At the back of the hill

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

Monday, October 16, 2017


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

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

Antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

Avoid sex when sick.

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

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


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Sunday, October 15, 2017


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

Well then.



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

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

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

Fight the bastards.

[SOURCE: The Express.]

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

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

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


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

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


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


































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Saturday, October 14, 2017


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

Facebook: it's the well-tailored suit.

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

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

Go ahead, knock yourselves out.

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

So, what did I do on my birthday?

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

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

Author: FunkMonk, whose modersmål is Danish.

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

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

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

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

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

And small piglets, eventually.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, October 13, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

Wildfires and Meg Griffin are more interesting.

Normally I don't watch teevee.


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

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

Without Aspirin, life would be horrible.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017


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

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

And a meal is always rice.

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

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

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

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

Three side dishes, and one soup.

In which rice is implicit.

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

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


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

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

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

Assuming that they grasped the paradigm.

Which really isn't cheese.

特別早餐 Breakfast Specials.

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

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

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


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Wednesday, October 11, 2017


No civilized person should be up at eight thirty A.M. after having gone out the night before. Which I am, and did. And I declare a great victory over the evil Taiwanese bar owner, who always tries to get the fun to last as long as possible, but minus the stupid white people singing karaoke, because they are horrible and might alert the cops to boozy shenanigans after two.
Which is closing time in this city.

We got out of there at a decent hour.
Despite severe blandishment.

As per a tradition dating to the second hand bookstore where I worked part-time as a third and on-call occasional job a few years ago -- the computer company full-time, restaurant three nights a week, bookstore pricing used volumes in Asian languages but primarily Chinese -- the bookseller and myself end up at a dive that once did not have karaoke.
It used to be quieter then.

Our weekends do not fall on the weekend.


Is there something in town? A convention? The intersection seems more than usually rife with batshittery, as we observe from our perch on the mezzanine at a different bar. Oh look, there's someone playing in traffic, and that car just turned around and roared away with tires screeching.

At least there is no gun fire.

Years ago there would have been. At least two gunfights every week along that stretch. Many of the neighborhood residential hotels there were awash with methamphetamine, heroin, and coke. Plus people came from out of town to piss in someone else's back yard.

"I think it's fake news, but if he did that, I guess we'll have to have a rap battle. And I can tell you who is going to win."

And, as an evil presence haunting many conversations these days, the current president, who appears to be a crazy old grandfather.
Did he really say that? And how bad does he smell?

Maybe the bathrooms in the White House are backed up, and the methane is affecting his fragile hold on sentience even more than usual. It's probably all those Trump Tower Taco Bowls, they plug a man and keep his swamp from draining. At least Tillerson, Mattis, and Kelly can go take their dumps elsewhere occasionally, which, even if not entirely successful, does give them a reprieve from the zoo.

Excuse me, I'm going to the State Department for a potty break.

There will be NO anal probing while I'm gone.

Damned aliens.

Ivanka is probably clutching her pretty little head right now, wondering how she got herself into this mess. She could have shot the old coot last year, like Donald John when he plugged the African leopard.
That orange pelt would have looked great.
In her Kalorama mansion.

Missed opportunity.

I should have gone back to sleep, but I'm waiting for Sergio to continue ripping out my bathroom, which is ancient, and needs rebuilding.
If anybody needs me, I'm using the facilities next door.
In an empty apartment I call 'State'.

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Yesterday a degenerate discovered this blog. This I know from one search criterion that showed up in the blog stats. No, I shall not mention what he was looking for, as that would only encourage more of his type to visit. Suffice to say that a verb, two adjectives, and a noun, more than adequately paint a word picture of the man which repulses.

I would like to think that at some point someone will beat him to a pulp.
Probably his brother-in-law. Ick poo.

For all my perversions, I am never-the-less a decent and normal man. There are tendencies which I can not condone or have any sympathy for.

Ick poo.

