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Posts posted by Patmobile

  1. Mouse prices have been rising rapidly for years, although the government tries to hide the effect this has on the economy by not including the cost of a mouse in official inflation figures.

    Of course, the speculative mouse market has brought many undesirable and unscrupulous people into the business.

    No doubt this explains your scary encounter.

    My mouse is now so valuable I'm considering borrowing money against it to finance the purchase of another. By gearing up like this I shall soon become very rich. Either that or I'll start advertising expensive courses on "How to make a million from your mouse" so that I can find other mugs from whom to recoup my losses.

  2. These brief thoughts come to mind as I watch.

    The guy on the motor bike always seems to be well up the front. Why don't they all get motor bikes?

    The design of the Phonak team's lycra shorts makes their bums look enormously wide. They should try a new designer next year. Mind you, at least you can read the sponsor's name.

    It must be crushing to realise that as long as Lance Armstrong is around you'll never win.

    The guy at the back sees nothing but bums for 3 weeks.

    Yes, the gesticulating spectators do look like dangerous idiots. There are plenty of women among them.

    I like watching on TV because France is - France, as De Gaulle once so succinctly put it

  3. As far as I know it's not generally compulsory, although some clubs may insist.

    If you are going to play regularly in France you ought to take out a licence at any club affiliated to the FFG. (I believe you may also be able to apply direct to the FFG for it - possibly on-line). This costs around 40€ a year, depending on the club that issues it. It is the only way of having an official handicap in France, and therefore a necessity if you want to play in any club competitions.

    The licence fee includes a basic level of insurance so that you are covered for 3rd party risks. There are optional upgrades to cover any of your own medical, golf equipment, and hole-in-one losses.

    Taking out a licence does not make you a member of the issuing golf club, so you would still have to pay green fees. You could, of course, pay the annual cotisation of the selected club and enjoy membership privileges. Most clubs are open to new members without formalities, although a few are more difficult (and expensive) to join.

    Golf in France seems much less stuffy than in UK and the clubs are in general more welcoming and less hidebound by silly ancient club rules that no-one knows the reason for.

    Enjoy your golf

  4. [quote]Could this be your problem? http://www.adwarereport.com/mt/archives/000023.html It seems to have a patchy reputation.[/quote]

    Seems like I got sold a pup. I'm un-installing it immediately and buying something better.

    Hopefully I won't see those file names running through the status bar during scans again.

    Best advice seems to be - DO NOT BUY NOADWARE!

  5. When I use noadware to scan my computer for unauthorised cookies and spyware, I noticed that it appears to be reading a lot of .pif and .scr files that I can't find anywhere on the machine when searching with Windows Explorer.

    If these files are really there I want to get rid of them because I can tell by the titles they shouldn't be there. Fat Elvis.pif and Crazy frog.pif are two of the printable titles. Many of the others sound like porn to me. How they got there is a mystery.

    But, here's the problem. How do I find them to delete them? They appear to be in C:\\ and d:\\, but d: is a cd drive with no disk in it, and I cant find any .pifs or .scrs on the c drive that shouldn't be there.

    How come noadware sees them but nothing else can?


  6. If you can find a wireless hotspot near where you are, you could connect with a laptop equipped with a wireless network card.

    I think this is a lot cheaper than using a mobile - faster too. And, if you're lucky, the hotspot might be in a decent cafe where you wouldn't mind hanging around anyway.

    There's a website (can't remember the name) that lists all the known hotspots in France

  7. I've recently been receiving a large number of competent and professional looking email circulars offering downloads of big brand software at very low prices. Unlike most junk mail, these are written in good English, spelt properly, and are not sent by someone with an obviously made-up "English-ish" name.

    I've been treating them as I do most junk mail, as malicious attempts to infect my computer, permanently deleting them immediately on receipt.

    However, we recently got a new computer because my wife blew hers up with a massive static discharge through the mouse or keyboard, after spending an hour or so hoovering. As the machine was on its last legs and had been expensively repaired a couple of times before, we replaced it.

    I had been thinking of putting a low price office suite on it, instead of Microsoft Office, when up pops another email offering Microsoft Office Professional at $69,99. This email is bristling with links but, being a wary old codger I am very reluctant to click on any of them.

