Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Can vs The Bag

Last night my friends came over with a huge thing of "special" brownies, and eating them got me thinking a lot about chips in a canister, and chips in a bag. At first glance the only difference seems to be the packaging, but like anything else you have to take a deeper look. Bags have very weak packaging, which would make the canister the antithesis of the bag, since the canister has its hard exterior to protect it. This would be a positive thing because there would be fewer crumbs in a canister. Internally there are many similarities between the canister and the bag. They are very similar when it comes to the nutritional facts, serving sizes and texture. However there is something very different about cans and bags, something almost intangible.
Initial evaluation had the canister coming out on top- the canister, in being the more efficient use of space, seems to contain more product. On further preponderance, however, I must include that "seat of the pants" testing indicates that the chip product in a canister seems to deplete more rapidly. It may be that there is actually less product in a canister. Also I think that freshness would be a huge plus for the canister. It is very easy to lock in freshness when all that you have to do is put the lid on your chips. It is a lot more difficult to do this with a bag. They do make clips for bags, but they do not come standard with a bag of chips, and unless you are a boy scout, you might not always have one handy with you when you need one. Nobody likes a stale chip.
My hypothesis is that, due to the strictly regimented order of the chips, their depletion can be more readily and accurately observed. So every handful makes marked damage to the remaining quantity of chips. Chips in a canister are compact. The fact that they are all neatly stacked and put in a position for optimal storage capacity might actually be a negative in American society. In our culture, bigger is better, and for the most part it is quantity over quality. Chips in a bag would seem a lot more appealing as the better buy because there would be the perception of more.
The stacked nature of the canister chip makes it easier to grab more. Sometimes when reaching for a handful of chips in a bag, you do your best to get a lot and only end up with a few. This would be in the canister’s favor in a perfect world, but the fact is a bag of chips seems to last longer. The fact that they are all neatly stacked and put in a position for optimal storage capacity might actually be a negative. While absent mindedly-eating chips during a movie I would prefer a bag because I would eat less during the movie, and feel less sick after it is over; large quantities of chips make me feel sick.
Another important aspect to look at is our environment. The packaging of both products creates waste. Though the bag might create less volume in garbage, it is a lot less friendly to the environment. Chip bags are not biodegradable, and are not recycled in any factories. Canisters are mostly biodegradable though. The body of the canister is made from cardboard, and all that you have left is the bottom and the lid. Also canisters can be used as storage containers for other goods, while bags obviously were not designed to be reused this way. In this way, canisters are a lot more eco-friendly than bags.
In the end, it all comes down to preferences. Some people prefer efficiency and others prefer the perception of more. We live in a society where the superior product seldom thrives as the dominant one: like the Beta VCR, or the Mac computer. Beta and Mac were both far more superior than their competition, but somehow they are seldom viewed that way. So while I feel like the canister would definitely be the superior product, its size is definitely holding itself back from the spotlight. Undoubtedly the advent of a longer canister would spell the end of the bagged chip in the marketplace. However, it might also make an even more obese American population.
I love "special" brownies


Friday, April 28, 2006

So now what!?

Last night I almost told my best friend that I was gay. We were at the beach surfing when we noticed some dolphins in the water. It was really cool, so we just sat on our boards and watched them as they played around. It was really awesome, we just sat there talking about all sorts of things. Like how we were just about to finish our second year of college and we had no idea what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. We talked about all of the problems that we were having at home, like how its getting increasingly difficult to have any freedom when we come home for the holidays and the summers. It was really nice to just relax and talk about nothing, but still it sucked because I knew that I wasn't about to let my gaurd down. At some point we started to talk about our love lives, or his love life and my big gaping hole where a love life should be. I hate coming up with excuses about why I never have a girlfriend, and I hate how I have to lead all these different girls along ike I want to be with them. But in the end they always leave me alone, completely annoyed with all of my excuses on why I missed our date or why we couldn't sleep together. In my head I went over what would happen if I told him that I was gay. When I go over this scenario he is always kind and understanding, but then we never speak again. Even though I am almost positive that he wouldn't just stop talking to me, I just can't chance that kind of rejection at this point in my life. The dolphins swam away sometime while we were talking, so we caught a wave back to the beach, and I felt completely miserable. A perfect evening ruined by my lies... I felt like the moment needed a picture, so that's what the pic above is all about. Can't you just feel my isolation??

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The day that I changed...

Growing up as the token Asian kid in a sea of upper middle class white suburban children, really makes a boy think about the kind of person that he needs to be in order to fit in. I fell into a very specific crowd of kids very early in my life. We were the surfers, all through school our parents would drive us to the beach and we would stay there all day long. Then in High School we were the entire varsity surfing team. So I always had my surfboard define who I was and where I fell on the social ladder. There was a large portion of my high school career where I completely forgot that I was a minority, and I almost managed to fool myself into believing that I could be one of them.

Then one day I went with my father to work on "take your child to work day" and I noticed something that I had never really noticed before. My father was the only non-White executive in the office, and for the first time I was completely aware of the fact that I was inherently different from everyone around me. I was angry because my father had done the same things that I had done to get ahead in this world and it made me ashamed! Why should I have to change so much to accomadate people that would never do the same thing for me!? It hit me pretty hard because I felt like such a chump for trying to trade in all of my asian social traits for more mainstream American ones. I went to school the next day ultra aware of all the things that I did on a daily basis just to fit in with all of my friends, and I was completely ashamed of myself. They were all just small things, but all the small things really added up in the end. Like taking elocution lessons to lose my accent, and pretending to be disgusted with Spam (even though sometimes i stay up at night thinking about spam and rice, with a couple of fried eggs, COMPLETELY smothered in hot sauce and or ketchup!!YUM!!) just so i wouldn't be made fun of.

I remember that first day back to school vividly, because one of my friends did something that he had done a million times, only my blinders were off this time and I totally spazzed on him! We were walking to class when we ran into a fellow Asian student, and he screamed, "Chink!"He didn't say it as a joke or anything, he was saying it to be mean to this guy, and it wasn't the first time that he had done this to someone. However this was the first time it really bothered me and I started to yell at him. After that things just escalated, until I became a fully realized, pain in the ass, loud mouth, Asian American.

That's when it happened. I was sitting there thinking about how proud I was with myself for finally letting everyone know who I was and what I was all about, and it dawned on me. I am gay. It had been so easy to ignore when i was consciously trying to deal with a million other things at the same time. Like focusing on my accent or pretending not to notice the hateful stares from other Asians disgusted with how white washed I was. But once I didn't have those things to deal with, it was like a ton of bricks was lifted of my shoulders only to be replaced with the weight of the world. It was scary how easy people accepted the new Militant person that I had become, everyone was so accommodating and they were eager to get to know the "real" me. So I put on my new mask as a straight and proud Asian man, and I began jumping through the same old hoops all over again.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Don't call this a come back!

Well I started this blog over a year ago, and then I just totally forgot about it... I am not entirely sure what it is to "blog". I can use "blog" as a verb right? But i guess that i just want to have a place where I can write down my thoughts and opinions on life, and pretend that other people care about what it is that i have to say. I am in College with aspirations of being something great. I like to eat and sleep and watch television. And to unwind, I go to the beach at night, and I surf by the pier. Not only is it nice to be alone in the ocean, but some of the best waves are out after the sun goes down! In the end i think that what I hope to get out of this is a sense of myself. Once I atually see my thoughts, they show me who I am a lot more than when I just think about them in my head...