Saturday, November 27, 2021


Facebook wishes me to share my innermost self. And reminds me of my past postings, anxious that I repost them. But because I'm still in Facebook jail and cannot post there, I'll share some of my Facebook memories from previous years here.

2020: Dutch American Cantonese Thanksgiving: Turkey in a pastry crust, creamed spinach, rice, and chilipaste. Plus an axe murderer on the telly.

NOTE: my apartment mate is my ex-girlfriend, a Cantonese American woman I've known for years. We trust each other and have somewhat similar tastes. Except for the chilipaste; for me chilipaste is one of the many divine gifts to the Dutch, for her it's "good lord almighty you folks are ruddy bonkers".

2020: Happy Genocidal Calvinist Dickhead Day.

NOTE: I will have you know that my people (Dutch Americans, New Amsterdam) had nothing to do with what that bunch of reprehensibles did in Massachusetts, and a dry inedible fowl is NOT a feast.

2020: "Telling me about the Kingdom Of Heaven doesn't do diddly squat, and provides NO comfort during the pandemic; ice cream and chocolate however work wonders." Statement by the apartment mate regarding the proselytizing talkiewalkies of a neighborhood Seventh Day Adventist.

NOTE: the Seventh Day nutball is still around, but no longer talks to either of us.
We're hopeless. And very unkind to missionary types from any creed.

2020: Glad that per the Supreme Court, religious people have a right to die in larger numbers. It is well-deserved.

NOTE: see remarks about missionaries and puritans above.

2018: If George Soros has done even half the things of which they accuse him, I'm cool with that; a liberal super being.

NOTE: Yeah, this is self-explanatory.

2017: Pie a la mode: chicken pot pie?

NOTE: I have a relationship with icecream.

2016: Now that Castro has passed on, can we send those Miami criminals back?

NOTE: horrible rightwing dingbats.

2016: Orange turkeys?

NOTE: horrible rightwing dingbats.

2015: Quote from the EX: "What is it with upper middle class white people? They're sex-obsessed, and getting it on all the time!"

NOTE: this may have had something to do with what was on the television. And judging by this, I am not upper middle class white.

2014: Tofurky is very Puritan: the pilgrims would have enjoyed it.

NOTE: tastes just like ... turkey.

2014: Bottles shattering late at night, how sad.

NOTE: there is a bar at the end of the block. Broken dreams, hopes dashed, yuppie procreative shenanigans crashing on a distant shore.

2014: Creationism is bunk. The dinosaurs did not drown.

NOTE: Per Wikipedia: "Astrophysical measurements and radiometric dating show that the age of the universe is about 13.8 billion years and the age of the Earth is about 4.5 billion years". Lakewood Yid's entire premise that giant lizards didn't make it onto the ark is, as normal people know, balderdash and bunkum. Plus Creationists are evil idiots.

2013: Apparently, my existence disturbs some people greatly.

NOTE: my piles bleed for them.

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Friday, November 26, 2021


Good lord it was crowded at the bakery yesterday! Behind me, at a table largely out of sight of the customers at the counter, over a dozen Toishanese were celebrating that it was Thursday and not raining or something. If one left, two more arrived. Opposite me another table also had shifting numbers. They knew the table behind me. Old school week, for no discernible reason. At my table, just me. The only one of me felt distinctly few, given that there was only one.

The veggies for the day had been purchased, I'd bought more ginger than needed which I only realized once I got home, and having as usual breakfasted on coffee and tobacco I needed something to nosh on before smoking my pipe while strolling in the neighborhood later.

Hot cup of milk tea, plus a flaky charsiu turnover.

Was that why all of you were there too?
There is reason to believe that I'm one of the few pipesmokers, perhaps the only one, regularly in Chinatown. I've not yet run into another pipesmoker there.

If there is another one, he or she might be hiding.

A shy person who only comes out at night?

Or only smokes during a full moon.

I tend to head over the hill to C'town every day when I'm not working, for groceries, occasional medical appointments, late lunch, snacks and milk tea, and walks with my pipe.
Sometime between early afternoon and twilight.
It's very good for my sanity.


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Thursday, November 25, 2021


Naturally I am overjoyed to be reminded that I am a "judío de mierda". Thank you, anonymous internet troll. I treasure these moments. I have also erased your repulsive comment.

Please note that I shan't mention this on Facebook, because I don't want my "other" account to get zucked for "language" like my primary and secondary accounts have been. Because, to my complete surprise, the term "stupid 456king wite people" is totally verboten there, and "judío de mierda" might be too, although maybe not, because Facebook is filled, FILLED, with stupid &^%king white people, who are very sensitive and easily traumatised.
They have to be shielded. The precious.

Stomme schijt blanken.

If it's not in English it simply can't be that traumatizing.
Just those people, you must understand.
Not really "us".

The person who called me a judío de mierda is an honourary stupid f@$^ing whiteperson.
Probably the absolute acme of Facebookfähig.
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Normally some things are far from my mind, but there is a disturbance in the force. One of my friends posted a picture of the Fellowship of the Ring gathered around a table, cheerily feasting (remarkable that Gollum wasn't in the picture - perhaps hiding under the table like many shy people often do), and for some reason I sense that Esoterica pipe tobacco is once again exciting the tiny little minds of fussy neurotics everywhere.

Note for the uninitiated: Esoterica is a brand of pipe tobacco. Pipe tobacco bores everyone to tears except pipe smokers, so it won't be mentioned in much detail till the end of this post (no need for your eyes to glaze over yet), and while I appreciate what Germain and Son in Jersey in the Channel Islands manufacture, it does not make me cream in my silken panties, unlike very many people I know. I have plenty of it stashed away, and I haven't opened a new tin in years. For some people, good pipe tobacco is a tool that makes a cup of tea special, a holiday movie more romantic and twee, their pet hamsters more adorable and pretty, and the coming of Jayzus likely. Their little piggy eyes light up at the prospect of a shipment of Esoterica.
They go quite ancient daemon creature obsessive.

An embodiment of alien horror.
Star Wars convention.

