Mark W

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Mark W last won the day on February 6

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About Mark W

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  1. A Maxxis Creepy Crawler 19" will be a direct replacement for what you've got on there now - they're good tyres and one of the cheapest out there, so no reason to go for anything else realistically. For the brakes, replacing the brake cables and pads would probably go a long way to improving them while not being too expensive. The brake arms and brake levers should still be good, it's usually just the cables that get a bit crusty and horrible feeling.
  2. Seemingly when viruses mutate they generally become less deadly, weirdly. Guess for a virus to exist it needs a host that's alive, so dead hosts = bad times... Turns out I was potentially right about the self employment payments for anyone who's looking at getting on board. It's judged over tax returns from 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19, with an average profit from those years being used to create a monthly average. You'll then be able to receive a 3 month lump sum. If you were only self employed for part of that year, that will be divided by 12 rather than by the actual amount of months you were self employed for, so you do lose out on that. You can claim it if you're self employed regardless of whether you need to due to your current financial situation or not, unlike the full time employee schemes where you have to be furloughed. Spoke to my brother in NZ the other day, and their response is markedly different to ours. 4 different levels of threat, with corresponding actions. They're at Level 4 now, which is the equivalent of where we're at. There's clear metrics for it to go down to Level 3, so people know what the deal is with it rather than it just being vague 'guidelines' that we have here. The way their payment system over there works out way better than ours too. Everyone in comparative levels of employment gets the same amount (so full time is $X, part time is $Y). They introduced the scheme on Monday (I believe last week), and by Wednesday had paid $2.8bn to those who needed it. Their reasoning is that having the money being available for when they need it now is the most important thing, and they can go back and track down anyone who had it illegitimately afterwards. Smaller population so it's easier obviously, but the different leadership style is so different...
  3. 'Herd immunity' principle worked out as being around 510,000 deaths. They're now talking about whether we'll be able to keep it under 20,000. Seems we're on the right path at least. I think the potential for working from home, whether people really need to be in offices doing meetings and all that kind of thing will probably have a sizeable effect too. Just depends how many businesses are able to sustain themselves through this time. A few people have been ringing alarm bells for a while about this style of virus. Swine flu, bird flu and SARS have all started kicking in over a relatively short period of time (compared to how long we've been around), and this is just an extension of that. It's only likely to be more common, although we can add our knowledge from dealing with this one to better prepare/fight against the next one. Hopefully next time China won't downplay it for the first couple of months and allow it to get massively out of hand, and we won't have clueless f**kwits like Trump and to a lesser extent Johnson and his cronies in power. This is the kind of situation where voting someone in because they wind up people you don't like really shows those 'leaders' up for who they are. Trump shutting down everything Obama started to deal with this kind of pandemic for example. At least Michael Gove is recognising that "experts" are useful now. Baby steps...
  4. At least for some of "the other shit" there are some dates available now - whether good or bad - so you have an idea about when things will start to take shape. Even if that shape is a big old turd, the not knowing or uncertainty will be adding a lot to how you're feeling about things. Related to that, obviously we're full of unknowns at the moment, but it's worth considering what's happened in countries that have already (hopefully/potentially) peaked with the virus, and how they're getting back on track. China are getting back on track after 2 months, and although they had the benefit of a compliant population and an authoritarian government, we've got the advantage of knowing what we're up against (on the 14th January, the WHO tweeted that their preliminary report found that it wasn't transmissible humna-to-human, for example, so China had at least a month of it spreading freely around) and some mitigation tactics for it (even if different governments are treating it with differing levels of seriousness). Things like the antibody tests becoming more widely available will be a huge game changer, and could result in things opening back up much faster. We don't really know. For the self employed thing, it'll be interesting to see how that works out too. They appear to be saying it's 80% of profits on a monthly average, over the past 3 financial years. Be interesting to see if they just essentially divide your profits from that period by 36, or if they go into more depth and do it just by the amount of time within that period that you were self employed. I went self employed mid-to-late in the 17/18 tax year, so if it's the "divide by 36" thing then I'll get noticeably less than if it's divided by the actual time you were self employed. I kind of suspect it'll be the former, as they'll presumably just use the SA302 forms to work it out. Either way, definitely better than nothing, but clarity would be good. Surprising really, Boris and his pals are usually so rich in detail and depth for their plans... About to do battle with Admiral's travel insurance team as my Mum is stuck in NZ. New Zealand implement their lockdown the day before she was supposed to travel back, and have just introduced a ban of travel completely within the islands so she now can't get from Christchurch to Auckland for her second attempted flight. Admiral quote their hold times as 2+hrs, so going to be soundtracking my afternoon with some sweet sweet hold muzak, to no doubt be fobbed off by a stressed out call centre worker. EDIT: Boris Johnson's just tested positive for it, and is experiencing mild symptoms apparently. Will that trigger his empathy and make him realise that it can hit anyone, and that we need to look after people, or that Dominic Cummings was right all along, it's only a bit of flu and that we should keep the country open even if "some pensioners have to die"...
