Thursday, March 31, 2016


The other day, having dined fabulously well at a Vietnamese restaurant (where I had 串燒豬肉春捲飯 and a glass of ice coffee), I stepped outside to light my pipe, and nearly bumped into a very attractive girl.
I like the idea that there are so many attractive girls that if you don't look you accidentally crash into them. It's a very comforting conception, and a marvelous follow-up to everything I had been considering a little earlier while waiting for my food and filling my pipe.
The pipe was an Orlik Canadian, a very fine smoker indeed.
Lovely grain, goodly size, in great condition.
Tobacco: Virginia & Perique.

What made the young lady so splendidly attractive was her face.
Which I can remember, unlike her figure, which I totally overlooked.
Stubborn, pursed lips and fierce eyebrows, intelligent.
Pale skin, kissy cheeks.


She looked very pissed-off. Not at me, but something or someone else.
There was not a shred of vacuity or dingbatto in her appearance. Even after I had got the bowl of tobacco properly lit, I still couldn't get her out of my mind.

I know she must have been wearing clothes, as it was too damned cold to be naked, even if walking with a purpose and at a decent clip, which she was. But nope, can't remember them. Those lips, those cheeks, and those alert alert eyes. The hair must have been somewhere between short and very long, but I cannot visualize that detail either.

She had hair, though, of that I am quite certain.
I would have remembered baldness.
The hair was black.

I shall now repeat all those things, in short crucial detail. Pursed little mouth, totally kissy cheeks, and fierce fierce eyes.
Stubborn and resolute.

Permit me to squeal.

Now imagine that you just heard "squeeeee", okay?
I like women with a mind of their own.
Especially if it is turbulent.
And keenly alive.

As a result of that I shall think favourably of that restaurant.
As well as that stretch of sidewalk on 花園角。
Grilled pork always makes me happy.
It's that 炭火烤的香味。

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Man, that's some hue. I think it's blood-clot colour. If I were a woman, that precisely is the lipstick that I would choose. Vicious bitch killer. Makes anyone wearing it a sizzling torch singer.
The problem is that if I were a woman, I almost certainly still couldn't sing worth shizzle. Last time I did karaoke, even all the non-smokers stepped outside for a cigarette. They should have me hog the stage right before closing, then nobody would ever say "it's not yet two!"

Instead, they'd think "I have to go now, there's things I gotta do."
And "Perhaps I should call my mom in Florida".

My "musical stylings" traumatize.

Still, that lipstick. Oh man. Maybe I should wear it just because.

Robyn Adele Anderson is a steaming!

Talk dirty to me!



Robyn Adele Anderson - vocals
David Wong - violin
Kate Dunphy - accordion
Jay Rattman - clarinet
Adam Kubota - bass
Chip Thomas - drums
Scott Bradlee - piano

This would be a great wedding song.
If anyone needs suggestions.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Reading an article on the BBC website, one key phrase stood out. Now, it must be mentioned that the article is about women from the third world being sold to gangsters in the first world, for the gratification of mostly middle-class men, many of whom are either married or computer programmers, some of whom still live with their moms.

"The traffickers were Indonesian, Taiwanese, Malaysian Chinese and American."

[SOURCE: Shandra Woworuntu - BBC.]

No, honey, they were probably all Chinese. Part Chinese, or full blood Chinese, but ethnically Chinese. If you do not wish to believe this, take a good look at the massage parlours and foot-rubbing places all over San Francisco and many other cities. Even only a little research will prove it.
And by the way, important players in the entrenched power structure of Chinatown either turn a blind eye to this, or actively participate.
Those aren't just harmless social organizations.

We need not even mention the Vietnamese, Thais, Koreans, Japanese, and other exemplary groups. Even though with the connivance of our Federal, State, and Local officials they, too, make use of language barriers and violence to force women into prostitution.

Let us above all not ask about Mexican women crossing the border.

Again, convenient language barriers, and violence.

Plus "social" organizations.

But, when it comes to what happens in Asia, Chinese criminals blow everyone else out of the water. They're just so much better at it.


This is one of the main things that attracts so many conventions to San Francisco. Our hotels and restaurants thrive because of it. Beautiful location, interesting exotic food, lots of liquor, and poontang.
Better food, drink, and nooky than their wives.

Quite frankly, it is one of the major reasons to discourage all tourism.

Not only within the United States, but also many other places.

Why do you think so many folks go to Thailand?

I'll give you a subtle hint: It's because the Thais have raised child-rape and the brutal sexual exploitation of their minorities to an artform.

Their tourist industry exists for very little else.

San Francisco is not that different.

Government employees both here and abroad are complicit in what all of them will argue is cultural enrichment, legitimate free enterprise, nothing unusual, the pursuit of happiness, and above all, a necessary thing.
In fact, a beneficial and socially approved blowing-off of steam.
So are local politicians and the hospitality industries.

No, I don't know how to eradicate this problem, nor do I have any solutions. Do not ask me for ideas and suggestions, because I am an emotional chap, and my first thought would be to beat the crap out of visitors.
Especially suburbanites and conventioneers.

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The conclusion that really stood out, among many other haphazard and chance-met conclusions, was that an appreciation for Monty Python is essential in a life mate. Or even if the other person is NOT a life mate.

I think we arrived at this epiphany while passing in front of City Lights Books, while sidestepping a person of the wrong gender who may never be able to appreciate Monty Python.

And before encountering more people who will, throughout their lives, have that problem and similar issues.

For those who do not understand this, I really must point out that Monty Python is by no means a generational marker, although there are many people of a younger, brighter, and altogether more soft and springy generation who have not yet been exposed to Monty Python.

It is, for a very large part, a cultural thing.

Secondarily, perspective.

Several years ago at a dinner it became apparent that my host did not have a clue about Monty Python, but his children did. For several minutes, all the geeky references confused him, as he had no idea what the rest of us were talking about.

