End of

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End of the year brings lots of thoughts, usually. I am not going to waste your time on mine and I likely won’t read any of yours. Truth be told, there are better things to be doing today than sitting in front of a computer.

Tomorrow starts a new day. A new month. A new year. There will be new challenges, but there will be a lot of the same old ones too.

Looking back over this last year of challenges only brings frustration. But, looking ahead brings stress because there isn’t a way to know what is ahead.

So, take it day by day and keep your head down.

Cheers.

Not gonna do it

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The one man show continues. Well, technically it is likely two men, the governor and the top health dude in the state that he appointed. But, that guy can only make recommendations so it really comes down to one guy, Jay Inslee.

He is extending the limits he put in place before Thanksgiving. Of course, he would like to spend his holidays alone because no one likes him anyway, but he wants others to suffer the same fate as himself.

Well, I for one (and many others I know) aren’t gonna do it. Not gonna have it and not gonna participate in it. We shall see our families as we see fit. We shall celebrate as we see fit.

Enough is enough.

It’s been 12 days since Thanksgiving and there has been no significant spike reported. I think that is proof enough that things are under control and the fear-mongering, power hungry governor is out of place. He said, “…we still don’t have a clear picture…,” so this decision is based purely on fear (and little to no data).

Thanksgiving celebrations with family were great, and so will Christmas to.

The governor, well, he will be getting a big fat lump of coal anyway.

Sales?

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Anyone else feeling like the Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales are a little lacking this year?

I haven’t found anything that I have said, “Oh, I gotta get that cuz it’s a great deal!” Seriously. The sales are kinda disappointing this year.

Considering that most people will be shopping online, it’s felt a little underwhelming. I know there have been lots of calls to “support local” and I would like to do that too, but gift cards (or cash) sure seem rather impersonal and not real exciting.

I have been looking for three very specific items and only one (general category) has good sales. Of course, the item will also have (typically) good sales again in two months for the Super Bowl so it isn’t like I have to rush right out and get something.

The other items I am keeping an eye have either not had a markdown at all (Ryobi leaf blower), or the markdown was so piss poor (Sonos sound bar) that it was hardly worth the purchase (not even 10% off!!). So, I will continue to wait on those items too. Nothing exciting or anything to feel good about at the moment.

Has anyone found anything that excited them or enticed them to buy?

Tell me about your exciting purchase in the comments, or give me a recommendation of a sale you think is worth getting excited about.

Holiday decor

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Call me Scrooge. Call me The Grinch. Call me grumpy. Call me whatever.

I hate holiday decor. Like, seriously.

If it were up to me, there would be very little done in the way of decorating for the holidays. It would be simple and wouldn’t take hours to set up, or tear down. It would be quick and easy and not require the rearranging of the entire house.

It would also not involve Christmas lights hung on the house. Talk about a waste of energy (literally and figuratively)!

No one enjoys putting the damn things up. No one relishes the idea of climbing a ladder over and over again. No one loves the idea of climbing around on the roof of the house with impending disaster just one slip away. No one likes untangling lights, running extention cords, replacing light bulbs, or being in the cold for long periods of time while putting them up and taking them down.

What a stupid tradition. Really. Who came up with this idea? Never mind that. I don’t really care.

I have the day off today. Guess what I have been tasked with? If you need me I’ll be outside, climbing ladders, dangling over the edge of the eaves, and cursing my existence for the next several hours.

Bah-humbug, I say!

Thanksgiving and sex

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Got your attention? Keep reading, this is gonna be good.

Is fear going to keep you from doing the things you want, seeing the people you want, celebrating the way you want?

The governor has, in all his infinite wisdom (*hack, cough, hack*) along with his fear-mongering lackeys, has advised that you keep your Thanksgiving celebration small. As in, your immediate household. And, if you should gather with more people, it can’t be more than 10 and it should be outdoors.

WTF? We live in the Northwest, land of the ever falling rain and it isn’t exactly tropical temps up here. Yeah, like people are gonna do that…and if you’re afraid, then do it.

