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.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


There's that half-awareness between dream-state and full alert, when the normal individual is still wondering about Hortense Klewt, her brother Brutus Klewt, and whether their good friend Chastity MacGregor will ever end up married to Brutus. While being painfully and keenly aware of the effect the sound of running water in the cloistered room at the far end of the hall is having on his bladder.

The thought that automatically comes to mind is "woman, there is a drought, don't you know?" Followed by "I gotta go pee on the roses, the poor water-starved roses!"

Clench, clench, clench, clench, clench!

At last my apartment mate finished her ablutions -- my heavens does that girl splash a lot -- and after politely waiting for her to scoot back into her room so that modesty and discretion are maintained, I went to the bathroom.

Yes, thank you, I feel a lot better know.

I still do not know why the name Hortense Klewt came to mind. Or why I became convinced that the town's utility ditch and digging contractor (Brutus) was her brother. He is a silent man, large of frame, eccentric of haircut, and slow of speech. It is not that he is devoid of any intelligence, but that he finds his thoughts hard to put into words.
He thinks mostly of little fluffy kittens.

Chastity MacGregor is the local librarian mentioned in a previous post.
Someone in my dream was outraged that I merely made passing reference to her, and the small town in North Dakota where she shelves geology textbooks, without going into any further detail than her thick overcoat, necessary because of the horrible windswept cold of the place. "What were her dreams", he asked, "her girlish hopes, and what did she want out of life? What was she like as a person? Merely mentioning her and the temperature of the town was cruel to my readers, who wanted more!"
Undoubtedly my readers want to know more.
About a small-town librarian.
In North Dakota.

Sometimes I do not know who is less tied-in to reality; me, or my readers.

For an imaginary figure, and merely a bit-player at that, miss Chastity MacGregor is taking on quite a life. For some reason I just knew that she lived with an old college friend -- miss Hortense Klewt -- and that naturally the town digger of pits, pipe beds, ditches, trenches, and other necessary holes in the ground, Brutus, would be Hortense's older brother. Taciturn, thoughtful, and with an inner-life that was so different from what one would expect, given his physique, that people would be flabberghasted if they found out.

I have never been to Horsenail, North Dakota (population: 5000), but it seems as real to me as the light of day.

Both of the ladies mentioned are in their late twenties, Brutus is turning thirty two in November. Hortense is concerned for her brother, who has a hard time making friends, and she really thinks that Chastity would make a lovely companion for him.

" ... the lovely miss Chastity MacGregor shelving geology textbooks --- She wore a heavy overcoat, because of the drafts and dankness; the interview had taken place in mid-winter, and North Dakota is a frigid place, where strangers wearing multiple layers randomly hug just to stay warm."

[SOURCE: Femsplaining and beer.]

So far, the only real contact between the two has been shy glances from opposite corners of a dimly lit room, in which there were plenty of other people. Chastity sat near the closet, Brutus near the window. They did not say a word all evening. The other people drank tea.

Considering the utter lack of depravity any one sofar mentioned in Horsenail is displaying, I am surprised that the population remains so stable. Do they even reproduce? Maybe their numbers are augmented by a steady trickle of new settlers?

The cold season has already started in North Dakota. Due to climate change, they barely had any summer this year, and soon the howling winds blowing in from the badlands will make going outside a challenge. It will be a long cold winter. Not only thick overcoats (good indoor clothing in any case), but also mufflers, woolen blankets, and Ugg boots.
Gloves, earmuffs, and fur hats.

During the darkness and gloom of the North Dakotan saison hivernale (from end of September till the beginning of June), Hortense, Brutus, and Chastity will experience many wondrous things. They will learn more about themselves and each other. There will be more shy glances, steamier and shyer than ever. More cold. Chastity and Brutus will discover that their hearts beat fonder whenever the other person is near.

Both fluffy kittens and geology textbooks will be mentioned.

It is unclear whether there will be any passion, as I'm inventing this as I go along, but you, dear reader, will assuredly know far more about Chastity MacGregor and her dreams and hopes several months from now. And you may be left wondering about Hortense Klewt, who might be looking for a new roommate at that time. Life remains uncertain, always.
I can assure you that Hortense is a very good person.
Whom you might want to get to know.
She's warm and caring.

Possibly the belle of Horsenail!

No, I don't know what any of these people look like!

They're all imaginary, be real!

My apartment mate left forty minutes ago to go to work. Soon I shall light up a pipe and have my second cup of coffee. By lunch time I shall be in Chinatown, having a bite to eat on Stockton Street and observing the people passing by. Some of whom have shapely ankles.
And delicate bone structure.

Unlike the good people of North Dakota, I have a dirty mind.

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

Monday, October 05, 2015


This being breast cancer month or something, it seems appropriate to mention mammary glands. Now, being a man, naturally I know nuttin' about titty, but my apartment mate is a bonafide woman -- no, we aren't connected that way -- and has two of her own.

She was talking about someone who had had the breasts augmented when much younger, and consequently now has big long-ass dugs out to here! Which, of course, is an ailment common to many white women, especially celebrities in Hollywood.

Seeing as I pay absolutely NO attention to celebrity women, that isn't a characteristic I had noticed. Most celebrities tend to be dumb as bricks, and their stupidity is pretty much the only noteworthy thing about them.
But I'll take her word for it.

She and I agree, however, that there are only THREE reasons to have breast surgery. Three, count 'em.

ONE: cancer.

TWO: reduction, to make them more manageable.

THREE: an extraterrestrial creature is rupturing forth from your sternum, in which case breast surgery may be a misnomer; pest eradication would be a better term.

We came to this mutual conclusion after prolonged discussion. Then we spent several minutes dwelling on aliens that might grow beyond the larval stage in the chest cavity.

In conclusion, pay attention to breasts.
Doing so could save your life.

