The Christmas Gift List of 2003

It’s that time of year again, Christmas time. Or more accurately, it was that time of year again. The event itself is long done, but the season still lingers and won’t be gone until sometime around the time when school starts again. Our happy little holiday has come and gone, but like every year before, it has left its mark on pretty much everyone. As much as I hate to admit it, Christmas is celebrated by pretty much everyone and anyone, except the Jews. And I’m pretty sure they get a little of the spirit anyway, what with it being everywhere. Christmas is no longer a special holiday for us good little Christians, but an event for everyone. While that’s probably for the best, it seems a little unfair. But I’m not writing an essay on the commercialization of Christmas, so I’ll shut up about that before I really offend anyone.

Cartoon characters argue about it all the time, and I’m not exactly sure of it, but I think Christmas is about giving, getting, love, the birth of Christ, and delicious baked goods all at the same time. I mean why not get a little bit of all the good stuff? Why settle for one meaning when you can have 5? It just makes sense. Today I’m gonna be focusing more on the getting side. In the wrong context, that sounds kinda dirty. As I did for Easter and my birthday, I’m going to be doing a rundown of every gift and treat that I got this Christmas. Unlike the former two, this one is gonna be divided into 2 pages. Why? Because I can.

The first page (this one, for those of you who are a little slower) will show off the stocking stuffers and all the gifts that I got from people that don’t live in my house. After all that is through, you’ll find a link taking you to page 2. There, you can see all the stuff I got from my parents, my brothers, and the legendary Santa Claus (minus the stocking crap). Also, I’ll show a couple things that were addressed to the family rather than exclusively to myself. Then it’ll be done and I’ll provide a link to the Articles board in my message boards where you can discuss all sorts of crazy crap. Then comes my sig and e-mail address and then you’ll have to find something else to read. So let’s get started already!

Actually, on one last note, the pics are a little bit lower quality than usual because my webcam software doesn’t get along with Windows 2000, so just bear with it for now until I find a proper substitute.

As I stated in that long and unnecessary intro, we’ll start with the stocking stuffin’s and then move on to gifts from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. One little note before I start, not everything got immortalized in a picture, some stuff (mostly money) couldn’t be present at the time so I had to do without. Of course, I’ll make mention of the gift and who it came from, just for the sake of completeness. So, here’s my stocking:

As you can see (if you look close enough), it has been stuffed to the point where it’s become misshapen and somewhat pointy. I myself hadn’t really rooted through it before I took the pics, I was waiting to get a picture of it before I was tempted to eat the delectable goodies that were sure to lurk inside. And lurk they certainly did. Let’s dump it out and see what’s inside.

Ah, quite the pile of mess I’ve made. That’s the second thing I’ve typed that sounds really wrong without the proper context. While we can clearly make out a few things in the pile, I feel some strange need to arrange it neatly and take another picture so that you can tell what everything is without a detailed description. At this point I can see that it’s not quite as full of exciting stuff like it has been in past years, but the candy haul looks decent, so I’m happy.

Ok, time for a list. In this bag we have:

  • A stuffed novelty Dallas Cowboys football. My dad was jealous until he got his.
  • A chocolate Santa on a stick. Clearly came from the same mold as the chocolate Easter Bunny on a stick.
  • Circular Candy Cane. So many C’s, none of them worth it. O_o
  • A gift certificate for some book store. I was far too disinterested to know which one or how much it’s worth.
  • Box of 5 CD-Rs. I guess half a box is better than none. Though I still have 13 left over from the birthday.
  • Net full of chocolate Santas. Also mysteriously shaped like the Easter Bunny chocolates.
  • Gift card for Blockbuster. This could be useful when I need to rent video games, unlock my door or pretend I have an important person keycard.
  • A stick of deodorant. Not my preferred brand, but it’ll do.
  • 5-pak of Tic-Tacs. That rhymed. Sweet.
  • Many, many Life Savers. All in a small, festive, book-like box
  • Mini-milk carton with the Cat in the Hat on it. I hate that cat. Apparently, the carton is filled with Whoppers. Anybody want some Whoppers?
  • Finally, a box of Hot Tamales. The cream of the crop? Yes.

I usually don’t do lists, especially unordered lists, but it’s a special occasion. I think that in the end I made out pretty good on the candy front. I ended up with a box of Hot Tamales and a ton of Tic-Tacs. Those could have been the only things in the stocking and I’d have been fine. The Candy Cane thing is a good entry, but I frown upon the Whoppers. CD-R’s are nice to have, but I’ve got a ton already. And the money substitutes will no doubt come in handy sooner or later. I don’t buy books until I have a gift certificate, so it’s time for me to do some reading! So now that that’s covered, I’ll move on to the presents. Mmmm presents.

Wouldn’t you know it, I just got out of a veritable grab bag and stumbled into a second. My grandparents always send a bag of useful-type stuff, littered with other less-useful fun things. This one came with deodorant (more Mitchum? Dammit! I told everyone I like Brut!), plenty of hair gel (it just hit me now that the blue bottle actually came in the stocking…), dental floss, gum, free golf, movie money, a scarf (which hadn’t left my neck until I took the pics), and some mittens. There was also a pair of boxers and some socks, but they were in the washing machine while I was taking the pics. I also got a new hockey stick, which is sadly enough in the same state as my old one; brand new. Not the absolute greatest stuff, but damned if I won’t appreciate getting it all.

One of my uncles gave me fifty bucks. It came in a nice card which is now sitting on one of the many tables in my living room. My aunt and uncle who live way in Ontario sent a card with another forty dollars enclosed. It has also found a home somewhere in the living room among all the other cards. The money wasn’t able to show up because I didn’t feel like finding my wallet. It always gets lost in my room. Perhaps I should look for it? Nah. When I need it, it’ll find me. That’s what wallets do.

Next up is the stuff from my other set of grandparents. The dark mass on the left is a new pair of jeans. They fit suspiciously well for new jeans. The only other jeans that have fit so well are jeans that have been worn in, but these had the tags and everything, so they certainly aren’t second-hand. Up on top is Big Shiny Tunes 8. I’ve been complaining that ever since 5, they’ve just been getting crappier each year, but I can’t complain with this one. It’s not too bad for a bunch of bands I never heard of. I still don’t like Linkin Park or Simple Plan, but “Get Loose” by The Salads makes it all worth it. If you haven’t heard the song, go listen to it now. Absolute best song from a band named after food ever. EVER.

