Friday, November 23, 2012

That Friday

It's "that" Friday once again--a dubious highlight of the annual retail cycle.  We have to admit we once fell victim to Black Friday, kinda of like the Black Plague, only different.  We once actually stood in lines in the pitch black dark of the wee hours waiting wondrous deals.  Thankfully, those days are long gone.  There was nothing in the Black Friday ads that caught our attention or tweaked those dormant genes.  We haven't engaged in the bizarre Black Friday ritual in few years.

The worst episode of Black Friday insanity happened sometime back maybe ten years ago, plus or minus.  That's when digital camera makers started their steady march to higher megapixels and lower costs.  Back in those days, a 64 MEG card was considered a big deal.  We're not talking GIGS here, folks, we're talking MEGS.  I remember salivating over a deal at Target for a 3 megapixel camera for around $100  The 64 MEG cards were on special on Black Friday for more money then than you can buy a 4 GIG card at regular price today.  Anyway, we lined up at 3 am with the other idiots and were lucky enough to be third in line at that early hour.  By the time the doors opened there were roughly 300 people behind us.  We passed the hours by discussing the arcane behaviors each person used to get the best deal.  The consensus was that you needed to run like heck the minute the doors opened.  It was similar to an Oklahoma Land Rush event except with throwing elbows and doing body checks as we all raced each other to electronics.

Being a former guard in high school football I knew a little bit about throwing elbows and doing body checks.  Sometimes it helps to be a short, wide body kinda guy.  I was so happy to make it back to electronics at the head of the frenzied pack of foaming-at-the-mouth, wide-eyed shoppers.  I held my new little camera up like a trophy for winning the playoffs.  Today, of course, that camera is worth precisely nothing and wouldn't even elicit a yawn in a forlorn thrift store, let alone a dollar.

Looking back, I was a mere pawn of the USA retailing hype that Black Friday offered the best deals of the year.  Clearly, I had lost all my common sense and manners and decorum and politeness and I was willing to trip my fellow foot racers if I could have got the right angle on their legs.  In hind sight, it was like some primal ritual that we had been conned into by the Thanksgiving day newspaper ads.

It actually got a little worse in 2007 when we moved to Idaho Falls but at least I didn't get into a foot race with other people.

With the passing of each year, we spend less and less time even thinking of Black Friday ads.  This year is the very first year we have no plans to buy anything advertised in the Black Friday circulars.  Well, that's a small stretch of the truth, actually.  You see, Home Depot is selling Seattle Sports river runner dry bags for a mere $15 a two pack.  Since we plan to go to HD today anyway to buy some brick floor cleaner, we will at least check to see if there are any of those dry bags still in stock.  However, we definitely will NOT be lined up to race off to buy those dry bags because we have plenty of dry bags and don't really care if we buy them or not.

The last couple of days have been quite a lot of fun.  We haven't engaged in any grunt labor here at 2nd Chance Ranch.  On my birthday we went for our first walk around the pasture, went out to lunch at the Ranch House, took a drive out to Sacred Mountain, sat beside a tranquil Beaver Creek pool and enjoyed another very nice camp fire.

Yesterday was a fun morning puttering around doing little enjoyable things of no particular importance. Joanne's T-Day dinner was great and the afternoon quickly faded to black while each of us engaged ourselves in the minutia of daily snowbird life.  Lately, the afternoon temps have been in the low to mid-80's with not a breath of wind.  The NWS says the temps could get even higher today and tomorrow before dropping back to "only" 4-8 degrees above normal for a couple of days.  High temps are forecast again for next week but the December 7th-12 period might bring a decent chance of seasonal cooling to our dry, dusty, desert state.  Last summer's false hopes of an El Nino are just a distance memory.  It appears Arizona is firmly lodged back in its drought persona once again.  We'll take the weather whichever way it decides to wander.  There are pros and cons to any type of weather.  The big advantage of our evolving hot, dry season is that it's picture perfect for winter day hiking.

Speaking of walking, Susun's already taking on her Drill Sergeant persona and rallying me up for the "new regime," an 8 am march around the pasture.  So, I guess I gotta go git my walking stuff on.

Many Cheers, jp

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