nawkcire

Games, Tech and Blogging…I can't guarantee in that order.

Tag Archives: opinion

Google Map Reviews

It’s been awhile that I signed up as a Google Guide, a service that allows you to participate in editing and reviewing locations on Google Maps. Recently (though I don’t want to brag) I reached by 100th review and I’ve seen some good and bad reviews.

Full disclosure of how I rate and review, Google uses a 5 star system. With it, I base all ratings on the following:

  1. Does the place physically exist? Kind of mandatory for most of the places I’ve been.
  2. How’s the customer service? How was my personal experience?
  3. How was the services and products offered? Were they everything I expected?
  4. How does the physical location look? Optionally, how’s the washrooms?

I don’t usually offer a 5 star rating which means from me, 4 stars is the most. However 5 stars just indicates I’ve had an exemplary time and experience. Meaning 2 through 4 were exceptionally greater than the places I’ve been. This is fairly hard since a lot of restaurants and shops provide the same amount of service and usually meets a pseudo-standard which seems professional but accommodating.

In terms of a written review, it follows a personal standard. First beginning with a preamble about the general location, nothing bias here. Then I move on to atmosphere of the place, products and services, then customer service. Along with it, I put down anything I’ve observed to be interesting to me and the last paragraph is for if I want to recommend this place or if I would visit again.

It’s likely not the best way to be labelled as a useful review however I’ve seen some really ridiculous reviews on there with a bunch of users saying they found it useful. On Steam it’s the same thing but that’s another story. Usually these reviews have no content besides from a star rating and the phrase “not bad”, “great”, or “would visit again”. If I was a stranger, I would like to know why people enjoy this place and something to really be convinced on going. The idea of a review is not to just let people know what’s going on here but to provide people a reason to go there or should not even bother. I know some people can be extremely critical (some of my reviews sound like that as well) but the idea is to be honest to provide feedback to a place while giving something a potential customer needs to go there.

Regardless I found a lot of places over Google Maps because reviewers have provided some good feedback. Then there are places with those 2 word reviews that turn me away because I don’t feel like going there. With a lot of users, I think Google should extend this Guide program to products. Perhaps a joint product review with Amazon but the Guide program does offer a somewhat credible system for folks.

Four out of five, will review again.

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A selfie is not a self portrait…

Sure this topic isn’t hip any more but when the term “selfie” came around to pop culture, there were a lot of opinion writers.

At the gallery there is a fantastic painting of an artist painting themselves as they’re painting themselves. It’s kind of interesting to step closer and seeing the detail into the scene within the painting. Even with their back turned, it’s a very interesting self-portrait. Fast forward to the digital age of the late 2000’s and 2010’s, the “selfie” is a self portraiture; usually associated with a cell phone and a mirror. I have to admit looking at the comparison between this piece in the gallery and everyone’s Instagram (I don’t have one but I like to peak at others), we’ve come so far that I feel the concept of a self-portrait has degenerated. It’s one thing to make the “I was here” statement when you want to selfie  in the moment but when people stage selfies, I do feel it’s a bit self-absorbed.

In a recent walk to witness the Sakura blooms, I saw a lot of selfie sticks. A lot. Enough to really conclude people are really selfish to really equate to those people who take chunks of the tree for themselves or those who disobey signs to get the right selfie. I really don’t think a jpeg from a cellphone could really out compete with a RAW file from a DSLR or even a png/tiff image from a point and shoot. I regardless, a $100 point and shoot will have a timer function. Meanwhile I’ve seen people reaching out to a stranger for a photo. I, for a few times, was the stranger. I usually do my best to take the photo. I quite understand to entrust someone of your phone when you’re so shy to ask. That’s obvious but there are some very outgoing people that apparent don’t have time to get a photographer as a friend.

I do find in modernity, the self-portrait has become more abuse of an artistic craft to a social media eye sore. And for those who rarely take them; rare being once in many month, then I think you are more observant of the world than looking for a narcissistic reward.

Mental Health

This is one thing I have to be mindful of when I live my life. I take pills, apply therapy techniques and do my best to live my life. With the recent going-on’s in Toronto, I feel like underlying issue is left ignored.

During times like this when an incident on this scale happens, people get immediately angry and resentful. Myself included when I first heard the news, I was shocked and wanted nothing more for the suspect to serve his life behind bars. It is unfortunate knowing I walk the same streets and at any time, someone like this person would get behind the wheel and commit murder on this scale. Knowing one of those pedestrians can be anyone regardless of age, race and gender, it disturbs me to think I could be one of those unnamed and soon forgotten by the public.

Life – a fragile thing. Not only in preservation, but in keeping all the smaller things in perspective. Things like emotion, stability and clarity. To feel without overstepping while taking a stride with meaning without being led by emotions. Which is kind of why I’m brought to write this week’s post (though it feels I do this more bi-weekly).

