July 2012


/yard sale sign/

SUMMARY:

Short expedition! We only had 5 stops planned, but a scheduling error (don’t go to estate sales first; they open late!) basically turned it into 6 stops.

Got up around 7:20AM, Carolyn made breakfast, and we made it out driving by 7:56AM, until 9:40AM, for a total of 1 hour, 44 minutes.
Spent $7.55 plus ~$5.17 gas for 23.6 miles of driving (13.5 mpg @ $2.96/G), for a total cost of $12.72.

We made 15 purchases for a total estimated value of $95.32, leading to a profit/savings of $82.60.
So in essence, we multiplied our $12.72 investment by 7.5X.

(Also, if you think about it, the profit counts for even more when you consider that we have to earn $91 on the job pre-tax in order to take home the $82.60 in cash that we saved. How long does $91 of disposable income take to earn, vs the 1.75hrs we spent here?)

Anyway, this works out to a *post-tax* “wage” of $47.65/hr as a couple or $22.83/hr per person.

COMMENTARY/ANECDOTES:

At the last sale, the lady there could tell we knew our shit, and asked us if her prices were fair, because Carolyn counter-offered on the shower cap. Yea, it was an $18 shower cap, but that’s for fools who are willing to pay $18 for a shower cap. The more fools there are, the higher prices climb! Carolyn offered $0.50 because she didn’t want to pay $1. After all, she usually just uses a brown towel when henna’ing her hair. Now she has a ridiculous cap instead. It’s fun. But anyway, I gave her an honest assessment of her prices, which weren’t bad. $1 microbead pillows? $10 digital camera of lower resolution than the $3 one we just bought, but with memory card and non-broken zoom? Seemed legit. Perhaps I should have bought the camera, since our GE camera fucking sucks, and is rejecting freshly charged pairs of batteries 90% of the time.

(Clint spent $6.00 in bills, and Carolyn only spent from our change jar.)

THE BOOTY:

  • $3.00: dvd player, Magnavox, MWD200GA, S-video out, manuf. 200610, SN#U41663026 ($14.99 on Ebay, but a past auction for $8 had no buyers… We’ll go with EV:$10) – Yes! Passed up the exact(?) same player the previous week, then realized this may be needed if we want to watch DVDs while on vacation (instead of stupid local reruns with commercials) … The other one was $3 also. $3 seems to be the going rate for DVD players a yard sales.
  • $1.00: pillow, microbead neck pillow with battery-powered massaging action (EV:$12.99) – I’m maxed out on microbead pillows, but this one has a battery-powered massager, so I’ll try it :)
  • $1.00: dvd, American Dad, Season 1, Volume 1 (1st 13 episodes of Season 1) (3 discs) (EV:$11.99) – mostly to watch the dvd extras
  • $1.00: dvd, Family Guy, Season 3, Volume 2 (3 discs) (EV:$5.84) – dvd extras
  • $0.50: bug killer, ant & roach killer, Raid, 17.5oz (EV:$4.14 but half empty so $2.07) – our war against the roaches is near-victorious, but cheap poison is always good
  • $0.50: shower cap, red with white polka dots, Vigar, The Bright Company (EV:$17.08 — ridiculous price!) – for Carolyn to use when henna’ing
  • $0.50: automobile sunscreen sunshade (EV:$4.96) – 3 cars means more of these
  • $0.25: cat toys, mice, furry, 5 ea (EV:$0.79/ea * 5 = $3.95) – to eventually wind up under the stove, covered in poison
  • $0.05: action figure, Plastic Man (DC Comics), from Batman The Brave And The Bold McDonald’s 2010 toy line, rubber arms with huge hand and one hand that’s a mallot, 4.25hx9″ armspan, 3 posable joints, arms bendable (EV:$1.20)
  • $0.05: action figure, Stat Wars: Darth Vader, 2001, cutesy with cape, Family Guy Evil Monkeyish pose, 2.5″h not counting light saber, 3 posable joints (EV:$5.00)
  • $0.05: toy car, Scooby Doo Mystery Van, 2001, Playing Mantis 2.125×1.875×1.5″ (EV:$10.99)
  • $0.05: action figure, Fantastic Four: The Thing, Burger King 2005, smashes arms together with spring action by pushing button (EV:$1.50)
  • $0.05: action figure, Star Wars: Darth Vader, 1998 LFL, Hasbro, 4.25″, 8 posable joints (EV:$12.50 in box, but ours is not in the box, so: $5)
  • $0.05: action figure, Star Wars: Stormtrooper, with gun, with stand, 2006 LFL, Hasbro, 2.75″, head turns (EV:$1.25, for a similar one, but the face/gun/stand stand on ours is different. Lower quality. We’ll say $1.00.)
  • $FREE: basket, 6x6x3.75″, no handles (EV:$1.50) – these things always find uses

