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, February 29, 2016

PEOPLE WHO DO REMARKABLE THINGS!

One of the visitors at "The Hall of the Fat Wooden Dwarf" (HFWD), where the vile Trump-supporters of Marin County light up stogies, can best be described as a man with "a rich inner life". Meaning that despite the fond hopes of his parents, he's in his forties with no prospects of marriage, because no sensible Chinese girl would even think of hitching up with an ex marine - computer engineer - astronaut - jet fighter pilot - chemist - brain surgeon - martial art master - race car driver - doctor of theology and philosophy - podiatrist - green beret.

It's just too much good.


This past weekend was a doozy. He came by three times.

Shan't mention his name, but it rhymes with 'dong'.

I shield the icky, who knows from what.


Yes, he is Chinese American. He's been a regular at the HFWD for over two decades. On Saturday, we found out for the first time that he's also a father. Of a fifteen year old girl. Which is a very great surprise! We had no idea his imaginary wife was pregnant with a teenager! Those are a bit too large to winkle out with a coat hanger.

As Chinese Americans go, he's rather a spectacular failure. If his doting parents weren't financially underwriting him (the typical "only son syndrome"), he would probably be white.


I only listen to his monotonous droning with half an ear.

And often feel obliged to count my blessings.

Room for up to four halfwits.


His non-existent wife and daughter have my fullest sympathy. If she's anything like her dad, she has a very full life ahead of her.
I wonder how she'll handle it.




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ASSAULTIVE DISRUPTIVE WOMAN WHO IS SCREAMING!

She wants to kill him. That is the upshot of my apartment mate's drawn-out visit to the hospital. Because of her boyfriend. Who among other things is a hypochondriac, who had an "emergency" early yesterday morning. Part of being a "girlfriend" is being supportive and caring.
His "emergency" did not render him uncommunicative.
No one could describe him as 'stoic'.

My apartment mate is a bloodthirsty Cantonese woman, with a very bad temper when provoked. And that is altogether a set of characteristics of which I heartily approve. Being somewhat Asperger syndrome afflicted, her caring supportive warmth requires effort, and should only be relied upon when it is truly merited.


I get to listen to her vent.


She is a very eloquent woman who has an excellent vocabulary.


Her boyfriend is a confused person. With, so I have been told, a lovely chin. And such an appealing honesty about him! Now, being Aspy in a different way and a total cynic myself, I cannot see any of that, and consider him at times a needy blister.

Whereas I enjoyed being at work yesterday, her day was fraught.

In consequence of which my evening was entertaining.

The rest of you watched the Oscars.



The assaultive disruptive woman mentioned in the title of this post was a psychopathic haus-frump who was being treated next door.
Who had to be sedated and forcibly restrained.
Security guards were called.

Which is what my apartmentate wished would happen to someone else.

Still, despite her better instincts, she loves him.

Needy hypochondriac blister.




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Sunday, February 28, 2016

THERE ARE COOKIES!

A friend squeals whenever I mention Jimmy Choo shoes. The words Prada, Christian Louboutin, and Michael Kors also have a profoundly orgasmic effect. It is NOT that I don't want her to have such bliss, but first of all she's already married and her husband should be responsible for tremors, and secondly, I disapprove entirely. If cookies had that effect, I still would not give her cookies. Some other woman, maybe.
I'm waiting till I meet the right one.

It would be wrong to deduce from this that I lurk in dark alleys with a tin of cookies, for instance the Kirkland European Cookies With Belgian Chocolate, or the Lambertz Best Selection Biscuit Assortment, or Griesson Imported European Cookies Café Musica, but I will shamefacedly admit that I have thought about it.

[Conceivably a pack of Khong Guan Lemon Puff Biscuits, maybe almond cookies from Eastern Bakery, or several scrumptious items from Shubert's Bakery on Clement Street. Shubert's is perhaps best known for their Swedish Princess Cake, and the Tiramisu.]


The idea of jumping out at a likely prospect with a warm smile and a tray of snackipoos just isn't workable.


"Hello miss, can I tempt you with a yummy treat?"


Luring younger people with sweets has had a very bad rap ever since that horrible fairy tale. They lock people up for that nowadays.
Besides, far too few women make the right choices.

The pervert shoving designer shoes always attracts favourable feminine attention. Of course he also ends up with sh*tferbrains shoppaholics, which is a major problem, but even the most crunchy-prone miss shies away from pipe-smoking devils with a plate of cookies and a steaming pot of tea, such as my hypothetical prowling self.

At least I think they do.

Never tried it.



One of these days I just might ask some young lady whether she would like to go have tea and cookies with me. Who knows, it might actually appeal to her. At a very minimum, she won't call the cops if I do it in daylight, and don't act like a dirty old man.


The company of a woman who likes cookies is much to be preferred over anyone who falls for ridiculous footwear.


Always.



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THE FABRIC OF CIVILIZATION!

Cargo shorts. That's it. More perfectly than anything else, cargo shorts exemplify the highest standard that human development has reached. Nothing says middle-class education, leisure time, and taste better than a prosperous Caucasian male of mid-thirties through mid-nineties age huffing around San Francisco and Marin than cargo shorts.

Cargo shorts are stylish, practical, relaxed, and fabulously show off those bleachy-white male gams.

Did you know that most males have unappealing legs?

I now know that.



Cargo shorts for women are a far shorter cut, and tighter around the rump. Smaller pockets, too. They aren't worn by nearly as many either, possibly only blonde collegians between 22 and 23.
Why is that?

Do most women not have cargo?


Perhaps it is indicative of the income-differential between men and women. If we want to see greater diversity in cargo shorts, it is essential to break down the financial gender barrier.


This world will finally be well when there are nearly as many prosperous Caucasian females as males in cargo shorts. In as broad a spectrum of ages. Huffing around San Francisco and Marin.

I am a modest man, with much to be modest about.
So I myself shall NOT wear cargo shorts.
But merely assign style points.







