“…till you drop”


For some, there is nothing more exciting than Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Regarded as the official start of the Christmas Shopping season when most retailers open very early, and some the night before to offer shoppers promotional sales. Many of you have already gotten up early today and rushed off to the malls and stores looking for deals. In my house, being a Dad of four girls, the “day after” was met with fun and fervor. We weren’t a family that would race out and go nuts, but we did at times, go looking for savings. So, in KHT fashion, here is some Wikipedia trivia about the day.

  • Although the concept of a national day of thanksgiving originated in the time of George Washington, it was not until 1863 that President Lincoln declared an annual holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday (now the fourth Thursday) in November, a proclamation ignored in the Confederacy until after the Civil War.
  • The day after Thanksgiving as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season may be linked together with the idea of Santa Claus parades. Parades celebrating Thanksgiving often include an appearance by Santa at the end of the parade, with the idea that ‘Santa has arrived’ or ‘Santa is just around the corner’ because Christmas is always the next major holiday following Thanksgiving. (as kids, we’d watch TV waiting to see Santa)
  • The earliest known use of “Black Friday” occurs in the journal, Factory Management and Maintenance, for November 1951, and again in 1952, referring to the practice of workers calling in sick on the day after Thanksgiving, in order to enjoy a four-day weekend. However, this use does not appear to have caught on. Around the same time, the terms “Black Friday” and “Black Saturday” came to be used by the police in Philadelphia and Rochester to describe the crowds and traffic congestion accompanying the start of the Christmas shopping season. In 1961, the city and merchants of Philadelphia attempted to improve conditions, and a public relations expert recommended rebranding the days, “Big Friday” and “Big Saturday”; but these terms were quickly forgotten.
  • In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Santa or Thanksgiving Day parades were sponsored by department stores. These included the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, in Canada, sponsored by Eaton’s, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Department stores would use the parades to launch a big advertising push. Eventually it just became an unwritten rule that no store would try doing Christmas advertising before the parade was over.
  • Thanksgiving Day’s relationship to Christmas shopping led to controversy in the 1930s. Retail stores would have liked to have a longer shopping season, but no store wanted to break with tradition and be the one to start advertising before Thanksgiving. For this reason, in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a presidential proclamation proclaiming Thanksgiving to be the fourth Thursday in November rather than the last Thursday, meaning in some years one week earlier, in order to lengthen the Christmas shopping season.  Most people adopted the President’s change, which was later reinforced by an act of Congress, but many continued to celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the traditional date.
  • The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. This usage dates to at least 1961.
  • More than twenty years later, as the phrase became more widespread, a popular explanation became that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to “turn a profit”, thus going from being “in the red” to being “in the black” on their ledgers.
  • For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to 5:00 or 4:00 a.m. This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several retailers opened at midnight for the first time.  In 2012, Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, prompting calls for a walkout among some workers.  In 2014, stores such as JCPenney, Best Buy, and Radio Shack opened at 5:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day while stores such as Target, Walmart, Belk, and Sears opened at 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe “The Day After Thanksgiving” as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday such as Columbus Day.  States include Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
  • Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, creates a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers, routinely making it the busiest shopping day of the year.
  • In the past few years, “Christmas creep” has been cited as a factor in the diminishing importance of Black Friday, as many retailers now spread out their promotions over the entire months of November and December, rather than concentrate them on a single shopping day or weekend.
  • Three states, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts, prohibit large supermarkets, big box stores, and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving, due to blue laws (designed to enforce religious standards).
  • It is common for prospective shoppers to camp out over the Thanksgiving holiday in an effort to secure a place in front of the line and thus a better chance at getting desired items. This can pose a safety risk, such as the use of propane, tents and generators in the most elaborate cases, and in general, the blocking of emergency access and fire lanes.
  • Historically, it was common for Black Friday sales to extend throughout the following weekend. However, this practice has largely disappeared in recent years, perhaps because of an effort by retailers to create a greater sense of urgency. In order to take advantage of this, virtually all retailers in the country, big and small, offer various sales including limited amounts of themed sales named “doorbuster”, “doorcrasher” and “doorsmasher” items to entice traffic.
  • In Canada, the large population centers on Lake Ontario and the Lower Mainland in Canada have always attracted cross-border shopping into the US states, and as Black Friday became more popular in the US, Canadians often flocked to the US because of their lower prices and a stronger Canadian dollar. After 2001, many were traveling for the deals across the border. More recently, due to the parity of the Canadian dollar compared with the American dollar, several major Canadian retailers run Black Friday deals of their own to discourage shoppers from leaving Canada.
  • In the United Kingdom, the term “Black Friday” originated within the Police for the Friday before Christmas, a day where those services activated contingency to deal with the anticipated extra pressures put on the emergency services inherent in the larger than normal volumes of people going out on the final Friday before Christmas. Since the start of the 21st century, there have been attempts by retailers with origins in the US, such as Amazon, to introduce a retail “Black Friday” as it would be understood by Americans, into the United Kingdom. In 2013 Asda (a subsidiary of Walmart) announced its “Walmart’s Black Friday by ASDA” campaign promoting the American concept of a retail “Black Friday” in the UK.
  • In Mexico, Black Friday was the inspiration for the government and retailing industry to create an annual weekend of discounts and extended credit terms, El Buen Fin, meaning “the good weekend” in Spanish. El Buen Fin, when major retailers extend their store hours and offer special promotions, including extended credit terms and price promotions.
  • Recent trends in the US show over 250 million shoppers will spend beyond $50 billion in one day, followed by lesser yet meaningful sales on Saturday, Sunday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.

