Friday, September 30, 2016

FALL COLOR, AGING UNGRACEFULLY, A GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCE: RAMBLINGS





My wife and I took a ride yesterday to look at the fall colors.  We stopped at a roadside park known as Small Falls.   



While there she took a picture of me – and I can’t believe how fucking old I look. 



I am not a vain person and don’t spend time looking in the mirror, and if the picture is a real representation of my looks – I find it hard to believe that the old fuck in the picture is really me.  

I don’t feel that old – or maybe I do.   A little.

Anyway, it has occurred to me that one major difference in young men of today to young men of my day is what they carry in their pockets.   All my life I have carried a pocket knife.  I would bet that not one in a hundred young men even own a pocket knife. 

 

I would feel undressed without my pocket knife; just like the young men of today would feel undressed without their cell phone.

I’m just saying

the Ol’Buzzard 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

TRUMP'S DEBATE PERFORMANCE A ONE TRICK PONY




The thing I noticed during the first debate between Hillary and Trump was that he posed all his policy decisions on money:

  • NATO should pay up.  
  • Japan should pay for protection.
  • South Korea should pay for protection.
  • Cutting taxes on the wealthy will produce more jobs and more money in the economy.
  • He really has more wealth than he has admitted and so would be a good President.
  • Not paying income tax makes him a good business man and a great potential President.
  • Stiffing businesses that have worked for him was good for the bottom line.
  • He does business all over the world and makes lots of money.
  • He owns lots of expensive properties.
  • And, surprisingly he didn’t mention that Mexico will pay for his wall.

He is a one trick pony: I am rich and every policy of my administration will be preference with a dollar sign – a profit margin.

I think this is the story behind the story.
the Ol’Buzzard


Monday, September 26, 2016

CREATIONISM




Take a brake from pre-debate mania.







you are welcome
the Ol'Buzzard

MONDAY PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE COVERAGE - ALL DAY?


ONE OF THE STUPIDEST THINGS.
24 hour debate coverage before it happens.

Why should you turn the TV on today and have to listen to pre-debate coverage when you can wait until tonight and actually hear the debate?

Just asking
the Ol'Buzzard


PEEPING TOMS IN THE SKY




 


A Kentucky man recently shot down a neighbors $1,800 drone.   The homeowner said the drone was hovering over his yard and taking pictures of his daughter, who was in the back yard.

The drone operator sued the home owner and has now moved this case to Federal court.    A decision could determine who owns the airspace over your property.   

The 'hobby' drone sales are now a multi-billion dollar industry.   Law suits are expensive and I suspect that, more than likely, the attorneys for the drone operator will be paid by the industries. 

This is a low profile case but the results could be far reaching as to the use of non-commercial airspace vs privacy. 

Clandestine pictures of people at private moments are no longer horded by perverts masturbating in their bathrooms - they are now posted on the internet. 

  
the Ol'Buzzard

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I AM A MICROCOSM OF THE EARTH.




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

OLD MEN PACKING HEAT



 




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

THE STORY OF WATER








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

A PEP TALK FROM THE OL'BUZZARD





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

HOW I BECAME A CAT PERSON



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

CUTTING COST WITHOUT CUTTING SOCIAL PROGRAMS 101





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

FUCK IT


Fall maintenance projects waiting to be done,
but;



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 

THE MEANING OF LIFE - I WAS WRONG!





THE MEANING OF LIFE
I WAS WRONG.
IT’S NOT THE HOKEY POKEY

I have always said that the Chaos Theory described life, and that everything is chance.   I have used the analogy of the Hokey Pokey; but in retrospect the Hokey Pokey is choreographed: you put your left foot out, you put your left foot in, you put your left foot out and you shake it all about…

After 4 a.m. consideration it is obvious to me that life is a play without a plot.   All the actors are improvising, and every actor believes he or she is the star.  New actors show up while other actors disappear, but the show goes on.   The script is babble and the movement senseless.  

Does that mean that our life is worthless?   On a personal level, of course not: we come on stage and then we exit, but the journey between is up to us.  We can play out angry and bitterness our we can Zen out and play to the beauty in every minute - try to make the journey as pleasant as possible.  

Because in the end it’s bugger-all.

The Ol’Buzzard  

YOU HAVE COME A LONG WAY SISTERS






We have reached a point of social liberation.    We have elected our first African American President - tearing down the race barrier - and we stand at the brink of possibly electing our first woman President and tearing down the gender barrier.  

The two choices for President today are between a totally unqualified male running in a misogynistic party and a superbly qualified woman.  

Disregarding the racist bent of the Republican Party, a majority of Republican males and many of the females are not concerned when women are denigrated.   Many, in this white male dominated party, feel that women are not capable of leading the country.   This attitude is in line with fundamentalist Christian teachings; another large component of the Republican base. 

