Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
A certain department store, one of very few where I have bothered to open a charge account, is offering 15% off until Sunday. Since my girlfriend has a heart of gold she spent a good chunk of time last night trying to nab up some clothes for my kid off the website, but the website was too stupid to comprehend that she wanted the clothes shipped to his Mother’s place and the bill sent to us. So it fell to me & the kid to go in and take care of it while she went to her job today.
On the way there I thought to myself…duh…hey…waitaminnit, today’s Black Friday.
Time in: 11:30 a.m.
Goods picked out: 11:55 a.m.
Time in the checkout line: 11:55 a.m.
That’s as far as we got. By 1:15 p.m. I declared the line had made inadequate progress to justify sticking with this plan, and we came home to attend to our chores. We have a very light workload today, but the long and the short of it is this: I don’t see why we spent all that time to work our way 25 feet. That’s three minutes plus something per foot. The math — it doesn’t add up.
It just reeks of the kind of experience that has degenerated to a certain depth, because & only because people tolerate it.
There was only one time that I saw a sales associate pair up with another sales associate, to march out onto the sales floor and help ONE customer find something. But you know what? That’s enough to get me pissed. This other shopper, and pardon me but I think we were every bit as important as she was, made up her mind she had to have something but couldn’t find it, and needed help. Precisely what we encourage people to do all over the place. Ask for help when you need it. The associate she found, didn’t know the answer. He went and got someone who did. Together, the two of them completed her shopping experience. Everyone did everything “right.”
Except that’s two people who could have been working a register. This is why I think this is a good metaphor for life in America. We’ve got people who are determined to get everything, nevermind how much help they need. Other people are determined to find what they need without any help at all, even if they have to settle for fewer things. Supposedly, the “I need help” people are doing things right and the “I don’t need help” people are doing things wrong.
But…that help that everyone needs…like ringing up the sale…when you are ready for it, it isn’t there. People are spread too thin. So some very mundane everyday tasks are demanding a whole lot of time, to the point where they can’t reasonably get done.
Time out of everybody, regardless of which path they chose.
We bagged it. Abandoned the mission. To the best I can see, we were the only ones to do this. And I cannot understand why. I understand why we didn’t quite find what we wanted in the first place; we breezed on in late in the morning, on a day when shopping starts at 4 or 5 in the morning. And I can (kind of) see why people think of this as a refreshing, energizing experience — if they do that. Time seems to pass differently at different times of the day. If you happen to like shopping, I can see it might be an effervescent experience to ring in the Christmas shopping season with a 4:00 run to the store, followed by a 7:30 breakfast at Denny’s or whatever.
But I cannot understand three hours in line at one store. No matter what day of the year it is. I don’t care if you’re buying a fucking kidney. And I’m proud as hell of my fellow Americans who are standing up to the TSA and saying “no more”; but I don’t understand why the same thing isn’t happening with retail shopping. I’ll tell you this — it’s happened with me. I’ve reached my “timeout value.” Any network software application is supposed to have a timeout, that way if one network component locks up, the entire network isn’t gridlocked. Peers wait for responses from other peers, and if they don’t get it within a specified window, they generate errors. Your browser does this. If the web site doesn’t respond, it times out. That’s where I went. Timeout.
This economy is on a death spiral. “Black Friday” is one chance, one of very few chances, for it to get back on track. If there’s one thing this country does not need, it is for every man, woman and child’s retail shopping experience to take three hours, in one store, just because that’s part of the ambiance. How many people would have made it off Titanic if the line to the lifeboats moved like that?
Punch it up, swipe the card, print the receipt, and bag it all. Move on to the next customer, then keep on going. What’s the problem?
As for me and the kid, we’ll just have to find a different way to get ‘er done.
Saw a lady jogger run against our green light, risking her neck to save a few seconds. After we just got done waiting eighty minutes for nuthin’. There’s Folsom for you: Whoever’s willing to do some waiting, ends up having to do ALL of the waiting while everyone else just sort of glides right on through. I’m starting to remember why January is my favorite month for getting the hell out of the city and sitting in a hot tub, naked as the day I was born, by the ocean with a curvy woman of cheerful demeanor and a bottle of freshly-bought wine. I’m recalling why the same experience in the summer months, relatively speaking, is wasted on me. The suburban living has a way of wounding me all throughout the calendar year, and the holiday season rubs salt into it.
Eighty minutes to move twenty-five feet. And we had a good forty more feet to go. I just can’t get over it. I’m still going to be thinking about it, tonight, when I’m supposed to be sleeping. I can tell that right now.
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