January 9, 2001

Not much for a while but I did get a lil sack of tapes today Moody Blues Eric Clapton, The Doobie Bros, and Three Olivia Newton John tapes. She has some of those slow breathy songs that have a Claudine Longett Karen Carpenter air. I guess of all three of these divas she's faired the best, even with the breast cancer. 

In the last week I've had something of a life and through socializing with people have discovered that since the economy is so recessed in this Peninsula that every time I look in someone's music library it's mostly vinyl records. Most of these people are in there 20's and early 30's  Forced aesthetics I suppose. And when you think about it this was one of the main reasons I got in the 8 tracks out of poverty and also the opportunity to explore other musical worlds.

A few years ago this was called "slumming" but every time I hear that word I think of over privileged white people (read grunge) who do it to be chic rather than missing out on playing an electric bill. They don't know how good they have it. I sort of lost touch of this since some of my favorite tapes are now precious commodities and just today I was offered $120.00 for my Madonna True Blue cartridge. And no I'm not selling, I get a lot more pleasure from that tape than that kind of dough. Besides, if you can be bought, you can be sold.


       NO SALE

 

January 14, 2001

I hit a handful of garage sales this weekend that were ultra packed. This area has a thriving garage sale subculture that winter has curtailed so when you get a few in these frozen months itís a feeding frenzy.

One person was selling books and I had most of them in my library (Chris Ellitotís Daddies Boy, The Andy Warhol Diaries) and for a while thought I found a kindred spirit and was going to introduce myself but then he talked about his love of hunting and it was like someone let the air out of a balloon (Itís a Pisces thing I guess). Some times I look out the window and feel like Bruce Campbell at the end of Evil Dead 2 when heís thrown into that medieval land that he doesnít belong in. I need a city

I found some cool $.10 tapes at the next with a nice soulful twang, Curtis Mayfield- Sweet Exorcist, Sharks- Jab it in your eye, Gabor Szabo-Blowing Smoke and the cart of the week- The Gospel According to Ike and Tina. I admits I was first skeptical about this tape when I saw the songs were all religious staples like Amazing Grace & Take my Hand Precious Lord but one listen quickly converted me. Ike and Tina can make a shopping list sound good with all the killer funky guitars and Tinaís screechy Harpy like voice. I never listen to lyrics anyway so Iím in awe.

And hereís some Tuner trivia. I use to know a girl who worked for Capital records (She has a cameo in the film Tapeheads) in the late 80ís and she told me once Ike came into the offices one day and was smashing up the place demanding some of Tinaís money until he was removed. Neat huh? I thought so.

 

 

January 21 2001

It seems like all the tapes are hibernating this winter and the traps have been empty. And since lately my social life has been mostly hanging out with my pal lesbian geekets in school lately I canít say that itís been too terribly exciting.

So lets go off topic this week on "fun stuff to do in thrift stores". I like to score as well as the next guy but when I donít hereís some things to do so the trip isnít a total waste.

  1. Make your own displays. Goodwill has a large book dept and when it thins out at the end of the week new shelf space can be exploited. I once found a copy of O.J. Simpsonís I Want to Tell You and showcased it nicely next to a copy of The Executioner, Presumed Innocent and a paperback called How to Sharpen Cutlery.
  2. Redress Mannequins Any thrift that has an overpriced vintage department is asking for this. Get rid of those $20.00 Hawaiian shirts and put on one of those perforated $.99 Gap t-shirts. Transvestitism is always fun and a skidmarked underpants are always good for reaction.
  3. Chaos Go to the testing plugs and set several alarm clocks to go off in 10 min with the radio volume turned all the way up. Iím always near the front door when I do this and it breaks me up all the time and keeps the employees on their toes.
  4. Recycle Your Porn Iíve never done this but why not? In the last year Iíve found a copy of the Kama Sutra with photos of a hippie couple following the text. I also saw a copy of an all text adult novel called Lusty Seaman that had a cover that looked like it was drawn by Tom of Finland. The best thing about Goodwill is itís non secular, youíd never find these books in Salvation Army or St Vincent DePaulís.

