August 15, 2022

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Our livestock, ourselves

DebK of Rosemount experiences: “School good friend Debby of Dallas famous in a textual content this morning that I’m probably ‘the one 71-year-old who’s joyful to have a child on her birthday.’ Debby refers to occasions of Saturday, once I each launched one other 12 months and welcomed a brand new child — events which give me a long-awaited alternative to deal with skeptics within the BB neighborhood: those that nonetheless harbor doubts in regards to the prowess of Clarence, St. Isidore Farm’s long-serving ram.

“I wrote final autumn of Clarence’s transfer to a sheep farm close to New Prague, the place he’s reportedly devoted to the continuation of his line. The weekend earlier than his relocation, Clarence was noticed making remaining, decided efforts to sire lambs for us. Doing so required Clarence to (ahem) do the deed by way of the fence that separates rams from ewes right here on the farm.

“My description of this feat evidently strained credulity for some BB readers, although I supplied testimony of witnesses: an skilled farm-sitter and her college-age daughter. [Bulletin Board interjects: Let the record show that while we have on the rarest occasion doubted DebK of Rosemount, we have never doubted Clarence the Exuberant!] In equity, even to me it appeared unlikely that our aged ram may overcome the logistical challenges required to meet his mission. Taxman and I each noticed all the episode largely as a heartwarming illustration of Clarence’s trademark exuberance.

“Quick-forward about 144 days to my 71st birthday, which coincided with a day-long religious retreat hosted by our farm parish. We attended, joyful to be spending the miserably chilly, windy day inside. By midafternoon, Taxman (who likes to get his cash’s price) was uncharacteristically desirous to make an exit, which we did — a full hour and one-half earlier than the retreat’s scheduled conclusion.

“Not more than half an hour later, simply minutes after I’d poured myself a birthday tipple, Taxman returned from the sheep barn to announce that his nemesis, Margaret (the ewe he endlessly threatens to ‘ship to South St. Paul’), was about to provide start within the frigid, filthy loafing space.

“Lambs born in extreme chilly are topic to hypothermia. Recognizing that Margaret’s child can be in actual peril, we leapt into motion. Taxman rapidly transformed the tack room right into a maternity ward whereas I madly scrambled to relocate and sterilize our lambing gear. By the point we returned to the loafing space, Margaret had delivered a fantastic ewe lamb, instantly dubbed ‘Little Debbie,’ who was already trying to determine the place and find out how to get one thing to eat. She and I’ve greater than a birthday in frequent, it appears.

“This sort of factor takes lots out of shepherds our age, so whereas Taxman and I are delighted with our new arrival, we’re hoping that the remainder of the wooly Class of 2022 will arrive in line with plan — In April, having been fathered within the typical approach by the younger ram supposed as Clarence’s alternative.”

Our “mini-trees,” ourselves

GREGORY J. of Dayton’s Bluff: “It’s February, which implies it was time to interrupt out my mini-tree and provides it a take a look at drive. This wrought-iron tree is simply 3 ft tall. That makes it easier to arrange and enhance, however surprisingly simply as troublesome to {photograph} as the large one.

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“However what ought to the theme be? I discarded the apparent selections, resembling Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, the Tremendous Bowl, Presidents’ Day and, after all, St. Polycarp Day (February 23). As an alternative, I made a decision to pay tribute to my brother Mark (now not of Dayton’s Bluff), who’s celebrating a milestone birthday this month.

“Mark is an artist, and one among his specialties is miniature work. I’ve eight of these, so onto the tree they went. That left the tree relatively naked, so I additionally included ornaments that he and different members of the family have given me from their travels to faraway locations. Then I added three ornaments that one among my cousins made, plus a wide range of different handmade ornaments which can foreshadow bushes to come back.”

