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The defunct house brands of Winn-Dixie

Monday, 19 May, 2014

I am a passionate fan of the Pleasant Family Shopping blog. On the author’s Facebook presence, he posted a photograph of a Kwik Chek supermarket, a division of Winn-Dixie which somehow inspired your correspondent to look into the retired brands of Winn-Dixie. Between 2000 and 2010 Winn-Dixie commenced a period of reorganization, and emerged a much smaller and presumably leaner company. Among their reassessments during this time was the abandoning of several trade names which have much equity with natives of their service areas in the twentieth century which includes your correspondent’s native Louisville, Kentucky.

My most recent visit to a Winn-Dixie store was in 1998. The store was on Highway 6 near Waco, Texas. I stopped by in lieu of fast food for lunch primarily because I had not visited a WD store in four years at that time. The brands mentioned below are all considered abandoned by Trademarkia. I have sought no further confirmation.

Superbrand and Thrifty Maid could be adopted as the bottom two tiers of any retailers house brand offerings. Superbrand could be a cheeky all-purpose generic brand, like Target’s Up & Up or Kroger’s FMV. Thrifty Maid seems a natural for any household products, cleaners, cleaning gear or any kind of packaged food, canned or frozen.

I also like Velva, originally butter. No idea what it could be used for. Toilet tissue? Tires? The name suggests softness, smoothness or relaxation.  It could be used for a brand of mattresses or blankets.

I have mixed feelings about Deep South, Crackin’ Good and Dixie Darling. (at the end peanut butter, prepack cookies & crackers, and prepack baked goods respectively) Superficially, the brands retain equity among people from Winn-Dixie’s core markets but would almost certainly raise suspicions of some kind of white-hegemonic intentions. Cookies & crackers are a concentrating market for reasons which are not clear to me. In this market bad times meant volume sales for established brands, good times meant an expansion of varieties and both are retreating. Prepack baked goods seem to be similarly consolidating around a limited number of brands, with fewer and fewer varieties appearing at my local groceries.

I somehow picture Dixie Darling being reintroduced as a semi-premium brand of baked goods, not unlike Entenmann’s. The image would be based on art and logotypes of the era before 1920, but with a reminder that the New South is inclusionary. In ads and other promotion focusing on a modern multi-lingual, multi-cultural accurately modern South with a reminder of English, Spanish, French Creole, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Korean speakers enjoying the bounty of the South following a noble day’s effort. Dixie Darling could be “the very best of Southern traditions” implying hospitality. That is, instead of avoiding manufactured controversy, tackle it with an accurate contemporary image.

Someone should probably find a context to do that anyway. One of those outfits that recycles old brands could jump on these, and if there has been no interest whatsoever that is tantamount to malpractice.

Stan’s Vegan Pasta Casserole v 3.0

Friday, 16 May, 2014

This is the third variant of this I am posting.

This is based on Soul Vegetarian’s Vegan Mac and Cheese. It is a filling, hearty dish which may be served alone or as a side.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C.

1 qt. or 1 l unadulterated, no sugar or additional flavorings, soy milk Your regional soy-milk company’s product is preferred over the ubiquitous Silk, but get what you can. Fewer ingredients is always better.

1½ cups “vegetable oil”, typically soy, corn, canola or a blend. Any oil with a high smoke point depending upon what’s in the kitchen or how much you are willing to pay.

2-3 Tbsp crushed, grated or granulated garlic or 1½ Tbsp garlic powder (I almost always use powder and add it to the dry ingredients below. It’s just trivial to handle.)

13.25-16 oz whole-wheat macaroni or any other short pasta (a box). If buying bulk get the full pound.

(optional but recommended) 8-10 oz. package of sliced white-button or portabella mushrooms

(more so optional, consider marinating the mushrooms in soy sauce or leftover red wine, but drain well)

Dry ingredients: place these ingredients together in a bowl.

1 Tbsp each dry mustard (“hot Chinese” strongly preferred) , paprika, sea salt, (optional chili powder, chipotle powder, black or white pepper)

1½ Tbsp Cumin

½ Tbsp Ginger

2 cups nutritional yeast

While blending the sauce, prepare your pasta. Eight minute boil, then cooled under a tap or sprayer.

