alderhill

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About alderhill

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  • Location Niedersachsen
  • Nationality Canadian
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth

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  1. As bad as customer service can be... just think how worse it all is when your complaints disappear down the blackhole of faceless internet juggernauts.   I don't even want to spend another 5 minutes typing it all out, but it involves non-shipment of an item spanning 3 weeks now. Apparently, Amazon.de does not officially consider an item late if they never shipped it, not even if each "3-day delivery promise" gets bumped back 4 times. Their customer service chat (not bots, but real people in Serbia, apparently) are utterly useless. More like customer deflection. Polite, but repeat the same squishy lines about sympathizing, will watch the item and get back to me, but can provide no clues, no insights, no info, no help. I guess I'm just disappointed that I thought I would be sent in circles and I was.   I dislike amazon, but couldn't find it elsewhere, was listed as in-stock, so went for it. Yes, I now regret it. It's 'fulfilled by Amazon' but offered by an independent (German!) seller on the site. Contacted her, and she shrugged back that the non-delivery must be my fault, I should check my payment details, and hasn't responded further.    Of course, I have simply cancelled the order.
  2. Coronachat - vents, whines, flummoxes & miscellaneous

    My mother-in-law is a teacher (in BaWü) so has official priority for a vaccine. Some of her students have had coronavirus while in the room with her, discovered after the fact. Though luckily (from masks and the power of Stoßluften) she did not catch it, and lately it's mostly online for her anyhow.   Anyway, on Monday she finally went to the nearest centre with stock, an hour away (they live in Freiburg, not an isolated forest dorf). After the initial hey-ho, the told her she cannot get a vaccine after all. Why? She is 64 and a bit, and the vaccine set aside for teachers is only for people up to age 64. She'd have to be at least 15ish years older to be eligible for the other one, apparently.    What now? No one really seemed to know.   But I also recently met someone vaccinated. Went to view a house rental and the lady showing us around (80+) told us she had been jabbed just that morning.
  3. @john g. Well sex education does not usually include an explanation of Pornhub's most popular search terms, or how to squirt across the room or whatever. It's pretty basic stuff, with some modern sex politics, whatever that happens to be at the time. In 30 years time it may involve powdered wigs, holo-tik tok, and an electron microscope. Who knows.    In our Catholic school's text book, it was predictably framed, but all the biology was clearly explained. I still recall the picture of a womb and Fallopian tubes lent itself well to a pretty detailed doodle of a goat's head. I was 9, I doodled a lot. I also remember how absolutely grossed out the entire class was (many choruses of ewwwww from both boys and girls) to discover a penis goes into a vagina. Say what? And then moves around? Goodness gracious. I'm sure the teacher was straining to hold back her smirks.   My parents never gave us The Talk. Aforementioned serious Catholics and all. Although they are liberal enough that my sisters got birth control in their teenage years, and had any of us been gay or produced offspring in our earlier unwed years, I don't think they'd have been too upset. But we sure as hell didn't talk about it, as their parents most assuredly did not either. Just their time and place.   Kids can look up all the porn they want (and they will) on the first smart phone or tablet they get (or their friend's). No one should be learning about sex from porn, so you have to be first. I grew up with Sue Johanson's radio call-in show (anyone else?), and later Dan Savage columns. Kind of where I learned about things in my formative years. I'm sure there are good podcasts nowadays, and no shortage of reading material. 
  4.   The ancient Romans had the concept of homo sacer, the 'sacred man'. Although sacred didn't have quite the 'holy' meaning of today, rather more basically apart, in its own separate realm of the gods. They did their thing, we did ours. The homo sacer was theoretically someone who had made a public oath to the gods, but had reneged or failed in that oath. Or, perhaps they blasphemed in some other spectacular fashion. They were deemed 'set apart' from laws, literally out-of-law, an outlaw, for whom civil laws no longer quite applied (in the sense of rights and protections). Since this person was no longer protected by laws, they could be (among other things, but commonly) murdered without consequence for those who killed them. Outlaws could be hunted down, conscious-free. Anyway, the Roman concept was adopted into Christianity and then by extension all Western law. Though since the Enlightenment and more codified law systems, it has drastically reduced. But it's still there, lurking in Guantanamo Bay, the various ISIS prison camps, and any kind of black ops...   Although I would shed very few tears if a large asteroid struck these prison camps, ultimately, the Western inmates must be brought respectively home and tried (and hopefully duly imprisoned) here.
  5. Tax return for laptop bought for home office/private

      Like most assets, it loses value over time through use, obsolescence, etc. There is a 'Pauschal' for most things you can declare in your taxes. Keep receipts! Generally you only have to provide evidence if they ask you. I am not sure if this is automatic based on entry parameters (my hunch), but in any case they will definitely ask you if they doubt you. Last time I had to provide evidence (they asked months after the fact), I snail-mailed a photocopy with a post-it note attached and that was good enough. I am not sure of the full technical wonders of Elster, but may be it is possible on there too...   Here's a link that some quick google scrounging rustled up: https://www.finanztip.de/arbeitsmittel/   And don't mind the grumps, they're what makes TT 'interesting'. 
  6. Is anybody cutting their own hair?