  5. In fairness, as long as I've ever been involved with the trials scene it's been like that - if you flick through old MBUK's/MBR's/whatever there was the same marketing. The forum was the same too with people wanting to have the 'right' bits. It's just that what the new/good/'must-have' parts were back then were pretty shit compared to what we have now, in the same way that when people look back in 30 years they'll laugh at the prosaic chain-driven systems we were using Anyway, +1 for thin grips. More feel, more gooderer. I used to feel the same way as Flipp about lock-on grips generally being horrible feeling, but it seems that brands have realised that you don't have to make lock-on grips feel like waxy, plastic turds. The newer ODI/LizardSkins grips feel pretty decent. If the Danny MacAskill lock-ons were a little thinner I'd still be using them, but for the 9-10 months or so I ran my last set they felt decent. For slip-on grips, the WeThePeople Manter grips are well worth a look. They're pretty thin, a nice compound, last a long time and come in various colours if that's your thing:
  6. How much are they testing in your state? Doing the NY/Cuomo thing of testing the shit out of people or are they fairly casual? @MadManMike - yeah, I thought that was the case so didn't know if you were subtly implying you were f**ked and in hospital Had the same vibes as you up until yesterday or so as it happens. Described the shortness of breath thing in almost exactly the same way to Nic too, funnily enough. We're also keeping a low profile for similar reasons.
  7. Out of interest, did you get tested? Or have you been in contact with someone who may have/has it or something?
  8. Think the measures are about mitigating risks without totally crashing the entire economy in one go. If you stop shops being open, you reduce the chances for people to be in contact with other people, and also reduce the reason for them to leave their house. For businesses where they don't have contact with the general public, they can work in-house to minimise any issues - the companies I do work for are all still operating due to how the rules work as they are now and have taken extra steps to minimise risks of infection/transmission. There's no need for them to have to shut, so it doesn't make sense to arbitrarily close them down. Same goes for @Tom Booth's setup - there's extremely low risk there, so why stop it? One thing that's been annoying to see online over the past few days are people saying that businesses shouldn't have any help from the government because if they aren't able to sustain themselves through this then they "aren't a good enough business". Case in point was a story about PureGym - they don't qualify for the help the government is offering to big businesses due to the weird hoops they have to be able to jump through, but are too big for the help offered to smaller/medium sized businesses. Saw a bunch of people call them out for not being a good business if they were in trouble, and that they didn't deserve any help. How do people think a company can scale over time to support a large customer base (and be a totally viable business for that), but then be totally fine if their entire customer base is taken away overnight? Your customers being taken away doesn't also take away all your overheads. I get that it's a bit of a throwback to the bank bail-outs in 2008, but that's a totally different scenario. To go back to your question about self employed people Tom, I think you can probably do what you like. Judging from the amount of support they've offered self employed/freelance people, they won't be giving a f**k about you.
  9. According to Ali, he lives in a flat in Glasgow. According to a commenter on Singletrack's Facebook page, that's a total lie and Ali's making it up.
  10. @Swoofty - Once they actually start testing people at scale and the true numbers start coming out things will change. It takes that kind of push to make anything happen, hence in the UK the response has been fairly muted so far but as instances increase they're getting stricter and stricter. South Korea and the US had their first reported cases of coronavirus on the same day. As of a week ago, the US had tested 11,000. South Korea had tested 230,000. Trump said several times he "wants to keep the numbers low" - it's working, and also going to end up killing people. Sorry to hear about your wife @Tom Booth, that sucks!
