Blazing guns

One more mass shooting: 3 people dead, 12 wounded. The culprit? A kid armed with an AK-47-style rifle… bought online.
Why is the press so worked up? It happens all the time… In America, this is nothing but a short news item.

After countless random shootings all over the land, legislators continue to turn a blind eye to this calamity. They have much better things to do (?) than trying to protect the lives of their fellow citizens.

What about the public at large? Do they feel any outrage besides holding pitiful vigils and praying? Not really. If you are an American, you have the right to bear arms… and use them whenever somebody pisses you off.
After all, this the way the West was won.

The obvious problem in this land is the overabundance and the unregulated flow of weapons. Any halfwit can buy an automatic killing machine. Does it make any sense?

Why in hell are people allowed to purchase weapons of war? And would these Sunday “warriors” be on the frontline if we were suddenly invaded? I very much doubt it. They just like to dress the part.
So, what are they defending? The right to kill defenseless people?

In most of the civilized world, the authorities have final say in whether a person may obtain a license and/or firearm(s). Not in the Land of Free and the Home of the Brave where the holy second amendment is venerated like the Black Virgin of Guadalupe.

According to the Business Insider, “There are only three countries(in the entire world), that have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms: Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States.”

 But in Mexico, “Perhaps the biggest hurdle of all is that there is only one shop in the entire country where Mexicans can go to buy guns, and it’s located on a heavily guarded army base in Mexico City.”

 If there was such a place in the United States, I probably would be much less vocal about this issue. But chances are that in America there are more gun shops than donuts shops.

Will America ever wake up from its irresponsible slumber and stop this insane love affair with military-grade weapons? For my part, I don’t want to be at the mercy of some sociopath having a bad hair day.

Join me and advise your elected officials that, if they want to keep their jobs, they better start working on some legislation to seriously curb the proliferation of guns and homegrown terrorists.

This might  get them off their heinies.

Alain

Supply and demand

What makes a commodity valuable? It is elementary my dear Watson: it is supply, demand and resale value.

Young Tamara

With strong demand, a rare product becomes valuable. And it is usually vanity that drives that process. By virtue of my wealth, says the well-heeled, I can acquire what most people can’t… And I do it, just to show that I can.


The best way to generate
value is to provide something lots of people want, and where you have a unique advantage in providing it

Every year our club sponsors at least 2 “mixed” (one man & one woman) tournaments. The idea sounds interesting, but due to the scarcity of female players, finding a teammate is always a struggle.

In our club, under the best circumstances, no more than 12 women are available to play. When a mixed tournament is looming on the horizon, every man scrambles to secure a partner, but there are alas few to choose from.

Necessity is the mother of invention” is an old English expression meaning that when there is a need, there can be a (lucrative) solution. And as a newborn-entrepreneur I have seen the light, and I just realized that I am holding a royal flush in my hand.

Due to her prowess on the field, my wife has become very popular and her re-sale value has increased significantly. She is very much in demand on the pétanque circuit and she is being courted by many players who would like to secure her services for a tournament.

A star does not like to taint her dainty fingers with money, so my wife has tasked me to handle her contracts and bookings. I have never been very good with money but I will try my best to accommodate her.
As her new impresario, besides taking in the money, I will also deal with costumes, backup dancers, light, and music.
I am what you might call her new Colonel Parker.

Of course, Tamara’s fees have gone up appreciably since she won the Bastille Day tournament in Sonoma. But she is still affordable.

If you are dying to shine in a tournament, give me a ring (and bring some cash). Don’t forget that to play well, a diva also needs to be wined and dined before entering the arena.
Last but not least, her trailer will also have to be well-stocked with caviar, vodka, and pickles.

But don’t be intimidated by her fame. She is still down to earth and always willing to share a good laugh with the little people.
And you won’t have to curtsy either.

Call me anytime.

Alain

Cookies

“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” Barbara Johnson

Do you like cookies? Of course, you do. Everybody does… but (as your mother surely told you) beware of sweets offered by strangers… especially in the semi-darkness of the World Wide Web. They could be and often are, tainted gifts. Truth be told, they are miniature trojan horses.
Once you accept them, they will immediately spy and plot against you. This is their main purpose.

I am talking of course about Computer Cookies, the small poisoned files that will rat on you the minute they settle in your computer. They will spill all your beans. They will babble about your lifestyle, your love life and especially what you like and where you are shopping.
Cookies are the Stasi agents of the computer world. Extremely effective and dangerous.

You could, of course, refuse to let them in, but the cookie dealer will then refuse to share any information with you and slam his door in your face.

Recent laws have forced companies to make you aware of the cookies’ threat, but to get what you want, you have to blindly agree with all their conditions.
You have to “accept” a bunch of rules before accessing their websites. A little bit like mindlessly signing 5 pages of obscure “legalese” when making an important purchase.

I shudder to think what the authorities (and the Russians) could do with this treasure trove of information… maybe subverting an electoral process? Nooooo… they could not do that! Could they?

The Internet is a Pandora box… or more accurately, a “chatterbox”. Once opened, it will release many personal facts that should have kept under keys. And once out…

Cookies are addictive. Once you start munching on one, there is no end to it. You are hooked and the bad guys know that. Just try one… they are delicious… what have you got to lose?

Well, if you don’t watch your diet, it could adversely affect your health. Your cyber health that is. And anything dealing with health is expensive, very expensive.

Do you realize how much Amazon knows about you? Jeff Bezos is more informed about me than my wife. He sends me love notes, reminders, suggestions every day of the week. How can you not love such a guy?

In rare moments of lucidity, I think of going on a cyber diet, but this does not last very long. Next thing you know I am surfing the Internet gobbling cookies.

I cannot help it, “cookie” is my middle name.

Alain