Iceweasel

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Iceweasel last won the day on February 4 2012

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About Iceweasel

  • Rank
    Learning Curve
  • Birthday August 23

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  • Interests
    Birdwatching, Fishing, Motor-Sport,
    'Storming' Alpine Passes,
    Humanitarian Aid.
  1. Ahem! Can I be the next Chief Inspector of Constabulary, please? I am not a currently serving police officer. I have no UK police training whatsoever. I have no UK police qualifications whatsoever. But .......... I have a profound understanding of policing. and ......... I have a cunning plan to greatly reduce costs. and ......... I'm a friend of Theresa May. So I am eminently qualified for the post. What's the bonus for increasing efficiency with less staff did you say?
  2. Went in the day after the NATO bombing stopped - as part of the NATO Operation Joint Guardian (Agricola 1) - and was immediately seconded to the French Camp at Skenderaj - as it seemed that the Froglets ( those who would have been 18 year old conscripts - but were caught out by the then new French 'voluntary' Rendez-vous Programme) didn't know their ar*e from their elbow when it came to UN/NATO tents. So I'm supremely experienced in shouting at French teenagers (in French) how to put the tent frames together the right way up. Good enough guys the French enlisted 'squaddies' though - food was out of this world - 5 star Michelin Chefs an all. We even had a not very hush-hush group of Foreign Legion guys - they were interviewed on NBC and Skye News - but they wouldn't touch the tents. After the tents were up we had to winterize them - a bit difficult as they were 2nd hand tents with holes for the air-con that they had in Iraq the first time round. I was kept busy with the rations from the UNHCR in Mitrovica (the old battery factory) and routinely delivering them to the villagers up the Drenica Valley in 10 remote villages that had been decimated. The Ghurkas were there too. Landed up with German contingent at the end and finally pulled out in September 2003. Thankfully I wasn't sent back in March 2004 when hostilities broke out again.
  3. Those sound like useful skills. I spend 4 years in Kosovo valleys putting up hundreds of UN 20 man tents and delivering food parcels and hygiene kits with a draughty LandRover. I was very good at it as I had spent 6 years in Bosnia a bit earlier learning how to do exactly those same tasks. Funny that. So when the next round of ethnic cleansing comes along - - I'm extremely well qualified for more of the same. :biggrin: Iceweasel. :ph34r:
  4. Hi Shootist, Was the Derby tobacco British brands of cigarettes or rolling tobacco re-imported illegally? My experience with Humanitarian Aid charities and NGO's was very revealing, and enlightening. Because of such organisations being exempt from Operator's Licence due to the nature of the work, they do not carry goods for 'hire or reward'. This meant that on the way back from Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania or wherever the trucks return either empty or carrying empty pallets classed as 'emballage' which are sold in UK to allay the costs of the journey. All perfectly legal - classed as 'empty' on the ferry etc. Now for the tricks. On many occasions persons with names like Mohammad or Abdullah would approach the drivers asking them to pick up 'items' on the way home. Mostly these 'items' were coming out of Andorra and were being trans-shipped in the Mulhouse area - right on the French/German border, and the paperwork was from a Freight-Forwarder in Luxembourg. I have seen the CMRs - all a load of bull*hit! None of this was actually carried on my watch. As convoy leader my job on the homeward leg was to 'acquire' pallets. Easy and legal. Pallets may seem innocuous nothings - but at a £5 each in the UK we were carrying hundreds and hundreds of them. Even better was empty fish-boxes, that stack inside each other. Profit on the 'exchange' was sometimes over 100% - they can be bought cash in hand at €2 or €3 - We're talking £5000 a truck-load with no paperwork at all- and all legal-ish. All of this emballage gets little more than a cursory glance by the authorities - especially in a vehicle with correct paperwork showing it had unloaded aid in an ex-war zone. Many drivers running aid on their own - not as part of a bigger group or convoy have tales to tell - of cigarettes and much worse. Strange place Andorra - they import 9million cigarettes every day - and re-export none. Statistical fact. This means that every man woman and child in Andorra smokes at least 140 cigarettes a day. Staistical bolloxs.
