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Dec 12, 2018

So you want to brew your own beer?

by Darrin Vindiola


I've been Homebrewing beer since 1998 and absolutely love it.  I do remember having a few concerns before I brewed my first batch, so I wrote this article for those who may be toying with the idea of getting into this great hobby.

Is it hard to do?
Not at all.  Different methods require more time and different processes, but beginner kits for the novice brewer are so easy to use it's not even funny.

Does it cost a lot of Money to Homebrew?
It's very affordable to brew your own beer at home.  Depending on what kind of system you use to brew your beer, the cost per bottle can be around 50 cents!  Like any hobby, the initial investment in your Homebrew kit is where you will spend the most money, but it pays for itself very quickly.

How much will it cost me to get into Homebrewing?
A beginner Homebrew kit will cost under $50.00, and I recommend this MR. BEER kit that I've linked below.  


I always recommend anyone new to the hobby to buy one of these kits, as they are incredibly easy to use, and have everything you need to brew two batches of beer.  If you find Homebrewing is not your thing, you are only out a minimal amount of money, and you get two batches of beer out of the deal.  They also make excellent gifts for any beer lover.

How long does it take to brew beer?
The simplest methods will take under an hour for you to make the beer, about one week for it to ferment, and two to three weeks to age once it's bottled.

So I bought the beginner kit and LOVE Homebrewing.  What next?
While the beginner kits are a fun way to break into the hobby, you learn pretty quick that you are very limited as to what you can do, and how much beer you can produce in one session.  If you're like me and love to tweak recipes and share your creations with friends and family, you definitely want to upgrade your brew kit.

This kit below From Northern Brewer, allows you to brew 5 gallons of beer, which equals roughly 50 bottles of ale!  It includes absolutely everything you need to do so, minus two cases of empty glass beer bottles.



I hope this article cleared up any questions you may have on breaking into this great hobby.  Homebrewing truly is a passion of mine, so if you have any other questions on anything I may have not covered here, don't hesitate to ask me anything in the comment section below.




Dec 11, 2018

Johnsonvile Brat fan for life

by Darrin Vindiola


I remember the summer I ate my very first Johnsonville Brat.  I was staying at my cousin's house for the weekend, and we were watching television one morning when we saw the following commercial..


'Charlie Murphy's cooking Johnsonville Brats'


We both snickered at the commercial and questioned why anyone would care that 'Charlie Murphy' was cooking something called a 'Johnsonville Brat'.  My Uncle walked by and asked if I had ever eaten a Brat, and I answered "No".   He then said "Well Bratwurst are great, and Johnsonville Brats are the best".  

Much to my surprise, he came back home in the late afternoon after running some errands, and brought back a couple packages of Johnsonville Brats!  As he grilled them up on the patio, I remember noticing how different they looked and smelled from your run of the mill Hot Dog.  I watched them sizzle and pop, as my mouth watered and stomach growled all the while.

When the Brats were finally ready, my Uncle told me to get a bun and served the first one off the grill to me.  As I bit into the Brat, I remember being surprised from the 'snap' it produced.  As for the taste, it opened up a whole new world to me and instantly matured my taste in grilled meat of the 'Link" variety.  That's all it took!  I have been a loyal Johnsonville fan ever since.  I remember the first pack I ever bought with my own money when I first moved into my own place.  Heck, I'm going to be grilling some up this weekend for my family.

Johnsonville also makes their way into my social media accounts.  I'm honored that the company has taken time on several occasions to comment on my Instagram account.   Here's some posts I dug up.. The meals were all masterpieces in their own way, so I of course felt the need to take pictures for posterity.  Here are a few of them..

