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Patmobile

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Posts posted by Patmobile

  1. Whether they improve your search engine ratings or not, they must be worth having if they result in people visiting your site who might otherwise not have.  We now do see a high proportion of visitors viewing our site who have arrived via a backlink. 

    I did a lot of work last year on trying to improve our website's search engine visibility - and it has certainly worked.  We now get first page results even from some of the least likely sounding searches.  I know this because I use Statcounter to track where visitors are coming from and what they searched for.

    The trouble is, after all the changes and improvements I made to the site, and several months delay before they really take effect, it's almost impossible to put my finger on exactly which adjustments had a positive effect and which didn't.

    So the answer must be to just try everything the experts recommend, including building credible backlinks, and hope that some of it will pay off. 

    Patrick   

  2. I was just remembering Lord Sutch and the Monster Raving Loony Party.  Do they still exit?

    Could Britain be in any worse a state now if that lot of clowns had been in power for 12 years instead of the clowns they've actually had blundering about in Downing Street and Westminster?  At least it would have been entertaining.

    Patrick

     

      

  3. [quote user="Thebiga"]

    Very likely a wheel bearing. Does it change noise going around certain bends as you can sometimes find which side it is as around a certain corner left or right the noise can be worse. Jack it up and spin the wheels and see if any feel a little loose or notchy.

    Tyres can also make a marked amount of noise and can change as they wear down but I would go for wheel bearing first.

    [/quote]

    Thebiga - thanks for your response.  There is a very slight drop in volume when taking a right hand bend than when running straight or taking a left-hander.  I wasn't sure if this was just because my head might be moving in the bend and altering my perception of the noise or not.

    I have tried a touch test on the wheel hubs to see if any are noticeably hot, but they're all cool.  Will try jacking it up and spinning and report back.

    Anton - thanks.  I tried that first but didn't find anything that appeared relevant.  I did find a Smart car forum though, so I'll have a look there.

    Patrick         

  4. My little Smart city car has developed a low pitched humming noise which has become quite noticeably louder recently.  It varies in pitch with road speed and seems totally unrelated to engine revs or gear.  Unfortunately, it resonates around the cab of the car so that it's impossible to tell exactly, or even approximately where it's coming from.  

    At first when it was less pronounced, I thought it was just tyre noise.  Now it has become so noticeable that I think it must be a wheel bearing.  Does this sound likely?

    Any other ideas?

    Patrick  

  5. [quote user="Frederick"]Have they been staying in Paris together ? All this means the present work going on by senior civil servants is going to be needed They are working on setting up what is required for smooth transition after the next election towards the country being run by a governement with the Liberal party holding the cards ...The antics of both Labour and Conservative MP,s over expenses is making a hung parliament more and more likely[/quote]

    "Work" and "civil servants" - these words can rarely be used together in a single sentence especially when the reference is to Whitehall staff, unless the context makes it clear that the former is total anathema to the latter.

    The only other group of employees that I can think of who get paid for equally obviously doing little work are Fleet Street journalists (yes, I know they're not in Fleet Street any more), but at least they are not rewarded with high salaries, inflation-proofed pensions, and honours for not doing their jobs properly.

    Patrick  

  6. Trekking with a Donkey seems to have become a popular tourist activity all over France.  But now it seems there is a new attraction.

    Here is an extract from the official Nord/Pas de Calais Tourist Board "Real France, Real Close" brochure picked up at the Channel Tunnel terminal the other day:

    "Asinerie du Val d'Authie

    Drives with asses of pure race of Cotentin will allow you to discover the Valley of the Authie.  You can learn about the education of asses"......

    This sounds fascinating - I must make sure I fit in a visit sometime.

    Patrick

     

  7. [quote user="Pierre ZFP"]

    Would that work?

    Everbody knows that when you sell a house in France you take with you everthing that is not nailed down (and even then ....)

    so you would take the bulbs too [:D]

    [/quote]

    .......but then you would be responsible for their proper disposal - so leave them as a bonus for the purchaser.  You're going to buy a whole new lot for your new house and repeat the exercise 7 years later, anyway.

    Patrick  

  8. [quote user="andyh4"]

    But the fact is Brian that Europeans are having these bulbs foisted on them and there is no effective recycling/collection system in place.  Where I am in France I have to drive a round trip of 45km to dispose of a bulb.  In Germany I would have to wait up to six months before I can dispose of them in a special one day (3 hour) disposal marathon.

