robot car accident kills a pedestrian crossing the road.

23 Mar

london 5.30pm 9.7C dry overcast thursday 2018

11.29am 12.1C sunny friday

6.04pm 10.7C sunny . it is close to sunset 6.18pm

its a peaceful day for me. my friend who came to visit uk from florida, where he lives, is now away, up north visiting his friends, and family. he is a very easy person to have as a guest.

i have been spending my time reading. mainly science fiction. they bring me into another world and is a form of escapism. i am sure there must be plenty of people experiencing a sense of wonder, or joy, or inspiration, but by its very nature, it must be very personal, and doubtless difficult to convey or even to tell others about it. so we dont read of it. whilst we read the news and it is full of angst and bother, bad news.

i remember reading of the facebook problem, where a company is able to grab people’s info and try to influence them , they say to vote, but how effectively they did it is something everyone dont seem to question. i would have thought they were preaching to the converted. it is much harder to change someones views than to reinforce it . so i would imagine all their targetting is just preaching to the converted. 

the whole business plan of facebook and all other social media businesses is based on using your personal info to sell to others, and let them make use of it how they will. i thought everyone knows that. and everyone condones it dont they? so now to start being upset because some company has done it for political reasons instead of for commercial reasons… ie selling you stuff and services…seems rather perverse. people  should not act like it is a big surprise.

you have lobbyists in parliament rooting for their clients business viewpoints and we all accept that. so why not have a company slant their messages to those they identify as sympathetic to it, or even try to influence those undecided, seems fair game surely… all in the name of persuasion. as long as people know it and been told of it. everyone must know that whatever they put in their facebook profile will and can be used . if they still do not know, they are very naive indeed.

and then there is this driverless uber car killing a woman who walked across the road with her bike. it was a very dark road, the street lighting was far apart and that point she crossed was in total darkness. 

i have seen the video of the point of impact and i can say no one would be able to stop in time. she just seem to suddenly appear a split sec before impact. no human being can ever reacte that fast to stop the car. (it did not help that the headlights of the car was dipped, instead of casting a higher horizon to light up a bigger stretch of road. )

and it seems no robot car can  stop in time too. when i was seeing it i thought surely that car has sensors that can see in the dark, and notice this woman, even if she is not seen by human eyes. now if that robot car can do that, it would be a huge advantage, and huge arguement to have them. but too bad they dont have the technology for that yet. if they can have that it would mean robot cars will be made mandatory… and in fact human drivers may be banned from driving cars in future. actually they can set the respond sensitivity to movement. but it ended up with the car stopping because it sensed deer beside the road… and it wont do to have a car stopping on a road just because of some movement… so they have to adjust the sensitivity. but i was thinking is there a way to make the sensor notice anything in front of the car, and to stop immediately if it senses some object right in front of it. a machine may be programmed to do that though it might be dangerous for the passengers to have a car stop so suddenly in midflight… i mean what if the object is thrown at it, a fast moving car to suddenly brought to a halt will throw the passengers against the windshield and kill them, even if they are wearing seat belts. i guess we will have to accept that people will be killed, even if robots drive the car.

people will do silly things like walk across the road without looking, which it seems that woman was doing… she was looking at her phone it seems.

i mean even i myself do it, walk across without looking… and i am supposed to be very aware. it was lucky for me that the taxi man reacted quickly, or i would be dead. he was luckily not moving fast that might be the biggest factor to me being alive now. but what i am saying is that we humans can be very stupid, and for some of us, a moment of stupid thoughtlessness can kill us. i am just glad my moment of stupidity did not kill me. 




Digital StillCamera

yesterday’s dinner, cooked by simon its beef

Digital StillCamera

today’s lunch cooked by simon


shops opening and closing

21 Mar

london 9.28pm 7.3C dry night wednesday 2018

i seldom get phone calls, so it was unusual just now i got two, in succession. one was from a chinese friend who has returned from malaysia. he was there for 5wks. he stayed in penang, his home town, and took a trip to kl. he said he just spent his time enjoying the foods. i asked if he went to the gay clubs in kl, but he said he has gone off them now. ah well, it does happen to us as we get older. clubbing is not so much fun anymore.

he said nothing noteworthy happened during his time in malaysia. i sometimes think thailand is more interesting… lots of things going on in thailand. the people there are wanting to interact with visitors… the incentive being they want something from the visitor, selling them things, or services that is why. whereas in malaysia, there is not that pressure on the guys there as the tourist business do not involve so many of the citizens in malaysia. most have other jobs that have  nothing to do with tourism. 

