What happened to the dignity found in “The world of work”? I have an idea…


The world of work sure ain’t what it used to be. Even in the “slacker” 90’s we Gen X’ers always did what we had to do in ensuring we had spending money in our pockets let alone paying for our own stuff. But my oh my how things have changed. Did we and the following generations get lazy, apathetic or just over it? That’s what we’ll explore today in the Toy Box with the help of my favorite slacker poster children: Dante and Randall from Clerks and made by Diamond Select.

Dante Hicks and Randall Graves: Model Employees? Stranger things have happened. At least Dante would show up even on his day off.

Thinking about it, Dante and Randall were actually great workers. Despite the whining, foul language and general indifference or disrespect to the customers they served, they still showed up. Even when it was Dante’s day off. That says a lot when you think about it in hindsight.

Also in this vein, is considering the nature of Kevin Smiths own work ethic. You figure he was working at the Quick Stop when he was writing, producing, directing and acting in the movie. It’s that gumption that really attracted me to and be influenced by him as a filmmaker and storyteller.

Funny how looking back helps you see those things.

Also, it’s that work ethic that allowed for him to really thrive as the online world progressed. While I’ve not been enthusiastic about his non Viewaskew efforts, I do applaud his efforts in conquering the new medias as they were rolling out: multi media whore.

I haven’t seen “The Batman” yet. Nothing against Robert Pattinson, but I don’t know how if I’m ready to commit to the run time. I’ve got a goal of being productive, ya know?

Back to the topic at hand, (the world of work) it is certainly interesting to think about all of the changes we’ve seen in it over my 48 years. As a kid, I watched my dad get up every morning, go through his morning routine of coffee and cigarettes (that was breakfast back in those days) and then rollout to get to work on average 30 minutes early, which is a trait that is pretty much frowned on these days. It wasn’t lost on me. To this day I have a tendency to be like Pop in that. Despite those around me thinking I’m nuts. The previous day job however changed that though.

These days I’d been working from home. Doesn’t seem like much of a stretch considering I have been involved in so many freelance projects over the past 10+ years but this was different. I was working for a company, slave to the clock… in my own home. It was weird. Very weird. More than that, uncomfortable and surprisingly stressful and hard on the physiology (more on that later). However, this particular job and company did allow for me to do a lot of fact finding and make some interesting observations from numerous and various businesses. Especially on this topic.

Being business to business sales, it gave me the chance to put a real finger on the pulse of what all is really going on in my state. The general consensus is that they’ve got plenty of business now that things have opened back up and the majority of restrictions and such have lifted but the problem that is consistent among all forms of goods, services and trade industries is the lack of help. They simply can’t find people who are willing to work.

While there’s all kinds of debates that can come from that reality, in the end and the deeper issue in my opinion is that folks today aren’t so much lazy as they are apathetic and indifferent to the dignity of work. In fairness, who can truly blame them?

In retrospect, how demoralizing was it to be deemed “non-essential”? The PR on the pandemic was certainly lacking. Not a way to win friends and influence people for sure.

Over the past couple of decades, society has pushed a college education and degree as a must with the promise of a “better life”. The post March 2020 reality revealed that the degree would do you little good in an environment that was deemed “non essential” let alone a heavy student loan burden. Who would have thought that someone willing to work at a fast food joint could make more money hourly and be in more demand than as a beginner in a skilled trade that was basically shut down due to various restrictions?

This isn’t a bashing of higher education. It’s also not pushing for it. I for one have always been a huge proponent of continued learning and vocational education. Being pragmatic versus philosophical has proven itself to be far more practical to living a “better quality of life”. Now however, some things happened that’s taken what I would think would be a pretty obvious assessment seems to escape people nowadays, no matter what “generation” they’re attached to. Frankly speaking, we need to get that in check before the situation gets worse.

That was a pretty heavy rant but truth itself tends to be like that. Having pledged to myself after disengaging from social media interactions to not offer a rant without a solution, I would like to offer this line of thought with my own intent and dedication to get life back on track as well as a recommendation for continued reading.

What I feel would be in everyone’s best interest is to take the time to be active in improving your mindset and habits as well as pushing yourself to engage in the real world again with everyone else you come in contact with. A smile, a nod and or a friendly; “Howdy!” while looking someone in the eyes goes a long way these days. The opportunity to start a conversation in the real world can help us all connect again on a human level that got bombarded by two years of fear based social distancing. That stops with action and kindness. We can all do that so lets!

This is the point where I’d like to share with you dear reader, my own resolve to get my butt back in gear and do what I was morn to do: tell stories and encourage others to share theirs. Hence this new look and feel of the Toy Box. There’s a ton of stories inside of that story, and we’ll get to those soon enough but I’m rambling so let me focus back in ….

