Ted Parsnips

  1. What’s Penguin For “Mom! I’m Home! Can I Have Something To Eat?”

    ¿What's Bueno? I'll Tell You!

    The 99¢ Only store has the after-school snacks kids love!


    Great for dolphins, too!

    Posted by on April 21, 2014, 2:57 PM.

  2. This Just In!

    This guy took a selfie!


    In other news, there was a mass-stabbing at a Pennsylvania school, and this guy was stabbed or something, but forget all that!  Borrrrrrrrring, right?

    Headline story on Google News?


    Yes – this guy took a selfie!

    Like you, I love 21st century journalism.  (Though I do apologize to journalists of the past for using the word “journalism” there.)

    And by the way, if this guy did anything heroic, saved anyone else from getting stabbed, etc., then, seriously: good for him. I’m not diminishing his possibly heroic deeds. (Although at this point the news stories are all incredibly vague.  In the 21st century, we can’t wait for corroboration or fact-checking! No time for that! No sir, no how!)

    I’m just all jazzed, as all thoughtful Americans are, that this guy took a selfie. Thanks Google News and USA Today. We’re  - all of us – a little more intelligent, a little more well-informed, thanks to you!

    Posted by on April 9, 2014, 12:26 PM.

  3. A Bear of An Annoyance!

    AS REGULAR READERS of this blog know, last week the Parsnips clan got in some early, pre-spring camping up at Sequoia and this is the first time we brought along Evan, five. Oh, he’s a little dickens, he is. He insisted on taking a box of Totino’s Salmon Puffs into his tent with him when he went to bed “in case I get hungwy in da middoo of da night.”

    Aw, how precious.

    Yeah, well, we all thought so, too – until a 600 pound black bear ripped his tent open at two in the morning carried him off. “Let go of the Salmon Puffs!” I yelled. I mean, if you’re going to have to organize a search party at that hour you want to be able to offer the rangers something to eat, right?

    As luck would have it, when Evan dropped the food, the bear dropped him. (And took off with the Puffs – of course.) So all is fine, right? A splash of hydrogen peroxide on the puncture wounds, a coupla dozen Buzz Lightyear Band-Aids here and there, and let’s all get back to bed – I’ve got a long drive back tomorrow.

    No, of course not, my life is never that easy. Ever since we got home, the kid’s afraid of the dark, and when it’s daytime, all he does is talk, and whine, and cry about this little mishap – yap yap yap yap yap! 

    And then these hideous drawings! He finishes one, and then he get started right away on another one, and they’re all the same! You’d figure with his right arm in a sling, he might give it a rest, but he’s a boy possessed! Sheesh!


    “Well, you’re the one who wanted to bring the salmon puffs into your tent,” I’ve reminded him. Like that does any good!

    Look, folks, I work at home – I can’t have him going on and on and on about this all day long. I’m getting nothing done here!

    So we figured the best thing to do, short of returning him to the foster child depot (and losing out on that check!) was get him enrolled in some sort of daycare place. Maybe being around other kids his own age, he can work through this issue or play Legos or something to keep him occupied. Regardless, this way, he’d be someone else’s problem for fourteen or sixteen hours a day, right?

    I flipped through the phone book and came across a day care facility up the street. “Hmm, Melody Child Care – that has a nice ring to it,” I announced, and having come up with such a  witty line, I figured I was pretty much committed to this place.

    Anyway, first thing Monday morning, I’m dropping him off there and thankfully all this bear nonsense will be behind us.


    Posted by on March 23, 2014, 12:34 PM.

  4. I Didn’t See ‘The Hobbit’ Myself…

    …but judging by this photo in the slideshow I was clicking through earlier, they evidently took some liberties with the source material.


    Posted by on March 12, 2014, 12:37 AM.

  5. Recently At A Marketing Research Facility in Battle Creek, Michigan…








    Posted by on March 11, 2014, 12:02 AM.

  6. One Fine Día At Wendy’s…

    “Hello, welcome to Wendy’s – what can I get for you today?”
    “I think I’d like to try that new salad you’re advertising.”
    “Excellent. Which one?”
    “Which one…? The Asian Cashewy BBQ Ranch Chicken salad, I think it’s called.”
    “Um…  …Just a moment, sir. Budek, did you update the sign outside like I told you?”


    Posted by on March 9, 2014, 5:00 PM.

  7. Speaking of Netflix…


    Define “popular.”

    Posted by on March 3, 2014, 12:02 AM.

  8. A Sign From Above!

    Yesterday, I noticed this billboard at a major intersection right near my house, featuring Aaron Paul looking intensely at something:


    Follow his gaze directly across the street, and you’ll see this billboard:


    Coincidence? Well, yes. The Roku / Netflix ad has been there for a few months now, long before “The Need for Speed” billboard went up.

    However! Today Netflix puts the final eight episodes of “Breaking Bad” up for streaming.


    Still a coincidence? Of course.

    But I’d like to think I’m the only one in my neighborhood who noticed this. Seems like a good bet because I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in my neighborhood who can read.

