Friday, October 24, 2014

Gary's Dream

Gary lay heartbroken.   After weeks of men, women and children walking by, he had not been chosen to go home with them.  All but him on his whole vine had been picked.  Gary had dreamed of going home with a nice family but it looked as though his dreams were to be crushed. 
He began to think of it as like a school dance.  All of the pretty pumpkins were picked first, then the cool pumpkins and what was left were the odd warty pumpkins.  As more days went by, less and less people came and Gary knew his chances of being chosen were not very good.  Finally, Halloween came and past.  Gary looked around at the lot of pumpkins not chosen.   "Surely I can't be as ugly as they are,"  he thought to himself.  Gary had never seen himself.  If he had, Gary would see that we was very asymmetrical, with on side bulging and extra 6 inches and he was covered in black and green warts.  He would also most likely suffer from stem envy as his stem would barely qualify as a toothpick.  Not being chosen made Gary very depressed.
Days after Halloween, a large truck pulled up the pumpkin patch.  Gary watched as two men got out of the truck and began to look around.  Gary knew that this might be his last chance.   He straighten up, tried to get into best pumpkin pose.  As the two men walk by, all Gary heard were "Yes.  Yes.  Yes. No.  Yes."  How he hoped he would get a yes.  They two men walked by and Gary heard a yes but he couldn't tell if it was for him.
Gary wait in anticipation to see what would happen next.  What he saw thrilled him beyond belief.  The two men had large wagons and they were loading all but a few busted pumpkins into the wagons.  They then loaded the wagons onto their truck.  As Gary watch the men worked their way toward him, he became more and more excited.  It got to the point where Gary thought he may prematurely parturitate his seeds.  Finally, the men reached for Gary.  They freed him from his vine and placed in the wagon.  Gary had no idea of where he was going but he was so happy not to be left in that pumpkin patch.
After a short ride in the truck, Gary and his mates arrived at their new home.  They were all unloaded from the truck and placed onto a conveyor belt.  As Gary entered his new home he saw a lot of people.  He couldn't believe that he was lucky enough to have such a large family.  Riding on the conveyor belt, Gary couldn't understand why there was so much stop and go.  Then Gary reached his first station.  The women plucked his toothpick stem right off.  Gary had a brief moment of pain.  He wandered why she had done that.  His next stop was more pleasant as he took his first hot shower.  Gary had never felt so alive.  He waited in exhilaration for his next stop behind the large silver door.   The door closed and Gary and twenty of his pals were moved into the small room.  The door shut behind them.  Even though the room had a strange but familiar smell, Gary remained as excited as he could be as he waited for what pleasure would come next.  He could here some noises.  They got closer and closer.  Gary looked up.  It seemed that the room was getting smaller. and smaller.  Gary thought about how much fun he was about to have with his new large family.  He couldn't help but smile.  Gary looked up at the ever closer ceiling.  He asked the pumpkin next, " Hey do you think that..."
Two weeks later Gary's dream came true.  The Morgan family of five bought two cans of pumpkin and took them home.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

True Detective Season 1 1/2

*Based on a true story

They approached the door with caution and nauseating anticipation  Their goal was known but the solution, they knew, was not only regrettable but utterly vile and repulsive.  Standard one by one, they made their entrance. As the door opened, the stench filled the air.  The two detectives covered their noses and hoped to keep down that mornings breakfast. 
The scene hadn't been cleaned.  Even though, it would have made their lives easier, not being cleaned left all the clues that they would need.  They worked the area top to bottom.  Examining each article and then placing it in a secure location.  As the minutes past, frustration began to set in. 
They were close and they knew but they had found nothing to this point.  While working together had advantages, the two kept getting in each other's way; causing time lost and tempers to flare.   Continuing to clear the area, they discovered a large container. Could this be it?
The first detective begged the second not open it but he couldn't resist.  It had to be done.  He had to solve this case, with or without help.  He opened the container and the stench, which had seemed to have disappeared, came roaring back like bulls on the streets of Pamplona.  The second detective could do nothing but wince at the sight and turn away.  The first detective screamed to close it.  The second detective slammed it shut.  They had found what they were looking for but only part of the case would be solved. Whomever was responsible, will never be known.  The two detectives didn't no how long the large container had sat there or who placed it there.  All that is known, is that in the end, that container and what was left of the Red Beans inside were tossed out. And Gretchen and Shane vowed to a better job of keeping the refrigerator clean.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

At the Movies (With A Beer)

So, a new local movie theater will be serving beer and wine when it opens.  Now, personally I've never been in a theater and thought "Damn!  I sure could go for a frosty one!"  Probably because they keep it so cold that my ass is already frozen to the seat.  That being said, I don't have any issues with it.  My guess is that if a coke is $5.75; a beer has to be ten and a quarter.  For that reason, nobody is going to the AMC to get hammered.  And if they do, they are idiots.

