Thursday, September 1, 2011

Other Bargains I: This counts, right?

As of today, Boarder's liquidation sale is down to 60-80% off. And, by the looks of thing, this is as low as it's gonna go. So Morrie and I decided to pay our local branch of the failed bookstore a visit to pick up what we could for cheap.

Again, I figure things like this can be posted here, since Garage Sales won't start up again until late next May anyway.

Here's what we got:


My stuff is on the right, hers is on the left.

Here's a closer look at my stuff:


The Wrath of the Lich King Atlas is the kind of thing that I always think would be really cool to own, but never buy because of how expensive they are. Since that wasn't a problem today, I grabbed it, and very much look forward to using some of the town maps for D&D games.

"The Qutable Hitchens" is not my first choice. I always say of quotes that they are what people read when they want to feel smart. Still, I can't deny that it's fun, and since God is Not Great wasn't there, I figured I'd go with this.

"City Under the Sand" is a book set in the Dark Sun world, which is a favorite of my friend Jeremy. I think he'll enjoy it.

"Nagash the Unbroken" is a book I foolishly judged by the cover. I mean, I love undead, and there's a guy raising zombies on this thing. It wasn't until after I purchased it that I saw on the back that it is book 2 of 3. Oh well, I'll read it, and decide if I want to get books 1 and 3!

The Worldwound Gambit is a piece of fiction based on the Pathfinder role playing game. I've had a lot of fun with books based on D&D in the past, so I figured I'd give my new fantasy RP system a chance to wow me!

On the far right are three Star Wars books, which I love dearly and collect as a hobby. I've already read these three, but I didn't have any of them, and certainly not in hardback!

All told, I spent $55.09 after tax. Not too shabby!

I want to apologize about the picture of Morrie's books. I don't know why it ended up blurry, and as I write this I've already got all the books put away, so I'm just going to stick with this photo.


I don't have too much to say about the books she chose, but here's a list:

"The Shape of Things to Come" by H.G. Wells
Churchill Defiant
Three Cups of Tea
One Piece issues 51, 55, and 56 (I made sure to point her to this as soon as we got into the store, as I figured she'd be interested.)
"The Moral Landscape"


"Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne." This is the series of comics where pictures like this originate:

When Morrie was looking at it, I told her if she didn't buy it, I would.

Morrie spent a total of $63.81

Ya know...from our book selection, Morrie comes off as far more the intellectual of the two of us. I'm starting to regret the 3 books I put back on the shelf to save money, as they would have balanced things out between us a bit >.>

Oh well.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Follw Up I: Morrie's Dresser

Given that most of the year is this blog's "off season," I thought it wouldn't hurt to vary the kinds of posts I do a little bit. Things found at good will, or stories about what I've done with things I got whilst garage sailing might be appearing in this blog over the next few months.

Today's post is regarding the Dresser Morrie and I got for her during our very first Garage Sailing trip of the summer, shortly after she moved in.

Well, Morrie has spent the last week working on it. Here are some photos:


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Garage Sailing XIV: The Winding Down of the Season

Despite me having a Dungeons and Dragons game later in the day, and Morrie having work, we didn't want to miss the last weekend of August, and potentially the last good Garage Sailing day of the year. And, as it turned out, the day wasn't even that good. We did end up with a fair (though small) number of finds, but all of them (save one item) came from two sales.


The first sale we actually ended up getting anything at was a really odd one. The most odd thing about it is that it was completely set up last weekend, and we saw it, but the damned thing had a sign up saying "No items will be sold until Saturday August 27th"

I find myself wondering how the dealt with the rain we had earlier this week.

The other odd thing is that when we went to purchase our items, and I started to make an offer, the woman running the sale snapped at me. She said, and I quote, "I'll make the deal!"

She ended up giving us everything for $5, which is a better price than I was expecting. No idea why she got so upset when I tried to make an offer though.


This is one of my favorite finds of the day, I think. I've wanted things like these for awhile, but in stores they cost more than I'd like to spend. They're great for use as counters in magic, or for use as monster markers on a D&D battle mat. The wooden box is nice as well. As I mentioned to Morrie, when you put something like that on the table, it adds a little to the fantasy "feel" of a gaming table.


Morrie picked these up. Her dad read them when he was younger, as I understand, and she'd like to give them to him. I don't really know much more than that. Kinda looks like some type of Hardy Boys tale.


This was also a find of Morrie's. We're not sure it works yet, but it was a bargain and very useful for her in her cultivation of plants and such.


Boring kitchen implement we lacked!



I like steins. They are silly and fantasy-ish. I'm not a huge fan of them as a decorative item, nor have I ever partaken of beer or other alcoholic beverages, because I'm a fuddy duddy that way.

None the less, Steins (similar to wooden boxes) add something of a "fantasy feel" to the gaming table. It will be cool sometime to drink my traditional Dr. Pepper out of this thing, rather than an obviously modern plastic bottle.

