Tag Archives: city life

privacy

29 Jul

london

i just saw a video about how if u use free wifi when you are out and about, your movements are tracked and the information is used by whoever sets up the wifi to find out about what u like and to push adverts that you like your way. it says it is a bad thing to do. but is it?

maybe i am mistaken but to me it is a good tradeoff. i get free wifi, and you get info about my movements or rather about my gadgets movements, which is not the same thing because i could lend my gadget to someone else and their movements will be tracked.

also, if they can send me stuff that i like, i would welcome it. for eg, if they find out i like freebies, maybe they will send me vouchers to redeem free drinks or food, which they will know i like. haha.

better than they sending me spam , which i define as anything that is not of interest to me.  it is a win -win situation, dont you think? they get my business and i get to find out things that i like.

whether i follow up on the adverts sent to me is entirely within my control, and that is something they can never take away… so what is the harm in letting them know about my likes and dislikes. right?

All those who say our privacy is breached, seem to go on the assumption that we are so weak willed we will fall for everything they send our way and buy it. like we are robots or something.

maybe there are some people like that, but i should think most of us can say no.

or if u are one of those who cannot, you better shape up and start learning to say no, or u shall be end up being ‘eaten’ in this city jungle. 

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swimming in my local swimming pool

20 Jul

london

I went swimming this morning. it is a short walk from my flat, and there were not many people there because i was there quite early at about 10am, early for a sunday.

I have the whole of the slow lane to myself.  when i left it was getting more crowded. it is always very easy to swim in my local pool.

now that they have made the lockers take £1 coins, i think it makes them more secure, because i have not have anything stolen from them.

i hope so, because nowadays i bring my chromebook with me, as i usually go to the swimming pool after i go to the library… i wuld not like it at all if someone broke into the lockers and steal my chromebook. I make sure i chose the lockers in the area that everyone has to pass by, just in case there is a thief about, they might not target those lockers that everyone passes by constantly.

there are no ctv cameras in changing rooms so it is difficult to catch any thief. 

so if there is a thief that thief can operate without any fear of being caught. it just takes one thief to make everyone’s life a misery. so if u catch one in action, haul them to the desk and insist on the police being called. you will be doing everyone a great favour.

 in the past this was not so, and i had things stolen when someone had picked the lock. in the past it took 20p coins. they are all returnable, but now if u forget to take them back, u lose £1. haha. or if u get these coins, u gain an extra £1. quite a lot of money to lose, or to find. 

but i read this account of how people have to queue in new delhi just to get to apply for the membership to use the swimming pool and i realised again how fortunate i live in london. There are so many things i take for granted in london that people find it a luxury in so called developing countries.

makes us who live in london quite complacent and it takes this article to make us realise how very nice it is to live here. 

 

its 12.3C in london now at 22.58 wed 8 jan 2014

8 Jan

london

It’s very mild tonight. no rain; and indoors my thermostat reads 18C. no heating on. The weather websites says the outside temperature is 12.3C. the lowest temp today is 9.8C at 4.04am. 

I have a feeling we are having all this flooding because of the high temperatures keeping the rain as rain rather than snow. if it were very cold, we would get snow instead of floods; and the melting would take place over a long period of time and so we wont get flooding. so i guess it is either flooding or huge snow blanket over the whole country. like what they are experiencing in the usa now. i think purely for selfish reasons i like what we are having now, flooding and mild temperatures. haha. 

Sorry to those who are flooded out in some parts of the country and rail commuters stranded in london because of disrupted rail services. but that is the price u pay for not living in london. haha. as far as i am concerned, those of us living in london dont notice this flooding at all. Not for the first time that i am reminded of how lovely it is to be living in london instead of anywhere else in uk. 

