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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


The anti-gay agenda has it's strongest and most vicious proponents among Texan Republicans, whose ideas about democracy, humanity, and the Bible are irrefutably Neanderthal. If the sweet baby Jayzis comes back, he'll swat Texas right off the map. Kinda like Sodom.

Because the entire place is irredeemable.

Screw Texas.

[How you screw Texas is up to you. I do it verbally, even though I think a broken Lone Star longneck bottle would be more appropriate. But use anything, even a chainsaw.
They can't become bigger a-holes than they already are.]


Texas warmly embraces Steven Hotze, while keeping their hands out of his crack. Because they know where it's been.

Steven Hotze is the Grand Dragon of the Conservative Republicans of Texas, and has been a domineering figure among ultra right wingers and fanatic Christians for years. Republican candidates need his endorsement in order to stand even half a chance of running a political race in Texas.

Is there anything more repulsive than a Texas Republican?

Well, possibly an alligator. Or a hagfish.

Or a child-molesting preacher.

Baptist blowhard.

Steven Hotze speechified a few months ago at a Republican swapmeet (the "Faith Family Freedom Tour") in Houston, saying "Drive them out of our city. I don’t want them in our city. Send them back to San Francisco."

No, he wasn't talking about the United States Military, which took over Texas during Operation Jade Helm and massacred all the freedom-loving Christian gun-owners of Texas last summer, nor was he referring to the Mormon and Baptist religious nuts who inhabit the hinterland with their multiple wives and free-range bastards.

He was talking about people who have the misfortune of living in a state where he is one of the resident harpies.

Other speakers at this trogloditic hate-fest were former House Speaker Tom DeLay, Republican National Committee member Robin "Slimy" Armstrong, Texas Eagle Forum Founder Ms. Cathie Adams, Houston Pastor Dave Welch, Link Letter publisher Terry Lowry, Texas Right to Life Director Elizabeth Graham, rabid talk show host Sam Malone, and infamous propaganda commissar Gary Polland.

With friends like that, Texas has a long way to go before it's civilized.

Drive them out of our city. I don’t want them in our city. Send them back to San Francisco.

San Francisco, of course, welcomes refugees, we always have. Even when we realize that some Southern Baptists and Methodists will infiltrate, disguised as desperate people fleeing oppression.

This Thanksgiving, be grateful that you don't live in Texas.

Texans have nothing.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


There were several things I was considering as easy essay material for this morning. Among others: the recent complete buggerup of my order at a Vietnamese-Chinese restaurant, snooty office-workers on the Number One California Bus not allowing Chinese to board (happens all the time), the absence of a loving woman in my life (they're over-rated), arrogant anti-smoking types, boisterous sports-fans, idiot right-wing cigar smokers, politicians, and Thanksgiving.

Everyone I know will be spending Thanksgiving with other people.

Thanksgiving is a pain in the sphincter when all your friends and relatives celebrate, with people wishing each other a happy Thanksgiving, gleefully burbling about their plans, for weeks beforehand, then glowing over what a jolly good time they had, for several days afterward.
As you can gather, I do not celebrate.
Which is rather depressing.

So instead, I'll just fantasize about hordes of turkeys breaking loose, then availing themselves of the ease with which heavy weapons can be acquired in the United States due to our insanely liberal gun laws (thanks, NRA!), and heading down to the malls to kill holiday shoppers.

Nordstrom, The Rack, Macys, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Barneys New York, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Shoe Pavilion, Anthropologie, JC Penney, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Zulily ....

All wiped out by an army of angry turkeys.

It would make the turkeys happy.

A reason to celebrate.

If they could also take out yoga studios and anti-vaxxers, life would be close to perfect.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Rinky-tink tinpot tyrannies such as the regime in Ankara have no business playing with heavy weapons. Erdogan, whose government enabled the Jihadis in Syria, shot down a Russian plane bombing the Syrian rebels this morning. It crashed in Syrian territory over forty kilometer from the Turkish border, and the two crew members who ejected were shot dead as they descended by the Turkmen militia in Syria. The Turkmen militia were created, trained, and funded by Erdogan's government.

Like many other Jihadis in Syria.

Nato rules state that when a member is attacked, it can rely on the other members to come to its aid. Nato rules say nothing about a member-state attacking someone else.
Erdogan is keen on regime-change in Syria, which is why the Turkish border has been more porous than a sieve for over three years, as both men and materiel crossed over. Turkey has also benefited enormously from Saudi and Qatari aid to the rebels, who are scarce more than representatives of the vicious tendencies of Wahabism.

The Western World would do well by encouraging Russia to clobber Turkey, an alleged ally which has burned everyone for over a decade. We share no common values with them and should never forget that the Turkish tribes are interlopers who destroyed civilizations in their bloody conquests.
Ideally, the emasculated survivors would stumble back to the wastelands from whence they came.

[Thankfully the Chinese know how to deal with nasty Turkic types; flamethrowers and live ammo. Bugger the Uighurs; they too are invasive barbarians.]

At the very least, we need regime-change in Ankara.
Erdogan has never played by honest rules.
Neither have his party.

Fortunately there are no Turkish Consular offices anywhere in the Bay Area or Northern California -- Turkey is represented in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York -- so attempting to burn their flag during a rainy day in San Francisco will not be necessary.
But please feel free to piss on it.
Or wipe up dog shit.

No, I'm certainly not a supporter of Putin. The folks in the Kremlin are meddlesome psychopaths, and bluster too much.
But the Russians are civilized.
Unlike Turks.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


There is no decent reason why I am awake it this hour. But if a mind can be a terrible thing when awake, it is almost guaranteed to be so while asleep.
It kind of runs riot, as it whirls around in the darkness, attracted by blinky things and exclaiming proudly "I found it!".
Like, for instance, data about freight companies and international methods of payment. Or insights into budgeting issues for small companies tied to a cyclical rise and fall in the accounts receivable area.

"Ooh, look! Shiny!"

So yeah. Awake. Planning to do laundry if it doesn't rain till late morning at the earliest. Then Chinatown for cheap snackies, after which bookstores, wandering around smoking a pipe, and attempting to upset random precious people in the downtown.