With the Dow Jones Industrials topping 19,000 this week, it’s no wonder what this year will bring.  Grab your hat and coat, jump in and have some shopping fun!


It’s Gittin’ A Bit Nippy Out There


As most of you are aware, the temp is a changin. When I left for work this morning, I noticed a light frost coating on the grass and on my truck. So being the curious type, and also a lover of everything temperature related, (or as we like to call it – Distortion Sensitive Thermal Processing effects), I thought I’d do some digging and share what I found. Wow – way more cool info on frost than I expected. Some fun facts and some “techy” info for my science geeks out there. (Special thanks to Wikipedia and National Weather Services for info and images)

  • Frost is the coating or deposit of ice that may form in humid air in cold conditions, usually overnight. In temperate climates it most commonly appears as fragile white crystals or frozen dew drops near the ground, but in cold climates it occurs in a greater variety of forms.
  • Frost is composed of delicate branched patterns of ice crystals formed as the result of fractal process development. A fractal is a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale, also known as expanding symmetry or evolving symmetry.
  • Frost forms when the temperature of a solid surface in the open cools to below the freezing point of water and for the most clearly crystalline forms of frost in particular, below the frost point in still air. In most temperate countries such temperatures usually are the result of heat loss by radiation at night, so those types of frost sometimes are called radiation frost.
  • Different types of frost include crystalline hoar frost from deposition of water vapor from air of low humidity, white frost in humid conditions, window frost on glass surfaces, advection frost from cold wind over cold surfaces, black frost without visible ice at low temperatures and very low humidity, and rime under super cooled wet conditions.
  • The size of frost crystals varies depending on the time they have been building up and the amount of water vapor available. Frost crystals may be clear or translucent, but, like snow, a mass of frost crystals will scatter light in all directions, so that a coating of frost appears white.
  • Frost is known to damage crops or reduce future crop yields, therefore farmers in regions where frost is a problem often invest substantial means to prevent its formation.
  • If a solid surface is chilled below the dew point of the surrounding humid air and the surface itself is colder than freezing, ice will form on it. If the water deposits as a liquid that then freezes, it forms a coating that may look glassy, opaque, or crystalline, depending on its type. Depending on context, that process also may be called atmospheric icing. The ice it produces differs in some ways from crystalline frost, which consists of spicules of ice that typically project from the solid surface on which they grow.
  • The main difference between the ice coatings and frost spicules arises from the fact that the crystalline spicules grow directly from desublimation of water vapor from air, and desublimation is not a factor in icing of freezing surfaces. For desublimation to proceed the surface must be below the frost point of the air, meaning that it is sufficiently cold for ice to form without passing through the liquid phase. The air must be humid, but not sufficiently humid to permit the condensation of liquid water, or icing will result instead of desublimation. The size of the crystals depends largely on the temperature, the amount of water vapor available, and how long they have been growing undisturbed.
  • As a rule, except in conditions where supercooled droplets are present in the air, frost will form only if the deposition surface is colder than the surrounding air. For instance, frost may be observed around cracks in cold wooden sidewalks when humid air escapes from the warmer ground beneath. Other objects on which frost commonly forms are those with low specific heat or high thermal emissivity, such as blackened metals; hence the accumulation of frost on the heads of rusty nails.
  • The apparently erratic occurrence of frost in adjacent localities is due partly to differences of elevation, the lower areas becoming colder on calm nights. Where static air settles above an area of ground in the absence of wind, the absorptivity and specific heat of the ground strongly influence the temperature that the trapped air attains.
  • To “frost” a mug, start with a “dry on the inside” thick walled glass. Set it in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. To speed it up, wrap it in a damp paper towel. If you don’t have a freezer, simply fill your glass/mug with ice and top it off with water. Wait about 6 minutes and then empty the ice/water and the sides will frost up.
  • As some of you may remember, Frosty the Snowman was a 1969 animated Christmas television special based on the song “Frosty the Snowman”, which first aired on December 7, 1969 on CBS (where it still airs to this day). It was produced for television by Rankin/Bass Productions and featured the voices of comedians Jimmy Durante as the film’s narrator (Durante’s final performance in a film) and Jackie Vernon as the title character. Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass wanted to give the show and its characters the look of a Christmas card, so Paul Coker, Jr., a greeting card and Mad magazine artist, was hired to do the character and background drawings.
    Jack Frost is traditionally said to leave the frosty, fern-like patterns on windows on cold winter mornings (window frost or fern frost) and nipping the extremities in cold weather. He is sometimes described or depicted with paint brush and bucket coloring the autumnal foliage red, yellow, brown, and orange.
    And a little throwback for my “hip” baby-boomers – Christmas tribute – Jack Frost & the Hooded Crow

