Monday, December 3, 2012


Fuck Christmas! Yep, I said it. No disrespect to my Christian friends, but jeez, this is the  most bastardized, completely fucked in the ass and demonized by greed holiday in our day. God damned Christian stations have been playing the same, regurgitated Christmas music for two weeks now! I think it should be killed off and leave it to the Christians to celebrate the birth of their maker. Everything else should just be flushed down the toilet.

So, with that, I refuse to review ANY Christmas related item on this site. Instead, I bring to you American Patriot Paint It Yourself Velvet Art. Yeah, that whole thing is the name of this product.

This thing is either manufactured, exported, or supplied (or all three) by Mannix Co. Ltd, supposedly based out of NYC... but it's really a Hong Kong company. The NYC address on the package is 200 5th ave nyc 10010 but no such company exists here, or at least, none that I can tell. According to God Internet, the other companies at this location are Eataly, G2‎, GCI Health‎, L a Cafe‎, Laramie Corporation‎, Mantoa Industries‎, Ozen Sound Devices Inc‎, Stelber Cycle Corporation‎, Thinkway Toys‎, Watson Productions‎ and Wing Latino Group‎. So, yeah, no other hits online for Mannix Co. Ltd.

I specifically went into Dollar Tree today to grab a random item because I am trying to do one review per week and realized I hadn't done one this week. The odd thing about this product is that the packaging doesn't seem to belong in the Dollar Store... it's not consistent with their products. Even the products Greenbrier doesn't make still all have a sense of sameness in their packaging. This product, on the other hand, doesn't. The packaging looks very old, not only outdated, but aged. It looks like it was surplus from another, even less-fancy, dollar store somewhere in Bumsville, GA or something. In fact, the packaging is so crappy, the Dollar Tree is too good for it. I found it laying on a random shelf in a random aisle, and it was the only one in the whole store.

The "canvas" does actually feel velvety to the touch when you open it. I must admit that I was rather surprised at that for some reason. But the design is a masterpiece unto itself! Nothing says "Made in China" like a 'Murican flag.

So, I, excitedly and patriotically, set out to start my 'Murican flag velvet masterpiece. But, when I opened my awesome set of primary (to the computer, since it had green instead of yellow) colors I noticed that they're not exactly in liquid form.

Upon closer inspection I realized that the "acrylic colors" that came with my set have completely solidified into their contains. I try to dip my brush but the only thing that comes out is a large chunk of green solidified paint.

Which leads me to my next gripe, why the fuck would you include the color green to paint a velvet 'Murican flag??!?! Hey, Hong Kong, you don't even have green in your flag!

All in all, utter failure on this item since it can't be used as advertised. But, did I give up? NO! Because I've seen Galaxy Quest a million times and if I've learned one thing from Cmdr. Peter Quincy Taggart is to Never Give Up, Never Surrender. I grabbed my solidified globs of paint and my brush and made meself a crayon.

After a few seconds I finally had a masterpiece worthy of hanging in my office! And, best of all, since I couldn't use white, I ended up using the green color after all! Yay me

Score: Fuck that! This piece of crap is so bad, it doesn't even get a score!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


If there is a holiday I've learned to seriously dislike, it is Christmas. Earlier in the week, and it is now November 21st, I heard freakin' Christmas music on the radio! It's NOVEMBER!!! Pineville, a small city next to Charlotte, already put up their Christmas decorations. It's NOVEMBER!!! I see posts from friends on Facebook about how they already purchased their Christmas trees. It's MOTHERGRUBBIN' NOVEMBER!!!

I seriously dislike this holiday, and I don't think I am alone.

I wanted to grabbed something Thanksgiving related for this review but when I walked into the Dollar Tree there wasn't a single Thanksgiving-related item in the entire store! Not one... Of course not. How ridiculous of me to try to go to a store a week before Thanksgiving and expect to find Thanksgiving-related items.

I did find row after row, endcap after endcap of Christmas crap! Red and green all over the place. Christmas toys, decorations, food, candy, silverware, dinnerware, novelty items, etc. Just Christmas... Ugh.

Anyway, so, I am going to jump on the bandwagon and review Christmas products in November. And in December, I am going to review Easter-related items. Take that corporate America!!!

The first trinket I found was Instant Snow in a Can (or Neige Décorative Instantanée en Conserve for our Canadian friends). How can anybody resist this? It's instant freakin' snow. Which we don't get enough of here in the Charlotte area. According to the can, all I have to do is add water and I can have something that looks and feels like real snow.

The instructions were simple, open your can, add water and you'll have a mess in your hands.

I quickly opened my canned snow and realized that I am actually kind of excited about this. I noticed that the can opened on both ends. The top lid comes off completely, like you would a can of soup, while the bottom opened with a tab the way a canned soda does.

