Category Archives: Random

SBox Soapbox: Should Black Friday Exist?

As Thanksgiving passes it makes way to a holiday season much bigger, grander, and merrier. The final holidays of every year are quickly approaching: Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. No matter which one you celebrate, no one can deny the scale of which these winter holidays wield. And the road to those wonderful holidays starts with a day known as Black Friday.

Black Friday means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It usually depends on whether you’re the business or the consumer. The avid shopper or the early bird shopper. The one who boycotts the event or the one that participates. A more universal definition would be that Black Friday is the most important shopping day of the year. At no other time of the year will you find prices this low. You need to buy presents, and the retailer wants your dollar.

Black Friday is usually the subject of a lot of controversy. Consumerism shows its true colors this weekend whether you like it or not. Every year a wave of desperate, caffeine-induced, sleep-deprived, short-tempered, and often smelly shoppers charge in full force into the nearest store to reap the greatest deals. You hear the horror stories every year. One year an employee gets trampled just to open the doors, the next an old lady sprays everyone with pepper spray for an Xbox.

With all of the infamy and hype built around this time of year I started to wonder why Black Friday is a thing. What I mean more so is whether Black Friday should exist.

First thing to discuss is why Black Friday as a scheduled event is held. The main purpose as many of us know is, while there isn’t that much literal gain from every item, it drives up sales numbers to an incredible rate. The trick is that as you buy more and more things the retailer profit gets greater and greater. Basically, it exists for the investors and disguised as a “first shopping day of the holiday season”. As we all know, companies make this happen by offering the most incredible deals of the year.

However, the reason I am beginning to question to question the importance of this day is because of the numerous days surrounding it. Allow me to explain.

While Black Friday has never seized to be a thing, the trend as if late is to expand this single day as much as possible. The result is “Black Friday weekend”, where the deals leak into the days following Friday. Plus, there’s the now popular Cyber Mondays, where the holiday sales can continue from the comfort of your web-enabled home. Not to mention the fact that online retailers still celebrate Black Friday and brick-and-motor retailers celebrate Cyber Monday. Additionally, Black Friday has been starting earlier and earlier each year; so much so that we now start Black Friday Thanksgiving Day at 6 PM. That’s right, Black Friday now starts on Thursday afternoon.

Do you see what I’m saying here? I think Black Friday has lost whatever meaning it was aiming for. With all of these things considered, I as the consumer that these stores are trying to entice have no drive to go to the store on Friday. Why would I anymore? With all of these options, I can walk in the store any day I feel like it and still get a good deal.

The only thing differentiating Friday from its surrounding days is a slightly better deal and the slightly increased chance of substantial supply of what I’m shopping for. Oh wait! There is still that incredibly high probability of injury to look forward to!

Even if Black Friday is supposed to be about the experience of it all (camping out in front of a Walmart in the cold while you join a thousand others dart into the store and all), that’s starting to become undermined as well. Yesterday was one of the most silent Black Fridays in history. All that rustle and bustle that is supposed to represent the “spirit” of it all is now being reserved for Thanksgiving night. Even those numbers aren’t much to sneeze at when those who had actual family and friend plans are less likely to walk in until the weekend anyway.

Now I’m not trying to bash on this shopping season by any means. I know for an implicit fact how many people value Black Friday. A good deal is a good deal after all. I personally never tried it, but to each their very own. All I’m trying to say is that Black Friday is a concept that is losing its meaning.

This year sparked the discussion of stores being open on Thanksgiving. It’s an interesting topic to discuss, especially now that “Gray Thursday” is slowly becoming the standard. Really quick, I think that employees reserve the right to take their holiday off from work. No one should be forced to work on a national holiday.

But relating to the matter at hand, I will guarantee that, with current trends, within 5 years stores will be open all day Thanksgiving. However, when that happens, Black Friday as we know it will officially be dead.

If yesterday is an indicator of anything, Black Friday will lose relevance in future years. Therefore, I would like to illustrate a compromise.

If the trend really is to expand the shopping day as far as it can possibly and practically get, let’s expand it another way. We already have nearly 5 days of the sale (Thursday-Monday), so why not make it a full week. If you make a “Black Week” instead of a Black “FriDAY” you could still have your increased sales season without straining so hard to make it earlier and earlier, painstakingly turning Thanksgiving into Black Thursday. So start Friday at midnight and make the deals last till the Thursday afterward.