I think this winter will be mild for those of us who live in london. As usual, one lot gets it cushy with the weather but another lot in another part of the country or in another country gets it in the neck. That is life i guess. and it is also likely that the parts of the country least able to cope will be affected. We here in london, even if the weather gets bad, like that time when it snowed here, (was it the winter of 2010/11?) london can easily cope and money is always available to deal with it. the city is rich and can afford to throw money at the problem, and also the city earns so much, it must keep its services running in spite of the weather. whilst out in the country side, if your  house is flooded or snowed under, not many are affected and/or those affected dont add that much money to the economy, so there is no priority to get them out of it quickly. That is why it is so good to be living in the big city. 

I benefit from it even though i am an insignificant person.It just so happens there are plenty of people who are productive living all round me. so plenty of services spring up to cater for them and they make the city run smoothly. 

Whenever anything go wrong around here, like a burst pipe so that water wells up and flood the road, i dont have to bother informing the services, as someone else always will have notified them allready, and it gets fixed. 

Of course all this comes at a price, collectively paid by all of us , in our council taxes, or in the sales tax, or for those who own cars through residents parking charges or fines, or congestion charges, but since there are so many of us, the cost is spread out and so no individual gets to pay a lot. but we forget businesses also pay their share, maybe quite a larger share, and help subsidise the cost for us who live here. I am a great advocate of city living. I think that might be the future, when the country side is virtually empty, only used to grow things and provide recreation like hunting, and everyone lives in huge connurbations that make up megacities. 

london is 6th for infrastructure, 37th for quality of life

5 Dec

London

I was just talking about how people’s perception of how expensive a city is may be due to reading of business surveys like this one done to assess the quality of life and infrastructure in cities to rank them for the purposes of companies deciding how much to compensate their people who are sent to work there. It is done by mercer.com

dubai ranked top 
The title is a misnomer, as it turned out Dubai is only ranked top for its region, the middle east. It fares badly when compared with the world.

http://www.mercer.com/

London is ranked 6th for infrastructure , because of “its high level of public services offered, with its extensive public transportation system including airports, the London underground buses and railroad services.“
It is obvious these expats do not commute haha. Outside the rush hour, the public transport is first rate, and I say so from personal experience. And it is the mark of a good transport system that is as good outside the rush hour as within it. So many will place all their buses and trains to cope with the rush hour and neglect the off peak times but not in London.

London is 37th for quality of life.

Vienna in Austria is 1st for quality of life, 16th for infrastructure.

Singapore is 1st for infrastructure, 25th for quality of life.

New york which is used as the bench mark is 44th for quality of life, 30th for infrastructure.

Added. i was browsing wordpress and saw this post by a singaporean poster. not sure if he is a citizen or one of the guest workers that singapore imports to run its services. it is a post about a strike by the bus company . which is unheard of. a strike in singapore! so looking between the lines, all that good infrastructure is at the cost of cheap imported labour and making slaves of those poor saps who come in to work. 

The workers were protesting because they were paid less than malaysian workers. who most probably are paid less than singapore workers or more likely there are no singaporeans willing to work for those wages. aha. those striking  workers are from china. 

some thoughts

3 Dec

London

A guy says he is bisexual. Another said even so, u still have a preference. It is like a chap who said he is an independent voter, he will have a preference party that he more often than not votes for.

I wonder if someone who says he is bisexual is really tending towards being gay but is not willing to say so. Saying bisexual is a half way point to finally acknowledging he is gay.

This is because if u are straight, u don’t need to say u are anything else. But if u are gay, It is such a stigma to be gay, even nowadays, u want to step into a half way house first.

Have you notice this… that if u are gay and u sleep once with a woman , nobody accuses u of being straight, but  if u are straight and sleep with a guy once  and boy will they be branding u gay.

In an ideal world, we will not be labelling each other, but than maybe the way we are made makes us have to label things, that is how we as a species have survived. We label something as good or bad for us, for eg, good to eat or dangerous to eat, or dangerous to go there, or not… labelling makes us avoid dangerous situations. It is a a short hand to let us make sense of the world and the environment and each other so we can suss a person out immediately in terms of whether they are enemies or friends.