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


Two of the craziest conspiracy theories being circulated nowadays involve celebrities. And, if you believe either of these, you are wasting space on this planet.

One of these theories states that Robin Williams did not commit suicide, but was killed by the Illuminati.

The other one insists that Bruce Jenner's transformation is an Illuminati Goddess Ritual.

In fact, according to the people who believe in the Illuminati, almost all celebrity deaths are caused by a secret cabal of Illuminati composed of other celebrities, and they also force famous people to cross-dress for their own nefarious purposes. From the same cracked pothead sources, president Obama is gay, his wife is a man in drag, and Dave Chapelle's career tanked after he dared to go against them.
Secret society Satanic blood sacrifices.
MK Ultra, and Roseanne Barr.
Bobbi Kristina Brown.
Whitney Houston.

The internet has made it possible for the whackjobs who used to paint their bizarre theories in large letters all over beat-up Volkswagen buses and drive around town to stay at home in their barcaloungers and take to the air. And the internet has also revealed how wondrously many unsound and unstable people there are out there.

I always knew that humans were largely insane.

The internet proved it.

Here's looking at you.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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Sunday, October 04, 2015


Here's a confession: I like dimpled knees. Now, normally dimpled knees are quite invisible, but due to the warmish weather we've been having for several weeks, the occasional dimpled knee shyly skips into view, yielding a blissful frisson before disappearing again.

What makes a knee dimple is a small kneecap. So it's rare. Most people have huge armor-plated knees. Dimples, in the knee department, are a mark of fine bone structure.

Warm weather raises hemlines, and dimpled knees become visible.

It is a minor seasonal miracle, like the grape harvest.

I also like ankles, calves, and thighs.

I am a well-rounded pervert.

Not one-sided.

My next day off is this Tuesday, and I shall probably leave the house early.
There are dimpled knees out there!

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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This blog began on October tenth, 2005. At that time I needed to park a number of links to interesting Jewish blogs, and I was getting back into seriously reading material that I had jumped all over several times in the preceding years.

"Matthias, son of Deuteronomy of Gath ... "

Yes, a fair amount of that material was Torah Talmud. That stuff has always been a fascination, ever since an old friend of my mother wrote a book about the development of the Jewish and Christian deity in the context of other gods and deitic concepts in the ancient Near-East.
It was more-or-less a social history of monotheism against a Documentary Hypothesis background.

[No, I shall not mention the book, as I cannot remember the author or her name. When she wrote it I was not even a teenager. When I was a teenager, I was peculiar.]

At that time (2005) I was also still steaming mad at the Dutch, largely because of anti-American garbage on the editorial pages and in the comment sections of Dutch Newspapers: The NRC Handelsblad, the Algemeen Dagblad, Telegraaf, Volkskrant, De Limburger, and Het Parool, among others.

The Dutch have for several decades been snooty and arrogant about us filthy Yanks, and the sheer gibbering idiocy of the Bush Regime gave them far too much fuel. Plus, like many right-thinking Europeans, they hated Israel. Especially at that time, because Israel, as every body knows, is the "Little Satan", palsy-walsy with the United States, who are the "Big Satan".

No right-thinking European has been palsy-walsy with the United States since the Vietnam War, when the left over there gained the upper hand regarding socio-political dialectic.

[From my second to my eighteenth year I was in Holland. And I'm still bitterly resentful of the attitudes towards Americans that were prevalent then among "educated" Hollanders.]

Most Americans, insular and blinkered, were (and are) ditheringly oblivious to all of that; if they thought about Europe at all, it was in terms of cheese, museums, and natives lining the road to the front waving bottles of wine as Eisenhower's troops headed into the fray.

In the ten years that I've blathered here -- it's a soapbox, and I am the Lizard-King of Suds, dammit -- much has been mentioned.
There have been changes, there has been growth.

This blog is far less Jewish than it started off.

This blog is far less Zionist than before.

This blog is far less Netherlandish.

This blog is less anti-Dutch.

This blog is less angry.

There is more food, more Chinese stuff, and not as much Indonesian and South-East Asian material. As I stopped subscribing to any mailinglists populated by know-it-all Dutchmen, the amount of fury towards the Dutch, in their language, has also lessened.

I should also mention that though I still read Dutch newspapers on the internet, it's mostly limited to Het Parool and the Telegraaf.
Glib stuff, and cats in trees.

Also, five years into this blog -- five years ago -- my relationship with Savage Kitten changed from love and lust to friendship. Just friendship.
Yes, I am now as romantically unattached as any teenager fears to be, and sometimes I feel far more alone than I could possibly have understood when I was a teenager.

But at other times I am still a teenager.

I've nearly killed myself with hot sauce several times. Optimism.

The amount of anti-Christian bile, and venom directed at Republicans, has increased somewhat. That was inevitable, and is all their fault.

The one thing which has remained constant is that I do not publish between late afternoon on Friday and nightfall on Saturday.
This blog is not kosher, but it is shomer-shabbes.

I am looking forward to ten more years of spewing myself here.
By that time, I may be senile and speaking in tongues.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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Saturday, October 03, 2015


What I had for tea on Friday afternoon would have been perfect for a date on Saturday night. Except, of course, for some very minor differences. Tea was actually a very late lunch, followed by a pipeful of a tobacco blend of my own devising. And it wasn't today, but over twenty four hours ago.
The smoke took approximately half an hour to enjoy, mostly in an alley next to Portsmouth Square, while watching cheeky sparrows taunting pigeons, and listening to card-game quarrels from the elderly folks seated near the public restrooms.

Obviously not the most romantic of times was passed, but you will be glad to know that I wasn't squiring anyone around on this adventure.

Which also explains why what I actually ate was not what really would have been perfect for a date.

What it should have been: preserved pork and Chinese sausage claypot rice, with oyster sauce mustard greens on the side, washed down with copious amounts of tea in a restaurant with tablecloths.

