After only a few weeks in the countryside, city boy goes straight!

Website of the Day (responsorial)

Walt of Wayzata read the marvelous article we chose as our most recent Website of the Day — “Field of dreams: heartbreak and heroics at the World Ploughing Championships” — and now reports: “It brought back the memory of when I worked for a few weeks on a farm near Silver Lake during threshing season. It was when I was 12 and 13.

“I learned to drive a pickup and a tractor, and I learned to plow.

“After lessons, I was let loose on a 40-acre field using a John Deere pulling a two-blade plow. I was about two-thirds finished when I noticed that a green pickup had stopped on the road at the end of the furrow. An ‘old’ (maybe about 50) guy had gotten out and was leaning on the fencepost. As I neared him, he waved at me to stop. He yelled over that I was doing a great job for a city kid.

“It is one of the proudest moments of my life.”

Our theater of seasons

Marcie’s mom reports: “Our holiday guests arrived early this year. The neighborhood squirrels moved into our old pumpkin.





“They ate all the pumpkin seeds, so now hubby puts sunflower seeds inside for them.

“We now have a squirrel guesthouse.”

Our theater of seasons
5/7/5 Division (Illustrated)

A quartet of photo-haiku from Tim Torkildson:





The Permanent Paternal Record

Dolly Dimples: “Subject: Accidents Happen.

“The Pioneer Press reported that the snowfall we had Wednesday afternoon and evening created slick and icy roads which caused a number of spinouts, accidents and fender-benders.

“This reminded me of my dear dad and the numerous dents and scrapes that his car sustained over the years he drove. He had a running repair account at Latuff Brothers body shop on University Avenue. He didn’t need ice or snow to involve him in an accident. I think Dad thought any object in his line of sight was supposed to move out of his way when he was coming.

“I recall the time I was with him as he drove down the alley to park the car in the garage. There was a large tree growing close to the garage, so you had to approach from a certain angle. It was kind of tricky. I heard him say: ‘Look out, tree, here I come.’

“I think that remark typified Dad’s mindset when he was behind the wheel. The day he almost drove the car through the back wall of the garage, we issued an ultimatum: Hand over your car keys, or else. He hesitated but complied.

“We breathed a sigh of relief. The world was a safer place.”

Vanity, thy name is . . .

Friendly Bob of Fridley: “Two license plates spotted in a ramp at Regions Hospital, very near each other, apparently letting others know of leisure interests.

“First, a Wisconsin plate: ‘IB TN OFF.’ Well, not for a little while! Unless one heads south.

“Then, a Minnesota plate: ‘FSHNFLY.’ Had to look twice to make sure it was not FLYFSHN, which made a little more sense to me. [Bulletin Board muses: Could be a pilot/angler? A designer of stylish zippers for men’s trousers?]

“Only about 114 days until the first day of (astronomical) spring. Or, as I have started calling it, Green Thursday.”

The vision thing
Including: CAUTION! Words at Play! (And: Not exactly what he had in mind) (responsorial)

Biff from Lake Elmo: “Reading Semi-Legend’s crossword vision reminded me of one I saved a few weeks ago. This is from the same Timothy Parker line of crosswords. I print them from an online source with a full archive. No need to buy the STrib.

“This puzzle is from 24 July, 2014. The theme is: ‘In the middle.’ The word THE is in the middle of the themed answers. First there was ‘FLYOFFTHEHANDLE.’ The second one was ‘SLIPOFTHETONGUE.’

“The third one had me confused. The clue: ‘One handling issues.’ The answer: ‘PSYCHOTHERAPIST.’

“I know you’re all reading it as three words like everybody I’ve shown this to.

“Here is a clue: It is one long, compound word.

“Gives me some reservations about having one handle my issues.”

Life as we know it

Kathy S. of St. Paul: “Subject: My newest adage.

“My thought for the day: Those who drive through life on square wheels are gonna have a bumpy ride.”

Department of Duh

Helena Handbasket: “Subject: omgenius.

“From the comments section following a list of money-saving tips: ‘Instead of turning on lights I just open the blinds. Saves a ton on electricity and eventually your eyes adjust.’ OMGeez, what a genius idea!

“Which reminds me of the cooking blog that offered a recipe for ‘Real Whipped Cream – tastes almost like Cool Whip!'”

The highfalutin displeasures
There & Here Division

The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: Nothing lost in this translation.

“This was forwarded to my wife by a friend:

“‘This notice can now be found in some French churches:

“‘En entrant dans cette église, il est possible que vous entendiez l’appel de Dieu. Par contre, il n’est pas susceptible de vous contacter par téléphone. Merci d’avoir éteint votre téléphone.