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Saturday, February 27, 2016

SUCH A CONVENIENT GHETTO

The other day while smoking my pipe after lunch I was approached by five people randomly; three white dudes and two black men. All five of them were unpleasant, damned well illiterate, and deranged.
What makes it really an issue is that this happened in Chinatown. Which, as the city's premier low-income neighborhood, is always first in line to get totally ignored by city hall and the police department until such time as votes need to be harvested.

One of these days the loonies that hide out in Chinatown will bust into view by killing an old lady or raping an infant, whereupon our politicos will decry the situation, promise to do better, apply a bandaid and do something cosmetic, then go back to ignoring the community.

Because, after all, the locals aren't e-yuppies or tech bros.
Not a significant demographic for fund-raising.
And far less likely to squawk.

[It takes less than an hour to smoke a pipe. Five loonies! Damn!]


Ed Lee and his power behind the throne Willie Brown are far too busy catering to the tech industry to worry about a working class ghetto filled with folks who don't have enough English to bitch and make it stick.

Guess what, guys, there's a HUGE number of Caucasian tech-industry folks now living in Chinatown. Do you really think they'll keep quiet when they're strong-armed by your free-range loonies?

By the way; why have I never seen a policeman in any of the alleys, near the Willie 'Woo Woo' Wong playground, or at Portsmouth Square?


Is it right that the ONLY times people in uniform show up are when an ambulance has been called?


Here's a handy list of places where the occasional presence of a police officer or social worker might be a good idea:

Adele Court (亞打利巷)
Beckett Street (白話轉街)
Bedford Place (百福巷)
Brooklyn Place (布閣倫巷)
Clay Street (企李街)
Commercial Street (襟美慎街)
Cordelia Street (歌地利亞街)
Hang Ah Alley (香雅巷)
Jackson Street (昃臣街積臣街)
Jason Court (金菊園巷)
Joice Street (哉思街)
Keyes Alley (其士巷)
Parkhurst Alley (柏可思巷)
Pontiac Alley (麵包巷)
Ross Alley (舊呂宋巷)
Sacramento Street (沙加緬度街)
Spofford Alley (新呂宋巷)
Stark Alley (士登巷)
St Louis Alley (火燒巷)
Stockton Street (市德頓街)
Stone Street (市東街)
Trenton Street (登頓街)
Walter U. Lum Place (林華耀街花園街)
Washington Street (華盛頓街)
Waverly Place (天后廟街)
Wayne Place (威恩巷)
Wentworth Place (德和街)
Wetmore Street (域磨街)
Wu Yee Children's Services (護兒兒童服務)
The Willie 'Woo Woo' Wong Playground (黃顯護球場)


[You will note that I didn't mention Grant Avenue, despite three of the crazies lurking on that street between Jackson and Clay. That's because Grant Avenue exists primarily for the tourists. But I did mention both Hang Ah and the vicinity of the Willie 'Woo Woo' Wong Playground, where there were two of them.]




One way to tell that a crime could be committed there is the presence of either tykes or elderly people. Think about that for a moment.


Perhaps what Chinatown needs are "angry Baptist ministers".

Except this time with less pacifism and non-violence.

Because Edwin and Willie may be tone-deaf.

And normally only hear money talk.


We could just wait until some tourists are attacked by a white or black recidivist. That would provoke attention. Either that, or some Midwesterner slips on untended refuse .....





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Friday, February 26, 2016

THE RED MIST

Foreigners can be forgiven for making a pig's hash of English. Native speakers, perhaps not. Especially if they are people with whom I am engaged in disagreement. Like, for instance, American Television.
Which almost always sacks bullocks.

I also occasionally take issue with spellcheck.

For often insisting that I am wrong.



THIS IS NOT BULLYING!

[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IvWoQplqXQ.]

These are serious matters.


"You know very well (that) I killed my own wife for ironically saying 'mispronounciation' ... "


The world stands upon three things, according to Pirkei Avos; spelling, correct pronunciation, and grammar. Plus proper capitalization.
Four things. Also punctuation







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Thursday, February 25, 2016

THE REPUBLIC OF LARD

Being the complete pervert that I am, I am looking forward to a long bath tomorrow entirely naked. With a sidetable next to the tub laden with a pipe, tobacco and requisites, a cup of hot tea, and perhaps a sandwich.

Reason being that I feel unclean, having heard the Republican candidates speaking on television this evening. A more sorry collection of trolls catering to cavemen would be hard to imagine.



If a wall needs to be built at all, it should be along the Mason-Dixon line, and the slope-brows on the other side should pay for it. Hell should freeze over ere the civilized world accepts émigrés from The South.

Screw them, screw their flags, screw their traditions, screw their Jesus, screw their ignorance, and screw their repulsive in-bred megalomaniac reprobate leaders. Especially Ted Cruz. Nuke Texas.



The last decent Southern Politicians were Ann Richards, Dale Bumpers, and Lyndon Baines Johnson.




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TECH BROS, MORTGAGE BROS, AND HEDGE FUND BROS

Yesterday evening ended with well-to-do cigar smokers ranting crap about the poor, the old, the homeless, liberals, and the Democratic candidates. Not surprisingly, one of them asserted that he was going to vote for Trump.
All of this while simultaneously singing the praises of a private club in San Francisco that insulates them from the poor, the old, the homeless, liberals, and Democratic candidates, all of whom they despise.



If this country is, as some aver, more divided than ever, it is because of people like them.



Just one more reason why we need the second amendment.
A well-regulated Jacquerie must also be well-armed.
Torches and pitchforks are so old-fashioned.




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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

MY DAY OFF IS RUINED!

My apartment mate is taking a mental health day. That means I cannot do what I normally do during my weekend (Tuesday and Wednesday), which is smoke my pipe, laze about reading in the peace and quiet, and ponce around naked. With a teacup.

She would look askance, as we maintain a fair amount of interpersonal modesty at all times.

Consequently, I shall do my laundry early, then head down to Chinatown for both lunch and a late afternoon snack, and smoke my pipe there.