[NOTES: 臘味煲仔飯,同蠔油芥菜 'laahp mei po chai faan, tung hou yau gaai choi'; claypot rice (煲仔飯) is parboiled rice finished in a claypot with flavouring layered on top, oyster sauce (蠔油) is a cooking condiment (condensed oyster liquids) invented long ago by the founder of Lee Kum Kee (李錦記) in Hong Kong.]

And I know exactly the place where that can be done.

But, being by myself, all that would have been far too much for just one person, and I hate carting home leftovers. So instead I had Shanghai dumplings, chive bonnets, glutinous rice balls, and taro puffs.
Scarfed down in a casual eatery I often visit.
Which was exceedingly good too.

[NOTES: 小籠飽、韭菜餃、糯米飽、炸芋角 'siu lung baau', 'gau choi gaau', 'nuo mai baau', 'ja wu gok'; all classic dimsum items, though the first mentioned is a fairly recent innovation, originating as it does far to the north of the Pearl River estuary.]

I am quite fond of tiny bun-like things and steamed dumplings.

The coffee was mediocre, but that is a known issue.
Chinatown is hardly a fine bean mecca.

Deep fried taro puffs are extremely reminiscent of typical Dutch croquettes, though made of entirely different ingredients. So naturally they are one of my favourite items.
I particularly like them with a dollop of chili paste.

The pipe to follow was a blessing.

Tonight's dinner is an okra stew over noodles, which took all of ten minutes to prepare. Quick and easy single-man food.
Plus hot sauce, and a cup of milk-tea.
A pipe will follow.

Whether a woman would enjoy any of the food above is, really, a great big mystery. I haven't been near a recent graduate student or timorous young thing in years. I do know that the overwhelming majority of women hate the smell of pipes, pipe tobacco, and individuals who smoke pipes.
Which is extremely hurtful to sensitive men.

Why do most females abjure, disavow, repudiate, loathe, abhor, detest, abominate, despise, forswear, avoid, disfavour, and otherwise just plain dislike such an innocent and evocative fragrance?

Not only hurtful, but strange and peculiar.
Maybe it's sheer perversity.

I suppose for a date I'd have to bring along two cigars instead; one for me, one for her. That way I can leave the offensive pipe at home.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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Friday, October 02, 2015


Corrina Lawson wrote a short piece in Geekdad taking Sports Illustrated to task for the objectification of women. Given that their most sought after publication each year is the Swimsuit issue, there may be a point to her screed. In all honesty, I can not claim to know. Not to "really know", that is.
I do not read Sports Illustrated, and haven't bought the swimsuit issue.
Yes, I obviously know what the swimsuit issue is all about.
But I do not dig the sportsfanbase's aesthetic.
Or exposure to their eroticism.
I wish to avoid that.

Even in my sexual objectification of women I am a snob, and sneer at the common glandularism of the typical bourgeois sporty male specimen.

That, too, might not be something that intelligent women approve of.
Elitist lust is, after all, also a graphic discrimination.

From a possible bio, written by a scholarly fan after I'm dead:

"Secretly, in his dank basement library, the elderly degenerate treasured his trove of black and white copies of 'Fully Dressed Librarian Magazine', their brittle pages reeking of the chemical byproducts of wood pulp decomposition mixed with mildew.
He loved the sharp faintly sickening smell they gave off.
The 1939 midsummer edition, featuring the lovely miss Chastity MacGregor shelving geology textbooks, was a personal favourite; the textually dense article barely lightened by a few out-of-focus shots of the subject in the middle distance allured him most especially. She wore a heavy overcoat, because of the drafts and dankness; the interview had taken place in mid-winter, and North Dakota is a frigid place, where strangers wearing multiple layers randomly hug just to stay warm."

Instead of beer and truck advertisements, clerical supplies and durable eye-glass frames feature prominently. Along with detailed articles about typefaces and desk polish.

Garamond, in thirteen point!
Times sans serif, ooh!

Actually, I am a normal man, and I find women very attractive.

But that isn't the object of Corrina Lawson's ire.

Quote: "they believe their audience is all men who want photos of hot women, not stories about women in sports. What they don’t realize is that by doing this, they’re part of the problem.
When people talk about rape culture, this is what they mean. When the men are valued for their achievements and treated as people, and the women are valued for being hot and looking sexually available, being prizes for the men doing the important stuff. For further examples, see that awful Draft Kings commercial that ran all last year on all the sports channels that talked about how winners of the fantasy contest went from ‘having holes in his underwear to having bikini models in them.’ "
End quote.

[SOURCE: Sports Illustrated, You’re Part of the Rape Culture Problem -- Geekdad.]

She makes a valid point. Sports on television is all about big beefy men and their spandexed rumps, interrupted by commercials for vehicles and hot steaming junkfood. Women are only important in that world if they have cleavages.

I have no clue what gets advertised during broadcasts of women's sports, because they change the channel when that stuff comes on in both of the cigar smoking environments with which I am familiar.

One of the readers took issue with her screed, and his comment is worth quoting in it's entirety.

FatFreddysCat wrote:

"Corinna is completely wrong. SI is not the problem here, Corinna’s whiny attitude – and her willingness to criminally defame all men as rapists because women don’t measure up – is the problem.

I’ve got news for you Corinna. Women’s sports are by and large, *boring*. You simply can’t accept that, can you? You can’t accept that in almost category of every sport, the very best women aren’t even average when placed among the best class of men. No shame in that, because men are bigger, stronger, faster, more coordinated, and their brains are better equipped for catching, throwing, and other tasks requiring geospatial awareness. That’s just how it is.

Nobody cares about women’s basketball, unless they happen know some girl that plays. Nobody cares about women’s golf, or women’s soccer, or tennis, etc., for the same reason. And they never will.

