Monday, May 30, 2016


I just realized that it has been over a week since I turned on the computer.   I must have been doing other things, but I can't think of anything that I accomplished.  

I have been wondering and meaning to ask the question:  Do you remember toothpaste tubes before plastic?   Were they lead?  

I remember rolling those tubes up from the bottom - and they stayed rolled - perhaps lead ingesting is why I wonder about such things.

I'm just saying
the Ol'Buzzard 


Alvin Toffler back in 1970 wrote the book Future Shock claiming that human beings were not genetically capable of processing changes at a rapid pace.   He claimed that changes must come slow for humans to be able to adapt, and therefore the future would not greatly differ from the past in any one lifetime.

This seemed to make sense at the time because it had taken decades for a transition from radio to television, and from black and white television to color television; 

from telephone operators to dial phones…

And then along came computers and disproved his entire premise.

In 1960 I was introduced to computers in the Navy and they were analog – wheels, diodes and punch cards

In 1964 the Navy bought aviation navigators in VP-26 anti-submarine squadron hand held calculators for $300.   They were about the size of a small book and could add, subtract, multiply and divide.  

Prior to that navigators and technicians used slide rulers.

In 1985 I was introduced to the Apple-2e computer.  It ran 48k of memory and could read six-inch floppy disk.  

 In 1988 I bought an apple 2c with a smoking 500k memory that could read three-inch hard disk.  For $550

In 1995 I bought a Dell computer with 250 megabytes of memory for almost a thousand dollars. 

I just bought my wife an HP laptop with one trilobite of memory for $350.  

Since 1985 we have gone to computer regulated cars, cell phones with more power and more features every year, the internet, GPS, driverless cars, DNA, cloning, satellite television, portable computers that can talk with you, intergalactic space probes and a technology that seems to be advancing in gargantuan steps almost monthly. 

Where in 1947 we were talking about the Bell-X-1 rocket ship breaking the sound barrier, 

today we have space probes traveling to other universes.  

Some of us older people do have trouble keeping up; but to young people this is conventional. 

I have seen more changes in my lifetime than people in a hundred generations prior to me experienced. 

We tend to forget this is an amazing time.
the Ol’Buzzard

Monday, May 23, 2016


Ever wonder why I would call myself ‘Ol’Buzzard?’   It is in defiance of aging.  It is in your face to young people – fuck them.

At a younger age Mohave Rat would have probably called himself the Desert Fox, and The OldFat Man might have easily called himself Ulysses; I use to call myself the Mountain Man on the CB.    But now we are old – we know it – but we don’t accept it -  we call ourselves what other people would likely call us – but in defiance.  

the Ol’Buzzard


This is how it is suppose to work.

What could possibly go wrong?

Remarkable scientific achievement.
the Ol'Buzzard


We live in a capitalist society and it is time we quit crying about the inequality of income.   By definition, money created in a Capitalist Society goes to the people with money.    Capitalist Societies do not exist for the benefit of the poor or the middle class.   Workers are meant to create wealth that goes to the top.   In a Capitalist Society it is not the people that generate wealth, but the people that accumulate wealth that are respected.

America is the last great bastion of Capitalism.  Our government works as it is supposed to, passing and respecting laws that generate wealth for the wealthy, and relying on trickle-down economics will provide cake for the unmoneyed classes. 

Once Capitalism is in force, you can’t change any part of the structure without destroying the concept of capitalism, and by extension the economy of the country.    Our whole economic structure, and therefore our social structure, depends on business thriving at the expense of labor. 

If the pharmaceutical industry was replaced with socialized, price controlled medicine, millions of people working in and supporting that industry would become unemployed.   If the military industrial complex was downsized millions of people would become unemployed.  If the insurance industry was replaced by Medicare For All…    if the fossil fuel industry was replaced by clean and available solar, wind, water and tidal… 

The creation of wealth by these industries go to the Barons of industry, and as long as these industries are profitable the rest of us get to eat cake.   

The Republicans understand and support this Capitalist concept; while we Democrats live in a Capitalist world while dreaming a Socialist dream.  

Reality sux
the Ol'Buzzard

Saturday, May 21, 2016


We wake every morning into our mundane life worrying about finances, relationships and Donald Trump.   We move through this venn diagram of intersection relationships and concerns with the idea that if a tree falls in the forest and we don’t hear it – it doesn’t exist.

And then there is a moment of awakening where we realize how small and insignificant we actually are

Yesterday I was listening to Maine Public Radio in our car and the discussion was on the possibility of alien life in the universe.   Noted astronomers, including Stephen Hawkins, made the case that the chance there is not life scattered throughout the universe is so small as to be discounted.

Our Milky Way galaxy is believed to contain upward to one hundred billion stars, and with the discoveries of the Hubble and Kepler telescopes we have found that most stars have orbiting planets, which brings the estimate of planets in our Milky Way Galaxy into the trillions.   

It is also estimated that at least ten billion of those planets are located in what astronomers call the ‘sweet spot.’   This is a location relative to its star where the temperature and conditions could support life forms.    

Beyond our own galaxy there are hundreds of billions of other galaxies containing trillions of stars and uncountable planets, many with the possibility of supporting life.  

