buying a chromebook, check the AUE auto update expiration date

23 Aug

london 5.14pm friday 2019

this is important to know if u are buying a chromebook. i did not know it, but fortunately , after reading it and following the links, i find my chromebook hp 14″ bought in mar 2019, expires june 2025. it seems the expiration date starts from its installation, and not from purchase date. it only lasts 6.5yrs. here is the link,

it seems a good link to type in on any chromebook at the store, is chrome://version. that way u can find out the name of the stable channel of that chromebook . then go here  to find what your model is , and then go here to get the expiration date. so it looks like whether you like it or not, each chromebook has a built in obsolescence date… 6.5yrs from installation of the software. it is one way of getting u to buy a new one every 6.5 yrs or so. though from my experience, it is easy to find that u break something or have an accident with it long before then. of the 4 chromebooks i used, the first two lasted 2yrs each, the 3rd lasted 6months, (from an accident… i flooded it when i vomited into the bag carrying it) and now i am using my 4th, 5months now and counting… will i make it to 6yrs with this one? i wonder. i will be glad if it lasts 5yrs. will i still continue to buy chromebooks. the answer is yes. their ease of use and no need to worry about viruses is such a strong pull for me.


life is like that

23 Aug

london 12.47pm victoria station concourse 25C sunny friday 2019

i have just now got some movement on my bank account access. luckily when i called up the helpline, a woman answered who i could just about understand what she is saying. it seems when i called last time and cancelled the call, they put a security check on me… that is why they have to ask me additional security questions when i called again. they should really realise that we cancel the call because we find it so hard to understand the scots accent or whatever accent they have. and when they start asking the security questions, their accent is so atrocious that we cannot understand what they are saying. take for eg today, she had to spell out the word, and even then i could not take it in because she spoke so fast… it was on the second repeat of the spelling of that word , that i got that she was asking me for my memorable date… if she had not spelled out  d for delta, a for alpha  i would never have realised what she was saying.  she pronounced ‘d’ and ‘a’ sounds so different. ah well, i am glad that is sorted out for now. they will send me the gadget to create the security number. but i bet that one will give me problems too. the previous one i got confused me so much that i pressed the wrong key and ruined it. i hope this new one will be simpler to use.

and i cancelled the appointment with the hsbc bank to open another account. i figured i could not deal with all that hassle now. and if i can get back to my account , then there will not be any reason to move.

so now,  i am going to forget all that for now, and just enjoy sitting in the sun under the roof of victoria station. and just looking at all these people who are travelling. it is lunchtime, so quite busy with people. that reminds me that today will be the start of the mass exodus of travellers because of the coming bank holiday . jams are expected everywhere, so that it makes me wonder why people chose to travel at this time. this will be the last bank holiday until christmas, so almost 6 months of desert, with no 3 day weekend in sight. so maybe that is why they travel now. 

in fact, sitting here amongst all these travellers makes me feel i am a traveller too. haha. it is a cheap thrill.if u can call it that. like going on holiday without all the hassle of actually doing it. 

there is this chinese family, mother father and little boy, sitting near me and they were all talking in mandarin. and i sort of marveled at the little boy speaking mandarin. to me it is  really difficult to learn and to pronounce. but here he is prattling on like it is nothing. they are eating spam out of the tin. putting it between bread, and eating it neat too, straight out of the tin, with a spoon. quite chinese really, i can imagine my own family doing it. haha. back home we call it luncheon meat. here they have discovered that spam is very much like it.  looking at them, i thought it a very ingenious way of having lunch without all the palaver of cooking and preparations. it makes me want to buy some. haha.


some small concerns but still irritating

22 Aug

london 2.18pm 24C sunny thursday 2019

its a lovely day today, and most days i would have nothing to worry about. however, i have been having trouble with my internet bank, specifically, i have trouble getting into it , because the EU wants all internet banks to have 2 way verification. in the past i could just put in my password, and presto i am in. now they want me to not only put in the password, but also to get a security code. and i can get this code from a gadget they gave me, but because i have not been using it, it is now not working; or i can get an app, but for that i need to own a smartphone, and i dont have one. 

i thought i can get round this by calling them, and getting a human being to carry out the transactions, but i seem to be getting scots people, with very heavy scots accent, so that i cannot understand them at all. in the past they used indians from india, who at least i can understand, but these scots are just impossible to understand. 

i wonder if others are also getting this problem. anyway i have made an appointment with the hsbc bank near me, to open a currant account, and so i can physically go there and make transactions without needing to use the internet.

