Friday, March 26, 2021




I am guilty of using cliches.   It seems they are an engrained part of our common speech.  I don’t have a dog in this fight’ is one I have used often and in hindsight that is regrettable.  Any animals barbarically killed for human entertainment is an atrocity.  That replacement, from now on, will be: It ain’t my circus, it ain’t my monkey.     I really like that.   Along with: What do you expect?  I’m fucking old.  

the Ol’Buzzard

Monday, March 22, 2021



I was raised in the Mississippi Delta.   The earth was too rich and damp to grow potatoes.  My grandmother’s choice for starch in our diet was rice.   Rice and gravy, rice with butter, fried rice.   Rice was a staple in our diet.  Fried chicken with milk gravy on rice…


I am married to a New England girl and we live in Maine, so potatoes form the bulk of the starch in our diet.  But we do have rice.


I have never been able to cook rice properly.  Directions say: Bring to a boil, cover, simmer for 15 minutes.   There is the rub.  I have never had a stove with a burner that would simmer – it always boils even on the lowest setting – often boiling over.   I end up placing the pan partially on the burner, checking it often, adding hot water if it cooks too early; and end up with goopy rice. 


Finally, I have relented to technology.    I recently purchased an Aroma Rice Cooker.   The Aroma was the rice cooker of choice on America’s Test Kitchen.


The Aroma only cost $29.00 and you get what you pay for.  It is rather flimsy but the rice comes out perfect.  The instructions are no brainer.  You fill the water to the line in the pot and add the corresponding amount of rice with the measuring cup enclosed, close the cover, select the rice and press cook.  The rice takes fifteen minutes to cook and the pot switches to ‘keep warm’ when done.  The clean-up is easy.  


The rice has come out perfect every time.   Ok, nothing to do with cosmology, but we will eat more rice as the universe continues to expand.


the Ol’Buzzard



Sunday, March 21, 2021




There’s a mite on the flee on the hair on the wart on the frog on the bump on the log in the hole in the middle of the galaxy.


We are that mite, yet we perceive that all that has gone before is just for our benefit.   After all, we are made in God’s image – or vice-versa.


Somewhere in our not-so-distant tenure on this earth (a drop in the ocean in cosmic time) mankind realized that the length of shadows changed with the seasons, and that this phenomenon was repeatable.   Thus, man declared himself the master of time. 




This time of year, some of us celebrate equinox as a homage to the natural order of the universe.    For most people, however, it is just another day in their egocentric world, which must be about them.


We should take pause today and wonder at the beauty of nature, that the chaos of our existence is allowing us to experience during our short time on earth.

the Ol’Buzzard

Sunday, March 14, 2021




Einstein is not the only one to do thought experiments.  The good science fiction writers with a scientific understanding (Michael Crichton), take today’s science and technology and transpose it into a possible future.    Very often, years later, science fiction becomes science reality.


Scientific discoveries are happening all the time but get lost in the noise of politics and culture.   Walter Isaacson’s new book Code Breakers has now moved to the best sellers list.  It brings to light the science of CRISPR; but is more a biography of one of the discoverers, Jennifer Doudna.  


CRISPR is a technology that allows bio-scientist to edit strings of DNA.  It offers the real possibility of genetically protecting the human race from Alzheimer’s, cancer, leukemia, sickle cell anemia and other inheritable maladies; along with a cure for many virus infections like HIV, flue and Covid…


 CRISPR has already been used on humans.  In China, scientist He Jiankui edited the genes of unborn twins Lulu and Nana, protecting them against HIV which carries a devastating stigma in China.


There is also a down side of gene editing that could lead to one of the many science fiction future.  Using CRISPR we can cut-and-paste genes outside the body and then reintroduce them, as well as modify genes in-uterus.    Once certain genes are modified, they can become inheritable.   We have been modifying genetic traits for decades through selective breeding.  We have been able to design cattle, dog and cat breeds as well as breeding plants with specific traits.   Now we can do this by DNA cell manipulation.  CRISPR offers the real possibility of designer human beings.


Using CRISPR we now have the capability of defining hair color, eye color, height, muscle mass and resistances to illness; but we may also be able to define intelligence, life span, skin tone (race?).   


Some biologist believed that certain emotional traits are defined by DNA, such as aggressiveness, religiousness, ethical behavior… in which case they could also be modified. 


We could be talking about a total redesign of the human race. Designed warriors, designed workers, a master race?  We have been there before.


  And who would control this power?   Likely the people rich enough to fund the research.


Of course, Christianity wades in immediately claiming scientist are playing God:  A God that has given us birth defects, infant mortality, infant and childhood diseases, retardation….


Science always drags us forward, while religion attempts to drag us backwards.


