What the Shit, Pop-Tarts… Are You Trying to Kill Me?

Howdy, folks! I write to you from my secret bunker on the second floor of an apartment in Wilmington, on the coast of North Carolina, where a bunch of rain is falling. Hurricane/Tropical Storm Idalia approaches.

Real Pop-Tarts flavors. Strawberry sans frosting, Cherry with frosting, Blueberry with frosting.

It’s kind of 50-50 at the moment whether one should evacuate or hunker down. Either way, I’m stocking up on nonperishable food that requires neither refrigeration nor heat should the power go out or if I need to toss it in the car and bolt for my life. I got PBJ, Cheez-its, and Pop-Tarts.

To save space in case of evacuation, I am taking these things out of their boxes but keeping them in their protective/identifying bags/envelopes.

PBJ and bread, remain in their efficient containers. All good. Also, I packed some utensils just in case.

Cheez-Its… sorry, Cheez-It crackers… Good to go. The bags are not labeled, but they are translucent enough for an expert such as myself to tell the Hot-n-Spicy ones from the Cheddar Cheese Grooves variants.

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts… oh, Pop-Tarts. What the actual shit, Kellogg’s?

Different types of Pop-Tarts are clearly marked on the box at the grocery store. There are like 37 different “flavors” available at any given time, and I put “flavors” in quotes because some of these are NOT flavors. At least not ones that are canon in my realm of toaster pastries.

bad pop tarts flavors
Apple Jacks? Banana Bread? Brown Sugar Cinnamon? Cookies & Creme? What frresh Hell is this?

Banana Bread? Watermelon? Chocolate Sundae? Bubble Gum? Look at this clown show! What the hell is this shit?

Now here’s the problem… In my haste to prepare for this impending weather event, I dumped all my boxes of Pop-Tarts out on the counter to put the foil-wrapped twin packs in the bag, and…

Pop tart foil packages
Which flavor is which? I have no idea!

Again, WHAT THE ACTUAL SHIT, KELLOGG’S? There is no way to distinguish one foil pack of Pop-Tarts from another by flavor. They all have the SAME EXACT GRAPHICS! And there is no expiration date on those foil packs.

“But Ron,” you might ask reasonably, “Do those things reallly need an expiration date?

No. They’re like Twinkies. They last forever.

Pop tarts foil pack
No markings. No flavors. No expiration dates.



So why didn’t I think to mark them? I dunno… WHY THE HELL DIDN’T KELLOGG’S THINK TO MARK THEM?

I am not a multi-billion dollar food and merchandising conglomerate. I am just some guy who wants to survive a weather event. Stop trying to kill me.

Oh, and Twinkies. Easy to identify, and they last forever.

Ron Ruelle’s new book “Anchovies & Ice Cream” is available now at http://www.ronruelle.com/ronbooks.html.

I Proudly Wear the Cone of Shame

Yes, I’m fine.

Please stop asking me if I am fine.

Also, please stop staring. I can feel your eyes burn through me even when you’re behind me.

Y’know, I have been wearing this protective cone around my neck long enough that I don’t notice it when I look in the mirror. It’s only when you ask, “hey, what’s up with the doggie cone?” or shout, “look at that guy with the cone on his neck!” that I once again become aware that it’s there.

I deserve some privacy and respect. When I posted on social media “Tragic news! I have to wear this cone for the next few months,” the response was mixed. Some folks offered thoughts and/or prayers, some asked what had happened. Excuse me, but this is a private matter. How dare you respond to my public post with questions about the reason? And while your thoughts and/or prayers are lovely, I could really use some money. How come no one responds, “With respect for your pain and need for privacy, if you need cash, please DM me.”

But, seriously, why do I wear it, you might ask? Maybe I had surgery. Maybe I bite my fingernails too much. Or other nails. Maybe I just taste delicious, like minty, and can’t help myself. It’s none of your business. I don’t know why I feel compelled to reach 600 words explaining/not explaining this.

And who said it’s a burden, despite my initial post announcing the cone-wearing as a tragic and sad thing? Do you know how much popcorn I can dump into this thing and just munch away during a movie on Netflix? I’m working on a system to seal the bottom so I can fill it with margaritas or martinis. It could potentially hold a pitcher’s worth. (So far, dismembering a pool noodle and applying a lot of duct tape shows the most promise for a tight seal.)

