Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fun Shopping with Fred

When home during the week, you get a chance to make the run to the shopping center, the local K Mart, whatever, to grab the weekly and monthly needs. Toilet paper, paper towels, deodorant, you name it.

With Halloween this week, it was my time to go and buy the candy for the trick-or-treaters. My wife told me that K Mart had a deal on bags of "fun-sized" candy bars for $1.88 per bag, as long as you purchase four bags.

This morning, I was off to K Mart. Made a quick stop at McDonald's for a couple sausage burritos, and off to the local K Mart.

Right there, just inside the door, boxes of the candy. I couldn't have been happier. In and out. My favorite way to shop.

I threw nine bags of candy...Snickers, Kit Kats, Almond Joys, Reese's peanut butter cups, all the favorites, of the kids and yours truly. When I got to the register, I asked the cashier if they were all coming up at $1.88. She told me, the first four would, the rest were $2.49. The sale was $1.88 for the first four. Any more or less would be at the higher price.

I could not have any of that. So, what did I do. Bought four bags...put them in the car...and came back for four more. Cheap! Hey, I saved two bucks, enough for another bag. Was it a hassle? Sure it was, but I had the time.

Now it was off to J C Penney. My wife had given me a coupon for a free ten dollars, so why not stop and pick up some socks and underwear.

My thriftiness was at work again. A package of three boxers, on sale for $10.20, and three pair of dress socks for $12. (You may ask, Dress socks? Where are you going? Plus, I guess you have the answer to the question, not that I have ever been asked, boxers or briefs?)

I get to the register and the boxers are coming up at $17. I ask the cashier to call back to the men's department. I tell her where I got them, what they were listed as. The guy on the floor says he can't find them. The patient individual I am, I tell the cashier, I'll go back and show the guy! I walk back to the department, show the clerk the sign, in a rather rude fashion, and he gives me the, Aw...I didn't see that! It was right where I told him it was.

Is it just me or is every trip to the shopping center one that turns out adventurous? It seems that I happen to run into all the "challenged individuals", not physically, but definitely challenged when it comes to everyday common sense.

I didn't mean to veer away from my normal radio and sports talk. The Danny Mac Show was on while I was writing this and in the car while moving from one stop to another.

It's game one of the World Series tonight between the Yankees and Phillies, with the Blackhawks at Nashville tomorrow and the Bulls opening their season against San Antonio.

Most importantly, the Chicago Fire open their push to MLS Cup with the playoffs starting in New England Sunday at 1:00pm.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Wait Til Next Year...AGAIN!!!"

As the Bears were waking up after a Lovie Smith tongue lashing at the intermission, the White Sox and Cubs were playing out their final games of the regular season.

Coming into the schedule, both were thought to have a good chance to repeat last year's success and make the post season. It was not to be.

On the North side, after getting swept two years in a row in the first round of the playoffs, General Manager, Jim Hendry made a few moves to, supposedly, strengthen the team for another run at the playoffs. Moving Mark DeRosa, letting Kerry Wood go, and bringing in a left-handed outfielder, just didn't do the trick this season.

The signing of Milton Bradley looked like a bad one by many Cubs fans, as soon as it was finalized. Some thought Bradley would be just what the Cubs needed...a switch-hitting power guy who would help out against those tough right-handers. He was BRUTAL. On the field, and off, Bradley proved to be a team cancer.

No one yelled about letting Kerry Wood go, until Kevin Gregg stepped on the hill.

As for DeRosa, the Cubs thought that with Mike Fontenot and the acquisition of Aaron Miles, the teams would be okay. They were not.

Bright spots for the Cubs...Randy Wells, Derrek Lee, (when healthy...don't hit him in the head), and that's about it. I failed to mention the season Soriano had, and it was a season that he will hopefully forget as well.

As for the South Siders, they played spoiler a bit, taking two of three from the Tigers to finish the season and force Detroit to play Minnesota in a one game play-in for the right to play the Yankees.

The Sox just could not hit the ball the second half of the season. It wasn't Beckham, Podsednik or Ramirez that struggled in the second half, but it was the big guns. Quentin, Dye and Alex Rios were terrible. They left men on base to kill rallies nearly every day.

The pitching was good, but could have been better. The perfect game from Mark Buehrle is even most amazing when you take a look at his starts after that. He was getting lit up by everyone. Danks had some problems with the strike zone and with the Twins, while Floyd pitched well after a slow start.

If you are a fan of the South Siders, you have to be pumped about Jake Peavy for the next few seasons. Peavy was 3-0 to wrap up the year with a very impressive start last weekend versus Detroit.

And how great will it be to have Gordon Beckham for the entire season, at third base, (forget the thought of moving him). Ramirez will be better at shortstop, and I like what I saw from Chris Getz.

The bullpen will need to be tweaked. I know Bobby Jenks helped the Sox win in 2005, but he is not the same pitcher. Scott Linebrink was given a second chance with this team, and was almost as bad this season.

Now that the playoffs are about to begin, do you care? Will you watch?

I love baseball, and can't say we, as Chicago fans, have gotten spoiled. Heck, it was just one year where both made the playoffs.

It's a long off-season and one that will see much debate from both sides of town. Ozzie and Lou will both be back...and so will all of us.