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.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Yesterday I went out for drinks and nibbling with some old friends from the toy company. This post was going to be about that, happily kvelling and stuff, but when I got home last night I went onto Facebook.

Two things.

Numbah one: Circumcision, according to someone, is the equivalent of Female Genital Mutilation.

Numbah two: A dickhead on the internet, don't know who, is convinced that Black, Latinos, (Feminist) women, Muslims, and (Liberal) Jews, are all intent on wiping out my country, my culture, and my race.
And waging total war to effect that.

If anyone is waging war on my country, my culture, and my race, it's the idiots in Trump's America, as well as the traumatized little self-absorbed pussies wailing about circumcision.

Stop thinking about my equipment. I am perfectly happy the way snippity snip made me.

And my culture, for what it's worth, is in no danger of ever being wiped out. There aren't enough pale complected illiterates to turn the whole country into Trailerparkistan.

I had a great time last night. All the members present were circumcised and liberal, and outnumbered by self-confident women who had no interest whatsoever in that aspect of us, OR waging total war against whatever we represented. Two of them are in fact married to white men, about the condition of whose regenerative organs none of us have ever asked.
Their petzlech, country, culture, and ethnicity just haven't come up.

That they are white is just an assumption; for all anyone knows they could be mutilated and angry black feminist lesbians.
Or Muslims, liberals, and Jews.
Of any gender.
Or race.

My culturally dominant cut Caucasian Peter was not mentioned, and that leaves me neither traumatized nor feeling threatened.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018


This blogger is not 'English-monolingual'. Besides English, I also speak and read Dutch and other languages. Which does not mean that I am more intelligent than you, but that my access to other data is a little larger, so consequently I sometimes have a slightly broader perspective on affairs of the world. Because, as has probably already been rubbed in, those canny Netherlanders know everything that is worth knowing and have strong opinions about all of it. Which they will put on the internet.
Please pay attention. At great length.

As is I frequently do, I visited Dutch newspaper sites today.

Two items which Americans really must know.

1. Hawaiians watch porn. Specifically, after the recent missile scare they massively went onto their computers to view smutty business, causing a spike of nearly fifty percent shortly after nine in the morning on the Pornohub site.
It had earlier dropped 77%, because when you are about to snuff it your first thoughts naturally are to quickly shove the kids in the sewer and the cats into a closet, then to consider whether you want to perish next to your smelly brats or pissed-off pets.

[SOURCE: Hawaï kijkt massaal porno na ’vals alarm’ - De Telegraaf.]

2. Young Chinese adults on the mainland are sniffing their cats. The article on the Telegraaf website claimed that this is popular in a particular city named Zhihu, but it turns out that the Zhihu they referenced was actually a popular website named Zhihu (知乎 'ji wu'), and that modern China massively loves felines.
Which is normal. The sniffing part is a bit queer, though.

[SOURCES: Nieuwe rage Chinese jeugd: aan katten ruiken and Across China: China's youth obsessed by cat sniffing - Xinhuanet. See also: Wikipedia.]

All of this makes complete sense.

The world relies on the internet for sex, cats, and Steve Bannon.
At least one of those three, obsessively all the time.
Until the internet I didn't know about them.
Now I can't tear my eyes away.


As a lagniappe, I mention that the karaoke machine at the dive in C'town to which per weekly custom the bookseller and myself went last night was on auto-pilot, and that all the most popular tunes came up. The Hong Kong guy singing about love in a fish tank, the twins with red hair, the choreographic Chinese answer to Lady Gaga, and the soulful love and travel song which starts on a trainstation platform when she asks him if he can actually play the guitar in that case he has next to him.

The sheep song also played.


[SOURCE: 周笔畅(笔笔)《大家一起喜羊羊》.]

The title (大家一起喜羊羊 "Dàjiā yì qǐ xǐyángyáng") is google-translated as "hey everyone with sheep". I am sorry, I cannot do any better than that.
It's perfect as is.

Hey everyone with sheep!

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It is never too early to listen to the music of outcastes, misfits, poor people, criminals, and exiles from Smyrna. Which means that at this moment I have rebetika blasting from my laptop. And I am contemplating having a second cup of coffee or going back to sleep.

I will probably go back to sleep.

Rebetiko music is associated with the people on the margins during a bad time in Greek history, and their instruments were often destroyed by the authorities. Bouzouki, baglamas, and santouri. From shortly after the end of the first World War to the early fifties, this musical style and its themes were looked down upon, in disrepute, and quite staggeringly popular.
Because, naturally, the rational mind sneers at neurotic authoritarianism, and invents its own rules.

The rational mind is not necessarily sane.

I too have my own rules.

For example:

1. Always wait at least four hours between lunch and dinner.

2. Never eat breakfast until you've had coffee and a shower.

3. Always wait at least four hours between sexual acts.

4. Never drink or smoke on an empty stomach.

5. No alcohol before evening.

6. Shave daily.

The first two are essential to a feeling of physical comfort, the third has not been a consideration for several years unfortunately, the fourth is practical, the fifth is simply the civilized thing to do, and allows me to sneer at most of the United States, whose male population turns into a bunch of stinking alcoholics during weekends and ballgames -- especially ballgames on weekends -- and the sixth applies only to men.
Sorry, ladies.