Also, I’m starting to think I look kind of cool like this. Maybe I’m a trendsetter. Why am I wearing a protective cone? Why are you NOT wearing one?

My cat looks at me funny because she is conflicted. She is sympathetic, having worn one for a while years ago, but also snickering at how ridiculous I look. Cats are sweet and evil at the same time. Thanks, Schroedinger.

So please respect my privacy. Also, click and like and subscribe to this post and share it online. But respect my privacy and give me my space. Another also, I’m thinking about selling advertising on the cone, so if you know any interested parties, hit me up in the DMs!

Ron Ruelle’s new book “Anchovies & Ice Cream” is available now at http://www.ronruelle.com/ronbooks.html.

Overheard at Wendy’s, Wednesday, 12:32 PM, Boulder Colorado (If You Were There to Overhear Me)

Scene: Wendy’s, Wednesday, 12:32 PM, Boulder Colorado

Customer (AKA me, AAKA the Handsome Man), approaching counter with a partially wrapped burger minus a single bite removed from it: Excuse me…

Minimally Compensated Employee Behind Counter: Hello… Is there a problem with your order?

CAMAHM: Why yes, there is. For you see, my Junior Bacon Cheeseburger is missing a key ingredient.

MCEBC: I am truly sorry to hear that. Is it missing the cheese?

CAMAHM: No, there’s plenty of cheese, thank you. Nope, you can see the cheese.

MCEBC: Perhaps the letuce? Or the tomatoes?

CAMAHM: No, no, something more integral to the concept of “Junior Bacon Cheeseburger.”

MCEBC: The very burger itself! You’re missing the patty! Oh, dear!

CAMAHM: No, the patty appears to be there, minus a single bite of discovery.

MCEBC: Whew! You wouldn’t believe how often that happens here. Glad to hear the patty is there.

CAMAHM: Guess again?

MCEBC: Well, I can clearly see the bun.

CAMAHM: There is in fact, a bun. No dispute there. It’s something else. Something important. Think hard.

MCEBC: Is it the cheese?


MCEBC: We determined it’s not the burger patty, right?


MCEBC: What bacon?


MCEBC: Oh, I see where the confusion lies. You were expecting bacon.


MCEBC: Yes, but this is a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. The removal of the bacon is what makes it “Junior Bacon Cheeseburger.” Otherwise, it’s kind of “big” and not at all “junior.”

CAMAHM: What am I missing here? 

MCEBC: Well, not the bacon. I think I made it clear that due to its intentional removal, there isn’t supposed to be bacon, therefore, it’s not “missing.”

CAMAHM: That’s absurd. 

MCEBC: I agree. Rather than removing the bacon, I think they shouldn’t put it on there in the first place. Put the bacon on, then remove it… Ugh. Way more efficient if you just skip that step. Plus, if you put it on and then forget to remove it, folks end up with bacon on their burgers, and that would be weird.

CAMAHM: Umm… look, okay… sorry for the misinterpretation… Can you just please give just me a couple slices of roasted pig flesh and I’ll be on my way? I’ll even pay for it.

MCEBC: We can’t sell bacon a la carte. There’s no button on the register for that. Besides, you already have pig-based meat on your sandwich.

CAMAHM: I see only beef. 

MCEBC: Right. Beef. As in “Hamburger.” As in “made from pigs.”

CAMAHM: It’s beef. 

MCEBC: Right. What part of “hamburger” don’t you understand?

CAMAHM: The part where they call it “ham” despite being beef?

MCEBC: Well, same thing. Only in this case, the “not including bacon” burger is called the “Junior Bacon” burger.

CAMAHM: That’s a dumb name. 

MCEBC: So is “hamburger.” Oh wait, no, it’s ham in burger form. It’s a perfect name. Look, if you wanted not-pig, you should have ordered a Junior Bacon Beefburger. 

CAMAHM: Would that have included bacon?

MCEBC: Yes, but not cheese. No cheese in the name. See, no confusion at all. 

CAMAHM: Fine, can I please get a Junior Bacon Beefburger?

MCEBC: No. There’s no such thing on the menu. Where did you even get that idea?

CAMAHM: So how do I get a beef patty, bacon, and cheese all on one burger?

MCEBC: Order the Spicy Ranch Chicken Wrap.

CAMAHM: Why would they call it that?

