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Mon, Jan. 8th, 2007, 02:34 pm
Fredericksburg, VA, 2007/01/06

Breakfast with cousin Mike at Battlefield Diner, across from the graveyard. A customer complains that the diner has run out of gravy, so the counter waitress lets him behind to counter to make gravy for the diner.

I go to Apple, the other guitar store in town. Nothing much for me, but Mike buys a guitar book, video and training CD despite the fact that he doesn't play or own a guitar. I try to grab them to look at them and he tightens them to his chest and pulls them away from me forcefully.

"Your money," I tell him.

Mike has a four-car garage full of objects. He tells me that he needs things to fill his new retirement home even though he has a house full of things that would go there.

It's the first Saturday in January and it's in the seventies. I see mail carriers walking their routes in short-sleeve shirts.

Mike and I go to the James Monroe Museum. It has the desk he wrote the Monroe Doctrine on. The place is full of clocks and barometers, including an 18th century pocket watch (!). The docent says Monroe was a gadget geek. He probably picked that up from his law school mentor Thomas Jefferson.