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About BristolBuyer

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    HPC Poster
  1. You need a dog that's smart enough to always take a dump right next to the poo bin, that way you don't have to carry the bag any distance. It's amazing what skills and training some dogs from rescue centres come equipped with.
  2. who else is still on their 1st january det

    I've lost 5kg in the last 2 months, after a bit of a scare during a visit to the cardiologist, and feel much better for it. I'm working through my collection of never-going-to-wear-those-again trousers. I bought some Nokia bathroom scales with 0.1kg precision (and probably close to 0.1kg accuracy) which are helping a lot. They show the results of my efforts within a couple of days.
  3. Watch company startups

    I haven't noticed that trend, but it wouldn't surprise me. Technological advances seem to be allowing useful new functionality to be incorporated into conventional-sized watches with good battery life. I've just started wearing a watch again after a decade without one, because GPS running watches have become slim and feature-rich enough to be worn all the time. I don't think I'd invest in a kickstarter project though, I will just wait for the mainstream manufacturers to catch up.
  4. DOW falls 1100 points

    I and some of the people I work with check the value of our defined contribution pension funds several times a month on the pension provider's website. The recent share price falls have had a depressing effect on our plans for early retirement.
  5. A car in orbit

    It was like a bizarre, slightly tacky mixture of Thunderbirds and Max Headroom, except it was all real. Spacex are moving at an astonishing pace. Their next generation of spacecraft will use Methane which can be produced from Carbon Dioxide extracted from the Martian atmosphere, which sort of addresses the fossil fuel issue. Blue Origin probably won't be far behind. I don't think that many people will want to live on Mars, given that more hospitable places like Siberia and Alaska have low population densities. On the other hand, if I was a politician, I'd be worried about what happens when people start landing on Mars and claiming ownership.
  6. I start thinking about turning on the heating when the indoor temperature drops below 10 Celcius. I have an extensive collection of wooly hats. The gas boiler fires up once per day to heat the hot water cylinder. I'm a bit worried that I might be encouraging mould, etc. to grow in the structure of the house, but I haven't seen any yet.
  7. My impression is that eastern european states wanted to join the EU partly to bind themselves to The West rather than Russia. Is it really plausible that Poland would detach itself from the EU?
  8. Is Christmas killing productivity?

    A lot of companies have a IT "change freeze" from mid December to mid January, which basically means that no changes to live computer systems will be authorised. That hits productivity in the software development and support teams. On the other hand, I'm fortunate to work in a fairly unsociable office, so not much time is wasted on parties, hangovers and drunken fist-fights, unlike at my previous employer. The short period between between Christmas and New Year can be very productive for the small number of people who make it into the office, and are able to work with few interuptions.
  9. Fake or Just a Sign of the Times?

    I suspect that there's not much variation in the factory-gate costs of fleeces when they leave China or Indonesia. Manufacturers do seem to be able to charge extra for design features though. Fleeces that look like they might be suitable for super-fit climbers to wear under their harnesses and rucksacks tend to be more expensive than the baggy ones that are probably more flattering for the average person. I've just bought a Berghaus Fortrose Pro jacket from Amazon for walking round Tescos, and it's very nice, but I guess it didn't cost much more to manufacture than basic baggy fleeces.
  10. Penguins are always a disapointment anyway. Why bother with the different wrapper colours when all the biscuits taste the same?
  11. Londoner's on a hair trigger

    I wonder if the panic was partly due to the overcrowding and sensory overload that tends to occur in popular shopping areas in the run-up to Christmas. It can be difficult to find somewhere to stand still in those conditions, let alone a toilet. It's possible that a lot of the people were just visitors and not actually Londoners, so they probably already felt a bit uneasy at being in an unfamiliar environment.
  12. My living standards are most heavily impacted by off-shoring of jobs and "on-shoring" of jobs (i.e. employers importing staff from lower-wage countries to work in the UK). Maybe the UK will end up more efficient in the end, but it's no fun at present. Journalists and politicians seem to be unaffected by this trend. I don't fear automation much, because companies have little incentive to introduce it while they have a pool of low cost off-shore and on-shored labour to draw on. I worry that by importing so much low-cost labour, the UK will miss out on the productivity improvements that result from finding ways to do things more efficiently.
  13. 1/3 have no Pension Savings

    I think a lot of people in DC schemes pay in less than 5% of their salary, which is unlikely to give a comfortable retirement. I can't really blame them, with the risk that a future government could raise the minimum retirement age again, or even just grab money from those who have been prudent enough to build up a useful DC fund.
  14. Presumably the managers pushing through this initiative will have collected their bonuses and moved on before the scale of the resulting bad debts becomes apparent. Alternatively, they could recover some of the losses by increasing prices for the deadbeats who want to pay cash for their cars.
  15. University Bubble Making Hissing Sounds

    Apart from the social aspect of student life, and access to facilities such as laboratories, I struggle to see why universities are still seen as a cost-effective way to learn stuff compared to Internet resources. These days I can learn things on-line for free from any number of institutions or Wikipedia, and buy a huge range of text books on Amazon. I've learned new things much more quickly since 1995 when I started using the Web than I did at university. I regularly take exams at commercially-run test centres to make sure I've learnt the stuff properly.