How do I begin? And where? Number Two Son, age 30, (Yes he is an adult) called me and asked what it feels like to have a slipped disc. I explain as best I can and he shares that he hurt his back.

Somehow or other, he wants to diagnose and treat this problem on his own. All kind of crazy, but he says one thing, “They drug test if I file a Wokers’ Comp claim.” Suddenly, all the flanking maneuveres begin to make sense. He doesn’t want to test positive for marijuana, the use of which is illegal in Virginia.

But I get to work assisting him, and do way too much to help with his problem. He is seeing a chiropractor I know and have used on Monday at 5:00 PM. With luck the problem will be correcting itself over the weekend.

I don’t suspect my son is a heavy pot smoker, but he is now organizing his life around his habit. NOT. GOOD.

I get stressed because he has Asperger’s Syndrome. Even if he wasn’t using 4-20, he tends to argue, over-think, analyze, and question even the simplest of predicaments. Here two things are key. 1) He has hurt his back. 2) A medical professional needs to assess the injury. Concealing drug use complicates a simple task.

Here’s hoping for the best possible outcome. He sees the chiro. The chiro does his magic. He feels better. He realizes that he is planning his life around his marijuana habit. And stops using. We shall see.

Foreign Language Films

I once studied Russian. And German. I have taken to watching Russian language films and programs on YouTube. There are usually no subtitles, which is fine with me. My interest in Russia and the Russian language is being rekindled. So for 2019, I will reopen this long-blocked channel.

What needs to be said is the profound admiration and respect I have for Russian culture and the Russian people. I also resent making Russia the scapegoat for all that is wrong with the world today. Believe me, the world could do a lot worse than having to deal with Vladimir Putin. Can you say “Stalin”?

Swimming And Showering Today


Every time I miss, skip, or avoid a swimming opportunity I am worried that I will miss the next day and the next and the next. I worry because a good habit like a daily swim can quickly fall off the daily routine. It has happened before.

Today I did go swimming, had a 2500 meter swim. In the shower, post workout, I was talking with Hank, age 75, about the importance of showing up and exercising when one is over 65. Les added his agreement with the importance of showing up. Les will be 82 next week. Next week I will be 68.

Here are three naked old guys in the shower talking about what benefits us at our ages. They had no way of knowing anything more about me, nor I them. Three naked guys showering and talking have no idea what the others’ politics, religion, or any other identifiers are. As important as politics, religion, etc. may be, there are times when they don’t matter.

The Y is about fellowship as much as it is exercise. Three old guys talking in the shower is what fellowship is. Seeing Muslim families or Latino families use the Y puts human faces on the term immigrants. Once again fellowship is illustrated. The name of the game is understanding people different from us. Simple little things make that happen.

No Swimming Today

I got caught up in stuff, found myself tired and with back pain. The lonely feeling crept back in. Rather than swim, I ended up watching a documentary on Napoleon. It was interesting. In the world post-Hitler, we rarely show interest in any other megalomaniacal war monger. Then again, next to Hitler, he wasn’t so bad.

I wish I could perpetually be a shining beacon of good nutrition, exercise, wellness in general. Life doesn’t work that way.

I hear the TV on upstairs. Upstairs, I shall go.

Good night Loves.

Southern For Polenta


I was sitting around thinking about cooking ideas. I had mushrooms that needed to be used and chicken breasts from Perdue that were Italian Style, meaning what? I dunno. But they had some Eye-talian flavoring to them. Into the slow cooker they went with the sliced mushrooms, the big (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes, an onion, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and basil. They’ve been slow cooking for about 4 hours.

Rather than serving the stuff over pasta I decided to have an adventure. There is a really nice yellow grits product by Lake Side, called Lakeside Yellow Grits. So I cooked up some by the recipe, added a beaten egg, and some Pecorino Romano cheese by Locatelli, put it in a cast iron skillet and baked it for 30 minutes or so until firm.

So what is Southern for polenta. Grits. Yeah I know, not really but close enough. The reality is that all grits are not created equal. This Lake Side product is a nice yellow colour and has some flavor, not like you’re having wallpaper paste as a side dish.

I am excited to see how it turns out. The proof of the faux polenta is in the eating, to riff on an old saying,

Revert To Snow

As if remorseful for the dingy gray drabness of the day, it is snowing again. We shall see what happens.

My wife has spent the day in bed, what she calls a “Relax-A-Fest”, what I call ignoring, possibly avoiding, me. I succumbed to the Temptress of Industry and vacuumed the carpet. There are black eye peas and tomatoes with onion simmering away, a sweet potato baking and soon a nice piece of sockeye salmon will be grilling in the oven. All wintry delights I guess, filling the house with heat and kitchen smells.

A day at home makes my disjointed world more painful. But what I write keeps the door to sanity open.

Later, loves.



I am looking at a wintry scene in my backyard. I wish it were a Currier & Ives quality scene with mid-19th Century sleighs and horses and people having a jolly old time. Rather it is a 21st Century snapshot of a ratty deck and a statue of Our Lady giving ju

st a touch of dignity to the picture. It is not a beautiful snow. The sleet currently falling squeezes out the charm, and the virginal wedding dress whiteness to a grungy off-white, as if it needed bleach.

Winter is what it is. Some days were made to hibernate. This is one of them. Soon I will trudge up the stairs and go back to sleep.

But I hope you become aware of the cultural programming that says we have to be doing something, either working or playing. We must be playing with the same focus and intensity with which we work.

Silence too is a rare species these days. I hear the noise of the sleet, the hum of the electric motor of the refrigerator compressor, and the television in the upstairs bedroom.

But my sweater keeps me warm. And sleep has already closed one eye. I take to bed with me the lovers in my head. And wish you all Adieu.

More On Saturday 12 Jan.


I did go back to bed. I slept a good three hours more. When I awoke again, I sort of dithered around a bit before going to the Y. I swam another 2500 meters, anticipating that my swim routine could be interrupted by the coming snow.

I visited a friend of mine in the hospital who suffered a stroke earlier in the week. He is only 45, but he smokes and is overweight. He is making progress but has a ways to go. He is paralyzed on his left side, but regaining the use of his leg.

I am tired. I have been pushing pretty hard. Time to rest.

Clothes. And Opinions.


I am up, have been about an hour. I am still tired, but sleep was difficult the last hour I was in bed.

I was somewhat excited to get dressed. I have lost so much weight that my jeans are getting loose and baggy. I decided to use the suspenders that go with these loggers jeans. They are very comfortable and I like the look. Yesterday a new pair of flannel boxers came from L L Bean, along with a light blue long sleeve tee-shirt. The L L Bean quality is so good, even with basic stuff like socks and underwear. So I got dressed. Maybe I will do a pic with the flannel boxers one day for all you flannel boxer fetishists.

Here is a picture. It’s not great. I guess I need to get a “selfie stick”.

I am in one of those sensually aware moods where I can feel the effects of working out in my body. I feel a connectedness to things.

It validates my belief that human beings are made to love and to be loved, love beyond physical intimacy, although not downplaying that key aspect of living.

I was going to go to a political breakfast and hear from a state delegate. But I need to save the money because I had to buy new wiper blades. Snow is coming. And ice. And sleet. Snow I can take. Sleet? No.

I swam last night. 2500 meters. It felt great.

I just want to thank everybody who shares their life with me through their blog. It means a lot. I used to just look for whatever erotic titillation I could distill from the entries, but now I read for more, even stuff I don’t want to hear about. I don’t know why.

Blogging creates community, I guess. And, like families, it’s a community that’s about more than ideas and opinions. Something like vulnerability.