September 2011


/yard sale sign/ Not a real expedition.

After cooking mishaps that started fires and filled our kitchen with smoke, we decided to go out for fast food breakfast.

It was really late. We went out driving by 12:30PM.

But we got distracted by a detour — a yard sale sign on the way there (too terrible to even stop at–10 minutes / 2.2mi @ 12.3mpg) …

… and a yard sale sign on the way back (with a racist dog that hated whit epeople–12 minutes / .4mi @ 10.7mpg).
Only got two things — a pare of square wicker baskets, 10″x9″x9″. Carolyn talked the dude down from $6 to $2.
Total time: 22 minutes.

Spent $2.00 plus ~$0.82 gas (based on car computer measurements above @ $3.81/G), for a total cost of $2.82.
We bought 2 items for a total estimated value of $14, leading to a profit of $11.18.

To earn that much after taxes you’d really have to earn $16; money saved (by not having to spend it) is actually worth more than we realize when the government’s cut is taken into consideration.

Anyway, this works out to a “wage” of $30.49/hr as a couple or $15.25/hr per person.

  • $2.00: 2 wicker baskets (cube shaped, not basket shaped) (EV:$14)
http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/UM2OGBjefIsK01w7VayC-8tkSfiXZ4G6zkUXTnEY8bLMIDyMBAY77A0wMJmyRWHyLhLS8M2ijucPGCs5_W3TQD0Op9Nh9vgUjZ3BRnT6iGnsGlznatM70v47gRhcmZ5pkT4SU1IVSaKeIg

ours is in a superior perfect cube shape. more structurally sound and space-efficient, beeyotches! This is to have more places for Carolyn to put her socks she likes to throw on the ground.

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings.

* EV stands for “Estimated Value”, which I estimate by looking things up in Google Shopping/Google/Amazon/Ebay. I don’t always deduct for an item being used, unless it’s actually in worse condition in a way that matters. For example, I estimate books at the cover value. I also try to only count shipping if it’s the type of thing that would need to be shipped, and only if the price isn’t “fixed” (i.e. 1 cent items that cost $10 to ship would not be $10 in person). (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] [Official site] Still not available via Netflix as of the writing of this review (11/2009), but it finally aired on TV in Norway in May of 2009 and has aired on HBO. Tammy Kirkham supposedly sued to hold back release of this.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Crackhead journalist loses family, everything.

PEOPLE: Rick Kirkham and his family. That’s what this whole movie is about.

QUIRKS: This is a self-made video documentary. Rick Kirkham photographed and videotaped his entire life, and this documentary was created by searching through his over 3,000 hours of recordings, specifically during the 7 years that he had major crack cocaine abuse issues.

As a journalist, he once interviewed George H.W. Bush about drug abuse — while high on crack.

This movie is about how his crack cocaine addiction caused him to flush his career AND family down the toilet. He’s sober now, but the damage was done.

VISUALS: Camcorder-quality, non-widescreen video. There’s no production values because this wasn’t produced. It’s all home video.

MORALS: Drugs are bad, mmm’kay?

BAD STUFF: It’s a bit painful to watch some of these moments, like when he’s arguing with his wife and the children are present and crying. These aren’t actors; these are real people.

Also, the ending is quite rushed, as he stops making video diaries, depriving the film editors from having any footage available to cover that period of time. This “ruined” the movie for some pessimists, but that’s just a stupid view to take. This movie was about the bad, not the good.

CONCLUSION: An incredibly depressing and utterly true look into one minor celebrity’s descent into drug addiction. Like watching a trainwreck unfold, it is impossible not to be sucked into such a sad, riveting movie.

And a major follow-up on Rick’s life was posted, by Rick, to a blog reviewing this movie. You can read what he wrote here (originally posted as a comment to this review of the movie).

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. “It was very intense and really captured the insanity of his drug addiction. He knew he was addicted and it was bad for him, but he couldn’t stop. Ricky Jr’s childhood was no better than his own childhood. Why couldn’t he see what he was doing to that kid?”

The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.9/5 stars, IMDB: 7.3/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t mind watching a depressing home-camcorder-quality movie documenting someone ruining their life, then this is a great documentary.

