Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Whoa Nelly!

Thanks to a defective Qwest modem / wireless router, old KG's been out of service for the past week and change. Sorry about that...

It all began innocently enough, answering a couple of emails around the 20th of May. One minute things were cruising along famously - all systems normal, and the next, dead in the water. The little red light on the modem didn't bode well. Sure enough, after hours of "pleasant conversation" with outsourced tech support in God knows where; I tossed in the towel. Here's a picture of the last guy I talked to~

Ever try to find the right piece of technology in the "wilds" of Southern Oregon? Don't! After almost a day of chasing around to every place that might, just maybe, have the right part, I tossed in the towel - again. Ears ringing and neck veins pounding, I stopped off to see the guys down at the fire station that I used to work out of. One of them jokingly said that I looked like I was ready to blow a gasket. I was. As a joke, he took my blood pressure. A new personal best; 180 / 138.

Today life is slowly returning to normal. I'm now on an exciting diet of fish and chicken, and chicken and fish. And then there's the fish oil horsepills... Ahh, my kingdom for a big juicy steak or maybe a big polish dog, hot off the grill loaded up with all the good stuff! The new modem arrived yesterday afternoon. Guess they had it delivered by pack horse. A couple of hours of fine tuning later and the ol' WWTT Gazette was ready to start churning out articles again.

So what's up? Well, the phone's been ringing like crazy this morning for one. The June list went out last Saturday and must have hit everyone's mail boxes today. No lack of interest in whiskies these days for sure! A little digging going on here and there, limited success here in the State of Jefferson, but better than nothin'~ The northern part of the state's hot, Southern Oregon's not. Killer glop tops coming out of old town Portland, nothin' but a crude and rude early tooled Slater's out of an anonymous town just north of the California border down in our end of the state. An exploratory trip this weekend, along a backwood road that follows the original California and Oregon rail lines, which went in during the early 1880's north of old J'ville, shows some major digging promise for the future; once the state repeals the laws against digging on public (spelled government owned), or personal, properties. God forbid that anyone would actually consider civil disobedience in the form of "illegal digging"...

Who woulda thunk though, that the informative signs identifying a townsite, so thoughtfully placed by our government, were in reallity close to a half a mile away from the actual location (based on documented historical latitude / longitude coordinates) when located by my GPS...
Like I tell my mutt, McKenna; Dig, dig, dig!
And then there's auction results from American Glass offering number fifty... Talk about a hot topic! Almost without exception, folks are scratching their heads, trying to figure out what makes the auction mentality tick. Although we generally avoid prices like the plague on the Gazette, we'll make an exception and look over a handful of the results that are up the ol' tool top alley.

Lot number 271, Big Seven is #47 in Western Whiskey Bottles 4th edition. Graded a 9.6 and called perfect, it darned near brought the big seven, hammering at $672~ including auction fees. Not even I was prepared for that! A scarce bottle yes. But oh my! Lot 272, Remington / 3rd St. is #661 in WWB 4th. The 3rd St. is a little more available than the Washington St. variant. Still, graded at a 9.7 and closing at $179~, I'd call it a good value. Lot 273 was a group of three; a Coblentz & Levy and one each of a Rathjen and Cerruti Mercantile; all in amber. It brought $202~. Again, a good showing but still a fair buy. Lot 275 surprised me. #638 in WWB 4th, Pepper Hand Made, it was rated a 9.5 and closed at $420~. Arguably one of the toughest tool tops around; I'd have thought that it would bring quite a bit more. It was one of the more difficult toolies for me to add to my shelves and I've only seen two others since I landed mine in the eighties. A good solid buy! And then there's lot 276. Good golly Miss Molly! #760 in the book, the St. George Vineyard blew the doors off of everyone's expectations. Described as yellow green and graded 9.7 it brought an astounding $1008~. Not much I can say... A couple of Phoenix Bourbons (a small and large bird) did OK, both bringing over high estimates. A Golden Rule, rated at 9.8, closed at $246~. A good value. Lot #280, a Gold Dust variant #803 in WWB brought a very strong $2688~. That compared to the aqua glop top, lot 292 that closed at $1120~. Proof again that tooled pictures are really coming into their own. I could rattle on forever but think I'll finish this up by saying that as usual, tool top pictures were strong and the rest was a crap shoot. So, you place your bets, take your chances and with any luck, you end up with a winner when the hammer falls. And that's what makes auctions interesting.

Just a footnote. Since we made an exception and discussed the almighty dollar; total accrued sales for auction 50 were reported to be $370,000~. That nets $44,400~ in buyers fees at 12% and an additional $64,750~ in sellers fees, assuming an average consignment rate of 17.5%, for a total payday of $108,750~ less overhead. Not a bad paycheck by any stretch of the imagination. Antique bottle collecting is alive and well despite the economy. Congratulations to Jeff and the crew of American Glass Auctions!

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