Monday, April 24, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
|Morning View... Not Much but not bad.|
|Decor of the Residence|
|Don't Walk into the Light. The Corridor|
Friday, April 21, 2017
Thursday, April 20, 2017
|Tommy & Keanne get a gig.|
|An American Meal at "The Riva" just outside the Mote|
|TL Residence... The Morning Reporter|
2. Stay healthy.
3. Maintain your personal sovereignty.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Nothing to do With Me
It's been perhaps three years that I've been listening to the daily financial and geopolitical reports from the alt- or "free media" via (exclusively) YouTube. At first I was annoyed by the negativity, but slowly, the more I listened the more fascinated I became with this minority reporting.
This was the "faction" for lack of a better word, that called out Obama's administration for manipulating economic growth numbers, redefining what it means to be employed full time and skewing the employment rate to appear to be better than it was. These are the guys; mostly economists, stock analysts, investors, traders, precious metals bugs and wealth managers, who supported and voted for Donald Trump in hopes that he could, would, (or will) fulfill his campaign rhetoric of "making American great again," and "draining the swamp."
Although I listen to these interviews, lectures and discussions with great interest, I realize that most if these guys aren't talking to me, or people like me. They are talking, as most people do, to people like themselves - or so I believe. They are talking to the "middle class" of America, which can be described in terms of annual income near (or most likely, in) the six figure range. The populations that draw the most disdain are government employees, (they say 10% of the US population are employed directly or indirectly (contracts) by the federal government); "illegals;" people who have immigrated to America unvetted, given working papers, benefits and free stuff; the poor, specifically those who live in the inner cities and will riot and destroy property when their EBT cards run out, and if course, the "elites," - that less than one percent that "owns" 99% of the (wealth of the) planet.
As mentioned, I find this all very fascinating, educational and entertaining. I verify none of it independently, because it's s not that deep to me. I have taken a few small financial precautions I've learned about by listening to these resources, however the more I listened and analyzed, in my own gut, what they were saying, the more I realized two main facts; first, I am not of the economic ilk to be moving my assets into most of these recommended "protect-your-wealth" programs. Nothing is 100% safe. No scheme is a sure bet. Number two; most of these guys have an angle to get into your pocket based on "information" they provide either via monthly reports, brokering stocks, teaching you how to trade on the stock market, selling the books they've written, or fixing your credit.
Not to be too critical of this genre. They're no different than any other element in an economic system; they spend their time and resources researching, analyzing, compiling and reporting and they should be compensated for it. And as mentioned previously, I find it fascinating, but I'm not savvy or compelled enough to try and make a buck off of it.
Most of their offers and reports, or opportunities have nothing to do with me, mainly because I don't have adequate descresionary cash flow to divert into investment, or wealth-protection schemes. And sometimes, I feel like it's me (not personally) they're complaining about.
From what I've gleaned from the three years of listening; and what I believe, is that the western economic system, if not the global economic system, will experience a correction, that some will describe as a collapse. I'm hearing that the US dollar will be devalued and the price of precious metals, silver and gold specifically, will shoot up. Crypto-currencies, Bitcoin (I have a few) in particular will increase against the US dollar as well. (I'm noticing some new ads for Bitcoin based financial services popping up on YouTube, which seems like a good sign for its survival. Traders have their greedy little paws in the pot.)
The big picture of the future has yet to be completed. There are too many variables to be able to accurately predict what will happen. Those who are building bunkers, stock piling food and weapons, might be doing the right thing; they might survive, be wiped out immediately or be trapped in their bunkers and suffocate. The gold and silver stackers could become the next capitalists or the next victims of government confiscation of hard assets. The poorest of the poor might be the best survivors, having never fully depended on the economic system (having been pushed out of it) to begin with.
Our best strategies are our own best strategies, whether we're digging holes in our basements or wandering around the world. What will be, will certainly be. Worrying about preserving material wealth, is a symptom of being dependant on a system in which they (free-media) claim to have no faith.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Third; writing helps me flush the emotions out of my psyche. The emotions I don't share with others; (not that there are very many "others" with whom I would even share).
