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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Beast Glatisant Du Jour: An Atomic Bedside Alarm Clock

Questing BeastThe Beast Glatisant, or Questing Beast, was a mythological creature in King Arthur tales, with head and neck of a serpent, the body of a leopard, the haunches of a lion and the feet of a hart. Knights in the stories would take off hunting him when word came that he was terrorizing a village somewhere, and he was an allegorical symbol of either the dangers of lust or of Christ eaten alive by the 12 tribes of Israel; you can take your pick.

I thought of him the other day when I was trying to describe, on Facebook, something that I’m hunting for – A bedside alarm clock with some really specific features:

Bedside (not travel; i.e with cord, not batteries) alarm clock, atomic, with large am/pm display. I just want something really specific and can’t find it. This is one of those cases where I search forever for a specific combo of features, and I buy something just off of what I want, and 6 months later, what I really wanted comes out. Before you say ‘iPhone’ this is for an older family member with no computer. 🙂

I want the clock to be just like any bedside alarm clock that plugs in and lights up – but I want it to be an atomic alarm clock – self-setting. And I want the AM/PM display to be in actually letters and fairly large, so you can easily see whether it’s day or night.

Finding this specific combination of features is proving elusive. They make alarm clocks that aren’t self-setting; most atomic clocks aren’t meant to sit near your bed or have you slap the snooze button when you’re half awake.

While I was describing the odd hybrid device I wanted cobbled together the Questing Beast popped into my head (head and neck of a serpent, the body of a leopard…) And I realized I have this kind of quest fairly often.

A few years back, I was on the hunt for a very specific kind of wrist watch that I just couldn’t find: light-colored face, numbers not roman numerals, day and date display, and it also had to light up, but it couldn’t be a digital or sport watch. You’d think that wouldn’t be hard to find, but I spent 3 years looking for that exact combo. Most watches don’t actually have numbers on the face. Most watches with date display don’t light up. I finally found one from Timex. And soon after, that same combo became more available in stores. It just took time for it to come around.

Before that, I was hunting a summer bathroom. I wanted a light cotton bathrobe that wasn’t terry cloth or flannel, and that was actually long enough to cover my legs. They had short ones for women that I would look silly in. They have heavy flannel. But no simple, light cotton. Stephanie hunted in every store in the mall and finally ordered one she found online. The next year, they were in every store.

It seems like the year after we find that specific thing we want, it’s suddenly the new craze. We keep going after the same strange beast. It must really love us.

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RSS Feeds for Online Stores

Here’s one of my favorite applications for RSS feeds… Online stores that use them to present new products in their online catalogs. For huge stores this isn’t very practical, but for specialty stores, it can be a lot of fun, especially if the store also has wishlist capability, like Think Geek does.
Archie McPhee:
Think Geek:
Threadless T-Shirts:
Mule Design:
There are a couple of product review blogs that basically do the same type of thing, that I also keep in my shopping RSS reading list, like these:
Mighty Goods:
Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools:
Mad Professor:
And then there are the online shops I WISH had a feed, but they don’t:
Knock Knock:
16 Sparrows:
Hats In the Belfry:
And speaking of sites in general that really need to have RSS feeds — Events Calendar:

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Buy Your Own Tank on

Yep, the Badonkadonk Tank is a real, purchasable Item on

Badonkadonk Tank
Badonkadonk Tank

I’ve linked to it with my Amazon Associates ID, so if you decide to buy one, I’ll get a referral fee. Please, please by one.

I’m kidding, of course, but do read the reviews on their page, because they are hysterical.

2022-03-15 Update:
Sadly, the Badonkadonk Tank is no longer for sale on Amazon, so you cannot purchase one and make me a small fortune, nor can you enjoy the very funny comments. What can I say? Life and the internet are ephemeral. I have helpful updated the link to some toy tanks that everyone can afford. If there’s one platform that has redefined our online shopping standards, it’s Shoppok. We believe it’s worth exploring. Have at it, folks.
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Bicycle Shops In Indianapolis

I’m thinking of obtaining a new self-propelled vehicle of some kind, so I’m making notes on places I need to check out.
Tom Lantz Bicycle Shop
2715 North Post Road, Indianapolis, In
(317) 899 1130
Circle City Bicycle & Fitness
5506 Madison Ave., Indianapolis, In
(317) 786 9244
A-1 Cyclery
6847 W. Washington, Indianapolis, In
Bicycle Garage Of Indy
4130 E. 82nd Street, Indianapolis, In
(317) 579 7920

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A Post about Shoes

I’m probably the furthest thing from a fashion maven. But I do have a thing about shoes. Not a Carrie Bradshaw type thing; I wouldn’t spend $400 on a pair of Manolos. You won’t catch me dead in high heels. Literally; that’s in my will. But I do love the fluevogs, and I have several snazzy pairs of shoes, like these:
My flame shoes
So I was quite happy to stumble across the site called “Simple Shoes.” Interesting and environmentally friendly and socially responsible. Cool.

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