You will notice that what this means is that the first smoke of the day is after coffee and a shower, and benefits from a pastry or cookie.
And maybe a second cup.

Other rules are quite as practical, and, in some cases, more easily obeyed than most. For instance: Don't act like an idiot in bars or moving traffic, don't enjoy a sumptuous cheese platter before engaging in crime or naughty business, and always let a bit of time pass between filling another pipe, to keep from overloading your palate. An hour or two at least.

I am a practical man. With all the right instincts.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Like many people, I like the cuisines that immigrants bring to this country. And in all honesty many of them cook nearly as well as English people, why, their dexterity with curry is remarkable. But we're getting rather full up, and my cousin Bob is running out of space for his broken-down pick-up trucks, wives, and kids, and if 'those people' start acquiring American habits, the incidence of drunk driving will skyrocket.
We can't have that.

Coors prices will go up.

So I propose putting a crimp on migration from certain regrettable parts of the world -- not Norway -- in order to better manage our population and prevent nasty outbreaks of news or literacy. Among other problems.
We don't need any of that going on here in America.

Besides, we've already got their recipe.


Two cups long grain rice.
Two cups chicken stock.
One small onion, chopped.
One can of tomatoes (more or less two cups).
One or two Habanero chilies.
Four TBS tomato paste.
A bouillon cube.
One Tsp. dried shrimp powder.
One Tsp. salt.
Very generous pinches dried thyme and curry powder.
Small pinches nutmeg, cinnamon, clove.
Minced fresh ginger (non-normative, optional).

Parboil the rice. Drain, rinse under cold water, set aside.
Empty the can of tomatoes into the blender, dump in the Habanero chilies, and whir smooth.

Saute the onion in a deep pot till translucent. Add the tomato and pepper puree, plus fresh ginger if using, stir to incorporate, and cook for about five minutes. Put in the tomato paste, crumble the bouillon cube into the pot, stir, and add the shrimp powder, salt, and pinched spices. Cook for another several minutes.
When the oil starts rising to the top, take nearly half of the resultant goo out of the pot and set it aside, but leave in the onion. Add the stock to the pot, simmer a bit. Mix in the parboiled rice, and add water as needed so that there is liquid on top.
Put it on a low flame (use a heat-protector), and let the rice absorb the moisture for about fifteen minutes. When it's dry on top, mix in the reserved goo, and let it cook about five minutes longer.
It is done.

The reason why you remove some tomato stew when adding the rice is to prevent burning, and to allow the right texture to develop.

Stuff you can add on top: Fried peanuts, hardboiled egg, tinned sardines in tomato sauce, fried mackerel or herring, spicy roasted chicken pieces.

You could also simply get some imperial rolls and five-spice chicken from the Vietnamese place around the corner, and make a party out of it.

No, I do not know how to make imperial rolls and five-spice chicken.
No one does, they're not telling us the recipes.
We still need them.

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Challah and very unkosher liver sausage are a Wonderful combination! And probably exceedingly New Yorkish. For some reason she bought challah, and our downstairs neighbor (our landlord) gifted us with a fully cooked liver sausage, pleasantly peppery.

At this rate, I shall have gout all weekend.

It was a midnight snack.

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Monday, January 15, 2018


After spending a number of days working in Marin County -- which unlike Norway is a shithole, because there is no universal healthcare, decent free education up to and including college, gun control, and various other things that the civilized world takes for granted -- it is always good to have a few days off back in San Francisco. Which is also a shithole in the same way that Marin is a shithole, but without all the folks who have monumental attitude problems and senses of entitlement.

As shitholes go, San Francisco is a far better class shithole.

Marin County is a shithole with shittier people.

Much like Donald Trump country.

That type of ass.

Naturally my dinner this evening was celebratory stuff almost guaranteed to bring on an attack of gout, accompanied by strong coffee, which will soon be followed by Scotch and a pipefull of tobacco.
'F' it all, I'm home.

Mange deler av USA er shit huller som er uegnede for menneskelig beboelse, befolket av hårkledde villde menner.

The colourful sentence above explains precisely why so few Norwegians wish to immigrate. For three thousand miles it's mostly dumbass.
Plus their coffee and tobacco are better.
And no Marinites.

The older I get the more I sympathize with Eric Cartman.
Or find myself saying the same things.

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When I woke up this morning I had a small stringed instrument in my head as well as a cigar of a number four shape, which in my dream is a long corona, and possibly a Punch or a Hoyo de Monterey. Don't ask. I associate it with certain bins along the North wall, near Liga Privada.

Late last night I facilitated the entry of a small gorilla into my apartment mate's room. He wanted to be near "his woman", that being Ms. Bruin, senior roomie and sanest teddy bear.

The other three teddy bears are, unfortunately, not sane.

Well, neither is the gorilla.

Lately I've been particularly enjoying the last pipe of the day, smoked usually after a short nap. And often four or five hours after the second to the last pipe. The neighborhood has quieted down, the weather turned chilly, and there are fewer nuts evident on Polk Street, or drunken millennials.

This particular pleasure is wreaking havoc with my sleep schedule.

Late at night I sometimes wish to eat, which isn't wise.

