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Everything posted by gweilgi

  1. Had Omicron a few weeks ago. Two days of cigars tasting bitter and burned, and then everything was back to normal...
  2. Personally, I would welcome a mandated consumption of alcohol for all babies and toddlers on board an aircraft, to keep the little monsters quiet. Half a shot of vodka on a lump of sugar should be enough.... Banning alcohol would be a,) pointless because morons who are intent on causing trouble will cause trouble whether drunk or sober; and b.) because it may well prove counter-productive as alcohol can and does reduce trouble by pacifying and calming passengers who are anxious about flying, worried about connections, stressed by the arsehole who insists on jamming their seat back into my knees while sharing their music with the rest of the cabin, or simply annoyed by the drongo who insisted on bringing their emotional support animal with them to shit all over the cabin.... Anyway, we already have sufficient tools to deal with drunks on aircraft. Let sky marshals earn their money. Put their names on a blacklist and share it between airlines to either ban them from flying or from consuming alcohol while on board. Name and shame them.
  3. There's many a cult that has started with fewer followers...
  4. There are three stages to sport in England. 1. Invent the sport. 2. Export the sport to the rest of the world. 3. Lose.
  5. Clearly another bid by Bill Gates for total control of humanity.....
  6. Thanks for the heads-up. I have sent off an email to enquire about temperature regulation as well as humidification (their website wasn't too clear). Shipping, IME, is actually the easy part because I can always make my own arrangements and have things picked up directly from the factory/workshop. The difference between my own shipping costs and the discount form a manufacturer isn't too painful.
  7. Whiskey with ginger ale .... could be worse. Could have been diet Coke. Or Mountain Dew.
  8. This does not only apply to children -- my mother once made several jugs of sangria using bottles of 1970 Chateau Palmer ...
  9. Thanks for the advice; I think I may have to revisit this option. I had discounted it before because of a few horror stories by people who went down that path and found out the hard (and expensive) way that humidity and temperature requirements can be fatal for "normal" cabinetry. But I know a guy .... As for alternatives, that is one big rabbit hole! When I googled "temperature and humidity cabinet", I found all sorts of stuff, from lab equipment to cabinets for ageing cheese and sausages (yum) to cabs for photographic equipment and even one guy who builds these things to store his guitars ....
  10. So after a year and a half of doing the home reno/extension the hard way during COVID, I have finally been given the green light by She Who Must Be Obeyed (or at least consulted) to splurge on a Forever Home for my cigars. At the moment, my long-term storage is six 50l tupperdors stacked in my Kennards wine locker -- not a satisfactory solution because of access and it limits my wine storage (another vice) -- so I am looking for a large cabinet of 400l/3,000 cigar size. This has thrown up a few issues.... 1. I'm in Australia, and nobody seems to to sell these here, or even do conversions. If I could buy local, I would. If anyone knows a chippie who does this sort of thing, I'd love to hear about them. 2. The main countries that manufacture cabinets appear to be Germany, the US and China. Past experience with other purchases mean that I am not keen on Chinese products (quality control can be, shall we say, uneven). Does anyone have experience with US cabinets, in particular voltage conversion issues with the humidification? 3. In the past, my active humidification systems have always managed to produce a healthy crop of mould even when using distilled water. Can anyone recommend a system that avoids this? 4. I am also looking for a system that offers both active humidification and temperature control. This rules out a few options already, such as Marc Andre and the Schwaben (both Germans). Any other recommendations? 5. Gerber -- the exorbitant solution, and I am not sure that selling my right kidney and left nut would cover the cost, but when I start to think about the value of the cigars over a lifetime I might just be able to argue myself (and, more importantly, SWMBO) into it. Anyone in Oz have one of those, I'd love to hear your experiences. 6. CigarCava -- the Spanish option. Far more affordable, and again: any first-hand experience, I'd love to hear them. TIA.
  11. Cuban beans in a dark roast were always my favourite beans for making espresso! Maybe not the smoothest flavours in the world, but tons of character!
  12. That. Governments cannot win. If they spend money on crisis supplies in good times, they get hammered by the press (and public) for wasting money. If they instead spend the money on something else -- schools, nurses, whatever -- they get lashed by the media (and public) for their failure when disaster does strike. And if they do prepare but for the wrong sort of disaster, there will be an ear-splitting cacophony from all the armchair oracles blaming them for their failure to foresee the unforeseeable. IMHO, if there is one big lesson to be learned from this mess, it is that all countries can improve on their disaster plans. In this day and age of easy global travel, diseases spread as easily as buying an airline ticket. We have had several shots across the bow, and we need to be fully aware that there is way worse out there than SARS, MERS or COVID-19. Next time round, there cannot be any excuse for not having plans in place, for not having enough stocks of PPE or other emergency supplies, or for not having the distribution down pat.
