At the back of the hill

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

THE TOFU BEHIND THE HOUSE IS POSSESSED!

If little children dress up like the kind of people they would want to be - cowboys, little princesses, Superman or Spidy, skeletons, fairies - and adults dress like sex gargoyles and zombies - or decomposing dead sluts - what do animals dress up like?

I suspect that somewhere in my neighborhood, a raccoon is dressed up like a lump of tofu.
Nice, innocent, totally safe tofu. You'll never suspect a thing.


"Hey Martha, a giant piece of tofu is raiding our garbage can!"
'Harold, you're imagining things!'
"No, I'm not! I can see it! Now the tofu is brutalizing the cat!"
'Have you been at the medicinal grade marijuana AGAIN?!?'
"Hmmmph!"

And so Harold subsides, grumbling, with his pot pipe, comforting himself with little stinky clouds of joy.

It isn't till the cat comes stumbling in, looking blissfully the worse for wear, with a silly grin all over its face, that Martha finally realizes that something went on in the back yard.

Say, what gender is that cat anyway?

It doesn't matter. Tofu is bisexual.

Especially here in San Francisco.


We do not judge anyone.

Just beware of chunks of wandering tofu, especially on Halloween. They're likely to be oversexed and violent. Personally, I always look askance at hunks of beancurd crossing my path, especially if they leer knowingly.
Ambulatory tofu is almost always pure EVIL.
Possibly you can bribe them with candy.
But your pussy will be quite pissed.
Tofu is smooth, and so silken.
And totally safe sex, too.
Your cat values that.
Modern age love.
Frightening!
Howl now.
Miao!




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Sunday, October 30, 2011

LISTENING IS A PRIVILEGE

No conversation is possible if someone is only willing to hear their own point of view. When all they will tolerate is the expression of things that they already believe or want to believe, their minds are closed.
The other idea may be wrong - but if it cannot be said, it cannot be counter-argued either. And one may be wrong oneself - the willingness to hear the other person marks rational and civilized discourse.

I rely on you to argue your case. Consequently I will allow dissenting comments.
Not that I welcome them with extraordinary enthusiasm, after all I wish to think that I am right.
But a flat echoing of everything that I also believe is rather unstimulating.

I do not censor. Nor do I wish to be censored.
You may disagree with my opinions.
Some of them, at least.
It is expected.
Debate.


Why do I mention this?

Because an hour ago a 'Facebook Friend' erased a comment.
The dissenting point of view displeased her.
Her mind remains a closed book.

I have de-friended her.


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TWIDDLING BADGER

Not the most exciting Saturday ever, but then it never is.
Saturdays used to be the day when I saw friends, engaged in discussion, then went home to take my girl friend out to dinner.
And given the joy I had in her company, eating with her and being with her was a sheer pleasure.
I still enjoy her presence. But she is no longer my girl friend.
So most Saturdays now are spent entirely alone.

I have gotten used to the new routine, and it is in many ways pleasant.
Well, relaxing. Okay...... tolerable.
On the whole a little too quiet, a little too solitary.
I need some rambunction!


Get up late. Have coffee and smoke. My roommate (the erstwhile girl friend) will have left the apartment already - a quick peek into her room will confirm that), which means I can waltz around the apartment with a pipe in my mouth, garbed in baggy pajama pants and a wifebeater, humming to myself and occasionally picking my nose, carefree and relaxed.
Picking my nose is just an example - I do not actually pick my nose.
It symbolizes a lack of constraints in an empty apartment.
Please forget about the nose. No noses here.
The main thing is the pipe.

With the windows wide open, the reek will fade before she returns.

She usually gets back in from the morning's volunteer work around eleven-thirty or twelve o'clock, whereupon I flee to the kitchen to avoid having to hear her engage in sickening love-talk with Wheelie Boy on the telephone.
She'll be out again by one at the latest, not to return till late evening.

Shortly after her departure I take a long bath, twiddling my toes in the hot water. While I would love to take a bath with another person, that hasn't happened yet, so instead it's a mystery novel.
Coffee and a cigar. Twiddle twiddle.

Man, I wish this mystery novel were small, vibrant, and witty.
Oh well. Twiddle twiddle.


After my bath today I went down to Chinatown to eat at the restaurant which I mentioned last week.
The one with the waitress who has very pretty hands.
I dislike eating alone, and in a place with mirrors you are never really alone.

Shan't make the mistake I made over twenty five years ago of asking a waitress out on a date. Because of that, there are TWO restaurants which even a quarter of a century later I do not feel comfortable patronizing.
But let's not go there.
Just eat slow, and use the mirrors.
Wish they had a more extensive menu......
I may never find out if she's vibrant and witty.
Food tastes better in company, but only if you want to eat.

Headed to the office, where it is peaceful. Puttered around. Sorted files.
Wondered how that trim little waitress stayed so clean and neat.
Had tea, read e-mail, Dutch newspapers on internet.
More tea. Wikipedia - several subjects.


How this evening ended?
I headed over to the cigar bar, which was probably the only establishment in this city where no one was dressed as Little Bo Peep or Santa's Slut for Halloween this weekend. They don't encourage trashy behaviour, it lacks the rutting frenzy atmosphere.
The women who enter in the evening are mostly well-read, not on the prowl, and confidently self-aware.
Not that there are usually women there. Hardly any, more often than not none after nine o'clock.
It's a comfortable place for smoking two or three pipefulls, and a bit of day-dreaming.
And wondering what a bath with a small, vibrant, witty person might be like.
Which I'm afraid is something that will remain a complete mystery.
I brought four tobaccos with me today, and five pipes.
Plus a profoundly badger-like attitude.
As well as a book to read.
Twiddle twiddle.




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Friday, October 28, 2011

FRIED NOODLE DUMPLING

Sometimes (yesterday) a man will eat things that overtax the digestion, rich greasy things.
If done late at night, interesting dreams result. It's educational.
I know what you're thinking.
You automatically concluded pizza, at bar closing time.
You jumped wrong.

It was fried noodles, and I was cold sober.

Mixed mein and fun noodles, pan-fried with spices. Chilipepper, paprika, ground coriander, cumin, curry paste, and ginger. With chicken and egg.
And a meat which I choose not to identify.
Dash of soy, jigger of hot sauce.

I am a good but sometimes too enthusiastic cook.
Consequently I dream educational.

Now please imagine that you are in my dream.

You are wearing pale blue cotton panties. Don't ask me how I know.
They're under that pleated dark blue skirt you have on. Your blouse is also cotton, so no bra straps are showing. It's not tucked in, and you are comfortable so.
You sit at the dining room table, studying for that difficult course you're taking this semester. No, not anything accounting related - those classes are easy. Especially because of all the serious Philippinas who take them, and cannot bend their heads around the subject.
Their frantic questions rehash every problematic point.

It is quiet in the apartment, the late afternoon sunlight comes in from the south-facing windows, and dustmotes dance in the shafts.
You've already had an extra cup of coffee, yet you feel your eyes shifting shut. You snap awake again, and deliberately reread the entire paragraph. While doing so, you abstractedly fluff your hair with your hand - it's one of those endearing little tics you don't even know you have.
You wiggle a bit in the chair. There is no danger you'll slump forward far if you doze again, as you are a little too short. Sitting at this table absolutely requires that you sit up straight.
That's why you like studying here.

