Thursday, August 31, 2023

Tucker on the possibility of a Trump assassination

Tucker Carlson says, to Adam Carolla, "graph it out," and he (Tucker) seems to think that events are heading toward a Trump assassination. If that's true, and Trump is killed, and the right does nothing after that (as it might), then the country is truly lost. I would say that, if Trump gets killed, that's when the floodgates ought to open, and the armed citizenry ought to start putting things right—at both the local and the national level. The left has been teasing this and teasing this for a long time, tweaking and provoking and daring, but killing a former president would definitely be a step too far. In a just world, there'd be a price to pay. In our current clown world, though, it's not obvious that the guilty will pay any price.

must be a slow day

As of right this moment, I'm at 1,206 visits. That's about twice as much as my daily average, but after getting nearly 11K visits the other day, then nearly 5K visits yesterday, 1,206 visits feels like a slow day. I'm easily pampered. But a total of 47K visits for August marks a record month; August had been shaping up to be a meh normal month until about two weeks ago, when my daily numbers suddenly started rising. I imagine we'll start all over again in September once the current paroxysm dies down. 20K visits per month remains my honorable minimum; dropping below that might mean seppuku. I kid, of course; the numbers amuse me, but they carry no deep meaning. Granted, they might carry a deeper meaning if I were to go stratospheric and stay there, but that never happens. Instead, it's more like a crowd's sudden Black Friday rush to buy up everything in the store, then leave. There and gone. I'm going to predict that the final visit total for August 31 will be under 2,000. Out with a whimper.


Only 3 remain, but the cookies I made otherwise sold out:

last night

taken to the office today

This batch was 37 cookies. I think I ended up with a few grams less of cookie dough per scoop. And this time, the cookies all came out great: nothing got overbaked. They were soft, though, not crunchy, probably because of the lingering humidity in my apartment despite my A/C. My boss said he prefers softer cookies, anyway, so I guess we're good on that front. I distributed cookies to everyone in my office, then I went out and gave some cookies away to the pharmacist lady who's always there for me, to the seamster/seamstress team that has repaired my clothes in the past, and to the nice lady at the bakery who always serves me with a smile. I had the chance to eat a couple cookies last night, and the final three cookies that are left in the container will die a horrible death once I'm back at my place.

last night

I'm eating a birthday meal of homemade quesadillas for dinner tonight, so I made a mess of salsa and guacamole (along with my cookies) last night. I also have the remains of a tub of sour cream, not to mention leftover chimchurri, which might end up inside the quesadillas. For some random reason, I bought a bag of some of the sturdiest, most flavorless corn chips that my basement grocery has. Then this happened:

The Mexican flag is green-white-red, yes?

birthday trivia, cake, and gift

My buddy Charles wrote in to tell me I have now outlived Lenin, who died at 53 (April 1870-January 1924). At work, my boss informed me that August 31, 1969, translates to a lunar birthday of July 19, which I confirmed online.

I also got the following saeng-cream cake with the classic glazed fruit on top:

The boss also gave me a gift: an electric foot massager to help improve circulation in my feet and maybe prevent future ulcers from forming (that's really going to be more a matter of staying away from carbs, but I'll take what help I can get):

made in China, alas

I'd say today is going well so far.

thought for the day

Gad Saad is a Canadian psychologist and cultural commentator.

In its zeal to follow the Chinese model, the US has not been a free society for quite a while.

war as distraction?

Could the Biden admin pull a "Wag the Dog" scenario, using war to distract from scandal? Tucker Carlson seems to think so. Here's Paul Joseph Watson to explain:


another nearly 4,000 site visitors

I don't know what it is, but I'm registering another nearly 4K visitors (I'm up to 3,960-some right now, and the count doesn't stop until 9 a.m. Seoul time). I wish some of these people would leave a comment (after reading my comments policy, of course), just to give me an idea as to who these folks are. But maybe they're just zipping in and zipping right back out, in which case these site visits don't mean much. I've heard the real metric to measure (and I think this is measured on YouTube) is stickiness, i.e., the length of time a visitor stays and rummages around your blog. If you can catch and retain people's attention, well, that's golden right there. Retain an audience, get some recognition, then build your empire. August suddenly turned into a record month. I still don't understand it.

