Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Rambles

It's the return on the Masked Man!

For once, I was having a halfway decent hair day last week on cancer center day.  Good thing too, because I got interviewed by a local TV station for a story about the drug I'm on.  I don't know yet when it will air, but I'll post links and such when I do.

New Blog Recommendation:  Look What I Found! is another trash-picking and selling blog, but the author lives in the Netherlands, which gives her varied and more interesting outlets for finding and selling stuff.  She also makes things to sell, and there are cats.  I've read back through the last few years of posts and quite enjoyed it.  Give it a look.

And speaking of things that I found that I'm kind of fond of, take a listen to this:

Also, Lara at Pretty Quirky did a round up of blog posts all about the booth business that's worth checking out. (Even if she didn't include a certain handsome, if shaggy, intelligent, if goofy, dude we've all come to love and enjoy.  Sniff!)

Also, another fun blog I've been meaning to recommend for a while, but kept forgetting, is Stories of Objects.  I really love her sparse, almost minimalist, vibe. Since she's another European, her stuff and her stories have a different flair to them than what you might be used to.  I will say that her header photo might unnerve you a bit, so be ready for it. I think it's kind of cool, but that's just me.

One of these days, I shall have to make a blogroll and incorporate all this good reading!  (Plus the many blogs that belong to you great people!)

Tuesdays seemed to be cursed, sales-wise, for me right now.  I'm in this pattern where I have a good weekend, a strong Monday, and then a really crappy Tuesday.  Not at all sure what that's about.  It's still a good month overall, though.

This weekend was particularly good.  I was there all day on Saturday and the place was packed!  Every shopper seemed to have a cart just crammed with stuff.  at one point, it felt like everyone in the store was in my aisle at the same time.  I had been a little worried, since it was really, really nice both days.  I was afraid that after the bad weather we'd been having that people would want to be outside on a nice weekend, rather than cooped up in the mall buying my awesome junk.  Happily, I was wrong about that!  Junk triumphs over nice weather!

By the way, I'm really kind of amazed by the number of you who say that your sales go UP on bad weather days.  It can be hit or miss here.  If it's rainy, that'll drive the folks indoors to shop, but if it's wintry, around here they tend to stay home.

I'm also surprised by the stories of how slow it can be this time of year for booth sales.  This is our busiest time of the year.  Once the tax money starts rolling in, so do the customers.  I don't know if it's a regional thing or that fact that I'm in a flea market flea market that makes the difference.  Our slump season is the summer.

I spent Thursday and Friday at the booth, bringing my brand of order to my brand of chaos.  I went in with a nice load from Sorrow Mountain and the Hillock, thinking that I really didn't have too much to do other than put it all out.  With that thought in mind, I decided to tackle a couple of other jobs that I haven't had the time to do lately.

Those jobs turned out to be the proverbial jobs that lead to other jobs, which lead to other jobs, which lead to other jobs.  End result?  My easy afternoon of stocking turned into three crazy days of work!

At least for once I wasn't out in the aisle with my stuff, because there was an empty booth next to my spaces where I had plopped my boxes.  I never block an aisle and I keep my stuff far away from other booths when I work.  The end result is that all access to my own stuff is pretty much blockaded until I get done.  Despite this, a couple of my neighbors constantly complain about me and my stuff, which is never anywhere near their booths and is crammed as closely up to my own spaces as I can get it.

So, I'm working along, happy for once that no one can complain about anything I'm doing, when along comes the folks who have just rented the space where I'm plopping.  Of course, I cleared out right away, but I still got the stink-eye.  It seems I am forever cursed to be hated by my neighbors!

At least, I got everything done!  All of my religious books are in the booth (finally)!  Valentine's stuff is gone.  Some Easter is out.  (I found a couple of boxes of Easter on the Mount of Sorrows that I had forgotten about.)  I still have a few Easter things in the shed to dig out.  I have a little more Easter than I really like right now, but I caught a 90% off sale last year where they still had some BIG items left, so I got a couple.  We'll see what happens. I have about one more half-load of stuff on the Hillock to take out, and then it will be time to close it down!  Woo hoo! 

I ended up working from open to close on Saturday.  I was exhausted by the end of the day.  About midway through the day, one of my favorite vendors came in.  He's got two booths, one about halfway down the aisle from me and one the next aisle over.  His booths are kind of like topsy-turvy land.  Stuff that should be high-priced is super-cheap and the stuff that should be super-cheap is way too high.

I ended up buying this:

It was way cheaper than I would have expected and is the right size for holding board games and puzzles in my booth.  I also got some small things from him, including some vintage Fisher-Price. A little later in the day three guys came by looking for glass jars.  I know this dealer always has tons of cheap jars, so I sent them to his booths.  Later, I saw them checking out with a bunch of them.  I felt like I repaid him for all the good stuff I got.

