Not quite there yet ...
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palmersperry
I decided to work out (a) how long I was in Austria and (b) how long until I've been back in the UK longer than I was there. The answer to part (a) seems to be 686 days (rather an appropriately geeky number for me I think?), which means the answer to (b) is Saturday, 8 December 2012.

Alas it's something like 2549 days (or 6 years, 11 months & 24 days) until I'm expecting to be able to get back there from a financial POV. (Memo to self : find a better paying job!)

Got to worry about those online surveys ...
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palmersperry
Just did a survey for Global Test Market, for which they paid me the princely sum of ~98p, in which they first asked me "How interested are you in football?" and then after ascertaining that I had "Absolutely no interest in football!" then proceeded to ask me which 3 sponsors of football teams I could remember!

Strangely, my answer was along the lines of "Which particularly part of 'Absolutely no interest in football!' where you unable to understand?" …

About that temptation thing? :-)
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palmersperry
After my motorbike-related blog entry of the 29th, I made a private decision yesterday that I was going to resist temptation and not buy a motorbike since it would interfere with my plans to return to Austria … So naturally today, whilst I was down in Aberdeen anyway, I wandered into the Honda dealership! :-)

I achieved my main goal, which was to sit upon a Honda NC700X and snagged a sit on a Crossrunner whilst I was at it!

Now the Crossrunner is neither here nor there as far as I'm concerned, but the NC700X is a little tempting. If I could manage to get my bike license before January next year[1] then I could ride an NC700X on an A1 license whilst I waited for it rollover into a full A license. Of course, money is a factor (though the NC700X isn't nearly so pricey as a Tiger Explorer!) but something I may want to think about!

[1] There's some EU-mandated changes to motorbike licenses occurring from January 2013.
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I can resist anything except temptation?
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palmersperry
Went into Tesco this morning, and in addition to the milk, cheese & Coca-Cola I went into buy I also came out with a copy of the latest issue of RiDE magazine! I suppose I could try claiming "I'm not entirely sure how that happened …" but actually I'm entirely sure how it happened! They had a comparative review of the BMW R1200GS, the Triumph Tiger Explorer and the Honda Crosstourer!

I do seem to be suffering from excessive amounts of motorbike temptation of late, and I'm not really sure how that happened! The fly in the ointment being that I can't really see any way of acquiring a motorbike and managing to emigrate a second time on my current income - so it's a bit of an either/or situation! Though since I don't, currently, have the money to do either it's all rather theoretical!

Oh yeah, much as I like things like the BMW R1200GS I wouldn't be thinking of getting something like that for my first bike if I did go that route! Even if a direct-access test would make it theoretically possible, I suspect insurance companies might well look askance!

Also, of the 3 bikes listed above - the Honda Crosstourer has a seat that's too tall (and no height reducing options), the BMW R1200GS is too tall as standard but does have a reduced height suspension (though that might look a little silly?) and only the Triumph Tiger Explorer has a low-seat option that's potentially low enough.

Swift delivering!
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palmersperry
As I was needing a new belt anyway, on the 6th I ordered myself one (specifically the "Jolly Roger Belt") from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's online shop.

It arrived today, on the 9th! Not too bad at all when you consider the 6th was a Sunday and the 7th was a bank holiday! Well done all round to SSCS and the Royal Mail I guess?

No idea as yet as to the likely longevity of the belt, but it looks good! (Though being a slim, svelte sort of guy I really don't need the full length of belt! Or to put it another way, even the excessively lardy may order with confidence!)

Anyone know of a good "to do list" website/app?
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palmersperry
Does anyone know of either a good website, or a good (Mac) app, for managing "to do" lists?

I was using the Day Zero Project, but their recent (last month?) change in the UI just pissed me off too much and I'm hence on the lookout for a replacement!

Obviously I don't just want a list of tasks, since I could just write a $HOME/Desktop/todolist.txt for that! What I want is something that in addition to just a short description of the task can also include a long description of the task (optionally including a relevant URL, that should work as a clickable link) and a due-date. Extra-special bonus points if tasks can be grouped into subject areas, particularly if a task can be listed as part of multiple areas (i.e. I want tags and not folders!).

I've done some looking around, courtesy of both Google and the App Store and I'm drawing a blank! At this rate, I might have to write my own???
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BMA on NHS reforms ...
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palmersperry
I didn't write this, I just came across it on the Joker's Corner board on The Motley Fool and thought it was worth sharing!

The British Medical Association has weighed in, once more, on the new Prime Minister David Cameron's proposed changes to the NHS in England :-

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.

The Gastroenterologists had a sort of a gut feeling about it, but the neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

The Obstetricians felt they were all labouring under a misconception.

Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted.

Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the Paediatricians said, "Oh, Grow up!"

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.

The Surgeons were fed up with the cuts and decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The ENT specialists didn't swallow it, and just wouldn’t hear of it.

The Pharmacologists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter…"

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were p1ssed off at the whole idea.

The Anaesthetists thought the whole idea was a gas, but the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the a***holes in London!
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Just in case it might prove useful ...
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palmersperry
Just in case anyone has the need/desire to use it :-

PGP key behind the cutCollapse )

For reference, I will always explain any revoked keys unless I am legally prevented from doing so …
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Warren Buffett on Gold
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palmersperry
In his latest "Letter to Shareholders" Warren Buffett says something interesting about gold …

Today the world’s gold stock is about 170,000 metric tons. If all of this gold were melded together, it would form a cube of about 68 feet per side. (Picture it fitting comfortably within a baseball infield.) At $1,750 per ounce – gold’s price as I write this – its value would be $9.6 trillion. Call this cube pile A.

Let’s now create a pile B costing an equal amount. For that, we could buy all U.S. cropland (400 million acres with output of about $200 billion annually), plus 16 Exxon Mobils (the world’s most profitable company, one earning more than $40 billion annually). After these purchases, we would have about $1 trillion left over for walking-around money (no sense feeling strapped after this buying binge). Can you imagine an investor with $9.6 trillion selecting pile A over pile B?
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Interesting thinking by Standard Life ...
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palmersperry
For no readily explainable reason I was perusing the annual statement for my Stakeholder Pension from Standard Life when I noticed something rather odd …

We've assumed for your protected rights benefits:

  • you'll have a spouse or civil partner three years older than you who'll get half your pension when you die or after 5 years, whichever comes later.


We've assumed for your excess benefits:

  • when you retire you'll be married to someone three years younger than you who'll get half your pension when you die or after 5 years, whichever comes later.



So they appear to be assuming I'll be marrying someone who is both 3 years old and 3 years younger than I am? Not quite sure how that's supposed to work out?
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