Thursday, June 30, 2022


Lauren Boebert argues that we should let the church dominate the government. Naturally it should be the Dutch Reformed Church. Naturally! And I propose, as one of our first acts, that we outlaw the Evangelicals, Southern Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Methodists, and all manifestations of born-againism. Such heresies veer into witchcraft and have NO business being allowed in a Christian country. Also, the New England Puritans fled a Christian country (Holland) to practise their deviant cult in the wilderness, and should, therefore, be excoriated without mercy. All of this is obvious! By the way, Christmas and Thanksgiving are heathen holidays and should be cancelled.

[Decide for yourself whether this is sarcasm; if you're wrong, you will burn for all eternity.]

Burning Boebert and MTG as witches and horrid heretics has a certain appeal.

And I have plans for the Mormons.....


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Ten days ago the weather was tropical in its intensity, and a huge number of tourists and San Franciscans ponced around in shorts and very indecent tops, shocking the horses and little old ladies. To the dismay of this blogger, because I care about horses and little old ladies.
What is this world coming to?

So I am rather glad that it is currently fifty six degrees Fahrenheit. When it gets significantly over seventy five, my right leg feels like it was attacked with a hammer. The left leg is better, though not by much. Over ninety, and I can barely walk. At present I feel full of piss and vinegar, beans, and all kinds of good stuff. Why, I am alive, and vigorous!
Hell will freeze over before I wear shorts and an indecent top.
And I would rather you didn't either.
I'm a bit of a prude.

I should clarify that, by stating that while I happily imagine nudity and all manner of salacious visuals, I much prefer those to be in my mind, and not on the public thoroughfare. There is a difference between seeing cleavages at home versus in the marketplace. Home: ooh, nice!
In public: good lord why are you exposing yourself?!? No one wants to see that!
For some reason many Europeans and not a few Americans head to the tropics on vacation. Inconveniently forgetting about rainstorms. The first typhoons already hit in parts of South East Asia. There have been floods. And landslides.

That is, in fact, perfect weather for white tourists to swan around indecently in scanty clothes and flip-flops. Which I encourage. Over there. Give the locals something to look at.
And glow in the dark. As you do. You scandalous beasts.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering which sweater to wear.


Ya know, whenever I see tattoos, especially on fellow Caucasoids, I can't help thinking that they're racists and petty criminals, potentially violent and mentally unstable.
As well as frequently drunk and hepped on drugs.
I'm probably not alone in this.

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The news headlines are about three strongmen. War, repression, and family corruption. Two large authoritarian countries and a third world country which I visited many years ago. That last mentioned has provided funny stuff for years, and it's hard to take them seriously.
But their food is good. Sometimes bizarre. But good.

Shan't mention which three countries those are, because I don't want to get killed, and there are a lot of Filippinos in the Bay Area, who tend toward psycho instability. But good food.

One of the authoritarian countries referenced is known for tuber soup, and onion rolled in toilet paper. Basically a third world country with a government run by criminals. Also too many representatives in the Bay Area. I'm on the fence about their food.
A lot of it is greasy. Big fat "meh".

Meanwhile, in our own country, we've got banana republic conditions in a lot of places, right wing psychos, mostly crappy food, and, because of a run on toilet paper two years ago, enough bumwad to wrap onions for decades to come.
We'll be celebrating our separation from the civilized world over the weekend. Burnt tubular meat, silly entertainments, bunting, explosive devices, and beer.

We have better toilet paper than the Europeans.
That's worth a party by any standard.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022


The birds are just sitting there with anchovies in their beaks, looking stupid; there is so much fish out there in the water that they don't know what to do with it. In an only in SF occurence, seabirds are accidentally dropping fish over the city. There have been numerous reports of seafood falling from the sky and startling people. It's like manna. Smelly manna.

Very much like the average sea bird -- pelican, gull, albatross -- I also am quite fond of fish. Sardines, anchovies, herring, or what was on the lunch menu today: dragon tongue fish.
With garlic butter over rice, plus hot sauce. And some broccoli. As well as soup.
The average sea bird does not have access to hot sauce.
Which is why they didn't know what to do.

I'm not the only person fond of fish; it's probably the most popular of the three set lunches at that place, and they do a fairly booming business. They also do porkchops and guk gai pei (焗雞髀 "oven roasted chicken leg"). But the dragon tongue rules.

As a side note, watching Cantonese people at a buffet when the lobster or crab comes out is stupendous. There's nothing in the world quite like it. Frenzy.

