Tuesday, December 29, 2020

I hadn't been dreaming of a white Christmas

When I got up Christmas morning it was 16° with a real feel of 3° outside, making it our coldest morning of the year. And if that wasn't bad enough, it had done this during the night/wee hours of the morning:

At 18/10°, Christmas day became the coldest day of the year, The real feel never got above single digits. It wasn't cool. Or I guess technically it was cool, but it wasn't cool

It snowed it a bit more during the day, even though it wasn't supposed to be doing so. I don't know about the weather people in your area, but the so called "forecasters" here, haven't been doing their job so well as of late (or really all year for that matter). 

Knowing ahead of time that it was at least going to be colder than normal on Christmas, my mom and I's now annual Christmas hike had to be taken two days earlier when it was a slightly more comfortable 54° out. [I mention it every year, but for those that don't know, or don't remember, my mom's birthday is on Christmas. A few years ago she suggested going for an impromptu hike on that day, and not being one to deny a birthday request, or need much persuasion to go wander around in the woods, we did; and it's sort of been a tradition ever since]

I didn't take a lot of pictures this year, but did have a nice time nonetheless. Well, save for a pitbull that was briefly pushing my patience to it's utmost extreme. It was obviously someone's pet, but I'm not  huge fan of dogs in general (incident when I was young), especially when they're being aggressive, and pet or not, this one was walking that very thin line between just being annoying and being a threat. 

As I said, the day itself was pretty good, but Wednesday night was a whole 'nother matter. The coming cold front met up with the "warm" air that was already here, which produced big winds all night, and dumping rain the next day. Before eventually turning into snow. I didn't get a lot of sleep Wednesday night (I think I might have a slight case of PTSD from the big storm earlier this year), but at least no trees came down this time, branches yes, trees no.

Despite the snow, and cold, Christmas day itself wasn't too bad. I spent most of the day doing small projects around the house, even completing a few.

And even though I'm long past the asking for anything on Christmas age, I still got a few things, two of which did fit in with the blogs normal content, so...

My mom did really well with this one! Horror magazines are always a welcome sight, Eerie being one of the more desirable for me. It's also a SPECIAL CHRISTMAS ISSUE, so that seemed rather appropriate for the day.

I don't own a coffee table, but am still partial to certain coffee table books.

I haven't started reading it yet, but did skim through the pages. This book is loaded with images of expensive books that I will never own, and hopefully the content will be able to live up to the pictures.

I wasn't feeling very Christmas-y this year, but all-in-all the holiday season turned out to be better than I expected. Given the less than stellar year we've had, I hope that all of you reading this were able to say the same!

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!

In case you haven't heard, it's Christmas today, all day even, so I'll make this quick. 

I sincerely hope that everyone who celebrates the holiday is having a good one, and for those that don't, well, I hope that your day is awesome too.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

First Christmas

Childhood amnesia is the common term used for people's inability to remember anything from their first few years of life.

I don't usually do much reading in the field of psychology, but find this particular subject most interesting. I'm not gonna get heavy into it here today, as you can find a gillion articles online, written by far more learned folks than I, but will say that the theories behind why we can't recall our earliest years are as varied as they are numerous. And depending on who's doing the research, or who has written the most current paper, the age in which people are able to recall their first memory can vary from 2 to 8 years of age, with the average being in the 3-5 years old range.

Having read a bit about this subject, paying special attention to false memories, I feel like I, and anyone else who knows anything at all about this subject, can confidently say that no person can recall their first Christmas. Although, in my case, even if childhood amnesia couldn't be used to explain my lack of memory from my first Christmas, a recently unearthed photograph (which I had never seen before btw) taken on that first Christmas of mine, may have produced another excuse for my lack of memory:

Five months old, and already hittin' the sauce!

