January 5, 2006
In the 90's Dumpster diving use to be associated with slumming it and had an almost chic allure to it and most people who dived did it as either part of their philosophy to either combat waste, or to find something cool to add to their boho lives. The majority were into "alternative rock" and although a lot of it had a hypocritical air, they seemed to make it work. Now that I'm a junk lord hardly a week goes by when some unkempt middle aged derelict wanders into the shop with a carload of garbage that they just fished out an alley dumpster and trying to pawn off their "gold" for a few gallons of gas. Today some guy a week from living in his car tried to unload a trunk of clothes and a Arrow shirt that looked like someone wiped them self with it for $5. When I refused the price kept going down and I still wouldn't budge. Finally I gave him a slightly used fuzz buster if he hauled some crap I had in the back room to the dump and I bet he'll be at the store down the street pulling the same gag at the antique row. I guess that's what I get for being the only non non-profit thrift store in the area.
January 7, 2006,
I sold my second 8 track player yesterday, and it was
another portable. I guess 8 track portables were an idea whose time hadn't come
but now they're popular and trendy. That makes 2 in two weeks. I may do a
Big Bucks Burnette and put up a $100 Sex Pistols tape on the wall and see if
anyone bites although in this town a Hank Williams cart would get more.
I also may nominate myself for a Darwin Award because last week I found a pack of gum in the garage that was months old but I figured the winter cold would preserve it and grabbed two of them and after a second or gnawing I noticed a rock in the wad and was thinking corporate lawsuit until I realized I was chewing on one of the cusps of my right molar and the gum took on a blood flavor. Not much I can do about it but at least it will be easier to identify my body from the dental records now.
January 15, 2006,
It has been raining for the last 26 days in these parts and it gets a little old stepping out of the car into a deep mud puddle every time I get out or in. Also the junk shop which was built in the 30s is showing it's age and there is a symphony of drips in pots and pans that goes on around the clock which I can't do much about until I get a week of dry weather, oh well, atmosphere I guess.
Haven't had much luck with 8 tracks but I found a bunch or reel to reel tapes this weekend. If you thought finding decent 8 track tapes among an ocean of easy listening and bad country music is hard try finding listenable reel to reel tapes. I found about 50 of them and was lucky to find The Moody Blues and a Ravi Shanker tape. Everything else was completely worthless. I was going to say it was all elevator music but like supermarkets, elevators play only classic rock now. I wonder if the generation of kids now hear it with the same disdain that I had when I use to listen to "real" elevator music in the 70s. Baby Boomers turn 60 this year and like all previous generations they too will be pushed aside and forgotten. I have no issues with this and hope one day to have a booth at a state fair demonstrating 8 track tapes to curious kids. I use to compare tapes to Nintendo cartridges but now even that example is becoming outdated.
January 28, 2006
Lots of football nuts coming out of the woodwork for the super bowl trying to score last min souvenirs, nothing like that $10,000 hot dog on ebay but if I could have saw this coming I would have horded ball caps and jerseys then cleaned up. The slowest week ever at work and only one customer all yesterday. But I did organize the music room and I wish it was bigger. I put up a collectors wall with the usual Elvis lps. But unlike most people I know that anything with The Kings face on it isn't worth a small fortune and none of the records are over $5. Some reason I've been finding a lot of beer can hats from the 70's. Now that this area is slowing turning into box store central the only way I see to compete with this corporations is sell something they don't carry so these silly hats might be my ticket to easy street.
February 3, 2006
There must be some underground metal scene around here. Last Monday some lanky teen covered in black and names of bands like Black Sabbath on his clothes came in with his mommy and went nuts in the record section buying up every Judas Priest, Poison and Ozzy lp I had and then bought 3 Metallica video tapes. Since then I've dealt with a throng of similar types this all this week doing the same thing with their overweight girl friends. The best thing about metal people is they never change and have the same interests as folks I use to hang out with in high school and listen to the same songs. I've long given up praising AC/DC or Led Zepplin but Stairway to Heaven is still a staple. When I first got into punk rock in 1979 among other things it was toted as "The Blank Generation" that had "No Future" but today punks are a lot like hippies use to be with their very liberal philosophy and DIY ideals, but Metal has always been about stoners, music and apathy, maybe that's why they still can play Stairway to Heaven over and over.
And on a side note, my sister site - The Waikikian Hotel and Tahitian Lanai, is now on top of list when you goggle the name "Tahitian Lanai" and 2nd on The "Waikikian", I've since been interviewed twice for them. But mostly I get a kick out of hearing from retired men who were there on a honeymoon and have ached to go back since. I should clean up the shire for them I have in the backroom and rent it out.
