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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My favourite is also the healthiest of NZ's popular potato chips

Neato. Normally I get to report that something I thought was healthy is actually a gluten fueled saturated fat nightmare. Today I found a recent article on Stuff showing that I have it right(*) for once.

Are potato crisps all the same or do some stand out as healthier? Stuff lifestyle put six popular brands to the test. These six different crisps were compared nutritionally. Their total fat, saturated fat, sodium and kilojoule contents were used to determine the "healthiest" brand(s). Comparisons were made using "original" or "salted" varieties (these normally contain fewer additives than flavoured varieties) and 20 volunteers were also asked to rate them on taste. THE RESULTS - FROM HEALTHIEST TO LEAST HEALTHY No 1: Proper Hand-Cooked Crisps - Marlborough Sea Salt (our purchase cost $4.69)

OK, OK. No potato chip is ever the ultra healthy option, but at least I've been choosing the least bad option of many & I do like their chips.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Reading in dreams. A prophesy that wasn't

I've heard many times that you can't read in a dream. For more than 30 years  I've also known from personal experience that this isn't universally true. I first heard the statement many-many years ago,possibly in Carl Sagan's 1977 book The Dragons of Eden which I read sometime before I moved to Wellington in late 1979.

Some time later than this, but while still living where I lived from 1980 until 1985, I had a dream where I read a Dominion Newspaper's front page saying that Scott Base had been destroyed by fire. When I awoke I remembered the headline,  the date of the paper (Month and day), an NZPA byline and the time of day (Early morning).

As the April date of the paper was only a few days after the dream, I was very careful to let a couple of trusted friends know about the dream and was vastly relieved when the date came and went without any reports of damage to the base.

Scott Base, then, as now, was New Zealand's main Antarctic scientific base so it would have been a major blow had the dream come true. Then, as now, I was a rationalist and did not believe in prophetic dreams, so I did not alert the authorities, I believed that I would have been regarded as a kook.

More than thirty years have gone by now, with no major fires reported there. For the first few years I paid attention to the news every April, but gradually things changed so it was no longer reasonable to have any credence that even if a fire happened that it could be associated to my dream. I've never completely kept it secret, but I've also never talked publicly about that dream before.

Other than personal changes, mostly minor to others, there have been major and meta changes. The Dominion is no longer published under that name, NZPA has wound up, I get my news from 24 hour news TV and newspaper sites on the Internet so no longer read newspapers in paper form.

This dream can no longer come true. It was not a prophesy. There was no warning that unless someone (possibly me) changed their behaviour, a deity would smite the base. It was a dream, it involved reading a newspaper front page, something I could do, it did not involve my having an "eye of god" view of the base.  Because it was limited to things reasonable in my life then and it lacked supernatural overtones, it was thoroughly believable, and that was the scary thing.

Imagine if a coincidence had happened? Imagine if a fuel fire had destroyed the base on that day. If I had believed I could have prevented it, I would have felt dreadful. In my defence, I doubted then, as I doubt now, that anyone would have listened to me.I described it to the friends I told about it as a weird dream, not one of them suggested I should try to warn anyone.

I'm not a superstitious person, but I can imagine how one would have felt if they believed that this was a message from God or an Angel. I can understand why they feel a need to warn. What if instead of a dated newspaper, they were simply told that an event was "Near"? Thankfully I was spared this.

Any time after 1995 I could have written about this, so why today? I'm documenting it today because I read a blog Comics I don't understand by "CIDU Bill" where he talked about reading (in multiple languages even) in a dream of his. This reminded me that the 30th anniversary of the last possible date of the dream had passed, and it would be good to document it now.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Election website nominated for Webby award

On The Fence - an interactive web tool devised by Massey University design students - has been nominated for a Webby Award. The Webby’s are the annual awards for excellence on the Internet, with nominees selected by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

The other four nominees in the political blog/websites category are Rolling Stone magazine’s online coverage of America’s Gun Violence Epidemic, and US political news/commentary sites factcheck.org, truthdig, and politico. Winners of The Webby’s People Voice awards are determined by the number of popular votes nominees receive.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Backpackers "Steal" van by mistake

When I first read this I thought it was young tourists trying it on
Three German tourists say they have become unintentional vehicle thieves through a quirk of backpacker culture.