It's hard to tell from the photo if the day was that good, or that bad. I can't even go by the red eyes, as I've been around red-eyed people who were having a miserable time, and I've also been around red-eyed people who were having the time of their life. Though I do seem to have a bit of that shell-shocked look going on, but that isn't even always the best indicator of how someone is doing.

In all seriousness, this did have to be one of my better Christmases, in fact I know that the first five would've all had to have been pretty great, even if I can't remember any of them. I feel confident in making this assertion if only because those would've been the last five that my grandma was alive for, and we were still one big happy family at that point. It wasn't until after she was gone that everything started going downhill, I should know, I remember those later Christmases.

Not wanting to end the post on a negative note, I will mention that this photo was taken at my grandparents house (in Portland, OR for those that care), where the family Christmas was held through the first eight years of my life. I used to love this couch of theirs, which my grandpa kept until I was around 10 or 11, when he replaced it with a new overstuffed brown couch that was considerably less comfortable, and got way too warm during the summer.

Damn, that still ended on a negative note. Uh, well, that's all I've got for today, so I guess I'll just have to try and be a little less of a jaded Jonny the next time we meet...

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

25 years in the making

I have a ghost of a memory rattling around from what feels like early 1995, but could just as easily be from late 1994 too (huge difference, I know).

It's me and my friend, Steven (he was by best friend for about a decade), at a card shop somewhere in Portland, or possibly Gresham, most likely near the border either way. I can still picture the inside of the shop in my mind, but can't recall for the life of me what the name of it was. It wasn't one that I usually went to, and despite it's huge inventory of all things collectible at the time, it would be gone before I stopped collecting cards in or around 2000.

Steven didn't collect cards, or anything else for that matter, but he did like Pogs, so did I, and that's why we were there, for Pogs!

Word had come down the grapevine that this particular shop had a selection of Pogs like none other, and as it would turn out, that word was correct.

I'm pretty sure that my mom drove us (his parents would never have done such a thing, at least not unless they could've took their television with them. That's all they did when not working, watch television), and upon our arrival, we found the mother lode of all Pog mother lode's. I don't know what their official name is, but have you ever seen those circular discount DVD bins at Walmart? Well, that was basically what was sitting in a corner of this shop, except instead of being full of DVD's (which of course hadn't even come into existence yet), it was full of Pogs, thousands and thousands of Pogs! It was like a mini version of Scrooge McDuck's vault.

I don't recall how they had been priced, but they must've been reasonably so, because it didn't take us long to dive in and start making stacks, or possibly filling bags, I'm not sure. Anyway, at some point, I looked up to say something to Steven, only to find him no longer swimming in Pogs. He was now standing a few feet from our Pog pool, with his back to me, staring intently at some really different looking boxes of cards on one of the shelves that ran around the shop. I remember being annoyed that he was no longer elbow deep in Pogs, especially since that was our soul purpose for being there. I asked him what he was doing, and this part I can remember like it was yesterday, he answered my question with a question of his own, "Have you heard about Magic: The Gathering?". In all honesty, I hadn't heard of it, but I wasn't going to admit that, and as I said, I was a tad bit annoyed, so I replied "Yeah, it looks kinda gay!". [And before anyone loses their sh*t, remember the time period that this took place in. That was a very common way to describe an uncool thing, kids used it a lot, parents used it, heck, I even heard a teacher use it once. I could've sugar coated it, revised history if you will, but that's not what I do around here. I used to say it all the time back then, and am not going to lie and pretend like I didn't]

I'm not too sure about the MTG timeline, and don't feel like looking it up, but this would've been fairly early into it's still ongoing run. And a lot of those early cards are very sought after these days, some of which can fetch insanely high prices. This isn't the place for a MTG history lesson though, so let me finish the story, it's almost over...

After hearing my reply, Steven just let out a sad sounding "yeah...", turned around, and came back to the bin o' Pogs. I'll know that I'll lose most of this memory at some later date, but probably won't ever forget that defeated "yeah", sigh...

