Thursday, September 26, 2013


I am burned out with the bad comedy being preformed by the Republican Party - and the non-stop twenty-four hour TV coverage.  

We do all know that 'what will be will be?'    One year from now we will have moved on to another crisis of the moment.  Five years from now we won't even remember this, except in some reminiscent video feed.

I feel like shouting at the TV, "I don't like that news!   Give me good news!   (check the link

the Ol'Buzzard


The Maine Common Ground Fair is unique as fairs go.   The area around Unity and Freedom, Maine was settled during the sixties, seventies and eighties by people that were believers in subsistence farming and back to nature living in the model of Scott and Helen Nearing.  

Maine Common Ground Fair is a spin off of this community.   The fair is a symbol of organic farming, alternative power and self sufficiency.  All products demonstrated at the fair must be certified as Organic by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.    There is vegetable and live stock judging; farm, hand crafting, alternative energy, oxen and horse pulls, sheep herding demonstrations and numerous free classes on everything from vegetarian cooking to home canning to composting.  

There are no commercial rides at the Common Ground.  Instead you will find stilt walkers, Morris dancers, singers and folk music performers, and special entertainment for the kids.  

Common Ground is the type of fair you might have found in nineteenth century New England.

The first place my wife (coming out of the John) and her sister (to the right) head for after the hour and a half ride

Vegetable stands line the entrance walk. 

Pumpkin carving

Vegetable judging inside the pavilion

Sister-in-law, wife and brother-in-law
Beautiful wife center - thousands attend - all the tents in the background are craft and displays.

Stilt walkers followed by children dressed as vegetables.

Bag piper in the middle

Crafts and craft people

Demonstration: canvas covering a hand built canoe.

And then there are the food tents: all food must be natural or organic to be allowed to be served at Common Ground

Morris Dancers

Common Ground is always held the third week end of September.   A totally different experience.

You-all come.
the Ol'Buzzard


Our house: Fall color started arriving the week after they left.

My brother-in-law and his partner and my sister-in-law came up from Massachusetts to visit with us for the weekend.   I am one of the people that really love my in-laws (with the possible exception of my mother-in-law.)   My wife has great brother and sisters and we are able to visit three or four times a year.  I wish that this was possible more often, but the trip between Massachusetts and Maine takes over five hours.

This trip was coordinated to be able to attend the Maine Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine.  

The family arrived late Friday.   Saturday morning we all left in our car about ten-o-clock for the hour and a half drive to Common Ground.  

Five people in our RAV-4 but surprisingly comfortable.

We knew we would be gone the day and tired when we returned, so it was important to have a good meal waiting for us with as little preparation as possible – thus the crock pot. 

Even when we don’t have company, we do a lot of cooking with the crock pot which provides delicious fare with leftovers for at least two more meals.

Friday morning I picked up a nice pork roast – about four pounds – that was on sale.   I prepared the vegetables Friday evening – put them in zip-lock bags in the refrigerator.

Saturday morning I lined the crock pot with a layer of onions, a layer of sliced apples, a layer of sweet potatoes, the four pound roast and added one cup of fresh apple cider.   I strapped down the top and set the cooker to low heat. 

When we returned from the fair it was a matter of putting together a quick fruit salad, slicing the bread and pouring the wine. 

It was a great tasty meal, with no fuss no muss.   Crock pot cooking allows us to enjoy our company without spending time in the kitchen.

Next post on the Common Ground Fair.

the Ol’Buzzard

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I am tired of posting doom and gloom:

Things I am thankful for over the next week.

1.    I think my wife will be willing to lay a little afternoon delight on me tomorrow before company comes – if not tomorrow, then Sunday when the company is gone.  (this is number one so you can see my priorities.)
2.    My wife’s brother and sister are coming up from Massachusetts this week-end and I always enjoy their visit.
3.    The Common Ground Country Fair is open this week-end and we plan to attend.
4.    Ham and eggs for supper tonight.
5.    Fall color is beginning to show and the days are getting cooler.
6.    There is still time to ride the motorcycle.
7.    Our cat will turn twenty next month and she is still in good health
8.    I mowed the lawn today: probably for the last time this year.
9.    Company is not coming until Saturday, so I may get laid tomorrow.
10.    The weather forecast is great for this week-end.
11.   We are still getting cherry tomatoes on our tomato plant.
12.   Did I mention that I have a fabulous wife?

13.   My insurance may pick up part of the cost of my dental appointment next week to correct a loose filling: Well maybe the glass is half full for this one. 

Dixie Darlin Jill

the Ol'Buzzard

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


The Navy Yard shooting
Our Second Amendment Right
13 confirmed dead
Our Second Amendment Right
Big fucking deal
Our Second Amendment Right
Get over it
Our Second Amendment Right
This is the America we live in
And this is our Second Amendment Right
So get use to it.
We have Second Amendment Rights
America is not a safe place
Because of our interpretation of the Second Amendment

I once thought that at some point there would be a heinous, senseless crime of violence committed with firearms; and it would be so blatantly disgusting that America would have to reevaluate its views of the Second Amendment: that Americans have the right to own and carry any type of firearm any place they might choose. 

