Here it is Tuesday again, July 19th, and the scribe is running behind in just about everything. Most of the OF’s would say that retiring is not for the faint of heart. The breakfast Tuesday was at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville. The OF’s contribute to many facets of the new buzz words of going green; one is that we do car pool.

At this morning’s breakfast the Hilltown Café was loaded with OF’s and by looking at the parking lot one would think only a few people were there. However, with the number of OF’s inside the place some must have piled in a few cars like clown cars. With the aches and pains, canes and walkers the OF’s use, this probably did not happen but maybe some OF’s were dropped off like kids at school. We can hear it as the wife shouts out the window, “Now honey, don’t let those mean OF’s make you eat too much, you just behave yourself and eat sensibly.” Like that is going to happen.

The OF’s that have gardens were talking about how good the gardens are this year. Two OF’s mentioned that they were the best gardens they have ever had. “That,” one OF said, “is good. Now maybe produce will come down in price at the grocery stores and farm stands.” Then another OF said, “Don’t count on it. Have you priced corn yet…darn ethanol.” “The wild grapes this year,” yet another OF chimed in, “are getting to be just like kudzu down south.” This OF said that he tries to cut the wild grapevine back but this year it is a thankless job.

Then there was the roadside flower report about how prolific the wild orange day lilies are this year and how tall they are. Right now on the hill it is like driving through a florist shop with the asters, the day lilies, sweet clover, wild parsnip, common tansy.

Take your choice from the OF’s discussion on whether it is yellow hawkweed, or skeleton weed that is adding some beautiful yellow to the mix; the golden rod is just starting to add its color. In many spots one OF said the roadside bouquet obscures the guard rails. A gardener OF said sometimes it seems odd that we pull beautiful weeds, and plant flowers in their place. He wondered if it is because the flower has a fancy name; a lot of times it is no prettier than the weed. Well, go figure.

The OF’s discussed our power bills, and how far apart they are for what seems the same appliances being used in different households. One OF with a high power bill said he knows his bill will be higher because he is signed up for 100% wind power and there is quite a higher kilowatt premium for having wind as your power source. The OF’s came to the conclusion that it must be the air conditioners and dehumidifiers, and the daily showers taken because of the warm weather, instead of the once-a-month ones the OF’s take in the cooler months.

This led to a discourse on how paying extra money for energy efficient appliances does nothing to lower your bill. One OF said that they purchased a new energy efficient stove, refrigerator, and hot water heater and their power bill went UP instead of down. Not by a whole lot, but up nonetheless, and neither appliance was larger, or different than the one it replaced. This OF’s recommendation is that as long as an old appliance is working well keep it until it makes a mess in the bed then replace it, but to replace it because the power company tells you to is a bunch of hog wash, it won’t save you a cent; it will wind up costing you money.

After the table slapping calmed down an OF said, “Don’t look at the dollars and cents, look at the kilowatt usage that in fact may have gone down but the power company keeps raising the rates. That is why the bill is up while the usage is actually down.”

Then on to a topic that this scribe is not what you would call really sensitive about but it is a condition the scribe has (maybe by heredity) and it is baldness. The OF’s started talking about baldness and gray hair. One OF stated it correctly when he said we are what we are but we can be envious of those (like a few of the OMOTM who are eighty years old) who still have their dark hair with only a few gray hairs in it. To those like this scribe (and most of the other OF’s) this is disgusting. How dare they walk around like that, while the rest of us have to watch out that we don’t get hit on the head by a drop of water. Sometimes, on the OF’s with no cranial protection, this drop of water bouncing off the skull is like getting hit on the head with a hammer.

Then an OF mentioned that bald is “in,” because so many guys are shaving their heads that being bald is hardly noticeable. Yet one OF said that he was at Crossgates and noticed at least two old goats who were not with the program. They were old goats — he could tell — because both looked older than he did. These two had dyed hair (one black and one red) and combed over from one ear to the other. They were not together — they just happened to be in the mall at the same time. What they were trying to prove this OF didn’t know, but to him it just looked weird. Then one OG said “Hey, everyone has and does their own thing, we all get turned off by one thing or another”. To which another OG said “Yeah and the other way around too, we all get turned on by one thing or another, that’s what makes the world go round.”

Those attending the breakfast at the Hilltown Café which is really in the Hilltowns since it is in Rensselaerville in the Helderbergs, where the OF’s have watched the son of the chief cook and bottle washer in this restaurant run around in one of those seats with wheels when he was a baby to running around now giving the OFs high fives. Depending on certain situations (if the OF’s hang in there much longer) the following OFs will probably some day be waited on, or have our breakfast cooked, by the same young man: Robie Osterman, Dave Williams, Ted Pelkey, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Bill Bartholomew, Frank Pauli, Duane Wagenbaugh, Joe Lubier, Harry Coton, Jim Watson, Jay Taylor, Bob Albert, Roger Chapman, Herb Sawotka, Lou Schenck, Roger Fairchild, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Miner Stevens, Carl Slater, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, Willard Osterhout, Jim Rissacher, and me.