Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.
Charlie Bucket: What happened?
Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.
-from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
John here (aka the LOML), with my annual takeover of the blog for my open thank you letter to Panasonic:
Four years ago, our family was selected by Panasonic to participate in their Living in HD Program, and four years ago today was the day our equipment was installed. For a tech geek like me, this was the mother of all prizes (read this for the full list and read more about it here and here). Talk about the man who got everything he ever wanted! That was me.
What we didn’t know at the time, was how much we had actually won. We didn’t just get great Panasonic equipment, the past four years have taught us that we got so much more.
We got experiences: Panasonic introduced us to Greg Harper- one of the kindest, most wonderful, and most tech-savvy people we know- who selected our family to represent all of the Living in HD families at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas. There we met Panasonic executives who actually listened to what we had to say, got to expose our children to brand new technology and new experiences that opened their eyes to the larger world.
We got to share with others: Panasonic sent people out to film two of our Calandro Christmas Crazy parties, and provided us and our friends with amazing Full HD 3D experiences- once by providing a mobile theater, the second time by bringing us our very own 3D equipment to use and share with others.
We got to make new friends: Sure we got technology, but Panasonic also connected us with the other Living in HD families who we are proud to call our friends. We have shared photos, videos, laughter and tears. We have visited the homes of some of the other families and have had them visit ours. We were brought together by technology and a common experience and have forged friendships because of the sense of community we found.
We got to enhance our lives: As part of the Living in HD project, we met Stacy DeBroff, who hired my wife and set her on a career path that has turned my wife into a techie (a side effect that I love, but NEVER anticipated as a part of Living in HD) and has exposed our family to so much fun that our oldest has told us he wants to write a book about how difficult it will be to live in the “real world” after growing up in the Calandro Clan.
We got a greater appreciation of our children: The Ms use our equipment regularly- M1 loves to shoot and edit video and we’ve discovered that M2 has a great eye and can make our Lumix G2 do things we never knew it could. M3′s photos regularly show up on any camera we leave within reach, and we’re always amazed and surprised when we find his pictures on the camera.
After four years, we still absolutely love our products. We replaced our original cameras (one I dropped in the ocean, the other finally just gave up the ghost after spending over three years in constant use). We now have a new, you guessed it, Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19 (which is possibly the best small camera ever invented). We’ve had over 200 pizza nights (every Friday) since we won the equipment and we’re thankful each and every time we all have the opportunity to sit down together and enjoy movies as a family or share them with friends.
So, yes, the man who got everything he ever wanted did, in fact, live happily ever after. And we plan on continuing to do just that thanks to Panasonic and the Living in HD program.
Thank you, Panasonic. We still aren’t quite sure what we did to deserve all of the amazing, wonderful, incredible things we have received and experienced through our relationship with you. We can’t imagine our life without you in it.
John Calandro and the Calandro Clan, LiHD Family #39