Friday, April 03, 2020

Ebay Reselling Update: March 2020 Sales and Stuff

EBAY Reselling Update:
March 2020 Sales

I am thinking of making this a regular or semi-regular series of posts. Might come up with a snappy pun-filled title. I don't want to make this an exclusive Ebay Blog though. It all actually depends on if I continue to make sales on that platform, which depend on a few obvious contributing factors like listing the items for sale and people actually buying the items. I also think in some ways I give too much info in these things sometimes. That is something else to ponder. Anyway another Month has gone by and with a smidgen of listing effort (I still need to pick my butt up and go to town on listing) I sold a few more things off of Ebay for March 2020.

Since I haven't been doing any listing of stuff my store is now down to only 22 items. I need to motivate myself to do more listing. I'll have more time to list in the next 2 weeks. There are a few delaying factors that I won't go into here online, or to anyone for that matter anywhere. Sometimes I don't inform others of some of my life's minutiae.

So What Sold in March 2020?
  1. Unopened 2016 Leaf Draft 5 card pack Football Trading cards: $1 Free Shipping
  2. Unopened 2016 Leaf Babe Ruth Collection 5 pack Baseball trading cards $1.50 Free Shipping
  3. Unopened 2016 Leaf Babe Ruth Collection 5 pack Baseball trading cards $1.50 Free Shipping
  4. 2000 ECW Wrestling: Champion Clashers Stickers set 5 stickers $15 plus shipping*
  5. The Stardust Voyages by Steven Tall 1975 paperback $6.99 plus shipping
  6. Word Bringer by Edward Llewellyn 1986 paperback $4.45 plus shipping
  7. The Inverted World by Christopher Priest 1974 paperback $2.99 Free Shipping
*The ECW wrestling stickers were originally sold in packages of the ECW Champion Clashers Action Figures packages. I don't know how many different figures there were in the set of figures. It was apparently random as to which sticker went with which figure at times. I think there is only the 5 stickers. I also think the ones I had gotten as part of a free collection I received from a friend. Probably from the 2nd or 3rd wave of cards from that collection. Also my original listed price was a bit high at $25 for the stickers. I didn't see any trace of the stickers being sold separately and some of the figures still mint on card/in box I think went for up to $25 with shipping included. The stickers sat at that price for a while. Then I noticed they had a watcher, after a week or so I decided to send the watcher an offer of $18 they immediately counter-offered with $15 still with the shipping attached. I thought for a while and later that evening accepted the counter-offer to get the stickers sold.

About a day and a half to 2 days after selling the ECW stickers I got a surprise of another buyer making a purchase of 3 books. One of the books had 3 watchers so someone watching that book decided to make a 3 book purchase. They paid the shipping I had on two of the books and the watched book had free shipping. At first I was going to refund some of the shipping, but I had largely underestimated the cost of shipping 3 books in one box, that ended up going 2 day shipping. I thought it was going to go first class, oops. So I actually paid double in shipping vs what I had charged for shipping.

I recently got a digital postal scale that can handle up to 25 pounds. Anything heavier than that I'll probably have problems lifting myself anyway. I was actually wanting to get one for 50 pound limit but that one was too damn expensive at Office Depot. I spent more than I really wanted to on the scale I got but what the heck? Now I need to find a good flat surface to use it on.

Back to the shipping costs thing. I am going to try to avoid doing the Free Shipping, or at least make sure the item I'm using it for is listed for $5.00 or more (and never goes on a discount sale). If the $2.99 book (the one that was being watched) had sold just by itself I would have lost money due to the shipping. As it is I think I might have broken even on the deal. I'm not exactly sure of the cost of goods since it was so long ago that I had bought that lot of sci-fi books but I made up for it some on the sales price of the books. The Paypal and Ebay fees cut into any total profit for the sale. I'm going to call that one even. The packs of cards that have Free Shipping I usually lose a little since I don't do PWEs for Ebay stuff and the minimum cost of a first class package is close to $4 now days. I still need to find that healthy shipping cost balance. I like to keep things relatively low since I myself don't like paying a ton for shipping. That scale I bought will help in that matter, that and putting the real item weight for each item instead of having everything listed at about an ounce or whatever.

