Black Thursday For Shopaholics

So Black Friday Shopping extravaganza that used to happen the day after Thanksgiving has now turned into Black Thursday mega-shopping on Thanksgiving Thursday.

The huge Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Florida is open 10 AM to 1 AM!


The mall was packed with people and the deals were pretty fantastic.  


Under Armour was 50% off!


True Religion was buy 1 get 1 free!


Almost every store seemed to be 1/2 price off already reduced prices.


What I liked in this video I took here was the WOW! display around the entire entrance to this Century 21 apparel store.


Watch the whole thing…it is really cool what they did with this frontage real estate for this store. 


Great job on the marketing and very inviting!


So lots of compulsive shopping, but not so much turkey today. 😉


(Source video: Andy Blumenthal)

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Turkish Lights

Just wanted to share these beautiful Turkish lights that I found in Hollywood, Florida. 


We had a delicious lunch at L’Chaim Asian Cuisine and Steak House–the honey chicken was to die for–OMG, it was like candy!


Afterwards, we walked about the shopping strip there and came across this store with these amazing lights. 


It was a hookah (not hookers!) store which I am completely not interested in, having never smoked a cigarette or anything my entire life–true!


But these light were gorgeous. 


I took these pictures and was even tempted to buy one–loved the colors and happiness of them. 


Held off for now, too many nice things, especially since we then followed up with a day trip to Saw Grass Mills today–what an unbelievably huge shopping and outlet mall.


I know it must definitely be time to head home soon, because the shopping experience down here is wearing me down–just kidding, but it’s definitely a paradise not only for the beach, but for the  shopping fun as well. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Going Bonkers For Pink

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Picking Them Out.jpeg

Pay The Meter.JPeG

So is this the power of sexuality or branding?

1. Head first for the lingerie sale

2. Picking out pink for that special someone.

3. Forgetting to pay the meter.

All three of these made us laugh. 

People are a combination of spiritual and physical beings. 

Sometimes the physical takes over and that’s when the problems start happening!  😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Graffiti Blood Fashion

 

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Thought this was a really cool fashion design skirt that I saw in Neiman Marcus.


Aside from all the colors, the design is just eye-taking.


Almost like graffiti on a skirt!


Hey, I think that would make a great business for someone(s) by the way.


Give me a call…and we’ll start it up and make a $ billion–I hope!


Seriously, this skirt is so interesting with a scare theme of monsters, heart, teeth, and blood.


But the fright is quickly turned into envious fashion style as a complete standout item.


Gorgeous design and style, and I definitely see a fashion trend emerging here big time. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Debt Default–Now Or Later

Debt Default--Now Or Later

So reopening the government, narrowing our deficit spending, and raising the national debt ceiling is coming together in planned negotiations this week.

Despite all the talk, we continue to spend beyond our national means and basically we must raise the debt ceiling or else the game of borrow and spend is over.

Almost like insatiable gamblers, we use up our money at the table, head to the pawn shop to sell our watch and car to replenish for the next game, and then borrow against our credit card to fuel our addiction to the game some more.

Eventually though the house always wins and the borrower must pay up (or they get their legs broken or something nasty like that).

So while the question posed by the pundits this month is whether the U.S. will default on its debt now, the real question is whether a default is just a matter of time anyway–as we continue to spend more than we generate in revenue as a country.

Sure can we raise the debt limit again–hey, why not borrow more, if others are willing enough to lend to us (and for little to no interest too)?

And can we through sequestration or more surgical spending cuts, decrease the rate of our deficit spending–however actually balancing our budget is not even on the table anymore, as booming entitlements for Social Security and Medicare are expected soon with the aging baby boomers to drastically increase our spending again.

The hope that we will somehow, magically grow our way out is fanciful thinking–almost rising to delusions of national grandeur–that just don’t mathematically add up (since we have a median GDP growth rate over the last 80 years of just over 3%).

Perhaps, we don’t care if we can’t pay our debts, because we are the superpower and what is anybody going to do to us about it anyway?

Or perhaps, we rely as a backstop on our ability to print more money and pay off old borrowed sums with worthless new money galore?

Maybe it’s not a default if no one acknowledges it or we just get away with it…but somehow, someway, no one and no country can spend more than it generates in perpetuity.

If you believe in the endless virtual cycle of borrow and spend, then the mind control program is working just great, indeed. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Never Worn, But Not For The Reason You Think

Never Worn, But Not For The Reason You Think

I remember learning for my MBA about people’s shopping addiction (aka compulsive shopping) and how it consumes their time and money and fuels their self-esteem.