It is far too quiet. There's almost no noise from outside either. You wonder what you can do to focus attention.
What was that you read somewhere? Nicotine helps people study?
It probably does, but you don't like cigarettes. You rather wonder what you would look like with a pipe in your mouth.......
Heh. Those Philippinas are already slightly scared of you. They are disturbed by your cleverness. Now, they suspect you of eccentricities; if they ever catch you smoking a pipe they'll think that you're depraved.
Seriously! You just might do it!

But for now, you lack the equipment and the materials.
No pipes (perhaps acquire a bent one with smooth curves, and a straight one with a craggy finish), no tobacco (was it red Virginia flake?), no matches, no tamper.
Maybe you also need a bulbous porcelain tobacco jar.
With an old-fashioned underglaze pattern.
This will take time to find.
A future project.

Instead perhaps a snack. Some fried noodles. There's still some curry paste, and eggs in the refrigerator. Plus spices.
And a meat you dare not name.

And after that, maybe a short nap.

Dream.

Think of me.

I'll be smoking.



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Thursday, October 27, 2011

RATTRAY'S HAL O' THE WYND

Miss Lodewyks was a small, almost frail looking girl, with a kind face and hair that captured the glow of sunlight. There always seemed a note of amusement in her eyes whenever I came around, and she was anxious that I should have a cup of coffee with milk and a cookie. She wanted to spend some time with me. And we would pleasantly talk a bit first.

But this post is not about her, even though she was my own age, and a very nice person indeed, far nicer than I was at that age.
This post is about her father, mynheer Lodewyks, whom I had really come to see.
Every week we would spend an hour with my French textbooks from high school, before taking two hours to wade through the volumes on his bookshelves. Rama and Sita came back to life for a small while, Yudisthira journeyed northward through the wasteland with his faithful dog Karma, Gatotkaca blustered his way through a horde of sub-trolls...... a railway got built to Pakan Bahru, the Alifuro came down from the hills to harvest heads, a farmer traded his precious karbau for some beras......
Once or twice he mentioned the camps, but those memories did not glow.
Much revolved around language, phrasing, spicy shared vocabularies.

Shortly before the 'lesson' ended, his daughter would come in with a tray on which there was some more coffee, and a plate of cookies.

I really did not need the cookies...... but another cup of coffee, and a smile from her, was quite the perfect cap to the afternoon.

After she left the room, the old man would reach over on his desk and grab a pipe, fill it, and touch a match to the tobacco. For the last half hour we would take it easy, discussing what a word may have meant several centuries ago, what its descendants might mean now.
Not only English adopted wandering orphans from other languages, so did Dutch. Though in Dutch they may have acquired a garb that belies their foreign roots entirely.

Most Dutch, for instance, might not recognize 'fruit' as a borrowing, to say nothing of 'koffie', 'tabak', 'sigaar', or even 'pisang', 'pasanggrahan', and 'pinda' (Malay for banana, a lodgement along the Great Post Road, and a West-African word for peanut respectively).

I almost never smoked my own pipe in his study, because I liked the gentle reek of his tobacco, and did not wish to dilute the fragrance or spoil the mood.
A mildly sweet grassy incense, that marvelously complemented the afternoon sunlight streaming in on a summer day, or the dark wet twilights of a Dutch winter.

This post, then, is actually neither about his daughter or him, but about his tobacco.
He filled his pipe from a cannister of product unavailable locally.
Qua texture and appearance it strongly recalled the standard Dutch cavendish products I was familiar with: Sail, Amphora, Van Rossem.
But there the similarity ended.


HAL O' THE WYND
A pure Virginian tobacco of "a most unusual share of strength"
Blended for CHARLES RATTRAY (of) Perth, Scotland


It's a quality Red Virginia Flake, rubbed out for ease of packing.
Made in Germany, distributed in the U.S. by Arango Cigar Co.


My first bowl of it, when mr. Lodewyks offered me some, did not please me. Unlike the Dutch pressed Cavendishes it so seemed to resemble, it needed more skill to keep lit and bit me ferociously.
Truth be told, my smoking habits when I was fifteen years old were not attuned to the subtle approach. Stuff it in, fire it up, and suck.
There's no way I could possibly enjoy it then.
Most unsuitable for a growing boy.
But I would not say so.

Mighty fine tobacco, sir. Thank you!

In actual fact, it was only in appearance that it resembled the Dutch Cavendishes - like them it was ready rubbed. But there it ended.
Dutch Cavendishes are composed of Burley, Maryland, Indonesian, some Virginias, and God only knows what else, plus added sweetening, aroma, and incendiary aids to keep it lit.
Rattray's Hal O' The Wynd is pure, a very high quality fish indeed.
Blessed with a far more civilized room-note than any Dutch weed.

This is a lively maiden among the leaves, very lovable company.

There's something about the fragrance of a fine Virginia which stirs the mind and conduces reverie.


I shall now holler various evocative terms at you, attempting to stimulate your affection for this tobacco of which I have had several bowls recently:
Yeasty, malty, slightly sweet, heavy, bright, faint caramel, springtime, leathery, medium brown, zesty, hay, robust, consistent, peaty, dried fruit, tweed, herbs, straw, earthy, old barn wood. Dark coffee, tawny port!

You must smoke it slowly, like an adult. Not fast, like a child.

Dried out a bit and not jammed in but springy-packed, it is most rewarding.

Good stuff. Very good stuff. I have several tins of it, but none that are open.
The stuff I'm smoking now came from one of the tins for sampling at the local tobacconist.
You see, like a typical cheapskate Dutchman, I saw opportunity. They allow customers to take a bit of the tobaccos in a little plastic bag to get a better impression of the product - at today's prices, that's a profound kindness - and seeing as they had popped a one hundred gramme container of Hal O' The Wynd, there was plenty to spare.
I took a generous sample while one of them was working, then came in the other day when someone else was working to get another sample. A very generous sample.
And I told both gentlemen exactly what I was doing, too - "I'm afraid I'm going to be awfully greedy now, it isn't a pretty sight, taking huge whomping handfulls, best you look away ".
Paid for my actual purchases, left happy.


This is not just a tobacco for opportunistic Dutchmen and elderly linguisticians.
It will also appeal to intelligent young ladies studying for their history exams, craftsmen, musicians, confirmed bachelors, and self-assured women who wish to spend a quiet evening reading.
Anyone with a contemplative streak, in other words.


In retrospect, I should probably also have associated more with mr. Lodewyks' nice daughter.
It would have built character and made me a better person.




TOBACCO INDEX


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

END THE OCCUPATION​ NOW!

A week ago, someone sent out a screed that was blinkered sanctimonious ignorance and self-righteousness personified.
And also remarkably un-original and derivative.
It is doubtful that any thought processes had actually taken place - it was more an emotional reaction, rather than a rational and balanced review of data.
Reality is so inconvenient - "don't bother me with the truth, my mind is already made up!"

On any side of any issue, facts are often the first fatalities.

Quote:
"Maybe you should be paying more attention to the blatant anti-Semitism being spewed at the Occupy Wall Street/Atlanta/L.A/S.F rallies or are you too busy deciding Israel's future from your armchairs? Yes, we are here too...but do not have the same self righteousness that others seem to have."

Irrational drivel.


ANTI-SEMITISM AT OCCUPY RALLIES

From an article cited by the JTA:
"After being inundated by concerned calls after anti-Semitic manifestations at the Occupy Wall Street protests, the ADL issued a statement saying it is keeping an eye on the protests but does not believe that there is significant anti-Semitism."
[CUT]
"The only people who yell at us are Jews calling us traitors and self-hating Jews," Sieradski said. "We haven't encountered many anti-Semites, but we're still worried about it. It is in every part of our lives, and we need to be ever vigilant."


