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. All cheese-doodling ended in 2010, and there hasn't been any in far too long. Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Friday, July 31, 2009

IN TOUCH WITH MY INNER ACTOR

Yesterday evening at the Occidental, one of the other customers asked me which movie actor I indentified with most. She speculated that it might be Hume Cronyn. This surprised me, for several reasons. The primary one being her age - she was far too young to really be familiar with an actor who began making movies during the black and white era.
I was also baffled at the comparison, as other than basic ambulatory qualities (shared with a majority of humans), there is scant resemblance.

Hume Cronyn

Was it, perhaps, my inimitable style? My upper-crustian diction? My distinguished mien?

Nope.

Hume Blake Cronyn (born July 18, 1911; deceased June 15, 2003), was also a pipe smoker.



Needless to say, I was somewhat disappointed. The conversation did not develop much after that - she returned with her cigar to her lonely corner, and I loaded another pipe and smoked irritably.
One more whiskey, in a bit of a funk. The pat superficiality of the comparison was offensive.

Remarkable too that she did not name the obvious screen personage. The man I most resemble, in so many different ways. Mister Kimura.


木村先生
Kimura Sensei:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftAMtTH6mKQ


It is truly amazing how well our similarities are illustrated in the clip above. Including the love of kittens, and the gentleness of the interpersonal dynamic - especially that touching moment at the very end of the clip.
People who know me will surely acknowledge the close resemblance.

==================================================

NOTE

The Occidental: The Occidental Cigar Club is located at 471 Pine Street, between Kearney and Montgomery. It is one of the few public houses in San Francisco where patrons can still smoke - there being a loophole for owner-operated establishments (the anti-smoking laws are for the protection of employees; no employees means nobody to protect).

Telephone: 415-834-0485
http://www.occidentalcigarclub.com/
e-mail occidentalcigarclub@yahoo.com

They have an excellent selection of Scotch, Bourbon, Brandy, and California wines. They also sell cigars.
Do not order fruity cocktails - the owners will just look at you funny, if they don't tell you to leave.

CHEESE CAKE HOT LOVE

One of my regular Taiwanese spammers tried to post something here, under the rubrique of 'chocolate'. The links, alas, did not go to chocolate, which is why I did not let that comment through (I object to false advertising). Though one of them does go to a company that makes, of all things, cheesecake (乳酪蛋糕).


HOARD CHEESE CAKE
TEL:04-22520333 / FAX:04-22517563
地址:台中市南屯區河南路4段348號(惠文國小旁)
營業時間 11:00~21:00



The address (地址) translates as No. 348, Honan Road Section Four, South Station District, Taichong city, in Taiwan. The word I've translated as 'station' (屯) may actually also mean a military or police post - I'm not entirely sure in what context the Taiwanese use it.

This is the general link: http://www.hoard.com.tw/about_us.html

And this link shows the product in a fancy presentation box: http://www.hoard.com.tw/product_01.html
Along with a picture of the baker (Stanley), who developed it in 2006.

The product is brevitously appelled 'original taste cheese cake' (原味乳酪蛋糕). It is made with fresh dairy, eggs, sugar, and other fine ingredients.
I believe it comes in various flavours - tea, strawberry, mango, and 'absolute chocolate'. I must say, it does look yummy. I shall have to look for it in Chinatown. I hope that it is exported to the USA and is available locally.

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From the 'about us' page:

HOARD這個品牌,2006年由Stanley創建。Stanley熱愛旅行與美食,他最初想從事乳酪蛋糕製作的想法,是1998年自英國返台後萌生的。Stanley一直在追求完美,並且形成了「禾雅堂」的概念。意思是指「堅持完美的細節,挑選最好的原料,以最完美的技術呈現產品本身的風味」。每年Stanley都要出國旅行,把一些新概念,新發現和靈感帶回來,充實自己的產品。

------------------------------------------------------

PLEASE NOTE: 禾雅堂 ('Harmonious Elegance Hall') is the commercial enterprise with which Stanley and the cheesecake are connected. They do have chocolate. And it looks to be very fine chocolate. But I'm much more interested in Stanley's cheesecake than the chocolate. Chocolate, there is no dearth of here in San Francisco. Interesting cake, however........ Cake is such a happy word.

The description 'hot love' (熱愛) is the literal translation of the two character combination that means 'passion'. Such as describes my interest in cake, and Stanley's enthusiasm regarding fine foods.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

FIVE, NO SIX, NO SEVEN THINGS

Today is Tisha B'av. Which means that there are five afflictions or prohibitions.
The Chameshes inuyim (five don't do its) are: no eating, no drinking, no rubbing yourself with unguent or perfumes, no bathing, and no connubulating.

Additionally, no Torah study, and no smoking.
[You are, however, allowed to read the thoroughly miserable parts of Tanach. Including Lamentations.]


Well, that doesn't give me a whole heck of a lot to work with today. Given that those are in fact the five (seven) things that I normally obsess about. But, seeing as most of my readers are frumme Yidden, no. Even though they probably won't cruise in to this blog until after the day is over. Because of my usual subjects. Which, as we know, are inappropriate for this day.

So. A period of mourning.

There's almost nothing I can write about today. Out of respect for my readers. Zippy Ben Didlim, in fact. Zero.

No food. No booze. No fragrant oils. No ablutions. No naughtiness.

No hot shiksas covered in bacon grease.
Size A. Fifteen years old. And full of life.
Nothing.
[Maybe I'll write about them tomorrow. Or sometime soon.]


HA-MAVDIL

For more about Tisha b'Av, visit this post:
http://innate-differences.blogspot.com/2009/07/tale-of-two-fast-days.html
It's by the Bray of Fundie (aka Chaim Grossferstant, etcetera), who has started his own blog.
He compares Tisha b'Av to Yom Kippur. It's interesting. Go learn.


LIPMAN

And, given that you are supposed to HEAR the lamentation (Eicha), visit Lipman at this post:
http://lipmans.blogspot.com/2009/07/eicho-trop.html


See you all here again tomorrow.

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ADDENDUM

Until chatzos, tisha b'av is a day of aveilus, whereas after chatzos it is a taanis. In other words, the halachos of aveilus and taanis both operate. But note, however, that while tisha b'av and personal aveilus are comparable, they are not equivalent.

One IS allowed to study certain sections of Tanach on tisha b'av, contrary to what normally holds for an avel. But in silence. No vocal expression of Torah study, in like manner no visual expression of glory (tefillin).

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SMELLING MY MIDDLE AGE

Right about now I should be having a mid-life crisis. I realize that I'm no longer quite as young as I used to be. This is not because I feel creaky in any way, nor because gout is making for an interesting night more often than I relish. It is partly due to several tried and true trademarks disappearing from commercial view. The vanishing of well-known mercantile faces, as it were.



PRODUCTS FOR THE PERIPATETIC

Some familiar brand names inspire a feeling of comfort and wellbeing. Twinings, for tea drinkers, as well as James Keiller and Sons marmalade from Dundee.
There's an empty tea tin in my desk filled with screws for which I don't have holes, and a stoneware marmalade jar with pipe cleaners on the top of the desk, off to the right hand side.
Twinings, Keillers, and similar products, along with the shipments of books from Blackwell in Oxford, marked the life of overseas English speakers for decades. String-bound packages would periodically arrive in the hinterlands of Kenya, Malaysia, or Holland, for a brief and glorious moment inspiring feelings of ... elsewhere.

Twinings and Keiller are still in existence. So is Blackwell - they continue to ship books to bibliophiles in the furthest reaches.

On the other hand, many of the tobacco companies, whose fragrant products brought smelly joy to bachelors living in tropic jungles, or the distant bogs of Brabant, are now fading memories.
Tins of Dunhill have disappeared from shops, Rattray's characteristic tall cans no longer clutter desks, and Astley's, Fribourg and Treyer, and several other venerable firms closed their doors long ago.



DISAPPEARING DUTCH MERCHANTS

The three Dutch trademarks that for generations of expats spelled home were Douwe Egberts, Erven De Weduwe van Nelle, and Van Rossem.
They manufactured coffee, tea, and tobacco. Their brands dominated the market, and assured both the home audience and the distant exile that certain standards were still being met. The familiar packaging spoke of an enduring Dutchness.
A Dutchness that no longer endures.


Douwe Egberts Koninklijke Tabaksfabriek Koffiebranderijen Theehandel Naamloze Vennootschap was founded in Joure anno 1752. Tobacco, coffee, tea.
It is now owned by Sarah Lee, who bought the concern in 1978.


Van Nelle (aka "The Widow's Concern") began in 1782 in Rotterdam. After the death of the founder in 1811, his widow (hence the nickname) continued the business. Tea, coffee, tobacco.
Sarah Lee purchased the enterprise in 1989.