Sunday, April 16, 2017
The first thing I noticed were miniature temples, alters, out in front of businesses that had yet to open. Have these always been there? Had I missed them the last two times I'd walked this street? Or are they kept elsewhere when the business is open?
I decided I'd snap those that I encountered along the way.
I imagined that one day I might want to have such a structure with me when and if... (it will be "when") I settle in.
In addition to the "alter tour," I was looking for relatively close and good place for breakfast. Not the tea and butter-on-toast that I get here at TL. Something more paleo, eggs and meat; what's billed as the "American Breakfast."
Most of the cafes I noticed along the route to the city, (I have to remember the proper spelling of the street name) are extensions of guest houses, which makes a lot of sense. During my trek across the United States, I noticed that every hotel has a restaurant within, next to, or very near by. Most times a good hotel, say four stars or better, will offer some kind of breakfast included in the rent.
Anyway, I crossed into a place that looked interesting. I peeked at the menu before entering, found my American Breakfast was within budget and ventured on in.
The place was empty. No customers. One young guy behind the bar. An episode of Charlie's Angels was just ending with a splash; I believe a vehicle was descending in slow motion into a body of water, and Dude, I soon discovered, didn't speak much English.
Not mad at him. I'm in his country.
I've spent a lot of time pointing at menus since I've been in Asia. But as I think about it, I've been pointing at menus in the US as well as ordering by numbers, for a long time.
I don't think the kid's lack of English was his only challenge. It seemed as if he had been left alone anticipating that no one, or at least not many customers, would be in. It was Sunday around noon, Songkran was over, like New Year's Day... the proprietors might have taken a well-deserved respite.
We worked our way through the menu, which he seemed unfamiliar with. He may have even prepared the meal... the meat, across the board, was under-cooked. He didn't seem to know what tea was, or that it came with the set.
We both endured each other respectfully. Working through our respective challenges.
I thought about leaving, but I didn't know whether I'd be doing him a favor, or insulting him, the business, the family and the ancestors. In the end, he cut me a break on the bill. Much appreciated. Not sure I'll return to that spot... I can't recall the name. Only because there are many other place I want to try.
I went out with no plan today, but as it was Keanne's birthday I figured I'd go up near the Rendezvous guest house, just to see if I could find my way there with no trouble.
I didn't get terribly lost. Just lost enough to stumble upon a farmer's market that sells bulk (bagged) nuts and packs of dried fruit; essentially the ingredients for train mix!!
While sitting on the "stoop" of the guest house, which I eventually found, scarfing up the wifi and composing a What's App message, I recognized Keane's voice. She and Tommy were walking by; perfect timing. So we went down to the temple/market place and hung out for a few.
The day was turning out to be dry, but the clouds were coming. It hadn't rained yet, but it was probably coming... eventually.
The streets, whose names I have yet to memorize, were being prepared for the Sunday night market. Vendors are set up two deep in some places and not only on either side of the street, but right down the center as well.
I don't know what the "usual fare" is, but you can probably guess what's available; arts, crafts, clothes, various souvenirs, jewelry (seems like there's lot's of silver for sale) and lots of food.
By the time I got back and logged on, I realized it was Easter in America. I realized how clueless I was, and happily so, of this Christian holiday. Yet, ironically, I was having a spiritual day simply by photographing spiritual symbols, (the alters), and spending time in the temples, even if I was just buying beads and drinking chien... (iced milk tea).. or is it tien??
Today... it was April 16th, marked the first month'aversary of arriving in Asia and the eve of the fifth month of Freedom Year. I can track my time here by American holidays, by comparison. Next one will be Memorial Day, in about six weeks. I have about twelve days left on my place here. Soon, I will start thinking about the next location.
More than likely I'll be alone there, but you never know. So far choices are, Phuket and Penang.
Note: I think you can click on the images to enlarge them.
Monday, March 06, 2017
Taking a break today to relax, stabilize my soul, catch up on stuff and look over my shoulder to recap what I've done and where I've been and report to back to You... (or me... via a future look at this blog.)
