New Moon

You don’t often get to start a new year with one of those, but it happens as we “usher” in 2014.  The idea of a clean slate, a fresh start that comes with a new year is an enticing thing. There are pockets of good and bad with every passage of time and it is possible to have bad stretches for sure, but can’t really blame the calendar for what fate might be throwing at you.

I don’t know how I feel about 2013 as a whole, so I look to the certainties. I reconnected with a very valued friend and that great unbreakable bond lead to me to a great group of folks (thanks, fam). And that trumps pretty much anything else the world can toss at ya. The blood family is thriving too.

I have made mistakes, fixed em, and had successes as well. None of that was the calendar’s fault, just me being the flawed human I am.  Shit, as they say, happens. While some day are “diamonds, other days are rocks,” we’re here and that’s pretty okay.

So, let’s enjoy the moon this evening (safely), and the blank slate that begins tomorrow…afternoon.

or enjoy this to get ya going:

Happy New Year.


Holiday Leftovers

So, I passed on Black Friday nonsense, and on Thankgiving? I celebrated with a couple of stops laden with good food and laughs that are more valuable than any flat screen sale.

I heard the argument made that since movie theaters and restaurants opened on the holiday, why couldn’t retail stores? It was the big box folk who did? And one depressing watch of the news saw people fighting, pushing, shooting, brawling over stuff we don’t really need. One talking head from one of the major chains said something that 15,000 people came to his place over 11,000 who showed at midnight the year before, so that justifies it. Bizarre. If they are open, people will go, even though tv deals are probably a little better closer to the Super Bowl. One day, you’d hope people would realize that being the first to get something doesn’t really come with a prize. Preferred the good times of my non retail laden Thanksgiving.

Elsewhere, fanmageddon (Leaf fans visiting the Sabres) occurred to highlight Black Friday. Neither team is going much of anyplace this season, but there is always atmosphere when the two meet up. The Sabres prevailed with a good game, and mostly because they dressed better (normal jerseys). I worked as an usher for the affair in the Student Surge section where a few students were surrounding by an affable section of chemically serene Leaf fans. One of whom spent the latter portion of the third period talking to me. I sort of like that as you are just talking, it’s okay to be a bit of a hockey nerd. Even though he went home disappointed, we fistbumped in our brilliance as we discovered what the Buffalo Bills need to do in Toronto. If we are going to play there, let’s open that roof. The stadium up there has a retractable dome, so retract it, and let’s get some football weather in the room. Might feel more like Bills home game with some Bills wind chill up in that joint. Genius, right?

Anybody notice, a big box credit card is the sponsoring entity of Small Business Saturday?

Going out to one establishment, but bringing my cash as I’m thorough like that.

Might stop by the real job on the way back because two valued colleagues are celebrating a special occasion.


They’re one!

Holiday Road


A bunch of years ago, as a young p.r./marketing huckster, I was involved in the promotion of a great book called “The Trouble with Christmas.” The author thoughtfully and respectfully pointed out some issues with the holiday and how and why he came to the point of not being a celebrant. I’m not quite of that ilk as I celebrate that day, but he had very valid point.

While it can be great, there are some pitfalls. For me, the way Christmas decor starts to snake on to the shelves prior to Halloween to this morning’s “Share and Repost” of making sure you say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, since the latter was politicially correct. It’s not, it’s been around for generations too. Nobody is assaulting the holiday. Aside from my own nurseable grudges against the tone of most “Share and Repost” things on Facebook, stuff like that imagines controversy where there really isn’t one.

I confessed a little dismay that some stores are opening at whatever o’clock on Thanksgiving Day and was told well, “people will buy.” I guess, I’m of a mind that people can and will buy when things are open, that nobody demanded more time, more excess, to the point where Thanksgiving gets reduced to a carboload for Christmas shopping that could wait until….the next morning.


We are in such an unnecessary hurry and there is no reason for it. Stop and smell the mashed potatoes as you get a second helping. I know I will. All that pushing of the envelope I think helps foster depression as well. I used to fight a sense of have I done enough for my kids, only to realize what a stupid question that was to be torturing myself with.  So, for a few days, it’s all good. I can bypass people acting a certain way for a month, treating their fellow man the way they should the other 11 months, but is midnight on October 31st the time to crank out the carols 24/7 like two radio stations are doing, and to only play a handful of 1000s of Christmas tunes.

It can be a fun time of the year in DECEMBER, but the sprint to get there is a dizzying one.

