Wednesday 4 June 2014, 3.36pm HKT
Saturday 8 March 2014, 4.56am HKT
Originally written on Sat 01 March 2014
1.03am local time
19°C (66°F), humid
IT’S BEEN a bad, bad hair day — and I didn’t know how to handle it. Bad Hair Days are not a usual fixture in my life. That’s okay because that’s what you all (ahem, all of you) want to read about anyway.
Dad said my problem was I couldn’t take a joke about money.
Not true. Price is what I can’t take a joke about. There IS a difference between money and price.
Money is about miserliness, and I’m no tightwad. Price is an objective unit of measure of your level of contractual obligations with respect to those who deserve no effing respect by any other measure. I know, Dad, because you were sometimes such a renegade used-car salesman flogging rusted-up cars in a rain-sodden area, and I learnt something from you.
But it does get up my nostrils (plus some other more precious orifices) when a person dicks with me about prices.
I don’t even mind unreasonable prices, since those could be made reasonable through negotiation (preferred, and cheaper to do) or a Southern Death Threat (which incidentally is also the name of a cool American rock band).
Most people get the impression that ink is the main bag for printers like me, mainly because of that phrase “Never argue with anyone who buys ink by the barrel.” Not true. Our main bag is in fact paper.
For those who’ve never seen paper (because of self-imposed illiteracy or the Internet, both of which comes to the same thing), this is the whitish stuff, not so dark, in thin sheets that we embarrass our parents and our respective nations on with a pen (another fictitious implement of literacy).
Consider the current facts:—
€665.04 (US$921.28) per metric tonne (2,204½ lbs) of 100gsm coated WF (woodfree) paper reels
€830.31 (US$1,150.23) per metric tonne of A4-size B-copy 80gsm sheets
Prices as of 25 Feb at the FOEX (Finnish Options Exchange). MOQ (minimum order quantity) is 20 tonnes (British/European practice) or 100 short tons (American practice). That’s 20 × 665.04 = €13,300.80 per minimum order to the Europenis or 100 × 665.04 = US$66,504 to the Americ*nts.
Ink prices have considerable leeway, depending on how well or badly you hang with your supplier, but generally:—
Standard offset printing ink (any colour) is US$24.47 per kilogramme (2 lbs 3 oz)
MOQ is conventionally 600 to 1,000 kg (one metric tonne) and usually allows mix and match of colours (cyan, yellow, magenta and black). Bad attitude incurs higher prices and additional (mis)handling surcharges.
If it were you at those prices, d’you think you could take a goddamn joke?
Because phoque yeu, that’s why!
Did you know…?
Paper pulp problems could ass-wipe the whole paper industry overnight, and therefore the whole printing industry. Know that?
(Public domain photo, courtesy of www.photos-public-domain.com)
The paper industry is one of the most stratified markets in the world, meaning that each paper subsector is compartmentalised with relatively no overlap with other subsectors. So newsprint manufacturers make only newsprint, paperboards make paperboard, and so on.
For comparison, plasticware manufacturers can make anything. The two deciding factors are what kind of extrusion mould they’re supplied with by (or prefabricates for) the client and the quantity of product ordered.
The only primary component that cuts across the whole paper industry is pulp, the major ingredient of all paper products.
The USA remains the world’s top paper pulp producer. But ’Murica F*ck Yeah is likely to sink into some kind of recession this year (2014). Weakening corporate bond prices will be the first sign of that storm. Weak bond prices affect all kinds of paper-product producers more than most other goods manufacturers — no idea why.
Life last year (2013) for the global paper-products industry hasn’t been too rough a ride, even in the face of paper-packaging demand failures (because of bad weather depressing consumer demand) AND in the face of massive bookstore failures, newspaper failures and print publishing missteps (blamed on challenges from electronic media, an excuse laughable and absurd).
I know the electronic-media excuse is absurd because Asian markets last year have seen double-digit growth in paper demand. That compensated for the sagging paper demand in North American and European markets because global paper supply (not the raw materials that go into producing paper) comes from North America and Europe.
Paperboard for corrugated packaging was the only thing that kept growing (and at double digits) in North America and Europe. If paper producers aren’t making enough moolah there, they’re doing something srsly wrong.
Then again, what the hell do I know? I’m in the printing business, not the paper one.
From now till 2017, many in the paper industry (including allied outsiders like myself) see no serious problems ahead. Demand and profits will continue to be slow but stable (because, whilst trees are becoming increasingly scarcer, there is still enough to go around). Moreover, new substitution technologies are appearing, such as the one that pulverises stone (rock) into thin, flexible, writeable sheets but not very eco-friendly yet.
All that, barring brainless politico-economic jockeying by jock-strapped politicos and econoclasts and/or the forecastable problems such as natural climate disasters usually labelled as ‘unforeseen.’
Please pray the paper industry won’t f*ck up, otherwise I’ll die and you won’t get to read The Naked Listener’s Weblog anymore. (Assuming you want to keep reading it…)
The world’s most traded commodity is ink. Know that?
Comes in tins (cans), actually … bought by the kilogramme
(image from author’s collection)
We all know ink is more expensive than blood.