Bratsgiving 2018


Bratsgiving 2016


Cheddar & Jalapeno Sausages Summer 2017


2015
 Johnsonville Jalapeno & Cheese Sausage Chili Dogs


Bratsgiving 2015
Johnsonville Bacon Wrapped Brats & Sausages



It's going on 39 years since tasting my first Johnsonville Brat, and I've yet to tire of them.  Its clever products like their seasonal Spicy Brats, Bratwurst Burgers, and their new Chile & Roasted Garlic Sausage that help them to stay relevant, and keep 'Bratwurst Fanboys' like myself invested.  I even find myself anxiously perusing their website on a regular basis to see what's new.  Yes, I'm a HUGE fan of Johnsonville.  I always will be, and don't foresee that ever changing.  I grew up on Johnsonville as did my kids, and more than likely so will their kids.  Any way you slice it, that says a lot about the brand. 




Dec 10, 2018

A Barebones Guide to All Grain Homebrewing

by Darrin Vindiola



Back when I lived in Colorado.. smack dab in the heart of  'The Napa Valley of Beer', my Homie Marky Mark and I hosted brew sessions all year round.  On one such occasion, I decided to bring along my video camera and let it record us for the afternoon.  The footage captured, culminated into a very basic explanation of ale brewing, utilizing a popular all grain brewing process practiced amongst many homebrewers.

The video is neither technical or super detailed, but rather.. a four minute overview of the process, along with some of our thoughts on the hobby.  The video is posted below and is viewable in 720p by clicking on the gear next to the YouTube Logo on the control bar.   Watch the beer flow.. accompanied by the flow of Old School Rap Duo EPMD.  Enjoy..



Dec 9, 2018

My swank "Bat Hat"

by Darrin Vindiola


I found this dapper hat you see on the left during one of my recent retro treasure hunts, and it was pretty much an instant buy.  Seeing as how I've had a lifelong obsession with the history of Bat Masterson, it truly is a miracle that I haven't bought a Derby hat before now.


Growing up in Colorado, there was no shortage of Bat Masterson stories told to me by western history buffs, and history class teachers at school.

Bat Masterson was somewhat of a renaissance man, and succinctly an enigma to me as a young boy.  In Masterson's time, he was a gambler, buffalo hunter, fisherman, army scout, sports writer, columnist for the 'New York morning Telegraph', and of course.. U.S. Marshall who helped tame the west.


 Bat Masterson late 1800s

Rich tales about Masterson still abound in Colorado to this very day.  He hung around with the con man 'Soapy Smith' and the 'Soap Gang' in Denver Colorado.  He was a marshal in Trinidad, a sheriff in Pueblo, and roamed the Colorado boom towns of the era.  Every story I ever took in, made this Colorado boy's imagination run wild.  And..  whenever I come across a new tale I haven't yet heard, I feel the same exact way.  Masterson was one of the most feared shooters in the west, drawing his gun from across his body, a cross-draw if you will.. rather than side-draw, which always fascinated me as well.


Gene Barry as Bat Masterson
Bat Masterson TV series 1958-1961


If the myths, stories, and grandiose tales weren't enough to fill my youthful mind, I discovered the Bat Masterson TV series during the early 80s, and it eventually became one of my favorite western series of all time.  The series portrayed Masterson as a tough guy and gentlemen, who only used his six shooter as a last resort.  In fact, he used his cane as a weapon more often than his gun in most episodes.  As a kid I was amazed at how he gracefully wielded it, as if it were an extension of his arm.  He would effortlessly use the gold handled cane to disarm and incapacitate his foes.   I still love the show to this day, and currently have my DVR set up to record episodes whenever they air.

The Hollywood movies of recent years might persuade one to believe that Bat Masterson was a stand out with his Derby hat.  However, when you take a closer look at hats that people of the time period wore, the Derby was immensely popular across all social classes.  It's told that U.S. Marshall's like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp considered most folks wearing large brimmed Cowboy hats to be trouble makers.  I always thought that to be ironic, since Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, and the Sundance Kid all wore Derby's. 

A link to the fabulous Scala Satin lined Derby.
It's the same hat I own, and recently learned it's a bit cheaper on Amazon.


