Wednesday, May 31, 2017


All I can think he means is that he was on the internet and found a bunch of lovely Japanese cat girl pictures. Not, please understand, the usual slightly obscene ones featuring misguided real live schoolgirls wearing fur bikinis and paste-on tails -- that's so jejune, and only something frustrated juveniles go for -- but artistic and demure illustrations. Without even a shred of the sexuality so often dished up. Inoffensive for government work.
Something tasteful, and dare I say it, 'cute'.
As well as fully dressed.

Such as this:

These are two catgirl shrine maidens, very moe, but undoubtedly something the firewall at the White House can handle. Or the Parental Controls that Pence insisted upon. And that isn't really liquor in that bottle, you cynic.

I wish I could credit the source, but I do not know who drew this. It's very nice. And would make a great White House Seasonal Greeting Card.

And I can understand why he would exclaim "covfefe!". Anyone would. One cannot get anymore covfefe than that, it is the acme of covfefe.

How much more covfefe can it get? The answer is 'none'.
None more covfefe. It is the absolute paradigm.
The gold standard of covfefe.


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Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Judging by the most popular essays today, the internet is filled with people who approve of Cantonese women wearing underwear while eating roast duck or roast goose. Personally I think they should be wearing much more than that -- perhaps a napkin or a crab fest bib too -- but the internet stops at the underwear.

To be honest, slacks, a starched blouse, and a string of pearls would be my preference, with none of their nether garments actually visible, although presumably present in all the right places. I'm a bit peculiar that way.
But less is better to minds of limited means.

Just hazarding a guess, their imagination probably ends at the underwear, and they are torn between young women wearing grannies and grannies wearing thongs. While feasting on goose. Or duck.

Then the luscious smell of fatty roast bird takes over, and they swoon.
I suspect that their mouths water, they can even taste it.
A touch of soy, a hint of five spice .....
Sheer heaven!

I may be giving them too much credit for culinary curiosity. The underwear is tops on the list, the birds are bottom.

The fabulous five:

Nov 19, 2012.

Apr 27, 2011.

Apr 20, 2011.

Nov 4, 2011.

Dec 26, 2012.

Over the years I have posted way more stuff about food than about women or underwear, and that stuff usually gets tonnes of visitors. Only one minor segment of the population is truly interested in scanties (that being teenage boys, some of whom will go on to be cross-dressers), but almost everybody likes to eat.

I myself do.

Quite often in fact.


For your information, the internet search for "Cantonese woman in her underwear eating roast duck" brings up very many beautiful photos of roast duck. Mostly Peking Duck, especially at the top of the page, but if you scroll down further you also get Cantonese Roast Duck. There's also Twice Cooked Melting Pork, White Poached Chicken, beautiful little Hargow, Potstickers, a fried noodle mess of some kind, Bluefoot Mushrooms Pearl Onions and Flowering Watercress, a whole pig, and Joong (rice, peanuts, and fat pork, wrapped in a bamboo leaf and steamed).
Plus a flaky egg tart (蛋撻 'daan taat').

Pictures of baby potatoes.
Also rice porridge.

Eventually you will find black men.
I'm not quite sure how that works.

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There is a minute chance I may have overdone the hot sauce yesterday.
Dinner, at a place which will close its doors in two days after twenty seven years, was curry seafood fried rice (咖哩海鮮炒飯 'gaa lei hoi sin chaau faan'). Heat with fish is traditional. A man has got to have sambal.

Late last night I woke up from a dream involving a forest fire in an upland valley I have never visited, and got to thinking about excess. Despite my spartan habits and restrained character, this is something I know.

I still remember the morning I smoked a Liga Privada cigar on an empty stomach. I never have breakfast; that day I almost didn't get to lunch.
I blame a sales-rep handing out freebies.

There's also the time I enjoyed ten pipe-fulls in one day. Had a major nicotine hangover the next.

And there have been adventures with ice-cream.

Of course the poster-child of excess has to be Lamar Odom, who jacked himself with excessive quantities of cocaine and viagra during a break from his fright-bitch Kardasian wife while in Vegas a year and a half ago, then collapsed after oil-wrestling and vibrator sports. Truly a star of the field.
Normal folks cannot equal that grand performance.
Celebrity drug use is in a class by itself.
Kudos, dingbat, kudos.

A common belief holds that chilies are good for the male libido. That's not something I have ever noticed, but unlike Lamar Odom I never push my libido to ridiculous levels, and have not needed to take viagra.

I should mention that as a single man, and smelly because of tobacco to boot, this hasn't been an issue in the past few years. Women of refinement and good taste seldom (never) date people like me, and they are all married in any case. Nor have I pursued fruitful acquaintance with anyone of the female gender, as I suspect they would want to clean me up, change all my habits, introduce me to the family, keep me from eating gluten and meat, and turn me into a quiet lacto-vegetarian or church-going Christian.

Honestly, can you see me becoming a gluten-phobe?
Or even a Christian, god forbid?

My stomach hurts.
Too much chili.

