@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar



Retired software engineer & woodworker.
Detest tories. Subscribe to green, leftish radical politics but not to any particular political party!.
Love the EU and all it stands for, moreover, I spent the last 10 years of my career working at an EU agency.
Enthusiastic photographer, especially wildlife and most especially butterflies.
Slightly knowledgeable gardener.
Atheist; loathe almost all religions and pity the people deluded enough to follow them. I make exceptions for Buddhism as it isn't really a religion in the strictest sense of the word as it doesn't postulate the existence of any god, and Jainism which is the epitome of peace.

For anyone who is interested, my header photo is of the most stupendous sunset I have ever seen. On the right is the waterfront of Vientiane, the capital of Laos, on the left is Thailand and in the middle, acting as the border between the two countries is the mighty Mekong river.


This profile is from a federated server and may be incomplete. Browse more on the original instance.

vicgrinberg, to Bulgaria
@vicgrinberg@mastodon.social avatar

Get into the car in the morning and drive through France into Belgium on the way to the Netherlands. And the only sign of change of country is a sign along the road that I almost missed. Nobody checked our (German) IDs and we did not need a passport.

Living in the #EU, we tend to take it for granted that we can easily cross borders. But it's an wonder, an achievement, something worth fighting for.

#Europa #Europe

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar


Indeed, I live in Luxembourg about 15 minutes from the Belgian "border". I quite often go shopping in Belgium where a few things are available that are difficult to find in Luxembourg. The French border is about 25 minutes away and often go over to France to get food from a street market or to eat in a decent restaurant.

Germany is about 45 minutes drive from me and their DIY stores make B+Q and the like look like a very expensive corner shop! So if I want something a bit out of the ordinary in the way of DIY supplies I go there.

Although technically I should carry a passport when crossing the border as I am not an EU citizen, I never do and in any case a driving license combined with an Article 50 resident's permit will normally keep the authorities happy in any EU country.

As you say crossing the "border" in a car, coach or truck is normally done at about 30 - 50 MPH on motorways (autoroutes or autobahns) and on back roads there is just a modest plaque that indicates you have left Luxembourg and tells you what the speed limits are in the country you have just entered - that's it!

Unfortunately, Britain is full of bigoted, racist imbeciles who rather cut off their nose to spite their face, i.e. leave the EU!

Farage must have been enraged by his colleagues at the EU parliament most of whom were sharper than he in two or three languages other than their mother tongue!

In Luxembourg, kids leave school speaking 3 languages fluently - they have to! The teaching at the early stages in school is conducted in Luxembourgish, then switches to French and finally to German so you can't get through school without speaking all three pretty damned well! English is also taught to almost all school kids after they have mastered the other three!

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar


Back in the day when I was still working, I used drive to the UK in my company car fairly regularly. I was stopped at customs or immigration in Dover more times than I care to remember and it was always the same saga. Is this vehicle yours
Me: No, it's a company car
Them: Do you have permission from them to bring it to England?
Me: nope! The car doesn't belong to my company, it belongs to a leasing company.
Them: have they given you permission to bring it to England?
Me: All lease cars in Luxembourg have blanket permission to visit other EU countries - Luxembourg is a very small country - I go to work via Belgium so I go "abroad" every day!

I was never actually refused entry but I did get to the very curt stage more than once!

Little England tossers - I fuckin HATE them!

Paulos_the_fog, to random
@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar
chrisgerhard, to random
@chrisgerhard@toot.bike avatar

"Blame bad luck, and bad choices. Some of those choices fall at the feet of the Tories, in particular the decision to leave the European Union. But that doesn’t mean Labour, which might form the next government, will do better. And in that lie lessons for the rest of the world: whatever the flaws of globalization, turning your back on it can be costly, and difficult to undo."


@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar


It is fantastically difficult to see how Labour could possibly be worse than the venal filth that is the tory party!

Paulos_the_fog, to random
@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

I believe there are quite a lot of techies on this instance so:

I have always used Google Chrome to access qoto.org then the other day my running Mastodon instance in that browser shut down for no reason I can think of, and when I tried to log back in to it, Bitdefender resolutely refused to allow me to do that saying that destination page I had requested was riddled with malware and would download all sorts of hideous code on to my machine if I went there!

