Saturday, October 21, 2017

A&W Halloween

The sun was setting and I could hear the vampires preparing to come out for breakfast.

Tattered strips of cloth from careless mummies littered the dead branches and thorny bushes.

I stepped in a pile of green goo, only to realize it was the ectoplasmic remains of some ghostly party in the woods the previous night.

The old witch's hut was just beyond the hill dotted with grave markers of the sickly frontiersmen that passed through these parts 150 years ago.

And then I found the perfect spot to take pictures of this year's A&W Halloween can... deep in the Haunted Woods.

It may not have happened exactly like that, but it's what I imagined as I trekked through the nature preserve outside of town to take these pictures.  Besides, who could be scared with a can showing such a cute little wolf man and his jack-o-lantern?  BOO!  Less than two weeks away...

Saturday, October 14, 2017

7Up Halloween

The leaves are changing color and falling.  The mornings and evenings are cool enough for a jacket.  The sun comes up later and later each morning, while setting earlier and earlier each evening.

And I got my first Dr Pepper Snapple Group holiday can yesterday.  Each fall their 7Up, A&W, Sunkist, Canada Dry, Welch's, and Sun Drop cans receive the Halloween treatment with designs featuring iconic monsters or other scary themes.

I've never completed a set, but it's still fun getting just a few.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October Loco

A co-worker gave this can of Monster energy drink to me last week.  It's one of the coolest cans I have now.  And in the spirit of taking pictures of spooky cans in autumnal backgrounds, I carried it with me today in search of the perfect background.  And I finally found it... a farmers market.

This Monster Juice is "mango loco" flavor.  I didn't get to try it, the can was empty when it was given to me.  But I was told it was very good!

On the back of the can is a short story about Halloween.  By the way, Halloween is only three and a half weeks away.  It'll be here soon...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October Is Here

Fall is here.  October is here.  My favorite time of year is here.  

This month I will be featuring some of my favorite Spooky/Halloween cans.  

The first can is Refresco de Los Muertos energy drink.  It means "Refreshment of the Dead" in Spanish.  Nice.  A friend gave this to me after he returned from a vacation in Dallas, Texas, this summer.

What better place to take a picture of the Refreshment of the Dead than a cemetery?  This is the cemetery where my grandparents, aunt, and uncle are buried.  This is not one of their tombstones, it was just an interesting one near the cornfield ready for harvest.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar

I read about this several weeks ago, but it wasn't until last week that I saw the can.  The can came in a trash bag full of cans someone gave me to be recycled.

If you were a fan of Coke Zero, get  ready for change.  Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has replaced original Coke Zero.  What's the difference?  Coca-Cola claims the new version tastes more like regular Coca-Cola but still has no sugar and no calories.  Why the name change?  People knew Coke Zero had no calories, but many didn't realize it contained no sugar, so the new name makes it clear the drink has neither.  

Back to the can... the front is iconic Coca-Cola red with white lettering, yet behind the red is black from the Coke Zero design.  I think it's an awesome combination of the two brand designs.  It should really stand out on store shelves.  

Will this be a success?  It can't be worse than the public outcry over New Coke back in 1985 when they fiddled with their flagship drink's formula.  Time will tell.  I haven't tasted it yet, but I don't consider myself a "soda connoisseur" so generally if it whets my whistle it's fine for me.  But there are exceptions.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cucumber and Seaweed

What a strange post title, but it'll make an even stranger snack some day...

Last weekend I was driving around the area and found a different Big Lots to check out.  I've mentioned Big Lots before as a good source of new cans for my collection.  And this time I found a can I certainly didn't have, a Cucumber Lime Rockstar energy drink.  It sounded so strange that I had to get it.  And I'm curious to see what it tastes like.

And then we saw something that sounded more foul than a cucumber/lime drink... roasted seaweed.  So I picked up a package of that too.  I know it's going to be one crazy snack when I get around to having it.  

Later we went into an ALDI grocery store and I saw a new Gridlock energy drink can I didn't have yet.  This was in a cool chrome can with light blue frosted/textured printing.  And it was a flavor I didn't have yet, Ultra White.

So it ended up being a pretty good outing.  Two new cans, one new snack, and a date with a bottle of mouthwash when I get around to trying this cucumber/seaweed combo.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Assassin's Creed Destiny

Do you play video games?  I do.

Have you played any Assassin's Creed games?  I have.

