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toronto-flexity-outlook-streetcar-electr

 

Electric trams. We still have them in Toronto. Here is the latest model. Often referred to as "The Red Rocket" by riders, but something else unmentionable, if you are driving a car and trying to pass them on the inside without running over all those passengers.
 

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On 18/12/2020 at 11:29, Bryan said:

 

Interesting, my experience of driving in northern Spain wasn't too bad, and, in particular, we found that crossing the road as pedestrians was much less hazardous than in most other places we've visited.  Go anywhere near a pedestrian crossing and the cars all stop !   The least disciplined driving we encountered was in southern Italy, very few signals given, dodgy manoeuvres, very fast etc etc.  Decided never to do it again. 

My worst was in Sardinia. I was told by a local in Cagliari that if a car in front of me indicated left, it may mean that they were turning right and it meant for me to go around their left. In the mountains the roads were very hairy and precipitous and you might meet a rusty Fiat speeding towards you in the middle of the road. I was taken out one evening in Cagliari by the president of the Arts Association and he sped through a red light. I asked innocently if at night obeying light signals were optional and he said 'Red? red? that's just a matter of opinion'. I also saw mini accidents where the drivers just drove away without as much as a stop and look and I was hooted many times for going through green lights by cars running the red light.  As for pedestrians.....make sure you have good life insurance. Add to all this the habit of the banditti shooting up the roads signs in the mountains for target practice and it all concentrated the mind wonderfully. Having said all that i went back a few months later and did it all again. Made a great body of work which went on exhibition there, mainland Italy and the UK. Also a catalogue of the work https://www.pete-davis-photography.com/sardinia Also the home made grappa by the mountain men was wonderful stuff. 

Hope the new year is good for all of you and you keep safe and well. 

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Every time I think about buying a car here, I take a taxi and am reminded of why one expat woman who tried driving here said driving in Nicaragua was like driving in a video game.  Pedestrians have a game of insurance roulette that requires driving very very carefully through the market area.  And cattle and horses and drunks in the roads, plus all the newly prosperous who just got cars and are still trying to figure out what they're doing in one.   When I came here in 2010, there were very few private cars on the major inter-city highways, mostly truck and bus traffic.   This changed in the years up to 2018 and Jinotega now has rush hour traffic (still not impossible) and two traffic lights at least, and Managua has traffic jams.  Some smaller places still don't have many cars -- people still walk or ride bicycles or motorcycles.  

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2 hours ago, MizBrown said:

Every time I think about buying a car here, I take a taxi and am reminded of why one expat woman who tried driving here said driving in Nicaragua was like driving in a video game.  Pedestrians have a game of insurance roulette that requires driving very very carefully through the market area.  And cattle and horses and drunks in the roads, plus all the newly prosperous who just got cars and are still trying to figure out what they're doing in one.   When I came here in 2010, there were very few private cars on the major inter-city highways, mostly truck and bus traffic.   This changed in the years up to 2018 and Jinotega now has rush hour traffic (still not impossible) and two traffic lights at least, and Managua has traffic jams.  Some smaller places still don't have many cars -- people still walk or ride bicycles or motorcycles.  

 

On my first trip to Nicaragua in 1998, I rented a small car in Managua and drove around the country for a week. I remember there being very few cars on the road. The highway between Managua and León was practically deserted and riddled with dangerous potholes. Local people with shovels would pull a rope across the road and then run out and fill the potholes with dirt. They would then ask for money. After you left, they'd dig the dirt out of the holes and wait for the next customer to come along. Most of the vehicles in downtown Managua were rolling Soviet-era wrecks. I even saw homemade cars cobbled together from several different makes. When I returned about ten years later, things had greatly mproved.

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6 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

When I returned about ten years later, things had greatly improved.

 

1998 was after Daniel was voted out of office, if I'm remembering correctly.  Ten years after that would be two years into Daniel's being back in office.  First, Violetta's son-in-law looted the country and was so crooked that the US held back on aid.  Then the next one who was also crooked, and one president after that who was honest, but a friend said he was incompetent.  And then, 2006, Daniel was re-elected.   When I saw the country for the first time, there were no longer Ladas and such as taxis, but grocery variety was limited.   Jinotega got its first good supermarket, then a Maxi Pali, then 2018 happened, and work stopped on what became La Colonia in 2020.  Road to Leon now is quite nice; and both roads between Jinotega parts south are paved, with the last of the paving of the old road by Selva Negra being done after my first trip over the mountains.   Well, things got better until the people the US was paying to agitate against Daniel got things going. 

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16 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

1998 was after Daniel was voted out of office, if I'm remembering correctly.  Ten years after that would be two years into Daniel's being back in office.  First, Violetta's son-in-law looted the country and was so crooked that the US held back on aid.  Then the next one who was also crooked, and one president after that who was honest, but a friend said he was incompetent.  And then, 2006, Daniel was re-elected.   When I saw the country for the first time, there were no longer Ladas and such as taxis, but grocery variety was limited.   Jinotega got its first good supermarket, then a Maxi Pali, then 2018 happened, and work stopped on what became La Colonia in 2020.  Road to Leon now is quite nice; and both roads between Jinotega parts south are paved, with the last of the paving of the old road by Selva Negra being done after my first trip over the mountains.   Well, things got better until the people the US was paying to agitate against Daniel got things going. 

 

Actually, my next visit was in 2007 and Daniel was back. There was a lot of cynicism among Nicaraguans about their government. But what else is new, eh? The road to León had been repaved, and the rusty Lada taxis had all disappeared. I visited Selva Negra in 2010. There was quite a bit or road work going on in the highlands as I remember. However, roads were generally good.  I think that Costa Rica wins the prize for the worst roads in CA (but I haven't been there for a long time, so perhaps things have improved).

