These platforms are the social media I consume the most and this is where I see most ads. Ads outside, on the street are fine because I can easily ignore them.
The issue is that I have ad blocker installed on my browser, but it doesn't block everything. I have no idea why.
The more popular a creator is on youtube, the more ads their videos has. I tried playing 3 videos today (just earlier) and all three had 2 ads at the beginning lasting anywhere between 30sec to 1min30sec. I played another video that had 3 ads at the start, and then when it started to play, a few minutes in, another ad of about 1 min.
I can't take this anymore! I gave up owning a TV set because of all the commercials. But man, was i wrong to think I got rid of them!
Youtube was NOT meant for ads. However, they thought they can make more money out them, so they have as many as playing as humanly possible. >_< Only because these youtubers got greedy and rely heavily on ad revenue.
and instagram? why can't i get rid of advertising on instagram either?! Some days it's better as i see few or they blend better with the other posts. Other times, i see a commercial after every 2 or 3 normal posts.
This post was triggered by one of the youtubers I watch, but I would prefer NOT to name her. Back in February or so, she posted the video of her wedding day and the full name of her husband was (accidentally) revealed. This enabled the users of a certain gossip forum to discover the uncool way in which he makes money. Or better said, of how he became rich.
The man runs 2 sites, each aimed at readers of a specific gender. The site with a predominantly male audience has some ... controversial sections, which raised a lot of eyebrows for some of the youtuber's fans.
One of the controversial sections was presenting various pretty looking female models and actresses. So far, nothing wrong, right? Remember this site has a male audience? Well, the women features in this section were half naked and some even fully naked. A little presentation of the model was also provided - it includes her name and her age. With the help of Google, anyone can learn what type of model or actress the featured ladies were. Some of them played in adult movies.
Not going to talk about the morals of those ladies, as they need to survive too. The striking problem was that several of the ladies there were actually UNDERAGE! Furthermore, some of them were as young as 13 or 14! Yes, 13 or 14 year old CHILDREN were talked about on that site. In this section I talked about! These CHILDREN are indeed models, but they're still 13 or 14 and at this age, they're children!!!
Most of the pictures were taken off of the featured lady's social media, specifically Instagram. I don't think anyone even asked for permission to use the images. But, I'm not here to talk about the legal implications - and I'm mostly speculating on the subject. I'm here to talk about the moral implications of showing pictures of CHILDREN among the pictures of scantily clad adult women who appeared in adult movies, on a site for men!
To make things worse, the pictures of the selected CHILDREN were the most questionable as well. They included poses that somehow accentuated their butts, half unbuttoned shirts, upskirt shots, uniform skirts with a button undone and pushed down a little, and the list goes on. How their parents agreed to have those pictures taken, is anyone's guess.
So basically that site is like an online Playboy or other similar publication, for readers in Hong Kong. Do I need to explain what most (probably all, but don't want to use a blanket statement) men do when reading magazines like Playboy?
Do you think it's normal for ADULT men to lustfully look at questionable pictures of CHILDREN? I don't think it's normal. I personally don't think CHILDREN should be featured on a Playboy-like platform. Does anyone remember the scandal that followed after it was discovered that one of the playboy bunnies, living in Hugh Hefner's mansion, was 17 years old?17! not 13, not 14. The media was up in flames because a 17 year old was living there (she most likely appeared in the magazine too, I forgot the details). Or when Britney Spears was taken photos in her underwear for the cover of that magazine? (The photographer locked himself with Britney in her bedroom. How did her parents allow it, is unknown, and subject for another time.) But in this case, we're talking about 13 year old girls, CHILDREN!!!
One of the "articles" about one of the CHILDREN said "her body is nothing to write home about because she's underage." O.O If she's underage YOU DO NOT COMMENT ON HER BODY!! full stop.
The issue was brought to the attention of the youtuber and her husband. What did they do? NOTHING! At first they ignored the comments, deleted them, and then DENIED!!!!! this is true.. People had screen captures of HIS site, and he was STILL denying it's a shady thing to do.