End quote.

The ADL doesn't believe that there is significant anti-Semitism in the ranks.

Given that 16% of the United States population still has certain ideas about Jews, it would be remarkable if a movement of any kind did not have any anti-Semites among its members.
The Democratic Party. The Republican Party. The Teabaggers.
Even the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
And the Jewish community itself, of course, has JVP, Barbara Lubin, and Medea Benjamin.

Plainly put, not a problem.
At least not one particular to OWS.


My skepticism was met with a loud Bronx cheer, and another recipient forwarded a crappy spewmet from some bint named Jennifer Rubin, along with a link to a youtube video.
Because, as we all know, if it's on youtube, it's the complete and unvarnished truth.

Jennifer Rubin opined that nobody was paying attention to the outright Nazi-like mob actions of the Commies in the Occupy Wall Street movement, oh the humanity!
Shriek, wail, and foam at mouth.


I wrote in response:

Jennifer Rubin's very first sentence is wrong: "In the millions of pixels devoted to the radical Occupy Wall Streeters, virtually nothing has been said about its anti-Semitic elements."
In actual fact, an enormous amount has been said about it.
To the point that uncritical readers and weak minds are convinced that the movement is sodden with anti-Semitism, and driven by nothing but rampant rabid anti-Semitism.

There are also flying saucer people among the protestors, as well as 9-11 truthers, end of time apocalyptics, and pot heads. The number of people of only marginal sanity is quite a bit larger than among the general population, and both the movement, as well as its adherents, represent the fringes.
It is more likely that the movement will fall apart because of their lack of any concrete platform and hugely different ideas and ideologies than that they will have any lasting impact.
Especially if the Black Block anarchists try to pull the same crap in the U.S. that they did in Rome.

In a large part, these protestors, if they can even be called that, are just mortally jealous of the Arab Spring and the Flower Power Era - "hey guys, let's be significant too!".
This isn't Egypt, and the sixties have been over for forty years. Thankfully even the nasty smell of patchouli and the attendant reek of unwashed frowsties have died away.

I seriously doubt any one will be "occupying Wall Street" once winter hits. Most of them probably won't even remember what the heck they were doing in September and October by that time.

The incidental vandalism of their 'encampments' is more worrisome, and it's only a matter of time before one of these "idealists" rapes a woman - either within their grotty little free-form street communes, or while the cops are distracted by the rest of the squealing herd.

Shoplifting has increased near some of their squats - probably because they have attracted unstable elements.

Frankly, I am more repulsed by their preachy self-righteousness, and the prevalence of medicinal marijuana at their camp in San Francisco, than by any amount of their irrational gibbering and quite evident spoiled brat paranoia.
As Cartman on Southpark would say: "damned hippies".

Patchouli. Yech!

End cite.


Since then, the occupy movement has come ever closer to fulfilling my expectations.

QUOTE:
"The document cited fire hazards, sanitation issues, a growing rat problem and graffiti. It referred to an "increasing frequency of violence, assaults, threats and intimidation" and complained that protesters had denied access to "emergency personnel to treat injured persons and to police to patrol the Plaza."
[CUT]
"As a result of these serious conditions, the Administration has determined that facilitating this expression of speech is no longer viable, nor in the interest of public health and safety," the order said. "Peaceful daytime assembly will continue to be allowed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily. No tents or overnight camping permitted."" End quote.

SOURCE:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/21/BATM1LKJ24.DTL
[Oakland orders Occupy protesters to leave plaza]


Among other actions, the occupiers beat a crazy man senseless.

Rats, graffiti, filth, and violence.
No amount of patchouli can disguise that.


"No one this side of the moon knows precisely what the Occupy Wall Street movement is trying to do"


From an article in the Washington Post by Richard Cohen:

"Reckless Jew that I am, I muscled my way into the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Lower Manhattan despite multiple reports of virulent and conceivably lethal anti-Semitism. Projecting an unvarnished Semitism, I circled the place, encountering nothing and no one to suggest bigotry - not a sign, not a book and not even the guy who some weeks ago held up a placard with the instruction to Google the phrase "Zionists control Wall St." Google "nut case" instead.
This was my second visit to the Occupy Wall Street site and the second time my keen reporter's eye has failed to detect even a hint of the anti-Semitism that had been trumpeted by certain right-wing Web sites and bloggers, most prominently Bill Kristol."

End quote.

SOURCE:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/where-are-the-anti-semites-of-occupy-wall-street/2011/10/24/gIQAP89eDM_story.html

[Where are the anti-Semites of Occupy Wall Street?]


And further to the whole OWS shtuss:
"The camp at Occupy San Francisco is an imminent hazard to health, the city's public health department told demonstrators late Tuesday.
"Evidence of excrement, urine and vomit were observed throughout the park," the department said in a notice. "Fecal material was observed on stairs and grass. A container of human waste was observed along the Embarcadero side of the park.""

End quote.

SOURCE:
http://blog.sfgate.com/cityinsider/2011/10/26/public-health-officials-say-occupy-sf-camp-is-dirty-unsafe/?tsp=1
[Public health says Occupy SF camp is dirty, unsafe]



In other words, a filthy hobo camp.
Drunks, punks, and computer gamers.

Yes, there may be some anti-Semitism there. Along several other forms of insanity and loosened brainpans.
As well as conspiracy theorists, poets, North Beach intellectuals, and Jack Hirschman.

But, boruch Hashem, NO Hare Krishnas, or Goths.
Yet.
Just Vandals.


AFTER WORD

I went down to Justin Herman after lunch. It's less than twenty minutes from the office, which, with a leisurely stroll around the perimeter of the settlement, provided enough time to smoke a full bowl of Rattray's Hal O' The Wynd ("A pure Virginian tobacco of a most unusual share of strength").

Rather glad I had the pipe with me -- both the OQS encampment in front of the Federal Reserve as well as the main pup tent and tarpaulin block in the grassy area south of the trinket sellers had a general funk of frowst.
The population seems evenly divided between irredeemables, professional layabouts and opportunists, serious young college kids with heartwarming sincerity and beautifully innocent faces, and several middle-aged dillwads with intellectual pretensions, who are just jealous that they were far too unaware of anything during the sixties and seventies to take full advantage of the revolutionary ferment and the buckets of free love.

The signs and slogans are a tired rehash of 1960's hippie Marxism.
Unlike the Teaparty morons, they do not need spellcheck.
Other than that, there is as little actual depth.
It is a filthy and depressing commune.
This movement will go nowhere.
Best bring on the teargas.
Plus the bulldozers.
And disinfectant
Unsanitary.

It's not anti-Semitism; it's filth, germs, fleas, and lice.

The 'movement' has become an aggragation of unwashed people.



Far-side of the moon commentary and feedback from critical readers will be welcomed.



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ROWDY PROTESTS IN MY BED

The Sock Sheep has been importuning me lately, demanding that I provide him with slaves.
Normally I ignore such requests from the small roomies - the one legged monkey also wants slaves, plus a banana plantation, the senior Teddy Bear wishes my co-operation in her plot to whack Wheelie Boy plus some slaves too, and the purple cat would like a "drinkie!" - but in this case I am somewhat intrigued.
You see, the Sock Sheep particularly wants 'little Japanese girlies'.
He thinks they will adore him and fondle his floppy ears.
In addition to clobbering the other roomies.

