The Old Men of the Mountain met at the Home Front Café in Altamont on January 28th and the OFs are becoming a little bit tired of this cold. Thank goodness we are almost through January and when the Enterprise hits the newsstands it will be the end of January. The OGs are just about ready to start complaining.

The OFs had a discussion this morning on something they are quite familiar with since some (not all) of the OFs were around when there were dinosaurs. Some of the OFs were on a personal basis with these creatures; many of the OFs were here to show God how to make dirt. Quite a few of the OFs were farmers and had first-hand knowledge of how to make good dirt because to feed those dinosaurs was going to take some fast growing plants, and plants like this need good dirt.

This scribe made a note on the dinosaurs and is scratching his head to try and remember how the OFs started talking about these ancient animals, amphibians, and birds in the first place. Of course the more well known beasts of these periods came up. T-Rex came up, so did the Pterodactyl, and of course, the long neck Barosaurus. The OF wondered how many bales of hay it would take to feed one of those long neck monsters if these creatures were around today and if it would take a whole cow to feed a T-Rex. One OG thought that if a Pterodactyl flew over and pooped on your shoulder ─ like a seagull ─ it would probably knock you to the ground.

It is hard for the OFs to conceive how Adam was able to name all the animals, and did he speak Latin? Were there even cows, as we know them, in the Triassic or Jurassic periods? Who called the first cow a cow, and a dog a dog, and why aren’t dogs still called wolves, and then there is the whole cat enigma, and did Adam’s descendants speak Latin…It seems the OFs should know these facts because, of course, they were there. The OFs are getting in rather deep here.

Now comes the government at work again ─ like the Star Program instructions. (Once again a reminder: it is not the reader, or the hearer, but the communicator who fails to communicate). One particular OF built a new home and moved into it and is currently living there. Like a good citizen, as most the OFs are, he notified Social Security about his address change.

Social Security dutifully acknowledged that they had received the change of address, and listed the new address on the form they sent that it was changed. However, the envelope that was sent back to him (telling him this change was made) was sent to his old address, and he received a notification from the Post Office that he should notify the SSA that his address had been changed…Say what! (Good thing he lives in a small town where the post office employees knew him and were able to notify him they were holding a letter from SSA sent to his old address).

Another OF has a similar situation with a government identity on changing his middle initial on paperwork he has with this identity. This OF has notified the powers that be four or five times and “they” say they will make a note and change it. Each time this paperwork comes through with the wrong middle initial. This OF just gave up and he accepts the wrong middle initial. This nonsense has been going on for over 20 years.

Shortly, we will be having a couple of OGs making visits to the hospital for operations. One fellow is having a knee replacement and another one is having an operation on his prostrate. Neither sound like fun ─ especially that prostrate thing. This prompted the OFs to talk about operations and how they turn out. We sometimes hear horror stories, but if just considering what these old guys, and the members of their families have had done to their bodies, and then playing the percentages, the number is pretty high that things are going to turn out all right. There were horror stories but the OFs said it is necessary to remember it is a percentage game and not everyone is going to be in the high percentile. It is really tough when an OG has an operation or procedure and is in the lower percentile and has to go through who knows what.

Heaven knows any doctor worth his salt does not want to be known as a doctor who performs in the lower category. The OF’s think they all do the best they can. One OF said that in a lot of operations the doctors do it right and send you off to physical therapy, or rehab, and if you don’t stick with it the OF bets it is not the doctor but the patient who gives up and causes his/her own problems. This is not true is all cases. In some cases things just didn’t go right and it is too bad it is a person’s life that is stuck with it. The OF continued, if a carpenter screws up, it is just a matter of tearing his work out and starting over, but with a person whose back gets screwed up that is not an option. Maybe someday…but not now.

Some of the OFs started talking about WWII and Vietnam airplanes and the guys that flew them. Many of these pilots were just crazy, and the movie stories about some of them are tame as to what they actually did. Those that were in the Air Force mentioned how the US was behind in the advancement of aircraft when the US entered WWII. The comment was how much better the German and the Japanese airplanes were. It didn’t take us long to catch up though, and soon the skies belonged to the U.S. The OFs started talking about these airplanes, and this scribe thinks it is because of where the breakfast was, at the Home Front Café. There is a painting there of a WWII airplane being worked on. This was probably the stimulus to catapult the conversation in that direction and to the OFs that were in the Air Force.

Those attending the breakfast at the Home Front Café in Altamont, and arriving by the standard mode of transportation and not by air were: Bill Krause, Roger Chapman, Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, Robie Osterman, Steve Kelly, Karl Remmers, Dick Ogsbury, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Roger Shafer, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Otis Lawyer, Chuck Aleseio, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Ken Hughes, Andy Tinning, Henry Whipple, Ted Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, Jim Rissacher, and me.

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