Tom Downie

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 2,620 total)
  • Tom Downie
  • Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: 16 year old son smoking weed

    Not strictly true, 30% had taken drugs recently enough that they were still detectable.

    The test kit we used was calibrated to detect the use of cannabis, opiates, methadone and alcohol with the previous 24hours or less. Cocaine, amphetamines and diazapan for a couple of days. Alcohol you had to be a bit pissed at the time of test. This wasn’t trying to catch out someone that had had a joint 2 weeks ago, it was folk actively using drugs. If you failed you were either a bit wasted or had been wasted the night/day before. Either way enough that you shouldn’t be with a mile of the stuff on that site. It’s quite a thing to be taking meth the night before you turn up to do some coded welding!

    Some pre employment checks for permanent employees may use more rigorous methods.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: 16 year old son smoking weed

    Oh, and no I have never felt ‘I could do with a drink’ when stressed. Which is just as well as it doesn’t seem to work.

    Great attitute. I’m coming to the conclusion through practice that it doesn’t work, but drugs and alcohold are almost in the DNA of the UK so very hard to step away from. Interestingly Nietzsche hated alcohol, basically he put people who drink (even if they were athiests) in the same bucket as religious headbangers. Using something external to avoid and escape reality.

    Random fact – most high hazard sites in the UK have D&A testing. One place I worked for brought it in from having nothing. Instant 30% fail rate for class A drugs. Almsot mindblowing how prevalent drugs are in society. Let that sink in next time you see a big scaffold somewhere – nearly a third of the guys that built it were probably wasted.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: the price of things? (grumpy old man).

    The cost to make it plus a reasonable amount (10-20%) of profit.

    That has very little to do with price of most retail goods. The kind of extreme example is take a bottle of mineral water. What could you sell that for to a man drifting on a life raft about to die of thirst? What could you sell it for in Tesco when people have potable water at home? The bottle of water cost the same to make, but the price could be anywhere from £100000+ to £0.45.

    On a less extreme scale, what a bike tyre and car tyre cost to make matters very little. One is going to be purchased to boost someone’s hobby, where they want all the marginal gains on their cafe run. The other on a dismal trading estate when your car fails its MOT.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Little things that make you sad

    Ossify – look on the up side. You’re contributing the calorific value of the waste to make it go nicely through an incinerator.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Turkey/Erdogan – Statutory rapists to be released if they marry their victims

    Don’t share trashy news links, that’s my point. Your asserting that the world is going mad based on an obscure story repackaged at low/no cost by the Independent to get a reaction from you.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Riding in the rain & mud, different transatlantic perspectives.

    Seasonal and/or reliable weather is a factor. If you knew that it was going to be dry or dry and sunny for 250 days a year would suffer through the odd wet spell? If you had good winter sports would bother with mountain biking in the winter?

    I personnaly avoid really soft trails in winter, because I’m a pretty shit rider and crash lots. And it seems to cause more damage than necessary. Lots of folk around my way don’t, they love the steep stuff in the mud. It does damage individual trails, but in the overall scheme of erosion I can’t get that excited.

    Thinking of a popular local hill to me, folk get worked up about erosion on the bridleway that crosses over. Yes it is a bit messed up, bikes contribute to that but it is repairable. But – half the actuall hill was mined away in times gone by. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rock. It’s like worrying about tyre wear on a car that’s done 300k miles, is covered in rust and doesn’t have a smooth panel left.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Turkey/Erdogan – Statutory rapists to be released if they marry their victims

    but I’m not a woman in Turkey, and I assume, neither are you.

    I would also assume that you will do nothing based on this story, beyond try and get a bit self righteous to feel good. Clearly you’re morally superior to me. So whether you think you care more or less than me the net result for a woman in Turkey will be the same. The Independent will have made a bit more money from the extra clickthroughs.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Turkey/Erdogan – Statutory rapists to be released if they marry their victims

    What you’re really seeing is a collection of emotionally compelling clickbait news headlines designed to get a reaction from you, based on whatever worldview you have. They usually have no relevance to you, your life or future life but negatively shape your reality. It’s sad when people pick up these trash stories and get worked up about it.