Why, I asked, little Japanese girlies?
Simple, they are petite.

"Unlike huge Cantonese heffalumps, such as womanny thing here."

Methinks his focus is bent. The woman in question, Savage Kitten, is remarkably small by anyone's standards. She barely weighs a hundred pounds, and is shorter than me.
Even though we haven't been a couple for a long time, it is good still living with her, because she takes up so little space. Why, I can barely notice her.
What the heck is the crazy sheep talking about?

He seems to have this absurd idea that Japanese girls are far closer to his size (eight inches tall - he's made out of a sock), and that somehow they'll just adore him, and slavishly obey his every command.
Because after all he's the Head Sheep, and they'll respect his authority!

He's a bit like Cartman on Southpark.


The various roomies either cluster on my bed, or on Savage Kitten's.
My bed is larger and has more room, and hers normally contains the saner small critters.
What determines which roomie hangs out where seems to be whether they've said something particularly insulting about one of the others lately.
In the case of the Sock Sheep and the one legged monkey, it's pretty much guaranteed that they've thoroughly slagged someone, and have then fled the 'huge aura of menace' that resulted, ending up on my side of the apartment.

I'm much more hospitable towards the rowdies than she is.
Probably because I'm a nurturing individual.
Warm, caring. Very humane.
Firm, yet rational.
Maturity!

See, it takes a certain level of sanity and perspicacity, nay, sagaciousness even, to deal with riotous little anarchists and thieves.
A stable and balanced mind.
Which I have got.
Stuffing!

Now hush up you little thugs.
Or I'll sic the froad on you.


There will be NO little Japanese girlies here.



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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

THE MENTAL CHECKLIST

Imagine, if you will, that it is the nineteen seventies and you have decided that you will isolate yourself from society by living out on the moors for a year.
Civilization blows, people blow, convenience and modernity blows!

You have found a "delightful" small cottage on a rise overlooking a stretch of blasted heath. There's a kitchen area cum living space downstairs, and a storage loft upstairs. The owner will let you have it for a very minimum amount of rent.
Including a kitchen table and two rickety chairs, as well as a bedframe, and a large armoire.
Just repaint them, please.

A simple, Spartan life.

You plan to write defining English-language novel of the late 20th century.
Entirely beyond the embrace of central heating and running water.
There's a wood stove in the main room, and a pump outside.
In the middle of a wind-swept frigid wasteland.

No doubt about it: You're nuts.


SUPPLIES

Thirty pounds of Douwe Egberts Coffee.
Three hundred teabags, same brand.
Twelve tins of Darjeeling tea.
Two gallons of vinegar.

Twenty bottles of whiskey.
One bottle of brandy.
One flask of rum.
No gin.

One hundred pounds of rice.
Twenty pounds of flour.
Ten pounds of sugar.
Baking soda.

Three dozen jars of sambal ulek.
A vast selection of spices.
Fifty LBS of potatoes.
Dry rice noodles.

And four hundred single-serving size cans of baked beans.

That last one is easily explained! No one else around for miles and miles, so who the heck cares?


Other things you may need are dried fish, ketchup, soy sauce, sauerkraut (see explanation above), several jars of preserves, a corollary quantity of packaged rusks, a large wheel of cheese. Wheatabix, cocoa, salt.
Plenty of dry shrimp.
A tin of fruitcake.
Baling twine.
A sweater.
Mattress.
Brushes.
Paints.

And sixty tins of strong pipe tobacco, as well as a thousand fine Dutch cigars.

That last one is easily explained! No one else around for miles and miles, so who the heck cares?


Necessary items also include two can-openers, two coffee pots, two teapots, two cups and saucers, two plates, two pots, two ladles...... well, two of all absolutely essential kitchen equipment, just in case one of them gets lost or breaks (remember, no one else for miles and miles). Including tumblers for the liquor, sauce pans, toasting forks, dinner forks, salad forks for fishing the pilchards out of their tins (dammit, nearly forgot the eighty tins of pilchards!) spoons, dinner knives, butter knives, fish knives (?), paring knives and or kitchen knives. Etcetera.

More than enough dish detergent and spray-cleanser to keep everything spotless. Plus necessary cloths, wipes, scrubbers, and sponges.

But barely enough bath soap for one grubby bachelor.

That last one is easily explained! No one else around for miles and miles, so who the heck cares?


Blankets, sheets, towels. Five pillows, and ten pillow cases.
A dictionary, a style guide, several Simenon novels.
Oil lamps, wicks, oil, and candles.
Pens, pencils, erasers.

You're all set. A friend with a truck drives you fifty miles into the bog, and helps you unload.
He'll check back on you in another two months, and he drives off while you stow everything, figure out what to put where, arrange your supplies in the appropriate places. You are energetic, and organized!

By the time the evening wind starts up you're done.
Time for some tea and a smoke.

.
.
.

You forgot matches.

.
.
.
.
.
.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

STRICTLY CHINATOWN STYLE

I went to a certain restaurant in Chinatown the other night, after hiding out at the office all day. It's a small place that caters mostly to people from the neighborhood, although it does a fair amount of lunch business because of its proximity to the Financial District.
Their menu is not particularly exciting – mostly typical offerings, veering from the classics that white people love to a couple of dishes that many white people won’t like - and they do not offer rice plate specials.

Rice plate specials, really, are what all bachelors need.
A mixture of animal protein and vegetables on top of a heap of rice.
It's a balanced meal. Single servings are seldom balanced.

What I wanted was steamed meat patty with salt fish: 鹹魚肉餅.
Haahm yu yiuk beng.
Unbalance epitomized.

The waitress took my order, then came back to regretfully inform me that unfortunately they had sold out of the salt fish - did I want something else?

I had the 鹹蛋肉餅 (steamed meat patty with salt egg) instead.
With rice, of course.

What you need to know is that steaming yields tender juicy meat, especially if the fat content is high enough.
At home I occasionally squeeze out the forcemeat in an Italian sausage and moosh it flat, then steam it with some salt vegetables (鹹菜).
Very simple, very heaven.

[LINGUISTIC EXCURSUS: 鹹 ('salty') is nowadays almost always rendered as 咸 ('all together'). The reason is that with twenty strokes, 鹹 looks nearly illegible and is harder to form properly when writing, compared to 咸 with only nine strokes. Either word sounds the same, both in Cantonese (haahm) and Mandarin (xian). And note that 咸 is the phonetic element in 鹹.
In a food context, it is easy enough to see that 咸 should be read as 'salty', instead of 'all together'. Likewise, the expletive 咸家鏟 (haahm ka chaan) does NOT mean "salty practitioners with shovels", but more or less "bury the entire family". You may have heard it in gangster films.
In some contexts, 咸 is replaced with 冚, for instance in 冚塴唥 (haambalang: all, every one of something). All three of these characters are Cantonese colloquiagraphs. Ham (冚) means lid, so if it were used in the curse above instead of 咸, the implication would be coffin lids for the entire clan.
Paang (塴) is used as a phonetic transcriber, and lang (唥) is a melodious sound, something round, a bundle, or a dude.]




鹹蛋肉餅 HAAHM DAAN YIUK BENG

I would've added some shredded ginger on top, and mooshed it a bit thinner.
Evenso. Quite tasty lah, and precisely what was needed for breakfast at nine in the evening.

