Al Batt: Choose baseball over politics

Published 10:15 am Saturday, July 6, 2024

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

You can learn a lot about someone by what they complain about.

Yeah? What do you know about me?

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Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Deep thoughts occur as I drive past his drive. It’s that time of the year when I can’t get there from here because of roadwork and floods, but I enjoyed visiting with Lester Perschbacher of Albert Lea. He is a Minnesota Dairy Herd Improvement Association milk tester and has been Lester the Tester for 68 years. When I asked him if he’d ever retire, Lester had a one-word answer, “Why?”

A friend told me he doesn’t enjoy watching baseball because the games last too long. I enjoy the leisurely pace of a game and the lack of the constant irritating noise and flash that accompanies NBA and NFL games. I didn’t ask him how he felt about the length of presidential elections. It’s Excedrin headache 2024. It’d help if all candidates were required to be hooked up to a polygraph before speaking to the public or debating. Why does the election have to last over four years (or is it 40)? Couldn’t it be shorter? Of course, it could, but it’s a cash cow for many. Money spent on advertising alone would keep us all in mashed potatoes and gravy. There is no place with more fake news than election ads. ”Liar Liar” is a 1997 comedy film starring Jim Carrey as a lawyer who built a career on lying but is cursed to speak only the truth for one day. That made him unfit for the political arena for a single day. Don’t bother to argue politics with anyone. The person you’re arguing with will always be wrong. Enough about politics. All we need now is more pitchers tossing complete games. 

I was wrong

I heard distant thunder. I’d been told to count the seconds between lightning and thunder to determine a storm’s distance from my location. “One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi.” The storm is three miles away. I was wrong. There was a time when a man could be anything he wanted to be except admitting to being wrong. It’s probably still that way. It takes roughly five seconds for the sound of thunder to travel one mile. If you see a flash of lightning and count 10 seconds until you hear the thunder, you need to divide by five to determine that this storm is roughly two miles away. Typically, thunder can be heard up to 10 miles away. Since light travels at 186,000 miles per second, we see lightning the instant it flashes.

I’ve learned

Never spend more than one dollar for a bookmark. You could use a dollar bill as a bookmark instead.

The old you is younger than the new you.

It’s time to turn down the air conditioning when it begins to snow in the living room.

Butt-dialing was more difficult with rotary phones.

Bad jokes department

The state trooper pulled over a pickup filled with three older fellows. The truck had been moving at the glacial pace of 13 mph. When asked why he was driving so slowly, the driver said he was going the speed limit as posted on a sign. The officer told him the sign showed they were on Highway 13. The trooper said, “What’s wrong with your passengers? They look unwell.”

“Oh, we just got off 136.”.

Nature notes

The melancholy “hula, hoop, hoop, hoop” is the wistful song that gave the mourning dove its name. Pigeons and doves suck water through their beaks like a straw, instead of tilting their heads back to let gravity work. Both parents feed chicks pigeon milk—a nutrient-rich substance secreted by the crop and regurgitated as a meal. 

There were flying TVs—turkey vultures overhead as I walked in woods where ticks, mosquitoes and deer flies were my grizzly bears. I strolled around a lake. A fellow told me that 95% of mosquitoes come from 5% of the water. Temporary water and changing water levels make for prime breeding habitats for many mosquitoes. Dragonflies, as larvae and adults, feed on mosquitoes. Go dragonflies! 

Tiny white, frothy blobs were on various plants. They were produced by the nymphs of spittlebugs, and the “spit” keeps the nymph from drying out and discourages predators. Adult spittlebugs, sometimes called froghoppers, resemble leafhoppers. They’re called froghoppers because their heads are elevated when at rest. Spittlebugs provide food for meadowlarks and other birds.

Meeting adjourned

There are angels on earth. They are the ones who listen attentively to another. Be kind.