But, I say we treat Thanksgiving like we do sex.

Sex is between consenting adults, (typically) behind closed doors or inside the walls of your residence. It’s nobody’s business but theirs, right? People usually take the precautions they think necessary when engaging in such activities and they have a good time doing it. If we are to ignore what goes on behind closed doors because it is the right and choice of consenting adults (even if it is a group, if that’s your thing…) then people can’t say anything about it.

As such, Thanksgiving this year should be treated just like sex.

Yes, it’s a group activity, but all the adults (and their minions) present have consented and acknowledged the risk of gathering behind closed doors. What happens with a turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, and whatever other foods you like is nobody’s business but your own. How many people you have together is nobody’s business but your own. How much alcohol you have to consume to be able to stand your crazy uncle, or your in-laws, or the political conversations that will inevitably start, is nobody’s business but yours. If you take precautions to protect yourselves, or others, that’s nobody’s business but your own. The point is, you get to choose, not the government.

So, celebrate. Give thanks and be thankful.

**I will not post tomorrow as I will be gathering against the advice of the government and trying to endure the people who will invade space, my peace, and my quiet for an undetermined amount of time. Happy Thanksgiving to all!**

Grow up

blue white ribbon on pink box

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It never ceases to amaze me at how adult family members can be so immature, especially family members who are in their late 50’s.

A few details about my BNL. Single. Lives alone. Makes great money as a machinist in a local shop. Like to talk about himself, but that mostly includes his cats and his job (which he talks in technical jargon so no one can understand what he is talking about). Is a bit out there in ideology, but not extremist by any means. Likes rocks, gems, and nature photography.

Now, he always shows up at holiday celebrations. Rarely shows up for birthday celebrations, other than for his parents. Always comes to consume, but almost never contributes. Never participates in planning get-togethers and never shares in the expense, even though he will show up for them. When asked to bring something, he feigns not knowing what to bring, and if he is asked to bring something specifically it is never enough for size of the gathering.

Over the weekend, my FNL had his 80th birthday. His daughters (even one from out of town) planned the gathering and provided nearly everything for it. BNL showed up before the gathering and didn’t help with setup, tried to carry on conversations while we were setting up (as in, watched while we worked), didn’t offer to help, didn’t offer to help with expenses, nothing. But he made sure he was next to first in line for food. The only thing he actually did, or offered for the whole thing….he picked up some folding chairs at the end. Otherwise, he was busy hiding in the house and doing other things.

Time for someone to grow up and not think of themselves? Yeah, pretty much. Why do none of his siblings say anything to him about it? I have no clue.

Maybe there is history I don’t know about, but I am pretty sure he would have already told me if I stood there to listen to him long enough.

Irritating, you know?

Pause and reflect

flag of u s a standing near tomb

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Can’t Piss and Moan today.

I mean, I could, but I won’t.

Today we pause and reflect on those that gave their lives so that we might be free, and hopefully continue to be free. That’s why they died. And for that we honor them today.

Thanks, to then men and women who have given their lives in the name of freedom.

Tag-alongs

five white sheep on farm

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Nope. I’m not talking about small, over-priced cookies distributed by your little local vested gang…

I am talking about family members (adult children, really) who don’t ever make any plans on their own, but just “tag-along” on the plans of others.

Birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Mother’s/Father’s Day, etc…never their own plans, always the question that comes one of two ways, “What are the plans?” or “What are you doing?”

Both of those questions are then followed up by the assumption that they are automatically invited to the event (even if it doesn’t really involve them) and don’t have to put in any effort into it. Sure, sometimes they offer to bring something minimal but most of the time they just show up and consume with little to no appreciation.

I have watched from afar and up close and personal, so here’s an example of which I speak:

Mother’s Day planning is done for an elderly mother. Plans are made, set, decided upon, and food is purchased for said get together. Planning has been done by the child of this mother BUT what soon follows is the children (the adult grandchildren of the elderly mother) of said mother doing the planning don’t plan anything for their own mom. Instead, the children just horn in on the plans for the grandmother – they don’t make any effort to plan anything for their own mother, other than just going to the gathering for the grandmother.

