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Monday, Feb. 12, 2024
Good morning to you!

Admittedly, I don’t do much grocery shopping. I will stop by a store and pick up the basics from time to time, but buying food is not on my top-100 list. It wasn’t always that way, though. When it came time to buy breakfast cereal, this kid was leading his mom to the supermarket.

Lucky Charms. Frosted Flakes. Fruity Pebbles. I never met a breakfast cereal I didn’t like — other than Shredded Wheat. That was awful. But, for the other cereals, what was not to like? Oats, corn, corn starch, corn syrup, dextrose and lots and lots of sugar. Well, of course, there were also ingredients like trisodium phosphate, red 40, yellow 5 and blue 1, but I was a fan mostly because of the sugar.

There was one other attraction, though, and, if I am being honest, it was often the determining factor on which box of cereal I would pick out. It was, of course, the cereal box prizes. Self-adhering tattoos, iron-on patches and stickers of any sort were popular items, but a few others stood out in my childhood years.

Anyone remember Sugar Bear Bike Reflectors that were inside packages of Post Super Sugar Crisp? They were two-sided reflectors in the shape of the Sugar Bear gripping the spokes of my bike. Seemingly, every kid in my neighborhood had these.

How about the Cinnamon Crunch Mini-Binoculars? Cinnamon Crunch was a spin-off cereal of Cap'n Crunch. My teeth hurt just thinking about it, but the mini-binoculars were cool. They didn’t magnify much, but they were fun — for a day or two.

The Honey-Comb Around-A-Corner Viewers were quite clever. These handy toys would allow users to spy around the corner. They were small, plastic periscopes that came in orange, blue or yellow. Spy toys were all the rage in 1973, and these made us kids feel like James Bond.

The Alpha-Bits Terrariums were a hit for little ones with green thumbs, and they actually worked. Depending on the terrarium that was inside your box, you could grow sweet basil, fine curled cress or violet queen alyssum. I didn’t have any idea what those things were then, and I still don’t, but I did enjoy watching them grow.

My all-time favorite, though, was the Pink Panther 5 In 1 Spy Kit. The Post Pink Panther Flakes cereal didn't last long, and I don't even remember what it tasted like, but I sure liked the toy, which had a secret signal whistle, a secret magnifying glass, a secret telescope, a secret message slot and a secret shirt pocket orientation to show if you were on a secret assignment — all in the shape of the always cool Pink Panther.

You could dig in past your elbow in a box of Cocoa Puffs today, and you would be hard-pressed to find toys. Some say they were choking hazards. Others say kids today are more interested in electronics than cheap toys. I say they don’t know what they are missing. Speaking of missing, which of your favorite cereal box prizes did I leave out? Send me a note and let me know.

Have a marvelous Monday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

See Shane Goodman's previous columns here.


Your Clear Mortgage forecast

We’ll stay mild with highs in the neighborhood of 50 through Wednesday. We have slight chances for light, mixed precipitation Wednesday and Thursday. We turn chillier by the weekend.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The results have been tallied and published in the February issue of CITYVIEW and online!


Best Beaverdale Area Restaurant

1. Christopher’s

2. The Dam Pub

3. Motley School Tavern

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.

2901 Shadyoak Drive,  Des Moines, IA 50310

Check out this delightful brick ranch centrally located in the amazing greater Beaverdale area. This well-maintained home with more than 1,500 square feet of finished space features a spacious 2 car attached garage with ample driveway space as well as a warm and inviting front entrance. Inside the home, you'll enjoy the updated flooring and trim throughout, plus the gorgeous hardwood floors in the bedrooms areas.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale

Romance by any other name…

By Jim Duncan

Romance has been defined more ways than there are to ask for a date to the prom. Hollywood and the merchants of St. Valentine brand our young minds with very sentimental trappings — chocolates, flowers, linen table cloths, candlelight and violins.

There is another more expansive definition, sometimes ascribed to James Joyce but usually credited to anonymous: “Romance is that which transports one to another time or place.” We went looking for examples.


Butter chicken has gone to court. Two grandsons of the originators of India’s decadent application for poultry have turned to India's judiciary to settle their dispute over whose grandfather invented the dish. Experts say there is no way the dispute can be settled. Moti Mahal, likely Delhi’s most famous restaurant, was the first place to serve the dish in 1947, mostly to refugees after Partition. Both current plaintiffs had grandfathers who were partners. Who did what when? Taco Bell and Taco John’s gave up their legal war over “Taco Tuesday” rights. Greece still wants non-Greek cheese makers to quit using the name Feta. So do Parma cheese makers with Parmesan. (WSJ)

Athletic recently passed Heineken and Budweiser to become the No. 1 brand of non-alcoholic beer by sales in U.S. grocery stores, according to consulting firm Bump Williams. In fact, at Whole Foods Athletic now sells more than any other beer, including those with alcohol. (WSJ)

Culver's Lenten special "Northwoods Walleye" is back. It's a large fillet of Lake Winnipeg walleye. They will all be gone by Easter. Taco John's flounder tacos are back, too.

Monday's specials at Eastside Eddie's (3517 E. 26th St., Des Moines) are chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy plus homemade chili.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: A look at the 2024 Super Bowl commercials

This year's Super Bowl commercial breaks are featuring companies known for their ads during the big game, such as Budweiser and T-Mobile. Some ads star popular celebrities, while others are invoking consumers' sense of nostalgia by recalling beloved characters from previous shows. Others are debuting new spokespersons for companies many Americans already know. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Des Moines residents found guilty of opening fire at car and seriously injuring 2

DES MOINES, Iowa — Three Des Moines residents were convicted of attempted murder by a jury on Friday for collectively opening fire at a car and seriously injuring two people in March 2022. According to court records, one of the victims visited the home of Robert and Rebecca Lyons in the 3900 block of 11th Street to retrieve stolen property from John Alcorn, who was at their home at the time. One of the victims walked up to the front door and began speaking with Rebecca. During their conversation multiple shots were fired, 48 in total, at each of the victims. Two of the victims were seriously injured in the shooting. ..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Mahomes, Chiefs beat San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl, 25-22

... Mahomes threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman in overtime, and the Chiefs rallied to beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 on Sunday, becoming the NFL's ninth repeat Super Bowl champs.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date: Arsenio Hall, Gucci Mane, Ehud Barak, Zach Grenier, Jim Creeggan, Brett Kavanaugh, Christina Ricci, Chynna Phillips, Jesse Spencer, Jennifer Stone, Josh Brolin, Mike Posner, Judy Blume, George Elliott Clarke, Robert Griffin III, Latrice Royale

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Why didn't the angry farmer divorce his wife when she traded their prize milking cow for a book of poetry? BECAUSE HE MARRIED HER FOR BUTTER OR VERSE! - Lori Bluml, Gail Tomlinson. Or, Because she had milked it for all it was worth, and he was afraid she would throw the book at him in divorce court! - Carolyn Rogers

Today's riddle

Which geometric figure represents a lost parrot?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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