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Bird’s Eye View (Dec 17, 2014)

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Isn’t it around this time that the “Thirteen Days of Christmas” begin? And how come we almost never sing about the 13th day? You know, the one that goes “On the thirteenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, thirteen Turkey Vultures preying,” arguably the most moving line of all. Certainly more so that any lines about swans swimming, geese laying, colly birds, French hens, Turtle doves, and a silly partridge in a pear tree. But that’s just my opinion.

Another opinion, but one hopefully shared by many, is to echo the sentiments of my friends over at the Anderson Valley Chamber of Commerce when I ask all you Valley-folk to shop, eat, and drink locally this holiday season. Support your local businesses; they need your business if they are to survive both the slowest time of the year and the current economic climate. I am of the opinion that these businesses are beneficial to the Valley and we need them to be successful or we run the risk of losing them completely. Then we’d be faced with dealing with that loss. Just as my Mother predicts I will feel when she says, “you’ll miss me when I’m gone.” And those prophetic words from The Wise Owl make up your Quote of the Week. Meanwhile, if you’re out Xmas shopping try to remember that I’m an XXL; otherwise fresh carrion is always good.

Onward! Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #366. Useful numbers at this time of year. For road conditions and closures call 1-800-gas-road (427-7623) and for power problems and outages call 1-800-PGE (743)-5000. I just thought you should know. #367. The annual Christmas Caroling with Lynn Archambault on piano, is 8.30pm this Saturday December 20, at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville; songbooks will be provided. #368. And also at Lauren’s, on Wednesday, December 31 at 9pm, you will be able to dance in the New Year with Los Piratas featuring Michael and Leslie Hubbert, Chris Bing, Jim Dooley and David Lipkind. There is a cover for this star-studded line-up of $12 and prior to the show the regular dinner menu will be served from 5-8.30pm. #369. Our country-French-style Coq au Vin restaurant at the Floodgate features a special holiday deal with their locals-special night extended to include every evening from Thursday, December 18 to Monday, December 22! This deal offers a soup or salad, entrée, dessert, and glass of wine, all for just $23.95. They will also be open on New Year’s Eve but closed Xmas Day and New Year’s Day. #370. Another update, with Christmas gifts in mind perhaps, of the Valley’s two annual Crab Feeds that will take place early in the New Year. First it’s the event that benefits the Senior Center, organized by the hard-working Board, and held on Saturday, January 17. Then, three weeks later, on Saturday, February 7, it will be Gloria Ross and her Crew presenting their event, “The Original Crab Feed” on behalf of the Catholic Church. Tickets for the first event ($30) are on sale at the Senior Center (895-3609), AV Market, Rossi’s Hardware, or Lemons” Market; and those for the Feb 7 feed ($40) can be obtained from Gloria at 895-3071. Both events will sell out so you are advised to not leave it to the last minute!. #371. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital have made their final visit of the year but they have confirmed two dates in January. Thursdays, January 15 and 29.

Here is the menu for the Community lunches and dinners over the holidays at the Senior Center at the Veterans Building in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from seniors for the lunch and charges $7 for Non-seniors. Tomorrow, Thursday, December 18, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Ham, Twice Baked potatoes, Green beans, dinner rolls, Barley salad, and Rum cake for dessert. The Senior Center will then be CLOSED for lunch/dinners from December 19, 2014 through January 5, 2015. Lunch will resume on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. Remember, all ages welcome! Hope to see you there.

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

…Last Wednesday, I was one of the 15 Dependent Men that attended the ICW’s (Independent Career Women) Christmas Party held at The Buckhorn and hosted by 30 women. 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. Yes, the food, drink, and conversation were of the highest quality, as is always the case when the women are in the vast majority at any event in this Valley. Clearly a “Power Place” for the female of the species as I’ve said many times.

…Another group with “power” in the Valley, but one that certainly should not wield so much of it, is children. “Little children should be seen and not heard,” is a phrase that seems to have long passed into oblivion. Not necessarily a good thing, some might say.

…A couple of the 3-Dot regulars did attend 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 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 the many naive and vulnerable children in attendance. 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 is a great concept and an important Valley “happening,” simply put, some sensitive souls felt left out.

…Following my report of the “Chicken Castle” built at Penny Royal Farm at the south end of Boonville alongside Highway 128, regular reader Marshall Newman writes, “Mr. Vulture. On chicken-eating critters that accessed our chicken house, we used a good spotlight and a rifle when I lived in the Valley. The critters usually lived close to the chicken house and once eliminated, could not teach their brethren about the easy pickings there. Best, Marshall Newman.” Hmmm, easy for some.

Time to go. I’ve got see a man about a sheep. So, until we talk again, “Keep the Faith”; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth; please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle; and may your god go with you. Oh, and of course, one final request, “Let us prey.” Sometimes poking, often stroking, but always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. pleased in the knowledge that the old hare has returned safely to his burrow.

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

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