Monday, May 2, 2022

Is This The Last Hurrah?

 Don't let the post title scare you I don't mean an end to this blog. I'll get to the title's meaning in just a bit. For now I'll give a bit of an update on my whereabouts.  I didn't go anywhere, but blogging is something I have to be in the mood for.  My mood changes a lot, and the direction the card hobby is going is pricing me out of it a bit.  Not to mention sports in general hasn't been that great lately.  I guess the sports themselves have been fine, but I just haven't been interested.  The lockout may be over in baseball and games have been going fine, but I've yet to watch a game.  On the surface that's a simple statement, I haven't watched a ton of games the last few years but I would still watch an occasional Cardinals game or Sunday Night Baseball.  I would usually tune into the Royals and Cardinals series and at the least listen to games on the radio.  I've done none of that this year.  I don't know when I will.  In fact while I was excited at the prospect that the Royals have Zack Greinke again and the Cardinals have Albert Pujols, I haven't seen one highlight of them yet.  I've checked out a clip or two of baseball in general and look up a score randomly but that's it.  I heard the Mets threw a no-hitter the other day but didn't bother to see who threw it.

As for other sports, I don't care about the NBA or NHL playoffs, and not even sure who is still playing.  I thought I'd give the USFL a try, but when they can't at the very least paper the attendance what's the point in watching.  The games seem watered down and when 400 people (being generous) are in the stands, it takes the excitement out of it.  So the only sports I've watched lately is NASCAR and Formula 1.  F1 racing is nice to watch on Sunday mornings because it pumps you up for the day.  It doesn't hurt when your favorite driver does a decent job each week.  For those wondering, I got into F1 about 2 years ago and kept an eye on it for a bit longer.  My favorite driver is Sergio Perez.  I sort of like Max Verstappen as well.  I don't hate any driver, but I do get tired seeing Lewis Hamilton on the podium so much.  Over in NASCAR I don't have a favorite driver and I think that's why I get more enjoyment out of it.  I'm glad USA Network will be showing races this year, and it seems FOX has shown more on the network than on cable, which is fine by me.

I still watch wrestling too, but I have spent more time away from it than ever.  I don't get as excited each week to tune in to WWE just because they don't give me a reason to.  I've tried to watch AEW and its the same way.  They put on great matches, but then they do stupid stuff.  So more times than not I turn the TV off.

When it comes to the hobby, I have got a few cards lately and will show them off soon, but not enough to post consistently.  When money is tight and not a lot of desire, there's no need to buy more stuff.

Having said all that, I also don't post as much online these days.  I don't have a strong desire to do it. I post just enough so they don't get looked at by hackers as dead.  When I do its nothing too important but kind of to let people know I'm still around.  Sometimes I'll comment on something I'm watching or reading about, but not too much.  I was pleasantly surprised the other day though to get a message on Twitter.  Usually its from someone I don't know and really random.  Once I had an actor message me about all his movies he's been in and new ones he's going to be in.  Ooooohhhhkay?

But this message was someone I knew (at least on the interwebs).  It was a blogger that will often tag me to let me know he has new posts, but overall is a nice guy.  It's like we are long lost brothers.  Most of you know him as Jon, or by his blog Penny Sleeves. He just wanted to check in on me.  I didn't post a blog in a while, and hadn't been online much,  so he wanted to make sure I was okay.  It was very nice of him to do and it made me want to do a blog post just for him.  So thank you Jon for giving me the motivation to do another post.  I hope you enjoy.


 So the reference to the title is this.  One of the reason's I enjoy Jon's blog is he doesn't just post about cards.  He posts about books, movies, CD's and other items he finds at some of his favorite places when he "heads into the city".  It reminds me of the posts I make called Savvy Loot Box.  The idea originated because I can't afford those Loot Crates that are like 25 bucks or more each month that they send you random stuff.  I'd like to try a wrestling one sometime but I'm cheap.  So the idea popped in my head.  Instead of 25 bucks for 5-10 items I may or may not like, why not spend 10 bucks or less (unless its really good and I'll pay a bit more) and get a lot more stuff that I know I'll like.  My local second hand store is called Savvy Seconds, so it's like a Savvy Loot Box.