I did hit one garage sale on my way to the mall.  It was the only one worth stopping at.  I already had Mazda loaded with stuff for the booth, so I didn't take a Mazda shot.  It would not have been fair to the new stuff.

This is the sale by the dealer that lives not far from us with great stuff and good prices.  I told Keith as we were leaving with Mazda about half full that this would be the day I found a ton of stuff from him, just because the van space was so limited.

Talk about self-fulfilling prophecies!

There were two of these extra large wire baskets.  Only this one made it into the pic.  The other one turned out to be quite camera-shy.

Fun wrought iron plant stand and a really interesting box.  Really interesting.  I think the box itself is kind of old.  The wood looks like it.  It has tiny, old metal casters on the bottom that barely roll.  Along the way, someone attached paneling to the ends of the box and carpet to one side.  Quirky.

All these books!  Two U-Haul boxes full of them.  I saw one of them and it was marked five bucks.  I pulled the tag off and added it to my pile.  Then the seller tells me he's got another one that he'll let me have for four, so I take it too.  

Just then, another guy there starts trying to get down in the second box as I'm checking it out and taking it to my stash.   "What you got there?  Anything good"  Not cool, dude!

This one is my favorite book of the batch.  It's also the only picture book.  There were a lot of old textbooks, several old Bibles (LOVE!), some old religious books, a few novels, and several books from the Five Little Peppers series.  All in all, a really nice haul.

 This is my second favorite from the lot.  Sadly, there are no illustrations inside to match that sweet cover.


This book yielded one of the most awesome surprises I have ever found tucked inside a book.....


Cut right out from the newspaper!  How fun is that???  They remind me of those wonderful Golden Age Katy Keene comic books.  Of course, she wasn't the only comic in the 40's to have paper dolls, but it's one of my favorites.  There was a brief Katy revival in the 80's, which I totally loved, even if I did slip her in between the Batman comics in my stash at the comic shop.

There was also another really fun item of great historical interest in another book, but I'm saving it for another day.  Those are the highlights from the haul.  I also got five toy guitars and a framed golf poster, but didn't get pictures.  Combined with what was already in Mazda, I filled it up!

Not much on tap for this week.  The weather is supposed to be okay for a couple of days, so I'm going to spend some time in the back yard cleaning the last of the curb finds, so they can head to the booth. 

I have a couple of fine-tuning booth touches that need to be done and I need to finish my Easter display.  Once I get everything done, I'll take some pictures for you nice people.  I haven't done that in a while.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016


Sometimes, you can walk right past stuff and tell yourself:  "Not looking for that kind of stuff right now.  Don't need any more of it.  Cutting back."

And you pat yourself on the back, affirming your resolve and self control.

Other times.... grab the item, clutch it to your chest and run to the cashier to pay for it.

You might even squeal a little.

And do a little happy dance.

That might or might not involve a little butt wiggle.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Meet Babs!

I have a new friend.

Her name is Babs.  She is incredibly helpful.

I'd been wanting a price gun for sometime, when I found her on a super-good clearance price--way less than half-price--at Staples.  I had already been researching them, so I knew the brand was good and that I could find labels in several places at good prices.  Thus, Babs came home with me.

It's a move that makes sense for me.  I move way too much merch to constantly be filling out labels.  She's saved me a bunch of time already.  I can click through a stack of comics in no time!  I do still make tags for certain items--sometimes I feel like I need a description that points out a feature that would explain the price.  I also feel that large items deserve a large, visible price tag.

Nevertheless, Babs is here to stay.  She's now part of the team.  Yay Babs!

By the way, she's named in honor of a real person.  Since that real person is still around, I'll refrain from sharing her story, but it's an apt homage.  Trust me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Sometimes.... gotta wash....

....the play food!

I love play food.  I really do.  I sell bags of it all the time.  Every now and then, I find a batch that's a little on the dirty side.  Like this batch that Keith discovered when he was cleaning out the dark corners of the living room.

I actually bought this a while back and set it aside for a day when I felt like cleaning it.  Since pigs never started flying, that day kind of didn't roll around too quickly.  I bought it from a yard sale where I found it all sitting in a giant salad bowl shaped like a clam shell.  The whole thing, bowl included, was just a buck, which is why I got it.  Typically, I pass on stuff this dirty, unless there's something unique about it.

