Loafing Around

Believe it or not, there was once a time when memories had to remain just that. If you saw something that was beyond words and had no way to document it then a memory was all you got.

If you were really lucky (or strange for that matter), you might have had a camera handy to capture the moment and share with a few friends and family.

That’s exactly what happened to me and Ann back in the late ‘90s. We were out and about one day when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I had to double-check to make sure and when I did, I was pretty excited: it was the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.

Now remember the time. Then consider the fact that I didn’t even have a mobile phone yet and even if I did, it would have been a Motorola Tracfone capable of only making calls since cameras on phones would be years away.

So what did I do? I found the nearest grocery store, ran inside and bought a disposable camera – link added for the curious – so that I could take some pictures for posterity. We went back to the Wienermobile and took some shots of it and we still have them somewhere, but exactly where is beyond me.

Fast-forward to 2012 when we saw the Wienermobile down the street from us. Instead of wishing we had a camera or scrambling to find a store where we could buy a disposable camera, we just whipped out our phones and took all the shots we wanted. Then, of course, we shared them with the world within seconds.

We’ve come a long way for sure and I’m truly happy about that.

This was especially true today when I saw something that I didn’t think I’d get the chance to see. I was in Mission Viejo helping my buddy with some things at his restaurant when I came across this truck parked behind the Ralphs grocery store in the same shopping center.


I didn’t think much of it and figured it was just there resting for some reason. When I pulled away I looked to the left and lo and behold, there it was! The Tillamook Cheese Baby Loaf VW van!

Of course by now I had to stop and take pictures of it.


First of all, VW vans are cool. I learned to drive a stick on one of these things albeit a full-size one. Second, shrinking one down to a pocket-size car that Anthony could probably drive makes it even more appealing.


Of course, I had to get my picture with it so that I could send it to Ann and Anthony.


Once I sent her this picture, Ann asked me to go and see if they had some coupons. I went in the store and talked to the reps for a little bit, and ended up with more than coupons.


I left with coupons, a silly mask, and some buttons. I also tried some of the cheese and yes, it’s delicious. We will definitely use the coupons very soon.

And in my researching of the Baby Loaf’s tour, I discovered that it had already visited my town back on October 27 so I was glad I was able to see it here by total chance. I had no idea it was going to be here today.

So there you have my fun for the day and I’m glad I was able to share it with you without much difficulty. If this were 1995, the disposable camera would probably sit around the house another week before I got the film inside of it processed.

Thank goodness for advancements in technology.

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Commercial Music That Works

Remember the days when commercials still had snappy little jingles? Yeah, like this Sparkletts one from years ago*?

Back then, just about every commercial had one and I’m pretty sure if you’re anywhere near my age range, you have your favorites. In fact, just out of memory, I can recite another Sparkletts commercial that I can’t seem to find anywhere (which was also voiced by the same guy in the spot above):

This thirsty man is Harvey Hood
Whose drinking water never tasted good
He used to sneak up on his glass to get him a drink
So he called Sparkletts
And bad taste problems are over, here’s why:
Sparkletts water is the best you can buy
That sparkling smile means Harvey Hood agreed: “Whoop-dee-dee!”
The name on the shirt says Sparkletts, friends
It means good taste and it makes good sense
Me and Sparkletts water making friends
Yes, me and Sparkletts water making friends
Sparkletts brings good-tasting water to a thirsty world!

You see that, ad agencies? I remembered every stinking word even after over 30 years! So what happened? You seem to have strayed away from the memorable jingle and moved on to using songs from my younger years. Is it so uncool to be a little creative and make up something that can be downright silly but in the long run, memorable enough to be whistling decades later?

I guess so. Sorry, but no amount of Human League or Thomas Dolby songs are going to persuade me to buy a kitchen sweeper. It’s just not happening.

That said, I have to admit that not all commercials with songs you know by heart are worth criticizing. No, there are a few that have had just the right song for the right situation, and that made me laugh out loud each time I saw them. So without any further ado, there they are.

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Ads? In My Parking Garage?

It’s more likely than you think.

I was greeted to this ad just the other day. It was strategically placed on a wall in the lowest level of the parking structure at work. While not as strange as, oh I don’t know, a Viagra ad above a urinal, this definitely got my attention only because it was in a place I never expected it to be.

With Volkswagen’s introduction of the Tiguan, they hope to snag a piece of the small SUV market which already seems to be over saturated with RAV4s, CR-Vs, Escapes, VUEs, Rogues, Nitros, Elements, Santa Fes, Sportages…hell, might as well bring back the Daihatsu Rocky.

But it’s also nice to see that VW has also stayed true to their stupid car name roots, which already includes the Thing, Eos, Scirocco, Corrado, Vanagon, Touareg, Phaeton, Routan…

Goofy names aside, I shamefully admit to learning how to drive a stick in an old VW van that smelled like pot and rotting seats (but then again, which one didn’t?). And if given the opportunity to own an extra ride, I’d probably want one of these.

C’mon, California Lottery…

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