Thursday, 23 October 2014

By on October 23rd, 2014 in news, personal

07:45 – The morning paper ran the headline of the century this morning: Reynolds snuffs out workplace smoking

How bizarre is it for a tobacco company to ban smoking in its own facilities? It’s as if–to name two other industries that North Carolina used to dominate and that the federal government has pretty much destroyed–furniture companies encouraged their employees to stop using furniture and textile companies encouraged their employees to stop wearing clothes.

Oh, RJR will still have designated smoking areas and allow electronic cigarettes facility-wide, but even so. I remember the good old days, not long ago, when visitors entering the RJR Headquarters Building were greeted by signs that said “Thank You for Smoking”. One was not just allowed but encouraged to smoke anywhere in the building: offices, conference rooms, bathrooms, elevators, and so on. It was a much more reasonable time. It’s obvious that the anti-smoking nazis have won. Even in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for heaven’s sake.

10:35 – I’m sure it will come as a shock to everyone who knows me, not least Barbara, but I’ve decided to cut way back on my consumption of Coca Cola and Sprite. Not for health reasons, but for dietary reasons.

Over the last decade or so, I’ve gradually eaten less and lost weight. The days when I routinely ate 3,000 to 3,500 calories a day without gaining weight are long gone. I’m not sure what my total daily intake is now, but I’d guess probably between 2,000 and 2,500 calories, of which probably 1,200 are in the form of the high-fructose corn syrup sugars in soft drinks. So, instead of drinking two liters or more of soft drinks per day, I’ve decided to substitute two liters of beer, wine, and scotch per day.

Only kidding. I don’t really drink alcoholic beverages, other than a beer sometimes when we’re out to dinner with Paul and Mary. Actually, I’m going to start drinking more coffee, which I drink black, and tea, which I drink with about 1.5 teaspoons of sugar (~ 15 calories) per cup.

In March, WHO reduced its maximum recommendation for sugars from 10% of daily calorie intake to 5%. Not that I pay any attention to WHO. Even the 10% was ridiculously low. But I’m currently at probably 50% to 60%, which doesn’t leave all that much room for calories from protein, fats, or other carbohydrates, so I’ll probably shoot for reducing that to maybe 25%.

56 Comments and discussion on "Thursday, 23 October 2014"

  1. Miles_Teg says:

    “Oh, RJR will still have designated smoking areas and allow electronic cigarettes facility-wide…”

    I don’t see the downside, except for smokers who don’t care about the health and comfort of their co-workers.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    To state the obvious, if you’re anti-smoking you shouldn’t be working for RJ Reynolds.

  3. Ray Thompson says:

    How bizarre is it for a tobacco company to ban smoking in its own facilities?

    I suspect it was not RJ Reynolds that was the root cause of the policy change but their health insurance company. RJR would want to minimize that cost and I know that most, if not all, insurance companies charge a much higher premium for smokers. It may have even been that RJR could not fund an underwriter unless RJR changed their policy and self insuring is a very expensive option.

    Or perhaps it was motivated by some federal (or state) mandate that unless RJR changed they would lose any tax advantages.

  4. rick says:

    I suspect it was not RJ Reynolds that was the root cause of the policy change but their health insurance company.

    Large companies self insure. They hire insurance companies to administer their medical benefits and negotiate with providers, but they pay the full bill.

    The policy is more likely from a government mandate.

    Rick in Portland

  5. SteveB says:

    I don’t see the downside, except for smokers who don’t care about the health and comfort of their co-workers.

    Let’s look at that from a slightly different angle.

    The anti-smokers complain about their comfort, but don’t give a rat’s ass about the comfort of their co-workers who might smoke, sending them outside in all kinds of weather while sniggering about them “needing a fix”.

    As far as the health of the people around them goes, during the 20 years I was in the restaurant business, smokers would invariably wrap their chewing gum in a napkin and set it aside. If they blew their nose, most went to the restroom and used the trash can there to dispose of their waste.

    Non-smokers would just spit their gum into the ash tray and/or would fill the ashtray with napkins into which they had blown their noses. Once the ashtrays disappeared, the non-smokers started just spitting their gum and dropping their snot rags on their plates, leaving it for an employee to clean up.

