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Look, I'm not saying the European X-Wing community is better than the US X-Wing community... but...

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On 4/2/2018 at 5:16 AM, FTS Gecko said:

To be fair, it's not always easy to get to Regionals in the UK either (especially when they sell out 120+ places in under 24 hours...)

Not being able to get a ticket is one thing, people here are talking about the difficulties in physically attending the event.

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I had difficulties physically attending.  The closest one-day one was more than 2 hours drive, and that's a long way considering I'm slap bang in the middle of southern england.  But then, I'm super spoiled by living here lol.

I ended up dropping out of that one, and not remotely regretting it, because that was the one where the entire top 8 was Trajectory Nymulator.

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11 hours ago, Loco Lupus said:

Not being able to get a ticket is one thing, people here are talking about the difficulties in physically attending the event.

Clearly you’ve never tried to find Norwich. Even with a map, compass GPS, Satnav and a set of tarot cards its only 50:50. 

Edited by Dreadai

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43 minutes ago, Dreadai said:

Clearly you’ve never tried to find Norwich. Even with a map, compass GPS, Satnav and a set of tarot cards its only 50:50. 

Yep.  Mentioned this earlier as well, but I have a 3 hour round trip journey to get to my closest FLGS that supports X-Wing - that's not for a regional, that's for 3-4 games and a GNK event.  Closest regionals were 4-5 hours roundtrip, but sold out before I even saw the tickets were on sale!

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2 hours ago, Dreadai said:

Clearly you’ve never tried to find Norwich. Even with a map, compass GPS, Satnav and a set of tarot cards its only 50:50. 

The only time I've been to Norwich, it was easy to find...(someone else was driving and he knew the way already!)

Milton Keynes is the one I find hard: getting to it is very, very easy. Getting off the silly dual-carriageways that take you straight through the middle and out of the other side, so you can park near your target, that's a lot harder! 3 visits, got lost 5 times! (2 on leaving as well as arriving)

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17 minutes ago, Gilarius said:

The only time I've been to Norwich, it was easy to find...(someone else was driving and he knew the way already!)

Milton Keynes is the one I find hard: getting to it is very, very easy. Getting off the silly dual-carriageways that take you straight through the middle and out of the other side, so you can park near your target, that's a lot harder! 3 visits, got lost 5 times! (2 on leaving as well as arriving)

Apparently 'it's a simple grid system with a roundabout at each intersection'

Not helped by the fact that all elements of the grid are absolutely identical in every way. 

I'd love to see an American in Milton Keynes ... apparently they only have like 7 roundabouts in the whole country 

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2 minutes ago, Dreadai said:

Apparently 'it's a simple grid system with a roundabout at each intersection'

Not helped by the fact that all elements of the grid are absolutely identical in every way. 

I'd love to see an American in Milton Keynes ... apparently they only have like 7 roundabouts in the whole country 

...or Swindon...

(Look kids!  Big Ben!  Parliment!  *sobs*)

Edited by FTS Gecko

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1 minute ago, Dreadai said:

Apparently 'it's a simple grid system with a roundabout at each intersection'

Not helped by the fact that all elements of the grid are absolutely identical in every way. 

I'd love to see an American in Milton Keynes ... apparently they only have like 7 roundabouts in the whole country 

Yeah, but they have grids everywhere so it probably evens out. Believe me though; compared to LA Milton Keynes will be driving on easy mode, so anyone from there will probably manage it in their sleep (as long as they survive the first few 'multi-lane roundabouts on the other side of the road' attempts).

I can't stand petty nationalism but the one, single thing I can safely get behind us (the UK) being the best in the world at is road signage.

 

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4 hours ago, Dreadai said:

Apparently 'it's a simple grid system with a roundabout at each intersection'

Not helped by the fact that all elements of the grid are absolutely identical in every way. 

I'd love to see an American in Milton Keynes ... apparently they only have like 7 roundabouts in the whole country 

NOT SO!

Roundabouts are one of those things that are becoming more common especially when the space is already there to put them in.  There are at least six within an hour of my rural location although most are the simplest variety.

When it comes to complicated in American driving it's some of those crazy highway exchanges that's full of "wrong side" exits and more death spirals (what I'm calling the round parts of a typical cloverleaf exchange) than you count on one hand.