Years ago I made the claim that somewhere in the list of results for any internet search there will be both kittens and naked women. That probably holds true still. You looked for an Orthodox rabbi opinionating on a hard passage in Meseches Kinim? Congratulations! You found a naked woman holding a kitten! Plus a discarded kippah!
It's the Gra with a bra!
Something about DNA structures? Well, you will be informed that every nucleotide (the category of molecules that make up DNA) must contain a phosphate group, a sugar group and a nitrogen base, which can be adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), thymine (T), a naked woman (F), and kittens (K)!
The recipe for meunière sauce? That's brown butter, chopped parsley, and lemon, cooked by a naked woman while the kitten hungrily eyes the dredged fish. The naked woman is essential!
And kittens feel so nice.
Trust me.

One the other hand, the internet is also a wonderful thing. One friend describes his brisket from three thousand miles away, and another forwards a clip from a South Indian movie in which butch oiled tan men wearing speedos fight each other in a gym, and twitch their pectoral muscles and dashing mustachios threateningly. Dang, they're so masculine!
It's either the gayest thing I have ever seen, or the most macho.
I cannot keep my eyes off those hard muscles.

And then there's this.




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Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Everyone says you should go to Kwan Kee for claypot rice, and maybe you should. But as they are so well-known (好出名! 'hou chut meng'), you might not like them so much. It can get a bit busy there.
Claypot rice is something the locals love, and there are infinite versions of it. The idea is that the rice at the bottom is somewhat crisped, the meat at the top is steamed to perfection, and all the juices have mixed with the rice. You drizzle in a little soy sauce to loosen the crust (飯焦 'faan jiu'), and the steam adds more savouriness to both the rice and the meats.
And did I mention that Kwan Kee is well-known?
That contributes a bustling atmosphere.
Seriously, it's a good place.
Locals know food.

Kwan Kee Claypot Rice (and small dishes)
Shop 1, Wo Yick Mansion, 263 Queen's Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Western District

支竹牛腩煲 ('ji juk ngau naam pou chai faan'): beef brisket and dried bean curd stick claypot rice. Dried bean curd stick absorbs flavour very well, and adds a nice soft chewiness.
窩蛋牛肉煲仔飯 ('gwat daan ngau yiuk pou chai faan'): beef claypot rice with an egg added on top to cook in the heat. Which is a lovely combination! Chopped chives sprinkled over. Mmm.
臘味牛肉煲仔飯 ('laap mei ngau yiuk pou chai faan'): beef and preserved meats claypot rice. Succulent, delicious, simple.
白鱔排骨煲仔飯 ('baak sin paai gwat pou chai faan'): eel and spare ribs claypot rice.
白鱔臘腸煲仔飯 ('baak sin laap cheung pou chai faan'): eel and Chinese sausage claypot rice. Chinese sausage, in fact should always be added to claypot rice dishes, because it contributes delightfully.
白鱔滑雞煲仔飯 ('baak sin gwat kai pou chai faan'): eel and slippery chicken claypot rice.
田雞煲仔飯 ('tin kai pou chai faan'): frog claypot rice.
滑雞煲仔飯 ('gwat kai pou chai faan'): chicken claypot rice.
臘味田雞煲仔飯 ('siu mei tin kai pou chai faan'): preserved meats and frog claypot rice.
燒臘雞煲仔飯 ('siu laap gai pou chai faan'): Chinese sausage plus chicken claypot rice.


椒鹽鮮魷 ('jiu-yim sin yau'): salt and pepper squid-fry. Nicely presented on a bed of lettuce, with chopped chilies and chives for colour. Tasty!
潮式蠔仔餅 ('chiu sik hou chai bing'): Chiu Chow style oyster omelette.
沙爹炒牛肉河 ('saa te chaau ngau yiuk ho'): Saté-sauce beef chow fun.
豉椒炒蜆 ('si jiu chaau hin'): black bean sauce stirfried clams.
蜆蚧鯪魚球 ('hin gai ling yü kau'): clam-flavour carp fish balls. The clam flavour is in the dipping sauce, made with preserved cockle (蜆蚧), which may be an acquired taste. But it's very good in congee!
生菜鯪魚球湯 ('saang choi ling yü kau tong'): lettuce and fresh-made fish balls in broth.

They also have various stews, soups, and sauteed vegetables, but you really go their for the standard claypot rice dishes, as well as the eel (白鱔 'baak sin'), frog (田雞 'tin kai'), and mud carp (鯪魚 'ling yü') combos.

Note: a friend tells me that the Persian or Armenian word for the crusty rice at the bottom of the pot is 'eck eck eck'. My knowledge of either of those languages in insufficient to question that, and he's probably right.