OH and since I have delayed some in finishing this post to publish it, I sold one item from a multi count item (a pack of trading cards) on Wednesday 01 Apr 2020 which will insure there is similar kind of post at the end of this month.

Some related links:
My Ebay Store: CaptKirk42s Federation Trading Post
My YouTube channel: klandersen42
Up On Ebay Videos: Episode 01 | Episode 02

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Ebay: More Selling Stuff and Ideas



So here is another post about Ebay and selling there and just some related stuff I want to talk about.

In my earlier post about getting back into the swing of Ebay selling I probably should have made a brief mention that in my earlier height of Ebay selling at one time I had reached the milestone of having 100 items Up On Ebay in my store. Then a few days after that I think the highest I had was 110 or 115. I only kept track of the fact that I had broken the 100 item milestone and for the briefest of moments whatever my real max had been. I forget how long I was at that height before the sales knocked it back down below 100, but I haven't been there since and I want to make having 100 items in my store inventory my standard lowest inventory point. My goal for March is to have the total of 100 items listed in the store. From there I want to keep that the basement limit. Currently as of this posts publishing my store item count is 26 items. So  74 items more to list.

In general when selling on Ebay you have to list new items regularly to get your items noticed and viewed as the newer listings get priority in the searches. It takes somewhere between a dozen and 2 dozen items to start picking up views and making a sale or two. The more your list the more that your items get seen and more importantly the more sales you make. You don't have to list things that are huge ticket items, but if you only list a few things here and there that are only about a dollar you won't make much or will have to list a ton of items to start making good money.

To stress this point for many years my Ebay Store has been sitting with only 6 stale items in it. 1 item only is a multiple "copies" of that item. A collectible button, pinback or as the say in The UK a "badge" I think patches are also usually called badges so that is a little confusing just as using the term "button" here in the US is. Is that a shirt button, or one of those collectible things that has a funny saying on it? Every few months one of those buttons will sell. I mentioned in the previous post that I had gotten the particular design from a huge lot of buttons (100 count at least but less than 200) I had gotten from an Ebay auction, back in the days when Ebay was mostly auctions. I don't recall how much I paid for the batch or how many of each button there actually were. I do recall this specific button I had at least 50 of it maybe as many as 60. It is now down to a 10 count. Even though the other designs from that particular lot I sold long ago, I still have a boat load of buttons that I will eventually list and try to sell, including a bunch of buttons from my personal collection. I used to be pretty big in collecting buttons but not any more.  But I digress.

So long story shortish During the month of February I actively started listing more starting with listing 2 items one day, skipping the next day adding 2 more items and so on. I started with the 6 stale listings (I updated most of the photos/scans) dropped the price of the button from $1.50 to 99¢, then added those first 2 listings making the item count 8, then 10, then 16 items then jumped to 20, then 24 and then jumping up to 30 items total. When I was at about 14 or 15 items one of the earlier items I had listed sold. It was a listing of multiples and about half the multiples sold in one sale. It was a pack of football trading cards. So I continued to add listings. I got up to 30 listed items and for February made 5 sales. I can't stress enough how that simple act of regular listing of items increases both the views of your listed items but also increases the sales. Going many months without making any new listings I would sell maybe one or two items a year (mostly that same button). Making 24 new listings over about 3 weeks I made 5 sales. So far in March I have made one sale (one of the packs of football cards selling it out) but I haven't added any new listings  The number of items Up On Ebay is only 26 right now. I have some things set aside to list but I need to scan them. Yes right now I have been scanning the items mostly because I don't want to do the whole camera phone uploading thing. My other items are still being viewed but views have slowed down without any new listings.