As far as your whine about “objectifying women”, I’ll give you half credit. Feminists have done their best to destroy chivalry, and the honor and restraint that system imposes upon men, and you are reaping your rewards. Women are indeed more than objects of desire for men. And yet, at the same time, they always have been objects of desire, and you’d better hope they always will be.

The problem is how to balance that natural situation in such a way that both men and women are honored and respected as much as possible. Your smeary little whine does nothing to achieve such a balance.

Corinna, if you want to replace the idea and system of chivalrous and gentlemanly behavior from men, balanced by demure and graceful, but self-confident and assertive femininity from women(think Barbara Stanwyck, Kate Hepburn), then let’s hear your suggestions!

But right now, all you’ve done is make the situation a little bit *worse* by tearing down men – again. Shame on you. And if you want to read about women’s sports – feel free to publish your own sports magazine. And leave SI alone."

End cite.

Personally, I think he was on drugs when he wrote that.
It's the only way all of his ideas actually fit together.
I particularly like how he blames women.
While claiming gentlemanliness.

He's a very insecure little man.

A truly confident male, secure in his own identity, would not feel threatened by any amount of femsplaining. Rather, he would be able to see that there are different and likely equally worthwhile ways of looking at such matters, and that one's perspective could depend on one's own circumstance.
Without that in any way implicitly devaluing another point of view.

I tend to think that all sports are a load of horse pucky.
But I accept that most people don't see that.
In what way does that affect me?

There's a subjectivity to the operational paradigm.

The average dog probably considers all popular sports to be nothing more than unnecessarily complicated versions of 'fetch', sadly devoid of meaningful camaraderie and slobbering.

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Thursday, October 01, 2015


If, as looks likely, the Republicans make Kevin McCarthy speaker of the house next week, things will be ever so entertaining.
For one thing, he can't speak English.

Of course you don't need to speak English in Kevin McCarthy's home state (California), because ninety percent of the Anglo-Saxons in this state end up taking remedial English once they enter college, and lord knows our representatives in Sacramento regularly make a hash out of it. But this is the third world, and we expect a high level of idiocy.

Washington is different.

Despite the huge number of Southerners, it is considered a first world capital by many experts.

Intelligible English is kind of de rigueur there.

It's an important language.

Almost essential.

*      *      *

Like many certifiables, Kevin Own McCarthy has a degree in Marketing.
Which is just as intellectually rigorous as basket weaving.

Bakersfield's favourite son is a gifted speaker.

And very friendly.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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If you've walked through Chinatown lately, you've heard the tune, albeit in a canned version on permanent repeat. It was played for several hours in the Northern Metropolis early this September during the seventieth anniversary of the victory against Japanese aggression.
It's the default parade march.

The tune is The Military Anthem of the People's Liberation Army.

[You will find the lyrics here: 維基百科 -- 歌詞].

Here's a fairly decent and normal version



This version features the stalwart legs of thousands of otherwise dreadfully rectilinear military women.



As the son of a woman who served in the United States Navy ('Waves') during both World War Two and the Korean War, I appreciate this on a different level entirely.

I like it.

東方紅: 中國人民解放軍進行曲
Now, for a trip back in time, the same song from The East Is Red, which is the beloved revolutionary opera filmed in 1965.



I never did like that opera, possibly because I am just not a fan of modern art. This performance is silly, and too much like 'An American In Paris'.
Sorry, other than making me giggle, it doesn't work for me.
Probably wouldn't even if I dropped acid.
But I shan't experiment.

The Military Anthem was originally popularized as the March of the Eighth Route Army (八路军进行曲), written in 1939.

The video version of the parade in September is a hot item, but altogether not nearly as exciting as its producers wish to think.
Speech, speech, speech, and then images of multiple military units marching perfectly, in a sequence that rather goes on and on.
Did I already mention I don't like modern art?

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015


A few weeks ago someone suggested that pipe smokers made better lovers. Naturally, being a pipe smoker, I was all ears. I likewise think that pipe smokers are thus. Better companions, at the very least.
Unfortunately I was not what the speaker had in mind.
Besides which, it was a male who said that.
I am NOT hot on my own gender.

We pipe smokers often take a back seat to the cigar crowd, who tend to overcompensate. Many cigar smoking men are "special", and may feel themselves less manly if they aren't waving around a large wad of rolled-up dry leaves. Male cigar smokers habitually confuse item A with object B.
Pipe-smokers will gladly yield the floor to the deranged individual.
Whatever those guys want does not concern us.
Our preferences are not theirs.

If a cigar smoker is a heterosexual male, rather than focusing on the intellect of the lady that caught his eye, more likely than not he will obsessively appreciate her bosom, to the exclusion of nearly everything else, perhaps excepting her hair colour if she happens to the blonde.
If he's homosexual, other parts of the packet come into play.

Naturally none of this holds for female cigar smokers.
Who may have a preference for Nicaraguans.
And ignore any ooing males.

"A young lady who not only likes the smell of good pipe tobacco but actually indulges in it herself is infinitely charming. A woman who smokes pipes will never want for friendship; her company is magnetic and energizing."

[SOURCE: Pipesmoking aids intellectual development..]

Pipe smokers, on the other hand, of either gender or preference, tend to be more interested in someone's conversational abilities. Reason being that if they can talk well, there is less chance of our pipe going out.
Let the other person speak, we'll happily listen.
And thoughtfully puff once in a while.
As a result, the pipe stays lit.

An agreeable social exchange is far more conducive to mutual good times (and especially the enjoyment of a pipe) than a contentious and rowdy dickwaving competition with opinionated cheroot-huffing yutzes.
One just cannot enjoy a smoke in their company.

All of this came to mind the last time I was near a collection of typical cigar aficionados. Their opinions were remarkable for the ignorance and downright stupidity on which these were based.

If there is ANY group that needs the gentling and humanizing presence of women, it is such people. Unfortunately women tend to avoid them.

Especially cigar smoking women.

Which is very wise.


