Tag Archives: commercials

They’re G-r-r-r-eat! Cereals of My Youth Remembered…

It seems that this week’s blog theme has been food…might as well continue the trend!

I was born in 1961, and grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons on our black and white TV.  We didn’t have cable either…on a good day, our “rabbit ears” would bring in 4 channels (yes, children, I said FOUR channels)!  We looked forward to the commercials as much as the cartoons…they would give us something to bug our parents to buy for us on the next shopping trip!  Sure, there were commercials for toys, but the cereal companies had the Saturday morning hours pretty well locked up…what were little Johnny and little Susie eating while they were watching cartoons?  Cereal, of course.

My parents had a pretty strict budget, which usually didn’t include the “good cereals” as my brother and I longingly referred to them (the more sugar and artificial colour they contained, the more we wanted them!).  Mom and Dad’s version of “good cereals” were Corn Flakes (yawn), Cheerios (boring), Raisin Bran (they got really soggy, really fast!), and Shredded Wheat (who decided that cereal with the texture of a steel wool pad was a good idea?…”Just put a little milk on it…the old farts won’t even notice!”). 

You can put all the strawberries on it that you want...it won't make the texture any better! (photo from art.com)

 

Other entries were Rice Krispies (never Cocoa Krispies!), Puffed ______ (fill in the blank with Rice or Wheat), Life (which was okay…it tasted all right and we liked the “Mikey” commercials!), and Shreddies (“Good, good whole wheat Shreddies” – sure…if you don’t forget about them while you’re busy watching the Road Runner!).  Did I also mention that we didn’t actually put real milk on our cereal?  We used powdered milk, the most vile of concoctions ever foisted upon poor people!

The cereals Mom and Dad bought never had anything good “Free Inside”…if you were lucky, there would be some pencil game on the outside of the package you could do if you managed to grab the box before it went into the trash.  Once in a while, they’d cave and get cereal with a toy inside (they’d have to buy two boxes, so we’d each get one)…here’s a picture of my brother, Jeff, with a balloon boat:

Jeff and his cereal balloon boat...lots more fun than the peas he was supposed to be finishing...

 

The other kind of cereal my parents almost never bought were the “little boxes”…those individual serving sizes of ten different kinds packaged together in a cardboard tray.  I always thought it was neat that you didn’t even need to pour them into a bowl…you could use the box as the bowl if you opened it right!  I think Mom and Dad were environmentally-aware even before it was trendy, much to my brother’s and my chagrin!  Lucky for us, our grandparents were not!  When we went to Grandma T.’s house, my Grandad always stocked the cupboard with all the cereals they flogged in the commercials (big and little boxes)!  We were in heaven!

These are cereal snack packs from the late 80's (photo by planet-Q on flickr.com)

Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Krispies, and Count Chocula would always turn the milk into chocolate milk, and Franken Berry turned the milk pink (Grandma also had strawberry Quik, which we used to make strawberry milk…yum!).  Cap’n Crunch was another favourite, especially the Peanut Butter Crunch…crunchy goodness!  We always picked the little marshmallow shapes out of the Lucky Charms, and ate them first!  In a pinch, we’d eat Alpha Bits, or Honeycomb, but their colour wasn’t that appealing to us!  I loved anything with the word “sugar” in the title…Sugar Pops, Sugar Crisp or Sugar Smacks would always disappear as fast as I could eat them!  Just try finding these now: Sugar Pops has been politically corrected to Corn PopsSugar Crisp is now Golden Crisp (I wonder if the Sugar Bear got to keep his name?); and Sugar Smacks is simply Smacks, which smacks of stupidity if you ask me!

Occasionally, they would advertise cereal in time slots other than Saturday mornings…I’d forgotten about Corn Flakes’ sponsorship of one of our favourite sitcoms, The Beverly Hillbillies…Click here to see the commercial : http://www.retrojunk.com/details_commercial/3344/           

Excuse me…I feel the urge for some ShreddiesHoney Shreddies, of course…they didn’t have those when I was growing up!  I wonder why they didn’t call them Sugar Shreddies…it has a nice ring to it!