    The Independent/MailOnline/Sun Online/BBC can only exist if they get enough people to react to their content. This would be expensive and difficult by investigating and present the real news, so why not just pick up mad stories from all over the world that suit a purpose and use those? A totally irrelavant minor working of the Turkish state? Excellent, that’ll tickle the Independent readers. Meanwhile, FoxNews will have the same thing wrapped up as an example of good old common sense. What’s going on in your local council, school, courts or businesses is far more relevant but gets zero interest from the media because it’s dull and hard work.

    Interesting blog post from Mark Manson. I cut down on the news massively about 6 months ago, and feel a lot happier for it.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Selling a bike on Ebay, potential seller wants to pay PayPal directly to me

    Can’t wait for someone to eat eBay and Paypal’s lunches.

    facebook marketplace is taking a decent chunk I’d have thought. It’s the Wild West of fee-free selling.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Italian motorway tolls and missing one

    Yeah I missed one a couple of years back on the Autostrade near Florence. When I exited I got a 70EUR fine printed on a slip, however, when you log onto the website to pay you get a time limitted option to state what your actual journey was and pay that. IRC you had to say where you entered and exited, provide a passport number and accept that you’d be hung drawn and quartered if you lied. If you’d already paid the fine I’m not sure what else you could do. Hire company never came back to me so must have been OK.

    On another trip to Italy Avis stung me for providing details as you have been. I don’t know what it was, I think it maybe was an auto camera thing in Turin. So you may have been caught for something random like that and not the toll. Obiously I never got any actual fine through, just the 90EUR avis fee. Bastards. I was the only driver in Turin stopping at red lights and not trying to kill everyone. Maybe that was the issue? In my old job my team travelled loads, Italy was definitely a hotspot for picking up mystery fines.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Vegetarianism Advice

    I made that Knorr katsu curry the other night off the back of this thread. Absolutely lovely, all the family liked it and that’s no easy feat. The sauce is really good, and you could swap the aubergine for pretty much anything that can be fried so really versatile.

    I think in our house now we’re probably 2-3 vegetarian meals a week now. I’m not entirely sure why I eat meat other than tradition to be honest. When I used to travel more for work it would have been very hard to be vegetarian but now it would probably be better for my health, my wallet and the environment. All the debates have been had about the morals of it, there’s a good summary here. I struggle to square the circle of why I eat meat without falling back on tradition, but there’s huge spectrum of beliefs out there.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: One for you Ooni wood-fired pizza oven fans

    I love my ooni (well, mine is an Uuni) but it’s a faff to cook anywhere except the back garden.
    I can’t imagine trying to sort dough and toppings out on a beach without something getting very sandy.

    This x100

    I’ve got one, it’s good fun but requires lots of worktop space and preparation to successfully churn out good pizzas.

    I guess you could use it do grill fish, kebabs etc on the beach, that might work. But then so would a small open fire and a stick.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: 16 year old son smoking weed

    Awful situaqtion, I’m full of admiration for how you’re trying to go about this.

    Only thing I’d add is on the “scaring him straight” type thing by getting thrown in a cell. On the surface, it sort of makes sense and appeals to a good chunk of the British population’s sensibilities.

    There was a program in the States back in the day where they took wayward teens and took them to supermax type prisons to meet inmates and scare them straight. It was wildly popular but ultimately was shown to be a massive failure (its described here on page 332p. Basically, the kids that were “scared straight” were more likely to go on to get into serious bother. Turns out rather than scaring them away from crime, the trauma of being exposed to those conditions harmed them further. In your case, it might have the additional bother of affecting his record as well. I’d be wary going down this route, unless anyone else has a good justification beyond the anecdotal that it works.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: What standards should actually be standard

    I don’t know why cyclists (MTBers) in particular are so fussed about this. Rigid adherence to standards stifles innovation.

    I get what you mean Scotroutes, I just think there’s genuine innovation and then anticompetitive wasteful tinkering.

    The current case of the apple iphone charge is a good one. Apple can make a case why its better from a pure electronic engineering point of view. Does it offer any advantage or utility to the end user? No. But it does help drive a market for apple in OEM accessories and help lock people into that ecosystem. Yes. Not to mention the downsides for sustainability, waste.

