NEW YORK — Police are reviewing surveillance videos of a post-Thanksgiving Black Friday shopper stampede that trampled a suburban Wal-Mart worker to death, but they acknowledge it may be difficult to bring criminal charges.
"It felt a little freakish," customer Ellie Berhun, 48, told the Daily News. "Some man lost his life because a VCR was on sale? Please. It's just too sad for words."
Yooo Hoo! Hello people. Listen up. Shopping for useless crap is not worth your life, the life of another, loss of a body part or getting injured over.
Really I never, ever understood nor joined in on the Black Friday Shopping madness at all. It's a day to be guaranteed to have the worst of shopping experiences all rolled into one. Did we forget too quickly how badly it sucks to drive all around the parking lot looking for a space?
Traffic is also a pain. Think about it, Black Friday is the day of all days where you're bound to find all kinds of women driving around in a frenzy trying to max out their credit cards. Now, now, now, no I'm not cutting up on women drivers per se - just the cellphone yapping, Stepford wives who'd just as soon scratch your eyes out with their fresh manicured pinky finger than to let anyone in front of them.
I never saw a crowd of guys acting so feverishly in Home Depot trying to land that Table Top Saw deal.
Then there is the lines and all of the waiting one has to do on a busy, crowded shopping day. Think about it folks, how much do you get paid an hour? If you're going to spend an entire day from 5am in the morning, I sure hope that you're at least saving an entire day's pay on the sales.
Speaking of sales, just because a thing is on sale doesn't necessarily mean that you need it. A gift? Um, same notion, just because it is cheap and on sale doesn't mean somebody else needs it or even wants it for that matter. If I unwrap a VCR on Christmas morning I'm gonna be angry. I specifically told Santa I wanted a DVR!!
A DVR like many electronics that can be bought online at places like TigerDirect.com at a price even cheaper than the best of Black Friday Sales could offer. Without the shopping, hassle or fingernails to the eye...
... or getting trampled to death.
Shipping is discounted this time of year. Overstock offers free shipping and Walmart flat rated at .89 cents. It costs that much just to get out of bed, get dressed and turn the ignition key on your car. Seriously, shopping online is the GREEN thing to do. No big store with lots of electricity, zillions of cars in the lot, people exhaling and emitting ozone destroying gases.
Simply you in your pajamas, on the computer surfing like you enjoy doing anyway, giving time and thought into gifts, finding great deals and sales and one UPS truck with a Sexy Santa dressed in Brown coming to your door within a weeks time.
Why would anyone even consider doing things the old fashioned way anymore? It's madness.
You know, since I married and moved away from my parents home - I have never had a real live Christmas tree. In my first apartment I had a cute little 2 foot tall artificial. Did the job just fine considering. Later I graduated to a 3 foot artificial and then a 4 footer. All Charlie Brown jobs in my honest opinion, but they all have seen some really cool Christmases come and go.
Our local supermarket, Food Lion had some Frazier Firs put out a little over a week ago. The smell of the fresh cut pine tickled my nose and there was one big bad boy just sitting there calling out to me. It was huge and fluffy and I couldn't stop thinking about it.
Today we all went out together to buy a real tree and I'll be - there was my tree still waiting just for me. It was raining quite hard but we managed getting the beast on top of the car and brought it home to be with us. While it sits outside to dry off we broke out the Christmas decorations and came across our old 4 footer.
What the heck! We have two living rooms so why not put up two trees!! That's exactly what Katie and I did this evening and we had a blast. Tomorrow if it ever stops raining, we'll put up the great big one in the family room.
Our family has been decorating and sharing tales of Thanksgivings past for weeks now. Reliving our Turkey days together over the years to the wonderful times had with family and friends. Sharing photos of those that we so wish we could be sitting at the table with this year.
