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Many of the Old Men of the Mountain left the hills of snow on Tuesday the 16th day of December and made it to the Home Front Café in Altamont. What a difference and few miles, and 1500 feet make in the type weather that the OFs traverse. Not one of the weather people even mentioned Knox, Berne, (maybe Berne once or twice) South Berne, or East Berne and the last two really got nailed with the amount of snow that was dumped on these localities.

Getting to the Home Front, which is at the foot of Altamont hill in Altamont (duh) the OFs went from 20” to 24” of snow to practically nothing in a distance of 2 miles. The other point is that this snow has hung around, and for days now the trees are still laden with snow. A winter wonderland, (yeah right). The OFs assumed the cameras were clicking especially on Saturday when there was about 5 hours of sun. These same weather people were showing sun and warmer temps, and the OFs are wondering where did that happen, maybe Hawaii. The OFs haven’t seen much sun lately, and without the sun, just like old snapping turtles the OFs are growing moss on their backs.

There was a brief discussion on the shortest day between sunrise and sunset. This scribe had to check this one out and this scribe found it goes minute by minute and is based from Boston for use in the Farmers Almanac and it started on the 17th of December to the 26th to give 9hrs. and 2min of daylight for those days, however sunrise and sunset times vary a tad. Anyway we are in the shortest period of daylight hours for 2014. Whoopee.

There also was some talk on the age of your doctor. The OFs are now of an age where they can officially be declared experts on types of doctors. Some of the information comes from self experience, and some for first hand experience of friends and relatives. Like all experts who expound on this or that the one item the OFs agree on, is the only thing the expert is an expert on is saying that he or she is an expert.

Some of the OFs thing going to a doctor that has considerable gray in his hair, if it is a she doctor that is hard to tell because they like many ladies die their hair, but the gray indicates the doctor has seen many cases and probably has seen whatever the OF is there with before. Whereas a young doctor has less experience and that wart on your nose my stump him, but the older may have had one himself. But the other OFs maintained that the younger doctor may be more up on the new techniques, procedures, and medications. One OF said he was a little bias, give me experience over youth any day.

There was a basic school of thought that was on karma. Some OF said they didn’t care it the doctor wasn’t old enough to shave, or had hair growing out of his ears like me as long as we got along and could communicate that was all that he cared about.

Then there was that OG again who wanted to start a collection of the distaff side who commented that as long as the doctor had a pretty receptionist and good looking nurses he was good enough for him even if he was a quack. This OF said at least he had good judgment.

This is the season that many organizations introduce their campaigns for charitable giving. Most seem needy and worthwhile and the OFs struggle at times because the ads and programs make them want to give to them all. That is a trick of good marketing, or a good advertising agency. These businesses do well in inducing the OFs at times to purchase things the OFs don’t want, or need, and will probably never use. These people are good at what they do, especially going to college for 4 or 6 years to learn how do to it. Most of the OFs do what they can for the charities they are familiar with. Some with animals, some for the heart, some for the Salvation Army, some for kidney, some for the Rescue Mission, and others like the Nature conservancy, volunteer fire companies, civic organizations that affect the local community. Not only do the OFs do this with money, but also time. Even though many well intentioned charitable organizations tug at the OFs purse strings the OFs say pick one and stick with it. They also add that dropping something in the Salvation Army bucket doesn’t hurt, and every little bit helps. The OFs say take a lesson from the cable company, jack the bill up a couple bucks at a time and it is not really noticed, but do that with 2 million people and it is four million dollars. One OF say he contributes thousands of dollars a year to quite a group of non profit organizations they are called New York State, The Federal Government, The town, the county and he has nothing to say about it. After contributing to these charitable organizations he has nothing left for the others.

The OFs noticed that as the OFs in this group become older, the OFs are requiring more and more medical care, for themselves and their families. This is to be expected and as one or more of a family becomes incapacitated this places a lot of stress on the members of the family. The OFs have covered this before and there is tons or stress, and anxiety placed on the caregivers and they caregiver needs as much support as the on requiring the care. This is where churches, friends, and groups like the OMOTM can fill a real important niche in people’s lives. (A scribe comment snuck in here.)

The OFs that made it to the Home Front Café in Altamont which is not a charitable organization, were; Dave Williams, Steve Kelly, Roger Chapman, Roger Shafer, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, John Rossmann, Lou Schenck, Chuck Alesio, Frank Pauli, Harold Guest, Mark Traver, Jim Heiser, Otis Lawyer, Glenn Patterson, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, Gill Zabel, Elwood Vanderbilt, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Bill Krause, and me.