A Modern Quest

I mentioned in an earlier post that I resumed following Weight Watchers nutritional guidelines, using the Points budget for daily eating. For me, it works. I’ve lost about 10 pounds in the last three weeks. My zest for cooking and living in general has been revived.

Last night, as I walked through the aisles looking for a bottle of borscht, I observed just how much salt and fats and sugar are added to damn near everything. My shopping foray involved four (4) stores. Publix, Food Lion, BJ’s, and Kroger, as I hunted for hearts of palm and oat bran. Publix had all the canned beans, cannellini, red kidney beans, and garbanzos, plus Italian green beans that I needed for homemade minestrone, but no oat bran or hearts of palm.

At Food Lion, I found lightly salted pistachios at a better price than Publix, plus a brisket on sale. Red bananas and Bosc pears were calling to me. The pears go in a pistachio and pear salad that Caralynn over at Beauty Beyond Bones featured recently. No oat bran. No hearts of palm.

On to BJ’s, where I knew I could score a jar of hearts of palm. BJ’s had two jars, wrapped in plastic, for $9.90. While I was there, I bought a package of lavash flat bread.

Undaunted in my quest, I pushed on to Kroger, There, in the hot cereal section, among the dozens of varieties of microwaveable oatmeal, the usual cylinders of regular oatmeal, quick oatmeal, and boxes of Cream of Wheat, I found Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran. Good Ol’ Bob came through for me.

Returning home with my treasures, I fixed a salad for dinner, then treated myself to half of a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar. Finally I made some espresso. This is one of my new indulgences.

Maybe espresso does have a lot more caffeine than regular coffee, as I write at 4:30 AM.

Another Morning

I awaken around 430, go to the other bedroom, and attempt to sleep in that bed. Then, after about 5 minutes, give up, get dressed, go downstairs.

I make coffee, toast a whole wheat English muffin and wait for The Northbound Silver Meteor to pass through Ashland, headed to New York.

This train is an impressive sight,pulled by three locomotives today, with coaches, sleeper cars, a dining car, and the baggage car bringing up the rear.

After the train, I watch Brasilian Samba dancers do their simultaneously sexy and wholesome shuffle, in heels, making this move look oh so easy. When we understand and appreciate samba, we can understand Brasil.

Next I move to Russian Orthodox liturgy from somewhere in Russia. One of the constants in the West is our wilful indifference to Russia, from the days of the boyars, to the Romanovs, the Communists, and now Putin. Seems as if because they’re different, they must be bad, must be feared, and must be destroyed. The Orthodox faith strikes at the heart of the fear. It isn’t Catholic or any particular shade of Protestantism. The Liturgy is a near constant chant, before the icons. There are no organs, or any other instruments, save bells. The congregation stands, sometimes for up to three hours.

I move back to trainspotting in Ashland, as dawn breaks. While it’s still dark #86 stops in Ashland to allow commuters to board, on the way to Washington.

Back to reality, the kitchen is a mess, with pots and pans needing to be stored, along with clean dishes from the dishwasher.

Now I want to, need to, go back to bed!

23 January 2023

I am making the effort to leave the house. I went to an AA meeting, then dinner with my buddies afterwards. I had a bowl of New England clam chowder. The chowder was OK.  The fellowship was priceless.

I went shopping after dinner. They did not charge the posted sale price for a two pound brick of Velveeta, so I received $1.52 or double the difference back.

Now I’m watching a documentary titled  Berlin 1945 ,about Berlin in the final days of WW II. I can’t help but  think that war is the real obscenity and still I watch this stuff, as if a pile of rubble is somehow interesting.

The first date I went on was a “Sadie Hawkins” dance, where the girl asked the boy. The girl who asked me out has her birthday two days after mine 23 January. I wonder whatever happened to her.

I’m losing weight and I feel better. I’m doing more.

I’m stopping now.

Sunday. Afternoon. Watching.

It’s Sunday, early afternoon, and it’s damp and grey, chilly and misty. I’ve been too lazy to pick up last week’s Sunday New York Times from the den floor and today’s is here waiting to be sectioned out, glanced at, maybe even read.

My digital Internet window, YouTube, is opened to Ashland and her railroad tracks. One train has passed, #79, The Carolinian, Southbound to Richmond, ultimately Charlotte.

In the overcast chill, I see one couple, dressed in black jackets, dungarees , walking towards The Henry Clay Inn, searching for breakfast or lunch or brunch. They’re probably a couple, but now they don’t walk side by side. The man is walking several paces ahead, as. the woman lags behind. No hand holding. They walk like a couple that used to fuck, but haven’t in a while. Now they desire nothing more than a plate of eggs or a chicken salad sandwich.

When it’s sunny, a “nonbinary” chap rides around town on their bicycle, wearing a hot pink miniskirt, pantyhose, and cowboy hat, grooving to tunes on their radio, occasionally raising their arms in glee. Ashland Nonbinary Person is one of the harmless eccentrics of this little town.