We shared the historical story of Thanksgiving and how the Pilgrims and Indians came together to unite as friends despite their differences. Teaching Squirt the hardships of the settlers during their first year here in America to the Indians who watched over with compassion over that harsh winter. Coming together in the spring to teach the Pilgrims the fruits and ways of survival here in this new land. To enjoying the final harvest come autumn surrounded by newfound friends and neighbors.
Still feeling quite ill and under the weather myself I had a lot of helping hands in the kitchen this year. Squirt helped me to make apple and pumpkin pies and Jon the "gravy master" made the tastiest gravy to cover a turkey ever! The turkey came out perfect, moist and full of roasted flavor. The crab stuffing rich and warm. A green bean casserole from heaven. Then the usual croissants, cranberry sauce and of course - sparkling wine.
Squirt was so excited as we shared before supper all that we were thankful for. She sure had a lot to say in that department! She even thanked the turkey and somehow or another decided that crayons and drawing paper were also a hot item to be thankful for.
Yes, that's sick old me down there at the end of the table. Looking and feeling like I'm 100 years old. It's hard to say if I'm feeling any better than I had Monday when I went to the hospital and found out I had pneumonia. I'm certainly breathing much better but still feeling very yuck. I'm guessing it's the harsh medications that are supposed to help me get better but instead their side effects can be just as tormenting, painful and sickening.
Dinner was so good and we stuffed ourselves with all kinds of Thanksgiving delights. Little Squirt downed an entire turkey leg all by herself and couldn't get enough of the green bean casserole. She was bursting to be excused from the table.
Assuring us that her belly was completely full and that she had no more room in there. Not even for a single bite more.
I've been so blessed in so many ways and have so much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving morning. My list includes the everyday usual blessings such as family, home, substance and friends. However this morning before anyone else awakens - I'm sitting here reflecting on times and matters not so usual. As odd as it seems, as odd as I am - in some strange point of view it is of these issues that I've come to embrace and bestow great thanks for.
There is an old Native American Proverb that asks; "Are you a victim of circumstances or are you a warrior over them?" This morning, I'm thankful for the strength, courage and foresight in refusing to be a victim.
I'm thankful for growing up in an abusive, dysfunctional family unit. Really, I am. Part of who I am today was molded by these circumstances. From the way that I communicate and work together with my husband to the way that I'm raising my one and only child. In all of the bad that has befallen me before, believe it or not there were some good intentions. Some great values that unfortunately were not communicated or expressed appropriately. I'm so thankful that I am able to see through this, get up and move far away from it and to have the strength and knowledge to not ever let it repeat itself.
I'm also grateful for the opportunity to meet the Grim Reaper face to face a time or two. Something about a near-death experience can sure change a person. I'm not afraid of death at all anymore, for my close calls with it got me off my behind and up and at 'em to start living. To take on challenges. To go ahead and try different things, places and meet other people. These times fired me up to get a life and to go out and make the most out of it. Although the circumstances are solemn and sorrowful - as I reflect this morning, they were blessings in disguise. Encouraging change and improving my life in the long run so greatly.
Lastly and maybe the strangest issue of all I am thankful for not ever being rich and swimming in mountains of money. Cliche' as it is, money does not buy health, life, happiness or even much comfort. Not having it has bought integrity, creativity and much more blessings than having it at all. Situations were experienced that even in the worse light I knew... I knew that somewhere someone was worse off that day than I was. Reminding me on how blessed I truly am.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there! May you find thanks in the usual as well as the extraordinary. Most of all, may you find peace and comfort in who you are, where you've come from and direction on where you are going.
Two weeks ago I posted about our new family member Rose. Nobody has answered the "lost and found" ads or the posters we've put up regarding her. It seems, she was surely a victim of a drive by dump off and as of Monday she is officially and legally ours to keep if we want her.
I'll admit, I didn't even know what kind of breed she was. All that I knew was that she surely wasn't the type that I would go out of my way to get in a new pet. In fact, since our Beloved Basset Hound Bo had passed away this past summer we had thoughtfully studied and decided on getting a little black Scottie Dog. Just like the ones President George W. Bush own in Barney and Ms. Beasley.