So some might be wondering what Sold?
February 2020:
  1. 5 card pack of 2016 Leaf Draft Football Trading cards: $1 (x5)
  2. 5 card pack of 2018 Leaf Draft Football Trading cards: $1 (x5)
  3. 1984 copy of Dune by Frank Herbert Berkley Books: $5.50
  4. 5 card pack of 2018 Leaf Draft Football Trading cards: $1 (x6)
  5. Tower of Glass by Robert Silverberg 1971 paperback: $4.99 plus shipping
March 2020:
  1. 5 card pack of 2016 Leaf Draft Football Trading cards: $1 
You can check out my series of "Up On Ebay" YouTube videos: Episode 01 Episode 02 I know the quality of my cheap old webcam sucks. It also is a bit dark. Most everything I currently have listed has been mentioned and shown in those videos. I also mention what has sold. At the time I made the videos I think there were only a couple of sales. Video 2 might have been made before I got the second sale.

I think I mentioned that for many months I've been planning to get back into actively listing stuff on Ebay. Part of my motivation was from watching a bunch of YouTube Resellers such as Lonnie of Garage Flips/Shed Flips, Kevin the Commonwealth Picker/Flipper (with his wife Heather The Blue Ridge Mama), Matt "Part-Time Pickers", Jon Cincinnati Picker, and also Bobby TheCapGuy. There are a few others I've seen and followed but some of them are more recent discoveries and to be honest I found after my motivation was already in motion.

Eventually I would love to have the number of sales those people have. They tend to average 10 sales a day most days during the week. They also have a ton of stuff listed I think 500 items is the lowest number I've seen for some of these people, maybe one of them has between 300-500 but for the most part they have no less than 500 items and upwards of 2,000 items. Most seem to have over 1,000 items (and 2 or 3 Ebay Stores). My goal as I have said is to get to a minimum of 100 items and keep on building from there.

Some related links:
My Ebay Store: CaptKirk42s Federation Trading Post
My YouTube channel: klandersen42
Up On Ebay Videos: Episode 01 | Episode 02

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Misheard Lyrics: Swing From That French Avenue Baby

It has been a while since I've made one of these Misheard Lyrics posts. I'm not sure if I have mentioned this in passing on any of the other posts. I'm not going to go back to look I'm just going to write it and post it the way things should be done. Hehehe.


This one comes from Sia off of her 1000 Forms of Fear album.


The song is Chandelier the lead single released from the album.


Now the real lyrics to the chorus are:

I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I'm gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist
Like it doesn't exist

What I thought the lyrics were:

I'm gonna swing from the shan de liason, from the shan de liason
I'm gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist
Like it doesn't exist

It made no sense that she wold be singing about swinging from a river. I was probably thinking about "Champs-Elysées" which is actually a famous French Avenue. UGH damn my semi knowledge of foreign things.

Also the line "one, two, three, one, two, three, drink" sounded like "one, two, three, one, two, three, three" as in dance choreography not party game instructions.


Saturday, February 29, 2020

Back To The Swing Of Ebay Selling

Lately I've been getting back into the swing of listing and selling on Ebay. I have been a member of Ebay for both buying and selling since their early days (my profile start date is marked as 30 April 1998) when they were just an online auction house. For the first 6 months or so I was just sort of idle. I had signed up and checked out what they were and then had temporarily forgotten about them. I forget what my first winning auction bid was for. I know some of the early bids I made were for of all things Beanie Babies. Some theatre acquaintances of mine were into buying Beanie Babies on Ebay that is how I discovered the site. I Never won any of those back then I didn't know you were supposed to bid your max bid and my max bid was usually under $20 when those things were selling for at least $25 every time. Eventually I would get into buying trading card stuff. Now I get all sorts of stuff from there. I try to avoid big or heavy items though due to the shipping expenses. I don't dare sell anything that is too huge to ship normally.

