A little unsure

Does anyone else think it seems a bit odd that a chocolate caramel apple with nuts and toffee all over it would be stocked on the same shelf next to all the health foods?

Tonight while in our trusty local Wal-Mart, I was walking through the produce section and they have their section of “health” foods, which includes a lot of your pre-packaged fresh berries, watermelon and other fruits and vegetables. I stopped and was looking at some of these veggie/fruit smoothie drinks and I noticed that in the midst of all of the healthy food, there sat a full row of nothing but the huge chocolate caramel apples I mentioned a second ago. For some reason I found that very contradictory and quite frankly, very strange. The funny part was that the packaging almost seemed to be trying to justify why it would be in that healthy food section. There was a statement on the package in big letters that said something to the effect of “One whole real Granny Smith Apple on the inside!”.   

As if the softball sized layer of sweets all around it didn’t outweigh the benefits of eating a whole bag of Granny Smith Apples!

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Punk Kids…

Yesterday while in Duluth with Omega I saw a shining example of the greatness that is the youth of today, and I mean that very sarcastically.

We were in the Duluth Miller Hill Mall and I was waiting on a bench outside of Front Row Sports while Omega was in looking at clothes or something in another store. So I am sitting there and I watch as a few customers walk into the store and then the employee follows them in. He was sitting out inside of a pontoon boat that was on display in the middle of the mall. So this kid walks into the store following a family with a couple of younger kids, maybe 10 years old or so, and is making comments to his buddy in the boat about how he wishes that people would stop coming in to his store because he didn’t feel like working. Problem #1- no customer’s equals no job moron!

So as he walks behind the counter and turns around I notice that he has a huge wad of snuff in his lip and is spitting into his little bottle like a fiend. Problem #2- if I am not mistaken the mall is tobacco free so he is in danger of having his manager’s butt in a sling should someone report it.

Well, here is this family shopping around and the kid is just leaning across the counter like he can’t even stand up because he looks so tired, yes, the whole time spitting into his bottle which I should mention is being set right in the middle of the counter in all its nasty glory. I noticed the mom and dad of the family shopping kind of eyeing him up a little and finally they rounded up their kids and left the store in obvious disgust at the service, the comments made by the kid and by the huge bottle of snuff spit sitting in front of them on the counter. Problem #3- kid chased away his potential customers, which means that they probably will never come back there AND they will probably tell everyone they know about the little fiasco as well so they lost who knows how many potential customers. Meanwhile the business owner is probably scratching his head wondering why his sales are steadily declining.

I was just amazed, even though sometimes I am not sure why since so many of today’s youth have this attitude. I am not a parent, but I just kept thinking to myself, I bet his parents are proud of him. Again I’m being sarcastic. Although, more than likely he has the wool pulled over their eyes also and they don’t even see what a slacker punk they have for a kid.

And someday, they will be the ones running this country….

Just a short little message here.

I haven’t really posted anything much since my monster candy bar adventure, not for lack of material but because I really haven’t had much time. I don’t have a whole lot of time now either, but I wanted to put up a little something here that I found hilarious. The story itself was pretty much boring, however the headline on the front page of CNN.com in the top ten news stories cracked me up.

My “Headline of the Week” if you wish to call it that read as follows:

“Warrior poses with supermodel, thinks about goats”

The gist of the story is that supermodel Gisele Bundchen posed with a Kenyan tribesman for an AIDS advertisement that has apparently been used in print and billboard advertising recently. It seems that when asked what was going through his mind as he was posing there with the supermodel, the tribesman replied that all he could think about was his herd of goats and cattle. He said he even had trouble sleeping at nights because he was so worried about who was tending his herd while he was away.

He was apparently paid $5000 for the photo shoot and has used the money to increase his herd and build a house.

That’s the short news brief for today! See you back here real soon.

Biggest candy bar I have ever seen in person!

Today I stopped in a Super America Gas station in Grand Rapids to pick up a little chocolate milk treat for myself and as I was checking out I witnessed the biggest candy bar I have ever seen in person…well except for those giant hershey chocolate bars they sell at walmart around certain holidays.

The culprit was an old classic type of candy bar, the traditional Pearson’s Nut Roll candy bar. These are the ones that have a nougat center and then are covered in caramel and then peanuts all over the outside. Turns out they have quite a history which you can read all about here at

the official website for the Pearson’s Nut Roll.

Pearson’s Nut Roll

Anyhow as you can see at the web site, the normal size of these candy bars is about 1.8 to 2.5 ounces. They are about the same size as a typical Snicker’s bar. Pretty typical. They also have their “king size” version which weighs in at about 3.5 ounces. That is about the same size as a normal “king size” candy bar as well.

However, the candy bars I saw today on display at the check-out counter were called the “Giant Sized” Pearson’s Nut Roll. I think it said it was about 7 or 8 ounces but I kid you not, this thing looked to be about the same size as a standard brick. We’re talking about 6 or 7 inches long by about 4 or 5 inches wide and about 3 inches tall. That is just a guess on the size, but the thing felt like it was about 2 pounds! It was just massive. My first thought, which I expressed out loud to the joy of the cashier, was “Oh my god. That’s huge. Is it real?” He just busted out laughing and then we had a brief conversation about how ridiculously big that was. I was trying picture buying that candy bar and getting out into the car and opening it up so that as I drove off down the highway I could basically gnaw on a huge brick. You would almost have to break or cut it into pieces! The best part is it was only a little over a dollar to buy according to the cashier. They didn’t have any price tag on them so I couldn’t verify that, but I will take his word for it.