The freight company data seemed so clear when I was asleep, as well as the accounts receivable situation. Which looks much larger than may be reasonably expected in payment; the large customers will take their accumulated allowances for defectives, advertising, shipping and packaging errors, new store co-ops, and other built-in discounts, right around the end of January.
Consequently that big five million dollar balance outstanding with Blue-Blab Corporation will be whittled down to a cheque for two-hundred thousand with fifteen pages of deductions.

See, this is why you employ intelligent people in accounting. So that they can deflate your expectations before you spend like a madman. And bring the incurable optimists in Sales and Marketing down to earth.
They forgot about all the discounts, and didn't take any of that into account.
Never pay them bonuses based on total shipped and invoiced.
Instead, make it dependent upon paid sales.
Go on; rain on their parade.

It's six fifteen A.M. on a day off.
I should be asleep right now.
But I've had coffee.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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Monday, November 23, 2015


Is he also going to tell us what shade of grey his underwear is, and how often he plans to wash it? Because if so, someone should tell him that as a conversational gambit, that is pretty much a non-starter. And when I say someone, I mean a volunteer, not myself. Reason being that I do not want to talk to him.

He was sitting by himself in the coffeeshop where I went upon returning to the city after a long day babysitting cigar smokers in Marin. It was not surprising that he was sitting entirely by himself. As anyone should be who announces to no one in particular that he's worried about getting AIDS, what with this being San Francisco, where (he believes) it's endemic, and he has been tested, even though he hasn't had any sexual encounters in a long time .......

That, too, is a conversational non-starter.

Even if he's trolling for contacts.

Especially if trolling.

Yes, it is more interesting than sports, but I never-the-less do not wish to enter into a discussion with him. Rather, I desire that like nearly everyone else in a coffeeshop that has WiFi, he turn on an electronic device and become dead to his surroundings. Be invisible.

For crapssake, don't look in my direction.

Dude, I will radiate an aura of menace!

Even if, instead of a pudgy looking male with I.T. physique, he was a cute and innocent looking woman of a certain youthfulness and vibrancy who plaintively announced that she hadn't had a sex-life ever, the chances of my going over and saying avuncularly "there there, you poor dear, tell me ALL about it" would still be rather slim.


If you ever meet me, your sex life, or the absence thereof, or it's purely speculative nature and hypothetical details, should not be the first points on the agenda.

Tell me about yourself, and ask intelligent questions about whatever it is that you think I should talk about. Let me know if the tea is too strong or the coffee too weak. Do you occasionally have a cocktail, or do you avoid alcohol because even one drink is too much and you cannot stand the taste? How do you really feel about bacon or cheese?
What classic movies do you like, and why?
Books; tell me what you read.
Are you hungry?

Are you a woman?

That last criterion is rather important, for personal reasons.

But under NO circumstances should you start off our acquaintance by first announcing "I haven't had sex in, like, FOREVER!" Doing so, especially in a public place, with multiple witnesses, will make me assume that your social skills are problematic. Possibly even absent.

If you are a woman, at some point your shenanigans or a complete lack thereof might come up. It may very well be a welcome datum, which absolutely could be shared under the right circumstances.

If, however, you are a flabby man of pudgy appearance, your somewhat unrealistic fear of catching AIDS from toilet seats or however is not something in which I am deeply interested.

Perhaps you should go on the internet and make someone else's evening more surreal? Find an active comment string into which you can interject non-sequitorial information?

Good luck!

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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Woke up with Malayo-Polynesian verb forms going through my head, shortly followed by 'jocuste', both a Latin personal name as well as a vegetable eaten in salad.

After returning to my room with my cup of coffee, I discovered that the blue-faced sock-sheep and the little black kitty were fighting over my wallet. Snidely (the sheep) was indignantly accusing Gigi (the feline) of theft. But brutal highway robbery seems a better term, as she had possession of the heavy duty machine gun. Passing by the scene, I joiked my wallet out of the fray, and both accused me of strong-arm tactics, quite unfair!
Their wallet! They had "found" it!

From this we shper three things: dreams on the edge of wake re-interpret half-noted data in the most convenient form, which may not relate to anything practical. Small stuffed animals often have only the faintest concept of truth, justice, and the American way. And my apartment mate is in a far better mood this morning than last night.

It's going to be a good week.

Probably no salad, though.

Not hep on salad.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Surely I mentioned that my apartment mate, in addition to being a small Cantonese woman, is an Aspie? Both she and her boyfriend ("Wheelie Boy") have Asperger's Syndrome pretty seriously. I am somewhat similarly 'blessed', as long conversations tend to wear me out, and I've always found it incredibly difficult to express my feelings out loud.

But the one thing that sets the true Aspie (those two lovebirds) apart from the socially inexpressive (me) is that they have the damnedest time reading other people's mental states and reactions.

Most of the time Aspies have no clue whatsoever.
Unless explained in complete detail, it does not register.
And even then, it may not make any sense.

Other people's emotions are a foreign language.

Wheelie Boy, bless his heart, said several things recently which managed to upset Savage Kitten, and, in consequence, when the Badger returned home tonight, he got to hear all about it. She's red-eyed from crying because of what her dumb-ass boyfriend said, he's probably entirely oblivious to the egregiousness of it all, and I fully understand why she's unhappy, and how she feels right now.

She also needs comforting. I'm not very good at that. Not entirely useless, but lord knows not the most effective human being in that regard.
Maybe not even fully human.

Additionally, I feel somewhat worn out. Much more than when I walked up the steps to the front door of the building.

One of the things I often mutter under my breath when no one can hear me is "leave me the hell alone", or, without opening my mouth, while on the bus or near irritating people, "kindly hush". What it signifies is that there is too much discordant or disruptive data to handle. There's a glitch in the input equipment, as it were. A known malfunction in the processing software.
By the same token I get extremely discommoded when two or more people are speaking at me at once. Stuff starts not computing.

One of you, hush!

Whether or not Savage Kitten works it out with Wheelie Boy is neither here nor there. Personally I hope that they do break up, because she deserves better. So much better. But whatever eventually happens, I am sure she'll express it at me, because she knows that I'll be there and will function as a sounding board when needed, and I won't say stupid things.
She never reads this blog, in case you were wondering.
I can hear what she says. When she says it.
That's a function I have no problem with.
I'm glad to be around for her that way.
And I really want her to be happier.
Which I'll hear about eventually.
She expresses that well.

