Except That Icky Gun Stuff

Last week I got this email message from CitiBank telling me all about the wonderful new benefits of using their little credit card. Here are the salient areas I want to talk about (and note the emphasized parts):

  • Damage & Theft Purchase Protection:   You may be covered for up to $10,000 per incident for 90 days from the date of purchase or delivery of the item purchased with your card. Please note, coverage provided by this benefit will be secondary (meaning if you have another insurance policy, this benefit will cover only the amount your other policies do not). Coverage won’t include firearms, ammunition, jewelry, watches, tires or items that are under the care and control of a third party including, but not limited to, the U.S. Postal Service, airlines, or delivery services.
  • Citi Price Rewind:  You may be reimbursed up to a maximum of $200 per item and $1,000 per calendar year. Program coverage won’t include consumables, tires, watches, firearms, or ammunition. You won’t be reimbursed if the lower priced item is found at a warehouse club where the merchant requires a membership fee.
  • 90 Day Return Protection:  You may be reimbursed up to a maximum of $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year. Program coverage won’t include firearms, ammunition, tires, jewelry, furniture or appliances.

All these wonderful benefits will be mine after June 29 — which is kind of ironic because that’s the date I intend to cut up and cancel the card, after paying off the final balance.

And what does that final balance include, you may ask?  Just the renewal fee for my annual membership at DFW Shooting Range.

Everything Gives You Cancer

The immortal words of Joe Jackson come to mind:

No amount of alcohol, sausage or bacon is safe according to cancer experts

Even small amounts of processed meats and booze increase the risk of a host of cancers outlined in World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) guidelines updated every decade.
The respected global authority has unveiled a 10-point plan to cut your risk of getting cancer by up to 40%.
Brits have been told to banish favourites such as ham, burgers and hot dogs from their diets by experts who say they are a direct cause of bowel cancer. Processed meats also cause people to be overweight which can trigger many more cancers.
But UK experts have disagreed with the draconian advice insisting the odd bacon sandwich “isn’t anything to worry about”.
The WCRF found boozing is directly linked to increased risk of six cancers and for the first time recommended sticking to water or unsweetened drinks. The report said: “Even small amounts of alcoholic drinks can increase the risk of some cancers. “There is no level of consumption below which there is no increase in the risk of at least some cancers.”
On processed meats it added that “no level of intake can confidently be associated with a lack of risk of bowel cancer”.
Cutting down on steaks and other red meat such as lamb and pork can reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

The WCRF’s 10-point health plan

  1. Be a healthy weight
  2. Be physically active
  3. Eat a diet rich in wholegrains, vegetables, fruit and beans
  4. Limit consumption of ‘fast foods’ and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars
  5. Limit consumption of red and processed meat
  6. Limit consumption of sugar sweetened drinks
  7. Limit alcohol consumption
    [last three omitted because irrelevant to my Readers, e.g. breastfeeding]

I guess I’m fucked, then.  Oh well.  Time for some BBQ brisket, Elgin sausage and sweet iced tea.  Or a steak & kidney pie, chips and a pint of London Pride?

If I’m gonna die, I want the doctors to exclaim at my post-mortem, “Bloody hell!  How did he last so long?”


 

There’s no link because the Mirror has the most irritating ads on the planet.  I went there so you don’t have to.  And fuck their “fair use” guidelines.

(Not) Truckin’

A couple weeks ago, I gave a ride to a guy in the trucking business — he was the Area VP of Operations of a large firm — and he told me that they can’t find drivers to handle just the local deliveries (stores, restaurants etc), never mind the long haul stuff.  And this in an area where a driver gets a starting salary of $60,000 plus serious benefits, after company-sponsored training and licensing.  As I recall, he said they need about 1,800 drivers, and so far had managed to get… 40 (forty).

That, folks, is a serious labor shortage, and his company isn’t the only one with this problem.

Shipping costs have skyrocketed in the United States in 2018, one of the clearest signs yet of a strong economy that might be starting to overheat. Higher transportation costs are beginning to cause prices of anything that spends time on a truck to rise. Amazon, for example, just implemented a 20 percent hike for its Prime program that delivers goods to customers in two days, and General Mills, the maker of Cheerios and Betty Crocker, said prices of some of its cereals and snacks are going up because of an “unprecedented” rise in freight costs. Tyson Foods, a large meat seller, and John Deere, a farm and construction equipment, also recently announced they will increase prices, blaming higher shipping costs.

And here, in a nutshell, is why the illegal immigrants keep flooding over the border.  Business owners (not just truckers) are facing a series of rock/hard place situations, and foreign-born workers (mostly illegal) are in many cases the only solution.  I don’t agree with what they’re doing in principle, but as a former employer myself, I can understand their actions.  Stuff’s gotta move, and nobody’s interested in the “how”.