So, if you were wondering whether you should date a pipe smoker, the answer is yes. Yes you should. Pipe smokers are intelligent and caring individuals, capable of deep insight, and remarkably broadminded and tolerant. They are sensitive to other people's needs, and extremely thoughtful. Both depth and perspective, mixed with humanism.
They'll remember anniversaries and birthdays.
And they are remarkably mellow.

Except for smokers of aromatics and Gandalf pipes.
Those people are complete degenerates.
Jesus do they have issues.
They're scum.


Tomorrow I shall be around cigar smokers for most of the day.
I'm already mentally prepared for it; can you tell?
Don't worry, I won't pick any fights.


NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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In both of the pipe-smoking groups on Facebook in which I take part, it is taken for granted that the habit is held in severe disfavour by the female companions of the honourable members. Because, so often, it is.

One person posted a picture of a mail order that arrived recently, with the remark that fortunately for him the wife never saw it.
The gates of Hell might have opened otherwise.

Wifely disdain for pipes and tobacco is a very common theme. "Please don't let her know too much, or I'll be in serious trouble".

Likewise, I note that many if not most women nowadays wrinkle their cute little button noses at certain smells (while saying not a word about overly perfumed unguents and lotions), and at best merely tolerate their menfolk's peculiarities.

Grudgingly, and sometimes while snapping and yowling.

I've been told authoritatively that in a relationship, one must accept the other person's foibles.

But I'm guessing that that only goes one way.

Remarkably, the people who strongly advised me that I should be less blatant about my fondness for pipes and tobaccos, because it would vastly improve my chances of finding another person to share my life, and if I knew what was good for my I would desist entirely so that the ladies might appreciate me, were all non-smoking women, mostly of peculiarly blinkered intellect, quite a few of them middle-aged, and some in relationships that qualified as dubious or dysfunctional.
Or formerly in such a relationship.

It strikes me that if a man has to hide his hobby, or pursue it beyond his wife's ken, there's something almighty f*cked up about their marriage.
Especially if it isn't a perversion or membership in the Klan or the Elks.
But merely an aesthetic and mood-related fondness for briar.
As well as a liking for old-fashioned tobacco.

Yes, I know that hiding my pipe-smoking, or quitting entirely, would significantly improve my chances of finding a girlfriend.

I am absolutely not interested in a person who would demand that.
A woman who cannot accept something I thoroughly enjoy.
Which has been a part of my life for most of it.
Nooky be damned, I'm having a pipe.

One of my friends told me recently that with his wife out of town for a week, he can finally smoke a cigar out on the patio. Personally I think he should divorce the baggage; they have nothing in common.
Even less than nothing; she clearly hates him.

I bet he's incredibly jealous of the two men we both know whose wives also enjoy cigars, and deservedly so.

They are lovely couples.

NOW HEAR THIS: If your wife or husband (or boyfriend or girlfriend) harasses you about your pipes and cigars (or something equally innocuous), and acts like a total dick, get rid of them.
Life is too short to put up with that.
You're going to die anyway.

The way I see it, my pipe filters out the dingbats.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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We discussed the prurience of the great American public, and why men of the cloth need to get married. What we did not mention was cleavage.

Yet cleavage is the elephant in the room.

Remarkably, though there was indeed several cleavage blatantly being displayed, I cannot remember anything about the exhibitrices.

Nor whether cigarette ashes had fallen into the gap.

Cleavage is best privately appreciated rather than publicly displayed.

Shape and dimension is less important than hue and tactile sensation.

When there is evidence of cleavage, one may assume that an appropriate number of aureoles et papillis are likewise in the vicinity.

Beware of counterfeits.

This is axiomatic.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Silly me. It took me this long to figure out that the pronunciation is "baynor", not "boner". Now that he's been mentioned on the Daily Show.
Honestly, I had no idea.

You see, I do not watch the news. Or Fox.

This blogger reads about events.

I seldom watch TV.

Years ago I would purchase two or three English-language newspapers every day, plus one or two of the Chinese newspapers, and retire to a Chinatown bakery or coffee shop to devour them entirely, while getting high as a kite on constant refills.

I no longer do that.

Three things happened to interdict that valiant effort at literacy concerning affairs of the world.

The internet took off like a rocket.

Smoking was outlawed indoors.

Newspapers faltered.

Oh, and somewhere along the line I discovered girls, of course. Nipples are infinitely more fascinating than editorials, and you can twiddle them, which if you tried doing that to an editorial would not yield nearly the same startling results. That's just how it is. Nipples 1, editorial columns 0.
I'm probably not alone in that conclusion.

It would be very nice if you could still light up a pipe while at a comfortable coffee shop or bakery with fresh pie, unfold your newspaper, and read well-written articles rich with data and import. Newspapers, alas, have become the junkfood of newsgrazing, and television programmes are on the whole a poor substitute for the editorial page.

The less said about Fox, the better.

At least nipples have remained much the same.

At least I assume so; I haven't seen any in quite a while.

Maybe they too have been replaced by the internet while I slept.

I would love confirmation regarding the nipples, but I shall not watch Fox to find out. And Fox, of course, was where the received pronunciation of mister Boehner's name originated, because a television channel catering to the blinkered ignorant religious nuts in the deep south could not possibly pronounce a word that sounded obscene.

It really should be 'beu-ner', like Dutch "beunhaas", with the tightlipped 'oh' sound ("Ö"), the exact same vowel as in "Österreich", "schön", or "größ".
It's really not hard; pretend you have a stick stuck somewhere.
Puritanic Southerners can pronounce 'boner'.
They just can't ever say it.

Böner, böner, böner!

Anyhow, now that he's leaving, I've finally figured out how most people pronounce his surname. All this time I had been saying 'boner'.

We'll miss him. He may have been irrationally rightwing, but at least he was a gentleman; many of his party members are total dicks.

He'll have more time to spend with his family now.
All the little böners.

