Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MY TOP FIFTEEN FAVORITE SNACK FOODS OF ALL TIME

Snacks, possibly the greatest idea man has ever had. It's not quite a meal and it's not always healthy but it doesn't have to be. The snack food industry is huge and there are a ton of snacks to choose from, sometimes just narrowing it down can be a big chore, after all, there is an entire aisle in the store devoted to just snacks. (But think about all the snacks that AREN'T in that aisle) So which snack would you choose if you could only have one? This list counts down my top 15 favorite snack foods of all time.

Why top 15? Because there were too many on my list to just limit it to 10. Please picture a table full of each one of these 15 snack items, the list is in the order that I would like to eat the most, making number one my first and overall favorite choice. Let the countdown begin!

NUMBER 15. PLANTERS PEANUTS
This is a snack I've been eating for years. Planters dry roasted peanuts have the perfect combination of salt and peanut taste to keep me coming back for more but I will admit they are hardly my first choice. I assume there are other peanut companies out there but why on earth would you go against Planters?


NUMBER 14. DORITOS
There is nothing like a bag of Doritos! I really have to be in the mood for these things but when I am, nothing else hits the spot like Doritos. A super bowl necessity and always in the nacho cheese flavor, Doritos were made for snacking. Why so low? The after taste of Doritos lasts for over a day and the yellow cheese fingers you get are annoying.

NUMBER 13. PRINGLES CHEEZUMS
Oh Pringles, the anti-chip! It's actually court ordered that the Pringles company can not have the word "chip" on any of their products as they lost the court case against other potato chip companies when they complained that Pringles were not chips but something else. Well the babies got their way and Pringles can't legally call themselves a potato chip HOWEVER, once you pop, you can't stop and for this reason they make my list. Almost all flavors of Pringles potato crisps are amazing but the best flavor in my opinion are the Cheezums.


 NUMBER 12. UTZ PRETZEL RODS
As we know the pretzel comes in a variety of shapes and sizes but it is the rod that gets the nod to be the best, better than the rest, and it's easy, they always please me. Utz makes a great pretzel rod, it's difficult to make a bad one I suppose but Utz have the best if you ask me. I love to bite them in half leaving the salt covered side to eat second.

NUMBER 11. POPCORN
Popcorn, possibly America's first snack food, which the natives called "pop maze." Who doesn't like popcorn? Seriously, who? Sure you get the husk stuck in  your teeth every single time you eat it but it must be worth it or you would have stopped eating it by now! When it comes to watching movies in a movie theater I HAVE to have a tub of popcorn and since movie ticket prices are both absurd and horrifying, nothing makes me feel better than eating buttery, salty popcorn.

NUMBER 10. CRUNCHY CHEETOS
The cheese that goes crunch makes it into the top ten for several reasons. Invented in 1948,  the Crunchy Cheeto is a unique and delicious snack food. Planters made their own version and I must say it was better but Cheetos were the original and I am still enjoying them today. Similar to the puff but more dense, this snack is filling and satisfying. I will say the yellow cheese fingers that Cheetos give you is annoying but worth it.

NUMBER 9. MIDDLESWARTH CHIPS
My Pennsylvania readers know what I'm taking about! The best potato chip brand there is, is only in Pennsylvania so very few people actually get to enjoy this spectacular snack! If you lived there and then moved away the one thing you miss the most is Middleswarth chips. The best chip on earth for dip I might add. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING hits the snack spot when you're craving Middleswarth.



NUMBER 8. RUFFLES CHEDDAR AND SOUR CREAM CHIPS
I literally remember the very first time I ever tasted these. I thought, "what an odd combination, however I am intrigued," and then I ate one and knew that the greatest chip on earth had just been created. It has been duplicated by Lays, and they suck, not Lays but the Lay's version, and well yes Lays suck in general too. Ruffles perfected this chip in the same way a breeder hones perfection in animals through generations of selective breeding. First Ruffles made their ridges and they were amazing. Next they made Sour Cream and Onion potato chips with ridges and those were even better, then years later they added cheese into the mix for an unexpected and pleasant surprise and voila, the greatest chip was born! I simply can not pass these chips up.

NUMBER 7. CHICKEN IN A BISKIT
Chicken flavored crackers??? You're damn right they are. I have been enjoying these for years and not too many people know about them or at least talk about them. Those of you out there that love these curved edge crackers can testify to their greatness. I could eat an entire box in a single sitting and my only complaint is that the box is too small.

NUMBER 6. BETTER CHEDDARS
What is better than Better Cheddars? Apparently nothing because they put the word better right in the name of the product! A flat round yellow cracker that suggests they took cheddar cheese and made it better, comes in at number 6 on my list because I have loved these for as long as I can remember. Again, the box is too small and I can finish off an entire box in one sitting, the only reason why I don't is because I want to enjoy them longer, so I save some. Keep in mind they are called, "better" and not, "best" because there are still 5 more snacks to go!