Our local press allows people to call in and voice their opinion on any topic they wish and then the newspaper will print it.  One lady voiced her displeasure with the theater choosing to serve alcohol.  She went on to say that she will not patron the establishment for that reason.  That's her choice, albeit a dumb one.

1)  If she is to boycott the theater for alcohol, does she also boycott every grocery store, gas station, and non-fast food restaurants in the area.  If she doesn't then she is hypocritical and thus her opinion is moot.

2) I understand trying to shield her grandchildren from certain elements but taking her business to another theater does not guarantee that those elements won't be present. 

3) She should be more concerned over the 55 gallon drum of lard soaked popcorn and the pony keg of root beer that kiddos are sucking down during the 95 minute fart laden kids flick.

I doubt I'll  have the urge to purchase a beer at the movies.   But if I do, I'll toast the woman of temperance and then may even tip one for my homies.  Peace!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Things That have Been Bothering Me and Thus Stuck in My Head

I haven't written anything since last post.  I really think it was my best post to date.  But since then, I have had these things in my head.  They are not a complete post, so in my head they have sat.  Now, I'm bringing them  all out at once and wiping the slate clean so that I can move on to other things.

Things on Race (probably my favorite topic to blog about)

1)  I was told the other by a business manager that we was going to "Afro-engineer it".  In my near 41 years in this world, all of the "Afro-engineering" or some may know it by its other cruder name, has been done by white men.  It is my opinion that term should be "I'm going to ICE it."  ICE- Inbred Caucasian Engineering it.  Seems more appropriate, more accurate and more deserved.

2)  Not all white people are descendants of slave owners.  I know some find that hard to believe but most have never thought about it.  Even harder to believe is that some blacks are descendants of slave owners.  I'm not judging anyone, just stating some facts.  It's the 21st century, I believe it is time to move on.

3)  The word "picnic' has become controversial.  I have researched it.  What I discovered was that picnic has nothing to do with slavery or lynchings and its origin is French.  I know some are going to be disappointed but people are choosing the wrong battles to fight.  Also, stop believing every thing that you hear.  Research the topic before you jump on board.


Why, if they are the same, are generics half the price of the name brands?

Why do I have to buy 4 times the amount of something that I need, just so it will be economical?

Are you tired of all the branding?  Do we need 12 flavors of Snickers or 25 flavors of M&Ms?  I liked it so much better when a Butterfinger was a Butterfinger and Cheerios were Cheerios.  I know greed has led to this.  More shelf space A takes the more B,C,D... loses and thus less choices for consumers.  Okay I feel an Econ lesson coming on.... If the aforementioned scenario happens, eventually the smaller companies with lose and either be closed or bought.  This will decrease employment and consumer choices and give company  A more power to do whatever they want with prices.  Anti-trust are supposed to protect us but... here comes the political side.. less jobs = more dependence on government = politicians keeping their unearned positions = NO change and things remain the same.  Kind of depressing, isn't it?

The Golden Rule ( I learned from my father)

He who hath the gold, makes the rules.

(my addition)  He who taketh their gold, is a fool

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Arizona - "The Bigot State"

Some state slogans make you scratch your head but "The Bigot State" is perfect for Arizona.  Remember back when Arizona didn't want to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day?  Well, they are at it again.  This time their legislature has passed a law that will allow businesses like restaurants to refuse service to same-sex couples.  My first two thoughts on this were:    

     1)  How would you know that they are a couple and not brothers or sisters out for brunch.

     2)  Any business that refuses legal money from paying customers is not only conducting bad business but are idiots.

