Saturday, May 30, 2020


I recently potted up a new basil plant for the kitchen window.  I used last years potting soil.  There were some sunflower seeds that mice had placed in the soil pack over the winter.   I removed them before adding to the basil pot, but evidently I overlooked one.   Now the basil plant has a sunflower growing from its pot.   I intend to leave it and see what happens.   

Our youngest cat likes to get up in the kitchen window and munch out on the basil leaves.   

Basal Breath

We have numerous names for both of our cats, and probably none are correct.  

I wonder what our cats have named us?
the Ol'Buzzard


About four-thirty in the morning there is a robin named Larry Bird that sits outside of my window each day, just as the eastern sky begins to lighten, and screeches his sunrise song.

It wakes the cats up and it wakes me up; but I don’t mind. 

 Our bedroom is comfortable, with an overhead fan.  My beautiful wife sleeps comfortingly next to me, and I lie there and think.   I don’t think about getting up and feeding the cats, or making tea, or the problems of the day; I just allow myself, in the stillness of the early morning, to think.   I think about books I have read, about projects I am working on, about blogs I might write, about science, the universe, life, the human animal, earth’s environment; and today about banks. 

I never thought about it before, but how the hell do banks work?

I just had an electronic transfer from PayPal for a few bucks from selling on e-bay.  Where is the actual money?

Say a man in Florida electronically transfers one-million dollars from his Florida bank to a bank in Minnesota.   He instantly gets a notice that the transfer is completed and he now has a million dollars in his account in Minnesota – but does he?

Where is the actual money?   Does the bank in Florida load up ten-thousand one-hundred-dollar-bills in a Wells Fargo truck and have it driven to the bank in Minnesota?   Does the bank in Minnesota actually receive the cash?  

The federal government just distributed $1,200 as a stimulus to all Americans.   Let’s say that our bank received 5000 electronic transfers of $1,200 from the U.S. Treasury.   Now the bank has to credit $6,000,000 to their member's accounts.   Does the Fed actually load up $6,000,000 in a suitcase with Donald Trump’s name on it and UPS it to your local bank?   Where is the money?

I know that banks give out loans and charge interest; but they almost always issue a check.   Where is the cash?  How is it distributed?

This is nothing that will keep me awake tonight; but I am just wondering.

How many people nowadays actually take the time, not while driving, not while eating lunch, not while working on your motorcycle…; but a quiet time where they can just think – let the mind wander and think.

Einstein called it ‘thought experiments’.  He could not actually see the micro-miniature world of quantum mechanics, but he thought about it.  Today there is an entire field of science called theoretical physics that operates on thought experiments.  They think about it!

I make no analogy between Einstein and myself; but thinking - having time to think – is an activity rarely practiced in todays society.   I have the feeling that instead of thinking and reflection, people today just grab their cell phones when a few minutes of quiet time presents itself. 


You can think while you are getting stoned,
But the problem is,
you can’t remember your conclusion

the Ol’Buzzard

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


This is going to suck

the Ol'Buzzard


There is so much cross information, misinformation and bad information floating around on the internet and the news networks, that I wonder why people just can’t slow down and think – logically.

The newest insanity is ‘herd immunity.’

Let’s back up a bit.    A pandemic use to be called a plague; but plagues sounds scary, so the people that manipulate us prefer to call them ‘pandemics.’

Over the centuries the human population has been hit by numerous plagues; so, how did herd immunity work out in the past?

The Black Death killed and estimated 2/3rd. the population of Europe; Small Pox, Yellow Fever, Spanish Flue, Polio and Aids all all been responsible for millions of deaths in world-wide populations.  These would still be decimating our populations today except of vaccines.

Remember; pandemics are natures way of culling the herd: over population in animal species.   And, herd immunity means you let the pestilence run rampant, killing off the old, the weak, the infirm and the stupid; resulting in huge percentages of populations dying off. 

Responsible pandemic control, in the time of science and medicine, means you isolate the sick so they do not contaminate the healthy, and you seek a vaccine to produce a manufactured immunity. 

Only an idiot would tout ‘Herd Immunity’ as a response to a new pandemic. 

the Ol'Buzzard

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


It looks different in the can, but when the paint dries it will darken and be the color you wanted.  

