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.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

THE SEWING PROJECT

Please don't mess with me when I've just finished work! As I was heading home from the bus stop, someone hollered out: "hey dude, watcha got in the Hello Kitty backpack". What I actually had in there this evening -- like all evenings, all mornings, and all the time -- was a plurality of pipes and pipe tobacco, plus pipe cleaners (both kinds), tampers, matches, aspirin, and an extra tin of small cigarillos. And pens, paper, binder clips.
But given his tone, I did not wish to explain that.
Or the operative idea behind the bag.
The why. Or the wherefore.
A gestalt.

Or, for that matter, that if anybody grabs it, I am certain I can run down the juvenile miscreant and if need be wrestle her to the ground.


"Fresh baby parts. I'm sewing them into little angels and setting them free!"


The inspired part of that answer was that I looked hugely excited while yelling at him. Like it was the very bestest idea in the world.
Why, nobody else had ever had that idea!

What does anybody have in their bag?
Whatever the bag looks like?

Stuff. They have stuff in their bag. It's none of your business, no matter how much beer you've been drinking during daylight hours.
You snozzled ex-frat boy.


It's stuff.





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TOTALLY CORNFED JED

Thanks to a link found on Facebook, I know precisely the what's and hows of vulvar haematomas. As well as the circumferential suture technique for excision of scalp tumors, and what an episiotomy is.

Along with pannus. Plural: panni, or pannuses.
An altogether useful term.
The pannus.


PANNUS

Now, when a morbidly obese person passes, I can whisper to myself "good lord would ya look at that pannus".

I do not know if I should be pleased that I know this.
Or disturbed by the vibrant images.


I was once present at the birth of a calf.
This is tangentially relevant.
I remember it well.
In detail.


It might be best if I stop drinking coffee before going to bed. Problem being that I do not want to waste the last precious waking hours of the day by sleeping. The first thing I do upon coming home from work is fix myself a nice strong cup of coffee for relaxation, and start reading.
It is a routine to which I am attached.
Stimulation, and stimulation.
Totals dynamite.

The mental visuals in my head when waking up this morning were luridly clinical, and the red arrows and Latin terms floating in the middle distance only added to that.


"This way to the pannus. It is limiting the patient's mobility; a larger panniculectomy is advisable, and will dramatically improve this cetaceatic Midwestern specimen's life."


I do not know why I assumed that the patient was from Iowa.

But I am entirely uncertain of the gender.

Because of the pannus.



All that corn. It just can't be good for you. Syrup, crackers, candies, huitlacoche, carbonated beverages, and just oodles of "bio-fuel".




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Saturday, July 30, 2016

ALL FAITHS, GENDERS, AND ETHNICITIES

Something that highlights the complete moral bankruptcy of Trump and his supporters happened Thursday evening. And was promptly mocked by Anne Coulter, a prominent spokesperson for rightwing causes and beloved of patriots everywhere. Which shows, perhaps, that the word patriot may be interpreted differently, dependent on your bearings.

Love of your country is fine. Provided you aren't really just in love with yourself. Anne Coulter loves herself too much to actually appreciate her country. Trump also loves himself. And likely only himself.

And too many conservatives love both of them.

While hating very much else.


"Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities."

-----Khizr Khan, father of Capt. Humayun Khan, graduate of the University of Virginia, killed while serving in Iraq in 2004.


I shall not quote the infandous Coulter or her repulsive hero here. You already know what she said, and what Trump represents. And, if you are reasonably intelligent, you will be now have read enough about Captain H. Khan to know how he perished.

And you've no doubt also encountered numerous ignorant comments, rife with spelling errors and bizarre assertions, while doing so.

You may have even left a dissenting remark underneath a few.

If you are angry, you have every right to be so.

Remember that in November.



Either you can chose to ignore the issues, and by doing so support the party of angry old failures, trailer park meth crazies, racists, bigots, evil real-estate developers and vicious mercenary conservative columnists, OR you can help ensure that the United States does not become a failed promise and a mockery of all of its values for at least four more years by voting Hillary in and many of our congressmen out.

It's up to you.




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Friday, July 29, 2016

DESCENDANT OF SLAVE RAIDERS AND RAPISTS

Yeah, Turkey. A rotten state with a misogynistic religious nut at its helm.
Enough has been said about that failure as a human being that it need not be repeated here, and given that the people who really should acknowledge how rotten he is as president cannot read it anyway, due to internet access being denied, and the newsmedia in his bailiwick getting clobbered into acquiescence, it would serve little purpose.


Yet Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continous to aghast.

Here is what Erdogan said today:


"It's not up to you to make that decision. Who are you? Know your place! You are taking the side of coup plotters instead of thanking this state for defeating the coup attempt."


[SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36925723.]


This in reaction to a temperate and considered observation by United States general Votel: "We have certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders - military leaders in particular. I am concerned about what the impact is on those relationships as we continue."

General Votel, and Washington, are justified in their concern.

Erdogan's crackdown has gutted the Turkish military of rational people and honourable men. As it has likewise the civilian segment of his government.

How dare that cretinous egomaniac say anything at all!


Erdogan should understand that soon he will be completely expendable, because co-operating with savages inevitably becomes too dangerous and expensive to maintain. It has been less than a month since he attempted to hold our base at Incirlik hostage, scarcely a day since thousands of his loyal idiots screamed obscenities outside the gates.

Clearly that illigitimate son of a rabid dog and a rotting pig carcass has lost all sense of reality. If his doctors cannot medicate him back to normalcy, the United States should move all staff and weaponry out of Turkey, and put Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Binali Yıldırım, all members of the AKP, and the entire staf of Yeni Şafak, on a no-fly list. These people and their repulsive kin have no business ever leaving Turkey, which should be isolated.

