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Thread: Trivial (or not so trivial) stuff that makes you happy.

  1. #6091
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Yeah, it certainly depends on your perspective. New York State has a population density of about 160 people/square km. In Western Australia you have just 1 per square km! And by contrast, in Tokyo prefecture we have more than 6,000 per square km! So I think you and I are kind of the outliers.
    Very true. Especially as over 80% of our population lives in one city.

  2. #6092
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    For the same square footage, I think generally that it becomes cheaper to live when you move out of the city
    Square footage is not a fair for comparison. It naturally gets much bigger where the population density is lower, including not just bigger land areas but also bigger buildings on that land. A bigger place can be cheaper per square foot and still be more expensive than a smaller place. And if you're shopping for places to buy & live, you can only compare & buy & ponder living in whole properties at a time, not a certain number of square feet of each.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    To me that implied it was because properties are in the country that they are more expensive.
    That's exactly what I meant. Scenery and an escape from city chaos are what people want to live out there for, and they pay for it.

    ...although I think I've figured out something since my last post here: Cougar might have been referring to places farther out there than I'm familiar with. I've always looked at places that were within about 30-45 or fewer miles or minutes from a town of at least several thousand people. Cougar's "25 miles to anything" could have meant 25 to literally just one building (like a gas station & convenience store at a highway junction), and then more than that much again to a real town. I've never priced anything that far out. There could be two layers of rural real estate market: one a reasonable driving distance from civilization, where you don't need to routinely see & hear the city but can still get to it when you want to, so the prices are high, and one far enough out to make living there a logistical challenge, which could bring prices back down. I've just never looked into the latter because I needed to be where my job was. That still makes both categories the playthings of the rich, but for two different reasons: in category 1, because it's just priced so high, and in category 2, because its price is OK but living out there means you need to be able to live with no job. I had blended the two under "I'll never be rich enough" for so long that I hadn't considered the distinction in a long time.

    (Also, some of the posts I had in mind as part of this conversation were actually at a different website; Cougar just happened to end up posting here on the same subject as a different conversation elsewhere at about the same time, which involved some Brits talking about how cheap it is in the Welsh valleys, which nobody here mentioned... until now.)

    * * *

    Something I'm reminded of by the above, but which also better fits the thread title: I'm suddenly finding myself considering decisions that only need to be made because of how far I've suddenly gotten in recovering from past disasters.

    Long story short: After working in my first career for a few years and finding out some stuff about it that they hadn't warned us about in school, I walked away from that, floundered for a while with no especially valuable job skills outside that field, went back to school for another one, had the job market in that field fall into a black hole right when I graduated, spent some more years floundering again, and finally stumbled into a third career that doesn't use either of my degrees but does make me think "I should have just done this years ago; why didn't anybody tell me this kind of thing exists?". And that applies not just to the work but also to the money. For example, even after blowing a bunch on things like replacing all of my apartment's sockets, switches, and not-in-a-closet light fixtures including ceiling fans, and getting things like an air conditioner & a new fridge & a 3-D printer, I also got a new-to-me 1½-year-old truck like I've wished I could get for years, and just finished paying it off a few days ago, 16 months after driving it home.

    So now I have the extra income I never had before, to do stuff that's been impossible to even think of for all those years and used to look like it always would be, like saving/investing for retirement. I still wouldn't have previously included the idea of ever buying real estate because the prices have been so absurdly atrocious everywhere I've looked before. But a couple of online conversations I've been in recently in which real estate markets have come up have caused me to look at some listings in my new area now that I moved again a couple of years ago, and the prices turned out to be much lower than I expected. Apparently, the last time I moved, I moved into a lower-cost-of-housing region without even knowing I was doing it. So now even buying a home instead of renting indefinitely might be a real possibility. (Now I just have the tiny issue of learning how these things are done and deciding how much money can go to which cause...)
    Last edited by Delvo; 2021-Sep-06 at 07:45 AM.

  3. #6093
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    It has been an excellent year for wildflowers in the bush this year but we hadn't been able to organise a trip. However this week we managed to spend a few days with my brother in law about 300 km east of Perth - without WIFI or mobile (cell) access. Initially we thought that we were a little late to see any good shows of flowers but using his local knowledge he managed to find some nice spots off the beaten track. Here's some of what we saw.