The tourists said they thought they were allowed to take a van left at Christchurch Airport with the keys in the driver's door as they had been told that backpackers sometimes left vehicles they could not sell at airports for other backpackers to take.
More at Stuff.co.nz
Then I thought a bit more and remembered a trip to the UK with my father over 40 years ago. He'd bought a barely roadworthy car for getting around in and late in the trip the question of how we would get rid of it came up. Before he found a wreckers who would accept it, he seriously considered simply gifting it to an incoming tourist at the airport. I can't remember if he mentioned that he knew of some place where this was expected or if he was just blowing off steam.

It sounds like backpackers are now a bit more organised.

I hope this conviction doesn't overly harm the futures of these 3 young Germans.

Obviously I didn't hear the full story, but from what I read in Stuff, I would have given them the benefit of the doubt.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Internet New Zealand member consultation

Gosh, has it been ½ a year already? It seems like only yesterday we had the September InternetNZ consultation on the 30th. I blogged about it, but I was totally wrapped up in the non smoking issues and paid little attention to the actual issues in my report.

Tonight was almost the mixture as before. I feel that we tend to discuss the same issues over and over again without advancing what we are seeking to achieve. Sure there are different views, and I could accept if we went with one or more of the view points I oppose, at least we would be doing something.

It's more of a topic for ¿Que? than for here, but I honestly feel that we stand today at a crossroads, the internet can be used either as the greatest tool for the free exchange of ideas between the peoples of the world and if not ushering a time of peace, at least usher in a time where we understand our opponents enough to know why we fight; or the internet can be used as an engine of repression that would make the world of Orwell's 1984 seem liberal. Already from the cellphones we all carry it is possible to do far more information gathering than the telescreens in 1984 could manage.

Internet NZ is the only New Zealand organisation that understands the issues, has the funding to be involved and has the mandate. I only wish it had the will.


Meanwhile, the drink and the smokes? Predictably enough I felt far less on edge than in September. Going home, despite the drink, I felt no more than my usual mild desire for a smoke. I don't think I'm having that linkage anymore.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Six months smokefree today

According to my stats on quit-line:

Smokefree months: 6 months
Smokefree days: 181 days
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 5430
Total savings: $4,868.90.

On Saturday the 6th September, 6 months ago today, I was searching home over and over again to see if I had some cigarettes or tobacco left anywhere. I'd already admitted to myself that if I'd found any I would have smoked them. I may have searched home but I was also determined not to leave home and go anywhere near a petrol station or dairy.

At the time I seriously doubted I would last the day, let alone the weekend. It had been such a long time since I lasted more than a couple of days without smoking. This time though I had two secret weapons. I had Champix and I had the Quit-line blogs.

I vividly remember that first day. I strongly remember the first month quit and then my memory of quitting blurs. I'm guessing that it's because of the lack of firsts and other notable events coupled with a change to my mind where not smoking has become my new normal.

The lesson for you is that if a weak-willed cigarette addict like me can last 6 months, anyone can.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Quitter, Non-smoker and Ex-smoker

Earlier today on Quitline,  Axl231261 and g1nny posed the question "When do we go from Ex Smoker to Non-Smoker?"

I'm not sure that it is a progression. Quitting is a process at the end of which you've become an ex-smoker. Being a non-smoker can also be interpreted as a function state .. one who does not smoke.  If I'm not smoking, I'm a non-smoker. If I'd never smoked I would be a non-smoker. If I'd given up 20 years ago I'd be a non-smoker. If I gave up yesterday I'd still be a non-smoker:
Time QuitEx smokerQuitterNon-smoker
Never smokedNNY
Still smokeNYN
1 day?Y?
100 daysYY?

Most of the table cells make sense, but the question marks are the ones where interpretation is required. Personally I'd say the ? marks should be replaced (left to right) by N, N, Y even though that second N contradicts the previous paragraph. Redefine "Non-smoker" purely functionally as "Non-smoking smoker" and I'd agree with the Y.

I'm still trying to work through going from "Quitting" to "Ex-Smoker". While I wasn't smoking and getting by with Champix, a chemical aid, I was definitely a Quitter. Since then I've been a couple of months not smoking without any chemical assists. Functionally a non-smoker during that time, but with internal turmoil that makes me wonder about my commitment to the process.