The Derby is definitely a fun and sharp looking hat with a ton of great history behind it.  I'm not sure how often I'll be wearing this latest addition to my hat collection, but I have a sneaking suspicion I will be slipping it into the rotation on an occasional basis.




Dec 2, 2018

A Retro Dad's Guide to Male Grooming

by Darrin Vindiola


This post is an oldie but a goodie that I wrote some time ago.  But I have tweaked it and recycled it recently, because the methods listed herein still hold up today.  I hope these tips serve others as well as they've served me through the years.


Disclaimer: My sincerest apologies to my lovely female readers for the amount of testosterone ridden content which follows..


A male guide to grooming by a 20th century Dad

As many young men, I learned most of what I know about grooming from my old man. In fact.. practically everything grooming wise that I learned from him, I still utilize to this day. In the midst of my grooming regimen yesterday, I decided it's time to impart some of my wisdom upon the young men of generation "Y".

Since many basics of grooming and style seem to have fallen by the wayside, I felt it my duty to share what I know, in order to help young men who may just be getting familiar with daily rituals such as shaving and hygiene. Who knows.. I may even teach a couple of old dogs a trick or two along the way. Some of my methods, techniques, and products I use may be what some consider to be "old school", but hey.. that's how I roll.

No two people are the same. A method or product that works for myself may cause irritation for someone else. Therefore, it's up to you to find what product works best for your skin type, hair type, etc. I'm happy to share exactly what kinds of products I personally use in my grooming regimen, in case you want to check them out for yourself.


HYGIENE

Hygiene transcends all social barriers. I don't care who you are, or what situation you happen to be in, no one wants to be around someone who smells unpleasant.

I'm an old school type of guy, and have used Irish Spring for decades. It's a strong deodorant soap that does the trick, and will tame the toughest of male odors. It works so good however, that I've known people who can't use it because it's too harsh on their skin. Fortunately there's more men's soap and body washes on the market than ever before, making it very easy to find one that's compatible with virtually any skin type. Irish Spring also makes an incredible body wash I occasionally use that smells nothing like their bar soaps.

Something men need to be aware of, is that a single quick lather up is not always enough to get you smelling clean. Most of your body like your legs, chest, back, and arms will do just fine with a quick lather and rinse. The areas of your body that produce the most sweat, get the least amount of air, and stay the least dry are your target areas you want to spend more time on. These odors are more resilient and need special attention, therefore its quite possible that you may need to lather, scrub and rinse yourself completely more than once in these areas. A lather, scrub, and rinse three times in a row, should completely eradicate tough body odor in these areas.


DEODORANT AND ANTIPERSPIRANT
I'm really hoping that every male over the age of 12 knows that using deodorant is absolutely necessary. To maximize effectiveness, and minimize the chance for developing a rash, don't apply deodorant until the area under your arms are completely dry or at least close to it. On this topic however, I don't really feel comfortable recommending any specific type or brand for a few reasons.

There is inconclusive evidence that suggests deodorant products containing aluminum could lead to a higher risk of certain neurological diseases like Alzheimer's. It's also been said that it can be linked to breast cancer as well. Then there's the school of thought that antiperspirants are unhealthy for you, because they are preventing your sweat glands from doing their job. I recommend that people do a little research before choosing a deodorant product. This way, they can make an educated decision they are comfortable with, as well as finding a product that works well for them.

HAIR
For years I never really cared much about the type of shampoo I used. As I got older and my hair started to thin however, I started taking better care of what I still had. I use hairspray and pomade which can really do a number not only your hair, but your scalp as well. In fact, clogging of pores on your scalp can actually cause poor circulation, and can lead to hair loss. It's crucial to find a shampoo that removes any buildup of gunk that may accumulate on your scalp.

I at one time started using Axe Intense De-Glue Shampoo, and love shampoo's such as these. There are actually little rock crystals that will exfoliate your scalp and slowly disintegrate by the time you rinse your hair. The shampoo's are beefy enough to knock out all of the buildup on your scalp, but gentle enough for every day use.

