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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all - if you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin... Talking of ‘sitting comfortably’, that was something not at all easy to do after the vast amount of food that I devoured on Thanksgiving. You too, eh? The Turkey Coma was in full effect for about four hours and I really must try to behave with some moderation next year - but there is something about a vulture eating a turkey that is just so irresistible.

My philosophy regarding the Thanksgiving Day festivities, and I assume I’m in the majority on this, can be summed up by these words from the wonderful novelist and short story writer, W. Somerset Maugham (‘Of Human Bondage’ (1915)), who wisely observed, “Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.” — good stuff, William... Of course I could have given you the classic comment on this topic by William Blake. In fact, as this is the mantra for any self-respecting Turkey Vulture, I think I will add it anyway. It was Blake, a fine poet, who said, “The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” Who can argue with those for your Quotes of the Week?!

Public Service Announcements… Calendars and pens at the ready. #382. The Independent Career Women (ICW) celebrate the holidays with their annual party on Friday, Dec. 2nd at Wellspring just outside Philo. This is one of the most sought after tickets of the season, for men anyway. I hope to be there, representing my gender and species, and, as is my custom over the years, I shall endeavor to be the last to leave once again. I think I’ll have a good chance of keeping up that record, unless of course I am asked to leave early following some kind of ‘unfortunate misunderstanding.’ #383. The annual Holiday Bazaar sponsored by the AV Unity Club is this coming weekend, on Saturday Dec. 3 at the Apple Hall in Boonville from 10am to 4pm. Christmas gifts and food, raffle, snack bar, and my personal favorite, photographs with Santa Claus, who, let me assure you, is neither the thinly-disguised AVA Supremo Bruce Anderson nor a former owner of the AV Brewery, despite vicious rumors to the contrary. #384. Just so you know well in advance, the Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be here on Thursday, Dec. 15. More details next week.

Topics and Valley events under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge. Yes, “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…A number of regulars have been very disappointed to read that AV High School quarter-back, Garrett Mezzannatto, oldest son of Kevin and Reneé Lee (Wyant), was forced to wait over two weeks to get an MRI after receiving a serious knee injury on the final play of his high school career at Point Arena back on ‘Black Saturday’ — Nov 5th, a day so-called after both football and soccer high school teams lost their final games of the season with championships beckoning. This delay occurred despite the fact that he had medical insurance. It was primarily a result of the usual bureaucratic bullsh*t and gives us yet another insight into the inefficiency of our health system and an example of a situation that would almost certainly not occur in the many nations around the world that have ‘civilized’ healthcare systems in place. As the editor of this esteemed organ would say: ‘it’s criminal.’ Meanwhile, the injury means that this fine young man’s final seasons of high school basketball and baseball could be in doubt, although if anyone can return to play in either of these sports after this particular injury then it would be Garrett. We here at the 3-Dot wish him the very best on a speedy return to both the boards and the mound.

…Talking of medical matters, despite the recent school board election process taking place, during which the board’s activities and functions were under the ‘microscope’ as it were, it still seems that to most regulars at the 3-Dot, and to folks around the Valley in general, it comes as a surprise when told that School Board Members get medical insurance through the school as a perk of the job. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series ‘The Approach of the Apocalypse.’ Buzzard reports, “Several regulars have recently commented, many of them quite angrily, on the wide range of propane prices in the Valley at this time of year. I have done intensive research and in summation it would seem that the whole propane business is one big racket with deals offered either with little rhyme or reason or at the discretion of the person in the office, particularly if the threat of changing company is made. Meanwhile, special offers are made to entice new customers, mysterious add-on fees and surcharges appear on bills, and exorbitant charges are made to remove tanks if a customer changes their propane company. All-in-all, it is a very unsatisfactory situation and I can only advise propane users take these few precautions. Try to compare the prices of the four main companies — Suburban Propane (462-3858), Ferrellgas (463-1515), Eel River Fuels (462-5554), and Redwood Coast Fuels (463-3100) and get them to lock in your opening price for as long as you can; check bills from one to the next and be aware of significant price rises per gallon; if your price per gallon goes up, call to inquire why and do not be put off with vague explanations. Ask to talk to the supervisor if you are not satisfied. Personally, up here at the Nest we have Suburban but their customer relations are pathetic and their prices high and non-negotiable at this time. A move to the more locally-owned and certainly cheaper ($3.09 compared to $3.99) Eel River Fuels is a distinct possibility once I get to deal with the annoying tank removal. Good luck with this, you will need it.

Time to take my leave. Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. One final request, “Let us prey.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. You can contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PPS. Hi, Silver Swan. Behaving yourself? Hopefully not! PPPS. On the sheep, Grace.

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