It is remarkable how often holiday illustrations and imagery show a pipe smoker somewhere in the background, as if grandpa and his briar are a good thing and universally appreciated. The harsh reality of course is that the glandered old fossil (or the misguided hipster imitating him) are chased out into the cold to shiver and freeze, while the rest of the family gathers around the fire to discuss the inheritance after he dies of pneumonia or the plague. Perhaps they'll cut him up and distribute his body parts to the poor among the local werewolves. Santa smoked a pipe. Gandalf smoked a pipe. Clark Gable and Albert Einstein did also. Even those nasty hobbitses smoked pipes. As well as the imitative hipsters stockpiling rare pipe tobaccos and speaking knowledgeably about Edgeworth Slices and its faint hint of shoe leathers and lilac, quelle saveur authentique, as if they were actually alive back then. In the stone age.

Out into the arctic chill, all of you stinky reprobates!

All in all, I am not fond of people who can only speak at length about one subject: football fans, religious people, craft beer aficionados, tobacco connoisseurs, trekkies, LOTR nuts, cigar smokers, anti-smokers, snuff box collectors, anti-vaxxers, Qanonites, and vegans.

I am far fonder of people who speak of pastries, condiments, tea, and stuffed animals.

It is hard to find those people in an appreciable number.

A very sad state of affairs.

For your information, after having an early tea in Chinatown later, I shall wander around a bit with a pipe in my mouth. as I often do. It's a contemplative thing. The light will be more golden for a while. Vegetables will have been purchased, along with some more condiments.

Thumbnail reviews of Esoterica Tobacciana and Germains.

Full Latakia, addictive. Comparable to Black Mallory, Balkan Sobranie 759, Dunhill Nightcap, and also somewhat to Synjeco's Elephant Dung.
Cyprus, Greece, Virginia, Maryland.
Tangy, smoky, incense-like.
Extremely good.

Aromatic. Dark-stoved with a remarkable bright flavour. Virginias top-dressed with a hint of licorice/anise. It offers a thick, creamy smoke, reduces to nearly nothing.
Black, mildly fruity.

A straightforward mixture of flue-cured leaves, somewhat light and bright in taste. Smooth, a pleasant lighter smoke.

Four Virginias pressed and stoved till brown, fully rubbed.
Light, herbal, earthy, and sweet.
A codger blend.

A lovely flue-cured compound, touch of Perique. Deeply fragrant, with a naturally occurring aroma of carotenoids from the Virginias (plummy, apricot-like). Bright and happy tobacco.

A blend of several Virginias, Perique in a manageable measure.
Ready rubbed. Piquant.

[Note: smoked both Dorchester and Dunbar during Autumn and Winter in the second to last year that I worked at the toy company. Because of a huge gaping hole in my love life I hid out at the office on weekends, and wandered the alleys of Chinatown and the Financial District after a late lunch. These were extremely comforting then. The rains did not come until sometime in January, the air was still, light fog in the evening.]

Aromatic. A complex blend of Virginias with a fruity berry-like topping, possibly apricot brandy. Ready rubbed. Really mellow and really smooth.Dark, fruity, leathery. The Virginias sing, the fruity topping is traditional and boozy. It is deep, and may convert you.
Possibly too simple for a complex man.

Non-Aromatic. Dark-stoved fully fermented Virginias. Solid, yet ethereal. Prunes, raisins, plums. Long matured. Ready rubbed.
A deep mellow tobacco for old coots.
Sweet. Licorice. Anise.

The classic full English. Lighter than Germain's Latakia Mixture, comparable to Balkan Sobranie. Mouth filling. Delightful, rich and reeky.
This will piss off the non-smokers like nothing else.
The quintessence of Latakia smokes.

Non-aro. Virginias, on the lighter side. Golden broken flakes, fruity, slight grassiness. Bright, rich, reminiscent of pastry. Like many Danish and German golden flakes. Fribourg & Treyer come to mind.

An English mixture spritzed with brandy.
Margate, with booze.

Latakia, Turkish, Virginias, all pressed and steamed into brindled flakes. Very reminiscent of the old Bengal Slices and various excellent products from G. L. Pease. This has become a cult tobacco, and occurs on every damned “must-try list”.

Penzance goes very well with a glass of sherry late at night. I am baffled by the adulation it receives, though. It is good. But personally I find this less than mid-expanding, and surely there are few insomniacs living out in the industrial area where the freight trains keep them up late on summer evenings? It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Aromatic. Virginias steam-pressed till black. Topped with licorice. Possessed of great character, yet sweet and mellow, and easy to like. Broken flake.
This will get you kicked out of The Occidental by Curtis, who abhors anything aromatic.

Virginias, black cavendish, Turkish, and Latakia. Aromatic.
A darkish peculiarity with fruit. Slightly citrussy, slightly floral, slightly smoky. On the milder side, and will probably appeal to Texans. Tastes like old lady. The Virginia could have better company. Goes well with Bourbon. I avoid American whiskeys.

Complex, beguiling, of variegated appearance. Rich and smooth. Very flavourful. Because of aging, it presents a slightly spicy note. Probably not suitable for the very young. Excellent.

Virginias and air-cured leaf steampressed. A very English product. A broken leaf for old-codgers, but a surprising number of young men are old-codgers. I could have done with less Burley. Shows up on every “must-try list”.

Virginias with a touch of air-cured. Light and buttery. With a plum-like Virginia sweetness. Top notch. Noticeable nicotine.
I recommend this highly.

Aromatic. Several flue-cured tobaccos. Brights somewhat dominant. Mottled and shaggy of appearance. Fruits and anise / licorice. Hay, citrus. Not fruity enough for most Americans. The hobbits like this one.

* * * * *

Two types of cavendish with red and bright Virginias.
Smoked a tin of this a few years ago. Which I enjoyed, but it was not exceptional and I didn't take notes. Can't remember much about it. Unremarkable.

Medium Virginias aged and pressed.
I fondly remember this, and I have a few tins stashed. A mild and ethereal sweetness combined with a fuller note deeper in the bowl. Damned fine tobacco.

