The intricacies of Crystal Light

Crystal Light bit

As a result of the South Beach diet we’re not really on, I have been drinking a lot of Crystal Light lately (yay, Aspartame!).  I flirted with Crystal Light a number of years ago, mostly with the “Natural Lemonade” flavor (which is far from natural, but pleasantly sour and cloyingly sweet, btw), but we’re drinking the whole Kool-Aid, as it were, this time.  There are a number of Crystal Light flavors available, as well as the pseudo-healthy vitamins/energy/herbal tropes that seem to be squeezing water off the $2.00-a-bottle shelf.  So we’ve been doing this for about four or five months now, and a thing I noticed right at the beginning has only now crystalized (if you’ll allow me that pun) in my mind.

While each individual Crystal Light package is the same size (a little foilish tube) they are filled with different amounts of powder for different flavors.  That is, I would have expected a fake flavoring change to involve just changing the “flavor crystals,” but it appears that they have to change other stuff, too, enough that the Blueberry White Tea tubes are packed to the gills, and the White Grape seems to have just a puff of dust in it.

There are intricacies to the making of Crystal Light that I had not previously suspected.

To wit, from the boxen:

Flavor oz. per packet
Natural Lemonade Flavor 0.14
Natural Blueberry Flavor White Tea 0.12
Berry Splash Artificial Flavor Hydration 0.09
Peach Iced Tea Artificial Flavor 0.07
White Grape Artificial Flavor 0.05

So, the Natural Lemonade has almost three times the powder of the White Grape.  I leave it to you to ruminate on the implications of this for world peace, party unity, and/or the future of the packaging industry.

Speaking of the packaging industry.

Photos, Front Pages, and Secrets of the Campaigns

There’s a lot to read out there post election, about the dysfunctional McCain campaign workings (imagine them running the country), about Obama’s plan (to be patient, apparently), about the future of the GOP (no future for you!), etc. But I found a couple of things I like best so far:

Two more since lunch:

Post Election Wrap

First, and I feel I need to get this off my chest: Boo-ya!  Take that, Permanent Republican Majority.  In your face.

Okay, thanks.

We watched CNN most of the night last night, except for one period of time between when they called Ohio and they called the Presidency, when the CNN pundits clearly knew Obama had won, but were not being allowed to say so.  Most salient during this period was when John King tried to show how McCain couldn’t win by giving him every single state left in the Union and showing how it didn’t add up to 270, when instead he could have just added California, Oregon, and Washington to Obama’s total and shown how he had more than 270.  I got so irritated by this (I actually felt insulted by them) that I switched to ABC’s coverage for half an hour or so.

But during our stay with ABC we only got to hear Cokie Roberts once, and George Will less than that, and frankly, seeing George and Charlie and Diane each at their Command Station™ made me yearn for CNN’s crowded Island of Opinion™, so we went back.

One of the best coverage comments of the night came from James Poniewozik on Time’s liveblog of the event, “God, switching over from the frantic cable news to Shields and Lehrer conversing on PBS is like listening to the Ents talk in The Lord of the Rings. Pontificate faster!”

From stuff I’ve read, it seems none of the Nets had the cojones to call it earlier than the poll closings on the West Coast.  Which I guess is okay, given the need to get voters out for Prop 8 in California.  But really, everyone with half a brain and elementary math knew it was over.  The Time liveblog noted the lack of a Tim Russert, a Big Dog, as they characterized him, able to buck the conventions and call it early.  RIP, Tim Russert.

As for what I thought (beyond my pithy one-liner at the top of this post), I had a couple of very random thoughts as I got ready for bed last night.  I Twittered one of them, but I’d like to expand on it a little.

My boys are 2 and 5.  The two-year-old sees Obama signs in yards (and on my chest) and declares “Rock Obama!”  But the five-year-old understands enough to know that Mommy and Daddy were eager to see Barack Obama win.  For my birthday he drew me a picture of Barack Obama (in a rocket, I think, I’ll have to find it and post it).  He was happy this morning when I whispered to him who had won, and gave him a great big hug.  But who am I kidding, he doesn’t know what the Hell is going on.  But I do.  I know that he will grow up in a world where black men (men, I realize, not women) know that they can be President.

The world is better.  In a small, tiny way, I have made it better.  For my children.  Damn.

Then, as I was falling asleep, I thought to myself, what is Obama going to do with his web site?  Will the White House site be turned in to a bully pulpit like  That would be all kinds of awesome.  All kinds.

Election resources for the weary and overloaded

I have been looking for the easiest way to understand what is going to happen tonight as the polls begin to close.  These are the resources I am marshalling to my defense:

  • Rundown of what to look for tonight – Taegan Goddard’s awesome schedule for tonight, when the polls close, what to look for each hour, and what it all will mean.  This is by far the best thing I have found (better than Josh Marshall’s, because it is shorter, by a lot), and I will be printing it out.
  • Google’s election results map – Hard to know if it will be helpful until the results start coming in, but I hope it will be a good place to go to bask in the Blue glow.
  • All purpose drink – So many ways to enjoy your alcohol.

I am also lining up my favorite political blogs (warning, partisanship ahead!) so I can roll in the hay, as it were, and enjoy, sweet, sweet revenge.  And, you know, all the healing and stuff the country needs, etc.  

That Princeton Band thing is an inside joke I will never explain.  Sorry.


There should be little doubt as to whom I would like to see crowned as President tomorrow (preferably just after 8:30 pm, Central). Barack Hussein Obama, is a man I believe in. A smart, confident, emotionally secure, loving man who will be only good for this country. Couple that with his opposition, an man beholden to all that is bad about US politics the past eight years, and who would be terrible for America, not to mention the world, and the choice should be clear.

But this is what impresses me the most about him: his raw intelligence, his astounding competence, his unfailing steadfastness. Even The Economist, in (grudgingly?) endorsing his candidacy, said this about his supposed inexperience, their biggest problem with him:

“But the exceptionally assured way in which he has run his campaign is a considerable comfort. It is not just that he has more than held his own against Mr McCain in the debates. A man who started with no money and few supporters has out-thought, out-organised and out-fought the two mightiest machines in American politics—the Clintons and the conservative right.”

Damn straight.