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Geister

Kemner's lost their lease

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For those of you that live near enough to make the drive to Pottstown, PA., Kemner's surplus warehouse has lost the lease on the warehouse.  They are running really reduced hours while they move stock to storage.  All weekday hours are gone and they are only open Fridays and Saturdays until 7 PM.  There isn't much Atari stuff left, except for an 820 printer, some 1027 printers (in rough shape), and a few disk drives (2 1050, and 1 810 in really bad shape). 

 

There is one XEGS with no peripherals or power supply.  However the owner still wants too much money for it.  He was originally asking $250 based on some vague thought that it was really rare.  He's now clearancing it at $150, but I couldn't justify spending that. 

 

Speaking of power supplies, there are a number of 400/800 supplies and what I believe are disk drive supplies; all 9 volt with various VA numbers.  None of them seem to fit the 1027 printers.  

 

There's still a ton of odd stuff for Commodore, Apple ][, etc.  Most of the Color Computer stuff has already been sent to storage.  There's still a couple TRS 80 model 3 and 4 computers, condition unknown.

 

The owner seems to be a bit defeated and is wandering the building taking mental stock, but has no plans to re-open anywhere as of yet.  However, his daughter said they will still be selling on craigslist and through orders on Facebook.  I think they have an E-Bay store, but what will show up there will be entirely based on whatever work his daughter is able to do.  The place is reaching maximum entropy, so if you want to go down there, I would make it by next week-end at the latest. (July 5th & 6th, 2019)

 

For my part, I bought a 600XL (unknown condition, no power supply or cables), a 410 cassette player that surely needs a belt, a 1027 that needs everything (no P.S., No top cover), and an Ape-Face Centronics interface for the Atari, again, unknown condition, but I have no Parallel printers to test with.  I did look at a Commodore MP-801, but it was not parallel interface. 

 

My wife bought a working, but ugly cassette tape player, a Bingo game from the 60's, and an antique wooden stacking rings set.  Her toys are decidedly low tech.  Pretty much every other cassette player failed to work or at best worked poorly.  

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Sign of the times & has me worried. In the SF Bay area we've lost maybe half a dozen surplus shops. I think there is only one left that absorbed the inventory of Halted Specialties. We lost what were iconic places like Haltek where I bought my first green phosphor monitor for $100, open frame and busted but I fixed it, back in the late 70s or early 80s. 

 

People that used to 'do it' are getting older. Very few younger generation are into it. Odd how we have a lot of preppers but very few fixers. I don't necessarily believe things will change ala prepper doomsday scenarios but one by one if things fail they can not be brought back to service by the current generation.

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Posted (edited)

I agree.  At 65, I'm always looking at new technologies, 3D printing, electronics gadgets, programming languages. My son and people his age look at their phones all day long for what?  They aren't learning anything, they are just adsorbing content, entertainment.  I'm reading the Python book my son had for a college class.  He never tore off the strip covering the code that lets him access on-line video content.  I'm playing with Linux Mint (anything but Windows 10 Spyware edition as Windows 7 is poised to die.) I'm installing Python and playing with something that has strong feels which ties it back to the past of 8-bit computing.  The idea of an interpreted programming language that's always a few keystrokes away and can access most of the computer.  I'll likely discuss this more in the programming section.

 

Prepper's are delusional.  If something really brings down civilization, and they can't fix anything, they've maybe got a week to a month before they go along with the rest of us.  They're just living in a delusion that they are going to ride out the zombie hordes (meaning killing anybody who isn't them) while they wait for the world to return to normal.  Flash for them, the human world is not normal.   If you want to see what the new normal will look like, watch the documentary, "After Man".

 

It's not just the loss of junk collectors and repairers, it's the loss of the knowledge of the technologies between bronze swords and iPhones.     

Edited by Geister
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I am only about 15 miles from Kemner's and I have only been there once.  Frankly, the place is overwhelming.  Stuff is everywhere and mostly without reason.  Angry fire and damnation Christian videos and music playing throughout the store.  I found the whole experience unsettling.

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The mess is only going to get worse. 

 

The comment about the Christian videos is a little over-blown.  The Kemners are practicing Christians and do play videos of old televangelists in the audio/video area mostly to show the equipment is still working.  If they ever had the capability to play music throughout the warehouse they certainly don't now.

  

I found the Kemners to be friendly and not "in your face" about their religion.  As an atheist I'm often concerned about coming face to face with hell and damnation type Christians, but the Kemners aren't at all creepy.  The father is just an old fashioned tinkerer and electronics geek who's feeling at a loss with the situation.  He now has another job and isn't sure how he got into this situation.

 

The daughter is just somebody that's had (and still is having) a tough life.  She had a spinal injury in a car accident that makes it difficult to walk and sit, and working for her dad is about the only job she can manage.  She has an old car that breaks down regularly and leaves her stranded.  She has to rely on her father to keep the car going and can't afford to buy anything better.

 

Nothing creepy here, just sad. 

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I saw a Facebook post a few weeks ago with pictures of their stock.  The prices seem pretty high, especially considering the condition that this stuff was in.  From the pics I saw, their equipment was filthy, cracked, broken, pieces missing, etc.  Yet, they still wanted top dollar for this stuff.  If they really want to move this product, they need to come down on their prices.  Otherwise, they're just sitting on stuff and not making any money.  IMO, old retro stuff like this is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  If nobody is buying it, the stuff is worth $0.

