Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Best TV Shows of 2019

As we are reaching the end of 2019 it is time to recap the best TV shows of the year. This year there are some returning favorites with new seasons as well as some making their first appearance on the list. Here are my picks for the best shows of 2019:

1. In The Dark
I went into this show not knowing anything about it, but the trailer got my attention enough to give it a shot, and it turned out to be my favorite show of the year! It is about a young blind woman who is a little bit of a mess, who finds out her best friend has been murdered. It sounds dark, but the series has a good mix of humor and lightheartedness mixed in with the drama and mystery. You can watch it now on Netflix or the CW.

2. Cobra Kai (Season 2)
The Karate Kid reboot returned this year with the second season. I loved the first season and this season was just as good! The story of Danial and Johnny continues as they each try to run rivaling karate dojos. The students play a big part as the new generation of karate kids. This one has a lot of drama, comedy, and of course action. You can check it out now on Youtube Premium.

3. Glow (Season 3)
The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling are back for a 3rd season. This year they have taken their wrestling show to Las Vegas. Interestingly, this season focused a lot more on the stories of the characters out of the ring. We learn more about each of the ladies such as their interests and what they struggle with. I recommend this season if you enjoyed seasons 1 and 2. Glow season 3 is streaming now on Netflix.

4. American Ninja Warrior
The obstacle course show American Ninja Warrior had its 11th season this year and it was one of the most exciting yet! (Minor spoilers ahead). Up until season last season there had been only 2 ninjas to make it to the end. With courses getting more difficult we were beginning to wonder when there would be another champion. Well this year, someone did it and it was well deserved!

5. What Would You Do?
Wrapping up the list this year is a returning favorite What Would You Do, the show that creates situations where something is not right, and they film it with hidden cameras to see if someone will step up and say something or do something about it. The show sets a good example of doing the right thing when you see something that is not right. Here is one of my favorite clips from the season where someone is being treated poorly because they never learned to read.

If you like these shows, check out last year's list the Best TV Shows of 2018.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Best Youtube Channels of 2019

It's time once again for the best Youtube channels of the year. This year I decided to feature channels that have not been on the list in previous years so all of these are making their first appearance. Here are my recommendations for the best Youtube channels of 2019:

1. Gas Station Encounters
The number 1 pick this year goes to Gas Station Encounters which is a channel run by a guy who works at a gas station that happens to have good security cameras. They monitor the cameras and catch people who try to steal from their store. When they find a thief, they put the footage on Youtube and do commentary over it.  Here's a classic example of when they catch someone in the act:

2. Mark Rober
Another one of the best channels this year is from Mark Rober who uses science and technology to create new gadgets and conduct amazing experiments. In this video that went viral, he created a decoy package to get back at those who steal packages off people's front porches. He designed it so when the box is opened, it sprays glitter, fart spray, and records the whole thing!:

3. Karen Puzzles
Karen Kavett known for her DIY craft videos started this channel because of her love for puzzles. On this channel she reviews puzzles and shares some of the most interesting puzzles in her collection. In this video she talks about what actually makes a puzzle easy or difficult:

4. Exhaust Sports Auto
Kevin from Exhaust Sports Auto is one of the up and coming car reviewers on Youtube. While he does not have as many subscribers as some of the other channels yet, his reviews are top notch. One thing that sets his reviews apart is his honest, no-nonsense approach. Here's just one of his videos where he reviews the Mazda MX-5 Miata hard top and convertible:

5. Danny Vega
Danny Vega got some attention this year when a video of his where he pokes fun at his hometown went viral. In his videos, he does comedic and sarcastic coverage of different towns and locations. Here's his take on what it is like to live in New York City:

6. Monica Ortega
Monica Ortega makes travel style videos where she visits different places and showcases what they have to offer. She has a likeable personality and is not afraid to go out of her comfort zone to try something new. Here is an example where she visits a Bavarian themed town in Leavenworth Washington:

7.  Simon Rex
Simon Rex is an actor and also known for his music, but recently he started a podcast called Nervous Rex. He has a lot of interesting stories and commentary on life, and each week he features a different guest to discuss different topics. Here's one of his recent shows where he talks with actor Charlie Sheen:

Hope you enjoyed this years picks for best Youtube channels of 2019! Feel free to comment below if you found some new channels you like this year.

Also check out last years list: Best Youtube Channels of 2018.  

And the Best Youtube Channels of 2020

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Why do people have such different tastes in music?

The other day I was in a store and happened to hear a song I really dislike. To spare the artist, I won't say which one, but the song is very monotonous, the singing is unpleasant, and the whole thing just lacks creativity. It got me thinking, why would a song like this be selected for rotation in a national grocery store chain?

Could it be that there are actually people that like the song? I decided to go home and look it up on Youtube where I knew there would be comments about it. There were a fair amount of down votes, but to my surprise, the majority of votes and comments were positive. In fact may people were saying how they love the song and love the singer's voice.

I was a little dumbfounded. How could it be that there is a song I think is awful, yet there are other people who really like it? I did a little more research and found more discussion on song choices and songs that people don't like. Interestingly enough I found there was a song many people seemed to dislike that I actually didn't mind and would consider a decent song.

So how can people have such different tastes in music? What makes a song appealing to one person, but appalling to another?

One idea is that a song reminds you of a good time in your life or a certain event. Many people will hear a song they listened to when they were young and it reminds them of that time. It might not have been such a great song, but it is part of their history, so they will always have a fond memory of it.

Maybe the song was played at an important even such as a wedding or a dance so when a person hears it, they are instantly reminded of that event and it may bring back good memories.

Lyrical content could also play a part in why some people like certain songs more than others. If you can relate to the lyrics or if they have some important meaning to you, you might like the song even if the music is not that great.

One of my theories is that some people just have less experience listening to music than others. Someone who does not listen to a lot of music might think a song is good, but it is just because they do not have much to compare it to and don't realize there is much better music out there to listen to.

On the other hand, someone who is very familiar with music may dislike a song because they think it is very generic, unoriginal, or just not up to par with the music they normally listen to.