    Has anyone bought software from one of these cheap download sources? Was it the genuine article? Or am I right to delete these mails as soon as I see them?

    Oh! I think I may have just answered my own question! I hovered over one of the links and found it goes to "vitriolware.com"

    Doesn't sound very benevolent, does it?

  8. [quote]what a sickener just bought a brand new v-twin dogs whatist honda hydro ect ... with twin dodas ect and it under steers like a bar steward and 2 days old got a puncture i...[/quote]

    What colour is the Honda? Obviously if it's green and called something like "Garden Master" or "Lawn King" it can only be expected to handle like a garden tool and drive like a tractor.

    I was expecting much more from my machine, which I only bought because it was painted Ferrari red with yellow go-fast stripes and had the name "Rally" emblazoned on both sides.

    Do they have Trade Descriptions legislation in France?

  9. 1. I would always choose a Mac for keeping dry in the rain. A PC would be no good at all

    2. Using a Mac makes you sound a bit arty and different. "I use a Mac" might be a good line for pulling a certain type of arts groupie.

    3. If you do pull the groupie, do not use a Mac instead of a condom. It won't work at all.

    That's all I have to say on the matter, and I think it makes as much sense as anything else I've read here.


  10. It looks as if no-one is going to jump in to answer this - so I will have a stab.

    Two of our cottages are in GdF. Without looking it up I can't remember the cost, and it's too late at night to go rooting around in the files, but I think the annual subscription is one week's high season rent for the first gite, and half-a-week's rent for the second. There was also a joining fee.

    I don't think GdF will do much for your low season bookings. We get nothing form GdF except a few enquiries from French families, who never book because we're way too expensive for them. Why? Because our gites are built and equipped to suit British visitors, with every possible facility and convenience to make life as comfortable, or more comfortable, than at home. French families seem to be prepared to treat a gite holiday as akin to camping. Lots of people to a room, no heating, limited hot water, hand-me-down furniture and very low cost per person.

    Of course, I am guilty of appalling generalisation and stereotyping, but the fact is few french families book our gites, the profitable business is elsewhere, and we would rather fill the cottages with British, Australians, Americans, Canadians, and others who want something a bit special.

    So I would advise you to look at alternative ways of marketing your gite out of season, special interest groups, learning courses, etc., rather than spend out on GdF membership and hope they will fill your empty weeks.

    The reason we have two gites registered is that we applied for, and got, a decent grant to convert our tumbledown stables, (which we would have done anyway) and membership was a condition. The grant money enabled us to open a 4th gite, otherwise we probably wouldn't have joined.

    Your local GdF branch may be a very useful source of information, however, and you could find out a lot of useful stuff just by talking to them. Why not ask them how many off-season weeks they think they could fill? I don't think they would be confident of filling many.

    This is only an opinion, of course, and there may be many others. Perhaps now someone else will respond and tell me I've got it all wrong.

    Best of luck


  11. I've been working like a dog "amenage-ing" another gite (the 4th) and had no time to get the famous mower out. The now waist-high grass has made the track unusable, and anyway I had lost interest after seeing the neighbour on his quad roaring round at 4 or 5 times my speed.

    I'm now considering the possibility of turning my petrol engined debrousailleuse into a strap-on pusher fan for a home-made hang glider, with lift provided by sails from my two windsurfers, stitched together.

    This should provide some material for a thread in the Sports section, in due course.

    Has anyone got a Teach Yourself Flying book they don't need?

  12. I'd stick with the idea of framing it if I were you.

    In our experience, the moment you bank a UK Inland Revenue cheque, they start hunting you down with the aim of getting every penny back - and more - under any pretext they can think of. You can expect another unexpectedly large tax bill to land on your mat within two months of getting your own money back.

    Bank it only if you don't mind having a big target painted on your back.

    And if you must bank it, don't for heaven's sake spend it. You'll find it so much harder to repay, if you do.

  13. Although I am not one of those who can't live without marmalade, I have found that for those occasions when jam just won't do, the marmalade sold in Aldi shops is reasonably OK, with the proper amount of bitterness to balance the sugar.

    I found it amusing, too, that Aldi's brand of jam and marmalade is "Tamara". Seems that, for Aldi and Alice, it's never jam today, always jam tamara.