Trade with Turkey must be stopped until reason prevails.

Cross-border movements should be halted.

Sever all ties.




There are no Turkish diplomatic or cultural facilities in the entire San Francisco Bay Area to torch, in case you were wondering.
And the Turks who are here fled from that tyrant.
So don't get any violent ideas.
We are not like Turks.
Allah'a şükür!



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WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

There are just some things that men can do better than women, ladies, and the sooner you recognize that little fact, the better. Your lives will be much simpler, and there will finally be a balance in the world.
A great and soothing peace will spread.
You'll find meaning in life.
And also love.

Lots and lots of love.


We leak better standing up than you. Okay, I'll admit that some of you have figured out how to do it with dignity, but most of you fail at it.

The upside to your failure is, of course, a dry bathroom floor, but hey, into each life a little rain must fall. Right?


Another thing at which we're usually better is finding the fly of our boxer shorts. Unless it's not there. Which is sometimes what it feels like, when the 'A' shirt has, due to hang-drying, become elongated over time, and covers it mostly up. At which point the "window of opportunity" shrinks. That being the space wherein one can arrange "things" so that one can take a leak standing up without panicking and fumbling like a madman.

Some of my 'A' shirts are getting too damned long. They're practically dresses. I can probably answer the front door wearing nothing but one of those things without upsetting anyone.
They're very modest.


There were 3 times yesterday when I could have used some help.



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Thursday, July 28, 2016

ANOTHER GREAT WHITE MAN SHOWS YOU HOW IT'S DONE

Remember The Last Samurai? That was a 2003 movie in which some doofus white guy becomes a super Jap after the American Civil War. The premise behind a movie like that is typically Hollywood, and based on the assumption that a whole bunch of moist-in-their-panties twenty-something white chicks won't watch an Asian man doing something spectacular, and an equivalent number of teenage white boys of all ages cannot possibly identify with a macho studmuffin doing boffo sh*t who is of another race.

So, Tom Cruise ends up saving the poor little Japanese from themselves and ushering in a golden age of modernization, or some such crap.

The Karate Kid for grown-ups.

Fast forward.


THE GREAT WALL

Quote from Angry Asian Man:

"Directed by Zhang Yimou, and touted as the most expensive Chinese movie of all time, the movie stars a long-haired Matt Damon alongside Chinese superstars like Andy Lau, Luhan and Jing Tian, in a crazy-ass smoke and spears and fire and arrows battle on the Great Wall against fire-breathing dragons."

"you can set a story anywhere in the world, in any era of history, and Hollywood will still somehow find a way for the movie to star a white guy."

[SOURCE: MATT DAMON SAVES CHINA!]


Guys? Hey guys!?! If I really want to see a cheesecake white guy do some splendid sh*t, I'll watch Tarzan, okay?!?

That, or 'Pygmy Island'.


I can think of at least a dozen Cantonese actors who are one hundred times better than Matt Damon. Obviously they're writing this for a white audience that creams all over their seats every time they see Matt Damon, so does he at least take his clothes off?

Apparently this stinker is set to open in February next year.

I can't wait to avoid it like the plague.

Y'all are nuts.




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AN IMAGINARY INDOOR BEACH

All last week and this the news and social media have been filled with mentions of the meetings of competing branches of Hello Kitty Freaks Anonymous in Cleveland and Philadelphia. It has been rather trying.
There have been riots. And flags have been burned.
Rights trampled on. Mice disgruntled.


You're probably as sick of it all as I am, right?


Too many damned rodents out there. And, while I sympathize with the mice, their agitation is not, strictly speaking, something that moves me much. Other than the opportunities for irritating rabid mouse freaks on social media by snide commentary, there is little in it for me.

Instead, I have been avidly observing fat Midwestern tourists, bird-like Cantonese Americans, red-headed conures, and urban seagulls.

Plus smoking my pipe and indulging in warm beverages.

This is demonstrably far more worthwhile.

It is not bikini weather in the city.

Except indoors, it never is.


Think about that.





Favourite perch: a corner in a bakery not far from the park
A lovely beverage and a snackipoo first.
Followed by a stroll.


I should have brought along the teddy bear for company.



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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

NIHILISTS AND STRANGERS IN THE ALPS

This blogger has, quite unjustly and inaccurately, been called 'Buster'. Which is unfair. I am in many ways quite unlike Buster from Arrested Development, and much much more like Walter Sobchak from The Big Lebowski. I cannot identify with Buster in any way.

Primarily because, unlike a gentleman who is a regular visitor to this blog (Mastick), I am not passionately interested in Ms. Liza Minelli.
Mastick himself may actually be channelling for Buster.
And probably put these words into his mouth.


"I want to see what happened to my sweet girlfriend Liza Minnelli. I want to know what happened to my woman."


Sweet Jayzus!

In this life, who can ever say that someone, anyone, is "his" woman?
I had a woman once. I took her to see India, at The Oval.
We split up.

Walter Sobchak would offer this in lieu of that: "You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me."

Nah, I'll pass on the toe. It's all or nothing. In this case, nothing.

"Eventually she'll get sick of Wheelie Boy and, you know, might wander on back."

That's not how it works, Walter. Splitsville is for keeps. And in any case I've gotten over it, I keep my eyes open. She and Wheelie Boy can be a lovely dysfunctional couple now. That previous situation is a gilded memory, a fondly remembered part of the past, but it's gone.

"When you split up, you turn in your library card?"