Latakia, Turkish, Virginia.
A very fine product which exceptional people prefer over other tobaccos. Medium full, slightly lighter than Margate, which they also prefer. Full of flavour, well-balanced, a quintessential product for the smoker of English blends.
Restrained, refined, elegant.

Straight Virginias. Cut seems to be variable, everything from actual sheets of pressed tobacco to raggedy strips, even a semi-ribbon, depending on production date. Sweet, citrussy, grass and hay. Plums. It's a very lightly topped product, but you might not thinks so.
Very good, for old codgers.

Virginias, cavendish, dark steam pressed Virginias.
This one is peculiar; the topping is odd. That said, I enjoyed smoking it on breaks out near the freight platforms next to the train tracks in the months after we moved the company to an industrial area on the other side of the bay. A long lovely sun-drenched Autumn.

Virginia and Burley, hot pressed and topped.
Very similar to Stonehaven, but it hasn't achieved cult status; people aren't killing each other yet. It's a good product, but like many darker presses veers toward monochromatic.
Long dark strips, topped and sweetened. Full and creamy.

Latakia, Virginia. Subtly augmented.
An extremely enjoyable rainy day mixture which smells old-fashioned and will likely trigger all of your relatives. My nearest relatives live in Calgary, and although they are firm anti-smokers, they cannot smell it from here, unlike the good people of Berkeley. Who can.
I feel their karmic pain across the Bay in San Francisco.

Virginias (English "Cavendish") with Perique.
Delicate, medium strength, lightly spicy. Complex and very enjoyable. An extremely well thought out ribbonish compound, which I had far more of stashed away once.
Truly an exceptional product.

Mostly Latakia leaf, some other tobaccos, pressed and milded, cut into raggedy flakes.
This was an interesting and enjoyable smoke. But be prepared to either rub out the entire tin for drying a bit and then jarring, or go through all of it over a few days. Otherwise you'll return to the opened tin a few weeks later and find the rest of it moldy. The Latakia is dominant, there's enough other stuff to round out the flavour and no more. Rich, smooth, and smoky.
It can be intoxicating, or sometimes an overload of goodness.

There are other Germains tobaccos, I haven't smoked all of them.
Nowadays they are hard to find. That wasn't always so.
When a shipment arrives the news gets around.
Fans go crazy and it disappears.


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Something I wrote several years ago. A tale for Thanksgiving.
I am not always a grinch.


He had been in the city for several days now, and he was getting seriously paranoid. Someone would discover him and then it would be over. Walking down the street he would withdraw into his overcoat and pull his fedora down. He tried to be as unnoticeable as possible, and avoided eye to eye contact. Fortunately, being rather short, not many people looked at his face. He resembled almost any other pedestrian, and most passers-by were too busy to give him more than a passing glance.

Still, he worried. And with good reason.

It was less than a week since his escape.

Surely the authorities were mounting a search?

He walked along Clay Street, under the Gingko trees. One tree had all yellow leaves, so glorious, so beautiful. It reminded him of the California hills in early summer, when he was still young and lived on the farm. All golden in the sun.
Life, then, had been wonderful. Warm carefree days, cool evenings, lots of friends.

But that had changed. Those last few days down at the farm had been truly nightmarish.
Why did none of the others understand?
Why didn't they get it? Fools!
Their giddy optimism and complete blindness to evil frightened him, why were they so cheerfully and simple-mindedly upbeat?
Were they after all just turkeys?
He shook his wattles irritatedly - of course they were! They had been promised by the farmer that they were going to a feast, and so they happily scuttled into the truck that would bring them there. The silly birds hadn't even questioned why they were being transported in a vehicle boasting "Johnson's Poultry - we put the gobble gobble in holidays".

Only he stayed behind, hiding in a dark corner of the barn. He had tried to warn them, but no one had listened. They didn't want to hear his gloomy theories, why should they fear anything from the farmer? Hadn't the farmer taken care of them, fed them, housed them in a nice warm coop?
The farmer was a good man, and there was going to be a wonderful party.
They were looking forward to some serious fun.
Them and their state of denial.
Hmmph, feather brained idiots!

That evening, after darkness fell, he snuck out and headed for the open road. A kindly driver gave him a lift to Richmond, and told him where to get on B.A.R.T. He was determined to go to San Francisco, feeling that he would stand out far less in a big city.
But it wasn't easy to get used to this place.
He had only known the farm.

He was preparing to sleep in the bushes next to a church, on his first evening in the city, but after he saw some raccoons shaking down a seagull he got scared. The hobo behind the next shrub over mumbled that those animals were nothing but thugs, man, worse than the cops. And nobody says anything about that! Nobody does anything about those black-hearted furballs!
He spent the rest of the night at a twenty-four hour donut place, finally stumbling out at dawn, wired and jangly from too much coffee. He wandered around for hours till the caffeine and sugar wore off.

That evening he was kicked out of the main library at closing time - "yo, dude, you can't sleep here, go to the shelter at Polk and Geary, they'll put you up for the night."
He had taken one look at that place and decided against it. Several people there looked carnivorous, and quite a number of the others were missing either their wings or their drumsticks. That alone would have been suspicious, but what really freaked him out was that there were pictures of HIS kind on the walls. Some turkeys were illustrated in pilgrim clothes. Others were shown surrounded by all the fixings. He felt sure that if he stayed there, he would be fingered and roasted. No way man, he didn't plan on getting caught! And he sure wasn't going to let them harvest his limbs one by one, like they were doing to some of these people.
He nearly got run over by a wheelchair on the way out.

He spent most of the night sitting on the bus-stop bench at Jackson and Polk. Occasionally a squad car would roll by, and he'd remain as motionless as possible, desperately hoping that the police wouldn't see him. Sometimes people would come out of the bar for a cigarette, and one or two of them asked him for a light. He told them he didn't smoke.
Long after closing time, a drunk sat down next to him and started talking about the Grateful Dead - that really freaked him out. He tried to explain to the fellow that Thanksgiving just wasn't a good time for his kind please don't make insensetive jokes about 'gratitude', but the man started screaming about his plump meaty thighs so he fled.