The deal was, no more pets that poop bigger than we do. (Whoops!)
Immediately Rose was friendly, obedient, willing to please and a total love bug. In the past few weeks here she's adapted quite well. Allowing the cats to dominate her, boss her around and treat her like a big bean bag pet bed. She is house trained and knows all the regular doggy commands such as sit, lay down, roll over, gimme paw, chase the ball and stop.
Squirt can even walk her, with leash or without and she just gently romps beside her - always taking care and caution not to let her size beat anyone up who is smaller than her. Very intelligent and considerate as she even peeks around the corners before walking through a doorway so she doesn't startle a kitty.
Yesterday Jon went ahead and spent the money for a complete vet physical and check up. She's gotta clean bill of health. Physically and for her behavior and demeanor. The Vet loves her and joshed around with Jon saying she knew he'd be the perfect Daddy for her ever since he brought her in two weeks ago to check for a ID chip. She suggested that a dog like this wouldn't do well in a small apartment or left alone all day. That maybe her previous family lacked a dominant alpha-male or was able to meet her needs for a big backyard run and attention.
Anyhoo, I was reading the bill of clean health and paperwork today and the Vet, who should know better than anyone, categorized Rose as an American Pit Bull Terrier!!
What? No. I can't believe it and do not want to accept that. Can't, our home insurance will give us lots of grief if this indeed the fact. We searched online plenty of times over the last few weeks trying to determine her breed. Including excluding her from the Pit Bull Terrier department. We were certain that she was just a simple standard American Bull Dog.
She's bigger than a Pit and only a year old. Like American Bulldogs she has not learned to bark and hasn't at all. Her jaw isn't big and bulbous, her head and snout more boxy than terrier like. She lets go of balls, ropes and although likes tube sock tug a war - doesn't hang on. She's white with the characteristic black eye and lip liner of an American Bulldog. Although white, her skin underneath is spotted and freckled like a Dalmatian. In addition she is without the big Pit Bull smile, drool and loose lippage.
But what do I know?
Help guys and give me some advice. Pit Bull Terrier or Standard American Bulldog?
Not so Rocking Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu!
Well, as things shall have it. (Yes Dr. John, it's THAT bad!) I went into work yesterday and by 11:30am couldn't even breath deep enough to project a whole sentence. A visit to the emergency room, three breathing treatments, some strange steroid injection, chest Xray, EKG and blood work later - the diagnoses was in. I have a bad case of Pneumonia!!!
I'm finding out that Pneumonia is not fun, but as I sit here at 4am this morning unable to sleep because the steroids have me shaking a jig - might as well write some twisted parody lyrics to this rocking song. =O(
I wanna jump but I'm afraid I'll fall I wanna holler but my breath's too small Chillin' and Shakin's got a hold of me too I got the freekin' pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu
Got an inhaler called Abuteral, Anti-biotics the size of a football, Wheezin' and coughin' up gobs of goo, I got the freekin' pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu
The Steroids makin' my knees to knock, My head feels like it was hit by a rock, Stomachs in knots and I just want to puke, I got the freekin' pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu
I'm tired but I just can't sleep, So hungry but I cannot eat, Aches and pain's got a hold of me too I got the freekin' pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu
Out of work now and gotta stay home, Call the boss-man up on the phone, "I'm chronically sick and there's nuttin' I can do, I got the freekin' pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu."
I'm really hating on the Mondays lately and today is no different. Fifty-four more minutes until send off, okay now make that 31. (Had to take Squirt to school in the interim.)
Since when does an employee ask for a week off four months in advance and is told the week before that their planned vacation is not allowed? Really man, it's not my fault that Obama won the election and we now have to help empty out half of Savannah to attend his Inauguration. Which by the way is a good thing and another reason why I do not want to go to this thing. Republicans are going to have the entire city to ourselves for a few days and I don't want to miss the party and experience.