No, Walter, you just don't get it, do you?

"I would like my undies back."

That makes one of us.

Only one.


INTERRUPTION FOR CHEERFUL WAR MUSIC!

[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rODFb8YJP9E.]

Regarding the series Arrested Development, reader Mastick drew my attention to an article on Time Inc's website:

"The Emmy winner was discussing his character Buster Bluth’s affair with the very bedazzled, very vertigo-afflicted Lucille Austero, played by Minnelli. Netflix previously resurrected the cult comedy, and on Thursday, the Veep star reunited with his Arrested co-star Will Arnett for photos.

Asked if another season of the show could actually happen, Hale reveals he doesn’t know any more than the rest of us. "It’s a lot of scheduling. A lot of people are doing different stuff and it’s nine people to get together.
I really want to see where the story continues."
"
End quote

---Tony Hale, speaking as Buster.


Although the possibility of a fifth season is very good news, this proves beyond a shadow of any possible doubt that I am not Buster.
For one thing, I do not look like him.
At all.


PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF

Here's a picture of me:


And here's a picture of Buster:


See? No resemblance whatsoever. From which one can deduce that while I have tremendous respect for Ms. Liza Minelli and her entire oeuvre, I am just not obsessed by her, and quite uninterested.


I cannot possibly imagine her delivering these lines:

"Donny was a good bowler, and a good man; he was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors, and bowling, and as a surfer he explored the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and up to Pismo. He died like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh (*), at Longdoc, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives. And so would Donny. Donny, who loved bowling. And so, Theodore Donald Karabatsos, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well. 
Good night, sweet prince."


The cheery martial music came about because I had been watching the Knights Who Say 'Ni' on youtube, and one of the things suggested for my viewing please in the sidebar was "We Are Coming Father Abraham". All of this was on the third screen, while I was reading the Time article on the second. It seemed extremely appropriate.

I cannot explain the Walter Sobchack thing.
That's just a mental blip.

Ni.




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CRAZIES ON FACEBOOK

Sometime between last Friday and this morning, a person (FL) whom I have known for a decade unfriended me on Facebook. Well dang. Perhaps it was my somewhat irritated responses to the Republican racists whom he also knows -- they share some ideology in common -- or my ire at having to put up with his occasional Muslim-hating rants. Or his snide comments about Oaklanders blocking freeways. Or his passionate defense of the police; all the police.


Over the years I likewise have unfriended people with whom there are points of disagreement. Often it has been because of stupidity, bigotry, and political ideology. During the last Gaza-Israel fracas, I unfriended over a dozen, and when Bibi decided to meddle in United States politics, several more followed.

Republicans stand a very good chance of unfriending.
So do readers of the Jerusalem Post.
And most Vegans.


The recent 'unfriendly' and I have three FeeBeeFs in common. There would have been many more, but unfortunately most members of the pro-Israel side with whom I used to associate have been permanently put on my "do not disturb any further list" in the last seven years.
As well as supporters of Shas.
And diverse others.


Abe
Alon
Amit
Ari
Avigdor
Barry
Baruch
Bea
Bentziyon
Berny
Chayim
Chris
David
Dove
Drorit
Eli
George
Haim
Hezzy
Ivan
J.J.
Jack
Jack
Joshua
Justin
Kovel
Mark
Mathew
Melody
Melvin
Miriam
Mordechai
Nachman
Nancy
Pavel
Pinchas
Randy
Reuven
Rivki
Robin
Robin
Robert
Robert
Robert
Ron
Shanie
Sherman
Shimon
Shloime
Shlomo
Shlomo
Shmuel
Shoshana
Simcha
Toviah
Thyme
Yaakov
Yank
Yerach
Yevgeny
Yoisif
Yosef
Zach
Zeb


Part of surviving in this world is knowing whom to avoid. That includes all people with blinkers, jackasses, narrow-minded dingos, vegans, hysterics, true believers, drug addicts, obsessives, and anyone who does not know how to use a frying pan.

"... when my life story is ended, on up to heaven I'll go; I'll sit on the edge of creation, and drop turds on you buggers below"

------American folk song


Oh, and anti-tobacco activists.
Plus those who turn.

[The actual pro-Israel group no longer exists in any case; after I disassociated myself the boobies took over completely, and it fell apart. I have not been to a counter-protest or passover seder in years.]

People who are merely neurotic are safe.
I can always find things to overlook.
As I hope they likewise do.

Zay gezunt.



PS: If you are on this list and I have typed your name wrong, sorry.
It won't happen again.



Update as of 10:30 AM: Just unfriended Susan S. in Jerusalem; she's gone full-on Clinton-hating Trumpite batshit.



Update as of December 29, 2016 (8:14 PM): Just cut contact with four more (Akiva, Ben, Bert, and another Moshe), and I note on Facebook that three other sterling people have "distanced" themselves.
They were probably Netanyahu fans.
Like the four I just nixed.
Oh damn well.



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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

AROMATIC TOBACCO SICKNESS

One of the very few female pipesmokers is on Facebook. Where, in the context of several FB pipe fora, I often end up commenting underneath some of her posts. She's a very chipper borderline goth with lovely pipes.
Regrettably, she smokes flavoured tobacco. Which may be her way of resisting the inexorable march toward crusty old bastard that seems to mark so many pipesmokers.

Not me, please understand, because I am a lovable and ever-upbeat gentleman possessed of eternal youth. Who is altogether the right person to know, introduce to your younger relatives, or have squire you to the museum or the prom. Everybody will be SO impressed!
Hawt! And cheerful!
Dang!


