Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Rest of the Mazda Shot

It's time to turn back to the wonders and goodies contained in our beloved Mazda this past Saturday.  I think there are some real treats to be sure.  Some of the pics are not the best.  I was trying to outrace the fading of the day, but didn't make it.


This is a late 70's Kermit from Fisher Price.  The seller told me that her parents are divorcing after 43 years of marriage and told her to come get all her stuff out of the attic so they could sell the house.  Wow.  She had a lot of great stuff, but most of it was in poor shape.

This is where I lost the fight with the dark.

I keep calling these things "cornices," but I know that's not the right term.  They each have a wooden rod in them for a curtain (I guess), which would make them more like valences.  Or do valences have to be cloth?  Oh, the technicality!

They do have all kinds of screws and nails that need to be extracted.

Primitive work table.


I keep referring to this as an "Ancient Amazonian Decorated Iron Throwing Wheel" which is exactly what I am going to put on the tag.  Can't you just see Wonder Woman clonking Minotaurs and decapitating Cyclopses (Cyclopi?) with this baby?

Think of it as a kick-ass version of Xena's little throwing thing, but then Wonder Woman is more kick-ass than Xena.

Image from here.
 Oh.  Maybe it's just me.

I know that calling it a Throwing Wheel is going to confuse the hell out of some customers.  I once called a vintage egg-shaped hair dryer case an "Alien Pod Carrier" and laughed for weeks at the customers who couldn't figure it out.  Not my regulars, though.  They get me.

Besides "Ancient Amazonian Decorated Iron Throwing Wheel" just sounds so much better than "Ring to hang pots and pans."

A whole buncha fun smalls!  Cool wood box.  Mason jar full of old nails.  Vintage PBN of a girl.  And an oddly--almost sultry--posed Girl Scout.  Fun stuff.

Finally, that mysterious Snickers box.  I went back to the guy that I bought all of those old books from a few weeks ago.  The first thing he wanted me to know was that he had another box for me!  This is only about half of them.

A lot of nursing tests in this one, but there's also a Bible.  And a chemistry book with a leather cover/binding that looks like it ought to be an old Bible.  I have found lots of interesting stuff tucked in the nursing books, mainly notes about rounds and patients and such.  A nurse these days would not have a job for long leaving patients names and info around like that!

Old Hygiene books are great!  The illustrations are totally priceless, like these exercise guides.

I love that the bottom one says to "Continue until tired."  Okay!

At first, I thought this was a geography text about The Americas.  Then I thought it was a history of the Armenians.  I wonder if there's a reading comprehension book in this lot>

I might hang on to this one, in case I need surgery sometime.  I figure I could do it myself and save a bundle.  It has illustrations and everything!

Our nurse was a bit of an artist, or at least a doodler.  This giy, or variations of him, pop up all through the text books.

I also got a box of oddball ephemera from him.  I wasn't going to do it, but he seriously slashed the price on it to get rid of it.  I love ephemera and old paper stuff, but I just do not have the space to display it right.   Part of the lot came from the estate of an accordion teacher.  At one point in time, it was possible to support oneself and one's family giving accordion lessons.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Let's Talk About Church Sales

I honestly don't think you'll find a junker anywhere who doesn't like--nay, love--a church sale.

Seriously, what's not to love?  A large room, filled with all kinds of junk, with cheap prices.  If there's a better definition of "junker heaven" then I want to know what it is.  Throw in the fact that there are also clean restrooms (something I appreciate more and more the older I get) and often home-baked goodies, and you have a recipe for a perfect morning.

Living, as I do, in the buckle of the Bible Belt means that I am surrounded by churches.  Not only are there churches on every corner, usually there are two or three on every block in between!  That means there are a lot of potential church sales out there.  So many, in fact, that when I pass certain churches, I start thinking about when their sale is going to be.  If it's a church that doesn't have a sale, I start to ponder why it doesn't and how I could convince them to have one.  Seriously.  I really do this.  I am not well.  I know.

