Friday, April 30, 2021

DAY TWO

Yesterday I got the second shot. Today might be interesting. I felt stellar until long after lunch (having had the shot at approximately nine in the morning, and lunch usually being somewhat late-ish). Arm hurt by tea time. Minor aches throughout the body by evening. Slight chills.

Achy and feverish during the night. Yet I am determined to hack it through work today, and will pretend that there is nothing the matter whatsoever, la la la, because I want to show a coworker who is scared to go in for her 1st. shot that there is nothing to worry about.



My apartment mate advised me to feel free to take off a couple of days, and asked if I needed painkillers. Seeing as most painkillers are bloodthinners, as are most bloodpressure meds, naturally I tend to be very careful of such things.


Leeches! I need leeches! Bloodletting!


My humours are out of whack.


*      *      *      *      *

UPDATE

Felt sufficiently miserable that going to work was out of the question. Called up and e-mailed employers to that effect.

Heading outside for a pipe is unlikely. Might not make it back up the stairs.




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Thursday, April 29, 2021

THE ENVIOUS ARM CHAIR TRAVELLER

A friend in Singapore will soon be taking advantage of the travel bubble between his city and Hong Kong. He hasn't visited HK since he was a tyke, and this will be his first trip abroad since the pandemic began. Naturally I have recommendations. Not only because I'm a know-it-all, but very largely because I don't travel much, and haven't in well over a decade.
Visiting Marin County to babysit elderly reprehensibles doesn't count.
That's misapplied mercy.

Almost all of my recommendations involve food.
For which HK is one of the world metropoles.
Bluntly put, HK is 滿魚的甜味。

Roast Goose (燒鵝) at Yung Kee in Central (鏞記酒家) as well as in Sham Tseng (深井) at a far lower price but just as good; either at Yue Kee (裕記大飯店) or Chan Kee (深井陳記燒鵝酒家), or a few other places. Plus poon choi (盤菜 / 盆菜) at Wing Wah (大榮華酒樓) on On Ning Road (安寧路) in Yuen Long (元朗). Rice porridge (粥) at Mui Kee (妹記生滾粥品) in the Municipal Services Building, fourth floor, Mongkok. Pineapple buns or toasted little piggy buns with butter at Kam Wah Bakery (金華冰廳) on Bute Street (弼街) in Prince Edward (太子), Kowloon.
Wonton noodle soup at Scrawny Mak's, naturally.
It's a pilgrimage.

[麥奀雲吞麵世家: 77 Wellington Street - Ground Floor, Central District, HK. (中環, 威靈頓街, 77號, 地下).]


And most particularly, almost everything on the menu at Shanghai Wing Wah Szechuan Restaurant in Kwun Tong.

上海榮華川菜館
觀塘, 崇仁街 15號, 地下。
SEUNG HOI WING WAH CHUEN TSOI KOON
The Shanghai Wing Wah Szechuan Restaurant
Ground Floor, 15 Shung Yan Street, Kwun Tong.


Plus of course hot Hong King Milk Tea (港式奶茶) at any number of chachanteng on Hong Kong Island or in Kowloon. With French toast (two slices of bread held together with peanut butter, battered, fried, dusted with confectioners sugar, drizzled with chocolate syrup and sweetened condensed milk).

As well as Typhoon Shelter Crab (避風塘炒蟹 'bei fung tong chaau haai').
Plus, perhaps, little cart noodles (車仔麵 / 垃圾麵 / 嗱喳麵).


Don't forget to bring enough pipe tobacco.
There's almost none available locally.



TOBACCO INDEX


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FUN WITH NEEDLES

First smoke of the day after seeing a woman armed with a sharp object in Chinatown (哇,謝天謝地,第二個針打得咗了!); I got there before there was a line. Afterwards, on Stockton Street, I purchased a bag of red and orange chilies. Passed by several shops just opening up, wandered down familiar alleys. Feeling on top of the world.
The Hollywood hadn't opened yet, but the Regency Café just down the block does breakfast business, so there were signs of activity. Washington Restaurant had a door ajar, people start the day with coffee and a pastry there. Golden Star on Walter Lum Place was setting up for the lunchtime crowd. Among the hundreds of people I passed in the hour and a half I was down in C'town there were half a dozen loonies, because everywhere in SF you will encounter them.
Rarely they're Chinese; these were all Caucasian.


Most of my favourite businesses have survived. It's been an entire year of flapjacks hitting the fan, but there are vaccines, the orange dung receptacle has retired to his vulgar nouveau riche palace in Florida, investigations into the January 6 insurrectionists and traitors continue apace, Giuliani's reprehensible activities are being investigated, and a number of anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers bought the farm (and many more to go). There's light at the end of the tunnel.


All we need now is for Tucker Carlson to die in a freak-accident involving a tub of Cool Whip, straps, and a vacuum cleaner during a Fox Broadcasting office orgy, and life will be perfect.




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DOES THIS REALLY TASTE LIKE MACAO?

It's in an attractive metal box that boldly states 雞蛋捲澳門風味 -- chicken egg rolls, Macao flacour. And, like a cat, I'm a sucker for attractive boxes. So inviting, so promising of reward, pleasure, luxury, and snackiness. That's why I've always been fond of egg-roll cookies.


雞蛋捲澳門風味!
['kai daan kuen Ou mun fung mei']
Sabor de Macao / estilo Macaense


They are indeed yummalicious. But are they really the taste of Macao? They're manufactured in the mainland, and other than the term 澳門 ('ou mun') there is no clue hinting at a Macanese derivation.
And I have never been to Macao.
So I never saw them there.

