Saturday, December 31, 2016


Like everyone, I like scoring in the top percentile. And this year, after all is said and done, and as the year winds to a close, I did just that!
It's something with which to celebrate a beginning.

Normally I associate New Year's eve with both pleasure and sadness, as it was the day when my ex and I first dated, and, as you will understand, we are no longer an item (though still friends) and in consequence the anniversary brings up a mixed cocktail of feelings and memories.
In the years since we split, I have not found anyone new.

This is San Francisco, so it just isn't very likely I will.

Besides, middle-aged men with neat little goatees and fairly decent looks are seldom date material in any case, more the avuncular type, though if one were a tall woman, one might want to muss up my hair, going "wuzzah wuzzah wuzzah you're so cuuuuuute!"
I would hate that.

Reason being that at five feet eight and a half inches I realize I am shorter that big dumb glandular football players from the Midwest anyhow, and rather acutely dislike such freaks.
Too tall is offensive.

Never-the-less, I have scored.

Yuge, bigly.

"Wow. You are a fucking bastard. Next to you, King Joffrey is like the pope. You are the person that everyone hates at the movies, on public transportation, and in shops.
You are a first class asshole. Well done!

This is my result from MeowShare (link HERE) which asked "How Much Of An Asshole Are You?"

Fabulous. I've always sought appreciation and affirmation. MeowShare does not realize that I smell of tobacco. I am insufferable.

Probably the only way I could score any higher is if I took up bagpipes and practiced every day.


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Friday, December 30, 2016


One the last weekday before the year ends, it is well to remember both the good and the bad. No, shan't review the bad, you can probably do that very well yourself.
But the good deserves at least a cursory glance.

I personally discovered that very many people are offended by honest opinions. Consequently I shall not be associating with quite such a large number of human beings in the coming year. Animals. Animals don't go ballistic, and have strong opinions only about food. Opinions which are actually based on experience and perspicacity.

Many animals are also food themselves.

Pigs. Goats. Rabbits. And ducks.

Roasting is always good.

Next week, to celebrate the fact that I am still alive and full of beans, I will have some roast duck in Chinatown. It shall almost certainly be by myself, because despite the fact that I am a social animal, I am a loner. Possibly due to aforementioned honest opinions. And the extraordinarily thin skins / thick heads of the equally aforementioned "very many people".

Either they or I resemble the fabled perissodactyl. But probably them. Not only do I lack the ability to ferment my food in my hindgut, but I am not short-tempered, aggressive, and by nature solitary.

I think they should keep my saintly good nature in mind if I ever acquire a rifle, because sometimes shooting pissy bad-tempered creatures who threaten the livestock and eat all the lettuce is fully justified.
But I might simply beat them off with a stick.
Or poke them with something sharp.

Their small hornless ancestor resembled a tapir (a particularly lumpy one), and their mother smelled of elderberries.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016


You will have noticed, if you have visited here before, that not everybody has the ability to read with intelligence and an understanding of nuance.
Between the lines, as it were.
Reading is a skill.

And some people are so thin-skinned their veins need to be glued down.

No, I shan't mention any names, this isn't about them.

Nor, remarkably, is it about me.

Some folks on the internet got their panties in a bunch over something Steve Martin recently tweeted.

"When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She turned out to be witty and bright as well"

[SOURCE: Steve Martin De-tweets.]

He has taken down the tweet, because social media erupted in outrage at his sexist objectification. Which, if you have a brain, is ridiculous. Intelligence and a sense of humour are extremely alluring, a face more expressive because of a brain is somebody you want to talk to you, it bypasses your filters and grabs hold of your consciousness.

'Yeah, talk to me. I can't hear a single thing that you're saying because I am rather distracted, but please don't stop.'

And by the same token, a woman calmly and intelligently expressing herself well becomes a stick of dynamite, a blaze of glory, a magnet.

Because we all know a few of those icky "mew mew kittens", don't we? The ones that pout, occasionally make whiny sounds, and demand attention without meriting that effort. Expensive handbags, Italian shoes, push-up bras, and make-up applied with an expert hand.
They are more than a little boring.
Sometimes insufferable.

Personally, I think that Steve Martin's heartfelt tweet was one of the nicest things I have seen this year.
Beautiful, witty, and bright. What a lovely compliment!

Such a pity she was strangled by her own bra.

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When given a choice between having opinions on the Middle East or a shot of Jägermeister, go for the Jägermeister. It is far better for you.
Yeah, it will almost certainly pull a number on your guts.
That's good, comparatively speaking.
Better than alternatives.

I have deleted all my recent comments over at the pro-Israel page, left the group, and blocked e-mails from the local rep of SWU.
Plus several of the members.

There are just too many stupid, ignorant, and downright evil people involved in arm-chair activism to make the continued interest worthwhile. And I'm sure they will all manfully step up and move their armchairs to the west side of Montgomery Street, precisely between California and Clay streets.
When the time comes that it's necessary for them to act.
Besides, they've got Trump and Netanyahu.
The best of all possible worlds.
That's worth it.

I've always found association with people who go deliquescent and lubricious over rightwing blowhards to be distasteful.

FB Crazies. July 27, 2016
No Jesus September 3, 2016
Fascists. November 8, 2012
Sand. September 11, 2012
Angst. July 29, 2010.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016


One and a half years ago, Jonathan in Israel accused me of obsessing over Netanyahu, and came close to asserting that I manifested classic signs of anti-Semitism. I now realize that that was precisely when he made the hard transition from Bourbon to Vodka, and was all awail and agnash over the untimely demise of Jerry Garcia or Benny Elbaz (not sure which).
He was feeling feisty and defensive.
I acknowledged his pain.
And set him right.

Anyhoo, the vituperation over Bibi is starting up again. So for his benefit, and that of a close friend who has settled the East Bay Hills, and lobs grenades at the Saracen hordes nextdoor, there is a new label here:

Clicking that will pull up all essays which mention that horrid man.
There really aren't that many, I've written other stuff.
Panties, for instance, are fascinating.
There are recipes, too.
And kittens.

