All Furniture, Half-Off From Now Till Noon!

Talk about a holiday gift! The voice resonated out of the marginally effective overhead speakers, crackling every couple of sentences. Slightly shrill, plenty of volume to carry through the sparsely populated 3000-odd square feet of merchandise crammed space. ‘Attention Goodwill shoppers, from now until twelve noon ALL furniture is on sale, half-off. That’s right, half-off from now till noon. Please take advantage of this instant sale and thanks for shopping your Goodwill Store’.  
Almost immediately a few of the limited number of shoppers gravitated toward the mostly rickety line-up of shelves, chairs, book cases and tables. It would have been impossible for me to not crack a smile; after all on a weekday morning I’m certainly an anomaly in the shop. A sale like this might mean someone picks up a much needed piece for their home that would have been out of reach minutes before the sale. 
Goodwill’s are among my favorite shopping destinations, I’ve frequented them for years on both the giving and purchasing end. I can recall stops in stores in several states covering multiple decades. It’d seem I should have worked that out of my list of destinations years ago but I keep coming back. Years ago I learned the trick: find the shop/s closest to the most expensive neighborhoods in town. Knowing behavioral habits of the upper 10% means they do the same when donating–look up the nearest donation store to their home, load up the SUV with barely/lightly/sometimes not-even-used goods then drop them off at the bay for the bloated tax deduction. A quarter and year-end tradition for the upper 10%. 
Mostly now my purchases are dog related. Ok, they’re almost all dog related. I struggle dropping retail prices on toys (stuffed animals mostly) that my dogs or client dogs are simply going to rip to shreds within months. Same with throw pillows and blankets on dog-designated chairs. Similar with cold and rainy weather race throw-aways. I’ve lost count of the number of bike and running races I’ve picked up perfectly good tops, bottoms, jackets, etc to layer on until the race starter begins his countdown. In fact I almost feel good knowing I’ve pulled decent clothes off the racks that’ll then be recycled right back within weeks or days to shelters or individuals who need them. 
I was in my shop of choice in the prime of holiday shopping season and I bet the surprise sales are a welcome gift to the regulars. On my way out with a handful of my usuals I noticed one of the staffers lining up a couple large armoires then tagging them with –Sold– stickers. Good for them; a better gift I cannot imagine they could receive. 
AniMal

Labor Day Preview

All holidays are great–some more great than others. Ones without implied gift giving/receiving have been my favorite for about as long as I can remember.  Being, even feeling, compelled to gift someone something they may or may not like, use, etc…..that often does little more than collect dust then further clog up our mountainous refuse piles deflates my happy-holiday vibe. 
Labor Day~~ first celebrated in the late 1800s, is one of those complete feel good weekends for me. What’s not to like about a three day weekend with (hopefully) the probability that many will, at bare minimum, give some thought to those who actually perform labor to help make our cities, states and nation great. This’ll be a good one if first impressions are any indicator. Right out of the chute a photo perfect sunrise followed by a walk through the neighborhood and a trip to the dog park. 
Sunrise From The Backyard

3.5′ Diamondback, Dead Edition
On the walk yet another critter—-this time a diamondback and by many accounts a perfect one—a dead one. That’s just one more that won’t crawl into someone’s garage or yard. Yup–a good weekend to be sure! 

AniMal