Fruity Pebbles Oatmeal Thursday Rundown

Welcome to the first Thursday Rundown of 2023. I actually have quite a few topics to choose from so I will make sure to select the five most insignificant, food-related ones I have at my disposal. Let’s go…

Arcade Prize Modernization – Last week we went to one of our favorite pizza parlors for dinner. One of the reasons why it is at top of our list is because it has an arcade for the kids. During our latest visit, we noticed the prize redemption area was gone and it was replaced by a prize kiosk. That’s right, no longer do you trade in your tickets to an actual person who rewards you with a prize from beneath a glass counter. You now engage with a machine. Upon feeding the kiosk your card with “tickets” loaded on it, you open up the machine’s door. From there, prizes are lined up according to the amount of tickets you won. Crazy, right?

And to think that I thought it was cool back in the day when you placed your tickets in a basket and it would automatically count how many you had. This prize kiosk is at Market Street Pizza.

Fruity Pebbles Oatmeal – As a little boy, I loved oatmeal. In fact, there is a story about a 3-year-old Brent waking his dad up at 5 a.m. demanding oatmeal. That was bad enough, but I happened to pull this stunt when we were at Seaside, Oregon, on vacation and there was no oatmeal in sight. I think my dad had to take me to a restaurant to satisfy my craving. I say all of that so you can understand why I recently bought Fruity Pebbles oatmeal at a very discounted price. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment. The Fruity Pebbles were stale (hence why they were probably discounted) and even if they were fresh I don’t think they would have meshed well with the oatmeal.

Fruity Pebbles Oatmeal was disgusting.

Another Perfect Ornament – During my final Thursday Rundown of 2022, I shared a special ornament that we added to our tree. I have one final sentimental tree decoration to show off. Beau brought this home from daycare. It contains a ribbon inside that is Beau’s current height. Will we take it out at least once during all future Christmas seasons? I think so!

This ornament will be treasured for years to come.

Barnes & Noble Mystery Books – No, I am not talking about the mystery genre of books. Rather, I am talking about a gimmick I noticed that Barnes & Noble was offering during the holiday shopping season. The idea is that you purchase a wrapped book with only the genre revealed. The title and author are only brought to light after you purchase the book and tear open the wrapping paper. I don’t mind the idea, but the sticker price of $16.99 was a little too much of a gamble for me, especially if I was gifting it to someone. If I want the thrill of reading a random book, I will just go to the library, shut my eyes, and grab something from the shelf.

Not a gamble I am willing to take.

Sriracha Game – I like Sriracha. In fact, I like it enough to possibly wear a Sriracha t-shirt. But a Sriracha card game? That might be pushing it. Board and card games have made an incredible resurgence to the point that it is starting to get a little out of control. Every brand seems to have a game these days and I have extremely little interest in playing any of them.

I will pass on the Sriracha game.


That will shut the door on tonight’s Thursday Rundown. I hope 2023 is off to a wonderful start for you and your family. Be sure to enjoy the first Friday of the year tomorrow. Don’t Blink.

Fruity Pebbles Thursday Rundown

Greetings, friends! I hope your March is off to a wonderful start. Speaking of “starts,” let’s begin this Thursday Rundown…

Online Checkout – A lot of people get their kicks from buying stuff online. Now there isn’t anything wrong with that, but I prefer not to spend the money. Instead, I have a different method of feeling the satisfaction of ordering something online but without the cost. I enjoy checking out library books online. You can literally browse thousands of titles and simply tap the box next to whatever you desire. The next day you just go to your local library for “curbside service” and they bring your books out to you. This has allowed us to feed Sloan’s hunger for new books but to be honest, despite the pleasant feeling of ordering online, I am excited that Spokane County Libraries will open their buildings next Monday!

Some of the recent books we checked out from our local library via the online system.

Fruity Pebbles Chocolate – Add cereal-infused chocolate as another candy option for your sweet tooth. This Fruity Pebbles white chocolate bunny I saw at Walgreens actually appeals to me. Perhaps later down the road I will try it but it made me think about other cereal chocolate bunnies I would like to try. What about a Reese’s Puffs bunny? Or a Cinnamon Toast Crunch one? Cookie Crisp? As long as it is not a Raisin Bran bunny, I think I would pretty much be up for anything.

This sounds good to me. But what about other cereal flavors?

Dollar Store Buy – Here is another Dollar Tree hack for those of us with small children. If you want an activity that will keep your toddler occupied for a half hour and is not messy, go to the toy aisle and pick up a Pom-Pom Stick-On Activity. Sloan loves “Trolls” so she chose the Poppy version. The board itself is sticky and all you have to do is place the colored “pom-poms” in their appropriate spots on the design. Both engaging and cheap, your child will be proud of their board after it is finished.

Sloan loved doing this pom-pom stick-on activity.

Nomadland – This week I watched the film that won the Golden Globe for best drama film—“Nomadland.” After I finished the movie I looked up some of the reaction on social media and one person tweeted along the lines of “A simple movie about simple people doing simple things.” In my opinion, that pretty much sums it up. The film follows a lady living in a van who travels around the west working various jobs and living in various communities. It is a slow, no-nonsense production. Do I think it is the best movie of the year? Um, perhaps during a pandemic when fewer movies were produced. What stood out to me were some of the images from the film. Fern, the main character of the film played by Frances McDormand, did a lot of mundane things but it came across as art. Whether she was preparing food, cleaning a bathroom, or driving silently in her van it was all captured in a certain way. If you have Hulu, give it a shot.