Probably about a year after I had first signed-up I started trying to sell. I started with some books some VHS video tapes, trading cards, and pinback buttons. I always would have to relist stuff. At the time as I said Ebay was just auction listings the basic time was 7 days there were 3 day listings and 10 day listings. I think the 3 day listings were more expensive to list, but could be profitable. The auctions would end and I'd have to "relist" them, of course Ebay charged a relisting fee (having an Ebay store got rid of the relisting fees) I think the first thing I sold has also been one of the biggest sales I have ever had. It was $20 or $25 for a lot 4 (I think it was 4 maybe it was 2 or 3) VHS tapes of the Animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoon TV show. The bidder was getting them for their grandkids. Eventually I sold some other stuff some trading cards here and there, some books, buttons (pinback collector type not shirt type) and an occasional odd and end. $25 is the most I have listed one individual item for. Once I sold a package of some lanyards I had gotten from Staples that I didn't recall actually buying. I think they had been left on the counter by someone else and my pile of stuff had mixed up with those things. It was a pack of 5 that I sold for $10 max.

I have been paying for an Ebay store for many years. I forget when I first started it, but it was at the time when selling stuff at a "Buy It Now" fixed price was fairly new at Ebay. Having a store saves on the individual "listing" fees for making a single listing. In order to have it actually pay off however you need to have a minimum of 15-20 items for your items to get seen fairly regularly. Of course you actually need to get your items to sell for it to really pay off. You really need to be regularly "listing" items to keep your items at the top of the search lists. Back in the early days of Ebay stores you had to have at least one active Auction listing for your "In Store" fixed price items to be seen. Since at the time Ebay had no way to search for the fixed price items. That was many years ago and now most Ebay sellers and resellers rarely list any auctions. They list fixed price with "Best Offer" options. The more you list the more you sell. It isn't just a saying it is a cold fact. When I rarely listed anything I would rarely have anything sell. Only the occasional button, the supply of which I had gotten from a big lot of buttons that were about  7 different designs with multiples of each design, some only 5 or 6 buttons but most being about 12 buttons with the Express Start buttons being about 50 I think. I have 10 left of those but sold the other designs individually years ago.

For many months and a couple of years I have been meaning to add more listings and get back into actively selling on Ebay but kept putting it off. Partly due to the whole Photobucket changing the conditions on their free memberships and how much memory your albums can take up. It used to be at Ebay you needed an outside website for photo hosting, now you don't need an outside storage site unless you want to have more than 12 photos and use html for your listings.

At the beginning of February 2020 my store was at it's stale 6 items that I have had there for a few years. I then started adding some newer listings and I started getting more views on my previous items for sale. I added 2 listings then a couple days later 2 more listings then 4 or 5 listings and then I get a sale or two. Over 2 weeks I had gone from 6 items listed w/ very few sales per month. To 30 listings and now 5 sales during the month. As of this posting I have had those 5 sales in Feb (2 books, 3 orders of single packs of trading cards 16 packs total) and now have 27 items listed in my store. The Express Start pinback buttons (10 count), Some trading cards: a oouple of individual card lots, some packs and a few individual card lisitngs.

On YouTube I have started a series of videos called "Up On Ebay" where I mention recently listed items and try to show them as well. I also mention recent sales. I need to make some more listings before I do a new video and I will have to mention the last 4 sales all of which have shipped out now.

Related Links:
"Weird Al" Yankovic - The Ebay Song (fan made video there is no "official" video)
A version with a Boy Band acting the song out.

My Ebay Store: CaptKirk42's Federation Trading Post
My YouTube Channel: klandersen42
Up On Ebay Videos: Episode 01 | Episode 02

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

State of The Blog: 2019 Recap

STATE O THE BLOG
2019 Edition

2019 maintains the failing Red years in my annual State of The Blog tally. Did that really surprise anyone?

Here are the monthlies from 2019:

January: 1
February: 1
March: 1
April: 1
May: 1
June: 1
July: 1
August: 1
September: 1
October: 1
November: 1
December: 1

TOTAL: 12
Monthly Average: 1

No real surprise I FAILED my yearly goal of 32 posts per year. That is now 5 years in a row. FIVE, FIVE! 

