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About Ryan

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  • Birthday 10/19/1969

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  1. The 1992 price of these in Ireland was £1,200 (IEP, about €1,500) and they came with a box of 25 Cohiba Esplendidos thrown in.
  2. Absolutely. But in order to get those trade terms with the EU, Switzerland has signed up to freedom of movement and work for EU citizens (there are some (time-limited) restrictions for newer EU members) https://www.expatica.com/ch/moving/visas/guide-for-eu-efta-citizens-and-relatives-moving-to-switzerland-443220/#Freedom An end to freedom of movement for EU citizens was one of the main reasons people voted for Brexit. So pro-Brexit voters explicitly do not want the same deal that Switzerland has. One of the founding principles of the EU, set out in the Treaty of Rome in 1957, and reinforced since, is the notion of "The Four Freedoms" Freedom of movement of goods, capital, services and people. http://en.euabc.com/word/506 Each of these, from the standpoint of a member country, can be seen as two things: goods in and out, services in and out, capital in and out and people in and out. One of the main reasons Brexit has happened, is that voters wanted to restrict EU citizens moving to Britain. I think most voters were happy with the notion of British citizens having the right to live and work in Ireland, France and Spain etc. (and availing of public schools, health and social services in those countries) So of the 8 freedoms, many Brexit voters voted that way to restrict one of them. As an outsider, it does look a little like a case of "having one's cake and eating it too". And then there's this. https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/eu-negotiations_would-the-swiss-model-suit-a-post-brexit-britain/42128110
  3. It looks like the UK is investigating foreign interference in the result. I suppose, no real surprise there. I think the New Yorker allows some free articles monthly. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/25/the-chaotic-triumph-of-arron-banks-the-bad-boy-of-brexit
  4. Spain doesn't generally have great coffee, that is correct. That "torrefacto" stuff is everywhere. I've come to like it though, because it reminds me of Spain. It is possible to get other beans in markets and supermarkets. The best coffee I'd had in a long time, one that stopped me in my tracks, is in a place called "Hart and Lova" on Belsize Road in London. She has a good bakery there too, making very nice croissants. I'll never forget the first latte I had there and I'm normally a black coffee drinker. She sources the beans herself in Ethiopia and flies the coffee farmers to London once a year to show them where their roasted beans are being sold, she sells the beans to other shops. She gets her milk from a herd of Jersey cows. The latte had no sweetener but it tasted of vanilla from the amount of cream in the milk. It's extraordinary.
  5. It looks like a nice spot, very well priced and a great location. Does he allow cigar smoking there? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
  6. Ryan


    Coming into Dublin from Havana last month, I had 2 giant suitcases and a six foot long poster tube with a painting that I had bought in Cuba at Christmas but left there until this previous trip, as I was going to have an easier time getting it home this trip (no kids etc.) So I stood out like a sore thumb, most of the other passengers coming off my connection from Paris had just carry on bags. I had 3 bottles of spirits (1 rum, 1 bourbon and 1 bottle of Japanese whiskey, I had to leave about 10 litres of spirits behind me in Cuba, Punch Joe better get a liver check up!), and I was somewhat over my 50 cigar allowance, let's say a small multiple of my allowance over. In Dublin there are three customs channels. Blue for travelers with nothing to declare from journeys originating within the EU, Green for travelers from outside the EU and Red for something to declare. I went into the Red (something to declare) channel. I thought "f it, I'll see what happens. There was only one customs officer manning all three channels and I swear I saw him go weak at the knees when he saw someone (me) waiting in the Red channel. It was like he had seen a unicorn. He came over and he says "what do you have", I started with "Well, I'm coming from Cuba and this is a painting for my wife". "Fine" "And I have 3 bottles of spirits, just over 2 litres", I had decided to leave discussion of cigars until last. "There were all gifts". I was not counting on the guy knowing that Japanese Whiskey and Bourbon cannot be bought in Cuba. He says "you know you're only allowed 1 litre?", I said, "I know, that's why I'm here, they were gifts and I would like to pay duty" He opens the "airport-rope", waves me through and says "go on ahead, next time!", I said "thank you very much, that's very kind of you". And that was that. They do like a bit of honesty. And from my experience, everywhere I've traveled, they lean towards leniency when honesty is shown. It must be because it's a novelty for them. Having said that, he didn't ask about cigars.
  7. One thing I would hope for is that every major sporting event worldwide has a minute silence before start this weekend. Especially Six Nations Rugby tomorrow. A small show of solidarity.
  8. There's a rabbit hole of conversation there, one I'm not willing to go down. Mostly because there are too many variables. However, the first issue I see is whose definition of "extremism" is used to describe that "appx 1% of the Moslem population". If that definition covers the kind of people who would go into a religious temple/church/synagogue on a busy day and shoot up the place, there is no evidence whatsoever that it is anything close to your "1%" However, if that definition involves "members of the religion who would seek civil life to be governed more closely according to the teachings of their religious scripts", then that number is probably higher than 1%. But so it is for every established religion. Even more-so for many of the newer religions. I view anyone, of any religion, who would seek civil law to follow from religious law as an extremist, since it leaves no room for other people. But that's a long way from shooting up a religious service.
  9. It happens me too and I haven't been able to find a fix other than opening the photo in a photo editor and editing the size or scale of the picture before upload. That usually works. Paint.net is very good, very easy, free, legal and no advertising or other BS. https://www.getpaint.net/
  10. One nice thing I've noticed about buying cigars in Italy is that many of the even smallest of the tobacconists will have the most recent regional in stock. Unlike Spain, where most estancos won't even have heard of the most recent release. You have to go looking to find a tobacconist with a cigar selection in Spain.
  11. Ryan