CRISPR can’t be put back in the bottle.  CRISPR is here.  We are at the very beginning of a genetic revolution.   Forty years ago, Apple came up with the personal computer.  It had a blinking cursor on the screen and could do very basic operations, with a 112 kilobytes memory.   Today, forty years later, my Walmart purchased computer has gigabytes of memory and operating capacity far beyond my ability.  Where will genetics be in forty years?


If it can be done someone will do it.

If it can be done some country, race or religion with the money to finance will use it: Russia, China, US, Israel, Mormons…  


Within the next forty years we are going to see science fiction evolve to science, and a human race that will eventually look back on us as primitives.


In a way, I am glad I won’t be there.

the Ol’Buzzard








Sunday, March 7, 2021



I am eighty-plus years old, and in pretty good shape for that age.   During this pandemic it has been, and still is, important that my younger wife and I exercise and stay fit.    If not, this will be a time of physical decline that we may not be able to make up.

I don't advertise for anybody, but when I buy a product and feel it is valuable I don't mind posting about it. 

A couple of weeks ago I bought this GOPRO treadmill.  We already have a bike and a Total Gym, but neither give you the same over all workout, and balance that you get from walking.   Few people have room for a big treadmill in their home, so small size and foldability was the chief factors in purchasing this treadmill.  

I am somewhat disappointed with this machine, but it is what was advertised.  I am six foot and 190 pounds, and this machine is too small for me to use comfortably, but I can and will use it.  This would be a great machine for a smaller person - say under five feet five.   The track is pretty narrow for my size fourteen feet and fairly short for a good stride.   But, as I said, it is a convenient size for our room and it folds compactly.   It will give us an adequate workout during the winter months and during the time of pandemic.  

The treadmill cost under four hundred dollars, was delivered promptly and comes with a good warranty.   We try to buy anything of this nature on-lint through Walmart, because if we don't like the quality we can return it locally without dealing with return shipping. 


We also have an Exerputic stationary bike, and it is excellent.  It cost under two-hundred dollars.  We have had it for eight years and it is sturdy and gives a good workout.  Probably not what the young and athletic would like, but great machine for legs and stamina; well suited for less active people.  

I have the Total Gym 1400.  I have had it for about ten years and can't say enough about the workout I am able to get each day.   I do three sets of ten exercises.  It takes me about fifteen minutes.  My arms, shoulders, chest and stomach feel solid.  Without the Total Gym routine it would all go to flab.   The Total Gym 1400 cost about four hundred dollars, but I don't use all the extra bars and handles and footrest - so the Total Gym APEX G1 at about three hundred dollars would work just as well.   

The old saying 'If you don't use it, you lose it.' is so true.  Exercise is as important as diet in aging healthily.  Fifteen minutes a day is not much to stay heart healthy and physically fit.  If you can't go to a gym, if you don't have an active life style, you might consider one of these machines to help you maintain stamina, strength and health. 

the Ol'Buzzard

Saturday, March 6, 2021




There is a point in all of us

Somewhere in our DNA

Where nature overtakes nurture

And we are able to hear the cry

From our long forgotten past.


It is the wind that speaks to us

Beyond our cell-phones and I-Pads

Beyond our tv’s and computers

When everything that consumes our daily lives

Is shut down and there is silence.

Then we can hear the wind.


I have heard it and felt it before

But each time in a place of silence

and alone.  The wind. More than a whisper:

A cry, a howl, a roar – a voice

That brings back a clouded memory

Something through a glass darkly

Of a time when I am dressed in skins

Huddled in a cave or blow down shelter

And the wind outside is warning me

Don’t come out. I am strong. I am Nature.

I am god.

the Ol'Buzzard


Thursday, March 4, 2021



My wife and I got out corona virus vaccines yesterday.   Absolutely painless shot.  This morning the arm is a little sore at the injection site, but not a big deal.     I've got to admit that we both feel liberated.   We still have one more shot to go, and we will still wear mask and observe social distancing; but  we are much less fearful of contracting the virus and losing one another.

the Ol'Buzzard 





All religions are based on the Wimpy Principal: I’ll pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today.




We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children are smart.

H. L. Mencken


Why are people still following a religion that was founded by racist, sexist, superstitious people who believed that everything they couldn’t understand was magic, from a time when the wheelbarrow was cutting edge technology?


Why shouldn’t we be tolerant of people’s religious beliefs?


Many Catholic bishops are encouraging their congregations not to take the Johnson and Johnson corona virus vaccine because it was developed using stem cells cloned from fetal tissue collected in 1985.


Isn’t it time to move out of the dark ages?

The Ol’Buzzard



Tuesday, March 2, 2021



I would bet that 100% of ashiest wear mask, social distance and get the Corona Virus vaccine.  

the Ol'Buzzard



We are living in a post truth world.   A time when people will unabashedly declare Alternative Facts. Truth is no longer accessed by logic, but dictated by emotion.   Saying something with impact is now more important than saying something true.  When truth doesn’t matter, you declare your truth by yelling the loudest.  

I rest my case

the Ol'Buzzard