But I can understand her fear. I know several pipesmokers who seem to be in their nineties, who with their toothless rotting gums clenched tremblingly around an encrusted stem will dodderingly light up something strong and foul, then drool, hack, spit, and start mumbling smack about everybody under seventy.

While totally ignoring the hot Filipina nurse who wheeled them out to the distant alleyway so that both of them can enjoy a nice smoke away from the eyes of their savage bitch supervisors at the facility.
Never ignore the hot Filipina nurse.
Stupid old fart.

She doesn't want to end up like them.
Understandably.

Hi Mary.


Aromatics?


Over the years I have smoked or experimented with several such things.
In no particular order: Erinmore Flake, Clan, Niemeijer's Scottish Mixture, Niemeijer's Irish Mixture, Troost, Sail Aromatic, Amphora Aromatic, Blue Note, Da Vinci, 1792 Flake, Perfection, Grousemoor, Sherlock Holmes, Germain's Plum Cake, BCA, 1Q, Seven Seas Royal, Savinelli Aroma, Borkum Riff Bourbon Whiskey, Borkum Riff Special No. 8, Ennerdale Flake, St. Bruno, Flying Dutchman, Stanwell Vanilla, Mellow Mack, Cherry Ambrosia, Sutliff up the wazzoo, Skandinavik, everything under the Larsen name .....

Cherry Cordial, Peaches And Cream, Caramel, Coffee Toffee, Berry Strudel, plus several English things that smelled like blue-haired old lady.

And a whole range of crap made for Peterson by Orlik.

Most aromatics are pretty rancid.

Some are good.


I have a fondness for the Sam Gawith tobaccos mentioned above, as well as good memories of Niemeijer stuff (among my first forays into tobacco), and Erinmore Flake is one of my nasty secrets.

Underneath my civilized veneer, sometimes I'm a fruity pervert.

Aromatics are a sign of the End Times.

A mark of the beast.


For a very long time I only smoked medium or full Latakia mixtures, nowadays my pipes more often see Virginias or Virginia and Perique compounds. The two most degenerate things I've done recently are trying out versions of a new blend by Lane (very sweet grape syrup aroma, no actual tobacco flavour), and eight bowls of steamed cigar leaf in one day, which left me with a nicotine hangover van jewelste.



AFTERWORD

This past Sunday I purchased another tin of Russ Oullette's version of Bengal Slices. Which is, clearly, a topped substance. But I find it quite enjoyable, and fear that the FDA's new regulations will nix it along with many other fine smoking products.

In the past two weeks I've smoked several bowls of Back Down South, made for BriarWorks by Cornell & Diehl. A rather strong-minded VaPer, with a note of clove spritzed over it, and possibly something citrus.

For much of the past year I've been alternating Rattrays with one of my own more recent blends: three different Virginias, perique, and two other tobaccos to balance it out; a pure unsullied mixture.

Plus Dunhill Ready Rubbed.




TOBACCO INDEX


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I AM NOT WITH BERNIE

Ever since Wikileaks, which at present is a wholly owned arm of the Kremlin, released what it hacked from the Democratic Party, Berniacs have been screaming bloody murder and having a monumental hissy fit.
It revived their movement, while benefiting the Republicans.

Many Berniacs insist that they will NEVER vote for Hillary.

You know something?

Screw them.


I do not dislike Sanders, and I appreciated the tone of ultra-liberal anger that his campaign injected into what was otherwise going to be a rather dull choice between sense and stupidity, but let's face it: he's a luftmensh.
And he's come out in favour of Hillary.

With strong statements:


"If you don't believe this election is important, if you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate and what that would mean to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country."


"If you look at one issue after the other issue in terms of who the candidate is that we need to lead this country, there is no debate."


"Our job is to do two things: to defeat Donald Trump, and to elect Hillary Clinton."


"Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States!"


[Bernard Sanders, July 25, 2016.]


Actually, this is some of the best stuff Bernie has ever said. And I totally agree, because if Donald Trump ever becomes president, we are all screwed, and we can kiss America as we know it goodbye.
Above all, we must defeat the Republicans in November.

Hillary Clinton is the revolution we need.


I'm with Bernie.



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Monday, July 25, 2016

ONE OF YOUR PEOPLE!

After seeing a big-boobied blonde from the Midwest go all weepy over dead fish on teevee, she exclaimed "one of YOUR people!" The dead fish being the dinner that several people were eating. Apparently the woman was "mostly a vegetarian". Tears, sadness, poor dead fish.

Then blondie went berserk over the tiger prawns. With the heads still on.
Staring at her. With their cold dead eyes.

At this point my apartment looked at me with flabberdeghastion, and exclaimed in an exasperated way: "your people are too damned weird".


I am a Caucasian. She is Cantonese American. Getting emotional about deceased ocean dwellers which are exceptionally good to eat is NOT a Chinese thing (well, may those Mandarin-speaking northerners, who are strange), and seems to be limited entirely to crazy white folks.
What she refers to accusatorily as my people.

Sorry, no. My people are not flaming idiots.
And as far as I know not vegetarians.
Although some are blonde.
No vegans.


"Your people are too weird!"


Personally, I've got nothing against vegetarians. Two or three of my best friends are thus afflicted. But they are mostly normal in almost every other way.

The only VEGAN that I know that I know (a college girl in the East Bay whom I haven't seen in over three years) would probably not go weepy, but she might pick up the large deceased prawn-American, and in a squeaky voice mime it indignantly accusing the rest of us of murder most foul, and demand justice.
Then she'd cunningly turn her fork and a paper napkin into a protest sign, and try to organize a march for crustacean dignity down the centre of the dinner table.
Or have it fling boiled broccoli at us.
She calls fish "sea kittens".