MCEBC: Dunno. Because it sure doesn’t have spicy ranch sauce on it. Or chicken, obviously. And it’s really more of a flatbread.

CAMAHM: I don’t care what it doesn’t have! 

MCEBC: And yet you’re complaining about your burger not having bacon.

CAMAHM: FINE! Just give me a bun. With Bacon. And Cheese. And some sort of patty. Chicken, beef, horsemeat, I don’t care! 

MCEBC: I’m afraid I can’t do that.

CAMAHM: Why not?

MCEBC (mumbling): We’re out of horsemeat.


MCEBC (mumbling): Shhhhh…. Please, keep your voice down.

CAMAHM: WHY!?!?!?!

MCEBC (mumbling): We don’t want people to know we’re out of horsemeat. That’s what makes the ham in the burger really sing.

CAMAHM: People… actually… want horsemeat… in their burgers?

MCEBC: You mean people don’t not want to not have horsemeat in their burgers?


MCEBC: That would be cruel to cows.

CAMAHM: I thought you said hamburger was made from pigs!

MCEBC: And horses. Cheese is made from cows. But whatever. One Senior Bacon Cheeseburger coming up.

CAMAHM: You know what I really want? A refund.

MCEBC: Sure. You want fries with that?

Goodbye to Some of My “Friends”

trump bibleI said goodbye to some old friends in the past few days.

By “friends” I mean they were friends on Facebook. And by “said goodbye,” I mean I just hit the “unfriend” button and moved on. No explanation needed, although in the unfriending process, the explanation becomes invisible anyway.

I only joined Facebook reluctantly several years ago, when my high school graduating class was planning a reunion. By joining, I was instantly reconnected with a lot of folks from my past. Some were dear friends I hadn’t talked to in years. Some were people I barely knew, but that was cool. Many reminded me of why I had moved on with my life and not looked back much in the first place.

As it turns out, I didn’t even go to that reunion. I haven’t been back to my home town in over ten years, in fact. Hmmm.

It seems that after looking at their posts and seeing their photos and arguing over things both petty and important, I saw the need to begin culling some of them from the list. It’s a wonder more of them didn’t unfriend me first. I can be somewhat… abrasive, I’ll admit. But in getting to know them again, it became obvious… They had changed. I had changed, too. After while, I hate to say it, it became too much work to hang onto what was left of the strings that once tied us together. It’s nothing personal. But I have things I need to do and so do they. It’s okay to move on.

On the other hand, some of them turned out be kindred spirits in ways I never would have imagined, and I came to regret not knowing them better along the way. That’s been fun.

The election of 2008 happened just before I jumped on the Faceblogs. But by the time the election of 2012 rolled around, it brought irreconcilable differences to light. Major friendship test right there. And yet, I stayed friends with a lot of people who voted differently from me, who believed differently from me, because at least they weren’t gloating tools about it.

Sadly, the election of 2016 was the last straw. After eight years of putting up with the unrelenting barbs against what I believed in, I did some final fine tuning. I unfriended a lot of folks during the primaries for both parties (and several dispatched with me as well). And as election day approached, I could not believe what some of these folks were posting (and vice versa, I’m sure). The day after the election was sheer carnage. But today, as the orange one was officially sworn in, I could not take it any more. I thought the purge was complete from both ends. I tried to stay off the Faceblogs. And yet… there were arguments. There were people telling me to get over it, people telling me to ignore all that animosity towards the last president, people telling me to suck it up and be nice.

Nope, sorry, that’s too big a fence to mend at the moment. Might even be a border wall, if you think about it.

I can have respectful conversations with people if that respect goes both ways. But more and more, that’s not been the case. (And again, I must reiterate, I have become less tolerant of those who are not tolerant of my tolerances. Sorry.) If I ever see some of these folks again in the real world, maybe we’ll sit down and talk. Maybe we’ll laugh at old times. We can still be friends in real life. But I don’t want to be friends with your online persona. I don’t want to see your unresearched memes or your links to parts of the web that make my skin crawl.

Just because we have a history doesn’t mean we need to have a present. Or a future. It’s nothing personal. Maybe we’ll be friends again. Or at least “friends.” Dunno. (“Shrug” emoticon.)

This is where I get off. This is where I leave you. You know how to reach me, but do you know how to reach out to me?

