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lose money first … it is the new way of doing business now.

17 Aug

london 6.40am 17.5C cloudy thursday 2017 added. 7.56am raining. i went to the kitchen to make porridge and so happened to look out of the window at the road, and see it is wet. it has been raining. i did not notice it earlier because sitting by the window in my living room i can only see the sky, so did not see the pavement. i dont know if it is raining by just looking at the sky… the rain dont seem to show up. it is so fine, that there are no rain drops to see.

i usually wake up about this time, 6am . its cloudy out there. this one caught my eye, an article about a start up moviepass in america, where u can pay $10 a month and can see all the movies you want, one a day, from any movie house that take mastercard. the startup pays the cinema its usual price. it will lose money, but hope to get some money back from the movie chains once they see more people coming to their cinemas and also from advertising. or so they hope.

 its a strange way to do business. but seem to mimic the internet businesses like amazon, who started by losing money, but got so many followers it is a huge force. and one comment said amazon is making money not from selling stuff , but from its webs services to companies based on the cloud.

what puzzles me is that moviepass has been bought and  owned by the chap who founded netflix. netflix is the one that is making inroads into the movie chains business by producing its own films shown only in its own website, and thus making people watch films on tv. so why is the owner doing this, seeming to muscle in to the cinema business? is it to build up such a strong numbers of punters, that he can control the cinema chains with his followers.

here in london, there is one chain of cinemas, empire , that is offering £10 a month to see any number of films a month. but it is not scaling it up with a online presence.  or maybe it is, once  i were to subscribe, it would effectively build up their web presence, they would know me as a subscriber in their books.  

other chains are doing it for £20 a month. i got notified of it via email, even me who dont go to the cinemas except once, when i was given a free ticket to see a pride sponsored film.

 i can see how tempting it is to join for just £10 a month, it was advertised on the front of the cinema in huge letters… that is how i got to know of it.  and u can see all the films in that chain, not only once but many times too. which is what film fans do, right? it will bring people back to the habit of going to cinemas. it has not got me to subscribe, because i dont really like seeing movies without the subtitles… haha. so tend to see movies on tv. but i do know i miss out on the big screen experience.

i googled empire cinema to see what films they are showing, and it is quite a good selection of films actually. 

added. 9.37pm 19.7C night .

i see from the empire cinema films being shown that there are quite a number of sci fiction films adapted from books. i like sci fiction, but i think it is quite impossible to adapt them to films. i prefer to read them. i know a lot of people like to live these fantasy worlds and immerse themselves in it, but i dont. all the immersion i can take is limited to novels and that is fine by me.

i like living a real life… even ordinary things like doing the shopping can be interesting to me, because i make it like i am hunting gathering. looking to see what is reduced and become bargains. and it is entirely depandant on luck, because i happen to be there at the right time.

take for eg yesterday, i was at the tesco and at first there dont seem to be anything reduced , the bargain shelves were quite empty of stuff. then i was walking further inside the store, at the back and came across a group of men surrounding a cart pushed by one of the staffers. they were taking stuff from the cart, reduced priced, and the staffer was bringing them to the bargain shelves but was waylaid by these bunch of guys. so i took a carton of 10 big eggs, for 45p, and another man took two packs of minced beef, but returned one of them and i saw it was 45p for 500mg  and so i took it. its a nice price. in fact another man said it when the guy returned the pack to the trolley. haha.

today, i saw two packs of halal minced beef, 500mg for 60p so not as good a price drop,(though their original price is £4, such a high price) but they look very dry, which is a good thing. the other one last night was a bit wet. i wonder if they add a bit of water to it to increase the weight. anyway i bought the two and frozed them.

but the bargain surprise tonight was coming across reduced ginger, a 1kg pack of loose fresh ginger, for 82p. that was lucky. i know the supermarket would have left over ginger not sold before a fresh load arrives, so they tend to bundle all the old ginger and sell it off cheap. it is rare to come across it. you have to be there at the right time and day. this is the first time i come across it. and all in one bag. usually they would split it into a few 250mg bags . most people dont really have much call to use a lot of ginger before it goes bad. 

this morning i went to brixton and bought ginger for 50p. so now i got a glut of ginger. haha. i wonder if i can freeze ginger and will it affect its taste if i do. maybe it will. i find freezing veg is not so good , when they thaw out they are wet and soggy. so unlike the commercial packs  of frozen veg. in fact, if u do freeze veg, cook it from frozen, dont thaw it out first. 