It could also have something to do with how we were brought up and what music we were exposed to. Many kids start getting into music in their early teen years and for them, that will be their golden age of music because those are the songs they grew up with. Also if you grew up in a place where a certain genre of music was popular, there is a good chance you will be a fan of that kind of music as well.

While it might seem like everyone would be on the same page when it comes to deciding which songs we like and dislike, all these factors above show how we can be influenced in many ways and how these influences determine what we like and dislike.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Philips Philishave S3552/89 Heritage Edition Review

I have been using Philips Norelco electric shavers for about 2 decades now. I started with an old plug in style. Then had the cordless 6613x, followed by my most recent PT730 shaver. While the PT730 is still working good, I noticed the blades were not cutting as efficiently as they used to.

Philips does recommend replacing the shaving heads about every 12 months. I'll admit, I have been using the same heads for a lot longer than that, but the replacements are so expensive! It's about $30 for the replacement blades, but you can get a whole new electronic razor with the blades for the same price!

Since it didn't really make sense to buy the replacement blades when you can get a brand new one for the same price, I decided to get the new razor. After doing a little research I landed on the Philips Philishave Heritage edition, model number S3552/89. It is available at Target and Bestbuy for $30.

Compared to my last Philips Norelco, this one is almost exactly the same in terms of construction and shape. The rubber grip is a little different. Also it has different heads, the ComfortCut blades. The main difference between my old one and this new one is the battery charge/life. On the old razor you had to charge it 8 hours for 45 minutes of use. On the Philishave, you only have to charge it 1 hour and it goes for 1 hour of use.

It seems they have really been making advancements in the batteries over the years. I compared it to my old Norelco 6613x and that one had to charge 16 hours for just 30 minutes of use!

One interesting thing I noticed about this Philishave Heritage Edition is the color. In the pictures online and even the official picture on the box, it has kind of like a pale green/grey color, but in real life, the color is more of a blue. I'm not sure why they did not get the color right for the photos. The picture above is one I took of the razor, and you can see how it is more of a blue color.

As far as the shaving goes, it definitely seems like the blades are sharper compared to my old razor, but they should be considering they are new vs the old one which has blades that are several years old. The sound of the motor is a bit more high pitched and possibly a little louder than my previous model, but still not too loud. Overall the cut performance is as expected and gets the job done.

For the accessories, it comes with the charger and a soft case, but no brush. I thought this was odd because previous models came with cleaning brushes. I guess they want you to rinse this one to clean it, but I always prefer to use the brush to clean it instead of getting it wet.

Overall for $30 I am very pleased with the Philips Philishave electric razor. The performance is good, and the battery is excellent for this price. If you are a fan of the Norelco 3 blade rotary style shavers or if you are new to this style, I would recommend the Philishave.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Salvation Army Bells are Too Loud and Annoying

It's bad enough when you go to a store and there are solicitors at the entrances trying to sell you things or get money from you, but as I'm sure many of you know, the Salvation Army adds extra annoyance by having their workers ring loud bells constantly.

Now I'll admit, I am sensitive to noise but those bells really are too loud! I just had to walk by one this morning and had to cover my ears. I would not be surprised if the bell ringers are subjecting themselves to hearing damage with the extended exposure to this noise.

Of course people will say that the bell ringing is for a good cause so we should put up with it. I don't mind charities asking for donations. What I do mind is being forced to be exposed to loud annoying bells.

In my opinion they should do away with the bells altogether. A volunteer with the red kettle is enough to get someone's attention if they want to donate. Some might say that the bells help attract people to it. If you ask me, when there is a loud offensive noise, the last thing I want to do it go towards it!

If the Salvation Army insists on keeping the bell ringing for tradition, they should at least make the bells quieter so they are not so bothersome. Who else feels the same way about this issue?

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Incredible True Story: Joe vs Elan School – Troubled teens who were forced to attend a physically and psychological abusive school

When it comes to stories, in my opinion, the best kind are the ones that seem unbelievable as if they must be fiction, but in fact they are actually true. Joe vs Elan School happens to be one of these stories. It is currently being written and published online in graphic novel form.

It is a biographical recap of what happened to Joe when he was a teen and his parents arranged to have him sent to a radical boarding school called Elan. But this was no ordinary school. It was pretty much a prison that included brainwashing, physical, and mental torture. The school managed to exist for decades up until recent years when enough information leaked out about the abuse that was going on which ultimately caused it to shut down.

Joe was one of the many troubled teens that had the misfortune of being sent to this school. He is now sharing his story by writing and illustrating what happened to him during that time.

The story is incredibly captivating and is so unbelievable in the sense that it is hard to imagine that these things actually happened but they did! There are countless records of other former Elan students confirming the things that were allowed to go on at this school.

For example, right from the beginning, you did not just go to this school under your own free will. In many cases such as Joe's a teen escort company was hired to literally kidnap you in the middle of the night, throw you in a van and transport you across the country to the school where you would be held captive.

At the school you were stripped of everything and made to follow a set of strict guidelines which was impossible to follow in order to set you up for failure and punishment. Simple things like talking to the wrong people, looking at people, saying the wrong thing, not saying enough... could get you in trouble and these are just a few examples.

Punishments included things like having to stand while an entire room of kids screamed in your face one after the other, saying abusive hurtful things. Another punishment included being forced to fight against the other kids in a boxing style fight, except it was everyone against you. Other punishments included having to sit in a corner for weeks on end.

Another mind boggling thing about this school was it was pretty much run by the kids. There were some staff, but most of it was managed by the other kids who had been there for a while. They were brainwashed into following the system in hopes of moving up the ranks to have more privileges.

Kids were not able to leave until they became legal adults. They were rarely even allowed to call home to their parents and when they were, the calls were strictly monitored and if they even started to say anything negative about the school or try to explain what was actually happening to them, the phone line would be disconnected immediately and of course they would be punished.

