Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Less is more? Part 2

The other day, General Mills announced that beginning June 25 (yesterday) it was going to sell its boxed cereal at lower prices.


Not quite. They are also reducing the size of their boxes to the point where it will actually cost more per ounce of cereal than before. This is going to boost profits for their stockholders - stockholders who themselves will also be paying more for their daily Wheaties and Cheerios than they used to.

(Here's another link and another link)

1 Talked Back:

At June 29, 2007 at 4:52:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

I always heard there was more nutrition in eating the box than in eating the Cheerios themselves


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Friday, June 22, 2007

Less is more?

There's a fast food/ice cream/grocery store chain around here called Braum's, and in their little store they sell, right next to the national brands, their own brand of soda. A 12-ounce can costs $1.09. A 2-liter bottle costs 99 cents. Say what?

Let's do the math on this: 67.6 fl.oz. (2 liters) at 99 cents comes to 1.46 cents per ounce, while 12 ounces at $1.09 comes to 9.08 cents per ounce. Tell me, which is the better bargain? The only thing I can figure is that the can is some kind of collector's item, which I suppose it is, considering that anyone with half a brain would never actually buy it at that price.

1 Talked Back:

At June 23, 2007 at 12:30:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

Perhaps its the packaging... Aluminum cost versus plastic.


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Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm taking a pelican statue and a quesadilla on a bear hunt

Yesterday was an interesting day.

It was exactly one year to the day after the first day Nicole and I met face to face. The cutesy thing we said was, Happy Meet-Face-to-Face-iversary. (It would have been just Meetiversary, but that sounds like Meativersary, which I suppose would be an anniversary of someone deciding not to continue being a vegetarian.) So we celebrated by really meeting face-to-face. :)

We had lunch at Taco Bell with Miss America 1968. Really. She's the grandmother of two of the kids we were taking up to youth camp. She had a quesadilla.

After we were settled at the camp for a while, Nicole and I decided to get some dinner in nearby Grove, Oklahoma. It was hard at first to find a place that wasn't Mc-Something or Taco Bell (since we'd just eaten there for lunch), so we had to look around a bit. We pulled up to a stoplight and watched as a truck was rounding the corner in front of us, pushing a three-foot-high statue of a pelican. This was quite absurd, and it raised several questions: 1. How did the pelican get in the street in the first place? 2. How did the driver of the truck miss the fact that he was pushing along, you know, a statue with his truck? 3. How did the pelican statue stay upright through all of this? 4. When the truck rounded the corner, the pelican sort of rolled off the bumper and was just left in the middle of the street as the truck drove away. Why did the driver not stop and move the statue off to the side? 5. I know that Grove is on a lake, so I can understand the whole marine theme going on, but are there even pelicans in northeastern Oklahoma???

So after that weirdness, we found a Mexican restaurant in the middle of a small building, the corner of which was dominated by a brightly painted yellow check-cashing business. Why are those places always painted blindingly bright yellow, anyway? Anyway, we were a bit apprehensive about the restaurant, El Vallarta, until we stepped inside. Great service, speedy food delivery, very delicious meal, and I didn't even mind the constant crying of a baby in the kitchen.

So the other significant thing about yesterday besides it being the Meet-Face-to-Face-iversary, is that it was to be the first night Nicole and I were apart since before we got married. We knew that there would probably be a time for this, as I think that most married couples eventually spend some nights apart due to circumstances. Business trips, family emergencies, etc. Well, because I needed to work this week, I am unable to stay up at the youth camp the whole time. I mean, I suppose I technically could stay there, but it's a 45-mile drive from there to work, which means that after each late night, I'd need to get up pretty early in order to make it on time. There's also the issue of high gas prices, which I know are starting to fall a little bit, but are still ridiculously high, even for this region. So because of those factors, it just seemed logistically easier for me to stay at home for most of the week.

