Friday, January 8, 2021

Hinge App Review - First Impressions of the Dating App

I have tried several dating sites and apps over the years without much success. Recently took some time off from them which actually felt good, but one of my goals for the new year is to give it another go, I decided to sign up for one of the newer apps I have not tried yet.

The Hinge app seems to be one of the more popular options at the moment and has decent ratings so I figured I would try it out. The sign up was pretty easy, you just enter in some basic information, answer a few questions, and upload some pictures.

They let you pick 3 prompts to answer and that is about all you get in terms of giving the other person an idea of who you are. Personally I do not think this is enough especially when many of the questions seem kind of irrelevant. I tried to pick the ones that allow you to explain a bit about who you are and what you like.

For the pictures, they want you to add at least 6 pictures. I actually found this to be hard because I don't tend to take a lot of pictures of myself and I don't have many pictures with others on my phone. So I ended up having to dig through pictures on my computer to try to find some to transfer over to the phone to upload.

Upon trying out the app itself, it is pretty straight forward but they don't really give you much guidance or instruction on the features. It shows you one profile at a time and you pretty much have to make a decision if you like or dislike them based on the pictures and a few statements they filled out. It also gives you some basic information such as age and location. A lot of the basics are optional though so you may or may not see them.

One big issue I found was the location. It has you select your location on a map, but for some reason it does not go by the town, but instead somehow goes by neighborhood names. So for example, I was not even able to select the name of the town where I live. It would only give these odd neighborhood names that no one would even know. I mean I live here and I have not even heard of half these names. I ended up selecting the next town over since at least it was a recognizable town which was near by. They really need to fix this issue.

Also they have another option to enter your hometown but it is not clear if that is where you live now or where you grew up, so the whole location thing is very confusing in this app.

Another thing I don''t really like is they want you to add captions to your pictures, but you can't add your own caption, instead you have to pick from their list of preset captions. So when you are going through the profiles you keep seeing the same repetitive captions on all the pictures. It doesn't really make sense.

The app lets you choose a few parameters to help narrow down the search for example age range and distance, but I found that these don't seem to work very well. For example I had an age range set but it kept sending me profiles outside the range. Same for the distance, I had a distance of 20 miles set but it kept sending me matches that were definitely further away than that.

When you are shown a profile, you have the option to “like” a picture or statement, or you can “X” it to pass. Personally I don't like the concrete “Yes or No” method. I wish there was a “Maybe” option or at least an option to save or skip without having to commit to a like or pass. They also have an option to give a “rose” which is more special since it is limited to 1 per week.

So far I am still new to the app so I'm still testing it out and learning it, but for first impression, honestly I don't like it too much. I think it does not really give you enough opportunity to explain who you are in your profile since you pretty much just get your pictures and 3 statements. Also it is buggy as some of the features do not seem to work like they should.

I will give it a little time and try to use if for a while to see if anything materializes but honestly I do not have high expectations for this one. They describe this app as being designed to be deleted, like they want you to find a match and then delete the app, but I have a feeling I may end up just deleting the app. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Folding Stop Signs are a waste of money and are more trouble than they are worth

You may have noticed foldable stop signs placed at intersections throughout the streets. In my community these are very common and can be found at most busy intersections. You might wonder why they are there or what they are for? Apparently they are there so that if the stop light goes out, the sign can be unfolded to become a stop.

The problem is, most of the time these signs get opened up unintentionally by the wind. In fact, in all my years of driving, I have never actually seen these being put to use properly, but I see them opened up all the time when they are not supposed to be open. They are supposed to be secured closed by a tie or a lock, but often these are missing so the signs end up opening up on their own.

When a stop light goes out, it usually switches to the flashing red mode which means it is to be treated as a 4 way stop. So when drivers see this, they know they have to stop. They don't need stop signs to be opened up as well.

So I find these signs to be pretty much pointless and not only that, they are expensive! Upon looking them up an average folding stop sign sells for about $200! That's $800 per intersection! Think about how much money is being spent on these signs when they are at every busy intersection. It seems like an incredible waste of taxpayer money.