As a customer, a week of sales sounds a lot better than a single day or even a weekend. Besides, the term “Black Friday” tends to scare people off. No one avoids Black Friday for no reason. Make no mistake about it: Everyone wants to take part in these deals. The only thing stopping them is the negative connotation with the whole notion. People will be much more drawn to shopping this time of year is you give them an opportunity they’re comfortable with.

Consider this. Black Friday is slowly going away anyway. Mark my words. Predestined days for savings won’t matter when we’re shopping on Thursday anyway. Plus, Americans are already searching for alternative ways to take advantage of the sales without stampeding into a nearby store. That’s what Cyber Monday is all about. It only makes business sense to embrace a full week of the sale.

And why wrestle with protesters disturbing the holiday rush because you decided to open on Thanksgiving when the cost-effective solution is to open later?

I realize this may not be the solution to it all. I’m just making an observation due to the hoopla made because of Thanksgiving shopping. And once more, I’d like to restate that I am not bashing Black Friday. Far from it. All I’m doing is offering an alternative idea.

What do you guys make of all of this. Does Black Friday mean anything to you anymore? Let me know in the comments because this topic really interests me. I’d love to know what your take is on this.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

My Top 5 Favorite Burgers (600 View Special)

There are certain little things in this world that make this life worth living. One of those little things is food. Food takes on many different forms, sizes, flavors, and combinations. Many have their theory as to which food is the best in the world, but only I have the truth. The truth is, there is no greater or more important invention ever created on this plain of existence then… chocolate. Seriously, chocolate is life. But while chocolate (in my opinion) is the king of all snacks, cheeseburgers are godly.

Okay, so my personal favorite food is a cheeseburger. I had my first burger at White Castle when I was six years old. After that, there was no going back. In 11 years, I’ve eaten burgers probably 3,000 times. It’s my go to meal when eating out, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Today, I wish to give tribute to a food that has given me so much joy. Especially since I hit 600 views recently.

This is something different from what I usually cover, but no matter. There’s always tomorrow to talk about media, but for right now, burger enthusiasts unite! Here are my Top 5 Favorite Cheeseburgers ever.

Like I always say, this is not THE top 5, it is MY top 5. My personal tastes may differ from yours. Feel free to disagree and let me know in the comments what your favorite burgers are whether local or world-famous.


Just to give you guys some background, here is my particular ideals for a burger:

SBox’s Perfect Burger

Gourmet or Fast-Food: Depends

Cheese: American

Toppings: Pickles, Raw Onions, Ketchup, Mustard, Barbecue Sauce, Bacon, Shredded Lettuce, Pineapple (occasionally)

Cooked: Medium-Well

Bun: Plain or Sesame Seeds

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s chow down on my favorite burgers!


 

#5: Duffy’s Cheeseburger (with bacon)

This started becoming a favorite of mine when I moved down to Florida. It has the option of adding pepper-crusted bacon and a variety of cheeses. The initial toppings are the standard lettuce and tomato, but with all Duffy burgers you have plenty of options for toppings.

This is a standard burger. No major bells and whistles to it, no gimmicks and not even as heavy as other burgers. For some reason, Duffy’s prepares it in such a way that it sticks with me. I personally eat it with barbecue sauce and ketchup. Nothing fancy, but it still tastes great.

#4: McDonald’s McDouble

This here beauty needs no introduction, but I’ll give you one anyway. The McDouble has very few customization options off the bat. While its not initially filling, it’s a fast-food burger; so you trade supplement for speed.

This was my second cheeseburger I ever had. When I visited my grandparents that one summer and had my first burger at White Castle, we relocated to the McDonald’s a couple days later. That was the day I switched my regular order of McNuggets with McDoubles.

I know this is also a dull choice, but I placed this on the list because no matter how many trips to MickeyD’s I take I never get tired of this burger. And it really does taste great when its made right. Every ingredient complements each other. I never realized it before, but the first things I taste with a McDouble are the pickles, the onions, and the cheese. Once all those flavors set, the patty enhances each ingredient’s flavor.

