Saturday, December 31, 2016

A year comes to an end.

2016 was an eventful year for me.  I was forced to retire prematurely and precipitously.  I had stomach surgery.   Out of an abundance of precautionary foresight, I worked hard for the Hillary campaign in the fall yet a carnival barker beat her (with 3 million fewer votes) with the telling assistance of the Russians and the FBI.  Most of my friends either moved or have dropped away.  My running dropped off a cliff after my surgery, and then again this month when a painful calf injury felled me.

But the biggest event of the year for me was finding out this year that my youngest son got married last year.  Congratulations, Danny, and welcome to the family, Laura.

Tomorrow I'll be at my usual lunch spot.  Perhaps I'll see one or more of you all there, eh JJD&L?  

Friday, December 30, 2016

The year in review, part 3 of 3

In September I slowly came back to running after my surgery from the prior month and I saw my sister who came to town for a visit.  I also started working for the Hillary campaign so that, in the ridiculously unlikely scenario that The Donald actually won the presidency, I could hold myself above reproach for any repercussions from such an outlandish and disastrous occurrence.

In October I worked really hard for the Hillary campaign, canvassing in Northern Virginia and electioneering in North Carolina.  I hadn't worked for any campaign since the McGovern campaign in 1972, which should have been a sign.

In November I took a trip to Newport News to poll watch on election day, an undertaking which, in retrospect, was a complete waste of time and money, as a vocal minority of Americans spoke loud and clear on that day.  I also spent a day in Shenandoah park getting use out of my lifetime National Park pass and took a trip to Colorado to inspect some properties, where the weather cooperated and the views were, as usual, spectacular.

In December I laid off running for a few weeks due to injury and I unsuccessfully tried once again to start healing my fractured immediate family by going during the noon hour on Christmas to my favorite restaurant in Westover.  I also attended a very nice Hanukkah party at a friend's house and spent a lovely Christmas afternoon in the District with a friend.

Do you think 2017 will be more, or less, momentous?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The year in review, part 2 of 3.

At the end of May, after more than a quarter century on the job and after working hard all year doing more with less as people at work left to take new jobs or went out on maternity leave, I was suddenly forced to retire by the impossible demands of, in my opinion, a bullying manager acting as the point man for a group of in-it-for-themselves managers a generation younger.  I already had an active age-discrimination complaint going at the time but these people consider themselves to be bullet-proof and, in my opinion, do whatever they want, paying only lip service to rules put in place about retaliation and the like.

On the day after I was precipitously and prematurely forced to retire due to ageism, I bought new running shoes and ran five times a week during the month of June, mostly around Northern Virginia and sometimes in the District, taking on the task of running home from all of the furthest-out Silver Line Metro stops.  I also discovered from a neighbor that my youngest son had gotten married a year earlier to some girl named Laura.

In July I kept active by continuing running five times a week, sometimes in the District with friends from my former place of work.  I also did some hiking and bicycling on some of the many recreational venues available around the District, like here on the C&O Canal Towpath.

August was a most interesting month.  On the eleventh, out of the clear blue sky, I got friended and then unfriended within the hour by my daughter-in-law Laura, and then the next morning I underwent stomach surgery, which put me down harder and longer than I thought it would.

Our lives were about to change.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The year in review, part 1 of 3.

In January I waited at a reunion that apparently will never be.  Dining with the perennially empty chair and the ever-full 2d beer on my middle child's 28th birthday.

I kept on running during the noon hour through a cold and raw February.  Here I ran by some school children on a field trip dispensing hot chocolate at the MLK Memorial.

In March I ran my only official race of the year, a 5K on the W&OD Trail half a mile from my house.  I won my AG and received a pie as my prize.

On my birthday in April, I was delightfully surprised when I was joined by friends at the place I normally go to for lunch on birthdays and holidays.  The couple in the middle are newlyweds who in the fall moved to AZ, while the woman on the right, a colleague at work, had had a baby less than three weeks earlier.

