This morning, I want to share a comment from a reader who lives outside the USA (Ecuador) who used to be a very big deal in advertising in a large eastern seaboard city.

She was kind enough to relate some personal experience related to the topic we got to Monday, namely the role of Big Pharm in ‘Merican Bidness.

“Neither me or my spouse take any pharmaceuticals and we are in our mid-60’s. We’re not nuts about it and I would take a pain med after surgery or if I had an illness that I couldn’t cure naturally, I’d take a drug that did.

But the “take one a day for the rest of your life” drugs we avoid like the plague.

I had most of the major Big Pharma players as clients, and I’ll just share the story of the last straw that convinced me to leave my profession.

I was in a client meeting to go over the research on a new drug. I won’t name the company. I think it would be “Wiser” not to.

The drug failed in 97 out of 100 categories it was intended to perform in. It performed barely adequately in only three.

I stated that I was sorry the drug had performed so badly, when the exec from Paris said, “What are you talking about?! This is the new drug for XYZ…the three categories where it actually DID something. I argued with this exec for hours and that exec’s boss from London.

It prompted my boss to lean over and whisper, “If I had known you were going toe to toe with “Wiser” I would have brought a change of clothes.

After several hours of arguing with me the Brit said, “No one will find out about this for two years and by that time we will all have promoted to other positions and it will be someone else’s problem. We’re launching this drug and you’re going to market it.”

They launched it. I left advertising.

This was not an isolated incident.

You learn quickly never to use the word “cure” in this industry. They will be quick to point out that they do not cure, they treat.

If people were well, what would happen to the US economy? Drugs are big business.

Cancer is big business. Why else murder 40 holistic practitioners who were routinely curing cancer? Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez had cured numerous stage four pancreatic cancer patients who were still cancer free 20 years later.

Everything is a business model, even tiny children dying of leukemia.

I also left the country where everything is a business model and moved to the country where almost nothing is a business model, and that can drive you crazy too, but Ecuador from it’s government to it’s law to it’s culture cares more about people than property. They only take drugs if they are sick and stop when they are well,and they are so much healthier than people in the US that the local insurance companies don’t have to insure gringos.”

This is not to say all drugs are bad.  Yes, there are many that keep people alive in living productive lives.

However, as we continuously remind people, Pharma sort of blazed the trail for Social Media in a certain sense:  A product in today’s world need not be best=of-class or even necessarily beneficial for the broad range of users.  It must do only one thing:

Generate more sales than expense.

And that, dear reader, is the Terrible Truth that American’s aren’t ready to hear.  We have been adjudged by our owners “unable to handle the truth.” 

Their assessment is correct, too.  Which is why we are now entering what in longwave economics is the revolution cycle and why we peasants still have pitchforks and don’t trust those in Big Houses.

A few remember “menthols.”  Definitely not Kool how that worked out.

Vitamin K2, K4, K7

While I wait for the vitamins to show up for my latest self-medication experiment, I have started taking garlic pills again, thanks to a reader reminder about how they do seem to be involved in lowering bad cholesterol.

The only side effect so far has been singing mock opera to Zeus the Cat who is threatening to call his lawyer.

An odd through crossed my mind Monday.  (It’s a short crossing, if you follow.)

Is there any connection between K vitamins and what was billed as the U.S. Ski Team Diet back in the 1970’s?

For those who don’t remember, the Ski Team Diet was largely made up of dark green veggies (like spinach and kale), lean beef (often lean ground round), lots of eggs, and glasses of unsweetened grapefruit juice.

Until this week, I’d completely forgotten that one, but sure enough, thanks to the internet, it is easy enough to find.  On the 32 Fat Chicks website (here) if you scroll down, you can find the diet all neatly laid out.

Going through it, it looked like a prescription for acidification of the body and forcing it into ketosis (fat burning) mode with almost no carbies.  With the restriction of only two weeks at a time, I could probably only make it to about lunchtime on Day One.

Still, it got me to meal planning.  And that gets me to some background…

Elaine and I are off traveling from mid-July (eyes permitting) while Panama (and wife) are watching the humble “shack stack in the Outback.”  Any Seattle trip, naturally, gets me thinking of my favorite places to hang-out (and eat and EAT) in Seattle. 

On this list this trip I have added a Joe’s Special to one of our trips to 13 Coins.  I figure the “special” which has cheese, egg, spinach, and ground round would be about an ideal high K2,4, and 7 dish…but time will tell.