The way I model it for myself is that I'm a nicotine / tobacco smoking addict and basically I'm like any other Addict. I happen to be clean and I can usually tell you how many days clean. I have acquired methods and techniques that help me avoid smoking and I have a support network that helps me stay clean. But, beyond all this I am an addict. I am a non-smoking tobacco addict, I don't think I'm really an ex-smoker yet and don't think I have any right to describe myself as that until I realise I go days in a row without thinking about smoking.

That's what I'll say to my fellow quitters. For the last 15 years I've worked with a guy that gave up before I met him. He's told me that he found describing himself as a non-smoker rather than an ex-smoker had one big advantage for him; people didn't offer him cigarettes in the way that they did when he said he was an ex-smoker. I don't know if the 21st century differs greatly from the 20th in this respect, but when talking to a non-quitter that doesn't know me as a smoker I describe myself as a non-smoker and would decline an offered cigarette with a polite "No thanks, I don't"

Upgrading Postgres to 9.4 beta3

I've been running Debian testing for quite a while and have recently had an error when attempting to update my Postgresql database
The on-disk format of the PostgreSQL 9.4 data files has changed between
beta2 and beta3 (and as a consequence, the catalog version number). For that
reason, existing PostgreSQL 9.4 clusters need to be dumped using the old
package version, and reloaded after upgrading the packages.

The postgresql-9.4 package will now refuse to upgrade because version 9.4
clusters exist on the system.

Per default, a "main" cluster is created. Run "pg_lsclusters" to check if
other clusters exists, and repeat the steps below appropriately.

To resolve the situation, before upgrading, execute:
# su - postgres
$ pg_lsclusters
$ pg_ctlcluster 9.4 main start
$ pg_dumpall --cluster 9.4/main | gzip > 9.4-main.dump.gz
$ cp -a /etc/postgresql/9.4/main 9.4-main.config
$ pg_dropcluster 9.4 main --stop

Then after the upgrade, execute:
# su - postgres
$ pg_createcluster 9.4 main
$ cp 9.4-main.config/* /etc/postgresql/9.4/main
$ pg_ctlcluster 9.4 main start
$ zcat 9.4-main.dump.gz | psql -q --cluster 9.4/main
$ rm -rf 9.4-main.config 9.4-main.dump.gz
So I did this :) only to get the following message on the zcat | psql step
ERROR:  role "postgres" already exists

Googling for the error message gave the suggestion that I should use the command dropuser postgres, but that just produced the message
dropuser: removal of role "postgres" failed: ERROR:  current user cannot be dropped

At this point I tried a little poking around and close to the top of the dump file I discovered the line
CREATE ROLE postgres;
A quick test of dropping the CREATE ROLE line worked first time. This meant that the zcat line now reads
zcat 9.4-main.dump.gz | grep -v 'CREATE ROLE postgres'|psql -q --cluster 9.4/main

With this change the upgrade's worked without obvious errors and psql is responding to simple queries. Unfortunately I don't know enough about postgres to be able to say that everything is working.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Last Christmas: Dr Who is scary again

Warning: I discuss the plot of the episode. If you're unhappy with details of a programme you haven't seen being discussed, please watch the episode now and then return here.

One of my strongest single childhood memories was hiding behind my mother's chair while watching the original Dr Who avoid the Daleks in their metal floored city. I was definitely at least 6 and probably no more than 8.

I've never understood why, before the middle of the 20th century, children's entertainment was permitted to be seriously frightening nor why after that it was forced to become so completely bland and non-threatening, but The Dr lived through that era and was destroyed by it.

Dr Who of the early 1960s was for a young child a very frightening TV programme. It was scary but at the same time I never wanted to miss a minute; hence the cramped space between mum's arm chair and the wall. Later incarnations of The Dr became less frightening. Obviously I was maturing but I also think that the BBC had been gradually turning down the fright as they slowly but surely turned it into the self parody it became before ultimately being shut down.

They say you are always a fan of your first Dr Who so it would be interesting  to hear from people a few years younger than me if they found the 1970s and 1980s versions of Dr Who as shallow as I did. Was it purely that I was maturing and out-growing the show?

