At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Monday, October 23, 2017


Last night the apartment smelled fabulously of chicken. Not my chicken. My apartment mate was fixing food for her boyfriend, for later this week. Because the kitchen was off limits, I feasted on cookies and coffee.
This, really, is bachelor living at its finest.

Some people just don't eat socially. Not by ingrained habit, but by accident or apathy. One could pursue social eating, I suppose, but I've described the things I consume on my days off to various people -- stirfried dishes, stews, steamed items, baked goods, savoury roast meats, plus tea, rice, and hot sauce -- and the reactions have ranged from surprised distaste to outright sneer at the foreign muck I mention. Mostly distrust, quite

[Claypot rice. Bitter melon fish. Roast duck or goose. Tomato porkchop rice. Little piggy buns. Mui choi kau yiuk. Shrimp paste chicken fried rice. Cheung fan. Steamed meat patty. Baked Portuguese chicken rice. The full gamut of Chinatown pastries.]

My own cooking style is Dutch, Indonesian, Chinese, and heavily reliant on chilies and condiments. Slapdash, with rice, tea, and hot sauce.

Bittermelon, fuzzy melon, long beans, mustard greens. Salt fish.
Fatty pork. Roast bird. Fish. Black bean paste.
Dumplings, and noodles.

I think social eating in this country is mostly McDonald's plus sweet and sour pork. Or very expensive stuff at the hippest new restaurants. I have eaten with other people in the past, but other than a few select individuals most people head directly for the lowest common denominator.
Often that's TGIF, Applebees, and The Olive Garden.
Plus Chevys, for birthdays and adventure!

Inoffensive, and fairly bland.

Teenager, or elderly Wasp.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017


Middle aged white women, especially in Marin, should sometimes be avoided. Life is too short. And, thanks to modern technology, I now know everything about her dreary priggish life, and her absent man friend.
As does everybody else on the bus.
Twenty plus minutes of pathetic bitchy pretentious entitlement.
While she didn't mention embarrassing physical data about what goes on between her and the man-interest, she revealed everything else.

After all of that I wish her ill.
Her cell phone stuck ... somewhere.

I know several people who rely on cell-phones for nearly every aspect of their waking lives, even a few who could not go one single hour without checking their messages, e-mails, twitter, and Facebook.
Many of them are conversationally impaired.
Hold on, someone just messaged me.
They're saying "shut up".

One person who does not walk around with his cell-phone probably should: Little White Nipple Dude. In order to change the subject from one of his usual excrutiating conversational trains I mentioned the gympie gympie tree, which grows in Australia. Also known as nettle tree, and "guardian of the rainforest". The leaves are covered with microscopic hairs filled with poison, which break off in the skin of whoever accidentally touches it and causes unbelievable pain. Pain so horrendous it keeps the victim from sleeping for days, last for weeks, and recurs periodically for years.

From Wikipedia: "Moroidin, a bicyclic octapeptide containing an unusual C-N linkage between tryptophan and histidine, was first isolated from the leaves and stalks of Dendrocnide moroides, and subsequently shown to be the principal compound responsible for the long duration of the stings."

To indicate exactly how unpleasant this plant is, I mentioned that one man used the leaves as toilet paper while out in the wilds, and ended up blowing his brains out.

Little White Nipple Dude then said:

"Good thing he didn't use it to wipe the gunk off his penis"

Okay. A dozen people who either don't know you or don't want to know you heard you saying that, loudly, in public. I'm probably not the only one who is wondering how arse pain so intense it made someone blow his brains out could be considered less horrible because at least it wasn't penis or scrotal pain that made him blow his brains out. How is that possibly better?
Do you ever listen to yourself?

Elliminative organ agony that drives a person to suicide is, in every way, precisely as bad as regenerative organ agony with the same result.
Please don't even try to explain why one is worse.

I mentioned leaves used for a cleansing act in the wilds.
You went directly and loudly to gunk on the penis.

Why penis? And gunk? Huh?

I'd like to know what goes on in your mind.

So that it can be stopped.

Every year his parents take him on vacations to foreign places, probably because even though he is an adult they don't trust him out of their sight for more than a day. But, given that these places are always in the parts of the world where English is not the native language, there is also the likelihood that they are hoping he will go on shore leave by himself and end up hopelessly, permanently, lost.

There's a needy and entitled middle aged Marinite white woman out there with his name on it. In the fullness of time they will meet, they must.
They belong to each other.

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A medical textbook for nurses was unfavourably in the news recently because they offered this about "cultural" interpretations of pain:

May not request pain medicine but instead thank Allah for pain if it is the result of the healing medical process.
Pain is considered a test of faith. Muslim clients must endure pain as a sign of faith in return for forgiveness and mercy. However, Muslims must seek pain relief when necessary because needless pain and suffering are frowned upon.
Arabs and Muslims prefer to be around family when in pain and may express pain more freely around family.

Chinese clients may not ask for medication because they do not want to take the nurse away from a more important task.
Clients from Asian cultures often value stoicism as a response to pain. A client who complains openly about pain is thought to have poor social skills.
Filipino clients may not take pain medication because they view pain is being the will of God.
Indians who follow Hindu practices believe that pain must be endured in preparation for a better life in the next cycle.

Blacks often report higher pain intensity than other cultures.
They believe suffering and pain are inevitable.
They believe in prayer and laying on of hands to relieve pain and believe that relief is proportional to faith.

Jews may be vocal and demand assistance.
They believe pain must be shared and validated by others.

Hispanics may believe that pain is a form of punishment and that suffering must be endured if they are to enter heaven.
They vary in their expression of pain. Some are stoic and some are expressive.
Catholic Hispanics may turn to religious practices to help them endure the pain.

Native Americans
Native Americans may prefer to receive medications that have been blessed by a tribal shaman. They believe such a blessing allows the client to be more at peace with the creator and makes the medicine stronger.
They tend to be less expressive both verbally and nonverbally.
They usually tolerate a high level of pain without requesting pain medication.
They may pick a sacred number when asked to rate pain on a numerical pain scale.

