I Have a Question Volume 66 - Ex-Moderator
*****This thread is now closed. Please see Volume 67.*****

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?f=2&t=29...6

In this thread you may ask any question for which you need help, advice, suggestions or whatever.

It does not need to be motoring related. In fact, in this thread it should not be.

No Questions About PC's. They now go in another Thread.
No politics
No Speeding, speed cameras, traffic calming
No arguments or slanging matches
Nothing which I think is not following the spirit of the thread
Nothing that risks the future of this site (please see the small print for details www.honestjohn.co.uk/credits/index.htm )

Any of the above will be deleted. If the thread becomes difficult to maintain it will simply be removed.

However, as has been said a couple of times, there is a wealth of knowledge in here, much of which is not motoring related, but most of which is useful.

This is Volume 66. Previous Volumes will not be deleted,

A list of previous volumes can be found here:-
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=18847


PLEASE NOTE:

When posting a NEW question, please "Reply to" the first message in this thread, i.e. this one. This keeps each question in it's own separate segment and stops each new question from getting mixed up in amongst existing questions. Also please remember to change the subject header.
Cracking Ceilings - Robin
I have a problme with cracks in the ceiling in my house. We bought the place about 8 months ago at which time the decoration in the house was immaculate. Recently we have noticed that many of the celings are beginning to crack. The house was bulit in 1989 and the celings are plasterboard. I think it is the gap between the boards that we are seeing. The cracks are evident both upstairsa nd downstairs. I suspect that the previous owners had the place decorated top to bottom in order to sell it. Now to my queries:
What is casuing the cracking?
WHat can we do to cover them up and to stop it happening again.

Cheers
Cracking Ceilings - Altea Ego
If the cracks are thin straight lines at regular intervals its the plasterboard shrinkage and probably wasnt finished in platerboard tape and skimmed nicely.


The cracks were probably there when the previous occupant decorated and again didnt fill them properly so the paint has shrunk and shown the cracks again.

From personal experience I have found the best way is to fill the cracks with a very thin bead of flexible frame sealant (not silicon based - the paint wont stick) smooth it over while wet and then paint it - the cracks wont return


I have tried all the other flexible fillers but IMHO they are not flexible enough.


Cracking Ceilings - Mapmaker
Jeff Howell once wrote in the Telegraph that these cracks are a result of using plaster board that is too wide - with narrow boards you can get away with less noticeable expansion gaps.

House insurance vacant property - THe Growler
Anyone point me in the right direct for this (building only)?

I have a house for sale in Lincs (I wish it would --- grrr) and received a ludicrous renewal quotation.

I have tried numerous insurance quotes on the 'net but their lists of exclusions are so long it makes one wonder why anyone does business with them.

TIA.
House insurance vacant property - mare
Hi

I have a vacant property in Bristol which is insured on an unoccupied basis with a firm called Ocaso who are based in Middlesex. I can't really recommend the broker, so i won't name them. Ocaso's email is cityoffice@ocaso.co.uk

Taching Granny to suck eggs, being unoccupied does present a much higher risk, and hence it is more expensive.

HTH
House insurance vacant property - Godfrey H {P}
I was in this situation a couple of years ago. The Law Society does a scheme, ask your solicitor. AFAIK a tad expensive but not too outrageous.
House insurance vacant property - Mapmaker
Find somebody who will pay you a few ha'pennies rent for a month or two & then you'll get a cheaper insurance quotation.

House insurance vacant property - helicopter
Growler - When my father in law died a couple of years ago we had to insure his house whilst empty and unused

On the recommendation of his building society , we used Adrian Flux who are well known to this forum as specialist brokers for motor insurance but also provide empty building cover.

I cannot recall the cost but it was very reasonable ( at least to a tightwad like me) and they were very helpful. A lot of companies just refused point blank to provide cover.

They are based in Kings Lynn, Norfolk which is also not too far from your property in Lincs.

website - www.adrianflux.co.uk
Telephone 08700 777888.

Usual disclaimer - I have no connection other than as a satisfied customer.
House insurance vacant property - wemyss
Growler, My Mother in law is now permanantly in a rest home. Her home was buildings and contents insured with the Co-Op insurance (CIS) and I notified them that the house would now be permanently empty. (House owned by wife and her brother)
The cover continues with a few provisos such as the water being turned off.
House insurance vacant property - Hugo {P}
Hi G - how's that lovely Kawa coming on??!

I insure my rented properties with Alan Boswell Insurance Services. Phone 01603 218000.

They covered my cottage whilst it was empty and being refurbished. I get preferential rates because I subscribe to the Guild of Residential Landlords based in Plymouth, but they may help.

H
Salt - Imagos
Why/how does salt melt snow/ice?

(as asked by little imagos)
Salt - mfarrow
Salt solution has a lower melting point than plain old water. It also conducts electricity better, great for car electronics!

