Home Ideas for Quarantine

This year I found myself at home for the last 8 weeks. It was not by choice and as a matter of fact it was not for any personal health reasons. And no I was not fired either.  The reason I am at home is because of the Covid-19 Pandemic that has spread across the world.  The state I live in created unconstitutional laws that forced me to not go to work.  My job was labeled not vital enough to go to work for.  So I have been at home and it has actually been rough.

Physically my body was really struggling due to not having my work gear at home.  So I have had to improvise to create a work environment that is capable of going to each day.

At home I do not have my own desk.  I started out working from my couch and with a laptop computer.  This was workable for several days until my back began to hurt.  It started at a slow pain that was manageable and I started working out more thinking I just needed to keep moving.  Instead it began to get worse and my back pain turned into my sciatica nerve shooting pain all over my body.  It turns out this was due to the couch not providing enough support.  So I spent a week on medication to lessen the swelling around my nerves. 

From there I went on a journey to find a better way to work.  I brought in kitchen chairs into my living room and created a makeshift desk and sitting chair.  I found that my wrists started to hurt after days of typing because the keyboard was not at the proper height.  I then decided to grab some games which are made from cardboard boxes to prop up my laptop and mouse. 

This eliminated my wrist issues and my back slowly started to become more comfortable as well. From there I actually used side tables to put my cardboard boxes and computer on.  This allowed me to pull my chair up under it and make it a very small and mobile desk.

The mobility allowed me to then put it all back after work was done.  This gave me the psychological break I needed between work and home that I was also struggling with. Work cannot go on all the time and need not be thought about at all times of the day especially from home.  So be adaptive and safe as you are trapped at home too.

Facts about The use of Cardboard

The world has become increasingly smaller and people are now able to get items from all across the word.  This has been marvelous for economic reasons and allowed many places in the world to thrive where their local economies would not allow it. It has also had some detrimental effects on different areas including the environment. 

In particular the use of cardboard has been increasing not only in the last few years but centuries.  It was created in the 17th century and slowly become the leading item for packaging supplies in the world. The United States per household throws away roughly 13,000 separate cardboard boxes every year.  That number will most likely increase due to the covid 19 pandemic.  Now since most Americans are forced to stay at home we are ordering more from online stores and being shipped our items in cardboard boxes. It has become possibly its own pandemic in a way due to the excess amount made and the inability to dispose of it properly.

A fact that will blow the average individuals mind is that the amount of energy used to create cardboard.  If the amount of cardboard that was thrown away each ebay was instead used to heat houses. Then 50 million average households would have the energy to heat their homes.  That amount is staggering and it shows that we spend more on creating cardboard then we most likely should.  In the United States alone we throw away 850 million tons of paper and cardboard. 

That number is staggering to me and what that really means is that 1 billion trees were mostly likely cut down to create that amount of waste.  This means that the average American uses 7 trees all on their own just in paper waste. For me personally that would mean I would cut down every tree on the property I own in one year.  This for myself would be unsustainable because it would take 40 years to get my trees to grow back to the same size and that number and time involved is hard to wrap my mind around. 

The amount of waste we are creating and the amount of energy we are spending to create that waste is most likely not sustainable.  If we could instead recycle every amount of paper we might be able to slow the degradation of our tree population down. This at the very minimum should be what we all due.  So keep in my the need to recycle and try to do so with your paper products.

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.

Using the right knife on Cardboard

A little known fact is that cardboard boxes are very dense. This may sound a little funny but in a way its very obvious.  We use cardboard boxes all the time and in many cases every day.  Look in your pantry and you will see them every where and they are used many times in heavy applications.  This is simply because of the density of cardboard and if you work in a factory or in packaging you may find yourself cutting lots of boxes every single day.  This becomes a problem if you are using cheap knives.  The problem is obvious if you are in the industry, and its because your knife is always dull. So how do you choose the proper knife to work in a factory?

The answer is complicated and yet simple.  Stop buying the most inexpensive knife you see that looks cool.  Yes, it may have a great looking design on the handle or blade, but most likely it is made from the lowest bidder and out of the least expensive materials.  Instead look for a brand name that is known in the knife industry.  Yes the knife industry, not the sporting goods industry.  So this means you actually need to do a little research.  Brands are not country of origan specific either.  Some of the best knife brands come from China, because they use quality materials and craftsmanship.  Look for brands like, Benchamde, Spyderco, We Knives.  These are the most known brands in the knife industry and starting with a high quality brand means most likely you will be getting a better knife.  Now the actual steel on the knife is important. It actually will be what determines how often you need to sharpen your knife if you do the same task each day.

Ask yourself an important question. Do I work in wet conditions. If the answer is yes, then you will most likely want a stainless steel.  Now remember, all steel rusts. Stainless, means it stains less quickly or rusts less quickly than a normal carbon steel.  There are more types of steel than I can count, but here are a few good ones to look for.  If you need a good stainless steel, look for knives that are made in cpm s35vn,  cpm154, or vg10. 

These knives will cost more than your truck stop knives, but will be 10 to 20 times the quality.  Which means they will be tougher and last longer at your normal cutting tasks.  For Carbon steel look for, cpm 3v, m4, or m390.  These steels are amazing for edge retention but will rust faster than your normal kitchen knife.  So keep them dry and enjoy your knew experience of cutting boxes without sharpening your knife every other day.

Perfect Box For You

As a professional confectioner you know the quality of your goods is the most important thing. It takes time to create the perfect recipes. It takes hours of trial and error to find what tastes the best. Then you have to decide the icing and the decorations that will fit perfectly on top of the candy or pastry. There are a lot of choices that go into the product as a whole.

Another component that is included in the presentation of the product is the packaging. It does not depend on what type of business you are running, you have to have some sort of packaging. In this case, confectioners need candy boxes for their product. It doesn’t matter if the product is just sold locally out of a display case or sent halfway across the country. The presentation and the type of packaging used is important. You can choose candy boxes that go with your theme and your style.

There are over eight different colors of boxes to choose from. You could choose to have every batch as the same color, or you can determine which different products get which different color box. You could also have color choices available for the consumer. Maybe for Valentine’s Day they choose a dark red color. Then for their wedding they can choose gold or another color to match their wedding theme and colors. Having these colors available for your customers is just an added bonus of personalization.

Another customization feature is selecting how many chocolates go into each box. Maybe some consumers don’t want to buy twelve chocolates and only buy four. Then again, some people may want to buy twenty-four chocolates! So having different options for packaging allows people with different price points and budgets to purchase your products.

Finally, you want to tie it all up with a bow. There are a few different ways to really set you packaging apart from other businesses. One way is to tie bows around each box. You can buy pre-made bows or learn how to make them yourselves. You can also just use regular ribbon to tie around the box. For people taking the boxes directly from your storefront, you can put the boxes in little gift bags with color tissue paper. Gift wrapping the box will make it more special for the person receiving the chocolates as a gift. Just have fun with the appearance of the box. Make it your own!