I have a feeling the sign companies are taking advantage of the situation marketing these products to villages and public works as a way to make things safer when really they are unnecessary and actually more problematic than they are helpful. If you are considering adding these kinds of signs to your town, please consider if they are actually worth it.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Best Youtube Channels of 2020

It's that time to announce the best Youtube channels of 2020. Like last year, the best Youtube channels list will focus on channels that have not yet been featured in previous years. This year the list has a nice mix of channels from Youtuber's that really stood out this year. So without further ado, here are Connected Isolation's picks for the best Youtube channels of 2020:

1. Esther Club (podcast / variety)
Esther Povitsky is a stand up comedian, actress, and most recently tie dye clothing designer. Esther Club is her channel where she posts podcast style videos each week. At this time it has a relatively small but loyal fan base. She talks about whatever is on her mind and sometimes has guests join her on the show. Esther has a likable personality and makes you feel like you are part of the club. Here is a recent episode where she had comedian Annie Lederman on the show.


2. ReuBekah Vidz (pranks)
Reuben and Bekah are a couple who play pranks on each other post it on Youtube for our enjoyment. They have a good relationship but that does not stop them from pranking each other whenever they get the chance. In this video she gives him swim trunks that dissolve at the seams when they get wet and well you can imagine what happens when he unknowingly ventures into the water on a public beach.


3. Melissa VillaseƱor (podcast / variety)
Melissa VillaseƱor is a comedian and impressionist and is also on Saturday Night Live. She currently has a channel where she does a podcast style show called Laughing With Myself. Each show has a mix of comedy, impressions, and talk about whatever is on her mind. I actually did feature this channel a few years back but I decided to make an exception and feature it again this year because the content is different with the show.


4. Jim Browning (scammer justice)
Jim Browning is on a mission to stop scammers from taking advantage of people. He uses his computer skills to track down individuals trying to steal money from people online and over the phone. He is very good with computers so often he is able to see exactly what they are doing in real time and then warn the victim that they have been talking to a scammer so they do not give them any money. In this video he actually manages to get access to the security cameras of the building where some of the scammers are working.


5. Reponut (vehicle repossession / life)
Matt from the Reponut channel works in the line of vehicle repossession where he tracks down cars of owners who are not making their payments. The channel has a lot of information on this topic but he also gives a lot of helpful advice on life in general in each of his videos. In this video he tracks down a couple cars and also talks about life after prison.


6. Curious Cars (car reviews)
Bill from the Curious Cars channel (previously Auto Europa Naples) reviews cars, but his style is a lot different from most car reviewers out there. As he puts it, you get tangents, history, sarcasm, non sequiturs, outrage, and even the weather report. It's always great to hear what he has to say about not only the cars but whatever else is going on at the moment. In this video, he reviews the Hummer H1.


7. Miranda Sings (funny)
Miranda Sings is a character and channel created by Colleen Ballinger. Miranda sees herself as incredibly talented in singing, acting, dancing, magic, modeling etc, but in fact she is not as talented as she thinks which makes it funny. Her channel is very popular and doesn't need the extra promotion but I have not featured it here yet and I have to give credit where credit is due. I love the character and her videos are very funny. She even has a Netflix series and a couple books based on Miranda. Here is one of her videos where she switches lives with her baby Pinto Bean for 24 hours.


Check out the best Youtube channels from previous years here: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

One Mississippi Show Review - Tig Notaro's show based on her real life

Recently I was checking out some of the offerings available on Amazon Prime video and I noticed Tig Notaro had a show called One Mississippi. Tig has been one of my favorite comedians for some time now so of course I had to check it out. I didn't know much about the series going in, I just kind of jumped right in to it.

The show is based on Tig's real life and it goes over some of the topics which she has had to deal with in recent times such as sickness, cancer, and the sudden loss of her mother. It may sound kind of depressing but it is not. There is some humor throughout but I would not consider it a comedy necessarily.

The first season is 6 episodes that are about 25 minutes each so it goes very fast. I really enjoyed the first season. Tig is very much herself which makes the acting easy, but even playing the role as herself, I found her acting to be very impressive.

We also meet Tig's step father Bill who is probably my favorite character. He has that personality where everything in his life has to be very particular and controlled the way he wants it. I found his character to be very relatable. His acting is so good, I had to keep asking myself, “Wait, is he an actor or is this real?”

Other characters we meet along the way include her brother Remy as well as some of the relationship interests of the characters.

The second season is also 6 episodes and picks up where the first season left off. I enjoyed the second season as well but I think the first season was better. The first season just seemed so real and authentic while the second season seemed more like it was written like how most shows are.

Overall I would highly recommend checking out One Mississippi. If you are a fan or Tig's, you are sure to enjoy it and even if you are not familiar with her, I think you will enjoy the show.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Windows 10 2004 Booting Slow From Hibernate

Recently my computer updated Windows 10 to version 2004. The computer was running fine before the update, but after the new version was installed, I noticed it would take a very long time to boot up from Hibernate. Before, it would boot up in about 10 seconds but in version 2004 it takes over a minute. Also programs seem to respond slowly after booting up.