I believe that history should be taught from the present backwards... so let's start this journey with yesterday.
I took the BART from Coliseum station in Oakland to Union Square in San Francisco, (a $4.20 ride, hmmmm) where I met up with Barbara, a friend from back east who I met through Alexandra (who I've known for eleven years now.) Barbara moved to SF just eight months ago, so we were both exploring the city by the bay more or less for the first time.
|After our authentic Mexican Lunch: SF 3-5/2017|
There are several ways to explore a city. Depending on one's tastes and interests it might be a bar crawl, or a series of restaurants, photographing sites and/or landmarks or a shopping excursion. Our tour could be described as urban hiking with food and drink breaks. Of course, I captured as much as I could on video without taking anything away from my most excellent hostess/companion and you'll be able to see this is an upcoming episode of Vagabond Philosopher.
The day was characterized but not overshadowed by some weird weather, specifically and hail storm that I thankfully missed while I was on the train. Otherwise it was warm, cold, cool, windy and there was something that resembled rain-flakes cris-crossing in the air while the sun was shining. Geo-engineering perhaps??
I have vowed that I wouldn't live anyway colder than Philadelphia and that includes the Bay area. Wandering around Oakland reminded me of being in certain parts of Brooklyn; it has that kind of feel. David Chappell noted that San Francisco is like a east coast city, and I think that comparison extends to Oakland, particularly the downtown area... which was so dead around 12th Street BART station on Saturday, that I had to literally check my phone to make sure it wasn't Sunday. Walking towards the bay (west, I think) I came upon Swan's Market where a number of events, including free wine tasting was going on. I found my way to Miss Ollie's for a pretty good salad, people-watching (another nod to Brooklyn) and a great soundtrack.
So this journey has been going quite smoothly - all signs that I should be doing exactly what I'm doing, the way I'm doing it. During the last five years my awakening has accelerated, exponentially it seems, from the leap it took in 1996 and, dare I speculate from the initial pangs of higher consciousness that I felt in 1982 (which I then described as an attempted nervous breakdown. I tell myself I held it off, but it was, in hindsight, one of the most powerful feelings I've ever experienced.)
I've been riding the rails since New Orleans. My original idea was to ride Amtrak from Miami to California, however, as I later learned, that line was discontinued due to Hurricane Katrina in 2006, so I rode Greyhound from Miami to New Orleans... if only cost $50.00, but that included some Road Rewards discounts and an 0500 departure time.
|Gainesville, Florida Greyhound stop, 2/15 2017|
What I didn't know at the time was New Orleans was hosting the NBA All Star game so I had to split my stays up between New Orleans and Harvey, La., on the west bank of the Mississippi River. This also turned out to be destined as I lived in Harvey in 1980 when I was posted in Louisiana.
Before leaving the country I set two obligations - I had to see my children. My original plan was to spend a month with each. I was in Miami for five weeks with Stazja, who has her own place. Xave is more of a vagabond at this point in time so I spent less time in the SoCal area. Also, because of the nature of the USA Rail Pass, from Amtrak I didn't have weeks to settle in one place for very long.
The trail pass costs $459.00 and is good for 8 rides in 15 days, there are other passes that cost more, last longer and allow more rides (or segments. Some routes are serviced by buses, particularly the Central Valley, so going from train to bus to train, would be three segments.)
I didn't need all the rides on the pass. I broke the trip into maybe five or six segments/rides; from New Orleans to Tucson, where I stayed for two days (thanks to my brother for hooking up the hotel rooms in those cities); Then to Los Angeles, where I stayed with friends (Nancy and Matt) and their pups. I got a ride down to San Diego with my son and stayed there for a couple of nights. (Left there is the rain.) Then up the California coast on Amtrak's Cost Starlight line, which FYI, you can ride from Los Angeles to Seattle, Washington... exquisite scenery, if that's what you're into.
|Typical scenery around San Luis Obispo 2/27 2017|
I spent the eve of my last birthday walking around the Singapore River. I think I covered 10 miles that day as well. I know I was out for five hours.