If you would like to know more about what it was like for kids at this school, I recommend checking out Joe's story where he gives a first hand account of everything that happened to him. As of right now the story has 38 parts and is still going with a new chapter about every 2 weeks.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Best Netflix Series, Movies, Stand Up, and Documentaries for 2019

Here is a recap of some of my favorite Netflix shows, movies, stand up comedy, and documentaries streaming in 2019:

In The Dark - A show about a young blind woman who is trying to find the person who killed her best friend.

Glow (Season 3) - The newest season of the lady wrestlers unfolds as they perform their show to audiences in Las Vegas. 

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson - An offbeat comedy that takes skits in completely unexpected directions. 

Kindness Diaries (Season 2) - Leon goes on another trip and documents his journey as he relies on nothing but the kindness of strangers to help him along the way.  

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee - This series continues and Jerry Seinfeld drives around with other funny celebrities and goes to get coffee. 

Ant Man and Wasp - A Marvel superhero movie about a guy who has the ability to change size from super small to super big. 

The Bad Batch - A surreal movie similar to Mad Max Fury Road where people are banished to a deserted place and left to fend for themselves. 

Scott Pilgrim vs the World - Comicbook style turned into a movie makes this one unique as a guy has to fight the ex's of the girl he loves. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Harry's Body Wash Review – Fig Scent

I decided to try out another body wash, this time with Harry's body wash in the Fig scent. It is available at Target for about $7 for a 16 oz bottle. This kind of expensive compared to other body washes, but I liked how it smelled in store so I decided to splurge and try it out.

The scent from the bottle has a premium kind of smell like a cologne. Upon trying it out in the shower, I found the scent to be a little different, more soapy but still pretty good. It is a clear gel consistency. I found it took a little more quantity than expected to get the same kind of coverage compared to other washes.

After rinsing off, it leaves the skin feeling a little grippy and dry as opposed to moisturized and soft. It is getting into the winter/dry season so we'll see how it holds up in the long run, but for now I think it may work best in the warmer more humid months.

The scent seems to last several hours and smells good during the day. Overall I would say it is good, but due to the high price point I'm not sure I would rush to buy it again. I recommend testing out the smell in store and if you like it, it is worth a try.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Sun-Maid Sour Raisins Review - Watermelon Flavor

Recently I saw a new take on the classic raisin available in store with Sun-Maid Sour Raisins. They are basically raisins that have added flavor and a bit of sour taste. The varieties available are Strawberry, Mixed Berry, Grape, and Watermelon. I decided to try out the watermelon flavor.

I got them at Target on sale for about $2.50 for a box of 7 packs. Each pack is 60 calories. It has 13 grams of sugar but no added sugar. The ingredients are pretty simple with no artificial flavors or colors.

Upon opening up a pack, they smell like candy watermelon flavor. I was a bit surprised by the appearance because it says they are golden raisins but inside I found them to be a mix of golden raisins and the regular kind of raisins.

The taste was less sour than I expected. It is mildly sour, but if you eat a lot at a time, it tastes more sour. It also has the watermelon flavor as well. Overall I enjoyed the taste. It is a nice upgrade to the common raisin by combining it with additional flavors and the sour taste to give it a little more complexity.

I would recommend them if you like raisins, are looking for a healthier alternative to fruit snacks, or if you would just like to try something new.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Google Search Results Need Improvement

Google has been the number one search engine for a long time and is pretty much the go-to website when looking something up, but lately I have not been pleased with the top search results they are providing. While the results may be relevant, I find that often the top website results are very spammy.

What do I mean by this? Lets say you do a search and click on the first result which may be some kind of blog or news article site. As soon as you get to the website you are bombarded with a pop up to sign up for a newsletter. Or they start auto-playing a video that is not even related to the topic you searched for. Or they have a small section of text about what you wanted to know, but it is surrounded by unrelated content.

Now I use an ad blocker most of the time which at least helps block the ads, but the issues above still get through and make for a poor browsing experience. I get that the websites need to make money and they have these annoying things on their site to try to increase engagement, but this is not what people want when they visit a website.

The trouble is Google is rewarding and encouraging these kinds of things when they give them top rankings in search results. I think Google needs to do some revision on their search results to bring up some higher quality websites that are not just there to make money.

I have dabbled in trying out some other search engines but once you are used to Google, it is hard to change to something else. Also it seems like the results from the competitors are fairly similar.

As for now I am still using Google, but I am more critical of the websites they provide in their search results. If I click on a site and it pops up a window to sign up for their newsletter, guess what, I'm going back immediately and never going to that website again. Same goes for websites that auto-play videos that have nothing to do with the article. Website that want you to click through several pages for one article, also going back and not visiting that site again.

Google if you are listening, please take these kinds of things into consideration when deciding which sites to feature in the top search results.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

In The Dark – Show Review – Best new show of 2019!

A little while back I was scrolling through the Netflix feed looking for new shows to check out. I happened to land on one called “In The Dark” and watched the preview clip. It was of a young blind woman purposely cutting people in line to pay for her stuff at a convenience store. The small clip was enough to get me to check out the first episode.

After watching the first episode, I was surprised at how good it was and I decided to keep watching more episodes. The show kept getting better and I ended up watching the whole season!

It turns out the show actually first aired earlier this year on the CW network, but Netflix picked it up also, so you can see all the episodes now on Netflix.

So what is the show about you ask? It revolves around the main character Murphy who is an attractive blind woman who is a little all over the place with her life and relationships. She “works” at a place that trains dogs to help the blind. I put that in quotes, because she does very little work intentionally.

One evening she goes outside to talk to her friend Tyson only to find him laying unconscious in an alley. She goes to call the police but when they show up they find nothing there. The main arch of the season revolves around Murphy and her attempt to figure out what happened to her friend.

I usually don't like written shows like this, but somehow this one really caught my interest. There are a lot of other good characters in the show as well from her friends and family to the people she works, and even her dog named Pretzel.

The star of the show Perry Mattfeld who plays Murphy does a great job portraying her disability and bringing a wide range of emotion to the character. I had not heard of her before this show, but I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

Speaking of which, In The Dark was picked up for a 2nd season! This is great news because the first season was amazing and ended with a season finale that was so suspenseful and had a twist no-one saw coming. I can't wait to see what happens in season 2!