Would I buy them again?
Oh jayzus yes.




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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

TASTE BY LI HUAIFENG

Family life in a remote area. The hinterland, a tennuous state on the frontier. Shanxi province, old north China. Where 晉語 is spoken. West of the mountains.
Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year
Overall Winner: Taste by Li Huaifeng, China.
The photograph was taken in Licheng, Shanxi, on a warm and sunny day, and shows a young family sharing in the joy of preparing food. Photograph: Li Huaifeng


[SOURCE: Food photographer of the year -- The Guardian.]


Two things are immediately noticeable in this photo: The Kang (炕 'hong'), which is a heated platform occupying one third of the room for sleeping and general living; and a large square tray of dumplings (jiao tze 餃子 'gaau ji'). A third detail which may strike you is the slanting silvery light of northern climes, made more evident by traces of smoke and dust in the air.

Note also that the dumpling skins are made by hand, and the mother is nearly done, as there is not that much filling left in the bowl. If there is no refrigeration (as seems likely) the dumplings will be shared with neighbors and kin living closeby.



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PARKED IN A CORN FIELD

Nearly a year ago I switched from an old-fashioned land line to a cell phone. Which periodically makes noises at me. Which are text messages from people I do not know. Ocasionally there are actual phone calls and recorded messages. Also from people whom I do not know.
Various individuals are concerned that my vehicle needs an extended warranty.
As they've kindly tried to tell me several times.
I should call immediately!


Given that I've had the current phone number for less than a year now, and I haven't had a car since before we invaded Iraq, you will no doubt understand that I am in no hurry to call them.

They speak better English than the random subcontinental computer wallahs who used to call me on my land line, or many of the people whose communications I do appreciate.

Somewhere in this vast country, probably the Midwest, is an entire trailer park whose continued survival is dependent on vehicle owners who can be talked into an extended warranty. I am ashamed that I am not contributing to their existence. If it were up to people like me they would starve, without a doubt. Ohio and Nebraska are probably littered with trailer parks filled with dead people whom I did not feed. Such is the fragility of life. Alas.


I grieve for them.



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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

SOMETHING ELEGANT AND EYE-CATCHING FOR THE DOCTOR'S VISIT

Question from the apartment mate: "Are Chinese in general just gauche as hell?" Yes, yes they are. With exceptions, of course. In her case it's just Asperger Syndrome (a spectrum disorder), alleviated by an inate sense of grace, consideration, and kindness. But both of us have dealt enough with her people that if I lied and said "no, how could you possibly think that?", she'd know I was full of horse feathers and call me on it.
Besides, we Dutch are known for being blunt and undiplomatic.
She would suspect drugs, or that a cult got me.

The book she's currently reading has some Chinese types down to a T. My apartment mate is Cantonese, and recognizes these people from her environment. As do I.

Some Chinese, in general, are just gauche as hell.
But there are many exceptions.



Tomorrow morning I have a doctor's appointment at Chinese Hospital scheduled. Despite the fact that every one I have dealt with there with only a few exceptions speaks Chinese like a native, they might be outer-space aliens carefully trying to blend in, because that gauche quality has been entirely absent. They are courteous, considerate, diplomatic even.
And completely sincere about it.

It is entirely possible that SF Chinese Hospital only hires people with mild Aspergers alleviated by grace, consideration, and kindness. It might be a desirable psychological profile that they aim for specifically. Along with detail oriented and capable.

[Neurotypicals are seldom so precise, concerned about accurate communication, and willing to explain things in detail. Maybe the medical professions bring that out in people, as do Talmudic studies at good yeshivot, but without the talent being already present it would not happen.]


Some of my best communication in recent years has been people in a hospital environment. Calm, rational, to the point, and not loaded with stupid ideas and crazy shiznit like many of my conversations at work or on the street. Plus clear understanding, and calm thoughtful commentary. Data rich, too.


When I was picking up my refills at the pharmacy on the ground floor of Chinese hospital recently, I was conspicuously twiddling my pipe. No one rose to the bait, though. Perhaps during the middle of a pandemic they have other things on their mind, and think that as long as the old Dutch fossil is still alive and kicking, all is well and there will be plenty of time in the future to lecture him about how smoking is bad and might kill him. Either that or they recognize that being ornery in some ways keeps the son-of-a-bitch alive and happy, and, in the end, that's also what the medications are supposed to do. Even filled the pipe inside the hospital before going outside to light it. It's a very nice Danish bulldog I bought twelve or thirteen years ago.
I remember smoking it during the second to the last WP company event.

I'm wondering which pipe I should have in my pocket tomorrow.
Either a Peterson zulu or a Comoy tall billiard.
One of the "Hong Kong few".



TOBACCO INDEX


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CENTNER ACADEMY: DUNDERHEADS, MUDDLE-HEADED DUNDERHEADS

In an example of staggering idiocy, the Centner Academy (a private school) in Miami has barred Covid-vaccinated teachers from being near students. This tells you everything you need to know about Florida, private schooling, and paranoia in the United States. The belief is that vaccinated individuals may by their vaccination affect the menstrual cycles and reproductive aspects of third parties ...... which is something fringe elements have been spouting on the internet. Their students, btw, are children. Pre-school, kindergarten, and middle school.
At thirty K per.

Cite:
Vaccinated persons "may be transmitting something from their bodies” that could harm others, particularly the “reproductive systems, fertility, and normal growth and development in women and children.