He spent the next several hours in an unlit doorway on Larkin Street. Just before dawn a raccoon ambled past and glared at him, but was obviously too tired from strenuous illegal activities elsewhere to make any trouble. He resolved to avoid Larkin Street at night, too many furry criminal types. Yeah, he realized he was stereotyping, but better safe than sorry.
He hadn't realized that city living could be so dangerous. The city is not a gentle place, if you are short, feathered, and wearing only an overcoat and a fedora.

One significant problem was that the ATM machines were all far too high up, altogether NOT turkey accessible.
And bank tellers insisted on seeing a photo id.
For obvious reasons, he didn't plan to go to the DMV to have his picture taken until after December 25th. Just too risky before then.
During the holiday season, he was a marked man.
Bird. Marked bird.
He'd simply have to pile boxes in front of an ATM when no-one was looking, but it was hard.
Short wings do not give one much leverage.

On the plus side, he got to ride the busses for free, provided he acted like the nearest adult was with him. And if it was too crowded he could always scoot under the seats for safety. He had seen what happened to a pigeon that wasn't smart enough to do so and tried standing in the aisle with the tall people. The crowd of office workers heading down to the financial district had crushed the poor bird, and thrown its carcass out on Montgomery Street.
They had utterly NO respect for feathered Americans! Brutes!
San Francisco can be a cold and heartless place.
Whatever you do, don't make eye-contact.
When other people stare at you, leave.
Especially with wattles trembling.
Never let them see your fear.

He spent most of the time exhausted from lack of sleep, wandering the streets trying to stay out of trouble and out of sight.
Once he saw an accident happen, but ran away because he couldn't risk being a witness. Not only no id, but no fixed address either! He was sure the cops would give him the stink-eye at the very least. They might even take him down to the station, and he'd disappear into the system forever. They ate people like him there!
No way was he going to be imprisoned again.

A crazed addict in the Tenderloin tried to steal his wallet, but he pecked her fiercely and fled down an alley, then hid for several hours underneath a parked van while she roamed up and down the sidewalk howling, howling, howling. That had been a close call, but there aren't many places in the downtown where a turkey can walk down the street without being in danger.
There were other incidents.
He nearly got mobbed by parrots several times. Such rude birds!
And they kept importuning him for beer money or cigarettes, too!
A large shaggy dog had leered suggestively, and followed him for several blocks. He finally lost his amorous pursuer when a passing fire hydrant called out "why hello sailor, doing anything tonight?" At that the canine delightedly licked his chops and grinned. Wow, free sex!
In Chinatown it was made plain that he looked different, when a little tyke pointed at him and happily exclaimed 'wah, fogey, fogey!'
The mother shushed the child, and looked at him with mute apology, but it still hurt.
It was only a matter of time. He was sure of it.
He was keenly aware how vulnerable he was.

The combination of sheer exhaustion, fear, and far too much coffee had a demoralizing effect.
An excess of tryptophan, adrenaline, and caffeine made him jittery, and it twisted the mind.
He knew that he was no longer seeing things straight, but he had to stay alert.

Except at the public library. When nobody was watching, one could scoot behind the encyclopedias and sleep.
He liked the encyclopedias. Warm, tall enough to hide him from view, and so smooth.
Encyclopedias were very nice. More books should be like that.
Clean, comforting, and hardly ever touched.

Finally, on the fifth day in the city, he had a stroke of luck.
He was reading the San Francisco Chronicle in the library when a small boy asked for his assistance at the computer. The youngster was doing his homework, and needed a helping hand.
Helping wing.
The boy's mother came by later to pick him up, and asked "who is your little friend?"
The kid introduced him, and explained how kind he had been.
When she found out that he was new to the city, and had no plans for the holiday, she invited him over - "we're vegetarians, Tom, I hope you don't mind....."
It was quite the nicest thing he had heard in his life.

He went home with the two of them, and was introduced to the rest of the family.
Then they all sat down to a sumptuous supper of borsht with sour cream, tofu and spinach casserole, and lentil-stuffed cabbage rolls.
With red tomato sauce.
It was all so VERY delicious!
This was the best Thanksgiving ever!
And he had never slept in a real bed before.

*      *      *

Have a happy Thanksgiving.
Fo-guy jit fai-loh!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021


It must be lovely there. It's on the tip of a peninsula facing south, with a pleasant sub-tropical climate, palm trees, and lots of fresh foliage. Plus good fishing. A restful place. And beaches.
I know about the place because I ate lunch there.
Even though I've never visited.

Vung Tau on Vallejo Street. Named after the well-known port in Southern Vietnam, Cap Saint Jacques (Cap Xanh Giac), 頭頓市 ('tau dun si'). There was a picture on the opposite wall.

Phở Vung Tau

708 Vallejo Street,
San Francisco, CA 94133.

[越南菜肴,環境優雅,味美價優。頭頓越南粉熱烈歡迎您的光臨。'yuet naam choi ngaau, waan king yau ngaa, mei mei gaa yau, tau dun yuet naam fan yit lit fun ying nei() dik gwong lam'. "Vietnamese cuisine, elegant environment, refined tastes, good prices. Vung Tau Vietnamese Rice Noodle warmly welcomes your patronage." BTW: 歡迎光臨 is a standard honorific phrase -- welcomes (your) gracious (literally: radiant, glorious) presence. ]

I had decided yesterday to go there for lunch today. What I ordered was bún thịt nướng chả giò (燒豬肉春捲米粉 'siu chyu yiuk chun kuen mai fan'); barbecued pork and spring rolls vermicelli.
It was very good. Lettuce, beansprouts, mint, basil, carrot and daikon tamarind water with fish sauce, grilled pork, and small imperial rolls with peanuts roasted and crumbled, and chopped chives, over cold rice noodles. Comfort food. With warm Vietnamese style coffee.

The Cantonese speaking auntie at the next table over kept up a running conversation with the waitress and the grandmother while she ate. The grandmother tried to nap in her comfortable reclining lawn chair over in the corner. The white couple behind me discussed cheese.

