How much is that wood carving worth? Well, it depends . . .

Life as we know it

Dragonslayer of Oakdale: “I’m a wood carver, a relatively new hobby.


“If you want to buy one of my carvings and I tell you I want $30 an hour for my time, you would never buy it; too expensive.

“If you offer me $20 for it, you undervalued my work.

“But if I give it to you, it becomes priceless.”

Ah, the smell of it!

DebK of Rosemount reports: “Technically speaking, at least, Taxman and I are owners of a 5-year-old Araucana hen named Astrid. (As it happens, all her Araucana sisters are also named Astrid, because I name my hens by breed: Betty Lou for the Barred Rocks, Sylvia for the Silver-Laced Wyandottes, Mary Clare for the Buff Orpingtons, and so on.)

“This particular hen gave up egg-laying a couple of years back, but rather than enter into a comfortable retirement, she went feral. Oh, she generally ‘stays to home,’ as Grandma Bobzien would’ve put it, foraging our property for ticks, mosquito larvae, and ripening garden produce and making only an occasional excursion abroad, usually to tidy up under the Irish Roofer’s bird feeders. But Astrid rejects confinement of any sort. Spurning the comforts enjoyed by the farm’s (many) other retirees, she makes her home in the spruce tree just east of the barn.

“She was likely snoozing in that spruce tree when a pickup driver struck and killed a fine buck deer just before dawn on Saturday. The accident, which took place a hundred yards or so from our bedroom window, created enough ruckus to awaken Taxman and me, but we didn’t know that a death had occurred until the victim became fragrant enough to attract the attention of the farm dogs. At that point — late Sunday afternoon — we put in a call to our favorite Webster Township official, who promised to get someone out to clean up the crime scene.

“When the designated disposal official showed up a couple of hours ago, demonstrating by his timeliness and efficiency that government sometimes does work, he had to contend with the well-aged carcass and the presence of a half-dozen carrion-loving birds: a couple of crows, a trio of turkey vultures, and our Aracauna hen.”

Know thyself! (responsorial)

Booklady: “Re: How long does a roll of toilet paper last?

Kathy S. asked what was probably a rhetorical question about how long a roll of toilet paper lasts. [Bulletin Board notes: Actually, Kathy S. of St. Paul didn’t ask; we did, in the headline . . . and it was not necessarily a rhetorical question.]

“It just so happens that we recently had an interesting conversation with our son about that very question. They recently added a Lab puppy to their household, and it changed the family dynamics. Their older dog, Teddy, a rescue dog with insecurities, has suddenly and inexplicably developed an appetite for toilet paper. Despite their best parental efforts, they have been unable to consistently keep their kids from leaving bathroom doors open when not in use.

“The pup, Stella, turns out to be a stealth chewer. When left in the custody of our 9-year-old Liam for about an hour, she cuddled up at his feet and contentedly gnawed on the leather couch, while he, oblivious, worked on the iPad.

“My only comment, based on experience, was: ‘Young kids and young dog — what did you expect?”

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

Farmer Jeff writes: “OK, in spite of a couple of previous near-misses — and, for a change, refreshingly involving no zucchini — I today encountered what I believe is a full-fledged B-M Phenomenon. [Bulletin Board rules: We agree.]

“This morning while doing what I do best, which is minding my own business, I came upon a syndrome in a medical journal known as the alien hand syndrome. I had definitely never heard of this syndrome prior to that moment.

“A few hours later, while watching a seemingly unrelated video about the human brain, the video suddenly focused considerable attention on the alien hand syndrome.

“The intensity of that momentary B-M occurrence almost knocked me off of my NordicTrack, upon which I was diligently exercising while watching the brain video (BV). I guess one could say that this was a BV B-M.

“Thanks to Google, I have subsequently learned a bit more about this unusual phenomenon, but have learned absolutely nothing about the degree of unlikelihood of this or any other B-M Phenomenon.”

In memoriam

Writes The Divine Mum of Crocus Hill: “A beautiful tribute to Madeline Diprima was published in yesterday’s Pioneer Press. These lines were perfection: ‘Madeline’s family, and her interest in family history and ancestry, including the legacy of her father’s shoe-maker heritage, were evidenced in her extensive collection of pictures, stories, and miniature shoes. She was also known for her faith, her homemade spaghetti, banana bread, love of southern food, and babies.'”