Life Imitates Artwork

Canine Park Division

Writes THE HASTINGS CRAZY QUILTER: “You’ve all watched the scene in a film: Saved aside by circumstances past their management, they see one another throughout a room/avenue/area. Unable to assist themselves, they rush joyously towards one another, to crash collectively . . . in a tangle of eight legs and two tails. Sure, artwork imitates life, at the least life on the canine park the place Urika, my Catahoula leopard canine, noticed her buddy Gracie, the yellow Lab, after a few week aside. They are surely finest buddies and had been so joyful to see one another. Generally they run across the park in synchronization, simply having fun with life and one another.

“That’s what retains getting me up early within the morning, though I’ve to confess I keep in mattress when it’s under zero. And Urika is aware of this; if she hears the wind howling, she simply snuggles down extra within the mattress.”

Out of the mouths of babes

THE QUIET ONE IN NORTH BRANCH: “Topic: Not precisely what she had in thoughts.

“My 6-year-old granddaughter, Matilda the Tremendous Farmgirl, was visiting. We had been going over one among her college books, and there was a dialogue in regards to the three states of water. I requested her what the stable state of water is known as, and she or he confidently shouted ‘Minnesota!’ Not the proper reply, but not completely incorrect.”

Life as we all know it

THE GRAM WITH A THOUSAND RULES writes: “It was the worst of jobs that led me to one of the best of jobs 70 years in the past, in March of 1952.

“I heard a few job opening on the phone firm, as a gross sales consultant, that paid a whopping $40 per week. (My sister Nora had been working as a bookkeeper for 5 years, and she or he was incomes solely $20 every week.) I used to be instructed that the coaching would take six weeks, and we might obtain full pay throughout that point. Wow! Too good to be true.

“The costume code required all women to put on fits and excessive heels. All six women arrived that first morning keen to begin, solely to be told that the coaching was not in a classroom. We had been instructed to take a seat beside one of many employees and simply observe what she was doing. The one males within the room had been the strolling supervisors; their costume code evidently required fits, and whistles worn round their necks. Every one was in control of a bit of a few dozen women, they usually walked endlessly up and down the rows and blew their whistles at each infraction they noticed.

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“We had been allowed one potty break within the morning and one within the afternoon. We knew it was our flip when our supervisor marched to the center of our part and let unfastened with an ear-piercing two-note blast from his whistle. Every part had a chosen time to march in orderly style to line up on the restroom door. Our time was strictly enforced — and thoughts you, this was no giant facility. It was simply an odd one-person-at-a-time toilet, which signifies that if the woman on the entrance of the road took too lengthy, sorry, you’re out of luck. Darn good factor at age 19 I had good bladder management.

“It turned obvious that not one of the employees I sat beside had something to do with gross sales; they had been all invoice collectors: dunning, imply, intimidating invoice collectors. This was not an excellent match for me. I used to be a toddler of the Despair; I noticed the look on my mom’s face when her stitching machine was repossessed. I needed out of there, quick.

“Luck and alternative had been at my aspect. My good friend instructed me her husband was being transferred out of city, and she or he was going to must resign from her job as Continuity Director on the identical radio station the place my brother-in-law was an announcer. So I known as in sick and went for an interview, and I obtained the job — the job that meant I wakened each morning and will hardly wait to go to work. Keep in mind ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’? Not too removed from the mark, however that’s one other story.

“I do cringe a bit, although, once I bear in mind the Station Supervisor’s enormous smile after I answered his query about my {qualifications}. I had confidently answered: ‘I used to be Function Editor of my college newspaper!’”

Then & Now

Or: Mundane to Profound (responsorial) (responsorial)

WSP ELSIE (“previously EAST SIDE ELSIE”): “Like THE FARM BOY of St. Paul (Sunday BB, 2/20/2022), I’ve been in awe of my mom’s belief of me once I was a younger teen. Associates and I’d take the bus after college, from the East Aspect of St. Paul, to Lake and Nicollet or farther, to have a fast dinner after which see a band at Mister Fortunate’s. We’d take the bus (together with at the least one switch) again to downtown St. Paul about 11 p.m. or midnight, together with a couple-of-blocks stroll from the bus to house. Weekends can be even later, catching the final bus from downtown at 1 a.m. — often lacking it and having to hang around at White Citadel till the primary morning bus at 4 or 5 a.m.