  5. Hi, The short answer is - no! If they were car tyres I would say that they are now down to the legal limit. I would be wary of them on grass or mud. I don't think re-soling is economically viable - they are 8 years old now. I have just recently purchased a new pair, as I don't see anything better or more comfortable. Cheers, Iceweasel. :biggrin:
  6. Or Duncan Falconer for that matter. Guys who served in Bosnia or Kosovo were 'advised' not to make return visits or take holidays there. Quite a few did go back for brief periods to do some charitable stuff though. I agree with Tango Oscar - I might well say where I've been, but definitely no info on any ops or the like. I'm not intending writing any books or advise on any films either. Not even any 'Carry On' type ones. Love this little icon by the way. :ph34r:
  7. Mess Waiter - bloody cheek - wish I had been a mess waiter - probably would have saved more money, and wouldn't have the aches and pains of 'ahem' middle age that I have now. When I left I was told / requested / warned that I could tell folks where I'd been / served - but not precisely what I did there. Didn't you guys get that sort of story?
  8. Quite possibly - if I remember correctly one DM was equal to one shilling tenpence ha'penny. Happy days!
  9. What a laugh this thread is - pity didn't I spot it before now. I was in Laarbruch in 1965 - not allowed to tell you what I was doing there though.
  10. Just thought I'd give a plug to a much aligned and laughed at vehicle. Anyone who still thinks they are inferior hasn't sat in one recently - they are damned good now. Used to be a joke years ago - almost as bad as a Yugo - remember the Zastava? Ho ho ho! The Zastava factory in Kragujevac has been taken over by Fiat who now build the Punto models there. I don't know if they make any right-hand drive ones though. I like cars - and factory tours - can you tell?
  11. ŠKODA is only a part of the monster VW group - their factory in Bratislava (they have 2 in Slovakia) is assembling VWs down one line and within sight ŠKODAs down another. Lots of Germans wearing white coats with Quality Control written on them walking about with clip boards. Excellent build quality and loads of interchangeable VW parts. VW group also includes Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, SEAT, Scania, MAN, and have recently completely merged with Porche. Have I missed any? Guess who went on the ŠKODA Bratislava factory tour?
  12. My God, Tango Oscar, I could have written part of your post for my point of view. This bit: "My reasoning behind it is that I have a vehicle that's brand new and not owned by someone else who may have abused/thrashed it. I can choose the exact spec that I want as well as which factory fitted options. I'm in the fortunate position to do so as I have no children, no mortgage and Mrs TO and myself have good careers and had a long military career." . This could apply exactly to myself and Mrs Iceweasel. . Seems the only difference is we have a 10 year scale, for replacement, and I do the servicing myself after the warranty is up, because I actually enjoy doing it. We too consider ourselves fortunate - with the kids now flown the nest. . Hoo, ah!
  13. Yes, there were some problems with the earlier ones up to perhaps 2002 - but the later Freelander 1s are sound. The petrol ones both the 1.8, and the V6 thirsty one, both have weak head gaskets. Diesels are hardy and economical. Mine's sound - only had to replace a fuel pump at 85K - everything else has been routine service / maintainence. The comparative size of the Freelander is a personal thing - by LandRover standards - it's considered small(ish). God luck with your search.
  14. I keep my vehicles for either 10 years or 200,000 miles whichever comes first! I'm currently at 95K on a 2005 Freelander TD4 Have you considered a Freelander 1, meditate? It has a BMW engine and can go pretty smartly, when you want it to. Back like a van with the seats down. HSE model quite luxurious too. A few little niggles but easy / cheap to maintain if you keep away from the dealers. I understand what T O is doing and he always will have a recent model of whatever make, but if you work it out over a 10 / 12 year period he will have spent a load more money than doing what I do. I have to budget well / save up to buy a new one, of course, as opposed to having a smaller outlay - but more often. Of course I couldn't care less about the number-plate one-upmanship or whatever, which seems to affect the public in any country where the age of the car is obvious from the plate. (Note: I'm not meaning that TO thinks that way) I treat my car like my pen - I wouldn't trade it in for a new one just because it was a few years old and not the latest model. I buy refills and keep it going till I'm really needing to get a new one. It's a philosophy of life I suppose. Different strokes for different folks.
  15. Very sad. R.I.P. David. Donation made.