    Which group was more concerned about the health of those around them?

  6. ech says:

    An updated “COEXIST” bumper sticker, that many here could get behin.

  7. DadCooks says:

    I remember as a youngster while on our usual family summer vacation to the South and East, predominately to visit Civil War battlefields, we went on a tour of a cigarette factory. When the tour was over, everyone including the children were offered a carton of any of the cigarettes produced at that factory. I remember my Dad telling my Sister and me to please ask for a carton of Camels (the original, unfiltered). So that day he scored 4 cartons of his favorite, he was one happy camper. My Dad was a courteous and responsible smoker, e.g. never in the car, never in the house, always asked neighboring tables when in a restaurant, and all butts went in an ashtray or buttkit. My Dad lived to 94 and smoked until the day he died. His younger brother was not so lucky, he died at 78 of lung cancer.

    Listened to the Canadian Prime Minister address Parliament this morning. This man spoke as a leader should, he calls a terrorist a terrorist, no excuses. Quite a contrast to our crybaby wimp with no cojones, along with his just as limp lack-of-Defense Department and lack-of-Justice Department.

    Once again, a trained man with a gun stopped a potential massacre. Interesting watching some film clips of Kevin Vickers, Sergeant-at-arms. He remembered his military training. While Canada has strict gun laws, at least here was a case where common sense allowed an appropriately trained and armed man to be in the right place at the right time.

    edit: @ech, I have one of those bumper stickers, but I am a firm concealed carry person, not just for my guns but even when it comes to my NRA bumper stickers. I am a firm believer in the element of surprise. This old man is more than he may seem.

  8. Miles_Teg says:

    “To state the obvious, if you’re anti-smoking you shouldn’t be working for RJ Reynolds.”

    Not at all. If someone is anti-smoking, or just doesn’t like second hand cigarette smoke, it’s open to them to work for RJR. No one says they have to use their employer’s product.

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I keep telling my wife that I’m polite, meek, mild, shy, and unassuming. She isn’t buying it. She thinks my personality is more that of a steamroller. A well-armed one.

  10. Miles_Teg says:

    Oh sure, some smokers can be very considerate.

    I had a boss who popped out once an hour for a smoke, but when he came in I could never smell cigarette smoke on his breath, even when he came straight over to see me after his excursion. (He had a bad heart attack in his fifties.)

    On the other hand I worked with a guy who was a complete arsehole, and would smoke in the lift, regardless of others feelings. This was both against the law and our employer’s policy. He was smart but a complete bastard.

  11. Chad says:

    RE: Smoking

    I’ve known smokers that go out to smoke and when they come back in they stop in the bathroom and wash their hands then pop a breath mint in. I’ve know others that just plain reek after smoking. I mean, I was a heavy smoker at the time and they just reeked like smoke even to me. Some people are very self-conscious about smelling like smoke and are genuinely concerned about the comfort of the people near them and some are not. I tended to avoid smoking near other people mostly because I tend to avoid people in general. It’s not that I didn’t want them to have to smell my smoke it’s that I didn’t want to have to look at them while enjoying my cigarette. 🙂

    RE: Soda

    I quit drinking soda (or pop for some of you) a couple of years ago. I was drinking a LOT of it. So, it was a combination of not wanting to put that much of that crap into my body daily and my dentist was screaming about soaking my teeth in acid every time I drank soda. So, I stopped. Now, I drink water or tea (fresh-brewed tea only – no canned, bottled, or fountain tea). On occasion, when I accidentally pick up my wife’s or daughter’s glass and drink out of it I am shocked I ever liked the stuff. Regular soda tastes like pure corn syrup to me and diet soda tastes like chemicals.

    The WHO is probably worried about hyperglycemic diets and obesity causing adult-onset diabetes.

  12. Miles_Teg says:

    I can’t remember what sweetener they use in soft drink here, but it doesn’t matter to me much as I drink diet soft drink almost exclusively. I drink a LOT of it, but also tea, flavoured milk, various fruit juices and iced tea.

    I also love water (preferably chilled) and my exercise physiologist wants me to drop most of the other drinks and have much more water. I’d rather gnaw off an arm.