The strangest thing about being away from my wife is getting used to talking on the phone again. It's how we lived for months before I moved down here, but we've just been together most of the time since then, and we haven't really had any reason to have long phone conversations until now. So there were some long pauses last night and this morning. We'll get used to it, though. We played the "Bear Hunt" game last night, which was good to keep me from getting sleepy on the road.

(The basics of Bear Hunt is that the first person says, I'm going on a bear hunt, and I'm taking an A----- (something that starts with A). Then the next person says, I'm going on a bear hunt, and I'm taking an A----- (What the first person said), and a B-----. Next person, A-----, B-----, C-----, etc. It goes on and on like that until the letter Z. Then you start over in reverse alphabetical order. It's a "kid's game", sure, but it's fun as an adult, too.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I thought it would work, but...

Test post from my phone. I think it'll add that dumb AT&T footer every time until I can edit the post later. Oh well, nothing's perfect.

Edit: Well, so much for that experiment. It added a string of = signs so long it messed with my layout, so I guess I won't be posting from my hone anytime soon...

"Anonymous" forced my hand

I didn't want to have this happen, but Mr. Anonymous has crossed the line of acceptability for commenting here. It's fine to have an opinion, and I encourage free speech, but I am also in charge here, and I don't like swearing. So from now on, comments will be moderated. I'm sorry to have to do this, but you have Mr. Anonymous to thank for this necessary action.

Friday, June 08, 2007

It's a twister! It's a twister!

Photo: Fred Smith
June 15, 1991

So last night was my first experience with tornados. We didn't have one touch down here in Carthage, but we were under tornado watch for a little while, and that was an interesting experience. I wouldn't say I was scared, but I was definitely alert, concerned for everyone's well-being, and I was trying to make sure I was at least somewhat prepared in case the worst happened.

Nicole and I are living in a basement apartment (well, really it's the basement of her parents' house), so we were in a good place last night. We'd moved the car underneath the trees to protect it from hail (which never fell here), gotten out our handy wind-up flashlights and radio, and the four of us all sat together on the bed and waited it out.

Before the storm hit, we lost all power, and when I went outside to take a look, the sky over the backyard looked strangely clear. However, I could see constant, rapid flashes of light from over the top of the house, and I concluded that there had been a blown transformer out there. But when I walked around front, I saw the large dark clouds concealing the most surreal mid-air lightning show I had ever seen. To say I was mesmerized would be an understatement.

Once the power came back on, we were all watching the news to see the progress of the storm. There's one thing I have learned about TV stations in Tornado Alley: when the storm's comin', you can count on the TV to be talking about it. When we turned it on, the tornadic part of the storm (yes, I learned a word last night: tornadic) was still in NE Oklahoma, but it was definitely heading our way. We watched as the radar showed the center creeping through Ottawa County, then crossing into Kansas and Missouri before centering over Webb City and Carterville (just west of here). This was when I started text messaging my friends back in Portland asking for their prayers.

After about half an hour, when the storm passed over without a touchdown and headed east to Lawrence County, we knew that we were safe, so we went to bed. But until that time, it sure was a fun time around here!

2 Talked Back:

At June 10, 2007 at 12:39:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

It's great fun, isn't it? I used to be absolutely petrified of tornadoes. Actually, I still am, but living here in the middle of Tornado Alley has helped me at least get used to learning how to function in the midst of serious storms.

I've always wanted to get a picture of one for myself...when I first saw your pic, I thought you had taken it and I was about to be really jealous!


At July 1, 2007 at 1:52:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

a little portable tv is worth having -- less than $20 at amazon


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Monday, June 04, 2007

Who wants to ride this with me?

It's called Kingda Ka, and it's one of the newest roller coasters at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. It holds the record for height, at 456 feet, and for top speed, at 128 mph. It looks like it's enough to turn your stomach, and possibly your pants, into that massive pile of lettuce from a few posts ago. Whoo-hoo!

Photo: Jonathan Braun
found on the Roller Coaster DataBase

1 Talked Back:

At June 5, 2007 at 4:12:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude!!! Name the date and time and I'm there!


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