My life was about to change.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


In looking back over old FB posts, I see that I had a premonition about what happened on November 8th.  Last year on December 23d I posted a picture, below, with this caption--"Perhaps a sign of a Christmas Carol on Pennsylvania Avenue? We had Christmas past--to the brink of ruin under the Decider; we have Christmas present--the unaffordability of the current "Affordable" Care Act; and will we have a Christmas future of--demagoguery?"

In May I posed with The Donald in an airport.  Obviously I was storing up goodwill for the future.

In September my sister came through town and I pointed out the recently-opened Trump Hotel to her.  I said, "You should pose in front of that building as a moment from your visit to the nation's capital, ha ha!"

But she didn't think he'd ever become president so she posed, for irony's sake, in front of the building named after the president who started the destruction of America's middle class.  Here she is posing in front of the Ronald Reagan Federal Building.

Who knew?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night

I had a wonderful Christmas, thanks to friends and family.  It really started on Christmas eve, when I was invited to a Hanukkah party at a friend's house and spent a few hours watching four children, two dogs and a dozen adult family members and other loved ones of my friend cooking, eating, drinking a little, talking, giving gifts to the children and relaxing in a seemingly chaotic scene.

On Christmas day at around noon I went to the local restaurant nearby where I always go on holidays and birthdays for lunch in the vain hope that one of my prodigal sons would show up to begin our first day of the rest of our lives.  It was closed for Christmas and no Lambertons or Rogers were around.  None came the morning before at the bagel place in town either, where I'd invited them, so I guess they all still are advocates of patricide, even as fully mature adults, as inculcated in them as tender children by their covertly narcissistic (in my opinion) mother and her coterie of "professionals."

I then went to a friend's house where we set up and trimmed a tree and enjoyed Christmas day with food and talk and the exchange of presents.  I received some lovely gifts including a warm down throw, a book on tape and other thoughtful gifts from my friend, siblings and a neighbor.

The day done, gone the sun, we took down the tree and I returned home to an empty house.  I am hopeful that the coming year will be a good one although this past year contained several shocking events such as my sudden (forced) retirement, finding out I had a daughter-in-law a year after the advent, being friended and then unfriended on FB by the same personage on the day before long-scheduled surgery, surgery and the election shocker.  Whoo boy, what's up for 2017?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A twofer today

It's Christmas eve, and the advent of Hanukkah at sundown today.

Happy Hanukkah.

Love you latkes!

And JJD&L, at 11 a.m. today (Saturday) on this day of holiday and good will, I'll be enjoying a cup of java at the Einstein Bros. Bagels in the city of Falls Church at 913 W. Broad Street (Route 7 or Leesburg Pike) across the street roughly from St. James Catholic Church, just down the street from the Hole in the Wall bookstore.  Come join me and we can get started on the first day of the rest of our lives.  Or not.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Trees from times past

Christmas trees are certainly a ubiquitous item at this time of the year.  Here are some times past.  The Peace Officers Tree in DC from a few days ago.

Helping to decorate a tree last year.

A tree in Orlando from several years ago.

The Capitol Tree in 2008.

The Capitol Tree in 2014.

Helping to decorate a tree in 2014.

The Peace Officers Tree in 2012.

The Peace Officers Tree in 2007.

Last year's National Tree.

This year's National Tree.

The National Tree from 2014.

Children watching the train set at the bottom of the National Tree.

The National Tree in 2012.

The National Tree in 2007.

The National Tree in 2005.

An Occupy DC tree from 2011.

The tree at the Statehouse in Columbus..

A tree in Columbus in 2012.

The same tree in 2011 after a Turkey Trot 5-miler.

The National Menorah in 2008.

A tree on the 16th Street Mall in Denver..

A tree in Buffalo.

My tree in 2008.

My tree in 2007.

My tree in 2005.

Frosty the Snowman, a block from my house.  Is he waving hello or goodbye.  This party store is closing forever on December 24th.