Washing your hair daily can take a toll on your scalp and hair as well. Some people can wash their hair daily and be just fine, while others will start developing a flaky scalp or unhealthy and brittle hair. To avoid this, apply a moisturizer that you can leave in your hair for several minutes after you shampoo. There are also some great shampoos on the market that have moisturizer in them as well.


ORAL HYGIENE
Brushing your teeth and flossing daily are crucial for good oral hygiene. I'm sure there are toothpastes on the market that are superior to others, but the mere act of brushing your teeth and gums and flossing is more important to your dentist than whether you're using Crest or Aquafresh. Plaque and bacteria are two main causes for bad breath. To stave off bad breath, make sure to brush not only your teeth, but your gums and tongue as well. Some people actually scrape their tongue with a tongue scraper to help with fresh breath. Flossing will help to remove pieces of food which bacteria thrive off of and further add to bad breath.

I personally like to finish off by using Listerine mouthwash. I still think the old school original Listerine works the best. I remember using this as a small boy and challenging myself to see how long I could actually keep it in my mouth before having to spit it out. Heck.. who am I kidding? I still do that.. it's a manly thing to do!  Listerine does a great job at killing bacteria that may be lurking about in your mouth, and you won't believe how clean your mouth will feel after using it.

To maintain fresh breath throughout the day, chew sugarless gum. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which will neutralize acids caused by bacteria. My favorite is Extra Spearmint flavored gum. The flavor lasts for hours on end, and it does an excellent job of keeping bad breath at bay. Extra also has gained The American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance, and has been clinically proven to reduce the risk of cavities, strengthen teeth and reduce harmful plaque acids.


SHAVING
There have been some incredible advancements in the world of shaving products, like the Gillette five blade fusion razor that I love so much. Who'd of thought you needed five blades for a clean safe shave? However.. there's much more to getting a close, irritation free shave than just buying a ten dollar razor.


For the most part, I only shave my face in the shower. The hot water and steam from the shower softens your beard and opens up the pores on your face making for an extremely close shave. This coupled with the fact that my bride can no longer complain about stubble being left in the sink makes it a win-win.


SHAVING IN THE SHOWER
Shower and wash your hair, and then shave last. This gives adequate time for the heat and steam from the shower to open your pores and soften your stubble. Make sure to liberally coat your face with hot water from the shower, and then apply a thin coat of shaving cream. The key is to make sure the surface under the shaving cream is wet so the razor can slide easier.


Any shaving cream will do when you're shaving in the shower. I use the same kind of shaving cream that my old man used when I was a kid, a ninety nine cent can of Barbasol. It works just fine as long as my face is nice and wet before applying it.

While you give the shaving cream a minute or so to further soften your beard, take a handheld mirror and liberally cover it with either hand soap or shaving cream. This will serve as wax so the water can bead up and run off of the mirror. Rinsing the mirror under the hot shower water until its clean, will raise the temperature of the glass higher than the air in the bathroom which will keep it from fogging up on you. If you wear glasses, use this same technique on your spectacles so you can see what you're doing. (Always a good idea when there's a razor near your neck).

When shaving, you want your razor to be as clean as possible at all times. After one swipe of the razor, immediately hold it up to the shower head to blast the buildup of stubble and shaving cream from the blades. Shave only in a downward direction with the grain of the stubble. Some people like to shave a second time against the grain, to get as close of a shave as possible. I personally can't do this because I'll tend to get ingrown hairs, irritation, rashes, or all of the above.


POST SHAVING
Shaving is a strenuous process. You're basically dragging a thin razor over your face which not only removes hair, but microscopic and sometimes not so microscopic layers of skin. As soon as you're done shaving, it's a good idea to splash on some aftershave. Aftershave closes your pores and will prevent further irritation. The burn you feel after applying it comes from alcohol that closes your pores, and antiseptic that prevents infection from cuts. I recently began using Old Spice aftershave for the first time in twenty years, and have become quite fond of it.   I don't use the Classic scent that my Old Man used however.  They have a couple of other scents like 'Wolfthorn' and 'Fresh Lime' that are more identifiable with 21st Century Male grooming produc scents.  Regardless, all of their aftershave varieties work extremely well. No shock there, seeing as Old Spice has been on store shelves since 1938 and is still going strong.