this Friday night: another Yangpyeong-Yeoju walk

When disaster strikes, it's not a good idea to sit around avoiding things associated with the disaster, so this coming Friday evening, I'll be doing the same 33K Yangpyeong-to-Yeoju walk I did three weeks ago—the one where I fell. This will be another nighttime walk because we're not done with summer, and it's still too hot to think about doing long walks during the day. But if the AccuWeather forecast is correct, the hours from Friday night to Saturday morning are going to get down to the 60s (66ºF, or 19ºC), which is unusually cool for the end of August (cool nights are more of a mid to late-September thing, with the first half of September being the tail end of Korean summer). Magnificent. Perfect walking weather for an overheating fatso like yours truly. If I can, I plan to take a picture of the offending ledge at Ipo Dam that caused me to trip last time. I'm finally getting my phone screen repaired (or my phone replaced) this coming Friday morning, so Friday's going to be a long day, but I'll at least have a perfectly working phone for the walk. It's a two-hour ride out to Yangpyeong, so I'll have time to nap on the subway if I'm tired. I'll remember to bring my water and pain pills. Won't need any rain gear this time, but I might—if I remember—bring along some saline solution and a contact-lens container for when my eyes get all mucus-y. Be prepared, as the Scouts say.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Maui: botched on Biden's watch

Will the leftist press call Maui "Biden's Katrina"? Of course not. Because the senile bastard can do no wrong. Chris Chappell examines the Maui snafu:

humor and commentary

Wokeness can kill:

Online fitness advice is contradictory:

The AI voice-ghost of David Attenborough relates the death of Disney:

the new COVID variant = more likely to infect you if you're vaxxed

I'm once again glad I'm not jabbed:

Dr. Campbell evinces some sarcasm that seems to be covering genuine anger.

Styx on "Trump or nothing"

My friend Bill Keezer sent out a shotgun email linking to a cartoon about Trump. In that email, Bill cryptically wrote that Trump might be self-destructing. Almost as if in reply, Styx released the following video in which he says it's basically Trump or nothing:

Make of that what you will. Some people, with the benefit of time, have soured on Trump and have permitted themselves to point out many of the man's flaws: he was bad at choosing staff for his inner circle, his bluntness and meanness made enemies where he could have made friends, etc. I get all that, and as I've said a million times before, I don't like the man on a personal level: I see him as a thin-skinned, overly combative narcissist and megalomaniac who, to some extent, lives in his own bubble. That said, I find little to disagree with when it comes to his priorities: America first, strong borders, anti-wokeness, a strong economy and (unwoke) military, etc. Trump remains at the top of my personal list of potential GOP picks for the presidency, with Vivek Ramaswamy a close second. 

I've soured a bit on Ron DeSantis, but I don't hate the man. He's been running a shit-show of a campaign, and he didn't make much of an impression at the GOP debate (I'm more interested in his possible debate with Gavin Newsom). Ironically, DeSantis has been plagued by his own set of poor staffing choices; he's already fired three or four prominent people in his campaign, which looks like a sign that he's floundering. For now, I think he should stick to what he's excellent at: governing Florida, where most Floridians love him and carried him to a second gubernatorial term in a landslide. DeSantis's best and most memorable slogan is "Where woke goes to die," and I'd love to see him campaign on that by taking the slogan to the national level, but thus far, I don't see that he's put out any memorable slogans at all.

If Trump's the only viable alternative, we have to wonder: is it possible he might have to campaign from jail? I don't know. Some pundits think Trump will never end up in jail despite the left's most fervent, febrile wishes. One judge has already contended that, as president, Trump enjoys "absolute immunity" against all the charges currently levied against him. Others think the Supreme Court is going to end up weighing in and exonerating or at least shielding Number 45. Whatever happens, I can guarantee that, if the Orange Man were to return to the Oval Office, things would be a damn sight better than they are now under the current potato.

Granted, Trump is often his own worst enemy. In that sense, his self-destructing is certainly plausible. But I don't think he's quite there yet.

Styx on Shokin, etc.

