May 22, 2005
This week was a lot like the ones I use to have before tapes started getting as rare as hen teeth. I found a nice sale in the slum section of town and stored in a cargo bin or a rotting Mack truck was a collection of several hundred 8 track tapes going for $.25 cents a piece. Oh course living in the hillbilly section of the state most of them were country but it was welcome from the tons and tons of easy listening I've encountered in the last few months I grabbed about 20 different Elvis tapes, a few Beach Boys which somehow always end up in country music lots, 4 Jackson 5 tapes The Osmond's Greatest Hits which by all accounts should be the shortest tape every made, and another addition to my 70s Fave Rave Tiger Beat hall of fame - the borderline train wreck Leif Garrett doing love songs from the 50s and 60s. Not as original as Shawn Cassidy who I give credit for attempting to buck the system when his musical career was going or fun as Bobby Sherman who always seemed too old to woo the 13 year old girl crowd singing about Seattle (I'm a sucker for musicians who sing about cities) but still fun and always a good source of irritation to anyone else in the same room with it, if only Menudo made it to 8 track. Anyway the yard sales are back and I'm hoping for some major scores and may even buy the junk shop I work since the owner sees it as a liability and hates dealing with realtors.
June 5, 2005
Well, if you canít beat em join em. After months rock free 8 track tapes out there Iíve decided to load up the pick up with my two hound dogs and listen to the down home sound of a few newly acquired country tapes. Iíve made a compromise and got a few trucker tapes which are on the fringe of country music. This week Iíve been listening to 6 Days On The Road Trucker Stars, Overloaded Diesel, 16 Greatest Truck Driver Hits and The Far Out Of Homer & Jethro. If thereís a bad trucker song by Jim Nesbitt Iíve never heard it. They are a slice of Americana and make me itch for a CB radio for some reason and are the last vestige of the cowboy on the open road. I wish this genre was still with us, it would be nice to have trucker clothing lines, trucker dances, coffee and moonshine parties and a subculture where I donít have to shave regularly.
June 21, 2005
The big news is through and unpredictable series of events I've managed to buy up that junk store that I've been working at for the last year and a half. There's nothing like a motivated seller who will settle for a dwelling listed at $7000 less than the appraised value, it took some scraping and scrounging but if all goes to plan this baby will be all mine by the end of next month. It's funny working at a place and being completely ignorant of it's structure until it's pointed out to your face. This dive has rat holes in the side I never knew about, a homemade septic tank and was built over a gas station some time in the early 60's. It came with a slummy 2 bedroom in the back that I'll be renovating, even though my home repair experience doesn't go much more than changing a light bulb.
Lately the junk store has become more of a swap meet anyway where old men come in with rock music that they hate and I give them free reign over country music 8 tracks. I gave away 115 tapes for 40 rock ones that were once owned by someone with a Jethro Tull fetish. And just today I trades 10 classic rock albums to some semi homeless kid for one of those Darth Vader helmets that make your voice sound like the Lord Sith. I just can't put it down.
June 27, 2005
Looks like the reason the junk store was such as steal is it still has the original gas tanks still intact and filled with 35 year old petroleum. Back in the early 70's dissembling tanks meant covering them with asphalt and walking away. In today's EPA world they have to be drained and often removed and replaced with clean landfill dirt. I've got some soil testing in the near future and if it's full of high lead contaminates I'll have to walk away from this deal or stand to go broke paying for the clean up. I don't mind being a slum lord but I draw the line at owning a toxic waste site. Visually the oil in the tanks looks and smells like it's part ethyl gasoline and part ground water. If only it was pure gas then getting a shop and 1000 gallons of gas as a bonus would be a score.
I got a Country Porn 8 track tape in the mail, it has it's own label CPM and the number is 666. The lyrics are filthy but the music toe tapping hog tying fun. I wonder if they have any other albums out or something like Rock Porn, or Jazz Porn. I hope Chinga Chavin is making the Indian casino rounds these days
July 30, 2005
Other than watching cousins get married there isn't much going on in this small town lately. That thrift store dump is on hold until the soil tester can pry himself away from his busy schedule and last week my car's transmission decided that I had to get towed home and has been sitting idle since. And just last week my step father was talking about selling his car and getting a new one, I bet if he didn't' t say that this car would still be up and running. There maybe a Toyota Camre in my future. Fortunately, I got towed home by a known stoner and was able to pay him in the form of a bag of gift weed that has been sitting for months in the fridge. I've gotten about everything I can get out of pot and haven't toked any in years and it was the perfect way to dispose of it.