No it won't
the Ol'Buzzard

Friday, May 15, 2020


Remember George Carlin and the seven words you can’t say on TV?

There is now only one word you definitely can’t say on TV. 

I was watching the movie The Heat a couple of days ago.  At the beginning of the movie there was a warning: language, adult content and violence – may not be appropriate for all viewers. 

During the movie the characters said vagina, dick, cock, god damn, shit, ass, tits, blow job, asshole and son-of-a-bitch - and there was an ending with two people fucking - but the word fuck was voiced over to frig and frigging.  

You can’t say fuck in an adult movie?  What the fuck

I am god damn tired of phony Christian censorship determining what I am allowed see and hear on television in adult programming, and because parents do not take responsibility for what their children are viewing.

  The fear is always that little Johnny, who is secretly watching blow jobs on PornHub in his room on his computer, will run out and hear the word FUCK and be ruined for the rest of his life. 

I have witnessed in my lifetime Christians censoring books, burning books, burning music tapes, censoring school libraries and censoring television programs. 

It is about time we tell the religious minority of family values to go fuck themselves.

the Ol’Buzzard 


Best Buy: Breadman Convection Ultimate Bread Maker Stainless-Steel ...

My wife and I have been making bread with bread machines since 1985.   Our present machine is over ten years old and the paddle  in the bread pan is starting to squeak.  It  seems our model is no longer in production and so parts, including a new pan, is not available.  

So, perhaps it is time to buy a new machine.   

The two makes I would consider are Breadman and Quisnart.   Checking with - out of stock, not available.  Target, out of stock not available. Both factories: out of stock not available.  A $148 Quisinart is selling used on Amazon for $280.   William Sonoma will take your order for expected delivery in August.   

It is not a bad thing that people are becoming more food independent by going back to making bread; but the rush to buy new bread machines speaks to the initial panic of food insecurity in the age of pandemic.  

I found the same scarcity for NutriChef vacuum food savers: sold out, not available. 

I wonder if more people will now consider container gardens this summer.   I can remember Victory Gardens during the second world war.  Unfortunately, the trend of home gardening did not continue for long after the war.  

Just an observation.
the Ol'Buzzard


Biden has the strength of character, the experience of years; but his weakness is communication. 

Playing to your strengths and mitigating your weakness is the formula for a successful campaign and election.

My Advice:

1.      Do not debate Donald Trump.    Accept that debate is not your strength.   Use the excuse: When you wrestle with a pig in the mud you get dirty and the pig loves it.

2.      Never ever again mention push-ups.   You do not have the strength, stamina or agility of a young man, and bragging about your physical prowess at your age makes you look lame.

3.    Don’t think that every thought that comes through your mind needs to be expressed.   In your appearance with Stacy Abrams on MSNBC you felt the need to try to jump in and comment at the end of each of Stacy’s replies.   A smile would have been enough.

4.    Dead air does not have to be filled.   When I taught school in the Indian villages of Alaska, the native men use to say, “white men talk too much.”   It is true, we feel the need to fill in dead air space and end up rambling.    Make a precise answer, on track, and then shut up. 

5.      Think about the most consist way to express what you are going to say before saying it.   Don’t wander off track with some unrelated story and then try to circle back and make a connection.  It makes you look dotty.  

6.    Once you have made a statement, don’t circle back and repeat it and repeat it and repeat it.  

7.    Men cannot defend themselves from sexual assault claims.  Simply state, I did not do it, and don’t comment further.  Let your surrogates defend you.  

8.    People see you as their lovable uncle.  The don’t view you as brilliant as Obama.   When questioned about policy you should make the point that you will surround yourself with the most intelligent and competent advisors from both political spectrum, and that your cabinet will be picked from the most experienced and capable in specific fields of expertise (reference Rick Perry, Trump’s pick for Department of Energy.)

You are old.  I am old.   That should be played to as an advantage.  We have lived through and experienced history as a continuum that younger men have only read about.   Our perspective is from a long view.

However, age has its disadvantages.  Our brains are our computers that control our facility, and all our experiences and knowledge are stored in our hard drive.   After living through decades, meeting thousands of people, having thousands of experiences: travel, education, relationships… our hard drives fill to capacity.   Unfortunate we don’t have a Disk Cleanup or Optimizer for our hard drives, so information retrieval slows down; but the information is there on reflection.   