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6 hours ago, __underscore__ said:

Yeah, but they have grids everywhere so it probably evens out. 

The grid makes urban driving pretty easy. . .except when the names of the roads change everytime you change township! :(

2 hours ago, StevenO said:

NOT SO!

Roundabouts are one of those things that are becoming more common especially when the space is already there to put them in.  There are at least six within an hour of my rural location although most are the simplest variety.

When it comes to complicated in American driving it's some of those crazy highway exchanges that's full of "wrong side" exits and more death spirals (what I'm calling the round parts of a typical cloverleaf exchange) than you count on one hand.

Sometimes I miss the simple cloverleaf. .  .even if you did have to slow down to 25 mph. . .

55fb18a3ce341ac0883d85da0dd92c75.jpg

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1 hour ago, Darth Meanie said:

The grid makes urban driving pretty easy. . .except when the names of the roads change everytime you change township! :(

Sometimes I miss the simple cloverleaf. .  .even if you did have to slow down to 25 mph. . .

55fb18a3ce341ac0883d85da0dd92c75.jpg

Now label EACH of those paths correctly.  That mega roundabout with 7 wheels seems less complicated and certainly took a whole lot less concrete and steel.

 

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3 minutes ago, StevenO said:

Now label EACH of those paths correctly.  That mega roundabout with 7 wheels seems less complicated and certainly took a whole lot less concrete and steel.

If that's where I think it is (Spaghetti Junction ATL) then it's not as bad to navigate as it looks. A lot of stuff crosses over right there but most of the various paths are fairly well labeled exits off of the main highways before you get there. Traffic around there can be horrifically bad, but that's true everywhere in Atlanta and not unique to that one patch of roads.

I'm way more terrified of roundabouts because for the most part there are none in the US (not counting those tiny one laners, talking real ones). So even if I did know what was doing (note: I so don't) no one else does.

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5 minutes ago, Makaze said:

If that's where I think it is (Spaghetti Junction ATL) then it's not as bad to navigate as it looks. A lot of stuff crosses over right there but most of the various paths are fairly well labeled exits off of the main highways before you get there. Traffic around there can be horrifically bad, but that's true everywhere in Atlanta and not unique to that one patch of roads.

I'm way more terrified of roundabouts because for the most part there are none in the US (not counting those tiny one laners, talking real ones). So even if I did know what was doing (note: I so don't) no one else does.

I found them intimidating at first, but after a couple times I love them.  Especially when traveling in new territory.  If you are not sure where to exit, go around again (and again) until your are sure. :lol:

OTOH, I use public transportation almost exclusively in Europe.  They are way ahead of the game in public-people-moving than the car-centric US.

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55 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

I found them intimidating at first, but after a couple times I love them.  Especially when traveling in new territory.  If you are not sure where to exit, go around again (and again) until your are sure. :lol:

OTOH, I use public transportation almost exclusively in Europe.  They are way ahead of the game in public-people-moving than the car-centric US.

I love the roundabouts because I don't need to STOP for them and if people just knew how to be considerate drivers (which seems to be getting LESS common these days) they'd sure be better than lights and stop signs.  Making stops is the worst thing in driving because it is just so darn inefficient not only wasting energy to keep an engine running but also having to regain momentum lost to stop.  Sure it takes energy to get from 5 to 50 mph but unless you have to do that too quickly you're going to lose more going from 5 to zero then needing extra power just to get rolling again.  Slow traffic is ok but STOPPED traffic, and by extension Stop and RACE, is terrible.

To say the USA is car-centric is an understatement.  I think someone could live IN New York City without having a car and maybe never miss it but move away from there and the East Coast in general and your options for carless living drop quickly.  For all its "splendor" how well can someone do in So.Cal. without a car?  Even if you fly someone where in the US you'll still often need a car when you get to where you're going especially if there are multiple places to go once you arrive.

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36 minutes ago, StevenO said:

To say the USA is car-centric is an understatement. 

I'll go farther and say that the United States is car-centric to the point of actual stupidity.  It genuinely amazes me that people would rather sit in rush-hour traffic for 90 minutes a day, and pay $400 (and up) per month for parking, than to take public transportation.  People complain about public transportation, of course (including me), but it's pretty simple: if more people use it, more people are willing to allocate funds for it, and it gets better and more reliable.