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…)

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

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Hippies waste our tax money, dose soldiers with LSD.

PEOPLE: Starring George Clooney (whose character reminds me of his character in O Brother, Where Art Thou?), Ewan McGregor (young Obi-Wan Kenobi in another movie talking about Jedi–weird), Jeff Bridges (the dude abides! Though he’s really spacy in the movie), and, speaking of spacy, Kevin Spacey (Lex Luther from Superman Returns, GERTY from the movie moon, American Beauty, K-PAX, etc).
Smaller roles by Stephan Lang (Colonel Miles Quaritch from Avatar) and Robert Patrick (T-1000 from Terminator 2, The Last Action Hero, Bridge To Terabithia, The Faculty, Wayne’s World)… and Stephen Root (the boss in News Radio, the stapler guy in Office Space).

QUIRKS: Based on a book. It’s one of those movies that is a comedy, even though a lot of what is happening is not funny. Though that definitely changes by the end…

Deals with paranormal psuedoscience; is roughly based on true events within our military: The study of remote viewing.

No women.

SOUNDTRACK: Billy Idol FTW!

POLITICS: Definitely some subtle political statements about how stupid the military complex can be, and how scared they are at falling behind the Russians at anything — even something stupid like remote viewing.

BAD STUFF: Some complain that this movie had a beginning and a middle, but no end. That’s kind of true. Be forewarned, this movie is about the journey, not the destination.

CONCLUSION: It’s a better movie than the plot summary would lend itself to making you think. That’s because this is one of those movies that is about the journey, not the destination. There’s barely a real ending — though the ending is, in fact, pretty hilariously awesome. This is actually a really good comedy, and a decent satire as well.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.6/10, Netflix: 3.4/5 stars.

Oh, and Rev. Ivan Stang of the Church Of The SubGenius absolutely loved this.

RECOMMENDATION: Check it out!

SIMILAR MOVIES: I’m really not sure which movies are similar to this… The guys-wandering-around-Iraq made me think of Three Kings, but the ridiculous military actions made me think of Wag The Dog or The Pentagon Wars with Kelsey Grammar.

MOVIE QUOTE: Lyn Cassady: “Don’t eat the eggs. We put LSD in the eggs.”

(more…)

/yard sale sign/

SUMMARY:

Got up around 7:20AM, made it out driving by 8:00am and went out until 1:12PM. Subtracting the 20 minutes we spent in BJs, this worked out to a a total of 4 hours, 52 minutes. [Driving time was 3hr21min [69%]. Saleing time was 1hr31m [31%]. More time spent driving due to the derecho storm making it harder to get from point A to point B.]  DERECHO-DAMAGE PICTURES AT END OF THIS POST!

Spent $47.00 plus ~$11.09 gas for 41.2 miles of driving (11.0 mpg @ $2.96/G), for a total cost of $58.09.

We made 24 purchases (31 items if you count each piece of wood) for a total estimated value of $361.37, leading to a profit/savings of $303.28.

So in essence, we multiplied our $58.09 investment by 6.2X.

(Also, if you think about it, the profit counts for even more when you consider that we have to earn $333 on the job pre-tax in order to take home the $303.28 in cash that we saved here. How long does $333 of disposable income take to earn, vs the 4.9 hrs we spent here?)

Anyway, this works out to a *post-tax* “wage” of $62.32/hr as a couple or $31.16/hr per person.

COMMENTARY/ANECDOTES:

After storm yardsaling is crazy. We took lots of storm damage pictures.

