The Unwhinge Thread

Cochise

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Speedway is back!

I LOVE Speedway. Used to be a Rayleigh Rockets supporter in their relatively brief existence. I'd be a useless speedway rider - most of them are built like whippets with sinews - and cojones - of steel. I'm more like a big old labrador. But I'd love to give it a go for fun.
 

ChasFink

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My wife's favorite mustard - and one of my favorites - has been increasingly difficult to find near us. I found a very good price for a case of twelve jars on Amazon - only to be a bit irritated by the fact that the price went up more than $2 while I was considering the purchase. Still a good price, so I ordered it.

When the shipment arrived the seal and lid on one jar were loose, spilling some mustard on some of the other jars. :(

So I logged onto Amazon, and they're sending me a whole new case for free! 23 jars of mustard (and 24 if I wanted to chance it) for the price of 12 - less than a dollar a jar! :cheer:
 

XBergMann

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What hidden depths you possess!

maximus otter

I rode a speedway bike at Mildenhall race track once during a practice day, a friends brother was in the Mildenhall Fen Tigers team and lent me one of his machines.

It was absolutely terrifying even though I only got up to about half way through turning the throttle. I didn't help that I am 6'6" and so a bit big for these bikes.

The worst thing of course is that they have no brakes which I forgot about making stopping a bit difficult as I accidentally started an unplanned lap while looking for the brakes.
 

Frideswide

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What hidden depths you possess!

My real competitive love (in terms of bikes) was being monkeyman in grass track sidecar.

What I found out with speedway:

* The skill sets don't overlap beyond the trivial ones of breathing and knowing to keep the shiny side up.

* A simple desire to be the white flame dancing on the graves of my enemies is probably necessary but it certainly isn't sufficient.

* I really like having gears.

* I love having brakes even though I habitually ride on engine-braking rather than the actual brakes. See above point about not having gears!
 

ChasFink

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Got to admire anyone with a range of favourite mustards. My compliments on your condiments.

In case anyone was wondering:

Gulden's Spicy Brown: A good all-around mustard for hot dogs and sandwiches. Very mainstream and therefore often found on sale. They seem to have changed the formula slightly recently but this hasn't significantly altered the taste. This and Kosciusko spicy brown - similar and maybe just a little better, but harder to find - were the mustards I grew up with.

Kosciusko Coarse Grain: A recent variation of the same brand's spicy brown. Has some horseradish in it, which counters the reduction in spicy taste you sometimes find in coarse grain mustard. This is my wife's favorite, and the one I use when I need a little extra kick.

Alstertor Dusseldorf Style: A simple, yellow colored mustard that is neither overly hot like pure "Chinese" yellow mustard, nor disturbingly bland like the yellow "salad" mustards. I like to use this on foods that have their own spiciness that might conflict with the flavor of the other mustards. I was attracted to it because it comes in a little glass beer mug like Kosciusko used to. I got rid of my old Kosciusko mugs, and now I miss them. :(
 

Mythopoeika

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In case anyone was wondering:

Gulden's Spicy Brown: A good all-around mustard for hot dogs and sandwiches. Very mainstream and therefore often found on sale. They seem to have changed the formula slightly recently but this hasn't significantly altered the taste. This and Kosciusko spicy brown - similar and maybe just a little better, but harder to find - were the mustards I grew up with.

Kosciusko Coarse Grain: A recent variation of the same brand's spicy brown. Has some horseradish in it, which counters the reduction in spicy taste you sometimes find in coarse grain mustard. This is my wife's favorite, and the one I use when I need a little extra kick.

Alstertor Dusseldorf Style: A simple, yellow colored mustard that is neither overly hot like pure "Chinese" yellow mustard, nor disturbingly bland like the yellow "salad" mustards. I like to use this on foods that have their own spiciness that might conflict with the flavor of the other mustards. I was attracted to it because it comes in a little glass beer mug like Kosciusko used to. I got rid of my old Kosciusko mugs, and now I miss them. :(
And there I was, thinking 'it's Grey Poupon'.
 

ChasFink

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And there I was, thinking 'it's Grey Poupon'.
I'm not a fan generally of Dijon style; tastes sour to me. It does have its place in cooking, though. But I did admire the "Yes, Minister" commercial Grey Poupon did.
 

Krepostnoi

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For reasons I have explained elsewhere, my family and I need to return to the UK PDQ. It would be a mammoth undertaking at the best of times - we left the UK in 2015 - and of course these are emphatically not the best of times.

Actually, the mammoth is not the real problem. The elephant in the room is our cat. He's a rescue, and we will not let him be abandoned for the second time in his life. His usual somewhat standoffish nature has changed over the past few days: he has become much more affectionate and companionable. A true emotional support animal, in the phrase du jour.

