Pepperidge Farm Adventure Maze


So, right before new years, I went on adventure looking for mini cocktail rye breads from Pepperidge Farm. They used to make one called Jewish Rye, and Pumpernickel.

The Jewish Rye was cool because it contained ground caraway seeds instead of the standard whole caraway seeds. I have had bouts with Diverticulitis, so I try to stay hydrated & avoid tiny sharp seeds. Caraway absolutely ruins sauerkraut, but it is good in rye bread.

Pumpernickel is cool because it essentially is named for the devil’s farts… and if that’s not cool, I don’t know what is. This is also code in my household for “I am always right.” I told my wife the name origin behind it, she said there was no way, Googled it… and, like I said… I am always right.

I know that the other manufacturer, S. Rosen, make cocktail-sized rye and pumpernickel bread… but the rye is not seedless. Apparently Hanky Panky means something entirely different in some parts of Ohio.

My wife likes to make this stuff for New Year’s that’s like swiss cheese, lemon-pepper, and mayo on the cocktail-sized Jewish Rye then toasted in the oven. It’s delicious. I like to make little mini open faced Reubens. The pumpernickel would be an acceptable alternative if I absolutely can’t find the seedless rye.

Because I’m weird and can’t leave anything alone, we have this…

I, of course, posted it on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook. I tagged Pepperidge Farm & Pepperidge Farm Cares. To their credit, they did reply:

I did tag all the stores that I could in the photo on Instagram and Facebook, but none of them have taken the bait.

I had to turn it up a notch, to which they did not reply:

Hello, 

I was wondering if anyone had time to try and complete my maze while considering bringing back cocktail-sized Jewish Rye. 

The ground caraway was awesome, because it isn't a potential diverticulitis disaster like whole seeds are. 

My wife wpuld [sic] use it to make this delicious lemon pepper cheese appetizer, and I like to make tiny Reuben sandwiches and pretend I am a reformed King King that no longer has to eat people sacrificed to me on Skull Island. 

The mini pumpernickel is cool just because of the etymology. I mean? It has to be the most metal bread out there.  

How can you discontinue such wonderful things?

All of that just says:

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had time to try and complete my maze while considering bringing back cocktail-sized Jewish Rye.

The ground caraway was awesome, because it isn’t a potential diverticulitis disaster like whole seeds are.

My wife wpuld [sic] use it to make this delicious lemon pepper cheese appetizer, and I like to make tiny Reuben sandwiches and pretend I am a reformed King King that no longer has to eat people sacrificed to me on Skull Island.

The mini pumpernickel is cool just because of the etymology. I mean? It has to be the most metal bread out there. 🤘

How can you discontinue such wonderful things?

Also, AI generated art seems to be the cool thing these days, so I tried to make this on a few different ones to go along with the blog post:

King Kong feasting upon a stack of tiny Reuben sandwiches on tiny bread.  There is a stack of sandwiches in the background resembling the Empire State Building.  it is evening with a full moon in the clear sky.  King Kong has a highly detailed face where you can clearly see his expression of pure satisfaction.

I may have to buy a gorilla suit and make some tiny Reubens with the S. Rosen bread… and convince the wife or kids to take my photo.

Or, I may have to make a maze for S. Rosen, featuring a caraway seed that must make the journey through my guys without getting stuck, causing inflammation & a possible infection. Or maybe it has to make its way through a grinder before beign added to the dough & baked?

I doubt than anyone at Pepperidge Farm or Pepperidge Farm Cares is going to complete my maze. But, if they do, you can thank me later.

As far as discussion here, which I always ask for yet rarely get in the comments, let me know what you do with mini cocktail rye or pumpernickel bread.

Also… Ler’s discuss Reubens. Russian or Thousand Island? Regular rye or marbled? Do you add anything like bacon or swap out corned beef for Pastrami? Do you ever use Havarti instead of Swiss? Grilled in a pan, or on a panini press? I should blog about Reubens. Mmm. I’m hungry.

Also, please, please, complete the maze! Send me the results, post & tag me!

The most important takeaway is that if I tell you something, I am always right. Pumpernickel.

