Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Must Be Italian

"Frah-Gee-Lay. It must be Italian!" Mr. Parker says with excitement.

"I think that says fragile honey." Mrs. Parker corrects him.

It is the excitement that is my favorite part about that scene from the movie the Christmas Story. It really didn't matter what was in the crate it was the fact Mr. Parker won something and he was so excited to open it. That and the fact that he uses a crowbar to open a wooden crate marked "fragile."

I received a box the other day with the gold lettering Tassimo printed against a black background. "Taah-seem-oh." I said with excitement. "It must be Italian."

I knew what it was. I opened the box (no crowbar required) and found a smaller box that looked like this.

That is a Tassimo- single serve home brewing station. The people at Bosch (actually their marketing company) sent me the machine to try it out. I love coffee. I am not a coffee connoisseur(Con-nus-sore...must be French) but I think that coffee is only as good as the brand of coffee or only as good as the brewer. I have tried the Keurig Station, Mr. Coffee Single Serve and the Flavia Station. I cannot tell the difference in the quality of cup of coffee from station to station but I will say that the Tassimo makes a great cup of joe every time.

The major difference I have noticed in the Tassimo is the smaller individual coffee disks the machine uses. The Keurig coffee is brewed from individual cup like things where the Tassimo actually uses disks that are half the size. I like this from a storage standpoint as well as an environmentally (En-viron-ment-ally. Must be Hippy) friendly standpoint. Another great aspect of the the Tassimo machine is that with the right disks it can make Hot Chocolate, Tea and it made a really delicious Espresso/Cappuccino (cap-a-chee-no. Must be Italian).
The people at the Tassimo/Bosch have offered to give away one of these machines to one of the readers of Poop and Boogies. In order to be entered to win please leave me a comment on this blog with a line from your favorite Christmas or Holiday movie. Please make sure you leave me a valid email address or way to contact you. There is no guarantee that they will ship the Tassimo single serve brew station in time for Christmas but I think it would be a great way to start the new year with a resolution to drink a cup of delicious coffee every day for 2011. If you do not want to leave a comment here you can email me at Batmeaks at verizon.net with your movie line. One person will be chosen at random to receive the Tassimo machine. Entries must be submitted by Midnight Sunday 12-19-2010.

*Disclaimer. Tassimo sent me the Single serve coffee maker at no cost to me. All opinions are my own and I was not paid by the manufacturer or any of it's affiliates for a positive review.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I don’t know how it is for girls, but when changing the diaper on a little boy as soon as the diaper comes off they immediately reach for their penis. I know this is a habit which will stay with them for the rest of their lives. When you are dealing with a toddler who needs a diaper change some times the pecker-grab-reflex (medical abbreviation is PGR) means they are also grabbing what was in the diaper (You know the whole reason they needed a change in the first place), especially if it is an explosive diaper. I don’t know how many times I have had to wipe poop off of my kid’s hands while I was trying to change them because of the PGR.

I have three boys and I have to admit that the PGR is most strong in Jackson. The older two boys, the just did a basic package inspection. They grabbed it, jiggled it, and made sure it was all there and then moved on. Jackson on the other hand is still trying to guess what is inside. He grabs, squeezes, shakes it like it is a Christmas package, twists it and rolls it through his fingers before he gives up. That’s, if he gives up. Sometimes I have to pry his fingers off of it. Now can you imagine if he grabbed poop with the same technique?

One of the tricks I learned to prevent the PGR mess is to give the boy a toy or keys or something to play with to distract them from grabbing themselves. Sometimes I just give them the container of wipes or another diaper to play with while I assess the damage. I call this distraction a decoy, an artificial bird if you will. Sometimes though, the PGR impulse is too strong and the next thing you know you are soaking your car keys in bleach because they ended up in covered in last night’s corn on the cob.

Since we have switched to Huggies Little Mover brand of diapers I have noticed that the mess in the diapers is better contained. The poop does not seem to ride up as much onto the area most desired by the PGR. However the other day Jackson had quite a blowout and he needed immediate attention. I gave him the box of wipes as I usually do but I realized I was going to need many many wipes to clean up the mess so I had to switch the decoy. I took my sunglasses off my head and dangled them over Jackson’s face. I felt like Indiana Jones switching the bag of sand for the golden idol. I made the mistake of grabbing the wipes from Jackson’s left hand before Jackson took the glasses with his right. Sure enough his empty hand PGR-ed. His other hand grabbed my glasses.

