The Change in Gaming

Growing up in a pivotal era of technology gave me a swathe of knowledge and experiences that most kids now likely won’t get. While technology is still advancing each and every year, there’s not quite such a shift as the 90s saw into the 2000s and even then into the 2010s. One of those huge changes in technology that made a big impact on my life is video games.

Gaming used to be all about the experience of going to the store, picking out a new game for your console, and bringing it home in excitement with zero expectations as to what you were going to get. It was all a mystery that was sitting there waiting for you to explore it. You didn’t typically read through game reviews online (as there weren’t many back then), ask your friends for their opinions, and then go get it. No, instead you would go in blind and just enjoy unlocking things with no help and really just being amazed at the experience of it all.

It seems that’s shifted big time since then, though. Now, you know exactly what games you want to buy before they even release, because they’ve been hyped up by big gaming expos and the game in question is likely part of a series that you already know you enjoy. Rarely do people decide to try a new game on a whim. They may try new games, sure, but it’s always calculated and researched before hand.

The other big difference is in the packaging, or lack thereof. Digital downloads and mobile gaming are taking the world by force, and while physical copies of games are still quite prevalent, it’s looking more and more like they may be on the way out in just a decade’s time.

The only thing I can really think of regarding this huge shift in the culture of video games is how different the experience must be for kids being introduced to games. I’m sure it’s just as fun and exciting as my experience was growing up, but I can’t help but feel it’s just a lot different and maybe not as “magical”.

So, something I’ve considered now that I’m old enough to be thinking about kids soon is how I’ll introduce gaming to them. It’s undoubtedly a part of my life with my significant other currently, so I know it’ll be a part of my children’s lives too.

Part of me, though, thinks we’ll dig out the old cardboard boxes full of cartridges and CDs and let our kids just play through older games. Because really, how would they know what a new game versus and older one is while still at a young age? Eventually they’d “graduate” into newer and newer games with better and better graphics, but they’d still learn to appreciate the more subtle things in games, such as story and dialogue that a lot of kids don’t see in their games today (because games such as Fortnite and Clash of Clans lack story, dialogue, and other common aspects in adventure games).

So, that gives me all the reason in the world to hold onto those old cardboard boxes full of games I never threw away, and I have no plans on getting rid of them anytime soon.

Surprising Sugary Drinks

When it comes to dental health, so often we hear to stay away from candies. Why is it that candy of all things seems to be the “big bad guy” of the dental world? Well, one of the main reasons is how sugary they are. The more sugar you consume, the more likely that sugar is to take hold on your teeth and cause plaque to build up and eat away at your teeth’s enamel.

The thing is, there are other food and drinks out there that have far more sugar than candy boxes contain; you just don’t ever hear about it.

So, we’ve come up with a list of those drinks that are pretty common yet have tons of sugar. Whether you’re trying to stay hydrated playing sports or want to enjoy juice at home, you should definitely keep an eye on drink labels if you want to keep your teeth healthy.

Grape juice.

Tooth decay can often occur because of the various “healthy” fruit juices you may have at home. But were you aware that grape juice contains more sugar than almost any other type of juice? A twelve ounce glass of grape juice contains more than 58 grams of sugar. That’s 2 full ounces of pure sugar in the twelve ounce glass and around 20 grams more than a can of soda.

Vitamin water.

Drinks with “vitamin” in their names aren’t always as healthy as they may advertise. While they may be packed with specific vitamins, be sure to check the label for what all is within. So before you grab yourself a vitamin water, you should know that a regular twenty ounce bottle has 31 grams of sugar. For comparison, a regular size candy bar has around 27 grams.

Assorted Organic Craft Sodas with Cane Sugar


This is another common go-to drink for people who are active in sports and exercising. Unfortunately, it may not be the best choice for post-exercise rehydration. While it can vary between flavors, a typical twenty ounce bottle of Gatorade averages 34 grams of sugar. Wow.

We want you to be able to enjoy some sugary treats just as much as you want it. Just make sure to brush your teeth after meals, after plowing through a few candy boxes, and after drinking sugary drinks to keep your teeth and dental gear in great shape. It’s the things you’re least suspecting that will creep up on your oral health.

The Genius of Candy Packaging

I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who hates Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  You would have to hate candy in order to hate that movie, and I don’t see how that’s possible.  You would also have to hate Gene Wilder, which is also not possible.  He may have been in some weird movies sometimes, but I think he really was the Johnny Depp of his time.  Minus the sexiness.  Gene Wilder was just plain not sexy.

Have you ever noticed that the candy packaging is what makes the candy that much more appealing?  Like in the beginning of the movie, Charlie goes to the candy store to buy a chocolate bar.  The candy packaging in that store really is eye candy.  The kids are basically going crazy over everything they are seeing.  The explosions of color and dimensions and textures that all make the back of your throat start to tingle and your fingertips start to itch.  Which one do you choose?