The instructions didn't say anything about the openings so I opened both ends. This decision was supported by the stupid graphic depiction of the snow coming out of both ends of the can in the instructions.

Once gutted, the can contained a small plastic shove, a baggie of cocaine and instructions. Well, the instructions were almost exactly the same as the once outside of the can, but the warnings took up about 75% of the rest of the instruction sheets.

Following the instructions we started shoveling the white powder in the can. Unfortunately, this was an idiotic way to do this as the bag was too small for the shovel and ended up shoveling about 1/4 of an ounce at a time.

Eventually, Girl #2, who was one of my helpers and testers, just decided to pour the whole baggy in the can just to get it over with.

Once we poured the water the "snow" did appear immediately. The second the water touched this stuff, which is also what they put inside diapers, it became a gelatinous, snowy blob.

The girls were excited and and immediately dunked their hands into it. They said it was awesome and ran it through their fingers and hands. But, unfortunately, after only a few seconds, Girl #2 asked what they were supposed to do with it. I told her she could do anything she wanted. After one more minute they just ended up dumping the whole thing in the trash.

Girl #2 tried, and failed, at making a snowball. The amorphous, rubbery blob has absolutely no binding power to itself. So, no matter how hard you press, you're not getting a snowball to save your life. Also, when you touched a mount of it, it jiggled oddly and rather nastily, the way Jell-O or tapioca pudding does. ewww....

As a devout fan of Mr. Wizard's World back in the day (the 90's, not the 50's), this was a really cool experiment for me and the girls. But the fun factor is very, very, very short lived and once you have your snow, there's really not much else to do with it. Possibly if you're using this to decorate your house for Christmas some time in November, this will do a really good job.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Hey kids! Since I just made up that today would be 2-for-1 day, this review has two products!

So, while I was writing the last post I got hungry and remembered that during my last trip to The Dollar Tree I bit the bullet and bought some american "cheese" slices and bread to review. First, the "cheese"...

The product itself is called Sunny Acres American Slices and the product description is "Pasteurized Processed Sandwich Slices", so, on the plus side, they're not lying to you, IT AIN'T CHEESE! They're just "slices". The package is open because Boy #2 got to it before I did and his verdict was that it was "disgusting as shit". I can only imagine the nightmarish monstrosity appearance this shit must have when it's being pumped out of the processing machine. I looked up Sunny Acres online and there is no such thing. Then, I noticed that the back of the package had the name and a URL address for the distributor, SmartPrice Sales & Marketing, Inc. Certainly doesn't sound like a cheese factory.

These people create a bunch of products with different lines that are sold at "Extreme Value Retailers" (I didn't even know we got all P.C. about dollar stores) around the country. From their site, "In 2010, ranked  #311on INC.500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, and composed of a growing number of brands, including Sunny Acres, Northsire County, SmartPrice Sales & Marketing will have you say "Wow, what a fantastic value!" HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Oddly enough, all their ingredients in the back are in Spanish and the side panel, which is much smaller, is where the English version is. Dude, check out the laundry list of chemical ingredients in this thing!

I speak Spanish and I don't know what half of that shit is. Anyway, I plopped one slice out on a paper plate and it looks like it's made from plastic. Shiny and unnatural are the only two worlds I could come up with to describe this. I was going to take a bite of it just to taste but I shuddered at the thought.

Ok, so, let's set the cheese aside and move on to the bread now. The name is just Family Style White Enriched Bread. And it's distributed by European Bakers out of Thomasville, GA. Ah, but as per usual, there is no European Bakers in Thomasville, GA.

European Bakers is just a brand name for Flowers Foods which is Flowers Specialty Brands, LLC. Which apparently has been in the baking scene for over 80 years. Don't be fooled, they ain't no small ma and pa shop in GA. They also make some of the, in my opinion, better brands out there like Nature's Own, Cobblestone Mill and Tastykakes! Ah... Tastykakes, that takes me back to my college den where I frolicked from opium den to opium den eating tastykakes. Memories...

Sorry, back now, not much to this product. This also has a laundry list of ingredients I just did not want to invest the time into reading. Reaching into the bag, the bread was nice and soft and airy and fluffy. I was actually expecting it to be stale and nasty but it really wasn't.

I finished making my sammich and took the first bite. The bread was good, I mean, if I didn't already know that it was from the dollar store, I would have never guessed it. It was fresh... then my palate touched the cheese... Holy hell, that was disgusting. It felt like chewing on a piece of rubber and it tasted off. I can't really describe it but it was dry and slightly bitter. It tasted totally artificial... like taking a bite out of Nicki Minaj where she made of pasteurized processed sandwich slices.

I actually did finish it but the last couple of bites were kinda rough. Someone, the cheese got to my brain and all I could taste was the damned cheese... oh god... the cheese... I think it got in my hair... Oh no, it's in me!!! Scores:


Bread: Score:


Hello there! I'm back!