In a nutshell, in 2020, I never contracted Covid but I was diagnosed as being a Type 2 diabetic. I knew I wasn’t feeling great more often than not but didn’t realize the physical reasons why. I was 46, so the body was slowing down and the line of work I went into, retail management (the TV station was flat lining and I was burnt out on chasing down freelance video gigs) that however became “non-essential”. I was not on any prescription medication for the Type 2. I had tried one of the more common drugs and it sucked. The side effects in no way outweighed the benefits that were promised so I gave up on that after a few days and promised myself to be more mindful of my food intake and try to move around and exercise more.

While my Doc was no Hannibal Lecter, he was pretty intense and serious about me taking the Type 2 diagnosis seriously. Only now am I heeding the severity of the situation. Join me in this journey as I share my new doctors recommendation (that doesn’t involve prescription drugs btw).

I did okay with that but wasn’t dedicated nearly as much as I should have been. Still, it wasn’t terrible or what one would deem “out of control”. That is until I made the decision to take the “remote” job I mentioned earlier. It required me to sit on my duff for the majority of the 8 hour work day. Then over the span of 90 days, the last 30 found my blood sugar soaring. It was staying at 200 and spiking to 400 and in some cases 500, no matter what I ate or drank. It’s at that point I realized a change was in order… and it needed to happen immediately.

The decision that was made is what you’re reading now… or listening to.. or watching. After so many months and now years of self realization and actualization I’ve come to reconnect with my true purpose and calling: Storyteller. To inform and entertain, there is no higher purpose for me. Even though over these past few years I got that messaged confused in my own mind and intentions. That’s been course corrected now thanks to many things but one in particular I want to point out right now is the following book I was recently introduced to.

“Atomic Habits” by James Clear is a great read full of lessons for those who are feeling scattered and overwhelmed as they attempt to reconnect with their internal drive and ambition, one little habit forming step at a time.

There’s nothing you can’t accomplish if you truly want it and understand that small steps are even more important than the big ones. Those will come but in the end all that matters is the destination. It all starts with one step. Take yours NOW!

Shout out time.

I learned about “Atomic Habits” from Clark Kegley via one of his many helpful videos on YouTube. The main focus of the video is how author James Clear suggests in “Atomic Habits” the idea of rewriting your script into the 2.0 version of yourself (you should totally watch it ). I had been wrangling with that concept without; 1. Knowing I was and 2. Getting no where fast in those pursuits. Thanks to Clark’s video, it shook me and helped me realize that in all my efforts of trying to get back at what I was meant to do, I was digging myself into a deeper rut instead of actually escaping the old one.

Until now.

The “365 Journal” is the end result of my learning and taking ACTION using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I’ll be sharing more about this opportunity as well as publishing more non-fiction and fiction titles throughout the rest of this year. You can order one from me and I will truly appreciate it but more importantly start journaling TODAY! It’s an amazing exercise in self realization, mindfulness and getting those goals from idea to reality. You’ve got nothing to loose and everything to gain.

I can’t recommend both the video and the book enough. I also can’t stress how important it is for you to share this blog and those links with everyone you know because you never know who may be suffering from these issues silently. This is how we get back to making forward motion in life and specifically in regards to the topic at hand; reconnecting with, then getting back to and dare I say loving “The World of Work”.

Rosie represents more now than ever, IMO. Roll up your sleeves ladies and gentleman and let’s all get back to work with self respect, dignity and determination to make this world a better one, one day at a time.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 04/25/22

Clicking the links and various ads that are embedded in this post or gracing the site helps out tremendously in my operations and growth. In the event you have an issue with any of those, please let me know immediately. While I take no responsibility for any third parties actions or lack there of, I can and will boot them off the site and say mean but honest things about them. Again, I truly appreciate the support and encouragement as we all work together for a better, more loving, empowered, creative, inquisitive and enlightened world. -Jim

BIG UPDATE: The Jim’s Toy Box Channel is available NOW in the ROKU store! Download to your ROKU device today and join me in exploring some of the most interesting stories that I can cram in my Toy Box!

Dark ride… Bright memories.


Who doesn’t love a dark ride attraction? If that’s you, hate to hear that because we LOVE em! So much so, our closest one is a must see and do at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. The only thing that comes a close second is the food found at the Mill Restaurant located to the right just past the park entrance. Great food, amazing service and worth every penny for all you care to eat Fried chicken, catfish, meatloaf, all the sides and a nice selection of desserts.