The salad bowl was actually really nice, and I cleaned it up and sold it a while ago.  Now it's time to get this food out.  After this, I've got some toy soldiers to clean, along with a bunch of Happy Meal toys, mostly super-heroes.  They were a curb find from a couple of years ago that were hiding in the living room with the play food.  I think there was some kind of party going on.

The most favorite play food set I ever found was this amazing sushi set from a year or so ago.  I've never seen anything like it before or since.  One time, on another blog, I saw a KFC play food set that came in a KFC bucket.  I've been wanting to find one for myself ever since.  It would be too cool.

Little Tikes food is always on my list of things to hunt for when I go out.  One time, I bought an LT BBQ grill set that still had a lot of the food and utensils with it.  I sold the grill and food/utensils separately and made almost as much on the little stuff as I did the grill.

So many of the small components that come with LT sets get lost, which means that people are always looking for them.  Accessories from older, retired sets used to bring decent prices online.  (I haven't checked on any of them in a while, so that might have changed.)  Since these parts are usually small, they're easier to ship too.  Typically, it's the kind of stuff that's really cheap at yard sales, but makes digging through a box of little toys worthwhile. 

Whenever I sell Little Tikes food (or other accessories), I make sure to include the LT name on the tag. It means something to shoppers, so it can ensure a sale, especially if the price is right.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have play food to wash.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday Rambles

Let me just say right off the top that I am so ready for winter to be over.  So ready.  We haven't had a bad winter at all, mind you.  I'm just tired of the cold and the dreariness.  There are things I want to do outside!  Shoo, winter!

We had another four inches or so of snow yesterday.  Shoo, winter!  It's supposed to start warming up this week, so it won't last long.  I hope.  Shoo, winter!

This is kind of another quickie, mini-ramble.  There's just not much to say right now, for real.  I'm pretty sure that you all honestly don't want to read about me sitting around in my robe, drinking hot chocolate and petting the cat.  Shoo, winter!

Last week was all about getting the big junk from the set out pick to the booth.  This week will be about getting the small stuff over.  I made a super score on some wrestling action figures, so I'll also be getting those ready to go.  And probably bagging some comics.  In my robe.  While drinking hot chocolate.  And petting the cat.  Shoo, winter!

My, what a lot of wrestling action figures!
A competing vendor mall has opened up across the street from the Peddlers Mall.  I might head over there to check it out later in the week.  I've heard it's not very impressive, as it's less than half-rented out and most of the vendors over there have either left our mall or also have booths in our mall.  I have to confess that I do not understand paying to compete against yourself like that.  It's not like two malls that close to each other are going to draw significantly different crowds of shoppers.  In fact, reports have most shoppers leaving there empty-handed and coming over and spending money with us.

Honestly, I'm not worried about competition.  Nobody anywhere does this thing the way I do it, if I can say so myself.  I've never been that impressed with the other malls that the owners of this new one operate.  The staff are unfriendly and none of their stores is ever fully rented it seems.  On the other hand, I have found really good bargains in some of them, so it's worth checking out to see if maybe a new close source for stuff has opened up.  We'll see.

Speaking of booths and such, February is rolling long well.  I had a bit of a glitch last week for a couple of days, but the tax money is now getting to people and they are coming in and filling their carts.  Seriously.  I see more people walking by my space with huge mounds of stuff in their buggies and think:  "Tax refunds."

What's really wild is that there are a bunch of them that have never been in a Peddlers Mall (or a flea market, for that matter) before.  You can tell by listening to the conversations.  They're the ones that are either amazed at how much stuff there is here or they're appalled that so much of it is secondhand.  I really don't know exactly what that last group was expecting when they came in.

As someone who does not sell anything remotely resembling a necessity, I am very grateful for the tax refund folks, since for some of them, this is the only extra money they get all year.  The sales boost is always appreciated.

The real issue sales-wise right now is the weather.  All of my off days have also been snow days.  Shoo, winter!

Tomorrow, it's back to the cancer center.  This is treatment number 16, so I'll be scheduling another scan as well.  Those come every four treatments.  Wednesday will be a day of rest. I keep forgetting to do that, but it makes such a difference when I do it.

If I'm feeling up to it on Thursday, I need to take some stuff from the Hillock to the booth.  I still have a hunk of my religious books in storage, because I didn't have room for them.  I figured out how to rearrange some things at the booth and make more room, so I need to get them.  I have some empty shelves sitting and waiting for them.

Also, I need to take the Valentine's stuff out and replace it with St Pat's and Easter stuff.  I really don't ever sell much for any of those holidays, so I never have much to put out.  I barely sold anything for Valentine's Day this year.  I think I only have about a half-dozen St Patrick's items, but they should go out.

