Uber is encouraging slavery

Firstly, I should explain my scandalous title. Basically Uber drivers are forced to buy one of their flashy cars that are non-accessible to disabled users. They have to enter in to a contract to buy said car from Uber and also pay 25% of any fare they pick up. Also the drivers do not have to get proper insurance for transporting passengers unlike black cab drivers, so you aren’t covered if you get in an accident.  Also, there seems to be high turnover of Uber drivers as at the end of the day they don’t get paid very well and there seems to be high turnover of Uber drivers hence the constant advertising for new Uber minions and the increased cars on the road.

Maybe I’ve been listening to cab drivers too much, but given they drive wheelchair accessible cabs and have had to spend at least 3 years learning the knowledge, maybe they’re worth listening to. Yes, they earn a good wage, but they are worth it, given the extensive knowledge of the roads they have and inherent safety  built in as well. I may be slightly biased here given that I always feel safe in a black cab in my wheelchair, but it’s the same for every passenger.

They seemed to have been screwed over by TFL – the company/board that’s setting their rate of fare. It seems to be a free-for-all for new licenses for Uber drivers, thatIu8 don’t have the same knowledge and security, but can charge less and give 25% of their fare to Uber. Uber are owned by Goldman Sachs, the investment bankers,  which makes me ask the question who’s running the game and how come Uber drivers don’t have to jump through the same stringent hoops that ‘rich’ cab drivers have to jump through. Money  talks very loudly, but sometimes seem that people listen more carefully where they are going to benefit.

Seems like a strange scenario where Uber have been brought into the scene to destroy the cab trade. Seems fair enough…..why do they charge so much? Why do they know the best way to go? Why am I at risk of being attacked? etc. etc. etc. Only the fare-paying customer can choose to make the right choice or not given the facts they have….

This probably should have been a better post, but as usual my brain is distracted

Leaky gut theory

Another crazy way of helping the multitude of illnesses that may (or may not) be related to this theory. My solution is based on empirical evidence on the way beans and peas appear to aggravate my multiple sclerosis symptoms, and I making a big guess that they may affect other similar and not similar(?) illnesses.

The groundbreaking step I take to avoid this irritation I get is……. to not eat beans (and bean sprouts) and peas. It’s sadly not a way of making money, so am not giving this advice as a way to make profit, just to feel an enormous sense of well-being 🙂

Given that the NHS website (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/leaky-gut-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx) seems to dismiss the theory as the work of charlatans and those seeking to profit from other people’s misfortune, it seems like it will never be something that’s clinically tested and thus proven as a real fact. Maybe the “powers that be” may come across my blog and my somewhat limited evidence, and research this theory a bit more. but hopefully it’s a start anyway 😉

The People’s Supermarket – a good thing in a troubled world

I was shocked when I got an email from The People’s Supermarket saying that they are due to close. Located just round the corner from my work in Russell Square, it has become part of my lunchtime escape from the clutches of the internet and a glimpse of what can be achieved with a good idea and strong determination (nice one Arthur Potts-Dawson!).

For it to disappear would be a sign that a good idea without the help of big money, is just that; an idea. On paper, it seemed like it was destined to carry on going from strength to strength with The People’s Kitchen doing wonders with what other supermarkets would call waste, giving jobs, nay, careers, to people who were in need and showing what can be done with a lot of group effort.

Sadly, due to government cutbacks, good people will lose out. Whether it’s the disabled losing benefits, the elderly losing community centres or The People’s Supermarket not getting any leeway with paying council rates. I’m not fully up with what needs to be paid and why, but it seems very wrong, that something that does so much for the community in this Big Society should lose out.

Am sure that something can be done to save it, leaving this obituary to be hopelessly premature. Sign the petitition and show your support to a very good thing. If you’re moved to help them financially, donate some money, am sure any amount,  no matter how small, can help. Obviously a few thousand would be very helpful, but if there are lots of small donations that can help as well – it is The People’s Supermarket after all!

