Funny how things change even though they are staying the same. In fact, when I was much younger, many of the situations I found myself in were simple to negotiate and to overcome. Now that I am closing in on my 60s these simple things are becoming more and more difficult. I use to glide through various tasks daily without thinking about them, and now I have to stop and pointedly ask myself can I now do this. Yes some of this is simply old age rearing its ugly head. Another part of this is I have actually gotten smart enough to realize not to blaze into every thing that happens without thinking about the consequences. For example, when I was younger I could like most people bound down the stairs, even skipping some to save myself a bit of time. Now I look at most every stair step and make sue my foot is firmly planted as I step down. When I get up in the mornings, many times I must force myself just to get out of bed, but not before I check myself to and make sure everything is still in place and is still working. I also tend to count every pain, making a mental note of any other pains that have popped up today. I think about every trip away from the house, how far I must walk,and is this really important to go? Although I have some minor health issues, overall I am not in too bad shape considering my age, weight, and general mileage on the old body. It just amazes and amuses me that I look at the entire world through my slow and painful glasses. I am not really complaining, but rather just discussing life in general. I do not complain about my advancing age, simply because at least I am aging, if not the alternative may be a lot worse. I also find it difficult to get off the ground or the floor anymore. Some of this again is age, weight, and general declining muscle mass. I also realize that things I use to like to do are no longer fun for me. I do not really care to go to amusement parks, the rides are generally more painful and less exciting than when I was young. Even though I do once in a while pine for some of the things I no longer do, I find myself making new areas of interest to keep my life exciting, or at the least entertaining. I enjoy movies but feel they have gotten way too expensive...why pay $9 and up to see a movie that I may find lousy or boring? I do not need to see any movie first run, I am just as happy to watch it later when it has been around for a while. I do not much care to go to sporting events, why go it is much more relaxing to sit in my living room in front of a large screen tv only a few steps from the bathroom, or the kitchen and my chair is much much more comfortable than a bench seat, or hard plastic chair in a stadium. Things as they are overall, I am satisfied with how my life is heading, and wish only that everyone else could find peace within their own boundaries, such that I have found.
A day after the huge loss to the Oakland Faders, I am still trying to understand what to think of the Kansas City Chiefs season of dismay! I am not an Oakland Fader fan by any means but my hat goes off to the better team that won. After five quarters of up and down hard battling football fun the Chiefs finally succumbed to the opposition. Sure the Chiefs had chances to win the game several times during regulation play and could not get it done. Can we blame the kicker for the two blocked field goals? Not really, it was not his kicking skills, or lack there of, but rather poor blocking by the front line. Should we blame only the offensive line? the defensive line? Special teams? No, but rather a combination of all aspects of the team that failed to win this game. Had the Chiefs won, the following week, they could have played to win the AFC west division title, and if they beat the Denver Donkeys won it all! But unfortunately this is all a moot point, because they lost. My feelings are that the Kansas City Chiefs did not deserve to win the division and represent the west in the playoffs. Their play this year has ranged from extremely poor play to way above their talents play. They are using their second head coach this year, and simply were not prepared to play in the NFL during the preseason. Their talents were better utilized by the interim head coach Romeo Crennel, and my kudos go out for his efforts the past two weeks. I hope they continue to show the better side of the team in next weeks last game of the year against the Denver Donkeys and beat the living daylights out of them! I am quite aware that if they beat Denver, it will hurt their draft position a bit this next season, but quite honestly, I simply do not like the pompous Donkeys and their partial owner John (horseface) Elway. I want them to suffer, and go slinking home with their donkey tails tucked between their legs. This said, the season is basically over for the Chiefs, now is the time to assess the individual talents, especially the rookies, and prepare for next season , where hopefully their injuries will be a great deal less common and severe, and their wins more plentiful!
