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Everything posted by Deimos

  1. I would not worry to much about the language.  My French is pretty poor and when I learnt (gliders) all the instructors refused to speak any English (although I subsequently discovered one did speak quite good English, they always made me speak/struggle with my French).  When I started they explained that the control tower would understand “Mayday” (implying that they would all have a good laugh when I tried that). People teaching/learning will generally be keen and enthusiastic and thus will make the effort to understand/be understood which is 90% of the battle.  If I can manage with my poor French then I expect most people can. Ian
  2. [quote user="Russethouse"]If I lost my child I'd want to know I had done everything possible to find out what had happened etc - would any of you feel differently ?  [/quote] I had the impression from the reports that Mr Al Fayed was not so much interested in finding out what happened but rather he had decided what happened and wanted the guilty parties (HRH and security services) found guilty.  I had the impression there was little enquiry on his part but rather trying to prove what he had concluded without evidence. But then maybe the papers presented his actions in an unfair light ? Ian
  3. MI6 agent working for HRH with a "contract" on his son.  Seems that Harrods now only has to prove that link and its all “sorted”. Ian
  4. http://newsbiscuit.com/article/2012-olympic-organisers-confident-of-fiasco-249 Something I found funny (and who knows how true). Ian
  5. Deimos


    I got one in Leroy Merlin last year (probably a different size but they had several sizes available).  In their section that does picture frames, posters, etc. Ian
  6. I have no idea about whether treatment day and travel day count in the 21 days.  In theory DEFRA might help but they are really only concerned about entry into UK rather than entry into France.  I have heard of one or two people trying to get answers from the French authorities (on different issues) and getting anywhere is “slow”.  You might try the Agriculture Section of the British Embassy in Paris.  Their phone number used to be +33 (144) 51 32 56.  A section might be a bit of a grand title as I suspect it is one or maybe two people who are not always at their desk.  However, when I have contacted them they have always been exceptionally helpful and they might be more knowledgeable re: the entry to France regs (or be able to get a quicker reply). Whilst I tend to only use about 3 or 4 different routes, my own dogs’ Pet Passports are checked more and more often now getting close to every time.  However, I have never used the tunnel so have no experience of procedures and practices there. [quote user="sweet 17"] Megan, I wish for all your sakes that I could be more positive.  But our experience is this:  it's not just the jab, there is the blood test and we were warned that the level has to be ridiculously high for the French authorities. [/quote] Blood tests are only required to re-enter UK (and a couple of other countries).  Thus the French do not worry about the antibody level other than the vets checking it conforms to the UK requirements when they fill-in that bit in a Pet Passport. Sorry I cannot be more help but do try the British Embassy in Paris as they might be able to provide a way forward. Ian
  7. It is very easy to make your own.  I made a load a couple of years ago – no up to club standard but great for a bit of practice in the garden. Keep your eye’s open with the Royal Canin 15 Kg sacks of food as occasionally they give away a short rigid tunnel as a “gift” (I have also seen these for sale relatively cheaply in Jardiland (occasionally). There is a book you can buy “How to build your own agility equipment” – which I found not very helpful.  Official heights and measurements of obstacles can be found http://www.dogsport.ru/zadmin_data/paragraph.file_en/629/IFCS_Rules_Revised_July_2002.doc or http://www.ukagility.com/Downloads/UKARegulations.pdf.  Of course you may be able to simplify your own ones if all your dogs are the same Class. Ian
  8. Some of what has emerged is at first appearance quite “disappointing”.  I see that the tax payer has to pay for Gordon Brown to have a Sky Sports subscription (why can he not pay for it himself ?).  And as for Prescott’s grocery bill – well I guess there is a obvious comment there. I can now appreciate why there was so much effort by some politicians to keep their expenses outside the Freedom of Information act.  It does seem good that these things are emerging as, although I’m sure we are only getting one side of the story (e.g. not the side that says that Brown’s Sky Sports subscription if only for visiting Heads of State or whatever), it probably will make MPs more careful and thus maybe more aware that their role is to represent their electorate rather than screw the system for every penny they can. Ian
  9. [quote user="Cathy"]Deimos - Thanks for that.  But presumably you always have to have the dog chipped?  It turns out the the dog that I am hoping to rescue is only tatooed.[/quote] You will need the dog microchipped.  However, there are special regulations that allow for rabies vaccinations for tattooed dogs to be “transferred” to the “microchip” (i.e. for French dogs who are tattoo their history under the tattoo can still be counted).  You will need the tattoo registration paperwork for this to be done (in theory anyway)  However, if the aims of your getting a Pet Passport are to visit the UK then your main delay will be the 6 months. You should get the animal microchipped a.s.a.p.  Get the vet to issue the Pet Passport at the same time as the microchip is done and get him/her to record the last rabies vaccination in the new Pet Passport (previous rabies blue or pink certificates will have the animal’s tattoo number so he can add this OK to the Pet Passport).  Depending on how long ago the last rabies vaccination was the vet might recommend another booster and then a blood sample after a month (can boost the anti-body levels and increase the chances of a successful blood test).  However, if you are planning a visit to the UK, make sure that the additional month delay does not mess-up your plans. Ian  