This year I woke up in San Luis Obispo with the idea of exploring the County. SLO's regional transit system offers a $5.00 day pass (rides are $2.00 each). I thought it would be fun to ride down to Pismo Beach because I'd heard the name and didn't know anything about it.
|3/1 2017 Pismo Beach|
Disappointingly, the actual beach is a mile back so I didn't make that trip, instead I stopped into Huckleberry's Louisiana style restaurant for my birthday meal... which was great!! Then I caught the next bus south to Arroyo Grande, but there was very little there. There was enough however to get what I needed... a little more cash and a little more trail mix.
The train ride from San Luis Obispo to Oakland is the most scene and beautiful I've even encountered, I understand why people fall in love with California. While I was waiting for Amtrak's train #14, which was almost an hour late, I did some exploring around the station. Had another Cajun meal at a cafe called Bon Temps where I briefly encountered an awakening spirit and relayed a message and learned a little bit about the history, both tragic and grand about the history of San Luis Obispo, its economy and general layout. I was most impressed that there are "no bad areas" in SLO, as told to me by Mr. Edward Sweeney, but it's also a little to "white bread" for he and his wife and they have to go elsewhere to get their diversity fix... so to speak.
Being sensitive to ethnic diversity, I also noticed only the occasional POC in the SLO mix, although I didn't sense any overt "isms" while I was there, but then again, I'm not overtly ethnic enough to always raise the hairs on the backs to certain necks. I found it very easy to start cold conversations with people, especially when I had a question about something or the other.
|Amtrak SLO Station Tribute to Chinese Workers|
I arrived at Jack London station in Oakland around 2300, requested a Lyft and got a freelance writer who also contributed a weekly newspaper column. He shared that he's a procrastinator. I suggested that we creative types don't do our best work unless we have a clear and present deadline... it's a matter of adrenaline. I offered, Fight or Flight or Write. He liked it. Totally told me he was gonna use it, properly credited of course. I told him I'd probably forget I said it.
I didn't forget.
Fifty-Five days out of Philly and eight days left in the US. The waves have been flowing smoothly and I've been riding them effortlessly. I am following destiny... not chasing it. In fact, I might rephrase and say, I am walking with destiny.
For many years I've been traveling, searching... for a place that feels like home. I'm heading there now with no unrealistic expectations and a followup plan just in case. I realized as this scheme was coming together so beautifully, that I hadn't planned that it could actually work out. But as I always say - working out is the easy part. All I have to do is do... effortlessly, and the Universe will work... as it should.
Sunday, February 05, 2017
But I deserve the break.
|Great Saturday at Allapattah Market|
So what I did was catch up on some cyber education and activity I needed to take care of. When I do this I get kind of confused. This New Digital World Order is very new to me. It requires a lot of memory - in my head, not necessarily the computer - and a good deal of organization and security. I'm going to have to work myself slowly into it.
I thought I had more to say, but I don't. I feel a wave of organization coming... and that means anxiety... I don't know where to start. If it gets too intense, I'll go workout. I have a few ideas about that also.
Saturday, February 04, 2017
Okay, so maybe it's me.
|Doc's Diner Key Largo, FL. Jan 25, 2017|
An interesting characteristic of my dreams, and maybe yours also, is that, while I'm completely unaware that it's a dream, I have multiple perspectives of the scene. I can be inside the plane talking to my seatmate (I was in an aisle seat), but I can also see outside of the plane as well as the whole plane itself. So I can seethe plane maneuvering; I can see it heading for a building and flying over it.
At one point I felt the plane land. I'd assumed crash position, although I wasn't instructed to do so. At that point most of the passengers stood up and applauded - which I found unusual - but not unusual enough to snap me out of the dream.
Problem was... we had not landed, and the next thing I know we'd crash-landed somewhere that was not an airport.