So, it’s going to get pretty frosty this weekend. Send me one of your cool frosty photos and I’ll send you one of my hot KHT gifts.








Please take a minute today,
in your own way,
to pray for the men and women,
living and deceased,
who served our country with valor,
honor and relentless belief in our freedom.


This prayer was “edited” from a post on Godvine









Autumn Splendor


Sure leaves are pretty from afar but take some time to get real close. Nature is incredible, isn’t it?
Oh, and by-the-way, I have this incredible itch to flatten that dried leaf on top. But that’s just me.

Every autumn I marvel in the beauty of the fall colors. Whether I’m out for a morning run, raking and blowing leaves in the yard, or driving on county roads visiting some of my favorite customers, I just love this time of year.  And I’m sure like you, just when the sun hits the trees at the right angle, we get a sense of nature’s grandeur, and know just how lucky we are to live and work in northeast Ohio.  I remember back in grade school I learned about chlorophyll, but I thought I’d double check my knowledge, share with you and also give you a list of some great hiking trails in the area.  Before the weather gets really chilly, and the leaves drop, do yourself a favor, get outside and enjoy. And send me your photos, and I’ll post them on a future blog for us all to see – top three will get a KHT prize in the mail. (special thanks to weather.com and US National Arboretum usna.usda.gov).


  • The mixture and variety of purple, red, orange, yellow and light green is the result of chemical processes that take place in the trees as we change over from summer to fall to winter.
  • During the spring and summer the leaves have served as factories where most of the foods necessary for the tree’s growth are manufactured. This food-making process takes place in the leaf in numerous cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color. This extraordinary chemical absorbs from sunlight the energy that is used in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch.
  • Along with the green pigment are yellow to orange pigments, carotenes and xanthophyll pigments which, for example, give the orange color to a carrot. Most of the year these colors are masked by greater amounts of green coloring.
  • But in the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.
  • At the same time other chemical changes may occur, which form additional colors through the development of red anthocyanin pigments. Some mixtures give rise to the reddish and purplish fall colors of trees such as dogwoods and sumacs, while others give the sugar maple its brilliant orange.
  • The autumn foliage of some trees show only yellow colors. Others, like many oaks, display mostly browns. All these colors are due to the mixing of varying amounts of the chlorophyll residue and other pigments in the leaf during the fall season.
  • As the fall colors appear, other changes are taking place. At the point where the stem of the leaf is attached to the tree, a special layer of cells develops and gradually severs the tissues that support the leaf. At the same time, the tree seals the cut, so that when the leaf is finally blown off by the wind or falls from its own weight, it leaves behind a leaf scar.
  • The process that starts the cascade of events that result in fall color is actually a growth process. In late summer or early autumn, the days begin to get shorter, and nights are longer. Like most plants, deciduous trees and shrubs are rather sensitive to length of the dark period each day. When nights reach a threshold value and are long enough, the cells near the juncture of the leaf and the stem divide rapidly, but they do not expand. This abscission layer is a corky layer of cells that slowly begins to block transport of materials such as carbohydrates from the leaf to the branch. It also blocks the flow of minerals from the roots into the leaves. Because the starting time of the whole process is dependent on night length, fall colors appear at about the same time each year in a given location, whether temperatures are cooler or warmer than normal.
  • In autumn, when the connection between the leaf and the rest of the plant begins to be
    blocked off, the production of chlorophyll slows and then stops. In a relatively short time
    period, the chlorophyll disappears completely.
  • Most of the broad-leaved trees in our area shed their leaves in the fall. However, the dead brown leaves of the oaks and a few other species may stay on the tree until growth starts again in the spring. In the South, where the winters are mild, some of the broad-leaved trees are evergreen; that is, the leaves stay on the trees during winter and keep their green color.
  • Most of the conifers – pines, spruces, firs, hemlocks, cedars, etc. – are evergreen in both the North and South. The needle, or scale-like leaves remain green or greenish the year round, and individual leaves may stay on for two to four or more years.
  • Temperature, light, and water supply have an influence on the degree and the duration of fall color. Low temperatures above freezing will favor anthocyanin formation producing bright reds in maples. However, early frost will weaken the brilliant red color. Rainy and/or overcast days tend to increase the intensity of fall colors. The best time to enjoy the autumn color would be on a clear, dry, and cool (not freezing) day.



