Iniard Watch

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Dairy Diet (Sponsored by the Dairy Association)

I have been hearing alot of promotion about the diet where you drink milk, eat cheese and yogurt, and lose your gut. I am not a diet expert, but I am skeptical when the people who profit from dairy products promote a dairy products diet.
There claim is that "Enjoying 3-A-Day™ of Dairy - 3 servings of milk, cheese or yogurt each day - as part of a reduced-calorie diet can help burn more fat and give better results when it comes to trimming the waistline than just cutting calories alone."

If it works out to be legitimate, that would be good, since I do like yogurt, but I am not sure if it is all that. After taking a quick look at the study the claim was based on, it seems too early to tell. The study was based on 32 obese people who went 24 weeks on a severely reduced calorie diet, some with dairy, some without. After the 24 weeks, the people who had dairy lost more weight than those who did not. I am not sure if my situation would give the same results as an obese person on a weight watchin boot camp.

The study also does not touch on the health dangers of higher fat and cholesterol. The research for the study was paid for by the makers of Lactaid, the milk anyone can drink. I also found this footnote on the study of interest:

The costs of publication of this article were defrayed, in part, by the payment of page charges. This article must, therefore, be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

55% Organic Lip Balm.. good enough for you?

I know that alot of people are jumping on the Organic food bandwagon. I have mixed feelings myself. Yes, it is good to limit the amount of chemicals we eat with our meals, but we bought some organic romaine hearts the other day and it was full of little red bugs that probably would not have been there if there were some pesticides used along the line.

Anyway, I bought some lip balm that was labelled "55% organic". Like there are actually people who would be impressed with that? 50% is take it or leave, but damn, 55% is a must have? The other 45% could be toxic chemicals, but the 55% filler material is organic!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Rental Car Insurance Rip Off

My wife and I rented a car this weekend from Enterprise. Since I have rented cars before I was waiting for the part where he would explain the expensive insurance options. To my suprise, the guy at the counter did not mention the insurance. As my wife was getting ready to sign the bottom I asked him about where you decline the insurance coverage. He then pointed out the $23 a day in additional charges! He was not even going to mention them! Our $40 a day rate would have been $63 a day. It depends on your own insurance coverage, but in most cases you are already covered with rental cars on your usual car insurance policy. Here is an article that describes some other things to watch for when renting cars.

Getting Greedy with the Pickles...

Well, pickle greed has bumped the price of my white castle combo meal up over the $6 mark. A #1 combo with 4 jalapeno cheeseburgers, fries and a coke, extra pickles is now reserved for special occasions. Near the end of last year they raised the price from $4.85 to $5.45, and now they started charging $0.55 for a small cup of extra pickles. Add in tax and I'm up over $6.

So now when I go to whitecastles for lunch, I skip the fries, pop, and extra pickles. 4 jalapeno cheeseburgers and an ice water are half the price ($3). It is amazing that the white castle iniards think that people are so addicted to pop and fries (and I guess pickles too) that we would spend twice as much to eat lunch!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Less Sugar More Hype... B-B-B-Busted!

Remember my early blog, Less Sugar, More Hype? Well, now some lady in California is suing General Mills for intentionally misleading consumers about its products. (Maybe she was inspired by Iniard Watch?) Probably not, but they are seeking a class action status in California to represent anyone who bought the cereals thinking they were healthier. Read more about it here.

The iniards at General Mills are now saying that they never made any health claims about the reduced sugar cereals. They were only responding to consumers interests in providing cereals with less sugar. They are blowing so much smoke out of their ass they can not see straight! They knew it was just a marketing scheme to try to increase sales. Now we can watch the iniards squirm trying to get out of hot water with this. There are some new studies to confirm that they are not any healthier because of the lower sugar.

Wake up with the King - (A Greasy Fat Freaky King)

Well, I have blogged a few times about how McDonalds and Wendy's look to be getting into the high profit healthier menu items. It looks like Burger King is bucking the trend and going after the people that just don't care about what they eat. Introducing the Enourmous Omelet Sandwhich...

At 760 Calories and 50 grams of fat, this meaty wonder even out fats the whopper. Get the combo with the grease nuggets and an orange juice, and you are starting your day off with 1130 calories and 65 grams of fat.

By the way, is anyone else freaked out by King in their new commercials? I had a nightmare last that I woke up and found that that big ass pez headed king freak laying next to me. It gives me the chills just thinking about it!!

Thursday, April 07, 2005


You may remember my previous blog about Blockbusters No More Late Fee scam. Well as it turns out, blockbuster has now settled a law suit brought on by attorney generals of 46 states. The No More Late Fee program can no longer be advertised unless all other fees and policies are clearly stated. Anyone who paid for the movies or for restocking fees are entitled to a refund. You can read more about it here.

