Saturday, February 25, 2017

Retro Y'all (Black History Month Edition)

I probably should have done this one closer to Valentine's Day, but whatever.

You know those songs that instantly turn you back into a teenager in high school, reliving all the agony and ecstasy that is adolescent romance?  It seems that many of mine were sung by Lionel Richie.

The first one is long, but it's a threefur, plus bonus Soul Train stings.

Yes, I sang along with all three of these.  At the top of my lungs.

Don't even ask if I got weepy.  Hell, I cry at cat food commercials.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Vanload of Freebies (Part II)

Wrapping up from yesterday....

The handle on the saw is split.  The metal vase is not as old as it looks.

Bad shot composition here.  There's a wire basket that you can't really see in the back.  The black thing is a metal drawer without a bottom.  I think it would be a cool planter.  I thought the round thing was a crock when I first saw it, but it doesn't have a bottom.  It's pretty clear it was made that way and not broken, so it's a pipe of some kind?

VHS tapes of old movie serials.  There are a bunch more of these.  I put them in the nerd booth.

I love the metal stand.

The concrete thing is a cute little bird bath.  I love finding so much great yard and garden stuff right when people are starting to think about such things.

And that's (almost) the haul! I realized when I was working on the pics that I forgot to get pics of two large items.  I'll have to throw those in tomorrow's post!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Vanload of Freebies (Part 1)

So let's start unloading that Mazda load of free stuff from Monday.  Like I said, I had to leave the ladders on the Mount of Sorrows for the moment.  I am working on making a spot for them at the booth this week, so I can haul them over soon.  There were also two containers of smalls left in storage, because I am up to my armpits in smalls everywhere right now.

I'm going to go ahead and reuse Monday's ladder pic anyway, so I can draw attention to the black wooden screen frame that was also part of the haul. You can see it peeking out from behind the ladders.  Shy little thing.

I'm also trying to give Donna ladder envy again.

Like I mentioned on Monday, a lot of the van was filled with boxes of books, plus a box of records.

The nice thing about stuff that comes in milk crates is that you can sell the crates too!

There was also this vintage Underwood electric typewriter, which is quite heavy. And an old adding machine, which is even heavier.  Typewriters don't stay with me very long, so grabbing it was a no brainer.  I used to never, ever find old typewriters, but these last couple of years, I'm practically tripping over them.

The adding machine is missing all the buttons except for these two, but I couldn't leave it behind.  It's got such a sweet old look to it.

 The books were mostly unremarkable--good stuff, but not worth taking up blog space.  I was kind of needing some too.  I've been selling a lot of them lately.  There was one worth mentioning here, this collection of recipes from the local paper, which was published in 1970.

Cissy Gregg is a well known name around here.  She wrote recipes for the Food section of the paper for years and years.  In the 50's and 60's, the paper put out special supplement sections that collected her recipes. I'm always on the lookout for them.  I love having local interest items for sale.

The records were mostly show tunes, but there was one special album that I am saving for its own post.  It'll be a "Retro Y'all" some time in March.

So that takes care of the main core of the haul, but there's still some more to come.  Check back tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Best Thing I've Ever Found

Well, to date anyway.

Junk set out is a lot like trick-or-treating.  You tend to remember which houses are the good ones.  Of course, they don't always deliver a fabulous trove of goodies, but the odds are more in your favor when the house has a good junk reputation.

After a while, you also get the feel for which houses consistently set stuff out early, which is helpful in planning your routes.  A good house that sets stuff out early is like extra icing on your cupcake.  Or something.

Which brings us to the house about five blocks from us that always has a huge pile of stuff that shows up two or three days early.  This year it was a total dud.  It was nothing but pieces of old paneling, ugly cabinets, and hunks of drywall--the downside of renovation junk.  Not a window or a door or anything even remotely interesting.  And no boxes of small stuff like past set outs either.

No this is not a story about this house, except to say that it broke my heart in 17 places this time around.  (Does anyone get that reference?)  This is a story about the house next door.

