Al Batt: Disappointment is in the things you didn’t do

Published 9:02 am Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting in Seattle:

“Does it ever stop raining here?”

“It does.”

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“When is that?”

“When it starts snowing.”

Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: Silence is not golden. It’s foreign.

I’ve learned

Hotdish is made for people who like it when foods touch.

Before climbing a ladder, I should make sure it’s leaning against the right wall.

I should live each day as if I want it to last.

Oh, me-o, my-o, I was in Ohio

I was engaged in a book signing in Ohio. I went for a walk beforehand. It was windy and the rain was falling at a good clip. I had rocks in my pockets and holes in my shoes. Folklore says if you find a rock with a white line or band completely around it, you’d have good luck and a wish granted. I found one. I gave it to another who needed some good luck.


If you could have eight days a week, which day would you want to have twice?

Is “recycle bin” a collective noun?

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Office Max

I needed ink for my copier. It drinks ink like it’s coffee in a church basement. I was in Owatonna, so I stopped at the Office Max there. It’s soon to become an Office Depot store. I visited with a helpful employee named Adam. He fixed me up with what I needed. Adam told me that his wife’s name is Eve. Fittingly, this Adam and Eve were married in Galesville, Wis., an appropriate location because once upon a time, after reading the Bible 25 times, Reverend Van Slyke came to the conclusion that Trempealeau County was the home of the Garden of Eden.

Traveling tales

Mark Twain encouraged me by writing, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

My wife loves to travel with me. That way, when she uses an airport restroom, there is someone to watch her bags.

After some shambolic travel, I was happy to return home. I love traveling and I love coming home. I’m Minnesota grown. I have a severe case of Gopheritis. Whenever people complain about the state’s weather, taxes, roads or politics, I tell them TIM. Not TMI, which stands for “Too Much Information.” It’s TIM, which means “This Is Minnesota.”

A report from Haines, Alaska

I ate with friends at Klondike Pizza. One of them was from the Yukon. Another asked him, “Why do you Canadians say ‘eh’ all the time?”

The Yukoner replied, “Huh?”

Dan Egolf of Haines told me that a friend of his was going out to eat. As he stepped out the door of his home, a silver salmon fell onto his lawn. He looked up to see a bald eagle with butter talons. The man didn’t go out to eat that day. He stayed home and ate fresh salmon.

From the family files

One in the family is working weekends and after school. He wants to buy a car. He has a driving ambition.

My father loved creamed asparagus on toast. I didn’t much care for it. I ate it reluctantly. Then one day, I munched on it and I liked it. It was the dawning of the age of asparagus.

Did you know?

Research conducted at the University of Sussex showed that reading is the most effective way to overcome stress, beating out listening to music, drinking a cup of tea or coffee and taking a walk.

There are 1,790 townships, 853 cities and 87 counties in Minnesota. Iowa has 1,661 townships, 947 cities and 99 counties.

Nature notes

Harlan Lutteke of Alden asked, “Where are all the birds?” The lack of birds at feeders is due to behavioral and nutritional reasons. In the spring and summer, birds are focused on breeding. They hunt for mates, search for nesting material and forage to feed nestlings. Once breeding is over, they have little reason to sing. A quiet comes with the season. The food we offer is only part of the birds’ diet. In late summer and fall, there is a plethora of fruit, berries and seeds. Birds take advantage of available food sources. Some birds migrate while others move about in response to seasonal changes. Your bird feeders will feed birds.

Meeting adjourned

Two wrongs don’t make it even. Be kind.