Tuesday, January 22, 2019


The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday dawned windy and bitterly cold, a full month into the Trump Snit Shutdown.  As is my won't on holidays, I had lunch at the Lost Dog Cafe in Westover.

I ordered enough for a guest.  I had a table where I could watch the door for anyone coming or going who might seem vaguely familiar but while I was there I saw no such one.

Usually I order a pizza but this time I tried the spinach and artichoke dip with pita bread and chips.  Next  month when I go for lunch there, for the last time on the birthdays of my oldest and youngest sons, I 'll stick to pizza.

My three sons will all be over 30 by then and I'll suspend my futile efforts at rapprochement thereafter; these men as boys were brought into the frightfully expensive, years-long divorce by their mother and experienced it in their immaturity as an exciting fight against their father which only ceased when the Arlington Court imposed sanctions and costs against her of almost $50,000 for harassment petitions, basically, and I guess they're all still in a snit about losing "their" case.  You could look it up on the internet.

Monday, January 14, 2019


Driving to Hampton, VA, to visit my cousin and her husband, my first car trip since my eye surgery three weeks earlier, went well enough.  I left in the daylight, after rush hour, and arrived early in the afternoon at Buckroe Beach where my cousin has a condominium.  Buckroe beach is a quiet, laidback small sandy beach on the Chesapeake where it flows into the Atlantic.

My cousin's unit has a view of the beach, only 60 feet away.  We walked a couple of miles along the beach when I arrived, my first substantial exercise, sort of, since my operation.

Then we went to the Hampton History Museum, which had a very informative exposition on the history of the Hampton Road area from Indian times to the present.  There's a lot that goes on there beyond recreation, as NASA has a presence there and there's a large military presence there in addition to major shipbuilding in the region.

That evening she and her husband treated me to dinner at a waterfront restaurant.  It had very nice views of the harbor.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Some Sunrises

On my little car trip along the North Carolina coast this month, I arose early every day and went to the water to try to capture a nice sunrise.

I went to the beach, a riverbank, a waterfront park, tripled over someone's front lawn and even shot from the highway on a travel day looking for the magical shot.

Here are four of my best efforts, all shot at different locations.

My I-phone 8+ takes wonderful picture, it's got a great camera--imagine, a camera that doubles as a phone and a handheld internet surfing device that sends sand receives texts too.

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Trip

I finally took a little car trip beyond going to Columbus as I recover from my third and hopefully last eye surgery and I went south to visit relatives and friends.  The first day I drove to Hampton to see my cousin and her husband and enjoyed a day walking on the beach with her and a dinner of a fried seafood sampler plate that evening at a waterfront restaurant.

The next day I continued on to Vandemere, passing by gas at $1.69 a gallon along the rural highway, and enjoyed a dinner of spaghetti and sausage links prepared by Jim, my friend from college, in his house on stilts on the waterfront.  Jim, despite the incredible natural beauty of his rustic coastal location, might be moving to another town where there are more sailing opportunities, so we looked at houses near the water in a seaport town the next day and indulged in sightseeing, including sampling a tasty local brew at the town's brewery during happy hour.

 Then came a somber day where we attended the funeral of a World War Two veteran who survived Halsey's Typhoon during his service in the Pacific War, on a destroyer no less, which yawed during the tempestuous storm to within 2 degrees of its keel over point, learning in the big blow's aftermath that three other destroyers within the fleet capsized with great loss of life.  Then came another day of looking at houses and sightseeing in a seaport town.

I got up early and drove back to DC the next day, having had a fun and satisfying little car trip of about a thousand miles.  I saw people on this trip that I knew from my life that stretched back decades, to even when I was married, and before.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

I hardly knew ye, Johnny... . Good luck to you!

My middle child has a birthday this month.  Happy Birthday, Johnny.

The last time I saw Johnny was when he was about sixteen.  Now he's in his thirties.