Slop the soy milk into a blender, food processor or into a large bowl and whisk. On medium speed add the oil through the blender or processor lid. If using proper garlic, add now which will mince further and flavor the sauce well.

While still spinning, place a funnel into the top of the appliance and spoon your dry ingredients into the soy and oil. You want a very thorough blend. Let it spin after the dry ingredients are in for an extra minute or two. This mixture will look more orange than you think it should. It will also be bubbly or well aerated. This is ideal.

Place the prepared pasta in an oiled 9×12 pan. Pour in your slurry and distribute well by hand. The first thing you will note is that it just doesn’t seem like enough macaroni. That’s okay.

If using mushrooms, simply pour and distribute over the top.

Optional: Sprinkle with parsley flake, garlic powder, garlic salt or black pepper. Parsley flake is strongly recommended.

This stores well for up to 24 hours refrigerated and uncovered, but is ready to bake immediately. If kept cold, move directly from the ‘fridge to a pre-heated oven.

Turn down the oven to 350 F or 180 C and bake for 1 hour.  After baking it should settle for at least 15 minutes. It will keep warm after baking for up to two hours.

Hamburger Diaries xtra: The In-N-Out Burger Secret Menu

Sunday, 9 March, 2014

So much cyberspace is dedicated to the In-N-Out Burger “secret menu” it could probably be weighed. It may be the case that this entry is not required. This is one mortal’s attempt to delineate every off-menu item available at In-N-Out Burger with explicit names. A very few of these are not known system wide. Your correspondent has emphasized the principle of keeping a menu welcoming and simple within the Hamburger Diaries. You will be forgiven if you presume opposition to a formal off-menu system.

While not imposing to first-time customers, the secret menu is an important part of In-N-Out’s mythology. Whenever In-N-Out does a “pop up” location in a distant land, such as New York, Tokyo or Shanghai one need not ask the most popular item among new customers. Every person in every land has seen enough television or movies originating in Los Angeles to become curious about Double Double animal-style. Read more…

Selecting vape gear for maximum visual impact

Sunday, 2 March, 2014

In the event you are advocating vaping, especially as an alternative to cigarettes, as a public presence or simply wish to be conspicuously vaping in a public place, noticeable gear is essential. The following are recommendations for people in, say, public performance who wish to vape and be seen doing so.

As always, my focus is on cost. This list pulls exclusively from the inventory of the curiously named Fasttech.com. The down side of ordering from any vendor in China if you are in North America is the extremely long shipping times. Anticipate a shipping time of not less than a month. Six weeks between placing the order and its arrival is quite common. However you will part with roughly 20% of the USD for equivalent, sometimes identical, gear from any domestic vendor. Prices listed on Fasttech are retail prices which include shipping anywhere in the world. Fasttech denominates exclusively in US dollars.

The inquiry which prompted this post asked about providing a noticeable pink electronic cigarette or personal vaporizer solution. The links provided will be to pink or fuchsia variations, although other colors including silver and black are typically available. Some discussion will occur about accessories which make all of this stuff work with the rest of your vaping gear.

This purchase will include a “mod” or battery container, tips on selecting batteries, a battery charger, tanks which affix to the mod and the somewhat misnamed “drip tips” or the bit you suck on. Each are selected for a compromise of cost and visual impact. I repeat: The focus of this article is to provide items in the color pink, but other colors are available.

Batteries and the charger are generic, flexible items which are not distinctive to Chinese vendors. Rules exist for the shipping of batteries to external non-commercial destinations from China, and a domestic vendor might have a more favorable price. The style of batteries under consideration are available in versions that shut down under extreme conditions, or are “protected”, and those that do not and depend upon the circuitry of the device to shut down During extreme conditions.