Good stuff: Gluten, meat, seafood, Sriracha, milk tea, strong coffee, flue-cured tobacco, Perique, Latakia, Djubec, ripe chilies, noodles, fried rice, lumpia, eclairs, po lo bau, roast duck, down-filled comforters, long hot baths, crisp newspapers, the smell of pencil shavings, fountain pen ink, slagging Christians, talking smack about Texans and Republicans, smelling freshly mown grass or blooming anise along the freeway, contemplating sex, imaging conversations with a teddy bear (the Froad and the raccoon not so much), Lapsang Souchong tea on a rainy afternoon (we almost never have those in California), raw herring (very hard to find here), deep fried things, Kurt Weill, and my rickety old rattan chair (no, I do not need a new one, stop threatening to throw it out). As well as intelligent women.

Barbecued meats, crusty breads, garlic noodles.
Vaccination, gmos, chem trails.
Oysters Rockefeller.

And making fun of Gwyneth Paltrow's vagina.
Jade yoni eggs, pudendal steaming.
Pelvic floor excercises.

"The vulva, vagina, cervix, and uterus are not intuition repositories and neither are they sources of “power” or “wisdom.”"

 --- Dr. Jen Gunter

Sorry, I got totally sidetracked. The single man with too much chili pepper in his system does that occasionally.

I hug imaginary trees.

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Monday, May 29, 2017


Anybody seeking to understand the female of the species could do a lot worse than studying episodes of Bob's Burgers. There are, as perhaps you know, numerous specimens of femininity on the show. All of whom exemplify the finest of their kind.

Louise is brilliant and conniving, Aunt Gayle has epic coping mechanisms, and Tina, oh Tina; adorable zombie-loving angry rebellion personified.

Bob: "After the barbecue, I promise, everything will go back to normal."

Tina: "Will it?!!? Or is that another lie?!!?"

Bob: "Stay with me here by the grill, that way your sweat ... will look more natural."

The key wisdom which you need to take away from this episode is to try and keep the meat off the ground. For some reason, my apartment mate doesn't want me in the kitchen when she's cooking. An activity she does occasionally. Such as today. Something scrumptious for her boyfriend the dude in the wheelchair. In this episode that includes fresh butter-beans (big green fart babies). My natural instinct is to ask whether his sensitive little digestive system can handle those, but I guess I'll hear about that later, either way. So I just have to be patient. And stay out of the kitchen.

Fragile womanhood is in there, cooking, and it's vicious.

I am a man. I cook my own food.

Whenever I don't head down to Chinatown for snackies, that is. Or to the Mexican place around the corner for chorizo or carnitas plus other stuff and salsa. Cheese, avocado, tomato. Pork, pork, pork. And salsa.

The other day I wondered what their Vegan special was. That put me so off my appetite that I didn't eat until very late in the evening. Small chunks of smoky fat pork with eggplant and chilies, and thin egg noodles.
It wasn't a huge production, almost no time to prepare.
Left the kitchen clean, all utensils in the rack.

Unlike big green fart babies à la Savage Kitten, which is grand opera, and terrifying to nearby civilians such as myself.

Yes, I went down to Chinatown today. Can't smoke in the apartment anyhow when she's around, and after a while I got hungry.

Plus a man needs some fresh air.

Or brown butter, parsley, lemon.

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For the second time in six plus years I tried a bowl of Sutliff's 'Molto Dolce'. Lordknowshowlong I showcased this as the worst stinky smoke-sphagnum in existence, it behooved me to try it again.

Over the last year or so I have developed the habit of smoking at least one bowl of an aromatic on the Sundays that I work with Hector. He looks at me like I've lost my mind, puffs harder on his Nicaraguan cigar, and mutters something in Spanish, before eventually calling me a frightful pervert or suggesting that I probably also like ripping the wings off kittens.

That was seven weeks ago. I remember it with angst and loathing.
Molto Dolce ruined my mouth for the rest of the day.
Worse than chewing barbed wire.

[The open tin is so old it should be dessicated by now, but there's enough propylene glycol in there to embalm it. As well as, most likely, glycerin. It can never dry, but will live forever. It is an evil rotten sodden drecky mess of a tobacco that stinks of caramel and toffee with a hint of coconut that becomes more pronouced with age.]

I cannot believe how popular that stuff is. There are happy selfies all over the internet of people with their pipes "enjoying" a big bowlful of Molto Dolce. Their cheerful glowing faces fill me with resentment, I am made to despise their piercings, tattoos, and eccentric haircuts. Keenly do I wish for the day that their elderly mother throws them out of their dank basement apartments and tells them to get a job. And take that wrecked old Studebaker with you!

Molto Dolce, by Sutliff, is the kind of pipe tobacco that fills adults with distrust of the young.

It is the purest representative of everything tobacco should not be.

Hector and I work together every other Sunday.

It's coming up. Oh boy.

There's an open tin of Peterson's Founder's Choice for sampling. Mangoes, rum, and vanilla spritzed on sugary black Cavendish and very good quality Burleys. Yes, it does ghost the pipe in which one smokes it -- by accident one of those pipes was with me when I visited the Occidental, and I had to deflect Curtis by blaming the faint whisper of bordello perfume on the young people vaping outside -- but it doesn't bite the tongue ferociously and is actually quite smokable. And it really convinces Hector that I am quite the degenerate and wearing fluffy underwear beneath my khaki trousers.

The taste is fairly pleasant, and reminiscent of a girlie drink served in a coconut with a little umbrella on top.

On the Sundays when I don't work with Hector, the open tin of Esoterica's Tilbury beckons. Mostly well-aged Virginias, with very subtle additions of Burley and Perique.

