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I survived!

Yesterday after work, a big pile of "oooh-eck".

I drove to the pharmacy, where I met the nice woman called... Adéline... I think. She knows what I think of pokey-jabby things.

Because I elected to have this shoved into me.

Pricky-pokey for Covid
Pricky-pokey for Covid.

That's a new dose of Biontech (Pfizer?) "Comirnaty", the updated Covid-19 vaccine. She asked me when the last one was and I said "last year, for my birthday". The one that knocked the wind out of me.

But, no. My last Covid was indeed my birthday, but 2021.
Wait... whut?
Am I missing a year? Or are we all missing a year?

So that was put into my right arm and, to be honest, I barely felt it.

This was stuck in my left arm, and I certainly felt it.

Pricky-pokey for the flu
Pricky-pokey for the flu.

This is the yearly flu injection, "VaxigripTetra". It is, actually, the first flu injection I've ever had. I'm not an at-risk group, so I had to pay for this. €11,75 for the vaccination, €7,50 for a nice woman to distract me by asking about work while shoving it in, €1,53 "honoraires" (don't ask me), and finally €0,27 in tax. It came to €20,78.
She gave me a bill for it and told me to send it off to the company that deals with my medical top-up. Apparently quite often they'll cover self-elected vaccinations because the twenty euros is cheaper than what they'd have to pay if I was signed off work and prescribed a bunch of medicines.
So I went to the Verspieren website and offered it my email address, which it said was unknown. I tapped the "Forgot my IDs" link and filled in my name and Sécu number and it sent an email to my unknown address telling me that my login ID was, correctly, the unknown address.
I've forwarded it to their customer support email. I wonder how long it'll take to hear back?

As to why I felt the flu vaccine more, it seems the Covid vaccine is supplied with a really thin needle which a lot of people can barely feel - which lays ruin to the idea of injecting tracking devices being secretly injected. It's not even a regular needle they're using, so...

...I was upgraded to 5G, then 6G, then... what's the fourth dose do? Starlink?
Hang on, wait, that's Elon-bloody-Musk isn't it? Take it out! Take it out!



Afterwards? Well, I have an upset tummy right now. It would be too easy to blame the vaccines, when it reality it probably has a lot to do with my "dinner". You see, I HATE injections. Mom thinks it might be some vestigial memory of when I was a baby and they shoved a big-arse needle into my spine to see if I had meningitis (no, I didn't). Suffice to say, being given a rendezvous I had an entire day to think "ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap".

What I see...
The previous photo is reality.
And this? This is what I perceive...

Pretty much the only reason I went through with all of this is because at work some people cough loudly without covering their mouths. When you can see people's uvulas wobble, that's when you know that some people are too stupid to have learned anything from the pandemic.
(to save you Googling, that's the dangly thing in your throat)

Therefore, afterwards I stopped at the little local supermarket (barely more than a Spar or 7-Eleven with jacked up prices to cover the lack of commerce) to get myself some comfort food. My usual comfort food is linguine (just with a dash of butter and a sprinkle of pepper, no sauce), but I didn't feel like cooking so I got alternative comfort food.
Which meant chocolate, and cake, and chocolate cake.

I suspect the onslaught of that might just be responsible for my digestive woes. ☺


I barely slept, as I sleep on my side and, well, both arms hurt to lie on. The Covid side is a little sore where the stuff was squirted in, but that's about it.
The flu side is rather sore, both at the injection site (bigger needle too) and the lymph nodes on the other side. Which means my immune system is doing its thing, so if one of those inconsiderate fools should splutter their viral nasties all over the staff break room, it won't be a complete surprise to my insides, and I hope that my immune system will punch the virus up to the exosphere, as I'm unable to do to the plague-carrying bastards that don't cover their mouths.


Fast food from a machine

Next to the supermarket are two fast food distributors. Here's my Note 12 Pro showing off it's night photography ability (again, point'n'click).

Fast food distributors
Fast food distributors.

Looks like a full moon.

On the right is a "Gang of Pizza" pizza distributer. Gang of Pizza is a company based up in Normandie that makes these machines and the food to go in them.
The pizzas are not frozen, they are produced fresh and loaded into the machine (which is a big refrigerator). When you select a pizza you can have the option of it being delivered cold to heat at home, or for it to undergo three minutes of heating to make a ready-to-eat pizza.

The pizza selection
The pizza selection.

It's kind of pricey, prices around €11,40 (or €11,90 hot) to €12,20/€12,70, but I suppose it would suffice if you get some insane craving for a pizza at 3am. It's not bad given that there are eleven choices - Honey/Goat's cheese, 4 cheese, TNT (spicy sausage and sauce), Indiana (halal chicken curry), Spicy kebab (also halal), Cannibal (halal roast chicken, merguez, mince beef), Savoyarde (cream, potato, gloopy cheese), Boursin (halal roast chicken and Boursin, which is like Philadelphia cheese with lots of garlic), Burger (exactly what you'd expect), Pepper burger (like Burger but with Pastrami), Curé Nantaise (um, it says "viande hachée" (minced meat) but doesn't say what sort of meat). Given how much stuff is halal, I think we can take a reasonably good guess as to their expected target demographic here.