Speaking of the Inauguration and Ms. Mincey that I blogged about a few posts back. I found her a roommate and partner. Our prayers worked. Earlier last week a lady came in to the office, sat in front of my desk and just let it out. Something told her that she must go to this thing. There's some sort of purpose on why that she wasn't quite sure of but was trusting in the Lord.
Funny, for technically we are all sold out on this trip. Technically with the exception of a space that I purposely set aside Ms. Mincey in hopes that my prayers were answered. Well, this was the answer! I told her about Ms. Mincey and gave them one another's phone numbers. They both are going to make a great pair and have a great time no matter what. I'm certain of it.
Times and matters like this can make a bad job bearable. This was last week and now, here it is Monday again and although we only have three days of work this week it does not make my employment any more tolerable.
The Don (boss) is back from escorting a school trip to DC and when he's in - everyone is on edge and frayed. The end of last week was so nice and pressure free. (Heavy Sigh) Alas, he is back. The pressure is back on and it's 13 minutes to kick off and I already need a nap.
Do you realize what you are doing? Throughout America and parts of the world, there is an "Inauguration or Bust" movement to make a pilgrimage to Washington DC by millions to attend your Inauguration ceremony. It's going to be freezing cold, crowded and presents quite a dangerous situation to the very young and old alike.
I'm sure security will be tight as possible, but are there adequate bathroom facilities to accommodate the masses? What is being done to prevent a possible passionate stampede from the Mall over to Pennsylvania Avenue where you will be parading down? What of emergency services for those who may fall ill within the crowd?
In fact, why don't you publically come out and make a request to the American public that they stay home. To create grass-root celebrations in their hometowns vs. making this pilgrimage to be part of this historic day. For their safety and for your peace of mind. While you're at it it would also be wise to tell them that it is NOT cool to worship you.
But I get the feeling that this is what you want. From the Roman columns that framed your presence at the Democratic Convention to the way you blatantly bask in the fanfare and present yourself as a hero.
When you are after all, just a man. Just a man who may have all intentions of change and to do good - but you are indeed going up against a mountain of difficulties brought on by the current Bush administration and by time itself. It may be a mission impossible and by all means you shall give it your very best - but have you considered that if you fail, in any way - that this failure will reflect upon an entire race of people?
Which by the way is bullshit!! Mr. Obama you are NOT African-American by any means. You are the son of a white American woman and your father was an immigrant from Kenya. Your Daddy may be from Africa but in no way did he ever share the historic sorrows of the African Americans who were born here through generations of slavery. You stole this election by pretending to be and to equate yourself with just that.
I have never agreed with a Terrorist on anything, but yesterdays video of al-Zawahri calling you on on being a Malcom-X defined "House Negro" nailed you to a tee.
From where I'm sitting you have banked on the passions and ignorances of an entire race of people. You fail to correct them while they are mistakenly identifying themselves with you and praising you for representing them. You are NOT of them nor have anything in common with them. Disregarding their safety as they plan to pour into DC in droves to celebrate the first "black" president of the United States.
Modeling your Inauguration speech after Dr. Martin Luther King even. You are so fake! So Phony! So selfish! So narcissistic that it sickens me. Building up hope in a desperate people knowing full well that their passions can be crushed so easily. Perhaps it's the white half of your blood that makes you such an arrogant asshole? Either way, you must say something and do something before all of this gets way out of hand.
For the record, although I hate and disrespect everything about you and everything that you stand for. I would never harm nor support any harm to come to you and your family. Unless you re-represent yourself in a proper light I will never bow down or refer to you as Mr. President. I will not honor nor respect you but instead - see right through your transparency and turn my back towards you at every opportunity.
By all means I will pray for you and the people of America. Pray that you'll see what needs correcting and speak up and step down from your pathetic phony pedestal and throne of arrogance. That maybe, in a few months or years I can rewrite this post and say that I am proud of my President who put America first and united us vs. being so hung up on himself that he crushed and divided us.
I hope - and it's a hope that you have not yet given me.