“Nomadland” is being called the film of the year.

Marilyn Advice – Every now and then, I share the advice of Parade columnist Marilyn vos Savant. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, she has the world’s highest recorded IQ. This past Sunday someone asked her if freezing food items is actually a viable solution for extending their best-by date. She responded by saying absolutely. Essentially, according to Marilyn, freezing an item will “freeze” its natural process of going stale. Read below for her exact response but this is welcome news to someone like me who swears by freezing food.

It is not a myth, freezing your food will delay it from going bad.


I appreciate you spending a few minutes on my blog this evening. Enjoy your weekend and please continue to pray for the complete eradication of the pandemic. Don’t Blink.

Premium vs. Knockoff Showdown

With not much to do on this beautiful Sunday, I decided to go chase a silly blog post idea. I got in my car and went to Dollar Tree and bought five random, knockoff food items. I then headed to Wal-Mart and bought the real version of the product. If you have followed my blog for a couple years now, you know that I once wrote about my views on when to buy premium and when to buy generic.

On this table you will find the products I purchased for my very special (silly) Sunday blog post.

On this table you will find the products I purchased for my very special (silly) Sunday blog post.

I then took my grocery bags over to Sidney’s house and, one by one according to the similar product, I presented her with both the name brand item and the off brand item. I hid behind the kitchen counter preparing the plates while she sat on the couch so she had no idea which product was which (although just by looking when I presented them to her she had an idea). She then thoughtfully tried each product and told me which one she liked best. Let’s get to the results!

Cheetos vs. Cheez Doodles

I first had Sidney try an All-American, stain-your-fingers-orange classic. She sampled Cheetos and a similar product called Cheez Doodles (I wish the word “Doodles” ended with a “z” also). It didn’t take her long to choose which one she liked best. She identified Cheetos as her favorite, citing its crunchiness and freshness as the main factors in her selection.
Winner: Cheetos

On the plate, the real Cheetos are on the left.

On the plate, the real Cheetos are on the left.

Cheez-Its vs. Tangy Cheddar Squares

This was the competition where Sid knew immediately the real thing from the impostor just by looking at the plate. The brighter, crispier looking Cheez-Its definitely outshined the Tangy Cheddar Squares in appearance. It did in taste as well. Sidney remarked that the Cheez-Its tasted way cheesier than the “stale” Tangy Cheddar Squares.
Winner: Cheez-Its

The real Cheez-Its are on the right.

The real Cheez-Its are on the right.

Strawberry Pop-Tarts vs. Strawberry Toast’em Pop-Ups

I had Sid decide her preference on a famous breakfast pastry. Kellog’s Pop-Tarts went up against Toast’em Pop-Ups. This was another battle where you had a pretty good idea which was the legitimate product just from a quick glance. Once again, the prototype won out. Sidney preferred the Pop-Tart over the Pop-Up because she simply said the latter tasted like “cardboard.” I tried both of them as well and I have to say that although I didn’t think the generic pastry tasted that bad, the Pop-Tart was definitely superior.
Winner: Strawberry Pop-Tarts

Do I even need to tell you which one is which?

Do I even need to tell you which one is which?

Fruity Pebbles vs. Fruity Dyno-Bites

Knowing that I needed to throw a cereal into the mix, I went with Fruity Pebbles. With the next “Jurassic Park” film set to debut soon and with the clever spelling of “Dyno” I knew I had to go with it. Sidney and I will both say this, these two products tasted the most similar to one another than all the other tests. However, Sidney gave the edge to Fruity Pebbles because they had a seemingly more natural taste than the Dyno-Bites. I thought both tasted very pleasant. Although I said they tasted the most similar to each other than the other four trials, at the same time they also had distinctive tastes. You could have fed me either one of them and I would have been happy.
Winner: Fruity Pebbles

The legit brand is on the left.

The legit brand is on the left.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese vs. Greenbrier International Macaroni & Cheese

It was a no-brainer that I would introduce my favorite food into this fun taste testing blog post. I had the giant of the mac & cheese world, Kraft, go up against a brand so obscure that I had to scour the cup of the knockoff to find its maker. In tiny white lettering, I saw the phrase “Distributed by Greenbrier International.” Obviously the company was just fine going by the very generic “Macaroni & Cheese Dinner” billing. I prepared both cups the exact same way and then transferred the contents into a couple of paper bowls for unbiased tasting. Even with this measure taken, it was two totally different sights. The Kraft came out creamy and vibrant, the off brand came out dry and dull. This one was no contest, Sidney scored the Kraft dinner way higher. It was just much cheesier and fresher.
Winner: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

The Kraft Mac & Cheese is on top.

The Kraft Mac & Cheese is on top.


If you are scoring along at home, the premium brands went 5-0. Except for the Fruity Pebbles, according to Sidney’s taste buds, it wasn’t even that close either. These results suggest that there really is something to say about that brand written on the box.

In the aftermath of this all, Sidney will be keeping the Cheetos, Cheez-Its, Fruity Pebbles, and Pop-Tarts at her house. I will be bringing the misfit brands back to my place. Hey, I am a guy, I am a little easier to please. Thanks to Sidney for putting up with my silly idea, you never know what is going to be asked of you when you date a blogger. Don’t Blink.