I Have A Question - Volume 163 - Dynamic Dave

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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.

Calor Dex refill - mfarrow

I have some Calor Dexagas blowtorch bottles which, after several years (decades?) of light use, have all but emptied. Unfortunately, Calor have washed there hands of them.

Does anyone still use them or know of somewhere that will refill?


Mike Farrow
Buying from USA (importing) - arnold2
I'm considering buying a Canon digital camera direct from the states, as I can get what is here a £400 camera for £200 ! How can one find out how much import duty I might have to pay, though ?
Buying from USA (importing) - Armitage Shanks {p}
Pages and pages of gobbledogook here


Buying from USA (importing) - Altea Ego
Digital still cameras have no other duty ( funny enough 35mm and video cameras have extra duty)

You will need to pay 17.5% VAT. However this will be on the cost of goods AND the shipping, and you may be hit with a handling fee by the carrier who deala with the customs.

Also need to be aware you may not have any warranty, and certainly no sale of goods act protection in europe on the camera.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Foreign exchange - mike hannon
Bit of a poser here. SWMBO has been given quite a lot of dollars for Christmas by her American step-mother. Lovely gesture but we need to convert them into pounds (we bank in UK) or euros (we live in France). Should we just hand them over to the UK bank or should we use a currency dealer (as we did when we bought the house)? Or is there another way of not paying too much in transaction fees?
Foreign exchange - Baskerville
Why not open a Dollar account at one of the offshore banks? I know that Nationwide International offers a dollar account that incurs no fees for transferring to another (UK) Nationwide account. Leave it in Dollars if you think it will recover sometime soon.


All the banks do something similar.
Foreign exchange - Stuartli
Pity you don't live in the UK - I've always found the Post Office to offer the very best rates for converting dollars to pounds.
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Foreign exchange - Nsar
If you don't need the cash PDQ, then I'd wait until the exchange rate is a bit better.
Foreign exchange - Altea Ego
Yes the dollar has taken a real battering of late, but has stabilised, and can only go the other way.

so hang on if you can.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Foreign exchange - mike hannon
thanks all! patience is a virtue...
Foreign exchange - cheddar
Yes the dollar has taken a real battering of late, but
has stabilised, and can only go the other way.

That's what they said when it was 1.88 in mid 2005!
Foreign exchange - Altea Ego
That's what they said when it was 1.88 in mid 2005

And it did. A full 14 cents in March 06

1.76541 USD (21 days average)
1.74786 USD (19 days average)
1.74419 USD (23 days average)
1.76804 USD (20 days average)
1.86819 USD (23 days average)
1.84354 USD (22 days average)
1.84435 USD (20 days average)
1.89407 USD (23 days average)
1.88489 USD (21 days average)
1.87626 USD (22 days average)
1.91261 USD (22 days average)
1.9644 USD (15 days average

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Foreign exchange - No FM2R
Open a dollar account and keep them there, usually earning interest (albeit not much). Wait with relaxation for an appropriate moment to move them to Euros or Sterling or (best) a combination..
Foreign exchange - cheddar
Attached is useful:

New light bulbs causing problems. - henry k
I recently found one of my normal pendant lamp holders in a poor state and it was replaced with one rated 100w
I have now been forced to change another one ( which I am sure is very new)
This time the lamp holder had broken up and the bulb was hanging half out at an angle, still in the metal rim but with lots of the insulation crumbled. The cord clamp had also gone brittle and had broken up.
I know feel certain that it is caused by the new style light bulbs.
These 100W BC bulbs ar smaller ( bean counters at work to save bulky package ?) than the traditional ones and I believe they get much hotter and damage the lamp holder.
I have never had any problems with lamp ho;lders over many, many years.

If I am right then IMO perhaps the BS standard should be revisted

I will now be looking for replacement premium brand lamp holders or avoid these new lamps.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?
New light bulbs causing problems. - wemyss
Haven't had that particular problem Henry but I have found that on the cheapo ones that the lamp shade holding ring seizes up with the heat. I always tighten them up and then back down half a turn so they are still fairly loose but they stil did the same.
The last half dozen I cut them off and used MK and they seem to remain free.
I suppose in theory that an ordinary 100W bulb gives off the same heat irrespective of the actual size of the lamp. Could your cable be getting a bit ancient?.
New light bulbs causing problems. - L'escargot
One reason I like energy saving bulbs is that they don't get so hot.
New light bulbs causing problems. - henry k
... but I have found that on the cheapo ones that the lamp shade holding ring seizes up with the heat.

