It is already the 19th of January, and a Tuesday when the Old Men of the Mountain braved the wind and single digit temperatures to meet at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville.

Wouldn’t you know it ─ Murphy’s Law applied. As good as the Hilltown Café is, it is the restaurant with the highest elevation the OFs have on their list, and it was the worst day of the year so far. Two hands on the wheel today or the vehicle could be blown into the ditch, and there the OFs would be stuck, with a -20 degree wind chill in the middle of nowhere hoping another carload of OFs would come by and pick them up.

The OFs found that it was time to pick on those who think that they are always right.  An argument of two people who think they know it all and who are always right the OFs consider a waste of time. Generally neither one is right. The term it is “my way or the highway” was one phrase the OFs say fit right in this discussion. The OFs said we all know people like this. One OF said, “Yeah, we have a room full of them right now.” This OF continued, “I know I am right on this, which one of you guys is going to admit they are not right? Starting a sentence with “I may be wrong, but ‘xyz’ doesn’t count because it really means the OF thinks he is right.” In most cases there is more than one way to get a job done. As long as the job is done and it works there is no right way, any way was the right way, the job is done, so what, who cares how it was done.

One OF mentioned that when traveling now it is a good idea to bring some cash. Some banks and credit card companies will prevent you from using your card if the place where it is being used is an unusual situation for you. One OF reported that his identity was stolen and the credit card was being used to buy lumber in California.  The credit card company stopped payment right away, and would not honor it. They contacted the OF to see if he was there and, of course, he was not there, he was still here in NY. The OF then obtained a new credit card making that one useless. But the OF said, “Suppose you were in California and really needed to use the credit card and the bank put a stop on it and you had no cash?” Whoops…now what kind of hoops would you have to go through? The OFs said that it is a good idea to notify your bank if you are going to travel and inform them of where you are going ahead of time. That sounded like a good idea to the OFs.

Another topic the OFs touched on this morning was diets. As long as the OFs have been around diets (going on and off diets) have been a national source for conversations, articles, and cook books. How many ways can you fry a potato? The OFs have found a diet that seems to work and was prescribed by a physician ─ just a regular M.D. trying to help someone lose weight. The OF relating the advice the doctor offered said that on a plate of meat, potatoes, and veggies, start with the protein first, and then chew, chew, chew. Many of the OFs have their breakfast gone in a manner of minutes. The reasoning is they like to eat their food while it is still warm. To these OFs if you spend all your time chewing it takes too long and the food cools off. That may be part of the secret of this diet plan; if the food is cold the eater will eat less. … Hmmmm. Some OFs do chew their food but shape wise the mix of OFs who chew, or gulp proves nothing. The other part of this diet is to drink water. Sounds simple enough to this scribe who might take heed, apparently it is not what you eat but how you eat. Hey, it is worth a shot. The last piece of advice was not about dieting but should be added to the regimen and that is ‘get some exercise’. How much and exactly what type of exercise was not mentioned. This scribe thinks good long walks should be sufficient. Although at the ages of some of the OFs the arthritis, along with other aches and implants prevent the OFs from these long walks.  Some sort of exercise for these OFs should be doctor recommended.

This brought up the notice of how many of the OFs use their elbows and/or hands to push on tables to get up. Some of the OFs prefer to sit in chairs with arms so they can use the elbows, and some even sit with their elbows and shoulders under  pressure on the arms of chairs because they are unknowingly supporting their backs even while sitting down.

The OFs brought up the adding of 18% to the bill for a tip. The OFs say they don’t trust a lot of the managers of these restaurants to pass that money along. The OFs would rather leave it or hand it to the server than have it automatically collected. A few of the OFs have been so disgusted in a restaurant (these OFs had to admit it was just a few times) that they left the traditional penny to indicate their displeasure.

Now an OF said the waiter/waitress can just sling the plate at you, and forget to even ask if everything is OK, or if you need anything else and they still get a tip. This is wrong, according to the OFs. Most of the OFs leave a pretty good tip when they are happy and now they won’t even get that chance. The OFs wonder what planet these politicians live on. Social Security saw no increases this year because the cost of living has not risen…Say What!!??  Have the people that run that governmental department been in a grocery store lately???  The OFs doubt it. How this got into talking about tips this scribe does not know.

The OMOTM that were at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville and being served by a waitress with a ready smile and laugh along with profiency that earned her money and tips were: Roger Chapman, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Robie Osterman, Harold Guest, Chuck Aelesio, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Lou Schenck, Gerry Irwin, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Bill Herzog, Jim Rissacher, Bill Rice, Henry Whipple, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.