The alcohol from aftershave dries out your skin very quickly and there's a reason for that. This drying process actually helps to prevent razor burn. Therefore, it's a good idea to get some moisture back into your skin. I like using Nivea replenishing post shave balm. It cools and hydrates your skin and is neither overpowering or strong smelling.




CUTS & NICKS
If you have a problem with small cuts from nicking pimples etc, you can stop bleeding very quickly by using a styptic pencil. Styptic pencils are usually appropriate for all skin types, and are a must for any man that shaves on a daily basis. A styptic pencil contains Alum, and its antiseptic properties help with razor burn, and helps to stop bleeding. You can find them in the shaving section of any drugstore.


MAN-SCAPING & MISC. MAINTENANCE
Back in the day, practically every male owned a grooming kit. I can't begin to count how many grooming kits I received as gifts from friends, and family over the years. These kits contain things like scissors, fingernail clippers, tweezers, etc. Do yourself a favor and buy one of these, or at the very least assemble one for yourself.





NOSE HAIR
With most of us, and for some sooner than others.. hair will start to grow uncontrollably in places that it didn't used to. Take for instance nose hair. Everyone has it, and for some.. it can grow quite fast. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who had liberal amounts of nose hair protruding from their nose? It looks like little spider legs lashing out at you with every nasal exhale. Unruly nose hair also has the possibility of holding onto "ornaments" if you catch my drift.

Do yourself a favor and make sure you're never that guy. They make nose hair trimmers that are quite affordable these days, but even if you don't want to go that route, a few snips with your grooming scissors right after you shave will help to insure you don't embarrass yourself during the day.

EYEBROWS
The wise old owl look might work for grandpa. Heck.. it may even be endearing or add character, but I think it's safe to say most of us don't have any use for unruly eyebrows. Trimming eyebrows is very easy, and only takes a few seconds to do. Barber shops of years past used to offer this service for free as part of a standard haircut. I used to see my old man perform this service for many of his customers in his own barber shop, which is where I learned how to trim my own.

To trim your eyebrows, take a small brush or comb, and brush your eyebrows straight up. Then, take your grooming scissors and trim all of the brow hair that is sitting above the top of your brow line. If your eyebrows grow slowly, you can ask your barber to do this for you when you go to get your hair cut.

As far as stray eyebrow hairs that may grow farther away from the brows, or even between the brows, simply use your tweezers to pluck them. Tweezing removes the hair root and all, and it will take considerably longer for the hair to grow back. Tweezing hairs from the same spot over and over will eventually keep the hair from coming back at all.


FINGERNAILS
I'm an old fashioned guy who could care less about my cuticles or how shiny my nails are, but they are always clean and presentable. Keep your fingernails clean and free from dirt, and for heaven sake don't trim them with your teeth. This is what fingernail clippers and files are for.  If a fingernail clipper isn't handy, a small Swiss army knife with scissors and a fingernail file can work miracles.

NECK HAIR
Neck hair can take away from a good looking haircut. At the minimum, make sure to take a peek at your neck with a hand held mirror once a week to see if it needs shaved. Stand with your back to the bathroom mirror and use a hand held mirror to see what you're doing. If you find that your neck needs attention, rub in a little shaving cream over the stubble, and with a razor, shave vertically up to the neckline of your hair. You can also use a handheld electric razor to do this.  After years of experience, you will find that you'll be able to shave your neck stubble without even having to look at what you're doing in the mirror. The back of your neck can get quite sensitive if you're not used to shaving it, so make sure to apply some aftershave lotion once you're finished.



