Sunday Bulletin Board: Bird people: Do you suffer from incommunipotestatum falcolumorbus?

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The highfalutin pleasures — and resultant highfalutin displeasures

GEEZ LOUISE of the West Side reports: “I seem to be suffering periodically from a condition for which I couldn’t find a name, so I had to invent one. I’m calling it incommunipotestatum falcolumorbus. The name is Splatin in origin. It comes from the Spanish word incommunicar, meaning ‘to deprive of communication,’ the Latin potestatum, meaning ‘energy’ or ‘power,’ Falco columbarius, the scientific name for the species of falcon commonly called the merlin, and the Latin morbus, meaning ‘distress’ or ‘affliction.’

“It’s the condition of being unable to make a phone call because you’ve run your phone battery down recording bird songs with the Merlin app (Bulletin Board interjects: One of the all-time-great apps!), and the disorder is marked by severe flareups that coincide with the migration of birds through the region.

“There’s no known cure, but symptoms can be alleviated with frequent juicing.”

Our theater of seasons

Here’s STINKY BANANALIPS of Empire: “Hello, Bulletin Boarders!

“I retired in January and have a lot of articles to catch up on — but first think I’ll share these photos before they are lost in my phone.

“Tulips: When we bought our house about 25 years ago, I planted hundreds of little (as in short ones) pink and white tulip bulbs and about three tall red ones. Animals ate almost all the bulbs, so by the third year we were only getting a few red tulips. At most over the years we got five, but look at how many showed up yesterday: 18! We haven’t done anything different, so I can’t explain it.

“Flowering cherry tree: It’s really looking nice this morning over my little fairy garden with blue glass ‘river’ and glass totems. I don’t remember when I made the totems, but my daughter came home from college (pre-2017) and saw them all over the deck while the glue was drying and was worried her parents were suddenly into bongs. We have called them ‘yard bongs’ ever since.”

Simple pleasures

GRANDMA PAULA: “I just finished the latest puzzle that I have been working on. I really like the colorful butterflies.”

The highfalutin amusements (responsorial)

TWITTY of Como writes: “Subject: Pet peeves.

“COS ON THE EAST SIDE (Sunday BB, 5/5/2024), with his/her story about TV and subtitles, reminded me of a TV pet peeve I’ve been wanting to air for some time — no pun intended.

“I watch a lot of documentaries — by choice: usually the soaring epics about regions of the United States which give historical perspectives as well as great aerial views, but also those of nature, focusing on animal life, etc. These can be found on PBS and the National Geographic channel, as well as others, and are of great interest to me . . . except for one continuing irritating issue: The background music often is so blasted loud, it drowns out the voice of the narrator! In my humble opinion, the music isn’t needed. I find the narration important for the educational benefit. If I want music, I can put on a Linda Ronstadt disc! [Bulletin Board says: This is why we always, always turn the closed-captions on – and not just for documentaries. We’d fail to catch half (or more) of the dialogue in the British crime shows, otherwise.]

“There. I’ve said it. Now I’m over it. I assume BB will take this information and use its considerable influence to notify the authors of those documentaries, telling them to tone down the background noise, er, music. Thank you very much.”

Fun facts to know and tell . . . Baseball Division

May 5 email from DR. CHRYSANTHEMUM: “Now that the Twins have won 11 in a row (Bulletin Board interjects: Sic transit gloria mundi!), it might be appropriate to note that 2024 is the 100th anniversary of their first World Series championship.

“The then-Washington Nationals won three American League titles between 1924 and 1933. (Later, the team acquired a reputation as an also-ran and officially adopted its popular nickname of the Senators before moving to Minnesota.) (Bulletin Board says: Some wag offered “Washington – first in war, first in peace, last in the American League.”)

“Although the Nationals of 1924-1933 had a few solid players (Goose Goslin, Sam Rice, Joe Judge, an aging Walter Johnson, Heinie Manush, and boy wonder player-managers Bucky Harris and Joe Cronin), they did not have slugging depth and had stiff competition from two teams that could boast multiple Hall-of-Famers, Triple Crown winners, and other batting champs.

“The Yankees (who fielded players such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey, Earle Combs, Bob Meusel, Tony Lazzeri, Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock, Urban Shocker, Lefty Gomez, and Red Ruffing) won four league championships during this period.

“The Philadelphia Athletics (who had Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, Mickey Cochrane, Bing Miller, and Lefty Grove) won the other three.

“In some ways, the current Twins team is similar to that 1924 Nationals team — solid, but without multiple superstars (at least healthy ones). Maybe they can add a seventh World Series to this franchise.”

Life as we know it

GRANDMA PAT, “formerly of rural Roberts, Wisconsin, now of St. Paul,” writes: “Twenty-odd years ago, I lived out in the hills of rural Roberts, Wisconsin. I had a few acres near my sister, and shared my space with a sheep, a goat, a dog, a cat, and various wild friends like deer and turkeys and frogs.

“Now I am in senior living in St. Paul, which is appropriate. I have 11 roommates who make me smile. One speaks meow and purr; the others stand tall in their pots and stretch upwards.

“We help each other out.”

Muse, amuse

THE DORYMAN of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Career Twist.

“I think I’ve discovered what Superman and The Hulk have been doing since their retirements from movie-making. They must be working at drinking-water companies, putting screw caps on those flimsy plastic bottles.”