When will Arizona learn?  I can envision water fountains with a "Straights Only" signs on them, followed by LGBT groups getting the fire hose turned on them.  Haven't we been here before?  When you see the old civil rights photos, don't the people on the wrong side look complete moronic inbred assholes?  Anyway, congrats Arizona, you've gotten Alabama and Mississippi off the hook. (for now  I'm sure they'll be quick to get their title back)

Thomas Jefferson wrote that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" and nearly 200 years later Martin Luther King Jr. reiterated that "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'”

So once again Arizona is on the wrong side and looking like moronic inbred assholes.  I will never understand why we have a beautiful Constitution but people will fight every part of it because it's not the America that they want, therein destroying the very foundation on which this country was founded and built.

PS:  I saw a bumper sticker that read "No, no, no God hates FIGS" if this indeed is the case there are many people who will have to answer for their misinterpretation.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Careful What You (Readers) Ask For

It happens occasionally.  Somebody will ask me to blog about something or they will ask my opinion on a topic.  As I have written before, my brain usually doesn't work that way.   When I blog, normally it's off the top of my head.  Sometimes, if something has been on my mind a while, I will organize my thoughts and get them down on paper. (or computer screen as this digital age has it).  Often when ask my opinion, I don't coherently explain my view point and many times I get misunderstood.  (this just happened the other day).  This is also why I totally SUCK at job interviews.  Give me time, and I will give a thoughtful answer that is easy to understand.  So the following is a list of topics that people have ask my opinion of:

Abortion-  I have avoided this topic as long as I can.  Not that I didn't have an opinion on the topic, it's that its a no win topic.  Which ever side that your on, you are never going to convince the other side that you are right.  I stated in an earlier blog that I am anti-abortion.  You mean Pro-life?  No.  I also believe in the death penalty. ( I'll cover that later)  However, there are times where I see that abortion is needed.  So, I'm part-time anti-abortion?  The grey area gets confusing.(and I'm not perfect either)  During the time that I have blogged, I have attempted to point out the hypocrisy in the world.  I'm sure I've hit and missed.  Here in lies the hypocrisy with abortion:  You can kill the fetus today but in nine months or later, if you do it, you would be considered a monster baby-killer.  The term "reproductive rights" is also confusing to me.  You have the right to reproduce or not reproduce, that is your choice.  There are many methods of birth control.  Yes, they do fail at times.  In these instances, adoption should be your answer.  No one could comprehend the pain of not being able to have child unless you have been there.  I have an adopted son that I have written about before.  There was no greater joy than when we finally had a baby that was ours.  Yes, we did conceive two more children later, but given our odds, we couldn't thank God enough for our first son. I know people will talk about "it's her body...", and that's such a lame answer.  The truth is you are a self-centered, greedy person who only cares about yourself or your career and that being pregnant or having a child may get in the way of your lifestyle or the lifestyle that you wish to attain. I know people don't like to hear the truth but that what it is.   Another truth is: if Roe v. Wade ever gets overturned, abortions won't end.  There will always be back alleys, doctors on the take, and handbooks or YouTube videos explaining the "how to". So,  as I said, "it's a no win topic"

Closing of a Local Juvenile Center-  This is the aforementioned topic I spoke if being misunderstood.  The point I meant to make was that nobody wants to hear what a 40 year old white guy who has never been to jail has to say.  And in my opinion, if I did speak out, I think all they would  hear is "RACIST, RACIST,RACIST"  That was what I tried to say the other day but totally blew it.  Now, back to the Center.  Rumor is that it was shut down because it was to much like a prison.  But it seems that prisons today have all the amenities that us on the outside are accustomed to.  With that being said now I present another "In Shane's World" -- in Shane's World the prisons would be old school.  Bricks and bars, no TV and no internet.  No vending machines, only basic breakfast, lunch and dinner would be served.  During yard time, you could walk or exercise.  No balls, no equipment.  Don't like it, then don't commit crimes.  My prisons would be made as to detour everyone from coming back.  I would offer classes for diplomas or trade skills.  Dirty guards would join their counterparts.  Illegals would be deported immediately.  Death-row inmates would meet their fates much quicker.  No over crowding in my world.  Don't like it, I don't care.  Yes, I am 40, I am mostly white, but I'm not racist, sexist or, I believe in equality for all, except prisoners.