Christmas Mazes 2022 ❄️🎅🎄🎁⛄✍️


I did some drawing, scanning with the HP app on the phone, and coloring with paint.NET this year. Please, if you print & solve or them on your phone, PC, or tablet… share the solution! You can share it here in the comments, or tag me on Instagram, Twitter, or whatever social media is popular nowadays. I generally try to grab @AiXeLsyD13 on all of them.

I have them in color, & in black & white.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Have an Easy Fast for Yom Kippur, Happy Yule, Happy Solstice, Merry Yuletide, Ramadan Mubarak, Blessed Kwanzaa, Cathartic Festivus, or whatever holiday you celebrate!

Enjoy one of my Christmas Playlists to get you in the mood while you’re trying to solve these mazes, or share yours with me! Check out my other mazes if you’re ready for more! You can work on these while dinner is cooking, or tonight while youre trying to get to sleep & waiting for Santa!

I’ll be making my Decadent Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes tomorrow, but the White Trash ‘Taters would be just as good. Ham with gravy, green bean casserole, & brussels sprouts are also on the menu!

Christmas Playlists


Despite Halloween and Thanksgiving being more my favorite… I do enjoy Christmas & Christmas music, both traditional and decidedly not-so.

I resisted streaming for a long time, in favor of just popping mp3’s on to a thumb drive & listening in the car/truck. I’m still in a lot of remote areas, and I think I clung to a desktop setup for a while longer than the rest of the world.

Someday, someday, I will rip all my CD’s, corral all of my purchased mp3’s or FLAC files, & pop the stuff on some kind of server so I can call it up at will.

I use Spotify occasionally. I would use it more, but I refuse to pay for a premium account, and sometimes I swear songs vs. commercials are 1:1 if not 1:3. I refuse to pay for Spotify premium account because we have whatever all-encompassing Amazon plan gives you Prime and Amazon Music.

I’m still building my Amazon playlists… I may pay for one to move to Spotify lists over. Maybe. I’d rather just by records, CD’s, & downloads directly from artists.

I haven’t dipped into YouTube Music yet. I think I have 2 or 3 Pandora accounts, but they’re just frustrating these days when you can actively pick a song with other services.

I just reached out on a couple of FB forums asking for suggestions, and I’m still pouring through, but these are my playlists across different platforms…

I ‘m still adding/shuffling on the Amazon lists and they’re good for all-day playing. I might have to make one narrowed-down with my absolute favorites.

So, what’s on your Christmas playlist? Any glaring omissions? Any you love or hate with a passion? Tell me about your holiday music in the comments. Am I missing any good Festivus or Hanukkah songs?

AI Generated punk rock Christmas art.

Green Potatoes 4: The Search for Spuds 🥔


The starchy spud saga continues. This time I got an email from Sun-Glo who packs potatoes for Side Delights. Side delights was the brand I caught at Giant Eagle in Bridgeville that was a bag of entirely green potatoes. I probably reached out to this company twice, or maybe three times. I did not purchase that bag, and I have not had a concrete reply from Giant Eagle or Aldi USA yet. The potato farmers seem to place all the blame at the feet of the grocer.

Good afternoon,

I appreciate your email about green potatoes.

The one thing I do want to stress to you is this…..we have USDA and internal inspectors in our warehouse at all times. If the potatoes were green in a bag, they would not pass our inspections and would be not pass. When the potatoes leave our plant, they have passed a USDA inspection.

The one thing we can’t control is how fast or slow the retailers turn their inventory. Potatoes are going to turn green under artificial lights, there is nothing we can do to control this.

There is a website that you might find helpful with a lot of ‘potato knowledge” that the Idaho Potato Commission answers most questions you might have about potatoes. Idahopotato.com

I appreciate your feedback.

Thanks,

Jill Crapo Cox

VP Sales

208-356-7346 ext. 214

208-313-6350 cell

You saw the mazes, right?

I also included these photos with my reply:

Side Delights - Green Bag of Potatoes at Giant Eagle

And, I feel like I am ratcheting up the ridiculous with each reply.