Don’t let age become an issue.  Accept the fact that our minds are not as quick as our younger selves.  Talk less, stay focused, don’t ramble.  Age will only become an issue if you display it. 

the Ol’Buzzard

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


Travel through foreign countries, different cultures and even time in not impossible during the isolation of pandemic.  

My wife and I have been traveling steadily since we decided to hunker down in early March.   We not only move through countries and cultures, but even through  time.

Though physically time travel is a reality; originally posed by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity - the bending of time by gravity; and Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, where time is malleable according to speed in reference to another object; our travel is through books. 

You don't need the Tardis, or an airline or bus ticket; you don't even need to start your car.  

Just pack a snack, get your favorite beverage, secure a comfortable seat, and pick a destination and time. 

Here are some suggestions: 

So many books
So little time
the Ol'Buzzard


Friday, May 8, 2020


I figured 'what the hell;  So I prayed to the Christian God that if Donald Trump and Mike Pence both drop dead of Corona Virus and Nancy Pelosi becomes President before November 5th. of this year, I will become a  Jehovah's Witness.

But, I am not counting on it
the Ol'Buzzard

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


Micro: Michael Crichton, Richard Preston ...

I recently uploaded Michael Crichton’s Micro on my Nook Book.   I have always been, and am still, a fan of Michael Crichton’s books.   He surpasses science fiction into the realm of science possibility.   

Micro is a monumental disappointment.   Crichton did not actually write the book.   After his death the unfinished manuscript was found on his computer and the book was written by Richard Preston.   This book is filled with mathematic impossibilities and unrealistic science that Crichton would have never published.  

The premise of the book is that a group of graduate students are shrunk by a mad scientist/business CEO, using strong magnetic fields, to one half an inch tall. 

These tiny people find themselves released on a jungle trail about two miles from a trailhead parking lot.  They have four days to get back to the parking lot and somehow steal away a ride back to the facility that shrunk them, or they will die.

1.  If a person is six-foot-tall, we can figure his relationship to a mile in length:(rounding off numbers for ease.)   It would take ninety people, six feet tall, laying foot to head, to create a human line one mile long.  Therefore, we can approximate that an equivalent mile in the tiny person world, where people are ½ inch long, to be 90 x ½ ; or forty fine inches.   We will round that to four feet; so, in the tiny world and equivalent mile is four feet. 

2.   The average person can walk approximately three miles per hour; so, in the tiny world, half-inch people could walk 12 feet in one hour.  

3.   in the normal world two miles equals approximately 10,500 feet.  

4.  If we divide 10,500 feet by 12 feet an hour in the tiny world, we find that it would take the tiny grad students 875 walking hours to reach the parking lot – or 36.5 days non-stop.   Remember, they only have four days to live.


After two days of travel (possibly 250 feet), and avoiding, and falling prey, to carnivorous insects, the students decide that the mad CEO has set a trap for them at the parking lot; so instead they decide to climb a two thousand foot sheer cliff to a supply depot on top of a mountain where tiny airplanes  exist.  Remember, they are ½ inch tall, with only two days left until they die. 

Crichton would have never allowed this mathematical inconsistency to exist in one of his novels.  

Now the story poses that the tiny people, being so lite in weight, can jump to numerous times their own height, because their small size is less effected by earth’s gravity.

If a person that is six feet tall, which is 72 inches, shrinks down to ½ inch; they are 1/144th. of their regular size.    If that six-foot person weighed 144 pounds, at ½ inch size he should weigh one pound.   A ½ inch object weighing one pound is not light enough to be unaffected by gravity.

The survival story in book is beyond ridiculous – these students should have been dead within the first day.  

This book was not written by Michael Crichton.    When a person dies, they should end publishing books under his or her name.  It is not fair to their legacy.

My favorite Crichton book is Eaters of the Dead.  The movie, The Thirteenth Warrior, was good, but the book is better: it is the story of a Neanderthal tribe that survived extinction and terrorized Viking settlements in far northern Norway.  This book is a great description of Viking life. 

Most writers, like Stephen King, I would not hold to a scientific standard; but Michael Crichton would hold himself to a higher scientific standard. 

This is a good time to stay home and read; and a good time to share a review of books you have read, on line.

the Ol'Buzzard