Naturally, this is more than slightly absurd. Yet one thing stood out painfully in this entire slew of hoo-de-hah, namely the COMPLETE ABSENCE of my people.

I am Dutch American. I am triggered.



I am prepared to help you overcome this grievous omission. My entry (below) is based on life-experiences which you would do well to respect for the deep mystical knowledge it represents. Bitch.

Dutch Americans
Dutch Americans are stoic as well as passive-aggressive, and will loudly abstain from mentioning pain entirely. They may blame you for not noticing their exemplary patience and fortitude, because you are not of the select who will enter into heaven, a complete heathen besides, and don't understand the proper norms. Bitch.

Some Dutch American prefer the services of witchdoctors. Do not act surprised when you find random goat parts in their hospital room.

Our pain is more significant, because it is more deeply felt.
You think we enjoy this? We're doing it for you!
Show some appreciation.


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Saturday, October 21, 2017


When I came home my apartment mate was in bed. An entire day of watching Extreme Cheapskates on the telly had pooped her out.
As I was preparing my meal, she told me all about it.

While I ate I got to listen to road kill dumplings (squirrel), mixed leftovers from next door stew, and tunafish salad made with canned catfood ("I just saved thirty cents!"). Plus the guests getting sick from the hors oeuvres.
Thank you, my dear, that made my wonton noodle soup "special".
I have Aspergers. She has Aspergers. Worse than I do.
Some things aren't dinner table suitable.
I am far more aware of that.
But she's sweet.

Both of us are mild, and fully functional.

[Her boyfriend has Aspergers too. He thinks she's "neurotypical". Poor little innocent wuss!
But then, he's the lizard king of Asperger. She's also Cantonese American, so a fascination with white people and what they eat and their manifestations of pinchfistedness, must be factored in. She's analytical in that regard. He's an unknowing labrat.]

See, if you really want to see Aspergers in action, possibly the best and worst example is Little White Nipple Dude. He was at my place of work recently, and festered my entire break with more discussions of little white nipples. Plus details of a date on which long ago he asked a girl, she didn't show, he destroyed the beautiful single perfect rose, and smoked a cigar. She had her chance. She blew it. Then he told me about his gangster image in high school, and how people believed that he had pull, and could get things done. But mostly he talked about little white nipples.

He also did that back in early September, and though a few of us knew what he was on about for nearly an hour, many of the people who came in during that time did not realize that Dunhill butane for lighters comes with an adaptor for older models. The adaptor is the "little white nipple".
They simply thought that he was a monumental perv.

Which, as it turns out, he is.
Although harmless.



One of the lounge members mentioned that his son had gone to highschool with Little White Nipple Dude. Who at that time tried to sweet talk girls by offering to paint their toenails. And, in the more than two decades since then, he has been spotted at shoe emporia trying to catch glimpses of ladies' bare feet. Or offering helpful shoe suggestions.

This probably also explains how he claimed to be a podiatrist. Which was aeons before he manifested himself as an astronaut, nuclear physicist, doctor of divinity, ex-marine, martial artist, and brain surgeon.

He has never offered to paint any body's rocket, reactor, bible tract, guts, random broken body part, or skull. An omission, I'm sure. Sometimes it feels like he is drilling into all those things, especially the last one.
Even more when he's ranting about little white nipples.

When I was eating my lunch, he tried to engage me in conversation. So for the benefit of random strangers I got him onto the subject of Dunhill butane. Firstly because I am an evil sonofabitch, and secondly, I wished to get him off the subject of the love-rival's finger he had snipped off with a cigar cutter as well as any other fanciful elements to his imaginary love life. I have heard more than enough about the wife and the fourteen year old daughter he did not yet have until a year and a half ago. And whatever weird dates he had.
I relish other folk's pauses in conversation when they start listening to in-depth disquisitions about little white nipples. Some of which wobble.
Some fit better than others, and some don't feel right.

This is NOT a can of Dunhill butane!

I'm just sitting here looking pained.
Eating a sandwich.

It's not just Aspergers. It's a lack of social skills, obliviousness, obsession, neurosis, paracosm, mythomania, and a fantasy prone personality.
What some people might describe as full-blown batshit.

With feet and nipples.

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The weekends are horrible for food. I don't get back from Marin till all the bakeries are closed, and there is no place close-by where a flaky charsiu turnover (叉燒酥餅) or a nice hot cup of milk-tea (奶茶) can be found.

A man might also want to have a plate of rice with something on top. Bittermelon fish, for example, or fish fragrance eggplant.
Or perhaps panfried rice stick noodle.

But just a snack will do.

The nearest place with edible food is Mexican. A whole burrito is too much. The man in question no longer has the appetite of a teenager.
And lunch was less than four hours ago.

Yesterday, when I got home around six (day off, late lunch), my apartment mate had not returned yet, so I put the one-legged monkey on her bed with a bag of cookies, to be shared with the penguin, rabbit, and senior bear.
He needs to be rewarded, because he protected my wallet from the depredations of the sock-sheep and the mean little black kitty.
They stole his ceremonial Inca copper cup instead.

I guess I will have what remains of those cookies with my hot beverage.
It's cold outside, Autumn has begun, and the ginkgo trees in the financial district are starting to shed their leaves.
Lovely yellow, fan shaped.

One could wander around with a pipe and some tobacco, but one might well freeze, and nasty non-smokers know neither time nor temperature.
The security guard of one of the office buildings snapped at me to keep walking and NOT smoke anywhere near his building.

Okay. I hope your damned building falls down in the next earthquake, dude, with you in it, but I'll acquiesce to your fascist neurosis. You do know that there's asbestos in the walls, don't you? As well as lots of lead. You're probably diseased and criminally insane from all of that.
As well as peevish and unloved.

Both a man and a one-legged monkey could appreciate a quiet evening.
A place with warm beverages, hot comfort food, flaky pastries, near gilded ginkgo trees. Where there are no martinet security guards, and mean little black kitties are hesitant about stealing things.
Away from the cold at night.