There are two kinds of church sales (that I know of, anyway):  the donation sale and the vendor sale.  Donation sales are usually the better ones, because everything has been donated to the church for the sale.  The church has as much interest in making sure everything is gone as they do in raising money.  This means that the prices start out great and get better as the sale wears on.  If you get really lucky, there's a half-price hour or box/bag sale lurking at the very end of the sale.

For the vendor sales, the church rents out spaces to people who then come and sell their stuff.  The prices may not be as good as at the donation sale in the beginning, but nearly every seller has a point where they realize they don't want to haul their crap home again and the bargains start to flow.

In these parts, yard sale season starts out with church sales.  There have already been quite a few, in fact.  Many of these sale are annual events, and I look forward to them every year.  Out of the dozens of sales that take place in these parts every season, there are four that stand out head and shoulders above the rest.  These four sales are the gold standard, in my opinion.

All four of them are donation sales.  Church members and others have brought their stuff to the church were it was organized and priced by volunteers.  Each of these sales always has tons of stuff and great prices, but they also have something unique about the way they operate that sets them apart and above the other sales in town.

Two of these sales have already happened.  One of the remaining sales is scheduled for April, while the last one always happens the first Saturday in June.  For this post, I'd like to talk about the ones that have already happened and what makes them gold standard.  When the others have taken place, I'll do the same for them (if I remember).

Yeah, I'll be talking about finds too.

The first gold standard sale is one of the earliest sales in the city.  What sets them apart is their efficient check outs.  They have tally stations where you get your prices added up and your stuff wrapped and packed.  The volunteers use calculators with print outs and give you your ticket, which you then take to the pay station.  They keep the ticket, which I think probably makes balancing the cash easy at the end.

This system really works and really makes the traffic flow quickly.  If something is not priced, the volunteers are able to name a price for the item, instead of hunting for someone in charge.  This is rarer than you would think.  The best part is that the volunteers are actually trained in how to use the calculators properly and they know the difference between five cents and fifty cents and how to enter each correctly.  You would be surprised how often this is a problem.  They also work quickly and don't chat and visit, which really helps.  I've stood in too many long church lines waiting for folks in the front to finish catching up so the rest of us can be checked out.

The second gold standard sale keeps tweaking their process every year, so that it keeps on getting better and better.  The sale benefits the church's program for deaf teens, and many of the teens volunteer during the sale.  They work really hard doing all kind of jobs:  cleaning up, carrying stuff out, organizing, etc.

A couple of years ago, they started having a holds area, where folks like me could stash stuff they're going to buy while they continue browsing.  The volunteers would take your name and label your stuff with it and then keep it organized and together until you were ready to check out.  This worked okay, but there were some of the teen volunteers who could not understand when people gave their names.  This year, they went to a number system, like a coat check.  You got a number, and when you took more stuff to be held, you could just show the number and everyone could keep track of your stuff.

This sale also has a big half price hour at the end of the sale.  They make everyone leave the gym and line up, while the volunteers go through and tidy up the tables.  They're also looking for things people may have stashed in anticipation of the half-price hour.  Plus, they bring out extra empty boxes and bags, since they know people will be filling them up.  These kind of refinements may seem minor, but they really help the process work smoothly.

We usually don't even go to this sale until the last hour.  There's always a ton of stuff, so I don't worry about missing out on anything.  We'll get there about a half hour before the half-price time and case the joint to see what all is there.  If there is anything super awesome or unique or that I think I might not be able to get my hands on during the half price time, I'll go ahead and buy it then.  After that, we line up and wait.

This year, they added the extra step of making the books, movies, etc fill a bag for three bucks.  I think they had been having too many books left-over, so they were discounting them further.  It definitely prompted me to fill a bag, instead of just grabbing a book or two like I normally would have done.  Constant improving and tweaking like this is what makes a gold standard, I think.

Yes, I spend too much time thinking about these kind of things.  I'm a process nerd.  It's what I do.  So what about some church sale finds.  After all, the sale can run as well as it wants to, but if there isn't any good stuff to buy, it doesn't really matter.  Does it?