Prawns are probably "sea hamsters"

Please don't eat sea hamsters!
Cuddly them fondly!
Pets!




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Sunday, July 24, 2016

SOUR SHRIMP CURRY: URANG ASEM

Mentioning sambar-idli (yesterday evening) and curry powder (this morning) reminded me of something I have always liked, which is criminally easy to make: shrimps in tamarind curry gravy.


URANG ASEM

Chop a few shallots fine, fry them in an enamel stew pot with two or three tablespoons of oil till gilded, adding a little ginger and garlic at the right time. Add three or four chopped seeded tomatoes, cook down till pasty. Add coarsely chopped fresh green chilies and a splash of water, cook down again; the smell of frying chilies should be noticeable. Now add one and a half tablespoons of curry powder, OR one tablespoon ground coriander seed, one teaspoon turmeric, a little freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir briefly to mix it up, and pour in a cup of strong tamarind water and a generous splash of fish stock.
At this time you should add a tablespoon of sambal oelek.
Sriracha hot sauce can be used instead.

Simmer it all down to an oily gravy consistency. Dump in a pound of large cleaned shrimp, cook for a minute or two longer, then turn off.


Throwing in some chopped zucchini to cook before putting the shrimp in the pot is a good idea, as the green with red is spectacular.


Adding a splash of orange juice to the pot at the same time as the sambal gives a subtle citrus undertone.


Now you probably understand why you should use an enamel pot; the dish is that acidic that it will strip the seasoning from your cast-iron, or take on flavour from stainless steel. In the old country (not mine, but someone else's) locally made clay pots would always be used.


Serve with rice that has a layer of krik krik on the bottom.


Please be advised that if you eat this all by yourself, you will suffer gout. Which is not pleasant. There should be another person at the table.




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THE SPICE MUST FLOW!

This blogger is obsessed with Koon Yick Wah Kee Curry Powder (冠益華記咖喱粉). The jar I bought about a month or two ago is empty, and no replacement can be found in any of the usual places.
Which is peculiar, and disconcerting.
I wish to buy two more jars.

Part of my obsession is because it comes in glass jars with red plastic tops, which are quite perfect for tobacco samples after a thorough rinse.
In the past mayonnaise also came in such jars (blue lids), and since they switched to plastic containers I have consumed far less mayo.

I hope Koon Yick Wah Kee does not switch to plastic; turmeric bleeds right through that material and leaves a stickiness on the outside.


冠益華記

This is what Koon Yick Wah Kee manufactures: 豆豉, 咖喱, 芥末, 醋, 辣椒醬, 海鮮醬, 蠔油, 沙茶醬, 蝦醬, 醬油, & 痲辣醬。
Fermented black beans, curry, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, satay sauce, shrimp sauce, soy sauce.
And sesame paste.

As you can see, all the building blocks of civilization.

So why has their curry powder disappeared?

It is a very good powder.


MISC. DATA

Koon Yick Wah Kee Factory,: 26 Luk Mei Tsuen Road, Ho Chung Village, Sai Kung Peninsula, New Territories, Hong Kong.
冠益華記廠: 新界, 西貢, 蠔涌, 鹿尾村26號。
Northeast of Kowloon, just beyond Horse Piss Water.
Before you get to the Fox's Head.

I should not spend a moment longer without my curry powder.
It is an intolerable hardship.



AFTERWORD

Yes yes, I know that Indians NEVER use curry powder, nor do South East Asians. Everything is prepared to suit specific dishes, by mom in the kitchen, lovingly, every day. No exceptions.

Nor do you have to inform me that curry powder was a strictly English invention (it wasn't, being actually more like the Malay and Indonesian mixture of spices), OR that it's a variant on garam masala (which is also not true; garam masala doesn't have turmeric, and does have several aromatic dark spices which curry powder lacks).

Think of it instead as a distant relative of bottle masala.
Very well suited for cooking beef.
Or pork.


I do not have a tjobek.
In case you wondered.



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Saturday, July 23, 2016

KABALI: A MOVIE BY AND FOR IDLI SNARFING TEENAGERS

Please know that this blogger has nothing against either idlis, OR teenagers. Both of them are very fine indeed, and it is only right that they be harmoniously combined. Idli snarfing teenagers (of whichever shape) are altogether splendid and indubitably make the world a better place.
One of these days I might run across either item.
This is San Francisco, it's possible.
Though not likely.

No, I had no idea who Rajinikanth was, nor that he had made a movie.
Apparently he has made a few previously too.
Which I had never heard of.

Kabali is a movie in which an aging gangster plays an aging gangster.
It's got songs. He is much loved. People are swooning.


Except for this dude.

Raven r12 wrote:
"this is a typical south indian dogshit garbage movie i cant believe how stupid Indian audience is for a 70 year old fossil who looks like a beggar in real life trying to look younger in every movie with his retarted spastic mannerisms and idiotic dialogues south Indians are the dumbest race in India or the world they make the stupidest movies they have the ugliest stars and the dumbest movies ever made fuck all of them and this stupid ridiculous movie idiot fanboys"

In response, Alvinmathew0212 wrote:
"Lmao this fucktard is mad because he's knows what's coming. He knows that rajini is about to end a lot of Bollywood films box office records. Btw why do you differentiate between north and south? We are all Indians you BASTARD[ I am 100% positive that you are bastard you chuthiya] first go and be a human and then walk around with your being human shirt made by your murderor salman khan. We support a down to earth man ( rajini) who is probably one of the kindest human in the world while you and your chuthiya family support that murderor salman. Go get a life faggot"

Related thereto, Nakul Garg wrote:
"Still better than Grandpa Vin Diesel who doesn't knw shit abt acting"

Ganesh Vaidyanath:
"Rajinikanth is not old."