I came to consciousness in a hotel or hospital that resembled a hotel. I was in a wheel chair and there were several female journalists (they were all female) staring at me, asking me questions. I wondered "why me?" and either thought it, or told them that I wasn't important enough to be interviewed. They started vanishing before my eyes... (this is one of several points that I questioned if this was a dream, but I could not pull myself out of it, so I just rolled with it.)
I found one of two communications devices that I usually have on me - but what I pulled out of my pocket was a silver flip phone. I started pressing out a text message, "I'm Alive" with the intention of sending multiple messages to my family, but for some reason the phone was not properly responding... For some reason I could not type out A-L-I-V-E, I would get two L's or the phone wouldn't complete the word.
Eventually, I woke up - or should I say - "my" Spirit returned to its Body, after its astral adventure.
Some dreams are far more memorable than others, and some seem to demand documentation. This is such a dream. It also begs the question why; what prompted this dream?
The only guess I have is that I've been watching 9/11 documentaries. Maybe the Spirit (Atman) was off on an adventure, or maybe it was reflecting what I was feeding the Mind... or maybe it was a warning, although I doubt it.
During the dream I felt no fear. Mostly concern and curiosity. There was no doubt that I'd survive. Normally in dreams I find myself suddenly and unexpectedly at great heights - and terrified. Recently - over the past several years - I've been making an effort to get my "self" under control when it comes to heights in the dreamtime realm. It seems to be working.
Wednesday, February 01, 2017
|You can't stay Woke til you become Woke|
Friday, January 20, 2017
It's mean of me to be glib and outright laugh at this because so many people I know care deeply enough about this situation to go out and protest... and let all of us know that they are going to protest; and even cross several states on what must be a crowded bus to stand in a crowd of protestors... I have to give them credit for their passion. For whatever they think they are doing; what they are changing, or going to change... or just being heard.
And that's all I have to say on that note. As for me. I see the situation for what it is (okay, not really what it is but what I see it as), a show, a game, a manipulation - A Matrix. This concept might not work for everyone, but at the moment it's working for me. It allows me not to get bogged down with issues that don't immediately affect me, either positively or negatively.
Today I ventured out to the Indo-Pak store and I have to say I was someone disappointed. The lady at the counter was friendly. We had a nice conversation. I introduced her to BitCoin and there was no TV, but there was also no roti; no small restaurant or cafe inside as I'd hoped. I've been spoiled by Little Bangladesh in Los Angeles and the Pakistani spot in Upper Darby, which I didn't get to visit before I left. Nonetheless the store had the spices I was looking for, some expensive... but fresh and halal lamb and friendly service.
Right across the street was a kosher market. They were closing up... at 3:30PM! I figured it must be something Jewish... duh.. Friday - I didn't remember it was Friday at the time.
Instead of calling for a Lyft right then I decided to wander around North Miami Beach for a while. I found quite a few markets, including Lorenzo's Italian American farmers market. Whoa!! They had a lot of goodies. And right across the street was another Italian spot with shelves full of wine and impressive butcher shop and a cafe nestled inside as well.
I decided I'd walk as far as I could until I came upon this RK Center.... (they are all RK Centers it seems) where I spotted this tapas spot called B-Bar. It was empty (between the lunch and dinner crowds) and I almost thought it wasn't open. Nice place... the bartender was cool, welcoming and had a nice chat. I ordered mussels... some of the best I've had... and a beer... bottled... less than $20.00. I guess that's pretty good.
Anyway. Livin the life. Still not tired of it yet. I still have some work to do. There are still some BitCoin Conference clips to edit and post up. I kind of wanted to wait until the inauguration so the other clips I sew in will be more relevant.
I don't know why I don't offer to take portraits of the people I run into. I need to start doing that - at least offering.
Oh, great ride out to the place. Had a conversation in broken Spanish and broken English with my Lyft drive. He said my Spanish was good. "S" pretty much doesn't exist in a lot of words here. I told the guy I was a writer.... escribir but it sounded like he was pronouncing it ekribir. So I'm like a little kid who's just repeating the words and terms I hear every day until I get comfortable. I thought I might lose it when I left Florida, but I'll be traveling across the south... so Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California... Spanish might come in handy.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Freedom Year is nearly a month gone. Contrary to the way the event might seem, Freedom Year began at noon on December 16th, 2016 - my official last day of work. There were exit procedures to attend to which delayed my departure by several weeks, however I did make it out and on January 10th of 2017 I landed in Fort Lauderdale to officially begin the next leg of this adventure.
