Community Features

McDonald’s Mondays: Old packaging brings back old memories


Seeing this old McDonald’s bag really brings back memories. Back when I was a kid in the early 80’s, this was their branding scheme. It’s amazing how something like old packaging can really bring you back. Maybe that’s why so many of us are fascinated with youtubing old commercials from our childhood, or grabbing great relics of nostalgia off eBay.

If old merchandise packaging brings back pleasant memories for you too, check out Waffle Whiffer’s flickr collection. They have hundreds of scans of old packaging, just like the bag above. What a great way to preserve advertising of old. Great thinking, Waffle Whiffer!

Happy Garage Sale Inaugural Weekend!


While the Victoria Day long weekend is traditionally the first time we start to see garage sales pop up, last week was surprisingly quiet on the used goods front. But this weekend? I opened my front door and saw three of my neighbours with their lawns and driveways littered with trinkets and old chairs.

As I did my daily errands around town, yard sales were everywhere. Certainly more so than I remember in years gone by. Maybe it’s the economy? People need to get quick cash and people are looking to spend less money. It seems like the perfect solution for both parties.

Early in the season is always the best time to get awesome used stuff, though not always the best time to get a deal (those Labour Day yard sales where people just want the stuff gone are GREAT for haggling). Anybody out there have any great yard sale finds this past weekend? Anybody planning on having their own garage sale?

SmartCanucks Caption Challenge: Week 22


Cute kids are cute. Creepy kids are creepy. This one wins in both categories. That grin just spooks me right out! 😛

50’s nostaglia space toys always give me a chuckle. Kind of warms my heart to think about what it must have been like to dream about space while we were in the process of tackling it for the first time.

But enough of my waxing poetic — on with the captions!

McDonald’s Mondays: They’re EVERYWHERE


While we all know that it’s pretty hard to travel anywhere without finding a McDonald’s, it’s astounding how many there really are. In the United States alone there are nearly 14,000. How do I know? Thanks to

Somebody out there took the time to create a Google Maps overlay that shows the locations of every major fast food restaurant in the United States. It’s great if you’re traveling and want to know what’s going to be near your hotel that’s quick and easy to eat. If not, it’s just downright creepy and a great indicator of where the next great labour uprising might start.

Nothing similar to this for Canada that I can find. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Check it out at

For the Greener Good? Not quite, Wal-Mart


Now I’m not normally one to get indignant in the face of corporate BS, but this one just really rubbed me the wrong way.

Wal-Mart has been pushing their “For the Greener Good” initiative since the green living bandwagon kicked into full force some time ago, and for the most part I applaud them. As a company they’ve made some excellent decisions, and their corporate responsibility regarding environmental concerns has improved drastically. I totally get that one bad apple doesn’t spoil the bunch, but walking into my local Wal-Mart and seeing what I saw sent me into a Hulk-like rage.


Not only was the store lighting at 100% (something that had been reduced by 1/3 nationwide back in 2007 to conserve electricity), but every single display model lamp was plugged in and turned on to their brightest settings.

I really am a big supporter of what Wal-Mart is doing with their For the Greener Good campaign. You can read all about it on their company website. It’s just a shame that this one store doesn’t seem to get the message.

Am I just being too energy-conscious? Or is this a ridiculous waste of electricity?

Is Loblaw’s killing President’s Choice?


It’s a crazy thought, I know. Just hear me out.

Over the past few months Loblaw’s have changed the packaging on their No Name brand back to the old school look it had in the 80’s; simple black text on a yellow background, no pictures or unnecessary info. That on its own doesn’t raise any red flags. But, when that new packaging starts showing up on items that were formerly President’s Choice brand? That’s a bell-ringer.

Pictured above is a bottle of No Name Ginger Ale that I picked up last night at Zehrs. Until now, Loblaw’s has used their President’s Choice branding when it came to their in-house soft drinks. I’ve been buying their PC Ginger Ale religiously for a decade (it’s easily the best GA on the market), yet as I looked down the aisle there wasn’t a single President’s Choice 2L in sight.

Could this be an isolated incident? Is it possible they’re just switching their pop from one in-house branding to another? Absolutely. But it’s equally possible that the new No Name branding is going to slowly replace the President’s Choice label.

Sure it would be complete madness on their part, but then again somebody thought New Coke was a good idea.

Has anyone out there noticed any other President’s Choice products that have made the switch?

McDonald’s Mondays: Bridges make me hungry


…well, this bridge does anyways. While in no way does it have any direct relationship with McDonald’s, tell me seeing this doesn’t make you want a Big Mac right now.