Perhaps speedily, and in our time, there will be one more.

An obituary.

Please note: If you are also fascinated by undergarments -- and it is hard to imagine anyone who isn't -- you should click this label: PANTIES.
It will please you as much as NETANYAHU.

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My apartment mate sometimes has a faulty memory, whereas I have an in-depth recollection of things from years ago. Both of these are a blessing.
I say this, because I am presently wearing very comfy pajamas. She gave me pajamas for Xmas, at which I looked a bit goofy, because they were the exact same as the pajamas she gave me last year for Xmas, which she obviously couldn't remember, and which I had never worn. I am wearing this pair to reassure her that her gift is indeed appreciated.
When they wear out, I have a reserve.

Tartan, flannel, extra large.
I like baggy jammies.

Normally I would wear jam-pants and a wifebeater to sleep. This detailed information given so that you can mentally picture a middle-aged grumpus lazing about the house on a day off with a pipe in his mouth and a cup of coffee next to him, as I'm sure you really want to do. This is a restrained and almost christmassy image. Very soothing to the eyes.
The badger in his lair, the weasel slinking about.
The very picture of grumpy pulchritude.
A treat, if you are so inclined.
And you should be.
Trust me.

The fragrance of dark Virginia is in the air.
Incense-like, and slightly sweet.
Toast, but subtle.


What may disturb you is that late last night, while listening to opera from a basement, I imagined a small young woman wearing monotone pajamas in an armchair, in darkness, drowsily looking out from her second-story window. An awake dream. She faced toward the west, the street felt like it was on the upper part of the hill, and there was a round side table nearby. Her lamps were off, the room was in shadow where the light from the street did not reach. Her hair is soft, and slightly tousled; and smells very clean.
Again, all of this was imaginary, but I've got a good brain.
It allows me to feel textures in my head.
Dream standing up.

I am not that young woman, nor actually watching her.
And though she doesn't exist, she does.
It's a meta-reality.

It was the quietest part of the evening, the rest of which was loudly spotted with shouting and disturbances caused by drunkards and overly medicated people (and nuts). At the very end of the night, a gentleman named Michael was hollering that if someone would not imbibe they should leave forthwith. Because of a liars dice game, he himself had been much on the receiving end of tequila (why do Chinese men drink tequila? It seems so ill-advised), and wasn't acting quite "normal".

I think the bookseller will agree on two things: a peculiar time was had by all in every place, and the two of us were the sanest people around.
We are restrained and mature individuals.
Surprised at our own stability.

Sometime near to three o'clock I arrived home. Sometime after four the computer was off and the lights were out.

Around seven my apartment mate came groggily stumbling out of her room for breakfast. Within seconds of caffeine hitting the cerebral cortex, she was wide awake and full of beans. There was clanging, and the voices of several stuffed animals arguing with her about caviar could be heard.
There actually is no caviar.

From four-ish till now I have been in these pajamas.
Of which I have an extra pair.

I have no idea what the opera was about, I was only one third listening; a scholar, a gentle maiden, and a wise uncle. Something in the never-never time between Han and Ching. Tang or Sung, maybe.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016


The playing of ghastly music has not ended. Since Christmas Eve I have been forcibly subjected to seasonally themed numbers several times. Misguided folks think it is still appropriate, which is an outrage, and this nastiness may endure till after New Year.

I am beginning to think that Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah is very suitable for Christmas, and applaud the wisdom of the anonymous satellite radio droodge who threw a song about abusive sex into the mix.
A welcome note of relief.

Youtube recommends, based on previous history, that this blogger should really listen to the following:

The Wreck of The old 97
La Marcia dei Lagunari
Qurbani Qurbani Qurbani
La Marseillaise
Radetzky Marsch
Juvenile bat squeaks while being petted
We Are Coming Father Abraham
Deșteaptă te, Române!
Pee Wee Herman - Tequila

It's an interesting selection. This is where the term "eclectic' gets battered into a bloody festered pulp. One's musical tastes should be multi-facetted, indeed, but this is a little much.

One of my favourite tunes is actually La Dance De Mardi Gras by the Balfa Brothers, which, as you may realize, is old-timey Cajun music.

Les Mardi Gras ça vient de tout partout
Tout l'autour au tour du moyeu
Ça passe un fois par ans
Demander la charité
Quand même si c'est une patate
Une patate et des gratins

Les Mardi Gras sont su' un grand voyage
Tout l'tour autour du moyeu
Ça passe un fois par ans
Demander la charité
Quand même si c'est une poule maigre
Et trois, quatre coton d'maïs

Capitain, capitain voyage ton flag
Allons su' l'autr' voisin
Demander la charité
Pour eux autr' venir nous r'joindre
Eux autr' venir nous r'joindre
Ouais au bal pour ce soir

[SOURCE: Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys have a lovely live performance HERE. C'est une mélodie très agréable, vivante.
Flammes D'Enfer (by Courtbouillon HERE ) is also nice, btw.


Years ago Amazon sent regular recommendations, based on what they analyzed my interests to be. They presumed me to be a timorous blonde woman, early twenties, still a virgin, who read End of Days romances and probably cried herself to sleep at night hugging her teddy bear.
Possibly the bear was named 'Ezekiel'.
Or Obediah. Something biblical.
Emphasis on prophetics.

Scriptural studies, puppet theatre, history of the crusades, anthropology, and art deco costume jewelry.

Please note that what I bought from various antiquarian booksellers in the Netherlands was not factored into their profile; that might have made it even stranger.

I am not a peculiar person.

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Yesterday evening, upon returning from work, I spent far too much time coddling my vicious streetfighter side. And believe me, there was plenty of material to react against, in the usual places, as even a cursory glance at the most recent essays here will show. The internet is filled with horrible people. Some of them so far beyond "deplorable" as to be loathsome, and sickening in the extreme. Burn that basket, and drown those puppies.
They are rabid, and quite utterly irredeemable.