FINISHING TOUCHES
So you're squeaky clean, not a hair out of place, and you feel like a million bucks. This is the point where many fellas choose to polish themselves off with a touch of cologne or some other type of scent. The older I get, the less I care for strong smelling colognes and sprays. In fact.. over the last year, I've found myself being drawn more towards unique and subtle scents.

Enter Clubman Talc by Pinaud. This great men's talc has been around since 1810, and you can find it in practically every barber shop in the United States. Now that's some serious staying power! I got turned on to Clubman talc at a very young age, because my old man used to stock it in his barber shop. I remember him liberally dusting the neck of every client with Clubman talc. That talc "dust down" was actually my favorite part of my haircuts when I was a kid.

After drying yourself off with a towel is the best time to apply talc to your body. Talc helps to control moisture as well as dry and itchy skin. Years before deodorant and antiperspirants were developed, talc was used in its place. To this day it still remains popular in geographical areas where humidity is more prevalent. A tiny bit of talc will also tame a shiny face, and hide nicks and blemishes quite well.

Body sprays are all the rage right now, and many guys I know prefer them over colognes. I have nothing against body sprays, but like colognes, they should be used in moderation. It's pretty easy to overdue it with an aerosol body spray, and there is something to be said for subtlety.

In this day and age, many people don't feel proper grooming (or style for that matter) is a priority. Who knows.. maybe some just lack proper knowledge on the topic. You don't have to be stylish and looking in tip top shape every day of the week.. (Lord knows I don't). But at the very least, I personally feel like one should always be clean and presentable. That being said, I hope there were at least a couple of tips you could glean from this.. my Retro Dad's guide to male grooming.



Dec 1, 2018

Old Spice - a distinguished aftershave for the discerning retro Dad

by Darrin Vindiola



Old Spice aftershave is one of those products that has truly stood the test of time.  Old Spice has been around since 1938, which should come as no surprise seeing as it does exactly what it's meant to do, and does so quite efficiently.

Old Spice has done a heck of a job retooling their image over the last few years.  Their line of products are now viewed as hip and cool.. a far cry from just a few years ago when their products were primarily thought of as being primarily used by old guys.


I've tried out some of their new body sprays and shower gels, but now find myself having a soft spot for the classic Old Spice aftershave and cologne.  For years however, I had an aversion to buying it because of the stigma that only old guys only wore it.


 Staples in my arsenal of grooming tools

I've loved the smell of Old Spice ever since I was a young boy and my old man used it.  Once I began shaving in my early teen's, I started splashing on Dad's Old Spice after every shave.  The product served two purposes.  It quickly acted as an astringent keeping my skin irritation free, and provided a subtle and pleasant smelling scent.  My Dad used to say that Old Spice was the best aftershave ever made.  He even used to keep a bottle in his barber shop for the times he'd perform straight razor shaves on his clientele.

Once I hit the age of 15, I abandoned Old Spice and opted for hipper and swankier aftershaves like "Brut".  Shortly thereafter I switched to using non scented aftershave lotion, and would slather on colognes like Obsession or Polo.  It wouldn't be until early 2010 before I bought Old Spice aftershave once again.


A gift any retro dad would be proud to receive

Curious to see what retro male grooming products were still available on the market, I started perusing different drugstore shelves.  I came across Old Spice aftershave, immediately started to reminisce, and snatched up a bottle solely for old times sake.  I fully expected to use it only one time, and then re-purpose the rest for something else like lighter fluid for the charcoal grill.

Much to my surprise however, the aftershave worked way better than anything I had used in recent years.  I was also impressed by the scent.  Mellow, smooth, and of course.. familiar.  I'm sure most  ladies can attest to instances where guys smell like they've showered in AXE or similar products.  Some cat's just don't realize that sometimes less is more.  They douse themselves with their scent of choice so heavily, that you can taste it.  In this day and age of sinus twisting body sprays which linger forever even after the person wearing them has long since left the room, the mild scent of Old Spice is truly refreshing.  Sure you can definitely overdo it, but that's the case with any cologne or aftershave.

