Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The System of Reporting Issues to Police Needs to be Improved

The other day I witnessed someone littering by throwing bags of garbage out of their car into a parking lot. If you follow this blog you know that I take littering very seriously and I also believe in taking action when you see something that is not right.

So as soon as it happened I got my phone camera out and managed to get a picture of the license plate and make and model of the car. I thought about calling in a police report right then but I needed some time to review the evidence and put together all the details so I decided to wait until I got home to send it in.

Once home, I emailed the picture and all the information I had to the local police. I thought for sure they would be able to identify the person and maybe even issue a ticket for a fine, but instead I got a reply saying they cannot accept police reports by email so if I wanted to report it, I had to call 911.

I have called 911 in the past so I kind of know what to expect, but I don't really like calling it unless it is an emergency. But for this case I really wanted to see if something could be done if enough steps were taken. So the next morning I called and placed the report by giving them all the information they asked for.

I thought that was pretty good and maybe they will be able to issue a ticket or at least put it on their record or something. Then a short while later I get a call from a police officer who was following up on it so I explained all the details to him.

Unfortunately the officer said there was not much they could do. He recommended calling it in as soon as it happened, but really I don't think that would have made any difference. I was able to give more information by taking the time to assemble all the details of the case.

He said they would need video evidence, but I got the evidence in the picture with the identifying information and the garbage next to their car with the lights illuminated on the car showing they were about to drive away. So really it seems like they could have done something about it if they wanted to but just didn't want to bother with it.  

Something I found surprising was that he seemed to be more interested in my information than the person who committed the crime. He was asking details like my birth date and even middle initial. I should have asked why but I didn't want him to think I was trying to hide anything. I'm sure he just wanted to look me up in the system to get more of an idea of who he was talking to.

Anyway, I came away from the experience being pretty disappointed with the police service. I caught someone in the act committing a crime and got enough evidence to identify them and still justice was not served.

Crimes need to be able to be reported by email, not just by phone. These days many people do not even like talking on the phone anymore. In a case like mine where there is picture evidence to submit, it needs to be done by email. Reporting by phone is good for an emergency, but for other issues, they should be submitted using an online form. Hopefully changes can be made in the near future to improve this system.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Ben and Jerrys Mint Chocoloate Cookie Non-Dairy Ice Cream Review

My favorite ice cream flavor for a long time has Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie, so when I saw it was offered in a non-dairy version, I had to try it out. I have tried other non-dairy ice creams in the past and usually they are ok but not nearly as good as the original dairy versions. 

Upon trying this one out, I was surprised at how similar it tastes compared to the original Mint Chocolate Cookie. The main mint and cookie flavors are identical. The ice cream itself seems to be nearly identical but I would describe it as slightly more icy as if it were made with a slightly lower fat milk. 

How do they manage to get it to taste so similar without dairy? For the ingredients it uses sunflower milk instead of cream. There are a few other differences in the ingredients but this seems to be the main change. 

For the nutrition it is a little lower in fat but still has a surprisingly high amount of saturated fat considering it is non-dairy. I guess this is needed to keep the creamy texture like the original. It does have 0 cholesterol which is much lower than the original. It is still pretty high in sugar at 26g. It does have about 1/3 the amount of protein compared to the dairy version. I noticed they added pea protein to the ingredients to help get some protein in there. 

Overall I am very impressed with the Ben & Jerry's non-dairy Mint Chocolate Cookie. They did a fantastic job replicating the original flavor and texture while adhering to the change in the ingredients. If you like the original flavor and are interested in trying the non-dairy version, I highly recommend it!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Spam and Advertisements Infiltrating Google Maps

I use Google Maps a lot and for the most part it is pretty good, but one issue I have with it lately is the amount of spam that is popping up on the maps. Often when you zoom in you will see what looks like the name of a business but if you look closer you will notice it is placed on a residential house. Dig into the details more and you will often find that the business is not actually located there and may not even have a location at all.

It seems many people are just using Google Maps as a free way to advertise their business. They will put a link to their website in some random place hoping to get more traffic and attention for their business. This is a problem because these links are cluttering the maps with useless information. Businesses that have no physical store location should not be posting on Google Maps. It is not a free advertising service.

You can report these posts but in my experience reporting them does not do much and I still see the same listings on the maps long after they have been reported. Google really needs to do something about this issue.

It seems anyone with a Google account and put whatever they want on the map. Google needs to start verifying this stuff better before publishing it to the world. They need to find a way to distinguish businesses from houses and areas on the map where nothing even exists.