Someone at that house got clever and pulled a trick that I also like to use--putting all the metal stuff in a separate pile from everything else, so that the scrapper won't make a mess when they come through. It does work.  (So does sitting in the backyard and screaming "Clean up your mess!" at the scrappers.  I scared one to death one year doing that.  He hadn't seen me sitting there watching him make an ugly mess of my neatly stacked pile of stuff.  He cleaned it up.)

The non-metal stuff was all broken furniture and crap, but the metal pile was pretty cool.  Out of that one, I nabbed:

An old metal toolbox with a broken latch which would make a cool planter.  ALREADY SOLD
A really rusty cast iron skillet ALREADY SOLD
An old adding machine that looks cool, but doesn't work


It's a cast iron decorative seascape with cut outs in the form of clouds.  I cannot find anything else like it online, but I'm pretty sure it's a heating vent.

This is a closer look at the part with the lighthouse.  It's pretty detailed.  Many of the clouds kind of resemble the outline of Kentucky, which was what actually caught my eye first.  The vent was on the bottom of the pile and all I could see was the cut outs. I thought it was some kind of mold for Kentucky-shaped biscuits or cookies.  I was kind of shocked when I got it uncovered and saw what it was.  I've never seen anything like it, but I am kind of sheltered.

As far as I'm concerned, this one set the bar pretty high for future junk finds.  I can't wait to see where things go from here.

If anyone has any other/better info about this one, I am all ears.  My searches have turned up nothing, and I'm really just guessing about what it is.

Monday, February 20, 2017

So, this happened.

Junk set out week this time around was equal parts amazing, frustrating, and disappointing.  In the end, I got way less stuff than I usually do, but found some of the best things I've ever come across. Those stories will have to wait, however, since this is post is about something else.

Also, I'm pre-empting "Monday Rambles" this week.  I hope you don't mind.

Allow me to present:


The shoes and rug are Keith's

Side view

Other side view

View through the back

Yes, there really were two full size ladders in there.

There's a vintage/secondhand store that I used to have a booth in a few blocks from our house that's moving.  This is their last week of business at the old site, so I wanted to pop over there yesterday and see if there were any bargains.

Indeed, there were.  The best bargain of all, in fact.


That whole vanload cost me nothing.  Well, except the three gallons of sweat that were expended in loading it all.

I think folks are starting to sort out stuff that they don't want to move, and we happened to arrive at the right moment. There was a HUGE bunch of stuff in the parking lot when we pulled up and the owners said it was all free for the taking.

So I took.

Most of the tubs are full of books, which I really need right now.  There's also a box of records that I kind of don't need, but what the hell.  There really weren't that many smalls, but there was an awful lot of very timely stuff--planters, bird feeders, etc.  Spring is right around the corner!

I had to drop the ladders at Sorrow Mountain for the moment, but the rest of it is booth bound tonight.  I'll get some more pics when it's unloaded there.  I didn't want to haul it out and put it back.  I'm lazy that way.

By the way, this is Finds Week.  Enjoy.

TOMORROW:  The best thing I have ever found at junk set out.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Monday, February 06, 2017

Monday Rambles


My glasses broke the other day, so I'm back to wearing contacts, which I haven't done regularly in years.  I've kept my prescription up to dote, but I've gotten to the point in life where I want getting ready in the morning to be as easy as possible, so the hassle of contacts has been just one more thing to do that I don't really want to and so I haven't.

The nerd glasses didn't really go with the longer hair anyway.  They'd work if I were planning to actually go the man bun route, but I feel like I am too old and fat for that.  I'm actually working on more of a loose, hippie ponytail.  I think little, gold-rimmed specs would look better with that.

Without my glasses, I think I look like my mother with a goatee, which kind of makes me nostalgic for my childhood days with the carnival, when I would watch Mom primping and combing her beard before going on stage to do her act is kind of unnerving.  Even worse, Keith keeps telling me how much he likes the way I look without the glasses, and in the back of my mind, a little voice is going, "He thinks your mother with a goatee is hot."  I think I need therapy.


I had a great conversation yesterday at the mall with a 12 year old boy looking for Spider-Man comics.  He told me he was looking for "older ones."  I said "Old for you?  or Old for me?"  He had to think about that for a minute, then told me he meant 90's.  Old for him, then.  I told him to keep checking back and would do my best to find some.