Van Rossem of Rotterdam was started by brothers Johannes and Adrianus van Rossem in 1755 as a coffee company, soon branching out to tobacco.
They were purchased by Grunno sometime after World War Two, possibly as late as the sixties. Grunno was subsequently acquired by Niemeijer in Groningen (founded in 1848), which was in turn bought by Gallaghers, then sold to Rothman's in 1990, which was absorbed entirely by BAT in 1999. The few remaining brands are probably now manufactured by Orlik in Holstebro.

[This reminds me of the castle that Herbert lived in, in Monty Python's movie Holy Grail ("It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third one - that burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.").]

I suppose that all of these brand names mean something to me because they were still the standards in their various fields when I was younger.
Had I been born since the Reagan years, they would not resonate - no doubt other brands and other products which I am entirely overlooking would have that fond familiarity - and if I were a crusty geezer in my eighties, I would now be creakily typing the phrase "when I was younger....".


I miss enameled tins. I miss painted metal advertisement placards firmly bolted to walls, that demonstrated the faith of the manufacturer in the continued interest in their product, the commitment of the corner grocery that they too would be in business for several years to come.
I miss the bags, bales, and crates that had emblems and provenances proudly stamped on fabric, burned in wood.
I miss the septic smells of commerce as it was.
I miss the world before marketing departments and health nuts took over.

[What I also miss, more than perhaps anything else, is clothing that does NOT advertise. Somewhere along the line, and I think it was during the Reagan era, we started wearing tacky clothing with texts. Freebie tee-shirts. Sweats. Jogging shoes. Baseball caps. We became billboards, while our world became illiterate. We devolved.]


I do not miss the eighties. I can still recall how ghastly that decade was.

I'm sure there were some perfectly horrid things in the sixties and seventies. Products that are best forgotten. Preferences and tastes that now would appall me. Horrors and vulgarities beyond compare.
But, you see, I do not remember them. That more distant past now glows.

==================================================

What set this off?

Well, last night I put together a pipe-tobacco blend that reeks deliciously old-fashioned to me. Smoking it awakens memories of my gloriously misspent youth.
Back in the sixties and seventies my mother would send me across the square to pick up her carton of cigarettes, and down the street for the bottle of Genever. In those days, shopkeepers did not question children purchasing smokes and liquor, as every one delegated some of the essential shopping to the young. I started buying tobacco for myself when I was barely past pubescence, and would sit in cafés with the Holy Trinity (cup of strong coffee, shot of genever, cheroot) after school let out during much of my teenage years. I did my algebra and geometry homework at those times, then read the newspapers and magazines on the back table of the establishment.

This new blend brings back those aromas. And also the smells of the grossier on the Luiker Weg, the saddler behind the Hofnar cigar factory, and the café on the Dommelsche Weg close to the lumberyard. Packets of Douwe Egberts tea, Van Nelle coffee. Dragon shag. Wet grass in the Wilhelmina Park at night, after a summer downpour.
It is peaty, woodsy, and dry in taste. Latakia, Turkish, various Virginias, Kentucky, and Perique.

This evening, after work, I shall sit on the front steps, and stink like I used to.




TOBACCO INDEX


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

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ANONYMOUS SOURCES - YES!

This blogger has received startling data from a friend who shall remain nameless - data which shows that an American politician, known to all, is, in fact, AN ALIEN! Yes!
Not only that, but he is an adherent of a religion sworn to undermine democracy! Yes!

Despite having been born in a foreign country, this American politician occupies one of the highest offices in the land. Yes!

I am of course speaking of Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco. Yes!

Unbeknownst to his supporters, and in fact the entire leadership of the Democratic Party, Newsom is IRISH. Yes!

And he sold wine when he was younger. Yes!


Even worse! Yes!
HE IS A DYSLEXIC!!!
Yes!


The heretic creed of which he is an adherent, Secular Humanism, has deep roots within the political structure of this land, and is poised to take over. Yes!
The danger. Yes! Cannot be overemphasized. Yes!
We demand that Gavin Newsom show his birth certificate. Yes! The real one. Yes! Not that fake one generated by the hall of records. Yes! We demand to examine it, to see if in fact he was validly born. Yes! Born! Yes! The evidence shows, conclusively shows, that not only did his parents divorce, but he himself has partaken of the rite of divorcement - which absolutely proves that he is AN OUTER-SPACE SECULAR HUMANIST! Yes!

[He might even be a Kenian, Indonesian, or Hawaiian. Or pale muslin in texture. And frilly. We don't know. No!]

This blogger is profoundly shocked at these revelations. Yes! And anxiously awaits more details from the dear, dear person who has taken it upon himself to forward the materials. Yes! We await anxiously. Yes!
Trepidation - we shudder at the prospect of even more horrifying revelations. Yes! Yes! Yes!
Please send more - I will take it seriously.
Yes.

PRO-ARAB RUNNING DOGS: THE SF BAY AREA PROGRESSIVES

I am pleased to see that Dr. Mike's little talk to the audience of the Rachel Corrie flick did not go unnoticed. Nay, it even generated a critical review from one of the supporters of the ISM that is delightfully over the top.
The author, who goes by the nomdeguerre of 'M', does more to discredit his or her own side than any amount of shrill hysterics at a riot could manage.
And I love him (or her) for it.


Consider this lovely quote:
"What is the relation between my Jewish ancestors living peacefully in their Arab community, producing tradition and books such as the Talmud and the Mishna, and Dr. Harris’ hatred of everything that is not western and him? "

[SOURCE: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/07/27/18612711.php ]


Better indication that the writer lacks certain crucial abilities could scarce be imagined. Clearly he (or she) came 'mentally' prepared - prepared to put on blinkers and shut down critical processes.
While regurgitating trademarks.


It (sorry, still can't figure out the gender) concludes with a final limp synaptic pop:
"I was left with one last thought: could it be that Rachel Corrie in action and essence was more Jewish then Dr. Harris?"

No, Rachel Corrie was of the approximate Jewishness of Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin and Hank Nasrallah. But it's so interesting that you should pose that question - it perfectly demonstrates how narrow your spectrum of awareness actually is. Are you, in fact, sentient?

I'm afraid the alleged progressives in the Bay Area, if M is anything to go by, are hopelessly bourgeois, jejeune even, and quite incapable of anything more than trope and cant.
Other than new interpretations of the sound of scratched vinyl, there is precious little that can be expected of them.

============================================

Dr. Mike's report on speaking to the dull-of-mind can be found here:
http://www.bluetruth.net/2009/07/sf-jewish-film-festival-audience-jeers.html

Video of Dr. Mike speaking:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k66uGD5nuk

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Monday, July 27, 2009

NORMALLY...

Normally I abhor violence. It is not something that gives me pleasure, nor something that I advocate. However. There are times when it might actually hit the spot, so to speak.

So I'm asking my readers: Is it possible to purchase baseball bats in Israel? Wooden or metal, either type is fine.

Reason I'm asking is because I wish to go to a nightclub in Tel Aviv with one. The Rogatka.



ROGATKA

The Rogatka is a nightclub located on Yitzhak Sadeh street in central Tel Aviv, run by an anarchist collective, that bans IDF members in uniform.

"In the words of Adi Vintner, one of the bar’s founders, "we can’t hold views against discrimination and oppression, while at the same time support the infrastructure that exploits human beings and other animals. We wanted to show it’s possible and even worthwhile to live differently.""

[Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1094506.html ]


At some point in the not-too-distant future I may travel to Israel. I have every intention of dropping in on the Rogatka on my way to the West-Bank, to change Adi Vintner's mind for him.
Unless someone has already come by with a Louisville Slugger before I get there.
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NOTE: Cruising Jameel's site is how I first found out about the Rogatka bar.
This post: http://muqata.blogspot.com/2009/07/tel-aviv-nightclubs-target-idf-soldiers.html
Jameel can be found here: http://muqata.blogspot.com/
Interesting points of view, worthwhile blog. Go read.
==============================================

WE ARE JEWS AND NON-JEWS...

Rabbosai, good news for a change! Normally, political activism in the Bay Area, in so far as it involves Jews and concerns Israel, revolves around the hysterical members of the Proud To Be Ashamed To Be Jewish Contingent and their urge to make nice for the rather too ignorant instinctive supporters of underdogs.


We all know that the Arabs are underdogs, don't we? Poor little puppies!


Or at least, we've been told that so many times by so many honest and sincere individuals, who want nothing more than a peaceloving world in which bunny rabbits and butterflies can lead artistic and fulfilling lives, that we know the tropes.