Steven never did take up MTG, and thankfully his memory was worse than mine, or maybe he just had better sense than me, either way, he never brought that day up again. And for the record too, I wouldn't have blamed if he had, I mean after all, I basically convinced someone that between Pogs and MTG, Pogs were the way to go 😞. Years later, we got into other CCG's though, namely WWF Raw Deal, and Buffy, neither of which was comparable to MTG in popularity, or potential future profit. We even started to create our card game at one point, but he got tired of all of the "work" that was necessary to create a game from scratch, and bailed on me. I never finished it. It seemed pointless to do so all by myself.

Steven and I ended up taking different paths in our early twenties, but I still think about him from time to time, a lot more so in recent years. And any time I come across one of those "YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT OLD MTG CARDS ARE NOW SELLING FOR!" articles, I remember that day at the card shop. 

The ironic part too is that we didn't even stay interested in Pogs that much longer (nobody else did either), maybe a year, but probably less. AND, in recent years, I've started to develop in interest in MTG, and have often wondered if anything would've changed had I just said "No, I've never heard of them, let's find out what they are". 

It's too late for me to take up playing the game, even though it's probably something that I would enjoy, and really would've enjoyed all of those years ago. I can still appreciate the artwork though, in fact that's where my interest lies with MTG. I keep thinking that I'm gonna start buying some singles at some point, especially since I see them for sale often enough (they even sell them at McKay's, individually, and in bulk), but never take the time to look through them.

I say that I want to start picking up singles, which makes it sound like I don't already own any, but I do, one whole card in fact. And not just any old card mind you, no, I went big for my first card - big as in large, not big as in expensive - it's a box topper...

Sometime last year I was doing some challenges on COMC, when this card came up. I fell in love immediately, and put it in my watch list. I had to wait a few weeks for to be added to the site, when it was finally added, it was done so with a $2.50 price tag, and there was no hesitating, I bought it right then and there. 

I don't know which set it's from, nor do I care. And being a box topper, I don't even know if it's playable, or if it was made just for show. I just know that it's a big sexy card that I had to have, not so much for the front either, it was the back that I fell in love with.

I scanned this in the big toploader that it came in, so please excuse all the smudges and scratches.
Look how pretty that is! It's very Guillermo del Toro-ish, don't you think? Well, it is to me. I looked at all of the other box toppers from this set back when I got this, and the rest seemed rather dull compared to this one, so I don't know what the deal is, I'm just glad that they made it. Someday I hope to make a little frame for it, it'd look really good hanging over my desk.

As an aside, a lot of bloggers are showing off their COMC good from this year, but that won't be me anytime soon, I probably won't request my shipment until the spring. In the meantime though, I actually do have a number of scan folders with cards from the shipment that I got right before last Christmas in them. Apparently I've only gotten to a couple of them so far this year (where has the time gone!), so you can expect to probably see some more posts of old COMC stuff sprinkled in throughout the next couple of months -- it took a lot of time to scan them, so you better believe I'm going to show them.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Claims, Greed, Confessions, and a Prize

It wasn't that long ago that you couldn't go a single week without seeing a 'free stuff' post, heck, it wasn't even that long ago that you couldn't go a single day without seeing a 'free stuff' post (I'm looking at you, Rod!). Fast forward a few months, and now you're lucky if you see one a month. For the record though, I'm not doing them, but don't see myself doing another one before the end of the year. As for everyone else, who knows, the thrill may truly be gone, or perhaps it's just gone dormant for a spell. Either way, it was fun while it lasted.

Brian, from Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary, was on board with the free stuff trend right from the beginning, running weekly giveaways for many consecutive months. In some ways, a person of his standing getting in on the action so early, gave the thing a certain air of legitimacy that it might not have attained otherwise

Despite the many great cards that were offered by Brian for all of those weeks, I didn't really claim a whole lot from him, if only because a lot of them just didn't fit my collection. I did claim the Catfish Hunter insert one week, and when it eventually showed up, I found that it had acquired a couple of stowaways.