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    And in case you weren't sure which country we live in

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  4. #6094
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    Yesterday, we met Zane's new teacher. She informed me that she starts the class on fourth-grade math at the beginning of the year--she may have to walk it back, because incoming third-graders don't always know multiplication, which they need, but that's where they start. Zane spent all of last year complaining that the math was too easy; clearly, we will not be having the complaint this year.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  5. #6095
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    Go Zane!
    I've been wondering how the school is dealing with your kids' alternative names?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #6096
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    Ok, this is warped.

    Our insurance kicked in. We received a direct deposit of funds to replace everything we own. It's many times what I make in a year. We also living in a new house, where our are needs are limited to food and utilities. My wife and I had a discussion about "let's not do anything stupid and wait for our house to be rebuilt before we start spending money." If we don't wait, we will have to physically move stuff from one house to another.

    That was an easy conversation.

    Now for the funny and trivial part. The insurance company was to cut a check for the actual rebuilding of our home. These funds go into a special escrow account so that my mortgage lender can be assured that we actually rebuilt our house instead of walking away with the cash leaving them holding the bag on a burned out property.

    I guess people do that.

    Anyway, I woke up one morning to discover the insurance company deposited all of those funds in my personal bank account. After 3 or four panicked phone calls, we managed to get the money back to the insurance company. It had to be done by check for some reason. A couple of days later, my mortgage lender called me to let me know the insurance company mailed them a check. They sent it back because the check needs to be signed by me and the bank then put into the escrow account.

    You really shouldn't be able to trivially move that much money around. But you can and it's too easy because they put the money in my personal account a second time. From the sparse data I have, some of these transactions overlapped, so we had been give many times what we should have had. Thankfully, it's all in the right account now.

    Have you ever been mad because you had way too much money? A year ago I would have said, "That's impossible." Now that I've had it happen a couple of times, I have unleashed some very powerful cuss words over it then felt giddy over the fact that I was holding so much money for a brief moment.

    This has been my last few weeks.

    This is also annoying because that's a few weeks where work could have been done on the house but wasn't due to a lack of funds.

    Back to "makes you happy." Our contractor is great, we see eye to eye on everything. He promises that someday we will curse him over problems, which will probably be true. I really do like the guy because he is realist and upfront.
    Solfe

  7. #6097
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    But surely that is because New York State is so, relatively, small in area but with a largish population? Once you are in states, or countries, with 'lots of space' then all bets are off and you can reasonably easily find a nice hideaway at an attractive price.
    Most of New York state's population lives outside of NYC and there are incorporated areas (towns and counties) with a population density of 1 person per km. The Adirondacks tends to have a density of 4 per km, but seems like wilderness with no habitation. If you want that in the other units, 3 per mile and 14 per mile, respectively. Roughly, anyway.

    I live just outside of Buffalo, in a town with a population density of 1,100ish per km. It seems rather spare compared to the city of Buffalo with a density of 2,500ish per km. Both places are much more densely packed that say, all of Hamilton county, which has the lowest density of 1 person per km east of the Mississippi.

    I had a friend from Leeds freak out whilst (I think I said that right, I'm trying to copy my friends vernacular) driving through the middle of New York. He slammed on the brakes and hopped out of the car, unnerved by the vast emptiness. I took the wheel and told him to stay out of Iowa.
    Solfe

  8. #6098
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Go Zane!
    I've been wondering how the school is dealing with your kids' alternative names?
    Derailing, but in an amusing way. Years ago, my daughter Catherine tried to tell her pre-k teacher to call her "Catty, because I am." The teacher responded, "no", lower case and all. You could actually hear the lower case letters.
    Solfe

  9. #6099
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Ok, this is warped.

    Our insurance kicked in. We received a direct deposit of funds to replace everything we own. It's many times what I make in a year. We also living in a new house, where our are needs are limited to food and utilities. My wife and I had a discussion about "let's not do anything stupid and wait for our house to be rebuilt before we start spending money." If we don't wait, we will have to physically move stuff from one house to another.

    That was an easy conversation.

    Now for the funny and trivial part. The insurance company was to cut a check for the actual rebuilding of our home. These funds go into a special escrow account so that my mortgage lender can be assured that we actually rebuilt our house instead of walking away with the cash leaving them holding the bag on a burned out property.

    I guess people do that.

    Anyway, I woke up one morning to discover the insurance company deposited all of those funds in my personal bank account. After 3 or four panicked phone calls, we managed to get the money back to the insurance company. It had to be done by check for some reason. A couple of days later, my mortgage lender called me to let me know the insurance company mailed them a check. They sent it back because the check needs to be signed by me and the bank then put into the escrow account.