I'm too cynical to believe "the walls are closing in" on Joe Biden, but evidence against him continues to mount. Here's Styx with the latest:

your makeup humor for the day

Courtesy of Australia's CrackerMilk:

Of course, the guy is only saying what most guys are thinking, which leads us back to the idea that women put on makeup more for themselves or, perhaps, for their fellow women. Most guys I know do prefer natural beauty: if you wake up with a chick, and she looks like a hag without her makeup, you probably feel betrayed, am I right? Then the hag goes off to her vanity (or rummages around in her purse) and reapplies her makeup while you tremble in a corner, cowering in a spreading pool of your own diarrhea until your woman's transformation back into a normal-looking person is complete. It's true that men appreciate natural beauty, and that women ought to strive (or, hey, not strive) for a natural look. If they've got the looks. For the ladies who use makeup as damage control, though, I say: yes, please keep doing that. You're doing us a service by minimizing the terror factor.

Kathy Griffin's lip-tattoo photo that's been circulating the past few days

If you're a lady reading this, and you want to tell me to go fuck myself and reduce my ass size before judging other people, I actually don't blame you. But I'm only being honest about what and how we guys think. And let's face it: to the extent that makeup is for men's sake, it's a way to give mediocre-looking women an artificial advantage. To be fair, one's assessment of a woman factors in more than looks, and a woman who looks like a hag might have a glowing heart of gold, making 95% of the male populace unworthy of her. But that's the extreme. A more moderate and realistic take is that guys want someone who's pretty—however one defines that—and nice (i.e., of decent character). Assuming they're not just on the prowl for some easy slut to bang. And conversely, I've seen and met many women who look amazingly hot but have the heart and character of a steaming lump of shit. And after the initial, biological Wow! wears off, such women are ugly to me. Character matters. At least among discerning men. Many men aren't discerning; they'll plug whatever hole they come across.

new post at Kevin's Walk 7

I got a request to post a heads-up here every time I put up a new post at the walk blog, so I guess I can't trust people to just check the blog semi-regularly on their own. In other words, I'm your secretary now, leaving you reminders.

Here we are, then: check out the new post at my 2023 walk blog. It's not about anything special. Just a bit of kvetching about merch that hasn't arrived yet.

Honestly, guys, I'm probably not going to put up a reminder here every time I post there. The reminders I do put up are a courtesy; I've already made you aware of the new walk blog (and its link is up on my sidebar), so it's up to you to check it whenever you want to. Traditionally, my walk blogs never get many hits, so I'm not expecting much traffic—not even when I'm on the walk itself. So no pressure: check in if you want, or don't. It's all good.

hey there, dude

Saw this guy (gal?) tonight during my walk:

I was originally going to walk out to the Jamshil Bridge again, but instead, I decided to cross the Tan Creek and do that north-side-of-the-Tan walk I've done so often in the past. The night was pleasantly (and unwontedly for August) cool after the day's rain, and as I was entering the final third of the walk, I saw the above bird standing in the creek next to the bridge I was crossing. Most of the time, these guys are skittish, especially when I stop to take a picture, but this one was intrepid and stood his ground, allowing me to click two shots of him. With both shots being nearly identical, I deleted one and have slapped up the other. What kind of bird is this? Generically, I might call it a crane of some sort, but I know nothing about birds. Ah—I see that Birding Korea lists seven types of Korean crane; none of them has the bent neck of the bird in my photo, so my bird might not be a crane at all. Any ideas?

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

I have no idea what's going on

I would have been happy to finish August with barely over 20K unique visits, but I've had a meaty week or two that put me over the 30K mark, then yesterday, I had nearly 3K visitors (a bit over 2800). Today, I'm at 7K visitors and counting, and as usual, I have no clue why. Even if you subtract half that number to account for bots, 3.5K is still very impressive by my humble standards. I wish I could figure out the magic formula for high visitor numbers, but it eludes me, and it always feels so random when it happens.

UPDATE: I'm at nearly 11K visits now. Traffic has slowed down over the past couple hours, so I might not even hit 11K (I'm a bit past 10.5K), but damn, what a day, huh?

"Ahsoka": just how bad is it?

Another Star Wars series I'm not watching:

cookies update

As I suspected, my cookies were pushed aside at the party and forgotten (there were so many other desserts to choose from), so my boss's family basically has the whole batch and will presumably be eating its way through the batch this week. I didn't even have a chance to eat a good cookie (I ate the overbaked ones from the first "sacrificial" tray that went into the oven), so I'm baking another batch this week. I'll eat a few and share the rest among all my coworkers on the second floor where I work. Satisfaction will be mine!