Two bowls yesterday, followed by St. James Flake (Samuel Gawith).
Enough tea (Pu Erh) to sink a battle ship.
It was a very good day.


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Sunday, May 28, 2017


In all honesty, I would have suggested a cat. If you have to get one or the other, get a cat. At least they sort of respond to affection. And cats have personality, so talking to it is not quite like talking to a brick wall. Whereas vacuum cleaners are unemotional and not very responsive, rather lacking a functioning brain (or even an amygdala), and tending strongly to neurosis.
A man who talks to a vacuum cleaner might as well be talking to G-d.
For all the good that will do.

When I came home I switched on the computer, without even greeting my apartment mate -- she was talking about murder with her boyfriend, and enchanted by the details -- and clicked into Facebook.

First thing I saw:

"My vacuum has died a horrible and painful death."

That from a correspondent on the East Coast.

Most of the comment string:

"I told you not to use it it to clean up failed baking attempts. Vacuums do not do well with cake batter."

"... well, that sucks."

"I'm insulted that you think I ever fail."

"That sucks."

"Damn didn't see someone be me to it."

"That blows."

"At least he died doing what he loved."

"I'd say assuming gender is sexist, but saying dhe would be worse, wouldn't it?"

"At least ze died doing what ze loved?"

"Bonus points."

"Did it get clogged? Don't get choked up about it ... "

"Nature abhors a vacuum."

"That's why I cut vacuums out of my diet."

"Was gasoline involved in its death? If so it was a Nobel death indeed. Also,.please post the video."

"Damn. Simon beat me to it, and someone beat him? Double damn."

"Sucks for you."

"So many dirty jokes to make now..."

What is truly remarkable about this is that EVERYONE on that string is male. All males, commiserating with the original vacuum cleaner man.

I don't have a vacuum cleaner. My apartment mate owns a vacuum cleaner, which is the most recent of several she has owned. But she hardly ever uses it. See, both of us are kind of Aspy, and dust is a mere detail.

More to the point, neither of us gaily fling our cake batter around.
In fact, there has never been cake batter in this place.
Baking isn't a thing we ever do.

See, both of us are kind of Aspy ......

Murder is much more interesting.
And frightfully intellectual.

Get a cat. They can anthromorphoform.
Vacuum cleaners are just dumb.
Some are vulkodlaks.

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Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!

He'll be seventy one years old this year, his lovely children are successful hunters, business people, and vacuous fashion-plates, and his spouse is the best thing to ever come out of her country.

He is beloved by Christians, the middle classes, and even the simple people of Buchanan County, Virginia. Salt of the earth types.

"There’s a new sheriff in town, and he loves white, male, straight, Christian fundamentalists one hell of a lot more than anyone else."


He holds no truck with foreign tongues; if English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's certainly more than good enough for him.

Putin likes him. Real bromance there.

It's gonna be huge.


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Saturday, May 27, 2017


For years I've been recommending the brand of small cigarillo in my breast pocket to people by explaining that it's the perfect bus-stop smoke. Light one up, and the bus will turn the corner, or a rabid non-smoker will appear out of nowhere screaming at you.

It's the same principle behind cigarettes in roadside restaurants. The waitress will take your order now, and refill your coffee.

The opposite effect, however, goes for the condom that you kept in your upper left jacket pocket for six years. That it was there guaranteed that you would never need it, and now that it's gone you'll still never need it.

I guess it expired. When emptying all the pockets in order to launder the jacket I discovered that the package was no longer sealed, so I threw it out. It had fulfilled its task in life, it guarded me from contact, for several years. Yes, it remained unused, but I'm sure women could sense its evil presence.
It radiated powerful and scary yeung hei (yang energy), in consequence of which they left me alone. Now that it's finally gone, quite the opposite effect kicks in; the absence of a condom in a pocket discourages people.
Vibrantly dark ghost yeung hei. How utterly repellent!
I look around, and there's no one there.

I'm not particularly liking how this is working out. Perhaps I should step outside and light up a cigarillo. With my luck, a non-smoker of galactic dimensions, slimy and quivering, will start wailing about the children.

Oh, the precious! And their blistering puppies!
Tobacco, bad! Gmos! Vaccinations!
Karmic antichrists!

My excitement for Saturday evening is fighting with crazed space aliens. Either slug-like, or reptilian. This is San Francisco.

When I possess a condom, nothing.
Without a condom, zilch.

Maybe I should stand on the street corner yelling "I can spell condom, I iz a kollitch gradyawit!" At least then there would be a logical explanation for my staggering lack of connecting with the randy female beast.

Evident and extroverted eccentricity.

Outward signs of craziness.

Of course, I should mention that another reason for my long winning streak of celibacy has to do with my pickiness. I haven't met anybody, because I haven't met anybody.

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Friday, May 26, 2017


How ironic that I can read an overseas dissident's eloquent words, in perfect translation, when doing so in his home territory would probably bring me to the attention of the authorities there, and, eventually, here. Were he to bail out to the United States, there is no doubt he would be refused asylum and our officials would facilitate his own government's monitoring of him, and if he stayed, extend diplomatic immunity to the goons paid to rough him up.

With, naturally, the wholehearted approval of the Republican rank and file, as well as many elected Republican office holders.

