Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Rambles

To start us off, a poor picture of belly-button rings.


Why a poor picture?  Because I accidentally totally deleted the carefully edited and fixed up one.  I am a crappy blogger.

Why belly button rings? Because I found them when I was going through a big batch of jewelry that came with the booth I bought.  I was bagging like items into bulk lots and marking other things down.  It just struck me as kind of odd to find all this body jewelry mixed in.  There are booths in the Peddlers Mall that sell body jewelry and stuff like that, but that's all they sell.  You don't normally find it mixed in with lots of toys and dozens of relish dishes.

Also, aren't some of them a tad elaborate to be hanging out of a navel?  I'd be afraid they'd get tangled in my shirt or something.  Of course, I'm not really a piercing kind of guy, unless you count the time I took a BB to my left buttock hind quarter.

Too much info?

How is that for a totally random start to the week?  How about some junking stories?

I was in a thrift near the booth a little while ago, just kind of browsing stuff.  There was an older couple there, also just browsing stuff.  All of a sudden, he finds a pink wig.  He starts rubbing it and holds it out to his wife.  "It's sooooooo soft!  Feel this!"

They walk around the store carrying the wig for a while.  When I go to check out, they get in line behind me, still carrying the wig.  They're chatting with each other and the cashier.  I'm chatting with the cashier as well.  Finally, I cannot control myself any longer.  I've paid for my stuff and they're getting ready to pay.  I turn to them and say:  "I just have to know which one of you is going to wear the wig."

Everyone starts laughing, then he kind of stammers out:  "My wife will wear it."  To which she immediately replies:  "It's your collection.  You wear it!"

Collection? Of pink wigs? Odd colored wigs? Wigs in general? Cosplay stuff?  What can of worms did I unwittingly open?  Oh my!

Sometimes I need to just keep my mouth shut, I guess.

It has been a typical August for the booth--a long, hot slog.  Daily sales have been all over the place.  Fabulous one day.  Not so hot the very next one.  I was holding my own until the fair started last week. For the first three days, everything ground to a halt.  Killed my momentum and my sales.

The fair was late this year.  Usually, there's a week or two afterwards for sales to recover.  This year, there's only two days.  I'm going to come out about like normal, when all is said and done, but I'm looking for some sales growth before the end of the year.

The fall is usually good for sales.  I've already put my fall decor in, and am going to start putting Halloween out this week.  It's a little early for the Halloween, but I've got the space and a little more Halloween than normal.  Last year, during Halloween clearance sale time, when I was stocking up for this year, it was right around the time I started chemo again.  I think I was a little more aggressive in my shopping in order to make some kind of personal point.

At any rate, I've got a lot of skulls to sell.

No one seemed to know what to call the metal thing in Mazda yesterday, other than "something metal."  The community sale I went to was right around the corner from the Peddlers Mall, so I dropped off the big stuff and took these reveal pics.

The metal thing is actually used to convert linear measurements between metric and standard units.  It's just odd enough and geeky enough that I couldn't resist it.  Also an old window.  I only like to carry windows that have something kind of special or different about them.  I like the privacy style glass on this one.

Everybody pretty much guessed the bookcase.  The checks are contact paper.  One of the churches I went to had closed its preschool and was selling stuff off.  Unfortunately, most of the furniture was either too large, too ratty, or too pricey for my needs, with the exception of this bookcase.

I did get some fun small stuff there, however.  But you'll have to wait for tomorrow for that.

Technology has been frustrating us lately.  Our internet went our last weekend, when something knocked our cable loose.  We get that fixed, and then the power goes out Saturday right before we were heading out to the sales.  A transformer down the street blew.  I step out front and join the neighbors in staring down the street, like that's going to fix something.  It was back on by the end of the day.

This Saturday, the Peddlers Mall is going to have a sidewalk sale and cookout.  I've signed up for a spot and will work on getting stuff together this week.  I plan on putting out a lot of what I have left from the booth buy-out--marked down real cheap. I've had a lot of luck moving the marked down glass stuff and toys.  The toys are nearly gone, and a good hunk of those divided dishes are too.  Now is the time to finish them off, along with a lot of the household implements and such from that buy.  It'll be a bargain extravaganza!  (I'm hoping to find a few deals for me from other sellers.)

I set up a special sale table for those dishes.  That's helped them move.

I'm also going to pull a couple of things off Sorrow Mountain to join the fun.  Speaking of Sorrow Mountain, that post brought lots of comment.  I call it "Sorrow Mountain" because I am not so happy that it is there.  I don't like the added expense that comes a long with it and I hate having that much excess stuff.  My goal in life is to whittle it away to Weepy Molehill.