    [There was originally one more word at the end of that sentence but, eh, it was probably wise to get rid of it.]

    Posted by on February 25, 2014, 11:23 PM.

  9. Adam[and Steve]-12…?

    Ah, good ol’ Reed & Malloy from “Adam-12!” Together in the same squad car for five years, er, seasons at this point.  You put together a coupla guys for this long…



    …they’re bound to occasionally bicker like an old married couple.

    dothatwhat2 toothpick

    But Jim’s happily married to the perky and rarely-seen Jean – plus he’s got a couple of kids at home.

    And Pete, he’s still playing the field.

    Good friends – best friends, really – and partners that work well together.  Not domestic partners, a term that didn’t even exist in 1973. Work partners.

    comeonmary fruitgod

    Really, it’s not what you think.

    Posted by on February 21, 2014, 3:03 PM.

  10. What’s Bueno at the 99¢ Only Store: Cereal Edition!

    ¿What's Bueno? I'll Tell You!

    LAST WEEK, I finally got around to reviewing the holiday schedule the Ted Parsnips Web Design Team had submitted for 2014 – that is, the days they wanted off.

    Well, of course, I went through the list with my red pen and crossed off everything but Christmas, and only because we’ve established that none of you, what?, six regulars visit on that day, so I’m safe.

    Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July – these I recognized. I mean, these I was familiar with. I don’t recognize them as holidays that these bums get the day off. (This is what you can get away with when you keep those goddamn greedy unions out of your organization.)

    But one date on the list had me puzzled. March 7?  What holiday could that possibly be?

    “National Cereal Day,” came the answer from the department (fat)head. Well, once I had determined that Obama hadn’t bypassed the Constiwhosis again and signed it into law as some sort of mandated federal holiday (You never know with him! Just ask my Dad!), I laughed the guy right out of my office. Right out of my office!

    But it made me think: With the dearth of updates to the few cereal websites that still exist today, someone’s got to pick up the slack, and so with that in mind, I give you What’s Bueno at the 99¢ Only Store: Cereal Edition!

    And I’m doing it now in case everyone calls in sick on March 7 and the site goes down.


    Post Honey Bunches of Oats: Greek Honey Crunch
    Status: Long gone. I really need to write these within a few months of seeing the product in the store.

    Looks like Post really made too much of this new addition to their Honey Whosis of Oats line featuring (once-)trendy Greek yogurt, because these were all over the 99¢ Only stores a few months ago as they neared the end of their “Best By” date. I gambled a buck and bought a box. They weren’t bad, though the amorphous yogurt lumps ranged from manageable pebble-size to enormous, disconcerting jawbreakers. And those bigger ones…? I always felt like I was going to be biting into a mummifed mouse or something. Update: My attorney would like me to remind all of you that I never actually did, and such a suggestion is absolutely absurd.




    Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax Cereal
    Status: Available

    Knowing where I stand on gluten-free nonsense, you won’t be surprised to hear that I stayed away from these, brother, despite the fact that they appear to be ooh-la-la, high-end, Santa-Monica-(North-of-Wilshire) cereals. These, too, feature trendy ingredients: In this case, flax – used to make bed linens, and chia – used to grow hair on ceramic animals. The manufacturer “Enjoy Life” apparently went through a package redesign at some point, so while three boxes are shown, there’s but two varieties of this cereal you can eat with a fork (if their logo is any indication). Actually, “the cereal you can eat with a fork” might have been a good slogan for the previous cereal – makes it easier to break up any potential yogurt-entombed mice. I’m kiddin’!

    Update: My attorney has alerted me that while flax fibers make those sheets you haven’t changed in months, it’s flaxseed what’s good for you to eat, chia seeds are similarly a good source of fiber and omega-3 fats, and “for Christ sake, knock it off with the mouse jokes.”


    Post Marshmallow Pebbles
    Status: History. I snapped this picture in October.

    Like yours, “The Flintstones” was part of my childhood. But I try to put myself in the mind of a typical idiot child of today (your child or children, of course, excluded) and I wonder whether or not the Flintstones and the Rubbles mean anything to them at all. Do they have any frame of reference for this character on the box without ever having seen an episode of the show? Or is it just a bizarre humanoid who apparently shoots marshmallows from his hands? Who knows?

    Regardless whether kids today are sufficiently versed in the entire Bedrock mythos and despite this cereal lacking delicious, nourishing, life-giving gluten, I personally found it to be Yabba-Dabba-Delicious!™

    These Barney Pebbles didn’t last long at 99¢ Only – I attribute that to the “Limited Edition” banner near the top of the box. Smart shoppers with an eye toward the future would have wisely bought this by the case, carefully opened the individual cartons, tossed out the cereal within, delicately collapsed the boxes and stored them in acid-free bags in a light-free, temperature- and humidity-controlled environment so that twenty years from now, they can be among the hundreds of other eBay sellers listing common cereal boxes no one will be buying.


