Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Lost Envelope Found - Story of what happened when I found a lost envelope

The other day I was getting home from work and as I was walking up to my building I saw a blue rectangle on the ground in the landscaped area. I always clean up garbage around the property so I walked over to it and picked it up.

It was an envelope with someone's name on the front and a return address sticker on the back. There was no stamp or postal marking so it looked like a card that was going to be handed over in person.

The card itself was sealed and it had some thickness to it. I shook it around and it appeared to have more than just a a single card in it.

I thought about what my options were. I didn't know who it was for but I did have the return address.

I decided to see if I could find some contact information for the name on the back. With a quick internet search I was able to find a phone number. I didn't know if the number would actually be right, but I figured I would give it a try.

Also in the mean time, I pulled up the security camera footage in front of our building to see if I could track down where it came from. After a little digging, I actually found it. It turns out someone pulled up to pick someone up and when they stepped out of the car, the envelope fell on the ground. I still didn't know who they were, but I decided to give them a call at the number I found.

So the next day I called the number and the person picked up. I confirmed their name and asked if they lost a card the other day. They said yes and confirmed where they lost it. I told them I would like to get it back to them. We arranged for her to come by later that day to pick it up.

When she came by, she was very relieved and thankful because the card was important. She said it was for a widow and it was going to be given to them at a funeral. She said that it had money inside so she was very thankful that I made the effort to return it to her. She gave be $20 cash as a thank you. I told her she didn't have to but she insisted so that was very nice of her.

Overall I am happy with my decision to get in contact with her to return the lost card. In situations like this, you have to put yourself in their shoes. If you lost an important card like that and someone found it, wouldn't you hope that they would try to get it back to you? If you ever find something like this, I recommend trying to return it to the owner. You will save the day and you might even be rewarded for your efforts!

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Don't buy a car from a dealership without knowing these things first. How to avoid getting ripped off.

Buying a new car or even a used car from a dealership can be a little intimidating especially if it is your first time. If you don't know what you are doing and have not done your research, chances are you are going to get ripped off and you will end up paying a lot more than you should for the car. Here are some tips I learned from my recent experiences visiting car dealerships.

First thing to know is that it is a good idea to check the prices at several dealerships in the area. When I visited one nearby, they immediately told me they are marking their cars up several thousand over MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). Some people might just accept that and go forward with the purchase, but after doing a little research, I found that the other dealerships nearby were are selling for MSRP or lower.

Another big thing to know is dealerships often try to add extra charges for basically nonsense items. For example they will have a charge for a paint and interior protection and they will tell you it is already applied to the car so you have to pay for it. Or they will have a charge for VIN etching which is completely unnecessary, and again they will try to tell you it has already been done (even if it hasn't) and you have to pay for it.

Don't let them get away with these added charges and features that you did not ask for. These things are only added as an excuse to charge the customer more money for basically nothing.

I have found when dealerships give you a quote, they often just tell you a final number and avoid actually showing you the breakdown of the costs. This is because they don't want you to see the extra charges they sneak in there.

When doing your research on the car, know the MSRP or the advertised price, and know how much all the taxes and fees should be. Once you have this number, stick to it and don't let them charge you more. If they present you with an offer that is higher, refuse it. They may try to keep pushing you to pay this higher price. This kind of negotiation can be uncomfortable especially with a stranger you just met, but you have to stick to your guns.

You also have to be willing to walk out if they do not meet your price. Many people will give in because they want the car or because they really need the car soon. It's a good idea to visit the dealership before you really need the car, this way, you have some leverage because you can walk out if they don't lower the price to what it should be.

Also, read reviews of the dealership before visiting. Each one is different and may have different selling tactics. See what others have been saying. You will be able to learn from other customers who have already been through it so they can offer tips on what to look out for.

Overall, the message is just be very prepared before going in and don't let them take advantage of you. By being educated about the car buying process, you can avoid getting ripped off and you will have a much better chance at getting a fair deal on your new car.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

The range of clothing sizes between mens and boys is nearly non-existent - Trying to find clothes that fit

Finding clothes that fit can be a challenge for anyone. With so many different body shapes and clothing brands, it can take a lot of time trying on various articles of clothes before finding something that is a good fit. This process can be particularly difficult if you have a body shape that is uncommon either in height or weight or a combination of both.

In my case I fall right into the range between mens and boys sizes. This means the mens sizes are usually too big while the kids sizes are usually too small or just don't work for other reasons.

For example in pants I wear a size 28x28, but the problem is, most brands start around 30x30. Then if you go down to the kids sizes, they are different because they go by sizes such as L or XL. Usually the sizing is odd and does not follow the same dimensions as the men's sizes. Also the build quality of kids sizes is often worse when it comes to features and design.