I found these fun but painful to the ear 8 tracks on a label called "Sound alike Music" one is A Tribute to Burt Bacharach and the other is A Tribute to John Denver with very small letters that say "Davey Stewart Sings". Since I rarely pay retail on anything I now enjoy these music rip offs and representations. This one isn't as coy as most since it has a big yellow label with a descriptions but I have loads of vinyl by Beatle's sound alikes that are often more entertaining than the originals. Today in the anything can be downloaded on the internet it's been a while since I've seen a clever huckster try and pull phony sound alike, too bad, I'd love to see a bootleg take on Britney Speers or a really homely packaged boyband..
August 9, 2005
Several months ago they built a Walmart and Home Dept in the neighboring city Sequim. Since then housing prices have skyrocketed, multiplexes have been slated and even an Olive Garden will soon be party of the rural landscape (the horror). One out of every three house sales is a Californian, certain soothsayers have predicted that this region will double in population in the next 10 years and worst of all the 8 track tapes at Goodwill have risen to the insane price of $.99. Sadly the quality of tapes haven't improved with the price and unless you get turned on by home recordings of symphony music your out of luck. I use to hate this area for it's backwardness but a year in the city changed my mind and now we seem to be tying to be the Seattle West.
September 3, 2005
This have been an entry on the epic scale but one of those crazy curve balls life throws at you hit me square in the head. It all started 2 weeks ago at a sale that was like most with ancient dinnerware and apple crates full of records. By habit I asked the woman if she had any 8 track tape around and she said her father had passed away 2 years ago and her mother was finally deciding to move on with her life and had some in the shed. This shed was a mobile home filled with nothing but row upon row of 8 track tapes and at least 70 players with a row of the famous "pump" players in the front, taunting me. I was ecstatic and was ready to negotiate. I was told her mother set the prices and she made an appointment for me to come back on Tuesday at 3. I was excited as the day approached and got there 10 mins early pounding on the door til a little after 3 with no response, then I hit the general store down the hill to call the number and got a hold of the same woman who told me that her mother sold the entire shed to someone in Seattle straight up. I bet something like this will never happen again, dang city slickers.
But the week hasn't been a total bust, Saturday I found this cool Triple Play Realistic player that plays 3 tapes consecutively and about as high tech as Radio Shack got in the 70's.
September 11, 2005
Yesterday I pulled of at one of those rode side swap meets that are generally a blight on the landscape on a tip that a regular seller shows up on Saturday with butt loads of used vinyl. After a quick survey I spotted the unshaven seller sneaking a smoke behind a dresser and he pointed me to the records. I didn't find much accept a few dog-eared Velvet Underground disks but at his cash register he had a small box of 8 track tapes. They were mostly classical which I'm too unwashed to enjoy and have no idea if it makes a big difference if Beethoven's 5th is conducted by :Leo Stolkowsky or Bugs Bunny impersonating Leoplod. Anyway he told me I could have them all for $5 which I casually passed at, then he told me he had more under a table and produced about 70 more tapes. I bit my lip and checked out the ratty cardboard box and saw a nice collection of classic rock and gave him the five spot and made 3 trips to the car. I loved days like this when you get to spend an hour rifling though mystery boxes of tapes looking for the one that will permanently change your life. The meat and potatoes of this box were 10 different Bob Dylan tape with a few of them still sealed, obscure Deep Purple, BOC tapes, lots of Kiss tapes including those cheesy solo ones. All I can say is it's about fricken time I get a big score
October 10, 2005
This page has been having technical difficulties lately and keeps timing out a lot so I haven't been able to download it or even update much lately as you can see by the date of the last entry. Just as well, the last two month have been spent restoring a dilapidated house that was built in the early 1930s. It has no power so all of the work is down with labor intensive hand tools. I had to replace the rotted foundation and put in new walls but before I put up the drywall I tossed in a few crapy 8 track tapes in the wall as a kind of time capsule. I hope in the next 50 years someone discovers a still sealed Slim Whitman cart and the sound track of Grease. I may put a mother load of tapes in the ceiling for insulation. Of course I have no construction back ground and end up boning up on the how to part the night before on the internet and throwing myself into the house. All the good contractors are in New Orleans anyway.
October 30, 2005
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I've got a Pioneer home player that's been sitting in the trunk of my car for the last month waiting for me to drag it out to test it. I may keep it back there incase there's a nuclear war and I turn into Road Warrior and have to be on the run. Summer is very over and the yard sales are few and in between. 8 tracks are rare but I'm gradually getting a following on Lps and twice this weekend was flagged down at yard sales asking if I buy or sell them. I guess I do. Now every Monday just after I open the junk store I get a nice stream of regulars waiting the thumb threw the vinyl I picked up on the weekend, still waiting to sell the first 8 track tape though and may celebrate when I do.
