Sunday, June 25, 2017


Since there are just the two of us, not counting our cats, it has often been the case that food we have stored in the refrigerator has gone over before we had the chance to use it. 

Supermarkets often pack foods in quantities too large for two people to consume.   Anything that is sold by the pound you should be able to downsize.    Grapes are offered in large bags and most people feel they must buy the whole bag; we take a produce bag and select only enough grapes from the large store bag that we feel we will consume in a couple of days.   I have no problem opening a store sealed package and selecting what we need, and it seems the stores have no problem with this.

Some things like broccoli, cauliflower and celery can’t practically be separated, but you can extend the refrigerator life by slicing off a thin layer of the stalk and covering the newly exposed area with a wet paper towel before returning it to the frig. 


I have found I can extend the life of mixed greens, which are usually wet when I buy them, by placing a dry paper towel at the bottom of a storage container – putting in the greens – and placing a dry paper towel on top before sealing the container.  I replace the towels if they are damp each time I use the greens.

The vacuum food saver we purchased last year has allowed us to buy meats in larger quantities without worrying about freezer burn.   We also use the vacuum sealer to store blueberries, strawberries and any fruit that can be frozen before packaging.    We even buy frozen fruits and store them in portion size bags for fruit desserts and smoothies.  

Can anyone add to these ideas?

the Ol’Buzzard

Friday, June 23, 2017


My wife and I went to Bangor yesterday and before entering the highway (I-95) to return home we swung onto a ramp that took us to a Tim Horton's. A Timmy’s in Maine!

The restrooms were really clean and orderly: I felt like I was pissing in Canada.

the Ol’Buzzard



Repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act has been the mantra of the Republican Party for eight years.  Now the priorities of the Republican Party are on full display in the Trump Care replacement passed in the House and being modified in the Senate.

The Bottom line is that eight hundred billion dollars ($800,000.000,000) will be cut from Medicare and subsidy programs in order to give a six hundred billion dollars tax cut to 1% of the wealthiest people in this country.   

This is the Trickle Down Economics that has been the goal, along with doing away with Social Security and Medicare, of the Republican Party since the election of Ronald Reagan.  

Another outcome of this bill will be the cutting of regulations on the health industry, giving a big win to pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies.    Who really believes that deregulating the health industry will have companies siding with the sick over profits?

Twenty million people will lose their health coverage on Trump Care, and millions of these people will die early as the results.
Whenever Republican politicians are confronted with this fact they always fall back on justifying the cuts as controlling government spending and the booming deficit.   
How much money is a life worth to a Republican?   It seems they are able to place a dollar amount on life and pass the savings on to the rich.

the Ol'Buzzard

Thursday, June 22, 2017



If you haven’t seen Susan’s blog Phantsythat - you should have a look.   Susan’s drawings and water colors fill the imagination with possible scenarios, and her close friend Crow travels the world and shares his insights with her.
A truly fascinating blog that can, for a while, remove you from the harsh realities of this world. 

the Ol'Buzzard

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Charlaine Harris has a new series, MIDNIGHT TEXAS, and it's beginning July 24.  

I have read the three books of the series she has written so far: Midnight Crossing, Day Shift and Night Shift; and if this new series is as well produced as True Blood it will be a grabber.  

The main difference between the books and the trailer is the script writers seemed to have modified the cast.
In the book the population of Midnight is approximately twelve: an ancient vampire, a witch, a pawn shop owner, a psychic, a couple of weretigers, two gay angels, a mob hit woman and some people you are not sure of.  Almost everyone in Midnight is middle aged.

But who wants to look at a bunch of middle aged people?  In the trailer it looks like everyone is young and hot, and they changed the two gay angels to one angle hunk – probably straight (why?)

Oh well, that what you get when you read the books before seeing the movie.  

Anyway, I will be watching and I invite you to watch with me.  
the Ol’Buzzard

Note: on YOUTUBE it looks like the series was possibly released sometime in 2016 – unless that was an advanced trailer; but it is airing here in Maine on NBC on 24 July.  

Monday, June 19, 2017


Rarely is a movie as good as the book – almost never.   It may be that after reading the book the omissions in the movie are glaring.  

James Patterson has written the book Zoo, and a second one out Zoo 2. I have not read the books and do not want to; because I have started watching Zoo on Netflix and find the series riveting.   Reading the book at this time would be like a spoiler alert… 

If you watch the first episode you will be hooked.
the Ol'Buzzard

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017



I am a person of nature and have been all my life.  I have hunted, fished, trapped, canoed, been a survival instructor and a Maine State Guide.  

One of my pleasures is identifying plants as I take walks.

In the military as a survival instructor I needed to be familiar with edible plants and poisonous plants.   After I retired from the military my wife and I attended college.  One of the courses we most enjoyed was field botany, and I have remained interested in plant identification ever since.  

