Talk of to-do lists, garden prep, and modesty in the Google era

On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner; the waitresses were dressed in green, and the room the OFs gather in was festooned with green shamrocks and other St. Patty’s Day decorations.

A few of the OFs wore green; one even had a bright green necklace around his neck, similar to the beads thrown in New Orleans and other places that have Mardi Gras festivities before Ash Wednesday.

A routine question asked of the OFs by many other OFs is, “What are your plans for the day? Do you have anything to do?” The answers are generally vague, or met with a blank stare, as “Do? Do what?” Many of the OFs offer smart remarks like, “Take a nap,” which is true in most cases.

A common reply is list what doctors the OF or his wife have on the schedule for this day or week. Some really have something planned, places to go, and people to see.

An OF said he has to check the to-do list that is posted on the refrigerator. This OF thinks that quite often there are so many chores listed that the neighbors sneak in and add to the list because the neighbors know the OF is retired and will be home with “nothing to do.”

The OF says the handwriting of the weird chores are poor attempts at forgery. These notes say things like, “Take care of Blanche’s cats and let them out.” That message is one that has the worst attempts of his wife’s writing.

Yeah, we get those types of jobs on our to-do list but they are funneled through the old lady so the messages come from a bonafide source. One OF said it isn’t possible to put a to-do list on his refrigerator because, with all the pictures of relatives and grandkids, there isn’t any room.

The OF said that once he put a picture of a nude pinup on the refrigerator among all the other relatives, kids and grandkids and it wasn’t noticed at all. The OF said, after a year, he took it down and threw it away.

Gardeners get ready

The OFs who have gardens are talking about getting ready for the planting season and some have all ready started their plants. These are the OFs who are really into gardening and start plants likes peppers, tomatoes, and even some flowers from seed.

One OF mentioned he has purchased a worm composting system. According to this OF, this is a self-perpetuating system because the worms are prolific and multiply quickly.  One thousand worms become 2,000 worms in a hurry.

This OF says they will compost anything. When one tray of compost becomes ready, it is time to start another tray and the worms will turn anything that is compostable into dirt, even newspaper, and cardboard.

Comparing prices

Occasionally the OFs start comparing prices they pay for similar items.  This morning the discussion was on cable TV, specifically, Time Warner.

The outcome was that not one OF was paying the same for cable that the other was. Some were close but no cigar.  It seemed to be the variety of packages offered and what each OF has.

The same inconsistency was observed with car insurance. Some of the OFs shop for car insurance all the time, while others stick with an agent they know. This is where there are large differences.

The OFs did not converse about their coverage and their deductibles. Neither did they get into the ages of the vehicles involved. Some of their vehicles may be clunkers and others may be top-of-the-line vehicles.

One day, this scribe thinks the OFs should have an insurance party where the OFs can bring in information from their policies and compare apples to apples.

This also may be a plan of attack for the cable bills.  We should gather all our bills, check and see what is what and show up en mass at the Time Warner kiosks in Colonie Center and sign in as one organization, “The Old Men of the Mountain.”

When the name is called, all the OFs there go to the representative as a group, with our canes, one good eye, limps, and hearing aids that don’t work. This might scare the be-jeepers out of the clerk. The OFs would probably hear “Manager” in a panic tone emanate from the clerk feeling he or she was being swarmed by the undead.

Living in the Age of Google

The OFs who are on computers (and that is many more than people think, many OFs also have smartphones, and there is a good group of OFs who own the latest tech gadgets) play with Google maps. The OFs think it is fun to google friends and relatives, and places in the news with Google maps.

One OF said, while you guys are googling other people and places, they in turn are googling you. One OF added that the places depicted on Google are not very current. This OF said that he has googled his place and the shot used is years old.

He said that plane could fly over when his yard was a mess; however, it could look like the gardens at the Governor’s house in Williamsburg now. The information is definitely not real time.

With all this new technology going on with drones, cameras, with lenses that can take a picture of a match being lit on the moon, and computer maps, the world is nothing but one great big peep show. Where an OF once could take his wrinkled old body out in the backyard and run around naked, he is now going to show up on somebody’s computer in Stockholm, Sweden.


 The OMOTM would like to offer their condolences to Harold Grippen and family on the loss of their son and brother.

The OFs who showed up at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg, and fully clothed (thank goodness ) were: Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Karl Remmers, Dick Ogsbury, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Ken Weaver, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Chuck Aleseio, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Otis Lawyer, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, Bob Benninger, Bob Fink, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, and me.