[via flickr]

SmartCanucks Caption Challenge: Week 20


For the month of May the Caption Challenge is going to go a little thematic. Maybe it’s just my excitement over the new Star Trek movie or maybe it’s just that I’ve always got my head in the clouds, but for the next few weeks we’re going to try and keep our eyes on the stars. Don’t worry if you’re not too astronautically inclined, we’ll try to keep the pictures fun for everyone.

This week features some earth folks from the early days of the space race. What they’re doing, I haven’t the slightest idea. But I’m sure your witty captions can figure it out!

McDonald’s Monday: McCurry Victorious!


McDonald’s will go a long way to protect their trademark. So much so, in fact, that it seems they’re willing to sue any restaurant that starts with the prefix Mc. McCurry was one such restaurant.

The Malaysian-based, family owned establishment has little in common with McDonald’s outside of the “Mc” prefix and colour-scheme, but that was enough to set McDonald’s into an 8-year court battle over the name.

During that time, the restaurant dropped the C from their sign, going by the name M Curry until the dispute was resolved. M Curry’s menu couldn’t have been more different from McDonald’s. Serving traditional Indian foods like curry and dosai, there’s not a burger or fry anywhere in sight. The restaurants problems started back in 1999 when they decided to shorten their name from the rather verbose Malaysian Chicken Curry Restaurant. Since then it’s been an uphill battle of legal fees and undue stress.

Last week, M Curry’s owner climbed a ladder and put the C back on the sign. The battle was over. McCurry won out.

McDonald’s could still (and likely will) attempt to appeal the decision, and McCurry’s legal woes could be far from over. It’s just amazing to see the lengths some companies will go to to claim dominion over something as simple as a couple of letters.

SmartCanucks Caption Challenge: Week 19


Meet the New Republic, same as the Old Republic. Mon Mothma might say she’s changing the galaxy for the better, but why is it a stormtrooper still can’t walk down the street without being hassled by the man?

Ok – I think I’ve geeked out enough for one day. Now it’s your turn.

“These are not the captions you’re looking for.”

McDonald’s Mondays: Let’s Play Pretend


Earlier this month, the blog Woody Asks posed an interesting hypothetical: what would you do if McDonald’s changed their value menu to be 100% healthy?

No more double cheeseburgers. No more fries. No more small sodas or Junior Chickens. Just healthy foods.

McDonald’s has already been adding healthy choices to their menu for a few years now. The Fruit’n’Yogurt Parfait, apple slices, salads, grilled chicken sandwiches and wraps — the Canadian McMenu features a good selection of healthy items for those with a strong enough will to dodge the Quarter Pounder. Would replacing the Value Picks Menu with a $1.39 Healthy Picks Menu help consumers make better choices? And what would you want to see on the menu?

SmartCanucks Caption Challenge: Week 18


Everytime I come across a funny photo that I think is going to stump the captioners here on SmartCanucks, you always prove me wrong. Let’s see if you can do it again!

Also — it’s spring. Let this serve as your reminder to get your bike out of the shed and get riding this summer.


McDonald’s Mondays: McSnowmobiling!


The fine folks over at RobotNine have posted up an nifty collection of photos of strange McDonald’s locations from around the world. The real highlight? This McDonald’s in Piteå, Sweden opened the world’s first (and to the best of my knowledge, only) snowmobile-specific drive thru.

While you might not think there’d be much call for that, Piteå is in the Arctic Circle. You’re likely to find a few more snowcats than Prius’ that far north.

A little further research (courtesy of American Snowmobiler Magazine) shows that the project was short-lived. While the drive thru opened in 2002, the restaurant actually closed in 2007. There’s a pretty good chance that a major Swedish fast food chain may take over the facility, which means that hungry snowmobilers can still get their burger fix without shutting down their engines in the cold.

SmartCanucks Caption Challenge: Week 17


Do you even bother trying to get out of the car at this point? This is why you also keep a book in the car. This could take awhile.

So are you ready to start captioning, or are you feeling “sheepish”? 😛

McDonald’s Mondays: When they pay more, YOU pay more


On March 31st, Ontario raised their minimum wage from $8.75 to $9.50. On April 1st, Ontario McDonald’s raised the price on all of their sandwiches by 20 cents. Other menu items increased in price as well.

Is this indicative of a larger problem in our economy? We raise the minimum wage so that those earning it can make ends meet with the current cost of living, but to make up the difference businesses raise their prices thereby raising the cost of living? It sounds insane. Maybe it is.

Then again, maybe this is an isolated incident. Maybe it’s just McDonald’s. Have any of you encountered an increase in the cost of goods or services over the past few weeks?

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