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Luxuries you can live without

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ambulance Chaser, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. MCA

    MCA Well-Known Member

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    A friendly clarification:

    Cacao comes from the coasts of the Caribbean and the aboriginals consumed chocolate since well before colonization (1492). Of course, their chocolate didn't contain any milk, just cocoa, cocoa butter and cane sugar, and the original recipe is still used in a few places in Latin America and in Modica (Sicily). Chocolate connoisseurs know that the absolute best cacao beans in the World are produced in Venezuela. The top variety comes from a tiny coastal region called Chuao. However, while Venezuelan chocolate is generally excellent (I am currently enjoying an El Rey bar of 80% Carenero superior bean), the best chocolate is made in Europe from Venezuelan cacao. Almost all production from Chuao is reserved to the finest European (and 1 American, AFAIK) producers. It has always been this way, regardless of oil production. Richart of France uses Chuao beans, also Chuao Chocolatier in California. Modica's Casalindolci and Berkeley's Scharffen Berger, while not claiming use of Chuao beans, make very good chocolate from other Venezuelan beans (In the case of Scharffen Berger, this only applies to their limited editions bars --I recommend their Cuyagua bar).
     
  2. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    sage
    hmmm, Chocolates...
    In my humble opinion, some of finest chocolates are the Belgian Marcolini.... and the limited editions, like the Porcelana is exquisite.
     
  3. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

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    I am just having one right now. I picked it up this morning in the Marcolini boutique on the place du sablon. I cant go pick an ew jantzen shirt every eek but I think one should enjoy the local luxuries [​IMG]
     
  4. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    (T4phage @ Feb. 27 2005,04:04) hmmm, Chocolates... In my humble opinion, some of finest chocolates are the Belgian Marcolini.... and the limited editions, like the Porcelana is exquisite.
    I am just having one right now. I picked it up this morning in the Marcolini boutique on the place du sablon. I cant go pick an ew jantzen shirt every eek but I think one should enjoy the local luxuries  [​IMG]
    Excellent. Have you had the Jasmin or the Earl Grey?
     
  5. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    MCA,

    Interesting, I was under the impression that El Rey were the first single bean origin producer, and that although there are several others now, their chocolate only had one serious competitor as the world's best...
     
  6. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    We really must distingush between artiginale makers and those that are somewhat more readily available.

    As for El Rey, do they even have any made with the criollo bean? And of that, do they have any Porcelana?
     
  7. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    T4, check out www.chocolates-elrey.com for descriptions. I've been having some of this stuff the last couple days, it is absolutely heavenly.
     
  8. MCA

    MCA Well-Known Member

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    Drizzt, thanks for posting the El Rey website. They pretty much mention all the Venezuelan cacao bean (Criollo) varieties. What they don't mention is that the Chuao variety is generally regarded as the best. Because of its very limited production and preciousness, very few producers use it.

    Of the makers mentioned, only Casalindolci and Chuao Chocolatier would qualify as small artisanal producers with very limited production and retail locations. Richart, Marcolini and El Rey have larger operations, the former 2 marketed as luxury brands with fancy boutiques all over the world. Don't get me wrong, they're among the best makers in the world. Of these only Richart uses Chuao beans on some of their chocolates. Sharffen Berger is readily available, but not that big of a company (Very nice place to tour if you are in the Berkeley area) and their limited editions compete very well with the "boutique" brands.
     
  9. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

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    I just had the earl grey right now. I had a madagascar this morning... I think the whole idea is to find out what you really enjoy and try not buy things just because your peers/social status /age etc says you should. Pepole get so involved in their carreer trying to please other people that they find no time to find out what they actually like and what they are doing out of a sense of propriety/ fashion...
     
  10. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    Originally posted by Walter:
    Too True. Find out, explore, experience.... don't just take on belief what a magazine says.
    Drizz, thanks for the website address. I've had El Rey, and I personally don't think it is as good as several others here in Europe. Have you tried Porcelena from Marcolini or Amedei? Originally posted by MCA:
    As for the "Chuao" bean's exclusivity, there are also other's that is just as 'rare' or even 'rarer' (one intrepid Italian is on a quest to find the perfect bean in Madagascar.). I would rate the production of Porcelana at least as 'exclusive' as the Chuao, and how many producers do you know use it? Other readily available chocolatiers who use the chuao include Amedei, Bonnet, etc.... It is not that difficult to find. What I define as an artiginale manufacturer is not along the lines of Casalindolci. I was thinking of very small maker, with one store, no retail outlets except their store.... and if you have travelled around you would know that there are quite a few in Europe, and they make an absolutely exquisite treat. There is one in Lucca, whose chocolate/pistacho creation beggars the imagination.
     