I shan't tell you the name of the restaurant, for reasons which will become apparent.
While the food is not exceptional, it is carefully made and attentively served.
The people who work there are good folks, and run a clean honest business.
And I like the ambience - it's purely Chinatown, nothing frou frou.
Decent honest cooking and a pleasant neighborhood atmosphere.

What added warmth to my meal was the waitress.
I cannot tell what age she is, she could be anything between barely in her twenties to mid-forties.
Melodious voice, girlish laughter, and bright eyes.
Shorter than me, trim, ageless.
A small woman of youthful proportion, with an intelligent face that reflects a likable character.

And she has very pretty hands.
You do NOT need to know about those hands.
I have no wish that you should become familiar with them.
Really, you could not possibly appreciate her hands properly anyhow.

I was the last customer, the staff sat down to their own dinner one table over while I was eating.
I can't figure out if she is the daughter of the family, or the wife of the boss.
She addressed the other cook as Kau-fu (舅父), which doesn't say much.
But I need to know. For some reason, I am fascinated.
Did I already mention those hands?


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Sunday, October 23, 2011

GERMAIN'S BROWN FLAKE - A WARM WET SUMMER STATE OF THE MIND

The last year that my mother was fit enough to travel we went to England for the summer. We stayed at a lovely old farmhouse in Devonshire that had been turned into a bed-and-breakfast, and in decent weather we motored all over southern England.
There were, remarkably, enough days that were not drenching wet that we visited any number of places.
Stonehenge & Avebury.
Churches and cathedrals.
The ancient spa town of Bath.
Jane Austen's house in Chawton.
Bogs: Bodmin, Dartmoor and Exmoor.
Scenic piles of rock all over Devon and Cornwall.

We also went to Tintagel..... but that was really a horrible waste of time. Nothing but crap for the tourists. Much like Fishermans Wharf in San Francisco, except with a tenth-century wasteland theme instead of crabs, the human jukebox, trollops, and a view of Alcatraz.

Choice between Ye Olde Guinevere Tea Shoppy and trollops?
Take the trollops. They're more honestly priced.

On the days that the weather kept us indoors, after breakfast I went to the smoking room provided for the guests, which was actually the entire lower floor of the barn, fitted out with deep chairs and couches, bookshelves along the walls, and potted plants.
Save for a quick scoot into the village for lunch or tea, I spent all day there reading and listening to the rain.
And, of course, smoking.
No trollops.

That summer I had a supply of a remarkable thin-sliced flake, that seemed to be nothing but sweet blonde Virginia.
No, I cannot remember the brand - I had opted for something less expensive than my usual smoke, seeing as my personal funds were a bit tight. Perhaps I had celebrated the graduations of several friends at the beginning of summer break too assiduously, but in any case I could not afford the several tins of Balkan Sobranie I would have needed for a month and a half away from Valkenswaard.

Something blonde, fairly smooth, with a pleasant herby buttery sweetness.
Very English. Very suitable for rainy summer days.

The great thing about Virginia flake is that it leaves you giddy from the nicotine.
In that regard, it augments both caffeine and alcohol very well.
There's lots of both of those in England.
A good place to visit.


I'm remembering all of this because my memories have been revived by something I did not intend to puff quite as yet.
You see, I purchased a few tins at the local tobacconist recently. When I got back to the office I realized that the seal on one of them was broken. Might as well smoke it, see what it's like.
I'm about halfway through the tin at present.


GERMAIN'S BROWN FLAKE
Manufactured J. F. Germain and Son.
Jersey, Channel Islands, Great Britain.


No, it's not blonde. It's brown. But it is a thin sliced flake, with a sweet herby reek.
There is a minor inclusion of something other than Virginia, probably a fire-cured Kentucky, as well as some other leaf to balance the flavour. Maybe even a trace of Perique, but surely just the merest hint.
It is mostly flue-cured. Good high quality pressed Virginia.

If Samuel Gawith's Bracken Flake is too strong and not tangy enough, and Peterson's Irish Flake puts hair on your chest, you will almost certainly like Germain's Brown Flake. It does not have as much of that dark steamed taste that Bracken has, nor the overly generous dollop of fired Kentucky that marks the Irish Flake.
It's the sane relative of those two, and appeals to the calm man.

Best to describe it as peaty, malty, earthy. Also evocative of sherry and leather.
Faintly reminiscent of wine cakes, with a ghostly touch of sweaty horse.
Even at the humidity favoured by Germains, it is an easy smoke.
If you do not pay attention, you might think of cigarettes.
Nothing complex yet a very pleasing product indeed.

A full bowl leaves me giddy.
Nicky, nicky, nick.

It is far too early in the day for whiskey, but it's ALWAYS time for tea.
By the time evening rolls around I'll be zotsed to the gills.
Nice.


AFTERWORD

J. F. Germain and Son is well-known for several other tobaccos - I am particularly fond of their Royal Jersey Original Latakia Mixture, the King Charles Mixture, and the 1820, all of which are rich funky English blends of surpassing excellence. They also manufacture the Esoterica Tabaciana line of products, originally imported through arrangement with Butera, now distributed by Arango Cigar Company.

In addition, and similarly in association with Arango Cigar, they also make Balkan Sobranie Pipe Tobacco.

The venerable Balkan Sobranie Mixture was discontinued two decades ago, but has been recently revived.
It's the same as it always was, it's not the same, but it is the same.

The same. The same. Not the same. Yet indeed the same.

What Arango and Germain have done is remarkable, and judging by the tin of new Balkan Sobranie that I have been greedily devouring, their collaboration is a blessed event.
I certainly hope that they maintain production, as I wish to stock up before the meager supply I have at present (three tins) is exhausted.
Which might be well before Thanksgiving Day.
I have NO concept of restraint.




TOBACCO INDEX


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A BETTER TEMPERED BADGER

I am not much given to introspection. So it is with some surprise that I realize that I have substantially recovered from the break-up, and that my piss and vinegar are returning.
As you may have noticed from the growling tone of several recent posts.

I now understand two things about myself.

The first one is that I am not a social person.
I like having other humans in the general vicinity, and I like listening occasionally as they talk. But in the case of most people that is really about all it is. We do not have enough in common, and unless they are very nice folks that I want to see again, and whom I wish would talk to me more, it really isn't essential.
That they exist is enough.

The second thing is that most women are far more attractive to other people, including themselves, than they are to me. Statistically this must be so - roughly half of human kind is female, and over ninety percent of our species is far more interesting as a phenomenon or an environmental factor than they are as individuals up close and personal.
Ergo the chance of actually connecting is extremely slim.
Most girls just aren't suitable.

Generally, I like having them in the vicinity, and I'll occasionally listen in.
That will have to suffice.

The possibility of ever being in a relationship again is intriguing, but not very likely.

I'm just not desperate enough and quite unable to feign the interest required.






Socially, I’m a short-legged omnivorous mustelid.
Inquisitive, yes, but fairly solitary.
Remarkably bright-eyed.
Un vrai blarieur.




STRANGER WITH CANDY

Many "break-the-ice" conversations, with people of whichever gender, repeat the same tropes.
So, to save time, I'll just rehash them here.
"Nice weather today. Yes, but it's been a miserable summer. Climate change! No, I'm not Canadian or British - I was born in Southern California, my parents moved abroad when I was two, I came back from Holland when I was eighteen. This salsa is delicious, what's that you're smoking? Fascinating! Yeah, go Bears / Forty Niners / Oakland A's / Patriots / Giants / Sharks! Woohoo!
That's a lovely watch.
"

Following which there will be selective quoting from a popular television show, a brief personal review of a restaurant from someone, and a little bit of chatter about work.

