Thursday, May 31, 2018

Should neighbors in apartments and condos be able to play loud music?

There are many benefits to living in an apartment or condo or even a town home, for example it tends to be more affordable and less work to maintain. There are however some downsides to living in close quarters to other residents and one of those is the issue of noise.

Anyone who has lived in a building with neighbors either next door or above or below knows that it is common to be able to hear your neighbors sometimes. It might be footsteps from above, talking, or tv from next door. While some daily living noise is expected, it can become a problem if your neighbors start getting too loud for example playing loud music.

As someone who lives in a building with neighboring residents, there have been times where I have noticed loud music being played and it can be very bothersome, especially if there is a subwoofer with bass that tends to travel through walls and is hard to block out. So the question is, should people who live in an apartment type building be able to play loud music?

Out of consideration of fellow residents, I think people should not listen to loud music if it can be heard easily through the walls by other residents. This noise causes a disturbance and disrupts the peace of nearby neighbors. While listening to music or tv at a reasonable level is ok, people need to be respectful of others when it comes to making noise like this that may bother their neighbors.

There is however a contrasting point of view, one that may be had by those who like to listen to loud music. They may say that it is their right to listen to music at a level they want and that if someone wants complete silence, they should not choose to live in a place such as an apartment or a condo building.

So who is right? I think in this case, there has to be a bit of a compromise from both perspectives. Complete silence is unreasonable to expect when living in close quarters to other residents. At the same time, a neighbor should be able to listen to music at a reasonable level but it should be low enough so that it does not bother those around them. They should also be respectful of the time of day they are playing music and should not play it late at night when most people are trying to sleep.

Do you have noisy neighbors or are neighbors complaining about your noise? Feel free to post thoughts on this issue in the comments below.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Needle.com Chat Job Review – What it is like to work for Needle as Chat Advocate

I have worked for Needle as a chat advocate for several years. During this time there have been plenty of ups and downs and here we will go over what it is like to work for Needle as a chat advocate.

So what is Needle exactly? Needle is a company that provides the chat feature that is used for many online stores. Companies who want to have live chat help on their website will partner with Needle to get this service. Needle then hires and trains people who will be the ones to chat with customers and help them on the client's website.

Back when I started, I was looking for work from home type jobs because I was tired of working at my regular job out in the field. I tried a few different things such as affiliate marketing and internet content reviewing until I heard about an opening at Needle.com for chat jobs. I had never done a job like this before but it was for a company that I liked so I decided to give it a try.

The on-boarding consisted of filling out the application, taking a few basic skills tests, studying some tutorials, and eventually doing practice chats and final interviews through chat. If you do well on everything, you may be invited to start taking chats shortly after.

There is some training, but much of the content and website catalog must be learned on your own. It will be up to you to stay on top of any new products, policies, or information so you will be able to help the customers with any questions they have.

Taking chats can be fun especially if you are passionate about the products and enjoy helping people. The type of customers you interact with can depend on which client you work for, but for the most part customers are appreciative of the help. Of course there are times when you get unhappy customers and there is not much you can do, but you just try to do your best with the resources available.

Earnings can also depend on which client you work for. Some pay money per chat while others reimburse with a points system that gives points based on performance. Points can then be redeemed for things like gift cards and products from the client websites. Since earnings are based on chats, it can be good when it is busy but not so good when it is slow. Advocates can take several chats at the same time which can increase your pay/points but can also be more stressful trying to manage several conversations at the same time.

The chat system works pretty well for the most part, but there can be a few bugs here and there. For a workstation, I recommend a desktop with a dual monitor setup to allow two screens at the same time. A laptop or just one screen is ok but it will be more difficult switching back and forth between windows.

Hours are flexible but schedule priority is based on average points earned for the week. Points are earned from things like making sales, having a good satisfaction rating, and having a fast response time.

The experience you have can depend a lot on the management assigned as well as the other advocates you work with. Over the years, we had some good managers who were very involved and gave a lot of encouragement, but we also had some at times who were not as involved and did not provide much help.

The platform allows you to interact online with the other advocates so you can get to know them as co-workers. As with any job, there may be some you get along with well and possibly others not as much. Some communities are more active in communicating with each other than others so this can depend on which program you work with.

This job provides a lot of independence so most of the time you will be on your own. You may not hear much from the managers unless there is some important news or updates or unless there is something you really need to improve on. Recently, they have made efforts to get the management more involved with the advocates.

Overall, if you are looking for a part time work from home type job and you are a decent typer and have good internet research and navigation skills I would recommend trying out the chat advocate job with Needle.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

What would you do if you were the last person on Earth?

Suppose you woke up one day and realized you were the only person around. All other people and animals had vanished, but other than that, everything else was the same. What would you do?