Many years ago, while traveling down a four lane road in Kansas City. I was going east on this road (name with held cause I want to with hold it), and approaching a bridge that rose a bit upward. A brand new Mustang came roaring from behind me and passed me like I a comet passing the moon. The Mustang topped the crest of the hill ahead of me about the middle of the bridge, and then disappeared from sight. As I came over the hill, I suddenly realized there was some sort of black oil slick in front of me on the road, and the Mustang was no where in sight. Slowing down I began glancing around and spotted the oily skid marks swerving to the right and ending at a damaged rail on the side of the road. Fearing the worst, I drove to the end of the bridge and u-turned to proceed underneath the bridge. The road ran alongside the bridge going both directions on each side of the bridge, and crossing over underneath the bridge to service the businesses lined up on both sides of the bridge. Pulling up, I could see the crumpled remains of the Mustang upside down, while the wheels still spinning in the air, and the roof of the car crushed flat against the car's sides, like a crushed aluminum can. I jumped out to see if I could render assistance, and was immediatel joined by another driver who also was passing by at the same time. We both ran to the car calling out to see if any person or persons were inside the wreckage was still alive, but no sound came from the twisted steel. Not giving up hope, the other driver ran back to his truck, and brought back a large pry bar. We inserted the bar between the door and the frame and after considerable effort managed to open the door about two feet. For a second we both held our breath not knowing what kind of mess was inside the car dead or alive. Suddenly from inside the car a set of fingers and then hand appears, followed by an arm and the rest of the driver's figure. He pulls himself out of the wreckage, and slowly gets to his feet, while straightening out his disheveled clothes and brushing off the road debris from his shirt and pants. Oblivious to the fact that we were even standing there, the man turns back to the car (or at least what was left of the car) and surveys the scene for a long second. He then rears back and gives the car a vicious kick. Muttering aloud in a gravely voice he proclaims digustedly "Damn Mustangs, can't even handle a little hill". As things turned out, he was not seriously injured, just a few bumps and bruises, but he was still pissed off about the car's lack of handling. He continued on exclaiming the lack of control by the Mustang, and how it was all the car's fault! Some people just don't get it do they?
Wandering through my storied past, I come across another tale from the recesses' of my wicked mind. The story begins as I and my best friend Jack (names have been changed to protect the truly embarassed) are driving our way from Kansas City to Chicago to buy and sell at the big Toy Show that is held 3 times a year in Chicago. On our trek northeasternly Jack is telling me about how he had spent the last six weeks working out everyday trying to improve his health, and stamina. He spent quite a bit of time reshaping and was extremely proud of his results. Personally I am not a really observant person and in all honesty I had not noticed any change in him, due in part to the fact that I had seen him many times over that period . so I did not notice the gradual process of change. Anyway, not really thinking about it, we continued on our way and the conversation was forgotten by me. We arrive that Wednesday afternoon, and begin unloading merchandise from the van and to take up to our hotel room. Within a few minutes of our arrival, one of our mutual friends and fellow toy traders comes by and immediately remarks to me that I am looking good, and how did I lose my weight? I explained I had not been doing anything special and thanked him for his comment. He turns to Jack eyes him for a second, and nods his direction. He then turns back to me shakes my hand with another compliment and wanders off. I begin unloading again, when Jack remarks in a kind of annoyed way,"What gives here? I have been working out hard every day for 6 weeks, and he does not even notice me. You however have not done one thing , and he is all over you gushing about how much better you look! What gives?! I turn to him and shrug and begin planning my next move. Realizing Jack is somewhat frustrated, I decide to add some gasoline to the spark of fire. I am such a pyro when it comes to annoying people. My plan forms in my head as a clear picture of wickedness! Later that day, I slip out of the hotel room on the pretense of room shopping for toy purchases. I proceed downstairs to several dealers I know who always have the same room numbers at this show. I tell each of them about what has happened, and encourage them to come to our room in the next day or so and compliment me on my fitness, while ignoring Jack's hard work. I also instruct each dealer to tell other dealers within the hotel what is going on and not to let on to Jack what I had planned for him. Boy this really worked out better than I had ever dreamed! Satisfied, I return to the room and settle in for the fun to begin. Sure enough within an hour or so a dealer walks in. He begins praising me and ignoring Jack. I act embarrassed by the compliments and thank him. He nods at Jack and leaves. Jack sits there brooding, as more and more dealers filter into the