Mahtomedi woman has a confession to make: She’s neither Irish nor Catholic!

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

Cee Cee of Mahtomedi reports: “Had a B-M today.

“I know I probably should have heard of this before — but not being Irish or Catholic, maybe I can be forgiven. [Bulletin Board wisecracks: There’s no forgiving anyone who’s neither Irish nor Catholic! No need to, either!]

“One friend posted a picture of her ‘Irish Twin’ and herself. It is her brother’s birthday today (nine months and one week apart, they shared a crib as babes). Another friend posted a picture of his ‘Irish Twin’ brother, 10 months older, whom he sadly lost to cancer.

“Never too late to learn something new. Top o’ the mornin’ to you.”

Dept. of Neat Stuff (responsorial)

Vertically Challenged: “I enjoyed Gregory J.’s post and pics about Brown & Bigelow and Neat Stuff. When I saw the pics of the thermometers, which were very unique, I had to take a pic of the Brown & Bigelow one I have hanging up in my office room. I had to take it down for a good pic because light was reflecting too much to see colors, but they still don’t show up well in the photo. It’s a delicate pink, with black and gold foil behind the leaves. Under Brown & Bigelow, it says ‘Remembrance Advertising,’ and there is a date of 1934 written on the back.

“I would love to see more ‘neat stuff’ here in Bulletin Board!”

The Gram With a Thousand Rules: “Over the years, I have acquired a bunch of ‘Neat Stuff,’ but this one is timely because 40 years ago, Mount St. Helens blew its top.

“It was on a trip to Seattle in 1984 that I spotted this treasure, which shows just how much of the mountaintop is missing. I had to have it.




“Note that stamped on the bottom, it states the reassuring notice that it is made with ‘FOOD SAFE GLAZE WITH ACTUAL ASH.’ Whew!”

Triple-the-Fun of Lakeville: “Gregory J. of Dayton’s Bluff sent in a post about Neat Stuff from Brown & Bigelow. I really took notice, as my mom’s first job was at B & B and she ended up with some Neat Stuff from there. She passed away a few years ago, so I ended up with the trinkets. After reading the post, I went in search of my B & B memorabilia. I didn’t find it — yet — but I did find some other items that might also qualify as Neat Stuff, or, more accurately, Old Stuff.

“First are two beauty devices: a curling iron and a hair crimper.


“Next are some bottle openers or bar tools. A Hamm’s Beer can was converted into a lighter. Two bottle openers are from Hamm’s, one is from Schlitz beer, and one is from Gluek’s Stite Malt Liquor. The corkscrew is from Anheuser-Busch.


“Here are some small cookbooks. ‘Betty Crocker’s Pie Parade’ is from 1957. The ‘Home Baking Made Easy’ book is from 1944, and includes such useful information as how to determine the approximate temperature of your oven if you don’t have a thermometer.


“Finally, here’s a wooden glove box. Apparently a good pair of gloves needed a proper storage receptacle.


“I hope these items might spark a memory or bring a smile to fellow BBers.”

Once in a blue moon
Once in 6,800 Years Division

The Astronomer of Nininger: “Comet Neowise is visiting our inner solar system and provides a spectacular opportunity to see not just the fuzzy coma around it, but two tails if you use binoculars. The media have ample descriptions of how and where to see it.

“I am reminded of other times I have seen comets and have many fond remembrances.

“I recall telling my grandchildren that I would set up a telescope and enable them to see a comet. That was back when Hale-Bopp was visiting, and it was a brilliant sight. But what seems so much more imprinted on my memory was the excitement that the children exuded as then skipped around the house singing out ‘We’re gonna see a comet!’ And the first time that someone does see a comet, or the moons of Jupiter, or the rings of Saturn, there is an awesome mystique that takes place that makes the event forever meaningful.

“I recall one time in 1986 when I was able to help the public see Halley’s Comet in the morning sky. It was a crisp morning — April, I believe. I had just returned from observing it in New Zealand. It wasn’t cold, but it was early in the morning. I had set up the seeing at 4 a.m., and we waited until the comet came up high enough to see. There was a window where the sun was still dark enough to see the comet as it emerged above the horizon. It wasn’t coming back for 75 years, so this was the last chance to see it. It was difficult to see, somewhat fuzzy at best. People were glad that they got up early to see it and thankful that the university offered this opportunity for them.

“I distinctly remember one woman who had to physically lift her toddler son up to the eyepiece so he could see it. He glanced and without hesitation shouted out: ‘I don’t see anything.’ The comet was still in the middle of the field of view, but it was not as spectacular as he expected. His mother replied: ‘Yes, you did see it. And you are going to tell your grandchildren about it!’ I suspect he will.”

Everyone’s a copy editor!

Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul: “Subject: Sign my up!

“I just received this email:


“‘Available Now

“‘We have located a home security program in you area that can substantially benefit you.’

“I’m so grateful that it’s available in me area.”

The vision thing
Or: Muse, amuse

The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Behind the scene.

“I can’t help butt wonder how the audition for this TV commercial went.”


