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Weekend advice from Frankfurt, Germany

For Ed Sonderling’s excellent piece Be A Capitalist, click here.

Now to today’s blog:

You don’t want to do business in Europe. The bureaucracy and regulations will drive you bananas.

I’d give you a thousand stories. But they’re all boring and in the category, “I don’t make this stuff up.”

I don’t hear the same stories in the U.S.

The gifts we give our banks

There are banks that pay you 2%-plus on the money in your checking or savings accounts. If your bank doesn’t pay you something on your spare cash, go elsewhere.

Don’t do stupid

+ Don’t leave anything in your safe deposit box. Better yet, close it. Bank safety deposit boxes are not safe. Check here.

+ The average level of added sugar in the U.S.  — 15% of our daily calories — is associated with an 18% increase in risk for cardiovascular disease mortality. Click here.

+ Don’t swallow dietary supplements made outside the U.S. or Canada. No one checks quality control. The pills often don’t match what’s on the label. Some of the ingredients are positively dangerous.

+ Watch for ultra-cheap contract lenses. They can damage your eyes. Click here.  

+ Be wary of CBD. It’s marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Hence it’s unregulated. The FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. Most do you no good. Ones made overseas can seriously harm you. (Second warning.) For more on CBD, click here.

Latest travel tips

+I have arrhythmia. If I stand too long in this line, I’ll have a stroke. That’s what I told the incoming passport control line at  Frankfurt. That cut my wait down from 2 hours-plus to two minutes. Good to be old and geriatric.

+ Business class is the bargain of the air. But you gotta work at it. Your travel agent may have a wholesale deal. You can get a twofer from some airlines and some credit cards. Ask. My business class seat — through a travel agent — cost less than half if I had bought it online. My seat mate was going from New York to Mumbai. On United, his round-trip  was $6,800. On Lufthansa, it was $3,000. I don’t make this stuff up.

+ Flattery will get you a better seat. Having a ticket issued by the airline you’re flying on will get you better service.

+ Airports are getting free WiFi. I’m writing this in the Frankfurt airport. It’s 16 megs down and 36 up. That’s much faster than I get on my country DSL line.

+ They have WiFi on planes. Here’s a Lufthansa offering.  Speedy Gonzales strikes again.

You have to pay for this incredible speed.

The “magic” hearing aids — my ongoing research

Hearing aids are not magical. There’s no other “new” technology that’s as flawed as hearing aids. Hence I use Sennheiser headphones for TV. I use Resound which I got from Costco in meetings and to hear business presentations. They cost $2800 and eat batteries.

I tested many cheap hearing aids. Like under $100. None worked well.

For listening to music and speaking on my iPhone, I prefer Apple’s Airpods.

How you see hearing aids depends on how lousy your hearing is. If you can’t hear anything, you’ll be happy with anything.

I can hear, but not well in the theater or in the movies. So I get the earphones they give you — if you ask. Some work. Some don’t.

I have no solutions.

I’m fascinated with the on-going saga of Jeffrey Epstein

F Scott Fitzgerald said it best

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different”

Look what I found in the Lufthansa lounge at JFK

Google translated it to How Boris Johnson incites his compatriots against Europe

Harry Newton, who resurrected the flower, even though it’s not Slovenia’s national flower, but could be with this week’s boiling hot European summer.

  • Lucky

    I think you need to re-evaluate your hearing aids Harry…you have ReSound from Costco and I have Widex from my HMO Cigna For Seniors insurance. You paid 2800…I paid 1700. Both brands are rated as top of the line for hearing aids. Mine were fitted by an Au.D “Doctor of Audiology”…yours may have been fitted by a Costco clerk, not necessarily university educated and trained. My aids were set-up by computer and will be re-adjusted by computer every 6 months. I wear mine all day every day and often forget I have them on…okay in the hot tub but not the shower. I am not knocking Costco…I love them…however, it is pretty common knowledge that big box stores get the dregs “old technology” from electronic companies which have been phased out by new releases. Sounds as if yours could have fallen into that category…read this for the latest information on both brands…
    I too use Sennheiser headphones for TV also, not for sound, but, for clarity…I often have trouble understanding what TV actors are saying…especially English shows which we enjoy.
    Read the comparison link, then when you get back home go to a “Medical” Audiologist not a hearing aid salesman to get fitted properly…you can always return them in a certain amount of time if you are not satisfied.