The stop at the Mill fueled us up well for the day of walking around this amusement and entertainment staple of the Ozarks. Along with the great food, the weather was perfect and the crowd was modest so getting around was very nice and not overrode with too many people elbow to elbow. A seriously great day for Alicia, Kaitlynn and myself. Especially since we discovered our favorite ride has had some TLC applied to since our last visit in 2019.

“The Flooded Mine” is a dark ride that takes you on a visual story of the “towns” work camp for those who didn’t do right by the towns agreed upon forms of civility. Thus these miscreants were sentenced to hard (and soggy) time in the mine.

It’s also a game as you can compete with your fellow flat bottom boat riders in shooting infrared targets all throughout the ride with your six shooter that has a realistic weight and feel, yet not so realistic cable that attaches it to the boat. Candidly though, they don’t work that well. That’s fine however as our trio is far more interested in the aesthetics of the ride than taking out the red and white bullseyes. The video below will show you why those looms are so wonderfully entertaining and fun!

The denizens of “The Flooded Mine” have had some much needed grooming and freshening done since our last visit.

There’s so many more memories and stories I could share about this long overdue visit. I may share more of those from this April 10, 2022 visit (primarily how proud Alicia and I are of Kaitlynn who really let herself live a little by experiencing so many new things) but for now I’ll wrap up with this…

The greatest experiences collected are the MEMORIES that overflow the Toy Box… yet there’s always room for more!

Now, Go Play! Jim – 4/11/2022

The BIG Story tease


This one is a tease about a bigger over arching thing. To compare, Todays discussion is a daily thing… the latest series is a weekly with multiple parts shared over weeks …. While this one will be a “one shot” but more complex i it’s production value and story. And now…. Another random picture from my phone 🙂

The new and improved Jim’s Toy Box COMING SOON!


It’s a new decade and dawn for the Toy Box. I love this place and forgot how much so. Also, this “Toy Box” was always intended to be more metaphorical in its content. I wanted a place to stash all of my “stuff” be they blogs, reviews, articles, videos, silly funny pics and now the podcast. I’m dedicating to this because this toy Box means more than I truly realized until now.

Please note, the construction process is going to be sloppy, so to all of you my dear subscribers know that I appreciate your patience as I get the kinks worked out.

Jim 04/08/2022

Thank you.


Just a note to say thank you to all of you who have kept up with the site over all of these years. Lots of big, positive changes coming for it and myself, dear reader. I hope you enjoy what you’ll find here inside my Toy Box in the coming days and weeks.

Now, Go Play!

Jim, 4/7/2022

Turn off the headlines turn up the imagination.


Times they sure are strange. Two years since the beginning of flattening the curve we find ourselves now being bombarded with war, inflation, high gas prices and all kinds it horrible headlines. To that I have a solution:

Log off… tune out… unplug… digital detox… and PLAY!

Here’s a quick look at my Saturday escape into true reality vs the one they hope we will accept as the real one. I like mine much better.

Now, go play!

Jim 3/19/22

What if Mego had made Star Wars figures?


Saturday morning creativity from a galaxy far, far away.

Using modern 3D and 2D printing to take a guess.

I present to you a “What if?” Custom Mego piece. So long back in don’t remember when I originally printed this 8 inch scale Threepio, but now was the time to get him rounded out with packaging. … based the design off of the original trading card look…

He fits in quite nice with the modern Mego Corp offerings. Who knows? With all of the licenses Mego has, this could become a reality. Probably not and that’s okay thanks to modern tech, talent and of course; IMAGINATION.

Now, go play!

Jim – 3/19/2022

Thank you, Doc!


Many years have past since I made the video plea below…

Now, all these years later, I must give credit where it’s due: Thank you Dr.Mego and the Mego Corporation for making this one happen. I genuinely appreciate it and applaud the journey that was made to this point.

Biased but such is collecting. But I do really like the look of this Robin. And like his original intent, his bright colors brings a nice “lightness” to the Batman.

Riddler has always been one of my most favorite Bat-Villain, but he is still a smarmy jerk sometimes.

One thing is for certain in these 21st century DC characters from MEGO is the head sculpts are full of a fantasy amount of emotion. Bravo to the sculptors and paint masters.

One would be hard pressed to downplay the emotion in these sculpts.
Mischief without bounds!
Unapologetically heroic!

I was on the fence with picking up these new DC figures, only because of space constraints but I have an itching suspicion all that is about to change. In this effort, Mego is at the top of their game in what made them the best at what they did all those decades ago. Not to mention price point. No matter where you buy them, the MSRP is far and away better than comparable to other companies iterations of these iconic characters.

You’ve come a long way, MEGO. And I appreciate the whole journey.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 03/06/2022