Thursday, July 26, 2007

13 Reasons Why Today was a Very Good Day

I sold a $650 book. It arrived safely and the buyer is happy. Yeah for hitting a new new high dollar book selling goal

I spent a good bit of the afternoon sitting in Cricket’s Creamery lost in a new book. Yeah for Beth Gutcheon. Must find some more of her books.

I arrived home to find I’d sold a $100 & $150 book. Yeah for making money while reading.

I thought my scanner was broken. The Socket Scan folks sent me a patch and it’s fixed. Yeah for technical support that works.

I had a facial today. My skin feels wonderful and I’m still feeling relaxed. Yeah for being pampered!

It poured late in the afternoon and I was safely home as opposed to being stuck in traffic.
I love a rainy day- providing I’m home! Yeah for summer break.

I found a copy of the Rich Dad/ Poor Dad Cashflow game at the Goodwill for $1.99. I sold it last night on E-bay for $170. Yeah for E-bay.

The house is clean & I didn’t have to do it – yesterday was cleaning people day. Yeah for them!

I put out 3 different things for Freecycle and every one of them was picked up. Yeah for stuff moving on to a new home.

I now own one of my Holy Grails of books -an ex-library copy of Carney’s House Party. It’s just like the copy I read as a child & I got it a steal of a price on E-bay. Yeah for finding a Holy Grail.

I may actually make my elusive and never attained bookselling goal this month. Yeah for Art of Books.

I found a barely used pair of Ann Taylor brown shoes at the thrift. Yeah for my feet not hurting!

I have another book that’s just as engrossing as the one I just finished. Yeah for summer reading and Linda Francis Lee.

Now if I didn’t have to go back to work in 2 weeks life would be absolutely perfect. But then who said life was perfect?
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Life As Seen by ESPN

It’s been an all ESPN sort of day at my house (My Beloved is home with a virus).

ESPN operates from a slightly different universe than the rest of us frequent.

A comment on the unfolding NBA Gambling Scandal: “This is an international incident”

Hum, if a corrupt NBA official is an “international incident” what does that make the War in Iraq? An international catastrophe perhaps?

NFL is investigating whether Michael Vick of the Atlantic Falcons has violated the leagues “Personal Conduct Code”. Seems they aren’t sure because the lawyers never thought to include a clause regarding the torture of dogs. Guess they thought nobody would be so stupid, so heartless and so cruel. Hopefully the code will be amended.

Whether Michael Vick returns to play another day is still under discussion. Cynical me thinks he will, because in the mind of the NFL wining touchdowns trumps dead dogs any day.

Let's hope that for once professional sports does the right thing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


We’re now in Southern Orlando, some two miles from the Land of the Mouse and the Pond of Shamu. The area is wall to wall hotels, motels and restaurants. It’s an area where everyone is transient and nobody lives, they come only to stay.

We are at a sprawling hotel & event center complex, chosen partly for it’s golf courses and partly for it proximity to the Mickey, Goofy et. al.

The hotel is chock a bock with people. Conventioneers mingle with tourist families. It’s pretty easy tell them apart – the conventioneers wear big badges around their necks and the tourists wear sunburns and mouse ears.

Odd Sights:

Children hang out in cocktail lounges – and treat it like a playground.

People walk through the lobby in swimsuits that really need a cover- up of some sort. Wobbling butt cheeks are not a particularly attractive sight. It really isn’t necessary to be a walking advertisement for the rampant obesity in this country.

Each drink costs about $10, the lounge seats about 100 – just how much money does it rake in between in the hours of 4 pm & 8pm?

If every child who goes to Disney World buys a set of ears, who many ears are sold each day? How much does Disney make on said ears? How much do the sweat shop employees in China earn who make them? I suspect the former is much, much more than the latter!

Tattoos are not for bikers any longer. None the less, they are not an attractive sight on women who are budging out of their skimpy tops. Tattoos aren’t meant to stretch.

Only in Disney World would you see small children eating a $20 hotdog at a 4 Star restaurant at 10pm.

This hotel, like all the other abounds with minions. Where do they live? Do they ever resent having to wait on people who spend the equivalent of one weeks salary on dinner and drinks?


The thrifting in the small towns around The Villages (always spelled with a
capital T) is prime. These tiny towns abound in Thrift Stores – Belleview has 4,000 people and 8 Thrift stores. There aren’t the “for profit” with the corresponding high prices thrift stores like Savers and Family Thrift, these are Little Old Lady thrifts in the best and vanishing sense of the world. In one day I paid a visit to St. Jude, St. Phillip and St. Theresa. They are clean, nicely organized and the prices are from a by gone era. At most of them books were only a quarter and the highest I ever paid was a $1. It’s a far cry from Houston and the $4.94 & 6.96 prices I’m accustomed to seeing at Family Thrift.

Even the Goodwill was reasonable – all the books were $1.99, with of course the exception of what they consider “Better Books”. Luckily, their idea of better books is radically different than mine. Better Books consisted of some dreary copies of old People’s Book Club Books and some hardback classics with nothing to distinguish them from thousands of other hardback classics.

I struck gold in the “ordinary” books – a definitive book on Irish Wolfhounds and another on Worchester Pottery. The first was courtesy of MediaScouter, the latter from my own brain. Naturally, the latter was the most satisfying, though the former will bring in a bit more money.

The Villages does not allow estate or garage sales – that’s another reason I wouldn’t want to live there – so guess the only outlet for excess stuff is a thrift store. So many people come to the Villages with nothing more in mind that playing golf till they go on to the Great Golf Course in the Sky so there stuff has to end up somewhere. The Great Golf Course in the Sky comes with an eternal supply of everything one could ever need!

The Villages - Florida's Friendliest Hometown

My Beloved is playing a golf tournament and I came along to check out the local thrifts.