Hmm, "I didn't really claim a whole lot from him"? That's a bit of a lie. Well, it wouldn't be if I were to leave out the items that I got from his final free stuff post, as I had only claimed a few cards going into that post, but then I got greedy...

I arrived to Brian's last giveaway post late (as per usual), only to find that he was doing a special final giveaway edition, which was loaded with neat things, including a bunch of Juniors. Some had already been gotten, so I just asked to have whatever was remaining. Was that being greedy? Oh, and before you answer that, you should probably know that Junior wasn't the only player from that post that I claimed the rest of...

There was a bunch of Barry Sanders' too.

So, now that you have the whole picture, how about it, greedy? I'm leaning towards yay on this one, but what's done is done. Nobody's perfect, least of all me. I'm still happy with the cards no matter what you think!

Many thanks to Brian for indulging my deadly sin, and for his hopping on board the free stuff train somewhere between the first and second stop, his enthusiasm for the idea kept it on the tracks longer than I thought it would have (I don't why I'm trying to make train metaphors all of sudden, I'll stop now).

Hopefully you weren't thinking that that was the end of the post, I've still got much more content to come, but first I need to make a confession (or two).

This is tough, but here it goes: In my early days as a blogger/blog reader, I didn't always participate in people's accomplishments like I should have. And when I say accomplishments, I mean folks that have reached X amount of posts, or X amount of years as a blogger. Part of this was due to not knowing everyone yet, or rather knowing of everyone yet. Another part of it was that it took me a while to feel like I belonged enough to comment a lot, especially on celebratory posts that full of comments from longtime friends and readers. There's probably another part or two to my not commenting a lot early on, but can no longer remember what they might've been. The point is, I didn't comment a lot way back when, but have made an effort to do much more in recent years. I'm not gonna say that I'm anywhere near Fuji level when it comes to commenting, but I'd like to think that I leave my fair share. It took a few years to realize just how important comments are to blogs, more specifically, to those writing the posts. View counts can be (and often are) misleading thanks to bot activity, but comments aren't. Sometimes they're the only way for a blogger to gauge just how many real people are reading, and how engaged they are with what you're writing. This isn't always an easy pill to swallow, especially when your blog is ostensibly a sports card blog, but you cover many non sports cards related things (I'm speaking of no one in particular of course 😉).

And I know that I'm not the only one who'll occasionally click on a post, see that it's going to be a long one, and decide to come back later to read it, so I don't consider that to be a confession, however...

I have clicked on what turns out to be a long post, decided to come back later, and then forgot to come back later. It hasn't happened very often, mind you, but still, it has happened -- even once on a milestone post. Because of my goldfish brain, and because it's happened before, I now (well, for the last few years), at least when it's late at night, will leave a celebratory comment on any milestone post I see, even if I haven't read the whole post yet. If it's late, and the post is long, I'll come back later and catch up on what I missed, but just in case I forget to do so, I'll at least have a comment acknowledging the achievement already in place. That one's more of a peek behind the curtains than a confession, BUT, I do have one more real confession for you to chew on...

One night, right before starting to get ready for bed, many months ago, I did one last perusal of the blogroll for the day, and noticed that, Brian (still of HSACA), was celebrating his 1,000th post. And again, it was late (for me), I was tired, and it looked like it was going to be a longer post, so I decided to come back later -- but just in case, before leaving, I scrolled down, and left what I hoped would be a nice celebratory comment. That's not so bad is it? I didn't think so either, certainly nothing that shocking or worth confessing...

I don't recall how long afterwards it was, I'll just guess and say that it was two months later, a bubble mailer showed up from Brian. He hadn't said anything, so this was certainly out of the blue, and highly irregular if you will.