I very much like the concept of an elderly granny resting or drowsing in a comfortable reclining tropical lawn or beach chair somewhere right in the main space of a place of business.
Surely every restaurant should have a kursi malas.
For the comfort of elderly relatives.
It's a note of stability.

There is no better place to eat than a cozy home-like environment next to the police station.
I'll go there again soon. The waitress remembered me from somewhere and greeted me happily in Cantonese. That's always a good sign.
Plus, hot tea.


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An anonymous commenter underneath a recent post asked: "Be honest. Do "the normals" ever visit?" Which is a good question. Given that most (all) posts here reflect my neuroses. I do not think normals visit. Whatever web-search brings people here is usually odd. Normals search for such things as "kitten Trump" or "turkey with gravy for Methodist relatives this year".
You know, normal stuff.

There are no turkey tips or pictures of kittens here.
This is not a kitten.

And as far as depravity is concerned, I don't cater to Methodists.

What people come here for is brilliant ideas, like "Silence Of The Lambs; The Musical".

I've never seen the movie or read the book, but if it mentions lambs then undoubtedly it would make a great Christmas spectacle. The Good Book itself speaks lauditorily of lambs. The hero of the New Testament, as is well known, is "The Lamb of God" (Gospel of John).
The symbolism is rich. Pregnant.

I'm imagining Steve Buscemi as the Baby Jesus.

Broadway will never be the same.

You are welcome.

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Years ago Aebin Ghoti and Grooty Poobong would comment underneath my posts. Those being chance-invented handles of a gentleman whose thoughts were always very well-formed madness. He was a welcome change from the irritated Pakistanis and Berkeleyites. There was, in that day, much about me that would irritate those people. Of course there still is, but it's much less noticable nowadays, and I have not been anywhere near Berkeley in years.

What Berkeley needs, desperately needs, is butcher shops and a military base.
Something to restore balance and counter the vegan do-goodniks.
As well as a Louis Vuitton franchise.

The commenting Pakistanis were probably sex-starved Madrassa students in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, or Peshawar, cruising the internet late at night for pictures of boobies or mutton recipes, which latter category brought them here, where they would be irritated by my horrid opinions and frustrated by the fact that almost all goat recipes were in English. Poor bleeding bhainchots. At least I think that's what it was. I've never been to Pakistan, and besides their very American obsession with breasts I don't know what they cruise the internet for.
There are, as you have discovered, no breasts here.

I only write about things I know.

The average breast is broader at its base than at the apex, and composed of various tissues, of which adipose is the main one. It has sensitive areas, and can be cupped in the hand.
Commonly, an adult human female will carry two of these, one of which will more often than not be a near-mirror-image of the other, though there may be considerable variation caused by natural factors such as cell-phone use and handbags.

American clothing designers, mostly men, have devoted considerable time and talent on creating holding devices for breasts.

My own knowledge of them is second hand and mostly theoretical.
But I've done some research.

In the past decade I've had far more exposure to mutton curry.
Which is also an interesting subject oh my gracious yes.

Note: This essay mostly fueled by that first cup of coffee, which gets the synapses going and helps reassemble parts of the mind which went off on their own during the night.
The same thing probably happens to other people.

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When I got home from a jaunt with The Pipe For Watching Rats In Spofford Alley last night, mr. Siu was walking the pooch on the other side of the street. That dog keeps him young. He'd have no incentive to step beyond the portico of his building otherwise in these times.
I myself do not need a dog for that purpose, as I enjoy seeing people and interacting with them in a limited way, as well as dodging the ambulatory bipedal disease-carriers whose natural immunity is, apparently, superhuman. It's a form of Russian Roulette.

Inside Chinatown most residents don't put their trust in superhuman immunity. Probably for the same reason that faith-healers and glib TV preachers don't have much of a following there.

Outside Chinatown, it's a crapshoot. Many people are idiots.
No masks. No social distancing. No brains.

The holiday season should be great for the rental market in San Francisco, as a number of residents won't be coming back from visiting their kin for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
ICUs in the flyovers; a festive destination.
And good riddance.

After twenty months of life in pandemic America, I have NO faith in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michichigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Fortunately I have no close kin in that part of the world, so it's totally okay if societal collapse happens there in between and after their roast turkeys. Racists, religious bigots, and rightwing blowtards. Or, as a friend who fled to Israel years ago calls them: The Real America.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2021


Traditionally, when smoking a prized product, the reviewer starts off with poofle: "It was a lovely Autumn evening such as only residents of this rich exclusive enclave in Southern France may enjoy. The fire in the main room of my spacious mansion was lit, I was seated in my favourite leather armchair, with my favourite purebred hounds to my left gnawing on the bones of one of the peasants who passed recently during the hunt, with my favourite blonde wife on my right, contemplating the amazing divine providence that favours my kind ..... thoughtfully I reached into the three hundred cigar count heirloon humidor left to me by my blessed forefathers ..... "
Followed by a multi-page essay on how he came to choose a particular smoke.

Courtesy of a friend I am presently puffing on a cigar.
It's quite a good one.
John handed me a Davidoff Year Of The Tiger Limited Edition over the weekend, and said he was keen to hear what I thought of it. Every year Davidoff releases a cigar celebrating the Chinese zodiac, the tiger begins February 1, 2022.

Earthy sweetness, rounded mouthfeel. Good thing no one is around to bother me. I shall let the place air out before she comes home.

Obligatory poofle: I'm in the teevee room where the computers are. It is small and messy, there is a stuffed turkey vulture on the other chair glowering at me, and there are bookshelves in every direction. There is no fireplace. The sun is streaming in. None of my blessed ancestors left me anything tobacco related, though I'm fairly certain many of them smoked. One of them had twenty three or twenty six offspring who lived to adulthood. He was truly blessed.
And I'm not sure why he didn't die of stress.