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day full of hearts and flowers and chocolate and whatnot.  We stayed in, and I made dinner for us--the kind of big cooking with side dishes and fresh veggies and chopping and peeling and dessert that we hardly ever do any more.  It was fun.

This is a post "dig in" pic.

Then I realized that kind of cooking makes dishes to be washed.  Lots of them.  And I understood why we don't do that kind of thing very often.  Oh well. 

If you need a little Monday giggle, try this collection of Popes in sombreros.  Fashion-forward Pontiffs for the Win!

All together now:


Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Rest of the Bounty!

I think I said all 1,000 words for these pictures in my intro to the first post, so let's dive right in!

Yes, I found a vending machine.  Awesome, isn't it?  At least I thought so.  Since I don't have keys for it, I can't charge as much for it as I might want, but it's the kind of thing that attracts people into the booth to check it out, which is never a bad thing.  That alone made it worth picking up.

I was kind of surprised it was still there, since it was one of the things I had to come back for later.  As I was leaving that street, I saw a scrapper driving through, so I was prepared for it not to be there.  I was coming back for some other stuff anyway, so it was super to find it still there.

This was one of those finds that I really wasn't sure how Keith would react.  I've talked before about the eyerolls I get some times.  I figured a vending machine would earn me another one, but when we pulled up he said:  "A candy machine!  You have to get that!"  It's nice to know after all these years that I can still be surprised.

This window is missing one pane, but it's still cool.  It came from behind a vintage store where I used to have a booth.  That's another spot that's always worth checking out.  Last set out I got a little miffed, because it seemed like they had smashed everything big up before they put it out.  Not so this time, so maybe it was wandering hooligans last time.  Some people just don't appreciate good junk.

I like to go for windows that have something unique about them, like the three panes on this one.  Lots of booths in our mall have windows now, and I try to look for ones that will stand out from the crowd, because of their size or hardware or glass or something.

These orange Plexiglas panels are unique enough to catch my eye.  I ended up knocking the corners off the one when I tried to pull it out of the pile.  I decided to keep it anyway.

Mini-shutters are always a go.  These need much deep cleaning, but they were still worth getting.  They are stashed in the shed, along with a handful of other items, waiting for a nice, warm backyard day when I can tackle them.

Wood chair.  Wood crate.  Wood file cabinet.  Wood stool with ugly-ass paint job.  Seriously, that's like the worst version of those 80's country apples that I've ever seen.  Whoever did it didn't seal the paint job very well either, because it ran all over the place.  It'll be a nice re-do job for someone else.  Both the drawers were off the runners, but they slid right back on.  I actually did that before I put it in Mazda, just in case they wouldn't work right.

I think Chiquito had as much fun this time around as I did.  He really got into giving everything a good once over sniffing when I got it in the house.  I don't recall him ever getting that into the stuff I drag in before.

Maybe next time, I'll take him out with me.  He's a bit put out with me, since I haven't been home much during this set out.  I'll have to make it up to him.

Back to cleaning and pricing!

PS  I would be a little remiss if I didn't mention one more oddball find.  Since this is a PG-13/R-rated blog, there's no pic, but I have to share anyway.  Think of a part of the male anatomy that rhymes with "Venus."  Now picture little plastic molds in that shape of said body part.  A half dozen of them.  I have no idea what they're for, but I did find them in a box in one junk pile.  You just never know what will turn up.  Yes, I took them.  No, I have no idea what to do with them.

Maybe I'll start an "adult novelties" section in my booth.

Actually, I'm leaning more towards putting colored lights in them and using them for Christmas tree decorations. (There's a really bad pun I could make here, but I'll refrain.)  I think it would work.  They already look kind of like little, obscene ice sculptures.

And if you got to this blog because you just googled "little obscene ice sculptures," welcome, I think.  Also, you are a weirdo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Treasure Hunting

This has been one of the best junk set outs that we've had since I started this whole booth business.  I totally was not expecting that.  Usually the winter set out is pretty sparse.  Part of that is because it's still kind of new.  The city used to have four set out periods a year--one per quarter.  A few years ago, budget cuts reduced that to two per year.  A couple of years ago, they restored the winter set out, bringing us to three per year.

The first year that they did that, it seems to have caught people by surprise because there was NOTHING put out.  It was really sad.  Last year was the second year for this winter period.  It rained the whole week before and during, so nobody really put anything out.  This was actually a good thing, because it was also the time that the Dixie Peddlers Mall was closing, and I had NO time to be prowling the curbs.  If there had been tons of treasure sitting everywhere, I would have just cried.  Really.

Typically, the late spring set out gets all the stuff from people's spring cleaning.  The fall set out is the stuff from the big rush to finish projects and such before winter sets in.  Since people tend to burrow in and hibernate for the winter, I seriously wasn't expecting too much.

