Too Much Cardboard

Are you in the same boat as I am.  Is your house filling up with excessive amounts of Cardboard boxes?  Seriously, I am starting to be at a loss of what to do with all of this extra stuff laying around.  I know the excessive amounts of it are due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and continued riots.  The shutdown of our economy and lockdowns has simply left us with shopping more online than ever before.  I am seriously ordering more from amazon, and other online companies than any other time in my life.  This is leading to up to 2 to 4 boxes arriving at my home each day. The amount of cardboard boxes that is now in my garage needing to be dealt with has reached proportions of 6 feet by 10 feet by 6 feet of boxes in my home.  This is getting insane. The real issue is I am not really too sure on how to get rid of it. But I am going to go through my plan.

First I think the best way to get it out is simply to put it in my weekly trash.  We are not allowed to use recycling again as of the lockdowns.  I am not sure how that is not essential but I would contact your local government and let them know that you think it is just as I have done. 

The fact that all these boxes are going to go to waste does hurt me on the inside and I feel like I am hurting the planet around me because of this.  But my goal is to now just move them out slowly through my weekly trash pickup.  I am however limited to 10 50 gallon bags of trash per week.  The issue is I still have normal trash and extra yard work trash to put out each week and this leaves little left for boxes.

So my next plan is to cut the boxes up into small sections and place them in bags.  I wish there was another way, but my goal is to go into my closet and pick out a fixed blade knife that has the best handle ergonomics.  I want this so I dont get blisters and I also want to match it with the best edge retention steel. This is because cardboard is dense and abrasive then I plan to cut it up in small pieces and place in the bags to trash.  That is my goal and I hope this is something you can do as well.

Shopping in the Grocery of 2020

Looking around things don’t look like they have changed. I look out my backdoor and I still have a yard.  When I go onto my front porch I still see neighbors walking in my neighborhood.  We wave and say hi, but I have noticed a trend. It is almost like its halloween night and everyone is tricker treating.  Everyone is wearing a mask.  The children playing basketball only with their family members, are still wearing masks.  The neighbors from down the block are walking passed my driveway and waving wearing medical masks or home made flannel masks.  COVID-19 has struck and the biggest difference is at stores.

Driving anywhere feels like a ghost town.  So many stores are closed and only large chain stores are  allowed  to be open.  The parking lot is packed full of people and there are lines to get into the store.  It is as we went into a communist state.  Lines and people telling you where you can go.  When you get into the store many sections are roped off and you have to tell someone want you want to go get it for you. I don’t see the point if someone is directly going to touch the candy boxes I pick out and ask them to get.  The chance of getting the COVID-19 virus is still the same if the same person who gets my candy boxes give and received to 1000 other people on the same day.  There are rules upon rules for a virus that has barely even effected my area.

 Thousands of people have died from Heart Disease and Cancer in my city in the last week, but they simply don’t matter.  Only the 10 that have been infected by COVID-19 matter.  Nursing homes are losing people to other illnesses at an alarming rate due to their lockdown and people not being allowed to live even a semi normal life.  They are totally alone and away from families and my relatives who are being kept from us are struggling. 

 These are my thoughts as I am walking through the store.  I get back to my car and have hand sanitizers wipes and regular hand sanitizer and go over all of my groceries.  It is honestly hypocritical of me because there is still such a low chance that COVID-19 is on my groceries. There is even less of a chance that it will matter. I am a healthy middle aged male and it would only be like getting the flu. Shopping is no longer fun and I hope things get back to normal fast.

Subscription-Based Sweets?

Lately there’s been a craze for subscriptions. Namely, subscription boxes. Anything you can imagine most likely has some sort of subscription-based company marketing its goods towards you. From clothes to music and fresh ingredients for meals to makeup, people are crazy for subscription boxes that are sent directly to them.

Candy is no different. In fact, you can have unique candies from foreign countries packaged up and sent to you once a month with all sorts of new things to try each time. And it’s become very popular. Why has it caught on, though?

Just another product for subscriptions.

Just like all subscription-based services, candy has found its way into homes on a monthly basis thanks to the subscription box craze. It makes sense, really. Why would other products work on a month-to-month schedule and not candy? Especially when it’s unique, foreign, or seasonal candy that is considered exclusive or limited edition. People eat that stuff up.

Thanks to candy boxes, candy is more than just the sweet treat itself. It’s the presentation of that treat, the colors that accompany the sugary snack. Specific art on the boxes can trigger emotions and desires to buy the product because of its look, its statement, or its ability to stand out among other candies. This is how marketing applies to all sorts of products and is exactly what ropes customers into buying it in the first place.

Why not just buy some candy from the store?
What makes these services work so well is the specialness of it all. The feeling of gifting yourself something new and exciting every month is a powerful one, especially to break up the monotony of life. People look forward to the feeling of unpackaging and ripping apart a box with unknown items within. It’s engaging, it’s interesting, it’s exciting, and it’s practical to not have to go buy your own stuff. It’s like a gift to yourself, really.

Another factor is how easy it is to simply sign up for a product and have it delivered to you. There’s no going out of your way to get it, such as driving to the store. It’s packaged nice and neat for you and sent to you. This all ultimately takes the effort out of obtaining it, at least on your end.

When it comes down to it, subscription candy boxes are just another good checked off on the list of “Things to Make into Subscription Companies”. And like all the items on that list, it’s a profitable service.

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

Gatorade.

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.