The Dutch and Flemish are also extremely fond of fish.
Anglos aren't; they don't know how to cook it.
Fresh seafood is hard to find.
It's un-American.

There is a lot of canned sardines and tuna in the interior states among the great Anglo outback, so life there is not entirely hopeless. And while there are Dutchmen and Flemish there, they're mostly from the culinarily backward provinces (Groningen, Gelderland).
They won't share your passion. You will necessarily eat alone.
Finding codfish or herring there is impossible.
There might be Sriracha.
Or not.

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The title of this essay was taken from a recent cartoon by Nathan W. Pyle, who frequently captures the SF weltanschauung und paradigmatische gestalt like no other.
The excessive drinking of jitter liquid.

The question that must come to mind is 'do they have jitter liquid in the Starwars universe?' As well as do fairies have jitter liquid? And what would happen if you gave octopusses (octopedes) jitter liquid?

There is no limit to scientific inquiry.

When I asked my doctor about jitter liquid, he said "yes of course. It's filled with antioxidants." From which one can deduce that, in moderation, jitter liquid is a good thing.

Jitter liquid.
And so refreshing!

Sometimes, when the jitter liquid is excessive, one's eyes play strange tricks on one. For instance, a post by someone on the internet, which I misread as "Ways to contact me naked: 1) Text. 2) Email. 3) DM." Upon rereading, it was "Ways to contact me RANKED. Skywriting and smoke signals were also mentioned, as well as, lastly calling. In either version that person has different priorities than I do.

The ideal way to contact me, whether you are naked or ranked, is to approach and say: "that tobacco which you are smoking in that pipe smells very nice, kind of old-fashioned, can I share some jitter liquid with you?"

Whereupon I'll indicate that jitter liquid sounds like an awfully nice idea, thank you.

Octopusses (octopedes), as advanced beings, would probably thrive on jitter liquid.
Many parts of this country, probably not so much.
They're already too excitable.

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The dulcet tones of a Toishanese speaker singing in Mandarin could make one think that one was in Indonesia. Somewhere in Jakarta, one of the peripheral kampongs populated by Orang Betawi. Because the song was originally in Indonesian before some clever Johny translated it into Mandarin. As an added frisson: the singer on screen was a buxom Malay type, female. The singer at the bar was a short male baritone. This would have upset or seriously discombobulated any sensitive Texans had there been any of those present.
Too much gender-bending for such simple types, too San Francisco.

Oh yes, cowboy. Oh yes.

One other thing: Having brought two teabags with me, because neither the karaoke joint nor the bar before that cater to crusty farts who avoid alcohol because it might interfere with their high blood pressure pills and therefore don't have real tea on hand, I was quite zipped to the eyebrows when we left. The walk from the bus stop to my front door was with a spring in my step, my right leg was not a pain in the gand as it usually is. I shall have to remember that for the next time.

Normally I spend no time thinking about the tender feelings of Texans.
We have so few of those good Christians here.
Thank you Jesus.

Although, for a moment is seemed like Kahn Souphanousinphone might make an appearance. But we were spared. Heaven is merciful.
By the time the bookseller arrived I finished my smoke, and we ended up sampling the house red at the burger joint as usual (I had soda instead), followed by the beer at the beat hangout (tea), and headed toward the musical place. Stepping around the street dude who had taken up residence on the sidewalk, we entered a den of inequity which has been remarkably well run since Jenny took over, where this time the kwailo outnumbered the Toishanese. It was considerably quieter than the beat hangout. And the water for tea was at a better temperature.

Tea water in bars usually is lukewarm; a sorry state of affairs.
Perhaps they aren't familiar with civilized beverages?
Maybe it's better among the puritans in Texas.

The bookseller is planning to move back to this quadrant of the city sometime in the next few months. It's more civilized here. I'm guessing that there are fewer Texans than out in the avenues.

I'm not obsessing about Texans, it's just that karaoke naturally always makes me think of Kahn Souphanousinphone, who is a famous Texan. I actually don't know any Texans.
But Kahn is a perfect example of the type.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022


It does not, from my Western perspective, look potable. But it's extremely popular. I have never tried a taro milk tea with sago pearls, and because I associate that colour with cheap grape flavour, candy, and space monsters it's unlikely that I will anytime soon. I have tried the matcha milk tea (without the indigestible round things), and I cannot say that it's a favourite of mine. Might be a long time before I do that again. Strong Hong Kong milk tea, no boba.