Instead, I got one of the biggest hauls ever!  While we have had some snow and cold, overall it's been a pretty mild winter, so there's been a lot of remodeling and such going on.  It was in the fifties over the weekend, so people really got out and put out the junk!

At first, I was a little nervous, because nothing was coming out early.  In my neighborhood, stuff usually starts popping out two or three days early, but there was nothing until last Friday.  All of a sudden, folks decided to start following the rules?  Don't do this to me people!

Of course, I was worrying in vain.  Once stuff started coming out, it didn't stop.  Treasure everywhere!  It was kind of wild that there was so much out there, because a few of the houses that always put out good stuff didn't participate this time.  I guess it's kind of like yard sales.  One year a sale can be super-fabulous and the next, not so much.

Since the weekend, it's been cold and snowy--not heavy snow, but on again, off again flurries, with a little bit of accumulation here and there.  I think that's kind of worked in my favor, since it seems to have kept most of the competition away.  I've only seen one or two scrappers out this time around.  The weather has kept the city workers who usually do the pick up on snow removal alert, so the pick up is slowed down and I have had more time to grab stuff.

I got smart this time and prepared better than ever before.  I took an old over the shoulder messenger bag I have and filled it with the largest reusable shopping bags I could find in the house.  This increased my carrying capacity so much that I didn't have to make as many drop offs back at the house.  It worked so well, in fact, that I'm going to keep that bag set up like that and put it in Mazda for yard sale season.  Maybe it will cut down on the number of plastic bags I accumulate.  I also found a small retail hand basket from a grocery store that's no longer in town.  I'm going to throw it in Mazda as well to take in big sales and corral my purchases.  That might cut down on the boxes I accumulate.

So let's get to the stuff.  That's what you're really here for.  Right?  By the way, this isn't all of finds.  Just some of the more blog-worthy finds.  I don't like to bore you with too much stuff.  I prefer to do that with too many words.

One final caveat, before we start.  I know I said last week that I'm in a period of minimal shopping and big backlog.  However, this isn't shopping!  It's just sitting there, waiting to be picked up!  I'm also making extra effort to get all this stuff to the booth this week, so that it doesn't add to the backlog. When I make my list of those events that are such sure things for finding good stuff that I have to go to them even when I'm minimalising, the set out periods are at the top of the list.

This is going to have to be in two parts, because some of the stuff is still in Mazda.  Also, these are the BC (before cleaning) pictures.

Oh, yeah.  This is going to be on the long side.

I guess we'll start with this stack of records.  All of them are box sets and most are quite old.  I tend to stay away from records when buying stuff, because I just don't know much about them.  There are at least three other dealers at the Peddlers Mall selling records, which translates to a lot of people coming through looking for them, so having a few isn't a bad thing, especially when they're free.  I also found two boxes of records across the street from the house that I forgot to photograph.

This has got to be the worst photo I have ever done for this blog.

This only scratches the surface of the frames I saw.  One of the houses down the street is the home of an artist and the owner of a vintage store.  Every now and then, they clean the place out and have a really funky yard sale.  Apparently, they didn't want to bother with that right now, because they put out a ton of stuff, including several gold frames of all sizes and styles.  I took several of the more ornate ones.  Frames turned into a theme for the set out, as I found large ones at two other houses as well.  Please ignore the stack of other finds cluttering up the picture.  Apparently, I couldn't be bothered to move them.  It can't be that I didn't notice that pile until I was downloading the pics.  Can it?  Can it?

The white platter is ironstone.  Seriously.  Just sitting in an alley.  Waiting for me.  Not a chip on it.  People are crazy.  Speaking of, there's a good post about why people just toss great stuff up at Things I Find in the Garbage.  The discussion comments are really good too, so be sure to check them out as well.  There is some serious brushwork going on in that painting.  You can't make it out in the pic, but it's really textured.

Two generations of soda crates.  I found the wooden one directly across the street from my house.  I wish I could convince the neighbors to just drop the good stuff off on my porch.  It would save me a lot of work.  I love that it's for Canada Dry, instead of the usual Coke or Pepsi.  There doesn't seem to be as much demand for the plastic ones, but it will eventually sell.  In the meantime, it's the right size, scale, and depth to hold action figures in the comic booth.

I am in love with this homemade doll size horse barn.  It's heavy as all get out and needs an intense cleaning and a little TLC, but nothing major.  It might be my favorite find this time around.