Now lets look at how the 2019 blogging matches up with past years:

2006 - 32
2007 - 43
2008 - 36
2009 - 34
2010 - 18
2011 - 20
2012 - 38
2013 - 93
2014 - 57
2015 - 24
2016 - 29
2017 - 16
2018 - 18
2019 - 12
Yearly Average: 33.57

Yet again I am barely keeping up with my bare bones minimum of one post per month. My first year of blogging 2006 met and set my self-appointed blogging quota of 32 posts per year. My all-time high was in 2013 with 93 posts. This year was my all-time low and lowest possible. The yearly average is still getting worse and worse.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year: 2019 to 2020

GOODBYE 2019 HELLO 2020

Yes it is the very end of the year post. Scheduled to post on the very last minute of the year. This year as we turn the calendar page we enter a new decade. The THIRD decade of the century. WOW where did the 21st century go? We have gone through a fifth of the century already. The last children born in the 20th century are no longer children, some are not quite legal adults but will be soon.

I will make my annual "State of the Blog" post to publish at Noon on New Year's Day. 2019 was yet again one of those bare minimum one post per month years. It looks to be the below record loser with this being only post number 12 of the year. The absolute lowest I will allow myself.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Jury Experience 2019 Edition

On Monday 04 November 2019 I did my civic duty by serving Jury Duty. It was not my first round in the law abiding citizen rodeo and might not be my last. As with my previous experiences there were some differences.

Now if I recall correctly I had been called about 5 times previously. The first time I was called was when I was still away at College so I had to explain I was away at school That was when I was 18 or 19. Then round 2 came a few years later sometime in my early 20s? I actually got picked to be on a jury. I think it was 3 days spent. I don't recall exact details but it was a civil case that involved a traffic accident and the plaintiffs were seeking damages for some personal injuries. I seem to recall we the jury decided that the injuries were not directly caused by the accident, or were not as severe as claimed so no compensation was given. My 3rd round was shortly after the time I served and was within the grace period at the time. I think back then around late 1980s? The grace period allowing to be excused due to recent previous service, was within 7 years and it had only been 3 or 4 years from when I had served. Currently I thought it is down to 3 years or if our orientation dude was correct only down to one year now. Then time 4 my jury selection call number was higher than the jury numbers they were calling to report that particular day. My last call number 5, prior to this recently passed one, I reported and we waited and waited in the juror's lounge and waited for an hour and a half to two or three hours. They gave us a briefing that there were 3 trials awaiting juries and they were in the negotiation stage and getting close to the time for jury selection. Then about an hour or two later they came back and reported that all 3 trials had come to some kind of agreement/plea bargain and a jury was not required. We were released to go home and that was around lunch time or shortly after.

Now on to 04 NOV 19:
First before I reported I was going to do a dry run to the court house as it had been several years since I had last been there. We know how cities can change around in very short periods of time. I had a vague idea where to go but not exact. For several reasons I didn't do my dry run. On Sunday the night before my day to report I checked the directions using Map Quest and got more familiar with the exact details. Good thing I did that, because I was going to use my old portable GPS (my 2016 Ford Fusion non-hybrid version unfortunately doesn't have built in GPS) but the battery charge was very low and it wasn't staying on. It would start to power up then just power down and off. Fortunately the bulk of my route was one road, that changes names near the courthouse. I also knew the street names where the juror's parking area was and of course my summons had the courthouse address. One of the final turns I missed but was aware that I should have taken it so I made the next turn and got back on track. Also on Sunday night as required I called in the check-in number my summons instructed to call to see if my assigned juror's number was being called the next day. The recording for that had a very long instructions for how to get to the courthouse and more details of some generalities before it actually mentioned which numbers were being called in to report.