My timing, as usual, was fairly lucky - I believe that luck runs in our family. Legend has it that our (my cousins, siblings and I) great grandfather was struck dead by lightening. In my imagination, real or not, his sacrifice has cast a blanket of good fortune upon us for countless generations forward. Most of that luck is a matter of timing. I arrived at Fort Lauderdale International airport several days after the shootout took place. I also missed Southern Florida's two-day winter, during which, I am told by a friend, she had to don her thermals.
I didn't know what to expect when I got down here - I wasn't thinking that specifically. I've had two new experiences - one planned, the other more of an opportunity. On the 12th of January I caught my first (well second) ever moon rise. This was the first one on the beach. I caught it on video, however it's not as good as I could have been. I have to gain a bit more experience with my equipment. I have a remake, remix, myself into a photographer again... as well as a videographer.
Second new experience was chillin' out on a nude beach - well clothing optional - I went full Monty however. People have commented about it being liberating. I didn't find it especially liberating. I didn't even find it out of the ordinary after a while. It was nice to be outside naked... so now maybe my bottom half will catch up with the top half in depth of color.
Nudity is such a taboo - or has been - but it probably still is, in this Judaeo-Christian, Puritan culture that whatever we (or, I) consciously want to think and/or believe is over-ridden by what we've been conditioned to believe, how we behave and how judge others on their behaviour. So in that sense maybe it is liberated and perhaps I haven't been completely liberated yet? Or, conversely, I didn't need to sit out on a nude beach to become any more liberated. Either way, I thin
|Mary Kay, Friend, Fan, Follower|
Don't ask for any pictures... although I was going to take a selfie and record an update, one never knows who will be caught with their pants down... quite literally... in the background.
I have yet to explore the City Miami. I have a few spots I want to go and at least one friend I want to catch up with. But there's time for that... maybe. I plan to exit Florida around the first of February, but I might stay longer. I am on a mission and I have promises and an itinerary to keep. Although it doesn't sound like freedom I still believe it is. I am exercising the freedom to fulfill the promises I made.
So, today... I got two workouts in. I can do this here a couple of times a week, probably. I'm feeling the soreness now, probably from the one this morning - it was all body weight and movement.. like the animal movement, low to the ground, crawing... low game, I call it. I haven't graduated to creeping... very low to the ground, yet, but that will come. I want and need to do more work on my arms... balance, handstands, etc. Maybe once a week... on the first day after a break. I will continue the 500s - that, I believe it doing wonders for the Bod.
Okay.. I think I can wrap this up. In fact I need to, I am sore and need to stretch.
Monday, January 09, 2017
|Last Day... start building and healing tomorrow.|
I originally began this entry with a declaration of having no new words, nor any more eloquent thoughts about leaving Philadelphia, than I had five or more years ago. (Five will do...)
If there was ever a time in my life when I (even loosely) planned something, it was getting out of Philly. If everything goes reasonably well I'll be able to catch the sunset from Sunny Isles tomorrow evening.
Today a good bit of anxiety came out during a tea with Dan at the Green Line Cafe. I don't think I'll be able to find something as quaint as this in South Florida, but it's worth looking for... I'll have more time this time around.
Got the middle room sorted somewhat and got the dishes and a few other items to a good home.
I don't have much more to say. I feel the anxiety coming again... until the time I can just say "forget it," and take off.
Maybe this will be edited, or not.
|Last Year 1-18-16 at the Y... for context.|
When I get out of here, for the three or four weeks I have in South Florida, it will be time to add some muscle. Go back to the old school lifting with a combo of old school body weight exercises as well... and a few walks along the beach. We'll see what that does.
Got a few more chores to get at before I "disco" nap for an hour or two. Maybe...