    You really shouldn't be able to trivially move that much money around. But you can and it's too easy because they put the money in my personal account a second time. From the sparse data I have, some of these transactions overlapped, so we had been give many times what we should have had. Thankfully, it's all in the right account now.

    Have you ever been mad because you had way too much money? A year ago I would have said, "That's impossible." Now that I've had it happen a couple of times, I have unleashed some very powerful cuss words over it then felt giddy over the fact that I was holding so much money for a brief moment.

    This has been my last few weeks.

    This is also annoying because that's a few weeks where work could have been done on the house but wasn't due to a lack of funds.

    Back to "makes you happy." Our contractor is great, we see eye to eye on everything. He promises that someday we will curse him over problems, which will probably be true. I really do like the guy because he is realist and upfront.
    Wow, that's pretty much how the opposite of how I imagine things usually go!

    Meanwhile, I am happy my lawnmower runs.

    Backstory: I am somewhat shamed to admit I haven't mowed my own lawn in at least 9 years. We've depended on Shane the Yard Guy, especially after my fall at the end of 2012. But he's in Sequim, we're in Port Townsend, and his business has evolved from one guy doing yard work on a cash basis to fully licensed, charging sales tax, and two or three employees. And his hourly prices have accordingly tripled. We seem to be his only customer out this way so last week when my lawn badly needed mowing he sent two guys who spent most of the days doing that plus general maintenance.
    Just having him mow our fairly minimal grass is basically not cost effective for either of us. And I'm fit enough these days to do it myself. All I need is a mower.
    I could get a battery one. They've made great strides and don't cost that much. Plus we were going south today for a medical appointment and I could go into Home Depot and pick one up. But, gosh, I've got an old mower in the shed. Hasn't run in forever. Probably won't, but I should give it a try, right?
    Two days ago I went down to the shed and managed to extract it. The handle was folded and the starting cord, attached to the handle, wouldn't extend at all. No rotation. I disconnected the cord from the handle, but still couldn't move it. I then disconnected the spark plug and tried moving the blade by hand. Very stiff, but the more I moved it, the freer it got. Put it back on the wheels, connected the plug, and tried pulling the cord. After a few tries it was getting fairly free, but not a hint of combustion. Then I remembered the dead-man lever on the handle and held that. Nope.
    Wait, is there any fuel? No. Bone dry. Evaporated. As was the gas can. Ok, I'll get some gas and try again.
    So I did that yesterday. Added some to the tank. Pushed the rubber bulb three or four times. Returned the cord to the proper location.
    First pull -- nothing, but at least not excessively hard.
    Second pull -- same as the first.
    Third pull -- coughed a bit. I was surprised!
    Fourth pull -- Vroooom! Thanks, Honda!

    Tomorrow I'll check the oil, add if necessary, and do the mowing.

    BTW, a 40V Ryobi battery mower at Home Depot is only $250. So that's a fallback.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #6100
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    Every time I read a story about the U.S. banking system(s) I wonder how you're considered a first World country.

    (Maybe Frank Zappa was right, and all it takes is an airline and a beer.)
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

  11. #6101
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I have to admit that I think of New York being a small state probably because I mainly think of the city of New York rather than the whole state. Plus of course it is slightly less than 6% of the size of my own state.
    I guess it depends on your definition of "small".

    It is slightly below the median in size for the 50 US states. But the US is a pretty big country.

    New York State is larger than Denmark, for example, although it also has a far larger population than Denmark.

    But given all the people concentrated in New York City, much or New York State is pretty rural, and there is a massive wilderness area up towards Montreal.

    But compared to Western Australia, most places in the world are going to seem crowded

  12. #6102
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheManWithNoName View Post
    I guess it depends on your definition of "small".

    It is slightly below the median in size for the 50 US states. But the US is a pretty big country.

    New York State is larger than Denmark, for example, although it also has a far larger population than Denmark.

    But given all the people concentrated in New York City, much or New York State is pretty rural, and there is a massive wilderness area up towards Montreal.

    But compared to Western Australia, most places in the world are going to seem crowded
    Also, New York ranks seventh (New Jersey is #1) in population statewide density.
    Last edited by DonM435; 2021-Sep-09 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Corrected, 7th, not 8th. Not counting DC and a few territories!

