Archive for the ‘antiques’ Tag

06-15-2013   2 comments

Today was all about relaxing.  My better-half and I decided to just take the day, go where we please, relax a little, and we did just that.  We had a great breakfast at home and then headed for the coast to snap some pictures.  As expected traffic was heavier than usual with the influx of tourist beginning to increase.  The summer season is almost upon us.

Our first stop was the Portland Head Light which is a light house on a point of land at the entry to Portland harbor.  This is a favorite spot for tourists from all over the country if the license plates we saw today were any indication.  My luck much be changing because just as we drove past the main entrance someone pulled out and left me the best damn parking spot you can get.  We took plenty of pictures, spent some time in the gift shop, and then near the water watching the boats come and go.  It’s a very relaxing place and the adjacent park was filled with kids and parents flying kits, throwing Frisbees, and playing ball.  It was very nice.

We then left the park and drove through the suburbs of Portland and headed northwest out of the city. We drove at least a hundred miles in a large circle covering a large portion of southern Maine.  We stopped to shop in a number of antique shops because I was hot to buy something today.  Unfortunately for me my better-half was not.  We saw many really cool things but ended up buying nothing at all.  I found a working Dictaphone circa 1865 with a number of wax cylinders still intact and workable.  It was in beautiful condition and I had a hard time walking away from it.  For $150.00 it could have been all mine.  It still may be mine.  My better-half returns to wok tomorrow which may force me drive back to that shop and make the purchase anyway.  Should I or shouldn’t I? I’ll know tomorrow when I get out of bed.

We had a great day together and it gave us a chance to reconnect after a few weeks of her hectic work schedule.  We antiqued a little and then stopped along the road to see some lambs and take their pictures.  I also got some great shots of my better-half chasing a flock of turkeys through a farmers field trying to snap pictures while running.  It was really funny and I’ve got it all on my camera to be used later to embarrass her.  Life is good.

We returned home tired but relaxed.  She’s back to work tomorrow where the stress will start working on her all over again.  Since this was my official Fathers Day celebration I was happy as I could be.  Steaks on the grill later, a nice glass of wine or two, and hopefully a restful nights sleep afterwards. If you get my drift.

06-14-2013   Leave a comment

Today started out as a day to just lay back and take it easy.  That’s usually an easy thing to do if you don’t leave the house.  Once I’m out and about and see other people then my mind starts working overtime and sometimes not in a good way.  I love people watching but they  just make it so easy for me to criticize them.

I was heading to my bank for a little cash retrieval which should have been no big deal.  I pull in line behind one vehicle and made the incorrect assumption I’d be on my way  fairly quickly.  Not a freaking prayer.  I’m waiting and waiting and not moving.  I open my door and what do I see?  There’s a homeless guy standing at the drive-thru ATM getting some cash to carry him over for a few hours or maybe a few drinks.  If you’ve got an account with money in it at BOA why are you homeless.  I’ve seen that same dude every time I drive through this town standing at the side of the road at a main intersection begging for cans.  It’s entirely possible he’s making more goddamn money than I am and he too has an account at Bank of America. 

My better-half insisted after the ATM fiasco that we make a short visit to a local flea market.  If she doesn’t buy at least one thing every day she goes into a weird shopper’s withdrawal.  The flea market in question is well known for having some of the highest “bargain” prices in southern Maine. 

We arrived there and the place is crawling with tourists.  We got lucky and found a decent parking spot and then the fun began.   I never know what I might buy in places like this until I see it and so I spent the next hour diligently looking through mountains of so called antiques (junk) with nothing catching my eye.   I did notice one thing though.  The prices for this crap were through the roof.  I think we can thank those oh so popular American Pickers and the dozens of other TV programs that have convinced America that every piece of crap more than ten years old is a valuable treasure.   Thanks for nothing TV.

I saw one item of interest which was four inches high and maybe three inches square, a hard carved wooded block.  It was filthy dirty and had no price tag which is not a good sign.  If there’s no tag it means the seller first checks out the potential buyer and charges them a price he thinks they can afford.  I politely asked for the price and the guy tells me $80.00.  I could only stand there until the shock wore off.  I guess my comment" “you’ve got to be freaking kidding me” made him a little unhappy.  He then proceeds to tell me that he purchased that exact piece for $400.00 in Kenya three years ago and has the paperwork to prove it.  I then asked what the exchange rate was with Kenya at the time.  Probably $200.00 Kenyan dollars for each American dollar. I just laughed and walked away with him chattering in the background.

That’s two hours out of my life I’ll never get back.  It’s also the last time I’ll be visiting that place.  I feel for those stupid and gullible tourists from all over the country being bamboozled into buying this junk for outrageous prices.  Like P. T. Barnum always liked to say “there’s one born every minute”. 

04-21-2013   2 comments

This is the day to celebrate.  My remodeled room is for all intents and purposes completed.  I’ll be adding all the pretty little bells and whistles over the next few weeks like a new fan, outlet covers, a closet organizer, and a new heater cover but the tough stuff is done.  It’s been a long winter working on this room but I succeeded in getting it done on time and within budget.  All of you will also be glad to know that I won’t be boring you with any further bitching and complaining about it,  a Win/Win for us all.

In order to celebrate this accomplishment my better-half came up with a perfect solution. She felt it was necessary to make the rounds of area antique shops to look for a few things to put in the new room.  Since this room was remodeled primarily for her use she desperately needed one large piece of furniture and a number of smaller decorative items. Who was I to argue?

We didn’t go very far from home for our first stop and while I’m not a big shopping fan I entered the building with the best of intentions.  It was filled to the brim with just about everything you could think of making it a long drawn out effort to see everything in one short visit.  I may not be a career shopper like my better-half but I can still spot a good item from a distance.  I saw a small desk that must have been close to eighty years old being used to display many other smaller items.  Since we both decided we would be decorating the room a little more eclectically, I thought it would make an excellent vanity for all her lotions, jewelry, and the ton of other female accessories she owns.  Normally when I make these kinds of suggestions, she will just smile, pat me on the head, and tell me it’s just not her style.

She stood there for five minutes checking it out.  Without saying a word she walked around it, touched it, smelled it, and then told me to measure it.  She walked away to another area of the store to look at something and said nothing further.   I measured the desk, she nodded, but continued her shopping. I figured that was an unspoken "No thank you".

Then I was dragged nearby to look at a 1955 era dinette set.  It had an oval table, four chairs and a leaf to extend the length of the table.  I love Retro but I didn’t think she’d be all that interested in that sort of thing.  This dinette set was in almost new condition and would fit perfectly in our kitchen’s breakfast nook.  She had me measure the table size and when I was finished we walked to the main checkout area to talk with the store’s owner.  In five minutes she talked the owner into dropping the price of the dinette set fifty bucks and then told the women we were going home to do a few room measurements but would return shortly.

We drove to our house, took the required measurements, and immediately returned to the store.  We bought both items without any further discussion and after a couple of trips later had everything back at our home.  To say I was stunned is a huge understatement.  I’ve known her for more years than I like to admit but this was the very first time she made this kind of decision in such short order.  Her usual decision making process is to not make a decision.  Over the years on a number of occasions we missed out on really good buys because she wanted to wait and think about it for a while.  We’d return the next day and find the items purchased and gone.

In my opinion any progress made in these matters is a good thing.  It was a huge shock to see her so taken with something that she could deny her urge to wait. It’s nice to know that no matter how well or how long you know someone, they can still surprise you.

It was a great day, we made two excellent purchases, and we’ll be enjoying them for years to come.  Good for us.

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