As this scribe types this report it is St. Patty’s day, but the Old Men of The Mountain met on the 15th of March, and we all know what that is. It is the ides of March, and the OF’s made it through without any Brutus involvement at all; as a matter of fact it was quite amicable, with all knives staying on the table at the Alley Cat restaurant in Schoharie.

It is interesting that the scribe has reported this before but the OF’s are beginning to eat in shifts. We now have the early birds, the normal OF’s, and the late bloomers. This allows room in some of the smaller restaurants but this scribe feels he misses some of the neat gossip. Hmm maybe it is about the scribe.

The OF’s were really concerned about the recent events which happened in Japan. The general comment was “those poor people, first WWII, and now this.” The OF’s tried to start listing the really major catastrophes that have happened in the last couple of years e.g., Katrina, Haiti, Chili, Australia, Indonesia, China, and now Japan. Tsunami’s are now killing thousands of people and just a few years ago the OF’s never heard of the word tsunami let alone know how to spell it. Now huge areas of real estate are being mowed down by rushing water.

The nuclear reactors that are around the world were worked on in a direct (and indirect) fashion by some of the OF’s who worked at General Electric in Schenectady. One OF mentioned there is a connection between the World Trade Center and the nuclear reactors. For instance, who could ever imagine that the WTC buildings would be flown into by two huge airplanes? The architects did not dream that when they designed these structures planes would become so huge, so fast, and carry so much fuel. The OF’s suspected the same thinking could hold true for the design of nuclear reactors. Who would dream that water of this magnitude, water that could put a large ferry boat on top of a four story building half mile inland, would smack into one of these reactors. The OF’s say to them it was unimaginable.

Related to this the OF’s were mentioning that the Mayan calendar may be right; that the world will come to an end in 2012. One OF said that if we get enough of these earthquakes that can move the earth’s axis and if the earth’s axis moves any more the earth itself may flip, and the north pole will become the south pole and vice/versa. Now wouldn’t that be a kick in the head. Could happen, is everybody ready?

But one OF again said all this has happened before only there were not as many people running around this planet and reporting these events world-wide in real time. It was only a few years ago that we had to wait for the Movietone news they were newsreels that came on before the movie in the moving-picture show-place to show us what was going on in the world. Now it has come to, if a rare duck farts to the tune of the Washington Post March in the middle of the jungle in South America, the whole world knows about it as the event happens (whether they want to or not).

Another OG said we are scared to death by listening to all these news stations now. They have all this time to fill and so repeat and repeat the same thing, and have all these guests on that eventually turn out to know less on the subject in question than the OF’s do. This OF’s advice was to turn the news off for six days a week, and turn it on occasionally for just one day and the news will be the same as it was the week before.

“But,” said another OF, “Don’t you want to be ready when the world flips?” “Why? What am I going to have to do?” the other OF replied, “Hang on?”

The OF’s also discussed some events that were topical, and more close to home and that topic was bus drivers and the bus crashes. (Again with the news.) Some of the OF’s were wondering how safe the highways are now. Many of the OF’s have been on bus trips, actually many bus trips, and none have ever complained about a driver. The OF’s came to the conclusion that these accidents must have been isolated incidences and all bus drivers should not be lumped into a bad driver category, like is so often done when one bad apple pops up in any group. One OF asked the question, “With this publicity, do the OF’s think bus trip planning will be curtailed for awhile?” “I am still going,” another OF said, and that settled that. So the OF’s guessed not.

Those OF’s that met at the Alley Cat restaurant in Schoharie and planning their next bus trip with Arnold as the driver were: Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Arnold Geraldsen, Don Moser, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Skip Skinner, Miner Stevens, Dave Williams, Gary Porter, Steve Kelly, Carl Slater, Willard Osterhout, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, and me.