Happy Morning

In 2006, Folgers made what I consider to be one of the best commercials of all time. It was originally going to be featured during the Superbowl but rumor has it that upper management felt the commercial too annoyingly happy to do well. After all, the point of the commercial was that joyous morning sunshine is so intolerable that only through the consumption of Folgers coffee might someone bear it. Hence the campaign slogan “Tolerate Mornings.”

The commercial was met with mixed criticism from viewers. Some found the happy golden dancing people and their intentionally obnoxious singing so annoying that they associated the Folgers brand with that annoyance rather than the intended way to get around it. Others met the commercial with optimism and found the song humorous and memorable. Each chorus was met with an increase of volume and the commercial song even featured a bridge with a rising key-change: both musical qualities emphasize the rising sun rays getting stronger and more invasive. It’s a beautiful example of music-psychology.

As for the video, imagine Ned Flanders dancing around, playing the kazoo in a blond wig, basking in morning sunlight as the Sun’s rays force through the curtains of Homer’s window. It’s quite frankly what every parent with young children have to face on a daily basis.

Sadly, the http://toleratemornings.com/ website and all its goodness is no more, and it doesn’t ever last on YouTube for more than a few months before being removed. I think Folgers insistence of wiping the commercial from existence on all the video boards shows some backward thinking. After all, this is a commercial that they payed television stations to air and these fans are posting it up on the internet for people to watch without Folgers having to pay another dime. It’s a good commercial and they should have made more. Maybe showing the ramifications of a dry dessert that can be overcome by the dark brown richness from a hot cup of Folgers coffee.

Well… here are the lyrics to the best of my knowledge:

[Think Jimmy Durante]
Hah cha cha chahhh
Hah cha cha chahhh

Hello World, we’re shining so bright.
A new day’s here, it’s really dynamite.
Feel the love. Savor the door.
There’s a rainbow for each girl and boy.

On this [clap clap] happy morning! (Rise and shine!)
[clap clap] happy morning! (We’re doin’ fine!)
Get up, get out of bed. You can sleep when you are dead.

Partied hard; stayed up real late.
It’s time for work and you can hardly wait.
Scrub-a-dub-dub. Doodily-doo.
Spread the sunshine inside of you.

‘Cause it’s a [clap clap] happy morning! (Happy day!)
[clap clap] happy morning! (It’s nice today!)
Wake up you sleepy head. You can sleep when you are dead …

You can sleep when you are … [very bad Yamaha recorder instrumental]

La la la laaa
La la la laaa

[key change – rises like the sun]

Chahhhhh! Happy morning. (Rise and shine!)
Happy morning. (It’s wake-up time!)
Wake up you sleepy head, you can sleep when you are …
[clap clap]
Happy morning. (Happy day!)
Happy morning. (Feel right today!)
Wake up you sleepy head … [fade]

I enjoyed the song so much that I made it into a ringtone (or more appropriately, a wake-up alarm on my iPhone). The audio had to be stripped out of the commercial then carefully amplified and cut to produce the result. Audacity was used for the editing. I can’t remember what was used to pull the audio out of the video file.

Happy Morning Short Edit.m4r for the iPhone.

happy_morning_short_edit.mp3 for other devices.

Jelly time again

It’s that time of year again. I love the sound of canned jar lids popping through the night as their vacuum seal takes effect after their hot canning bath.

This year I’ve already canned a delicious apple-orange jelly. Apples tend to have so much pectin in them that only a little acidic fruit is needed to make them congeal. Of course, that tends to make the jelly juice a little bitter. A generous 2.25 cups of sugar for each 2.33 cups of juice makes the jelly sweet and preserves the jelly for up to two years after canning. (The sugar acts as an anti-bacterial agent. It’s yeast that likes sugar, not bacteria.)

Making jelly involves a two-step cooking process. The first step is cooking raw fruit to draw out their juices. The juices are then strained into a pot. The second step involves adding sugar and sometimes pectin to the juice then cooking it for an additional period to set the jelly. After this comes the canning stage.