Yesterday two young ladies ordered the purple drink where I was having my hot cup of milk tea. It's a stunning combo: pale ivory-sepia cheeks, shiny black hair, and lavender-hued space alien blender goo.

Visually extremely interesting.

From a safe distance, those big taro pearls look like the monster was not entirely osterized, there are little bits of him settling on the bottom. I know from experience that they're difficult to reduce to a digestible substance -- it may be my teeth -- and they sit in the stomach for hours, little clots of havoc.
Two gentlemen to the right, at different tables, were having toast. An older woman to the left was having some chow fun and a cup of tea. Older brother uncle (meaning a gentleman of not entirely kosher status and "influence", who is of an avuncular age) was at the next table over with a friend dining very well. And an American Chinese woman seated straight ahead was eating something with meat and tomatoes, and had not until mere moments ago known what those things were called in Cantonese (番茄 'faan ke').

I've seen chow fun auntie before a number of times. She also often eats lunch at the place where I get dragon tongue fish with rice (蒜蓉焗龍脷飯 'suen yong guk lung lei faan') nearly every week. She's seldom alone, and her son will pick her up with the car.
Yesterday I noticed her elegant gold earrings.

I know from listening in on conversations that her surname is Low (盧 or 魯 also maybe 羅). I've never introduced myself because my Cantonese is quite lousy, but I've heard her speak. Clear understandable city Cantonese, with an old-fashioned formal quality to it.

[If asked, let's just say that my name is 麥 ('mak'). It's more convenient to leave it at that. 叫我老麥就得㗎喇。]

As for the ladies who ordered taro milk tea, I did not notice their jewelry at all, and their surnames I do not know. I was fixated on their purple effluvium.
That was probably what Prince sang about.

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Monday, June 27, 2022


In Chinatown for tea-time today. Because it was not a hot day I dressed relatively warmly, which in San Francisco means a sweater. According to the news, Hong Kong will be nearly ninety degrees, Eindhoven will be mid-fifties, parts of Marin will be nearly eighty.
In San Francisco, it was barely above sixty.

For people in the civilized world, that's thirty Centigrade, twelve degrees, twenty five, and seventeen respectively.

Perfect for a nice cup of milk tea.
And a snack.

Smoked a small pipe on Waverly afterwards. The pipe in play was an old item I which I had restored about seven years ago. Its owner in the intervening years passed away sometime this year, and his wife wished his pipes to go to appreciative homes.
He had nine pipes.
This one was the only one I picked. He had four meerschaums, and four other rather splendid briars. But this one I knew. I remember him as a very likeably chap who drifted in and out with a pipe in his mouth, not particularly talkative, seeming to enjoy his retirement quietly. I do not know what he died of, nor exactly when. I had last seen him in 2018.
But I know he was still active one year ago.

While smoking this pipe, I also remembered his tobacco.
It's a popular mixture which everyone knows.
There's a ghost in the smoke.

The 533 is not a shape I would have chosen, normally.
But this particular one has memories attached.

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Rudy Giuliani got randomly slapped over the weekend at a supermarket; oh the horror and outrage! "It felt like a gunshot." Yeah, well, um. I'm afraid I cannot feel sympathy for him at all. Perhaps if you slapped him again? Repeatedly? This time use a baseball bat. The problem with those Republican hosebags is that they do not feel things like normal people.
They're kind of insensitive. Almost to the point of stupidity.
It's all that cocaine.

"I’m a 78-year-old who’s in pretty good shape, because if I wasn’t I’d have hit the ground and probably cracked my skull."

------Rudy Giuliani (alleged scumbag).

Damn. Better luck next time.

In all honesty, I am disappointed that the perpetrator got caught and didn't draw blood. Rudy Giuliani should be in the slammer, and like his buddy Epstein should not commit suicide.
In a just world and a well-run country, that would happen.

Before he doesn't commit suicide he should be brutalized with the butt end of a tennis racket in the minimum security facility where we put influential people like him. That would be very 'preppy', and very appropriate.

A whole bunch of Republicans should not commit suicide.
Precisely like Jeffrey Epstein.


Turns out the security video tape of the incident shows a mild almost avuncular pat on his back, which had no or scant impact. Giuliani didn't flinch, and barely registered it. Words were exchanged in passing afterward, which were possibly hurtful criticism.
To which Giuliani reacted like a typical a**hole New Yorker.

Two conclusions:
1) Giuliani is a lying sack of sh**. But we already knew that.
2) Next time, maybe use a baseball bat. Or a tire iron.

