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Bird’s Eye View (Aug 17, 2016)

Greetings one and all. Are you are sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin. “How did it come to this? Part 37.” While the diabolical terrorist attacks on innocent people which have taken place over the past year or two are still far from commonplace, their frequency has become such that I believe the reactions by many of us to such horrors are beginning, very gradually, to get increasingly numbed. Recently, in a two-week period of striking violence, two men inspired by Islamic State slit an 85-year-old French priest’s throat as he said mass. A German-Iranian teenager shot and killed nine people in a Munich mall; also in Bavaria, a failed Syrian asylum-seeker blew himself up in Ansbach, injuring 15. A disturbed man stabbed to death 19 disabled care-home residents near Tokyo. Meanwhile, the Syrian army tightened its grip on Aleppo and dropped leaflets telling rebel fighters to surrender. More than 250,000 people live in the besieged areas and yet another humanitarian disaster is looming. A big bomb in the Kurdish-controlled Syrian city of Qamishli killed 44 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast. It all seemed to blend together and resulted in a sort of deep sigh of very sad resignation.

Meanwhile, how will history evaluate such a period in world affairs as the last 20 years or so? Not very highly I would suggest. Things are not as calamitous worldwide as in the 1930s, which saw the Depression over here, along with the rise of fascism in Europe, Stalin’s purges in the Soviet Union, a militaristic Japan, the particularly brutal Spanish Civil War, and by 1939 a resumption of World War. Perhaps they will be viewed as being on the same level as the 1960s, which saw great upheaval and a breakdown of society’s norms, but certainly many areas of progress. The benefits of the huge leaps forward in many areas of human endeavor over the past 20 years have been offset in equal measure, if not more, by the negative affects of globalization, the rise in terrorism, corporate greed, the ills of social media, and the ability for virtually any individual or group to grab their “15 minutes” of fame or infamy. It is a worrying state of affairs, and who knows for how much longer the “madness” will continue.

After all that doom and gloom how about some of my favorite jokes to cheer you up? They are oldies but still goodies. #3: “I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.” (Jon Stewart). #2: “Three guys, stranded on a desert island, find a magic lantern containing a genie, who grants them each one wish. The first guy wishes he was off the island and back home. Whoosh! — he’s gone. The second guy wishes the same. Whoosh! — he’s gone too. The third guy says, ‘I’m so lonely. I wish my friends were back here’.” And #1: “It's Game 7 of the World Series, and a man makes his way to his seat behind home plate. He sits down, noticing that the seat next to him is empty. He leans over and asks his neighbor if someone will be sitting there. ‘No,’ says the neighbor. ‘The seat is empty.’ ‘This is incredible,’ said the man. ‘Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the World Series and not use it?’ The neighbor says, ‘Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Giants game we haven't been to together since we got married.’ ‘Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else, a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?’ The man shakes his head. ‘No,’ he says. ‘They're all at the funeral’.”

Feeling a little better? Good.

Public Service Announcements. #541. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital have one more visit this month to the AV Farm Supply on Highway 128, tomorrow, Thursday, August 18, from 2-3.30pm. #542. There will not be a second Barn Sale this month and so the next confirmed one will take place on the weekend of Saturday/Sunday, September 10/11, from 9am-3pm at The Big Barn next to the St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church Refectory on AV Way just north of Boonville. #543. The Mendocino Bookmobile returns to the Valley next Tuesday, August 23. (Alternate Tuesdays for 45 minutes at: Navarro Store 9am (30 minutes before heading out to Comptche); the Floodgate 12.30pm; Philo 1.30pm; Boonville (Apple Hall) 2.30pm. 463-4694. #544. The AV Museum is open every Saturday and Sunday, from 1-4pm 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 hours to spare on a weekend. “The Best Little Museum in the West.” #545. Upcoming Valley bbq’s. Sunday, August 28 from 4-7pm, the AV Lions will work the tri-tips and chicken on the grill for the annual AV Ambulance benefit at the Redwood Grove in the Fairgrounds. Six days later, 3-6pm on Saturday, September 3rd, the AV Senior Center will host a fundraising ribs and chicken bbq with chefs “Pot Licker BBQ” (Steve and Terri Rhoades) in the parking lot at the Vets Hall. Good Valley eatin’.

Here is the menu for the Community lunches over the next week in the Senior Center at the Veterans Building in Boonville. $6 donation for seniors and $7 for Non-seniors. Tomorrow, Thursday, August 18, at noon, Marti Titus and her crew will serve Thai Holy Basil Chicken and Coconut Cream Dessert. Following lunch, join Ken Montgomery & Friends for music & singing. Tuesday, August 23, the lunch is Citrus Cod, with Apple Crisp dessert followed by a presentation by the Savings Bank on protecting yourself from fraud and financial abuse. All meals include vegetables, salad bar, and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea, and lemonade. Maybe the best value for money all week! Tai Chi is every Tuesday at 11am; Thursdays at 11am is Easy-stretch Yoga (part of the Active Life Club) from 10am to 2pm with games, crafts, and music. The Senior Center/Community Bus goes to Ukiah on Mondays and Santa Rosa on the first Wednesday of the month. These trips fill up fast so sign up early at 489-1175. Hopefully you will be able to attend some of these events. ALL ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

Topics and Valley events this week at The Three-Dot Lounge – yes it’s “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant (yet surprisingly reliable) Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…As mentioned elsewhere in this issue, the Valley has suffered the loss of three well known residents over the past week or so. Paul Titus, Kathy Hulbert, and Loretta Houck. Each significantly contributed to the rich tapestry of Valley life and their deaths leave behind many folks whose lives have lost a unique and special person. R.I.P.

…At this time of the year, many of the ladies of the Valley choose to wear big sunglasses and large hats. I like it. However, I find it quite odd that some wave at me and then seem disappointed at my failure to recognize who they are. (Obviously many ignore me completely, or in some cases even run away as I approach them.) Why, I wonder? They have covered half of their head for god’s sake! They are in a virtual disguise and I am not Sherlock Holmes! I can only suggest they remove the glasses, hat, or preferably both, and then receive the greeting/hug/fondle that they expect.

…City folks often ask what we find to do while living up here. Many think we sit around waiting for them to show up and provide us with a social life. How wrong can they be? Just this last weekend we had the 70th birthday celebration of the Valley’s very vibrant ‘1946-ers’, the Airport Day in Boonville (featuring superb smoked ribs by Jay the Grillmaster and tens of flights around the Valley), and a memorial for the recently deceased Kathy Hulbert — all before 5pm on Saturday. Let’s not even begin to discuss ‘Madcap Sunday.’ The Bay Area? Not bad, but a little boring at times.

I’m outtahere. I’ve got see a man about a sheep. “Please take me drunk, I’m home.” 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, and remember to keep your windows cracked if you leave them in your vehicle; think good thoughts; Keep the Faith; try to not let life get in the way of living; may your god (and dog) go with you. A final request, “Let us prey.” Sometimes poking, often stroking, but almost always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. still wallowing in the honor of having the 2nd tallest tree (343.6 feet) in Hendy Woods named after me and my ilk.

Contact me through the Letters Page or at PS. On the sheep, Grace. Keep on humming, Hummingbird. Missing the Venerable Pheasant.

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