a bicycle accident with a car

16 Aug

london 8.28am 15.6C bright wednesday 2017

yesterday i was coming back from meeting a friend who lives in hallesden,  and saw a bicycle accident with a car. it was a car at a junction turning right , and colliding with a woman riding a bicycle who had right of way. fortunately the car and bike was going slowly, so the car merely pushed the cyclist across the road. it was right in front of the bus i was on and i had a grandstand view as i was sitting in front. the driver of the car just did not see the cyclist, that is why. in her haste to turn right when she saw our bus coming, she clean forgot to make sure there is no traffic coming the other way. and it has to be said i did not notice the cyclist too. head on, it is difficult to see a cyclist.

it makes me realise it is real dangerous to be cycling, even if u stay alert, u cannot compensate for motorists who just dont see you and hit you.

it is all because there is no clear cut separation of car traffic from cycle traffic. in this country even if there is a separate cycle path , there is no law that forbids cyclists from using the road. for eg, there is a good cyclist path through the park from hyde park corner to marble arch, but you can still find cyclists fighting with cars and buses along park lane. and as for vauxhall, huge amounts of money and disruption to build the cycle paths, but u can still see cyclists who ignore it all and use the road. and it is not helped by the cycle path suddenly disappearing after u cross the bridge and cycle along vauxhall bridge road towards victoria. the path just disappears. forcing the cyclists to cut across traffic to the other side to continue their way on the bus lane.

and then today i read of this 19 yr old cyclist riding a bike without brakes… it is a racing bike meant to be used on a cycling track, and is illegal to use on the roads. he hit a pedestrian and killed her. in his defense he said he shouted at her to make way. i guess not having to undergo compulsory training to use a bike, he never thought the onus is on him to avoid hitting people with his bike. he thought she had to get out of his way and not he to brake and avoid hitting her. i said riding a bike is dangerous but it seems being a pedestrian is dangerous too… from cyclists.

well, i suppose all this is modern life. conflicts between different users of the public roads and pathways.

in a way u could say it is what your soul wants. after all, why that moment when u cross the road this cyclist comes along and hit you. why you, and why him. all the 24hrs in a day u can cross that road, why when u do, this cyclist comes along at the same time. why couldn’t he come along a few seconds before or after u, and so miss u entirely… why huh? there must be plenty of times when two souls did not collide… that is why when it happens it makes me wonder if those two souls wanted it. it reminds me of times when i read someone fell off a high building and lived to tell the tale, whilst another slip on the pavement, falls on his head and died.

if that is not enough to convince you that it is what their souls want, one did not want to die, the other did; nothing will. 

added. i went to the male circuit training this afternoon, in chelsea sports centre. this is my third session. the previous two were on very wet wednesdays… but today the sun was shining and i was able to see chelsea in sunshine, and to compare it with the last time when it was raining.

i prefer it raining actually. this is because the rainy day looks gloomy and so made my happiness more happy, because it is in contrast to the  general picture;  whilst today it is sunny and so my happiness did not seem so happy. it is the same happiness but with two different backgrounds that enhances in  one instance, and diminishes in the other instance. happiness is relative… i mean in a rainy day everyone is expected to be sad, so my happiness seems to be more happy. whilst on a sunny day, everyone is supposed to be happy and so my happiness dont seem so happy by comparison… does it make sense? haha. it makes sense to me, but i dont seem to be able to explain it better . 


would u like to be ruled by a despot in a rich country or be in a democratic but very poor country?

14 Aug

london 8.56am 19C bright sunny monday 2017

it seems it has been 70 yrs since india and pakistan got independence. and reading the article , i wonder if gandhi had known so many would have died, and the country torn in two, and the huge disruption it caused and the sectarian killings it brought about… would he still have asked for independence? did anyone ask him  how he felt when the results of the killings after partition were known?… did he say it was still worth it? or was he disillusioned with his fellow men…

if i were gandhi , i would… if i were gandhi i would feel i have led the country into disaster, and unleashed a demon and destroyed my country. i would be angry with myself for being so naive, to think that the two religions can live with each other. i would castigate myself for being so naive. and i would blame myself for causing those millions of deaths, and disruption to so many lives.   it seemed to me the british were the outside 3rd party force that kept the two factions at bay, the hindus and the muslims, and kept them from each other’s throats. no one realised it, until the reality happened, they got independence and all the bitterness between hindus and muslims were unleashed.