But evenso, the internet isn't entirely vile.

I also discovered something nice.

A charming family picture.

It's Ivanka and Jared's Hanukkah photo. With the kids. And I'm not going to say anything nasty.

They look like the quintessential all-American family.

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Monday, December 26, 2016


Some readers have wondered why the political stuff that once graced the pages of this blog no longer shows up. Have things really changed that much, or am I an entirely different person now?

Well, things have indeed changed.

Boy howdy.

According to the good people of an activist group here in the Bay Area: "Obama sides with terrorists", has attacked Christianity, Judaism, and Western civilization, is a "bold-faced liar", is a "freakin' lying, backstabbing worm", "appalling", a disgrace, disgusting, a "bully at home, a coward abroad, a failure", has an "anti-Israel team", is anti-Semitic (as, they aver, is the entire Democratic Party), is a thug, and has pissed all over Israel and "AMERICAN Policy for the past 65+ years", is in the "same venal hands of the bureaucrats at the state dept. antisemites opposing the creation of Israel since 1948", "sick and twisted ", "an open enemy", an "ugly malevolent troll", a "Jew hater racist", and many other things.

"Obama is a classic anti-Semite"

It was not like this before, but back in the day the nuts were, essentially, rogue elements at further than arms' length, occasionally committing vandalism or picking fights in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
We would not willingly associate with them then.
I refuse to associate with them now.

There weren't so many then.

Things have changed.

I used to take part in street-level events, but I would not trust these new people next to me, do not wish to meet any of them in person, and know that the rational minority have, largely, given up.

I myself have quite a gift for venom and hyperbole, so I can certainly appreciate it in others.

I voted for Obama. Twice. I am proud that I voted for him, and if there were no two-term limit, I would have voted for him a third time.

More than ever, I despise the self-made insane.

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Well, I'm glad that is over. Thanks to the dillwads of the local pro-Israel group plus a cast of thousands, yesterday was possibly the worst Christmas ever. And I'm not even really vested in Christmas, what with being an unlikeable single man and all that jazz, but still.

Worst Hanukah ever, too. I realized that my sympathies lay more with the Hellenists than the Maccabees. Seriously, who wouldn't choose reason and civilization over the rabid screeching of religious puritans and casual murder?
Same goes for their modern day equivalents.

Frankly, both the Christmas crowd and the Maccabeean fanatics can go hump a camel. Several camels.

If you find an individual's comments in this group offensive or triggering, you can block that individual. Step 1. Click on the lock icon in the top right corner of Facebook from any page and choose "How do I stop someone from bothering me?"
Step 2. After clicking there you will see a box where you can type in a name. Type in the name of the person you want to block and click "Block People." Don't worry it won't do anything at this point. It will just present to you a list of names that are close matches to the name you entered.
Step 3. Find the person you want to block on the list and click the button "Block" to the right of their name.
End quote.

That's because of me. And yes, rejection is a sign of rejection.

My opinions hurt sensitive people. Sensitive, insane, and blinkered, nay, blithering and dangerous people, but never the less sensitive people.

Screw them. And the camels they humped.
The camels are actually innocent.
But compromised.

There is NO conversation when everyone says the same thing. No thought either. The Talmud dies when we all agree (if all judges are unanimous, it is invalid -- paraphrasis). Dissent is not only healthy, but necessary.

At the moment I am persona non grata in several corners of the internet, because I support Israeli security, but don't buy into the Netanyahu-ist narrative, and can see where Israel might, conceivably, have made tactical and moral errors. By the standards of a number of people that makes me self hating (eh, what?!?), anti-Israel (come again?), and a neo-Nazi supporter of genocide (wtf?), as well as a classic anti-Semite (?!?). After a three-day fight with the pro-Israel crowd, I'm a little "tired".
Yes, that's it, "tired".

Please revisit your camels.


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Sunday, December 25, 2016


Best part of Christmas: Chocolate covered peanuts, and lean green amphibian love machines. The peanuts were from the apartment mate, the frogs were an internet search, more or less.

It could have been a better Christmas, but instead of getting out of the house I stayed in and fought with asshats on social media, and in various comment strings. Because I am a middle aged single man, with no relatives within five hundred miles of my current location, no kids or family, and rather anti-social. Evidently wrong about much.

Plus, being a smoker, I smell bad.

[Or so my rabid tobacco-hating friends and many vegetarians / anti-gmo-activists / antivaccers / true Christians / foreskin intactivists aver. That's why they don't allow me anywhere near the children, pets, barnyard animals, or the easily frightened old folks, or, actually anyone they care about. Instead they encourage me to go play in traffic, or out near the municipal dump. I might say 'boo'. And wreck the furniture.]

Initially I was planning to head into Chinatown for dim sum early in the day, smoke a pipe, then have a pastry and some milk tea, smoke another pipe, and finally head home to cook a turducken.

Didn't do the turducken; it needs 48 to 72 hours of thawing in the refrigerator before cooking. I didn't remove it from the deepfreeze. And instead of going to Chinatown, I discovered that I am a troll, a waste of time, and on the same side as Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and some scumbag in Berkeley, besides being "almost Soviet" in my interpretations. I represent "the other side", and am the sitra achra in the flesh!

I really should have gone to Chinatown instead. Wandering around by myself would have been far, far better for Christmas Day than paying attention to the internet.

The apartment mate came back after tea-time. We exchanged presents. Then she headed out to her brother's house for Christmas dinner. She expressed concern about whether I would have enough to eat (because the turducken was still hard as a rock).

Of course I would! Do not worry about me!

A slice of Hungarian coffee cake.

Chocolate covered peanuts.

German Xmas cookies.

Coffee and tea.

Single malt.