This week a friend of mine just started working sorting clothes at the Salvation Army, Iíll try to get inside info for a future update.

Even with this page I still have too much time on my hands.

 

January 31, 2001

This week I got a Joe Walsh tape for a dime. Not exactly journal material but I write about 8 tracks and everyone I know is getting laid off. Itís not a perfect world.

Maybe 8 track days are gone. This area is so small itís about 10 years behind most metropolitan regions and now I get to witness 8 track tapes become extinct in thrifts all over again. One reason why this county is in The Wall Street Journalís top ten places to retire several years running is itís frozen in "The good old days". Most of the fogies here are happy with that. Thereís not a single building here over 2 stories tall, cows are within a block of most houses and when someone buys a wood stove it cause for envy in the neighborhood.

Even as I write this a new Safeway store is being proposed and those naysayers complaining about the carpetbaggers ruining the landscape have made their presence known.

I use to think this mindset was incredibly quaint and stifling but one day realized that I too have this frozen cultural archetype in my brain on living in the past. My 8 track basement is a microcosm of this ideal. Itís a seed but one day I hope it expanses into a retirement like community. Iím also secretly hoping that some place in this country (or maybe the world) that there is some town that forgot that 8 tracks have stopped being made to one day live there. I even have a name for it- New Lear

February 4, 2001

Not many garage sales this week but quite a few estate sales. This must be a good month to die for some reason.

I was at one that began at 7 am which is the earliest Iíve ever hit a sale (still dark and cold). And this one was a house I wouldnít mind living in. It had a king-sized waterbed, Akai reel to reel player, a Lichenstien pop art print next to a rotary phone. And a silver bed tray with all kinds of yummy liquor bottles on it. Iíd move in tomorrow if it wasnít for the dog shit smell everywhere (At least I hope it was dog shit).

The womanís husband had some 8 tracks but she (sigh) threw most of them out a week ago and the only survivors were 12 country tapes. Since I hate to leave empty handed and needed journal update material I bought Glen Campbellís Greatest Hits. Iím not a big fan but I saw one of those biography specials on him last week. It was so show business rise and fall (Hit records, Alcohol and cocaine, Happy now with God).

Havenít we heard this story a million times? Why are celebrities such clichťs? Just once it would be nice to see one of these end with the guy saying "Iím having a swell time with a fifth of Jack Daniels and an 8 ball". If youíre going to sin, make it original.

Click here for the answer to this riddle.

February 11, 2001

I got to Goodwill early today and saw the Ebay vultures camped out in front. Same old people everyday and the odd insane thing is I get out of school at 1:00 pm, and many times theyíre still lurking in the store hoping new stock will be put out 4 hours later.

Personally, Iím a speed thrifter. I hit the music section to see if anything is new (price tags have dates), Then Iím off to the pottery aisle for tiki stuff and if I have time, scope out the clothing department for a Nehru Jacket. One day I hope to find this next to a Michael Jackson zipper jacket.

So doing the math Iím in that store 10 min and got 4 Hard Rock Cafť Hurricane glasses that should sell at $5.00 each =$20.00 and these people are there 4 hours a day and sell a Space Jam Soap dispenser at $4.00 (At least Diesel man does). No wonder most of them are on welfare.

Today I was so bored and disappointed with the country 8 track selection I scattered the tapes around the store in an Easter egg hunt fashion. I have friends who go to that store fairly regularly and hope they get the joke.


Hadji with Nehru Jacket

February 11, 2001 (later)

I just got this in the email box-

Hello! You have been invited by the RingMaster, nathal54, to add your web site to the Yahoo! WebRing titled "Allans Greatest Websites on the Internet." http://nav.webring.yahoo.com/hub?ring=allansgreatestwe On Yahoo! WebRing, similar sites are grouped together in Rings and linked to each other by a simple navigation bar. Rings are created and maintained by the RingMaster, who determines the look and feel of the Ring, approves sites submitted to the Ring, and encourages others to join. To become a member of this Ring, visit this URL and follow the instructions:..