"Whatever happened to the Popular Front of Judea?"

"He's over there."


Years ago, on a first date, I took someone to see Woody Allen's movie 'Bananas'. It completely baffled her, and made apparent that despite our superficial similarities ("human") there were insurmountable differences all the way down to the bone.
Any of the Monty Python movies would have worked as well.
I'm sure she wouldn't have had a clue.
"Peoples' Front of Judea!"
Eh? What now?

[ X ]

Word of advice: if the man or woman you wish to date does not have the capacity to enjoy the fish slapping dance, and has never heard of the Lumberjack Song or the Philosopher's Song, reconsider.

Disregarding this important message means there is a very great danger that you will end up living in the suburbs, with two and a half children and a poodle, having interminable conversations about handbags and sports, and going to Outback Steakhouse once a week for the rest of your life.
As well as vacationing in Vegas and Walt Disney World.
Not just once, several times.

Like Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, and Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, four term president of Iceland, I have been a fish slapper for many years.
I favour the dried flounder.


After having a pint at Vesuvio Cafe, we ended up in a place where two visiting business men insisted on singing 'We All Live In A Yellow Submarine' on Karaoke. This is not recommended.
It also leads to epiphanies.
None good.

It could have been worse.
I really hate The Eagles.

No Canadians were harmed in the making of this post.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016


After an early lunch -- meaning that I had mui choi kau yiuk, yong tau fu, and chau yau choi over rice with some soup before two o'clock and watched four galumphing pink people trying to figure out what was plainly written on wall while eating -- I wandered the local alley ways smoking a pipe.

And got to overhear four Cantonese pre-teen girls talking.

"Oh my gawd, that's so f*cking gay!"

"Careful, Jen, we don't call that 'gay' anymore."

"Oh shove it, bitch!"

"Language! That's NOT nice."

"What you sayin'? I'll have you know that I am g*ddamned refined too, bitch! Re FINED!"

Man, I love pre-teen Cantonese girlies! Spunky!

Of course they'll probably grow up to be properly chastened blah wheatgerm San Franciscans, two dogs and a child on a leash by the time they're thirty, and an e-commerce yuppie or real-estate macher for a husband, of some indeterminate racial heritage (from pink at one extreme to yellow at the other), plus a Benz with 'Spring Storms' air-freshener.

Consumers of shoes, handbags, piercings, and trendy food products.

A pity, really. They could be architects or congresswomen.
Or astronauts.

Foul-mouthed astronauts.


Mui choi kau yiuk (梅菜扣肉): nice fatty pork with salted cabbage, simmered till the layers of fat are buttery soft. It is a most desirable substance, darn well Cantonese soul food. Yong tau fu (釀豆腐): soy bean curd chunks stuffed with fatty pork mince, which can be braised, stewed, steamed, or dusted and deepfried. Originally this was a Hakka dish, now it is universally known and loved by all Cantonese speakers. Also darn well soul food. Yau choi (油菜): a zesty type of brassica, which when briefly blanched and sauteed is utterly delicious.
Written on the wall: all the best things are written on the wall.
Learn to read, grasshopper.

Smoking a pipe: it was a Charatan billiard I've had for years, old briar, red-stained, saddle-stemmed. The tobacco was a mixture containing about four percent Perique, the rest mostly Virginias. Delicious!

Gay: of an alternative sexual inclination.
Bitch: a female canine American.
Refined: an odd idea.

And note, per the apartment mate, who is presently falling asleep in her room on the other side of the wall, that when you don't fill up the urine sample cup to the line requested, it gives you an immense and sinking sense of under-achievement. She sneered that in my case that would probably be no problem, as my bladder is the size of a water-melon, compared to everyone else's grape-sized "normal" bladder.
Normal folks do NOT have the capacity of a camel!
Damn', boy, you are a freak of nature.
Weird mutant kwailo!

She used to be a cute little pre-teen Cantonese girlie.
Years ago, before she grew to adulthood.
Met me, and moved in.

Grape-sized bladder.
Good lord.

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Let us start the day off with a little bit of Jewish law. As, quite naturally, one might do. Which is a good thing.

Talmud, Bava Metzia 59b

Rabbi Eliezer said: "To the Knight who still says ni; why, when everyone else in your shul is saying "ecky ecky ecky ecky pikang zoop boing goodemzoo owli zhiv", do you stubbornly insist that "ecky ecky ecky ecky pikang zoop boing goodemzoo owli zhiv" is NOT the minhag of the old country, and you don't care what these Gallitzianers or Rumanians do, you will still say 'ni'?"

Rabbi Judah said, in the name of Shmuel: "Minhag has the weight of halacha, and the minhag says 'ni'. Punkt. Keep saying 'ni' as you were taught in a heilige mesorah all the way from the mountain.
Ecky ecky ecky ecky pikang zoop boing goodemzoo owli zhiv is merely a ridiculous chumrah.

But Rabbi Joshua kvetched: "If learned knights are debating a point of chivalry, what are your qualifications to disagree? Ecky ecky ecky ecky pikang zoop boing goodemzoo owli zhiv is the correct custom of our kehilla."

To which Rabbi Eiezer retorted: "Not only is ecky ecky ecky ecky pikang zoop boing goodemzoo owli zhiv far more ridiculous than "ni", but it does NOT fit into a standard cartoon talk balloon."

Whereupon a voice from upstairs cried out angrily: "I only require one shrubbery. A nice one, and not too expensive. So there's NO point in getting two and placing the second one beside the first one, only slightly higher, to get the two level effect, et cetera. Even if minhag dictates that you should get one for each member of the family. And what's this about chopping sh*t with herring? That's SO Litvak!
Goyishe kop!"

Nu, it remains a machlokes.

That, more or less, was what went through my head when I thought someone else was being referred to as "Katzenbatz" yesterday.
There were several conversations going on at once.
One of which was Boris holding forth.
I may have misheard.

