My American Cereal Collection

Posted August 7, 2013 by Friar
Categories: Friar's Grab Bag

Tags: , , , ,

Whenever I travel to the States, I stock up on the junk food that you can’t get in Canada.    Especially the cereals.

Here’s my latest stash:

1.   Crunch Berries 

We used to be able to get these when I was a kid.   But somewhere along the line,  Crunch Berries moved back South of the Border, and now we’re stuck with just the plain old Cap’n Crunch.

Notice the berries are multi-colored now.   I remember when they only came on one color:  bright pink.

Also notice how manic-looking the Cap’n has become.     He ain’t quite right….he’s not the friendly,  kindly-looking Cap’n that we grew up with.

I dunno…maybe he’s  OD’ing on all the sugar.

1.  Cereal Crunch Berries IMG_3376


Cocoa Puffs

Again,  I have fold memories of these as a kid (while visiting Grandma, of course).   There’s no way in hell Friar’s Mom would ever stoop so low as to buy these for us.

But, just like with Crunch Berries,  you just cant’ get these here any more.    (Count Chocula, either).

You don’t know what you got, till it’s gone. (*sigh*)

And check out the look of pure delight, while Sonny (who’s cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs) tries to navigate through a tidal wave of pure chocolate.

Screw the yogurt and nuts.   Which normal, healthy, red-blooded kid wouldn’t love a breakfast like that?

Say what you will, but any cereal that turns the milk brown, has got my respect.

1. Cereal Cocoa Puffs IMG_3373a

Apple Jacks 

We can still occasionally get these in Canada.   But not with MARSHMALLOWS.

And why add marshmallows, you may ask?

Because they CAN.

1. Cereal Apple Jacks IMG_3372

And look at the apple with the bulging eyes.     He also ain’t quite right….thought the cinnamon dude looks like he’d be fun to party with.


Cookie Crisp 

This is my favorite.    You just gotta admire the in-your-face attitude from General Mills. …how they don’t even TRY to pretend this cereal/candy isn’t loaded with sugar.

Look, kids:  it’s like eating a big bowl of cookies.

Which really, isn’t that far from the truth.

1. Cereal Cookie CrispIMG_3371

Different Faces of Superior on a Rainy Long Weekend.

Posted May 25, 2013 by Friar
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , ,

Superior Faces


1.   Keweenaw Bay

Saturday, just north of L’Anse.   Kind of a miserable day.

Lake 01 South of L'anse


2.  Copper Harbor

Sunday morning.   That’s the ferry to Isle Royale, though I”m not sure if it was running yet.

Lake 1 Copper Harbora

3.  Copper Harbor 

Fishermen going after splake.

The day was calm, but you could hear thunder coming from the dark clouds on the far horizon, so low in frequency as to barely be audible.

It was very ominous.

Lake 2 Copper Harbor


4.   Near Eagle Harbor

Just ~ 10 miles down the road from the fishermen.

Lake Eagle Harbora

5.  Near Eagle Harbor

Lake 4 Eagle Harbor


6.  Bete Grise

Cold and damp…it was 48F.   But an hour later, just 40 km to the south at the town of Laurium, it was in the mid 70′s.

Lake 5 Bete Grise


7.   Between Marquette and Munsiing

Later that same day.  It was warm, sunny and calm, almost summer-like.

It was a totally different lake.

Lake 6 Munising


8.  Twelve Mile Beach (Picture Rocks National Lakeshore)

The next day (Monday).

Needless to say, this was off-peak tourist season, and I had the entire place to myself.

A storm was building on the horizon again, and the water had a greenish grey hue.

Lake 7 Twelve Mile


9.  Twelve Mile Beach

Lake 8a TwelveMile

Exact same location, just facing East instead of West.

It’s amazing how much the lake can change, even just by turning around 180 degrees.


10. Grand Marais

A small beach town on the lake, though nobody was really there this time of year.

I didn’t get out of the car much.   The storm had caught up with me and it was a torrential downpour.

Lake 9 Grand Marais


11.  Whitefish Point

Later Monday afternoon.  Close to where the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald happened.

This view is from the lighthouse.

Lake 10 Whitefish Point


12.  Whitefish Point

Facing West…with yet another storm building on the horizon.

Lake 11 Whitefish Pont


13. Near Paradiseer

Lake 12 East Shore

Facing east, just south of the town of Paradise.

Though it didn’t feel like paradise that day.

Superior was being a real witch, and the storm system followed my for 500 km on my drive home.


Junior Bear visits many BIG things.

Posted May 21, 2013 by Friar
Categories: Friar's Grab Bag

Tags: , , , , , ,



Big Nickel.

Big Nickela

Big Bison

Big Bison DSCN6970



Big Snowman

Big Snow Man IMG_2301



Big Gun

Big Gun IMG_1947



Big  Skier.

Big Skier IMG_2340



Big Chain Saw.

Big ChainSaw IMG_1948a

Big Polar Bear.

Big Polar Bear



Big Minnesota sign. 

Big Minnesota IMG_2323



Big Winnie-the-Pooh

Big Winnie img_3077



Big Covered Bridge 

Big Covered Bridge Bear 3 Hartland IMG_6006



Moose Recon: Mission Accomplished.

Posted April 28, 2013 by Friar
Categories: The Outdoor Friar

Tags: , ,

This is a good time to go moose-spotting.