I run 6 assorted browsers all of which come under the Bitdefender umbrella of protection, so I tried a different browser namely Brave, and qoto.org loaded without protest from my antivirus as indeed it did in all my other browsers; it seems only Chrome is impacted by this issue.

I am wondering therefore if it possible that some malware that redirects requests to go to qoto.org, to a malware site, has installed itself under Chrome on this machine.

Are there any any experts out there who can suggest what this problem might be, particularly if it could be a malware problem!

Paulos_the_fog, to random
@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

1st Monday of the month at 12 midday means it's air-raid warning siren day here in Luxembourg.

Yes, they still test them every month here!

I can remember air-raid siren tests being done on air raid warning sirens in Eastbourne, my home town, when I was a kid but certainly not recently.

Do other European countries still have air-raid warning sirens a that are still tested regularly?

Paulos_the_fog, to random
@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

For those who buy from Amazon, did you know that their prices vary widely from site to site and here I am talking in extreme cases by as much as by 40%.

Unsurprisingly, given Britain's reputation as "rip off Britain", the UK site ( Amazon.co.uk ) is usually the most expensive and the German site ( Amazon.de ) which conveniently can be accessed in English, is often the cheapest. However, there is a website that will do the job of hunting down the lowest price for you


compares prices across all the European Amazon sites and lets you see what they are charging for a given article on the range of sites!

rightardia, to random
@rightardia@mastodon.social avatar

The price that is paid for Chick-fil-a.

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar


Look - it doesn't matter a damn so long as Chick-fil-a can continue to sell the products cheaply and make PROFITS!

Profits before people - that's the American way! (see Boeing for further examples!)

ChrisMayLA6, to random
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Torsten Bell sums up the problem with the Tories trying to bribe older voters with a tax cut (reversing their own tax-grab conducted via fiscal drag)...

'Trying to bribe baby boomers with small tax cuts completely misses the point that they’d like something else. A functioning NHS'!

[The sound of chickens coming home to roost]


@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

@TimWardCam @ChrisMayLA6

I live in Luxembourg and have two pensions, A Luxembourg state pension and a British state pension.

Over here, on the combined pensions, I don't pay any tax at all as I don't reach the taxable threshold but if I moved back to my homeland, the UK, I would be taxed at the rate of around £2,500 a year!

Over here they tax the rich whereas in the UK the tory scum tax the poor!

Paulos_the_fog, to random
@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar
RickiTarr, to random
@RickiTarr@beige.party avatar

Maybe I try to look for the sunny side of the street too often, but this is just funny to me. Many of the January 6th Insurrectionists now have felony records, and can no longer own a firearm. THEY TOOK AWAY THEIR OWN GUNS! LOL

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar


That will apply to Trump if he gets a felony conviction!

Paulos_the_fog, to random
@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

If philosophy were to be a core curriculum subject up to ''A" levels, as it is in France, Belgium and Luxembourg (and probably many other countries) I wonder if it would change the voting patterns in the UK electorate. Philosophy is supposed to teach critical thinking skills; something the the great British public appear to be direly in need of as they keep voting tory!

Paulos_the_fog, to random
@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar
@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

Well dealing smack is free enterprise, innit!

davidaugust, to random
@davidaugust@mastodon.online avatar


@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar


Given the incomprehensibly monstrous sums of money he has access to, there are those of us who think that he might think about helping the Americans who are in danger of dying because they can't afford medication or other medically necessary treatment. He might try to help the millions of Americans who are homeless, he might think of ways to help people who are starving elsewhere in the world - in fact there are a million and one things he could do to benefit the world at large but no - he builds a fucking CLOCK!!!

Geri, to random
@Geri@mastodon.online avatar

Ahem ... remember this when you put your kisses down.

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

@davidpnice @Geri

The Malcolm Sargent version of the Karelia was used as the theme tune to the news and current affairs programme "This Week".

He had it played much faster than most conductors as it is rumoured, he wanted to finish the recording session and get away to meet up with one of his many lovers!

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar


Yes, having been raised on the Sir Malcolm Sargent version via it's use as the TV theme tune, all the other slower versions sound pedestrian and lacking in verve to me!

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

@Geri @davidpnice

Allegedly, Sir Malcolm Sargent was a bit of a 'lad'! Amongst his many lovers were members of the royal family!

