Yesterday (Thursday) was Thanksgiving, which is a very big event here in the States. Most people get two days off work, including me, which is great. As a special thankyou for shipping Visual Studio 2008 (AKA Orcas), we also have Monday and Tuesday off!
Since I'm a little crazy instead of using this as an opportunity to play many many hours of Xbox games (although I've probably done more than my share there as well), I've decided to run the Seattle Marathon on Sunday, or at least the Half Marathon (13.1 miles or 21 km). More about that in another post.
So anyway, the Thursday of Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for good harvests at the end of the season. That leaves the Friday as a somewhat empty day. Well retailers here are always willing to go out of their way to help the poor consumer so they do what back home would be called Boxing Day sales, but on steroids.
Many retailers open up at around 5 am and still have big crowds attracted to some crazy discounts. I was planning to go along and get a Navigon 2100T for $99 (saving $200) at Staples, but after staying up late playing Rock Band on the Xbox 360 with a bunch of Aussie folks and then rounding out the evening with some Halo 3 I just couldn't get up before 9am. So I checked online and of course they were all sold out in their online store. We dressed up for the chilly morning and motored over to Staples only to find basically all of their Black Friday specials were gone, including my awesome Navigon deal.
We drove around to a few other places in the area and alas it was all the same story. So I remain a poor sole addicted to Live & Google Maps. How did we ever get about before them?
I can hear the question now, why is it called Black Friday? Well according to a sometimes reliable source, it is the day that retailers finally move from the red (making a loss) to the black in their ledgers, all because of the enormous boost to sales from this one day.
I wonder what happens on Boxing Day...
Oh, and as for Rock Band, wow that game is cool.
Disclaimer: I guess I'm a bit of an Xbox fanboy since I finally caved in to office peer pressure and bought one to play games online. It is almost like the old-school 'playing a round of golf' with your business buddies, except you're aiming to frag your boss instead of let them win a hole..
On with my rant. So we played Rock Band with a few folks and it is an extension of the sensation that is Guitar Hero (I, II & III). In Rock Band, you can play with a Bass Guitar, a Guitar, Drums and you can sing. We had people stepping up for all roles and it is a really well done game. If someone in your band can't quite keep up (typically the singer or the drummer because those roles seem harder than the guitar), other folks in the band can rescue them using 'Star Power' that they accumulate by playing well. My only initial complaint - there doesn't seem to be a heap of songs available so when you go on tour you end up playing the same song many times after a few hours.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, yes it is just a game. No, your Rock God status does not apply to any real musical instruments. Remember that people, and enjoy the game.