Another attempt

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So, Are You A Collector?

Yesterday, I had one of those days.  The GF texted me and asked how it was going.  I replied that I was out and about looking for treasure and I hadn’t found any yet.  I didn’t know at the time, I was going to strike gold.

When I say looking for treasure, I’m just being really dramatic about my hobby: searching for CDs.  I mean, if I can buy a CD from a thrift shop and it’s worth $5 online, I’m pleased.  You’d be surprised how many CDs I buy that have a value of nothing.  But sometimes that’s just because the CD is everywhere and it’s not valuable because it was made in such large quantities.  Or maybe, no one likes it.  My tastes are all over the place.

If you’re going to really get into CD collecting, you need to be knowledgeable.  Duh, right?  Well, not really.  You can just collect stuff you like to listen to, or you can collect stuff that’s rare, or you can do both.  But you need to know what’s rare and how to identify it to take advantage of it.

I hit a few thrift shops and picked up some CDs that were common and a couple that I’d never seen before but were identifiable as early CDs, which are valuable to the right person.  And it doesn’t hurt that the music is all 80’s.  I’d probably like it even if it was worthless.

Moving on, I made my last stop, at a flea market.  I found one CD seller and he had SO many CDs.  Well over a thousand, for sure.  But they were fucking busted.  Broken cases, dirty, some discs were damaged.  But he made up for it in quantity and breadth.  I did manage to snag some uncommon finds, including a target CD of ELP’s Pictures at an Exhibition.  It’s reported to be a common target, but it has a printing error on it, so to a serious collector, well, they might get excited.  The printing error makes it immediately rare.  Like a double-struck coin.

As I was finishing up, I asked the guy if he bought these CDs in bulk or was it a personal collection.  He said these were bought from all over the place, but he had his own collection, too.  I thought it was a little odd to sell a target CD for so cheap instead of finding another collector who was willing to pay more.  But there was little else he had that was remarkable, so maybe he really did know value.

Anyway, after looking at every CD there, I found another large CD seller, who had much better quality of product.  As I worked my way closer to her and her register, she said, “lots of good stuff, especially in these stacks here.”  I took my time and when I got to those stacks, I discovered she was right.  As I was pulling first pressing CDs and stacking them up to buy, I asked, “Are you a collector?”  She said she was and that she had a whole bunch of CDs of her own.  And that’s when I realized I was a collector unlike other collectors.

This is the album I bought for $3 from her.  This screenshot is from Discogs, a collector website.


One thing to note is the entry doesn’t show the album cover.  It shows the disc face.  The importance of this is so that other people do not log that they have this particular release in their collection based solely on the album cover.  This disc is rare.  How rare?  14 people have logged it and 60 want to buy it.  But, those aren’t the interesting numbers.


The disc is also quite valuable.  And I have one now that I bought for $3.  It instantly became the most valuable disc in my collection, by a long shot.  It’s kind of like an Antiques Roadshow moment.  When I first saw the CD, I knew it was an early pressing because of the case.  When I opened it, I thought, “Oh, it’s a Polar.  Cool.”  I’d heard about Polar pressings and they seemed a little mythological the way some talked about them, but I didn’t figure it would be that valuable.

So anyway, go me!  My collection as ranked by Discogs is worth between $4,200 and $12,500, with a median value of $7,100.  Feels odd when you’re buying CDs for $1-$5 each.


Yay, Someone Did It!

Check out my post from March, 2008.  Yes, 2008.  Someone finally implemented this.

BackerKit, after filling in your information, allows you generate a post bragging about what you just did.  and they offer selectable values for key elements.


This allows someone to be themselves and also capture some data about the experience.


You’re welcome, BackerKit.  Believe it or not, I have an entire document somewhere discussing the entire business case for doing this and how the results can be calculated and analyzed.  There’s even a prototype website with an entire functional database structure.  Ah, if I only had a lot more free time and even more motivation.

Four Letter Word

Porn.  There, I said it.

It’s a weird thing, really.  Porn has been around probably forever, although mostly as a subculture.  It had a brief heyday in the 70’s where it was shown in legitimate movie theaters, then got buried until the Internet revival.  But the porn of today is nothing like the porn of yesteryear.  Porn has always been viewed by some as disgusting.  However, the modern flavor would make even an old-time connoisseur say it’s disgusting.  Hence its name: gonzo porn.

But I’m not going to delve into specifics of all that.  My interest is more in how the term is viewed and used.  For example, at a recent corporate meeting that included the entire building staff of obviously mixed company, someone was joking about putting up an online video about the new product we were launching.  Another person joked with him and asked why he didn’t have it done already.  The first person responded that he only did porn.  Awkward chuckles and silence.  The thought for him to even suggest a joke like that must mean it’s mainstream, although not readily accepted.

However, take a bunch of people who are geeking out over some new highly hyped product, like a new-model Corvette.  You would have no blowback from saying that an online photo gallery or demo video of the car was like “car porn.”  In this case, “porn” is used as a term for anything that is meant to stimulate, arouse, and excite.  And somehow, that is not dirty.

I originally got thinking about this post from a forum post made by an acquaintance about how a friend of his decided to become a porn actress.  She jumped into the business completely and has quite a catalog built in a short period of time.  Now, the forum this was posted on is male-dominated, so the responses were generally what you’d expect – pretty debased.  So then, as you would also expect, the question became, when would this guy get to have sex with her?  After all, she must like sex to do it for a living, and he’s a guy (apparently the only real requirement here), so when is it going to happen?  And if it doesn’t happen, well, that must mean the guy is beyond the lowest form of loser, to not even be able to have sex with a porn actress who is also a personal friend.

So here’s another odd standard.  The woman in the porn business is awesome on-screen, but worthless in-person.  I’ve definitely grown out of the “anything that moves” stage, so I’m probably just looking at this from an old-person’s viewpoint.  In fact, I’m looking at it from an intolerant, high-tolerance viewpoint, i.e. I have no problem that she does porn, but I take issue to people objectifying her.

What a problem to have.  A person meets someone and states he’s a doctor.  In response, he gets “Oh?  I have this problem, can you help me with it real quick?”  This woman meets someone and states she’s an “adult entertainer” and, in response, gets “Oh? I have this problem, can you help me with it real quick?”  Geez, I do computer stuff for a living and usually I don’t mind looking at someone’s computer problems, but it’s clearly still my choice whether to do it.

Some people even like to watch me work on their computers.  Voyeuristic weirdos.