Inside was a well-loved repack box, full of cards no less, and a Steve Young insert of some sort. There was also a note, which mentioned that this was my prize for commenting on his 1,000th post all those months ago. Prize? I read that post, there was no mention of prizes... or was there?

I went back and looked for the post, found it, and after reading it, realized that it had happened again, I commented on it (like I said I did), but had forgotten to go back and read it the next day! I also found out what all of this prize business was about too, apparently the first 8 people to comment were going to get a prize, and you know what number the comment I left that night just in case I forgot to come back later was? That's right, #8! I had, and still have, mixed feelings about this. On one hand, prizes are usually fun, and I'm usually happy to win them if I've entered some sort of contest to do so. And on the other hand, which just so happens to be the larger of the two hands btw, I shouldn't have gotten a prize for leaving a quick 'just in case' comment (which also had a typo in it too) that night. I mean technically I did go back and read the post, albeit many months later, but still, somebody participating that first night should've gotten that eighth spot. 

I haven't done so yet, but I will be making it up to Brian at some point, and whatever it is will be good. So, now that I've cleared my conscious (not really, but it sounds good), let's delve into this prize that I didn't deserve:

You already saw the card in the toploader, but there was another Steve Young (technically there were two more, but you'll have to wait a minute to see the other) in the back of the box, a modern SPx, that scanned really weird. And I had no idea that Upper Deck had even done a modern SPx set, obviously they don't have the NFL license, so they had use older college era photos for their set, but they still look really good. I got all of my Steve Young's entered into the TCDB a few weeks ago, and found that these had been my first cards to feature him as a Cougar.

I noticed fairly quickly that this repack seemed curiously tailored to my collecting interests, almost like it wasn't just bought off the shelf and sent to me :)

I'm not too keen on these numbers sets, they feel very lazy to me. I'd never buy any of them on my own, even from the Ichiro set, but will add them to the binder if they come my way.

I've talked about this card, or rather the image, many times on the blog already, so I'll spare you another round of biased admiration. I will say though that I have many different versions of this card, and many copies of some of those versions, but this was my first Opening Day blue.

I don't care what anyone thinks about the DH position, I was glad to see Edgar make it to Cooperstown, no matter how he had to do it.

I only have a couple of the Showdown cards, but every time I get a new one, part of me wants to try the game just a little bit more than the previous time. One of these days I might even go read how it was played, and I'm really curious what kind of flow it had, as not all card games were created equal in that regard.

Are you noticing anything about this box yet? Maybe the Seattle-centricness of it?

I don't do sports what if's very often, but I do sometimes wonder how many more accolades Felix would've earned had he played for just about anybody other than Seattle? So many pitches thrown, for so little reward. It's kind of sad in a way, but also not really, because he did make more money than 99% of us could ever fathom making, so I think he'll be okay.

This scan would've looked a lot better had the cards been in chronological order.

There were many more cards of the above three guys in the box, but I think you get the idea, it was a good 'repack', and the box isn't even done giving yet...

I lucked out and got one of those 1:4 hits, and it wasn't some crappy autographed sticker of a player that no one's ever heard of before.

And as for the advertised pack, well, I lucked out there too...

There must've been some sort of mistake at the factory, because as you can clearly see, I got two packs instead of one, and neither were of the Triple Play variety 😲.

The only negative thing about this box to report would be that, is that the X-Files cards were bricked, and not just pull apart with snow bricked, no, these were full on Krazy-Glue bricked. I could tell that they were going to be before opening the pack, but had to try anyways. I had a picture showing the extensiveness of the bricking, but apparently I accidently deleted it at some point. It would've been to open, but the thought behind the pack still counts. The Bowman on the other hand, was perfectly fine. I've got it all scanned up, and will show the contents in a future post (sometime in January).

A thousand thanks to Brian for the prize, and all of the effort that clearly went into it. I didn't deserve it, but it was still greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Knoxville's calling

I never know how to start these McKay's posts, or how to make them sound more exciting than just "Hey, I went to Knoxville a couple of weeks ago, and got a bunch of mixed media at McKay's", but that's pretty much how it usually breaks down.

