Archive for the ‘flea markets’ Tag

07-09-2016 Flea Markets & Other Junk!   Leave a comment

With the better-half’s vacation coming to an end I can see the light at the end of the honey-do list tunnel.  It’s been a great week for use both and to prove it I’m posting a number of miscellaneous photos taken in odd places at odd times. People may call these locations flea markets yard sales or garage sales but let me be a bit more accurate.  It’s more like junk yards, piles of crap, or just plain garbage.  I know I’m being a little harsh but OMG.

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Just what every summer tourist needs . . . snow shoes.

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Then who doesn’t need dishes and glassware at a quarter a piece?

I’ve held two garage sales in my life and I know how I prepared for the shopping public. I unloaded every piece of crap I could find onto tables, priced them for under a dollar, smiled a lot, lowered the prices when necessary, and at the end of the day I made a hundred dollars or so.  Who knew my crap was so in demand.

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Does this look familiar to you?

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How about this.

 I’m not a shopaholic like my better-half and thank god for that.  I can only handle visiting a few of these places before I start to get a little crazy.  It makes me itch all over with imaginary bugs and the smell at times is godawful.

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Does anyone out there really need a POS boat. NO! How about a bunch of nasty looking lobster traps?

P. T. Barnum had it right all along.  As far as suckers go, “There’s one born every minute.

SO TRUE . . . SO TRUE

06-13-2014 Journal Entry–Cell Phones & Repurposing!   Leave a comment

Todays posting will be a little more scatter-brained than usual but that’s something you should be used to by now.  My life continues in it’s normal routine broken up only by the occasional minor problems, things that need fixing, or just a shot of Jack Daniels when needed. Owning a home is a constant stream of useless tasks that must be dealt with or the whole world will come crumbling down around us (or so says my better-half).

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time for the last few days trying to discover exactly what my brand new cell phone can do.  I was forced to return to the bosom of Verizon Wireless after my two months of freedom when I discovered just how truly bad the Tracfone company really is.  It sounded like a good idea at the outset but things went down hill fast after I actually tried to use it.  Apparently they have half the number of towers that Verizon has which is reflected in their terrible cellular coverage. So I came crawling back to Verizon with my tail between my legs and signed up for a phone that appears to be way smarter than I am.

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“Samsung Galaxy S4”

After two days of playing around with it I finally have it setup and ready to go.  It’s actually pretty damn cool and has a camera function with 13 megapixels making it comparable to the quality of my Nikon 3200 SLR.  The Android operating system also makes it a snap to get the photo’s from the phone to the blog.  Android rules (even though I hate Google).  Here’s a couple of sample photo’s I took in the garden yesterday.

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It’s been a rainy week so far and I’ve had to find something to do to keep me out of trouble.  I’ve had two old Sanyo speakers that I bought a million years ago that have long since become obsolete.  I kept them around for years with the intention of making them into something useful and this was definitely the week for it.  Here’s a series of shots as I progressed through the project.  It’s nearing completion but it will be another week or two before I’m completely finished with staining and painting.

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It’ll make another fine addition to the décor in my man-cave and will give me a few more storage options for my stupid treasures.  I have a second matching speaker sitting somewhere in storage and I guess I’ll keep it until I can come up with a workable idea to repurpose it. That’s a new word I recently picked up from some stupid television show about salvaging old stuff and giving it  a new life.  It’s a little lame but accurate I suppose.

Yard sales and flea markets are on the agenda for Saturday, weather permitting.  I sure hope we find a few things worth dragging home. 

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”. 

05-18-2013   1 comment

Today my better-half and I took a break from yard work, gardening, and working in general.  It was a sunny and warm day so we decided to take a trip down memory lane.  We made a nostalgic drive down to the southern border of Maine and retraced a route we used many years ago when we spent some weekends visiting yard sales and flea markets.  The routes took us into New Hampshire a few times and back into Maine.  The scenery was beautiful and with a little good music was really enjoyable.

When I first moved to the Maine and New Hampshire area in 1999 one of the first things I discovered was the incredible number of yard sales.  On any Saturday afternoon if I so desired I could visit thirty to forty of them without driving more than a few miles from my home.  I was a little hesitant going into people’s yards and garages but I finally got over that.  I made so many incredible purchases in the first few months that I became hooked.