The smallish juror's parking lot was pretty much the way I had remembered it from years ago, except everything around it seemed to be different. There was also a parking garage across the street for alternate overflow parking. My call time was 8:30 AM I reached the parking lot at about a quarter of 8:00. When I checked in at the courthouse it was about 9 or 10 minutes of 8. To pass the time, I had brought with me a book (George Orwell's "1984" which I have been currently reading for a couple of months now. I read some here and there a few pages at at time) a word search book and pen to work it, a bottle of water and a single 2 piece pack of Pop-Tarts (the Orchard Apple Cinnamon flavor I blogged about last month, from a new second box) OH and some cough drops. It seems that coughing in the juror's lounge is a bit contagious Hehehe. Also the juror's lounge had been remodeled/renovated since my last term of service. The seats were in rows lengthwise down the room where previously it had been across the width of the room. Along the 'back" length wall was a series of about a dozen desktop computers that were wifi compatible, last time there were about 6 desktops during the early days of the internet so back then they were basically just for checking email. Now they can surf the internet heavy duty. Also previously they were in a sort of mini-room alcove now they line part of a wall.

The waiting began for the opening remarks/orientation. At about 8:40 we got an orientation introduction and were shown a video about the jury experience. That all took about 10 minutes maybe, then the real waiting began. The time of waiting around for your juror's number to be called to report to a courtroom for the selection process. So we waited and waited and waited. I switched back and forth from reading a few pages of my book to working a couple of word searches. The occasional sip of water, I couldn't eat the Pop-Tarts yet because you weren't allowed to eat in the Juror's Lounge, you could drink water, but you are not supposed to eat anything. They have a small break room off of one corner that has snack machines and a drink machine that seemed to only take quarters or credit card. I don't think it even gave change. So we wait and wait. By about 10:30 or so I was starting to think that they would tell us that all the cases had made non-jury deals and we would be dismissed early. No such luck. At about 11:20 or so they informed us that they were late with some of the morning breaks and were about to begin. It was around this time that they called us by number to receive our financial compensation ($15 Yippee). There was an option when we checked in (and at this time when they were calling us) to donate to a Juror's fund of some kind which basically meant instead of getting paid for the day, you donated what you would have gotten paid to this support fund thing. I opted for the cash out.

Ten minutes or so later sometime around 11:30 or 11:40 they started calling us for selections to the cases on that morning's docket. They started with a very large pool. They mentioned they were going to call a large number of us 125 (out of about 400 some called for the day) for a criminal case. About halfway through that calling my number was called. So I was in the lottery to sit for a criminal case. What fun (/sarcasm) My previous Jury serving was a civil case as I had mentioned way way up above somewhere. First thing they did when we got to the courtroom was to do a roll call to make sure no potential jurors were lost between the juror's lounge floor and the court room floor which was one floor up for this particular trial. The Judge introduced the cast members (Himself, the lawyers, court clerk, the bailiff and I think even the other two police officers that were in the room. Oh and also the defendant). The Judge then started talking about how the process was going to be handled and mentioned it was going to be a long day due to the vast number of potential juror's to sort through. I think it was shortly after this that we had a brief break.

When we returned we were then given some of the general details of the case. As I said it was a criminal case, an attempted murder with a firearm. There were 3 or 4 charges total If I recall. Then the judge asked some general questions we had to respond to by raising our hands and when recognized (which was sometimes hard to tell when it was you or someone behind you) give our juror number of course. These were some of the same general questions the summons survey had on it, which was supposed to help narrow down the bigger scope of things like English as a second language, if there is any physical disability that might make you ineligible to serve like poor hearing or very restricted mobility. Then around 12:25 it was lunch time and break time til 1:00 pm.

Then there were some more detailed questions and philosophical type questions and questions like if you had a personal connection to anyone in the case or potential witnesses and law officials who were mentioned as being connected to the case. For the more detailed questions the judge had to bring each individual potential juror up to the bench to ask why they had answered the question and if it would effect their ability to serve on the jury. During this process they used a sound blocking/white noise producing device that allows private conversations at the bench to be conducted without the entire courtroom hearing through the sound system. I forget the name they gave it but in short it is a white noise making device.