  13. SteveB says:

    I am a firm believer in the element of surprise. This old man is more than he may seem.

    DadCooks, just make sure you do not fire a warning shot if you happen to be in Florida. Shoot to kill without any warning.

  14. Chuck W says:

    That’s weird. In Indiana, not firing a warning shot goes against you. I have even heard people say that if you kill an intruder right off, fire a warning shot afterwards, and claim it was fired before the lethal dose of lead. Unless there are security cameras on the actual death shot, no one can tell when the warning shot was fired.

  15. Chuck W says:

    The FDA and WHO have a lot of things wrong, IMO. The people I lived around in Berlin are some of the leanest I have ever been around, and they ate as much butter and fat as they wanted, cooked a lot of things in lard, including potato slices, never touched anything as seriously sugared as donuts, but they did eat far more fruits than Americans around me now, do. This fat-free diet the FDA, in particular, has promoted for decades now, is making obesity widespread. You did not see obesity in kids when Mickey D’s was serving french fries cooked in lard.

    I have always said sugar feeds my brain, and somebody recently came out with some research that pretty much confirms that. If I don’t get a minimum amount of sugar in a day, my mind starts disengaging during the day and I am not as focused.

    I do not drink cola, except when I am on-air for a shift at the radio station. Early speech coaches taught us that coke ‘coats the throat’ and drinking some before and during periods where I will be talking a lot, definitely does keep my throat from feeling parched and dry.

    Jeff Duntemann has published results of various dietary changes he has made, and he confirms that more butter and fat and fewer carbohydrates is slimming.

    One thing I do notice, is that Americans consume about twice the quantity of food necessary for good health. When I visit my uncle for a meal at the assisted living place, even I am amazed at how little they serve (they employ a dietitian specializing in geriatric and special-needs people), although they do have a variety of food on the plate.

  16. Chuck W says:

    Here we go again:

    When are judges going to have the balls to rule that no physically normal male above about 13, much less a 16 year-old athlete, can be involuntarily ‘raped’ by a woman.

    What I don’t get is why the kid told anybody. Surely it was not her who squealed. Even at 16 I knew enough that I would have kept my mouth completely shut had something similar happened to me. We never had girls that young teaching us, though. Youngest female teacher in my high school was well into her 30’s. That included the girls’ PE teacher, who ended up marrying one of the guys’ PE teachers. PE was optional for girls; mandatory for guys in my school.

  17. DadCooks says:

    @SteveB – what’s a warning shot? Not in my vernacular 😉

    @Lynn McGuire – since I spent my first 20 years in the Chicago suburbs, this is old old news. The Daily machine and the Chicago Mob perfected voter fraud and intimidation. It took the National Democrat Party many years to properly implement the systems of Chicago, but BO is proof and we may be screwed for a long long time.

    Gotta go, I think I hear a drone outside my window 😉

  18. Chuck W says:

    Looks like the election is already cooked in Cook County

    Ever was it thus. Cook County, Illinois and Lake County, Indiana — where even the dead can vote if it is for Democrats.

  19. Clayton says:

    I am a firm believer in the element of surprise. This old man is more than he may seem.

    DadCooks, just make sure you do not fire a warning shot if you happen to be in Florida. Shoot to kill without any warning.

    Recent change in the law here allows a warning shot whenever deadly force would be authorized.

  20. Lynn McGuire says:

    Over the last decade or so, I’ve gradually eaten less and lost weight. The days when I routinely ate 3,000 to 3,500 calories a day without gaining weight are long gone. I’m not sure what my total daily intake is now, but I’d guess probably between 2,000 and 2,500 calories

    I need to do this but just cannot make the jump. I dropped half my caloric intake back in 2004 for six months and dropped from 272 to 232. Back to 251 as of this morning.

    No smoking for this guy. Am missing most of my right coronary artery, probably from birth. Apparently you can put your pinkie up my left coronary artery. My second cardiologist wanted to dissect me as I am “interesting”, I told him “you first”.

  21. Jim B says:

    Diet is a complex subject, and much more study is needed before we fully understand it. Unfortunately, not enough is being done. I think that a hundred years form now, we might say we understand a lot more than we do now, but have barely scratched the surface. That means we are left with doing what we think is best.