Same goes for shirts. A men's small is usually too big. A size XS is good, but these sizes are very rare as most brands will start the men's sizes at size small. The same issue applies when going down to kids sizes where the dimensions are different and the quality is not as good. Not to mention the selection of big kids sizes such as the L and XL tend to be very limited and are often out of stock.

This makes it very difficult to find clothes that are a good fit. Given the choice of going with men's or boy's sizes, I usually go with men's because the styles are better as well as the quality, but inevitably most of my clothes end up being about one size too big because of this.

Now there are some brands that will go down to the smaller sizes in men's sizes, but the selection is usually much more limited and if they specialize in smaller sizes like this, they tend to be more expensive than the commonly available brands.

This gap between men's and kid's sizes is kind of puzzling because people grow at a steady rate. Yes, kids may have a growth spurt, but they don't magically skip sizes. There are many people who would fall in this range but for some reason the clothing companies are not making clothes to fit this group of people.

Has anyone else noticed this issue with a lack of clothing options between kids and adult sizes? Have you found any good solutions or places that sell smaller men's clothes? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Stores Need To Do More To Stop Shoplifting

Today I was at a grocery store sitting in a chair by the pharmacy when I noticed a woman put a set of air fresheners back on an end shelf where they did not belong. This is a pet peeve of mine so in my head I am already disapproving of what this person just did.

Shortly after, someone who she was with joins her. The first woman points to the air fresheners and says something about them having a security alarm on them, and she proceeded to leave them on the shelf. That raised a red flag and immediately I was on high alert.

I saw the 2 walk back down the isle and stop by the air fresheners again. They were just out of view so I could not see exactly what they were doing, but after about 30 seconds they left.

Out of curiosity I walked down to where they were standing. Right when I got there, I saw the exact same kind of air fresheners, out of place again, only this time it was opened up with one of the air fresheners missing. Now technically I did not see it happen, but based on all the clues, it is pretty obvious who took it.

There was an employee stocking shelves nearby so I told her there was an opened package with something missing and I think someone just took it. She was just kind of like, “Yeah we see this kind of thing all the time.” I was like, “There are cameras here (pointing above). Can they check it?” And she was just kind of like “Yeah people watch the cameras”, but it was clear she was not going to do anything about it.

On my way out, I stopped by customer service to let them know what happened. I asked if I could talk with security to fill them in, but the customer service person basically said, even if someone did steal the air freshener, they are not going to do anything about it. She went on to say how the work and time involved would not be worth it for them.

This was pretty discouraging to hear. The customer service is basically saying people can just take whatever they want and walk out without paying and they won't do anything about it. What kind of message is this sending?

I understand her reasoning and how it would take time and work to pursue something like this and for a small item it might not be worth the trouble on an individual basis, but by allowing this kind of thing to happen, they are setting a bad precedent that will encourage more behavior like this.

When this person is able to steal an item and not have any consequence whatsoever, the message they are walking away with is that this is something they can do and nothing will happen to them. As word spreads about cases like this where shoplifters are not pursued by the stores, it can certainly encourage more of the same behavior.

There has to be more of an effort made to stop people from stealing, or at least pursue a case against them if they do steal. Yes, it might cost more in the short term, but in the long term it has to be better if it can reduce the likelihood of things being stolen from the store.

We have rules and laws for a reason. If they are not enforced, they are meaningless. Stores and security need to step up and put a stop to this kind of thing.

Update 3-14-23:

There was a question posted on Reddit recently asking people what they would do if they saw someone stealing food from a store. I checked out the responses and was appalled by how many people said they wouldn't do anything and that they would actually condone it.

Some people argued that if someone is stealing food, they probably need it. I would argue that if someone needs food, there are better options available besides stealing. Community resources such as food banks are specifically put in place to provide food for those who need it.

Others said that big corporations are already rich so it doesn't affect them. These corporations may have a lot of money but that does not mean it is ok to steal from them. That is like saying it is ok to steal from someone as long as they have more money than you.

Some people said it is not their job so why would they do anything about it. In my opinion there is a fundamental flaw in this way of thinking. Just because you don't work at security in a store does not mean you should ignore something like retail theft. I will elaborate on why. 

Even if it is not your job to stop retail theft, indirectly it is still affecting you. You won't notice it right away, but in the long run, it can have a big effect. 

The clearest example of this is in areas where shoplifting has gotten out of hand. What do stores do when people keep taking their stuff without paying? They close down the store and move to a better place where people don't steal. When many stores in a community close down and no one else wants to open up a new store, you can imagine what a negative effect this has on a community. 