    A lot of bike innovations don’t actually solve any end user problems. They create waste and drive sales of slightly different but the same parts. It also erects barriers to entry for smaller outfits in retail and manufacturering.

    For me, threaded BBs, hub (142×12 11×15), freehun, bars, steerers, headset, seat post diamters would benefit from some standards. 27.5 can GTF as well.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Pensions – all in one pot?

    As above check charges (also check if exit or transfer charges) , but also check past average annual returns for the funds, if the old one does better…….

    Transfer charges is a good point. The returns is an odd one though – that only really applies if you’re very actively managing your fund. If you’re just using the default settings with passive funds then it’s just a function of the market performance and the fees. If you want to actively pick funds then some schemes have more options than others, but that’s only really going to be an issue if your in the tiny majority of people that want that sort of control.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Pensions – all in one pot?

    I assume you’re talking about defined contribution pots from old jobs?

    I tidied mine up a couple of years back, you need to find out what the fees are on the older pot and compare those to your current one. I haven’t moved my pot to my most recent company because my old scheme had a significantly lower fees. It doesn’t make a huge difference year to year but can add up over time.

    You really need to give your old pension povider a call and check if they do transfers and what the value would be, then check with your new pension provider.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: North York Moors Vs Yorkshire Dales

    Hole of Horcum
    He-he…….!

    It’s not too far from the parish of Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Splitting the bill

    It’s a mindset thing – some people view lunch/dinner with freinds as an “experience” comprising of the venue, company, drinks, food etc. The assumption is that all have shared in the experience equally so should split the cost. When you attend you enter into a contract to share the costs. It’s incidental to the experience whether one person had an extra drink, or someone didn’t have a starter etc.

    Clearly not everyone buys into these assumptions. Normally I’m cool with it except for the last meal I was at. I wasn’t drinking but a few of the guys (including the richest most obnoxious one) were hitting the beer and wine big time. Ended up costing me £60 for a £15 set menu. Ouch. Lesson learned.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: North York Moors Vs Yorkshire Dales

    Both are fine places to go, I would say the walking/biking is sort of comparable. Lots of trails, plenty of elevation changes but not a lot gnarrr. If you go the moors I guess you’ll be closer to trail centre options at Sutton Bank and Dalby.

    If you go the moors you can find quite a few short (say ~5mile) walks that involve a fair bit of challenge and interesting landscapes. Lordstones Country park, Hole of Horcum, Cook’s Monument, Roseberry Topping, Rievaux Valley and probably my favourite bit is around Beck Hole where you can do some fun river valley scrambling that the kids will love. Also steam trains. Any full day hikes are likely to involve tramping over featureless moor.

    One plus for the South Eastern dales is you probably have some more options for “attractions”. Fountains Abbey is a great day out for kids, Brimham Rocks, Aysgarth Falls, Richmond stuff like that.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Netflix recommendations

    I enjoyed the Irishman, but I watched it in 3 sittings almost like a mini series. I think I’d have struggled in a one-er. The characters were interesting and a bit mysterious which I liked. The bit where he’s giving the guy a kicking is funny – it looks like something out of Still Game. High quality content for not a lot of money.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Favourite Store in the UK

    Trago Mills.

    I’ve never seen anywhere that attemps the depth and breadth of that place. Kitchen ware to carpets, shotguns to spices, kids clothes to cross bows, car parts to christmas tat.

    They do things in every pack size. One bog roll, 4 bog rolls, family pack and *** off giant bale of bog rolls. Tiny 200g tub of swarfega, medium tub and giant lifetime bucket of the stuff.

    Haven’t been in in years since I moved, I hope it hasn’t changed in all its mock-tudor glory.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Outdoor clothing repair. North West

    If you’ve no luck locally these guys do a lot of business by post. I used to live near their factory and they are well regarded.

    https://www.scottishmountaingear.com/repair-service

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: So, Harry & Meghan…. What do we think?

    This week’s Economist has an interesting take ok it. Basically that it’s the final fulfillment of Marx’s predictions that Capitalism would consume all traces of the feudal system. The British monarchy being one of the last outposts of the old system.