Although, thanks to hearing about another bookstore, I did venture a little north of Knoxville for the first time on this trip as well (more on that at the end of the post), so that was a little different. I guess the only other thing of note would be that I took some no longer wanted action figures - ones that weren't sellable on the eBay - with me, and ended up getting $90 in store credit, which was a lot more than I was expecting. I can buy a lot of books and DVD's with ninety bucks, or even some more action figures, that is if their stock ever recovers. Seems like the Rona has made everyone toy-crazy, and stuff is being sold just as quick as it's being put out.

I suppose that's enough of a build-up for today, I've got a lot of pictures to get through...

I mentioned the last time I did one of these that I've been on a bit of a quest to acquire (and reacquire) a lot of the books from childhood, most notably those from Christopher Pike, Nicholas Pine, and Bob Stine. The online prices for these books is stupid, but thankfully McKay's is usually good for a couple per trip, with prices usually ranging between 95¢ and $1.50.

There were two different editions of this book there, this one, which is chunky and says that it has 16 stories, and then a thinner one, with maybe only half the stories in it. Considering that they were the same price (75¢), chunky obviously won out.

I realize that a lot of the stuff in these posts is stuff that not a lot of other people care about, so I never want to spend a lot of time writing about something that folks are just gonna skip by. I will say this though, as far as modern cozies go, the Gideon Oliver series is my favorite, and is the only one that I'm trying to read all of, albeit out of order (not that that really matters with this series).

I got, and read, Aaron Elkins' A Glancing Light, a few years ago, and thought that it was just a one-off, but apparently I was wrong, turns out it was #2 in a three-book series. Hopefully book #1 here will be as good as #2 was.

This is usually one of the more expensive Predator books, so it was nice to finally find a cheap copy.

I read a few issues of Hellblazer way back when, and wasn't overly impressed. Because of this, I never bothered to see Constantine (which was based on the comic), heck, I don't think I ever even saw the trailer for it -- and yet, I found this novelization on a shelf, thought it sounded good, and didn't hesitate to give it a try. I'm glad I didn't either, because it was pretty good. As fleshed out as it is, I can't imagine even half of this stuff being in the film (it'd half to be like eight hours long), which makes me still not want to see it. I do wish that they would've wrote some more books for the property though.

They'll be some more books below, but I'm gonna switch gears for a moment and head over to the bargain DVD/Blu-Ray section.

The bargain DVD section is still just as packed as ever, a couple thousand strong packed, but it seems like it's getting harder for me to find things for, well, me. Their adding a lot more anime stuff to the mix (I don't go for the anime), and the straight to video Blu-Ray stuff has been on the increase as well. And when I do find something good as of late, it's usually something that I already have, like The Bishop's Wife, except in this instance, it was something that I only had on video. This is my second favorite Christmas film (It Happened on 5th Avenue being the first), and I've been trying to upgrade it to DVD for a quite awhile now, but never wanted to pay the long-time price tag of $20 to do so. Apparently the price came down at some point, and I wasn't paying attention, because this sealed copy only set me back $1.95 in credit.

This is a perfect example of why I spend over an looking through thousands of cheap DVD's every time I go there. I absolutely love finding old films that I'm familiar with, but have never had the opportunity to see. Thankfully too, most of the other people who are looking through the cheap stuff don't seem to be looking for films like this.

Not much of a movie haul this time, but I made up for it a little bit by looking through all of the bargain CD's (95¢ or less), which is something that I don't do very often, if only because they're in an awkward location, or at least it's awkward for me.

This is past their prime B-52's, but still turned out to be a pretty good album... once you get past the first two track! Those first two songs are atrocious! Couldn't show the back on this one, because they decided to use cute writing that's so cute it's almost impossible to read.

