The Ultimate Credit Card (for Shitheads?)

Some years back I received a pre-approved credit card offer that was impossible to accept and equally impossible to trash. It is an offer for a Visa Black Card, the sole benefit of which is the $495 annual fee. Virtually every “perk” included in that top line (24-hour concierge service, membership points, etc.) comes with various exclusive “metallated” (gold, platinum, etc.) credit cards that have no annual fees or have fees that are substantially lower than the $495 required by the Black Card.

Visa Black Card. The credit card for those who most likely possess fewer neurons than dollars.

Strangely enough, the Black Card vendor feels compelled to emphasize that the card is made of carbon. Of course, all the plastic composites of which credit cards are made are primarily composed of carbon, but choosing to emphasize a material, carbon, that is infinitely cheaper than the expensive metals after which others are named (gold, titanium, platinum) is a questionable choice for someone who wants to charge $495 annually for the privilege of owning a black card.

The only useful information in the offer is the fact that the availability of the card is limited to 1% of American residents. The obscenely wealthy, it seems, are not as shielded against stupidity as they would like to think.

Gore, Saddam Bound by a Date

I happened upon this nugget of historical coincidence some time ago in one of my Google home page gadgets. Saddam Hussein was captured on

the same calendar day on which Al Gore finally conceded the presidency. It’s the sort of coincidence that will bring infinite energy and thrills to every conspiracy theorist.

I only get a chuckle out of it. It’s hard to imagine what Al Gore thinks of it. Hussein has nothing to worry about anymore, of course.

Start of Christmas season in The Netherlands

It’s perhaps my tenth visit to Amsterdam, and I finally got to eat the mixture of fried cake dough, butter and sugar that are known as a form of traditional Dutch holiday cakes.

This is how they are made:

And, this is the final product. It is topped with about as much butter as cake, and topped with a large helping of powdered sugar. In celebration of the impending holidays, I had mine additionally topped with a shot of amaretto. Six euros, almost $10, was the cost, but it went down well after a long bike ride in freezing conditions.

Yes, that is a gargantuan block of butter that has been thoroughly carved.

Wish I remembered what the damn pancakes are called. I recommend them.