In lieu of a common eGo battery, use a mod. Often these are 150% the size of an eGo battery or more. Correspondingly, these store more energy and need not be charged as often. Items which have integrated batteries are available. The following options all require separate batteries which must be charged outside the device in a device designed for this purpose. Well regarded, popular items in this category include:

  • A clone of The Bolt for $13 which requires a single, protected 18650 battery. It features a 510 connection only. The original article costs $40.
  • A look-alike of the JM22 mod for $13 which requires a single, protected 18650 battery. It features a 510 connection only. The original article is a super-premium hand-built device which costs around $200.
  • An authentic Vamo V2 “advanced personal vaporizer” which requires either a single unprotected 18650, a single unprotected 18500, or single or dual unprotected 18350 batteries. It features an eGo connection with a collar for attractive 510 connections. It costs just over $25, but is a variable voltage and variable wattage device. The V2 includes a resistance meter. It is the lowest priced VV-VW device on the market, but retains reasonable quality. The Vamo line now extends to the V5, three generations newer. Overall utility has not been effected. Later generations are not available in multiple colors. The Vamo V2 typically retails for around $50.
  • An authentic SmokTech SID another VV-VW device which requires a single, unprotected 18650 battery. It features an eGo connection with a collar for attractive 510 connections. $37. The list price of the SID is $49.99.

In the event you purchase an above device which uses only a 510 connection, I very strongly recommend a 510-to-eGo adapter so it is compatible with the rest of your vape gear, especially clearomizers. This adapter is invisible in use.

Purchase batteries of a name brand you recognize, Sanyo, Samsung, Panasonic, &c. Purchase the appropriate protection or lack for the device you intend to power. These batteries are useless without a charger. Your correspondent is no expert in this area. The Nitecore Smart chargers are consistently recommended and sadly not available in novel colors. The link is to the same store, but you may wish to shop around. The use of two 18350 batteries in the Vamo V2 is a recommended configuration by the manufacturer, and is best for extremely long usage, low-ohm or sub-ohm operation.

Yes, Virginia there are pink atomizers. Even collars or “beauty rings” are available in pink to make the most of your vaporizer’s appearance when using a 510 device with an eGo connection. Any of these costs around $10. Units which merely have colored reservoirs are not included as juice typically distorts the color.

  • RG280 uses Protank or Evod heads. Features an eGo connection. Uses a 510-style drip tip. Available in pink and fuchsia. This is a glassomizer. The reservoir is glass and not plastic.
  • RG500 is a variation on the RG280 with a larger juice reservoir. Features a 510-connection instead.
  • K2 bottom-coil uses Evod heads. Features a 510 connection. Uses a 510-style drip tip.
  • Vivi Nova in pink and fuchsia. Uses Vivi Nova heads. Features a 510 connection. Uses a 510-style drip tip.
  • Evod. Uses Evod heads. Features an eGo connection.
  • Innokin iClear 16B is a variation on the now classic starter clearomizer which is available with a pink-and-white metal sleeve called Petals, and a solid pink sleeve. Features an eGo connection. Uses a CE4 drip tip. An adapter is available to allow the iClear 16 series use 510 drip tips.

Be certain to pick up a supply of heads or wicks for your new atomizer. Remember, you may need beauty rings to use these with your mundane eGo batteries. A conventionally chromed atomizer would work well in this application, but those are common.

You have the right battery. You have the right tank. You may even have a beauty ring connecting the two in just the right color. Now the drip tips. Because this is so subjective I shall merely link these by shade. A very few of these are for the Kanger T2 and are not the 510 type.

The bent aluminum, two-inch high models would stand out especially.

If I were shopping for you, you would get The Bolt, because you don’t have to mess with it, and an RG500 simply for the size. This configuration would be topped with a 70 mm or 2 and 3/4 inch long drip tip. That’s $25 for the e-cig and budget another $25 for batteries and charger. Step up to the Vamo V2 for a total of $62.

How I do the vape, an advisory guide

Friday, 28 February, 2014

I have been called upon to describe my method for acquiring vapor supplies. In person this has not proved successful. Cartridge-based systems will not be discussed. The starter kits available at the big-box stores are cartridge-based systems and are, largely a mere gateway to “hobbyist” vaping, the subject of the guide. If you are starting out, skip the purchase of a big-box store vaping kit and go directly to the hobbyist-level gear.