I enjoyed doing those posts, but in the last couple years a few things changed.  Money got a bit tighter with prices going up, and a little thing called COVID.  I don't make many trips anymore because of these two reasons.  COVID doesn't scare me but idiots who don't believe in the vaccine makes me not want to be around people, and 90% of those people live in this area.  However something else happened in the last couple years.  Savvy decided to explore a new avenue of merchandising- pallets from Amazon and other places of new and returned items.  This was nice on the surface because it was like a mix of a thrift store with an outlet.  I liked the idea, but now I hate the execution.  They focus too much on the new stuff, and they shift stuff around too much.  So much so, that the media section where I get 90% of my stuff is now in a small corner crammed together.  Like a random box with 400 CD's in it- knock yourself out.  The other problem is they focus too much on clothes on the used part of the store (the reason they moved the media section).  Clothes take up 60% of the store, 30% new stuff, 5% knick knacks, and 5% media.  Its a tough sell for people who just want books and movies, and not too interested in clothes.  Also for whatever reason, they decided why sell used stuff cheap, let's raise prices to a point where it drives away long time customers.  At this point you get the idea, I'm not too happy.

That said, because I was a bit motivated by Jon's message, and the fact that I was supposed to go to a big garage sale on Saturday but plans had to change due to potential weather.  I had a free day to do something for a bit.  The plan wasn't to go to Savvy, but on Friday afternoon I noticed on their Facebook they had a video.  In it they said all books, movies, and music was 25 cents each.  A far cry from 25 books for a quarter, but a nice deal for CD's (half price) and DVD's (75% off).  Also it gave me a chance to check out some vinyl because I never knew the price.  Also the $3 Disney VHS tapes they were included (yes they wanted $3 for used VHS tapes that weren't in good shape).

So my mom and I decided to go just for kicks and also to head to the Dollar Tree (another store we don't visit near as much these days, but not because of the 25 cent price increase).  So before the Savvy stuff, we'll look at a movie I got at Dollar 25 Tree.

My biggest reason for not going to Dollar Tree as much is because while they've really added a lot more movies lately, none interest me.  Not even the handful of Blu-ray.  I knew they'd have movies and didn't expect to buy any.  For a buck I would take more risks, but an extra quarter, now I wonder if I can watch the same movie for free on Pluto or Tubi.  Anyways, I saw this Bruce Willis movie and since he doesn't plan on making any new ones, I thought I'd grab it.  I may not watch it anytime soon, but it was nice to add to my collection. 

That was it, I was fine with that, I don't really NEED more movies, but it was still fun to look.

So let's get into the Savvy Loot Box, as I explain I try to limit myself on how much I spend because I'm cheap but also because the whole point is to spend less than an actual Loot Box.  At the end I'll tell you how much I spent on everything.  I hope this won't be the last time I do one of these, but I'm afraid it might be.  Anyways, let's dig in.


 When I got there I went straight to the media section.  CD's were what I looked at last, but I think I spent the most time sifting through them.  They were scattered and if I didn't want to fight potential bad weather, I would have spent more time on it.  However I knew right off the selecting wasn't that great.  I bought the Nonstop 3 album (still sealed) because I think I confused them with two other bands.  I think I confused them with Nonpoint and Marvelous 3.  My friend thought they might be a St. Louis band, but I'm not sure.  I will check them out at some point, but so far haven't listened to them.  The Collin Raye one I bought because I like him (and has his Greatest Hits, but not sure where its at), but it also had three solid songs on it including my favorite "Little Rock".  Before I got into Alternative Rock and all kinds of music, I really liked 90's country and Collin Raye and Joe Diffie was the reason.  I still go back and listen to 90's music often and on some days spend the day just on country.  It was a nice find.  I do wish I found a few other CD's but oh well, I found more music, so I can't complain.