November 19, 2005
The junk store is going nearly full steam now and if I wasn't so lazy I might be turning a profit but right now I'm enjoying the dream job of opening up at noon and having a beer if I feel like during working hours. It seems to have gotten me some respectability in the hunting and gathering world and now I rub elbows at estate sales and get acknowledged by fellow Antique store owners, albeit my shop is antique free and am still the bottom feeder I've always been and made a killing last week selling mirrored beer signs. Right now it's still so small time I haven't even got a name for the place and am pondering Le Junkque Shoppe, The Thrift Barn or Mr. Junkman. Last week a woman who bought loads of lamps wondered if I'd be interested in trades and casually mentioned she had a few still sealed 8 track tapes. She said they were rock and as of late I'll take what I can get. And is anyone else getting tired of hearing of all this 70's retro crap is making a comeback for the 50th time? The only thing I've noticed is every revival brings a new price increase. I wonder if people in the 50s sold furniture in the 20s and called it 'Retro"?
November 24, 2005
The best thing about Thanksgiving is you can drop off all the excess junk you have that's too good to toss in the garbage and not good enough for the thrift stores to accept. Usually when I end up taking it to the drop off point they look at the clothing and say something like "We're not taking clothes this week", or "We have plenty of books and records, try St Vinnies." But today under the cover of darkness and a beautiful fog that won't go away I managed to drop off 12 boxes of women's clothing and useless bedding material and no one was the wiser. The odd thing is after I dropped off the second load a truck was behind me waiting to do the same thing. Does anyone remember the time when Goodwill and The Salvation Army use to have large bins in the neighborhood where you could drop off items hassle free?
All items must be in good condition. Goodwill is unable to repair or use items with missing pieces.
December 4, 2005
This week Port Angeles has it's own national celebrity in the shape of the Lovely Miss Colleen Woopperer. Ms Woopperer is currently getting her 15 min of fame on the Fox reality Show Trading Spouses you can view a clip of her here that has to been seen to believed but if you have a slow dial up connection I'll summarize. This woman is the embodiment of you classic holy roller mental case bordering on a fanatical snake handler mindset. Here are a few quotes from the show that speak volumes-
I suspect she's been coached by the producers of the show but I can't guarantee it. I see a lot of nut cases here and working in a shop that often makes a profit selling merchandise that was abandoned on the road she would fit in well with the average clientele. Most people who live here are very xenophobic and if they went to school here or in the neighboring area you just aren't going to be let into their circle. I have no problem with this and most of my acquaintances here are from large cities and when I met a person who was born here I approach them with my sword drawn. People have recently taken to meth here like a duck to water and my fellow junk store colleagues are talking about packing a side arm near the cash box because they are getting fed up with being ripped off all the time. Luckily I'm cheap and the most valuable item in the store is $25.
She even became a bobble head that went for $870 on ebay, notice her teeth everyone who lives here for a while eventually goes toothless and has no problem with it. I hope they start selling it at the souvenir section of the local Walmart.
December 18, 2005
It finally happened, I got my first 8 track inquiry at the junk store. I was working the the garage trying to make it less of a fire trap when a woman was peering into the side window of the shop trying to figure out if anyone was there. I gave her the "May I help you" spiel and she said she was all over town looking for an 8 track tape player for her husband. I always keep 3 in stock and like a good electronic salesman demonstrated the pros and cons of each model. Once she figured out how the track changing button worked and the vol controls were adjusted she was tracking like a pro and since she was so excited I gave her a good deal on a GE Powersound that she probably would have paid more for once I showed her the quirky 8 track karaoke feature. There will be hot times in her house tonight and she said she'd be back with her hubby.
December 29, 2005
I maybe a big nothing in the 8 track world but a few years after I posted The Waikikian site (I remember I uploaded it at the exact same time Janet Jackson flashed herself at the Super Bowl so it must have been an omen) I've become an authority on the subject and hardly a week goes by when someone either waxes nostalgically or asks for specifics about that place. But I guess the time I realized that I arrived is when someone posted a Waikikian postcard on Ebay and quoted parts of the page nearly word for word.
Christmas rarely brings cards or presents other than the silly care package from my mother so I splurged this year and found a cool vintage brass Sputnik chandelier hanging in an antique store hidden by a cutout Elvira display and snagged it for $60. Unfortunately you can't find the 1950s bulbs that are suppose to fit in it so I used Christmas lights that work superbly. If only I had a higher ceiling so I wouldn't bang my head on it every time I walk in the middle of the room, I may modify it or would that be sacrilege.
On to 2006 >