His hand which was firmly grabbing his sack was covered in liquid poop. I worked quickly to contain the situation, wiping feverishly to clean up his hand before he could tighten his grip. My glasses distracted him and he then put both his hand on the glasses so I could finish the clean up. I put a new Huggie Little Mover on him and let him go.

I gathered the dirty diaper and wipes and disposed of them before returning for my sunglasses which were now lying on the floor. I put the sunglasses back on my head. A minute later I could not shake the smell of the dirty diaper. I washed and washed my hands again. I could still smell the diaper. 30 minutes later I realized I had poop in my hair. I must have missed wiping his hand, which then grabbed my glasses which then covered them in poop, which then ended up in my hair. I should have used a different decoy.

I was a guy with poop on his head. There is a term for that but I can’t think of it right now…

Do you have a bad diaper changing experience? Leave me a comment and tell me about it. I will select one commenter to receive 5 packs of Huggies diapers. I will also be picking one random person to win a brand new diaper bag. If you don't have a need for diapers, no big deal, leave me a comment and if you win you can send the diapers to a diaper bank. See the link below for details. I will announce the winner some time this weekened (6-28-10). You must leave a valid way for me to contact you to be considered to win.


Did you know that 1 of 3 moms in the US have a difficult time affording diapers? I did'nt either. Please go to Huggies Every Little Bottom website and see if you can help.

Disclosure- I have partnered with Huggies Little Movers and their Ambassador program. I will be receiving compensation, product for my personal use as well as any reimbursement for reasonable expenses relating to the Ambassador program. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards Huggies products.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Confidence from the Bay City Rollers.

The Bay City Rollers are kind of responsible for building my confidence.

When I played Little League in the late 70s there were four levels. Tee-ball was for 8 years olds. The Minors was the next level after that for 9 year olds and was the first year of pitching. Intermediate was the next level of mostly 10 year olds. The Majors was the last level that was played for two years before a kid could move on to the teenage league.

I played Tee-ball. I played in the Minors. The year I was supposed to play in the Intermediates I told my dad I did not want to play. He sighed. I think it was a sigh of relief. I was not a very good athlete. I was somewhat of the spastic kid who, as my dad always said, ran like I was "dragging a piano". The real reason I did not want to play was that Little League games were Saturday mornings and that conflicted with Saturday morning cartoons like the Challenge of the Superfriends, Captain Caveman and shows like Bigfoot and Wildboy and Kroft Super Hour featuring the Bay City Rollers.

A week into the start of the baseball season I told my dad I changed my mind and that I really wanted to play. He sighed again. He said he would make some phone calls to the league officials and other coaches but he could not promise anything.

Looking back I can only imagine those phone calls.

Skip: Hi Joe. this is Skip. One of my boys decided he wanted to play this year. I know it is a little late but I was hoping..
Joe: Skip, one of your boys? Hell I would take any one of your boys. They are good athletes. I coached two of them last year. Your oldest three all got drafted into the Majors as 10 years olds. Sure I would love to have one of your kids. Which one?
Skip: Billy.
Joe: Uhm, Billy? Uhm. Did you say Billy? Isn't he the one that played on Verdekal's team last year? Didn't you make him the catcher on your Tee-Ball team so he would always be wearing a helmet? Skip I just realized I have a full roster and I am really sorryIgottagonowtalktoyousoonbye. Click.

After several phone calls my dad finally placed me on a team. The only catch was that I would have to replay at the Minor League level. I would not play with my friends and classmates. My dad told me that if I said yes, I was not allowed to quit. I said yes.

That year, because I was older than the other kids, was the year I was not afraid of the ball. That year, because I was older, was the year I learned to hit. That year, since I already knew the fundamentals, I played second base and short stop, because I knew where to throw the ball. That year was the year that made me want to play the next few years. That year was the year that I found confidence in myself as an athlete.

So by me wanting to watch the Bay City Rollers on Saturday mornings, somehow, I was able to be held back a year in baseball that made me less awkward as an athlete. That line right there is something I doubt you will ever read or hear again, from anybody.


It is funny that I wrote about Baseball, because in chapter 5 of the Iggy and his Wiggy bed story over at the GoodNites website, Iggy decides to go to a Baseball game. GoodNites is great website that has all kinds of advice about bedtime and bed wetting. They are holding a contest there (only a few days left to enter) where you could write the next chapters of Iggy's adventure. My kids love the adventures of Iggy and I really would like you to check out their website.