Yes, tea. No poncing around naked. They too would look askance.

Chinese people are easily shocked, and might say something.

On the other hand, they appreciate public spectacle.

Especially white people acting crazy.

Still, no nudity.


This is very disappointing. Being an adult, I know that poncing around naked is not universally appreciated. There are few places where it can be done. Which is something I lament.

North Beach is also out of the question, as tourists would point and say "look at the beatnik, dressed as such people are wont". They would end up with the wrong idea about San Francisco (especially after that entitled tech-bro wrote an angry letter to mayor Ed Lee about naked people), and if they were from more backward areas of the country, throw up their hands and call upon Jesus.

Nobody wants that. Nor do I wish to encourage it.

This weather is perfect for naked poncing.

With a teacup. And a pipe.

Soigné!



Naked poncing is usually solitary, at most a two person affair, and should never be educational. Regrettably, there is no second person.
And I do not seek to enlighten random strangers.
My teacup shall remain unused today.
There is no other choice.



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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

UNEMOTIONAL, AND STUPIDLY HUMOURLESS

Anyone who frequents Facebook has seen the various "tests" that start off with "can we guess your dot dot dot with just twenty questions?" No, they aren't based on actual research and science, they're there so you spend a lot of time with advertisements on the edges of your screen, then post the results, and thus tempt others who are rather like you to do the same.


The test results aren't entirely wrong, though.

Example A: I am 27 and male. Great job, awesome friends, and staying optimistic.
[Age and gender test.]

Example B: Left brain 67%, right brain 33%. Rational and inclined towards order.
[Which side of brain test.]


Translation: immature, antagonistic towards the creative lifestyle, out of touch with my feelings, but not quite an emotional douchebag.

Yes, I can see myself in that.


The same source also reliably informs me that I am "a part time romantic".

["You know exactly how and when to be romantic to get exactly what you want! And you always manage to do it just right and your partner appreciates it very much. Kitschy is not for you and so you try and convince people with your other charms and that is what makes you irreplaceable for your partner and your friends. You spend a lot of time thinking about your loved ones ..."]

Naturally, some of the results are startling, to say the least.


CITE: Today's kids would call you: homie!
Yo homie, what's up? You are a real homie, if you listen to hip hop music, wear baggy pants, XXL shirts and a baseball cap. This doesn't sound like your style of clothing? Don't worry – homie can also simply mean “friend”.
[End cite]

Well that's a complete crock of horsefeathers.


Let's try it again.

CITE: Your understanding of the human psyche is: Precise
You know the human psyche in all of its details, you know the history of psychology and the current status. You follow the issues of the day, because even your personal interests lie in this area. You're always grateful for more information about the human spirit, because this can explain the world.
[End cite]

Yeah. No.


Last one.

CITE: You're female and in your mid-20s!
It seems that you are: 1. Female 2. In your twenties, single and trying to make sure your new-found job and your long-standing social life don't collide. 3. Clever, organized, funny and imaginative. 4. Have dark hair and eyes. 5. Have some form of pet. (Yes, your roommate still counts).
[End cite]


The only accuracy in this is "single", with an "apartment mate".

Male, middle-aged, and a rather Spartan social life.
Pipe smoker, freshly bathed, airing out.
Soon heading off for tea.




Looking forward to some tasty baked Portuguese chicken rice within the hour. With a cup of gong-sik naai cha (港式奶茶). Then a stroll around Chinatown with a pipe in my mouth and a smile in my heart.
No smile on my face, because that attracts the loonies.




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WHY DOES SHE SMELL LIKE ROTTEN COMPOST?

Further to yesterday evening's impassioned rant about pizza, I am happy to report that some American women are completely insane. Really. Just look up two phrases for proof: "vaginal pearls", and "vaginal steaming". The first ('vaginal pearls') is a bundle of mystic magic herbs you are supposed to stick in your hooliwhatsis for several days, which, it is claimed, will purify it, tighten it, remove toxins, and make you happy; the second is sitting above a basin of hot herbal muck for half an hour or so, while your yoni sucks up the blessed vapours and chants mantras.

Both of these "natural healing" therapies are reliably attested by thousands of generations of sincere mystical experts from meaningful spiritual cultures that until recently did not have universal literacy and education.
So they must be good.


It also puts you in touch with mother Gaia, or some such.


This blogger is all for people being as crazy and magick greeny-green as they wanna be. Totally supportive. Please wear clear markings so that the rest of us can avoid you.




I shan't even mention the naturopaths and herbal practitioners who insert yogurt and or garlic in sensitive places to heal various ailments. Like the herbal vaginal pearls, that must cause great and bitter hysteria among people who actually have real medical backgrounds.



Word of the day: hooliwhatsis.

Magic.




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Monday, February 22, 2016

HEY, DO YOU WANT PIZZA?

When it comes to food, many women are neurotic and controlling. Which is something I have never been able to figure out. If you ask a man whether he's hungry, the answer will likely be noncommittal at best; a better question would be: "do you want pizza?" Reason being that by specifying something concrete and tangible, he'll be able to imagine it. Whether he's actually hungry or not, he'll likely say "yes".
It's pizza. That is nice. Simple.

Asking a woman if she is hungry will likewise get you a noncommittal response, but one which cloaks an enormous range of dangerous territory. Elements in the hidden toxic mix often include her self-image and what she thinks her body weight means, does the food which is available meet her emotional framework around eating with or not eating with someone at the moment, what is the context into which the food can be fitted, and is it an opportunity to form some kind of socio-relational implicitcy?


"Do you want pizza?"

"Are you saying I'm pale?"

"No, I'm asking 'do you want pizza'?"

"You men are all alike; I need to go to the bathroom!"


Ten minutes later, you've lost your appetite, pizza seems like a complete waste of time, but the woman is still subjecting the content of the conversation to rigorous intellectual and emotional analysis.