Anyone different from us will by definition be an enemy. In the past this would make u stay alive or not.

Now of course we all live in a society and no one goes killing another for food or territory or females to mate. So labelling is not so useful anymore but u cannot expect us to ditch all those evolutionary traits that have served us well for 1000s of years of evolution just like that.

http://cheezburger.com/6819257344

This one is regarding steve gough , the naked rambler. It seems the police don’t want to keep him locked up but he insists on being naked and Scottish law for some reason do not want people going naked. He has shown them up to be upholding a foolish law. People say steve is stubborn, but I think he is showing that a foolish law is a foolish law and a throwback to the olden days and it is high time Scotland acknowledge this and remove this willingness to make nakedness a contempt of court or breach of the peace. Which is the two laws used to jail him.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19625542

This one is saying London is costly to live in. if u are a visitor , it is… because u have to live in a hotel, and accommodation esp short term ones are expensive. And also being a visitor u only go to the touristy places that sell overpriced goods and eat at touristy restaurants. So of course u will find it expensive.

I think also people read of these surveys done by companies and magazines that cater to the businessman to let them compare cost of living in various cities and because these guys go to high end restaurants and stay at high end hotels, and take taxis, and so on, it is not surprising they give an impression that London is expensive.

Take it from me. I am a Londoner and it is very cheap for me to live here. It is cheaper to move around and get things here in London than for my friends living in the small towns and villages. For one thing, public transport for them is scarce, so they have to shop locally and it is not cheap to shop local as they are like captive shoppers and the businesses near them know it. It may be they are small shops and so their costs are high relative to the bulk buying that big nationwide retailers can command. But whatever the reason it is not cheap. Whilst I can get very much reduced prices for food at the end of the day in the supermarkets in London. Even the normal prices for meat etc are lower than in the villages.

With public transport so scarce, and expensive, people need the car. And we all know it is expensive to keep a car. And it is colder in the country, so they have to put on their heating. Whilst for me in London, it seldom gets that cold, and I have not have to put on my heating for 4yrs or so now.

Also , people tend to live in flats in London and the heat between flats helps keep them warm. In the country the houses are old and separate and so harder to keep warm.

The whole city has a warming effect. The buildings retain their heat and radiate it out at night. Cities are like heat sinks.

Also so many things are thrown out that u can furnish a flat using stuff u pick up in recycling bins for free. I have yet to see such a thing happening in the country villages and small towns.

http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/london-costs-but-thats-a-small-price-to-pay-8371619.html

I have been browsing the gay blogs in wordpress and I find them rather sad. Are there no happy gay guys anywhere? Gay guys who love their lives?
I love being gay and my life is wonderful. And I am not rich. Surely there must be tons of others like me, but maybe a happy life is not very pluggable nor is it fun to write about. After all who wants to read of someone who is happy. It just makes you feel awful when u compare it with your life. Most people are not happy.

Still, I do wish there are more happy gay guys blogging about it rather than the gay section full of rather sad gay people or always writing about the bad things that happen.

Sad is more entertaining to read , it seems. Well it must be so otherwise why do we have such sad blogs talking of sad things? Whether they are gay or straight sad and bad seem to get a lot more press. I don’t know why…

I find it saddening to read sad things, and I avoid them, but I guess humans being being what they are, it makes people glad to read that others are worst off than they are.

Someone in a broadcast says it is a human trait to compare your situation with others, so if u say for eg, trains are 89% on time, or some such figure, people are not happy , but if u say trains in uk are generally more punctual than trains in germany, u will find a lot of people will brighten up at that. He says people in uk are always happier if there is anything here that is better than germany. Haha.

Is that so?

He said, now that the trains have put up notices
saying when the next train is coming, people are much happier about it than before when they don’t know when the next train is due.

