Dean Clough

October 19, 2022

Portico Darwin: What Price Diamond Certification?


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Is this a rant about inflation?  I don't think so.  Complaints from a dinosaur?  Maybe, but this impacts young and old alike.  Because today is about how a lot of things I (probably you, too, if you're reading this) enjoy have gotten much more expensive, in some cases prohibitively so. 

OK, I can hear it now:  "Cry me a river, Dolomite Boy."  I get it.

But 10 seconds of seriousness:  I am grateful we slid in under the wire on a lot of this stuff and got to do these things when aspiration still paid off.   

Now?  I'm not sure any level of striving will work.  And it leads one to ask:  what price Diamond Certification?

Wine Tasting
It was the SF Chronicle's "Most Beautiful Vineyards" article that got this all started.
This is Pine Ridge Vineyards and they're monetizing a walk in their vineyard and a seat in their cave.

Fine Dining
We ate at French Laundry in 2006, and it was $175.  It's not twice as good now, and adjusting for inflation, this should cost around $250, not $350.

Sporting Events
I find sports among the worst in terms of value.  The in-person experience - unless it's at least Killer and preferably free - just doesn't compare to relaxing at home. 

This is called "Twilight" where I'm from.

Sorry, Nicki.  And note:  a walk-up, same day lift ticket is $245.  Or can't we just say a quarter thousand?  Sure, many have a pass of some kind, but not all.  And you better own gear.

Fine Hotels
We used to be able to swing this place; in fact, we had my 50th birthday here.  It's the Four Seasons Hualalai, on Hawaii Island.  This is for nothing but a room - the least expensive on the property - and it's before all of the fees and taxes.  And eating and drinking on-prem?  Hint:  Nice.  And exorbitant.

The Chainsmokers?  $110?  Are you fucking kidding me? 

Who doesn't like going to a Broadway play?  The star of this was recently on "Colbert" and he was cool.  But maybe not this cool?

And who doesn't like a nice massage, especially one at the lovely Sonoma Mission Inn, a Fairmont-branded property?  But OMFG:  at what cost?  And it's really more than $219 - don't forget the 20% "optional" tip.  So another quarter thousand, this time for an hour's experience.

I'll end this with something appropriate sent a while back by the East Bay socialite Kevin Monza.  I have no idea what he's talking about. 


Not one to mince words - nor conceal his multi-dimensional sophistication - the noted brewer/philosopher Günther Strobel apparently was not impressed by my post Monday on taming the mind.

Marcus Aurelius (along with Seneca, Cicero and others) covered this 2000 years ago.  It’s called Stoicism.  

Hey, I went to a public school in Albany, OK?  Stoicism?  Are you fucking kidding me?  It was kill or be killed!

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


"Have a cigar?"  Or is it "Welcome to The Machine?"  Sadly, I'm afraid it's both . . . and it's all captured here on the Diamond Certified Wish You Were Here from Pink Floyd.

I, for one, often forget about these guys when the discussion turns to "bands with 3 or more Diamond Certified albums in a row".   Remember, Pink Floyd released Dark Side of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall one after the other, beginning in 1973 and ending in 1979.  Not bad!  

OK, so they're no Megan Thee Stallion or Harry Styles, but still . . . and it's almost as good as K-Pop.

About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.