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

@davidpnice @Geri

I don't think he would have fallen foul of "me too" as his lovers were all very willing participants including the royals.

Paulos_the_fog, to random
@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

There were some interviews on the BBC the other day I believe it was in Bolton. They were asking people in the street what they thought about current political situation so on.
I'm not going to insult the people of Bolton, or wherever it was, by tarring all of them with the brush of abject cretinous stupidity that appeared to come out of the ‘stop a random person in the street’ interviews. I think it far more likely that it was the BBC that engineered the extreme right wing bias of the interviewees.
There seemed to be a vacuous obsession with immigration. I don't know whether the imbeciles interviewed realise the reality of the situation that Britain is in. Britain is in fact in dire need of immigration for a number of reasons:
the birth rate is nowhere near high enough to maintain an active workforce that will be needed to pay the pensions of most of the cretins interviewed! Therefore, immigration is an absolute necessity to ensure that there are enough people paying into the pension pot.
Britain does not train anywhere near the number of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other medical personnel needed to fully staff the NHS. There are currently tens of thousands of vacancies for both doctors and nurses and those cannot possibly be filled without immigration!
Fruit and vegetables are rotting in the fields due to the lack of suitable personnel to harvest them. Brits themselves seem not to want to do this kind of work and in the past the pickers have been mainly eastern Europeans who were entitled to come here as EU citizens. Now the conservatives have screwed that up completely, they are not allowed to come so farmers and market gardeners are losing millions due to the in their inability to recruit pickers.
It's a mystery to me what the complete imbeciles interviewed think could be a solution to this issue it's pretty blindingly obvious that the only solution is immigration but they hate that – idiots

Geri, to random
@Geri@mastodon.online avatar

Farage will not be standing

who gives a fuck

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar


Good - his only possible useful contribution to a GE would be to suck right-wing & fascist votes away from the tories and although I would dearly love to see that happen, it is insufficient compensation for having to listen to the utter bollox that that arsehole spouts!

ChrisMayLA6, to Health
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Is the answer to 'dental deserts' to force newly trained dentists to work for the NHS for the first years of their career (or to pay back the costs of their training)?

Well, unless Labour adopt such an approach we may never know, but the crisis in NHS dentistry might be alleviated by some form of national service requirement from dentists (alongside a better funding model!)?.

It may not be the best answer, but these are desperate times in dentistry.

#NHS #health

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

@JohnLoader6 @ChrisMayLA6

Completely private dentistry is the ultimate goal of the tory filth.

The current contract for NHS dentists is a joke and it is not surprising that dentists are fleeing in their thousands.

The only way you can run a healthcare system that includes dentistry is on a "pay per item of treatment" basis. This is what all our European neighbours do and it works well and this is the way UK NHS dentistry was organised when the NHS was founded.

There was an organisation called the Dental Estimates Board (later name changed to the Dental Practice Board) in Eastbourne that processed the claims for payment by dentists in England and Wales. This employed over 2000 people at its height, making it Eastbourne's largest employer, however computerisation substantially reduced the numbers needed to process claims for payment.

stavvers, to random
@stavvers@masto.ai avatar

Heads up to anyone using facebook or insta: you'll receive a notification about your data being used to train AIs. The opt out process is deliberately convoluted and you have to fill out a form to object. This is what I wrote in mine, and the objection was immediately registered as successful, so feel free to copy.

Masto reply bores, this is not a post on which to fart out your opinions about Meta or AI or whatever. So don't. I'm sharing helpful info for people who need it, not for you.

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar

@Jo2sn @regordane @flippac @stavvers @Kjaerulv

You want to worry the drop down country lists in many apps don't list the country where I live, Luxembourg. However I guess it's even worse for residents of Liechtenstein!

mikewas, to random
@mikewas@esq.social avatar

Why does your credit score drop when you pay off a car loan?

A friend of mine was furious the other day, when he saw that paying off his car loan caused his score to drop about 40 points.

Why does this happen?

Two reasons.


@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar


?? 'refi' ??

WTF is 'refi'?

@Paulos_the_fog@qoto.org avatar


A colleague did that. He swapped a mortgage @ around 5% pa for one at 1.44% pa fixed rate throughout the term of 22 years.

He lives just over the border, in France where most mortgages are at fixed interest rates for the whole period of the loan!

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