September 10, 2000

I went to see WWF in Seattle on Saturday with some kindred sprits I met through Ebay. Iíd give you the bawdy details but Iím not sure if weíre on speaking terms. But that will teach them to give a recluse a home address (The best thing about being a hermit is you can live any where.), and thanks for the Absinthe guys.

On my drive down I hit a few garage sales because I wanted to see what kind of regional items they have south of Sequim. I have to say the ceramic owl is a Pacific Northwest staple. Iíve been here over a year a have seen hundreds of them but have never seen a flesh and blood one. Do they exist or is this some cult no one bothered telling me about?

I found a small collection of 8 tracks that the woman defaced with a laundry marker with the $.50 price on them. I got the whole box for a buck, which added insult to the whole act.

What impressed me about the lot was they were mostly from bands Iíve never heard of. Do these ring a bell?

Russ Thomas
Donald Byrd (A quad with a sexy cover)
Satin Chickens (gooey Ampex)
The Neon Philharmonic (Very pretentious)

I sort of made the sellers day as she proudly boasted to her husband "See I told you these would sell" Anyone know how to remove marsh pen from labels?

September 13, 2000

On the 8-track Usenet this week there is a thread on late 80ís 8 track tapes. It seem a Chicago cartridge and some salute to the Olympic Games tape that came out on the Columbia label in 1988 keep get mentioned. Pretty sad, when Iím ready to go I hope my life ends with an explanation point instead of a period (or is it an ellipsis).

The reason why I bring this up is today I found what maybe one of the last bootleg 8 tracks, itís my understanding that some copyright loop hole made these legal to sell until the last 70ís. The tape I have is called "Sensational Rock Vol. 47" put out by Music City Music Co. Most of it is overplayed classic rock but it has a cut by Prince "I Wanna Be Your Lover". It may not make it to the 8 track museum but itís still worth further study for those archivists. I may not even fix the pressure pads in order to keep it in suti

September 17, 2000

No thrift tapes today but I found a sex toy at a garage sale that I had to have since I applaud the guy who put it up for sale. I didnít even bargain him down and it came with batteries, better wash it though.

Iíve been considering putting a new wing on this page dedicated to 8 tracks sound-a-like bands. Most of these carts were made by the same folks who make bootlegs and are studio bands with names like LA Connection, Top of The Poppers, or Dimensional Sound. To my knowledge no music critic had ever reviewed a sound-a-like band. The best thing I can say is Homesteadís version of "You Sexy Thing" is almost as good as the original (Well maybe the Tom Tom Clubís version anyway.). Beatles are always done on the older tapes. Some of labels are honest enough to put in small print "Not an original artist recording" abut most try and pass them off as the real deal. And for sheer gaul a few say "These are not the original recordings but through studio technology incredible simulations." This statement is crap and most of these are bootleg pirated copies. Makes you wonder how may law suites were avoided through this declaimer. Iíd love to read the transcript of a defendant proving that theyíre not the originals and wonder if he could reproduce the sound under legal scrutiny. Reminds me of a Vermeer hoax art case I once read about.

Check out those "big hits"

September 22, 2000

For the second time this month I made one of my virtual pals a flesh and blood one. I never thought this page and Ebay would end up being a dorky personal ad. I probably should get out and meet the locals more. At least computer people can be turned on and off. Itís been months since I answered a real personal ad but I donít want to end up like Bob Crane so maybe itís best.

Not much 8 track wise (A blank and one of the millions of different Elvis tapes) but I developed a new past time-narcotics. Iíve become a bit of a sorcerer (Not one of those flaky newagers, thank you) and with the help of a little old lady at the herb shop Iím producing homemade Absinthe, any Johnny blue collar shmooe can brew their own beer were talking post impressionist hangovers here. Unlike the pre-world war 1 recipe this one wonít cause blindness. Although Iím hoping Iíll be experiencing a Van Gogh wavy line like reality.

A Swinging Absinthe Chick

September 23, 2000

I feel like such a schmuck today. I hit some large church sale and spotted a still in the box blue Sears Portable player that splits in half. It was a little dirty but I figure this was from age and a good cleaning could restore it. So five bucks later I get it home and pull it out and the battery compartment flew open and eight nasty ass corroded batteries fell out on the carpet and the adapter that came with it was held together with a rubber band. Optimistic that I am I let this go and put in Brownsville Stationís Yeah tape inside and rocked out to the sound of nothing! The fricken motor is dead. So Iím staring at this boxed blue paperweight working on my next move.

It gets worse, now Iím told the money from that sale is going to fund some missionaries so they can spread the word of the Holy Dude to some South Pacific Island. Great, I have this worthless player and unintentionally donated so some disrespectful dogma can eat up yet another heathen ideology. And Iíll I wanted was a neato portable player. Any pagans out there have any players for sale? Iíd like to keep the balance of power.

September 30, 2000

It had to happen. Today at the PFLAG yard sale I paid the outrageously inflated price of $1.00 for a , (get this) religious tape! Why you ask? Maybe this 8-track drought has gotten me in to a buy-anything-with- a- continuous-loop mindset, or maybe itís the artist. This fellowís name is Merrill Womach. Ever heard of him? Heís an ex-undertaker who got in a plane accident that left his face scarred and disfigured. He later dedicated his life to Jesus and made loads of gospel albums. Each one has a close up of his butt ugly mug. Most are in the unlistenable genre and with the exception of his version of Dry Bones (with twangy jaw harp) this baby is too.