As for the old guy stigma attached to Old Spice?  Heck.. I've already embraced my inner "Old Guy" so that's really a non issue for me now.  At a time when I was wondering what reactions I would garner by wearing this retro scent, something happened on two occasions which surprised me.  While I was shopping one day, a gal probably in her early thirties actually expressed to me that she liked the cologne I was wearing.  Also.. while at work, a co-worker said my cologne smelled pretty good, and asked what brand I wore.  It seems that Classic Old Spice has been out of the mainstream for so long, that many Millenials and Generation Z-ers very well might not be familiar with the product.

I will say this however, variety is the Spice of life no pun intended, so I use the classic Scent occasionally.  Old Spice offers other aftershaves that are more familiar to 21st century male grooming products, which I use on a much more regular basis.  All work just as good as the classic scent and real retro bonus.. they are bottled in that same classic looking retro container!  If you're interested, 'Wolfthorn' and 'Fresh Lime' are a couple of other great Old Spice scents you can find out there.

The folks in marketing and advertising for Old Spice have done a superb job of generating interest in their products to a younger generation.  At the same time, they may be missing a niche that other manufacturers have picked up on, which is retro and throwback merchandising.  Many retro toys, clothes, food, and forms of transportation have enjoyed immense success in recent years, so it makes me wonder if Procter and Gamble could spin a retro ad campaign that could reintroduce Classic Old Spice to the masses.

Touting the retro goodness of this product could be just what it needs to reinvigorate the classic line of products.  Whether it's wishful thinking on this retro Dad's part, or a real possibility.. remains to be seen.  Nevertheless, I'll continue to proudly use classic Old Spice on occasion, and sing its praises for years to come.


Nov 24, 2018

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING OREO Package

by Darrin Vindiola


OREOs fascinate me.  I mean.. how could they not?  What's almost equally as fascinating, is the phenomenon of the perpetual shrinking OREO package. It bugs me when I see a "Family Size" package of food that not too long ago was in fact standard sized.  Case in point.. OREOs.  Check it out..


OREO Package of my youth 
(these contained 54 cookies)

On the rare occasion that we would have these in the house as a kid, I remember them lasting all week.  Why is it, that in 2018 my family kills a package in one day?  Oh yeah, the new packages can almost fit in the palm of my hand.



 Modern Day OREO Package
I can pretty much palm the new OREO packages



What The...?
Don't even get me started on how tiny the Limited Edition packs are.



That's more like it!

Now we're cooking with Peanut Oil!  As you can see, OREO packaging has once again come full circle!  However.. the new "family sized" package now costs substantially more than the standard sized packs.  Oh well, what can you do?  Everything from 'Doritos' to my bars of 'Irish Spring' soap have been downsized while their price remains unchanged.  It may irk me, but it hasn't stopped me from buying these products yet.  Yup.. they've got me and they know it.


Now what do we have here?  A Party Size pack that offers 33% more cookies than Family Sized packs.. albeit with a heftier price tag.  I used to go with the family size which still wasn't as big as the 80s packaging, but have now started buying the Party Size for my family of five.  I absolutely love the behemoth Party size package.  With 52 OREOs in the Party size pack, it's almost as big as the original.  At a price point of about $4.50, it's also a pretty fair value in my opinion. 

The only thing left I have to be disappointed about, is the amount of cream that are between the cookies.  Now you have to buy 'MEGA STUF' OREOs to get as much cream that used to be in 'DOUBLE STUF OREOs', and don't even get me started on the quantity of cream in a regular sized OREO!  So in the end, we've taken one step forward.. and one step back.

The cream filling controversy is a discussion for another day, but maybe I should just move on and enjoy the larger packs they are selling now. However.. I just know the whole cream thing is going to keep bugging me.  Don't be surprised if you see a 'Where's the Cream Filling?' post soon.