Restraint and self-control are required.

I dream strange now.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018


Actually, I need more time and caffeine. Today was pipe club day, which is always a bad time to take on a big project. And it was also pothead day and little white nipple guy day. Let it be known that little white nipple guy has an entire jar of the things. And those are just the one's on top of his desk, that to his great distress got knocked over by someone in his house.
He does not know who.

He needs the little white nipples in case there is ever a shortage of Dunhill butane (for lighters) and the Lotus butane requires adapters. It is a serious matter, and he has given it considerable thought.

He arrived shortly after three. He left a few minutes before five.

Help me Jayzis, there's nuts down here.

The pipe club stayed in the far corner discussing the theory of relativity, and the new foundations for William's cottage. They were no problem at all.
The pothead called to find out something he's known for years.
Little white nipple guy disquisitioned at great length.

Tomorrow is the last day of my work week. I've got fifteen pipes to finish.
Fortunately all that is left to do is stem-polishing.
Should be a piece of cake.


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Yesterday evening upon returning home I realized something about myself which is altogether surprising to me, and which I never would have even considered possible: I like hypersensitive people -- the easily triggered or offended -- because I am a thoroughly mean person.
And I feel very good about that.

A person who reacted badly to the Mexican grilling bacon-wrapped hotdogs on the corner of Polk and California nearly made me cream in my panties with delight. Her agony was just so delicious!
Vegan nightmares.

The individual who had hysterics because I was smoking, earlier outside the club, gave me the warm shivers by his sweet distress.

A young fellow who reacted badly to a Karaoke number because it was just so sexist provoked my merriment.

In all honesty, I expect this type of goofy behaviour from White People, no one else. Other people have aunts and uncles who will set them straight, and grew up relishing strong flavours in liquor, food, entertainment, and evil 'substances'. Many young Caucasians nowadays had dolphin hugging instead, and "cultural tolerance" gently whipped into them.

Barbie is blonde, suburban, and a wheat-germ snarfing dingbat.
His or her life is spiritual and filled with meaning.
Do not eat the little lambs.
Hug them!

I interrupted my enjoyment of some good tobacco to fress a dog with bacon, chiles en escabeche, and onions. By doing so I probably wiped out an entire Amazonian village and killed (!) several gentle whales. Green whales! And, it is hoped, contributed mightily to global warming, male chauvinism, and the inexorable destruction of several precious native cultures.
That animal-protein-rich snack raised sea-levels.
I am horrible. Please be triggered.
It was exquisite.

Y'all wet my undies, bitches.
I hope you know that.


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Saturday, January 13, 2018


This week was deliciously dominated by Donald Trump. Not only his brand new ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, proving himself as even more of a whoring patsy than could possibly be imagined, and not only Der Donald's shitty comment about African nations, but also by his tweet about the new United States Embassy in London (the Embassy move was decided upon when George Bush was still president).

Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!

[Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump 8:57 PM - Jan 11, 2018]

Apparently everything Donald doesn't like is Obama's fault. He probably also thinks Obama is trying to poison him, and the reason why there is no gorilla channel is because of Obama.

"He kidnapped me and had surgeons make my hands small and pudgy!"

The Pete Hoekstra thing is because at an anti-Muslim event, Pete Hoekstra stated as a fact that in the Netherlands "there are cars being burned, there are politicians being burned", then in an interview denied ever saying that, and subsequently denied denying it. It was all, in his eyes, "fake news".

Someone should sit Pete Hoekstra down and carefully explain to him how video tape works. It's very good at recording bullshit for posterity.

The comment about African nations and Haiti undoubtedly played very well in shithole states like Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. As well as Michigan, where Hoekstra is from.

[On a posting elsewhere, I called the city of Holland in Michigan an armpit, in a state which was also an armpit. That was before Donald gave me a better word. Holland, Michigan, is a shithole within a shithole. Both are bigly shitholes.]

And, speaking of shit ...

"Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump ... "

[Raj Shah, White House deputy press secretary.]

Please be specific and name them, Shah-sahib, or stop trying to randomly cast the accusation that those politicians who oppose Trump are traitors. And your own leader may very well have ties far too close to Moscow or Ankara, so it might be wiser not to sling that batch of mud.

Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos .....
Manafort, Kushner, Trump Jr.

"The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea ... "

By the way, Donald, your hands are ugly, your buildings are vulgar dumps, your inauguration was sparsely attended, especially when compared to your predecessor's inaugurations, Sarah Palin and all the other Jesus-freaks who voted for you are morons, Trump Steak failed, and that filled taco shell at the Trump Tower Grill looks damned-well inedible.

You've been reliably described as a charlatan and buffoon.
As well as an orange-faced shit gibbon.
And a giant isopod.

In the eyes of many, you are all those things.
And so much more.

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Friday, January 12, 2018


As the 'middle-aged' food and tobacco snob Dutch-American bachelor that I present myself as, what did I eat in the last forty eight hours?

Since waking up Wednesday morning:

An egg custard tart and hot Hong Kong style milk tea.
Reheated salt and pepper fried tofu with curry.
Caramel chocolate ice cream.
Baked lemon bites.
A blueberry Danish.
Italian cold cuts sandwich.
Mango yoghurt drink.
Slice of pizza (with a bowl of salsa).
Reheated fried bitter melon and chicken river noodles.

