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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Let’s begin with the bad news. Laughing Dog Books in the heart of Boonville is closing! Owner of our local bookstore, Loretta Houck, courteously informed me of her upsetting decision that is sad for both her and the community. If Borders Books and Barnes & Noble were either closing completely or cutting back, then I suppose it’s not surprising that a little in independent book store in the Valley cannot survive. And yet I thought it would. I guess folks just don’t read actual books anymore, and I have little doubt that very few school kids do. It is too bad — a depressing sign of the times. LDB was not just any old bookshop either, but a very well organized one, with an eclectic range of books and related items. Loretta and husband Dan did a splendid job and were a very positive addition to the Valley’s commercial and social scene, not to mention their support of Valley events in terms of selling tickets and at least two book clubs that held their monthly meetings at the venue.

It's impossible not to feel the loss, a sense of cultural diminishment even. I guess the majority of folks no longer like to read “by hand,” or read at all unless it’s on the computer. Personally, I much prefer physical contact with the printed page to scrolling pages on a screen. Everything changes, I am regularly reminded, but as newspapers, magazines, books, and bookstores flatten into screens and more screens, I'm not far from being convinced that all change is for the better. Meanwhile I am sure Valley readers will wish Loretta well for her next venture and, at least for now, as a die-hard Seattle Seahawks fan, she can enjoy basking in Super Bowl fever for a couple of weeks.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #435. The Boonville Winter Market continues every Saturday morning at the Boonville General Store from 11am-1pm. This weekend it’s your chance to get some of the “world famous” onion starts from Mr. Onions himself, Bill Harper! #436. Saturday, February 25 is the last Saturday of the month and that means the Community Sing returns to Lauren’s Restaurant. Lily and Zoe Jacobsen will be the song leaders and lyrics will be provided, although you will know many of the songs I’m sure. #437. Sold out! I’m referring to the “Original” Crab Feed, the 12th such event since the first one back in 2003, which will take place this Saturday, February 1, at The Apple Hall. Remember it is not an alcohol-free event but hopefully those who make judgments on such gatherings will forgive us for our “sins.” #438. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be in town once more in January. and that’s tomorrow, Thursday, January 23! They will be at the AV Farm Supply from 2-3.30pm and no matter what time you arrive your pet will be seen. Call 462-8833 for further details. New customers and their pets are always welcome. The Vets have two visits planned for Thursdays next month. February 6 and 20.

Here’s the menu for the next week at the Senior Center at the Veterans Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from Seniors for both lunches and dinners and charges $7 for Non-Seniors for lunches and $8 for the dinners. Tomorrow, Thursday, January 23, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Beef Stroganoff, Egg Noodles, Butternut Squash, Quinoa Salad, and Chocolate Pecan Bars for dessert. Then next Tuesday, January 28, the 6pm dinner menu will feature Pork Roast, Potluck Potatoes, Peas, Rolls, Wheat Berry Salad, Spinach Salad, with Coconut-Lime Berry Cake for dessert. This will be followed by the Center’s Annual Meeting and Board Elections. 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 one regular wisely observed the other day, “Sometimes a Guinness and a bowl of French fries at Lauren’s Restaurant is all a man needs to complete a satisfactory day.”

…Aquarelle Restaurant in Boonville is re-opening this weekend, Friday, January 24. Like all local businesses they rely on Valley folks for support more than ever during the winter months and, as I’ve said many times, “Eating out is fun.”


... The first of the Valley’s two big Crab Feeds took place last Saturday at the Apple Hall in Boonville and many 3-Dot regulars were in attendance. This event benefits the Senior Center, their 9th one, although the first couple were actually crab cioppino dinners. Anyway, once again it was sold out and I heard many folks talk of a wonderful time, with tasty crab, salad, and bread, followed by a good if lengthy raffle and silent auction. I obviously attended and regular readers may be surprised to learn that I was neither the first to arrive nor the last to leave (although it was close) as I have been on previous occasions. It felt good just to be a part of this event and its excellent cause as the community sat down to eat together and make their contribution. It doesn’t get much better than that.

…The health care system, or lack thereof, in this country has been in a shocking mess for years, and viewed with incredulity by citizens of most western democracies and others. It was time to grow up, do the right thing, and take care of the citizens. So why was it not done in an efficient, comprehensive, and orderly manner? Just asking.

…We now know that the Super Bowl on February 1 will feature Denver against Seattle. Most folks around here don’t care. A few crucial calls went incorrectly against San Francisco, together with a couple of sloppy turnovers, as they went down fighting in Seattle, while Denver never really looked in trouble against New England. By some folk’s reckoning, the 49ers have arguably been the best team in the NFL over the past three seasons. They are tied with New England for best regular season record in that time and have competed in three successive NFC Championship Games. But they will not have a Super Bowl victory to show for it. Being a sports fan is never easy and at the end of the day, as we all know, there can be only one winner. With that in mind how about this comment on sports by doom-and-gloom, yet quite brilliant author, George Orwell, for your Quote of the Week, “Serious sports has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence; in other words it is war minus the shooting.” Difficult to argue with George on that one, particularly after watching that Niners v Seahawks game which left me feeling like I’d lost a war.

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series. “Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching.” Buzzard reports, “Texas remaining as part of the US is one powerful reason why the Apocalypse will continue to approach. Let the bastards secede if they want to, I say. When a mayor of one of its major cities, Annise Parker of Houston, has to come to California to get married to her partner, as Texas does not recognize gay marriage, this perpetuates yet another example of the state’s narrow-minded mentality. What a place! A place where more than half the citizens do not believe in evolution or that humans are causing global warming; and a place which also does not recognize that cowboy hats look stupid when worn with suits and that TexMex food is Mexican food without the flavor. They should also recognize the fact that the rest of the country really does not give a s___ about the Alamo. Phew, that felt good. And I didn’t even begin to talk about the fire ants, big hair, terrible tasting water, scorpions, and the ridiculous weather. How did I last three years there?”

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 — and please ask Him, Her, or It, to send us some rain. A final request, “Let us prey.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture.

PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PPS. On the sheep, Grace. … Hi, George. hope you and Sheila are well. … Hi, Silver Swan. behaving yourself? Hopefully not!

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