THE BERKELEY DAILY PLANET

One of the newspapers that hammers home the "Arab: GOOD - Jew: Bad" message is the Berkeley Daily Planet. Which is the same newspaper that gleefully publishes Joseph Anderson's racist screeds against Jews, policemen, and other 'white imperialists'.


http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2004-02-24/article/18346?headline=Last-Words-On-Lecture-Controversy&status=301

http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2009-04-02/article/32613?headline=The-Karmic-Justice-of-Lovelle-Mixon-s-Act


While the Berkeley Daily Planet may assert that it is a valid source of both news and opinion (debatable, for several reasons), there is little doubt that both it and its various pet-opinionists slant towards a point of view that is 'charmingly' old-fashioned, and nestled deep within the political traditions of the nineteenth and twentieth century in Europe (and Detroit).


Specifically, the urge to BLAME THE JEWS for everything.


In it's current incarnation, it is best expressed by the phrase: "being anti-Israel is not anti-Semitic".

Surely you've heard that phrase before? And what did you think it really meant? Given the general nature of the person who screamed it during an angry hate-filled confrontation?

[For further background on the old-fashioned tropes that the Berkeley Daily Planet insists on white-washing and reformulating, go here: http://www.bluetruth.net/2009/03/berkeley-daily-planet-superman.html and especially here: http://www.dpwatchdog.com/ ]



PETITION

There is now a site where you may counter the crusade waged by the Berkeley Daily Planet and it's obsessed owner/editor against anything and everything Jewish (except for the 'house-Jews', who obediently parrot the party line).

If you've ever found yourself nauseated after hearing "I'm not anti-Semitic, many of my friends are Jewish", "hating Israel is not anti-Semitism", or even "I'm a Jew and these people are sincere and not racist at all", then this site is for you:
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/fight-anti-semitic-rhetoric-at-the-berkeley-daily-planet.html


WE ARE JEWS AND NON-JEWS…

We abhor the deliberate and willful publication of anti-Semitic and other hateful rhetoric and screeds by the Berkeley Daily Planet.

We stand with the free speech rights of those who would criticize the Berkeley Daily Planet for its obsessive and one-sided campaign against the State of Israel.

We join these people in insisting that the publisher and editor of the Daily Planet display integrity and responsibility to ensure that their pages are devoid of irresponsible misstatements of facts whose sole malicious intent is to besmirch Jews at large, the State of Israel, and individual citizens who decry the Daily Planet’s practices.

Contributions gratefully accepted. Please send to checks made out to IACEB and post to Israel Action Committee of the East Bay, POB 9354, Berkeley, CA 94709


http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/fight-anti-semitic-rhetoric-at-the-berkeley-daily-planet.html



Go ahead - sign the petition.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/fight-anti-semitic-rhetoric-at-the-berkeley-daily-planet/signatures.html



Of course, if you yourself have ever used the sentences "I'm not anti-Semitic, many of my friends are Jewish", "hating Israel is not anti-Semitism", or even "I'm a Jew and these people are sincere and not racist at all", you probably won't agree.
In that case, you may be reading the wrong blog. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

RACHEL CORRIE, CINDY CORRIE, AND OTHER IDIOTS

In a surprisingly inane move, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival made room in their hearts for an anti-Semitic propaganda flick. There will be a screening tomorrow of the movie "Rachel", about ISM stooge and anti-Israel activist Rachel Corrie, who died in a much ballyhooed protest while reportedly guarding a weapons-smuggling tunnel in Gaza.


Adding insult to injury, Rachel Corrie's loathsome female parent Cindy Corrie will speak after the movie to the usual audience of self-satisfied middle-class Ghandi-pants.

[Cindy Corrie has energetically embarked on a successful career spreading venom since the death of her daughter - one wonders what she did before. Her prior life may have been empty, and singularly unfulfilling.]


FYI, the charge that the ISM and other internationals stage incidents for propaganda purposes has pretty much been established as fact. This pattern is in direct contravention of the safety concerns of Palestinian activists in Gaza and the West Bank, quite a few of whom would prefer that foreign volunteers not so recklessly endanger themselves.
The ISM, however, is profoundly appreciative of convenient deaths.



REGRETS

The IDF called Rachel Corrie's demise a regrettable accident.

I have little doubt that it was an accident, but all things considered I cannot regard it as regrettable.

Lest you now hasten to call me a heartless Zionist, that opinion is mirrored by other people.

Let me quote:

"Her death will bring more attention than the other 2,000 martyrs"

[Heartless Hamas Activist in Gaza, quoted here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/mar/23/internationaleducationnews.students ]



BUG!

Regarding Cindy Corrie's loathsomeness, I know of this first hand. I have met her.
She was at the Sabeel event in Berkeley at Saint John's Presbyterian Church in August 2007. She was disgusting.

[See this post: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2007/08/saturday-among-cannibals.html]



FILTH

But it isn't the movie to which I object. It is the decision, by Peter Stein et al, to show the damned thing. And their collusion with the JVP and the American Society of Friends, that being the Quakers. Both of which are groups that represent the most virulent strains of middle-class hypocrisy, meddlesomeness, sanctimony, and holier-than-thou arrogance.

[I have no doubt that many of them are undoubtedly heartfelt and sincere in their hypocrisy, meddlesomeness, sanctimony, and arrogance. Stalin's thugs also had sincerity.]

Do Peter Stein and the SFJFF really presume that pandering to the haters serves any laudable purpose? Are they under the mis-apprehension that the union of misguided 'not-Jew-wannabees' and Protestant religious bigots is, in some remarkable way, a demographic to whom the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival absolutely needs to cater?

Let them still those concerns. Having met more than my fair share of the people on the other side - including members of Women in Black, JVP, Jew-hating Presbyterians, Methodists, and Quakers, self-hating ex-Jews, Unitarians, and second-generation Arab-Americans turned fashionably radical, along with all their opportunistic fellow-travelers - I can assure the SFJFF that NO useful purpose will be served by either showing this film, or allowing that odious mother creature to speak.

There will be no rapprochement. No minds will meet.
Reciprocity in any way should not be expected.

Cindy Corrie and her clique want to see us destroyed, the pro-Hamas activists require the end of Israel. The ISM aids and abets those who would engineer both of those goals. Rachel Corrie's activism served no 'greater good', but given the pathologies of the side she chose, her demise may very well have been the most fortuitous outcome.
It is time to let her rest in peace.

A pity that Peter Stein disagrees.

==============================================

POSTSCRIPT

Here's a lovely picture of other ISM activists posing with tools of peace:
http://sfjffwatch.blogspot.com/2009/07/ism-corries-pro-terror-posse.html

It's from a post on this blog:
http://sfjffwatch.blogspot.com/

Trust me, reading that blog is much much better than attending the festival. Please remember that this time next year. And also remember to thank Peter Stein and his/her pals for making it so.
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WESTERN EUROPEAN EXCELLENCE

Kudos! Bravo, guys, you make me proud. I always get a tear in my eye when Western Europeans demonstrate their high standards, and do something exemplary! Kol hakavod, all of y'all, kol hakavod!

[By which I mean utterly not.]


EXAMPLE ONE:
Anti-Semitic attacks in Britain at record high

Quote: "CST categorized the 2009 incidents as follows: 77 violent assaults; two cases of extreme violence, i.e. attacks that posed a risk to life or constitute grievous bodily harm; 63 incidents of damage and desecration to Jewish property; 34 direct anti-Semitic threats; 391 incidents of abusive behavior, including hate mail, verbal abuse and anti-Semitic graffiti on non-Jewish property; and 44 mass-mailings of anti-Semitic literature, in paper form or by email."

[SOURCE:
http://jta.org/news/article/2009/07/24/1006782/anti-semitic-attacks-in-britain-at-record-high ]


EXAMPLE TWO:
Gay Pride organiser victim of gay-bashing

Quote: "One of the organisers of next weekend's Gay Pride parade and a friend were attacked in Amsterdam on Wednesday night, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.
Hugo Braakhuis and his friend were saying goodbye on the city's Rembrandtplein when a group of youths began shouting 'cancer gay' and other insults at them. Braakhuis's friend objected to the taunting and was punched to the ground. Braakhuis was also hit, the paper said
."


[SOURCE: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2009/07/gay_pride_organiser_victim_of.php ]



BEEE-YOU-TEA-FALL!

Once more, guys, the world appreciates your sterling example. You all truly are models of civilized behaviour, and represent the finest values. Yes. No wonder the world looks on you with wonder and admiration, and listens to your every well-though-out word on matters of great import. I really do not know where we would be without the advances and blessings that you have so generously imparted.

I guess we're about ready for another world war now. Your glorious leadership started the last two, and they really improved matters. We await the word from Western Europe - where civilization started.