SIMILAR MOVIES: A select few people missed the whole point of Requiem For A Dream, unable to understand its message because it was too fictitious, fantastical, and “out there”. For those people, I would recommend TV Junkie. It’s a REAL movie that has a very similar message and effect.
(more…)

/yard sale sign/ Overdid it a bit Friday, and Carolyn is always tired anyway, so somehow we ended up going to sleep on our foofsac at 10:30PM Friday night, expecting to get up more later. It never happened, and was the earliest we’ve gone to bed in our house in the past year (or several). Clint woke up at 3:30AM, slept more. Eventually he got up around 5:30AM.

Around 7:30AM, he decided to wake Carolyn up and make her go yard saling!

We actually drove out of the house around 8:00AM sharp, and ended up taking some alternate routes around due to realizing our traditional circuit isn’t the most opportunistic path we could be taking. Thus, we actually had good enough coverage that we stopped pretty early — 11:32AM.

The first sale we hit was a big church one RIGHT be our house. We had to take 4 trips of stuff to our car! So much stuff we decided to stop back home (because it was RIGHT by our house) and dump it back off. Then we ate breakfast at Burger King (only took 17 minutes).

Total yard saling time of 3 hours, 15 minutes. A short run for being up at the crack of dawn — yet more effective than most of our longer runs!

Spent $35.30 plus ~$9.41 gas for 35.0 miles of driving (13.8 mpg @ 3.71$/G) (the computer on the Chrysler car is so handy for giving us resettable MPG so we can calculate our gas expenditures so much more precisely now), for a total cost of $44.71.

We bought 28 items (maybe 30 if you count each ice tray and vacuum bag) – including some stuff we REALLY needed – for a total estimated value of $589.45, leading to a profit of $544.75. To earn that much after taxes you’d really have to earn $778; money saved (by not having to spend it) is actually worth more than we realize when the government’s cut is taken into consideration.

Anyway, this works out to a “wage” of $167.62/hr as a couple or $83.81/hr per person.

20110806 - yard sale booty - beer+soda kits, new Etch-A-Sketch, light bulb, shelf, cast iron skillet, cake cover, drying rack, jar, napkins, quesadilla maker #2 - IMG_3435

most of our booty--at least, all we could fit into a single photograph

  • $5.00: camping backpack, Kelty + large ziplock bag of various nylon rope inside one pocket – this is the best camping backpack in the house, and Clint’s has been heled together by super-duct-tape-reinforced sewing for some time now, and has a broken strap (and it’s original body fell apart, the current one was cannibalized from a $3 camping backpack). It’s time for an upgrade, and this one is it. Very awesome! (EV:$65, based on some comps:1, 2, 3 (several))
http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/vZTS1nyRAUfV4QA5psrEaXtWNplHn1UswjPZGc8ZKGPQISV9dDjqHjn3w9LN1KXbsTw1ovARICZjFnjTK-b5xxPJXsr0SsGeqN4B8yA5n-9Wa9XqGMN8pmGgGgjQ-r5TIhhxOucYXP4BZJ_s-1Z0KSyhlALNMPZ9sJTr_bcz6QnczLq4R4EftJD7UA

comparable to this

  • $4.00: skillet, *cast-iron*, 8″ x 1.75″ deep, slightly rusty but unlike the foodies I don’t see how that really makes much of a difference (EV:apparently only worth $8, which was the original estate sale price, now marked to half price. So basically, full price would have been worse then retail, due to the condition. In fact, I’ll bring this down to 6 for the condition it’s in.)
https://i1.wp.com/stores.stuffonline.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/10101.gif

like this, but rusty

  • $2.50: bowling ball, blue, sparkly, orange Scooby Doo, engraved with the name Nicole, with Scooby Doo bag, KPO4061, Brunswick (EV:bag alone is $13, cartoon network bowling balls in general are $100 … this exact ball out of stock here, so we’ll go with an INSANE total value of $112. I won’t take off for them being engraved; someone else’s name really makes the ball better, not worse, because you know some Dad got fancy balls and engraved him hoping to get his kids into bowling, but they weren’t interested and didn’t like it, so he had to sell them at a yard sale for $5. Any object that is a manifestation of disappointed parenting just makes us feel that much better for not having kids, haha.)
  • $2.50: bowling ball, purple, Dexter’s Laboratory, engraved with the name Steven, with Cartoon Network Bowling Club bag (EV:$112, same as above)
  • 20110806 - yard sale booty - cartoon bowling balls & bags - Dexter's Laboratory, Scooby Doo - IMG_3430
https://i0.wp.com/static-images.intheproshop.com/product-images/brunswick/bowling-balls/300/scooby-doo-blue-sparkle-17231.jpg

this. exactly.

