Another Yesterday

I have to admit, the past six months have been different for a lot of us. I know I’ve been through a lot, both positive and negative. Not too long ago my province finally reached stage 3.

With the lockdown slowly peeling away, the city is coming back alive despite a few things being postponed for the following year. The 5 feet/2 metre distance is still applicable as well as face masks for indoors and crowds. In “Stage 3”; dining in restaurants will make a comeback, theatres are allowed to reopen, pools and amusement parks are coming back for the end of the summer and that’s as long as they can follow medical guidelines.

Retrospectively I should’ve taken more photos when the city was empty. Despite being away for a few months especially at the peak of the pandemic, coming home and seeing the empty streets was strange. Strange, yet peaceful. A lot of events are cancelled but the makeshift patios authorized by the city are livening up curbs. Though some places are heavily crowded to hardly able to walk pass, it’s different from what it would’ve been. The face masks does make everyday interactions a bit different. Living in a culturally diverse city, the biggest obstacle is a linguistic barrier. Though most people do speak English here primarily, most ESL speakers are a bit harder to interpret without reading lips or the mask muffling the enunciating tones of their voice. There has been a few times I had to lean in closer but the plexiglass or acrylic barrier dampens more of the sound. The only thing I can take away from this is line ups for places I like are really short. Exposure is limited even in a publicly accessible indoor space so good for me for having these small niche places I go to for food and goodies. It’s either that or I just go at the least busiest time.

Though I’ve been slacking off a lot in July, August is the month I have to do something drastic. Not every year a pandemic can allow me to change my physical look. Been planning to dye my hair so I have about a month or so to enjoy long and coloured hair. Took me about a decade to do it, I might be able to because of the pandemic.

I’ve also hit a wall in my photography so my next step is to do a bit of product and still photography. Recently cleaning out my desk, I’ve found some old stuff I can easily sell off online. While I’m at it, I might as well get my arts and crafts on and build a light box out of cardboard and printer paper.

But first, I have to find the time to get out of bed at a better time and have the powerful motivation to do stuff.

Upgrades

Since I got back for working two months straight, I wanted to commit to buying some new parts for my aging PC. It’s not a luxurious upgrade but enough to keep it running games for the time being.

The last “upgrade” was a Asus GTX 950 to replace my Zotac 750 which replaced a PNY 9800 graphics card which I first bought with my first custom built PC. For ten years I ran with the following:

  • Intel Core 2 Quad CPU
  • ASUS P5N-D Motherboard
  • 4GB of Kingston ValueRam
  • 500 GB Seagate hard drive
  • LG 16x DVD Drive

Over the years I added 1 TB, refitted the Thermaltake Soprano case with a variable speed fan in the front and an Arctic F12 Pro fan in the rear. I don’t remember if the case came with its own power supply so I’m guessing my Thermaltake Toughpower 750W from 2009 isn’t a stock supply unit.

This was my first time I’ve ever purchased from Amazon. With stores shutdown at the time, I couldn’t necessarily buy local. In hindsight, it might have been a bad idea to buy electronics during the pandemic. At the same time, I still think I got a pretty good deal. If I needed to bring my PC to the next decade, I had to pull the circuits out. Everything on the motherboard had to go, which sadly is the most expensive part of any computer.

The CPU is always the highest expense. At the time AMD was still behind on Intel in processing power. Now the Ryzen 5 3600 is my first AMD CPU I’ve purchased and used. Along with a new CPU, I stuck with the same brands for all my products if not different models:

  • ASUS B450M-A/CSM Motherboard
  • Thermaltake 150W CPU cooler
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 16GB RAM

I don’t have a big budget but with a short budget, it’s all I can do. Though if I ever manage to get working again or receive emergency relief from the government, I might try and get a couple solid state drives to boost boot and cache speeds. Since this board comes with a SSD slot, I might as well use it.

The IDE interface is now deprecated, so my DVD drive still have to find a home. Also I never used my USB expansion port and 3.0 is a bit better than 2.0 so it immediately had to go. Sadly not everything can be salvaged. On the upside, I’ve managed to cable managed a bit. The case was never designed for cable management. All I need is a modded side panel so I can store the rest of my unused cables behind the motherboard. For not, have a bird’s net inside my drive bay will do.