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My apartment mate is staying home today, because she doesn't feel that after her youngest brother died she'd be able to act normal at the office where there are idiots. It's a sensible decision. She needs time to grieve. Everything I've heard about him tells me he was a very nice man.

I never knew him, I've only met one of her siblings. But he sounds like someone I would have liked. One of her other siblings sounds like someone I would not want to meet, socially or otherwise, what with being a born-again Christian and a know-it-all control freak.

My apartment mate is having a hard time of it, and I am no help.

I brought one of the Totoro over to her room (there are three Totoro here) and he was no help either. What with being somewhat obsessive and blinkered, and inclined to cheerfully talk about strange snacks that only Totoro know about. Some of the other small roommates are better at this. They mostly live on her side of the apartment where it's frequently quieter. The more eccentric and dysfunctional creatures all live on my side, although the turkey vulture stays mostly in her room, because he's fond of the senior T bear.
And Otto the Octopus looks out for him.

One would have thought that Totoro would be good at this.
Nope. Obsessive and blinkered.

He's absolutely NO comfort to a Chinatown girl who has lost her brother. Totoro is probably going to mutter absurd things most of the day, or say cheerfully inappropriate stuff at inopportune moments.

Although I think Totoro agrees that the born-again-Christian control-freak should have died instead. We're all on the same page about such people in this household.

One a slightly different note, she's made me promise not to die all of a sudden, because she couldn't handle another person dropping dead without warning. Which means that although there is absolutely no likelyhood of that anytime soon, I am now committed to a long and slow demise. I have no idea how I'm going to manage that when the time comes.
Personally I would prefer to keel over without warning in the middle of doing something good, like her sibling, but I acknowledge that a lingering and operatic demise over several months would be more convenient for everyone and give them plenty of time to get ready.
I'll share this with my doctor when I see her next.
Maybe I should take up gardening.
That sounds good.

Again, it's not likely in any way that I'll be going in a any way at this moment. But I'll try to give everybody plenty of time to prepare. That way y'all aren't overseas when it happens. Wear something festive. I am not a goth.

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Sunday, June 26, 2022


It would be dishonest to say that superhero movies bore me; I haven't seen enough of them. I did see two Spiderman movies many years ago, because the company for which I worked treated us -- it was either that or stay at the office and work while everyone else overloaded on the popcorn -- but all I can remember is that the premises were ridiculous, as were the stories, but one or two of the actors seemed likeable.
Superman, Batman, X-men? Nope.

Sadly, I haven't seen many of the Godzilla movies either. Saw Mothra, found it cheesy and sort of amusing. Also saw Matango, in which parasitic fungi take over the bodies of the hapless crew. The word 'cheesy' is more than appropriate.

As a Dutchman (Netherlandish American) I think I can claim to know cheese. Perhaps that's why I rather like the Japanese super-atomic-monster movies (mmmm, blue cheese!) but despise the American fromage films; strictly factory pocess sliced barfo.

American superheroes are crap.

Whereas Matango and similar flicks are art!

Shipwrecked on a mysterious island, everyone eventually ends up as a bestial mushroom. Dangerous, violent, and driven by instinct to attack those who are less fungal and infected.
Is it a metaphor? A romantic comedy? A nightmare?
Kind of disgusting and sad.

Perhaps it's just a good excuse to hunker down in front of the tube in your pajama pants and flip-flops snarfing delivery sushi. Pass the Pocari Sweat.

Who was that major drip in Spiderman?

Wasn't he also the clown in 'It'?

Good cheese.

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My apartment mate's sibling died sudddenly the other evening. She's heartbroken. I'm lousy at comforting her. She's lousy at processing such input in any case. Both of us are on the Autism spectrum, Aspergers and socially awkward. Being human is more of a struggle than it is for most people, and requires more thinking things out than we're easily capable of. Which at times is okay and I have no reason to complain, because humans aren't all they're cracked up to be, and I enjoy not being around them too much. But I wish I were much more skilled at being a nurturing person, because I hate to see her so unhappy.

I'm just not good at being human.


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Saturday, June 25, 2022


Yesterday evening I was not filled with warm fuzzy feelings about Christians, Republicans, or Supreme Court Justices. Or, for that matter, several people with whom I have to associate while at work in Marin.

I'll let you figure out why that was so.

I've never had warm fuzzy feelings about Christians.

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Friday, June 24, 2022


"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

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The fog did not creep in yesterday. It stormed in. There was nothing subtle about it. The last walk around the neighborhood was marked by two and a half block visibility before the grey. By the time I returned dark had come and the fog had dissipated, glowing rectangles were visible at the tops of the nearby hills.

