Cyber Monday

In Canada you probably know it as Buy Nothing Day. Here in the US, November 25th is known as Black Friday — so called, because it’s the day retailers supposedly start making money and getting “back into the black”. The day is typically associated with long lines and people getting trampled and/or killed at Walmart. About the closest thing in Canada is Boxing Day, but it really doesn’t compare. Thanksgiving is celebrated the day before Black Friday in the States (in Canada, Thanksgiving is the second Monday of October). Would you believe there were people — here in Sarasota — waiting in line at Best Buy at 6 pm on Thanksgiving?
Sure, I guess it could be kind of thrilling to be part of something so… crazy. I get that.
What I don’t understand is how news organizations like my favorite local TV station, SNN6, can get off reporting that “Cyber Monday” — purportedly where shoppers “Get online the Monday following Black Friday and buy” — is actually a phenomenon. You just know it had to be made up — when was the last time you heard anyone describe the internet as cyberspace? About… 1997 or so? And since when did anyone ever feel pressured to MAKE IT TO THE CYBERSTORE? *insert Napolean Dynamite quote here*
Anyway, at least one publication blew the proverbial BS horn. Thanks Robert D. Hof and BusinessWeek Online, for calling it like it is.

US Thanksgiving

This past Thursday was US Thanksgiving. Last year I spent it with my good friend Dani in Cornell, NY; this year I spent it with John, Ivee and co.
There’s something of a tradition brewing here, I think: just like in 2003, John, Helen and I started the morning off with a round of disc golf at Maximo Park in St. Pete. We were playing for beer: that is, if I won a hole (by taking the fewest throws), John and Helen would then owe me a beer. If we tied on a hole, then the hole is said to be “pushed”, that is, the win for the hole carries over to the next round. Final scores: John 9, Helen 8, me 1. It was actually a lot closer than it sounds, as we “pushed” many holes, I just didn’t end up winning. *shakes fist*
Helen and I headed over to John and Ivee’s around 2:30 and we hung out on their brand new “Augusta Block” brick patio and took in the sights and smells of a lazy Thanksgiving afternoon. One of the neighbours was deep-frying a turkey, wow did that ever smell good. About an hour later Steve and Brenda arrived and we made our way to the backyard, where we were joined by Ivee’s mom Josie and enjoyed Albertos (a special champagne, mint and vodka concoction), prosciutto-wrapped-blue-cheese-stuffed figs, candied nuts and fresh starfruit right from the tree.
Aussie Ben arrived just in time for dinner. Dinner was fantastic (as usual) — my compliments to Ivee and John for preparing such great food. Have I mentioned I love their stuffing? Also compliments to Ben for his warm pumpkin salad, what a tasty and original treat. So good. Later, we were joined by Ben’s friends Nicole (from the UK) and Kaylene (also from Australia) and discussed all manner of what it’s like to suddenly realize you have an accent.
Here’s a bunch of pictures from the day — click on any of them for le big. 🙂
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Hil-Bri Nov 2005

So, without further adieu…
Hil-Bri Nov 2005! What you’ve got below is a summary of Hilary and Brian’s visit, broken down into the days they were here for. For each day, there is a map of the location or locations we visited. For each map, there is a picture. Each picture is actually a link to a gallery from that day. Some galleries have more pictures than others. Key West has the most. All 186 pictures are captioned. Some days were skipped. Those would be the days where Hil and Bri were in Orlando while I was at work. Got that? Good 🙂 Let’s get to it 🙂

Day 0: Tampa/Longhorn

From the Tampa airport to Longhorn restaurant in Sarasota

Hilary looks up travel destinations while we eat dinner at Longhorn restaurant
View Gallery

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Private Pier

Wow… well, it’s taking longer than I expected to get those pics up. Life has just left me no time to sit in front of the computer. With luck, this weekend. For now, a song. This one’s a classic, full of great guitar riffyness. Not really sure how I’d describe it. It’s too fast to be called house, a little too “jump-up” to be called progressive house. Anyway, who cares, it sounds good. Includes a giant bassline, free of charge!
Hip Service – Badaboom Badabing (12 MB, 8:40, 192kbps): mp3.