Seattle-Tacoma Meal Planner:  9-Days in Porkatory

OK, speaking of food (slurp!) here’s my foodie list for the trip:  If gluttony is a sin, can I get two pickets, please?

13 Coins:  Near Sea-Tac Airport between Seattle and Tacoma   One visit for an SST Sandwich which I think they still make on demand along with the huge thumb-sized fries (13 of them) stacked up log-cabin style.  Trip #2 for the Joe’s special. mid morning parking is easier – good for early lunch/dinner which works for us being from the wrong time zone.

Harbor Lights: (Tacoma waterfront) One trip for the cod fish and chips (3 pieces) with two extra.  Red potatoes instead of fries.  Dungeness crab cocktail.  3 Martinis.  Designated driver.  Repeat 3 times minimum.

Ivar’s Acres of Clams:   (Pier 54, downtown waterfront a parking lot and fire station #5 away from the Ferry terminal.) Inside:  Fish and Chips (3 piece) with fries, two extra.  I’ll take fries, cup of white chowder,  Dungeness crap cocktail.  1 Martini.  Walk waterfront.  Return to reality later in the afternoon.  (Might come over with friends from Braindead Bainbridge Island.

The Old Spaghetti Factory:  (Near University of Washington campus downtown Tacoma)  Yeah, we all know wheat is bad for you, but doesn’t the white clam sauce linguini and a bit salad kind of offset that?  See if they have Italian dressing for the salad…They didn’t have it last trip.  Ure was shocked. I will have seconds until they can make some up this trip.

Johnny’s Dock.  (Tacoma on the waterway near Tacoma Dome)  Man does not life by sea food (or see food) alone.  One must have big pieces of red meat.  Roasted backed potato. No chives (don’t want to get fat).   Dungeness crap cocktail first.  Small cuppa chowder.  Prime rib.  Caesar salad.  2 Martinis, one glass of red wine with meat.  Watch the boats go by marina.  Call that designated driver…she’s just across the table.

Eating In:  (Stadium Thriftway, Tacoma)  Since we have rented an AirBnB condo in downtown Tacoma (central for all our friends) we will be eating some meals in. 

To do this, we’ll be back to a favorite old haunt, the Thriftway store near Stadium High.  Normally, I wouldn’t mention such a store, but it has earned it.  Not only do they have a grand meat department (with kick-butt seafood) but they have lots of little things.  They bake on site and have a floral department.

I’ll be the guy in the express line with 10 pounds of cod, 5 pounds of Dungeness, and a jug of cocktail sauce.  Payback for half a Subway meatball parm at a Love’s truck stop getting there.  Balance in the Universe, you see, must be maintained.

If this seems a little extreme, let me remind you of a little personal history if you haven’t been around here since UrbanSurvival was founded on our sailboat circa 1997 (The Magic Elf , last seen in San Diego):  We became very accustomed to eating well on the boat.  There isn’t a lot of room to do much else besides work out (cleaning), writing or reading, and cooking.

The sailboat accounts for my love of seafood.  Used to be a Suquamish Indian oyster boat that worked from Agate Pass (behind Bainbridge) and on down to Brownsville, or so.  A gunny sack of oysters, bottle of a modest white wine, and a loaf of Sluy’s Poulsbo bakery, all consumed anchored on the back side of Blake Island at one of the state park moorings…well, life doesn’t get any better.

I don’t let that much locally here in Texas – especially since TEXIT has come up again.  But when we go on vacation we dip further into the kitty than planned each and every time.

Have I ever regretted it, even for a minute?

Hell no.  Life’s about living and if you can’t live it up once in a while, then you’re failing the point of it all.  This is a memory-making and collection plane, as I’ve got ‘er figured.

Why, just looking at the old haunts, I notice a 50 foot boat could be moored for about $6-bucks a foot.  $300 a month.  Oh, sure, that’s a lot, but how much does property tax work out to in such areas if you owned a house?  No…we won’t go there, but to say it doesn’t cross our (or at least MY) mind when the temps are pushing 100 would be a lie.

On a boat, I never wanted to own a sling psychrometer.  Here?  Different tale for another morning.  I somehow get the sense you’d lose interest in my dissertation about psychrometers versus capacitive hygrometers.  (When you write long enough, you get a feel for that sort of thing.)

Write when you get rich…we won’t be.  You can’t take it with you and I’ll have another piece of fish, please…         or toss something into the comments section.