It wasn’t until a few years later that my better-half and I met and began our lives together.  During all the billing and cooing and rush of a new relationship we started making yard sale safaris as one of our regular weekend activities.  We developed specific routes in and around the border depending on what types of things we were searching for.  We made many great purchases and had fun doing it.

We knew the best times to shop and the yard sales that always sold specific types of merchandise.  We knew which yard sale always carried car accessories and auto parts, craft materials, collectibles and home goods.  We knew if we visited the "Pig Lady" my better half could buy any number of pig related collectibles for her pig collection. We visited the "Bottle Guy" who was an old hoarder with three building full of antique glassware, old furniture, and just about anything else you could think of.  He had forty years of treasures stuffed into some old and filthy buildings.  We knew to wear gloves after our first visit there.

As we began our trek today we were reasonably sure that most of those old places had long since disappeared.  We were wrong.  Many of our old stops were still there doing business and hadn’t changed a bit.  We searched through the "Bottle Guy’s" place for an hour and really found nothing we wanted or needed this trip.  It was still fun to return to these places we visited for so many years and to reminisce a little.

We didn’t make many purchases today but that was okay.  It was more about our time spent together and remembering the fun we had back in the day.  We plan on doing this more often in the future  so we can have more quality time together away from he normal madness.  It’s an activity that clears the mind, reminds us again of how much fun we can have together, and finding an occasional treasure or two is just  a “cherry on top of the sundae”.

We even managed to stop at a little corner store out in the middle of nowhere to enjoy a few pieces of chicken.  This was a stop we never missed because the chicken was to die for.

04-29-2013   1 comment

I must be losing my touch.  As I’ve always made clear to one and all, I hate shopping.  I also realize that a certain amount of it must take place whether I like it or not.  I’ve slowly developed over the years into a standard male shopper as described on many occasions by women. First I determine what I need, then I look at the cost, then I travel to where it’s available, and then purchase it.  Not much fooling around or standing in the aisles trying to decide about the color, size, and price.  I do that before I get there, buy the thing, and get the hell out of there.

Many men have been criticized many times for this kind of shopping by our female counterparts.  They seem to think that any way but their way was somehow incorrect.  It’s useless to argue with them because as well as being the all-time best shoppers, they’re also always right about everything. It’s a heavy burden to bear but they manage to pull it off perfectly.  Just ask any women and she’ll explain it to you in great, great detail.

I have been searching for a certain product for what seems like forever and I’m at my wits end.  I’ve searched on-line and found dozens of the item but at a cost that is ridiculous once the shipping and handling charges are added in. Once on-line shopping was eliminated as a possibility I proceeded to find a local vendor for what I hoped would be a cheaper price.  I’ve talked to a number of them so far with no luck.  I thought by buying local I could eliminate the shipping expenses and still get a decent price.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

All I’m looking for is an simple 18 inch glass circle at least one quarter inch thick.  I guess the simpler an item is the more difficult it can be to find.  That makes no sense to me but it appears to be the reality of my situation.  With each negative result I’m slowly being pushed into considering a method of shopping I’m not all that comfortable with, flea markets and yard sales.

For more than a few years I’ve been included in my better-half’s shopping forays into hundreds of garages and homes in southern Maine as she digs through the cast off items of their owners.  I’ve always been a little put off by that but she seems to thrive on it.  To me it’s like shopping at a Goodwill retail store. I have serious issues with shopping anywhere where a lot of my own things may be for sale.  It’s just creepy.

I visited a few of the big box stores today with no luck.  They’ll sell you a square piece of glass in a second but ask for a round piece and it’s like the end of the world.  They get that stupid look on their faces and begin their song and dance on why they don’t have them available. I also visited a number of other retailers and again had no luck. My last resort was a local glass company who advertises every kind of glass known to man and they’ll cut it to order.  On-line I would have been charged approximately $25.00 for the item and an additional $23.00 to ship it.  This local retailer offered me what he considers to be his best deal. I can have my simple piece of 18 inch glass for a mere pittance, $51.00.

I have that nagging suspicion in the back of my mind that I’m being manipulated.  The bottom line for me is this.  I’m not paying fifty bucks for an eighteen inch piece of glass regardless of the seller.  I didn’t think it could happen but I’m left without a solution to my problem.  My better-half must be subconsciously laughing her ass off because she already knows I’ll be requesting her help in finding this thing.  I see thousands of other people’s things in other people’s garages that I’ll be forced to paw through in my search for this piece of glass.

Ugh!

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