Black Friday reflections

Black Friday fuels the American system. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily — but it can be bad. When the price drops so low on an item that we must get it — even though we have one already that maybe isn’t quite as good — that’s not good.

Lest you think I am preaching from a lofty tower, my family and I visited at least two large stores to take advantage of some of the sales. So I’m preaching to myself on this, too.

So, you ask, what does this have to do with aluminum lobster pinchers? On Thanksgiving, when we were attempting to find an obscure serving utensil in one of our drawers, we uncovered this. It was a free promotion from Lexus, back when the economy was humming enough that manufacturers gave away such things. They were selling a lifestyle. One that is not who I am. So last Thursday, it was entered into our to-the-Goodwill (charity shop) bin.

Be true to who you want to be.

For those not in America, “Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving — when retail outlets have crazy sales with amazing prices — often starting at midnight on Thursday night — which isn’t the nicest thing for those working at the stores. It’s called “Black” Friday because it’s the day stores hope to sell so much that it moves their financial bottom line out of the red (unprofitable) and into the black (profitable).

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Night in a Box

If you live in the Denver area, you might consider participating in Night in a Box. It’s an event that brings awareness on homelessness in Denver.

This is different — participants learn what homelessness is like, first-hand. If you are not brave enough to do it, you can sponsor someone who is — or donate to the cause.

In this season of giving, this is definitely a cause worth considering.

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Add the unexpected

So we bought this Roku box recently. With the cheapest Netflix subscription (USA), it allows us to stream videos to our TV. We don’t have cable, so this is a great alternative.

Anyhow, you’ll notice the fabric “tag” on both the remote and the box itself. Roku stole the idea from Levi’s. (I don’t have a problem with that — Roku is not a competitor for Levi’s in any way!) But what a creative combination — fabric with hard shiny plastic!

Takeaway: What are some ways you can bring the unexpected into your work today?

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Bring it here

Nando’s is a great chain of restaurants. Nairobi, Kenya has them. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has them. But there aren’t any in LA or New York. Or Denver. (Washington, DC has the only Nando’s in the USA.)

One of the problems with having lived in another country is that you will forever be running into things that you simply can’t get in the country you find yourself in.

Some have said that El Pollo Loco is similar. For me, it’s just not the same.

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15 random

So Eddie tagged me. I took the challenge.

1) Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer.
2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.
3) Write down the first 15 songs that come up–song title and artist–NO editing/cheating, please.

I did cheat — I didn’t actually listen to the songs, as I was trying to get other stuff done that required thought-without-music while my jukebox was playing. But you still get a glimpse into my iTunes library.

And I pass on the challenge to you.

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You’ve got to let them go

Our oldest son, Jay, is 17. He will be gone from our home not long from now. Hard to imagine — but it’s something many of my friends and their kids have already been through, so I know it’s do-able.

Anyhow, my little point for today’s lesson* is that you have to let your kids try things that other parents may consider risky. (That’s Jay up there in that crevice of the rock.) Heather struggles a bit more with what others think than I do. (We’re a good balance for each other!) But she is sometimes more willing to let the little birds leave the nest than I.

Parenting always involves stretching boundaries, on the part of both parents and kids. Let’s be willing to let the other try things and sometimes fail.

* And I’m preaching to myself on this one too. You know that by now.

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Language is important

You know that.

But I’m reminding you. Visiting another country, where your language is not the primary language, is a good way to remember that language is important.

In Malaysia, Bahasa Malay is the main language. English is very common, but Bahasa is the preferred way of communicating.

Easy” is a campaign or product for one of the banks there. I had to ask a local what the billboard (and storefronts) were advertising. The non-verbal cues were not enough for me to figure it out. (Apparently, it’s a form of quick banking.)

Interestingly, in Kuala Lumpur, some advertising is in English, and some is in Bahasa. I guess it depends on the target audience.

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