Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oreo Cookie celebrates 100 Birthday

Aah memories of the Oreo cookie. How many ways did I eat it? Well I tried it all. I broke it, licked the white middle, dipped it in milk, chomped straight into the cookie...

Few brands make it this far but Nabisco has a winning formula although the ingredients have changed slightly. Instead of lard, they used trans-fats. Then when the latter became the subject of health in 2006, they switched to non-hydrogenated vegetable oil. Did anyone notice the difference? Well my intake severely curtailed as I got older and had to watch my figure.  But love those mini Oreos which my kids also favor.

This black and white cookie is adding to the green bottomline of Nabisco to the tune of $2 billion in global annual revenues. 

The cookies are sold in over 100 countries around the world, offering regional twists such as a green tea flavor in Japan, a "Duo" featuring strawberry and standard filling in Argentina, and a vanilla cream edition in China, among others. In the US there was the "Double Stuf" (with twice the standard amount of icing) in 1975, and the 100-calorie-per-cookie "Triple Double" (three wafers, and a layer each of standard and chocolate icing) in 2011.

Oreos are used for baking cakes and other delectable desserts.   The minis make great edible dessert ornaments. The one below takes 10 minutes to prep and 20 minutes in the refrigerator!

No Bake Cheesecake with Oreos

 Do you have a favorite way of eating Oreos? Or recipe? Share it here!

Nabisco has released a sprinkle-filled 100th anniversary Birthday Cake limited edition throughout the United States and is celebrating with a dedicated website and fan festivities around the world.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Super Bowl DOG Commercials 2012

This year there are more commercials featuring dogs. I wonder why? Well as major dog lover and as a marketing professional myself, I wanted to collect and post each of the commercials. In reviewing them I'm having mixed feelings.

The first one is a teaser by Volkswagen. All the dogs posing are adorable but the barking is annoying after a few seconds. And I'm a dog lover. It should have been much shorter. The final dog strutting across the room is cute, looked like camel with metal humpback. This  is the teaser to full commercial below.

Tell us which ones you like best by commenting below.

Love the idea of overweight dog exercising to lose weight. A someone who knows all to well the health complications and high vet bills that come with rising pet obesity, I connected with the commercial on a personal level. But a few weeks from now, I'll forget that is was for a car company. I give it 2 out of 5 stars. But then that special add- on is unexpected and "the force" appears. Love that. OK bump up the score to 3.5 out of 5 stars.

PLEASE don't ever give a dog Doritos. I thought the 70's hair and fashion was comical or was that suppose to represent nerds today? Not sure. Does this mean Doritos makes nerds or dog owners go crazy like catnip for cats?
I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

All in all, none of these top the commercials with the Clydesdale horses. Hard to beat.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tiny Houses--under 500 square feet!

What a great solution for people who want a home, but not a frail trailer, but still has some creature comforts and don't have to pay mortgage for 30 or 20 years! Look at these tiny homes. So it's smaller than an efficiency but it's your own home. Isn't this one charming? At least it has a porch and lifted off the ground.

There are obstacles in getting a loan believe it or not, since it's not a typical house. Click here to read the full article and see other tiny homes.  All comments welcome, even silly jokes about Tiny Tim!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Eat more Kale or Chikin?

Can you believe that Chick-fil-A is pressuring a folk artist over the slogan "Eat More Kale"? Why? Good question! I call it another example of the "death of common sense"!

Fast food chicken giant, Chick-fil-A has slogan "Eat Mo' Chikin" and claims they are protecting "intellectual property" (Really?!) and is pressuring Vermont man, Bo Muller-Moore to cease from printing "Eat More Kale" on t-shirts and shut down his website Moore's stance on kale has nothing to do with chicken and everything to do with the root vegetable.

 In a letter, a lawyer for Chick-fil-A said Muller-Moore's effort to expand the use of his "eat more kale" message "is likely to cause confusion of the public and dilutes the distinctiveness of Chick-fil-A's intellectual property and diminishes its value."

So here are my questions:
First, who's going to confuse kale with chicken? One's a vegetable, the other a poultry.
Besides, Chick-fil-A purposely misspells words as if cows are illiterate and can't write. But Bo spells out every word correctly. Or how about "Eat Moore Kale" and use his last name! Now there's a solution. But Chick-fil-A may claim that the phrase "Eat Mo" anything is there creation. What if my mother keeps telling me to "eat more veggies"? Or starts leaving me stickies ? in writing?! Ok so it's not for mass media. But what if my mother won the lottery and produced and paid for billboards and TV commercials directed to me to take better care of myself and "eat more veggies"? Trust me she would!

For a company that closes on Sundays so employees can be with their families, yet they still make a tidy profit, where is the value in Chick-fil-A beating down a single, hard-working American who's focus is helping agriculture and community-supported farmer's markets?

Well my fellow Americans, what do you think? Share your opinion by clicking on Comments below. [Remember your comments not appear right away until approved by moderator].


Friday, November 11, 2011

What Part of "Illegal" Don't I Understand?