room, with basically the same actions. The day passes to the evening, and I can tell Jack has gotten more ruffled as dealer after dealer wanders in. That evening he grumbles about the situation some more, and not generally a very happy camper. I continued acting like the sympathetic friend with the shoulder to cry on, greatly amused at his snubbing. I keep reassuring him that things would be better the next day. The morning hours begin new tortures for Jack as more and more dealers come in and praising me while in most cases almost completely ignoring Jack. By now Jack is fit to be tied, I think everyone in the hotel must have heard of the fun and everyone wanted to join in. Just before lunchtime, in comes this giant friend of ours (we will refer to him as bear). Now bear is the six foot six individual with wild curly black hair, beard stubble and tattoos running rampant on his arms. He looks like an original Hell's Angels founder. However Bear is one of the nicest gentleless guys you would ever meet. He comes up to me and gives me a huge hug, with those giant long arms. Stepping back and surveying me from head to toe, he grins and says "Jon my old bud,how ya been? You're looking great, you losing weight?." Then for the final straw that breaks the camel's back, he turns to Jack and kind of snorts at him in contempt and asks"Why don't you follow Jon's lead?" The next moment even I did not anticipate the reaction from Jack. He suddenly leaps up and shouts angrily" Dammit it all! I worked for weeks at the gym, to trim down, and all he did (me) is nothing! Everyone thinks he is looking great, but no one is even mentioning me!" With that, he storms out of the room, grumbling loudly all the way down the hall, and vanishes. The dealers there in the room burst out into a hearty laugh, which lasted for several minutes. Out in the hall other dealers in on the joke, are snickering at him as he leaves. I continue selling that day and several hours passed before Jack shows back up. Obviously in a black mood, he drops into one the chairs still grumbling, but not so loudly now. After he sits there a while, I finally admit that I set him up, and Jack informs me he will get me back for my trick. Needless to say he never forgot that and did try on at least one occasion to get me, but that is a story for a later date........maybe after I work out a bit!
Now some people would refer to me as a bit crazy, but I beg to differ on their opinion by saying I am flat out nuts (at least at times). Another gem from my past begins about 18 years ago at an antique / flea market show I was doing in Kansas City. I was setting up my booth early on the morning of the show, and into my booth walks an individual whom I know but do not particularily care much about. His passion was collecting antique radios which at the time my own tastes ran parallel to his. In fact that is how I became to know of him. Now to let you understand what this particular man was about, a conversation with another friend of mine gave me the best description of this guy. His evaluation of the man was that he was the nicest guy you would ever meet until you did any business with him. In this case, if you ever tried to sell, buy or trade an antique radio with him, he would be just as happy to skin you alive and let the buzzards pick your bones than make a decent deal with you. Anyway getting back to the story, he comes into my booth early this morning, and begins looking at the radio related items I was displaying. He comes upon a crystal radio (1920's if not a bit earlier). I had just purchased this radio the previous day at a garage sale for 25 cents, but I knew the retail value to be around $125.00, so I priced the radio at $95.00 so it would sell quickly and pass on a bit of the good price. He turns to me and in his usual condescending tone, tells me that he would be willing to give me ten dollars for the radio. I politely refused, and started to move away when he grabs my arm and becomes insistent on me selling him this radio at his "offer". I again refused and tried to pull away. At this point he remarks in his snotty way "It is only worth 15 dollars at the most". Now normally I am a calm and easy going type of guy, but this individual just plain rubbed me wrong. I am getting angrier by the second as he continues to jabber on about what bad condition the radio was in, and how he was doing me a favor by offering as much as he did. I snatched the radio out of his hands, and began admonishing him. I told him if that was all it was worth, then ........and before I knew what I was doing, I threw the radio on the ground and stomped it flat. Picking up the smashed piece, I held it forth and told him that I would take his offer now. He stood there, with his mouth wide open (kind of like a fish gasping for air) and totally speechless for a few minutes. Finally he manages to to stammer out "I was going to buy that radio" and added "What do you think you are doing?" I grinned at him and told him it was my radio and I could do as I please, and would he kindly exit my display area. At this he turned and stomped out of the booth muttering to himself all the way. I do not really know what prompted my outburst, but one thing kept coming back to me, that was the best 25 cents I ever spent! Interesting sub note; In the years following the incident, whenever this guy walked into my booth, and wanted to buy anything, he always paid the marked price in full, never again to try and low ball me. Isn't life grand?!!
