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Bird’s Eye View (Jun 22, 2016)

Greetings one and all. Are you are sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

I continue to enjoy the Annual Birds of Prey Convention over here in the United Kingdom of Turkey Vultures, Buzzards, and Lesser Birds of Prey. The country is engulfed with three huge topics of conversation. First, the national soccer team’s involvement in the European Championships; they are regarded as viable challengers to the favorites: France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, particularly after beating the annoying Welsh 2-1 at the weekend. Second, rarely does much time pass without somebody mentioning whether Britain should remain in the European Union or not, a decision may be one of the most important that voters will make in their lifetimes, because, unlike national elections, it is unlikely to be revisited any time soon. The vote is tomorrow, Thursday June 23; according to the polls it promises to be very close. And finally, the tragic shooting of British Member of Parliament, Jo Cox, a highly regarded 41-year old woman from Yorkshire who was gunned down and stabbed by a right-wing middle-aged white man, who based on first impressions appears to be basically insane. However, for now it is being treated as an act of political terrorism, with Cox being the first politician murdered in this country since 1984 when the IRA was still committing such heinous acts. The event has deeply shocked this nation where such acts are extremely rare. Of course, each of these issues understandably means very little to most of the readers of this column, but I just thought you should know.

However, something that may be of interest to local readers, and in particular those who enjoy a round of frisbee golf at the AV Brewery, is the upcoming World Ultimate and Guts Championships (WUGC), apparently the most prestigious event in the global flying-disc calendar. For most people, throwing a frisbee might serve as an interlude during a picnic or to exercise one’s dog, or, so that men in particular, who are not as talented in baseball, football, or basketball, can partake in a sport, the main goal being not necessarily to play a game but more to meet members of the opposite sex. Anyway, the tournament begins in London this weekend, and includes two disciplines: “Ultimate” is a cross between netball and American football: players cannot run with the disc, instead passing it to the end-zone. “Guts” is like dodgeball with a frisbee. Novices might scoff at such games. But they were recognized as sports by the International Olympic Committee in 2013 and are played by more than five million people in America, which has two professional leagues. I just hope the competitors get to meet their “perfect” matches.

Public Service Announcements. #544. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital have no more visits this month but they will be at the AV Farm Supply on Highway 128, north of Philo, on the first and third Thursdays of next month: July 7 and 21. #545. The Mendocino Bookmobile returns next Tuesday, June 28 — alternate Tuesdays for 45 minutes at each of these places and times: Navarro Store 9am; the Floodgate 12.30pm; Philo 1.30pm; Boonville (Apple Hall) 2.30pm. Phone 463-4694 for further details. #546. The AV Museum is open every Saturday and Sunday, from 1pm-4pm in The Little Red Schoolhouse next to the Elementary School on AV Way, a perfect thing to do in the Valley when you have a couple of spare hours on a weekend afternoon: “The Best Little Museum in the West.”

Here is the menu for Community lunches and dinners over the next week in the Senior Center at the Vets Building in Boonville. $6 donation from seniors for lunches and dinners and $7 for Non-seniors for lunches and $8 for the dinners. Tomorrow, Thursday, June 23, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will be Pizza: Cheese, Pepperoni, or Veggie, with Root beer floats for dessert. Then, next Tuesday evening, June 28, as always on the final Tuesday of the month, it’s Bunco Night. The dinner, served at 6pm, will feature Chicken Enchiladas with Chocolate Flan Cake for dessert, and will be followed by Bunco at 7pm. All meals include vegetables, salad bar, and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea, and lemonade. What a deal — best value for money you’ll get all week! Tai Chi is now available every Tuesday at 11am; on Thursdays it is Easy-stretch Yoga, also at 11am, as part of the Active Life from 10am to 2pm with games, crafts, and music. Hopefully you will be able to attend some of these meals and events, and remember. ALL ages are welcome!

In my absence, The Three-Dot Lounge is closed so no “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant (yet surprisingly reliable) Rumors.” However, from our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, who is also obviously over here for the Birds of Prey Convention, comes another in his insightful series. “Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching.” Buzzard reports, “Another subject under discussion in the UK has been the continuing mass killings in the US and the gun control laws, or lack thereof. After the massacre of 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, politicians and pundits soon moved past grief and asked: who benefits? This happened with breathtaking speed. Within a day Donald Trump had thanked people for (purportedly) congratulating him on his prescience; implied the president might be in league with Islamic State; and suggested that fewer people would have been killed had the dead exercised their constitutional right to bear arms. Barack Obama made yet another post-shooting speech, his 14th as president, in which he said (again) that the country’s gun laws made it to easy for would-be killers. Certain narrow-minded, illogical, and ultimately incorrect critics (again) said he was exploiting the tragedy to advance a plot to disarm the country.”

“Unfortunately, little suggests that anyone will change their minds on guns, hate crimes, how to deal with Islamist terrorism—or anything else. Such a lack of decisive action is seen by many in the States as an unacceptable state of affairs. The situation is viewed by folks here in the UK as utterly shocking and inexplicable. Many Americans don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. Too bad. However, like many Americans, those around the western world cannot understand that anyone could interpret the 2nd Amendment as intending to include such a gun as the AR-15 assault rifle and other similar weapons for civilian use. These have been used in the majority of the mass killings in recent times: Last week in Orlando; six months ago, in San Bernardino; back in 2012, in Aurora, Colorado; and perhaps most horrific of all, also in 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, at Sandy Hook elementary school. Do we have to wait until the final Apocalypse for this madness to end?”

Thanks for your input, Buzzard. Now I’m outtahere. Be careful out there; if you break a leg don’t come running to me; stay out of the ditches; be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth; show love to your pets, they will be faithful and true to you to the last beat of their hearts, and please remember to keep your windows cracked if you leave them in your vehicle for any amount of time; think good thoughts; Keep the Faith; and may your god go with you. A final request, “Let us prey.” Sometimes poking, often stroking, but almost always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. Contact me through the Letters Page or at PS. Skylark: read any good books lately? Hi, Silver Swan; behaving yourself? Hopefully not! Everything cool with you, O.J.? Of course it is.

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