There were also three special pizzas sold out: Flamm (ham and mozzarella), Reine (ham and emmental and mozzarella - for "Octobre Rose" which is a thing for breast cancer awareness), and Andalucía (chorizo and merguez).

Here's the information on the Burger pizza. My problem is that I really seriously don't like olives and every single pizza has olives. My other problem is that I used to get two freshly made at Dominos for less than the price of one of these.

About the Burger pizza
About the Burger pizza.


Next to it is a burger distributor (plus chicken wings and some chocolate thing). This one is a little less sophisticated, it has rows of things and I guess picking one will drop it into the panier for you to collect. On the right, some microwave ovens so you can heat the burgers yourself.

This looks so unappetising!
This looks so unappetising!

My first thought - "oh my god, that looks disgusting".
My second thought - on the other hand, kudos to them for providing photos that probably actually resemble what you get.
After all, has anybody ever in the history of McDo (or the Other Place) ever received a burger that looked like the picture on the wall? Or, perhaps more to the point, received a box of chips that even remotely resembled the pictures?
In the ordering photos the burgers are majestic and pristine and the chips look like they're trying to thrust out of the packet in orgasmic revelation.
What you get... limp, insipid, and not exactly plentiful.
So as awful as these pictures here may be, it's probably not that far off what you'd see upon unwrapping the thing.

Oh, and are they seriously trying to sell a burger called "The Burger"? Does this imply that even they couldn't think of a name? I'm guessing their manager vetoed the suggestion of "Aaaaargh!"?

Again, I suppose if you have a late night burger craving it might suffice, but for those kinds of prices you could buy a single slab of mince in a burger shape, a pack of burger rolls, some cheese slices, and a small squirty ketchup and roll your own. Okay, that takes effort, but just think - you know exactly what's gone into it. Plus you had the fun of making a burger to your exact specifications. Don't like rabbit food? Leave the lettuce out. Think it would rock with the burger wrapped in slice of cooked lasagne? Go for it! Want to soak it in Tabasco? Yeah, best try a little corner first, I made that mistake... ☺ Want to add pineapple? Okay, I'm trolling you. Pineapple doesn't belong in burgers or on pizzas. But if you really want to throw a fried pineapple ring into your burger... just don't tell anybody.

Anyway, it's an interesting idea but I find it to be... pricey. I'm guessing the price is because they may have a lot of waste. After all, as the things are refrigerated they'll have a shelf life and what's not purchased will effectively be a loss, so the price is to cover those lossed.
But, on the other hand, if the price was less, I might have been inclined to risk my life try something.

Here's a link to a video that demonstrates one of these pizza machines in use. The result... is actually better looking than I was expecting. But minus a billion points for offering a receipt by email only (claiming your address is not stored).
The description says "First time seeing and using pizza automata... The taste is not so bad, better than any frozen ones from Tesco.".
Which... explains all the hesitations until he switched the machine to speaking in English and could now understand the words for hot and cold. ☺

As for how they work, an online description of a a few different machines gives an idea of what goes on inside. There's a cold room kept at about 3°C which can hold something like 70 pizzas with a storage life of 72h each.
The computer system takes care of the stock and expiry dates, as well as the cooking.
When you select a pizza, a robotic arm selects the desired pizza from the rack and lowers it down on to a small conveyor belt.
This moves the pizza to the other side of the machine where the oven is. Depending on the type of the machine, there are two things that can happen here. The first is that an arm grabs the box and pushes it, the entire pizza box, into the oven. There's a little doodah that flaps the lid up and open as it enters, to expose the pizza. The rest of the box (oven safe) goes in with the pizza.
The alternative is that the pizza isn't actually in any sort of box, and it gets pushed onto a tray that retracts into the oven. This, I would imagine, would be messier as the box can contain stuff like melted cheese.
The oven itself is a high power pulsed forced-air gizmo that can cook the premade pizza in "about two minutes" (exact cooking may vary depending on the type of pizza).
Now the pizza is cooked, either the arm retrieves the box and pulls it out of the oven (with the lid flapping into place as that happens), or the bare pizza is removed from the oven and into a waiting box.
Finally, the pizza, in the box, is back on the conveyor where it can continue its journey to the end, the slot where the waiting human is, well, waiting.

Frankly, as a nerd, that's the part of the distributor that interests me more. It's a shame these things aren't made of plexiglass so you can see your pizza become.

There are, of course, fancier machines that whizz up dough and roll pizzas on the fly and dispense toppings. Those are not the sort of things you'd find in a rural community in France!



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David Pilling, 28th November 2023, 23:21
I always think the pain of the jab is down to the person doing the jabbing. Nothing to complain about, but some are better than others. 
Anyway Covid jab seemed to hurt more than Flu jab (2022 when both were done at the same time). 

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