  11. Bradford

    Bradford Well-Known Member

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    OK - I agree with Linux to a certain extent...

    Here's a true story - we had a water issue here in Phoenix recently. Problems with the treatment plant so the city recommended that you boil your water or use bottled water for a day or so for drinking or cooking purposes (you could still bathe in regular tap water). No big deal as bottled water is about 79-cents a gallon. I picked up three gallons to be on the safe side.

    So one of our local tv stations goes out to interview a lower-income family. The reporter is live at their house talking about what a burden this is on the family because they can't afford bottled water - meanwhile, in the footage they are showing of the family, the kids are sitting there playing games on a PS2 or X-Box (I couldn't see which one) on a TV that's bigger than the 27" set I recently bought when I got a substantial raise and finally decided to replace the 19" set I've had for the past 15 years.

    So, the point is, this family has chosen to spend their income on a big-screen tv and game system that cost them probably $500+, but they don't have a couple of dollars available to buy some bottled water. Talk about misplaced priorities...

    I had the same disgusted reaction that I have when people in front of me at the grocery store have an entire cart full of junk food, overpriced prepackaged frozen meals and soda and then use their food stamps to pay for it all...

    I think the point of the article is - that even if you make a lot of money, you can still be guilty of overspending on unnecessary items.

    Bradford
     
  12. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    (linux_pro @ Feb. 25 2005,22:43) I have to agree with the general point of the article. Â I don't like all that fancy sh*t either. Â But I don't buy at Walmart... However, most Americans tend to load up with garbage at Walmart and places like that. Â I think the article should have talked about how the majority of consumer spending in America is for garbage peddled at Walmart...
    OK - I agree with Linux to a certain extent... Here's a true story - we had a water issue here in Phoenix recently. Problems with the treatment plant so the city recommended that you boil your water or use bottled water for a day or so for drinking or cooking purposes (you could still bathe in regular tap water). No big deal as bottled water is about 79-cents a gallon. I picked up three gallons to be on the safe side. So one of our local tv stations goes out to interview a lower-income family. The reporter is live at their house talking about what a burden this is on the family because they can't afford bottled water - meanwhile, in the footage they are showing of the family, the kids are sitting there playing games on a PS2 or X-Box (I couldn't see which one) on a TV that's bigger than the 27" set I recently bought when I got a substantial raise and finally decided to replace the 19" set I've had for the past 15 years. So, the point is, this family has chosen to spend their income on a big-screen tv and game system that cost them probably $500+, but they don't have a couple of dollars available to buy some bottled water. Talk about misplaced priorities... I had the same disgusted reaction that I have when people in front of me at the grocery store have an entire cart full of junk food, overpriced prepackaged frozen meals and soda and then use their food stamps to pay for it all... I think the point of the article is - that even if you make a lot of money, you can still be guilty of overspending on unnecessary items. Bradford
    2 similar stories - we went to a playdate at the house of one of my sons friends. her father is a construction worker, who has been out of work for almost a year, and they recently sold their house and moved to a smaller rental. They have 2 SUV's, one a BMW, and the biggest TV I have ever seen, as well as a tv in each room, and in one room they have 2. they have a pure breed dog that health problems, and they spent thousands of dollars a year on treatments for the dog. a friend of my wife's- who is a waitress and lives with her son and her boyfriend who works in a meat packaging factory (not anything what so every against hard working americans, just to try to identify their economic situation) and has asked us a few times for financial help- recently bought the director's cut of some crappy horror flic DVD. she has the origional, she wanted to have the director's cut for the extra scenes and commentary, and she couldn't rent it or wait till the price might go down. everybody has their own idea of what they need, of what i luxury and what is nessesity.
     
  13. WhysGuy

    WhysGuy Member

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    13
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    Feb 25, 2005
    Location:
    NY
    We can live without all these luxuries. The only things we really need are food, water, modest clothing, a roof over our head.

