Sunday, January 31, 2010


As my nieces and nephews start to pop out the spawn, my brothers and sister-in-laws are forming this closed little club. It's called grandparents. They positively glow with smugness. "I want to be called Pop-pop or Nana or Mima or Granny, or etc, etc." Wallets and pocketbooks are bulging with baby pics and every weekend is either a trip to "the kids" or another shopping spree to load up on crap for the newcomer. And where is Great Uncle Osti in all this? Shut out. I have to admit I'll never be a grandfather. Christ, I'll never be a father. It's just too late in the game. Sure, if I had the money I'd buy one. But in this economy that's not looking promising either.
Then, yesterday I was laying on the couch recovering from a week long cold, watching some movie, when a character called her great aunt- Aunt Grandma. I perked up. Hmmmmm. That had a nice ring to it. Could this be a way to join the club? Great Uncle just doesn't roll off the tongue. But Uncle Gramp- that's another story. So I'm giving notice to my great niece Payton and my great nephew Matthew. That's what I want to be called. In the meantime you can just call me UG. Coochi-coo.

Saturday, January 30, 2010



Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I've been a geek for a week. (Closing in on 2) There's a reason I either have a gun or a hammer in my hand most of the time. Left to the high speed internet, a flip camera and a brand new mac, I've taped pizza boxes to the windows and spend my days in the dark "studio". I've joined facebook. I've posted 10 episodes of disposabletv on vimeo and am linking all this shit to my facebook page. I'm trotting out all of it- the blogs, the videos, the photos, all the pissin' and moaning through the oughts. Who knew a decade had blown by?
Now, well into the 21st, it's a brand new ball game of tweets and twilight. Nobody's hungry for content. There's way too much. So how do I coax that mutt away from his bloody bone? Well, to be honest, I don't have a fucking clue. Can just under 100 "friendos" help? I doubt it. But to expand the butcher shop reference, I think I just have to offer a better cut. Being the grandson of a butcher I think I know how to bone some meat. Go to facebook. Search for Mike Osterhout and soon it will all be there. Chow down.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



Monday, January 25, 2010


On Saturday night, as the Osterhouts and Voegelins gathered to celebrate Vic and Georgie's 60th year together, Herb Carnes lay dying in a Ct. hospital. By Sunday morning he was gone. Herb, Vic and Dick (my old man) grew up together in the little village of Montgomery, NY. My Grandfather Wray was a kind of surrogate father to both Herb and Vic. Hence Uncle Herb and Uncle Vic.
Herb went to King's Point and then joined the Merchant Marines during WWII. He was an engineer on ships that travelled the globe. But that's not what I remember about him. I remember an impeccably dressed, extremely intelligent man, with a wry sense of humor and a laugh that let you know he always got it. Then in the 70's things started to go bad. Herb got divorced and moved from his nice house in Montgomery to a motel room in Georgia. At a time before everyone was medicated for everything, Herb was depressed. (As if a motel in Georgia wasn't depressing enough). Years ticked by. My mom and dad would periodically check in on him, but the reports were never good. I wrote him a couple of times and he wrote me back, but it seemed like the old Uncle Herb was gone forever.
Then, one night, about 10 years ago my parents got a call from a frantic Herb. He was delusional, scared, and reaching out for his one friend in the world. The old man told him to get on a plane. Herb stepped off the plane looking like me. He had long scraggly hair, a full beard, untied shoes and stunk to high heaven. But this was nothing compared to his mental state. As good a friend as my old man was to Herb, he's not known for his patience. Three days of stinky, crazy Herb and my father was ready to send him back south. Enter Mrs. B. My sister, Mrs. Budinski saw Herb and took over. In a matter of hours she had him in a hospital, safe and medicated. She saved Herb's life.
Uncle Herb came out of that hospital hair cut, clean shaven, in a prim yellow sweater and penny loafers. The old Uncle Herb had returned to us. It was like having a cat you thought was long dead show up meowing on the porch. From then on Mrs. B. looked after Herb like a mother hen. When the mayor of New Paltz was marrying all the gays in the area, I had the idea to ask a straight man to marry me. I proposed Herb at a family shindig. He looked at me over those wire rim glasses, shook his head, grinned ear to ear and said "Oh no, no, no Michael. I'm not that crazy." He will be sorely missed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010



Saturday, January 23, 2010


Friday, January 22, 2010




Thursday, January 21, 2010



Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I don't know where I've been while friend became a verb, but not on Facebook. Like having a cell phone, or trimming my beard, I swore I'd never go there. But then, the decade changed and damned if I didn't get a new computer, purchase high speed internet, start stumbling around trying to upload all my old episodes of disposabletv AND joined Facebook. What can I say? You can't believe a word I say.
So now that I'm on Facebook it's happening. Just like MySpace, I'm wasting all kinds of time checking in with friends and friends of friends and so on.... And who do I blame? Well I blame everyone of those people who told me I HAD to join Facebook in order to be a part of the global community. I was doing just fine watching the camels and the ostriches out my window, spending day after day hunting in the woods, throwing another log on the woodstove and smoking my eye medicine. Or was I? Maybe I do need all of you. I'm conflicted.
It seems to me there is a large conspiracy afoot that wants to draw everyone into these networks. For example I had a borrowed old Mac and dial up. Yes, it was slow as hell and frustrating. But it was cheap and it did work (sometimes). Then I got my new Mac and it didn't even come with dial up. I was forced to get a satellite. Now I'm on Facebook and every few minutes two squiggly words pop up for me to type. Bothersome? They ask. Just give us your cell phone # and we'll stop. I DON'T HAVE A FUCKING CELL PHONE, ASSHOLES! Ok, maybe they got their reasons for this. But if I have to get a cell phone in order to stop this annoyance that will be the end of my Facebook career. What's next, no beards? In the meantime I have successfully uploaded disposabletv episode on Hope you like it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010



