, too, but must not have gotten enough to make it pay.'”

The highfalutin amusements

Donald: “My wife and I have reached the stage in our lives where increased volume is not always the solution for overcoming an inability to hear/understand what is being said on TV. As a result, we frequently activate the CC feature for assistance.

“I was recently switching channels between two which required the enhancement, when I decided to check on an NBA game in progress. Los Angeles was one of the teams, and much to my surprise (and amusement) I read that ’the Liquors’ were staging a comeback.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: The “Liquors” makes more sense for an L.A. team than the “Lakers” ever did!

Musing: Which is the sillier NBA name — the Los Angeles Lakers, or the Utah Jazz?

If you want our opinion (or even if you don’t): When a franchise abandons its home, it ought to leave its nickname behind, the way the Baltimore Ravens did.

Come again?

Another episode of creative hearing, reported by Raindancer of North Oaks: “My selective hearing occasionally gives me some amusing moments.

“Some days ago, I was half-paying attention to a TV commercial break while I ate breakfast. (‘The Today Show’ has to pay the salaries and travel budgets of its stars somehow.) My ears pricked up, though, when I heard the announcer say I could have a 30-day free trial of Sara Sidle if I act now! ‘This is a limited-time offer!’ Wow! Really?! Sign me up. Sara was one of my favorite TV characters.

“Sara Sidle was the name of the character on the long-running show ‘CSI,’ who was played by the pretty and talented actress Jorja Fox. Needless to say (Ahem!), I was taken aback by the idea that she was available as a 30-day free trial. I wondered if her love interest, Gil Grissom, would have anything to say about that?

“But — alas — the commercial was for some human growth hormone whose name (SeroVital) is deceptively similar to Sara Sidle when heard through the crunching of raisin bran.”

Our times

Poet X of PDX: “Among the groceries delivered today, a package of small crackers, ‘Vegetable Thins.’ On the packaging: ‘Natural Flavor with Other Natural Flavor.’

“Good to know. Fully informative.”

Could be verse!

Here’s Tim Torkildson, with “The File Clerk”:

“From the New York Times: ‘Mr. Roth is the caretaker of The Times’s “morgue,” a vast and eclectic archive that houses the paper’s historical news clippings and photographic prints . . . ‘

“Once upon a time the mighty file clerk ruled supreme

“In his dusty archives where the light could hardly gleam.

“With visor and green lampshade, a stepladder by his side,

“He labored alphabetically, his arcana to divide.

“Noble yet ridiculous, ignored except when needed,

He lurked among steel cabinets — his chalky voice unheeded.

“No company or newspaper could do without his skill;

“Without his guidance, research work would come to a standstill.

“But like the horse and buggy he is now quite obsolete —

“His vast array of data in the Cloud will now accrete.

“A relic and a vagabond, the file clerk joins the ranks

“Of circus clowns and pinsetters, who now are merely blanks.”

Now & Then

The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: ‘Nighthawks’ and ‘Early Sunday Morning(s).’

“I miss the Lincoln Del. I miss one egg bagel with chopped chicken liver and one with chicken salad. I miss the corned-beef hash that christened weekend mornings. Oh, and the oval almond cookies with the toasted almond slivers on them. (They were just perfectly dry enough that they demanded the ice-cold milk.)

“The Lincoln Del was my Mom’s after Mom died; my big-city home after leaving my small town.

“The Lincoln Dels filled a place that was bigger than they ever knew. They are the Hopper paintings in my gallery of memories.”

Band Name of the Day: The Pinsetters

Website of the Day: Edward Hopper and his paintings



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