After that Q&A was done they got down to the nitty gritty of calling jurors up to the jury box and allowing the lawyers to see everyone. The process is fairly simple but with such a large number of potential jurors the process takes a lot of time. More so than a civil trial selection does, partly due to more detailed questioning. So they would call a few jurors up to start filling the jury box and the lawyers would then have to decide to either keep the juror or to excuse them. NO reason is needed for dismissal. Either they would say something like "keep the juror", "seat and swear in the juror", or "thank and excuse the juror" or similar sayings. Each side was usually consistent with their phrasing of the two "commands".

After a few minutes of excusing some of the jurors that were brought into the jury box and the defense dismissing quite a few of them a jury of 12 jurors plus 2 alternate jurors were picked. I was not called to the box. The final jury was mostly women I think there might have been one or two men on the jury I think the alternates were women. Of the women most were non-white. Even though middle-aged white males were usually excused immediately there was a guy who looked like Jerry Garcia who I think made the final jury as the one or two males on the jury.

They released those of us who were not picked and it was somewhere between 5 to 10 before 5:00 pm. I then made my way to the juror's parking lot where I had been parked all day. The juror's lot is free the garage across the street is paid parking, but juror's could get a validation pass if they had to park there. Anyway I sat in my car for a good 10 to 15 minutes before I even turned on my car to wait from the traffic from the parking lot to disperse so I wouldn't waste time sitting idol with the engine running and not moving at all.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Return of Apple Pop-Tarts?

"When I was younger just a bad little kid..."
Original Frosted Pop-Tarts Flavors

OK forget those "Little Shop of Horrors" lyrics. I'm reaching back to when I was a kid and a favorite snack food. Not really a "junk food" snack but one of those sort of good for you things. I'm talking about Kellogg's Pop-Tarts. When I was little just about all the flavors they made had two versions the plain "good for you" unfrosted version and then the frosted version of that same flavor. 

Original box design for Frosted Dutch Apple Flavor (1968-1970something?)

Many of the same flavors available today were around back then; Strawberry, Cherry, Blueberry, Brown Sugar Cinnamon, Chocolate Fudge, and a few others. My favorite of all time was one that is discontinued for whatever reason I don't know the Frosted Dutch Apple.

Newer box design for Frosted Dutch Apple Flavor (1970something to 1980something?)

I recall it had a deep rich flavor with plenty of cinnamon flavor. Also back then when they said FROSTED they meant FROSTED. Good tasty frosting as well. Now the frosting is just a light glaze sometimes not even that and has barely any taste to it. Of course any sweet food stuff made before the mid 1980s was sugar ladened with real sugar not some chemical substitute. The newer sugar substitutes and lower fat sugars have ruined the sweetness flavor of many things. The pastry part of modern Pop Tarts sometimes is a bit dry, or too floured flavored, or possibly unsalted?

I don't recall when they pulled the Dutch Apple flavor (early 1980s?). I didn't notice it right away it may have been at least a year or two before I realized it was gone. Isn't that the way it always goes? Then for many years there was no such thing as Apple flavored Pop-Tarts or for that matter much of  anything apple flavored. Maybe there was an Apple Flavor scare like in the late 70s Red Dye #3 or 6 or whatever red dye was supposedly bad for you.

Recently while doing a Target Run I noticed an Apple flavored Pop-Tart box, it was a true Kellogg's Pop-Tarts not some off brand or the Target house brand. The flavor "Orchard Apple Cinnamon", um OK not DUTCH APPLE but hey it was frosted so I had to get a box and give it a try.

NEW Orchard Apple Cinnamon Pop-Tarts

IT is OK, not great, and I was a bit bummed when I saw the green apples on the box design. This flavor is a bit tart, thus the green apples instead of red ones I guess. I hope someday they do bring back the Dutch Apple flavor as close to the same recipe as possible.


Note: All images except for the new Orchard Apple Cinnamon image were found from a Google search for "Kellogg's pop tarts frosted dutch apple". Orchard Apple Cinnamon image scanned from my test box.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Twizzling Dr Pepper Licorice

OK so I had seen this some time ago at my local dollar store (Dollar Tree) and wondered about it. Dr. Pepper flavored Licorice. Dr. Pepper Twizzlers? What The? Eventually I decided to get a package and try it.