Football365 | Mediawatch | The Page That Got Round The Problem By Wearing Loafers

Non-Football Story Of The Day

‘Starbucks is being sued by the US government for firing a dwarf from her barista job in El Paso, Texas, after she asked for a stool or small stepladder to help her carry out her duties. Starbucks denied Elsa Sallard’s request and fired her from her barista job the same day, claiming the employee could pose a danger to customers and workers. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which filed the lawsuit on Monday, said the coffee company violated federal law by denying the employee, who was hired in July 2009 and let go after three days of training, a reasonable accommodation.

‘Starbucks has become a virtual icon of modern American culture, appealing to an incredibly diverse customer base,’ Robert Canino, a commission lawyer in Dallas, said in a statement. ‘We’d hope that when considering hiring a person with a disability, Starbucks would choose to enhance its brand with the mark of equal opportunity and access.’ Starbucks spokeswoman Stacey Krum commented that the woman was given her job on a trial basis. After three days, the El Paso store manager decided the work was too physically demanding for her to carry out. ‘Using the stool in that environment just wasn’t a reasonable accommodation in that store,’ she explained’ – Metro.

via Football365 | Mediawatch | The Page That Got Round The Problem By Wearing Loafers.

Me, rapping? Don’t make me laugh. Er…..

Well I did, at my friend’s wedding, in front of many people who I didn’t know and what’s more I did this into a microphone with a live band, unrehearsed. I guess technically it wasn’t rapping, but more like toasting or chatting or some other verb; whatever it’s called, it was the extra bit in UB40’s cover of Red Red Wine.

I had been forever messing around whenever I heard the song, doing my best ja-fake-an accent and doing what I thought was a very credible impression of the real thing. But this wasn’t into a mic. and I was just messing around. I’d never do it for real? Or would I?
So when one of your close friend’s asks me to do this , I’ve got to accept. I did have a get out clause because of my MS and a disease called ialwaysforgetlyricsitis, but I knew I had the ability to do it, and was just a question of whether my balls were big enough (talking to pretty ladies before the show may have helped with that!).
To combat my memory problems I had spent the day running the lyrics through head till I thought I couldn’t possibly forget them. When it came to showtime, that’s exactly what I did, so just kept repeating myself whilst throwing in a few correct lines every few repetitions. Only fans of the original rap would know there was mistake, so long as I kept it professional and not make it obvious I’d make a mistake, things would go smoothly. Except, I was a fan of the rap. I knew I’d made a mistake, I knew it wasn’t perfect, I was therefore rubbish. I also wasn’t Jamaican and couldn’t do a credible Jamaican accent. Well that’s what my half Jamaican girlfriend kept telling me – “saying beer can is not the Jamaican way of saying bacon!”.
Being complimented on my work just threw me completely. The complimentor must be a musical ignoramus. That’s what I kept thinking till the bride thanked me for doing it. Then I kept thinking that she felt sorry for me. Then some more people started complimenting me. Then I just accepted that other people thought I was good. They were mistaken of course 😉
p.s. The 2008 UK beatbox champ MC Zani was also at the wedding. He didn’t compliment me, and he’s knowledgeable about these things. End of. 😉

To beef up or qi up?

I appear to be getting stockier/bulkier. Well, a bit anyway. My idea of adding whey protein to my peanut butter and banana smoothie (with turmeric) seems to be paying dividends and my weekly visit to the gym has magicked up muscles where no muscles existed before. Then I started going to Chi/Qi kung/gong again; the Chinese martial art that’s focused more on cultivating internal energy than the ability to batter someone.

Exercises in Qi gong (I’m bored of appeasing the different Chinese dialects) require as much motivation than brute strength in execution. It’s an amazing art to practice and, as a mere beginner, should point you in the direction of http://www.meiquan.co.uk/qigong.htm to give further details about it.
Anyway, to go back to the original point, “To beef up or qi up?” I appear to be in a bit of a quandary. Working out in the gym feels good and is definitely beneficial for my MS. Qi Gong appears to be even better. Maybe I’ve fallen in love with the symbolism and mysticism surrounding Jackie Chan movies (Drunken Master etc.) or maybe my sense of logic recognises the ultimate truth in it’s practice. (Stop laughing at the back!), but I’m definitely going to focus more on unblocking the blockages in my system than create more!

