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Showing posts from December, 2018

31 December 2018 Year End Squibettes

At the end of 2018, I’ve decided it’s time that I share some “squibettes” – not by me – that gift belongs to the Chairman. The squibettes I’m sharing are better known as quotes, and they are from people a whole lot more famous than I am. Come to think of it, I’m more infamous than famous. Actually, I’m not famous at all! But as usual, I digress.
Below, please enjoy the following takes on the passing of the old year by a variety of people, starting with Mark Twain, and ending with Jay Leno. W. H. Auden, and P. J. O’Rourke. Bring these guys (and unfortunately, they are all guys) into the New Year for a few yucks when you need them. Hopefully, the Chairman will have granted us even better year-end squibservations.
"New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a   scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions." Mark Twain
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"Youth is when you're allowed to stay…

Sunday Squibs

We fight in war and in court over land and money, but we can agree on the date and what hour it is, for Time has us all by the throat.

History is overwhelming. There's so much to know. I confine myself to the little area I can most easily fudge: the story of me.

We keep asking for a sign. But there's no need to ask for what's already been given.

A great film can be made from a bad book, but beside a great book, even the best film is as a tinkling cymbal.

A Backache's Perspective on Life

Greetings and welcome to our LAST Saturday of 2018 here at the Wannaskan Alamanc. Today is December 29th.

I'm somebody who likes to set goals. My eyes ever on the dreamy horizon of possibility, I relish the details in planning something that I believe is going to be super awesome. One of my goals in 2018 was to blog more. That dreamy notion didn't really gel into an actual plan, but thanks to the collaborative spirit at the Almanac, I was able to jump right on this train here. So a big hearty shout-out and hug to my WA Peeps: Chairman Joe, Wannaska Writer, Jack Pine Savage, Woe Wednesday and John for letting me join the ride.

Christmas was a quiet affair at our house and has been overshadowed by some back pain which produced new surges of empathy for my friends who deal with chronic pain (I honestly don't know how you do it) and an immense amount of gratitude for being able-bodied most of the time.

So as I rest and give cleaning and cooking instructions to the kids, I keep…

Happy Birthday Hawkeye State!

Don't ever accuse WannaskaWriter of being from Iowa. He's liable to bite your head off. As was his mother before him, WW is a Palmvillian through and through. It was only by her chance meeting with WW's father while she was cooking for a threshing crew near Osnabrock, North Dakota that fate brought WW into the world in Des Moines, Iowa.
   All through WW's childhood, his parents brought him to Palmville to breathe his true native air. As soon as he was able, he bought a piece of Palmville and, shaking the dust of Iowa from his boots, considered himself home at last.
   But it's not easy to forgot the place that nourished you, and even WW will admit that Iowa played a part of shaping him. Take WW's accent for starters. People who grew up in Des Moines speak the North Midland dialect, while native Minnesotans speak what linguists call North Central American English. There's a subtle but telling difference.
   But enough about WW.  It's Iowa's bir…

Thursday December 27, 2018

HEAD SCRATCHERS of the weak minded
Who ever came up with the idea  of flushing fallopian tubes with poppy seed oil?*
     Was it a bunch of bored forklift drivers in a toy factory in NW Minnesota? Perhaps an independent-minded farm woman in a John Deere 4x4 tractor pulling a field roller across a section of sandy loam near Crookston? Or maybe a summer-help college student frycook basting walleye filets with lemon juice at the Oak Island Resort on the Lake of the Woods? 

     Who ever paused in their busy lives to contemplate fallopian tubes and poppyseed oil in presumably deep thought about fertilization, begs consideration. 

     I mean, of all the things I heard about on MPR that Wednesday, May 18th, 2017, including Trump's Tweets, Mueller’s new assignment, independent prosecutors, MPR’s member drive and reasons to contribute toward their fine programming, it wasn’t until after 2:00 PM CST that BBC initiated this conversation about flushing fallopian tubes with poppy seed oil that …

Word-Wednesday for December 26, 2018

And here is the Wannaskan Almanac for Word-Wednesday, December 26, 2018, brought to you by Betty Billberg's Bunny Boutique, featuring this weeks special, the BirchBunny Slippers.

December 26 is the 361 day of the year, with 5 days remaining until the end of the year, 96 days remaining until April Fools Day, and 1,154 days until Twosday, February 22, 2022.

Nordhem Lunch: Hamburger Steak

Earth/Moon Almanac for December 26, 2018
Sunrise: 8:17am; Sunset: 4:32pm
Moonrise: 9:39pm; Moonset: 11:21am, waning gibbous

Temperature Almanac for December 26, 2018
          Average      Record     Today
High       25              48           14
Low        10             -27           12

December 26 Celebrations from National Day Calendar KwanzaaBoxing DayNational Candy Cane DayNational Thank-you Note DayNational Whiner’s Day
December 26 Riddle
Whats greater than god,
Eviler than the devil,
Owned by poor,
Needed by the rich,
And if you eat it you die?*

December 26 Notable Historic Events, Literary or O…

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from your friends at the Wannaskan Almanac!


Feel free to share your Christmas tree picture!

24 December 18 Hardy The Oxen

This week is not the time for imposing my own verse on you; nor is it time to bring poems to your attention by far better poets than I am. I’m not saying that the poem below by Thomas Hardy is not up to my standards, but rather that its theme has a narrow window of appreciation – the holiday season – loved by all – mostly.
The Oxen
By Thomas Hardy
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel,

“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.



A note about the words in The Oxen: a ‘barton’ is a farm building, and a ‘coomb’ is a small valley. The Oxen was pub…

Sunday Squibs

Those who stare into the sun go blind. Those who stare into their soul go mad.
Darkened glass makes both less bad.