I washed down the amlodipine besylate with a glass of yeun yueng and plonked on the internet a bit before going to bed.

Calmness. Peace. Marginally too cold for many people.
Bar life has returned after the pandemic.
Polk street was audible.

Around tea time yesterday, at the bakery, a young Indian woman very haltingly used her university-taught Mandarin to communicate with the counter person. Which was never-the-less a commendable achievement, the relatives accompanying her should be proud of her.
I understood her, and my Mandarin is absolutely horrible. Unfortunately my Hindi is rusty. Which is actually a mighty good thing in this case, because it removed any temptation to show off, which would have stolen her thunder. It really was her moment. Kudos.

Yes, I know that there are people like that in Singapore and Hong Kong.
But this is San Francisco, where it's uncommon.

Tourists rarely surprise me.
Seldom favourably.

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Thursday, June 23, 2022


During the middle of the day there are fewer pedestrians on the street. It is better to stay in the shade, and one sees people cautiously remaining in the deep front spaces of the shop houses or lounging under the trees. There is hardly any breeze, and it makes the heat seem worse. The pavement shimmers and dark shadows burn themselves into the back of your brain. Best to stay away from caffeine and alcohol, so do not drink iced stimulants like Netherlanders or beer like the Australians. Better weak juice with tapioca pearls.

[Caffeine and alcoholic drinks negatively affect the fluid and electrolyte balance and how the body deals with heat.]

The little sik-siks in the nullah are too pooped to eat the insects.
Instead, they lie in the shade with their rears in the water.
Some kind of small reptile, not sure of the species.
Long rigid tails, and pugnacious faces.

Walking, with even the minimum of body movement necessary for progress - sloyong sloyong -- soon drenches one with sweat, which evaporates far too fast.
At the road there is a store selling drinks with jelly squiggles.
And they have chairs in the shade.

Can one smoke here?
Please go ahead.
We all do.
Make a list of essentials for next week. It is suprisingly mundane.

Tea. Tinned cigarettes (that English brand). Aspirin. Whisky (it disinfects). Band aids.

Stay away from ice cubes because of local water issues.

Avoid blastocystis, a gut parasite.

No raw fruits.

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Per the news, monsoon-like conditions have moved into California south of here. By which is meant that there are great chances for summer thunder and lightening storms, not actual torrential rain. The use of the term is misleading.

I would suggest that calling dry thunder and lightening, in an arid region with a near-desert climate, monsoonal, is completely wrong. Downright berserk.
In any case not common English usage.

Precipitate fog slightly darkening the concrete sidewalk outside my building, and making the odours of San Francisco marginally more intense, hardly qualifies as a wall of rain moving in from the ocean and flooding the low-lying rice paddies and ditches of the civic centre. There are no pedicabs stranded by the downpour, the drains are not evertaxed, the muddy waters are not flowing over the levees.
Trust me on this. The illustration above shows nowhere in the San Francisco area.

While I was outside smoking my first pipe of the day I did not see any umbrellas. At all. Maybe because there were so few people about, but also because there was no rain.

A nice hot cup of coffee, with cardamom and some sweetened condensed milk, would have been most welcome, as well as a place to sit down.
Sadly, in this tropical climate, the incessant rain gets on every ones nerves, and they prefer to be alone with their soggy thoughts, and fiercely chase the passing pipe smoker outdoors, flapping their wet loincloths to keep me away. The bugs find a welcome home between the mildewed toes of their flip-flops, little black flies gather on every furniture surface under the reeking oil lamps that fight against the daytime gloom, all food is protected with wire mesh baskets and all cups or glasses are covered with lids; still the small dark insect bodies get everywhere. Solid clouds block out the sun, when will this rain ever end?

Monsoonal? Hoo hah!

It's rather pleasant outside. Almost shirtsleeve weather.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2022


We can count this as a reasonably successful afternoon. I got a lot of stuff done, had a lovely lunch, and ended up with a bag of mango gummies. Life is good when there are mango gummies. Tea and a snack at a familiar place, followed by a long walk with a pipe.

Walking is a pain in the gand. But I need to do it.
Don't want the right leg becoming totally useless.
My left calf feels like it's was hit with a hot iron, and the burning pain is being efficiently communicated to adjacent areas like the thigh, hip, ankle, gluteus maximus and minimus, and the ball of the foot. So we know the nerves are working well. Overtime, in fact.
A man needs nerves in order to function properly.
Nerves of red hot flaming iron.
Anyhow, tea time was nice. A piece of lemon Swiss roll cake (檸檬瑞士卷 'ning mung seui si kuen'), hot milk tea, and a cup of regular tea. This time the evil old granny who snagged the last three pieces of that Swiss roll was not about, as she was twelve weeks ago.
So I won. Delicious! And I'm gloating.

