Curmudgeon Day 2017

Stay home and do exactly what you want.

Stay Home. Do What You Want.It is Curmudgeon Day again.  This is a day to stay safe at home, avoid the insane traffic and idiotic spending, and do something that you want to do.

This year, I watched practice for the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix, put on some comfortable clothes in which to lounge around the house, played some games, and write to you just before I work on a personal project that makes me happy.  Food consists of turkey sandwiches and cherry pie left over from Thanksgiving dinner.

Last year, I celebrated in style by not writing about Curmudgeon Day. 😉

For more information about this holiday event, read my previous Curmudgeon Day posts, which I have been writing since I started this blog back in 2004.

Please feel free to comment on how you spent your Curmudgeon Day.

… and stay off of my lawn!

Curmudgeon Day 2015

The holiday is needed now more than ever!

Stay Home. Do What You Want.This is the 12th straight year that I have written about Curmudgeon Day on this blog, and every year the situation gets worse.

The purpose of Curmudgeon Day is to avoid all of the insanity associated with the commercialism attached (incorrectly) to the day after Thanksgiving in the US.  Some may call it the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season, but the idea that it is the most profitable day of the year is a myth.

The practice on Curmudgeon Day is to stay home and do whatever you want to do, but most importantly, do not go shopping.  Granted, it can take some planning, especially if you are not in the practice of keeping your pantry full and cooking for yourself, but it is much safer not to join the frenzy, as well as better for your mental health.

Since the first blog post here in 2004 (which was already many years after Curmudgeon Day started), the crowds have gotten bigger, the number of deaths have increased (from none), and the abuse has spilled into Thanksgiving, our family’s most sacred holiday.  The only way to stop this idiocy is to refuse to play that “doorbuster” game.

Instead, stay home and actually play games with your family, or work on your hobby, or read that book you have been meaning to find time for, or, if you must, just watch the disturbing images of shoppers acting like stampeding cattle on television and learn the names of all the people killed underfoot this year.

I urge you, most seriously, to make a stand.  Celebrate Curmudgeon Day!

Curmudgeon Day 2013

Stay home, stay safe, and do what you wish.

Stay Home.  Do What You Want.This is the tenth year I have written on this blog about Curmudgeon Day, the Friday after (US) Thanksgiving Day which is traditionally observed by refusing to leave the house, instead staying home and doing whatever activity you choose.  The day has been recognized for decades, and others have tried to misappropriate it, especially recently, attempting to rename it and twist it to their wicked ends.  Nevertheless, I remained committed to the original intent and observe faithfully.

Click here for more information on Curmudgeon Day.

Alas, I awoke this particular Curmudgeon Day with a headache, probably due to too much poor television before bed time, but that problem is resolving itself now.  This post is the first significant thing I am doing today (after sleeping in), though I did some design for a project that is near and dear to my heart at the technical start of the holiday (before going to bed), and I plan to revise the design more and then work on implementation.  Since I actually under-ate yesterday, I am looking forward to lots of very tasty leftovers, too.

If you support the idea of Curmudgeon Day, please like our Facebook page.

Our local NPR station just referred to today with the words “traditional holiday” and then, in dishonor of those who are shopping, played the ominous Night on Bald Mountain, by Modest Mussorgsky. 🙂

Curmudgeon Day 2012

I Stayed Home and Did What I Wanted.

Curmudgeon DayI have been writing about Curmudgeon Day for the last 8 years, which posts you can find in the Curmudgeon Day category.  The holiday itself is much older (predating the pretenders), but it has taken on additional significance this year.  This Thanksgiving was the first time one of our guests had to leave early to go into work at a retail outlet, for a midnight opening, under the implied threat of dismissal, making this particular practice a form of quasi-slavery, which must become unprofitable.

Now, I encourage you to join the cause by visiting and liking the Curmudgeon Day page on Facebook.  If you are so inclined, please also post there about your non-shopping activities; I have already done so.

“We now return to our regularly scheduled program.”

Curmudgeon Day 2011

Stay Home and Do What You Want.

Today is Curmudgeon Day, a holiday which is traditionally celebrated by not going anywhere (especially avoiding the shopping frenzy and the idiots who fuel it) and enjoying activities that make you happy.  For a reasonably complete definition and history of Curmudgeon Day (for you Wikipedia editors), see the Curmudgeon Day category of this blog.

Warning: There can be consequences to not participating in Curmudgeon Day, such as people being injured at Walmarts around the country.  (I remain safe and warm at home, and never go to Walmart.)

Think about the things you enjoy doing, those activities that you would do if you had a little more time.  If you have the luxury of not having to work serving the braindead on this day, stay home and do those things.  Spend time with family, play a game you have not had time to open, work on a creative project you want to accomplish, or just relax.  Take the day, or even the whole holiday weekend, to remember what makes you happy.

For my part, I slept in, then watched Formula 1 practice from Brazil, and now I am writing this blog post before programming a project I have not been able to find time for recently.  Even doing what I love for a living, I still have lots of other things to do on this one day for doing strictly what I want.

Occupy Home!

Curmudgeon Day 2010

Curmudgeon Day: It is now official!

Now this blog/site is recognized by no less an authority than Google as being the primary source of information about the holiday non-celebration that is Curmudgeon Day.

For those new to this phenomenon, Curmudgeon Day is recognized (not necessarily celebrated) by staying home all day, spending no money (in general), and participating in whatever activity makes one happy, or at least relaxed and contented.  I recommend reading the annual Curmudgeon Day posts from the past several years.

[Editor’s note:  True to the spirit of the day, this post was not edited until much later.]