Hello Jill,

Thank you for the reply! It is interesting to learn that Sun-Glo and Side Delights potatoes are one in the same!

I am sure you have strict quality control standards, that’s why it is so surprising to see so many green potatoes out in the wild.

I did see but did not purchase a nearly entirely green bag of Side Delights potatoes this Sunday at Giant Eagle in Bridgeville PA.

Monday at the South Fayette PA Giant Eagle, I noticed a fine looking bag of potatoes with the Sun-Glo label.

I have been reaching out to as many potato farmers as I can. The issue seems to go back a few years, and I confess I have not payed much attention to brand. We typically shop at Aldi and Gaint Eagle, but sometimes Shop ‘n Save, Target, Walmart, or even BJ’s Wholesale.

What has been brought to light (pun intended) is that Giant Eagle and Aldi must be improperly shipping, storing, or handling potatoes across the board.

The common denominator seems to be too much artificial light?

Maybe they need to start selling potatoes in rooms with red lights like darkroom back in the 1900’s when people had to develop film.

I have reached out to Aldi and Gaint Eagle to no avail (so far). They are not as quick as you at returning inquiries.

I will most definitely have to do some more research on the Idaho Potato website.

I do grow some of my own in the summer, but I am hardly a titan of tubers, or even a sultan of spuds… perhaps a prefect of potatoes? I could grow some more if I learn to store them properly myself.

I should blog more potato recipes. I cook a lot of potatoes.

Please, find the attached mazes for your enjoyment, and share them with your co-workers. I will also attach the photos of the bag I saw Sunday at Giant Eagle.

Perhaps my mazes can be used in potato safety & storage education going forward?

I appreciate your time, your concern, your knowledge, and your zeal for getting directly to the point. Honestly, and probably obviously, that is something I need to work on.

🥔 Starch-cerely,
-Eric

If you’re interested, keep following my twitter, or check the posts out in order:

This makes me think of the books Idiot Letters and The Complete Idiot Letters by Paul Rosa, which probably started all of this with me. I used to also write letters via snail mail before email became a thing. Somewhat less inspiring but still awesome were Ted Nacny’s Letters from a Nut and the Emails from an Asshole website from John Lindsay.

Gnome Mazes ✍️


I drew these a while ago, finally posting. Try ’em out, share/post & tag me on social media! @aixelsyd13

I have the colored versions, inspired by the four seasons, colored via paint.NET. I also have the black & white versions posted.

One may not be solvable. I’m bad at that sometimes. 🤦‍♂️

Halloween Playlists.


Halloween has the coolest music. I have made some playlists on various platforms over the years, Amazon & Spotify being the most recent. I thought I’d not only put them all in once place, but also share. I’m always adding to them and changing. I’m listening to the 1st list now.

So what are your go-to’s? What would you add? What would you leave off? Share your playlists!

🌽Maize Maze, 🦃Turkey Maze, & 🙁August is Falling Maze ✍️


I can’t stop. Ha. I’ve been in a maze mood apparently. Someone complete some of these damn things! Here they are from Instagram.

Mike Duke requested a maize maze.

Thanksgiving is my favorite.

Have you heard about August is Falling? See the Gloom O’ Lantern.

Collage of recent mazes.

Need help from those of you that sell art and/or merch using fulfillment services. (𝘢.𝘬.𝘢. The return of A-Maze Mugs & more?)


So, Ci3 closed up shop… and with it went A-Maze Mugs. Not sure that any were actually sold anyway? I know I have 2 prototypes and we did work up art for the box. I posted about them a few times. I also did a (very) poorly recorded jingle.

I feel like I just sit on all my maze art, while others are able to monetize their art projects. This is me reaching out for advice from my creative peeps.

I know there are no-money-up-front printing/fulfillment services. Does anyone have good (or really bad) experiences with any of those? I clicked a link on one, and 30 are showing up in my FB ad feeds. Are any more reputable/profitable/flexible than the others?

Even better, does anyone local do printing & fulfillment services, like Commonwealth Press?

Would it be worth it to save & invest some money into it?