  13. #6103
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    I have to admit that I have little knowledge of 'upstate' New York except for some vague notions about the Adirondack Mts. Plus of course the Borsch Belt in the Catskill Mts and its fame as a launching pad for a number of comedians.

    I was fooling around with our population density and if you remove the population and geographic size of Perth then the rest of the state has a population density of .28 per km2 or .53 per sq mile. Including all the cities, Alaska apparently has a population density of 1.21 per sq mile. So yes, it it does seem pretty uncrowded in the bush. I also stumbled across another amusing item working this out. Perth is apparently now the longest city in the world at 150 km (93) miles. Surpassing Sochi in Russia.

  14. #6104
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheManWithNoName View Post
    But compared to Western Australia, most places in the world are going to seem crowded
    Alaska can perhaps compete. We moved up there in ‘64 a bit after the earthquake and were there around a year or so. I was very young then so my memories are hit and miss but years later my mother mentioned how isolated she felt there - at that time, Anchorage (a big city by Alaska standards) was only around a hundred thousand in population and there was a lot of damage and repair work going on, so it wasn’t at its best. When she felt like trying to take a day trip to get out of the city she found the closest place was a tiny town about 40 miles away. And that was in a higher population area of the state. Go inland and north and things thinned out considerably.

    It’s getting more populous, but it’s still very light compared to my state, California.

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  15. #6105
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I have to admit that I have little knowledge of 'upstate' New York except for some vague notions about the Adirondack Mts.
    They're pretty nice. Although US immigration sometimes doesn't want to believe that someone would come from Asia to go on a mountain trip in the Adirondacks

    Not that high in the grand scheme of things, the highest one is a bit over 1,600 metres. But you start out relatively close to sea level, and the trails are actually pretty rugged sometimes.

    Teddy Roosevelt learned he would be president of the US while in the Adirondacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Plus of course the Borsch Belt in the Catskill Mts and its fame as a launching pad for a number of comedians.
    Those are a lot closer to New York City. And they're where Rip van Winkle was

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Alaska can perhaps compete. We moved up there in ‘64 a bit after the earthquake and were there around a year or so. I was very young then so my memories are hit and miss but years later my mother mentioned how isolated she felt there - at that time, Anchorage (a big city by Alaska standards) was only around a hundred thousand in population and there was a lot of damage and repair work going on, so it wasn’t at its best. When she felt like trying to take a day trip to get out of the city she found the closest place was a tiny town about 40 miles away. And that was in a higher population area of the state. Go inland and north and things thinned out considerably.

    It’s getting more populous, but it’s still very light compared to my state, California.
    My impression of Alaska was - where there is a road, there are people, where there is no road, there are no people. And there is no road in most of the state

  16. #6106
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheManWithNoName View Post
    They're pretty nice. Although US immigration sometimes doesn't want to believe that someone would come from Asia to go on a mountain trip in the Adirondacks

    Not that high in the grand scheme of things, the highest one is a bit over 1,600 metres. But you start out relatively close to sea level, and the trails are actually pretty rugged sometimes.

    Teddy Roosevelt learned he would be president of the US while in the Adirondacks.



    Those are a lot closer to New York City. And they're where Rip van Winkle was



    My impression of Alaska was - where there is a road, there are people, where there is no road, there are no people. And there is no road in most of the state
    My main knowledge of the Borscht Belt comes from reading the stories of S J Perelman and other reminiscences about Jewish entertainers. I had forgotten all about sleepy old Rip.

  17. #6107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Go Zane!
    I've been wondering how the school is dealing with your kids' alternative names?
    We told the people doing his Talented and Gifted testing that he goes by Zane now, and that got into his file. We showed up at the open house, and the bin for his school supplies was labeled "Zane." When I was filling out some of her paperwork, they asked if she had a preferred name. We'll see about that one, as I meet her teacher for the first time today.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  18. #6108
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    Every time I read a story about the U.S. banking system(s) I wonder how you're considered a first World country.