NO, I shall not mention which dissident that is, nor where he is. Because there are readers of this blog in that country, and they are a significant trading partner as well as source of bribery ("investment").
Far be it from me to upset the applecart.

Oh, and the dissident in question is not a Christian.
Also, as bad or worse, he is not a Caucasian.

Either one of those 'nots' is enough to damn him in the eyes of the great American heartland.

Not only have we devalued our own liberties and ideals -- lip service at best -- but by doing so we have lessened their worth elsewhere in the world.

Liberal societies used to take differences of opinion for granted. Some still do. But overwhelmingly our leaders do not, and would gladly silence all who dare to think, in which they are supported by the middle-classes who fear any diminishment of their tenuous position, and cheer promises of less taxation and more law and order.

In lieu of any real political energy, we watch Game of Thrones.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017


Berkeley Breathed, author of the acclaimed comic strip 'Bloom County', received a threatening letter from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLC this morning stating that Donald Trump's face, and that of his lovely lady wife, mother of the pudgy-wudgy potato, was, more or less, trademarked.
Berkely had altered commercial images!
A grievous sin.

I reproduce the epistle below, which I found on Mr. Berkeley Breathed's facebook page. To the best of my knowledge it is already part of the public record, and Mr. Marc E. Kasowitz (of Kasowitz Benson Torres LLC) should not object to his deathless prose becoming far better known.
It is eloquent, and pretty damned Shakespearean, and pen-meisters nationwide can only stand in awe of his profundity.

See, where Mr. Breathed went wrong was that he didn't "artistify" the image. Make it uniquely his own. Created an illustrated version of Trumperdump's resplendent visage.

As I have done with Mitch McConnell.
I took a few liberties .....
Example below.


No one can possibly argue that this affects the commercial value of Mitch McConnell's squinty-eyed fat troll face negatively in any way, and there's probably a very good chance that his wife or her relatives see him in precisely so. If I were her, I would. If I were them, I would.
He's smiling and lovable.

Marc E. Kasowitz, Donald 'The Buttplug' Trump, and Mitch 'Deathclown' McConnell are all perfect representatives of their class.

I won't hear anything false said about them.

Here's Donny Trumperdumples.

My heavens isn't he a handsome fellow!
He looks just like Jesus!


Whenever I see the faces of Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell, it reminds me of one of the most lyrical and descriptive passages in all of literature:

"Tight clothing, type of underwear, and personal hygiene do not appear to be factors. Diagnosis is by testing a sample of vaginal discharge. As symptoms are similar to that of the sexually transmitted infections, chlamydia and gonorrhea, testing may be recommended."

"Despite the lack of evidence, wearing cotton underwear and loose fitting clothing is often recommended as a preventative measure. Avoiding douching and scented hygiene products is also recommended. Treatment is with an antifungal medication. This may be either as a creams such as clotrimazole or with oral medications such as fluconazole."
End quote.

[SOURCE: Wikipedia]

I shall henceforth also associate the names Kasowitz Benson Torres LLC with that passage, as well as the evocative term "chunky white discharge".
This is a sign of my love and respect for our politicians and our lawyers, without whom society would not function.

Please feel the love.


Further: Trump law firm calls alleged Bloom County letter a 'fake'

Quote: Emily M. Thall, director of business development & marketing for Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, told The Associated Press on Friday that the letter “is a fake.” End quote.
Sorry, Ms. Thall, but as a devoted employee of Chunky White Discharge, you are not entirely trustworthy. Actually very few people in the legal profession are, and our president's pet shysters even less.

A cartoonist is more believable.

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The conclusion is as inescapable as it is blood-chilling: All of you people are sickos, and show biz is to blame. Centuries from now when the space aliens dig up remnants of a lost civilization, they'll listen to our tapes and realize that we deserved to perish. And a darn good thing too.

A riddance, a riddance, a pest!

It's not just karaoke -- there was a regrettable incident involving 'The Piano Man' a few days ago -- but, more recently, my apartment mate learning all the words to a sickening ditty.


I've written a letter to Daddy
His address is Heaven above
I've written "Dear Daddy, we miss you
And wish you were with us to love"

Instead of a stamp, I put kisses
The postman says that's best to do
I've written a letter to Daddy
Saying "I love you"

I've written a letter to Daddy
Saying "I love you"

It's from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, a blockbuster with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, which gave impressionable people nightmares from 1962 onward. My apartment mate has watched it obsessively several times, and I'm sure she's doing the same thing that she did with Valley of the Dolls years ago. Which must count as one of the worst movies of all times, with dialogue and lyrics that are cringe-worthy. Heck, the story is pretty putrescent also. Faugh.

She watched so often she could recite it verbatim.
Act all the parts, and sing all the songs.

A sample, to give you an inkling.


I’ll plant my own tree and I’ll make it grow.
My tree will not be just one in a row.
My tree will offer shade
when strangers go by.
If you’re a stranger, brother, well so am I.
Come tomorrow all that I see is my tree,
oh, Lord, what a sight.
Let someone stop me and I will put up a fight.
It’s my yard so I’ll try hard
to welcome friends I have yet to know.
Oh, I’ll plant my own tree,
my own tree,
and I’ll make it grow.