the other call which came just shortly after the first call, was from a english friend who organises the ex east -west club meetings of former members. there was some trouble with his mobile phone i recall, because in the past few weeks he sent me text messages which i never received. i think it is his phone that is at fault. so i suggested he use the other phone that he has got.

with this phone that he is now using, i could not make out some of his conversation. and his voice sounds weird, one of his friends told him he sounded like he have a cold. so it was a strain to talk with him over the phone. i hope he will change his phone.

but there you are, mundane things like this is what occupies me nowadays. haha. i like it , because the opposite would be even more intolerable. to have constant phone calls from people demanding my time, that is hell.

i see westfield shopping centre in shepherds bush have done a fresh new opening … to celebrate their increase in size. i read that john lewis has taken up a lot of space there… interesting that because sales are down in john lewis. and now with this branch they would have 4 branches all within london. their oxford st br, chelsea peter jones br, and the one in westfield stratford east london. i wonder why they do that…aren’t they spreading themselves very thin and have to pay all those overheads in rentals… they and the westfield management must have a lot of confidence in the economy because there have been many high st chain shops closing down. toy r us is the one that is in the news now. and other retail chains are in trouble too. 

i was in the kings road chelsea, came out of the sports centre after my circuit training, and saw the habitat store is closing down. this is their kings road branch. last day is sunday and they are clearing their stock reducing it to half price, though even so, it is pricey… armchair costing £500, and that is half priced allready. they will continue to have their main store in tottenham court road.

when i look at my two armchairs that i got free from somewhere, years ago when i first bought the flat;  i figured i have saved myself a lot of money. haha.

in the end, i hardly sit on those armchairs, we put our clothes on them. that was until recently, when simon did a big clearing out and the chairs emerged from all those clothes. but we are starting to put clothes there now and starting the process of  covering them up again. 

there is a national carpet chain store closing down, carpetright,  i just read the news about it,  but yet i see a local carpet store has opened in lupus st, pimlico … this store tend to close down and than reopen about every two-three years or so.. i suppose when the lease expires and they leave; to return when they get a new lease again. but looking at their store window i cannot help but notice that their carpets are all beige, and grey… no colour at all. what happened to those bright deep coloured carpets that are like the ones i got in my lounge? it is bright dark vibrant green that i never see on sale anymore. mind you, that bright colour means any marks on it shows up like billy o. 

first day of spring

20 Mar

london 10.37am sunny tuesday 6.1C officially first day of spring2018

sunshine streaming into the flat, from my two windows in the lounge. first time i think this year that it has been so strong. and quite fitting too, as this is the first day of spring. the changing seasons is one of the nicest things about living in these temperate latitudes.

i made a pot of tea just now. and drinking it now i realise it is just as nice , this assam tea, as the darjeeling tea that i used to have before. i find i am wanting stronger tea now. i drink it without suger or milk. i think as i go older, i like bitter tastes, then vinegarish tastes  more than sugery, or salty tastes. but i would not generalise and say all old people tend to go that route. i know lots of friends who are getting old and still like their suger and lots of it.

i seem to have rediscovered how nice crackers biscuits are. i used to buy rich tea biscuits, and digestives , but now i think i shall go for cream crackers. why they use the word cream is a mystery to me. there is no cream in it. in fact i think i like it because it is not sweet, unlike most biscuits. each cream cracker has 1.2g of fat though. it is one biscuit that i can eat a lot of in one sitting, (just this month i have finished off 500mg of it. and the month is not even over. whilst i still got some rich tea biscuits lying around that has been in its container for ages.) so that is something to be aware of and guard against. seem we are allowed to eat 44g – 78g of fat a day. 

they recommend it be eaten with cheese. i dont think so, it has allready a lot of fat, without adding more. and it is very nice on its own anyway. it smells very nice too. 

my westminster council tax for 2018

19 Mar

london 12.09pm 1.8C cloudy 2018 monday.

i just got my westminster council tax demand in the post. earlier the council wrote to all of us saying they are not increasing the tax, which was true  but i see we still got a small increase because the greater london authority increase their take by 5.1% and there is the adult social care precept which got increased by 2%. so in the end the total increase was 3.2%. to £710.50 for the year. last year it was £688. i am not complaining, because it is still low. if u live alone, you get 25% off. 

5.44pm 3.3C sunny .

i went to chinatown just to wander around, and saw they still have the sale of reduced bagoong, 99p, from £2.60 for 250mg. and i bought it, as well as a reduced priced 100mg fresh chilli 50p. i used to cook a lot with shrimp paste, but have not bothered to do so for some time. now seeing it has got so much cheaper, i shall be using it more. its reduced because it expires may2018. who knows nearer the time, it might reduce even more. they have a lot of it in stock. lookng at the ingredients, there is 30mg of suger and 32mg of salt in 100mg. so quite high , but you only need a spoonful each time, so it is not a lot if u do it that way.