Sleepy Hollow Road was completely closed due to a big tree and downed powerlines. Fortunately we know the backroads like the back of our hand around this area — so we got pictures from BOTH sides of the blocked road.

We were getting free cabinet-wood from a curbside (to use as sunblockers/attic flooring), when a random guy came and did the same thing. He was looking for a piece of wood to put his generator on because his ground was wet. He had just bought the generator last week from Costco for $600. What foresight!

We saw a woman putting up estate sale signs… So we followed her until she got back to the estate sale. Clint’s Dollar Store keychain-LED-flashlight came in handy: It was the only way to see in the basement. Looking through old tools in a pitch dark utility room feels very dramatic. We felt like emergency response rescue workers… Except we were rescuing old junk instead of people.

Neither Clint nor the general public realized “if the light is out, treat it like a 4 way stop”. Seven Corners was PARTICULARLY INSANE. It sounded like New York City. Constant beeping. Everyone was just going. That was around 9AM. By 12PM people were catching on to how to treat these intersections, and behaving better.

We stopped at BJ’s, which was having an open house. Spent 20 minutes or so and left without buying anything. The prices there didn’t really seem that spectacular. For the same cost, you can get 24 Yuengling beers in bottles instead of cans. Whoop-de-friggin’-doo.

20120630 - yardsale booty - 0 - our booty - IMG_4573

post-derecho haul

THE BOOTY:

  • $20.00: ping pong table, foldable, Pro-Action, 6’x3’x30″ (EV:$99.00) – Ideally we’d want one that could somehow be placed on top of a pool table, but be folded up when not used. Good luck with that. I’m not sure if that exists. This one is foldable/portable (need 2 people to carry it any appreciable distance), so at least it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s smaller than “normal” size, and we have no paddles or balls. But it also will make a great boardgame/card table, as it’s not so back-achingly low as our myriad of coffe tables.
[pictured above]
  • $4.00: storage unit, large plastic wheeled shelf w/4 drawers, Iris Wide Chest, 23.5x16x26.75″ (EV:$42.99) – Our utility room had built-in shelves we used for a decade. Last summer, we got some free bookcases from a curb and started using them to bring some order to the chaos. But there are still tools on the wall behind them, and they are kind of annoying to move. Well, these new ones have WHEELS and DRAWERS. Much easier to move around, much more organized. Replaced one of those shelves and moved it to another place in the house [between air hockey table and wall] that wasn’t being used much and could use some more shelves for stuff.
  • $3.00: camera, Canon, A520, 4.0 mega pixels, Zoom lens 4x [but zooming doesn’t seem to work, lens kind of messed up], PC1106, No. 1122237588, no usb cable, no memory card, batteries worked. (EV:$29.99) – Takes a 2G SD (not SDHC) card. Carolyn’s claiming this as “Carolyn’s camera”. The zoom doesn’t work, though.
  • $3.00: decoration, Halloween, Spider candelabra, covered in sequins, with spiders hanging off of it, can take apart and store flat (inside the HUGEST BAGGIE I’VE EVER SEEN) (EV:$59.99, though people have paid 74.95 for this[!!]) – for Britt’s birthday. She liked it.

20120630 - yardsale booty - 2 - Halloween candelabra - IMG_4567


  • $3.00: toy, action figure, The Tick, Taco Bell balancing Tick with brick wall. (EV:$3.95) – We already had one without the stand, and didn’t even know the stand existed! Awesome! We managed to get BOTH of ours (this one, and the one we had) to balance on the stand at the same time. Win!
20120630 - yardsale booty - 1 - The Tick action figure, Sewer Urchin action figure, Kung Fu Panda action figure, The Batman playing cards - IMG_4578
  • $2.00: funnelcake maker, Carnival Funnel Cakes, 32 oz, includes 2 mixes (EV:$7.49 price tag, but some of the original mix was used so docking 25% to get $5.62) – almost bought this exact set from Angel/Susan’s yardsale for $3 last week, but I didn’t want it enough to pay $3. $2 however? Sure. Funnel cakes next party?
  • $2.00: storage unit, small plastic wheeled shelf w/3 drawers, Iris Mini Chest, MCS-003, 14.1875×15.375×27.375 (EV:$29.99 price tag) – the companion to the $4 purchase above
  • $2.00: toy, action figure, The Tick, Sewer Urchin, Taco Bell edition, with submerging dolphin (EV:$0.99) – Okay, we now have 3 out of 4 of the Taco Bell tick toys!