  • $2.00: Make Your Own Beer home brewing kit, Item#61078, makes 1 case (6 bottles included, ingredients to make 24 bottles of Pilsner,Amber Beer — so ultimately it will cost 8 cents a beer) (EV:$25)
  • $2.00: Make Your Own Beer refill, Item#61060 (Australian Lager, European Dark, Irish Stout Beer) (makes 36 beers, so 6 cents a beer) (EV:guessing about $18)
https://i0.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VSfgImh-L._SS500_.jpg

this

  • $2.00: shelf, wooden, Platform-Plus Deluxe Monitor Stand, stores 6 CD/DVDs, item jb3493 upc#017874134939 (EV:$35.50)
https://i1.wp.com/www.promo-wholesale.com/Upfiles/Prod_k/Platform-Plus-Monitor-Stand--Gray-_20090833293.jpg

this

https://i1.wp.com/ny-image1.etsy.com/il_570xN.211855653.jpg

ours doesn't say 'cake' on it

  • $1.50: napkins, cloth, mauve, set of 6 (EV:$5)
  • $1.00: scanner, HP Scanjet 4470c, C9880A, S/N#CN1BEAB0B2 – let’s see if THIS one works (EV:$50 if it works, 10 otherwise for the power adapter) — This thing works, physically, and we’ve even gotten image previews on our computer. But getting a scanner to actually SUCCEED always seems to be such a friggin’ challenge!

http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/public/1KdiNy5-TtNhNUqdapn3rT__ckGEoMtfZX961RSC1o8_xWnrsI5q72_EdK_KrsKAjvGdgGKeGHgtcva3H_4tvUSPXI2NXHB1xhWKJtFfhDnh_ObYLoW0NJKjWPjm7-ytT5urJDPnD20_j5nO9txz2MQojlbUReZdhnXGTfYz4XClqN6BW5XeHcKHbNXhbne2S4cPOWX5

  • $1.00: quesadilla maker, Salton Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker, Model QM2SFRCB – the same one we regretted not buying for $5 at one yard sale, then later saw at another for $5, got, and we’re happy. Then we discovered the pain of waiting for the 2nd quesadilla when the other person’s quesadilla is ready. Obviously we need two. *Especially* for $1. (EV:$20, though some are trying to sell this for $50 or even $60)
https://i0.wp.com/s3.amazonaws.com/kpsurplus_images/ea34e16beae39a993b55d85f62baa096de5dd137.jpg

yes, we needed TWO of these

  • $1.00: towel racks, Donner porcelain collection 9399w 24″ towel bar, towel ring (hand towel rack), TP holder, robe hook, lot no. 215782 – too bad we broke the towel rack when trying to install it. The robe hook we actually put above the ceramic tile top in our unused 2nd shower that holds our camping gear, so that at least one backpack can be hung instead of thrown on the pile of gear. Don’t think well ever use the TP holder (EV:$8.47 for towel rack alone, so we’ll say 4 for towel ring, 6 for TP holder, 2 for robe hook, for a total EV of $20.47)
https://i1.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21QMf6K3I2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

EV of $20.47, but we only used $5-$6 of that value for 1 of the 4 parts, other 3 are going to trash probably (we broke the towel rack part)

