Well, on the first breakfast of the New Year (and by the way Happy New Year from the OMOTM) the OFs good weather for driving to the restaurants ran out. The drive on January 3rd 2017 was not fun. There was drizzle at the freezing point and thick, heavy fog and it was a dark day, but this did not hold many OFs from getting out and enjoying the comradery of all the other OFs. The OFs discussed the weather in Duanesburgh because this morning the OMOTM were at the Duanesburgh Diner in that village. Duanesburgh has a weather system all its own and it generally has nothing to do with the rest of us.

This morning this scribe had copious notes because the subjects were varied and all over the place ─ they covered New Years Eve, Mariah Carey, trapping, aquariums, zoos, self-driving cars, clever crooks, sulfur water, guarantees, computer spying, the non-word “overspread”, warts, spots, wrinkles, babies, mice and ticks, the flu and a few others. This scribe can only pick a few of these to expand on.

Quite a schooling was given on the art of trapping. It does take time to learn and it is done by going as an apprentice with an experienced trapper. Book larnin tain’t gonna cut it. The critter of choice for this lesson from the trapper was the fisher. The fisher is a nasty animal and will eat just about anything. Squirrels, mice, rabbits, birds, cats, skunks, and even the parents of the aforementioned animals, and also their young, and their eggs, according to the OF outdoors-man and trapper. This is a ferocious little animal. The OF said that during this trapping season, with the few traps he set out he managed to trap two fishers. The OF said he does not use leg traps.

We found out in many of our conversations that the OFs have been to places that most of the other OFs have been to. This time it was aquariums. The aquariums the OFs talked about were the ones in Mystic, Conn., in Boston, in Bush Gardens, and the one in Myrtle Beach. The one that is now open in the old Rotterdam mall was what brought this up. One of the OF’s kids was going to take his kids and some friends of theirs to the aquarium at the mall in Rotterdam on the school winter break, but when he checked the cost that was soon scratched off the list.

The OFs were wondering who would be at fault and who would the lawyers sue if two self-driving vehicles collided with each other. Would they have to sue the company, or the people who owned the cars? The people that owned them were not driving them so how could they be responsible? How about the guidance system that was directing them? Supposing they were both using the same guidance system, what then? How would the police fill out the accident report? What kind of answer would they get to, “May I see your license and registration please?” The OFs think the questions that could come up might be endless. “What fun,” as one OF put it.

The OFs talked about clever crooks, and the crooks that stole the diamonds with 7000 police officers a couple of blocks away. One might admit they had one heck of a decoy with the revelry of one of the largest New Years Eve parties in full swing. These crooks could have even used jackhammers and no one would have noticed. One OF thought all of the officers were looking in one direction trying to spot any sort of trouble so the people partying would be safe, however, none must have looked behind them. One OF added two blocks away in New York is quite a distance so even if the police officers looked back they probably would not have seen anything. The one crime that was not made by a stupid crook, but rather stupid people who were transporting a tremendous amount of gold. There was so much gold that this one individual saw just sitting in a bucket in the back of an unattended truck ─ again New York City. He picked it up and walked off with it. Who the heck was at fault on that deal one OF wondered?

Then there was the local guy that went after an ATM machine with a big hammer that was not big enough. The guy went home and came back with a sledge hammer and started beating on the ATM machine but it did not break. This shows one thing. These machines are well built! If anyone is going to steal one of these things they should take lessons from the crooks that used a forklift and placed the ATM machine on a truck and hauled it away. It might be a good idea if the manufacturers of these machines installed a GPS tracking device in the machines along with the cameras.

Some time ago the OFs discussed manufacturer’s errors, and this time the discussion was on warranties. Many of the OFs have had appliances, tools, outdoor equipment and other items that are used in and around the home and these items fail within the warrantee period. Depending on the supplier, and what the product is, sometimes the OGs try and fix the problem, but sometimes the suppliers just say take another one, and when asked what to do with the one that doesn’t work, often these suppliers say keep it. This is because the dealer doesn’t want to mess with it and neither does the manufacturer. Now the OF that bought it is stuck with it and has to take it to the dump…er… transfer station. However, some of the OFs that have kept various and sundry of these pieces of failed whatever have used them for spare parts, made planters out of them, and in some cases cobbled them up and made them serviceable again. The OFs have come to the conclusion that over the years we have really become a throw-away society.

Those OFs that made it to the Duanesburgh Diner in Duanesburgh (and the OFs are original production runs and not castaways) were: Bill Lichliter, Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Chuck Aelesio, Ray Frank, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Otis Lawyer, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Gerry Irwin, Herb Bahrmann, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Marty Herzog, and me.