I quickly navigated the ring and most of it are people with quirky hobbies like beer coaster collecting and can openers so I guess I'm in good company. And since this page gets as much hits as Mike Tyson in his early days I can use  the exposure. At this rate I'll be working on an acceptant speech on  that coveted  webby award sometime before the next millennium. But it ain't a done deal yet.

February 19, 2001

Two inches of snow put half the sales on hold but I did manage to find a sale that had a box of 8 tracks and a player in it for $5.00 but I wanted to sift threw the mine to find the gold. But the guy selling that said nothing doing and said it was sold as a set. Why does stuff like this always happen to me and whose the wise guy who started doing this? What if I went to the supermarket for my weekly box of Cap N Crunch and they would only sell it to me if I bought a cereal bowl, a spoon, and a gallon of milk? I thought this was America. I bought the tapes but I wish I paid him in nickels, dimes and pennies. It would only be fair.

The only exciting carts were an old Clapton with art box and a band called Crow with bikers on the cover. Sadly, they are both gooey Ampex cartridges so I feel like Iíve been grifted. I put the player on ebay and it up to $8.00 today but weíre talking principal here.

Later that day I ran in to a friend on the street and hit a hotel bar and met Helen Ready. At least she looked like her after a few Mai Tais and even sang a verse of "I Am Woman"

 

Actually, she looked more like
Dear Dottie

February 28, 2001

I guess the interesting find of the week was a box of Jarts (lawn darts for those of you playing at home). Takes you back doesnít it? I often wondered why these toys were banned in this county. When someone says "Jarts" the first thing that comes to mind is hand held harpoon but the tips on these are as sharp as an unsharpened pencil. Iím sure dart injuries were much greater than these wimpy "paper airplanes".

I wish jarts were big enough to have a lobby to fight against these melding dogooders who ruin the manly art of jart tossing for everyone else.

You probably saw this coming, Iím bitter because I listed this  yard sale find on ebay and in 8 hours they were up to $26.00 and on the 9th hour it vanished and I got this note in my mailbox -

We regret to inform you that your eBay auction:


1116215149 Retro Jarts (Lawn Darts)



has been ended. All fees associated with this auction have been credited to your account.

The item you have listed does not appeear (sic)to be consistent with eBay guidelines regarding recalled items.

You may not be aware of this, but eBay does not allow the sale of Jarts as they have been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.

eBay does not allow the sale of any items which have been recalled.

Isnít it sad how groups of irate mothers and children who have become dehumanized propaganda devices are such fodder for our eroding freedoms? Even if these were dangerous theyíd be perfect for weeding out that small segment of the population who would probably test a nail gun on their foreheads.

Now if youíll pardon me Iím going to sharpen the tips and try to impale my Kenny Rogers tapes.

March 4, 2001

Being sociable seems to go hand and hand with the general lack of updating this page. If this is what "getting a life" is you can have it.

This is a small-impoverished town ruled by corporative chains. So if your idea of local color is hanging out at Safeway, JC Pennyís, Staples or Costco youíd do well to move here. Sadly, the towns 4200 population canít support a movie theater so culture is limited to cable and high school play productions (Why do they always do Annie?).

Bars can be fun. Lots of people want to make friends albeit most of them you donít really want to know. Iím not a snob but theres something unsavory about a drunken toothless man covered with red dots trying to make eye contact that I can do without. I met a cop a few weeks ago but couldnít relax because I was worried that if I had one more pina collata he wouldnít let me drive home.

Other than that itís mostly limited to casual drugs and sex. I guess this happens to you when you donít marry the girl next door after high school, though I canít think of too many better ways to fight boredom.

The 8 track find of the week is a yellow Canadian cart by Vince Guaraldi. I put this guy in the same category as Leonard Nimoy when he  goes anywhere and everyone yells "Hey Spock!".

Vince is famous (typecast) for all the music of the Dolly Madison Zingers sponsored Charlie Brown Specials. But if you take away all the Linus & Lucy ballads youíre left with a nice legacy of bright uppity emotional jazz. Somedays itís the perfect soundtrack to driving past all the smelly beaches.

