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Everything posted by gweilgi

  1. Half the problem, it seems to me, is the traditional media. Something is posted -- a Twitter message, an ad, a caricature, a video clip, whatever -- and a minuscule fraction of those who read or view the piece end up complaining about its allegedly offensive nature. The press then pick up on it and start shouting at the top of their voice about "internet outrage" -- when the actual numbers are so small as to be within the margins of statistical error. I actually took the trouble to research the numbers on a couple of these instances, and at no point was there anything but a zero in front of the decimal point, and another one after it. But I guess such reporting is journalistic low-hanging fruit: just monitor social media and if anything goes viral, write breathless copy about how the entire internet is up in arms about the, that or t'other. Maybe I am becoming a grumpy old man, but I miss the days when our media was filtered by qualified editors who decided what was and was not actual news.
  2. What would Customs say if I tried to bring a box into the country?
  3. Munich has actually been voted best airport in Europe ... I suspect mainly on the strength of having a wave pool within walking distance of the check-in and a Christmas market complete with ice rink. How this benefits travellers, most of whom will not have thought to pack their swimming trunks or ice skates escapes me.
  4. It wasn't, alas -- I know and adore akvavit, always have one bottle in the freezer. This wasn't it. It was full on childhood sweet liquorice. Bleh.
  5. Which is, frankly, the very height of idiocy. (*) If I bring in a carton of cigarettes and do not declare them, I commit an illegal act and will be fined appropriately. Applying for a permit is the last thing on the mind of the would-be smuggler. And if I bring in a carton of cigarettes, do declare them and pay the applicable taxes an import duties, then clearly it makes no sense for me to have to apply for a permit since my tobacco is then not illicit and I am not engaged in an attempt to deny Her Majesty's Australian government their pound of flesh. Not to mention that they seem to have forgotten to put a lower limit on these regulations, thereby commingling individuals who bring in small quantities for their own use and those who import (or smuggle) for commercial purposes. Now, who is the real target here? The smuggler who brings in counterfeit and/or smuggled smokes by the container. And who will be hit by this? The tourist, the individual smoker, the holiday-maker. Is Canberra air so rarified that the brains of politicians and bureaucrats suffer from oxygen starvation? (*) given that we are talking about government, I hereby self-nominate this as today's Statement Of The Bleeding Obvious
  6. Hang on ... "Tobacco products imported by travellers within duty free limits"? Does this not mean that bringing in a box of cigars, which is well above duty free limits, would not be exempt? Or am I reading this wrong?
  7. I like to have a tin of the Tapados handy. True, there is a vegetal note and they do not offer the complexity and development of flavour of the better Cubans, but sometimes I just want something that is reliable (construction quality is rather good) and not too demanding..
  8. I have eyed the LE Toscanos, but the price was eye-watering... The regular versions -- especially Clasico and Antico -- are, to my mind, the perfect smoke while sitting on a piazza somewhere sipping on a proper espresso and watching the world go by.
  9. I have bought "genuine" Cohibas and other Cubans on the beach, on a street corner and in a bar ... but I was never scammed. I always assumed that they were all fake ...
  10. Had some Montecristos bought in Spain which were dodgier than a second-hand car salesman's special deal of the month. Bought a couple tubes of RyJ #2 which turned out to be #3s with a bit of tissue paper stuffed in the bottom of the tubes ... On one occasion, I purchased a box of Partagas SD4 which were absolutely riddled with beetle holes -- the vendor having assured me that he had personally inspected the box.
  11. And this has the added advantage that once her term in office is over, we can all have a nice goat curry. Can't see that happening with any other elected nincompoop....
  12. Simple answer: cash. Money, moolah, big bucks. I have no idea about other sports, but in soccer, jerseys sell -- big time. The top European clubs sell between 1.5-2 million jerseys every year, and a flocked jersey with the name and number of a star player can go for as much as 150-200 dollars apiece. The clubs themselves have a margin of around 50%. Do the maths.