If so, I apologize for thinking that the name fit.


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Monday, March 28, 2016


There are times when social chit-chat goes decisively south.

"California was colonized by settlers coming down the Oregon trail with vast herds of pigs, after crossing that big thing in the middle of the country, what's it called, The Great Sahara? Yeah man, lots of dry sand and those things like Jawas.
I seen the movies.

We were discussing what we did on Easter.

"That's why we ate ham Sunday; because, California."

I should really know better by now than to engage seemingly likable cigar smokers whom I have never met before in conversation, as their world views are, necessarily, in permanent conflict with the weltanschauung of almost any pipe smoker, excepting the aficionados of aromatics.

Sometimes they seem like badly educated teenagers.

Sometimes, simple and trusting kindergartners.

Their 'on, off' switches need calibrating.

Evil hamsters. Evil!

Tomorrow is a day off. Consequently almost all conversations are likely to be completely sane and normal. No creative re-interpretations of reality, no paranoid suggestions of world-takeover by aliens, no sneering remarks about ethnic cooking, no boastful burbling about their hot tubs, bicycling gear, water bottles, and suburban car ports.

Hamsters are easily overstimulated.

They go all giddy.

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This post is for all those people who keep forwarding cute kitten crap. The videos, photos, and even articles, that show in fullest detail, what that cute little furball did recently.

Oh, it's just darling. How can you NOT love cats?!?

Sweet, personable, full of character.

It's a darn good thing that felines can't vote.

You do know the little f*ckers would all vote for Trump, right? Every last one of them. They actually hate you, and want to see you reduced to wandering around on all fours, desperate for a place in the sun or on the radiator. Which you can't have, because they already claimed it.

And you don't have claws.

They do.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016


My apartment mate bought me some meatballs. She knows I like good meatballs, but refuse to hike around the corner four blocks uphill to visit Trader Joe's, even though it is in the exact same spot that Cala Market used to occupy.

No, I do not object to high-fallutin' yuppie foodstuffs necessarily, it's just that I can't stand transplanted East-Coasters with their ever-so-precious and superior white middle-class attitudes refusing to patronize actual local businesses, because those are all filled with Mexicans and Chinese.

Yes yes, I know it's not about that. They more than tolerate those people, why, they welcome the cultural diversity of the city they immigrated into!

It's just, you know, everything in Trader Joe's is in English.
The peanut butter is gourmet, and gluten free!
Plus they sell bottled water.
It's safe!

Anyhow, these are excellent meatballs, and the same brand that used to be available at Cala Market (open 24 hours), as well as at the Chinese grocery store for white people less than half a block away on the corner that closed three years ago which I really miss.

Basic point is that I don't like how the neighborhood has changed.

Nobody consulted me, and I'm grumpy about that.

But I sure do like meatballs.

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The Easter Bunny lay among the scraps of foil from all the chocolate eggs and placidly burped. This had turned out to be a fine day after all, even though it had started off impossibly grim.

Early in the morning there had been those phone calls threatening to block his funding if he gave Easter Candy to welfare recipients in several American states where the Republicans wanted to punish poor people.
He had first tried to patiently explain that A) he was not part of any Federal food program that their congressional representatives voted on, and B) they should all hush up because their states took far more money from the Federal government than they had contributed in any case.
What with being a bunch of parasitical hosebags.

Then also, his role in the days events was purely secular, couldn't they understand that? He operated entirely without any sort of church sanction, and could not care less what their fundie scum voters thought.
He didn't answer to any religion, so bugger them.
And their hatchet-faced preachers.

Then he simply hung up.

While he distributed chocolate eggs back east, angry food activists and assorted harridans tried to lynch him for distributing sugar and non-green-sourced cocoa, how dare he try to poison them?!?!?

"We demand kale and carrots, insensitive rodent!"

He skipped Kentucky and North Carolina entirely, seeing as those were barbaric and repressive places, populated by zealots and gun nuts likely to shoot at him, and many of them were short on teeth anyway.
Overweight Christian neanderthals don't need candy.

In California, first the Vegans attacked him because eggs are a symbol of oppression, and a bunny distributing such horrid things is just a collaborator, a veritable Uncle Tom. Filthy capitalist!

Then potheads tried to steal all the candy.

Finally, a street person in San Francisco screamed at him because his chocolate eggs were not certified organic, gluten-free, non-gmo, fair trade low fat small-batch artisanal soymilk and hazelnut.

After sexually propositioning him.

"Hey furball, are those made in China?!?"

And at that point, he said "oh f*ck it", and went home.
For the first time in his life, he gorged on chocolate.

No point in leaving ANY for the little turds, anyway, as their insufferable parents seemed determined to spoil the holiday with unrealistic demands and ideas, and their constant whiny, kvetchy, bellyaching, insufferable, petulant, stuck-up, and altogether nauseating and infuriating "my kids are SPECIAL" attitudes.

Sure they are, bitch, they're troll-like no-neck monsters.

Next year, those nasty little brats are getting cigars.

Easter is about sticking things in your mouth.

He lazily stretched out a paw and grabbed another malted milk ball. Hmmm, why had he never thought of eating all the chocolate himself before? This was great. And there was still plenty left.

He still had bunny ears to bite off.

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Stomach discomfort woke me up at five. Perhaps I should not have eaten what I did.

Secure in the knowledge that Easter meant a sunday off, I stayed up a little later than usual, and consumed food which, on second thought, may have been ill advised.
Sliced pork fried with chili peppers and Szechuan pickle, plus a drizzle of soy sauce, over noodles, and a small cheese omelette.
Followed by a bowl of ice cream.
And cookies.

Then more ice cream.

Symbolically, the ice cream (and cookies) probably stands in for the lack of a sex life or something. When something is lacking in your daily existence, like a sex life or something, as just one example, other things (like ice cream, or cookies) necessarily compensate. And yesterday evening, ice cream was the most exciting thing that happened to me.