Where we live (responsorial)

DAVID THE EX-SCUDDERITE writes: “AL B’s report on obligatory acknowledgments of fellow drivers (Sunday BB, 5/5/2024) reminded me of something my friend Steve once said. He owned a Honda touring motorcycle and said that it’s customary when meeting a fellow biker on a two-lane road to raise an index finger in recognition to a fellow biker. However, Steve said, Harley riders refuse to offer that gesture to non-Harley riders.”

BULLETIN BOARD SMART-ALECKS: Do they offer up a different digit?

Not exactly what they had in mind

SNACKMEISTERIN of Altoona, Wisconsin: “Just too good to let it slip by without a comment:

“In the story about the misspelling of Ayd Mill Rd. (‘Ady Mill Rd.’) on the signage on 35E: ‘A MnDOT spokesman . . . noted that typos on highway signage are not unprecedented. “That’s not the first time, unfortunately. That’s why they put pencils on erasers — because people do make mistakes once in a while.”‘

“For many of us, the eraser is long gone before the pencil is. Maybe manufacturers should start putting pencils on erasers!”


VERTICALLY CHALLENGED reports: “Subject: Joy of Juxtaposition, including Baader-Meinhof.

“I very seldom remember anything I dream, but I did remember some of what I was dreaming this morning when I woke up:

“I was dreaming that I was looking for a book called ‘Green.’ It was by C. S. Lewis. I’ve never heard of such a book; nor do I know what else he wrote offhand, except ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,’ but I was in this old, old library and going through different rooms. etc.

“Fast-forward to this morning, I had told our daughter about this dream, and she decided to look up C. S. Lewis — and lo and behold, she came across these:
‘C. S. Lewis: A Biography,’ by Roger Lancelyn Green and ‘The “Green Book” Mentioned in The Abolition of Man.’

“I have never heard of either one of these, so what made me dream such a thing?!”

Today’s helpful hint — leading to: Muse, amuse (responsorial)


“Regarding DORYMAN’s story about spit being used to clean priceless art: Knitters know the value of spit well. To join ends of wool yarn invisibly, simply suck on both ends, put them next to each other on your palm and then rub them together quickly between your palms. Perfect join every time!”

This ’n’ that ’n’ the other

A trio from KATHY S. of St. Paul, the first one sent our way on Eclipse Day 2024: (1) “Subject: The Eclipse is Coming! The Eclipse is Coming!

“Anyone who does not know an eclipse of the sun is happening today must be living under a rock. [Bulletin Board muses: No chance of vision impairment if you’re living under a rock!]

“The last time an eclipse was visible here, I wandered around to see what people were doing. I ended up in a local library, where I found some teenagers watching it on a computer. I pointed out that they should go outside to see it, since it was LIVE right then. They shuffled out, glanced at the Real Thing, and left. I don’t know if I did any good, and I hate driving kids out of libraries. I still feel guilty about that.

“But sometimes real life is better than screens, right?”

(2) “Subject: Precision Daddy.

“Recently, in a store, I saw a dad checking out water and groceries next to a collapsible wagon containing three small boys. They reminded me of little birds, peeking around as their groceries were bought.

“Shortly thereafter, the dad pulled the kid wagon and a small cart with the groceries close to an exit door. He removed the oldest boy from the wagon and put the bottles of water in his place. He then sat the oldest boy on the water bottles and removed the smallest boy from the cart. He placed the bag of groceries where the youngest had sat, and set the boy on or next to them. Mission accomplished, he pulled the wagon full of kids and groceries out the door.

“If there is ever a contest of precision shopping while herding kids, I hereby nominate that dad.”

(3) “Subject: Never mind.

“Today I filled my larger coffee grinder with beans and hit the button. Nothing happened. I plugged the grinder into various electrical outlets, but the grinder still did not work. I remembered that I had planned to clean the burr grinder parts, and decided that they might be clogged. I searched for the instruction manual on the grinder, which I had set out so I would read it. I couldn’t find it, so I turned the Internet on and found my grinder’s manual.

“The first instruction in the manual said that the grinder would not turn on unless the hopper to catch the ground coffee was in place. I checked the grinder; the hopper was not in place. I inserted the hopper and ground my coffee beans.

“As an autistic person, I am told that I have trouble with executive function. Namely, I am not always good at juggling too many ideas or processes at one time.

“No kidding!

“(But I did get it done.)”

Out of the mouths of babes — plus: Not exactly what she had in mind

Both from KING GRANDPA: (1) “The grandkids have become huge Timberwolves fans. My son worked his way through the Timberwolves app and secured seats at a very big discount ($10 per ticket). Needless to say, they were not very good seats. As they all trudged up and up and up and finally reached the seats, one of the kids looked at his dad and asked: ‘Are you poor ?’

(2) “When my daughter was about 10, I took her to Denver over MEA break. At the time, I had an executive account with Avis and I could reserve a car that would be ready at the airport for immediate drive-off.

“When we returned home from the trip, her mother asked if she had fun. My daughter said: ‘The plane ride was fun, and then Dad stole a car and we drove all through the mountains.’ Oddly, she thought that was normal.”

BAND NAME OF THE DAY: The 11 Roommates

Your stories are welcome. The address is

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