Not bad. Not great either.

It does sort of have the flavor of Dr. Pepper upon the first bite or two, then it just becomes a jaw battle against a stick of licorice. I'm not sure if the DP flavor is mixed in with the licorice while it's being made or whether it is in the glossy and sticky sugar glaze on the sticks. I suspect the latter.


Overall it is a nice little piece of just edible nostalgia for a 120-some year old soda/pop/cola/soft drink.

I scanned the package a few weeks after opening and eating most of the contents so that is why in the front image the bag isn't full.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Random Thoughts And Stuff


Here I go the end of another month and I have to scramble to find something to rant, chat, talk or ramble on about. Not sure where this will take me. Maybe I will delete this before posting it because I found something else to yak about. So yeah I didn't have anything planned. Well that isn't entirely true I do have a few posts planned. A couple have been gathering so much dust they are now buried under several feet of peat moss.

I can't help but wonder if I have used the same post title before. Have I? Don't know. Maybe. It is sort of generic and does mention its randomness.

I guess I can post about this idea that I was going to post on Facebook at one time but decided not to. I live in a pretty typical suburban neighborhood that has it's share of crime but is far from a high risk high crime area. I live in a garden style apartment. You know the kind that has a handful of apartments per floor and the stairwell is exposed to the outside elements. The front "porch" landing area has our building's bank of mailboxes and then the stairs leading up to the units and some stairs leading to the first floor/ground floor apartments. My apartment is along the same side as the mailboxes on the second floor which if I have a large box or package waiting at my front door can be seen from the mailboxes. I am certain that in the last 3 or 4 years I have had 4 or 5 packages or boxes stolen from the front door. When the post office or UPS tracking says your package was delivered and there is nothing by your front door, then yep some low-life scumbag stole your package. You can't blame the person who shipped your order they kept their end of the agreement by shipping the package. You can't blame the delivery service, unless there were specific orders to not leave the package unattended. The only person to blame is the low-life scum bucket that nicked the package. I hope they enjoyed the worthless books, or beat up comics, creased trading cards, or the oversized t-shirt or whatever was in the package. One of the more recent packages stolen from my front door was a book about the Collyer Brothers, Homer and Langley who were among the first recorded Hoarders in the US. I find that almost ironic someone taking a book about hoarders, but it still pissed me off since the book is a little hard to find, not very hard, but difficult to find at a decent low price. But I digress somewhat.

So my thought about my neighborhood is this. In theory I could close the front door to my apartment and leave it unlocked, leave for the day and return without anyone ever attempting to open the door. I could probably leave it unlocked for several days and nobody would ever know. However, I'm sure if I left the door slightly ajar, or completely wide open and was gone for more than a minimum half an hour the chances of someone coming by and being curious about this completely vulnerable apartment would increase and I'd come home to having many items missing. The longer I was gone the more stuff that would be missing. Of course there is also the likelihood that nobody would disturb anything (depending on the day of the week I guess)  but that is less probable. I wouldn't expect anyone to be kind and close the door. I would never test this open door theory.

I also recall a few years back that after a yearly or biannual exterminator visit, I noticed a nice pocket knife was missing from my kitchen that I usually kept in a kitchen drawer but might have left it out on the counter that day. I can't prove it was taken. I don't recall enough details of the make of it to describe it well enough except it was all silver. I don't recall what exterminator service was used during that time or which year it was. Now days my apartment management company uses a different extermination service that comes twice a year at least, and they require that all kitchen and bathroom cabinets are emptied to make spraying easier and that all counters are clear. Plus no dishes in the sink. The time the pocket knife was taken the only prerequisite was that the counters were clear, oh and the no dishes in the sink. This totally empty and clear requirement also puts your apartment in more of a disarray than it normally is. I haven't recovered from the last round of spraying. Heck I never really recovered from moving into the apartment 11 years ago.

Wow this post turned out to be a bit of a bummer. I didn't think it would go to the dark side.