I know some people may have a home based business and for those, I might give an exception if they use their home address as their business address. For the other cases where people are just posting links to their business in places that have nothing to do with their business it is not ok and these listings should be removed.

People at Google, please look into this before Google Maps becomes just a mess of random spam and advertisements.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

People who take shopping carts off the property and abandon them

One of my pet peeves is when people take shopping carts far beyond the store property limits and then abandon them wherever they feel like it. You may see this sometimes in the nearby areas around grocery stores.

It seems as though some people who do not have a car will load their groceries into a cart and then wheel it over to where they live so they do not have to carry all the groceries by hand. While I don't really think this is acceptable and there are probably other better solutions available, I would excuse this under one condition and that is that they return the cart when they are done with it!

It is bad enough people are taking carts off the property away from stores, but then to just abandon the cart in the middle of nowhere is completely unacceptable. Who do they think is going to collect the cart from there? It is going to stay wherever it was left for weeks, maybe even months until someone decides to do something about it.

Maybe a good samaritan will take the time to wheel it back or maybe eventually someone from store management will arrange to have the cart picked up and brought back to the store. But really the person who originally took it should bring it back.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Life After Death - Topic and Questions

Recently I started researching the topic of life after death and found there are many convincing reports of kids who remember a past life. They are able to give specific details about a person of the past who they would have no way of knowing anything about. The cases have been researched and the details seem to check out.

There are also many reports of near death experiences where someone dies and their consciousness goes on, but then they are brought back and come back to life. They are then able to recall what they experienced when they died.

There have also been many reports of ghosts or unexplained occurrences especially in places that have a long history such as old homes and buildings where people used to live or work.

Cases like the ones above seem to infer that consciousness goes on after physical death. The idea of reincarnation may exist. When one dies, transition to another life may not happen instantly but can take weeks, months, or even years.

There is certainly a lot we still do not know about life and what happens after we die. Here are some questions that can be discussed in relation to life after death. Feel free to reply with any thoughts, ideas, or experiences.

What happens after we die?

Where does the consciousness go between physical lives?

Does one get to choose where they go next after death? If not, how is it decided?

Does one's actions in life have an affect on what happens after death such as in the idea of karma?

Does one's beliefs have any affect on what happens after death?

When does consciousness begin in a living thing? At conception? At birth? Shortly after birth?

What about location? Can one be reincarnated anywhere on Earth? What about other planets or places in the universe?

Can one be reincarnated into other living things such as animals?

Why does one's knowledge and memory not carry over in most cases of reincarnation?

We have rules here on Earth that we live by, but what are the rules of the universe?

Does our consciousness have a name or identity since it would be different depending on which living thing it inhabits?

Are dreams related in some way? Could dreams be more like our consciousness when it is between physical lives?

Could people with dissociative identity disorder or gender non-conforming people be remembering their past life which is making their current identity confusing?

Why is physical life so detailed with so many things that don't seem to make sense for them to exist at all?

Are there certain things a person must accomplish in their physical life to move on to another stage?

Does dying early or in an unexpected way have an affect on what happens next with the consciousness?

How does time play into it? Is time as consciousness the same as time in the physical world?

How significant is the act of having children since it is a way to create a new physical being that will have a consciousness? 

Can those who have died still see and observe the living world which they came from? If so, do they have the ability to affect the physical world?

Can different consciousness's interact with each other while they are in between physical lives?

What about the time before the Earth existed and eventually if life on Earth comes to an end, would consciousness's have to exist somewhere else or find another physical world to inhabit?

We tend to take death very seriously here on Earth, treating it as though when it happens everything is over, but if life goes on after death than it may not be such a big deal at all but instead simply a transition to the next life.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The use of the name Karen as a derogatory word needs to stop

I will start by saying, no my name is not Karen, but I believe the recent trend of calling people “Karen” as an insult is wrong and needs to stop. Calling someone a bad name based on an identity characteristic they have no control over is not ok.

Usually in situations like this, the person being described is not actually named Karen, but the person saying it is still using the name of other people as an insult.

There are a lot of people who have this name and unfortunately it happened to catch on as a way to describe a certain type of person. The people with this name should not be subjected to a negative association just because of their name.

It's very simple to see how this is wrong, you just have to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, “How would you like it if all of a sudden everyone started using your name as an insult?” You probably would not like it one bit. So if you are someone who has been using the name “Karen” like this, you may want to reconsider what you are doing and realize how it is affecting other people with that name.

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.