Especially in the highways near Provincial Parks.

The critters are attracted to the leftover salt on the roads from the winter.

So, at least once a year,  in April, I do a mini-road trip and bring my camera along, and try to find some moose.

It never fails.

I always find at least one.

Like I did today.

So I’m happy to report:  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Moose IMG_1693


Moose IMG_1683


Moose IMG_1684a

As a bonus, I try to include Junior Bear into a photo as well.

And that mission too, was accomplished.

Moose IMG_1694

Reality TV: Same Old Crappy Junk

Posted April 27, 2013 by Friar
Categories: Friar's Grab Bag

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pawn Stars

  • Customers bring in their crappy old junk to sell.
  • Pawnbroker brings in an expert to tell everyone what the crappy old junk  is worth.
  • Customers ask the retail price for the crappy old junk.
  • Pawnbroker offers back 40% of the retail price.
  • Eventually everyone agrees on 60% of the retail price.


Cajun Pawnstars

  • Just like Pawn Stars, but in Louisiana.  Therefore  you need subtitles to understand the show.


Pawnathon Canada

  • Just like Pawn Stars or Cajun Pawn Stars, only Canadian and therefore more polite.


Hardcore Pawn

  • Like Pawn Stars or Cajun Pawn Stars, but  in inner-city Detroit, with more fist-fights.  About as opposite of Pawnathon Canada as you can get.


American Pickers

  • Just like the Pawnbroker shows, except the pickers drive to peoples houses to buy their old crappy junk, instead of the people bringing their old crappy junk to sell the pickers. s.


Canadian Pickers

  • Just like American Pickers,  only Canadian.   And therefore more  boring.


Toy Hunter

  • Just like American Pickers, except they buy crappy old toys instead of crappy old junk.


American Restoration

  • Rich customers brings their crappy old junk to the shop.
  • Restorers take apart the crappy old junk and sand-blast it and repaint it.
  • Restoreres put the crappy old junk back together, which is no longer crappy and old, but is now shiny and new.
  • Restorers sell the shiny and new restored crappy old junk back to the rich customer, who will now pay $10,000 for it.


Counting Cars

  • Just like American Restoration,  except they restore crappy old cars, instead of old crappy junk.


Storage Wars

  • Vultures buy old crappy junk that other unfortunate people have abandoned in storage lockers
  • Vultures bring their new-found crappy old junk to specialty shops to find out what it’s worth.
  • The show ends,  listing what the vultures’s profit margin is on their crappy old junk.
  • No indication is ever given, however, if the vultures actually sold any of this crappy old junk.


Storage Wars Texas
Just like Stores Wars, but with cowboy hats and fatter people.


Stars Wars New York

  • Just like Storage Wars, but in New York.    A wannabee show that never quite caught on.


Storage Battles

  • Just like Storage Wars, but with more white-trash and fist fights.


Auction Hunters

  • An auction house  selling all the crappy old junk that’s been picked and restored.



  • People with OCD, who’s  houses full of crappy old junk that’s too crappy for even the pickers and pawnbrokers and restorers to touch.
  • Kind of like American pickers, but with more cat urine and rat feces.

Monday Night Art Class: Repeating Apsens

Posted April 22, 2013 by Friar
Categories: Friar's Artwork

Tags: , ,

I did this painting of some Colorado aspen a while back.

Colorado Aspen-S

Normally, when I finish a painting, I look at it for a while, and then it goes into a box with all the others.

But I liked this one enough to frame and hang in my living room.

Last year, I was asked to display some paintings in a local gallery and  I needed enough fresh material.

So I decided to put this one up up for sale.

Though I kind of liked my aspens, so I deliberately jacked up the price, in the hopes that it wouldn’t sell.

But sure enough, it DID sell, and I always kind of regretted it.


But my house is running out of room, and I can’t afford to keep framing everything I paint.

Sooner or later, I’ve got to let stuff go.

If a painting is unique, and if it’s something that I’ll never do again in a million years, there’s no way I’d sell it, not for any money.

But if a painting is something I know I can do again,  then I’m more likely to part with it.

And I suspected I could do this one again.


Which I did tonight.   Six years later.

Colorado Aspen Part II Sketch

t’s smaller:   a 6″ x 4″ sketch with a $5.00 Walmart frame.

For 90 minutes of effort,  I’m happy with how it turned out.   It’s reasonably close to the original.


So now I have my aspens again.

Which I can hold onto for a while.

Or maybe sell again.

I haven’t decided yet.

But at least I know I can always make more whenever I want.




Comparing Seasons: The Same, but Different

Posted April 19, 2013 by Friar
Categories: The Outdoor Friar

Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have a favorite country drive in the Madawaska Highlands that I like to do at least once a year, especially during the fall.

I’ve blogged about it before, and I always take lots of photos,  many of which end up as watercolor paintings.

This year was a bit different.

Due to a ski injury, I was out for the rest of the season, which gave me the opportunity to see my favorite sights during the winter, for a change.

I find it kinda neat to compare the seasons….

Cmc Fall


Cmc Winter


Bend Fall


Bend Wintera

FyMt Falla

FyMt Wintera

Qville Falla

QVille Wintera

Barn Falla

Barn Wintera

Three Trees Falla

Three Trees Wintera

Fence Falla

Fence Wintera


Ski Hill Wintera

BW Falla

BW Winter


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