 like yugoslavia, it took a dictator to keep the two separate factions from killing each other, and once the dictator was overthrown, massacres occur, atrocities committed by both sides. and we have seen this scenario played out ever since in other countries. those who ask for independance, might like to be careful what they ask for they might get it.

i used to think freedom and independance and democracy , rule by majority. is all important. rather be poor and be a democracy than rich and be in a slave economy. i suppose it is better to be your own master, in a poor country than a slave in a rich country… so for the individual, it is better to be in a democracy, you will get the chance to better yourself or so u might think.  but like a lottery, it will be an illusion that those living in a poor democracy can get equal chances to ever get rich… many will remain dirt poor. only the elite will ever get the chance to be rich, whether they are in a despotic or democratic system.

plenty of others would argue ‘well, it is never so clear cut as that, most likely u will be in neither a poor nor rich country, ruled rather incompetently by a despot , or by an elected democracy. in which case, it might be better to be in that democracy. at least u can say if it goes to pot, u can say at least u voted for it’. haha. 

added. read this article about hindus who stayed on in pakistan, they see their children under 18yrs old being converted to islam and are fearful that they are being made extinct with their children being absorbed into the muslim majority.

13 Aug

london 10.30am 21.5C sunny morning sunday 2017

blue sky and all that this morning, sun streaming into my living room. it is worthy of note because it hasn’t been like this recently. it makes you appreciate it. and that is the nice thing about the weather here. the contrast makes u aware of nice days when they come. though for me, even the cloudy days are nice. i like both kind of days. so that it is not an issue with me. i think to enjoy living here u need to adopt that kind of attitude. otherwise u will be a very sad sack. haha. 

added. 1.02pm 23.4C sunny . paddington library.  i found 2 chairs in the recylcing. they are kitchen chairs. shall put up a picture when i get home. i was going to the library when i saw them, and had to carry them back to the flat before i could go on. i am in the library now, and i sat next to a lady who asked me if i was homeless. it seems she is a tenancy lawyer but spent her time helping out the homeless. when i sat next to her, she said her friend is now at the waitrose getting her a drink . and i found out she told me, that she would go there and get free coffee without anyone stopping her. it seems she got a load of old waitrose cups, which she use. so that is how you can get a free coffee without buying anything … but i did buy something this morning when i went there. they had brocolli reduced to 25p, so i bought two and got a free coffee cup.

i dont really drink coffee from them, nowadays. even before the rule that u must buy something to get your free coffee, i have not done it much. i just am getting free coffee everywhere, and i am not that keen on drinking coffee anyway. though i have to say i think they are very good to provide free coffee to their customers. it makes me feel good about them. even now when they bring in this rule that u must buy something from them, but as u can see, u can circumvent it, but also there is no minimum spend to get the free coffee. the lady who was sitting next to me, also told me a tale of how she was helping this homeless man, who is from the states, and is staying in uk illegally, and recently she asked him to look after her things while she goes to the toilet. it seems in this very library. she had asked him before to look after her things, and he had always asked her if there is any money in there… and she had always said no. but this time, she had gone to the bank to get £450 to pay for her storage and he stole it , along with her storage keys which were in her purse. i told her she had put a temptation in front of him and he just could not resist. but now she had lost her keys and had to pay £80 to the company to get another. it seems she pay £1400 a year for the storage, and this £450 was part payement. now she is debating whether to report the theft to the police. there was cctv pictures of the man stealing from her purse. she said she cried for days when it happened…

i suppose when u help the homeless you must be savvy and not be so naive as to wave huge amounts of money in front of them. it is unneccessarily testing their honesty. and many will be unable to resist the money. so dont tempt them, because when they fail you will lose your faith in humans, when really u should expect them to steal from you.

people who are homeless are obviously people who dont really have a strong mind, or discipline. a generalisation of course, but mostly true. and so u would not expect them to be able to resist temptation. of course we have read of the odd one who have returned huge amounts of money they found. it is newsworthy because it is rare. even amongst those of us who are not homeless… 

i found this book, by robert winder, the last wolf in the library today. so i borrowed it. it was mentioned in reviews as the cause of the shaping of the english landscape, when the extinction of wolves in uk, led to sheep farming. 