The title of it is In Quartet and instead of one Merrill with a badly scarred burnt up face we get four superimposed images of him. That comes out to $.25 a Merrill, what a deal.

8-track tape- $1.00


Broken Splice- Priceless






October 5, 2000

Check out the holder I found today at the bottom of the Case page 


October 8, 2000

Iíve been pretty cynical all this week since my daily reruns of The Simpsonís have been replaced with old episodes of Whos The Boss. It just proves that not everything retro is worth reviving.

Yesterday I was digging through Goodwill's new tapes and the most rocking it got was Leo Sayer. So I put on my "8 track tapes as art" cap and salvaged a few beautiful high brow tapes with art boxes.

One is the sound track of Oliver on the Colgems label ( See Monkees). I know all the songs by heart and since the splice is broken I donít see much use in repairing it.

The other is the opera Rigoletto. The cart says "Verdi, Rigoletto (Highlights). I find it odd that they did a cut and paste job on this opera. The only Opera Iíve ever understood was Hamlet performed by the cast of Gilliganís Island. But for those who know the story and understand Italian this tape in its "edited for 8 track" form must be a trip. It least it comes with a small pamphlet outlining the 4 acts. No wonder opera was never big on 8 track.


October 15, 2000

Sigh, another dead week for 8 tracks so today its verbal yard sale clichťs. How many times have we heard these?

"Oh Cute", This is an all around adjective thatís thrown out more at garage sales than probably a puppy farm. I just wish people had a larger vocabulary. Still havenít heard anyone describe an 8 track tape a being cute. Next week for sure.

"Well you could sell this on Ebay and get at least that much". My response to this sentence is "Well then, why donít you put this on Ebay." Ebay isnít all fun and games junior. Thereís imaging, uploading with a cute ftp (thereís that damnable word again!) writing a pithy description of the item, Dealing with people who blame you for postage cost and of course the uncivil civil servants at the USP. Any takers?

Along this line is the similarÖ

"If you went to Wal Mart it would cost you $12.00" But are you paying for Wal Mart insurance, minimum wages, utilities and CEO salaries? " If you went to Bangladesh it would cost $.17".

"Itís an antique" (Insert inflated price). I rarely give anything older that 30 years a second glance unless it has a unique charm (this happened twice) and when I hear these words it has the same effect on me as a date who tells me "I have herpes" No thank you.

See what happens when I canít find 8 tracks, I turn all cynical. Tapes are my prozac.

P.S. I entered in the url section of the address bar for a possible hyperlink and got a porno site. This kind of cute I don't mind.

October 21, 2000

My timing was impeccable at Goodwill today. The tape lady was fidgeting behind me as I dug up a lone George Burns-I Wish I Was 18 Again" and like the tooth fairy showered me in 8 track tapes. I got ELO, The Who, The Guess Who, Hug Montenegro-A Neil Diamond Songbook (This is actually a spaced out tape and I donít even care for Neil) an Easy Rider Bootleg and one of James Brown titled-This Is It. This tape has the former ownerís name scribbled on it and is decorated with swastikas in marsh pen. I guess this is what you get when you live spitting distance from Hayden Lake, Idaho.

You want weirder? On the way home I hit an estate sale that was marked off Ĺ on this second day and in the garage amidst the lawn drugs was a nearly full box of the pesticide DDT. Wasnít this stuff banned 30 years ago for causing birds to lay thin-shelled eggs?

I had to have it but now Iím not sure if Iím going to play mad scientist with it or put it on Ebay. Any suggestions?




October 23, 2000

I asked Ebay if the aforementioned item would be permitted to sell on their site and just got this letter back-

Hello Gregg,

Thank you for writing to us with your questions.

Unfortunately, this is not the type of item that should be listed on

Off the top of my head I cannot give you the exact law or policy for
prohibiting this, I can say that this is a very dangerous and deadly
chemical which should be disposed of immediately.

You may wish to contact your local fire department if you wish to
dispose of this chemical properly. Again, I stress the danger of this
chemical as it has caused much damage to ecosystems and animals in areas
it was used.

If you have any other questions or comments don't hesitate to write back
to us.


eBay Community Watch Team


So much for my stint at eco-terrorism. Guess I should just stick to the endless loop


October 28, 2000

I believe I found the missing link between 8 track players and CD consoles.

Today I did a double take at an upscale garage sale and what looked like a cassette tape unit with all the bells and whistles that turned out to be a high tech 8 track player that nothing between the moon and New York City could keep me from. Introducing The Reference: 708D by Quadraflex.

Most home unit 8 track players are designed with a combination of a walnut wood and brushed aluminum appearance. I could give you brand names until the cows come home. Then the 80ís came along and everything became black plastic (except The Sharper Image of course, they were made with something like space shuttle paneling.).

Strangely, this machine has wooden sides, a black plastic face and a control panel that has to be seen to be believed. The buttons are so overkill you practically need a manual to turn it on. Most players I have are just volume and program. Ever heard of these? Endless Play, Track Repeat, Stop Each, Stop End, Source Line/Mic Peak Light and 2 dB recording lights in dashboard blue and red lights.

I feel so with the times, at this rate I just might be getting into CDís in the year 2008


On to November...

or back to August