I also tend to prefer burgers with softer buns and patties than when the buns are toasted and the burger is thick and near-burnt. (I know what you’re thinking…). I’m not too keen on large burgers either. The McDouble is small enough to not break.

To some this may be a rather vanilla choice, but that’s just how I feel.

#3: Da Big Kahuna Burger

“Now that is a tasy burger!” ~Samuel L. Jackson,¬†Pulp Fiction

This burger, like any burger in Da Big Kahuna, comes with pineapple (in this case grilled), lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions. Sides cost extra. Da Big Kahuna Burger is a half pounder with both Swiss and cheddar cheese, bacon, and oddly grilled ham topped with their specialty “Kahuna sauce” on the side.

Any Quentin Tarantino fan will recognize the burger’s name. I personally know it best from Pulp Fiction and that alone made me pick this off the menu.

I’ll be honest in telling you it has been a while since I’ve had this particular burger and I can’t be as specific with the taste as I want to. However the one thing about this burger that caught me off-guard was the pineapple. At first glance that’s totally off-putting. Then you bite into it. Pineapple is now one of my favorite burger toppings because of this burger. Believe me, its great! I also remember liking their Kahuna sauce.

#2: Smokey Bones Smokehouse Burger

Smokey Bones’ burgers have toasted buns and usually come with a side of your choice for additional cost. They even come paper wrapped for an extra touch. This particular burger is another half-pounder and comes with cheddar, barbecued onions, peppered bacon, and onion tanglers (aka onion straws).

This burger I’ve had probably twice in my life. Only until my most recent visit did I realize exactly how good this burger actually is. Best Halloween ever!

I ordered my burger with barbecue sause because that’s my personal taste. It goes so well with the barbecued onions especially. I know I said earlier that I don’t like my buns toasted, but Smokey Bones does the genius thing of not overdoing the toasting. It’s crispy and not crunchy. It is pretty big if I had to make one criticism. This burger perfectly captivates a home-made barbecued burger, which is incredibly delicious let me tell you.

#1: Red Robin’s Bacon Cheeseburger

Red Robin’s burgers some wrapped in paper just like Smokey Bones and McDonald’s, and offers sides for extra. Their bancon cheeseburger is as simplistic as it sounds. Burger+Cheese+Bancon+Gourmet Topping Essentials. Like Duffy’s, no major bells or whistles to it.

I’ve only been to a Red Robin once in September. I was picked up from school for my usual now shorter school days and brought to lunch at a local mall. I remember always wanting to try Red Robin because of their mouth-watering commercials from when I was younger. That was my opportunity, and I loved every second of that freaking burger. This is the most amazing burger I have ever eaten.

I’m not even sure what exactly it is about it. I guess one defining idiosyncrasy is that it breaks down the borders between a gourmet burger and a fast-food burger. It seems to be in a category all its own. It’s technically gourmet because of its size, none-proccessed nature and customization, but it also has fast-food qualities such as the mediate size and presentation.

Not to mention, it tastes SO good! Whatever they do with that burger, don’t change a thing. I put barbecue on it because that’s how I roll, but its great with or without. My guess is that unlike the other burgers on this list minus one or two, Red Robin’s Bacon Cheeseburger is fresh. I never thought burgers could be fresh, but its the best adjective to give to it.

Maybe one day I’ll have another cheeseburger from their large list of different burgers and this will be replaced. That is, if this freshness thing is a standard for ALL Red Robin burgers instead of just this one. For now, this is my favorite all-time burger!

Runners Up:¬†Cracker Barrel’s Half-Pound Bacon Cheeseburger, White Castle Cheeseburger Sliders, Cheddar’s Three-Cheese Burger


 

I know my choices may be a bit odd or they may not be everyone’s favorite burgers in the world. That’s just the nature of the topic. If entertainment and media is subjective, food is even more subjective. You have to account for everyone’s literal tastes and consider everyone’s biological, environmental, and even psychological responses of food. So I’m almost certain that your list will differ from mine.

So please let me know what your favorite burgers are in the comments below. I’m always looking for the next tasty burger hiding among a million chains and restaurants in the world. I also hope that I have introduced you to new burgers you’re willing to try out for yourselves.

So to all my burger enthusiasts of the world, remember to always stick together and much away!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!