Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bears Go, Bears Arrive

Black Bear flew away yesterday, and an hour ago, the last Yellowstone bear I will be getting from eBay arrived. 
The last (for now), I say, because eight? ten? of these bears are here already, waiting to get restored.

I don't know their exact number because they have dispersed around their new habitat, establishing their ecological niches, and can be hard to locate. (I am considering radio collars.)

Here I am, below, opening the box. 
I just want to say, I look better than I feel. I am mildly wretched with a head cold. (I am up and dressed, obviously, so it's not all that bad.) 

And also I'm sad about auntie. 
But I talked to her last night, and her indefatigable positive thinking, which sometimes I've found wearing, is serving her incredibly well in this case. What may be annoying in youth [a tendency to downplay one's own suffering can lead to appearing (or being) dismissive of others'] may serve well in old age. 
Extremely well. 
The sign-me-up level of well.

So... unboxing the new bear...
Wow, it's a teeny bear! (Sellers do give you the dimensions on eBay, but I don't pay much attention since I love them all. But the teenies are my favorite.)
Usually I take their collars right off, but these bears think they're so funny, like the ridiculous Star Trek collars of obedience in "The Gamesters of Triskelion". (Hm, some silver foil may be in a bear's future.)

Adieu, eBay (Again)

After my birthday, I took off eBay everything I had listed for sale. 
I'd tried before to limit it, but as Saint Augustine says, abstinence is easier than moderation, and the time I put into sales kept creeping back up.

I got better at it over the past three months, and the profits crept up too.

My best sale was just last week: 
an antique (1930s) pair of sterling silver salt & pepper shakers. 

They're elegant columns, and they also reminded me of the TARDIS or some gadget on Doctor Who.

The salt shaker >

I paid $2 for the set.

Doing resale, I've realized how much I passively learned about antiques and material things from my mother––that, for instance, as whoever priced it must not have realized, sterling silver is not silver plate over a base metal, which you can buy for a song, but is almost solid silver (92.5%), and valuable forever:
silver is Ag on the periodic table, so it's not going anywhere--same as salt.

Maybe you saw this photo of 250-million-year-old salt going around recently---with an expiration date of next year:
I sold the s&p pair for $52 (+ shipping). After eBay/PayPal fees, that's a profit of almost $40--and a reasonable price for the buyer--the set goes for up to $100. 

The profit would go waaay down if I were to count and charge for the time I put into finding the set, polishing the silver, researching, photographing, and listing it, and packing and taking it to the post office.
Don't do eBay if you don't have spare time.

It's nice to have cleared the slate. 
I did love eBay, but it was fiddly, you know, and keeping me from other things, such as (as I keep saying) job hunting. 

I want to start seeing people who live near me too, not just in the ether.
(Me to eBayers: "We should see other people.")

If I'm going to spend time online, I'd like to do it blogging more thoughtfully. Or even not more thoughtfully--like just chatting here--which, if you blog, you know can take a lot of time too. 

For me, writing online is quite different than the addictive "like me" phenomenon of social media. 
Even eBay fell in that category--with feedback like this, how not?

I keep getting a lot out of blogging, no matter that the number of other bloggers (and hence readers and commenters) has dwindled.

It's intrinsically rewarding. 
For instance, I deleted the section I wrote yesterday off the top of my head about my reaction to one of my favorite authors, Sherman Alexie, joining the ranks of Famous Men Who Are Nowhere Near As Nice As You'd Hoped. I deleted it because it was not well thought out--but writing it did help me think about something I didn't really want to think about.

I mean, I do want to think––about the way Trump is far from the only powerful man who gropes women because "when you're a star, they let you do it" [NYT transcript]––but I'd avoided it because it's so disheartening. Blogging helped me, there.

(Maybe I'll try again to write about it... There are better thought-out pieces I could quote, but wrangling with the mess of my reaction makes me think harder.)

Anyway, back to Things:
I gave away a few neat things I had leftover to friends on my birthday too. 
Just yesterday I heard that the one shipment the post office had really screwed up had arrived after a month--a shipment to Australia that had got stuck in some no-exit post office hell and kept getting sent back to the processing unit HERE.

So frustrating, but perhaps the buyer in Australia is used to long shipping lags? At any rate, she merely wrote me that she was happy it had "finally arrived" [3 smiley faces].

It was this 1960s boxed set of the Golden Rule Pattern Making System.
How do you count profit in resale? 
By what you originally paid? (I'd gotten a good deal on it a couple years ago.)
Or by what it's worth to you? (Nothing, now: I loved it, but quickly I just stuck it in a bookshelf and never looked at it. Oh--I did use the 45 record as the background for a birthday invitation last year, so I got something out of it--besides the pleasure of having looked at it.)
Either way, it was a nice profit, and again, a fair sale.

Enough of that. For now, I'm getting my thrift-hit by volunteering at SVDP.

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