POST SCRIPTUM: Because I forgot to buy any vegetables for the weekend yesterday, that's why. So it's probably going to end up being wontons from the bag in the freezer. And I should also mention that I just left a comment underneath someone else's post, about sago palm grubs fried with shallots and peppers, as well as bee larvae and dragonflies.
File under "berserk Asian dinners".

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Friday, October 20, 2017


This morning the phone rang at an unreasonable hour. My apartment mate answered it. She angrily interrupted the speaker to say "no, I don't think so, goodbye", then a moment later repeated that more firmly and hung up. On her way back to her room, she mentioned that it was an Indian accented person talking about computer infections.

Consequently I now await another call from Techwallah-bhai in Bangalore or Delhi. This time I shall have less patience than before, because I have researched the company whose name keeps changing.
As well as other computerish options.

No, I don't think so, Ji, goodbye! 你嘅飛翼船係滿晒鰻魚!

Don't call until I've had my coffee. At least two cups.

The resemblance of several Indian techno-accents to Klingon is striking, and Indian technodude-speak is quite nearly as unintelligible. Even the cable company has farmed some of their stuff to Klingonistan.
Impossible consonants, retroflex and uvular hairballs.
It is a brave and fierce new world.

Recently I had a frustrating conversation with a saree-wearer somewhere between Kashmir and Cape Kanyakumari. The fraught exchange with a daughter of the House of Mogh was, eventually, satisfying.
Despite her typical Klingon manner.

You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.

"taH ... pagh, taH be'!".

The theory that Donald Trump is a Klingon halfwit, dumped on this planet out of harm's way, is ever more believable the more you think about it. It would explain his strange communicative disorders and aggressiveness, as well as his more quirky statements. And that, of course, is also the reason why there are two generals in his inner circle. They are there to protect the planet in case he destroys the gods that made him and turns heaven into ashes. We run the risk of our world becoming Gre'Thor.
Because of our moron Klingon.

It also explains his approach to human females.
He deeply desires to bite their clavicles.
And have them throw things.

There is no word for baby bottle in Klingon, nor diapers, nor high chair. Shuttlecraft, phaser, and transporter ionization unit, yes.

Heretofore I had not imagined stuffing a whole baby into a bottle.
Parts, maybe, but not the entire thing.
Now it all makes sense.

Wait until I've finished my first cup of Joe for more startling insight.

(*) Correct pronunciation: 'nei ge fei yik suen hai mun-sai maan yü'.
Explanation: 有啲鰻魚盛產晒了你嘅飛翼船 ('yau di maan yü sing chaan sai le nei ge fei yik suen'). In which 飛翼船 stands in for shuttlecraft AND transporter ionization unit, you understand.

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On the way home I passed three sleeping beauties in only two blocks. The first was the shiny faced black dude, whose sign proclaims "I like pussy", with which he expresses the hope that people will open their wallets and give generously. Fund his fancy, as it were.
The second was a man whose understanding of architectural overhangs left him subject to excessive moisture, and the third was hiding out in the doorway of the dildo store.

["I like pussy" is a sentiment that I too can get behind. But that does not mean that I will advertise it on a sign. I am a hesitant individual and don't publicly state such things.]

When I left the house a few hours ago it had been mildly inclement, but as soon as I turned the corner it came splattering down, torrents, almost a tropical monsoon storm. I was committed, and soldiered on.
I was soaked when I arrived at my destination.

As the curvaceous and sober Mongolian woman explained, "you're still young in your mind". She was right, but my body told me "no".

[Curvaceous and sober Mongolian woman: charming, and despite nearly two bottles of wine still in charge of herself, stable on her pins, and sane. Respect. And she was rather luscious, but one dare not presume. Too Russian for comfort. Red form-fitting dress.]

My body says I need heat. And dryness.
Or, at the right time, moisture.
Wet, hot, dry.

Sometimes I wish I could take the bottle of Aveeno 24-hour moisturizing lotion with me to bed. But only for the itchy ancient ectoderm.

Smooth. Silky. Moist. Very much like beefsteak.

The most selfish thing that anyone can do is to bring a large bucket of fried chicken for themselves to the karaoke bar and EAT IT ALL!
None for the rest of us, Even though we have to listen to that stuff.
Not a scrap. Selfish bastard!

Three people sleeping outside on a cold Autumn night.
They did not hear the screaming at karaoke.
Still, I would not call them lucky.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017


One Chinese word which I've long meant to look up is 逆 ('ngaak'; to rebel, disobey). It shows up on a political affiche which I keep seeing.
Unfortunately, now that I've looked it up, I remain no step further. Because though I know the other three words, I cannot recall them.

Image searches bring up the strangest things, none of which have relevance.

Including naughty Japanese anime clips.
Everything leads to naughty anime.
The Japanese are obsessed.

Remarkably, it also leads to cleavage, which is also a Japanese obsession. This does not help at all, and particularly this morning serves no purpose.
The single badger or toad who must prepare for work soon cannot be distracted by uberibus sponsae, and will not yield to images.
Begone, berserk breasts, tempt me not!

Breasts are extraordinarily like chocolate, in that one is never enough, and at times any is too many. Chocolate I have enjoyed recently, however, so on that point they differ. It was intoxicating.

I need strong black coffee right now. I will perhaps consider breasts, abstractly, as an intellectual construct, much later.
As well as the nipples, maybe.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017


After posting about congee yesterday, I went and had claypot rice instead. On the way to the eatery it was unseasonably warm and I had my jacket off. Mere minutes after leaving the restaurant I knew that autumn had started, and winter would be bitter and long this year.

Somehow, because of the cold wind, all thoughts of soft round body parts fled my mind. It was mostly speculative anyhow, an academic excercise.
What with being crusty and peculiar, I haven't seen or felt soft round body parts in several years. I would shriek in surprise if confronted with them.
Good lord, they are warm!
And fragrant!

