Vive la difference?
Mom in Boyland writes: “Subject: Basketball battle: NBA vs. Great Britain.
“As my name suggests, I live in a house with my husband, four sons aged teenager to toddler, and a male dog. I did live with two daughters once upon a time, but they’re staying in Collegeland now, leaving traces of their existence in bins of Barbie dolls and stray bobby pins.
“I’ve adjusted to my all-male surroundings pretty well. I don’t mind the round-the-clock eating and constant competitions. There is one thing that gets to me. We own one TV, by design. (There are enough laptop and smartphone screens here already.) But it’s a problem when basketball conflicts with my Sunday-evening British shows, such as last night. I don’t care that it’s the NBA finals. It’s June, and they’ve been watching basketball since November! What other sport lasts eight months? [Bulletin Board says: Hockey does.] I don’t mind sitting courtside at my own kids’ games (on three teams, mind you, with my husband coaching), but it’s another thing altogether to keep up with the NBA.
“Then there’s college basketball and the obsession over March Madness brackets, which create big battles here over money won and lost. I feel quite alone in this TV battle. I lost last night. I’ll continue to relish my big wins, stretching out on the couch and having a good cry over ‘Call the Midwife’ or marveling at the ‘Weddings of Downton Abbey’ while the males hover upstairs waiting for the chance to catch the end of a game.”
Or: Our times
B. Dazzled of South St. Paul writes: “I don’t always have the opportunity to take photos while I’m on the road during the work day. But some sights are worth revisiting once I’m off the clock, like this particular juxtaposition of openness and exclusivity in St. Paul:
“The big sign giveth, but the small sign taketh away.”
Fun facts to know and tell
Including: Fifteen nanoseconds of fame
Bloomington Bird Lady: “June 8th of this year is special to folks in Spring Green, Wisconsin. It’s the 150th birthday of Frank Lloyd Wright. He built his architectural school Taliesin East near the city, with his students coming from all over the world. Perhaps you have even visited there. What a beautiful surrounding for his nature-oriented designs. So many of his very inventive buildings are in our area — even gas stations! [Bulletin Board notes: Gas station, singular — in Cloquet, Minnesota.] Almost always the construction blends into the surrounding landscape so beautifully.
“Back in 1950, I had never thought much about architecture; nor did I even know who Wright was. In our college days at St. Olaf, my husband-to -be and I were dating, and I would hear about what he always did during the summer: drive his father’s huge gravel truck! The Wright property — quite extensive — had gravel roads, so guess who drove the loads and loads of gravel to Spring Green and spread it on the roads? Or dump the load in the spot where mixing cement would take place. In all, he’d been there maybe close to 30 times. I was still not impressed, not even realizing that I should be amazed! He’d even had Frank in his truck a few times, and they would actually chat
“At times he would need to go to the door and ask where to put the gravel, or perhaps talk with Wright’s secretary. Once, he saw ‘the most beautiful woman [he’d] ever seen’ walking across the parking lot, and learned it was Wright’s current wife: dark-haired and gorgeous. The young man was duly impressed.
“So . . . back to college in the fall, and our friends found out that he actually knew Frank Lloyd Wright. A few of them were art students — perhaps even taking Architecture 101 at that point in their education. One gal, really in awe of his knowing someone famous like that, said: ‘Can I touch you?’ I remember feeling pride at that point: My fiance was almost a celebrity!
“The summer just before we got married, Mr. Wright, four times married, and now back in the gravel truck once more supervising the spreading of gravel, congratulated us!”
Our birds, ourselves
Ask Al B Division
Mounds View Swede wrote, awhile back: “We had a few moments of no rain and a little bit of sun this morning as I looked out to the back yard. A movement of red caught my eye in my neighbor’s oak tree, so I put on a telephoto lens so I could see what it was.
“After I got these photos, I went online and learned it was a scarlet tanager, the first one I had ever seen. It looked like it was eating something now and then, and I wonder if it was finding something on the oak tree to eat or something else. Perhaps our expert bird friend Al can tell us more about this bird. It’s an eastern forest bird, but with all the changes in weather, perhaps its range is changing, too.”
The Permanent Motherly/Sonly Record
Al B of Hartland remembers: “We weren’t supposed to use the word ‘hate’ in our house. My mother was quite adamant about the word’s exclusion.
“I asked her if it was OK to hate hate.
“Mom mulled that over and never got back to me.”
The highfalutin . . . pleasures?
IGHGrampa writes: “Autocorrect doesn’t like it when you try to be cute and inventive with words. I was just messaging with my daughter and used ‘otay.’ which is cutesy version of ‘okay.’ I have a vague memory of a toddler relative who said ‘otay.’ It got autocorrected to ‘pray,’ which alarmed my daughter. She thought I might be about to tell her of some catastrophe.
“Autocorrect is actually giving people an education of sorts. I’m always seeing collections of funny autocorrect stories. It’s forcing sloppy writers to pay attention to what they’re typing in. If you misspell a word, autocorrect changes it would to what it thinks you might have wanted to say. So, take one more look at what you just typed before you send.”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Yes, take a close look. You never know when you might have inserted, say, an extra “would.” And autocorrect won’t help you there!
Not exactly what she had in mind
Kathy S. of St. Paul reports: “Having had surgeries to remove naughty bits (small cancerous spots) from my face, I try to protect myself from the sun while driving. I just discovered a product called a face shield — basically, a tubular bandana that may cover much of your face: https://safishing.com/product-category/face-shield/.
“In a number of pictures, the model looks ready to rob a bank. I can just imagine being stopped in traffic while wearing one of these.
“I think I’ll try something else.”
Keeping your eyes open
Leading to: Hmmmmmmmm
California Auntie reports: “Sitting in slow-moving traffic in Spaghetti Junction after a long day on the road, my sister and I noticed a run-down pickup truck just ahead of us. The truck had a decal in the back window with the name of a well-known high-powered firearms company.
“We decided that having a gun that is worth more than his truck might make him a redneck.”
Or: What’s in a name?
Poet X of PDX: “The White Sox have a relief pitcher named Ken Jennings. I wonder if he fields trivia questions between innings.”
Band Name of the Day: The Naughty Bits
Website of the Day, from Walt of Wayzata: The verbing of the world.