"I believe strongly in Health Freedom and “my body, my choice” and for that reason, did not prevent employees from choosing to take the COVID-19 vaccine prior to April 21, 2021 -- However, reports have surfaced recently of non-vaccinated people being negatively impacted by interacting with people who have been vaccinated."

------Ms. Leila Centner


The school has a chiropractor on staff to give adjustments to students and staff and practices meditation among students with the use of crystals.

[SOURCE: Miami private school Centner Academy won’t employ vaccinated teachers, staff -- Miami Herald]


This is why we can't have nice things.


Alternative medicine stands to medicine the way astrology relates to astronomy.
And chiropractics is complete and utter bullpucky.
As are crystals.





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FIND A LARGER BOX

One of the illustration doodled on a sticky note years ago still speaks to me. It illustrates how to catch readers OR potential dates of a suitable quality. As well as the benefits of the right box.

Problem is, I don't think it would work. No, I'm not going to put it into practice. Just because something can be thought does not mean it has to be done.



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OLD CROTCHETT

Earlier today I looked at the profiles of some of the people I have defriended over the years. And what I saw made clear that it was the right decision. A number of them, predictably, have bailed out to the batshit crazy rightwing platforms, expressing garbled craziness before doing so. Good riddance, I'm glad they're gone.
The year leading up to the last presidential election was particularly fruitful in that regard. Many of them were too white in their ideas. As well as verkrampt and puritanical.


Life is calmer without the loonies.

Quieter too.



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Monday, April 26, 2021

THE MENTAL JUICES

When I returned from my morning's walk, the sleeping person in the entry way of our building had disappeared. He camps out there more or less once a week, and like a calm rational man starts his nap-arrangement with a cup of coffee before closing his eyes. Once or twice we've exchanged pleasantries. We are both pleased that the weather here seems to be improving.
Like him, I too enjoy a stimulating drink in the evening. Caffeine helps lengthen the day.
It's also the perfect way to start the morning.
Better than pills.
I mention the pills, because I take five prescribed medications every morning, along with three supplements. Instead of bacon, eggs, and a stack of flapjacks oozing syrup, breakfast is eight bottles, a dose of Java, and ambulation with a pipe.

One of my friends starts the day, per his own admission, with a screaming session, followed by cheese, and a cigar. Not surprisingly he lives alone. Even during the years when I lived alone in North Beach, I could not have done that. Though it would have limited contact with my neighbors, and therefore would have had a lot to recommend it.
Another friend makes coffee, checks the internet, then walks across the park to work at around slightly before or slightly after noonish (I am not sure which), picking up a pastry and another beverage across the street from the book depository.

For all three of us, necessary bathroom functions are part of the deal, and must be factored in.


One friend lives in Boston, and among other things, reads the news sometime after waking up. He forwarded tragic reading from this morning's Washington Post a few hours ago. Please assume the necessary bathroom functions. Boston is known for beans.


John Richards, apostrophe's bulwark, croaks


"Dear Sir or Madam,

Because there seems to be some doubt about the use of the apostrophe, we are taking the liberty of drawing your attention to an incorrect use. We would like to emphasise that we do not intend any criticism, but are just reminding you of correct usage should you wish to put right the mistake.
"


Thus begins a standard letter, received over the years by many helpless iggerunters floored by the complexity of their own native language. By which kind notice they were helpfully alerted to a howling lapse, possibly a moral failure, on their part.

The news of John Richards' passing is tragic.



Apostrophes, properly used, counter greenhouse gasses and rising sealevels.

Coffee kickstarts the machine, and wakes up essential processes.

Walking is good for both digestion and circulation.

And a pipe pisses off earthmoms.



All of this, for some reason not fundamental to internal functions but probably reflective of them reminds me of British author Wyndham Lewis, with whom you would do well to familiarize yourself. Some of his works have been translated into Dutch, so you have no excuse.

That first cup of coffee hits hard.

Apostrophe's.



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PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE GLAMOUR!

If you came here expecting news about the Oscars, you will be disappointed; that's what the local news rag (SFGate) is for. I didn't know the Oscars were yesterday evening till roughly lunch o'clock, by which time I was preoccupied with the possibility that a certain blend of tobacco might make another person grumpy. It did me when I smoked a bowl of it two years ago. I was an irritable grouch and snapped at people that entire day.


Too much Nicotine. You will undoubtedly be happy to know that I haven't smoked it since. Because you are used to me being a sunny individual with a cheerful and loving disposition.


Naturally I don't do anything to excess. Rumours that I spend the entire day wired to the eyebrows on coffee and tea, as well as the report that I put sambal (Sriratcha chilisauce) on nearly everthing, are vile hearsay and speculation.
As is the anecdote about socializing with space aliens.

I have reason to believe that my apartment mate spent all day binge-watching Perry Mason, only getting up to consort with the turkey vulture and prepare some noodle soup. She was a limp vegetable sitting at the computer table when I returned from herding rabid dogs in Marin, and I got to hear all about some story-premise that sounded convoluted and seedy.
We have different schedules. I'm off today (Monday) and my weekends are on the civilian days of the week, her work schedule is like that of a normal person. I'll be down at Chinese Hospital three times this week. Picking up refills at the pharmacy, regularly scheduled doctor's appointment, the second vaccine shot.

I'm looking forward to all of this.
Healthy mind, healthy body.
Followed by snacks.




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Sunday, April 25, 2021

NEW YORK MOB KILLS CAT

This where anti-Asian racism and cruelty to animals overlap. A kid in a park killed a woman's pet and seemed to gloat over it. The kids family members violently defend him, mobbing the pet owner. Slurs are used.