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to this sale was because of the vinyl.  I don't actively buy a lot, but my collection is modest.  I went because my best friend had a birthday last week and I wanted to get him a few records.  He is a huge collector of records and after I got home to see if any I bought he already had I realized the scope of his collection.  According to his Discogs page, he has over 3,000 records.  Think of every hit George Brett had in baseball, then imagine if someone had a piece of vinyl representing every hit.  That's my friends collection.  In comparison, I have maybe 4,000 Royals cards in my collection.  He will surpass me soon I believe.  Anyways, I did find 7 records for him that he didn't have, and I was happy about that.  Two of these were one's he already had, so I kept them.  I should have known he had the Boots Randolph because he showcased it on his Facebook a few weeks ago.  Everyday he posts a record of the days (which at this rate it will be about 9 years before he runs out of records, but he adds more weekly).  The Keith Green one he also had.  He's fine with having doubles, but I figured I'd hold onto these.  The only one I really wanted to keep was the Lee Mace's Ozark Opry.  I am all things Missouri and even local TV, and his show was one of the first local shows when TV became a thing.  It was filmed at the Lake of the Ozarks and I thought this was a cool find.  I'n not sure on the value, but I don't care.  My mom told me later that a relative was actually on his show once.  So I thought that was cool.

Most of the records was either standards you'd find everywhere or Gospel (which you'd also find almost anywhere).  The covers are all worn, but that's fine by me.  I didn't take pictures of the one's I got for my friend, but he has already put them on his Discogs page.  I thought adding 7 records to his collection was a nice bump.  Until he told me he just returned from a record store doing 3 for a buck.  "Did you buy a lot?" I asked, to which he replied "What's your definition of a lot"?  Hmm 20?  "Yeah, I bought a lot.  73 or so is what I picked up today".  WOW!  So yeah, I'm happy for him.  I'm also a bit jealous because I found out he found a Gram Parsons record in that sale.

So while I was browsing the movies, my mom finished looking at books which she found a couple.  I didn't spend too long on books this time, but I was happy she found one, and happy for her she found another.  I'll show those real quick.

I joked with her that she could author a biography on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt as much as she knows about them.  I was happy she found that book since she didn't have it.  Though I was much happier that she found the Rodney Dangerfield book.  It's not one I seeked out or even heard of, but I think it might be a good book to read one day.  As I speak, I have a bookshelf full of books I still need to read, so I don't I'd get to this anytime soon, but I am happy I finally have a bookshelf for my books.  I will do a dedicated post on them one day more than the few pictures I've taken.

After she finished looking at books, my mom went to search for puzzles.  I can't say the pandemic caused us to do more puzzles, but it has allowed us to find more I think.  Plus my sister has been giving us a steady supply as well.  We also found out our neighbor does puzzles and she says once she finishes a puzzle she's done with it.  So she have given us a ton lately and in return my mom has plenty of books for her.  Despite about 30 or so new (to us) puzzles we've got this year, we always look for more.  More new puzzles means more time between doing ones we've already done.  So she found a few puzzles which may take us a while to get to, but should be good.

The Puzzlebug ones are usually found at Dollar Tree but still not bad for 50 cents.  I think my mom might work on that one alone, since it shouldn't take long.  The masterworks one might take a bit more time, and I will help her more than likely.  I haven't been in a puzzle mood as much, but I still spend some time working on them.  I do enjoy the time since its usually a quiet time and you can put something on the radio or TV and enjoy.  Or I can also talk to my mom and spend time with her.  The last puzzle is the most intriguing though.  Its a tall one, and the poster for it was just as tall.  The shape of the puzzle is interesting and I think will be fun to work on.  I just wonder how we'll fit it on the table, might have to work on it sideways.

Those were nice finds, but she found more, and better ones.

Photomosaic puzzles are challenging but fun when you finish them.  They are tiny pictures that combine to make a big picture.  These are the most exciting finds of the day, especially the last two.  I tried to look up if the last one was indeed the Twin Towers because it seems they skirt around naming them on the puzzle box.  Online it doesn't say it is exactly, but a few people selling them say they are, and I tend to believe them.  This isn't the first puzzle I have of the towers, the other is a panoramic of the skyline as well, but it actually names them.  These will be fun, but it might be the end of summer before we get to them.

So by the time she finished looking at puzzles, I was wrapping up looking at movies.  I thought I'd find a few obscure DVD's but didn't have any luck.  However I did find a few VHS to add to my collection including some Disney.  I should have took pictures of their selection, but I wanted to just go through what they had.  My friend went later and someone told him they planned to redo the media section, so I hope next time they have more room and are stacked better.  In the meantime, here is what I found.

