Life and Philosophy

Looking Back at Today’s Black Friday

Posted in Life and Philosophy on November 23rd, 2007 by chris – 1 Comment

I’ve ventured out in the past on previous black friday’s fighting the traffic, parking, and crowds and certainly know what it’s like.  Today I didn’t.  Sure I get aggravated from the hassle and waiting in line but I didn’t see anything out there that made me think “wow, thats way too good to pass up”.  From asking people I’ve talked with during the past view days and some input from various websites it doesn’t seem like many people were going out today.  That’s not to say the stores were empty, I’m sure retailers such as BestBuy, CircuitCity, and many others were packed.  I would be willing to guess that the number of people have declined this year.

Some of the retailers limited their deals to “in store only” which isn’t a half bad idea on their part.  The deals themselves seemed a bit average with some short-windowed exceptions. For me it wasn’t enough to venture out. I also heard from someone first hand that needed to work today that a local mall (not a small strip mall but a two floor multi-anchor store type) received about an average weekend kind of traffic.

So what does this boil down to? People shopping more? Less? Getting their shopping done earlier in the year ad planned around the frenzy? Not as many as attractive deals? Increased online shopping?  There could be many things that would influence the answer.  For this blogger it comes down to two things – 1) Deals weren’t there 2) Online shopping is far more up my alley for the type of shopper I am.  Thanks for the various sites that are available I was able to keep close tabs on the various sales without having to venture out.  These are – techbargains, blackfridayhome, and slickdeals.

Something that was brought to my attention last week is a term called ‘Cyber Monday’ for which  online shopping is suppose to be what Black Friday is for local retailers. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this to see what comes of it and more than likely any such deals will be mentioned in one, if not all, of the sites above.

As a parting question to those to visit – if you went shopping (local or online) what would you consider you best ‘Black Friday’ bargain?

Next year I’ll be Santa Clause for my Halloween costume

Posted in Life and Philosophy on November 15th, 2007 by chris – 2 Comments

During the past month or so, roughly a week before Halloween, I along with countless others began to see Christmas decorations, ornaments, lights, and the general decorations that go with Christmas. pop up a more and more each day in many retail stores and malls. The key problem to this being it was still October. I couldn’t help but notice since then from coworkers, friends, and hearing comments of those in the stores that “it’s too early for Christmas decorations, it’s not even November.”

I for one agree with them and though I haven’t been keeping track from previous years if I were to guess the holiday season is coming sooner each year. There is something odd when on two adjacent shelves/racks that one would be Halloween and the other Christmas. In fact about two weeks ago I saw candy canes in CVS and while I admit to getting a box (they are good) part of me also thinks its taking something away from that “special time of year” if it becomes too common. I am completely for the spirit people speak of during the holidays to be year round but don’t think this is the best way to accomplish that. I also wonder on maybe this is the result of companies wanting to get a leg up on their competitors by being in front of the customer first. I would bet that if this trend continues it will reach a tipping point and more of the public will be heard. I’ll take a bet that it would have to be late September for that to occur, not long after the fall school shopping bonanza is finished. I also recall seeing back to school advertisements in late May early June this past year, but I won’t get into that now.

Final words – leave the holiday and Christmas season where it belongs on the calendar year.

Everyday is exactly the same, except for tomorrow

Posted in Life and Philosophy on October 28th, 2007 by chris – 1 Comment

Some time ago it gradually came to my attention that I’ve fallen into a routine, like many others, and that I would get up, head to work, come home, do my things in the evening and eventually head to bed. After all, humans are creatures of habit and seeing that I’ve fallen into one isn’t a surprise. After making this realization it became more apparent to me and frustrated me more each time I thought about it and wanting to do something and for one reason or another didn’t initiate a change. A day came that a little change was made, then another, followed by another, and so on. The changes I’ve made and new experiences I’ve tried during that time were good but now I’m looking to do more.

So much so that some days I’m ready to accomplish or try out another idea quicker than the last time, and also think that it’s time to bring more of a variety to that routine. In a way it’s similar to getting “a fix” I suppose but much more healthy. One of these included having this blog and chronicling my thoughts, various reviews, and bits of knowledge. I am also making a push to contribute more to sites I visit frequently and to offer some insight and opinion back.

Currently I have a list with a wide assortment of items that I want to either do or accomplish. I’m not about to go down that list but odds are I will mention some somehow after my experience with them. This also includes traveling and will probably plan a trip somewhere for the spring. In my eyes, gone are the days wishing I’ve done something different, didn’t go anywhere, or spent every minute working. It is time to do something different and though it may not seem to be much after the particular moment, it will certainly come to mean a lot after a few years time. When I look back on what I’ve done over a period I can think of numerous times that I would have made a different decision now. There is a lot out there to do and, after all, the only difference between a rut and a grave are their dimentions.

