Al Batt: Can’t eat and sleep at the same time

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

My doctor told me I should sleep and eat at the same time each day.

That sounds like good advice.

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I tried it, but I can’t sleep and eat at the same time.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. As I walked the Oregon\California\Mormon Pioneer Trail near Alda and Wood River, Nebraska, I thought about an old character-driven TV series called “Wagon Train.” I’m not sure I ever watched it, but I know it starred Ward Bond. Bond was the man who John Wayne accidentally shot in the behind and,  adding insult to injury, Wayne had used a shotgun owned by Bond. “Wagon Train” was filmed at 21 locations traveling from the plains of Missouri to Sacramento. Bond appeared in some famous movies: “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Searchers,” “Gone with the Wind,” “My Darling Clementine,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “The Maltese Falcon” and “Topper.” Back to the bit of trail I walked. In 1841-1869, nine of 10 deaths on the trails were due to illness and an estimated 6 to 10% of emigrants succumbed to illness. The covered wagons were rolling arsenals, so accidental shootings were common, murders rare. Drowning, weather and other accidents took their toll. Native Americans were the least of the pioneers’ problems. It’s estimated that in the 2000 miles of the Oregon Trail, there were 10 graves per mile.

Buffalo Bill Cody was born in Iowa and used his showmanship skills and fabrications to make himself famous, prospering on the gullible. My grandmother was born Anna Sundstrom in Sweden. She became a teacher in Iowa. My mother said, unlike Buffalo Bill, Anna Sundstrom couldn’t tell a lie. Her husband was a spendthrift, but Grandma practiced great perseverance. I have Swedish ancestry—not too much, not too little, just enough. Many people claim to be of Swedish descent when they’re not. Why wouldn’t they? These social climbers are known as artificial Swedeners.

On the road again

I was exhaustipated, too tired to know how tired I was. I spent a night in a hotel that had a five-story waterfall. It was loud at night. A man there told me he used to live in Brooklyn. “Do you know what my goal was when I was growing up?” I didn’t. “To get out of Brooklyn.” I know that feeling. As a teenager, I couldn’t wait to get away. A few years later, I couldn’t wait to get back home.

Bad jokes department

Leon Schoenrock of New Richland sent this one, “A man found a wooden shoe in his toilet. It was clogged.”

The first rule of the Passive-Aggressive Club is … oh, never mind, it’s OK.

Mr. Spock had a left ear, a right ear and a new front ear.

I’ve learned

It’s easy to criticize. That’s why so many people do it.

The game of “rock, paper, scissors,” began as “rock, rock, rock.”

If you wait until the last minute to do something, it will take only a minute to do.

When I watch an old “Bonanza” episode, I feel for Lorne.

Nature notes

A no-see-um bit me. I didn’t see that coming. Minute pirate bugs (insidious flower bugs) are top predators of corn earworm eggs, which makes them a valuable ally to farmers. Minute pirate bugs are usually felt before they’re seen. The tiny insects are 1/5 of an inch long, but they bite with an impact out of proportion to their size. Minute pirate bugs prey on many small pest insects and are often found around flowers. During the fall, minute pirate bugs bite people. These bites may irritate but have no lasting effects. The bugs are flattened, oval or triangular, and black with white wing patches. During spring and summer, they have a full-time job eating small insects (aphids, thrips, and whiteflies), mites and insect eggs. Minute pirate bugs are sometimes called no-see-ums, a nickname for dozens of different small, biting insects, including biting midges (biting gnats or punkies) that look like mini-mosquitoes and can be problematic near slow-moving, fresh-water habitats like lakes, ponds, marshes and streams in June-August. Minute pirate bugs are attracted to light-colored clothing and are most active on warm, sunny days. Insect repellents have little effect on minute pirate bugs, but they stop biting when cold temperatures hit. I’ve used vanilla extract with some success to repel black flies (buffalo gnats) and have heard from folks that it works on minute pirate bugs, too.

Meeting adjourned

“How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”—Morgan Freeman.