  10. [quote user="Clarkkent"][quote user="cooperlola"]Funny Csinc because in the UK my cats' passports were issued when they were chipped, but without the blood test bit filled in so they had the documents but could not travel.[/quote] You may be in possession of a passport, but it is not valid until the six months have passed. [/quote] The Pet Passport is valid when it is issued and its validity does not depend on a 6 month wait.  For travel within most of Europe you only have to wait a month (or so) after the rabies vaccination (but most dogs in France will have yearly rabies vaccinations so there is no delay because of this).  It is only to enter the UK (and a couple of other countries) you need the successful blood test and a 6 month wait.  This does not affect the Pet Passport validity for travel to other countries.   Also, the 6 month wait starts from the date the successfully tested blood sample was taken – so you do not have to worry about delays in the lab or getting paperwork back, etc. Ian
  11. In a general sense I hope that newspaper UK journalism does not become timid.  Ignoring the specifics of the McCanns, of course it is wrong to print lies and unfounded allegations but to take a few facts and try and draw a few conclusions (ideally presented as conclusions) is an important function of the press. One thing I have noticed over recent years is how scared the BBC news has become.  Unsure of the true cause – maybe the Hutton Enquiry or some of its various scraps with the government but these days it totally avoids controversial matters.  When something controversial is required (because of its importance) it is brief with no “questions” or related info, no investigation.  Compare the BBC to Channel 4 news and the BBC effectively looks like a department of government PR.  I often watch both BBC and Channel 4 early evening news and even when they are both half hour ones the difference is dramatic. What I think is important is that journalism remains investigative, questioning and prepared to pursue something even when it might backfire on them.   As far as the McCanns are concerned – they seek out publicity but get really uptight when what is written is not 100% positive about them and not 100% supportive.  I actually think the McCanns circumstances illustrate failing in UK journalism.  Portuguese reporters were prepared to actually investigate and question and found some very interesting (and not 100% McCann supporting) facts - real facts in terms of witness statements, conflicting reports, etc..  UK reporting was mostly all pro McCann and how they have done nothing wrong and supporting their sometimes questionable “facts”.  As soon as McCanns get something “they don’t like” its into court, threats, walking out of TV interviews, etc..  This is a general comment on the relationship between the McCanns and the press as I did not read the story that caused the latest thing. Personally I think there are some major questions about the McCanns involvement in this.  Maybe they are guilty maybe not but it would certainly appear they have been less than 100% honest and open with press (and thus presumably the Police as well).  even their own story conflicts with itself. Ian
  12. [quote user="Cat"]There are very, very few people, born in non-francophone countries, that have moved to live in France, that could ever pass for, or be accepted as, being French. [/quote] I am continually taken as a French person on the telephone (at least to begin with – but then they pick up the receiver, answer the call and I open my mouth …) Ian
  13. [quote user="Dick Smith"]Do you shoot as Jpg or RAW? [/quote] For my part: Both. If I’m just “messing around” with nothing serious then JPEG.  However, if there is any chance it might be something worthwhile then RAW.  My main aim in getting this dSLR was to blot it to my telescope and find out just how hard astrophotography really is.  I now have most of the adapters to bolt it on.  For non-solar system objects then RAW is essential as the stacking software apparently makes a complete mess with JPEGs. Ian
  14. [quote user="tenniswitch"]As to becoming tied to Photoshop for future editing, that's true only if you're saving in a Photoshop proprietary format.  You should not have a problem if you save your photos in .TIFF or .jpeg formats. [/quote] As I understand it Photoshop Lightroom has a “system” it uses when you make changes to a picture.  It does not modify the picture file itself but rather stores the changes you make as a sequence of operations – and these changes are stored in its own proprietary database.  Once you have made changes, if you reload the picture file at some point in the future the original image is loaded then the changes you made are fetched from the database and re-applied.  Thus, stop using Adobe Lightroom and you can get at your original file but not the work you put into improving them.  As I understand it this applies to both Adobe proprietary formats, RAW images and standards formatted images (i.e. everything.  I have read that this is a new feature in Lightroom. However, I am repeating what I have read in various reviews and publicity here as I do not have the package myself – I’m at the stage of considering which one to get. Ian