I occasionally wish there were some one who would be around at those times when I've got something on my chest, except that if there were, they'd have to bring a book to pass time during the long silences while I wonder what to say, how to say it, and whether I should even mention it, because whatever it is, is kind of private, as well as uninteresting and not really worth discussing. And really, it's unsuitable to think about oneself that much, instead I should simply somehow show that I like their company exceedingly, and perhaps they need a cup of tea.

On the plus side, there would be dinner.
In the fullness of time. Several times.

On the minus side, they might never be able to figure out how I feel, or what makes me tick. That, too, might bore them. The book they brought would probably be better at showing an emotional reaction.
They'd have to be comfortable just reading.
I'm fine, really. Don't worry about it.
Everything is totally peachy.
Unclarity is normal.
More tea?


The title of this post is what I nowadays almost invariably say when responding to the greeting "how are you?"
Voiced with sincerity and conviction.
The verbal equivalent of a hearty handshake.

I used to answer "I can't complain", but the immediate response to that, almost every time, was "yeah, nobody would listen anyway".
Which is NOT what I meant to convey at all!

And you bet they'd listen. Trust me, I really CAN complain. I'm damned good at it too! Eloquently, lyrically, and at great length. Entertainingly. You bet your booties they'd listen. But what I really meant was that there is nothing to complain about right now that needs to be shared with anyone. Nor in any detail at all. Certainly not the casual inquirer. Who is innocent, and does not deserve to have an existential crisis, which certain things in my exterior monologue might seed in his or her mind.
At least not without a nice cup of tea.
So instead, "splendid!"

How are you?

Not The Eagles, man, I hate The Eagles!

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Last night I arrived home with a packet of chicken and pork Frankfurters in my coat pocket. Which, when you think about it, is a piss-poor refection on both culinary life in these United States, as well as my non-existent dating game. I had two, with pickle relish, Sriracha, and ketchup.
Fry-pan grilled, on toasted sour-dough bread.
Not the best mid-night snack.
I've done better.

Very much a mixed crowd at the cigar bar. Interesting people, nice people, dumbasses, and crazy people. As well as the world's cutest cigar smoker. With a bald guy. Whose name I do not remember.

Obviously I like the world's cutest cigar smoker. It's hard not to. She's just so lovable. So, like any rational human being, I worried about the bald guy. And suspected him of being a dangerous type.

That is entirely unjustified, I know. It's just that one cannot help feeling protective. Because most male-cigar smokers tend, more or less, to be dubious persons. Even if they are watching the game (Stanford won) and have trouble focusing on other human beings.

Further cause for worry was that the bartender tried to talk her into something new that was six-and-a-half inches long.
Which is at least an hour commitment.

She stayed for another cigar. Padron, a maduro of modest dimension.

I am presently regretting the chicken and pork franks.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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Saturday, November 21, 2015


So yesterday evening I posted something on my Facebook page which, it took me a while to realize, might excite the ire of several of my FB friends.
Not to say even their dismay.
Several of them have blinkers on regarding one issue, and they have been subjected to sheer bucketloads of koolaid about it for several years.
In consequence of which they cannot see straight.

This what I posted:

"Jonathan Pollard, an intelligence analyst working in the U.S. Naval Investigative Service's Anti-Terrorist Alert Center, systematically stole highly sensitive secrets from almost every major intelligence agency in the United States. In just eighteen months he sold more than one million pages of classified material to Israel. No other spy in U.S. history has stolen so many secrets, so highly classified, in such a short period of time. "

[SOURCE: Capturing Jonathan Pollard: How One of the Most Notorious Spies in American History Was Brought to Justice Paperback - September 1, 2009 by Ronald J. Olive.]

In all honesty, I have no sympathy whatsoever with Jonathan Pollard, and wish that he had not been released yesterday. He's a cretin, a mercenary, and a whore. Not a hero. And I am absolutely baffled that so many people squawked about his incarceration. Seeing as a firingsquad would not have been uncalled for.

I accept, however, that my friends can be wrong on this issue. Their lapse of judgement, their insanity even, can be forgiven. And now that the cretin has been released, it is just a matter of time before he either fades into a well-deserved pit of seediness and senescent maladjustment, OR violates the terms of his release and gets slammed back into the hoosegow.

And if you are one of those people who hollered for his freedom, you will just have to accept that I have doubts about your ethics, loyalty, common sense, and mental health.

Don't worry, there's a large number of you among my friends.
I am a very tolerant man, and you are not alone.

His new employers are a New York investment firm.
Whose judgement must now be doubted.


Actually, it didn't take me any time at all to realize that that book description from Amazon might piss some people off.

And you probably realize by now that the title of this essay was meant sarcastically. I certainly hope you did. But if I had posted "Jonathan Pollard, a thief, a scoundrel, and an egomaniac", it would have pulled in morons and psychopaths from all over the United States and Israel.

Hardly the readership I'm aiming for.

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Friday, November 20, 2015


Slightly over a year ago, I poked fun at the folks who find my blog by typing "naked middle-aged man" into the search bar of their browser.
A while before that I had mentioned that I myself was middle-aged, and, at times, in the altogether, if not altogether there. Almost always at times when my apartment mate was out of the house and I could be reasonably certain that I would not be surprised in the bath.

Often the nude middle-agedness of it all combined nicely with soap, warm water, a mystery novel, a briar filled with soothing tobacco, and a cup or pot of strong tea. There is something luxurious about a nice soak with a book and a lit pipe.

I learned that from my dad. When we had the upstairs bathroom rebuilt, he had a broad ledge made alongside the tub so that he would have a place to put his tea tray and his English-language newspaper.
He was, as you can tell, a very sensible man.

Anyhow, I doubt that the gentlefolk who cruise the internet desperate for naked middle-aged men are nearly so sensible. For one thing, they are probably all sex-obsesses cretins, rather than art students who cannot find models.
For another thing, very few, if any are women.
Fewer yet, bright and vibrant women.
None sane and datable.

I'm just guessing here, I could be wrong.