So was there good stuff?  You betcha!

I solved my small shelf problem pretty quickly.  These pics give a good example of how I use them in the booth.

There were two of these aluminum lawn chairs.  I ended up buying them before the half-price hour.  The price was already super and they were sitting right my the door to the gym.  I just knew that they would not last during the half price time and I might not get them.  Sometimes you do what you gotta do.

Backyard lamp post for candles and a pitchfork.  There's wire wrapped around the handle to hold the head on the handle.  If it doesn't sell this way, then I'll separate the two and sell them individually.

70's Sit and Spin toy.  Who had one of these as a kid?  I always wanted one, but I was too big for them when they came out.

Chalk board memo/note/sign thing in fancy wrought iron frame.  I feel like writing the day's specials on it.

1971 Mattel chunky alphabet letter blocks.  You can spell and build with these babies.

Gold Standard sale #3 is scheduled for a week from Saturday!  Can't wait.  Does anyone else count the days to the good sales?

Please tell me that I'm not the only one.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Rambles

Stay out of my way in Walgreens today!  The Reeses Eggs are half off!  This has been your Fat Guy Rampage Alert for the day.

My neighborhood has been invaded by contractor dumpsters of late.  There are easily half a dozen within a block or two of the house.  Last week, I was walking to the bus and just happened to pass one of them.  I took a quick look inside, and there was a cute face staring back at me.


I didn't have time to dig further, so I grabbed him and headed to the bus stop.  When I got to the booth, I put a quick price on him, since I knew someone would grab him out of my cart whether I wanted them to or not.  He sold!  (I had to borrow this pic from Pinterest to show you all.)

I headed back there yesterday, but the dumpster was all full of wood now.  EXCEPT...for a heavy, round, antique mirror resting neatly on top.  I really need to hit those dumpsters more often.

I think I'll tease out a little bit of the Mazda shot, otherwise it will be a short, short ramble this week.

The comic shop had a music giveaway on Saturday.  They were giving away five items per person.  Since Keith and I are two people, I got to pick ten items.  (Shhhhh....)  I went looking for a few interesting/oddball items.  Did I find any?

You tell me.

They also had a whole bunch of book and record sets.  I picked out my five, and there were five left, so I went ahead and bought them too.

I picked up a bag of toy odds and ends for a buck.  It was mostly bits and pieces from Lego sets, plus s few other items.  

The chip bag has the broken bits in it.  Why I left it in the picture, I do not know.  I've started splitting everything else up into bags for sale.  One of the bags is going to a friend of mine who also has a booth at the Peddlers Mall.  He collects vintage metal dollhouses and then furnishes them.  He has a whole little town in his basement.  The furnishings don't have to be vintage, just the right scale.  I keep an eye out for stuff for him, and he looks for religious items for me.

It's the last little bit of March, and it has been such a good booth sales month.  I'm almost dreading Spring Break week in April.  This is the first March in recent memory that I haven't had to fret the basketball tournament, which is a big deal around here.  UK was out early and UL couldn't play, so those distractions were dealt with pretty easily.  Right now, my March total is equal to my highest month, so anything from here on out is a record-setter, even if it slows a little.

And that is, seriously, all I got today.  It's been a bit boring here of late.  Sorry about that.  How about if I throw in some awesome music for a Monday?

See you!

PS If you never hear from me again, it might be because I am planning on attending this sale this weekend. (Pasted verbatim from Craigslist)

Greetings fellow humans! We are having a multi-household yard sale and you should swing by and observe what we have for sale with your ocular circuits! We are definitely not robots from the future searching for ways to infiltrate and destroy your civilization! We will have many items including but not limited to:
-ac unit
-cyborg memory boosters
-a car
-men's clothes
-women's clothes
-baby clothes and other assorted items
-build your own interociter set
So come on over and buy some of our stuff! Who knows, you may meet the person of your dreams at our yard sale! And you certainly will not have your personality shunted into a robot body for transport into the future! 