====================================

NOTE:

The above may be taken literally by some. For which I am truly sorry. But it cannot be helped. The level of yutz is aza shreklich among some elements of the illiterati, especially in the boglands and pishgassen on the other side of the Atlantic, that a lack of broadmindedness and perspective must be assumed.
But what I really mean should be clear, docht zich. Gatsameinu.

====================================

BRUTAL AFTERTHOUGHT

I know some of you will blame a certain problematic element for these things. It is them, not you, them. They are always making trouble. Yes? Hmmmm?
But no. Who you choose to blame is strictly an internal matter. It is your society that failed, they are your people. Do you really wish to deny ownership in your own country? The import of cheap labour - that same cheap labour from which all of you nice pale people benefitted - has entirely dis-invested you? Because of this you are no longer responsible for anything?
You know, and you know I know, that that is a load of codswallop.
Again, strictly an internal affair. From the point of view of the rest of the world, it is you, your society, your people, that are showing their "afterend" in public. Stelletje hufters.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

GOOD TO EAT!

On my way to work this morning I realized what a blessing it is to be white. It triples my conversational possibilities with random Cantonese people.

If I were Cantonese, the conversation would revolve around food.

Because I am white and speak Cantonese, two more things get added:
1. "You should marry a Chinese girl."
2. "You should go and do business in China."


Some monolingualists fear that when speakers of other languages are not using English, they are talking about the nearest English speakers.
It's a form of paranoia that exaggerates the importance of the monolingual individual.


"They must be talking about me! Otherwise WHY wouldn't they use English! They are so secretive!"


Actually, they are speaking Cantonese because it's easier for them than English. And also because you aren't part of the conversation. Even if you spoke Cantonese, you probably wouldn't be included - do you know either of them?

And they're talking about food. You aren't food.



HO-M'HO SIK AH?
[好唔好食呀? / 好唔好食嘎? = 'Is it good to eat?']

It's a consuming passion, and a mark of a deep and enduring civilization.
Surely all cultured people know about cuisine?
If I were Cantonese, I too would have conversations that revolved almost entirely about food.

However...............

Being a white person who happens to speak some Cantonese, everyone in Chinatown comes up with the unique and delicious new idea that I should wed a woman of Chinese ancestry, and the similarly enchanting and unusual concept that I should go to China and make money.

These two shiny NEW conversational subjects more than make up for the fact that as a white person, I cannot be expected to talk intelligently about food.

It all balances out, you see.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

FEMALE TROUBLE

Well, not really trouble. It's hard to describe. Correspondence would be a better term.
I have recent communications from three persons of the feminine gendricity.
In their own way, each provides food for thought.
Which I am happy to share with you.
Regurgitation is something I do.



DEAD SKUNK

The first one is from Bawi-ji, who wishes to persuade me to do a post about eating road kill, and provides a useful research link to that end:
http://www.chelseagreen.com/content/eating-roadkill-would-you/


There are no recipes there, but there are some useful pointers:

1. If it is covered in flies or maggots or other insects it’s probably no good.
2. If it smells like rotting flesh it’s probably spoiled.
3. If its eyes are clouded over white it’s probably not too fresh.
4. If there are fleas on the animal there’s a good chance it’s still edible.
5. If it’s completely mangled, it’s probably not worth the effort.
6. Rigor mortis sets in pretty quickly. [] There’s no reason to assume the animal is spoiled just because it’s stiff.



For people who are single, these pointers also apply to dates.

You probably know several people who have already put this into practice. Not everyone is picky.



HI, HOT HUNK

Little miss S. Chou writes to ask if I am the "hot hunk of middle-aged man-flesh" she "saw smoking a pipe on Pacific Avenue a few days ago, the dude with the fetching goatee and elegant pervert coat".

Yes. Yes that is me! What a charming description. We should meet for coffee and a snack.

She then says "you look exactly like Gonzo the Great from the Muppet Show! Pointy little head!"

Um.
On second thought...........



DUCT TAPE - IT'S NOT JUST FOR HAMSTERS

A friend asked that I research a company at which a relative may be soon job-interviewing.
Is it legit, do they have a good reputation, what exactly do they do?

Well, they are big in penises. Very big.

Specifically, they manufacture external devices, catheters, and clamps. They are well regarded, and urologists love them. Medicare covers their primary product because they are a safe form of treatment. Their cunning device helps clear arteries, which may in turn restore such to their natural elasticity. This allows a more normal blood flow into the penis........

On the other hand, stay away from the clamps.

Such devices are a very unsafe method for the management of urinary incontinence, and clamping off an insensate penis so tightly as to occlude the urethra is quite dangerous. Penile gangrene is not unknown.



ENDING REMARK

So in conclusion, dear readers, do please communicate with the women in your lives. How else will you find out about important matters such as pavement-pizza, Frackles, and problematic penile elements?
These are, in my vast experience, matters very dear to the female heart.

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GUNK ON YOUR FRIES

Further to my previous posting relating to food, and what may or may not be zapped in the employees' microwave, I really must inform you of even worse dietary practices than the ones I critiqued yesterday.

Peanut sauce on French fries. Instead of mayonnaise.

You see, I'm eating lunch right now.
No, I am NOT consuming French fries with muck or gunkum.
It's a toasted sandwich liberally doused with cock-sauce.

[Cock-sauce: the affectionate nickname for SriRacha hotsauce manufactured by Huy Fong Foods Corp.(滙豐食品公司) See here: http://www.amazon.com/Huey-Fong-Sriracha-Chili-Sauce/dp/B000LO40AG AND http://www.huyfong.com/frames/index.htm (wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huy_Fong_Foods) .
Please note the proud rooster on the label.]



PEANUT SAUCE RABIES

As previously mentioned, I visit newspaper sites during lunch. One of which is the Algemeen Dagblad, that being a pathetic attempt at journalism for the masses published in Dutch. There is an article on their site which details the ravage wreaked by an angry customer of a snackbar, when he got home and discovered that the snackbar had dumped peanut sauce on his fries. He stormed back and destroyed the place. He hates peanut sauce.

[See here: http://www.ad.nl/rotterdam/waterweg/3386061/Woest_door_pindasaus_op_patat.html]


Quote:
"Een 47-jarige Schiedammer ( ) sloeg december vorig jaar een snackbar in de Nieuwe Maasstraat in zijn woonplaats kort en klein, omdat hij ongevraagd pindasaus bij zijn snack had gekregen en bij thuiskomst een bestelde kaassoufflé ontbrak. "

[Translation: 'A forty-seven year old Schiedammer trashed a snackbar in the Nieuwe Maas Street last year, because without requesting it he received peanut sauce with his snack, and the ordered cheese souffle was missing.']


Flowerpots destroyed, plate glass window smashed, front door damaged, chair hurled into display freezer, and cash register thrown to the ground.

Because of peanut sauce.

Boruch Hashem someone finally protested against peanut sauce. On French fries. Instead of what properly belongs on there. Which is mayonnaise. What is this world coming to?

Peanut sauce.

==================================================

AFTERTHOUGHT

Yeah, he kinda lost it. Not quite the actions of a reasonable man.
Neither is putting peanut sauce on French fries, when you really think about it, but that has apparently become quite common over there since I left in 1978 - when all we could imagine dumping on our fries was mayonnaise.
Still, many people in the US put ketchup on fries, and that's just plain sick. Nauseating. Nasty. Vile. Ick.

Dutch peanut sauce is only marginally better (debatable!) than the yucky peanut sauce used in institutional food programmes, which pretends to be Thai-inspired. Denatured Thai. No chilies. No fish paste. No ground coriander or turmeric. No lemon grass or galangal. No browned onion, garlic, or ginger. No lime juice. No kemiri nuts.
Just p-butter, canned chicken stock, and coconut milk. That too is just plain sick. Nauseating. Nasty. Vile. Ick.

At least the Dutch version has some heat. Though it's still treif in all upsights.


And for your information, I was indeed put here on earth to judge other people's food preferences. That's just the way it is.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

EAT LIKE AN AMERICAN

I am baffled by the white people I work with. This despite being glow-in-the-dark myself. Some people are just more whity-white. So pale they come from Kansas. And fearfully clutch their little dog Toto in panic at anything remotely diverse.


Such as the things that other people eat.


A long time ago, one of my co-workers, despite being of Italian ancestry, claimed that anything except beef and potatoes gave her heart-burn that lasted for days. Consequently she avoided pizza and pasta dishes, savoury stews, Chinese food, and pretty much anything that had more flavour than cardboard.

She was very sensitive.

I took particular joy in steering departmental lunches towards the exotic during those years. It is with pride and pleasure that I admit that I made the poor dear sick as a dog on curries, enchiladas, tortas, injere & kifto, and kuwaleng itik.