Now I've really done it--gone off the deep end into boiling, scalding political water!

My heart breaks for those who seek better economic opportunities in other countries. Should they be allowed to break US law and stay here illegally? My heart aches even more for US legal citizens who are also struggling and worse, legal applicants wanting to come to this country, who suffer even more waiting--legally--in their native country riddled with economic strife. Waiting for years.  My Blog Sister, Christine is one example. Her family has never been united, because they wait, 12, 15, 20 years to come here legally. A family torn apart for following the legal process. While illegal immigrants in US demand they should be allowed to stay, so they are not separated from family. Who's right? Who's wrong? What is the solution?  Please share your comments.

What Part of Illegal Don't I Understand

By Joe Klock, Sr.

FOREWORD: Following is a verbatim reprint of my 11/4/07 column, still a timely response to the "backdoor amnesty" currently being used as an end run around the democratic process. JPK

Coupla years back, I headed my column with a question about what part of the word illegal "they" don't understand, aimed at the millions in our midst who have no right to be here, sometimes euphemized as "undocumented immigrants," (a bit like calling burglars unexpected guests).

At that time, I strove to make a few points which seemed to be no less obvious than large facial carbuncles, to wit:

- Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part VIII, Section 1325 of the U.S. Code states in no uncertain terms that it's a crime to cross our borders without proper authorization or to remain here without validly acquired and unexpired permission to do so.

- Those failing to meet these bedrock criteria are criminals, however justifiable may be their motives in terms of a desire for self-betterment and/or escape from unpleasant economic circumstances.

- Those who serve as enablers, whether by employing them, sheltering them or condoning their renegade behavior are complicit in the crime.

- Their model behavior ex post facto, while commendable, does not expunge the guilt of their underlying misdoing.

- There is no legal justification for granting them - or allowing them to demand - rights reserved for bona fide citizens and legitimate visitors to our shores.

- "Illegal" is an uncomplicated word which simply means against the law, and I wondered then just what it was about the word that "they" didn't understand.
Since then, the "theys" and their supporters have become bolder and more openly strident, leading me to wonder if there is something about the word that I don't comprehend.

Mind you, I conceded then, and readily concede now, that understanding of their behavior and sympathy for their plight are easy to come by, unless one's mind is closed like a sprung bear trap and/or one's heart is cold as the proverbial well-digger's butt.

Valid arguments are made that many of "them" contribute positively to our economy and fill certain of our low-level labor demands, but temporary (and renewable) work permits would serve the same purpose, while restoring both law and order to the process.

It is widely suggested that many such jobs pay so poorly that Americans will not take them, further suggesting that the present (non)system fosters slave labor - one crime seeking to justify another.

In my further judgment (or lack of understanding), all workers are worthy of their hire at fair wages, and if it means a hike in the price of potatoes and tomatoes, we should either pony up the price or do without.

What I least understand and most deplore is the inaction of our legitimate citizens and the gutlessness of our elected reprehensibles.

While a thumping majority of "us" regard an uncontrolled horde of illegals as a major problem, we tolerate the hands-off policies of our leaders, only a minuscule few of whom are willing to take remedial steps before the situation gets totally out of hand.

Instead, we have pandering politicians and militant marchers sounding a drumbeat for the surrender of our rights as citizens under banners ranging from family unity to human rights and bogus references to our historical identity as a nation of immigrants.

In that regard, seldom is heard an explanatory word about the fact that our ancestors, mine included, came here under rigid regulation, accepted the law of the land and threw themselves into the melting pot of American society.

Their current counterparts demand automatic accommodation of their wants and needs and even their native languages, regardless of the reality that they are - euphemisms and political correctness aside - outlaws.

What to do? The easiest and most obvious strategy is to root out and identify those who are in our midst illegitimately, license those who contribute positively to our common weal, open a path toward eventual citizenship for those who qualify and deport the rest.

If that means we'll all have to carry ID cards, it's a small price to pay for restoration of order to a situation bordering on chaos.

The tougher chore is finding politicians in either of the major parties who are willing to belly up to the pressure groups and voting blocs supporting a vast and growing subculture of lawlessness.

The clock is ticking, the cost is growing and this Klock is ticked off about a paralysis of governance, combined with an apathy among the electorate, which is allowing the problem to fester.

Anyway, I do know what "illegal" means, and so do "they" - and you!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What are Americans Really Entitled To?

To my readers, friends, & followers, in sharing this posting by Joe Klock, perhaps I'm officially abandoning my "no politics" rule but Joe loquaciously raises several points: the perception of these Wall Street protesters by us fellow American residents, and the pursuit vs. entitlement of "happiness".

Personally, Wall Street is not perfect, but if there are concerns, I would recommend to these protesters--work hard, get inside the companies, offer positive ideas and expose wrongdoings and blow that whistle. Freedom of Speech is powerful but when that speech is drowned by frustration of closed and clogged streets, fear by pedestrians to walk past an entanglement with protesters and police and to witness a once-clean area littered with trash,  "actions speak louder than words".