A few things I learned along the way if anyone wants to swap parts. First, back up all your data! I lost a lot of personal files on my Windows 7 operating system so when I thought I could just upgrade my hardware then software, I would be able to keep all my files. Pulling an all nighter to install all my programs and a fresh Windows 10 operating system is a big consequence to lost all my files. I was a bit worried about installing the cooler onto the CPU, it was my first time applying thermal paste. By writing this, I guess it means my system is fairly stable and I didn’t screw it up. However I feel the instructions from the manufacturer did not match what I had so I had to improvise. Rather than using all the included parts, I installed it by slowly screwing down the cooler to the bracket. I felt a bit uneasy going off the rails with the instructions, but I think that’s what they were trying to convey.

Lastly, I’m surprised how quiet it is running at the moment. The loudest thing is the variable fan I’ve kept in the case. On high, there is a bit of buffeting (that whirring or whooshing sound made by the turbulence of the fan) but when I dial it down, it becomes almost silent when my drives aren’t pushing too hard to load programs.

Next step I think is to increase storage. With a PCI slot available out of the 2 (my GPU covers two slots, making one unusable), I could install SSD’s, a sound card, or a wireless card. At the same time, I would like to remove this tiny dial and hook the fan control up to the motherboard itself.

I’m going to try and play around with my new(-ish) PC build. I’ll let you know how it turns out in the future.

“I’m so bored”

Of course we have days and days into this pandemic and for some, there are days and days more until we pass the peak. For some of you, the phrase has been said time and time again. During these times, you have plenty of time to do everything you could want when you could be working. If you’re not working and still stuck at home, hopefully this list of things could help encourage you to do more in the moment.

  • Start a blog. Talk about your day and open your thoughts up to the world. Talk about your hobbies and interests. Rant about things that matter to you and review things in your life. Definitely this blog here doesn’t receive a lot of viewership but here I am, about a decade old and I’m just going about my day.
  • Start a new hobby or interest. I’m actually getting back to PC building. I’m upgrading my old PC and buying parts from Amazon. I’ve been reading graphic novels and I’ve even did a bit of art. A new project would definitely get you a bit productive. Want to start a garden? Want to talk to a financial advisor about planning your future? Want to find out how cryptocurrency works and how you can make money in it? Want to learn a programming language like HTML, C++ or others? Want to paint or draw or pursure artistic endeavours? Now is the time since you don’t know how long this pandemic will last, good time to really put your brain through the wringer and see what comes out!
  • Clean/organize your [fill in the blank]. For me to prepare for the previous point, I cleaned my desk for a workspace to install the new parts on my PC. I’ve even dived into my drawers and cleaned them. I might even go through the drawers under my bed and clean those as well. Clean your garage, apartment and yard. Organize your tax returns and documents. Organize your files on your computer. Organize all your things.
  • Figure out how to make money without working. This might be a bit hard since the economy is in a low since not a lot of people are working. However you can be a bit environmentally friendly and make some money on the side. Help neighbours with chores, sell your old books and stuff you don’t use on Facebook Marketplace/Craiglist/eBay, start an lemonade stand, start livestreaming to use all your bandwidth.
  • Get take out and find a usually busy place and enjoy the silence. Urban picnic? You can go to usually where you couldn’t have a picnic during the day because it’s usually busy and just have a picnic. The financial district in my city has been extremely empty and there are a lot of open spaces where you can play an instrument, or have a picnic, or sit there and not look weird because you’re socially distancing. There are tons of spaces where it’s absolutely devoid of employees and passersby, use the space that’s being wasted for something good. Here you can draw a mural with chaulk, bring a mic and an instrument and play some music, picnic with friends, play soccer or some ball game there.
  • Something new. Start a new podcast, new book, new game. Just something you never have done. Straight forward.

Maybe when you have done everything on your little lists, you can then share it with friends after the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong, this list is short but you could probably expand on every point on this list. If you have been inspired, completed something and want to share it, feel free to comment it about it. I would like to know and who knows? Someone reading could be inspired to follow suit.

To Coronavirus and Back

So the reason of my absence after saying I will commit: work called me up. Quite literally when my last blog was published, I got a phone call to help out a community where the novel coronavirus as gripped them heavily. I couldn’t say no since I would be sitting here and trying to put my rampant random thoughts into coherent posts. Also it paid, so there’s that.