 

March 13, 2001

A friend of mine was looking for some medical advice on the web and he found
a place called Miss Health on yahoo and wrote this-

I have a friend that woke up this morning with what
looks to be almost a blackeye. It's actually red,
very puffy and it doesn't hurt.. but it looks like
he was punched! Any idea what that could be?
thanks, Miguel.


And he got this response-

I really am not sure what it could be, possibly an eye infection, or pink eye, or a sinus infection...you would need to check with your doctor to be sure. Could it be a REAL PUNCHED eye and if so...who would do such a thing to another person??? Dr. Jesus is the first doctor I would check with. Easter is right around the corner...and Jesus died and then rose and decended into Heaven to be with the Father...but He lives and performs miracles today, yesterday and forever...Salvation is a gift from God and it garantees us Heaven as a home and to be able to see loved ones that has already gone there. All we have to do is ask Him into our lives/hearts. I know I was saved on April 4, 2000 and it has been life more abundant. I would rather be on God's side as the other side??? This is only meant as advice.....Thanks
MissHealth...if you need more advice check with your regular doctor/or local priest/pastor/minister/church.


Is this what Bush's faith base programs are going to be? I put this service in the same file as those "Stealth" family planning services that are nothing but anti-abortion fronts for confused pregnant teens. So I sent in this-



Dear Miss Health,

This is a little embarrassing for me to talk about but I know I'll be seeing a doctor soon so I'll consider it a dry run.

Around a month ago I was suppose to met a friend at his house to work on installing a scanner for his computer but when I got there his brother met me there and told me "John" was working late but would be there soon. After 45 min I was about to go but his brother said he'd be along shortly and offered me a beer. As time went on he got a little "chummy" which I at first felt uneasy about or maybe I was drunk and to spare you the details this morning I woke up with what I think are the early stages of anal warts.

I'm really scared and wonder if you can recommend any over the counter drug/herb that may get rid of these "bumps" or keep them in check.

Sincerely
Gregg

And I just got this back

Dear G,
I believe you should see your personal doctor about this problem, but before you do, have you tried to have a little talk with Jesus?? He is the greatest healer ever. Read James 5:14...also see St. John(John in some Bibles)...3:16 and 3:17. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose in three days...God loves us and we can be forgiven of anything, I would rather be on God's side as the other side??? Do you have any loved ones that has passed on??? Would you like to see them one day??? Ask yourself this question...will I go to Heaven if I die??? If you have not, ask Jesus into your life and heart today....he is only a breath...a whisper away. This is only meant as advice...please ask GOD or a doctor/pastor/priest/minister/church forfurther advice...MissHealth(Reverend)

And in a twist of irony only The Great Pumpkin could have foreseen the 8 track score of the week is a tape by a person who Miss Health would probably really like, John Wayne. This tape is called America, Why I Love Her. Its all narration (which was a let down since I wanted to hear The Duke croon) of the 1950ís God and Country America that would leave the GOP in awe. A few choice cuts are, Taps, Why Are You Marching Son and My Roots Are Buried Here. I give it 5 years before it becomes camp. 

 

March 19, 2001

A good thing about this recessed economy is the yard sales grow exponentially. Last week 4 and Saturday 12. I canít wait until next weekend when rent is due and people get real desperate. Iím sure that these sales will start on Thursdays very soon.

I got Clallam County so cased now that I can almost tell if it will be a good sale or a bad one just by glancing at the address and brief description of the ad. Never get your hopes up when you read the garage sale clichť "Lots of baby clothes". And often "25 years of accumulation" means I never throw away National Geographic magazines. Everyone saves these but no one ever reads them twice. And they never have any market value.

I thought I found my dream girl at a sale in one of those house/trailer home hybrid dwellings. Next to one of those TV, Phonograph, 8 track players wooden consoles was a case of 24 tapes and when I pounced on it I heard a voice in a distance that said "Iím an 8-track person, I hate CDs." I was ready to wear this woman in my hearts core until I saw the tapes were, Golden Country and one titled "Give That Old Time Religion." I did manage to find a tape of Lilly Tomlin and one of that bombastic band Emerson Lake Apartment (Bad pun, but wouldnít that be a great name for a resort? I hope to see a sign of that on an episode of The Simpsonís one day).