I was excited to find The Lion King because first and foremost I when I rebuild my VHS collection I want the ones I had growing up.  This was one I had, so I was happy.... until I came home and realized I already had it.  Oops, I guess I should learn to use my new Tracfone more and keep track of what I have.  Also let me say all the photos in this post were from the new phone.  I'm still trying to get the hang of it, but I get why people use their phones for cameras these days.  I need to take more pictures when I'm out, but for now I'm still looking for a case for the phone so I don't like taking it out in stores or at different places.

The other Disney VHS was one I never had but do have it on Blu-ray, so it wasn't a big deal.  I was still happy to find Toy Story on VHS.  While my niece may argue that Toy Story 2 is better, I still enjoy the original more.  That said I think I enjoy the third one most (never seen the 4th one yet), mainly because I saw Toy Story 3 in theaters with my other sister and my nephews, and the story was good as well.  If I had to redo things, I would have picked up Finding Nemo instead of The Lion King, but I'm not too mad about it.  Paying 25 cents on something you already have isn't the worst thing.  Much better then paying 3 bucks like they did charge in the past.  I think after this sale the prices on Disney will go to 2/$1 or at least I hope.

I did find a couple more VHS as well.

I really thought I had A Time To Kill on VHS, but maybe I didn't.  I do know I don't have it on VHS, and despite it being on one of the free apps, I still wanted a copy.  As for Volcano, I will always love that movie and really hope to find it on Blu-ray one day.  My DVD is getting scratched up, so at least having a VHS copy is nice just in case the DVD won't play.  Neither were ones I had growing up but they still make nice additions to my collection.  In a few weeks I will redo my media and when I finish I will show off my collection of books, movies and CD's.  It should make a good few posts.  Maybe I won't discuss each one (that would take forever), but I can at least show them off.  Maybe I could start a new blog and show off something new each day.  That's an idea, but having more than one blog hasn't worked out too well for me in the past.

While I struck out on DVD's I was quite surprised to find a Blu-ray.  The price was also a quarter, which was even better.

While I didn't love this movie as much as a lot of other people, I did enjoy it and have watched it a few times.  I never owned it on any media, but a few people found it at Dollar Tree and I had hoped to find it there.  I was more than happy to find it used for a quarter.  I don't plan on getting the sequels, but this was really a good find.  My Blu-ray collection is over 150 at this point, but I don't know how many more I'll add.  I have become a bit more selective and my focus now is more on upgrading my DVD's more than finding new movies to add.  At any rate, this one was a nice addition.

So after looking at the media, I did look at the rest of the store.  There were a few other items I liked but I didn't want to get on this trip (if I miss out, oh well).  I did alert my friend about a Veggietales box set on DVD (which he bought for a quarter later), and also about some Cutetitos in the new section for 5 bucks (which he also bought since his daughter loves them).  I like them too, but I didn't care for the style of these, so I passed.  When it came time to check out, I was curious at what we spent.  I knew the puzzles were mostly a buck each, so I figured around 10 bucks.  In the end, the total of all the items shown here (plus maybe a couple things my mom might have found) totaled to around $10.50 cents.  I think I did very well especially on since you consider I bought 7 other records not shown here. Over 20 items for 10 bucks, you can't beat that.  That would be a great Loot Box.  Plus since we spent over 10 bucks, they have a punch card you can redeem.  After 10 punches I think you get 20% off your total.  We are one punch away now from getting that offer.  It's been a while since we've had it punched so that was good.

So before we headed home, I was curious about a garage sale.  I knew we couldn't stay long because the wind was going to start getting stronger and making it tougher to drive.  In the end we made it home right before it really started gusting, so it was perfect.  The garage sale had pictures that showed puzzles and a VCR.  I would really like a backup VCR since my main one died a couple months ago.  I still have one, but its not as good so tape conversions are on hold for now.  By the time we got to this sale, happily for them, they sold a ton of stuff.  In fact, no VCR and no puzzles.  To me it was a wash, though I did like a couple stereos they had, and well worth the $40 price tags, but nothing I needed.  My mom however did find a book, and while I have no interest, I thought you guys might.