    So there you go, Harry and Megan – agents of the revolution.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: When to start with balance bike

    I tried to get our eldest on to one too soon (just before she was 2). Didn’t really get very far with. Put it away until she was 3 and she got going on very quick and hasn’t looked back. Progressed to pedal bike in 9 months.

    Her little brother is taking an interest at about 20months so will get him going. Little sister will be a while yet.

    I guess all I’m saying is have a go but be prepared to adjust expectations. If it’s not fun don’t bother. It’s not a race.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Flat roof replacement (garage) – fibreglass versus rubber

    Our inherited flat roof extension has a GRP roof. I think it’s about 20years old and sound but one of the main pluses for me is that is easy to DIY repair. I’ve done a couple of patches and covered a hole where I removed a redundant flue. It was easy to do with a automotive repair kit + suitable pigment and the patches have held no problem. I’m pleasantly surprised, I’d always been conditioned to hate flat roofs.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Deeds – boundaries, fences etc

    I don’t think there is usually anything explicit. My house (also 1950s) has a boundry diagram but it doesn’t help with who owns a fence and we have 5 neighbours so it is complicated. I think it’s one of those things that’s best sorted ammicably. We replaced a rickety old fence last year, arguably it was a 50/50 with the neighbour but he DGAF about the fence, so it gave me the opportunity to put up the fence exactly where and how I wanted it. He saved himself £250, but I got a nice fence with the good side facing me exactly on the 1950s boundary (the new fence had been built in 1980s about 0.3cm inside my garden to avoid removing the old 50s concrete posts). Win win.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: A religious question…

    No one is going to excuse bigotry or insidious discrimination based upon which political doctrine they happen to support, but as soon as it’s based on religion, it becomes more legitimate.

    Environmental extremists like XR use bigotry and pass moral judgement on people and infringe upon their rights.
    On both sides of the B**** debate you have people using political ideologies to demonise and dehumanise people with opposing veiws. I don’t recall the guy that shot Jo Cox following any religious doctrine. Also people who supported B**** were duhamised in various ways for not conforming to a polical ideology.
    The illiberal fringes of the labour party use political doctrine to shout bigoted views about people who have alternative views about how society and the economy should be organised.
    The crowd at a Donald J Trump rally aren’t using any kind religious justification for viciously attacking anyone that opposes them.

    At the very worst extremes, Pol Pot didn’t need any religious cover to do what he did.

    I cannot understand how anyone can look at current affairs or human history and conclude that an organised religion is required to excuse bigotry or insidious discrimitination.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Somewhat hypothetically – help me choose a location to live in Scotland please

    Timely thread resurrection for me as well, I’m just about to hit go on a move North, most probably Stirlingshire. Useful comments on the schools, that’s somewhat put my mind at ease because it’s been a big worry. Daughter loves her school here so the thought of messing that up is difficult. Also on the developments in Dunblane / BoA as those were areas we were looking at.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: A religious question…

    For those of you that are bang up for suicide, is it wrong to intervene if you are aware of someone else trying to commit suicide? Near where I live there is a cliff that folk like to jump off, several a year. If I see someone go up there looking a bit worried should I let them get on with it or intervene?

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Flybe…. Should the taxpayer fund a failing airline?

    I think we are at a stage where if you choose a commute that requires you getting on a plane, that should be considered with the social disdain of a smoker or drink driver. Such wanton environmental vandalism is costing lives.
    +1

    I’m a bit terrified what you’d consider appropriate retribution for someone who flew on holiday. There is a really long and fuzzy causal chain between an individual decision to fly and deaths, which makes your extension of individual morality quite controversial. It’s not equivalent to say drink driving or smoking really. Also you need attach relative weights to losses now to individuals from not flying and future impacts, amongst a host of other things. Does a person from a western country that has emitted a shit tonne of CO2 since the industrial revolution have a higher moral responsibility than a person in say, Kenya, who can get a better job by flying every week? If I stop flying for work, but that adversly impacts my kids in the here and now is that moral?

    Personally I want to try and fly less, it’s good for all kinds of reasons. Flying for work sucks and I don’t do it anymore. It doesn’t follow that I have the right to morally judge others. It’s actually a very new and evolving area of Philosophy and very interesting. Who knows where it will go.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: A religious question…

    How about a belief purely based upon what a person feels? Are you saying that should be dismissed as bunkum?