Then there was Sandy Hook Elementary where 20 children and 6 adults lost their lives to a nutcase with a semi-automatic rife with extended clips.

This surely had to be the incident.

But, I was wrong.

Basically; we just don’t care any more – we accept it as inevitable.

The insane inmates have taken over the asylum, and like stepping off a cliff – we can’t go back.    There is no amount of meaningless killings that will result in a change to America’s gun culture.

The Second Amendment Rights are bullshit and should be rewritten: a new definitive Amendment II-B.   But, this will never happen.   America will go down in history as the gun culture.

I will add an Ol’Buzzard codicil to the Second Amendment: 

  1. If you carry a loaded weapon into a variety store, or a grocery store, or a restaurant – you are not a patriot – you are an asshole. 
  2. If you feel you should walk around your town with an assault rifle strapped to your shoulder – you are a sick mental moron. 
  3. If you feel you must carry a pistol every where you go – you are a pussy – a man wannabe – a coward hiding behind a gun.
  4. And if you carry a pistol into a bar, you are not macho – you need to be locked away for the safety of society.

Americans should have the right to own firearms for the purpose of hunting, competition, and protection of their homes – and collection under special license.  The type, transportation and use of firearms allowed should reflect these sensible norms.  


I am not a liberal anti-gun person.  I have owned firearms all my life.   I still have the first 22 cal. rifle that was given to me when I was fourteen years old.   In the military I earned both the Expert Rifle and the Expert Pistol awards.   I was a member of the Quonset Point Navy pistol team and scored high enough to qualify for all-Navy competition (but was unable to compete because of deployment schedule.)  I have fired practically every type of weapon that was available up until my retirement from the Navy.  I no longer hunt (it is a moral thing with me) but it would be a lethal mistake for anyone to invade my home.

We have had days of news mania coverage focusing on the Naval Yard shooting.   I am sick of the news hype when these shootings happen.   Nothing will result from any possible gun tragedy; so the news media should just mention it in a sidebar and move on so people can watch America’s Got Talent and Honey Boo Boo. 

 the Ol'Buzzard

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I have stated before that the normal condition for the United States is war and that the intervals between are used to produce new and better weapons and to grow a new crop of cannon fodder.


Let’s look at a list of the major wars the United States has fought: this is by no means a complete list as there are perhaps a hundred skirmishes with nations large and small all over the world that don’t amount to a war; supplying war technology and training to numerous third world nations; and memberships in coalitions that don’t count as wars.    

1.     American Revolution                       1774-1783
2.     Barbary Coast War                          1785-1795
3.     Franco – American War                   1798-1800
4.     War of 1812                                    1812-1815
5.     Mexican American War                    1846-1848
6.     Civil War                                         1861-1865
7.     Spanish American War                     1898
8.     Philippine – American War               1899-1902
9.     World War One                               1917-1918
10.  World War Two                              1941-1945
11.   Korean War                                    1950-1953
12.  Vietnam War                                   1960-1975
13.   Grenada                                                    1983
14.   Invasion of Panama                         1989
15.    Persian Gulf War                            1990-1991
16.    Invasion of Afghanistan                   2001
17.    Invasion of Iraq                              2003-2011
Did I miss some?  I don’t doubt it. 

In the early days, before the World Wars, we honed our war skills with Indian campaigns.   No wonder the Native Americans still hold a grudge against the government and white men in particular.

1.     King Philips War                              1675-1676
Wampanoga, Narragansett and Nipumuck against New England colonist.
2.   Numerous scrimmages with Indians throughout the colonies.
3.   Cherokee War                                      1761
4.   Indians that sided with the British during the Revolutionary war (an enemy of my enemy is my friend):                             1784-1783
 Iroquois, Cherokee, Shawnee, Seminole, Ojibwa, Creek, Chickamauga, Meskwaki, Miami, Mingo, Kickapoo, Lenape, Mascoutah, Potawatomi, Sauk, Wyandot, Choctaw.
5.  Tecumseh War                               1811
Assisting the British in the War of 1812:  
Shawnee, Red Stick, Ojibwa, Chickamauga, Meskwaki, Iroquois, Miami, Mingo, Odawa, Kickapoo, Lenape, Mascoutah, Potawatomi, Sauk, Wyandot.
6.   Creek War                                    1813
7.   First Seminole War                        1817-1818
8.   Black Hawk War                           1832
Ho-Chunk, Potawatomi
9.   Second Seminole War                   1835-1842
10.   Pitt River Expedition                      1850
Tolowa, Nomlaki, Chimariko, Wintun.
11.  Apache War                                 1849-1886
Apache, Ute, Yavapai
12.  Puget Sound War                          1855-1856
Nisqually, Muckleshoot, Payullup, Klickitat, Haida, Tlingit
13.  Rogue River Wars                         1855-1856
Rogue River People
14.  Third Seminole War                       1855-1858
Yakima War                                         1855-1858
15. Navajo War                                     1856-1858
16.  Paiute War                                      1860
Paiute, Bannock, Shoshone
17.  Dakota War                                    1862
Dakota Sioux
18.  Colorado War                                 1863-1865
Cheyenne, Arapaho
19.  Snake War                                       1864-1868
Paiute, Bannock, Shoshone
20.  Powder River Expedition                  1865
Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho
21.  Red Cloud War                               1866-1868
Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho
22.  Comanche War                               1867-1875
Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa
23.  Red River War                                1874-1875
Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, Kiowa
24.  Black Hills War (Little Big Horn.)     1876-1877
Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho
25.  Nez Perce War                                1877
26.  Bannock War                                  1878
Bannock, Shoshone
27.  Cheyenne War                                1878-1879
28.  Sheepeater Indian War                     1879
29.  White River War                              1879
30.  Ghost Dance War                             1890-1891