I mean 50 cents is a good deal for a book at a garage sale.  It's not my kind of thing, but I was also happy because we didn't was gas coming up empty at this sale.  They did have a few VHS tapes, but non I was interested in.  If we went earlier, I think I would have found stuff.

So that wraps up my weekend trip, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to do a post like this again, but thanks to Jon it did motivate me to get out and look.  It did make me hopeful to hit some garage sales soon so I'll be on the lookout.  Until then I will probably organize my media, and I do have some cards to show, so I should scan them soon.  I'm not sure when I'll post next, but I hope it will be much sooner than this one.  Thanks everyone for reading, and have a great week!


  1. Long lost brothers... I like that!

    There's a lot to unpack here, I almost don't even know where to start. I guess the first thing is, and you probably already know it, but since you're not that interested in current sports happenings (that must be part of our shared DNA), I thought I'd mention that there are quite a few old games on YT. You can put in whatever team vs., and pretty much find old complete broadcasts. Personally, I really like the MNF games from the 80's that a couple of people have uploaded a bunch of. And of course too, there's that channel that's nothing but radio broadcasts of old baseball games, that one's really good too.

    I've never ordered one of those loot boxes, mostly for the same reasons that you laid out, but have seen a few opened on YT. Anyway, I don't if it's been done, or is currently being done, but your opening made me wonder if anyone ever done a thrift store loot crate? It sounds a bit crazy, but I bet if one found the right customer base, it might actually work.

    I remember hearing about individuals buying those Amazon pallets and trying to make a profit from them, but hadn't heard of any thrift stores doing it. I wouldn't like that one bit, either. I also don't get "new" clothes very often, so thrift stores that sell most clothes are pretty much useless to me. I'm not sure if you've mentioned it before or not, but are there any other thrift stores on your town, or neighboring towns?

    The Dollar Tree closest to me finally started getting DVD's and Blu-Ray's, but the selection has been pretty piss-poor so far. That being said, about a month ago I did get Star Trek IV on Blu-Ray, and a Roger Corman 5-pack on DVD. Both were definitely worth $1.25 to me.

    I've never seen a long puzzle like that Redwoods one before. I suspect that that one will take a bit of time to complete. I've also never seen one of those PhotoMosaic puzzles before either. Now that I have, I hope I can find one cheap someday. They definitely look challenging, but also really neat.

    My mom LOVES Volcano, as well as the other natural disaster flicks from that same time; Dante's Peak, Twister, etc. And starting a new blog for non-card stuff would be fun. As you now know, I just started one of my own. It's been pretty fun so far. Maybe we could start a new old trend, and get people interested in reading and writing blogs about non-card things :)

    And that Dictionary of Superstitions looks really great. I don't know if it was that one, or a different similarly titled one, but I checked out one of those books from the library when I was a kid, and had completely forgotten about it until just now; so thanks for that. Now I want to buy one!

    Great post, as always. Like I said the other day, it's always nice to someone else posting about thrift store things. Such posts really are my favorite kind to read these days, but almost no one ever does them :(

    1. I may or may not have a new blog. Let's see if I do more than just do a test post or two and dabble with the layout. The good new is if not I can still post here. If so I am going to try to find more bloggers to showcase on there that aren't in the card realm.

      There might be another thrift store or two in the town I visit, but I never go to them. They are downtown and most of the downtown businesses are either rude or never open, so I don't bother. I do like to take a trip to an antique mall a couple times a year, its a little further out, but still within driving distance. Might even go in a few weeks.

      I do go back to my local thrift store yesterday and found a couple more CD's so I guess I can do another post.

  2. My notes:

    Collin Raye - My Kind of Girl and That's My Story are both on my playlist. My brother listened to that album a lot and those 2 songs stuck with me.

    A Time to Kill - I remember seeing that in the theaters while visiting my grandparents outside St. Louis. Great, great movie.

    Volcano - I've probably seen that a lot as well. Used to work at a video store and I remember throwing it up on the TV a lot. It was a much better movie than I anticipated.

    Nice haul!

    1. Thank you. That's My Story is a great way to open the album, its catchy and just fun to listen to.

      I had a friend who worked in a video store, he had a lot of fun stories, I'd love to have worked at one.