Monday, March 30, 2020


All of Buddhism is expressed in the Four Truths.  It reads as some esoteric goop, so let me break it down:

1.       Shit happens

2.    If you obsess on the shit you will run up your blood pressure, screw up your metabolism, negatively affect your mental health, make yourself more prone to illness and keep yourself in a  miserable mental state.

3.    Acknowledge that you have no control over some things, and that your obsession with that shit is negatively affecting your life and those around you.  

4.    Turn off the fucking news and the Face Book and stay away from negative people.   Take your partner to bed for sex, drink some wine, smoke a joint, take a walk, put a lawn chair in you yard and listen to the birds, watch a movie, read a book…

That is basically it:  that is Buddhism.   All the bells and whistles and robes were added by fundamentalist priest desiring adoration and a following.  

Meditation can help, but it is not an answer – it simply helps you to better focus your mind and be able to put the shit behind you while you live in the moment.

That’s it.  That is Buddhism plain and simple. 

Image tagged in laughing buddah - Imgflip

the Ol’Buzzard

I recommend Buddhism Palin and Simple, by Steve Hagen – on Amazon or where ever you get your books.

Saturday, March 28, 2020


Dr. Anthony Fauci did a facepalm during Trump's coronavirus ...

In January the president turns down test kits from the World Health Organization.

The President said:

January 20th:  It is all under control.  One person coming from China.  It will be all right.

January 24th:  It will all work out well

January 28th:  Johnson and Johnson created the coronavirus.

January 30th:  It is under control.  Five people all recovering.

February 10th:  It will go away.  By April this will miraculously go away.

February 23rd:  Fifteen people.   Within a couple of days, it will be down to zero.

February 26th:  We are going down not up.

February 27th:  It is going to disappear one day.   Like a miracle it will disappear.

February 29th:  A vaccine will be available very quickly.  The coronavirus is the Democrat’s New Hoax.

March 4th:  It will be very mild.

March 6th:  Anybody that wants a test kit can get one.

“Every one of the doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’  Maybe I have a natural ability.”

March 7th:  I am not concerned at all

March 10th:  It is going away.  Just be calm.

March 13th:  I don’t take responsibility at all.

March 17:  I knew it was a pandemic all along before it was called a pandemic.  We have it under control.

As of March 27, 2020, there are 104,837 known cases of Covid-19 in the United states with 1,711 deaths reported.

the Ol’Buzzard


LISTEN TO THE VICE-PRESIDENT ((I never thought I would say that.) AND STAY THE FUCK AT HOME.

the Ol'Buzzard


I am reposting an earlier post on meditation.   During these stressful times we need to focus on our mental health as well as our physical health. 


When I attended a Zen teaching I realized that meditation was not being practiced as a refreshing reset of the mind, but an endurance sport.  My legs went to sleep, my butt ached and my back hurt.  It was a grand effort to keep my mind empty while my body was expected to remain in a stress position.   After what seemed an eternity we hobbled up and did walking meditation around the room and then back to the torture.  

It is said that during Japanese Zen meditation in monasteries, Zen masters walk around with bamboo canes and whip the backs of neophytes that are flagging in their meditation zeal.

I can’t believe that this is what the Buddha expected.  

The Buddha’s awakening was that cold water from a well was delightful and refreshing, that a young girl was beautiful and that simple rice tasted delicious.  

After searching for the meaning of life the Buddha realized that the meaning had always been surrounding him, but he had been too distracted seeking to see.   Being alive is being in the moment, and the ability to put aside distraction and enjoy the Now. 

Meditation helps us to control distractive thoughts and to focus the mind.   There are monkeys in our minds and they swing from tree to tree and constantly chatter.   Through meditation we can learn to calm the monkeys and take control of our own thoughts.

Joan Sutherland said it best in This Floating World: “Awakening is not a destination and meditation is not a bus ride.”

