I’m participating in this year’s Greenbelt Spring Maker Festival, which will be held in Roosevelt Center on Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. I will be selling my comic book coasters along with some of my thrift shop Barbie dolls that I refurbished as fairy dolls. I’m also attempting a live demonstration where I will try to crochet an amigurumi bunny rabbit. (Whether I will actually finish that project that day will be another matter. LOL!) Click here for more information.

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I’m currently trying to pay off my debts I’ve incurred when I underwent an expensive car repair by selling off a few things on eBay. Today I’m highlighting a vintage 1990s-2000s Apple PlainTalk microphone.

Grey Vintage Apple PlainTalk Stereo Microphone 590-0670

Grey Vintage Apple PlainTalk Stereo Microphone 590-0670

Grey Vintage Apple PlainTalk Stereo Microphone 590-0670

Grey Vintage Apple PlainTalk Stereo Microphone 590-0670

This grey vintage Apple PlainTalk Stereo Microphone 590-0670 is compatible with all desktop PowerMac Apple and Mac clone models. You can bid on this item right here. To see the rest of my auctions, click here.

Back in January I shot some photos at a Toys R Us in Annapolis, Maryland. At the time Toys R Us had announced a closure of around 200-300 stores across the United States. I had heard rumors that those closures were going to be the first in a wave of closures that will eventually end Toys R Us as a business. I picked the Annapolis store because I wanted to take photos of a store that wasn’t on the list of stores that were closing so I could document what a typical Toys R Us store was like on an average business day. I also wrote about my own memories of shopping at various Toys R Us stores since my own childhood along with the factors that led to Toys R Us to file for bankruptcy then start closing some of its own stores.

I honestly thought that the rest of the stores weren’t going to start shutting down until summer at the earliest. Imagine my surprise when Toys R Us announced last month that it was going to just liquidate all of their stores (including its Babies R Us stores).

Like I wrote back in January, Toys R Us originally started in the Adams-Morgan section of Washington, DC in the space that’s now inhabited by Madam’s Organ Blues Bar. Local station NBC4 recently ran a news story about Toys R Us’ DC origins that’s definitely worth checking out. There’s another page on the Ghosts of DC site that goes even further. It traces the entire history of that same Adams-Morgan building starting from 1907 when that address was listed as the site of a birthday party for twin brothers in The Washington Post‘s society column.

Toys R Us’ original founder, Charles Lazarus, died at 94 soon after the chain announced that it was liquidating. I know that he was at an advanced age but sometimes I wonder if he had died of a broken heart. It must be really tough to see your life’s work just metaphorically go up in smoke like that, especially after being in business for 70 years.

I recently started a new day job where I’m doing office work for a therapist who also happens to have financial investments and rental properties on the side while also dealing with his late aunt’s estate. He gave me this comic that he clipped out of a newspaper about Toys R Us.

While I’m not denying that the playing habits of children are changing but I learned that there is another factor behind the demise of Toys R Us that I learned about. This video thoroughly explains why Toys R Us are literally closing up shop and it had little to do with other factors frequently cited (such as kids being more into smartphones and tablets than traditional toys, competition from other big box retailers like Walmart, and competition from online retailers like Amazon) and more to do with some disgusting Wall Street shenanigans where the executives at the top are making off like bandits while thousands of their employees are being laid off.

I decided to make to make a return trip to Toys R Us on a Friday afternoon. The day before I had a successful interview that led to the day job that I’m currently working at. Despite my good mood I was still struggling with a head cold when I went. I decided to go anyway despite being tired and sick because I wanted to go to check out the going out of business sale before most of the inventory got sold. I decided to go back to the same Annapolis store that I went to in January just so I could take more photos comparing the store in its beginning death throes with the earlier January photos. (You might want to flip between this post and that post for comparison.)

One man was standing at a corner near the store with a giant sign reminding drivers that Toys R Us is having its going out of business sale.

The signs in the Toys R Us window were cheerfully touting its products, especially with the upcoming Easter holiday.

It sounds strange to see a “Now Hiring” sign when the store was going out of business. I later read that Toys R Us was looking to hire temp workers who would help with winding down the stores.

One of its entrance doors didn’t work and it sported a handwritten “Out of Order” sign near the floor. Given the fact that this store will soon close, I don’t anticipate that door being repaired anytime soon.

Here is one of the signs announcing that this store was going out of business.

Despite the fact that the store would soon close, I saw a whole array of Easter-related candy, baskets, and toys available for sale.

I saw this sign promoting the Toys R Us mobile app that included a game. I wonder how much longer this app will work once Toys R Us closes its doors for good.


I read articles that said that one should expect empty shelves because a number of vendors had cut ties with the company before the company decided to close down. Sure enough, I saw far more empty and half-empty shelves than I did back in January.

There were a number of Toys R Us exclusives that were still in stock.

There were a number of toys that were still available the day I was there including dolls, action figures, stuffed animals, and more.

Compared with my earlier trip in January, I saw more people in the store this time as employees were busy and shoppers were milling around.

There was a long line at the checkout line. That was due to the fact that there were only two cashiers working the cash registers. They worked fast enough that I was only in line for about 15 minutes.

I made one purchase during that trip to Toys R Us.  It’s a Harley Quinn doll.

Here’s a photo of the entire long Toys R Us receipt.

Here’s a closeup of the top half of the receipt. This one is trying to encourage me to share my feedback about that store in order to have a chance to win a $500 Toys R Us gift card, which is pretty ironic since the entire store chain is in the process of closing. As for the Toys R Us gift card, I had heard that Toys R Us will soon stop honoring gift cards altogether.