February 10, 2006
Seems the next town over (Sequim) is growing so large that they are planning to relocate the wild elks that have roamed the area some place else. That town has a big elk sculpture at the entrance and doing this is like exiling the bald eagle from America because of overpopulation. I use to look in awe at a herd of elk shutting down the traffic so they could pass and now they will soon be just a story. Gosh, I moved to this area at the end of the golden age then came the housing boom, the box stores, and now everything that gave this place individuality and soul is being sucked out of it. I wonder if I could smuggle a few spotted owls to this area to put the brakes on things?
Makes me really appreciate my quaint shop where most of the younger folks are appalled by the squalor of the junk like out dated rotary phones but the long time residents lurk forever in the back leafing through 35 year old phone books in amusement.
February 19, 2006
When I reached puberty and shortly after it seemed like the most promiscuous and provocative women on TV were these aging post menopausal woman that were older than my mother. I often wondered why the network executives saw it to play them up as alluring and wondered if anyone saw them as steamy fantasy babes the way Baywatch girls were a few years ago.. No wonder I was so confused as a teen and never went the senor prom.. At least they eventually got it right with Kelly Bundy and the slutty sister on That 70's Show.
I'm off to Las Vegas next week for a Star Trek wedding and in true nerd fashion am going as a Klingon. I don't think I'll find any 8 tracks on the strip but I'll keep my out for them, you figure with all the different environments and themes they might at yeast have a tacky 70's world casino.
March 3, 2006
Las Vegas isn't the sin city played up in films and bad graphic novels I expected but once I got past the visual onslaught and relaxed I had a swell time. 90% of the entertainment is "B" list (Danny Gans?) and the biggest draws are magicians that aren't exactly household names. I thought magic went out with vaudeville but even without Sigfield and Roy there are no shortage of slight of hand, most of them being on par with Gob from the recently canceled Arrested Development.
Of course the big draw is gambling and since I live 20 miles from the Injun Casino I wasn't impressed and even prefer my favorite Wheel of Fortune slot machine in Sequim to any of the themed ones there. I suppose I was hoping for a Rat Pack Vegas and got a Wayne Newton one instead. I was sort of surprised at because anyone one can go to Europe now or 30 years from now and see the Same Eiffel Tower, the same Acropolis or same Roman Forum (They don't call it the eternal city for nothing) and find little variation. Las Vegas on the other hand is in a state of flux where everyone tries to up show everyone else. I did enjoy the fake skyline of the Aladdin Hotel where it's always about sundown and that volcano that erupts every hour. I can recommend the Liberace Museum for kitsch and think if he wasn't a pianist he'd make a good middle linebacker for the NY Giants with his build and strength he must have had to wear those 200 pound costumes weighed down with rhinestones.
The wedding was fun since they shut down the Star Trek exhibit for 45 mins and we had run of the joint, my thrift store Klingon uniform was pathetic compared to the nearly 7 foot tall contemporary Klingon who was part of the ceremony and never was out of character. He almost ruined the wedding when he asked me in the middle of it if these humans come from honorable house, but I managed to keep a straight face. If you ever get there try the cocktail named The Warp Core Breech, it's a meal in itself.
I managed to sneak out to a huge thrift store called Opportunity Village ARC Inc and found 3 decent 8 tracks. One is by Genesis, the other is by the Vapors, and my personal favorite is the comedy of Rodney Dangerfield. I usually hate comics from the 70's like the abysmal Steve Martin's Let's Get Small or Robin Williams' Reality What A Concept but this one hasn't dated at all.
March 7, 2006
Just when I think 8 track tapes have nearly played
themselves out I find this gem in a box of classical music tapes-
Harold Harris At The Playboy Club, I haven't played it yet but songs like Hefner Walked In and The Playboy Theme have me endeared to it all ready, and the bunny on the floor is to die for.
Also, I just got the pix back from the Las Vegas Star Trek wedding, I'm just glad my acne cleared up and I only needed to use my asthma inhaler 3 times during the service, someone had to take the photos..
The Warp Core Breech should have been called a Bladder Breech but well worth the hangover.
I'm always turned off by cakes decorated with non edible jewelry and fabric. I thought I swallowed a button at one point.
March 15, 2006,
Once again proving that you can find anything at a thrift store if you wait long enough is this indy playful punk 8 track tape made in 1997 called Unpop by the band The Previous. I went to their website and found no mention of this tape so I figure it was given out to friends or sold at concerts. It's not a bad job, they made a wrap around label and just glued it on an existing cartridge where you can still see remnants of the original one. I only hope it wasn't taped over a rare Stooges tape. I do like the contemporary look of it with the website URL on the bottom and on the back are liner notes telling the story that is the theme of this tape. If 8 track tapes didn't become quaint and fun I bet they would go along similar lines. I also scored The first Small Faces cart and an Elvis Costello tape, not too shabby.
