Archive for February, 2008

Supermarket Scavenger Hunt

Posted in Budweiser, Dr Pepper, food, retail, reviews, snacks with tags , , on February 28, 2008 by Paxton

Scavenger HuntWell, if you’ve read this blog a few times you know I love stalking the supermarket and gas stations for awesome, awesome drinks, snacks, candy, etc. I’m always browsing gas station mini-marts, grocery stores, dollar stores, etc for new and different items that look cool. Have you noticed there are like 8 different kinds of Cheetos? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Cheetos whore. I could eat nothing all day but bags of those dangerously cheesy corn puffs. I could bathe in the cheese powder they use to flavor the Cheeto, it’s that good. I could write an entirely separate article about Cheetos flavors alone (hey, not a bad idea). But today I’ll discuss the multitude of other things I found at my local grocery just recently. There are lots of limited edition flavors of popular candy bars floating around all over the place, as well as new varieties of your favorite cereals. Here’s some cool items I’ve found in the last few weeks. I’ll show you what they are and let you know what I think of them.

Let’s go…

Frosted Flakes GoldFrosted Flakes Gold – Kellogg’s has decided to take their cash cow sugar infused cereal, Frosted Flakes, and transform it into something they can call healthy and still sleep at night. They have ENERGY written everywhere possible on the box, so at first glance, I thought they were jumping the “energy” craze and infusing Ginseng, Vitamin B and Taurine into the flakes. I mean, that’s what kids need, right, MORE energy? Genius. However, it looks as though this new Frosted Flakes just has whole grain flakes…and honey, nothing more. My next question is, what were these flakes before if they weren’t whole grain? Synthetic grain? Half grain? They’ve also reduced the sugar content by 1g. Yep, 10g instead of 11g. Bravo, Kellogg, for taking such a bold step in making your cereals “healthy”. Throw away that oatmeal and bran muffin. Toss those fruits and vegetables. Eat Frosted Flakes Gold for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you will live FOREVER! Hey, Kellogg’s, how is this different from the other whole grain Frosted Flakes you tried to sell in 2005 called Tiger Power? Oh, this one is called Frosted Flakes GOLD…and it has honey. Okay, gotcha. *wink, wink*

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Second Guessing the Academy: Worst. Oscar Wins. Ever.

Posted in 80s, Academy Awards, movies, Oscars, pop culture with tags , , , , on February 20, 2008 by Paxton

Oscar 2007 posterOne of my friends, Kathy, a regular reader of this blog, emailed me and asked me to write about what I think the worst Oscar wins of all time were. I thought it was a very good subject for me to tackle and since the Oscars are telecast live this Sunday at 8pm EST, there’s no time like the present to call the Academy out on the carpet (the RED carpet…so to speak). So I sat down to do the research.

I was originally just going to start in the mid-’80s but started moving backwards to my birth year, 1974. Then I moved even further back to 1970. Obviously, I didn’t start seriously watching the Oscars until the mid-’80s but 1970 is about where I start to recognize movies and have opinions on what happened that year. If you want to check out year by year results of the Oscars head on over to Oscars.com to their Academy Awards Database. You can search by year, award or actor. It helped me a lot in piecing this whole article together.

I started by looking back at the nominations and winners for the 8 main award categories (Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay). Like I said, I went back to the 1970 Awards and started my research there. I looked at the nominees and winners for the year and picked the times that I thought the Academy got it wrong. I tried to only pick out completely egregious errors. Ones that offended my delicate sensibilities. I mean, the oversight had to leap off the page at me screaming, “WTF WAS THE ACADEMY THINKING?!” If a movie I liked didn’t win, but I thought the movie that won was worthy, I didn’t bother mentioning it. Keep in mind, this is my own opinion, however right I am, it’s just an opinion.

Let’s begin.

1972 – This year, the Best Supporting Actor was filled with 3 actors from The Godfather; Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall. How do you choose? If you are the Academy, you pick Joel Grey for his work in Cabaret. Wait, wha-?! That’s right, neither Michael, Sonny nor Tom Hagen won an Oscar for their efforts. But looking back on it, we all can see Mr. Grey’s performance was one for the ages. To throw salt in the wound, Cabaret wins Best Director over Godfather. Tell me that is not a tragedy. At least Brando won Best Actor this year (but he refused the award because Indians were not being treated fairly or something. What a weirdo).