['haam yü paai gwat pou chai faan']

Fine smells, of course, are key. It was salt fish spare ribs claypot rice, in which the salt fish (鹹魚) provides a salty oily and quite heavenly frowst, much beloved by reasonable people of good taste and sound judgment.
Many of the people with whom I come into daily contact would probably not like it, because they are white and of limited sensibility. Left to my own devices, with an ample budget, I would not encounter them.
Quite so much.

In the discussion last night I mentioned Frog Morton On The Town, which came up because I had been smoking it yesterday afternoon following lunch, having bought a tin for rediscovery the day before after reading known-nix bloviation about the blend on a tobacco review site.

This sent my interlocutor into a fit of disconnected rambling, terminating in "crunchy frog" and "steel spring surprise", after also mentioning his missing keys, underwear, and the weather. Possibly the bucket of SriRacha he had poured on his burger was affecting him.

He refused to believe there is such a thing as frog tobacco. He should see some of the other blend names. Those people are even more in touch with their rich inner lives than him, and most of them without even the excuse or benefit of too much hot sauce late at night after dealing with a whole day's worth of San Francisco neurotics.

Some time later he remembered that he had left his windows open.
His sheets undoubtedly would be cold and frigid.
All one can do is commiserate.

It was, perhaps, the hint of autumn weather to come that spurred the change of plans. I like both congee and claypot rice, but it had been so long since enjoying the crinchie-crunch of crusty rice at the bottom that the prospect proved more thrilling than warm goo and an oil stick. I tried to explain to him that the oil stick (油條 'yau tiu', also called 油炸鬼 'yau ja kwai') should not be sweet or dense, so thinking of a churro or a donut is the wrong approach. Ideally they are light, flaky, fluffy, and freshly made.
But even cold they can be nice if properly done, and inhabitants of the Chinese modern urban crust do unspeakable things with them.
Slicing them open for cheesy hotdogs, as an example.
They are meant for dipping in congee.
Nothing else.

He was aghast at the idea of no cinnamon.

I then described "fried double" (炸兩 'jaa leung').
A yautiu enfolded in rice noodle sheet.
Steamed, dipped in soy.

He's still convinced that frog tobacco is goofy, and also probably that my food is bizarre, although the concept of Cantonese Cajun Fusion fascinates him. As someone who cooks Italian, he would probably suggest pasta for everything, and dropping the amphibs.

Frog Morton On The Town is precisely as I remembered it. Smoky, tarry, sweet, and resinous. Perfectly comforting and soothing in cooler weather, much like soft round body parts might be. Did I mention how long it's been? Unfortunately they are harder to get one's hands on than decent tobacco.
Frogs are reliable, never disappointing.
And perfect companions.

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The three most popular essays here this week have been hamsaplo, flake tobacco, and covered in cheese. From which one might deduce that randy pipe-smoking dudes who smell of fromage are a dominant market force. Everyone loves them!

But that would be wrong.

I am (still) single.

Cheesy pipesmokers are a drug on the market. I cannot attest to the melted dairy odour, which probably isn't present anyway, but as a man who whiffs delicately of fine flue-cured leaf and occasionally something resinous from the Levant, my social life does not seem likely to yield a love interest.

No one has in recent years run up to me and shrieked "oh you profound and complex-smelling dude, please run your well-maintained little beard all over my velvety bosoms you hot stud!" Or anything that could even be remotely construed as meaning (or implying) that.

Actually, no one ever.

I am disappointed with the modern world.

NOTE: a distant fourth is something nasty, about the horrid funk of Hobbit wannabees.
Who all own Gandalf pipes.


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Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Recently there was too much roast duck. "How can there possibly be too much roast duck", I hear you say, "How can that even be?" That's a good question. Especially if you know my penchant.
But trust me, there can indeed be.

She bought a whole duck.

She attended to my birthday happiness. Because she values birthdays (her own is coming up in two months), and I believe she rather likes living with a grumpy old troll who more than tolerates stuffed animals, most of whom act rambunctious, demand snacks of unknowable provenance, and will steal my wallet when I'm in the bathroom tending to my personal cleanity.
Often when I return freshly showered and shaved, I find a cluster of the little criminals tussling over my bills, or sometimes poncing around with one of my briars, saying "hubba hubba hubba lookit me I am the famous philosopher Bertrand Arthur William Russell!"
They never pretend to be Tolkien.
Tolkien was a dildo.

Hobbits, feh! The Ewoks of an Oxford linguist's brainfart.

Anyhow. Too much duck. And charsiu. Every day since Friday. Wherefore my constitution feels a bit stressed. Something simple and easy on the stomach may be required. Such as, for instance, rice porridge.

But where, and what kind?

