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  #21  
Old 02 July 2014, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I know here in Canada people can get pretty ticked off at the claim that there is no price fixing where gas prices are concerned yet (it seems) like every gas station puts their prices up, and occasionally down, pretty much simultaneously and it is the rare situation where anyone is selling for much less than anyone else.
But why would you expect otherwise? Do you think different gas stations pay widely varying wholesale prices for their gasoline?
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  #22  
Old 03 July 2014, 02:26 AM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
It almost happened with teabags when people realised they didn't have to be square, but I think somebody cunningly patented the pyramid-shaped ones, and round ones must still be more expensive to produce than square ones, so you can still get a variety of different-shaped teabags in different brands according to preference...
WHAT?????? Teabags in England??? Is there still a Queen???
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  #23  
Old 03 July 2014, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I have no idea if anyone is asking for investigations in the US but I know here in Canada people can get pretty ticked off at the claim that there is no price fixing where gas prices are concerned yet (it seems) like every gas station puts their prices up, and occasionally down, pretty much simultaneously and it is the rare situation where anyone is selling for much less than anyone else.
This is less a case of fixing than a case of few distributors. In Manitoba, all gasoline for all branded service stations, save one brand, is Esso gasoline. It does not matter if you fill at PetroCan, Shell, Esso or Husky, you are getting Esso gasoline (distributed from Winnipeg). Only Mowhawk gets gas from another distributor (Regina).

Here is the hint, if you see the truck delivering the fuel (gas or diesel) to a service station, and the truck is not bedecked in the logo of the station, it is from a regional distributor and that truck serves several different stations of different brands.

Further, the station itself does not own the fuel in the ground, the distributor does. The station purchases that fuel the second it leaves the pump into a vehicle. So, when the distributor calls and says the price went up 2 cents per litre, everyone who receives fuel from that distributor gets the same memo, and makes their own change.

With the profit margin on gasoline so slim (less than 4% usually) cutting a few cents per litre off the price of gas is not a viable, long term strategy to survive. Costco and Canadian Tire can afford to do it because they don't sell their gas to make money, but to get you into their store to buy the stuff that really drives up their profits.

In the Maritimes and Newfoundland, the government regulates the price of gasoline and diesel (and home heating oil). Every Thursday it goes up or down depending upon the market price. While the price is not cheap, at least you know across the province what you are paying for the week. And, as a bonus, people have stopped yelling at the service station attendants, managers and owners over the alleged gouging of gas customers.

For the record, I pumped gas for a long time to help pay my way through university.
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  #24  
Old 03 July 2014, 05:10 AM
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The original appears to be a editorial by John Hawkins on TownHall.com dated 10 April 2012. At first, most of the forwards correctly attributed the piece to Mr. Hawkins. However, as early as mid May 2012 the author's name had been stripped off. The earliest version I've found that said it was written by a Canadian was this forum post dated 1 October 2012.

By the way, after I found the original I also found others who had discovered the OP's origin. For example, I found this forum post dated 7 February 2014 and this forum post dated 11 May 2014.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabbyclaw View Post
Where exactly does one find people who both believe this idiocy and consider them crazy French socialist foreigners up in Canada a group whose opinion is worth considering?
Interesting, isn't it? It's not unprecedented, though. Remember the American political cartoons attributed to Australians and to Britons. I'm not quite sure why it happens although I suspect that Lainie is right about this being related to their strong belief in American Exceptionalism.

Brian

Last edited by BrianB; 03 July 2014 at 05:14 AM. Reason: missing indefinite article
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  #25  
Old 03 July 2014, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
WHAT?????? Teabags in England??? Is there still a Queen???
I'm missing something here.
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  #26  
Old 03 July 2014, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
WHAT?????? Teabags in England??? Is there still a Queen???
They're not the ultra-Republican kind of teabaggers... The far right here tends to quite like the Queen and are unlikely to call for her overthrow!

Actually my first interpretation was that it was a pretend expression of surprise, like if I saw a post about Americans eating hamburgers and said "What?!! Americans eating burgers?? Never!" because England + Tea is such a strong stereotype.