I know some fool in pursuit of the flat screen he HAD to have will trip in a Black Friday crowd to GET that TV and will wind up part of the flooring for his troubles. Psst, the deals on those are better in January, closer to the big professional football contest.

It’s a nice season in DECEMBER, but the head start has some flaws.

Playin, playin in the sand…

You got to wander sometime


Good day to go play in the dunes. Ever just go for the sake of seeing what you can find. I was thinking my car could use a wash, but a romp seemed like a better idea. I mean it was our day off.


Didn’t have a route, just “thataway” for a few hours.


No need to storm the castle


Yep, waded…


“Hey, are you a little old to playing on the rocks?” “Um, no aren’t you a little young not be playing? ”

The big rock looks both like a face and the dude yelling at me.


As Ferris said, “Life moves pretty fast…”




Okay, Fall, had my fun….well, not quite 😉

P.S. Boss

Already on facebook to lamely tie in with Independence Day festivities, there were a few folks playing “Born in the USA” like it is a Rah-rah, go team, “Murica!” song. I thought I’d pop this version back up as long as I have a few readers (both of you) to highlight the verses.

Calendar Blues

Apparently, I’m a bad american. I didn’t rush out and buy a tv between dinner and dessert on thanksgiving. Thankfully, I didn’t read about some slob getting caught under the mobs in pursuit of his 60 inch vizio.

It’s easy to get a little overwhelmed as this month seems to have enough demands to it that if you are easily suggestible, you can be trapped into feeling like you should be doing else, buying something when you don’t need to be.

So in the ongoing effort to let myself off the hook a bit when it comes to unnecessary holiday angst:

Apparently if you aren’t running around like a hopped five year old on too many pixy sticks, you got issues.

While I admit I have full subscriptions, the holiday is nice and all but it doesn’t dominate all my thinking that I need to hear Bing Crosby the moment the Halloween candy gets polished off. My folks pulled some amazing magic tricks when my siblings and I were young. We did pretty good in the unabashed consumer department. And I guess, especially in my daily guise of bachelor father, my perpetually worried brow gets a pretty heavy workout during these weeks. I was inducing Seasonal Disorder Syndrome

I had this ephihany that it’s a lot of mental energy that doesn’t need to be burnt up like a fast timed fuse. The world keeps on spinning and all in the lives of my immediate circle is largely unaffected by it all save the many cookies we’ve consumed at the various stops. We can all sit back and enjoy a bit.

After all, there are so many other things to get crazy over, but a day on the calendar isn’t one of them.

When Black Friday calls…

First of all, that doesn’t sound cool at all, only when Steely Dan sings it.

More truth this than not. The idea of midnight shopping on Thanksgiving seemed a little weird to me last year, and this year, with the waves of specials, starting at 8 on Thanksgiving night. I have to express admiration at how fast something so outlandish, such a wack-adoodle of a notion became the norm. I’m not keen on it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a marketing tactic. I mean, it is a great con. People seem to be quite content  to ignore Thanksgiving for a mall crawl. Now, I appreciate great deal or wanting to procure something special, but given that we had an unrelenting set of election ads replaced by a ceaseless series of Christmas shopping ads, a break seemed good.  I understand having to work a holiday having had to do so periodically, but I don’t think anybody really demanded retailers to open up on Thursday evening. For my part, I was enjoying my food coma at one end of this and slept through the other end of the shenanigans.

But I do think all the emphasis adds to the seasonal depression that surfaces this time of year. I know for my own part, I’d worry about the holidays as a way of staying somewhat relevant to my own kids. It’s foolish and I know that now, but such are the problems of divorced folk who give a damn.

With T-Day sneaking in earlier and the retailers wanting to increase business, here’s what should of happened: All the door-busting, stampede inducing, dessert cheating shenanigans should go on Wednesday during regular hours. Some of the “coverage” of this “news event” tonight mentioned that traffic during the normal portion of the day was lessened by starting Thursday evening.  There were droves out, which is why my idea is DOA, but think of it. Shop yer face off during normal hours Wednesday, and generate more business because regular hours are longer than the stampedes of last night. The stores save on OT and gain good P.R. from leaving Thursday alone and everybody can go batshit crazy at dawn’s early light the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Maybe we wouldn’t have to guess what retail chain will be the unfortunate locale for some poor slob under a stampede because he couldn’t keep up with the rush to get 60 inch tv sets or see sights like the footage of the near riot trying to get into the lingerie chain’s store in California this morning..

It makes sense from all angles, so it will never happen.