After a month of returning, I feel a bit more at home. It was kind of hard being away for two month and feeling so alien coming back to my normal routine. Grabbing my camera for the first time after being away was a relief. I went out and took some photos and been spending the entire month trying to connect with people after being pushed away from people to help them at the same time. It was rough.

Coming back, I neglected with keeping up with the viral news. Updates to what I can and cannot do in the city. Coming back,, I had to buy a mask and keep my distance from people with chaotic movement patterns. Last month wasn’t so bad as people generally stayed home. But the city is slowly lowering the restrictions so I have been seeing more and more people for their midday meanderings. This month I’m glad to have the mask since public transit is mandating masks and any indoor spaces are doing the same. Still no indoor dining and I can’t go back to my other job, but it’s starting to look a bit normal if not better.

I think out of this pandemic, the city does benefit a lot from some zoning changes. Recently the mayor here allowed road closures along the harbour for people who want to get their workout in. Patios are allowed to be open and even extended onto sidewalks where permitted. A lot fo restaurants have been taking advantage of this near my home and it does bring a more lively vibe to the neighbourhood. These are definitely something worth promoting since it does bring people out to enjoy the summer and even connect to the area they live in. That’s some positive changes.

At the same time, a lot of radical changes are coming. I managed to keep updated to what is going on internationally. Things are looking pretty bad in the States, cases are still pretty high along with racially charged protests. The melting pot that is the United States might be finally melting and it has spread faster than the pandemic itself. I know minority communities are marginalized heavily. I myself is a visible minority despite being very anglicized. Early during this pandemic, Asian hate crimes were on the rise but no one really did anything despite these immigrants weren’t even associated to China except the colour of their skin. Even then, the majority of victims in the cases were from other countries. Therefore not all the Asian hate crimes were against Chinese. Business vandalized and owners victimized, it’s not a measuring contest for the most victimized minority. All minorities are affected to some or all the discrimination, regardless of how you look or what your are as a person. Probably another blog post about it later, but seeing people openly fighting against the racial divide is a just cause as long as no one innocent gets hurt and positive change is made for all parties.

This virus I think has done a lot more than we expected. Despite infecting millions, it’s brought us all together and realized how fragile our civilization is even with it’s inherent problems. We still have time to fix it all and move us in a different direction. We have the revelation how pollution and industry has affected the planet, we have shown we are capable of stopping pollution even for a couple month. We culturally identified the faultlines we need to heal and what must be done to change the future. When 9/11 happened in 2001, the world changed and a decade long crusade was ignited for the worst. What will it take to crusade for a better and healthier world?

Viral Benefits

The cases are piling up and it seems like there isn’t much stopping. National news here says this might last for a few months before we’re over the hill with this virus. Constrictions in activities and movement of people have taken a toll on the economy. However looking on the light side, there has been a few benefits.

Working on the daily does take a toll on everyone. As introverted as you may be, you would agree having time alone to do your own thing does help benefit people mentally. Spending time with family, friends and pets is definitely something everyone looks forward to, why not make a full time commitment?

At the same time, this is an amazing opportunity to learn new hobbies and ideas. We live in an extraordinary time until the Spanish Flu. We’re still very interconnected electronically that we can gain knowledge of what’s going on in the world in seconds instead of weeks or month. I learned everything I can by myself about photography, but I have been thinking I could learn it a bit more semi-formally.

Along side with that, I’ve always wanted to learn a bit of electronics. This might be a bit more difficult since I would have to invest into hand tools like soldering iron, pliers and drivers. That doesn’t even include materials.

I could reteach myself into editing HTML. I learned a bit of HTML in high school a decade ago. I’ll definitely get back to you on that one.

A couple years ago, Canada legalized marijuana as a recreational drug. Since then, there has been a huge boom in sales and brick-and-mortar shops. Even chains are starting to pop up all over the place!

With that, there are more people beginning to smoke very openly. I have nothing wrong with people enjoying themselves. The problem I have is the smoke expelled from the burning herb. Since the start of legalization, I’ve been having a lot of headaches more than usual. About four a month coming from a guy who use to have occasional headaches less than five per year. Some of them are worse than others where I couldn’t feel too comfortable. The pot shops are still open, however I’ve seen less and less people hanging around there. The last week or so, I’ve had no headaches and it feels nice.