This ’n’ that ’n’ the other ’n’ the other ’n’ the other ’n’ the other ’n’ the other

A septet from Al B of Hartland: (1) “I had three Aunt Helens. I loved them all.

“One day, my mother, sister, girl cousins and one Aunt Helen found a way to be shed of me by raising enough money for me to buy myself an ice cream cone. It wasn’t a far hike to the ice cream place. I walked along, trying not to think of anything and having good luck in that regard, when I happened upon a house with an old guy sitting on a front-porch glider while he smoked a cigar and read a newspaper. ‘Hey, kid!’ he yelled at me through a cloud of smoke. ‘You want a cigar band?’

“I didn’t, but I was taught never to diminish any gift by refusing to accept it. I walked up the few steps to his glider, and he handed me a cigar band. I don’t remember the brand. He smiled as if he’d done a great deed and went back to reading his paper. I thanked him politely and left the scene.

“Hoping to cash out quickly, I asked the ice-cream-shop clerk if the cigar band had any value. It didn’t. At least, not in exchange for ice cream.”

(2) “My wife gave me some smoked almonds, books and two underarm deodorants for Father’s Day — Old Spice (original scent) and Dove Clean Comfort. I had eight of those deodorants before the recent gifts, not counting the seven I’d shared with family members. All of the deodorants had been gifts from my bride. I’ve gotten the hint.”

(3) “My wife, tired of lugging my stuff around in her purse, suggested I get a man bag. I failed to act on that suggestion, so she gave me one. It’s a messenger bag. I call it a man purse. It’s one of the colors of fall and comfortable to tote around. I enjoy its company. I take it with me when I go. When I get into my car, the one with the ‘Rest area or bust’ bumper sticker, the man purse travels along.”

(4) “I haven’t been in a fast-food restaurant or convenience store since early March, but I remember them. I like iced tea and frequently grabbed a cup of that fine liquid in return for a wad of crumpled bills. I invariably grabbed the wrong-sized lid for the cup.

“I have three keys for an office I haunt. I don’t label or mark them, which would be a wise thing to do. Typically, the right key is the third one I try in the lock. It’s a swollen-head victory when I hit it on the second try. If I get it right on the first key, I stride the Earth for the rest of the day feeling as I did when I was Time’s Person of the Year in 2006. Some of you might not remember that. It was announced in Time’s issue of December 25, 2006. The cover of the magazine featured a computer monitor with a reflective mylar pane intended to reflect the face of whoever held the magazine. It came as a complete surprise when I saw it was me.”

(5) “A cardinal sang. Both male and female cardinals sing. I’ve been a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. It began when I was a dear boy in a dairy barn, and the Philco wooden radio stationed there — one with 19 knobs and dials, only two of which made any difference (on/off/volume and station select) — was able to receive the signal of KMOX, a clear-channel station (1120 AM) with 50,000 watts of power from St. Louis. I was enthralled by word pictures painted by announcers like Jack Buck, Joe Garagiola and Harry Caray. The images of the birds on the team uniforms aren’t a true replica of northern cardinals. They have yellow bills and light eyes. The real bird has a reddish-orange bill (juveniles have gray to black bills) and dark eyes.”

(6) “A raccoon kit grabbed a couple of fireflies out of the air with its paws and snapped another from the air in one bite. It ate them with relish. Or it may have been with onions. I’ve read that many mammals find fireflies distasteful, but not this young’un.”

(7) “An adult and an immature bald eagle. You can see the family resemblance. Photo by Al B of Hartland.”


See world

Another close encounter of the natural kind, reported by Carp Lips of Wyoming, Minnesota: “We’ve had fun watching a nest of baby cardinals this past week, just outside our kitchen window. The Mama cardinal was sitting on the eggs and hanging on for dear life when Sunday’s storm hit.



“Proud Papa cardinal came by today for a visit.


“Can’t call them cute little buggers, though.”


Everyone’s a critic!
Or: Then & Now

Semi-Legend: “Subject: Frankfurt School / George Soros.

“My reading has taken a historical/political turn.

“I like Walter Benjamin’s writing and insights, so I’m reading a book about the group he was associated with: ‘The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950,’ by Martin Jay, copyright 1973.

“The mostly Jewish, mostly German scholars tried to make sense of the 1920s and 1930s from a socialist perspective, expanding into cultural criticism. I learned that the Frankfurt School’s star, Theodor Adorno, hated jazz — or at least his perception of it (Tin Pan Alley).

“I’m also reading the Summer 2020 issue of Dissent, a socialist quarterly, which discusses the beliefs of Olavo de Carvalho, a right-wing Brazilian political theorist. And I learned that the perhaps-obscure Frankfurt School has achieved mythic, George Soros-like status. Mitchell Abidor writes that ‘for Carvalho, no group was more influential, or evil, than the Frankfurt School. Although he describes the writings of Adorno and Benjamin as ‘indecipherable,’ . . . [u]nder their influence, romantic scenes in films were “replaced by explicit sex.” Music was no longer melodic and harmonic. Even women’s makeup now “had to suggest that they were dead or at least had AIDS.”‘


“Walter Benjamin, who died in 1940, would be so proud.