I have found that with the most expensive ones
I suppose in theory that an ordinary 100W bulb gives off the same heat irrespective of the actual size of the lamp.

I think the smaller diameter bulbs concentrate the heat more than the old style bulbs.
Could your cable be getting a bit ancient?.

No. The cable is pretty new but has started to be affected by the heat.

I will get some top brand lamp holders and bin these small bulbs.

I am not prepared to take the risk of causing other problems.
I will not allow my wife to change the bulbs so it could be very inconvenient if it occurs when I am not around.
I only became aware of the problem when the light started going off / on all on its own so I have no idea how long the problem existed.

I have some energy saving bulbs. They are about 10% dimmer than the wattage they are supposed to replace and give a less white light. They also do not fit in my bulkhead lamp so I find them of limited use.
New light bulbs causing problems. - Stuartli
I have to change the lamp holders in the ones still being used with normal light bulbs about every 12 to 18 months - the plastic becomes brittle and breaks up because of the heat buildup. It's not the quality as they are top products acquired from my best mate, who runs an independent audio/visual/appliances outlet.

There is one problem with the energy saving bulbs which we use for the porch, landing light and other areas where they are kept switched on for long periods. After the initial period of use, they begin to cause intermittent interference on the various radio units in the house. The duration varies but is intensely annoying; it happens even on FM.

The problem is not unique to me as there have been one or two letters to the local newspaper asking if anyone knows what causes such interference.
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New light bulbs causing problems. - buzbee
Brass lamp holders have ceramic parts inside that are not affected by the heat and neither is the brass case. There is a safety issue about using non-earthed metal parts that someone will handle, in case that goes live due to a bare wire touching it. That should not arise if the holder is screwed to metal, such as with a metal chandelier, as that should have an earth wire anyway.

You can by heat resistant wire.

what causes such interference [with energy savers]

The mains is turned into DC and then a switch-mode power supply is used to drive the lamp. That switching generates interference. Across the mains wire feeding the lamp will be some sort of suppression, based on a capacitor, that is supposed to stop the wire radiating. That will not be 100% effective but is aimed at being near enough for most purposes. In your case, apparently it is not enough.
New light bulbs causing problems. - Stuartli
>>In your case, apparently it is not enough.>>

Thank you for that explanation. For some reason it takes two or three weeks to happen when a new energy type bulb is required.

Regarding brass lamp holders. My best mate did suggest these, but made it clear they would have to be earthed.

One day I'll get round to rewiring the lights that go kaput, as I'm pretty certain the earth connection is available in the ceiling rose housing.

One of the main reasons for having to replace the lamp holders in the main living room is that we have an 11ft high ceiling, need two lamps for the main lighting and have to use 150w bulbs. Unfortunately the maximum rating for lamp holders is 100w...:-(

However, some of the bulb holders which are used with 100w bulbs elsewhere eventually give up the ghost, but after a much longer period.
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New light bulbs causing problems. - defender
low energy bulbs is certainly the way to go even if you put in a 25 watt bulb instead of a 20 to replace a standard 100 watt bulb,very soon you wont have the option as standard bulbs will be stopped .to be able to save 75 or 80 % on your lighting costs makes it worth while ,osram bulbs are one of the best makes (and you can get them to fit bulkhead lights)
I changed 60 x60watt bulbs in a shed with the equivelant 12 watt bulbs in feb 2002 and more than half of them are still burning 24/7 ,work out the exact saving for yourself as it is thousands per year and it helps with the carbon credits
my advice to hendry k is change the drop wire and pendant and go low energy
New light bulbs causing problems. - defender
ps the type of bulb with three loops may help with interference we use osram which may not be cheapest but last well over the stated 8000 hours and you can get them with a buil;t in sensor which switches on at dark and off at daylight for stairs or outside etc
New light bulbs causing problems. - Stuartli
Until quite recently, as part of the government aim to reduce energy consumption, Morrisons was selling the Philips low energy bulbs (60 and 100w equivalent) on a BOGOF basis for 99p.

At 49p per bulb we bought enough to serve our needs for the next few years...:-)

However, in areas where a good standard of lighting is required we used standard bulbs, which clearly emit far more light.
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New light bulbs causing problems. - defender
what make / type of buld do you use?there are low energy bulbs with same watts and high lumens rating ,we did buy some cheaper bulbs but just got what we paid for ,
with regard to your posting on bayonet fittings rated for 100 watts you can use bayonet fittings rated up to 500 watts supplied for use with heat bulbs as they are the same size holder only better made,we also have the high ceiling problem and lots of other high lights and long life l/e bulbs save a lot of ladder work
Dont know where I heard it but thought standard bulbs were going to be stopped as an energy saving exercise ,can anyone confirm this
New light bulbs causing problems. - Stuartli
>>the high ceiling problem >>

In fact the high ceiling isn't a problem - we prefer the 11ft high ceilings to the claustrophobic 9ft or so of modern properties (we have a Victorian semi-detached). Using low energy bulbs is a waste of time as the light emitted is not sufficient, especially as the height of the lampshades has to be in proportion to that of the room.

Some larger properties in our area have 14 or 15ft high ceilings. Take some decorating.

I did say that we had acquired a large stock of Philips bulbs that are a vast improvement on the giant tube styles of some years ago; they were also a problem because of their sheer weight...:-)
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New light bulbs causing problems. - Mapmaker
I'd go with a brass fitting. Yes, they *should* be earthed... but that regulation only came in during the sixties. Even with the insulators used in cabling in the half century before that I think you will find that deaths as a result of changing light bulbs were infinitesimally small. The chances of something going wrong in a part that does not move mechanically are so small that they are not worth worrying about.

Or the biggest energy saving bulb you can find.

Stuartli, if you are really having to change these fittings every couple of years, may I suggest you buy MK next time.

Alternatively, get some old bakelite fittings from eBay. As a thermosetting plastic it's much less likely to disintegrate.
New light bulbs causing problems. - henry k
I'd go with a brass fitting. Yes, they *should* be earthed.

I will go with brass fittings.
All the roses in the house have an earth and alll the brass fittings I have seen have an obvious external Screw / clamp for the earth wire.
It is no problem to change the twin pendant cable to 3 core.
Thanks all.
New light bulbs causing problems. - Stuartli
>>if you are really having to change these fittings every couple of years>>

It's only a 10 minute job in fact - much of the problem is due to the heat from 150w bulbs. The holders I use are of top quality, which is why they last so long under the circumstances.

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Tracking Father Christmas - wotspur
Computer ludite here - help please
Apparently there is a site whereby you can track father christmas's journey around the world
Tracking Father Christmas - JH
Well it starts from TVM's garage, he has informed us.
Tracking Father Christmas - Stuartli

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What's for you won't pass you by
Removing a chimney - planning perm reqd? - smokie
Anyone know whether we'd need to get planning permission to remove a chimney from a late 60s semi?

Or if we decided to just remove the bits indoors (to square off rooms) would that need permission? (I know about the loadings etc and would be getting this done professionally).
Removing a chimney - planning perm reqd? - daveyjp
Generally no unless in a conservation area or building is listed. As you say get it done properly and keep all evidence that it has been so, including building regs certificates - trying to sell a property where it's been done can be a nightmare.
Removing a chimney - planning perm reqd? - smokie
I guess I meant building regs too. Don't really understandall that stuff! :-) Do I need someone to draw up plans then?
Removing a chimney - planning perm reqd? - knowwun

You dont need planning permission unless as Davey says its a listed building or conservation area, neither likely in a late 60's home. Strictly speaking you dont need building regs approval either, but I would employ a structural engineer/surveyor to design and sign off the work.

I would urge you however to consider if you need to do it at all. Leave at least one chimney extant in a key room, it adds desireability and flexibility and lack of same makes it harder to sell a house.
Removing a chimney - planning perm reqd? - adverse camber
I think you might need building regs at least, you are making a serious structural alteration to your property. And plenty of supposedly pro builders fail to correctly support a stack after knocking out the bottom.

why not ring the planners and ask - at least then you are certain. Around us any alteration to the roofline needs consent.

If the chimney is adjacent to next door then party wall act applies, they get to employ their own structural specialist at your cost.
Removing a chimney - planning perm reqd? - smokie
Ok thanks.

It is a party wall, but next door have already taken their side out...!
Removing a chimney - planning perm reqd? - adverse camber
doesnt alter the requirement for you to adhere to the party wall act.

I have seen a case reported where one side removed the chimney (badly, incorrectly supported) and when B came to do the same, had to cover the cost of making good the original botched removal of the first side.

Have next door removed the whole chimney or just the chimney breast ? If you take out the chimney breast you are left with a whopping great chimney balanced on top of a bit of wall and sticky tape (well not quite :) )waiting for the next strong wind.
Removing a chimney - planning perm reqd? - pmh
Look at


Lots of useful information and links to party wall act documentation. Many similar stories of people who have a similar problem!


pmh (was peter)

Removing a chimney - planning perm reqd? - sierraman
Slight tangent,I saw some new buildings going up in an area of Victorian terraces and noted there were chimney stacks on pallets.I asked a builder about them and he said they weighed nothing,being made out of fibreglass,and were purely for appearance.You could get one of these if it was neccessary to keep a chimney on the roof.
Removing a chimney - planning perm reqd? - Group B
You should really make a Building Regs. application for this sort of work. Any demolition work which has a structural implication should go through Building Control (thats what they say in our area anyway). But you could do in on a 48 hour "Building Notice" rather than a full 6 week application. You should not need full plans drawing up, some decent sketches should suffice.

If you get a chimney breast support designed by a structural engineer, and tell the neighbour the work is being done professionally and with local authority supervision, then hopefully they will consent to the Party Wall Notice, without having to go throught the hassle of appointing surveyors, etc. If next door have already done their side then it would be unfair of them to raise any objections!

iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - M.M
Our 12yr old is wanting to buy an iPod Shuffle tomorrow with her Christmas cash. It will take every penny she has and I can't see why they are almost 2x the cost of a similar mp3 player... or about the same cost as a far better spec Sony one.

Who has what and why do you like yours?

I know little about either type apart from the fact they will not play my records.

iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - Pugugly {P}
"I know little about either type apart from the fact they will not play my records. "

They will. Just bought an "ION" USB turntable and will shortly be ripping my vinyl onto my iPOD. I have a 4gb Mini iPOD, works well, I like it.
iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - adverse camber
ipods have quite a high failure rate and are expensive for what they are.

They do have this 'style' thing though. (shrug)
iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - Stuartli
...and a very expensive "style" thing it is too...:-)
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iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - PoloGirl
iPod software is child friendly though...much simpler than others. Have you checked Froogle? She may get one cheaper online.

iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - smokie
A reasonable place to buy iPods is the Apple store on line. They do "refurbs", but I have only heard of people getting new equipment. The 512mb Shuffle is currently £29 - not sure if that includes p&p -most items on that page are free p&p but that doesn't say. There are others which are also pretty cheap.

iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - Bromptonaut
12 is about he right age learn the hard way about hype and value; the best parents can do is provide guidance.

All MP3 players will rip/burn her own CD collection and (with some help) LP or tape sources. If she wants to purchase tracks then i pod will limit her to the Apple itunes shop. Sony also uses a proprietary form of copyright management.

Players that support WMA/DRM offer a wider choice of download sources including Napster, Virgin, HMV and Tesco. Creative do decent range including the superceded Zen Micro (still avaialble in Toys r Us @£100) , and the more recent versions with colour displays and support for photo storage.
iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - Baskerville
Apart from the hype and the fact that it's "cool" the iPod Shuffle is really tiny and really light. It makes the equivalent Sony look like a house brick. Plus the design of the controls is the best. Most other companies try to imitate it and most fail miserably. Anyone who thinks the iPod thing is all because of hype should go and try one. But that's not to say there isn't a lot of hype, or that you don't pay for it, because there is and you do.
iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - M.M
Many thanks all... food for thought. We are going out shopping soon so the deed will be done. The link to the Apple refurb store is interesting.... in fact it could tip the balance towards an iPod because they do the 2gb white Nano for £65 inc delivery which is a real attraction over a new 1gb Shuffle locally for £55. I might sub her a tenner to do that as she wanted a Nano in the first place.

I just can't get my head round the "no screen" aspect of the Shuffle for so much money. Battery change issues too I read compared to the AAA using other brand mp3 players.

iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - Baskerville
From what I hear a lot of the battery issues are to do with charging rather than the batteries themselves. It must be charged properly first time (12+ hours on a steady supply) and then it needs a decent charge each time. Because these things charge on usb most people just plug them into a PC or (worse) a laptop and they don't always charge properly that way, so the battery isn't properly calibrated from the start and eventually dies prematurely. If you can, buy a mains usb charger (£5 at most), or failing that plug it into a powered usb hub rather than the PC/laptop. It should say that in the box, but it doesn't.
iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - buzbee
I like the Ventura from Asda. I GB storage for £30. Plays MP3 and WMA. Has an LCD display. Nice controls. 8 hours plus on a single AAA. 42 grms weight --- plus battery. But it is a bit larger, 8cm x 5cm x 2 cm
iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - M.M
Update: Thanks all for info. iPods were indeed very tempting from the feel/image/style point of view. But at the end of the day this was for a kid's first venture into memory based portable music as a way of taking a few songs away from the houise now and again. A brilliant value for money Creative mp3 player at £24.95 won the day.... and then she dragged me round the clothes sales with the cash left over. Result... parent and child happy!

iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - cheddar
A brilliant value for money
Creative mp3 player at £24.95 won the day.... and then she
dragged me round the clothes sales with the cash left over.

I bought a couple of those for two of my kids, a half price offer in PC World (also Currys AFAIK) good quality and CD's easily ripped / transferred with Windows Media Player / Explorer.

iPod vs MP3 - Hype vs value? - Baskerville
A brilliant value for money
Creative mp3 player at £24.95 won the day.... and then she
dragged me round the clothes sales with the cash left over.
Result... parent and child happy!

She's a chip off the old block and no mistaking.
Radiation Protection - adverse camber
My OH is getting involved in a charity connected with Chernobyl, she is going to be going out for a couple of weeks initially and will then be going out regularly a couple of times/year.

She has been told that there is still a high radiation level in the places she will be visiting.

One of the people she is dealing with is recommending selenium supplements.
Is there anything she should be taking to mitigate the risks? Iodine rings a bell?

Or do I need to put lead plated lingerie on the shopping list ?

Radiation Protection - bell boy
hide her passport
Radiation Protection - Dynamic Dave
I assume the charity are going to provide some form of personal radiation monitoring?

At the very least a dosemeter (eg film badge), to monitor dose levels?

It might be worth contacting someone like the HPA (Health Protection Agency - formerly NRPB) for advice.

Radiation Protection - adverse camber
While I sort of agree with Oldman's sentiments, I do approve of the concept.

They will provide some sort of monitoring but I dont know what yet - She only finalised it this afternoon.
She will be involved in setting up a mental heath service so I assume they will be on top of things but its handy to have extra opinions.
I seemed to remember that there was a radiologist on here somewhere?

Thanks for the link DD, I will have a look.
Radiation Protection - Dalglish
...They will provide some sort of monitoring but I dont know what yet ...

i am not a radiologist but i have actually spent time on several real live nuclear power reactors.
i.m.o. assuming it is a professional outfit, your partner should have no concerns.

she and you should read:
UNSCEAR's sober conclusion is that the people living in "contaminated regions of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine "need not live in fear of serious health consequences", and forecasts that "generally positive prospects for the future health of most individuals should prevail." In centuries to come, the catastrophe will be remembered as a proof that nuclear power is a safe means of energy production.


Radiation Protection - PhilW
This is well worth a read

Exploits of a Russian girl who has motorcycled all round Chernobyl - some useful background info about radiation levels, lots of photos also.
Radiation Protection - Nsar
It's a hoax though
Radiation Protection - smokie
"It's a hoax though"

Any grounds for saying that?
Radiation Protection - PhilW
When I put the link here, I was remembering the rather haunting photos from some years ago and had not read the "hoax" claims. Just done a Google on the hoax side of the story and it seems that there are doubts about whether she actually did do the motorcycle rides though there seems little doubt that she has visited the area - maybe on an organised tour.
Nevertheless, the photos remain "haunting" (IMHO) and as one site on the "hoax" says
"The pictures of Chernobyl, and what it's become, were real. How much does it really matter that she made them more interesting by wrapping them in a tale about a solitary motorcycle ride?"

Nevertheless, good luck to Mrs Adversecamber and to the charity.
Radiation Protection - PhilW
Incidentally, for those interested, there are many other photos :-egs
Radiation Protection - Dalglish
...The pictures of Chernobyl, and what it's become, were real ..


one of the links there leads to:

..Chornobyl "Ghost Town" story is a fabrication TOP <#top>
e-POSHTA subscriber Mary Mycio writes:

I am based in Kyiv and writing a book about Chornobyl for the Joseph Henry Press. Several sources have sent me links to the "Ghost Town" photo essay included in the last e-POSHTA mailing. Though it was full of factual errors, I did find the notion of lone young woman riding her motorcycle through the evacuated Zone of Alienation to be intriguing and asked about it when I visited there two days ago.

I am sorry to report that much of Elena's story is not true. She did not travel around the zone by herself on a motorcycle. Motorcycles are banned in the zone, as is wandering around alone, without an escort from the zone administration. She made one trip there with her husband and a friend. They traveled in a Chornobyl car that picked them up in Kyiv.

She did, however, bring a motorcycle helmet. They organized their trip through a Kyiv travel agency and the administration of the Chornobyl zone (and not her father). They were given the same standard excursion that most Chernobyl tourists receive. When the Web site appeared, Zone Administration personnel were in an uproar over who approved a motorcycle trip in the zone. When it turned out that the motorcycle story was an invention, they were even less pleased about this fantasy Web site.

Because of those problems, Elena and her husband have changed the Web site and the story considerably in the last few days. Earlier versions of the narrative lied more blatantly about Elena taking lone motorcycle trips in the zone. That has been changed to merely suggest that she does so, which is still misleading.

I would not normally bother to correct someone's silly Chornobyl fantasy. Indeed, correcting all the factual errors and falsehoods in "Ghost Town" would consume as much space as the Web site itself. But the motorcycle story was such an outrageous fiction that I thought the readers of e-Poshta should know.

Mary Mycio, J.D.

Legal Program Director
IREX U-Media
Shota Rustaveli St. 38b, No. 16
Kyiv 01023, Ukraine
Tel: (380-44) 220-6374, 228-6147
Fax: 227-7543

Radiation Protection - wemyss
My daughter and son in law as part of a scheme by her Anglian Church had a couple of young brothers about 7 and 9 years of age stop with them for a couple of consecutive years for a few weeks during the summer holidays from the Chernobyl area.
They were wonderful little boys and they were a pleasure to have. Every time she began a task such as washing the pots or sweeping the drive they would without asking simply take the task over without being asked.
While they were here they had many check ups at the local hospital and also the dentist.
They appeared to be in good health but my daughter was told they probably wouldnt outlive their teens.
Going into this area is not in my opinion something to be taken lightly. You can have medical back up but this isnt going to be able to tell you longer term possibilities.
LCD-TV - 007
I am in the market to purchase on of these things and am looking at the possibility of buying on-line.

In particular, I fancy the Sony KDL 26 S2010 but the info on Comet site implies that it does not have auto set up which smacks of the bad old days when one had to get an engineer to call round to install and tune it in:o(

Am I being too pessimistic? Is manual set up likely to be simpler than I anticipate. I am not a techie!
LCD-TV - AlastairW
You could do a lot worse than talk to the people here:

I speak only as a satisfied customer (i bought a crt personally), but I found them really easy to deal with.
Don't pay any extra for "HD Ready" etc. etc. However, set-up is pretty easy and I think all of them have automatic set-up to one degree or another.
LCD-TV - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}
Took me over 4 days to get my LCD TV and new video /DVD working in unison. DVD would play fine but video not through SCART. Only by chance did I come across a well hidden sub menu on the TV set up. No idea why anyone would want the video input to be disabled!

Even now lots of specific input/output selection needed when playing or recording tapes from digital.

And I bet the usual letter from the TV licensing authority will hit the doormat.

Dear Sir or Madam , We have no record of a TV licence at your address.......................etc.

Three times I've had such as letter- licence is in SWMBO name.
Rant over.

Lang May Your Lum Reek and a
Happy New Year
I wasna fu but just had plenty.
LCD-TV - L'escargot
Lang May Your Lum Reek ..........

If our lum reeks it means the inside of the lum is on fire!
LCD-TV - Phil I
Words of Wisdom from TVM in IHAQ152

Quality on LCDs stil not good enough unless HD digital, there is no HD output to justify the cost, so it was a trip to testco for a £199 pound 28" JVC. TUBED TV, OK its huge, but the picture quality is superb, and it will fill the gap till the market, media, and programming matches quality expectations, bout 5 years I reckon.
TourVanManTM < Ex RF >

I took TVMs advice purchasing only just before Xmas from Lidl 28" Silvercrest 3yr Guarantee ( clincher for me available in black rather than the usual silver) at £129
Took two of us to lift it.:-)) ).

Happy viewing Phil I
LCD-TV - daveyjp
I was in Argos before Christmas and they were showing the same DVD on numerous LCD screens -some 'normal' and some HD. All the HD output was excellent, very crisp and greater colour depth. The LCD TVs showing it in normal resolution had a terrible picture.

If it had been one LCD TV I could have possibly blamed the brand, but there were four or five of different types and sizes and all the pictures were just as bad - colours blending to the point of the picture looking out of focus. I've noticed that my parents LCD TV also lacks picture crispness. Whatever was wrong the picture was far inferior to my 5 year old JVC widescreen.
LCD-TV - buzbee
Many will have their own views on LCD TV and in the end it is down to you. Ideally after viewing one at home.

I sat on the fence for a long while with my Philips tubed TV that was latest technology about 15 years ago (used to work for an electronics company (did research)) and followed the goings-on closely --- probably not much has changed tube-wise since then as most of the research was done by then. It has 100 Hz line scan, frame store etc.

Finally I went LCD and got a Toshiba 37 inch about 10 months ago having followed the 'enthusiasts' buys and comments on the AV Forum which included an enthusiasts colour settings derived from several hours of comparisons --- many of the TV's colour features are adjustable.

For me the result is no contest. The LCD wins easily. The wildlife stuff is spectacular.

OK, you do have to watch the ambient lighting a bit as being too bright can mean using another setting. It would help if Tosh provided several personal settings for the various room lightings, but my Tosh has only one -- the others are factory chosen for you! But the personal settings, I got from AV, turn out to be very good indeed for my usual evening viewing.
LCD-TV - Stuartli
A Toshiba or Panasonic LCD set will provide superb results whether in standard or HD use.

Contrary to accepted opinion, larger screen size displays (more than 32in) are best on plasma sets.

A roundup of advice can be found at:

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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
LCD-TV - wemyss
I bought the Sony KDL-26S2010U LCD TV in May for the World Cup and can confirm it is an excellent choice.
Brilliant colours and clarity.
It does tune itself automatically for both Digital and terrestial.
It also tells you to have your VCR running while it tunes and it installs this for you so that when you press play on your VCR for example it switches itself on and begins to play automatically provided your VCR has smartlink or similar.
Also records by menu of the TV.
Large number of features as you would expect from Sony.
I would also reccomend that when you come to buy it have a look at John Lewis either locally or off the internet as the price is the same. Free delivery and the most important thing is that John Lewis give a 5 year warranty on Television.
Their price was competitive and although I could have got it a few pounds cheaper this was far outweighed by the above.
LCD-TV - buzbee
At the time I was about to buy my Tosh, Sony had a superb demo going and I was concerned I should be paying the extra for the Sony. A few days later I found a shop using that demo on both a Sony and 'my' 37WLT58 Tosh and both pictures looked equally good.
Renovating 1950s bath taps - L'escargot
Our 1950s bath taps have a horizontal inlet which comes out of the vertical end face of the bath instead of the top surface of the rim. As this type of tap is (to the best of my knowledge) no longer obtainable I want to renovate them by recutting the seats and renewing the headworks. I haven't looked yet but I assume that because of their age the headworks will be sealed onto the tap body by a fibre washer, rather than by an O-ring. Are replacement headworks that seal by a fibre washer available? I'm assuming that the thread in the tap body will be the same as current taps because if it isn't it's going to mean having a new bath.
Renovating 1950s bath taps - wemyss
They often used to be known as Globe taps if they are the fat lower body. I have the same in my old cast iron bath and renewed the heads in them many years ago.
You need a pair of heads for them easily available of the conventional type with a fibre washer. They are normally always of three/quarter inch size and the threads will be compatable.
They will be probably be in tight after all these years. The best method of getting them out is to use a large adjustable. To get this on to the hexagon you will probably have to remove the crutch on the top usually held with a small screw as the bonnet won't lift high enough to get it in.
Take the screw out (with the bath plug in) and tap it upwards with a small hammer changing the crutch to a different position after each tap.
It will come off ok. Then put your adjustable on the hexagon and give it a good few whacks with a lump hammer to release them.
Use your refacer and fit your heads with a bit of grease on the threads.
Renovating 1950s bath taps - henry k
>>As this type of tap is (to the best of my knowledge) no longer obtainable....

But Google instantly finds
etc. etc. etc.
try a search with .....globe bath taps and stand back :-)
Granchild - bintang
What is the best way of investing on behalf of a positive grandchild?
Granchild - hxj
One rule for you:

Give time not money.

When you are dead they can have the money but not the time.
Granchild - El Hacko
why not give both? I'm lucky enough to have 4 g'chldren and enjoy contributing both time and money (the latter mostly in investments)

Granchild - bintang
What investments do you recommend?
Granchild - Dalglish
.. What is the best way of investing on behalf of a positive grandchild? ..

i thought your original question said "p u t a tive" grandchild.
What investments do you recommend?

this is a "how long is a piece of string?" question.
to see why i say that, try google (limit search to uk results only) for keywords : investing grandchildren

Granchild - Xileno {P}
"When you are dead they can have the money but not the time."