In a literal reading of the Bible the story of Eden mimics the Greek version of Pandora, and blames women for spreading evil throughout the world; it teaches that women should be subservient to their husbands (men) and that when women act alone, evil results. 

 Many women still support the Republican Party as a results of Stockholm syndrome – being raised and indoctrinated from an early age in churches of the patriarchate religions.

Eve should be praised, for where God demanded blind obedience, Eve opted for intelligence. 

This election could be the final curtain, and when ripped away the wizard will be exposed.  

A female President of the most powerful country on the earth can refute centuries of male dominance implanted and supported by the male dominated Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions.   At some point these religions will have to deal with their misogynistic doctrines.   If Hillary is elected this could be the catalyst. 


Stolen from yellowdog granny



the Ol’buzzard  

Thursday, September 15, 2016






My wife recently bought me Trudeau’s graphic novel YUGE!   30 YEARS OF DOONESBURY ON TRUMP, from Amazon.

I am not into graphic novels, but I do like Doonesbury comics, and the book was not available at our local library or book store.  

Of course, I had heard of Donald Trump, but was not familiar with him until he decided to run for office. 

The book begins in the 1980's and tracks Trump by decades to the present.   I have to admit that most of the early players in Trump’s world were unknown to me and I could not follow a connection between many of the scenes as they evolved through time.   

It was a quick read – one evening; and it made the point that Donald Trump has been the same egotistic, obnoxious asshole all his life.  

The book is worth a look/see if you can get it through your library.

I think this book would be most meaningful to people who have lived in New York and been force fed, and are familiar with, Donald Trump’s antics through the last forty years.

I liked the pictures

the Ol’Buzzard

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

KEEP THEM IN THE DARK AND FEED THEM WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR.






It used to be that you could depend on news programs to keep you informed.   Now the news has devolved into a reality show dumbed down to a fourth grade level.

A week ago we found out about a nuclear test in North Korea on the crawl during an episode of Clinton verses Trump.  A couple of days later it was mentioned briefly in passing on another news program.  

Yesterday we learned about the South Korean fly over by two U.S.  B1-B supersonic bombers - again on the crawl.  The flyover was a show of force to North Korea for the detonation of a nuclear device.

The B1-B bomber carries the largest payload of any U.S. aircraft and is capable of nuclear deliveries.     This is our big boy replacement for the B-52, which by the way is still commissioned. 



Why hasn’t this taken top reporting in our news?   We have a psychopath in charge of a bellicose country developing nuclear war heads and a delivery system that could reach the west coast of the United States, and we are focused on the basket of deplorable.

The 24/7 news channels have destroyed serious news reporting.


the Ol’Buzzard 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

INVASIVE PLANTS AND ANIMALS




Murr Brewster is one of the post I follow - this is worth a read - if you have time check it out:

Murr Brewster.


the Ol'Buzzard

Saturday, September 10, 2016

WHAT IS ALEPPO?





On Morning Joe, Presidential candidate Gary Johnson was asked what his plans would be for Aleppo.   His answer was ‘What is Aleppo?’  

I did not know the name Aleppo, except that I had heard the name mentioned, briefly - at one time or another, in connection to Syria.  

I probably watch three hours of news every day on TV, and yet all I hear about is Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton or the latest shooting.    The internet News app on Windows 10 is not better.

Granted, my go to station is MSNBC and occasionally CBS; and, like most of America, I am ignorant of world news – or any news outside of ‘Breaking News’ in the US. 

I do have BBC America on my satellite package, but I rarely view it. 

My ignorance is my fault for not aggressively seeking world news; but I am probably a-typical for most Americans.    I like hearing the slant on the news that I want to hear; and so I am constantly fed dumbed down bull shit disguised as news.

There are wars and conflicts and famine and pestilence all over the world, and that is the usual state of the human race - that is who we are - and most of us are comfortably ignorant of it.

Yet, while Donald Trump gets unlimited air time to spout his ignorance, Dancing with the Stars gets a new cast, Good Morning America cooks the latest hot wings dish and the NFL football season begins – North Korea explodes their fifth nuclear bomb and fires intermediate range missiles into the Sea of Japan, and it is only mentioned in passing on the major news channels.



We had better start paying attention.
the Ol’Buzzard




Friday, September 9, 2016

NEW BEGINNINGS





In the beginning the earth was without form and void; and then I was born.   According to Schrodinger’s Cat analogy the earth is here because I can observe it, and when I am gone the earth will no longer exist: sorry folks.

Solzhenitsyn, one of my favorite authors, wrote in the Gulag…  “One and the same human being is, at various ages, under various circumstances, a totally different human being.”

I believe this is true for some people; it is certainly true in my life.   The opportunities to begin again come throughout our life, though less so as we age, and we can grab the path less traveled or continue on the safe road to conformity.