There are still a lot of people walking around despite people are suppose to be self-isolating, the amount of cars have reduced by a lot. I could jaywalk downtown without much worry about getting hit by a car. Occasionally there will be traffic jams, but with everyone staying home it has made the city a bit more liveable. And a lovely side effect of less cars is better air quality! Living in the west, there is more of a conscious about the environment but having this virus has contributed fresh air without the smell of rubber and gasoline.

So. Many. Photos!

The last couple weeks I’ve been doing my best to locally document the COVID-19 pandemic. Honestly day by day it’s getting harder since there isn’t many places to rest as well as being way to cold to rest outside. I’m only avoiding rainy days and make those day my edit days when they come. Besides that I’ve been editing every 2 or 3 days of shooting to keep workload light.

Definitely the boredom is slowly settling at home. At the same time I’m avoiding my vices. I don’t have the space to drink, so my alcohol tolerance will be low after this. Keeping away from the video games since I wouldn’t be sleeping properly and I still want to maintain some rhythm. Hoping six hours of sleep will help me, at the same time I wish I could sleep more since I’m eating more to maintain my alertness.

To keep myself safe for at least 6 hours, I began playing Life is Strange 2. No doubt I’ll be done in a week and put on a review here if it keeps up. I could start creating more gameplay videos on YouTube, but I’m still turned away from poking my voice out there. I didn’t even finish my Fallout 4 playthrough series and I’m burnt out and rusty on editing video.

While we’re on YouTube, I’ve been looking at short films and news reels from a century ago. I was really considering getting an digital streaming device like a Roku, Chromecast or Fire TV. I have a feeling I wouldn’t get any new content that I would get from downloading here. How I miss the 90’s when you can turn on the TV and channel surf than browsing through menus.

At least now I have more to time doing a lot of things for free. Sadly I’m hemorrhaging money without working. At least I don’t pay much and all payments go towards food. While I’m taking photos, I still have to pay for transit for the time being. Hopefully by the time this gets published, there might be a reduction in cost to ride.

For now the best I can do is photograph and wait indoors.

Masks and cleaning

This post will probably make people lose their minds, especially during this pandemic. I’m stilling heading outside, trying my best to not let all this bell ringing fear keep me inside. Besides the Monday rain, I’ve been outside for at least 4 hours every day. I need to feel not like a prisoner in my own home. At the same time, I don’t do much to antagonize my chances of surviving despite them improving by staying indoor.

“Social distancing”, now called “physical distancing”, might sound something complicated though honestly anyone who’s in their 20’s and early 30’s have endured this. You might now know it is “binging”, you sit at home away from contact from anyone and watch TV or play video games. I’ve done this many times and in the past, I’ve gone months without setting foot outside unnecessarily. Before I had a prescription, video games was my life. It ruined me pretty bad where it took me longer to graduate high school and set my life back permanently. Agreed I should stay inside and join everyone being stuck indoors and wait out, but there are still things I don’t dare admit about my home life which disturbs people. Those facts about my life I keep to myself are enough reason to choose going out than staying in. Living in the city, staying two metres away from someone is uncommon. Though usually anyone can agree your personal space is within arm’s reach. Even walking down the street I try and keep a distance from people around me since in the city, there are people that can just easily get you sick because they’re constantly exposed to diseases.

However this what annoys me a lot and why I titled my post about this, cleanliness. I don’t have a problem for being cautious and taking precautions, I for one do my best on the daily to clean my hands before and after I eat since I don’t want foreign germs and matter going into my body. I work in an industrial atmosphere where lubricants and solvents are either toxic, poisonous or cancerous upon ingestion. So the use of soap, water and heavy rubbing is a must. At times, water and soap is unavailable especially now when restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery here. For this we have a modern solution, hand sanitizer. Though alcohol based, it does get a bit harmful for your skin if you use too much of it. I don’t like using it because it doesn’t make a good substitute to proper hand washing. Why pay for an inferior product when you can have a cheaper and highly effective solution? I’m not turning people away from hand sanitizer but it’s a poor solution for lazy people who refuse to learn to wash their filthy paws.

