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posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 09:04am on 24/04/2017
My most frequent interactions with the NHS are collecting repeat prescriptions, for me and for the rest of the family. For the last few years I’ve used the pharmacy at our local Morrisons supermarket; it is friendly, efficient, has good parking, and most importantly, is open long hours. It cannot be overstated how important it is that pharmacy services are available in weekday evenings, and seven days a week.

The existing pharmacies in town — Boots, Lloyds — seem happy to collaborate rather than compete, and still close at 5.30pm. It took a new entrant to the market to add a better level of service.

This is private-sector delivery of NHS services, free at the point of delivery, and providing a better service that anything that has gone before it.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
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posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 09:37pm on 18/04/2017
Friend me on Nintendo Switch! My friend code is SW-5497-5999-8077

So far I mostly have friends from the office, but I must know more Switch owners than that.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
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posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 07:13pm on 18/04/2017
Two of the most poisonous political philosophies of the past hundred years are socialism and nationalism. I find it disturbing that many of our mainstream political parties can be identified, to some extent, as socialists (Labour, Green) or nationalists (SNP, UKIP).

I could never consider voting for such a party, although I’m sure that most of their politicians, members, and voters are well-meaning and don’t subscribe to the nastier side of their parties’ political heritage.

The only mainstream political parties without the taint of political evil are the Tories or the Lib Dems. Both, I suspect, will do very well in the forthcoming election.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
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posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 05:27pm on 18/04/2017
Televised leaders’ debates are bad, because they focus attention on party leaders rather than local candidates.

They’re bad because different parties stand in different parts of the UK.

They’re bad because there isn’t time for policy detail, and challenging questions.

They’re bad because they’re terrible, unwatchable, television.

So I’d be happy if they don’t occur, and wouldn’t watch them if they did.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 10:33pm on 10/04/2017
Well, that was a fine film.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
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posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 03:18pm on 10/04/2017
A Birmingham number — 0121 014 2875 — just called me, and told me that they were contacting me because of my recent road accident. This happens far too often, despite my number being on do-not-call lists. And of course I haven’t had a recent accident.

As usual, I told the caller that they should be ashamed of themselves, calling a number that they shouldn’t and telling lies. I told her how upsetting it would be to be called like this if we’d had an accident. And I told her that she should be ashamed to do such a job, and should reevaluate her life.

We got rid of our house phone a while ago, when I worked out that we were making and receiving approximately zero calls on it. Now I’m wondering whether the phone functionality of my mobile is worth the bother; I receive far more junk calls than real calls. Almost all of my real communication is done through FaceTime, Skype, or Slack.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 05:27pm on 07/04/2017
I subscribe to the Daily Telegraph web site. I’m a long-term reader of the paper, and although I haven’t picked up a physical copy in years, and it is now a feeble shadow of its former self, I still find enough premium content for the subscription to be good value. And I think it is important to pay content creators and service providers.

But they’ve started adding pop-ups telling me to turn off my ad blocker. I find it hard to describe how annoying this is. I’m paying them money, and yet they are nagging me to let them show me adverts that I don’t want to see. There is something very wrong with the world. And with companies driven by advertising.

(On a more positive note, I’m hoping that YouTube’s changes to disallow smaller channels from joining their advertising programme will mean that many fewer of the videos I watch online will have ads.)
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:07pm on 06/04/2017
Back in June 2003, I created a LiveJournal account. Since then, after peaks and long, low, troughs, I feel that I want to fight against the pervasive feeling of disappointment, and I want LiveJournal to be the special thing that it used to be. Though I blog infrequently, it still feels like it should be home.

In June 2005 I paid $300 for two permanent accounts, one for me and one for [personal profile] kateaw, and I have no regrets. I was happy to support LJ, and over the past twelve years, I’m sure we have received good value from that purchase.

A combination of the long, slow decline in LJ, together with event calamities like we’re seeing this week, will serve to drive more and more people from LJ, and perhaps into using their Dreamwidth accounts, but I fear that we won’t see much more evidence of an active online community.

But let’s be hopeful. Maybe something good will come from this.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Balgove)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:14am on 03/04/2017
“Your email address has been marked as unvalidated because we have been receiving errors messages from your mail server for at least one week. This indicates the address may no longer be functional. You can re-validate this email address or switch to a new email address to begin receiving notifications again.”

For the past week or so, I haven't been getting emails from LJ on my regular email address (an @me.com address). My email is otherwise working fine, so I assume that iCloud is currently allergic to LJ email. Is anyone else having a problem?
tobyaw: (Balgove)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 09:03am on 30/03/2017
I’d like to see an independent Scotland. I was happy to vote for independence from the UK in 2014, and for independence from the EU in 2016. My decision in 2014 was made easier by it seeming clear that Scotland leaving the UK would also mean it leaving the EU. Genuine independence.

Now we are faced with the prospect of another Scottish independence referendum, and I am finding it hard to contain my fury at the SNP conflating Scottish independence with, in some manner, remaining in the EU. It is clear that they see political expediency in focusing on a half-hearted pro-European independence for Scotland. Perhaps we should call it “soft” independence.

It may leave us with a choice between independence from the UK, and indepence from the EU. Which is a choice I don’t want this country to have to make. If I have to vote to stay in the UK in order to keep us out of the EU, I will blame the SNP.

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