Does that make sense? I tried to explain that as clearly as possible, but I am not sure I did it successfully.

Anyway, this kind of tag-along thing happens all the time and, quite frankly, the mother needs to say something about it but doesn’t have the heart to speak up and tell the kids they need to do their own planning.

Of course, I can’t speak up either because that is a battle I can’t win no matter how I approach it. I am sure you can assume you know how that would all go over.

Irritating, really. And all I can do is sit back and watch it happen…

Unsolicited Advice? If you have are an adult child with parents who are still around, make your damn own plans! That might be challenging depending on family situations and timing, but the effort is noticed and appreciated. DON’T just tag-along (even if you are invited to). Grow up, be responsible, and truly appreciate your parents instead of just relying on them.

 

Off

yellow volkswagen beetle on a seaside

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Apparently I took the day off yesterday. I don’t think I meant to as I totally remember thinking to myself that I needed to write something and click publish. But, between family in the house and the coffee cup, I must have gotten distracted and forgotten what I was doing.

So, thanks to those of you who still stopped by yesterday, even if there wasn’t something new to read.

Maybe I needed a day off. I am not sure. Of course, here in the US it was a holiday. As such, I wasn’t at the office and I wasn’t doing my telecommute thing. The schedule was off so I guess so was I.

Here’s the weird thing though. When I am off, like off from work because of a holiday, there is scorn in the house. Scorn because the holiday doesn’t relieve everyone in the house of their work responsibilities. Because I get a day off and get to do what I want to do, I get scorn. I hear things like:

“What did you do today?”

“What did you get done today?”

“How were you productive today?”

“What did you do with yourself today?”

It’s some version of that. Scorn.

How about I just get to take time off for me? How about I get to do what I want on these days because I can? How about I just get to do me today?

I am off. I have no work. I don’t feel like doing work at home today either. In fact, I left a 15 year career in teaching so I didn’t have to dedicate my whole life to work, even when I wasn’t at work. Get it?

I.AM.OFF.

(Oh, and for the record, I cleaned the house and put away laundry since dinner guests were coming. There. I did something.)

Now, leave me alone.

 

 

***Dang, back to work today…***

Price gouging?

auditorium chairs comfortable concert

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What do you guys thing? Could this instance be considered price gouging or just market demand?

New Years Eve plans weren’t set in stone yet, so going to the movie theater was determined to be a good idea. Killing a few hours at a movie would help get the evening along and help me make it to the new year (instead of being an old, grumpy person – er, like every other day).

Anyway, we only have one movie theater that is local so to the AMC we went. During the ticket purchasing process it was discovered that the normally $5+ tickets at the theater were just the normal price of $11+. Huh? What’s going on here? Discount Tuesday has been a thing for years and this last year has been no different, so why suddenly are prices not the normally discounted price?

Come to find out, because both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve are the night before a holiday, the theater suspended the special price to take advantage of the fact that maybe more people would want to go see movies. Really? They’re going to jack the normally low price up for two days just so they can take advantage of their customers?

To me, it smacks of “price gouging,” because it is taking advantage of an abnormal situation to make more money. The official definition doesn’t say anything about a “state of emergency” or “disaster,” but if you look at legal definitions it tends to lean in that direction.

I guess it probably isn’t really price gouging, but it feels really shady when you are standing in line to buy tickets with your kids and what would have been a $25 night at the movies turns into $60 (before you even buy popcorn or snacks) because you have no choice at that point. I watched family after family be surprised by the unique “price adjustment” and the unspoken visual debate between husband and wife take place via their eyes. There were some who just turned around and left, but not very many. As parents, it’s hard to turn around and leave when you have all those eyes staring at you in expectation. So, they break the budget to make it happen.

Real shady, AMC. Real shady.