She released a 30 minute long video in which she explained that this is the culture in East Asia. She ALSO said she doesn't see anything wrong with the articles (not that she knows written Cantonese), with the pictures nor with the site in general. VERY few people believed her, so she talked again in her next video about the issue. In the 2nd speech (posted at the beginning of her video) she mentioned she doesn't visit the site and that she doesn't necessarily approve of it either. It also appears that her husband, as the OWNER of the site didn't know such articles and pictures were posted. Or better said that MINORS were chosen for them, even though it's him who should have given clear instructions in relation to what gets posted on HIS site and what doesn't.
In the end it appears the articles with minors were removed. The decision was only done to appease the upset fans and followers. It wasn't done because he thought it was the right thing to do.
People with such thinking usually have low morals or no morals at all. While there's an age difference of at least 10 years between them this speaks nothing of his morals. The fact that he liked her to dress like a school girl, or at least to make herself look as young as possible when together, DOES speak volumes about his morals.
The issue happened back in February. I don't know what stopped me from finally speaking about it. Sometimes I believe it's better to speak about it later than never. Not that it really matters anymore, I did start writing this piece back in February - I just have no idea why I didn't finish it. Now I hope I did.
DISCLAIMER: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I used these affiliate links to give you the option to check the book out, for yourself, if you so wish, through a well-trusted seller. While I will be very glad if you buy any of the linked items, the decision to do so or not, belongs to you. Thank you for reading!
Aren't they beautiful? To me, they're beautiful. And they're also heavy.
Well, they were cheap and made in China - the box was covered in Chinese writing, and although I started studying this language, I'm still a beginner (read that, as in I made no more progress since this post) and hence, I cannot read what it said. I also threw the box away. What matters more is that they cut what I need them to cut.
While 4 months are definitely not enough to say "I know things," I did learn quite a bit. Here are my few tips if you just start this journey and you feel overwhelmed.
Fair warning though: some of these tips are for those who consider making a living out of their skill, hence they need to appear professional. Other tips are more like a warning, details I didn't think of when I decided to take on this hobby/journey.
1. learn the right names of the tools
I'll talk about 3 different tools, as examples.
a) For instance, I was saying "my scissors" when in reality I own a pair of shears. In all honesty, I thought these two words refer to the same item, but they're used in different parts of the world. In a similar fashion to how some people say "trousers" and "pants" when referring to the garment covering the body from the waist down, with 2 hoses, one for each leg.
When it comes to shears and scissors, the difference is in the holes through which your fingers go in order to manipulate the tool. The shears have a larger lower hole, while the scissors have equal holes.
b) Similarly, if you're into sewing or making (your own) clothes (or for your family), you also have to learn the proper names of the fabrics. If you're interested in up-cycling or refashioning clothes, this aspect might not be as important.
Personally, I'm in the process of learning about fabrics:
fibers (how the name of the fiber was used to name the fabric, though in some cases it's another type of fiber used. Take for instance "linen" used for "linens" made of cotton),
origin, or where you're more likely to find certain types of fabrics. As an example, lacebark originates in Jamaica, and is as fine as muslin.
how they're obtained - knitting or waving, natural, synthetic, man-made.
c) Still related to tools, you'll find 2 types of sewing machines: domestic and industrial. You should learn the differences between them! This video explains better, and even shows an industrial one. There's also this other video better showing the differences between sewing machines at different price levels, though all of those are for domestic use. I learned the following from the 2nd video:
sewing machines with a front loading bobbin are faster than the ones with a drop-in bobbin.
some machines have 2 lights instead of one, and the difference that makes is quite something.
industrial machines will only have 1 type of stitch - for instance, just running stitch. They can also load a bobbin at the same time you're sewing, whereas a domestic one can't.
2. learn how to correctly use them
If you learn what differentiates one tool from the other (say, shears and scissors), you can also learn how to use them. Usually this happens at the same time.
This page opened my eyes to how I'm supposed to hold and use my shears. This other page has more types of such tools, and names some of the best you can find.
Maintenance is important and part of correctly using the tool, if you want it to last for years to come. Not long ago I learned that I'm supposed to clean and oil my sewing machine every week, if I use it often. If i use it now and then, I'm supposed to clean and oil it every time I plan on using it.
