Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No crowds at stores I visited yesterday

The temperatures were still in the 20s when we arose this morning. We were told by the weather people on the television that today and tomorrow may have some cloudiness with an extremely slight chance of some showers, mainly in the mountain areas, but the temperatures will be pleasant. Both days will be in the 40s, we’re told. Remember when the 40s would be considered cold?

Then a cold front will herald in a cold snap and the temperatures will begin plummeting on Friday. Roger Griswold on Ch. 6 even said there’s a hint of some snow possibly here next week as a series of storms lines up to head our way.

Yesterday was a fairly nice day, too. Gator Wife and I decided to take advantage of a nice Tuesday to do some Christmas shopping. It was the day to do it, at least the late-morning to early afternoon time we chose. There were very few shoppers for us to compete with. Like what we hear on the TV that most shoppers have, we had a specific list of items we wanted to buy and the exact stores where we felt we could find the items.

We were able to find our items right where we thought they’d be. Navigating the aisles was extremely easy as they were relatively clear. What we thought would be a two and a half venture turned out to be about an hour and a half. Parking was easy everywhere. The longest line we had at a checkout counter was two people in front of us. And they had small loads.

GW knows that I’ve wanted a new camera/phone so she steered me to a phone store. I’ve been resisting getting one because I’m cheap and didn’t want to spend any more money than I’m now spending for wireless. We looked at phones with the assistance of a very nice young man who seemed to not only know his product but also the ability to work with an older person and make suggestions to meet his needs.

When he discovered I already had a plan with his company but didn’t want to upgrade my phone because I didn’t want the number of minutes required, he asked for a chance to work the system. To make a story shorter than I usually do, I left the store with a new camera/phone, my current minutes plan, and no cost to me except for a memory card for the phone.

I had great personal service, no pressure, and a most satisfactory outcome. And after Christmas Day, I’ll have a new cell phone. That was the only part of the deal I didn’t win. GW had offered to get me a phone for Christmas if I’d pick out the one I wanted. I bought the memory card so the phone cost her nothing; yet she insists it started out as a Christmas present and a Christmas present it will be.

I have just a short couple of comments on sports today. First, the Plaxico Burress situation really dramatizes how much money professional athletes make. Those contracts in the millions of dollars don’t hit home as most of us can’t truly visualize millions of dollars, except as a dream. Burress has been suspended by the New York Giants Football Club for the rest of the season for shooting himself in the leg in a New York nightclub. The suspension will cost him about $206,000 per game. Someone gets $206K, and some even more in various sports, for playing one football game.

How long would most of us have to work to get more than $200K? Then, on the other hand, I can’t run down a football field nor could I catch a football while covered by someone else making a ton of money. Hmmmm. Perhaps I could make a lot of money from people wanting to see me make an absolute fool of myself so maybe there’s hope. Not.

And finally, I feel a little sorry today that the Sox have only offered arbitration to Jason Varitek and have denied arbitration to Curt Schilling. They both were heroes for the Sox. I was among the many who said last year Schilling should have retired then while still a hero. I hope retirement is the route he’ll take this year. Varitek, the Captain, on the other hand, probably still would have a role for the Sox, even if he were just a backup catcher working with the young ones coming up. His bat might contribute, too. For all he’s done, I believe he has earned the privilege of staying with the Red Sox.


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