“‘Si vous souhaitez parler à Dieu, entrez, choisissez un endroit tranquille et parle lui.
Si vous souhaitez le voir, envoyez-lui un SMS en conduisant.’


“It is possible that on entering this church, you may hear the Voice of God. On the other hand, it is not likely that he would call on your cellphone. Thank you for turning off your cellphone.

“If you would like to talk to God come in, choose a quiet place, and talk with him. If you would like to see him, send him a text message while driving.”

The highfalutin amusements

The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Have you seen this yet? [Bulletin Board replies: We first saw it a couple of decades ago, when it started its peripatetic and perhaps eternal journey through the World Wide Web — but we haven’t seen it lately, and it’s still funny.]


“Now you know I don’t forward a lot of stuff from Facebook or the Internet . . . BUT this was soooo clever and soooo right up my alley that I had to make sure that you would see it.”

Where’ve you gone, Mrs. Malaprop?

Doris Day: “My very sweet young hairstylist said her husband was having such a bad day, she would have to handle him with kitten gloves.”

What’s in an Expression? Division

Snackmeiserin of* (“*but not from”) Altoona, Wisconsin: “Subject: regionalisms.

“The front-page, above-the-fold headline in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on November 26 — ‘All of the sudden — boom!’ — has ignited quite the debate in our household.

“‘All of THE sudden?’ I (a Minnesota native) exclaimed. ‘I’ve never heard anyone in Minnesota say that!’

“‘What do you mean?’ asked my husband, a lifelong resident of Wisconsin.

“‘It’s ‘all of A sudden,’ I explained.  — we went back and forth. I said I would take the great debate to BB-land.

“So, tell me, BBers: Why does ‘the’ sound so wrong? Is it a MN-WI thing?”

BULLETIN BOARD AGREES: It sounds wrong because it is wrong! But so many wrong things are right these days.

Then & Now


John in Highland: “I can’t remember exactly how long I have had this sponge axe hanging in my men’s crisis center, but I know exactly from where it came.

“My late uncle Dave Larson was a U of M graduate, and an ‘M Club’ member. He worked at Hormel headquarters in Austin, but maintained his Gopher season tickets throughout his lifetime.

“I’m sure that my cousins shared my good remembrances of Dave when our team reclaimed the real axe last week.”

Fellow travelers

Mounds View Swede writes: “Our first trip to Sweden was in 2007, to meet cousins a researcher had found for me in 2005. In working on my genealogy here, I could access Swedish records only up to 1899. While asking how to find the farms that my great-grandparents emigrated from, one of the respondents added that he did genealogy less expensively than others did. So I sent him the records of my eight great-grandparents, and he followed each family line in Sweden to see what happened to those who did not come to America. He found some cousins and sent me their names, ages and addresses. I wanted to visit the farms my great-grandparents came from, to see what the land looked like.

“I started our first Swedish trip on the island of Götland in the Baltic Sea. None of my ancestors came from Götland, but I had some cousins who lived there now.

“But what I want to share are some of the flowers I found there, too. The city of Visby on Götland had an interesting garden, with flowers from many other countries, and I did not think to write down their names, so I can’t tell what most of these are. I just wanted to share some of the beauty I found, to offset some of the gray November days we have been having.



“The red flowers in this photo are poppies, which were pretty prolific on this island.


“I liked how they were along the edges of these farm fields, adding striking color to the crops.


“When we got back to the city of Visby for our first night there, the setting sun provided this nice shot.


“Visby is a very old, walled city with a lot of stone buildings that have lasted for about a thousand years.”

‘Tis the season!

KMarie writes: “The activities manager occasionally asks me to play piano for the Care Center at Atrium Village.

“Now’s the season for Christmas songs, and I pull out my handy sing-along book and try to play a lot of the oldies, such as ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Winter Wonderland.’

“I’ve found that many of the songs bring back very poignant memories for these residents of the Greatest Generation. Some residents had tears in their eyes when I played ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas,’ as that song was popular during World War II, when many had family members in the military. For example, my 101-year-old mother had three brothers and one sister all in the military during WW II. There were many families with similar situations. Not only were the family members not home for Christmas, but the families weren’t sure if they’d ever see them again. Songs that to most of us are simply background noise of the holidays bring back special memories for these people.

“Thank you for letting me share my story.”

The Permanent Great-Grandchildrenly Record

The Gram With a Thousand Rules reports: “Subject: Tender love.

“Our Colorado great-grandson became a big brother just one week after his second birthday. Thomas adored his sister Willa on first sight.


“Five days later, it appears that the feeling is mutual.”

Band Name of the Day: Open the Blinds

Websites of the Day, recommended by Kathy S. of St. Paul: “The University of Minnesota has acquired a gorgeous set of books.  Gorgeous art; some include nude bodies:


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