Good luck, John.
Enjoy the peace and quiet.

*      *      *      *      *

I wonder if Fox ever says the word 'nipple'?
Or how on earth they pronounce it.
It is a lovely word.

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During the working day I often answer questions. Unfortunately, only a minority of the people who ask these questions are inquiring about the meaning of life. Equally unfortunately, some of them clearly need psychological counseling. Often the questions are about cigars.

Stick this end in your mouth.

Set fire to that end.

Now suck.

A few of them express curiosity about pipes instead. What makes one pipe better than another, or how does one use this peculiar object?
This end goes in your mouth, AFTER you've put tobacco in that end. For the rest, please follow the instructions for cigars.

As with all consumption, do not waste your time on garbage. If you are going to indulge, do so boldly and well. Go for the glittery ball at the end of the rainbow, and don't accept any wooden nickels.

Today is the beginning of my weekend.
I want more evolved questions.

What kind of forest creature am I, what is that lovely smell, why am I sitting by myself on a bench, are there more places to sit, and what beverage comes to mind at most hours of the day?

Can I actually locate my copy of A La Recherche du Temps Perdu?

[Actually, I can, but not today. My apartment mate is watching murder documentaries on teevee all day long, and the copy is in the cabinet underneath the boob tube, behind the ceramics.]

Would I rather be inside fondling my pipe or a warm cup?

What else are agile and sensitive fingers good for?

Sunlight or semi-closed window blinds?

I'm in the mood to experiment today. Noodles, dumplings, and other slithery things. Voyages of discovery, and a fresh pair of eyes.

Sunlight, coffee, and cats.

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Monday, September 28, 2015


Just heard the horrible news. No, not about Facebook being buggered up, unpleasant though that is (didn't even notice), but my apartment mate is taking a vacation day tomorrow.

Tomorrow is one of my scheduled days off.
I do not want her around.

No, I'm actually very fond of her. But her presence, on my days off, cramps my style. With her around, I shan't be able to smoke.
Nor will I be able to pick up a bright young thing and start a passionate romance that involves hugging and kissies.
Now, you understand that such a romance would not be even remotely likely to happen in any case, but the idea that in an ideal universe it theoretically COULD happen is immensely liberating.
And if it did happen, it would be in stages.
A gradual progression of steps.
Not sudden at all.

[Hypothetical classified advertisement my aura radiates at all times, except that women are all kind of dense and insensitive and don't even notice:
"Hi, I'm a middle-aged man who is ready for passion, are you a romantically inclined sweet innocent young thing who needs a grumpy Dutchman in your life? Do you like mature individuals who reek of pipe-tobacco? Do you enjoy reading good books in a rather messy apartment with someone smoking nearby who is also reading a book? Would you like to have lunch, then go back to my place where we shall discuss Kierkegaard and Sartre, perhaps while taking a bath? I've got a pipe or two I could lend you, and just sheer tonnes of pipe tobacco! I might even open a tin of aged Virginia, oh joy! Together we can pleasantly pass the time till twilight while sipping hot milk tea, in each other's company, as the fragrant trails ascend and mingle. Well hot diggety!
Let me walk you home.

No one has ever picked up on the big glowing karmic neon sign above my head that spells that out. Which I find utterly baffling.
It's probably a problem with wavelengths.

They're just not receptive to the unspoken thought.
Or their processors put it in the junk folder.
Along with all the other spam.

Despite such lively fantasies, though, what is far more likely is that I shall spend a lot of time elsewhere tomorrow, because my apartment mate is a non-smoker. This is somewhat inconvenient.

Normally I shut her door firmly the moment she leaves in the morning, open several windows, and fill up a pipe. Then settle down for a leisure cruise through internet news sites, visit Facebook and Wikipedia along with a few dictionaries of various languages. By the time of my second cup of coffee I'm nearly ready to poke my head above the snowdrifts and look around with a quizzical expression on my face.

Two pipes before one o'clock, and later a snackipoo in Chinatown.
That gives the apartment enough time to air out.
The smell is gone by evening.

What I'm looking for is a perceptive and interesting companion.
Who likes old-fashioned aromas and objects.
And relaxes by reading.

What I always settle for is a hot beverage and a pastry.
Followed by a leisurely stroll with a pipe.
While observing people.

My life is quiet but rather enjoyable.
Indeed, it could be better.
But it's nice.

It's filled with flaky buttery goodness.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015


Being a single man, and therefore not in any way obliged to eat sensibly or socially, I get to make food decisions that seem good to me, and probably not to anyone else.

Like hot sauce all over the place.

Or an excess of bitter vegetables.

Plus mocha and some mooncake.

It is the season for mooncakes, and as you know, there is precious little nutrition in those things. They're rich, sweet, and luscious, and almost certainly something your mom would disapprove of your over-indulgence in.

But I'm single, AND grown-up. So I can eat whatever I feel like.

And this evening I felt like lotus-seed-paste mooncake.

With a giant glass of chilled mocha.

A great dinner.

I knew I needed the caffeine when I heard voices while crossing Van Ness, and did not initially realize that they were my own, and in my head.
For some inexplicable reason I did not have enough sleep last night, and a day at the saltmines had made me a little tired.

"Is that a painted portal or a concrete maw?"
"Oh my, such a pleasingly plump rump!"
"Green cars are NOT adult frogs."

Tiredness does strange things to the mind. Stimuli have more interesting brain-reactions, as the mind goes interpretationally side-ways. I do not know why I described a Volkswagen as having a shapely booty.


Apparently I was not the only tired person at that intersection.

As I passed the church ("painted portal or concrete maw"), a man wearing a floral bathrobe said "my cock itches".

He too was probably tired.