Meditation is simply a tool to empty your mind and relax your body – to empty your thought process so that subsequently you can focus on the present without distractions from the past, or the future or fantasies of how you would like things to be. 

Zen meditation is known as Zazen.

Zazen aims to develop the individual’s power of concentration.

·       Find a quiet pleasant place to meditate.
·       Provide a cushion, pillow or sit on a small stool to raise your butt allowing you to comfortably cross your legs in front of you.
·       I place one hand in the other in my lap with thumbs touching (I find that after practicing this a while it becomes an automatic indicator to the mind that it is time for meditation.)
·       I prefer to close my eyes at the beginning and begin focusing on my breathing while consciously relaxing my body, but at the same time keeping an upright posture.
·       Some people count their breaths but I find that distracting; I prefer to visualize the air going into my lungs and then expelling.  I visualize this process over and over while slowing down the breaths as the body relaxes.  
·       The monkeys will try to run through your mind and distract you with random thoughts.  When this happens you don’t give them pride of place, but refocus on your breath. 
·       You might start with five minutes; but stop if you become uncomfortable – you can increase time with practice
·       When you are done, sit for a few moments and continue to regulate your breathing while you look around – come out peacefully.

“A thought rises.  A thought last awhile. A thought goes away.   What a relief it is when every passing thought or reaction doesn’t automatically take pride of place, doesn’t need us to bend the world according to its whim”     Joan Sutherland

I can have my blood pressure taken, then place my hands together with thumbs touching and clear my mind and a few minutes later have the blood pressure taken again, and it will have dropped at least ten points.

Meditation works in the moment to calm you; but with constant practice it helps your ability to stay focused on the activity and surrounding of each moment. 

The beauty of life, the meaning of life is happening in the present moment if you can only take the time to see it. 

the Ol’Buzzard 

Thursday, March 26, 2020


This is a time of particularly high stress.   Our normal daily life has been turned upside down and the future is uncertain. 

This is a time to ground ourselves among all the noise and confusion and vitriol.   This is the time I turn back to the practice of Buddhism.

To me, Buddhism (ZEN) is a practice not a religion.  It is a way to view and live life.

I do not hold with Buddhism as presented by Buddhist literature and institutions.     To me Buddhism is personal.

I have posted this before; but perhaps this is the time to do it again:


Buddhism is more than meditating.

Here in the west we hold ideas of how things ought to be and how we ought to live.  We are constantly at war with our environment trying to make everything fit into our desired outcome – and when we fall short, which we most often do, we carry the stress of failed expectations.

We hold a fixed idea of who we are and how we want to be perceived.   But there is no fixed I or Ego because everything changes – new causes produce new effects. 

“One and the same human being is, at various ages, under various circumstances, a totally different human being.
Solzhenitsyn:  The Gulag Archipelago

The Buddha realized that most often people were carrying stress, and that this stress prevented them from appreciating the refreshing taste of cool water – the beauty of a young girl – or the satisfying taste of rice (his awakening.)    Buddha also realized that the stress is most often self-inflicted.   He addressed this in The Four Noble Truths.

The Four Noble Truths

1.     Duhkha*: Life is often like a wheel out of kilter. We are constantly dissatisfied.    We feel we have to fight for control.   We move from one crisis to the next – reacting – never satisfied with our outcome.

2.     Our dissatisfaction originates from our own expectations and desires.   We become obsessed with our problems and life as we would like it to be.

3.    Conditions constantly change. Problems we have will pass.   By focusing on, and living in the present, instead of fixating on future or the past, we can alleviate much of our dissatisfaction.

4.    The Eight Fold Path is the Buddha’s teaching – a suggested path toward a fulfilling and contented life.

*(Spelled Duhkha in Buddhism Plain and Simple; spelled Dukha in The Essence of Zen; spelled Dukkha in Intro to Buddha – and probably other spellings.   There are four major sects of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana and Zen; this probably creates confusions in spellings and definitions.  It is the concept that is important.)