Friday, January 15, 2010


Thursday, January 14, 2010


So far 2010 has been the year of technological advances at my shack. First Shewho bought me a Flip camcorder for Xmas. I had dropped enough hints to be pretty sure I was gonna score there. It takes the place of my old disposable cameras I used to buy at CVS drugs to do my tv show- disposabletv. This camera is great. It's made by puredigital technologies, the same company that makes the disposable ones. The tiny lens is sharp and the mic. is crisp. It's about as big as a pack of smokes.
Just before New Years I started shooting a new episode. It started with taking the two bucks I shot to Lester- the taxidermist. Then I played a song. Then I cooked some chili, loaded the woodstove and shot Ray Gilkey (the cat) sitting on the chair. Then I went to a New Years eve party at Slick's, began work on WSSP II and played another song. That's how my tv show goes. In the second episode I bought a new Mac, went ice fishing, played another song and got a satellite dish for high speed internet. Now I'm hooked up.
I've been avoiding these upgrades for years. It's my pathology. I still don't have a cell phone, and have a rotary phone in the kitchen. Neither of these things will change any time soon, but I must admit fast internet is a joy. So now I'm trying to figure a way to post these shows on the web. Youtube has a 10 minute limit and so far I've been unable to upload anything. I said download and Shewho corrected me. I'm so grateful for her putting me straight. Disposabletv- upload. Porn-download. Got it.
The third episode is scheduled for this weekend. I was gonna go to Ct. to see my nephew Brian and his wife Emily's new little baby girl- Payton Rose, and shoot the show around her. Instead I'm forced to work long hours in the DTV studios, on a photo shoot with supermodels Marianna Louise and Uschi. Lets see- new little screaming baby or two supermodels in various states of undress cavorting on my coyote and beaver pelts? I didn't invest in all this high tech. for nothing. The show in my head must go on. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Thursday, January 7, 2010


   On Sunday night Fox news commentator Brett Hume made the best pitch for Christianity I'd ever heard. Referring to Tiger Woods' recent sex addiction mess, and string of large breasted hoochies, he noted that Tiger's chosen faith of Buddhism was ill equipped to handle such a fall from grace. He suggested (with absolutely no irony) that Tiger embrace Jesus, seek forgiveness, get back on the links, win a few rounds and become a shining example to us all. With hunting season over and the hawk at the door, it looks like art, sex and religion until turkey season in May. It could be worse. I could keep bitching about my week at work.
   Now, I know who Tiger Woods is. He's a mixed race golfer who's so fucking good, the racist sport doesn't even notice his color anymore. What I didn't know was that he had such a squeaky clean image. I hate golf and really could give a shit who's a drunk, a drug addict, or a hound dog. If Tiger told the world he was as pure as the driven snow, who were we to argue. But if there is one thing that Americans love more than believing that crap, it's finding out it's all a lie. Hume is right. Jesus is perfect for Tiger. Remember those thieves on either side of him on Black Friday? Like Obama on Thanksgiving, looking that big fat feathery butterball in the eye, Mr. Christ pardoned them. Let Buddha top that one.
    But let me remind Brett Hume, does anyone remember Vanessa Williams' had her nose up another girl's pumice in Penthouse or that Kobe had a little legal trouble or O.J......? OK we still remember O.J., but he's the exception. Jimmy Swaggert cried and cried. Charles Colson found God in prison. Brittney, Lindsey, Paris, Robert Blake, Charlie Sheen and a whole slew of of Hollywood reprobates go in and out of favor all the time. It's either 12 steps or Jesus Tiger. Make a choice. Change what you can. Convert if you have to. Just do it. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


   I put off going back to work for as long as I could. My mom told me not to rush back into anything. After hunting season, she knew how fragile I could be, when faced with four cold months on the work site. Or she was being snide. I couldn't tell. In any case I went back on Monday. Now that WSSP is habitable and Shewho is broke, I'm turning my attention to Chuck, Contessa and Ace and their sweet old farm house. They bought 26 acres literally a mile from WSSP with a house and a barn, circa 1850. Shewho has neighbors and I have a new project.
   This place is a palace compared to WSSP. It's older but in the 40's they did a remodel of linoleum and paneling and it was hermetically sealed. Plus it was always lived in, until very recently. A FULL BASEMENT! Such luxury. This is going to be a peeling and skinning job. We have to undo what was done. I found a full Daily News used as insulation in the wall. It was dated July 3, 1940. NAZIS BOMB FRENCH LINE. I'm ripping, tearing, scraping and breathing the most gawdawful dust imaginable. Then I go home, lug wood, pull the big red pot of venison stew out of the fridge, put it on the woodstove, ladle it onto a piece of stale bread, sit close to the stove and TV with a bottle of cold beer and eat in slurping silence. Ray Gilkey took over the couch. Before bed I bail the tub, ( the drain has been froze up for a week) take a shower, bank the stove.......
     I'm a happy man. Sad that hunting season is over. Cold most all day long. Dirty from the plaster, cobwebs and mouse nests. Sore from pulling down ceilings and shoring up beams. Full from that stew. Coughing from the dust. Grateful that I'm making money at something that doesn't make me want to blow my brains out. I guess you could call it art.

Sunday, January 3, 2010