Quote

 

I think someone could live IN New York City without having a car and maybe never miss it but move away from there and the East Coast in general and your options for carless living drop quickly.  For all its "splendor" how well can someone do in So.Cal. without a car?  Even if you fly someone where in the US you'll still often need a car when you get to where you're going especially if there are multiple places to go once you arrive.

 

I live in the Bay Area, and I could live without a vehicle, though it would add about five hours of inconvenience per week to my life.  I do live without a car, strictly speaking: I've driven a motorcycle for decades now.  It sucks during rainy season, but otherwise it's pretty awesome.

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8 minutes ago, Jeff Wilder said:

I'll go farther and say that the United States is car-centric to the point of actual stupidity.  It genuinely amazes me that people would rather sit in rush-hour traffic for 90 minutes a day, and pay $400 (and up) per month for parking, than to take public transportation.  People complain about public transportation, of course (including me), but it's pretty simple: if more people use it, more people are willing to allocate funds for it, and it gets better and more reliable.
....

I live in the Bay Area, and I could live without a vehicle, though it would add about five hours of inconvenience per week to my life.  I do live without a car, strictly speaking: I've driven a motorcycle for decades now.  It sucks during rainy season, but otherwise it's pretty awesome.

Sadly, I think I'd even agree with part of that.  Now if you're hauling stuff around, like say groceries, then it's one thing but if all you're doing is hauling yourself it's crazy all the waste that driving these big vehicles around with just a single person in them causes.  I don't even want to think about the mortgage you effectively pay just to store your car during the day because you're too proud to be without it.

I appreciate motorcycles a lot more than cars especially when it comes to commuting.  It should be a lot more efficient and take up less space.  As for your five hours of inconvenience I'd like to guess that's a half hour long walk to work each day with another half hour getting back; that may be a bit far but to think some people drive and number of minutes just to get to a gym where they'd then spend a hour on a treadmill each day it isn't so outrageous.

 

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26 minutes ago, StevenO said:

I don't even want to think about the mortgage you effectively pay just to store your car during the day because you're too proud to be without it.

Well ... in the interest of full disclosure, $400 per month (or even double that) is nowhere even close to a mortgage payment around here.

Quote

I appreciate motorcycles a lot more than cars especially when it comes to commuting.  It should be a lot more efficient and take up less space. 

And it's free parking, and more convenient parking, nearly everywhere.  Even in downtown San Francisco, parking at a meter for my bike (on the rare occasions I take it into The City) is 70 cents per hour, capped at $7, instead of $3 per hour, capped at ... I don't even know.  But high.

Quote

As for your five hours of inconvenience I'd like to guess that's a half hour long walk to work each day with another half hour getting back; that may be a bit far but to think some people drive and number of minutes just to get to a gym where they'd then spend a hour on a treadmill each day it isn't so outrageous.

No, that would actually be pretty cool, and I'd likely do it for the benefit of the exercise.  The five hours is just the difference in time between taking the bus (and being beholden to its schedule) and taking my motorcycle, in both cases to the BART station a few miles away.  Then, on top of that, the weekly difficulties of running errands, grocery shopping, and so on.  I have saddle-bags, so I can carry a surprising amount home from Safeway.

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7 hours ago, StevenO said:

To say the USA is car-centric is an understatement.  I think someone could live IN New York City without having a car and maybe never miss it but move away from there and the East Coast in general and your options for carless living drop quickly.  For all its "splendor" how well can someone do in So.Cal. without a car?  Even if you fly someone where in the US you'll still often need a car when you get to where you're going especially if there are multiple places to go once you arrive.

I managed for a year without a car in the city, but then got a new job in the 'burbs and pretty much had to get one.  The irony being that I live 15 minutes (on foot) from Union Station, and my job is 12 minutes from the stop I need.  The problem is the AM train arrives at 6:20 AM for my 8 AM work day. . .and there are no other options.  So I can spend 100 minutes every morning at a coffee shop, or I need a car to save large chunks of life (because the drive is 30 minutes).

OTOH, my wife and I share a single car and make it work, so we are "car lite."