I love saying it. Eck eck eck!


And then there is Hong Kong style American junk food. Which is a culinary category that you already think you know, even though you eschew it. You go to the Danish Bakery in Causeway Bay for hamburgers, hotdogs, fish fillet sandwiches, and fried chicken. It is something you crave. "Bugger all refinement", you will say, "I want the yummy junkfood my third aunt living in the projects used to make", and you fondly remember the time the savage Indians circled your housing complex in Chicago. Or something similarly American. You still have a row of dried scalps back at the ranch.
As well as Donald Trump's I.Q. test results.
Which are bigly, and yuge.

Danish Bakery
Ground floor, Leishun Court, 106 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay

魚柳包 ('yü lau baau'): fried fish sandwich. Most often it is made with a weird MacDonaldish square of reconstituted sea food saw dust, but this version is an actual chunk of fresh fish, battered and deep fried.
熱狗 ('yit gau'): hot dog.
豬扒包 ('chyu baa baau'): pork chop bun.
炸雞脾 ('jaa gai pei'): fried chicken.
芝士漢堡包 ('ji si hon bou baau'): cheese burger. Spiced meat, a little ketchup and mayo, cheese.
豬排包 ('chyu paai baau'): shortribs sandwich.

孖腸芝士熱狗 ('maa cheung ji si yit gau'): TWO deep-fried dogs on a toasted bun with cheese! Tell them to add more! 厚厚的芝士!

Unless you are a shopaholic, there is honestly no other reason to head to Causeway Bay (銅鑼灣). But it is close to East Point (東角 'tung gok'), Canal Road (鵝頸澗 'ngo keng gaan'), and Wanchai (灣仔).

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Naturally I followed a link to an article on Jezebel. Which gave me some interesting reading, that, as a typical man, had me halfway between "ho-hum" and "get bent".
The gist of the article is that men are pigs. Men who object to the characterization that men are pigs are pigs. Men who kind of sort of sympathize with whatever point a women is making but then say something are pigs. And men who are not paying attention to the writer and all the women who agree with her are pigs.
All men are pigs.


Missing the Point of Sexual Harassment Stories by a Mile, Scared Men Are Now Wary Of Being Alone With Women 

[SOURCE: Harvey Weinstein sex story rant.]

The title is a hoot. And yes, I do know a few women who would agree with that premise, and get all righteously indignant. Such as the author and several commenters.

"Men fear being accused of sexual harassment, because it would ruin their lives. Just take this quote from orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mukund Komanduri, who avoids women at work:
I’m very cautious about it because my livelihood is on the line,” he said. “If someone in your hospital says you had inappropriate contact with this woman, you get suspended for an investigation, and your life is over. Does that ever leave you?
Boo freaking hoo. You know what else doesn’t leave you? Being held back in your career because your manager is too scared to make eye contact with you because he’s afraid you’re gonna tell some story about how he harassed you. Or he might feel compelled to grab your boobies, and then he’d lose his job!"
End quote.

------Aimée Lutkin, Contributing writer at Jezebel.

The righteous reactions

"Take your tone deaf “but it’s so hard to be man” shit somewhere else."

"So you and your male friends are gonna have to grow up, be adults, and learn how to interact with other human beings—yes, THE FEMALE ONES TOO."

"I have a plan involving us relocating all the men to islands and just dropping off supplies via plane to keep that shit humane, but I worry that even without the men, women have internalized the lie that we are less valuable too much. Plus, then there won’t be any islands left for us."

"May you always have the confidence of a mediocre white man."

"My gut feeling is that many of these men are guilty of harassment themselves and are now panicking at the idea that they’re about to get busted."

"I think a lot of guys are just genuinely clueless as to where “the line” is and are terrified they’re going to cross it because they don’t know any better, and their privilege allows them to be lazy enough to not educate themselves."

"There are a lot of men having this reaction because they don’t want to re-examine how they behave with women. They’re not the problem, the rest of the world is."

Ladies, I get it. You are hurt and angry. Oh!
Please have some chamomile tea.
And breathe deeply

You should know that eyes are glazing over, in the same manner as when cigar smokers talk about politics, or damned well anybody discusses sports. In fact, the only way I can stay awake when that happens is by mentioning those tight masculine buns covered in colourful arse-hugging shiny fabric, butchly pounding down the field.
Precisely like yoga pants.
Pig skin.