Entertainment is not News

Posted in Life and Philosophy on October 24th, 2007 by chris – 3 Comments

I was flipping through some RSS headlines and am disgusted with how celebrities and their antics make it to headline level news. There is a section for that under entertainment with music and movie releases and it belongs in the little square under those, not with key issues with the top headlines. When I check the news I’m looking for progress or changes on subject matters that pertain to subjects including my local area, economies, countries, and people and not mere water cooler headlines for people to gossip and talk about these music stars, actors, and actresses as if they talk with them regularly. Sadly it is to a point that some know what is happening more about them than within their own town.

I’m not going to name any specific examples because they, and there are many, don’t deserve any additional publicity or commentary on the internet than what currently exists. I’m sure you can think of several with ease, and I would contribute that to be from the amount of exposure in numerous forms from websites to magazines and even local news broadcasts. This isn’t a rant about how television is poisoning our minds and we should get our pitchforks and torches and march down to our local broadcast station. In my point of view television, magazines, and news broadcasts exist based on the feedback from its viewers and readers. It’s quite simple really and there are examples of it daily and is something most of us know about from school or work – supply and demand. I know of numerous people that agree and disagree with this and have thought about to understand the opposing view and I can see how they enjoy reading about it and that it is a source of entertainment. It is only entertainment, news is good and bad and we must take one with the other like it or not because it is reporting on facts that effect people and society as a whole. The entertainment aspect seems to have over saturated its column and time block into those around it.

Only until the majority or readers and viewers speak up, or Nielsen ratings go down, enough that the shift will begin. I was happy to read back in July that there is a local news station in Boston (need to find the reference and station) which agreed not to air such material and hope others agree to do the same. In the end I suppose if that is what people enjoy to read, so be it, I’m not here to dictate others just as they won’t to me, but let’s leave the news casts and columns free of entertainment and left to clever writing and research to make a story meaningful.

Keep in mind where you’ve been, and where you’re headed

Posted in Life and Philosophy on October 20th, 2007 by chris – Be the first to comment

The Shoe Event Horizon is now a firmly established and rather sad economic phenomenon which, in future times will be taught as part of the basic Middle School Life, the Universe, and Everything syllabus. …

TEACHER: Stand up! Harsh Economic Truths, Class 17. You are standing up?
T: Good. You are living in an exciting, go-ahead civilization. Where are you looking?
S: Up.
T: What do you see?
S: The open sky, the stars, an infinite horizon.
T: Correct… You are living in a stagnant, declining civilization. Where are you looking?
S: Down.
T: What do you see?
S: My shoes.
T: Correct. What do you do to cheer yourself up?
S: I buy a new pair.
T: Correct! Now, imagine everyone does the same thing… everyone buys new shoes, what happens?
S: More shoes.
T: And?
S: More shoe shops.
T: Correct… and in order to support all these extra shoe shops, what happens?
S: Everyone must keep buying shoes.
T: And how is that arranged?
S: Manufacturers dictate more and more different fashions of and make shoes so badly that they either hurt the feet or fall apart.
T: So that?
S: Everyone has to buy more shoes.
T: Until?
S: Until… everyone gets fed-up with lousy, rotten shoes.
T: And then what?
S: Massive capital investment by the manufacturers to try and make people buy the shoes.
T: Which means?
S: More shoe shops.
T: And then we reach what point?
S: The Shoe Event Horizon! The whole economy overbalances. Shoe shops outnumber every other kind of shop. It becomes economically impossible to build anything other than shoe shops.
T: Now, what’s the final stage?
S: Um… every shop in the world becomes a shoe shop.
T: Full of?
S: Shoes no one can wear.
T: Result?
S: Famine, collapse, and ruin. Any survivors eventually evolve into birds and never put their feet on the ground again.
T: Excellent! End of lesson.

Millions of bloggers can’t be wrong, or can they?

Posted in Life and Philosophy on October 9th, 2007 by chris – 2 Comments

I’ve changed my opinion about blogs gradually since when they first came around, to the point now of starting this blog, my first. Despite when first reading about them and how it was the new thing of the internet several years ago my initial thought was they had some positive sides but generally kind of silly. My impression at the time was that the people who could contribute helpful knowledge or insight would be lost in the flood of pop interest to the likes of entertainment weekly or what is comprised of myspace. However, I judged a bit too quick.

Over time I have found a lot of useful information on various blogs on various topics. I’m also glad to see in this case I was a bit wrong and there are good ones out there. Since they’re here to stay, at least for quite a while I now think, I figured I’d give it a shot and see how I like it.

I suppose it’s partly my way to give back to the internet after taking so much from it. I’ll most likely also keep various notes on here of things I’ve found, done, read, or find interesting for my own future reference. With this at least it will be useful to me if no one else, but if others can find something good on here then I would be happy to hear about it.

As to how much I’ll get into this or find it good in the end for me I’m not sure. I think I’ll keep it going for several months, let’s say till the end of the year, and review again on what I think about maintaining one.