Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Weekend in Southcentral Kansas



I spent last weekend in Pratt, a town of about 6,000 people in southcentral Kansas where the wheat harvest had been delayed because of the rain. At one point, this developing storm looked like it would spawn a tornado. This cell, I believe, created the tornado that was spotted near Great Bend, located to the north of Pratt, about an hour later. The wheat is visible in these first two pictures.


I was lucky to get this shot of a double rainbow after the storm passed.






This last picture gives the appearance of Pratt containing a lot of water when it actually is a dry place with much less rain that what we get in the Kansas City area.

Clicking on these pictures will enlarge them.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Garage Sale Blues


I was reminded recently of how much I don’t like garage sales. As a way of getting rid of some of our junk, my wife and I decided to have a garage sale once classes ended in the spring and before my summer classes started. We spent about two weeks going through our closets and drawers. Probably what we found the most of were old vhs tapes. Not realizing that many of them only sell for one cent at Amazon, we had priced many of ours for $1.00 and some for $3.00. Finally, after pricing our items, creating an inventory, paying for a license from the city, placing the advertisement in the local newspapers, and cleaning the garage, we opened up our garage sale at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. The most number of people came during that first hour. Regardless of our prices, we had people offering five dollars less than what we had marked on some of the furniture. Some of them were brazen enough to only offer a portion of what we were selling the item for. Maybe if I had spent more time at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul when I was younger, I would have learned to refuse what someone had offered with only a movement of the head. If we ever have another garage sale, I’m either going to become more firm in getting my asking price or let someone else handle the negotiations during the first hour. After three hours, the number of people stopping to look slacked off considerably. What I enjoyed the most at that point was sitting in the garage and listening to Wolfert Brederode’s Currents . That music was the perfect accompaniment to a quiet late morning/early afternoon. All total, we ended up making about $100., about a third of what we had hoped to raise, which is about the average for each of the garage sales that we have had over the years. Almost none of the movies on vhs sold. Someone stole our dvd copy of Master of Disguise, which, according to the Internet Movie Database, is considered one of the worst movies ever but which we had priced for $1, I believe.