The boy grabbed the cat, abused it, half a dozen members of the kids family get angry and violent when the cat's owner intervenes, NYPD proves themselves useless.
Brute's Mom says "kids will be kids".


"This has nothing to do with Asian hate. I have friends that are Asian."


In a video, pet owner Chanan Aksornnan is being assaulted by multiple individuals believed to be the boy’s family members.


"You don't blame me, you're the one who was wrong. Why did you take a cat [for a] walk?" Pim quoted the boy's mother as saying, according to Newsweek. "This is what you [get] when you walk you f*****g cat b***h!"

"The incident is currently under investigation by the 94 Precinct Detective Squad," Captain Kathleen E. Fahey, Commanding Officer of the 94th Precinct, told Greenpointers. "Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call the 94 Precinct Detective Squad, if they have not already done so."


[Both excerpts from Thai Woman’s Cat Allegedly Killed by Family in Brooklyn]


A woman, believed to be the boy’s mother, responded by saying: "This is what you got when you walk your f****** cat, b****". Ms Askornnan and her boyfriend, in addition to two other pets, were then assaulted by the family. Video of the incident appears to confirm the assault.
"The family not only did not offer any apology nor remorse," she told online news outlet Greenpointers on Monday. "They immediately began a verbal abuse which escalated into a physical assault. I got punched and kicked by three women".


[Source: Instagram star cat Ponzu killed after owner ‘attacked’ in New York park]


As one social media commenter puts it:
1) kid assaults cat, causing it to have a heart attack and die;
2) kid's family beats up the owner of cat when owner of cat tries to save cat from kid;
3) cops blame owner of cat for being assaulted. Refuses to listen to victim and blames her despite witnesses and video. Threatened that if she presses charges, she will be charged.


Most telling line: "This has nothing to do with Asian hate. I have friends that are Asian."


Several friends urge me to visit New York, because it's a "wonderful place".

Violent psychos and shitty pizza?
I think I'll pass.



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INDIA: EVERYTHING IS EXCELLENT!

Like the Trump government, the ruling party of India did not, does not, believe in divisionary language or spreading news which might cause unrest. The situation is under control, everything is going according to plan, there is no cause for alarm.
Please remain calm.

Courtesy - penpencildraw


Obviously any problems are just Democrat / Opposition rumourmongering and defeatism.
Why, there ought to be a law against that! Masks and lockdowns will ruin the economy!

Don't pack yourself on the back quite as yet. Complacency in the United States, coupled with good old Anglo Saxon stupidity and ignorance, may bring us to the same state of affairs in our own country as is in India. Because of work, I have to associate with a woman who despite being eligible has not gotten a single shot yet (she can't explain why not other than "scared to"), and a seventy five year old man who is convinced that there is a crab-shaped nano-chip in the vaccine (which inexplicably does not shred the veins or cause serious blockages, does not wreak havoc on the organs, or get excreted via the kidneys and urination.

These are all miraculous things. They're devious, those globalists.

People are drumbeating for an end to mask requirements.

And ignoring protocols whenever possible.

Blatantly taking risks.



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Saturday, April 24, 2021

A CORPSE BY THE SIDE OF THE FREEWAY

Cruising into the internet site of the local news rag, two articles immediately caught my eye as exemplifying why the Bay Area may no longer be my kind of place. No, I didn't bother reading the articles. Same as the piece about the best new yoga mat which could change my life.

1. "The best hidden gems and secret spots in San Francisco"
2. "The best 'hippie towns' in the Bay Area and Northern California"


There was also something about some guy's extra-special work-out routine.
It's stupendous


Folks, I'll let you in on a secret: my work-out routine is talking walks in my own meighborhood, wearing normal clothes, smoking my pipe. It seems to be working. No yoga mat required. My apartment mate remarked about how "scrawny" I am, need to fatten me up. Of course she has a demented view of weight issues anyway, given that she thinks she's too fat (at the low end of the recommended weight for her height and build). She also says my clothes are too baggy. Men like baggy. Nothing better than plenty of wiggle room. Like Ignatius O'Reilly in Confederacy of Dunces, there are pockets of stale air. Keeps the warmth in.

The problem with an article listing "hidden gems" and "secret spots" is that from the moment they hit the publish button on that, the cat was out of the bag. Now those places will be swamped with day trippers and idiots without masks.

And the best 'hippie towns'? Good lord, those are precisely the places to avoid. Entitled yutzes being unique and artistic individuals with good auras. How about the best dreary towns instead? Best biker-gang outlaw towns? Best hobo jungles?

The best news in the rag was about a woman who brought her therapy rabbit to a ballgame.
Every body loves bunnies.



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Friday, April 23, 2021

STEP AWAY FROM THE DEVICE, BRANDON

Some people should not have a computer or a cell phone. Not that they don't actually need to communicate at times, but because they are not fully plugged-in. There's a belief floating around that the Covid Vaccine (not specified which one) will affect a woman's period.
And that being near a vaccinated individual will do the same.

Or increase the chances of a miscarriage in the individuals who associate with vaxxed people.


Quote:
"Unvaccinated women who were around those who recently got the COVID shot are reporting miscarriages and serious problems with their menstrual cycles"
End quote.

Being around vaccinated individuals will not change your menstrual cycle.
Or cause miscarriages.

Y'all nuts.