"You're an engineer / doctor / nurse / football player / radiator repair girl? Wow! I had an aunt once."


The chance of meeting a young lady who recently read Brideshead Revisited for the second time, as just one example, is exceptionally slim (the chances that I have seen the latest hot steamy vampire novel are even slimmer).

If I did meet such a woman, I probably wouldn't know what to do anyway.
Ask her to tea? Cup of hot Ceylon with a slice of cake?

"Miss, let us now bone-up together on mediaeval allegories with this textbook. It has been far too long, and it is so wonderful to meet someone who is writing her doctoral thesis on Carolingian court-intrigues!"

It's a lovely fantasy, don't you think?


As afternoon fades into dark dark evening, we could cuddle on the couch under a warm blanket.
Together we will watch 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' on teevee.
And happily sing along to 'Knights of the Round Table'.
Or admire brave Sir Robin boldly running away.
Share a fondness for nerdy humour.
And tasteful shrubberies.

Wonderful.


These are the nights we say 'ni'.


Some more cake?



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Friday, October 21, 2011

THE PALESTINIA​N TRAGEDY

If the lesson of the Shalit deal for the Palestinians is that the language of force works, then that must also be the lesson for Israel.
Force works.
It's the one thing that both Hamas and the PLO can agree on.

Negotiating with the Palestinians is pointless. Negotiation has been going on since Oslo, and has yielded little more than further violence, and insulting excuses for that violence from the Europeans and the third-world gangsters of the United Nations.
"Oh those poor Palestinians, it is because they are UNFULFILLED that they have no choice but to try and kill as many Israelis as possible. Surely you understand that?"

The Palestinian national movement has an unbroken history of despicable acts against Jews, against Christians, and against Muslims.
It was too much to hope for that they would change if they were given a chance.
They've had that chance, they've had innumerable chances, for nearly two decades.
What they've done with the opportunity presented them by the Oslo Accords is kill and maim more Israelis than they had succeeded in doing in the preceding twenty years.
The Palestinian national movement is, and always has been, morally bankrupt.


END THE OCCUPATION!

That the PLO is still operational is due to the idiocy of hopeful people outside of the Holy Land, as well as the despicable opportunism of certain countries that for politics sake play with human lives.
Most of Europe. Almost all the Arab countries. The East-bloc, the communist world, and many of the rinky-tink banana republics in Latin America and Africa.
As well as many befuddled Christians in the United States.

It is an intolerable cruelty to put any member of the PLO in a position of authority over the Palestinians, and more than anything else it perpetuates Arab upon Arab violence, political terror, and corruption.
Why anyone thought it would be any different, given what Arafat and his murderers had done in Jordan and Lebanon, is an utter mystery.

Enabling that man, and the Tunis gang, to enrich themselves while running roughshod over the hopes and aspirations of their people, must certainly qualify as one of the greatest crimes against humanity. That the Europeans and Americans funded (and continue to fund) the mafia syndicate that tyrannizes the populations of the camps and the territory gained in 1967 is a black mark that surely must sicken every civilized human being.
And that the Arab world cynically continues to pay lip-service to Abbas and the PA's bluster, lends moral support to PLO thuggery, and denies the Palestinians any other future than more of the same, dishonours the Arabs far more than any of their other shameful acts.

It is no wonder Palestinian society is so dysfunctional, and hardly surprising that they venerate psychopaths.
With the encouragement of their fellow Arabs, they've cultivated brutism, irrationality, and destructiveness for over sixty years


It is time to break off all negotiations.

No peace is possible with the heirs of Yassir Arafat.



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Thursday, October 20, 2011

THEY SHOULD THINK TEN TIMES: PAKISTANI ARROGANCE AND BLUSTER

Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani says that the United States "should think ten times" before acting against the Haqqani terrorists operating out of Waziristan.

I am certain that he has been misquoted.

What the general probably meant to convey was "please go ahead and bomb all of Waziristan to smithereens, and I'm really frightfully sorry about the treacherous way we've been dealing with you Americans, what with pocketing your dough and using it to continue supporting the violent barbarism of a bunch of inbred psychopaths."
Yep. That's got to be it.
Surely Ashfaq Parvez Kayani would not bite the hand that feeds him.


BULLIES, BRUTES, CONMEN, CROOKS, RAPISTS, AND THIEVES

If you think you might have noticed a wee bit of dislike for Pakistan in the paragraph above, you are not mistaken.
Pakistanis are a depraved and repulsive lot.

Most Pakistanis hate America, and it is high time we repay them in kind.

The Pakistani government at present consists of scoundrels, bigots, and grubbers, and in that regard it perfectly epitomizes the primary characteristics that define Pakistani nationhood.
With the likely exception of General Pervez Musharraf, the leaders of Pakistan have all been venal, opportunistic, and vile. Several Pakistani politicos have been demented, some have had untreated venereal disease running in their families for generations, and quite a few have been obsessed with entirely imaginary American and Israeli conspiracies.
That same streak of paranoid stupidity is also well-represented in Pakistani society, and is the second reason I absolutely refuse to set foot in any of the Pakistani restaurants here in San Francisco.

[The first reason is that they cut corners, substitute poor quality ingredients whenever possible, lie on their menus, use meats and vegetables past their prime or already spoiled, and have a near-complete disregard for hygiene. The less said about Suleiman and his bestial cronies, the better. Most Pakistanis cannot be trusted to run a clean restaurant, precisely like their politicians cannot be trusted to run an honest government.]


Probably the biggest mistake George Bush ever made was giving the Pakistanis a choice back in 2001, when he told them they could either join with us or get bombed by us.
We should have simply destroyed Islamabad instead.
The Paki - Taleb - Al Qaeda axis would have been damaged far more than has been done yet.

The only reason why it still exists, despite our pummeling of the Taliban for ten years, notwithstanding the death of Osama Bin Laden and several other key-terrorists, is the substantial support from the Pakistani government, army, ulema, and population.


If America cannot be relied on to eradicate Pakistan, the world will have to leave it to India.
We can be sure that Islamabad will give them a very good pretext.
Soon.


In the meantime, however, we can and should turn the mountainous terrain of Waziristan into a perfectly flat sheet of glass.



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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

AJOEN AJOEN

In this post we learn that you should not marry a girl from Pesapen because she has too many screws loose, pretensions, and 'attitude', or a young lady from Semarang because she's in debt up to her eyebrows and will likely bankrupt you, or even a dame from Krembangan - that type has too many lice.

I have no idea how many lice are just enough.


AYUN AYUN

[SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0VJeQ-4550]

Ajoen-ajoen
[In Dutch orthography, because it dates from the Dutch period. The 'j' in Dutch is like the 'y' in English when placed at the beginning of a syllable. The combination 'oe' is pronounced like 'oo' or 'ew' in English, or 'ou' in French. Double o ('oo') sounds like 'oh', as does a single 'o' preceding a single consonant.]

Djangan mandi Kali Pesapen,
Kali Pesapen banjak lintahnya;
Djangan kawin noni Pesapen,
Noni Persapen banjak tingkahnya.