This is not high-fallutin' dining, nor Dutch. And although 'middle aged' is a flexible term, it still implies more maturity and gravitas than I actually have. Not yet sixty, but sometimes I don't feel it. I put sambal or hot sauce on almost everything, sometimes act disrespectful to my elders and superiors ('old farts'), prefer to eat on the cheap in Chinatown instead of at "good" restaurants, and I am not what your sister should ever marry.
Or even your maiden aunt.

If I weren't myself I'd look askance at me.

My pipe tobacco is excellent and in good taste.

Smoked ten bowls since Tuesday night.

I am wondering whether I should fill a pipe yet, and I'm eyeing the pecan-chocolate pie in the kitchen as a delaying tactic. Lighting up too soon upon rising strengthens the addictiveness of the nicotine, but the house is empty, there's fresh coffee, it's a day off, and the sun is shining.

Subsequent smokes will be in Chinatown. I enjoy the ambiance there, listening in on conversations, and wandering around while smoking. It is a more comfortable neighborhood than either the Financial District or the shopping streets near Union Square, and there are fewer loonies.
The pretentious hipster quotient is very low.
More children and old people.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018


She had woken me to inquire about the collection of slug-like things in the bathroom. And of course I had no clue, so she explained that it was the dark blobby things overhanging the bath tub rim, looking evil.
"Oh! Those are my socks! They're drying."

Very well. Socks.

"Crazy white man does socks in tub. Well, at least he is interested in pedal garment cleanliness. We weren't sure. For a while we thought that he was competing for Hong Kong foot king title. Then there was that layer of dust, which he claimed was footpowder, but was probably both a preservative, and a fertilizer for bloodsucking foot zombies. Socks. Clean socks."

"Good monkey! He's learning civilization!"

As you can tell, my apartment mate has a talent for gentle sarcasm.

That's why we live together. Another white person of the all-American normal Caucasian type, male or female, would have started wailing about recycling, dolphins, Trump, gluten, and "I'm a Vegan, for crapsake!"
My apartment mate is Cantonese, and not so neurotic.
I am not neurotic at all.
I'm Dutch.

It's a pity she has a boyfriend -- somebody of Russian Jewish derivation, who is neurotic -- otherwise I might consider asking her out.
She'd probably be fun to eat with.

This evening I gravely informed her that the slug convention had moved to my room, they would no longer be spying on her while she bathed.
Their little black beady eyes had seen enough.

My socks are slightly pervy.
But they have taste.

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News from Australia strongly indicates that backpackers are not like you and me, but are, in fact, disconnected from the harsh realities of a cruel world. Either that or European. Five French people, two Germans, an Italian, and a Moroccan. Between 21 and 25 years of age.
All nine were hospitalized for being stupid.


They were staying at a property in the city's Victoria Park district when a package arrived in the post addressed to a previous occupant, one of the victims told the West Australian newspaper.

They decided to open the package and found a white powder inside, wrapped in a piece of paper bearing the word "scoop".

Believing the powder to be cocaine, they divided it into nine doses and snorted it up their noses.


[SOURCE: BBC - Australia drugs: Backpackers in hospital after snorting white powder.]

I'll grant that this small group may not be a representative sample of the genus, but will never the less argue that their giddy optimism is typical.

Normal people do not put unidentified chemicals in their nostrils. Marbles and peas, perhaps. Even the attractive digits of random strangers.

Not crystalline substances of unknown provenance.

I have been normal for a long time, and I have never done anything like that.
Many things. Draino, no. Salt or sugar, no. Illicit substances, no. Granulated instant coffee in hopes that it would get me high, no.

Finely ground tobacco (snuff) to alleviate nasal distress caused by people on the bus or backpackers, yes. I always have a small container of snuff with me when I am away from the apartment.

Never once have I regretted not arduously hiking across exotic locales in an unwashed state and breaking local drug laws while having irresponsible sex with stringy blondes. Australia, for instance.

My favourite substances are caffeine, nicotine, and capsaicin.
Plus highly refined sugar and theobromine.


From Wikipedia:

Contrary to belief, researchers from James Cook University and Cairns hospital in far north Queensland have found that vinegar promotes the discharge of jellyfish venom. "You can increase the venom load in your victim by 50 per cent," says Associate Professor Jamie Seymour from the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at the university. "That's a big amount, and that's enough to make the difference, we think, between someone surviving and somebody dying." However, other research indicates that while vinegar may increase the discharge from triggered stingers, it also prevents untriggered stingers from discharging; since the majority of stingers do not trigger immediately, the Australian Resuscitation Council continues to recommend using vinegar.

Treatment is symptomatic, with antihistamines and anti-hypertensive drugs used to control inflammation and hypertension; intravenous opiates, such as morphine and fentanyl, are used to control the pain. Magnesium sulfate has been used to reduce pain and hypertension in Irukandji syndrome, although it has had no effect in other cases.

