What Makes America Great - Part VI

An irreverent and snarky look at what makes America great!


Rating Confusion on Trip Advisor -- Trip Advisor states that the Ketchikan Kayak Company is rated at 4.5 stars. If you look closely, 98% of all ratings are 5 stars (98*5=490) and 2% rated it 4 stars (2*4=8). These two numbers equal 498 or 4.98% of all ratings for this particular company listed on Trip Advisor. So hence, why does Trip Advisor just give it 4.5 starts (or 450 points)? In other words, the stars are a little misleading and confusing. Would not the numeric, with percentages, decimals and stats better depict the overall customer rating instead of a less precise star rating system?



Slow Your Roll in 'The Big Easy' -- During Zion Williamson's first NBA regular season game, he made four consecutive three pointers in the fourth quarter. At that time, the fans in New Orleans began an 'MVP, MVP, MVP' chant for the young rookie. This was not after a full season of play or even half a season, this occurred before he completed his first game as a Pelican. NOLA, please slow your roll. I know you're upset that the Saints didn't play well in this year's playoff and the Pelicans haven't been a dominant team in the West but please, perspective is needed here. I'm happy for you that Zion will make a tremendous difference especially if he stays healthy but let's 'chill' with this MVP talk until he has shown on the court for the majority of the season that he's worthy of such talk.


One more thing, if the fans are chanting 'MVP, MVP, MVP' because he's the most exciting player to watch in the NBA currently, regardless of his stats and team contributions, now you have at least one leg to stand on.


Does George Will Leaving the Republicans make a difference to them? -- When George Will quit the Republican party (and called it a cult in 2019) as it's currently being caucused while over the last 3 years Republicans in Congress have been afraid to say anything that may draw the ire of our president, who took notice? This came from a journalist who was part of the Republican party for nearly fifty years. When writers Max Boot and David Frum over the last few years quit the Republican party due to Trump's policies and acts of governing, who took notice? When you see Rick Wilson, a GOP strategist take on the craziness of the Trump's presidency, does that get anyone's attention among the Grand Old Party?


Certainly not the Republican sycophants in Congress who are chained to the hip to DJT. When Mr. Will quits the party, most Republicans in Congress continue to side with someone who's hard to hug but butters your bread, so you do what he requests. Your scruples fall to the halls of Congress as you know if you cross the King, you'll be bullied on social media and Fox news and may be ostracized by other Republican's who are just as nervous about DJT as you are. What if we had a dozen independent Republicans who said enough already and voted for what's best for all Americans instead of kowtowing to our current President?

Few Ratings on Princess Cruises -- Some of us when interested in a product or service, may look to reviews to help us better gauge what type of product or service we may eventually purchase. I've recently read that some of these reviews aren't legitimate so even reviewing reviews requires research, critical thinking and common sense. It's not just the actual stars a given product may receive, it's also the amount of reviews and comments made. Review comments need to sound personal and legitimate before giving credence to what was written. It's also useful to scan over negative reviews to look for trends or potential pitfalls. Without word of mouth communication for certain products, reading reviews may be the only source to gain valuable input.


Back to the cruise line, I'm reviewing various excursions on Princess Cruises regarding an Alaskan cruise. Several ports to visit include Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau. Regarding Ketchikan and Juneau, I'm reviewing these day excursions and I see that most of these advertised excursions have one or no rating. How long have these excursions been available? In other words, are these excursion reviews new (dates would help)? If not many, why so few? Is this a red flag that many of these excursions only have one review?


Few Digital Gas Tanks? -- The majority of my adult driving involves cars with analog gas tanks. Yes, the car may tell you the range of miles left on the tank but that doesn't tell you how many gallons of gas you've consumed. If you rent a car and only drive it 30 miles, unless it’s a hummer or large SUV, the gas gauge may still show full but it’s technically not. Because the analog gauge doesn’t accurately depict how much fuel has been used which can be bad for rental car companies. If it were digital, you’d have a better gauge on the current level of gasoline. Does it makes too much sense not to use digital for such a key component on one’s driving machine?


Grocery Shopping and Texting and Talking on a Smart Phone -- As of July 2019, the state of Illinois has instituted a more stringent policy towards using cell phones while driving. A $75 fine would apply to the first offense but it also counts as a moving violation. Once this has been implemented, many people have begun to use cell phone holders to avoid the temptation. The new law has deterred many but not all have quit texting while driving.


Ok, on to grocery shopping where I've just returned by Mariano's midday and saw at least 6 women talking on their phones while wheeling their carts down the aisle. There was at least one woman who stopped dead in the middle of an aisle to text someone. Some are cognizant of the surroundings and others not. To those who aren't, if you're going to carry on a conversation in a grocery store, and there's a chance you're an inconvenience to other shoppers, please step away to ensure you're not in anyone's way. Same principle applies to texting and driving, if you can't help yourself and need to respond to your friend's text, find a parking lot and do it safely and legally.



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I'm a photographer, observer, writer, traveler with a unique perspective on life, travel, work, customer service & the print medium.