20120630 - yardsale booty - 1 - The Tick action figure, Sewer Urchin action figure, Kung Fu Panda action figure, The Batman playing cards - IMG_4578

  • $2.00: game, Save The World!, Crown Andrews (EV:$15.99) – for 2017 Sagan?
  • $2.00: toy, workbench w/wooden tools, 16x16x9″, includes wooden hammer/carpenter ruler/wrench/screwdriver/nails/screws/nuts/vice grip (EV:$12.99, but ours is slightly more lavish) – for present-day Sagan

20120712 - Sagan's 1st birthday - our yard sale present - 7570205842_d03c05fd2d_o

 
  • $1.00: broom (hand broom), 13″ long including handle, 8×3″ brush, EPI Inc 7920-00-178-8315 (EV:$12.99) Carolyn wanted this… for cleaning or something
  • $0.50: deck of cards, “The Batman” animated series, missing the 3 of clubs (EV:$4.99, however, 3 of clubs is missing, so we’ll dock it inn half to $2.49) Carolyn’s purchase
20120630 - yardsale booty - 1 - The Tick action figure, Sewer Urchin action figure, Kung Fu Panda action figure, The Batman playing cards - IMG_4578
  • $0.33: tape measure, 10′, Lufkin W9210 (EV:$11.25) – we always misplace tape measures, so the new probabalistic strategy is to just saturate the house with them :)
  • $0.33: 2-to-3 prong adapter (EV:$0.69) – we use these a lot, but they also get misplaced
  • $0.33: roll of thin wire, about as thin as the smallest string on a guitar, at least 50′ of it. (EV:$9.00) – for picturing hanging and minor repairs … I also repaired our gutters with guitar string before; this would have been a lot cheaper
  • $0.25: toy, top, flip-top, blue, Eastern Hemisphere map on it (EV:$1.25) – for our vast top collection
  • $0.25: USB cable, 5′, with Type B connector type on one end (EV:$1.40) – good to have on hand for weird USB devices
  • $0.25: flashlight with huge clip, small light, Nextel, came with new AAA battery (EV:$1.30) – the clip is really nice, this will be tough to lose
  • $0.25: headphones, Delta Airlines, in-flight audio, pretty much useless because it’s a dual-jack headphone for an airplane (EV:$0.99 [found 10 for $10 on Ebay; lost link]) – oops. How the hell can we use headphones with 2 jacks? Carolyn purchase ;)
  • $FREE: mason jar lids, Ball, vacu-seal, 10 bands, 3 lids (EV:$1.13 price tag, but the price was for 12 complete lids. Prorated out to the parts actually present, we get: $1.13*(13/24)=$0.61]) – a gift
  • $FREE: cd jewel case, blacklight green (EV:$5.52 for pack of 10, so $0.55 for this one) – since it’s free…

blacklight + reactive CD jewel cases - 3 cases - side - closer - 100-0007

  • $FREE: hard hat, with adjustable knob, really a nice hardhat – found on the side of the road! (EV:$5.40) – Now I can have a hard hat designated for the 2nd attic (that we installed a telecoping ladder into)
  • $FREE: wood boards, 1 board @ 60×34.5″, 3 boards @ 11×34.5″, 1 board @ 17×34.5″, 1 board @ 35×18″, 1 board @ 35×18.5″, 1 board @ 35.5×17″ (EV:we’ll arbitrarily value these $1.00/ea, so $8 total) – all of them are now residing in various windows, thwarting the evil sun from hurting is with photons

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…)

34 new photos uploaded just now (July 12, 2012 at 09:01AM).

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COMEDY: Anderson Cooper comes out as a brony… In song

“Anderson Cooper’s Secret”, bu Lil’DeuceDeuce on YouTube.

Only 1 minute, 20 seconds.


LINK URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qSjHGSRD48&feature=player_embedded

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