In my experience with my machine, it needed cleaning and especially oiling after about a month since I got it. I can't say I used it a lot in January, but in February it already started to be rather noisy. Once I oiled it, it started purring again, like when I got it.
Learning about textiles, you'll learn that some fabrics simply are not good for certain projects. You also learn how to care for the end product without destroying it, say through bleaching or simply washing.
3. find some sort of mentor and/or muse
Or at least a person with whom you can connect, or inspires you to go through with your project. As a beginner in any trade, actually doing the task can be a bit scary, right? "What if I cut this fabric wrongly?" "what if it turns out really ugly?"
Well, I'm lucky and happy to say that I found at least 1 person to support me when I feel scared, or when I'm not sure of what I do. They are A, and they also inspire me with things - mostly with the written stuff. But A can also give great advice when it comes to color combination, or gives an honest opinion if asked "how does THIS look?"
I'm pretty lucky to have discovered someone I could call a mentor - Angelina, the lady behind BlueprintDIY (her Youtube channel, and her Instagram). /shoutout! She actually gave me the push I needed to enlarge a pair of jeans so that I could wear them. Let's get real, I wouldn't have lost the extra 5kg I needed to get in these pants. I will post another blog entry about this process. ;)
Someone telling you "just do it!" or "go for it!" is all it takes at times, to actually get over the "what if ..." fear. Instead, you could get the excited "what if this turns out great?!" Which is what happened with a 2nd project about which I will write soon enough, but I will offer a spoiler for it right here:
4. don't be scared of making mistakes
As a beginner you'll definitely make mistakes - everyone makes them. And you know what? Even those with experience in the field will make mistakes. Luckily, when you sew, a mistake will not cost someone their life, like it would happen with a doctor for instance. However it can prove more time consuming and more expensive.
Remember that you don't really learn anything until you try things out and make mistakes. One of the things you'll learn is what you could improve, what technique to stay away from because it's incorrect, and so on.
5. fabric IS real fabric - no matter its origin
This point was triggered by a video I watched - I forgot which one. The lady speaking (giving advice) was saying to go to thrift stores to buy sheets and curtains to use for your projects, especially as a beginner. This way, you avoid ruining "real fabric" and waste money. I suspect she meant brand new (virgin, if you will) fabric, that was never used for anything else before.
But, in my book, when you take an item and cut away its seams, it turns into "real fabric." It still cost some money, even it was just 50 cents yesterday, or 100 dollars 10 years back. As long as the material is in a good shape and big enough to make something out of, I call it "real fabric."
6. it takes time and more actions than what you thought
Let's just say you can't just take a needle and some thread and start sewing: you need a plan first, or a goal. This can be - fixing a hole, applying a button, re-doing a hem, and so on.
But before you get there, you might have to measure some stuff, draw a pattern or two, cut it, cut fabric, and then sew pieces together in a certain sequence. Depending on what you're making, you might have to try the item on from time to time. Depending on the item and number of pieces you have to sew together, and details you want to add, you'll be spending a few good hours "sewing."
But don't worry: the end result might be worth all the effort.
As some of you know, I recently moved my blog and I also re-named it. All this trouble can be called re-branding! YAY!
So my rebranding consist of:
new hosting platform
new blog name
new author name
new blog and author logo - that I designed
In case you're wondering, the old version of the blog still exists, still on the platform I was using before, however it is being hidden from the public.
Like many other people that try new things for the first time, there are some things I wish I knew before doing this step. Well, to be completely honest, I did no research on what rebranding or moving a blog so it's partially my fault. In any case, if you want to learn a few things, or think you might need a few tips in the future, please read on.
Backing up pictures
Not everyone posts pictures along their blog entries. You'll see some of my own entries with no pictures whatsoever - they're not always relevant.
However, if you do have pictures on your blog, you might want to back them up. From the start. The same goes for your videos.
You might want to edit them and have them bear your new brand if you watermark them. I didn't do this, but maybe I should. The thing is I am not 100% sure I still have the originals or that I want to waste even more time for that.
that entry was deleted before rebranding, as i changed my mind about it since the time i wrote it.
Edit / delete posts / entries
Rebranding usually has something to do with having changed your mind about the purpose of your blog. This means you'll have to go back on your posts and see if there is anything that doesn't fit your new perspective. Rebranding is similar to a face-lift so to say, so you'll have to do this.
