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Sometimes It is Necessary to Make Your Overworked Friends Have Fun

We have four friends who just work way too much. They work on their days off, and they have been getting more stressed as time goes on. They were stuck in a routine of worry. They needed a break, even if it was just for a day. My wife and I had asked them to go with us to dinner or to just come over and play some games. They would take a raincheck. So, we decided to use a party bus rental service to rent a limo bus. We paid for it in advance with the option of rescheduling the day we would use it.

We told our four friends, who are two married couples, that we rented a party bus and they are coming with us for a drive, dinner and a show. We heard the usual excuses, and then we explained how there would be no refunds for this. We explained that is was paid for, and they just needed to get in the bus and go.

Planning to Go See a Bills Game

The boss is the one who came up with the idea for all of us to go see a Buffalo Bills game in Orchard Park, NY. Of course there are not going to be complete participation, since there are not that many NFL fans in the company relative to what it would be in the USA. We did go looking for a Toronto party bus company that will give us a good deal. I suspect that the boss is going to figure out some way for he and the accountants to write it off of his taxes. It is not like he has not ever done worse, but obviously that is not really my concern. He can run his business any way that he wants so long as it does not impact me.

Will the Fine-Food Sector Whet Investor Appetites?

Dividend payments and rents are all very well as returns on your investment, but wouldn’t you rather be paid in chocolate?

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That’s right, chocolate. Last year, the British chocolate company Hotel Chocolat, which owns the Rabot chocolate estate in St. Lucia, needed to raise business finance. Investors were invited to chip in and benefit from the interest in real chocolate. The payment on the mini-bond they were issuing came to 7.33% in chocolates or 7.25% in credit in-store.

Wheel Out the Parmesan

They’re not the only ones. Cheese producer 4 Madonne Caseificio dell’Emilia has a Parmigiano Reggiano factory that makes cheese in four separate places with four different codes. They’ve been in business since the 1960s and offer Parmesan cheeses that are aged up to 75 months. But last February they hit the market with a mini-bond that raised £4.7m, guaranteed by those precious wheels of branded Parmesan.

Of course, they’re somewhat prone to earthquakes in that bit of Italy, and a quake in 2012 is reported to have destroyed nearly a quarter of a million wheels of Parmesan. But it takes more than a few magnitude 6 tremors to shake the world’s love of Parmesan, so this investment may set a trend. Ask Robert Stones Target Markets whether this is one for you.

Roll out the Barrel

Cheese and chocolate are all very well, but some investors are looking for the harder stuff. They may have found it. Arbikie is a whisky distillery in Scotland that also produces gin, chilli vodka and potato vodka. It uses mountain-filtered water from its own underground lagoon. There’s been distilling on the site since 1794, in what Aribikie describes as a farm-to-bottle culture. But in April last year it was bottle to market, as Arbikie offered to sell its first 300 barrels for a price of £10,000 per barrel. The unique thing was that they offered to buy them back again for £10,000 each in eight years’ time. Robert Stones Target Markets is the kind of firm that will help you sort the chaff from the wheat – or is it rye?

This brings a new meaning and enjoyment to the idea of your investment maturing. Hopefully, in eight years the drink will be delicious, and if you sell your barrel, the profit will be equally tasty.

Why Are Grizzly Bears Hunted

While thankfully, due to modern day conservation efforts, the practice is in decline, Grizzly Bears, and indeed other species of bears, have been hunted by some cultures for centuries. Hunters have always favoured them as a prize because of their perceived ferocity and size, but hunting practices vary depending on location, species, and laws.

Hunting methods and the reasons for hunting these magnificent animals have also changed throughout history.

Pelts for Warmth

People hunt bears for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is for their pelt. A bears fur comprises two layers: the under fur, which is thick, soft and insulating, and the outer guard hairs that are coarser and protect the animal from dirt, insects and debris. While the fur of Grizzly Bears has always been sought after, it was the fur of the Black Bears that was held as more valuable in the American West. The animals’ fur was used to make the bearskins that were used as part of a uniform of many army regiments. In other parts of the world, the Inuit use the fur of Polar Bears to make warm clothing.

Food

Throughout history, bear meat has always been considered a delicacy, although in the Middle Ages it served a more symbolic than culinary purpose. In Russian and Ainu cultures bear meat was eaten regularly and paws and thighs were believed to be the tastiest parts. The Inuit, of course, eat Polar Bears and often bake or boil the meat into a stew. (Polar Bear liver is highly toxic due of the high levels of vitamin A, so the meat has to be well cooked.) Whatever species, bear meat is an acquired taste, being sweet, coarse and greasy. The fat was historically used in cooking by American settlers and Native Americans and also used to fuel lamps.

Medicinal Purposes

Some Native American tribes used bear fat for medicinal purposes and in Chinese medicine it is the gall bladder that is highly sought after. Traditional Chinese medicine denotes that the urso-deoxycholic acid found in a bears gall bladder can help combat rheumatism, gallstones and bad eyesight.

So, as with most animals, throughout history Grizzly Bears have been hunted mainly because of the value placed on their physical attributes. With today’s more forward thinking conservation efforts focusing on the preservation instead of decimation of the world’s wildlife, the Grizzly Bears, along with their cousins from other species, can look forward to a far more certain future and some level of protection from human hunters.