Oh plus happiness, joy, the warm glow of a loving family or random multi-personal social unit, peace on earth and goodwill to all men, especially the middle-aged single Dutch American coots, argumentatively opinionated Jewish rightwingers, cat-loving lesbians, everybody on the internet posting happy holiday photos, racist asshats overflowing in the comment strings, Benyamin buggery Netanyahu and his talking monkey Caroline Glick, slices of sandwich meat, the bittermelon I decided not to cook, a can of soup (say, how old is this thing anyway?!?), and the evil froad who persuaded me to type in "lean green amphibian love machine" as a search criterium.

Yeah, peace on earth.

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The house is empty, it is Christmas morning, and like a typical bah-humbugger I have no agenda for the day, nor any firm plans. My apartment mate earlier spoke to her boyfriend on the phone (while I was still dozing in my quarters), and has, I believe, rushed off to help that lonesome Jew on Christmas score some Chinese food.

What does the Lonely Man of Apathy do on Christmas?


At The Back of the Hill (me): "The argument that "so and so' did or believed something, therefore it is right / therefore it is wrong" is idiotic.

Atboth ('At The Back of etcetera'): Pointing this out means that I am a deeply troubled individual, and should associate strictly and only with my own kind.

Jonathan in Israel who does not use capital letters: bibi netanyahu believes that jews, like other humans, are basically bags of flesh and bone, encased in skin.

Atboth: Impossible! Humans are tofu!

Jonathan-No-Caps: i wouldn't discount the possibility merely because you said it.

Jonathan-No-Caps: check and, i believe, mate.

Atboth: "If it weren't for the birth of liddle bebby Jesus, we wouldn't have bacon cheese burgers", he said sagely.

Jonathan-No-Caps: i'll let it pass. still. your worldview has visible cracks. you need a shiputznik.

Jonathan-No-Caps: and it just so happens that i have some experience in this area.

Jonathan-No-Caps: too bad you can't afford me.

Atboth: It should be a mitzvah to fress a bacon cheese burger on this day (or Good Friday, either or), and I will not sh'putz.

Jonathan-No-Caps: yeah whatever man :)

Atboth: Bacon cheese burgers seinen a gevaldige siman le banot, und shputzen iz vom sitra achra. Kler.

Jonathan-No-Caps: i was a grill man at wendy's for 6 full months. don't fuck with me.

Atboth: I'm inventing a new faith: Condimentalism.

Atboth: Would you like little red pig tails with that? In lieu of fries.

Jonathan-No-Caps: YES

Atboth: Wear this ketchup around your neck and on your shirt, and if you have sufficient faith, it will happen.

Jonathan-No-Caps: i shall smear it on the lintels of my doors

Atboth: That the mustard of the malach ha moves should pass over you and all your little hotdogs.

Jonathan-No-Caps: it's kind of a drag that you are so fucking funny you know. whoever said you have no sense of humor had no sense of humor.

Atboth: They weren't familiar with the second cup of coffee version of me.

Jonathan-No-Caps: oh is it that time of day in teh fris'co? i'm on teh wodka. this explains so much.

Atboth: I am contemplating the desolation of lunch. Caffeine keeps existential angst at arms length. From which we shper that existenz-angst and insta-coffee are brothers.

Jonathan-No-Caps: i discovered recently that there is no way in hebrew, including the direct translation, to convey the american idiom "this explains so much" with the full, you know, idiomatic punch.

Atboth: Just preface it with "koh amor ha melech", and it will sound scriptural.

Atboth: Downright Rambamatic.

Jonathan-No-Caps: oh i start all my sentences that way. how to make people and influence friends, you know.

Atboth: It's working! Dale Carnegie was a prophet!

Atboth: Or was that Werner Erhardt?

Jonathan-No-Caps: a backwards one. led many astray. i have been trying to unstupify these people all my life. pointless.

Jonathan-No-Caps: which brings us back to you and your foolishness. let me help you.

Atboth: It better not involve listening to the Grateful Dead for several hours;
I have selective 'Attention Deficit Disorder'.

Jonathan-No-Caps: no no you're not ready for that yet. too many brain cells.

Atboth: Braincells? And each and every one of them a virgin.

Jonathan-No-Caps: surely you mean yours, not mine. this is the problem in a nutshellized nutshell of a nutshell.

Jonathan-No-Caps: you need hallucinogens. lots of them, stat.

Atboth: "This LSD was manufactured in a facility that processes nuts."

Jonathan-No-Caps: oh did i just infer that your klipa is preventing your inner klipa from expressing it's true light? i know how you hate hearing that. sorry.

Atboth: ROTFL!

Jonathan-No-Caps: obey.

Sometime today: steaming milk tea, snack, and a smoke in Chinatown.
I am so glad that anyone playing Jingle Bells or Frosty will be publicly burned at the stake, from now until next December. No more giddy friggin' tinkly dip scheisse. It's over. That's it. Unwrap the tinsel, eat your goose, and kindly all of you slink back to underneath the rock, babies.

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Apparently I was supposed to call our president all kinds of names and praise Netanyahu's vision and perspicacity after the United States abstained from voting, AND abstained from exercising her veto, on a resolution in the U. N. Security Council. See, that's what everybody else in a local pro-Israel group was doing, and this proved what they had know for more than eight years: Barack Obama was a filthy Muslim communist retard! And an anti-Semite.

Thank G-d for Trump!

Oh dear. I thought it was a neat-o keen way to finally make clear to Bibi that using settlement building to sabotage any prospect of peace, AND humiliate the stupid Americans, was perhaps not the wisest thing to do.
Well, you know, not nice.


Especially because though we tried, numerous times, we could not get that message into his thick head, and he kept playing us for a bunch of freirs.

"I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.
They won't get in our way.

------Benjamin Netanyahu

Remember when Bibi trumpeted sixteen hundred new housing units mere hours after Biden in Jerusalem promised unstinting support for Israel?

Way to go, Bibi.

Remember when Bibi went behind the administration's back to kiss grits with the Republicans?

Great move, Bibster.

Coming to Washington to make congress sabotage the president?

Yowza, a true friend, Beebles.

