Al Batt: How tall people experience rain

Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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Echoes from the

Loafers’ Club Meeting

Someone called and left a message. I wrote it down.

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I can’t read a thing you’ve written.

I couldn’t understand a word the caller said.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I saved some daylight, thanks to daylight saving time, and used it to check on the Groundhog Day predictions as of St. Patrick’s Day. I remembered the Goodyears, the years we had tire swings. Back when people considered cigarettes to be a vegetable, there weren’t many indoor cats or indoor kids. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an entomologist but was told to buzz off because I was too young. My school didn’t have a lot of money. It didn’t have urinals. It had sponges. The school did have a lovely blackboard. It was remarkable. It was back when you knew what you were going to get from a box of chocolates. The label on the box clearly showed it. We said things like “Can February March? No, but April May” while playing dice games. I was a Yahtzee sympathizer. I’d read “War and Peace” in just three weeks when I was in grade school. It was no big deal; it was only three words. There was a day a few years ago when my cousin Shirley had lost her job at the satellite radio company. Her boss said, “Shirley, you can’t be Sirius.” I was at a library book sale searching for a gift for Shirley. They had some things other than books for sale. One of them was a transistor radio with a 50-cent price tag and the volume stuck on high. I couldn’t turn that down. Now, I tiptoe past the pharmacy department so I won’t wake the sleeping pills while I unravel my thoughts and try not to invent new ways of being stupid.

I’ve learned

Tall people get rained on before short people.

Trying to carry too much is both lazy and ambitious.

We look old in new photos and we look new in old photos.

Interested people are interesting.

To ride or not to ride, that’s equestrian.

Bad jokes department

What do you call an old snowman? Water.

If the world were flat, cats would have knocked everything off it by now.

I switched all the labels on my wife’s spice rack. She hasn’t realized it yet, but the thyme is cumin.

Twenty parking spaces may not seem like many, but it’s a lot.

How many telemarketers does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but he has to do it while you’re eating dinner.

What do you call a relative who sleeps all the time? A napkin.

Nature notes

“How can I tell a male red-tailed hawk from a female?” If you see a hawk laying an egg, that’s a female. The plumage color and pattern of this hawk are highly variable, but male and female red-tailed hawks are similar in appearance. As with most birds of prey, the females are larger. It’s called reversed sexual dimorphism. There are several theories. The females’ larger size protects them from aggressive males. Another hypothesis proposes that the size difference allows the two sexes to hunt different prey and thus reduce competition for food. A third plausible reason is that females need to be larger because they must accumulate reserves to produce eggs. A female usually spends more time incubating eggs and rearing chicks than her partner, and if she’s bigger, she might be able to protect her young more effectively. Not all red-tailed hawks have red tails. Adults typically have red feathers on their tails, while juveniles’ tails are a darker brown. The younger birds molt into adult plumage (including a red tail) at the beginning of their second year. The red-tailed hawk has a loud, high-pitched, raspy scream often heard in film, TV shows and commercials as the call of eagles and other raptors because it sounds more majestic.

Antlers are a rich source of calcium and other minerals and nutrients, and are recycled to build strong bones and teeth for many mammals. Observers have reported mice, squirrels, voles, raccoons, chipmunks, porcupines, dogs, opossums, foxes, rabbits, coyotes, otters, beavers, groundhogs, bears and wolves gnawing on deer sheds. Some animals might also gnaw on sheds to wear down their continuously growing teeth.

The boasting department

I’d like you to meet Joey Batt, a basketball player in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), who is the NSIC Outstanding Senior of the Year Award winner, Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award winner, CSC Academic All-District Team member, All-Conference First Team (four years), NSIC Defensive Player of the Year (three years), NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence member, NSIC Tournament First Team, D2CCA All-Central Region First Team, and my granddaughter.

Meeting adjourned

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

— Joseph Wood

Krutch. Be kind.