I actually do need to carve out some time for a bad movie/comic bagging marathon.  I've been selling a lot of those boogers lately.


It feels like tax season is finally upon us.  Sales are picking up all the time.  The weekends have been gold rush city of late.  Saturday was my second best day ever.  The gravy is flowing and the small furniture is flying out of the door. So is the pricier stuff.  Saturday some dude came in and bought all of my vintage metal lunchboxes.


This is junk set out week for the next neighborhood over from us, which means that we are next.  We've already got an early start on our set out pile going.  You're not supposed to do that, but my neighborhood ain't much on rules.  It's the first time we've ever tried it, though.  Watch us get cited for it, while the folks down the street who have had the nasty couches sitting on the curb for a MONTH, get by with nothing.

I made two "practice runs" last night.  One to a pile in the other neighborhood.  Got some small stuff, but nothing notable, except for two old fishing poles.  The other stop was at the magical house down the hill that disgorges all kind of interesting stuff every set out period.  They always start early and will be putting out crap right up until the garbage trucks come.  Last night it was a bunch of old religious texts and prayer books.  SCORE!

There's also a new renovation dumpster on our street, two doors down from us.  I told Keith that it was like having junk delivery!

All this is to say: 



And finally, to set you on your way:  The Carolina Chocolate Drops!

Friday, February 03, 2017

The Most Unusual Man in the World Says:

"I don't always take selfies,

but when I do, I drape myself in gold beaded garland."

Stay strange, my friends.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The Ugly Truth


I am such a little ray of happy sunshine in the morning!

Despite all appearances to the contrary here, I assure you that I am neither drunk nor high in this pic.  Nor hungover.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Or the blog.

Or whatever.

So I've been a little off-schedule of late.  Maybe you didn't really notice.  Who am I kidding?  Of course, you noticed.  Still, it wasn't as bad as this time last year.  I've just gotten beat out of sorts by life, the booth, and the big picture.  Especially the big picture.

I was really intending to get back on track this week, with an on time Monday Rambles post and everything.  I thought it was all going to work out.  And then insomnia struck.

It happens to me from time to time.  Sometimes, I just can't sleep.  Just. Can't. Sleep.  Usually, I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, so I end up messing around on the computer for a couple of hours (if I'm lucky) or the rest of the night.  The general rule for me is that if it hits between midnight and two, I still have a shot of getting a couple hour's worth of sleep.  If it's after three, I'm probably up for good.

Sunday night, I never got to sleep at all.  I was up all night long.

I answered math problems on the computer.  I took a Spanish grammar test online.  I wrote emails.  I took a quiz and learned that, if I were a cupcake, I'd be strawberry with buttercream icing and rainbow sprinkles.  Then I took another quiz and learned that in a past life I was Eleanor of Aquitaine.  (Which really explains a lot, now that I think about it.)  I did some genealogy work, filling in some gaps on my father's side of the family.

In fact, I did everything but actually work on a blog post, for reasons that I certainly don't understand and cannot articulate.(I think it might have something to do with not wanting to mess up my sprinkles. Or maybe it was the regal sounding voice in my head that kept saying, "Eleanor of Aquitaine does not type.  She dictates.")

Anyway, my plan for Monday was to get out early, go to the booth, work for a few hours, head back to Louisville, and then meet Keith at an immigration rally.  However, at the time that I really should have been hopping in the shower, it finally hits me---I'm now tired.  Really tired.  And sleepy.

I probably should have powered on through it, but I'm not as young as I used to be and I haven't pulled an all-nighter in decades.  I was afraid of falling asleep on the bus and waking up in a corn field in Southern Indiana. Eleanor told me that simply would not do.

So I calculated out how long I could lay down and still catch a late morning bus and get a little work in before having to head back. And then I set an alarm and laid down, with Chiquito, and the cupcake and Eleanor.

Being a middle-aged man with a middle-aged man bladder, I had to get up and pee well before the alarm went off.  As I walked through the kitchen to the bathroom, I heard this really faint, really quick beeping sound.


It's the alarm panel from our old house alarm.  We had to give up the alarm service when we gave up the landline phone a few years ago. The pad is still there, but the battery is supposed to be dead and it's inactive.