    Simple carbohydrates are new to our diet, having been introduced only a few hundred years ago. We don’t know much about what their effects are. Artificial sweeteners are even newer, and we know even less about them. That doesn’t mean we should condemn these additives, but maybe we should try to avoid them as much as possible. Couldn’t hurt, and might help.

    There seems to be an epidemic of low insulin sensitivity in Western countries. Its cause is not well understood, but it seems to be associated with the consumption of simple carbohydrates. I will not jump to any conclusions, as there are a lot of anecdotal accounts of dietary effect on insulin sensitivity, but the reduction of simple carbs seems to promote overall health.

    All this is traceable to government recommendations to reduce fat consumption. The food processors responded with “low fat” products that had increased carbs. Just go back fifty or so years and look at our dietary changes. Mystery solved? Not so fast.

    Recommended reading might include books and articles by Nathan Pritikin, Covert Bailey, Pearson and Shaw, Dean Ornish, Tran Tien Chanh, and the doc who designed fitness exercises for astronauts in the early NASA days (I have his book somewhere, but can’t seem to recall his name or the book’s title.) Caution, some of these people have a vested interest, and sell products. There are lots of others, but this is a good start.

    The fuel we consume has a profound effect on our wellness, but we need to understand just how. The goal is to be fit and healthy for as long as possible, and to avoid decrepitude, or, as a friend said, to die suddenly while playing tennis at age 95!

  22. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Unless there are security cameras on the actual death shot, no one can tell when the warning shot was fired.

    When I took a gunfighting course back in 1978 or 1979, one of the things they suggested was never to fire warning shots, but always to shout, “STOP! POLICE!” (or whatever) *after* you’d shot the bad guy. Eyewitness/earwitness evidence is notoriously unreliable, in part because people see what they expect to see and hear what they expect to hear. If 100 people had been earwitnesses to such an event, probably 95 to 98 of them would swear in court that the warning shout preceded the gunshots.

  23. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Dietitians, nutritionists and the like are in the same class as astrologers and homeopaths. As I’ve been saying for years, the last time anyone did any scientifically valid studies on human diet was in the 1930’s and ’40’s, and they hanged all of those Nazis after WWII.

    In the absence of evidence, I trust 3 million years of evolution to be the best guide to nutrition. My rule is, “If it tastes good, it’s good for you; if it doesn’t, it’s not.”

  24. Lynn McGuire says:

    My senior range instructor instructed us to put our hands up in the air and yell “Stop! Stop! Stop!”. Then shoot them. No warning shots.

    He also noted that there are always cameras upon you nowadays in any public places and to assume so. Especially parking lots. He advised to park on the other side of the parking lot from anyone else and to drive off if they approached you.

  25. Lynn McGuire says:

    My third cardiologist says “if it tastes good, spit it out”. And “buy the meal in the box, throw the meal away and eat the box”.

  26. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Physicians don’t know a hell of a lot more about nutrition than anyone else. They tend to parrot “data” from studies that are in no way scientific although they often appear to be so. Their data are invariably self-reported and therefore invalid. (Just imagine trying to get controlled data for thousands to hundreds of thousands of people over even one year, let alone the 30-year or longer timeframes that these reports supposedly cover.)

  27. Chuck W says:

    I lost a lot of weight without trying when my wife was terminally sick, and recently have resumed the trek on down. Not in a hurry, and I am finding the things the late Seth Roberts forwards to be my main help. I limit myself to no more than 2,000 calories, usually around 1,500, and eat only breakfast and a decent lunch.

    If I get hungry around suppertime, I down 120 calories of what Roberts defines as ‘tasteless nutrition’ by swallowing 1 tablespoon of oiive oil. After about 15 minutes, that kills my appetite for anything more before bedtime.

    Using that trick, I am losing about 1 pound a week. I do not feel deprived or hungry except if I do not have the olive oil on time and it gets to be around 20:30. Occasionally, if the weight is stuck, I do a day with only breakfast and 2T of oil — one for lunch and the other one supper.