It wasn't even very good ice cream.

Other men, faced with a similar lack of a sex life or something, might have gone out partying on Saturday night and, upon failing to meet the girl next door or whatever other person inhabited their dreams of either a normal suburban middle class future or immediate ill-advised intimacy with an intoxicated stranger, would've gotten drunk.
Riotously stinko drunk.

If you have visited this blog before, and read my waffle about pipe tobacco and Hong Kong style milk tea, you might be wondering, given that I have described both of those products in lyrical and sexually laden terms, and might be assumed to prefer them as a symbolic stand-in for a sex life or something, why did I not simply over-indulge in both or either?
Which would have been what you expected.

I likewise am wondering that.

It would have been sensible.

Something is missing in my life. Maybe the sense of repetition is starting to pall, maybe I should stop reading about how perfect everybody else is on Facebook, maybe I should take up bowling or canasta.

Today is a good day to avoid chocolate.

I should go back to bed.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016


This blogger had honestly presumed that his pipe-smoking, facial hair, and other evident signs of mature peculiarity would be enough to scare off the timorous virgins. Not, mind you, that such was the actual plan.
But anybody who wished to tackle me, from a dating standpoint, needed to know what they were in for: undisguised imperfection.
And I rather enjoyed the depressing loneliness.
At least there was nothing objectionable.
No surprises, no drama.

But I may have been overly placid.

The other day a very nice waitress at one of my favourite eateries in Chinatown asked me why I always ate alone, and, having received the answer she expected (我未結婚 'ngo mei git-fan'), promptly asked if she could introduce me to someone. Would I, she wanted to know, be willing to meet a friend of hers? Someone who was even ten years younger than herself? She was willing to make an introduction!

Maybe, maybe, maybe, let me think about it.

Nice that she considers me a 'prospect'

But it's almighty surprising too.


[Notes: 我未結婚 ('ngo mei git-fan') literally means "I am not yet married", more correctly 未娶 ('mei cheui', not hitched, an unmarried man), but the natural expectation in the Chinese scheme of things is that one should and eventually will marry. Ten years younger could mean almost anything, and given that I assume the waitress herself to be between mid twenties and mid forties -- I am a lousy judge of age -- that is a very broad range.]

Gotta go.

The other day someone said that I was in a rut.
Yes, I am. Have been since I was born.

This is relevant, because I do not think I'll ever be ready to date cross-lingually. Far too frustrating. Both parties must be able to communicate with each other, and though I am somewhat conversationally capable in Chinese, and even have a little facility with the written language, by far my best languages are English and Dutch. Which means that the other party, even if tongue-tied, needs to be an English-speaker.

How else would I able explain anything about myself?

And how would I be able to understand her?

Or grasp her expectations?

The other thing is that I am NOT a suitable match, what with being not prosperous nor an outstanding middle-class success, and I rather doubt that most women are in it for the sheer fun of dealing with eccentrics whose idea of a darn good time is a good book, a pot of tea, a pipe, and a comfortable throw rug.

Why, if I had to pack for a journey, that's exactly what I would pack: books, tea, a teapot, cup, pipes and tobacco, matches, and a comfortable throw rug. Plus, perhaps, a mosquito net.

I am somewhat scared to go back to that cha chanteng now. I don't know what is going to happen if and when I do, nor do I have a clue how to communicate that whoever the person is, it almost certainly would be a disappointing waste of her time, and she might be far better advised to look elsewhere from the very beginning.
Doing so would be face-saving for everyone.

I would be comfortable dating a woman who already knew much about me. Such a woman would have to be stubborn, independent-minded, and possessed of a keen appreciation for absurdity.

Why would she want to?

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Friday, March 25, 2016


It must have been what he was smoking. Sometimes that's the only logical explanation. And, as a result, a woman several decades younger than him nimbly cleaned his right ear thoroughly with her tongue.
While possibly on the way to the bathroom.

The three of us had had such a good time at Kim Komenich's booksigning that we decided to continue our conversation at San Francisco's only establishment where smoking is encouraged.

[KIM KOMENICH: After the assasination of Benigno ('Ninoy') Acquino upon his return to the Philippines in 1983, besides attempting to cover-up governmental involvement in the murder, Ferdinand Marcos and his lovely wife Imelda staged one of the most blatantly rigged elections in their nation's history. Public agitation and disgust culminated in their overthrow in February of 1986.
As a news photographer, Kim documented conditions and events in the Philippines during that time, and his splendid book Revolution Revisited - A Look Back at the 1986 Philippine Revolution presents a kaleidoscopic overview.

Of particular interest are the brief biographies of people affected by the Marcos regime's venality and corruption, from Joel Abong (victim of malnutrition in Negros Occidental, 1985 - page 96) through Fidel Ramos (general, and later president, page 112).
Yes, Imelda is also there.

I was in the Philippines when Acquino was killed, and for the next four years events there obsessively held my attention. Along with countless others in the San Francisco Bay Area, I celebrated the fall of the regime and watched the video of Mr. and Mrs. Marcos hasty departure from Malacañang exultantly.]

I highly recommend the book, by the way.


Three civilized tobaccos made the rounds; a modest little Virginia and Perique mixture which I had compounded, a tin of Vintage from Fribourg & Treyer, and Peter Heinrichs Dark Strong Flake.

Nick made the mistake of trying the Dark Strong Flake first, and while he was savouring it, the younger person attacked him with lust in her eyes and joy in her heart. Quite probably attracted by the manly-man smell of the tobacco. Again, I stress the age difference!
Several decades.

No, I do not deny that he's "still got it", but all three of us actually "still got it", especially by enjoying our briars in a venue where cigar smokers diminish whatever pallid sex-appeal they might have by being more precisely themselves than their significant others normally allow.
We are always ourselves, and that's just ducky.