The essential bits of an electronic cigarette are

A battery:

  • Sometimes a “mod” which is a flashlight battery or two within a case. Many batteries are available which allow the user to adjust voltage or wattage with the objective of effecting the flavor and vapor temperature.
  •  The most common batteries are stand-alone eGo batteries; eGo being a trade name for a specific battery connection. After the eGo, a 510 is quite popular and is the default connection on a “mod”, although eGo-compliant mods are common. The eGo is an evolution of the 510 connection, and 510 devices connect readily to eGo batteries and mods.
  • You may use a “passthrough” in place of a stand-alone battery which allows you to plug into the wall or a USB outlet. A few batteries are available which allow you to use them, while plugged in, as a passthrough.

An atomizer to utilize the battery’s electricity to make the juice into vapor. Among these you find:

  • Simple atomizers whose use is sufficiently advanced it reaches beyond the scope of this guide. Different types of atomizers are available which function with electronic-cigarette components for the use of dry material, especially botanical matter, which is also beyond the scope of this guide.
  • Cartomizers which have a modest reservoir of juice ( .25 ml to 1 ml) stored within wicking material, and are often used with “tanks” which wrap the cartomizer to extend usage. This style of juice vaporization is popular and common.
  • Clearomizers which are the atomizer and a reservoir in a solitary, readily removable unit. This unit includes a wick, sometimes “coil head” which is immersed in juice and eventually wears out. The word tank is occasionally used to refer to large (<2.0 ml) clearomizers. In smaller less expert-driven brick-and-mortar shops any device which sits on a battery and makes vapor is a tank. Glassomisers are clearomisers, typically larger capacity ones, with reservoirs made of Pyrex glass and are substantially more expensive but resistant to higher acidity juices.

Starting out you will almost certainly be handed an eGo-style battery and a clearomizer. Rebuildable atomizers, conventional cartomizers, and cartomizer tanks are beyond the scope of this guide.

As the Kanger T2 and its clones appear to be phasing out, your options for starting out are Vivi Nova, CE4 which includes the Innokin iClear 16 and iClear 30 although the wicks are different among these, and Evod among “clearos”. If you are purchasing a starter kit, take what they give you. These three are so functionally similar one need not worry too much about it. The Vivi Nova is a 510 connection and typically your setup will be supplied with a “beauty ring” or collar to complete the eGo connection. Each of these is distinct and uses distinct service parts. If you are starting from scratch, be sure to buy a packet of replacement wicks and know which wicks your device uses.

Invariably you will start with a humble eGo battery, ideally two. These may be charged ca. 400 times and need not be empty before charging. They use a similar, although less dense, kind of battery system as found in mobile phones. eGo batteries are available as variable voltage models and, although more expensive, these should not be explicitly avoided.

An electronic cigarette requires servicing. Batteries must be charged through a wall wart or USB connection. Wicks or coil heads, the terms are interchangeable, must be occasionally replaced. You will find dozens of videos on Youtube with explicit instructions on maintaining your electronic cigarette. Some folks occasionally rinse their clearos and such in vodka or similar alcohol solution. This is optional.

When driving an extended distance, the preferred method is to insert a USB converter into the outlet on your vehicle we once called a cigarette lighter. Connect this, through the USB cable, to a fully-charged battery designed to be used as a passthrough. Atop your battery mount a particularly large clearomizer which is full. Do not even think of attempting to fill a clearomizer or similar device while the vehicle is in motion. The USB connection and disconnection should be made while the vehicle is parked and switched off. Between major metropolitan areas vape juice may not be available. You should carry your own supply. Never, ever, not ever so much as consider charging an unprotected battery, such as an eGo with an automobile electrical connection. The unstable electrical supply can and has caused explosions within operating cars.

I acquire my service parts, accessories and batteries from the internet. Largely from Fasttech.com. They have far and away the best prices on this kind of thing. All of my four surviving clearos, and my two surviving batteries come from Fasttech. As I type more are on the way. The local brick-and-mortar store is very convenient. An iClear 16 at that shop is nine dollars, but three dollars on Fasttech. Wicks and such are similar. When buying higher-end items, such as mods, variable devices and so forth it is worth the trouble to look elsewhere. Although Fasttech may have the best price this should not be assumed. Fasttech takes between three and six weeks to deliver items to North American addresses from their warehouses in China.