Though I find people get angry again if the sign is wrong, and their 7min train stretches to 10mins or more with the last minute taking ages to change.

It is true I for one prefer this notice of when the next train or bus is due. I think It is because then it gives us the option to catch another train or bus instead or go and do something else first.

He was talking about changing your perception to make yourself happy or sad . A very useful strategy to make yourself happy.

In that broadcast he also said why pensioners feel happier than young unemployed. Both are jobless.

I think that is obvious, because old people have already lived their lives and have done and seen all they want to. Whilst young people are just setting out on their lives and want to see and experience everything and lack of money or jobs will restrict them.

One is at the beginning of their lives, the other is at the end.

And it is a fact that once u have seen life and done most things, u know what they are like and u can say, it is nice to have seen and done them, but it is no big deal. It is not really as nice as u think it can be. So u can retire knowing u have not missed much.

Whilst the young still think there are wonderful things they should do and see, and I shall be missing out if I don’t. and how am I going to do and see these things if I don’t have a job and money?

a visit to a naturist club

1 Dec

London

I was just reminded by a blog that it is soon going to be 2013. 20, 30 years ago would we have imagined what it would be like in 2013?Some who is 40 now or 50 now they would be just 10yrs/20yrs old, or 20/30yrs old then. Or if u are 60 now, you will be 30/40yrs old.

added 2.12.12 today is 20 yrs since the first text message was sent. they are allready saying social networking is taking over and making it obsolete. 

Somehow, the gap is bigger at 10yrs and 40yrs. Than at 30yrs and 60yrs.

Both are 30yrs between them, but don’t you think it is much more difficult to imagine what u will be like at 40yrs when you are 10yrs old whereas it is quite easy to imagine what u will be at 60yrs when u are 30yrs old.

Somehow I feel that a 10yr old will experience bigger changes in his life when he finally reaches 40yrs than a 30yr old when he reaches 60yrs.

Perhaps it is not surprising because when u are 10yrs old u are more or less at the mercy of other people, your parents for sure. And being a kid your personality is not formed at all and can change in any direction. Whilst I think by 30yrs old, u have more or less got the personality for life. And then the next big change in you will be after 60yrs old.

That is my theory anyway. Haha.

Today, I went to a naturist club in south London. it’s a lovely place. Must have started out as a big property with a large garden. Founded about 1933, and had a swimming pool built in 1934. Which when u consider in those days heated swimming pools must be quite rare in uk is quite a innovative thing to do. Esp an outdoor pool too when the british weather is so inclement. Maybe that is why they incorporated a temporary plastic roof that encloses the pool during winter and can be dismantled in summer.

Its sad that their membership is declining. But in a way, it is their fault for being afraid to offend their female membership by admitting more men. They say their female members will not like it. How true is that? Maybe that is an old fashioned view, that the men in that club still harbours, or the women of the previous generation still harbours. That men and women should not see each other naked, maybe that is the view of the older generation of women, whilst this generation of women may not believe that at all.

I don’t know. But whatever it is , it is preventing the club from admitting more men. So the men that are there are old. The women are old, and I wonder whether that gives the impression it is a geriatric home.

The place needs huge amounts of money to improve the facilities as it gets older. The trouble with buildings is that they age and need upgrading.

I know my block of flats, built in 1898 needs regular maintainance, which is taken care of in the lease which insists that it be done every 8-9yrs. So at least the fabric of the building is kept in good shape.

But when u own the house, and there is no lease that insists u do regular maintainance, the temptation is to let the work slide, and let benign neglect take over.

Until the roof leaks or something collapses.

Anyway, we had a lovely time enjoying the facillities. The swimming pool is just lovely to swim it, very deep which for those who know, makes for really great swimming as it makes the body more buoyant.

They are so laid back, I was swimming with my friend and suddenly realised that they have not asked me to pay the £5 , and my friend say oh it is a donation, and there is a pot on the table for people to put the money in.

I did not see the pot.