If you are looking for a new show to watch, I highly recommend checking out In The Dark on Netflix and the CW.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Vitafusion Men's Gummy Vitamin Review

Recently I decided to look for a multivitamin to try out and after doing some initial research I decided to try the Vitafusion gummy vitamins for men. They are one of the most widely available and reasonably priced at about $10 for 150 gummies. The recommended serving size is 2 gummies so that means they should last about 75 days if you take 2 each day.

I chose this kind because they have a good amount of vitamins without going overboard with daily values that are too high like some of the others I have seen. They don't have as many vitamins as some of the non-chewable or some of the more expensive brands, but for the price and convenience, I think they are pretty good.

As for the taste, they are very good and pretty much taste like fruit snacks. In fact, when you first try them, you may be tempted to eat more than just 2 because they taste like candy. But make sure not to take more the than recommended amount because then you may exceed your daily value of some of the vitamins.

It's hard to know if there is any noticeable difference in how you feel when taking multivitamins vs not taking them. I feel about the same either way but it is nice to have the piece of mind to know they the vitamins are helping to fill in any nutritional deficits.

I have had them for several weeks now and at this point I just take 1 gummy each day or every other day. I think 1 gummy combined with a healthy diet provides good coverage of your daily recommended vitamins.

If you are looking for a multivitamin to try out and you don't like swallowing pills, I would recommend the gummy kind like these from Vitafusion. They are available in Men's, Women's, and other specialty varieties as well.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Grubhub Review – My Experience Working for Grubhub

For the past couple years I have been involved with app based delivery gigs such as Instacart and Shipt with Instacart being my main focus. While the grocery delivery is still going well, I figured I might try out one of the many food delivery apps available now. After doing a lot of research I decided to apply to be a delivery driver for Grubhub.

When I first applied, I noticed the nearest zone available was a couple towns over, but I still went through with the application. Also, after I applied, they sent me a message saying there were no openings at the moment, but that they would let me know when they were hiring more people in my area.

After a couple months went by, they contacted me saying I could start working for them now. Interestingly the area that I applied for actually covered a larger area than I thought, which actually included my town. So if you are applying and they do not have your exact town, I recommend applying for the nearest town because it might actually cover your area.

Next, I went over the training online which was pretty straightforward. They also sent me 2 nice insulated bags for free! They have the option to choose hours to commit to, or you can just log on at any time and they will send you orders if there are any available. Since I am usually working for Instacart, I decided to just do the 2nd option of logging into Grubhub whenever it was slow or if I had some downtime.

When you are logged in and set to take orders, they will send you an offer that tells you how much it pays, which restaurant it is, and where it is going to be delivered. I found the pay to be about $10 per order which is ok. I would estimate it takes about 30 minutes from start to finish for 1 order.

As soon as you accept the order, you start driving to the restaurant. Once you get there, you go in and let them know you are there for a Grubhub pickup. I was under the impression that when you would go in, they would have your order ready to go, but in my experience, in most cases, the order is not ready when I get there, in fact many of them would not even start making the order until I got there. Because of this, you end up waiting in the restaurant for about 5-10 minutes until it is ready. In a business where time is money, this is something that could be improved upon.

Once you pick up the food, you start heading to the customer. Transporting the food is easy when it is just bags or boxes, but often they order drinks along with the food and these can be kind of tricky to transport and carry. You just have to make sure everything is secure in the car so nothing tips over or spills.

When you arrive at the customers location you let them know you have arrived and you bring them their food. I found that even though they are supposedly notified that you have arrived, often they are not ready when you get there. I had to contact several of the customers by text/phone because they would not answer the door when I got there.

Overall the work is pretty easy. You just pickup up food at one place and drop it off at another. What is nice about Grubhub is the orders are already paid for so you don't have to worry about the money.

Grubhub pays by direct deposit the following week. I found the payments to be on time and accurate. They also send you statements with how much you made each day.

If you are looking for an easy gig to get involved with to make a little extra money in your free time I would recommend trying out. If you have experience with food delivery or other app based gigs, I would say it is definitely worth trying out. These kinds of jobs can change fast so it is a good idea to have more than one option available!

Update 3-4-20:
I have been doing more orders with Grubhub lately and overall it has been pretty good. I have been scheduling hours which seems to give priority on the orders vs just logging in without being on schedule.

They added a new option where on some orders you place the order when you get there and pay with a Grubhub credit card. These are a little more challenging but they tend to pay a little more.

I like the flexibility and freedom of choosing which orders you want to take. Overall I would recommend it if you like working independently and like driving or delivery jobs.

Update 7-21-20:
Grubhub has been going pretty well lately. Since the Corona epidemic, most of the orders are now contactless which means you just drop it off at the front door and text the customer to let them know it is there. Sometimes it can be a little slow, but when it is busy you can make pretty good money. Overall I would recommend it for anyone looking for a flexible job that is low stress and pretty easy to do.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Buying a Suit – Men's Warehouse vs Kohl's – My Experience

I'm getting to the age where I'm starting to have to attend more weddings and funerals and since these are formal events, I decided it was time to look into getting a new suit. I started doing some research to see what the options were. Locally, I knew of Men's Warehouse because I had to rent a suit there for a wedding a while back. I also knew of department stores such as Kohl's that have suits as well.

When I rented the suit from Men's Warehouse is was pretty expensive at over $200, especially considering you only have it for a few days. Still I decided to give them another visit to see what the options were when it comes to buying a suit.

I saw some sales advertised online for about $199 so that was about what I was looking to spend. When I got to the store, I asked the first sales person about it and they immediately said they don't have anything for around that price. I was then assigned to another sales person to show me some other options.

First thing he shows me, he says is $699! Way more than I was looking to spend. I let him know I just was something basic because I don't plan to wear the suit very often. He shows me their cheapest suits which are still about $300. I had actually gone in with intention of buying but so far the experience was not going well.