Assorted odds and ends.  I seem to be leaning towards salvage items an awful lot lately.  They're just so plentiful right now.  Our neighborhood is mostly hundred year old shotgun houses, and right now there's been an influx of hipster couples moving in who are doing a lot of renovating and remodeling.  That adds up to lots of old doors and windows and such sitting on curbs and in dumpsters.  Like I'm going to pass that up.

The window is from the artist house where I got the frames.  So are most of those awesome table legs.  The window is one heavy piece of work, let me tell you.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack carrying it up the hill.  Why is it that the good stuff is always heavy and located at the bottom of the hill?  There was another window just like this one, but I didn't think I could manage another hill climb that day.  By the time I got back to it, some asshole had come along and broken the glass out of it.  That happens a lot with windows in our neighborhood during set out.  They're hard to get.  I did find another one, but forgot to get a pic.  I was hoping to nab at least a couple, because I cannot keep them in the booth.

You can also see a photo-bombing Little Tikes chair in this pic.  I found two of them and, for some reason, neglected to get a pic.  Love me some Little Tikes!  I always beeline right to it.  It never stays in the booth long.  

Anyone for a game of water ski croquet?  At least I think those are water skis.  They're too big to be snow skis, but there isn't anything to strap your foot to the ski.  They're almost like mini surf boards.  I was on kind of a roll finding skimmer boards at pretty much every recent set out.  I didn't find one this time, but this is a variation on that theme.  They need a good cleaning, of course.

Randomness.  I love having a booth that makes all of these items worth picking up.  The white thing is an enamel refrigerator drawer.  There is an old cemetery in our neighborhood and one of the alleys behind our house runs right to it, ending behind one of the maintenance buildings.  There is ALWAYS good stuff there, like this drawer.  The Pumba toy fell out of a box at another place.  Since I am all about the small toys, I dug through everything looking for more, but it seems to be the only one.  I guess it was meant to be.  I actually did not run across too many toys this time around.  Usually there's one good sized box of action figures, Happy meal toys, and cars.

Miscellaneous.  So much of the fun is never knowing what you'll find.  The brown and silver thing is a lamp base that I found kind of intriguing.  There's a tacky little bird in that cage, but he'll be leaving soon.  I usually don't do plush toys during set out--too many of them are either wet, musty, or filthy.  This little Gund bear is kind of cute, so I'm taking a chance.  He does need cleaning.  I am trying to figure out how to do it and preserve the Gund tag in front.  I sell a lot of office supply stuff, especially clipboards, so I always pick them up.

More of the same.  That's a vintage hardshell American Tourister briefcase in excellent shape in the back.  I think those two vintage tins will clean up well.  The thing with the bird on it is the topper to a trophy.  I like the bird, so I'm going to take it off.

Absolute freaking oddball stuff.  Why would you even have dental lathe wheels at your house?  Who would pick these up?  Oh, yeah.  I would.  The gray things are the wheels.  There were also a ton of teeth in the box I where I found these.  (Ewwwwww.)  I was briefly tempted, but did not succumb.  Some things are over the line even for me, like body parts.  I did grab that small bit of teeth on the left, just to share with you all.  I tossed it after I took the pic.  You're welcome.

Vintage Singer sewing machine case lid.  I know I say this a lot, but I thought it was interesting enough to take a chance on.

There were a bunch of these books, but sadly, most of them were in rotten shape.  Sometimes, you gotta save what you can.  Also, photo-bombing kitty.

After I found this Daisy BB gun, I worried about wandering around the alleyways while carrying it, especially since my route for that day took me by a local government building complex that includes a police station. 

When I first started doing this, I used to regret that there was never time to get to all the parts of our set out area, which is pretty large.  What I have learned since then is that my immediate neighborhood is a pretty good picking ground.  Everything here was found within a few blocks of the house.  Much of it was along the routes I already take when I go out for a walk.  This makes it easy for me to spend an afternoon or two wandering around, picking up the smalls and casing the big stuff, then come back later with Mazda for those large items.  There's seriously no reason for me to have to go anywhere else.  Realizing this has made the whole experience incredibly easy to manage.

I've also thought on and off about hitting up other parts of town during their set out times, kind of like the scrappers do.  I even keep track of the schedule for two or three other neighborhoods. I'm starting to see that, if I really do that, I'll hardly have time for anything else!  This is an intense few days.  I'll still go through a pile if I happen across one in my travels, but I think I'm leaving my serious expeditions for my own neighborhood.  As much as I love the hunt during set out time, I think the fun would wear off if I did it all the time.

During the warmer weather, new piles of stuff appear all week, which makes moving to other areas unnecessary.  The snow this week kept that from happening, but did learn the value of revisiting a spot a second or third time.  There's always something that got overlooked.  Even in uncooperative weather, there are always boxes and stacks that stay dry and clean because they're under other stuff.