NUMBER 5. HANDI-SNACKS
What kind of sick twisted disgusting excuse for a mother wouldn't put a Handi-Snack into their kid's lunch box in the 80's and 90's??? I assure you I have no clue because my mother was a saint and used to put these in all of my lunches. They were also the prefect after school snack. A great idea of adding a spreadable cheese to a cracker in individual packs made the Hand-Snack great for any snacking situation. No one I ask remembers this but I swear for a short time they came out with a bacon cheese flavor and I liked it even more than the original but I seem to be alone with this memory. When Nabisco was bought in the late 90's I was afraid it spelled the end of the Handi-Snack era but luckily kids can still enjoy them today under the Kraft brand.

NUMBER 4. WISE CHEEZ DOODLES
There are other cheese puffs and curls out there but for me there is one brand that stands above the rest, Wise. These curls are so good and they really hard to put down once you start snacking. Although you do get yellow cheesy hands, for some strange reason it isn't half as bad as the Cheetos brand puffs. Not sure what they do to them differently but the taste is unmistakable. There isn't much I'd take before Wise Cheez Doodles. 


NUMBER 3. CHEEZ-IT
Cheez-It, not to be confused with Cheese Nips, is something that I eat all the time. Perfectly baked little cheese crackers keep me coming back for more and with a big packed box it's easy to keep snacking! Cheez-Its come in a bunch of different flavors and even in a Big version that makes the Cheez-It about 4 times as big as the original. Cheez-Its are great and I love them but they aren't my first choice.

NUMBER 2. GOLDFISH CRACKERS
Goldfish, the snack that smiles back, goldfish. How great are these little guys? So simple and yet so wonderful. Children have been enjoying these crackers for years. Originally made to be a soup cracker, the Goldfish quickly became a stand alone snack. There are several versions of the Goldfish including a pretzel version, all are good but for me the cheddar ones can not be surpassed. I usually get that big box because the little bag is never enough. I will say the colored ones taste terrible but no one else seems to be able to taste a difference. The Goldfish might be the greatest snack of all time if it wasn't for my number one..................




NUMBER 1. PLANTERS CHEEZ BALLS
A moment of silence please. Planters discontinued Cheez Balls in 2006 to my disgust and every now and again, I'll just think of this perfect snack and want to cry. Not only were Cheez Balls my all time favorite snack food, they were my second overall favorite food of all time. That's tough, waking up in the morning knowing you'll never be able to taste your second favorite food. Although there are other companies making Cheese Balls, none compare to the taste of Planters. I'm not alone either, there are petitions online that you can sign to get Cheez Balls back. I'll never forget the round blue can with a yellow lid and a big smiling Mr. Peanut on it and I'll never forget that wonderful taste because my once FAVORITE snack is just a distant memory. It doesn't matter, I'd still pick this extinct snack over anything on the market today.

Well there you have it, my top 15 favorite snack foods of all time, did yours make the list? Some of you may say that my number one didn't count since it no longer exists but there was never a better snack made and that's my two cents.


SNACK STATS!
10 out of 15 snacks contain cheese
11 out of 15 snacks were formed into specific shapes
7 out of 15 snacks had the word cheese in their title 
5 out of 15 snacks were crackers
5 out of 15 snacks were made from corn 
4 out of 15 snacks misspelled the word cheese
3 out of 15 snacks were made from potato
2 out of 15 snacks are Planters brand
1 out of 15 snacks were made from pretzel 
1 out of 15 snacks were legumes 
0% of these snacks were sweet 
100% of these snacks contained salt

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

MY THOUGHTS ON HITTING AND RUNNING

So my beloved Dodge Challenger was hit and run this weekend. Anyone that this has happened to can relate and although hitting and running is considered a crime, it probably ranks number one with crimes that people get away with, and that just plain isn't fair.

It's no secret I baby my Challenger. I wash it more often in a month than most people wash their car in a year, I wax it too, I clean the inside with special leather cleaner and I don't eat in it. I won a trophy at a car show because of my dedication to detail when it comes to cleanliness. Simply put, that car looks amazing at all times. That's not being conceded, it takes a ton of work, time, effort, and money to keep a car looking "off the lot" nice.....it's also a big pain in the ass. So why do it? Because I want it looking that way and you'll never hear me complain about the effort I put into that car because I make the choice to do everything that I do for it.