    A lot of people would say “yes” but what they means is “yes, but only when it conflicts with one of my own beliefs for which I hold no evidence for beyond my limited experience”. See the recent coffee thread, tupperware thread, this thread, Brexit thread…

    Like why do you have coffee every morning? Did you investigate all other possible morning drinks and rigorously test them to arrive at coffee as the most superior drink? How did you determine the best way of making it? What criteria did you use to judge superiority – cost, taste, health etc?Nope, for most people me included we’ve just kind of stumbled there being blindly influended by something or other. But when it comes to religion we’re really sure we have it 100% nailed down.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: A religious question…

    I kind of admire your absolute certainty on things like this TJ. It’s funny though that often people who state that the the scientific method is superior to everything don’t actually follow that method for almost all the decisions they make.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: A religious question…

    Member

    Tomd
    One of these proofs please

    Kant’s moral argument for the assumption of the existence of God.

    Another interesting one is Kierkegaard who is paradoxically a Christian that believes in God but makes a fantastic reasoned argument about why trying to prove Gods existence is a waste of time.

    I think what you’re really asking for is a scientific proof of god, and there isn’t one but that assumes that’s the only proof and indeed that a proof is necessary or possible.

    Sadly it isn’t black/white. There are some brilliant modern atheist philosophers who I’m more inclined towards than the alternatives.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: A religious question…

    I cannot think of any secular group who do this – and its pervasive with the organised religions. Its so pervasive it becomes normalised. the only one I know of that forbids this is Sikhism. Maybe Buddism as well?

    Current obvious elephant in the room is the Chinese Communist Party. I believe Marx and Lenin were quite clear on religion but it hasn’t stopped all kinds of murderous controlling backwards crap.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: A religious question…

    Agree with that Cougar, because you’ve taken the effort to define it as the Abrahamic God. It still isn’t categorical because there are many other rational or empirical proofs of god that have nothing to do the Abrahamic Religions.

    I think your also misrepresenting why Dawkins is open to the possibility of the existence of God. It isn’t purely an issue of probabilities but the existence of other concepts and proofs of god.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: A religious question…

    Yeah that’s not really so much a fallacy ridden mess as bias ridden mess. It assumes for one thing that you’re even capable of understanding god, let alone describe it using the tools available to you in the current English language. It also assumes that the only acceptable proof of God is empirical.

    I have really hard time pulling apart religion and god from the biases that got drummed into me growing up in 20/21st Britain in a Christian tradition. So I can definitely say I don’t believe in the Christian God, or the Muslim God or the Viking gods for that matter. But, in a broader sense, I genuinely don’t know.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Flybe…. Should the taxpayer fund a failing airline?

    It kind of makes sense, they connect places in the UK that no one else does and where driving or trains would be an unholy nightmare. Some off the top of my head…

    Inverness to Stornoway
    Teesside to Aberdeen
    Glasgow to Southampton

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: A religious question…

    Onewheelgood – there are quite a few issues with it.

    It assumes all kinds of things about the nature of God, along the lines of a monotheistic religion. Not to mention the obvious questions about the nature of the penguin. Where did it come from? What, if anything,caused it?

    It’s a switcheroo from God to a penguin. It would be a good argument if you wanted to whip up a hardcore monotheist. Not so good for arguing against the god of Hegel and people like that.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: A religious question…

    She can pray (only temporary remedy during the prayer) but she must be strong in her mind too (guard her mind strongly) as any sense of fear or weaknesses will cause more problems.

    You might not realise you’re doing it, but that’s the same form of dodgy argument Believe in god because bible/Bible is the word of god.

    Prayer with sufficient strength will fix it
    If it is not fixed the prayer is not strong enough

    It doesn’t matter what way round you put it, each statement confirms the other.

    | Go to post
    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber
    Reply to: Eco food storage?

    Why assume they need to be plastic? We have both heavy cotton and heavy duty plastic and either does fine, I’ve carted tool boxes about in them with no issues.

    Cotton is the most resource intensive material to make shopping bags out of, that’s why. I just assumed that we would prefer to make shopping bags in the most efficient way.

    | Go to post
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 2,620 total)