I don’t go out looking for plants; but as I take walks I enjoy knowing the names of the plants I see in bloom, and if I find one I am not familiar with I look it up. 

There are many plant and wildflower identification books on the market and most try to make identifications by color – this can be a hit or miss.   The absolute best wildflower identification guide available in my estimation is Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb.  Once you master the key you are almost guaranteed of identifying any wildflower, shrub or vine you find.


The old Newcomb’s guide I have had for years was written for the north-east; but I have used this guide from Maine and Kentucky, across Canada and Alaska and have always been able to find any plant in question.

If you are walking in rural Maine at this time of year you might wonder what plant is turning most of the fields yellow: 

Among the ferns

It is Silvery Cinquefoil.   I know: because it is in Newcomb’s.

Have a good day
the Ol’Buzzard


Aliens walk among us!  Really! 

I know this for a fact: because I am one.   

I am not from a different planet or galaxy; but have traveled from a different time. 

Somehow I have made this trip into a future that I am not completely comfortable with and do not fit in. 

In my world as a youth, telephone calls were made with an operator assistance.   We did not have a TV until I was seventeen.   Personal computers did not exist during most of my life.   People read books and talked to each other; they wrote lengthy letters to keep in touch with people far away.   There was no fast food when I was raised so most people ate at home around a table.  My world was slower and less hurried.

I have time traveled and adapted - until recently.   Now I have passed a time travel point where I refused to continue: I will remain as I am while the world moves on to some bizarre conclusion.   I do not carry a cell phone – I refuse to be controlled by electronic objects.   I will read actual books, I will take slow walks and appreciate nature.  I have unplugged from society and the travelers still advancing into the future.

The travelers, the young people of today are as foreign to me as people of another planet.   I do not speak their language; I am not interested in their entertainment’s; I do not care to be involved with them, nor they with me; we have nothing in common, and I am good with that.  

There are times I would travel back to if that were possible; but as it is not - I will remain in this time for the time I have left.

The Ol’Buzzard


I love butter - real butter.   I know it is not good for me, so we bough some I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.   

And just in case you are wondering: IT AIN'T BUTTER...

the Ol'Buzzard

Monday, June 12, 2017


No I really mean it – my ass is hot!   The temps here in northwestern Maine are in the high nineties for the second day.  

Tomorrow will be back in the seventies where it belongs; but this can only be seen as somewhat normal because we had a few days like this last year at this time.  

We have no air conditioning at our house because we don’t actually need it.   Our house is well insulated and the day temps, even though most of the summer will be (should be) in the upper seventies and low eighties with night temps dropping fifteen to twenty degrees.  

It is so hot today that my wife has opted for yogurt and fresh fruit for lunch and I am having a potato chip sandwich (two pieces of bread liberally spread with mayonnaise and filled with potato chips) and a cold beer.

If I wanted to live in these temperatures, I wouldn’t have left the south – that and other reasons.

the Ol’Buzzard


The walking dead don't stand a chance!

Or do they?

the Ol'Buzzard

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Two cases of Powassan virus, a potentially fatal tick disease, have been confirmed in Maine for the first time.  Like Lyme Disease, Powassan is carried by deer ticks. 


Powassan is found to be fatal in about one out of six cases and approximately 50% of the people effected develop neurological problems.

Because Powassan is a virus there is no cure, so doctors can only treat the symptoms and hope the body’s immune system will combat the illness. 

Unlike Lyme Disease, which is bacteria, a virus is not technically a living organism, so it cannot be killed.   Virus cannot multiply (procreate); but they attach themselves to a host cell and implant their DNA, and when the host cells divide those new cells carry the virus DNA.

in the 1960’s and 1970’s I was a military survival instructor stationed in Maine.  Hundreds of nights I slept on the ground in the woods, and have trained thousands of students: neither I or any of our students were ever bothered with a single tick. 

Now you can’t mow your lawn without checking yourself for ticks before coming in the house.   Anytime you walk off a paved surface you are in danger of picking up ticks.  



Regardless of frequent storms, or sea rise; I think you can track global warming by paying attention to animal and insect migration.

   Sometimes over the last thirty years, ticks have migrated to Maine.

Prevention is the defense.  If you are going into fields or into the woods, wear long pants and long sleeve shirts.  Stuff your pants cuff into your socks, liberally use insect repellent on your pants legs, shoes and hat, as well as exposed skin.  

Best of luck this summer
the Ol’Buzzard

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Just stole this Fat Bottom Girl pic from Yellowdog Granny.

Me too!
the Ol'Buzzard

Sunday, June 4, 2017


A couple of days ago, when it wasn’t raining and I had no appointments, I took a walk down our road.   When I got to my turnaround spot I realized that I had seen nothing, literally.   Instead of stopping at the two brooks and watching the water and paying attention to the plants and wildlife, I had walked with my monkey mind in charge, having some fanciful conversation with myself and occupying my thoughts with something other than my walk. 

