Al Batt: Feeding birds won’t slow migration

Published 8:33 am Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

Do you know the difference between a chicken and an opossum?


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Well, I hope you don’t do the grocery shopping for your family?

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: I’m a good friend to my garage door. I can always lift it up when it is down.

The cafe chronicles

After a parade, I’d held the door for a guy entering the cafe. I hold a mean door. I’d held the door open for a clown. I thought it was a nice jester.

A sign on the cafe’s wall said, “Free sympathy to anyone with a scar.” Another read, “Free breakfast. Tomorrow only.”

“Why doesn’t AARP offer a senior discount on its membership fees?” I asked in the hopes of inspiring some conversation.

I ate at my kind of diner in Sterling, Illinois. It was named, “Eggs in Paradise.” The breakfast was scrumptious. It eliminated those of the glum face. The waitress brought the bill, saying that it was my ticket out of there.

The breakfast reminded me of my father and what could have been any fast food restaurant, but it wasn’t. My father was a meat and potatoes guy. He took a break from toiling in the corn and soybean mines, and came to visit me in college. I took him to a McDonald’s for lunch. He’d never been there. He didn’t care what he ate as long as bread, meat, and potatoes were included. We ordered burgers and fries. We ate while talking of family things and the weather. I asked how he liked the burger.

“If this is beef, some cow ought to be ashamed of itself,” he replied.

I should have gotten him a Happy Meal.

I met up with a local named Tim Keller. He’s a prairie plants aficionado. He goes by Tim because when someone calls and asks for George, he knows it’s a telemarketer.

As I left Sterling, I drove by an enterprise offering tattoos, piercings, and live bait. That’s a nice combination. I can’t tell you how many times when I’ve been getting a tattoo or a body piercing, that I’ve said to myself, “Boy, I could use some live bait.”

He’s no loafer

A friend drives a bread truck. He has a route where he delivers bread to stores. I saw him in one of those stores recently. He walked toward me to shake my hand. I couldn’t help but say, “Bread man walking.”

It was fairly nice

The attendance for the 12 days of the 2014 Minnesota State Fair was 1,824,830, topping the previous record of 1,790,497 set in 2009. The weather was agreeable and the economy improving.

I’ve worked at the fair for years. A fun job, but it can be tougher than boiled owl. My habit was to have breakfast at Epiphany Diner, a dining hall featuring traditional meals. It’s no longer in operation. Things drenched in gravy couldn’t compete with deep-fried butter on a stick. I miss Epiphany Diner. I truly understood hash browns for the first time there.

The Holstein

The Holstein is a retired dairy cow, so she has time to talk. “Knock-knock.’” she said.

“Who’s there?” I asked.

“Interrupting cow,” she responded.


“Moo!” said the interrupting Holstein.

Nature notes

Dave Swanson of Glenville asked if feeding hummingbirds in the fall will keep them from migrating. It will not. There are a number of factors that trigger the urge for hummingbirds to migrate, but the most significant one is day length. When the days get shorter, the hummingbirds move on, regardless if there are feeders or not. Keep the feeders for a time after you’ve seen the last hummingbird in case there are stragglers in need of energy to complete their long journey south.

Meeting adjourned

“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”—John E. Southard