September 7th, 2003


My week of eBay ...

Well ... that was interesting. I think I have finally tidied up things from my flurry of eBay-ing this week. I "won" 20 auctions (10 of which were from one seller, from whom I got 480 Pokemon cards, for the princely sum of $5.69 ... from winning bids ranging from $0.06 to $1.50 ... I'm still waiting to confirm the shipping cost on those), and finally heard back from the seller of the 384 cards that I was (and still am a bit) worried about. I "PayPal-ed" 7 of them away (and will likely do the same on the 10-from-1 guy), so only had to blow $1.50 in money order charges. When the dust settles, Daughter #1 will have about 1700 more Pokemon cards than she does now. I hope she can connive her little friends into letting go of various "rare" (star) or "holo" cards for large stacks of her extra "commons" and "uncommons" (although, if all comes in as advertised, she will have nearly 100 new rare and/or holo cards!).

This week has certainly been an education in eBay (as well as a further education in the world of trading card collecting). I was amazed, for example, to find a very nicely balanced set going for FAR less than its component parts are worth (if I were a "trader", I'd turn around and sell the rare/holos/promos for 1-3 bucks a piece, getting back a 400% return on the auction!), and yet see "pig in a poke" sets of cards (not even counted) going for serious money. It is mind-boggling to think that some of these trading cards are valued as high as $35 each ... that's just amazing ... I actually did buy a few of the "more valuable" cards because I ran across auctions that were, for some reason or another, getting no "action" and the cards were going for (with shipping, even) one third of "their value".

I managed to keep most of my purchases in the under-7¢-per-card (with shipping) range, although my cumulative 10 "wins" from the one source came in at under 3¢ per card, due to the remarkably low levels some of those closed at. This is compared to the approximately 30¢ per card that it costs (around here, at least) to buy Pokemon cards at retail (although, to be honest, that figure is slightly skewed in that each 9- to 11-card pack should contain one holographic card, whose "value" would be, even new, in the $1-and-up range ... so the remaining cards are, perhaps, more accurately described as 20¢ at retail).

I'm also a bit surprised in the slowness of feedback. I've come to understand the importance of feedback in the eBay world, but so far I've only had two new feedbacks, despite having six of the buyers immediately paid via PayPal! I'm noticing this, since I'm now just one more new positive away from getting my first star, which seems to have some weight there. Perhaps they are waiting for me to post my buyer's feedback, which, of course, I'm not going to do until the cards actually arrive!

Gee ... how come I feel like an anthropologist collecting my field notes all of a sudden?

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"Joule" is back up ... just in time!

For some reason, my "Friend of" list has been hemorrhaging of late (I've been being un-friended at pretty much a rate of one person a day!), which is what brought up my posting earlier about the tracking program. Well ... I'm happy to report that the program, "Joule" (, is back up ... which will save me hours of trying to figure out who's been outbound.

I was "pleased" to find that of the folks de-friending me over the past two days, half were journals that I didn't read (so they may have been just cutting out journals that had not reciprocated Friends List links), another was a guy with whom I'd had a bit of political dust-up with earlier in the year, and had removed all three of his journals form MY friends list (I was sick of reading his senseless liberal blithering), and he's down to having just ONE of his on-line personalities watching me.

Unfortunately, I'm a bit worried on another ... littlejohnnyp's journal is gone, and he was scheduled for some major surgery sometime around now. He'd posted one of his typical pic-behind-the-cut with no words just a day or so back, so there was no warning. I hope that he'll re-surface ... he had a lot of Chicago history that intersected with mine at several points.

Anyway ... thought I'd make a note that the "friend of" list tracker program was back up and working!

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Oh, by the way ...

Not that anybody is likely to give a fuck about this ... but I actually wrote a poem yesterday! I had been writing again last year, but was dependent pretty much on my school schedule (it is amazing how much I need a regular schedule to be able to write!) on getting it done, and once I was out of school, there were no longer the nicely defined "gaps" which worked for fitting in writing, and thereby no writing! The last one I'd written had been in MARCH ... so that's one heck of a gap.

Daughter #1 and I were up all day at Dojo, first for her class, then for the class that she was assisting on, then "hanging out" for 3 hours waiting for the end-of-summer party there. It was nuts up there, as the neighborhood (Lincoln Square) was having the annual German-American fest, and with good weather, it was packed. #1 didn't want to go get lunch, so I slipped off to McDonalds and while there got the writing bug, and pulled out the notebook. See ... if I had a "lunch break" every day, I'd probably get more writing done ... my current "schedule-less schedule" is this amorphous grey continuum which has no compartmentalization, leaving me no "places" to write. Another reason to hope that somebody fucking hires me soon!

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