People laugh and roll their eyes when I park far away from other cars in parking lots. Well who's laughing now??? My car was hit in a parking lot because SOMEBODY got too close and was too careless or stupid to pay attention to my car. Why should they though? It's not their property, they didn't pay for it, they didn't wash and wax it, they don't use it, so go ahead and ignore it. That actually makes perfect sense to me, and THAT is the reason why I park far away from others, because people with THAT attitude. I am protecting myself. Clearly, not everybody cares about my car as much as I do, so I will walk further than most people to get to where I'm going because I want to be safe. Yet......here I am writing about my car getting hit in a parking lot. Odd......a lot of precaution for nothing now it would seem. Does being so careful pay off in the end? Evidently not.

Folks, if you're like me you're about to tell a nightmare scenario. Just imagine, you park in a parking lot away from all other cars on a sunny Texas Saturday. You make sure you park far enough away that no one is going to want to park that far away. Oh well though, it's a very empty parking lot and there are plenty of spaces! After only a few short minutes you come out of the store and from across the parking lot you can already see something is wrong......something isn't right with the smooth classic lines of your Dodge Challenger. I was horrified to come out of a store to see a big ugly dent and missing paint on the passenger side of my Challenger. My eyes went right to it so I believe it happened there but I can't really be sure since it was the passenger side and I always enter my car from the driver's side. No one was around and the vehicle that did this was no where to be found. I had been "hit and run."

The ol' hit N run, the worst of crimes. Someone got away with not having to deal with their responsibility. I am now spending my own money and using my own insurance to fix a problem that I did not create, want, ask for, or need. I will say the insurance company, State Farm, has been very helpful during this dark time. It's still a headache though, calling them, calling body shops, calling them again, having them come to look at it, having it go to a shop, having to get a rental car, having to drop it off and then pick it up, having to pay out of pocket for my deductible, and so on. All this could have been avoided if SOMEONE had just been a bit more careful.

A dent that size was clearly noticed by the other driver that caused it. I am sure it shook the car and made a loud sound of bending mental. Then, considering there was no vehicle nearby, proves that whoever did it knew it and then got out of there fast. What a jerk. I mean what a jerk. You did something wrong, then you avoided having to deal with it because that is easier for you??? Well that's nice because it's not easy for me to take care of all this crap now. YOU hit my car, YOU need to own up to it and say, "hey sorry, here is my insurance information, I'll take care of this." Not even a note was left of my car. It's probably better I didn't see them or talk to them because I can't say I wouldn't have kicked an ass or two right there on the spot but at the same time I can understand accidents happen. I can accept an apology and although I still would have been SUPER PISSED, as I was, I would have really respected a person that stands up like a man and takes responsibility for their own actions.

I will not speculate who hit my car. Man, woman, old person, young person, straight, gay, white, black, purple, none of that matters to me. That information has nothing to do with this incident. I have heard many people tell me it was probably an uninsured motorist because they would have been in serious trouble had they stuck around. Others have even suggested that they were uninsured because they were illegal aliens. Well, I don't know about any of that, although it would make a lot of sense why that kind of person wouldn't stick around but let's be honest, the only thing that matters about this person is that he or she is an asshole.

What kind of person hits a car, knows they hit and then leaves the scene of the crime? A criminal. Yes, a criminal. Perhaps they weren't a criminal when they woke up that day but they sure were when they laid their head on their pillow that night! Speaking of that, how did they sleep that night? With a big sigh of relief? Without a thought to my car or the poor guy that has to deal with it? Probably none of those thoughts ran through their head. Maybe they actually laughed since they got away with something? Maybe they went and told all of their friends about some kick ass car they rammed and then left? Maybe they were happy it happened? We will  never know unfortunately and people keep telling me that the person did NOT get away with it because someday they will pay for it. I can only hope but it that doesn't bring me much comfort.

I really feel bad for that dumb ass. A person that can do that and just walk away must be a sorry excuse for a human being. A low life. An inconsiderate prick that cares only about themselves. I bet their life sucks and they probably are too stupid to even know it. If they had a car that was a pile of crap (my guess) and had so many dings and dents and duck tape holding it together they probably just shrugged their shoulders to this event. If they had a really nice car too (highly unlikely) maybe they freaked out and selfishly ran off to a body shop to fix their own precious vehicle. If they didn't have insurance that shows what kind of a person they are, having no respect for rules or the law. A selfish, self centered close minded person is who this was, I think we can all agree on that. No scruples, that's for certain if anything else we all know that.

THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH CONTAINS STRONG HARSH OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE THAT MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR SOME READERS.      DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
So to the brainless, spineless, careless, dickless, hopeless, selfish, moronic, rude, immature, dumb son of a bitch piece of monkey shit that hit my car, may the WORST of WORST things happen to you. I really hope something terrible happens to you and as you bitch and cry over it someone says to you, "Oh ya? Well you hit that guys car once and didn't seem to care about that!" That's what you get and it's only fair you are made to suffer. You don't know about being fair so let me explain it to you in small simple words so you can understand. Me paying my money for your accident is unfair. Clear enough for you or should I dumb it down for you even more than that?