And if you can’t make out the title, the big block on the right is a Shmuzzle Puzzle. Never heard of ‘em? Well nor had I until I saw it on TV, and then I knew I had to have it. It’s only 160-some pieces, but they’re all shaped the exact same! And they fit together in like a billion ways, so I assume that it’s gonna be quite the challenge to get this bad boy done. The box even says it’s a twin threat to my sanity. But I love puzzles and threats to my sanity, so I know I’ll enjoy doing it.

From another of my aunt and uncles, I got this little treasure; Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. If you liked Super Mario RPG, you’ll more than likely enjoy this one. If you liked Paper Mario too, you’ll definitely love this. It’s the perfect cross between the two, and I absolutely love it. There isn’t a single thing I can’t say a good thing about in this game. The story is great, the dialogue is hilarious, the graphics and sound are spot-on, and it’s about 20 hours for an expert (good time for a GameBoy RPG). Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it’s fun too. The battle system is very interactive and you can’t really take your eyes off the action like in most RPGs. I love it. Plus, it’s got the Mario I get hooked on so easily and finally, an unofficial two-player option for those with a GameCube and a GameBoy Player.

From my cousin, another Big Shiny CD. Big Shiny 90’s this time. Mucho better than the other one, because it’s got music that’s closer to my preferred music era. Not only that, but it’s 2 CDs! Talk about your sweet deals. The not sweet deal is that it’s Volume 2, and I don’t have any volume 1 to speak of so I guess I’ll have to go searching for that now. It’s still a great compilation and I highly recommend it. From the fragments of commercial I can pick out of my memory I think the first one was better, but as it stands, I like this one just fine.

I’m not quite at 2000 words yet, but it’s time for me to make the move into the next page, which will be a bot longer. Oops… I’ll leave it to your imagination whether that was supposed to be “bit” or “lot”. Maybe I really did want to spell “bot”. Maybe I should quit trying to squeeze in a bunch of extra words to make the unspoken quota. Then again, most of the tags are counting as words so it’s a little inaccurate. But that don’t matter, we’ll just say I ended this page with a healthy 1900 words. Be sure to click on the link below to find out what the rest of my gifts were. If you don’t, I’ll know. And then I’ll get you for it.

[Pretend there’s a page break here. Years ago there actually was one!]

I guess the best place for me to start off is where I left off. Now that you’ve seen all that various crap, it’s time for a lot more crap! Only this crap came from my parents, siblings, and there are even a few presents from me in there somewhere. And to top it all off are a few gifts that were addressed to the whole family rather than just for me. I know I’ve told you this before but I thought I’d remind you, and I just didn’t feel right starting with a picture.

Every year for my birthday and Christmas, my dad gets me some sort of tool. I think it’s a pretty sweet deal, because I use them a lot. Maybe not for what they’re meant for, but I use them a lot. This year I got my very first wrench set. Now that’s great and all, but I asked for a saw (again) and it never came. Why I can’t have a saw is beyond me, but frankly I’m pretty disappointed. I love the wrenches and all, but they just aren’t a saw. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Everybody should know that I adore the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you don’t you do now. Sadly, I only got one action figure for Christmas, but it’s no big deal, I can just go buy the rest. I’ve already got all the figures from series 1, and Skatin’ Raph here is my first from series 2. Overall, it’s not that much different from the normal Raphael, except for the skates, his clothes, and the fact that his legs are stuck in a much more comfortable looking position. The skates themselves are quite large, but they work pretty well and ensure that he doesn’t fall over. My only complaint is that they didn’t paint as much detail on the actual figure as they did on the figure on the box. It’s really not a big deal, but I feel a bit cheated.

My brother, on the other hand, got pretty much all of the ones he needed. Ironically, I think the only one that he’s missing is Skatin’ Raph. I’m quite jealous because I’ve been a Turtles fan for so much longer than him, and if it wasn’t for me, he probably wouldn’t even know about them. I think the jealousy is mostly rooted in the fact that he has the Casey Jones figure and I don’t, but I have him one-upped in other ways that are soon to follow…

Back to the real world for a second, I’ll take a look at my CD’s. I haven’t been listening to Styx for a long time, but I really like the music, so I asked for the greatest hits and here it is. It’s a great CD, despite only having 11 songs, and I’m even listening to it as I type this. There is one song I don’t really like on it, but it’s not something I can’t learn to live with. After all, if I can tolerate the Three Days Grace song on Big Shiny Tunes 8 I should be able to put up with anything a real band can throw at me. Other than what I’ve already typed, there isn’t a whole lot I can say about a CD.

I believe my exact word were “Not another damn puzzle”. Just kidding, I think it’s cool that now my sanity will be cumulatively threatened four times. This one might be a little easier than the water drop as it’s got lots of colours, but I haven’t tried to put it together yet so I could be horribly mistaken. These puzzles are only like 10 bucks, so I urge you to go out and get one if you often find yourself bored. Or you could get one of those bajillion-piece puzzles, but those don’t have any gimmicks, so they can’t possibly be any good.

Just to diversify my gifts a bit, my mom decided that it would be good idea to get me a couple books. Only problem is that these books aren’t really books. Sure they’ve got words in them and all, but they’re mostly just for novelty’s sake. I mean, who actually reads through everything in the Guinness world record books? I’ll make it a point to be the first to do the feat and then I’ll get into the next one. I’m just curious if it came from the future, because it’s the 2004 book and there hasn’t been a whole lot of 2004 to make records in. That and it looks kinda futurey. The high point is that I found a new crustacean to top the most wanted pets list: the Japanese spider crab. Though I’d need a pool to keep it in because its leg span is over 2 meters long.

Now the Mario & Luigi player’s guide. I don’t really need it, but I can honestly say that it has come in handy. I also like to just read guides as well. Don’t ask me why, because I couldn’t tell you. Just ever since I got the guide for Final Fantasy 8 I’ve been getting them mostly just to read. We all know that you don’t need a guide for a side-scroller, but I got the guide for Viewtiful Joe because I like to read them, it was Viewtiful Joe goods, and it was 20% off. That’s like 2 bucks off right there. Greatest deal ever.

