Talk turns to new homes, hoarding, pet peeves, and honesty

My goodness, this is getting ridiculous! This past Tuesday morning, Nov. 27, the Old Men of the Mountain had to drive through inches of wet snow, and very slippery roads to get to the Home Front Café in Altamont.

For those going over the Hill, and those who live on the Hill, it was not pleasant. The OFs know the sun is up there but the OFs haven’t seen it in so long that, when it does show up, the OFs’ old eyes won’t be able to take it.

The OFs discussed how many new homes pop up. The comment is that the OFs will drive down the road one day, and 10 days later the OF is driving down the same road and there is a brand-new home, with a car in the garage and lights on.

One OF said these are not the typical box houses we used to see go up quickly but these are good-sized and with character. Technology is even helping the ready-made home industry build a better product, faster.

This scribe, as usual, checked some of these homes out on the net and found that there are a lot out there and they are really nice homes. What this scribe checked were all to code, and nice upgrades. With some, a lot of decisions are left to the owners/builders if they want special items in the kitchen, and garage, stuff like that.

Hoarding or keepsake saving?

Some of the OFs began to think they have developed into hoarders as they get older because they seem to have accrued many items that the OFs don’t know why they have them, where they came from, and now they have no use for them.

One OF mentioned we should consider how old we are and how much time we have had to collect this stuff. Another OF said much of their accumulation of what is now clutter are gifts from their kids and friends and they hate to part with them. The OF added that some possessions go as far back as when the kids were in the first grade and now we just can’t bring ourselves to take this special artwork to the dump.

Another OF said it isn’t hoarding — it is keepsake saving.

So a second OG said, “What will your kids do with these so-called mementos when you kick the bucket? Ha! They will haul them to the dump.

Another OF said he doesn’t think so. The OF said his kids are into the DNA ancestry craze and they will probably frame some of the inherited “stuff.”

Still another OF suggested that the OFs who get calls and gifts from their kids, no matter how odd, should be delighted because there are OFs who have kids that take off as soon as they can and the OFs rarely hear from them. This is another way to look at the hoarding situation, so the OFs should hold on to the mementos from friends and their kids.

“What the heck,” the OF said. “Let them deal with it in the end.”

Some laws are just pet peeves

The OFs got a lesson on boat-building at this morning’s breakfast. This came about by the recent article in the Albany Times Union comparing the limo accident in Schoharie in October with the tour-boat accident on Lake George two years ago.

One OF who knows a little bit about boat-building said the alterations that had been made on that boat were so bad the boat was just looking for an accident to happen. “Number one,” the OF said, “was the raising of the seats above the waterline which immediately made the boat unstable and was against code.”

None of the OFs knew exactly what he was talking about (and still don’t) but the way the OF described it, it sure made a lot of sense. An OF suggested that many people try to cheat the system with most getting away with it.

Then one OF said some of the rules and regulations make no sense at all; some of them even sound like one or two people had a pet peeve about something in particular, and they have enough pull to have a law passed just to satisfy their pet peeve.

“Yeah,” another OF said, “then the poor cops have to enforce some of the rinky-dink laws that they know make no sense, or are just there to line the pockets of a particular manufacturer that managed to have a law passed that satisfies only them.”

Honest OFs

This was an unusual breakfast with some of the conversations that came up. These conversations included honesty in the workplace while the OFs were working, especially those OFs who traveled for the companies they worked for.

This excluded some of the OFs because they were self-employed, or were farmers, but they had to deal with hay dealers, horse and cow traders, and these people at times had some tough reputations.

The OFs who traveled on expense accounts found that many of the people that they were traveling with knew how to manage an expense account to their advantage. According to the OFs, the OMOTM returned money on the account because there was no way the OFs could use it all. The OFs talking about this said it took awhile for them to figure out that might be the reason they were sent to all these training sessions, conferences, and conventions.

Those OFs who made it to the Home Front Café In Altamont but were definitely not on expense accounts were: Roger Chapman, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, Lou Schenck, Gerry Irwin, Mark Traver, Otis Lawyer, Joe Rack, Henry Whipple, Mike Willsey, Warren Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.