Didn't even mind the Caucasian office dude-bros without masks happily spreading Covid on the bus back. As they blithely do. Because they do not care. The biggest disease vectors in the world are young white yuppies, second only to tourists. Antibiotic resistant syphilis, date rape drugs, alcohol poisoning, random thuggery, Republicanism, and Covid 19.
An entire Embarcadero law office cluster.

You know, if you do not wear a mask, the zombies will get you.
They can smell your foul Chipotle burrito breath.

What you probably weren't aware of, when you moved here from the chumbucket states, was that we have an army of dead seagull hopping zombies, who wish to rip out your livers and your Amex platinum cards. Hop. Hop. Hop.

Damn' my leg.

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Courtesy of the internet I am reminded of 猪腳麵線 ('chyu kuk min sin') and 蚵仔麵線 ('ho jai min sin')。Which are braised pig knuckles with vermicelli and oysters with Chinese vermicelli respectively. No, not what I'm having for breakfast, nor planning for lunch. Given that I woke up from a dream involving a notorious Dutch criminal -- not one who represented staggering derring-do and sheer ballsy chutzpah, as we fondly imagine our best lawbreakers to be, but a seedy spoiled brat who should have been shafted in prison -- these two dishes would be restorative and with some strong tea would get the mind back in its tracks.
I really shouldn't have had coffee after returning last night.
Not that it kept me from sleeping.
But, dreams.

Pig knuckles with vermicelli (閩東豬腳麵線 'min tung chyu kuk min sin') are a classic dish. The meat is first blanched, then stewed with spices and a little caramelized sugar in rice wine and soy sauce, then dished alongside the noodles with a splash of the sauce. Easy. Scallion, ginger, bay leaf, stick cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, dried chilies. Often a boiled egg is added, which may have been cooked in the same pot. Eggs are good luck.
And of course I would also add some black mushroom.

A more Fuzhou-type preparation would be chicken, duck, or pork, cooked with red wine lees rice (紅麴米 'hong guk mai'), particularly red wine-lees chicken (紅糟雞 'hong jou gai') with lots of ginger, and sesame oil, which helps a woman regain her strength after parturition. Again, eggs are added to the pot to cook along side.
Served with the same noodles.

Seeing as I am not a Chinese woman after child birth but a middle-aged Caucasian (Dutch American) bachelor without any offspring, I am not bound by tradition or a mother-in-law.
I 'll make these dishes because I want to eat them, irrespective of any familial state.


Major substitutions must be made, however. Red rice wine is nearly impossible to find, alas, unless you make your own, which is also the case with red wine lees rice, an afterproduct of the process. So many traditional Fujianese dishes are not a regular San Francisco thing.

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Firstly, let's agree that it is too hot. We expect this for a few days in September, not in June. It was well over ninety degrees in this quadrant of the city today, it's still over eighty outside.
I'm sitting here wearing boxer shorts. Unlike on normal Tuesday evenings I didn't smoke the pipe for watching rats in Spofford Alley while waiting for my old colleague, because I did not wear my jacket and had no extra pockets. It would have been insane to have a jacket.

As usual, I am quite illogically blaming the Republican Party for this.

Earlier in the day it had taken fifteen minutes for three blocks.

Had to stop, grumble, glower every few yards.

My right calf is still burning.

Everything between hip and big toe feels like crap.

And no, the left leg is not much better.

Damn those Republicans!
As I said, the pipe for watching rats in Spofford Alley was not smoked. Too hot.

Still, got to hear three splendid militaristic mainland propaganda songs at Jenny's place, because the only one there was a Toishanese fellow who loves that stuff. And it probably prepares the masses for tromping through the snow and the malarial swamps while fighting the Japanese, nationalists, American paper tigers, and running dogs of imperialism and resurgent capitalist landlord class.

Neither rain nor sleet nor snow will resist the Eighth Route Army.
Victory, comrades, forward into the wastelands! Tanks!
While little children wave bouquets.

What kind of person ends up being a propaganda singer wearing fancy army uniforms? And why? There is reason to believe that such people are infertile and asexual entirely, as hormones might interfere with the ideological struggle.