They are who they are. And nobody really cares.

Meanwhile, a “rail fan” shows his homemade sign to the camera, then walks away. Where are the trains? A passenger train, headed to New York fromTampa, should be coming along, as well as a freight hauling garbage, southbound from DC, should also be passing through, headed to a giant landfill in Charles City County.

I’m wondering if that couple will find a restaurant, eat their eggs and will they make love later, his paunchy belly and her callipygous bum slapping together, in their conjugal bliss? After all, it is Sunday and the kids aren’t around.

Another Orbit Completed

I made it around our benevolent star, completing another orbit. 72 is the current count. I’m feeling rather sad, from lack of sleep, sexual frustration, despair over the continuing state of the USA and the world in general

But I had a YASSO Frozen yogurt bar after Midnight to celebrate. I didn’t sleep worth a crap. I’m engrossed in a book, The Devil’s Chessboard, a history of the CIA under Allen Dulles. More of a general overview than a scholarly work, it provides a narrative of the tumultuous events of the early Cold War. The book is engaging and depressing at the same time.

We Americans are very naïve idealists. As such we become malleable to the efforts of politicians, their media allies, businesses from technology giants to big pharmaceutical companies to Big War, I mean Defence.

At age 72, I’ve noticed there has been a shooting war going on most of my life, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, not to mention proxy wars, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Lebanon. Yemen, Syria. And now Ukraine. We’re too busy “getting by”, so the politicians, soldiers, contractors, bureaucrats and spooks get away with it. The players move from one faction to the other. It’s about keeping the War Economy going.

But it’s all about to collapse. We keep borrowing money to keep the scheme going and with each month, that becomes harder and harder to sustain. This is why this raising the debt limit debate is critical.

Maybe it’s time we challenge who wields power and controls this country. I can tell you right now they won’t like the scrutiny or the challenge.

And people will end up dead.


Population control sounds better than genocide.

The orgasm is the Participation Award for sex, just like the medal a child receives for participating in youth sports.

There is more to human existence than winning and losing, and discerning who won and who lost. We all need to read the Book of Ecclesiastes a little more than once.

This Day Contains 0 Fun.

The AMTRAK trains are late this morning. That’s not a surprise. In Ashland, a “rail fan”,camera mounted on a tripod,waits for #89, the South bound Palmetto to pass through town,on the way to Richmond and, ultimately, to Savannah. Out inLa Plata, the East bound Southwest Chief is two hours late.

This is my second go-round at being “up”. I’m yawning, enduring a sinus headache, and uncomfortable sitting up. Truth be told, I could sleep a little longer.

Last night, when J returned from work, she was watching a PBS documentary on Zorah Neale Hurston. The story addressed sex and class and race, somehow making the life of a fascinating person, a drama of victimhood, rather than achievement. But, hey, it’s television. At one in the morning, I just want sleep.

I’m obsessing a little less about food. Food has always been more an intrusion than a pleasure. The questions, “What am I gonna eat?And when?” seem to be omnipresent

After several hours’ hiatus, I’m back at this post. I’ve felt generally tired all day. Today was spring-like. I regret lacking the energy to do much of anything outdoors.

J is resting now also. She sleeps with the TV on. Maddening.

Old Men Just Wanna Have Fun.

(But you knew that already.)

The Leather Recliner

My posting yesterday was interrupted by an irresistible urge to sleep. I did get a nap, but my creative urge remained somnolent until just now.

I have dinner to prepare after I finish watching a rather entertaining escapist film, Deadlier Than The Male, a crime/thriller from The Rank Organisation, from the era of James Bond. It is a very ably acted and produced film with Richard Johnson, Elke Sommer, and Nigel Green as the villain.

Speaking of dinner, I’ve been following the WEIGHT WATCHERS (WW) program and am losing weight. Along with the weight loss has come the realisation that I have enough books, CDs, and DVDs to keep me entertained for several years. And educated.

It’s crazy how this culture works. The culture is based around the notion that we always want and need more. Now we may need more, a car that operates without mechanical issues, and we may want more, a vacation, another sex partner, but simply consider the possibility that there is enough in your life right now.

Of course, your mind began refuting that premise as soon as I presented it. That’s the culture speaking.

I told you it was crazy.

The Porch

It’s 3:45. Today the country pays homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I remember the March on Washington in August, 1963 and I remember the night he was assassinated, April, 1968. He was the greatest American orator of all time, greater than Lincoln or Patrick Henry.

Today is also the birthday of my Grandma Eva, born 16 January, 1894. She had hearing loss, my inheritance from her. My cousin told me she also suffered from depression, just as I do, too. She went to college in Ypsilanti, Michigan, pretty extraordinary for a young woman in 1912. The motto of her high school graduating class was, “Failure is UnAmerican.”

More later