48 Comments

Filed under memories, rants, satire

I’m a Little Bit ADD, I’m a Little Bit Rock and Roll (With Apologies to the Osmonds)…

Fasten your seatbelts, readers…it’s going to be a bumpy ride…I’ll be going through topics faster than my kids can make ice cream disappear.  You’ll laugh; you’ll groan; you’ll salivate; you’ll wish you were having dinner at my house!

1.  Best. Candy. Ever.  Utah didn’t just give us the Osmond family…they also have the Sweet Candy Company which makes the best candy ever: Raspberry Sticks, which are described on the package as “raspberry jelly centers dipped in luscious milk chocolate” (this is NOT a lie!).  I discovered these bits of deliciousness at our local Co-Op when they were marked down after Christmas last week…I bought three boxes…unfortunately, they were gone when I went back for more last night!

Sweet's Raspberry Sticks...

2. Did You Miss a Post?  It seems that my blog host may have been having issues last week…just wondering if everyone who subscribes got notice of my Friday post on the Bay of Fundy…it was a “rerun” from the early days.  I wasn’t the only one having problems: my friend Renée at Life in the Boomer Lane moved her blog to a different host, and her subscribers aren’t getting their notifications (if you’re a fan of Renée’s, the link in my “She Said” blogroll still works!).  Poor Todd at Todd Pack’s Messy Desk put up a post on Thursday that got far fewer comments than usual…he thought the post was bad, but I tried to access it twice, and got the message “Post Not Found” both times!  He ended up taking it down.

3. Cooking Up a Storm.  Jim cooked twice last week, making a turkey dinner with dressing, mashed pototoes, and vegetables last Sunday (and Grammie Clark’s cheesecake for dessert!), and a lovely seafood chowder on Wednesday (with homemade biscuits!).  This past Sunday, I used frozen tomatoes from our garden to make some more pizza sauce (took several hours to cook them down), and made a deep dish pizza (which I forgot to photograph before people dove into it!).  For dessert, we had sour cream chocolate cake.

Homemade Pizza Sauce...I wish you had "Smellovision"...yum!

Leftover Pizza...I cooked the dough a little too long, but it tasted good!

 

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake...sinfully delicious!

4. Mr. James to the Rescue (Again).  When I came downstairs Sunday morning, Dad informed me that Jake was “having trouble” again.  He’d obviously gotten into something he shouldn’t have, and was pooping everywhere (Jake, not my dad!).  Consequently, the fuzzy white hair on his rear end wasn’t so white any more (still Jake).  After giving the dog a bath, I called our resident hairdresser and dog groomer, Jim (aka “Mr. James”) downstairs to do a quick trim on our schoodle’s bum.  I love that man!  We decided it would be best to sterilize the scissors with a little bleach before putting them in the dishwasher…

5. Valentine’s Day.  I’m finally taking down the Christmas books display at the bookstore and replacing it with a Valentine’s Day-themed selection.  Books with the word “love” in the title will be 10% off for the next little while…

Lover's Secrets...10% off...any takers?

6. Crossing Guards With Magical Powers.  As Jim and I were watching our usual Wednesday night comedies on ABC, a commercial that featured a crossing guard caught my cynical eye: she stops the kids in the middle of traffic to take a decongestant (?!!).  Jim helpfully pointed out that she had also stopped the traffic: “She’s an omnipotent crossing guard!” he declared.  I thought The Omnipotent Crossing Guard would make a great blog title.

7. Off the Map.  Speaking of ABC, I’m loving the new drama by the creators of Grey’s Anatomy, Off The Map.  It’s got interesting plotlines and characterization, cool guest stars (Michael McKean and Cheech Marin, so far), and a leading man from New Zealand named Martin Henderson, whose pecs are as sexy as his accent (don’t worry, guys…there are beautiful women on it too)!

