Archive for the ‘beginnings’ Category

Cow Tales, Part Two

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Round-up: The long-awaited Cow Tales post is here. I think even the Cow Tales that I have been carrying in my desk from Texas to New York City for the last two years were sick of waiting. I know I was. Regardless, here is a quick wrap-up of Cow Tales’ facts. Cow Tales come in four flavors: Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate and Caramel Apple. A Cow Tale is a long piece of flavored caramel filled with cream. Cow Tales are usually available close to the check-out counter of your local mini-mart or bodega for 25¢. Read on for why you should add Cow Tales to your convenience store shopping sprees.

Cow Tales Logo

Cow Tales Logo

History: Goetze Candy Company introduced Cow Tales in 1984. Cow Tales are a more ‘fun’ version of Goetze best-selling Caramel Creams. Goetze Candy Company began production in 1895 in Baltimore, MD as the Baltimore Chewing Gum Company and the first Caramel Creams were introduced in 1918.


  • Cow Tales were nominated for ‘Product of the Year’ in 1993
  • Cow Tales used to come in Banana and Peanut Butter Flavors
  • Cow Tales are completely nut-free
  • Caramel Creams are sometimes called ‘Bull’s Eyes,’ is that the origin of Cow Tales?

Competition: There are few products available that can directly compete with Cow Tales or their parents, Caramel Creams.

Nutritional Information:

  • Net Weight: 28g
  • Calories: 110
  • Total Fat: 3g
  • Sugar: 11g


Taste Test:

Purchased for 25¢ in South Carolina.

Purchased for 25¢ in South Carolina.

  • StrawberriCream:

Taster 1 (me): ‘Tasty, but it is hard to separate the original taste from the hardness.’*
Taster 2 (roommate): ‘It tastes like a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar. It tastes like its old. It would have been good if it was soft.’

  • Caramel Apple:

Taster 1: ‘The filling is too cinnamon-y.’
Taster 2: ‘Tastes like a caramel apple. More like the original, except with jelly filling’

  • Chocolate

Taster 1: ‘Smokey, dark chocolate flavor. Intense’
Taster 2: ‘Good flavor but I am not that much of a chocolate person. The inside is good, the outside tastes kind of like tree bark.’

*Tester 2 complained of a sore jaw afterwards.

Return of dime.oftheweek

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

This return of dime.oftheweek has a simple cause.

In trying to upload an image to be the logo for my fantasy football team this year (and this post is going to contain that logo), I thought of that dusty old online filing cabinet that is dime.oftheweek. Yet after reading through all of the posts (very easy to do, amiright?), I realized that at one time, I had actually been publishing useful, or at least mildly interesting, thoughts and recommendations.

Perhaps this is what happens when you read an old diary and take it up again. And I am sure that this post will create some of the same hope in you, dear reader, that I labeled so disappointing in this inaugural version of my dime store thoughts. Regardless, as I begin many new stages in my life, I would love for all of you to come along for ride (including myself). Please leave encouragement in the comments section.

An homage to my neighborhood Shake Shack

An homage to my neighborhood Shake Shack

An homage to Community's Darkest Timeline

An homage to Community's Darkest Timeline

Playoff Face/Off

Playoff Face/Off

Ready to Ride for the Barborassas!

Ready to Ride for the Barborassas!

Dirk is happy.

Dirk is happy.


Reese's World Pieces

Grumpy Cat Latos Logo

Grumpy Cat Latos Logo

The Living Daylights

Too Many Cooks

Parrot Island Logo

Parrot Island Logo

Agatha Christie

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Second on my list of favorite dime store authors is Agatha Christie.  She is a genius of the mystery, usually murder most foul.  While I got an early start on reading Louis L’Amour, I started reading Agatha Christie novels in high school.  This delay was probably due to a few factors, not the least of which was that they were my older sister’s favorite books so I thought they were girly.  In high school, after I had burned through all of my ‘Louis’ (twice, at least), I was so desperate that I picked up some ‘Agathas’ from my dad’s library.  They were instant favorites.