The soon to be launched James Webb telescope will expand our knowledge ever farther - to the first light of the universe - and the possibility of defining actual life habitable planets

The idea that only the earth, among the expanses of the cosmos, could develop life (and what in our egocentric idea is intelligent life) verges on the ridiculous. 

And that's jinga
the Ol'Buzzard

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


 Chapter 1

All of our life together my wife and I have moved from one adventure to another, but for the last three or four years we have stagnated.  

Don’t get me wrong.   Retirement is good.  We have a nice post and beam cabin, very few bills and we are able to keep the wolf away from our door.   

But there was nothing on our horizon.   So last December we purchased (got a loan) a 1998 Four Winds Class C RV that is thirty-one feet long.   We have left it sitting in our driveway waiting for spring to get it ready for the road.

Kulkuri and Nan call their smaller RV the Guppy – I guess we will have to call this one the Whale.  

 It is at least six feet longer than I would like, but it was the right price, has new tires, rear brakes less than two years ago, new ball joints about three years ago and a ten-cylinder Ford engine with sixty-eight thousand miles on it.   It is nearly twenty years old so there is some wear; but nothing we can’t patch and repair.   It is actually in pretty good shape. 

That brings us to why I am sitting here exhausted, back and legs aching, just had a BC powder and sucking down my first Bloody Mary.  

The ladder on the back of the unit was not secure and needs replacing.  I ordered a generic replacement ladder from Camping World and this morning about nine-o-clock I decided it was high time to start repairs: beginning with replacing the ladder.

No sweat, I told my wife, a couple of hours job. 

Then I began: thirty-two screws holding the ladder in place.   Sixteen of them rusted and the heads stripped – or I stripped them.    After getting tools, losing tools, hanging off my extension ladder, cursing, sweating, cutting up the ladder with a hacksaw I finally removed the RV ladder and all the screws about one-o-clock.  

Wife called me in for lunch.  Back out after lunch and assembling the generic ladder, but not all the bolt holes line up.   The RV itself slopes just below the tail lights so I will have to modify the ladder to mount it.   The ladder mounts are different from the ones I had just taken down so I had to fill the holes with caulk and put flat head screws in where the old screws were – must keep it water tight - and will have to reposition the new mounts.   

I have never used the special RV caulk before and that stuff is good: It glues my fingers together and the screwdriver to my hand. 

It is five-o-clock and I am beat.   Fuck it.  I’ll finish it tomorrow.  It shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. 

Must make a second Bloody Mary.
the Ol’Buzzare

Monday, May 16, 2016


Considering the comments of Donald Trump, it is beyond comprehension that any woman would vote for him.

Over fifty percent of the US population is female; and if that fifty percent would unify, they could change politics in this country for decades to come.


Thirty percent of the Republican Party are fundamentalist Christians, so we can extrapolate that thirty percent of Republican women are fundamentalist Christians.   As with any cult, fundamentalist Christian women are easily led, low information and vote according to cult's dictate: in this case the Republican party, since everyone knows that Democrats are Godless liberals. 

An additional fifteen percent of Republican women are married to misogynistic, racist, homophobic, gun nuts and will vote according to their husband’s preferences.

Then there is probably ten percent of Republican women that are staunch political partisans and would vote Republican if the nominee was Pee-wee Herman. 

Add in another ten percent that will vote a Republican ticket because their friends are Republicans, and you have sixty-five percent of Republican women that will definitely show up to vote for Donald Trump. 

All Democratic women are outraged by the misogynistic comments of Donald Trump; but likely less than fifty percent will actually show up and vote.
So we might say that women would elect Donald Trump.

Where did I get these statistics? 
Out of my ass of course,
but they seem right to me.
the Ol’Buzzard

Saturday, May 14, 2016


For years we have made homemade bread in our bread machines; and for whatever reason I am able to slice the bread thinner and more uniform than my wife; so I am in charge of making toast for breakfast.  

This morning we got off on the subject of the blatant ignorance of the base of the Republican Party being so enthusiastic for Trump.   And during my tirade tying Trump and the idiot base of the Republican Party to southern racism and fundamentalist Christianity I burned the toast.  

I used the excuse that Trump caused me to burn the toast and my wife bought it.  

When you look at the largest group of people most violently opposed to President Obama they come from what is left of The Old South – a place where covert racism is still inbred in the white population.   This is also the bastion of religious induced ignorance where people believe in a sky fairy and a human god.   Religious indoctrination from birth has taught the population not to question but to blindly accept and revel in traditional doctrines that are too ridiculous to stand up to logical scrutiny.     The result is a population immune to facts - regardless of formal educational attainment - a population of base ignorance. 

Isis is not the major threat to the United States; it is Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, Louie Gohmert, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Duck Dynasty, Ted Nugent, Honey BooBoo and the people who live in that world.

Fuck him – Donald Trump burned my toast. 

the Ol’Buzzard 

Friday, May 13, 2016


I have to take our cat to the vet for a haircut on Monday - I am not looking forward to getting her into the carrier. 