I recently lost my job which means I have a helluva lot more time to squander on the internet and blog. Since we lost one source of income, it also probably will mean a lot more trips to The Dollar Tree to cut corners. Such was the when it came time to buy more dishwashing detergent. Unlike before, The Dollar Tree now seems to carry several brands of most of their products. I actually had a few options when I went to pick up this lemony jewel which was a nice surprise.

There are 8 people in our household, myself, the little lady, and 6 "chirrens" so you can imagine the mountains of dirty dishes that pile up daily. Add to that the fact that nobody around here enjoys washing dishes and you end up with an overused dishwasher and morbid amounts of dishwasher detergent.

I opted for Power X Crystal Gel because the packaging was very similar to the name brand stuff and it looked the least cheap of the bunch. As with 99% of the products The Dollar Tree offers, this too was "new & improved" with a Fresh Lemon Scent... if your idea of lemon scent is a combination of semen and PineSol.


Another interesting fact is that, unlike most of the crap I buy here, this is a true 'Murican product made right here in Missouri (which is one of the handful of states I couldn't find on a U.S. map if my life depended on it) by a company called CSI Products, Inc. I would tell you more about this company, but I even being bored and unemployed couldn't get me to sift through a website for a company that makes cleaning products.

Lastly, on packaging, even though the label comes equipped with a fancy QR code, it takes you to a broken link.

I put my PowerX to the test with a small load since I had one of the kids load and they just plain ol' suck at it. This is actually only about 20% of what we usually cram into the poor dishwasher.

Power X pours a Lemon-Lime-Gatorade-Yellow but with the consistency of mucus-from-a-toddler-with-a-runny-nose. Directions are plain and simple, "fill all holes with our goo" sorta deal and press the start button.

A little while later the dishes came out spotless and awesome (forgot to take a picture). But, awesomely enough, Power X did he job perfectly and for 30oz for a bottle, it's a great deal. I think this is gonna be a keeper instead of buying the name-brand stuff from now on!


Monday, September 26, 2011


The opening sentence for this entry has been written and re-written more times than in any other entry. One reason being the sheer pointlessness of the product I'm reviewing today, but even more so, for the two reasons I purchased this item.

Reason one: I've always heard that the best path to achieve the so-called American Dream is by starting your own business. I got that part down and did so with a couple of friends last year. Unfortunately, the business I chose is film making; not exactly a cash cow when you're shooting independent, no budget, self financed, arthouse film. Tiburon Rojo Films, which is the name of our company, means Red Shark in Spanish and it has been growing faster than I could have imagined. In my opinion the recognition has to do with some of the creative marketing/promotions tools we've used to plug the company around town.

Reason two: A friend of mine, and the latest member to join the Tiburon Rojo Films team, recently introduced me to GeoCaching. If you don't know what GeoCaching is I suggest that you give it a good read and maybe try it. It's really fun and gets you out and about to some areas of your town you would have otherwise not visited. Geocaching can be done alone, with your partner, a group of friends or your kids (If you have them).

So, what the hell did I buy and what the hell does the above reasons have to do with it? Well, I purchased three bags of little hard plastic toys called Sealife Creatures. I would give you more information on the product but that's pretty much all the generic label said.


WTF? indeed...

Let me explain. In GeoCaching you find containers that... well, contain anything from a tiny log of visitors to a variety of objects known as SWAG. Cachers can either leave or trade SWAG when they find caches. By now you should be getting a broad idea of why I purchased such pointless product to begin with. I wanted to start leaving SWAG in all the caches I found while at the same time shamelessly plugging in Tiburon Rojo Films.

I went to the Dollar Tree by my job during lunch looking for toy sharks that I would then paint red (since finding red sharks is pretty unheard of). But my beloved Dollar Tree and it's Chinese cohorts surpassed every expectation I'd set for this expedition. Not only did they have little plastic toy sharks but they had RED little plastic toy sharks! How effin' convenient for me!


I purchased three bags and each with 3 sharks and 3 alligators (that were significantly larger than all the sharks) in a variety of colors. When I finally separated the animals, as much for promotional purposes as to avoid another Jaleel White monstrosity, I ended up with 6 red sharks, 2 blue sharks and a lonely purple shark.


Some of my sharks and alligators had some minor shoddy craftsmanship which I had to fix. Not a big deal if you're a poor kid and only got this bag of lead-laced crap for a gift, but pretty noticeable if you're a DIY company using it for promotional purposes.


Oddly enough, Orangelo, the orange alligator seemed to have grown a 5th leg due to radiation exposure... or maybe he was just happy to see me.


All I want to do with my red sharks is to drop them in some caches with a small QR code that will take other cachers to my company's website; and for that, they are excellent. The detail on the little sharks is pretty good given where they came from and that they truly fail miserably as an actual toy of any sort.