鮑魚粥 ('baau yü juk'): abalone rice porridge.
鮑魚滑雞粥 ('baau yü kwat kai juk'): abalone and chicken rice porridge.
柴魚花生粥 ('chai-yü faa-sang juk'): dried fish and fried peanuts rice porridge.
猪肝粥 ('chyu gon juk'): pork liver rice porridge.
猪骨滚生粥 ('chyu gwat gwan saang juk'): pork bone poached rice porridge; a selection of fresh and dried mushrooms with ham cooked in a rice porridge made on a basis of pork broth.
豬紅粥 ('chyu hong juk'): rice porridge with cubes of gelled pig's blood.
豬肚肉片粥 ('chyu tou yiuk pin juk'): pork liver, tripe, and fresh pork slices rice porridge.
豬潤粥 ('chyu yeun juk'): pig gloss jook, an alternative name for rice porridge with pork liver.
豬什粥 ('chyu sap juk'): pig whatevers jook; miscellaneous pork oddments rice porridge.
帶子粥 ('daai-ji juk'): scallops porridge.
火鴨粥 ('fo ngaap juk'): rice porridge with roast duck.
滑雞粥 ( 'gwat kai juk'): chicken chunks rice porridge.
虾粥 ('haa juk'): fresh shrimp rice porridge.
香菇肉鬆粥 ('heung gu ngau song juk'): black mushrooms and pork floss rice porridge.
蠔豉瘦肉粥 ('ho si sau yiuk juk'): dried oysters and lean pork rice porridge.
海產粥 ('hoi chaan juk'): mixed seafoods rice porridge; shrimp, clams or mussels, and squid.
海参粥 ('hoi saam juk'): sea cucumber rice porridge.
海鮮粥 ('hoi sin juk'): mixed fresh seafood rice porridge.
雞球粥 ('kai kau juk'): chicken rice porridge.
羅漢粥 ('lo hon juk'): Arhat ("Luo Han") rice porridge; a luxurious vegetarian preparation made with carrots, bamboo shoots, dried mushrooms, wood ear, straw mushrooms, and white fungus.
牡蠣粥 ('maau lai juk'): fresh oysters rice porridge with pork and garlic.
銀耳粥 ('ngan yi juk'): white fungus rice porridge, mildly tonifying.
北菇雞球粥 ('pak gu kai kau juk'): black mushroom and chicken porridge.
皮蛋牛肉粥 ('pei dan ngau yiuk juk'):preserved egg and beef porridge.
皮蛋瘦肉粥 ('pei dan sau yiuk juk'): preserved egg and lean pork rice porridge.
三黄粥 ('saam wong juk'): three yellows porridge; soy bean, sweet potato, and millet gruel, served with a little golden sugar. It's healthy.
生滾蝦球粥 ('sang gwan ha kau juk'): jook with fresh shrimp cooked by the heat of the porridge.
生滾牛肉粥 ('sang gwan ngau yiuk juk'): rice porridge with sliced beef poached in the hot gloop.
生滾肉片粥 ('sang gwan yiuk pin juk'): jook with sliced pork cooked by the heat of the porridge.
蝦球帶子粥 ('sin haa daai-ji juk'): fresh shrimp and scallop porridge.
爽滑肉丸粥 ('song gwat yiuk yuen juk'): rice porridge with pork meat balls.
碎牛粥 ('sui ngau juk'): rice porridge with minced beef.
田雞粥 ('tin kai juk'): fresh frog rice porridge.
窩蛋免治牛粥 ('wo dan min ji ngau juk'): nested egg floating freely cow jook; minced beef and egg porridge.
魚片粥 ('yü pin juk'): fish curls rice porridge.
魚片豬紅粥 ('yü pin chyu hong juk'): sliced fish and pork blood porridge.
魚片皮蛋粥 ('yü pin pei dan juk'): preserved egg and sliced fish porridge.
魚片瘦肉粥 ('yü pin sau yiuk juk'): sliced fish and pork porridge.

Rice porridge ("jook" in Cantonese) is greatly good, and just the ticket. But because it is so simple, though requiring attentiveness and brilliance to do well, most places will have less than half a dozen choices, and sometimes it becomes the afterthought on an extensive menu.

I know every jookery in Chinatown.

It is a quandary.

One of the key things is the fried oil stick. If that is lacking or a failure, the experience is lessened. The fried oil stick is crucial.
There are limitations to Chinatown.

No, I seldom go to the Chinese restaurants in the avenues, be real! There are no honest Chinese folks there, they all speak Mandarin and cook for bollocky no-taste Midwesterners!


There is one "restaurant" on Stockton Street which does a fried dough stick that is very nasty. The place is incredibly popular, because they are cheap. They also sell dim sum and various prepared dishes, the customers are total pillocks, and the service is haphazard, and sometimes downright irritating when they didn't understand my Cantonese.
I will probably not go there.

The little bistro on Waverly which had superior jook and truly lovely fried dough sticks (Utopia Cafe, 蔘滿意粥, near the intersection with Washington) no longer exists.

[蔘滿意粥: 'saam mun yi juk'. The restaurant there now is still called Utopia in English, but something else in Chinese (牛麵王 'ngau min wong': "beef noodle king"). 
I haven't tried them yet.]

One place where the women who work there know me and always treat me with home town consideration does not appeal today, because their dough stick is a bit leaden, and leaves me feeling bloated.
That isn't what I aim for this time.

I will probably end up at the cheap lunchcounter run by decent hardworking Toishanese. Though there are only three jook choices, their fried oil stick is good (as is their cheung fan), and it is a great place for people-watching.

Gotta leave the house soon.
Before it is all gone.
Pipe after.

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Why do so many elderly people smell funky? It's a good question, especially as by the time they are older than Methuselah they are not releasing hormones in the sheer gushing waves that young people do. Young people being defined as twelve to twenty, which are the smelliest years of life. Why, the angst-sex reek of the average highschool football player or cheerleader is almost unbearable, their moist resinous sweat can destroy clothes sometimes even in one day! Dark damp stains of pee-yew.
As I said, old fogies have far less hormonal pong.

So why do your elderly relatives stink?

The answer is simple. Dry skin. Bathing dries out the dermis, yielding crinkly parchment-like surfaces that itch like billy-o. And consequently the antique dears avoid showers. Sometimes for weeks at a time.
That fishy smell, the funk of cheesy age?
Oh that's aunt Mildred, I imagine.
She's no longer scratching.
No bath since May.

But not this blogger, no sir! Firstly, I am NOT a dessicated old fart, being in the prime of my life and full of calm balanced mature vigour, and secondly, today I took measures.

I rubbed my fine manly calves with olive oil. My legs smell good enough to eat. Yesterday evening dryness made me itch from my toes nearly to my tuchus, so both before and after my bath I applied the salad-dressing substance to my legs.

It smells good. Rich, herbal, with an undertone of buttery fruitiness.
I had to get up in the middle of the night because they were so dry.

Itch itch itch, scratch scratch scratch.

Unlike aunt Mildred, I like to bath regularly, what with being a fastidious sort. Cleanliness is next to godliness. My calves no longer hurt, and if you were to run your nose along the tibial ridge that runs from just below the patella to the talus, you would think you were in Greece. Perhaps a sun-drenched summer vacation or a period of calm before attempting for the so-manieth time to bust the walls of Troy.