What's the secret to a long Marriage?-  I giggled at this one.  I guess in this day and age, 18 years is a long marriage.  My answer is there no secret.  You heard it during your wedding ceremony.  "and the two become one."

That means NO separate or secret checkbooks, password protected cell phones, email accounts or social network and computer logins.  Your spouse should have access to all.  And why not?  There should be nothing to hide.  If your hiding something from your spouse, then you shouldn't be doing it. For example, drugs, diet pills, spending money, talking to someone etc, etc. etc.  Hiding equals guilt.  Guilt equals divorce.

I know, I can already hear it, "Oh, you need your wife's permission?"  The correct answer should be "No, but out of respect for my marriage, I'm asking if she feels comfortable with ..."  I know it sounds corny but everything you do or say should be for the betterment of your marriage.  If not, then why are you married? Doing what you feel is best for yourself, is not only self-centered, greedy and assholish, it will spiral out of control and you will find yourself by yourself with only yourself to blame. But there is good news.  It's not to late to change.  Forgiveness only comes to those who ask.  Come clean, ask for forgiveness, and start living with your spouse as God intended:  as ONE.

PS:  More marriage advice- Discussion should not mean arguments.  Both sides should shut up and listen.  Also, don't utter words at your spouse that you wouldn't let anyone else say toward them.  Respect one another.

PSS:  I'm always open for topic request.  It may take a while but I will try to cover your request.  Comments are always welcome, as well.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Falling Off the Corporate Ladder

I have climbed and fallen off the corporate ladder many times in my life.  I know I'm to blame for the most part of it.  It's funny that as a forty year old I can see that now but, as a twenty something, I was blind.  However, I am still the same person and I know I can not take all the blame.   My naivety led to my greatest falls but my sound fundamentals allowed me to climb again and again and ........

I have always seen things differently than most.  Upon college graduation and my introduction into the working world, I assumed that management and higher-ups would value all opinions.  HA!  Joke was on me.  Time after time, I have spoken or emailed an opinion up the ladder.  Usually it was an idea on how to do things better or what wasn't working in the system.  I think once I hit 28, I realized that my opinions didn't matter.  I heard once that "Don't rock the boat, especially when you're standing in it."  I should've listened.  The truth is that when you're climbing the corporate ladder you have to be very careful. There's only one ladder and the person above you is liable to shit on you at any time.  I have had two managers "steal" my ideas.  One gave me some credit for it. The other... no way.  The other once told me that one idea wasn't possible but less than a month later somehow came out as one of her plans of action.  A second idea she "would consider".  Next day: BOOM!  There it was in her "observation that we need to take the direction of......"  After a thorough scrubbing and being excrement clean, I fired off an email calling her out and off the ladder and into corporate purgatory I went.

In my business career, I have had the knack for two things: 1) Being  hired into a "new" position or area 2) Being promoted too quickly.  There are problems with both of these.  "New" positions have vague descriptions of what, where and how things should be done but have insisted outcomes.  Being promoted when you are not ready only leads to frustrations, bad decisions and ultimately back at the bottom of another company.  I admit some ladders I jumped from.  I wasn't the captain and it wasn't my ship or maybe I felt I just didn't fit.  In most cases, my starting over was because I acted impulsively.

In recent years, I have been able to keep my tongue in check and emails in the draft file.  And thus, up the ladder I climb once again.  Even though falling off the ladder hurts, I have learned from those challenges.  I feel now I have certain savoir-faire.  I still have my creativity and ideas but recognize that this isn't Shane's world and my way (even though it's probably better) ain't the only way.  I, also, know that there are many agendas out there and Shane's way usually intrudes into those agendas which leads back to falling (most likely by a boot) off the ladder back to the first rung.

There is one way to keep from falling.  No matter what area you are in, you must have a mentor.  I can't tell you how you find your mentor but you will know when you find him/her.  I have been lucky to have had two great managers and had/have flourished under them.  As I continue to climb, I can look to their example and know that I'm doing the right thing.

