Unavailable Tables



Unavailable Tables

I’m sitting in the La Plata Starbucks by myself. Normally when I’m there by myself I’m people watching, sometimes I chat with different people I know only from Starbucks and other times people from other venues of my life stop by and we babble for a while. The following is what I saw today.

I noticed two elderly well dress men, let’s call them the two business men, sitting in front of their computers. They were too far away for me to eavesdrop on their conversation and that’s the case for all involved. Through out this little story I will add some narrative to move the tale along. They looked like they were having an enjoyable chat, when one of them got up for some napkins and noticed a more suited corner table for their interlude. He came back to get his friend and they proceeded to pick up their gear and move to the corner spot. By the time they turned toward the new table, it was taken, so they sat back down and set up again.

The people that took the corner table were two attractive ladies, they seemed to be a mother and daughter couple, so for the purpose of this little yarn we’ll say they were. A few moments later their third party arrived and stood in front of them. He looked to be another business man type. He looked around searching for a better spot for their rendezvous and noticed an empty table across the room. He walked over to that table as the ladies picked up their possessions and followed him to it. That was the ladies second table.

A few moments later one of the first two business men stood up and saw the corner table was open, so they picked up their stuff and moved there, seemingly happy with their new spot they continued to smile and chat.

When the mother, daughter and business man saw the two business men move, they in turn grabbed all their paraphernalia and moved to the smaller table for what seemed to be a better choice for them. However it still wasn’t convenient to an electric outlet. This was the third spot for the lovely ladies. A few minutes later a table with an electric outlet right next to it became available and they moved there. This made the fourth local for the ladies. I heard the man say, “The music is too loud”.

Quickly the daughter said, “We’re not moving again”. At that point, I laughed out loud.

I couldn’t help but get up and tell everyone involved what I just watched. We all laughed and as I was walking back to my vantage point I thought, I might not ever see any of them again but it was nice to be a part of that little bit of nothing that only I saw.


True story: dumpster diving

True story: dumpster diving


I’ve told you guys, that I don’t drink anymore, but that doesn’t mean everything I do is sane. Here’s what happened several months ago.


A friend was moving, and asked if I could gather some boxes for her. I said, “Sure.” So while Matt and I were running errands, we also hunted for boxes. Most of you might know, that liquor store dumpsters can be full of boxes.


Matt paid his phone bill, then we went across the street, so I could look in the Holiday Liquor’s dumpster. Luckily I found a slightly broken chair, that I could use. After I set the chair in front of the dumpster and stepped on it, I was able to reach one box. I tossed it outside, then looked for more. It was a veritable gold mine of boxes.


I decided to climb in and help my self. After throwing twenty or so outside, I turned to climb out and realized I made a mistake. I stood shoulder high to the top edge of the opening, wondering how to get out. Ten or twenty years ago, I would have easily been able to get out.


Matt sat in the car with a big smile on his face. He laughed and laughed, but didn’t get out to help. To be perfectly honest, he probably couldn’t do much anyway, since he’s eighty-eight years old. I’m just glad he didn’t take any pictures.


I turned around and started to gather bags of trash and stacked them in the corner near the chair. Every two bags or so, I stood on them to pack them down.


As luck would have it, a friend was in the liquor store. He also doesn’t drink, so as he was walking out, he said, “Jim, I swear I’m not drinking, I’m playing Keno. I SWEAR!”


I said, “Hey buddy. How ya doin’?”


“Fine, but how are you? What are you doing in there?”


I pointed to the boxes and replied, “I’m helping a friend move.”


We stood there and talked for thirty seconds or so, when he mentioned, “A friend at the next table yelled, there’s a guy in the dumpster. I came over to look and said, I know him.” So I came out to see if I can help.


I then continued to pile bags of trash in the corner, till it was high enough to climb out. Although, I still needed help to steady myself on his shoulder.


Nice to have friends scattered through out town to help, when needed.


Later, at Starbucks, when I told the story, another friend laughed saying, “I’ll bet, in all your years drinking, that never happened to you.” I thought, how true that statement was.


Random thoughts: Waldorf Famous

Random thoughts: Waldorf Famous


Waldorf, MD.

Have I told you that I am famous here in Waldorf; not real famous just somewhat, maybe just a little, well not really famous at all. Let me explain. 😃


A sign, then me and my best friend Raymond.

Let’s take a happy dance down memory lane first, just for a moment. Raymond and I have been friends since the Thomas Stone High School days, long time ago, and I was a perfectly good student till I met him. All my report cards up till then held straight A’s, I also never skipped school or got in trouble of any sort, until I fell under his tutelage. My life went down hill after I met him, but to be perfectly candied it has been an exciting life. Seriously though, I’m just messin with my buddy.