Our pests, ourselves
Leading to: Perchance, to dream

The Missus of Mendota Heights: “I love gardening and can spend hours out there with my lovely flowers. But once again, those blasted Japanese Beetles have decimated many a flower in my garden! As any gardener can tell you, it’s a constant battle to kill the little b______ds! Every time I go out, I see them attacking yet another group of flowers.

“So I suppose they’ve been on my mind lately, which would explain the dream I had.

“One day after spending hours in my garden pulling weeds, killing beetles, etc., I must have been feeling a little stiff and sore. In a dream that night, I had apparently been to the clinic and had a scan of some sort, because I got a call from the clinic saying the scan showed that I had about 2,000 Japanese Beetles in my chest cavity. Strangely, it didn’t seem out of the ordinary (of course, it was a dream!). I wasn’t upset — and, in fact, all I could do was wonder how they entered my body. Maybe through my nose when I was breathing in? A mystery.

“But then, so are dreams.

“P.S.: to answer the Mounds View Swede from the 8/14 BB: The fifth picture is definitely a weed. I know because I have many of them!


“No. 4 could be a weed as well.


“You were lucky to have those lovely flower volunteers, too.”

Only a _______ would notice!

Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul: “Subject: How time flyeth!

“I recently received an invitation from my high school alma mater to the 2017 Alumni Banquet. I quote:


“‘121th ______ Alumni Banquet.'”

See world

Writes Jim Shumaker of New Richmond, Wisconsin: “Incoming trumpeter swan, St. Croix County, Wisconsin.”



Our birds, ourselves

Doris G. of Randolph, Minnesota, reports: “The oriole likes to help himself to
the hummingbird feeder.”





Vanity, thy name is . . . 

Friendly Bob of Fridley: “Spotted, quite appropriately, on a car that cruised past me in the left lane of the freeway: ‘LEFT LN.'”

Now & Then

John in Highland: “If the Beehive Tavern closes, it will mark the end of the run of 3.2 bars in St. Paul.

“Apparently, before the repeal of Prohibition, the U.S. Congress relented a bit and allowed bars to serve low-alcohol beer as long as it contained 3.2 percent of alcohol or less. St. Paul had many such bars, probably because it was easier to get a 3.2 license than it was to get a full liquor license.

“The original Green Mill started as a 3.2 bar. It comprised only the narrow room that now holds the main bar. There was only space for a few tables and a small bumper pool table at the back. There was a jukebox, which purportedly had all of our favorite Rolling Stones songs on it due to the fact that the father of one of our classmates ran the local jukebox concession. The menu included a ‘Hot Dago’ sandwich, for which in later, more politically correct times, the bar endured a certain amount of criticism.

“In college days, our favorite bar was the Tyrolean, on St. Clair Avenue. You could get a tall glass of Schmidt on tap for 25 cents. When I returned after a few years in the military, the bar had expanded into the room next door, and it was renamed the Deutsches Haus. Not everyone was happy with the name change. On the bathroom wall someone had written ‘Deutsches Haus — Nein! Tyrolean — Ja!’

“Speaking of bathroom walls: The owners of the bar at some point came up with an idea to discourage graffiti. They installed a blackboard, complete with chalk and an eraser, for people to put down their lines of wit. One of the best was; ‘To be is to do — Socrates. To do is to be — Plato. Do be do be do — Frank Sinatra.'”

Band Name of the Day: Rescue Dogs With Insecurities

Website of the Day, from Semi-Legend: “This is quite a find:

“I learned about it from a friend, whose message is below:

“‘someone in my FB gang has offered this find….

“‘a collection of 4000 sides of old 78’s made available on line.

“‘type in: George blood digitalized collection. this will probably get you there.

“‘it doesn’t seem organized in any way….not unlike grubbing thru a yard sale,
but cleaner, and you know they will play!

“‘also, I had to keep going back to the top of the pile after listening
to each one.

“‘there must be a smarter way…..though I don’t really mind another
look, and another…

“‘you’ll see what I mean…..mind blowing!!'”




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