Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday 11/26/2010

I didn't bother to get up early.  It was cold - in the 30's and I had no expectation that anything on sale would just disappear as they used to when times were good, money was flowing, people were using their homes as ATM machines (second mortgages/refi's) and spending on credit cards was no big deal.  I still couldn't believe the TV images yesterday and even the day before of people camping out in front of stores for these "big" deals.  If they were giving away free 72 inch HDTV TV's, yes, I would pitch a tent.  I have waited in the past an hour and  a half at most.  That's when it first started.  No-one was putting up tents and showing up 24 hours in advance.  I don't see the point of sacrificing that much time in a very uncomfortable setting to get - things.  They put one woman on the news and asked her - she was first in line - what she was going to get.  She didn't even know!!! She just knew she'd find "something" and that was good enough for her.

No, I got up at 6:30 am, took my time, drove leisurely up to Walmart, yes, it's a Supercenter.  I didn't know what I would see in the parking lot for cars.  It was a bit surprising:  there weren't any more cars in that lot than you would expect to see on a busy day at Walmart. Walked in, lots of police and security standing around everywhere. I really only wanted one thing:  the $98, 19 inch HDTV that my mother hinted that she wanted for Christmas.  I really didn't think those would be big sellers - after all, a 32 inch HDTV was selling for - I believe it was $238.

I walked to the back and couldn't find any anywhere.  Bummer.  I saw one of them in a shopping cart behind counter in the electronics department.  It was full of all kinds of stuff, like when people go to check out and decide they don't want or - oftentimes - don't have money to pay for it on their cards as they might have thought they did. I had thoughts maybe  A store manager was standing right there, so I asked him if he knew if there were any of those left anywhere.  He reached behind the counter, picked the thing up, handed it to me and said: "Yes, this one, it's the last one in the store".  I looked it over.  Hadn't been opened and the box wasn't damaged.

Good enough for me, I thanked him profusely and walked off.  For yuck's sake and because I scored what I went there for, I walked around the entire store.  I found a fleece jacket for $7.  Yeah, I grabbed one of the few of those that were left.  But, I didn't really see the great deals that I thought I would see.  There was stuff out in the aisles all hyped up as a great sale - but maybe the stuff had a couple of bucks hacked off the price, it certainly wasn't a 20, 30 or 40% slash.  I was looking for deals on Christmas lights - nothing but regular sale prices.  I"m not complaining, I saw what I figured I would see, really.  A few good deals - especially on the flat screen TV's -  but not much else.  And, everything that was slated for that Black Friday sale - besides the last of the type of TV I got - was still there.

I left there. I have a $57 card for Home Depot - it's a store credit for something I bought, lost the receipt and just said fine, give me the store credit, I know sooner or later I will be able to use it.  So I went there. The store was virtually empty.  They had a few great Black Friday sales, the rest was nothing that even caught my attention.  A washer and dryer set was the biggest steal there, I am not in the market for such and if I were, well, I pretty much always buy used.  I bought nothing.  I walked the entire store and the only thing of interest was an iron for $6.  I just passed it by. I called mom while there, wandering around the store.  I had to tell her what she was getting because yesterday, when I was visiting her, she said she was going to look for a TV - well, I didn't want her getting a TV when - I just got her one.

In all of this, I hadn't had a cup of coffee yet, so I stopped at McDonald's and got a large cup, went home, got online and did some surfing.  Went outside and realized 2 things I need from Home Depot. 1 - a weedeater.  I have grass that I always pull out and it always grows back.  I stopped pulling it out because - it always grows back and it's a pain.  A weedeater would hack it down in a few minutes with much less effort.  2.  The electrical setup I need for outside.  Not enough outdoor electrical outlets.  I haven't gone back today, in fact, I don't think I am going back out at all.  I am going to think about it and make a decision tomorrow - which one is more of a priority.  Probably the electrical outlet, but, I have a coupon from ACE hardware for 50% off any item  in the store that's $30 or under - just one item - valid tomorrow only.

I'm going to go there and see if I can score a weedeater cheap and then I can spend the store credit on the electrical setup.

I have already eaten another complete Thanksgiving meal today.  The trailer tenants also consumed a large portion of it, plus forked over the money for a pay-per-view on Direct TV: The Expendables.  I have wanted to see that movie, it's an all day ticket on every TV in the house.  Watch that later.