Martin Henderson as Dr. Ben Keeton...hot in the jungle...

8. Just Call Me ‘Ms. Technical’.  Yesterday, Dad’s monitor started flickering for no apparent reason.  I got on the phone with Jim (the computer tech), who advised me to try my monitor to see if if would work.  After unhooking Dad’s heavy old-style monitor and hauling it down off the desk out of the way, I carried my slim-line monitor over from my office across the hall, only to find that it didn’t have the right connector to plug into Dad’s computer.  I carried my monitor back, and hooked it back up again.  I only swore a little bit.  Then I went into the back room and pulled out the old (massive) monitor to try it.  I connected it to Dad’s computer (right connection, but no picture…hurrah!).  Still flickering though, from what I could see.  Unhooking it again, I was getting ready to put it away when Dad insisted on carrying it for me (have you ever been offered help when you didn’t really want it?…sigh).  After reconnecting the regular monitor, the problem persisted, and I did a Google search, which suggested that if it wasn’t the monitor, it was likely the video card.   I called Jim again, who said he would look at it in the morning.  After we got home, I floated my “video card theory” for Jim, and was shot down.  Fast forward to this morning:  I turned on Dad’s computer and the monitor was fine.  I forgot the standard advice offered every week by the technicians on The IT Crowd: “Have you tried turning it on and off?” 

9. I’m the Last One Picked for Wii Games Too.  The kids conned me into playing Wii with them the other night.  I totally suck at baseball and tennis…at least I started to get the hang of bowling halfway through!  Damn that hand-eye coordination…I wonder if they have word games for Wii?

10. Classic Albums Live: The Who

Where?  The Imperial Theatre. 

When?  Saturday night. 

What?  An amazing group of musicians recreating the “Who’s Next?” album. 

Why?  I bought Jim tickets for Christmas, and we desperately needed a Date Night!

How?  Very skillfully!  This was our second Classic Albums Live show (we saw the Supertramp: Crime of the Century show last year and it was equally great!).  The band did an excellent job recreating the album note-for-note, and this folkie girl was instantly transported back 35 years to her “headbanger period” (age 15-16).  All the musicians and singers were very talented, and the drummer was awesome! 

If you have a chance to see a Classic Albums Live show, I’d heartily recommend it!

This concludes your tour through my rather addled Tuesday brain…I hope that the transitions didn’t cause any whiplash!

43 Comments

Filed under blogging, books, cooking, family, food, music, rants, satire

Tiptoeing Through Tuesday…

Tuesday has never been my favourite day, but it’s nearly 11 a.m., and it’s actually been not bad (so far…touching wooden desk as I speak!).

Here are some random things from my last few days:

1. Snow/Whirlwind Shopping Trip/Music on Saturday.  We woke up to snow on the ground on Saturday…not much by New Brunswick standards.  In what was probably record time for shopping with the girls, we managed to pick up winter boots for Hope on Saturday at Old Navy for $19…WIN!  We were rushing to drop off Anna and Brianna at the new Harry Potter movie, and then dropped Hope off at her dad’s to watch the Santa Claus Parade in (uptown) Saint John.  Her dad is one of the judges, so the kids get to watch the parade from the comfort of a Saint John City Transit bus.  This year, the head judge brought them pizza and pop.  Jim and I stopped for groceries (sans kids) on the way home…we hadn’t done a major food run since Jim’s surgery!  We spent $165…nobody had better look in the cupboard and complain “There’s nothing to eat!”  There will be two more parades next weekend: the Lancaster Santa Claus Parade (West Saint John), which Anna’s cheerleading team is in, and the Kennebecasis Valley Santa Claus Parade (Quispamsis), which Hope’s cheerleading team is in.  I finally had the chance to listen to a Richard Shindell album I’d ordered (Courier), thanks to my friend Hippie Cahier.  It was so amazing, I listened to it twice in a row!