Cramps, burning sensations, headaches, nausea.
Psychosis, vomiting, and death.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018


My friend the bookseller knows batteries. Specifically, a remote control uses double A, but flashlights and dildos take regular or single A. Because of the dimensions, obviously. Triple A is strictly for hamsters or gerbils. Personally I feel that that is wrong, and that modern dildos are built for the double A's, but he was adamant. Triple A: hamsters. Or gerbils.

I wasn't going to argue. The discussion about batteries lasted from Stockton Street to Hyde, and if we woke you up I apologize. He had had way more to drink than me, and he was adamant.

While he had remained at the bar, with the owner refilling his glass, I had been to the bathroom, stepped outside twice to smoke, and gone to watch a fight on Broadway near Romolo. I had told the cops that "these three were not involved, honest, we were all just drinking at the bar when someone texted us about a rumble, and we had all curiously ambled over".

I didn't have a cellphone, so I couldn't show him the message.
Which friend? Don't know (it was Michael).
They don't speak English.

Actually, two of them do, but three Chinese gentlemen watching Mexicans trying to kill each other over blondes should not excite the interest of the police, who ten minutes after the ruckus finally arrived. Five cop cars. All over man, nothing to see here. And we'd like to just move along, but y'all decided to make three Chinese gentlemen sit at the curb for whatever reason. There's several more onlookers from the same bar near Broadway, and none of them were involved, so questioning these three was ... odd.

Hi. I speak white. With educated diction.
How very inconvenient!

Later we all agreed that the chubby dude ("fei lo") had caused trouble ("ho maa fan"). Demanding a police man's number! What was he gonna do, call him? Kam soh ge! Chan hai nei!

The chubby guy may take a while to live this down.

But the pothead is a different matter.


According to his own words, he's "the most dangerous criminal" in Chinatown! Despite not having a record, and being totally clean!

Shee-willikers! I am the most dangerous middle aged kwailo in Chinatown.
Almost no competition, there's probably no other kwailo who speaks Cantonese here, but heck. No record and totally clean too.

He's packing heat. Good thing no search.

I must admit that I have not a clue how we ended up discussing batteries, hamsters, and gerbils after we left. As far as I know neither of us have been anywhere near a place in which a dildo might find itself in several years.

We more or less agreed that a dildo is carrot-shaped.
Or sometimes, exceptionally, like a dill-pickle.

Him: two beers, eight shots of Jameson.
Me: half a pint and only three.

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Yesterday we heard that Stephen Bannon was quitting Breitbart, allegedly because of pressure to fire him. Since his remarks about Kushner, Trump Jr, and treason, the man has lost key supporters among the fascist fringe.
He is now a liability to the Republican masterminds.

A hot potato.

But, more likely, it is because he actually has lost his mind, as the President avers. In recent years he has not been as mentally acute as previously, and a reckless lifestyle may have wreaked havoc. At least that is the rumour going around, with several sources having commented about his wrecked appearance, evident signs of age, liver spots, and disregard for personal grooming. Bags under the eyes, and that florid puffiness.

He needs rest and rehabilitation.

He looks sick.


Far be it from me to recklessly speculate. Yes, I have seen severely beat-up alcoholics and syphilitics who looked better, far better, but he is an old man now, and the wear & tear of being a meanspirited flesh-eating ghoul for all those years may have finally started taking their toll.
Or a daemon is coming for him.

If it's just a spot of ill-health or mental problems, bathing in the blood of virgins will alleviate the condition. It's worked for several Republicans.

Stay away from holy water, Steve.
It would burn you.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2018


Holy Jayz, that was like the best smoke ever.

Screaming gee whillikers.


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Babysitting the stogey-huffing weasels had been exhausting, I needed a drink. Around ten o'clock I headed into a local bar where less than half a dozen people were engaged in karaoke, paid for a Scotch and water, and informed the bartender that I would be outside smoking. Meaning that I wished him to keep an eye on my coat, and not throw out my drink.
Pipe smokers cannot speed up like the cigarette crowd.
It might take a while, and one should not hurry.
A pipe smoked too fast will bite.
It isn't worth it.

Because it had rained all day the bar was nearly empty. The street outside was not entirely deserted, but very few pedestrians passed, and the sound of water provided a backdrop of moodful drubbing and splashing. In the empty open portico the aroma of my pipe tobacco was more noticeable and more dreamshaping than that same product had been while at work.

Because so many people there smoke cigars, you will understand that after only a few hours one's sense of smell is no longer pristine, and by no means acute. But it had been a while since returning home.
And I had finished my previous pipe before five.

[CLARIFICATORY INTERSTICE: No, this pipe tobacco is not a flavoured or aromatized product. Clean, not mucked up with fruit; just Virginias with a minor addition of Perique. Steam-pressed, then aged to further the interplay of leaves. There is some Burley in it, but not too much. Added, I presume, to provide body. Many good American blends of a certain era had Burley, and because of that there is something about the room note which prompts recollection. A time, a place ...
Several places and times. The basement lounge at school, the hamburger joint on Sutter Street which is no longer there, a lunch counter in Chinatown, trees on the campus one particular Berkeley summer, bookstores on Telegraph Avenue, a coffee shop with an extraordinarily high ceiling on University Avenue. And, well over a decade earlier, friends of my father from Los Angeles whose faces are indistinct, who happily spoke of engineering issues I was too young to understand, and old classmates of both my parents discussing dead European languages. Almost all tobaccos stimulate deep-seated memories, but moods and images are different.]

