My Birthday Day
In addition to today being my 70th Birthday, it
was also the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. This
one event, more than any other, was the cause of the United States entering
World War I. Almost 1200 died in the sinking including 123 Americans.
Dead Wake is a recently
published book by Erik Larson. Using newly declassified information, Larson
makes a compelling case based largely on circumstantial evidence that the British
Admiralty knew German submarines were actively operating in the area where the Lusitania would pass and did nothing to
prevent the sinking.
I’ve read the book and I was fascinated by the possibility
of official British government collusion in the disaster.
Moving on, other things happened.
I went to see Molly the Stylist for my regular haircut. I
thought she did a fine job on my hair. Molly was smiling in the photo because I
gave her a box of Ethel M dark chocolates. She loves dark chocolates.
I left the salon and headed back to my part of town to have
lunch at The Counter in Torrance. I was lucky and found a table in my favorite
server’s section. Dena brought me an Arnold Palmer and asked where I had been. She
had missed seeing me. I had been to The Counter at times when she wasn’t working.
I had an Old School Burger.
As its name implies, it is a basic type of hamburger. It started
off with a 1/3 pound, cooked medium well for me. It was topped a sliced
tomato, sliced onions, lettuce, and a thick slice of cheddar cheese. It was
excellent and I finished my meal with a small dish of vanilla iced cream. Dena
topped the iced cream with some chocolate sauce.
My next activity was a no student showing up tutoring
session. I get paid for my time. I read the latest copies of Los Angeles
Magazine and Fortune while I killed time.
After tutoring at school, I drove to Santa Ana for my
birthday dinner at Morton’s the Steakhouse. I have been going to Morton’s for the
last twenty one years. I think it was the last time I will go there. When I made
my unnecessary reservation, I had told the young lady the meal was a
celebration of my seventieth birthday. There was no connection with my purpose and
the service from the staff. I was shunned so much I felt like I was bubonic plague
My problem with Morton’s is the business has been run into the
ground by Landrys Restaurants. Landrys bought Morton’s during the Great
Recession or after it. The operating plan seems to have been cut all costs and but
keep the price high or raise them.
I have been willing to pay for the extra level of service
because that made the meal special for me and my guests. Doug and I had a lot of
happy meals there over the years.
Now, with in different and uncaring service, it’s no longer
a fun meal. It is very difficult to justify spending fourteen dollars on a simple
lettuce salad where the chopped lettuce came from a bag and the only addition by
Morton’s was pouring some dressing on the lettuce and tossing it.
I had an uninspired salad, an average steak that was
overcooked, and a slightly dried out lobster tail.
I did have a modestly tasty Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs for
an appetizer. It was interesting and that is all I can say about the dish. I don’t
think I would order it again.
Morton’s also no longer carries my favorite Single Malt
I didn’t have my usual Morton’s Chocolate Cake. I had put up
with too much.
It was raining when I left and I got damp as I walked to my
The cold rain was a perfect metaphor for a ruined evening.
Be well and stay happy.