Saturday, February 28, 2015

And Still More Happy Happy

Happy b'day, youngest son (pictured here with your loving Grandmother, who gave the money that allowed you to go to the Gow School, and was generous with me as well which enabled me to fully fund your college tuition and fees). I trust that you are alive (your Mother wouldn't tell me when I asked her in Nov.) and hope that you are well (she wouldn't tell me that either).

Friday, February 20, 2015

And More Happy Happy

It's a new dawn… Happy birthday to my oldest, who will be closing out his twenties soon.  (A hat-trick striker with the McLean Sting, below, and also the FYPC Lightning.  But then again his agenda-driven "counselor" when he was a youth, who was his Mother's "counselor" as well, convinced him that I was living my life vicariously through his athletic achievements.  In my opinion, she was and is full of pure crap.)

I haven't spoken to him since 2007, nor seen him since perhaps 2005, but hope springs eternal.  I read an article about him, relating to a project on Kickstarter, in November, so at least I know he's alive.  His Mother, a public school teacher, stonily refuses to tell me anything at all about him or my 2 other sons.  (He's the one on the right, below, I think, although this article describes him as the one on the left.)

He lives, I surmise, either with his Mother a couple of miles away or else somewhere else in Arlington, the next town over.  Yesterday I sent a birthday greeting card to him care of his Mother's address asking him to call me about the VA prepaid tuition plan I am the owner of, and so I can relay some important family news. Perhaps this will be the year… .  (The collage below featuring our first-born is circa 1987.)

At noon today I'll be having lunch at the Lost Dog Cafe in Westover, Jim.  (Happier times, before the "experts" who prey on divorce situations as they suck the Estate dry and drive their own agendas got involved.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy Happy

One of my favorite memories from law school is a party some students in my small section threw at their townhouse to celebrate the end of our three years of study.  I was an oddity in my small section in that I was older than everyone else in the section and I had three kids already.

Two of my children, four year old Jimmy and two year old Johnny, were there with me enjoying the party and I was keeping an eye on them in the hub-bub.  There was a keg of beer out back in a little enclosed outdoor patio and everyone was festive at the conclusion of our last finals week.

Once when I hadn't seen either of my two kids in a minute or two, I got up to look for them as any dad would do.  There weren't any stairs in the townhouse and they couldn't get out of the premises so I wasn't overly worried about them.

I found them soon enough, out back in the momentarily deserted back patio.  They had obviously been watching the comings and goings of everyone and observing the frequency with which my friends had been going out the back door to get a cup of beer.

They had waited for their chance and when the coast was clear, the two of them had gone out into the little fenced-in space to do what the adults did.  As I went outside, I saw that Jimmy was furiously pumping the keg and Johnny, as directed by his older brother, was dutifully holding a plastic cup in his chubby little fists under the dispensing hose, waiting for the golden elixir that everyone was enjoying so much to appear.

The only problem was that Jimmy didn't know how to push the dispensing lever on the outlet to allow the beer to flow after being pumped.  But amidst Jimmy's hurried whispering to Johnny to hold the cup more steady and the older boy's frenzied pumping, they were certainly trying to imitate the big people.

Happy Birthday Johnny.  I love you.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ringing in the New Year

…with lunch at the Lost Dog at noon today.

Perhaps I'll see one or more of you there then.

Or perhaps, some other time then.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year In Review IV

Here are some of my favorite times from 2014.  I had some nice noontime wintertime runs on the Mall.

I took third in my AG in a wintery 5K.

I ran with some former running buddies, including Bex, my first buddy, and David, Markus, John and others.

I had some great solo runs, especially around the Tidal Basin, my favorite running venue.

Wreathed in Cherry Blossom blooms.

Some fast-moving terrific storms closed in a hurry, which made it imperative to keep an eye upward..

I attended my niece's wedding in Portland, OR, in July and had two great early morning runs throughout that town in two days and saw several family members I hadn't seen in awhile including my brother and two of my sisters, including the mother of the bride, the sister on the right.

I had some nice noontime summertime runs on the Waterfront.

Hearing secrets.

I ran my longest race in half a decade, a HM, and broke two hours.

An anonymous poster on this blog led me to my first solid information of any child of mine in over seven years (in this case my oldest, James Bradley Rogers, now in his late twenties).

I spent a quiet holiday season in the District, doing the annual Holiday Decorations run at work.