Since the show was resurrected I've enjoyed watching the occasional episode as the new Dr Who was, I felt, still accessible to younger people without being a silly parody. Tonight I watched Peter Capaldi's 12 Doctor and Clara Oswald in the 2014 Christmas special  Last Christmas.  For the first time since those halcyon days of the early 1960s I felt genuine horror while watching the show. Sure I'm now an adult and didn't need to hide, and the horror of being trapped in nested dreams by a parasitic creature would probably escape attention by a 6 year old, but to me the thought of the mind being forcibly taken over by predators was scary.

The episode started as almost a comedy with Santa Claus crashing his sleigh at, Clara's house. I thought "Oh no, another parody" but then the episode turned dark with strange shambling aliens and "Dream crabs", spider like creatures, attaching the guest victims ... except that Santa Claus returned and then either was or wasn't there, eventually being there almost to the end.

I think that what made the horror aspect work so well was that there was this mixture between the comedy elements around Santa Claus and the horror elements around the dream crabs. At first it seems to be a standard comedy horror spoof, except that as things carry on it becomes obvious that it isn't this and that the apparent comedy elements are actually a part of the horror.

Eventually everything is resolved, but this is hardly a surprise as we know the Dr will always survive and while there have been companions that have died, I can't remember any recent cases.

I've said to Tessa a few times that I like the thought of Dr Who far more than I like the reality of Dr Who, but if they can start producing shows of this quality I may well become a serious fan again, a mere 50 years after first being one.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Smoking in the Magazine of The Ship of Fools

Well, it's officially the Christmas holiday for me and I'm not due back at work until the 5th, except that I committed some code changes just before leaving for the break and my conscience won't let me just leave potentially bad code in the pool for 2 weeks so I'm quietly monitoring things remotely. I simply didn't want to return to the new year with code changes from the old year half done if I could help it.

I'm also going to be checking for any urgent queries over the break. Hopefully nothing seriously difficult to deal with.

Other than that I don't need to worry about the wonderful world of printing for a couple of weeks.

I'm also 109 days into quiting smoking and just coming up to a portion of the year where everything is different. Between now and Anniversary day I have Christmas, New Year, 2 weeks holiday, one weeks work and then the 2015 Linux Conference of Australia ... held in the great Australian City of Auckland.

It's all good, but also the first time I've done any of these things since giving up and my experience of the last 109 days is that the first time I do anything since quitting, the addiction will trigger and try to convince me that it's time to have a cigarette. It's really weird how that works. I know I'm not planning on having a smoke but somehow the addiction thinks that just a little extra push and I'll crumble like a house of cards.

Perhaps a little more worrying is that I've been feeling a weakness particularly in the arms and legs; strangely not especially connected to my exercise routine but I have been feeling a desire to cut that short. For now I'm treating it as psychosomatic as it doesn't seem at all consistent, but if I end up taking a couple of extra days rest from exercise over the break it will be interesting to measure how that affects this weird little ailment.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What is it about tobacco addiction?

Last night I would happily have smoked at least one cigarette. Today I didn't even think about it except when on Quit-line and even then it pretty much felt an abstract thing.

Last night I noticed the smokers outside at the food hall in Te Awa, this afternoon I sat at the next table to some at Circus Circus and only realised when I saw the waiter removing their used ashtray.

I like the TV programmme Coronation St, and several of the characters on there are smokers. Usually I notice when one of them lights up. I watched last night's episode this evening and I couldn't tell you if anyone actually had a puff.

What's tomorrow to bring? Will I cruise through or will I have to fight myself toa standstill? Why can't the damned thing make up its mind how to attack?

BTW: Have you ever noticed how on Coro (and possibly other TV shows) they always have a full-size cigarette in their mouths even if they've supposedly been smoking it for a while.

Sometimes, I wish

Sometimes I wish my back didn't hurt as much when I drive;
Sometimes I wish I hadn't had to drive to Hamilton and back tonight.
Sometimes I wish I could still light up while waiting for Tessa so we could go home;
Sometimes I wish I could have, one, just one;
Sometimes I wish the addiction wouldn't lie to me.