    I do not do anything else of Roberts’ suggestions, as I am not in a hurry to lose the additional weight. I do not do any of the ‘tasteless meals’ that some of his followers put forward. My breakfast is a multigrain hard roll sliced open and buttered, with a couple thin slices of salami, ham, and sometimes cheese (although cheese comes with lots of calories and is seldom sliced thin enough for me), orange juice, and tea. I do not follow the standard American procedure of a skimpy lunch and big supper. Following the way people did it in Berlin, I eat a decent lunch and (normally, when not dieting) very little for supper — bread and fruit. But no supper right now, except maybe something hot to drink, which could be a cup of chicken/beef broth that has very few calories at about 31.

    No problem with the decent lunch when I am at home, like today, but I do end up eating light on work days away from home, like earlier this week and tomorrow. I do not make up the skimpy lunch, just take it as a day that I am definitely going to lose more weight.

  28. Dave B. says:

    I agree with Chuck that our government is wrong with its obsession with fat intake. I would not be surprised if carbohydrates, particularly the refined ones are a far bigger issue than fats in why we are obese. My body mass index is over 30, so I am currently an obese American. I am currently doing the South Beach Diet which restricts both fats and carbohydrates.

    I have already switched from regular soft drinks to diet soft drinks and now I am working on reducing my consumption of diet soft drinks.

  29. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Coke is in trouble. Soft drink sales are plummeting since their peak in 1990 or thereabouts.

    My current BMI is about 24, although I don’t believe that BMI is valid in any sense.

  30. OFD says:

    I always eat sumthin for breakfast, alternating the bacon-ham-sausage-eggs thing with just cereal and fruit. I try to eat sumthin fairly substantial for lunch, which has always been a joke during all the years of cop and IT work; I’ve had to physically remove myself from the work site or cruiser and go off somewhere to do that. And still almost always interrupted anyway. Then if I’m home alone, a light supper; if Mrs. OFD is home, I’ll usually cook up a regular dinner/supper ’cause I know she doesn’t get many decent meals on the road.

    The BMI figures are also a joke; I was considered obese at my height and weight. Now I’ve edged down to just ‘borderline obese.’ At 6’5″ and 245. Forty years younger and in great shape I’d be an NFL tight end or QB. Maybe an MLB pitcher. Assuming I had any team-athletic ability at all at that level, LOL. I actually preferred running middle distances in track and doing the high jump, the latter right at the time Dick Fosbury brought the Fosbury Flop into the world and ever since they’ve been jumping backwards instead of straight at it like I did.

    When I was doing it the high jump crossbar was steel, and I used to come home black and blue from smacking into it or coming down on top of it, and/or having it crash down on top of me on the floor. I could do over six feet back then, but that’s just a joke now.

    Steady rain today; another job interview coming up Monday for yet another so-called ‘network admin’ gig. Whatever that means nowadays; it meant diddly at my last job. But this one may actually be more network-oriented and I know they have Linux somewhere on-site, too.

    And from the Sovereign Man email today:

    “And today you’re lucky to work for the same company for more than a few years. As a colleague told me a few months ago, few people have careers anymore.”

    “Instead, human beings are ‘rented’ by companies to perform tasks. There’s no longer a career track, growth, or significant advancement.”

    Yup, I am hoping to rent myself out, so the two of us here can keep slaving away just to barely make ends meet and pay punitive and confiscatory taxes, until such time as we can get out and work for ourselves.

  31. Chad says:

    There used to be a “motivational” graphic floating around the social networking world that said, “Nothing Tastes As Good As Being Skinny Feels.”

  32. rick says:

    I gave up almost all sugar and equivalent about a month ago. I never drank much in the way of soft drinks and never liked artificial sweeteners. I don’t avoid natural fat and protein, although I have avoided trans fats for years.I have minimized my consumption of refined flower and other refined carbs. I eat meat, eggs, cheese, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables. Pretty much what we evolved to eat. I could stand to lose a few pounds (I’m 5’11”, 195 lbs) but I’m not in bad shape for a guy born when Harry Truman was president.

    Rick in Portland

  33. pcb_duffer says:

    Hmm, the NIH’s web site says my BMI is 27.7 and therefore I’m overweight. I’ll concede that I’m a little soft around the middle, but I’m a couple of months from 50, I try to hit the gym three times a week, and my doctor isn’t harping about it. Then I put in my dad’s height & weight from when he was about 40, and the BMI reading came out at 28.6. Hah! He was 6′ 4″, 235#, solid as a rock, and you wouldn’t have been able to find an ounce of fat on him. My conclusion: BMI, in & of itself, is F O S.

