Monday, November 17, 2008

Halfway through Autumn

In addition to being the week of Veterans Day, the week after Election Day, and two weeks til Turkey Day, this week also marks the Half-way Point of Autumn (HPA), an occasion very often overlooked. Frankly, it’s an occasion which has been universally, completely, entirely overlooked… until now! As far as I can tell, this is the very first time anybody has actually tried to pinpoint the halfway mark of any of the four seasons as an “occasion”. It just seemed to me like a pretty good idea… to pause and review… to examine how it’s going so far, in case we need to make any mid-autumn adjustments.

First, let’s take a look at the big election that captivated our attention for nearly two years.
It’s over!

Lots of times, in a presidential election year, there’s an October Surprise which occurs very late in the process, right before the election, and alters the outcome.

This year’s October Surprise was that there wasn’t any surprise!

We have a new Commander in Chief. GWB 43 is being replaced by BHO 44.

At first, I was thinking the gas prices dropping was a device by “Big Oil” to influence the election, but then they kept dropping AFTER the election, so I guess that was just my delusional paranoid conspiracy-theory imagination at work. Unless, of course, “they” kept dropping the prices after the election on purpose, just to throw us off!!! Wow! Visions of black helicopters!

Now let’s talk about the weather.

So far, so good.

In Minnesota, Montana and the Dakota’s, they’re probably having snow storms on a regular basis. But here in sunny South Carolina, I’m still wearing short sleeves most days. Knock on wood.

We’re well into the new TV season – and I have seen enough of the current prime time line-up to know that I’m going to be spending most of my R&R surfing the net instead of watching the tube. (How could they let Cloris Leachman get voted off the island?)

Speaking of TV, Monday marks the three month countdown until television becomes “digital only” on February 17th, just in case you really DO live in a cave and haven’t heard the news. (I’ll reiterate here my concern for the advertising decision-making geniuses who thought it would be a good idea to run those ads urging viewers to switch to cable TV… on cable TV channels.)

We’re also well into the other annual highlight of autumn – the 2008 Football Season. This year’s regular football season is a) over; b) at the end; c) winding down; or, d) who cares; depending on whether you’re referring to a) high school; b) college; c) professional; or d) soccer, rugby, European, arena, or any of those other foreign versions of so-called football.

Back to TV for a minute: The Christmas ads have already started, earlier than ever, continuing the trend of the last few decades. This year, I think they slid right in to take the place of the political ads.

But, seeing the Christmas ads, and hearing the news of continuing economic downturn, brings to mind the local shops and retailers who are counting on the coming holiday season for their businesses to survive. So, let me again urge you to SHOP LOCAL.

The internet is gaining an ever-increasing share of shopping business, and the corporate-giant chain stores always manage to find a way to prosper. But the handful of mom-and-pop shops and stores which still exist NEED our support… and we should give it to them.

After all, the smaller, locally-owned businesses are the ones who sponsor our local Little League teams. They are the ones who support our festivals and community events. They are the businesses who make up our Chamber of Commerce, and give generously to the Band Boosters, the cheerleaders, the high school yearbooks, the scouts, and our schools.

And, more importantly, they are the businesses who keep our dollars here in our own community, providing local jobs, and spending their profits with other local businesses, instead of shipping our dollars to some corporate headquarters a gazillion miles away.

So, this year, let’s try our best to support those local businesses with our shopping dollars, to help keep our own local economy strong.

Okay, what else do we have for our Mid-Autumn Check-Up?

Daylight Savings time: We fell back a week ago with no major injuries, other than bruised egos of those who missed it and showed up an hour early.

Holiday Weight Loss Contest: Who are we kidding? Not gonna happen.

State Fair and Halloween: Long-gone, ancient history, and I missed them both.

So there’s one last item: Veterans Day.

If you haven’t already done so, thank a veteran this week. They are they ones who make all this possible. (Including allowing me to write whatever is on my mind, and allowing you to read whatever you choose.)

And in case nobody else does, I’m offering a giant Thank You to each and every man and woman who donned a uniform and fought to keep America free and to allow all of us to enjoy our lives full of football weekends, hundreds of cable TV channels, Christmas shopping, State Fairs and Halloweens, and a food supply so plentiful that most of us need to LOSE weight. Thank you for protecting the light of the world… a homeland so blessed that truly there are no limits to what any man, woman or child in America can accomplish. To every veteran, we thank you.

See you next week.

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