To put things in perspective: the Sunday after the party, I was so drained that I did little more than write up the party blog post. Saturday didn't feel like the weekend at all, and I ended up eating nothing the next day. In the war between the desire to sleep and the desire to eat, sleep won out. So I basically fasted on Sunday, then on Monday, I had my Chinese food but no other carbs. Today, I'm fasting again—sort of an alternate-day fast, i.e., I'll fast again on Tuesday and Saturday. After this week, I'll be off the carbs and on a keto regime as I prep for the upcoming walk. I've restarted staircase training (as of yesterday); I'll do the stairs on my eating days and walk on my fasting days

I guess I should see this

All of my go-to reviewers are saying "Gran Turismo," another movie based on a video game, is way better than it has any right to be. Here's one such review:

the best predictor of divorce

4 mystery deaths

(With credit to ROK Drop for linking to this.)


4 men found dead at bed and breakfast facility in Bundang

SEONGNAM, South Korea, Aug. 26 (Yonhap) -- Four men were found dead Saturday at a bed and breakfast facility in Bundang, south of Seoul, sending police to investigate the cause of the deaths.

Police received a report from the operator of the lodging service around noon that "four men were left dead in the same room."

The four in their 30s and 40s reportedly arrived at the lodging establishment the previous evening. Police said no signs of foul play have been found in connection with the deaths so far, adding an investigation will be launched as to how they were related to each other and the exact circumstances of the deaths.

I'm too slow of a reader to bother with Korean-language news. I wonder whether Korean newspapers have more detailed information. This is pretty weird. Seongnam City is where the district of Bundang is—the place I walk down to when doing my 18K walks. "Bed and breakfast" could mean a guest house of some sort.

gratifying video making the rounds

Crazed climate activists get arrested en masse for blocking traffic. Good.

But how long will they be locked up for?

Doug, the man of faith, has more faith than I do

Doug thinks that, ultimately, it's the Supreme Court that's going to save Trump. Yeah, maybe. Doug's argument in the video below sounds plausible, but it also seems based on faith, and we've seen the Supreme Court act wobbly before. That said, if Doug's miracle comes true, it'll be all the more impressive given that so many justices (at least three, right?) are Trump appointees. Stacking the Court may have been Trump's best-ever investment, his insurance policy, for just the sort of contingency he's experiencing now, with this growing, stinking pile of faux indictments.

Monday, August 28, 2023

such a shame

Just a friendly reminder to commenters that my comments policy is written right above the comment window, and that policy says I will not publish anonymous comments. If you somehow can't sign in with a screen name, please leave a name or pseudonym in the comment itself. It's always a shame whenever I receive decent, civil comments but have to delete them because people have failed to follow the very visible comments policy.

cashew shrimp

Just using up some leftovers. And we're going full-on Hegel:

thesis: shrimp, shrooms, chili peppers, red bell pepper

antithesis: regular rice mixed with glutinous rice

synthesis: Amurrican-style Chinese food

I had originally planned to make shrimp quesadillas, spicing up the shrimp with my own "Mexican" mix, stir-frying the veggies fajita-style, adding cheese, slapping everything into tortillas, then pan-frying the whole thing while shouting incoherently. But I saw that bag of cashews on my table, and my mind swerved in a totally different direction—Chinese (or "Chinese") food! Besides, I hadn't had cashew shrimp in a million years, so I elected to throw everything together this morning. The sauce I made was that standard, American-style, generically "Asian" sauce that is variously labeled "teriyaki" or something vague like "Chinese sauce." It's a staple of American-style "Chinese" cooking. You start with a half-and-half (by volume) base of soy sauce and brown sugar. Add in garlic, ginger, black pepper, a small glug of vinegar, and whatever other little curlicues you need to make the sauce your own. Bring the sauce to a boil, then add a cornstarch slurry to thicken. Et voilà!