I think at the same time when hand sanitizers showed up on the scene around 2004, there were more and more people wearing surgical masks. It become a bit of a fashion trend in a lot of Asian countries and it seems to be re-surging and being part of western society as well. If you have hoarded or bought masks during this crisis, I feel so sorry for you since you sort of been peer pressured to do it. To clear up what each mask does, here’s the short explanation from my knowledge:

  • Surgical Masks are commonly used in hospitals to prevents people coming in contact to your cough or sneeze. Does protect you a bit but won’t stop anything aerosol or airborne. Wearing one to stop a virus is equal to using paper to stop a bullet.
  • Dust Masks are for vapours and particulate. Though it does firmly seal around the nose and mouth, it’s as effective as a surgical mask against an airborne virus. It doesn’t. Though if you hoarded a bunch of these, good time to learn to graffiti paint or take up carpentry.
  • Respirators are any mask with a filter. These are especially great when you’re constantly in a space with heavy aerosol or particles in the air. Does it protect against a virus, some but not all. Viruses are really small and these do well with prevention especially with 95% of particles that are of a particular size.

But the biggest kicker is this, none of these will stop you from getting sick. They’re all prevention tools to reduce your chances, but absolute protection is unlikely if you are already exposed. So hand washing, using hand sanitizer and being decked out like a hospital worker might reduce your chances greatly, if one gets in and survives then it’s kind of moot to be protected. The best we can do with absolute success is working together.

At this very moment, some really smart folks are figuring out this virus and creating a vaccine against it. For them, I urge people to not hoard equipment so these people have the right stuff to keep us all alive. Then there are the people trying to keep those people keeping us all alive, let them do their job. If they don’t do their job, then that’s one more thing you can hang over them when election day comes.

The best we can do is just remember what our parents taught us. Hand washing and keeping as clean as humanly possible. And absolutely not feed into the fear and panic. Keep calm and carry on.

Business as usual

Writing this on Monday, the first one in awhile when I have time to myself to sit down and have free time. The past several months, I’ve been gainfully employed and blogging had to the first to go since I was preoccupied in ranting. Now coming back from being busy, I feel kind of odd to do this amidst a viral scare.

Back in February, people were on edge about a virus breakout from China, now halfway through the month, it has touched across the world. Watching media outlets putting the fear back into the world. The last time I’ve witnessed this much fear was after September 11, almost 20 years ago. Present day, people are closing businesses and people are staying home. As much as you should be worried, there isn’t much you can do. I’ve seen people hoarding cleaning products and toilet paper as well as every kind of mask available at the hardware store. The oddity of feeling the “end of the world” is absurd considering what it is, it could be me since I approach it with a bit of logic. Am I a bit too calm in this situation?

This past couple weeks been brutally difficulty, never a fan of managing my own time down to the minute. But I did manage to get a lot done before both my workplaces shut down for the next couple weeks. It might be a bit more which is why I’m looking at job boards at the moment to see if I can find another job while I wait. The worry is people might overreact and extend these austere measures. I don’t think a lot of people notice how restrictive and overbearing things can be until it’s over their heads. Today it’s called “self -quarantine”, but the way I see it is forced unemployment and destitution since not many can live without paying for rent and utilities. I don’t think the economy would be able to compensate for it which worries me socially. I watched all arts and culture closed down. Restaurants are about to be reduced to delivery and take-out places. I went out for a walk and definitely a lot less people out than normal. Could be the Sunday and Monday, but walking into a high end mall and not seeing a lot of shoppers worry me. With all this technology, are we really turning into a self-isolating civilization where all interactions will be reduced to a face or a username on a computer? After this virus, what would change? I know when the world comes to term with a problem, something inherently changes.

Above it all, I let logic help me face reality and not let myself become to hyperactive about the situation. This is the small reminder I have that this is taken too seriously:

  • About 8 billion people live here.
  • About 180, 000 cases world wide, each being a person. That’s about 0.00225% of the population.
  • About 7 000 of those result in death. Which is 3.8% of the 180, 000 or which is 0.00008% worldwide.
  • 80, 000 total recovered, which is about 44%.