The sales person was very much the stereotypical fast talking commission hungry associate you don't want. When I let him know I didn't need the suit until a wedding next year, he pretty much ushered me out the door and said come back when you are ready to buy. That's strange, I thought I was ready to buy, but apparently not.

So I decided to look at the other options available such as Kohl's department store. I like Kohl's but in the past I have found it difficult to find the right sizes especially when it comes to formal wear such as suits. Since I knew my size would be hard to find in store, I decided to look online.

They had a good selection to choose from and the prices were much more affordable. I found several to choose from in the $100-$200 range. I ended up ordering one that came to about $135 and it came with $20 Kohl's cash so I was able to get a nice dress shirt to go along with it for free!

When the suit arrived I was pleased with the look and the quality. I tried it on and the fit was ok, but it would need some tailoring to get a perfect fit. This is actually a common procedure with suits. It is rare to just try on a suit in store and have it fit correctly. I did some measuring and decided to have the pants and sleeves shortened to the correct length.

I found a local cleaners/tailor that was able to do the alterations. The cost to shorten the jacket sleeves and the pants came to about $50. I picked it up a few days later, tried it on and the fit was exactly how I wanted.

So all together I ended up with a nice fitting suit and dress shirt for about $185. Not too bad considering the cost to rent a suit from Men's Warehouse was over $200.

If you are looking to get a new suit, I recommend first getting measured so you know your size. Then once you have your size you can order online. Once it arrives you can try it on and if you like it, you can have it tailored to get the right fit.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Pet Peeves of a Professional Grocery Shopper

As someone who works full time shopping for groceries, I end up spending a lot of time in grocery stores. Like any job there are good things about it as well as things that can be annoying or frustrating. While these are from a perspective of someone who does this for a living, anyone who does their own grocery shopping can relate. Here are some of my biggest pet peeves as a grocery shopper:

Stores that fill in the space of “out of stock” items with other items that do not belong there.
You will be looking for a certain product in the section where it is supposed to be but you cannot find it. All the shelf space is filled in so it must be there right? After not seeing it, you looking carefully at all the tags on the shelves. You find the right tag, look up and see some other product or variety that is not supposed to be there.

I'm pretty sure stores do this purposely when something is out of stock because they don't want it to look like something is out of stock. Instead of leaving it empty they will fill it in with more of the product next to it. As a shopper, I don't mind if a shelf is empty because something is out of stock, it happens. What I do mind is when I waste my time looking for something because the shelf space where it is supposed to be is filled in with something else.

Carts that are in poor condition.
Having a bad shopping cart can really ruin the shopping experience. Some stores are a lot better than others when it comes to shopping carts. The best carts are the plastic kind because they are light, tend to roll smoothly, and are easy to maneuver. The worst are old metal carts that are shaky, have wobbly wheels, don't roll straight, and are just in bad condition overall.

Sometimes I will try out 3 or 4 carts upon entering the store just to try to find one that isn't terrible. There have been times where I have been doing my own shopping and have actually cut my shopping trip short because I could not put up with pushing a noisy cart around the store anymore.

Repetitive music playlist.
This might not bother other people as much, but for me, I really get tired of hearing the same songs played in the store every time I go in there. For the occasional shopper, they will not notice this, but for someone who is in the store several times a day, it is very noticeable. I pretty much have every song they play memorized at this point. I can't imagine how the employees who are in there all day put up with it. Honestly is is one of the main reasons why I would not want to work in a grocery store or any place that has a repetitive music playlist.

Garbage left in the carts.
Almost every time I enter a store and go to the carts, I will find at least one that has garbage left in it from a previous shopper. It might be a sample cup or wrapper, a store advertisement, a shopping list, a plastic bag, a coffee cup etc.

Litter is one of my biggest pet peeves in life and litter in shopping carts is no different. One of my hobbies is cleaning up litter outside and this continues to store parking lots as well as in store such as in the shopping carts. This means when I go to get a cart, I specifically look for the one that has the garbage in it. I take that cart, remove the garbage and place it in the nearest garbage can. If the customers and the store employees won't do it, somebody's gotta do it.

People who hold up the checkout process.
Everyone would like to be able to checkout quickly but that does not always happen does it? You go to the shortest line thinking it is going to be fast but then something unexpected happens. Maybe someone is trying to use a coupon on a product that it does not qualify for. Maybe they need a price check on something. Maybe there is alcohol and they have to wait until someone who is over 21 comes over to approve it. Maybe they are try to pay with a check. All these things end up holding up the line and make the checkout process long than it has to be.

Poor bagging at checkout.
Bagging is a pretty simple job but there is a lot more to it than just putting items in a bag and placing them in the cart. Baggers are supposed to be trained on the proper way to bag items, but apparently some of them did not pay attention to the training, or they just don't care.

I will place my items on the belt in a specific order to help ensure they are bagged properly. Ex: cold items together so they end up in the same bags, heavy items together, boxy items together, produce together, and light/fragile items last so they end up on top and don't get squished.

Despite this organization there will be times when I get to the car and realize everything has to be re-bagged. There will be cold items with non-cold items, fragile stuff in the same bags with heavy stuff, raw meats in the same bags as ready to eat food etc. Once I realize someone does not know how to bag, I will avoid going to their line if at all possible on future shopping trips.

I could go on and on with more pet peeves about grocery shopping but overall it is actually not that bad. For the most part I enjoy grocery shopping and as a job it can actually be fun.

What are some of your pet peeves when it comes to grocery shopping? Feel free to comment below.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream Review

Recently I got inspired to try out some new foods and one that caught my interest was mochi ice cream. Mochi has a dough like consistency and is made with rice flour and sugar. With mochi ice cream, you have the traditional ice cream in the middle wrapped in the mochi.

In store I found the brand My/Mo which makes mochi ice cream in several different flavors. I decided to go with the strawberry to try it out. The price is pretty expensive. At a regular price of over $6 it comes out to over $1 per piece since there are 6 pieces in the box. I was able to get them on sale for a little over $4. For the nutrition, each piece has 110 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 12 grams of sugar.