It seems pretty legit to me and it's in the neighborhood. I think it's at the house that glows all the time and has the weird antennae on top.  They also drive a really funny-looking car.  I think it's some kind of foreign model.

I am totally out of flux capacitors and this seems like the kind of place where I might find some.  Chiquito says that he's out of fluids for his cloning chambers, so I'm going to see if they have some there. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

What's in Mazda?

Happy Easter, Everyone!

I  hope the Bunny left you some nice surprises.  He doesn't spend a lot of time at our house. I think Chiquito intimidates him a little, but I don't mind that so much right now.

That's because I got a good Mazda shot yesterday.  Take a look.  Every sale was right in our neighborhood, too.

 Any grocery bags you see peeking about in there don't count.  They just have groceries in them.  How boring is that?

Aside from that, what do you see in Mazda?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Let's Go to the Big Flea!

I managed to get some pics during my recent trip to the Big Flea.  I thought maybe you would like to walk along with me.  I didn't get pics of the whole thing.  I tend to get too wrapped up in my shopping and forget to take pictures a lot of the time.  I'm also leery of taking pics of vendor booths and merch.  Some of them get really cranky about that.

Still, I managed to get a pretty good overview of this trip.  I'll work harder at it the next time.

On the way to the Fairgrounds, we passed a sign for an estate sale.  I saw it, but Keith didn't.  When we got to the street where the sale was, all i had to say was, "Turn here." And he did!  No questions or anything!

The sale was pretty good.  The sellers are downsizing in order to sell their house.  This is supposed to be the first of many sales they'll be having.  They had some great stuff.

A lot of the stuff had been put into baggies (freezer quart size) for a dollar.  As I got there, a guy was leaving with a baggie filled with Big Little Books and Golden Comics Digests.  For a dollar.  There but for the grace of God....

Anyway, I got several baggies, mostly filled with cheap vintage nick nack kind of stuff.  There were a couple of crap items in each bag, but it was all more than worth it.  Good shelf filler stuff over all.

One baggie was full of small tins.  Most were new, but there was this sweet vintage baby in there with them.

The other really nice find from this sale was a pair of these detailed candle holders.

A worthwhile detour, to be sure!  Now then, on to the Kentucky Fairgrounds!

Here we are at the gate.  While the admission to the Big Flea is free, the Fairground has a ridiculous parking fee.  If Keith is going with me, we split the fee between us and that reduces the impact on my expenses.  If he doesn't want to go, then I'll have him drop me off at the gate, walk in with my granny cart, and meet him outside afterward.  Take that, parking fees!

Speaking of the Granny Cart, or "Gran" as I have taken to calling her, here she is, packed and ready!  I wanted to give her a name, but I could not decide which of my grandmothers to name her after.  I have the best collection of grandmother names:  Ethel, Dorine, Gladys, Elsie.  How does one pick?  So Gran, she shall be!

My backpack has a couple of reusable shopping bags in it, to use for light things.  If Gran gets full, then I put the lightest things in those bags and tie them on the back.  I'll also use the backpack if I have to and carry some things out, usually comics.  Mavis is in the bottom of the cart, ready for her inaugural Big Flea.  I'll be using her to corral smaller items.  As the heavier stuff accumulates on the bottom, she will rise to the top with the smallest stuff!  It should make more room in the cart itself.

I think about this stuff way too much, don't I?  

I'm not sure if you can see the name written on the backpack or not.  I got it at a yard sale a few years ago.  It's huge and I love it!  It can hold everything I need for a weekend trip, which is helpful.  That's the name of the previous owner on the back.  The last name is "Bilbro" which makes me think that maybe the backpack was actually owned by Hobbits!

Here we are at the door to South Wing C, the home to the Big Flea this weekend.  This is one of the smaller shows, since there is no antique wing.  That's why we're in South C this time, instead of the old West Wing, which is bigger.  Also, this is not a holiday weekend, so it's only a three day flea, which means there will be fewer vendors.

This is the newest part of the Expo Center at the Fairgrounds.  It was added on for trade shows and conventions and the like.  The West Wing is one of the oldest parts.  It was constructed for the agriculture judging during the State Fair.  (The antique wing is always placed in the hall where the small animals are judged during the Fair.) It's a pretty no frills building, but it has lots of room.

