Louis Armstrong is not the subject

But his music is providing the initial musical backdrop to this post, being written 832 days after my last post. General Lacy is still providing the geographical backdrop, though I now own a GPS device. Sella is closed on Saturdays, so had to buy my pastries and bread in Obrador de Goya. Goya worked as a waiter at the oldest still open restaurant in the world, Botín. I wonder if his visits to the kitchen were inspirational for his dark paintings. I’ve never eaten there, so my

210px-Francisco_de_Goya,_Saturno_devorando_a_su_hijo_(1819-1823)_cropobservation has nothing to do with the quality of the restaurant’s food, and everything to do with the quality of my writing.

The emotional backdrop is one of stasis and αναμονή, “expectation” according to a pop translational engine, though I am not happy with that interpretation. I am on holiday, so you could say that the state of my life’s automaton’s backdrop of writing this post is vacational or holidational, depending on whether you are US-English or British-English configured. Other things that have changed in these last 832 days are: I am reading Infinite Jest (have been reading it for the last 379 days, currently on page 311), we’ve moved to the apartment where: [Road, Number, Esc, Floor, Piso] += [0, 0, 0, 0, 3], my salmorejo phase has been replaced by a gazpacho phase, and Friday nights now mean Equipo de Investigación rather than Callejeros.

The political and geopolitical situation in Greece are irrelevant for this blog post. The geolocational situation is a different story all together. For that I would need to download Greece maps to my GPS device, and also a USB cable that supports the device. I don’t know if the maps are subject to EU sanctions.

Time sits in perpetually relative abstract solitude.

General Lacy goes to the bakery

General Lacy walked up General Lacy, turned right onto Ancora, and went into Sella the bakery. There he asked for a barra of cerealia, a baguette Bretón and eyed up some coconut muffins. “¿las magdalenas de coco son buenas?”, “sí, son buenas”. So he purchased them as well.

Bubba’s #1 fear

It is well known that Bubba has a low bullshit tolerance level. The other day, he went to his company’s belated end of year/Xmas event. A late lunch, followed by two hours of talks and presentations, followed by a cava toast at the company’s new offices. Total time devoted to this, from the moment he got into a colleagues stinky car until he finally said goodbye to his colleague when he got off the train at his home: 8 hours. Bubba would rather be working this time. Doing bug fix maintenance work maybe, or unpaid overtime, rather than be at this event. In fact, he would rather work on New Years eve, reading 4 year old technical emails and filing them into the appropriate folder, rather than attend an event like this, ever again.

When he was being served his n-th glass of wine, he felt tremendously jealous of the waiter, and wished he was doing that job, rather than being a guest, a customer, a participant. He toyed with the Hollywood idea of bashing him over the head, tying him up and wearing the uniform, to become the server rather than the served. How ironic that not so long ago he used to be one of the servers, though not so ironic that even then he knew that he would rather be doing what he was doing, rather than “enjoying” the party. The false, forced jollity, the sudden staged bursts of clapping at the bosses tables, the brown nosing and arse licking… it just isn’t his style (it’s well known that Bubba has a very low bullshit tolerance level). Neither of the two excuses that he most often hears from people who attend these events apply in his case: “there’s a free bar” (Bubba can get pissed on less than 5€), “it beats working” (Bubba: “no it doesn’t”, please see above).

He smiled to himself (luckily he’s still got himself at such an event) when he remembered this from Seinfeld: “To the average person if you have to be at a funeral you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy”.

For the next event, he would want to resort to this old trick: once the date of the event is announced, find whatever bands are playing on the day and say that unfortunately he can’t make the event because he’s got tickets to see this, his favorite band. The problem is that these company events here in Spain seem to happen during working hours, so… maybe the only solutions are either book a holiday or invent a death in the family. Any other suggestions, please leave a comment and we’ll make sure Bubba receives it.

Bubba à Genève

We find our man hopping on a Swiss Air flight to Geneva, with a briefcase full of cash, and a Lagarde list in his pocket. In this report, Bubba from follower becomes the followed.

Bubba arrives at Geneva airport on a rather smelly (because of the swiss-cheese “pizza” served on board… he’s not complaining since it’s rare nowadays to be given anything for “free” on one of these flights… just saying) flight, finds the 80-minute free Geneva travel ticket machine inside the arrivals baggage claim area, and prints his free ticket with a click of a big red button. When he gets to the train that will take him into the town centre (only 7 mins away), he notices he is being followed by a young couple. Not wanting to give rise to any suspicions that he is aware of being tailed by them, he boards the train whistling a merry Alpine tune, and takes a seat. The young couple sit a few rows away from him with their backs to Bubba (what amateurs!, he thinks), but soon another young couple get on the train and sit across from them, with a fine direct view of our hero.

