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.