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Monday, October 09, 2017


It's called 'minchi', which may or may not derive from the English word 'mince'. But it just as well could be called 'keema, seeing as the usual spicing is more or less Indian, albeit in an attenuated form.
Curry, cayenne, soy sauce, and Worcestershire.

免治 (澳門式肉碎飯)
['min chi' -- 'ou mun sik yiuk seui faan']

One pound of ground meat; pork, beef, lamb, or a mixture.
One large potato, peeled and cubed small.
One onion, chopped.
Two or three cloves garlic, minced.
A little ginger, minced.
Two TBS soy sauce.
Half TBS Worcestershire sauce (李派林喼汁 'lei paai lam kip chap').
Dash of fish sauce (魚露 'yü lou').
One TBS brown sugar.
Half Tsp. cayenne.
Pinch ground cumin.
Pinch five spice.
A grind of pepper.
A little yellow curry paste, or substitute curry powder.
Oil and rendered fat.

Lightly brown the minced onion in the skillet. Add the ginger and garlic, stir in, when fragrant add the spices and curry stuffs. Stir to incorporate, dump in the meat. When the meat is cooked add the soy sauce, Worcestershire, and sugar, mix very well, then remove from heat.

Fry the potato cubes till crisped and golden. Remove from heat, leaving oil in pan. Mix potato and meat. Chopped garlic chives (韭菜 'gau choi') or cilantro may be used to garnish.

Fry three or four eggs sunny side up in the oil, one for each person.

Serve with rice. The idea is a mound of cooked rice, the meat and potato mixture dumped over, and a fried egg on top. Plus fresh chilies and a squeeze of lime juice to brighten the taste.

Some people might add a chopped bellpepper or some okra (潺茄 'saan ke') to the meat while cooking, which is good too.

I simply use ground pork from a Chinese market, and fish sauce flatters pork immensely. With some briefly cooked bokchoy or sliced tomatoes and jiggers of hot sauce, it makes a splendid little lunch or dinner. I always adjust quantities to account for only one person, rather than the three or four who would be eating family-style if there were a family.
Which there isn't.

When there were still newspapers worth reading, this, plus coffee, made a splendid Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Please note: not all kip chap is actually Leipaailam (Lea & Perrins) kip chap. There are some frightful American imitations on the market, which should be avoided at all costs.

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Of the fifteen people that I knew there, four acknowledged my existence. The others pretended that I was invisible. In some ways I can accept the behaviour of one of them -- bulky Filipino with some kind of chip on his fleshy shoulder, whatever the 'F' it is -- but that is just one person.
Why were the others so pissy?

The four that actually said 'hi', albeit in one case merely a grunt and a nod, work there. That is NOT reassuring.

The others saw me. They walked right past me. No note of recognition, no nod, no blink of anything that could even be remotely construed as any realization that someone they knew was there.

I rather wish that I had sold their kin into bondage. At least then they would have a reasonable excuse for being dicks. I could name them, but what is the point of that? Doing so would be tantamount to giving them more recognition than they extended.

This means that the Enxxxx Karaoke Lounge is no longer a possibility on Sunday night. And on Monday dickhead and bubble butt infest the place. Wednesdays, one of those two is there. Friday and Saturday are too busy. Sunday it's the a-holes who don't know me. Tuesday, because of prior commitments with a friend at a better dive, is not a possibility.
Thursday, one or two drinks, in friendly company.
But only if I am tolerant.

On Monday, at another place, after three days of work in Marin, a rational antisocial son of a bitch like myself might enjoy a drink. But several weeks ago when I went to the place on Polk nearest my apartment two gentlemen whom I have known for over a decade (one of whom is notabene a man of the cloth) were less than welcoming. So I shan't go there again.
They can take the carrot out of the cave and wave it.
But I shall not be there to applaud.
Sorry, David.

I am getting old. I do not like most of you people anymore. You think too much of yourselves, and apparently I am too white to say "hello" to.
And far too un-hip as well.
And old.

This is a Facebook squawk, also a blogpost.
Because I am almighty pissy.