Like a high gotten from alcohol, drugs, and sex, shopping can give people a relief from the everyday stresses that engulf them.

An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal (18 April 2013) called “A Closet Filled With Regrets” chronicles how people buy stuff they never wear and are sorry they bought it.

In fact, the article states, “Only about 20% of clothes in the average person’s closet are worn on a regular basis.”

One example given is a Pulitzer Prize -winning author who spent $587,000 on Gucci items between 2010-2012, before seeking treatment for his addiction.

A related disorder is shopper’s remorse that occurs, because people second guess themselves and feel maybe an alternative would’ve been a better choice (i.e. they made a bad choice), they didn’t really need the item to begin with (i.e. it was just impulsive), or that they spent too much (i.e. they got a bad deal).

For me, as a child of Holocaust survivors, I find that when I purchase something nice (not extravagant), I put away and also never wear it.

The difference for me is not that I have shoppers remorse, an addiction to shopping, or that I am unhappy with my purchase, but rather that I cannot wear it because I feel as a child of survivors that I have to save it–just in case.

No, it’s not rational–even though I am a very practical and rational person in just about every other way.

It’s just that having seen what can happen when times are bad–and people have nothing–I cannot bear to grant myself the luxury of actually wearing or using something really good.

Perhaps also, I look at my parent’s generation, who suffered so much, and think why am I deserving of this?

They sacrificed and survived, so we (their children) could have it better–what every parent wants for their children, or should.

But still, in my heart, I know that I am the one who has had it easy compared to their lives, and so those purchases are going to stay right where they are–never worn until I donate them to Goodwill.

I never really considered them mine anyway. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Living The Limits

 

Almost two decades ago, when working towards my MBA degree, I read the book, Beyond the Limits(1992) about how between growing world overpopulation and our disposition to living without regards to our limited resources, we were in danger of depletion and ultimately face an existential disaster. 

Now this theme continues with the movie, Surviving Progress(2012) warning that our unabated consumerism and overproduction is leaving in its wake diminished environmental resources and leading eventually to a collapse of our global ecosystem. 

In between the book and the movie, I have followed the warnings of well known and respected leaders, such as former Vice President, Al Gore on global warning, former Comptroller General, David Walker on our spiraling national debt, oil magnate, T. Boone Pickens on peak oil, and that is just to name a few. 

Yet, the warnings of our unsustainable living keep running up against our impressive technological progress–for example, oil and natural gas is being discovered and still plentiful, agricultural productivity keeps rising, and computers and automation allows us to continuously do more with less. 

So what are we to believe–are we on a unsustainable collision course with mother nature that threatens our very existence or is our innovative prowess and technological progress going to keep us ahead of the curve and out of any danger? 

As a technologist, and someone who promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, hard work and sound supporting ethics underlying everything we do, I am a firm believer that we can make a difference. Yes, with G-d’s blessings, it is possible to shape our destiny, so that we can continue to not only sustain ourselves, but also actually improve our standard of living. 

On the other hand, I cannot help but notice a generally gluttonous lifestyle in our society–where people almost always seem to buying bigger and better homes, cars, and even now yachts and private planes, and where buying and throwing things out is a vicious and endless cycle, where we live for the moment, rather than plan ahead. 

Despite initiatives to reduce, reuse, and recycle, we are still very much a single use society (use and discard), where compulsive shopping and a “mine is bigger and nicer than yours” mind-set and motive prevails. 

Now as humankind plans for Earth’s ultimate resource depletion, companies such as Planetary Resources  are researching and developing robotic spacecraft to mine asteroids to get water, extract raw materials, and find new sources of precious minerals, and government agencies like NASAare exploring orbiting space settlements as well as the permanent colonization of the moon and Mars. 

At the end of the day, the Earth–no matter how large and bountiful–is a finite resource and we should use innovation and technology to extend its use and at the same time reach out to find our next hospitable home. 

Watching two seasons of a Discovery television series called The Colonyabout how people in a simulation of a global catastrophe, survive–I saw that no matter how well they did for a number of weeks living off of existing resources where they were, eventually, they had to plan and creatively build their escape to a new sustainable living place. 

Unfortunately, this is not just TV fiction, but this is our reality–to thrive in our world today, but also to plan and build for the long-term–a new home for mankind.