Saturday, October 14, 2017


Yesterday many of my Facebook friends took the opportunity to congratulate me on a long delayed birthday. It took an entire year before it happened, and I intend to delay the next one quite as much. Their good wishes are much appreciated. I feel honoured as well as antique.

Facebook: it's the well-tailored suit.

Meanwhile, Russian spambots visited my blog and attempted to seed the comments field under several posts, as well as dumping their electronic garbage in my letterbox. Thanks guys, you do realize that there's a warning there to the effect that messages which don't have an e-mail address will likely end up deleted as spam, which Google keeps track of, and eventually does something about?

To whit: "Google pays attention to such things, and your subsequent comments elsewhere are much more likely to be judged as spam, and may not make it through any filters."

Go ahead, knock yourselves out.

One the other hand, if you are a rather lonely and personable female mathematician or geology major living in the Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and Telegraph Hill part of the city, who wants to share a hot beverage and cold toes, I am keen to hear from you. Please include your e-mail address.
Intelligence, kind-heartedness, and glasses are great attributes.
I really cannot praise them highly enough.

So, what did I do on my birthday?

For one thing, I got up at the crack of dawn, so that I could hit the shower next door ere my landlord shut down the water. The plumber was coming to do more work on the bathroom at around mid-morning, and all tenants had been warned of the lack of water for part of the day.

Shaved and showered, I drank two cups of coffee while in front of my computer reading the news, including Dutch and German newspapers, as well as looking up a number of things in Wikipedia (Ugaritic, Gastropoda, Auditory processing disorders, The Battle of Borodino, Diponegoro, Alfred Russel Wallace, shrub frogs, the patagium, feathered theropod dinosaurs, Atrociraptor, eggs) while writing smack about some dunce named Trump, who wants poor people, minorities, and all of Puerto Rico, to starve, perish of completely preventable and treatable diseases, and go without anything that his rich bastard friends think they shouldn't have.
Smoked two pipes while doing so.

Author: FunkMonk, whose modersmål is Danish.

First pipe filled with Dunhill Nightcap, a tobacco that will get you lynched in Berkeley, unlike marijuana, which is wholesome and healthy, and grown by spiritual little green tribals in the rainforest who hug trees and dolphins.
Second one with Stonehenge Flake, by Greg Pease, who once also lived in Berkeley, and is now in exile from that ghastly place.
It's a very nice compound.

I also contributed to the snarking of a pipe smoker on an internet forum who said that selfies of people with their pipes irritated him. Nearly everyone who commented, added a selfie.

I do not have a cellphone, so I posted the drawing below:

Kindly note that the ursine in this illustration is holding a briar. Possibly a Charatan.

Bears probably prefer full-bodied tobaccos, because they have mature tastes. Salmon, caviar, honey, dark coffee, and random picnic items found in cars.

And small piglets, eventually.

It turns out that the concept "mid-morning" is a very flexible thing indeed in plumberese, as by twelve o'clock there had still been no sign of him or his assistant and esposa, and the water was still available.

Lunch was earlier than usual. I went down to New Fortune to have some pork siumai and a chicken bun (豬肉燒賣同埋一個雞飽), then wandered down to California and Market where I people-watched while smoking. Afterwards I dropped by New Hollywood for milk-tea and a pastry.

[Milk tea: 奶茶 ('naai chaa') A pastry: old-wife cake (老婆餅 'lo po beng').]

It's a good place, with excellent Hong Kong style milk-tea (港式奶茶 'gong sik naai chaa'). Plus pastries, freshly squeezed orange or carrot juices (鮮榨橙汁,蘿蔔汁 'sin jaa chang jap', 'lo baak jap') for the morning crowd, and soft fresh wiggly tofu (豆腐花 'dau fu faa') in the afternoon for the old-school snackiepoo types. As well as a menu of freshly cooked stuff, noodles, rice plates, and also specials on the wall.

Given that most of their customers are Chinese, a number of things are not listed in English.

The following, for instance.
餐蛋公仔麵 ('chaan daan gong jai min'): luncheon meat and fried egg instant noodle.
火腿蛋通粉 ('fo teui daan tong fan'): ham and egg macaroni.
雞肉通粉 ('gai yiuk tong fan'): chicken chunks macaroni.
龍蝦丸湯粉麵 ('long haa yuen tong fan min'): lobster balls soup noodles.
墨魚丸湯粉麵 ('mak yü yuen tong fan min'): octopus balls soup noodles.
All $6.50

These are the kind of unassuming small meal offerings likely to appeal to schoolkids and elderly people, who do not eat an awful lot. Or just enough food so that you can allow yourself a pastry afterwards, or a boba drink.
Really Chinese style. But not the kind of thing that white folks go for, because it's so unextraordinairy. Broth, noodles, easy meats.

Another pipe full. Bus to the top of the hill to enjoy the spectacular sunset, caused by smoke from the fires in Napa and Sonoma, then ambled down to my apartment building near the bottom of the hill.

When my apartment mate came home she brought charsiu pork, roast duck, gai choi, and rice. Plus cake for afterwards. Which is why lunch had deliberately been early and small. We watched murder teevee together.

I now have a bathrobe big enough and warm enough to go fight Russia, marching in over the frozen bogs and tundras, while the Grande Armée burns down villages to keep warm. And this time, we won't dawdle!
That was our mistake the last time, we dawdled.
No dawdling, Marshall Ney!
We must sack.

I am older now. But let's not dwell on the years.
It was a good day. And smoke filled.
Not all from tobacco.

The cake was from Siu Mak Tien.
It was most delicious.

NOTES: Left to my own devices I would have simply ignored my birthday, as there have been a number of such previously, and my body is irritatingly keen to let me know that I am getting older anyhow. It creaks sometimes when I get up in the morning. But I did not do anything special for myself OTHER than getting up early.

It was a normal day until Savage Kitten came home with food. I very much like roast duck. And the bathrobe is very nice. It will definitely be comfortable once the cold season comes. There is still plenty of cake left, even after all of the stuffed creatures had some (the sock-sheep in particular made a pig out of himself), and I found out that dinosaurs "just LOVE cake!" That is something I did not know before. I'll make sure to give Thadeus (Rex) some more tomorrow. That picture of Miss Kasuga Ayumu with a pipe above is a slightly modified version of a well-know internet fan-image, which I will post on the pipe smokers forum the next time selfies are called for.
It's lovely, don't you think? An illustration of what, in a different reality, could have been.
She looks properly brought up, thoughtful, and filled with wonder.
As pipe smokers should. Not pierced and tattooed.
That's the cigar aficionados.

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