On this Tuesday, the 14th of December, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Home Front Café in Altamont. Cindy took the time to wish all the OMOTM a Merry Christmas, and thanked us all for coming. This was a nice prelude to the morning.

Oh dear! Where to start…maybe we will start with the bluebirds which are still hanging around. One OF said they chase all the little birds away from the feeder like the finches, and chickadees. One OF said, “You’re talking about blue jays” and the first OF answered. “I know blue jays from bluebirds, and these are bluebirds.” The other OF said he thought bluebirds went south for the winter. The first OF answered, “Can’t prove it by me, they are at my feeder.” Another OF reported seeing a bluebird all huddled up in a snowstorm at Christmas time in Pulaski and the home owner said it was the second season for them hanging around all year. Aha! Global warming.

Another OF said that this morning he had a green and yellow parakeet at his feeder. Must be an escapee, the other OF’s said, he won’t last long unless he finds his way home. One OF said to go to the feeder the next time the parakeet shows up and see how tame it is and see if the OF can catch it and bring it in. This is something unusual to add to your to-do list.

One set of OF’s joined the fashion police again, not so much fashion police, but executors of common sense for the apparel world. We have had the phenomenon of the droopy drawers on guys for awhile now, which is disgusting enough, but hey the OF’s are old and don’t know anything about style. However, style is not what the OF’s were talking about here — it was health and safety. The OF’s do not why fashion designers said there had to be large folds at the bottom of a gentlemen’s trousers. These folds eventually unfold, and become chewed up at the back by the heel of the shoe, and in inclement weather they are constantly wet. Any long garment that is designed to drag on the ground the OF’s think is dumb. The OF’s are not talking about the doofus looking high water pants but pants that come just to the top of the shoe, no lower than the toe cap with a gentle crease at where the pant touches the shoe.

To see kids walking with their pants all torn at the bottom, dragging on the ground and sucking up water that some animal has just piddled in (and a bird has left a card as it flew over and some uncouth character has just hacked up an oyster and deposited it in the same puddle) makes for a great germ ridden Petri dish laying on the ground and the pants just soak this filthy water up like a sponge. No wonder kids are always sick — no common sense.

Then one OF added what about their shoes then? They just went through the same puddle. Another OF said generally these type of shoes are taken off in a hallway or a mud room and are not grabbed by the hands like taking off your pants. To which yet another OF said it is a matter of numbers, with the germs only on the shoes there is a smaller percentage of area covered even while the puddle has the same concentration of germs but percent-wise less germs are carried home or to the car. As each step is taken the germ population on the shoe is lessened, while those sucked up in the pants stay there. These OF’s do carry on. This is a good study for high school in health class. In fact, in biology or health class they usually learn all about this, but obviously don’t pay much attention to it.

There is a term that is becoming quite popular and it is “Forget about it.” A couple OF’s were talking about this new phrase to our language lexicon. Apparently along some of the highways there are professionally printed signs just saying “Forget about it.” There is nothing else on the sign. This scribe missed the very beginning and does not know if they are on the highways in New York City, or on Long Island, but that doesn’t mean much, just that someone has gone through the trouble to have these signs made. What fun some people make out of just living…love it.

Lawn mowers driving down the road, keeping old equipment running as long as it does the job, drunken Santa, how we would like to die and education problems which the OF’s figure is generally not the schools, or the teachers, but many of the parents were all topics covered, however, this scribe does not want to take up a whole page and will save these thoughts for some time when the OG’s become redundant.

Those attending the breakfast at the Home Front Café in Altamont and some eating their whole breakfast and some not because they were full were: Henry Witt, Roger Chapman, Dave Williams, Skip Slater, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Harold Grippen, Ted Pelkey, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Arnold Geraldsen, Robie Osterman, Don Moser, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Jim Rissacher, Ted Willsey, Gerry Chartier, and me.