At the time I said that what I would far rather see in the hallway mirror instead of myself coming closer bearing a tea tray, would be a naughty nursy-wursy. Perhaps wearing pumps, a cap, and a stethoscope.
With or without a refreshing cocktail.

I forgot that some nursy-wursies are NOT springy and briskly efficient Filipinas full of piss and vinegar, but could actually be seriously mature, witty, and good natured big black gay men. Who like tea.
Hate to tell you, but I don't want to see that.
It's nothing personal, guys.

I also said some very nice things about scrubs at that time, scrubs being work-garb for medical personal. The terms "understated elegance" and "form-fitting yet modest" may have been used. Something like that.
Scrubs are perfectly suitable garb for any gender and any age.

This blogger lauds scrubs.

So, if you came here looking for mature and well-built masculine nudes, whatever your reason -- and let us assume that it was all clean-minded, in the spirit of genuine intellectual curiosity, not one iota of prurience whatsoever -- alas, you will be disappointed.

Perhaps you need something to soothe your pain?

May I suggest a delicious little drinky-poo?


Two ounces of Vodka
Half an ounce of Cointreau
Juice of one lime
Soda water
A drizzle of grenadine
Teaspoon apple brandy

Fill up a highball glass with ice cubes. Pour in two ounces of vodka and an ounce of cointreau. Add the lime juice, then fill up the glass with soda water, Calistoga, or seltzer water. Drizzling some grenadine into it, and add a teaspoon of apple brandy or Calvados as a float.

If you yourself are a mature middle-aged man, you might actually prefer a different libation.


Two ounces Bourbon
A Maraschino cherry
A dash of grenadine
Bitters (Pechaud, Angostura, or home made)
Ginger ale

Fill a highball glass with ice cubes, pour the Bourbon over it. Dash in a little grenadine. Fill up with the ginger ale. Add two or three drops of bitters, and top with a cherry.

Drink enough of either (or both, alternatingly), and who knows, you may find yourself a naked middle-aged man.
Let me know.

Happy Friday.

I'm wearing clothes as I write this, btw.
Sleep pants and a wife beater.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015


You'll be pleased to know that I am not the only one who rants. In this household. My apartment mate also rants. She's ranting right now. Apparently most current clothing colours make her look sickly, or even downright diseased. These hues are perverted, suited only to wasps!
I'm sitting here minding my own business, and she's loudly disparaging four out five garments she mailordered. Only ONE item is going to be kept.
It's black.

You know, I had a splendid day. Sure, lunch was Marin-type ghastly, but the weather was pleasant, and I smoked the latest iteration of my Virginia blend. It was wonderful! I've got the proportions just right.
Good lord, I am a goldarned genius!

But that pales when compared with the ire of a small Cantonese woman who quite mistakenly thinks that she is ugly. I would suggest that if she truly feels that most clothes don't go well with her particular skin hue, despite the autumn weather, she should try going naked.

Doing so would solve the problem admirably.
Naked goes with everything.

But she would take that recommendation askance. And, truth be told, it would sound rather hamsap. Which absolutely everyone who knows me agrees is something that I do not represent in the slightest degree.
Or they should, if they want to stay on my good side.
I am in no way a sex-obsessed goober.
Nor a glowing-eyed wolf.
Nope. Not me.

Black. Go with the black. It's a nice cheerful colour.

I'm looking on the bright side. Too many Cantonese women dress in weird garments with leopard spots and tiger stripes in all colours of the rainbow, and maybe leggings, little miniskirts over skin-tight blue jeans, and highly unsuitable tops. Or go overboard on Hello Kitty shmatte.

Savage Kitten is presently wearing grey slacks and a black turtleneck.
A bit severe, yes, but understatedly elegant. The sensible shoes complete the ensemble. Not a pain to the eyes.

Brown and blue are also good colours.
As well as dark green.

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Recently a reader in Hong Kong asked me whether San Franciscans support the HK soccer team, or have gone over to the dark side. This pursuant the slightly less-than-friendly rivalry between mainlanders and human beings. Oops. Shouldn't put it quite that way, as I don't want to lose what few mainlanders I can count among my readers.
They are all precious!

Mainlanders, I love you! 強表姐,我愛你!

In any case, Hong Kongers and their mainland cousins regard each other with estimable warmth, and the recent qualifying match between their teams at Mongkok Stadium roused supporters to a fever pitch.

Especially as the local team pretty much nixed China's chances of being in the word cup. As a Dutch American, the only soccer squad I give a hoot about is Team Orange, who always perform well and then lose at a crucial juncture. But as long as some Latin pustules are clobbered (like, for instance, the Spanish and the Mexicans), it's all good.


All of this serves to illuminate Jacky's comment underneath a particular post ('Eight Legs Cafe'), which I paste in its entirety:



Hong Kong is Hong Kong! 叮噹,巫婆死咗!

而家我想知道三藩市點慶祝呢個挑戰呀,過去大家一定撐香港,但係自從內地人入侵,我都唔知道你個城市仲係撐香港or switch to紅衛兵,拜託話我一個post呀!


What vegetarian food!?! True Cantonese people eat everything under the sun, even spiders. That restaurant's boss spider, eh, is he good to eat? Probably not as good as duck eggs!

The other day I was at the football stadium watching the game, it was great!

Though we didn't score even one goal, due to our strength the dead-effing locusts did not win, didn't go to toilet. Good! That day's heroes were Yip Hong-fai (葉鴻輝,goal keeper) and Paulinho (Paulo Robspierry Carreiro, HK midfielder and forward); they really showed the Mainlanders that no matter the skin hue, this football team has so many talented people from all over the world, we are not boring to watch.

Hong Kong blijft Hong Kong, verdomme, ze kunnen de pot op!
[Imagine this as an equivalent to a Bronx, cheer, all snarky snook-cocking.]

Barring the unforeseen, we will cross the border, because we now wish to cheer-on our number two squad, England.
So, I want to know if San Francisco city celebrates this challenge; does everybody all together support Hong Kong, or are they all behind the mainland invaders? I have no clue whether your city still backs HK or has switched to the Red Guards, and I respectfully entreat that you post for me.

[End trans.]

You can tell the maturity of a country by how it accepts that not everyone always loves the state.