By 1900 there is no one left to war in this country so we turn our sights to other countries.  

In this day and age we have bases and troops and Naval ships scattered all over the world.  If we are not in a perpetual state of war we are in perpetual readiness – just waiting for the next one. 

the Ol’Buzzard


Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Fall and winter are my favorite times of year. 

I don’t believe in ghost and goblins; fairies; gods; angles or devils - but, I do believe in the enchantment of place and the magic of the seasons.

There is a mystery of nature that we overlook – that we are unaware of – as we trudge through our daily existence.   Constrained by time and appointments and real and imagined ordeals we wander like zombies from daylight to dark without ever seeing the sunrise and sunset.

Intelliwench posted on her blog post-raphaelite – sisterhood the rejuvenation she felt after a vacation on a Canadian lake. 

There is a genie of loci – a genie of nature that truly exist; but you have to be still and quiet, and in the right place to see her. 

Women, being magical creatures, are tied to the phases of the moon like the neap and ebb tides.   Even when unaware they seem more attuned – apart of nature then men. 

My wife and I celebrate the solstices and equinox: to us, these are the natural markers of the changes of the seasons. 

As we approach the fall equinox it is time to step away, if only for a short while, from the pressures of society.   We should find a quiet place and smell and feel and visualize the change of the season.    There is a different cadence as birds migrate and leaves change color and a cold snap leaves us chilly in the wind.  

It is a time to be aware; a time to recharge and rejuvenate; and to realize that we also are creatures of nature.  

the Ol'Buzzard

Friday, September 6, 2013


My wife and I eat out fairly often: a bowl of soup or a bagel sandwich when we go to the gym.   About once a month we will go out for a nice restaurant meal – usually right after our retirement checks come in.   Occasionally we will go down to Augusta for a VA appointment at which time we will eat at a Chinese buffet called The Great Wall. 

We always start out with the soup: my wife will have the chicken broth with a dumpling in it and I will have the hot-and-spicy with a dumpling added.   After the soup we allow ourselves one plate: some fish and mostly vegetables.   And of course, we finish off the meal with a fortune cookie and tea.   

I could easily do a post about fat people at the Great Wall; but this is about fortune cookies.  

About six months ago we went to the Great Wall and had the usual meal.   The young Chinese girl dressed in oriental attire brought our bill and the usual two fortune cookies.   We always open the cookies; read our fortunes; glance at the pronunciation of the Chinese word on the back; share the fortunes and then immediately forget them.    But this time my fortune was: YOU HAVE NO FORTUNE – I shit you not…YOU HAVE NO FORTUNE.  

I am sure that some fat person would have taken that fortune slip, stormed out of the restaurant without paying, gone directly to a ambulance-chasing lawyer and claimed to have suffered untold mental anguish as a result of ‘having no fortune.”

However, that is the best fortune cookie I have ever had – and the only one I will ever remember.   I like to think that someone in a fortune cookie bakery in some Chinese sweat shop – put one across on the bosses and slipped in the ‘no fortune’ fortune: a little act of defiance. 

My only regret is that I didn’t keep the fortune slip.   

the Ol’Buzzard

Monday, September 2, 2013


Few things in life are black and white; good or bad; right or wrong.  

We live in a world of grey hues.  

The Syrian government has brutally killed civilians using so called weapon of mass destruction – indiscriminate gassing of a population.

When we see the pictures of the suffering and dying our moral instinct is to want to intervene: retribution – revenge against the perpetrators of this atrocity.  

But let’s put this in a microcosm we can relate to: 

You are taking a walk with your family in early Harlan, Kentucky.  Across the street you see a young Hatfield man shaking and slapping his McCoy wife.   The Hatfields are a clan and if you interfere you and your family will be the target of Hatfield aggression for a long as you live in Harlan.   The McCoys will be outraged at the Hatfields for the violence against their kin, but you are an outsider and they have no commitment to you.      

Other people are watching and not getting involved: what do you do?

Syria is the same thing in a macro scale.  The middle-east is divided into the Hatfields and McCoys: Sunni and Shiite.  

To further complicate things the Russians are bringing guided missile destroyers and anti-submarine attack destroyers into the Gulf.   What could possibly go wrong there?  

Before we get too morally pious we must remember that the United States is the only country to ever use weapons of mass destruction on a civilian population on a major scale.

I’m just asking.

the Ol’Buzzard