S. Das:
"stop behaving like a hoard!"

Torik Ahmed:
"I watched lingaa , then able to understand why people have craz for Rajni"


And, critically, Ashish Karbor opined:
"how the hell can anyone like this man!! Doesn't have looks...Can't act at all.. giving some stupid ass overacting expressions..plus tooo old to do fight scenes like this"


I've seen the trailer/teaser for the movie. It looks remarkably silly and over-the-top, and may very well be rock 'em sock 'em entertainment and an all-round good time; gushing testosterone out the wazzoo.

But at present I have no intention of finding out.

Hormonally charged teenagers: no.

Sambar-Idli: yes.



FYI: the Telugu translation of 'magizhchi' is 'munchidi', but the actual meaning is 'santosham'. Which is crucial information. Several people have asked. Their happiness in the afterglow of watching the movie depended upon the answer, they were bereft.




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Friday, July 22, 2016

IT STINKS OF CIGARS AND CORPULENT RUMPS HERE

Yesterday evening became enjoyable once I found the decent folks.
Who, unfortunately, weren't present when first I ambled in.

There were several small clusters in the place where I went for a smoke, many of which consisted partly or entirely of people I knew.

One can, surprisingly, be alone in crowd.


At this point I think I'll avoid the place for a while. Apparently I am not up to snuff as far as one group is concerned, although they did happily invite a crazy person to join them. Another group vastly preferred to spend their time while huffing cigars by playing Pokemon Go and making snide comments.


During my second pipe I ended up next to secular humanists and skeptics.
That conversation was enjoyable.


I still find it remarkable that the first group I mentioned clearly found a crazy person preferable. It diminishes the respect I had for some of the people involved, and I now suspect them of superficialist value judgments.
I am just default company, for when fewer people are around.
Strange crazy gentlemen are quite palatable.
If they smoke cigars.

Good luck with that, boys.




The weather is quite bearable at this time of year, and although parks are off limits to anyone enjoying a pipe, it is very well possible to find places to sit in the evening where no screaming anti-smoking fiends will harass one.
A little uphill from either Polk or Powell is good; the party butterflies, drunks, and bums, will not venture there.

I seriously doubt that I'll run into cigar aficionados while wandering around Nob Hill and Chinatown. Which is a damned good thing.


The 'Oxxy' always leaves me depressed now.




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TRUMP AND A SAFER AMERICA

Actually, I feel pretty safe right now. I don't know how much less safe I'll feel when Trump makes this country safer. Given that mr. Trump hates so many different groups, I'm afraid I'll be black and poor when he is the president, as well as far too Mexican for comfort. Buenos dias señores, yo soy un gardenerero con leafblower.
Please don't shoot!

I am not under threat by Islamists, immigrants, and trade deals that have screwed American workers. Which means to say I am not either the gun collecting lawyer in the East Bay, or the allergic to everything Jewish lesbian cat lady. Who smokes too much pot.

I do not wish to build a wall.


I'm feeling rather pretty.


And I've got fish.




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Thursday, July 21, 2016

TOTALLY UNRELATED TO THE CONVENTION ...

If by now you are sick and tired of news involving human sacrifice and witch-burnings, or whatever else went on at the Republican group-grope in Cleveland, this post is for you.


Dinner tonight was exquisite!


Steamed pork hash with ginger and dried fish, stirfried mustard stalks (芥菜 'gaai choi'), and noodles. Plus gollops of hot sauce and a glass of strong coffee.

It took approximately fifteen minutes to slap together.


咸魚蒸肉餅
DRIED FISH STEAMED PORK HASH
['haahm yü jing yiuk beng']

The steamed pork hash was the most complicated part. Half a pound of ground fatty pork (梅頭豬肉碎 'mui tau chü yiuk seui'), mixed with a little five spice powder (五香粉 'ng heung fan') and a dash of rice wine (米酒 'mai jau'), mooshed onto an oiled plate, finely minced ginger (姜絲 'geung si') strewn over, five slices dried fish (鹹魚 'haam yü') on top, and into the steamer for a scant ten minutes.

That's so easy even a complete non-cook can do it.


NOTES: 

梅頭豬肉碎 is ground pork shoulder or Boston Butt. It's fattier than regular leanish ground pork, and consequently yields a sweeter juicer steamed patty. Which is what you want.

The noodles were dried estuarine scallop mein (江瑤柱麵 'gon yiu chyu min'), which is both yummy and toothsome.

The hot sauce was Sriracha. Of course.

Stalky mustard (芥菜 'gaai choi') is utterly delicious.
And hard to bollix up. Unless you're too white.
In which case, you are in Cleveland.
And probably slug-like.
Or reptilian.


The coffee was dark-roasted Celebes, with a dollop of sweetened condensed milk (煉奶 'lin naai') in the bottom of the glass.

Now, time to go out for a smoke.

Flue-cured leaves.
And Perique.



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TOO MANY SPEECHES, AND FINGERS!

Like everybody else, I have been watching the Republican convention trainwreck, and listening to speaker after speaker praise the Donald.
And his wisdom. And perspicacity. And beautiful delicate hands.

Personally, I don't get it. His hands are indeed small, but kind of pudgy, and those little stubby fingers are obscene. They resemble wobbly little Vienna sausages, fresh out of the can, with the congealed broth jelly still adhering, that you would never want touching you, and fondling you all over, creepily palpitating, and massaging your ...
But they do. Passionately.