I resisted getting a storage unit as long as I could, but it was inevitable.  When you lose a store where you have ten spots, including a storage room, it's a big hit.  Up until the last days of the move out, I kept insisting that we could handle the overflow in my junk room, our shed, and the small storage unit we have for the house.  As it turned out, I used all of those areas to hold stuff, and still had to get Sorrow Mountain.

I didn't mind having a backlog in the beginning, because I was afraid that I might not be able to get out as much in the summer, due to my treatments.  My plan was to slowly whittle away at it with the goal of majorly reducing it by the fall.  I had a vision of going over there every week and sorting stuff and tagging stuff and making it something more viable than just a repository.  That kind of didn't happen, mainly due to the treatment fatigue.  It's been hanging on me like a weight ever since.  Getting over there the other day to do the little I did felt good.  Real good.

By the way, in answer to Judy's question, the patron saint of Sorrow Mountain is, of course, Our Mother of Sorrows.  This reminds me that I ought to warn tell you that my answers to your "Ask Eddie Anything" questions resume this week.

Turns out I got a little too carried away pulling stuff off Sorrow Mountain to take the booth last week.  Somehow I had it in my mind that I needed four small pieces of furniture to fill holes that didn't really exist.  I'm a bit packed right now, needless to say.  Fortunately, one piece was a too cute yellow primitive table that sold practically as soon as I unloaded it and thus made more money than it would have continuing to sit on the Mount.  Unfortunately, I realized too late that I had never taken a pic of that table for the blog.  Sorry.  Bad blogger.

I took six boxes of books, tapes and records from Sorrow Mountain to Half-Price Books last week.  HPB is my last ditch resort to get rid of stuff, since they don't pay that much.  I ended up walking out with something better than money.

WOO to the HOO!

TWO FLATS OF MANGA!!!!!!  That's over 100 volumes.  I made enough selling my stuff to pay cover one of the flats, so that all worked out well.  I had to rearrange my book booth to get them all in.  I now have two entire bookshelves of manga.  I think I'm going to take the shelf I bought over the weekend and dedicate it to graphic novels, which will free up space in the comic boxes, which means I can bring more comics in.  All is good.  That sound you hear is the local nerd council humming in agreement and approval.

Of course, since it's Labor Day weekend coming up, that means there's also going to be a Big Flea coming up--with an antique wing, yet--woo hoo! Gotta get the granny cart spruced up and ready.

I read the best book the other day.  I've been trying to use my down time to read more, since that always makes me feel better.  It's sad when I get too tired to read.,204,203,200_.jpg
Image from Amazon.
It's a sort of alternative look at Shakespeare's King Lear though the eyes of the court jester, who's quit a bit smarter than his sovereign.  If you remember your Shakespeare at all, you'll know that being brighter than Lear wasn't terribly difficult.  I say it's a "sort of" alternative look, because Moore deviates wildly from the plot, tosses in characters from other plays (like the witches from Macbeth), and is not afraid to throw in an anachronism or two for giggles.  It's a wonderful, if somewhat bawdy, romp and an awesome way to spend an afternoon.

While our cable was out, I needed something to listen to/watch while I tagged merch, so I dug through the DVD pile and did some binge watching.

Image also from Amazon
This is one of those lesser quality sets you can buy for five bucks at Wal-Mart and the like, usually containing material not available elsewhere.  I paid a buck for this one when the local Borders stores were closing.  It provided hours of entertainment.  It seriously doesn't get any more retro cheesily wonderful than this--preposterous plots, laughable special effects, and plenty of buff shirtless guys in mini-skirts.  (Not that I was noticing that or anything.)  Totally awesome.  I ought to do stuff like that more often.  I have a Bela Lugosi set around here somewhere....

While we're on the subject of good reading and the like, please check out this awesome post of tips for folks planning to hit those long highway yard sales from Melissa's Antiques.  She actually went to the Highway 127 sale for the first time this year, but--like me--she's a vet of several smaller, local highway sales.  Good tips and advice in there.  One that I would add is to keep an eye out for small country churches.  Even when they're not having sales, the empty parking lots are a safe place to pull off the road and do things like rearrange your load, without having to worry about getting mowed over by a semi.  Be sure not to miss the pic about halfway down or so in her post.  You'll know which one I'm talking about.