Upon opening the box, the mochi's are in a tray separated and the top is sealed with plastic. They are coated in what looks like a powdered sugar but the powder is not sweet so it must be a flour or a corn starch. I found the powder a bit off-putting since it doesn't really help the flavor. In fact, for the rest of the pieces, I rinsed them off with water before eating them. I'm guessing they cover it in powder to keep it from sticking to things like the packaging.

The mochi material itself is soft and has a chewy gelatinous consistency. It is also sweet and kind of fun to eat. Inside, the strawberry ice cream is creamy and tastes very much like other strawberry ice creams I have tried in the past.

Overall the mochi ice cream is pretty good and makes for a nice snack or dessert. Although they are tasty, based on the price, I probably would not rush to buy them again. But if you are looking for something different to try out and you can find them in store, I would say they are worth a try especially if you can find them on sale.

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Disaster Artist Book Review – The Story Behind Tommy Wiseau and The Room

After having seen “The Disaster Artist” movie as well as the movie “The Room”, I decided to pick up the book “The Disaster Artist” which was the source material for which “The Disaster Artist” movie was based on.

For those who are unfamiliar, “The Room” is a movie commonly known as the greatest bad movie of all time. It was written and produced by Tommy Wiseau who is also the lead actor in the movie.

Tommy is a mysterious person and probably one of the most fascinating people out there. He immigrated to the US when he was young with the dream of becoming a movie star. He pretty much started with nothing and worked hard to earn a living with his businesses.

He tried to get into Hollywood but no one would accept him or give him a chance. This led him to ultimately make the decision to make his own movie and do everything himself. The end result was a movie that was meant to be serious but because of how it turned out, it comes off as more of a comedy.

When Tommy was studying acting, he met another struggling actor named Greg Sestero. The two are very different people but somehow they become good friends and decided to make the movie “The Room”. The Disaster Artist book is written by Greg Sestero and is about the whole experience from the time he first met Tommy to the night of the actually movie premiere.

I really enjoyed reading the book. It goes into all the details and behind the scenes of how it all started and what happened along the way as they were making the movie. It goes deep into the relationship between Greg and Tommy which is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.

The best part is learning more about Tommy. He has so many quirks and a personality unlike anyone else. If you like what you have seen from Tommy from watching the movies or interviews, the book is even more of this. I laughed out loud several times while reading the book at the stories and things Tommy does and says.

Also the book explains a lot about Tommy's background such as his origin and how he made his money. (The movie cost $6 million to make which Tommy financed himself). I won't spoil the details but his story is pretty impressive considering he came to the country with nothing but a dream and ended up making a real feature length film.

Overall the book is entertaining, funny, and inspirational. If you liked the movies, you will like the book. If you find Tommy to be an interesting character and want to learn more about him, this book is for you. If you haven't seen the movies, they are great also and I recommend watching them first and then reading the book.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Burger King Impossible Whopper Review – Is it good and how does it compare?

I had heard about the “Impossible Burger” for some time and had been looking to try it out but it was always hard to find, that was until now that Burger King announced they are selling the Impossible Whopper.

Basically it is a Whopper but instead of the regular beef patty, it has the Impossible patty which is plant based so it does not contain meat. This is good news for people who don't eat meat since it gives them more options to choose from at places like Burger King.

The main ingredients of the burger are water, soy protein concentrate, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and natural flavors. Something to note, the Impossible Whopper is not supposed to be more healthy compared to the regular Whopper in fact, the nutrition stats are pretty similar, it is just supposed to be an alternative to meat while replicating the flavor.

So how does it stack up? Upon appearance, to me it looked more like a Boca Burger than a regular burger. For the taste, it was ok. Comparing it to frozen plant based burgers like Boca and Morning Star, I would say it is better than those, but not as good as a traditional beef burger. I was able to eat the whole thing and I was satisfied, but it is not something I would necessarily rush back to order again.

Since the nutrition and cost are similar, given the option I would probably go with the regular Whopper based on the taste. But if you are trying to avoid eating meat and you happen to find yourself at a Burger King restaurant, the Impossible Whopper is a good option.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Whitening adidas Boost with Sharpie Oil Based Paint Marker

If you have a pair of adidas Boost shoes such as the Ultra Boost, NMD, Pure Boost or many others, you know they are very comfortable, but you also probably know how hard it is to keep Boost material clean. It picks up dirt quickly and even if you try to clean it, it is nearly impossible to get it back to looking like new again.

After having tried countless cleaning solutions, my Boost shoes were starting to look pretty dirty around the soles after having worn them for a few years. I started to look for other options to clean them up when I read some reviews of people using a white Sharpie oil based paint pen. The results looked pretty good so I decided to give it a try.

I found the oil based paint markers at a local Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store for about $6 (for the bold tip marker). They also have medium and fine tip markers, but I went with the bold to make sure it had enough paint. (Having tried it, the medium tip would probably work just as well.) They are also available online at places like Amazon.

Getting Started:
First, I recommend doing a quick wipe down of the shoes to get off any surface dirt that may be on there before you start painting. I also recommend putting some newspaper down to cover the surface you will be working on. I taped the newspaper in place to help keep it from moving around.

Next, you will want to tape up the shoes to cover the upper material so it does not get paint on it. I used clear packaging tape because it is what I had around the house. Taping up the shoes was actually the most difficult and time consuming part of the process because it takes a lot of carefully placed tape pieces to get it just right along the edges.

Taped up. Starting to apply some paint at heel and forefoot. 
Preparing the Paint Marker:
The marker comes sealed in plastic so you have to cut it open to get started. Next, the instructions on the marker tell you to press the tip down, re-cap and shake. Then press it down on a surface to get the paint into the tip.

I did this but the tip was still dry and I thought it wasn't working. But the thing is you have to be a little patient. Keep the pen pointing down and keep pressing down a few times and slowly the paint should start flowing through.