The Ecuadorian Connecticut-seed wrapper looks extraordinary. Smooth, herbal to the tongue. The filler, composed of several Dominican tobaccos, is firm but not tight, tastes on the smoke mild and perfumy, as you would expect, yet it's interestingly complex. This is a well-constructed cigar. John said it was stronger than he's had before from Davidoff, and I would rate this as a good afternoon smoke. Not something for on an empty stomach.
Goes well with the Pu Erh tea I'm drinking.
Tastes tingly.

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In every large company there are bound to be some strange fish flying undercover. You don't know the level of their (in)competences, or how eccentric they are, until the office Christmas party. When you end up in conversation. If the company is one large happy family, as we are told, we have to realize that some of its members are seriously dysfunctional and should be locked in the basement whenever there are visitors.

I don't know where I'm going with this, but I'm thinking of the computer company where one of the engineers repaired his underpants with duct tape, and the toy company where one person had a six pack in his credenza for the occasional cocktail party at twilight.

Creative genius requires either duct tape or suds.

I have neither tape nor Budweiser.

I am not a genius.

The time of office parties is upon us. Or rather, upon you. I don't work in a large company, and therefore I do not have to worry about drinks with Fester in engineering or Dingo in Operations.
Nor about chocolate covered bacon strips sent to us by the salesreps in Iowa.
Not even Amber in Idaho answering the phone with "Welcome to Boise's Toysies where we're having a stupendous fun-filled day! How can I help YOU?" She always sounded so let down whenever I told her I needed to speak to Bob about a past-due invoice.

"Bob, it's that man again! Line two."

I think Bob was the basement dweller at his retail establishment. As a complete segue, I should mention the common pattern at many retail establishments of hiring blandly inoffensive people over bitter competent people. Which is why little cottonwool brained Jennifer got the job, and multiple piercings and tattoos Gunther didn't.

If you are bland, dumb, and inoffensive, Bob has a job for you.

During the first year I worked at the computer company it was located three blocks from my apartment, and the toy company was just one easy cablecar ride away, easy walking distance from excellent food. Not so where I presently work, but I can get away with having a pipe in my mouth, and the air out back is frequently blue from the elderly cigar smokers and their bodily emissions. And judging from the conversations I have overheard, all of them are the dysfunctionals who need to be locked in the basement when the normals visit.
I'm not sure that I'm much better.
The computer company as well as the toys enterprise are never far from my mind; I have computers (four of them) and toys. Plus rambunctious stuffed animals with social dysfunctionalities. One of whom is now poncing with one of my pipes.

Good luck with the office parties.
Duct tape, beer, chains.

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Monday, November 22, 2021


The unsoundly moored woman at the far end vocalized, probably more for herself than anyone else. She seemed to be a familiar face there, and I've seen her before, usually quite strangely dressed. I do not think she's sane. Neither does the waitress. Or even 'coffee and a pineapple bun' guy. I had her in view while eating my meal -- because one kind of has to face forward and sit straight while forking rice and panjuices -- but as soon as I finished eating I swivelled ninety degrees. Enjoyed my milk tea while keeping an eye out of the corner of my eye on her.
Eccentric clothing, sounds, and behaviours.
Do not make eye contact.

[Pineapple bun: 菠蘿包 ('po lo bau'); a sweet bun with a top layer of cookie dough which expands at a different rate than the rest during baking, yielding a crackle-crusted confection which presents a pleasant textural dissonance.]

But I enjoyed my lunch. Lamb stew with tofu skins on a bed of lettuce wilting in the pan juices and a pile of rice. With spoonfulls of chili sauce.

[Lamb stew, tofu skin: 枝竹羊腩 ('ji juk yeung naam'); the dried tofu skin, called "bamboo twig" in Cantonese is great for holding gravies and pan-juices, besides being both tasty and nutritious. Cantonese restaurants put lettuce to wilt beneath certain foods when plated; as good a way of sopping up the juices as any, and very pleasant. A vegetable.]

Getting there had been running an obstacle course of stupid white people not wearing masks. Who are all over the place. Sometimes with their little maskless children (clearly expendable), and I'm guessing no relatives or household members that they care about at home.
But once there, there were no white people other than myself nearby.

Intubation: likely a fun part of growing up.
Adventurous white people!

Sorry, it's just that I'm a little peeved at my fellow glow in the dark white people letting the side down so remarkably. I never did expect much better, but this is considerably worse than I even anticipated. Many people are stupid.

Over the past several months I have as much as possible avoided areas where Caucasians congregate. I no longer trust them, and I don't know what idiotic risks they've taken or where they've been. There were none at the restaurant, because Chinese food does not appeal to Caucasians.

I am so glad that this isn't Alaska, Colorado, or North Dakota.
Fewer idiots, lower rate of transmission, much better food.

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A couple of years ago I had an appointment with a nutritionist right before her lunch time, at her office in the middle of Chinatown. She probably remembers it as a disaster. Quite nightmarish. And may have resolved to never have nutrition-related conversations with Caucasian foodies again. Seeing as I described in great glorious detail all the wonderful establishments within two blocks of her at that moment, who would be keenly welcoming and ready to serve, for instance, baked porkchop over spaghetti with tonnes of melted cheese on top. Which is very Hong Kong. Or roast duck and rice in THREE directions from her office. Little egg tarts, little chicken pies, flaky charsiu turnovers, deepfried puffs, or CAKE, as dessert.

[The nutrionist's appointment was on the strong recommendation of my doctor, a sensible man to whom I listen. One of the reasons I've had all my vaccinations. He's Indonesian Chinese. We can talk about food.]

She seized upon my mention of the cookies in the teevee room between my apartment mate's computer and mine and we agreed on tiny baby steps: cut down somewhat on the cookies.

I'm not nearly as bad as most of her clients, who are Chinatown Toishanese. These are the people who will swap out their relatives carefully balanced and considered dinners when they are in the ICU, for salt fish pork, and eggplant cooked with fatty meat, because no one has an appetite for the muck served at medical facilities, and you just can't get better eating that crap. Even if grandpa is in there because of problems caused by eating salt fish and fatty meats all of his life.

Grandpa happily tucks in, and his granddaughter will eat the boiled vegetables two ounces plain cooked chicken no skin and cup of hospital lime jello so that food doesn't go to waste.