About two weeks ago I returned to work one afternoon to find a tail-wagging MONSTER in the parking lot. As usual I walked up to the roadway to check the mailbox before heading back in to the office and she followed me as if I was her new best friend.
I'll be honest, I love animals but this was 90 plus pounds of American Bulldog who usually don't give off the impression of cute nor cuddly. My original thoughts were of getting chomped in the butt, loosing a hand or getting attacked by a rabid beast!
She couldn't go into the office, but she waited for me by the foot of the door. Her presence there succeeded in keeping all of our customers away. Not that she growled, barked or even tried to scare them - she just did so by being there. Such is a bulldog's nature.
Being that I live right next door to my job, when it was time to go home she leaped to her feet and proceeded to come with me. Completely ignoring my commands to "Stay! Get! Sit! Go Away!" PeeWeeWiggles our basset hound was wiggling with excitement on the possibility of Mom bringing home a new friend to play with.
The cats on the other hand were not too fond of this possibility. Jumping to heights that never before had been reached. Hissing and growling in repulsive protest. You'd think I brought Satan himself into the house by the way they cleared off my shelves and shredded the curtains.
I'm a big softie no doubt. I couldn't leave her outside in the cold and wet. Nor chance the possibility of having her hit by a Semi out front here on this busy port Highway. Dog pounds aren't my idea of a good place and I distrust them. So I set out to put in newspaper ads, online ads and flyers around.
Jon gave her a bath and she was beautiful. The previous commands of "Stay! Get! Sit" stopped being ignored. She is the biggest wuss in the bulldog department. House trained, obedient, gentle and kind. In fact - the cats have taken a liking to her and she is now the victim of being their own personal warm bed!!
Last week Jon took her to a local vet to be checked for a homing chip. He also had her shots and some medication and she was given a good score of health. She's only about 7 months old and still a puppy by Veterinarian standards.
No owner has come forth and it looks like we've adopted a new ugly, yet beautiful in her own way - teenaged giant of a Red State and Rednecked Bulldog. We're all sopped up and attached to her now and Katie finally figured out what she's going to name her.
"Never ever purchase or use perfume that is NOT locked up in a glass case at a Department Store."
There is a reason why they call cheap cologne Eu De Toilette Spray. That is because it smells like sh*t!!
I am deathly allergic to bug spray, it makes my throat swell up and I go into a frenzy of asthma type attacks followed by nausea and terrible headaches.
Now, a new co-worker reeks of Black Flag Ant & Roach Killer with the fresh flora scent!!!
Not really being certain on the chemistry of bug spray and why it is effective, I can only imagine every time she walks by my desk. I've adapted by holding my breath, but if she stays for awhile to ask me a question I need to gasp for air sometime, else pass out on the floor.
My sense of smell is very spot on when it comes to perfumes, soaps and other smell good scents. Easily detecting too much alcohol, oils or other chemicals in cologne. I guess you can call me a perfume snob in these matters.
Until last week I thought my nostrils have experienced it all. From fruity scents gone wrong when someone breezes by smelling like a rotting cantelope to those spicy tones that smell like someone just shit a oatmeal raisen spiced cookie.
But bug spray? This is a first for me and if it keeps up may be my last.
I know what to buy her for Christmas and pray to God that I pull her name out of the Pollyanna gift hat!
My job has now reached the point of critical mass. I sleep, eat and live it 24 hours a day. Waking up to nightmares and not having any time at all to do anything else. Including very important responsibilities like helping Squirt with her homework, cleaning the house, cooking dinner and catching up on Mt. Laundry.
I don't even want sex anymore for the sheer thought of it constitutes another shower, a duty and work!!
Yep, this has become THAT bad!
My previous challenge of two weeks back has been interrupted by this mass pilgrimage to Washington DC for Obama's inauguration. Eight buses and three Hotels were bought and booked in one single morning.
Yesterday, two more buses were added and another Hotel. But for $100 per person more.
