The fire destroyed nine businesses in the Federal Way, Washington complex, including one of the three Al’s Music, Video, and Games stores. It’s not clear if it was arson. “It’s just fortunate there was a space between the buildings.” Al’s is one of the remaining family businesses specializing in used media that haven’t been swept up by the ubiquity of online retail. Let’s cover what’s helping them stay relevant in this somber Thrifting Adventures episode.
We can still rent video tapes in 2017! In this episode of Thrifting Adventures, we’ll briefly cover the news that Rain City Video in Seattle will close on April 28th, consider cultural preservation versus technological evolution, and conclude with positivity. There are local options remaining that could inspire those abroad for watching obscure media, such as the Zatoichi television show, Spectreman on VHS, or anachronistically learning about Windows 95 featuring contemporary actors, without requiring piracy!
I had to see it one last time, even though I’d only been there maybe three times over ten years. I heard that the Half Price Books in Seattle’s University District would be closing on April 9th 2017, so I went to pay respects in this introductory post of Thrifting Adventures. We’ll reminisce, briefly cover what I got, and dig into some reasons why we should still support local bookstores even if they’re not practical.
While many other shops in Seattle, and the thirty plus miles making up the greater Seattle area, either have more unique or exclusive inventories, including venerable Amazing Heroes, eccentric Boba Khan, comprehensive Pink Gorilla, or competitive Another Castle, newcomer Retro Game and Toy Exchange in the Seattle suburb of Renton has some cool stuff. Here’s what I recently bought from them:
An offensive smell bombarded the Goodwill Outlet store. Part of the morning duties for the front-end staff involve spraying down the halls. Catching a good whiff can bring me back to my back-end work for competitor Value Village where I’d jump into trailers to salvage donations, receive donations, and clean. I can’t tell you how many destroyed jigsaw puzzles I swept into the trash. At least one per week, if not daily, because the box wasn’t taped or it fell apart. So that smell was probably the result of a stinker causing this humble piece of pop culture to explode.
Quick haul post.
In order to live a fulfilling life, you should dare yourself to make decisive decisions based on your own desires, rather than the desires of others. I could have surfed to a networking event that I didn’t really want to attend. The event could have helped me practice flattery to climb the professional ladder or I could have mined for new contacts. I figured I would mutate more value from venerable action figure and comic book store Amazing Heroes, and while I don’t know how that path would have turned out, I don’t regret my choice.
The sign from the road caught my eye. I hadn’t seen any garage or yard sales on craigslist in the area, I wasn’t on a strict timeline, and I needed to check my map app for directions. Two other signs guided me through a friendly neighborhood to a quiet upper-middle-class cul-de-sac. I won’t always stop at a garage sale. I’ll usually glance over the sale and park if there’s anything that catches my eye such as cool or interesting items, toys, tools, or in this case, thin rectangles holding videogames and movies.
When you’re not in a big hurry, and have some general goals in mind, you may find a better outcome than you’d expected. My work bag needed some cross-head (“Phillips”/Thompson) screwdrivers and I figured it would be a good excuse to stop by my favorite pawn shop. I didn’t urgently need more screwdrivers, so happening into a rather new shop at Pike Place Market called Rummage Around – equal parts thrift store, antique shop, and hoarder’s garage sale – was a nice surprise.