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Everything posted by Psychophant

  1. Maybe it is location, and my own personal politics (becoming more conservative s I age), but I do not see them as too exemplary. This will be long, as I am in a boring telcon. Varoufakis, after he broke with his party, has become almost a professional lecturer and talk show guest, mainly against the kind of EU-skepticism that is shared both left and right. He has the right ideas, as national politics are derailing the EU project, so German interests crush Greece while saving Spain, just to minimize the financial sector losses. But he is now effectively rootless, so he has no real s
  2. We had several volunteers willing to travel with the container, to make sure it arrives. However we most likely will ship it to China and then take it by truck, even with the lproblems at the China-Mongolia border. It is a concrete setting accelerator, used in the big automated drilling machines. These machines spray liquid concrete right after the drilling section is made to make sure loose earth and other material does not fall over the machine. That means it has to set in less than 30 seconds. It does not need to hold much, just make sure it just does not collapse for a day or so that the a
  3. The biggest problem is we are only three people doing sales, for a sales volume over 90 M€, and we are selling in aound 70 countries. So what we do is less conventional sales and more cat wranglers, as we have some thirty agents/distributors, all wanting to sell in some other geographic area besides theirs, and also with some customers wishing to jump their local agent, expecting a better price. That is what I have today, a big dutch group that consider themselves important enough to deal directly and not through our Benelux agent. They may even be right, but they did it in secret while our ag
  4. Aida normally is not one of my favorites, either, but the setting, having10.000 people around, and a good performance made me forgive the hard seating for four hours. Getting back home in a high speed train. Driving 600 km after sleeping three hours (we finally made it to the hotel at 4 am, and we had a meeting 100 km away in the middle of notrhing that happens to be one of the biggest methionine and vitamin production units in the world. Then a cattle exhibition in Brittany, some good food, and another midnight flight, this time deliberate. Meanwhile our Egyptian agent was asking
  5. Psychophant


    I supposed as much. However the last books it has always been cheaper to buy the British version, and usually nicer quality as well. We will have to wait to see if there is the opportunity for a gathering, meet, or just an opportunity to see old acquaintances, and even tak a right gude-willy waught.
  6. As for today, I am stuck in Barcelona airport with a five hour delay for my flight to Lyon. Not the worst this year, so far, but I am not yet in the plane, so it can still be the worst trip this year. specially because we (our French agent is napping at Lyon's airport, waiting for me to arrive) still have a two hour drive to our hotel in Clermont Ferrand. So we will arrive around 3 am, if there are no other delays. At least I have reduced the e-mail backlog to a reasonable size. Only a hundred e-mails to reach the pre-holidays level. Flight 43 this year, and it is good
  7. Last week we returned from our UNESCO cultural road trip, so called because we have visited over a dozen Unesco world heritrage sites. And several legendary eating places, as well. 4100 km drive, but three thousand were in only five days, going to Italy and back. We really enjoyed almost all of it, except the heat wave and the mosquitos. But if I have to pick a few, the first would be Aida at the Arena of Verona (original Roman Circus) with the latest iteration from Zefirelli's scenario, including a moving pyramid. The fact that our host in our three room bed&breakfast was in
  8. Omar the Octopus Outlaw, by Rory Dobner
  9. Annecy, on our way to cross the Montblanc the following day. Corte Bebbi, an "Agriturismo" between Modena and Parma. They made their own Lambrusco, had a cheesemaker 50 meters away amd a traditional balsamic vinegar maker 4 km. Quite instructive, and good that we had come by car, to take products back home with us.
  10. Psychophant


