Buying anything on Black Friday?

So what deals are you looking for tomorrow on Black Friday? And how many people are actually going out to the store, versus just shopping online, especially with the large number of retailers promising similar prices?

And for the non-US readers out there: does anyone else have similar sales tomorrow, or is it completely restricted to the US? Just wondering how if anyone elsewhere was going to try to order something on sale from the Amazon US store for shipping elsewhere, for example.

Hey, where did the black friday boycott stuff go? Wasn’t there a move a while back to go all non-consumer instead in the past?

A frosty morning… oh, and THANKSGIVING FIRST

It was startling to be driving in to work this morning and noticing the frost all around, and even ice on the puddles. Ah, winter, are you truly here already? At least it makes for a beautiful sunrise over the fields by Soldier’s Field Road (albeit brief as you drive by).

It’s also startling to realize just how early Thanksgiving seems to be coming this year: in just one short week Americans will be getting ready for the big treks to (or from) family. I think part of it was all the activity around ApacheCon – along with doing my usual conference planner work, I was also pretty busy with some ASF organization work. (OK, pretty busy is quite an understatement.)

In any case, I’m glad that at least one store (Macy’s, I think) is explicitly holding off on the rest of the “holiday season” until after Thanksgiving. Reminder: there’s only a few more days to get on the “THANKSGIVING FIRST” bandwagon to decry the many establishments who put up Christmas decorations far too early in the season. I remember seeing some tree decorations displayed next to the Halloween candy recently… and also made the mistake a few weeks ago of walking into the Cambridgeside Galleria, which is all done up in it’s Christmas finery. I love the winter holiday season too, but I have the sense when I’m celebrating it early to do it privately.

Happy Patriot’s Day!

Although I had grand plans of putting all the local events into a fancy calendar to ease the process of figuring out which ones to attend, sadly, that didn’t happen this year.

Patriot’s Day event information is scattered across a number of different sites, although the most comprehensive reference is Other worthwhile sites for event listings include:

  • Minute Man N.H.P. official site. If you’re attending any of these events, be sure to get there early, and pay attention to where the parking lots are. They will fill up early, and you’ll likely need to walk a ways along the 2A corridor or wait for a shuttle bus in the official parking areas.
  • Wicked Local’s listing of Concord/Lexington events.
  • Town of Arlington’s event listings. The Jason Russell House Battle reenactment is one of the hidden gems of the weekend – you can often get closer to the action than in Tower Park or in the NHP events.

Someone ping me next year if they have good ideas for a great UI for creating a public calendar. I should probably also seek out some of the BattleRoad folks (Mark!) and help them organize their website a bit – frames are so 1900’s.

Merry Christmas, Belmont!

At least that’s what I’ve been thinking to myself, driving through downtown Belmont this week. What with the lovely greenery and wreaths strung across Leonard St. downtown. Very tasteful, and the central wreath includes a nice set of three giant candles, which I presume are lit at night. They’re very green and simple, not at all flashy like the nets of lights making holiday pictures that Cambridge strings across the street. Not that I don’t love the annual Harvard Square lights; they just wouldn’t fit in a quiet and sleepy downtown as Belmont.

What? Did you say something about November? I thought it was almost Christmas time?

Sorry? Are you sure? I’ve been traveling recently, so I may have mixed up which week it is.

Really? You don’t say. You mean I haven’t already had my Thanksgiving dinner? I thought I had eaten too much turkey and forgotten about it in all the napping after the big meal.

Seriously? I don’t believe you – Belmont’s got their decorations up already! Let me look at a calendar…

Wow! They put decorations up around about Veteran’s Day! That’s just crazy!

Personally, I am a big fan of holiday decorations and music, in my case, especially certain kinds of Christmas music. But I can definitely see how not everyone appreciates them, either at all, or more to the point quite so early. Stores are one thing; that’s capitalism. Radio stations are fine; it’s easy to switch the station (or, not listen to my Frank Sinatra Christmas Dreaming on my car radio, since my windows are closed!)

But town holiday decorations are something you can’t avoid, and should have a touch more propriety than to put them up as early as Veteran’s Day, something we should perhaps be celebrating with greenery or flowers for the veterans, not for the upcoming winter holidays.

Lexington has done a nice job decorating downtown, and nicely they waited until after Thanksgiving.