  34. OFD says:

    Anyone interested in the ongoing war of the police on regular citizens while scumbags and terrorists and bankers, but I repeat myself, continue to skate:

  35. Chuck W says:

    One thing I did related to sugar, is switch to honey for tea. After some experimentation, I found that less volume (on a calorie basis) of honey was satisfying, while it took more than the equivalent calories of sugar to achieve the same satisfaction. This was some years ago when I was thinking I should reduce my sugar intake, but I have stuck with the honey since then, regardless.

    I forget how many calories that reduced my sweetener intake; not substantial for one cup, but adds up over time. DIL had me do the experiment as she is anti-sweetener and thought as an alternative, I should use whichever item required fewer calories. Honey seems to go with tea more than sugar, whereas sugar seems more taste-appropriate for coffee.

  36. eristicist says:

    Never really been a fan of sugar. I much prefer savoury, salty and fatty things. I think following the guidance of your tastebuds is good advice, although there need to be common-sense restrictions: don’t eat craploads of one thing to the detriment of everything else, and change things up if you’re getting fat.

    I was interested by a recent study in which, through a combination of genetic sequencing, bacteria cultures and dietary testing, the authors attempted to classify subjects according to whether they would do best under a high-carb or low-carb diet. Their claim (yet to be substantiated, but persuasive) is that people tend to fall into one (and only one!) of these quite separate phenotypic groups.

  37. SteveB says:

    One thing that always struck me as amusing was some of the adults around me in the 1960s jumped on the “get rid of butter and all animal fats, use only hydrogenated vegetable fats instead!” bandwagon being pushed by “experts” of the time.

    Yet, once I turned adult in the 1970s, those very same people were terrified they had done something wrong and constantly going to get themselves checked for colon cancer because other experts said exactly the opposite.,4782659

    I think Bob’s “if it tastes good, eat it” is probably a pretty good measure of what your body is willing to accept. Just don’t gorge on any one thing to the exclusion of everything else.

  38. Lynn McGuire says:

    Why aren’t we putting all people from the Ebola nations arriving at the USA into 21 day quarantine?

  39. Lynn McGuire says:

    OK, watched the latest “The Walking Dead” last night.

    They actually crossed my line and grossed me out last night, “Bob, it’s what’s for dinner!”.

    Once again, the writers are making the point that live people are much more dangerous than zombies.

  40. Ray Thompson says:

    I have one of these in my possession.

    Only mine has the Lietz 8026-56 label on the top. Research seems to indicate that it was probably made by Ainsworth and rebranded by Lietz. I also have the leather case. The unit is almost flawless, no nicks or scratches on the coating. There is a very slight haze on the interior of the glass.

    I am thinking selling it on ebay. Any thoughts as to what is a good price for such an item?

  41. MrAtoz says:

    A quick search of ebay shows similar new Brunton’s at $300-$500. Used of “different” types under $200. Since there were a lot of new Brunton’s, you might try $150 reserve.

  42. SteveB says:

    Ray, its been a couple of years since I was active on eBay, but the trick that worked for me was that if I put a fully functional non-vintage used item in my store, I priced it at somewhere between 50% and 70% of new retail, depending on the cosmetic flaws.

    If I did an auction, I set the starting price at around 25% of new retail.

    If I did an auction with buy it now, the starting price was still 25% but the buy it now was set at 70% of new retail.

    I usually put items in my store, since that 30 day listing gave the occasional shoppers more time to find my items and meet my price.

    Most of my store items sold in the 15-20 day range at my price.

    Most of the auction items sold at far below the price I would have liked to have gotten for them.

    If you’re going the auction route, I recommend the 7 day auction. 3 days is too short to find the serious bidders on items that are not currently in hot demand and leads to only one or two bids. 10 days seems to put them off, as they forget to come back and bid which again leads to only one or two bids.

    Using a reserve usually chases bidders away as they are afraid you may want far too much for your item. The best strategy seems to be to set your starting bid at the very least you will take for your item.