Now it's time to get this stuff cleaned up and in the booth.  After that, I'll be sitting back and counting the days until mid-May and the next set out.  It's like Junker Christmas three times a year!

Look for part two in a couple of days!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Quickie Rambles

Not much happening here at the moment, so just a short rundown. With incomplete sentences, yet.

It's junk set out in my neighborhood.  I've been prowling the alleys and curbs since Friday and dragging home the bounty.  Pics to come.

I have discovered that, if you wander the streets with your head stuck through a big picture frame, people will give you a wide berth.

We've had cold and snow storms for the past couple of days.  Nothing major.  Just an annoyance.  Been staying close to home and drinking hot chocolate.

Booth sales are very good so far this month.  Very strong.  It's too early to count any chickens, but the potential is strong for this month.

I got a new shirt at the Peddlers Mall the other day.

It's wrinkly because it sat in a pile of clothes after coming out of the dryer.

Snazzy, huh? 

Believe it or not, I have always wanted one of these tux t-shirts.  Another vendor found it for me while she was looking through some clothes in a booth.  She showed it to me and said "This looks like something you need."  She was right. 

One of my goals for this year is to replace my aging, tired wardrobe.  I'm off to a good start.

That's all the news from these parts.  What's up in your corner of the world?

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Friday, February 05, 2016

It's been a while since I did anything crazy here....

So, you've already met these guys.

Well, at the same sale, I also bought a Cinderella figure.  I do well with the Disney Princesses.  After taking this next pic, my wheels started turning.

Back in the ancient days of comic blogging, folks liked to grab oddball panels out of books, block out the text and post them for others to download and add their own dialogue and captions.  If you go back several years in this blog, you can see some of my own contributions.

Consider this an updated, junker version of that idea.

You can vote for your favorites or suggest your own captions in the comments.  Click on the pics to make them bigger.






Thursday, February 04, 2016

2016 Finds (So Far)

Since the first of the year, we've been putting in a lot of time cleaning and de-stashing the house.  Keith is a pretty big pack-rat, and I'm, well, me.  He got to working on his stash in the living room, and ended up finding a bunch of booth stuff that I had put in there and forgot about.  Between that, the junk room, the shed and Sorrow Mountain (not to mention the Hillock), I'm not really needing to shop much right now.

I am down to the last of my banana boxes from the Dixie move out last year in the shed.  I have figured out how to fit yet more shelves from the Mount of Sorrows into the booths, so I'll be moving most of the boxes over soon, plus the last of my religious books from the Hillock.  Our goal is to close the Hillock in March.  To do that, I have to make space in the shed for the camping stuff Keith has on the Hillock, then move the last bits of my stuff over to Mount Sorrow.

I want to have Mount Sorrow scaled down by the end of the summer to the point that it will fit in a smaller unit.  I've realized the convenience of having a storage unit for stashing shelves and some furniture, but I don't want to keep paying for such a large one.

In other words, I'm doing more pricing and prepping to stuff I already have, instead of buying more.  As long as I have this backlog, I'm only going to be hitting the kinds of sales that have a good, proven track record with me where I can get the kinds of things I need.

Like the Big Flea from New Year's.  It was a little disappointing, as one of the vendors I went especially to shop from was not there.  Not that I didn't find other stuff.

I made a new friend.

How cool is this ash bin?

It came with the box!
 A couple of weeks ago, I found a bag of stuff at the Peddlers Mall for a dollar.  It was mostly school supplies and such, but I also saw these:

That's the word stencils and magnetic letter tray for a 1970's Fisher-Price play school desk.  Kids could use the stencils as guides to write the words on the chalkboard surface of the desk, or they could spell the words with the magnetic letters.

I have found three or four of the desks over the years, but none have ever had the supplies with them.  (It's even harder to find the letters that go in the tray.)  I bought the bag, so I could stash this stuff for the next desk I found.

A few days later, I was hitting up Unique Thrift on half-price day, and guess what I found?

Serendipitous, I tell you!

I also got a real school desk at Unique that day.  With two at the booth and one on the Mountain, I really didn't need another one, but I cannot pass them up when they're only $2.50.  Plus, I like it when my shopping has a theme.

Let's talk about that Mazda shot now.  I tried to limit myself on Saturday to just the sure things, which would have made three stops, but it was so nice and I was so stir-crazy that I ended up adding an adoption fund-raiser sale at a church.

The white bag on the left in front is full of comics from the nerd herd comic shop sale.  They had a bunch of graphic novels (including hardcovers) and bundles of certain series on sale for a buck each.  my comic section is pretty hot right now, so I can't afford to pass up a sale.  (In the past two weeks, I've met three of my regular comic customers when I was working the booth.  One guy told me he comes by twice a week.)