I dunno what the chemistry of it are. If you cool salty water down far enough it will freeze though.
Salt - David Horn
Et voila:

antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/solutions/fa...l

All you need, in excrutiating detail.
Salt - Imagos
Et voila:


thanks jesse,
School closures in bad(!) weather - L'escargot
Why are schools so quick to close at the first sign of bad(!)weather? Are teachers such wimps, or are school-run 4x4s not all they are cracked up to be? I don't know of any other organisation which closes because of bad weather.
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
School closures in bad(!) weather - wemyss
I grizzle to anyone who will listen on exactly the same thing. I was at school in the 1940/50s and never knew a day when school was closed due to weather or anything. We still had to pick up our gas masks and walk over two miles as there were no school buses or family cars then.
And this was when it really used to snow with drifts many feet deep.
I believe its the teachers on the pretext of childrens getting cold who institute this.
On the same basis after 6 weeks summer holiday the school is still closed due to two days teacher training. Don't know if this is just in my small town but why the heck they can't do this during the 6 weeks holiday beggars belief.
School closures in bad(!) weather - mare
On the same basis after 6 weeks summer holiday the school
is still closed due to two days teacher training. Don't know
if this is just in my small town but why the
heck they can't do this during the 6 weeks holiday beggars
belief.

Every school is obliged to have five "in service" or training days during term time. Normally to minimise disruption, they tack this onto the start / end of the term. Our school takes a sensible view on this, others don't.

Presumably the teachers and staff would grumble about training during their holidays. Agree that it would be sensible to train out of term time though.

School closures in bad(!) weather - L'escargot
I grizzle to anyone who will listen on exactly the same
thing. I was at school in the 1940/50s and never knew
a day when school was closed due to weather or anything.
We still had to pick up our gas masks and walk
over two miles as there were no school buses or family
cars then.
And this was when it really used to snow with drifts
many feet deep.
I believe its the teachers on the pretext of childrens getting
cold who institute this.


We are obviously kindred spirits. In the infamous winter of 1946-47 the snow was over the top of my wellies but we still went to school ~ walking , of course, as did the teachers. As you say, few people could afford a car. Central heating had barely been invented. We were lucky if we had a coal fire in the classroom. Some classrooms without hearths/chimneys had pot-bellied stoves. Often we had to keep our gloves and scarf on. School milk regularly froze, such that the bottle top (cardboard in those days) rose an inch or more above the top of the bottle. (I remember gas masks as well. My first one was a "Mickey Mouse" type ~ if you blew hard you could make the "nose" vibrate and produce a flactuant noise. Great fun, if you ignored the reason that you had got one.)
--
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
School closures in bad(!) weather - Mapmaker
A result of changing demographics is that people now have to go much further to get to work/(school). A teacher with a 45 minute drive to school on a good day might never arrive on a snowy day.

And employers are over-reasonable on allowing people to turn up to work late/not bother.

Whereas many people can work from home for a day or two, teachers do not have this luxury.

I remember being served frozen school milk at Prep school in the 70s.
School closures in bad(!) weather - tyro
Short answer: threat of litigation (if someone gets hurt)
School closures in bad(!) weather - keo-the-dog
discussed this very thing with head of local school and tyro is spot on if little johnny falls over in the school grounds the parents will sue, they just cant take the risk...cheers...keo.
School closures in bad(!) weather - Rebecca {P}
Much more to do with concerns that the staff can't get there and concerns that parents won't get to the school to pick them up than litigation. This all pervading litigation is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Grrrr! (off soapbox) If it were about little johnny falling over they would shut on icy days, not snowy days.

Regarding the training days - bear in mind that these days need people to do the training, so you can't put them all in the holidays, there aren't enough trainers to go round.

Also consider your reaction when your employer asks you to undertake training during your annual leave...

Rebecca
Chair of Governors

School closures in bad(!) weather - daveyjp
Our school only ever closed when the boiler failed to work - any other time is was business as usual during bad weather.

As for training days . I get 25 days annual leave so I wouldn't be happy about giving some up for training. If they upped this to a similar level to a teacher's i.e. 60+ I'd be happy to lose some of them - if I lost 10 I'd still have twice the leave I have now.
School closures in bad(!) weather - hxj

An extra eight weeks annual leave in exchange for a few days training .... where do I sign up :-)