Refrein:

Ajoen ajoen ajoen in die hoge klapperboom,
ajoen ajoen Masmira,
Djangan main gila.
Ajoen ajoen ajoen in die hoge klapperboom,
Ajoen ajoen Masmira,
Djangan main gila.


Djangan mandi Kali Semarang,
Kali Semarang banjak oedangnya;
Djangan kawin noni Semarang,
Noni Semarang banjak oetangnya.

Refrein.

Djangan mandi Kali Krembangan,
Kali Krembangan banjak batoenya;
Djangan kawin noni Krembangan,
Noni Krembangan banyak koetoenya.

Refrein.



Indorock instrumental version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TH4Vzkbu_w&feature=related


And whatever you do, avoid bathing in the rivers of those places too - leeches, crawdaddies, and boulders!

Plus, probably, the local women.

Other than that, you're fine.



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EVIL BIRD!

There is something fascinating about watching a thorough rogue engaged in a staggering bit of audacity.
Hypnotic, even.

THIEF! THIEF!

[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqy9hxhUxK0.]

I don't know why, but I can watch this waddling crook endlessly.

When I grow up, I want to be just like him.



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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

GARY COOPERBERG AND PROJECT SHOFAR: YES,YOU MAY GAG NOW

Recently a person who does not know me well forwarded an e-mail newsletter originating from Gary M. Cooperberg and Project Shofar.
It featured an article - under the rubric "A Voice from Hebron" - which was by far one of the most repulsive things I have ever read.

The newsletter also included a request to support the work of Project Shofar.

I shall do NO such thing.
If an organization were to devote itself to extinguishing Project Shofar, I very well might support it.
Especially if there was plausible deniability.
I despise Rabbi Kahane and all that his followers stand for.
There are very good reasons why Kahanist groups are carefully watched by the security services of Israel and other countries. One of the primary ones being that they are hatefilled psychopaths, unbalanced and with weasely tendencies toward racism and violence.

Not only do I have no desire to in any way contribute to the continued existence of Project Shofar, I also have no wish to support Yeshivat Kiryat Arba either, which apparently employs mr. Gary M. Cooperberg as Director of Public Relations.
Their doing so is a moral lapse that demonstrates depravity.


Kahanists, not to make too fine a point of it, are in every way the equivalent of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.


The insane person who forwarded that disgusting newsletter is now also on my shitlist. Such moral turpitude needs strenuous avoiding.


Feh.


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ELEGANT SMOKING JAPANESE WOMAN

Elegant high heels. Japanese woman fantasy. Pipes for ladies.
Three search criteria that pulled readers this morning.
I don't know quite what to make of these.
But they sound good to me too.

A Japanese woman, elegant, wearing high heels, and smoking a pipe?

Intriguing.
Do tell me more.

Heck, introduce me why dontcha.
I bet she favours a full Latakia blend.
Probably doesn't own a single Hello Kitty thing.

Mmmmm, let me just fantasize about this for a moment.

Should I offer her some of my tobacco?


Elegant high heels. Japanese woman fantasy. Pipes for ladies.



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Monday, October 17, 2011

THERE WILL BE NO ROLLING ON SATURDAY!

This is a classic, in whatever goofy language.
What is this any way, Icelandic?
Latvian?
Welsh?


SHOMER SHABBES - IL GRANDE LEBOWSKI


[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrM2R6lNk9o&feature=share ]

It would sound SO much better in Flemish.
Dulcet, even.
Totally.


Excitable lot, those Italians.

Better reschedule the tournament. They're likely to go daft on you.




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Sunday, October 16, 2011

IN MONG KOK, SNACK WITH YOUR FAT SISTER!

What? You've never heard of Fei Jieh Siu-sik Diem?
It is well-known! Or at least it should be, seeing as this is the ONE place in Hong Kong where Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain might have lunch together. Before deciding that the other person was an opinionated dipwad.
Even though they enjoyed the food.
The company had nothing to do with it, it was the taste.
It was, in all particulars, 好好食呀!!!


旺角非常著名嘅 "肥姐"!
MONG KOK'S VERY FAMOUS FAT SISTER!

Let's say you've spent a few hours at the museum (primarily because of the air conditioning), and you are now a wee bit peckish.
It is late in the afternoon, it will get dark and slightly cooler soon.

Directions: The easiest way to get there from the Hong Kong Museum of History (香港歷史博物館) between Chatham Road South (咀漆咸道南) and Science Museum Road (科學館道 Fo-hok Gun Tao) in Hung Hom (紅磡) is to turn left onto Austin Road (柯士甸道), head west, and go past the Kowloon Cricket Club (九龍木球會) to Nathan Road (彌敦道), maybe get a cool refreshing beverage at the Starbucks just before the intersection first, then turn right.
Head north along Nathan Road for quite a distance (it's level, unlike San Francisco), window shopping as you go along. There is much to see here - jewelry stores, designer shmattot, watches, cameras, gizmos, etcetera. Once you've passed Gascoigne Road (加士居道) it becomes more dense with small establishments: restaurants, book stores, dispensaries...... seven elevens, and junk food. Plus many little restaurants.
There's a 7-11 on the northeast corner of Nathan Road and Wing Sing Lane (永星里).
Another 7-11 in the middle of the next block Nathan Road (彌敦道) on the west side, between Man Ming Lane (文明里) and Wing Sing Lane (永星里). And one more at the corner of Pitt Street (碧街) and Nathan Road.
Turn right onto Dundas Street (登打士街).
If you've finished your cool refreshing beverage by now, do not despair! There is another Starbucks on the south Side of Dundas Street (登打士街), facing Sai Yeung Choi Street (西洋菜南街).


Your lovely fat sister resides at number fifty five.


肥姐小食店
FAT SISTER SMALL EATS SHOP
Unit 4A, 55 Dundas Street, Mong Kok.
Kowloon, Hong Kong.
香港, 九龍, 旺角, 登打士街 55號 4A舖.


Look for the bright green sign that has two happy tentacular beasties, with the name in red.


Squid (大墨魚). Octopus (章魚). Pig intestines (大生腸, 小生腸). Offal (猪下). Liver (肝).
Slow-poached, served cold and crunchy, fragrant from the 鹵水汁.
On skewers (串) for eating as you walk.
Choice of hot mustard (芥辣醬) or sweet savoury sauce (甜醬) to squirt on top.

All of these are 爽爽脆脆 song song cheui cheui - snappy toothsome delicious!


Highly recommended: The pig intestines (大生腸), chicken kidneys (雞腎), hog heart (豬心).
The liver is also very nice, and look for curry fish balls (咖哩魚蛋).
One thing to be aware of is that the juices and sauces will probably ooze or squirt out of the paper wrapping that you got your snack in, and end up making embarrassing stains on your wardrobe.

It's cheap, it's good, the place is clean, the street side ambiance is terrific.
And you can scare those fastidious Philippina shopaholics you're with by waving it at them.


If after feasting on these small eats you are still hungry, go up the street to 許留山 and have some mango dessert, or get some pootchaigo (砵仔糕).

[I highly recommend pootchaigo, by the way. Pootchaigo (砵仔糕) is a small steamed tapioca starch (粘米粉) pudding made with coarse slab sugar (砂糖 or 啡糖), often flavoured with red beans (紅豆) or coconut milk (椰子汁), that is served in the small bowl in which it was made. Traditionally a batch of them would be steamed in a clay pot, nowadays the preparation has upscaled and a regular steamer is often used. Very country, very gentle on the digestive system. It is similar to the woonchaigo (碗仔糕) you might have in Kuala Lumpur, which is savoury instead, somewhat larger, and often has crispy oily fish flakes and chives on top.]


