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Sunday, October 14, 2012

In my travels

Saturday, I drove almost 100 miles one way to have lunch with friends in Maine. Yes, I took the waste veggie powered van for the trip. If I had to pay regular fuel prices, I’d hardly go anywhere.

Lunch was good. My friends were very keen to go antique shopping, so I followed along. I’m not all that big into antiques. There’s a narrow range of antiques that interest me, and only for the right price. I didn’t buy anything this time, but I did get to make a few observations.

There used to be an awful lot of stuff made in the United States, unlike now.

Not everything made was of the highest quality. It’s the good stuff that survived the years.

One of the antique shops gave a 30% discount for using cash instead of a credit card. That’s a huge discount. I’m guessing the tax man won’t get to see those transactions. How else can such a price difference be justified?

I did hear an interesting tale about how someone preserved wealth during the depression. People sometimes use bricks or other heavy items to hold doors open or closed. This guy had two solid silver bars cast and painted to look like common bricks. They were out in the open being used as door stops for years, hidden in plain sight.

On the way home I stopped in at a grocery store to buy some items not carried by my smaller local store. It had been over a year since I’d shopped there. The first thing I noticed is that there is a lot less stock in the store. Isles are wider. Some of the rows have been broken up into little squares, giving even less shelving space. While a few of the items I wanted were still carried, others are no longer stocked. Someone shopping there every week might not have noticed the gradual changes, but for me it was obvious.

It was a long day, but a pretty good one. Glad to be home once more.



  1. My wife says that our local Walmart has done the same thing. I think she's right, but I can't be sure, since I usually sit in the truck and use the WiFi from the store next door.

  2. can confirm your findings

    lot of stores either carry less of or not so much of

    also seen isles rearranged to fool one into the illusion of plenty while carring less stock


  3. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)October 14, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Used to love to browse in antique stores. Not anymore because it's mostly junk. Once a year in April, a local farmer has a big auction in his fields. You can find everything there. Old tractor, truck and car parts, farm equipment, canning jars, barbed wire, tools, nails, roofing material, toys, books, hay, feed, housewares, good furniture that can be refurbished and even livestock. People from NY, Pa, NJ show up and get good buys. Now, hubby & I only go to the stores if we really need something.

    1. There certainly is a lot of junk out there, but people get excited about it. Go figure.

  4. A lot of what we used to call "old" is now considered antiques by some folks!

    The best part of any trip is coming back home, don't you think?

    1. The best part is coming home. It was disturbing to see things that were new in my childhood in antique stores.

  5. Every thing I grew up with that was state of the art back then are now called antiques, so that must make me an antique also.

  6. Wish I had a couple of those old bricks.