01 November 2009
November 1 and I am up even earlier than usual. It is actually about the same time but the clocks were rolled back last night making it only 6:37 am. Early enough that my Sunday paper has not arrived. I grab Ana's MacBook and head for the back porch. I get in some bitter exchanges on the fantasy football websites adding only more credence to my earlier post on the subject. I check out my weekend matchup and check the driveway again, happily finding my big Sunday Edition of the Orlando Sentinel.
I have some habits when it comes to the paper. For years, I would sort it so that I could save the best for last. I would get through all the news and propaganda first and save my sports and comics to the very end. In the last few years as my kids started pilfering my ads and comics, I now get them out of the way first and leave them in a pile so that nobody takes the things that I have not read yet.
I am back on the back porch and have returned the things that I have no need for like the classifieds and ads for stores that we have no need to the plastic bag from which they came. I knocked out the comics in record time. Are there fewer comics in the paper? "Zits" by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman is my absolute favorite and I enjoy the plot line in "Luann" throughout the week, but she is noticeably absent from my Sunday page. Of course, nothing can ever take the place of growing up with "Calvin and Hobbes", but I don't want to get started on that.
Oddly enough, I have never been a clipper of coupons, but I found myself unable to simply recycle the ads without checking to see the deals and ended up clipping way more than I will ever buy from today's paper. Some of it I should not even show the family as it will inevitably lead to shopping that we would not do otherwise, but "you never know" and Christmas is approaching.
Let me stop here and climb up on my soap box. One advertisement in the coupon pages got my relaxed Sunday morning, back porch, birds chirping, looking out over the calm lake blood boiling. Lenox, those crafty creators of artificial collectibility and heirlooms, have gone off the proverbial deep end. You can now buy a hand-numbered, limited edition, shipped with a certificate of authenticity, and with the Lenox special edition Insider's Guide "President Barack Obama" sculptural portrait. I have seen plates and figurines and many other things just like this that has never given me reason to pause. Something about this made me freeze. Who would buy this? What other presidents have had little statues of themselves sold as collectibles? How much would someone spend on something like this? The price is $295. WHAT? Five monthly installments of $59. WHAT? I am purposely editing out the profanity-laden tirade that my brain is trying to force from me. I am assuming that the use of his likeness for this must be approved. If I am wrong, please correct me. Otherwise we need to form a PAC and make sure that America gets headed in the right direction again.
I am going to move on for reasons of personal sanity. I made it through most of the ads. Can you say Toys R Us Biggest Big Book Ever? Then my beautiful daughter, Shannon, made me an awesome ham and cheese omelet before I had to run Mickey to a retreat for church. I got to listen to him and his friend Wyatt recount their haul from last night's halloween activities and the accomplishments of the morning's adventures playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare live on PS3 this morning. I don't remember being 11 or 13 as clearly as I once did, but I apologize to my mother since I know that I was never as well behaved as my kids are now. On the return trip from the retreat center, I got to hear the radio that was not audible with Mickey and Wyatt in the car and it was all Brett Favre radio as he returns to Green Bay today as a Viking for another rematch.
Back to the back porch and the newspaper, my brilliant wife, Ana, groggy from a few days in Vegas with girls presents me with a french press that reminds me of our breakfasts in Spain last summer. I read in Parade about Sandra Bullock and look forward to her next movie, "The Blind Side", based on a true story. I didn't know that she was married to Jesse James. What a cool couple.
I found it funny that an 8th grader has a group that he administrates on facebook with over half a million friends asking for changes at the social networking site and his parents didn't know until a reporter called. I also read about "slow money". It seems that someone is trying to pattern socially respectable investing after the "slow food" concept of socially respectable eating. It seems a little weak right now, but the article did ask a great question that I hope to think about as I spend my money going forward. "Is this a company I want to support or is there a better choice I can make that's more aligned with my values?" I have done this a little recently in wondering if I am buying something that I could buy a little closer to home in order to support my community and keep local stores open. My local mall is dying before our very eyes and if it closes will be a blight on our community.
The bulk of the news was unimportant. More propaganda from the liberal media. Half truths and poorly reported stories meant to intentionally lead those reading them to a predefined opinion. Maybe this week's elections will show congress and our executive branch that we are not going to take it anymore. The best story outside the sports page was a married couple that were childhood friends and spent over 64 years together and died within 24 hours of each other. My wife only went to Vegas for a few days and I can understand how this happens. If you spend 64 years married to someone, losing them is probably like losing oxygen. Maybe next week will be better. What are you going to do to help? Start by hugging your family and getting out to vote.