Being a collectibles dealer for approximately 20 years, I have run into all kinds of strange people, insane people, goofy people, and just funny people. One story that comes to mind happened about 12 years ago, when I was doing regular antique shows/ flea markets in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At that time , the collector items , specifically Pepsi character glasses were a fairly hot item, and I usually sold them fairly quickly. These glasses are 16 ounce heavy glass, and on one side they have a colorful round circle with a super hero or villain emblazoned in the center (hence the reference to Pepsi Moon Series). This one particular show, I had brought with me a complete set of 16 super hero Pepsi moon series glasses, and I was pretty proud of myself, because to have a complete set in itself was really rare. So I smugly set the glasses on one of my display shelves, and finished setting up the entire booth. Priced this set at $350, which was about right for each glass if sold separately. Now next to me was this cranky old dude named Joe, whom I had known for a year or so. He sets up his display, and to my chagrin, he has an entire cardboard table which he fills with these same Pepsi Super Hero moon glasses. Then my heart really sinks as he sets up a cardboard sign in the middle of the table "Choice $2 each". Not being of sound mind or body, and needing some cash to buy anything else, I did not try to purchase any of his, except for a few rarer glasses . Oh well maybe the next show I would sell mine. So I began to fiddle around with other things, and tended to customers. About one half hour into the beginning of the show, I noticed a very nicely dressed woman making her way up the aisle. I see her stop at Joe's booth and start rifling through his glass assortment, paying close attention to the sign in the middle of the table. Turning away, I continued helping another customer, not really watching what was going on next booth over. A couple of minutes pass and the same woman appears in my booth and starts looking over my selection. She stops in front of my display of glasses and begins examining each unit one by one. Finishing with the customer I had been working with, I stroll over to her and ask her if she needs any help? She turns to me and says " Could you do any better on the price of these glasses?" Now I am thinking she wants me to drop the price for the set down to the same price as Joe's, but I politely say " IF you want the glasses right now, I will sell the set to you for only $320." She replies to my surprise "OK, wrap them up, and I will be back to pick them up". Then pulls out the cash and pays me and leaves. Stunned I glance over to Joe's booth and the glasses on his table are still sitting there. I walk over to him and ask if he would do any better on the entire lot of glasses he has sitting there , and he tells me no, he just witnessed me selling my set for a lot more money. Shrugging, I pull out the cash and pay him for the glasses on his table, which number 87. He boxes them up, and I move them over to put under my table cloth in my booth. I then wrap up a set from the glasses I just purchased, and just as I finish, up comes the same woman. "Why haven't you wrapped up my glasses? she asks. I reply "Here they are maam, I had several sets with me today, and some extras also. " She looks at me in surprise and says "Oh, well how much will you sell me the other sets for?" Now I am really amazed! I know with the set still on display plus 2 other sets, and 39 other glasses, we are talking some nice chunk of change. Not missing a beat, I tell her I will sell all the rest of my inventory for only $1100. She stands there a minute and then says "I do not have enough cash, could I give you a check?" "Sure I can, your check is fine with me" She proceeds to pull out $700 more in cash and writes me a check for an additional $400. After she is done paying me, she says she will go get her husband to pick them up, so would I please wrap them all up. Dumbfounded, I begin wrapping glass after glass, and fill half a dozen empty boxes for transport. Within a few minutes, the lady shows back up with her husband in tow, and he begins carrying out the boxes. Not being able to resist, I ask the lady while she is directing her husband's actions "Maam, I do not mean to be rude, but I have to ask, earlier the guy next to me had some of these glasses on his table, why did you not buy his? " She turns to me and admonishes me by saying "Oh those things? They were just reproductions, they were too cheap to be real!" Then she leaves as her husband wheels out the last boxes. Joe walks over to me shaking his head, because he had been listening to my exchange with her. "Jon I just do not believe what just happened!" I nodding my head in agreement tell him " Yeah I hope you are not upset about the transaction!" Which he looks with me and grins saying "Jon, sometimes your the dog, and sometimes your the hydrant....today I think I am the hydrant", and walks back to his booth. This is a crazy world, huh?