Here are some great spots to hike and photograph the colors:

  • Black River Reservation in Elyria has nearly 500,000 visitors each year. The paved Steel Mill Trail, about two miles long, crosses the Black River and French Creek. It also offers an array of stunning views of nature and the steel mill.
  • Chapin Forest Reservation in Kirtland has views of a historic quarry. The Lucky Stone Loop Trail is a difficult 1.5-mile hike, but at the highest point hikers can see all the way downtown.
  • Cleveland Metroparks’ Scenic Park Loop Trail is part of the Rocky River Reservation. The trail is 0.7 miles long and is mostly flat so even the most inexperienced hikers can enjoy the trail along the Rocky River.
  • Gorge Metro Park in Summit County is a 1.8-mile course ranging from easy to rigorous hiking. The trail has access to the Mary Campbell Cave and many rock formations. There is also access to two waterfalls and fishing docks.
  • Lake Erie Bluffs in Lake County. The Shoreline Trail goes along ¾ mile of protected shoreline, dotted with rocks, sand and driftwood and eagle sightings.
  • Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve, owned by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, offers views of wetland plants and wildlife. The 1/3-mile Wake Robin Trail offers an up-close look from a boardwalk.
  • Ohio and Erie Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga County is more than 20-miles long and boasts hiking, biking, running and walking trails. Bikers have the opportunity to use the Bike Aboard Program. They can start at any point in the trail and bike one way and ride back on the train for $3, runners and hikers pay $9.
  • Princess Ledges Nature Preserve in Medina County is a good spot for seeing spring warblers, wildflowers, oak trees and tulip poplar trees. The moderate, mile-long Nature Trail leads to the half-mile Ledge Trail, which has views of the dramatic sandstone shoreline.
  • Walter C. Best Wildlife Preserve is a 101-acre reservation in Geauga County. The Cattail Trail goes about 1 mile around the scenic Best Lake. Fishing platforms along the way allow hikers to take in waterfowl and other wildlife.
  • Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park (Portage County) – Three miles of hiking trails featuring unusual rock formations with names like Indian Pass and Old Maid’s Kitchen. Best for experienced hikers and adults.
  • Beaver Creek State Park (Columbiana County) – Sixteen miles of hiking trails and 23 miles of bridle trails that border on the gorge of Little Beaver Creek, a state wild and scenic river.
  • Findley State Park (Lorain County) – Ten miles of hiking and mountain biking trails (including part of the Buckeye Trail) that run through portions of a scenic old-growth forest.
  • Mohican State Park-Mohican Memorial State Forest (Ashland/Richland counties) – Thirty-seven miles of hiking trails, including some multiple-use trails, that slice rolling hills and the Clear Fork River Gorge, designated a National Natural Landmark.
  • Quail Hollow State Park (Stark County) – Twelve miles of hiking trails, including a one-mile paved path, are a good place for beginning hikers. This is one of the most picturesque urban parks in Ohio.
  • Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve (Richland County) – Three hiking trails meander through this 148-acre preserve, one of the oldest in the state. Some trees here are 100 to 200 years old.
  • Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve (Licking County) – Six trails of varying lengths including a 4 mile bike trail, cut this 970-acre preserve which lies on the Licking River Gorge.