Though she herself has since fled for paler parts of the country, the spirit of her food phobias lives on.


Consider this e-mail sent today to all of us in the office:

Dear Staffmembers,

Please be considerate of others when cooking in the microwave. Especially with fish. If you are warming up fish please put a cover on it as this particular food often gives off an offensive smell to others. Maybe best to leave this for home cooking. Thanks.


THE OFFICE MGR
Please consider the environment before printing this email

----------------------------------------------


GUTTED AND FRIED, IN SPICY SAUCE


What the heck?

No fish?

Perhaps I need to bring in tuna-melts till the end of the month. Or fish-head curry. Fresh mussels and clams - I'm sure I can do those quickly in the micro. The juices, augmented with a little sherry and butter, make lovely sopping for a loaf of French bread.
Or a whole fish, with fresh herbs and chilies, to flash on a plate.


Hypothetical follow-up e-mail:

Dear Staffmembers,

No onions. No cabbage. No garlic. No peanut products.
No meat at all. No carrots. No cheese sauces. No tomato paste.
No spices. No fish paste. No non-standard ingredients. No grease.
No Mexican food. No Chinese food. No Indian food. No ethnic food AT ALL.

No broccoli - Broccoli is not edible.
None of you guys know how to cook, so DON'T!

Please enjoy your lunch of tasty and nutritious rusk (*).


-----THE OFFICE MGR

* Plus a pinch of salt - for that sabor autentico puritano.
Please consider the environment before printing this email

----------------------------------------------


GO BOIL YOURSELF


I promise I will not cook iguana or raccoon in the micro-wave. If you have any other requests, please remember that you are messing with my lunch. That is never a good idea. I am vengeful and vicious. Especially when people interfere with my food. You ain't seen nutting yet.
Do I make a federal case out of your bland palate? Do I kvetch when some noodge decides to nuke popcorn? Did I even say anything when the Lutheran shrimp-girl burnt an entire packet of hotdogs in there one evening? Have I ever bothered mentioning that most of you suburban Neanderthalers have no taste?
Watch it, boy, I know where you work.

Writing this has made me hungry. I wonder what I'll have for lunch.
That's a threat, in case you didn't know.

----------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------

POSTCRIPTUM

I have since received a response from one of the people to whom I sent an angry reaction.

He states:
"Just remember folks, only Doritos are Triangles made in heaven."

Wise words. Baffling, but wise.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

HECK DIDN'T FREAK OVER

Yesterday was the twenty-third San Francisco Aidswalk. Like all previous years, I spent the morning sleeping, lazing about, smoking, noshing, and taking a glorious long hot bath.
While other people sweated, and strained their muscles, and slogged painfully for a very good cause, I luxuriated and self-indulged. Snored.

You see, Savage Kitten and I have this wonderful tradition that started when I still worked at the restaurant. Since I would have gone to bed late the night before, I would pay her to do the walk. I haven't worked at the restaurant in years, but we never altered this routine.
Heck will freak over before I get up that early on a Sunday.

[Actually, Heck sort of freaked over six weeks ago, when I got up at an unHashemish hour in preparation for Israel in the Gardens, and kinda freaked a second time three weeks ago when I participated in the Pride Parade as part of the great big Jewish contingent that included too diverse a spectrum. But never mind. Tradition is tradition. I do not wake up for the Aidswalk. ]


So, having done my good deed for the day (by writing a biggish cheque the night before), I rested the rest of the just.
Simply lay there twitching most of the time.

Several different pipe tobaccos. Cigars. A noodly dish for breakfast. Coffee. Tea. Fruitjuices. Azumanga Daioh. Books. Dictionaries.
Scratched. Toe-twiddled. Stretched. Yawned.



THE HEARTFELT SORROW OF THE CHICKENS

I was making a spicy lamb curry (ground coriander seeds, turmeric, cumin, galangal, nutmeg, pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, coconut milk, lime juice, fish paste, fish sauce, tomato, lemon grass, etcetera) when she returned in late afternoon, carrying a bucket of fried chicken. A humongous family-size bucket - evidence of mass murder and lamentation in the hen house.
Very very sad - if you're a chicken.

As it turns out, women who do the Aidswalk are precisely like women going into their menstrual period. They are drained, tired, sweaty, limp, and they need enough fried chicken to feed a small city. The only difference is that they do not require the large tub of ranch dressing after walking. That they will need later, during that special time of month (it's a blessing). Fried chicken (and ranch dressing) are somekind of karmic equivalent. Of essential importance.


Lamb curry is mere icing on a cake.


She ate. And ate. And fell asleep.


I stayed up reading poetry, mostly Tu Fu. Whose oevre is nearly impossible to translate well, so I will not even try. Besides, right now I cannot think as clearly and cogently as that task would require - I'm slightly hung-over from emulating Li Po last night while reading Tu Fu till three in the morning...... drank a bit too much Bourbon.

Both of us had the Sunday we wanted.

I should've had more of that lamb curry, though.

I did not need so much fried chicken - I am the least likely person to either have a period, or actually do anything that drains me as much - heck will indeed have freaked over first.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

CONVERSATIONAL STORM-SURGE

Nope, I have no idea what he's talking about, not a clue. Normally the stuff that comes out of his mouth makes scant sense anyhow. Some days he's better than other days. But even at his best, you rather wish you hadn't started the conversation for fear of where he'll take it.

He's just not as firmly anchored in my version of reality as you or I could wish.


I am talking about the head of the security detail watching the building, of course. Whenever I see him on my way in or out I say 'hi'. Which will always prompt some odd nonsequitorial dialogue. Such as the time he responded by telling me all about the colours of a butterfly he had seen years ago. Or when he started speculating about height-augmentation for bald people, so that the tops of their heads would not show.

It took me several months to realize that his private thoughts were always of a richness beyond normal comprehension. Very complex, too.

Today, as I wait for the elevator, I can hear and see him speaking to nobody. He's pacing around animatedly, and giving voice.


"When the Jedi and the Sith meet up again, there will be blood let me tell you! Righteousness will be restored, justice! The sands of the hot planet will be crimson and wet with the liquid of combat, and it will be good again!"


Should I be worried that the guard unit is commanded by someone with a rich inner life? Or are these operational details that he is mulling over, out loud?

"There are screws at the bottom of each saber - some go left, some go right."

I did not know that.

"Some are green - a green so intense that you cannot see it. Only the pure of heart can see it."

At this point a woman who came into the lobby just a moment ago turns around and leaves. She works in the building, and I was expecting her to come over to the elevators.
I am now alone with the increasingly agitated security personage.

"The force is sometimes so great that it carries you into the path of tractor beams. Engineers of the Guild Academy are cognizant of the problem, but they just aren't doing anything! They refuse! They refuse!"


As the elevator doors close, I can hear him gasping "there are SPIKES under their ROBES!"


Good thing it's the end of the week. He sounds like he needs a few days off.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

LOVE APE AND COLLECTIONS ARMADILLO

Very recently I wrote a post which may not have entirely pleased one of my regular readers. No, I shan't describe it for you, you must figure out for yourself which of my many beautiful posts it may have been. I thought it was both poetic and lyrical. But the content was, perhaps, the issue that divided......


The regular reader commented:
"Too much tobacco, too much flesh. I want to hear more about the armadillo and the naughty monkey. "


What can I say about the armadillo and the naughty monkey? The naughty monkey always sides with Savage Kitten, and the armadillo simply hangs around in my cubicle all day.

I suspect that when night falls the armadillo really wakes up and becomes active, as there are several photos of him messing with the desk of my most neurotically neat colleague, disturbing her carefully aligned file folders, chewing her pencils, and tapping away at her keyboard...... besides rooting around her desk-drawers and sniffing disdainfully at the picture of her little son.

He's also sat at the desk of the owner of the company. Photocopied his own butt. Danced provocatively on one of the engineer's desks, and fondled all the awards in the lobby.

The armadillo is no respecter of property. Clearly an anarchist.


Thank heavens the armadillo hasn't figured out how to use the phone yet.

Please imagine him calling up the armadillo phone-sex line in Texas (staffed by those zesty big-plated mamas before they become roadkill) - if he ever did that, we would discover him the next morning looking all blissed out, with a big silly grin all over his face. And drool all over the receiver.
Whatever phone he had used would have to be destroyed.


Oh wait. And never mind. I just sexed the armadillo. He's not a him, but a her.

[Either that or the taxidermist took a "shortcut".]


The monkey, on the other hand, keeps dialing up the SPCA to rat on me. But those are his only calls.
He'll probably never phone 976-LOVEAPE, as he is far too visually inclined. He needs to actually see the thick soft hair on those delicious she-monkey thighs and calves; merely having it described doesn't do diddly for him.

