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Month: April 2020 | Shiny Bits of Life

The writing’s on the wall

car magazine spread

I love car magazines. I’ve enjoyed them since I was a boy. I find pleasure in discovering the latest details on all kinds of vehicles.

The genre I least enjoy is supercars – because they are so far removed from my reality that I could never own one.

The other genre that I don’t take pleasure in is SUVs. Though they are the world’s most popular vehicle category, they offer less driving pleasure than cars. (But I’ve never cared about what’s popular.)


Back to car magazines…

Looking at printed photos and flipping the pages of a car review are somehow much more satisfying than scrolling up and down a web page.

Apparently, few other people appreciate this joy.

Nearly all magazines are dying a slow death – not just those of the vehicular variety.

Automobile Magazine quietly passed away without its caretakers even telling me.

Autoweek died just a month before Automobile.

When Car and Driver quits printing their publication, I will cry.


By the way, the expression “writing on the wall” comes from Daniel 5.

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Why is it still that way?

empty toilet paper shelves at the supermarket

I understood why the shelves were empty of toilet paper over a month ago. It was a weird kneejerk zombie-apocalypse mass response to Covid-19.

But why is this shortage still happening?

  • Can’t the companies that make toilet paper keep up?
  • Can’t the hoarders realize they already have a year’s supply?
  • Don’t people realize that Covid-19 is a respiratory illness and not a gastro-intestinal virus?

I did a little research and went to the Kimberly-Clark website. They are one of the world’s largest manufacturers of toilet paper.

The newsroom section of their website had two initiatives that seem a bit out of touch:

  1. No Baby Unhugged… don’t they realize that social distancing kind of prevents hugging babies from happening, other than by their own parent?
  2. #ShareASquare… there is very little mention of the idea of toilet paper hoarders sharing toilet paper with their neighbors who might not have planned ahead. The initiative seems more focused on giving to United Way. And share just a square… why not a whole roll?

To be fair, maybe their marketing team is probably stretched like the rest of us.


Update 1: Supply chain issues and working from home are some of the reasons why. Read more.

Update 2: Americans do hoard. My son recently arrived in the USA after having lived in Italy until April 15. He said supermarkets in his city of about a million people never had any toilet paper shortage. Italians normally buy what they need for a short time period and no more.

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