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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all – if you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Let’s start with something I have found myself pondering quite often of late. “Is everything referred to these days as ‘awesome’ really that awe-inspiring?” I don’t think so. Much of what is so described is actually “pretty good,” “fairly tasty,” “somewhat decent,” “rather pleasant,” “moderately interesting,” “quite well done,” or “sort of impressive.” The things that are awe-inspiring are more likely to be breathtaking, magnificent, overwhelming, stunning, sublime, and wondrous. Why can’t people just say so? Just wondering.

And so for your Quotes of the Week, let’s have these little gems on the appropriate topic of “exaggeration.” From Voltaire, we have “Exaggeration – the inseparable companion of greatness.” Then there is this perceptive observation, “An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper” from Kahlil Gibran. And this from Eliza Cook – “Exaggeration misleads the credulous and offends the perceptive.” The always-wise Mark Twain offers this very common occurrence, “It is human to exaggerate the merits of the dead.” And we finish with two quotes that have unknown authors but are well worth mentioning. First, “Man is inclined to exaggerate almost everything except his own mistakes.” And the classic, “Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.” Some good ones there, wouldn’t you say?

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #118. The next visit to the Valley by the vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital will not be until Thursday, August 8. #119. Most people surely love to watch a sheep dog trial and one of the best to see in a natural-setting rather than in an arena of some sort, takes place this coming Sunday in Boonville. This is the Beebe and Johnson Memorial Sheep Dog Trial in commemoration of Master Shepherds Curt Beebe and Floyd Johnson. It will held on July 21 from 9.30am to 1pm at the Johnson Ranch at the corner of Hwy 128 and Hwy 253 just south of town and will feature some of the best dogs and their handlers in the region. Forget all your troubles, leave the worrying to the sheep and dogs, and go along for a relaxing morning’s entertainment. #120. A very special event to celebrate Hendy Woods’ 50th Anniversary takes place later in the day on Sunday, July 21, with a picnic and social. Grills will be fired up for your use, so pack your own picnic and head to this truly awesome place, and I don’t use the word lightly! Appetizers and cake will be provided and there is free Day Use parking from 12.30pm on. Music is provided by the Real Sarahs and a Scavenger Hunt will take place at 3pm. #121. Anderson Valley Youth Football sign-ups are underway. Practice begins at the end of July so if you are interested contact new administrator, Amanda Hiatt at 895-0703. #122. The “Really-Quite-Difficult Living Fair” as it is known to many of us, but officially it’s “The Not-So-Simple Living Fair,” returns over the weekend of July 26-28. The event, one celebrating and sharing rural skills with various workshops, demonstrations, discussions, and food, takes place at The Fairgrounds and the website with all the details and schedule is at #123. As The Pot Shop in Philo celebrates 25 years, ceramic artist, Alexis Moyer, invites everyone to stop in for a special Anniversary Party on Saturday, July 27 from 11am-4pm. Light refreshments will be served. For more information call 707/895-2810.

Here is the menu for the next week at the Senior Center in the Veterans Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $5 donation from Seniors and $7 for Non-Seniors for lunches. Tomorrow, Thursday, July 18, the lunch, always served at 12.15pm, will be Chicken Alfredo, Fettuccini, Broccoli, Sourdough Bread, Ferro Salad, and Banana Split Cake. Then next Tuesday, July 23, the lunch served by Marti Titus and her crew will be Chicken Quesadillas, Rice, Corn, Black Bean Salad, Avocado Dip, Salsa, Quinoa & Avocado Salad, and Frosty Orange Cream Dessert. Remember, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

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

… As a valued member of the carrion-eating community, I was invited to attend Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman’s Re-Election Fundraiser on Saturday evening in Willits. Hummingbird and I went along in our extremely unofficial capacity as representatives of the Valley and we were very glad we did. Along with around 300 other folks, we got to enjoy some fine bbq chicken and tri-tip, sip a little beer and wine, listen to the live music of Waylon and the Wildcats, watch Sheriff Allman dance with 105-year old Edie, and even buy some raffle tickets for which the two prizes were Remington 870 shotguns. I’m not saying if we won or not, but I wouldn’t come to The Nest unannounced if I were you.

… With Willits on my mind, which it rarely is, I could not help but notice the large number of motels in that town. There must be close to 200 rooms available, and that’s just on Hwy 101 through the town. Surely not everyone is going to see the home of racehorse Seabiscuit? How ironic that here in AV, where we have 30 tasting rooms for people to visit all day long, there are so few places to stay after a long day’s imbibing, while over in Willits they have few such venues at which to spend the day, and yet so many places to spend the night. It would seem that life really is not-so-simple.

… Speaking of events in the Valley, at some point many of you have no doubt commented on how there is such a large number of these, particularly in the summer months, that you are often forced to choose between those you wish to attend as a result of two happening on the same day, often at the same time. On the other side of things, folks organizing these events often feel at a loss deciding what day works best for their function. Having studied this at some length, it was not rocket science to work out that, relatively speaking, very few events actually take place on Friday evenings. So, if you are planning something and don’t want to clash with other gatherings, and if evenings are not an issue, I humbly suggest you think about Fridays.

I’m outtahere. Until we talk again. Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle; and may your god go with you. One final request, “Let us prey.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PPS. Hi, Skylark – read any good books lately? PPPS. Keep up the good work, Round-eyed Robin.

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