My birthday today was spent much like every other sunday these days, now that I am temporarily batching away from home. I woke up, had a cup of tea and did a little catching up on our march to war under the urgency of a WMD redux, and the possible return of a bull market in crypto. The latter gives me hope that I will actually be able to retire some day. The former makes me convinced that the US government, and much of its population, is insane.
After that I put my dirty laundry together and went to the nearby laundromat, started the wash cycle, and headed out to my regular sunday morning breakfast at a nice little cafe/grill in my neighborhood: bacon and eggs, sourdough toast, home fries, ice tea and black coffee. This meal is the only time during the week where I touch bacon, butter, or coffee, so I refer to it as my sin breakfast. And it does taste good, especially the coffee with the butter on the sourdough toast, with bacon and eggs in between, (think John Travolta in Pulp Fiction) mmmmm bacon good. While waiting I sat next to a man eating his breakfast and feeding his dog his bacon. Then the dog would come next to me a slurp from a bowl of water. While there I finished reading Young Stalin. Indeed, truly one of the most remarkable individuals I have every read about. And if you think he is interesting, check out his childhood friend Kamo. During the civil war he headed a secret service unit and he was obsessed with loyalty tests. So, he would take his lieutenant and wake up a few of them and take them out and tell them they were going to shoot them unless they turned traitor. Then any that pleaded for their lives and agreed to turn traitor, he shot them. Those that didnt he felt he could trust. Evidently his lieutenant had a soul, couldnt handle it, and went insane. As i was leaving the cafe I heard the sound of a saxaphone and I saw a black man sitting in a chair under an umbrella playing in the Safeway parking lot. I thought maybe I would donate; times are hard and I like to support musicians. Then I heard his tune clearly; it was a clumpy yankee doodle dandy. Errrff. I suppose maybe it was satire, in which case maybe it was indeed very appropriate given fridays display of righteous lawlessness, but I didnt wait around to hear the next selection. I decided against the donation. I headed back and put the laundry into its dry cycle and left to the park to enjoy the day there. There is pond there with a nice little flock of American Widgeons that I like to set my binoculars on. I have recently sighted a Broadwinged hawk there and
Vermillion Flycatchers are common. But the park was surreal. It was filled with people with their heads in their phones. Little strolling groups and little hanging around groups, singletons, duos. Many were overweight, many severely overweight. As I walked across the park to the pond I had to sidestep a mother/son duo walking straight into me with their heads in their phones.
I had this experience a year ago when a mother/son team nearly walked into my (somewhat dull, but still dangerous) sword during my sword practice. I was worried that I had gone into the twilight zone and now this was our normal population, but to my pleasant surprise it was a Pokemon Go event. So, maybe this is only temporary. I spent a few hours there, exercised, and when leaving a basketball came running along the ground in front of me. I quickly moved and kicked it back over to the young basketball player who was after it. He caught the ball, turned around and proceeded to resume play, without even the slightest acknowledgement of my existence.
I then drove to my Arabic speaking muslim liquor salesman named Mike and he sold me a bottle of DalWhinnie Scotch which I will open tonight to celebrate my birthday. When I first met him and observed his Arabic tv music program I asked him “I bet youve never drank any of this stuff” and he smiled to suggest that I was right.