I got the second season DVD set of Friends for my 16th birthday, and I wanted the first and third this Christmas, but my mom was only able to find the third. I guess I’ll have to go hunting for it by myself eventually. Not a whole lot to say, but it’s got one of my favorite episodes on it, The One Where Nobody’s Ready. If you don’t recognize the title, it’s the episode where Joey puts on all of Chandler’s clothes at once. The special features aren’t very appetizing, but I like commentary so I’m happy. Oh yes, we got a DVD player a while ago, so I no longer have to use the PS2 or X-Block to watch stuff. Yay!

I told you I’m a Turtles fan and I wasn’t lying. I wanted Turtles DVD’s, and I got one set. Only once again, it’s the third in the set, and my brother got the first. Obviously my mother is not aware of my preference of getting things in order. Not only that, but my brother wrecked the plastic covering of his while trying to open in so now the cover is taped on very, very badly. Not that if affects me, but I hate to see something so precious abused in such a way. Seriously, if you saw it, you’d hit him too.

Now it’s time to set foot into the restaurant of video games and check out the real delicacies of the annual serving of gifts. Our appetizer, MegaMan Zero 2 is by far one of the hardest games of this generation. When I read the reviews I thought “Bah, they’re just babies, it couldn’t possibly be that hard” and I thought I was right, because they said the first game was hard and it wasn’t too bad. But when I popped this sucker in I got my ass handed to me. Getting killed in the intro stage generally means the game is hard or you suck, and I’m pretty confident that I don’t suck. But after some practice, I’ve been able to make it halfway through. My final opinion: I love it. We need more games like this. Capcom, I salute you.

Our side salad is, of course, the TMNT GameBoy game. Unlike MMZ2, it’s not unbearably difficult, but it does offer it’s own challenges. Easy mode is quite simple, but once you get to Normal, you start thinking that maybe you got more than you asked for. And it’s fun too. It’s like the old arcade/NES games, except it’s pure 2D and there is (very sadly) no multiplayer support. But it’s still an above-par game. There is a password feature, but it doesn’t unlock anything worth being there. The other problem is that they chopped up the cartoon’s intro and shoved it in there. It would have been better off without the intro, rather than with the butchered garbage that’s in there. But it’s small, and skippable so I don’t mind too much.

And now we get to the sweet, sweet main course of the bunch, the GameCube version of TMNT. Like the GBA game, it’s very similar to the old games, only it’s in true 3D. There is multiplayer support, but it only goes to 2-player. I bet if they didn’t have to put it on the PS2 as well, there would have been a proper 4-player mode. Oh well. The password system in this version is much better, as it opens plenty of things like new game modes and costumes. There is also a production art database, and being the art fiend I am, it pleases me muchly. Oh, and if all the crazy food metaphors are kind of confusing, I’ve been playing Mario & Luigi way too much, and you’ll understand if you play it.

I’ve said I’m a Queen fan in the past, and as you can see above, I got myself a little something to commemorate my last big Christmas haul. Actually, we were shopping on Boxing Day and I’ve never seen these CDs anywhere, so I did what I had to do. I imagine the reason they’re so rare is because they’re the first two Queen albums, and they were released a long time ago. Of course, they are the CDs and not the records, so they’re not the originals, but I’m not complaining. The one thing I am complaining about though, is that Queen II has a remix of the Seven Seas of Rhye, which I though was just an extended version or something, but it’s really a techo-ish dance mix which really destroys the song. Other than that, they’re awesome CDs that belong in the libraries of any 80’s rock fan.

Now we get to the family gifts. You can usually see a similar background in pictures of me that are on the site, but there’s one big difference (aside from the dog toys). The new weight bench we got is a lot better than our old piece of junk. This one’s even got a thing so we can do leg stuff as well. I may not seem like the type to be overjoyed by this kind of thing, but I am. Now all I need is some solid motivation and I’ll be in shape in no time. Ooh, it’s comfy too, so comfy in fact, that I was ready to use it as a bed one night. There was a whole bunch of (figurative) crap all over my real bed, so I just laid down. But then I got up and after some possibly amusing events I ended up sleeping on the couch.

I had taken all the pics when I remembered about getting this beauty, so I just surfed on over to Saitek’s website and stole their picture of it. It’s so much better than the old 4-button Gravis gamepad I had been forced to use for the last few years. Now I can play my ROMs in style! I would use it for other games, but we don’t really have any computer games that would benefit from using this. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, FPS games are made to be played with a keyboard and mouse or at least a Nintendo 64 controller. I wonder if I could play Tiberian Sun with it?

And that’s the whole lot of it. Every gift and goodie has been at least spoken of, and I’m ready to go and start a puzzle. Actually, to tell the truth, there is one thing I forgot to mention, and I’m sure it’ll make up for the one I missed in the birthday article…

Ho ho ho! Enjoy, ladies!

And that’s that. Sorry I couldn’t get this up closer to Christmas, I was planning to have it done by the 28th, but my PC got infected yet again and only a week after the holiday have I found time to finish up. And now that this is done, I an get to work on my English project of which I had 4 months to work on and have yet to start. It’s worth 10% of my grade so I guess I’d better get to work. I might even post some of the stuff I do for it on the site, so be sure to stay tuned.

As for the future, I stated in a recent news post that January is exam month, and not only normal exams, but provincial exams as well. They shouldn’t be too hard, as all my classes this semester are language classes, and I find that to be my forte in school, but I till have to study or something like that, so I probably won’t have a lot of time for updates. It’s going to be another November/December. If I do post anything it’s gonna be a mini-review or submissions to the gallery. Sorry about the lack of real articles, but my PC has been FUBAR so many times in the past couple months that I can’t really get anything done. Now that’s changed, and as of February I’ll be able to try a little harder.

Cap’n Crunch’s Choco Donuts

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I eat breakfast maybe 2 times a month. And that’s if I’m lucky. Maybe now that school is out I’ll be able to eat breakfast more often, seeing as I don’t have to get up and leave anymore. Really. School starts at 8:50, I get up and have a shower at 8:15, we leave at 8:30 and it’s a fifteen minute drive since we have to drop my brother(s) off as well. There’s absolutely no time in my morning for breakfast. Of course, you’re probably thinking that I could just wake up earlier, but I like my sleep, so to Hell with you.