[Besides, I think he actually has some 'gender issues'. He IS wearing one of her silk shirts and a necklace...... ]

I just hope he never discovers porn. Or the Curious George books.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

FRAGRANT CONCUBINE

Despite the fact that the vast majority of my readers are either frumme yidden with a natural sense of modesty and restraint, OR dry-as-bones Dutchmen without any sense of adventure, posts which include certain words seem to attract readers.

Words such as nipples, panties, teenager, and curve.

This is the only time that the words above will be used in this post.
There are NO nipples, panties, teenagers, or curves of any type at all here, for which I apologize - I really do believe in added value and customer satisfaction, but I could think of no reason to include those words.
This post is not about nipples, panties, teenagers, or curves.

It's about tobacco.

You may have noticed by now that pipes and tobacco appeal to me in exactly the same way that women do - for me there is something sensuous and almost sexual about fine pipe tobaccos. An appealing innocence in some, versus a shy yet knowing glance in others. And, in the case of perfumed blends, something deliciously sinful, or even all-out strumpet-like.

This may have something to do with when I first started smoking a pipe, that being my teenage years, and with the frustrations that all young males experience at that time of their life.
But more likely is the supposition that I am much the pervert, albeit one in nearly complete control of his vices.
I'll leave it to you to figure out which it is, and what that sentence actually means.



THE BLUSH OF YOUTH

Several months ago I worked on a blend that included a fair measure of Latakia and Turkish, along with a spectrum of flue-cured tobaccos. Among the latter were Lakeland Virginias, that being the term for certain pressed flakes that have been mildly flavoured with old-fashioned fragrances.

The general note of such a Virginia is like an elderly aunt who unbeknownst to the family steps out with the local curate, having seduced the young divine within the first week of his arrival in the village. Reclusive femininity meets a strapping young thing. Optimism, and private decadence.
I think they may have a room on permanent lease above the stables of the Old Bell Inn, in the hamlet five miles down the road.

But I digress.

The point is that despite whiffing much like a classic medium Balkan blend, it has a suggestion of gentle depravity, that being the faint perfume - rather like the smell of her hair, remaining on the pillow long after she herself has quietly gotten dressed and hurried back before dark, so that her family does not notice how long she has been gone. Press the nose into it, and inhale deeply, drinking in the floral notes and in your mind's eye reliving the touch of her warm silken skin......

But I digress.

It was, at the time, a pleasant smoke. But something was missing. So on a whim I upped the Virginia content, and added a fair measure of Perique. Virginia has sweetness but can bite, whereas Perique tones down bite and functions like some ingredients in the perfume industry - fixatives like musk, vetyver, and sandal wood. These are too strong by themselves, but in dilute state they are incomparable and heady, powerful yet subtle.
Now the blend is delicate, refined, and haunting. Much like the smell of a younger woman, fresh from the bath, moisture still pearling the back of her neck, her bathrobe damp and radiating warmth, alluring in its effect, tempting by proximity .....

But I digress.

I have on my desk at present some Latakia, and Toasted Cavendish. Both of these tobaccos are cured over smoky fires, and have a woodsy character, and both make a blend a cooler smoke.
Latakia used to be Shek El Bint tobacco from Syria suspended over smouldering scrub-oak, but today's Latakia is Smyrna-type leaf fumed with juniper and pine. Toasted Cavendish is Kentucky broad-leaf, aircured before being sootified.
Latakia is spicy and resinous, Toasted Cavendish has a note of herbs.

Too much Virginia can make a mixture seem bitchy, like an English woman arguing with her husband. Add a modicum of Latakia or Toasted Cavendish, and she becomes gentler and more exotic, like a teenager from the tropics, fragrant with expensive oils delicately applied.
Her hair may be darker too - no longer wheatish blonde, more like a cloud of velvet-matte chocolate floss, contrasting with the golden honey of her soft soft skin, radiating sweet young freshness .....

I digress.

The blend is by no means finalized. I am still working on it, but I have pretty much decided upon the name.




TOBACCO INDEX


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

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

THE RAT MEN ARE TAKING OVER!

Amidst the doom and gloom of the biggest financial meltdown of the last several generations, plus several other crises, and while our nation charts a course for a future far less certain than our parents knew, the brave rat men in the Republican party singlemindedly attend to the pressing issues that reflect the values of their severely inbred constituencies. Such as the item below.

Please note that the one democrat listed (Mary Landrieu) is a graduate of the Huey Long school of politics, and consequently does not qualify as being on the same planet as the rest of her party, or for that matter, erect homonids.



SENATORS BROWNBACK AND LANDRIEU INTRODUCE HUMAN-ANIMAL HYBRID PROHIBITION ACT

Quote:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today with Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009.

"This legislation works to ensure that our society recognizes the dignity and sacredness of human life," said Brownback. "Creating human-animal hybrids, which permanently alter the genetic makeup of an organism, will challenge the very definition of what it means to be human and is a violation of human dignity and a grave injustice."

The Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act would ban the creation of human-animal hybrids. Human-animal hybrids are defined as those part-human, part-animal creatures, which are created in laboratories, and blur the line between species.
[CUT]


Source:
http://senatorsambrownback.blogspot.com/2009/07/brownback-landrieu-introduce-human.html

Co-sponsors: Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Mel Martinez (R-FL), John McCain (R-AZ), James Risch (R-ID), John Thune (R-SD), David Vitter (R-LA), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

-----------------------------------

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!

I was so worried! I was afraid that Kramer's pigman was real. Or that a master race of human-greyhound mixes was gonna take over the country.
I can't run very fast, so you can understand why that second possibility was problematic.
But now, thanks to these stalwart rat-men of the Republican party, all I am concerned about are the acquisitive demi-rodents themselves. Who must be smaller than you or I, and can presumably be stomped on. Thus making road kill. Or sidewalk kill. Unless you find them in your basement, of course, which would make them cellar kill. They could also become backyard kill. Depends on where you stomp. Except if your dog gets to them first. In which case they become indigestible. Whatever. The point is that the rat-men are taking care of the competition!

I hope those evil scientists don't decide to crossbreed pigs and whippets to produce high-speed weasely omnivores with tusks and sharp teeth. That too would be horrible. I can't outrun a whippet (as I'm not very fast...).
They might also try to mix bovines and eagles to make a dangerous warfare beast - it would fly over Moscow and drop potent bio-hazard material.
But I doubt that such a plan would fly.

Thank you, all of you lovely Republican rat-men, you have saved us!
Squeak squeak squeak!


I am in principal absolutely opposed to interspecies crossbreeds. Imagine what would happen if you blended monitor lizards and rednecks! You'd probably end up with Republicans from Kansas! That would be horrid! How many exclamation marks does it take to convince you that that would be bad!?!
The American alligator ('alligator mississippiensis') and a simple sorority girl from Baton Rouge? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Man it’s scary out there.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I CAN SEE YOUR NIPPLES

Let us imagine that you are seated at a cafe terrace in Europe, and you have ordered a refreshing cup of coffee. A pert and charming young waitress comes tripping over with a tray. She puts the cup and saucer down. She puts down the bowl of sugar. And, just before she skips off, you notice that the cream is missing. You NEED cream!

So, in your best French, you venture "I can see your nipples!".

.......

What you actually meant to say was "avez vous somekinda dairy produit pour mon tasse de strong cafe?"


I did mention that she was pert and charming, did I not?

Let us just say that you slipped on a bit of Freud. Happens to the best of us.



WHAT NOT TO SAY

The point of this is that there are some things you should NEVER say to a woman. Ever.
It may be true - you may indeed have a splendid view of her strawberries. Just shut up. She doesn't need to know that, and you don't need the coffee dumped on your head. Be still.

One of the truly bad things to say to a woman is "yes, it makes you look fat".
You know what the situation is in which that phrase might crop up, and you studiously try to avoid it.

Even more awfull is "you resemble your mother".
If you didn't marry her mother, don't say it.
And even if you did, don't.


Hands down worst: "you used to be so pretty!".


It does not matter what the context is, once the statement "you used to be so pretty" has been uttered, the conversation takes a terrifying turn to the dark side.
If you're lucky, World War Three breaks out before the psycho-torture starts.
If you're unlucky, World War Three breaks out before the psycho-torture starts.

The sentence "you used to be so pretty" is guaranteed to change the complexion of your day dramatically. It has the magic ability to call up overcast and fog. Not to mention sleet and icy winds.
And four horsemen.



SUCH A PRETTY CHILD

There are three photos of Savage Kitten as a little girl that are especially charming. One of them shows her holding a small furry creature. She really did use to be such a pretty child.
Utterly perfect, in fact.

Like almost all American women she lacks confidence about her looks as an adult.