    But if we had nothing more than just the bare necessities, life would be rather dull, wouldn't it.

    My philosophy is to decide what financial goals you want to reach. Be disciplined in your savings and investments to give yourself the best chance of reaching those goals. Whatever you have left you should spend without guilt. Buy only quality goods at a discount(if possible). Review your goals and alter your plans as circumstances change.
     
  14. 4Mica

    4Mica Well-Known Member

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    Las Vegas, NV
    ...
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  15. linux_pro

    linux_pro Well-Known Member

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    (Bradford @ Feb. 28 2005,07:55)
    I have to agree with the general point of the article. I don't like all that fancy sh*t either. But I don't buy at Walmart... However, most Americans tend to load up with garbage at Walmart and places like that. I think the article should have talked about how the majority of consumer spending in America is for garbage peddled at Walmart...
    OK - I agree with Linux to a certain extent... Here's a true story - we had a water issue here in Phoenix recently. Problems with the treatment plant so the city recommended that you boil your water or use bottled water for a day or so for drinking or cooking purposes (you could still bathe in regular tap water). No big deal as bottled water is about 79-cents a gallon. I picked up three gallons to be on the safe side. So one of our local tv stations goes out to interview a lower-income family. The reporter is live at their house talking about what a burden this is on the family because they can't afford bottled water - meanwhile, in the footage they are showing of the family, the kids are sitting there playing games on a PS2 or X-Box (I couldn't see which one) on a TV that's bigger than the 27" set I recently bought when I got a substantial raise and finally decided to replace the 19" set I've had for the past 15 years. So, the point is, this family has chosen to spend their income on a big-screen tv and game system that cost them probably $500+, but they don't have a couple of dollars available to buy some bottled water. Talk about misplaced priorities... I had the same disgusted reaction that I have when people in front of me at the grocery store have an entire cart full of junk food, overpriced prepackaged frozen meals and soda and then use their food stamps to pay for it all... I think the point of the article is - that even if you make a lot of money, you can still be guilty of overspending on unnecessary items. Bradford
    2 similar stories - we went to a playdate at the house of one of my sons friends. her father is a construction worker, who has been out of work for almost a year, and they recently sold their house and moved to a smaller rental. They have 2 SUV's, one a BMW, and the biggest TV I have ever seen, as well as a tv in each room, and in one room they have 2. they have a pure breed dog that health problems, and they spent thousands of dollars a year on treatments for the dog. a friend of my wife's- who is a waitress and lives with her son and her boyfriend who works in a meat packaging factory (not anything what so every against hard working americans, just to try to identify their economic situation) and has asked us a few times for financial help- recently bought the director's cut of some crappy horror flic DVD. she has the origional, she wanted to have the director's cut for the extra scenes and commentary, and she couldn't rent it or wait till the price might go down. everybody has their own idea of what they need, of what i luxury and what is nessesity.
    When I was first promoted to an exec (CTO) position in San Diego, I was driving a 1988 Toyota Celica ST with a dent in the back. One of my Support Managers, a guy two rungs lower on the corporate ladder and making less than half of my salary, showed up to a company lunch in a brand new M3 convertible and was laughing at me for driving the Celica. Now, our company was about to purchased, and I had been warned that the purchaser had plans to layoff about 80% of the technical department (a stupid move that later caused a great deal of trouble). I told the guy to take the car back and save his money, because there were serious layoffs coming. He kept the car and said something like, "I can always get a new job." Mind you, this is during the height of the telecom collapse, so our industry was being hit hard and layoffs were skyrocketing, and this guy had a wife and new baby. Eventually, he was layed off (as were most of us), and I saw him before I left San Diego, he told me he had lost the car, that it had been repossessed. I felt terrible for the guy and his wife - his spending caused his wife and him to take on debt with no goods to show for the debt, and undoubtedly placed his child in a position of unnecessary hardship. For the entire 6 month period before my layoff, I was saving and investing about 70% of my gross income, and spending very little. I had enough saved up to live for a year or two if everything went haywire and I was unable to find a good job in that time, without touching my primary investments or savings. It took me 3.5 months to find my current position in Seattle, during which period I was not required to use unemployment or other assistance. I see no problem with spending money on luxury items with my excess income, income that is not slated for investments or living expenses. However, when going gets rough, I am very willing to curb my spending in order to keep saving. I think that's what is important. Do whatever you want with your money, just make sure you're investing at least 25% of your gross income at all times.
     