Ten toes Ten claws
the Ol'buzzard

Tuesday, May 10, 2016



Just fuck it
the Ol'Buzzard

Monday, May 9, 2016


It is not often that you find a movie as good as the book.  I can only name a half dozen: The Name of the Rose, Dr. Zhivago, Catch 22…  

Yesterday I watched Child 44.   I have read the book by Tom Roy Smith and it was interesting; but this movie was every bit and riveting as the book.

I normally don’t care for spy or war movies; but, I do tend to read stories taking place during Stalin’s Russia.     Child 44 takes place in Russia and the Ukraine where ‘there is no murder in paradise.’   A young Russian officer becomes obsessed with apprehending a serial child killer and as a results is stripped of his rank and, with his wife, sent to the camps. 


It is a great movie and a good read. 

The Ol'Buzzard    

Friday, May 6, 2016


Cemeteries are a pet peeve of mine.   These massive plots of land in almost every city and town could be put to better use.

There are over seven billion people in the world today and that means that within the next fifty years those seven billion will have to buried somewhere.  By 2050 the population prediction will be over ten billion and still growing making human landfills a serious problem.

Catharine Arnold wrote the book London and its Dead.   People have been buried in the area of London since before the Roman invasion; you can hardly dig a cellar hole without finding human remains. 

I find the whole concept of burial macabre.   People are terrified of being placed in confined spaces – especially the idea of being buried alive.   Yet they place their deceased love ones in expensive coffins and bury them to putrefy and mummify beneath the ground so they can visit the spot and remember them as they were.  One hundred years from now no one will remember, no one will care; but the remains will still be there.

Eliot Patterson wrote a series of Tibetan mysteries.   In one of his books he described a burial practice still existing in some remote areas of Tibet.   There are small communities with generations of families that have earn their living by processing the dead.   Bodies are brought to these communities for religious disposal.  The body is eviscerated and then carried to one of many high mountain caves where it is deposited.  The high altitude and dry cold winds quickly mummify the body where it will remain.  

They also practice ‘sky burial’ where the body is butchered and then the body parts are transported to high peaks where they are left for carrion birds to recycle. 

In India bodies are often cremated by the Ganges river.  Families pay for wood for the cremation fire, and when the fire burns out the ashes and what remains are placed in the river.  Jeremy, on River Monsters on the Animal Planet network says that the catfish near these cremation sites grow to monstrous size from a constant supply of human body remains. 

My stepfather retired as a landscape architect with the Corps of Engineers.  In his later years he lived in Arlington, Virginia where he attended the Falls Episcopal Church in Fairfax, Va.   He designed a memorial wild flower garden behind the church and devised the lay out and policy for the internment of the cremation remains of church members and their families within the garden. 

A grid system is laid out for 847 lots each one-foot square at three separate depths.  The garden can house up to 2,541 cremation remains.  There are no markers but the names of the people interred there are placed on a bronze plaque in the church cloister.  

Myself, I would like to be dressed in a Superman outfit and thrown out of an airplane over New York City, or burned on a funeral pyre at a wild drunken debauchery biker rally, or cremated and have my ashes put in a douche bag and run through one more time – but my wife hasn’t agreed. 

the Ol’Buzzard

Tuesday, May 3, 2016



the Ol'Buzzard


Hey candidate
you show me good time
I got vote for sale.

Former Arizona governor Jan Brewer is crying like a baby that she was not selected as a delegate to the Republican convention.    Is she really such a staunch supporter of Cruz that she is upset she cannot carry water for him?  

The real dirty little secret is that delegates to the conventions are on an all-expense paid vacation.   First class travel, put up at the best hotels and eating at the best restaurants.  When they arrive they receive a ‘swag bag’ of goodies worth hundreds of dollars; then representatives of the candidates visit them with ‘gifts and even money for expenses in order to sway their vote.   If the convention is contested the ‘incentives’ can get really expensive.   Delegate whores have even been known to come away with cruise tickets and golf club memberships.

This is why the people who know and the people with connections compete for the position of convention delegate.  It is far more than loyalty to the candidate and party.

Like the Electoral College, the convention delegates, assigned by the party, are the establishment’s attempt to put a thumb on the scale of elections; to be able to counter the popular vote.

Just an observation.
I could be wrong.
Perhaps it is all about Patriotism and the Nation.

the Ol’Buzzard

Monday, May 2, 2016


After reading all the bile against Walmart, I was shopping at Walmart last Friday when I became aware of two older, fragile people sitting on stools at the door to welcome me.   A man with a club foot was straightening shelves, there were a number of senior citizens at counters.  I ran into a friend that works there that has one glass eye and a bad back, he has just been shifted to the night shift with a small pay raise.  

None of these people are getting paid what we would consider good wages; but without Walmart most of them would be unemployed.

I bought a new George Foreman grill for $29 and some groceries.    We looked at some of the RV products and priced some computers.    I need new jeans and will probably pick up a pair of Wranglers next week.  

We wax nostalgically about the old mom and pop stores that no longer exist, but if we actually had to shop, have the limited selection and pay the prices of ‘before Walmart’ we might feel differently.

It is like twitter, facebook and the internet – we may not like them but this is where we are in time.

the Ol’Buzzard