Al Batt: A tip jar next to the bird feeder

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

My pen can write underwater.

That’s impressive.

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That’s nothing. It can write other words too.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Deep thoughts occur as I drive past his drive. Charles Dickens wrote, “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Charlie must live in my neighborhood.

The road can get bumpy whether it’s real or metaphorical. The night had provided a certain yuckiness. The fog was bad enough that I felt my way home. I met a couple of cars with headlights lights so bright they could have peeled the skin from an elephant. I should have been wearing a welding helmet. I’m glad the drivers could see well in the dark and far into the next dimension, but they’re blinding the world one driver at a time. When this happens, I’m told I should blink more often.

Safely at home, an orange cat named Velcro sat on my lap and purred loudly. She got her moniker because of her determination to remain on my lap when I need her to leave. She sticks to her spot. Her name is subject to change as the naming rights are available for purchase.

Ask Al

“What did you want to be when you grew up?” On vacation.

“What was the original name of your hometown?” Ithinkwearelost.

“I need a password that contains at least eight characters and one capital.  Any suggestions?” Mickey Minnie Pluto Huey Louie Dewey Donald Goofy Topeka.

“What’s the funniest thing about golf?” That people play it voluntarily.

“What is the best way to eat lutefisk?” With bitter resentment.

“You’ve done book signings. What question do you get the most often?” Where are the restrooms?

I’ve learned

The best way to know what the weather will be tomorrow is to wait until tomorrow.

A sign on a cafe reading “No TV” would be inviting.

Bad joke department

What do you call two guys with shovels standing by a hole?” Doug and Phil.

What do you call a singing pod of killer whales? An orcappella.

Why couldn’t Cyclops spell “Hawaii”? Because it takes two i’s.

The kindness of kids

My granddaughter Joey is a college basketball player. She is a junior, first-team all-conference, the conference’s defensive player of the year, all-academic team member, captain, on the all-tourney squad, leads her team in scoring and assists, led the conference in steals, and is student teaching. Her team is 25-4. After a loss, she entered her classroom to find a basketball signed by all her students and a huge poster reading, “Miss Batt You are still No. 1 to us.”

Nature notes

In the wild kingdom of my yard, not to be confused with “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” I watched the comings and goings of the birds at my feeders. The weather had been variable, but I could depend on the squirrels. I’m glad to have them in my world. A friend bemoaned the price of nyjer seed. I advised him to do what I’ve done and put out a tip jar by the feeder.

My birthday is in March. When I was a sapling, March was our snowiest month and I could count on a storm during the state high school tournaments and when my birthday party was supposed to be. Now, depending on who you consult and where you live in the state, March falls behind December, January and February in snowfall.

White-tailed deer bucks shed antlers in December to mid-March. Stress caused by deep snow, severe cold or hunger could rush the process. Edges of fields where the deer feed, along well-traveled trails and the southern exposures of bedding areas are good places to look for dropped antlers. The whitetail rut or breeding season runs from early October to late December. May is the month when most fawns are born.

A large flock of red-winged blackbirds hit my yard on March 1, the first day of meteorological spring. Migrant adult males stop here on their way to their territories farther north and don’t exhibit territorial behavior. Backyard music isn’t far away as the next wave consists of adult male redwings returning to the previous year’s territories, which they defend vigorously and sing “Look at me” with gusto from perches. Next to arrive are the females on their way north and immature males. The resident adult females hear the weather report and show up later.

Meeting adjourned

If you can’t see kindness from your windows or on your digital screens, see it in your mirror.