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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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how does that work anyway?
In between marveling at the going rate of purebred dogs ($9000? Are you kidding?), I discovered that my mother, sisters, grandmother, great aunt, and sister's mother in law and sister's MIL's girlfriend and possibly her family are planning a garage sale in our yard in about a month. And possibly a friend of mine. No, the yard is not that big. No, I have no idea how this is going to work. I mean, from what I've seen? This is a lot of stuff. But OTOH, the existence of spandex does prove that a great deal can in fact be fit into a small, small space.

Normally, this would lead to a fit of horror and discovering an important meeting in a mall somewhere, since nothing disturbs me quite as much as one on one customer service (both the giving and receiving). This is because I once worked retail and quickly realized this was not my true calling. It's also because I'll be required to help.

However, that wasn't my first reaction. My first reaction was office supplies. Colored pens and index cards and separately colored prices to show who has what, but then it hit me--oh, it hit me. After counting up the participants, I realized that this would be a fantastic reason to buy a bar code scanner to keep track of an items' original owner when it is purchased! Would this not be awesome?

I also had a fairly long fantasy of how I'd develop a multipage Excel spreadsheet to track going price and final price per item as well as what sold fastest and what sold the slowest. Last night, I started looking at the extra space on my domain and pondering the fact that I could totally write something up to use to keep track of money and items in HTML and work on uploading all scans to give everyone a complete list of a.) what was sold b.) what the price was and c.) who originally owned it. My favorite part was going to be the happy days I spent barcoding everything and then putting it into categories (toys, shoes, clothes, get-rid-of-this-at-any-cost, candles, books, wtf-people-would-buy-this, etc).

For reasons beyond my understanding, they totally nixed the bar code scanner idea, and I really want this.

True fact about my mother (and family): in all the years she has known me, she has yet to pick up one sure thing. I will participate in eight hours of something I hate if I get one hour of something I really, really love. If I get to bar code everything, I will totally sit there all day and gleefully work the yard selling stuff because that means I get to play with the scanner! And between times, I will get to make obscure bar graphs tracking absolutely pointless information regarding what was sold that is not only useless but that no one but me will ever a.) care about or b.) even know exists. I just--how is this not obvious? I even showed her my obsessive del.icio.us tagging to try and illustrate how important this is for my mental health and happiness. No go.

I was also forbidden to run out and buy one myself, which is just salt in the wound.

People confuse me. It is a bar code scanner! It's like taking away my new pony. Before I even got it.

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That sounds like me just a little bit. I have pages and pages of Excel files (and notebook pages full of hand-written notes) about My Colony of Desirable and Variously Talented People Who Will Eventually Produce a God. This is something that no one else on Earth cares about, and in fact, it's been years since I've updated my lists of colonists, but I still hold my Colony dear to my heart.

*cries with you*

Your family does not deserve all the help you would have given them. A BAR CODE SCANNER!!!! They do not see the awesome, but I do.

I fully support the bar code scanner plan. What is wrong with them?

Of course I'm one of few people I know who get thrilled about office supplies so....y'know. I get actually disappointed when I do not have things to add to the Office Max order, so sometimes I make stuff up. Shhhhh.

Edited at 2008-05-12 04:27 pm (UTC)

You can come work a show with me when I'm selling shirts. We haz a barcode scanner (but Mr. Pegasus' lame attempt at a database would send you into screaming fits...so maybe not).

Color-coding those little round stickers won't work as a stopgap?

Don't sell my Heroes DVDs, woman! ;-)

And yet I note that you have a pony! In your icon, at least. A *flying* pony. Glitter is almost certainly involved.

You know how I hate to crush your dreams (what! I do!), but wouldn't purchasing a barcode scanner kind of...negate any profit you make from the garage sale?

Also, watch Lillian's Heroes DVDs, otherwise your sisters might sell them. *wide eyed*

Cuecats can be had for cheap! Also? Shaped like cats.

Listen not to the ravening shrew that only talks of sense and profit and what you should be watching.

She knows not your heart.

Speaking of ponies, your icon scares me!

I don't understand humans.

Because that would, indeed, be the most completely awesome thing ever.

And then? You could totally use it for your own books and spices and everything and nothing could be cooler.

(Deleted comment)
Besides, you needed one anyway to help catalog make up a list of the books you own...

*big, starry eyes of GLEE*

If you want a barcode scanner, I think you should go with the one that LibraryThing offers to scan your book ISBNs: obsessive book tagging and cataloging will last much longer than a yard sale, and they are only $15 plus shipping. Well once you just have to scan your books code you probably want a LibraryThing membership too, but that would cost only $25, and you can catalog and tag all your books and scan them with a barcode scanner.

hee, I was clicking through to tell her that too. :D

...oh my God. That is the most awesome thing I have seen.

Bookmarking to read on thoroughly. I have no words.

Heh, I thought it would be a good match for you. :D And so much more useful in the long term.

Your post prompted me! I meant to buy one this month but the item had gotten buried in my todo list; this post, by making me think of the :Cue Cat again, finally made me make the purchase. SO MUCH HAPPY (the only sadness comes when I realize how many books I have which predate EAN/ISBN/barcodes).

Ahahahah I was late. But yes. I got one when I bought ReaderWare (inventory everything I own! and sync to my Palm!) and will get right on the inventory part when I move. Bonus for having to pack and move everything.

Oh, LibraryThing is the bestest thing ever. Really. It is obsessive. And you can put books into series now! And can have multiple views! And tagging! There is tagging. And you can have date started reading and date finished, multiple times! And and and... It is awesome. I do so love LT. *g*

(I totally shelled out the $20 for them to ship it to the UK. It was worth it. Except. I recently managed to break it. And I am in no way considering buying another one. I mean, it's really not worth it for ~100 books (I currently have 805 already logged), right? Right?! *tries to exert some restraint*)

*sad* I often wish my life were the sort that just so happened to generate primary data that I could mess with in Excel. Instead I buy Japanese language fan guides and mess around with the characters' biodata. They seem to frown on doing this to real people.

However, I am now re-inspired to do a garage sale this summer.

Have you looked into a Maltese rescue society? You can often get adult dogs quite cheaply, and often they're fairly well-behaved. If you're willing to take an older dog, in particular, you may well be able to get a dog who wasn't given up because of behavioural problems, but because the owner died.

I was also forbidden to run out and buy one myself

What if someone else buys it for you? ::shifty-eyed enabler::

You could make up a spreadsheet of everything for sale, and manually check them off. Oooh. you could make a website with tickyboxes for everything, and pictures, even.

Your story made me yearn for one thing. A Labelmaker. Type in the item and out comes a label.

I could spend at least an hour, perhaps more, in a good office supply store. One of the things I'm really excited about as I take steps to re-enter the work force in the next few months? Office Supplies! Pen holders and staplers and post it notes.

I longed for a labelmaker as a child. Every time I see one I try to think of ways to use it in my life. Now that I can technically afford one, I cannot logically convince myself that it is worth the money.

Do you have a webcam? You may be able to convert it to a barcode scanner.

Umm, just to let you know how much my mother likes the office supply things...she's planning on using my wedding as an excuse to buy a LAMINATOR. !!!

Yeah. (then again, she's a teacher and the one at the school only half way works, so it makes sense....)


So right after I read this, I finished up the program I was writing and went to tell my boss so we could test it out. The first thing we did? Stop off at the supply room to pick up a glorified bar code scanner. And then? We scanned. Oh, yes. It was glorious.

Are you not an adult? Are you not your own person?

Embrace the bar code scanner!

Then hold your own yard sale! \o/

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