Assuming you know how to cook the veggies, cashews, and shrimp, the dish stands or falls based on how good the sauce is. I've made terrible versions of this sauce before, but today's version was quite good. There are many variants of this generically "Asian" concoction; I really ought to write mine down so I don't mess things up next time. Today, I got lucky.

a rational case against mask effectiveness

I've heard this argument in bits and pieces, but I've never seen it laid out quite like this (found in an Instapundit comment thread and slightly edited):

I work in the HVAC industry, so air filtration is something I have been dealing with for over 40 years, including air filtration for surgical suites, TB wards, and labs. And as technically complicated as that may sound, the principles behind it are almost absurdly simple: the holes in the filtering media have to be smaller than what it is that you want to filter out, while at the same time allowing adequate air flow.

So, given that the Covid virus is infinitely smaller than the micron rating (micron rating is the size of the smallest particle that a filter can trap) of even the N95 mask, masks are an exercise in futility. I have been saying this from the start, and the analogy that "using a mask to filter out Covid is like using a chain link fence to filter out mosquitoes" is totally apt. It was a simple way to describe the situation, so of course, the know-nothings in our legacy media had to denigrate it lest people start realizing what a crock of feces they were peddling. Consequently, there was more unadulterated complete and utter BS spread about masks than rational thought could sweep away.

First was the incomprehensible idea that all masks were equally effective at preventing the spread of Covid no matter what they were made of—a concept so bereft of any basis in science or engineering that adherence to it was more an article of faith that one would find in a religion than anything a rational thinker would believe. Then [the pro-maskers] trotted out the insane idea that masks with high micron ratings were still effective because the Covid virus rode on bits of moisture when transmitted by aerosol, and so moisture could be trapped more easily than the virus alone. Of course, this bit of nonsense was also bereft of any basis in science or engineering. While it is true that you could trap moisture more easily, any mask that did so effectively would soon accumulate so much moisture that the wearer would quickly be waterboarding himself with the moisture from his own breath. It also ignores the fact that if an unmasked person exhales his or her breath into the air, the moisture is almost instantaneously absorbed by the air as it has a far lower humidity level than a human's exhalations.

So the real way to combat these moronic mandates is to force those imposing them to defend them on a rational and scientific level, and they will not be able to do so.

I admit I'd bought in to the notion that a mask could at least stop droplets, e.g., when coughing and sneezing. I'd never thought of the angle provided in the above comment. If the Party of Science really wants to be the Party of Science, it should listen to people like the above commenter. Ultimately, the whole mask thing is a charade. One of several perpetrated on the people. And I say that as someone who has now been through COVID.

sea shanty

A popular New Zealand sea shanty called "The Wellerman" has been making the rounds online for the past couple of years. Every now and then, YouTube's algorithm puts some version of the shanty onto my recommended-viewing page. Here's an entertaining TikTok remix of the song. I despise TikTok, but I don't mind watching certain TikTok vids once they've been transferred to YouTube. And I think I need more sea shanties in my life.

funny if you're a Star Wars fan

Star Wars is pretty much dead to me these days, but I remain a sentimental fan of the original trilogy and saw a few bright moments in the prequel trilogy. The following hilarious bit addresses one of the plot holes in "Revenge of the Sith": Anakin's failure to disable the security cameras before massacring everyone in the Jedi temple on Coruscant.

could Trump be totally immune from prosecution?

In the thumbnail title, "freed" might be misleading: he needs to be in jail first. You can be absolved of all guilt, immune from prosecution, or found not guilty of a crime, but to me, freed implies confinement of some kind, often physical. And in non-physical cases, you're not freed of accusations: you're more likely freed of/from, say, marital obligations, holy vows, etc. In essence, you're freed from constraints, and an accusation isn't a constraint. Confinement after sentencing is.

a tour of Filipino food

"We need to develop our own popular culture." Amen!

Dave Cullen on the need to rebuild pop culture from the ground up:

This sounds fairly consistent with the whole great-divorce narrative of parallel economies, parallel governments, etc. Getting the right side of the aisle off its lazy ass to create that culture, though, is a herculean task. I'm not that hopeful, frankly, and in areas where the right has tried to make headway—e.g., Christian films and music—the result is often cringe-inducingly bad. The right needs to get involved in the making of culture (didn't it use to be?), but it also needs to up its game.

just a reminder

I do occasionally post at my 2023 walk blog. The trickle will become a torrent come October, when the walk starts, but little bits and bobs are appearing even now.