  11. It was interesting seeing the tension between the points Boris and his adviser were making in the briefing yesterday - the adviser said that people should follow the instructions, Boris was at pains to say it was just 'advice'. #leadershipgoals Obviously that's not specific to the schools thing as there is a need to help people out who can't get child care or need to be in work still, but for everything else it's pretty relevant. Seems like it's hitting my family a bit more now as my sister's son has potentially had it. Her son was with his dad (they split up a little while ago) while he came down with symptoms. Means they're seeing how things go as to whether the dad gets symptoms, and consequently whether he'll need to hold on to the son for a bit longer to try and avoid my sister getting anything. She's currently with her new partner and their kids, so it's another group of people who would be being exposed to it. My Mum flew out to NZ in very early March to see my brother, just before international travel went tits up. She's due to fly home in a couple of days, but her return flights have all been shifted around, she may not be able to get on the plane if she's got a temperature, may not have a transfer sorted at Heathrow as some aren't running. Her connections are all in hotspots for it, and as she's over 60 she's in the higher risk categories. Seems everything has come to a head today for them so my family WhatsApp hasn't been a ray of sunshine today On the plus side, I've made some batches of tasty food to freeze for later over the past few days/today, so at least we'll be better off than all the people who are surrounded by toilet paper and pasta. EDIT: I usually listen to quite a few music based podcasts, and it sucks hearing how much it's f**king people already. Similarly, I climb quite a bit and all the places (but one) I used to go have had to close with no idea whether they'll be able to come out the other side. Considering it hasn't really hit yet, it's already taking quite a toll.
  12. It's more that people don't know if they have it until it's too late. There are plenty of stories out there of people who don't really have the headline symptoms associated with it who have tested positive for it - they can pass it on without knowing about it, and it's those infections that can become more problematic. South Korea managed to contain the virus at first with the first 30 patients, but patient 31 wasn't quarantined and became a 'super spreader' who passed it on to thousands of people. The 'problem' as well is that although the percentages of fatalities among younger age groups are low, if it's as contagious as it seems to be then the actual numbers of people who die could still be high. 0.5% of 1,000 people is quite a bit different to 0.5% of 1,000,000. Something else to consider is mutation: "Perhaps the most important thing people should realize about such epidemics, is that the spread of the epidemic in any country endangers the entire human species. This is because viruses evolve. Viruses like the corona originate in animals, such as bats. When they jump to humans, initially the viruses are ill-adapted to their human hosts. While replicating within humans, the viruses occasionally undergo mutations. Most mutations are harmless. But every now and then a mutation makes the virus more infectious or more resistant to the human immune system – and this mutant strain of the virus will then rapidly spread in the human population. Since a single person might host trillions of virus particles that undergo constant replication, every infected person gives the virus trillions of new opportunities to become more adapted to humans. Each human carrier is like a gambling machine that gives the virus trillions of lottery tickets – and the virus needs to draw just one winning ticket in order to thrive . This is not mere speculation. Richard Preston’s Crisis in the Red Zone describes exactly such a chain of events in the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The outbreak began when some Ebola viruses jumped from a bat to a human. These viruses made people very sick, but they were still adapted to living inside bats more than to the human body. What turned Ebola from a relatively rare disease into a raging epidemic was a single mutation in a single gene in one Ebola virus that infected a single human, somewhere in the Makona area of West Africa. The mutation enabled the mutant Ebola strain – called the Makona strain – to link to the cholesterol transporters of human cells. Now, instead of cholesterol, the transporters were pulling Ebola into the cells. This new Makona strain was four times more infectious to humans." That's taken from here, which is worth a read. Totally agree that the lockdown systems being put in place are going to (and already are) f**k the shit out of everything, and that it's unlikely we'll go back to life as it was a few months ago, but I think it's just because there isn't really any other way of dealing with it. China tried to do nothing - despite several doctors warning them months ago - and that's why we now have a global pandemic. Washing your hands is going to help, but it's not going to magically stop it on its own. EDIT: Oh, btw - if you want to read the report that's been cited as directly affecting the decisions taken by the US/UK governments to move to lockdown/suppression, this is it.
  13. It will be, realistically. If he can say he's the person who "got the deal" and helped the US find a vaccine, that's massive kudos to him when all the other indicators about how well he's doing are dogshit. It's all about optics to that piece of shit. @Ali C - with the blowback they're getting, and the way that they're doing daily briefings now, I kind of suspect they might change course. That's making the bold assumption that the Tories break with the habit of a lifetime and actually start giving a f**k about vulnerable individuals rather than their business chums, but we are in unprecedented times.
  14. Posted by RT as well. Covid-361...
  15. Thing I don't get is even in countries with severe restrictions/lockdowns, pharmacies, supermarkets and the like are all still allowed to open so people can still get food and supplies. The shops themselves have said supply chains are still open/unrestricted too. Even in the worst hit countries (e.g. China and Italy) they've managed to make it work, so I would have thought things would have had to get a shitload worse before there were any real problems. The only 'problem' now is that people are being f**ks, so the shortages aren't actual shortages, just unusual buying patterns throwing shops off.