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Tuesday, December 27th, 2011, seemed to come quite fast… as a matter of fact for the Old Men of the Mountain the whole darn year seemed to go by in a hurry.

The OFs met at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville for the    time this year, and have watched a young family grow. The OFs were saying that it seems like we have only been in the place a couple of times, even though we hit the place this year about ten times. The OF’s were wondering where are the days hurrying off to; what’s the big rush? This is the last gathering in 2011but it just seems like yesterday the OF’s were arguing how to say twenty ten, or two thousand and ten. One OF said he guessed it has been settled it is twenty eleven, and now it will be twenty twelve, and the OF said he has just gotten so that it is automatic to write twenty eleven in his check book instead of twenty ten, now he has to fuss around with twelve.

As most of the OFs know (and most in the Northeast know) the weather has been a tad unusual up till now. This prompted one OG to bring the rest of the OFs up to date on the mouse population. This OF said he has a few out buildings — a shed, a shop, a garage, and a hanger. So far he has trapped thirty mice in these out buildings using peanut butter as bait. The OF did not let us in on what type of peanut butter, and this can be critical because another OF uses peanut butter in his traps and does not have the success the first OF has. Unfortunately he did not ask this very important question. Was the OF that has caught thirty of the nasty varmints using old fashioned peanut butter, or chunky, creamy, Jif, Skippy, or some store brand?  This is necessary information. The OF did mention that the new plastic traps work well, some of the newest versions of mouse traps aren’t worth the effort to even set them. The old Victor snap type trap is the way to go wood or plastic.

The quantity of mice the OF caught he blamed on the weather and the fact that the critters have not holed up — they are still out there running around. Most of the OFs agreed with him.

The OFs continued talking about the weather and the lack of snow. The OFs said there may be a lack of snow but there sure isn’t a lack of the wet stuff. The OFs maintain that if all the rain we have had was snow we would be in snow up to our eyeballs. Some of the OGs felt bad for the ski areas and the surrounding towns that spring up because of the skiing attraction, particularly in the Catskills where the small towns had all the problems from Irene and Lee and could use the revenue generated by the ski areas.

It is like most things, one OF said, a double edged sword.  We are not driving on miserable roads, roofs aren’t caving in, and we don’t have to shovel, however, on the other hand the skiers, and ski resorts are really ticked off because the white, crystal rain drops are not falling.

Somehow the OF’s began to discuss computers, which discussion on these things, for a lot of the OF’s, is foreign territory.  Nevertheless, some do use the things even though they do not trust them, and this is where “suspicions confirmed” reared its ugly head. One OF said he received an e-mail from a relative (like he frequently did) but riding on that e-mail was a virus that got through his firewalls.  His screen went white, and then a message from Microsoft came up and said if he didn’t do this or that his machine would crash, and clicking on this message would prevent that. The OF knew it was a nasty virus and closed the whole thing out but he had to do a lot to bring his machine back up to its former condition, reclaiming files and procedures like that. The OF does not know if the virus is gone or just shoved to the back someplace. What do the OFs know?  The OFs are not a ten-year old that can figure all this electronic gadgetry out.

Things change.  You can flip a Rubik’s Cube to a kid eight-years old and an OF. In a few seconds the kid will solve the Rubik’s Cube pattern and flip it back, while the OF is still twirling it around in his hands trying to figure out what to do with it.

One OF commented on last week’s column and said he would rather be on his motorcycle than on a horse. The OF said that when he is on the cycle most of the time it goes where he wants it to go, but on a horse if it gets stung on the butt by a bee, the rider has no idea what’s going on. There may be some truth in that, another OF replied, but blow a front tire on the cycle at sixty miles an hour and the rider has no idea what is going on either. This OF said he would rather jump off a horse at twenty miles an hour, than get thrown off a motorcycle at sixty miles an hour.
Those OF’s attending the breakfast at the Hometown Café in Rensselaerville and not arriving on motorcycles were: Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Robie Osterman, Ted Pelkey, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, Willard Osterhout, Rev. Jay Francis, Joe Hufnagle, Jerry Willsey, Carl Slater, and me.