  15. I would have thought the better and more relevant question would be “which parts/areas to avoid ?”.  I don’t know Paris but is expect it is like virtually every other city in the world – some areas are fine, other areas best avoided (depending of what you are looking for of course). Ian
  16. And why is she now covered by an emergency child protection order (and so will not be going home with her parents) ? Ian
  17. (In a general sense and not with regard to the specific tragedy this thread is about …) That said, and whilst this is tragic I do think that society must guard about becoming over protective.  I do not know the details of the mothers situation and exactly what was going on but I do think that travel to different countries, experiencing different cultures, etc. is very good for a child’s upbringing. Children do need to be allowed a degree of freedom and allowed to make mistakes.  They cannot appreciate everything from “being told”.  The difficulty comes in establishing a sensible balance.  In the UK at the moment there seems a culture of excessive protection with the result that young people have the need for a constant safety net – in effect not only wanting but needing the “nanny state”. These days seems that a child falls of a swing and grazes his/her knee and there are calls to have the playground shut down, calls for the person in charge of whoever owns the playground (e.g. the local mayor) to resign.  And after the government enquiry has reported and every playground in the country now has to conform to regulations requiring to child be able to reach a anywhere more than 6 inches above ground level … .  Thing is that it is actually important that the child falls of a swing occasionally – as they learn that it hurts and what they do wrong, etc.  Unfortunate but important.  What is even worse is that very very occasionally the accident will be more serious (e.g. broken leg), and exceptionally rarely somebody might die. Life is about risk.  For each child seriously injured in a playground there will be many more killed on the roads, or through many other stupid needless activities.  I think that society needs to accept that unfortunate as it is, accidents will happen and doing everything possible to prevent those accidents can sometimes be counter productive. I’m not trying to say that we accept the Goa murder as “part of learning” but in life there will be occasional tragedies.  But you cannot wrap a 15 year old in cotton wool and protect them from everything only to give them complete freedom on their 16th birthday – which would often have predictable consequences. I have a suspicion (without any evidence) that these sorts of tragedies have been happening for years.  What has changed is that they are now major news items with the associated outcry.  When I was a child I had great fun doing loads of things that many “well cared for” children would definitely not be allowed to do these days.  I regularly had accidents and a few were serious.  My friends were the same.  Thinking back, were I doing the same today I doubt there would be time for all the enquiries and “reviews” that my activities would cause. (Here I am talking about society in general and not the specific circumstances of the 15 year old in Goa) But then never having kids probably makes me totally unqualified to even comment on how they should be brought up. Ian
  18. I think there are two issues here.  Of course the person who committed the murder is the one who committed the crime.  However, in addition to that I think people have a certain degree of choice in what level of risk they expose themselves to. Many years ago I was walking through a city in Central America when a Police car pulled up and the officer asked if I had been mugged yet.  When I said no his response was that I probably only had to wait a few more minutes then.  I was being daft walking where I was and had I been mugged I would have received little sympathy as in some respects I brought the crime on myself.  True the mugger would have been the person who committed the crime but that it happened to me would have been my fault in so far as I put myself in a very high risk position (through my own choice – all be that because I did not know the area well). It is unfortunate that crime is part of society these days – but it is so people need to live with a degree of common sense and make some judgements about risk and consequences.  In the case of minors I always thought this would be the responsibility of the parents. Ian
  19. Had a look at the Corel one but they need their Spyware system (a service from a 3rd party that scans your system collecting info and sending it to a 3rd party (NOT COREL) – something I will not tolerate on my computer. Tried Adobe Elements and they also have their Spyware service that collects info about your computer and sends it (hardly even encrypted) off somewhere on the internet.  again, I am happy to pay for a license and happy to have companies check that license when I e.g. run their program but I will not have people taking my computer’s resources 24/7 when I might only run the program occasionally.   It is a diabolical liberty and also, from a software design structure completely unnecessary.  For occasional use things (e.g. an occasional use license check) they you do not implement it as a service but you put the code in a DLL so it is only loaded when needed.  What is more, the uninstalls leave this spyware in and running (left in clogging up your computer forever !!) I beggars belief how these companies can think it is their right to install software you neither want nor need that collects information and sends it off.  They do not require an internet connection and only use it “if it happens to be available” (i.e. not needed to verify your license). So I’m back on the freeware – not from cost perspective but because eI am not prepared to accept spyware on my computer. I'll have a look at ACD See (check if it is spyware free once I've manually got this other stuff of my computer - editing the registry, etc.) Ian