Applying the Marker:
Once the paint reaches the tip you are ready to start applying it to the Boost. I started by applying it to one of the dirtier sections on the inner side. I actually didn't like how it looked at first because I felt like it changed the look of the Boost too much. I was starting to think maybe it wasn't a good idea. After a few minutes I tried to see if it would wipe off with cloth and water but it was on there pretty good. I figured it was better than the dirt so I decided to keep going.

Comparing how it looks as paint is being applied.
 At first I was using the flat side of the marker and applying the paint slowly and thoroughly, but I found that using more of the corner of the tip and kind of using more of a scribble method tended to work better especially for blending in. I went around the sides of both shoes until they were all covered.

You may want to apply a few coats depending on how dirty the shoes are. Once you are done, the paint should dry pretty quickly. I tested it out and it was dry in less than 10 minutes. Once it is dry you can remove the tape from the shoes and admire your finished product.

Interestingly, the marker was a lot neater than I expected. I thought I would be getting paint everywhere, but it turned out I did not get any paint on my hands or even on the newspaper. It's probably because the paint dries quickly and it is not liquidy enough to drip so it is easy to use without making a mess.

I was also worried that it might have a strong smell but surprisingly, the smell of the marker is very mild. The smell is almost nonexistent after it has dried.

I found one marker was plenty to paint all the Boost around the shoes. I'm not sure how much paint is left in the marker, but I will save it for later to do touch ups over time. 

The finished product!
Overall I am very pleased with the result. Up close you can tell it is painted, but from a distance, it just looks like a clean pair of shoes. If your Boost shoes are at the point where cleaning just isn't working anymore, I recommend this method to get them looking like new again.

I will update this article at a later time with the results of how well the paint hold up over time.

Update 8-14-19: 
It has been about 5 days of wear and the Boost is getting dirty again similar to how it was before the painting. Also the paint is wearing off in the high wear areas such as the heel and toe. It does not seem to be any easier to clean compared to before. Overall it still looks better than before, but it seems the paint is not a miracle solution.

Update 12-9-19:
I've since done a couple more touch ups with the same marker so it has done a pretty good job at making them look new. I will be able to get at least another year out them with this method. 
Update: 12-1-22:
It's been a few years and I have been able to do a retouch on them each year to freshen them up. I'd say I can get about one more year out of them as the bottom is getting pretty worn down, but overall the paint has helped them stay looking good over all these years. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Good Youtubers Who Stopped Making Videos

1. Laina
Laina is best known for her “Overly Attached Girlfriend” character which became a popular meme many years ago. Since then she has created many funny videos on her Youtube channel. Coincidentally, she just posted her final “Breaking Up with Youtube” video as an explanation for where she has been the past 2 years. In the video she explains why she decided to stop making Youtube videos.

2. Joe Goes
Joe from the Joe Goes channel is know for his series where he travels to different countries and events and interviews people in a comedic style. His videos are funny and you get to meet a lot of interesting people and see what they have to say. A couple years ago he posted a “Hiatus” video explaining that he would be not be posting videos on a regular basis and has not posted a new video since. 

3. Robbie Sherrard
Robbie Sherrard makes comedic talk to the camera style videos. The style is of someone who is just being themself but unintentionally happens to be funny. His last video was posted about 8 months ago and is actually a trailer for a series he decided to post on Vimeo. No word yet if he will get back to making videos on Youtube.

4. Whatever
Brian from the Whatever channel is known for pranks and social experiment videos. His last video was posted about 2 years ago. In one of his last videos he explains what happened to the channel and why he stopped making videos. 

5 The Wine Kone
Tony from The Wine Kone channel makes funny videos that are often random and obscure. He has been pretty inactive for a while and actually posted a video parodying this exact subject of Youtubers disappearing. No word yet on if he will get back into making videos, but don't count him out yet! 

So what are the reasons some of the best Youtubers stop making videos? Many of them move on to bigger things such as tv and film. Many of them outgrew the platform and decided it was time to move on. The changes in the way Youtube compensates creators also caused many Youtubers to stop making videos or switch to other video hosting services. Whatever their reason, we as viewers have to respect their decision when they decide it is time to hang it up.

What are some of your favorite Youtuber's who left Youtube or stopped making videos? Feel free to post them in the comments below.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Bumble App Review – Is it any good and how does it compare to other dating sites?

After having tried some of the online dating sites over the years, I figured I would give one of the dating apps a try. After doing some research I decided to try out Bumble. One of the unique features of Bumble is that women have to make the first move by sending a message if they are interested. So how did it work out and how does it compare to other dating sites?

I tried it for a couple weeks and I should note, I am male so I was only able to “like” profiles but not send messages. Signing up was fairly simple. It asks you to upload some pictures, answer some questions and fill out a little bit about yourself.

One thing I noticed was it does not really let you write much about yourself. In the “About Me” section, I was literally only able to write 3 sentences before it cut off with a character limit. The questions it gives are not the best. For example, one that seems to show up a lot in the profiles was “Do you like the beach or the mountains?” This does not really tell you much about the person.

The app lets you set a couple filters for free to help narrow down your search. You have to pay if you want to add more filters. You can also pay to get premium features such as a boost for more attention, and the ability to see who has liked you even if you have not liked them.

Once you have your profile and settings filled out you begin looking through profiles one by one. I never tried Tinder but I'm familiar with the swipe right and swipe left feature which is how it works in Bumble to either like or dislike a profile.

Since Bumble doesn't really let you add much information about yourself and the questions are pretty bland, it pretty much just comes down to a pictures app. Because of this, I can see most people just looking quickly at the pictures and swiping right or left without even reading anything in the profile. This works if you are an attractive person, but for most people on the app, this will not be beneficial.

I tended to be selective when going through the profiles and only swiping right if I really had interest and saw potential after having looked through the whole profile. My filters were also strong enough that I was able to go through all potential profiles within a few days. Each day new ones show up though.

After a couple weeks of using the app, it resulted in 0 matches. So this means none of the profiles I liked, liked back. I guess I am not too surprised by it, but it would have been nice to actually get a match. I will probably delete the app soon.

