What Happened to my Prize

cereal

Whatever happened to toys in cereal boxes?  I remember fighting with my siblings over them.  In fact, we had to institute family rules.

  • The toy had to fall into your bowl before you could claim it
  • No manipulating of the box was allowed (we probably said “no shaking the box”).
  • No opening the new box until the old box was finished.
  • No peaking in the box.
  • No reaching into the box with your hand.

These rules were tough, but family rules were important or chaos would ensue.  I remember once when someone took two chocolate Girl Guide Cookies without taking the corresponding amount in vanilla cookies, which was a complete affront to the rules.  Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

Getting back to cereal prizes, what happened?  I have hear several stories and don’t really know which one is true.  If you know the true story, please leave me a comment.  I would like to know.

I have heard that some of the prizes caused injury because they were ingested by unaware cereal eaters.  This seems rather ludicrous because when it came to prizes, I was pretty hyper vigilant to see whether it came into my bowl or not.  Then again, perhaps it wasn’t children that these injuries happened to.  It very well might have been adults who were eating these sugar laden treats.  If these same parents had previously criticized their children’s eating choices, well the irony is just huge then, isn’t it?

I have also heard that in Canada this kind of marketing has been banned by the government.  That sort of makes sense.  I understand the need to protect children from the evil manipulations of advertisers.  However, there seems to be lots of toys marketed to kids at fast food restaurants.  This doesn’t really appear to be in any way different.  It just changes the nagging factor to a fast food restaurant rather than a supermarket aisle.  Since I find myself in the supermarket more often, I can’t really say I mind.

The last thing I have read is that this kind of marketing doesn’t work on kids today and that digital products or product redemption codes seem to work better.  For a certain age group, I really can’t argue with that.  Pre-teens and teens would be rather happy with downloadable content, or gift cards.  As an adult, I have fallen victim to such forms of advertising.  Thanks to Vector cereal I have a bunch of exercise shirts.  That one was even more devious because I had to go to the store and pick them up.  Thank god it was a running store and not a bike store or hobby shop.  They would have had me in their marketing clutches.

In the past, I have received quite a few computer games from cereal combogglepanies.  I thought this was good because the games weren’t violent first person shooters (or anything to do with zombies). Although they weren’t expressly educational, they were games like boggle, or scrabble.  That is to say, they had some redeeming value.

Perhaps it is nostalgia, or perhaps it is the collector in me. (See these posts if you don’t know what I mean)  I like the idea of getting something while eating my morning breakfast.

So, this is what I propose.  Adult cereal should get more giveaways.  These giveaways could include:

  • tools
  • apps
  • magazines (maybe by giving them away for free we can forestall the demise of print media–or maybe they can give away e-versions)
  • bottle openers (you can never have too many)
  • first aid kits
  • lip balm
  • dental floss
  • music
  • books

I am just thinking off the top of my head.  If you have any ideas, do not hesitate to comment.  I would love to know what you think.

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Dare to Daredevil

daredevil

For reasons that are not overly important, I do not have Netflix.  As a result, I have been waiting to watch Daredevil.  I have more than enough television that I can wait until it will be released on Blu-Ray.   I have patience.  I can wait.

This is what I told myself Saturday morning.  How was I to know that by Saturday night I would have watched almost half of them.  I guess I have to thank (or perhaps curse) my friend.

To be fair, my friend is a pretty serious Daredevil fan.  He has an extensive collection of the comics and at least a few figures.  When he goes into comic shops, he utters the words “got it” way more than he sighs “need it.”

Having read this short bio, obviously, you can conclude that my friend has watched the whole series (I should probably let him write a guest blog review–he’s got some writing talent…I will have to think about this).  I digress.  As I was writing, my friend has obviously seen the whole series, but that did not dampen his enthusiasm to watch it again.

I must say that I liked it.  It had a gritty feel to it without being completely contrived.  It had great action without resorting to matrix like moves.  It also had a hero who was vulnerable, resourceful and full of conviction.  In today’s anti-hero world, that doesn’t always come through.

My friend was not only a great host (he supplied the beer and potato chips) but also an incredible asset while viewing.  Watching it with my knowledgeable friend was like watching it with “pop-up video” like balloons.  He knew even slight characters and could single out comic book references and divergent storylines.

My only problem is that I am only half done.