Une lotion hydratante quotidienne

Later today I shall purchase Aveeno lotion with oat essences, which besides protecting and soothing, also feels super-sensual.
Almost like naughty business.

So good, so good.

Oh, babies.

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Monday, October 16, 2017


Like many members of the Republican Party, the president's choice for drug czar, congressman Tom Marino, seems to be an ethically crippled money-grubbing cretin. Remarkably, that describes almost everyone Trump knows.

Money makes the (Washington) world go around, and in 2016 a lot of money was behind a push by drug companies to weaken the DEA's ability to limit the illegal distribution of painkillers in the US.
Despite objections of those on the frontlines of the drug-abuse epidemic, big money carried the day. It often does - particularly when it works in the shadows, behind banners like "deregulation" or "business-friendly" law-making. 
End quote.

That's an opinion by Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter.

Pennsylvania congressman Tom Marino pushed a bill that reportedly stripped a government agency of the ability to freeze suspicious painkiller shipments.
End quote.


I say "seems" because I don't want the ethically crippled money-grubbing cretin to have reason to sue me. That verb frames the statement as an opinion, and thus constitutionally protected speech.
Putting that question mark in the title serves the same purpose.
What I think of Trump and his friends is quite unprintable.
This is a family blog, I am trying to keep it clean.


I have to disagree, respectfully, with Newt Gingrich, who opined that Trump was "strong" in his joint press event with Mitch McConnell, and that his grasp of issues was deep and growing.

Newt, my man, are you out of your freaking mind?!? How dumb you think we are, you hopeless piece of moist dog poo?!? The man's a self-absorbed moron, with a bunch of pandering Republican kiss-butts trying to get theirs before the whole corpse feeding frenzy finally goes nuclear in a ghastly orgy of mutual sabotage, hand jobs, arrests, backstabbing, and blackmail.

I don't know who is worse, Trump for having dementia and an ego so bloated it poisons the air around him for several hundred yards, or Mitch for being venomous, slimy, vicious, and so effing repulsive that the only reason his vampire bitch wife still lives with him is because she has a fetish for wrinkled old decomposing white-ass zombies.

Newtie-poo, you're a cannibal.
As well as a dung-beetle.

I say this with love.

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An attempted spam comment recently had me looking up a medicinal substance, and contemplating the soaring rates of ear infections and gonorrhea in America's youth. Plus reading about medication during breastfeeding, phagocytosis, and terminal elimination half-lives.
These concepts are not normally part of my world.

Neither are side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting, but I will grant that those symptoms are a little more familiar, what with being a resident of an American city. It's the modern diet, you know.
I haven't eaten at any of the popular junkfood chains in recent years.
And have never even once been to Chipotle.

Antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

Avoid sex when sick.

Also when experiencing diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
I feel that I shouldn't have to say that, but America's youth need advice to be repeated, witness the soaring rates of ear infections and gonorrhea.

Further: Hearing loss has been reported.
As a side effect, but I have doubts.
It's probably gonorrhea.
Aural clap.


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Sunday, October 15, 2017


Courtesy of a fellow pipe smoker, currently hiding out from the anti-Semitic tobacco-hating slime-weasels who have taken over the reigns of power in the EU (Hitler was a non-smoker, Wilders is a non-smoker, and Theresa May gave it up for opportunistic political reasons; deviants, is what), this blogger is aware of what the twisted Vegan sadist puritans might plan for California. Already they have increased punitive taxes to the extent that a product which before July First was priced at ten bucks for two ounces now costs eighteen dollars. I have taken to advising friends to beat up schoolchildren for their pocket money to pay for tobacco.
And it's all about the children, isn't it?
Screw the little monsters.
And their horses.

Well then.



You know, all those tobacco-hating pot-snarfing socially deviant puritanical Vegan sods and yoga-freaks don't deserve children anyway.
Damned hippies and wheat-germ fascists.

Pot, Veganism, and white folks doing yoga ought to be heavily regulated.
And kept out of the workplace, or off school property.
Wire hangers too. No more wire hangers.

Next thing you know, they'll ban hamburgers.
And carnitas burritos. With cheese.

Fight the bastards.

[SOURCE: The Express.]

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Apparently, something I said was taken amiss, and I should think about what I did, and stop being such a disgusting sexist pig.
What I said was very very wrong!
I am a typical male.

A young lady made a comment about how smokers were like meat-eaters, and increased suffering in the world; even animals hated tobacco.

What I said was "oh, my piles bleed for them"


"Those poor suffering animal anti-smokers.
My piles bleed for them.

This upset her immensely, and she called me all kinds of names, including a "typical male". So gender biased! And I had used bad language when there was NO call for that. Pig!


Saying the word 'piles' is sexist.
A form of harassment.


































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Saturday, October 14, 2017


Yesterday many of my Facebook friends took the opportunity to congratulate me on a long delayed birthday. It took an entire year before it happened, and I intend to delay the next one quite as much. Their good wishes are much appreciated. I feel honoured as well as antique.

Facebook: it's the well-tailored suit.

Meanwhile, Russian spambots visited my blog and attempted to seed the comments field under several posts, as well as dumping their electronic garbage in my letterbox. Thanks guys, you do realize that there's a warning there to the effect that messages which don't have an e-mail address will likely end up deleted as spam, which Google keeps track of, and eventually does something about?

To whit: "Google pays attention to such things, and your subsequent comments elsewhere are much more likely to be judged as spam, and may not make it through any filters."

Go ahead, knock yourselves out.

One the other hand, if you are a rather lonely and personable female mathematician or geology major living in the Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and Telegraph Hill part of the city, who wants to share a hot beverage and cold toes, I am keen to hear from you. Please include your e-mail address.
Intelligence, kind-heartedness, and glasses are great attributes.
I really cannot praise them highly enough.

So, what did I do on my birthday?

For one thing, I got up at the crack of dawn, so that I could hit the shower next door ere my landlord shut down the water. The plumber was coming to do more work on the bathroom at around mid-morning, and all tenants had been warned of the lack of water for part of the day.

