Viking Cherry Noble Bar

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This review is actually fulfilling a request made by a friend in the army that spent  some time stationed at Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, WA. That information is relevant, because Washington is just about the only place you can find these natural energy bars at a retail store, and supposedly they’re really popular among the troops stationed in the area. There are several flavors to choose from, but luckily he brought me a Viking Cherry to try because the only other way to get hold of these is to order at least a box of 12 via Paypal for $25 plus shipping.

The idea behind these bars is actually pretty novel. Dana, the founder of Noble Bar, did some research to discover what ingredients were widely consumed by various civilizations. He then took those ingredients and combined them in his kitchen to create bars people from said civilization might have eaten. With this in mind, I bit into my Viking Cherry and imagined I was one of those badass longship oarsman starving for energy instead of a slightly overweight American blogger writing a deprecating review of Farmville.

My initial assessment of the bar was pretty positive; first taste impressions were that of Ocean Spray Craisins and birdseed. Some may find that profile slightly off-putting, but I really enjoyed it. The bar was perfectly chewy, and a little more moist than I was anticipating. At 2 ounces it’s a little smaller than a PowerBar, yet still surprisingly filling. I can’t attest to it’s energy rejuvenating powers, though, since I move around about as much as a centenarian just coming off a double hip replacement surgery.

I don’t know it they’re quite worth +$2.00 per bar, but considering the company is basically one guy and their production capabilities are limited, I can’t fault the price too much. I would recommend anyone in the Washington area, or anyone searching for novelty energy bars, give one of these a try, but they’re not necessarily a “must have” for the rest of us.

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I’m pretty sure at this point the only people in the world not familiar with Farmville are my aunt Vicky and my 7th grade art teacher that hardly knew the difference between a computer keyboard and a bingo card. In fact, a recent Kansas City Star article claims that the game commands 73 million dedicated ‘farmers’ worldwide! That’s every single person living in Texas, New York, Florida, and North Carolina combined!  To further put that astronomic number into perspective, Blizzard, the company that manufactures World of Warcraft, announced a year ago that their incredibly popular game only reached 11.5 million users worldwide.

As far as the game itself, it’s easy to see how people that otherwise have no idea what a cotton seed even looks like initially become addicted to the game. The graphics are cute enough, and players are handsomely rewarded with 4-H county fair ribbons. Soon enough though, anyone with any semblance of a life away from their computer realizes that the game is more tedious than shaving your body with fingernail clippers. Small, manageable, plots soon turn into gigantic plantations or feed lots that command 30 minutes or more of attention at a time. Frustratingly, harvesting crops/animals isn’t a simple click and you’re done process. Zynga, the evil masterminds behind the Farmville scam, require you to individually click on each plot/animal and navigate a little menu to harvest! Even more frustrating, though, is that expiration dates on the crops require even the most casual farmer to check their farm on a regular basis. Sadly, people let this monotonous chore dictate their daily schedules.

I can understand how someone could enjoy the small pleasures of Farmville at first, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s downright shameful to continue playing the game after a couple weeks. This phrase is a bit cliche, but I can’t think of a better application for it; Friends shouldn’t let friends play Farmville.