Sharpen the Points

sharpening

That’s right.  It’s time to sharpen the points because summer darts season starts tonight.  For some of you that might not sound so colossal, but it sounds great to me.  I like darts and I like the friendly competition that goes with it.  I like the dim lights of the Legion and the reasonably priced beer that goes with it.

The winter season did not go horribly well for me.  I was firmly at the bottom of the league rankings.  Whenever I won, the people above me did to and I couldn’t move up.  My game was less than stellar until the very last weeks.  Unfortunately, ground lost was hard to make up.darts

This represents a new start.  I haven’t picked up a dart in about a month, so I don’t expect Phil Taylor or Michael Van Gerwin kind of genius.  I’d settle for not getting my ass kicked.

For those of you out there who’ve seen the hard to quantify spectacle on television, my league isn’t like that at all.  No models walk us to the line, no fans watch dressed in costume and 180’s, while not unheard of, are far from the norm.  If you’ve got a spare evening, I would suggest you take it up.

A Great Time To Be A Nerd

avengers

“It’s a great time to be a nerd.”

That was a direct quote from one of my colleagues.  He is far from nerdy, but his inner nerd child does show itself from time to time.

I guess he is right.  We’ve got superhero television shows and movie franchises all over the place.  Grade A actors are practically begging to be in these movies.  I just came back from a sold out viewing of the Avengers: The Age of Ultron and there were lots of different people in the theatre.  There were families, and girls, women.

Where was this when I was growing up?  I remember walking into the Silver Snail and not even seeing one woman, let alone the dozens I saw today.  When the few of my friends who managed to have girlfriends even mentioned comic books they got killer eye rolls.  Now, those same friends have wives that are reserving tickets for them.

The times they are a changing.  Can’t fault Bob on his logic, but did he really envision such an incredible change?

Maybe it is the technology.  We can put things on the movie screen that we never could before.  We can depict the fantastic so well that real life seems dull by comparison.  I’m not complaining, but my bus ride to work will never be the same.

I won’t spoil the movie for anyone reading.  I saw it.  I enjoyed it.  I may have to go and see it again.

Reboot

The History

A couple of years ago, I started writing a blog on hobbies.  People said it would be fun and it would give me a lot of writing practice.  I searched the internet for places to blog and settled on blogger because it came so highly recommended.  Most people explained that it was easy to use, looked pretty good, and that I had a chance to make some money.  That all sounded attractive to me.

They were quite correct.  Setting up the blog, and others, was quite easy.  I generally liked the look of it and was quite satisfied with the results.  I tried my hand at the money thing in various incarnations but failed to cash in on that.  This was the result of a combination of overzealousness by my students and a lack of page views .  If you don’t attract the people, you probably won’t be the next internet sensation.

Nonetheless, I soldiered on.  What I found was that I liked the writing and I enjoyed the small amount of interaction with readers.  It just didn’t grow at all, and very few people left any comments.  At the time, I figured this was normal, but I wondered why blogging was popular if you didn’t get a lot of comments.

Then a funny thing happened.  I started a blog on WordPress (the free one) because I just wanted to write something different.  While it isn’t a runaway hit (or featured on Freshly Pressed) it did seem to garner more of a following.  I realized that WP did a better job of promoting within itself, and creating a community of bloggers.

So that’s why I am here.  I am hoping for a bigger audience and greater interaction.  Only time will tell, but I am quiet optimistic.

The Name

When I started on Blogger, I called this blog Jack of All Hobbies.  I thought I was being witty.  I figured people would get the allusion to jack of all trades, master of none.  Instead, people just thought my name was Jack (which it isn’t) and I wasn’t smart at all.  I probably should have changed the title, but by then it just seemed like too much work.  As of now, I am trying to decide if I should be “A Man with Too Many Hobbies” or “Too Many Hobbies–So Little Time.”  Please let me know what you think.

The Future

I will continue to write about hobbies and anything that resembles a hobby.  My definition is quite broad, so you never know what I will write about.  Figure that books, things Japanese, food, cycling, and models will all be part of it.  Then again, it could be stamps, cards, exercise or YouTube.  Who really knows.

I will also have to play with the format quite a bit–so expect some changes.  We will see what works and what doesn’t.  Feel free to give your opinion.

A Look Back

I will eventually delete this blog, but if you want to see how it looked, please check here.  If the link is broken, that means I deleted the page.