Bird’s Eye View

by Turkey Vulture, December 28, 2011

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Well that’s Christmas/Whatever-you-call-it ‘done and dusted’ and now on to Act 2 — New Year’s Eve! Try to enjoy yourselves and if someone is behaving badly just smile and walk away. You know it makes sense.

With all the excesses of the holiday season I have inevitably come to the conclusion that, like Alexander Woollcott, social commentator for New Yorker magazine, almost “all of the things I enjoy doing are immoral, illegal, or fattening.” So, with the dawn of a new year upon us, and with new resolutions bursting forth, for the Quote of the Week let me offer you these wise words by Gore Vidal to think about as we move into 2012. “Never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.” Difficult to argue with that, I’d say.

Delicious cheeses, homemade biscotti and breads; succulent hams, turkeys, hot chicken wings, and rib roasts; unique and zesty guacamole and bean dips, potato salads, garlic mashed potatoes, bacon wrapped asparagus, etc., not to mention the accompanying wonderful local wines and thirst-quenching beers. Yes the holidays at The Nest have been quite a binge so far. However, did you know that along with all those goodies, we Turkey Vultures also like our veggies? Yes, folks, a recent study of almost 400 of our pellets collected in the Castro Valley and Livermore areas in California showed that plant material was the single most common ingredient of the Turkey Vulture's diet. The material consisted primarily of grass and leaves. Don’t let all this fool you, though. Animal food items in the pellets included: shrew, mole, squirrel, gopher, mouse, rat, rabbit, bird, reptile, insect, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, skunk, badger, sheep, and coyote. If not consumed and sterilized by the TVs, these carcasses would have rotted on the ground and could have spread disease. We truly are nature’s garbage collectors and proud of it. “Trust me on this. You can thank me later.”

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #131: Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville is having a New Year's Eve Dance Party with Dean Titus and the Coyote Cowboys, featuring Susan Clark. The music will start at 9pm with a $12 cover charge. Dinner served 5-9pm. #132: For many Valley folks of perhaps a different ilk, The Boonville Saloon will have a party on the same night and this will most likely be a sort of alumni gathering for large numbers of the AVHS grads of 1970 to 2005 and their families and friends. #133: Meanwhile, down the street at The Buckhorn there is an evening with a different flavor: Casino Night with four-course dinner, complimentary drinks, champagne at midnight, party favors, and $50 in casino chips. #134: Crab Feed tickets are now available. The first of these will benefit the Senior Center and takes place on Saturday, January 14th. Call Gina Pardini for tickets at 895-3609. Then it’s the ‘Original’ Crab Feed on Saturday, February 4th for which you can get tickets by calling Gloria Ross at 895-3071. Both events are at The Apple Hall in Boonville and are two of the best Valley gatherings of the year. As I’ve said many times before (in fact just moments ago in the previous paragraph), “Trust me on this. You can thank me later.”

Now for more Topics at The Three-Dot Lounge — “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…I am very pleased to report that ‘Confused of Comptche, California’ stopped by The 3-Dot this past week and shared some words of wisdom with the regulars. “Let me share with you a little Christmas anecdote. My great Uncle Ernest was born in 1908, and he had all his own teeth until the day he died. This isn't as impressive as it might at first seem, however, as he died aged 16 when he choked on a turkey bone on Christmas Day 1924.” I hope I wasn’t too late in sharing this tragic tale. Eat carefully.

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series” ‘The Approach of the Apocalypse.’ Buzzard reports, “I thought I’d sit in for Turkey Vulture and do my own ‘Wine/Whine of the Week.’ Having sipped a couple of glasses of the Claudia Springs Zinfandel with wild pig ribs on Christmas Eve, the choice for the Wine of the Week was easy: truly delicious, well done Bob and Claudia Klindt! My ‘Whine of the Week’ is far more in keeping with the Approach of the Apocalypse theme and it concerns the dreadful music played on Christmas morning on the Valley’s KZYX radio station. After 30 minutes of dull and morose songs, I had to turn it off and scratch a blackboard with my claws. I know this is a subjective topic but what were they thinking of? Certainly not the vast majority of listeners, I’d say. Surely the show is not a private listening for the benefit of the presenter in a little room in Philo. I know, I know, they are volunteers and I realize it was Christmas Day and we should be grateful somebody showed up. With that in mind I even went back to the program, twice in fact, so that I might hear an improvement. But no, the choice of songs for such a festive morning continued to be most annoying and I turned it off until noon. That’s when Fred Wooley showed up on the airwaves with his ‘Audible Feast’ and, as always, provided us with some relevant and entertaining music — as many others frequently do, including Diane Hering and Jimmy Humble to mention just two. As we are reminded repeatedly, KZYX is ‘listener supported, community radio’ but sadly this will not be for much longer around Buzzardville Mountain if such programming as we were served up with on Xmas morning continues. And that would be a shame.

Oh, dear, did Buzzard upset somebody? Well, that’s unfortunate but I’m sure many others would agree with his comments about the Christmas morning broadcast. And some will possibly disagree. It is life in the Valley after all! Meanwhile, 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.” Hopefully, the New Year will bring you happiness and good health and may your dreams come true for 2012. Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at turkeyvulture1@earthlink.net. PPS. On the sheep, Grace.

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