Our destination is The Villages – an “Active Lifestyle” community. Think Sun City, only with Live Oaks and Spanish Moss as opposed to sand and cactus. The other major difference is that Sun City is now adjacent to the city of Phoenix, The Villages are an entity unto themselves.

It’s a series of master planned, gated communities ten minutes south of the town of Belleview (population 4,000) and 10 north of Lessburg (population 19.,000). The Villages residents number over 50,000 – and over 60 % of those residents are over the age of 65. 98% of them are also Anglo. The residents have an annual income that is more the twice the annual average of the surrounding towns. To say that The Villages have Clout with a captital C is an understatement.

It reminds of Main Street at Disney World. It’s picture perfect world, small town living in a “It’s a Wonderful Life, meets Leave to Beaver, meets Father Knows Best” sort of word. The sort of world that really doesn’t and has never existed but the powers that be have done their very best to replicate it, smack dab in the middle of central Florida.

The main street is named what else - “Main Street”. There is town square surrounded by shops, all with outdoor cafes and lots of little boutiquey like stores.
Within the Villages golf carts are the preferred mode of transportation – there are special golf cart lanes, golf cart parking and golf cart garages. Each golf cart is lovingly detailed and customized. IT gives new meaning to the phrase "Pimp My Ride".

No only are these used on the many, many golf courses, they are also used to get around. Unlike a real small town, where people walked, The Villages are in reality a series of sprawling suburbs, complete with cul de sacs, long winding roads and very few through streets. Even when one tries to walk in The Villages one finds one can’t. The sidewalks are more for show than actual foot power. I tried to walk to the town square from our hotel and found that I kept having to cut through parking lots or walk on the grass as the sidewalks abruptly petered out.

Just outside The Villages, on Hwy27 is the shopping area – also golf cart accessible ,color coded and appearance mandated within an inch of it’s life. The Wendy’s looks like the McDonalds which looks like the Publix. All the restaurants are national chains – no funky little dive on a shoestring budget could ever afford to open up in a place like this. The stores are all part of national chains too – again only a deep pocket national retailer could afford the start up costs necessary to blend in. Eye sores, funky chic, shabby chic, one of a kind and individuality are not allowed.

The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit has migrated to The Villages. He’s traded in his suit for a golf shirt but otherwise his life is hasn’t changed a bit. Life is safe, bland and oh so well planned out. In a way it’s like High School all over again, those who fit in are happy as can be, the lone wolves must be leading lives of quiet desperation.

Me, I’m a lone wolf who would never make it in a place like this.

Friday, July 06, 2007

8 Things About Me

MS Watsit tagged me with a meme that's making the rounds - 8 Things About Me. I like memes, especially when my brain isn't feeling very original. We've had 39 Days and Night of what seems like nonstop rain and I think my brain is growing mold.

1. I haven't read all the Harry Potter books. I started the first one and just couldn't get into it. Fantasy just doesn't ring my chimes. This may get me drummed out of the ranks of librarianship but I am not going to be standing in a bookstore line at midnight eagerly awaiting the latest installment. I do have multiple copies in my school library for all the kids who do adore it. Every now and then a child will admit they didn't like HP and I whisper to them that I don't either and we have a bonding moment

2. I've always wanted to live in London - not just visit but live there for a couple of months. One of my favorite quotes comes from Helen Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road, "I told him I'd go looking for the England for English literature, and he said: "Then it's there." I know when I go it will be there - The Victoria & Albert, Madame's Ballet School and of course 84 Charing Cross Road.

3. I love to cook and I'm good at it - something which often amazes folks. I think it's because I'm also good with computers. It seems like people who have an aptitude for one aren't supposed to have an aptitude for the other.

4. I can't "just watch TV". I have to be doing something else at the same time. I inherited that from my mother who always knit while watching TV.

5. If I had my way I would not own a car. I hate to drive. I love cities with good mass transit. And I live in one of the most auto dependent cities in the country. Go figure.

6. Between pushing books on kids and selling books to others I rarely have time to read myself.
The cobbler's children go barefoot.

7. I get great satisfaction from throwing stuff out. During the summer I always clean out closets. Voluntarily.

8. I haven't been to a movie in a movie theater in over a year. But I love my Netflix subscription.

Here are the tagging rules. Have fun.
1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged

Now do I know 8 other people who haven't been tagged - this one has been around for a bit?
Let's see.....

CLM, because she has a brand new blog
ApronThriftGirl - a new friend from the Booksellers Group
VWB - just to see what her caustic pen will do with a meme
The Library Lady....because she loves to rant... and does it with style
The Librarian Philosopher.....I do love to rattle his cage - and he always takes it with smile.
The Library Girl ...whose posts are as random as mine
The Bookworm ...who skins a mean blog when she's not reading
Elsewhere - I'd like to hear 8 random things about her new life

Monday, July 02, 2007

There's One for the Rich...and Another for the Rest of Us

The Shrub commuted Scooter Libby 's prison sentence today. It was "to harsh". Bush's popularity ratings are so low that I guess he figured they couldn't go any lower so why wait till after the elections.

One thing we can say about Georgie Boy, he's loyal to his friends - or perhaps I should say Cheney is loyal to his friends. If Cheney wants it, Bush obliges him.

Halliburton's quarterlies not looking so good?
"Don't worry, Dick old Buddy , I'll make sure they get a sweetheart deal in Iraq"

Libby doesn't look good in stripes?
"Don't worry, Dick old Buddy, I'm the President, I'll take care of it"

Just think, if Paris had played nice with Dickie boy she wouldn't of had to go to prison either.

And in the meantime, it's very apparent that there is one set of rules for the rich and well connected and for the rest of us peons