PS:  I had written a poem on the subject but it has disappeared from my mind and from the computer over the course of time.  But I have written others close to the subject:

Blackened midnights gone
Darkend Clouds lifted
Blinding Fog Cleared
From this nightmare
I step into the sun

"Another Day"
Again the sun sets
Another day gone and yet
In the morning it will rise
And bring with it a new surprise

"Looking Up"
From the Depths of Hell I pull
I can feel the cool
I stumble and slip

I grab and hold
Looking Up

With so far to go

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Great Girl Scout Cookie Mass Debate

It all started a few weeks ago on Facebook.  For the most part, I don't give Facebook "debates" much attention.  However, this one hit a little close to home.  Upon Gretchen's request, I held my tongue.  It is always a good thing to stop and think, as I have jumped too quickly, pulling my tongue and firing way to fast many times before. This usually ends in not so happy endings.  So, even before I typed this, I ask her if it was okay.  And with a title like this one, who could say "No."  With Her blessing, I give you the: The Great Girl Scout Cookie Mass Debate.

The debate stems from an article that I have seen posted to Facebook on numerous occasions.  The title of the article was Girl Scouts Join Planned Parenthood at Huge Pro-Abortion Conference.   And if you're saying "What?", you having the same reaction that I did.  Something doesn't sound right.  Now if people do not read the article and just go by the title then I can see why they would be mad.

Now from the comments from these post I can only assume that people did not read the article.  The comments range from things like "I'm shocked" to "I won't be buying any cookies."  The major question I have is if the people posting the article have read it.  If not, then the irresponsibility lies with them.  I HAVE read it.   I also read other articles from this sight.  Have they?

When I read the article it reminded me of a right winged conspiracy theorist as does rest of the sight.  That's my opinion.  The sight, I had never heard of.  The point of the website is clear.  And while I'm anti-abortion, I can't agree with an article that plays "connect the dots" and then comes up with conclusions that attempts to destroy the image of an organization like the Girl Scouts.  My 7 year old daughter is in her first year of Girl Scouts and her first year of selling cookies.  How am I to explain that people aren't going to buy cookies because a 17 year old former Girl Scout wrote an article?  Yes, I said 17.  Want to change your opinion of the article now?  Not that 17 year old can't be a great investigative reporter but I don't think this was the case.   Looks more like a school paper gone viral with the far right pushing it along.  Does she have something else against the Girl Scouts that she's not sharing?  I don't know.  Maybe.

Being in partnership with Planned Parenthood is not against the law, by the way.  If you want to boycott Girl Scout Cookies go ahead.  But don't be hypocritical.  You will need to go to your kitchens, your pantries, your wallets, you closets, your garages, etc., etc., etc. and dispose of the products from the companies that also have alleged ties to Planned Parenthood at the bottom of this post.

Just something to think about the next your doorbell rings. 

Now if you really believe in a cause, then get involved. Write your elected leaders, hold demonstrations, start a website( use facts though), just don't be lazy and post or re-post anonymous articles from websites you've never heard of.  While your intentions may be good the means of which you're doing them are not.

