TODAY FROM AMERICA:
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:
I have been back in El Dorado Hills for a few days now. It is that time of the year when the weather fluctuates wildly; a few days of sunny warmth like early summer followed by a few days of the dying winter’s cloudy cold. Little happens here. Or more accurately my life is fairly regular with little emotional involvement in what goes on around me.
I assume there are as many strange and interesting things going on here behind the doors of the quiet homes in the various subdivisions as anywhere else. But for the most part they do not spill over into the streets as they often do in cities; to lie there and fester and sometimes spread like a disease. And, as perhaps unfortunately so often the case entertain those like me for whom voyeurism is a profession. So, instead I have to entertain myself with simple things to keep from going mad with boredom.
For example, right outside the window of the cafe where I am sitting having breakfast there is a small fountain in the center of which a few jets of water shoot gaily into the air. The water then falls back on itself creating pillars of snowy white water. The morning sun strikes these liquid pillars creating an ever-changing mixture of shades, textures and shapes. So I stare at is much like I would stare into a fire in a fireplace until I pull away because I feel like an idiot for having so little to do that I have to stare at a puddle of water for amusement.
To fill in the time, I have taken to obsessive reading, filling up my kindle library with about 40 books in the last six weeks. Alas, I seem to have become addicted to stories featuring magic; you know, wizards and things like that. When I cannot sleep I curl up for hours with my computer reading about potions, werewolves and stuff. I am so ashamed. Damn you Harry Potter!
I did not feel up to traveling to SF last weekend but will try to make it next weekend since it will be my last before leaving for Thailand.
JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:
ENTER THE DRAGON
Sam Spade: “You don’t have to trust me as long as you can persuade me to trust you.”
The next morning at 9:30 I waited in front of the Utah Hotel on Fourth Street for the delinquent to pick me up. I replayed in my mind last night’s adventures with Mavis. The jungle’s mystery has disappeared replaced with the familiarity of the hunter returning to the clearing he calls home with a dead monkey draped over his back. In between hunts I told her about my day with Martin Vihn and Joe Vu. She claimed that she had never met Martin Vihn, but that one day someone who seemed to fit the description of Vu dropped by the Tattoo parlor to pick up Holland. She was never told where they were going. Vu hung around the shop for a while while Holland got ready. He joked with her about getting a jungle themed tattoo. She observed that Holland seemed nervous and obsequious around Vu which she thought was strange given how much younger Vu was and how immaturely he behaved.
I asked her again what she assumed they were up to in the business. She said that, as she understood it, they intended to import household furniture from South East Asia made from wood grown in the area. The furniture was designed as a modern version of traditional South East Asian furniture; sort of like the Vietnamese version of Scandinavian Design. Reilly was supposed to have contacts with large retailers in the US and elsewhere. The initial shipment, to be used as models, arrived about a week ago.
That was all she really knew about it she insisted. I still did not believe her, but I did not know why.
Joe Vu arrived right on time. As I got into the Lexus and he said “Where to boss?”
“One Embarcadero Center”
“What’s there boss?”
“Lilly Park…where there is money to be made there are always lawyers around.”
During the drive I probed Vu regarding the furniture import business. He pretty much confirmed Mavis’ story. I did learn however that Martin Vihn had an interest along with his younger brother in a large warehouse in Redwood City where the furniture was to be stored. I asked him when the furniture was due to arrive.
He said, “It arrived a week ago boss.”
“Well, what happened to it?”
“That’s the question Martin would like to ask Reilly after we find him.”
Given the fact that I was so focused on extricating myself from the clutches of my various clients with my fees intact that I failed grasp this essential bit of obvious information, I realized that it may be time I take things more seriously. Up until now I had assumed that Reilly or Holland or both had simply scampered off with the smuggled goods (dope or now that I think of it, precious stones) or the money from their sale. But to disappear a couple of containers full of furniture first seemed pretty extreme. Why?
Unable to proceed further on that tack, out of simple curiosity I asked Vu if Martin Vihn was born in Viet Nam. He explained that Martin and was born in Vietnam but was brought here as a baby after the fall of Saigon by his father, a high-placed General in the South Vietnamese Army. The family was large and well placed in both the South and among the Viet Cong.
I asked if he were born here also.
Vu: “No Boss, Martin sponsored me when I was eleven.” Added, “My family were the ones that kicked your ass.”
Me: “excuse me”
Vu: “The Cong man. My father was a general too. A Viet Cong General. He would tell me a lot of stories about the war for independence.”
Me: “That must have been interesting.”
Vu: “Yeah… every day both before and after school my father made me and my older brothers practice in case the The Americans returned or the Chinese invaded.”
Me: “What did you practice?”
He looked at me and smiled. “Killing and hiding, what the hell do you think we were learning – – Communist bullshit?” And then he burst out laughing.
We arrived at the Embarcadero Center complex.
What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
“I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.”
(Note: it should be pointed out that the above chart, if it is accurate, describes only the $650 billion Department of Defense budget. The total US defense budget in 2010 actually may total about $1.3 trillion, about double the expenditures in the DoD budget alone.
(Note: Graphic unavailable at this time)
These expenditures are greater than almost all the military outlays for all the other countries of the world combined. Is it so unreasonable to believe that at least 10% of those expenditures and wasted and inefficient? If so and they are eliminated it would end the current budget deficit and we still would be able to continue to spend more on defense than everyone else.)
White on Blue.