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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Is it cold enough for you? I thought so. As is often the case when the first such significant cold spell hits the Valley, it is the main talking point around town. This is understandable of course, but obviously we have nowhere near the inclement weather that so much of the country has to endure. Around here, to my usual garb I just add woolly socks, long johns, a thermal vest, a pair gloves, a scarf, and a balaclava to protect my head, ears and beak, and I’m fine. It’s not as if we are in the German Army on the outskirts of Moscow in the winter of 1941-42 enduring temperatures of -45°C in summer uniforms with no food, thousands of miles from home, surrounded by marauding Cossack hordes bent of revenge for the atrocities perpetrated on the Russian people. Now that was suffering.

Speaking of which, for your Quotes of the Week, I have a few classic comments on the topic of ‘suffering.’ I know we are all trying to be joyful and festive at this time of year but a few thoughtful quotes on such a sub­ject may make us appreciate what we have just a little more. Here we go. From Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), the American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher, come these wise words, “God will not look you over for medals, degrees, or diplomas, but for scars!” And this from Helen Keller (1880-1968), the American author, political activist, and advocate for the blind, among other things, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” And finally, this observa­tion from Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), the famous German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer who commented, “What really raises ones indignation against suffering is not suffering intrin­sically, but the senselessness of suffering.” Too true.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #150. The Vets from the Mendocino Ani­mal Hospital will next be in town at the AV Farm Supply tomorrow Thursday, December 12. They offer a full service featuring house calls in the morning and your entire vet needs from 2pm to 3.30pm in the afternoon at the AV Farm Supply. Call 462-8833 for further details, and if you are a previous client you can call them 48 hours in advance to ensure that your pet’s charts are brought “over the hill” and also order any medications your pet might need. New customers and their pets are always welcome. It is there last visit of the year so take advantage of their presence and take care of all your pet needs.. #151. On Saturday December 14 at 8:30pm, Lauren’s Restaurant welcomes the return of Pop Up Cin­ema with a screening of “Chasing Ice,” a documentary that follows acclaimed National Geographic photogra­pher James Balog, once a skeptic about climate change, on his Extreme Ice Survey from which he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. #152. The AV Historical Society’s always-enjoyable Christmas Gathering is from 2pm-5pm on Sunday, December 15 at the Little Red School House. #153. The AV Lions Club has their annual Xmas Party on Tuesday, Dec 17 at The Buckhorn, an event that is obviously “invitation only” for Lions Club members and their loved ones. Apologies to those who thought they could just turn up and freeload off the hard-working Lions as they enjoy a well-deserved evening of wining and dining! #154. Lauren’s Annual Christmas Caroling Party with Lynn Archambault is on Saturday December 21 at 8:30pm. Songbooks will be provided.

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are on Wednes­days this year and in between them is, of course, the annual New Year’s Eve Party at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville with Dean Titus and the Coyote Cowboys with Susan Clark. Dinner served from 5-9pm and Dance Party to follow. $10 cover. And of course the Valley will have the two extremely popular annual crab feeds in the first few weeks of the New Year. The Crab Feed to benefit the AV Senior Center will be held in the Apple Hall on Saturday, January 18. And then there is the Original Crab Feed scheduled for Saturday, February 1, also at The Apple Hall in Boonville. I’m giving you plenty of notice on these two major Valley events because some of you may wish to give Xmas gifts to loved ones in the form of tickets. If so please contact organizers Gina Pardini at 895-3609 for the big night out on January 18 and Gloria Ross at 895-3017 for the feast on Feb 1. Remember, both events sell out every year.

Here’s the menu for Community Lunches over the next week at the Senior Center at the Veterans Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from Sen­iors and charges $7 for Non-Seniors. Tomorrow, Thurs­day, December 12, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Beef Stew, Rolls, Broccoli Salad, Quinoa Salad, with Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake . Then next Tuesday, December 17, the menu will feature Asian Pork, Noodles, Asian Slaw, Wheat Berry Salad, and Bread Pudding for dessert. On Thursday, December 19, Marti will be serving Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Peas, Gravy, Rolls, Quinoa Salad, and Pumpkin Cake. This will be the final lunch of the year before the Center takes a break for the holidays until the New Year, re-opening for lunch on Tuesday, January 7. Remember, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

Moving quickly on to a few of the topics and Valley events under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge. yes it’s “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant (and often Reliable) Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley where people get together and share their thoughts about life in AV.

. On Friday I was one of the Dependent Jobless Men that attended the ICW’s (Independent Career Women) Christmas Party. As is my custom, I was the last to leave once again and wish to thank the ICW members for their hospitality, and the large doses of both their sparkling conversation and sparkling wine.

. The following evening, Hummingbird and I were at the annual Awards Dinner and Xmas Party hosted by the Volunteer Fire Department at Wellspring in Philo. We were served a delicious brined and roasted turkey dinner and joined in with the cheers as the charming and clearly capable new chief, Andres Avila, distributed the well-deserved awards. The top awards went to Fireman-of-the-Year Kris Kellum and Rookie-of-the-Year Fal Allen, and there was a memorable standing ovation for retiring CSD secretary Joanie Clark. A lovely evening, I must say.

…A couple of the 3-Dot regulars attended the Com­munity Holiday Dinner at The Grange on Sunday but the rest of us declined. We were informed, I assume cor­rectly, that alcohol is not allowed at this event. appar­ently a family/community gathering should not entertain such a thing. So, being members of the community who quite like to enjoy a glass of wine with our dinner, we gave it a miss. No doubt some folks smuggled alcohol in and discreetly sipped, taking care not to be “exposed” as miscreants or for being a bad influence on our naive and vulnerable children. While acknowledging the work that it takes to put on such an event, in my humble opinion, and that of others who have commented, this alcohol ban is a somewhat exclusionist policy and hardly lends itself to a sense of community spirit (pun intended) for an event that no doubt requires lots of volunteer help, is great concept, and an important Valley “happening” and some sensitive souls felt left out.

…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. Good luck with this, you will need it. ”

Time to take my leave. Until we talk again. 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. Contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or by at PPS. Keep on wagging that tail, Fred. … Is that “lafter” I hear, Carroll? … Keep up the good work, Round-eyed Robin. 

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