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.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


According to Playbuzz, I am a doctor. Well, not a medical doctor, but someone who has spent an awful lot of time in college. They based this startling claim on ten simple questions which anyone with a high school education could answer correctly.

"You enjoy academic settings, as they fit your balanced, self-aware personality. You are engaged in the entire scholarly experience, and always seek opportunities to enhance learning. You are hardworking, and won’t let any challenge stop you from achieving the best grades possible. Good for you, Professor!"
End quote.

The only academic setting I am likely to infest is the television room in my apartment when my co-resident is not watching Real Housewives. Although in all fairness those shows function as a means of seeing what non-Chinese American women are like, which is clearly "crazy". Being a Chinatown-born San Franciscan, she is at times completely baffled by the shaggy weirdness that white and black America represents.
Once you cross the bridge, you are in a foreign country.

She's also got Aspergers, so it's all different.

Real Housewives: documentaries!

File under : 'how to'.


As you may guess, I am not a Chinatown-born person. Nor even a native San Franciscan. And unlike my apartment mate, not female.
My ancestry is Calvinist American, I was born ("ripped") by Caesarean section in Hawthorne General Hospital down in Southern California.
When I was two and a half years old we moved to Europe.

I came back for college when I was nearly nineteen.

After several years I promptly dropped out.

Art. Art history. Comparative religion. Mediaeval history, Dutch history, South-East Asian history. Tang Dynasty. Malayo-Polynesian languages. Anglo-Saxon. Dutch literature. Printing technology (lithographic and high-speed offset), Heidelberg Degel. Kodak 150 AF. Mechanical draughting, Engineering draughting, Wiring schematics.


Merck Manual, Thirteenth Edition.
Modern Marine Engineers Manual, Volume 2.
Mathews Chinese-English Dictionary.
Piekerans Van Een Straatslijper.
Ada, by V. V. N.

I am nowhere near getting my PHD.

Me, doctor? Hoohah!

The television room has a monster tube made during the seventies and hundreds of books. It would be called 'the bookroom', except that both her room and my room also have hundreds of books. And, though it is small and cramped, I spend more time in the teevee room than in my own room. Because that is where the computers are set up.

On my non-working days, such as today, I enter early and peruse news articles and wikipedia, as well as the odd scientific journal and books on-line, for several hours. Often with two or three screens open, one of which may be youtube featuring military music to a backdrop of Girls Und Panzer or Civil War photos.

There is no way I would ever describe myself as "intellectual". Simply "literate". Books are a way of life, albeit one that in the computer age seems to have become unusual.

When I first moved into this apartment there were over a dozen bookstores within easy walking distance. Now one has to go further afield to find even one.
A life entirely without books is almost not worth living.
I say 'almost', because many people live thus.
But they are mighty dull company.
Cell-phone drones.

Our ancestors could scarce have dreamed of modern life.
The computer age was not on the horizon, their world was expanded entirely by the printed page. Books were a constant, for several generations.

Nor could they have imagined a world without books.
Twitter and clickbait sites would be inconceivable.
It was a more innocent and informed age.

Still, awfully flattering that Playbuzz thinks I've got a PhD.
Their standards must be very low.

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


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