... But when I thought about it, RichardM might actually be genuinely surprised that we use teabags (rather than loose tea) here. Yes, most people use teabags. Most people make tea by putting the teabag in the mug and pouring boiling water over it, too - there's no point in faffing about with teapots unnecessarily unless you're making semi-formal tea for lots of people. And if you do get a teapot and look inside, it's more than likely that it will have teabags in anyway - saves on fiddly tea-strainers and bits in your cup.

(I had a long paragraph about the quality of tea in teabags versus loose tea, but it wasn't very interesting).
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  #27  
Old 03 July 2014, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Number 6) Only in America...would they make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just 'magically' become American citizens (probably should be number one).
You are so right! It is stupid that our immigration system is so broken and onerous that it can take years or even decades to get a visa legally, so people end up resorting to entering the country illegally. We should remove immigration quotas, reduce the paperwork required, eliminate or reduce the income requirements so people from poorer countries can still realistically be able to move here legally, and generally streamline the process so it is as quick and easy as it was when my ancestors (and probably yours) came over.

(I think I may have missed their point...)
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  #28  
Old 03 July 2014, 09:19 AM
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Re: gas prices and gas: Our station is not "brand" but we get our gas from precisely the same company as Marathon (brand) and every other station in town. Yet we still have people come in and tell us that their car "won't run right" using our gas. Some mechanic even told my son's ex-boss that we "water our gas down." Whatev.
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  #29  
Old 03 July 2014, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
A store, bar or restaurant might or might not sell alcohol to a person with an expired driver's license
I have always thought it strange that an expired license can not be used as a form of ID. It's not like you cease to be that person the moment it runs out. It is the driving part that is no longer valid. Same with a passport. I'm still the same person, except it is not valid for travel any more. (Assuming it is fairly recent, not some 50 year old document that no longer looks like you).
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  #30  
Old 03 July 2014, 09:42 AM
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If ID documents expire regularly, then new designs and security features can be universal in the space of years rather than decades. My state has plain ID cards that don't do anything else, and they expire every four years just like drivers licenses.
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  #31  
Old 03 July 2014, 10:01 AM
UrbanLegends101 UrbanLegends101 is offline
 
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Not all state driver's licenses expire in four years. My Florida DL was renewed in June 2013 and expires in May, 2022.

My Kuwait DL was issued for 10 years. Two of my other out-of-US issued driver's licenses appear to have no expiration date.

For many years, Georgia issued DLs to veterans with no expiration date, but at some point in the early 1990s, IIRC, the state changed the policy to a four year term, but the renewal was free. The explanation given was that they had to do a vision check every four years, and I thought it was a Federal requirement. With my 9 year validity for the Florida DL, vision checks aren't required every four years by the state.
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  #32  
Old 03 July 2014, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
A store, bar or restaurant might or might not sell alcohol to a person with an expired driver's license, a foreign passport or other ID. What's acceptable in any establishment is a matter of that establishment's private business policies.
Not accepting a foreign passport could be a problem for a tourist visiting the US, if the tourist had no other photo ID and establishment was strict on this business policy.

Thanks for detailing the particulars of Texas ID "requirements." In the drive to establish voter photo ID requirements, many proponents use the ID "requirements" for alcohol and tobacco to support their reasoning for the voter ID laws, but there is no uniform statutory requirement across the US that all customers of all ages to present a photo ID for the purchase of those products.
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  #33  
Old 03 July 2014, 10:18 AM
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I don't remember ever being asked for ID in Hawaii, at least not in bars (I vaguely remember being asked in a restaurant) and I was only 27 when I went there, not old and raddled like I am now.

I would have been stuck if they hadn't accepted foreign passports, as I didn't even have a photo driving license then - and if they didn't accept British / EU standard passports I doubt they'd accept a British / EU driving license. But then, Hawaii would be somewhere you'd expect to be well used to foreign passports so it would be silly if they didn't take them even there!
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  #34  
Old 03 July 2014, 10:43 AM
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When I was in the US, there was one bar that wouldn't accept my (South African) passport as ID, but would accept my US visa that was in the passport.

edit: but of course as a British citizen you probably don't need a visa.
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  #35  
Old 03 July 2014, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
... But when I thought about it, RichardM might actually be genuinely surprised that we use teabags (rather than loose tea) here. Yes, most people use teabags. Most people make tea by putting the teabag in the mug and pouring boiling water over it, too - there's no point in faffing about with teapots unnecessarily unless you're making semi-formal tea for lots of people. And if you do get a teapot and look inside, it's more than likely that it will have teabags in anyway - saves on fiddly tea-strainers and bits in your cup.
I imagine so. Every British sneer at American tea-drinking I've encountered begins with an expression of horror at the fact that they use tea bags steeped in boiling water that didn't come from a proper tea pot. It's enough, apparently, to give a good Brit the vapors.