My tree will not be just one in a row.
My tree will offer shade
when strangers go by.
If you’re a stranger, brother, well so am I.
Come tomorrow all that I see is my tree,
oh, Lord, what a sight.
Let someone stop me and I will put up a fight.
It’s my yard so I’ll try hard
to welcome friends I have yet to know.
Oh, I’ll plant my own tree,
my own tree,
and I’ll make it grow.

Good lord. What does that even mean? Who wrote that bollocks?

The only thing possibly even worse than either of those are the various texts to the Pippi Longstocking songs, but thank heavens that kind of twaddle does not appeal to my apartment mate. I can only imagine how awful life would be if she developed a fascination, but as Pippicrap doesn't involve bad acting and psychotic women, there's no danger of that.

[Please note that I provide no clickable links to the Pippi Longstocking movies Or songs. You are on your own, I shall not quote. Good luck.]

If there was ever a reason for Comic Sans Typeface, it is crap like the lyrics above. Surely no songwriter would wish to have this on his résumé, these are not achievements to be proud of. Or even known for. Claim insanity, expunge, and deny they ever existed instead.

My apartment mate is singing.
Breakfast is a horrible time.
I blame Hollywood.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017


When I was sixteen my tobacconist ran out of my favourite weed. The company that supplied it to him had long ago disappeared, and I had happily been consuming his old stock for over a year. Both of us were disturbed, for different reasons. He suggested that I try the three tins of Dunhill tobacco that he still had from ages ago in the meantime.
That being Standard Mixture, MM965, and Nightcap.
I bought another tin of Nc two days ago.
It brought back memories.

No, I have no wish to be sixteen again. It was a truly horrible time to be an American in Europe. They still hated us for what we had done in Vietnam. Which was all the more galling because I already knew perfectly well what they had been up to during their own benighted pasts.

Another reason I do not remember those times too fondly was that my mother had cancer, and would not live very much longer. She passed away a few days before her 56th. birthday the following year.

[Proper "burgerlijke" people do NOT die of cancer. But it cannot be helped, we suppose. After all, they are Yanks. Don't associate with them too much, and greet them semi-politely when you encounter them.]

Yes, she smoked. But it wasn't smoking related.
First a breast, then later the ovaries.
She kept her wit up to the end.
A remarkable woman.

When she found out I smoked a pipe she gave me a long stern lecture on the evils of tobacco, including terms like "sloping forehead", "recessed gums", "testicular weakness", and so on. She also mentioned that it stunted ones' growth, and seeing as she herself was less than five feet (four foot ten or eleven, if I remember correctly), and I already towered over her, that didn't make much impression.

Besides, she huffed three Kent Filter Kings while talking.

She started smoking later in life, while she was in the Navy.

I tried my first cigarette when I was eight or nine, and wasn't too impressed. It wasn't until I lusted after a hunk of polished wood in the window of the cigar shop next to Priem's bookstore (at thirteen years of age), where I was a regular customer, that a light went off. A couple of months after acquiring a pipe I finally purchased some tobacco.

[There used to be a type of blowsy European middle-class snob-woman, too much make-up on and clothes just a little too snooty and stylish, who would suck up to people she thought of as "quality", while cold-shouldering everyone presumed to be of lesser grade. It was often hard to tell them apart from women who just overdid the facepaint. This is mentioned because they often managed their husband's cigar shop, or worked at bars and cafes. 
The young pipesmoker of course is something of which they DO NOT approve.]

Shortly afterwards I started reading the Maigret books; that both he and his creator were pipe smokers did not strike me as in any way remarkable at all. Men, naturally, would smoke a pipe. Especially in the elsewhere mythical part of the world. You know, other places.


Pipes are in an entire aesthetic class by themselves, with multiple facets that appeal and enchant; cigars beguile somewhat also, though not nearly as much. Cigarettes, especially Turkish (usually German, Dutch, Austrian, and English) and high quality Russian (again, not necessarily from Russia), had a charm that was augmented by time and place (cafes, for instance, or grand hotels in other places). But if one is forced out on to the street or into empty alleyways, the attraction fades, while pipes grow in magic. Cigars are a halfway house; no challenge, no great character either.

Cigarettes are what prompted the anti-tobacco rules, and will always be associated in my mind with limitations and the closing of doors.

[Long lacquered bitch nails and Stuyvesant cigarettes. Not the expensive international cigarettes, because as long as you keep the package covered, no one knows you're not that good. Speak proper Dutch and sneer at the provincial accents of people who are kinfolk; you regret being related to the less than perfectly upper middle class members of your family.
Do NOT drink genever, because it's déclassé.]

Yenidje non-filters (Sobranie) in the white tin are no longer made, nor are the Imperial Russians. The company was sold to Gallaghers in the eighties, is now owned by Japan Tobacco, and whatever is still produced under that name not only isn't as good as it used to be, but is not available here in the United States in any case. Khedives (lovely Turkish ovals) aren't around anymore either, or the 555's in the yellow tin.

[Caballero Cigarettes were distinctly 'hip', and aimed at people whom we don't really like.
St. Michel ("crotch-stabbers") from Belgium are a bit lowerclass, you know, while American brands are just not done by deftige people.]

French cigarettes have been impossible to find for over a decade.
Oriental cigarettes were mostly my Berkeley phase.
One can no longer puff at the Cafe Med.
And the world has changed.

