January 10th, 2005


You were missing these eBay/Pokemon posts, yes?

Well ... I have not been surfing eBay the way I was running up to Xmas (getting goodies for The Girls), but I have on occasion stopped in to see what might be going for cheap. Frankly, I'd not been much enticed by what was out there when I actually ran through the listings, but I had a couple of "surprise" wins over the past day or so.

I pulled up my Pokemon search last night and right at the top of the list, with 2 minutes to go, were a couple of reverse-holo cards from the relatively rare Skyridge set. Skyridge and Aquapolis are the "weakest points" of Daughter #1's collection, so I was not surprised to find that she didn't have either of these when I checked the list. The opening was $0.99 and there was already one bid in. Knowing that the reverse holos from Skyridge go for at least $2.00 each at retail, I put in a two buck bid, and won the acution for $1.04 (the previous bidder had obviously come in for exactly the minimum). The shipping was a very reasonable $1.00, so I got both cards for $2.04 ... one of them was "worth" $7.00, so the "retail" equivalent from the "cheap site" would have been $12.00 (with two bucks for the other card and their three buck shipping charge). Not a "steal", but still a "deal".

I surfed on for a bit and saw a lot of 15 assorted Promo cards, which had a $2.50 miniumum (and also only a one-buck shipping charge). Now, Daughter #1 didn't "need" any of these, but I figured that the value was good (and, being the doting Dad that I am, I'm always looking for stuff to add to her "trading binder"), so I put them on my "watch" list. When I went to check my e-mail this morning, I saw that they were just about to close, and nobody had bid on them as yet. I put in a bid, and then headed out the door to drop her off at school. When I got back I found that I'd won these for the minimum, so with shipping, I'd burned up $3.50 ... not bad for a set of cards that would retail in the $40 - $50 range!

The combined cost of the two wins ... $5.54 ... is easily in my "1/7th of retail" target range, and (depending on who you believe for the "retail" on these ... my three sites are less predictable on Promo cards) these may well have ended up as "ten cents on the dollar"! I do love getting a deal, even if it's just adding two cards to the collection.

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Not that this matters to anybody ...

But I am wiped today. Yesterday was the "take down the Xmas stuff while watching football" day, and that was the primary project. Unfortunately, the storage closet from which all the Xmas stuff originates had gotten quite over-stuffed with bags of other holiday things, etc., and I felt the need of organizing.

This closet used to have the function of holding my "immediate stock" of Eschaton books, and still had several partial cases in there. My first (well, second, after having dragged out all the random other holiday stuff) task was to consolidate cases into as few as I could manage. This ended up "freeing" two book boxes, which I was then able to transfer much of the Bunny stuff (for Easter) into. Anyway, I had moved several hundred pounds worth of dead weight before I even got started on packing up Xmas.

Taking down the tree was not much of a chore this year, since we really hadn't done much with it. I got the lights up, and then we re-cycled the "emergency" silk-thread-on-styrofoam-balls ornaments from last year (when the cat decided that this was her new plaything). I'd gotten a handful of "2004" ornaments, but those were no challenge to pack up (as opposed to when we do "the tree", with a zillion little ornaments picked up over the years). Maybe next year we'll be able to do all but the very-fragile pieces, as the cat was pretty good about not getting into the tree this time.

Having re-organized the storage closet I was able to move into it a wide array of holiday things that had ended up in the bathtub of the front bathroom since last year. Once I get into selling stuff on eBay (I have a bunch of things I've bought with that intent), I might actually get that bathtub cleared out of boxes & stuff!

Anyway ... The Wife probably wouldn't much care for this idea, but at the moment my "goals" for the day involve a lot of sitting and reading ... I'm still trying to figure out how to make that happen.

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Snagged from loba's journal ... this is that Jungian type thing. I think I scored what I typically score on this ... give or take a percentage point (I seem to recall being an INTP rather than an INTJ, but hey, people change and your mileage may vary). The quiz is a pain in the butt, though, with lots of recurring questions slightly re-phrased!

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oh, lookie ... another book!

Now, I wouldn't specifically say that I've abandoned the books that I've been "stuck in" for the past several months, but I've decided to run some other titles through until such time as I feel like really "fighting" with a couple of books (and those two I've mentioned are doozies). So, I jumped into that "foodie" book from Xmas last week, and then more-or-less grabbed a book at random of the "to be read" bookcase. What I ended up with was The Lost Ship of Noah: In Search of the Ark at Ararat by Charles Berlitz, the grandson of the language course guy.

The #1 compliment I can give this book is that it was a fast read. Berlitz has penned a number of books on "mysteries" and I guess he had an interest in Noah's Ark and so opted to cobble this together. When I went searching for a cover graphic to put in here (I ended up having to scan the dust jacket), I found the interesting situation that this book is apparently highly thought of by both Bible Thumpers and "Newage" types. The second best thing about this book is that you can get a used copy via Amazon for as little as 47¢ ... so if you have a hankering for this sort of thing, it can be had for cheap!

I don't know if the author went out looking for something or not ... the book is primarily a "history" of efforts to find the Ark on Mt. Ararat over the past several centuries, with "cloak & dagger" stuff (every reported photo of a wooden ark has mysteriously disappeared along with their owners), and enough "earth changes" pseudoscience that would make Dick Hoagland ill. By the end he's led us to various "Arks" up on the mountain (ones melting out of glaciers, ones tuned into stone, etc., etc., etc.) and has turned that into evidence (along with the many cultures with Ark/Flood legends, and many places where ships have been found in mines or on mountains) of world-wide cataclysms (although he does touch on the unlikelihood of enough water being moved around to have many ships run aground at 17,000 feet up a mountain!).

As I've noted previously, most of my book backlog dates to pre-1993, and this one came out in 1987. Now, some genres age more gracefully than others, but "the sky is falling!" books tend to have a very short run before they become ridiculous. Unfortunately, towards the end of this book, Berlitz lays on the "prophesies of doom" stuff thick and heavy, with various "end dates" looming ... like 1999, 2000, and 2001 ... as well as agonizing over an "immanent" nuclear war between the US and the USSR (this was a couple of years before the Berlin Wall fell). From the standpoint of 2005, I wonder if I managed to somehow miss the memo regarding the world ending!

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