  13. My apologies -- yes, I did phrase it badly and my comment was a tad one-sided. That said, I cannot understand why the Backstop was included in the agreement in that open-ended form. Both sides must have been fully aware that it would never be acceptable to the DUP or the hard-core Brexiteers. To my mind, then, this presents two possible conclusions. Firstly, that May and her team did not negotiate as well as they should have. Secondly, that the EU did not negotiate in good faith because they settled on a deal which included an impossible condition, thereby scuppering the chances of having it accepted by Parliament. Either or both are possible. As for the slaughter and the terrorism, I do follow this issue quite closely through the media of several countries in several languages -- German and French in addition to British, to be precise. I honestly cannot remember any German, French, Luxembourgish, Austrian or other EU politician raising this angle at all -- no comments, no reassurances, nothing. It appears to be a complete non-issue for them. And when I speak to people privately -- friends, family, work -- I get blank looks: either the problem hadn't even occurred to them, or they think that since the Good Friday Agreement, terrorism in Ireland is dead and buried for good. Which, alas, it isn't.
  14. Agreed, on all counts. Especially as this was a generally well-plaid match with good discipline on both sides and few penalties. Too, the ref was generally not bad and let the game flow, so much so that I rewound the moment several times just to make sure.
  15. You are biased, but so am I -- a bloody amazing match! Excellent display of skills, beautiful tries from both sides! And England were lucky to get this result -- that shoulder charge by Farrell should have resulted in a yellow card and I doubt that one man down they could have forced the draw.
  16. I was in NI only a couple of months ago. The locals are scared spitless. There have already been a couple of bombs, and an uptick in knee-cappings. Drive through Belfast, and the Peace Walls with their heavy gates are still prominent. The absolute last thing they want is a return to the bad old days -- both sides. This is one issue where I feel the EU is not taking the risks seriously enough. They seem to have forgotten the slaughter, the body counts. And they have certainly forgotten that the terrorists did not limit their activities to Northern Ireland and the British mainland, that the IRA and INLA bombed and killed throughout Europe. This makes it a EU problem, too, and it infuriates me that they do not acknowledge this.
  17. Mea culpa -- I was thinking in European prices, where I can get a bottle for around AUD22. In Oz, they are about twice as much, if I am not mistaken. I've had nothing older than the '66, possibly owing to this being my birth year and my father having had the great good forethought to lay several cases by for me to enjoy. The '69 is also outstanding (same story, but WRT my brother), and the '71 and '78 are utterly tongue-boggling. I have yet to try any vintages from the new millennium ... mustn't be hasty, right? Any suggestions as to which one to try first?
  18. I have no such bad habits. I am perfect in every way. I say this in the full confidence that She Who Must Be Obeyed does not read this forum.
  19. Embarrassing? It's cringeworthy, shameful, disgraceful. And I am being very, VERY polite. But in general, no-one ever really knows what they are voting for in any election. Voters may *think* they know. They may have hopes, and expectations. That's all. What we get in the run-up is cant, posturing, appeals to fear and greed, soundbites and promises by the truckload ... that may or may not be kept once in office. Hell, in Australia (like in Italy) the electorate does not even get the prime minister they voted for. So the Brexit referendum is no different, really, to any general election. What was different was the raw appeal to emotion. Very un-British....
  20. True, but a lot of people who read the Quill and Pad reviews won't be FOH members. What a shame to deprive them of your expertise! You listed the '69, which I am fully in agreement with. You omitted the '66, which I personally consider to be the duck's nuts, the bee's knees and any other sort of absurd animal anatomies you'd care to mention. Full disclosure: I know Aubert de Villaine as well as his mother Pamela, and we get a few bottles through a family friend. "Allocation" is the single most beautiful word in the French language.... Oh, and I would also nominate de Villaine's Bouzeron Aligote as a bargain of the century. It's an eminently drinkable daily wine (if you can get it, of course) at an amazing price point from one of Burgundy's pre-eminent vignerons.
  21. I've been following this site for a while now and always did enjoy Ken's musings .... The only problem is <hint hint nudge nudge> that he does not offer up any suggestions in those reviews as to pairing cigars with wine or spirits. Oh, and I respectfully disagree with him on his favourite DRC vintage... ?
  22. IMO, there are three reasons. Firstly, there is an established pattern within the EU to let nations repeat referendums if the result does not suit Brussels. This looms large in the minds of the voters. Secondly, even at this state of affairs, there are no clear indications from any halfway respectable polls that I have seen which would indicate that the British electorate has in any way resolved a majority opinion in either direction. This makes a second referendum rather pointless. Thirdly, I am far from certain that there would be a majority in Parliament to approve such a motion -- and this applies to members from all parties.
  23. Weirdest ones I ever had were in Finland. Two hard spirits, one liquorice-flavoured ... and the other one with the very distinct taste of fermented herring. Finns are crazy.
  24. Healthcare. Medical tourism to Cuba is already well established, and with more and better facilities they could really take off.

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