2.28pm 23.5C sunny home


i think i shall use tomato puree to make tomato ketchup.

12 Aug

london 7.12am 17.8C cloudybright saturday 2017

i dont use tomato ketchup , as they are so dilute and watery that they really taste of nothing but suger. its the colour that i like about it, the red colour brightens the food and makes a sweet and sour sauce looks nice. but that is really all that is good about it. i read this today that heinz sales of their ketchup is decreasing. people either go for spicy sauces, or buying the own brand ketchup.

it is no wonder really because heinz are really very expensive and somehow its owner, a big conglomerate, has destroyed the old recipe and it is not as thick and rich as before.

 ( i sometimes wonder if the original owners keep back some secrets of the sauce, when they sell the company to these conglomerates so they dont really get the real sauce. that is why the sauce changes and not always due to the meddling of the recipe by the new owners.)

people do notice these things. it does take time though for the public to notice, but once  the rot starts, it goes down fast. i think people have finally got wise to it. not to mention we all hate that they keep reducing the size of the bottle whilst charging the same.

reading this article about it, makes me realise the ketchup nowadays have been very watery ,not only heinz but the own brand ones too; so much so that it can fall out of the bottle very easily unlike the olden days when u have to shake and tap the bottom to get it out. maybe the manufacturers thought that it is a good thing, easy to get out, but to us the public, it seems like they have reduced the tomato content so much that it is like water now.

the ingredients list tomato puree, as the first ingredient. so we dont really know what is the percentage of tomatoes is in it. would it be better to buy the tomato puree itself and make your own ketchup? i think i shall do that from now on. lidls sells tomato puree, 200mg for 23p. but that might be old price, i have not checked in the store. if it is that price i shall get it,  elsewhere they are  about 37p. compare that with the ketchup price of about 44p for 500mg,though most of it is water.

unfortunately, we here in uk dont really benefit from the glut of tomatoes like they do in europe. i read with envy blogs that talk of it, the abundance of tomatoes at this time of year so much that they can afford to waste it in festivals where they throw tomatoes at all and sundry. what a waste! 

added. 15.8.17 to be fair to heinz, i was at the waitrose in marylebone high st, and had alook at their label, and see that it has


Tomatoes (148g per 100g Tomato Ketchup), Spirit Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, Spice and Herb Extracts (contain Celery), Spice

i have often wondered what it means. you often get this label in products containing tomatoes. how do u put 148g of tomatoes inside 100gm of ketchup? its been years since i tasted the heinz ketchup. perhaps to be fair to them i should try it just to see if it has gotten worse. i wonder if it does taste better than the ordinary ketchup, seeing it is made of tomatoes presumably concentrated,  and not puree in the cheaper own brands. i tried to find out what is in puree, but apart from them saying its consistency is thicker, they never mention how much tomatoes is in it. but maybe puree is pure tomatoes, and so no need to list its ingredients. heinz puree.

tourists trouble in spain, but not here.

11 Aug

london 4.35pm 21.9C cloudy bright friday 2017

9.15pm 19.2C dry night. well, its been a pleasant day today here in london for me.

and all these stories i read about tourists getting it in the neck by the anti tourist gangs in spain. haha. the locals or so we are led to believe are revolting against the huge influx of tourists, but i think it is political…  it all started in the barcelona area and we all know that part of spain have always wanted to secede from spain, and now they are being very aggressive in their attack on tourists and the touristy trade that caters to them. it is a way of drawing attention to themselves.  the central govt have categorically told them no… and so  to hit back at the central govt who refused to allow them to leave and gain independance from spain they are starting this strategy.  many of them are now branching off to the southern areas of spain and even the islands and start their agitating disruptions there.

i suppose they have some sympathy from the locals living there esp those who dont benefit at all from the influx of tourists. those who dont work for the tourist trade, or own restaurants or hotels, or rent out their flats via airbnb. but left to themselves these people wont be so upset as to get aggressive about it.  they realise that the whole economy benefits from the tourist trade.

but maybe the brits should just go elsewhere. come on, when u get it so crowded that even the locals are asking you to go elsewhere, just heed them and go elsewhere.