The following form is used to calculate the number of cups of juice within a cylindrical container based on the inner dimensions of that container. This is helpful for jelly making when juice has been strained into a pot for the second stage. If you know the ratio of sugar to juice, it can calculate the number of cups of sugar to add, too.

Open the Popup Jelly Making Sugar Calculator

Next time I’m going to use an industrial juicer to draw out that delicious golden liquid from the apples. I figure it will take less time initially, but I’ll need to heat it up a little longer in the second stage to kill the enzymes that are usually killed in the first stage.

Enzymes are a primary cause for the break-down of fruit after it’s dead. If you don’t kill those proteins before canning the jelly, your product would only last a few weeks at best.

Oh – and that apple-orange jelly recipe?


  • 3 lb cooking apples
  • 3 medium or 2 large oranges
  • 5 cups of water
  • approximately 5 1/2 cups of sugar


  • Juice Bag or a Stainless-Steel Chinois Set or a 2′ Square of Clean, Never-dyed, Prewashed, Coarse Cotton Muslin with Butchers Twine
  • Cheesecloth and Butchers Twine (optional)
  • 4 qt Stainless-Steel Pot or Larger To heat The Fruit And Jelly
  • 2 qt Glass bowl or 2 qt Measuring Cup or 2+ qt Pot/Pan To Capture Juice
  • 8 16-oz Canning Jars With Lids and Rims To Keep The Jelly
  • Canner with Jar Rack To Preserve The Jelly
  • Canning Kit With Thongs To Keep From Burning Your Fingers
  • Wooden Spoon To Stir The Juice Since Wood Doesn’t Change The Jelly’s Temperature
  • Slotted Stainless-Steel Spoon To Scoop Off The Tart Scum
  • Paring Knife To Cut The Fruit
  • A Refrigerated Saucer To Test The Jelly
  • Clean Towels And a Very Clean Counter

You want a large wooden spoon since it doesn’t change the temperature of your jelly mixture. Making jelly is akin to making candy. Sudden drops in temperature can cause nasty results. If you’re making this at high altitudes, like I do, make sure you boil your jars an extra 6 minutes and watch your jelly very carefully. It will burn and make a nasty mess if you’re not careful. Watch your barometric pressure, too. I’m not joking. If there’s a storm coming in, do your jelly making another day. At sea level, watching the weather and adding time to sterilizing your jars and making the jelly isn’t necessary.

Peeling and coring the apples helps them break down faster, but keep the peels and the cores, as they add to the pectin. Chop, but don’t peel, the oranges. If you want to have an easier time straining the fruit, tie up the the peels and seeds in a cheesecloth before you toss it in the pot with the rest of the fruit. After all the fruit is chopped up and prepared, put all the chunks in a large pot and add the water. Bring this up to a rapid boil then turn it down to a heavy simmer for about an hour. If the pot is uncovered, you might want to add an additional 1/4 cup of water to offset the evaporation.

While the fruit is boiling, prepare your straining method. Pour boiling hot water over the jelly straining bag, chinois, or Muslin. If you’re using the muslin cloth, get some twine ready to tie the pulp into a ball and find some place to hang it where juice will drip into your juice-holding vessel.

After about an hour the apples should be practically disintegrated. If not, squish them with your slotted or wooden spoon. (Temperature is more important in the next phase, so it doesn’t matter if the liquid in the pot cools a few degrees while you’re squishing the fruit.) Take out the cheesecloth if you did that and carefully pour the juicy pulp into the bag/chinois/muslin while the device is over your 2-quart bowl/pan. Set it up so that the dripping can occur overnight. Now get some sleep and dream of warm home-made buttermilk biscuits coated with dripping butter and delicious apple-orange jelly.