A few weeks ago, my son got a refund check from AT&T. This of course is not a big deal, however the check was for .02 CENTS! To issue this check they must have spent 1 to 2 dollars for the labor, paper,ink, and postage. And these mensa monkeys wonder why their profits are not any higher? Whjch makes me remember the following true tale of AT & T HELL! I had a similar experience a number of years ago but in reverse. I ended my relationship (otherwise known as the royal screw) with AT & T . About six months went by and suddenly I started getting bills from them for what they claimed I still owed them. The amount? It was the grand sum of total importance to them of .10 CENTS! I had paid them in full when I closed the account according to some mensa monkey pencil pushing bill, yet now six months later they wanted an additional .10 CENTS! I refused to pay this amount, based on several theories. One was simply they said I had a balance due at the end of our stormy royal screw, and I paid that balance, thus ending all debts to them. Unfortunately according to their pencil pushing mensa monkeys they were able to scrape up an additional national debt I owed of .10 CENTS! Over the next year and a half, I continued to get dunning notices at regular monthly intervals . BUT as the months passed the bill grew to .15 CENTS! Finally I called (on a competitors phone which was giving quite good service) and spent an hour in AT & T HELL trying to resolve this burdening debt. I was told at that time by their own MENSA MONKEY that the charge would be cleared and I would not get any more billings. Satisfied, I forgot about the bill until about 45 days later, I get a call from a COLLECTION AGENCY trying to collect the now huge bill of .15 CENTS!! Now I do not know about you, but as far as I am aware, collection agencies do not hire the sharpest tack in the box, but this particular agent was fairly pleasant and assured me that the matter would be handled. SURE enough I started getting aporoximately one call a month from various collector agencies pleading with me to pay the bill so they would make a huge profit from my .15 CENTS!! At first I politely explained the situation, and they all agreed I was correct. This degraded into less polite refusals from me to pay what I felt was an illegal shakedown by the AT & T mensa monkeys and their hit squads of collector goons. Months go by and I finally started getting what seemed to be talking to collection agents who had obtained a brain from the wizard of OZ! The next couple of agents informed me that they would indeed have the debt wiped from my record and settle this ridiculous foray into my privacy. GREAT, finally some sense to this madness.......at least for about 3 months, and then another call, but now my debt had ballooned to .17 CENTS! This meant the collection agency was now making even more money from this transaction if and when they actually collected it from me. This happened several times more, and then finally I stopped getting the phone calls and the billings. Wow, peace at last, and AT & T only spent about a BAZILLION dollars trying to collect what eventually went to .17 CENTS!! The kicker to all this was several months passed and then I started getting sweetheart letters from AT & T and their mensa monkeys telling me what a great company they were, and would I like to sign up for their phone service? I truly believe that I would rather stick my feet in glowing hot coals while hammering nails into my testicles, and being forced to watch in person Roseanne Barr and Rosie O'Donnell rubbing oil into each others naked bodies before I will ever again subject to the Mensa Monkeys at AT & T! Oh Lord someone please hand me the Comet Cleanser so I can scrub out that horrible picture from my already severely damaged brain!!