I had to delete some entries that for some reason or another were blank. Originally those were re-blogs on my other platform, but perhaps the original poster also deleted the entries or something weird happened. Blank entries look weird and unprofessional, so in the bin they went.
At the same time, you might want to delete or add new pages for a better organization of your entries. Editing them [their content] is also a good idea, to breathe in some fresh air.
Check and fix your URLs
My URLs were a mess after I moved my blog. It took me several days to go through all my entries and fix them. As a curiosity, they read something like: "http://www.obscurejourney.com/http://theownertravelsto.wordpress.com/missing-entries-on-my-blog" - WordPress is my previous blogging platform. This type of URL looks complicated, not functional and very unprofessional. My old blog is still there, but it's hidden from the public: it's my way of backing up my site.
Not only did I have to fix the ugly URLs, I also had to fix any links I had in any post as well! My links were directing the visitor towards my previous blog and therefore the links appeared broken. I hope I did well and managed to fix them all.
Learn about your new host
This should be a no-brainer. But, I jumped on this new platform without reading too much about it. I still hope I won't regret it, haha.
You should learn about your new host because you want to go LIVE as soon as possible, so learning about the host - how to post entries, customize the appearance of your site, so on, should be done beforehand.
For instance, WordPress and over-blog work differently when it comes to creating new pages. In WordPress you create a new page and it appears at the top, by default. On over-blog, you have to create the menu yourself. Each method has its own advantages - and i like that here, on over-blog if i want to change what a page says, i can just change the URL of the old one [if I want to keep it] and create a new entry with the previous link. It sounds a bit complicated, but it's really easy.
Let's just say it took me a while to realize a few things, and only because I didn't properly study my new host.
Matching social media
I decided I should make social media accounts that match my new brand and identity. This is because I want to appear more serious and more professional. however, don't expect to see me on those accounts too much for they make me anxious, and it's close to a panic attack. But, if you want to show your support, you can do so there, if it's easier for you. Send me a private message or a public one, and i'll make sure to reply to it [sooner or later].
Before I was "the owner of the blog" or "the owner travels to" or something weird like that. Now I decided to take on a pen name [yea, sorry this is not my ID name - I don't connect at all with it] and a easier to remember URL.
I therefore created "matching" social media accounts: on twitter and on facebook, and I connected both to this platform. I also have a "matching" email account on gmail [4charlycross [at] so on]. There's also an instagram account by the same name - you have higher chances of seeing me active here.
You don't have to be very active on all of these platforms, but it's nice I guess to give people options to get in touch with you, other than through your blog [or youtube channel -yes I have one of those as well, for when I think stuff are easier to show through a video rather than pictures and writing. but don't expect 4K HD quality or anything as I'm just an amateur].
the logo that i made myself in MS Paint.
As you can see, I also have a "logo" that I use "everywhere." It's like a virtual signature for easy recognition.
Use the logo across your social media accounts or wherever you want to be recognized. You can use a picture of yourself, if you're ok with it [i'm not u_u] or the same handle across all your accounts [as I tried doing].
This idea came to me, after seeing a vlogger i was watching, renaming her Twitter, and now her old handle belongs to a random guy who will benefit from her hard work. Her new handle is difficult to write and pronounce, and doesn't really have a connection with her life, except slightly. I try not to make that mistake and you shouldn't either.
Last week I went out to have a drink and relax. I had no idea where to go and I just wandered around until I found this cafe called The Drunken Lords.
The cafe, or bar -as I'm not entirely sure what its label is- is located in the Historic Center of Bucharest. This area is full of cafes, restaurants, bars, night clubs, and even random shops, especially those selling wedding gowns. I may show some of these stores in a future entry.
I never went here before, and I often go to new places just because. The downside is that I never know how the service or the drinks are. I came up with a simple and rather sure way of testing out new cafes. I will share my observations with you, because you know, "sharing is caring," and I started this blog for this particular reason.
Check out the atmosphere of the place.
This means you need to observe "each detail." For instance, what do the seats and the tables look like? Do they seem comfortable? How many people can they accommodate? What type of decorations are there on the walls? Is there a funny scent, or is it too smoky?
