A blog about "nothing"!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Changes...(Ebay and Etsy)

I've been an Ebay user since the early days, back in the 1990's when it was new and really just getting started.  I can even tell you the very first thing I purchased--a stuffed bear, holding a pine tree, intended to be a Christmas decoration.  I don't have it anymore, I got rid of it when we did a massive purge of our Christmas stuff a few years ago, but I remember it well.  Over the years I've not only bought a few things, but I've sold quite a bit too.  To me it beats having a yard sale, and it's a great way to get rid of things that you don't want anymore and make a little extra cash.

Unfortunately, nothing stays the same, and Ebay has evolved too.  But not for the better. I will say that some of the changes have been improvements.  Others not so great.  My complaint right now is because of the sheer amount of junk being sold on there.  And I don't mean in terms of people doing household clean outs.  I mean cheap, imported from China crap.  It's taking over.  And because of the way Ebay has changed things, it's getting harder and harder to do any searches without this stuff coming up.  Sure, you can specify that you want only items being sold in the US to come up, but even that doesn't work because there are people all over the US selling this junk.  I'm about to give up on looking for anything there, it is beyond frustrating.

I'm wondering though if we are going to see Ebay become a thing of the past because of this mistake.  Would serve them right.  After years of gouging little guys with fees, I get the distinct impression that they are losing some ground.  I'm constantly getting notifications on "how to improve your sales" and "list 1000 items free".  Geesh, I'm lucky to get 10 items listed in a month!  And I can't help but think that they are doing this because everyone else is getting as annoyed as I am and are leaving.  I know there are several groups who have left and an entire former Ebay contingent that refers to is as "FeeBay".  Sad, because it used to be a really good place to find things you couldn't find elsewhere as well as sell stuff you didn't have need of anymore.  Now it's like looking for the needle in the haystack.  I feel bad for many of the sellers who used Ebay as a way to make a living or to supplement their income.  For me it was just found money as I was cleaning out my house, but I've known people who used it as a way to feed their families.  I know I'm having a more difficult time selling the things that I'm listing, and I think it's because many people like myself are tired of sorting through the junk to find the good stuff.

I bring this up because today another of my favorite sites became a public offering-Etsy.  I discovered Etsy a couple of years ago when I was looking for a particular handcrafted item, and was able to find it there from a nice gal from Michigan.  I've since bought quite a few things there, but in recent months Etsy has been under scrutiny for not keeping their original philosophy intact.  What was supposed to be a place for artisans to sell their handcrafted items now has people selling various other wares that didn't used to be permissible.  I'm afraid now that they've become an IPO, their original idea is liable to go out the window.  I hope not, but I'm not extremely optimistic.  I did run across something recently that in my mind didn't qualify, so I turned it in and the item did get removed, but now that they are no longer a privately owned and operated concern, will that still be enforced?  I know that there have already been issues with some of the same Made in China junk, how long before it takes over there too.

Even though the internet has been around for a while, it's still somewhat "uncharted" territory.  For every successful new idea, a zillion will fail.  I just hope that somewhere along the way, someone with both of these companies will realize that sticking with the core philosophy from when you started is sometimes the way to go.  I hate to sound like an old fart, but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Monday, April 13, 2015

Photo of the Week, April 13, 2015

Spring has a good grip here, and we've been getting a decent amount of rain.  As the saying goes "April showers bring May flowers"-I hope they are right.  One of my favorites are hyacinths, they smell sooooooooo good, just looking at this picture and I can smell them.  Would you believe that we don't have any planted?!  I guess I need to fix that in the fall when it's time to plant bulbs for next spring.  We need a lilac bush too! (and tulips, and crocus...)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Grrrrr......(normally I'm a nice person!)

Right now there is a scam going out there that gets me riled up BIG TIME.  It's when someone calls my house, claiming to be computer "tech support" and that there is an issue with my computer. 

First off, they ask to speak to me in a name that I don't use.  I would never register my computer using this name, so that sends up red flags for me.  Second off, we are on the National Do Not Call Registry, so that tells me up front that they are not honest.  I HATE scammers (I'm starting to sound like that car credit commercial!) and I have no time for this kind of crap.

Usually my gut reaction is to just hang up on a call like this.  However, they keep calling!  So I've decided to take a new course of action.  I'm being mean.  I swear at them.  I call them names.  I yell LOUDLY at them.  Then I hang up.  Today I was super nasty.  Maybe someday they will get the hint that they aren't going to get anywhere with me.  In the meantime, I do feel a little bit better.  I do resent having to stop in the middle of what I'm doing to answer the phone.  Yeah, I could let the machine get it, but you and I both know that they will just keep calling anyhow, so I might as well try and nip it in the butt. 

Please read this link though.  I want everyone to be aware of this scam.  There isn't much you can do about it other than ignore it as the majority of these type of phone calls don't originate in the US, so reporting it to the police or other agencies is a waste of time.  Get a real job you bums!!

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams

Monday, April 6, 2015

Photo of the Week, April 5, 2015



Since we just celebrated Easter, I thought it would be fun to share photos from Laney's first Easter.  Doesn't every puppy get an Easter basket???  She would have been 8 months old at the time.  You want to know something interesting?  She STILL has those toys! (it's been 6 years.)  She isn't hard on her toys at all, she still has the very first one we bought for her when we brought her home, it's the little blue one in the background.  She chewed the ears off it, but otherwise, it's still in good shape.  She has a rather full bin of toys because she doesn't destroy them, I finally quit buying them because she had so many.  Quite a change from our other dogs, took a bit of getting used to!
 
Hope everyone had a nice Easter weekend!  I just ate the last of the candy we had around, so I guess it is officially over, although I'm debating on venturing out to the local chocolate shop to pick up some 50% off candy.  I LOVE Easter candy, it's probably my favorite, especially since there are so many specially made just for this holiday and you can only get them once a year.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Photo of the Week, March 30, 2015

I haven't posted very many photos of our dog Trick, and when I came across this one, I just had to use it.  She was a mixed breed dog, chow-chow, some sort of retriever and we suspect German Shepherd, and as a result, her ears kind of had a mind of their own sometimes.  Frequently she would have one up and one down, unless she was really wanting to hear something, both would go up, we referred to that as "Tricky Radar".  She was very expressive with them, it was very funny!  They were so soft too, she would sit her head in my lap and I would just pet her ears, it was like petting velvet. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Photo of the Week, March 23, 2015

Several years ago on a trip to New York City, we decided to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I loved it and one of these days I want to go back.  So much beautiful artwork to see in all sorts of mediums.  I was especially taken by the display of Tiffany glass, particularly the windows.  This one was probably my favorite.  The title is "Autumn Landscape" and it is huge, measuring 11 feet by just over 8 feet.  I could have stood there and looked at it all day.

For more info on this piece: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/25.173a-o

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Photo of the Week, March 17, 2015

Yeah, the photo of the week is a day late, but for good reason.  Saturday we went to the Pittsburgh Penguins game.  I didn't take my camera with me, good thing the hubby had his cell phone along.  I was so excited when the team skated out in their practice jerseys--green, complete with Irish flags on the sleeve and Gaelic names!!  My husband was really confused at first, he was trying to figure out what was going on LOL!

If you would like to read more about it, there is a really neat article:
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=758069&cmpid=pit-twt-penguins

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!