Some politics-related videos all rounded up here:

Oh, and here's an extra one about that asshole who burned down a "Trump Won" sign in someone's front yard: the guy who did it was a biker, and like a fucking idiot, he was using his Strava app at the time, and had been publicly sharing his biking data. So that's how the internet sleuths caught the guy, and that info has been handed to the police. The first sleuth to get back to the homeowner received a promised $1000 reward, and I think he's getting another $5,000 from Tim Pool, who had heard about the story and promised that further amount to whoever catches the guy. When I saw the original video of this asshole's vandalism, I had fantasies of being the homeowner, catching the guy, knocking him out, dragging his ass into my basement, and torturing him to death. Of course, in real life, this behavior would merely have validated the guy's anger at conservatives and Trump, but I'm only human and therefore capable of less-than-noble thoughts (which, frankly, surface all the time).

Sunday, August 27, 2023

food from Saturday's party

Yesterday's get-together at the boss's new, spacious apartment was meant to serve several purposes. It was a sort of pre-birthday party for me, plus a chance for the boss to get some of his expat buddies and their families over for a gathering. The boss had been talking about the get-together for almost a month; he said he was going to have it catered, but that I was free to make and bring whatever I wanted. I chose to make my boeuf bourguignon plus a batch of chocolate-chip cookies (Toll House style, of course).

The boss had originally said he was going out to a wedding earlier in the day on Saturday, and that he'd swing by to pick me up after the wedding, which was set to take place around 12:30 in the afternoon. Because this is Korea, though, plans went awry, and the boss suddenly had some errands to do, including swinging by Jamshil to pick up his Korean accountant, another invitee. The original idea was for us to arrive at the boss's palatial home around 3 p.m., with the party starting at 5. By the time we pulled up to the boss's place, though, it was a few minutes after 5. This didn't matter too much, though, because no one else had arrived yet.

Let's back up for a sec. I had gotten up early yesterday morning so I could finish prepping the beef. The sauce needed to be thickened, and I used a different strategy, this time, to avoid getting bizarre clumps of cornstarch in the mix: I strained the beef "soup" to separate from the solids, then I boiled the soup by itself, added a mess of cornstarch, and stirred like a madman to distribute the cornstarch evenly and avoid clumping. I then strained the now-thickened soup (more of a gravy now) back into the beef/mushroom/bacon mixture to be doubly sure there were no ugly clumps, et voilà—the boeuf bourguignon was complete. I then had to make the Toll House cookies. Assembling the batter was no problem, although I ended up melting the butter instead of just softening it in the microwave. This ended up not mattering much for the final results. But dolloping the batter onto many cookie sheets took time, and so did baking the cookies. I had managed to get 34 cookies from the batter, but 4 cookies—the very first batch—ended up being way overbaked. The good thing, though, was that this allowed me to adjust oven temperature and my timing, and every batch after that first one came out perfect. The only problem was that baking several batches took a lot of time—and the cookies also needed time to cool—so I was happy when the boss called me several times in the early afternoon to say he'd be late in picking me up. The boss eventually got to my place around 3:45 or so, and traffic slowed to a crawl as we made our way out of Seoul to Yongin.

Back to the party. The boss's wife, who is actually a very good cook, asked me for tips on how to reheat the beef and prep the fusilli pasta. She did fine with both tasks; I don't think she really needed my advice. The meal we ate ended up being an amalgam of catered food, the Missus's cooking, my food, and some some dessert contributions from other guests. One dessert was a pineapple upside-down cake. It tasted great, but it was very dark and caramelized. (See here for what the cake is supposed to look like.) My Korean coworker contributed another apple pie, but he hadn't learned any lessons from when I last critiqued his pie: still too much crust (which wasn't buttery enough), and nowhere hear enough filling (like last time, his pie looked as thin as a pizza). Everybody chowed down and enjoyed the food, but there was still a ton of leftovers. I'd made a lot of beef Burgundy, so we had wisely chosen to put out only half of what I'd brought. That half, though, sold out. Everyone loved the beef, which got a lot of compliments.

