Saturday, September 24, 2016


I yam what I yam what I yam what I yam...

You can call it chaos theory, the butterfly effect or just chance; but each of us are who we are as the results of chance. 

Not only that, but our lives are a microcosm of the development of life on the earth.  

Using me as an example:

Had my mother not been ovulating the night I was conceived.
Had my father, whoever he was, used a condom.
Had a different sperm fertilized the egg.
Had my mother chosen an abortion rather than carry me to term.
Had my grandmother not raised me.
Had we not moved to Mississippi when I was eight years old.
Had I not joined the Navy directly out of high school

After my first hitch in 1963 I got out of the military.  I had ninety days to reenlist and retain my rank.   I was laid off from my job at Christmas time and couldn’t find a job – no unemployment back then. 

One week after I reenlisted I was notified I had been accepted for the Maine State Police Academy.

In 1967 I requested an inter-service transfer from the Navy to the Army’s attack helicopter pilot program.  Before the paperwork was approved I crushed my ankle in an automobile accident.

Had the driver been driving three miles per hour faster, or slower…
Had I not been stationed where I met my wife.
Had she not been attracted to me
Had we not gone to college together
Had we not majored in education
Had we not attendee a lecture on teaching in the Indian villages of Alaska.
Had we not gone to Alaska

You can see where this is going.

The hundreds of choices I made, and the tens-of-thousands of happenstances that I had no control over have resulted in me, in my seventies, living in a cabin in northwestern Maine, with a beautiful young wife and two Maine Coon Cats. 

I am who I am who I am who I am – by chance.

There is no reason to believe that if we turned back the clock to the morning before I was conceived that the results would turn out the same.

I am a microcosm of the earth.

If we could turn back the clock to the time when the first microscopic life evolved on this earth, there is no reason to believe that 3.8 billion years later there would be bipedal, upright walking, pseudo-intelligent mammal proclaiming a god in its own image.

We are who we are who we are by the most minuscule chance.

the Ol’Buzzard

Thursday, September 22, 2016



If you are a fat old man packing a gun, you don't look any younger and you don't look macho; you look like a fat old fool with a gun.  

And when the zombies come that gun isn't going to make any difference - they are going to eat you first, because you are fat and old and can't outrun them. 

the Ol'Buzzard


I never thought about water when I was younger.  Water was free.  The thought that anyone would sell or buy water seemed ridiculous.   It never occurred to me that water would not be fit to drink.  

In the Mississippi Delta town where I grew up in the 1950’s our water was the color of week tea.   In the town swimming pool there was almost no sunlight penetrating at the eight-foot depth – the water was browner the deeper you went.    Everyone drank the water and no one was ever concerned.

In the early 1980's we carried buckets of water for drinking and bathing from the stream behind the house  

When we moved into the Native villages in Alaska in 1985 the first thing that stood out was that the water was not only bad tasting, but probably dangerous. There were gold mines in the area and an oil slick on the water.   We bought distiller and have drunk distilled water ever since. 

I am convinced that the water most of us drink is probably more toxic than the food we eat and that as the world population increases water will become a scarce resource and more toxic.  

For the last twenty years my wife and I have been on well water and the test say it is drinkable – just like chicken in the supermarket is eatable.   Maybe at my age I shouldn’t be concerned. 

By the way I do eat the chicken: well done.

the Ol’Buzzard

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


As you grow older, staying fit is the most important part of remaining healthy.    What we eat and how much exercise we get and how we handle stress are the major defenses against aging and sickness. 

I have been a sometimes Buddhist for a number of years, and need to get back to meditation.   We try to eat local produce as much as possible and stay away from processed foods – though I do love bacon…   My wife and I have a subscription to the college gym, but due to weather, and the focus it takes to get up and get dress and travel into town, we don’t utilize it like we should. 

This is the solution we have found.   I have dumbbells and try to discipline myself to five minutes of weight exercises every other day.  I keep a ten-pound barbell beside my computer chair and when I think of it do a few curls.   Three days a week, when the weather permit, I walk the road for at least a mile.  Two years ago we purchased an exercise bicycle on e-bay for just over one hundred dollars and my wife uses it every day.  

I had constantly seen advertisements about the Total Gym on the commercial- let-me-sell-you-something channels on Direct TV.    About two months ago, out of ‘I can’t find anything to watch’ desperation I sat through the commercial.   Later, I went on line and watched the clips on YouTube.   They have weight machines at the gym and I like using them, but as I mentioned our attendance is sporadic.    So two months ago I ordered on line the Total Gum 1400 through Target for $224.  