I would like to put my mazes on all kinds of stuff. I get likes on my mazes on Instagram. Occasionally someone sends me a solution. Maybe T-shirts would be useless… unless you had one on the back and wanted someone to complete it as a sort of massage? Ha ha.

Tiles may be interesting. The socks that Mike worked up were super cool! Mugs seem to be out but those new stainless steel tumblers are in. Maybe a beer stein? Maybe just a book of mazes? My thing though, is most of my stuff has no theme. They’re just mazes. I have a TON drawn. They just need scanned & maybe cleaned up a bit.

I’m not looking to get rich, but creativity funding more creativity never hurts. Right?

These look like a fun product IMHO, anyway. Finding someone to ship a mug and a dry erase marker AND do the printing may be tough?

The 4 initial maze mugs maze ideas.

I’m open to any and all suggestions and solutions. I feel like I’m just sitting on these, have been for years, and should be doing something with them.

SPAMP+ :|. ¼” Stereo to Mono Adapter Cable!


So, remember the SPAMP+? It was a ton of fun. I wrote to ask the SpampMAN if I could get a ¼” stere-to-mono adapter for the headphone jack to make the headphone jack essentially an “out” for a guitar amp so I could use the Spamp+ as an effect or pre-amp.

Dude is solid, and sent me one! He may include it as an option with future builds! The grilled, chilled, & fried all work as you would expect and sound gorgeous coming through my Blues Jr.

Here I used my New York Pro StarGazer (with GFS Lil’ Killer Rails) into the SPAMP, then my Fender Blues Jr. The tones are still awesome! the volume differences are there, but if you pick one & go that rally shouldn’t be a problem. This is totally cool as a pre-amp effect! There’s no on-off, but I do have an A/B/Y switch that I could maybe use to put it in & out of the loop. At any rate, this is still super fun, and that’s what it’s all about!

I would say this cable is a resounding success!

Check out the Spamp page and Spamp Etsy Shop!

Jamming with the Spamp+ right out of the box.


I always forget to post YouTube videos here. Here I am, reminded, and on a New Gear Day!

Got a new fun little toy, and ran it through some paces.

I ran a few of my guitars into the Spamp+ to see what’s up. Check them out: https://spamp.com & https://www.etsy.com/shop/SpampMusic

I dimed the SPICE and HEAT knobs, but left TASTE at 12:00. Why? I always dime all the knobs. I like gain and dirt and punk rock. I ran each guitar through the CHILLED, FRIED, and GRILLED settings.

I like FRIED and GRILLED, but there was a noticeable volume drop with Grilled with all the guitars/pickups. This is a super fun little amp. I may get the normal one to use as a distortion pedal… as I don’t think this headphone out is suitable to run to an amp.

I will eventually get to using a 9V & rocking the headphones. This was plugged into a 9v power supply for the video.

I did test a 9V in it, and it had the same volume drop to GRILLED. Of course I used the oil can guitar in the Spam can amp first.

The guitars…

❶ Bohemian Moonshine 🎸 https://www.instagram.com/p/B_gCZ35Dz4_/

❷ New York Pro Stargazer 🎸 https://wp.me/pwqzc-1qP 🤘 https://www.instagram.com/p/B_OMXvwjDxa/

❸ Indy Custom FlyCaster 🎸 https://wp.me/pwqzc-2z4

❹ No Name LP Copy 🎸 https://www.instagram.com/p/B_Vs6BtDLFv/

❺ Russ Lorenz Shitar 🎸 https://wp.me/pwqzc-2AJ

❻ BC Rich Dagger 🎸 https://www.instagram.com/p/B_QfM3TDnZm/

You can see what kinds of pickups they have and if not just ask me in the comments. You get single coils, humbucker/single split, lipstick, humbuckers, hot rails, and P-90-ish ones. I think the SPAMP+ sounds absolutely killer with the P90’s.

I try not to ruin my guitar/gear videos with talking.

Should I explain things for the 3 of you that watch? Lemme know what you think. Do I need the one that acts as a pedal?

Send me a pedal and I will demo it with all the knobs or almost all the knobs dimed.

Spamp+ Mini Practice/Headphone guitar amplifier.
Spamp+

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