 

One of the comments was from one guy trying to buy something and tried to talk the price down and he said they wouldn't budge.  That's their right to do that, but again, they're not going to move anything if they're not willing to deal.  I feel bad for them, but I also feel bad for that equipment that could go to a home where it would get used.

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That may have been before he lost his lease.  You may be in a better position to dicker on price now.  Or maybe he just hasn't realized that unless he owns the storage he's moving to, it's going to be more expensive to sit on it than move it.

 

All the stuff I bought was pretty cheap and I knew it needed work.  I'm not making excuses for the guy.  Yeah, I bought an oscilloscope elsewhere because his prices were too high for something I didn't know was working. 

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Pottstown is just under 1.5 hours from where I live (Northern DE.)  Maybe I'll take a drive up there this coming weekend and look around.  I need a 1050 for my 1200xl.  Maybe he'll give me a deal on both.  Maybe I could Frankenstein them into one working drive.  Who knows.  :)

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Can't say that the place sounds that great from the reports, dirty broken stock, high prices on unknown condition items, not great even for a thrift (is that the right word?) store. As for the religious stuff, not my cup of tea and I'm a person who thinks pro religion stuff should be kept for places of worship. Remember I come from Belfast where this sort of stuff caused death and our having to leave with the clothes on our back in the middle of the night or be burnt out of our house simply because my parents were a catholic and protestant pair...(this is just to explain my stance on it, its not a discussion point and I hope its left as that)

 

But the the stock is the most important part and I hope people do manage to get some treasures from the place, it sounds (from what has been said) that it is unlikely but we all hope for the best..

 

Hard times all around...

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My comment about the videos and music is not overblown for the one time I was there.  Maybe I was there on a non-typical day so your mileage may vary.

 

The people were friendly enough, so don't think I was being disparaging about them personally.  I just found the place overwhelming for the reasons I mentioned before.

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Fair enough.  If the wrong televangelist tape was running it could get very creepy.  Televangelists are creepy at best.  It takes some nerve to expect dirt poor folks to send money for a private jet for Jesus.  Second oldest profession in action imho.

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Posted (edited)

with all of the music pushing all kinds of bad behavior, ludicrous, free for all, everything is terrible, get yours, give a sh*t sandwich to the world, make yourself happy at others expense, so long as we get off, get high, get busy, who cares if it's a unicorn or pet cat, I can be a butterfly if I want to and if you don't agree your terrible protuberance videos, music and chants playing almost anywhere you go... as the norm... I guess something not like that could upset the cosmic balance and become unsettling, we just aren't used to that sort of thing anymore. I was told thar 'Lean on Me' was an offensive song recently...

how's that for ya? I still don't see the offense by the way... in either of the current renditions

 

 

Edited by _The Doctor__
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Posted (edited)

Could you explain why Lean On Me could be offensive? To anybody? What's wrong with swallowing your pride and accept help from others? And yeah, there's a religious undertone, but you can just ignore that if you want or must. One of my top 10 favorite songs is I Hope I'll See You In heaven by Larry Norman and specifically the Live at the Vineyard version I once got of Napster when that was a thing. And in no way can I be considered religious :)  But that's just the kind of song that could be interpretted either way. Paul McCartney once said if Larry Norman had a little more variety in subjects of his songs, he would have been better than Bob Dylan!

 

To get back on topic, I might be surprised by store owners showing hell and damnation videos, but just not go back there after a couple of times if it would bother me. Well, unless they give very good advice and service on products I buy there, I might ignore their "videos" ;)

 

But if I got a stereo set demoed with Lean On Me? it wouldn't even occur to me to be offended.

 

More on topic: it's always sad when a homegrown businness has to shut its doors because of reasons.

Edited by ivop
typos
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I hate to see places like this shut as they can and often are home to some great kit......Lets hope they get back on their feet...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Geister said:

Fair enough.  If the wrong televangelist tape was running it could get very creepy.  Televangelists are creepy at best.  It takes some nerve to expect dirt poor folks to send money for a private jet for Jesus.  Second oldest profession in action imho. 

 

Agreed. As a Christian myself, I've always found televangelists a little creepy, fake, and self-serving, but that's just me.

 

Edited by bfollowell
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We get what is locally called "The God Squad" who turn up en masse knocking on doors, I'm polite to them until the few that start 'pushing' and they get the firm "no thank you", most are quite friendly and accept a thank you but no and have a nice evening....

 

Never got any Atari material on them tho :)

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36 minutes ago, Mclaneinc said:

We get what is locally called "The God Squad" who turn up en masse knocking on doors, I'm polite to them until the few that start 'pushing' and they get the firm "no thank you", most are quite friendly and accept a thank you but no and have a nice evening....

 

Never got any Atari material on them tho :)

That would be nice. Invite them in and have them play Space Invaders for an hour, insisting that god is an alien ;)

 

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9 hours ago, Mclaneinc said:

Never got any Atari material on them tho :)

 

Hey this gives me an idea!!

 

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Ha ha...I'd love it if they did, religion that is fun and Atari, now that's good all around...

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19 hours ago, bfollowell said:

 

Agreed. As a Christian myself, I've always found televangelists a little creepy, fake, and self-serving, but that's just me.

 

Ditto. And it seems the creepier and more fake they seem, the bigger the church is, some are like huge arenas or stadiums, but are churches. I just don't see why so many people are drawn too in them. There is only one big-time-church televangelist that seemed "on the level" to me, Joseph Prince, and his church is in South Korea? 

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