my appointment is next week, they said it will be 60mins, such a long time just to open a currant we shall see if it is easy to open an account. nowadays they are so paranoid about money laundering, i think it might be more complicated to open an account now. i am wondering if i should just use another currant account that i have with another bank… it has a branch near me in victoria too. i wish it were the old days when u have a bank book, and you can see the money in it, and can access it easily by taking the bank book to the nearest branch of the bank. and there is a cheque book to pay for things. 

then, to add to my troubles, my electricity company out of the blue tells me in an email that they are going to increase my direct debit from about £16 to about £25 a month. such a big jump, i am in credit with them now of £26, and still they ask me to increase the direct debit… and i only use £19 worth every month. i wrote back asking them to not do it, and am awaiting their reply. i wonder if it is a way for them to get extra money to help with their cash flow.

of course all these are minor problems, and really not serious. i have to constantly pull myself up and remind myself of this, as sometimes it can get my mind all worked up about it… so much so that i need to firmly remind myself it is a small problem, and should be easily solved, or if not solved ,referring to the electricity direct debit,  the direct debit amounts are small. i am glad my electricity bill is so tiny. 

added 7.40pm 22C dry, i got a reply from my electricity company saying since i object , they will keep the old direct debit, rather than increase it. though they warn me that in future it will be increased as there will be a debt in the future. i know that but i calculate it will be another 9months before that happens. that will take us to april 2020. and it seems the review is every 6months, so the next time they reassess it will be feb 2020. 

i went earlier to the krispie kreme shop in victoria station to redeem the free doughnut they gave me. it is a nice thing they do, where periodically they write me an email saying they have not written to me a long time, and so miss me and am giving me a free doughnut … i know it is all a public relation stunt, but it is very pleasing for all that. haha.

what is interesting is that i got chatting to the server in the kiosk. i showed him my chromebook with the code in that email, for him to copy it to the till, so i can get the doughnut, and he said i am the only person who carries around a laptop to show him the code. and then he mentioned he recommend i use a apple phone, so of course i said but it is so expensive that phone, and he said he got 3 apple phones.  i looked at his kiosk and at him, and  said does it pay so well manning this stall that u can afford 3 apple phones?!! he said he knows how to save, but then he must have heard himself  saying he got 3 apple phones and even to him that does not sound right because he said his friends make fun of him for having so many phones.

he says each phone costs about £1800. not sure if i heard him right, surely they are not that expensive? i thought they are about £700 to about £1000. or have things gone up a lot since the last time i checked. who knows with 5G phones, the sky is the limit now. anyway we have a laugh over it, and i took my doughnut off to the seats nearby to eat it. it makes me think no wonder those motorcycle gangs go round stealing smartphones right out of  the hands of  pedestrians. even if it costs £800, i would be really sad if someone grab it out of my hands, and steal it from me. it is a lot of money to see whisk away like that.

i asked ian, who got a apple phone, and was telling him about the motorcycle gangs of thieves; whether he uses a wire lead that attaches to the phone and which he can tie to latches on a desk, meant to keep the phone safe from thieves when he charges it in a public place, and he said he used to have that and tie it to his trousers, but he said it was so much bother, and no one does it, that he gave up on the idea. i thought he should tie it to his hands, wrap it around his hand, as a trouser loop on the waist is easy to break. i have never seen anyone tie their phone to their hand in all the people i see using smartphones whilst they walk the street.


19 Aug

london 6.43pm 19C sunny monday 2019

it must be what it feels like this morning for many people who go to tortilla for lunch, buying a burrito. well i got an idea of what they must feel , because i went there today to get my free jackfruit burrito and i get to enjoy the experience of making an order watching it being built up and seeing the server very cleverly fold the burrito without spilling the insides filled with bursting, to make a neat package which he enclose in a tin foil and so make it very easy for people to unwrap and eat it bit by bit.

this is the free jack fruit burito that tortilla, the restaurant is giving out every monday in august to celebrate the meatfreemonday concept to get people to eat more vegetarian.

they have a cheese option to add to the other ingredients, (which were beans and rice). i am rather pleased that they give me the chance to add cheese to it. and not include it as an extra.

so that is what people feel when they do it every day buying lunch at these restaurants. its quite a nice feeling, which explains why so many do it instead of making their own lunch and bringing it to work, so they can save money. to me it is doubly enjoyable because i got it free. i discover that it is much nicer wrapped in a burrito, rather than eaten naked as they say in a bowl. this is because the saltiness is not so obvious when you eat it in a burrito. 

later, after my nap, i went to lidl to buy celery which they are selling for 35p, and coming back i was watching the big crowds of office workers crowding the vauxhall bus station and the railway station…it was about 5pm, so they have finished work and making their way home. 