They have already revamped their website so the only NO MORE LATE FEES banner you see is now the court required link from their homepage. What is interesting is how they describe the whole ordeal. They were working with a "negotiating group" (AKA a group of trial lawyers in a court of law) to further "enhance their communications about the program" (AKA to correct the lies and mistatements about their scam). And now they have a new "offer" (AKA court required reimbursement) for customers that "did not completely understand" (AKA were suckers as intended). It is funny how they try to look so good after being SPANKED so hard!!!

It now appears that their new initiative is to dip their balls a more proven business model like netflix offering dvd's delivered to your mailbox. I still stick to my previous prediction that Blockbuster will be belly up before too long.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Time to pack my lunch?

After keeping up with reports by El Blogo, who is seeing his lunch budget go through the roof because his wendy's extra value menu went away, I started to get concerned about my own lunch situation. After checking the Wendy's website, it seems that the extra value menu is available at participating restraunts only. So if your Wendy's decides to do away with it, complain to the manager or simply find another Wendy's to go to. If some Wendy's are starting to do this, however, I expect they will all be following suit. They will probably take notes from McDonalds.

It has been well publicized that McDonalds had significant increases in their profits last year, despite some negative press about the supersize me movie and the growing trend of people wanting to be more healthy. They did away with their "supersize" menus and started pushing the salads. It is easy to understand why their profits are going up. They charge outrageous prices for the salads knowing that people who are trying to be a little healthier are willing to pay a little more. This is why their entree salads are so expensive, but because the ingredients are expensive, and certainly not because of the labor involved. They make these salads up the night before (or maybe days ahead of time), and they sit in the cooler until you order it. If you order a salad and a dasani water, you pay over $6 and it takes them all of 5 seconds to get it out of the cooler. There is no bun to toast, to hamburger to grill, no ketchup to squeeze, nothing. Minimal labor and drastic markups on the ingredients equal more profit for Mcdonalds.

Now Wendy's could be starting to phase out the extra value meal, now that they are promoting the idea of substiting "healthier" (aka former value menu items) in place of fries. They probably realize that people will pay more combo meals if they thing they are eating somewhat healthier. Getting people off of the 99 cent salad and potatoe meal may also force more people into the pricey entree salad category (which is not necessarily healthy). Time will tell, but we will be watching....

p.s. my $2 combo at wendy's consist of (2) ceaser side salads with low fat honey mustard dressing and an ice water. Two salads together are about as much food at less than half the costs and calories of the pricey entree salad.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Tide ColdWater Cleans Your Wallet Out (in Cold Water!)

Breaking news alert... Proctor and Gamble, out of concern for the escalating energy crisis, has developed a new laundry detergent for washing clothes in cold water. They claim that the energy to heat the water is the most expensive part of doing laundry and the average household will save $63 a year on utility bills.

I used their online calculator to determine that my households laundry habits would only save about $25 a year in utilities. What they do not figure into their calculation, however, is how much extra you will spend on their detergent.

If you go to the grocery store, the regular tide is the same price as the new cold wash tide for the same size box. However, for each load of the cold wash detergent, you need a bigger scoop, so the same size box does fewer loads. If you are already using tide (which is already about 15% more expensive than the next highest priced brand), then the additional cost of detergent over the course of a year is about $22.

Since I do not like to piss my money away on soap, I buy bulk laundry detergent at sams club. I get 96 loads worth for $10.78 (ALL free n clear). If I were to switch to the new Tide cold wash, so I could save $25 a year in my utilities, it would cost me an EXTRA $71 a year in detergent.

P&G is spending tons of money on advertising this breakthrough product, trying to get people hooked on it. What really chaps my ass about the whole thing is how they are trying to come out as the good guy for trying to solve the world's energy crisis. They have a campaign they call the coldwater challenge. They are trying to get a million people to sign up for the challenge to save energy. If a million people do the challenge, they will donate $100k to help low income families with their utility bills. How special.

If they get a million people like me to switch, they would be getting rich from selling detergent. They do not care about the energy consumers use, they are only after the money we spend on utilities, and then some. The $100k they pledge to donate is only about 0.2% of the extra money they will get out of people. INIARDS!!

Social Security Reform

There is a lot of propaganda floating around about what people should think about social security reform. Clear your head of all the media opinion that probably comes to mind and take a few minutes to learn more about it and how it will affect your own retirement planning...

The British are Coming! The British are coming! (all over my tv!)

Every other reality TV show has a british speaking host. Do the network executives think that the american tv viewing audience is addicted to sound of a british accent. Is it true? Personally I am not as wooed by the accent as others must be. There is nothing wrong with a host that speaks english with an american accent. It is almost getting ridiculous. Many of the shows have hosts with obviously fake accents, like they realized that their resume was lacking the british accent, so they are improvising with a bastardized combination of european accents. Have you heard Madonna do any interviews lately? Apparantly she is also trying to gain popularity by adopting a british accent. What's next? Local news anchors, politicians, ??? I say we take pride in being american and quit glamorizing the accent.