(Interestingly, blood is the world’s only non-man-makeable liquid.)
Just look at your useless, designed-in-America-assembled-in-China/Mexico desktop printer and the criminal cost of ink cartridges for it (Agent Orange-immune Vietnam-made).
Printer ink (as opposed to the professional kind called printer’s ink) was trading at its usual level of US$1,000 a barrel (119.24 litres or 31½ gallons) at the New York Futures Exchange as of 28 Feb.
Alright, printer ink isn’t exactly printer’s ink, but you get the general idea. Your yee-yee ass ink cartridge demand in turn bumps up professional ink prices. China is ramping up demand for both types of ink, by the way.
Please … don’t argue with someone who buys ink by the kilogramme. Because phoque yeu, that’s why!
Stop making printouts unless absolutely necessary.
Recycle your goddamn ink cartridges.
Learn PDF and take screenshots.
Do everything on your $2,000 Facebook and pr0n machine called a computer, preferably with one hand on the mouse and the other on a body part (yours or your pet’s).
While you’re tossing yourself off with (and on) that $2,000 pr0n machine, pray that the ink industry won’t f*ck up, otherwise I’ll die and … etc.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2014. (B14069)
Thursday 25 July 2013, 8.09am HKT
NOTHING starts a conversation more than about ageing.
No, not me. I’m considerably and irretrievably more than 30 down the road to hell and high water with piranhas and electric jellyfish swimming up my pantaloons.
Here’s what a friend of mine says through my social feed:—
Some things I’ve learnt since being 30…
1. Breakfast doesn’t make you fat, DINNER does.
2. Family does come first.
3. The weekend are made for rest … and series.
4. Going out late means you’ll be home by 12am (ok … latest 1am).
5. Phones are for apps and games, but rarely used for actual calling.
6. The weather is NEVER nice to you … (too hot, too cold, too humid, too dry…)
7. You used to think when you wake up, that belly would disappear… but now it doesn’t.
8. Metabolism is no longer an internal function, you have to work for it.
9. My FB friends are all either, married, getting married, pregnant, had babies
or the ones that are “forever single.”
10. You can live without a phone, but you can’t live without WhatsApp.
11. A good night out is when you go home by 11pm, shower and in your bed by 12am.
12. Flats are your new best friends.
13. Makeup is not compulsory, skin care is.
14. Massages are a necessary part of a weekly routine.
15. PMS stands for pre- and post-menstrual … which means the entire month…
“Welcome to this age tickbox, though I already forgot
what I observed when I was 30 because it’s bloody long time ago!”
“… I totally relate to this list…”
“LOL. And … life starts at 30.”
“Makes perfect sense at 30. Like #11.”
“At least 7–8 items describe me!!!”
“But didn’t you turn 30 like a few years ago?”
“Oh … and should add two more things…
16. Lazy to walk and prefer to take transport instead, even if a short distance.
17. Less eager (or dare not go on rides)…
“Been there, done that…”
“What about ‘Yeah, I am going to a party this weekend!’
actually means a baby’s 100th-day or birthday party
rather than an all-you-can-drink/dance/club party!”
“Forever single indeed!!!!!”
Stark naked reality checklist there. (Yours truly)
(hat tip to Clara for the feed)
The Naked Listener’s Corollary
Your ability to pull chicks or studs (or both!) is now superseded by
your ability to pull the nearest waiter to get your food ordered.
Could suck more, given half the chance
TO anyone out there who’s just turned 30 or in imminent danger of it, the ‘Dirty Thirties’ aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Then again, things could suck big time, thanks but no thanks to your forebears…
This is Zara Hartshorn of the UK in 2010
She’s not a middle-aged woman.
Zara with her mum in 2010
She was just 13 years old then, looking like this.
She has lipodystrophy, a genetic disease that makes her look far older.
She’s got good-looking arms though. Look!
Zara’s sweet sixteen now.
Imagine no more about her possible cleavage.
I COULD just picture the horrific excitement of you lot of perverts out there about
MILFs and grannies with teen staying power.
Tsk, tsk, you dirty sods…
(via the Mirror of the UK)
Draw your own fountain of youth, sooth or vermouth
Just so you newly reached (or even born-again) “Dirty Hairy” folks understand:–
Or it could mean this—
Your mileage may vary, and account for variable change.
Draw your own conclusions — or from your own fountain of youth, whichever is easier.
Or just settle on the vermouth and the thirtysometing teen porn, I guess.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. (B13246)
Wednesday 26 June 2013, 9.50am HKT
Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence (left) vs. Peter O’Toole
Potter: “Ouch! It bloody hurts that! So what’s the trick then?”
Lawrence: “The trick, William Potter, is not minding it hurts.”
— scene where Lawrence puts out a lit candle with his fingers (slowly) in “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962), directed by David Lean
And that’s how it works in general life too.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. (B13212)
Sunday 9 June 2013, 1.58pm HKT
Updated 30 SEP 2013 (photo source)
Noon local time, 31°C (88°F), sunny and hot with some rain patches
INSTEAD of paying an obscene load of cash to be educated in the classroom, get your free, no-strings-attached, no-frills edjumacation from the School of Hard Knocks at the University of Hell and High Water.