December 13, 2005

The madness continues...

Well, still sorting out my car accident. The insurance told me the value was estimated on 505 GBP, which ofcourse I laughed at. I told them I insured it for 3000GBP, that's what I pay premium for and that is what I want. They said it was because the mileage was high, and I said again that was bullshit because I do only 7000 per year and the total is 69.000. They said that it was 169.000!!! And I said that is not correct. They can check my MOT certificate, which I submitted to them as well. (MOT is a road worthiness test in England, similar to APK in Holland). I told them they probably had a breakdown of communications because the garage confirmed to me a mileage of 69000-something miles, 100.000 less... They probably try to screw me like all insurances do these days.

Another poibt: I bought a new car! Yep, with the concept of public transportation not having reached the realms of once-great-britain, each individual has his or her own car. Actually this was confirmed by statistics. Apparently there are 26 million cars in England. With a population of 52 million, that makes one car per two people. Now, you may ask "so what?", well, consider that if you are younger than 18 you are not allowed to drive your own car, and consider there are a couple of grannies and granpas that don't drive, I think you will come close to about 1 car per person full stop!
Anyway, I'm deviating... I bought a Volkswagen Passat. A little old, from 1997, and quite high mileage (118k, but it's a volkswagen passat! Plus for the first 90k it was a company car and serviced regularly. The second owner did not have much service history, which was a shame, but they are servicing it for me now. I told them I don't want the service light blinking (and I don't mean cutting the wire!). Friday I will pick it up.
One more thing. Ofcourse the insurance I was quoted was ludricously high again, so I will change companies as soon as my accident has been finalised.
Actually it is quite luxurious, with CD changer and everything. Nice interiour. Anyway, here are some pics of it, judge by yourself...

passat 3

The front...

passat 2

The side...

passat 1

The inside...

I'm picking it up friday.

Some people may have heard about the oil refinery that went up in smoke in england. And guess what... it is yet another show of British moronics... The fire brigade was not allowed to use foam in teh beginning because of "the environmental effects on the ground water". Of course it doesn't matter that water spreads the oil, thereby increasing the ground surface that is affected by the oil, and letting it burn up is of course totally acceptable. Ofcourse that has no effect on the environment! I mean, the gulf war effect never happened, and global warming does not exist, and hardly anyone drives in england anyway, so the effect is nil!
By the way, late in teh morning they got the go-ahead to use foam (water does not really extinguish oil fires, it jsut spreads it...)

December 05, 2005

England does not recycle!

Many countries have extensive recycling schemes.
In Holland many super markets have huge bins for glass, plastic, tin cans, and paper.
When you buy any electronic goods (washing machine, fridge, microwave, etc), you pay an environmental tax that pays for the environmental destruction of your purchase after it breaks down. Larger waste, gardening trash, or construction left overs you can usually dump at the city council waste disposal services. Depending on the nature of the waste you may be required to pay a fee for the environmental breakdown of your waist.
In Japan recycling goes as far as different types of waste on different days (collected by waste collection services), almost 5 days a week! Even in the Mac Donalds you have 6 different trash cans for different waste!
From America we know it is the biggest polutor of the planet, followed by China and India (but yes, the US of A is still number one!). At least we know that they are the worst polutors, and they don't pretend to recycle.
Unlike the Brits... Brittain does not recycle!
In their defence, most people don't realise it themselves. However, the BBC has uncovered a scam that although us consumers recycle and sort all the waste, down the line some companies just throw everything back together and ship it off to Indonesia where it ends on a wast belte! You can read the full story here:
  • No recycling

  • It is a shame that there are actually people around that don't shy away from such practices. But then again, it falls completely in line with britain with it's hustsling scum and smooth talking con artists.
    These people should be ashamed of themselves!

    December 04, 2005

    Good luck, bad luck...

    Well, the boiler is finally fixed...
    Last Monday the carpenter came by. Really nice guy. Very helpful and got the job done quick and well. Then ofcourse it was waiting for that crook of a plumber.
    He showed up on Tuesday I think it was. In the evening. He didn't call before, despite what the landlord told him. The landlord wants to ditch him I think.
    Ofcourse he didn't fix it immediately. He said some microswitches were broken. He said he rigged it so that we would have heating, but not hot water. What a brain fart! We have portable heaters now! We need hot water! Anyway, on Wednesday, completely to my surprise he comes back and fixes the whole unit. We now have both hot water and heating again.


    It's like it is disaster time! On Tuesday my colleague's car got hit by a police car! My colleague thought he was in the right, and I think the police thought so too. As it turned out later, he found out that Bristol city council had changed the linings on the road that week, without providing any messages or signs that the traffic situation had changed. Bristol city council is very good in messing up traffic. I think they do it on purpose, because I cannot believe they are this incompetent...
    Anyway, Wednesday it was my turn. I leave the car park on site, drive through an exit between two hangars, and on the left and right there are cars parked all over the place. On my right hand site there are also cars parked illegally on yellow areas, which are reserved for lorries. Ofcourse because cars are parked there illegally, the lorry was standing on the left lane of the road, next to the cars. SO basically my whole vision on that sight was blocked. It was physically impossible to see anything coming from that side of the street. As it happens that is my right side. I could only see traffic coming if I had x-ray vision, which by the way I don't...
    So I carefully nudge the front of my car past the lorry, hoping someone would see me and have the brains to realize I can't see him and therefore take the appropriate action ("appropriate" in this case meaning braking or evading as a minimum). But apparently British drivers are so obsessed about their right of way that this guy actually pushes the throttle and slams straight into my car, spinning it 45 degrees from it's original heading! Thereby writing off my car completely! My whole right front wing was disintegrated, my front bumper was simply ripped off, radiator and other internal organs exposed. I could amazingly start my engine, but there was no way I could get it into gear. Apparently he hit me hard enough to knock the engine out of alignment! Now you should know that although I should have given right of way to this guy, I first need to be able to see that someone is actually coming. Secondly, if he hadn't been "skidding for a long distance before hitting rover" as one of my witnesses stated, my car probably would not have been damaged that badly. He was obviously going faster than the 20 mile/hr speed limit enforced there.
    I'm still working out the details. My car has to be taken to a garage (I gave them the address, but apparently that was a different department and ofcourse my insurance company does not communicate internally, like a real British inefficient company). I can only hope for a courtesy car (though that remains to be seen, after all I pay insurance for it, so I deserve one and therefore I won't get one). Well... Mean time I am car-less. I hope I get my money quickly so I can buy a new car (not that I will get much...)