Posted on Leave a comment

New Balance Men’s Vazee Urge v1 Running Shoe, Yellow/Black, 9.5 2E US

I bought these in a hurry, and within a couple months, they became my favorite shoes. It’s been a couple years, and I’m still wearing them. (I made them last by rotating.)

These soles are worn down, and it seems to make the shoe even more comfortable.

This wasn’t a very expensive shoe when I first bought it, but, now, look around: the price has roughly doubled. Some people must be liking this shoe, a lot.

Update Oct 2021: I am still wearing the shoes, but the firm rubber sole has worn away, and the softer rubber is now the “sole”. Soon, a hole will form and the shoes will be history.

Update March 2022: Still wearing them, but not all the time. I can feel the ground through the soles.

You can buy new and used Vazee Urges at Ebay.

Posted on Leave a comment

Charity Auction: Rose Baboian’s Armenian-American Cook Book

I have a copy of this fundraiser cookbook first published in 1964 for auction on Ebay. Click here to see the listing.

50% of the sale will go to Equality Armenia. (This percentage may rise as the bidding rises.)

The auction will end on Sunday, June 27, 2021, at 5pm PST.

Auction link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/265199589676

About Armenian community cookbooks: From Ajem Pilaf to Yalanchi Dolma: Armenian Cookbooks Added to Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive.

Posted on Leave a comment

exit10-exodus.com is a scam

I don’t believe I fell for this, but I did.

I saw a Facebook ad promising to give me some money (10 EXIT) for trying out a mobile web version of Exodus. I really wanted to see a mobile app that didn’t require installation.

I’m greedy for freebies, so I clicked. It asked for my 12 word recovery phrase.

I typed it in. That was STUPID, but I did it.

I really wasn’t thinking.

Within a day, $26 worth of BCH was taken from the wallet.

Fortunately, the other coin wasn’t worth enough to steal.

This could have been a lot worse.

There’s no recovery from a heist like this. I will need to create a new wallet, and move the remaining funds (a whopping $6 of BSV) over to it. Click the link to get the instructions from the Exodus website.

Here’s a brief description of my process, on MINT Linux:

  1. create a new user account. I’m using Linux, so I do that in the “Settings”.
  2. Lock the screen, and switch to the other user.
  3. Start Exodus there, and it’ll create a fresh wallet.
  4. At this point, you will need a way to copy receiver addresses from one account to the other. You cannot use copy-paste.
    1. What I did was use the “Notes” feature in LastPass. You can use any note app that saves data to the network.
    2. Create a receiver address for each coin you are going to transfer.
    3. Put that info into the Notes.
  5. Next, make a backup of the wallet. This will require creating a new password, and will show a new 12-word seed.
  6. Print out the seed, or, do what I did, which was to type it into the LastPass note. I know, this is not totally secure, but it’s what I did. A printout is better.
  7. Switch users again, by locking the screen, and then switching users.
  8. To synchronize the LastPass notes, I logged out of LastPass and logged back in.
  9. Go into the compromized Exodus wallet and send your coin to the new receiver addresses.
  10. Next up, quit Exodus, and delete the old wallet files. In my case, they were in ~/.config/Exodus.
  11. Start up Exodus, and go through the backup restoration process.

I really should use a printed backup, but my filing and living situation is a bit to chaotic. The printout needs to be stored in multiple, well labeled locations, with instructions.

While $26 is not a lot of money, it could have been used to buy some food.

I’m reporting exit10-exodus.com to Fcebook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Buying Stuff for FREE On Here with Cryptocurrency

It’s simple:

If you have some cryptocurrency, and wish to buy something here, that can be arranged.

The easiest way is to use Coinbase. There are many good exchanges out there, but Coinbase seems to be the easiest for newbies. The best thing is, you can get “free money” from Coinbase to pay for the stuff.

Free Money

Coinbase has a “rewards” program where you get paid (in cryptocurrencies) to watch short videos and take easy quizzes.

The rewards are small – $3 or so is typical – but, over time, they can appreciate in value as the interest in the currency increases. Here’s what I’ve made in rewards so far (as of May 10, 2021):

It’s a little over $200, for watching instructional videos.

The ones at the top, I watched around a year ago. They’ve appreciated in value, a lot!

The ones at the bottom, I watched recently, and they dropped in value, though, not too much. Also, it’s not like I put any money into the system. This was free money.

Sign up with Coinbase through this link, and I might get a commission if you buy crypto on there.

The Videos

The videos weren’t boring. They were short explainers that described each cryptocurrency. Each is trying to find a niche in this new financial system. Watching the videos helps you learn about the product, and also, cryptocurrency in general.

Whether you think bitcoin is legit, or a big ponzi scam, you can still watch these videos and learn how these companies/capitalists are thinking.

Odds are, nearly all these products will “fail” and be swallowed up by a bigger company. That’s just capitalist consolidation. In the meantime, they are flush with venture capital money, and trying to get mindshare.

This gives the entire system a kind of flaky, bullshitty quality. It’s slick, but seems fake.

It’s not really “fake”: it’s promotional.

The companies are trying to identify and build lists of early adopters who are open to taking financial risks. At this point, we are not “early adopters”, but the people who come after the early adopters, but we are still a valuable customers, because we take risks.

Customer acquisition costs in finance are, according to a random blog I found, $175 per customer.

Think about those numbers above: they paid $3 in fake money to get me to watch a video, and now, I’m blogging about them. Holy moly, talk about “growth hacking”.

Buying Stuff Here

Anything I have in here, in inventory, or on Ebay, you can buy with crypto.