Are you excited about the upcoming Assassin's Creed Origins set in ancient Egypt?  I am!

So I was filled with joy when a coworker brought this Monster can to my office and asked if I had one like it yet.

Usually a can like this promoting a video game will have a code you can redeem which gives you some kind of experience boost or cosmetic item within the game, but this is just an advertisement.  A very cool-looking advertisement.

The game launches on October 27, so seven weeks from now I'll be playing it on my PS4.

But until then, I'll be in Destiny 2 traveling throughout our solar system defeating the evilness of Dominus Ghaul.

By the way, there is a 3-can set from Rockstar energy drink for Destiny 2, so I'll be watching for those.  But that'll be another post...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Veteran Cans

Mom called the other day and said she and Dad were at a store that had veteran/military Coca-Cola cans.  She asked if I had them yet.  Nope.  So they picked up a set of the tall 16 oz cans for me.  One side of the can shows the Coca-Cola bottle in the design of the USA flag.  They also picked up a Diet Coke can with the same flag-bottle design.

The reason these are so important to me is because Dad served in Vietnam.  He's proud of it, too.  He has info about his division and where they served framed and hanging in their front hallway.

He received two Purple Hearts while there.  When I went by their house to pick up the cans, I asked him to get the medals out so I could include pictures of them in this post.

He also brought out some of his other medals.  He has more, but they are buried a little deeper upstairs.

This post may have been more appropriate on Veteran's Day or Memorial Day, but it also goes to show you don't have to wait for those two days each year to honor our military and veterans.  Any day is a good day for that.  

My thanks to all who have served!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse 2017

It's almost here!!!

In case you haven't heard (haha), there's going to be an eclipse on Monday, 8/21/17.  It's the first total solar eclipse in the continental US in 38 years.  Everyone in the continental US will at least be able to see a partial eclipse and those lucky enough to live along the center line will enjoy the total eclipse.  And who lives along the center line?  Me.
They predict MANY thousands of people will be flooding Southern Illinois to watch.  I will be at my sister's house out in the middle of nowhere, away from all the traffic and crowds.  I should probably sit back with a nice cool Pepsi on Monday to enjoy the show, but it'll probably be a Diet Coke instead.  Why a Pepsi?

A few weeks ago I found this discarded can lying on the ground.  I was excited to see it was an advertisement for the eclipse.  It's a fun piece of memorabilia.

* Side note - this is the 400th post on this site.  Yay.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Chester isn't too far from where I live.  I've been there many, many times.  It's a small Southern Illinois town with less than 9000 people that's famous for being the home of Popeye.  Or more accurately, the home of Popeye's creator, E. C. Segar.  Segar was born in Chester and lived there until he moved in his early twenties.

So I thought it was pretty cool when someone recently gave this Popeye Energy can to me.  The front of the can is covered with Popeye cartoon strips.

This flavor is Clobberin Clementine.  The other flavor available is Bruiser Blackberry.

It says it has natural caffeine and contains nothing artificial.  So of course I had to examine the contents to see if there's any
spinach in it.  None.

Also missing from the ingredients is Olive Oyl!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Peace from Texas

My daughter recently returned from spending a week at the University of Texas at Dallas attending a youth leadership conference.

When she returned, she was handing out souvenirs that she got everyone and to me she handed a heavy plastic bag.  I could immediately tell they were cans, but had no idea how many or what they were.

We checked out all seven cans of Peace Tea, each flavor sounding more delicious than the previous one.  She had even taken a picture of all seven cans in her dorm room at the college (seen to the left).

The flavors are:
1. Razzleberry
2. Texas Style Sweet Tea
3. Georgia Peach
4. Sweet Lemon
5. Green Tea
6. Sno-Berry
7. Caddy Shack

In the end, we both got something out of her trip to Texas :)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dr Pepper Summer

I got home from work on Thursday and there was a package on my front porch.  I knew what it was and couldn't wait to open it.

A fellow can collector and I have been trying to track down the newest Dr Pepper can designs.  I found a couple of different ones in my area, but he had more success.  So he offered to send a bottom-opened can of each to me (the ones I had were top-opened).  

So I opened the box and checked out each can.  As a bonus, there was a Dr Thunder design I didn't have yet.

As in the business world, networking also helps in the hobby world.  Especially in a hobby such as this where different parts of the country, and world, have can designs unique to their area.  I've also received many cool cans from Canada from a collector up there.  