I advised him to use Maximum Strength Cortizone 10-Plus, and dry himself well after bathing, if he ever bathed. Cleanliness might very well be next to godliness, much like a church, which also has that reputation somewhat, and mendicants sitting on the steps may be saints in disguise, but hygienic habits go a long way toward precluding unfortunate dermal issues, most especially in the nether regions or between the toes, and dryness must always be maintained, otherwise a horrible rot sets in.
Especially during the warm season.
Athletes foot and cock-itch.
Caused by moisture.

"My cock itches!"

Oh you poor man! Does it really! Cortisone 10! Get it at Walgreens, either at Polk and Broadway, or Polk and California, which is two blocks closer. And have you considered using baby powder?

I don't think I've ever told anyone that my cock itches.

It's not a conversational gambit in my book.

I don't talk about my cock.

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Last night I waited for the phone to ring. And waited. And waited. To no avail. By which I mean that I had sent out a query on facebook, and did not receive any answers.

No, this is NOT a tale of sadness, but rather one of practicality. Normally, on Saturday night, I head down to a familiar place to enjoy one or two pipes in peace and quiet. Except that whenever a certain person there takes the night off -- inexplicable, as he only works ONE evening a week -- a certain other person gets his shift; someone of an entirely different bend.
A person whom some have named Chewbaca.
Or Chewzilla. Either or.

Suffice to say that said individual is not one of my favourite people.

I seek foreknowledge before I head on over.

I am not an idiot.

*   *   *

So, given that the radar system wasn't working (at least, not until very much later), I stayed in and prepared myself curry-fried noodles with gailan and smoked bacon, while listening to the prosperous yuppies across the lot partying loudly and screaming.

An endeavor which I suspect involved overmuch beer on their part.

Beer is often the fundament on which a judgement fail is built.

Usually those with the least sense rely on the most beer.

Voices are raised further with each bottle

I very rarely consume beer.

I am not an idiot.

*   *   *

Excessive quantities of chili paste, chopped ginger, and shrimp paste.

It would have been perfect with a bottle of beer.

Of which there wasn't a drop.

I am an idiot.


The radar system finally squawked long after I had regretted my intemperance with the chili paste, ginger, and shrimp paste.
After the boozers across the lot began to sing.
I didn't even have that much to eat.
Saved some for tonight.
I am an idiot.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015


When I think about it, I really should know better by now. Strange things come flying out of her mouth, and, because she has Asperger syndrome, conversational trains from several weeks or months ago suddenly restart. Sometimes right where they left off, though at other times they head in an entirely new direction.

My roommate's chit-chat methodology is mostly uncharted territory.
She used to be my girlfriend, and even then I was often baffled.
More than five years later, I'm still frequently surprised.

She isn't crazy, you just have to be there at the beginning.
Data enters, percolates, ferments, sprouts wings.
Then comes out several month later.
In a strange new guise.

If the information is weird, she's a sponge.

So I should not have reacted the way I did when the voice from the other side of the table, hidden by both her computer and mine, exclaimed indignantly "a Jew in blackface?!?!"


"You heard me; a Jew in blackface."

"Oh I think that's a marvelous idea! Is that what he plans to do for Halloween? I can see it now; he'll be rolling down the street in his wheelchair, singing spirituals. It will be EVER so entertaining!"

"Huh, what the heck are you talking about?"

"You know, what Wheelie Boy is going to do for a costume."



"You want to see him killed, don't you?"

"No, not at all. Whatever gave you that idea? I have NO intention of being anywhere nearby."

So help me, I really did think she was reacting to one of Wheelie Boy's brilliant plans, seeing as he is the man she sees nowadays.
And honestly, I was just being supportive.
He's Jewish, by the way.

[Much more Jewish than I could ever be, and angular of chin, too. Although far less rabbinic, seeing as he's entirely unfamiliar with Talmud-Torah, speaks not a word of Yiddish, Aramaic, or Hebrew, and knows almost nothing about traditions, minhag, halacha, or even kashrus.
I, on the other hand, am a smart monkey.
Albeit utterly goyish.]

And you will have to admit: the idea of a Jewish healthnut weightlifter in a wheelchair rolling down the street singing spirituals with his face painted pitch-black is unique. Wow. Creative, inspiring, and even uplifting.
Makes it understandable why she's seeing that putz.

She admires courageous people.

He's in a wheelchair.

And Jewish.

Everyone who knows me understands that I am nothing if not warmly supportive. My sense of empathy is enormous, and I just want everyone to reach their fullest potential. I recognize the hidden talents within.
You are a pupa until you become a butterfly.
Break free of your pupal casing.
De-cocoon yourself.

Well, truth be told, I thought it was just another one of her boyfriend's crazy brain-farts. He was the only Jew I could think of at that moment that I know she knows, so the connection seemed logical.

For her sake, he should put on blackface and sing.

But what she was actually talking about was Al Jolson, whom she had been reading about two months ago. Mr. Jolson reveled in blackface, and made a fantabulous reputation for himself performing thus.
It was what Bush called "a kinder gentler era".
Which really means batshit crazy.
And viciously racist.

My apartment mate is now convinced that I would conspire for her present boyfriend's death, if the opportunity presented itself. She also suspects that I will telephone him with suggestions out of the blue. Knowing that the dear man has a streak of innocent credulity. And that I am persuasive.
Why else would I imagine Wheelie Boy in blackface?
Singing spirituals at Fisherman's Wharf.

I really think he should do it.


She's got Aspergers. Her boyfriend also has Aspergers, far worse.
And I'm on the spectrum too, but only borderline, very slight.
Asperger co-dependent, or Asperger enabling.

I am not a mean-spirited person.

Blackface, heh heh.

Apparently he doesn't celebrate Halloween.
I think it would be enlightening for him.
A new learning experience.

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Friday, September 25, 2015


Now that the Republicans on Fox have shivered their wee timbers over the Pope, and excoriated him for being a poor-people coddling liberal (totally unlike Jesus!) who doesn't know or understand scripture and the importance that the good book has in law, philosophy, the sciences, or the righteous management of modern society, perhaps it is finally time for us to admit that as far as religion is concerned, we are a spent force.