Sorry couldn't resist it.
School closures in bad(!) weather - wemyss
Yes I certainly remember the 46/47 winter. In my Derbyshire town there were roads with high banks and then a wall on the top. The snow was level with the wall. A POW camp was close by and German prisoners (yes they were still there) on working parties were digging out the snow to clear the road.
Great fun watching the steam engines with snow ploughs on the front clearing the line. Full speed into it until it ground to a halt and then reversing back for another charge.
But returning to schools they are not the only institution, there are many who simply have to be on duty to look after people or services. As we used to say ?how does the man who drives the snow plough get to work?
My own for example which was the Prison Service for thirty odd years had to be manned. You can?t just leave 500 prisoners locked up and say Staff couldn?t get to work. And we can?t just send them home when the Staff have training. The Hospitals must have staff turning up for duty and lets face it we don?t live in a harsh climate like many northern countries.
I would imagine the Russians still open the schools after a few flakes of snow which by comparison is all we get.
Litigation?.this is a wonderful new excuse for not doing anything we don?t want to or get out of doing. And teachers are making full use of it. The teachers could still attend themselves if they thought it was too risky for children and do their training instead of closing the school in good weather. And think of working Mums who are suddenly told the school is closed as its snowing an hour before they have to go to work and having to try and make arrangements for someone to look after their children.
Schools in my town are closed today as there was snow in the night?At 8.30am the sun came out and looking through the window its still like a spring day..
Rant over?




School closures in bad(!) weather - Bromptonaut
While I suspect as Alvin says were hardier in the past (even in the seventies we walked in snow and made the best of it) school heads now have to work in the 21st century. My daughter's school was closed today; 1800 kids on roll nearly 1500 of whom are bussed in. The head would have had to make a go/no go call before 7am (when it was blizzarding) in order to cancel the buses and cascade the information to key staff and local radio stations. If a bus goes off the road or they cannot get kids away safely at the end of the day she will be the one answering awkward questions from folks with 20/20 hindsight. Staff members living in the village will be designated to attend on foot to deal with kids who didn't know (or whose parents sent them anyway). It's called contingency planning.

A worthwhile training day has to meet a declared need and objective, materials and maybe an outside trainer/facilitator have to be sorted out. It's not something tee'd up on the off chance to be pulled out of a hat on a snowy morning.

Presumably in the prison scenario contingency plans involve designated officers on site 24/7 and inmates confined to cells?
School closures in bad(!) weather - Baskerville
An extra eight weeks annual leave in exchange for a few
days training .... where do I sign up :-)


Here:

www.teach.gov.uk/php/read.php?sectionid=134

You don't get to decide when you have a day off though. And you have to take all your trips abroad at the busy and expensive times of year.

I couldn't resist either.
School closures in bad(!) weather - L'escargot
Much more to do with concerns that ........ parents won't get to the school to
pick them up than litigation.


I was right. School-run 4x4s are obviously not all that they are cracked up to be!
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
School closures in bad(!) weather - L'escargot
Short answer: threat of litigation (if someone gets hurt)


Litigation? What is the world coming to?

In the winter of '46/'47, having gravel rash on your knees through falling down in the school playground was practically de rigueur. And you displayed your scabs with pride, instead of furtively hiding them under long trousers as the youngsters of today would do. Your dad had campaign medals, and you had scabs on your knees!
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
School closures in bad(!) weather - L'escargot
Whereas many people can work from home for a day or
two, teachers do not have this luxury.



A small percentage of people may be able to work from home for a day or two. I don't agree that "many" can.
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
School closures in bad(!) weather - Dynamic Dave
A polite reminder that this is a question/answer thread, not a discussion one.
School closures in bad(!) weather - PhilW
"Are teachers such wimps"
Possibly, but then they have no say whatsoever in whether schools are closed or not. Decision will be taken by headmaster (and they rarely teach these days!!)as to whether it is "safe" for school to be open and that mainly depends on the "safety" of the school environment for the pupils. Blame teachers if you like - or the mass of health and safety regulations that have come into force in recent years (same sort of thing that means that caretakers are not allowed to lift items over a certain weight so can't move boxes of books around, can't clean areas over a couple of metres above ground etc). As for training days, the number of days when teachers teach is laid down by the government as is the number of training days - they don't "send children home " for training days. These are anyway impossible when chidren are in school because there would be no-one to supervise children. Same with any meetings - all staff meetings, dept meetings, parents' evenings, meetings with parents, open days etc, etc take place outside class time. I would say it would be usual for a teacher to have 2 or 3 lunch hours per week plus a couple of hours in an evening for meetings/duties etc. Then of course there is the marking & preparation - couple of hours per evening? This cannot be done during class time - it is done outside class time when the teacher has "finished work". OK the holidays are great - but then just because children are not going into school does not mean a teacher is not "working". Just as when a school is "closed" it does not mean it is closed to staff - they are supposed to make the effort to get to work. Just as the time a child leaves school is not the time a teacher knocks off work.
As you may realise - there are teachers in the family, and I would go into the language and behaviour that my wife has to deal with everyday from low-life, ignorant, aggressive, disrespectful, recalcitrant teenagers - but there is a swear filter on this site, unlike at her school. You might also ponder the rewards - teachers' pay ain't that great (though newly qualified ones do well to attract people to what is a fairly unattractive "profession" (not many professionals are told to "f" off several times a day by their clients when making a perfectly reasonable request)
Oh, by the way - in the winter of 1963 my school was closed for the entire spring term -- because there was no way heating oil could be got to the town, nothing to do with the deep snow closing the school, just the fact that the school could not be heated in a winter where temps stayed below freezing for 3 months from January.
All in my very humble opinion of course
School closures in bad(!) weather - L'escargot
<< I would say
it would be usual for a teacher to have 2 or
3 lunch hours per week plus a couple of hours in
an evening for meetings/duties etc. Then of course there is the
marking & preparation - couple of hours per evening? This cannot
be done during class time - it is done outside class
time when the teacher has "finished work". OK the holidays are
great - but then just because children are not going into
school does not mean a teacher is not "working". Just as
when a school is "closed" it does not mean it is
closed to staff - they are supposed to make the effort
to get to work. Just as the time a child leaves
school is not the time a teacher knocks off work.