The best women in my life have always been the kind who do not pull that crap. Their answer to "do you want pizza" has been 'yes', 'no', or 'anchovies'. Simple, straightforward, and to the point. After which they would return to their book or cigar until the pizza was actually manifested.
Or Thai food, if one of them said "I want Thai food" instead.
Thai food, can do. Chinese too. Mexican also.

You probably understand now why I haven't gone on a date in many years.



On the other hand, when a typical women asks "do you want pizza", the correct answer is never 'no', nor ever 'anchovies', and absolutely never 'Thai', 'Chinese', or 'Mexican'. Or any other option.
Those answers lead to insecurity.

"What's he saying? Is this his passive aggressive way of exerting his need for dominance, or is it a subconscious rejection? I'm hideously offended, here I offered pizza and he's making a total comedy out of it! And why is he insistently changing the subject? This is very important!
We are having a serious difference of opinion!
My friends were right; he's a dickhead.
See if I ask ever again!
Pig!"


Ladies, there is no agenda to pizza. Nor any deep meaningful message or symbolism. Pizza is good. We like pizza. If you don't want any right now, that's fine. We could also do Thai. I'm open.


Yes, no, or anchovies?


It's not a test.




Please note: This essay was inspired by nine out of ten women.




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THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT

Until I was about nine or ten years old, my mother insisted that I wear shorts. She had grown up in the day and age when all proper little boys wore shorts, and considered long pants both impractical and unsuitable for the young. If I had been a girl, she doubtless would have advocated skirts, for the same reason.

I hated shorts. They offered no protection against the natural enemies of little boys, namely rocks, sticks, stones, gravel, concrete, spikes, barbs, thorns, mud, bugs, rough tree bark, and stinging nettles.
Logically, neither do skirts, for little girls.
Even with a half-slip or petticoat.

Levis, however, and corduroy ........
Different kettle entirely.

She also had strong opinions about underwear: tidy whities and t-shirts.


It's not much of a rebellion, but I now always wear slacks, boxers, and what are "affectionately" known as 'wife-beaters' (A-shirts).


I can only somewhat imagine what it would be if I were a woman. Probably dungarees, French cuts, and please let us not speculate about bras, chemises, and camisoles.


The last time I wore shorts (briefly) was during an interdepartmental volley ball game. The Glynn sisters had persuasively snookered me into it, and laughed their heads off when they saw me.
Their considered opinion at the time was that I looked like an English tourist on the Costa Brava, right ridiculous.
It probably didn't help that I had black socks and penny loafers.

Shorts and a crisp white shirt: uber goober.


I am not an athletic type.

I still have those shorts.

But I shan't wear them.

[At least not until I'm a knackered old git and can get away with tonnes more "individuality", and no longer really care what the ladies think.]


I've been told that my gams are quite decent.
But there is no need to show them off.
I am not an exhibitionist.




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Sunday, February 21, 2016

GREEN CHILIS ARE GOOD FOR YOU

A friend and colleague has been told to lay off the tasty food, as he most likely has gastritis. He's been having stomach problems for a while now, and like him I assumed it was simply too much partying with his Mexican in-laws. You know, beer, roast pig, tortillas de maiz con mucho queso, manteca, pollo frito, and lots and lots of salsa ranchera.

Nope. Probably something irritated in his guts.
No more good eating for a while.


Test results (samples, samples, samples) aren't back yet.
But, nevertheless, and evenso.


He has to avoid garlic, chilies, lard, cheese, spices, pastries and sweet desserts, sodas, re-fried beans, bacon, carnitas, overmuch meat, pizza-wrapped bacon cheddar jalapeño roll-ups, deep-fried Snickers bars, buñuelos de chocolate, dough-nuts, beer, whisky, coffee .....

Everything that makes life worth living.

And he lives in Marin.

Marin!

Where there is no real Chinese food, and hardly any Indian or Mexican food. Nothing Guatamalan, Peruvian, Cuban, Borinqueño, Malay, Indonesian, Penang style, Surinamese .....

I couldn't do it. Suburban muck is inedible.


Last night, upon returning home after jaunting to a smoking environment,
I had bacon-wrapped sausage with grilled onions and pickled peppers, doused with Sriracha. A tasty and nutritious midnight snack, such as any clear-thinking bachelor of good sense and a vibrant appetite might have.

Mere moments ago I finished a plate of noodles with gai lan, fatty pork, fermented hot bean paste, and loads of chili sauce.
Plus a squeeze of lime for zingy flavour.

At present I am having a cup of strong coffee.

And contemplating ice-cream.



The hot stuff is key. When I still worked in Palo Alto, I always packed half a dozen fresh jalapeños, because they turned the "food" into food. Whether it was crap from the roach coach, Olive Garden, Chilis, KFC, a hamburger joint, soup & saladateria, or suburban Chinese, the fresh green jalapeños made it both edible and digestible.
Marin is just as bad.
But nowadays I simply use Sriracha.
Which improves even a pedestrian tuna salad sandwich.


I do not think that I could live very long without decent hotsauce or chili peppers. Chilis soothe the stomach, and are an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium.



At some point, both the Madame Jeannette as well as the adjuma will become easy to find in San Francisco. But not Marin. Never Marin.
Where my friend with the dicey digestive system lives.





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WRITING LETTERS AND DRINKING A LOT OF COFFEE

Do you drink coffee? Do you drink coffee and write letters? Do you drink coffee, write long soulful letters, and often go out for a smoke?
Then the video below is for YOU!

Especially if you encounter a lot of nudists.
Or are a nudist yourself, occasionally.
Privately, or screaming in public.

Of course, if you ARE a compulsive coffee drinking, letter writing, tobacco smoking, happy gay sprightly nudist -- can't see why you wouldn't be with all that going on in your life -- then this blogger (me) welcomes and encourages your sending me live action pictures of yourself doing all that.

Why?

Because my life is empty without you.


SMOKING, COFFEE, AND BOUTS OF NAKEDNESS: A BRIEF OVERVIEW


[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX0TjGEBITg.]


Hell yeah.