Candy Packaging

The candy packaging conveys what you can expect on the inside.  Lots of bright colors and fun shapes speak of a mysterious concoction that is just as imaginative as it is delicious.  Like the box for Nerds.  The outside is flamboyantly decorated, with some happy-go-lucky, lumpy cartoon versions of the candy having a good time.  When you open the box you have a pretty good idea that you are going to get some small, rounded treats of the same colors.  And then you do!  With a coin he found in the gutter, Charlie wanted a chocolate bar and he went with the most obvious choice: a rectangle covered in a brown paper, accentuated by low-key colors and giant font.  What did he find inside?  Pretty much what was on the outside: a brown rectangle.  Oh, and a golden ticket that wound up changing his life dramatically, but I’m talking about the candy packaging.

I’m not sure why no one has caught onto Willy Wonka’s amazing idea.  The closest anyone has come is probably McDonalds with the monopoly game that they bring out every year where you can win anything from a free hashbrown to a million dollars. If someone said that they were releasing ten tickets in their product, worth however much, they would get bought out just as fast as Wonka did.  Guaranteed.  And they would wind up making way more in sales than they would be giving away.  Of course they would probably need to include a disclaimer that no one would actually be inheriting an entire chocolate factory…

From Bin Liners to Potato Chips

I work for a grocery store without really working for a grocery store. Here’s what I mean:

Have you ever gone to the store and tried to ask someone who was stocking the shelves where something else was, and they were like, “I don’t know,” and maybe even added, “I don’t work here”? You were probably left standing there feeling like a fool but also slightly outraged because surely they were pulling your leg?

Well, I would like to clear the names of any and all stockers who have incurred some bad juju because when they are saying they don’t work for the store, they are being correct.

They work at the store, to be sure, and are usually stationed at the same store all the time, but they actually belong to a different company entirely that deals primarily with stocking shelves. And here’s an even crazier part: the employees, called stockers, have their own designated areas.

Mine was from bin liners to potato chips. If something was running out in toothpaste it wasn’t my problem. If any of the bin liners were getting low it was up to me to locate them in the back storage room, haul them out to the aisle, and stock the shelves appropriately.

Granted, when any of the stockers say they don’t know where something is, there’s a good chance that they are probably just plain old full of BS. Unless you want to know where capers are, or coconut milk, or other odd articles. For those type of things you will need customer service, or you can ask the middle-aged woman who’s basket holds a cantaloupe and vanilla extract (she is probably the type of person that would know). If it’s just peanut butter or cereal or bread, stuff that takes up large to massive sections of the store, then of course they have to know where it is because they walk by it everyday.

Like obviously bin liners would be with the rest of the paper and plastic supplies, and the household cleaning stuff, which is always by the detergents, because that’s just how it’s set up in every store. Now, if you were to come up to me while I’m stocking potato chips and ask where bin liners are I could tell you directly, because I am the one who put them there.

This is just a small taste of what it’s like to work in a grocery store but not for the grocery store. The next time you head out to buy some food, just remember that not everything may be as it seems! And we stockers will always appreciate your patience.

Plastic Shipping Bags and Other Helpful Shipping Suggestions

I recently discovered the amazing invention of plastic shipping bags. This has more or less revolutionized things for me. As the owner of a small business, specifically one that is currently being run out of my home, I am always looking for new ways and ideas to either save money or provide a better service. It’s even better when I can do both at the same time, and this is what I found in plastic shipping bags. Allow me to explain:

  • I can buy plastic shipping bags in bulk. This not only saves me money but it allows me to have a constant supply on hand without fear of running out. I know how long my supply will last me, and I can order ahead of time so that the next couple weeks, or months, will run just as smoothly.
  • I can buy multiple varieties of plastic shipping bags. Buying in bulk is an amazing asset to any business owner. At the same time, having plenty of options is not so much a preference as it is a necessity. When using a product that best compliments the product you are trying to sell, or deal with, you are paying the proper respect to both your product and your customer. Using packaging or shipping materials that are either too small or too big speaks of a lack of professionalism, or a lack of resources. No one needs to know that my business is run out of my guest bedroom because I try to make everything look as official as possible. If it looks like I’m using supplies from my craft closet no one is going to take me seriously.
  • Plastic shipping bags offer added protection to my product. I admit that my sales were quite a bit less before I discovered these bad mammajammas. Sometimes I was getting complaints from customers who were saying that my product had leaked or broken somewhere in transit. Maybe it was the fault of the delivery guy, or maybe it was even the fault of the customer and they just wanted to get their money back. Regardless, I needed to make sure that I had done everything possible on my end. Since I started using the proper packaging and shipping supplies my sales have increased and I have more and more return customers.

Granted, hindsight is twenty/twenty, and there are some things that you have to learn the hard way. The important thing is that I am actually learning, and taking what I’m learning to heart. I think that is what produces success, whether or not you own a business or just in everyday life.