At this point you should have about 5 cups of juice, but you need to know exactly. Calculate the diameter of your juice-holding vessel. Now calculate how high the juice is in that vessel and type some numbers into the calculator. Also put in 2.25 for the sugar and 2.33 for the juice ratios. The calculator will tell you how much sugar to add. Don’t skimp or you’ll be sorry.

Get out your canner. Fill it with water set it to boiling on the stove-top. Once the water is at a hard boil, carefully insert clean jars for them to sterilize over the course of 12-18 minutes. Sterilize the rims, too, but not the lids until the last 2-5 minutes because they have a wax seal that needs delicate treatment. Set out your sterilized jars, lids and rims on a clean towel drawn over the counter but keep the canner boiling. You’ll need it again in about 15 minutes.

Pour the sugar in the 4-qt pot and put it in the oven at 170 degrees for 15 minutes. Warming the sugar will help it dissolve. Now pour the juice into the pot containing the warmed sugar and place it on the stove-top. Start stirring and turn the burner on high to bring this to a rapid boil. You must dissolve all the sugar and you want to do so as quickly as possible to keep it from burning. This is where you’ll use that long-handled wooden spoon. Now stir like a madman!

Once the sugar is well dissolved, stop stirring and watch. This next step takes about 10 minutes but is vital to the success of your jelly. If it starts to over-boil, turn down the heat only slightly and gently stir the mixture with the wooden spoon, but only if you have to. It’s better not to stir this at all.

You’ll see some foam on the top that looks like a dreamsicle. This foam needs to be scraped off the top of the jelly, but you can save it in a bowl for making tarts later as it makes a fantastic tart filling. Carefully spoon this foam (sometimes called scum) from the top of the pot into a bowl. It’s okay to use a metal spoon at the top of the jelly, just not inside. Keep scooping out that froth until all you see in the pot is a clear amber color.

Now test to see if the jelly has set. Spoon a little of the jelly onto a cold saucer. Wait a few seconds then push with your finger. If it clumps in front of your finger, it’s ready. The harder it clumps or ripples, the harder the jelly will set. For other ways to check if the jelly has set – consult Google.

Ladle out the hot golden jelly into jars, wipe off the rims, gently place the lids over the top
and lightly tighten the rims. Don’t tighten them too hard or the canning process won’t create the vacuum seal.

Place the jelly-filled, gently-lidded jars in the canner for 8-14 minutes. You should see small bubbles come up from the jars. This is normal and good. The air pressure inside the jars is building up as heat causes it to expand. This pressure will counter that of the water in the canner to keep the jars free of seepage.

Once time is up, pull out the jars and set them on the counter. Don’t tighten the rings just yet. In time you’ll hear metal popping. That’s the beautiful sound of vacuum pressure sealing and protecting your jelly for up to two years. If the lid doesn’t do this the jelly must be stored in the fridge and consumed within the next few weeks.

An hour after pulling the jars from the canner, tighten the rims and decorate with labels and ribbon. Hey – I might be a man, but I’ve got to make things pretty for the ladies!

New Textures – Two Introductory Sets

When I was young I just wanted to make stuff for the pleasure of it. When I got older I was told that wasn’t a way to make a living.

I disagree. God made things for a living so I guess those people’s attempts to civilize me into a common worker bee never quite stuck because of my higher childlike “ideals”.

My parents were pretty good with supporting me through it. Mom is an excellent painter and Dad is a great musician. They weren’t like the other grown ups who usually attended school board council meetings. That is, they weren’t looking for a way to build a society – just looking for a way to raise great kids.

If more people took up their personal responsibility to raise their kids instead of handing their kids off to the village (idiots) to raise them, I think they would discover that children are important… they’re a joy… they bring back those squishy playdough, colored in fingerpaint, bruised knees from playing in the rocks moments. That imagination is never really lost – not completely, anyway – it’s just suppressed. And like a good expectorant, when you have kids that creativity just spits right back up!

Enjoy the free cave and art textures:
Cave Textures
Art Textures