We have rules and laws in society for a reason. They keep order and peace and make sure everything runs smoothly so we don't have chaos. When people stop following the rules and laws, that's when problems arise. That is when things go from peaceful to stressful. That is when a good living environment turns into a bad living environment. What kind of world do you want to live in?

Stealing from a store is just a small example of this, but it is the kind of thing that contributes to the breakdown of these rules and laws of society. If we want to maintain a good life, we all have to not only uphold these rules and laws ourselves, but we also have to hold each other accountable when they are broken. It doesn't matter if it is not your "job" to say something if you witness a theft. It is your duty as a member of society to do the right thing and make sure others do the same.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Andrew Tate may be the most misunderstood person on the planet - The problem with media and misinformation

One of the most talked about and controversial figures, Andrew Tate continues to make headlines and while on the surface it seems like he has a lot of haters, he also has a lot of supporters. So why is this the case?

I first heard of him probably about a year ago. I saw some video of him and immediately thought, who is this guy? Upon first impression you see what looks like an arrogant guy with a lot of money saying controversial things.

Upon doing some searching, you will find a lot of articles painting him in a negative light. You will also find a lot of comments from people expressing their dislike for him. So when you see things like this, it's easy to see how people would jump to the conclusion immediately and decide they don't like him.

I will admit, at first I didn't like him just based on those first impressions, but he was interesting enough for me to dig deeper and start looking into more of his videos and particularly his long form interviews with respected hosts.

When you actually give him a chance and watch some of these interviews, you start to realize he is actually a very smart individual with interesting views on many topics. He is able to address any criticism that is thrown at him. In most cases, he has to defend himself again false allegations or soundbites of himself that have been taken out of context in an effort to try to slander him.

Andrew is able to pretty much answer any question that is thrown at him and he does so in a brilliant way. What's interesting about this, is often his views are very different from the norm. He expresses values that sometimes go against what most people think, but when he explains his reasoning, it usually makes sense even if you still disagree with it.

After having done a fair amount of research and having watched many of his hour long + interviews, I have come away with a favorable impression of Andrew Tate. I don't necessarily agree with everything he says or does, but I do think he is generally a good guy and is an important voice in our society today.

One thing you will notice after watching a lot of his interviews is he actually has a sense of humor and will often say things in a way that he knows will get a rise out of people. He is one of the most searched people of recent times for a reason. It's because he knows how to get people's attention. Being boring and following the script does not get attention. Saying controversial things does get attention and he knows this and takes full advantage of it.

Once realizing this, you kind of have to take everything he says with a grain of salt. Yes, he means what he says, but often he will say it in a way that he knows is going to get people worked up and talking about it, even if he has to exaggerate what he actually thinks about a certain topic.

So back to the question posed earlier about why there are so many people that seem to dislike him. I think it comes down to a couple reasons. One, the higher-ups in media and those with power see him becoming very influential and they don't like it so they have made efforts to try to bring him down. This is done by publishing negative articles about him online and in social media as well as pushing to get him banned from various platforms.

It's become clear that these days we can't really believe what we see on the internet. Basically if the media wants to push a certain agenda, they will, and when it reaches enough people, it becomes accepted as truth even if it is not.

You can see examples of this in politics depending on if you visit a conservative or a liberal news group. There can be a news event in politics and you will get a completely different view point for it depending on which news source you are getting it from.

In Andrew's case, the majority took the side of trying to make him out to be the villain. So when people start hearing about him and they go to look him up, they are presented with headlines and clips that make him out to be a bad guy.

Like myself, most people are going to go off their first impressions and maybe a quick Google search and immediately decide they don't like him. They will then go to the comments and social media and express this, even though they really don't know much about him. It snowballs like this and suddenly everyone doesn't like him, but not because they did their research on who he is and what he actually believes, but because of a first impression and a few headlines or clips that were designed to get clicks.

So why am I writing this article in the first place? Andrew Tate doesn't need my help. He is doing just fine on his own. My main issue is with people taking strong opinions on matters and then posting them out to the world when they really don't know what they are talking about.

There is so much misinformation out there and with social media, anyone can say anything, and that word will spread. We know you shouldn't believe everything you see out there, but unfortunately people do anyway. If they see a post by someone they follow on social media chances are they are going to be influenced by it whether it is true or not. If they see a news article headline sensationalizing an event in order to get people to click on it, chances are people will just go by that headline without even reading into the article.

