Shopping-Related Madness?

So Just How Dangerous Did Black Friday Get Around The Country? –

If you picked any date – say, April 13, 2011 – and counted up the number of shopping-related nonsenses that people get up to in stores, I’m convinced it wouldn’t be much different, per capita, than any “Black Friday.” Has anyone ever done statistical analysis on holiday shopping in comparison to regular-any-old-day shopping? Certainly there are more incidents of people acting crazy, but there are lots more people out shopping, too.

Holiday Shopping 1950s

Everyone I interacted with yesterday out shopping was nice, friendly and speedy, with a “we’re all in this together” mentality, and that includes both shoppers and retail staff. Sure, that’s anecdotal, but I like to believe in the better angels of our nature. There is always going to be some nuttiness related to interacting in public with strangers – lots of people have stress and social anxiety. But acting like it’s doomsday because people want to do something nice for the people they care about is hyperbolic, I think. We can be consumers and also celebrate the best in humanity at the same time.

Hobby Shop 1950s

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Made in America

One of the ways we can all help our economy is to look for products made in America, especially in the upcoming Christmas season. Here are some directories to get you started finding products made here in the United States by American workers.

Americans Working

a Directory of products made in the United States

US Stuff
Still Made in USA
The Keep America Working Blog

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Merry Christmas 2008!

Christmas GiftI’ll be taking a few days off from hanging out on the internet in order to spend time with family and friends. Here are several Christmas hits from years past for your holiday enjoyment:

The Three Kings Of Cologne — A Legend Of The Middle Ages
You Might Be A Scrooge If…
Christmas Fruitcake Recipe
Top 10 Things That Sound Dirty at Christmas But Aren’t
Top 10 Things To Say About A Holiday Gift You Don’t Like
Things Not to Say When Hanging the Lights
How Santa Wishes He Could Answer Letters
How Santa Knows IF you’ve Been Good
Santa’s Next Stop
Signs You Won’t Be Receiving a Christmas Bonus This Year
Company Christmas Party Memo
RE: Organizational Changes at the North Pole
Press Release: Christmas Downsizing
Signs You Bought a Bad Christmas Tree
Chanukah Song (Version One)
Chanukah Song (Version Two)
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: Internet Version
‘Twas The Night Before Techmas
The Net Before Christmas
Twas the Dieter’s Christmas
Home for the Holidays
A Few Holiday Favorites With A Gay Twist
Does Santa Exist? A Scientific Inquiry
The Three Wise Firefighters
Scandal in Heaven!

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Xmas Busy Busy Busy

Christmas Garland

Last night I did some major decorating of the front porch – we have garlands around all the porch posts with big red bows on them, and giant red bells hanging. Stephanie gave me candle lights for the windows for Xmas last year — they’re cool because they’re wireless and come on automagically, so you don’t have to find outlets for them, and you don’t have to run all over the house turning them on. Fun.

Now I just need to string lights. It’s the first time I’ve really done that around the porch; before now we didn’t have an outlet, and I’ve not had a good porch in previous houses. Once I get it worked out this year, though, it will go quickly in future holiday seasons.

I also managed to do a tiny bit of raking in the front yard last night. We’re pretty far behind on that task this year. It’s pretty embarrassing since the leaves came down much earlier than in years past, and because neighbors have been done for awhile. We seem to always be the shabbiest house on the block.

I packed a couple of boxes of discard books in the car this morning to take to the used bookstore. So progress is occurring…

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Christmas lawn decor

There are a couple of photos I’d like to take this year that I’ve missed in past holiday seasons. The first is of a nativity scene at a church somewhere on the north side of Indianapolis. I’ve driven past several years in a row, and noted that the way the scene is set, the three wise men are leading their camels towards the stable… from the west. That really shouldn’t bother me – it’s all fiction anyway – but it does. I guess if you’re going to take your happy god book literally, you should pay attention to detail.

The second photo I want to capture is another nativity scene. This one is located somewhere on the path between my dad’s old house and his country club where we used to go to Sunday Christmas brunch. One of the houses has a cute little stable scene in their front yard. But they seem to be lacking a manger, because baby Jesus is nestled in all snuggly… in the bird bath. You know – no bed, substitute manger. No manger? Substitute bird bath. It works.

Here’s a picture I took of a rather gaudily decorated lawn on Rangeline Road, south of 96th Street. I had to splice together three pictures to get it all in.

Like Santa Barfed on Their Lawn
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Groundhog predicts early spring

According to the AP, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow for the first time in several years.

Punxsutawney Phil predicts early spring
PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — A new pair of hands pulled Punxsutawney Phil from his stump this year, so it was only fitting that the groundhog offered a new prediction.

Phil did not see his shadow on Friday, which, according to German folklore, means folks can expect an early spring instead of six more weeks of winter.
Since 1886, Phil has seen his shadow 96 times, hasn’t seen it 15 times and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. The last time Phil failed to see his shadow was in 1999.

More than 15,000 revelers milled about in a misty snow waiting for the prediction, as fireworks exploded overhead and the “Pennsylvania Polka” and other music blared in the background.

A couple of Stephanie’s friends got engaged at the Pennsylvania festival, and are getting married today.

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All Wrapped Up…

And just ready to have ribbons and bows put on before they go under the tree.
Presents for my girlfriend
But these are just the presents for Stephanie. I still have to wrap the presents for other people. But we’ll work on that together tomorrow.
It’s funny, when I was writing out the tags for the presents, I had to think twice every time, because it’s strange to write my own name for someone else, and I was afraid I’d label the present to me from her. We go by Stephanie and Steph, so people can sort it out in their heads, but we hardly ever actually use our names when talking to each other. We call each other “honey” all the time. Unless I’m writing about her here on the blog, or I’m trying to get her attention in a store, when I’ll use her name. And when we’re talking to my pets, I call myself “mommy” and her “other mommy”, and she does the same except when we talk to Lucy, when she’s “mommy” and I’m “other mommy.” So we don’t actually use different names, ever, but we don’t use our actual names with each other. We are weird people. But it seems to work.

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we’ve been going non-stop

And I haven’t had a free moment to blog. Or perhaps I have, but I spent it trying to unwind instead. We’ve been to parties galore, but I haven’t got the pictures off my camera yet.

On Saturday morning we went to my company’s warehouse book sale and walked away with 91 books for about 40 bucks. Yeah, like I needed that. But I have a plan for streamlining my books in the coming months, and reading and then disposing off lots of books to free up space on my shelves.

Saturday night we went to Jennifer’s annual Christmas party, complete with pink flocked tree. And Sunday we went to Christmas at my Dad’s. I got new truck tires for Christmas! Yay!

Stephanie went to a Christmas party for our neighborhood association’s board last night, because she’s the treasurer now. Dunno if I blogged that or not. I stayed home because I was too tired to go, and read a bit instead.

Oh, and we canceled our HBO from cable (I haven’t watched anything on it in months anyway) and we signed up for Netflix instead. I watched the first disc of season 3 of Seinfeld and sent it back already. I’m really enjoying picking out movies – I added pretty much everything on my Movies I Need to Watch list.

span class=”hilightyellow”>2019 update: Yeah, we have never managed to streamline books for any length of time, or to free up space on shelves. We regularly purge, but books seem to magically appear.

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