People Watching

Everytime that you sit on the bus or train you can’t help but people watch. It’s crazy how everyone has their own story that you don’t even know about. You can just make up whatever you want and pretend that it’s their equivalent to what their life is. You can make up whatever you want basicand say that’s who they are. It’s like the original stereotype. This is how you people watch. You see a girl holding a starbucks cup, wearing uggs and taking selfies on her phone and you know she fits into the classic ‘basic’ label. The best is when you see certain people and you can imagine everything from their house to what their children are like. Figuring out people’s personalities takes a little more work but it’s not undoable. I love sitting on the bus and watching people come on and off. Just thinking about where they’re going or where they’re coming from really makes you realize that other people have lives too. It helps you to come out of yourself for a bit and understand that other people have stuff going on that you don’t know about. You think that you exist in this bubble but you don’t. There are other people in the world who also have their own stuff, their own problems and are going somewhere. That’s the coolest part of people watching. Everyone that you’re watching is going somewhere.

 

One time I was in my shopping mall and I saw this couple having a fight, well really I heard them more than I saw them. It looked like he had just proposed and she was basically saying no. They had just boobreakupked a vacation away together so he was annoyed at her that she would say no because they’d already booked the tickets and they were non-refundable. She was obviously shocked that this was what he cared about after he had just asked her to marry him. The fact that he cared more about the money than their break up was shocking. Maybe he didn’t think that it would mean they broke up. In which case he was even stupider than he looked. This is a different kind of people watching though because you really know the whole situation. You don’t know the back story though so you can only take things at face value. You can see and hear what’s going on rather than filling blanks for yourself based on stereotypes. Stereotypes are the weirdest things because they help you to take precautions when necessary but generally speaking you should never judge a book by its cover. And that’s exactly what people watching is. It’s making judgements based on the cover of the person alone and nothing else. It’s pretty harmless though so I would still recommend it. Next time that you’re on a bus try it out for yourself, no previous experience required.

 

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Biological Science

the biological clock 2 There is so much we don’t know. There is this idea that a skill set will only get you so far. When you lose the ability to make money with that skill, you will be done. Acquiring more skills is vital, and staying tech-savvy is just as vital. But it is difficult for me, on a personal level, to interact with all of that. Skillets I want to acquire are those which are not taught in too many schools. And another issue that I have is that I will only truly put forth the effort if I am engaged and interested. Otherwise – and I am not saying this cannot change – I simply don’t care enough to do something about anything. I am not enjoying that part of my being. It is one which has gotten me into tons of trouble in my youth and even now. But it is so very difficult to disengage from old patterns and habits and reactions. I can’t stress how awful it feels to witness it from inside and outside. And many times, it is arrogance which begets ignorance. Sad but true. And it is certainly true myself. I am interested in gaining more knowledge, but it frightens and incapacitates me at times, to see just how little I know about money and financial independence.

 

Thankfully, I am still young, but that won’t last forever. The biological clock isn’t the only thing that is ticking inside me. There are so many more questions to be clarified and answered (if possible). So I am adopting – have adopted – a technique which is known as “UNTIL!”. I will do the work until I get it. I will learn and read ththe biological clocke books until it makes sense. I will put myself through what I can until things click into place. I will watching motivational videos until I am actually on the way to new development, new growth, and better futures. People are always talking to me about using my potential, or rather about my misuse of it. I went through a box of old elementary and high-school report cards recently, and they were all filled with the same thing: good work but try harder, realize your potential.

 

I am hopeful, but a tad fearful. I want to be excited about the future, not dreading it. I want to be the one who shapes, moves, and shakes my reality. I just hope there is more resolve than fear. Time will tell.
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Market Research

market research 1 I entered into one of those survey thingy’s, like a market research online. They would send them
to me nearly every day into my inbox. I had gone to one market research in the center of
London, like once. They had asked me to fill out a form whereby I added my email address and
ever since that day – a near two years ago – they are still sending me emails.
So I decided to do one of them. I applied to do an online market research on health products.
Tea Tree oil Shampoo to be exact. They would send me a sample and I would use it for a week
and then I would talk about my experience. So I applied and they accepted. They sent me a
sample of their shampoo and I used it for a week as promised. I was only supposed to use this
shampoo and I could use any other conditioner that I liked. I was secretly hoping they would
send me a conditioner too – but they didn’t and who am I to be ungrateful and spoilt! It turns
out actually after I finished the sample for a week and shared my experience with them, as well
as being given a 50 GBP reward for doing so, they also sent me a small gift box with a few of
their goodies – so I got my wish after all!