For me, I am more interested in dating sites that allow people to really show who they are. For example on OKCupid there is a lot more opportunity to write about yourself and answer questions to see how you match up with other people.

I see Bumble as more of a pictures dating app that will work for people who are very photogenic. Because of this, I do not see it working out too well for most people. Overall if the swipe right, swipe left dating app style appeals to you, it might be worth a try, but if you are looking for something more meaningful, there are better options out there.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Life Expectancy – Changes for Each Generation

Life expectancy has increased with each generation as people have learned to live healthier lives and the medical field has improved to prevent and treat illnesses. The issues our parents and grandparents had to deal with are often no longer a problem due to advances in medicine or new findings in related to health.

Now is a great time to be alive but there are always things to improve upon. While each generation learns from previous generations on how to be healthier and live longer, we are also exposed to new things which might actually be harmful in the long run.

For example new foods are being introduced into our diets each year. A lot of these foods are processed and artificial. While they may be considered safe to eat, the long term effects on health are still unknown.

Not only has food changed, but other things such as technology and the environment have changed significantly in recent years. We are exposed to a lot of new technology such as cellular and wifi signals. These things may be safe for now, but there is no long term research on these things because they are so new. It could be that in 50 years they find out that some of this technology is the cause of a new illness due to long term exposure.

Cars and factories and people in general continue to pollute the air and water that we all depend on. We might think the air and water is ok now, but again, there could be long term health concerns that we don't know about yet and won't know until it is too late.

Each generation improves by learning from previous generations, but at the same time they are faced with new issues that the previous generations did not have to deal with. Since no one knows what the future holds, we just have to use the information we have now to try to live long healthy lives.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Insecurity – Everything is ok, or is it?

Recently I found some posts on Reddit asking questions such as “Girls, what are some things guys should not be insecure about?” and “Guys, what are some things girls should not be insecure about?” They are quite interesting to read because you can discover the things most people are insecure about and see how it relates to yourself.

For context, here are some of the most common things guys and girls are insecure about, in which the opposite sex assures they should not be, based on the comments in the threads:

Intelligence (not knowing something)
Hair (baldness)
Facial hair (not able to grow beard)
Penis size (not big enough)
Liking feminine things or appearing feminine
Showing feelings or emotions / crying
Weight (too fat or too skinny)
Height (too short)

Making the first move
Intelligence (appearing too smart)
Body hair
Breast size or shape
Hair style / appearance
Weight (too fat or too skinny)
Height (too tall)
Being seen without makeup / nails done
Age (getting older)

After reading over the posts, one of the main takeaways was that people should not be insecure about all these things because other people really don't care as much as we think they do. Another finding was that many of the things you might feel insecure about are actually liked or valued by others.

We tend to be our own worst critic and we see every small detail about ourselves and it's easy to get into a negative mindset about any little flaw or imperfection. Then we might think that the whole world sees us in this way when in fact they probably don't even notice at all or if they do, it not a big deal to them.

Based on the number of times these kinds of questions have been asked, it is clear that many people struggle with insecurity. Feeling this way can really bring you down and hurt your self esteem. So how can one overcome these thoughts and feel better about themself?

I think the answer is simply that you have to learn to be happy with yourself and be accepting of who you are. This is easier said than done. You really have to believe that you are ok with who you are in order to overcome the things that are causing you to feel insecure.

A viewpoint that gets brought up is that while others might not care about the thing that is making a person insecure, that person still feels insecure about it themselves. People can tell you there is no reason to feel bad about whatever is bothering you, but until you believe it yourself, it will continue to be something you struggle with.

So the question is, if all these things we are insecure about are actually not a big deal, why are we insecure about them? I think the reason is a combination of conditioning by society as well as human nature which causes us to be judgmental. We see other people in the world and we make judgments about them just based on how they look.

In terms of society and media, we have shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette which create unrealistic expectations about what potential suitors are supposed to look like. They go through thousands of applications and select what they think are the most attractive and desirable people to be on the show.

Of course the people they select are very good looking and this conveys a message that you have to look like these people in order for people to like you. Then you take a look in the mirror and realize you don't look like the people on the show and it makes you feel bad. This is an example of how we are influenced by the media, but I believe we as humans have a natural tendency to make judgments based on what we see.

One might say it is bad to judge people based on their appearance without getting to know them. I agree, in an ideal world, you should not “judge a book by its cover” but in the real world, we don't have the time or opportunity to get to know every single person we see. Just going out into the world, you may be around hundreds of people in a day. It's not possible to sit down and have an in-depth conversation with every person, so you have to use the knowledge you have to make quick judgments based on what you see.

An example of this would be when looking for a potential boyfriend/girlfriend. When out in the world, you might unconsciously scan everyone you pass or interact with and make quick judgments about if there would be any potential for a relationship based on what you see. You might look for things like age, attractiveness, style, signs of availability, and demeanor.

These things then act as a filter for if there is potential for a relationship with that person. If they pass the quick filter test, you may be more open to interacting with them vs if they do not pass the filter, you may have no interest to get to know them.

I think because of this and the desire to be liked and accepted by other people is the reason we fear judgment and in turn end up becoming insecure about what we believe are things about ourselves that are not good enough.

So which mindset is correct? On one hand, we live in a judgmental society that puts a lot of value on the way we look. On the other hand, people are saying that these things are not really a big deal and that we shouldn't worry about them. I think you have to keep both viewpoints in mind and realize that yes, you may be judged on things, but at the same time, you should not allow these things to bring you down or make you feel bad about yourself.

Also keep in mind that you are not defined by one thing. Everyone has things they wish they could change or could be different. The truth is there are so many things that make us who we are. Even if there are a few things you might be unhappy with, there are plenty of other things about you that are likable. Also everyone has different opinions on what they like and dislike. Something you don't like about yourself may in fact be a thing that someone actually does like.

Overall, I think the best advice when it comes to insecurity is to learn to be happy and accepting of who you are. Once you have achieved this, it can be freeing and can translate into self confidence which itself is an attractive quality.