    Just my experience. YMMV.

  43. Chuck W says:

    Lots of auctions around here. But the message I get from people who frequent them, is that they are great for buyers, but greatly disappointing for sellers — and that includes real estate and so-called “farm sales”.

    I think I noted that we sold the contents of my parents’ houses (they kept furnishings from an earlier house in storage) and got $4,000 for everything, including the furniture my wife and I sold before going to Germany. Very disappointing, because if I had not lived in Germany at the time, we could have sold stuff off piecemeal and probably tripled that figure. I’m sure I also noted that we sold all the guns my father and brother (gun addicts) owned (about 20 individual items) and got over $16,000 for them. Amazing that probably 3 to 4 tons of furniture and miscellaneous items brought only a fourth of the possibly 200 pounds of armaments.

    I have been told by people who do this fulltime, that different parts of the country bring vastly different prices, and hauling stuff around the country can mean doubling or tripling what one gets. I sold the American Flyer trains my brother and I had in childhood for $600 to a dealer who then took it to a market in Pennsylvania and got 4 times that. He gave us a bonus of 20%, as that was the deal. Books are the same. Books go for nothing around here (2,000 of my parents’ went to the dump) but before the Great Recession set in, there was a guy from Atlanta who travelled up through these parts and picked up books, taking them to Chicago and Detroit, where they sold well. My mom died just on the edge of the collapse, and that guy gave it all up before we were ready with books to sell. I ended up having to pay to dispose of them, instead of getting something for them.

    I still lived in Germany when all this went down, and did not believe I would ever be returning, or I would have made different decisions about some of the things.

  44. Miles_Teg says:

    ‘My rule is, “If it tastes good, it’s good for you; if it doesn’t, it’s not.”’

    Well, that proves it. Now I know that celery is bad for me… 🙂

    (I lost 30 kg in less than a year a couple of years back. I have no idea why, but it made it easier to get clothes that fit. All I know is that my appetite dropped precipitously. I was eating half or less of what I was eating six months earlier.)

  45. SteveB says:

    For those of us not on the metric system, that would read:

    I lost 4.72 stone in less than a year a couple of years back.

    You were eating too much cauliflower, perhaps?

  46. Miles_Teg says:

    SteveB wrote:

    “For those of us still in the stone age, that would read:”

    There. Fixed that for you… 🙂

    I don’t know what happened. All of a sudden I just was very much less hungry.

  47. SteveB says:

    There. Fixed that for you…

    Thank you so much for the assist, Mr. Slate. Fred and Barney always did speak highly of you…

  48. Miles_Teg says:

    yabba dabba doo!

  49. OFD says:

    So did Wilma. All the noise that Miles and Wilma made scared the dinosaurs away.

  50. MrAtoz says:

    “So did Wilma. All the noise that Miles and Wilma HILLARY! made scared the dinosaurs away.”

    The Final Fix.

    Oh, Miles, what difference does it make now anyway! Uh Uh Grunt Grunt!

  51. OFD says:

    HILLARY! is closely related to a subspecies of dinosaur anyway.

  52. Chad says:

    The real problem in Bill and Hillary’s marriage is that Hillary has had more pussy than Bill. 🙂

  53. OFD says:

    Thanks for the imagery.

    OFD, who longs for the days of Grover Cleveland and Millard Fillmore.

  54. SteveF says:

    How about the days of Silent Cal. I don’t watch TV and don’t listen to the radio except when driving, and I still can’t get away from that retard blathering on, telling lies, and trying to rabble rouse.

  55. OFD says:

    Which ‘tard is that? There are so many these days.

    We haven’t even watched the tee-vee we have here for DVD’s and streaming in many moons. We alternate radio stations between FM “album” rock (oldies) and classical, at home and in the vehicles. If I was forced to watch the crap on the nightly tee-vee programs that my siblings, son & DIL, and wife’s cousins watch, I’d kill myself forthwith.

    Insipid garbage programming punctuated every ten minutes by loud-ass commercials selling us junk made in Red Chiner, Vietnam and Guatemala by dissident slave labor, or fast-food sewage, or yet another new Murkan car for more years of Happy Motoring.

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