I am a veteran; but I actually feel sorry for the older veterans I see wearing their VFW/American Legion hats or ball caps that proclaim their military service.   It is like saying ‘I was in the military for two/ four/ twenty years and that is all I have to distinguish myself.   I have to wrap myself in the flag and in patriotism to pander for my moment of fame, because other than that I have never moved on, I have never changed.

We all are a compilation of our past experiences – they imprint to a large extent who we are; but to live in our past experiences, and never to have moved on, is somehow pitiful. 

I think about some of my past experiences because they were exciting points or highlights that I can enjoy reflecting on; but they are not me – not who I am today.  

These thoughts came from watching the Commander and Chief forum.  The new vets are having to deal with dramatic change, and hopefully they will be able to adjust and move on.   But the old vets didn’t seem like they were there for support, but for recognition – and again, that’s kind of pitiful.   

Where am I going with this?
Hell I don’t know – just my thoughts.
And I do love semicolons.
the Ol’Buzzard








Me probably eight or nine years old






Perhaps I haven't changed that much

Thursday, September 8, 2016

MY BUCKET LIST IS EMPTY








I recently run across references to bucket list and that got me thinking.   A bucket list contains something that you always wanted to do but were never able.  

I can honestly say that I have done everything that I ever wanted to do.  

As a child my dreamed were of hunting and fishing and camping in remote wilderness areas; I ordered the U.S. Navy Survival Manuel and practically memorized it; I dreamed of canoe trips through wild rivers; I fantasized about living off the grid with a beautiful, sexy woman; I wanted to scuba dive and sky dive; I dreamed of living in the Alaska wilderness; and of cars and motorcycles.


As an adult:
·       I joined the Navy, and along with other assignments I spent eight years as a Navy survival instructor
·       I was a licensed Maine State Guide
·       I ran the Allagash river in Maine – a ten-day canoe trip.
·       And transited the Okefenokee swamps in a canoe – a ten-day trip
·       I was a licensed scuba diver and assistant instructor, and operated my own diving company in Florida.
·       My wife and I lived in an old, remote farmhouse with no water, electricity or sewerage while we attended college and made love.
·       We spent eleven years in the Indian and Eskimo villages of Alaska as teachers.
·       I have owned numerous motorcycles and cars
·       I made my first solo parachute jump when I turned seventy.
·       I live with a sensuous, sexy, intelligent woman
·       And so much more…

We still have little trips and we enjoy the same simple pleasures; but nothing that’s deserving of a bucket list is left for me to do.

the Ol’Buzzard


MARK TWAIN ON TRUMP:






The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a man only tells them with all his might.
M.T.

Follow that handful that make the most noise.
M.T.

Our native bird should be the turkey – the biggest fool in birddom.
M.T.
the Ol'Buzzard

THANK GOODNESS FOR THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE






I never thought I would say this; but thank goddess for the Electoral College deciding the Presidency. 

Seeing the poles showing Donald Trump and Hillary within the margin of error reinforces what Bill Maher always says: that a large percentage of the American people are bone ignorant, uninformed and willing to vote against their own best interest. 



It is scary to think that the popular vote could elect Donald Trump as President of the United States – but the Electoral College count shows otherwise. 


the Ol’Buzzard

COMMANDER AND CHIEF FORUM




I watched the Commander and Chief forum tonight and was very disappointed. 

First of all, the choice of Matt Lauer, a man who has never served in the military, for moderator is like having Louie C K moderate a physics symposium. 

The format sucked; having the audience ask soft ball questions.   There was nothing of substance discussed.  There were no questions on military policies: 5000 military still in Iraq; arming the Kurds is weakening our relationship with Turkey; what is our end goal in Syria and how do we accomplish it; what is the greater threat to the U. S. - Isis or North Korea; how strong is our commitment to NATO; should we have a plan to limit deployments to war zones, should there be a draft in time of war; what are specific plans to improve the VA? .....   

We learned nothing new tonight, with the exception that Donald Trump thinks the President has the power to fire all the Generals and appoint new ones.  He obviously is totally ignorant of rank and advancement structure of the military; but then again, Trump’s total lack of knowledge on almost all subjects is not new.  

the Ol’Buzzard


Thursday, September 1, 2016

WINTER IS COMING AND I LOVE IT


I love it.  The high temperature tomorrow will be seventy and the low tonight forty-nine.   The trees are starting to show red and the daylight is getting shorter.  

It is great to be alive right about now – this is my time of year: moving toward winter.  

I still have some chores to finish up before the first snow fall, and the time to do them; meanwhile my wife starts to decorate the house to the season.

Winter is coming, along with our favorite holidays: 

Thanksgiving, Halloween, fall equinox and winter solstice.

I feel good
the Ol’Buzzard