As well as white.
And old.

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Sunday, October 08, 2017


His daughter-in-law told me that his brother (her uncle-in-law) had returned to Macau, so he was playing far less mahjong. Yet the other night the sound of tiles could clearly be heard on the street outside his digs; one might suspect that he shares his brother's passion in equal measure.

Years ago I learned how to play mahjong, as one of my friends was married to a Filipina, and there would occasionally be a need for a spare player during the forty or fifty hour mahjong parties with lots of nice food.
Cigars, lumpia, pancit, sisig? What's not to like?
Indeed I shall play with you folks.


I think only his wife was capable of playing for fifty hours at a stretch. But including myself there were usually at least two stand-ins. Perhaps you can understand why I haven't played since leaving Southern California.

The rackety sound of tiles being shuffled always reminds me of tasty things to eat, and the place where I lived in North Beach when I came back from SoCal. There were at least three mahjong parlours on that alley, the clickitty clack clack clack was constant.

Other than in Chinatown, I had not heard it in this city.
Now it comes from an apartment building nearby.
Soon, perhaps, delicious smells.

Pato à cabidela, for instance, or galinha à Portuguesa. Capella, fry crab, or bacalhau. Minchi and eggs. But these would be exceptional. Probably just standard Hong Kong snackipoos, because unlike the Filipinos, Cantonese don't see serious mahjong as a time for equally serious noshing.
Still, the sound of moving tiles.
Life at a tilt.

Bafassa: a hunk of pork (shoulder or belly), simmered with stock, turmeric, and vinegar, till tender, then bunged into the oven to crust. After resting, the meat is sliced thick, and served with potatoes cooked in the simmering liquid left in the pan.

Arroz gordo: more or less a baked Portuguese-Chinese paella; broth-cooked rice with marinated pork and chicken cooked along with (on top), sometimes duck. With tomate e cebola, sliced chouriço cozido, plus peppers, raisins, croutons, and wedges of hard boiled egg.

Diabo: a brilliant red chicken or pork curry with soy eggs, simmered in a chili and nut-paste sauce with a touch of vinegar, and some oily mango achar added. Salty, sweet, spicy, tangy, flamingly hot.

I may want to re-learn the game.
At least to talk intelligently.

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She positively shrieked with delight. Piercingly, vibrantly. A surprising sound from someone barely over a foot tall, and the big smile on her face showed precisely how happy she was to see her older brother and her mom. I think the little girl may have been three or four years old, the brother about six. Shan't venture a guess as to their mother's age, nor the auntie who attended the child.

If one hits the intersection of Stockton and Clay Streets at the right time in the afternoon, it's awash with children. Normally I am a bit hesitant about being so close to our short little fellow Americans, because they are such uncontrolled little daemons at times -- especially troglodyte whelps from the prosperous and entitled suburbs -- but the tiny Cantonese exemplars are frequently better behaved than their white counterparts.
Who are frequently foul little cretins.

Little Cantonese girls are small, and probably harmless.
Unless they're hungry and swarming.

I do not have much experience with young humans.
If I did, I should need a cattle prod.

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Saturday, October 07, 2017


A meme going the rounds lists several male behaviours that tell a woman what kind of man to avoid. The list is totally predictable -- abusiveness, lies, drugs, and republicanism -- but misses the point. Likewise any article that similarly details female behaviour will also be rather pointless.
Anyone who needs that may not be able to think.
And should ab initio be shunned.

So, without further ado, here's my list.


1. If he or she uncovers any part of their anatomy and starts massaging it in a bar, they should be avoided. Especially if she then asks in a serious tone "are you threatened by my femininity?"
This happened sometime in the nineties, and I'm still repulsed. It may have contributed to my distaste for blondes and big breasts, I don't know.

2. If he or she puts a hand on your thigh and massages, it may be time to yell that you've devoted yourself to Jesus and stab him or her with a fork. Also in the nineties, and I regret not carrying a fork at the time.
I still don't habitually carry a fork with me.

3. If she comes to your hotel room at three o'clock in the morning and offers to commit indecent acts in return for drug money, you may want to start gibbering and gently close the door in her face.
Nineties, again. Residential hotel.