I refocused and enjoyed my walk home.

Mindfulness is easy to deal with once you decide it should become a part of your daily life.

Mind-less-ness, on the other hand, requires a disciplined effort. 


This is the scenario of an imaginary person, but some aspects are probably familiar to most of us:

X wakes up in the morning and grabs his/her cell phone and takes it into the bathroom.   While eating breakfast X checks messages and social networks to see what others are doing.   On the way to work X checks and perhaps talks on the cell phone while dealing with traffic.   At work X places the phone within easy reach while dealing with the stresses of work.  On the way home X checks the cell phone while driving through heavy traffic.  At home X watches TV, gets on the computer, checks messages, e-mail and social media until supper time.   

TV, bed, and check the cell phone before going to sleep.  While asleep X’s monkey mind takes over causing restless dreams and restless sleep.

The mind never has time to unplug. 

At some point your mind needs to unplug for a few minutes on a regular basis.   Five minutes of meditation a day can do that.  

Find a quiet, comfortable room away from your cell phone.  Sit upright in a chair with feet planted on the floor; focus on your breathing and finally empty your mind - relax.

In lieu of this: take your rocking chair out on your porch and smoke a joint.


Mindlessness takes practice and discipline but the benefits are real

the Ol’Buzzard

Saturday, June 3, 2017


Over the past two decades I have been aware of the growing similarities between our government and Orwell’s book 1984.  Especially since 9/11, with the advent of Homeland Security and the collecting of U.S. citizen’s information from the telecom companies, the fact we are being watched is being scantily hid.

Big Brother is watching you, seemed to be the tool of any government’s ability to manipulate the people.

But I had no idea that corporate Big Uncle had tapped into that ability.

Last week on Morning Joe (MSNBC morning news program) Joe Scarborough said he believed his phone conversations had been monitored by telecoms and personal information had been made available, or sold, to corporate interest. 


Joe stated that he has never been a runner, but recently decided to prepare himself to run a marathon.      He discussed this with his fiancé on the phone.   Immediately he started getting advertisements for running shoes and equipment on his phone.   At first he didn’t pay much attention; but in another conversation he told his fiancé he was setting his goal to a nine-minute mile; almost immediately he got advertisements on his phone about products to help men over forty run a nine-minute mile.   He showed one of these advertisements on his phone to the TV camera.   Joe said he had never discussed his decision to begin running with anyone except his fiancé, and that he has never purchased running shoes, equipment, clothing or anything connected with running.

The obvious conclusion is that his private phone conversations are being monitored – if not by a human, then at least by an algorithm designed to listen for certain words or phrases and adjust advertising accordingly.  

The truth seems to be: if you have some information you wish to discuss privately, you should hike naked into the densest most remote forest and then whisper it to the party concerned… but then there are satellites…

 Big Brother and corporate Big Uncle are both watching you!

the Ol’Buzzard 

Friday, June 2, 2017


A word is a word is a word.    A word in itself cannot be bad - it is just a sounds or a scribbling on paper.  

The following are expressive expletives I find coloring my speech almost daily.  And, in many cases they are words that best express my strong feelings at the time.


Fuck you

Fuck off

Fucktard:   My reference to Donald Trump supporters. 


Shit:  I don’t care for the word shit – to me it seems nasty – but sometimes it fits.



Shit fire and molasses: An favorite expression of an uncle of mine.

Fuck me silly!   That came to me from my Company Commander, a first class bosons mate, when I was in Navy boot camp many decades ago – he also called his girlfriend his duty whore…I would never.   Actually his saying was Fuck me silly with a handy-billy (a water pack used in firefighting.)

God damn I: a favorite expression of an old Maine guide I use to know.

Asshole; I use this one a lot – especially when I am driving.

Sonofabitch: one word

And when you can’t say it, there’s the middle finger: my wife hates it when I flip the bird.

Words are bad only when they are used to hurt – but it is the intention - not the words.  

People are bad when the intent is to degrade; express bigotry; or talk to incite violence - the type of prejudice often spewed in the Bible and from pulpits and during political rallies  without using any of my colorful expressive words.



In all cases, these so called cuss words are words we have learned from someone else at some point in our life.  

My first experience with so called ‘bad words’ came in the first grade in Kentucky.   I told the kid sitting next to me, Johnny Hunt, that I knew how to write a bad word.  He dared me to write it on the Valentine card we were making for our parents (my grandmother.)   I wrote God Damn on my card and Johnny Hunt ratted me out to the teacher, who tore my card up and gave my hand two smacks with a ruler.


Most so called swear words we picked up in elementary school along with misguided information about sex; but some of the more expressive we adopt from special people we have known - sort of a connection or remembrance.

And to the people that use watered down expletive like SUGAR instead of saying shit – I would like to feed them a steaming pile of horse shit until it dawns on them that shit is not SUGAR.

God damn I!

the Ol’Buzzard