The daily newspaper on Wednesday must have weighed 10 pounds. News-wise it was a fairly scanty day; it was all the advertising inserts. If you live in the USA, and read a daily newspaper, yours was probably similarly fattened. For reasons that remain mysterious to TPP, the friday after Thanksgiving, which is always on a Thursday for reasons that remain mysterious to TPP, has turned into the biggest shopping day of the year. Part of this is because Christmas is only a month away although it's influence seems to creep into things earlier and earlier every year. Part of this is because almost everyone has Friday off, but since the stock market was open Friday AM, Mrs. Phactor had to woman her office until it closed. What this all means to TPP is big box and mall avoidance like they were handing out free ebola. It was even bad getting petrol for the car! For academics Thanksgiving means now is the headlong rush toward the end of the semester. A week or two (just a week this year) of classes left to cover maybe a third of your syllabus (they are only a promisory document) then final exams followed by reading them all and grading. TPP could just never get into a holiday spirit until all of that was over. And it always took quite a bit of desire to get TPP to go shopping even though he likes getting all the women in his life gifts (the cats are easiest). Mrs. Phactor annoyingly annouced that she was done with holiday shopping! The looks she received were not pretty. Of course in her defense this is a pretty busy time of year in her business and she does a fair amount of volunteer/chaity work as well. Since TPP's academic counterpart has retired, time should be no issue, but decades of habit are hard to change. You can't just listen to Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant one day and switch to Christmas shopping the next. It isn't done in proper circles, but it looks like it is being done on a grand scale by many.