Monday, December 03, 2001

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH
Nothing much raging here on the home front today, just a lot of yard work, attempts at selling my Jeep and pondering what I'd like for Christmas. Sad but true. As I get older, the gift portion of Christmas becomes less about being surprised and more about shopping for myself. That's what I get for being interested in computers and electronics. It doesn't help that Natalie comes from a family where presenting detailed lists of desired gifts is common practice. Oh, forget the list, I'll get it myself - because I'm shopping to support America!

Adding to the mayhem is my desire to get everything for a rock bottom price. For that, props go to Dealnews Coupons, a terrific online resource that gathers many online coupons in one place. Need something at buy.com? Surprise, they've got a $25 coupon listed at Dealnews. If you web shop, you must check this out. Many of these coupons are not listed at the retailer's site and as Christmas gets closer, the coupons tend to rise in value.

That's my tip for today.

WINTER PARK CHRISTMAS PARADE
The Winter Park Christmas parade was last weekend. Hey, we just came here to see Santa and go home, what's all this crap? It turned out to be a two hour extravaganza, complete with presentations by BMX bikers, the Vespa Club and marchers from every church and scout troop in town.

Church groups admirably tried to meld religion with the commerce on display. Flordia Church groups are not embarrased about making public statements that go way beyond strict readings of the Bible. Updating Biblical lessons makes them relevant to modern society. Usually, that leads to weirdness. Natalie's favorite banner was carried by the Calvary Church's Boy Scout troop which broadcast a warning along the lines of "Teach your children about Jesus or else!" The banner was split into two with one end displaying images of good (the sun, an Aryan-looking child, various white birds) and the other end showing all manner of evil (satanic and heavy metal symbolism surrounding the snarling mug of Gene Simmons).

Kiss has relied on such free advertising for years. That banner probably sold another 50 cds for them. BTW - should you wish to find out what evil does during the day, it turns out Gene (more likely someone he's hired) keeps a detailed blog about the endlessly fascinating life of Gene Simmons.

EVERYONE HAS A BREAKING POINT
One last thing. On Saturday, we spent a lovely evening with our friends H & C - drove their boat around the Winter Park lakes, ordered pizza and watched Florida lose to Tennesse on the big screen. H. was the guy who last week acused me of being a whipped liberal. I love him because he speaks his mind. After reading my blog about "AMERICA IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS," H. wrote me a long email about how important commerce is to the economy, that people have to keep shopping post-Sept 11 and that I was misguided and didn't understand business.

But after a few drinks, H. confided this little story. He was on Park Ave. in Winter Park and saw a store there with this written in huge letters on its front window SUPPORT AMERICA - BUY SUNGLASSES! Despite previous comments, even H. agreed that was going too far.

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