March 19, 2006
I found a knock off of the soundtrack of Shaft on the Pickwick label to day that is all instrumental with out the dated but super cool lyrics about John Shaft being a "Bad Mutha", too bad. It's performed by Soul Mann and The Brothers and I wonder if they have any other albums out. I grew up in Hawaii in the 70s and only got a few glimpses of anything soul and find the term amusing. I remember back then the zenith of coolness was having a black guy tell a white guy he has soul or was a soul brother. I even had friends call me that and they weren't even black. Having soul was like being in a club reserved for black people and only hip open-minded white guys. My favorite pop culture moment with soul was on a episode of The Monkees when Davy was introduced to the finer aspects of soul by Charlie Smalls. You can read the head scratching conversation here (later mocked by Frank Zappa on a future show). Also a remember seeing Rosie Greer on The Odd Couple telling Oscar Madison that he had soul. Black guys also started hand slaps that are today known as the high five. Although back then a stranger on the street would put his hands a lot lower and say "Give me five" and if they were cool they'd slap you back and say "Here's the Change". I suppose soul music became R & B and less exclusive but I still get a grin of reading that Elton John's Bennie and the Jets topped the R & B charts when it was released.
And on a apathetic note, today I was informed I was being removed from Allen's Cool Websites links, I may not be cool as Allen but I bet I have more soul accented on 1 and 3 than him..
April 2, 2006
I think I've invented a category in my life that consists of things that are too large to sell on Ebay and don't go with anything in my house but are just too cool to get rid of and sit nicely in a corner clashing with everything surrounded by them. This weeks entry is a 4 foot heavy plastic replica of the Empire State Building that lights up and illuminates a bluish glow. I collect Polynesian relics from the 60s-70s, 8 track equipment from that era and even mid century modern furniture (I'm a cheapskate so I don't have much) but this would be more at home in a modern deco hovel filled with chrome. Anyone for a King Kong party?
This afternoon I was driving I was going on a road trip partially celebrating the check I got the day before for a grand that represents a years rental on the billboard I have hovering above the junk store. That sign sweetened the pot when I bought it because I had a waiting list of people wanting to rent it and was a hot commodity. Today however I was and still am shock to see my pride and joy half burnt up and hanging there like a scene from Baghdad. I screeched the breaks as I passed by and saw half the lawn was chard and my pretzel like sign a shadow of itís glory. And after 5 mins it seems my place has become a vigil and for mourners and well wishing teenagers. I hailed one over hoping to find out what the hell happened here and some unshaven guy with dishwater hair told me a girl was trying to out run a cop and lost control of her car and when she hit the sign her car exploded killing her quickly. Even 20 ft from the sign is a part of her car melted beyond recognition.
I later found out on the radio that she was 17 and a block from her home so tomorrow I go through the thankless task of hunting down her devastated parents and working on getting my sign back, sucks to me be, I'll be tearing up the check shortly.
Iím beginning to think I bought a death house, a month before I bought it a biker who was out drinking rammed into the garage pulping himself and I still find an occasional motorcycle part when I go weeding around there, and last month the woman who I bought it from went to sleep and never woke up and now this. I hope zombies donít rise from the ground from the bulbs I planted this spring.
April 9, 2005
It seems Viacom (The company being boycotted by teaming South Park fans) is the actual owner of the sign and is going to foot the repair bill so instead of a devastation I have a mere shock at the accident. America is one of those places where they are too quick to put anyone with a good resume or dies tragically on a pedestal and in a week is all too quick to bring them down, I remember after the O.J. Simpson massacre it wasn't long before it was fodder for late night talk shows and the one memorable thing Jay Leno has had in his Tonight Show rein was the Dancing Ito's. Now when every I bring up this sign to a stranger in this Mayberry RFD town it's always "Ya know she was just out of rehab" or "She was speeding down that road at 90 mph and turned off her headlights to hid from the police". Next week the shrine gets moved and I'll start some much need yard work at the area. It's also nice to not have to play the part of cemetery attendant which I was at the beginning of last week to the curator of the "Death Car" much like the guy who work at that museum that has the Bonnie and Clyde swiss cheese car. I'm much happier with that role describing the accident to tourists and people who can't read.
This week the too cool to sell at Ebay item is this 2
foot tall tooth that doubles as an ottoman that was once a dentist prop, not bad
for 4 bucks.
Off To Spring