    So what do you think is going to happen to all of these bulbs?

    [/quote]

    The trick is to install these bulbs all at once, making a careful note of their life expectancy.  You then wait the appropriate number of years without any bulb failures, then, just as the bulbs are about to reach the end of their service lives, YOU SELL THE HOUSE!

    EASY!

    Patrick 

  9. How this thread title takes me back! 

    Cooking foil!  That's how my first wife, a Yorkshire lass not normally prone to spoonerisms, used to refer to her little plastic contraceptive device!

    Patrick 

     

  10. I've noticed lots of visitors to my websites come by way of a google search in which the search terms are the exact name of the site.  They obviously don't know any other way to re-visit a site they've already been to before.  This makes me think I should put one of those buttons on each of the sites "Click to bookmark this site"  I wonder if it would work? 

    BTW Has anyone any idea why google is the search engine used by so many people?  I have done a comparison and found that the first page of results from a Yahoo search always gives me higher quality (in terms of relevance) than the first page of a similar google search. 

    Try it yourself and see if I'm right

    Patrick 

  11. Well, I've managed to read through all of the preceding posts and have come to two conclusions.  First, it must be colder in winter in the South of France than anyone around here ever thought.  If not, why is all the fuss coming from there and not from up here in the sunny north?

    Second, surely the deal is you get the benefit offered by the country you live in.  France has offered people with oil heating 200 euros if they have a zero income tax bill.  The people on the TV programme live in France.  If they declare their income here as they should, and if it's already been taxed in UK as I understand they claim, then they will have a zero tax bill here.

    Sounds to me as if they are already claiming the French benefit and want to get the UK to pay them as well.  Greedy?  Or is it just what we expect from the average British migrant?

    Patrick        

  12. [quote user="f1steveuk"]. 

    .... they are happier using a very broad brush to say "modern small car efficent, old big car not", which isn't always the case.

    [/quote]

    Well, it is the case pretty much all the time.  Modern car motors are hugely more efficient in terms of the amount of fuel they burn for a specific output than older engines, and to a great extent it's government regulation and fuel taxes that have brought this increased efficiency about. 

    The problem is that cars have got much heavier at the same time.  In the sixties a performance saloon car might have weighed 1150 kg and 110 - 125 bhp would have been considered adequate.  Now the same size car weighs 1600 -1700kg and 150bhp is not adequate, especially as a lot of the power is absorbed by aircon units and the big alternators needed to power all the electric accessories.  Emissions minimising exhaust systems also take a toll on power output and there's more rolling resistance, too, because of the wider tyres needed to confer decent handling on heavier vehicles. 

    Perhaps we should be putting a tax on vehicle weight.  Excess weight is why we need more powerful engines, and bigger engines mean even more weight and greater fuel consumption.  Colin Chapman said there was nothing more useless in a racing car than weight - the same might be said for any vehicle other than a road roller.

    Patrick     

     

  13. [quote user="Will"]

    If, as you say, you have been French fiscal resident for five years, first through working and then as inactifs, you will surely have tax and/or social security documentation to support this. If you show this to your CPAM office, you should be able to remain covered.

    [/quote]

    Thanks for a bit of calm reassurance.  I had heard of other people having problems, but when I read that anyone already in the scheme before November last year was automatically entitled to remain in it, I stopped reading any further healthcare topics on the forum and went into self-congratulatory mode.  No news is good news, after all.   

    Yes, naturally we have Avis d'Impot going back 5 years and also records of our Contributions Sociales.  The people at our local CPAM office have seen these and seem not the slightest bit interested in them.

    [quote user="Will"]

    Neither is it necessary to have a carte vitale; as long as you have a social security number you can reclaim the standard percentage of health costs.

    [/quote]

    Really?  That's great, but how?  If I have to pay the full amount for a visit to the doctor or a prescription, how do I put in a claim without a Carte Vitale or a valid attestation?  Does it really work if you just put your social security number on the claim form?

    [quote user="Will"]

    Unfortunately some officials are not as well informed as they should be about the entitlement (or otherwise) of non-French nationals to health care. If you continue to meet resistance you can try calling one of the CPAM help lines. There is even an English speaking one for those who need it - although it was suffering a bit from the chocolate teapot syndome during the recent confusion, things have now been clearer for almost a year now so it should have correct and current information to hand.