2. Laundry/Migraine on Sunday.  Four loads of laundry…first migraine for a while!  Family ate pot pies/fries for supper instead of planned lasagna.  I ate Multi-Grain Cheerios and Saltines (neither of which stayed down).  Opted to PVR Amazing Race instead of watch it (you know I’m sick when that happens!).

3. Jim’s Sense of Smell Came Back.  Since his sinus surgery almost two weeks ago, Jim hasn’t been able to smell much.  Anna was scrambling eggs Sunday morning, and he actually caught a whiff of them!  He’s also happy to be able to blow his nose again!

4. Relaxing Monday.  Worried that the migraine might come back, I stayed home from the bookstore on Monday.  Played on the computer and made lasagna (with homemade spaghetti sauce from our garden tomatoes) while Jim slept through old Newhart and M*A*S*H episodes in the La-Z-Boy.  Dad and Anna got home late – they had seen a car hit a deer (one of a group of three), but the deer got up and ran off after doing a little cartwheel.  The man’s car was slightly damaged.  We watched Amazing Race after supper, and were happy to see Chad and Stephanie go…I give their marriage a year…tops!  Two and a Half Men came on at ten…I’ve been underwhelmed with the show this season…the writing was a lot funnier when the dirty jokes were subtle.  I used to let the kids watch it, knowing they probably wouldn’t pick up on the raunchy parts, but now, it’s just “in-your-face” crass!

5. Weird Dreams.  I dreamed of running again last night (for somebody who doesn’t run, I dream about it a lot!).  I also dreamed that I was in town with no purse, no wallet and no phone.  Then I ran into another running man who was “having a low” (Jim is Type 1 Diabetic – he has “low” sugars a lot in the night), so I followed this poor guy into the men’s room to try to help him.  Realizing I’d wandered into forbidden territory, I came out and informed the staff in the snack bar that there was a man “having a low” in the men’s room, and that they should get him some juice.  Then I used some Chinese girl’s (I think she was a stripper) Hello Kitty cell phone to call home to ask Jim to come and get me…but not before we went to my old apartment in Moncton to deliver a blanket(?) to a bad mother who was letting her two toddlers run around outside by themselves.  While we were there, my brother wandered in (having made the 1000-mile drive from Ontario)…my aunt from Florida was already there!  If I’m going to have weird dreams, I do it right (I think it might have been the hot dogs we ate for lunch)!

6. Stats.  Opening up a friend’s blog post this morning, she was complaining that she had gotten some 1500 hits this past WEEK by searchers using the search term “turkey” or variations thereof…I think I’m going to tag all my posts “turkey” this week!

7. Airline Security.  A friend on Facebook posted a link to a note written by someone else about the recent airline security “personal” searches, and how ridiculous they were.  It was quite well-written – the poster declared that he would choose the “patdown” search when he flew home for Thanksgiving.  I got a chuckle from a commenter who suggested that he “Wear a quilt [my italics].  Go commando.”  Yeah…that will make it better…

8. Perfect Stranger Chills in PA.  Another friend on Facebook lives in Pennsylvania, and celebrated her 40th birthday this past weekend.  She was at the ice cream machine at the Old Country Buffet in Scranton at the same time as Bronson Pinchot (Balki on Perfect Strangers).  I wonder if she did the “dance of joy”? 

9. More Shopping With Teenagers Tonight.  Jim is bringing Hope and Brianna with him tonight when he comes to pick up Anna and I…Hope needs a new winter coat (she’s grown out of last year’s), and both Bri and Anna need new boots (Anna’s $90 ones from last year are totalled!).  I’m hoping that my MasterCard escapes with cuts and bruises rather than a skull fracture…

10. Holiday Decorating.  I have friends who have already decorated their homes for Christmas…I personally think they’re deranged!  I saw a couple of Target ads for Black Friday last night…nuts! 

24 Comments

Filed under blogging, cooking, dreams, family, food, satire, shopping