He left, and Jenny promptly changed the music to a nice nineteen thirties number by an aged star from the seventies. Much better. Have something to eat and drink, for after this who knows what will occur, and when you might return?
It's a classic, very well known.

A whole bunch of white people came in after that, so we stumbled out into the darkness, and walked the longest four and a half blocks ever. Seriously, I will have to get the ball rolling on the peripheral angioplasty of the lower extremities soon. Might improve things.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2022


Since getting medical insurance a few years ago, I have gotten several vaccines, including the old geezer pneumonia vaccine, shingles shot, hep shot, lockjaw shots, and obviously the double dose of Covid vax and boosters. I had of course read up on there. Natural immunity is fine and good, but a side effect of not getting shots seems to be a deadly disease that may kill you. Or cause severely debilitating long-term ill effects.
And please note that I caught measles twice.
Natural immunity doesn't always work.
Being dead is permanent.

What I find truly extraordinary is that most people doing their own independent "research" seem to come up with all the wrong answers. This isn't just stupidity coming into play, a very large part of it is ignorance and delusion. These people are wilfully dumb, and not soundly connected with reality. Same goes for the folks who are vested in alternative medicine.
One could indeed argue that they are all in the culturally backwards parts of the world, places like Texas and Mississippi for instance, but that would be ignoring the huge number of chiropractors and their patients in California, or the diet-quacks on youtube.

There is a cult of dumbassity in modern society that knows no bounds, because all normal scepticism, logic, or even basic biology and chemistry, don't count for these people. They've dropped religion and a belief in a deity, but the same psychological dynamics made them adhere to newer superstitions.

The all meat diet, yoni eggs, and obsessing about alkalinity in what you ingest, or rubbing essential oils on your chakras, are all sacramental variations on horse puckey.
Many people need to grow up.
Or be slapped a lot.

On the other hand, I am overjoyed that so many of them are massively taking ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine; America needs intestinal parasite-free corpses. Texas and Mississippi must be made safe for the space aliens circling the earth with the pickled Elvis head.

Go for it, girls.

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Watching a comedian on youtube was between excruciating and boring. He wasn't as funny as the audience seemed to think, and what he said did not excite me the way he wished it would. Besides, his mannerisms were intensely irritating. As well as perfectly matching those of two people who years ago tried to convince me that a teaspoon of magic apple cider vinegar and / or turmeric every day would solve all my medical issues.

[It turns out that health insurance and seeing a doctor solved very many of them. And getting a bunch of vaccinations prevented others. Apple cider vinegar, turmeric, and marijuana haven't been mentioned by anyone with any medical training at all. Though I have seen those listed in articles about Indian pickles by Anglos.]

Years ago one such comedian won a local competition. For a long time we couldn't get rid of him. He eventually faded into obscurity praise the lord, before flickering briefly as an adherent of an outer space alien lizard conspiracy.
My piles bleed for his ruddy fanbase.
They're true believers.

A spoonful of mango pickle cures all your ills.
Trust me; I have it straight from the source.

Mango pickle is a marvelous substance. One friend fears it, and will not touch it. Another friend stated recently: "potato parathas taste best with mango achaar. I’m having some made tomorrow." While I am fond of both of them, I adhere to the philosophy of the second mentioned. In the absence of potato parathas, I shall have it on buttered toast.
Dark toast, buttered, sourdough.

A third person likes a drizzle of spicy pickle oil over the lentils. Also quite understandable. It augments the chili element.

"Potato parathas taste best with mango achaar"

Mango pickles require very green mangoes, which are hard to find in San Francisco, but fortunately good mango pickle is easy to find, several different brands.

For a nice Andra style avakaya, for each cup of chopped exceedingly green mango (which equates to about half a pound) you will require six tablespoons non-iodized salt, the same quantity of red chili powder or slightly more, half that quantity ground light-toasted black mustard seeds (or more; 3 - 5 TBS), and a tablespoon of ground fenugreek. Wash, dry well, and cube the mango. Mix the spices (I add a teaspoon of turmeric, which is not customary), coat the mango pieces with this, and place it in a clean jar. Pour three quarters cup oil over.
Cover, and let it mature for a fortnight, remixing a bit with a spoon daily. In that time the salt and spices will macerate/pickle the mango, and the oil will float on top. If the mango was too juicy, drying it for half a day in the hot sun first is advisable; the less actual moisture you start off with the better the pickle will keep. It's good for about a year. Longer in the refrigerator.

NOTE: mango pickle is great as an accompaniment to Parsee food. Which really means everything a Parsee eats. Parsees will eat everything.

