Traveling to great destinations — like a mail box

Published 7:01 am Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Teleconference Meeting

I’m suffering from stuck-home syndrome. I’m having one of those days that were threatened if I didn’t forward a confounded chain letter.

You need an intellectual challenge.

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I’ve got one. I ordered an egg and a chicken from Amazon. I’ll finally be able to answer that ancient question of which comes first.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor, named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: I haven’t played chicken with a supermarket shopping cart since early March and I’m making a list of all the door handles I’m going to touch once this thing is over. I miss watching baseball and softball played in high school and down the age ladder. I miss reading about the Twins. I’ve had no way of watching them on TV. Twins owner Calvin Griffith wanted the name of his team to be the Twin Cities Twins, but MLB did not.

My current travel plans are to walk to the mailbox each morning. My wife and I were in Haines, Alaska, in November. Tom Morphet of that fine city reported the winter’s snowfall in Haines was 217.6 inches with 23.5 inches falling on January 26. The 2018-19 accumulation was 60.5 inches. The record is 360.7 inches that fell in 2011-12.

I used to lead tours to Anchorage, so I enjoyed reading “This Is Chance!: The Shaking of an All-American City, a Voice That Held It Together” by Jon Mooallem. It’s about the 9.2-magnitude earthquake (the most powerful earthquake in North American history) that hit Anchorage on Good Friday in 1964. The protagonist, a part-time radio reporter named Genie Chance, became the voice of calm reassurance. The modern frontier town was proud of its new five-story J.C. Penney department store. That store crumpled, but the residents of Anchorage did not.

In local news

Pavement contractor disappears. His family believes he will resurface eventually.

The NFL will have a season while practicing social distancing. Fans can expect high scores.

The discovery of Asian giant hornets (murder hornets) cause toilet paper sales to skyrocket again.

Bonsai Bank cuts back branches.

Student suspended for telling his math teacher to shut his pi hole.

My neighbor Crandall stops by

Crandall has stopped saving the dishes. He’s gone to paper plates. He’s not a complete Neanderthal with cardboard tableware. His two forks are metal. He has a 5-second rule in his house. That’s because it takes him 5 seconds to bend down and pick up dropped food from the floor. He said he’s not worried about pro sports. He figures they can take care of themselves. He does wish those events would start soon so people would have something else to argue about other than politics.

I’ve learned

There is something unusual in every basement.

If I’m going to point a finger, I need to make sure I just washed it with soap for 20 seconds.

Over 84 percent of local gym members have no idea it had closed.

Ask Al

“Why did Cinderella have glass slippers?” So her feet could see where they were going.

“Why don’t drivers use their turn signals?” Because they are too busy washing their hands.

“What happened to the Tinman in ‘The Wizard of Oz’?” Dorothy recycled him.

Nature notes

I walked to the mailbox one morning. At the edge of the yard, there were two gray partridges. I startled them into flight. One flew north and one flew south, not likely to be seen by me for another year. I’m glad they survived the winter. I see them rarely here in the backcountry.

I watched a male cardinal feeding his mate. Male goldfinches made it a lemon drop day. My eyes were drawn to a dead tree where a great blue heron, a turkey vulture and two starlings were perched. I’m easily amused, but that thrilled me.

I let my ears take me hostage. A house wren sang a song that a bird the size of an eagle should have sung. It provided a yard full of song. A chipping sparrow trilled more like an insect than like Tiny Tim.

A visit to a local lake showed a double-crested cormorant as a blue-eyed low rider when settling in the water like a loon. Spring hurries along. It wasn’t long ago when I watched five northern shoveler drakes chasing one hen. They flew as a group. It was a cross between a courtship flight and police pursuit. Now Canada goose goslings are learning to mow lawns.

Meeting adjourned

“No matter how bad things get, you got to go on living, even if it kills you.” — Sholom Aleichem