Every time I headed upstairs into the bar to revisit my drink the bartender and a not particularly intelligent friendly local person were discussing religion and cocktails. While I was there he went from an Old Fashioned through Rum Punch to a Manhattan. Mention was made of a Rob Roy, a Champagne Cocktail (with a dash of brandy added), Gin & Tonic, Fireball, Catholicism, Islam, Scientology, and Dutch Reformed. He seemed surprised to hear that the Dutch were very quarrelsome, albeit not disagreeable. Conversations with tiddly folks are a strain, and I can't talk to juveniles anyway, so after each sip I went out again to continue my pipe.

Many of the people I encounter while at work are very stable geniuses.
I am quite happy that they do not mention G_d or booze.
It's bad enough that they talk.

After a long three days in Marin, any conversation must be short and to the point. Precisely what this essay isn't.

Do not describe your personal belief system to me in great detail.

A quiet portico for shelter while smoking a pipe on a rainy night, good flake tobacco, and cheap Scotch whisky in lieu of the buckets of Pu Erh tea I had been swilling all day would be infinitely more satisfying than almost any human contact anyway. I was pooped, and I needed down-time
Religion and alcoholic ramblings weren't it.

I would've liked to have had more time with several people. Neal and Martin (who are in a friendly rivalry over Oom Paul pipes at present), the chap who dropped off for cleaning a very cohesive and carefully chosen collection of briars which showed that his heyday was late fifties through early eighties, Sam who comes to read his book with a cigar late in the afternoon, Vadim and his vast knowledge of seedy Ukranian or Russian politics and social environments, the professorial fellow who is enthusiastic about Germain tobaccos, the estate jewelry seller (his doctor ordered him to stop, just stop, no more cigars; a dictat he disobeys), and, at the bar, the Vietnamese, a few ex military types, and the hotel staff coming off the late shift.
The latter are more intelligent than they need to be.
It probably helps though, given their jobs.
They are sane when they get there.

The Fillmore mixture is finished and fondly remembered; it carried me through New Year, and I have one tin in reserve. I am currently smoking Stonehenge Flake, and eyeing the tins of Regents Flake, though I wonder if the next thing to open should be Montgomery or Telegraph Hill. All of these are Greg Pease products, nice, mostly Virginia leaf.
I went through several tins of Montgomery in Summer and early Autumn during the heatwave, when the bathroom was being rebuilt and we used the facilities in the empty apartment next door.

It has been a few years since I last smoked Telegraph Hill.

The Saint James Flake (Gawith) is also entirely smoked, by the way.
Started during the rains early last winter.
On and off since then.


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Monday, January 08, 2018


This post will not give you startling new information that will make things clear. It will not present a carefully thought out position on a matter of great import, nor seek to sway your opinion about anything in any way.

A delightful black female stuck her tongue in my ear this evening.

It was sort of casual yet sincere affection.

She's very young.

A black lab service dog in training. Very nice animal, soulful eyes. She knows exactly where the biscuits are, and that I am the source of them.
It has been ages since anybody stuck their tongue in my ear, and I am no longer accustomed to the sensation.

Last year one of her predecessors took every chance he got to jam his wet nose into my crotch.

That was a sensation I had not experienced before.

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A conversation yesterday morning with R-the-subcontinental, and an entirely different discussion on the internet of which I became aware yesterday evening, highlighted what strange little echo-chamber dwellers much of modern society has become. We only read articles that agree with our praeconceptiva, and 'lose it' when certain things are mentioned.
And we'll get indignant and denialistic about things.
Seeing deliberate offense which isn't there.
Rather like a certain president.

No, I shan't mention whom, as I do not wish to trigger you. You've already been triggered enough, there is probably no more triggered you can get, you have reached the veritable apogee of triggeredness. Up to eleven.
Your triggeration is complete.

A word I used, which sent one hysterical bint and two of her friends into a frenzy, was "triggered".

She angrily wrote in response: "It is a specific psychological term that describes what happens when a person who has PTSD encounters a reminder or is in a situation that causes them to relive their experience in some way. Do people really not know that?"

There was an entire chain of comments after that, weeping and wailing on the one hand and more or less trying not to giggle on the other. The upshot of which is that we must all be super-considerate of easily triggered people and their mental anguish, or else we are just meanies and evil.

"When you use it on the internet you are using a badly coopted version of a very important mental health term that people genuinely need to describe their state of being and/or protect themselves."

Well okay then. I'm in my fifties. That's probably rotten old fossil by your standards, lady, but I have reached this age despite decades of goofty shiznit, without being easily upset, and without throwing tantrums.
Deal with it like an adult, calm down, chill out, or get stuffed.

And consider taking your pills.


I have resolved to henceforth only express myself wordlessly, utilizing the sensitive meaningfulness of interpretive dance. Unless that throws out a socket, strains a muscle, or wrecks my computer because I crashed into the wall while hopping.

Or I want to seriously upset some dingleberry.

If I am writing on the internet, you may safely assume that I wish to trigger someone. Or will not mind in the slightest if that person has a cow.
Unsurprisingly, she's from New York, by the way.
I'll say nasty things about pizza.