1.    RIGHT VIEW:  accepting the way your world is, even though it is not necessarily the way you might like it to be.  Understanding that nothing is static and everything is changing.

2.    RIGHT INTENTION: address each action in your life with resolve; but always choosing the noble path – you instinctively know what is right and what is wrong.

3.      RIGHT SPEECH: speak the truth; but never to injure.

4.     RIGHT ACTION: consider each action with a clear mind, not from preconceptions or prejudices.

5.     RIGHT LIVELYHOOD: you should strive to choose an occupation that benefits others, and one that satisfies your needs; but you should apply ourselves in whatever endeavor you occupy.

6.    RIGHT EFFORT: live in the NOW.

7.    RIGHT MINDFULNESS: be conscious of how you are engaging with the world from moment to moment and how your actions affect others.

8.    RIGHT MEDITATION: practice zazen regularly

Notice that the Buddha does not give commandments – there is no ‘thou shall not…’   These are the Buddha’s suggestions – his clarity.

Buddhism distilled is not a belief system.  It is not about accepting beliefs or following rituals.   It is about seeing the world clearly.  

It is said that at his death the Buddha told his followers ‘Look not for refuge to anyone beside yourself.’   

i will post more of my prior Buddhism post in hope they may help to deal with this stressful time.
the Ol’Buzzard

Sunday, March 22, 2020


the Ol'Buzzard


I am in my eighth decade; and I am in pretty good shape for the shape I am in. 

I have survived car crashes, aircraft crashes, Vietnam and lived through seven decades, always bucking the system and taking the path less traveled.

The point I am making, is I am a survivor.

So here is the 10  Ol’Buzzard recommendations for getting through the coronavirus pandemic.

1.    Buy in and store at least two weeks of meals that you do not intend to eat as part of your normal daily diet.    These could include pastas, cream of wheat, instant potatoes, grits, dried beans, Jell-O puddings, instant soups and frozen meats or veggies if you can store them, freeze dried or can goods. 
2.    Stay away from people.   This should include family and friends.  Do not visit, eat at restaurants, attend any activities.  Shop in the early mornings just as stores open.   If you have to work – avoid personal contact and keep your distance, shower when you get home.  
3.    Regularly wash, not only your hands but also your face (especially if you have a beard like me) using anti-bacterial soap if it is available.
4.    If you are hunkering down at home you must exercise daily.  Maintaining an exercise schedule is as important for mental health as for your physical well being. 

I do not advertise for anyone; but when I find a product that like I share it on this blog:   

If you do not have gym equipment in your house, perhaps this is the time to consider the purchase.  I am listing some of the products we use, and links to sellers.

 My wife uses a recumbent bike for thirty minutes daily.   She has had an Exerpeutic 1500 Magnetic for about ten years.  We paid about $150 for it at the time, now it sells for $199 with new bells and whistles, and is well worth the price.   For motivation my wife places a star on the calendar each day she uses the bike.   This bike will give a good cardiovascular workout and increase endurance.  

interactive product


I bought a Total Gym 1400 about ten years ago for around $200.   I just checked the internet and found that the same gym is over $400 and pretty much unavailable, but a lesser Total Gym 1100 is just as good and sells for $250.   You must be careful if you are thinking of ordering this product and verify shipping cost: One company was charging $200 shipping – Amazon has it for free shipping.  

I have been using the Total Gym for fifteen minutes almost daily and have kept good muscle tone and maintained endurance, considering my age.

If you can afford it, this would be an ideal machine to keep fit during, perhaps months, of hunkering down.    I have included a link to Total Gym 1100 on amazon.

Image result for TOTAL GYM 1100


5    Keep your automobile gas tank full.
6. Limit your news intake.   Don’t dwell on the daily hype about numbers contracted and death toll. Anxiety will lower your immune system.    Meditation can help lower your anxiety.
7.  A positive mental attitude is as important as physical health.  Use your hunker-down-time to write a blog, take online courses, read books, indulge in a hobby, begin a journal, or start that book that you always wanted to write. 