Scott Baio, Chris Cox, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Tiffany Trump, Doctor Ben Carson,  Charlie Manson  Willie Robertson, Mark Geist, and the entire city of Cleveland.


Here is a condensed version of everything.

WE LOVE YOU!


[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t4ldWkqomk.]


The reality was worse. Much worse.

For a nearly ten minute foretaste of the final evening's giddy festivities at the 2016 Republican National Convention, AND what four years of Trump as president of the United States and Commander in Chief would be like, let me present the following:

NET WEIGHT: 1.42 KILOS


[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVza_AnhQ3E.]


Congealed fat, and goo.
Donald Trump's fingers.


Only YOU can prevent a tangerine-faced ferret-wearing cocksplat from becoming president. Just remember that.




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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

GOVERNMENTAL IDIOCY REGARDING SMOKING

You may have heard a lot about the new FDA "deeming regulations" about tobacco recently. But if you are not a smoker, it may not have made much a blip on your consciousness.

Apparently, pipes are tobacco products.
Per the bozos.


THE FDA WIPES A HOLE IN THE GROUND


[SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hbrzr4KEWk&feature=share.]



The FDA, co-opted and egged on by the anti-tobacco fascists, would like to shut down manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, of tobacco products and implements. Tobacco has few friends among politicians, most of whom would rather prostitute themselves to the fanatics than actually stand up for common sense and the common man.

You can get endorsements from any number of busybodies by slamming tobacco, but when you defend a fond hobby that brings pleasure to millions and employs millions more -- meaning pipes and cigars -- your political career will be over.

Without tobacco, our country would not exist. It was that specific cash crop that enabled us, and largely fueled the push westward.



When your politician comes back from Washington, kindly remind him that he or she is a miserable cretin who should be horsewhipped.
The same for the FDA bureaucrats behind this.
As well as puritans.



PS: whips don't kill people; people kill people.




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THE SHORT AND THE SWEET OF IT

Sometimes this blogging platform fails. One should not take it personally. An essay I posted earlier today, because of a glitch, got deleted. No big loss, it was similar to my other blathering
I had reacted to Chinese people protesting outside of KFC and McDonalds because they are pissed at a recent ruling by a United Nations panel. And those two fast-food franchises are, remarkably, the nearest representations of or stand-ins for Filipinos in mainland China.

There was also implied snarkiness at versions of Chinese food that weren't Cantonese, as well as sneering at Americans in MethLab-i-stan.

Everything you would expect from this blog in other words.


Nothing is ever permanently lost here, the same silliness will crop up again, the same ideas will be re-hashed, and the same Russian search-engines will try to seed the comments.


I quoted approvingly from Xinhua, The China Dail, and The People's Daily. Which is not something I normally do.


And probably shan't do again.


The gist of the post was that Northern Chinese are rather goofy, American fast food is crap, and the people in the fly-overs are reprehensibly ignorant. Yes, you've seen that here before. It's gone, so please imagine it instead.


Heading out to snack on dimsum soon.
Cantonese food is stupendous.
Filipino good also.




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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

WHO'S ON FIRST?

After reading an article on a clickbait site about first dates that went completely wrong, I realized that none of that applied to me. A long time ago I already had exceptionally acute weirdo radar, and having been single for the past several years in today's San Francisco, that weirdo radar has come back full force, improved, and absolutely totally rocks.
Which is a good thing, because this city is full of it.

Nah, no point in detailing the stuff on that site. Suffice to say that there are some pretty darn dysfunctional folks out there. Who are ... single.

At least I hope they still are.


Many people do not understand the purpose of the first date.


Which is to ascertain how you like your coffee (or other preferred non-alcoholic beverage of whatever temperature), what books you read, and whether you have any food-related hang-ups that preclude social eating.
Also, largely, it's an opportunity to weed out people who hide a streak of insanity a mile wide.

Remarkably, this is also the motivation of the second date.

As well as the third, and several more.


Done properly, you will end up with a man or a woman with whom it is fun to have coffee or other beverages while talking about books and food.
Which is what it's all about in any case.


Given that this is San Francisco, it will not surprise you that there have been no first dates, and even fewer second dates.
I drink a lot of coffee (and other non-alcoholic beverages), but there is nothing romantic about it.
There's nothing to see here, just move along.


Should I ever say "let's go have coffee", you'll know it's pretty serious.


AFTERWORD

I tend to avoid Starbucks, Peets, and the coffee shops in North Beach, largely because of idiots, dweebs, and artistic types. A long time ago there was a place in my neighborhood with bookshelves and several hundred things to read. When I was still living in North Beach I would occasionally seek refuge there on rainy evenings, and spend a few hours devouring Maigret and Sam Spade, or travel books.
They no longer exist.

The Trieste, on Vallejo and Grant, is a nice place, but unfortunately there are artistic individualists in permanent residence who still recognize me, but cannot remember that the last time we met I indicated that I was not at all enjoying their attempts at conversation, their company, or even having them in the same city block as myself at that moment. This precludes going to the place with the best lattes in town.

The great thing about bakeries in Chinatown is that it takes years for any of the regulars to ever recognize the visiting kwailos, even longer before they say anything.

I've stopped going to any of the places on Polk Street.
Far too many people with electronics.
No Chinese pastries.




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A THUG FROM KASIMPAŞA

News from Europe informs that Erdogan's goons are threatening Turkic citizens of Holland, Belgium, and Germany. Which the relevant European governments could have expected after they shamelessly voiced their support for his clique during the recent alleged attempted coup, and called upon the Turks to respect the rule of law; Erdogan's law.

