atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3345: I don't read the news on weekends.

But I do surf the blogroll. be honest, I'm really not getting all that much out of WND any more, since they went to their new format. It's clunky and annoying and a headline really has to grab me to make me go through all the horseshit of opening the link in a new tab, finding out if it's a synopsis page or a real post, opening the real post, closing the synopsis page--yeah.

I was feeling pretty crummy earlier: gut malf, queasy stomach, the beginnings of a headache, so I took a nap and woke up feeling immensely better.

In the mood for Filet-O-Fish.

McDonald's charges too damn much for the things. The sandwich alone is $3, and what is it? A fish patty, a bun, half a slice of cheese, and a squirt of tartar sauce. It actually takes less effort to assemble one of those than it does to assemble a double cheeseburger and somehow I doubt that McDonald's pays more for fish patties and half-slices of cheese than it does for the two hamburger patties and two slices of "cheese" it puts on the double cheeseburger.

...for which they charge 1/3 the price.

Of course, there is the concept of "loss leaders". You get someone in the door by tempting them with $1 double hamburgers, and maybe they buy a large coke with it--and the $1 you charge for the Coke is perhaps 80% profit. But considering that McDonald's is one of the corporations which pioneered "scientific management"--reducing costs to the bare minimum through the monitoring of performance metrics--I somehow doubt that there is no profit built into the McDouble.

Also, when you buy your meat by the ton, there is probably a bulk discount involved.

But WTF: I know how to cook, and I had to go to the store anyway, so I put the components on my list.

The fish patties--8 to a box--cost $6, which is about the price of a Filet-O-Fish combo with tax. The buns were $1.15, the cheese $1.79, and the tartar sauce $2.50. Fries added $4.

That's $15.44...but $15.44 for four meals versus $6-ish for one. And I got better fries and a whole slice of cheese on each sandwich to boot.

* * *

Advice Goddess asks, "Does Jackie have a drug problem or a prohibition problem?" "Jackie" is the main character from Nurse Jackie, and Ms. Alkon is actually quoting someone else, but WTF.
...[L]ike [Gregory House from House, MD], she is very good at her job, which never seems to be compromised by her drug use except to the extent that she lies and cheats to get painkillers (along with the occasional stimulant) and to cover up her habit.
And, "She uses narcotics to manage her emotional state."

The thing is, narcotics make you high. They don't just modulate your emotions; they actually give you a feeling of euphoria and can do other things if you take enough of them. (Too much, of course, will depress your vital signs and kill you, but I'm not talking about that.)

If Nurse Jackie is having emotional problems she'd be better off going to see a shrink and getting something which is specifically indicated for emotional problems. Anxiety, bipolar, depression, whatever. These days there's little or no stigma attached to these things and the right drugs can work wonders.

So Nurse Jackie "invents injuries, deceives her friends, swipes medication, and starts an ill-advised extramarital affair with the hospital pharmacist who supplies her with painkillers."

This is a classic picture of addiction. "When Is A Drug Habit A Problem?" the headline of the post asks? Well, it's a problem when you do all the things I just listed solely so you can get your fix.

It doesn't matter how highly-functioning the addict is. Even if he can do his job perfectly while stoned out of his gourd, he's still got a problem and it is a "drug problem", not a "prohibition problem".

"What's the difference between that and you, Mr. 'I had to take Xanax again last night'?"

Simple: the drugs I take are non-narcotic, legally prescribed medications that don't get me high. I don't get a feeling of euphoria from them and I carefully stick to the prescribed dose because I don't want one; I take these things to make my brain work correctly.

You can get high if you take enough Xanax. I usually take half a dose--a quarter-milligram--because I don't need more for mild panic attacks, and the main side effect of that is to make me sleepy. Which is fine, because it's usually when I'm trying to sleep that I need it anyway.

Unlike Nurse Jackie I'm not self-medicating and I'm taking these drugs for their indicated purpose. Narcotic pain relievers aren't supposed to be used for emotional issues and are not indicated for that; they're prescribed to deal with serious pain, end of list, and if you're using them to change your emotional state you're an addict and you have a drug problem.

* * *

...which is not to say that I necessarily disagree with the thrust of the article Ms. Alkon blockquotes. I think there are a lot of things which could be OTC rather than prescription-only; sure some people would die, but we need to lose the training wheels of the nanny state if we want real freedom. Liberty, security, blah blah blah, etcetera.

And in all probability the people who would die would die anyway, from abusing some other substance. Like my sister (and her husband before her) drinking herself to death.

* * *

Alan Caruba asks, "Is 'Fast and Furious' the next Watergate?"

One can only hope.

* * *

Karl Denninger discusses how government intervention has led to the high cost of medical care. I don't mean "health insurance" (though that's happened too) but what the bills say when you get medical care.

Denninger uses the example of the $10 aspirin tablet, but if you've ever been involved with a hospital stay you know what I mean. The bill says $30,000 and the insurance company pays $2,000 and the hospital says "paid in full".

...but if you're some douche walking in off the street with no insurance? You pay $30,000 or declare bankrupty; there's no other option for you.

Of course, because medical services cost so much--at least the "sticker prices"--health insurance has gone up and up and up, at an average of a bit shy of 10% per year for decades.

* * *

This is f-ing brilliant. If you've got a chainsaw, scrap paper, and matches, you can make a hunk of log into a freestanding stove.

* * *

Well, I guess if I'm gonna get a ride on the motorcycle in, I'd better go do that. Tomorrow I have to get gas and cut the grass.

It's always something.

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