In its infinite wisdom, the UK has banned the entry of animals into the UK as checked baggage on aircraft. To send him cargo would be prohibitively expensive: in the region of US$5000. And even then, our vet advises, there aren't actually any places available, as the carriers are reducing their cargo flights. Some unscrupulous agents are nonetheless taking fistfuls of money from desperate pet owners.

My unwhinge is this: at present, the Netherlands is closed to third-country visitors. However, the Dutch Consulate in HCMC are arranging a laissez-passer for my family, so that we can fly into Amsterdam, transit across Holland, and catch the ferry from Rotterdam to Hull. With our cat. They have no reason to do this for us: we are not Dutch citizens. We are no longer even EU citizens. And yet they have spent the past week in negotiations with the Dutch Immigration service and the Dutch police to make this happen for us. We are simply overwhelmed by this gesture of immense kindness.
 

Cochise

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Would just like to congratulate my dentist. I've had some bad experiences with dentists in the past. But had a root canal done yesterday - no pain at the time, no pain today. Am I relieved or what?
 

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Oh yes - that's brilliant!

Now doing the Happy Dance for you :hapdan:
 
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escargot

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For reasons I have explained elsewhere, my family and I need to return to the UK PDQ. It would be a mammoth undertaking at the best of times - we left the UK in 2015 - and of course these are emphatically not the best of times.

Actually, the mammoth is not the real problem. The elephant in the room is our cat. He's a rescue, and we will not let him be abandoned for the second time in his life. His usual somewhat standoffish nature has changed over the past few days: he has become much more affectionate and companionable. A true emotional support animal, in the phrase du jour.

In its infinite wisdom, the UK has banned the entry of animals into the UK as checked baggage on aircraft. To send him cargo would be prohibitively expensive: in the region of US$5000. And even then, our vet advises, there aren't actually any places available, as the carriers are reducing their cargo flights. Some unscrupulous agents are nonetheless taking fistfuls of money from desperate pet owners.

My unwhinge is this: at present, the Netherlands is closed to third-country visitors. However, the Dutch Consulate in HCMC are arranging a laissez-passer for my family, so that we can fly into Amsterdam, transit across Holland, and catch the ferry from Rotterdam to Hull. With our cat. They have no reason to do this for us: we are not Dutch citizens. We are no longer even EU citizens. And yet they have spent the past week in negotiations with the Dutch Immigration service and the Dutch police to make this happen for us. We are simply overwhelmed by this gesture of immense kindness.
Someone in the Dutch Consulate is a cat-lover! :D
 

cycleboy2

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I thought this was going to be a whinge but, phew, luckily not.

A couple of nights ago Mrs Cycleboy and I were watching TV when I heard one of our cats growling in the hall, which is an unusual sound for him to make. On investigation he was standing over what I thought to be a dark flower head, but a closer look proved it to be a tiny bat, maybe an inch and a half or two inches long. I thought it was dead but it moved so I picked it up and it didn't look well, but there was no blood and nothing obviously broken. I was in tears at this point.

Anyway, the more I held it in my palm the healthier it looked, so we put it in a box and my wife took it to our 24-hour vet; I was in no state to drive.

The good news came yesterday in a phonecall. The vet could find nothing wrong and it was released back into the wild.

I'm guessing our cat didn't 'catch' it, as he's rubbish! But he must have brought it in, and all without killing/maiming it.

My wife suggested taking a photograph of the bat, but I didn't want to as I didn't think there was going to be a happy ending. Now I wish I had as I'll probably never get to hold a teeny-tiny bat in the palm of my hand again! I'm guessing it was one of the pipistrelles, but apart from those with huge ears most British bats look pretty similar.
 

escargot

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I thought this was going to be a whinge but, phew, luckily not.

A couple of nights ago Mrs Cycleboy and I were watching TV when I heard one of our cats growling in the hall, which is an unusual sound for him to make. On investigation he was standing over what I thought to be a dark flower head, but a closer look proved it to be a tiny bat, maybe an inch and a half or two inches long. I thought it was dead but it moved so I picked it up and it didn't look well, but there was no blood and nothing obviously broken. I was in tears at this point.

Anyway, the more I held it in my palm the healthier it looked, so we put it in a box and my wife took it to our 24-hour vet; I was in no state to drive.

The good news came yesterday in a phonecall. The vet could find nothing wrong and it was released back into the wild.

I'm guessing our cat didn't 'catch' it, as he's rubbish! But he must have brought it in, and all without killing/maiming it.

My wife suggested taking a photograph of the bat, but I didn't want to as I didn't think there was going to be a happy ending. Now I wish I had as I'll probably never get to hold a teeny-tiny bat in the palm of my hand again! I'm guessing it was one of the pipistrelles, but apart from those with huge ears most British bats look pretty similar.
Francis of bloody Assisi, you are.