  14. [quote]You could try www.accuweather.com it gives a 15 day forecast and hour by hour forecast. If accu is supposed to stand for accurate,it isn't.It can't make it's mind up as to what the weather is going...[/quote]

    When studying meteorology for my Yachtmaster exam I was told by my instructor "To forecast accurately, forecast often"

    In other words even professional weather forecasters can't tell you what's going to happen more than a few hours ahead. Every long term forecast is virtually pure guesswork.

  15. 1. Get a hose pipe with a powerful jet nozzle.

    2. Stand well away from the nest but just within jet range.

    3. Open fire with the water jet. Keep it trained on the nest even when it drops off the branch

    The nest will dissolve into papery mush and the wasps will buzz aimlessly around a while before flying off to start again somewhere else.

    It works - normally I wouldn't go near a nest as I'm allergic to the stings, but I had to deal with a big one on our boat dock at Lake Tahoe once and that was the solution I came up with.

  16. Thanks for your help. I'm going to check my insurance for towing. The boat will be insured separately, anyway.

    It will certainly look used - I bought it on e-bay as a restoration project!

    I did intend to check the trailer wheel bearings before starting, but thanks for the tip.


  17. Yes, we did it and received a total of 12,000€. 8,000€ for a large gite (6+ persons) and 4,000€ for a 4 person one.

    It took some time, and it was important not to start any actual work on site until the application had been submitted, and permission sought and given for work to commence, pending a decision. So, first advice, get your dossier together and apply, but do nothing on site at all.

    If you are considering applying for a grant, get the useful booklet from Gite de France which details all the ways in which a gite needs to comply in order to be classified by GdF. You need to study this carefully at the planning stage to make sure you don't make mistakes that could rule you out, or be expensive to change later. For instance, bedrooms for 2 people need to be 9sq.m. minimum, WC's need to be separated from bathrooms, living areas must meet or exceed minimum space requirements for the number of people expected to be accommodated, showers must be tiled, not plastic prefab units.

    If you get these things wrong, you might do all the work of applying, waiting in hope, building the gite, and then find it won't be accepted - therefore no grant will be paid - unless you make expensive modificaions.

    Once you've been offered and accepted the grant you are required to join, and remain members of GdF for 10 years, otherwise all or part of the grant may be re-payable, depending on how long you do stay in.

    I really enjoyed creating our gites and felt a great sense of achievement when I successfully jumped through every hoop and got the cheque. Apart from that, being a member of GdF keeps you in touch with other members, and with news about tourism initiatives, etc.

    I forgot to mention, check with your local branch of GdF to make sure that grants are available in your area first, and what sort of properties they want to encourage. For instance, in our area you can get a grant on a country property, especially if it's in certain regions they want to develop, but not if it's by the seaside or within 10 kilometers or so of the coast.

    There's much more, but those are your first steps, and I would be happy to offer any advice you might need if you decide to go ahead.

    Good Luck, whatever,


  18. I've just bought a dinghy and trailer. It's in UK so I'm going over there to get it. Got to get a towbar put on my (french registered) car as well.

    I understand heavier trailers in France have to be separately licensed, but the gross weight of my trailer and dinghy is under 500 kilos. Will this be OK to bring into France with a trailer light board and a duplicate car reg plate on the back?

    What about insurance? Do I need to extend my car insurance for towing a trailer?

    Does anyone know if I need any special paperwork to bring the boat into France? Would a bill of sale be sufficient proof of ownership if any is demanded?

    Grateful for any advice


  19. It seems to me that Britsh people define themselves, to a greater extent than any others, by what they don't like or are against.

    So we have the anti-hunt people, the anti-4x4 people, the workers against the management, the toffs against the oiks, the "Stop the Tories" people, the "Stop Portillo" Tories, the nimby groups against all developments of any kind near them. And now we have the LF Forum "I don't like..." people.

    I like andouillette, I like smelly French cheeses, I like rillettes (with or without nipples - what's the difference?). Snails, brains, etc. what's the problem?

    I hope I never become a member of an "I don't like" group. It's too narrow-minded and British - and I DON'T LIKE THAT.

    Oh sod it! I'm one of them!

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