I've appointed myself the Marketing Director at the thrift shop. While I'm generally only a volunteer, I've got some pretty great ideas as to how to promote the place and drum up donations and business.

Nobodies listening to me, but - boy - oh - boy, once the competition gets wind they're going to wish they had....

PROMOS: Bring in a completed jigsaw puzzle purchased at ... with all it's pieces and receive $5.00 off your next purchase (the joke here being that while we sell quite a few jigsaw puzzles, I'm not certain any of them are complete...)

Treasure Hunt - Pick a random Item from the floor - coffee mug, ugly, whatever, spoon - and when it's sold award the buyer with a $XX.00 gift certificate to the store. Promote the treasure hunt through rhyming couplets published as "Clues" in the Community Newspaper.

Use Megaphone for short-term blue light specials: "Attention Shoppers, may I have your attention please...this is not a drill...for a limited time...the next 20 minutes...receive 50% off housewares...cooking...china...clothing....". This will have the added bonus of luring in visitors that have hopes of arriving in time for a "blue-light" special.

Change the donations-receiving doorbell from the annoying buzzer to the opening bars of of the theme song from "Indiana Jones" - have beside the door a bullwhip and Indiana Style Hat that we can don before opening the door to receive the donations - dialogue can usually be in the vein of overvaluing the "treasures" our kindly patrons are dropping off, soiled bedsheets, wet books, etc.

Confetti & Glitter Cannons to shower the casual donators when the delivery bell is rung. "Appreciation" I'd like to call it....


Meanwhile, Friday, Saturday at the thrift shop were long days overstayed. Friday, switching the shop around, moving rubbish from one pile to another. Blech. Left the place a mess. Saturday, unboxing the backlog of donations and trying to find space for them all on the floor.

A sampling of the rubbish I had to look through:

...A Carved bone "tusk"? - a very highly detailed illustration from one of the pantheon of Indian Saints. Vishnu, whoever, couldn't tell you. But it was very detailed. The best find of the day.

...a box of broken coffee mugs, individually wrapped in paper. No, they were broken before they were wrapped, a broken coffee mug, no handle, wrapped in a box, beside another, and another, and another....WTF???

...100 Champagne flutes, used once,...

...A French-Canadian, thick accent, slim, good looking young guy but with crazy eyes, giving me his donations - a bunch of electronics, missing cables, but we must have extra cables, right? So we can use/sell it...and a bunch of wet paperback books, and - I'm not kidding - a whole pile of unmatched socks, because - well, we get a lot of socks, maybe we can find the matches? And he's telling me this in dead earnest, looking me straight in the eye, he's deadpanning, stolen my schtick, but - he's not kidding...

And so passes the days. I really should be the director of marketing.

I mean, barely a month out on Netflix and then there's the train derailment in Ohio. And - while the book is some 40 years old (??), the movie foreshadows the - quite literal - Catastrophic Event - in Ohio - and not only are the parallels uncanny extras from the movie were actually evacuated from their homes for this. Life imitating art?

Since when - as the news has veered away from the shooting down of garbage bags, weather balloons, it's now ALL train derailments. 

Sadly, all of this has been building for quite a while now and can't be in the least bit seen as a surprise, what is surprising is the inadequacy of the response and the dearth of good advice/damage control at ground level. Also extraordinarily well predicted...

So, apparently, as the story goes, at the original screening of "Snow White & The Seven Dwarves" in 1937 Walt Disney hired a bunch of real-life dwarves, put them in costumes and exhibited them above the Marquis on a little balcony, by way of drumming up business. Provided with free food and wine, they did what dwarves are expected to do, they stripped off their costumes (too hot!!) and got naked and quarrelsome with the audience and passers-by.

Now, I'd read this on reddit, and, rather thrilled at this piece of history trivia thought I'd do a bit of digging before sharing it with you.

There is something inherently comic and salacious about the thought of dwarves getting rowdy and naked.

And - you know it, the most trivial of research seems to disprove it, apparently it was the premier of Pinocchio, and there were 11 midgets (not dwarves), and, no, they just got hot, took off their costumes and went inside into the shade to play cards and dice and lie down.

Which kind of saddens me, it's one of those rare instances where the truth is far more boring than fiction, usually it's quite the other way around...

I've been lurking on reddit a couple of years, not saying nothing, merely doing the endless doom scroll. 

It's getting a little repetitive.

So I've started responding to posts - /whatisthisrock and /antiques and I'm building up my "Karma". WTF. Anyways, it's good to help people out when I know the answer. 

I'm already up to, like, almost 50 Karma for just answering PM's and identifying rocks. Is there way to cash-in or translate this Karma?

Anyways, I comment on a reddit post - /highstrangeness - about perfectly spherical rocks. And I identify a lot of them as concretions; 

And all of the sudden I'm a Karma Farm. Up to 500 Karma in 3, 4 days. Like bloody hell. And the worst thing is, I'm somewhat intrigued, how can I play this for more?

And Karma, it's worth nothing, in Reddit at least. There's no cashing out, I don't even know how to spend it. And I'm not sure I care enough to enquire how I should use it. 

anyways, life as of late...

Image: Osama Bin Laden

In which I write everyone's favorite advice columnist.

OK. I've been on a few internet dates. I confess this with the same reluctance I would admitting to masturbating, adultery, or excessive drinking and drug use. 

This is a list of some of my best -- AND WORST -- dates ever. Note that you gotta go on a lotta dates to get this kinda list, this kinda discouraged. And my online dating thing has been sporadic - an every few years kind of thing at best. Some of these dates go back 10 years, others are a little more recent. And to answer any people who might argue "It beats hooking up at the bar", well, you don't have to hook up at the bar, and at the bar you can see what your getting...

Anyways - apologies to the countless normal, decent dates that I went on but just didn't hit it off with. Memory is selective, it tends towards the extreme, and in this you will find the extremes...