Plenty of other examples, as well as hundreds of pages of his whore-harpy Caroline Glick excoriating Obama, Biden, Clinton, Kerry, and damned well every member of the administration.

Let's see. Iron Dome. Thirty eight billion. Multiple vetoes on behalf of Israel in the United Nations, and favours that no other nation receives. Even Pollard got released (we should have shot that momzer).

A constant stream of pissing on America.

Ronald Reagan's administration was far more active in objecting to Israeli chutzpah, as was Bush 'one, Clinton, and Bush 'two'. Why, the things folks called Condoleeza Rice were unprintable.

Obama abstained once, and all hell broke loose.

Gee, Bibi, maybe sidestepping Obama and going directly to Trump wasn't the brightest idea you ever had. It may have influenced this administration to assume that nothing was required from them, you were handling it on your own, as usual you didn't need anything from us, perhaps it was time to let you stand on your own two feet.
For a change.

Anyhow, nobody told me that the party line was that Obama was finally proving himself the lizard alien they had known he was for eight years, he had treacherously sold Israel downriver, clapped the maiden fair in chains, starved the orphan, raped the horses, and defiled the sacred festival of the oil by his staggering perfidy!
He is a Jew hater racist, and his actions and deeds have consistently shown anti-Israel animus; he is is an ugly malevolent troll.
An unspeakable horror!

Guys, you could have warned me you were going nuclear.
Before I called you all gibbering loonies.

Several folks have since demanded that I be cast out / cut off / excluded
for my reprehensible disloyalty and anti-Netanyahuism.
I am a horrible hate-filled man, almost Soviet!
I should be expelled.

Which, given that they are mostly a bunch of steaming-pantied Trumpites, is fine by me.

I don't understand anything, and clearly hate Israel.

[I'm also a Trotskyite race-hating homosexual, neurotic, heathen, liberal, Jesuitical, neo-nazi, communist, and a very well-trained Christian critic of the Talmud. But all of that was another time and place.]

Considering the many famous dissidents of the past, a cherem is an incredible honour!

Over the years I've been told that I am merely a klipot, have no neshama (Yiddish or otherwise), and lack a sense of humour. Which marked me as deficient and subhuman.

It's a frikkin' Chanukah miracle that I haven't been called Judas yet.

What. Ever.


Ages ago one of the members of the group was absolutely convinced that Obama was going to impound all of our fire arms and declare martial law.
A few others believed that before his first term was over, sharia would be imposed, because Obama was, as everyone knew, a secret Muslim.

I am glad I no longer associate with most of them.
Haven't in a long time.

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Friday, December 23, 2016


For some reason I dreamt of Filipino Jehovah's Witnesses picketing fried calamari in North Beach. The unconscious mind takes stimuli and reinterprets them in what seems, under the circumstances, to be the most logical format, rendering what we might vividly recall upon awaking, but I do not know, nor can I fathom, under what circumstance Filipino Jehovah's Witnesses picketing fried calamari in North Beach is logical.
Any part of that. Calamari. Hot oil. Batter or breading.
Street protest with signs on Stockton street.
Dour and cheerless Filipinos.

Quietly disapproving.

This may have something to do with the rain, which came clattering down before dawn. And the fact that I could hear my apartment mate using the bathroom for her morning ablutions.

There is also a slight possibility that it was "excess of pizza last night" related. I normally do not overload on Pizza.

Nothing says 'Filipino' like too much cheese.

But why Jovie's Witnesses?

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Thursday, December 22, 2016


It was supposed to rain today. Instead it was clear and bright, and I spent a few hours outside with the buffing wheel and the polishing compounds working on pipes. I did not feel the cold in my fingers and thighs till I got up to have some tea or load up one of my own.

Making briars and their stems look reasonably young again is almost like meditation; while the fingers think and the eyes see, the mind can do what it wants, and the hours fly by.

From the Heike Monogatari, the opening line:

祇園精舎の鐘の聲 ...
Kionshoja no kane no koe ... ('kei-yuen jing-she no jung no seng ...'), "Peaceful garden simplicity hut 'of which' bell 'of which' sound";
the sound of the bell from the pavilion at Jetabana ....

No idea why that came to mind. I tried reading the Tale of the Heike once, but did not find it sufficiently interesting to continue. The religious university established upon the site of Anathapindika's gateway at the entrance to Jeta's Grove is important in the history of Buddhism, which as a philosophy interests me not at all. The impermanence of things as echoed by the fading bellsound is mostly irrelevant. The only link is that the buffing wheel was at the door, under the overhang, and my seat was facing up the walkway toward the parking lot. Trees and green stuff.

There was a futility to the exercise today. This batch of pipes were largely garbage, at best mediocre, and many had already experienced their best moments long ago. A couple were decent pieces, but none of those decrepit smoking tools could be considered worth your attention.
A transient collection, recalling a smoker who gave up.
He abused his pipes most ungratefully.
But they served him well.

They're clean again.
Ready for a new chapter.

Please note that 精舎 ('jing-she') also means schoolhouse, or a humble lodge where lessons are recited, learning is absorbed, tutelage is rendered, and minds are cluttered. All of those from the Buddhist connotations.

Also, it is crab season. The connection with Dan no Ura is obvious.

Similarly there is a mental threadline to the Battle of Nagashino, where another branch of the Minamoto ended four centuries later.


But all of this is pointless scenery in the mind.

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This blogger admits to being a busybody. I frequently listen in on other people, and I keenly observe them out of the corner of my squinty little eyes while pretending I'm doing something else. La la la. What, me?
I'm just a fly on the wall, honest!

Three things.

A gentleman of Mexican origin who is on friendly terms with the folks at the bakery prefers his ham and egg bun with a hefty sploodge of chili paste. I shall have to try that sometime, it looks excellent, and I am quite surprised I did not think of it myself. Probably also works with a yiuk sung bau (肉鬆飽), and I wonder if I can get them to heat it up in the microwave and shove in a slice of luncheon meat.