Not that you should think about it, and for Christ's sake, don't obsess about it either, but this blogger spends a fair amount of his time drinking caffeinated beverages, smoking, and writing letters. In the sense that this blog is in effect an open letter to the world. A cold and uncaring world. A world filled with angst and dark foreboding, that gives not one whit about my brief twice daily bouts of nudity, which are connected to ablution and the necessary change-over from comfy sleep gear to street garments, or vice versa. Because wearing pajamas in public marks one as a loonie.
I am very concerned about that.

I've got pants on.

Of course, in Shanghai many people wander around in public in their pajamas, which is not nude at all, unless those are see-through nighties, but we all know that Shanghainese rarely have coffee and they smoke wherever they darn well like. It's that cosmopolitan sense of style.
You can recognize them by their sleep-wear.
I do not know many Shanghainese.
15 hour time difference.
That's why.


I am already on my second cup of coffee.
And I am all alone and smoking.
But not nude. Yet.




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Saturday, February 20, 2016

IT'S DUTCH, AND MIRACULOUSLY EDIBLE

Apparently the World Championship of Snert and Stampot cooking was held in Groningen yesterday. Alas, I have no recipes to share of this staggering culinary event, as I was not there.
And even if I were on the other side of the Atlantic, I would not attend. Although Snert and Stampot are among the quintessential masterpieces of Dutch cuisine, both pale in comparison to the unchallenged queen of the Dutch kitchen: nasi goreng.


There. In one short paragraph, I have probably insulted more than ninety percent of both Netherlanders and Indonesians.


Snert is a split pea soup of the thickness of spackle, which in addition to the main ingredient also contains a very large carrot, a smoked sausage of fierce proportion, and celeriac. Stampot consists of potatoes mashed with curly kale or turnip greens, carrots, onions, and lardons or fry-meat gravy added for flavour. It's a close cousin of hutspot. Either may be served with some nice fatty grilled or braised pork alongside.
Nasi goreng is fried rice. What makes it typically dutch is the inclusion of sweet soysauce (ketjap manis), shrimp paste, chives, plus pork and bacon-like substances, often with a soupçon of something spicy.
It's really really good with a frikadel alongside.

What makes all of these things "Dutch" is the presence of fatty pork in the dish, plus excellent mustard and hot chili paste on the table.


And, by that standard, even though I use mostly ingredients purchased nearby, in San Francisco Chinatown, as well as things for which there are no Dutch or English names, what I cook is Dutch.

Got bacon, got spicy mustard, got sambal.

Dutcher than that it cannot get.


[There is more to the Dutch national kitchen than that, of course. It also includes lots of beer, herring and other fish, various deep fried objects, plus potatoes buggered-up, and mayonnaise. Lots of mayonnaise.]


Speaking of such things, there are two pounds of five flower pork loin (五花腩 'ng faa naam') in the freezer, still waiting to be cut into hunks of a size suitable for single serving dishes. There's also some laap yiuk (臘肉) in the refrigerator, which steams up marvelously, requiring only slivered ginger and sambal oelek (辣椒醬 'laat chiu jeung') to become a splendid accompaniment to either yau choi (油菜) or gai lan (芥蘭).
It can also be nicely combined with snow vegetable (梅菜 'mui choi'), sour cabbage (酸菜 'suen choi') or simmered in stock, shrimp paste (鹹蝦醬 'haam haa jeung') and sherry. Great over rice.

In lieu of five spice powder (五香粉 'ng heung fan'), you could use nutmeg (荳蔻 'dou kou'). That too makes it Dutch.

Don't forget the two condiments.


AFTERWORD

By the way: the two recipes in this link mui choi kau yiuk and suen choi paak yiuk are very nice indeed with either hutspot or stampot.

Laap yiuk (preserved pork belly strip) is good in snert.

If you want a more authentically authentic Dutch food experience, try kale and potato mash with smoked sausage. For a better overview of my tastes in food, see here: cooking with a lizard.
For oddities, a series: bachelor chow.


There is no mayonnaise in my kitchen.
But there used to be.




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Friday, February 19, 2016

A GOLDEN DRAGON IN THE BACKYARD

Even though this blogger enjoys spending time in Chinatown, he shall not be there tomorrow, during the 2016 Chinese New Year Parade. Reason being that it will be crowded, and for one day a year San Francisco Chinatown transforms into Suburban White Folks-i-stan.
Suburban white folks change the dynamic.

Meaning that I would be fiercely jostled by people eating sticky-sweet beef jerky and complaining about the smell of my tobacco. And that a nice strong cup of Hong Kong style milk-tea might be hard to find.

Baked charsiu buns will be sold in enormous quantities, as well as egg rolls and sweet and sour pork.

Everyone will have a truly stupendous time.

And be culturally enriched.


Which I do not begrudge them at all. It is a wonderful spectacle, and it lets the neighborhood put on the dog like nothing else. The lions and dragons will have been brought out of storage and properly fed, the Saint Mary's Drum and Bell Corps have practiced months for this day, fireworks will be set off in enormous quantity, and the spectators shall have experienced something you don't see every day in Fremont, Turlock, or Modesto.

High school bands from as far away as Oregon get a chance to show off, have chop suey, and take selfies!


ON THE OTHER HAND ...

For locals who live east of Van Ness Avenue, it will be a logistical mystery getting to the cigar club to enjoy a quiet Scotch with pipe and fine flaky tobacco after the Marin bus drops them off near Sacramento. Even if smoking pipes and sipping refined peatmoss distilate are not part of their plan, it will be a logistical mystery.

Broadway might be passable, as the parade ends on Pacific. The Union Street buses could be running, but they will need to detour severely. The Number One California, if operational at all, will necessarily be going some other route. The California Cablecar line won't be taking passengers in any case, and likely not the Powell line either.

I expect that there will be far fewer Chinese in Chinatown than normal, and statistically, that is a dead certainty.


Having lived very near to where the parade takes place for many years, I do not need any further cultural enrichment; I has done already been culturally enriched. And a glass of Scotch with a pipeful of Dunhill's Ready Rubbed is about all the excitement I can handle after a day in Marin. Which is also culturally enriching, but the wrong way.

