Cognoscente consider taking cognizance test

It is the Vth month already and we are into it by IX days and, on this Tuesday of V IX MMXXIII, the Old Men of the Mountain tucked another beautiful morning under their belts and gathered at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh in full force to have breakfast.

At the last count, unless this scribe missed a head or two, there were XXXIV OMOTM seated at the tables. As mentioned before, this count is very important to supply alibis for those in attendance and this scribe hopes he spotted all who came.

The past couple of weeks, the OFs have been offered a chance to take a survey on “cognizance.” So far, a couple of the OFs said the survey sounds like fun and they are interested in taking part in it, even though this is not every OF’s cup of tea.

One OF said he is leery about taking this test because after taking it the one administering the test may have him committed.

Another OF said, “You? With this group, it could or should be all of us.”


The best way

The conversation turned to how anyone does things, anything from brushing their teeth to mowing the lawn, from getting dressed to fixing a leaky sink, etc. The OFs discussed the “easy way, versus the hard way.”

During this conversation, it was concluded that the easy way to some is the hard way to others and, as usual, the ending was that, that sentence could be reversed.

One OF maintained that, when putting on your pants, it should be done sitting down because if you do it standing up there is a chance the person putting on his pants could fall over. The OF also thought it was much easier sitting down than standing up.

How to mow the lawn was another topic and it was hard to discern if the subject was the easy way or the hard way, as opposed to what some considered the right way or the wrong way.

Some thought going up one way and back the other way, others thought starting in the middle and going around and around was the best way and the quickest, while another said starting at the edge and working to the center going in one direction was the fastest and the best.

One OF really had the easiest: All he did was stand and look out the window while he had a cup of coffee and watched whoever he hired to do it, do it.


Tons of tools

This segued into a conversation on how many engines the average OMOTM had. The OFs began mentioning what tools they owned just to maintain their property, then those who had hobbies like boats, motorcycles, radio-controlled planes, and drones; all those toys that keep the OFs happy and busy.

Engines mount up, weed-whackers, lawn mowers, chainsaws, power-washers, they too, add to the mix. Some OFs say they are not mechanics but yet they keep all these engines running.

As the scribe listened to all this, and sorting out words from noise, the scribe thought about his dad telling him: If it is run by external fuel, it is an engine, and that includes steam, but if it is run by electricity, it is a motor.

But like boats and ships this is not a hard and fast rule. Engine Sports does not have the ring to it than Motor Sports does. Why that came to the scribe, he does not know, but the next conversation was on what and how the OFs learned from their moms and dads.


Parental lessons

Because it was mostly on man stuff, it was the OF’s dads who were discussed even though Mother’s Day is coming up.

How, as kids, the OFs learned from their dads is varied, some dads were good teachers, and some did not have the knack. Some of the OFs’ dads were easygoing types, and some weren’t.

What kind of dads the OFs thought they were, the OFs did not know. On the farm, dads had to be pretty good teachers without knowing it or the OFs at the table who were raised on farms wouldn’t be here; it would be someone else.

Learning from your parents, the bus, and the school of hard knocks, one OF thought was better than school and the books. The OF said, “Why the h--- did we have to learn Roman numerals?”

This OF said he didn’t think even the Roman engineers did their engineering in Roman numerals. Another OF suggested it was necessary to know Roman numerals so we could tell time on some of the clocks.

“Hey,” the OF replied, “We look at all those letters and still say the number 15. How about Roman numerals for 15 and 5/8 plus or minus a 3/8? Why, it would take a whole sentence of Roman numerals. Just to do a simple math problem would take a whole book, so why did they waste so much time in school to teach Roman numerals?”

Some of the OMOTM just asking.

The Old Men of the Mountain who found time and were smart enough to learn how to drive from generally (who else?) their dads, were able to drive to the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh and they were: Rev. Jay Francis, Herb Bahrmann, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Dick Dexter, Henry Whipple, John Dab, Elwood Vanderbilt, Dave Hodgetts, Russ Pokorny, Frank Dees, Rick LaGrange, Ed Goff, Roland Tozer, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Lichliter, Paul Whitbeck, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Pete Whitbeck, Doug Marshall, Otis Lawyer, Ken Parks, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Jake Herzog, Jake Lederman, Ted Feurer, Duncan Bellinger, and me.