Indian tourists feel lost and uncomfortable unless they know where the nearest vegetarian and Szechuanese restaurants are. The first is because they do not wish to be confronted with meat ...... the second is because they want a bit of flavour, dang Americans eat some bland crap, holy heck what is wrong with these people?!? Are you SURE that chilipeppers originated on this continent?

When a Cantonese American girl quarrels with her boyfriend, interesting things may be said. From a linguistic perspective, "up nei-ge yours" is probably the best thing I have heard in a very long time. Throwing 'nei-ge' (你嘅) into the middle of a phrase can turn even an innocuous utterance into an insult. It means "your".

That last item is remarkable. Kindly note that she did not use a single obscenity or vile term, but the effect is absolutely blistering.
I'll have to remember that phrase.

A fly with ears.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016


One thing that strikes foreigners about the United States is the exaggerated cultic patriotism of Americans. If, for instance, a sportsstar does not stand for the national anthem and place his hand over his heart while it plays, it does not go well for him or her. That person will be excoriated, lambasted, lynched in effigy, and disparaged for personally slaughtering our war dead, shooting the loyal good men in blue, and taking away food from the poor whimpering Christian orphan.

His mother was a hamster, and his father smelled of elderberries!

He did not make the obligatory gestures!

He is an atheist!

Shan't mention the current shtuss about quasi-religious hand motions at the beginning of ballgames, as you undoubtedly get the idea. People died for that flag, ALL lives matter, and there aught to be a law, dammit!

In India they have a similar manifestation, and folks in wheelchairs seldom go to movies because true patriots will gleefully beat the living crap out of them for not standing during Jana Gana Mana.

In the Zeit des Nationalsozialismus on the continent during the years 1930 to 1945 it was obligatory to stand and and stretch out the right arm in an approved manner whenever 'Die Fahne Hoch" was played.

All in good nation-loving fun, of course.

Patriotism is good for society. It puts everybody on the same page and in the same direction, marching in a dignified and an orderly fashion towards an ideal social construct, and our beloved leaders at times represent the sun, shining heroically down on the dawn of a glorious new era.

Hail, oh fatherland. Your children await the time.

The flag on high, with closed ranks.

A day for freedom.


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Tuesday, December 20, 2016


No, this is NOT a post about Chinese food for westerners. This blogger tends to avoid concoctions like kung pao and general Tso's. They just aren't done very well in most places, and they vary considerably from restaurant to restaurant. Chinese food for white people is best exemplified by canned chowmein and berserk culinary concepts.

Add a drizzle of soy to the meatloaf, and presto! Chinese!

Tuna salad with sesame-chili aioli? Presto, Chinese!

Turkey dogs, pineapple. Presto, Chinese!

This blogger is not even going to the 24th. annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy event (the dinner show is already sold out in any case) at the New Asia Garden on Pacific Avenue just below Stockton Street. Eating quasi-Cantonese food with a whole bunch of vibrant single Jews?
None of whom I have ever met before the feast?
That is very much not my thing.

Yeah, I'm single, and have nothing else planned for Christmas day.

But I am neither Jewish nor quasi-Cantonese.

I wish them a lot of fun.

But no.

The most Chinese-y thing I will do that day is likely have some dimsum by myself, assuming that the point-and-order places I like are open, smoke a pipe while wandering around Chinatown for an hour, then hunt up some milk-tea and a piggy bun, enjoy another bowl afterwards, and head on home. Where I will roast the turducken my landlords gave us.

My apartment mate won't have any of the turducken till later, as she will dutifully treck over to a relative's house for the usual holiday dinner with family. Where, one presumes, there will be some Chinese food. Because they are all Cantonese.

Not a Caucasian, Jew, or Japanese person in the bunch.

It's rather sad. Caucasian folks are a lot of fun.

I've never cooked a turducken. I suspect it's nothing like a goose. That, at least, I know how to cook.
Duck too. I do a good bird.

Roast Goose would be wonderful, especially Hong Kong style, but the only place in Chinatown that does goose is not where I want to be on Christmas. Going there for goose by myself on Christmas would seem like failure, and might provoke feelings sympathy among the wait-staff (or glee from the waiter who actively dislikes me).
Which would be misplaced; I have no intention of being miserable like other bachelors that day.

Instead, I shall be perky and chipper. And full of good cheer. Precisely like a groundhog.

Yeah. A groundhog.

You betcha.

Dim sum. Chuchai bao. Naai cha. Turducken.

A tin of aged Virginia tobacco.

And twinkly eyes.

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On one of the discussion pages for pipe smokers, several people in the past few weeks have complained that it is too cold outside to enjoy their tobacco, and asked how other pipe smokers were coping with having to step into the yard to puff their pipes in the dead of winter. Because their wives won't let them do so inside.

I feel their pain. I likewise cannot smoke in most of my living quarters when my apartment mate is home -- sometimes late at night I light of a bowlful of flue-cured leaves, when she has gone to sleep and the door to her room is closed -- and though I can smoke in the kitchen near the open window, or in the bathroom with the window open, such circumstances do not provide an enchanting experience.

She's got a bad sense of smell, though.
And is relaxed about my bad habits.
Plus very kind and human.

In an hour or two I shall shut her door firmly after she leaves for work, open a few windows, and light up. Strong coffee, a thick warm sweater, the internet, and the fact that I live in California will combine to make life wonderful. I will even twiddle my toes! And grunt. She won't be back till around seven, so I shan't smoke after three o'clock inside.
I'll probably be in Chinatown having a snack.
And some milk tea.

Those gentlemen do not have that option. They voluntarily live in beastly cold places like Idaho. And they probably don't like pastries or milk tea.

My advice to them:

"Split up or move to California!"

"Preferably both."

It's their own damned fault for living in that frigid place with a woman who chases them out of the house.

Is she watching the shopping channel while they're freezing their balls off?

She's probably got the thermostat set on high.

While they're shivering.