All I know on this subject is what I have been told by friends of mine who are both recently retired teachers. The husband (who was a department head for many years before he retired) says that it was a rare day when he wasn't home by 3.45pm and then straight off to the golf course. As for lunch breaks, teachers at his school queued up to supervise school dinners because it entitled them to a free dinner!
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
School closures in bad(!) weather - Pugugly {P}
Gas Maks in 46/47 ??
School closures in bad(!) weather - L'escargot
Gas Maks in 46/47 ??


Some of the Japanese soldiers in the Burmese jungle didn't know the war had ended until long after 1947. It might have been similar in the more remote parts of this country!
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
I have another snow question - Rebecca {P}
How cold is 'too cold to snow'?

Is there such a thing, or did my Mum make it up?
I have another snow question - frostbite
My Mum used to quote the 'too cold to snow' thing too. I think there is an element of truth in it, but not necessarily the temperature at or near ground level being significant.

Don't eat yellow snow!
I have another snow question - hxj

Well she did sort of make it up. There is no such temperature on earth that is too cold for snow.

However the winds in the UK that bring the most precipitation are warm gulfstream ones from the south west, whereas the cold air in winds from the North and East tends to be drier as it has travelled less distance across water.

Consequently when the wind changes from the South West to the North East the temperature will drop and so will the chance or amount of snow.

Hence the saying.
I have another snow question - AR-CoolC
I'm pretty sure they get snow at the North Pole, and its about -80 up there.

:-)
I have another snow question - RichardW
It snowed like mad when I was in Moscow in February 1992 - about 6" overnight. It was -30°C and still snowing in the morning. Didn't seem to make much difference to people getting about the city! We went to a monastery about 25km from Moscow later in the week, when it was about -25, with another 25 or so of windchill. That was cold! I can however confirm that at those temperatures it is too cold to make snowballs - when you push the snow together the pressure doesn't melt it, so they just disintegrate when you throw them.

My Dad has a photo taken in 83 or 84 on the Military road on the SW side of the Isle of Wight with the snow bank higher than the roof of the car (a Citroen Dyane). I remember some good sledging that winter!


--
RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
I have another snow question - PhilW
"I'm pretty sure they get snow at the North Pole, and its about -80 up there"
Yep. and just like Antarctica it is classed as a desert because the annual snowfall/rainfall is so low. Most of the blizzards in these areas are not of falling snow but blown snow that has already fallen, maybe many years before. Temps are so low that air can't hold much moisture.
I have another snow question - Rebecca {P}
'Temps are so low that they can't hold much moisture'

Too cold to snow then?!
I have another snow question - PhilW
Basically, yes! Or at least very little. Even the snow we have had this week isn't very much despite the BBC saying that some areas will get "substantial falls of snow of up to 2 cms"!! The highest snowfalls are recorded in "temperate " areas eg the Yukon, where relatively warm air (humid)off the Pacific brings annual snowfalls of about 10 METRES as it goes over the mountains, cools and dumps the moisture. Surprisingly, one of the areas that did not have ice sheets during the last major ice advance in the ice age was Siberia where average temps in the winter would have been below -50. Places like Moscow do get a lot of snow, but don't forget that it builds up gradually over several months when temps are below freezing and doesn't melt during the day. Our heaviest snowfalls don't come with the coldest air from the east(Polar continental air which only picks up a bit of moisture from the North Sea - if we do get a bit of snow tonight it's because air originated further south, when warmer and has approached us in an anti-clockwise direction) but from Arctic Maritime, or Polar Maritime from due north or NW which has come over the North Atlantic and picked up moisture from the (warm) North Atlantic.
Hope that makes sense (and is right!!)
I have another snow question - Rebecca {P}
except that this week's snowfall is all coming from the North East...