Clearly this "coup" was engineered by Erdogan to provide an excuse for a crackdown. Recent political arrests include not only soldiers -- many of whom weren't even remotely involved -- but also large numbers from the judiciary, the intelligentsia, and the fourth estate. That this would happen should have been obvious to the democratic nations.


Now that the last hope of avoiding a dictatorship has been crushed, with Western collusion, darkness is descending upon Istanbul.


Naturally the Turks themselves deserve much if not quite all of the blame. Precautionarily expelling Erdogan's violence-prone supporters from Holland, Belgium, and Germany, would protect any Turkic citizens living there, and prevent Ankaran agents and provocateurs from engaging in political skulduggery in European cities.

There should be no place, nor any tolerance, for members of the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi in civilized countries.

Erdogan is purging Turkey of everyone who opposes him.
The west should correspondingly purge his partisans.


Unless, of course, we're sleeping with him.



AFTER THOUGHT

I do not normally castigate the current United States administration, but in this particular case Kerry laid an egg. And, after Turkey's attempted blackmail over the weekend involving the Incirlik Air Base, it should be clear that our long relationship with Ankara is over. It was never a real friendship, more an opportunistic understanding with thieves, but we should not fool ourselves into thinking that there was commonality or amity between us. Turkey hasn't been a partner since 2003.
Their government actively sabotaged our side.
Not once, but repeatedly.


Leave.


Teşekkürler beyler, harika olmuş.




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Monday, July 18, 2016

I AM NOT BUSTER

On the sixteenth and seventeenth of July, reader Mastick left comments underneath essays here begging for a disquisition in Talmudic terms with analogies and analyses of Liza Minelli and her body of work.
Lord help me, the only things that come to mind are Cabaret and Arrested Development. She was delightful in Arrested Development, but if there was anyone in that series I might wish to know Talmudically, it would be Alia Shawkat (Mae "Maeby" Fünke).
Who was one hot and dangerous vixen.
A complete con-artist to boot.

Yeah, okay, I'll admit that the round-faced Christian religious nut chick, Ann Veal (Mae Whitman), who goes through life under a multitude of affectionate nicknames ("Bland", "Egg", "Elk", "Ham", "Moo", "Plant", "Plain", "Yam", & "Ann Hog"), bestowed on her by appreciative adults, also has a certain fay charm. If you like passionate Protestants.


But yowza, Maeby was smoking!


What with being a pipe-collector, and heavily committed to a tobacco enjoyment life style, you can probably understand why I like women who are smoking.


So, I'm sorry Mastick, there is nothing I can do.
Liza is not part of my anschauungswelt.


Maeby possibly likes cigars.
Probably Nicaraguans.
Oliva, Series V.




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POKEMON GO BUMP

Random internet nugget: "Gastrointestinal stasis (GI stasis) is a serious and potentially fatal condition that occurs when gut motility is severely reduced and possibly completely stopped. When untreated or improperly treated, GI stasis can be fatal in as little as 24 hours." End quote.

To the best of my knowledge, this is not a problem for pocket monsters.

But it is common in sluggish young couch-Americans.

Symptom: no appetite for pizza.


Thank providence for Pokemon-Go. It's a potential life saver. Finally these noble, enormous, and largely sedentary walrus-like creatures, have to move around and stop texting or posting selfies!

Most of them realize that crossing freeways to capture pocket monsters is a bit risky, but several don't. The highway patrol is warning drivers about random behemoths on the roadway.


This has been a public service announcement.


Exercise is good for you.


Nits.





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Sunday, July 17, 2016

GOOD DANG EVENING!

Three police officers were whacked in Baton Rouge today, and an internet acquaintance sneeringly commented that he supposed that I approved, seeing as I have made positive remarks about the general message of Black Lives Matter. I have just defriended the son-of-a-bitch.

If you are stopped by the police, you do NOT want to be black. In fact, if you are white, you will likely feel damned glad that you are white at that moment.

If you were a cop who was shot be a perp, very likely you also don't want to be black.


Hell, whatever is happening to you, you might not want to black.


QUOTE:

Cancer is the second leading cause of death for both non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites. However, in 2001, the age-adjusted incidence per 100,000 population was substantially higher for black females than for white females for certain cancers, including colon/rectal (54.0 versus 43.3), pancreatic (13.0 versus 8.9), and stomach (9.0 versus 4.5) cancers. Among males, the age-adjusted incidence was higher for black males than for white males for certain cancers, including prostate (251.3 versus 167.8), lung/bronchus (108.2 versus 72.8), colon/rectal (68.3 versus 58.9), and stomach (16.3 versus 10.0) cancers.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death for both non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites (Table). However, during 1999--2002, non-Hispanic black males and females aged 20--74 years had higher age-adjusted rates per 100,000 population of hypertension than their white counterparts (36.8 versus 23.9 for males; 39.4 versus 23.3 for females).


[SOURCE: Health Disparities; Black or African Americans; CDC.]


Diet and (access to) healthcare are influenced by a variety of factors.
As are arrest rates and death-by-law-enforcement rates.
Income levels are also a significant part.
We haven't solved racism.




Another friend posted a sneering anti-Obama comment coupled with praise for Putin. Seeing as I already know that she is more or less mentally not quite up to code, other than discommending her for her vile anti-American tendencies, I ignored it. She lives in Israel now, and I hope she won't vote in our election. Having made aliyah, it's none of her damn bidniz.
I am tired of Israelis having any opinions at all.
But especially about our president.
Please shut up.




Final note: Trump, Putin, and Erdogan are far too fond of goats.





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