I have my next cancer center visit tomorrow.  These infusion days roll around fast.  At my last visit, they gave me a prescription for a low dose steroid in hopes of helping with my fatigue.  Boy Howdy!  The difference is like night and day.  I'm not even taking the whole prescribed amount each day and I feel so much better.  I need fewer rest breaks and my energy level is much more consistent.  I do feel a fade slowly come on late in the day, but I'm able to get so much more done in a day and not feel like death while I'm doing it.

Don't worry.  I'm being cautious and careful and not overextending myself.  I'm still rests and breaks and the like, but it feels good to get things freaking done.  I feel like my life has been on hold all year, while I've been eking out little dribs and drabs that have never quite been enough.  It's nice to see a change on that front. I don't like adding another med to my regimen, but this feeling seems to be worth it.

How about we wrap things up with a pic of Chiquito making his sleepy face?  He always looks so cute when he's struggling to wake up and figure out what's going on.

Focus on the cute, groggy kitty.  Not the messy sheets.

That's not even your Chiquito of the Month for September!  You'll get that tomorrow, of course.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

What's in Mazda?

Four sales yesterday.  Three church sales and one community sale with over 70 vendors set up!

There is stuff in the seat that you cannot really see.  I was trying to practice some restraint.  I've been spending more time on the Sorrow Mountain, as well as cleaning up my junk room, so the urge to control myself is quite strong. 

I've gotten no less that four spam comments on the blog lately, so I guess that means it's time to crawl back in the saddle and get this pony back on the track.  Yee haw!  (Sorry about that.  Flashback to my days ranging guinea pigs on the open plains.)

Tune into tomorrow's Ramble.  It's gonna have it all: news and updates, junk stories, junk pics, a book review, grand happenings, good changes, annoying occurrences, the ever popular booth updates, and a haggis recipe.

Well, maybe not that last one.  In the meantime, what do you see in Mazda?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Retro Y'all!

My mother used to sing the line about smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo all the time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

An Afternoon on Sorrow Mountain

Donna calls her stash/overflow/backstock "Horror Monster." 

Mine is called "Sorrow Mountain."  It lives in a storage unit.

Sometimes, I call it the "Mount of Sorrows."

I also add adjectives:  "The Mount of Many Sorrows" or the "Mount of Constant Sorrow."  (Yes, as in this.)

The adjectives even get colorful from time to time:  "The Fucking Mount of Sorrows."

Why do I call it "Sorrow Mountain"?

Looking in with several items already pulled out.

The items that were pulled out.
 You tell me.

I spent yesterday afternoon there going through about the first third of the unit, trying to bring a bit of order to the process.  I was also looking for three items that I really need for a display idea I have.  One was right up front, but the other two were right smack dab in the middle of everything.  Of course.

I also pulled, and forgot to photograph, a Mazda load and a half to take over to the booth.  I've got lots of space opening up, so I figured I might as well fill it.

I was able to get everything put back in an order that will allow me to access a few loads for the next couple of weeks.  I found a box of my booth dud books, three boxes of books that I was given that aren't my groove, a box of oddball records, and a box of VHS tapes (both left behind during the Dixie move out).  I set them all aside together.  They'll be heading to Half Price Books this weekend.  I won't get a lot for them, but they'll be gone!

I also put aside in one bunch a couple of boxes of comics that need to be bagged and priced and a few bags and baskets of items that need to go home for sorting and then to the booth.  They'll be this weekend's project.

Next to all these set asides, I set up a block of small furniture that is easy to grab and ready to go once I get a bit more free space at the booths.  Once I've got all those things cleared out, I'll have a good-sized footprint opened up that will allow me to start sorting through the back of the unit.  It was a good start, but only a start.

Oh lordy.  What hath I wrought?

This is the face of one who has traveled the Mount of Sorrows.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Stumbling In

Eddie-tor's Note:  Post title is a reference/homage to this.  Another good Retro Y'all song taken by another post.  Dang!  Also, proof positive that I can find a YouTube video for just about everything.  What can I say? It's a gift.  And a curse.  Also, is that not the cheesiest performance of any song ever?

Thanks for being patient with my little leave of absence these past few days.  I hope I didn't worry anyone too much.  I'm doing fine, if (as always) a little tired.  Or a lot tired.

Truth is, low energy combined with a bad writer's block kept me away last week.  I started writing last Monday's Ramble and it STUNK!  And I couldn't seem to fix it or get it together, so I decided to take an impromptu break for a few days. 

I think I'm past it now.  We'll see, I guess.  I hope to be back in the groove by the end of the week.  I'll do a catch up ramble at some point.

Onward and upward!

PS The Gorilla sold!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

What's in Mazda?