80% is shrimp.

day and night are equal 12hrs long today

18 Mar

london 10.39am 0.6C cloudy sunday 2018. still no snow storm nor heavy snow drifts. high 0.9C low -0.3C

i saw this in the weather website today.

Length of Day 12 h 0 m
Tomorrow will be 3 minutes 58 seconds longer

sunrise 6:08 AM sunset 6:10 PM

its funny, i always thought sunset and sunrise times should be the same if the day is equal to night. but the above shows it is not so. will be interesting to see what it is tomorrow. will it be same setting and rising times, making it equally 6.09 or will it flip over. added. 19.3.18 sunrise 6.05am sunset 6.11pm

so by rights, today is the spring equinox.

it can go by without us noticing, because it is not dramatic. unlike the shortest day or the longest day. near the equator everyone experiences it everyday. i live there for 22yrs, whilst growing up, and i know none of us take a blind bit of notice of it. haha. we get so much sun during the day, we are quite glad to welcome the evening and the night as it is so much cooler  and people come out then. added i found i made this same observation in 2014 at the same day. i also found a post of mine that explains why the equinox does not equate to equal day and night. hint. it is due to the size of the sun…

 Digital StillCamera

 very pretty patterns that the snow makes on the shed roof.

there has been no heavy snowfall at all today. though if u read the papers you would not think so. ah well, perhaps they have a reason for talking up this so called beast of the east 2, it is more like baby beast really.

this morning only the top of the parked cars have a layer of snow on them. i wonder if people have been scared off attending the st patrick day procession at trafalgar square today.

its a real pleasant day out when i went to the paddington library today. but i think i am a minority to enjoy this weather. majority dont like this . 

added. 11am 1C cloudy but sun is coming out 19.3.18 monday sunrise 6.05am sunset 6.11pm it says winds are from the west, yet everyone tells me we are getting winds from the east, that is why it is called the beast from the east. so who is right?

Length of Day 19.3.18
12 h 4 m
Tomorrow will be 3 minutes 58 seconds longer
so looks like the days are lengthening.

where is the snow they promised us?

17 Mar

london 11.53am 0.8C cloudy no snow at all. disappointed. saturday 2018

so far, the promise of a snow filled landscape has not come true. i was so looking forward to london covered in snow. i live in the centre of london, so maybe it is warmer in london. all those living outside london, tell me is it really snowing heavily where u live? the papers seem to say so, but when you look at the pictures that they print , you can tell there is hardly any snow on the ground. and they tell me heathrow have cancelled flights. perhaps it is one case of the forecast being taken as true, and so they simply followed its prediction. or they dont have to refund passengers if their flights are cancelled due to bad weather, but will have to compensate if they go ahead and fly and then get delayed. they win again when all those rebooked flights fill up the plane and then they can charge a hell of a lot to others because the planes are full and so anyone wanting to fly will have to pay a premium of any of the rare seats not taken. it sounds like a win-win-win for the airlines. and another win, they will solve their pilot shortage too because of the pilots having to take their holidays before a certain date. ah well, that is modern life for you. we dont have to worry about life or death situations, where in the old days u can starve because there is a famine when crops fail due to no rains, or too much rain. now we just get disappointed because there is not enough snow…haha.

old age problems

16 Mar

london 6.12pm 11.4C dry cloudy friday 2018

its mild, warm today. strange really because tomorrow it will plunge to 0C. when the east winds brings in siberia cold to cover all of uk.

i have just been with ian, for our monthly chat meetup. we went to the ageuk tavis house cafe, where they are very welcoming, and coffee is only 50p. they are in fact very easy going about people bringing in their own food to eat there, even providing microwaves to warm the food up. and a sign says to bring your own cup if u want to takeaway a drink. they still continue with washable mugs if u drink in. i think that is good , so that they dont use any disposable cups anymore.

our talk is rather gloomy in a way. about his ageing parents. they are in their 90s.  he got a text message from his sister saying his mum had a fall. and there is also the constant problem with his father, having strokes, and needing care. what with his mum having cancer, he got a lot of future problems to solve involving their care. as the population ages, many will have this problem to solve. 

but here is something for the kid in all of us. i found them. 

right hand image is a macdonalds happy meal toy. the legs pull out to a 12cm measuring tape. the other one, i have no idea . toy cars inside this yellow container. usually i find the container empty… and i use them to keep coins. this is the first time i find one with its contents intact.