With candy bars getting that big, it’s no wonder that we here in America are all getting fatter and fatter. I think the cashier said it best by saying….

“It’s nuts! Things are getting way out of hand.”

In search of a small bit of knowledge…

I need to know. Do those big grey squirrels that you see in towns up here know how to swim? For that matter do any of our northland squirrels swim?

I only ask because today I am pretty sure I almost watched one drown as it tried to hop across some water that was flooding a ditch. He went to hop, looked hesitant but hopped anyhow and then proceeded to land square in the middle of this huge puddle that had to have been about 6 inches deep. I kind of think that at least this particular squirrel had no idea how to swim because it made a couple of frantic looking hops and made shore on the other side, soaking wet and moving very slowly. I had my camera with me but it all happened too quickly for me to stop the car, get the camera out and get some shots of this craziness. Bummer…..

So anyone have any ideas? Do squirrels swim?

Spring here already?

43 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Absolutley fantastic outdoors today and I did my best to take advantage of it in the time I had available. Woke up and threw on my Iceman’s then hit the road to take some pictures and capture this truly wonderful day. Even though this is a pretty normal routine for me on a Saturday it was just extra relaxing because of the nice “spring like” day.

I only hope this isn’t just a cruel joke by Mother Nature…..

What is Happiness?

In church this weekend our pastor had a very good and straight-forward message asking us, what is happiness and can you be happy without god?

The message was to say that even though you may think that having lots of money or good health or a great family is what defines happiness, the truth is that without god none of that is possible and only through him can you truly be happy. I truly believe that.

However, the point of this post isn’t to preach a sermon to you. Your religious beliefs are your own. But it really got me thinking about some things. Now here is where you will have to just stick with me for a moment. Yesterday I read an article that talked about Pizza Hut’s Book It program and how many critics, mainly politicians, as well as educators and other so-called “Child Experts” are saying that the Book It program is “promoting bad eating habits and turning teachers into corporate promoters.”  They go so far as to say that “In the name of education, it promotes junk food consumption to a captive audience … and undermines parents by positioning family visits to Pizza Hut as an integral component of raising literate children.”

I can say that I can sort of understand their positioning here, however the program gives a student a reward of a single personal pan pizza for reading a certain number of books in a month, which is a goal set by the individual teachers according to the Pizza Hut Book It guidelines. So if a student reaches their goal of books read, the kid and usually his/her family go out once a month and have a pizza dinner at Pizza Hut. This is a terrific marketing plan for Pizza Hut who gives away one personal pan pizza which is about $3 to $4 bucks in value and of course the family comes in and buys pizza for the rest of the family, which I would assume is in the $20 to $30 range. So Pizza Hut wins out because it brings in more customers for them for a very small investment of a $4 pizza, which I guarantee does not cost them $4 to make. I also feel that the student wins because it does in fact get them reading more, even if they are reading a little easier books just to try to reach the goal for a free pizza once a month. This isn’t a contest to see how fast we can get grade school aged kids to read “War and Peace” or “Moby Dick”, the point is to just get them interested in reading again. So, here we have a win-win situation.

Critics argue, as you saw above, that it isn’t right to teach a kid that the only reason to read is for a free pizza. Honestly I don’t think most kids that participate in the Book It program would totally give up reading if all of a sudden they didn’t get a free pizza. I feel that the program helps to give kids a reason to try reading and it allows them to have that “a-ha” moment when they realize that reading is actually really enjoyable. And besides, lets face it. No one is going to get huge and obese by eating just one personal pan pizza per month. Sure it probably isn’t the best for you, but at a rate of just one per month, it isn’t really going to hurt you either.

Of course Pizza Hut isn’t the only place under attack in the finger pointing war on childhood obesity. Many schools are pulling all soda, candy and other junk food from the vending machines and pretty much every fast food chain out there is under attack and are trying to offer more health conscience foods on their menu’s, for example the big salads at McDonalds, which by the way have just as many calories as the traditional fare such as the Big Mac.

Now, to tie this all together for you.

The reason I thought about these two very seperate topics was because I went and ate lunch at our local Arby’s today and I was reminded of the very expensive image and marketing campaign that they are currently using. You know the one…. The, “is it wrong to think Arby’s all the time?, NO” campaign. Because I work in marketing I couldn’t help but wonder if they would try to do a complete overhaul on everything they have been trying to build recently just to try and avoid as much heat from the critics as possible. Personally I don’t think they should because my feeling is that if you don’t want your kids to eat all the fast food, tell them no or just never bring them to eat it. Simple as that. Remember, you are the parent here. Plus if they pull everything they might as well just start closing stores now because after all, it is a business. There is a lot of competition in that business and they want to make money so they need to make Arby’s sound as tantalizing as they can so that they can retain a solid share of the market. If no one goes there, business is bad and they go belly up.

I do need to mention here that I realize I probably sound a little hypocritical there because as many of you know I don’t cook at home all that often. I have been eating at home more recently and working on making it a regular thing, but I am trying to break a habit that was years in the making while I was in college and a little younger on my own so I never cooked much back then.

Ok, that being said I will continue. So as I am sitting there at Arby’s enjoying a very tasty flat-bread beef fajita sandwhich and some curly fries, I looked at the label on the curly fry box thingy and they have a woman who is obviously happy with a caption above her head that said it all….

“Happiness is only a curly fry away”

I guess someone should pass this message on to not only our pastor but to every pastor out there, heck even have the bibles reprinted to reflect this obvious answer that has been hiding right here in front of us this whole time. We don’t need God, we just need curly fries….From now on when someone asks me, “What is Happiness?” I am going to simply say that it is only a curly fry away.