 

I actually loved their Tea Tree oil Shampoo. It was just the right consistency and to be honest it’s
something I probably would have one day have picked up if I had seen it on the shelf, it actually
looked like a product I would gravitate towards. It smelt great, the packaging was kind of funky
and cool and well the shampoo itself just worked really well with and on my hair. It helped
revitalize and renew my hair and made it tingle! I especially loved that part! I started to use all
the other bits and pieces they sent me and really fell in love with this brand. I am now an avid
buyer of this brand so I guess they gained another customer which I am not sure was the initial
part of the market research although it couldn’t help right. I was supposed to share my
experiences in order to share that and hopefully inspire others in some small way (if I liked it of
course) and in return maybe they would gain more customers – well at least it worked on me
anyhow!… and I do hope words did help in some way.market research 2

 

I now do regular market researches for them. Some of the products I have loved and some not
so much but it really has been an excellent thing to get involved with in my spare time. I have
reviewed everything and anything from Wonder-bras to becoming a mystery shopper and I even
got to review a restaurant once – free meal alert! That was a good one! The more I do the more
they send me and some are better than others, but it did all start with the Tea Tree oil Shampoo
that I now use pretty much every day. I am actually starting to think of how I can do this on a full
time basis. It's one of the best jobs I have ever had! Here's to market research! I am grateful for
the many opportunities I have had to review some pretty awesome things. I wonder what they
have in store for me next!

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Grammarly or Whitesmoke

A lot of people write for a living, I myself should know, as I myself do in fact write in order to earn my bread. But when you write for profit, you run into problems that to most normal people (normal as in they don’t write for a living, I guess that might have been a poor choice of words) would be a minor annoyance. I am of course referencing grammar and spelling errors, and also the oft misunderstood styling error. While it is hardly a bother for regular people, seeing as edu-grammarlythey only need to get their point across, and not get their point across while showing a higher standard of language. When you’re a professional writer (note: you don’t need to be good to be a professional, professional just means that it is your job, literally your profession) you kind of need to hold yourself to a higher standard than you would if you were writing a letter to a friend, or sending a text. (don’t get me started on sending texts, just thinking about thinking about it is giving me PTSD.)


So with my job riding on my continued excellence in my mastery of the English language, how do I make sure that I don’t fall flat on my face while writing? Well, there’s plenty of wayuse-grammarly s actually, keeping a close watch on what I type is one, but it is hardly the best. If I miss something while writing it, I’m unlikely to catch it while doing my routine reread. Even with how much I catch, there’s always that little bit that slips past my radar. So this brings me to my next way I keep on the up and up, spell checkers.

Although it would be more correct to call things like Grammarly and Whitesmoke writing checkers, seeing as they check much more than just spelling. Grammarly (Edumuch Review on Grammarly)  even checks for plagiarism, which is another invaluable resource for a writer like me, not that I would ever plagiarize in my life. It’s just a good thing to have, so you don’t accidentally do it. And trust me on that, it can and does happen. I’ve used quite a lot of checkers in my life to be perfectly honest, and I have always been partial to Grammarly. Grammarly is my favorite because of how user friendly it is, having a very clean and nice user interface, which it easier for me to use. Grammarly not only is user friendly, but it is writer friendly as well. Grammarly not only checks what you’ve written, but instead of just correcting the mistakes, it suggests to you the corrections, and explains why it is suggesting the corrections to you. This really puts Grammarly a cut above the rest, even within other checkers which also explain their corrections, it shines much more than the rest. If there is one thing I have a problem with when using Grammarly, it’s how good it is. Sometimes I rely too much on it, and that might lead to me missing some mistakes that Grammarly missed.

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The Glock 17

glk-17-2-gif

I bet when you think of home defense, you are probably thinking of a guy holding a shotgun against invaders, and you know what? You might just be right. But I am here to tell you about another type of home defender, the pistol wielder. It might sound a little ridiculous to you right now, but as soon as I get done explaining my reasoning, you will understand why having a pistol for home defense is not only a good idea, but a better idea than a shotgun. I mean, at least that is what I hope will happen, some people are very stubborn in their ways and end up suffering for it. It is an unfortunate truth, but it is the truth nonetheless.


iraqi_police_fire_glock_9mm_handguns
So why would I think that a home defender is a man with a pistol instead of a shotgun? There is a couple of reasons, foremost among them is that I myself use a pistol for home defense. I use a Glock 17 personally, and in fact the Glock 17 as reviewed by Gunivore is pretty popular amongst my friends as well. Aside from that very personal reason, there is also the fact that a pistol like the Glock 17 is just so much better inside of a house than a shotgun is. Let me explain: shotguns are usually prized for home defense, simply because they have a large spread, which makes it easier to hit targets. The thing is, in the close quarter of your house, you are just as likely to hit with a pistol like the Glock 17, and there is less chance of collateral damage with only one bullet, instead of the spread of a shotgun. But that is just the beginning of why a pistol like the Glock 17 is superior. You see, the Glock 17, and pistols as well, are much shorter than a shotgun. You may think that this doesn’t matter that much, but you would be surprised. You see, in houses, there are tight corridors that are difficult to turn around in with your gun in firing position (that is only if it is a long gun and not a pistol like the Glock 17) and going around corners also requires lowering your gun or being exposed. Obviously exposing yourself to the criminals is not a good idea, and while some of you may think that you shouldn’t be leaving your room, sometimes you have to get someone from their room. You are obviously not going to just leave little Timmy in his room, are you? Of course not, you are going to make sure he is safe, just like the responsible parent that you are. Of course, I like the Glock 17 for home defense, and also general day to day carry, but there are plenty of other pistols out there. And while the Glock 17 might be the perfect gun for me, you might want to pick up a different gun. Unfortunately, I can’t give any advice on getting any gun that isn’t the Glock 17, but happy hunting.

