A birthday in the twilight zone.

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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. 



Flying Junior Added Apr 16, 2018 - 4:18pm
Happy Birthday Mustafa!  You must be about fifty-eight years old.
I saw several hawks flying over the mountain source of the San Diego River last week.  There were in silhouette against a bright sky so I couldn't see their tails very clearly.  They were flying quite high and very fast on wind currents caused by the topography.  They swept gracefully across the sky.  Normally I see them flying much lower in circles.  I wanted to say that the underside of their wings were white or silver.  But in all likelihood they were Red-Tailed Hawks.  A common sight even in the city.  Still a very beautiful bird.
Pardero Added Apr 16, 2018 - 5:21pm
Mustafa Kemal,
Happy birthday! Great observations, that too few will ever experience. I hope the crypto goes your way.
Mustafa Kemal Added Apr 16, 2018 - 6:27pm
Flying Junior, the way to spot redtails is by their petagial bands; dark feathers along underside of the wing along the shoulder to the first joint. Of course, when they are mature, they have red tails. After practice you can tell by their flight style, beautiful west point posture powerful bird.  And then there is that call; unmistakable from many westerns.
I saw two Golden Eagles in phoenix a month ago -Downtown. Here I am, country  bumpkin and screech, I make an emergency pullover into a lot, pull out my trusty binocs which are always positioned for fast action,  and take a gander. What a beauty. No accidents were caused in the observation of that Golden Eagle.  I tell this to many people. The majority havent a clue about what is flying around here.
Friday, I was a red shouldered hawk . Now that was a treat!
63 years
Pardero, thanks for the well wishes. Im getting to the point where each added year is somewhat of a miracle.  I told my boss last January that I might retire soon I was making so much on crypto and told him to get ready and find somebody to replace me.  Just this weekend I had to remind him of the slump and to say "nevermind, for now" Pheew, he was good with that. I was a little afraid he was gonna dump me anyway. It looks like he is good with whatever my plans are.   I have a good boss.
Lets see, I didnt invest much, but I got in early enough that I pocketed a couple of rolls of liberty double eagles and the rest is sitting there waiting for the next bump up.  I could lose it all and still have those eagles as profit. The wife wants me to liquidate
-HA, sorry mi carina  te amo, pero no puedo
Im hodling.
James Travil Added Apr 16, 2018 - 7:37pm
Here's hoping that you had a great birthday Mustafa! To us Satanists that's the most important holiday of the year. I celebrate mine with my oldest daughter who's birthday and mine are only four days apart, so it's always a good party and overall great experience for all.
Being that I have high blood pressure and gout I avoid the bacon myself  for the most part. But I can't imagine starting a day without a cup of coffee, and maybe a slice of cherry pie. Got to enjoy those little gifts to yourself I say.

And I agree with you on the phone nonsense. It's like everyone is zombified  Sad really. Hopefully that crypto will go your way :) 
Mustafa Kemal Added Apr 16, 2018 - 9:22pm
Flying Junior, thanks for the well wishes.
Mustafa Kemal Added Apr 16, 2018 - 9:26pm
James Travil, funny, we do have some things in common. Since I was young I have always tried to take the bday off in full and spend the day trying to remind myself of a few things. Its always worked real well. 
As for gout, I heard going bare foot, getting the dirt to scratch the bottom of your feet, is good yoga for that.  Since I heard that I go bare foot as much as possible.
Cherry pie in the morning? I think I have just found my new personal hero.
MEFOBILLS Added Apr 17, 2018 - 12:43pm
As for gout, I heard going bare foot, getting the dirt to scratch the bottom of your feet, is good yoga for that.  Since I heard that I go bare foot as much as possible.
As a young boy when we left Kentucky, my relatives showed up to say goodbye, most of them walked to the event.  Hill people then ( this was in the early 1960's) were economically independent, making their own clothing, butter, trapping their own meat, etc.   They didn't make shoes of course, so during warm seasons they would walk barefoot.  Calluses would build up in a thick layer on their feet, so even stepping on sharp objects could be tolerated.  There wasn't much in the way of pavement, we had trails leading to houses.  
I can guarantee those people then would notice the wildlife, or if you had your nose buried in a smart phone.  For the most part, they weren't fat and had little need for doctors or medicine.  What a different world we have now.  Even that corner of the world has gone through big changes today.
Mustafa Kemal Added Apr 17, 2018 - 4:45pm
MEFOBILLS, curious about your take on Hillbilly Elegy.
MEFOBILLS Added Apr 18, 2018 - 1:22pm
I haven't read it.  I know some of the "claims" and what little I've read is painfully true.   My family line traces back to Harlan and that region - which is infamous as you may know.  We even have our own mountain, where ancestors are buried.  
Think about the history of Reevers, who then were forced moved to Ulster, who then left to become Scots-Irish hillbillies.  This particular group went through trial by fire, and then had to do hand to hand combat with Indians to carve out a living space.  They have a warrior and clan ethos.  They were an in-group like Jews, but never used deception techniques.  Deception is extremely dishonorable, and you might just be terminated and disappeared if you engage hill people with deception techniques.  Family stories about when the rail-road came through and talk about the "company store."  Rent schemes the rail road was trying to impose caused conflict and war.  There was a huge war in this region during that time that has been written out of the history books.    
 As a kid, I would have to be introduced to my extended family, and the introduction would go something like this:  He is the Son of John on this "inert surname"  side.  That way you were known where you fit into the clan hierarchy.  You were either an outsider or an insider.
Actually past-tense (was) an in-group.  My latest visit suggests things are breaking down and devolving into dystopia, with drugs and familial breakdown endemic to American society at large.   
Mustafa Kemal Added Apr 21, 2018 - 4:00pm
MEFOBILLS, the way you speak of the place, the people, and the culture sound very similar to what I read there.
In  particular,  re "Deception is extremely dishonorable" (a characteristic that appears to be disappearing in our current culture)
is something he addresses, and he appears  honest when regarding the state that they find themselves in today. When I read it, I thought " This is one of the reasons Trump won"    I have loaned my copy out several times.  All were impacted by the read.