I spend roughly $38 per month and am a very heavy user, although nothing compared to how much nicotine I consumed while smoking.

All of my juice comes from two vendors. I do not bother with exotic, high-end vape juice. The two vendors I adore are Minnesota’s Vista Vapors and Washington state’s Mt. Baker Vapor. I have placed a few orders with both and they are never more than five days away. Their prices on juice are the best around, as this is their specialty which they do in very high volumes. The selection of flavors is nothing less than intimidating. However, for the most part these juices need to steep, or just sit around with the cap off ideally in a darkened place, for about a month. This is also true of some of the allegedly nicer vape juice I have conveniently purchased just up the street. Their juices are roughly one-third the price per ml than established brands like Johnson Creek, and a quarter of what you pay for custom mixing at the B&M. These shops have very consistent sales, and I tend to stock up at those times. Six 50 ml bottles can run $50-$60 even on sale, but this is roughly equivalent to 18 cartons of cigarettes.

My only nicer items are an Innokin iClear30S dual-coil, high-volume clearomizer and an Innokin iTazte VV 3.0 variable-wattage, passthrough battery. If I run out of anything, I can always run up the street but I tend to keep an eye on it. I remain a big fan of the Innokin iClear16. My present flavor inventory includes black currant, butterscotch, cinnamon roll, clove, coffee, cream tea, dk-tab a classic tobacco vape, dulce de leche, green tea, “professor pepper”, “red cream soda”, root beer, RY4 an evolution of the original e-cig flavor essentially caramel and vanilla with a hint of capsicum, my favorite teaberry, vanilla and 555 an old, dark British tobacco. I am considering my first proper “mod” but am intimidated by choice.

In-N-Out Austin

Monday, 2 December, 2013

Just a quickie made while walking down the street.

Holiday shopping list for those buying for an aspiring ex-smoker

Saturday, 16 November, 2013

These are recommendations based on two months of fooling around with this stuff and discovering how well it works to get folks away from cigarettes. I have explored the scene, watched many videos, visited forums by the score. All of the following recommendations are safe bets as investments in getting someone in your life to finally give it up. We are approaching that critical period when orders for gift giving must be placed, especially those intended for overseas shipment.

Do not bother with the well advertised kits. These are specifically designed to provide an inferior experience and prolong addiction. The “refills” are extremely expensive. This really is a case of: If your product is so great, why do you need to advertise?

If you don’t know anything, and you don’t want to bother to know anything about vaping and so forth, just get this kit and you’re done. The listed price includes shipping anywhere in the world, including places you cannot ship from the US.

CE4+ Atomizer with USB Rechargeable 1100mAh  Battery Electronic Cigarette Set

This includes a long-lasting battery, a wall-wart charger for that battery and similar standard or ego-connection batteries, a clearomizer-type atomizer, which turns the “juice” into vapor, and a case to carry it all around in. This is everything you need to try the process of vaping, except the juice, for about $12. If you want to be nice, throw some replacement wicks and juice in the box. A wick will last around one week of heavy use.

On buying juice:

Your new vaper will want their juice to taste like tobacco. That sensation will help habituate them to the new reality. If buying locally from a shop or online you will want

  • 555 for a heavy tobacco flavor like an old-man cigarette
  • RY3 or RY4, sometimes Ruyan instead of RY, for a mainstream Marlboro, Camel and similar flavor
  • TAB or Turkish Blend for a dark, yet somehow classy blend.

Buy additional juice in a non-tobacco flavor you know they like. The variety of flavors available can be overwhelming. Something your recipient likes is out there. For additional options for juice at reasonable prices, please explore Vista Vapors and Mount Baker Vapor.

