Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Monday, November 25, 2019

Saturday, November 23, 2019


Dave Mallett is Maine's own ballad singer and song writer.   

My wife and I have a karmic experience with Dave Mallet.   We first heard him in 1982 when he played a concert at the University of Maine,where we were students.   

 In 1985 we were due to graduate, and to celebrate we went to an exclusive dinner at One Stanley Avenue, the home of the man who invented the Stanley Steamer.   After the dinner we went into the small living room and Dave Mallett and his base player played for our small group - a very personal experience.

A few weeks later we loaded our small Toyota truck and headed for Alaska.  As we pulled out of the driveway I plugged in a tape we had purchased at One Stanley Avenue and Dave Mallet sang us off with North to Alaska.   

Eight years later we left Alaska.   We were listening to Alaska Public Radio and at the exact moment we crossed the border from Alaska to North West Territory Dave Mallett came on the radio - my wife and I looked at each other in amazement.

Our first summer back in Maine we attended the Common Ground Fair, and that night, to our surprise, Dave Mallett was playing at the Fair Grounds.

Since that time we have attended concerts when ever Mallett played in our area.

We have all aged.

The music of Dave Mallett has marks some important moments in our life.
the Ol'Buzzard

Thursday, November 21, 2019


I am some disgusted with military veterans that show allegiance to Donald Trump.   A man who received five deferments from service in Vietnam: four rich kid school deferments and a medical deferment claiming bone spurs. 

On a talk show with Howard Stern, Trump was asked about avoiding venereal disease after sleeping with numerous women.  Trumps answer was, “It is a dangerous world out there.  It’s scary like Vietnam.  It’s my personal Vietnam.  I feel like a great and very brave soldier.”

 1959 to 1975, 58,479 brothers and sisters never returned from Vietnam.   Not a joking matter.

During his election campaign Trump denigrated John McCain by saying, “He’s not a hero.  He’s a hero because he was captured.  I like people that weren’t captured.”

McCain spent five years as a POW.  While being interrogated, with his hands tied behind and hoisted from a ceiling, McCain was beaten, sustaining a life-long injury.  McCain kept the faith with his fellow POW’s refusing a release when offered, until all other captives were released in order. 

Trump’s statement “I like people that weren’t captured” is a spit in the face of every man who ever sacrificed his freedom for this country as a POW.

This cowardly draft dodger, during his campaign, disparaged a Gold Star family that gave their son to the ranks of brave heroes that have served this country and will never return.

Now Trump attacks a military man who wears the purple ribbon signifying a soldier who has bled for this country – a man whose brothers all served in the arm forces of the United States. 

This bloviated, bellicose coward, who was designated Commander in Chief by a flawed Electoral College after losing the election by three million votes – the same coward that quaked in fear when the aircraft lights were turned off prior to landing at his one visit to troops in a war zone; has no claim to allegiance from military veterans. 

the Ol'Buzzard
retired Navy
Vietnam vet

Monday, November 18, 2019



A quote from George Carlin

I didn’t wash today.  I wasn’t dirty.  If I’m not dirty I don’t wash.   Some weeks I don’t have to shower at all.   I just groom my three basic areas: teeth, hair and ass hole.   To save time, I use the same brush.

Sunday, November 17, 2019


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the Ol'Buzzard


Animals that survived through the evolutionary process were not necessarily the largest, the strongest or the smartest; but those most adaptable to change.   Survival was a competition, and the physically weak, the mentally weak and the stupid were culled from the heard early.  Food, shelter and sex were the priorities for survival, and the ability to adapt was the prerequisite for passing on genetic traits. 

Today humans have freed themselves from evolutionary constraints, which accounts for today’s burgeoning population growth.  The physically weak, the mentally deficient and outright stupid people are able to survive in today’s technologically society.

Homo Sapiens had existed for 300,000 years, since they first appeared in Africa; but it was not until 1800 that the population finally topped one-billion.   It took 125 years (from 1800 until 1925) for population to expand to two-billion; thirty-five years later (1960) human population hit three-billion; fourteen years later (1974) four-billion, thirteen years later (1987) five-billion; twelve years later (1999) six billion; twelve years later (2011) seven billion.

Today, November 17, 2019 at 10 p.m., the world population stands at 7,744,609,768 (Seven billion, seven hundred forty-four million, six hundred nine thousand, seven hundred sixty-eight) and increasing at the net rate of 204,000 per day. 

So, what does this mean?    I don’t fucking know.

Two interesting web links:

The Ol’BUzzard


Wednesday, November 13, 2019


We see the things that we would see
And know what we would know
Our thoughts are always prejudiced
To the way we want to go

It has been said that humans are heard animals. But I believe hives are a more accurate depiction: geographic hives, racial hives, religious hives; and we readily devour animals that don’t belong to our hive. 

