Dec 27 2010

the story of stuff [day 214]

I have an idea.  I know, no surprise…

I stumbled upon this little video called The Story of Stuff.  It’s a little over 20 minutes long, but I watched the whole thing.  Before I get into the details here, take a look if you haven’t seen it.  If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, skip around and take a quick look.

Although I like the overall message, I was questioning the statistics as I was watching it.  The presentation is awesome, the content easy to follow.  Again, the overall message here is a good one, but I have a few things to discuss and challenge.

The big picture of stuff. The message here is that we, as Americans, are abusing our planet, taking advantage of the disadvantaged and that we have all fallen victim to materialism.  On many levels, this is true, but some of the statistics seemed a little off to me.  After a bit of research on this video, I found they are using it in schools to teach children about materialism and “stuff”.  I’m not opposed to that at all, but this video is not just creating awareness, it’s trying to impose a guilt trip, and as Fox News stated, “Other critics have called it a “firehose of paranoia” meant to scare children into becoming environmental activists. They say the video romanticizes poverty in its attack on industrial nations and corporations.

I hope we’re teaching our kids to watch something like this and process it in a healthy way, as they should do with everything.  My kids question things, think about everything they take in, and sometimes have a viewpoint that even I haven’t thought of.  This video’s overall message is a good one, and unfortunately, it does paint an accurate “big picture” of our wasteful society.  The reason I say that, is because this video could be remade without all the statistics, showing both sides of the message about consumerism.  That’s a hint for my idea…   Continue reading


Dec 22 2010

white elephant gifts [day 209]

As usual, I had to look up some information on this.  The white elephant gift exchange is defined on Wikipedia like this:

white elephant gift exchange is a popular holiday party game found primarily in North America. It has many variations in both the name and the game play. Generally, white elephant parties need a minimum of six participants. With a larger group, game play may be more protracted. White elephant parties have been known to result in intensely vicious and/or playful rivalries between players trying to get sought after gifts. The goal of a white elephant party is usually to entertain rather than to gain. This game is sometimes called a Yankee Swap, Chinese Gift Exchange, Dirty Santa, Thieving Secret Santa, or Parcel Pass.

I think the key phrase here is the goal, it’s to entertain rather than gain.  The term white elephant is defined as:

white elephant is an idiom for a valuable possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness or worth.

Most white elephant gifts I’ve seen don’t completely fit that description, but most are useless or outdated.  Here’s a few gifts from a white elephant gift exchange I participated in about a week ago.  Continue reading


Nov 26 2010

black friday chaos [day 184]

I did it.  I got up and went out at 4am to shoot the black friday craziness.  Yes, that might make me crazy, but it was a blast people watching!  I didn’t buy a thing, I just walked around the stores.  I have lots of video, but no time to edit, as I have to work today.  Here’s a few highlights:

Most of the photos are uploaded, although I still have one camera card to download.  Most of the images are screen captures from my video footage.  Check them out on flickr.

To answer the most asked question I’ve had this morning, no, I didn’t see or capture any fights.  I will blog tomorrow, hopefully with some video.  In the mean time, enjoy the photos.  Here’s a few of my favorites.

The Best Buy bouncer…

Is that really a person without a head?

Continue reading


Sep 13 2010

fun photos [day 109]

Not much to report on the shopping front, so I thought I would just share a couple of photos.

Recycled art project:  These were donated to FFS, cute bags of flour that were used for a school art project.

Plane trip:  I’m sure glad they told me that I can’t bring my gallon of bleach on the plane, because I always travel with it.  😉

Smallest closet EVER: Not sure why the image is sideways, but you get the picture.  (pun intended)  If we had tiny closets like this, maybe we would thing twice before buying some of the things we do?  The newer the houses, the bigger the closets.  In my last house, the master bedroom closet was bigger then my bedroom as a teen.  No wonder we buy more stuff, we can store it and not have to look at it.