The boss is familiar with my introversion, and I think he feared I might leave the party too soon, but I stuck around long enough for him and his helpers to turn off the lights, bring out a birthday cake, and sing "Happy Birthday" to me. Once that embarrassing moment was over and the post-song applause had faded, the lights came back on, and the boss performed a martial-arts trick called 장풍/jang-poong. Basically, he struck an open-hand blow at the cake's lit candles, "using his ki" to snuff them out. He'd plucked out most of the candles, leaving a row of five. Upon his blow, four of the candles went out. He struck again and snuffed the final candle, then he relit the candles and told me it was my turn to try. As you can imagine, I had no desire to further embarrass myself, but I struck weakly at the cake, and as I knew would happen, none of the candles went out. I tried again—same result. That was enough. Along with the cake, a set of nine little, square ice-cream cakes appeared, each decorated with some cutesy, cartoonish design. These were for the kids who'd come to the party. I, as the birthday boy, was tasked with cutting the cake, which I tried to do with geometric precision. (You'll see the results in the final photo of this photo essay.)

So here are some shots of the food (click on the images, then right-click and select "open image in new tab," to see at full size):

part of the spread

a closeup


cheese and crudités (and a tilted container of Krab)

a different angle that includes sushi

baked sausage and vegetables

The above sausage-and-vegetable dish caught my eye: it had been made by the Missus. It looks to have been baked, but the baking had been timed perfectly such that the veggies came out somewhat softened but still robustly crunchy. And despite the presence of small bits of onion here and there, this dish was, I think, my favorite of the night. The Missus somehow managed to solve the riddle of assembling ingredients with different baking times and baking them all to perfection. Blows my mind.

Below—the food I brought:

Lastly, the birthday cake (sliced by yours truly) and the cute little ice-cream cakes:

My boss has two cats, a white and a gray. The gray cat, introverted like me, remained hidden for most of the party. The white cat, named Barney (originally named Bonnie when the family thought the cat was a female), was an extroverted people cat who liked rubbing himself against the guests' legs, leaving tons of hair on people's pants. Barney was also a very starey cat, looking me in the eyes whenever he could.

I lasted as long as I could at the party, but at 9 p.m., I called it quits and told the boss he could keep the rest of the beef Burgundy and the cookies (which I hope he distributed to the guests: there were so many other desserts competing that night that I saw the cookies had been shoved off to the side, becoming an afterthought). The boss tried to persuade/badger me to stay longer, but he knew it was no use. My Korean coworker said he could drive me into Gangnam if I could only wait another twenty minutes to allow his daughter to play a little more, but once I'd made the decision to leave, I wasn't going to wait for anyone. It was nice meeting so many new people, but it was also draining, and I was still exhausted from having gotten up so early in the morning. I walked out into the quiet night, using good old Naver Map to find my way to the nearby bus stop that would take me to the closest subway station. I found the bus stop and waited only five minutes for the 38-1 bus to arrive. As it turned out, though, that bus stop is the terminus/beginning of the 38-1 route, so when the bus arrived, all of its passengers got out, and I was initially the only one to get in at that time of night. The bus driver left the bus to have a smoke; one or two other passengers got on board while we waited; the bus driver climbed back aboard, and we were off. I knew I needed to stay awake to hear when my stop was coming up; I drifted off a couple times, but I did manage to be awake when it was time to get off. The subway ride was long and involved one transfer, which is always a pain in the ass. Still, I got to my building a bit before 11 p.m., leaving me time to grab some stuff at the basement grocery before heading up to my apartment. All in all, a good-but-tiring day. Today, I'm doing not much of anything.

As God intended.


Matt Walsh on the Trump-mugshot backfire

You know one thing both the right and the left are good at? Self-owns. (I don't actually like that expression very much because it sounds exactly the same as "cell phones.") Here's Matt Walsh on how Trump's mugshot—originally meant by the left to be a form of humiliation—has utterly backfired and become a fundraising opportunity for Trump:

And, yes: once again, the word iconic is being thrown around a lot.

Colion Noir talks with Vivek Ramaswamy

This interview had some bro vibes going. Colion Noir—a lawyer and 2A gun-rights activist, sits down to talk with Vivek Ramaswamy about America in general, gun rights, and the ins and outs of the Second Amendment:

Saturday, August 26, 2023

ready to launch

The boss will be by shortly to pick me up for his party. (He lives in Yongin, just outside of Seoul.) Meanwhile, here are pics of the "finalized" boeuf bourguignon and the cookies:

now with thickener (cornstarch) added, for that somewhat gravy-like texture

thirty Toll House cookies (four died tragically: the first batch got overbaked)