All of us, including himself, were surprised at how his robust animal magnetism drew the happy miss from all the way across the room and into his arms, and at such great speed.

Disconcerted too. He has probably disinfected his ear since then.

As a logical man, I can only deduce that the tobacco gave him an unnatural boost. Must be the effect of Kentucky mixed with aged Virginia leaf.

I tried it myself, after I had finished the bowl I had been working on, but by that time the female person had already been ejected, so the effects were not the same. She did make several attempts to re-enter.
Which were confounded by resolute staff action.
Her spontaneity was "commendable".
But she was not my type.

Peter Heinrich's tobacco is juicy, and has a nice figgyness. Thick strips of darkened flake, old-fashioned and ambachtelijk. It is nice. Very nice.
A surprisingly easy smoke for so rich and earthy a product.
I shan't buy it, despite its proven effaciousness.
But I would smoke it again.

Fribourg & Treyer's Vintage consists of nice thin perfectly rectangular Virginia flakes, modestly bright, that once touched with a match will smell old-timey. Like all such pressed Virginias it must be smoked slowly.
It won't knock your socks off but you will find it enjoyable.
Sadly, it does not attract mad women.

My own modest blend has slightly more than four percent Perique, and eighty percent un mezcla of flue-cured leaf; after a few weeks to meld the flavours, it is a pleasant all-day smoke for people like me.
Despite not triggering startling behaviour.


At the very next meeting of the pipe club, I shall ask Nick to disquisition on lingual ear-cleaning, for the benefit of members (such as myself) for whom such things are not common. This should prove extremely entertaining.
I have not experienced anything even remotely like it for years, despite being significantly younger than Nick. Other than amazingly sexy pipe tobacco, what is his secret?

My joints don't audibly creak, I comb my beard and shave regularly, and I have altogether clean and commendable habits.

I shall not switch to Peter Heinrichs Dark Strong Flake, however.
It's a matter of principle, and I like what I have.


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Thursday, March 24, 2016


Years ago I would have gone there with my ex, if I had known about the place and if she had ever wished us to have dinner in Chinatown.
But I never went there while we were together, and we never ate in Chinatown because she was paranoid about her parents' kinfolk, neighbors, and nosy fellow villagers, possibly (probably) gossipping.
Yes, it was a somewhat strange relationship.
We have remained friends, though.
That's also strange.

Anyhow, the good thing is that now that I'm no longer with her, eating in Chinatown and discovering wonderful new things for dinner on my own has opened up, and I can have soy sauce chicken (豉油雞 'si yau kai') at the Capital Restaurant.

They only make it every other week.

It's delicious.

The serving of stirfried little bokchoi was also delicious. Absolutely marvelous, full of flavour, and wonderful altogether.

839 Clay Street
San Francisco, CA 94108.
Telephone: 415-397-6269

['king to tsan-kwun'. Between Waverly Place and Hang Ah Alley.]

They sell huge amounts of salt and pepper chicken wings, for which they are famous, but they also prepare excellent whole steamed fish, old-fashioned Cantonese home-style dishes, nicely stirfried vegetables, and many of the regular Chinese restaurant staples, as well as rice-plates.

Often when I go there I will sit at the counter and order the fish flavour eggplant (魚香茄子 'yü heung ke ji'), or fish and fresh vegetable (菜遠蘢脷魚 'choi yuen lung lei yü'), or black bean bitter melon and chicken (苦瓜雞球 'fu gwa kai kau'). Whatever, over rice.
The lunch plate special, but around dinner time.
The single man does not require much.

I've gone there for years now.

No, I shall never tell her about the place nor mention the wonderful food. She'd want to take her on-again off-again boyfriend ("Wheelie Boy"), who would probably hate it, and I certainly do not want to encounter either of them there, especially not together.

It would be most uncomfortable.

Instead, I'm thinking it would be great place to take someone myself.

Catfish any style. Sauteed squids. Deepfried flounder.
Salted fish with chicken and tofu in a clay pot.
Sea cucumber with black mushrooms.
Oysters with roast pork.
Seafood combo.

I had dinner there yesterday evening. It was quite delicious. Delicious delicious delicious. Did I mention the little bokchoi? Delicious. The trick to a fine soy sauce chicken is to never boil the bird, as that toughens up the flesh. Instead turn heat very low, then off, so that it poaches in the liquid as the pot cools. That way the flesh is sweet and juicy.
Use very fresh chicken.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016


I thought it said 'cheese', but it tasted like grape. Fake grape. There was also strawberry. Both of these are among the easiest artificial flavours. There was also a bag that said "tropical mix", but that's nearly half banana, which I am somewhat allergic to. Bananas make me itch.

For a true sense of discomfort on public transportation, sit next to someone who is constantly scratching.

There are quite a number of things that hypersensitize the dermis, but fortunately most of them can be avoided, including scratching men on the bus. Walking is not any safer, however. The loony who worshipped my shadow in Hang Ah Alley took off his shirt, and but for deft footwork on my part would have fondly touched me.

I am not ready to be stroked by a naked man.

Not in public, not now, not ever.

If it had been a pretty young lady of impeccable sanity and good taste, temporarily drunk on my awesomeness, it would have been a different story. I would have put my coat around her naked torso, and told her "here, wear this, you must be freezing, we'll talk later". Within minutes she would have come back down to earth and wondered what the heck came over her.
With a bit of luck, nobody else would have seen anything.
And who is this strangely intoxicating old coot?

That has not happened yet, and maybe will not ever, but I'm just mentioning it as something infinitely more appealing public disrobing-wise than the unclean crazy person who was there.

He got on the bus before I did.

I waited for the next one.

Some risks, um, no.

No bananas.

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One thing that often proves to be extremely uncomfortable is when friends and acquaintances ask what my take is on one of their favourite Chinese Restaurants. They know I'm persnickety, as well as an avid cook -- often the only way to get something that absolutely hits the spot is to make it yourself -- and consequently assume that I search the city far and wide for new things to eat on my days off.

