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rxe

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  1. I don’t think they were a bad deal at all. My wife took one out in 1996 to cover a £30k mortgage on her first house. It was a £60k house, she had a decent deposit having worked for a few years while living at home. Her payments have been absolutely sod all. I think they were something like £50 a month. It missed by about £10k, but I paid the mortgage off when we got married, and we kept the payments up. We could not argue that we were uninformed about the miss, we got about 15 years of letters (some of them in red) telling us it would miss.
  2. Don’t laugh. Chainsaws. When I used to live in London, I needed something mechanical to fiddle with, and as a bit of a wood junkie, I started fixing old chainsaws. None of the modern small stuff - it was all 30 year old Stihl 070s, 090s, 075/6s etc. You’d get a “fixer upper” for £60 on eBay, my limit was £100. If you were lucky it simply needed a new carb diaphragm, and a throrough strip down and rebuild. If you were unlucky, the piston had melted and you needed a new one for £100 or so. 10 years later, a busted 070 on eBay goes for about £300, and 090s tend to go for about
  3. Given Uber's market penetration, these figures suggest you are safer in an Uber than in the other forms of transport where 122 attacks were committed.
  4. Oh dear god, this. It's not just Greenwich, its bloody everywhere. Being open about it, we're in the private system, but we've looked at the local school for the youngest, as he has a bit of a problem with boarding. Local school is good, gets good results, extra-curricular facilities are crap, but we can do that bit. So, based on an assumption that if you live 600 yards from the school, it's probably going to be the school you go to, we had a look round. The assumption was entirely wrong. There is one place per year allocated geographically. The rest are allocated on
  5. I do a lot of recruiting, both at the graddy level and "experienced hire" - people with a few years experience in the industry (technology). The filters for me are fairly simple. If a candidate has done a moderately technical degree (pure science, engineering, comp Sci, maths etc) at a decent institution, they are either clever enough to do the job, or dedicated enough to do the job. Either way, they get an interview. This is where most of them fall down - basic interview skills. I've even had one who took a call in the middle of an interview. Experienced hire is m
  6. Cars are no indicator of wealth at all. A very flash merc on your drive just says "I can pay £1000 a month". If you can scrape together £1700 a month, you can have a Bentley...
  7. Yes, if you live in walking distance of Reading station. For everyone else, you can't get into Reading in the morning without sitting in traffic for ages, and even when you get there, you can't park. If you live in central-ish Reading, then bus is possible, but once you get to the outskirts, it is all a bit hard.
  8. I've been on those horrible trains rather too much. That journey was the reason I stayed in London as long as did. In the time I was doing it, there was one properly fast train an hour - it was rammed. The 6:37 was mine, and most days you struggled to actually get on the thing. At least it got you to Paddington in 20 minutes, brilliant. And then what? I worked near Liverpool St, so you had to fight your way onto the tube, and hope the circle line was working for about 15 stops. I would allow at least an hour and a half for the journey, two if I really had to be on time for s
  9. Though on the plus side, it is a bunch of computers, and they are generally pretty good at telling you what is going wrong. Sensors are unchanged, you can still test a temperature sensor by sticking a voltmeter on it and watching the voltage rise/fall as the temperature changes. Thanks to the internet, you will be able to find the person who has done it before, and has posted the "good graph" for comparison. You have to do a certain amount of diagnosis. My 04 plate CAN equipped car threw a wobbly last year - diagnostics said every lambda was dead. Didn't believe that, so went looking f
  10. Interesting reply, thank you. Just to be clear, I have no idea if the radiologists got it wrong or the oncologists - but he was told some very incorrect things over the last few weeks. You make an interesting point on specialisation - I remember trying to solve this several years ago. The "use case" then was stroke - you had a radiologist on call, but he was at one hospital (or at home) and patients were showing up all over the region. We had some technology that could put a full quality/lossless image on his screen in seconds, regardless of location. I remember demoing it with a CT on
  11. I would imagine that the week end death data is very weak. Not many people die immediately from poor care. Say you arrive at hospital on Saturday night with stroke symptoms. The person that brought you in does not know how to get past triage, so you sit in A&E for 4 hours. Someone eventually realises and admits you. You would get scanned but there are no radiographers, and anyway the CT is off and will take 4 hours to warm up. So on Sunday morning you get scanned, but there is no radiologist available to read the image. So it gets read on Monday morning and treatment starts th
  12. If I thought it was about money, I'd be making a different argument. I have seen nothing in this experience that suggests throwing money at the problem would solve it. It seems to be a question of organisation and quite frankly at the bottom end, competence. All the times I have been in the hospital, I've not seen queues for expensive scanners, I've not seen crap equipment, I've not seen a shortage of doctors. I've seen catastrophic organisation, I've seen what appears to be incompetence, I've seen hospitals not talking and doctors not listening to patients and the relatives/family. W
  13. Another pair of examples: I've got a good friend being eaten alive by cancer right now. 6 months of fannying around, loads of scans, you've got a bladder infection, you've got <insert list of random stuff>. Eventually someone qualified looks at the (same) scans and points out there is cancer, which is now inoperable, but hey don't worry it's controllable, we can hit it with radiotherapy blah blah, you'll last years. Making progress has involved friends and family chasing the hospital for the appointment they promised etc. Finally someone really qualified looks at the same scans and
  14. I'm veering towards the leave camp. I don't see how you can say there are no borders between countries unless you have total economic union. As soon as there are arbitrage opportunities between countries, people will start to move around in hordes. Why would you scratch an existence in Romania when you can get free everything in the UK? I don't buy the idea that the EU will put up the trade barriers - they have far more to lose than us. The common agricultural policy is insanity, but no one will change it for fear of Pierre dumping a load of horse poop on the road. A lot of the sillie
  15. Be a bit careful on the assumptions on the purchase price. Same thing happened our neighbours in London. From the front it looked a like a nice characterful flat fronted Victorian town house, but the rear wall was literally peeling off, and the interior was a wreck. It was owned by a (very nice) little old lady who lived in 2 rooms - she'd been born there, but now it was not really habitable. She tried to get if fixed herself, but the structural work alone was about £350K - conservation area, zero access to the back, all very hard. We offered her access through our garden (end of terra
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