Here in Canada, where I live:

  • We have about 450 cases in a country of 37.6 million.
  • 4 cases were deaths, about 1%.
  • About 10% of cases have recovered.

Those numbers are extremely low. It doesn’t mean this thing is done. This could mark the beginning. However looking at fatalities is a nihilist approach to this. I don’t see this as “how long will I survive?” But more as “how much more can I live?” Sure 10% doesn’t sound assuring and the number of cases are growing by the day. However being isolated and blocked off to the world was never my solution. I’ve been there and those who haven’t suffered through a depressive episode will soon learn how terrible things can be without interacting with people. The number are still going up whether you stay at home or not, once it goes through everyone, it will eventually go through you as well. Perhaps I should save a bit on cleanliness for another post, suffice to say I’m not letting people scare me.

I’m done with that part of my life. I’ve fought too hard to start living and I’m not letting a small bit of genetic code stop me from enjoying what I have left. If I do expire, I choose to do it on my own terms.

“Loneliness Kills”

Before I begin, happy belated new years. It’s been a month but I’ve been in a terrible mood. A few things happened after new years that really got me down for a couple weeks in January. The latter weeks have been trying to push myself away from those thoughts. Nothing more than work and video games trying to keep those thoughts away. At the same time, I’ve neglected on taking photos but I’ve managed to get myself outside. I managed to shoot a hockey game, which makes it the first sports event I’ve capture. Besides that, I haven’t been must productive.

Which is kind of why I haven’t been writing regularly. I have been lonely, sometimes feeling seperate from myself. As much as routine keeps my mind off things, I come home and left to my own devices. The worst has past but being isolated for so long has put me back into hold habits. I have been eating irregularly, sleep schedule is off, more time to fade into the fantasy of video games.

As a guy, it’s a bit tough to really talk about this stuff. When I mentioned it to my manager by accident, I spent an hour discussing it at work. I opened up with my entire life story, to a stranger no less. Honestly feel very uncomfortable talking this to anyone let alone strangers. There was nothing new to really relay and it just reinforcing where I am right now.

“Loneliness kills.”

“That’s sad.”

“I am fortunate.”

“Why not act?” Prefixing, succinctly “I’ve done everything I can to preserve my emotional and mental well being.”

Phrases that no longer pains me as much. I really can’t convey how numbing it is when nothing can’t be done and everything goes in circle. I don’t know how the conversation lead to my personal situation. In any case, I felt too vulnerable and knowing I said it makes me feel even more vulnerable.

Which makes me want to withdraw even more, like I have done many times including recently.

Outdated Tech Laws

I’ve definitely mentioned it in a blog before but it has been really in my mind consider that technology has outpaced us. Civilly, we were never prepared here in the Great White North. Airsoft has been around since the 50’s and 60’s but no laws have been properly applied until of late. Crowd-source industries have surged through without much regulation and has tested classifications and definitions in law. Photography and drone flight have particular pricked the public interest of where it’s considering right and wrong.

I haven’t played airsoft in awhile but it doesn’t mean from time to time I receive news about the goings-on in the community at large. When the government decided to apply laws that are equal to paintball, it was slowly declining in interest. Due to the draconian enforcement on importation and carry laws. It doesn’t mean people still don’t care, in fact have these items classified as equipment of a sport but further to label them as replicas applies implicit ways to handle them in use and storage. Which I think is great since it would encourage not only honourable sporting practice but a good introduction to proper firearm handling for anyone who was interested to own their own gun.

Most recently crowd-sourcing has been a big issue in my city. The fact the roads and homes are being fully maximized to profit pulls away from the human component. My city has a big issue with homelessness, cost of living and a heavy reliance on external investment to build more housing. More I think about it, we put ourselves into a cyclic system that has destroyed the downtown core. Up to the end of the 20th century, the “downtown” was always the economic and financial hub of the city. People go in there to make money or spend it. Though recently with more people wanting to live and work close, condos have been rising all over the place. Not only that they want to travel conveniently and live cheaply. On top of that, the city does enjoy money that they want it from anywhere. Foreign investment into building these units to fill that demand without little or no feedback from the companies involved and responsible for these buildings. In the last 15 years, there have been sporadic reports that even these aging condo units are falling apart. Not only that but it raises taxes of the local area which forces business out and for them to stay in business, they have to increase prices to cover costs. Who buys these stuff? Off course the people who live close. Luckily the bubble is slowly bursting here because condos are about expensive as owning a house in certain places. However this doesn’t stop subleasing to others not named in their lease contracts. When you rent, you agree that you are the sole occupant of that space and if there isn’t a clause or proper enforcement, people are going to sublet their units for temporary renters which borrow the space for a few days. As a result sometimes, these people might not follow the rules and cause trouble. In the city this can invite some bad people to influence the neighbourhood. In my city, shootings, homicides and noise complaints have been the prime push for controlling these sub-leases. But it doesn’t change much because people want to make money to cover costs and if they have the money to buy property, then nothing will stop them to buy it. This goes specially towards foreign investors and non-residents.