I left a few of the price tags on just for post's sake. I've had Yazoo's first album on cassette for-ever, but didn't mind upgrading for a quarter (by the by, the B-52's were 25¢ as well).

It's not very often that you'll find a CD for a nickel, especially a CD with absolutely no scuffs or scratches. I like Live, and have fond memories of their first album (and the time period when it came out), but only ever cared for a couple of songs on this album, which is why I never bought it --- But. For. Five. Cents!

At 95¢, this was my 'big ticket' CD purchase. Like most best of's, it's got a few questionable choices, but was worth the price for what is there. On a semi-related note, I just recently saw the video of Chris Cornell performing Wild World with Cat Stevens from a couple of years back, and it's really good. If you're a fan of either, you might want to check it out. Chris is clearly holding back as to not overwhelm Cat's vocals, and to not take over someone else's song, but it still works. And of course too, it's just neat to see the two of them on stage together.

I told you that I'd come back to books, so here I am coming back to books, and free books to boot! I actually hit the free box before going in, but didn't want to start off with the free stuff, if only because it's a little less exciting than the bought items.

Anyone interested in antiques is probably familiar with the Kovels, as the husband and wife team were kind of a big deal there for a while, they even had their own television show for a bit. I'm not really a fan of their books, and would never buy one, but for reference purposes, I'll grab any that I find for free.

They don't sell videos McKay's, and haven't since I've been going there, so it's a little surprising to find one out in the free box. Obviously someone brought in, only to find out that the store doesn't take them, and didn't want to take it back home them. McKay's may not have wanted it, but I did!

I'm not really a religious person per se, but I found this little booklet at the bottom of one of the bins, and since it's clearly old, I felt the need to do what I often find myself doing when encountering an old unwanted thing, I saved it. I know that there's a few religious folks that come around here occasionally, so if anyone wants it, I'd love to pass it along to someone who'll be more interested in it's contents than I. The staples are rusty, but the pages are in pretty solid shape. 

Uh... yeah... I haven't really looked at this yet, so not much to say.

WWII fiction isn't normally my thing, but I also haven't tried to read too much of it either.

Atlas Shrugged is something that I've been meaning to read for decades now, but have just never done so, free is a good incentive to finally do so though.

Golf isn't really my thing either, but I read a page from this when I picked it up, and it looked promising, despite it's golfiness.

And finally, my favorite of the freebies. This book is chunky, like being good for cracking walnuts chunky. And it is loaded with good sh*t! I know that these collections are a dime a dozen , or at least they used to be, and it's missing it's dust jacket, but I'm still amazed that it could be found for free, sign of the times I suppose?

That wraps up the McKay's portion of the post, I think I did fairly well, certainly worth the drive. 

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I heard about another bookstore that's located in Alcoa, which was about a twenty-minute drive north of McKay's, so I decided to give it a go. 

This side-trip ended up kind of being a waste of time. Apparently the Alcoa highway is undergoing construction, so getting there took a lot longer than it was supposed to. Then the bookstore ended up being a little less than was proclaimed by the good folks on Yelp. It was smaller than expected, didn't have an inventory that was suited to my interests, and the prices, yeah, they were a bit high. I spent about ten minutes in there, and didn't mind a single thing.

All was not lost though, as I did see a thrift store a couple of blocks away, and figured that I might as well check it out while I'm there.

I've already forgotten the name of the store, but I wasn't too enamored with it either. I did find a wicked cool DVD though, one of a film that I somehow hadn't ever heard of before. This was an easy pick-up, especially since Henry Fonda is always money in westerns, and this one was no exception. If you like westerns featuring uncommonly deep characters, I'd highly recommend this one. 

While the two stores weren't so great, I did like what I saw of Alcoa, it sort of reminded me of a few areas back home. If they ever get the highway fixed, I might find myself taking another trip back over there, minus these two stores. I saw a flea market on the way too, so that might be enough of an excuse alone to go back someday...

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.