    (Maybe Frank Zappa was right, and all it takes is an airline and a beer.)
    What can you expect from barbarians who measure in feet and don’t show sailing live on TV?
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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  19. #6109
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    What can you expect from barbarians who measure in feet and don’t show sailing live on TV?
    I can't fathom it.
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

  20. #6110
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    What can you expect from barbarians who measure in feet and don’t show sailing live on TV?
    Well, if you're going to be insulting, I won't be here furlong.
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  21. #6111
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Well, if you're going to be insulting, I won't be here furlong.
    I can't really fathom where this thread is heading.
    As above, so below

  22. #6112
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    It's Zane's first day of school. I woke up very early and went out to get something to drink so I can take my pill. Zane is already awake, so I won't have to fight him to get him up. Meanwhile, yesterday, we met Sandy's teacher. I mentioned that she's still having some speech issues, and she's suggested that Sandy might qualify for free preschool for it.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  23. #6113
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    This stems from some unhappiness. The Wife has been frustrated with working as an employee in a hair salon. She’s been dealing with a health issue and she feels like she doesn’t have enough flexibility to deal with it effectively. So she decided to switch to “chair rental”, in effect becoming an independent contractor. She just started talking to the owner of her current shop about renting a chair there.

    It’s been pretty exciting getting geared up for that. We created an LLC, in which we are partners, and we obtained a business license. Being the stylist, of course she’s the public face of the company. I’m the ‘back office’ manager, responsible for the books, IT, and so on. The Wife has taken some childish delight in referring to me as her Administrative Support Staff…or more succinctly, there resulting acronym.

    I’ve also gotten to dabble in amateur design work, preparing the marketing materials…something I enjoy. For example, this is the latest and perhaps final version of her business card:



    We’ve got more to do before we go live…insurance, credit card machine, etc…but thing are shaping up nicely.
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  24. #6114
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    A nice little entrepreneurial action there PetersCreek. From the sounds of it she will be much happier as her own boss - and with some backroom staff to blame all the problems on.

    My own little bit of amusement came from your country. I have been an electronic subscriber to the New York times for about 15 years but for the last few weeks I have been getting a number of entreaties from them for me to "upgrade" to Home Delivery! My vision is of a plucky teenager getting on his bike and riding the 11,613 miles (in USA measure) daily to throw the paper on my front lawn.

  25. #6115
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    A nice little entrepreneurial action there PetersCreek. From the sounds of it she will be much happier as her own boss - and with some backroom staff to blame all the problems on.

    My own little bit of amusement came from your country. I have been an electronic subscriber to the New York times for about 15 years but for the last few weeks I have been getting a number of entreaties from them for me to "upgrade" to Home Delivery! My vision is of a plucky teenager getting on his bike and riding the 11,613 miles (in USA measure) daily to throw the paper on my front lawn.
    I'm guessing they'll electronically transmit the paper to a local plant, but I suppose you knew that.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  26. #6116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I'm guessing they'll electronically transmit the paper to a local plant, but I suppose you knew that.
    I also thought of that possibility but decided to ignore it for dramatic purposes. However, I have now had a look at my account and it seems that Home Subscription is only available for US subscribers. That teenager will need to give his Schwinn bicycle a good checkout.

  27. #6117
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    I've been following Formula One auto racing since 1966, which is, what, five or six years now?
    Anyhow, few race outcomes during that time have made me as happy as today's in the Italian Grand Prix, won by the Italo-Australian Daniel Ricciardo. He's been struggling all season. His team, McLaren, have been struggling for several years. And oh, what a wonderful grin he has! Been too long since we've seen that!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  28. #6118
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I also thought of that possibility but decided to ignore it for dramatic purposes. However, I have now had a look at my account and it seems that Home Subscription is only available for US subscribers. That teenager will need to give his Schwinn bicycle a good checkout.
    He'd need a schwimmwagen (and many Jerry cans).
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

  29. #6119
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    Mar 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    He'd need a schwimmwagen (and many Jerry cans).
    He could use an amphibious jeep (Ford GPA seep) like this guy in the 1950's. His journey did start in New York so a precedent has been set.


    https://www.whichcar.com.au/reviews/...ld-classic-4x4

    And for Trebuchet, I have to do a little home town boosting by pointing out that Daniel Ricciardo was born in Perth.

  30. #6120
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    20,680
    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    He could use an amphibious jeep (Ford GPA seep) like this guy in the 1950's. His journey did start in New York so a precedent has been set.


    https://www.whichcar.com.au/reviews/...ld-classic-4x4

    And for Trebuchet, I have to do a little home town boosting by pointing out that Daniel Ricciardo was born in Perth.
    That story was interesting and had some funny bits, like the guy that went with him to get away from his two Japanese girlfriends, or the name of the car. I can’t imagine going that far. It had to be uncomfortable on much of the trip, and it is amazing they didn’t die somewhere along the way.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

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