February 6, 2011 – Totally Devoid of Blueberries and Pomegranates

Susan from Squash Blossom Farm alerted me to this video about Total Blueberry and Pomegranate cereal (in honor of my recent post about Dean’s Guacamole Dip that contains less than 2% avocado).  This cereal contains not a smidgen of either blueberry or pomegranate, and instead, a few food dyes to stand in place of the advertised fruit. Perhaps the box should read “Total Red 40 and Blue 2 Other Color Added Cereal.” For you fans of Monty Python or the old “Who’s on First” you’ll love this short video explaining the lack of blueberries and pomegranates from Total Blueberry and Pomegranate cereal.

For those who care, here’s the ingredient list:

Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Barley Malt Extract, Brown Sugar Syrup, Wheat Flakes, Malt Syrup, Rice Flour, Salt, Oat Flour, Whole Grain Rice, Canola Oil Natural and Artificial Flavor, Red 40, Blue 2 and Other Color Added, Soybean and Corn Oil Sucralose, Molasses, Honey, Corn Starch, Almond Flour, Nonfat Milk, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) and BHT Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin E Acetate, a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), a B Vitamin (Calcium Pantothenate), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin A (Palmitate), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.

One year ago…”Clothes Humi-Dryer”

November 5, 2008 – Flyover States

Anyone who lives in one of the “flyover” states will appreciate this t-shirt!

Iowa. Ohio. Idaho.  States “out there” in the middle nowhere.  This shirt puts it all together.  I picked this t-shirt up at a new shop called Smash in the East Village in Des Moines, a revitalized area between downtown and the Capital builiding

one year ago…”Grain Bin Collapse at Melbourne Elevator”.

July 21, 2008 – Red Green Alive and Well at High Hopes!

Today’s creation is inspired by Handyman’s Corner from the Red Green TV show.


To many of you, this might look like an old, tired gas grill that missed trips to the dump over the last two years. But sometimes keeping things around too long pays off. We also have an old cooktop from the kitchen remodeling that is usable, but awkward to carry and safely use. We also like to can outside in the summer – nothing like taking the hour long boil of a batch of tomatoes outside the house on a hot summer day. Sooooo, I’m thinking the two units need to be combined…


First remove the cover and all the old propane connections and tubing.


Hmm, after the cover is gone, it turns out the cooktop won’t slide inside, so I need to get the sawz-all out with the metal blade to make the frame relatively level. Then, slip a couple of boards in where the grates used to be, screw the cooktop into the boards and the unit is almost ready.


Here’s the completed unit! Note that the duct tape concealing the joint between the cooktop and old grill is for aesthetics only – it does not provide structural support in this case.  Now we have a portable unit with wheels, a self-contained and hidden propane tank and a battery of knobs that to the untrained eye, do absolutely nothing – but I’m wondering if I could wire them to the controls of a radio and use the grill knobs for tuning and volume of a hidden radio…

one year ago…”Harry Potter and the Dilly Beans”

November 6, 2007 – Prufereedarz Hard two Fynd?

A few days ago I ranted about the poor service at Menards.  Now, talk about putting a knife in the heart of an English major – check out the labels on the steel siding!


I hope Manuel can read English! I can see in his eyes, he’s ready to install!


In addition to Manuel, I’m sure the chickens that walked over this piece of siding are protesting the poor spelling and unclear verbiage!  I’m still wondering why the “hols” need to be 1/16 of a foot bigger than the screws as well!

one year ago…

September 22, 2007 – Marshall County Sheriff “Takes Out” Martin

Today was the annual Octemberfest Celebration in Marshalltown.  I forgot to bring my camera to the parade, but wished I had my video camera. 

Here’s what happened.  The sheriff’s department was marching, including the honorable Sheriff Ted Kamatchus.  Like all good county sherriffs he was throwing candy to the kids.  But Sheriff Ted really upped the candy ante for this year’s parade.  No little tootsie rolls, no small caramel chews, but fun size snickers.  He had already gone past us, but turned around and Martin has learned he’s cute and if he waves his arms, candy flies his way.  Well, the sherriff spied Martin and needed a strong throw to get the Snickers to back Martin.  The sherrif has quite an arm – the candy whizzed at Martin at MLB pitcher speed instead of church league underhand softball speed.


Exhibit A
Snickers Bar With Sherriff Ted Kamatchus Fingerprints

The snickers hit him on the cheek and he bent over as if to cry – I thought he was first just bending over to pick up the candy, but he didn’t come back up.  When we got a look at him, his eyes were watering, on the verge of tears, and there was a red welt on his cheek. 

It would have been a great YouTube video of the sheriff trying to be nice, but with unintended consequences.  We made sure Martin ate his prize Snickers first!

one year ago…

March 9, 2007 – Melbournes of the World Unite!

OK, here’s a letter I can’t figure out.