4. If a man calls you "little girl" and offers you candy. Although this one is perhaps doubtful when you are older than him, even more so when you are the same gender or have a beard. Insanity, in a safe (i.e., public) place, with sober witnesses, might be entertaining.
It's up to you, I'm not judging.

5. If you've seen someone drunkenly staggering home with two large pizzas, and their flabby gut hanging out, do not offer to share the pizza.
Pizza means more to them than you can imagine.
Gender is not important here.
Pizza is.

6. If someone hates your cat. It's not always the cat's fault.
Stop blaming the cat for everything.

7. When someone has an imaginary cat that they blame for everything.

8. Methamphetamine, energy drinks, and vaping.

9. Cars, cigars, and skeevy bars.

10. Jesus.

I am a useful man, and full of advice.


1. Talks to people instead of looking at a cellphone. This means he or she is socially adept, and probably capable of holding a conversation.

2. Smokes a pipe with non-perfumy tobacco. Always indicative of clean solid habits and thoughtfulness. Possible he or she is scholarly, but in any case they're capable of listening, what with their mouth being occupied.
He or she is a wise person whom you would do well to cultivate.

3. Drinks tea regularly. It helps flush toxins out of the system, keeps a person hydrated, and awakens one to the tasks ahead.
It's a very good habit.

4. Does not habitually sing karaoke. In nearly twenty years I was moved to sing at a karaoke bar only five times, which I and the very few witnesses still alive have regretted ever since. There were only two songs.
All my exes live in Texas, and 月亮代表我的心 。
It won't happen again, I promise.

5. Speaks foreign languages. This means that when they swear, it is less intelligible or likely to cause offense, and more educational too.

6. Understands Dutch. A very useful thing, that.

7. Bathes on a daily basis. This one is self-explanatory. Really, do I have to go into details? Men and women both are equally much more likable if they do not smell too funky. There is a reason that reformatories, British public schools, Catholic seminaries, and the Girls Scouts of the USA all insist that their victims take showers.

8. Is open to interesting food, and does not think ethnic cuisine begins and ends with pizza. So members of fraternities and sororities are right out, as are most Mid-Westerners.

9. Will never be an investment banker or programmer.

10. Good at making lists.

Relationships are a lot like 'The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin', with a dose of 'Monty Python’s Flying Circus' thrown in for good measure.
Sometimes a woman is like a Hungarian buying cigarettes.
Or a man's hovercraft is inexplicably full of eels.
Avoid Whoopie Cushions.

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Friday, October 06, 2017


Presently, around ten percent of Puerto Ricans have electricity, and barely half have water. This represents a massive improvement over ten days ago, when fewer than ten percent had power, and less than half had water.

At this rate, in another year well over half of Puerto Ricans, if they survive, will have both power AND water.


Original by Emil August Goeldi (1859 - 1917). - E. A. Goeldi (1905) Os Mosquitos no Pará. Memorias do Museu Goeldi. Pará, Brazil. Figures 3 (left) 1 (middle) and 2 (right) of Plate 1 in the Appendix.,
Public Domain,

Paper towels too.

It's bigly.

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Today marks the forty first anniversary of the Thammasat University Massacre, when the Thai authorities, Buddhist activists, and lynch mobs organized by the clergy and royalists, attacked students, killing and raping hundreds. With the approval of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit.

The Thai government has steadfastly refused to address the grievances of relatives of those killed, or discuss the complicity of important people.

The son of one of the chief instigators is the current monarch.

Thais are, on the whole, amazingly adept at pretending to be an artistic, gentle, and peaceful nation. Despite this and other examples of their murderous and psychopathic nature.

During the boat people crisis it was Thais who attacked the vessels, killing hundreds of thousands, and raping the women before often throwing them overboard. That they could commit those blatant acts of piracy was due to the encouragement and participation of the Thai government and military, as well as the approval of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit.


Thailand is known for forced prostitution, in which with the cooperation of officials and the military, young women and children from tribal areas and farming communities are bought and sold for the depravities of urbanites and foreign tourists.
And despite the involvement of members of the government in organized crime, thousand of people were extrajudicially killed in a supposed war on drugs in the early two-thousands.
More recently, thousands in the restive south of the country have been disappeared by the security forces.
Also, of course, human trafficking has been a constant.
With the participation of the authorities.
As well as "approval".