Anyway, there’s been a plethora of different breakfast foods invented over time. Some making less sense than others, and some being much more loved than others. Honestly, I don’t think any meat (except for bacon) should be ingested before noon. It just doesn’t seem right. As for more loved than others, I haven’t encountered one person in my lifetime of introvertness that doesn’t love waffles. Everyone loves waffles, Eggo or otherwise. But the thing is, making waffles is a long and sticky procedure, and frozen waffles generally don’t come cheap. These factors make them a more rare breakfast food, possibly adding to the love.

But waffles are not today’s topic. Oh no, I’m going to delve into the realm of cereal. The most notorious of the food groups is also probably the biggest. There are literally billions of different types of cereals. And while most are the same things in different packaging, the sheer amount of cereals can make choosing one a long and arduous task, especially to those inexperienced in the field of breakfast-eating. Luckily for me, I am quite experienced in that particular field even if I don’t eat breakfast on a regular basis. So here we go.

I’ve tried pretty much every cereal out there. Well, to make that sentence a little more accurate, every cereal over here in Canada. Those damn Americans get so much more cereal than we do. But the goodness of the US exclusive stuff is kinda iffy. They’ve got Cookie Crisp and Coco Puffs, but they also have to put up with more varieties of that bran crap. We had Fruity/Cocoa Pebbles, but I think around the time they turned into flakes was when we stopped getting them. And that change is more than enough to make me stop liking them.

Today, though, I’ve picked up a new variation of an old favorite. Or a few days ago anyway. There’s a new Cap’n Crunch cereal on the market, and I figured that with the backing of such a famous cereal mascot, it had to be good. Cap’n Crunch is a rather large staple in the world of breakfast, producing the original Cap’n Crunh, Crunchberries, and Peanut Butter Crunch. But now he’s got a new trick up his sleeve. The Cap’n’s new cereal has taken a turn from corny bits to chocolatey circles. Enter Choco Donuts.

I’m working up to the good part, so I’ll start with a good look at the box. As we can see here, the Cap’n seems pretty happy with his newest creation. Though, soon enough, you’ll discover that the Cap’n is very, very wrong. Of course, they look really good. Little cereal donuts with sprinkles. How could that possibly go wrong? Did you ever try the Simpsons Cinnamon Donuts cereal? Donuts are one of the many foods that do not translate well into cereal. At the top right corner, we can also see that these little buggers are only available for a limited time. Trust me, in some cases, especially this one, the words “limited time” are a Godsend and not a curse.

Next we see the back of the box. There’s so much stuff going of here that I had to take several pictures of it just so that I could make fun of it all. At first glance, it seems to be some kind of assembly line. But if you look closer, you’ll see that it’s not regular assembly line. It’s an assembly line that forces children with a very loose grip on the English language to work day and night for not money, but Choco Donuts. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we’ve found our new Nike. And I always thought of Cap’n Crunch as more of an upstanding citizen. Every day I find out that I’ve been living another lie.

Look at that smug face. I bet he thinks that he’s gonna get away with this. Sure, he’s making it seem all nice and inviting us to his factory, but one day we’re gonna realize that nobody has ever come back from this “tour”. I wonder if he turns them into more slaves or if he just kills them all. Hmmm… If you look at the next picture, you’ll see that there’s a huge boiling vat of “chocolate”. I bet that’s where he puts the tourists. Yup. It seems like the general evil plot. Only one person can save us now. Only one person has enough power to defeat this evil Cap’n. That person is Count Chocula. Save us Count! Save us from this horrible man who turns people into oversized chocolate donuts!

Just further proof that Cap’n Crunch is working a factory of child slaves. Look at this poor boy. That Cap’n probably kidnapped him from his home country on one of his crunchberry expeditions. Not only was he only taught 3 debatable words, he also had to learn to say them in French. In an effort to make sure he didn’t sabotage the operation, they probably won’t let him learn any other words until the Choco Donuts campaign is over. And just look at that smile. How badly can you tell that there’s someone holding a gun to his back? If that isn’t a forced smile, people, I don’t know what is. And as for “Choc-O-Tize”, I think we all know that that comes nowhere close to an actual word.

Oh the horrors! First he’s kidnapping little African children, and now he’s going after the mentally handicapped! That poor girl probably doesn’t even realize that she’s working for nothing but crappy cereal. She’s just so mesmerized by all the colorful sprinkes that she’s lent herself to a lifetime of pulling a lever over and over and over and over and so forth. And I thought “Choc-O-Tize” was pretty bad as far as bad made-up words go, but “Sprinkle-Tize” just takes the cake. Really! They couldn’t have gone with an existing word like “Sprinkle!” could they? Even a word describing the machine like “Sprinkle Cannon!” Would have worked better. Screw you and your made-up words, Cap’n. You’ll also notice that on the big green machine that it says “Chocolate Donut Taste Injector”, which couldn’t be more worng, as you’ll soon see.

I think this girl is one of the Cap’n’s cronies rather than a slave. Look at her. She’s evil incarnate, I swear. “Wanna be Crunch-A-Tized?”. Come on, she’s pretty much asking if she can kill you right there. How can she not be evil? Now really, you have to wonder about “Crunch-A-Tize” as well. I’m pretty sure that the Cap’n has been using that one forever, but it’s still barely good enough to pass as a word. I guess if they added “bling bling” to the dictionary though, it’s not that far off. Dear God, what’s happened to this world? When did we go wrong? Everything seemed fine until those damn 60’s came along. I guess we’ve just been going downhill since then, and the pace is only getting faster. Yet another reason for me not to have kids.

I also wonder about that machine. It somehow manages to break a giant donut into perfect little copies. Now I could see it happening if the machine was a little bit more complex, but it’s just a big metal doorway-lookin’ thing attached to a pole. How could it possibly accomplish anything, never mind cloning mini-donuts? And why does it seem to be zapping the donut? It’s a big freaking piece of metal! It’s not even a big magnet or ray gun, which are more often associated with the little cartoon zap lines. And don’t gimme none of that “it’s magic” crap either. Of all the things the Cap’n ain’t, magic is very close to the top of the list. Other things include: thin, smart, heterosexual, [opposite of pedophile], sane.