I love this machine.  I totally feel the difference in tone and strength.     It is a little hassle to put up and take down every other day, but by going through different sets of exercises without a break in-between I not only strengthen muscles, but also get a good cardio workout in about twenty minutes. 

Life is not a guarantee and chaos theory can throw you an injury, sickness or death chit in an otherwise healthy life.  But, if you want to improve the quality of your life and possibly your life expectancy, focusing on the big three: meditation, food and exercise, to the extent you are capable, can improve your quality of life.   

I hate to quote Trump: but what have you got to lose?
the Ol'Buzzard

Monday, September 19, 2016


There were a few comments on my cat pix on an earlier post so I thought I would expound.

During most of my life I have owned dogs.  As a young boy in Mississippi I had hunting dogs: hounds.  As an adult I have had a number of dogs, mostly German Shepherds.   Until age fifty-five, I never had a cat – I had no use for cats.

My wife and I were in Alaska, teaching in an Athabaskan Indian village.   The school district had moved us to a village where there was no teacher housing; if we wanted the job, we would have to find a place to live.   We knew one of the elders in the village and he offered us his old cabin on the edge of the village.    The cabin hadn’t been lived in for over two decades.   The roof was damaged, there was no glass in the two windows, there was no door at the entrance; just a bare bones old structure; and full of vermin.  

The village was on the road system: one hundred  fifty miles of dirt road north of Fairbanks.   We took our truck into Fairbanks and bought roofing materials, window glass, a door, insulation, sheet rock, an oil tank and a gravity fed oil stove.  I spent the next three weeks making the 16 x 10 cabin secure for a winter that could drop to sixty below. 

Because of the vermin living in and under the cabin we we decided we needed a cat.    

There was a cat rescue group in Fairbanks, and among the choices was a three-year-old male Maine Coon Cat.     This was the beginning of my cat odyssey and love affair. 

Hobbes was never my cat, but my best friend and companion.   He followed me everywhere.   If I was on a ladder painting, the cat would be on the ladder with me.  If I was rooting around in my toolbox the cat was there helping.   He interacted with me constantly, but on his own terms. 

I lost Hobbes at twelve years of age, and my wife’s shadow, a beautiful Ragdoll cat, when she was eighteen.  

We went a year without a cat and finally adopted two Maine Coons: a two-year-old and a kitten.   These are spade female cats and lovable, but don’t interact with me the way my big male did.  

The young girl is trying to fit into the slow cooker pot.  
The older cat, in the background, is pollydactyl with six toes on each foot.  
 The younger cat has normal toes but big feet

They have been with us three years now, and we love them dearly.  Maine Coons are big cats.   They are known as the dogs of the cat world, because they are laid back and always want to be close to their people.

The older cat filling a large size dog bed.

The baby

 I don't dislike dog but they are too much maintenance for me now.   And, I am a cat person. 

the Ol'Buzzard

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Every Republican claims they can offset tax cuts by cutting back on waste and abuse.  

The truth is that a large percentage of our federal budget becomes waste and abuse; but there is no desire to address it.     It is much easier to blame our deficits on social programs for poor people and seniors, and in the true Republican way push to turn these programs over to profit making companies – privatizing them.

Disregarding, for now, the obvious military black money hole let's focus on other waste.

One of our most wasteful branches of government is the federal mint.

It cost two cents to mint a penny and nine and four tents cents to make a nickel.   The dollar bill is expensive to print and the useful expectancy short as compared to coins.  A one-dollar coin would last for years and the cost to mint negligible in comparison.   Of course, people don’t like the one-dollar coin, but they could get used to it; besides most people now use debit cards for transactions.

And then there is the question: what the hell can you buy with a penny, nickle, or dime for that matter?   So why make them?

The Ol’Buzzard

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Fall maintenance projects waiting to be done,

Fuck it, I am not doing anything today.  Maybe sit around and bang on the computer and drink some Bloody Marys; mayhaps I'll watch some Netflix or YouTube videos.  Or maybe I'll just take a nap and be joined by a big Maine Coon Cat that hogs the bed. 

To god damn many decisions: that ruins it.

Fuck it, I'm not doing anything today.

the Ol'Buzzard