Which last is completely not the case.

I distrust Chinese restaurants where no one speaks Cantonese.


Everyone is eating General Tsao's Chicken. There must be some mistake.

"Brown rice, gluten-free, no shrimppaste, low sodium soy; nom nom nom."

Additionally, most Chinese restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area cater to bourgeois white people, and consequently have limitations on what they can and cannot serve, as well as far too much ambiance, and even, oh horrors, drink lists!

Yeah, I know, I've heard the lecture. There's no earthly reason why authentic Chinese food should not be paired with good wine, nor need great cuisine always be served in a dump. But catering to a demographic the majority of whom hardly ever cook, can't pronounce words, have very limited culinary knowledge coupled with severe hang-ups and fetishes, and are not very adventurous besides (despite their own fond self-images), while it may be highly recommended for health, happiness, and prosperity, does not mean good food. Usually it's passable, except for the high price.

Additionally, whenever I see a sign that says "Hunan" I will automatically assume that that means Guangzhou dockworkers cooking slop with chili peppers, too much garlic, and possibly even table cloths, for white people.
They speak a civilised tongue, which means that they should indeed be trustworthy, but claiming that the food is "Hunanese" is an honest advertisement warning other Cantonese to be cautious.

[A little side track: Cantonese food is relatively simple, but the attention to detail is all in the taste, freshness of ingredients, and satisfaction of other Cantonese speakers, although there are Cantonese people who will constantly return to that nasty place in the middle of Stockton Street, west side, bellyaching about the food after they leave, but going there again and again because despite being noisy and squalid with worse than mediocre chow, it is bustling, quick, and cheap. So MUCH for so little! BUT! Worst damned yautiu ever, nauseating, which I only know because I went there seven times to see if that was what they always did. They do, dammit. I got screwed. I'm sure they buy their chicken parts from an auto repair shop. Haven't been in a while, perhaps I should go again soon to see if it's as horribly unsatisfying but still as inexpensive as I remember.]

The Cantonese are adventurous eaters, but they know that what brings out the best in an ingredient is a light touch. Steaming, simmering, or poaching, with straightforward flavour additions.

Westerners like stirfried or deepfried with gloopy sauce and cashews.

You can see where these two things must contradict each other.

So, what did I think of your favourite restaurant?

"You know, I have never actually eaten there, I just don't explore outside of Chinatown much, we should go together some time, I am keen to try it, please tell me more!"

I probably ate there years ago, and was appalled; no poached chicken or seafood, reheated roast duck they bought ready-made in Chinatown and buggered up on the premises, only two vegetables (Western Broccoli and snow peas), greasy northern muck, their "famous" tan tan noodles where just awful, dried chilies here there and everywhere, overly sweet, and staff speaking some crude barking country dialect of Mandarin, plus it cost way more than I expected to pay, almost certainly because of the table cloths, nice lighting, fancy paint job on the walls, and tacky cultural crap tacked up for decoration and that crucial note of exoticism and authenticity, but I'll be damned if I'll tell you that and bust your bubble.
I know you really like the place.

They have nice table settings.

I'll just make a note never to take you to my favourite dives, but if we ever eat Chinese food together it will be at Yank Sing, which despite the prices and the table cloths has some of the finest dim sum anywhere, and along with R & G Lounge, manages to do great food even with table cloths, stellar service, and a wine list.

If you really want, they can also make Sweet'n Sour Pork and Kung Pao Chicken.

It will be so happy.

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Yesterday I got roped into a comment string that included several anti vaccination activists. As a result of which, I have been reliably informed that I am a dangerous commie (yes, that's true), as well as a fascist along the lines of Mussolini and "Hilter", that my children deserve! to become bedbound morons because I am a shill for big pharma, and that they will make some state agency take away my family before I kill them.

Other than insisting that I do NOT live in Sacramento or Marin, but instead reside in very nice though modestly middleclass temporary digs in Minehead, Somerset, and that the ONLY medical procedure that must be stopped is putting a bit of lard on the cat's boil, I'm afraid that I simply goaded the poor dears further into their paranoid state.
I have never done time for war crimes.
It was just for fun.

Anti-vaxxers are dangerous and delusional. And a very diverse bunch, manifesting shades of weirdness all the way from vegetarians and new age hippies to racialists and gun nuts.

Anti-vaxxers, in other words, represent the worst of America.
Ignorant, and unhinged.

I also wish to state that I do not possess three lovely children whose names I will not divulge, and that we do not live in a lovely suburban ranch-style dwelling on xxxxxxx Avenue in Rosemead.
Please do not threaten my dog.
Or my wife Trixie.

Instead, I suggest that I am a four foot tall morbidly obese single person with horns and facial scarring, resident of Santa Cruz, where I work for the Army Mass-Infection Project, developing newer and ever more daemonic chemtrails, so that eventually you will all look like this!

I shall kidnap Christine and force her to love me!

I am Erik, and I will destroy Raoul.

I have a ring of power.

I am French.

I have deleted an e-mail address and a facebook account, and will shortly head out to consume GMO substances vetted by Monsanto and possibly created by the Illuminati.

You will never find me.


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Tuesday, March 22, 2016


She could not be described as a beauty. But she had character, and a runny nose. And she was enjoying a pastry and some Hong Kong style milk-tea. That last part, of course, really spoke to me. I myself am an aficionado of that beverage, and I like the way they make it there.
Strong, bitter but for the sweetness of the evaporated milk.

I was glad she was there, because it gave me someone to observe. Her face was broader than long, and her hair was slightly mussy. No, I have no clue whatsoever what her age was. Older than early twenties would be my guess, but not yet old enough to have fully grown kids. Though toward the younger end of the age-span between those two extremes.
Possibly a mother of grammar school children.

