Disintegrating Water Balloons

Monday, December 28, 2009 at 12:12 PM | Filed under

Yesterday, I was at the Meridian Cost Cutter in Bellingham. I was a bit surprised to see that within the grocery store was a small dollar-store section. They had shelves of merchandise including cheap toys, housewares, pet stuff, and food—all for just one dollar! They also had a few shopping carts filled with junk. Inside them, my cousin found some water balloons in horrible shape.

The balloons were disintegrating! They were dried out, and parts of them were flaking apart! I suspect these balloons were cheaply made; do normal balloons ever get to this point? I wouldn't buy these to use as water balloons, not even for a dollar! They'd probably break apart instantly... or possibly melt into a colorful slime. Also, the label has "balloons" misspelled.

Snail Decoration

Friday, December 18, 2009 at 6:29 PM | Filed under

This decorative snail-on-a-pedestal was in the half-off clearance area at Wight's. I tried to convince Kevin to buy it and display it proudly on his mantle, but he wasn't very interested in the idea. I would like to spray paint it gold and award it as a trophy, perhaps to the slowest competitor in a footrace.

Nordstrom Ack

Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 4:28 PM | Filed under

We went to Best Buy down by Alderwood Mall to do some heavy-duty shopping. Across the street, I saw this Nordstrom Rack sign, with the R burnt out in the funniest way possible.

I took a picture with my cell phone, but I was too far away, so I crossed through the parking lot, waited for the signal and crossed Alderwood Mall Parkway (which seemed very dangerous because of all the Christmas shopping traffic), and walked into Nordstrom Rack's parking lot to get this picture.

I personally don't like Nordstrom Rack—I never find any good clothes in my size there—so Nordstrom Ack is kinda how I feel whenever I have to go there.

Ivar's Gets an A+ in Festivity

at 1:14 PM | Filed under , ,

I just enjoyed a lunch of fish and chips at the Ivar's restaurant here in Lynnwood. I was excited to see how much Christmas decoration they had put up around the restaurant. Twinkling Christmas lights bordered the roof and ran along the front counter. Big, shiny Christmas present boxes were arranged on the counter and between booths. Thick, red ribbons spiraled up the structural columns, reminiscent of candy canes. And, here in this picture, you can see the ribbons tied in a similar manner on the ceiling lamps, complete with big red bows.

I'm impressed not only that Ivar's has tremendous Christmas spirit, but I'm also impressed with the amount of work they went though to achieve this decoration. Those lamps are high. And there are at least a dozen of them these lights in the restaurant. The employees must have visited each lamp with a ladder. I applaud Ivar's for going to such lengths to make their restaurant warm, inviting, and festive for Christmas.

Peppermint Patty Joins the Christmas Tradition

Friday, December 11, 2009 at 7:21 PM | Filed under ,

A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my favorite cartoon Christmas specials. I was excited to see a hardcover book version by Hallmark at Bartell Drugs today.

Inside, I saw something that amazed me. Peppermint Patty and Marcie have joined the fun! Peppermint Patty might be my favorite Peanuts character.

The Christmas special originally aired on December 9, 1965, but Peppermint Patty wasn't introduced until August 22, 1966. Since then, she has become an important Peanuts character, with important roles in the Thanksgiving and Easter specials. In Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown, she arguably has a more important role than even Lucy, as she appoints herself the leader of the girls' rafting team.

Some may complain that adding characters to a holiday classic will taint the story and its tradition. They might object especially to the decision to give Peppermint Patty spoken lines in the story. But I like Peppermint Patty, so shut up. I find the idea of Charlie Brown and his friends celebrating Christmas without Peppermint Patty and Marcie to be rather unrealistic in this day and age, given all the things they've been through together. It would be sad to leave them out.

This isn't the first time that Peppermint Patty's been put into this story, though. There's this picture which I know I've seen somewhere before. I can't place where I've seen it, though. There's also this puzzle, which I bought on sale last January.

Don't Sand Our Hill!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 10:12 PM | Filed under ,

Who is responsible putting sand on the roads after it snows? I suppose that would be the Department of Transportation. The weather's been getting colder, and I've recently been hearing on the news about de-icers and sand being used on the roads.

Last winter, they dumped heaps of sand on the steep hill outside my cul-de-sac. For some reason, I suppose this makes it safer to drive on. It was pointless, though, because nobody in their right mind would want to drive on that hill anyway, especially when they could just go around the block instead.

It made for some very disgusting brown, gritty snow. After the snow was melted and gone, there was still the slippery sand on the hill for months. Cars or people walking on the hill would skid on the sand. After the snow was gone early this year, we called them to ask if they'd be cleaning the sand off the road, since it now seemed to make it more dangerous. But they said they'd be keeping the sand on the road in case it snowed again.

It wasn't until late spring or even summer when a street cleaner went up and down the hill and finally removed the stuff. I don't want them to sand the hill. I bet I couldn't stop them, though...

I'm Eager for New Jelly Belly Flavors

Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 10:45 AM | Filed under

At Fred Meyer last night, I walked by the bulk Jelly Belly dispensers. I was seriously considering getting a few dollars worth of Very Cherry beans, when I was distracted by the flavor menu pamphlet. (You can click the picture to see inside.)

Jelly Belly releases a new pamphlet every few years to keep consumers up to date with their ever-changing flavor lineup. I was excited to see the new flavors listed in the Official 50 Flavors section. I wrote about the new flavors back in July, but here's a summary of the changes:

In: Chili Mango, Pomegranate, Sunkist Lime, Mixed Berry Smoothie, Sour Cherry
Out: Grape Jelly, Jalapeño, Peanut Butter, Café Latte, Caramel Apple

Also, some of the citrus flavors have had "Sunkist" appended to their names. I don't think they taste any different.

I looked through the bulk flavors again to see if I could find any of the new flavors, but I didn't see any. In fact, I've occasionally been looking through candy aisles to see if the bags with the new flavors are in stores yet. I haven't seen any yet, though. When will the new flavors be in stores? This pamphlet indicates that it may be soon.

For months now, the new flavors have been available online at the Jelly Belly website. Shipping is a bit expensive, though, so I prefer to buy the candy in stores.

It's exciting that they have 73 distinct flavors in the menu, if you don't count the sugar-free flavors (they're just sugar-free duplicates). Well, it's 83 if you count the "weird & wild" Bean Boozled flavors, such as Pencil Shavings, Baby Wipes, Canned Dog Food, and Moldy Cheese. Hey, they changed the name of Vomit to Barf! I don't know why Jelly Belly decided that this is a good change, but I like it! (I like the name, not the flavor. I don't want a Bean Boozled box for Christmas.)