“I agree, FARM BOY: I gave my mother little cause to mistrust me, and that was rewarded with elevated alternatives all through my teen years.

“I believe I used to be stricter with my son (who’s now 50 and an excellent, respectful, accountable younger man).”

RICKRICH of Circle Pines: “Topic: Less complicated Occasions – if we solely knew . . .

“I, too, haven’t written shortly. Nonetheless, THE LINGUIDIOT’s tales of a youngest youngster (Sunday BB, 2/6/2022) positively struck a chord.

“I’ve reached an age (and I hate to confess it) the place I’ve turn into an occasional mall walker. This previous Saturday, I made a decision to stroll just a few laps inside Har Mar Mall.

“Har Mar brings again some nice recollections: these carefree summer time days of my youth once I’d go away the home someday after breakfast and my mother wouldn’t see me till simply earlier than dinner — and she or he wouldn’t fear.

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“My associates and I’d hop on our bikes and experience throughout Roseville, typically stopping to discover the retailers in Har Mar. The mall has positively modified over the previous 60 years, however I can nonetheless place all of my favorites:

“Workforce Electronics (the ‘high-end’ stereo room and dream of proudly owning a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and HUGE audio system), Har Mar Snack Bar, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour, Snyder’s Drugstore (snack counter and a little bit kiosk to verify your radio and TV vacuum tubes), S.S. Kresge (toy division), Drew Materials (solely as a result of it was located between Snyder’s and Kresge’s), J.C. Penney, Fanny Farmer, Musicland, Subject-Schlick, United Shops, Coast-to-Coast {Hardware}, Hove’s/Nationwide T, the Pet Retailer, and in my teen-age years, Cicero’s Pizza, the Kingsmen Hair Stylists, and Roseville State Financial institution (the place I obtained my first automobile mortgage).

“And talking of ‘Then & Now — Or: Mundane to Profound’: I nonetheless bear in mind when Rosedale opened. Two of my favorites on the primary ground had been Woolworth’s and a little bit store known as ‘Now & Then.’ Fortunately, I used to be too naïve to know why Now & Then bought odd-looking pipes and incense (amongst different unmentionables), however I simply went in to take a look at the black-light posters and dream of listening to music on some actually HUGE audio system!”

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

Our Group of Strangers Division

RAFI’S AUNT BARBARA: “Topic: You’ve gone worldwide.

“That is from a British cozy thriller I’m studying (‘Wrongfully Infused,’ by H. Y. Hanna): ‘How bizarre! I believed. What a wierd coincidence that that time period ought to be within the crossword. I’d heard of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon—when one thing new you’d by no means skilled or heard of earlier than out of the blue begins cropping up all over the place, straight after you’ve simply encountered it.’”

Our instances

Or: The Lowest Frequent Client

THE MIGHTY WICKARD of “Blaine — The place Certainly You Know I Received’t Name You Shirley”: “Topic: I’m cleansing on a jet ache.

“Whereas doing a web based preflight check-in, I noticed a panel known as ‘Recommendation to Passengers.’ Apparently up to date restrictions imply Delta passengers will now not be capable to carry fireworks, ammunition, automobile batteries or family cleaners on board. Observe: Please plan accordingly on your car-battery, compressed-gas-cylinder and household-cleaner necessities in flight.

“Keep in mind again within the good previous days, when the flight attendants would go up and down the aisle with a cart promoting a full choice of automobile batteries after which cease by later to choose up your empty compressed-gas cylinders? In First Class, they’d even simply give one to everyone.

“‘Oh good! 1985 Ford Bronco, please — and a Drano and an Simple-Off oven cleaner, too, in case you don’t thoughts. Mine are nearly empty.’”

Band Title of the Day: Clarence and His Skeptics