When you live with another person, mutual tolerance is a must. You should take due care that her teddy bear does not end up smelling like tobacco, and she should accept the fact that if she chases you out you might never come back. One day she'll return from buying designer handbags like madman with all her girl friends at the mall, and you'll be gone.

You took the cats with you, as well as the good blankets.

Get divorced pronto AND move to California, you wuss.

Honestly, some men! Just not grown-up.

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Monday, December 19, 2016


Christmas this year is going to be different. A lot has changed. Let me tell you ALL about it, Little Timmy. You see, Timmy, the governor of the North Pole is a Republican who got a proposal to drug-test all food stamp recipients there written into law. And, as you know, Santa runs a sweat-shop, where, because of the "pro-business" labour code, he gets to offer shockingly low wages AND not pay any overtime. Plus he qualifies as a charitable religious institution, and is therefore exempt from many of the minimal standards to which normal businesses must adhere.

Besides, he's the only game in town. If the elves want to earn any money, they work for him. While getting food stamps and aid to families with dependent minors, to survive.

Yeah, the taxpayers indirectly subsidize Santa.

It's a crooked game, Timmy.

This year Santa replaced the company medical plan with heroine and methamphetamine, which in addition to getting the little fellows to work harder than ever, is much cheaper than insurance OR decent working conditions.

Do you understand addiction, Timmy?

Do you know what urine samples are?

Yep, you got it. You're quite smart, Timmy. But what that meant was that NONE of Santa's employees passed the mandatory drug tests, and not a single one got any assistance or food stamps at all, except for the reindeer, who were all smug about it. By late November desperation was rampant, by the first week in December elves were starving. Little elf children were going to bed hungry at night, their wee stomachs and faces shriveled in misery. There was truly piteous weeping. Their parents were pulling double shifts at Santa's factories, wired and zonked, and still not making enough!

And through it all, those reindeer gloated.

Two days ago the elves snapped. It was all over the news. They burned down the factory, pillaged the governor's mansion and the state offices, and ate the reindeer. Who were sassy, and fat enough to feed a multitude!

So you see, Timmy, that fat bearded bastard ain't going anywhere this year. He's hiding for his life, and there is utter anarchy at the North Pole. Santa's Village has been largely destroyed, and members of the Claus family were last seen fleeing through deep snowdrifts on Santa Claus Lane.
They're probably frozen to death by now.
They were parasites, Timmy.
Don't feel sad.

Timmy, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but Christmas will probably be cancelled this year. And we'll have to return all the trees and pretty decorations, which are kind of pointless now anyway.

Keep a brave face for your parents, dear boy.
They haven't heard a blasted thing yet.
It is going to crush them.
Be strong.

Children's Services will visit you sometime after the new year to see how everyone's holding up at your house. There may be some dramatic changes in your living situation, especially if your parents fall to pieces.

They were SO counting on a new toaster!

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Sunday, December 18, 2016


Let's call him 'Roger'. It's not his actual name, though close, and there also is a real Roger who habituates the lounge, but there is only one of him with his name, and I am a discreet man, so I would not want any accidental wigging on to his identity. Roger.

There are some questions one must never ask. In a room with a lot of other people. Instead of at the doctor's office. With the nurse absent.
And no one other than your practitioner there.

In private.

"Is there an age at which a man's body no longer releases sperm?"

Well, Roger, how old are you now?

You know, I don't think most men experience anything equivalent to the menopause. As you get older, the hormonal imbalance of youth settles down, your metabolism changes, and your behaviour mellows out a bit. Your personality improves, and you regretfully learn that you will not be the brain surgeon oil painter astronaut that saves the world.
You become a better and calmer person.

And most men don't really worry about sperm. Issuance thereof. Yes, sperm count does go down. But unless there are "issues", or your life is filled with stress, you are still a biological danger to womanity.

And asking a room full of cigar-smoking middle-aged men about sperm is, strictly speaking, asking for it.


In the case of some of those same gentlemen (cigar smokers) the sperm probably crawls up through the lymphatic ducts and starts attacking their brains. Others experience gradual crotch decomposition, till at last their testes have rotted entirely and are enclosed in hard calcined shells which leave their thighs bruised and bleeding unless restrained. A few of those very same fellows are so withered and perverted that I was surprised to hear that they spawned. How the heck did that happen?
Was a medical intervention necessary?
Were both of them drunk?
Second coming?

Bear in mind we're talking about an entire room filled with middle-aged cheroot-huffing varmints yowling at telly-football.
NOT normal folks like you or I.

We smoke pipes, still have all of our balls, and aren't into pigskins.
Which is sissy stuff anyway.

Apparently the Forty-Niners lost forty one to thirteen today. It left all those men limp, and they slunk away looking drained and exhausted, spent.
Pale, wan, dessicated. Withered. Only half alive.
Betcha they had no vigour left.
Vital juices curdled.

I would detail the natural superiority of pipe-smokers at this point, but you've probably already figured that out entirely by yourself.
We are filled with both vim and good cheer.
Robust. Energetic. Alive.
And charming.

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Rereading some stuff from a few years ago, I came across the little girl and her companion. And I have to wonder what happened to the anteater?

[An account of a conversation overheard on the bus heading downtown, between a mother, a child, and a stuffed animal. Actually, the stuffed animal, while possessed of a sparkling personality, didn't say anything, as he was thinking of a barbecued pork product. But the child ably spoke on his behalf.
See: "We want charsiu".]

It was the first time I had ever seen an anteater in the flesh. Or felt. Not flesh.

I hope he is still loved.

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All pronunciations are given in Cantonese. Versions commonly available in the United States are in larger typeface.