 Image result for great courses

8.      Add a one-a-day vitamin to your diet if you are limiting fresh fruit and vegetables.
9.    Make sure you have an adequate supply of necessary medications and have your pharmacy mail them to you if possible.   Many insurances have mail order pharmaceutical as part of their plan.
10.    Deal methodically with the things you can change and accept the things that you can not change.

Also smoking a joint is a good pandemic response.
the Ol'Buzzard

Saturday, March 21, 2020


He knows when you are sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows when you’ve been bad or good
So, don’t masturbate for goodness sake.

It’ll put your eyes out.

the Ol’Buzzard


Trump does not have to be reelected….  In October he will declare a National Health Emergency and delay elections until 2021.

There was concern whether Trump would leave if he lost the election; now the fear is real.    I predict he will try to postpone the election this November. 

Please tell me I am wrong!

The Ol’Buzzard

Friday, March 20, 2020


In my initial post where I shared a letter-to-the-editor, Franklin Souze commented he had checked The Daily Bulldog on-line-newspaper and didn't find the letter.   It was published today, and surprisingly there was some actual support and very little personal attacks, which I have experienced in the past.  

I hate to keep going on this, but I am posting the LINK for anyone interested in the reaction to the letter.   This is a college town, but there is  hard core of Trump (Fox News) supporters that are very vocal and beyond any reason or discourse.   These were unusually mild responses.  Past letters have been met with vitriol that bordered on threat. 


the Ol'Buzzard  


We have packaged and shaped and reshaped our thoughts and beliefs, and constantly reorganized them, to make us feel safe during changing conditions, in order to blunt reality.

We choose to live in a blocked off reality, where we are safe and 'the I' is the center of the universe.

In times of crisis we turn to others for solace, to tell us ‘everything will be all-right’; when in reality, everything is not going to be all-right.   We attend churches and follow charismatic leaders and prescribe to different philosophies to make us feel better.  In desperation, we make prayers to a God that allows thirty thousand children to die of starvation every day, and allows parasitic worms to bore into the eyes of children and blind them for life; and we reason that this God will protect us from harm.

 We are grasping and trying to hold on to things as they were or as we wish them to be.

Wake up! Is a Zen command.    It is what it is, is the meaning.

Zen is not about some pie-in-the-sky nirvana.   It is the basis of many martial arts disciplines.   It is about accepting reality and making the best of every situation, while trying to keep a positive attitude.

Like wolves, we circle to protect our pack.   This is not a bad thing when dealing with danger.

Rather than thoughts and prayers, our best protection is to live in the NOW; accepting reality and making preparations to meet each crisis. We should be aggressively controlling the things that are within our power to control and accepting those things we can not control.

Thoughts and prayers are not a positive attitude.  They are a hindrance to accepting reality, and lead to a false sense of security in dangerous times.   Prayers go into space: where no one can here you scream.

the Ol’Buzzard

Thursday, March 19, 2020


There were some questions about an earlier post I had submitted to a local on-line newspaper.  People were unable to find the post and subsequent comments.

I sent in the letter last Sunday, and it has not been published so far.  Perhaps the editor feels with the coronavirus they should not publish comment criticizing the President.   Past letters I have occasionally offered were all met with vitriol - so I did suspect this would be the same.

the Ol'Buzzard

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


In my blog titled  CORONAVIRUS WILL JUST GO AWAY, I made a comment about red hat people that troll my post:   That Ol'Buzzard post was a copy of a letter-to-the-editor I sent to  The Daily Bulldog, a local on line paper.   On the Bulldog there are the same mad MAGA people that attack anyone that sends in a liberal letter-to-the-editor.   Some of the comments verge on actual threats, while others just try to intimidate the writer.  

