Archive for the ‘yard sales’ 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

06-21-2014 Journal Entry – Little Old Winemaker!   Leave a comment

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“I really believe that the feet give the wine that little “special something”. LOL

I’ve been in heaven for the last few days.  We’ve been having San Diego style weather and that’s damn unusual for sure.  I’m pretty good at adapting to change so I’ll be just fine, really!  I’ve been tending the garden, completing a host of BS projects from my better-half’s To-Do List and generally feeling relaxed and at peace with things.

I took a ride without her today (she’s working) and decided to hit a few of the dozens of yard sales in the area.  You just never know what you might find and I do love surprises.  Unfortunately yard sales have been losing their charm for me of late and today was no different. Too many people watching too many TV shows that have convinced everyone that every piece of crap that would have been thrown away in the past is now a precious antique worth big bucks.  I visited three yard  sales in a short period of time and it was all I could do not to say something totally inappropriate like “Are you f…ing kidding me!”.  No purchases today for me and much less interest in visiting any more this summer.  It’s just ridiculous and really getting out of control.

I returned home and decided to take a few minutes to check the wine I’ve been making. I racked the red wine.  For those of you not familiar with home brewing terminology racking means siphoning off the clear wine after the yeast had settled to the bottom of the fermentation container.  This is done two or three times during the winemaking process until the batch is crystal clear.

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I think this may turn into a rather nice medium sweet red wine.  I haven’t used Concord grapes in the past and now I’m thinking I probably should have. The wine has a beautiful almost black color and it cleared itself of yeast very quickly.  I started out with four and a half gallons and lost a half in the siphoning process. I should be bottling approximately 18-20 bottles in a month or so.

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The Dandelion wine will continue to ferment for a while longer. I think it may end up being rather dry with a fairly high alcohol content.  I can’t wait to taste the final product because dandelion is one of my favorites.

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I need to get these two batches completed and in the bottle as soon as possible.  I suspect I’ll be doing two more batches of fruit and berry wine this fall and need to make a little room for them.  All in all it should be an excellent year for winemaking.

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. 

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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