Thankful and Thoughtful

The Winbush Family

Thanksgiving 1970 with the Winbush Family (L-to-R: Jeff, Truman Jr., Sheryl, Patricia, Michael and Estella Winbush with Truman Sr. taking the photo)

Happy Thanksgiving.   Unless you’re a Native American.  Then you have a reason to have mixed emotions about today.

I don’t have any deep pronouncements or thoughts about this day.   I sleep by day, work by night and in between I’ll watch football games with teams I don’t care about until it’s time to dine with my family and try not to overeat.

I’m thankful for the health of my wife and kids who aren’t kids anymore.   I’m thankful for having a roof over our heads and jobs that enable us to keep it there.

I’m thankful for having health insurance when I got sick and I’m hopeful that while the Obamacare roll-out has been a mess that things will get fixed and those millions of Americans without healthcare coverage will be able to buy some.

I’m thankful I live in a country where though I have government agencies playing like The Police and  watching every breath Americans take and every move we make,  we’re still free to complain about it, raise hell about it and if we’re pushed too far, do something about it.

I’m thankful President Obama isn’t as cruel, selfish, and stupid as many of his critics are.  I’m not sure Obama will go down in history as a great president,  but I’m certain he will be considered one of the thoughtful and smart ones we’ve ever had.

I’m thankful I still have my old music collection because I don’t hear much new music worth adding to it.

I’m thankful that while we have to scuffle and scrape sometimes to make the ends meet, they meet enough that we’re able to give something to charity and enable others not as fortunate to have a Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m thankful there are more good people in the world than bad even if the bad people get all the attention.

I’m thankful for every day I have had and as many as I have left.   I’ve got things left to do and I’m not working on a bucket list yet.

I’m thankful for every chance to get right tomorrow what I got wrong today.

I’m thankful for those that like me because of something I’ve said, done or written as well as those that dislike me for the same reason because if you have no critics, you’ve had no success.

I’m thankful because there was a time this year I wasn’t sure I’d even be here for Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful because I have more reasons to be thankful than not to be.

If this guy can be thankful after the last few weeks he’s had, how can I not be?

Black Friday Follies: I Do Not Buy What I Do Not Want.

It might have been Lily Tomlin who said “The trouble with the rat race is even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

The other thing is the other rats keep getting faster and the maze we’re in never gets any easier to get out of.

Black Friday is a masterpiece of marketing and advertising and the conquest of common sense.  Why do I need to be up long before the sun is shivering in the cold with the other idiots to buy a Black and Decker multipurpose power tool I might use three times a year?   Because I’m a good little consumer and I follow my programming without hesitation or question.

All year long I buy what I need when I need it.  Why get sucked in by the hype of National Go Buy Stuff Day?   I keep my ass at home on Black Friday.  Do I really need to get up at 4:00 a.m. to stand in line to buy a toaster with 25 temperatures and  spinning rims?

I am not a snobby elitist who detests standing in line with the masses.  Nor am I some anti-Capitalist desiring to send a message to the money-grubbing exploiters of the working classes that I will not take part in their bourgeois orgy of materialism and greed.    If Black Friday is to the hardcore shopper what Super Bowl Sunday is to the football fan, knock yourself out.   I’d be the last guy to get between someone and their compulsive need to buy another flat screen TV they don’t need.

The thing is Super Bowl Sunday is rarely when the best game of the year is played.   It’s just the day that’s most hyped as the best game even though it usually isn’t.   Well, this truth holds for Black Friday doorbusters bargains.   You can set the alarm to get up at an ungodly hour so you can stand around a Macy’s or Wal-Mart at 5:00 a.m., if that’s how you roll,  but don’t expect to get the best bargains of the year because you won’t.

MYTH: Everything on Sale on Black Friday Is at Its Lowest Price of the Year Although many Black Friday deals offer the lowest prices of the year, you should probably wait to buy toys, brand name HDTVs, and winter apparel. Toys see the deepest discounts right before Christmas; brand name HDTVs sink in price between December and February; and winter apparel sales are best after Christmas.   What’s more, retailers often sprinkle in mediocre discounts with their doorbuster deals, in the hopes that shoppers trying to bang out all of their holiday shopping will bite on high-profit items.