There is naturally much more.
Thailand is a wonderland.

Great food, though.

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Thursday, October 05, 2017


Our refrigerator is out. That is to say, the fuse switch won't stay down (my landlord is having an electrician come tomorrow), and we have been given the use of the refrigerator in the apartment next door in the meantime. The apartment next door was until about a month ago occupied by a flibberty-gibbet who occasionally came back from Canada, had all kinds of stuff delivered to her San Francisco address, and largely did not understand the concept of locks & keys. She left her door wide open even when absent.
It is now a bare apartment, but with a brand new refrigerator.
We could've taken all of her stuff while she was gone.
If only we had thought about it at the time.
But we have too much stuff.
And didn't.

The refrigerator next door is smaller. This has meant that my condiment graveyard needed to be reviewed. Several jars of ancient Indian pickles, some dating from the last century. Out. Over a dozen large bottles, wine bottle size, of various hotsauces, the oldest dating from the era of the last computer company at which I worked, the most recent from a few months before the both of us (my apartment mate and I) stopped cooking for each other or sleeping in the same bed. Not that sleeping with another person is, strictly speaking relevant to hot sauce, but it marks the end of my cooking tasty things to eat for two, and consequently I've been rather casual about chili and vinegar combinations. Probably still edible, but why bother.

Pour out the gloop, and wash the bottles, as they may be useful again at some point. There was too much of it anyway.

A few peculiar chutneys. Out. A small jar of bush-paste (a super hot chili preparation that keeps for years, quite useful when traveling to England).
Emptied and washed. The contents were jam-like, with a gritty feel.

A condensed soy-sauce flavoured with spices.
A chili pepper vinegar for soup.
Pickled peppers.

When the circuit comes back on for that section of the apartment and we bring our stuff back from next door, the refrigerator will seem empty.
The mummies of an involved culinary life will be missing.
I grieve for them, and their lovely heat.
As well as the care it took.

At this very moment, after having dealt with all of that, my digits are burning all the way up to the elbow from the amount of chili washed out.
It is warm and tingling in my wrists and finger joints.
I must take care not to scratch my eyes.
Or touch any sensitive parts.

The key to next door is on her dresser.
I'll need it tomorrow morning.
The Sriracha is safe.

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Late lunch or early dinner yesterday at a restaurant where they know me. Quiet, before the rush of old folks happily discussing fish (they are Cantonese, so naturally fish is the most important thing to decide upon), and the only people there apart from the staff are Caucasians. I could have pretended to need the bathroom so that I could pass their tables to scope out what they had ordered -- being naturally curious -- but I could see a large platter of egg rolls arriving at one table already, and I was too busy reading the wall-specials anyway after telling the waiter what I wanted.
I had intended to get a spicy eggplant dish.
But I asked for something else.

Chinese walls have text.
Lots of it.

In addition to numerous names of dishes, some special some not, there were also a number of examples of calligraphy, probably done by old friends of the family. Regular evenly spaced characters with idiosyncrasies, where the brush in the hand offered an exciting possibility that had to be expressed. Sometimes a stroke terminates with a thin swoop into the next word or line, sometimes extra weight emphasizes a sense of balance. It's rhythmic, and a pattern of regular thick ends highlights a directionality. The eye is drawn in, and follows the strangers hand as it rolls down the sheet.
I know nothing about the scribe, but I imagine him.
Very likely he is rather like Chew-sook.
Short. Impish. Round headed.
And probably balding.

The last time anyone saw Chew-sook was before he and Ms. Wong had a falling out. It was after a two month visit from his Taiwan wife, nearly a year after his Malaysia wife had been in San Francisco, and also after the Hong Kong wife. For a man in his seventies, he still has an active and vibrant life.
I suspect that in addition to the wives and their living quarters overseas, he also maintains business interests in those places, and has already started sending grandkids to university there.

I know he sings opera; we've discussed a few favourites.
And he probably also practises calligraphy.

Chicken and mushrooms, rice.
Soup, tea, oranges.