I made sure everything was up to date and did the usual restarts, but it still remained slow. I restored it back to version 1909 and that fixed it. I would have been fine staying with version 1909 but of course Windows keeps trying to get you to do the update. It puts the update icon in the task bar and in the Power menu.

I looked into ways to disable the updates but it seems there is no easy way to do this. They let you delay the update for about a month but then they want you to do the update.

I find it to be pretty annoying that an update like this breaks a simple function such as Hibernate. If they are going to force people to do an update, the update should make the computer better not worse. I'm tired of software companies doing updates to programs and apps that work fine only to end up making them worse. This happens all the time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

So as of right now I pretty much can't use Hibernate anymore. The Sleep option is working fine and booting up from Shut Down seems to be about the same as before so I guess I will be sticking to these options until the next Windows update.

Has anyone else noticed this issue with Windows 10 version 2004?

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Zep Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Review

I am pretty good about cleaning my toilet once a week, but over time it had started to build up a coating of some kind at the bottom and around the underside of the rim. It seemed no amount of cleaning was helping. I even tried scraping it off but it was really stuck on there good.

I also had noticed the toilet began getting clogged very easily. I had a feeling the deposits building up around the bottom were starting to narrow the pathway and were causing the clogs to happen more frequently.

After doing some research I decided to try out Zep Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner. I picked it up at a hardware store for about $5.

Upon trying it out, it is pretty easy to use. You squeeze and twist the cap which opens it and then you just squirt it around the toilet. I expected the smell to be strong but it was actually not bad at all and has a clean fresh scent. I let it sit and swished it around with the toilet brush. They say you only have to leave it for 5 minutes but I let it sit for longer hoping it would work better.


After flushing it, I did not see much difference. I tried a few more times, again letting it sit longer for several hours and it slowly started to break down the deposits and clean the residue that was stuck around the rim.

It seemed to work best if I pushed most of water out and then put in the cleaner so it was more concentrated. Using the brush to swish it around and help scrape around the sides also seemed to work pretty well.

After doing several treatments over a few weeks and using about 2/3rds of the bottle, I would say that the results are not perfect but much better than before. It was able to clean around the sides and under the rim pretty good with a little residue still there. The bottom which was the most stubborn is also much better with the only deposits left are way back where the brush cannot reach. 




Also I have not had any more issues with it getting clogged since using this product so it must have cleaned it well enough to break down whatever was preventing it from flushing properly.

Overall I would say the product worked pretty good and was worth the money. I will include the before and after pictures here to show the results. If you have been having issues like this with your toilet, I would recommend trying out the Zep cleaner.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Light Bulb Warranties and Other Warranties that are Useless

A few years ago, I bought a pack of LED light bulbs. On the front of the package it says they last for 13 years*. On the back it says they have a 5 year warranty (based on 3 hours of use per day). That right there is already a big discrepancy, but that's not even the issue I have with it.

I figured the bulbs should last at least 5 years and if they didn't then I would be able to get a replacement. So I kept the receipt just in case. Sure enough, 3 years in and one of the bulbs is not working. I pull out the box that I had been saving and review the warranty information.

It says if the bulb does not last 5 years you can get a replacement bulb by sending them the proof of purchase and shipping them the light bulb. Here is the problem, the bulb itself is only worth about $1 and shipping a light bulb across the country is going to cost more than $1 so if you wanted to claim the warranty, you would actually end up losing money.

Because of this, the warranty is essentially meaningless. They say they will replace the bulb but if it is going to cost the consumer more money in the process than the bulb is actually worth, no one will actually claim the warranty. I think this is poor practice on the part of the company. If they are going to offer a warranty like this, it should not cost the consumer money to claim it.

I had a new box of LED light bulbs from another brand and they have the same kind of warranty where you have to ship them the bulb in order to get a replacement. This returning defective items by mail may work on high value items, but for low value items like light bulbs, it simply does not work.

I would not be surprised if there are other warranties out there like this where the cost to process them is more than the item is worth. Have you found any other items with warranties like this? 

Update 11-17-20:

I ended up contacting the manufacturer by email and was able to submit a claim without sending in the bulb. About a week later I got a letter back that included a coupon for a replacement! I am pleased they were able to honor the warranty without having to mail the bulb back.