The real question when crimes like this occur, I ask myself “What’s really going on here?” A lot of people focus solely on a person then blame a niche outside the norm. It’s equivocal if a hipster committed genocide because carnivores are destroying the Earth and veganism is the way to go. The way I see it, crime is a social issue. The question from “What this person has done?” to “Where did we go wrong?” Channelling the proverb “it takes a village” does reflect what happened and what has changed. From the restraint for the officer ending the situation non-violently to the tolerance to not accuse the suspect for terrorism right off the bat. We’re changing but there is niche groups that are still victimized because of radicalized individuals. It is sad people died because we live in a society still dictated by a toxic masculine point of view which objectifies men as much as it does for women. In a sense the recent pro-female movement has weaponized feminism into hating men than raising an equal society. This mirrors much of the recent movements started with good intentions and lead by those radicalized by them. Dissidence is important for a democratic society but the values we pass on must be of those of tolerance and critical thinking. To be objective and to ask questions beyond what we know to get a bigger picture.

If we can at least achieve this, perhaps things like this wouldn’t necessarily happen.

NIMBY

First time I ever heard of this acronym was in Cities: Skylines. In the game, this is a policy you can enact to prevent loud noise at night. In reality this is much more as a phrase for anyone who opposes a service within their neighbourhood.

Living in the big city, whether people say it or not, has become a bit of an oxymoron. Here homelessness and public transit are the top two people like to address but don’t necessarily want to physically change.

The transit system here is fairly archaic, most of the system was developed in the 60’s. With a sprawling city without an upgraded transit system, it has been crowded. So now with old stations being updated, a lot of people are really against the stations from expanding to accommodate more routes or making it more accessible. With a lot of people throwing opinions and hate for every plan, I doubt any meaningful progress so far.

The homeless issue is a bunch of sociological problems; drugs, shelter, food, safety. A lot of local NGO’s  try to keep these people alive while the city tries to find ways to bring these people back into society. The biggest problem especially in winter is shelter. Recently, my local city wants to open a new shelter near my neighbourhood. However Once that hit the news, everyone went ape about not wanting it near them. That goes the same with safe injection sites. I understand both sides of the stories and I honestly don’t know who’s in the right because both arguments are valid.

“No In My BackYard” has become something I want to avoid personally. It’s a phrase that doesn’t progress an issue and usually throws an issue to someone else.

Camera Phone “Lenses”

I spend a lot in camera stores than I should. Even in electronic stores, I’ve seen these blister packed or boxed lens kits for camera phones.

Looking at them, I do feel a bit aggravated in the obvious attempt to pander to consumers. Most of the time, the lenses are designed for one particular phone. Phones do become obsolete after a year or two while actual cameras last for a while. Before I bought my camera, it’s been out for quite a while. I’ve see a bunch of absurd accessories on this side of the decade, it’s not the most dumbest accessory (Cough cough, the circle “handle” thing for selfies).

I’m still on the fence about these attachments to a phone. People buy phones more than camera, people sometimes change preference on the operating system or brands. I know for sure, I would change phones if there’s one that would benefit me for cheap (and if I have to renew my contract). So these “lenses” seem to be built around a gimmick to make everything look as good with a camera phone without a camera. I would prefer a camera or the camera phone any day for imaging. However the camera phone make sharing an instant photo quicker. In a way much to be the digital equal to the instant film camera.

Don’t make them, don’t buy them. Save up to 50 bucks and use the money to get something else…or a camera itself.

Last Post 2017

Next week’s going to be a new year; a year older, another year.

I’m just here watching the rest of the Jingle Jam. I’ve been a fan of the Yogscast but these charity streams I do find to be the best part of my year. After the year I’ve had, this is likely the best part right up to the end. However it’s been difficult to really watch these archived streams on YouTube. Not much to view but at the same time has given me an opportunity to see new indie games. At least I get to see the old and usual stuff, like a live podcast and some “live” games.

Last night I couldn’t get away from a 6 hour stream from Zoey from the Yogscast playing both The Sims 4 and a discussion on mental health. I was surprised when we began to talk about her struggle with mental health and how I’ve been over the past decade. From a person I don’t know to hear the same words, this oddly familiar connection based on an illness. After hearing from her and then playing this new game I’ve never heard about, it was like watching a simulacra of what I’ve been through for most of my adult life.

After seeing her play through it for almost an hour, I might want to pick up “Please Knock On My Door”. The hardest part was fighting my own thoughts while she and the game narrates the similar dialogue.

There is nothing easy about battling a mental illness without a cure. There is no phrase nor pill can cure it. Just keep holding on…

…even when things look bleak.

I think next year I’ll just keep fighting myself. I have to hope and keep telling myself things will get better. I just have to whether I should believe it or not.

Single.

Tricky thing being about an adult, I’m learning this now while I’m young. I’m not eager to grow up and take everything as serious as things should be. Somethings I’ve taken way too seriously and recently I find myself unsure if I should buckle down or let loose. I’ve seen a lot of folks fall in love and break up, but here I am. The same old me, the same old problem I can’t seem to figure out. As much as I would like to seek the “perfect woman”, I don’t think she’s necessarily looking for me.