For the past few weeks, though, it's been doing this beep thing at odd times.  There have been at least three such incidents.  We have no idea what's causing them, but if someone punches the "off" button, it stops.

I don't have my glasses on, so I lean in really close and punch what I think is the "off" button.

And all HELL breaks loose.

The actual alarm--the house alarm which has been inactive for a long time--goes off.  The house alarm.  The one that's loud enough for the neighborhood to hear.


It was like that only way, way louder than you could ever imagine it.

Chiquito starts freaking out.  Sprinkles start flying off the cupcake.  Eleanor becomes immediately as nonplussed as only a medieval English queen with a scheming husband and brood of vipers for children can.  And I still have to pee.

And now it gets interesting.

The alarm itself--the part that's making this ungodly racket---is in the corner of the junk room.  The far corner.  And the junk room is, as junk rooms, are prone to be, full of junk.  Literally full.  It's where the booth stuff that isn't in the shed or in storage ends up.

I have been working diligently in recent days at cleaning and clearing it out.  I take a bunch of stuff over to the booth several times a week.  I have thrown a few bags of trash out and gotten some of the rest organized, but it is by no means done.  The infernal, blaring thing is by not the least bit accessible without spending a half day that I obviously don't have moving shit around.

So I, still with no glasses, try punching the old codes into the keypad.  The main code won't work.  The back-up code we gave my mother doesn't work.  The code for the old cat-sitter doesn't work.  Punching it doesn't work.  Trying to pull it off the wall doesn't work.  It won't budge.

I cannot see well enough to find a hammer.

Now, I'm starting to get worried that the neighbors are calling the police.  Who will come to the house.  And see my junk room.  And me.  With no glasses.  In my undies.

Eleanor tells me that it is beneath her royal personage to cooperate with the local constabulary.  Chiquito is nowhere to be found.  The cupcake is curled up in the corner crying and getting those damn sprinkles everywhere.

I have no choice.  I have to brave the junk room.

I decide that maybe I can climb over all the boxes and tubs and get to the screaming thing from hell.  bear in mind that I still don't have my glasses on.  I'm in my underwear.  And I still have to pee.

I set foot on the bottom box of a small stack, thinking that if I can get on top of the stack, I can just kind of roll along the tops of the boxes.  Or something.  Eleanor starts laughing uncontrollably at the thought, but she's being no help, so I ignore her.

As I pull my self up, the bottom box collapses, making the two on top of it fall all around me, scattering stuff everywhere, basically undoing a lot of the cleaning I have done in there.  I manage to keep my balance, but it's becoming pretty clear that I am going to have to pee in the next couple of seconds or my innards are going to pop open.

At my wit's end, I look towards the corner of the junk room and scream as loud as I can:


Believe it or not, that works.  The noise stops.  I go pee.

When I come back Eleanor tells me that a simple "Desist!" would have sufficed.  I tell her to shut her worthless royal ass up, and she huffs out of the room muttering something about having the cupcake for tea.  I haven't seen either of them since.

Then I get to really worrying about the cops.  What if they come bursting in and shoot me thinking I'm some sort of underwear bandit?  Maybe I shouldn't have pissed Eleanor off quite so soon.

So I sit down on the bed, get my phone and start to call Keith.  And the alarm I set to wake me up goes off.  And now I'm just about on the verge of tears.  I call Keith and tell him the whole story.  He assures me the cops won't be coming and tells me to forget the booth and get some sleep.

Which I do.

And the cops never come, which now makes me worry that I have the most indifferent neighbors who would ignore my screams of terror when the serial killer gets me.

And I have been playing catch up ever since.

Now you know why there haven't been any blogs this week.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Eddie-tor's Note:  We contacted Eleanor of Aquitaine to verify her involvement in the incident, but she denied any knowledge of it.  "Do I look like the sort of medieval English queen who would be the past life of a foul-mouthed peasant who runs around in his undergarments?" she said, as she brushed a few rainbow sprinkles off her gown.  The cupcake was unavailable for comment.  Calls to Chiquito went unreturned.  The neighbors wouldn't answer their doors. It is highly possible that these might be the ravings of a madman.