An internet commenter: "Actually we don't know the science of this, so who are we to say whether it will affect a woman's period or not or their fertility or not....
Let's be real, this vaccine which is not even a vaccine by the vaccine definition was rammed through, and we don't even know the long-term effects, the midterm effects, and the only thing it does is minimize the effects of the disease that you still can catch or give to someone else.
"

Most of what that internet commenter wrote is wrong, and damned close to gibberish.


He, and everyone around him, is affected by his synapses firing at random. Which may be caused by a lack of caffeine. Or a blood sugar spike. If that is the case, he should switch off his communication devices, and breathe deeply. Have some coffee, and take a walk around the block to adjust his chemistry.

If he seriously believes what he wrote, he needs help.
And, possibly, a restraining order.

I am one week away from the second shot. Something to which I am keenly looking forward. Can't wait till I can beam 5G radiation at people.


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Thursday, April 22, 2021

SPECIAL NEEDS NUT JOBS

A person on the internet claimed she couldn't eat Chinese restaurant food because it was inauthentic, made for white people, and always contained MSG. When she ate Chinese food, she only ate "real" Chinese food, not that Americanized stuff. And she could always tell if it was real or not; MSG gave her an immediate headache and she felt like she would throw up.

Hello Karen.

Please don't eat here.

That "authentic" Chinese food versus "made for white people" dichotomy is really insulting. It's a form of snobbish superiority. If a Chinese food vendor makes what the customers in that area want to buy, why is it not authentic? Should they not make something because it isn't "authentic"? Should they only sell "real" Chinese food and go out of business? Bittermelon with Chinese sausage (炒臘腸涼瓜 'chaau laahp cheung leng gwaa') is authentic, Portuguese chicken rice (焗葡國雞飯 'guk pou gwok gai faan') as sold in a HK-style chachanteng likewise; good luck selling either of those to white people or Mandarin speakers. I've seen Cantonese diners happily chow down on porkchop over spaghetti with tomato sauce as well as typically American chicken chow mein. Baked charsiu buns and egg rolls in Chinatown are mostly for the tourists, yet every part of those is authentic.


"Just steam some vegetables and tofu for me, okay?"


Plain no-sauce chopsuey for the snooty white person coming up. No problem. Don't add salt, cornstarch, or oil. Maybe you weren't supposed to survive civilized life?
Broccoli is a genetically modified organism, as is nearly everything we eat. Per Wikipedia: "Broccoli resulted from breeding of landrace Brassica crops in the northern Mediterranean starting in about the sixth century BCE. Broccoli has its origins in primitive cultivars grown in the Roman Empire and was most likely improved via artificial selection in the Southern Italian Peninsula or Sicily. Broccoli was spread to northern Europe by the 18th century and brought to North America in the 19th century by Italian immigrants. After WWII, breeding of United States and Japanese F1 hybrids increased yields, quality, growth speed, and regional adaptation. This produced the cultivars that have been the most popular since, 'Premium Crop', 'Packman', and 'Marathon'.[end cite]

So is quinoa, which is processed to make it edible.

Broccoli beef with brown rice?

Hoo 你嘅 hah!




Spam, egg, and Sriracha for lunch.
Over a big pile of rice.
真好食!




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SWEET GLOBS ON A STICK

At this time of year it is customary to put on gay spring robes to admire the cherry blossoms. Somewhere else. The only blossoms I've been in a position to admire are the acacia trees down the block, which have informed me that allergy season is starting.
Which is far less enjoyable.

And rather than wearing my prettiest yukata, it would be far more appropriate to wear my dreary seal-hunter garb, because it's cold, pilgrim. SF feels like Ohio. Winterish.

My finger tips were a lovely shade of blue-grey-green most of yesterday.

And it snowed in various parts of the country.

My joints hurt.
花見摶子

One item which is appropriate to the season elsewhere is sweet rice paste balls on a stick (hanami dango), also called 三色摶 (three colour dumplings; sanshuko dango) or 串摶子 (generically: skewered dumplings; kushi dango). Precisely the thing fair goers would snack on since over a millenium ago. Some recipes add silken tofu to the dough for a smoother texture. The balls are boiled till they float, placed in icewater to stop the cooking, skewered, and may be glazed. The appropriate hues are achieved either by using cherry blossoms and green tea powder, or simply by using food colour.

Hanami dango (花見摶子): "flower viewing dumplings".

Dango are suitable to any time of year, so pleasant weather and abundant cherry blossoms aren't strictly necessary. And though pink-white-green are traditional for admiring the flowers, the dumplings do not need to be coloured.


They are not to be confused with fishballs or corndogs.



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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

LOOK AT THE SHAPE OF THEIR EARS

Only the Japanese could invent modern incel fetishes. Things involving underwear, strap-on ears and tails, and timid young highschool boys being terrified of strong sensual women.
Angry fox daemon girls with swords. Rambunctious outer space vixens, with electric powers and zap-ability. High school girls and tanks. Or vampires unsure of their own talents.

Not real-life women, you understand, but strange women.
Tails, horns, claws, and foreign ways of speech.

They've never quite explained where they hide their furry tails or sharp, sharp teeth.


Manga and anime are filled with male fright and female empowerment. Berserk amusement. One conclusion that can be drawn is that real life Japanese society is mind-numbingly dull, and even vast piles of sushi or raw fish do not relieve that. Another one, because of illustration and setting conventions, is that high school students sleep a lot while in class.
Or are out of their minds half the time.


I'm still giggling over a teenage vampire bleeding humoungously from her nose once a month. More so when she's too near the boy with the haunted eyes. It's a metaphor, but it does not bear thinking of what. Twisted ghastly vulnerability. Vital juices. Unbalanced European physicality. An ability to tolerate garlic.