So it's a good idea to build a contact list of traders.  You never know where that can you so desperately need may show up.

Thanks again, G!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A Plastic Monster

Someone I know is currently on a trip to Dallas, TX.  It was a nice surprise this afternoon to get a text saying they had picked up this Monster can for me.  And the cool thing is... it's plastic.

I had heard someone mention plastic cans recently but I haven't seen any in local stores.  I checked the Monster website and this is their Hydro line.  The site says Hydro is "non-carbonated, lightly sweetened with natural flavors to make it thirst quenching and easy drinking."  In other words, energy water.

It currently comes in three flavors: Tropical Thunder, Manic Melon, and Mean Green (the can that's headed my way).

My only other experience with plastic cans was a set of experimental New York Seltzer plastic cans from 1987.  The set was my first can purchase on eBay and can be read about here.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Chasing Rabbits

For some reason, there has been an overabundance of rabbits in my neighbor in the last few months.  I can be outside for thirty minutes and easily see a dozen rabbits come and go.  And if I sit real still, I could almost reach out and catch one.

This reminds me an energy drink I found at Big Lots several months back called Chasing Rabbits.  Of course I had to buy it for its novel name.  I have yet to open it and try it, but tropical citrus sounds pretty good.

Speaking of chasing rabbits, I found a picture online of something that might help catch one...

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Father's Day Coce-Cola

A few weeks ago my kids gave me this interesting Coca-Cola can as part of my Father's Day gift.

What makes it so interesting?  Not the fact that it has an all-chrome lid.  Not the fact that "Coca" is misspelled.  Not the fact that it has white "bubbles" all over the can.  Not the fact that it must be an import since it has Asian text on it.

What made it interesting is it's a little pencil sharpener that's only 2" long.  Haha.  Not many calories in this one!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Can from the River

Last weekend I spent a couple of days at a local convention.  While there I decided to visit a statue that overlooks one of the rivers.  It was one of those local touristy things I had never done.

A few months ago we had a lot of rain.  It was historic flooding that almost prevented me from even being able to get to work.  But all the waters returned to their normal levels and most places were quickly cleaned up of all the silt, mud, and driftwood.  But not the site of this statue.

Above is a pic showing some of the trees and silt still along the riverbank.  The park service has mostly cleared the concrete walkway to the statue so people can get to it, but the statue still has some muddy patches and some logs in the way.
Along the walkway I noticed a few crushed, muddy cans out in the dirt but they were all beer cans.  Until I saw this one.  I walked out to it and found a Sunkist can.  And it was a design that didn't look familiar to me.

So I loosed it from the dirt and took a pic of it.  Its outside was muddy, but I could wash it.  The inside was about 75% packed with dirt and silt, but I could clean that out.  And the can was dented, which I've had success with repairing.  So I brought the can home.
Cleaning the outside was easy.  I used the hose outside to clean it off.  The caked dirt inside was a little tougher.  I would fill the can about halfway and swish the can for 10-15 seconds to loosen some of the dirt and then pour out the mud.  It was slowly chiseling away at the dirt.  After about twenty of these "cleansings", the inside was clean.  I brought the can inside and used an old toothbrush to scrub off the remaining dirt from the outside and my special tool to pop out the dents from the inside and the result is a new can for my collection.

It isn't one of the better-looking cans in my collection, but it has one of the better stories.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Freezer Didn't Fix It

dents on front of can
new rip on back of can
When I got to work last Monday, a coworker said he found a can for me but it was dented up.  At first glance I thought this was an alcoholic drink, but it's a sparkling juice beverage from Italy.  In fact, my only other can from Italy is another Sanpellegrino can.

In an effort to push out the dents, he had filled the empty can with water and put it in the freezer overnight hoping the ice would expand and push out the dents.  But the freezer didn't fix it!

When we pulled the can out of the freezer, we saw the dents were still there along with a new rip down one side.  The dents were stronger than the flat side, so it was the flat side that expanded and split.

So I let the ice melt and the water drain out.  It had been a good experiment even though it had ultimately failed.  I described a tool my dad gave to me a few years ago and how it had pushed out many dents.  So I brought the can home, used the tool, and now the can looks pretty good... except for the rip on the back side.
The can with the dents removed

But just as I told my coworker, I'd rather have a can with a rip in it than not have one at all.