    [/quote]

    You can say that again.  The people at our local CPAM office seem not very bright and they don't even agree with each other most of the time.  I did know about the helpline, but suspected it would just be manned by the same people who have already been so useless.   

    I suppose we could just put the whole thing on the back burner until my wife becomes entitled to her UK Pension in the middle of next year.  One problem with that is, as I understand it, that we would technically become illegal immigrants unless we took out comprehensive private healthcare insurance in the interim.  

    And anyway, I don't want to let this go now.  I am entitled and I want what I'm entitled to. 

    It's back to the CPAM office tomorrow to make a nuisance of myself again.  Perhaps that's all they understand.

    Patrick 

  14. My wife and I have been in the CMU for 5 years.  I was working for a French company when we joined, but stopped working for them the following year and have lived on our own resources (private pensions from UK) ever since.  Neither of us qualify by age for a UK state pension, although both my wife and I will be entitled to full pensions on reaching qualifying ages of 60 and 65 respectively.  My wife will be 60 in July next year, I'll be 65 in 2013.  

    Our Cartes Vitales expire on 31 October so in July we went to our CPAM to arrange for renewal.  They have refused to renew the Cartes Vitales on the grounds that we can't produce any "justificatif" of retirement entitlement.  Presumably they mean state pension eligibility.  After sending us round the houses they now say they want to see an E121.  Presumably, we can't get one until July 2009.  Meanwhile we won't be covered from October 31.

    I believe we are entitled to remain in the CMU as we've been in it already for 5 years and our continuity of residence is not in doubt. 

    Any suggestions?

    Patrick

      

         

  15. These days 76bhp is about enough to power the aircon, electric windows, seats, power steering, electronics for abs, traction control, navigation and emissions control, and to get the extra weight of seat belts, crumple zones and other safety gear into motion.  Passengers and drivers are bigger and heavier too, so add another 20bhp to compensate for them.  There's even electric heated screens, washers for screens fore and aft, and for lights (lots more lights now, of course) - all that's extra weight, so add another 20 bhp or so.

    So nowadays your mini cooper s would need all its original 76 bhp plus another 110 or more to have any sort of acceptable sporty performance.  This is why the 200bhp car is so common now.

    As for cars with too much power, Porsches used to be simple, sporty, exciting but not scary and powered by a not particularly powerful motor.  Then came the 911 - handled hopelessly so they widened the track and flared the wheel arches.  Then it handled reasonably well so they gave it more power.  Oh dear, they had to widen the wheels, track and arches again.  OK, now it sort of handled but then they gave it more power - once again more rubber and track width to compensate.  The once pretty car ended up looking like a muscle-bound gym animal, and the bloody thing would still swap ends at the drop of a hat.  

    Extra power doesn't always make a better, or even faster car.

    Patrick        

       

  16. [quote user="allanb"][quote user="woody234"]the short sellers can bring down any bank on the planet within 4 hours if the short sellers need to make some money for a new ferrari or a new house in chelsea[/quote]Sorry, but this is a misconception.  A short sale is just a slightly complicated kind of bet, and it can't bring down a bank, any more than betting on a horse can affect the result of the race.  

    However, it's very convenient for politicians and regulators to have somebody to blame.
    [/quote]

    You may be right - in theory - but a horse doesn't rely on public confidence to keep it in the running, and banks do.  If by short selling, market operators can succeed in driving down the share price, however unjustly or temporarily, then in practice, and especially in the current climate, public confidence in the bank could be fatally undermined.  

    Even without a crisis of public confidence, a bank whose share price has been driven down by sellers may find it hard to borrow the funds it needs to operate, and then may have to ask for shareholders to put up more money, or look to be rescued by a takeover by another bank or even the government.  When people find out about that it's curtains.

    Patrick     

  17. A 2CV may be fun but these are what I call classics.  The Bentley is now a genuine recognised rare classic, though it was considered a mere eccentricity when I had it.  This picture was taken the day after I bought it for £100

    [IMG]http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z307/potus_bucket/mybentley.jpg[/IMG]

    After that I always wanted fast big-engined luxury coupes.  I tried a couple of sports cars and a tiny lightweight Japanese turboed rotary flier, but they were always too uncomfortable for big mileages, and either too scary or too "hairdresser-ish"

    I liked these two - the BMW best.  Both photos taken when I reluctantly sold them

    [IMG]http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z307/potus_bucket/mybm5.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z307/potus_bucket/Mb300-1.jpg[/IMG]

    Patrick

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