Sun. July 11, 2021 – family all together, briefly…

I’ll have a go… sunny and warm, possibly hot, with high humidity, possibly up to 100%RH. I can be just as wrong as the weather liars, and saves the hassle of looking it up and making fancy maps. Saturday was actually pretty nice, sunny but not boiling hot, RH below 60%, mild breeze.

I took youngest child with me to my hobby meeting, where she charmed the whole group, while mostly sitting in a corner reading. I learned some things about my hobby, and had a great time talking with some other members of the group that I don’t always get a chance to chat with.

My wife retrieved the oldest child from Girl Scout camp. Child had a good time, met some new girls and made friends. One big difference between my childhood and kids today, we seemed to be a lot more willing to make ‘friends of the moment’ with kids we just happened to be together with for some reason. What I see in today’s kids is less of that, and a more inward focus. I’m glad she went and met some new kids. Wife is leaving later today for the funeral and related stuff back east. I’ll be kid wrangling by myself for a couple of days.

On the way home from my meeting, I swung by one of my local auctioneers and picked up a check. Turned out I was owed a bit more than I thought. About $350 more, so I’m a happy boy. He’s still pushing me off for the next round of sales though. His current facility is full, and he hasn’t closed the deal for more space yet. My other, industrial auction doubled his space, and has a couple of storage containers. One of my other surplus (old school traditional) auctioneers reorganized after the death of the patriarch, and split into several independent houses, and started doing franchise deals with several more new startups. The auction business is booming. SOMEONE has to dispose of all the cheap chinese cr@p that gets returned to the online retailers when it becomes obvious just how cheap and sh!tty it is… and someone has to try to get some value out of all the returns fraud. If I was feeling uncharitable, I’d say that someone has to pick over the bones of our society too.

I also did a pickup at another new seller and we had a chat. He got burned buying bulq.com and liquidation.com pallets of returns. He mentioned whole pallets without anything but garbage in the boxes. I bought a Dell 30″ curved monitor for $35 from him. I’m pretty sure he was looking for more. Many of his items didn’t sell either, because they were just cheap junk. I’ll fire up the monitor today and see if I got a deal or got punked. He didn’t test any of the electrical items, and I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s working out of a storage unit with no power available. I guess $400/ month for the unit is cheaper than office/warehouse, but it’s not cheap enough, if you can’t sell the items.

A guy I used to read, the Head Druid for North America, writing as The Archdruid Report (iirc) talked a lot about ‘catabolic collapse’- when during the decline of society, we eat our seed corn so to speak. The auction business, selling bankruptcy assets, surplus, etc. performs a vital function in a healthy society that gets those assets back into circulation, and at a low price that helps the next round of businesses succeed. John Michael Greer was describing something else though. He was describing selling off the assets that made our culture and society possible, and the collapse inevitable. I think I’m seeing it happen in real time with some of my sellers.

It can be an opportunity to stack some things at reduced cost, assuming we’ll be able to use them later. The key will be deciding which things are just magpie things, shiny and useless, and which are a little bit of our civilization to hold onto just a bit longer.

Choose wisely, and stack it high.

nick