Today’s helpful hint
IGHGrampa writes: “Subject: Upright Time.
“I just finished an upright time in the shop. I made a couple of stars. But it doesn’t matter what I do or make. I got a good hour and a half of upright time.
“What’s upright time? I’m glad you asked.
“It’s a pet theory of mine, and it’s simply that your body needs upright time. When you’re in an upright position, standing or walking, your internal organs assume their natural functioning positions. All of them — heart, lungs, stomach, liver, intestines — all of them function best when you’ve allowed them to get into their natural positions. It’s natural. We evolved that way. We were created that way. When you’re slouching in your easy chair, you’re doubled over. Your organs are being squeezed into some unnatural position. Don’t do that.
“You don’t need vigorous exercise. It’s probably even better without it. If a person is running, jumping and doing violent things, his organs are getting bounced all over and maybe even falling into bad positions. You have to take care of them. Do some more relaxed form of upright exercise, like just walking. Ask any doctor about this. He might laugh, but he won’t deny it.
“Of course, those who are handicapped and can’t get into an upright position can’t take advantage of this. I do sincerely apologize if you feel offended or excluded. For all of you other lazybones, get yourself upright. You’ll feel better for it.”
The little treasures
Gregory J. of Dayton’s Bluff writes: “Subject: Happy New Year!
“I remember my parents allowing my brother Mark and me to celebrate New Year’s Eve by staying up late even when we were very young. Maybe we didn’t actually make it to midnight at first, but we always had a little party.
“I don’t specifically remember the party shown in these photographs, but it looks like we had a lot of fun. It’s obvious that we were a couple of wild and crazy guys. That’s me on the right in both photos. The Christmas tree, which is chock full of tinsel, is still standing but was probably a fire hazard by this time; it usually came down on New Year’s Day.
“As with most of our family photos, there is no indication of the year, but my best guess is that this is New Year’s Eve 1955.”
Our community of strangers
Life as we know it
Al B of Hartland: “I stepped outside to look at the moon. It was dark, and if the moon had been a musical instrument, it would have been blaring. The darkness caused me to think of the poet Tom Hennen’s book titled ‘Darkness Sticks to Everything.’
“Weather keeps a mind sharp. A man has to think about what to wear.
“The north wind blew in birds, or the birds dragged the north wind with them. The wind has to blow. It’s the only job it has.
“I drove most of the day, going here and there.
“I watched a bald eagle and a crow feeding on a roadkilled deer. The eagle fed on one side, the crow on the other, as they enjoyed the holiday feast of venison.
“I was traveling a windswept highway near dusk when I spotted a murder of crows readying to roost in evergreens used as a living snow fence. I’ve become more accustomed to seeing winter roosts of crows in cities. Crows flock because there is safety in numbers, but they could do that anywhere there are trees. A city serves them well for a number of reasons: no hunting, fewer great horned owls, artificial light that helps them spot owls, food, large trees for roosting, and cities are warmer than rural areas.
“It’s a wonderful world, isn’t it?”
Life (and death) as we know it
Kathy S. of St. Paul reports: “Well, our Time of Terror is over, and we didn’t set the church on fire on Christmas Eve. At the end of the service, we sang ‘Silent Night’ with lit (real) candles in our hands, in the darkened church. Wisely, an energetic boy of about 4 was assigned to blow out our candles — and not allowed to hold one. Yay!
“It was wonderful to see multiple generations in our church together.
“But even on Christmas Eve, there was sadness. One of our longtime parishioners is failing, and her family members had ‘brought her to church in spirit.’ When we all lit candles, they lit an extra one — and didn’t want to blow it out later. I pointed out that it wouldn’t be so hard to lose her if she weren’t such a wonderful person.
“Now we await longer and warmer days, and hope for joy. Because sometimes the magic works.”
The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Learning made fun . . . of.
“I have to wonder how many American football fans would know that the Roman numeral for 50 is ‘L’ if it weren’t for the Super Bowl.”
BULLETIN BOARD GUESSES: Maybe III or IV of every C?
The highfalutin bemusements
And: What’s in a name?
Peggy T of Osceola, Wisconsin: “Subject: What was wrong with Alexa?
“I got an Echo Dot for Christmas. Christmas Eve, the family was showing all the things that Alexa could answer and do.
“On Christmas morning, we could not get Alexa to talk to us, so we called our son, Dennis, and he and his daughter came down to see what was wrong after giving me all kinds of suggestions.
“Dennis starting talking to Alexa, and she answered him right away. I asked ‘What did you do?’ and he said ‘Nothing.’
“Well. it turns out we were calling her Alexis, and she did not recognize her name. Whoops!”
Or: Could be verse!
Tim Torkildson: “From the New York Times: ‘Bookstore Chains, Long in Decline, Are Undergoing a Final Shakeout.’
“The bookstores where I lulled away
“My youthful angst from day to day
“Are gone like gravy from my plate —
“All licked away, their cyber-fate.
“Where half-price tomes once beckoned me,
“With dull remainders almost free,
“And clerks with glasses read on stools,
“There’s now a Zales with chintzy jewels.
“Ecommerce, you’re a villain sure —
“Closing bookeries demure.
“Without book havens made of bricks
“I’ll just stay home and watch Netflix.”
Band Name of the Day: Wild and Crazy Guys
Website of the Day: Explore the habits of the breeding birds of Minnesota