I wandered down Commercial Street with my pipe afterward, till I saw someone I wished to avoid and cut over to Sacramento. Past the Embarcadero Centers, then over to the parrots in the park.
After finishing my smoke I caught the bus home.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2017


One of the things that stays with you longest when you visit a place are the signature smells. And how sad it would be if what you remember best about San Francisco is the reek of marijuana and urine along Market Street and the many facets of Roman sewer from ancient plumbing under the streets in the financial district, which is strong and startling at very many intersections from Market Street north to Clay, especially eastwards of Sansome.


Or, most robust of all, a computer programmer up for nearly two weeks on a project, who has consumed hot pockets, burritos from the truck, taco chips, fries, energy drinks, candy bars ... He's unwashed, unrested, and exuding all of that plus snack and soda spillage from his skin and clothes.

With any luck he's popped a few caffeine pills and is now next to you on a bus with his colleagues, as they drunkenly discuss the Giants and great big boobies, oh baby. It's a foetid pong from somewhere between wild-eyed curry-continental and the gluey processed cheese heartland that is the Mid West, with heavy doses of bad-boy body-spray, endocrine systems out of whack from not enough sleep and zero nutrition whatsoever for several weeks, and a mega serving of molokhia with friends at the secret Coptic church and eatery hidden beneath the underground parking garage.

Okay, that last is more than likely stream-of-consciousness. Still. Garlic and Redbull. It's a life-style. Most programmers are unlikable, whether they are named Rajbood from Hyderabad, Mahmood from Alexandria, or just John the pudgy dude from Ohio. It's that addiction to energy drinks and video games, it twists the mind. Almost as bad as a methamphetamine habit for screwing someone up physically and mentally.

We've got those people too.
Plus sweaty yoga freaks.
With putrid mats.

My point is that you want better memory smells of the city.

Wherefore I have some suggestions.


The diagonal path across Sue Bierman Park has some lovely floral reeks, from the various plants that profuse alongside. The smell of roasting coffee in North Beach, along with hints of patchouli (still used there and in a few small pockets elsewhere in the city) is especially nice in the morning.

If you wander around at the higher reaches of Nob, Telegraph, and Russian Hill you will encounter fewer crazy people, less dog poo, and many more patches of nasturtium, bougainvillea, lillies, and resinous wild herbs.

Golden Gate Park, during daylight hours, presents a rich palette of vegetal aromas, almost any area away from the wharf will lack that characteristic sour odour of discarded bread bowls and spilled chowder, late at night the magic aroma of grilled onions and bacon-wrapped hot dog along Mission Street may charm you (also elsewhere near bars on the weekend, after midnight), parts of the Presidio are riotous with fresh smells, and if you avoid Ocean Beach you may never nose a dead leviathan.

Eucalyptus in the panhandle.
The rose garden in the park.
Fresh garlic, Belden Alley.
Slowly cooking carnitas.

And please, smell your food, not your neighbor.

Unless you want to.

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There used to be raccoons there, now there's something else. A long time ago an elderly furry couple lived on Nob Hill, we saw them once crossing at the light ahead and ambling up Hyde Street, checking each door and basement entryway, hop-scotching towards Washington Street.
They seemed comfortable in their pelts, and self-confident.
Long time residents, just looking for tasty garbage.

One of them had an unfortunate accident late one summer at Larkin Street and Clay. The other one was probably just as old, and may not have lived long after. Some raccoons mate for life.

I haven't seen any raccoons in several years, even the Chinatown trash-pandas seem to have disappeared from the radar.

But there are coyotes now.
At least one of them.
Maybe more.

We first saw the beast at Jones and Pacific several weeks ago in the middle of the night, heading uphill toward the north. And we were surprised, as wild canids are not a normal feature of the San Francisco urban environment.

The coyote is related to both dogs and North American wolves, and inter-type mating that produces mixed offspring is not uncommon. Most wolves have some coyote dna, and vice-versa.

Here in the city we have no wolves, but there are bucketloads of dogs.
There may be a connection. Causal, Casual, and carnal.
The happy possibility of canine sex.

Last night I saw a coyote at Pacific and Larkin Streets. It passed me, quite unconcerned with my presence, and only a about four or five yards away.
It stopped to look at me, I stopped to look back. Then it trotted up Clay toward Hyde.

It may be the same coyote. Or a different one.
But again, in the middle of the night.

Coyotes are opportunistic blighters.
But in a way, beautiful.
Canis latrans.

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