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Ode to Blake’s Lotaburger – New Mexico Style

Posted in Albuquerque, Blake's Lotaburger, fast food, food, New Mexico, roadtrip with tags , , on February 14, 2008 by Paxton

Blake's Lotaburger sackI’m going on a roadtrip this weekend to visit my brother in Chicago. Thinking about that, I thought I would take a moment to discuss my last roadtrip I took back in January to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Whenever my wife and I go on one of our trips, pretty much the only thing that’s planned ahead of time is where we are going to eat. And even then, when we are currently eating breakfast, we still plan on what’s for lunch. Then at lunch, we gotta plan dinner. It’s this vicious gluttonous cycle that continues every place we go. And I love it.

So, when we planned the January trip to visit her family back in Albuquerque, we had to come up with a list of places to eat. For me, when we head back to the Southwest, there are only two places on my list, and the first is Blake’s Lotaburger. The second is any good Mexican food place which includes a variety of places like Gardunos or any place in Old Town. But the main one, like I said, is Blake’s.

For the uninitiated, Blake’s is a New Mexico only burger joint with some of the best fast food I’ve ever eaten. Steph’s grandmother, Millie, and Aunt Terry are always accommodating and super-nice to constantly make time in our visiting schedule to eat at Blake’s. Sometimes, we are there multiple times…in a day. When there, I’ve seriously had to curb my desire to tell Aunt Terry and Millie that I think I may move all my stuff to Blake’s and just sleep there. I’ll put my sleeping bag in a booth and awaken to the smell of the meaty and toasted bunly goodness of the Blake’s burgers. Ummmmmmmmm…just thinking about it now makes my knees weak………………………………

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Roadside Giants: Discovering the Muffler Men

Posted in Americana, Muffler Men, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , on February 7, 2008 by Paxton
Interstate Signs

As many of you know, I was born in Birmingham, AL. I lived there for 31 years until I moved to Jacksonville in 2005. Since I was a kid, I’ve ridden and/or driven interstate 65 North through downtown (then on to 20/59) towards the airport more times than I can remember. After graduating Auburn, when I became a software consultant, that route was passed almost every weekend for years. As a kid, when I would go interstate 65 into downtown, there were two things I always looked forward to seeing from the car window. The first being a tall rectangular building filled with windows called the AmSouth Center (now the Regions Center). Ever since I can remember, during Christmas time, the building will put up colored cells in its windows to create pictures on all four sides. Click here to see the side with the Christmas tree. The other sides include a stocking and a candy cane. The building was always cool and even during the non-holiday season was fun to gaze upon.

Stan the GCR Tire ManThe second thing I fondly remember noticing on my ride downtown was the giant statue of a man on top of a building holding his arms out in front of him as if he was holding something, but he wasn’t (peep the picture to the right). He appeared to be dressed in a mechanic’s coveralls and he stood on the roof of what looked to be an auto repair shop. I just thought he looked cool standing there as it was a very neat looking statue. The guy was obviously very large, and I can’t recall the first time I noticed him, but he’s been there as long as I can remember that drive. I remember thinking “Where did he come from and what’s he supposed to be holding in his empty outstretched hands?” It was all so mysterious. I was fascinated. As I grew older, he was just always there and I really didn’t think anything more about it.

It wasn’t until years later I found out that my auto repair statue/mascot was just one of a large group of statues collectively called, “The Muffler Men”. My particular one was on top of GCR Tire Repair and his name was Stan. I couldn’t believe it, my dude had a name and there were more of these things? When I sat down and thought about it, I do remember seeing statues similar to my auto repair guy in pictures. I remember seeing a lot of differently dressed auto repair guys that looked suspiciously similar. I started researching their history and what I found surprised me. These statues are regarded as vintage Roadside Americana. They have a many varied and interesting history and have been around for many, many years. They sit in auto repair shops, miniature golf courses, carnivals, gas stations, antique stores, etc, etc. Some dressed as mechanics, Indians, lumberjacks or space men. The ones we see now have just been passed down for generations and most likely are not with their original owners. But how did they begin? What was their original purpose? Was it a standard mold made by many different companies or did one company crank these things out? Well, I finally found out the Secret Origin of the Muffler Men, so if you are not already bored to tears by this article then read on for the amazing history of the roadside “Muffler Men”.

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