I cannot imagine why anybody would buy this for anything other than why I bought them. Again, as a toy they fail miserably. But if you are a small business owner who can use small, plastic, colorful, left-over alligators to promote your company, give me a holler, I have plenty. If you are a small child whose parents can't or won't buy you anything other than this pathetic excuse for a toy... my condolences.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


So, as I drove to one of the 4 (yes, 4) Dollar Trees that are within a 5 mile radius of my house I noticed The Mighty Dollar. It seems the girls have gone there several times with my ex-wife and speak wonders of the new store. I was skeptical to visit as at the time I did not know anything about this company. My initial thought was that the Mighty Dollar was a mom & pop dollar store operation which in my experience usually feel like a family dropped a bunch of useless trinkets to be sold. Today I learned they're a regional company with an aggressive campaign to take the crown from the Dollar Tree.

They claim that they differentiate themselves by offering name brand products for only $1. They also claim they've sold merchandise with an original $100 price tag for $1. When I visited the store I saw nothing of the kind. It seemed like any other local dollar tree effort with a hell of a lot less variety than the Dollar Tree. The merchandise in most aisles is of the same quality as the Dollar Tree but quantities and variety are noticeably limited.

I seriously doubt they will create even the slightest dent on the Dollar Tree's throne but I will keep a close eye on their merchandise for comparison.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Today, boys and girls, we are going to take a stroll down the completely useless and pointless lane. I've noticed that the Dollar Tree excels the pointless, useless and sometimes even "wtf?ish" type of toys arena. Today's entry, Magic Grow Safari Animals, qualifies for all three of these categories.

I usually go to the Dollar Tree once or twice a week with the girls. Unlike my days as a child when Dollar Stores did not exist, the girls usually walk away with a toy or some trinket during every visit. Fabianna usually goes for traditional girly stuff or stationary (notebooks, pens, erases, etc) but Larissa on the other hand usually goes for weirder things. Suffice it to say one time she bought a sunny side up egg toy set complete with a plastic "iron skillet". This time around she became incredibly excited at the fact that she could grow animals from the comfort of her own kitchen!

I've seen all sorts of grow-it-yourself shit that range from Spider-man towelettes to freakin' anonymous figurines no one has ever heard of. So growing sponge safari animals seemed innocent enough to purchase for her.

First off, this product was made in China seemingly by Ja-Ru Incorporated and, as per usual, distributed by the good peeps at Greenbrier. As with most companies dealing with the Dollar Tree I was unable to find Ja-Ru online. The only available information is that they're based in Jacksonville, FL and that "In November 2007, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an organization comprised of asbestos victims and their families, found a variety of consumer products and popular toys contaminated by asbestos. JA-RU’s Toy Clay was among those toys." Fortunately, Larissa is comprised of 65% asbestos and 35% clay so I sensed no threat to her if our sponges had the same problem as Ja-Ru's clay.

According to the box, this 18 piece set allows you to grow the following animals:

Kudu (called an Antelope here)
Zebra (or horse if you've no imagination)
and Giraffe

Instructions were simple enough:

"1. Drop capsule in warm or hot water
2. Watch as it begins to change shape!
3. In a few minutes it will become an animal shape!"

Yet somehow, I still managed to fuck up the first batch by using cold water instead of warm or hot water; mostly due to the fact that I didn't read the instructions but only looked at the pictures which I understood to be:

1. Plankton lives naturally in water
2. Plankton owns a vibrator!
3. Giraffe is born!

We dropped the capsule in (erroneously) cold water and waited next to the glass of water in the same way you stand next to a microwave while it nukes your frozen dinner at work. After five completely uneventful minutes we only ended up with green fuzz enclosed in a thick layer of mucus-like film.

Twenty minutes later and still no change, so we decided to remove the thick mucus-like film to help speed up the process.

After a few more hours we gave up and we forgot about the whole incident for a few days. Some time later I randomly picked up the box with the rest of the unused capsules and re-read the instructions. Duh! I called Larissa over and we tried again with hot water. And as advertised on the box the foam began to expand in a couple of minutes.

Unfortunately, after about 10 minutes the sponges still did not resemble the form of any multicellular organism I know of. Instead, 4 amorphous globs of fuzz lay in the now cooled off water.

We waited another thirty minutes and finally gave up. We pulled the fuzzy globs out of the water and below are the "animals" we came up with.

After we laid out our animals Larissa's first question was, "so what do we do with them now? how do we play?" and well, I had no freakin' clue. I mean, how exactly do you entertain a 5 year old with a set of sponge animals from the Chernobyl zoo? So I told her she could wash the dishes with them... which she actually tried and found out the sponges weren't even good for that. She left a soapy mess in my kitchen and turned to her DS for solace.

All in all this was probably one of the worst and most pointless ways to burn a good dollar.