We started our tea at the same time, and finished at the same time. Our paths and actions diverged enormously after that; it is more than highly unlikely that she lit up a nice bowlful of a Virginia mixture and enjoyed a pipe while ambling down past the old Chinatown Telephone Exchange (now a filial of East West Bank, 華美銀行), before at last ending up waiting for a bus to take her back over the hill.

But really, she should have. It would probably have been to her taste.
And she would have looked good with a pipe. I think an elegant semi-bent black sandblast might be just her style.

Women who smoke should demonstrate that it was a deliberate choice, not an addiction that crept up on them, and entirely free of peer pressure or social drinking with bad companions.

A pipe does that admirably.

Especially at tea-time.

After work, at rest.


I of course smoke a pipe because I've been doing so for years, and it helps me think. I am not any wiser because of it, but arguably still far saner than perhaps I would have been.

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You read it here first: bombs in Zaventem and Maelbeek go a long way to solving world hunger, eradicating disease, creating full employment, and winning acceptance for strict interpretations of religion. Which, assuredly, was the intent of the Wahhabis responsible for this bold act, as well as the Saudis who in the kindness of their hearts encouraged and enabled them.

Thank you, Saudi Arabia! Your cultural impact is deep!

According to a Belgian official, "virtually every police detective and military intelligence official in the country (was) focused on international jihadi investigations".

"“We just don’t have the people to watch anything else and, frankly, we don’t have the infrastructure to properly investigate or monitor hundreds of individuals suspected of terror links, as well as pursue the hundreds of open files and investigations we have,”"

[Source: BBC]

What that must inevitably mean is that subtlety and nuance will go out the door, as well as consideration for the rights and safety of certain immigrant groups who have failed to properly appreciate the benefits of living in a liberal democracy.

Instead, a blanket approach, even heavy handed bias and inconvenience to many residents of Molenbeek, Vilvoorde, Sint Gillis, and Schaarbeek.
As well as similar neighborhoods in other European cities.
Plus, at times, "discomfort" and "limitations".

It also lessens the toleration of Wahhabi bullpuckey outside of Saudi Arabia and certain corners of the Arab world, like Al Azhar. Or even of the people walking around in dishdashas and burqas, such as many Muslims who do not realize that wearing separationist garb is not entirely appropriate in a liberal democracy. Nor that the rejectionism implied by their personal style may not be warmly appreciated.

Yes, it will be selective.

Climate change.


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Why blog? Because I'm tongue-tied. It's a rather Waspy thing. It is, far too often, easier to say what one feels by writing, than by conversation, and it is even better if it is semi-anonymous. Especially when one desires to say something either incisive or downright brutal.
Even then I seldom give vent to such tendencies, although I really enjoy making nasty comments about several people, for whom, were they in the flesh, I might have nothing but the warmest fellow feeling.

Like Vegans and Republicans, for instance.

Some of my best friends are Vegan.

Yeah, I suppose one could read a certain passive-aggressive tendency in the blogging process, as well as bloated self-obsession. That may indeed be there, but isn't penning essays far better than being the "charming" loudmouth at every party?

And even though I do not mind attention (understatement), when it happens among a group of other people I always wonder if there's a tear in my pants or drool down my shirt that everyone else sees but to which I am stupidly oblivious, even worse, a mental defect is plainly apparent to everyone but me.
Not an actual nose zit, but a karmic pimple of immense proportion, or my shadow casting daemon wings on the wall behind me.

Add to that the fact that I often realize that certain habits are not endearing when they become repetitive, such as softly singing The Internationale in German whenever a notoriously amoral Republican of my acquaintance enters the room, because I know it bugs the heck out of him. At that point, posting gibberish and recipes in a seldom visited corner of the internet becomes a very attractive option.

Doing so shows social polish.

For your reference:


Go ahead; belt it out. If any American rightwingers even know what it is, that will be a miracle. The only reason why my bozo acquaintance recognizes it now, is me.

{You could also sing it in Dutch ("De Internationale - Stem Des Volks") but quite honestly, English-speakers trying to pronounce the noble Netherlandish tongue are a torture no one can endure.]

Actually, I seldom avail myself of the freedom to make nasty comments about Republicans and Vegans, despite the fact that Veganism is one of the most pretentious and idiotic dickhead affectations anyone can have. Nothing says "first world" more than complaining about food.

Not that it tastes bad, but that it is ideologically incorrect and spiritually deficient, and that one is personally too holy and caring to touch it.

Hypothetical Yelp review: "We went to Rupert's Steakhouse because a friend recommended it, and they refused to serve us quinoa! Can you believe it! Such a horrible attitude! And when we asked if there was gluten in the complimentary dinner rolls, the server pretended not to know! Earthmaiden and I will NEVER go there again!"

The other nice thing about a blog is that people in very many different places might read it. It's nice to have an audience, even if some of them only come here for zebra recipes, the forlorn search for porn, or positive observations about Lithuania.

Semi-anonymous internet attention is ALWAYS better than encountering passive-aggressive Vegans in the flesh.
That, really, explains everything.

One my days off, such as today, I avoid Vegans.

Non-Vegans are far sweeter people.

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Monday, March 21, 2016


In an intellectual discussion about why little girls cannot safely google anything anymore, the facebook friend of a facebook friend mentioned that he knows grown women who make My Little Pony adult movies.


Clearly, Santa has some spanking to do.

I am not baffled or disturbed by how perverse our society has become. Largely because I have always been keenly aware of how creatively sicko my fellow humans can be. And by comparison, I look pure and innocent. Quite positively clean-minded and sweet-natured.

I am much more mature and virginal than anyone else!
Reserved and sensible too!

Which is only natural, seeing as I am a shy pink-faced rabbinical student who reads nicely bowdlerized stuff from the world's most popular Jewish publishing house -- you should see the pablumish horror they committed with the Song of Songs! -- and I strenuously avoid ALL media which shows women's faces. Or acknowledges that they exist!