I can't even begin to deal with this half cocked and not very well thought out idea of a plan the boss has thrown upon my lap. Normally an optimistic, hopeful and cheery person - I am burdened by heavy pessimistic intuitions.
Not until yesterday did I even realize that it will be Martin Luther King day before the Inauguration. DC is going to be packed solid with people for the entire weekend before we even get our peeps up there.
Then there is traffic. I know from experience that traffic on the DC beltways can be gridlocked for hours. Even on a normal day at 2am in the morning. The Metro, DC's transit system is running at high capacity on a normal weekday as it is. Toss in 2 million or more people and it's going to be a headache.
Yet, our peeps are expecting to eat a hot breakfast and leave their hotels by 7am. I fear that they may not even make it to DC in time. That they'll instead be sitting on a stinkin' bus stuck in traffic as the festivities go down.
Then there is Miss Mincey. A 97 year old black lady who came in yesterday afternoon to buy her ticket all by herself. She's frail, but a shot gun never the less. She's spunky and very determined. I'm worried for her - in that push around, crowd all by her lonesome. But she said, she didn't care if she died there - she had to go for she waiting 97 years for this moment. She was going to go for the sake of her grandbabies, greats and great greats.
But we were sold out of seats.
Having the foresight to steal a few for wiggle room before the booking even began - I was able to get her in never the less. But I worry so much for her. If they even make it to DC she won't be able to stand for all of those hours. Poor Miss Mincey. But she wants to go no matter what.
Four minutes and it's off to hell again. I want to quit so badly but can't. If you pray remember Miss Mincey for me! Thanks!
I have been miserable since Obama won the election last week but not for the reasons you may think. I've been bamboozled into working for a tour company and my hours are supposed to be 9am-3pm, M-F with every other Wednesday off.
Before Election day things were just starting to get cozy for me. Comfortable hours that allowed me time to be Mom, wife and friend. As of Thursday afternoon something changed that is going to make sure that cozy and comfortable are not in the cards for me until the middle of January.
The Bossman decided to put together overnight Obama Inauguration trip to Washington DC for the inauguration at $199.00 each. Immediately the 8 line telephone went berserk and hasn't stopped since. We had 6 full sized buses and 2 Hotels filled to capacity by 9am this morning. By noon he added 2 more buses and another Hotel which are about to be filled.
He should have sold the trip at $499 per person! In fact it is my understanding that a person came in and bought an entire bus full just so he could SCALP the trips for double the money.
Either way it has been a crazy house at work all week. I'm sorry, and I don't mean to offend - but all y'all Democrats are a demanding bunch of cheap shits. A few asked if a baby or small child could go for free, even if they sat on their lap. Honey, do you realize that this is a 10 hour trip and do you have any idea how antsy a little child is going to be? The Mall that is the park in between the White House and Washington Monument is going to be packed solid with millions of people. Much like an Irish Pub on St. Patty's Day. You could literally get pregnant being so close to so many strangers! A kid, a baby with stroller or heck even a Grandmom is going to be a very bad idea.
It is nearly impossible to guarantee that everyone gets on a bus with their friends. I'm trying by keeping groups together but some late comers are going to have to ride on #7 and #8. It's hard enough keeping up with the rooming lists (Single, Double, Triple and Quad) for over 500 people, not to mention trying to make sure that at least the groups are in the same Hotel.
Be glad if you're sleeping with someone you know!
Well anyhoo, top all of this off with stuff. Yeah stuff!! Bossman wants buttons, beach balls, sweatshirts, hats, fanny packs, chairs and blankets to sell with commemorative Obama imprinting. Guess who has to order them? Guess who has to make sure that everyone gets what they ordered? Having to find out what bus they are on so at least I can get the right products on the right bus. We won't even mention getting the sizes right.
It's a madhouse!!
Well, thanks for letting me vent. I'll get back to normal blogging again - maybe more now that I have something totally terrible to bark about. The only thing that would make this any worse would be for the Bossman to make me go on this trip.