The child-parent estrangement phenomenon, prevalent almost exclusively in the West, is called Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), where one parent, most often the woman, abuses a child by overbearing his or her will as a tender-minded minor, in effect brainwashing him or her against the other parent, and it typically comes to the forefront during a divorce where the manipulating parent suborns the will of a young child for her own short-term benefit (although the effects can, as in the case of Johnny, last decades or forever), abetted by her superior custodial grant of time alone with the child thanks to our mother-knows-best inclined domestic law courts (in my case, I had Johnny and his sibling 19% of the time versus 81% of the time granted to their mother).  My divorce from Sharon Rogers Lightbourne was a doozy, lasting about half a decade and costing me at least a quarter-million dollars, my entire legacy (the litigation stopped only when there was no longer any money her unholy battery of divorce lawyers could rip and tear from my eviscerated estate) and although I still mourn the extrajudicial loss of my three children to this, in my opinion, covert narcissist, I don't rue one bit getting free of this woman who is, in my opinion, totally self-centered, deviously manipulative and deceptively controlling.

The last time I had any communication from the lad was when he wrote to me upon his graduation from high school asking me to provide full funding for his four years of college tuition and all university fees, which I did, with nary a word of thanks afterwards.  I stumbled on-line across a 2016 voter registration listing for him in a Seattle precinct, so I am glad that he alone of my three sons was able to break free of his, in my opinion, destructively dominating mother and move as far away from her as possible, as she lives across the country from him on the East Coast with her second husband.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Year's Day

The New Year got off to a pleasant start as I enjoyed lunch at my favorite gourmet pizzeria.  It wasn't crowded when I was seated at noon, although business picked up noticeably during the hour I was there, and I walked around to see if there was anybody I knew there but I didn't recognize anybody.

I was seated at a window table overlooking the front door.  I like to watch the comings and goings of patrons as I dine alone at the restaurant.

I ordered a Founders Bastard Brew which arrived, thanks to my favorite waiter Henry, with a frothy head and it contained a strong inclination towards bourbon, having been aged in bourbon barrels, and sweet hints of caramel and molasses within its full body, although with a wicked price for its delightful taste as it contained 11% alcohol content.  Despite its short 9 ounce size, that meant only one for the meal.

The pizza was a delight to behold, smell, savor and consume.  The Italian Pie was made up of marinara sauce, prosciutto ham, genoa sausage and onions, and there was plenty left over at the end of the meal as it was more than I could comfortably eat of this delicious pie.
At the end of the hour I paid and left, having enjoyed a quiet lunch.  One of my sons has a birthday later this month but I won't be in town then, although I'll be here for the next holiday for sure and also for the next two following birthdays of my other sons, after which, all of them having attained the age of thirty by then, I'll discontinue this lunchtime rapprochement routine of mine if still unsuccessful and wish them all the luck and fortune their adult characters and familial behavior deserve going forward in their lives.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

It's a New Year

2018 is over, thank God.  Except for an evening in November spent watching the midterm returns roll in, it sucked.

But we have a fresh start in a new year, and I don't have any resolutions really, except to avoid surgery if possible.  Yeah, that's a resolution I really hope to keep.

There's nothing really that I'm looking forward to this year except maybe to return in a fashion to some form of running come the spring, find a local running buddy because all of my former ones have either moved away or moved on, read more, read more varied books than just mostly history, take a few modest car trips, use my senior National Parks Pass more, go to one of the two states I've never been to, see a game at one of the two major league baseball stadiums where I've never seen a game, attend relevant rallies or protests whenever possible, recoup some of my 50% reduction last year to my lifeline-to-the-end-of-my-life 401K account, go to services a dozen times, and either see one or more of my estranged children at long last or stop wasting my time by engaging in the useless exercise of making myself available to them in a public setting on most holidays or special days, once they've all achieved the age of thirty.  Today at noon I'll be at the Lost Dog Cafe in Westover to enjoy a pizza and a draft and whatever else, if anything, that transpires there.

I guess, looking at the list I just created, which could have gone on ad infinitum, that I could have a lot to do actually.  Mostly though I'm waiting for next year so us true American patriots can get our country back, restore our beloved republic, fix our weakening democratic processes and bring back our nation's former greatness, because I would be ashamed of the country I'd leave to my children if I were to go away now.