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1 hour ago, Ed Rooney said:

Interesting. My first thought was that the EU single market rules would prevent it but it's already been litigated and the CJEU decided it's a proportionate response to combat the harm associated with drug tourism.

Not my kettle of fish, but a bit of a shame.

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  • 5 weeks later...

SH_19-100%C2%BF%C2%BF%C2%BF%C2%BF%C2%BF-

 

Do any of you know where I can buy this bungee office chair in England? I had one in NYC and kept me from having lower-back problems for a decade.

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It looks like your chair just has become a bit pricier because of B*t.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Euro-Style-ITALMODERN-Bungies-Aluminum/dp/B001OW7JOS  £421.16  (For that money I would get a used Aeron)

 

wim

 

Aerons on Ebay UK: https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=aeron+chair&_sop=15&_blrs=recall_filtering

Edited by wiskerke
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FYI, Wim. I had an Aeron at my office at People mag. It was not as good as the bungee for my back. And arms are a no-no. They cause you to slouch. For that price, I can have someone fly a chair over from The Container Store in NYC. 

 

Hemingway, Dickens, Churchill, and Virginia Woolf wrote standing up. Hmmm. 

 

 

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Also Nabokov...  

 

“Nabokov would be back at his desk by one-thirty and work steadily until six-thirty. Normally he would have started the day in ‘the vertical position of vertebrate thought,’ standing ‘at a lovely old-fashioned lectern I have in my study. Later on, when I feel gravity nibbling at my calves, I settle down in a comfortable armchair alongside an ordinary writing desk; and finally, when gravity begins climbing up my spin, I lie down on a couch in a corner of my small study.”

Paulette

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I've been using a wooden kitchen chair with a flat seat topped with two thin cushions.  Nothing to lean back into all that much, straight back, too, and built by a carpenter, not a chair maker.  Haven't had any back problems in the ten years here.   I have had sciatica in the past. 

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4 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

FYI, Wim. I had an Aeron at my office at People mag. It was not as good as the bungee for my back. And arms are a no-no. They cause you to slouch. For that price, I can have someone fly a chair over from The Container Store in NYC. 

 

Hemingway, Dickens, Churchill, and Virginia Woolf wrote standing up. Hmmm.

 

They must have missed the trend of typing while walking behind one's desk. 😂

(I had missed it too, because I thought this was a lockdown craze, but here is a 2012 video where vlogbrother and writer of YA books John Green sort of pokes fun at it.

- Eek he even talks about using hand sanitizers. He must be part of the Evil Covid Conspiracy!)

 

I prefer my Aerons with adjustable armrests, but they are easy to remove.

The funny thing with your bungee/bungie/Eurostyle/Euro Style/ItalModern/Laura Davidson/Wade Logan Tysen/Container Store chair is that the price has gone up a lot or isn't being shipped to the UK at all. It could just be Brexit paperworks and that everything is back to normal in a couple of weeks time.

The Containers Store says the chair is in their Sale and is available for delivery in the UK for a mere GBP87.86/ea. However additional shipping fees apply. And they do not say how high those fees are. Not even when I place one in my shopping cart.

 

wim

 

edit: changed into a clickable link

edit2: added one more link

Edited by wiskerke
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  • 3 weeks later...

This back support is amazing! Run out today and get one. No, get two or three! Amazon has them here, but if you have to break into John Lewis—do it!

 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SANLINKEE-Lumbar-Support-Elastic-Office/dp/B07F2WBDDR/ref=pd_rhf_sc_p_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=J0FMNVQP09659Q15HX3V

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

It's alive! It's alive! This old post, I mean.

 

I saw The Revenant a few nights ago. It’s not unusual for me to get little enjoyment from films these days, and I did not enjoy this one. Instead of films providing me with escapist entertainment, it seems that I take on the conflicts of the plot as if they were my own. Not good and not fun.

 

But I want to make a basic critical comment on this film. I’m mystified that Leonardo DiCaprio won the best-actor Oscar for his role. He is and has been one of America’s best film actors for a long time, but I thought he was miscast and ineffective in this part. And I don’t think it was a good part. Tom Hardy was more impressive.

 

And while I’m complaining about this, I think I’ll take a moment and complain about some other things as well.

 

Zippers in the UK and Europe are on the lefthand side of jackets. Why? The zippers in the States are on the right. Could it be that more people on this side of the Atlantic are left-handed? Nope. And American zippers are better made, so they don’t get stuck as much.

 

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is made with cream in the UK and in many other European countries. In Italy, they use no cream in the recipe.

 

I love the NHS. However, they’re not perfect (Well, I’m not perfect either, and a lot less helpful to others). This morning I had blood tests. Finding my way in and out of the clinic was nearly beyond me. This is because of the restructuring of everything due to the pandemic. When I finished, I asked the nice technician if they would send me the results of the various tests. They would not. Hmm. I asked where I could phone and ask for the results. I could not. A nurse or my GP would phone and tell me if there is a problem. Hmm. This policy is leftover from the past. I experienced it back in the ‘80s living in Oxfordshire.  Bake then, the NHS did not think patiences’ health was any of their business.

 

Edo

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2 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

I saw The Revenant a few nights ago. It’s not unusual for me to get little enjoyment from films these days, and I did not enjoy this one.

It bored me too. I learned one thing, though: on a very cold night, sleep inside your horse.  😧

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14 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is made with cream in the UK and in many other European countries. In Italy, they use no cream in the recipe.

 

 

And no onion, no garlic, no bacon :)

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