The "friendly" rivalry between Hong Kong and its backward neighbor is very much like the "fondness" San Franciscans feel for the sucky rest of the United States.

That said, the Chinese Americans in SF have a problem, in that Hong Kong more truly represents their culture and anschauungswelt, but they will not and can not forget that their roots go back to the mainland. Naturally, they feel great pride at China's progress.

As well as over Hong Kong achievements.

Many of them are, in fact, Toishanese (臺山人). Underneath a veneer of Urban Cantonese language lies a deep stratum of country dialect that goes down to bedrock. And, having relatives in the old sod, they are careful not to be too outspoken about matters.

三藩市嘅唐人有三旗; 大陸,民國,同美。

Toishanese are mainlanders, but they are Cantonese just as much as the Hong Kong people in San Francisco, very much more so when some arrogant Mandarin-speaking dickwad tries to act all superior, and all of them including the northerner wholeheartedly support the 49ers, the Giants, and the Golden State Warriors.

Which I cannot understand, because sports bores me to tears.

Other than Johan Cruyff, of course; a veritable god.

Along with Seedorf and Van Basten.

All solid Ajax men.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Here's a lovely clip expressing what all pipe smokers feel when told that our habit is vile. And please bear in mind that you lot can walk around parks and little children and horrid yappy dogs, breathing the fresh green air and the waft of dead fish from the Bay and the wonderful aromas of Burger King and McDonalds and Jack In The buggery Box and sodding Kentucky Fried on the public thoroughfare, while we have to skulk in dark alleys and yell "boo" at passers-by like mediaeval lepers just to enjoy our pipes in peace and quiet.


Smoking for England,Season 1,Episode 3.
Smoking for England,Season 1,Episode 3.
Posted by In Sickness and In Health - TV Show. on Monday, November 16, 2015

We fought a war for this. So it's patriotic.

It's always some hulking rag-woman built like a Sherman Tank who sticks her big nose into it, and starts yelling about filthy habits, in train stations and municipal offices and public busses and Italian restaurants, worried about her big flobbly lungs and her kacky little children and yappy dogs, ooh the precious, damned monsters, sod them all.

And then they threaten legal repercussions, they should be ticketed for being visual blights themselves, the bloody interfering Berkeleyites!

If you want fresh air, you should carry around a can of it!

And stop waving your arms in a panic.

Rubbish, I say.

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While looking for herring on the internet -- as a Dutch-speaker, I naturally experience cravings for what is the world's best seafood, no I'm by no means pregnant -- one thing that caught my eye was fiskepudding. Which is something I had not heard of before, but it turns out to be a Scandinavian fishcake, or congealed fish mash product, made coherent with starch, flavourings, and binders.

It is commonly served with boiled potatoes, carrots, and a severe Lutheran béchamel sauce. It does not resemble Lutefisk.

I like the Vikings, I really do. But their cuisine is a frightening and vast unexplored Siberia. There are no 'fina Skandinaviska Restauranter' in the city of San Francisco.

Actually, there probably are, but I didn't bother checking; I'm really not that interested. Please don't think of searching on my behalf.
Fiskepudding is wirklich nicht mein ding.

Fiskepudding is a tundra version of gefilte fish.

If you want to experiment at home, take a pound of firm-fleshed white fish, one egg, and two tablespoons of cornflour, and pound it together, adding dribbles of water to achieve a stiff but not smooth paste. The protein component should still have some texture. One version has this glop cooked in a water bath for about an hour till firm.
But you can also form it into balls ('fiskeboller') the size of a pigeon's egg, then poach these gently in stock.

Serve with a white sauce, possibly augmented with other materials.

Or have it in a fiskesuppe made with parsely root, celeriac, plenty of fresh chopped vegetables, miscellaneous gleanings from your local fish market, and a dollop of sour cream on top.

Other than the sour cream, it could be Netherlandish.

It actually looks pretty good.

[No offense to the Dutch (notorious herring eaters), but their native cuisine is part of a frigid continuum of blandish foods extending all the way to the Arctic circle, sometimes leavened with frightful offal, and deep-fried objects. It isn't until you get to North Brabant and Limburg that (considerable) refinement is noticeable, and once you go south of Brussels, French pretensions have taken over completely.]

There are a few cuisines that do seafood well. Cantonese, Dutch-Belgian, and Filipino, to name most of them. But white Anglo-Saxon Protestant American is not one such. Folks from the interior of North America, even of Scandinavian descent, should not be allowed anywhere near a fish that someone else is supposed to eat. To make my point: lutefisk, tuna in a can, fast-food breaded shrimp with mayo, and fried fish a la Anglaise.
All fondly favoured by the stinky Protestant tribals in the Midwest.
There is nothing worse that average fish and chips, by the way.

Why does it take a Dutch-speaker to tell you that?

And why is there no green herring here?

Cowboys, damned cowboys.


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Please imagine that in the cave labyrinth underneath Telegraph Hill there is a bakery run by giant spiders. And that, because they are all vegetarians, the char siu sou (叉燒酥)) is filled with tofu.
An altogether horrible idea!

Yet some of my readers may not realize how repulsive that is. "Surely", they will say, "char siu flavoured soybean curd is a great good?"

Unless of course they are spiders.

Who think it's natural.

I will insist that vegetarians have no business taking over our beloved foods and mucking them up by subterfuge. Do we insist upon kelp or wheatgrass flavoured beefsteak? Has anyone ever produced bacon with the appearance of tempeh or miso?


At one point a little girl will wander into the spider bakery. She took a wrong turn after twilight (dusk starts shortly after five at this time of year), and, while answering a text message from a beloved classmate ("what caused the fall of the Roman Empire? There are too many possibilities!"), she stumbled into a long dark tunnel -- the entrance was on an alley way, next to the mahjong parlour -- at the very end of which was a bright cheerful light. As she drew closer, shadows in the glowing nimbus became apparent. Lumpish things, some with horns, and also undefinable balls of fur. Plus creatures with many long spindly legs. And there was happy chatter, and good-natured chortling, such as people enjoying a spot of tea and a pastry are wont to make.

Did she still have that ten dollar bill her mommy gave her for lunch? Oh goody, she did! She realized that she was totally starving, she had eaten nothing since breakfast!