The sky over the nation's capital.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year in Review III

What did I do this year that was notable to me?  Not much but there were a few personally important things that transpired.

I went to Portland, Oregon, to attend a niece's wedding and saw some family members that I haven't seen for several years, like the mother and the brother of the bride, also my sister from Santa Fe, her son and granddaughter, my nephew from Chicago, and my brother who otherwise hasn't spoken to me in years (life's too short for that crap!).  I had two long early-morning runs through Portland, a great town.

I ran a half-marathon in under two hours, my goal.  I dropped a lot of weight, saw several former running buddies that I hadn't seen recently and had lots of good runs with good friends like John, K, R, G, C, H, and Lia.

I visited with John at his new crib, a Class A RV he bought as his new home (he gave up his residence for this lifestyle).  It's fascinating for me to ruminate upon his adventures as "king of the road" as he travels about the country in his domicile, especially as I mull over my own approaching retirement now that I have turned 62.

Personally, I had a chance encounter with my ex-wife in a public setting and utilized the opportunity to ask this mother of my three estranged sons, of whom I haven't received any information about in over seven years, if they were alive and well, but I merely received stony silence from her.  I had to see if she would tell me, the father, even a scintilla of information about our children in person, where she couldn't be evasive as she always is in our infrequent written communications, but regrettably I merely confirmed my worst suspicions about her heartless nature.

Lastly, at about the same time, I received an anonymous comment posted on this very blog that led me to a current picture and recent information about my oldest son, both on the internet, so I can surmise that at least he is alive and apparently well.  Interestingly, I have a friend from childhood who is estranged from his child due to parental alienation syndrome (PAS) in similar circumstances to mine, who confirmed to me that he also fears the mother of his child wouldn't even tell him if something terrible happened to their child.  So the information I received last month from the anonymous source which led me to the first solid information I have had in years about the wellbeing of my oldest child at least, is good news indeed.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Year in Review II

I listed the dozen books I read this year that had the most effect upon me, leaving six reads off the list.  None are bad books, and here is the list:

The Raft by Robert Trumbull.  Written in 1942, it's about 3 American fliers stranded on a tiny rubber lifeboat when their torpedo plane went down in the Pacific during the war.  They were adrift over a month before being picked up by a passing American ship.  A tale of privation, resourcefulness and determination, I read it as a boy and was mightily impressed by it.  It was okay as a re-read half a century later.

Fire by Sebastian Junger.  Junger's The Perfect Storm is one of my favorite books.  This book, a collection of stories about wildfire firefighters, several of whom lost their lives, is also okay.

Micro by Michael Crichton and Robert Preston.  Ghost written by Preston from an unfinished book by Crichton after Crichton died, I think it's about tiny robots that attack humans by getting into their blood stream and saw their way out with minuscule scalpels.  But I really don't remember, and can't remember how it came out, beyond that the world didn't end.  How many more unfinished manuscripts did Crichton leave behind?

Harbor Nocturne by Joseph Wambaugh.  I've read all of Wambaugh's books about cops so I read this, his latest effort.  If you haven't read Wambaugh before, start with The New Centurions (fiction) or The Onion Field (factual) instead.

Tin Can Man by Emory J. Jernigan.  The wartime experiences of a sailor aboard a destroyer in WWII, written 50 years after he lived through them.  Interesting details about the daily wartime experiences of sailors, and some of the personal incidents the author relates might even be true.

Iwo by Richard Wheeler.  A standard battle book about the most savage fight of WWII, excepting, perhaps, only Stalingrad.  The ferociousness of this fight to the last man between the Marines and the Japanese had a lot to do with the decision to use atomic bombs to end the war finally.

I'm always interested each year to tally up the types of books I read each year.  Of the eighteen, three were literature (A Tale of Two Cities; Walkabout; Food of the Gods), two were biographies (John Paul Jones; Kesselring) seven were histories (Glittering Misery; Retribution; Iwo; Tarawa; Japan's War; The American Revolution; Lincoln and His Generals), one was political science (Wilson), two were novels (Harbor Nocturne; Micro), and three were true action (Fire; The Raft; Tin Can Man).

I don't watch a lot of movies but sometimes I check DVDs out of the library.  I enjoyed The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger made a couple of years ago because, actually, it was well written and Arnold was at his understated best.  The absolute worst movie I have seen in a long time was The Little Fockers, a terrible, pointless waste of time despite a great cast including Oscar winners Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand.