The Kebab & Calculator

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    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @pedant Yeah, good news about glucose levels. But what a way to find out. Sounds nasty. I hope the other driver was duly mortified.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Ouch!  and commiserations about this additional sideswipe by the fates; but excellent news about the blood sugar levels 🙂

    Fingers crossed that the aches and pains will not trouble you for long.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  O crap on the BMW — I’ve been bashed like that once, no great harm done, by a very old lady driver who told me she’d thought she was on the interstate highway rather than little old Thingie Street, and I found the sheer *shock* of it absolutely — I like a quiet life, thrills and chills and bolts of panic strictly on a viewing screen, than you very much — but cheers on the blood sugar!  I’ve been working on my own numbers, and finding it hard going.


    @ichabod @idiotsavon @mudlark

    Well the other driver’s airbag deployed and probably saved his live – he really didn’t know what day it was for a good few minutes. I can’t see how he was doing less that 40mph when he hit me (the stretch of road is 60mph limit, and my dashcam has a sound like him skidding under breaking). Had he hit me more off-centre (or had I had the wheels angled) he would have pushed me into oncoming traffic, and a side impact probably would have killed me.

    So there could have been worse outcomes.

    Thing I’m most pissed off is that I had been invited to do a photo-shoot in some Ancient Woodlands, was two minutes from the venue, which was up the drive I was turning into, and the light was perfect.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Yikes! What is it about BMW drivers?

    And if he was going under 40 mph in a 60 mph zone, he must be the only BMW driver in the UK who drives under the speed limit.

    Glad you at least found out the blood sugar is regulating. Hope you’re not too shaken up.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant – Glad you came through as well as you did.  Yikes!!!

    I guess it’s the BMW connection that reminds me of a story my sweetie told me years ago.  Her boss had come in late to work, shaken up; his BMW that he’d worked so hard to get had gotten totaled on his way in.

    A teenage girl driving a Porsche or something had slammed into him.  Only the cars were hurt…but she’d looked at the damage, shrugged, and said, “Oh well, Daddy’ll buy me another.”


    Sounds like yours wasn’t quite that aggravating – I hope not!!

    syzygy @thane16


    Man, I get back from frought bus trip to Myall Creek (no seat belts and tired drivers) grateful to be in a piece and you are not!! 🙁   Bad for Mr P.

    BMWs: you should hear my dad talk about some of the Beemer Sunday drivers.

    Glad you’re not too injured. But it sounds scary. I don’t have my learner’s yet even. I think no matter how careful you can be, how well you watch the road it is always the “other drivers” my dad says.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    So, how was Myall Creek? It would have been great if you could have been in the Supreme Court as well, to hear about the trial, but I realise that wasn’t possible.


    syzygy @thane16


    It was amazing!! The drive was problematic. But we had several lectures by Indigenous peoples and visited the open -air museum and met one Indigenous actor! It was actually very cold. We had a campfire for the Dreaming which was terrific.

    We now have lots of records and information -primary evidence will does include the supreme court information about how the first trial meant they were all “not guilty” and then this lead to another trial.

    I haven’t slept at all since Wednesday so I need to do this first, see mum and then do some more reading and also watch The Secret River which is our combined History/English assessment. I like that there are two subjects looking at the same concept differently: historically, and English.

    It was very sad hearing about what happened. Two ‘fellas’ jumped into the creek to escape. If they hadn’t they would have been murdered too. They were 14. Children of 12 and 13 (girls) didn’t escape.



    idiotsavon @idiotsavon


    Just checking in. Straight after a big jolt, you might feel ok but the next 24 hours can really take a toll. Hope you’re still ok.


    Whisht @whisht

    @pedant – just to add to everyone else, honestly glad to hear you’re ok (and doing better on the count!)

    But top top top person you are @idiotsavon – its the days after an incident that waves of stuff can hit.

    And though sometimes I will wince at some of his comments, he now has a 5 day pass at being… [ahem] “tough” with trolls and less-than-thought-through comments.

    Just 5 days though, before I start wincing again!




    Stiff in places I didn’t know could go stiff! On the plus side, the lad’s insurers have accepted liability so the admin side of stuff should be less tiresome that it could be.

    Went to the doc earlier just be let her check me out. She’s satisfied there is nothing that is not to be expected, but did note that she has had patients come in complaining of onset post-crash pain up to a week later. That that was cheery (but past the dangerous point for serious brain trauma, apparently).

    I have the flash of memory that is a bit like this SF films where the spaceship is out of control and ALLL the lights are going, which was my dashboard. If it had said “Argh! I’ve been shot!” it couldn’t have been less dramatic.

    Today I have mostly been pondering the value of a properly adjusted headrest…


    LOL *cracks knuckles*



    I was slightly giving him credit for braking, albeit WAY too late!

    @kevinwho @mudlark @ichabod @thane16 (yes, don’t tell you’re mum just yet!) @blenkinsopthebrave

    Thanks for your kind words!

    For your viewing pleasure. At 32 secs you see a car joining from the left. We would meet about 22 secs later. Soundtrack provided by Absolute Radio and The Wonder Stuff:

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @pedant As you bring your car to a stop, I am sure we call identify with the universal verbal response to being hit from behind by someone in a BMW.

    Glad to hear that the insurance is working out.

    winston @winston

    @pedant  Ouch!  That looks pretty scary and I join everyone else in hoping you have a speedy recovery.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @pedant Jeez! I see what you mean about the oncoming traffic. That first grey car did well to avoid you. It does look scary. Lucky there was a decent-sized verge too. Round our way the country roads are helpfully flanked by ditches.

    It would be outrageous even by insurance company standards to try and dispute liability for this. In the other lad’s shoes I’d consider myself lucky not to be in court on a reckless driving charge, frankly. It’s good that they’re not trying it on though and it does make things a lot easier.

    Headrest height is definitely worth a good ponder.

    How are the aches and pains?

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Your life is certainly being rather on the eventful side at the moment. Glad you emerged from this (relatively) unscathed. Hope you’ll be quickly on the mend….



    Thanks mate. One thing that happened was missing my “so, you’re a diabetic now” course, since I had no viable way to get there. So now I get that and my deep-retina scan all in one week.


    I’ve watch a fair few dashcam vids – it is surprising how limited people’s vocabulary becomes when vexed-behind-the-wheel!


    Shoulders and – bizarrely – chest on deep inhaling, plus a couple of small bruises it took me a while to notice.

    Have also discovers the Milton Keynes Council has been warned repeatedly that this turning is dangerous. Think I might buy an hour of one of m’learned friends’s time…

    syzygy @thane16

    @pedant Don’t “tell her what?”

    I’m sitting in m’bed, begging for my laptop, out of the ICU and wanting to do something in between obs, cleaning out the naso-gastric tube (a real hoot-n-nanny), watching CNN & someone’s had a CAR ACCIDENT??  🙁  Holy mother of them all.

    I’ve seen some of your dash cam vids before -because I like driving & enjoy Christmas lights (any lights, pretty much, to which Thane will attest: garage, rear lights, lights from tall buildings ….) but not a CAR ACCIDENT. Certainly not dash lights that all flash. Diabetes, car accident…..??

    I plan to stay gloomy for the superstitious. A bowl of milk at the door to keep the random ghosts happy; all mirrors checked for cracks; ladders folded and hung;  no salt anywhere unless carefully laid along the perimeter

    @whisht has put up some toons. Outstanding. Not caught up with the latest Who and 1/2 way thru the one Thane calls “the satire with a live troll” which is very interesting….

    Stay safe people. The world is clearly going nuts.

    Puro x0

    janetteB @janetteb

    @pedant hope the aches and pains are now a thing of the past as well as the delayed shock. It looked like a nice day too. I hope you will soon be well enough to get back to the photography.

    I was terrified of driving in the U.K though bit of a lead foot here. I did however manage to get to deepest Cornwall. We were staying in Cheddar Gorge YHA and I had to drop my SO to Bristol airport for a red eye flight to Stockholm. I planned to drive to the nearest camping ground and let the car gather dust until he returned. Thought we should at least have a look at Cheddar Gorge however and by the time I got to the other side I was totally lost. It was not possible to pull over and check the map due to the lack of verge and the boys were too young to help so I just kept driving. It was a lovely day, soft blue sky, the road sunk between lush green hedges, beyond which the verdant fields of the West Country rolled away. I got the feel of the car, bit of a tank but it purred along nicely so I decided to enjoy the drive and consult the map when I finally came to a village. Instead we stopped at an intersection. The sign pointed to Exeter. “Exeter! That is near Cornwall”, I thought. “Oh what the hell, We’ll go to Cornwall.”

    I survived the roads but the painted on roundabouts nearly caused me grief several times. I just did not expect a roundabout to be simply a painted circle on the road, (here they are major constructions impossible to ignore) and wondered why cars were turning in front of me.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just reporting the passing of Douglas Rain, the Canadian actor who was the voice of HAL the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    It was so ironic, and so brilliant, that he expressed more humanity than the humans in the movie.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just reporting the passing of Douglas Rain, the Canadian actor who was the voice of HAL the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    It was so ironic, and so brilliant, that he expressed more humanity than the humans in the movie.


    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave  I was sad to hear about Douglas Rain who was a classic.

    Also just heard that Stan Lee has passed. A legend.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston and everyone else

    How could one appreciate the humanity of HAL (and the voice acting quality of Dougla Rain) without watching this?


    ichabod @ichabod

    @blenkinsopthebrave  Ye gods.  That clip really *hurts*, after all this time — and so much else that has hurt and continues to hurt.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Just finished winding my way through about a month’s worth of fascinating pub conversations to get here, and good grief. @pedant, I gather that you are okay, but how scary. I trust you’ve continued to recover. And great news on the blood sugar! I’m about to get my own checked as it was a little dicey last spring, and I was told to ease off the white flour products (my weakness more than the sweets!)

    I’m sorry to have missed so many interesting discussions! (Debates? Arguments? Everyone here is so polite.) My immediate takeaway is that @thane16 has to write essays for maths class! I believe Arbutus Jr. would have thrown himself off a bridge. Even in primary school, he was outraged by “explain your answer” questions. He felt that one place at least should have been free of handwriting, spelling, and grammar.



    Thank very much. I’m OK, although still keep getting flashbacks to my dashboard light up like the friggin’ Blackpool illuminations. On the plus side, since there was no credible dispute about who was at fault, the insurance has been sorted very quickly.

    I get the proper glucose testing a few weeks, so it will be interesting to see if the good news in maintained!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Okay. We’ve all done the dumbass thing with the blender, right? Where you fill it with lentil soup to puree, and for who knows what reason, you put the lid on without the little knob thing in the hole? And one pulse later, there are Puy lentils all over that corner of the kitchen? Which in my kitchen means the espresso machine, the bean grinder, the olive oil dispenser, the salt container, the counter, the wall, the electrical outlet, and the bottom of the cupboard? You’ve all done this, right?

    I don’t think I’ve used the F-word so many times for one incident. 15 minutes to clean it up, and I’m going, “I just want to eat my effing dinner.”

    I feel a bit better now, after a couple glasses of Cabernet, the soup, and the roquefort. But damn.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Lentils. It brings back memories of The Young Ones


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @blenkinsopthebrave     Ha! “I think the time has come for us to go down to the pub.” Well, that’s pretty much what I did, isn’t it?  🙂

    Mr. Arbutus found some more lentils underneath the espresso machine this morning, and did not hit me over the head with a bottle, or behave badly in any other way. So that’s something.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The bit where you leave out the little knob thing in the middle isn’t half as annoying as the bit where you remember said little knob thing AND put the lid on and the madly vibrating blender still somehow makes the lid (and accompanying soup) fly upwards and then deposit said lid (and soup) all over the kitchen.

    Alas, BBC Studios have claimed copyright infringement and is blocked ‘in my country’. So there.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @bluesqueakpip   The maddening thing is that I somehow thought that by leaving out the little knob, it would prevent the heat-based explosion from happening. Which it did. The lid didn’t come off. The soup just shot out through the hole, hit the overhanging cupboard, and rebounded downward in multiple directions. This is me being clever. I do wonder about myself, sometimes.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    There are so many lentil jokes in The Young Ones–hopefully this one won’t be blocked.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @arbutus I did something similiar once with pumpkin soup. Hope all the lentils are now discovered and dispatched.

    @blenkinsopthebrave. AT four am stuck on hte sofa helping R3 complete an English essay The Young Ones are just about the required viewing. “Guys Lentils are on the floor” is often quoted here, usually on MOndays when I am serving up veggie/lentil soup. We will be discussing The Young Ones on our Cult Tv Blog some time soon. (it is on the list but is a very long list. Next up is the 60s Batman then the Avengers episode with the evil Santas. (Have to do some research to find which episode I am thinking off. Not a job for now.)




    FatManInABox @fatmaninabox

    Hi all.

    There’s a great channel broadcasting in the UK called Talking Pictures. It’s been broadcasting for quite a while but I’ve only recently discovered it.

    They show old films and TV programmes which are mostly b&w and from the 1930s to 1960s but from time to time they broadcast programmes/films from the 70s & 80s particularly those that, until recently, were considered ‘lost’.

    British films and TV programmes from the 50s and 60s maybe of interest to those of you who wish to see certain actors in pre Doctor Who roles. There’ve been plenty of William Hartnell films and a couple of films recently featuring Jon Pertwee. Currently showing in the mornings is ‘The Invisible Man’ ( the original series, not the 70s series starring David McCallum ) which boasts as one of it’s co-stars a 10 year old Deborah Watling ( Victoria Waterfield ). I haven’t seen anything yet with Patrick Troughton in a pre-Doctor role but he recently featured in a few episodes of ‘A Family at War’ starring Sheila Fraser who would go on to be the Aunt of a certain farm-boy turned Jedi knight.

    William Russel and Bernard Cribbins crops up regularly, as do other future companions or villain/’red shirt’-of-the-week actors, but the award for ‘Most Appearances by a Future Doctor Who Star’ goes to old sexy herself, the TARDIS. It seems she had a very active TV/film career before she stole the Doctor 😉

    syzygy @thane16


    I think I referred to your lentils dispute (Lentil-gate) on The Sofa? But I didn’t catch up on your mention of T16s rather horrendous essay in maths class. Indeedy! Except it nudged him to a ‘B’ what won’t be a B or even a pass in the exam yesterday where he texted me with: “I had 2 on the C level correct and 3 of the D level correct. Out of 16.”

    At first I’d said, “so please tell me that’s 5 out of a top mark of 8 or even 10” which reminded us instantly of a Tommy McTiernan comedy sketch on that exact thing which I must find for a laugh.

    I have to say arbutus that I’ve not heard of an olive oil dispenser! But thank goodness you weren’t eating lentils with your coffee for breakfast. 🙂

    Thane completed his philosophy but the teacher smiled in a way that implied Thane didn’t do this all himself which is quite untrue. Unfortunately, after a stellar yearly start to the subject, he received an C- last term to do with Logical Philosophy which is very ‘mathematics’ and as an exam, without any possibility of cheating or getting help, the teacher is wondering how Thane could do so well with the Problem of Evil and The first task (2 weeks ago -therefore I can’t remember it!). But do it he did, which is terrific. No way on earth I could’ve helped him – the concepts were waaay beyond me. I get the odd syllogism….

    @fatmaninabox good to see you again! I did so love The Invisible Man.  Sounds like a great channel for the UK. Something good needs to happen in your neck of the woods what with Theresa May’s “Brexit is happening next February (?) whether you all like it or not” comment.




    You made me think of hungover Sunday mornings in a Balham house-share and Channel 4’s line up of The Wonder Years, followed by a rotation of Bonanza, The Invaders or The Fugitive followed by The Waltons in full and in order (up to and including Wrong John Boy).

    If TP ever shows the 1954 Peter Cushing 1984, now that’s work a look.

    (Passing thought, @thane16 Senior – did you ever see the unaired Buffy Pilot with Wrong Willow?)

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Thought I sent a version of this message a couple of minutes ago, but it seems to have gone missing in action.

    @pedant Last year the BFI was about to release a restored version of the Cushing-led 1984 until Hollywood released an unloved version of their own. I really want to see the restored BFI print.

    FatManInABox @fatmaninabox


    Oh, Puro! I was having such a good day and you go and spoil it all by mentioning Theresa May. Grrrr 🙂


    I think they did show 1984 a few months ago but, due to my sieve-like brain, I forgot to watch it. They have a tendency to repeat films every few months so I dare say it’ll be on again soon.

    True Entertainment have The Waltons on a permanent loop including the ‘Wrong John Boy’ episodes and the various TV specials followed by Little House on the Prairie. At 20:00 Mon-Fri they’re also showing Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) – the original version not the ‘Vic n Bob’ remake.

    TP are showing The Boys at midnight on 29th Nov as a tribute to Dudley Sutton. I saw this, at least some of it, a few years ago – I was slightly extremely inebriated at the time so only saw the first 10 mins before nodding off and then waking for the last 10 mins but from what I recall, it’s well worth watching.

    On Monday 26th at 9:15 their showing The Sandwich Man starring Michael Bentine. This film should be avoided at all costs, mostly due to the amount of actors in ‘brown/yellow face’ and the awful stereotypes but if you want to catch a glimpse of a beardless, pre-Doctor Who Roger Delgado then give it a go. He’s in it quite early on so you won’t have to suffer. Much 😉


    Quite a lot of the content on Talking Pictures comes courtesy of the BFI and Renown Pictures.

    I mentioned in my previous post that it’s a UK channel. That’s true with regard to FreeView, Sky and Virgin etc but I believe it’s also broadcast on FreeSat. As I know very little about satellite TV, I’ve no idea whether this means it’s available outside the UK but it’s worth looking into.

    FatManInABox @fatmaninabox


    Forgot to say – nice fireworks pics over on the Kerblam page

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Thanks! Will investigate.

    syzygy @thane16


    For thee:

    Puro and T16

    Mudlark @mudlark


    I’d read about pubs going under all over the UK, a development that I’ve seen attributed to the influence of inflows of muslim residents into old neighborhoods

    This seems a more appropriate space to continue on this topic 🙂

    That explanation sounds like the kind of thing propagated by UKIP or Fox News. Where a relatively large Muslim population is concentrated in distinct areas – think Chinatown or Little Italy – there will certainly be little custom for a pub, but that only affects a few districts in a few large cities. Elsewhere, the closing of pubs is more a consequence of changes in the way people spend their leisure time and the increased variety of rival attractions.

    It used to be said that my home city of Norwich had as many churches* as there were weeks in the year, and as many pubs as there were days, and that wasn’t far off the mark. The population here does not include a particularly large number of Muslims, and for the most part they live dispersed among the wider community. Over the past two or three decades many pubs have closed nevertheless, but on the other hand night clubs and restaurants offering a wide variety of culinary delights have proliferated. It does not mean that there are not still numerous pubs, but those which survive tend to be those which have made more effort to attract a loyal clientele and to foster a community spirit.

    Where pubs fail in rural villages it may be because the population is simply too small to make it economically viable in the modern world, or the result of a loosening of community ties as the original population leaves or dies off, or both.

    * The number of medieval churches was always more than was strictly justified by the size of the population, but was a reflection of the wealth of the city and the pious pretensions of its citizens.  A few of them were destroyed in the last war, courtesy of the Luftwaffe, and others had disappeared before that, but some remain in use as churches and others have been adapted for alternative use.





    I’d read about pubs going under all over the UK, a development that I’ve seen attributed to the influence of inflows of muslim residents into old neighborhoods

    Jesus H Christ On A Bike, ichabod. That you even gave such transparent horse shit credence does not reflect well on you.

    Read this. It’s about urban and rural change and it’s what I investigate for a living.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark and @pedant Surely the growing disparity between income and cost of living is a factor. It certainly is here. A single drink equates to half an hour’s wage for young people, those that are working that is. In Oz student benefit and unemployment benefit have not risen since the early 1990s (when my partner and I were recipients of the former) but cost of living has quadrupled at least. so our eldest son is receiving the same amount now that we were when we were at Uni.  (second son still can’t even get student allowance because it is determined by previous tax return not current income, unless there is an income increase of course.) Young people cannot afford to drink out. We no longer eat at pubs because it is too expensive and stopped doing so while my SO was still at work.

    There is also a cultural shift. Younger people tend to stay at home and watch Netflix but I suspect that is in part due to economic considerations too. The population of our town has roughly doubled since we moved here mid nineties. There are still the same number of pubs and they are no busier than they were twenty years or so ago. If anything they are quieter. Talking of which, are heading to our “local” which we continue to support as best we can, mostly by organising meetings there, to attend a meeting.



    syzygy @thane16

    @fatmaninabox a sort-of kebab (no calculator but with chilli) as I mentioned that….person. 🙁


    Now, mudders! Definitely you wrote a post describing the furious winter experience from which I took a “whoa, THAT’S a serious winter. That. Right there.” 😉

    Not to worry. If it was more humorous than, “awful. This is awful” awful then that’s a good thing but I apologise for misconstruing it. The other mention of life and death was tagged with other discussions where people -in Aus generally and QLD, specifically, romanticise winter. A little bit like me, at 26, saying to my date: “Oh, a motor-bike. That’s friggin cool, man. It must be awesome riding through the rain on winding roads, in your leathers, hopping into a pub and having a hot meal and a hot drink.”

    He had to marry me -he said. Chiefly because anyone who thinks riding a motor cycle in the rain is “cool” needs to be schooled, taught to ride a bike and hopefully has a damn good sense of humour. Which, to the latter, emerged after about 20 years….as to the rest that’s entirely my business 😀

    @idiotsavon  Savon Manor: I hope things aren’t too challenging??

    @pedant the anecdote regarding winter etc reminds me, yet again, of the lesson: “an anecdote is not the singularity of evidence (if I have that wrong I shall blame Spawn of the Hospitalised who re-told it aka Chinese Whispers).

    @janetteb  It’s awful isn’t it? I think it’s an issue of disposable income/cost of living. Local cafes nearby have ‘mugs’ of weak coffee for $5. A few former colleagues in Sydney changed in the early ’80s to superannuation plans SO good it virtually assures entitlements forever. Daily, they take a 40 min walk to a local beach (Coogee; Bondi..) stop for a $6 coffee and walk home -excellent exercise, buy a paper, or use the one at the café.

    I imagine once retirement has hit fully (where that super option wasn’t open to us) we’ll be attending to every red cent by necessity what with purchases for water equalling $1200 a year, something we didn’t foresee ten years ago. Rates are added on top of that and if we want, say, a ‘green’ bin for emptying garden waste that’s another $15 per month so we plop our garden-ey waste into our normal-size red bin for standard waste (as does everyone on our street).

    Spawn has been attending a few parties recently and whilst we have by no means a life of penury, he’s a bit amazed at the homes visited: 6 bedrooms, two pools, pine trees (apparently hauled in for 1000s of dollars); film theatres, outdoor kitchen (now the standard house includes an outdoor kitchen and a plunge pool no matter how small the land) and so many other rooms, spectacularly modernist in decoration, that he gets lost frequently. Mind you, his sense of direction isn’t that much better than mine   😈

    My ‘grand’ wish:  as this area had a stream running thru it sixty years ago;  boulders pushed out of the earth like the horror film Poltergeist (I think?), I wanted to create a hand ‘operated’ stream with a few old pieces of tile etc occasionally turning on the hose near it, sitting on the grass and popping one’s feet in of a summer night…luvly-jubbly. Who needs a 2nd kitchen or a home-theatre? I just don’t geddit. My parents, originally from Europe, liked to make a $$ ‘splash’ with large formal lounges forbidding entrance unless disinfected, showered and powdered like Rose and the Doctor in the episode New Earth. Eventually they came to their senses.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  @mudlark  Jesus H Christ On A Bike, ichabod. That you even gave such transparent horse shit credence does not reflect well on you.

    Don’t be daft!  Who says I gave it credence?  I said I’ve seen pub closures attributed to this “cause”, and am pleased to read comments on it here that throw more light on the subject from folks who’d know.

    There were also complaints about old pubs being bought to be tarted up and re-opened with, of course, higher prices; I didn’t realize how bad inflation has been there.  I live in a backwater city where that’s been much slower than it is in our own larger and more attractive places.  The US is in a housing crunch (in terms of rents and prices more than available housing stock) which I think is putting pressure on any city that people want to live in.  The news has been full of the planned new HQ for Amazon, and how nervous residents of the sites selected (Queens in New York and somewhere in DC) are about having rapid gentrification because of these new installations that will drive up all costs and force out anybody who can’t keep up economically (not to mention completely overloading the local transportation situation).  Common problems these days, I think.  And to think that for a little while there, bi cities were benefiting from an inflow of retirees and older people who’d traded bigger suburban homes for walkable streets, public transport, and the cultural concentration in urban settings!  Most old people can’t think that way now.  Better just put our roller skates on and get around the barren suburbs that way.