She skips up to the counter, excited at the prospect of tasty things to nibble on, and a hot cup of milk tea! All the pastries look so lovely! Crisp and flaky, and there's crumbly roll with red bean paste, and linyong pastry, and egg-tarts, and char siu sou ......

As she's pointing at the char siu sou, the friendly spider behind the counter says "I'm so sorry, little girl, that isn't really char siu, but tofu (and red dye). And that isn't real egg tart (yellow no. 5)."

The child looks utterly crest fallen.
Very very disappointed.

Uncle Spidy gently suggests a strawberry tartlet, and some of the gooey almond bread. They'll be better than even real char siu would have been, and much much nicer than tofu!

And they are.

She stays till seven, when they close, doing her homework.

Afterwards the friendly arachnid walks her up the tunnel to the entrance, and tells her to carefully remember where it is, but be circumspect about telling anyone. The folks in the mahjong parlour in the alleyway don't even know, they're kind of abstracted by their game.

She still has eight dollars left.

He must not have charged her for the hot milk tea. Maybe he forgot? He really wanted her to enjoy the pastries, perhaps that distracted him.
She'll go back tomorrow afternoon and offer to pay.
And to have more strawberry tart.
It's a nice place.

I'll forgive the arachnids for not using butter, or clarified lard, in their baking.
They're repulsed by such things, and just can't help it.
But they really should post a warning.

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A number of State governors have declared that they will refuse to accept anyone fleeing violence in Syria. Not surprisingly, a majority of these men are Republicans (whose party created Isis), and most of their states are toxic pits of tea-party venom, meanspiritedness, Protestantism, and sheer unmitigated loathsomeness.

States which won't welcome Syrian refugees:

New Hampshire
North Carolina

Okay, well, maybe New Hampshire isn't so bad. Everybody loves maple syrup, right? And Louisiana is dirt-poor, and cannot even take care of its own. Besides, they have Bobby Jindal; they're cursed.

Polls show Donald Trump and Ben Carson winning easily in ALL these states, however. Along with Darth Vader.

Maple Syrup also comes from Canada and Vermont -- which are mighty fine places -- and Sriracha is so much better than McIlhenny's shitty pepper vinegar that I'm surprised Tabasco is even still sold. Anywhere.

I will continue to buy Crystal Hot Sauce, despite its provenance.
It's an excellent product. Sometimes I drink it straight.
And I cannot imagine my kitchen without it.

There's nothing from Texas.

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Monday, November 16, 2015


There was no game on, so the cigar smokers in the barn tried their hands at conversation. Five tightly arse-clenched Republicans fueled by bananas.

Dear lord.

Nearly an hour of droning inanity.

Of course I was already frazzled at that point, having previously dealt with someone who was unbearably precious, and shortly following that, a visit from a survivalist gun-rights activist and anti-vaxxer worried about gmos and Round-Up (Glyphosate) in his tobacco. From whom I got the intelligence that them folks in Washington are deliberately flooding the country with violent Syrian refugees in order to drive up the price of gold.
It is a plot.

Ladies and gentlemen, it does NOT take all kinds.

There are several we can well do without.

On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed everything I stuck in my mouth today. Four successive pipe-fulls of one of my own experimental Virginia mixtures, the entire sequence briefly interrupted by lunch.

I am presently savouring a cup of coffee, while contemplating a fifth pipe.

The problem is that it is cold outside. Ideally I would be ensconced in a throw-rug and indoors, enjoying my tobacco. But my apartment mate gets theatrical when I light up in our quarters. The last time, a whole host of small stuffed animals accused me of murderous intent.

I would go to one of my favourite hang-outs, but Chewzilla is working there tonight, and life is too short to deal with fanged gorgonids.

By sheer necessity, I must wait until Savage Kitten is at work tomorrow before I can smoke a pipe. I think I shall celebrate by getting under the covers entirely nude, with a good book. An ashtray and a cup of tea within easy reach on the bedside table.

Why nude? Because I can, it's sensual, and I shall be alone.

If there were someone with me, I would be entirely clothed.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015


He was up on the ladder when he spoke. "My hands are tied right now." This in answer to my asking how long he wanted me to stand there holding aloft the box of push-pins. There were things I needed to do, and five gorgeous Preben Holm freehands I wanted to get my fingers on. Offering push-pins for the convenience of someone tying himself in knots six feet above the ground was not what I had envisioned.

My natural response was to exclaim "then now is the right time for auntie to beat you with a soggy brassiere, large size!"

I put the push-pins on the top rung and moved out of flailing distance.

A man with Christmas ornamentation can be unpredictable.

Especially two weeks before Thanksgiving.

It's far too early for that.

While heading back toward the box of briar pipes that begged for clean-up and restoration, I speculated that his sex life was getting weirder by the week, and he shouldn't have talked the fat blonde neighbor-lady into participating in his queer bondage game. Yeah, she's desperate; it's been ages since her alcoholic husband got up off the couch, he's been lying there since the last Bush administration ended, gorging on micro-wave macaroni and cheese washed down with rootbeer-flavoured vodka, and the care-giver comes in only once a week to help him evacuate, poor big-ass constipated lardo. But sadomasochism on ladders with a hung-over Guatemalan is NOT the answer, and good sturdy bras are hard to find.

I'm not certain that the Ectorinator appreciated the lecture.

He said something about a sick Dutchman.

Perhaps he's seeing things.

Anyway, nothing more eventful than that happened.
It was a very peaceful day.

I'm rather enchanted by the mental image of a gentleman smoking a cigar being roundly abused with wet underwear, extra large size, by a sweaty blonde naked whale of a woman. He deserves a bit of fun, the dear man.
Me personally, I prefer women to be smaller and not violent. But I believe that peroxided orcas are the American standard of beauty.
You are all welcome to it. And them.
Whatever lifts your spirits.
Ruddy perverts.

It is far too early to put up Christmas decorations.
That, also, may be a ruddy perversion.

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Apparently I can cook really well. Which is yet another reason that my apartment mate's boyfriend is jealous as all git-out. Of me. Upon returning home I made the mistake of asking her how she was. You should probably never ask an Asperger syndrome person how she is; the answer may be incredibly long and detailed.

Especially if she if fraught.

"How are you?"