Spending the evening snacking on Dundas Street is much more fun than getting hammered with all those frowsty expats in the bars and beer halls that cater to foreigners. And it's far better for you.
Less chance of getting into an argument with a stupid Digger, too.



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NICE GIRLS, NASTY TOBACCO, AND PRAWN CURRY!

Chinatown Sex Girls, Ennerdale Flake, Netilat Lulav, Extremely Young Girls, Pipe Smoking Girl, Parsi Prawn Patio.
These things are connected.

As my regular correspondents know, I often look at my blog stats in order to find out what my readers really want. And of course also to get an insight into their characters.

Over the years, the two most potent search criteria have been Balkan Sobranie - a pipe tobacco regarding which I have been verbose - and Fat Little Virgins.

That last criterium on this blog refers to Dutch-style raw herring ("groene haring", commonly also "haring met uitjes"), but there is reason to believe that that is not what makes the term so interesting to the average internet browsing person at three o'clock in the morning local time.


HUNGRY DESPERATION IN FOREIGN PARTS

The list showcased at the top of this post is what pulled people in over the last twenty four hours. It might be poetry, it has that coherence.

Chinatown Sex Girls, Ennerdale Flake, Netilat Lulav, Extremely Young Girls, Pipe Smoking Girl, Parsi Prawn Patio.

What kind of man would it be that searches for such things as Chinatown Sex Girls, Ennerdale Flake, Netilat Lulav, Extremely Young Girls, Pipe Smoking Girl, and Parsi Prawn Patio at three o'clock in the morning?


I can imagine an unmarried middle-aged Englishman, probably a public school boy, bemoaning his lonesome life in the wilds of Yorkshire, and attempting to find relief on the world wide web. He wants Chinatown Sex Girls, Ennerdale Flake, Netilat Lulav, Extremely Young Girls, Pipe Smoking Girl, and Parsi Prawn Patio.

Exotic and rambunctious lasses, rather like the innocent children he once built sandcastles with during visits to the seaside as a tyke (before he went to Public School and was corrupted). He thoughtfully loads some more Ennerdale Flake pipe tobacco into a battered pipe, as he wonders if a lulav is some zesty new version of the birches and canes he rememembers from the headmaster's study.
Perhaps wielded by 'extremely young girls', whose liveliness and feigned indignation is the more adorable for being so freshfaced and pure, unlike the clapped-out old hags at the local pub, where coarse-languaged yobbos go to negotiate sweaty Yorkshirese humping.
Bah, beer-swilling peasants! Faugh!

Pain, pleasure, tinkly giggles, and the merest sting to the reddened skin.

He blows out a cloud of perfumed smoke as he imagines it. Ennerdale Flake is a peculiarly English perversion, no one else smokes such soapy tobacco.

The world is more fragrant in the quiet of the night. The village drunks have stopped yelling in the streets, no primitive Yorky dipso pees against a wall nearby or vomits loudly and painfully in the alley, all is, finally, still and serene.


What his world clearly needs is a woman who appreciates pipe-smoking literate fellows, much like he is in his more socially adept moments.

A sparkly young miss who herself occasionally indulges in a bowlful.
He'll gladly share his Ennerdale Flake with her!

And afterwards, they'll go to the local Indian restaurant for a bite to eat.

Prawn Patio.

That being lovely large shrimp in a tangy sauce.

Far different from the coarse vindaloo which the pub crowd will be scarfing down later in the evening.



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Saturday, October 15, 2011

BAD VIBES ON THE NUMBER ONE CALIFORNIA HEADING TO THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT

Hi! I am the irritating man who wants to get on the bus! And I was at this same stop yesterday, when all of us waiting here delayed YOU by a whole three minutes.
Yes, I know you're heading down to your VERY IMPORTANT JOB in the Embarcadero Center, and the idea of stopping the vehicle to let more passengers board seems heartless to you.
You're on it, and that's what matters.

That is probably why you're blocking the aisle and not moving further back.
Just guessing.
Life is SO hard when you're an IMPORTANT worker in one of the local law offices, isn't it?
I'm truly sorry.

Now move further in.

I mean that.
It isn't a recommendation.
Think of it as a promise of public transportation road rage if you do NOT do so.
That, of course, is why I loudly said "MOVE FURTHER BACK!"

I was utterly polite. I did not holler "MOVE FURTHER BACK YOU MORONS", or "MOVE FURTHER BACK YOU SELFISH EAST-COAST EGOMANIACS", or "MOVE FURTHER BACK YOU PUSTULENT EMIGRÉS FROM KANSAS".
Yes, I didn't use the word 'please'. I admit that.
That's because I take it for granted that all of you will soon see the social desirability of moving back.


Do you see these little old Cantonese people also waiting at the bus stop?
And the Asian mommy taking her tiny daughter to kindergarten?
Isn't that the cutest little backpack, just like a cow?
The kid is quite proud of it, and looks so happy.
Getting to day care is important to her too.
There will also be room for them on this fine conveyance if you move your stinking self-absorbed middle-class flabby young posterior back further in.
Don't worry, they'll stand. They're used to you law-office drones being too unmannered to offer your seats to the elderly.
Or to people carrying children.
Or pregnant women.

Really, we expect it. We know that you carpetbaggers from the rest of the country are swine, as well as being very IMPORTANT workers at clerical jobs in Law Offices in the Financial District.
Without your efforts of genius, IMPORTANT things would not happen.
That's why we avoid the Embarcadero Center (buildings one through four).
We know you're there. And we don't want to disturb you in your sanctuary.

Now, let me explain something to you.
If you don't move further back, I will.
And I'm all elbows. Yes, I'll say 'excuse me'.
But when I can see tons of daylight between the bodies at the back of the bus, that means that there is room.
I intend to use it. And if, in the process of getting there, the old Chinese people who have also been waiting at this stop manage to get on too, which is specifically the intended icing on my cake, you'll just have to suck it up.
Along with whatever bruising I accidentally inflict.
Just think of me as having rabies.

Stop texting while I radiate hostility at you and your sense of entitlement.
If you don't, it could mean very bad karma.
Real people don't care if you die.

Don't you dare say "there's another bus behind this", as if you expect me to patiently wait twenty more minutes.
That's far too Zen to contemplate this early in the day. There will always be another bus, and others after that, until the end of time.
It's statistically certain, I'm sure.
But given the realities of the morning commute, here and now, the existence of a bus elsewhere on this line is purely an intellectual concept.

Not only is it too deep and complex for me to accept right now, but I don't like your aggrieved attitude.

Not to make a point of it, but I've gotten shot at in Mindanao, been in violent altercations in various parts of the world AND San Francisco, been threatened by psychopaths, and nearly got blown to Kingdom Come in Zamboanga and Manila.
So some whiny pasty-faced limp cow-college graduate from the Midwest with a bloated self-image ain't gonna keep me from getting on this bus.
No matter how IMPORTANT a paper-shuffling drone you are.
I'm crazy enough to go 'creative' all over your arse.
And these old Chinese folks won't see a thing.
They'll be entirely useless as witnesses.
Purely unable to identify either of us.
We white people all do look alike.
Whether victim (you), or perp.
Mayhem betters the world.


Move further back.
Thank you.


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