But not until Gordon Brown has taken his share first.
Granchild - bintang
I would, but I am afraid of catching nappy rash. I believe modern strains are resistant to most antibiotics.
Granchild - Dulwich Estate
The main thing is that they've got time on their side and compound interest (especially if tax free) can achieve a lot in say 18 years. Nobody knows what investment will do best over this long period. Equities go up and down and sometimes violently - deposits creep up and are sometimes steady if inflation rate = rate of interest, but you don't lose your shirt.

I think the key thing is to avoid paying tax (OK they don't pay it now, but will one day).

How about starting a stakeholder pension - boring but useful. To liven it up a bit buy a popular toy or two that you guess might be future classic - don't open the box, don't use it, just put away for 18 years. Imagine the increase in value of an unopened 25 year old Meccano set sold today!!
Condenser tumble dryer current draw - L'escargot
We're contemplating buying a Hotpoint CDT00P condenser tumble dryer which (according to Comet) is rated at 5.11 kW. Does this mean that it can't be plugged into a 13 amp socket and that it needs a separate dedicated power supply rated at more than 21 amps?
Condenser tumble dryer current draw - Dalglish
... Hotpoint CDT00P condenser tumble dryer which (according to Comet) is rated at 5.11 kW. ..

i suspect they mean energy consumption is rated at 5.11 kilowatthour. (p.s. c t d - not con dry tumb )
Condenser tumble dryer current draw - Galaxy
If, as I strongly suspect will be the case, it comes supplied with a fitted 13A plug then it's perfectly OK to plug it into a 13A socket. They wouldn't be allowed to sell the product like this if it wasn't!

Condenser tumble dryer current draw - sine
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=41037&...e :))
Condenser tumble dryer current draw - L'escargot
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=41037&...e :))

Oh heck! My memory is obviously failing fast. I've withdrawn my head into my shell in embarrassment.
Condenser tumble dryer current draw - L'escargot
>> ... Hotpoint CDT00P condenser tumble dryer which (according to Comet)
is rated at 5.11 kW. ..
i suspect they mean energy consumption is rated at 5.11 kilowatthour.

I think you're right. Currys say 5.11 kWh.
(p.s. c t d - not con dry tumb

You're definitely right ~ model CTD00P, not CDT00P. Doh!
Cooker energy rating - David Horn
In Currys yesterday looking at cookers and they all have these energy efficiency stickers on them now, rating from from A-G. Now, call me an ol' sceptic, but how can you slap an efficiency rating on an oven, when by its whole nature it's 100% efficient in the first place?
Cooker energy rating - Dalglish
... an oven, when by its whole nature it's 100% efficient in the first place?

eh? 100% efficient ! i don't understand that claim. can you explain how you arrive at that conclusion?

Cooker energy rating - rtj70
Assume you mean efficient at converting electricity to heat. But is it 100% efficient?
Cooker energy rating - David Horn
Since you can only waste electricity as heat, surely if it says it uses, say, 5kW, then the whole 5kW will be converted to heat. So 100% efficient.

* this assumes the cooker doesn't waste energy by running round the kitchen or singing country songs etc.
Cooker energy rating - sine
I suppose it is 100% efficient at generating heat.
The rating usually relates to power consumed vs. the size of the oven. It takes account of how well the oven retains heat i.e. how good the insulation is.
I'm not sure what the procedure is for obtaining the power consumption though.

If the oven was truly 100% efficient wouldn't that mean it would never cool down!? (assuming the door remained shut)
Cooker energy rating - rtj70
"If the oven was truly 100% efficient wouldn't that mean it would never cool down!? (assuming the door remained shut)"

Absolutely. And what about the light :-)

But can one oven be better at converting volts/amps to heat compared to another? Apart from insulation of the oven (an important factor) could one oven be better than another? And then there are fan assisted ovens which cook quicker and therefore less time to cook and therefore less energy used (the power for the fan must be less than the heating part).

Cooker energy rating - Vin {P}
I'd assume it refereed to the electricity required to keep the oven plus contents at a given temperature for a given length of time. In that case, the figures may well vary between ovens due to differences in insulation. It's useful, because it's a sensible measure of what you would regard as relevant.

Cooker energy rating - bell boy
it might also depend on the coefficiant of expansion of the heating element
or it might not of course
then again some quality portable cassette players last longer on their batteries than others (like my sony walkman thats hewn out of stone)

Ask Honest John

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