But what make this a heel clickin day was on the floor was a yellow Panasonic Pump player for $5.00, yippee! When I got this box home I opened the battery pack and noticed that 2 wires were jerry rigged from the back when someone attempted to make this mono player into a stereo. My ebay head was upset at this alteration but my 8 track brain applauded the innovation and experimentation. As usual the 8 track brain won.

March 25, 2001

After Fridays mini sales I was stuck with beer can hats and some Smurfilicious Smurf memorabilia (The best thing that came out of this is some kid about 3 asked her mother if after the sale "Can we go to the fricken State Park?" It was like being in a Family Circus cartoon). So I said, "screw this" and loaded up the truck and moved to Seattle.

Seattle pays a better living wage but they get the difference back with its absorbent prices of everything. Even the panhandlers donít waste time asking for "spare change" but ask for dollars.

I was tipped on a vintage store on Capital Hill and after querying everyone on the street about a store with 8 tracks was pointed down a stairway. Iíd give the address but no one reads these updates anyway.

This place was remarkable, most second hand stores Iíve seen are blistering with mostly boring overpriced old wooden furniture and tasteful paintings but this place really had my number and I was moaning, looking at exciting overpriced appliances like the Weltron 8 track units and flying saucer record players. Even the record selection had sitar rock albums that worked me into a joyous lather. On the wall was about 100 8 track tapes with prices ranging from $.99 to $9.99. I bought a few in the ebay price range by artists like Elvis Costello, Tiny Tim, Tina Turner and a few disco K-tel compilations.

What made this more than the run of the mill 8 track score is some guy saw me getting ecstatic in the pile and started going on how 8 track music is mostly mainstream artists and country music (I certainly disagree). But what earned him points was he said he was working at some Seattle Film Festival when they screened Russ Foresters "So Right There Wrong" and he got into tapes through that.

So as I was waiting at the ferry dock later that evening I started wondering if this guy hangs out by the 8 track section of that store all day just to strike up conversations with fellow collectors? Some times I get carried away by these tapes, is this my future? Iím somewhat of a joke around Sequim as the 8 track oddball guy but I was in Seattle less than 6 hours and already found a fellow traveler. Maybe I do have a future in this state yet.

April 1, 2001

Thereís an antique store tucked away in the trendy west end of Port Angeles called Tallulahís Closet. And through the vinyl grapevine I discovered that this place has started carrying records. The only drawback is that the guy who owns the joint (Mr. Tallulah?) has a reputation as a real unpleasant cad (Get away from that box those are going on the internet!"). Iíve avoided this place on that statement alone but when someone says used vinyl Iíll wade through Satanís bowels to get there.

So I walked in biting my lower lip with an attitude copped ready for anything and saw the obese, toothless blob raise his greasy Tom Arnold head and he says "Youíre the 8-track guy I see at *Goodwill all the time." I was aghast, and to further put me down he dragged out a kitchen sized garbage pail full of neglected tapes and said I could have them for a quarter each. They were mostly country and very easy listening but I did manage to find a few Beatles, a Rolling Stones Greatest Hits, The Eagles and for kitsch some group called The Sunshine Band that does cover of (guess who) KC and The Sunshine Band.

Then he said to come back on Tuesday for more (Oh update material). He also wants to buy a player (weíll see). I also gave this cologne sprinkled fellow a brief lesson in tape splice repair (Radio Shack Foil).

And I was all set to compose a cynical update and he turns out to be a swell guy. But donít worry thereís one of those 100 year traditional bumpkin irrigation festival next week so I should be blistering with all kinds of sarcasm very soon.

* Goodwill is a scary institution. When I think about the scores of jobs on this peninsula that are dependent on that weekly truck delivery that comes from Tacoma and a strike would be disastrous. No Retroville, No Grandmas Attic, No Dis and Dat no Ebay people. I have a fantasy of doing some Road Warrior abduction of that semi when he comes down the West 101. Iíd have all the toys and could call the shots. This town could use a Mafia and everyone who first meets me thinks Iím part Italian anyway.

 

 

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