Japanese highschool boys read these things to find out about girls.
Which is about as useful as reading National Geographic.

You could just read the manga for the snacks.
Red bean pastry. Curry buns. Takoyaki.





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SO WHITE THEY EAT MAYONNAISE STRAIGHT FROM THE JAR

Kara Bell, who identifies herself as a Christian Woman of God, got arrested for shoving an employee of a Nordstroms two weeks ago in an altercation over not wearing a mask.
She's white, and from Texas. And blonde, but that almost goes without saying.
As a white Christian woman she believes that she can do things.

Kara Bell, Tucker Carlson, and Morrissey are lousy ambassadors for the tribe.

A video clip of Kara Bell's angry rambling can be seen on the internet because self-righteous white Christians naturally have no shame, are convinced they're right, forget how things work in the real world, and crave attention. Which also explains Tucker Carlson and Morrissey.


"I am a Christian woman of God."


She allegedly has a background in advocacy and nonprofit work and two children.
If I were ever cited or arrested for being a certifiable dickhead, I doubt that I could claim to be a "Christian woman of God" in my defense. Claiming that I was Tucker Carlson or Morrissey might work better.

Of course that could also be seen as an admission.



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AMBAKALIO IN AN ESSAY NOT SUITABLE FOR BERKELEY PEOPLE

In an exchange with a friend last night over the internet, concerning "vegan dhansak", two products were mentioned that sound like screaming heresy, have "Berkeleyite" stamped all over them, and invite carpet bombing: Soy Granule Kheema, and Soy Chunk Meatballs.

Vegan dhansak, by the way, turns out to be a packaged pre-cooked mixed vegetables stew with some mashed lentils to thicken the gravy, tomato paste, plus sugar and lemon juice to give it a Persian tang, the usual garlic ginger etcetera, and Delhi spice mix. The kind of muck a dabba in the Tenderloin would serve to pasty-faced "woke" people from the East Bay.

That inevitably guided me to a website with recipes. Among which: Gajar ka Halwa with soy granules. Soy granule veg chops. None of the recipes spoke to me, or if they did, they were screaming about the pain, cruelty, and pointlessness of life in an uncaring and apathetic universe. It was "food" to encourage an existential crisis.


The Indian store five blocks away caters primarily to Sardars and Patels, and rather few Gauras. So they might not have soy granules. Maybe I'd have to go to Berkeley for that.
Life is too short to make daytrips to Berkeley.

[Not true; there's always Vic's Chaat.]



Ab initio, vegan dhansak is crap for stupid white people.
Or BJP and RSS Sanghis from Gujarat and UP.



Dhansak is mutton (or goat) with a mashed thick lentil and pumpkin sludge ("gravy") flavoured with methi (fenugreek) leaves, mint, cilantro, and dhansak masala. Dhansak masala contains at a minimum the following spices: chilies, fenugreek seeds, cumin, coriander seed, green cardamon, and cinnamon. It might also have peppercorns, fennel seed, star-anise, cloves, nutmeg or mace. There is no chicken dhansak. There is no vegetarian or vegan dhansak. There is no soy product dhansak. Carrots and cauliflower do not belong in dhansak.

It is served with Parsee brown rice, and chicken pattice.
Plus ambakalio on the side.

AMBAKALIO

One pound small green mangoes (NOT squishy ripe mangoes).
Half a pound jaggery (palm sugar in big chunks).
A fragment of stick cinnamon.
Chopped onion (about a quarter to a half) optional (some cooks leave it out).
A green cardamom or two, a whole clove or two.
Water - two to four tablespoons.


Break jaggery apart, put in an enamel saucepan with water, the cardamom, and the cloves. Plus the onion, if you decided to use it. Cook till the jaggery is dissolved.

Peel, cut, and de-seed the mangoes. Green mangoes will have a tender seed and the flesh will not have become all fibrous around it. Nor will juice and pulp cascade over your hands at this stage of unripeness, and the flesh is firm and fragrant, albeit pleasingly tart.

Add the sliced mango to the jaggery water, and simmer till the mango has softened and the liquid has become stroppy. Cool.




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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

NECESSARY WARNING

In the modern era, there are warnings on products that, to some people, may seem overkill. Yet they are important because some of us have less brain matter than might be necessary to properly function, or we could be habitual pot-users (Grateful Dead fans, probably).


DO NOT GET PREGNANT WHILE USING THIS.
DO NOT APPLY DIRECTLY TO ANUS.
OPEN BEFORE POURING.



Strangely suggestive. Now you want to do all of that, thanks for idea. And you also want to know more about the people for whom those warnings were intended. What are they like?
Have they contributed to the gene pool, and do they own motor vehicles?


The main reason for those warning labels is not because some consumers are likely to do stupid things -- they are, but that's beside the point -- but so that the company making the product can legitimately dodge responsibility if bad things happen.


Generally speaking, I am in favour of bad things for dumbasses.
Because I am not a nice person.


[I'm actually a pussycat, but don't tell anybody.]


As an irrelevant side note, I did an image search for "Karen" recently. Over one hundred and sixty white women showed up before the first person of colour. This may mean something.



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THE SIXTY PERCENT

Congresswoman Maxine Waters pissed-off the judicial authorities in Minneapolis by opining that if Derek Chauvin is not found guilty -- meaning that "justice" only works, if ever, for the ruling class -- protestors have a duty, damned well a right, to get confrontational. Because white people in Minnesota don't like it when blacks get uppity and demand equal treatment; they should politely ask, and Gandhi-like accept that it may not be granted because the Caucasian middle-classes and bureaucracy might have dyspepsia that day.


