Where would we be without chickens?

The Your Way Café in Schoharie was the meeting place for the Old Men of the Mountain Tuesday, Jan. 10. For a while, this scribe has to write out 2023 until the habit of 2022 is gone. For this scribe, a lot has happened since 1933 and it seems like it was just yesterday.

In most of the restaurants the OMOTM visit hang cutesy signs, plaques, and notices on the walls or these objects sit on the counters and some tables. In the Your Way Café is one that the OMOTM notice and in its cuteness is a truism: “We Guarantee Fast Service … No matter how long it takes.”

This one is funny, yet has to be thought about.


Fowl is fair

Chickens, where would we be without chickens?

The OFs discussed the world of chickens because currently the price of eggs is so high due to the avian bird flu. This bird flu has happened before but the price of eggs at that time remained stable.

One OF said at that time chicken feed was reasonable. Now the OF said it is not only the bird flu but the cost of feed and transportation combined with this flu, and the chicken farmers are still losing money.

The whole world depends somewhat on chickens. Eggs are primarily for eating, baking, cooking, chemicals, medicines, and then the birds themselves for eating, and, as one OF said, “We even eat the guts, like chicken livers.”

How many chickens are there worldwide? That must be some number.

It was even brought up that chicken manure makes great fertilizer, although one OF said that it is necessary to be careful with its use or it will burn the plant.

Another OF said the use of chickens as pets is also growing. With good care, and no genetic issues, a hen can live 10 to 12 years, just a few years shorter than a healthy cat and on average about as long as a well-cared for goldfish.

However, some species of goldfish can live up to 30 years if they have the proper psychological care. (Don’t ask me about this; it was on Google). Maybe a chicken will live longer if the chicken sees a shrink on a regular basis. Oh well.


Flash in the pan

On occasion, the OMOTM talk about black powder and hunting. Tuesday morning, there was another discussion on black powder shooting and how, at times, when shooting black powder nasty things can happen.

Some of the OFs are (or have been) members of re-enactment groups or rod-and-gun clubs where they were able to shoot weapons that used black powder.

The OFs related some stupid maneuvers they did themselves or some of those they were shooting with did, and what the results were.

The term used for describing the sound of a firearm using black powder is “Ka-Boom” and that term comes from what a musket sounds like when it goes off.

The first sound is the ignition of the powder in the pan “Ka.” Then the ignition of the powder in the barrel makes a “boom” sound — hence “Ka-Boom,” still used today.

This is basically what the OFs talked about Tuesday morning: the “Ka” — and no “Boo.m. This can lead to some funny and not-so-humorous situations and the OFs’ reactions to the “Ka” and no “Boom.” This is also known as a “flash in the pan” and that term is also used today almost on a regular basis.


Blinding lights

Another topic brought up on Tuesday morning that is not only voiced by the OMOTM, but also by the younger members in the group, is the blinding of the white and blue lights on vehicles. They may help the driver but definitely in many cases are dangerous to oncoming traffic.

These lights are blinding. One OF said that, when meeting a car with this type of light as it comes over a hill, there are a few moments when the driver of the oncoming vehicles are completely blinded. This occurs on some turns, an OF added.

Then one of the younger OFs added that age has nothing to do with this situation; these moveable search lights also blind younger eyes. There are times when they seem to be OK but that is seldom.

One OF said that he even has problems with rooms that are lit by these white lights where everything is so bright he has to squint and in a short time he has a headache, which goes away quickly when he leaves the room.

Another OF wondered how this form of illumination was checked out before it was put into use. Were all aspects of what happens tested before being put on the shelves?

Then one OF piped up, “Don’t you know dollars talk? If there is a buck to be made to heck with what problems it causes down the line.” For one OF, this really seemed the case.

The OFs talked about rules by the feds and rules by the states especially when it came to driving. It is amazing that a license issued in New York is good in Florida, California, even in Mexico, or Canada and even in Europe, and vice versa.

If licenses can be handled like that, why not some other rules that vary state-to-state?

Those OFs who traveled to Schoharie and to the Your Way Café to enjoy their eggs, fried, pouched, scrambled, or in omelets, were: Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Lou Schenck, Herb Bahrmann, Dick Dexter, Jack Norray, Roger Shafer, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Jamey Darrah, Rick LaGrange, Joe Rack, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Doug Marshall, Jake Herzog, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, John Dab, Paul Guiton, and me.