I do take your point though!
I have another snow question - Stuartli
What snow? The only bit we've seen was a very brief flurry late on Wednesday night/Thursday morning that barely covered the ground and disappeared within half-an-hour.

One of the benefits of living in a resort warmed by the Irish Sea, yet go just 10-15 miles or so inland and it can be knee-deep...:-)
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Staircase - urgent help reqd - BobbyG
Have lifted my carpet today in preparation for new carpet being fitted tomorrow and have discovered that

The "vertical" that joins the last step to the top hallway has been pushed in slightly at the bottom which means there is a gap between the top step and the vertical coming off it, if that makes sense? There are 4 nails linking the two but these nails are exposed. I cannot physically get behind to push the panel forward, is there any way I, an untrained DIYer, can fix this with basic tools? I have tried screwing thick nails into the vertical and pulling forward but this does not work.

Any help would be appreciated.
Staircase - urgent help reqd - Mapmaker
>>I have tried screwing thick nails into the vertical

Horses for courses. Try screwing screws in to the panel. Then grab hold of them with a G-cramp & pull. TheG-cramp should give you sufficient leverage.
Staircase - urgent help reqd - Ex-Moderator
drill a hole, put something into the whole which expands behind it (one of those spring loaded plasterboard fixings would do it) and pull. When done, just push in and let fall.
Save my sanity! - malteser
Can any one tell me who the sportswomen found by this link tinyurl.com/7xofl can be? The face is familiar but the name escapes me!
--
Roger. (Costa del Sol, España)
Save my sanity! - Phil I
Big girl Roger, can stamp on my feet anyday. Absolutely no idea who she is tho!! Sorry am unable to assist.

Happy Motoring Phil I
Save my sanity! - Cardew
Could it be Elena Balatcha the British girl who did well(for a Brit) in the Australian open?
Save my sanity! - helicopter
I don't think so Cardew as Elena Balatcha wears glasses on court.

It may be Amanda Janes ( Christine Janes ,nee Trumans daughter )

Roger - your quizzes drive me up the wall.

Anyway , have a look at www.love15.net which has pictures of most of the lady tennis players. It may not help with the answer but who cares.

In the interests of research I spent a long time checking them all out - I tell you for certain its not Anna Kournikova.
Save my sanity! - malteser
Thanks for the attempts so far!
I should have said that the lady's name will have some tenuous connection to Valentine's day, such as Juliet, Valentina, Venus etc. To give you an idea the answer to one I found myself was ValentinaTurisini (Italian 2004 Olympic shooting team) and another was Davis Love 3rd. (US golfer)
Our quizmaster is cunning you see!
This is the last of 50 questions & I would dearly love to answer the full house!
--
Roger. (Costa del Sol, España)
Save my sanity! - Ex-Moderator
I think its Myriam Casanova.

www.wtnphotos.com/showphoto.php/photo/22383/passwo.../
Save my sanity! - malteser
Sanity duly saved! Very many thanks, Mark, spot on :)
--
Roger. (Costa del Sol, España)
New For Old - Mapmaker
Not content with pinching my fleet of cars, the local drug addicts went through my back door and ran off with a thing or two. It turns out that I have 'new for old' cover. Now what does that mean in respect of:

1. An antique fountain pen - top of the range in its day. Does this mean that they will pay me:

a) 3 shillings & sixpence.

b) the value of a new-old stock identical pen.

c) the value of the current top of the range pen.

2. An antique laptop computer. OK, it ran Windows 98, but it did that perfectly well. Do I expect to get a brand new bottom-of-the range 21st Century computer, or do they have a secret store of antique computers with which to replace the old wreck?

And then, isn't this a marvellous, meaningless line from the policy document: 'We will pay for loss or damage caused by theft but not loss of money unless force or deception is used solely to enter your house.'

New For Old - Ex-Moderator
I would expect that question to be answered directly by your policy Ts&Cs. Have you read them ? It should be in there somewhere.

At the very least I would expect that either you would find a reference to an age limit or some kind of reference to items that have a value *because* of their age.

Failing either of those two [which I doubt], then I would expect you to receive the value of a comparable pen in today's market.

New For Old - Mapmaker
Thanks, Mark. That was the first place I looked, of course. Save for clothing (where it states a deduction is made for wear and tear), the policy pays 'the cost of replacing the item as new' which is why I was hoping somebody might be in a position to advise me before I meet the loss adjuster on Monday.

Any ideas on the computer?

New For Old - Ex-Moderator
Mapmaker,

Can you scan and e-mail your policy ? If so, I'll have a look.

But it is unusual not to find some kind of limitation on the New for Old stuff - although admittedly it is a while since I looked.
New For Old - Mapmaker
Mark, thanks for the offer. But I am far too technologically lacking, and the Direct Line policy runs to lots of rather small pages anyway.