Strong milk tea at home, get on the computer briefly, cruise the news and write something fluffy for this blog, then trek across the hill.
I shall be a badger wandering in the dark, a grumpy mustelid in the underbrush, a furry beast in the corner of the eye.



Next week the alleyways, bakeries, and noodle shops will be mine again.
There is nothing quite so invisible as a middle-aged man.
With a hot cup of milk tea and a flaky pastry.
I am part of the furniture.




My apartment mate, who used to be my girlfriend, will think me insane for venturing out at all. She's Cantonese American but never bothered watching the parade. No, that's not why we are no longer a couple, instead it rather indicates that despite our differences we have enough in common to remain good friends.

We've known each other a long time.

She fervently dislikes tobacco.
And never touches whisky.

That isn't it either.



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Thursday, February 18, 2016

IT'S GOING TO BE HUGE -- THE DONALD TRUMP

The phrase "it's going to be huge" is associated with Donald Trump. So, just on a whim, I typed "Donald Trump Dildo" into Google to see what would come up. Apparently, it isn't "huge". Far from it. There appears to be no market for the Donald Trump Dildo.

Which really is not at all surprising. It is hard to imagine that any woman would want Trump inside her. Nor, for that matter, any gay man. If you are going to choose a human face for your sex-toy, most women would probably want John F. Kennedy or the lead-singer of Queen.

Let's face it, the only people who would buy a Donald Trump Dildo are men, and only as a gag, NOT as a gift. The Donald Trump Dildo should NEVER be given, to anyone.

Nor should you shove it (the Donald Trump Dildo) in a Christmas stocking.
If you put it under the tree, Santa gonna get you.


Much like the Donald himself, there is little use for a Donald Trump Dildo. And, unlike most gag-items, you cannot put it on your desk at work as a conversation piece, because it is downright offensive.

People would stick pins in it, or smash it with a brick.

Or smear it with a condiment, viva Mexico!

Nuclear salsa, con Habaneros.

Es muy burning.


So no. No Donald Trump Dildo. Besides, they would have to give it a little toupee made of spider monkey hair, for verisimilitude. Even though Donald claims that that repulsive flop-over on top of his head is the real McCoy, dildos and similar objects (vibrators, soda bottles, Barbie dolls, and festive candles) do not normally come with hair, so it would have to be glued on.




Please note that this post was inspired by what was on television this evening, as well as a horrible pain in my right foot which got progressively worse as the day wore on. Darn well unbearable. When rushing out of the house this morning I missed the last three steps and wrenched myself.
Making everything worse, I had to run to catch the bus.

By teatime my foot was trying to kill me. Getting off the bus this evening was surreal. Staggering home from the stop normally takes less than five minutes, this evening it was a twenty minute ordeal.

Consequently, thinking of Donald Trump as a giant dickhead who needs to be shoved seems natural, as well as this being a bright cheery thought that makes the world sunny and gay again. Now, as to where to shove him, that would naturally be into the thinking end of every one of his supporters, male or female. Yes, they might like it. But that is a small price to pay.


*      *      *      *      *


Just returned from having a cigarillo in the kitchen. Dang that was different. Going there and coming back. Good thing I'm off tomorrow, that means I can rest up and scream quietly to myself without disturbing anyone.
Maybe I'll fantasize about sweet twenty-six year-old waitresses,
or smashing Donald Trump effigies to amuse myself.

Perhaps I'll just smoke in bed.

Crap.




Please further note: the "sweet twenty-six year-old waitresses" mentioned above are purely imaginary. I do not know any such persons, not even one, and wouldn't know what to do if I did.
Talking to her is right out.
She might scream.




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FLAG-WAVING BREAKFAST ANY DAY

For some reason I woke up this morning keenly desirous of chicken-fried bacon strips. Bacon for breakfast is, of course, an American thing (the English use something horrid called "Irish Bacon" or "Canadian Bacon"), and clearly that must mean that I'm finally going native.

Expect me to put a bone through my nose soon.

The wild hinterland awaits!

Iowa!


Please imagine half a dozen extra thick rashers, first dipped in flour with salt, pepper, and a little corn starch, then slapped into beaten egg, and finally dipped into breadcrumbs and dumped into the fry-o-lator.

Served on a leaf of crisp lettuce with three all-American sauces in dippy bowls alongside: Ranch Dressing, Sriracha, and apricot jelly diluted with a little Tabasco, lime juice, and Worcestershire.

Plus celery sticks on the side, so that you can pretend it's salad and you're eating healthy. Add salsa if you still have doubts.


Sounds good.


It would make a great appetizer to a steak and lobster dinner.
With a fried egg on top.


Yummy. Deep fried. Bacon.




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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

ANTI-VAXXERS ARE UNFIT PARENTS

Living in the Bay Area, naturally I meet a huge number of pickle-headed idiots, of all ideological stripes. And in this great country of ours everyone gets to say their thing. Even if they are psychopaths and what they think is staggeringly and bone-headedly wrong.

That doesn't mean they should.

It certainly doesn't mean they should not be called to task on it, especially if it amounts to dangerous and irresponsible craziness.

As not vaccinating their kids does.

Rather than even debating the point -- more rational and knowledgeable people have already done so, eloquently and cogently -- let me instead direct the readers attention to an article on Geekdad:
The Anti-Vax Myth.

If you feel like disputing the established fact that vaccination is demonstrably a necessary and good thing, feel free to do it there as a comment underneath the article. Because if you do it here, I may recommend that you get a lobotomy.


Oh, and one last thing: refusing to get your kids vaccinated is most definitely child-abuse, as well as attempted murder.


You deserve opprobrium.




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LETTING THE LIZARDS SPEAK

A reader who cropped up in the past few months poses an interesting question. Zebra Chick wrote: "Not to bother you or anything, but could you please write your post responding to my smoking question? You were so helpful last time, when I needed it for class, and, as they say in Oliver Twist: 'Please, sir, I want some more.' Not that it's urgent or anything, since I'm not going to smoke until I'm eighteen, lol lol. ;-) Thanks so much."

