Al Batt: Do nothing until the weather slows you down

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

What did you do today?


What did you do yesterday?

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Do you do nothing every day?

Yes, except when the weather is bad. That slows me down.

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: It’s unfortunate that “exercise” and “extra fries” sound so much alike. I should get more exercise. I’ve been a bit of a slugabed recently. I’ve been a little under the weather lately, but who hasn’t? The weather is all over us. This has produced lethargy on my part. I had my chest shaved recently for a medical procedure. I couldn’t help but think how many years it took me to grow that hair.

Missing someone and getting something

On a recent Saturday, I attended Jim Ferguson’s funeral. Fergy lived in St. Cloud and was a former teammate of mine. He was one of the best shortstops I’ve ever played with. Later, I went to the Geneva Cancer Auction. I sat with good friend, former teammate and cancer survivor Rich Honstad of Freeborn. Rich is inspiring, to say the least. My wife and I came home from the auction with winning bids on Hope Butter, potatoes, onions, lefse and Mary Ebnet’s delectable caramels. I’ve gone to many funerals and cancer auctions, but these two were different. It was a combination of things.

We hear about cancer awareness. We’re aware of cancer. What many of us aren’t aware of is that we might get it. Like hell, it’s for other people. I know many people who have cancer. I have cancer. I write about having cancer in the hopes that it might encourage others to visit a doctor and get all those tests that make us uneasy.

It was impossible for me to feel sorry for myself after attending Fergy’s funeral (he was only 55) and hearing the stories at the Geneva Cancer Auction.

If they had received my diagnosis, my grandfathers would likely have been sent home to die. Each visit I make to the Mayo Clinic brings me into contact with friends who are there for appointments or for support. We’re all dancing in skis. Whether they have cancer or not, everyone we meet is fighting a battle. I’ve embarked on a path of chemotherapy. Life changes. Every day is a new road to the incredible. My sister-in-law Donna gave me Batman socks. I’ve been wearing them — one on each foot. That makes me happy. I have it much better than my grandfathers would have had it. These are the good old days.

A poor man’s lie detector

I visited with a fellow the other day. He had one of those last names that was longer than it needed to be. He grumped about the temperature.

It was a beautiful day to complain about the weather.

He told me that it had been so cold that his outdoor thermometer had moved to Arizona.

That was a lie. A funny lie. Everybody lies. When someone says that they never tell a lie, they are lying.

Richard Wiseman, author of “59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute,” has a simple test to determine whether you are a good liar. It’s called the Q test. Using the first finger of your dominant hand, draw a capital letter Q on your forehead. Which side of your forehead did you draw the tail of the letter Q? If you drew the tail on the left side of your forehead so that someone facing you could read it, you are good at lying. If you drew the tail on the right side of your forehead, you are bad at lying.

Think about that the next time you are about to describe that fish you caught.

Nature notes

“Why don’t birds freeze while bathing in winter?” It’d seem that winter bathing would put birds at risk, but they do it quite safely. The feathers of a healthy bird shed most of the water, preventing it from leaking through to the insulating down and skin. Songbirds shed and shake water from plumage. Clean feathers are important to a bird’s survival. Water cleans feathers and a study found that birds spend 9 percent of their time preening, which helps feathers do their jobs. Wintering songbirds typically bathe in shallow water.

Meeting adjourned

Be kind. Today is a limited edition. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Encourage someone. Care deeply. Use words that heal, not hurt. Be kind.