    I've been cutting my own hair since I moved to Germany over a decade ago. Even before that, I'd often trim it myself until I could get to a barber. I have somewhat curly hair, and even though it's short, IME hair salons here have no clue. My wife has very curly hair too, and basically has to look for specialists. When I first moved here, it was also practical as my German sucked and I found it hard to express what I wanted, not that it's too complicated. I don't want a buzzcut or footballer hair. I also didn't like the unisex hair salons with a German oma going at my head. Once and never again.   Maybe I'm set in my ways, but I just prefer the barber shops 'back home'. An old unfussy Italian guy who knows what to do (although they are probably all retired by now). I know there are "barber shops" here too, but they all seem to be try-hard hipster places with Ye Olde Gentleman's Experience and high-falutin' prices to match. I'm sure what I'm looking for here must exist, but I don't want all the trial and error, it's easier to trim myself. I don't use a buzzer, but hair-cutting scissors and a comb and a few mirrors, and sometimes my wife's help for the back and behind the ears.
  7. What I miss are goose eggs. One weekend stand where I lived years ago would occasionally have them. They're like 3-4 chicken eggs in one bigger oblong shell, far bigger yoke, and much richer taste. They were only available sporadically, as the lady running the stand said geese generally lay seasonally and somewhat unpredictably.      Plausible deniability. 
  8. Cashiers here often open your egg cartons to make sure none are cracked. I assume they do that everywhere? I usually do it myself anyhow. If a product isn't spoiled or actually open, I don't care if there's glue stuck on it. I'm sure my visitors (few as they are) will not be offended that my offbrand cola-orange flavoured Jaffa cake box is not pristine.        I may have been the minority who always asked for the receipt, even before the switch where they now have to ask. And I often give it a quick double check, too.   Some months back, I was doing a quite large weekly shop, and noticed the total was still higher than expected. Hmm. I paid it, but it really prickled me so checked the receipt. The cashier, an older lady but a regular, had rung up a couple grapefruits by weight (usually it's per piece), but used some code for IIRC rare specialty plums or something, so they cost about 20€. Of course I went back for the refund. If it's just a euro or two though, I just shrug and remind myself to knick some gum next time or pull the organic label off of a cucumber. (Ha Ha... Ha... Just joking, of course)   I went to an Asialaden some weeks ago and only noticed on the receipt as I was throwing it out that I was charged twice for a large pack of (udon) noodles I only had one of. 5€. Bit miffed, as it's the only good Asia laden in town but really out of my way.
  9. Cigarette smoking in grocery stores by employees

      My imagination is already running wild... Just need one of those standard issue white 'lab coat' uniforms. Go behind their magic door like you own the place. Find them puffing, then Hey guys I'm new, can I bum a cig off wunna youz? Snap click click snap snap. Then bolt. Maybe some Steven Seagal style neck breaking and karate chops.
  10. Cigarette smoking in grocery stores by employees

      I would take some (carefully, sneaky) photos and send them to the same channels you complained. These aren't going to be plastered on the front page of a newspaper, so this one time I would just forget about the usual very paranoid German rules about privacy and soul-stealing via shutter click.
  11. Bitcoin - a decentralised digital currency

      Clearly that was just one example on account Mike being Portuguese. Gold has a value in and of itself, but the point is that even then we mostly don't bother attaching its value to currency anymore (for several good reasons). Bitcoin doesn't have any value in and of itself; just the plain fact. It could perhaps in some way in the future, but it doesn't.    You stated earlier that all the naysayers was just crying sour grapes, but honestly, the only one here who seems to personally upset is you. Maybe just chill a bit, and accept that not everyone is into bitcoin. It's no big deal. I don't think any skeptics here are as yet convinced by your arguments. 
  12. Bitcoin - a decentralised digital currency

      It seems you're getting lost in semantics yourself. No one needs to ban bitcoin itself, and that's not the suggestion. You don't need to decree damnatio memoriae on Bitcoin, and throw all its developers, servers, keys and traders into a volcano. You just have (to continue to) disallow its official acceptance. I can't file my tax return with a link to my bitcoin balance. It's increase in value is almost wholly driven by the prospect of a big pay-off, not it's 'usefullness' per se. And as I've said, crypto is useful, but still plagued by too many downsides, IMO. You can say gold mining, oil drilling are full of dirty money and strife, yes, but why open another can of worms?   If you were going to petition state regulators to open the gates to Bitcoin, what would your argument be exactly?
  13. Bitcoin - a decentralised digital currency

      In the same way people collect baseball cards or Star Wars toys. It has the promise of "real value" hence the current speculation bubble. It is obviously more popular with techbros, like Musk, so it has more serious whiff to it than baseball cards. You can trade it back and forth for real money like baseball cards. Some places will even let you give them baseball cards for their goods/services. (Though as pointed out, it's easy enough to forbid that. I doubt the US or EU will be open to legitimizing Bitcoin anytime soon and the major Asian economies sure as heck will not.)   From what I've read, most state or central banks view it suspiciously (rightfully so). Although circumventing state control of currency has appeal, I'm also not too sold (yet) on the long-term future of bitcoin itself. Crypto in general, sure. And how you prevent mafia, terrorists, money launders, tax cheats, pedophiles, drug smugglers or the Ayatollahs, Kim Jongs, Jinpings and African dictators of the world from benefiting. As much as 40% of bitcoin trading is for illegal guns, drugs and pedos and the like.   It was reported recently that bitmining uses more energy than the entire country of Argentina, for what that's worth, not that environmental concerns are any matter.   
  14. Coal barbeque on the balcony

    Now I'm getting hungry...
  15. Coronachat - vents, whines, flummoxes & miscellaneous

    Just go out in the tents like the old times.