What the granddaughter won't do is wheel him out to the alleyway later for a smoke.
Smoking is bad; she knows that. And so smelly!

If he's able, he'll sneak out on his own, because a ciggy aids digestion.

And it's beneficial to the mental state.

There are two alleys right near the hospital. I shall imagine a whole flock of orderlies detailed to wrangle the rebellious sick old men in hospital gowns disobeying the nursing staff and out there in the middle of the night splitting a pack of Marlboros. Which I've never seen, because I am a sensible man, despite being very Caucasian, and am rarely in Chinatown in the middle of the night searching for ciggies after my salt fish and pork.

I smoke a pipe.
Chinese women, especially when related to Cantonese men, mostly disapprove of smoking. White women are far less biased in that regard; they disapprove of it no matter the ethnic derivation of their relatives.

It has been my experience that in environments where smokers gather, you will seldom see women, except for the occasional white female searching for a rich lawyer to reform. Or, in one case, a middle aged wife fiercely protecting her cigar smoking husband from the hot party slags lying in wait. There was one time Nick suddenly found a curved person on his lap trying to stick her tongue in his ear because he was so HOT (he's in his seventies and rather elfin looking), but as this got in the way of tamping his pipe he persuaded her to do something else, and management soon threw her out.

Anyhow, after the nutritionist's appointment, I went out and had a fabulous meal, while she may have wept into her boiled vegetables two ounces plain cooked chicken no skin and lime jello.
I feel sad for her. She has her work cut out.

Today I intend to do much the same. I shall head over to Chinatown, early to mid afternoon, where within several block of her office at the hospital there will be many good things to eat. Don't know what yet. It's a day off, so I need some real food after working in Marin County with all the health freaks and their salads, boiled vegs, no chicken at all because meat is murder, not even any blasted lime jello -- also, the convenience store nearby has stopped carrying Sriracha because they don't want to encourage "those" people -- and tasty stuff beckons. There's at least one place open for inside dining where I can get baked porkchop over spaghetti with tonnes of melted cheese .....

I'll probably have something healthier instead. Fish with lashings of sambal, for instance. Or roast duck rice. Or steamed pork patty with salt fish and ginger shreds.

Ginger is a vegetable.
And so is sambal.

Followed by a pipe while wandering the alleyways.
Good for digestion and mental states.

I often smoke a pipe after eating lunch in Chinatown. No one has ever stuck her tongue in my ear there. It just doesn't happen. For one thing, I am not in my seventies and elfin looking.
And for another, I seldom if ever consume lime jello.
That must be it.


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Sunday, November 21, 2021


Quote: "Sometimes the English are so whimsical that you just want to slap the sh*t out of them". This pursuant the musical and movie 'cats'. Which neither of us have any inclination to see. My apartment mate read about it today. I had already read Elliot's poems, and thought them frightful twaddle. Scenes from the movie and musical are creepy as heck, enough to make you gag, and too damned twee to even consider wasting time and money on being tortured by this crap.

So, of course, it would be stellar on ice during the holiday season. Make the entire family suffer. People dressed as cats in skin-tight bum glitter, swooping while vocalizing balderdash.
Quite as nasty as that nutcracker shiznit.

Modern Christmas decorative ideas are repulsive.

I used to work in the toy industry. Christmas starts in July, the first shipments hit warehouses in late August or early September, and plastic crap is on it's way to stores well before Hallowe'en. That Holiday pumpkin-spice flavour pecan brickle? Probably made by poor starving orphans in Florida back in May. Same time the herds of frozen turkey were slaughtered, after roaming the outback for three months feasting on growth hormones.

Having you considered ordering a nice fresh tofurkey from your local Vegan freaks instead?
At least the beancurd and food-grade binding agents are fresh.
They don't believe in freezers.

Save the animals; slaughter a tub of white stuff instead.
Like turkey it can be deep-fried.

Next weekend we're decorating for Chistmas at work.
Bah humbug.

Nothing says 'Christmas' quite like a case of tetanus from sparkly lawn statuary.
I've had my shots and I'll take my chances.
I am ready for the season.

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In the few days remaining before Thanksgiving, all talk naturally turns to plans for the holiday. Many people last year and for this one have more limited plans, because of the pandemic. No extravaganza with hundreds of family members, followed by stuffed male stupor in front of the television and all the women of the family, from the two month old noisy one to great grandma on crutches, descending upon the local shopping mall, like a flcok of piranhas, and stripping it bare, leaving a few shell-shocked security guards limply stumbling about wondering what the heck just happened were those the vikings?

It is traditional after the turkey has been eaten and is still being digested to have pitched battles in retail areas. Somehow, clobbering a fellow American for the last electronic device makes consuming dry stringy gobble-gobbles worth while.

The first dulcet strains of 'Little Drummer Boy' are cleansing.

Seeing as I grew up before video games were invented and have not celebrated Thanksgiving in a very long time, the entire phenomenon means little to me. But as I understand it, that X box symbolizes the one true cross for you people, and the entire celebratory cycle isn't completed until sanctified teams battle each other at the bowl of roses in Pasadena on New Years Day, heralding the rebirth of normalcy.

From a safe distance, I admire the fervor of the faithful.

Your pilgrimage to Macys is appreciated.

May the best man win.

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Saturday, November 20, 2021


In several Dutch cities, people have rioted over covid lockdown measures. The authorities are treating them with kid gloves. Even though these are mostly self-indulgent entitled young men who simply want to go out and get stinking drunk every night as usual, and will gladly piss in the common pot just to make their whiny voices heard, regardless of what it says about them and their mores.

But there is a simple solution.

Call out the army, and impose a curfew.

Shooting a few dozen of those oproerkraaiers and dwazen would soon calm the situation down. The only ones who would miss them would be bar owners.

Many youth in the Netherlands are profligates, and degenerate.
Velen van hun kunnen wij zeker zonder doen.
Het lijkt daarginds wel Texas.
Rechtse klootakken.

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Here's what every one has been waiting for, the updated list of shithole states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michichigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

You can probably guess why Wisconsin was added to the list.

