Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A Day of Holiday Shopping

No, this isn't a mis-dated post. While I managed to avoid going anywhere near a retail outlet on either of the two biggest/worst shopping days of the year (the day after Thanksgiving--a.k.a. Black Friday--and the day after Christmas), today was the day I hit the stores in earnest.

Now, understand that I don't mean that I was shopping late for other people; as I've said before, I did that early and 90% of it online, with most of it being here. What I meant was the post-Christmas tradition of redeeming gift cards and getting myself something that was on my list but didn't come at Christmas.

I also realized that I have yet to document "the haul" like I did last year. Here's a quick rundown of what I got: the Seinfeld Seasons 1 and 2 DVD collection; my usual set of Rangers ticket vouchers; a huge gift card from Kohl's; and a new compact suitcase. I also got a few Starbucks cards from students, and, between students, my parents and one of the middle schools where I teach, a whopping total of $75 in Chili's cards. (This is of course on top of the aforementioned Trifecta of cards from Halfling's parents; he also got a set himself, as it turned out, so it's off to Frisco sometime during the break.)

Today was a really good day to do what I was doing; the crowds were nothing like last week (or even two days ago), and lots of things were on sale. I even managed to find Tasha a late Christmas present (a huge, catnip-filled mouse...yeah I know, like she needs catnip). The only thing I couldn't find was a brick-and-mortar store with a cheaper price for the first set of Family Guy DVD's than Amazon, so I waited until I got home and ordered it there; I can wait the extra week. I'm not sure how the traditional stores are doing this year, but it's been a banner holiday for Amazon.

OK, I need to think up some more edgy (or at least entertaining) material to post in the next few days; lately, it's been too much Kev and not enough musing. At least, unlike TV, I'm still cranking out new stuff...

Browser update: Still lovin' the Mozilla. I have had a few problems getting certain plug-ins like Acrobat Reader and Real Player to launch properly within a browser window, but the speed and accuracy is amazing compared to what I was used to with IE. It's also nice to be able to do everything with one browser again.

And now I have proof: Mom sent me a picture of their house in the snow, so I added it to my Christmas day post. It'll be a long time before we see another white Christmas down there, that's for sure.

What will these guys buy next? The dad who put his naughty kids' toys on eBay last week found a buyer: the same online casino that bought the grilled cheese sandwich with the supposed image of the Virgin Mary in it. They only bought the toys--for over five grand, by the way--on the condition that the dad donated the proceeds to charity. He had said all along that any money raised by the auction would go to buy his church a new heater, and the casino plans to donate the toys to underprivileged kids right there in the Houston area where the family lives.

Kickin' old school to the curb: A game site recently subjected their 10- and 11-year-old panelists to some vintage video games, and their comments are pretty funny. (via UNEASYsilence)


James said...

My gosh - post-christmas shopping over there is massively different to here!!

I'm sure we have equal busy-ness before Christmas (most big shopping centres open straight from 8am on the 23rd right thru til 6pm on the 24th - and it's usually packed all thru the night)... but after Christmas is nearly just as chaotic.

Over the past 10 or 15 years, we've developed the post Christmas sales here. The huge general dept stores have stocktake sales and have some awesome bargins, but in the last 7 years or so, pretty much every shop puts on a sale for this week. So you get the big shopping centres just *teaming* with people.

In our state (New South Wales) our govt banned big retailers from opening on Boxing Day, because it was a public holiday, and they saw it as unfair on the smaller retailers. But come Monday morning (which was actually deemed a public holiday, as was Tuesday: Christmas Day holiday and Boxing day holiday, because the two fell on a weekend this year) the shopping centres were nuts. You really have to be brave to go there... the worst bit is finding a car park :(

James said...

Oh, and while I'm commenting here... in reference to Santa in a singlet and footy shorts/stubbies...

Singlet is much what you'd expect: sleevless shirt, often navy blue. Footy shorts are what our Rugby Leauge players where... very short shorts. Stubbies are the same thing... except that's the brand name.

So picture this if you will: Aussie bloke, navy blue sleeveless shirt, very short shorts, "flip-flops", with a bit of a gut (belly), and a beer in one hand... *huge* generalisation of Aussies... but you get the idea ;)

Kev said...

We certainly have our share of returned items and after-Christmas sales over here, but the biggest day for that by far is the day after Christmas (even this year, when it was a Sunday, some stores opened at 6 a.m.!). That's why I waited a few days to do my shopping, because I heard that it was pretty crowded on Mondays too.

So do your rugby players still wear the really short shorts? Those went out of style over here a loooong time ago (look at pictures of our NBA uniforms over the years to see what I mean). Any guy over here who wore really short shorts is either over 60 years old, or his manhood would be seriously questioned.

James said...

HAHAHA! It's almost the opposite... seeing a guy in footy shorts with *really* long socks signifies footy player and therefore *very* manly... :)

I reckon we should start a blog specifically designed at cultural differences between our countries :)