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Friday, December 23, 2005

Unbelieveable Holiday Bargains


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At least they seem like bargains until you start to factor in the value of your time spent waiting in line at the register, and, in return lines later.

There have been some bargains out there though.

Kohls has had a few good kids toy sales.

Casual Corner appears to be having a going out of business sale that is now at 60% off many items and may drop to 80% before they (allegedly) close on the 28th of December.

And the usual suspects have had their sales, but as last year many of the best sales were right here online where even The Peter Files blog has links to Amazon.

I am afraid I did most of my shopping online this year. Not all, but I've had difficulty getting around and so the web has helped a great deal. You even get some of that thrill of the hunt that you get with in-person shopping. I am just not as able to venture out into the wild as I used to be.

And it is wild out there. A family member's car was rear-ended today by a SUV while stopped at a light and totaled. She appears to be all right, but you never know with the elderly. Sometimes a collision like that can ruin the rest of your life.

She was in an older Caddy with a solid steel rear end which I hope did something to reduce the force of the impact and protect her from the force of the collision. Thank God we are a seat belt family or this would have been a very blue Christmas indeed.

So take note, if you are shopping today, buckle up, it may be the car behind you that causes the accident! And even if the rear end of your car can smash the front end of a SUV so that it looks like a pro-boxer in retirement, that won't keep you from flying out the window like a pop tart if you don't buckle up.

It's not like we really test those air bags now do we, so the best holiday bargain?

And what kind of bargain is it to go 20 mph over the limit if you get hit by two lights anyway? None. On most trips, high speeds do nothing but greatly increase the risk of accidents and deaths.

On short trips, traffic lights tend to be timed so that if you just make one light you get caught by the next one. Time saved, little to none. On highway trips, one five minute rest stop can kill the entire advantage you've gained by speeding the length of your entire journey. How long does it take to get gas?

Of course the only way to really be safe is to take public transportation, on a per miles basis being in a car is 10 times deadlier. Why? Buses and trains are so much more massive that on the extremely rare instances when they are in accidents, the vehicles absorb nearly all the energy of the collision. Just think of an empty bus as a 10 Giant SUVs and the sense of scale will start to make sense. That's why I never ever cut in front of a moving bus, let alone one filled with 80 people at 180 pounds each = an extra 7.2 tons. Add that to a bus weighing anywhere between 15 and 20 tons (an articulated guess) and you have up to a 25 ton weight differential between a bus and a car. Ouch.

But with presents and food in the car, many won't take public transportation over the holidays, so take advatage of the best holiday bargain I can offer travelers the next weeks:

Drive safely, buckle up, and have a designated driver, and that's no joke!

Wouldn't it be great to have a holiday season with fatalities 100% off?

All the best,

From the Peter Files

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