GoodNites is offering the readers of Poop and Boogies a chance to win a gift bag that is worth $175. The gift bag includes an Ipod, a cuddle blanket, an Itunes gift card and a tote bag. I have one more I can give away. For a chance to win the gift bag please leave me a comment telling me what was your favorite Saturday Morning Cartoon. UPDATE-CONTEST IS OVER. I will announce the final winner later this week.

The winner from the last post was Tori Spelling Says.

Disclaimer--I have partnered with GoodNites® Sleep Pants for the Bedtime Theater program. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes developing the Iggy’s Next Adventure story, sharing the program information with my readers, tweeting my blog entry and judging the Iggy’s Next Adventure contest entries. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards the GoodNites® products.”

Monday, March 22, 2010

Marketing Super Heroes and Sausage

There has been some debate in various blogging circles about the approach marketers and advertisers take in working with bloggers. Many bloggers, some more than others, write/complain/mock on a regular basis about how they can't stand when and how marketers will write them asking them to pitch certain products. As much as I understand the frustration of spam and spam like pitches I for one actually welcome the opportunity. Blogging is not my job. I consider it a hobby. A hobby with benefits (hey now). See the ads from BlogHer on the right. I make a little bit of money from those ads.

I get emails from marketers all the time asking me review a product or write about some service or what have you that doesn't really fit the scope and feel of this blog. I don't get mad or annoyed. I thank the sender of the pitch with quick email telling them I am not interested but if another opportunity comes along to works well with the content of my blog then please keep me in mind. I have probably only said "yes" to maybe 10% of the marketing pitches I have received. That is not a lot. I say no because, well, I don't think throwing all kinds of product endorsements and what not is fair to the people that read here on a regular basis.

However every now and then an email pitch comes along that is just too good to pass up. It is emailed to me almost as if the person who works for the marketing company reads my blog and knows me personally. This week I got two that were too good to pass up.

I have written in the past about how I dig sausage Here Here Here Here. Hell, my very first post on P&B, my test post if you will, was about Kielbasa. I have often said if I was ever stranded on an Island the one food I would bring would be sausage.

When I received an email form Hillshire Farms asking me to "try" their Beef Smoked Sausage to review, how could I say no? Here is the funny thing, I put the quotes around the word try because we get Hillshire Farm products all the time. I do not need to review it. Hillshire is one of the best out there when it comes to Brats and links. They sent me a free packages of their smoked sausage and one of their Kielbasa, a cook book with some pretty impressive looking recipes and an apron that says "Go meat." The best part was that it was delivered on Lauren's birthday, so, that's right, she got sausage for her birthday present (hey now). We tried this recipe and even though I do not like spinach I do like sausage and cheese. The meal was very good and the leftovers made a great lunch. Also I love that Hillshire Farm's website is Go Meat.

Hillshire Farms wants to offer one of P&B readers a chance to win a free Sausage a month for a year. The winner will receive 12 coupons, each for one free product. A years worth of sausage. To enter leave me a comment telling me what one food you would want to have if you were stranded on an island (Dharma Initiative foods are not an answer). I will pick one winner at random.

But wait, there is more (I sound like Ron Popeil).

The other day I received an email from a woman with Hachette Book Group offering me a chance to give away some Iron Man Books (Junior Novel and easy reader books) for kids. Seriously, these marketing people must stalk me or something. They must know that my son Wyatt dresses up as Iron Man every day. They have to know that I am a recovering comic book addict , that our house is filled with super heroes and that I compare blogging to comic books.

Anyway the seven books (listed here) are all based around the new Iron Man 2 Movie coming out this May. I was introduced to Iron Man in either the late 70s or early 80's in the comic book the Avengers. I still remember my first issue of the Avengers. If you would like a chance to win the Iron Man Super Hero Super Giveaway book collection (I have three I can give away so that is three winners) please leave me comment trying to guess what was the issue number of my first Avengers comic (comic books have issue numbers starting with #1 and each month is a new issue). The three guesses that are closest to the actual issue number will win the 7 Iron Man books. Once a number is guessed it cannot be used again so be aware of the guesses in the comments.

You can leave a comment for a chance to try and win both the sausage and the Iron Man books but you need to tell me your Island Food and the issue number. Winners must live in the Continental US (or Canada for the Books Only). Winner must make it easy for me to contact you (like have a valid blogger account or email address or just, you know, make it easy). Also The publisher cannot send the books to a p.o. box. I will stop taking entries on Sunday 3-21-10 at 11PM.--

Friday, January 22, 2010

Meal Planning

My wife Lauren kind of made a new years resolution to be more organized, which, by some strange rules of marriage, means that I too , somehow, made the same resolution, which by some strange rule means I now have to clean up after myself and put things away "where they belong, not where you think they go."