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Make Grammar Cool Again

I can’t remember if grammar used to be cool, or if I’ve always been out of touch and grammar was never cool. In any event, the one thing I know for a fact is that, currently, grammar is not cool. Any user of social media can attest to that – grammatically correct Tweets, Facebook statuses, or YouTube comments are basically ‘unicorns’ – after a while, you may begin to doubt whether or not they actually exist. Why is this the case, you ask? I really couldn’t say for certain, but I think it has something to do with culture. Hard work and virtuous self-improvement used to be cool, but you know what’s cool now? Making money easily, living a lifestyle that eliminates the need for work, showing off, having flashy possessions, etc. Where has my country gone, I ask?

drum rollThe bottom line is, from a young age, Americans are having ingrained in them this idea that working is lame. In order to get a good job, or a decent job, you need to be successful in school, right? And what is part of the scholastic curriculum? *Drum Roll* … Grammar! Let’s lay this out so it’s nice and clear:

-Not working is cool.

-Working is uncool.

-Do well in school to work.

-Grammar is a part of school.

-Disregard grammar: Become cool.

Pretty simple, right? Additionally, young people idolize celebrities who similarly disregard grammar and traditional means of education. Visit the social media accounts of one hundred celebrities and see for yourself how many of them actually know the rules of grammar, care about the rules of grammar, or are even aware that there is something that exists called ‘the rules of grammar’. If someone strives to emulate an uneducated celebrity, it seems pretty unlikely that they themselves would try to become better educated – even though from their perspective, it’s a far more realistic means towards having a functioning life.


So, what do we do about this grammar-neglecting epidemic? Do we allow society to devolve to the point at which the English language is lost to history and we communicate with different sounding grunts and various pitches of shrieks? No! We fight back. As a wise person once said – I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. We must do a better job of not only educating our children, but of instilling in them a sense of how important grammar is. Therefore, I offer two proposals:

Firstly, let’s do a better job of using grammar checker software and making sure our children use grammar checker software. We’re lucky enough to live in 2016, a time in which programs like WhiteSmoke and Grammarly can help teach us about our grammatical shortcomings and how to improve on them. These aren’t just your basic, misplaced-comma mistakes either – these programs will help make you a better writer across the board. Take advantage of them! Edumuch has a bunch of info about these programs as well as how to use proper grammar.grammar-neglecting epidemic

Secondly, I propose that we glorify only our well-written and educated celebrities. Instead of the Kardashians or LeBron James, please follow Bill Nye the Science Guy, Neil Degrasse Tyson, George R.R. Martin, and J.K. Rowling on Twitter today. Thank you!

Why Standardized Testing Stinks

Standardized testing is inherently flawed – that much is clear. The question is, how do we go about improving our processes which are reliant on standardized testing to function efficiently? The bottom line is, standardized testing does a terrible job of measuring important qualities, such as any kind of deep or critical thinking, and more so, all test takes take the same exam under the same multiple choice conditions – a system which doesn’t account for a number of important differences and factors that can and should be weighed by our education system.Standardized testing

These tests are not remotely objective – the only objectivity that comes into play in these tests is the scoring. Deciding which material the test should cover, how to grade answers, and how to administer the exams is completely subjective. For example, if there is one student who knows 80 percent of the course material superbly well, and one student who knows 20 percent of the course material well that the first student doesn’t know, but only that 20 percent, and by chance the exam disproportionately weighs that 20 percent, the first student will be unfairly screwed by the system!

Test Scores Aren’t Reliable

Test scores are not entirely reliable given the issue of measurement errors and such, meaning that a score may vary depending on the day due to a number of different unpredictable factors within the exam as well as the student. Test scores don’t necessarily reflect tangible differences among people either; tests are intended to sort students based on performance, but measurement errors can come into play and disrupt certain factors and consistencies, artificially and unfairly hurting certain students.

Tests do not even reflect knowledge about how students learn – essentially, as people and our way of thinking and learning has evolved, standardized testing has remained exactly the same, which is obviously flawed and illogical. Cognitive and psychological developments aren’t considered in standardized testing, which is unfair for students.