Cigars, nowadays, keep tobacconists in business, so they still have a few positive associations. But many of the people who smoke them are social deviants and politically dubious.

[Quality cigars, NOT those bolknaks the peasants smoke! Something with the name "Havana" on the label, and fancy packaging that would not look amiss next to a crystal ashtray in the salon. Stogies are something farmers puff when they're in town having a drink with their kinfolk at a local establishment.]

Pipes have simply always offered more than any other form of smoke.

[An added benefit, being that other people are automatically out of their league when considering the pipe smoker, need not stressed. That's too often countered by their demand that one should only smoke caramel and fruitloop blends, or ciggies instead.
Here, have a Peter Stuyvesant!]

The smell of good clean pipe tobacco (not the aromatics which are ninety percent of the market) has elements which clue in to the deepest centres of the brain. Memory is spurred and awakened by smells.
Especially complex and evocative smells.
The past comes alive.

My apartment mate, like most people considerably more civilized than myself, naturally has a different opinion.


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A youtube video being widely circulated on the internet shows a white dude acting offensive and obstreperous at Pudong Airport. He was subsequently removed from the United Airlines flight. The red baseball cap he was wearing said "Make America Great Again". Which was NOT the reason the old bastard was removed, but that seems to have escaped many Trumpites in the hinterland, who are incapable of doing their research.

He was removed because he was an A-hole.

The baseball cap was incidental.



Video from Skull Shaver, who writes: 
 "The Skull Shaver team was returning from Shanghai and got caught in this whole unfortunate incident. They reported the story and provided the video. Because of the disturbance, the flight was rerouted to San Francisco instead of the original destination. The crew was changed again and the flight continued to Newark. Eight hours later, UA82 arrived at Newark Airport at 2:20am on May 22, 2017.

United Airlines was extremely nice to passengers. The crew was excellent in calming down passengers and making them comfortable in a very uncomfortable situation. Hats off to United Airline and its crew."
End cite.

What Skull Shaver doesn't entirely clarify is that the poisonous old cuss demanded to be upgraded to First Class even though that was not possible, inconvenienced everybody, delayed the flight by three hours, used terms which were, shall we say, not unbiased, insulted numerous people ......
All of which is made clear by news articles.

"Another passenger on the flight said the man had wanted three seats next to his own because he could not get an upgrade. The three seats had been allocated to other passengers."


Perhaps we need to screen our belligerent and dumbass Trump supporters before they go overseas and make us all look stupid?

"... the Trump supporter asked to be bumped to first class but his request for an upgrade was denied. He then walked to the rear of the plane and allegedly blocked access to his row of seats. Eventually, all passengers were forced to get off the plane and return to the gate. "

"While it is difficult to make most of what the man is saying over the din of the plane, at one point he can be heard ranting about people standing here who 'don’t' know how to speak English.'"

Read more at Daily Mail - Man In Trump Hat Disrupts China US Flight

The police in Shanghai are too gentle. If it had happened in Chicago or the Middle East, they would have used billy clubs on his entitled behind. Heck, even here in San Francisco the police might have broken some of his fragile old bones. But the Shanghai police respect old people, even if they are clearly deserving of a vicious beatdown.

Now, the problem I have with this disruptive old coot is NOT that he's wearing an idiot hat. That's his own affair. What galls me is the entitled attitude. He radiates that he is old and white, and therefore feels that the world owes him something, and that he's allowed to be a blister.

That's seems fairly common nowadays.

Precious little snowflakes.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Years ago I attended a wedding. Other than the ringbearer, who was all of four years old, everybody was very well behaved. All five hundred guests, most of whom were Filipinos and Chinese.
The ring bearer wasn't badly behaved, just four years old.
At that age their attention wanders a bit.
Especially after an hour.

I should mention that the reason it took an hour to get to the actual vows was because the Iberian priest figured he'd never get a bigger crowd, and played it for all he was worth. He gave an epic sermon about something.
Because of his accent very few of us understood him.
He could have gibbered in Klingon.
Maybe he did.

As I said, very well behaved. Extraordinarily so.

Statistically, among every one's friends and family a certain percentage will be psychopaths.

Do you really want a bunch of wild animals near you at that moment?

Thanks to George Takei on Facebook, we now know better.
He posted a link: The Worst Behaviour At A Wedding.


"She yelled and screamed all of the way out the door until more family got her subdued and took her home. She was pissed because her son was marrying a girl she didn’t approve of."

"Did you not know that your grandfather is dying?"

"I refuse to speak to her to this day."

"The cops were eventually called."

"When you get divorced in a few years, call me."

"The ceremony keeps getting delayed and delayed so that the groom can bail out his pal, just to have him there for the ceremony."

"One of the guests decided it was a good idea to pull his penis out and point his junk at a family walking by."

"Some guy had picked up a metal folding chair, and railed the drunk into next Tuesday."

"She gave a doozy of wedding speech about how she couldn't believe the bride was stealing her only baby and implied quite strongly that the son only married her because she was pregnant."

"Your mother will not be attending your wedding, because this is an abomination."

"She then yanked her dress down and popped out her giant breasts to show off her pierced nipples."

[From Knowable.]

Thank you, George Takei.

Personally I am not averse to the institution of wedlock, or the idea of at some point getting hitched myself. A nice quiet dealio at City Hall, with the minimum number of required witnesses, and a lovely dinner at a French or Chinese Restaurant afterwards, after everyone has changed into civilian clothes, so that the restaurant staff don't know any better than that it's a nice little party of three to seven people.