There's definitely nothing in the policy restricting new for old payments, save for clothing. Oh, and pedal cycles. I'll just have to see what happens - and shall report back when I find out.
New For Old - Ex-Moderator
This one ?

uk.directline.com/accessibility/home/home.pdf

New For Old - Mapmaker
That's the one, Mark. Section 2F on page 18.
New For Old - Ex-Moderator
I'll have a careful look tonight but a quick look suggests;

Pen to be replaced by a modern equivalent. A guide would be a pen holding a similar position in the current range that your old pen would have held in the range at the time it was new.

As with anything where the value is more than simple £s, the valuation can be a bit flakey.

The computer would appear to be covered under the home entertainment equipment section and would be replaced wiht a modern computer of a similar standard.

A rough guess says you'll lose a bit on the pen and gain a bit on the computer.
New For Old - Stuartli
I've been with the Prudential for more years than I care to remember - for several years the standard house/buildings cover has included cover for computer/office equipment, which was added voluntarily at no extra cost by the Pru to the policy.

It was probably due to the realisation by insurers of the increasing number of home computer users.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
New For Old - hxj

On the assumption that the item is no longer available you will usuanlly be offered a cash sum to meet your loss. The should be calculated to meet the cost of buying the closest possible equivalent now.

If the computer was more than a couple of years old and say a Dell you will now be looking for say a bottom of the range new Dell.
New For Old - Ex-Moderator
>>If the computer was more than a couple of years old and say a Dell you will now be looking for say a bottom of the range new Dell.

Probably not so. If the original computer was a typical mid-range family PC then the replacement should be a mid-range, family PC.
Council refuse collection - wemyss
My nephew has mailed me from his home town where the council have announced they intend to reduce household refuse collection. They plan to empty wheely bins fortnightly instead of the present weekly service.
Their statement includes much reference to introducing recycling schemes and saying they are following Central Government directives in this area.
Also encouraging hoseholders to travel a few miles away to a council refuse tip taking their own waste.
As expected he and other residents are outraged and furious over this move. Obviously a family such as his own couldn't hope to make a wheely bin last for two weeks.
I have made some suggestions in what areas they should protest such as H&S, Environmental and fly tipping becoming rampant.
Has any of you any experience of this happening in your area and any advice on how to fight this move.
I did see on central TV a while ago of residents emptying their waste on the councils doorstep but whether it had any effect ?.
Other councils will be watching the success or otherwise of this withdrawing of services.
Council refuse collection - john deacon
this will just force more refuse trips into car journeys? it must be more efficient and environmental for the proper trucks to do it?

Council refuse collection - mfarrow
I presume this announcement is accompanied by collection of recycled waste, such as the "red boxes" our council give us. If so, why not just recycle??
Council refuse collection - Mapmaker
recycle, reuse, compost, compact & be careful. Even I (the biggest anti-green in the world) approve of all that! Such techniques are designed to make people more careful with the waste they produce. We do not have a right to pollute the world just because we can afford to pay for landfill.

[/beardy weirdy green activist mode]
Council refuse collection - wemyss
Agree with everything you say Mm. But...how can you be an anti-green and approve of techniques which are designed to make us more careful..
Anyway he still (and so do I) want my dustbin emptied every week.
Council refuse collection - Bromptonaut
Alvin.

Follows an EU directive to increase recycling and reduce waste going into landfill. The council will have a target to meet. Easy to blame it on Brussels but nobody wants landfill in their back yard.

Here in South Northants we still get weekly collections but on a twin bin system and accompanied by recycling boxes. Compostable stuff, including cardboard, goes in a green bin. Glass/Paper and Plastic/Tins go in respective recycling boxes. What's left goes in a trad black bin. Black bin and plastic/tins collected one week, green and paper/glass the other. We were sceptical at first but it works OK (except for our embarrasing build up of beer bottles requiring car trips to the tip!).

If nephew's Council are suggesting a cheapskate version then at least there are better examples to point to.
Council refuse collection - frostbite
I predict a sudden renewed interest in bonfires among certain folk in that locality.
Council refuse collection - keo-the-dog
we have this system already and it's not ideal the smell from bins is awful especially in summer and there are problems with flies in summer and rats . one good thing is that recycling has improved even i put my tins in the green box , only because they wont fit in the bin though...cheers...keo.
Council refuse collection - wemyss
Thanks Brom??should have known the good old EU were involved. What a wonderful organisation they are.
Never a week goes by when in our own interests we receive a directive (order) on how we should live in our little country.
Still I suppose it?s the same for the rest of Europe and I?m sure all the other members obey the rules.
Will tell my ungrateful nephew he must put up with a few rats and flies.
Council refuse collection - Mapmaker
keo-t-d>> rats

In wheelie bins? Your rats must be jolly agile. Not to mention strong enough to lift the lid.
Council refuse collection - keo-the-dog
keo-t-d>> rats
In wheelie bins? Your rats must be jolly agile. Not
to mention strong enough to lift the lid.

problem is bins get over filled and lids wont close and believe me rats are very agile creatures, flies even more so. ...cheers...keo
Council refuse collection - L'escargot
<< i put my tins in the
green box , only because they wont fit in the bin
though...