On the other hand, the restrooms in the new part are much larger and much nicer.  There's even a family bathroom, which is nice and roomy.  I like to use it, since I can wheel Gran in there easily.  She doesn't fit quite so well into a standard men's room stall.

There are also comfy couches in the lobby.  Perfect for taking breaks.  Much nicer than concrete benches.

Wait a minute!  What's going on in South Wing C where my Big Flea is supposed to be?????

It costs 10 (!) bucks to get into this thing!  Ye Gads!
A Wing?  That's waaaaaaaaaaaaaay up there.  Oh, well.  Off we go!  South WIng A was the first part of the South Wing to be added to the Expo Center. It's not quite as nice as South Wing C (no couches), but is still newer than the other wings. we go!  These are my people!

We don't need no steeenking garden show!

It is often said that one can find many rare and exotic delicacies at the Big Flea!

Uhm, no thanks!

One of the regular vendors sells fancy, schmancy games and toys and novelties from chain bookstores.  These things can be pricey at retail, but at the Big Flea, I can get them for 50 cents to a dollar each, still new, still in the package.  I always pick up a lot of stuff here.  Those USAF planes are metal and cost almost 10 bucks each off the shelf.  I prefer fifty cents each, please!


One dealer had all these DVD's for a dollar.  As I was digging through the box sets, he made me a deal on the whole box. That's why I like to go on the last day.  He wound that tape around the box to make a carrying handle "at no extra charge."  Silly man!  I have Gran!

Oh no!  I forgot to get Keith a Hanukkah present!  Think it's too late????

Time for a fry break!  Since this is the Fairgrounds, food costs Fair prices, which I am not wild about.  Still, I have to get something. It's a tradition.  My mother and I always had a little snack about halfway through.  One drawback to the South Wing is that  there are fewer food choices. The West Wing has a lot of food stands, which are permanently part of that Wing. 


It's also time to repack Gran.  If I repack frequently throughout the day, I can get more in there.

I had to sneak a pic of this table and chairs set.  It's just too cute!  If it had been a little bit cheaper, I might have considered it.

Apparently, this is now a thing.  Unfortunately.  I expect to start seeing them for sale at the Peddlers Mall soon, much to my eternal shame. I spent last summer trying to ignore all the vendors who hopped on the Confederate Flag bandwagon.  I guess this year, I'll be ignoring the Trump shit.  As much as I love selling in a flea market, there are downsides.


My, what a lot of pretzels!

 This is my favorite brand of pre-packaged snack popcorn.  It's some kind of regional brand that is not available here.  It is the best-tasting bagged popcorn I have ever had!  Every so often, a bag or two will turn up in the salvage groceries at the Peddlers Mall.  This is the first time I've ever found it at the Big Flea.  Of course, there was only one bag.

Well, it looks like my work here is done.  Gran is full and Mavis now rests happily on top.  One bag is tied to the back of Gran, but I did not need the backpack this time around.

Let's head to the gate!  When we get home, I'll show you all some more of the finds.  At least a couple of them.

I got a nice sized baggie full of these vintage metal Kodak film containers.  I love the embossed brand name on them! It pays to dig through the dollar boxes under the tables!

I also got several of these specimen storage boxes for micro test tubes.  Nerdy science stuff for the win!

And finally a vintage Fisher Price musical rolling toy.

There are a few more things, but it's either personal stuff or stuff for the house.  I'd rather not bore you with all that.  There really weren't many comics for sale this time, much to my disappointment.  One of my favorite comic vendors was there, so I did buy a couple, but it wasn't like usual.  I spent some time talking to this vendor.  He's just retired from his day job and he's looking forward to selling comics at flea markets full time.  Cool.  I wish him lots of luck.

And that was the day!  It was a lot of fun, as usual.  I ran into three other Peddlers Mall vendors while I was there and got to visit a bit.  Thanks for making the trip with me.