Thursday, May 16, 2019

Puzzlebug 500 Piece Puzzle Review – Are Dollar Store Puzzles Any Good?

In my last blog entry, I wrote about how I got inspired to look into activities that did not revolve around technology, and one of the activities that came to mind was puzzles. I had not done jigsaw puzzles in a long time, so I decided to do a little research to see what was available today.

There are a wide range of puzzles available but I just wanted to find something cheap, so first I checked the local Dollar Tree store. Surprisingly, they had a very good selection of puzzles to choose from. They had simple puzzles for kids, up through 1000 piece puzzles for adults. I decided to pick up one that had 500 pieces.

Dollar store items can be hit or miss as sometimes the item can be a great bargain while other times, the item may turn out to be junk. So the question is, are the puzzles from the dollar store any good? The quick answer is yes! 

The 500 piece puzzles come in a sealed box that must be cut open. I cut 3 edges of the box which allowed it to flip open and stay connected. Inside are the loose puzzle pieces. I dumped them out onto a flat surface. There was some “puzzle dust” as many new puzzle have so I moved the pieces around to try to separate them from the dust.

The pieces themselves are fairly thin and pretty small in size. The full puzzle comes out to dimensions of 11 x 18.25 inches. They fit together as expected, but they do not have a very secure interlock, so if you bump it while you are working, they can come apart. It is ok, you just have to be careful when working on it.

The puzzle took me about a week to complete, working on it a little bit each day. Overall it was fun and relaxing to do. It was challenging at time as sometimes you can put a piece in and it looks like it should fit, but then later you figure out it is actually in the wrong place. I was very satisfied with the finished product.

Overall I really enjoyed the puzzle and would recommend them to anyone who is looking for a cheap puzzle. I will probably pick up another one next time I am at the dollar store. These puzzle provide hours of entertainment for just $1, which is pretty much unbeatable. Not only that, once you are done with the puzzle you can take it apart and give it to other people to enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

What would life be like without internet, computer, tv, phone, and modern technology?

It's easy to take for granted all the modern conveniences and technology we have today such as computers, phones, and tv. I started thinking, what would it be like to live even one day without these things? I pictured what it would be like if my computer, tv, and phone disappeared and thought about what it would be like.

My first reaction was that it would be so boring and there would be nothing to do. It made me realize how dependent I am on things like the computer and internet as well phone and tv. These things open up the world to us and provide us with unlimited information, entertainment, and the ability to communicate with others. Without these things, our lives would be dramatically different.

I started to think, what would I actually do instead of these things? Some of the things I came up with include, reading books, doing artwork, writing, doing puzzles, going for a walk etc. One thing I noticed is that without all the information and entertainment being brought in by technology, it would force us to actually go out more and socialize with people.

I think that while technology is great for getting information, it has also caused us to be more distant from one another. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a trend over the past few decades with people being less social in real life and instead doing their socializing or lack there of through computers and phones. I also wouldn't be surprised if this affects people's ability to socialize and interact with people in the real world.

Most people still go out and interact with people each day for things like work or school so they should still have the opportunity to interact with others but even these things may be phasing more towards technology with people taking online classes and working remotely on the computer.

I think it is important to realize our dependency on technology and not get too sucked into it that we forget how to function without it. This exercise actually inspired me to do more activities that are not technology based. I got a book from the library, picked up a puzzle from the dollar store, and went for a walk outside. I enjoyed each activity and it reminded me that there is still plenty to do even in a world without modern technology.