  • $1.00: dish drying rack – awesome, it’s slightly larger than ours, with better silverware holders, plus it’s not broken and dirty! (EV:$10, though ours is better than this one) — Update: Turns out that this rack is so big our old rack fits inside of it. So now we have twice the place to put silverware, a tiny gap all around the inner/smaller one to put tupperware tops, plus the ability to, if we had a LOT of dishes, remove the inner/smaller/old rack from the inside of the outer/larger/new rack, and have 2 racks. but no real exact space taken up. I thought we’d be throwing away the old one after this, but no. Now they are in synergy with each other. I’m easily impressed.
https://i1.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CAQAR34WL._SS500_.jpg

comparable, but ours is better

  • $1.00: Etch-A-Sketch Freestyle – wow, Etch-A-Sketch with a single joystick, not separate horizontal/vertical?! Weird. (EV:$15.40)
https://i2.wp.com/www.shopko.com/items/shopko/images/large/8635_0000.jpg

shit just got REAL

  • $1.00: Scientific Explorer, Soda Pop Kit – make your own flavored soda, sounds fun to do once (original price tag:$22) (can be gotten for $10 though, but for some reason I like to use the price tag over internet low price if there is one, because generally the person I got it from paid that price… so I’m calling this $22 not $10)
https://i1.wp.com/s3.amazonaws.com/bonanzleimages/afu/images/0461/7687/IMG_2075.jpg

i'm totally doing this one weekend

  • $1.00: vacuum bags, HomeCare Hoover, type A (2 in an unopened package), No 3317 – the type Carolyn uses! Karma for someone finding THEIR vaccuum bag type on our “free stuff desk” :) (EV:$1.19)

https://i0.wp.com/http.cdnlayer.com/ec1images/raw/products/1/13334h.jpg

  • $1.00: jar, 74oz (2.15L), plastic, interlocking top, MainStays acrylic large canister #1409081 (EV:$5 based on it being 1 of 4 jars in a $20 kit)
https://i2.wp.com/i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/78/63/48/40/0078634840207_500X500.jpg

I guess the previous owners didn't want the largest one, or maybe other yard salers bought the others. But large is best. Put one week's worth of chopped onions in one and not have to chop every day!

  • $1.00: tie, silk, light blue/grey kinda 2-toned, Geoffrey Beene – too bad about the wrinkle, but dry cleaning/pressing it will be way cheaper than buying a new tie (EV:$10 – $4 for dry clean/press = $6)
https://i1.wp.com/www.bows-n-ties.com/images/ties/SB3519_md_BNT.jpg

like this, but light blue/grey

  • $0.75: tobacco pipe, traditional — since Nicole lost mine :P (EV:$5)
https://i0.wp.com/www.faqs.org/photo-dict/photofiles/list/2196/2879tobacco_pipe.jpg

like this, but with a square (instead of flat) mouthpiece

  • $0.75: ladle, black plastic, pretty big, like 6oz (EV:$0.95)
https://i2.wp.com/www.schorin.com/prodimg/T17085235.jpg

like this but deeper instead of wider spoon part -- maybe not 6oz.. but definitely at least 3oz

  • $0.50: sleeping mat, foam, camping, RidgeRest just like the 2 we already have!, but this is purple on 1 side & green on the other, for some reason (held together by 2 bungee cords) (EV:$19.27 + $0.20 for the bungee cords)
https://i2.wp.com/gt.main.images.s3.amazonaws.com/userimages/1/3/13925070684e4125c40d398.jpg

like this, but in cool colors

  • $0.25: light bulb, red, pointy soft plastic tops all over (“holiday light”), Target item#5808 – we already use one of these! and it will break someday. And be replaced with this one. (original price: $4.00)
  • $0.20: ice trays, white, (2 @ $0.10 each) (EV:$1)
https://i1.wp.com/www.dollartree.com/assets/product_images/styles/alternate_large/969002.jpg

gradually learning what makes an ice tray good, and what makes an ice tray bad (pictured tray is probably more on the bed side)

  • $0.15: spatula, black plastic (EV:$1)
https://i0.wp.com/www.schorin.com/prodimg/T17085420.jpg

dramatization

  • $0.10: wrapping paper, 50sq ft (orig price: $4.00)
  • $0.10: The Beatles – Yellow Submarine metal box (originally a puzzle containing box) — I bet you could convert this to a lunch box and pass it off as one of these Beatles lunchboxes selling for $350 or even $1200… if you were a dick (EV:$15, though I can’t for sure say that link [which I forgot to save, to an ebay auction for $15] is the same thing as this)