Knowing since early childhood that the busty blondes on Charlie's Angels were the epitome of gorgeousness, that the ideal female form is between Barbie and a Coca Cola bottle, and that Bo Derek is ten, an awareness of her own non-approximation of the ideal is buried deep within her psyche.

Because of that, I do not have prints of those three charming childhood photos. Nor do I carry her picture in my wallet, or have it framed on my desk.
She used to be so pretty......
But at the end of the day, the person I wish to see again is the adult. Grouchy, moody, snarky, or spouting nerdy humour and Monty Python quotes. The girl who loves drama-bitch movie stars and queen-sized acting. The woman who snarfs shrimp-chips while watching the tackiest show on teevee, hooting at the bucket-loads of vulgarity and bad-taste. The fine-boned bonbon with a foul Toishanese vocabulary and a feral intolerance for idiots.
Her.
Just as she is today.


Sweetie-Pie, you used to be such a pretty child.

But now, you're one heck of a delicious woman (and I think I can see your ni.........).


If you ever wonder why I'm just staring at you, now you know.

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STOP FORWARDING MESSAGES ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD!

Some people believe that they are truly the first ones to read about certain events. And they, they alone, are privy to the data that explains the world. These people are slightly problematic - they forward at random everything they see.



I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH SELECTIVE FORWARDING!

But newsitems about cats, hamsters, omelettes, hamsters in omelettes, fabulous pasta dishes, dildo disasters, hamsters in lieu of dildoes, and celebrity scandals (even with hamsters and dildoes) are not my tickky.


Neither am I fascinated by the pimple on Mustafa Barghouti's arse (infected!), or the acid-indigestion of Emir Faisal (stripped his stomach lining!). Opinionation about the fine details of the paint-job on the most recent Gaza boat (powder-blue!) do not interest me.
Whether the Palestinians can be trusted to polish European knobs (superior!) in a suitably flattering way (we like you!), or the charming shininess (blinding!) of Avigdor Lieberman's smile - dos alts iz mir gonz scheiss-egal. Echt und ba-emmes!

I'm subscribed to over a dozen news services.
When Abu Mazen blinks, I get to read about it several times, for several weeks.
Same for General Motors having a bad hair day (different news services and alerts than the Abu Mazen hiccough).

What fashionista Brüno thinks about the Hijab (fabulous!), or which delicious young slut (big tits!) Silvio Berlusconi is no longer treifing..... Meh, I'll read it online. When I get to it. And if.



SPECIAL PROMOTIONS JUST FOR YOU!

The Gazet van Antwerp, the Volkskrant, and several other European newspapers seem to believe that I wish to participate in reader surveys, prize drawings, on-line competitions or Oorah Auctions (actually, that's just Yeshiva Verld and a few other institutions).
I do not wish to win the free laptop. I shall not spend ten days in Ibiza upon winning the newspaper drawing. I do not need a complete makeover, or a recommendation for a boob-job.

Nor do I believe reports that I have won a huge lottery prize. Funds in a West-African bank can jolly well stay there.

I receive identical adverts for Ahava facial cleanser and super seforim sales from several different sources, as well as stern lectures from the J4J's (plus the same sermon three times each week!) despite my complexion being stunning, my Hebrew being limited, and my belief-system being decidedly un-Christian.
Even Amazon and Alibris have gotten into the act, along with several other book sellers. Collectively, they are convinced that I am a born-again Christian sexual deviant involved in stage-productions, as well as a collector of women's watches, handbags, and sexy high-heeled shoes.

My deleted items folder receives several hundred donations every day; it's grown fat and sassy from the frequent feeding.



MY BUTT HURTS!

I'm so connected I got wires coming outta my takht; the electrical sparks are probably setting fire to my haemorrhoid pillow.
Going back to the stone age is beginning to look mighty attractive. Nice soft rocks.

At this point, all I want to read about is SEX.
And the credit histories of prospective customers.


Please send me the names and addresses of delicious yet impossibly mature teenagers, or the payment habits of businesses applying for net thirty terms.
I promise I'll read it - especially the stuff about the teenagers.
Particularly if they are feisty, curvaceous, and petite, and live in SF.

If the businesses applying for terms are also feisty, curvaceous, and petite, that too.
And ESPECIALLY if they are located in San Francisco!

==============================================

NOTE: This message is aimed specifically at a woman in Westchester County (NY), and certain "newspapers". Plus the idiot who keeps sending me cute cat stories. Miao!

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

HE LOOKS GUILTY! WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE'S THE JUDGE?

I am not allowed to tell you that Absalom Dangleputty stands accused of killing Abdoulah Wagawaga and seven large transvestite friends with the brush-attachment of a vacuum-cleaner. Or anything that even remotely relates to the case.
Please do not discuss this egregious crime with me until either the trial is over and Absalom is taken out and shot, or I am excused.

More likely the latter, as even the authorities must realize that me sitting on a jury would be a travesty of justice.

Considering me some random other person's peer? Quelle chutzpah!

Instead, let us talk about a question they required all of us to answer in writing.


"Have you, or a loved one, relative, or friend, ever been a victim of, or a witness to, a violent crime?"


???


I live in San Francisco.

But they also wanted details, and they demanded to know how these things made us feel, or if they would influence our ability to be fair and balanced.
So I mentioned seeing the stabbing in front of our house in Valkenswaard when I was five or six, the knife-fight when I was seventeen, the forcible expulsion of a filing cabinet from a second floor by protestors when I was eighteen, and a shooting incident in Manila close by Ong Pin Bridge.
Plus several incidents on Broadway near Columbus, 1984 to present.

I did NOT mention that a corpse with half its head blown off floats mostly upright. Nor that a particular girls' academy in Mindanao still whiffed of shallow burials years after the Philippine Constabulary stopped using it as an interrogation centre. The two dead PC on the road to Buwalo, or the very neat row of exterminated NPA that we passed in the bus en-route to Sultan Kudarat - these too are minor matters. Relatively minor.

Violent deaths are very much like too much exposed cleavage, or sex in public. One's natural curiosity struggles with the impulse to look elsewhere, so as to give the victims a measure of privacy.

Indeed, your breasts and bullet holes are quite fascinating. But I've seen enough, and unless you come up with something truly unique, I will look away. Do you mind if I smoke?


Yes, I think I can be fair and balanced.

I just don't think that Absalom Dangleputty, Abdoulah Wagawaga, and the seven large transvestites, are all that intriguing.



==========================================================================
NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:

LETTER BOX.
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.
==========================================================================

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

NO FAITH IN THE DUTCH

Subscribers to the Surinam Mailinglist have in the past seen me react with fury at the Netherlanders. Usually I do so after reading Dutch on the internet - whether the poisonous anti-American or anti-Semitic comments written underneath articles in the Algemeen Dagblad, the densely pretentious and wrong-headed editorials in a variety of Dutch newspapers, the blinkered and bigoted discussions in various chatrooms and networking sites, or even the several hundred page long discussions that were on the website of the NRC Handelsblad before we invaded Irak, which demonstrated in depth and breadth how much the average "well-informed leftwing Dutchman" hates the United States, despises Israel, presupposes about Americans and Jews, and has forgotten about the reprehensible history of his own country, and how unimportant the Dutch really are in this world.


Today I will not send them (the Surinam Mailinglist) a poison-pen letter.


I actually rather like most of them..... even that often intensely opinionated and irritating blister Plomp.
Being wrong is by no means being evil. The members of the list are sometimes wrong, but they are as a group, and overwhelmingly as individuals, good people.
Intelligent (and very multi-lingual), too.
I do not wish to give them bile.


Not so most of the writers in the comment string underneath this article:


Hamas spot met ontvoerde soldaat
http://www.ad.nl/buitenland/3350992/Hamas_spot_met_ontvoerde_soldaat.html


I shall not bother translating the article - it's about a Hamas television cartoon making fun of Gilad Shalit. Nor will I bother to translate any of the comments. Just take it from me that many of them reflect a venomous and narrowminded anti-Semitism, anti-Israeliism, and anti-Americanism, which thoroughly guts any Dutch claim to decency.

There are decent people among the Dutch. But as a people they are loathsome.

The vibrancy of the Golden Age, the achievements of their thinkers, the stellar prose and poetry of their many literati, the genius of their scientists - these have not ennobled them, nor enriched their minds. The average Dutchman is likely to be a petty small-minded bigot, without any perspective, ignorant of history, and certain that his own unfounded praeconceptions about the rest of the world are utterly correct. Many of them are blinkered, most of them stubborn. Not a few stupid. But every single one of them is utterly convinced that he is right.