I only went to four sales yesterday and only bought stuff at two of them, both sales that I have been to in the past.  One had a huge mound of free stuff at the end of the driveway.  I hit that pile pretty hard.

Ignore the pile of linen in the background.  That's Keith's camping stuff.

So, what do you see in Mazda?

Sunday, August 09, 2015


Some clips I chose not to use on Friday.  They were all on the list, but ultimately I chose to go with all silly or funny clips, because I felt it was a little too disparate otherwise.  (Yes, I put that much thought into these silly blog posts.  What can I say?  I'm an over-thinker from way back!)

But they're all classic dance clips, from classic movies, all featuring John Travolta, so I thought they deserved a post of their own.

Interestingly enough, it was running across that clip on YouTube that inspired the original post, then it ended up getting cut.  I did however use a Batman clip with that move Travolta copped from the classic series, just not the most famous one, because that felt a little too predictable.  (See?  Over-thinking all the way!)

You knew that would be here.  A little Bee Gees bonus for everyone that like their recent "Retro Y'all."

A favorite scene from a favorite movie. 

One man.  Three iconic movies.  Three famous dance scenes.


Saturday, August 08, 2015

Retro Y'all!

We're doing something a little bit different this time around.

These are outtakes from yesterday's "Time to Dance" post.  I couldn't use everything I found, for various reasons, but some of it works well in other places.  Like here.

I originally wanted to include pogo dancing as one of the videos, but never found a clip I liked.  This one is awesome and I love the song, but the girl in the background never actually pogos, which defeats the purpose.

 I also thought about this one.  Again, cool song, but I felt the spoken word intro didn't work with the post I was creating.  Still, it's fun and nicely retro, even with the intercut clips of today's kids doing the pogo.  What can I say?  It's a classic dance!

BONUS: Debbie Harry on a pogo stick! In glorious black and white!

Friday, August 07, 2015

What time is it?






Eddie-torial Comments




Why?  Because.....

We got the beat, Baby!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Ask Eddie Anything: The Job Thing

Donna said:

"I'd like to know all the jobs you had before becoming the master of junk."

All of them?  Well, I'd better get started, since this is going to be a long post.  (I don't really consider myself to be a "master" of junk.  Most of the time, I hardly feel like I know what I'm doing!)

The first time I remember being paid for doing a job for someone else happened when I was about fifteen or sixteen.  After my parents divorced, we moved to a different city for a while and lived in a basement apartment.  I don't remember why, but our apartment flooded, along with the one next door to us.  The landlord paid my brother and me to clean the carpets after the repairs were made.

Not long after that, I started mowing the lawn for a woman who worked with my mother.

The college I went to required that all students work a campus job at least ten hours a week.  I worked a variety of jobs throughout my college career--the dishroom in the cafeteria, janitor for the Baptist Student Union, the children's room in the library, teaching assistant in the Spanish department,  the direct mail department of the fundraising office, grader in the Basic Math program, and finally student instructor in the Basic Math program.

After graduation, I moved to Louisville to attend seminary. I did one night as a banquet server for a temp service, but pretty much realized it was not for me.  I worked in the produce department of a large Kroger for a while.  I would come in at five in the morning and core pineapples.  I worked in a bookstore for a while, but it went out of business.  I worked as a janitor on campus, then took a job at Lowes as a cashier.  I held both of those jobs for a while.

It was around this time I met Keith.  He helped me get on at the homeless shelter where he worked.  I was the overnight guy there for the longest time, working the graveyard shift.  At the end of my shift, I would get everyone up for breakfast.  We both worked there for a while, then we both went to work for state as Food Stamp and AFDC workers.  At the same time, I moved from the homeless shelter to become resident manager of a transitional housing program.

Somewhere around here,  I also started working in the nursery at my church as a paid worker.  I did that on and off for several years.  One Christmas, I was a mall Santa.

I left the state job after three years, realizing that I was burning out massively.  I cleaned houses for a while after that, then worked in a friend's print and design shop.  After that, I worked for an agency that placed adults with mental handicaps in factories and other job sites.  I served as a crew leader/supervisor for groups of workers.  I thought I'd be working there for a while, but I was offered a job at a local agency to do HIV/AIDS education and prevention services.

The director who hired me left, and the new director got rid of many current staff members, including me.  However, the old director hired me at his new agency to design and implement HIV training programs for agencies that served the homeless.  I went from there to a statewide agency that worked with housing and homeless agencies.  That job required a daily commute to the state capital, which wasn't any fun.

The commute finally did me in, and I went to work for the county government in staff development and training for the social services department.  The city and county governments merged, but I stayed on there for nine years, until I was fired in the midst of a huge department upheaval.