The overall message here is that you really have to be careful about what you believe these days. Before spreading comments or opinions on a matter, make sure you have researched it thoroughly enough to have a good understanding about it. There is enough misinformation out there from sources we consider to be credible. Make sure you decide for yourself what you want to think about an issue, not what others want you to think about it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Sonoma - Ronan 2 Shoe Review - First Impressions

Sonoma Ronan 2 Shoes
Recently I was looking for a replacement for a business casual shoe; something that looks nice and somewhat dressy, but is also comfortable and sporty enough for everyday wear. I have worn Rockport's for a long time with the Eureka and World Tour models, both of which are great for this kind of shoe, but unfortunately in recent years, they seem to be too narrow for my foot.

I noticed at Kohls they had a pretty good selection of shoes so I decided to try a few of them out. One that caught my eye was the Sonoma Ronan 2 oxford sneakers. They are kind of like a hybrid of a formal and casual shoe.

The upper material has a woven style for the forefoot which gives it a modern look and also good comfort and breathability. Then it has suede overlays for the midfoot and heel as well as leather highlights on the heel and tongue. Around the ankle it is finished off with a neoprene-like material. The midsole is white and the outsole is a gum rubber color which gives it a sporty and classy look.

I tried them on in store and they were surprisingly comfortable. Often when you try on different shoes, they don't fit well, but these seemed to be good right off the bat. The sizing definitely runs big. I usually wear a 9 or a 9.5 for most shoes, but in these I had to go down to an 8.5 and they are still pretty roomy. I even tried an 8 which was ok, but a little snug so I figured 8.5 would be the best.

One thing that really drew me to this shoe was the price. Retail was listed at $54.99 but they were on sale and had a coupon code option which brought the price down to $39.99! In a time where everything seems to be getting more expensive and name brand shoes like this can easily get up over $100, it's nice to see there are still some reasonably priced footwear options available.

I noticed the Sonoma Goods for Life brand seems to be a Kohls specific brand as they are not available in other stores. This might be one of the reasons they can keep the costs lower. I don't mind if it is a house brand, in fact I like how it does not have logos on it like most companies tend to do with their shoes. Given the style, price, and comfort, I couldn't pass these up, so I decided to buy them.

At home I tried them out some more. They are very comfortable and roomy in the forefoot. The heel height is noticeably higher than the forefoot. I would prefer a more level footbed, but it's not a big deal. Cushioning is ok and about what you would expect from a business casual shoe.

Even though the toe is a woven material, it does have some structure on the inside which keeps the shape and gives protection to the toes. The sole is stable and has a smooth transition from heel to toe. The bottom of the outsole is pretty flat with minimal tread depth so they are probably best on dry surfaces. Overall I was pleased with the build quality of the shoe.

Given the style of the shoe, it is probably best for warmer seasons such as Spring, Summer, or Fall. I would not recommend wearing them in snow or wet conditions based on the woven material and the smooth outsole.

I will update this review over time as I get more wear out of these shoes, but for now, I am impressed with them. They look good, they are comfortable, and the price is very reasonable. If you are looking for a shoe like this, I recommend trying them out!

Friday, December 9, 2022

Youtube Shorts Have Ruined Youtube

Youtube Shorts were introduced last year and since, then they have slowly made Youtube worse. In the past, most Youtube videos were at least a few minutes long and creators would put effort into making them. Youtube Shorts on the other hand tend to be low effort videos that in my opinion usually are not even worth watching.

These days when I log in to see my subscriptions feed, about half of the videos are Shorts. I find myself skipping most of these as they are usually just clips from longer videos, or they are just something that is not worth even clicking on based on the title.

I get that Youtube introduced Shorts to compete with other streaming video companies, and I get that Shorts are geared towards mobile devices rather than computers. I can see how they might be easier for people to create and post using their phone.

The main issue is that they are mixed in with the regular Youtube videos. The Shorts should be separate or at least have an option to opt-out of seeing them or having them in your subscription feed.

There are a few reasons why I don't like Shorts. One, there is no time stamp to see how long they are. Two, you can't control the playback when they are playing such as going forward or back in the video. Three, they play on a loop. No one needs a video to replay immediately after it has finished. Four, the vertical video. I know its better for phones, but not for computers.

I say Youtube Shorts are ruining Youtube because it seems they are making creators lazy as well as making viewers lazy. Creators who are just going for views would probably rather just record a quick minute of themselves talking rather than take the time to sit down and record and edit a quality video that is several minutes long. Viewers may also start losing their attention span by getting in the habit of scrolling through these quick videos rather than watching the longer length videos.

Overall I think Youtube Shorts are ok as a separate format. I just think they should not be mixed in with traditional Youtube videos because they are bringing down the quality as a whole. What are your thoughts on Youtube Shorts? Are they the future of Youtube videos or are they the downfall of Youtube?