Why not flatten the tins to reduce their volume? You can in fact get kitchen gadgets which do this ~ it saves putting the tin on the floor and jumping on it.
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Council refuse collection - keo-the-dog
Why not flatten the tins to reduce their volume? You can
in fact get kitchen gadgets which do this ~ it saves
putting the tin on the floor and jumping on it.
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.

i do flatten them but only because the green box isn't big enough either , and jumping on them , my kids do that part and i will sell them cheaper than the crushing gadget if interested...cheers...keo.
Council refuse collection - hxj

Our local council has just started a once a fortnight collection of rubbish in a wheelie bin plus a once a fortnight recycling service - plastic bottles - paper - magazines - cardboard - tins - glass - clothes to great uproar in the local rag.

To be honest its been really good, only downside is that my large family bin is on back order but should be delivered soon, but even six of us cope fairly well with the normal size bin.

The main advantages are no torn bags of rubbish strewn across the streets, a huge increase in recycling up to 50% in our case and a reduction in costs to the council.

Bit of a pain if you live in a flat or have awkward access but the council have been helpful to those that I know in those circumstances.

Tell your nephew to suck it and see, he may even like it, he might as well as he 's going to be stuck with it .....
Council refuse collection - daveyjp
We've had two bins for the last 12 months. Black bin emptied weekly, green bin monthly. Green bin is for anything which can be recycled apart from glass. We put all green bin waste in a small box inside the house and take it to the green bin each morning. Pedal bin is used for everything else. The amount of recyclable waste far outweighs the other items. I cooked a meal last night and the only item not to go in the green bin was a jar.
Council refuse collection - Stargazer {P}
We have also had to change our waste collection: our kerbside recycling now collects, paper, card, glass, metal, plastic. In fact with a small family we have downsized from a standard sized wheelybin to a small one which we only 1/3 fill each week. If it reduced the council tax I would gladly have the wheeliebin collected every fortnight. The recycling boxes however need to be bigger!

When living in Oz several town councils were moving over to barcoded wheelie bins and automated weighing and scanning on the truck...exceed a certain (quite generous) amount per week and get charged extra.

StarGazer
Council refuse collection - Stuartli
Our council, Sefton MBC, gets some stick for many of its (not so bright) ideas, but its refuse collection service is exemplary (at least in my area) and has been for a considerable period of time.

The black refuse bags are picked up regularly each Monday morning, two replacement bags are left by an advanced team and the collectors are always spot on when catching up after public holidays. In fact after Christmas they gained a day earlier in each of the three following weeks, so came back on the following day as well to collect refuse put out on the designated day.

They explained that they were collecting a day early each week through efficiency and would also clear the streets of much of the rubbish already left out by those householders expecting it to be collected on the regular day..:-)

On top of this, the council's fortnightly newspapers/magazines/waste paper collection was improved last year to a weekly cycle; a waste tins and bottles collection service was added at the same time and two large green plastic boxes provided to house the tins and bottles at the front of your property until collected.

Mind you I've have heard that a bit more than council initiative was required - it seems the EU has had some say in the matter...:-)
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Council refuse collection - Stuartli
PS

There's no limit to the number of filled black bin bags which can be left out for collection unlike, it would appear, some towns and cities.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Council refuse collection - L'escargot
two replacement bags are left......


Lucky you!

Here in East Lindsey we are supplied approx 60 black bags per year in two batches of 30 each. Beyond that you buy extra or supply your own. Garden waste is taken away, but only if you put it in specially-marked green bags that are available only from the council at 75p each! It goes in the same truck together with normal waste and goes on the same landfill site, so the council certainly can't claim that you are paying for it to be made into compost!
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Council refuse collection - L'escargot
PS. Roll on the arrival of wheelie bins in January 2006!
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
landlocked - Imagos
Anyone know which is the largest landlocked country in the world?