If I tell you, Tom Cotton will demand that I apologize.

Tom Cotton hails from one of those states.

If I write what I think, I'll get banned from Facebook. If I write what my apartment mate said, I'll get banned from Facebook. If I say what I think we need to do to get a functioning system in this country, I'll get banned from Facebook and the FBI might have questions.

In any case, the two solid conclusions that can be drawn are that if you are going to protest, go heavily armed and shoot first, to avoid getting Kyle Rittenhoused, and avoid gatherings with young white males, because they're the most likely to go psychotic.

Cranberries, by the way, are crap. The devil's haemorrhoid globules. They're a disgusting plot by mediocre cheese-snarfing German and Scandinavian societal rejects to poison America and drain her manhood. They have no place on a civilized dining table, and should be avoided at all costs. If there's any reason for arson in this world, it's that your hosts misguidedly served a cranberry compôte with the dry tasteless bird despite your sincere and benevolent remonstrance. And watching the Packers causes psychic harm.

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Friday, November 19, 2021


Yesterday was a real slice. The mind said "carry on, maintiendrai, sally forth with confidence!" The body, however, said "no way" and "get bent, old guy". And proceeded to feel wrecked for most of it. Achy. Tired. Result of the third shot. Which makes three prophylactic injections to prevent Covid. Because unlike Florida or Texas, this blogger has a brain.

Still, better than the old guy who took a tumble on Jackson street opposite Hue An.
I've seen him around the neighborhood. He dodders.
But kudos for ambulating!

Hue An is up the street from the old Washington Theater. Which closed down years ago, after a long run of really mediciocre and downright questionable films. The antique gentleman probably went there back in the day, when he was still young and sparky.
Jack, whom I met twice yesterday -- once because he ate at the same chachanteng, the other time as a fellow witness to the old gent's slippage -- sadly remarked that the neighborhood had changed, every body he knew was dying.
Well, in a way, yes. But there is still lots of life in the old gal. Little kiddies are everywhere, plus vibrant and rather well-behaved teenagers, younger entrepeneurs, fairly recent immigrants .....

I saw 'Mr. Vampire' at that theatre. And I like change; it isn't a bad thing.
Although I do miss the coffee shop where I used to have snacks.
Before I'd head up the street for cinematic entertainment.

It seems so innocent, doesn't it? Coffee, slice of pie, and a Hong Kong movie.

But things are looking up.

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Thursday, November 18, 2021


A few weeks ago a friend asked about the dialect of Dutch spoken in Brabant. Of which there are multiple varieties. What the street spoke outside our house was a bit of a mess, as there are several isoglosses that fall right where Valkenswaard is located, meaning at it's simplest that the local language was somewhere between Antwerpian (Western Netherlandish) and Limburgian (Eastern Netherlandish). But included words that derived from other places, as the natives had, historically, been travelling traders and small craftsmen who ranged very far abroad between the planting and harvest seasons. Additionally, local industry, when it finally developed, was dependent on materials and products from elsewhere, including the tropics.

In short: goofy Dutch.

Thank providence for the national literary language. As represented in comic strips, novels, and the newspapers. Not in poetry, because although there is a huge amount of Dutch poetry, it sometimes seems that every versifier has invented his own version of the language.

My mother, who had three master's degrees in dead languages from Berkeley, spoke Dutch badly and often relied on English. Her circle was the more limited for it.
She had given up on intelligent life in Brabant.

I'm not sure that local languages are really worth protecting. Given that, insofar as they have an "educated" vocabulary, it is often if not always a backformation from the national language, all words with a "new" old pronunciation according to recognized sounds shifts. Which is quite artificial. As was demonstrated by the comments underneath an article in a Limburgian paper years ago in which the author argued that there was no such thing as a Limburgian language. The readers disagreed, at inordinate length (five hundred plus responses), proving by their attempts to write what they thought was Limburgian that in fact he was entirely right; village gibberish with predictable coinages.

Is there really any value to not being able to communicate effectively with someone from ten miles away when all you would talk about anyway is horse dung, cow pastures, and the price of coal? Wouldn't your inane and superficial thoughts be better expressed if more people could make sense out of them?

Cultural map of Mordor

Having said that, you will understand that I warmly encourage the people in Great Britain to finally, after all these centuries, learn English, so that their moronic thoughts about bogs in Yorkshire and doggerel by Bobby Burns are available to a wider audience.
Same goes double for New York and Philadelphia.
All of you sound like gumbies.
Ooh arrrr.

By the way: the closest thing to a "Yorkshire Pizza" is standardized toppings on a crust made from Yorshire pudding dough. Which I damned well refuse to even consider. It's very American. What the heck is wrong with you?

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For years my apartment mate has called me "The Toad". It's meant affectionately, and in jest. There was something about me that seemed to her somewhat bloated and self-satisfied, like a brazen squatty amphibian surveying 'his road', 'his park', his fabulous 'dinner of coffee crunch cake with a hot caffeinated beverage'. This started long before she found out what had happened to my car when I still lived in Berkeley. And I am still "The Toad".

So it was with considerable quirked interest that I read that people smoke toad venom. Which is a psychedelic drug harvested from Colorado river toads (bufo incilius alvarius) and refined.

"The Toad’s whole purpose is to reach your highest potential."

"The Toad has taught me that I’m not going to be here forever."

"The Toad strips the ego."

"It takes you to a higher level. Once I tried it, boom!"

"You have to listen to the general; no second guessing."

------Mike Tyson

Apparently Mike Tyson is a notable toad freak.
Who knew?
No, I shall not show the article to her. She'd promptly accuse me of using my Dutch American jumbie hoodoo to twist the boxer's mind. Or bribing him. Because the toad is an irresponsible sort, with too much chutzpah for his own good, and she can see me doing precisely that.

Of course I didn't. But I would have.

The Toad has your best interests at heart. I am aware of calendars and time. Egos need stripping and repainting. Altitudes, and explosion or combustion.
As well as the sounds of things falling.
Listen to me. Ribbit.

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