Ah, the poor child thinks he’s getting just payment for his labor. Someone needs to go save these kids. Choco Donuts just aren’t good enough to replace money. Hell, they aren’t good enough to replace dog crap. “Sensass”? What the Hell is “Sensass”? I know my command of French isn’t exactly great, but I’m pretty sure that “sensass” isn’t a word. In any language. It’s probably something he was taught to say every hour so that the Cap’n would know it’s time for another …err… violation. Finally, I’ll point out that the cereal bits are not that big. Those things are the size of real donuts, not crappy little cereal donuts.

Possibly the only slightly redeeming quality of this cereal is the fact that buying it gives you the right to a free Dairy Queen Blizzard. That quality is instantly nullified by the fact that it’s a Choco Donuts flavoured Blizzard. I suppose if you went and picked out all the cereal bits it would be fine, but if you ate it as it is, you’d have one Hell of a sore upper mouth. As we all know Cap’n Crunch cereals are famous for their upper mouth ripping ability, and I assume that when frozen, the shreddage would only be amplified.

On the side of the box, there’s an advertisement for the Cap’n Crunch website. I bet the Cap’n taught toddlers to do HTML and forced them to make it in exchange for clean diapers. I’m not even gonna think about visiting that site. “Game Mania” just doesn’t strike me as something completely legit. I mean they didn’t even use a hyphen when it so obviously need to be there. And I like my desktop the way it is, thank you. Last time I played a Cap’n Crunch game I strongly considered killing myself and everyone within a [Earth’s diameter] kilometer distance. It was really bad. It was some kind of mix between Pokemon(Game Boy) and Decathlon(Atari). Both were awesome games, so you’d think mixing them would create a super-game of some sort. But no, it just led to mounds upon mounds of crappiness and wasted life.

Now we get too the actual cereal. I actually think it looks good. Presentation counts for a lot less when it comes to cereal though, so it can’t save itself. Did anyone ever try those Oreo O’s? Well, in short, they taste about twenty times better than this crap, and they have the exact same taste as cardboard. I know this because in the interest of science, I have indeed chewed on cardboard. As I stated earlier, Cap’n Crunch cereals will maul the top of your upper mouth. Surprisingly enough, the Choco Donuts do a lot less damage than the original cereal does. Not to say that it’s not still a significant amount of damage, but at least the Choco Donuts won’t carry the taste of blood after a few mouthfuls.

Look at that, the Jawa won’t even eat them. And you just know they’re bad when even a scavenger won’t eat them. Crap. Now that means that I’m gonna have to eat them. Personally, I think that they would have been better if it was normal Cap’n Crunch with sprinkles, or Crunchberries with sprinkles. In reality though, if these things do make their way into your home, let someone else eat them and then just eat the sprinkles out of the bottom of the package.

Speaking of package, look at that. This thing is tiny beyond belief. And that’s compared to a normal sized box of Lucky Charms. Imagine how small it would look next to one of those mega-sized boxes of Raisin Bran. I guess cereal boxes are going the way of computer game boxes. But with cereal, it makes a bit of a difference. Strangely enough, this box of Choco Donuts lasted a whole 3 days in my house. Usually cereal lasts about a day at the most before the 4 of us finish it off. That really tells you how bad the stuff is. There might have been the fact that it was competing against the Lucky Charms, but for the sake of comedy, we’ll forget that detail.

And that’s pretty much how it goes. In the ever-going battle for cereal dominance, Cap’n Crunch has lost a bit of his foothold with this little endeavor. I know that I’ve lost a lot of respect for the guy now that I know that he’s a big crook. As I said before, it’s a good thing that this is a “limited time” cereal. It’s certainly not fit to become a recurring part of anyone’s morning. What I don’t understand is why Apple Jacks always have “limited time” stamped on the box, yet they’ve been around for just under forever. Maybe I’ll tackle that mystery one day, but not today. Today I uncovered Cap’n Crunch’s big secret, and that’s enough work for a whole month when you’re me.

I know that I was saying something about a new article in the news, but this isn’t it. There’s still another one coming up soon. Probably late this week. I’m not sure what my original forecast was, but now it’s end of the week. Damn it, I’m doing it again. Must try to stay on topic for conclusions! Aah!

So in the end, the Choco Donuts really suck. Go get Shreddies instead. I love Shreddies. I love Shreddies so much that I did a speech about them back in in grade 9. It was great. We had this teacher who was really, really strict, and I made even him laugh. He tried to hide it, but he was practically rolling around on the floor. Ah, good memories. He taped it too, so if he hadn’t retired I would probably be able to track it down and make a transcript of it. But I think it would lose a lot of it’s comedic value if it was written rather than spoken. Oh well.


Nintendo Surprise: The Nintendo surprise bag

It’s really amazing how much merchandise that Nintendo pumps out. Sadly, most of it isn’t exactly the kind of stuff you want to buy, and very little of it is worthy promotion for the GameCube and GameBoy Advance. Sure the Pokemon line goes over really well with kids, but very few older Nintendo hardcores want Pokemon toys all over their room. I don’t. At one point, I did have a small Gloom hanging out on my dresser, but it got lost. Kinda unfortunate because Gloom is one of my favorite Pokemon.

Of course, they have gone to certain lengths to make Mario and Zelda action figure lines. You saw a few of them in Hylian Idol. We even got a few burger restaurant deals, one promoting Super Mario Bros 3 at McDonald’s, which was a long time ago. Last year, there were Mario toys at Wendy’s, which I believe came along to help sell Super Mario Advance. The most recent was the Burger King deal, which was a menagerie of Nintendo most popular characters, such as Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, and Kirby. Everyone loves Kirby. Why we didn’t see any kind of promotion for his TV show is beyond me though.


Whee! Look at him dance! I guess that’s an ample intro for today. I really don’t think it’s that necessary anymore. After all, they do sway off the path of the articles a bit. But in the quest for longer and better articles, I must do what I have to do. But, enough redundant rambling, I’ll just start the article now.

