Brighter mornings enlighten lifelong learners

— Photo from United States Mint

The Old Man of the Mountain, depicted on a quarter, was made into a pin — one for each Helderberg OMOTM.

Tuesdays are beginning to be brighter and brighter as the sun decides to get up early. The Old Men of the Mountain now do not have to fight the white oncoming headlights when driving to the early morning breakfasts.

On Tuesday, May 3, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown. The subject of farming continued and this time it was on robotic milking and how robots perform the milking duties on some large farm.

The OF relating the science behind this said that in the milking parlor there are no people, only cows and robots. This was hard to believe by most of the OFs, yet this OF insisted that the cows are milked three times a day and they get in line in order and are washed, milked, and go on their way to the barn/farm yard until it is their time again.

The cows then get in line and do the same thing over and over and over. What a life.


Deliberate costs

Inflation is an ongoing topic. Not only do the OMOTM know about it, but everyone else does too.

This scribe does not have enough space to report all that is said about the price of just about everything. Some of the price increases are related to the cost of what goes into whatever is going up, and the vendor is just relating the higher cost of goods onto us, the OFs, i.e. the average consumer.

The OFs started using their ages, and the common sense of farmers to figure out what is going on with the price of fuel and it is not what the big oil companies in cahoots with big government want us to believe. The OFs think the increasing higher cost of this product is deliberate, and for many reasons.

Number one, the government and environmentalists want the OFs to phase out combustion engines, which may be a good thing; however, electric vehicles are questionable. No matter, the big oil companies are going to make their bucks.

This is the way the OFs figure it. A thousand gallons of fuel at two bucks a gallon is $2,000; five-hundred gallons of fuel at four bucks a gallon is still $2,000.

The two biggies haven’t lost a cent, yet they have driven the prices of many other manufactured goods much higher because they rely on their product. Enough of that — it is not too hard to figure out the rest.


Recalling the rock OMOTM

Most people know that there was an outcropping of rock in Franconia, New Hampshire called the Old Man of the Mountain. Many of the OFs have traveled to New Hampshire to see this face in the hills. Those who have seen it say it was a very good likeness of an old man’s face peering out at the landscape from the side of that mountain.

Unfortunately, 19 years ago today, on May 3, 2003, that face, produced by nature and not man with chisels or jackhammers, tumbled to a pile of rubble at the base of the mountain.

This outcropping was so well known as a symbol for New Hampshire it was used on the “back” of the new (at that time) New Hampshire quarter.

Back when that quarter first came out, one of the OFs, Mike Willsey, purchased a quantity of these quarters and soldered pins to the “front” of the quarters so the OFs could pin them to their OMOTM hats. Which most of the OFs did. Along with the OMOTM hats, these pins proudly indicated the wearer was an Old Man of the Mountain.


The real stuff

The OFs talked about sapping (sapping being maple syrup) again this week, and next year at this time will probably talk about sapping again because that is what some of the OFs are into. Those who have had real maple syrup on their pancakes or waffles know what the OFs are talking about.

The real stuff is so much better than the flavored tar that carries the name syrup, but the comparison has a long way to go to equal the boiled-down sap from a tree.

Maple syrup is like honey — nothing added. The OFs just take the sap from the tree, add heat, bring to boil, and bingo! Maple syrup!

Honey is a thick, sweet, syrupy substance that bees make and store in honeycombs (which can be scraped off) and there you are: Honey! If you want to try this honey it is possible to eat comb and all; nothing of any kind added.

At one time it was suggested that, if you ate the honeycomb, it would help with migraine headaches. The OFs don’t know about that.

One OF thought that sugar and salt is literally the same thing. Nothing is added, the cane is just dried and ground for sugar, and salt is no more than evaporated sea water, or ground-up rock. At least that is what the OF thinks of the way salt is produced.

My goodness! It almost sounds like going back to school at breakfast with the OMOTM. When putting all the conversations together, the OFs do cover many topics, projects, and basic living from firsthand information, or experiences.

As it is said, the school of hard knocks has the best teachers. It is also said experience is the best teacher. Take your pick; the OMOTM have both.

Those OFs, who at the Chuck Wagon Diner picked up their higher education degrees, were: Miner Stevens, Paul Nelson, Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Pete Whitbeck, Jake Herzog, Rich LaGrange, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Joe Rack, Mark Traver, Paul Guiton, Duncan Bellinger, Paul Whitbeck, John Dapp, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Bill Bremmer, Heb Bahrmann, Paul Bahrmann, Doug Marshall,  and me.