    There were some bugs thrown up in testing that had to go back to the developers. I am hearing that those have been addressed and live testing will restart on Monday. I know the last thing Pres wants is any delay but I suppose the point of software testing is to iron out any bugs before release. From what I have seen, it'll be great once released.
  12. It's dreadful, just dreadful. I can see where it comes from. Just yesterday, I had a US-based college friend, an educated successful woman, warn her Facebook friends of the "Islamicization" of London (UK), that Sharia law was coming and that they will be chopping limbs off transgressors any day now. There was no arguing with her. Unfortunately, this is what the media has people believing about muslim communities. It has been going on for 20 years now, at least. Unfortunately, it's the extremists, like yesterday, who make the loudest noise and the most news. How much coverage will the resulting peace marches in muslim communities worldwide receive today and tomorrow. I can guess.
  13. That's maybe a little unfair. The exit deal was negotiated, tortuously, over 18 months and agreed by all sides. The UK government agreed to it. The other 27 EU nations signed it within one day. Part of that deal, negotiated over 18 months (I'll say it again) was "The Backstop", that both sides (UK and EU) agree there can never be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The British Parliament, media and most people seem to have forgotten that "The Backstop" was the idea of the UK government, to come into play in the event of the failure to negotiate a sufficient trade deal. Trade deals can only be negotiated after the exit deal has been agreed. That has never been off the table, that was always the case and agreed by both sides, a part of the treaty signed by both sides, no matter what the media say. Now the UK parliament are trying to give the impression that the EU is "holding the UK over a barrel" due to unwillingness to renegotiate the backstop. The EU has always (thus far) held fast on this. That there can not be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The EU has not forgotten the slaughter or the body counts. Think of where the EU came from. Its predecessor, the EEC, came from a trade deal between France and Germany, concrete for iron, with the explicit purpose that countries that trade freely are less likely to go to war. In the first half of the 20th century, wars started in Western Europe that led to the deaths of 100 million people. In the second half of the 20th century, no EEC (followed by the EU) member has ever gone to war with another. Notwithstanding some disgraceful letdowns in non-EU countries in the Balkans in the 1990s, literally the EU has been the most successful peace treaty in history. The EU has not forgotten the slaughter. In fact one of the reasons I think Brexit happened (won in the referendum) is that old people vote more than young people and in this referendum, for the first time, there were old people voting in the UK, a majority of whom had no recollection of the Second World War.
  14. The thing is, checkpoints i.e. a hard border, explicitly goes against the terms of the Good Friday Peace Agreement. I guess Tony Blair never saw Brexit coming. Aside from that, where there is a hard border, there are men in uniform (whichever uniform) manning customs posts, north and south. Where you have that, in that part of the world, there will be bloody minded people taking potshots at them. Then there are more security cameras, more razor wire and very soon British and Irish army at the border in armoured cars and we're back to 1972. Regardless of all that, customs borders attract smuggling, every customs border everywhere. However at the Northern Irish border, the IRA traditionally controlled much of the smuggling, along with the people trafficking, drugs, gambling, protection rackets etc. It gives the IRA a new job opportunity. And when the IRA start up again there will be counter militant groups from "the other side" rising up to meet the challenge. And we're back to 1972 again. I really don't think many people in Britain knew or cared much about how damaging to peace in that part of the world a hard border would be. I can't remember it being an issue at all during the debate before the referendum. I think that is still the case for most British people, but I suppose all politics is local, as they say. Either way, we are where we are now, which is God knows where.
  15. There was a message from Grecia Quinones, manager at Partagas, that the dates are 18-22. I had been told two weeks ago by Heriberto that the dates were 25-29. Thanksgiving probably pushed it back. 18-22 will clash with the celebrations of the 16th though.

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