Many times I have been asked if the cable shows Antiques Roadshow, American Pickers, Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, etc. have helped or hurt the “junking” hobby and whether they paint an accurate picture. Without a question, they have made this hobby more popular, and I am beginning to see a surge of young people at my sales where before it was the domain of the retired who had plenty of time and money. It is very refreshing to see that young mother with child in tow, that cute couple looking for a 1960s vintage find, or a college student searching for 1950s furniture to complete an apartment. Without some new shoppers who become “taken” with this hobby, the antiquing business would die, but these shows have definitely changed the way I do my estate sales business.
There is, however, a downside to some of these popular TV programs. I am now overrun with people who are trying to support themselves and maybe a family by buying second-hand items and selling in flea markets, antique mall booths, or on ebay. These customers have seen these appraisal shows and are entranced with the idea that someone brings in a vase he bought for 10 cents and finds out that it is a $4,000 Tiffany. Let me tell you from experience, that while that can happen, it is very very rare. So while it makes great TV to find out that your grandma’s lamp might be very valuable, it is only valuable when you can find someone to buy it. Often these shows have inflated price quotes and don’t show the many disappointed people who find out that although their item is old, it’s still junk. So remember that buying and selling is a wonderful hobby, (I’ve done it for 30 years) but it is really hard to support yourself doing this. So I guess I’ll keep my day job — I teach school. I hope to see you at the next sale! [Editor’s Note: Check back weekly for The Junk Lady's blog,“The Weekend Hunt.” Read more about her and get info on upcoming sales, like this weekend’s at the Dr. Ross Judice home, 317 Smith Reed Road in Lafayette, here.]
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DEC 5 Here's the latest in the contest to see who gets the last word - Attorney General Buddy Caldwell or state Sen. Robert Adley. They're trading "Nuh-uhs" and "Un-huhs" over the issue of contigency contracts for public lawsuits. The guys over at LaPolitics kinda started this urinary competition, and they're posting the latest here.
DEC 5 Here's a post by blogger Walt Bennetti about a $2 million program management contract that Kenner Mayor Michael Yenni plans to award. Bennetti has a problem with no-bid contracts, but they're pretty common, especially for professional services (because really, who wants the cheapest doctor?) But the real problem Bennetti has is with the fact that the entity slated to receive the contract also happened to contribute to Yenni's campaign. Maybe he's just following the governor's lead?
DEC 5 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the really embarassing state of Louisiana's universities in this post. Grambling's football facilites were bad enough to warrant a New York Times photo essay, and he provides a link. And just recently, a concrete roof panel in LSU's College of Art and Design collapsed, closing a portion of the building indefinitely. Is this how we want our state's higher ed institutions to be?
DEC 5 Here's a post on the National Journal about another speech our governor gave to a bunch of people who live in another state. This time, he was ranting about President Obama, energy policies and, of all things, Lady Gaga. Keystone is good, so is fracking, and climate change is a big joke, Bobby says. What did Gaga do? She joined a movement, with people like Yoko Ono, that opposes fracking. Listen up Bobby: you might not want to alienate Gaga. You never know where those little monsters might be hiding -- and how often they vote.
DEC 5 Yesterday, we were perplexed by conflicting stories on the Blade blog and in the Advertiser about Louisiana's National Guard and same-sex partner benefits. The Blade reported that the guard would be paying them; the Advertiser said it would not. This story in the Washington Post clears it up: the benefits will be paid.
DEC 5 Clearly, somebody over at the state Democratic Party is familiar with the process of domain registration. This is the second time they've pulled the rug out from under a Republican candidate by reserving a domain they might want. Last time, it was RiserForCongress.com (hope they didn't pay too much for THAT one). This time it is VitterForGovernor.com, this post on the Politicus USA blog tells us.
DEC 5 Here's a pretty alarming story from WAFB about an announcement by Bobby Jindal's administration that hackers apparently got their hands on some citizens' personal info through JP Morgan Chase, the company that gets paid to send you your tax refund on a debit card. But hey, don't worry, Jindal's people say: there's no indication the hackers used the info "fraudulently." Oh, OK. Whew.
DEC 5 In this week's post, Jim Brown is blogging about Bobby Jindal and what the governor should do to solve his myriad problems. He even describes a phone call he 'received' from the guv asking for advice. Bottom line? Try staying home and doing the job you're supposed to be doing, Jim advises.
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