On this particular Curmudgeon Day, with my status set to Out of Office all day, I actually spent my entire day off of the development computers.  After sleeping in, I did spend a little bit of time in the office (physically), tidying up and removing some excess “stuff” that had been placed here immediately prior to the arrival of our Thanksgiving Day visitors.  I then spent time watching some classic movies, including Dial M for Murder and Strangers on a Train, as well as generally putting the TiVo on a diet and fitness regimen.  (The same cannot be said for me, as I indulged on the food left over from the prior day’s feast.)

I did actually do some research and design for an upcoming game title, and I also contemplated some productivity improvements in conjunction with a weekend “reboot” of my task list.  That, however, is a subject for a future post…

Curmudgeon Day 2009

Curmudgeon Day Defined

Curmudgeon Day is the day after Thanksgiving (in the United States), a quasi-official holiday that extends the weekend to four days.  It is celebrated by staying home and doing whatever activities suit you, whether spending time on something important or nothing worthwhile at all.  Notably, this involves not flocking like a braindead zombie to retail outlets because advertising and the media tell you to do so.

Learn all about the holiday by reading Curmudgeon Day posts going back to 2004 (although the tradition dates much further back than that).

Today, I played soccer with friends, spent time with my family, watched television, and emptied the backlog on my ‘to do’ list.  I am now ready to return to work refreshed and reinvigorated.

“Whatever! Whatever! I do what I want!!”Eric Cartman

Curmudgeon Day recap

We celebrate the day after the Big Thanksgiving.

Last week, we recognized Curmudgeon Day for the umpteenth time. This important holiday, which officially started a year before anybody saddled it with the phrase ‘Black Friday’, is celebrated by staying home and doing whatever you want, and simultaneously avoiding the non-believers, most of whom are stupid and/or dangerous and, as was proven this year, some are just plain evil.

Today is the fifth consecutive year I have blogged about Curmudgeon Day here, so those new to the faith can find more background in my postings from 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

This year, staying inside on Curmudgeon Day was a given, since the holiday fell right in the middle of a huge cold. We had several guests for our Thanksgiving Day celebration, which we call “Big Thanksgiving“, but one of them was not my voice. Still, we all enjoyed Big Thanksgiving, so named because we have a sort of open door policy for friends and family and always cook enough food to comfortably feed those who may attend. Instead of only board games, this year we also broke out the Wii to play some Boom Blox (4-player competitive), which spilled over into Curmudgeon Day (along with the necessary cleanup).

While we were warm and comfy inside, the original inspiration for the holiday, avoiding the braindead crazies that roam the earth on that day, was reinforced in a tragic fashion. Jdimytai Damour, a 34-year-old Walmart employee, was trampled to death by the more evil elements of this group. One story about the murder appears in today’s Los Angeles Times. The event makes me sick.

Last year, I mentioned that Snopes has debunked the myth of “Black Friday”. This year, it should be noted that all of the focus on purchases the day after Thanksgiving is nothing but rubbish. I mean to debunk the idea that sales on this particular day are meaningful. The media wants to use sales traffic as an indicator of the economy, and ignorant retailers want to project one day sales volumes over the whole holiday season. The basic and obvious problem with that is the deliberate manipulation of the numbers (via prices), which is not scientific in the least. When Galileo Galilei did his (possibly apocryphal) experiment at the Tower of Piza, the balls were both dropped at the same time. He did not have one person throw the 10-pound cannonball downward and another simply drop the 1-pound weight, and then exclaim, “Aristotle was right!

The fact of the matter is that these “doorbuster” (literally, it turns out) prices skew the sales numbers into meaninglessness. There is no way to know whether (or how many of) these purchases would have been made at regular prices, and it does not take into account the actual profit on these loss leaders, so called because the profit is likely negative for the particular item, just to lure (cheap) shoppers into stores. Some reports have indicated that the actual number of “bags” is lower this year, suggesting that shoppers are primarily buying the heavily discounted items and not too much else. (Who wants to browse during a mob scene anyway?)

I suggest that high traffic on a shopping day with huge discount items is more likely to indicate a poor economy and holiday season, where people are looking to buy at the lowest possible price and may not otherwise purchase these items at all. My supposition is supported by the fact that all major retailers are reporting sales downturns, except for Walmart, which advertises based on discounted items (translation: cheap Chinese crap). It is said that one feeds the family first, and then worries about principles, and this tends to reinforce that idea. (Full disclosure: I have never myself stepped foot in a Walmart store, on principle.)

For many years, one principle that I have oft stated seems an appropriate closing here:

Avoid buying the least expensive of any particular item or service, because the primary consideration in producing that product was likely cost rather than quality.

Curmudgeon Day 2007

Once again, I celebrate my favorite major holiday today.

Today [Friday, November 23] is/was Curmudgeon Day, which is traditionally celebrated by remaining at home and doing whatever one wants. The fact that Thanksgiving provided both the first significant snowfall of the season and an abundance of leftovers, the observance was fairly convenient for us this year.

To read more about this holiday that has been celebrated for decades, here are my previous posts on the topic:

Curmudgeon Day 2004
Curmudgeon Day 2005
Curmudgeon Day 2006

Please do not confuse Curmudgeon Day with the pretender, “Black Friday”, which has been debunked by Snopes, the premier urban legends site. Although my blog only extends back a few years, I proclaim that Curmudgeon Day predates all other claims on this day.

I will note that this particular date is significant as the birthday of Spanish King Alfonso X [1221-1284], who wrote (or perhaps commissioned) Libro de los juegos (English: “Book of the games”), which is one of the earliest and most important books containing game rules. This book, finished 724 years ago, forms part of the foundation of our industry.