Monday, May 25, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015


Let me preface this by saying that I love my wife.   But even after thirty-five years I am still at a loss to the mysterious workings of her female mind.  

I have a big comfortable chair that I sit in to read.   Behind that chair is a large, three bulb, bright pole lamp – I prefer a bright light when I am reading.    

My wife likes to read on the couch, and she has a much more attractive pole lamp she reads by: this lamp is not as bright which is her preference.

My light is old and has needed rewiring since I bought it used fifteen years ago.    I finally decided to take the lamp up to my possible room – man cave – den, writing room, junk room…   and take it apart to rewire.  In the meantime I brought down the pole lamp that I use next to my computer and desk.   

My wife doesn't like this light - it’s ugly – and it is too bright; but I like a bright light and I don’t mind the switch.  

When I get the light downstairs my wife absolutely insist that I place it beside the couch for her to use and move her light over by my chair.   

I complain loud and long that her light is not bright enough for my liking; but the dye is cast, and even though I constantly grumble and complain I have to read by the damn dull light.   Meanwhile the light that I brought downstairs – the one she can’t stand – is placed by the couch and she has to aim it toward the bookcase because she says it is too bright????

I have to admit that I don’t understand this mysterious female logic; but after two week of reading misery I finally got hot and rewired the old pole light, brought it downstairs and placed it by my chair and moved her light back by the couch.    She is perfectly satisfied with this arrangement. 

I have pondered and pondered her female thought process in this matter and am at a loss.   It couldn't possibly be that this whole light-switching was to motivate me to get the old lamp rewired, could it?    Are women that wily?

I feel like I have been played.
the Ol’Buzzard

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015


Good Buy Old Friend: Though I never met you
You kept me company through many a long night.
the Ol'Buzzard



Did you ever have one of those small farts that result in a fart bubble working its way up the crack of your ass?

I just did.

It is kind of funny when you think about it - and a real ZEN moment if you focus on it. 

the Ol'Buzzard


Liberal environmentalist (of which I am one) seem to have a knee jerk reaction to anything that changes the environment.   We often focus on some perceived violation blinding ourselves to the overall picture – I hate to use this phrase: the greater good. 

Genetically modified organisms carry a sinister connotation.   It brings to mind some Frankenstein plant that will come up from the laboratory and kill us all: a time for us to break out the torches and pitch forks and storm the castle and dispatch the monster – preferably on a dark and stormy night.

We have been doing genetic modification for centuries.   Hybrid tomato plants: those perfect tomatoes we buy at the supermarket have been genetically modified through selective breeding; all the beef we buy at the supermarket has been cross bred (genetically modified) to improve beef production.   Nature has genetically modified all of creation through evolution.   Now we have the ability to do the same thing through manipulation of DNA strands.

Genetically modified corn uses less water, is more disease and insect resistant and produces a higher yield.   Genetically modified crops require less pesticides than regular crops.

A farmer I knew in Kentucky nearly doubled his corn yield by switching to genetically modified corn and planting with Round UP.   Before we get all huffy and puffy – everything we buy at the supermarket that is not organic has been sprayed with pesticides and chemicals of some type. 

Don’t get me wrong – Monsanto is in it for the profit; but, it requires science and somebody has to do it. 

The necessity to genetically modify our food supply is to insure it survive and thrive in an environment changed by global warming, allowing us to increase production to feed the ever expanding human population on the earth.

The biggest environmental problem that exist – the core cause of all polluting and climate change is over population.   The earth now has topped seven billion humans and is projected to reach ten billion by 2050 (a nearly fifty percent increase.)  We are using up natural resources at an alarming rate and creating proportional increases in pollution.  

Over population is the elephant in the room and we are ignoring it: people having more than two natural children are being environmentally irresponsible.    The days of having six to a dozen children to work the farm in the 1920 when the world population was one billion perhaps suited that time; but that time has passed. 

My wife and I try to eat organic food – we belong to a farm coop.   However, small farming is not sustainable for unchecked world population growth. 

The world water supply is dwindling and farmlands are becoming arid, resulting in famine and a related increases in diseases.

 If we are to meet the needs of a fifty percent population growth by 2050 it must be done through drought, disease and insect resistant plants genetically modified to increased yield.   It is not the ideal solution but is a realistic, logical solution for the coming decades.

Let’s not forget that stem cell research allowing for genetic modification in human beings is the future for curing such diseases as Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – soon we will all be genetically modified organisms - GMOs.


the Ol'Buzzard  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

VOTE 2016

I have got to admit: I love the Republican Party and its Presidential contenders.   The Republicans keep the race for President interesting, otherwise there would be no sense in following the preceding.

After all, ‘we the people’ don’t actually elect the President.   The Founding Fathers, all those years ago, realized that the population at large wasn't intelligent enough to be trusted with responsibility of picking a head of government;

 so they established the Electoral College that could override the popular vote to insure that only quality people would hold the office – and that worked out well.

I am over half way through my seventh decade, and I have never known anybody who knew anybody that knew someone that actually knew a person in the Electoral College.

In this age of computers and cell phones, on-line elections of one person/one vote could be held and counted in a matter of hours.   The technology is here to do that.  It would be as simple as clicking a box to indicate your choice and hitting SEND.   If I can file my income tax securely on-line I should be able to vote on-line.

In the meantime, I will cast a vote next year – if I am here – at my age that is always a proviso; but, I have no expectation that my vote will actually be a determinant in the election of the President; since Presidential elections are actually determined by mysterious machinations of money, people of influence, political party maneuvering and scheming – all hidden under the umbrella of the ‘popular vote.’

the Ol’Buzzard


Friday, May 8, 2015



and then there is

good morning
the Ol'Buzzard


I just finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graham-Smith (who once took a class is English Literature.)

