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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Let’s get straight into some Shakespeare, the kind of high culture you expect when turning to this column in the first place. Here is the opening line from Macbeth. Witch 1: “When shall we three meet again; In thunder, lightning, or in rain?.” Well, fortunately for them, given our lack of such inclement weather, the three witches in Shakespeare’s play did not live around here or they would have had a long wait before meeting up again to discuss more prophesies. Too bad, I say, as in some productions of the famous “Scottish play” they have been depicted as “hippies on drugs” and would have settled well in these parts.

Feeling a little confused/concerned by the whole health insurance issue? You are no doubt not alone. Fortunately, our local Health Center has taken steps to help folks through this and you can receive the help and guidance you may need by giving them a call and arranging an appointment with our local Obama Care expert, Mitzi Wagner, formerly of the AV Teen Center. Mitzi has been trained, very well I might add, in how to make the Affordable Care Act work for anyone who wants to make use of her new skills and expertise. Taking along your most recent tax returns to the meeting will certainly help and Mitzi will use those and other information to facilitate the process for you as she makes this a relatively painless experience. A number of folks have used this service with excellent results and I highly recommend it. Call 895-3477 to set up an appointment with Mitzi.

Anderson Valley Health Center
Anderson Valley Health Center

Onward. The second of the Valley’s annual Crab Feeds is this Saturday (February 1) at The Apple Hall in Boonville and it is sold out. This one benefits the Catholic Church. But, let’s be honest, perhaps even more importantly to most it provides the kind of event, with the community sitting down to eat together, for local folks to get together and have a great time. It doesn’t get much more civilized than that! The two “feeds” are arguably the biggest local community-based happenings in our busy social calendar with the vast majority of the 350-plus who will be in attendance living here in the Valley and representing all walks of Valley life. It’s basically all-you-can-eat crab, so if you show a little “Greed at the Feed” it is totally acceptable. In fact such behavior coupled with the sipping of a little wine, beer, and/or margarita, and of course the stimulating social banter, all go to make this an event not to be missed. Enjoy and be responsible.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #119. The second “Ties to the Land” gathering, organized by the AV Land Trust, is this Thursday, January 30 at The Fire House in Boonville. Call Shelly at 895-3150 for further details. #120. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be in town at the AV Farm Supply on two occasions in February 2014. Thursdays, Feb 6 and 20. Call 462-8833 for further details. New customers and their pets are always welcome. #121. The Fruit Tree, Grafting, Seed, and Scion Exchange is at the Fairgrounds in Boonville on Saturday, Feb 1. It runs all day (9am-4pm) and is free. Call 895-3897 for details. #122. The AV Alsace Varietals Festival takes place at The Fairgrounds on Saturday/Sunday, February 8/9, featuring open houses and seminars, winemaker dinners, and local foods. Call 895-9463 for further details. #123. The Grange Pancake and Egg Breakfast returns in February. It is always on the 2nd Sunday which means on this occasion February 9 from 8.30am-11am; $10 per head. There is an “open mic” which may add or detract from your dining experience. just letting you know. #124. For those so inclined, the monthly Community Drum Session will return on Wednesday, February 12 at The Grange. contact Rob 3897 or Andy 3020 for further details. #125. On Saturday, February 15 at The Grange in Philo, the AV Education Foundation will present their 2014 marquee event. “Heads-Up. Back by Peculiar Demand” featuring stars of film, television, and stage. Valley resident René Auberjonois and his good friend Howard Hesseman. These two appeared here for the same cause a couple of years ago in what was a wonderful evening of entertainment and now they have a new “set” that they will be presenting exclusively for the Valley, the profits from which will go to high school student scholarships, summer internships, and student and classroom grants. The event will feature a Happy Hour with drinks and appetizers at 7pm with the show following at 8pm. For advanced tickets ($25 adults; $10 Under 18), call Lanny at 895-2644 or Dick at 895-2561. #126. And another “heads-up”. The 23rd Annual Variety Show returns on Friday/Saturday, March 7/8. Call Bill at 895-2318 or David at 895-3580 for details. Captain Rainbow is otherwise disposed this year in his role as foreign correspondent for the AVA. Keep up the good work, Bob!

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 and charges $7 for Non-Seniors. Tomorrow, Thursday, January 30, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Tamale Loaf, Corn, Black Bean Salad, Tomato Salsa, Bulgur Salad, and Éclair Cake for dessert. Then next Tuesday, February 4, the menu will feature Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes w/ Gravy, Peas, Rolls, Quinoa Salad, with Birthday Cup Cakes for 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.

…In the last few days, the Valley has seen two well-attended gatherings of local folks to celebrate the lives of two popular residents. The passing of both Brian Blumberg and Regina Schwenter-Lipp were commemorated with loving reverence and lasting fondness and both will clearly be sadly missed by many.

…The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz held at Lauren’s Restaurant is now on its spring schedule of 7pm on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month.

…Libby’s Restaurant in Philo re-opened yesterday, Tuesday, January 28, and Aquarelle opened last Friday, January 24. I believe Stone and Embers re-opens its doors at the end of the month. Coq au Vin has its excellent Locals Nights on Thursdays and Mondays, regular dining on Friday and Saturday, but is closed on Sunday for one more week (Feb 2).

…The Zina-Hyde Cunningham Tasting Room remains closed and apparently it will re-open as such in the spring. “But will it?” some folks are thinking. When will Lula Winery tasting room open up at the end of Guntley Road? What will go into the Claudia Springs tasting room in the Floodgate area? Is there going to be a new deli at the Pennyroyal Cheese Factory on the southern outskirts of downtown Boonville?

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series: Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching. Buzzard reports, “The film industry is continuing its rapid decline when it comes to making movies that feature complex characters that require top quality acting skills along with stimulating plotlines that demand a modicum of intelligence from the viewing audience. When actors of the quality of Angelina Jolie, Liam Neeson, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Christian Bale, etc, are involved in scene after scene of special effects, shootouts, and crashes, then you know there are fewer and fewer outlets for them to display their talents. However, over the last decade, as films get less demanding on the actors and audience alike, the scriptwriters have found a home, as so have a number of actors, in the form of HBO, Showtime, and AMC television channels. Those Valley folks who rerely miss the opportunity to share the fact that they do not have a television are actually missing out on some splendid entertainment as I have little doubt that some of the best writing and acting can now be seen on these channels, with shows such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex and the City, Deadwood, Entourage, Rome, Six Feet Under, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Californication, Homeland, Game of Thrones, Nurse Jackie, Boardwalk Empire, Girls, Treme, True Blood, Hell On Wheels, and even Downton Abbey on PBS, all providing viewers with the level of mental stimulation they used to expect from the movie-going experience. Meanwhile, the box office movie hits in the last year or two have been dominated by “action” and “adventure” categories and include Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games 1 & 2, Despicable Me 2, Man of Steel, Frozen, Monsters University, Gravity, Fast and Furious 6, Marvel's The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Men in Black 3. It is a worrying trend for the many film fans used to movies featuring edgy drama, developing interpersonal relationships, and intricate plotlines and, in my humble opinion, is just another example that the Apocalypse is rapidly approaching.

Time for Buzzard and I to take our 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 through the Letters Page or at PPS. Skylark. read any good books lately? … Keep on humming, Hummingbird. … Everything cool with you, O.J.? Of course it is.

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