Vaping fluid, juice or elixir (all terms for the same product) is available in various strengths. The appellations “low” “high” and so forth are not applied consistently. You want a number. The common strengths are

  • 0 mg/ml or 0% Which contains no nicotine.
  • 6 mg/ml or 0.6% This is very, very light. For a habituated or addicted smoker, this won’t even register.
  • 12 mg/ml or 1.2% Appropriate for a person consuming a less than a pack of blue or formerly “light” cigarettes daily.
  • 18 mg/ml or 1.8% Appropriate for a person consuming about a pack of light cigarettes or less than a pack of red of formerly “full flavor” cigarettes daily. This is the most common strength available in mass-produced juice, and the “cig-alike” vaporizers available in larger retail chains.
  • 24 mg/ml or 2.4% Appropriate for a person consuming a pack or just more of regular red or formerly “full flavor” cigarettes daily. This is the most common starting point for pack-a-day smokers.
  • 36 mg/ml or 3.6% Appropriate for a person consuming considerably more than a pack of cigarettes or even filterless or old-man cigarettes daily.
  • 36 mg/ml will cause a light-cigarette smoker to become ill.

If you really want to do this right, your aspiring non-smoker will need more stuff. Pretty much the same stuff that’s in the kit above, but more of it.

Atomizers where the action happens:

  • A vaper usually runs two or three “clearos” each with a different flavor of juice.
  • For just over $2 ea. CE4S Clearomizer, which uses “vivi nova” style wicks. Your vaper should be able to buy replacements locally.
  • For $3 ea. the name-brand iClear 16, which uses iClear16 wicks. These are also very common and replacement wicks are available at a shop nearby.
  • Performance of the two items above are very similar.
  • For just under $10 ea. the larger, more rugged and higher performing iClear 30s. Always include an order of wicks with your gift. This would make a nice gift for the experienced vaper in your life. Even if he already has one, he would like another. The iClear30s is made for a slightly different kind of battery and requires a beauty ring to mount properly.

Batteries, the atomizer is powered by electricity:

  • What you think of as the amount of electricity batteries contain is measured in Amp-hours. These batteries are small enough, they measure in milliAmp-hours or mAh. 650 mAh is the smallest battery you should entertain. It will last a light vaper through a work day. A pack-a-day smoker will require at least 900 mAh to get through a work day. More is always better.
  • Batteries are available in extraordinary variety. Various mAh size, “variable voltage” which effects the temperature and volume of the vapor, and manual or push-button operation, or automatic or breath operation. What you are shopping for is a battery with an “ego” connection. The iClear30s has a “510” connection of which the ego connection is a compatible variant, hence the requirement for a beauty ring.
  • The world is moving toward automatic batteries. Inhale and vape. This is a big auto battery with a cool light on the end.
  • This is a similar, silver battery.
  • If you want to push the button or have more control, this is a big battery which will last a heavy vaper 24 hours.
  • This is a variable voltage version of this battery.
  • This is a physically larger, more durable variable-voltage battery. If presentation is important, you may want to consider this one. Technically, this is a “mod”. You don’t really have to worry about that.
  • All of these pages have a list to the right which you may use to peruse your options.

Accessories, although an atomizer and a battery will allow you to use juice, you need more to make the action happen.

  • A device to charge batteries. Due to the chemistry of these batteries, which is not unlike those of a mobile phone or laptop, they do not tolerate fluctuations in electrical flow very well. These batteries should never, not ever, be charged through a computer or automobile. Use the wall wart.
  • When you want to vape and don’t want to use a battery, whenever you are close to a USB outlet, you may use a passthrough instead of a battery. This is essential for a vaper with two or fewer batteries. Instead of charging off a computer or automobile, use the passthrough.
  • For any aspiring non-smoker who may tend to keep their vaping kit in a sachel, pack, bindle, purse or the like, a case is a must. Select from these. The case should be just larger than the gear you have supplied.

Well meaning person, remember the object is to ween them off cigarettes. For some people this happens immediately. For others it takes weeks. For yet others, it never happens. Once cigarettes have been forsaken, the nicotine habit can be more easily broken. Tapered really. Some folks will need a push to make the move away from tobacco and the holiday season is a great time to encourage them and prove that you care.

 

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