Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Oh, holy cow!  Ricë Freeman-Zachary (Notes from the Voodoo Cafe), one of my all-time favorite artist/bloggers, has posted about an outrageous thing that happened to her and her husband in the West Texas town of Midland, where they have lived all their adult lives.

I don't usually post directly about another blogger's post, but this one is important.   Ricë is such a creative writer that all her blog posts are incredibly interesting (she writes professionally for several big-name art and fiber-art magazines).  When she posts a "rant", we all run to read it ... don't miss this one.

It will most likely make you see red.  It is not fiber-art related.  If you don't like to read "rants", please take the opportunity to read her other posts, which ARE fiber and art related, and which are always intelligent, informative, and often very funny.  You won't want to miss her fabulous writing.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Iced Coffee and Hoarding ... a Rant.

I was so happy to find this wonderful iced coffee mix at The Dreaded Walmart.  It's quick and easy, it's delicious, and it's zero-fat and low calorie!  When you mix it with milk, as the directions state, the resulting iced coffee is 110 calories.  But I discovered that I liked it even better when mixed with plain water ... for a cleaner taste and a grand total of 20 calories per 8-oz. glass!

It comes in other flavors too ... French Vanilla is my favorite.
Now, why am I creating a whole big blog-post about an iced coffee mix?  Because it's NO LONGER AVAILABLE at Walmart or anywhere else!

Oh, there are other iced coffee mixes, all right ... Maxwell House, for instance, at a higher price, higher calorie-and carb-count, and less flavor.  Why Walmart would discontinue carrying the superior product, when every time I went to buy it, it was nearly sold out, is not really a mystery.  I have accosted the food manager at my local store, and the answer is always the same ... "we don't control purchasing, the orders come from on-high".

In other words, it doesn't matter that the product was more popular in this particular store ... someone at the head office took an average count from some anonymous numbers, and picked Maxwell House as the winner. Why there can't be a choice for customers is something I'm getting used to in San Antonio, Texas, the home of  "you live here now, you don't have a lot of choices ... get used to it".

For instance, HEB several years ago ran all the other grocery stores out of town (Randall's, Krogers, Safeway) by severely undercutting their prices; then once they folded, raised their prices right back up again.  There are literally no other supermarket choices in San Antonio (the ONE and only thing I hate about this town!)

So, back to the North Sea Iced Coffee Mix (which I discovered, by the way, was formerly known as Frappe' Creme Iced Coffee Drink Mix).  I looked and searched and combed the internet for more sources of this wonderful product.  I finally tracked down the parent company (not easy) ... Sturm Foods ... and begged to be able to buy directly (in bulk) from them.  No such luck.  I received a very nice response to my request, which stated that Walmart is no longer carrying their product, and that it is currently no longer being carried in any other store.  And that they can't sell to individuals.

I guess I wouldn't be so bent out of shape about this if it didn't seem to be the norm instead of the exception.  Favorite lipstick color?  Not made anymore.  Best diet soda?  Discontinued.  The only hand cream that works on my super-dry skin?  No longer available.

My paternal grandfather ("Papaw") was what some might call a hoarder.  You would never have known it, because he was very neat and tidy, and everything was stacked neatly behind cabinet doors.  But when he found a product he liked, he bought mass quantities of it, because he never wanted to run out.  He blamed his hoarding on The Great Depression.  I blame mine on The Dreaded Walmart.