Shiny heads shed light on many diverse subjects

On a beautiful morning, Tuesday, Sept. 10, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh.

It is now getting a little dark when some of the OMOTM head out for breakfast, but the OFs do not have to worry. Tuesday morning, the OFs said that there were so many shiny heads at the breakfast that the OFs really don’t need the sun.

As the OFs entered, the inside of the restaurant does seem to get a little brighter. This scribe has to admit he is one that contributes to the illumination of the restaurant.

One OF summed it up nicely (and he too has a shiny head) when he said, “Grass doesn’t grow on a busy street.”

The shiny-head syndrome is a sign of brilliance just like the exterior of the cranium. Maybe that OF is right!

Many of the OFs have gone for a stress test. This test is to check on the condition of the heart. The physical condition that is, because some of the OFs have been called heartless in certain situations — especially by their kids.

Some of the OFs become stressed just to hear that they have to have a stress test. For one thing, this test is painless. So not to worry there.

The other thing, as far as most of the OFs can attest, there are capable people around giving the test, and the OF will be wired up like the back of an old TV set.

The not-so fun part is not the running one must do during the procedure, but the laying flat seemingly forever while the camera takes pictures of the heart after the stress part is done.

The OFs are waiting for the Star Trek type of medicine where they rub a cream on the belly, then wave a wand over it and, whatever the problem is, it is diagnosed immediately, and remedy is applied.

Dorian disaster

Hurricane Dorian was a discussion the OFs had and they talked about the aftermath. The Bahamas, according to the press, were completely flattened, and the pictures seemed to attest to that.

Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is only 121 feet above sea level, but most of the islands are only a few feet above sea level. What a mess. 

The OFs also discussed the pictures that show all the relief items sitting on the docks, the perishables rotting in the sun, and other supplies and equipment still sitting there because most of the people have gone. This means there is no one there to unload the supplies anyway, let alone use them.

Miami, Florida is not that far away from some of the Bahama Islands. Bimini is only 50 miles from Miami. That is like a trip from Albany going up the New York State Thruway to St. Johnsville, or down to Saugerties, both a little over an hour away.

To Florida, the Bahamas are like next-door neighbors. Some day they may even build a bridge to the mainland of the Bahamas.

This brought up the resurgence of Irene and its little shower of 13 inches of rain that we in upstate New York felt in 2011. What in the world, the OFs thought, would we do with 2 to 3 feet of rain, if Irene had carried that much liquid?

“My goodness,” one OF exclaimed. “There would have been no Middleburgh, or Schoharie or Central Bridge; it would have been a local disaster of gigantic proportions.”

Energy efficient

Jumping from one topic to another, one OF brought to the OMOTM’s attention that, though we are Old Men of the Mountain, some do keep up with the times. Four of the OFs have electric cars.

Proportionally, that is way above the average population of the country. The next thing you know, the OFs will be driving solar-powered vehicles, basically because they are not in too much of a hurry to get anywhere.

One OF suggested, if you really want to be energy efficient, go back to using horses. They eat grass and grain, supply transportation, and produce methane that can be converted to usable gas to run a gas stove. When its life is over, the horse can still be used for glue, and its hide for leathers (breast collars and driving harnesses) for future horses, and coats and shoes for the riders.

This sounds cruel but true. Again, people going back to the future using horses can’t be in too much of a hurry.

Work ethic

All the OMOTM have had jobs of one sort or another and we have mentioned these many times in previous columns. However, what the OFs did in the past keeps coming up, as this topic probably does in general conversations whether you are an OMOTM or not.

Jobs are a big part of our life; if the OFs have nothing to do, they become bored and go looking for something to do. As the OFs were talking on Tuesday morning, they mentioned that some jobs are a pain in the butt, while others are OK, and some didn’t even know they were working.

Year of goldenrod

As the OFs travel, or are just out and about, they have come to one conclusion: This is the year of goldenrod. That yellow weed is all over; it even seems to be crowding out that invasive plant, the purple loosestrife.

Bees though, seem to love goldenrod, so that might help the declining bee population.

Those attending the breakfast at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh, and not sneezing too much because of the goldenrod were: Bob Benac, Paul Nelson, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Miner Stevens, Robie Osterman, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Pete Whitbeck, Bill Lichliter, Josh Buck, Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Joe Rack, Mark Traver, Jim Rissacher, Marty Herzog, Ken Parks, Rick LaGrange, Herb Bahrmann, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Warren Willsey, Russ Pokorny, Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.