Shaved and showered, I drank two cups of coffee while in front of my computer reading the news, including Dutch and German newspapers, as well as looking up a number of things in Wikipedia (Ugaritic, Gastropoda, Auditory processing disorders, The Battle of Borodino, Diponegoro, Alfred Russel Wallace, shrub frogs, the patagium, feathered theropod dinosaurs, Atrociraptor, eggs) while writing smack about some dunce named Trump, who wants poor people, minorities, and all of Puerto Rico, to starve, perish of completely preventable and treatable diseases, and go without anything that his rich bastard friends think they shouldn't have.
Smoked two pipes while doing so.

Author: FunkMonk, whose modersmål is Danish.

First pipe filled with Dunhill Nightcap, a tobacco that will get you lynched in Berkeley, unlike marijuana, which is wholesome and healthy, and grown by spiritual little green tribals in the rainforest who hug trees and dolphins.
Second one with Stonehenge Flake, by Greg Pease, who once also lived in Berkeley, and is now in exile from that ghastly place.
It's a very nice compound.

I also contributed to the snarking of a pipe smoker on an internet forum who said that selfies of people with their pipes irritated him. Nearly everyone who commented, added a selfie.

I do not have a cellphone, so I posted the drawing below:

Kindly note that the ursine in this illustration is holding a briar. Possibly a Charatan.

Bears probably prefer full-bodied tobaccos, because they have mature tastes. Salmon, caviar, honey, dark coffee, and random picnic items found in cars.

And small piglets, eventually.

It turns out that the concept "mid-morning" is a very flexible thing indeed in plumberese, as by twelve o'clock there had still been no sign of him or his assistant and esposa, and the water was still available.

Lunch was earlier than usual. I went down to New Fortune to have some pork siumai and a chicken bun (豬肉燒賣同埋一個雞飽), then wandered down to California and Market where I people-watched while smoking. Afterwards I dropped by New Hollywood for milk-tea and a pastry.

[Milk tea: 奶茶 ('naai chaa') A pastry: old-wife cake (老婆餅 'lo po beng').]

It's a good place, with excellent Hong Kong style milk-tea (港式奶茶 'gong sik naai chaa'). Plus pastries, freshly squeezed orange or carrot juices (鮮榨橙汁,蘿蔔汁 'sin jaa chang jap', 'lo baak jap') for the morning crowd, and soft fresh wiggly tofu (豆腐花 'dau fu faa') in the afternoon for the old-school snackiepoo types. As well as a menu of freshly cooked stuff, noodles, rice plates, and also specials on the wall.

Given that most of their customers are Chinese, a number of things are not listed in English.

The following, for instance.
餐蛋公仔麵 ('chaan daan gong jai min'): luncheon meat and fried egg instant noodle.
火腿蛋通粉 ('fo teui daan tong fan'): ham and egg macaroni.
雞肉通粉 ('gai yiuk tong fan'): chicken chunks macaroni.
龍蝦丸湯粉麵 ('long haa yuen tong fan min'): lobster balls soup noodles.
墨魚丸湯粉麵 ('mak yü yuen tong fan min'): octopus balls soup noodles.
All $6.50

These are the kind of unassuming small meal offerings likely to appeal to schoolkids and elderly people, who do not eat an awful lot. Or just enough food so that you can allow yourself a pastry afterwards, or a boba drink.
Really Chinese style. But not the kind of thing that white folks go for, because it's so unextraordinairy. Broth, noodles, easy meats.

Another pipe full. Bus to the top of the hill to enjoy the spectacular sunset, caused by smoke from the fires in Napa and Sonoma, then ambled down to my apartment building near the bottom of the hill.

When my apartment mate came home she brought charsiu pork, roast duck, gai choi, and rice. Plus cake for afterwards. Which is why lunch had deliberately been early and small. We watched murder teevee together.

I now have a bathrobe big enough and warm enough to go fight Russia, marching in over the frozen bogs and tundras, while the Grande Armée burns down villages to keep warm. And this time, we won't dawdle!
That was our mistake the last time, we dawdled.
No dawdling, Marshall Ney!
We must sack.

I am older now. But let's not dwell on the years.
It was a good day. And smoke filled.
Not all from tobacco.

The cake was from Siu Mak Tien.
It was most delicious.

NOTES: Left to my own devices I would have simply ignored my birthday, as there have been a number of such previously, and my body is irritatingly keen to let me know that I am getting older anyhow. It creaks sometimes when I get up in the morning. But I did not do anything special for myself OTHER than getting up early.

It was a normal day until Savage Kitten came home with food. I very much like roast duck. And the bathrobe is very nice. It will definitely be comfortable once the cold season comes. There is still plenty of cake left, even after all of the stuffed creatures had some (the sock-sheep in particular made a pig out of himself), and I found out that dinosaurs "just LOVE cake!" That is something I did not know before. I'll make sure to give Thadeus (Rex) some more tomorrow. That picture of Miss Kasuga Ayumu with a pipe above is a slightly modified version of a well-know internet fan-image, which I will post on the pipe smokers forum the next time selfies are called for.
It's lovely, don't you think? An illustration of what, in a different reality, could have been.
She looks properly brought up, thoughtful, and filled with wonder.
As pipe smokers should. Not pierced and tattooed.
That's the cigar aficionados.

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Friday, October 13, 2017


A search for Meg Griffin on the internet inevitably leads to Dutch Nazis, muppets, and dead frogs. That, and the way the writters of Family Guy show their unmitigated meanness and misogyny, is enough to convince anyone that television leads to dementia.

The best episode of that show was probably the one in which Meg got sent to prison. After three months in the hoosegow, she returns a changed woman. She's empowered, assertive, and won't take any crap.
It shows a side of Meg that is heartening.
Those writers have issues.

"I'm home. You're all my bitches now."

