Then & Now
Kathy S. of St. Paul writes: “In 2001, I was laid off by a large corporation in the first or second month of the Practice Recession. I was five or six years short of a full pension that would have been two or three times what I have, so I grieved for the much more secure financial future I might have had. I also grieved for my work friends, and for the science environment I worked in. It had taken me a few years to adjust to Guy World, but once I did, I missed it. And add to that the fact that the management tried to get me out by a sneak attack (because I was a woman, etc.), and it was truly a nasty situation. I lost 10 pounds in a handful of days, due to the stress.
“Luckily my brother and nephew came to town that night for a major family birthday, and I had them stay with me after getting them at the airport. So I had company, and I drove them around so my nephew could see things (like spring flooding) he had been too small to notice on previous visits. And of course we went to the Mall of America.
“While my brother and nephew went on rides, I discovered the Bose store nearby. They were demonstrating wonderful sound systems, and showing a video of Andrea Bocelli singing a duet of ‘Con Te Partirò’ (‘Time to Say Goodbye’) by Francesco Sartori and Lucio Quarantot. It became my theme song as I transitioned from the future I had hoped for.
“My layoff meant I ended up in places and times I never would have seen otherwise. I have come to believe that a higher force wants me to be in those places and see stories illustrating our times. And maybe have small impacts on ‘us.’
But ‘Con Te Partirò’ (shown in the BB in the recent video of fireworks shot via a drone) always brings back the beautiful sadness of that time for me.”
Another close encounter of the natural kind, reported by The Armchair Cook of Roseville: “Sunday morning, I was greeted by an unusual visitor. It was on the wall in my small courtyard, and stayed there all day and into the night. Today it is gone, but I have this photo to remind me of its beauty.
“Pandora Sphinx Moth — approximately 3 inches long. See https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/47914-Eumorpha-pandorus.”
Our theater of seasons
Dr. Chrysanthemum reports: “High water at Snail Lake Regional Park in Shoreview has closed the swimming beach, but the picnic areas are still usable.”
Throw the cow over the fence some hay?
Carp Lips of Wyoming (“formerly of Hastings”): “Subject: Get the hook.
“Kyle Gibson strikes fear . . . into every Twins fan when he takes the mound. While he has had an occasional decent outing or two, it always appears to be a struggle.
“Sunday’s effort was a good (?) example of that, and the pace of the game surely dragged when he was on the mound.
“However, it was not as bad as Brian Murphy reported in his Monday Pioneer Press article. He stated that ‘Gibson threw 82 pitches without recording an out in the fifth inning.’
“While it only seemed he threw 82 pitches in any one of his innings worked, that was his actual total for the four innings he completed (pitching into the fifth, but not recording an out).
“Manager Molitor has been exceedingly tolerant of Mr. Gibson, but I don’t think he would endure that.
“BTW: The major-league record for pitches in one inning is 62, by Russ Ortiz on July 26, 1999.
“Mr. Gibson . . . the gauntlet has been thrown.”
BULLETIN BOARD RISES IN DEFENSE OF MR. MURPHY (THOUGH NOT OF MR. GIBSON): All Mr. Murphy needed was a little comma, after “82 pitches.” Had he thrown the cow over the fence some hay, the sentence would have said that “Gibson threw 82 pitches in the fifth inning without recording an out.”
Everyone’s a copy editor!
Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul: “Subject: A picture is worth … it all depends.
“On most days, the Sports sections in both Twin Cities dailies have a page devoted to baseball activity not involving the Twins (‘Major league baseball’ in the Pioneer Press / ‘MLB’ in the STrib). These pages include the standings, results of games, and other information. On most occasions, they also feature one or more pictures showing action from around the leagues. Such was the case in last Thursday’s editions, with some interesting twists:
“On Page 4B in the Pioneer Press was a photo of a player grasping a bat as he tumbles ‘a** over tea kettle’ (my description) in the right-hand batter’s box, while the catcher is standing upright, poised for a throw toward third base. The caption was somewhat confusing: ‘Blue Jays base runner Ryan Goins flips after avoiding a pitch in front of Yankees catcher Austin Romine on Wednesday in New York.’ I can’t recall the last time I saw a base runner avoiding a pitch — maybe when Rod Carew was stealing home?
“The Pioneer Press picture was black-and-white, while the two in the STrib were in color. The first featured a pitcher about to release a pitch, and it had this blurb: ‘Brewers pitcher and former Twin Matt Garza shut out Baltimore over 6 1/3 innings, allowing five hits with four strikeouts.’
“The second photo was of a San Francisco player following through after making a throw. Several questions sprang to mind: Was he unleashing a strike to cut down a base runner? Was he completing a game-saving double play? Had he just made a fantastic catch and was doubling a runner off? The answer: None of the above, as explained by the caption: ‘Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson threw to first during the fourth inning against the Tigers on Wednesday in Detroit. The Giants won 5-4.’
“Such drama! Such excitement! Such a waste!”
Life as we know it
Al B of Hartland writes: “I’d been fixing to do that. Fix the door, that is. Apparently, the wind had caught a metal screen door of our house and had sprung the mechanism that brought the door to a polite close.
“Fixing to do something is my way of saying I’d be unlikely to undertake such a repair, but I fooled myself by doing it. It had been so much fun that I hoped I’d never have to do it again.
“It had been a day of the doors. I should have been listening to music provided by The Doors as I went about my tasks.
“The other battle was fought with the garage door. I have the world’s worst garage door opener. Yet, I’m still pleased just to have a garage door opener. The opener refuses to work when the outside temperature is too cold or when the sun shines. It takes all holidays off, even the most obscure ones, and it enjoys a couple of personal days off each week. Now it has stopped working Sundays.
“I was fighting a losing skirmish against the garage door opener when my cellphone beckoned. The call was from an old schoolmate. We had a nice talk. It was a welcome respite from my fruitless endeavors. The caller and I rode the same school bus for years.
The thought occurred to me once again that a school bus reunion would be a fine thing. I’ve been fixing to organize one. Everyone who ever rode on that bus would be invited. It’s too late to invite the driver. We could have the reunion at my place. We’d even adopt a worthy project — like fixing my garage door opener.”
The highfalutin pleasures
Vapid in Vadnais: “I’ve been spending waaay too much time on Facebook lately. It’s mostly due to Old St. Paul minn, the page mentioned a while back. I was curious about it, I signed on and now I’m hooked. I’ve found a place to post oddities from bygone days. I’ve even reconnected with some junior-high-school classmates. I love it. Almost as much as I love BB.
“Here’s the problem. I keep wanting to click on a ‘Like’ button with BB. Probably won’t see that feature any time soon, will I?”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: No. Never. If you didn’t like BB, why would you be here?
Vanity, thy name is . . .
Barbara of Afton: “I saw this driving home yesterday ‘2QTGRLS.’ My first thought was: ‘Two-quart girls???’ Then I realized it probably is ‘Two cutie girls.’ Probably says more about my mindset that the car’s owner’s.”
Or: Our times
The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Revisionist sculpture.
“The latest (political) cartoon in my head:
“The drawing would be of the Statue of Liberty — but instead of a torch, she would be holding up a phone to take a selfie and would be grasping a laptop in the other hand.”
Band Name of the Day: The Likes
Website of the Day: iNaturalist.org