A long time ago, actually, less than a year to date, I was browsing the dollar stores of a faraway land and came across quite the treasure. It was a simple plastic bag with candy in it, but that was just the base idea. This bag of goodies was a Nintendo Surprise. Of course, the surprise wasn’t really there, since there was a transparent area on the front of the bag. That and they all had more or less the exact same things in them. I went back this year to seek more of the bags-o-fun and I found them, only they had changed a bit.

The old Nintendo Surprise contained a sucker, a Ring Pop-like thing, a slab of gum, and a game tip card. They all sported different characters. The gimmick was that you could collect all of the different characters and candies. I guess the only surprise is what character bust you found in the ring pop. There were 2 different sucker “statues”, 6 character busts in the ring pops, and 18 different portraits in the gum. The only problem with this is that they seem to be extremely rare, and no kid would be able to resist eating them.

Now, produced by Au’some Candies, the “Nintendo Surprises” are simply plastic bags containing a bunch of gum. It’s really a sad story. Why? Because the gum was the only collectible that you could really eat. the others left plastic remains to collect. Fortunately, you won’t want to eat the gum after you try one piece. it tastes absolutely horrible. Bad, sinful, imperfect, rancid, unsuitable, wicked, tainted, hurtful, noxious, and terrible are all words that go hand in hand with this gum. the package says “sour” but this stuff tastes worse that eating Kool-Aid powder. I kid you not.

As I stated in one of the above paragraphs, there are 18 slabs of disgust that you can collect. Though, Au’some Candies seems to have cut a few corners when they were making them. The different characters are the following: Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, Bowser, Paratroopa, Larry Koopa, Ganondorf, Ludwig Von Koopa, Yoshi, Ganondorf, Link, Link, Link, Diddy Kong, Link, Donkey Kong, King K. Rool, and Donkey Kong. Notice the abundance of Link. Even the two different DK gums are the same picture, just one is reversed. At least they look pretty good and not at all like some poor African kids drew them on.

I also mentioned earlier that the Nintendo Surprise contained a card with a game tip on it. These ones are no different. But the use of the word “latest” is a bit of an exaggeration. At least now. I guess that I forgot to mention one little detail. After a little bit of researching, I found out that these things were made way back in 2001. I suppose it’s not as bad as the Hulk gum that my brothers got. If you read X-Entertainment, you’ve seen it before. And if you want a bit of a more in-depth look at the 8-year-old crap, check out Matt’s Video Store article.

So, here’s the contents of one of the packages. It seems a lot more impressive than it really is. A LOT. There’s not a lot I can say about this pile of crap that I won’t say later so instead I’ll tell you about this GameBoy Advance link cable that I’m holding. Firstly and most importantly, it’s a pretty shade of white, with a white tip for the first player, and gray tips for the second, third, and fourth players. That said, it obviously has four heads to link GBAs together. It’s made by Pelican and was a lot cheaper than buying three Nintendo-brand cables. there’s also a little switch on the connector that enables it to work with GameBoy Colour units. Back to what’s important.

As you can clearly see, they come in a wide variety of colors. All three colors of the… uh… groraninkbow. Ha. Got outta that one with style. Oh yeah. Anyway, it’s plain to see that a character is not confined to a single color. They can appear on any one of the three shades of gross. If you look even closer, you can see both Donkey Kongs and how it’s the same picture, just flipped horizontally, just as I said. On the upside, I was lucky and scored both Koopa Kids. I’m at a loss to see why they didn’t use all of them. If they hadn’t repeated characters there would have been enough to host all seven of ’em.

Now, I’ll try my best to describe what all of them taste like. Orange is clearly the best of the three. Incredibly enough, it does taste like orange candy-type stuff. Only it’s way too soury-like. Bad memories of Kool-Aid powder are coming back… Yuck. Well, I guess I was wrong. Pink is definitely the best. It tastes decent, much like one of those sour soother things. It’s still not worth eating, but at least it doesn’t make me want to throw up so that there’s a better taste in my mouth. Green is supposed to taste like apple, I think. It does a little bit, but then you notice that it has a hint of BILE in it. The package wasn’t lying when it said they were sour. Maybe not as sour as some other candy, but it isn’t exactly tame.

Look, it’s the Game Tip card! When I say card, I don’t mean card in the normal sense, or even the tradeable sense. It’s just a piece of hard paper with a picture and some words on it. Oddly enough, it’s the only thing included in the Nintendo Surprise that isn’t collectible. I guess you could collect all of the different tips, but to date I’ve only seen three different ones, and I and my brothers have been through at the very least twenty packs of this stuff. Oh, I forgot another important thing. The gum’s taste lasts for an average of 40 seconds. You’d be much better off with some Wal-Mart candy machine gum.

As usual, you can click on the pics to enlarge them if you want to read them. The first tip is for the Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages. It’s pretty handy, and is something you might not think of right away. But, most people who played the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past have already figured this out. The second “tip” is both asinine and redundant. It tells you that in Super Mario Advance Luigi can jump the highest. It might have been helpful, but the game itself gives you this tip, so like I said, it’s redundant. Note that they have French tips too. If you can’t read the language, don’t worry, it says the same thing. This also leads me to believe that Nintendo Surprises were only distributed in Canada.

For the sole purpose of writing this article, I saved some of the plastic carcasses from the original Nintendo Surprise. Shown above are the sucker cases. There are only two to collect, so if you went the whole nine yard to get all the gum pieces, you’d have a lot of extra sucker cases. The two characters chosen to be immortalized as suckers were Mario and Yoshi. I don’t see why not. But they could have just as easily modded the Mario mold a little and at least made a Luigi. Oh well.

If you did manage to get you hands on a lot of these guys, they could be used as really low-budget action figures. I have several Yoshis and use them to war against my Star Wars figures with Mario as their leader. The detachable bases can also double as hats or a bad game of stack-the-sucker-bases. That’s what they seem to be doing in the picture above. To tell the truth, I’m really scraping for idea for this one. There’s a cool picture of a pelican on my GameBoy Advance link cable.

Pictured above are the remains of a couple of my Nintendo ring pops. They come in the same colours as the gum, but they taste a whole lot better. In fact, so do the suckers. Everything tastes better than that gum, except clams. I hate clams. Stupid chicken nugget-looking clams. I hate you, clams. I hate you and your cousin the oyster. In fact, I hate all seafood. Except sushi, I’ve never tried sushi. Or lobster. It’s pretty sad, but I plan to try it the next time we go to Red Lobster. Which should be in about 3 years. So I may never try lobster until it’s too late. I bet lobster tastes better than that stupid gum. And clams.