Other news: The U. S. State Department will advise citizens against travelling to eight percent of the countries in the world. If they had a greater purview, they would also strongly advise against travelling to several states in our own country.
Minnesota (a white paradise with defective police), Colorado (where the judicial branch is usually okay with racist terminology), Georgia (where no one wants black people to vote), Florida (where white college students can party and trash-up the place), Texas (where Asian Americans are often asked if they eat dogs or came across the border with Meskins), the entire frikkin' South AND Midwest (remember, the Midwest at one point had more Klansmen than the total population of the South), Oregon (created as a white people's promised land), Arizona (Arpaio), Alaska (alcoholic trailerpark gun-nuts), and several other places in this vast land.

Basically, anyplace with gun-nuts, fundamentalist Christians, and Trump supporters.


Despite being white and able to keep my mouth shut because I am diplomatic, I won't go there.
Being a person of colour in this country has never been diplomatic.
You have the right to be white. That's it.


Yeah, maybe you should get confrontational.


You will be outnumbered, of course. Minnesota governor Tim Walz has asked for police assistance from Ohio and Nebraska, which are very white states.

Thank god he didn't ask for help from Illinois.
Where Kyle Rittenhouse is from.






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Monday, April 19, 2021

IT'S GREATNESS, WITH SAMBAL

In the past four weeks food has been mentioned an awful lot on this blog. It may have frustrated some people -- what are these things the bozo is mentioning, and why does he dwell on things which I cannot find in Podunk or Shasta? What is it?
Well, food tastes tell a story of a person's past, the environments in which they have been, and what the people in their environment have been up to for the last few generations. Meatloaf, for instance, is very American, like hamburgers. Whereas fried rice is post-war Dutch, pre-war East Indies, and enduringly Indonesian. Salt fish and fatty pork? Cantonese.
Everything with sambal? Single man from a Dutch environment.

Lutefisk, as a good example, is American Lutheran, or Scandinavian. No one else. Gehakte leber is urban coastal American, Jewish, and gout.

I am a 12th. generation American of mostly Dutch-American ancestry, whose parents were both born outside the country because of World War One. When I was two we left Southern California and moved to the Netherlands. I came back to the States for college.
I'm curious and have a minor linguistic bent.

And I like to eat.


Here are consumables mentioned in essays during the past four weeks. With explanation.