Either that, or I'm a poor black kid in a depressed neighborhood, who does not have internet access or even a cell-phone, and consequently is entirely un-acquainted with smut, filth, pornography, nasty pictures, flexible rubber gadgets, or bad language.

I am a Buddhist in an orchard surrounded by rotten apples.

Oh happy little butterfly that is me!

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A few days ago I allowed a clickbait site to analyze my personality. And, completely as I expected, it did not say anything surprising. Those things aren't meant to do that, given that if they did it would disconcert the clickbait fish, who would then refrain from trumpeting the neat-o site to all their various pals and wals.

So I "improved" upon their postable result:

This, dear reader, is about as close as you may come to understanding what I am, and seeing a likeness of myself, on this blog.

I'll just add a few more things for you to ponder:

If I had been born a woman, I should have remained a virgin till long after college, just because.

I am five feet eight and half inches tall, precisely and approximately.

The tobacco in that pipe is probably matured Virginia.

I refuse to become an old man.

No nuts.

All of this reminds me that I probably should update my LinkedIn profile, re-visit my dating site account, and post two or three more sinister reviews on Yelp. Haven't done any of that in many months.
My social media consists of basically three things: posts on this blog, Facebooking, and the occasional nasty anonymous comment.

I'm not really virtual reality social.
More a real-world person.
And no cell-phone.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016


As I was devouring my fried noodles with porky bits and vegetables, an irritating noise became apparent. It was the kind of sound one expects from spoiled brats just before they get slapped, as well as a certain class of Shanghainese woman (typically, the pampered money lender's moll, mistress, or concubine). The originator was not of brat age -- though she sounded like she had not progressed one iota since then -- and judging by the language, not Shanghainese either. Unless she and that unfortunate husband-thing of hers had only Mandarin in common, and she was channeling for the entire Wusong sisterhood.

[NOTE: Wusong (吳淞) is the river which becomes Suzhou Creek (蘇州河) and joins the estuary at Hu Du (滬瀆 "Fishing-spear Gutter"), also called 吳淞口 ("Wu Song Mouth") right where the Huangpu ( 黄浦江 "Yellow Shore River") and the Yangtze (揚子江 "Winnower River") form an estuary. It is the epicentre of the world, according to the natives, and they prize its beauty and its catfish, utterly disregarding the effluviatic miasmas and the far too frequent decomposing pig carcasses (黄浦江死猪漂流事件) floating down the stream. Shanghainese smoked fish (蘇式燻魚) and sweet and sour fish (松子桂花魚) are famous local delicacies.]

Stuff like that sets your teeth on edge.

No offense intended to the Shanghainese dudes I hung out with years ago, but I now understand very well why one of them fell for the tall big-boobied blonde, and the other one married a small Japanese girl.
Anything to get away from the bitchy whining.


It isn't rare among other Chinese women either, but most often the ones who have it are advertising that all they have going for them is perceived sexual desirability. Sure, they may have a university degree, but they probably forgot everything the moment they graduated, because they had NO intention of using it for anything other than boosting their status and catching a banker. Many of them never made it that far, having at best a diploma from secretarial school or a beauty academy.

Some girls from Hong Kong also have it, but they need to be smacked; no self-respecting Cantonese woman should EVER sound like that.


Among Caucasians, it is not uncommon among snooty blondes, rich girls, and women of certain over-rated European derivations.
None of whom you should be caught dead with.

嗯,你不愛我 ... !
['Mmm, Ni PU ai wo ... !']

"You don't love me", whined huffily in an accusatory pouting snarly yet almost whimperingly disappointed baby-voice pissy manner. To which, logically, the response should have been "damned straight, bitch" (沒錯啦,你是這樣發牢騷的,真麻煩!).

Such behaviour is, basically, blackmail, and people who think it is both cute and appropriate behaviour have screws loose, irrespective of whether they are on the petulant side or the bepetulated end.

An adult should not act like an icky-poo baby.

He really should have firmly told her that he had a back zit with a better personality than her. You know, I honestly cannot remember what she looked like. Her attitude alone blanked that out of my mind.

On the other hand, I can still taste and see those yummy noodles. They were surpassingly delicious. I used more hotsauce than usual to distract me from the horrid sexpot and her henpecked biscuit.

Some men deserve women like that.

I prefer hotsauce.

I'll certainly go back for the noodles, and I particularly like that they have a nice hotsauce. The right red stuff is a detail, attention to which endears a place, and shows that the people running it really care.

I still wish I had shown up in time for the lunch special.
A plate of lovely grilled lamb chops, rice & soup.
Haven't had lamb in a while, more's the pity.
Good lamb is worth a special trip.

Come to think of it, I also can't recall what those two ghastly Mandarin speakers were having. Probably something pedestrian, because they didn't recognize anything Cantonese, and refused to experiment.

It may have been sweet and sour pork.

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Frequent readers, whom I certainly appreciate because they give me the attention I so richly desire, may have noticed a memeticism cropping up here once or twice.
Or perhaps way more often than that.

To whit, my remembered fondness for eating meals with one other person, because sharing food is an intimate and joyous act.
Sacramental, rather than sensual.

Breakfast, however, has never been part of it. Some of us are not even fully awake yet at that ghastly hour, while others are just bounding with energy, and full of piss and vinegar.



Say what you will about coffee, but it's a godsend.
Tea and Coca Cola work nearly as well.
Anything caffeinated.

Philosphically, I approve of the stereotypic American breakfast, which is buckets of stimulating beverages washing down all kinds of fried sh*t and starchy compost, plus sugar up the wazzoo.

I won't eat any of that, but I'll enjoy my hot beverage while watching someone else do so. I maintain that bacon is strictly for dinner.

In another five hours I may be snarfing a Danish.
And that's the extent of it.

I'm having coffee right now.
Mercifully alone.

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