After a life in suburbia, I now hate the car.  The last thing I want to do on a day off is drive anywhere.  We walk to the store, or take transit.  You get to the point where walking is no big deal.  In fact, I just got home from walking 40 minutes to a festival and 40 minutes back.  Sometimes, especially in the summer, I walk to the grocery that is 45 minutes away on purpose (there is one 10 minutes away), just to get out and about.  Not only is walking good exercise, but it helps you feel connected to the community. 

Lastly, when I used to walk to work, walking home was great therapy.  If I had a bad day at the office, it was all walked out by the time I got home to my loving wife. . .no crabby Darth Meanie at home after a lousy day!

Edited by Darth Meanie

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Isn't it true that the US Govt subsidizes the cost of fuel for cars? Last time I visited the states, I was shocked by how cheap fuel is compared to the UK - the Govt here taxes the **** out of it ... something like 80% of the cost at pump is tax and tariff.

I'd like to say we use the money to improve our public transit and roads ... but that seems not to be the case now as public transit is now privately run.

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21 hours ago, FTS Gecko said:

...or Swindon...

(Look kids!  Big Ben!  Parliment!  *sobs*)

Where I am from we make fun of a certain city; and in one of those jokes about  said city is that at the entry of all roundabouts there is a sign that says "Max 3 turns". This and other similar jokes are a source of much amusement.. but well, nobody is that studpid right, but then I find this... 

 

 

 

Edited by Sciencius

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30 minutes ago, Dreadai said:

Isn't it true that the US Govt subsidizes the cost of fuel for cars? Last time I visited the states, I was shocked by how cheap fuel is compared to the UK - the Govt here taxes the **** out of it ... something like 80% of the cost at pump is tax and tariff.

I'd like to say we use the money to improve our public transit and roads ... but that seems not to be the case now as public transit is now privately run.

It's more that the US has one of the lowest fuel tax rates in the developed world.  Which is basically a subsidy by comparison, but isn't actually a subsidy per se.

Per wiki:

800px-Fuel_tax_in_OECD_countries%2C_2010

Edited by thespaceinvader

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33 minutes ago, Dreadai said:

Isn't it true that the US Govt subsidizes the cost of fuel for cars? Last time I visited the states, I was shocked by how cheap fuel is compared to the UK - the Govt here taxes the **** out of it ... something like 80% of the cost at pump is tax and tariff.

I'd like to say we use the money to improve our public transit and roads ... but that seems not to be the case now as public transit is now privately run.

"02-Apr-2018:  The average price of gasoline around the world is 1.15 U.S. Dollar per liter.  However, there is substantial difference in these prices among countries. As a general rule, richer countries have higher prices while poorer countries and the countries that produce and export oil have significantly lower prices. One notable exception is the U.S. which is an economically advanced country but has low gas prices.  The differences in prices across countries are due to the various taxes and subsidies for gasoline.  All countries have access to the same petroleum prices of international markets but then decide to impose different taxes.  As a result, the retail price of gasoline is different. "

Gasoline prices - US Dollar, per liter:

USA:  0.78
Spain:  1.53
Germany:  1:68
UK:  1:69
Belgium:  1.75
France:  1.82
Italy:  1.90

https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/gasoline_prices/

Also worth bearing in mind that the price of gas affects the price of pretty much every other commodity available, due to the change in shipping/distribution costs.  The knock on effects are present throughout the economic market.  We haven't even mentioned the relative prices of X-Wing Miniatures themselves in the US/Europe yet...

Edited by FTS Gecko

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So like ... it seems like a self fulfilling prophesy ... Fuel is cheap, so I will drive places rather than use transit as it is more comfortable  ... so noone uses transit, so no invests in it, and because voters drive everywhere, politicians keep the rates on fuel low, so fuel is cheap ...

Interesting to note that the dollar cost of an x-wing ship is (give or take) the same as the sterling cost ... so there is (currently) approximately a 20-40% mark up on buying models in the UK over the US.  Sadly Brexit will likely increase the disparity further over time.

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43 minutes ago, Dreadai said:

Interesting to note that the dollar cost of an x-wing ship is (give or take) the same as the sterling cost ... so there is (currently) approximately a 20-40% mark up on buying models in the UK over the US.  Sadly Brexit will likely increase the disparity further over time.

While we're discussing all of America's minor sins, remember that they often don't include sales tax in the price of items (I'm not sure how this works online though).

You know how you can normally go into a shop, see a price tag and know how much it'll cost at the till? Such is the price of Freedom.

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