When we were about to leave, I mentioned to my friend what happened to this donation pot, and he pointed it out to me. It was sitting on the table where the two ladies were collecting the invitation and ticking off the names.

They are so sweet, not insisting on people putting in money . I wish them success in keeping their club thriving. And just hope that somehow they have a change of heart and realise that opening the club to new members and men will rejuvenate the place.

In the discussion in the sauna about this, someone said they don’t want to have more men, as it will change the dynamics. Excluding men, who form 50% of the population will lead to their downfall, and generally the downfall of all landed naturist clubs.

As it is so many of us do not see the landed clubs as being revelant to our naked lifestyle.
We don’t feel the need to hide ourselves as we don’t mind who sees us naked.

Can u imagine what it will be like 30yrs from now, to all these landed clubs and naked lifestyle? Will we have a situation when being naked is normal and there are places for it as it is not anything to remark on.

I find it hard to imagine it happening. don’t you?

We left at about 2pm, and my friend said he is in no hurry to return to Guildford where he lives and since his day ticket allows him free travel into London after 11am, he said he will wander around London and see the lights.

So I decided to join him, and it so happened the train we got was going to London bridge so that was where we went.

And we wandered into borough market. I have heard of this place, where u get gourmet food being sold. I thought it was near borough tube station, but it was very near the London bridge station.

my friend was tempted to buy the boar pie, reduced half price to £3. it was very heavy he said. so must be dense with meat. i am sure he would enjoy it. 

And coming out of the station we were surprised to see the base of the shard.

It was not very impressive close up, unlike when it was seen in the distance and when it is lit up.

That was surprising, the base was empty, no shops or lobby or anything.

And in contrast to it, we went into southwark cathedral and just marvelled at the vaulted ceilings and carved stone work. I think it must have been touched up and restored because everything look so new and sharply carved with some parts left  in their original state of broken looking and bits knocked off.

It was built about 1100s. So must have been built after the norman conquest. in 1066. First as a priory.

I have been seeing a tv program , the dark ages, and so I know this priory was not built during the dark ages. which is between 4AD and 1066. 

It was enjoyable looking at bits of London that I did not know about. Even though I have lived here so long. It is nice to investigate these with a friend.

And we ended up in costas, in old Compton street and my friend treated me to a capuchino there. Not a bad price, £2.25 for a medium cup which is really big. I cannot imagine what their big size must be. It would be the size of a soup bowl I think. Haha.

It was very frothy and I was eating it with the spoon. Haha.
Very nice indeed.

Your Christmas gadgets aren’t getting much cheaper this year

22 Nov

there is this reblog facility in wordpress which i have a fancy to try. just to see what it is like. and this post about the price of laptops is one that i want to comment on.
the price has not changed much, still about £300 , but the specifications have bettered considerably. so just comparing the price does not tell the whole story.
now for the same money which i bought my laptop 5yrs ago, i can get one with 4G RAM, and 500GB HDD. compare that to my old laptop which i am still using 1GB DDR2 , 120G.
however, the old laptop still has plenty of life left in it, so i dont need to change. i am waiting to see what more i can get. like there is now on offer £225 for a google chrome laptop. and another an acer costing £199.
http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/chrome/devices/landing-acer.html

there are so many choices now, and they are getting cheaper. and the technology is by passing the need for big RAM or HDD. the only thing i dislike is the size of the screen. i like my present 15″ screen.

this is because i dont carry it around but use my laptop at home. so size and weight or battery life is not a important factor for me. though power usage is, so i wonder if long battery life means it uses v low power, or is it just a powerful battery that can keep up.
but all this is not enough to get me to replace my old laptop. until my laptop gives up the ghost, i will carry on using it.
now there is smart phones to compete as well. but again to me they are not desireable as they have very small screens and keyboards so i cannot touch type with them.
but i know nowadays no one learns to touch type anymore. they know how to type using thumbs of both hands instead.