Those few Dutchmen who exemplify civilization are indeed to be prized. But they should not be considered truly Dutch - they would be no less praiseworthy had they been born something else, and they very well might have been far better.

====================================================

In all fairness, I Suppose I should mention that the Dutch are not the only group I despise.
I also have an intense and perfectly reasonable dislike of Englishmen, Irishmen, Scotsmen, Germans, Austrians, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, Arabs, Pakistanis, Egyptians, Persians, Hyderabadis, Brazilians, Texans, and Scientologists.
But because the Dutch are family, I have no motivation to overlook their flaws, and am much more likely to be aware of their failings.
All those other groups, well, whatever.

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

FAITH, PERFECT AND COMPLETE

Rabbosai, there are times when being able to read Dutch is both a blessing and a .... well, not quite such a blessing.
There are, in fact, times when reading the language of Brederode and Vondel turns up material of a startlingly 'wat heb ik je nou gehalte' ("what have I you now quotient").

If any one ever tells you that the small-town Dutch intellectual world is dull and boring, laugh at them. They don't know what they're talking about.



MELKERT TO BECOME UN ENVOY

Consider the following stellar and germane comment placed underneath an article about Ad Melkert becoming the next UN Envoy for Irak on the website of a Dutch-language newspaper:

"Het Pruisisch koninkrijk is 400 jaar geleden naar de USA verhuisd en hebben aldaar onder de Voc-vlag de VOC-daalder ingevoerd, tahns de US-$-dollar.
Iraq wilde in Euro's betaald worden dus de Pruisische maarschalk Rumsfeld was in no time in Iraq.
Dat Melkert gezant van de UN in Iraq wordt is dus GEEN TOEVAL.... Het Nederlands-Pruisisch koninkrijk is namelijk eigenaar van de US-$-dollar."

[Chris - Zaandam - 07/07/09 ]


TRANSLATION: 'The Prussian monarchy moved to the USA four hundred years ago and introduced the VOC (Dutch United East-India Company) dollar there, (which) at present (is) the US-$-dollar.
Iraq wanted to be paid in Euro's, therefore Prussian marshal Rumsfeld was in Iraq in no time.
Ergo, Melkert becoming UN envoy is NO coincidence ..... the Netherlandish-Prussian monarchy is the possessor of the US-$-dollar.'


[SOURCE: http://www.ad.nl/binnenland/3350844/Melkert_nieuwe_VNgezant_Irak.html ]


Elements of several alternative realities have impressed themselves upon the fevered mind of Chris in Zaandam. Rather than pointing out all of the brittle areas of his belief-system, or speculating about what other surprising concepts percolate in his slightly too warm brain, I shall merely inform you that it is cucumber time in Zaandam at present.



CUCUMBER TIME

Cucumber time ("komkommer tyd") is the slowest part of summer, when thousands of pallid Northern Europeans head to the Costa Del Sol to soak up rays. Consequently everything is quiet on the home front, there are far far fewer normal people to bounce ideas off of, there is an emptiness in the village that is especially oppressive in the dark of night, or just before dawn, when you start hearing those insistent voices in your head again, and they tell you things that at other times you might doubt.......

But what they say makes complete sense now. There is no one around to deny these simple facts, which explain so much, and give you a thrilling sense of 'control' over an otherwise threatening and confusing world. These voices speak knowledge, knowledge is power!

You believe them. Those voices. Because all your friends, your so-called friends (!), who are employable and consequently can AFFORD vacations, have deserted you and headed towards warmer climes. You are alone. Alone. Utterly alone in the darkened silence. Alone except for those comforting voices in your head. They'll NEVER leave you.
They are your true friends.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

SHOOT THEM ALL, G-D WILL KNOW HIS OWN

Angry stone-throwing Muslims? Who'da thunk it?!?
Due to the troubles in Xinjiang (Chinese Turkistan, 新疆), there have been protests in .... the Hague. Of all places. Good grief.

Apparently there are enough Uighurs in the Netherlands to form a mob. A mob that threw stones at the police in front of the Chinese Embassy. One hundred and forty two rioters were arrested.


This per an article in the Algemeen Dagblad:
http://www.ad.nl/denhaag/stad/3347941/142_betogers_opgepakt_in_Den_Haag.html

And in the Volkskrant:
http://www.volkskrant.nl/binnenland/article1254616.ece/Chinese_ambassade_in_Den_Haag_met_stenen_bekogeld



EH?

A few things come to mind in relation to the riot. One is that Dutch police are 'very gentle', and have many layers of bureaucracy looking over their shoulders. One hundred and forty two arrests are rather a lot - so many apprehensions at a protest in the Netherlands is a highly unusual occurrence.

Another thing that crosses my mind is that Uighurs are not native to the Netherlands. These are immigrants claiming refugee status and benefitting from the very liberal programs that the Dutch have put in place to deal with refugees - stipends, housing, education.


Again, one more time, just to make it clear......
UIGHURS ARE NOT NATIVE TO THE NETHERLANDS!!!!!


Perhaps these Eastern Turks should be a bit more thoughtful before they start throwing rocks?
The Dutch police (as previously mentioned, a very gentle bunch) are in no way responsible for whatever it is that the Han are doing to folks in Ürümchi.
It is also rather unlikely that there are any Dutchmen in Ürümchi.
Heck, most Dutch probably couldn't find Ürümchi on a map if you stuck a blob of chewing gum on the name Ürümchi.
The Dutch are entirely blameless in the matter of the civil unrest in Ürümchi.
The fair city of Ürümchi is hundreds of thousands of miles away from any part of the Netherlands.
Ürümchi is in NO way a Dutch 'aangelegenheid'.
[Wy hebben niks met Ürümchi te doen, echt!]


In most cultures, except perhaps that of the eastern Turks, it is considered extremely bad form to throw stones at your hosts. Rioting in a place where you are guests, pampered guests even, is also not cricket. Such very naughty public behaviour has rather soured the Han in several cities in China as regards Uighurs.
At a minimum one can say that the Han are not overly fond of unruly Turks. Much like the Dutch police are likely now also not exceptionally fond of the kin-folk of those same Turks.


142 arrests? What on earth were you guys thinking?


If 'sGravenhage were in Western China (for instance, in 新疆), you guys wouldn't have been arrested.
You would have been shot.
After which your families would have received bills for the expense of the bullets and burials.
That would be a heck of a lot more cost effective than subsidizing your existence, paying for your medical care and education, and processing all the paperwork that arresting you in front of the Chinese legation necessitated.

These are tough economic times. Unruly Turks are a luxury on which the Dutch might want to cut back.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

AFRIKANER SMOKE CLOUDS

Thomas at the tobacconist mentioned that a gentleman from South Africa had come in with an old pipe, looking for something similar to what he used to smoke several years ago. The gentleman left with a pouch of a Balkan blend, but the search continues. Did I know anything at all about pipe tobacco in South Africa?

Naturally I immediately remembered a pipe tobacco that was probably never even sold there: VOORTREKKER, manufactured by Theodorus Niemeijer in Groningen. It was a medium ribbon-cut Maryland, with a fairly mild taste. The label had a picture of a Boer wagon train on the veld. Hence the flash of memory.
It was what the Dutch call Baai Tabak: plain ribbon-cut air-cured tobacco, primarily Maryland, with some other leaves added to balance the taste.


BOXER

South African tobaccos tend to be mostly flue-cured with air-cured leaf added to temper, with some pressure to meld the components before slicing or shredding. So it is doubtful that the elderly gentleman had smoked anything like a Dutch Baai Tabak.
What he probably smoked was BOXER, a bright ribbon-cut product made by Leonard Dingler LTD.
Leonard Dingler (pipe tobacco and snuff) goes back to the early part of the twentieth century or before, and was family-owned till purchased a few years ago by Swedish Match - which today announced intent to sell the company to Phillip Morris.

The Boxer line includes Piet Retief, Best Blend, and Mild Gold.
Swedish Match also makes Black & White, Giraffe, and Nineteen O'Four.

Other South African pipe-tobaccos are Assegai, Fox, Horseshoe, and Jock.


Unfortunately, I can only guess what Boxer tasted like - though, as it is the most popular of South African pipe tobaccos by far, the other pipe tobaccos probably offer alternatives that relate to it - circling around the standard, as it were.
Based on descriptions I have heard it could be a mostly flue-cured ribbon-cut cake with a mild top-dressing. A substitute here in the US would probably be a mixture of forty to eighty percent shredded medium Virginia flake, with the rest fire-cured, Burley or Maryland, Cavendish, and Black Virginia. Again, just guessing.

The South African gentleman might also like an English flake from Samuel Gawith, or even a plain Dutch Cavendish - one without the whorehouse reek so typical of many popular pressed 'Ollanders.




TOBACCO INDEX


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

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