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Monday, June 20, 2022


Having probably had too much strong tea, I am bright and chipper and swacked to the gills. Which began this afternoon, when I went out for something to eat. At that time the city was awash with fans of the Golden State Warriors, and there were also mobs of tourists in Chinatown. So I decided on a place which I knew would not appeal to them.
Roast goose over rice, and a cold yuen yeung. Plus hot sauce.

Indeed, the title of this post has nothing to do with that; I had started a painting of a street in Wan Chai before lunch, and got distracted by a coastal scene in the northwest of Scotland upon my return, which was fun to paint too, and prevented me from finishing Wan Chai. Wan Chai might have been more appropriate, given that Cantonese roast goose can indeed be found there. Lovely for lunch.

It is doubtful that there is an authentic Cantonese restaurant anywhere on the northern shore of Caledonia overlooking the North Sea. I suspect that the place itself may, in its desolation and remoteness, not appeal to an exiled chef from Hong Kong or Guangzhou.

No 燒鵝飯 ('siu ngoh fan') anywhere.
How heartbreaking!
Naturally I had two briars with me, and I was planning to have some tea in the neighborhood later followed by another smoke, but I decided to head home after finishing my first bowl. Too many people. Father's Day Weekend, Juneteenth, and the Warriors parade down Market Street brought too many people out. I am not social enough for that.
Last night while I was having a puff outside the young woman who cannot really understand me when I speak Cantonese went past on her way home. I bade her a good evening, and I realize now that I wouldn't have minded a conversation, but I was deep in thought, and she had probably gotten off work and would not have relished a chat with an older man.
Besides, what could we possibly talk about?
How my legs hurt all the time?

Somehow I feel that antidisestablishmentarianism, existential angst, and the weather are not the most thrilling things to discuss on a summer evening. And I'm not very good at small talk. I'm not quite social after a long day at work.

BTW: Today is National Vanilla Milkshake Day. I wish I had known that earlier.

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Years from now people will be looking back on this era remembering the avocado toast and green tea everything and wondering "what was that all about?" I'm ahead of the curve, as I'm already wondering that. Don't get me wrong, avocado toast is splendid. As is marmalade toast, shrimp toast, and tomato, caper, and smoked salmon toast. Green tea everything is trend that I can easily not have in my life. Tried the matcha thing a few times, and meh.

I'll chalk both of these up to stupid white people doing what they do best; being stupid.

Even the Cantonese sometimes are stupid white people.

That explains the matcha Swiss roll.


Well, the mo-chaa seui-si-kuen daan-gou was tasty enough, but in all honesty using bitter green tea powder as a flavour paired with enough sugar to make it okay doesn't do squat for me. I'll happily snarf down two thick slices of coffee Swiss roll (咖啡瑞士卷 'gaa fei seui si kuen') or lemon Swiss roll (檸檬瑞士卷 'ning mung seui si kuen'). Especially the cream.
The green tea flavoured one was very nice, thank you, but I'm good. Really.

Besides, it looks like green algae. Pond scum.
I have it on good authority that there are such things as matcha and cream cocktails. That being an "Irish Moss" vodkatini or something. Theoretically great over ice cubes.
You know something? Y'all weird.

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Sunday, June 19, 2022


Fortunately today the zombies didn't come. The presence of a few ghouls scarcely impacted my work; they may have learned by now not to make me growl. That said, I was still kinda bushed by the time I got home. I'm glad I'm off work for the next few days. Neil, who visited around mid-afternoon, was a bit staggered by the very English habit of adding milk to tea, and amused by the question "before or after?" As in do you want the milk poured into the cup before the hot tea or afterwards, which must make sense to an English person, but in the context of both masala chai and Hong Kong milk tea is less than fully relevant. Masala chai has the milk and tea simmered together, with fennel seed and cardamom, whereas HKMT might have the sweetened condensed milk added to the saucepan before the repeated straining for that velvety mouthfeel, or stirred into the hot liquid afterwards.
The jury is still somewhat out on that. Opinions are strong.
And he prefers his tea black, with honey.
So it's a moot point.
It's further moot because I do not swill HKMT at work, but strong Pu Erh. And I shan't acquire a can of evap to put in the fridge there. The HKMT is a thing for my days off, a civilized habit around teatime (which is four o'clock, more or less). Something the sour old farts I deal with would not understand as they are more likely to swill whiskey at that time while spewing foul language.

Sometimes I feel like I'm in the monkey cage at the zoo.

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