  16. NewYorkBuck

    NewYorkBuck Well-Known Member

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    That is awesome. As I said above, I save about 70% of my NET, but no way gross - tax mans hand is too deep in my pocket to get anywhere near that. In fact, Id be lucky to net any where close to 70% of my gross living in New York.

    As far as commenting on other spending patterns - I think anyone has the right to spend their fairly earned income any way they wish. In fact, I have no problem with anyone spending even 100% of their take home. Just one condition - you never, ever, ask or expect others (gov't, family, whoever) to subsidize you at any point of your life after reaching adulthood. Thats all I ask.
     
  17. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Well-Known Member

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    A bit better than yesterday, all day vomiting for
    Whenever anyone starts talking about consumer spending and needs, I have this horrible flashback to my college years, during which I was forced to memorize and comment coherently on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. (Usually at an 8:00 a.m. class in the throes of some horrible chemical-induced hangover  [​IMG] ) I don't know if Maslow was the theory of the moment (I think it was first published in 1943 or so), or if he has now been supplanted by more modern philosophy, but all my classes (marketing, advertising, journalism, sociology, etc.) seemed to refer again and again to Maslow. So, what we're seeing in these luxury purchases, at least according to Maslow, is personal immaturity. We buy these brand names, these overt signs of success to either satisfy our "need to belong" or our own self-esteem. In Advertising 101, we were taught the secret was to tap into either of these two needs and we've have consumers quite literally eating out of our hands. The "immature" comment comes from Maslow's contention that the highest level of need is that of self-actualization. One of my profs used "altruism" as an example; when we've finished satisfying ALL our other needs, then and only then do we move on to "serve mankind". I don't know if I've ever totally bought Maslow, but it does bring an interesting slant to what I would call pretty unrestrained, perhaps even manic consumer spending. Here's Maslow's theory: http://www.ruralhealth.utas.edu.au/comm-le....ram.htm
     
  18. Charles Rogers

    Charles Rogers Well-Known Member

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    (ernest @ Feb. 26 2005,09:15)
    Savings, family and education are top priorities in most of our families. Â
    The perfect religious clone. Are your a mormon? My priorities is = my pleasure and happiness Education = once you are educated what do you do? After 20/25 years of study, you can say your are educated. You will not spend all your life to study. You can always learn some stuffs more but you are educated enough. Family = what do you call family? It is sensless to be the slave of people just because you are in the same familiy. For exemple you didn't choose your brother. If you don't like him (you could have never been his friend if he hadn't been your brother) I don't see why he should be a priority more than your dog or even your ties in your life. Savings = saving for what? for your grave?
    I happen to be a mormon, redneck farmer who wears brown in town. [​IMG] (Kai, I respect your restraint w/ Ernest)
    I'm at BYU right now.
     
  19. 4Mica

    4Mica Well-Known Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  20. linux_pro

    linux_pro Well-Known Member

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    We were taught Manslow's theory also. It's rather grey sometimes what falls into which category, and a lot depends on an individual's personality.

    My best friend from childhood, a man I still consider my brother, grew up with 10 siblings and was hence quite poor. My father paid for his tuition and often his clothing (since we attended a private academy, our clothing was not optional and we weren't allowed to wear private clothes such as StyleMAN described). Rather than going on to study law, which is what his father had hoped for, he decided to enter the seminary and study theology, and is now a reverend (I believe he is now a "High Reverend" or something like that). Anyway, to Mark, being a member of the clergy was a thing of great honor, kind of like being a rock star to some people, or a CEO. Mark is obviously quite proud of his accomplishment, and considers it a great achievement, as do my parents (although his, I think, are still somewhat upset that he did not pursue a higher-paying career). However, he doesn't make much money at all. He chooses to live a simple life, which he always has, even when he was a kid (we used to make fun of him for not kissing girls, smoking pot with us, not swearing, etc). He was very ambitious and extremely self-disciplined (the most disciplined person I have ever known in my life, actually - I always looked up to him for that), and would have been quite successful in whatever he chose to do. I still don't quite understand why he entered the clergy, but I do know that for him, service of this type must fall into one of those categories outside of self-improvement, or else his "self-improvement" comes before many of the other categories.
     

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