A couple of friends, maybe. As well as a calm relative or two.
Under no circumstances anyone who talks about Jesus.

I am still on the fence about champagne.
I just don't think it's a very good idea.
Perhaps some sherry, and Merlot.
Or white, if there's fish.

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That pillow will need throwing out. After a little accident with a q-tip last week, my right ear has been leaking (just water!), and because I sleep leaning on my right side, you can pretty much guess what has happened.
There has also been some hearing degradation.
It's probably temporary.

After that intro, you will understand that life in the mansion 'At The Back Of The Hill' is not suburban family of four style, with a dog, a cat, goldfish, and bratty teenagers. Hasn't been that way, ever. As people get older, things deviate slightly or a great deal from the norm.
The older, the more peculiar.

It is slightly messy.
Mm, more than.

When I was still a pimple-faced adolescent I just assumed that life would be an endless progression of coffee and English-pipe tobacco filled days, with tea later on, a spot of reading, then more tea and reading. Plus bicycling hither and yon, and occasional bouts of other sh&t.

Actually, that's precisely what happened (except for the bicycle).

Although I no longer associate with bratty teenagers.

And I am now leaking from my ear.

There is a nearly full tin of Dunhill Nightcap tobacco nearby, my pipe is lit, and a cup of coffee is balanced on a stack of books. In another room the stuffed animals are getting ready to play "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane" as a children's game -- they watched the movie recently, and some of them were quite taken with the two women therein -- and the weather outside seems to finally have reverted to San Francisco standard, leaving the rest of the Bay Area to swelter but us denizens of Baghdad to swan around gracefully, at peace with the overcast or fog and the profound fragrance of bucket loads of Latakia tobacco and sphagnum.

I am somewhat disappointed with how little I have achieved as well as the insignificance of my impact, but pleased with the enduring pleasure of life, and the fact the tea and tobacco have not disappeared, there are still so many books I haven't read, and nobody tells me to pick up my mess.

I believe bratty teenagers are over-rated, and don't turn into human beings until adulthood. Which seems to be sometime after the early twenties.

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Monday, May 22, 2017


People cruise the internet for cats. Other things too, but the enduring appeal of 'I can has Cheezburger' proves that it's cats.
Which is why I am completely surprised that I have never before encountered Mitchiri Neko.



みっちりねこマーチ - MitchiriNeko March - Cute cat characters in a marching band!

Some people just cry tears of cuteness when they see this.

These "cats" are from a game, as Koukoupuffs details here.

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For the first time in ages I ate Indian food. Tandoori chicken, saag paneer, and garlic naan. Courtesy of my apartment mate. She wasn't impressed by the place where it was made, and I have put the remainder of the saag paneer and also the rice pilaf in the refrigerator.
It shall make a splendid breakfast.

Some time last week she had asked if I felt like a spot of Indian food; she needed to be in the vicinity of a new restaurant elsewhere in the city, and she is very fond of desi khana.
When she was still my significant other, I introduced her to it. Being Chinese American from a severely Toishanese background, it was quite new and startling for her. But she took to it like a duck to orange.
She's Chinese; they like food.

This was not that new restaurant, just one of the nearby dabhas.
Shan't mention the name. She didn't like it.

For years while I worked part time at the Indian restaurant of fond memory (it closed about four years ago, long after I left), I would have Indian food three times a week. Then for several years at least once a week.
Since Savage Kitten (my apartment mate) and I stopped being romantically involved with each other it is something I rarely even see. There is no point in going by myself, and anyway, our two favourite places have both closed.

I've actually eaten far more Chinese food since becoming single again than during the entire time of our relationship.

There are some things that one just cannot whip up easily at home. Anything which really requires a tandoor oven, for instance. The regular San Francisco apartment kitchen just isn't equipped with a clay-lined hole in the ground in which to build a fire. Perhaps as new buildings go up that will become standard -- we now have many more computer-wallahs and engineers than before -- but it will take a while before landlords of older rental units consider upgrading.

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Several weeks ago the Dutch politely assisted Turkish Family Affair Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya back to the border with Germany. She swore that she would have justice! This was an outrage! The Dutch Government had no business objecting to the undesired visit of an important Turkish official! There had been riots before her arrival, there was discord and fury after her departure. Turkish Netherlanders demanded that the Dutch apologize, and the Turkish government announced it would sue the Dutch.

We'll see you in court!

Bad Cheesehead! No candy!

As it turns out, that odious woman left voluntarily, and neither she nor the loathsome state she serves have a legal foot to stand on.

She is, never-the-less, an undesirable provocateur, as well as rabid. Like her master Erdogan, she is repulsive and toxic.

Turkish blowhards like her, of which there are too many, should be personae-non-gratae in the civilized world.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017


Thanks to a "friend" I am now more aware than ever of the loopiness of my fellow Americans. This friend, whom I will imagine as a chainsmoking middle aged woman with curlers, wearing a housedress, and with a long-ashed cigarette dangling out of the corner of her mouth, e-mailed me a link to a long screed on a feelsies site.
She added the phrase "enjoy it; this is why we can't have nice things!"