I had been working in the adult continuing education program of the school system teaching computer programs on the side, so I continued to do that and picked up some extra hours there.  I worked a couple of external contracts for them teaching more computer classes.  I moved over to the basic education side of the program and taught math classes to adults looking to get their GED until I left that earlier this year.

And that's my checkered employment history.  Next time, I'll get to Linda's question and talk about where the junker evolved out of this.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Indiscretions: The Stuff

I felt like I was channeling a bunch of other junkers on Saturday.  See if you can guess who based on some of the junk.

Shaving brushes

Cool bench

Globe without a base--I think it's cool.  I like the size.  It should be an easy fix to put a base on it. For someone else, that is.  Not me.  Based on the country names, I'd say this one dates to between 1975-1979.  It's huge!

Keith kept carrying it around and singing this.  I've been walking through the house with it on my shoulder and playing Atlas.

A bunch of tools (and rat traps).  I have no idea why I got the rat traps, but they just seemed kind of cool.  If you're not a rat, I guess.  I really don't know enough about tools to be buying them, but this was a bag deal, so we'll see how it goes.

T-squares have long been a favorite of mine, plus a few smalls.

A lovely antique picture.  Please to ignore unfortunate reflection of someone with fat legs in the glass.  Fat legs in ugly shorts yet.

 Wicker hamper from the 1920's, plus a few other bits and bobs from a nice house.  Louisville is home to several public parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.  He also designed the roads leading into the parks as wide ambling parkways lined with fairly well to do houses for the day.  I got much of the history of the house when I bought these items.  They're having another sale this week.  I think I'm going back.

Antique child's toy shovel.  The doll is a Betsy Wetsy, dated 1965.  I should look so good at 50.  Wait.  I do.  Although I usually wear clothes. Cute chalk dog.

I'm going to try and work this shelf into my barware display.  It's the perfect size for shot glasses.  Also, vintage can and bottle openers, most from local breweries that are now defunct.

 Picnic basket.  It's not in the best shape, but the price was right.  I told Keith that this was the 8th picnic basket I've found this year. Most of them have sold, so I'm calling this the "Picnic Basket Summer."

Of course, as much as I might "channel" or betray an influence of other junkers, I'm still always me. Case in point...

Bibles and religious books and booklets.  One of the workers at the estate sale recognized me and asked if I was the "guy that likes the religious stuff."  Why, yes.  Yes, I am.

This is just a very small sample of the selection I got

Who else would by an antique picture (above) and a basket of action figures at the same sale?  What can I say?  I gotta be me!

These Simpsons dolls were part of one of the most interesting negotiations I've done in a while.  The guy told me his price, which was a good one that I was totally willing to pay.  However, he had also said he was open to offers on most stuff, so I had to try.  I offered five bucks less.  He said no.  I upped my offer by two bucks.  He said no.

Then, he told me that his price was one half what they were getting on eBay, so he felt that was fair.  Now, my own personal rule is that as soon as a person quotes eBay prices, I am automatically going to assume that the person does not know how to properly look things up on eBay.  I'm not going to say anything to them about it, but so many people do not know how to use eBay properly to research that it's actually a safe assumption to make.

Even if he did actually find completed, sold listings to make his price, there's still a high likelihood that he either:  A) Automatically picked the highest price he saw without noting whether that was an aberration or not B) Did not compare his item to the one he found to see if there was anything special about the listed one that might have contributed to the price or C) Totally ignored all the times items like his were listed but did not sell.

Still, his first price was a fair one, and my plan was to pay it if all else failed.  First, I decided to look at some other items, then raise my offer one more dollar, which would be close enough to his, but enough lower that we would both be happy.  If he said no, then I would fork over the whole price.  I did want them.  I just love the game sometimes.

As it turned out, something else caught my eye.

If you've ever seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you know what these are.  If not, here's an explanation.

My favorite part of these was the tiny print.

Still playing the game, I offered him a dollar off his price for them.  I figured he would go for it and I would go ahead and fork over the money for the Simpsons.  Instead, he said "I'll let you have that and the Simpsons" for the original Simpsons price.  DEAL!

He was a good sport about it all and we talked about stuff for a little while after the deal was made.  I thought it was a well-played game.

Finally, the gorilla.

Told you he was HUGE!  Like I'm really going to pass him up.

I apologize for the dodgy quality of some of the pics.  It wasn't the right time of day to take pics in front of the house.  The light is better in back, but we have an awful mosquito problem back there right now, so pics back there are out for the moment.

Hope you enjoyed!