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About Philc2001

  • Birthday December 29

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  • Location
    Cone of Death
  • Interests
    Family, Investing, Stock Picking, Fine Cigars, Scotch, Computers, Blogging, Travel, Cars... too many vises!

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  1. Anyone have any suggestions for Cigar shops or Lounges in Barcelona? I'm staying a few blocks from Sagrada.
  2. I'm staying 2 blocks from Sorolla museum, it was on my list of sites to visit. I just mapped La Cava de Miguel Àngel and it is literally just 600 meters from my hotel. I also found Cava de Magallanes Habanos Official Madrid is just a mile west of my hotel, and from their YouTube presence they appear to be the largest Estanco in Spain and they have a large humidor lounge with a big selection. I don't know anything else about them though. Here are a couple of their videos. Has anyone visited their Cava?
  3. Hi gang, Next week I'm going to be in Spain for 2 weeks celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. I've been a good lad, saving my pennies for this event. The cities we are staying in are Madrid, Seville, Ronda, Granada and Barcelona. I'll be taking a couple of cigars, but mostly hope to buy some cigars in Spain, so I would appreciate any advise on CC outlets and cigar lounges where I can comfortably smoke and drink in a nice atmosphere. Would also appreciate advise on local regionals that are under 50 rg, I'm not into the fatties. Please hit me up on PM, or point me to any links you might have that will further my quest. Thanks in advance.
  4. I am convinced the LCDH in several Mexico tourist areas, and for that matter on any Carib. islands, are almost all fakes. Any non LCDH merchants, or any of the folks walking around with cigars on any of the Carib islands are guaranteed to be 100% fake. in fact, any cigar shops around the world selling CCs except Spain, France and Switzerland I would be very suspicious, and even then I would stick to reputable merchants. There are some LCDH shops in some of the duty free zones that may be legit, but few and far between.
  5. If you're offered CCs on the streets in Cuba, or in Miami, either on the streets or in cigar shop, I am 100% certain they are fakes. The island fakes probably have some Cuban tobacco, though. The fakes you typically find around Miami are often real tobacco, probably Nic or Hond tobacco. I haven't had any of these in many years, but virtually all the ones I tasted over the years were crap, very peppery and harsh as I recall. Some fakes I had decades ago, or at least what I believed to be fakes, were damn good cigars, I wish I had been able to get box loads. Most of these were brought back from the island by Cuban friends. I never could figure out who rolled them or where, but the flavor profile was as good as any I had ever had from the island. But fakes back then were most likely to be farm rolled with real tobacco, or at least tobacco trimmings. One or two that I dissected were actually long leaf, and expertly rolled. Nowadays, it is much more sketchy. When I went to Cuba a few years ago, right before travel routes were shut down again, I was mauled by counterfeiters trying to sell fakes in the alleys nearby the port. They had some really great looking cigars, some of which rival the quality of authentic cigars as far as aesthetics. Of course, there is no way to know what you will find inside them, they could be banana leaves, grass trimming, condoms, newspaper, oh and probably some tobacco of sorts, who the heck knows? I thought about getting some just to dissect them, but the crooks would only sell box quantity, and I wasn't about to throw away $100 to find out.
  6. 2005 Partagas P2, smooth, medium bodied smoke, slightly spicy.
  7. By the same measure, aren't you assuming that nothing was learned from this experience that can be applied to the next pandemic outbreak? I agree there will undoubtedly be some degree of variability, but the spread of a pandemic is somewhat predictable. Where transmission is person to person, the pattern can be modeled. The playbook may be slightly different depending on the origin and the severity, etc. but slowing down the spread of a pandemic has an established protocol. Do you think China, Taiwan, HK, etc. learned nothing useful from SARS, bird flu, swine flu, etc. that influenced their response to COVID? Even in the US, there were obvious similarities between COVID and the 1918 pandemic outbreaks. No doubt, some politicians will repeat the same mistakes, for political reasons not merely because the next outbreak is unpredictable.
  8. I think we are in agreement. But wasn't that always the objective? It seemed abundantly clear, to me at least, that social distancing and masking were temporary, just buying time, until a cure or vaccine could be developed and administered. Taiwan and others prioritized and responded effectively. I don't think anyone assumes that distancing and masking was a 100% solution, but I think there is enough real world evidence and observations to prove they are effective at slowing down the spread and minimizing the death toll. I don't know how anyone can argue that it didn't. And it was always a matter of time. Buying time to get a cure, or in this case a vaccine. Now that we have vaccines, Taiwan and other countries that had measurable success stand out as case studies of what worked, and the US and India among others, are case studies of what did not work so well. Will that change behavior next time around?
  9. So it seems, I can't follow the logic... either 100% compliance, or don't even bother. Much as we wish for universal and coordinated behavior, countries like China, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia and others that reacted quickly and early were much more successful. That is real the world. It may be just be me and how I'm reading your feedback, but it seems that your'e criticizing the masses for not complying 100% with mandates, yet you openly admit you yourself don't comply. The wave patterns in the stats prove conclusively that the shutdowns did slow down the virus. Unfortunately, the response was inconsistent around the world. But those countries that did move quickly and early have been more successful at containing it and resuming normalcy.