Most Agathas include a mysterious murder and a cluster of suspects for the reader to choose from.  Like all good formulas, every Agatha is different enough to tantalize the brain buds.  Another important factor of is that Christie was British as they come (appealing to the Anglophile* in all of us).  Christie also created two of the more memorable detectives in mystey fiction, Miss Jane Marple and Monsuir Hercule Poirot.  Both are eccentrics who are easy to love.  Still, the best part of every Agatha is the solution.

Of course, the attentive reader has an opportunity to solve the crimes.  All the characters are gathered.  All of the evidence has been presented.  Usually, I am so excited that I do not even stop to figure out the cases, but when I do, I have noticed some simple trends.  The guilty always seem to be easily dismissed and sufficiently minor to be the obvious choice, and yet, I have never solved a mystery.  Some of my favorites include The ABC Murders, Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None, and At Bertram’s Hotel.  Expect features on these and others in the near future.

* Correction:  This post originally said ‘appeals to the anglophobe in all of us’

Candy Saturday

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

When I was younger, Saturday was a good day.  Twice a month, my dad would take me and my siblings, with our allowance clutched in our dirty little fists, to the convenient store to spend our money on as much candy as we could get for a dollar (or two, if we had been saving properly).

In that vein, this weekly Saturday post is going to focus on a type of delicious candy that is available for less than a dollar.  Candy is unique, because it is still relatively cheap (perhaps it has even lost value from the ‘dime-store’ era: according to my trusty inflation calcuator, $.10 in 1930 is $1.23 today).  We can only hope that it will remain cheap forever.

Look for tasty treats like Skor bars or Cowtails or Now-and-Laters in the coming weeks.  Suggestions are always welcome in the comments, just limit them to items that are available for less than $1 at most convenient stores.

Louis L’Amour

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

The first posts on Art Wednesday (any creative ideas for a different, more exciting name can be submitted through the comments) are going to deal with some of my favorite authors of ‘dime-store’ fiction.  My favorites dime-store genres are mystery, science fiction, spy and western (bonus points to people who can guess an upcoming author, use the comments).  Today, I will start with Louis L’Amour.

If someone totaled up all of the time I have spent reading, Louis L’Amour’s books would easily be at the top of the list (as long as you did not count the internets, then it would be  I have been reading Louis L’Amour since I was no taller than the wheels on a buckboard (hmmm, considering my late growth spurt, that is not a very definite time span. let us go with since first grade).  If you think it is an indictment  of L’Amour’s writing that I have been reading and understanding it since I was a wee first-grader, know first, that I was a precocious youngster and second, these are dime-store westerns here, not literature.

My dad put me on the track to reading Louis L’Amour, just like he was introduced to him by his father.  We used to comb the flea-markets in South Carolina for another battered copy of Sackett’s Land, for only a quarter.  Ever since, I have loved to read his simple stories about the West.  As my brother and I have often joked, his ‘frontier stories’ seem to use a formula, albeit a good one (perhaps on par with the Pythagorean Theorum?).  I can burn through one of Louis’s books in a night, and I often have.

Most of Louis’s books deal with life in the West.  One of his favorite lines was that it was a place where men went to find themselves.  I have always felt that his stories are like a perfect daydream for a little kid who wants to be a cowboy.  As many of you know, I fancy myself a cowboy, a pansy cowboys, but a cowboy nonetheless.

Another sweet feature of a ‘Louis,’ as I affectionately call them, is that many of his short stories have been dramatized.  These cassettes were constant companions on many Thomas family roadies. From our trip from California to North Carolina or our summer ventures to Colorado, nearly every trip featured classics like ‘Rain on the Mountain Fork,’ ‘McQueen of the Tumbling K,’ and ‘Bowdrie Follows a Cold Trail.’  Look for more detailed Art Wednesdays that focus on specific ‘Louis’ in the future.