27 November 2017

Yes I went out....

... and it wasn't too bad.  I got a late start so I missed most of the early door crashers.  In fact I started at Costco which didn't open until 9:00 am.  I was 10 minutes early and there was a line.  I was hoping it was the line to get a Costco Polish dog as I had skipped breakfast but by the time I got over to the snack bar they had already run out and I would have to come back later.

I was able to get the Fitbit for my wife that she wanted and it wasn't too hard to get as most all the stores had it for about the same price.  Spoiler anti-alert, she is already using it.

As I was a late starter most of the crowds were thinned out by the time I got to the other stores so it wasn't too hard to meander around looking to find any overlooked bargains.  I came away with a couple of $9 shirts from JCPennys and a bundle of socks from Walmart and not much else.  Actually, the only other thing to bring home was food for the chickens and a couple of bags of Dove dark chocolates.

I wonder if I have become desensitized to the whole materialism that this season has become.  I don't have the desire to have just for the sake of having, and I don't really need anything.  Sure I like toys almost as much as the next person but logic is in the driving seat and I talk myself out of a lot of things before they become an issue.  I guess I can always go to the store and play the demo games on the X-box for 10 minutes to get my feel if I really need a dose or just sit at home and spend time on the Playstation 2 with games I haven't played in awhile.  I'm good.

And just because there was a metal barrier on the sidewalk in front of the Best Buy to keep the crowds in order, it wasn't needed by the time I got there and from the looks of all the boxes still in the aisles, there was a lot of leftover 'bargains' that shoppers didn't need either.

What I found interesting is that the on-line shopping is becoming more of a thing and it doesn't have to wait for Cyber Monday.  The brick and mortars all have internet stores and most of the specials are there as well.  If you go for that special bargain on-line, chances are you will find it without the hassle of braving the cold, the crowds, the fights, the parking, the...well you get the idea.  But I think there may be a new marketing ploy in play.

There were some items listed on line as being out of stock, which means you couldn't get it on-line for the specials price at that time.  I wonder if this is intentional as a way to get your desire for the special to move you to action and actually visit the physical store in order to pick up the item in person.  That way you are in the store and likely to be tempted to obtain other items as you are there anyway and how could you pass up such tempting bargains as they have waiting in front of you.  I don't know if that is the plan or not but I would not be the least bit surprised if it was done on purpose.

So I went back to Costco for my dog and sat and watched and thought.  I am thinking that this actually might be the last traditional Black Friday sales event year and that next year will be much more on-line driven.  And that the attempt to conjure up time-limited 'this day, weekend, week' only scarcity mind set is over.  In a virtual world, anything is possible and everything is open, 24/7. 

With any luck we can go back to having a Christmas season that doesn't have to start three weeks before Halloween.  With even more luck we can go back to when it was more about the presence than the presents.

This is Ed Nef with a view from the Farrwest.

24 November 2017

Are you going out today?

Black Friday is here.  Does that bring dread or joy?

I have been out there in the past.  I was not always hoping to find that item I had been dreaming about, hoping to be at the front of the line in order to get one of the 'limit of 3 per store' that is promised.  Sometimes I have been lucky and got one of those but no sense setting yourself up for disappointment.

Instead, I decided that it would just be fun to go out and wonder around with the masses of people having no real design, no real plan, just out to get a kick and jolt from the frantic energy that embodies the moment of doors opening and the rush of shoppers looking to score.  Every now and again I would even score a deal myself without expecting one and that is a real score indeed.

If you are in to people watching, what better time or event to participate in than the greatest people show of all.  Of course you wont see every kind of people, there are just way too many kinds to see and in today's world too many people have decided to skip the insanity.  With internet shopping becoming more and more of a usable feature of life, the people that come out to do it in person is a much smaller cross section than times past...truth be told they are the more colorful lot anyway.  But you have to start early because the others that have gotten up before the crack of dawn will be ready to go back to bed and sleep till the crack of noon by 8:30.

So set the wake up timer to start the day at 7, or is it 6, wait did you say some store open at 5?, that means I have to get up and 4 and maybe just run water over my head then hit the street running and...what was that?, some stores are starting Thursday after most have eaten there turkey?  But it is Friday already, did I miss anything?  Is all the good stuff gone already?  If all the people hit the stores yesterday, will there be anything to see or do today?  What about the weirdos?  What do you mean I'm the weirdo?  How am I supposed to have any fun on Black Friday if they already had it Thursday night?  Will there be anyone there to watch?  I should take my selfie stick so I can at least see what I am doing?  That way at least one weirdo watched, mission accomplished.

This is Ed Nef with a view from the Farrwest.

23 November 2017

Thanksgiving Thursday Thanksgiving

With best of intentions I flubbed up again.  I was going to do a Thanksgiving Thursday on each of the Thursdays in November but this is my first entry and as you can see it isn't the first Thursday in November but I at least got one in this year.  You may have seen my attempt to do a Thanksgiving Thursday each and every Thursday on the blog or Facebook or anywhere just to get in the habit of being grateful for the many blessing I have received through my lifetime and to keep myself mindful of the fact that these gifts to be thankful for are not a fluke, not a rarity and not a mistake.  They are truly a gift from God who has blessed me with the people in my life and the experiences I have been able to enjoy.  He has blessed me with wisdom and knowledge from sages past and present if I would but listen.  He has blessed me with opportunities to enrich my life and those around me.  He has blessed me with opportunity to be an instrument in his hands to bless others.

I don't mean to be ungrateful for these gifts and many others.  Its just that sometimes I get forgetful.  The longer the period of forgetfulness the harder life seems to become.  I am one that needs to remember and needs to be ever mindful of the blessings that surround me.

I have heard of others saying that they start the day with gratitude by thinking of three things they are grateful for and then ending the day by review and finding at least three more.  You can see by the number of entries I have made that list of good habits is still a work in progress.  So I will not commit to one a day entries or even every Thursday in November because chances are good that I will forget...again.

But I did remember today...and that's a good thing.

Thank you.

This is Ed Nef with a view from the Farrwest.