Good evening my dear readers… I am writing this far later in the day than normal… but there was good reason. Essentially today we greatly varied our normal weekend routine. Towards the end of the week my wife suggested we go to Muskogee today, and I suggested that we just get up early, shower and eat breakfast on the road. It has been in the hundreds temperature wise in Oklahoma this week, so I thought it would be better to get up there and back before it heated up too badly. Instead we ended up spending the entire day there, but we found a lot of spiffy things.
A few weeks back I wrote about my wife and how amazing she was when she spontaneously got me a huge haul of Legos when she went off on a shopping excursion with some of her friends. Well today was the last day of the big sale that she found them on… and she wanted to know if I wanted to make a trip up to see if there was anything else I wanted. Firstly I thought it was amazing that she was offering to make a trip to Muskogee just to go Lego shopping for me… but it gets better. When she was there early, she had told me that the place was not air conditioned and that if we ever made a trip back… that we would want to go early in the day.
As a result that is what is leading me to blog so late, as we pretty much were on the road as soon as we woke up this morning with no real time for me to knock out a morning post. During the day she was there she had texted me pictures of the various sets she found, but I really did not get a good feeling for what the store was like. We made a trip to the one in west Tulsa, and everything there was pretty much in neat and organized rows like a closeout store. Additionally that store was air conditioned… so I really could not grasp just how hot and oppressive the Muskogee store would be.
Above and Beyond
The above picture is of what I would consider the most organized section of Sooner Surplus. The various toys were scattered around throughout the store over the course of six different isles. In each isle there were legos mixed in, crammed back behind… above and under all the rest of the toys. Essentially Sooner Surplus is what appears to be a store that buys items that the stores like Wal-mart write off as a loss. The end result is a complete mishmash of everything you could imagine. All of it in new or like new state… sometimes with dented packages but everything around sixty percent of retail prices. For example the TIE Fighter she got me last time retails for $55 and the pricetag at the store was $35.
Until August 31st… aka today all of the toys, Legos included were an additional 20% off the already 60% pricetag. So first off I was completely floored that she thought about the Legos in the first place… but as I rummaged through the shelves today I finally grasped just how amazing she really was. The various sets the gathered up last time… came from about 12 different places in the store… some of them buried behind piles of other toys. So not only was she thinking about me when she saw the Legos… she went through a massive amount of physical effort to FIND all the sets in the first place. All of this in during an Oklahoma afternoon, in a metal building with no air-conditioning that seems to heat up like an oven really quickly.
A Real Trooper
So after picking me out almost $100 in Lego sets last time… she was more than willing to bring me back today and let me pick through the sets myself. This time around we got a lot of the larger sets. Granted in the above picture, one of the sets came from closeout in our Wal-Mart… but she still was amazing about letting me pick that one up as well. The Goblin King set above, was roughly $60 before the 20% discount… and it originally retailed in the store for over $100 by itself. The monster train set was roughly $40 and retailed for over $80 in the store. So all in all I found a ton of really good bigger sets for super cheap even before the discount… but knowing that we got an additional 20% off of everything was a huge push to pick them up.
The Optimus Prime set is Kree-o but everything I have seen shows that they are completely compatible with Lego. It originally retailed for $80 and before the 20% discount the above set was $20. Granted I don’t think the Kree-o product line has gone over as well as Hasbro could have hoped, but it still looks awesome, and had a ton of pieces. The set I had gotten from Wal-mart before was also originally in the $100 range, but we picked it up I think for $45. Essentially all told between the set from Wal-mart and the finds today at Sooner Surplus… my wife was a real trooper about me spending another $200 on Legos.
While we were there we found a few more sets for my niece and nephew. The big thing we were excited about is that we found another three sets from the Lego Friends line for her… and then got a really cool bigger dump truck set for him. Granted this pales in comparison to what I walked away with, but I am sure they will be happy when we give them to them. We went by the Wal-mart in Muskogee later and they had quite a few sets on clearance as well. I passed on a Hobbit Attack of the Wargs set for $20 without looking it up. Later on I realized that the set was a $50 set normally. My wife being awesome as always… encouraged me to get it… but i felt bad since I had already spent so much earlier.
Things People Pawn
We have always been huge fans of Pawn Shops. Essentially if I can get a price break by buying something second hand… I will always do it. Just with the Legos we are always looking for a good deal, and namely we frequently them fairly often looking for Camera lenses for our Canon Digital SLRs. We had never actually been to the Cash America in Muskogee, but on the last trip my wife actually found where it was located. So after getting out of Sooner Surplus we wound our way over there to check it out. It was extremely nice inside and the service staff there were extremely friendly.
That has always been the bane of our existence as pawn shops go. We go there to buy things, and it always seems like we have pure hell trying to get anyone to wait on us. The workers in pawn shops are usually either ignoring the customers or too busy with the folks there to pawn things. It always rubs me the wrong way since in essense we are there to give them money, not ask for it. Anyways the folks at this shop were the exact opposite super friendly. My wife looked at some of the rings and I roamed around the store for a bit. I cracked up when I saw the above items. I guess people will pawn damned near anything. I never thought of a generic coffee pot, a igloo water jug, and a toaster oven as high dollar items.
Another place we have to go whenever we are in Muskogee or honestly any town that has one is Hastings. For those not familiar with it, it is this odd bookstore/movie/comic/toys/music/electronics store chain. They generally have prices that range on the high end, but when they put things on sale, or have used merchandise it is generally a really good deal. Since for the most part we have moved to digital books… I don’t so much buy books there any more, but I love looking through their random geeky kitsch. One of my favorite things in Borderlands 2… is anything produced by Jacobs manufacturing. I kind of have a fetish for the whole steam punk look of their weapons. One of my favorite places in the game is when you run across a non-functioning CL4P-TP model styled by Jacobs.
One the shelves at Hastings I stumbled onto exactly that… a Jacobs model “Clap-Trap”. I thought it was extremely cool… just not the $20 price tag worth of cool. Sure it would have looked awesome adorning my desk at work. But that seemed a bit much for a random action figure. I had seen several versions of the figure before, but always in the blue or yellow variant. I didn’t even know that the Jacobs model existed. I might have gone for it… but the paint job was not nearly as cool as it was in game. The wood grain looked extremely flat and was mostly just solid fields of brown. So while super cool… it would never look as cool as the awesome one from in game.
Pretty much the rest of the day was spent ping ponging around Muskogee. We went out to the Mall and hit several clothing stores looking for stuff for my wife. Additionally we had trips to Ross and Cato and found a handful of things. That has been the real challenge this year starting back to school is that since we have both lost quite a bit of weight (55 lbs for me and 45 lbs for my wife) a lot of her professional attire was just too big to remain looking professional. The frustrating thing is she seems to be in an odd spot where clothing is hard to find… most likely because so many people are currently in that size range. So as a result we have picked up separates wherever we could find them.
It was a fun day, and while it was hot as hell out there it was well worth the trip. I am so thankful I have such an awesome spouse… that while she may not fully understand my obsessions… she at least understands what is important to me and indulges my eccentricities. Quite honestly it is a two way street, as I have gone down so many roads that lead to one of her little obsessions as well. I guess at the end of the day that is why we work well together. Anyways… I hope you all have a great weekend, and apologies again for getting this post out so late.