Well done! :salute:
 

maximus otter

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I received a phone call, purporting to be from the Dept. of Work and Pensions, the caller telling me that there was a problem with my upcoming Old Age Pension. l immediately panicked, clutching at a roll of blubber in the region of the small black flint that serves me as a heart.

l was content to play along by giving my full name, but then he started asking for more info, and l became suspicious. I got his phone number - 0800 731 7898 - and checked it: the DWP…

Bugger! Now for an hour in a phone queue.

Two minutes into my return call l was talking to a very polite and efficient young woman, and we straightened out an extremely minor complication in another two minutes.

Phew! (And 2½ cheers for the DWP).

maximus otter
 

Cochise

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I'd just like to give a recommend.

I don't know if any of my fellow Forteans are camera collectors, or merely have an old camera they want to keep using. I'm more of a collector than an actual photographer, but I do use film cameras from time to time, in particular an Asahi Pentax MEF that I've owned since 1984. Cameras of that vintage need a service about once a decade, also it has a problem with the flash synchronisation.

From previous experience was expecting to pay lots of money and have a hard time finding someone to work on such a relatively obscure model. My previous contact had closed down during the lockdown and typically charged > £100 for a service.

These guys are both interested and experienced, and their charges are almost astonishingly small. I've not enjoyed being a customer so much in some years.

https://realcamera.co.uk/liverpool/

Heartily recommended, satisfied customer, no financial connection etc. etc.
 

Krepostnoi

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the Dutch Consulate in HCMC are arranging a laissez-passer for my family, so that we can fly into Amsterdam, transit across Holland, and catch the ferry from Rotterdam to Hull.
It worked! All the weak links in the chain held, and we are now safely ensconced in Leeds. All five of us. It took a long, long time to check in in Ho Chi Minh City, such that they nearly closed the gate on us, but after that it all went smoothly. They didn't even check the cat's papers at Hull... A huge, huge thank you to the Dutch for making an exception for us.

Yesterday, the Vietnamese authorities banned all public transport in Ho Chi Minh City, including taxis. If we'd been planning to leave just two days later, we wouldn't have got away - we simply couldn't have made our way to the airport...:bdown:
 

Yithian

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It worked! All the weak links in the chain held, and we are now safely ensconced in Leeds. All five of us. It took a long, long time to check in in Ho Chi Minh City, such that they nearly closed the gate on us, but after that it all went smoothly. They didn't even check the cat's papers at Hull... A huge, huge thank you to the Dutch for making an exception for us.

Yesterday, the Vietnamese authorities banned all public transport in Ho Chi Minh City, including taxis. If we'd been planning to leave just two days later, we wouldn't have got away - we simply couldn't have made our way to the airport...:bdown:

Skin of your teeth.

The gods, in this respect at least, are on your side.

It's been a long time since I have been in Leeds. I think I was in the Fenton for a number of hours a decade ago!
 

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I've just had a letter from HMRC saying they owe me £378.60 because I've been over taxed so I've phoned The Mrs because I owe her about £500 from when I was ill and she was rescuing me ..... but her boss answered the phone and she was too busy and "Can I pass a message on?" .. "Please can you tell her I've got three hundred pounds for her." .. "you've got three hundred pounds for me?." .. "Nice try. Very quick. No." ...
 

Mythopoeika

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I've just had a letter from HMRC saying they owe me £378.60 because I've been over taxed so I've phoned The Mrs because I owe her about £500 from when I was ill and she was rescuing me ..... but her boss answered the phone and she was too busy and "Can I pass a message on?" .. "Please can you tell her I've got three hundred pounds for her." .. "you've got three hundred pounds for me?." .. "Nice try. Very quick. No." ...
I got a letter from HMRC too!
They want to pay me back £10. Yes, all of £10! I'm so excited, I don't know what to spend it all on!
 

maximus otter

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I’ve finally got my old iPod Gen. 6 to charge again!

The only way it used to charge was via my Windows 8.1 laptop, which is currently inaccessible due to a computer malfunction. (My brain malfunctioned and l left the computer in Ayrshire…)

l’d swear undying love that l tried the iPod with every combination of USB port and its Lightning lead available to me, but today l had one last despairing go, and the first USB port l tried got me the battery animation!

l am now a happy bunny, and can again face long bus trips without the embuggerance of listening to other people’s inane nattering, or 150 dB phone conversations. Joy!

maximus “Not a people person” otter
 

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l am now a happy bunny, and can again face long bus trips without the embuggerance of listening to other people’s inane nattering, or 150 dB phone conversations. Joy!

wonderful news! :twothumbs:
 
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