I then started doing more landscaping maintenance on the front.  I've definitely sold myself on installing the small pond out front.  I started pulling out that Texas wild grass that Mary planted some time ago.  It looks okay, but not great.  It's appeal is much lessened now that much of the other stuff I have planted out there is slowly starting to mature.  Well, where that plot of grass is is where I want to "plant" the pond.  What am I going to do with the dirt? Good question, I may just half bury the pond and then use the dirt to build up mounds all around the pond and put plants in on the sides of the mounds.

Mark - one of the trailer tenants - said he was going to buy a space heater today.  Alarm bells went off in my head.  Space heaters consume a lot of electricity and I did not withhold that information from him - immediately.  If they want to heat the thing, they are going to pay for it.  Look, I don't run the heat in my house at night, either.  I am not expecting them to do anything that I don't already do.  I do admit that on some morning, I'll turn the heater on for 10 or 15 minutes, but that's it.  It got down in the 30's last night and no, the heater wasn't on.

Oh, I took Coco with us to Grandma's yesterday.  Well, Caleb's grandma anyway.  Coco is the Dane/Catahoula mix.  She was okay for a while, but after about 3 hours, she started getting nervous.  Did she need to go outside?  Let her out, she stood at the window and stared at me.  Was she hungry?  Fed her, and then started this nervousness again.  I got up to go to the bathroom, she followed my footsteps.  I wondered if it was a flash from the past.  She was handed off to 4 different families before I got her.  She had separation anxiety when I first got her that you wouldn't believe.  It wasn't til' we got in the car that she calmed right down.

I kinda wonder about the materialistic society that we are becoming.  Thanksgiving is becoming just another day off.  God is becoming something that we don't really need.  If we don't have the most current electronic gadget, we are behind the times.  Yes, I did just put together a new computer - but that's after using the old one for some 10 years.  This computer?  I won't be replacing it for a long, long time.  I will undoubtedly upgrade it over time, though right now, the only upgrade it needs is Windows 7.  I'm kinda hoping Cyber Monday might have a deal on it on one of the software sights like Newegg or Tiger Direct.  I just look at this Black Friday hype and mania and see it as a sign of what we are becoming.  Yet, many of us are broke.  It was no wonder to me, at all, that Walmart had far fewer shoppers than in previous years. I wondered how people were paying for the carts stuffed full of stuff - mostly electronics - with credit cards?

Not trying to judge people.  Just wondering.  I also saw North Korea shooting off more bombs/artillery.  They're talking the brink of war.  Are they going to shoot at the aircraft carrier USS George Washington ?  I mean, they know there are US troops in South Korea, are they also going to wage a war with the US? Is this just more talk and rhetoric, or are they serious?  I'm guessing the rhetoric, but who knows.

My vacation - the rest of today, Saturday and Sunday.  Next month, I'll have a 3 day weekend for Christmas and a week later a 3 day weekend for New Year's.  I wrote dad and told him I was hoping we could find a couple of days that Caleb could get off of work to come down with me.  If not, I may just go down there by myself.

As for the rest of today.  Well, it's a bit cool outside, but really, it's wonderful.  I'm going to go back out and do some more foliage maintenance.  My next door neighbors kitty keeps coming over when I'm out there visiting.  I find the thing strangely endearing.  I have been a cat hater since after my childhood - my parents had cats and guess who had to clean up after them and also take care of the litters every 6 months?  Yeah, I got tired of it and that's the reason I really don't much care for them.  But someone else's cat?  I'm finding that that's fine by me.  Kinda strange the kitty just comes right up to me and puts around, smelling, looking and doing whatever cats do.

 I am going to get a box at work, put the turtles in it and shut down that pond for the winter.  The turtles will get stored in the shed, just following the expert's advice.  When it's time to take them out?  I'm not sure.  I can't put them in any pond that I want plants in - which is all of them - because they just cut them down. They would have to have their own setup.

That's it for today.  I'm content and at peace.  I signed up on Plenty of Fish yesterday, someone said I should try it out, well, why not.  It's a dating thing, meet the ladies.  One person showed interest - a 48 year old that has kids, lives in Gilbert, states that she is successful, a businesswoman, owns her own house, all kinds of stuff.  Interesting.  I put it all out there, who I am, what I do, etc etc.  Well, I don't know about that, just have to think about it and wonder if I met her, would there be a connection?

I'm headed outside.



Trip done and over with.  Now, the funny part: the morning I left, another driver before me had loaded for Brownsville. He is still in Brown...