    We’ve got Netflix’s plans to open a big production facility here in Albuquerque to look forward to, with what the ramifications of that will be, from more and better work for the film-making community that’s already developed here, to further Los Angelization (locally referred to as “Californication” when it was just frantic urban sprawl that makes efficient public transport almost impossible).

    @thane16  Puro  Our big cost is electricity for cooling in summer — people who say, “Oh, but it’s dry heat so it doesn’t matter” aren’t noticing that our “dry” heat is becoming damper by the year, as the city spreads and heats up the “heat island” effect of so much traffic and so many A/C systems grinding away.  I found that I had to have a refrigerated air system put in if I was going to be able to sleep at night in summer, and that stuff is expensive to run.  My house was built circa 1900, so it’s a modest size.  We finished the attic for my husband to use as his office when he retired, but I don’t heat or cool it now he’s gone, and I rarely go up there at all.

    The big homes you describe sound like what we call “MacMansions” here, only yours sound much more upscale than the tatty crap they put together with particle board and nail guns in these new divisions here.  But the state has little to sell that others want, so local governments do little to restrain the darker instincts of developers.

    The only stream around here was the flood wash from the huge parking lot behind these houses (for a hospital at the end of the block) which is also up-hill from us, and there’s only one storm drain back there, smack in the middle of the block — but the grating is almost always blocked with a thick mat of pine needles from the trees edging the parking lot, so water rushing straight down to my house for years had actually washed away a chunk of the foundation under the back porch without without anyone noticing.  We had to have cement poured in, and a diversionary block wall built about two and a half feet high — this is high desert country, mind you, but when it rains it really rains, and there are always flooding problems.  The whole east side is built on the sloping flood plain of the Rio Grande, with water pouring down off the Sandia mountains and all the paved areas.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  Thanks for the link.  We’re not losing pubs (well, bars) around here; we’re gaining lots of little independent breweries, which seem to be blossoming in every US city with a halfway decent economy.  We’ve also got a massive alcoholism problem that’s been going on for a while under the radar because our opioid epidemic has taken the spotlight.  American men and women are drinking themselves to death at an accelerating rate, according to a study just out, with women gaining on men in that respect.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @ichabod Interesting re the increasing humidity where you are. We seem to be experiencing similiar here. Of course it could just be the last couple of summers but in the past the climate was hot dry, summers, cold with medium rain fall in winter and periodic drought. While over the past century the number of days over 40c had steadily increased of late so has the humidity. We feared that we would find ourselves living in a desert within a few years but it feels like that is not going to be the case. I might change that view come January and February of course. ..

    I think attics were never a “thing” here because of the heat. We put attics in when we extended rather than build out over the garden. They are well insulated but in the midst of summer they would be unusable without air con. so much modern housing now however is designed to be dependent upon air con, the kind of cardboard and staples houses that you describe and developers have far too much sway with governments and councils and they have no care for the environment, heritage or community. When we moved here the town was surrounded by open farm lands. Most of it is now covered in urban sprawl and to make it worse the land around here is some of the most fertile in the state which is mostly desert. It is already a factor in rising food prices.




    syzygy @thane16

    I think someone mentioned Manchester-by-the-Sea? Film with Casey Affleck directed by Kenneth Lonergan. It’s not exactly a ‘happy’ film, but God, does it bring you to your knees.

    Honestly, I’ve heard so many versions and re-adaptations of scores but there’s a superb Jules Massenet featuring Dawn Upshaw and the most uplifting Albinoni adagio I’ve heard in a very long time. Also, a spot of The Messiah in a pleasing gentle walking pace….

    Affleck does a tremendous job.



    Some of you may have seen this.

    For the benefit of our overseas friends, the run up to Christmas has become a competition among the large stores to see who can make the most…well, choose your adjective in the whole gamut from saccharin to sentimental… Christmas commercial. It has become quite high stakes and this your John Lewis shelled out however much it cost to secure Elton John plus full advertising budget spending. £millions. On one 2 min film. The JLP advert trends on Twitter.

    This, on the other hand, was made by a West Country film maker for about £50 with no marketing budget. It does not advertise anything.

    It is quite, quite extraordinary.

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