I'm getting ready to head back home after a weekend about eight hours away in Nashville, TN. My wife and I helped our daughter-in-law (we'll call her "DIL") with her booth in a large show dubbed "Christmas Village". A better example of capitalist consumerism would be hard to find. DIL has a boutique selling women's fashions and had a double booth in the show. Christmas Village has been an annual "tradition" in Music City for more than forty years and has grown to around 275 vendors and approximately 300 thousand shoppers for the entire weekend.

We showed up early on Wed. and were almost set up by the time we left to check in at hotel. Thursday was the first day of the "show" and allowed shoppers admission for $50.00 to get first choice of the goodies. It was by advance tickets only and was sold out. Apparently some people are more than willing to pay to avoid crowds and get stuff that isn't "picked over".

DIL has been doing these shows for years and is a pro. My wife and I don't usually help with them but this one coincided with DIL's sister having the parent's first grandchild. We were next in line after DIL's father. I don't think the 300,000 shoppers is an exaggeration at all. One example of a big money-maker was a booth that sold candied apples. They were an upscale version with a variety of different flavored coatings. The regular price is $11.00 but vendors could buy them for the bargain price of $10.00. Back of the envelope calculation shows a profit for the weekend at more than $30,000. That's a lot of apples. DIL bought a different flavor for lunch each day and said they were good. I'll take her word for it.

I've been trying to improve my posture for the past several years. I slouch, sometimes badly, some times barely but it's usually there. This has led to a bit of research on the problem and the consensus is that slouching tends to start in the muscles that connect the shoulder blades to the spine. Aside from just making an attempt to actually practice good posture there are a few exercises that can help. As with all exercise, I've been doing these sporadically. Another thing that's supposed to help is sleeping flat on ones back. I've been trying to do that too. It's really hard. If somebody had asked if I could do it before I actually tried it I'd have been like: "literally the easiest thing in the world." Hypothetical past me was full of crap. My body and brain won't relax past a certain point until I turn onto my side. It's like trying to sleep standing up except there is a reason you can't pass out on your feet, your brain knows you'll fall on your face. Here I'm just laying there hovering in the general vicinity of sleep but still too far away to touch it.


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