Micro-managers: a sadly non-endangered species.

If you're using scripture to justify killing, you can be sure you, and perhaps the guy who took down the scripture, have gotten it wrong.

Unless he's being paid by the hour, the eyes of even the greatest listener eventually start to wander.

The lesson of history is that we're still the same self-centered lot we've always been, with a dusting of lovelies to leaven the lump.

@jmcdonnell123



Tree Fishin'

Hello and welcome to another sunny Saturday here at the Wannaskan Almanac. Today is December 22nd, aka the last Saturday before Christmas. Break out the party hats!

At our house we'll be dusting shelves and putting away books, clearing away the toys and making room for the Christmas tree which we will decorate on Christmas Eve.

Before I get too far into my Tree Fishin' story, I want to give a shout-out to my Grandma Dorothy (on my mom's side. I had two Grandma Dorothies, which, as a child, led me to believe that everyone's grandma was named Dorothy.) who would have been 99 years old on this day if she'd lived a little longer. She passed away on June 23, 2014 at age 94 1/2.

I asked my mom to send me a picture of grandma for this blog post. I'm not going to say that I don't believe in coincidences. Look at the number on the train in the background.


My grandmother was a housewife of four children who started a career during middle age, after the tragic death o…

Real Gonne

Some people get longer footnotes than they otherwise would have gotten thanks to their association with some much more famous person. Such a one is Maud Gonne who was born on this day in 1866. Maud Gonne did a little acting, but her real job was agitating for Irish independence from Britain. Everyone knows her though, as the woman who turned down the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats. Over and over and over again.
   Maud Gonne was born in Surrey, England. Her father was an officer in the British army. Her mother died when she was a child and her father sent her to France to be educated. At the age of 15, she moved to Dublin when her father was posted there. While travelling around the country she witnessed the plight of the Irish peasants who were being dispossessed of their land, and developed a life-long passion for Irish independence.
    She first met Yeats when she was 22. He immediately fell in love with her. She meanwhile had fallen in love with a French politician who…

Thursday December 20, 2018 by WannaskaWriter

Ugh, I’m getting too old for this. I took a good kick to the chin--and then he ground me into a tree. ... I think all my teeth are loosened.

I know what you’re saying. My ribs and hips hurt. They ain’t been right since the last moose we took down. At our age, we’ve got to find smaller slower food to eat. Let them pups find out what food really costs.

I’m fed up with having to do all the work, take all the punishment, trot miles back to the den site just to regurgitate all the best stuff for those lazy bastards. All they do is lay around the den all day on their bones. By their age we were running with the pack, doing our share ...

Yeah but, back in the day, there were more reliable food sources. We didn’t have to hunt so hard. We were protected ...

Protected? From who? Only those who wouldn’t have shot at us anyways! I’ve dodged many a bullet in Palmville escaping only by the skin of my teeth... Speaking of which, I got one missing it feels like ... Yeah, I thought so.

It’s a canine, right…

Word-Wednesday, December 19, 2019

And here is the Wannaskan Almanac for Word-Wednesday, December 19, 2018, brought to you by the Elementary Winter Program, December 20, 2:00pm Badger School gym, and by the letter C.

December 19 is the 353rd day of the year, with 12 days remaining until the end of the year, 103 days remaining until April Fools Day, and 1,161 days until Twosday, February 22, 2022.

Nordhem Lunch: Hot Pork Sandwich
Wiktel Photo of the Day by Steven Reynolds
Earth/Moon Almanac for December 19, 2018
Sunrise: 8:14am; Sunset: 4:28pm
Tomorrow will have 11 seconds less daylight
Moonrise: 2:43pm; Moonset: 4:13am, waxing gibbous

Temperature Almanac for December 19, 2018
            Average      Record      Today
High       29                55            36
Low         15               -31            21 

December 19 Celebrations from National Day Calendar National Hard Candy DayNational Oatmeal Muffin Day
December 19 Riddle
What did the surgeon say to the patient who insisted on closing up his own incision?*

December 19 Notab…

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Twenty-five years!
25 years ago I married the love of my life.  I could gush about her and everything would be true, but I won't.  Everybody who knows her already has told me how lucky I am to have her, and they are right.  I won't dwell on it.
December 18 is the 352nd day of the year.  If you were married on December 18, 1993 then you would be married for 25 years today.  That can also be represented as 300 months, 9125 days, or 219,000 hours.  It is a long time if you are in jail, but not so bad if you have married the right cell mate!
There is only one shopping week left before Christmas.  Due to the commercialism so prevalent today you can shop online, in stores, in back alleys from guys wearing trench coats full of knock off watches, on your television, from telemarketers, and many more ways!  What I don't recommend is asking someone what they want.  They usually undershoot and then you look cheap when you buy it. Just spend like it doesn't matter.  That is why cr…

17 December 2018 – Old Skin – First Light

Imagine the skin of the first human. Then think about our modern skin. What is the difference? Both beings are human/humanoid. Do each feel differently, in that experiences vary? Are there similarities. Then there is “light.” For good reasons, throughout our species’ history, the sun has been worshipped, welcomes, and worried about. In recent weeks (seems like months), our little corner of the world has experienced day after day of overcast skies. We yearn for light, and when it comes, we feel better, softer, more agile and resilient. The human race is relatively old; the sun ancient beyond comprehension. When the skin of a being meets the sun for the first time, something magical takes place. Please read, open-hearted, and enjoy.
Old Skin – First Light
                        A mercy of storms skids east river’s course                         Snow dreams drift taller than crooked fences                                     while meadows grow back over everything                         Un…