  10. The virus is known to be airborne, transmitted by respiratory particles expelled into the air by someone who is infected. Viral particles from another person's respiratory output that is inhaled by another person increases the risk of infecting that person. I think this much is proven fact. The article uses a quantitative model based on the abundance of airborne respiratory virus in the air. Think of it in measurable terms such as parts per billion, the amount of virus particles in a given volume of air. It is a pretty straight forward model where the amount of airborne virus (viral load) in the air within a contained space depends on the number of people in that space who are infected, how much virus is being expelled into the air (eg. coughing, sneezing, yelling, etc.), how long they are present in that space, the air filtration and circulation in that space, etc. I don't think it is difficult to understand the two key points of the masking ideology; (1) masks can trap and substantially reduce the amount of virus particles expelled into the air, and (2) that masks substantially reduce the risk of inhaling viral particles from the virus load floating around you. Even the basic surgical mask can reduce the amount of respiratory particles expelled into the air by about 50%. Some masks do even better. The case being made is that the abundance of airborne respiratory virus in the air at any given moment, whenever we are around others, is the key. If those infected are not masked, they could be releasing 50% or more greater viral load into the air. Anyone breathing infected air could be getting up to 50% more viral dose if they are not wearing a mask. The research makes it clear that masking is not 100% effective. But even in the worst case, they are effective at substantially reducing the viral load in the air, and reducing the viral dose one can inhale from the air they breath. There are many variables in determining mask effectiveness, but most social settings where we are likely to be exposed to the virus, such as stores, restaurants, etc., are virus-limited, where masks can make a significant difference. In your airplane example, eating/drinking during the flight can certainly contribute to higher viral loads in the air. But imagine how much higher the viral load would be if nobody wore masks at all for the entire duration of the flight. The point that I think you are trying to make is that since not everyone wears masks properly, and masks are not worn all the time, we shouldn't bother... that we are simply pretending that masks work. But when you put it into meaningful terms, such as viral load floating in the air, I think it is obvious that masks provide a level of protection that makes them worthwhile. I'm not likely to convince you, but I'll follow the science here and will take comfort in knowing that when I wear my mask I am at least reducing the risk in half.
  11. There was a fair bit of dialog in here about the effectiveness of masks and whether they make any difference, or if they provide any kind of measurable protection. I hear a lot of anecdotes and opinions, but very few well documented or researched perspectives. Well, a friend forwarded this Science article to me, and it gave me a new perspective. Read for yourself. Here is the abstract for the article, followed by a link to the full article;
  12. I actually wish they would get all their boxes and packaging made in China, then they would at least look as professional as most NCs. I forgot to add; and they would probably cost less too.
  13. My wife and I never get the flu vaccine, but her mom gets vaccinated every year, religiously. And yet without fail, we never get the flu but her mother gets the flu every single winter, despite being vaccinated. We live in a tropical climate though, and her mom lives in the North East, so weather is probably a factor. There is no way of knowing what strain of flu she gets, or whether she was vaxxed against that strain or not. However, her symptoms are usually relatively mild and pass within a few days, so maybe the vax is doing something for her, I don't know. Her mom's husband works in retail, interacting with customers all day long, so that is likely the transfer agent. He finally retired as soon as COVID broke out, and she didn't get the flu this past winter, probably coincidence.
  14. I anticipate companies will continue to build momentum towards vaccination... Delta Airlines is now requiring all new employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but that’s not the case for existing employees. The cruise line industry is also requiring vaccination, although they had several health related problems well before COVID; The CDC clarified its existing return-to-sailing framework on Wednesday, allowing cruise companies to bypass previously required simulated voyages if a ship attests that 98% of its crew and 95% of its passengers are fully vaccinated. Since I would like to travel again soon, I'm glad the airlines are doing something to ease traveler's minds beyond the cabin disinfecting silliness.
  15. I think these are somewhat exaggerated urban legends. But, there are some rational reasons for treating every case that comes into the hospital as a covid infected victim. Until this pandemic is overcome, first responders and medical workers cannot take an chances, they have to assume every patient they see is infectious. They spend their entire shift in a bubble of PPE, and have to take every precaution possible including changing their PPE between every patient they visit. It's not a pleasant environment to be in, constantly behind a mask for 8-12 hours, and covered in PPE head to toe every minute. So in a clinical emergency setting, basically every patient has to be treated as though they are infected, or you may not live to see the next patient.

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