Far be it from me to advise the underaged demographic about tobacco. That way lies madness. Besides which, I know nothing about Zebra Chick, she might be a Federal Agent trying to entrap me.

Adult men, especially pipe-smokers, should never lead tender young morsels down the primrose path.

Well, possibly excepting this:


"I'm here to deliver all of you as sex-slaves to the Lizard People."

[That purpose and objective first mentioned here: FAQs - twenty questions.]


Beware my flickety tongue.

Underaged persons should neither smoke nor have sex. In fact, despite my own proclivities and disreputable past, I firmly believe that young people should not smoke, drink, do any drugs, nor engage in sexual behaviour until they are in their mid twenties. They really cannot handle anything depraved before then, and even listening to Rock & Roll frequently proves far too enervating.

Delicate flowers; they aren't as strong and butch as we were then.


Such scandalous risk-taking nowadays leads to tattoos and piercings, as well as dyed hair and bad clothing choices.


The moment they are twenty-six, however, watch out. They'll light up, take a swig, and bang each other silly. Repression in early adulthood leads to rewarding excess once they've gotten their PHD.


Until then, cold showers, healthy eating, fruit juices, sensible and soundly constructed brassieres, and invigoration games of basket ball or volley ball (and now you know why sensible and soundly constructed brassieres are so desirable: less destabilizing bouncing around, and a far smaller chance of raw nipples).


This blogger heartily endorses cold showers, healthy eating, fruit juices, sensible and soundly constructed brassieres, and invigorating games of basket ball or volley ball, and feels incredibly sad for the frazzled melons of young ladies who are far too "healthy".


Nice breasts are like a brother to me.
I feel for them profoundly.


Chafed nipples can be a bitch. Trust me on this. I am a middle-aged and filthy-minded old reptile, I know things!


Plus I woke up this morning obsessed.


Gotta wait for the caffeine to hit before things return to normal. At which point I shall light up a pipe and calm the heck down.


Perhaps I need a cold shower.




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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

YODELING: BETTER THAN ROCK AND ROLL

Thanks to the internet and people I know on Facebook -- and it must be stressed that most folks do not know all their Facebook friends in person, or else they should be far more circumspect about that innocuous friend request -- this blogger has been exposed to chicken yodeling.

I am now scarred for life.

Chicken yodeling.

It was worse than the voluptuous chunk man doing sexy-dance wearing only a metallic raspberry Speedo.

Also on Facebook.


Advice for parents: keep a close eye on your children, as there are far more damaging things out there than porn. Make sure they don't see these things until they've graduated college, or else your precious little brats might never get there. Don't worry about haphazard nekkid boobie pictures or blunt communications from Scott Weiner and Carlos Danger, be far more concerned about clickbait crap and hippie stuff.

Like this German Language video.

German is evil.


SHUT UP, YOU IRRITATING HALFWIT!


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

That is highly unpleasant!


Only in Switzerland is this considered art. Everywhere else it is grounds for locking you up and releasing Middle-Eastern refugees on your ass.
Yodeling is a weapon of mass-destruction.


NO PUEDO YODEL!

True story: when the United States was trying to arrest pineapple head Noriega in Panama, at that time hiding out in the Vatican diplomatic mission, yodeling hits were blasted non-stop in order to melt the minds of everyone inside. It worked far too well; until he was extradited from Florida back to Panama, General Manuel Antonio Cabeza de la Piña Noriega spent his days rolling around the prison yard in a wheelchair, holding his head and moaning, before finally falling prey to fundamentalist Christians, who messed him up good worse than anyone ever before.
In February 2012, he had a brain haemorrhage.
That's what yodeling does to you.



Dang.




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DO YOU HAVE GREEN BACON IN YOUR FRIDGE?

Having not had any luck with the ladies in many years -- primarily because a keen sense of realism and self-preservation keeps me from even trying -- this blogger is in the perfect position to review the silly attempts that others have made to form personal links and establish stable relationships.

Some of the opening gambits they used betrayed a lack of sense:


"You want ice cream? I'll get you gallons of it!"

"Here, have a hamburger!"

"I just loooooove women who smoke cigars."


The first sentence focuses unnaturally on her eating disorder, the second limits her choices, and the third suggests that there is only one thing about her that can be considered attractive.


Most male attempts to become better acquainted with a female fumble over the sheer superficiality of the initial encounter. Looks play a key role, and consequently many men strike a creepy note.

Looks ARE important; two of my favourite phone voices belong to women several decades older than myself. You can see where that is a problem, especially because I am a typical male (pipe-smoking, Dutch-speaking, grumpy, ageist, and sexist), and would therefore be more interested in women significantly younger than myself.


Probably the best indicators of what a woman is like, and whether or not she's the right person you should be seeing, are the contents of her refrigerator.

It is always hard to ascertain this crucial data during a first meeting.

For whatever reason, women just won't tell the truth about it.

They'll never admit the chicken carcass.

Which is a week old.


Almost every woman with whom I have spoken over the years would, if pressed, have one believe that they keep fresh salad ingredients there.
As well as wholesome snacks.
Ethically sourced, organic, sensitive to nature or some such codswallop.
Or perhaps just coffee beans from Peet's, and white wine.

Not a single one would admit to stale pizza.

Or the week old chicken carcass.

And green bacon.


This morning, my apartment mate accused me of being the owner of the chicken carcass. She could not remember having put it in there over a week ago. When I pointed out that I only get smaller chicken parts, being a bachelor and therefore highly unlikely to purchase more than what can be eaten in one or two days, she finally recalled the bird.
Which was beyond redemption at this point.
As it had been for several days.
And threw it out.

Her boyfriend is unaware she does NOT purchase salad ingredients.

Or that she is maintaining a poultry morgue.

Man-o-man, that chicken.

Women!