(to settle an argument)

thanks..
landlocked - Altea Ego
Kazakhstan is the world's ninth largest country but is the world's largest landlocked country. It's 1.03 million square miles (2.67 million km2) and is bordered by Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the landlocked Caspian Sea.
landlocked - Imagos
Thanks RF, My guess was Afghanistan, was miles out. Lost that one then.
Rejecting a new PC - andymc {P}
Hopefully this won't end up turning into a dispute, but I shall only refer to a firm I've had dealings with as "a big computer company", just in case.
I ordered what amounts to a home entertainment PC incl DVD writer, TV tuner etc. from "a big computer company" at the end of January and it arrived a couple of days ago. Unfortunately it isn't to the spec advertised, and the Media Player isn't playing sound (even though the installed DVD player will). I know I could probably tinker with the settings to get the sound sorted out, but I don't think that's acceptable with a brand-new PC. However my main reason for rejecting the machine is that it was advertised with two 200GB hard drives. It has two hard drives alright, but they are 181 and 183 GB respectively - nearly 10% difference, but a substantial difference in terms of storage capacity that I was looking for.

I want to make sure that I minimise their options for messing me around (e.g. by trying to make me pay for the return delivery charges etc.), so I just want to run my rejection e-mail by you knowledgeable lot to see what you think.

"To whom it may concern,
Two days ago I took delivery of a "big computer company" PC (order no. xyz, date 30/1/05). I am writing to inform you that I am rejecting the goods as they are not to the advertised specification. Specifically, the hard drive capacity is almost 40 Gb less than advertised both on your website and in "a named magazine" on page whatever. As time is of the essence in this matter, please contact me by return in order to inform me what arrangements you wish to make for collection of the goods. I understand that I shall not be liable for the cost of returning the goods to you and that I am entitled to a full refund of all money paid.
Yours sincerely,
andymc"

Anything I should add to that? Should I also mention the malfunctioning Media Player, or keep it simple? Thanks in advance.

--
andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
Rejecting a new PC - Mapmaker
I'd give them a ring first - and be charmingly disarming. It might be a mistake on their part. Don't shout; lots of pleases & thanks yous, do you mind awfullys, would you be so kind as tos etc. IMHO that's more likely to be the easy way to start and so you'll get the PC you wanted.


(I know virtually nothing about computers, but are you sure that a 200G drive isn't actually 180-odd? And is the 'missing' space missing for a perfectly good technical reason?)
Rejecting a new PC - Welliesorter
(I know virtually nothing about computers, but are you sure that
a 200G drive isn't actually 180-odd? And is the 'missing'
space missing for a perfectly good technical reason?)


How much space you get on a hard drive depends on how it's formatted. It's quite common to have a smaller available capacity than that quoted. There are also different ways of defining a gigabyte. There have been court cases over this sort of thing in the past, although I'm not sure of the outcome or whether any practices have changed since. See tinyurl.com/3opfx and tinyurl.com/52hpz .

See www.pcguide.com/intro/fun/bindec.htm for a technical explanation. Whether it could make as much difference as in your example, I'm not sure. Maybe someone capable of simple arithmetic will come along in a moment and say.

Also worth mentioning is the possibility that some of the disk capacity is used for a hidden partition, to contain a backup of the software that comes with the PC. Admittedly, this wouldn't be expected to affect both drives unless they are set up in a RAID arrangement, where one drive mirrors the other in case of disk failure.

I can't imagine there being much wrong with the sound if it works when playing DVDs. I suspect a bit of delving around in the settings will sort it. Maybe a call to the technical support line is called for before you reject the PC out of hand. Admittedly, you do need to act reasonably quickly if you want a refund.
Rejecting a new PC - Dynamic Dave
How much space you get on a hard drive depends on
how it's formatted. It's quite common to have a smaller available
capacity than that quoted.


Yep, that'll be the reason why it's not actually 200GB. My recently installed 300GB hard drive is actually only 270 ish.

::50/50 call as to whether this is IHAQ, or a Computer question::
Rejecting a new PC - wemyss
Good point there Mm. Just checked mine from C drive properties and my 20gb drive is shown as having a capacity of 18.6gb.
Almost exactly the same percentage loss as Andymac.
Rejecting a new PC - Altea Ego
As previously reported by various posters on here.

Hard drives are sold with unformatted capacity. Formatting uses disk space. And also as discussed there are differences how a megabyte is described.
Addressing an envelope to a married woma - L'escargot
What is the current etiquette regarding how you write a married woman's name on an envelope? Do you put her initial between the "Mrs" and her surname, or that of her husband. I seem to recall that you should use the husband's initial, but I know that fashions/etiquette change.
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Addressing an envelope to a married woma - Duchess
Unless the lady in question is of very mature years (or likely to appear in Debrett's), you should always use her own initial, eg for John & Mary Smith, Mrs M Smith. When addressing both, use the husband's intial ie Mr & Mrs J Smith.

Using the husband's initial for the singular is very old-fashioned and may possibly even cause offence.
Addressing an envelope to a married woma - L'escargot
Using the husband's initial for the singular is very old-fashioned......


Ooer, Duchess, you've just described me to a T. I assume its all part and parcel of actually being old ~ well that's my excuse!
Seriously, though, thanks for the advice.
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
 

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