October 1st, 2005


Oh, and speaking of eBay ...

I'd not been in much action over there of late ... things ebb and flow in regards to the stuff "needed" by Daugther #1 for the collection, and I'd been seeing "a lot of nuthin'" when surfing through my Pokemon searches of late. I guess that last increase in listing fees pulled the rug out from under a lot of the small-time card dealers that I'd been getting stuff from who had previously started listings at a penny ... there are still a few, but they tend to be the high-volume guys that are on everybody's watch lists (so things seldom stay that low).

Tonight I stumbled over what ended up being a deal, or at least a "buy" that hit dead on my target "1/7th of retail" zone. I ended up winning sixteen auctions for a total of 37 cards (13 holos and 24 reverse holos), and was thrilled to find that the shipping for the whole mess was just $3.00! Frankly, the starting bids on these (especially the individual holo cards) were pretty much at my threshold, but I knew from previous experience that the seller was very fair on shipping charges, although they don't list them in their auctions (which, I suspect, scares off a lot of bidders). However, knowing that the seller doesn't soak buyers on shipping, I went ahead and bid on a lot more stuff that I probably would have othewise. And I only had to go over the minimum on one item (a block of reverse holos from the Emerald set).

There is a certain pleasant smugness waiting when one gets a card for 99¢ which is listed on various "retail" sites anywhere from $7.00 to $24.99 ... it certainly feels like one's had a "successful hunt"!

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Trauma ...

OK, so I've been working from home since 1993 ... I've gotten used to spending all day in my underwear, and being able to have the stereo going whenever I feel like it. I'd had this oval CD player at my desk for years, and it would be probably in operation 8-10 hours a day (and sitting "on" the rest of the time). Well, over the past month or so it was getting a bit balky and running pretty hot, and finally yesterday it just wouldn't work in CD mode (the radio was still OK), with what I'm guessing is some key CD-playing component burned out.

I've never gotten used to using the computer for music (my older system ground to a slow crawl if you used it to play CDs), so I was a bit off-put to suddenly have to listen to myself think. As I'm in the middle of a rather tedious project of bringing together several Excel files of school contacts into what will hopefully be an easy-to-update contact list for next week, I was in dire need for tunes to help keep my brain from liquefying and dripping out various facial orifices!

Now, my previous unit (if I'm recalling correctly) had only set me back $20 or so, and I was really looking for something in the same price range, plus something that would not take up any more space than it had. I was surprised how slim the pickings were on the web sites for Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, Sears, and various other searches I made. I finally identified a couple of possible replacements and jumped onto the el to see what I could find, starting with the Target down on Roosevelt. Well, it appears that Target is getting ready for Xmas, as all the "portable stereo" demo models were stacked up in shopping carts, with only a handful of units still on the shelves (not including the one I'd seen on their web site), so I hopped back on the el and buzzed up to Sears. Sears, likewise, did not have the $19.95 model that I'd seen on the web, and didn't have any left of its $29.95 big brother (which also had a tape deck). I was bummed, but wasn't feeling like getting a "discman"-type thing and adding speakers, but also didn't want to be spending a lot either. Then I saw this:

It's a little mini stereo, with the main box being about 5"Wx6"Hx8"D, just right for sneaking in on my desk, and speakers that could then go off to the sides. It's real basic, just CD and radio, but provides me with a "functional upgrade" from what I had since I can now access the volume and tuning controls, which had been around on the back side of my previous CD player. All this for only $35.00 (plus tax), a bit more than I was hoping to shell out, but a lot less than the "going rate" I'd been seeing for units that weren't as ideal for the space as this one is.

I was pretty pleased with myself, as I'd only decided that I was going to go on this shopping adventure sometime after 5pm, and I got on the el at Chicago at 6:33, got to Target by 6:45, got back on the el by a bit after 7 to run up to Sears, did my shopping, waited for a bus, got a coffee at the White Hen and was still home by 8pm ... all on a single $2 fare-with-transfer! Go me.

Like you care ...

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Fucking Hell ...

DAMN! My plans for tomorrow have come unglued.

I had originally been scheduled to endure "Disney On Ice" tomorrow, but at some point in the past week The Wife decided that taking one of Daughter #1's friends would be more productive, thus getting me "off the hook".

Now, I had been wanting to go see The Aristocrats for weeks, but hadn't been able to find any time slot when it was playing that I could free up enough of a day to go see it, and had been counting on catching it tomorrow whilst everybody else was off at the United Center.

Unfortunately, they decided to rotate it out of the regular theaters this weekend, and it seems to only be playing in a small "art house" that's to-hell-and-gone away from here. This really pisses me off, as it had been playing a block away for most of its run, but the timing was always bad and I could never get over there.

Damn. This is why I almost never see movies. I don't understand how anybody can block that much time out of their day for entertainment ... I mean, I might be able to free up three hours out of a 24-hour day, but not contiguous hours. It drives me nuts that the first time that I've had that I could have blocked the time to go is now too late to go see the fucking movie.

I want to go break and/or kill stuff now. Grrrrrrr ....

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