More Chinkvirus Casualties

Under First World Problems, add this situation to the list:

GREGGS fans say they’re “heartbroken” as the bakery chain has reopened today but with a limited menu that doesn’t include favourites such as corned beef bakes. Others can’t believe Belgian buns are off the menu, as are regional delicacies including stotties.

For those just coming into this here corner of the Intarwebz (i.e. my back porch), some explanation of a personal nature may be necessary.

Greggs is the premier fast-food chain in Britishland (much bigger than McDonalds), and my home away from home.  Every time I fly into Heathrow, I jump on the train to London (unless Mr. Free Market has sent Baillie the chauffeur to pick me up), and get off at Earl’s Court.  Literally across the street from the station entrance is a Greggs, and I sit there, suitcases and all, and enjoy a sausage roll and cup of tea.  Only then do I feel strong enough to go to the hotel or whatever.

This applies when I’ve had a morning arrival, of course;  evening flights will find me doing the same, only at The Blackbird, a block down, where the sausage roll and tea are replaced by fish & chips and a pint of Fuller’s London Pride, respectively.

Getting back to the original topic:  I see that the “reduced” menu mercifully includes my favorites, the aforementioned sausage rolls, and my other, the steak bake pie.  So I’m alright, Jack.

That said, I quite understand the frustration that others may feel to find their favorites MIA from the menu.  Were that to happen to me, well… I don’t want to say I’d go full jihad  on Greggs with bombs etc.;  but there could well be murders.

Ain’t Gonna Happen

Of all the do-gooder organizations out there, the American Cancer Society ranks up near the top on my personal Pain-In-The-Ass Scale — and I say this as someone who has lost one wife to cancer, and am currently married to a cancer survivor.

The problem is that the ACS is always quick to warn (i.e. scold) people about the risks of getting cancer, when as any fule kno, Joe Jackson had it right:  Everything Gives You Cancer.  It’s the likelihood thereof that needs to be judged if one needs to modify one’s behavior.

So bullshit like this doesn’t help the cause at all:

New guidelines on cancer prevention recommend cutting out alcohol completely

Wait, what?  But the details can be found somewhat further down the page:

In the United States, the ACS estimates that alcohol use accounts for about 6 percent of all cancers and 4 percent of all cancer deaths.

Right;  so I have to give up something which gives me untold pleasure, makes good times with friends even better, and dulls the pain of everyday life — because there’s a 4% chance it may cause me to die from cancer:  me, with no family history of cancer, who has never smoked nor worked with cancer-bearing substances of any kind?

And it gets worse:

“Alcohol use is one of the most important preventable risk factors for cancer, along with tobacco use and excess body weight,” according to the ACS.
Other significant changes included more physical activity and eating less processed and red meat — although the ACS also now recommends completely cutting processed and red meat from one’s diet, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages and “highly processed foods and refined grain products.”

Cut out biltong too?  For a 4% risk?

As Glenn Reynolds says:  I’ll take my chances.  Or as Oliver Reed once said:

Bloat

In this case, I’m not talking about government bloat, but my own.  This fucking pointless lockdown caused by the Chinkvirus has quite enfattened me, not so much because of what I’ve been eating — okay, not that much — but because our gym has been closed for the past three months by our timorous apartment management.

I hate strolling, unless to a pub — but as the pubs have been closed as well, even that has been denied me.  AND we’re starting to approach the annual Texas Broil a.k.a. summer, so the desire to walk outside is lessened yet more.  Which means that New Wife has put her foot down and decreed that we will now be entering a period of No Sugar And Only Healthy Foods.  Fuck.

My coffee tastes like hot, rancid bilgewater and I can only imagine what weeks of salads and such are going to do to my already-tenuous control of my temper.  And I know, I know:

Me too.

I think I’ll just have to spend a lot more time at the range.  Which reminds me, I need to lay in a little more ammo, because reasons.

Rules

This article got me thinking — or rather, its title did:

Rules for a deconfinement dinner party

I thought about it for a while (about 30 seconds), and came up with Kim’s Rules For A Post-Lockdown Party:

  • invite a group of really good friends, or family members you get along with, or both
  • have an ocean of fine booze at the ready — in my case, Glen Morangie single malt;  Sipsmith gin;  champagne (for New Wife, her favorite tipple);  a case of Barefoot wines, in different colors;  two cases of decent beer;  a bottle or two of Tawny Port;  Richelieu brandy;  and whatever the guests want to drink (prearranged)
  • a huge rib roast (or leg of lamb), accompanied by roast potatoes and -parsnips, asparagus, and some other veg TBD by New WIfe, along with crusty French bread and farm butter;  with peach cobbler dessert and vanilla ice cream (dieters, vegans and teetotalers, needless to say, are persona non grata).

And that’s it. Good food, lots of booze and good company, all seated together round the dinner table at the proper social distance (12″-18″ apart), and have at it.

Of course, those are my ingredients for any decent dinner party, but let’s not get all bogged down with details.

Mystified

I understand why people use drive-through lanes to get their morning coffee en route to the office, even though I think it’s a mark of either stupidity or pure laziness when the “convenience” is nullified by long waits in the queue, e.g. in Britishland:

Motorists queued for hours to get a drink at Costa drive-throughs this morning, sparking fears people are ignoring lockdown measures as more high street chains reopen.
Tailbacks stretched around the block at takeaway chains in Edinburgh, Wakefield and Glasgow today as drivers waited to get their coffee fix.
At the weekend, eager customers queued for more than a mile to get a coffee at a branch in Snowhill Retail Park in Yorkshire as it reopened after more than a month on Saturday.

Costa makes decent coffee, but it’s not that  great.  (And don’t get me started on Starfucks’s burnt water concoctions.)

For those people who are not completely up to date on recent modern inventions, there are now things called “travel mugs” which allow one to make one’s coffee at home and take it to the office, where it can still be enjoyed hot.  Here’s an example:

… or, if one prefers to support one’s favorite coffee brand: 

Pro tip:   Plastic travel mugs are useless.  Nothing beats a decently-insulated metal one — unless you’re rich and can afford the Thermos (glass-interior) type.

Even better, brewing one’s own coffee at home allows one to use a decent brand of coffee — whether it’s the humble Dunkin’ Donuts Regular (still my favorite coffee, after thirty years):

  … or one of the “gourmet” (over-priced) offerings: 

In the old days, the only way to brew coffee was in a giant thing which made a large pot of the stuff — which, of course, is not the optimal choice when one needs only a single cup.  However, since the mid-1990s there has been another option, the single-cup home brewer:

…or, if one wants to feel all Italian: 

…which were once tied to the awful pods, but now allow one to use ground coffee in a small filtered device which — and I cannot express this strongly enough — enables one to brew coffee to the desired strength, and not as decided by some bored coffee-jockey.

I know that all this sounds terribly complicated, and really can’t compare with the joy of waiting for hours in one’s car, eventually to get a cardboard cup filled with overpriced coffee, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out at least a modest option thereto.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the Keurig.