No one gets dessert until the goulash is eaten

Published 7:21 am Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

My grandfather was the greatest whaler to ever come out of Iowa.

There aren’t any whales in Iowa.

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He was good.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his driveway, thoughts occur to me, such as: I was driving on I-94 in Wisconsin. The highway had three lanes going east.

The vehicle ahead of me in the center lane had his four-way flashers on. Four-way flashers are supposed to be used when you are parked and in need of assistance, in a funeral procession or to make others aware of an emergency or a hazard on the road. I figured this driver was using his so he could move left or right without signaling.

The donkey didn’t get any ice cream until he ate his goulash

I was working in Hungary. I stopped to eat. I wanted Hungarian goulash. The waitress took my order and said, ”If you order a beer, please don’t share it with the donkey.”

She said it without a hint of a smile. I didn’t even see a donkey. Before long, a donkey came out of what I assumed were the donkey’s quarters. I found out the reason for the warning. A customer, ignoring instructions, gave the donkey beer and the donkey ate the man’s goulash.

I stopped at a fast food restaurant in Wisconsin recently because it was handy. It was a burger and fries kind of place. I’d have preferred a hotdish, but hotdishes don’t live in many fast food restaurants.

I ordered and waited. This particular fast food joint was more of a slow food joint. The eatery was understaffed and busy. While placing my change into my pocket, unbeknownst to me, I’d dropped a dollar bill to the floor. A nice young woman pointed it out to me. That was nice as $1 was just over a third of my weekly allowance. Another diner, an older man said, “I have trouble hanging onto my money, too.”

As I picked up my order, I heard a mother tell her young son loudly, “No ice cream for you until you eat your french fries.”

It was no donkey eating goulash, but it was close.

At Atlanta

I staggered through Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport. I was one of 104 million airline passengers to move through the world’s busiest airport annually.

I found a seat next to an exceedingly nice couple. The man nodded towards his wife before saying, ”We grew up a block away from one another.”

The wife added, ”Both of us.”

Nature notes

The world awoke in birdsong. Loud quacks came from a wet road ditch. A female mallard. Only the female quacks.

A red-tailed hawk flew across a marsh. Squadrons of red-winged blackbirds mobbed the raptor. The blackbirds drove the hawk from one blackbird territory to another.

Wild ginger is a ground cover growing in our backyard. The green, heart-shaped leaves emerge in early spring from fleshy, underground rhizomes. Maroon flowers on short stems bloom below the leaves in April to June. The leaves last until late fall. The plant is pollinated by ants.

I petted a bumblebee. Native bees are important pollinators. Insects are monolectic if they forage on one plant species. If they forage on a few species or related plants, they are oligolectic. They are polylectic if they forage on many different plant species, even though they may have preferences.

A northern flicker did a courting routine on a platform feeder. The performance was noisy and lively, with some comical dancing, nodding and bowing thrown in. The flicker moved to a suet feeder. It flew from there and hit the window of the house. That was the bad news. The good news was that the suet feeder wasn’t far from the window, so the bird hadn’t reached high speed before hitting the glass.

I picked him up from the ground. He was dazed and confused. He was likely the one declaring his territory by hammering on the vent on the roof of our house each day. I knew it was a male because he had a black mustache stripe. I placed him into a shoebox.

It wasn’t long before I heard shuffling sounds coming from the cardboard recovery room. The bird’s bill popped out of a hole in the shoebox. I opened the box outside. There was a flash of tan as he flew and landed high in a tree.

I was happy to see him fly and hoped his recovery was complete.

Meeting adjourned

You can be anything you want to be. Be a kind person.