A simple question. A forty minute (plus) answer. And yes, Wheelie Boy is partly responsible for that. Seeing as, being an Aspie even more than she is, he is quite insensitive to her mental state.
Can't read any of the signs.
Her oldest brother too. He's apparently also somewhere on the dark side of the spectrum.
Even though he is not green and lovable.
But still. Wheelie Boy.
Most of it.

"Love is not slapping the sh*t out of someone who irritates the f*ck out of you."

Yeah, that works. Personally, I'm a bit more of a romantic.

She also categorized both of them as "just like sea monkeys but not as bright". Now, seeing as even after all these years I've never met her oldest brother, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statement as it applies to him. Yes, I've met her boyfriend once or twice. But discretion and tact forbid me from describing him in any way. Other than by saying that he's got a nice shiny wheelchair, why, it makes him the very best mobility impaired person on his block. Top notch.

The crooked teeth referenced in the title of this post? Her dental retainers broke. They are the only thing keeping her lower jaw from going out of sync with her upper chompers, apparently.
And that also is a profound cause of frustration.

Other than that, she's doing fine.

And let's not forget that she's living with someone who is sparklingly sane, which is a good thing. Stable, understanding, tolerant of stuffed animals, and kind to her teddy bear.

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So. I got home mere moments ago, and I found that my bed was an utter disaster. Lordy. And, quite logically, I shall blame my ex-girlfriend. Who five years afterwards is still my apartment mate, and has her own room, and her own bed. Which, I point out, is spotless.
My bed, however .....

The reason for the bed-mess is that she had asked, five hours ago when she went to take a bath, if it was okay to root through my mail for any catalogues to read while she soaked.

I had no problem with that.

For the past many months or more my mailbox has been overflowing with junkmail. Upon emptying it, I pull the bills and statements, and dump the remainder to the right of the fish-obsessed teddy bear on my bed whom I brought home a decade ago. And then I studiously ignore it.

Actually, precisely like the bills and statements.
I stack them separately, unread.
Along with catalogues.
On the bed.

Snail mail is basically a waste of time. I call in to pay all my bills regularly, and I keep track of my expenditures accurately enough that whatever the recorded voice says is not worth questioning. I haven't bothered opening bank or utility statements in several months.
I figure stuff out as it happens.
And pay on time.

She must have found quite a few catalogues. The election flyers and voter-recommendations are a bit scattered in consequence. Presently the spider hand-puppet (Pierpont) is sitting on top of the mail-dune threatening the froad (Tyrone Thibbet). A troll (Totoro) is to the side advising the little black kitty (Gigi). There's a stuffed cow (Louise) there too.
All of them are wide awake.
And far too lively.

The friend who drove me home advised me earlier to sign-up for match dot com, as a means of perhaps solving my lack of romance. I rather doubt that even match dot com would help, because as a first step I would probably have to get rid of all the printed detritus in the entire apartment, much of which I haven't even read yet. What I intend to do before going to sleep tonight is simply re-stack what's on the bed, randomly but neatly.
I don't feel like housecleaning at this present time.
There's nothing that is actually dirty.

Cleanliness is next to godliness.
I am not quite the devil.

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Saturday, November 14, 2015


In less than a fortnight that horrid event will occur. And, for several days before, people will be happily burbling about their plans, while for more than a week after, the same people and others will be recounting what a totally splendid time they all had, what they did, and how much they ate.
Then they will memory belch, and ease their stomachs.

No, I'm not talking about vacationing in a small pilgrim town in the Pennines, waking up late, reading the Times over tea and buttered toast, then wandering around the village green or under the stately chestnut trees before noshing on tea, hot scones, clotted cream, and preserves at The Tay Cottage, with an array of goodies arrayed on spotless damask, followed by gin and tonics plus lawn bowling at twilight, then a delicious curry dinner around nine o'clock, prepared by an ex-major in the Indian Army at the Taj Mahal Restaurant, and afterwards a long stroll back to the Angler's Rest Hotel on the bank of the river Swythe.

The lunch buffet is terrific.

From Frodekker's "Guide To Holiday Destinations of England":

"The settlement of Saint Bulgar On The Swythe dates to Roman times, though by the middle-ages the beautiful market town on the road to Hadrian's Wall had shrunk to a shadow of its former glory. The discovery of iron tongs said to have been wielded by Saint Cuthbert The Pincher (now housed in the Old Bulgarian Museum, formerly the parish school 'De Pravitatis Rectum') brought notoriety to the town, and the subsequent entombing of Saint Bulgar The Very Pious (who founded a seminary for sons of local farmers in the nearby forests) led a few years later to the establishment of the renunciant order of Saeva Verberibus Pro Fide, whose missionaries brought literacy and cold bathing to many areas of West Africa during the age of sail.

The picturesque baroque church in the centre of the gas district (the 'Mediaeval Quarter') is surrounded by groves of chestnut trees that extend to the river Swythe, where festive boating parties overturn in early summer, when the trees are in bloom along both banks. During Autumn, from early October to late November, visitors come especially for the local culinary marvel, chestnut meringue, which is sold in dense bricks of one to two kilos, and is said to keep for several months. It is also available in decorative enamel tins.

The town boasts several fine restaurants."

End quote.

That is actually a very nice fantasy, and hot fresh scones are indeed something to celebrate, even if you aren't going up north for the season. They're rather like southern biscuits, which make an excellent substitute, and here in San Francisco clotted cream can nowadays be found. If you like fruit preserves, there are several excellent recipes on the internet, and the markets are filled with autumn produce right now. Pitted plums in gingered syrup is good, for instance, and a compote of quartered skinned peach with a touch of orange zest speaks for itself.

For a smoke afterwards, pop open a tin of Rattray's Old Gowrie, or even Marlin Flake, and load up a Peterson pipe. I'm sure you have a full-bent army mount somewhere, the classic Peterson System Standard (typically, shape 307, 308, or 312). Everyone does, we all bought one at some point.
It would be a little slice of perfect paradise, you can be certain.
Wandering alone through the fallen leaves.
Growling at icky little lap dogs.
Or swatting them.

But that is not the point of this essay.

I'm talking about the turkeys.