Cheer Up! Lots of People Didn’t Die in 2016 !

dumpster fireEveryone keeps referring to 2016 as the dumpster fire that never quit burning. It seemed like every few days someone who made a brilliant mark on this world died. But it wasn’t all bad… here are some folks who didn’t die in 2016 . (I waited until 12:01 AM, January 1 to post it just to make sure no one on the list died at the last minute.)

james stewart
James Stewart

catwoman joker
Cesar Romero and Eartha Kitt

bob denver
Bob Denver (Little Buddy!)

Abraham Lincoln
Abe Lincoln

helen keller
Helen Keller

This inflatable dinosaur and friends

kurt cobain
Kurt Cobain

lemmy motorhead
Lemmy from Møtørhead

ronald reaganRonald Reagan

ray nitschke
Ray Nitschke

styx albums
That Guy from Styx (No, that other guy)

charles schulz
Charles Schulz

matchbox flying bug
The Guy driving this car

jon lovitz
Jon Lovitz

Paul Newman
Paul Newman

nighthawks edward hopperJames Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart and that guy behind the counter in that famous painting.

Doesn’t that make you feel better?

This is a test of the Ron Blogcasting System

No, seriously, this is just an experimental post to see if this is working. Just testing to make sure links work, too. This is a test of the Ron Blogcasting System

Love that costume! Oh, good, the captions work!

Random thoughts I borrowed from somethere to test how well this works… Some ad wants me to enter my last name to discover its origin. It’s “Cockroach.” It’s a giant disgusting bug. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed of it. It’s just who I am. Oh, and I crawled all over your waffle iron last night. Hope you washed it before you made breakfast. Actaully, I am kind of proud.

I watched a lot of sports on TV this weekend. Such wonderful displays of physicality and athleticism. There was some good sportsmaniciousness and effortation as well. I felt a sense of excitementalotomy while witnessing the competitionosity.

Great. Now that “Starbucks’ December holiday festival of no particular denomination” have leaked, we can now speculate on whether the War on Christmas has begun. By the way, I hope they don’t really leak. That would be messy.

Thanks for not reading this post.

Hello world! This Post is Just Garbage .

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

Amazingly, the above test sample they start you with has almost no SEO appeal, and that’s bad. But I’m afraid to erase it in case it’s the linchpin of the entire site, so I will just edit it.

ocd cookies
I want to test the caption and alt text functions, so please enjoy these cookies whose boxes sort of line up but don’t, which is either clever or annoying.

You’re still reading this? This post is just garbage , might as well be Greeking. Let’s test that.

Bacon ipsum dolor amet short loin porchetta tongue, ribeye biltong pork chop pork beef picanha doner bresaola alcatra. Corned beef tongue bresaola biltong meatloaf sirloin picanha tenderloin shank pancetta leberkas cupim turkey strip steak filet mignon. Venison jerky chuck brisket tongue pancetta ground round pork loin beef burgdoggen. Shankle corned beef spare ribs, landjaeger brisket cupim turkey alcatra pork loin doner strip steak leberkas kielbasa pig pork. Ham t-bone corned beef boudin beef ribs chicken. Short ribs pig tongue frankfurter bresaola chuck meatball jerky tri-tip t-bone spare ribs.

Apparently there’s a baconizer on WordPress that is adding bacon related terms to my Greeking. Neat! You know what else is good? Beer. From cans.

beer cans

Chicken tongue brisket, jerky tri-tip pork loin ham drumstick spare ribs hamburger ball tip flank jowl pork belly. Shoulder drumstick pork chop, chuck burgdoggen pastrami boudin beef ribs hamburger porchetta. Pancetta shoulder pork meatloaf jerky pork chop. Beef filet mignon ham hock strip steak sirloin doner shankle biltong.

And there’s chicken, too! I am not making this up. In fact, there is a chicken in my kitchen right now.

chicken in house

Turducken ground round pork belly leberkas. Shoulder landjaeger tenderloin alcatra filet mignon kielbasa cupim, salami beef ribs. Venison jerky short loin rump. Tail bacon alcatra rump, ball tip tongue sausage fatback doner landjaeger venison. Meatloaf porchetta hamburger, tri-tip bacon meatball kielbasa pancetta kevin filet mignon.

Wow, Turducken? Mindblowing.

Anyway, Welcome to the Ron Ruelle Blogcasting System. I will share this space with My friends Rex Silo and Darby Cockroach, who are not affiliated with me, but are giving me money exchange for the prestige of being on this site.