you can tell even though the £ is weaker and so it costs lots more to go there, we still go there. some people got more money than they know what to do with. or else, the increased costs is not that much to deter them. they can still afford it.  that is why i dont have much sympathy with people who say it costs more , let it cost more, high time these tourists pay through the nose for their holiday abroad. they are giving money to those foreign countries at the expense of their own country. now i come to think of it, the spaniards must have raised their hotel charges and other charges and still the tourists come… just goes to show u can charge very high, it does not deter the tourists… they are immune to high prices.

and what is this about their liquor prices. even though they charge high, it still remains cheaper than what people pay here in uk. just goes to show how much the british govt tax the alcoholic drinks here in uk. and cheap booze means a lot of bad behaviour due to drunkeness. a combination of cheap booze and sunshine means those places will always remain popular. perhaps that explains why those boozy tourists dont want to go elsewhere in the world. where else in the world is so easy about nudity and sexual behaviour than in spain… right?  one sure way of killing this golden goose is for the govt to put a huge tax on the booze. make it as expensive as in uk, that would kill it at once. haha. so that is what they should do if they are really serious about limiting the numbers.

but no one really wants that do they? tourists are like the wildebeest, they are the walking prey for everyone around. haha.

anyway here i am in london miles from all the tourist shit in europe, so enjoying life here. it may sound mundane taking the bus, going to the library, going to the supermarket haha. but it is quite enjoyable. i dont know why there are people who hate supermarket shopping for food. but they seem to have convinced themselves that it is a chore.

oh, yes, there is also the news about the eggs contamination by some thing or other originating from the netherlands. (and they are blaming each other for it amongst the european companies) and it is eggs from europe. haha. another knife into europe and their reputation for being very good about sticking to regulations . they have been caught spreading this all over the place and many of it has come into uk. ha. so i noticed the sandwich shelves in the supermarket are reduced , and that explains why. it is not the eggs as such, that is ok, so fresh eggs (they are british)are left alone; it is all the sandwiches made with eggs , and plenty got mayonnaise in them, hence they have to clear the shelves . 

added. 12.8.17 saturday. looks like the egg scandal is going to spread to desserts, cakes as well. 




how to make money by gaming the system

10 Aug

london 8.16am 13.6C cloudybright thursday 2017

the common wisdom is renewable energy is a good thing, wind farms are a good thing, lets build more of them and scotland got a lot of wind, so build in scotland.

this article shows how people are using this to make money. it seems too much energy is produced by these wind farms, and , get this, it cannot be sent down to england , so it gets shut down and the wind farm owners get compensation that is worth more than what they would sell it for. its a crazy system, but there is also another way … more wind farms are planned , because the scottish govt is letting them proceed, because it does not have to pay for it out of its budget. the english taxpayers pay for it.  its all a scam and we are all paying for it. no wonder so many say those climate change enthusiasts use it to propagate schemes like this to con the public. and no wonder our electricity tariff keeps rising, even though we are using renewables. 

added. one way to fight this is to use minimum electricity. at the moment i dont have to pay standing charges. so if u use very little electricity u dont have to pay those costs. once they bring in compulsory standing charges than we all have to pay those costs, whether we use little or a lot of electricity. but i fear in future we will find all of us will have to pay these costs. may have to accept it as part of modern life and keep finding ways to switch everything off or reduce the amount of electrical appliances we use.

added. 1.50pm virgin lounge. today there was pieces of chocolate cake , and i found out when  saw a intact birthday cake with happy birthday o it,  that today they are celebrating 2yrs of virgin media. and downstairs they have muffins with maple syrup and mixed fruit salad. i was too full to eat the muffins. 

and showing avatar on the big screen, with subtitles so it was easy to keep up with the dialogue. the sound was not clear, so it was not easy to hear what is said. or maybe it is just me and my deafness. but now i am seeing it in big screen and it shows up the beauty of the images.

4pm. home.  i did not stay till the end. its one of the modern things now, i find i dont have the patience to see things to the end. maybe in the old days when we see films in the cinema it forces us to see it out to the end. but with the tv, there are too many distractions and we, or i, have got into the habit of switching from channel to channel. anyway i came back and it is really a nice day out there… so blue sky and sunny. seems rather a shame to be spending it inside in a basement room watching a film.