He observes the young couple who were originally following him say something to the other young couple, and they get off at his stop! Bubba goes about his merry business of impersonating that he is unaware of the fact that he is being watched, and walks to his hotel, where he checks in and is given another “free” ticket, this time a Geneva transport pass for his stay in the city. It isn’t actually free, since he is charged 4 swiss francs (CHF) per day as a form of city tax, which isn’t that expensive considering that a daily pass would cost more than that in other cities, but is quite expensive, considering that he only uses it twice, and for quite short journeys, in the days that follow.

wire-mesh-device-smallThe next morning he gets his first look at the lake and is impressed by its beauty, but blinded by the low sun reflecting off its waters. So he wanders into the old town, up to the cathedral, but on the way comes across supposedly public “art”, a wire mesh sculpture of a bird sitting on an actual tree. Bubba doesn’t buy it one minute, this is certainly a monitoring device, receiving signals from the passers by and transmitting information back to headquarters. He makes a point of returning later, under the guise of darkness, to photograph the structure.

None of this distracts him from his original purpose of visiting Geneva however, and he investigates the various banks (swiss of course, not river) and their rates, to determine what is most beneficial for him. After thorough research, he decides on UBS, since its modus operandi is most clearly in sync with Bubba’s.

“A pleasure to meet you Mr. Tribunales”, says acting bank manager  Dimitri Al-Salimi. “Je suis enchanté de vous rencontrer, monsieur Al-Salimi”, responds our Bubba. The two adult males converse (in English) for about 15 minutes, then Bubba hands over the briefcase full of cash, which Mr. Al-Salimi duly grabs and hands over to another adult male, a young shaven-headed gentleman in a suit. Bubba, upon making eye-contact with the younger gentleman, attempts an inside (we’re all in this together/all living above our means) kinda joke: “Think of me when yur on yur yacht in monaco wont yu”, to which the gentleman replies (with disdain): “Pardonnez-moi, monsieur, je ne parle pas anglais”.

the-old-man

Freed of the burden of lugging a briefcase full of cash around, our man continues wandering. This time he walks by the lake in the direction of the UN, where he comes across an apparently idyllic scene. To the untrained eye, it is just an old man, possibly a fisherman, possibly just a man with a love for boats and piers. This innocent looking man is in fact a highly decorated veteran operative and has just finished a meeting on a boat where he filled in some currently active agents about Bubba’s approach to the area!

sophisticated-surveillance-small

The white house in the distance is stocked with a high-tech monitoring system interacting with the wire mesh bird, and with this other high-tech ‘live bird’ device in the picture on the left.

Finally, note the unusually large and electric-green headed “duck” in the picture below. This duck may seem different from the other ducks in the picture just because it’s older, or is an outsider, a pariah say, in the duck world, or even a leader of ducks… to the naive, but it is clearly a receiver transmitter of information.

ducks-smallAfter rigorous and thorough research, Bubba has determined that all the major control is in fact happening in underground/intermountain installations, in the area seen in the picture below. The mountains are hollow, the snow is fake, and the artifical reef of rocks (fake), is wired with fibre-optics.

control-centre

But it´s never all just business and research with Bubba M. Tribunales, since he found the time to try some local delicacies such as rich butter pain au chocolat noir, entrecôte de cheval, and of course some fondue au champagne.

A foggy day in London town

This picture has pretty much repeated all through August and now into September.

Lovin' it

Quiz: why is there a grey cloud at 22:00?

(hint: sunset is at 19:31)


The worse of Britain

One big reason why I’m on my way outta here…, again…, never, ever, ever to return … for longer than a few days…, go on, a week max…

The reason? The BBC of course. Pathetic, apologetic, irrelevant finally.

Τόση δημοκρατία έχουμε να δούμε από τη χούντα

Very funny article here, in Greek. The graffiti: “τόση δημοκρατία έχουμε να δούμε από τη χούντα” is written on walls in Athens.  It’s funnier in Greek, but in English it means “we haven’t seen so much democracy since the dictatorship”. I think it translates funnier in Spanish: “No hemos visto tanta democracia desde la dictadura”, with a heavy does of sarcasm.