Here’s the bottom of the receipt. I saw that same Harley Quinn doll at the Target that’s located closer to my home for $20.99. I had heard complaints that Toys R Us is more expensive than the other retailers but when I was there I saw that Toys R Us was selling that doll for the regular retail price of $19.99 (which was $1 cheaper than Target). With the going out of business sale, I got 10% off, which meant that I only paid $17.99 for the Harley Quinn doll, which meant that I save $2. Sweet!

When I was at Toys R Us in January I was offered a free frequent rewards card, which I took. I ended up not using that rewards card when I purchased the Harley Quinn doll because it would’ve been pointless since Toys R Us is closing soon. Here’s a photo of that card, which is colorful.

I never got around to completing my member enrollment online mainly because I rarely go to Toys R Us these days. It was just as well since it would’ve ended up being for naught.

This week Toys R Us put up this notice at its website announcing that it was no longer going to process online purchases and customers should go to the bricks and mortar stores if they want to purchase any remaining toys in stock.

I’m currently trying to pay off my debts I’ve incurred when I underwent an expensive car repair by selling off a few things on eBay. Today I’m highlighting a USB to A/V connection cable.

USB to A/V Connection Cable

USB to A/V Connection Cable

USB to A/V Connection Cable

USB to A/V Connection Cable

USB to A/V Connection Cable

Want to connect a certain a/v device to your computer via USB? This cable will probably do the trick. You can bid on this cable right here. To see the rest of my auctions, click here.

Even though spring had officially arrived it seemed like winter just refused to go away. How else can you explain this snowstorm that struck my area the day after the Spring Equinox?

Ironically the weather was getting warmer just a few days earlier and there were even flowers that were in bloom. It was such a contrast between the spring flowers and winter snow.

But it was mostly a winter wonderland on that day. Three to four inches of snow came down that day, which shut down the federal government, schools, and several businesses. I was still suffering from a head cold and the crappy weather didn’t help much. I managed to take brief walks around the neighborhood where I made these shots.

I even took a few shots featuring one of my dolls, Elsa from Disney’s Frozen movie.

I’m currently trying to pay off my debts I’ve incurred when I underwent an expensive car repair by selling off a few things on eBay.

Lot of 5 Classical Music CDs Featuring Berlioz and Schubert

This lot of five classical music CDs includes songs like “Symphonie Fantastique,” “Ave Maria,” and “March of the Pilgrims” written by Berlioz, Schubert, and many others.

Click here to buy it now. To see the rest of my auctions, click here.

Passover

I’m currently trying to pay off my debts I’ve incurred when I underwent an expensive car repair by selling off a few things on eBay. For this post I’m highlighting this lot of five classical music CDs where the songs are played with various stringed instruments.

Lot of 5 Classical Music CDs Played With Various Stringed Instruments

This lot includes songs like “Allegro Ma Non Troppo,” “Fantasia I-XII,” and “The Girl With the Flaxen Hair” written by Bach, Telemann, and Beethoven performed by musicians like Christopher Parkening, Jascha Heifetz, and John Dowland on stringed instruments like guitar, violin, and lute.

You can bid on this particular lot right here. If you want to view the rest of my current auctions, click here.

Passover

Why most people will remain in mediocrity.

Undoing the New Deal: Bill Clinton rolled back the New Deal and Barack Obama blew an FDR moment.

Is revolution brewing in the US?

The $1.80 Instagram strategy to build your business or brand.

Yes, America, there is a class war and you just lost it.

How the baby boomers—not millennials—screwed America.

Elon Musk doesn’t really like the mass transit system he’s trying to build.

Struggling with your career? Here’s how to maximize the happiness in your life.

China will collect the DNA of every adult in Xinjiang province, where Uyghur people are systematically oppressed.

The post office can offer financial services that private banks won’t. In fact, it’s been done before.

It’s time to make life hard for the rich.

A video featuring a master craftsman working on a Japanese teapot from the beginning until the startling end.

Wyoming is a poor state that exports talent. Will that ever change?

Sex slavery, ISIS, and the illegal arms trade: Libya plunges into failed state after US invasion.

Confederacy of Dunces: Neoliberals jump the shark in The New York Times.

This person photographed women in 60 countries in order change the way that we all see beauty.

The Trumpdroid at Disney’s Hall of Presidents looks an awful lot like a hastily modded Hillarybot.

The truth behind “The Macarena” will leave your jaw on the floor.

Behold this one of a kind Krampus nativity set.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Passover

Click here to learn about the origins of this.

Benjamin Franklin

Laws like to cobwebs, catch small flies;
Great ones break through before your eyes.

Passover

I’m currently trying to pay off my debts I’ve incurred when I underwent an expensive car repair by selling off a few things on eBay.

The Lore of Ships by Tre Tryckare

The Lore of Ships is a distinguished work which comes out of the international co-operation between maritime specialists in Sweden, the United States, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Holland, Norway, and Germany.

The Lore of Ships by Tre Tryckare

This magnificent volume explains and illustrates all of the significant components of sailing ships, merchantmen, liners – every kind of ship from primitive dugouts to the nuclear warships of the present. It contains more than 1,550 illustrations of diverse nautical details – more than any previous work – in the form of drawings printed in a total of seventeen different colors, including gold.

The Lore of Ships by Tre Tryckare

This is a handy reference guide for anyone who wants to build a model ship or is doing research into ships. If you or someone you know like ships, this is the book for you!

You can bid on this book right here. To see the rest of my auctions, click here.

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