We have nothing to add, because Fox knows it all.

Nothing says 'Christ' quite like they do.

And the righteous Ted Cruz.

Sweet Jesus.


Or the good people and sanctity in places like Kentucky and Tennessee, which are so close to being heaven that we should just all move there.
To say nothing of Texas and Bobby Jindal's Louisiana.

Being instinctively a rather disagreeable sort, who without thinking will take issue with the given truth, I naturally have a different opinion.

I will offer that instead we should all admire Zerblat.

Whose gentle inner wisdom brings peace.

Just look at those big innocent eyes.

And that distinguished profile.

He isn't Ted Cruz.

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Despite my virulent distaste for the company of cigar-chomping grossly overweight rednecks and ultra right wing conspiracy theorists, I spent several hours in precisely such an environment the other evening.
Most cigar smokers are crude, opinionated, and wrong.
As a pipe-smoker, I am above all that.
But not always.

I was planning to have only one drink, and consequently had only a little Virginia tobacco and two pipes with me when I entered. One of which was already lit, having been filled while I waited for my roast duck and rice at New Moon Restaurant in Chinatown.

[Roast duck and rice, roast duck rice plate: 燒鴨飯 'siu ngaap fan'; Cantonese style roast duck with a mound of rice. Usually this is served with the nicely arranged chunks of hot duck exuding juices onto a layer of chopped lettuce (生菜 'saang choi'). New Moon Restaurant: 新月燒臘小館 ('san yueh siu-laap siu-gwun') on Stockton Street near Broadway, where they also serve a bowl of old fire soup (老火湯 'lou fo tong') with the meal. Chinatown: 唐人街 ('tong yan kai'); an economically depressed mixed residential and business neighborhood adjacent to the Financial District, where some people of Chinese extraction reside. Most Chinese Americans, having reached an economic level that allowed them to move the hell out, have moved the hell out.]

While I was on my second pipe, a Singaporean couple walked in, ordered expensive single malts, and lit up Havanas. They were good conversationalists, and despite the huge age gap between the him and the her, they seemed like a great match. Both were no longer starry-eyed adolescents filled with idealistic ideas about love and marriage.

Then a suave smooth-pated Puerto Rican gentleman entered.
I know him, and he is also a good conversationalist.

By this time I was on my third pipeful.
I go there for the conversation.

After earlier sneering privately about the Havanas ("hah, not nearly as good as Padron cigars"), the host was now selling the Singaporean gentleman, who had strongly opined that non-Cubans were virtually unsmokeable, a very fine Padron 1926 maduro.

Both he and his companion admitted to me that it was good tobacco.
They took turns puffing at it. Altogether, a decent cigar.

Shortly afterward, the world's cutest cigar smoker came in. No, I shall not describe her or mention what kind of person she is -- because I would like her company all to myself, and do not wish fat rednecks and rightwing Republican asshats to go all fetishist batshit and flock to the cigar-bar in hopes of finding their fifth wife there -- but I will merely say that I have presently forgotten what she was smoking. It's an important datum.
There is a strong possibility that, like what the Singaporean gentleman and his lady were enjoying, it was a Nicaraguan.
She joined our conversation, and she and the Singaporean woman had quite a talk. To which I was a keen but mostly silent witness.
At least, that is how I remember it.

Meanwhile, a Panjabi gentleman, who insisted that he was merely a humble San Francisco barber, nope nothing else -- "see that shiny pate over there? My handiwork, he looks much more human now!" -- had entered and shown off his big BIG 96 ring-gauge eight incher ("it's big, 'coz I'm Panjabi, moddah f*gg*rrs"). After smoking barely an inch of this monstrosity he switched to something else, and when I asked about it, he said the big Panjabi penis substitute had tasted like sh*t.

Precisely and exactly.

I did not remark upon the breadth of his experience.

A cheerful Egyptian now also joined the party.
The Panjabi accused him of being Jewish.
More Nicaruaguan cigars were lit.

By the time I switched to cigarillos, because I'd had too many pipefuls, the world's cutest cigar smoker had bidden farewell and left.
Yes, I had thoroughly enjoyed her company.
But she had to leave; long drive home.

The Singaporean woman, who was now smoking a Liga Privada ("much better than the Padron") then spent half an hour or more strongly urging me to court the world's cutest cigar smoker, because obviously we're so perfectly matched. And from one point of view, that would be indeed be a damned nice thing, but if I were an outsider I should probably think otherwise, because I am a financially-depressed middle-aged Dutchman, with strange habits and a life-time of peculiarities saved up.
Hardly a dreamboat, and likely far too goofy.
Things become more complicated as one gets older, and there's a very great chance I'd say the wrong things, and ruin a very fine friendship.
Plus I can well imagine that if I were the world's cutest cigar smoker's brother, I would likely growl "mister, stay away from my sister".
No, I do not know if she has siblings.
I'll have to ask.

Yes, I spent till closing time there. And please remember, I had intended to have only one drink. But the camaraderie of good people can make one change plans rapidly, and I enjoy intelligent conversation.
Plus the company of cigar smokers is appealing.
It makes one feel alive again.
Five drinks.

I was a bit slow the next morning.
Possibly not enough sleep.
Or too much smoke.


Please note that the title of this essay is a direct quote from Pepe The King Prawn. It's what that lovable crustacean said to two mafiosi in the most recent muppet movie.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015


Watching disco in old movies is a form of torture. People just did not dance well back in the golden age. And the clothes, good lord.

There is much about the seventies that deservedly got deep-sixed.

Clothing. Music. Politics.

Oh wait, many of today's vilest politicians were already adults then, and politically sentient. That explains an awful lot (and a lot that is awful).

Perhaps we should blame disco for all that is wrong.

Please don't bring it back.

It's evil.

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