Jan 31, 2017

Kali Ma Will Rule The Arcade

Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom
Atari (1985)
My favorite arcade game of all time was reviewed by Pat the NES Punk as a part of The Video Game Years - 1985,

Jan 24, 2017

Still In Our Hearts

"I'm hiding in Honduras
I'm a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns, and money
The shit has hit the fan"

Warren Zevon
Lawyers, Guns and Money (1978)
Today would have been his 70th birthday.

Jan 23, 2017

The Gender Revolution

National Geographic
January 2017 issue
Like most highly politicized issues, I feel like both sides have gotten lost in the ideology and the truth is somewhere in the middle getting shouted over by the loudest and angriest voices.  However, I'm extremely happy that we're getting closer to a country where everyone can be happy and feel comfortable in their own skin.

Jan 22, 2017

I'm A Pukwudgie

House Pukwudgie
I took the quiz on Pottermore to see what house I would be sorted into in the American equivalent of Hogwarts.  Hmm... a grouchy porcupine.  That checks out.

Jan 21, 2017

Magical Creatures And Where They Live

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Cinema & Drafthouse - West Hazleton, PA
I haven't read the book yet, and I couldn't think of what it was called, so when my wife asked what movie was at the Cinema & Drafthouse this weekend, I said it was "Magical Creatures and Where They Live".  In other news, that is totally going to be the way that I refer to this book and film from now on.

I really enjoyed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  It's a spin-off / prequel to the Harry Potter books and films that expands its universe beyond the grounds of Hogwarts while still touching base with many of the things that are referenced in the series.  It reminded me of what Angel was to the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series - it took a teenage universe and turned it into a fantasy film noir that's geared toward an older audience.  I'm very interested in where they take the story from here.

Jan 18, 2017

Do The Math

Atari Jaguar demo kiosks
Atari Corporation (1994)
I worked at Wal-Mart in 1996-1997 when stores were selling off their stock of Jaguar merchandise at bargain basement prices.  I think I paid $20 for a brand new console, not including my employee discount.  I only had two games for it and neither were very good, but I was always intrigued by its potential (photo source: @ausretrogamer).

Jan 8, 2017

From The Wild World Of Wonka

Wonka confection enclosures
Nestle (2010'ish)
I started working for Nestle Confections, Baking and Ice Cream right out of college.  One of their recruiters had a table set up at a career fair on the first floor of the Henry Student Center at Wilkes University at the start of my senior year.  I didn't even know they were having a career fair that day and was just on my way to the third floor to grab something for lunch, and I spoke with the woman at their table and took a business card mostly to be polite.  I was a few months away from a psychology degree, and my thoughts at the time were on possibly going to grad school, with a flicker of hope still burning that I might be able to get into the Jet Programme.

The last thing I had on my mind when I took that card was a career in consumer relations, but life has a way of forcing people to change their plans.  A few months before graduation, my grandfather passed away and my father had a stroke which took away enough of his vision to put an end to his days of driving a car.  This left my grandmother, who hadn't driven a car in over 30 years at that point, by herself when it came to things like getting groceries or to her doctors appointments.  This meant that leaving the country for 1 to 5 years was off of the table.  I had one group interview with The University Of Scranton for their Masters Degree program, but I gave a half-assed effort at best if I'm being completely honest.  The school focused a little too heavily on god and faith, and I realized after about ten minutes that this wasn't the place for me.  I needed a job after I graduated from Wilkes, so I dug out that business card and ended up getting a job with Nestle CBI that I expected to have for a few months or maybe for a year until I found a social service job.  However, after my first Halloween and Baking Season with the team, I found that I really liked the job and the people who I worked with.  I ended up getting promoted to the Social Media Team, then to the role of Consumer Experience Specialist, which is what we called our monitoring and quality coach.  Finally, I was promoted to project trainer, and I've never before been so satisfied by what I do for a living.

In my early days of working with the team, I took phone calls from consumers on a variety of Nestle products, including those that fell under the Wonka brand.  When your first name is Will, and you answer calls by saying "Thank you for calling Wonka.  This is Will.  How may I help you?", the reaction you get from a lot of folks is "Oh, is this Willy Wonka?", which is sometimes followed with a joke about oompa loompas or something of that vein.  Any future employees named Will are not going to have this experience because Nestle has decided to retire the Wonka brand name from all of our confections and ice cream products.

In the process of updating all of my training material, I came across a binder with a set of enclosures that we would mail out to families with children.  These were available in our mail room for years before I came to work here, so if I had to guess, I'd say that they were produced sometime between 2008 to 2010.  I can't imagine that these are ever going to be sent out again, or that too many folks who have received one of them in the mail have saved them, so I thought it would be nice to preserve them here for anyone interested in the history of the Wonka brand.  Click each image below to see the image in full size.

Jan 7, 2017

Marenghi Rhapsody

Bill Nunn
Bohemian Rhapsody
The entire Queen classic has been written onto punch cards and played on Mr. Nunn's Marenghi Organ from 1905.  It sounds pretty amazing.  I'd love to hear this on the carousel at Knoebels.