In closing, for those of you out there that have also had to endure the dreaded and unexpected hit and run, I am sorry. I am sorry it happened to you. I am sorry you spent your own money fixing someone else's mistake. I am sorry no one apologized to you. I am sorry you didn't ask for that or want it to happen. I am sorry you had to feel violated. I am sorry you had to be humiliated driving around a banged up car that wasn't your fault. And I am sorry that I am telling you sorry, and not the asshole that actually hit your car because THAT is who should be saying it to you but you never got an apology. I will be sorry for you and I can totally relate to your pain.

 We all share the roads, we all park in the same lots, we all use the same gas stations, we can be considerate to each other and remain respectful. When you hit and run you are doing the worst thing a driver can do. Driving a car is a major responsibility, let's not forget that and that's my two cents.

Friday, February 7, 2014

5 Gifts NOT to get your MAN this Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is here again and you know what that means! Your man will be spending much more on you than you will be on him. (If you have a decent man that is.)

Don't be cheap this Valentine's Day and don't pay too much, ESPECIALLY, if he won't even like what you get him. Here are a few gift ideas that you should stay away from when shopping for your guy. UNLESS you know him very well and he has asked for these items, then by all means, proceed. Rule number one is know your man, that will make shopping for him ten times easier and if he asks for something, well then you're all set but for those of you out there still wondering, here is a short list of bad choices.

This list is compiled of gifts I actually received at one point or another and have been disappointed in....look a gift horse in the mouth did I? I was actually more upset that someone spent their money on me in vain.

1. A NEW WATCH
Please understand ladies, a man's watch is a big deal to him. He wears it every day, he looks at it a 100 times a day, he feels it on his skin the entire time he is wearing it. A watch can tell you a lot about a man. Something this important can't be selected for him. He has to make this choice. There are so many watches out there, styles, colors, materials, digital or with hands, leather or metal, square or round, the list goes on. Each watch is unique to man's preference and if you get him something he doesn't love, then he is forced to wear it for a long and annoying time, and every single time he checks the time, he will be reminded of it. Let him get this for himself. If he tells you exactly which watch to get him, then go ahead, otherwise, stay far away from this idea.

2. A NEW WALLET
Basically for the exact same reasons stated above, the wallet is a man's ultimate last line of defense when it comes to money protection. That's a big job! Again, there are so many styles and choices that one simply does not walk into Macy's and walk out with a new wallet for their man. Let him make this choice. If your guy tells you a wallet is no big deal and it doesn't matter what he uses to hold his money, credit cards, PICTURES OF YOU, gift cards, driver's license, and other highly valuable items, then he is unimaginative and lacks creativity.

3. NEW COLOGNE
Let me be perfectly clear here, every guy has his own personal scent. Mine is made up of citrus fire Axe shampoo, Brute deodorant, Irish Spring body wash, and Calvin Klein Eternity for men. All put together this makes the smell that makes me, me. You can't get a guy a brand new cologne just because YOU like the smell of it. That's not fair to do and isn't that really more of a gift for you??? Unfortunately you may not like your guy's personal cologne. That's just too bad. Forcing him to wear something that you bought because you like it more is rude. Besides, he will wear it because it's from you and he knows how much you like it even if he hates it. If you want to get him the scent he really likes and wears on a daily basis then you have found yourself a good Valentine's Day present.

4. GIFT CARDS
Nothing says, "I had no F-ing clue" like a gift card! I don't care if it IS to his favorite place, a gift card just isn't romantic in any way. If you get him a gift card to his favorite restaurant he is just going to take you and so once again, you're benefiting from his gift. If he goes and buys a game with it, you'll always point out how that is the video game YOU got him for Valentine's Day, even though he drove to the store, he picked it out, he used the gift card to buy it, he drove home, and he plays with it. "But Andrew, he will end up getting something he likes if I get him a gift card!" True, he will, but you can get him the same thing and cut out the middle man can't you? Again, rule number one is to know your man. A gift card is proof you only know him on a basic level. How would you feel if you got one?

5. SEX
If you do this for free any other time it shouldn't count as your gift.


Keep in mind whatever you get him he will act like he really likes it (again, if he is a decent man he will) but why not get him something he really wants? It's your money right? It's your time and effort right? How bout just asking him what he wants if you don't know? Get him something he will like. Sure, you may give him anything I've listed above and he may LOVE it but I wouldn't take that chance. After all what would I know? I'm just a guy, but that's my two cents.