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Lagarde's Drift

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  1. Have visited BA several times this year, things not looking good economically. Price of beer and staples gone up 25% in under 6 months. Great for a foreigner with access to USD, and for the middle and upper classes who can make a dollar run to neighbouring countries, but rough for Joe on the street. Strikes are coming round this week, I'm having to watch the news closely as have a flight soon. Still, at least the beer is cheap, $2 for 1litre, $4 at a bar. Kinda regret changing a load of USD at 12.8 last week though, had to shove piles of 100 peso notes into my pockets like a bank robber. Although everything is carrying on as normal on the surface, the tension is present. What's most worrying is the rate of change. dolarbue.net gives the parabolic rate.
  2. http://www.themathlab.com/writings/short%20stories/feeling.htm Heh
  3. My 2p worth to add in to this thread. I have lived in Bristol for nearly 15 years. Agree to all the above. Do NOT commute from across the Severn Bridge (unless for a short term contract) - it will ruin your quality of life. You will be commuting like crazy Londoners but without much of the benefits and all that time wasted. Don't use a car in Bristol during rush hour - Bristol traffic was why I took up motorcycling; it has only gotten worse in the last decade. For Clifton work, I would recommend you look at the 3 bed semis in the areas west of the M32 and south of ring road. Try searching for 3 miles around Clifton. For circa £800pcm you will get 3 bed semis in the Southmead, Horfield, Lockleaze and Filton areas in varying states of decay. You could go to places like Downend, Fishponds or even Sadly Broke but that may stretch your cycling willpower. Ditto areas south of the city ; if you are lucky you could find a place in Bedminster, Totterdown or Knowle but would stretch your cycling legs. All are within easy motorcycle distance though, you'll be in work within 20 minutes. If you are definitely motorcycling then you could commute from anywhere within a 5 mile radius, but be careful of relying on the motorways. For example I used to commute from Horfield to Weston-Super-Mare, took me less than 30 minutes but it was pure queuing cars heading the other way. Most schools in Bristol are ok, although some would say they are all equally bad! As already been mentioned, to live within Bristol you will be competing with 2 x Universities, MOD Abbey Wood (currently expanding) and large employers like Airbus, Rolls Royce & large company regional HQs. DOI: I live in Horfield in a good sized 3-bed semi with a large garden, garage and driveway and have paid £650 pcm for the past 5 years (no rent increases). It is admitedly in a state of semi-decay. Finding a decent house at your price is possible but probably difficult to do from Ireland. Edit: p.s. Bristol is a good cycling city, motorists have good awareness during commuting hours. If you stay within city limits you will be quite safe but the danger increases if you commute from further out.
  4. Heh. Techno-geeks strike again. The whole piece about technology replacing human-written & human-performed music was mooted decades ago and has been proven completely wrong. Live performance music is unbelievably popular, driven perhaps by the cheapness of digital records. FWIW my take on it is I prefer slightly imperfect music ie each strike of the drum by a human drummer is different compared to a robot. Even if you write software that allows for this my brain will probably just not accept it. Tax? If humans cannot understand our tax system, then how will we write software that can calculate it swiftly?
  5. That's all well and good, well known facts. But I still have not heard anyone confidently say they know what will happen when lawyers get involved. And they will get involved.
  6. Tech is already present, I'm not sure how we will get around the legalities. If a HGV crashes on the M4 causing lots of damage and loss of life, who is liable? The haulage company? The manufacturer? Google?
  7. He must think that all secretaries do is type up dictated paperwork. Those types of secretaries have long long gone. He clearly has not had a modern secretary work for him, nor work with others who have modern secretaries.
  8. These have been tried before and failed spectacularly, but no doubt will be tried again. Things that can be run scientifically and mathematically (such as tube trains) will be given to computers. Things that can't, will still require human input as they are more of an art than a science.
  9. Does that figure include the dividends you received?
  10. Portugal is very interesting. Spent a couple of weeks there this year on a road trip. It is a country that has barely lifted itself out of what I would call the "peasants & fishermen" way of life. Even the major cities seem to have a rustic feel. You are correct in that the roads, particularly tolled motorways, are as good as empty. But then again, so are many of Spain's. The good news is that the people are amazing and utterly enchanting, with values that would hark back to an earlier and less complicated way of life. They almost seem to prefer it. The bad news is that I think they are heading that way.
  11. So, someone down the line will have to "eat" the loss, unless the government bails them out? Sounds familiar..... Agreed. Scrapped my old car for a bunch of £20 notes because the head gasket was leaking. Would have definitely been repaired in other countries (or perhaps continually topped up with fluids).
  12. Indeed, this thread has me wondering what will happen to used car prices - surely they will crash at some point in the foreseeable future? Will the car manufacturer tweak the "GFV" and demand that drivers provide a "top-up" payment to compensate for the difference?
  13. Yes, primary care has been there for ages. Your GP's notes about you, with your blood results, xray reports and hospital clinic letters have been computerised for years. Some parts of secondary care have also undergone this process. It's the difficulty of integrating / replacing all these systems , with a dose of corruption and inefficiency that has made this the flop it is.
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