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Category Archives: Food

Sweet Chewy Nostalgia

Halloween candy flashback time! The temporarily renamed Neato Ghoulsville writes about Wrapples, the 1970s product for lazy people who crave a quick and easy caramel apple. I remember Wrapples really well — my father was a salesman for Kraft Foods back then, so we had a lot of them around the house. I used to wrap them cold around an apple, or better yet just eat them rolled up. I also liked to devour the single chocolate caramel Kraft used to insert in their bags of individually wrapped caramels. I wonder why they did that?

Sugar Sugar

Last week me and Christopher (both natives of the Phoenix area) got to talking about the fondly remembered local businesses that we used to enjoy as kids. One of the first places that came up was Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours. I used to love going the location in Tempe, which back in the ’70s was surrounded by nothing but dusty vacant lots. The decor was of the “lots of crazy crap on the walls” variety with a slightly Gay ’90s twist. I remember they also had one of those Love Grip machines. Usually my family would order a concoction called “The Zoo” so that the staff would bring it out with bells ringing and horns blowing. The Zoo came in a huge bowl with cool plastic animals perched on the many scoops of ice cream. I came across a tribute site to Farrell’s only to learn that it wasn’t a local establishment at all — more of a Southwest U.S. chain, in fact. Surprisingly, a few Farrell’s remain open for business.

By the way, the other places we talked about were Yellow Front (rustic shop to get jeans and camping equipment), UTotem (convenience stores), the Hostess Bakery Outlet my mom used to drive in from another town for, and Gemco (general purpose department store).

Tuesday Bouillabaisse

A trio of things which had my gears spinning on a Tues.:

  • The A.V. Club’s Noel Murray ruminates on once-decent cable channels that went to pot in his Expatriated from TV Land weblog post. This is so, heartbreakingly true. If it wasn’t for my beloved TCM, I’d dump our entire DirecTV service. Read the post and all 172-odd comments, too.
  • For those who like DVD commentaries but don’t want to slog through an entire feature’s worth of yak track, check out Trailers From Hell, which has Joe Dante, John Landis and others commenting on cheezy old trailers from the ’50s and ’60s. On a side note, we’re listening to the commentary from the two lead actors in George Pal’s 1953 War of the Worlds. It’s oddly interesting, and at times boring, to listen to people reminiscing about something they did fifty-plus years earlier. Via Dave Kehr.
  • Dan Goodsell posted classic ’80s bubblegum wrappers on his weblog. I almost forgot about many of these. Remember Freshen Up? “Freshen your breath with Freshen Up/The gum that goes squirt”?

Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart

X-Entertainment visits one of the 7-11 outlets restyled as The Simpsons‘ Kwik-E-Mart. The makeover looks like a fun idea, and an insanely popular one at that, but they did it to only eleven outlets across the country. What kind of Mr. Burns-style exec approved that one? D’Oh! Via Gael at PCJM, who also got to try the admittedly pukey sounding blue vanilla Squishie.

The Mystery of Bag X-13D

Doritos X-13D flavorIf anybody is curious about Doritos flavor X-13D, packaged in a plain black bag with “All American Classic” as your only clue, the chips taste exactly like a McDonalds cheeseburger. Eating them reminds me of the amazing scientific advances which allow mankind to put so many different flavors in a nondescript orange powder. You get a little bit of a hamburger taste, the vinagary tang of ketchup, and even an essence of pickle. It’s a bizarre taste for a tortilla chip, but worth a one bag purchase. I don’t think we’ll be buying more, however (photo from

Over in the frozen food aisle, I also took a chance on Dreyer’s Take the Cake ice cream. Tastes just like yellow cake with candy sprinkles and a ribbon of atomic blue frosting. Let me specify that the ice cream itself is yellow cake flavored and it in fact contains no yellow cake. Like the Doritos, it’s weird but actually pretty good. This is one of five limited edition flavors Dreyer’s is putting out with a hackneyed American Idol theme, and just like A.I. you can vote on your favorite. Last time I checked, Take the Cake was leading the pack with 33% of the votes.

Can you tell I was allowed to go grocery shopping without the s.o.?