Example:

Quote:
"...They just cannot make tea in America. I went to one place and they gave me this . . . cup full of hot water, and a tea bag in a packet. And the cup was see through."

"Ooh." Suze pulls a face. "Yuck. ... Who needs America anyway?" she says robustly.
Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, by Sophie Kinsella
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  #36  
Old 03 July 2014, 01:05 PM
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I've never had a problem with my Alberta license when drinking in the US, but that's probably common enough (or at least a familiar format) that it might as well be another state. I did have to go through almost half an hour of screening when I visited a casino with a friend in Missouri. They had a giant book (an actual physical book - this was back in 2006) with foreign IDs listed and scrutinized every feature on my license. They did the same with my passport. Once they'd gone through all of that, and grilled me a little bit on my age and where I lived, they gave me a special temporary card to go along with the gambling card my friend got. All this for what ended up being a $20 win on the penny slots. It was a bit amusing, considering I'd been to Vegas a few times and had never had to do more than flash my driver's license.
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  #37  
Old 03 July 2014, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Example:
That's not an example of what you think it is, though.

The horror is mostly at the cup of hot water, because it's not boiling, not because it is boiling. Being given the teabag separately from the cup of not-hot-enough water like that is never going to make a good cup of tea. Also, a lot of individually-packaged teabags with a string like that are weaker than a standard teabag in the UK. (I've found this true of most teabags outside the UK, even if they otherwise look similar and say "English Breakfast"; most other countries prefer weaker - arguably subtler - blends).

In a café, you (as the customer) can't pour boiling water over the teabag yourself, because you haven't got access to the source of boiling water. So the staff have to do it for you, before they give you the tea, which is why a café is one place you'll usually still get a teapot. That way, the water is hot enough when it hits the tea, but you can still steep it to your own preference and pour it yourself. (If you look inside the teapot, there will probably be bags in there).

At home, hardly anybody would make tea like that if it was just for themselves, as you can pour the boiling water straight onto the teabag in the mug, and remove it when it's strong enough for you. If you're in a greasy-spoon type café as opposed to a tearoom, you'd get the tea in a mug too.

See, we told you Americans don't understand tea. You even miss the point of the criticisms!
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  #38  
Old 03 July 2014, 02:02 PM
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That was the only literary example I could think of. I mostly encounter it in person (where it's more clearly an objection to the lack of a teapot). But since I mostly drink herbal tea, and the best way to make that (supposedly) is the method poor Becky found distressing, it doesn't much phase me.
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  #39  
Old 03 July 2014, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
In a café, you (as the customer) can't pour boiling water over the teabag yourself, because you haven't got access to the source of boiling water. So the staff have to do it for you, before they give you the tea, which is why a café is one place you'll usually still get a teapot. That way, the water is hot enough when it hits the tea, but you can still steep it to your own preference and pour it yourself. (If you look inside the teapot, there will probably be bags in there).
I was always told that boiling water shouldn't be used on tea, but the water should be added just after the boiling stops. In other words, 99C (210F), to prevent aromatics from being boiled off. When I make a pot, I boil the water, remove from heat, let the boiling subside, and add bags to the kettle. That's just me though.

OY
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  #40  
Old 03 July 2014, 02:15 PM
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I took up coffee instead of tea when I moved here because of exactly what Richard mentions: being served water off the boil without a teabag in it. It's not the form of tea or the lack of a pot, it's the fact that tea won't brew properly in hot (sometimes just warm) rather than boiling water. It doesn't give me the vapors: it just doesn't taste nice.

ETA: You put teabags in your kettle??? Now, that might give me the vapors.
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