i am out of it of course being retired, but not only that managing to getting out of it 15years early from the normal retirement age of 65.  i am not that keen on work, so was glad to be able to stop work early. mine is not a desk job , which i think might be easier, because u are using your brain. my job i not only have to use my brain, but also to use my hands too, and the hands job is the one that gets more difficult as i get older. that is the main reason why i like stopping work, the physical aspect of it is getting difficult to do for me as i get older. i think if i had a desk job i too would like to stay working for as long as i can. i wonder what kind of job is one where u dont need physical effort, and not much brain power, and still pays so well… 

i made a lovely stew of celery with pork, mushrooms, it is a very easy dish to make, and is delicious over rice. i was thinking you cannot find any restaurant selling this. why? and then it occurred to me that it is so easy to cook anyone can do it, and so u wont find anyone willing to pay someone else to cook it and sell it. there wont be any buyers that is why this kind of dish is never sold in restaurants by itself or if at all.



18 Aug

london 9.21pm 15C dry sunday 2019

regent st was closed for a event, they do it about 4 times in sept, oct. they  close it to traffic and put in some kind of activity along its length. used to be in the past they put in vintage cars, and let people look at them, now it is food stalls, and cookery demonstrations, and a upcycling booth, with people sewing pieces of cloth. i arranged with ian to meet at the oxford circus end of regent st, giving him the what3words location, but he was no where to be seen when  i arrived at the meeting place and so i called him to find out where he was. he asked me what shop i was standing in front off… when we finally meet, he had to confess he did not read my email. he had just assumed if we cant find each other, that we will call up each other on the mobile phone and ask which shop we are standing in front of. and he thought we meet at 3pm, not 2.30pm, but lucky he was early that was why he was around when i arrived… so my effort to use that what3words website to pinpoint our meeting place was not successful.

we just strolled along regent st, to chinatown and wandered around the area. and chitchat along the way, and caught up with our news. saw a lot of chinese people queueing up at various shops in the area, which were selling bubble tea, or icecream or sweet dessert stuff… really puzzled us why these places are so popular with the chinese people,  to attract long queues like this. 


a garden party

16 Aug

london 11.15am 19C cloudy friday 2019

a huge rain cloud is coming to london, forecast to hit us at about 3.15pm today. that cloud seems to cover the whole uk. so the whole country is gonna rain. 

yesterday i went to a free food garden party at kew bridge. i was early, and nearly could not find the place, because it was a really narrowed road leading to a new build housing development with a football stadium in it.

it was right next to the railway track and kew bridge station. the station  is in zone 3, and is on the overground train line. not a tube station. have no gates and no ticket office, and it trusts u to log in and out with your electronic oyster card or debit card. mind you if u forget and not log in or out, the system will charge you the cost of the whole 8 zones. so that is the penalty for not logging in for those who are thinking of getting away with not paying. haha. 

we found out it was actually a collaboration between a housing developer ecoworld, (who seem to have some malaysian backing, ecoworld have other housing developments elsewhere in london) with brentwood football club and the local council to build a football stadium and add luxury housing to it.

they tell us to dress for a garden party. i have no idea how one dresses for a garden party, until i went there and saw people wearing jackets and tie and thought oh so that is how one dresses for a garden party.

it was a pleasant evening, unlike yesterday when it was raining all day. and the catering was done by the kerb people, a streetfood company. and i stuck to the malaysian caterer, only managed to eat two bowls of their laksa, a fried meehoon dish, and two sticks of satay. haha. i was so full , but still managed to down a doughnut from the doughnut stall. could not manage to eat the malaysian desserts.

i pass over the pulled pork burger stall. i was so stuffed… sat at a table full of malaysians who seemed to have flown in from malaysia to support the consortium. at the start we were told we might not be able to get in as they expected 50 people  from malaysia, to come to the party. the elderly couple i talked to said they came for a holiday of two months, and to visit their daughter who lives here.

we were at the head of the queue, so it did not go down well for us to be told that as well as we have to wait till the bus load of expected guests come… some people in the queue actually left the queue, being angry about it all. but there was no need really to tell us that , because in the end, that big bus load of malaysians did not really bring in many people, and we were allowed in. they even provide free cocktails, though i did not bother to queue up for that.

there were some football players, tall fit looking young men, wearing suits, who must be from the football club, invited to help spread the word. haha. i am not a fan of football so cant say if they are famous or not. though they could be mistaken for security guards, if we were not told the football players will be there. in the end, the place was not full really, but maybe just as well, because it was a small space, and we have plenty of room to move about. and what is more to be able to get the food easily without much queueing.

there was a short ceremony to officially open the development, and then the dj came on for the dancing, and that is when i left.