鮑魚粥 ('baau yü juk'): abalone rice porridge.
鮑魚滑雞粥 ('baau yü kwat kai juk'): abalone and chicken rice porridge.
柴魚花生粥 ('chai-yü faa-sang juk'): dried fish and fried peanuts rice porridge.
猪肝粥 ('chyu gon juk'): pork liver rice porridge.
猪骨滚生粥 ('chyu gwat gwan saang juk'): pork bone poached rice porridge; a selection of fresh and dried mushrooms with ham cooked in a rice porridge made on a basis of pork broth.
豬紅粥 ('chyu hong juk'): rice porridge with cubes of gelled pig's blood.
豬肚肉片粥 ('chyu tou yiuk pin juk'): pork liver, tripe, and fresh pork slices rice porridge.
豬潤粥 ('chyu yeun juk'): pig gloss jook, an alternative name for rice porridge with pork liver.
豬什粥 ('chyu sap juk'): pig whatevers jook; miscellaneous pork oddments rice porridge.
帶子粥 ('daai-ji juk'): "belt jook"; scallops porridge.
火鴨粥 ('fo ngaap juk'), 燒鴨粥 ('siu ngaap juk'): rice porridge with roast duck.
滑雞粥 ( 'gwat kai juk'): chicken chunks (often bone-in) rice porridge.
虾粥 ('haa juk'): fresh shrimp and cilantro rice porridge.
香菇肉鬆粥 ('heung gu ngau song juk'): black mushrooms and pork floss rice porridge.
蠔豉瘦肉粥 ('ho si sau yiuk juk'): dried oysters and lean pork rice porridge.
海胆粥 ('hoi daam juk'): sea urchin rice porridge.
海產粥 ('hoi chaan juk'): mixed seafoods rice porridge; shrimp, clams or mussels, and squid.
海参粥 ('hoi saam juk'): sea cucumber rice porridge, made with dried holothurid.
海鮮粥 ('hoi sin juk'): mixed fresh seafood porridge.
雞球粥 ('kai kau juk'): chicken rice porridge.
羅漢粥 ('lo hon juk'): Arhat ("Luo Han") rice porridge; a luxurious vegetarian preparation made with carrots, bamboo shoots, dried mushrooms, wood ear, straw mushrooms, and white fungus.
牡蠣粥 ('maau lai juk'): fresh oysters rice porridge with pork and garlic.
銀耳粥 ('ngan yi juk'): white fungus rice porridge, mildly tonifying.
北菇雞球粥 ('pak gu kai kau juk'): black mushroom and chicken porridge.
皮蛋牛肉粥 ('pei dan ngau yiuk juk'):preserved egg and beef porridge.
皮蛋瘦肉粥 ('pei dan sau yiuk juk'): preserved egg and lean pork rice porridge.
三黄粥 ('saam wong juk'): three yellows porridge; soy bean, sweet potato, and millet gruel, served with a little golden sugar. Very good for you!
生滾蝦球粥 ('sang gwan ha kau juk'): jook with fresh shrimp cooked by the heat of the porridge.
生滾牛肉粥 ('sang gwan ngau yiuk juk'): rice porridge with sliced beef poached in the hot gloop.
生滾肉片粥 ('sang gwan yiuk pin juk'): jook with sliced pork cooked by the heat of the porridge.
蝦球帶子粥 ('sin haa daai-ji juk'): fresh shrimp and scallop porridge.
爽滑肉丸粥 ('song gwat yiuk yuen juk'): rice porridge with pork meat balls.
碎牛粥 ('sui ngau juk'): rice porridge with minced beef.
田雞粥 ('tin kai juk'): fresh frog rice porridge.
窩蛋免治牛粥 ('wo dan min ji ngau juk'): nested egg evading control cow jook; minced beef and egg porridge.
魚片粥 ('yü pin juk'): fish curls rice porridge.
魚片豬紅粥 ('yü pin chyu hong juk'): sliced fish and pork blood porridge.
魚片皮蛋粥 ('yü pin pei dan juk'): preserved egg and sliced fish porridge.
魚片瘦肉粥 ('yü pin sau yiuk juk'): sliced fish and pork porridge.

Go ahead, try all of them.

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Saturday, December 17, 2016


Let's just call it girlish enthusiasm. After a long day at the salt mines of Marin, this blogger returned home, where his apartment mate was watching real live murder shows on television. Which, when you think about it, is better than going downtown and shopping at Macy's (open till twelve today, crab your plastic and hurry!) or, something she apparently also isn't doing, namely cooking for her boyfriend ('Wheelie Boy').
I know she'll be cooking for the wheelchair dude sometime this weekend; there's stuff in the refrigerator. The chunks of uncured bacon-like porky fat are not for him, however. He has a sensitive stomach.
Some of those will be used later, by me.
With some stalky vegetables.
And something curry.

Bathrobe, jammies, nice hot beverage. And she's cheerful. Because she is watching somebody's untimely demise, being plotted, put into action, and subsequently analyzed by law enforcement and a narrator.

It's cold outside. Killing someone is warm.

"Graham really wanted his wife dead; everything else was just a diversion."

"Coming up, a simple life turned into unimaginable horror."

"Ooh, this a fab-u-lous, yes!"

That last quote was her. In a way I agree. I'm still trying to get eight hours of drecky holiday music out of my ears. You know, there isn't a huge variety in that category, I've heard the same dozen or so sappy tunes between five and ten times today. If Frosty the Snowman was here, I'd go get the hair-dryer and fry his ass. Santa Claus Lane? Party loudly all night till the fat dude had a migraine. That will teach him to pay attention to every pout, every cry, every little bit of behaviour. Child-obsessed creep.

Still, Christmas will be over soon. Only one more week of this. Instead of celebrating the miraculous nativity of a total fictional storm god, conceived by voodoo, and born under grim portents, we're lauding a fat old guy and his magic mode of locomotion. Plus greed. We worship greed.

I pity anybody who has loads of people to shop for, because no matter how nice those socks or that Toyota, it still won't be enough. Heck, any amount of Barbie Dolls won't be sufficient. Even if you get them a box of 25 Montecristo Number 2 pyramids from Havana, they will sneer.

Check under the floorboards. There's probably a grave down there.
The relatives who went before you? Not good enough.
Just blame the fat guy in the red robe.
He set you all up to fail.

Watch your back.

Oh yeah, I am ready for Christmas.

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