Each hive has a king or a queen and drones that serve it; the rest of us are workers and spend our lives unknowingly sustaining the hive. 

We think we are important because we support the hive, and if we are diligent, we will thrive for a while, and then we are gone.

In fact, we are no more than an accidental, insignificant life form, existing on a minor planet in a minor solar system of a minor star, in one of hundreds-of-billions of galaxies in an unfathomable universe.

The universe doesn’t care if we live.  The universe doesn’t care if we die; it doesn’t care if we hurt, have sex or go to the movies…

The nature of the universe is expansion, ever since the Big Bang.  There is no reason, there is no why.

There are Christian hives that like to ask, what kicked off the Big Bang?  But we know it wasn’t a God, because man hadn’t invented him.


the Ol’Buzzard

Saturday, November 9, 2019



The next time you are visiting someone who has ALEXA, wait until  they are out of the room and then say; Alexa, set alarm for 3:30 a.m and play Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries - loud.

the Ol'Buzzard


I recently posted a rant about cell phones and how, I believed, people would be amenable to a cell phone chip implant, in order to be connected, 24/7, to their phone.

The statement was a glib jab at people’s obsessive cell phone use. 

The idea of an implant, at the posting, seemed an absurd example.

At my age, eighth decade, sleep follows a predictable pattern: a nap if I feel like it in the afternoon and six hours averaged at night; which means, I wake between four-thirty and five, in the quiet of the morning, and this is the time that my monkey mind takes control and I occupy the realm of imagination.

This morning it was cell phone implants.   Actually, a cell phone implant is not such an absurd idea, as the technology exist today.   Amazon’s Alexa voice recognition- pods can control your home, send texts, play music, and generally control all the electronic functions in your life.  

The medical technology exists to wire the synapse in your brain to machine functions, so it would not be a giant leap to develop the micro-miniature chip implant that could connect you, through Wi-Fi, to a service similar to Alexa. 

If cell phone towers were converted to Wi-Fi towers you could be connected to the world, through your implant, from any place on earth: Alexa send text; Alexa start my car; Alexa play music; Alexa turn off the lights; Alexa set my security system; Alexa start the coffee pot; Alexa book travel plans…

The chip could also hold all your financial and medical information that would allow you to make purchases at stores, or check into a hospital with just a scan.   You would no longer need a driver’s license, or personal ID.    You would not need a passport to travel the world.

How possible would it be for geographic nations to become secondary to the citizenship of your electronic Nation?    Are you a citizen of Apple; are you an Amazon citizen; are you Samsung…?

Present governments would love a bionic society.   They could locate you; they could listen in to your private conversations; they could read your text messages; they could judge your mental and physical state; They would know EVERYTHING about you: what foods you eat, who you communicate with, what purchases you make, who you are sleeping with and how often; and by accessed video cameras in your home, they could watch you.  It would move Orwell’s 1984 to a new level: Big Brother of 2084 – total surveillance.

I not only think this technology is possible; but I think it is probable in the future.    The question is, how much personal privacy are people willing to relinquish to be a member of the techno-herd?   I think that question has already been answered: check out Facebook etc.  

the Ol'Buzzard

Thursday, November 7, 2019


Maybe there is still hope


the Ol'Buzzard

Wednesday, November 6, 2019


My wife and I have a membership at the university gym in town.  We walk the track in the winter time.   We don’t interact with the kids just transmogrifying into adulthood.    We view them as curious creatures with a connection to our DNA, in the same manner we view chimpanzees; as different enough to be considered another species. 

We try to arrive at the gym around noon when the students have gone to feed; but the last time we were there was during a peak usage.   It was amazing.  All the student walking the track had their cell phones in their hand or plugged into their ears, the students running the outside of the track were wired into their cell phones, all young people on the exercise bikes had their cell phone balanced atop their display panels or plugged into their ears, one young girl was stretching on a mat while reading her text messages. 

Only one; a tiny young girl, running at a demented pace on the Nordic Track, didn’t seem to have a bionic connection to a cell phone.

If a cell phone implant was available, I wonder how many of this new generation would spend the night in the parking lot, waiting for the hospital to open, to be first in line for the implant?

OK, I can understand this.  Children, a couple of generations after mine, were raised in front of a television: Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street.   This new generation was introduced to some type of computer before they were even potty trained.

The thing I find curious is the attachment to cell phones for people born before 1970.   These people spent at least thirty years of their life – over half of their life – never knowing what a cell phone was.   They got up in the morning and went to work or school, came home, had supper, watched television and went to bed.  They probably went for days without using a telephone.  If they were traveling, or involved in an activity, and found they needed to communicate by phone, they either waited until they got home or used a public pay telephone. 