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Sunday, January 07, 2018


There are times when I appreciate the cigar crowd far less than is perhaps justified. Then there are times when they seem like a bunch of neurotic old farts, such as when they whine about the lighting or the heat or the absence of a pillow. They just aren't comfy, their soup is missing, and why does this stogey taste for all the world like ass?

That last is easily answered. You're a cheapskate, you bought a box of puros excrementados de Habana off the internet because the price was right, and ass might be the only thing you're capable of tasting in any case.
And you huff them too fast.
Face it, you are old, you're bloated, what hair you have left is white and disarrayed, your bottom looks like a fifty pound sack of potatoes in those pants, and they're probably rotten because you sag in strange places.

So of course I had to wonder when loud and persistent vocalization erupted from the lounge behind me as I was dealing with pipe stems. It sounded like one of them had finally had the first orgasm in years.

It was, as it turns out, sports related.

How disappointing.

Those boys are easily excited. When they are finally carted off to the assisted care facility the nurses will have their hands full, and severely limit their caffeine and sugar intake.

In the meantime, they are all stable geniuses.
And need their own gorilla channel.

Last pipe while at work: Fillmore, by Greg Pease. Thick-sliced broken flake, Scottish in style. Red Virginia combined with Perique.
It was extremely nice.

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This blogger worries that with all the discussion of the president's sanity you may loose track of what's really the issue here. Namely that he's one evil piece of crap, and the folks that back him are thoroughly despicable.


We've had presidents who were far better people. Men whom you could trust around your daughter or your houseboy.
What happened?

If I had to choose between our rancid Paki cook and Mr. Trump, Suleiman-ji would probably win hands down. A filthy deviant, yes, and utterly unclean.
Far too fond of monosodium glutamate. But underneath that dislikeable Pakistani or whatever exterior, still arguably semi-human.

Someone you could work with.

Without gagging.

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Saturday, January 06, 2018


Yesterday started with a grumpy young Cantonese woman, and ended with her sulky sister. Seeing as I made use of an internet cafe which, apparently, exists for the bad tempered daughters of the family to earn some money and stay out of trouble. But they're probably really nice when they don't have to deal with a whole bunch of white guys who are eccentric and malodorous, and do not spend enough on caffeinated beverages.

I am not one of those.

Yet after two cups of coffee while internetting there in the morning, and two at night when I returned, I very well could be. I started the day with two cups at home, had two cups of Hong Kong Milk Tea in Chinatown in the afternoon while eating lunch and shopping, and then coffee at home.
Before heading back to the internet cafe.

That equates to "high as a kite".
Just about twirling.

That was a Friday well-spent. Lunch was in the Bermuda Triangle of pork chops (an area in Chinatown where three restaurants within less than a block of each other do lovely variations on that theme), after which while wandering around with my pipe I witnessed a young white gentleman heaving his guts out on the sidewalk. Which, if you think about it, is a totally tourist thing. When I was in London I saw the same, and likewise several times in Amsterdam. When young white people are not at work during the day they may be over-indulging.

A spot of food would have been wise. Empty guts heave painfully.

This blogger is a strong advocate of temperate behaviour. No booze before evening, and then not enough to upset the stomach, inflame the humours, excite the gout, or render one insensate. No chainsmoking. No pot or other drugs. No chronic masturbation or a diet of junk food.
The occasional porkchop is splendid.

The headmaster of my grammar school once explained that when he was in his final years of teachers training college, he was encouraged to smoke cigars, maybe one or two a week, because doing so showed common sense and sound judgement. Smoking cigarettes, on the other hand, was a clear indication of doubtful proclivities, and strongly discouraged.
Cigarette smokers were on the path to ruin.
And probably deviants.

He would have disapproved of intoxication before dark.
But as a Dutchman, he might have been used to it.
It happens when people are bored and stupid.
As many young men are.

Kindly leave your puddles at home.

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Friday, January 05, 2018


Seeing as the home computer is acting wanky -- scratch that, it's not acting at all, what with being a dead computer, gone to meet its maker, pushing up the daisies, joined the choir invisible, etcetera -- my internet access is at a place which charges fifteen cents a minute, where the counter person is a bad-tempered small Cantonese female, and the street view brings zombies and other wrecked ramblers into view, some of whom will try to come in.
Which explains why the small Cantonese female is bad-tempered.

But she is very effective at discouragement.
So this adventure has promise.

And, because it's a coffee shop, I'm on my third cup already. So I am a bit jittery, perhaps not quite sane. A quick scan of the BBC website seemed to indicate that people are discussing the mental health of iguanas and that President Donald Trump keeps falling out of trees.

I worry about the iguanas.

On the way over I finished the cigar which I had started during my second cup of coffee. A robusto shape by Macanudo. The Inspirado White line of smokes has an aged Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper of a classic even hue, silky to the touch. The filler is Estelí (Nicaragua) and San Andrés (Mexico). Mild-medium, complex, and even-burning.
Like with all cigars, if you are married your wife will send you to the back of the yard to freeze your nuts off when you smoke. Here in San Francisco, enjoying a cigar on the street triggers people.