Which, as the acknowledged eccentric uncle of all my friends, I do not celebrate. What with not being a family friendly sort of guy and all that. Apparently I eat little children or worship Satan or something.



So instead, here is a pre-emptive description of what my Thanksgiving will probably end up being. In which you must imagine the author (me) in the persona of a somewhat anti-social badger wandering around with pipe and tobacco in the wilds of Nob and Telegraph, before heading down into Chinatown for some roast duck or roast goose at a place where they will charge me less than ten dollars, then perhaps having a cup of Hong Kong style milk tea and some pie at a local bakery while listening to middle-aged Toishanese gentlemen gossiping.

I'm getting pretty good at understanding Toishanese, especially if it's larded with swear words or Hong Kong slang.

The roast duck (or goose) will have a shiny warm mahogany-hued skin, crispy-juicy, with rich tender flesh underneath. It will have leaked some of its grease into the bed of vegetables underneath -- usually freshly blanched lettuce, as the sweetness goes well with fowl -- and along with soup, rice, and globs of hotsauce, it will have been a perfect meal.
Far far nicer than that dry bird most folks will have.
And, even better, there won't a ballgame on!
Or whiny brats demanding stuffing.
Supermarket pumpkin pie.
And cool whip!


For afters, I may stuff some Orlik Golden Sliced (a beautiful blonde pressed Virginia with a touch of Perique) into a Peterson shape 150, before heading down to the cigar bar to see what the other holiday losers have been up to.

The sane single individual is rather remarkably badger-like.

Peterson shape 150 is the classic straight bulldog, though like some other shapes there has been variation over the years. The one I'm thinking of does not have the characteristic long heel, and there's a bevel to the inner rim. It is aesthetically extremely satisfying, though somewhat small, and I've cut a piss-elegant taper stem for it, to replace the saddle, which was visually not as exciting. It was the first quality pipe I could afford, and I have had it for a very long time.

[Other shapes that I would like to eventually acquire are the chubby 999, that being a fat little Rhodesian, and shape 356, which is a system standard (full bent, military mount) with an amusing severity to the bowl. Plus, of course, the type of squat bulldog that the Irish haven't made in years. It used to be so popular.]

My apartment mate will probably take over the kitchen early in the morning, clattering around preparing a Thanksgiving feast for her boyfriend with the sensitive digestion, then, having gotten all tense and frustrated because of time constraints, she'll take over the bathroom, bring the car around by mid-afternoon, and rush off, first to Wheelie Boy's place, then to one or other relative's house for a family dinner with her various kin.

Her Thanksgiving will be tense and fraught.
Boyfriend and brothers, separately.
And a store-bought pie.

Mine will be calm, musteloidal, and Cantonese-ish.
Good tobacco, duck, and hot milk tea.
Then a little whiskey.

The closer it gets to Thanksgiving, the more I will avoid humans. There will be a definite badgerlike solitariness afterwards too, till Xmas.
I really do not want to hear about it.


In the years before I bought my first Peterson pipe, I did rather enjoy Thanksgiving and other holidays. Warmth, good cheer, and fine food. But those were family events. My father, mother, and older brother are gone now, and I failed to develop a thanksgiving habit of my own since returning to the States. Life intervened, and I don't really like turkey.
Duck is fine, though. I like duck.

At this moment I am eating gooey brie, crackers, and Sriracha hot sauce. And drinking a cup of really strong tea. In another few moments I shall load up a Peterson with a tangy red Virginia flake and head out. There's a stretch with crunchy fallen leaves further up the hill where it would be pleasant to spend a while.

A man should have a good selection of Peterson pipes. In addition to five Peterson System Standards, there are also several straight billiards, a few Canadians, a bulldog or two, and an Oom Paul.
I also really like Comoys.
Got several.

Unlike turkey, brie with hotsauce does not lead to fitful dozing.

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Friday, November 13, 2015


Hah! I have to laugh! Actually, giggle, and it's quite a bit later than the event that set me off. My apartment mate spent most of Armistice Day with her boyfriend, the one she's been seeing on again off again for over four operatic years, and came home complaining about the utter whiteness of his dietary preferences.

She could have had someone openminded about food -- in fact, years ago she did -- but she chose him. Possibly out of thousands. Tonnes of nice deserving dudes, of many types and hues, but she ended up with someone so culinarily white he probably glows in the dark.
Little Cantonese woman picked a winner!


The poor fellow is sensitive to sodium, as well as dairy and gluten, and his poor little tum-tum is easily upset. Why, a jigger of hotsauce or soy would ruin his entire day!

I can't say as I have much sympathy for the woozums, as I regard much of contemporary society's attitudes towards good things to eat as neurotic and ridiculous.

Bunch of overindulged hysterics.
That's what.

Savage Kitten and I live together, still, even though we haven't been a couple for over half a decade. In that time, I have seriously enjoyed food, over-indulged in tasty stuff, found out everything about several new things to eat, and learned how to cook them with keen curiosity.

She started dating a food-obsessed Aspie.

Who likes protein bars.

Yeah, I know. Shouldn't have so much fun at his expense. Especially because I am NOT jealous, and do not begrudge either of them their pleasure in each other.

"We can't get that; it looks so good I would eat it all. 
And you know what that would do to me!"

Apparently food-shopping or restaurant-visiting with the dude is an experience. A very frustrating experience. Laden and rife.
No salt! No gluten! No grease! And no dairy!

Very frustrating for a Cantonese girl.

I feel her pain.

My only dietary worry is that if I eat too much liver or shellfish, it might likely fire up an episode of gout. Especially if it were fried in ghee or chicken fat. But with only a little forethought such an eventuality is avoidable, and if I were to go out eating with someone, I would not prevent them from indulging themselves in such a manner. Go ahead, have all the greasy sauteed lobster and gehakte leber you want!

I'll just have a taste. Would you care for some of my duck?
Il est canard rôti a la façon Cantonais; assez délicieux!

Buttered toast points! Buttered toast points!

Duck, lobster, and gehakte leber make for splendid eating. Together at the same time, or separately on different occasions. With or without the delicious bitter vegetables, and condiments of character.

Plus a glass of champagne or sherry.

We must dine well.


By the way: I'm quite lean. Trim, even.
It really takes no effort at all.
I don't worry about it.

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