20110806 - yard sale booty - The Beatles - Yellow Submarine - metal box - 1 - front - IMG_3419
20110806 - yard sale booty - The Beatles - Yellow Submarine - metal box - 2 - side - IMG_3427
20110806 - yard sale booty - The Beatles - Yellow Submarine - metal box - 3 - back - IMG_3423

  • $FREE: screw-in light socket – lightsocket+2outlet adapter, no pull thing, thrown in with estate sale (EV:$1 but since the pull is broken we’ll say $0.50)
http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/ztS2clgOD9hz7ZILOqG82q98lY7GpEhw7xnVtdVehbZ6WcqX3bo3o-gRIFjkfvV4WJJ86P1p102RfwgPUvtv_V64twzaaO6uiVtTleNNR2Z_-Qx23MUfxe1RIUe6oA7EMre8KIRotbUtLkNAP9yY3TS8bnaU4zNLjnChNgs

but with the pull ripped off :/

  • $FREE: thumbtacks, about 100 (EV:$0.17)

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings.

* EV stands for “Estimated Value”, which I estimate by looking things up in Google Shopping/Google/Amazon/Ebay. I don’t always deduct for an item being used, unless it’s actually in worse condition in a way that matters. For example, I estimate books at the cover value. I also try to only count shipping if it’s the type of thing that would need to be shipped, and only if the price isn’t “fixed” (i.e. 1 cent items that cost $10 to ship would not be $10 in person).

2011 STATS SO FAR:
TOTAL EXPEDITIONS: 12
TOTAL TIME CLINT & CAROLYN: 27:33
TOTAL TIME CLINT ALONE:      1:15
TOTAL MILES DRIVEN: 313.3
TOTAL MONEY SPENT: $405.63
TOTAL ITEMS BOUGHT: 209-266
(depending on how you count them)
TOTAL ESTIMATED VALUE: $2,568.30
—————————–
TOTAL PROFIT: $2,162.67 (avg discount: 84%)
AVG HOURLY WAGE PER PERSON: $38.38/hr

Mood:hurty
Music: Moistboyz – Date Rape

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: Ace Ventura goes to Africa. The alternate title of the movie pretty much sums up the entire plot.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Raccoon-killing, car-destroying, Buddhist-annoying crazy man saves albino bat and foils rich assholes, yet still fails to win the hearts of violent savages.

PEOPLE: Jim Carrey (of course). Ian McNeice (From Hell). Smaller parts by Simon Callow, Bob Gunton (the warden in Shawshank Redemption, Greg The Bunny, 24), Sophie Okonedo (Sithandra in the live-action Aeon Flux movie), and Bruce Spence (who I instantly recognized as The Gyro Captain/Jebediah from Mad Max 2 and Mad Max 3, and who later played the mouth of Sauron in the Lord Of The Rings movies).

QUIRKS: Africa, Africa, Africa.

SOUNDTRACK: Did not notice that White Zombie was in the soundtrack…

MORALS: The rich suck.

BAD STUFF: It’s just not as funny as the first one.

CONCLUSION: Certainly an entertaining movie with a few laughs, but it definitely doesn’t live up to the original… And feels a bit dated as well.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. Generic pass. Really, I’d rate this 5.75/10 if I could.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. She initially wanted to rate it 7/10, but said the 1st one was funny. Then I informed her she only rated the 1st one 6/10, so she downgraded.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.4/5 stars (3.2/5 stars for people who rate like me), IMDB: 5.5/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you saw Ace Ventura 1 and want more… Here’s more. It’s not as good. But that’s true for most sequels.

SIMILAR MOVIES: We will NOT be attempting to watch Ace Ventura Jr. (2009).

MOVIE QUOTE: Ace: “Yes, [I ascertained that you are] a workaholic: The urine stain on your pants would signify that you’re a single shake man, far too busy for a follow up jiggle.”

Ace: “If you were me, then I’d be you, and I’d use *your* body to get to the top. You can’t stop me no matter who you are!”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Benj liked it.
(more…)

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