The Drunken Lords had tables for two but tables for 4 or 6 persons as well. The owner or the designer thought about using a combination of chairs and sofas [or couches] to appeal to the preferences of more people.
I sat on a chair, while my friend used the sofa to sit at the same table.
the handle i used to have and the former name of my blog
I really liked the wall decor and this is why I took two pictures of it. One of the walls was completely covered in these old books - most likely nobody would have read them anymore. Among all those books, some really old fashion suitcases were also sprinkled. You can actually see a little bit of one of them in the above picture.
I didn't take a better picture because it took me minute to realize what was I looking at, and was feeling self conscious taking pictures. On another wall, the designer used the portrait of a gentleman [see below] - too bad my phone and the spotlight were at a bad angle. I really liked how the middle section was left as it was while the upper and the lower sections seem painted over.
Check the bathroom
You may not need to go, but you should still go wash your hands before consuming anything. This is exactly what I also did. Having a look at the cafe's restroom is a great indicator of the care they put in serving their clients.
Luckily most of the restrooms I went to while being at a cafe, were CLEAN. They might not have someone to clean the place after each person, nor advanced Japanese toilets, but you won't feel like throwing up while walking in there.
McDonalds restroom. [post edited in 2017]
I never sit on the toilet seat, but that's a different story. This restroom was not only clean, but it was nicely scented too. They have one for the ladies and one for the gents, separated, unlike many other places. 2 people can go in 2 separate stalls at the same time, and there were 2 sinks with soap and paper towel dispensers as well.
Can you tell I was nicely impressed?
Pay attention to the staff
Of course, many people would pay attention to the staff, and notice faster if the staff is rude or not polite enough. The guys on duty on that evening were all smiles and excited to talk to me and my friend. This made the experience more relaxed and much more pleasant.
There is one slight minus that happens virtually everywhere I go: when the order came, there was no napkin in sight! 0.0 I realized this when it was too late, and took my own out [taken from another cafe. When our waiter noticed, he got upset, but he didn't say a word. ooops] I should have asked for some, but I'm not sure why I didn't.
The way your bill is presented at the end is also important. Since you're going to a more fancy place, you should receive it inside a little something, and not just given in your hand. Different locations have different ways of presenting it: in glasses, inside small fancy looking boxes, or specially created cases.
Place your order
This step is one of the most important one when going to a cafe or restaurant. However you must be prepared ahead of time.
What I like doing is quite simple, and uses common sense [I noticed not many people still have it these days, sadly].
I order some drinks I really like and that are super easy to get right or fail. [Well, I also pay attention to the quantity and the price, to see how 'fair' they are or if they're trying to rip customers off - this is something that happens at times].
We ordered a lemonade and a hot chocolate with a side of a standard drink - Pepsi Cola [hey, Pepsi folks! can I get some change here for advertising your drink? =P LOL]. Pepsi was the last resort if we hated the other two drinks ;)
the handle i used to have and the former name of my blog
Lemonade is something REALLY easy to make. And it might sound ridiculous to some of those reading this entry, but I had a few places bringing me a NASTY lemonade. If they don't know how to make a decent lemonade, how are they going to make other more complicated drinks?
The staff at The Drunken Lords made a nice lemonade for me. Its size was decent too - not too large and not too small either. I also found its price rather fair, so I can't complain in this regard.
Hot chocolate is something that I had a bad experience with on a few occasions. This one was a good one, and therefore I have no complaints here either. The bad experiences were related to watered down chocolate, and the drink not being hot enough [at the same time too at least once], OR it being a pudding chocolate.
Hot chocolate is supposed to be like hot Nutella and a bit more creamy or liquid when hot. And the barista at The Drunken Lords did just that. YAY! [can I get some cash for advertising Nutella as well?]
All in all, I had a nice time there. I also liked it because at the time it was mostly empty, so it was more quiet. The music was nice as well. At least in the beginning of my stay, because I can't remember the whole playlist, but the music was pleasant all the way.
If you're in Bucharest, you should totally check this place out. This is their website.