    Post Sesame Street C is For Cereal
    Status: A few boxes still around

    Years ago, Children’s Television Workshop famously refused to emblazon food products with the Sesame Street characters, instead relying on the income provided by books, records, Knickerbocker dolls, and their take from Mr. Hooper’s bookmaking operation. (Legend has it, to place a bet, you’d go in and order a “birdseed milkshake.”) Well, times have changed – Hooper’s dead, Knickerbocker was sold off, and worst of all, PBS seriously underestimated your ability to heartlessly ignore those pledge drives, no matter how many coffee mugs, tote bags and Ralph Story DVDs they offer to throw in. Out of sheer financial necessity (Bob doesn’t sing “The People In Your Neighborhood” for free, you know!), they relented and now cookies, juice boxes, soup, canned pasta and, yes, cereal are among the items you’ll find the Sesame Street Muppets hawking these days.

    Mostly fine products, those, probably, but Sesame Street took a misstep with this “C is for Cereal,” it seems, and no wonder: it’s banana-flavored. As everyone knows – aside from banana bread and, I guess, bananas – banana-flavored anything is terrible. Which may or may not be the case with this cereal, because as my attorney cautions me to note, I didn’t actually try this product. Hell, I suppose it could be delicious and perhaps its appearance at 99¢ Only is merely due to product overrun from Post.

    The cereal is in the shape of Xs & Os, and I can only imagine those two letters paid an enormous sum to be featured exclusively – and so must have taken a huge hit. My prediction? We won’t see X and O sponsoring specific episodes of the show for a while.

    Whether you or your toddler for some reason likes or, more likely, vehemently detests the taste of banana-flavored oat and corn cereal, you’ll admit that 99¢ only for a box of this stuff is a steal.

    But wait!


    Head on over to Big Lots and you can pick up not one, not two…


    ..but TWENTY boxes of this stuff for the same amount you’re paying at 99¢ Only for a single package! No kiddin’!

    It used to be rare indeed to find really good deals at Big Lots including stuff near, at, or past its expiration date. But I’ll be the first to admit that at least at the location near me, they’ve recently changed their tune regarding expiring food  - they reduce it to practically nothing right at the end of its “Best By” date – and you know it’s still fine.

    I’d like to think maybe I had a little something to do with this new policy. But as I’m not yet legally barred from entering their stores, I think it’s a safe bet that they have no idea I exist.

    Our last two entries in What’s Bueno: Cereal Edition are more cereal-themed than pure, unadulterated cereal.  Think that’s going to stop me? No sir!


    Cap’n Crunch Chocolatey Peanut Butter Snack Mix
    Status: Plenty available

    Quite a step up from Quaker’s embarrassing attempt to get us to pay $3 for 2.4 ounces of dry cereal, here’s a Cap’n Crunch LSP (“loose snack piece” – industry term) product that’s not bad at all.  Inside each bag, you’ll find chocolate covered pretzels, generic Reese’s-type pieces, Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch orbs and Cap’n Crunch Chocolatey Crunch pillows. Like you, I like finding deals at the 99¢ Only store, and 99¢ only is about what I’d be willing to pay for this in a regular store. Still, it was good. There’s a “Sweet & Salty Caramel” version, too, but this one’s better.


    Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Treats
    Status: Going fast!
    I’ve saved the best for last, folks. What Quaker’s done, see, is they’ve crammed Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch as well as your standard Default Cap’n Crunch pieces together into bar form, then they give it some sort of chocolate undercoating, and then bedrizzle the whole schmear with more of that chocolate stuff. The result? A delight for the senses (specifically taste), and at only 110 calories a bar, you can go ahead and feel good about eating a whole box of ‘em (just eight) in one sitting. They also make a Crunch Berry variety, but who the hell wants Crunch Berries when you’ve got peanut butter, right?

    And here’s a bit of disturbing trivia for you: Despite Cap’n Crunch being a huge brand for Quaker Oats, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a SINGLE reference to him on their main websitenot one of his epicurean delights are listed on Quaker’s product page.

    It’s like he doesn’t even exist!

    Nope – instead, Horatio Magellan Crunch has a separate(-but-equal) website. I’m sure Quaker Oats would probably insist that he’s so popular he warrants his own presence on the web but it’s obvious he’s an embarrassment to the company and has been pushed away like a (white-haired) red-headed stepcap’n to distance his delicious, roof-of-your-mouth-slicing, sweet, sweet cereal from Quaker’s so-called healthier breakfast and snack alternatives.

    Shame on you, Quaker!  Shame! Cap’n Crunch practically built the sturdy vessel that is Quaker Oats! Or, to make an even more apt analogy, it’s like Cap’n Crunch is Jesus and the entire Quaker Oats organization is Simon Peter – denying him.  And no, I don’t think I’m overstating this.

    What’s most ironic is that I really wanted to end on a positive note here, especially since these Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Treats are about the most delicious thing I’ve ever had in my life, and well, all that unpleasantness at the end there has left a bad taste in my mouth.

    So I think I’ll have another five or six bars. That oughta do the trick!

    Posted by on February 15, 2014, 12:02 AM.

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