Monday, January 30, 2023


Underneath something about chocolate, a reader (Alcyon) wrote: "I'm far from hip to what's going on, in any field, but I believe your situation was anticipated and accommodated for long, long ago: chocolate with chili. I'm sure you've encountered it; thoughts?

I think I enjoyed it. However, it's rather expensive and, more to the point, so exotic to my taste, that I couldn't feel comfortable consuming it regularly. Mind, I come from an Irish and French-Canadian background, both sides of a hardscrabble nature. A pepper-grinder is quite suspect, and dash of mustard on the corned beef is invigorating!

In other news, a sister returns today from a brief stay in France. She promises to bring back some Caporal tobacco. A most vile concoction I admit, but it will bring back memories; looking forward to it. If you had said twenty years ago that Mac Baren would be the makers of it...pfft! C'est impossible!

End cite.

Regarding chocolate with chili, yep, encountered it. I am not a fan. Contrast is nice, combo sometimes isn't. For instance, I also like coffee and hazelnut flavour. But not in the same vessel, bugger the tendency of Starbucks to bollix both up together.
One after the other. Not with.

Mention of French Canadians must always remind me of poutine, pursuant which the video clip of the Swedish Chef preparing that while in Montreal comes to mind. A classic. Please look it up on youtube. I like poutine, but as a complete barbarian I will add hot sauce to it.

Mention of caporal reminds me of smoking on the mezzanine at the Caffè Mediterraneum (Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley) during my college days. The air was blue up there, and packs of Gitanes and Gauloises were on every table. Sheer heaven. Nowadays that's verboten, and gluten-free non gmo low fat snacks are encouraged in such places; the air is filled with yoga pants and Guatamalan fabrics instead, and the reek of tofu dominates.
The Caffè Med apparently no longer exists.

Per Wikipedia: In July 2016, the French government considered a ban on both the Gauloises and Gitanes cigarette brands because they were deemed "too stylish and cool".


I have not been to Berkeley in years.
Or France.

Something that the good burgers of Berkeley would no doubt find ultra-objectionable is a life hack seen on social media, advising as a tip for tall people: "tie a balloon on your short friend so you can easily spot them from crowded places".
Personally, I think that's brilliant. The world is filled with short people who are lost, dwarfed and surrounded by tall glandular freaks from the MidWest, football players and similar types, whose sweaty armpits are at nose-level. We must save them from this horrible circumstance! If we can spot them, they can be rescued. We'll yank them away from the hordes of galloots, give them a nice hot cup of chocolate to help them recover, or a cappucino, plus a pack of Gitanes or Gauloises, and talk comfortingly of existentialism and poetry to them.

[Sadly, Gauloises and Gitanes are no longer imported into the United States. neither are tins of State Express 555 straights, or Player's Navy Cut. Nor Woodbines. But will a pack of Camel non-filters suffice?]

Life can only get better!

When I was still a young adult in North Brabant, I was considered tall average at five feet eight and a half inches. Since then, encouraged by high school and college sportscoaches and sundry misguided dieticians, American youth have been fed a surfeit of cheeseburgers and bovine growth hormones, and have ballooned to freakish heights. Especially in areas where junior executives and degrees in marketing are common. Can't get on an office building elevator anymore without all these mutant weirdoes surrounding one.
What is this world coming to?!?!

Yes, nurse Mak at the hospital gauged my height to be five foot seven when she put me up against the measuring markings, but she herself cannot have been taller than five feet, and could not see the top of my head. So she must have over-estimated my shoes and hair.
We compromised at five foot eight. Short people are cute that way.

My mother once informed me that smoking and drinking coffee would stunt my growth.
But I already towered over her when she said that. I think she was four foot ten.
I have NEVER needed a balloon.

Pepper grinders suspect? C'est incroyable! We Netherlanders have been accompanied by our trusty pepper grinders for four centuries, and we conquered the world! We gallavanted the heck out of Africa and South East Asia with them. Pepper grinders are good!

They're probably a symbol of oppression and colonial exploitation or something and banned in Berkeley because they trigger people. Everything is banned in Berkeley.
If you visit, best bring your own pepper grinder.
Flaunt it.

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