Besides not letting strangers into your house, a lot of people never learned the lesson of entering a stranger’s car. Most apps now define their drivers as “private contractors” or “private operators” which can be a slippery slope since it offers the driver a lot of freedom of how they operate. Since they’re private means they’re not necessarily employed by the company so it absolves them from responsibilities of their drivers. So if a customer complains about a certain driver, the company can quite literally don’t have to do anything. As much as they will remove drivers off the app, it could be just as easy to do very little if the government doesn’t personally responsible. It’s kind of embarrassing too when I see taxi drivers operate their vehicles more responsibly than some of these drivers that are so heavily dependent on GPS to get them from point-to-point. This is why I refuse to get those apps, I know my cabbie can get there for cheap as well. Cabs don’t surge price so when you get in, you already agreed to a fixed fee. Meanwhile 5 kilomentres and 5 kilometres with the surge price can be a big difference. So keep your bottle water and candy, I rather hop into a cab with someone who knows the city on the back of his hand. Perhaps the only time a private car may be worth it is going intercity since anecdotal accounts from people close to me say it’s cheaper. Go figure.

A bit of a hobby and interest is drones and photography. Not going to lie, I have one sitting on my shelf in case I want to fly it and I might want to trade it for one with a camera on a gimbal. Also I own a couple cameras, because a good hobby is one that interests you and for it going 3 years strong; I think it’s officially love. Recently though, mirrorless systems are about to close the gap with cellphones since MILC’s (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras) are just as powerful in resolution and the ability to capture light. Despite the price, in 5 years these camera bodies would be equally priced to a new phone. I’ve seen what a lot of full-frame MILC’s can do and it’s absolutely beautiful. I’m still holding out for DSLR but the advantage of an electronic shutter is immense especially capturing things faster than 1/10000 of a second. However back when laws were placed on cameras in regards to a person’s privacy, they were meant for bulky cameras like SLR which applies to most cameras. With smartphones and everyone owning a device with a camera, it’s quite impossible to stop someone from taking a photo. I’ve been caught more times than probably someone in the same space for taking a photo on their phone. It’s quite obvious what I’m done with a camera but I’m the one called out for it. This is not much for governments to enforce these laws but to the security firms that maintain buildings. Definitely property owners can consent to photographs but for the most time a lot of people take a quick photo of a building and move on. Why can’t I do the same, guys? Honestly if you place art installations or decorate to appeal to the eye, no doubt you will have looks and a couple photos. Drones are in their own ballpark but photography does get involved however. I love these things, it’s always nice to see things from a different perspective however as much as privacy is concerned, these lens are pretty garbage. Now only if I can mount my DSLR on a drone, that would be the dream. The big issue here is safety. I haven’t seen it myself since I know there is a FPV drone community that sometimes loves to race. But if it’s anything like airsoft, most of them are responsible folks – which I guess why I don’t see them a lot. Though some people love to push the limit, either by ignorance or sheer daring. Ignorance is forgivable though if someone is in danger, it can’t be overlooked. As a human being, you have the ability to have empathy (unless you’re psychopathic, that’s another discussion). If you can’t think about what you’re doing and what it results for others, then you’re not a human being. What goes up, must come down. It annoys me when the government has to dumb down to get people to live sensibly with others. Next thing you know, bike licenses are re-instituted (it happened in my city a long time ago), you have to carry registration for pets and then how much father until we have to have a certificate that allows us to leave our houses.

The biggest takeaway from this is just consider about others and the whole.