Perhaps there’s some small entertainment that comes with joining in with hundreds of other shoppers convinced they’re making out like bandits by being the first one to rush inside like the zombies invading the mall in Dawn of the Dead.   I’ve even done it once when my wife convinced me to go with her and the kids to Target.    For what exactly, who knows?   I do recall once was enough for me.  The high point was going to breakfast after the low point of pushing, elbowing and jockeying for position to buy something now long forgotten.

Buy! Consume! Spend! BRAINS!!!!

If you run a store that opens on Thanksgiving and denies your employers a day off so they can enjoy the day with their families you’re pretty vile and if you go shopping on Thanksgiving and justify these asshole bosses screwing their workers you’re an asshole too.   Or don’t you think those cashiers want to be home with their families eating turkey and watching parades and football games too?

Black Friday always features the inevitable news stories of old people having heart attacks and dying on the floor while others step over the bodies,  good Christian folks cursing like angry drunks and punching each other out over some worthless trinket, or the smart shopper who gets jacked in the parking lot by someone who wants what they got and wasn’t about to stand in line for two hours to get it.  Yeah, that’s a lot of fun.

It’s a paradox.  On Thanksgiving we appreciate what we have.  The next day we max out our credit cards to buy the stuff we want right now.

In America, “delayed gratification” is the time spent between waiting for Wal-Mart to unlock the doors to how long it takes to get to the check-out lane.

Go forth, gladiators.   I am content to stay home all warm and cozy in my bathrobe sipping of orange juice as I shop within my means from the convenience of my laptop.   I’m too bad-tempered to find any pleasure from going to war over an I-Phone I can’t afford or yet another appliance I do not need.    If by chance Black Friday earns the name for being Day Zero of the zombie apocalypse I’d prefer to observe the chaos from a safe distance.

Let’s go SHOPPING!!!!

Thankful, Thoughful.

A Sesame Street Thanksgiving

Now THAT's a big bird!

Things I’m thankful about this Thanksgiving.

Thankful for the health, well-being and relative sanity of my family.

Thankful for a job and a paycheck that takes care of my needs and some of my wants.

Thankful I don’t know Jon or Kate , Adam Lambert, Paula Abdul,  the Octomom, or Rep. Joe Wilson because they all suck. 

Thankful for President Obama.

Thankful there’s no more President Bush and Evil Dick Cheney.

Thankful that I’m not a Cleveland Browns fan.  I’m a San Francisco 49ers fan.  I got enough problems already.

Thankful for a new car and hoping I don’t have to put it through a rough winter.

Thankful baseball season is over and we’re close to the NFL playoffs and college bowl games.  Baseball bores me numb.

Thankful I’m not getting up early to watch the Green Bay Packers/Detroit Lions football game today.  Zzzzzzzzzz.

They don't suck. Now they just stink.

Thankful as H.L. Mencken said that in this world of trials and tribulations I can be grateful I’m not a Republican.  I mean if the scurvy likes of  Sarah Palin, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, David “Diaper” Sanford and Evil Dick Cheney are your leading lights of the Grand Old Party,  then turn the lights out ’cause this party is over.

Thankful I understand what critical thinking is.  Something  you wouldn’t have a clue about if you listen to Glenn Beck, Boss Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly or any of the other mind-melting drivel Fox News and right-wing radio spew out.

Thankful I like jazz otherwise I’d have almost nothing new to listen to. 

Thankful for   Korey and those other fools never fail to make me laugh and they make me think too.

Thankful Living Colour is still around because The Chair in the Doorway kicks maximum ass.  Now would someone please nudge Sade and tell her to get on the stick?

Thankful that after a summer full of movies I had no interest in at all, the fall has some films  I’ want to see such as Precious, The Road and Sherlock Holmes.

Thankful I shall never see a Twilight movie.  Or listen to Lady GaGa or Rhianna or Adam Lambert or Susan Boyle.

Thankful I came in second in my fantasy football league last year because I’m not going to get anything close to a sniff this year.

Think Obama feels thankful for what he's got?

Thankful that I live in a country where even a skinny Black guy with a funny name and ears that stick out can become president and along with Michelle, Sasha and Malia  (and Bo the dog) bring a sense of family, warmth and class to a White House that has been seriously lacking in all three.

Thankful God made me a writer. 

Thankful I have a blog and you just read it.   Happy Thanksgiving.