Vegemite: unspeakable Australian yeast spackle
Spaghetti sandwiches: The alternative to a Vegemite sandwich.
Pineapple: A pizza topping.
Hot sauce: Something which makes Vegemite, spaghetti sandwiches, and pineapple pizza edible.
Smoked eel sandwich: Better than Vegemite, spaghetti sandwiches, and pineapple pizza.
Fried stinky tofu: Almost inedible.
Taro durian hopia: Thoroughly unpleasant.
Cheese: Essential.
Curry pastes: Usually one can find three Thai types in Asian markets; yellow, a regular hot curry flavour. Red, more of the aromatic spices. Green, hotter and sharper. Additionally there are HK curry pastes, which will appeal to the English, and Japanese curry pastes, which are for making your stews more complex and gravied, but not really fully curry-like.
Cucumber flavoured potato chips: I don't think this is a flavour that will catch on in the US.
Spaghetti Os: Canned Italian food. Not available in Italy.
Fatty pork with salted veg: 梅菜扣肉 ('mui choi kau yiuk'); streaky pork long simmered with salted vegetables, dashes of rice wine and soy sauce added. Stupendous over rice.
Salt fish: 鹹魚 ('haam yü'), the acme of uncool food for the poor and elderly. Delicious and versatile, a few slices on their own steamed with ginger are a great accompaniment for rice. Steamed pork patty and many pork dishes are improved by the addition of a little salt fish. Chicken and salt fish is classic. And vegetables benefit from the saveur.
Charsiu pork: 叉燒 -- Cantonese-style barbecued pork, flavoured with sugar and soy sauce, rice wine, and five spice. Sweetish, fatty. Served by itself over rice, or used to flavour a multitude of other dishes.
Roast duck: 燒鴨 ('siu ngaap') Food of the gods. Delicious-greasy-fatty-juicy-scrumptious.
Steamed pork patty with salted fish and ginger: 鹹魚蒸肉餅 ('haam yü jing yiuk beng'); ground pork flattened, a few thick slices of salt fish on top, with some shredded ginger. Steamed (depending on thickness five or ten minutes). Which cooks the meat, imbues it with a hint of savory saltiness, and renders the juices. Country Cantonese style food, beloved by city dwellers, soulfood in Chinatown.
Baked porkchop over rice with cheese: Very Hong Kong chachanteng.
Bami goreng: Indonesian fried noodles, one of the most common dishes in Dutch cities. Cooked noodles put in the pan with browned onion, other ingredients such as meats and vegetables added. Tossed around a bit, ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce) drizzled in, and then scooped onto a plate. The fried onions are a major characteristic, the meats somewhat define it, and sweet soy sauce is a common Indonesian and Dutch flavouring invented several centuries ago by Chinese migrants to South East Asia. My version adds ginger, subtracts onion, and omits sweet soy sauce in lieu of a drizzle fish sauce and some curry paste.
Almost all of us serve sambal on the side.
Guleh ayam: Indonesian-style curried chicken. Essential spices aside from turmeric and ground coriander are lengkuas (langkawas, galangal; a type of dwarf ginger), serai (sere, lemongrass; a fragrant plant with a perfumy citrus fragrance), chilies, cumin, green cardamom. The sauce includes coconut milk and fish paste. It is a soupy dish, with plenty of sauce for the rice.
Bebek tjabe hijau: Duck with green chili. Large chunks of duck cooked with a curry paste that has a dominance of green chilies, made fragrant with kaffir lime and lemon grass, and includes shallots and garlic. The Minangkabau version ("itiak lado ijo") is the most authentic, you might have to go to Bukit Tinggi for that. Soupy, to go with rice.
Chicken paprikash: Hungarian chicken prepared with paprika.
Holishkes: Stuffed cabbage, golubtsi; a savoury filling of minced meat flavoured with spices and onions, wrapped in cabbage leaves and cooked. Often served with tomato sauce.
Nokrln (little boiled dumplings similar to spaetzle, served with many dishes; nokerly).
Rakot Krumpli: A casserole of potato layers, sliced onion, speck, and hardboiled eggs baked in butter and sour cream (smetana).
Letsho: Sautéed onions, peppers, and tomatoes, with eggs or sausage.
Purkult is a paprika flavoured meat stew.
Cheese steak sandwich: A popular late night comestible in Philadelphia. Scrap beef griddle fried with onions in a toasted long bun, with canned liquid cheese glopped down the length.
Milk tea: 港式奶茶 ('gong sik naai cha'). Very similar to something severe Dutch Protestants do. If such beverages as coffee and tea are sinful self-indulgence, then making them with milk instead of water changes them to a health beverage. HK Milk Tea is strong tea augmented with sweetened condensed milk. Served hot or cold. I prefer it hot. I throw a few dried dates and slices of ginger into the water I use. Which, I suppose, is rather protestant of me.
Wonton noodle soup: Wontons are little dumplings filled with pork and shrimp. Or just pork, if made by northerners. Adding noodles to wonton soup is very Hong Kong, and somewhat odd by the standards of Northern Chinese. The broth has a noticeable flavouring of dried flounder, which adds depth and complexity and seems positively heretical to many non-Cantonese.
Kaidanchai: 雞蛋仔. A big piece of outer space alien skin dusted with confectioners sugar. Errm, I mean a fried waffle-type thing eaten spur of the moment snack-wise.
Steamed meat patty with ginger and salt egg: 咸蛋蒸肉饼 ('haam daan jing yiuk beng').
Fish balls: 魚蛋 ('yü daan'). Often either fried and served on a stick with curry sauce, or added to noodle soups.
Egg tarts: 蛋撻 ('daan taat').
French toast: 西多士 ('sai do si'). A thick peanut butter, nutella, or jam sammich, battered, fried, dusted with confectioners sugar, drizzled with chocolate syrup, golden treacle, and sweetened condensed milk. Considered a light in between meals snack in Hong Kong, and a heart-attack on a plate by sane people. It is very yummy.
Rutabaga: A fictitious vegetable invented by muppets.
Potato curry: Cook chunked potato in salted water for a few minutes, drain, and cook till done in a curry mixture that includes browned onion, garlic, ginger, the usual spices, plus plenty of ghee or coconut grease, and chili paste. Cumin is an essential component.
Tofu: If cooked by and for Caucasians, this is very strange. However stuffed with fish paste and fatty pork then coated and deepfried it is totally marvelous, and it can also be plain-cooked then served with meat sauce and chilipaste.
Guleh: Indonesian curry, usually on the wet side, to go with rice.
Soto: a soup with meat, vegetables, and a starch component, plus yellow curry spices. In Holland most often made with chicken and fried potato chunks or potato croquettes. Beansprouts and fresh basil leaves are (or should be) considered essential.
Rendang: Coconut milk and chili meat stew. Water buffalo chunks rubbed with salt, turmeric, garlic, ginger, an equal amount of chili paste added, then coconut milk to generously drown added, and the whole simmered till the liquid is gone, and the oils have come out. Raise heat, fry crusty around the edges while stirring. Thus cooked the meat will keep for a few days unrefrigerated. A small quantity is sufficient with rice, this is not a main dish. If made wet, it is called 'kalio'. In either version it is delicious.
Lalap: Raw vegetables with chili paste. Salad, snack, or side dish.
Rudjak: blanched vegetables with a sauce comprised of fish paste, chili paste, lime juice, sugar. Similar to 'lotek', or 'petjel'.
Nasi goreng: Indonesian style fried rice. The national dish of Holland.
Portuguese chicken: 葡國雞 ('pou gwok kai'), chicken pieces with chunked potato in a mild coconut curry sauce. Great with sambal.
Salt fish and chicken fried rice: 鹹魚雞粒炒飯 ('haam yü gai naap chaau faan'). A classic taste. I find it very enjoyable. Great with sambal.
Black rice porridge: 黑米粥 ('hak maai juk'.) Black rice porridge with pears (梨汁黑米粥 'lei jap hak maai juk'): rinse roughly equal parts black and white 米 before simmering with eight times the volume water to the nearly falling apart stage, then add fresh or canned pears and their syrup or sugar to taste, simmer a while longer.

Chinese food, Dutch or Indonesian, Hungarian, and a few other things.
Most of which are great with sambal, and HK milk tea.

Followed by a pipe.




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DELAWARE, A FINE STATE

There are times I'm glad that I don't live in Delaware. In fact, whenever I think of Delaware, which isn't often, I am mighty gl...