Well it is that time again — time for the Old Men of the Mountain to have breakfast. This morning it was at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh. It is always nice when the 13th of a month does not land on a Friday. This month it was on a Tuesday and should be no problem with that, however, good or bad luck can come at any time.

We had one group of OF’s relate their trip to the restaurant as one of those trips that was the cause exercising the middle digit of one hand or the other, or maybe just a little venting of road rage. Never happened though the OF’s are gentlemen. It was a light rain and drizzle, the road was wet, and the vehicle the OF’s were riding in came upon a ten-wheeler, loaded to the gills dump truck, with what the OF’s assumed was asphalt. The truck proceeded at about 30 mph and the OF did not want to get to close to this vehicle because that makes a mess of the windshield, or so he said.

The truck came to an intersection and sat there for a little while like not knowing which way to go. I hope he doesn’t go left, was the driver’s comment, but the truck did go left. Back country roads are not conducive to passing because of poor line of sight visibility so the OF’s proceeded to follow the truck. The OF’s were going to turn off a little way up the road onto another road and you guessed it, so did the truck. The OF’s had to go over yet another road to pick up another OG and sure enough the truck did the same. By now the truck was really lost, not hard to do in the hilltowns, and stopped almost in the middle of the road but at that time the driver put on his flashers so the OF’s now could go around the truck. In the journey the OF’s noted there were few places to pass and Murphy’s Law applied at each of them. There were vehicles coming in the opposite direction at each place the OF could pass. A ride that normally takes five to six minutes took about fifteen to twenty minutes and the OF’s said they are sure they are not the only ones that get into situations like this. One OF said it is a good thing we are retired, and not in any hurry (like going to work) so the OF’s just putted along and conversed.

At the restaurant (like most of them) the waitress comes around and sees what people want to drink. At the Middleburgh Diner it is no different. One OF had his cup of coffee poured for him and it was full. When the OF picked it up to drink it (the OF’s were not quite sure what happened) the cup jiggled and half the coffee spilled out. Fortunately the saucer did its job and caught all of the sloshed-out coffee. At that time the waitress was close by so the OF asked if he could have some more coffee. The waitress calmly picked up the cup in one hand and the saucer full of coffee in the other and poured it back in the cup. “There ya go chief,” she said as she put the coffee back in front of the OF and continued walking to the kitchen. Some waitresses could pull that off and some couldn’t this one could, and did.

This morning we had two meetings. One inside the restaurant, and as some of the OF’s finished their breakfast and were cashing out, the OF’s got no further than the parking lot. Some sat on the guardrail and others leaned against cars and the conversations continued outside under the tree. This scribe can only report the scene because this scribe was still inside and could not hear the conversations. Maybe it was gossip not wanted to be heard by others. Nah, not this bunch.

The OF’s became a little topical today. One topic this scribe wouldn’t dare put in this report and the other topic was the oil problem in the Gulf. The OF’s say what a mess. What a mess in many ways, not only with the physical oil reaching land, and the people that live along the coast where the oil is coming ashore but also losing confidence in the economy of design. One OF asked if we should really be messing with drilling holes in the earth’s crust. One of these days they are going to drill a hole and tap into something bigger than all of us and this planet will take off like the air let out of a balloon.

What a ride that will be. There we are on the blue sphere going psssssst darting all over the universe, bumping into Mars, and Venus, sending them whirling off into space (who knows where) and all of us hanging on for dear life. The only ones not on the blue planet ride will be all those in airplanes in the air now. With no place to land and with their gravity gone these people will be left to float in space and watch the show. One OF didn’t believe this would happen. This OF said that they will drill through the magma and create a huge volcano where there wasn’t one before. Keep drilling you guys!

Those attending the breakfast and just waiting for the kick in the pants from the blast as the planet takes off from the hole drilled in it were: Duane Wagenbaugh (not Overbaugh as reported last week), Harold Eck, Art Frament, Bill Thorpe, Rich Donnelly, Joe Lubier, Bob Benac, Jim Watson, Ted Willsey, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Gerd Remmers, Ted Pelkey, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Bob Dietz, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Steve Kelly, Carl Slater, Roger Chapman, Don Moser, Arnold Geraldsen, Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, and me.