I’m a humble person, at least I try to be. In the  recent years, I haven’t bragged about myself; even if there was something to brag about, I wouldn’t stand too high and mighty over a small accomplishment. I don’t necessarily have attribute which stand out either, I’m not too smart or too funny, just an average person with an average build. Hopeless as it sounds, I do hope in romance. As far away as finding that person is, if it’s a lifelong pursuit then I’m willing to spend it alone.

Even if I lived to result in being alone, I guess I can accept I stood firmly on a love never requited. We’re creatures fond of instant gratification but yet here is one thing I would spend my entire life looking.

Feels weird to observe I’m the only person who would act like this all for love and even without it for quite some time, I’m still looking for the similar attachment I once had. A brief moment in my life I wish I could have for the rest of my life.

I just want to love again, someday perhaps.

Good Luck Next Time

I know I haven’t been staggering away from my traditional weekly blog posts, I’ve been caught up with work recently. A lot of out and about work and with the recent weather, I’ve been taking my camera out in the warm sunny days.

However I’ve been holding back writing a post about relationships because I should really be the last person to give relationship advice. I take that back, I should be the bottom ten people you should ask. In the past month or two, everyone is either getting in trouble with relationships or wanting to leave a relationship. As the nice single male I am, I always suck myself into these conversations with “Tell me about it.”

I want to be the helping hand and open ear for someone to feel good. A lot of people I’ve talked to drink heavily after a relationship; not going to lie if I had the money, I would’ve done the same. Usually drinking alone and suffering is the same, nothing is solved and it will still hurt at the end. The  weird thing is I find one within the pair who was seeking more than just a physical relationship and that’s what gets me.

I do believe in this century, there are variability in the definition of love but the still hardest to grasp I’ve seen and witness is romantic love. I’ve had closely had a romantic relationship and compared to people I’ve meet seemed to want the same, the love of another person. I almost want to tell them a daring truth that what they seek is not a physical embodiment of love but a love which can only be received in kind and care. Even then I don’t think they would reciprocate in the sense to understand romantic love but to rationalize their needs in that context. Romantic love is not a date on the calendar or a price tag, it’s the devotion and the willingness to weather hardships of not your own but others. Still as you read this, some will say it’s easy or asking how but that is the difficulty of romantic love and how I think it’s the greatest of loves. If done right it can reciprocate with bounty and if done incorrectly can hurt the most toughest of souls.

I would want that romantic love but it is just an idea most people see as unobtainable. From my point of view even if I don’t ever find that romantic love, I will still look for it and her.

Grounded

This week was interesting, I’m not into politics but I do follow what’s going on in the world. Judging by the controversy behind the newly President-Elect, he seems an unpopular fellow with some. From all the news and articles streaming out of the United States, it just sounds like another Civil War is igniting but I doubt it’s the case.

It is an interesting change in power as the the last term served  was focused on erasing gaps and borders, rooting the republic back to the beginning of a just and open governance for the people. This week has been ominous and synonymous  with the end of that dream, trading for hard capitalism and the power to the 1%. As much as I lean to the latter, I still have hope no matter what their new government will do.

A democratic nation is a nation of choice, do not choose to hate but choose to hope. Hope for a better future, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for all your dreams. When you believe in something, then there is something still worth fighting for; but not fight with swords and steel. Fight with the yearning in your heart for the just and hopeful. Whether you don’t stand for them, stand to believe in those without a voice to have a voice.

As a student to American history, the people do possess one power no leader can ever take. The power to change, use that power for the good and just for all. Not of one creed or race, but for all. The United States of America is only strong as those who are willing to endure and fight for those of very little, the very weak and the very lost. Give them more, get them strong and help them find the way.

This will be an interesting 4 years coming up and no one knows how  it will turn out. But we all must endure it together.

This. Phone. Company.

A couple weeks ago while I was writing the last blog post, I kept getting calls throughout the week. At first I understand these people are being paid to call me to sell me the company I subscribe to for my telecom service. However after the third phone call in a week, I’m starting to get fed up.

Of course it makes sense companies call you by their means to be friendly to let you know you’re due up to renew your service after a contract (if you have one). As important is to keep repeat business going to make money off their customers. However I’ve been called a few more times than usual within the week. Prior to this, I would receive the occasional text about local discounts on entertainment and venues. Those customers similar to me might know this company.

It sounds to me this company is desperate. Their constant calls in the evening seem to be more hostile than informative. It’s really getting on my nerves that around 8:10 in the evening, a lady calls me to tell me about their “new fast internet service” they would like to  offer to me as a “loyal customer”. There are a bunch of problems.

Starting with the speed of about 25 mbps, it’s great speed – incredible speed, even. However at $50 a month, I am still paying for my internet. No matter how affordable it may be, my current living arrangement has given me access to the Internet. My income isn’t enough to pay more bills considering I would pay double for communications. So if my phone company is reading this, know this – please stop calling me. I’m set for the time being.

Thanks for “considering”.