X Factor – What’s the point?

X Factor isn’t a talent show, it’s a money making tool for Simon Cowell. There, I said it, everyone knows this already, but I had to get it down in print (well, virtual print anyway!)

Louis Walsh has once again picked a token joke entry; first Jedward and now Wagner. Both totally devoid of talent, but in some way, have drawn in the votes, so Mr Cowell can’t complain too much, except in the show where he is aghast at the rubbish he’s seen, and this in turn creates more joke votes to piss him off.
If the show was about talent don’t you think they might have pulled a few strings to allow the Zimbabwean Gamu and her family to have stayed in the country Her ineligibility to stay, needn’t have been mentioned till she was kicked off the show through not getting enough votes, and everyone would have been none the wiser. And she wouldn’t have received any sympathy votes.
Now there’s news that some of the final group already have contracts. Big Gasp.. shock horror etc. More proof that the show is pointless, but the masses (I’m included in that) lap it up, get angry, emotional or livid and perhaps vote to show their anger.
Actually, had a genius idea, well probably read it elsewhere, but can’t remember where, but eligibility to stay in Britain should be dependant on having a skill or talent. Oh wait, having a skill already counts, but talent? Perhaps a competition should be organised. Oh wait.. Am bored now. and Goldie’s off Strictly. What to do on a Saturday night now? Any ideas?

Reiki – Self-healing without the effort

Faith healing. Healing that requires strong faith.

I have a mixture of admiration and pity for those that believe in it. Admiration because part of me wishes that I had the same strong belief; Pity because the scientist/logician in me can’t make sense of it.

Then I was introduced to reiki (‘ki’ being the Japanese version of the Chinese ‘chi’ – internal energy) by a friend who said that some people with MS had experienced a positive effect after having it. Reiki involves the practitioner just placing their hands on, or near, a recipient’s head. The recipient doesn’t need to believe in anything, or think the reiki will have any effect; they just have to sit or lie there while the practitioner moves their hands around.

For me, reiki just gave me an enormous sense of relaxation; if I was lying down, I would have probably fallen asleep. For those with MS, relaxation is a definite good thing; but it’s not really healing. Then I took part in a reiki charity fundraising event a few weeks ago; reiki from several practitioners over an hour. The reiki had appeared to heal the tendonitis of my shoulder’s rotator cuff.

I’d been to see an osteopath to fix the problem and the healing process had started, but required effort by me to do the excercises to ensure the healing continued. Seemed like a fair trade-off to me and it wasn’t really at the forefront of my mind when having the reiki; I was more interested in helping the multiple sclerosis!

Catching up on DJing trends

Finally I’ve begun using my USB Ion Vinyl to MP3 converter and finally I’ve rediscovered what great tracks I own. Admittedly there’s a lot of chaff in there, but that’s a minimum!

I’ve also discovered a piece of very good DJing software that allows me to act as if I can still use vinyl. Is great, but costs money, so given that i’m disabled i thought it’d be harmless to use a hacked version till I make money from using it. 😉
Trouble is that now I’ve finally got into the swing of converting vinyl, i get distracted by messing about on the DJing software, so it’s going to be a very long process!

Gym today

Think I’m gonna start documenting what I did in the gym so I remember what I’ve done! Trouble is I don’t know the names of the machines/apparatus so this will be a very rough estimation of what I did!

Power plate
Did a lying down crunch for a minute to work my core muscles
and a minute(?) of a seated arm pull whilst holding the attached grips and resting feet on plate
Chest press
2 x 12 reps at 60 lbs
Leg Curls
2 x 12 reps at 40?? lbs
Bicep curls?
2 x 12 reps at 35 lbs
Tricep curls?
2 x 12 reps at 40lbs
Lats pull down?
2 x 12 reps at 60 lbs
Rowing/hand pedalling?
10 minutes at level 2 for 3?km
1 km at level 1 in 8minutes?