i saw these two articles that interests me. what3words an app that makes it easy to tell others where you are. esp if u are lost and want the rescue service to find you. added. i dont have a smartphone so cannot download their app, but i find i can do everything just by going into their website you can find out what 3 words describe your location by searching for it in that website search engine. fascinating really, you can tell people where u are without giving them your address. or postcode. which is how i usually tell people. 

added. in fact ian wrote me to ask if we can meet up on sunday. and i gave him the link via that what3words website to let him know where it is exactly that i want to meet up… it would be impossible to describe it, because regent st has two parts , north and south side, and there are all those points around oxford circus … but just giving him

tells him exactly where. it is really a very useful website. 

and this one , peculiar photos . that one about the dog in the background, which is actually a profile of a gameplayer with head phones on, really fooled me. i saw that image a few days ago, and could not see the player… and was really puzzled at why a dog is there… but this time when i saw it again, because they pulled up a close up of the dog, i could very faintly make out the profile face of the player. 

added. i just have a thought, who in their right mind would want to live near a football stadium, the noise! the crowds! every match day just cannot bear thinking about.

Digital StillCamera

this is the second laksa i had. there are 3 large prawns in there. 

added. 3.58pm rain 17C. just got a free cookie from pret a manger, they give it to u between 3pm-4pm today if u say ‘bake my day’, the password. it is rather fun, and you can have a free cookie. just perfect with coffee. there were two of these pret shops near me, actually there are 3, but i only went to these two and got a cookie from  each of them.

Digital StillCamera

this is my second cookie, and it has been allowed to cool down so that it is quite firm. the first one came straight out of the oven and was still gooey. they both are very chocolatey…

you could be forgiven to think who would want to queue up for these, and on a rainy day like this… but there was a long queue in both of those shops. one said come back half hour later, when the cookies will be baked… the other let us wait, the queue stretched out of the door. people like their cookies in london. they seem to be office workers around the area. a group of 4 indian guys were in front of me , and one of them was holding a tray of cafe nero coffees. he pointed to one with letters on the cover and said that one is for the manager. he mentioned he can get a free coffee because of the stamps he can get , for each coffee and he gets a free one when he collects enough stamps. i said it is great , if his manager pays for the coffee and he gets the stamps. then he said he pays for it, and i said what! that dont seem fair, then i said maybe u want something from him, and i said maybe you can get a day off when you want and he will give it to you. and he said yes, and added that he and the manager are good buddies and he would buy him coffee because he wants to. then one of his coleagues observed that they are entering a pret shop with cafe nero coffees and wonders if that might cause offense from the people in there. that might explain why they decided to leave the queue. though i also said the coffee will get cold and the manager will have to drink cold coffee. one of them did say they can microwave it hot again. though i secretly wonder if that might spoil the coffee… to be reheated like that. who knows, i am not a drinker of shop bought coffee who would allow his coffee to go cold and reheat it. haha.

i often find people who work are out buying coffee from these coffee shops. how come they dont have a kettle in the office and given free coffee … to make themselves and save money… or if the firm is so stingy at least provide a kettle. and you might be able to bring your own tea bags, whcih are so much stronger than the ones u can buy from these coffee shops… what am i missing i wonder. don’t office workers make their own coffee or tea anymore???

 this rain cloud is really huge, the rain cloud seems to stretch way out over the whole of england , earlier, it stretched right across the whole length of uk, no wonder they said the country will get a month’s rain just today.

a bit of knife crime just down the road.

15 Aug

london 2.43pm 22C sunny thursday 2019

it seems at about 1pm ,  an hour or so ago, just down the road from my place,  at the entrance to the home office building at marsham st, a man got stabbed in the face … no mention of who did it, or whether that person was arrested . a man had been arrested . no other information about him. they only reported on the injured man.

they are not ruling out that it might be terrorist incident and not just a disgruntled applicant who has his residence rejected. though this building is not used for processing immigrants and stayers. its unusual to have anything happen near that home office.

its such a nice bright sunny blue sky and cloudless day. i did not hear any commotion , usually one expects the sirens to be screaming and all that. but here, they dont do things that way. there wasn’t even any helicopters hovering in the sky making a racket or anything.

added 3.12pm.  now i hear helicopters above… it is 3.12pm now. but only for a short time, it is gone now. another report of the incident here.  in that report, it mentioned the stabbed man seem to have an identity card, so he might be a worker in that building, and some one mentioned he saw a man just calmly walked away, pocketting something before the police arrived… but it could just be an innocent bystander. a lot of people will be sitting around the ledges there eating their lunch. it is quite a common spot for it. another report i read says the injuews man is a security guard.

added 8.53pm, i just read another report that a man 29yrs old has been arrested.he was carrying  a ferret , tear gas, … sounds like some kind of farce doesn’t it?