  20. [quote user="Gluestick"]Each and every time the media screens items on problem estates, anti-social behaviour, gang vandalism and etc, young kids are involved as well as teenagers. No doubt whilst these kids are wreaking havoc on the law abiding, taxpaying majority, their parents are busy watching TV, playing bingo, boozing, or procreating with yet another partner. [/quote] It’s OK.  The government have that problem sorted now.  School kids are going to have to swear allegiance to the Queen (or the flag) – so problem sorted.  Smart these politicians. Ian
  21. I am having a look at Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 and it is a disaster.  On they web site it says it opens and handles Olympus RAW files (even lists my camera).  even has the ORF file extension available in the “Open Dialog” but when you select an file it complains it “does not recognise the file type” and fails.  I hate it when a package claims to do something mainstream then you find it just does not work. Then, for some reason then need a service running 24/7 on your computer (even when the photo editing is not running).  This is a 3rd party process that collects information from your computer and sends it to a 3rd party (not even Corel !!!).  Many people seem to think this is Spyware (as it meets many of the normal definitions of Spyware).  If every bit of software I purchased needed a small process running the entire time I would need quite a few massive capacity machines for all their little bits to be able to run (leaving no processor time for me to).  You can trash this service with a bit of manual work but when you then try to install any updates the install runs through, complains and then un-installs itself. The package seems a complete disaster – not because it is bad as such (not even got to look at it yet). Ian
  22. [quote user="Russethouse"]In many circumstances if you have been suspected of being irresponsible with regard to one child, authorities act to safeguard other children in the same family. Frankly I think this is probably correct, however where there have been such dreadful repercussions 'society' often takes the view that self blame is sufficient punishment. The wider question is that should this always be the case ? [/quote] I don’t have children and am not an expert but I thought leaving several kinds under 4 in a hotel room whilst you go out for an evening meal with friends was considered by many to be irresponsible and in Portugal actually against the law.  However, seems if you are well qualified UK authorities and Portuguese authorities will completely overlook it. Maybe such messages (i.e. behaving like this is not “irresponsible”) just make it easier for parents to fail in their duty – after all, the McCanns “did nothing wrong” (a strong and often repeated message).  Maybe if the authorities were a bit stricter about enforcing such regulations other parents would start to think twice. Ian
  23. [quote user="cooperlola"]Ian, I have a copy of Nikon Picture Project which I have never even loaded into the PC as I already had Elements.  You are welcome to it, if it's of any interest?[/quote] Many thanks.  I actually got something with the camera (purchased the other week) but it is limited and had a really tacky user interface.  Also, I did not get a Nikon so the Nikon package probably wont support the Olympus RAW format - but many thnaks for the offer. A lot of the concepts are new to me so I was thinking of trying to select “the right” package to start with and stick with it through learning what is involved.  I had a look at GIMP (the free one) and it seems a bit “unstructured”.  Adobe always worries me because they seem to tie you into sticking with their software (as in the Lightroom method of saving all your work in Adobe’s Lightroom’s own proprietary database rather than actually modifying your picture – so you always have to use their Lightroom to view/print/whatever the pic or you have lost the work !!  I’d prefer something that actually changes the pic so you could e-mail it to somebody else to view if you want. Not being an expert I don’t think I need the full Photoshop level thing but don’t want anything too basic either.  I was looking at Corel Paintshop Pro (?) which looks a reasonable price. Ian
  24. Although a tragic case, it has also been alleged that earlier on the fateful evening she staggered out of a bar very “out-of-control” telling a passer by the cocktail of drugs she had consumed (which I cannot remember but there was LSD “on the list”).  Thus seems she was not an “walking home unwisely” (or similar) but just out of control on “substance abuse” and completely unsupervised. However, the report of the above was from a British person also in the area who has now disappeared saying he was scared and the British Embassy were failing to help him.  Also, given what he says he saw there are questions as to why he did not intervene later to assist the poor girl.  Thus one might not want to treat his comments as completely reliable. Ian
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