I'm pretty happy I don't have to travel today. I'm going to wait until tomorrow, when all the turkeys have gotten off the road.
Of course, watch out for Wal-Mart and other big retail parking lots. The consternation about having to work on Thanksgiving is pervasive, and I wouldn't want to see any customers attempt to play Frogger in those big parking lots. It's dangerous enough just trying to get through the doors and into the store!
As always, my wise counsel is to shop from the comfort of your couch.
Walt Mossberg, the ever-dependable tech journalist with the Wall Street Journal, has written an article about "Making Sense of All the New Laptop Flavors."
He goes on about the various flavors of Windows 8 PCs and tablets, before concluding that the "least costly Mac laptop" is the 11-inch MacBook Air, for $999.
I bought one just about a year ago, and I maintain it's still the best, fastest, lightest, most dependable computer I've ever owned, and I've owned plenty.
If I had to do it all over again, I would have splurged for more SSD, but that's it.
If you want to make sure your personal shopping engine is fully revved before Black Friday, Gizmodo is providing its Ultimate Black Friday guide for geeks, grouping deals by category, and offering a list of when every retailer is slated to be open on Black Friday, just in case you prefer shopping in a mosh pit.
As for an update on my new Apple Mini-me "mini," otherwise known as the 5th generation iPod touch, I can only say I have no buyer's remorse, even now after having seen the iPad mini in the flesh.
The retina screen and the small form factor on the newest touch are working perfectly for me thus far. I bought a new "Need for Speed" racing game just to be able to check out the graphics in full force, and the retina screen is simply stunning (as are movies and Netflix streams). I've always read what a great gaming platform the touch is, but playing that racing game has cemented it.
Over the next several days, if you want to keep pace with IBM's annual holiday campaign "Digital Analytics" benchmark, just follow IBM's e-shopping analytics guru, @jay_henderson (a fellow Texan!).
Jay and his team will be working and posting reports throughout the weekend and into next week to keep us all informed how the holiday e-retail season is going. Jay's already indicated we can expect to see growing numbers on the mobile and tablet shopping footprint this year. You can read Jay's holiday set-up piece here.
That said, don't ignore those retail emails piling up in your inbox -- email continues to be the e-retail Trojan Horse, with lots of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals already being distributed. From Amazon to Golfsmith, I've received a number of holiday email deals, and it's all I can do to keep my credit card filed away in my anti-scanning wallet!
If you're looking for gainful employment this pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday, you might want to try somewhere other than LinkedIn. LinkedIn's Website had a "service unavailable" message this morning, and TechCrunch has been reporting a LinkedIn site outage.
As for me, I'll be (mostly) disappearing from the cybermaze over the course of the next week. It's my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, and I'm taking them on a cruise in the Caribbean to celebrate. I may send a post or two via email if I'm so inspired, but mostly I'll be spending some quality time with my parents and some extended family, and gazing out at the Gulf of Mexico in a piña colada-induced haze (virgin piña coladas, of course).
For all of my readers here in the United States, I wish you a very happy and restful holiday weekend. For those of you outside the US, enjoy the email and conference call silence from your US colleagues... it won't last long!