PS.  Feel free to post or re-post this blog

The List

3Com Corporation
Abbott Laboratories Fund
Adaptec, Inc.
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Allstate Giving Campaign
ALZA Corporation
AMD – Advanced Micro Devices
America’s Charities – Employee Giving Program
American Express corporation
Ameriprise Financial
Amgen Corporation
Amica Companies
Aon Corporation
Autodesk, Inc.
Avon Products
Bakar Foundation, Gerson
Bank of America
Barclays Global Investors
Baxter International
BCC Software
Becton Dickinson & Company
Birkenstock Footprint Sandals, Inc.
Black & Decker
Boing – The Employee Community Fund
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Brobeck Charitable Foundation
Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
California Healthcare
California Wellness
Capital Group Companies
Central New York Community Foundation
Charles Schwab
Chase Manhattan
Chubb & Son, Inc.
Cisco Systems
Click Commerce
CMP Media, Inc.
Compton Foundation, Inc.
Computer Associates Int’l, Inc.
Cooper Industries
Cowell Foundation, S.H.
Del Monte Foods
Electronic Arts, Inc.
Equity Foundation
Exxon Mobil
Fannie Mae
Federated Department Stores, Inc.
Fidelity Investments
First Data Corporation
Flora Family Foundation
Ford Motor Company
Freddie Mac
Fremont Group
Gallagher Foundation, Arthur J.
Genentech, Inc.
General Electric
General Physics Corporation
General Re Corporation
Georgia-Pacific Corporation
Grainger, Inc.
Haas Fund, Evelyn and Walter Jr.
Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos and Rudy LLP
Harcourt, Inc.
Hewlett Foundation, William & Flora
Hewlett Packard Company Foundation
Household International
Hunter Davidson Giving Campaign
Idea Connections
IKON Office Solutions
Illinois Tool Works
Infocom Group
International Data Group, Inc.
Irvine Foundation, James
James River Corporation
Joseph Seagram and Sons
Johnson and Johnson
JP Morgan
Kaiser Family Foundation, Henry J.
KPMG Involve Community Campaign
Kraft Foods Matching Gift Program
Lam Research Corporation
Leo Burnett Company
Levi Strauss
Liberty Mutual
Macworld Communications, Inc.
Macy’s West Gift Campaign
Mastercard International
Maxwell PR, LLC
Meyer Memorial Trust
McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Merck Company
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
Microsoft Corporation
Monsanto Fund
Monsoon, Inc.
Moore Foundation, Gordon & Betty
Morgan Chase
Morgan Stanley
Morrison & Foerster
National Grid
National Semiconductor Corp.
Network Associates
Network for Good
Nike Employee Matching Gift
Northern Trust Company
ODS HealthPlans
Olin Corporation
Oracle Corporation
Oregon Health and Sciences – University Employee Campaign
Packard Foundation, David and Lucille
PCW Communications, Inc.
Peninsula Community Foundation
Phillip Morris
Pitney Bowes
Providian Financial
Prudential Insurance
Quaker Oats
Qualcomm Inc.
RBC Dain Rauscher
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Rejuvenation, Inc.
Rockefeller Foundation
Rosendin Electric, Inc.
Safeco Corporation
San Jose Mercury News
Schwab Corporation
Shudder Kemper Investments, Inc.
Standard Insurance – The Matching Gift Center
Stuart Foundation
Sun Microsystems
T. Rowe Price
Tandy Corporation
TAP Pharmaceutical Products
Tenet Healthcare
The Tides Corporation
United Airlines Employee Campaign
Umpqua Bank – Giving Campaign
U.S. Bancorp
UBS Realty Investments LLC
Vanguard Group
Vernier Software, LLC
Washington Mutual
Washington Post Company
Washington State Combined Fund Drive
Wells Fargo Community Support Campaign
West Group
White & Case
Working Assets Funding Service

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Brain Goes Live

I'm giving web casting another try.  I had big plans for inshanesbrain pod cast in the past but I quickly learned that being the researcher, producer, writer, star and editor was a second full-time job.  I did exactly two shows.  One solo and one with Gretchen.  It was fun but very time consuming.  Now I'm giving it another go.  I'm teaming up with the crew from Big Kev's View and hopefully a few others.  I have teamed up with Big Kev's View before and I sat in on one of their shows back in July.  This new format will allow viewers to watch live on YouTube via google+.  We did a test run on Friday night and it was a bit crude and there are some kinks to be worked out but overall I'm excited about the project. With multiple contributors, the stress level of preforming goes away and we can all share in the aforementioned responsibilities.  If you want join in the fun get your google+ account together, follow Big Kev's View and take a ride on the Short Bus. (that's the new show's name)  And as before, I continue too keep this blog alive as well.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The End of Christmas

Christmas ended today.  I know for most it ended 12 days ago.  It should upset Christians that the Christmas season has been replaced by the Holiday shopping season.  Yes, most people think the Christmas season starts November 1st when Halloween disappears from the store shelves and Christmas expands from one aisle that appeared 3 weeks earlier to forty-five aisles. This is followed by fifty-five days of Facebook getting slammed with pictures of trees, crying kids and creepy elves; Black-eye Friday and endless sales of items no one should buy or own.  Finally, the 1st Day of Christmas arrives and what should be a day of celebration for the birth of the Savior, isn't.  Instead, trees and decorations come down; the radio, that was filled with "Christmas" music, goes back to regular programming; and churches that should be filled with joyous believers are closed so that members can stay home and over-eat, un-wrap unwanted gifts and talk about un-attending family members.  This should be the day the celebrating begins, followed by 11 more days of joy.  Today (January 5), should be the last day of the Christmas season but I'm beginning to think that the Christmas season no longer exist.