Gilding The Lily #268

I am so sick of people messing with perfectly-good things in order to “improve” them.  Here’s but the latest to arouse my ire:

Gin lovers were sent into a frenzy recently when a popular brand launched Premium Pink Distilled Gin & Tonic cans for £1.80 a tin at four major supermarkets in time for the first May bank holiday weekend.
Gordon’s Pink Gin, which launched last year, is said to taste of raspberries and redcurrants with a touch of juniper.

Two things:

1) if a gin doesn’t taste of juniper berries, it isn’t gin at all.
2) Pink Gin is made with a drop or two of Angostura Bitters added to the gin.  Making a gin pink-colored (with raspberries and redcurrants? ye gods) doesn’t make it a “Pink Gin”.  And don’t even get me started on the topic of booze served in tins.

Lastly — and this doesn’t just apply to the above — I’m getting really sick of manufacturers trying to extend their user base by appealing to younger people, playing on their unsophisticated and undeveloped taste buds by adding Kool-Aid flavors to grownup drinks.  (Chocolate vodka? are you fucking kidding me?)  This is akin to trying to get more women to shoot guns by making gunpowder smell like lilacs.

I am, by the way, fully aware of how innovation works — that most of civilization has occurred because someone, somewhere said: “Y’know, I bet if we just changed…” — but that’s confusing improvement with extension.  Tinned fruity-flavored gin is not an improvement.

I know that raspberry-flavored beer may have caused more people to take to beer drinking, but that’s changed things, and not for the better.  Go into any bar and look at what beers are on tap these days.  Barely a drinkable one available, and worse, they’ve pushed all the decent beers into bottles (or out of stock) while hipsters and chickies are catered to with the latest fad, Strawberry IPA [pause to be sick].

Basically, booze manufacturers are changing their products to appeal to people who don’t like booze.  In the old days of marketing, we used to call that pointless endeavor “catching eels” (try catching an eel in mid-air when someone tosses it in your direction and you’ll see what I’m talking about).  Not only is it pointless, it’s mercurial because what’s popular today won’t be popular tomorrow as your fickle new customers chase after the next “Flavor Of The Month”, and you’ll have gone from catching one eel to catching multiple eels.  That’s something they don’t  teach in the Marketing section of the typical MBA course because MBAs are all about theory (“line extension”, “product enhancement”, etc.).  And don’t tell me I’m talking nonsense because I’ve seen the curricula.

I think I’ll go and mix myself a drink.  A real Pink Gin, or maybe a gin & tonic — Gilbeys. Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire (because the brand is less important when you add tonic to it) and Schweppes Tonic. (Cucumber  tonic? egads.)

Or I’ll just have a pint of Fuller’s London Pride… and if anyone tells me to squeeze a lime into it, there’ll be murders.

So Much For The Army

Oy. The story is as follows: female recruit can’t handle bayonet training, gets cussed out by the instructor, bursts into tears — and the instructor is now facing a court-martial because feewings.

I’d put in a little excerpt from the article, except that it would cause all veterans’ blood pressure to soar and the howls of outrage would upset all the other people in the cubicle farm*.

And the Brits expect their army to go to war… it is, as they say, to laugh.


*I know that most of you read this website at work. Don’t bother lying to me.

Depressing Statistic

As Longtime Readers all know, I look on most “studies” nowadays with the utmost skepticism, being as they generally employ shoddy data collection techniques, poor sampling and / or stupid analytic conclusions.

All that said, I found this one, from this study, to be at least credible:

Most relationships start with terrible or awkward sex.

Well, duh. That’s true of pretty much most human interaction,because you’re on unfamiliar territory and you need to get things straightened out before you can make it work properly.

Within the report, however, was a factoid which I found downright depressing:

69% of Americans admit that they get feelings of excitement right before sex with a new partner.

Now the last time I had sex with a new partner was during the Clinton presidency, so my memory may be failing me. But FFS: what other feelings can one have before first-time sex, if not excitement? Dread? Nausea? Fear? Disgust? And to make it worse: if 69% of folks get excited before a first-time bonk, that means that 31% don’t get excited, which seems incredible. I can understand pre-bonk anxiety, of course — which over half of people admit to — but one can be anxious about something yet still be excited about it. But 31 percent?

As I suggested above, this may just be shitty data, in which case we can carry on with our lives. But if the data can be trusted, then we as a society are in deep shit when something so basic, so natural, and (speaking from memory again) so much fun is not exciting.