By now you should be aware that this bag of sugar was made for kids. This is further evidenced by the fact that the rings barely fit onto the second joints of my fingers, never mind the third. It also teaches us that Link doesn’t look good in pink. Red, blue, and green yes, but pink no. Yoshi can come in any colour and seems to be enjoying his orangyness quite well. I think green Yoshi is a bit jealous of orange Yoshi’s happiness. And Link seems to be jealous of both of their decent colour palettes and full bodies. Poor Link is just a bust of himself.

While I’m writing about shoddy Nintendo products, I guess I should mention this GameCube watch. It’s not really that bad, I did get it for free after all. My complaints focus mostly on the extremely easy to press buttons, causing the time to change by itself. If compared to most digital watches of today, it’s got no options, just the time and date. No fancy bells, whistles, or beeps. Then again, the time and date are all you really need. I never need a stopwatch or alarm anyway, so I guess I don’t care.

Now, back on topic, after finding my goods, I went to the dollar store next to the dollar store I had just been in. There I browsed the party favors and found some Groucho masks without the mustache. I had to have them. I’m not sure why I wanted them, they don’t fit, but I wanted them anyway. So that’s me with one of the masks on. Wow… I look nerdier than usual. It would probably have been a good idea not to upload it, but nobody who would judge me reads this site anyway. I guess I’m safe.

So to turn around the theme of the article and show a excellent Nintendo product and add some cool, I’m including another picture of my AGB playing MegaMan Zero. Once again, it’s an awesome game and if you have an AGB, you owe it to yourself to get it. Really. Or you could just wait a few months and get MegaMan Zero 2. Or you could not wait and import RockMan Zero 2 if you don’t care about knowing what to do or can read Japanese. In any case, it’s one of the best games I’ve played in a long time. Well, that’s about that for that.

So now you know what I was blabbering on about in that one news update. Ummmm… this whole conclusion part is the toughest thing to write. I guess I could mention that I have plenty of gum left if anybody wants to try some. I’m more than willing to let go of a piece or eight. That’s all I have to say for today. I have no more ideas about what to review, so I don’t know when the next article will be. Maybe I’ll finish that MegaMan article sometime within the week.

When Soup Attacks!!

I made soup for lunch today.

If my webcam hadn’t been so downstairs at the time, I would have made an article out of it. It sounds like a bad idea, but it was quite the ordeal getting it done. I guess I’ll just sum it up for you.

Ryan decides to have soup for lunch. He proceeds to get the box, it says “4 pouches, 16 bowls” so it looks like he’s going to be eating a lot of soup. He reads the instructions “Mix contents into boiling water”. Ryan looks at the oven and says to himself “How do you work this thing?” After much trial, error, and burning, Ryan gets the water and soup onto an element. He starts to mix the block of “soup” and the water turns all murky. Now unaware of what is going on beneath the surface, Ryan continues to whisk away. After a while, Ryan notices that the water level is rising at an alarming rate! He reads the second and final step of the package “Lower temperature and put lid on pot”. sound easy enough, but at this point the water is almost at the top of the pot. Ryan slams the lid down and lowers the temperature. The lid buckles as the water pushes it up and slops over the sides. Ryan holds the lid with all his might until the pressure dies down. After about 5 minutes, he lifts the lid to look inside and is scorched by escaping steam. He then turns off the oven and removes the pot to let it cool off. Some time later, he takes the lid off and pours the contents into a large bowl. When grabbing it, he realizes that the liquid is quite hot and that it has made the bowl quite hot as well. After thoroughly dousing his hands in ice water, Ryan takes the bowl downstairs and hopes that it tastes good, because he’s gonna be eating 4 bowls of it.

Quite the adventure, no? Well, that’s all I really wanted to say for today, so I’ll do a real update later this week. ~Ryan out.

The Easter Egg-stravaganza (2003)

Today is that seemingly holy day of chocolate – Easter. I know it’s got some kind of religious meaning, but most people just associate it with chocolate and rabbits instead of Jesus. And you wonder why the world is going to Hell? The sucky part is that the damn non-Christians get to benefit from it too. I’m mostly pissed off at the Atheists though. They deserve nothing. Make them go to school or work. Stop leeching off those who have beliefs!

Enough about that. Today I will present a comprehensive review of all of the candy and other assorted crap I got on Easter morning. Yes, by now I should have grown out of it, but hey, why should I give up a perfectly good opportunity to get a load of free candy and junk? Besides, I’ve only got one year left that I can profit from holidays to this extent, so I’ve decided to milk it for all that I can.

Now we all know that there are upsides and downsides to everything. The great things about Easter are no doubt the candy, chocolate, and the family get-togethers. Also, I have a good excuse to use girly colours for my backgrounds. The downside is that this is one of the two times of the year that they throw church at you from every angle. Not that I really have anything against going to church, it’s just when I have to go several times a week that it starts to get to me. And on a totally unrelated topic, I finally got that haircut I’ve been wanting for so long.

Now onto the candy! We’ll start with a more obscure piece of milky chocolate goodness. This is one of the things that I got that didn’t really stand out among the rest, but still provoked many questions. What is this mystery chocolate? That’s exactly what it is – mystery chocolate. Now normally I don’t like to eat anything I can’t identify with either my expertise or the help of a handy label. Just take a look at it.

The Magical Mystey Chocolate

Willy Wonka’s got nothin’ on this mofo. Seriously… it’s just a blue foil wrapper. This (badly wrapped) oily ovalish odyssey was just begging to be opened. Maybe not. After all, the wrapper was starting to fall off by itself. So I figured if I didn’t get to the bottom of this thing first, it might get to me. So I picked it up, and the wrapper more or less came off, leaving the next layer sitting upon the table. It only get stranger from here folks.

Two chocolates in one? That's unheard of!