By: Joe Klock Sr.

Okay, so maybe OWS (Occupy Wall Street) deserves recognition as a legitimate movement, but so does "Number Two," and neither function furthers the cause of understanding between the have-more and the have-less segments of American society.

As a survivor of hand-to-mouth family life, maltuition, scrimping and skating on the thinnest of budgetary ice, I can understand the resentment, anger and/or envy of those people, both young and old, who struggle to keep their heads above the water of poverty in full view of the sybaritic shores inhabited by the well-to-do.

Editorial note: The foregoing sentence is, to be sure, long enough to have drawn a lecture from my Jesuit mentors, but it just spilled out and, anyway, said what I wanted to say.

What I also want to say is that I share the OWS folks' disapproval of the bloated incomes enjoyed by a relatively few fat cats in executive suites, on sporting fields and/or among the ranks of happenstantial heirdom.

However, with the exception of those whose gains are ill-gotten, that is the price some citizens must pay for living in a democracy that is driven (and blessed) by free enterprise.

The Declaration Of Independence claimed for us the right to life, liberty and the "pursuit" of happiness, the first two of these being birthrights enjoyed by all.

Happiness, however, was not a promise from our founders and was not intended to be a governmental guarantee, and neither was economic success.

Some, it was contemplated, would earn fat-cat status, some would fall into it, and, inevitably, it would elude the rest.

All Americans were promised only the right to pursue happiness - and, implicitly, a prosperous lifestyle - a fact seemingly seen as unseemly by the OWS drumbeaters.

While they legitimately exercise their entitlement to life and liberty, they appear to feel that they have a constitutional right to share the luxuries of those who have more, and that they might acquire that "entitlement" by camping out, shouting slogans and making demands.

Meanwhile, although they are of one voice in expressing discontent with the economic status quo, they are towers of babble when it comes to articulating exactly why they are entitled to the handouts they demand.

Life is a birthright which none of us did anything to earn, but for which we owe thanks to an industrious and competitive spermatozoon, a cooperative ovum and a hospitable Mom.

Our guaranteed liberty at birth is due either to our American parentage or to the mere fact that we "got borned" here in the USA- again something we did nothing to earn.

Aside: That "automatic citizenship" conferred on every baby delivered on U.S. soil, including those born to illegal immigrants, is a benefit granted in no other developed nation on earth and amounts to a reward for breaking the law, but let's defer that outrage for a future rant.

The pursuit of happiness - as opposed to an entitlement thereto - is quite another concept, but one not recognized as such by the unruly jeering sections seen in the media.

Granted, they have a right to complain and to demonstrate, so long as they do so without interfering with the lives, liberties and pursuits of others.

This would preclude, ipso facto, glutting and trashing public areas, peeing in public streets, disturbing the peace, destroying property and disrupting the normal activities of people with productive things to do.

Absent these symptoms of civility, the noisy, malodorous, undisciplined and omnidirectional protestors against godknowswhat come across as a disoriented mob of self-indulgent whiners looking for the "something-for-nothing" that legitimately is due only to the genuinely helpless in real life.

Although I don't offer it as a flawless analogy, many of us who are now long in the tooth and who have gotten fat with our assets were once flat on our asses, but did more than just squat in public places and wail like egoistic crybabies.

I wholeheartedly join you OWSers in believing that those whose gains were ill-gotten should be stigmatized, penalized and in extreme cases, penurized (a la Madoff).

Meanwhile, I offer you this advice, without apology: Take a break, take a breather, maybe take a bath, and then take a job, even if a demeaning one, rather than simply demand a share of those who are better off than you.

Hate to break this to you, gang, but there ain't no such thing as free lunch, unless you're truly unable to work for it.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Truth about Pawn Shops

When I think of pawn shops I think of people from across all income echelons who have fallen on difficult times. The husband or wife with a gambling addiction, feeding his/her closet addiction by pawning jewelry even a wedding ring; the single mother who lost her job and needs to feed her children, she's desperate...And these pawn shops are located in seedy part of town.

Yes those are the words that come to mind--desperation, addiction, irresponsible, bad luck...

The perceptions of pawn shops are changing thanks to a reality show on the History Channel, "Pawn Star". Rick Harrison is interviewed by Breakout on Yahoo Finance.

Rick clears up that pawn shops serve primarily as a bridge loan and that 80% of customers reclaim their possessions despite the dismal economy. The pawn shop is their bank for these customers that live paycheck to paycheck and do not have a traditional bank account.

So what interesting items are for sale at Rick's store in Las Vegas? A 2001 SuperBowl ring is selling for $60,000. On the creepy side is a PeeWee Herman doll still in unopened box.  So what's the number one items that flies out the door? Watch the video! CLICK HERE for the full article.

Have you ever used a pawn shop? What item did you use as collateral? Did you reclaim it? Share your experience by clicking on "Comments". Finally a reality show that teaches me something positive or dispels myths.