For example, I have a book and DVD combo for sale on Ebay for $8 + shipping. The shipping comes out to around $4. So the total is $12.

Coinbase will do transfers of crypto between users, for free. No fees. (Normally, on an Ebay sale, I pay 13% in various fees to complete a sale.)

So, you transfer $12 worth of crypto to me, and I’ll delete the listing on Ebay, and mail the product out to you.

The trade will need to be arranged online, through chat. You can reach me through the contact form. Contact me there, I’ll set up a chat and we can walk through the process.

The info I’ll need are: your mailing address, what you want to buy, and your Coinbase contact.

If you want to see what else I have for sale, using “funny money”, so you can get big discounts, check out my Listia and Simbi accounts. Both will give you free “coin”, so you can get stuff for the cost of shipping.

How to Time the Market

Watch videos when the market is down. Then, later, when the market is up, you can turn around and convert the coin into one of the stablecoins, or spend them by transferring them to me, to get goods in return.

My general policy will be to convert the coin into a stablecoin, or convert to a staking coin that’s down.

Posted on Leave a comment

Scissor Switch Keyboard vs Mechanical

A scissor switch keyboard refers to a mechanism under the keycap that helps to balance out the forces on the top of the key, and allows for a flatter keyboard.

A mechanical keyboard refers to the way the switch actuates, but doesn’t specify the exact mechanism. It’s called “mechanical” to distinguish it from the more common membrane keyboard.

How Keys Feel

There is one keyboard that gets classified as mechanical, but is actually a membrane keyboard: the legendary IBM “clicky” keyboards, often called the “M”. The mechanism is called a buckling spring, and it’s a mechanism that emulates the IBM Selectric typwriter’s keys, but a bit lighter. The key buckles, and the a small plastic lever presses the membrane switch.

A scissor switch keyboard is also a membrane keyboard. The main difference between a regular membrane keyboard and the scissor switch keyboard is the shape of the membrane, and the hardness of the membrane switch. Generally, scissor switch keyboards have stiffer domes, and the keycap sits right on top of the dome.

With regular membrane keyboards, the dome is higher, requires less pressure, and travels down farther before actuating. That said, different keyboards feel different. Compaq, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Logitech, Apple, and Microsoft all have their fans. They feel different.

For mechanical switch keyboards, there are a variety of different options. Some switches actuate near the top of the keystroke, and some actuate lower down. Some bottom out to a hard surface, and others hit a soft bottom, and some people add rubber o-rings to create a soft bottom. Some switches click, and others are silent. Some switches require more force than others.

Flexibility

You can replace keycaps on many keyboards, but the different brands are generally not interchangeable.

Keycaps on mechanical keyboards are more uniform, and they all match the Cherry keytop, so you can replace the keycaps.

Mechanical keyboards can be repaired. If a switch fails, you can desolder it, and install a new switch. Switches are $1.50 to around $3, so it’s an inexpensive fix if you know  how to disassemble the keyboard and solder in a new switch.  If  you don’t… it’s a bit more expensive.

Posted on

Depression and Postwar California Pottery

Thrifting and seeking in the Los Angeles area hasn’t been that great for glassware and ceramics, at least the well known kinds that show up online. Chicago, all of Ohio, and some areas of the East Coast seem to turn up great examples of cut glass, blown glass, ceramics, and lamps.

That’s largely due to the fact that the Los Angeles area didn’t get huge until the 1930s, and didn’t have many local potteries and glassworks. Then, in the postwar era, with imports restricted, the Los Angeles area, and some other areas, flourished, and there were hundreds of potteries.

Consequently, I find a lot of California pottery from the postwar era, and a little bit from the Depression era. So far, I’ve found Bauer, Metlox, Coors, Gladding McBean (Franciscan and Catalina), Maddux, and Weil.

I haven’t kept track of tile, but there’s a lot out there. You can find some of the well known items like Batchelder at some antique stores.

The heyday of California potteries ended in the 1960s, when relaxed import restrictions were lifted, and imports from Japan increased. US companies couldn’t compete with the less expensive imports.  I also find a lot of china from this period, often branded with companies from the Los Angeles area, but manufactured in Japan. This is the stuff I grew up with, and am most familiar with.

Memories? Not Really

So, going backward in time to the 1940s and 1950s, is new to me. I have had some plates from that era, but not that many. We did use some, but, again, not that many. My mother was buying her stuff from the 1970s and onward, so, it was mostly imports like Mikasa.

Most of my current research about California pottery is studying the Kovels book about Depression Glass and American Dinnerware.

Being On the Lookout

I’m not starting to try and spot a few kilns that are local to me. First is Vernon Pottery, which would be maybe a mile or two from where I live.

Second is Pacific Pottery, which operated in Los Nietos, now a part of Whittier, and also had a plant in Lincoln Heights on Ave 26, which three blocks from a Goodwill, and the St. Vincents I frequent.  (The old plant was at the corner they call Ave 26 tacos.)

Both are prewar kilns, so their stuff isn’t plentiful today. I suspect the people who owned it all died, and their plates were in the thrift shops by the 1990s. I bet they are in antique shops.

Lead Risks?

I don’t buy much of the pottery, because it’s chipped. That harms the resale value. There’s plenty I’d like to buy, even with chips, but I wouldn’t be able to use them, because the glazes may contain lead or other harmful metals.

See Also

Colorware at the Maximalist – an excellent history.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-06-13/marketplace/sns-201406051730–tms–smartclctnda-a20140613-20140613_1_china-plates-pattern

https://putnamandspeedwell.com/category/ohio-river-pottery/