Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Conspicuous Consumption Days!

A belated Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Black Friday, dear readers. 

As is our tradition, we spent yesterday with my brother and his in-laws.  It's a 290 mile round trip drive for us, but by all means the distance champion was his father-in-law, a WWII veteran who (at 93) drove the hundred miles from where he lives to brothers', spent the night, than drove 120 miles across the state to pick up his sister and drove back, then drove the hundred miles home.  All together about 400 miles of driving.  I hope to be as sharp as he is, should I make it to 94.  He's a Navy veteran from the PT boat service in the South Pacific.  

After celebrating Thanksgivings there for the last fifteen years or so, it's a good reunion.  The fact that it's a bit smaller every year or two makes each get together that much more special.  Normalcy bias can be pleasant.

I don't do the Black Friday early morning competition stuff, but may pick up something or two online if the prices are right.  It's not holiday shopping, just keeping my eyes open for things we could use. 
Like every time you go shopping, it's a good idea to know what things should cost.  Retailers often raise prices before today or have products at prices that aren't really a deal or raised prices beforehand to make a better-sounding deal.  And, of course, they sometimes cut prices well in advance of today, too. 

My takeaway is that (1) I don't need anything so badly that I'd wait in line or get into a fight for a few bucks off on it, so (2) there's no reason to get wound up about today. 

Today, we have a turkey in the smoker and threw in a package of bacon for a couple of hours.  We'll just have a quieter, lower-key day, and have some turkey left overs, too. 


  1. I picked up a few things that I needed that were good prices today; I didn't go early or wait in line. I get things I will use in the short term, and sometimes I put off purchases until a sales comes up; today I got a microwave - mine started blowing the breaker early in the month. 2 years ago my laptop was dying in the fall and I waited until Black Friday to replace it.

  2. A company called Rotometals has a 12% off sale until Monday, and as they sell lead and alloys for bullet casting, I bought their 50-55 lb 99.9% pure lead ingot (actually two ingots shipped in the same box). It sold for $97 and anything over $100 ships free ($28 to ship the ingots, otherwise, but sometimes they sell it and throw in free shipping), so I picked up some thin (1/16") lead sheet, too. It's available in 1/4. 1/8, 1/16, 3/32, and 1/64. They show it rolled up (for easier shipping) and you can get it in 1ftx1,2,3, or 4ft sizes.

    Many years ago, when I worked the streets of San Diego as a peace officer, I bought some deerskin gloves from a guy who made really fine deerskin jackets and pants for those of us who rode motorcycles. He made the gloves with thin lead sheeting across the knuckles and up each finger. Good protection if you got hit with something on the hand (like an accidental smack from some other officer's baton), and somewhat useful if things deteriorated to fist city. Standard "sap" gloves had a big hump of lead sand across the top, while the gloves l bought didn't look like there was anything there except leather. Still have those puppies.

  3. Anybody that went to war in a wooden boat filled with high octane gasoline is more than deserving of my respect.

    Just recently I asked an older gent with a Marine Corps cap when he was in, from his posture and in general how he looked, I figured he was in his mid seventies. When he said 42-45 my mental jaw dropped. He looked at my Forrestal cap and said the Navy had a big fire on one of their carriers near Okinawa when he was there. I am still in awe.

    Only friday shopping was a quick outing to local store due to bad estimate of how much poly we needed for the door job. (OK, did look around and left with some saw blades as well.)

  4. Once upon a time my father, who lived in Florida and at the time was 70, went by car to spend Thanksgiving with his brother's family in Colorado Springs. After a few hours he got the impression his brother's wife didn't like him very much, so he got back in his car and drove back home.