The freezer compartment, on the other hand, is loaded with handy single-serving convenience foods and microwavables, both hers and mine.
Neither one of us is crazy.




PS.: The only reason there is no green bacon in there is that irrespective of whether either of us go on a bacon bender, the moment it starts turning colour it will get dumped.




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Monday, February 15, 2016

FAQS: ANSWERING TWENTY QUESTIONS

Often, when meeting new people, the conversation proceeds from smiling at a witty comment, to asking personal or leading questions over the course of the encounter. It is rather like dating, except that no commitments are made and no stupidity ensues.
Sometimes this leads to great friendships, often merely good-natured acquaintance.

Writing a blog is rather like that; people notice you, and start asking questions. There is often a genuine wish to know more, and usually no agenda at all is inherent in that questioning.
Sometimes there IS an agenda. Often that only becomes apparent over the course of several days or months.

I standardly assume that most people are just curious.

As the queries below will demonstrate.

All of these are real.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How old are you?
ANSWER: Not saying, as I feel a lot younger. But old enough to be an uncle.

What is your favorite pipe tobacco?
ANSWER: Too many to list, though among English-style blends Greg Pease's Westminster gets very high marks; in the Virginias I like Samuel Gawith products (Golden Glow, Best Brown Flake, Medium Virginia Flake, and St. James Flake). At present I am going through my fourth tin of Dunhill's Ready Rubbed in as many months, and also smoking some of my own concoctions.

What kind of food do you like best?
ANSWER: Noodle soup, curry, Hong Kong Chachanteng, dim sum, Chinese Bakery, and burritos. Plus junk. I love junkfood.

Are you seeing anyone, stalking anybody, or even looking for another girlfriend?
ANSWER: No to the first two, although there is a young lady in my neighborhood who is very attractive. And as for looking for another companion of the heart, intellectually I suppose I am, but I am not pursuing the matter with any great dedication.

I still believe in magic.

Are you vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, sugar-free, or kosher?
ANSWER: What I ate for dinner last night included wheat noodles, soy sauce, shellfish, and bacon. Followed by ice-cream. All while mentally beating the snot out of vegetarians, vegans, and health freaks.
But I do like to think of myself as totally kosher.
In the sense of trustworthy and reliable.
Morally and ethically kosher.

Where is the best place in Chinatown for milk-tea?
ANSWER: Consider these two: New Hollywood (荷里活茶餐廳) on Pacific, and Washington Bakery & Restaurant (華盛頓茶餐廳) on Washington.
But there are also others.

Best cheap pork siu mai?
ANSWER: New Fortune Dim Sum (富祥點心) on Stockton at Sacramento.

Best jook and yautiu?
ANSWER: I really enjoy what they sell at Yummy Dim Sum and Fast Food (金華點心快餐) on Stockton between Clay and Washington. But for sit-down table service and damned fine jook and yautiu prepared to order, go to the Utopia Cafe (蔘滿意粥) on Waverly.

Best cheap hargow?
ANSWER: Dim Sum Garden Restaurant (園林點心) on Jackson Street.

Do you date white women?
ANSWER: At present, I don't date at all. Haven't gone on a date in a very long while. Not going to waste my time on some dumbass just for nooky.
I haven't met many bright lovable women, very few who are unattached,
and none who have been insane enough to wish to date me.
The hunt for a green and scaly mutant continues.

What are your political points of view?
ANSWER: Screamingly liberal, and bloody-minded. My joints are still very flexible. Plus I justifiably regard the majority of republicans in office as morally bankrupt scum and Christians.

How do you feel about vaccination and genetically modified organisms?
ANSWER: Anti-vaxxers should be locked-up for child-endangerment. Such fools must have no place in our society. As for the anti-gmo crowd, they are largely idiots, except for the poltroons.

What is it with you and tobacco?
ANSWER: It is a close emotional bond. I frequently cry myself to sleep hugging a tobacco plant.

Are you a machine?
ANSWER: What?

Okay, yes. Yes I am. And I'm here to deliver all of you as sex-slaves to the Lizard People.

Also, I'm made of Spam™.

Is running a blog such as this difficult?
ANSWER: No.

How do I start blogging?
ANSWER: By starting.

Are you dominant or submissive?
ANSWER: What?

Do you like flat-chested women or big breasts?
ANSWER: I do not find enormity aesthetically appealling.

Do you have a large penis?
ANSWER: Some people ask far too many questions.

Still, mooooooh, ay? Mwoohohohohoo, ay? Hohohohohoho, ay?
ANSWER: Look... are you insinuating something?


REMARKS

These questions were culled over a two-year period. I always meant to answer them -- and as you may have noticed, others were dealt with at some length in previous posts -- but felt that as the subject of an essay there was not enough there for some, and loads too much for others.
I am, I believe, a very typical single man: pipe-smoking, bearded, meat-eating, and tea-swilling to a fare-thee-well. No, my taste in music does not define me. Nor are there any sports I spend time obsessing over.
I have no interest in reality shows.

If you were to ask me my favourite type of poetry, in all honesty it would be sonnets, but what I would probably say is bawdy limericks. Then spend hours trying to convince you that limericks are the highest form of literature, capable of great depth and meaning, and deeply resonant, entirely like no other verse.

I am not the man to invite along white water rafting, I shall never climb Annapurna, nor rough it in the rainforests of the Mato Grosso. I have already done a fair amount of traveling in odd places, future trips will be limited to those parts of the world where they have hotels, decent coffee or tea, tobacco, and a large number of bookstores or bucket shops.
I am not planning any voyages anytime soon.
But Oxford and Cambridge beckon.
So does Amsterdam.
And Paris.












The questions I might ask of you are: Are you seeing a doctor? Does it itch? Have you ever thought what it would feel like if it were fondled? Want to go set fire to something? Do you speak English? Do you want me to smear you all over with peach ice-cream during the hot weather?
Are you happy to see me or is that your frowny-face?
Are you an irresponsible adult?

Wanna go eat some grubs?


I have social polish, but I forgot where I put the tube.



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