REI: No Black Friday

Yesterday I received an email from REI, with the subject line: “REI is Closing Black Friday.” Of course like so many people who received the email, my response was: “What, what, what?” It is a great marketing ploy and strategy. I immediately was curious and opened the email and read it out loud to Chris. My next thought was: “Did someone hack into their email server or is this legit?” Here is an excerpt of the email I received from REI:

“This Black Friday the co-op is doing something different. We’re closing all 143 of our stores. Instead of reporting to work, we’re paying our employees to do what we love most—be outside.

We want you, our members, to be the first to hear—not just what we’re doing, but why.
We’re passionate about bringing you great gear, but we’re even more passionate about the experiences it unlocks for all of us. Perhaps John Muir said it best back in 1901: “thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home.”

We think Black Friday is the perfect day to remind people of this essential truth.

And don’t worry, as a member you’ll still enjoy great deals on great gear all holiday season long. But on this one day, we’re going to #OptOutside and we want you to join us.”

From what I can tell, it is legitimate and I applaud REI for driving the point home so clearly – potentially at a loss of revenue. Maybe though — just maybe their members and frequent shoppers will find this admirable and not worry a bit that they will not be open. Of course their website will still transact orders. Why not have the deals happen the day after Black Friday? Why does it have to follow consumerism tradition and happen on Black Friday?

In any case, I hope it starts a new trend. I for one do whatever I can possible to stay away from ANY shopping on Black Friday. The only thing I would do is venture out to what Portland calls “Little Boxes” which supports small businesses. That is something I can support. It makes it even better that they want folks to be outside. Maybe other companies will join #OptOutside.

Other improvements to this year are companies that previously were open on Thanksgiving day are choosing to stay closed. Staples and GameStop will be closed this year as the companies want customers and employees to enjoy the holiday they way they want to celebrate it. There is even a group of individuals trying to get a local mall closed for Thanksgiving Day by way of a Change.org campaign.

We need to add more to that list!

Human Foosball

This video gave me the best laugh. Most of the time I feel completely uncoordinated. Sure I am a runner, and I read while I run 6-8 miles on the treadmill each day, but to me that takes little to no coordination. I love board games, and again that takes more brain power than it does coordination. Soccer, team sports, even biking on a trail require coordination. I lack coordination. Good thing I am not a dancer.

I am a multi-tasker though. I love strategy, and I love to strategize and multi-task.

Foosball. A sport that requires strategy and multi-tasking, Yet, foosball is a multi-tasking sport that I fail at. For some reason my brain slows down, I am not able to spin 3-4 different pulls in order to bring the ball down the court. Any goals I win, or blocks I make always feel like luck. I have no strategy, no game, I feel completely off playing a game of foosball.

Thus… HUMAN FOOSBALL. I want to try it. I think this would rock my world to be able to participate in the entire body experience. Watch and be wowed.

X

Do you want to join me?

Toys, Sesame Street, and Missing Match-Ups

I cannot remember having a favorite toy growing up. I do remember being addicted to board games. I loved the challenge, I loved the strategy, and I loved the competition. Recently my sister reminded me of one of my favorite and probably earliest games. It was a Sesame Street game called: Missing Match-Ups. The best way to sum it up was that it was the Sesame Street version of memory.

I loved it. I imagine I begged my entire family to play with me. They probably did just so I would stop asking. I remember being very good, and I have a hunch they were not letting me win. I never wanted that, I always wanted to win on my own merit.

I do not know if my love of games grew out of my childhood. What I remember most was that it was a time my family was together. Often my mom did not join us, but I definitely remember the many times that she did. I wonder today how often families turn off the television, their phones, and iPads and sit around a table with food and games and connect with each other (whether your family is young or old). It was a time I always cherished as it seemed that we each gave each other the presence of now.

Do you have a favorite childhood game?