One of the ways I wanted to try and reign in the chaos was to become more organized with how we do our food shopping. Planning meals and making accurate shopping lists, not only would our day to day lives easier but we could also save money by budgeting and only making one trip to the grocery store.

When we lived in Florida I made an Excel spreadsheet based on the contents of each aisle of the Publix super market where we shopped. It took some time to do but it was worth it. When I made our shopping list I sorted the items on the list by aisle number, shopping was never so easy. I never had to back track in the store because I forgot to get peanut butter and pass the snack aisle again and accidentally put 2 barrels of cheese balls into the cart. I shopped efficiently which saved time and money. Since moving back to PA I have yet to make a list like that.

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Edelman who were doing some work with Kraft Foods. They wanted to know if I would interested in reviewing Kraft's new APP for the BlackBerry, Kraft Food iFood Assistant. Their website said the APP had a built in shopping list function which I thought would be perfect for me. Downloading the APP to my BlackBerry was free and Kraft offered to send me an AMEX gift card to "try the APP". Here is a disclaimer: I have been compensated by Kraft Foods to cover the cost of groceries to try out recipes and features on their iFood Assistant Lite 2.0 and to conduct a reader giveaway. My opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to post positive sentiments Kraft Foods or their mobile device offerings.

After receiving the AMEX gift card Lauren and I decided to try Kraft's 1 Bag 5 Dinners feature on their website. I clicked on the various menu buttons, adding the ingredients to my shopping list which would be accessible from my BlackBerry. I also printed the list and recipes from their website as backup. Lauren and I thought the whole experiment in planning our weekly meals would be fun and how cool that our first try would be on Kraft's dime. Lauren and I also put together our regular food shopping list for the week and we headed to the Giant Food Super Store.

Once in the store I tried to open the iFood application on my BlackBerry. It would not open. There was no decent signal. I then remembered that I can never get a decent signal in any large box store, ever. I kept trying and trying to load the APP but it would not work. I tried by the deli, nothing. I tried in the bakery, nothing. I tried in dairy, meat and seasonal sections and still nothing. It was very frustrating. It was good thing that I printed the list. We filled our cart with the Kraft ingredients as well as other items we would need and proceeded to the check out.

The check out clerk gave us our total. I swiped the AMEX gift card to compensate for the Kraft purchases. The card did not work. I swiped it again, nothing. There was that awkward moment where the clerk kind of rolled her eyes and looked at me like I was an idiot that did not know how to swipe a card. I told her it was a an AMEX gift card so maybe that was the problem. Which she then confirmed that it was a problem. Giant Food Stores does not accept American Express. I did the whole credit card shuffle in my wallet and presented my bank card to pay for our food.

Our fun experiment was becoming annoying.

Sorry, this post just became a Dennis Story (a Dennis Story is any story that goes on too long named after my brother Dennis who does not know how to tell a short story).

Anyway, the actual recipes that we tried for the week, the whole 1 bag 5 meals, were all really really good. Each recipe for the week included using Kraft Lite Zesty Italian Dressing which really added a great flavor to each meal. One of the meals we used the dressing, instead of oil or butter, to saute onions, which I thought was a great idea. The APP itself is a great way to get recipes although I prefer just using their website. The practicality of the APP, being on a mobile device is not really, well, practical in my opinion. The shopping list feature, which to me is the one thing you would need the mobility of the APP for, could use major improvements. I do plan to use the Kraft website more often in the future for their recipes as well as their meal planning tips. They have a section Prep-and-Freeze which looks cool and useful.

As part of the deal for me trying their iFood Assistant, Kraft gave me two $50. gift card to give away to readers. So for a chance to win a $50 gift card we are going to play Price is Right. In the comments the two people who guess the total dollar amount Lauren and I spent at the Giant on our shopping trip (closest to the amount without going over) will receive one of the gift cards. Only one guess per person and I will not accept duplicate amounts so please read other peoples guesses. LEAVE COMMENTS ON THE MAIN POOP AND BOOGIES PAGE. NOT HERE ON THE REVIEW SITE. Gift Cards are only valid in the US and maybe Canada. As a hint we spent over 40 but under 100 bucks. Remember the total is not just the Kraft items but our whole shopping trip. I will stop take guesses on Sunday 1/24/2010 at midnight. If you do not have a Blogger account (or a way for me to contact you) leave a comment but also email me at batmeaks at verizon dot net.

I will contact the winners on Monday.