Sometimes I wish Christmas was already over;
Sometimes I wish I was a child and Christmas was still magic.
Sometimes I wish I'd never started smoking;
Sometimes I wish I was starting my quit next week.
Sometimes I wish I could have, one, just one;
Sometimes I wish the addiction wouldn't lie to me.

Sometimes I wish my friends on here wouldn't have their own problems quitting;
Sometimes I wish the addiction wouldn't lie to them;
Sometimes I wish I didn't have to be strong for them.
Sometimes I wish I could have, one, just one like I tell my friends.
Sometimes I wish the addiction wouldn't lie to me.

Sometimes I wish I could climb into bed and pull the covers over my head.
Sometimes I wish it was only sometimes.

Sometimes ... Often ... Always ...

I Wish.

Bruce Clement, December 2014

No, I'm not in any trouble or an especially bad place tonight. I just wanted to externalise this as a bad poem.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park 2014

I work close enough to the Auckland Domain that access to our street is affected by this so work got a notice with times etc for road closures, the two rehearsals, etc. We can't go to tonight's official show so along with several hundred others we decided to take in the dress rehearsal last night.

Attending the rehearsal meant the road closures weren't in full swing and we were able to park quite close to the Carleton Gore road entrance, which was handy for Tessa's knees as the route was largely flat and on grass. We went two hours early, just as the afternoon rehearsal was winding up. We had planned to have a picnic and then go to the convert area but when we saw that the crowds were already gathering we decided to take our picnic dinner down there with us.

They've kept the format that's served them so well but revamped the cast; gone are Frankie Stevens and Jackie Clarke and in there place were several younger musicians I didn't recognise but the younger audience members obviously did.

I can only remember seeing 3 or 4 smokers in the Domain, only one in the main audience sitting area, and caught a couple of whiffs of tobacco. Most of the audience were families of cast members and the majority of the cast were young dancers from, if I count right, 5 different dance schools or groups and a couple of (semi-)pro hip-hop crews so there were a lot of parents, and siblings there but even so it was refreshing to see how few people there were smoking. We parked just across the road from the park entrance and I did see a handful smoking on the street in the short time I was there.

Nothing fired off my smoking triggers as such before or during the concert although after we'd eaten and I took the dishes back to the car I had a minor "wouldn't it be nice ..." moment easily avoided. Then after the end of the show as we got back to the car I had a brief craving, again easily suppressed, probably coming from the psychological nostalgia as I would have smoked at this time in the past; especially if I'd gone a couple of hours at a smoke-free concert.

Once again a great night.  The rehearsal doesn't have the fireworks or the lighting of the Christmas tree and the real show tonight will have them and be even better,

[Update 5PM]

I just went for an exercise ride on my bike including a lap around the Domain. At 4:30, three hours before the planned start time,  the area where we were last night, close to the stage, was already filling up and people were starting to fill good positions on the crater walls. A lot of them had umbrellas up against the light rain that's already forming. As I left and rode down Carleton Gore Rd, they were towing away cars from the temporary mobility parking areas.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

In Search of Fettuccine Bolognese

Fettuccine Bolognese? You know, like spaghetti bolognese only with flat cut pasta strips and not round pasta. I find the texture and strangely enough the flavour a little different and more to my taste. It sounds simple enough to make, so why do I have so much trouble ordering it?

Our first contender is Alessio's, the Italian food stand at the Ponsonby International Foodcourt. The last several times we've eaten Italian there I've ordered Fettuccine Bolognese with extra parmesan cheese. The woman that used to take the orders had no problems, but she seems to have been replaced, twice. The last 4 times I have had problems. The first replacement order taker managed to record the order wrong, simply as "Bolognese" and spaghetti bolognese arrived. I'm not sure why but I accepted this. Normally I'd check my order before accepting it but this time I didn't notice until both Tessa and I were already eating so I didn't say anything. Next time, when spaghetti bolognese arrived I sent it back.

The third time, I read what the order taker had written on her pad and politely pointed out to her that she hadn't written "fettuccine" anywhere. She corrected it with poor grace. Once again spaghetti arrived and once again I sent it back. This time it was the chef's mistake.

Finally a few days back I attempted to order my favourite from them and there seemed to be a new order taker at the counter. It took a long time to explain to her that I wanted Fettuccine Bolognese, just like spaghetti but made with fettuccine ... she seemed unsure what fettuccine was ... once I'd convinced her to write it down I then asked for the extra parmesan cheese. She wanted to know what parmesan cheese was and which menu number it was.