This past week I have probably seen more television than usual, because Northern California is burning. Normally, the only time I pay attention to the tube is when something horrific on Housewives of Blisterville sends me into the kitchen for a nice quiet smoke. My apartment mate often watches the show, because she finds rich blonde idiots being repellent enjoyable. It's a repressed self-esteem issue, for which society and the media are to blame. Blondes, in America, especially if they have large mammaries and empty blue eyes, are at the top of the heap, and they know it. That's why they become trophy wives and rightwing news announcers.

Exceptionally large mammaries. A sign of fecundity, and something for the average man to focus on while she talks. Given that I tend to keenly watch their faces for any sign of intelligence or conniving weasely evil in the process of being hatched, I tend to lose out at those times.

An instinct for self-preservation prevents the tits from taking effect.

Wildfires and Meg Griffin are more interesting.

Normally I don't watch teevee.


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In the final moments before my birthday (in other words just before twelve o'clock last night) somebody half my age told me I was the most intelligent man she knew. It was very nice of her to say so. But wrong. I am adept at projecting an image of professorial confidence, but in all honesty I simply twist conversations towards whatever data-sets I command.
Or I stay silent and listen while others discourse.
That's not intelligence, but finaglement.
I'm a clever sort of dick.
That is all.

In answer to the inevitable questions: I'm not saying, and October 13.
And dammit, I feel old. Now get off my lawn.

Without Aspirin, life would be horrible.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017


For English speakers Chinese presents a few stumbling blocks. One of which is the implicit meaning of certain characters, unless they are there as part of a compound. For instance. the word for vegetable (菜 'choi') used by itself usually means cabbage, specifically Chinese cabbage. Whereas in compounds, it is just the vegetable suffix. So chives (韭菜 'gau choi') will read as "chive vegetable", and round Western nightmare cabbage (椰菜 'ye choi') look like "coconut cabbage".

Similarly, the default meat (肉 'yiuk') is always pork.

And a meal is always rice.

The greeting "have you eaten yet?" translates literally as "have you eaten rice or not yet" (你食咗飯未 'nei sik-jo faan mei'), in which 'jo' (咗) functions as a completed action suffix, and 'mei' (未) indicates what has not happened but is expected to occur, and probably soon.
That rice is the meal is more than implied.
Everything else is a side dish.
Called a 餸 ('song').
Or 菜 ('choi').

Song (餸) is a prepared dish that could be either meat or vegetable, or both mixed. Whereas a meat dish is called 餚 ('ngaau'), although there might be vegetables in it. No need to remember that second word, because 餸 is inclusive, to the point that one might say one is buying 'song' when one is actually going to go get some vegetables (菜 'choi').
Besides, no one uses 餚。

If someone were to ask me right now whether I had eaten dinner, I would answer in the affirmative: 食咗啦 ('sik jo laa'). Despite having had just a small quiche, which is not cooked rice (飯 'faan'), nor even a vegetable (菜 'choi'). It contains no "produce" (蔬菜 'so choi'; literally "vegetable vegetable"), and is not vegetarian (素食 'so sik'; "simple eats").

Nor is it 三餸一湯 ('saam song yat tong')。

Three side dishes, and one soup.

In which rice is implicit.

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When the waitress came I panicked. And consequently ended up with two loin cutlets on top of a mound of delicate egg-fried rice, with melted cheese and white sauce on top. It was very good, but I had not intended to eat something so cheesy. In a Chinese restaurant.
The soup was tomato vegetable, the bread was garlic.

The only thing I said in English was that I preferred to sit where I could see the television, because I could not remember the word for television in Cantonese. It does not come up in conversation, you understand. Back-constructing from "television station" (電視臺 'din si toi'), it is 'deen see'.
But that didn't come to me till later.
After the cutlets.


Careful, plate hot. Which indeed it was. In some places that serve 焗豬柳飯 ('guk chyu lau faan'), the dish is liberally doused with stewed tomato or tomato sauce in addition to the cheese, but these people are minimalists. Their version of soy-sauce western is a more intellectual and spare approach, and they feel that if you wanted your loins covered with 番茄醬 you would have asked for it; 茄汁焗豬柳飯 ('ke jap guk chyu lau faan'). Which isn't standard, because normally that would be chops instead. Chops. Chops get tomato.
Not loins. Loins equal cheese.

As I said, I wasn't in the mood for so much cheese -- it was 厚厚的芝士!('hou hou dik chi si!'; "generously cheesed") -- but I enjoyed my meal immensely, and dawdled after to see the end of the episode where 表姑姑 (the comedic plumpish person) and her friend Dr. Blue (a very whitey-white blonde woman) have to deal with a ghostly presence. I think it's from the series 老表,你好嘢, featuring among other actors Corinna Chamberlain (陳明恩 ''Chan Ming Yan'). It is a very silly show. But amusing.

One of these days I'll have to get up early enough on a day off that I can have breakfast there. The early specials fascinate me. All for breakfast only, and only if you read Chinese. Probably because printing it out in clear and precise characters is actually much easier than figuring out what white people might call it in English.

Assuming that they grasped the paradigm.

Which really isn't cheese.

特別早餐 Breakfast Specials.

吉列魚扒雙蛋 Fish cutlet and two eggs.
吉列豬扒雙蛋 Pork cutlet and two eggs.
吉列鷄扒雙蛋 Chicken cutlet and two eggs.

香煎韭菜豬肉餃子 Pan-fried chive-pork dumplings.
香煎椰菜豬肉餃子 Pan-fried cabbage-pork dumplings.
上湯韭菜豬肉餃子 Chive-pork dumpling in soup.
上湯椰菜豬肉餃子 Cabbage-pork dumpling in soup.

蠔油豬肚湯麵 Oyster sauce pig stomach soup noodles.
蠔油豬肚米粉 Oyster sauce pig stomach rice vermicelli.
蠔油豬肚河粉 Oyster sauce pig stomach rice stick.
蠔油豬肚瀨粉 Oyster sauce pig stomach laaifun.
蠔油豬肚公仔麵 Oyster sauce pig stomach insta-noodle.


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