It's been a long time - my offline life changed for a while, now it seems to be back to 'normal.' I just want to share a few thoughts and insights regarding the life of a blogger [or a vlogger].
I'm not going to lie here: I read several blogs and follow several vloggers on Youtube. What's more is that they seem to lead a perfect or ideal life - it most certainly looks better than mine, from my point of view.
But that's just MY point of view.
However, I did notice how others seem to share this impression, but the reality is different.
The internet is everyone's tool and chance to become famous. Or to at least get noticed a little.
Some people are more successful or lucky than others, and they become quite famous online. Some of them use their online fame to make a change in the [offline] world around them.
This is something I also secretly dream of. But I'm not going to put my hopes too high.
In any case, I recently realized that most of us that decided to share our experiences with the world have one thing in common:
We present a chopped, idealized reality.
And we do so because we want to inspire others to be better people and not do the mistakes we make. You could say we are selling dreams.
Except, not all of us are receiving money for this.
The internet is literally a shopping street, and with the right tools, some of us can show you our dreams while earning some money as well.
I did mention before that some bloggers and vloggers share their experiences and opinions as to inspire others as well. Some of them started their blogs and channels from a passion they had - beauty, fashion, gaming - or because they have a rare life-style - married to people from a different culture, living in a foreign country, so on.
Everyone wants to lead a better life, and some people are simply scared to do what it takes to live their dreams.
All bloggers and vloggers took it upon themselves to show the world that it is not impossible to live a [near] impossible dream.
It just takes a lot of hard work, courage, and will power.
They are showing the world no dream is impossible if enough passion is used while working. Some of them managed to start their own businesses through which they do whatever they can to help other people to follow their dreams for a better life.
A blogger's life is not perfect, because they are just humans, and there is no perfect human out there. They might have reached the "star" status, but even so, not even "stars" have a perfect life.
Bloggers choose to show the better parts of their life for two reasons:
life is too short and full of negativity and they [we] choose to spread a positive attitude and energy.
one cannot inspire others into become better and more brave by sharing the bad parts in their life.
I hope you can now better understand why the life of a blogger seems perfect, but it actually isn't.
This country is full of traditions. One of them is related to March 1st. It is called Mărțișor and the word itself has 3 language specific letters and sounds that simply drive me crazy, hopefully you can see them as well. But this is a story for another entry.
There are a lot of interesting things to know about this celebration, but it is easier to link you to the page with more information on it, Wikipedia. Don't worry, this time you can believe what's being said, hehe.
What you need to know is that women or girls are the ones receiving and wearing this trinket. It can be gifted by men or women. The age of the receiver or of the one giving doesn't really matter though.
This is what the Mărțișor usually looks like in real life. As you can see, the Mărțișor is a rather small trinket tied with a red and white string. Clearly, people around here make bigger objects too, like brooches, bracelets, or necklaces.
This celebration, like many others, offers a VERY good excuse for many businesses to sell more. The most popular type of merchandise to sell for Mărțișor is jewelry of any kind. These trinkets are sold almost anywhere and almost anyone can sell them.
Handmade trinkets should be the norm when offering them, but locals are not very opened to the idea of buying unique items for which a person spend a few hours working. They rather buy something made by some machine. As a side note, the majority of the locals look down upon handmade items.
Life is a journey. Or so I have been told. ObscureJourney is a blog about My life, the things I experience and learn. I hope I can learn from my mistakes. The blog used to known as "TheOwnerTravelsTo" and i had a separate blog called "CookingMyExperience".
The purpose of obscurejourney blog is to share positive ideas and experiences -hopefully- while showing you that you don't need a lot to be happy.
Not all failures mean the end of the world. They mean that whatever you were trying out wasn't meant to happen:
it wasn't your life's journey. We all have a particular life journey, even if we don't discover it from the start. But remember:
You will discover your path! Do you think I discovered mine? Perhaps I did, but I have yet to fully walk it. I know writing is part of it.
All content is created by me, with my silly mobile phone and its camera. Unless otherwise stated, the following applies:
All blog entries are written by me, Charly Cross -this is a pen name, unless mentioned otherwise.
Pictures are mine - especially if I signed them with a (c) and my blog's name (or former name of the blog).