Bias is something that cannot be removed from standardized exams by definition. Inevitably certain material and information will be more strongly represented in testing than others, which skews the results in that we aren’t getting an accurate idea of what the student knows of the whole of the material, only of that specific material that has been chosen. Additionally, research shows that teachers do not even find the scores and results for students from standardized testing to be helpful! If teachers can’t learn and benefit from standardized testing, what use is it continue to make students take standardized tests.

It’s time to introduce testing into the 21st century. Nearly everyone concedes that standardized testing is outdated and inefficient, but the protocols and procedures that are supposed to be standard themselves are keeping the same old not-helpful systems in place, hurting everyone in the process. My recommendation would be to begin phasing out standardized testing slowly, so as to learn which replacement for it works best over time and via trial and error. If we begin doing this now we will most certainly be able to build a better education system for our children. We here are all about self improvement so it’s important for us to promote ideas that create a better future.

The Gun That Fits Right In Your Hand

 

Although I love my knives, I still train and carry a gun. A lot has been written and spoken about this little pistol. The Baby Glock 26, 9mm, subcompact firearm is a great backup gun. Some use it as a primary carry or home defense gun, although I personally carry a bigger gun (SIG 226) when I am out and about.glock 26 gen 4

I enjoy the grip of a bigger weapon, but nothing about the G26 is faulty. For those with smaller hands, it can be a real friend when you need it.

The magazine capacity is also an advantage. It comes with a standard of 10-round mags, but it can also take other mags, such as a 15/17/33-round ones, which come with the G17 and G19 (the baby’s older brothers).

Glock released this “mini gun” in the middle of the 1990’s, and it was a hit. And why shouldn’t it be? Up until then, a lot of smaller calibers were used for subcompact guns. This changed all that, which is why it was such a great innovation. A 9mm subcompact is a great tool, and in the hands of the shooter (and with a proper holster), it is as good as any other handgun which you enjoy shooting.

If you are looking for a small gun with a kick, look into this one. The price of this gun is usually $500-$600. It has many different options when it comes to accessorizing, and thanks to the Glock’s popularity, aftermarket products are everywhere. You may want to stick with quality items, though. No sense in putting a cheap sight on a quality gun. The same goes for all the other accessories.

This gun has the potential to last a long time, and it is built for that purpose. Glock has great customer service, and a warranty which provides fixing/replacing is there are issues with materials and craftsmanship.

When Glock first came up with the idea of a Polymer-2 weapon, in the 80’s, a lot of people thought it to be a “toy gun”. There was also a lot of doubt as to whether this kind of weapon could hold up under abuse and punishment. The earlier Glock models put to rest any doubt anyone had about the excellence of this kind of gun, and the G26 is no exception.the baby

If you manage to get your hands on one, get some shooting done. I am sure you will agree with me, when I say that this “baby” is a sneaky one – accurate, precise, and lethal at short distances. Mid to long range are not this particular gun’s forte, but if you are looking for a backup or self-defense shooter, there is no going wrong with the Glock 26. I found great info on the Glock 26 “baby Glock” on a gun blog called gunivore.com so if you want to know more about this gun that would be a great place to start!

 

 

Knives Are A Tool First

Welcome to my blog! Hopefully, all of the heat which the NRA is getting won’t seep to the knife-carrying community. I support people’s right to bear arms, but I do believe that when it comes to firearms, there may be room for some measure of control.hunting knives

Knives are different. Until recently (historically speaking) knives were carried by anyone and everyone, and with good reason. A gun is meant to kill, plain and simple. A knife is meant to be a tool, and its weapon status is secondary. This is why I carry a knife, and not a firearm.

With a knife, you are working with your hands. I take out my KaBar USMC several times a day, for any odd job where a knife may be necessary. It wasn’t until I left it at home one day (went to a place where knives would not be admitted), that I realized just how much I use it, and how I have come to depend on it. Not in a bad way, mind you, but in a good way. Like I said, it is a tool. And I use it as one.

Love My KaBar

My KaBar 1250 USMC Short has been with me for a while. If I had more money to spend on knives, I would probably get the full sized serrated black KaBar. It has always grabbed my attention.

Knives are a lot more versatile than any firearm. They can accomplish a lot more, considering that they are not only a weapon. There are those who may scoff and say “yeah, you carry a knife, but when the chips are down, even you would much rather have a gun at your side.” I can’t say if that is true or not. I have never been in a life-threatening situation. I do know that I use my knife a whole lot more than I would a gun.knice

I have fired a gun several times. I just didn’t do it for me. Perhaps I should try it again sometimes. I have friends with assault rifles in their homes, and meanwhile I am (pardon my pun) sticking with knives. It just gives me a very different feeling. One which I feel more in tune with.