Tuesday, ah, Tuesday the day the Old Men of the Mountain meet, and this week it was at the Alley Cat Restaurant in Schoharie.

One of the OFs — matter of fact one of the younger OFs, maybe too young to really be an OF, but he hangs out with the OF’s anyway (smart guy) ordered a blueberry waffle which came with huge waffles and must have had 2 boxes of blueberries, and a whole can of whipped cream on top. Waffles like this are not good for boxes to take home so the OF’s thought one has to be young to eat like this, because eating it all in one sitting looked necessary, but then as some OF’s looked at what other OF’s breakfasts were it was obvious many OF’s do eat like this.

Number one topic…Osama. Good riddance, but the OF’s feel the olive has been pulled from the jar and nothing is going to change. The OF’s felt that the radical fringes of many, if not all, ideologies causes problems for all the rest. Now with information able to be decimated at such a rapid pace with the aid of communication technology it tain’t going to get any better Magee. Some OF’s do not see any light at the end of the tunnel, while others think it will take time, however, people will learn to live with this wave of more information than we need to know or even know what to do with, and in real time. Some OF’s think this is the problem all over and to some it is scary.

The OG’s talk turned again to eye surgery. This time it was macular degeneration and the new drug that is supposed to help. Some of the OF’s have the MD problem and it limits their ability to drive at night. Unless the OF is at a family function that goes into the evening hours what is the OF doing out after nine anyway? Most are in bed. Macular degeneration is part of the aging process but all aging symptoms fortunately do not bother all OF’s; if they did anybody 70 years old or better would be a hurting unit. This new drug, however, seems to be very promising. In reality it is not a new drug but it is one that has been used on some cancers for awhile. Probably some alert medical person noticed that a person that was being treated for the particular cancer also had macular degeneration and the macular degeneration started to improve with the treatment. What a great side effect that turned out to be. One OF said that the side effects to some of these simple drugs make him afraid to take them. “Except Viagra,” he said, “I will put up with those side effects.”

Every OF was talking about trying to get their lawns mowed and with all the wet weather it is a losing battle. Some say they have small lakes around their homes and in their yards. The OF’s are beginning to give these bodies of water names, like Lake Willsey, Guest’s Pond, Rossmann’s Swimming Hole, Remmer’s Swamp, and so on.

Watch out for mosquitoes this late spring and early summer with all this wet weather. The OF’s feel that there is going to be a lot of wet areas around for those little blood suckers to breed. Farmers with EPA designated wet areas on their land (that they can’t touch) will be especially prone for the breeding of mosquitoes. Drain the dumb things and remove the habitat for ticks, mosquitoes, and rabies breeding grounds. The EPA would rather protect a duck than a human some of the OF’s say. One OG said in his opinion if a farmer comes down with Lyme disease and dies, but a duck gets the chance to lay an egg, then the EPA feels it has done its job. Some other OF’s say what is wrong with this picture? One more OF mentioned the other point of view, e.g., if one species is saved it might just save the others, and the OF’s are a species, although inferior, a species nonetheless. Oops.

Then the OF’s talked about how many things were built 60 to 70 years ago with a pick and shovel, a wheelbarrow, and a piece of rope. Today, even people with one to two acres have a tractor with a scoop on it, and in one pass can do what two guys with a shovel took almost an hour to do before Westinghouse. This type of technology the OF’s like. Anything to make work easier, and not confusing.

In the last column the OF’s talked about how much we have shrunk. One OF reported that he was at the doctor and they measured him and said he was 5’5 & ¾”. The OG told the nurse she had better check that because that last time he checked he was 5’10”. That is a loss of 4 & ¾”. They checked and they were right. “My goodness,” the OF said, “No wonder I have found myself looking through the steering wheel to drive.”

Those attending the breakfast at the Alley Cat Restaurant in Schoharie, and after the last column standing taller when they came in were: Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Gerd Remmers, Robie Osterman, Ted Pelkey, Miner Stevens, Carl Slater, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Roger Chapman, Henry Witt, Roger Shafer, Steve Kelly, Don Moser, Arnold Geraldsen, Gary Patterson, Mark Traver, Dave Williams, Jim Rissacher, Ted Willsey, Willard Osterhout, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, and me.