This is fun question to think about, and there really is a lot to think about if you put yourself in this situation. For this scenario, one direction to take it is that of survival. This would involve making sure you had food and basic necessities to survive for many years.

To make the scenario more fun, lets assume everything keeps running as usual even after everyone has disappeared. This means all utilities such as electricity, water, and internet still work. We will even say that resources like food will be automatically replenished so you do not have to worry about food expiring.

So basically everything would be the same but there would be no people or living things. Although there would still be things like the internet, it would not be populated by new content since there would be no people to create it.

If you found yourself in this situation, what would you do?

Where would you live?
Where would you go?
What would you do for fun?
What things would you try to find?
What would you like about this new situation?
What new challenges would you face?

I recommend try thinking about what you would do before reading what others would do. Below is what I came up with if I found myself in the situation of being the last person on Earth:
------------
At first, I would probably start out very cautious and not do too much out of the ordinary. I would probably explore a bit locally until I got to the realization that there were no other people around and this would be the new reality.

Next, I would probably start venturing out and head over to a car dealership to pick up a nice car. I would probably get one sporty car for fun, and also a van or SUV to use for transporting things.

Then I would probably go to the grocery store to pick up a bunch of food. I think it would be fun to have the store all to yourself and be able to get anything without having to worry about the cost.

I would probably go to some of the local stores and pick up any supplies that might be needed such as tools or extra clothes. I might also go to a toy store or sporting goods store to try to find some activities for fun.

For safety, I would probably find some weapons as well because you would have to ensure your own protection now that there are no other people to protect you. There would be no threat of other people, but you would have to be prepared for anything just in case.

After having explored everything locally, I would start to venture out to other cities and start traveling around the country. For living situations, I would find homes or hotels at each location to stay at.

I might pick up a large RV camper to make traveling more comfortable and convenient. I would check out notable destinations like big cities, landmarks, and national parks. I think the traveling would help give a sense of purpose and would help prevent boredom.

One of the biggest challenges other than having to deal with loneliness would be safety. Since there would be no one to take care of you, you would have to be very careful not to get hurt. You can't call 911 if there is an emergency because there would be no one to respond.

Also you would have to be careful not to get stranded in the middle of nowhere. For example, if you were traveling long distance, you would have to make sure to have plenty of fuel as well as things like food and water in case anything were to happen.

After years, if I had explored everything within the country, I might consider trying to get to other countries. The challenge would be, it would probably involve travel by airplane or boat. These are skills that would need to be learned and even once learned would still involve some level or risk.

While I think being the only person on Earth would be fun at first, I have a feeling it would get boring or lonely sooner than expected. This might lead to a desperate attempt to find if there were any other people out there.

If years of searching did not find anyone, I would probably just continue trying to find new things to do and find ways to keep myself busy. It's hard to imagine a long term plan in this setting. I think it would involve just trying to stay healthy and keep searching to find any signs of life.

What would you do if you were the last person on Earth?

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Cobra Kai Review – Karate Kid Youtube Red Series

Karate Kid is one of those iconic movies everyone should see. I remember watching it many times back in the 80's so when I saw they were continuing the story with a Youtube Red series, of course I had to check it out.  



The series is called Cobra Kai, named after the dojo from the original film and it takes place in modern time where we see what former rivals Daniel Larusso and Johnny Lawrence are up to now. While both had tried to put their karate past behind them, it manages to resurface again.

Johnny gets inspired to start up the Cobra Kai dojo again. Daniel is not happy about this as it brings back all the old memories and goes against what he stands for. There are a lot of new intertwining story lines that continue the rivalry between these two as well as the new generation of karate kids that are introduced in this series.

The Cobra Kai series features 10 episodes, about a half hour each in length. It is on Youtube Red which is a paid subscription version of Youtube, but you can watch the first couple episodes for free. Also you can get a free 1 month trial of Youtube Red in case you want to watch the full series.

After watching the first 2 episodes, it was surprisingly better than expected! It has a good amount of nostalgia with callbacks to the original. They even mix in some never before seen clips from the original movie when they do flashbacks which is a great touch! I was convinced to sign up for the free trial of Youtube Red in order to watch the full season.

After watching the full season, I would say it was pretty good! The series does have a fair amount of cliches and it is somewhat predictable, but that is ok. They do a great job at showing Daniel and Johnny in modern day with new struggles as they run into each other again.

Overall the series is pretty lighthearted and has a good mix of humor, drama, and action. I think most fans of the original film will enjoy it and even those who are not familiar with the original can still enjoy this series.

I figured this series would wrap up at the end of the last episode, but the way they left it, there is plenty of opportunity for the series to continue of they choose. You could say it was risky trying to make a reboot of a classic movie like Karate Kid, but I think in this case it was a success!