“That man has a jungle of power tools down there!”

The Permanent Paternal Record

The Gram With a Thousand Rules: “When World War II ended and power tools became available, my dad and my brother were first in line to try out every new gadget, big or small. They couldn’t get enough of them.


“The day they gleefully lugged in a large jig-saw and plunked it down on the dining room table was the day we lost all elbow room at dinner time.

“It took awhile, but eventually my mom got her back up and insisted that they, by golly, better darn well FIND a spot for it in the basement. I think it was the sawdust more than the cramped conditions that finally got to her.

“When I was newly married, my dad stopped by our little cottage and saw my husband using a rotary hand drill for a small job. Dad said: ‘Come on over to my place. I’ve got a dandy power drill that’ll take care of that job in a jiffy.’

“I suppose I should have warned him about my dad’s basement workshop, but it was so much more fun to enjoy his bug-eyed reaction when he returned home — much, much later — with power drill in hand. The memory is still vivid of my husband saying: ‘You should have seen him! Your dad would grab a cord, reel it in and say “No, #&*%! That’s not the one I want!” . . . and then he would grab another cord and reel IT in, hand over hand, look at it, and cuss a blue streak before throwing THAT one back! That man has a jungle of power tools down there!’

“I waited a few months before I took him on a tour of my folks’ attic.”

Where we live

Mounds View Swede is back in town: “Last Saturday, an out-of-town friend was visiting a relative who lives near Minnehaha Park, so I drove down there to spend some time catching up on our lives. He was one of my Audiovisual Helper boys back in the day and likes photography like I do, so we headed to Minnehaha Park to share another thing we enjoy: walking in the woods along rivers. While he videoed parts of the creek, I paid attention to things blooming along the way. I saw several blossoms I hadn’t seen before, so if some readers more familiar with them could clue me in on what they are, I would appreciate it.

“I am hoping the wrinkly leaves will give a clue to what this is.


“No blossoms here, but distinctive leaf patterns and cluster.


“I am always amazed at how much I don’t know. And sometimes it is surprisingly difficult to find a website that will tell me what something is.

“It was a very comfortable day with lighting that was not harsh, so good for photos. I always feel thankful after such an excursion that I live here in Minnesota, which has so much visual beauty to offer, and that we have had good luck with weather this last year.

“More Minnehaha scenes soon.”

Everyone’s a copy editor

Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul: “Subject: Location — location — location!

“An article on the front page of the Sports section in Monday’s STrib carried this headline: ‘High stakes, plus aura.’

“Accompanying the article was this chart:


“‘Team Record GB Monday

“‘New York 82-67 +4 at Twins

“’Twins 78-71 —— vs. NYY’

“This appears on Page C11 (same section):



“‘at N.Y. Yankees

“‘6:05 p.m. — FSN’

“Take me out to the ballgame . . . once its location is determined.”

Vanity, thy name is . . . 

Friendly Bob of Fridley: “Wisconsin plate spotted in Woodbury: ‘MUUUU 2.'”

Our butterflies, ourselves
Leading to: The vision thing

Doris G. of Randolph, Minnesota, writes: “I looked real close at this Painted Lady butterfly, and it looks like it has a face: two eyes, nose, mouth and beard.


“Or it could be just me and my imagination.”

There & Here (responsorial)

The Rivermouse’s Sister: “Subject: To those who are ‘from away.’

“Responsorial to The Doryman‘s post about his recent trip to Canada:

The Rivermouse and I are descended from individuals who inhabited two of the Maritime Provinces (and one non-Maritime province) of Canada. I have had the opportunity to visit some of their stamping grounds — twice, now. On one of these trips, I did have someone from there detect that I must be ‘from away’ because I had asked for directions.

“Should any BBers want to risk being so detected, they might want to visit Wasson Bluff, which is located on the Bay of Fundy near the shared border of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and just a short drive from Prince Edward Island, the locale of the Anne of Green Gables books.

“This bluff is named after a way-back-in-the-day Wasson ancestor, and, along with the Bay of Fundy itself, is a remarkable location. Fossils, rocks and minerals from literally all over the world can be located here. The proximity is based on the idea that, at one time, all of the continents were one, prior to the Triassic Period (Pangaea), and then they drifted apart. There is a visitors center nearby, and, at low tide, those interested can hike to the area of this famous bluff.

“Leaf peepers and rock hounds, arise! You could do both, this time of year!”

Could be verse!

Tim Torkildson checks in: “Subject: What the heck is in the meatloaf?

“What the heck is in the meatloaf? That’s the question of the day
“Down at the Senior Center where my dentures like to play.
“The mystery grows deeper as I fork a steaming chunk;
“Cuz when I drop it on the floor it makes an awful ‘clunk!’

“There’s oatmeal flakes, confetti, and a bit of sawdust, too —
“But the closest hint of meat is way far off in Timbuktu.
“Either that’s a green pea, or the bugs are getting rounder.
“(What I wouldn’t give right now to have a Quarter Pounder!)

“I’m chewing on a rubber band, or maybe it is twine.
“Hey, pass me down the ketchup for this tasteless Frankenstein.
“At least the mashed potatoes, although instant, are still warm.
“The corn is from a can, and dates back to the Mongol swarm.

“I guess I should be thankful for this dollop of concern
“For an aging geezer who makes food to watch it burn.
“I only wish they had dessert, to mask the bitter taste
“Of old age on a pension where a penny I can’t waste . . .”

CAUTION! Words at Play!

The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: Punny or not.

“Another one from ‘THE DAILY EXTRA’ on the back of my Garfield Page-a-day calendar:

“‘Groaners: World’s Best Bad Jokes and Puns.

“‘The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his girth from too much pi.’”

Our birds, ourselves

Jim Shumaker of New Richmond, Wisconsin, reports: “This is the first Mute Swan I have seen in this area.












“The Wisconsin DNR says that the Mute Swan is an invasive species and is trying to remove them from Wisconsin.”

The darnedest things

WARNING! Cute kid story ahead, from Peg of the North: “My 3-year-old grandson was in the car with his mom. Out of the blue, from his car seat, he asked, “When I get big enough to be a monster, then will fire come out of my mouth?'”

Band Name of the Day: The Mute Swans

Website of the Day: Wasson Bluff . . . world’s smallest dinosaur tracks . . . 

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