Though on first sight one might pass the book off as part of the fluff collections of the horror genera; but, I challenge you to read the first twenty pages and then put the book away.  

I have never read any of Jane Austin’s, or had any desire to try one of this ilk; but the inclusion of zombies have made the book both palatable and intriguing – forcing me to carrying on to the end of what otherwise would have been a soupy love story.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a love story that is absolutely ridiculous to the point of absurdity – with enough violence and gore to excite the most harden horror fan.

the Ol’Buzzard   

Tuesday, May 5, 2015







The Ol'Buzzard

Monday, May 4, 2015



Who wouldn't like to be a pirate?

the Ol'Buzzard



When is the last time you flipped on the news and the reporter said,

 “It is a beautiful day today and there are no crisis: no killings, no riots, no terrorism, no bigotry – and the Republicans and Democrats just worked together to do something really wonderful.    So everybody have a good day.”

How about never?

There is always the crisis of the moment that just replaced the last crisis - that is such a crisis – that ever was a crisis - so we should all be concerned – so have a good day.

Don’t you wish you could unplug?      You know you could if you would. 

For one week: turn off your cell phone; unplug your TV; don’t listen to the radio or read a newspaper; don’t turn on your computer and stay away from people that want to complain. 

Yeah, that’s going to happen.
Have a good day
the Ol’Buzzard

the Ol’Buzzard

Saturday, May 2, 2015


On the way to dump our garbage this morning I was listening to the local oldies rock station and heard this song.  

Remember when you had to wait for a letter from a love one: a girl friend or boy friend?   Or perhaps you don't.

But back in the olden days:

the Ol'Buzzard

While today: 

How fucking impersonal. 


A nostalgic moment: Another one of my generation is gone 

Ben E King
The Ol'Buzzard

Friday, May 1, 2015



Atlanta teachers were sentenced to jail for (racketeering) cheating while administering test to school children.  

Meanwhile Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld walk free after four thousand American military lives were lost in their contrived war; David Petraeus got off with a hand slap after disclosing classified military information to his girlfriend; and CEO’s of major financial corporations got raises after bringing the world economy to collapse… and the list goes on.     

If you want to know what is wrong with education ask a teacher not a politician.   And as a former teacher and principal I will tell you that Standards and Standardized Testing is political bullshit.

I was hired as the principal for three schools in two remote Alaskan Native villager that were connected by a three mile road.  

When I arrived I found that the previous year, out of a senior class of ten, only two students had graduated.   This means that after spending twelve years in school, eight children were without a high school diploma: they could not join the military, they were not eligible for very basic jobs requiring a high school diploma and many trade schools were closed to them.  In other words, we had declared three strikes on these children at the beginning of their adult lives. 

The problem was not the children, the problem was the testing.   In order to graduate the students were required to pass a ‘one size fits all Standardized Test. 

To understand why these normal intelligent children could not pass the test we have to look at the culture of the village where they were raised.  

The older people in the village spoke Yu’pik (Eskimo) language; there was a strong Russian influence in the village from its earliest Caucasian settlers – including a Russian Orthodox Church; and then there was the English component that was brought to the village by decades of missionaries and school teachers that demanded that students converse only in English.   The results is a bastardized language known as Village English.

As an example of Standardized Testing bias: On the senior’s standardized test the students were required to write an extensive essay from a choice of subjects using college-level English, correct grammar and punctuation – a spoken language and context not normal in the village: village children speak and think in the village vernacular.

In the other disciplines many of the names, context, and descriptions were foreign to the experiences and the lives of these children.

Our Native children came from a subsistence society where their main connection to the outside world was TV and the internet.  The parents of these children hunted and fished and subsisted - traveling the rivers and driving ATV's , snowmobiles and dog sleds across the tundra.   

Standardized test are written for children raised in an affluent urban society.   They are culturally biased to that society - and yet all children are expected to perform to that standard.

When I took over I reorganized the school day, adjusting to allow teacher training every Wednesday from one to four.   We discontinued teaching the normal scope and sequence recommended by the school text and instead downloaded the State Standards, breaking them up into a thirty-six week curriculum's.   Each Wednesday the teachers would meet and discuss how they could cooperatively teach across the standards golds for that week to insure student attainment.    

Rather than teaching the students to become productive members of their society we taught to the test to insure that no students would be left behind because of “No Child Left Behind” testing of a ‘one size fits all’ Standardized Test. 

We were professional educators and cheating on the test was not an option, but revamping the curriculum to teach to the test resulted in eight of eleven students graduating that year – nine of twelve the next year and all but one the third year.   I still grieve over the seven students that did not graduate during my tenure.

School failure is political - in part driven by lobbyist for testing companies that influence politicians who have never taught a day in a public school in their lives.    The government Department of Education is run and staffed by teachers from high attaining schools from affluent communities – with only experience from that cultural norm.  

There is no ‘standard’ for a child.   Each child should advance to his or her potential and not be held to a comparison with children from the highest achieving sector of our society.  

Cultural and economic diversity is the norm.   There is no – and should be no ‘standard.’   

 Education should be left to the professional educators who, unlike Senators and Congress persons, are required to pass a test and constantly recertify to retain their credentials.

Somewhere along the line we have forgotten that the purpose of school is not to identify and punish undeserving children, but to assist each child, within his or her abilities, to become a productive member of society,

Pulling the certifications for the Atlanta teachers and administrators would have been a reasonable punishment; but sentencing these teachers to jail is crime in itself.   

The Ol’Buzzard