Okay time for a rant. I hate, not dislike, or even just loathe, I HATE these mail firm companies that offer the poor unsuspecting pidgeon their product for what seems to be a reasonable price. Then not only do they offer you the product but since they claim they are your "friend" and since you are so nice, they are generously are going to send you a second unit of the product asbsolutely FREE!! Yeah real free alright, in reality in small print you are still on the hook for ONLY additional shipping and handling. WOW what good guys they are! Then you rush to your phone to get that order in before someone buys the last one(Two?). Or you jump into the internet to buy it on line yeah! Up clicks the flashy display page showing the item in full living color, and you are chomping at the bit to buy! There is the holy grail button (also known as the submit button) and up pops the information page. After filling out the important info, you put in the credit card number and you are now about to launch into the proud ownership of the product in duplicate! Then the reality check drops on your head like the Green Giant stomping a helpless bug. The total for the order is TWICE or THREE times what you originally thought. WHAT is going on here? Scanning down these pompous charges you discover that the small shipping and handling fee is a couple of pennies short of the USA debt load! The item cost you $9.99 with a shipping and handling fee is $9.99 more. When they add in the second FREE item with shipping /handling charge , suddenly the entire order is $29.97. That means you are paying $9.99 for the 2 items (of course one is FREE) and $19.98 for shipping /handling. I refuse to be connived into spending twice as much for shipping and item(s) than the original cost of the item. I have been in the mailing business for over 20 years, and I can say I am a bit of an expert on shipping values. A 4 ounce items (X 2 = 8 ounces) does not cost a company almost $20 to ship. Even if you factor in the handling? charge, any idiot should know that if you pack an order with the same 2 items, it does not take twice as much time, the items should theoretically be in the same place and it is a simple job just to pick up 2 of them and pack them in the same box. I propose that we all band together and protest with our wallets. Refuse to buy these knuckleheads products, and eventually even the thick headed marketers will come to the realization that they are doing something wrong. They probably will think up some new scam to lay on the masses. Anyway that is how I see it.
Will the Kansas City Chiefs step up and control their own destiny? Or will they slump and fail in the end to win the Division Championship outright? Good questions but no real good answers. The answers will depend on which team shows up over the next two weekends, the Chiefs that have easily handled several teams this year and looked like powerhouses, or the team that got their tails whipped in both Denver AND San Diego. The Kanas City Chiefs have a potential Defense that has shown to be almost titantic at times, stopping virtually anything the offenses have thrown at them. Then suddenly out of the blue the defense at times looks like a kid on a tricycle could pedal his way through them. The defense in certain games has made average runners look like superstars, and below average running backs look really good. Romeo Crennel is an innovative coordinator most of the time, but some of the problems with the defense has to fall on his shoulders. On the other hand the defense sometimes just tackles poorly, gets caught in the wrong defensive scheme, or simply gets beat by the offensive receivers. The next two weeks will tell us just how far the Kansas City Chiefs have come in their surprising rebuilding mode this year. No one including this writer gave a chance that the Chiefs would be contending for a playoff spot this year, let alone be leading the division this year. Yeah we can point out that their schedule was heavily slanted to poorer talented teams, easier than many other teams schedules. It can also be said that the other teams in our division have played below their own talents and have lost many games that they originally has perceived to be a “win”. This said, the bottom line is that the Kansas City Chiefs have played much better than any of the other teams and now stand at the brink of not only playing into the playoffs, but winning the division. The San Diego Chargers have almost played their way out of the division race, but are still hanging in there. If the Chiefs win the last two games, they can wave bye-bye to them. If they lose one of the last two, and San Diego wins both of their last two, the Chiefs lose the Division title to Chargers because of tie breakers. If the Chiefs AND the Chargers both lose both of their last two games, and then you have the possibility for the Oakland Faders (ooopps I meant the Raiders) become a major factor. This division is by no ways sewn up, however if the Raiders lose one of their last two games, they cannot catch the Chiefs or the Chargers, they presently sit two games back with two games to go and have no margin for error. The end result is that the Kansas City Chiefs must find their defense, create a point producing juggernaut, and cannot snooze their way into the playoffs, they must take care of business and spank both Tennessee and the Raiders, and the fans can then can sit back and smile out loud Then of course we begin worrying about the playoffs…….but we get way ahead of ourselves.
We are always looking for the rare, unusual and just really fun stuff. Why don't you dig out your basements, garages, parents homes, or any place and put cash in your pocket right NOW! Call us, email us with what you have and what you need. We also will consider trades on any of our items, let us know, we are here to help you.