  13. Is it hypocrisy? IMHO, it has more to do with perception bias. As a species, we tend to get very upset and run around screaming loudly "something needs to be done NOW" about sudden events that intrude heavily into our awareness, rather than ongoing processes and developments which sort of fade into background noise. For instance, we all remember 9/11 and the 3,000 people who died on that awful day ... but how many of us are even aware that more people than that die every month on American roads? The same with the virus: last year in Australia, more than 310,000 people went to hospital with the "normal" influenza virus and more than 900 of them died. Worldwide, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids kill about 1,500,000 people every year. Measles kill around 115,000 people. But when I tell people this, they are sore surprised. It had completely passed them by. More: they often react with "yabbut 'RONA!!!" in denial of the numbers.
  14. I am now at the stage where I actively avoid reading most stuff on the pandemic. There is simply too little actual information, too little verified scientific data and too much scope for experts (both genuine and self-appointed), politicians and social media pundits to speculate to their hearts' content ... not even mentioning the paddlers of outright fake news and conspiracy theorists. We just don't know enough.
  15. Some speculation here: - smaller firms (Mom and Pop stores etc) have fewer financial reserves to stick it out for long. They also tend to have smaller premises, which makes it easier to control the number of customers on site at any one time. This should make them good candidates for the first round of relaxing rules. - the less face to face interaction with customers, the lower the risk. Such firms should also be considered for re-opening. - sports and arts: matches and performances can take place without spectators. Given that wide parts of the TV and film industry is currently at a standstill and that the number of actual participants is rather small (meaning low-risk), it should be entirely possible to give permission for them to go ahead and broadcast or livestream these events. - open-air venues, especially with controlled numbers of patrons, are also a reasonably low risk and could be re-opened.
  16. Nice idea. The one problem I have with ice cubes is that they dilute the alcohol. Oh, and there are always a few -- I like to call them eejits -- who will put ice cubes in their single malt, for which the only suitable punishment is tying them to a chair and force-feeding them raw haggis while playing a medley of Andrew Lloyd Webber musical tunes on the bagpipes. YMMV, of course...
  17. Germany has not hit peak pandemic yet. They were very lucky because the primary invasion route of the virus was via young people on skiing trips in the Alps. In Italy, by contrast, the virus hit the oldest first. Germany is also very lucky because their economic performance has allowed them the luxury of a 24-carat solid gold healthcare system which is now being put to full use. As for deciding which country did the best, we really will have to wait until the pandemic has run its course for a full postmortem.
  18. Saw him playing with the Bah-Bahs against the Wallabies at the Allianz Stadium, and he was a joy. Even though I am a firm supporter of England, I do live here and I do find it very sad to see not just the Wallabies but also the Super Rugby teams brought so low. It's not good for the sport, either. IT's especially depressing to see that They. Will. Not. Learn.
  19. Quade is a good example of what happens to talent without (self-)discipline. It also made him deeply unpredictable. He was like the French in that regard: you wouldn't know whether you got the genius or the idiot until five minutes into a game.
  20. Without wishing to impugn, malign or slander any of the medical experts, but most of them outside the US work in the public sector. Their positions and salaries are secure, come what may. This, I suspect, may (unconsciously) bias their views on the advisability and sustainability of the advice they give, both to the public and to government. This, by the way, certainly extends to pundits and commentators in the media, many of whom -- at least outside the US -- are employed by the state and who seem happy to push for ever harder measures without bothering to account for the devastation this would cause. Talking of experts: another bunch of experts who we have not heard nearly enough of are the mental health boffins. During the GFC, suicides in Europe rose by more than 4% (in some Eastern European countries by more than 11%), and in the US the rate climbed by more than 5%. These are also avoidable deaths that should be counted, and on the other side of the ledger. How many people are pushed over the edge by increased social isolation and worries over money, jobs and homelessness? How many of these deaths are we willing to accept in order to save how many corona-virus victims? That's not even going into the whole issue of domestic violence where we now have a situation of violent partners cooped up with their victims and permanently on edge because of the stress. We absolutely need to have a public debate on that, too. As for economic experts, I think it would be very hard to step in front of a camera and tell a stressed and emotional public about dollars and cents. For one thing, the majority of the audience will be financially illiterate and unable to understand, even if they weren't currently in a state of high anxiety. For another, in many countries there is a strong attitude of viewing the government as a never-ending stream of gold which will always provide -- as far as they are concerned, government might as well run on unicorn farts rather than tax revenues and debt. And the experts could certainly expect colossal shitstorms if they dared to even point out possible positive outcomes from the pandemic, such as structural changes which will increase productivity (work from home, flexible hours etc), increased revenue from inheritance taxes (where applicable), or a significant reduction in pressure on state pension systems throughout Europe.

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