So my comment about trolls was referring to the asses that troll the Bulldog.  Not on my Ol'Buzzard blog.   

I welcome all comments on my blog, because they are always sincerely held opinions that are seeds for discussion. 

the Ol'Buzzard


You get to my age and find you have survived wars, crashes, accidents and disasters, and you become stoic.   That doesn't mean that you ignore dangers.   

My wife and I are hunkering down, and not interacting with the public any more than possible.  That doesn't mean that I am hording 1500 rolls of toilet paper - no body shits that much.   We have, however bought in some extra food.  Since there is just the two of us, and we can be pretty frugal, that doesn't amount to a lot.  

This brings me to a product that I have talked about on prior blogs.   What we did purchase we vacuum packed.   This will keep food fresh almost indefinitely.   

If you don't have a vacuum food packer this might be the time to consider one.  Ours cost less than $40 on e-bay, about four years ago.

I'm a country boy, so my wife and I will be alright.  However, we do have to consider our dependents, and they have special needs.

So we bought in some extra litter and dried food.  

And I have to admit a little selfishness: I like good wines, but they are too expensive to stock up, so back to my table wine from a time when we couldn't afford the good stuff.

I have drunk many gallons of Carlo Rossi 

and if it is good enough for Justin Wilson,
It is damn well good enough for me.

the Ol'Buzzard

Saturday, March 14, 2020


I just published this in the local online newspaper (The Daily Bulldog.)   I am sure that the Trump supporters that troll Letters to the Editor, will be outraged and slobber their vehemence with personal attacks and even veiled threats.   They try to scare away people who would publish liberal arguments, with their outrage.  Fuck-um.


My wife wishes I wouldn’t do this; but I kinda enjoy poking the pig.



Alternative facts, or the alternative to facts, is the world that the MAGA hat people live in.

We are in a serious national emergency that could crash the economy and totally change America as we know it.   We can have no confidence in the government to mitigate this emergency because it is led by a petulant child who is a self-serving narcissist and a habitual liar.

Practically everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth, you can look to the exact opposite and find the truth.

My grandmother would say, ‘Some people lie when the truth sounds better.’    That totally fits Trump.

The New York Times has listed over 15,000 statements Trump has uttered or tweeted during his three years as President that are blatantly false:

“The largest inauguration crowd ever.
Three to five million illegals voted causing me to lose the popular vote.
Caravans are a National Emergency.
Mexico will pay for the wall.
Obama tapped my phone.
I will protect pre-existing conditions.   (Trump administration is presently suing to make The Affordable Care Act unconstitutional; which will end the protection for pre-existing conditions.)
I will protect your Social Security and Medicare.  (Trump’s 2021 budget has massive cuts to both programs.)
The coronavirus will go down to almost nothing…

Of course, MAGA people who believe that the Portland Press Herald, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Boston Glove, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal, Miami Herald, New Orleans Picayune, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times and NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, PBS and BBC are all fake news; but FOX speaks the truth -  will always chose to remain in the Alternative Facts Bubble.   At the next Trump rally, we will probably hear the MAGA crowd saying that the virus came from the Hillary Clinton computer server that is hiding somewhere in Ukraine… Lock her up!

South Korea is testing 10,000 people a day for coronavirus.  The U.S. had tested only 1,700 as of last week .  Yet, Trump reminds us that he is doing a great job, but stated, “I don’t take responsibility at all,” for the botched rollout of the coronavirus testing, insinuating that the slow test-kit rollout was the fault of the Obama administration. 

The fact is that Donald Trump was never qualified, or intelligent enough to fill the Office of the President.  Our best bet to mediate the future damage from the coronavirus pandemic, is to dump Trump as quickly as possible.

I expect that the same people that always troll this forum will attack me personally with their comments.  It doesn’t bother me. I never read them.

This was a copy of a letter-to-the-editor of a local on line newspaper.

the Ol’Buzzard