The Barnes and Noble bags come from their 75% red dot clearance sale--one of my favorite things.  They had a lot of cool super-hero stuff this time around.  I even got a Batman just for me.

The cider kit in the brown and green box is also from BN.  It was a little more than I normally spend, but I think I'll get a good return on it.  Now, I just need to wait a couple of weeks until the prices drop to two dollars and hit them up again!

There's a guy not far from us who holds monthly sales in his garage.  He's also a vendor at a couple of flea markets, so he always has good stuff.  The green chair and pink cabinet I got last year that made a few of you all bonkers came from him.  I can always count on him for large pieces at great prices.  Also odd things.

I'm in love with this sign.

A couple of you all identified this as part of a bookshelf, but it's really a bunch of bamboo poles and three table leaves.  I dug a bamboo pole out of the trash at the Peddlers Mall a while back and put it in my booth, where it sold.  I bought a couple more bamboo poles, and one of them sold.  So now I have some more!  I love the darker color on these.

I got all three table leaves for a buck.  I just kind of thought, "Why the hell not?"  I'm thinking someone might like them for a project or something.  I always find odd stuff like this at his sale, and I usually can sell it too.  One time I bought some (HEAVY) broken marble counter slabs off him.  Could not keep them in the booth.

When I put the bag from the church sale in the back of Mazda, an item rolled out.  I was going to put it back in, when I realized it would look great in the Mazda shot, but I forgot and put the BN bags on top of it.

Here it is in all its glory:


I swear that it fell out exactly like this!
There are actually two of them.

Sumo Nipples!
They also talk, or rather make unintelligible grunting sounds.  You'll be seeing more of them soon, he said rather cryptically.

This turned out to be one of those church sales where the adult volunteers brought their kids with them and allowed the kids to run loose around the place while they ran the sale.  I hate those kind of sales, because the toys always get mobbed and trashed.  Or else you have to fight some little person to get to them.  Not that I'm above doing that, mind you.

I already had one of these babies in hand, when I realized there were two of them.  I was pushing the second one back and forth to make sure it still made the clicking noises that these lawn mowers do, when a little girl--maybe 18 months old--toddled up to me and just pushed it away across the room with her.  I looked at Keith and said:  "That little girl stole my lawn mower."  He just shrugged and said:  "It's not yours any more."

So I stood there kind of casually browsing stuff and keeping an eye on where the lawn mower was heading.  I mean, c'mon, she's not even two!  She'll lose interest in about thirty seconds.  Sure enough, BINGO!  She lets go of it and wanders off.  I shove the other one in Keith's hands and SWOOP in and grab it before she turns around.  SCORE!

Yes, I stole a toy from a child.  It's not like she had money to buy it.  No, I'm not proud of myself.  Yes, I would probably do it again.  Yes, I am pathetic.  In my defense, I did not make her cry.  She had forgotten about it as soon as she let go of it.  I'm sure she already had one at home and didn't need another one anyway.

You ought to see how I deal with old ladies.



Best curb find in a while, wouldn't you say?  I stalked this baby for a week, believe it or not.  What am I saying?  Of course you believe it!

I was walking to the bus last week, when I saw this totally awesome cabinet sitting in the yard of a house at the bottom of the hill.  It was sitting by the trash cans, so I was pretty sure they were tossing it, but it was also the day after garbage day.  I thought maybe they had gone ahead and gotten it out of the house in prep for junk day.

That night, I made Keith drive past the house to see if it was still there.  (Like none of you have done that.)  I continued to keep watch on it, twice a day, like that for a week.  One day there was a guy in the yard of the house.  I almost asked him if he was tossing it, but decided not to, because I didn't think I could get it back up the hill by myself, plus I was late for the bus as it was.  He probably would have asked for money to boot.

Monday, we're driving home and there it is!  Sitting out on the curb with the trash cans.  It was a bit of a wrestle to get it in Mazda, and Keith kept asking if I really wanted it.  (He thought it was too run down looking.)  I'm hoping it's a good omen for the rest of junk set out this weekend.

The trash people would not have taken it anyway.  They would have left it for the junk truck.  I figure the folks in that house must be new in the neighborhood and don't realize how stuff works.

When I first told Keith about it, he wanted to know why I didn't just knock on the door and ask for it.  I told him that too many of the neighbors had seen me going through their junk and carrying bits of it off.  I don't mind being thought of as the neighborhood hobo, but I draw the line at having people think I stalk their garbage!

Even though I totally do.

It's a living!