This baby was a strange one alright. Look at it! White and dark chocolate! Maybe it’s a sign. Maybe it’s telling us that chocolate isn’t as racist as we thought it might be. Whatever the case, I picked it up to examine it further. Upon doing that, I discovered that it was a hollow egg. Only, there were things inside. Things. They rattled around maniacally, waiting to jump out and kill me. So I took the next logical step. I split the bastard in two.

Smarties ahoy!

So maybe it wasn’t evil. So maybe it wasn’t plotting to eat my eyes. But it could have been. And I took that chance anyways just to give you a decent article. You should be thankful and send me more mystery chocolate. Preferably none with razor blades though. Poison is OK, but I’ve got a big enough razor blade collection already. Looking back on how much I’ve written, I probably could have gotten a decent article out of just this egg. Oh well, it’s too late now.

Our next subject is one of the most beloved candy icons in the world. To my knowledge, they only come around at Easter time, and that’s when the people gorge themselves on the puffy delights. Personally, I don’t like them that much, but the rest of the world can’t be wrong, can they? By now you should have an idea of what I’m talking about. Yes, it’s the cutest marshmallow out there next to Kirby… the Peeps.


Peeps. What makes them so loved by everyone? Is it the cute little eyes? The cute little beaks? Or do people really get a kick out of eating something that vaguely resembles a little baby chick? That must be it. Stupid voraphiles. As you can probably tell from the photo, my teeth already had their way with three of the sugary yellow chicks, leaving only two. They weren’t happy about having to share the fame, but that’s the way it goes when you’re Siamese conjoined twins. In fact, they were so unhappy being stuck together that I had to perform a little unnecessary surgery…

and let there be two!

So they lived happily ever after… in my colon. Well that about sums up the marshmallow content of my goods, let’s move to the next.

Chocloate rabbits. Who'd have think it?

These are another chocolatey Easter menu item that voraphiles could really enjoy. Caramilk Bunnies. These little wonders aren’t quite as popular as the Peeps, but they do have their own commercial running, and that’s gotta count for something. While normal Caramilk bars seem to have some kind of mystery surrounding them, their rabbity counterparts have a much easier and fun way to get the caramel in. Just take a look…

Those dirty bunnies!

I suppose that the term “F***ing like rabbits” refers to any type of rabbits. Even tiny chocolate ones. Note how the other two are content just watching the love bunnies get it on. They had better not caramel all over the tablecloth. Maybe that was a bit dirtier than most of my other work, but it’s only gonna go downhill from here, so don’t be surprised if i stop censoring the big curse words somewhere down the line.

Now we have a couple other egg-shaped chocolate bar spin-offs. Note how both have the exact same rabbit picture on them. Thank God for continuity. On the right is a Reese Egg. It sounds exactly like what it is. It’s basically a Reese Peanut Butter Cup in the shape of an egg. Let me tell you, the PBC’s shape is part of why it tastes so good. This one just isn’t the same caliber as a normal PBC. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but it does taste different.

Easter-themed chocolate bars

On the left in the yellow packaging is an Oh Henry! Egg. I’ve never been too partial to Oh Henry! bars, and this one is no better. It tastes the exact same, only it’s smaller, and it looks even more like a lump of dog feces. I’d take a picture of it, but I took all the pics before I started writing and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna re-bust out the cam. I still haven’t put that Mystery Chocolate anywhere near my mouth.

The creme de la creme of Easter

This big boy is the mainstay of any Easter goody basket. If a kid gets one thing for Easter, this is probably what that one thing will be. After all, Easter would be nothing, I repeat nothing, without a solid pound slab of chocolate vaguely shaped as a rabbit. The only thing that can top this is one of those huge hollow characters. My littlest bro got a big hollow Spider-Man. Needless to say, the rest of us were rather jealous.

Attack of the giant bunny!

Unknown to me, while my back was turned to save the pic, the big bunny broke out of his wrapper and started straight toward the other animal-shaped chocolate. None of them realized what was heading their way, but luckily I caught the heinous hare before he was able to trample the smaller, cuter candy. That and I couldn’t find any red food colouring to make it look like the Peeps were mutilated by the big guy.

We’re nearing the end of my candy smorgasbord, and I saved the best (or worst?) feature item for last. This one is even weirder than the Mystery Chocolate. It makes little to no sense, and it’s almost Christmas-themed to boot. Behold the power of the mighty Hershey Kisses Game!

What can it do? What can't it do?

Look at it in all it’s glory. I can’t figure out for the life of me who isn’t going to simply rip it open and eat all the Kisses. Yes, we all play with our food, but only when we’re making the rules. Nobody in their right mind would play a board game with candy. They’d lose all their pieces by the second roll of the dice. Then again… maybe that’s the point.

I haven’t opened it yet, but my bro opened his, and we were in for quite the shock. All the Kisses had silver, red, and green wrappers. See? It’s Christmas-themed. Despite the fact that the box suggests no particular holiday, you can tell by the colors that they intended it for Christmas. In all likelihood, Hershey just had a lot of leftover red and green foil and were too damned lazy to make Easter colors for their “game”. And it’s not an all-year round thing either. I’ve never seen it out of Easter season.

The rest of the loot

This concludes my winnings this year. I really didn’t want to look at all of these other things individually, so I just took a picture of all the little stuff and focused on the big things. Maybe you could consider the Kinder Surprise, Creme Eggs, and Mini Eggs big things, but like Hershey, I’m just too damn lazy to do all that extra work. Especially after I’ve eaten all that crap. I’m gonna be doing a lot of crapping over the next couple days. The ironic part is that the Oh Henry! Egg won’t look any different than what it looked like before I ate it.

Oh, I guess I should also mention that my parents always get us a little something else just for the sake of they’re such good people. This year I got something a bit more expensive than the usual CD, but it’ll also keep me occupied for some time. Check it out.

Golden Sun: The Lost Age

And that sums up this year’s Easter candy. If I’m still interested in this site by the time next year rolls around, maybe I’ll do another article like this. And that’ll be the last Easter where I will receive any candy, because after that I won’t be a kid anymore. Oh well. Life goes on with or without a mountain of chocolate.

On a side note, this little expose marks my 10th article! when I started I never thought I’d be interested long enough to get even this far, but it looks like I’ve done it. Maybe some day it’ll be a real site that real people visit. Next milestone is 50, so I’ve still got a long road ahead of me. Until next time.