Smoking is prohibited within a certain distance from all doors, windows, vents, air-intakes, bus shelters, hysterics, vegans, and heffalumps.
So unless you live here, don't visit. It's a dump.

Our Draconian health Nazi rules are pretty extensive.

"Smoking only 1) at the curb, or 2) if no curb, at least 15 ft. from exits, entrances, operable windows, and vents"

[SOURCE: Neurotic Bullpucky.]

On the other hand, please feel free to litter, set discarded Christmas trees on fire, and defecate in public, because we'll do diddly-squat about that, and it's all free expression anyway.

Come to think of it, tourists do that all the time.
So do hipsters and drunken tech-bros.

I shall have a fourth cup of coffee.

Another reason why the small Cantonese female is bad-tempered might be that she wishes she could smoke a cigar. I shan't trigger her by loading my pipe while she's watching, or lighting up within her sight when I leave.
Because I am a sympathetic sort, and I commiserate.

She should move to Kansas City, Missouri.
It's a more liberal environment.
They have tobacco.


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Thursday, January 04, 2018


My home computer is on the fritz. Which forces me into a coffeeshop where two elderly dudes are avidly, nay, enthusiastically, discussing sharks. And shark attacks. And the shark diet (which includes seals). And a woman getting over her shyness by practicing how to be a seal.
You can see where this is going, can't you?
Lots of colourful details.

Perhaps I should forego dinner tonight? For some reason I don't have much of an appetite.

Although a bit of green herring would be nice .....

That's the Dutchman in me.

Or the seal.

Doesn't every one have an inner seal they need to coddle sometimes? Before the inner shark rips it to shreds. Or maybe that happens when you're asleep, and it regenerates every morning when you wake up.
Defective people probably do not have inner seals.

Now they are discussing apartment house fires that kill multiple people.
No, I don't think they're plotting anything, they're just old folks shooting the breeze. In a coffeeshop where the counter girl just yelled at a street person to "get out, get out, get out!"

Being without a home computer is like being a dog with a medical collar on.
I can't lick my own butt, but I am more keenly aware of butts.
Butts, the concept. Butts, existential need.
Butt, a commonality.

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Thanks to the miracle that is internet news, I now know of two New Zealanders about whom I really have no interest whatsoever.

Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller walked around with sparkling bare breasts at a festival. Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor (Lorde) will not go to Israel. Glittery tits and a singing twit.

Previously what I knew about New Zealand could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

The Piano.
Horrendous tobacco laws.
A flightless parrot, the Kakapo.

That last named item is a meringue-like construction with whipped cream and fruit on top, very popular in both Australia and New Zealand, where cuisine has steadily been improving since the nineteen eighties.

After consumption of which, you might want a good smoke.

Fifty grammes of pipe tobacco will cost you around one hundred dollars or more in United States currency. One decent cigar is near forty. The choices are extremely limited, and you cannot smoke anywhere.

That dessert costs far less than either.
Safely under twenty bucks.
Even under ten.

The average price of a cocktail in Auckland, per good report, is slightly over ten dollars U.S. A meal at an inexpensive Asian restaurant might be around five or six dollars. I've heard that good dim sum can be found there too.
Australians rejoice! Vegemite is widely available in most towns.

However, it does not sound like a great place to visit.
I do not think I will visit any time soon.
The Piano came out in 1993.
I saw it once.

They have penicillin.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2018


There are times when my faith in humanity is restored, often when reading something eye-opening and truthy. Like many celebrities, I have my moments of doubt -- especially self-doubt -- but I transcend those and concentrate on bringing goodness and light into the world.

Probably the best news ever, from the internet:

"Australia is not real. It's a hoax, made for us to believe that Britain moved over their criminals to someplace. In reality, all these criminals were loaded off the ships into the waters, drowning before they could see land ever again. It's a coverup for one of the greatest mass murders in history, made by one of the most prominent empires."

"Australia does not exist. All things you call "proof" are actually well fabricated lies and documents made by the leading governments of the world. Your Australian friends? They're all actors and computer generated personas, part of the plot to trick the world."

"If you think you've ever been to Australia, you're terribly wrong. The plane pilots are all in on this, and have in all actuality only flown you to islands close nearby - or in some cases, parts of South America, where they have cleared space and hired actors to act out as real Australians."

"Australia is one of the biggest hoaxes ever created, and you have all been tricked. Join the movement today, and make it known that they have been deceived. Make it known, that this has all just been a cover-up. The things these "Australian" says to be doing, all these swear words and actions based on alcoholism, MDMA and bad decisions, are all ways to distract you from the ugly truth that is one of the greatest genocides in history. 162,000 people was said to have been transported to this imaginary land during a mere 80 years, and they are all long dead by now. They never reached that promised land."

"Tell the truth. Stand up for what is right. Make sure to spread the world - Australia is not real. It's a codeword for the cold blooded murder of more than a hundred thousand people, and it is not okay. We will not accept this."

"Stand up for the ones who died. Let it be known, that Australia does not exist."

-----Joey Lamkin, Emergency Management Agent, North Texas.

Source: China and Texas probably shouldn't exist either.

"The world is shaped like a burrito.""

-----Gwyneth Paltrow

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