First McDonald’s in Waldorf, MD

Here’s a little background into my achievement. We were in the eleventh grade, when “McDonald’s” and it’s golden arches came to our school. The business invited qualified students to apply at the soon to be new store in Waldorf, MD.

Raymond, his brother buddy, our friend Billy, several others and myself signed up to work there. Before we could work at our new store, we were trained at another one in a nearby town.

We had many escapades at the Waldorf store; I met my first wife there, did my first drug there and there is where I drank my first beer. Quite a few other adventures, that should not be repeated, for fear of imprisonment, embarrassment or surely laughter.

My best of all experiences there, was I had the honor of flipping the very first Big Mac. I should be known as the world renowned Waldorf flipper. After all it is my town.


Later in the eighties, before I got sober, my son and I snuck down onto the “RFK Stadium” football field. Being drunk as I was, it didn’t surprise my family when I accidentally tripped one of my favorite receivers, Ricky Sanders. It was on the news that night and also shown on TV during the game. Thankfully I was dressed in all my Redskin garb, but I still felt disgraced as all eyes were on me. My son, Jamie, even turned away and left me standing all by myself.


Washington Redskin receiver Ricky Sanders


This picture is a few years later, after I got sober. I was able to make my amends to him. My mom, Ricky Sanders and me. About 1992 or so.

Finally more current, I ran into a friend of mine at La Plata Starbucks the other day, that owns the best eatery in La Plata, Marie’s. I chatted with him for a minute without sitting down and he was interested when I mentioned that I’m on the Atkins diet. Since I can’t eat my favorite dish, Morning Breakfast, he reminded me of a nice grilled fish plate. After we talked more he said, “Let me run some numbers and I will add a dish of bacon and call it, Jim’s Special.” The particulars were not set at that time, but it will probably be ten pieces of bacon at a good price. WOW, is that cool or what?


Are you salivating now?

These are some of my achievements, but the most important ones, are the birth and lives of my two sons, Jamie and Billy. By the way, fifteen pounds down since October 31st, my scale is applauding the weight of 259.


Billy and Jamie in 2006 at Dulles airport

Random thoughts: Atkins diet

Random thoughts: Atkins diet



In North Carolina about a month ago. Let’s consider this and the following pictures as my before photos.


On October 31, 2016, I started the Atkins diet at the weight of 274 pounds. This morning has been the start of the twelfth day and I have lost nine pounds. Woke up and the scale told me, “Congratulations Jim, you weigh 265 pounds.”


I did this same diet in 2009/2010 and lost ninety seven pounds in seven months. When I stopped the diet I eventually gained all the weight back. The same would happen with any diet.



Three months ago at the marina


The diet starts with the two week induction plan. This part of the diet is considered the carbohydrates (carbs) cleanse. In a twenty four hour period the dieter can have no more than twenty carbs. I stayed on the induction diet for the whole seven months.


During the sevens months, I had five cheat weekends and ate what ever I wanted. Those weekends were from Friday evening to Monday morning. Didn’t gain any weight, but also wouldn’t lose any until Thursday morning.



Four months ago at a yard sale


Towards the end of the seven months, I incorporated some diet sodas and some foods that didn’t have carbs, but did have artificial sweeteners. Guess I needed the sweet taste. My weight lose took a hit at the end and I had no idea the artificial sweeteners were to blame.


Over the past few years I tried the same diet including the diet sodas and sweeteners. I didn’t lose the weight as I had hoped to.


Four days into the diet this time, I researched the sweeteners and found out that most of them are not good for the body. Some of them even caused blood sugar spikes, which carries the dieter over the twenty carbs a day mark.


My experience has shown me that if I’m off and on the diet, my cholesterol will take a hit. However, when I followed the diet exactly how it says, all my vitals are good. Proved by my blood work.


I can use all the encouragement you can muster.

Random thoughts: Veterans Day

Random thoughts: Veterans Day


My dad, James F McDonald, at Arlington National Cemetery. He has been there since 1975 and now mom is buried on top of him.

Happy Veteran’s Day every one.


Dad and me at Camp Bussac, France in 1955

My father and son are both veterans of the Army. I wish them both a very special thanks for protecting me and my way of life by their service overseas.


Dad, probably before I was born.

Dad did his twenty and I’m so proud to be his son. Years back my dad would not let us kids go to school on Veteran’s Day. I didn’t understand then as I do now how important this day is.


Jamie at Fort Hood, Texas.

My son went through boot camp, hung out at Fort Hood, Texas and spent time in Kuwait. I’m very proud to be his dad.


Jamie, probably in 2006.

I thought I would see more posts today about our veterans. Sadly that wasn’t the case.

Thanks to all the veterans as you served to protect the United States of America.