    Penguin UK still has the December launch date, and a price of 19 pounds, with no cover, and a 432 page count. Random House US/Berkley has a cover, changed the date to the 2nd of April (I suppose nobody wants to set a date of the 1st of April) and has a hefty price of 28 USD. Maybe it is because the extra pages (496 pp.) Amazon UK goes directly with the US cover and the US price, so over 20 pounds.
  11. My C-HR has the same power system as a Prius, and though I feel unable to do anything more complicated than changing a tyre (unlikely without a replacement on-board), I felt the same about my previous car, a Renault Megane II, a black box engine with a fuckton of sensors, and if one got fried, the car would not start. It was infamous because you needed a trench or car elevator just to change the light bulbs. So if you prefer to have some choices in mechanical repair I recommend something from the past century. On the other hand now that it is broken in it gets 5.5 liter per 100 km
  12. I will not touch that hoodie with a ten feet pole, except to indicate that a macroscopic mono layer of graphene one inch square costs quite more than that hoodie, so it actually is graphene fine powder in polyurethane. We have started the traveling part of our holidays by making a road trip through Northern Italy. The first day was spent crossing France, to Annecy, as we wanted to cross through Mont Blanc, which was premonitory considering the fallen viaduct in Genoa, and now we are in Verona. On Sunday we will attend a representation of Aida at the Roman Arena, with Zeffirelli's
  13. Started the holidays (we Europeans still get four weeks paid holidays every year) by revisiting old games. Replayed Bastion but it did not impress me as much as others. Listening to the soundtrack I moved on to Skyrim, and before I noticed I was doing another tour there. Once the world was saved from the evil dragon, the evil dragon priest and the vampires, I tried to finish the few objectives I had left in Sunless Sea, I'm preparation for Sunless Skies. I really like the writing of the Fallen London people, but the web game is too repetitive.
  14. It is clear that the current situation is unsustainable. In a way Trump is helping in Europe, as he shows what is the position of Neofeudal capitalism, which as a reaction is bringing an increase of support for social democracy rather than Alt-Right. SD has been under siege the last 20 years. Brexit is also helping, as the UK is the most vocal supporter for neocapitalism, even if many other EU countries are riding the inequality wave. Any change to the social media situation needs an alternative to the existing monopolies. They exist, but they tend to be geographically localized,
  15. Fuel efficiency is only critical if your area has an emission rating (they are starting that in Spain, so most old cars get a C or D, though small engines can get a B or evn an A. Gets you privileges like reduced parking fees, or even being allowed to drive in high smog days. However, except in that case, if you drive less than 10.000 km, 6.000 miles a year, efficiency will be minor compared to maintenance and repairs. Though Toyota's have usually a great rating there. Volvo's are great if you expect to be involved in a crash. Safe and solid.
  16. Which inmediately brings to mind Winston Churchill's quote.
  17. I am currently off twitter, and never could stomach it for more than a few weeks at one go. So I cannot really discuss this, as I opted out (checks...) five years ago. But this is a seminar proposal I received, and a clear example of why I am actually out of social media except as an occasional stalker, and Linked In for professional reasons. As Gil pointed out, this forum is a clear example why moving seldom is a good idea. You lose people and content when you switch and also it does not have the same baggage, the same references, the same insider complicity, so it lacks
  18. This should have been in the old one...
  19. What is worse, Hoop.la seems to be trying to sell the name. Fortunately the blog is in blogspot, so independent. Williamgibsonbooks also works, which may be interesting with a book coming soon (depending on your definition of "soon"). Pity, I had just started posting there again, as there were some actual book discussions. Maybe that is what happened, post strain.
  20. As Wanderer said, it is CD-Projekt Red, and I will trust them on this. I owe them a bunch of money for hundreds of hours of enjoyment. And they even got Mike Pondsmith, from Talsorian games and the original Cyberpunk 2013 involved. I still have that black box.
  21. Williamgibsonboard is down. The blog still exists, fortunately. Twice in a short while, but a new book is already on its way...
  22. Twice, but I will probably read it once more once we have a confirmed date for The Agency.
  23. I am sure I played Myst, but I cannot remember. Maybe that is a sign I can play again. I did finish Rise of the Tomb Raider, but I felt the maps were overused. It became a bloody hell. Kill everything, track what you are after, kill the respawns, track something else, repeat, finally move to another map to do the same.Gorgeous locales but minimal immersion. That was much better in the first game of the franchise reboot. Talking about the isometric renaissance, I liked much more Tyranny than I did Torment. That was actually a disappointment. Some isolated brilliant moments and nothi
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