At this point I realised that whoever this woman is, she isn't an Italian food stall order taker so I walked off and had a different cuisine, Chinese from Golden Express. While I was there I remarked to Tessa that I didn't think I'd return to Alessio's and why. The Chinese lady who fronts Golden Express was listening to my explanation and even she laughed when I got to the bit about an Italian restaurant not knowing what parmesan cheese was.

Tonight we went a little bit upmarket. Precisely to Niko's Pizza, Greek and Italian food place in Takapuna. I still wanted my fettuccine bolognese so when I saw that they had both a fettuccine dish and spaghetti bolognese on the menu I asked the waitress if I could order it, she took the order and all seemed well ... until the food arrived that was ... when it arrived it was fettuccine all right but in some kind of creamy chicken sauce. Tessa sent it back for me. Next we had the owner bringing the dish back saying that it was their fettuccine dish to which Tessa explained that this wasn't what I'd ordered.

Eventually he got it and wandered back in. Tessa's meal arrived; mine arrived a good 10 minutes after Tessa's. To be fair it was a damned good fettuccine bolognese.

We've eaten at Niko's a few times before, but getting the wrong meal delivered to the table, having the owner argue about it and then our dishes being served at different times makes me positively disinclined to return.

OK I've ordered something that isn't on the menu. I'd accept three possible outcomes as fair:
  1. Refusal (Either through policy or an inability) to make the dish,
  2. Offering to make the dish at a different price,
  3. Making the dish at the same price as the spaghetti.
What I won't accept is having my order taken and then not getting what I ordered delivered. If you take the order, deliver what you've agreed to supply. It's really that simple. OK, mistakes do happen, if you take the wrong dish to the table, apologise, don't argue the point.

Postscript

Unwilling to spend any more time or money at Niko's, we drove back to town and went to Circus Circus for dessert and coffee. Unusually for them Circus Circus made a mistake with the order. When this was pointed out to them they immediately apologised and fixed the problem. Right answer Circus Circus.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Suddenly it's difficult again

I've done 80 days, 80 long smoke-free days, yet at lunchtime today I was thinking how much I'd like to have a smoke, I went Passion Food at the Newmarket Plaza food court and instead of my usual crispy pork had Mapo Tofu on rice for lunch and when leaving the food court walked past the local branch of The Tofu Shop (For those who don't know it, this is actually a grocery chain specialising in East Asian foods) I'd bought cigarettes there before giving up and I seriously considered buying a packet.  I was even working out what to do with the other 19 in the packet.

Sure I try and present a largely positive picture especially when encouraging those whom I support on quit-line, but I also try and warn them that we are on the hardest journey of our lives.

This should be getting easier, and for a long time it was but suddenly it's hard and this is the point I don't get.

Since coming off the Champix I've still felt gassy and often nauseous. For the last week or so I've had a passable imitation of a smoker's cough -- I wish I knew where that came from. Tessa says it sounds a lot less worrying than the cough I actually had when smoking, so at least there's that.

I'm still exercising after work. Tonight it was walking and at the 1 hour mark I was in Cornwall Park near the big roundabout. it took me over ½ an hour to walk the slightly over 2km home ... I was really dawdling by that point.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sugar Overdose

When I first started giving up I was handling the oral desires by using sugar-free gum and also munching out on nuts, almonds, dried peas (salted or chilli). This was good for keeping my mouth busy but also appeared to be leading to increased flatulence and other digestive discomforts. Subsequently I've decided I'm unsure about the flatulence as I now blame Champix for it.

To cut a long story short as my need for oral gratification decreased I decided to switch to sugar-free sweets. Great idea, lousy execution. Today I discovered that the brand of sweets I had picked wasn't sugar-free at all. I have no idea why I thought they were.

To rub insult into the injury, I've also been munching on Vicks lozenges today. I knew they were mostly sugar, but wasn't expecting to have doubled up.

Update 20/11/2014 @21:21: There's no secret, they're Mentos. There are regular Mentos with sugar and sugar free Mentos. I probably started with a roll of the sugar free ones and then switched to the regular without noticing. Mystery solved.