People fifty and older never suffered by not having immediate and continuous connection to a telephone or the internet.    Yet, today, they can’t sit in a restaurant without checking their cell phone.   Sometimes in restaurants when a person’s cell phone goes off, I feel like standing up and shouting: Turn off your damn phone.  You’re not that important.

 My wife and I attend a playhouse in the summer time.  We always go to the Wednesday matinees, which are mainly attended by older people.  At the beginning of each play the stage manager announces to people to turn off their cell phones.     I have never attended a play that at least one cell phone didn’t go off during the performance.

I have got to admit that I have a cell phone, and when we lost electricity during the wind storm last week and our land line was down, I turned it on and called the light company. 

I plug our cell phone in once a month to keep it charged.   In case of an apocalyptic disaster caused by global warming and wiping out civilization, I want to be able to call my friend and tell him: I told you so.

The Ol’Buzzard

Sunday, November 3, 2019


I own, and first read, my first American edition of Rushdie’s novel, Satanic Verses (Viking 1989), that resulted in the Ayatollah Khomeini issuing a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill him.

Image result for quichotte salman rushdie

I have dyslexia, but as a result I am a fast reader (another story.)   I easily read a novel (300 – 400 pages) in ten days, if I can stay awake an hour each night before falling to sleep; but, not Rushdie’s.

As with poetry, a Rushdie novel requires me to slow down and laboriously, but lovingly, read word for word.

His new novel is titled Quichotte, a parallel to Cervantes Don Quixote, another favorite of mine that I have read many times, but taking place in today’s America.

Image result for quichotte salman rushdie

It is difficult to explain the prose of Rushdie that so fascinates me; so, if you have never read Rushdie, I offer his first sentence as an example of his unique writing style.

There once lived, at a series of temporary addresses across the United States of America, a traveling man of Indian origin, advancing years, and retreating mental powers, who, on account of his love for mindless television, had spent far too much of his life in the yellow light of tawdry motel rooms watching an excess of it, and had suffered a peculiar form of brain damage as a results.”

His next sentence, to the best of my computation, is one-hundred and seventy-four words and nineteen lines long.

If you belong to a reading group, this would be an excellent book for study and discussion; if you enjoy reading writers with an unusual cadence and stories with many facets, I urge you to take a look at Quichotte. 

If you have not read Cervantes Don Quixote – at least check out the musical or the audio book: this is, of all times, a time to tilt at windmills.

the Ol'Buzzard

Saturday, November 2, 2019


Image result for meme of: only a white man would think you could cut a foot of the bottom of a blanket

The same goes for the end of Daylight Savings:  We take an hour from the bottom and add it to the top to have a longer day....

Stick a stick in the ground.  When the shadow is the shortest it is noon.  

the Ol'Buzzard

Blogger question?????

Has Blogger changed the Insert Image link?   When I click it I get a totally different screen and cannot access my desktop for pics. 

Anyone else have that trouble?

the Ol'Buzzard


Image result for Chaos

The future is not knowable.  If there is one scientific theory that is beyond dispute it is the Chaos Theory: a butterfly flapping its wings in South America could be responsible for a storm in the North Atlantic.

A ridiculous example, but magnifies the point.   Our entire world is the results of unexpected chaos.   Our very existence: the chance that one particular sperm out of a billion would penetrate one particular egg at exactly the right time, and that that egg would develop to term, is randomness beyond calculation.

Our whole lives, and who we are, have been determined by happenstance.

What is happening today in politics is unknowable.   Yet, we find ourselves engulfed in anxiety caused by the inability to determine a future to our liking. 

Mark Twain said, “I’ve seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it never came to pass.

We turn the television on, or pick up the paper, or check the news on our cell phones, and we are engulfed in speculation of how the chaos of the Trump Presidency will evolve.

But if we stay involved…  one person one vote…  That is bull shit.   Clinton won the last Presidential election by three million votes, but we have Donald Trump as President. 

The point being, is that we all are to invested in an outcome that we can’t control; to the point that it is consuming our lives.

We had a beautiful fall here in western Maine, and in a few weeks we will have the first pristine snow fall; yet I get up most mornings and turn on the news and begin the day in a funk. 

I am an on again and off again Buddhist, and I have to keep reminding my self that each day, especially at my age, is precious. 

The future is not predictable.   It is what it is.  What will be will be.   The process is full of chaos – life is full of chaos. 

I should be more like an old buzzard in a tree, watching the day evolve, avoiding conflict, and taking advantage of the bounty made available as it happens, in a world of chaos.

the Ol’Buzzard