The return address of this letter was from Austin, TX. The address had my city and zip code (no state). The more populous Melbournes of the world are hand written in different handwriting. And the pièce de résistance is the postage from Belgium. Now, I can make a lot of things up, but this isn’t something I could come up with!

one year ago…

March 6, 2007 – Pillow Talk

And now for something completely different.


During last week’s distracted schedule, I was able to read Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything.”  Even though there is little I can do to protect myself from the next asteroid impact or explosion of the Yellowstone caldera, there was one tidbit of information in the book upon which I could take swift and decisive action – getting new pillows.

Bryson reports that 10% of the weight of a 6-yr old pillow consists of dead skin, mites, and mite dung.  That was a powerful call to action for me!

one year ago…

February 17, 2007 – Change is Hard!

I was alerted to this wonderful two minute YouTube video showing just how hard it is to introduce a new user interface. This video particularly struck my fancy as a big part of my job is to create such new interfaces with computers, and this video does a great job of showing how hard it is to bring a new kind of communication to the world!

Introducing the Book!

one year ago… 

December 11, 2006 – 27 Servings

I’ve been going to Costco for about a year now and today was the first time I brought something home that wasn’t a good purchase in the eyes of the other adult in the household. Of course, the danger in buying in bulk is that stuff goes bad before you can eat it, or it ends up being something you don’t want to eat.

I was excited to see the large can of clams this week. Linda always makes clam chowder over Christmas, and I reasoned, this will be a nice surprise to already have the clams in hand a week before they are needed. I thought he can may be a bit large, but looked at the size of the can, and remembered the stock pot that holds the soup and the can seemed not large looking at it that way.

Well, it is a bit large when I found out the cans Linda used in the past were more tuna-sized than soup sized. Then I looked at the label and realized it may be a bit large.

The serves 27 kind of jumps out at you. Guess I’ll be looking for oyster recipes soon!

one year ago…

December 3, 2006 – Festivus!

Once again the season of Festivus is upon us. Festivus is a non-religious seasonal celebration immortalized in a Seinfeld episode many years ago. Now you can buy your own Festivus Pole.

Wisconsin Governor with his Festivus Pole. (photo linked from festivuspoles.com)

For those of you who need to review the principles of Festivus, or are newcomers to Festivus, watch this Festivus video. Basically, Festivus involves giving gifts you (and the recipient) don’t want, airing of grievances, and ends with feats of strength.

one year ago…

November 28, 2006 – Blast from the Past!

We were rummaging through some deep storage the other day and Claire ran across this newspaper featuring her father’s photo on the front page!

It shows me with the trophy for the “Ugliest Truck Contest” at the Central Iowa Fair in 2002. I inherited this truck many years ago from my father and it had over 200,000 miles on original engine, clutch, and transmission before it died.

Here’s what the photo caption in the paper says: ” Mark Runquist of Melbourne earned a dubious honor on Saturday afternoon at the Central Iowa Fair with his winning entry in the “ugliest truck” contest. Runquist brought his 1984 Mazda to the competition. His truck comes complete with corn stalks growing in the bed. He was awarded a trophy that looked a lot better than his vehicle.”

one year ago…no entry

November 22, 2006 – Way too Gross for Me!

Never one to pass by a better and creative way to feed animals, I was intrigued with the post on the “whizbang chicken plucker” Yahoo group – a place where many people with small flocks of chicken post questions, problems and answers.

I’m able to pick up a few things here and there on this group – but the posting describing “free feed” went over the edge for our operation. It described growing maggots for chicken feed. I think maggots would be a great chicken food – however the growing method described – get beaver guts (or other dead animal) and hang in a plastic bucket over the chicken yard and let the maggots fall down to the ground. According to the author, it wasn’t bad unless the wind was blowing toward the house. Don’t think I’ll risk it!

one year ago…

November 15, 2006 – Honey and Fridges

Grandma Jo submitted a picture of Martin to the Iowa Beekeepers and it won the monthly photo contest! You can see it on their newsletter.

OK PEOPLE, I POLITELY ASKED FOR PICTURES OF YOUR FRIDGE, UNADULTERATED. My first low-key plea only gathered three entries! Please visit http://www.showmeyour.blogspot.com/ to see what it is all about and get your photo in before the holidays!

one year ago…

October 17, 2006 – You Think You Had (Have) Trouble Dating?

Today I heard about poor soul – Brian. He is mostly a regular guy looking to settle down. Unable to find any dates, he resigned himself to an online dating service. He chose eHarmony, because he was interested in finding someone with similar values. After filling out the 200+ questionnaire, he clicked submit to find matches in his area. Not only were there no matches in his area (New York City), but he was informed there were no matches for him in the nation! Now it’s one thing to be rejected by women one at a time, the ultimate insult was to be rejected by 6 million at a time!

Not to be discouraged, he started a web site www.settleforbrian.com where he posted pros and cons about dating him. I hope it works for him.

one year ago…