Werewolves and whales, full moons and film are all fodder for breakfast talk

On Tuesday, Aug. 12, The Old Men of the Mountain met at the restaurant they were supposed to be at. The restaurant used to be the Alley Cat, then the Blue Star, and now (if this scribe has the correct spelling) it is The Scho-Co Diner. The “Scho” stands for Schoharie, and the “Co” stands for county. The way the pronunciation sounded to the OFs was “Sko-Co” which does have a particular ring to it, but will take some getting used to.

To most of the OFs, the only changes were physical. The “pinkish-red” became “yellow” on the interior, and on the walls hung a collection of very nice photographs. That was about it; the food was plentiful, and good, so that didn’t change and neither did the phone number.

Middle East a big mess

The OFs at one table were talking about the skirmishes, or wars, which have been ongoing in the Middle East. Among the splinter groups were the Jews, and the Palestinians, the Kurds, and the Shiites, Al-Qaida, ISIS, or the Taliban (whatever that group is calling itself now) along with others who have become innocently involved.

The OFs can’t quite figure out what is going on — only that it is one great big mess. One OF said that this battle has been going on among these different factions for centuries and that OF sees no end.

Creatures great and small

The OFs were also talking about Shark Week that is currently on TV. Some of the OFs seem fascinated by it.

Some OFs are just as fascinated by what is in the ocean as the water itself. What is swimming around in the oceans?

Many OFs say they have no idea of what some of it may be, from microscopic to monsters. One OF conjectured that our fascination with water might be that it is from conception, and during the first nine months of our lives we live in a sack of water.

Some of the largest creatures now on the planet are sharks and whales. The OFs included whales with their discussions on sharks. Only a few of the OFs have seen sharks in the wild, but many have seen the docile whale on whale watches, and sometimes whales are spotted just by accident from land and from cruise ships.

One OF wondered if we ever had the senses that some of these creatures have, i.e., if all the research is valid. Man is so puny, so how did we get the upper hand?  It really could be the Planet of the Apes if survival were based on just size.

One OF said size doesn’t matter, and neither do brains; rather, it is organization and numbers. If a couple of million ants take on a human being, the human — though a hundred times larger than a single ant — doesn’t stand a chance.

Full-moon romance?

The OFs discussed more science Tuesday morning.  The next topic was the moon and its closeness to the Earth a few days ago.

The OFs wondered if there will be any increase in babies being born nine months from now because of this super full moon. Some OFs said they had kids born on full moons.

One OF mentioned that one of his kids was born on a full moon and was covered in a fine hair. Wolfman, where are you?

None of the OFs noticed any unusual animal behavior, or anything out of the ordinary with the super moon that just occurred. An OF mentioned there are so many made-up names nowadays that he is surprised there wasn’t a kid named “Perigee” in the paper.

Digital dilemma

On many occasions, the OFs talk about birding, and the birds they see. One OF swears he spotted a golden eagle. He says he put the binoculars on the bird and still maintains it was a golden eagle.

The OF was asked if he got a picture of it and he said that all he had was his little camera with him, and by that the OF meant digital and that camera at long distances seemed to be “shaky.” The OF said his “big” camera was back at the house (meaning the type of camera that used regular film and one he could put a long lens on).  With that big camera, the OF said he has some beautiful nature shots.

The OFs said these new cameras on computers and in phones, and the cameras no bigger than a pack of cigarettes, are only meant for taking these new photos called “selfies” and not for taking real pictures.

One OF mentioned how slow the digital cameras are compared to the film-type camera. By the time the OF pushes all the buttons to get the digital going, what he wanted to take a picture of is gone.

To show how hip the OFs are (not) the OFs wondered if you can still get film for these older cameras. There was not a real “for sure” uttered by many of the OFs, just some “I don’t know”s to “I think so”s tossed around. The answer is yes, and the cameras are also still available.

They also make some large digital cameras with interchangeable lenses that are very good. This scribe thinks that information collected by a bunch of numbers recorded on a disk can be more lasting than an image recorded by light on a chemical film.

Those who attended the breakfast at the Scho-Co Diner in Schoharie and were there as actual people and not a bunch of numbers (then again, maybe that is what we are, maybe everything is just a bunch of numbers) were: Art Frament, Bob Benac, Roger Fairchild, Herb Swabota, Roger Chapman, Miner Stevens, Dave Williams, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, Bill Bartholomew, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Jim Heiser, Chuck Aleseio, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Karl Remmers, Dick Ogsbury, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Duncan Bellinger, Bill Krause, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Don Wood, Duane Wagenbaugh, Harold Grippen, Ted Willsey, Bob Lassome, Rich Donnelly, Joe Loubier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gill Zabel, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, and me.