Herewith a short excerpt from the post which woke her ire:

"Tonight after sending him to sleep and with more calm energy I explained to him why I lost it today.. then he fell asleep and I started to work energetically with him to understand what my son needs from me to grow resilience, kind and in appreciation.
I asked my guidance to show me and connect me with his true potential.
I asked my guidance to guide me to become a better mum to help him grow confident and aware of feeling and emotions and how to show them without feeling weak.
When I started to receive information through my psychic abilities I was blown away from what I perceived.
I was having a hand on his heart and I could feel lot of insensitivity in his system.
When I asked what was the cause of this insensitivity I have been shown the radiation from iPad, phones and computer. I have been shown that the radiation that bombard our electromagnetic field create a sort of barrier and shut down the communication between the heart and the mind.
In our heart there is a molecule that contains all information about our true potential and if those information are unable to be carried around and communicated to the rest of the body and to our brain because external influences we are unable to embody who we truly are which ultimately disconnect ourselves from ourselves therefore we are unable to live authentically."

End cite.

There was more. Much more. As badly written and as berserk.
This special dingbat exemplifies everything wrong.
There are words strung together.
She is very precious.

It's the kind of stuff that people lurking in doorways spout.

She is sincere. Obviously that isn't nearly enough.

My internet "friend" is beastly and cruel. Sending a link to this was the most evil thing anyone has done in a long time.

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Early on I got forewarning about the cigar bar. Assuredly it was going to be crowded, people yelling at the screen, vile stogies, and scenes of mass insanity. Plus lucky shirts, body odours, and probably face paint.
The whole thing going down, starting at six in the evening.
By the time I could get there it would be eight-ish.
Several people might be drunk by then.
Conversation? Impossible.

The Warriors!

If that name doesn't excite you, you may be damaged. There is something wrong, perhaps you aren't fully human.

I already saw it. I wasn't too impressed. Apparently it was distantly based on Xenophon's Anabasis.

This synopsis courtesy of Wikipedia:

"..... a large army of Greek mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger, who intended to seize the throne of Persia from his brother, Artaxerxes II. Though Cyrus' mixed army fought to a tactical victory at Cunaxa in Babylon (401 BC), Cyrus was killed, rendering the actions of the Greeks irrelevant and the expedition a failure.

Stranded deep in Persia, the Spartan general Clearchus and the other Greek senior officers were then killed or captured by treachery on the part of the Persian satrap Tissaphernes. Xenophon, one of three remaining leaders elected by the soldiers, played an instrumental role in encouraging the 10,000 to march north across foodless deserts and snow-filled mountain passes, towards the Black Sea and the comparative security of its Greek shoreline cities. Now abandoned in northern Mesopotamia, without supplies other than what they could obtain by force or diplomacy, the 10,000 had to fight their way northwards through Corduene and Armenia, making ad hoc decisions about their leadership, tactics, provender and destiny, while the King's army and hostile natives barred their way and attacked their flanks.

Ultimately this "marching republic" managed to reach the shores of the Black Sea at Trabzon (Trebizond), a destination they greeted with their famous cry of exultation on the mountain of Theches in Sürmene: "Thálatta, thálatta", "The sea, the sea!"."

End cite.

The 1979 movie was of course set in the modern equivalent of Persia: the Bronx. All in all it was enjoyable, but staggeringly ridiculous. Cast of hundreds, colourful costumes, Coney Island.

I find it hard to imagine that modern San Franciscans can fully appreciate Xenophon; what he wrote about was far from their world, a different time, a different place, a totally different set of values.

I may be wrong about all of this.
That's not that unusual.

Stagger me.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017


Sometimes a man enjoys reading about something far more than actually seeing it. Especially if the man in question is not actually patient enough to sit through it. Which, of course, explains why I almost never go to movies anymore, and throroughly enjoyed the haphazardly subtitled Hong Kong films that used to play at the Chinatown theatres.
Reading was involved.

A phrase describing a character in 'What's The Matter With Helen', in a Wikipedia article about Hagsploitation, really excites me.

"An increasingly unstable and violent religious fanatic and repressed lesbian ... "

That promises some solid entertainment.

How did I come to this? What brought me to the article?

Simple. My apartment mate was watching 'Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte', which features Bette Davis as a batshit crazy old woman, a demented Agnes Moorehead as her vicious and near-illiterate housekeeper, and Olivia de Havilland as the thoroughly evil but rather attractive cousin, who is sweetly up to no good, and commits murder.
Oh heck, nobody in this flick has any redeeming qualities.
I found the Wikipedia article by typing the phrase "Dear old papa who killed John Mayhew" into my browser.

It wasn't just Hollywood that made these movies, the Brits also got a slice of the action.

"...the mummified remains in her daughter's bedroom"

From 'Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?' This movie has it all. Orphans, a miserable bitch, a boy with too much imagination, and hacking at a door with a cleaver to get at the brats behind it. Unfortunately the critics weren't one hundred percent kind, and the movie serves mostly as educational material in schools nowadays, along with an army film about syphilis.

Decrepit mansions, repressed lesbians, recycled stars .....

My apartment appears to have enjoyed the movie, much like she did its predecessor 'Baby Jane' a few weeks ago. She's on a Bette Davis kick.

It's fun when she gets these obsessions.
Just look at her face.

The stuffed animals enjoy it too.

Bette Davis was a great actress.

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