Sunday, July 23, 2006

hummingbird feeder : How to hit for the cycle — the Rondell White way!

A dispatch from Corn Dog Corner, filed by W.i. Fly of Austin: "Some wag called the Common Man on KFAN with this beauty: 'Hey, Common. Rondell White hit for the cycle: He flew out, grounded out, popped out, and struck out.' "

Life as we know it

Sleep Apnea Division (cont.)

R.J. of Hammond, Wis.: "CPAPer's advice about the seriousness of sleep apnea and the importance of dealing with it was entirely accurate. However, I would be terribly discouraged by his or her comment that 'it took about three nights' to be able to keep the mask on all night. It took me three months to be able to tolerate it all night. I was the Queen of Claustrophobia — and to make matters worse, my first machine was one that adjusted to changes in my airway automatically and then recorded the data so that the technician could program a device for me. But the constant change in pressure really was irritating. Even after I finally was able to fall asleep with the mask on (and eventually it was very comforting to fall asleep without feeling my throat collapsing), I would still take the mask off in my sleep and have no memory of it at all. I really had a Love/Hate relationship with the thing for quite a while.

"When there was at last enough data to be able to program a device for me, I got one with constant pressure, and it was much, much easier. I was able to tolerate it almost immediately. About eight months later, I still have bouts where it's difficult to keep it on all night, and I even have some nights where I have a hard time falling asleep with it, but those times are the exception now. It gets easier and easier, and I would hate to be without it now. I put off dealing with the apnea for years because I was convinced that I could never tolerate the CPAP mask. I was wrong.

"For those who are struggling with it or have given up, keep trying. It really isn't impossible. Just commit yourself to trying it, however briefly, every night, for as long as it takes. If necessary, ask your doctor for a prescription for sleep medication until you get used to it. I think you'll find it's worth it. I know I don't miss my husband waking me up half a dozen times in the night to tell me: 'You're not breathing. BREATHE! BREATHE!' "

And now Mrs. Bone of Mac-Groveland: "One thing that seems to be overlooked by the medical establishment is the effect of sleep apnea on the spouse/sleep partner of those suffering with the problem.

"Just try sleeping peacefully next to someone who tosses, turns, thrashes, snores like a 747, and audibly stops breathing many times a night. Oh, and then there's the daily one- to two-hour after dinner nap when the family must tiptoe around the sleep-apnea patient as he/she catches up on the zzz's lost each night. (So much for quality family time. …)

"I discovered that sleep partners will wake (partially) along with the sleep-apnea sufferer, waiting for them to stop breathing so they can startle them into taking a regular breath. The morning tension headaches/neck stiffness I'd been experiencing for three years were due to clenching my teeth at night, in anticipation of Mr. Bone's abnormal breathing patterns (after visits to a regular doctor, an MRI, visits to a head/neck specialist, yoga classes and regular chiropractic care failed to pinpoint the source of the problem).

"Mr. Bone got a CPAP machine this past January. The noise the machine makes is much quieter than the snoring. My nights and my head are MUCH better."

Our birds, ourselves

A Bird Lover in Wisconsin: "I just read about the hummingbird in a garage that couldn't find its way out. A simpler solution (simpler than using a ladder and climbing up in the rafters) would be to put a hummingbird feeder in the open doorway. When the bird flies down for a drink of nectar, he will then fly away outside. He may not fly down when you are around, but he will soon see it — just as he did the red handle on the garage door's safety-release cable to get in."

Cuisine nostalgique

Watermelon Pickle Division

Morning Glory: "In re-sponse to IGHGrampa on 7/14:

"My mother also canned watermelon-rind pickles. I loved them, but as time went on and we didn't eat much watermelon and Mom grew older, I had to find a substitute. I did, in the pickle aisle of the grocery store (usually on the top shelf): Bryant's watermelon-rind pickles. They are the closest I've ever come to Mom's. In addition, they have cantaloupe-rind pickles. (Haven't tried them). Also: Read's German potato salad comes very close to Mom's."

Not exactly what they had in mind

Walt of Wayzata: "In the Red Star Trombone of July 19, the big obituary is for 'Gwen Harvey Fogarty, media activist.' The subheadline says: 'Known as Gwen Harvey when she was a local TV pioneer at WCCO, Fogarty advocated for people with mental disabilities on the air in the mid-1960s.' It certainly has worked out well. All you have to do is watch the 10 o'clock news on any channel!"


Or: Unstuck in time

Sharon of Roseville: "Just leave it to the St. Paul Pioneer Press to beat out its competitors!

" adds new databases every day, including newspaper obituaries. I just checked, and 83 Minnesota newspapers have provided online access to obituaries. Most of them cover a time period between 2003 and 2006. Our favorite newspaper is providing obituaries from 2004 to 2077. [Bulletin Board says: See]

"I'm afraid to type in my name, because I might get more information than I bargained for."


The Farm Boy of St. Paul: "I've spotted another job for the Apostrophe Redistribution Center. Increasingly, I see a single open-quote mark used in place of an apostrophe, in order to depict letters missing at the beginning of a word, or in place of the first two digits of a year. (An abbreviation of 2006, for example is written as '06 instead of the proper '06.)

"I know why this is. Yes, it's the computer's fault. Computers don't want to insert an apostrophe immediately after a blank space. If the apostrophe key is struck following a blank space rather than another character, the computer thinks a single open-quote is the correct punctuation. But a human is ultimately responsible for the output of the computer, and this tendency to errantly substitute a single open-quote for an apostrophe can be overridden by an observant human operator.

"And the effort should be made to do so. Because I'm not talking just about throwaway, inter-office memos. I see this mistake on giant billboards, and in fancy television graphics — places where much time and money has been expended to make a good impression. And horror of horrors, I've even seen it creep into Bulletin Board. (Of course, I'm certain that's totally the computer's fault.)"

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: 'Twould please us greatly if 'twere so.

The great comebacks

Or: CAUTION! Words at Play!

David the Scudderite: "My son was having a minor computer problem: Whenever he created a new word-processing file, rather than a blank document, he'd get one with text from something he'd deleted weeks ago. After suggesting several technical interventions, none of which was successful, I proposed that perhaps the spirit of the original document was unable to rest and that Ben was the victim of a textual haunting.

"He shot back: 'Do you know a good textorcist?' "

'I was misinformed'

Lulu of Hudson, Wis.: "I was struck by one line in a recent movie that I think I can use.

"In 'The Family Stone,' Sarah Jessica Parker meets her boyfriend's family for the first time. She is in a bar with the boyfriend's brother, played by Luke Wilson. Things are not going well for Sarah, so Luke tells her: 'Settle down. You are flying your freak flag.'

"The Bird and Pooh are going to love using that one on me, as 'Yes, Mom, it's all about you' is getting old."

Band Name of the Day:

Red Star and the Trombones

Web Site of the Day:

A primer on sleep apnea, at


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