“And it turns out I am way behind the curve. In 2011, Ben Alpers discussed ‘the role that the Frankfurt School plays in right-wing conspiracy theories about a Jewish, Marxist attempt to destroy Western civilization.’

“Apparently Andrew Breitbart contended that the Frankfurt School ‘was really a precursor to John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, funded by the Hungarian-born George Soros.’

“I have so much catching up to do.”

What’s in a (band) name?
Or: Our community of strangers (Then & Now Division)

The Arizona Transplant: “I lived in St. Paul for 17 years and was an avid fan of the Bulletin Board — first as The Newcomer of St. Paul, then The Original Newcomer of St. Paul after someone unwittingly copied my handle. (This was back in the day of Joybubbles, Princess Grace of Mahtomedi, Peachy, and AJ’s Mom.)

“Although I’ve been gone for 10 years now, I’m sometimes reminded of BB contributions and topics. I was on Twitter this morning and unexpectedly saw something ridiculously insane (On Twitter? Go figure!), but started laughing out loud when it instantly provided me a perfect Band Name of the Day: Weaponized Weasels.

“(By the way, this is triggering a LOT of nostalgia for me. I turned 63 a month ago, and it was a shock to realize I was only 35 when my first husband and I moved to Minnesota and I initially encountered the BB. Our kids were 4 years old and 9 months old — now 31 and 27. It’s absolutely mind-boggling to think how much life has happened since then.)”

Our times (responsorial)

In reply to Kathy S. of St. Paul, here’s Don Youngdahl of New Brighton: “Subject: Panhandler??

“Today’s (7-12-2020) Sunday Bulletin Board mentioned a panhandler playing an accordion. That man was **not** a panhandler. He was a busker, **earning** money with his musical efforts.

“In these times, let’s be positive in our view of others.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: You’re absolutely right, Don. Only a guy busking with a steel drum would be a panhandler. (Rimshot!)

Know thyself!

Stinky Bananalips of Empire, Minnesota: “Subject: Flower pictures.

“We recently picked up Chinese takeout for a Father’s Day lunch with my in-laws. It was a nice visit, and I snapped this picture of lilies in their yard.


“I’ve been a quilter for a while now and am fascinated by what’s known as collage quilts, so am collecting nature photos that I’ll someday try to turn into a collage quilt. What worries me is the project could get away from me like it did for Susan Carlson and her 22-foot-long crocodile quilt. Here’s a video about it:

“I’ve certainly collected enough fabric to go that big (not admitting that to Mr. Bananalips, though).”

Our theater of seasons
Floral Photography Division

Mounds View Swede writes (and photographs) again: “About the same time the hollyhocks blossomed out, the lilies were, too. We visited a Swedish class friend to see how hers were doing and found a nice variety.



“These wider, shorter and ruffled petals made it seem like another type of flower altogether.



“And this one was rather striking in its differences. I liked the stronger yellow center to go with the reddish band surrounding it. How a blossom can become so ‘artistic’ is amazing to me.



“I continued to enjoy the variety of blossom colors and displays as I took photo after photo. ‘Wow! Look at that!’ was unsaid, but felt.







“After finishing at the first garden, I stopped at my neighbor’s lily garden to see what was happening there, and continued to enjoy the great variety of blossom colors and shapes.




“The ruffled edges became more and more pronounced in some blossoms.




“These lily blossoms had only a few days left of looking so gorgeous. It seems a shame the blooming time is so short, and I remain amazed at the efforts growers take to have this season at all.







“There is not much more I can add about such a display of beauty, except . . . please enjoy it!”







Our theater of seasons
Including: The highfalutin pleasures

GramB of Nisswa: “Over the holiday weekend, we shared the joys of lake life with our daughter and family from St. Paul. They brought their camper along so we could safe-distance.

“Amidst the water play, fishing, yard games, rock-painting, boat parade, outdoor grilling, fireworks, great weather and simply being surrounded by nature, we enjoyed stunning sunsets, which our daughter captured with these shots using her phone.”



The verbing of America

The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “This was a portion of a message on Twitter regarding the border wall: ‘Our colleague backgrounded the companies . . .'”

Elvis: “Subject: Two new verbings.

Elvis had a birthday last week, and his significant other wrote on a card: ‘Glad to be Coviding with you!’

“Today Elvis read about someone worrying that they were ‘Karened.’

“Strange times.”

Elvis, again: “And a new late entry: ‘People need to face mask.'”

The simple pleasures
Pandemic Division

Email from Donald: “Subject: Cheese!

“One of the small delights amidst today’s challenges is getting a group (masked and safely distanced) together for a photo and saying, ‘Smile!’”

Band Name of the Day: The Irish Twins — or: The Swollen Heads — or: Butt Wonder

Website of the Day, recommended by The Monkey Lover’s Wife  of Northfield: “Forgive me if you’ve already published this (I’m way behind on reading Bulletin Board and my other e-mails) . . . but there’s a Minneapolis winner in here!”


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