I also got a number of things at the second good garage sale we found.


Weaboo as it may be, I like eating with chopsticks occasionally. Not all the time, certainly, but sometimes changing the implement with which I eat food seems to alter the eating experience in a pleasant way. I've had a nice pair of chopsticks which I've used for years in my silverware drawer, but they've become so worn out over the years that I probably would have thrown them out long ago if I had anything to replace them with. And now I do!
I think I got these for a dollar.


I always make a beeline for NES games when I see them. I got these for $3 each. Nothing in here which I'd call an amazing find, but Joust is a great game, I have fond memories of Fester's Quest, and Athletic World is essentially the only game which works with the Power Pad I picked up a few weeks back.


On the left is the DVD for "The Road To El Dorado," which I (personally) think is one of the most entertaining children's films I've ever seen. And, for two dollars, it was worth it. To the right is the only item I got from any sale other than this week's "big two." It is the awful, atrocious, should-never-have-been-made Dungeons and Dragons movie. I never saw it, but I saw the sequel, and the sequel was supposed to be far better.

And to make clear just what that means, the sequel ranks among the worst movies I have ever seen. So, ya know, this should be funny. I spent $3 on morbid curiosity. Sue me.

Lastly is an item which I didn't get at a Garage Sale:


My uncle recently told me about all the awesome clothes he had found at places like Good Will & Value Village. He also told me (after reading about my reservations regarding wearing other people's clothes) that many of the clothes in those stores are actually new, having been discarded unsold from clothing retail stores.

So, with money being tight, and recently finding myself in need of a shirt and tie, I decided to give it a look. I couldn't find a tie I wanted, but I found a shirt similar to the one I liked at the store for less than half the price. Woo for bargains!

If this does end up being my last post of the year on this blog, then thanks for reading. And lets raise a stein to next Summer!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Garage Sailing XIII: Wherein we make out like bandits and quit early

We got home late from a wedding last night, and I forgot to turn my phone back on after the ceremony. As a result, we weren't even out of bed until 8:30, which is when I normally like to be out the door.

We rushed through our morning routine, went to get gas, and were on the road by 10 though, so no big loss.


We had the pleasant surprise of having the very first sale we visited being one of the best of the entire day.

For me, the best find, were the Star Wars books:

There were more there, but these are the ones I don't already own. And the best part is that 7 of them are part of a 9 book series which I've currently been re-reading / purchasing as I read them. I already owned the first one, and he didn't want to part with his hardback copy of the last book. Still, I probably saved $50 dollars by picking up these (and the below) books for $5 total.


On the left is an old "behind the scenes" book with some great photographs of one of my favorite movies ever: Return of the Jedi. On the right is an unofficial game guide for Final Fantasy VII. Game guides are kind of pointless in the age of constant internet access...but I like flipping through them and going over the various pieces of artwork, or being able to see odd things like monster stats & abilities.


This was Morrie's find. A dictionary of things referenced in the Tolkienverse. They wanted $2 for it, but we got away with $0.50 because of this:


Honestly, I find the black mold rather worrying. But it appears to be mostly dead, and Morrie was quite enamored with the book. There is some information online about removing mold from books which Morrie is using to (hopefully) make the thing safe to keep.


A notebook made out of circuitboards. I've always wanted one of these. Got it for a dollar. Which, if you're keeping score, means that I got everything in the last three pictures for a total of $3.50.


We found these on the bad side of the tracks down in Sumner. When I saw a bin filled with miniatures, I thought maybe I could use them for D&D. Unfortunately, they were apparently part of some kind of game, and the owner didn't want to part with them very cheaply.

However, upon hearing that I played D&D, he went into the house to bring these out. I can't say either of them looks like something I'm super eager to play...but neither of them looks bad. And when he accepted my offer of $5 for both books, I walked away happy. I can't say no to sourcebooks that cheap!

Now, as I've mentioned before on this blog, I stay away from clothes at garage sales. I'm very particular about the clothes I will wear, and so few people are in synch with me that it's not even worth looking most of the time. Not to mention the fact that wearing someone else's clothes seems kinda groady to me, and I have bad memories of hand-me-downs as it is.

But when I saw this for 0.25, I was all over it:



If you can't see, what it says on the front, it's the D&D logo with their "30th anniversary" decal from a few years back.

When I went to pay for it I asked if there was any other D&D stuff they were looking to part with, and I was directed towards these, which I hadn't seen before:


Now, lets be clear: I knew that this show had a reputation for being one of the absolute worst cartoons ever made well before I purchased them. But at $2 for a quirky collectible like this, I couldn't resist.

And for the record, it really is pretty awful. I'm probably going to run a campaign based on it just to spite my players.


Morrie doesn't like plastic spatulas. She's been wanting metal ones for awhile, and the folks selling these took my offer of $1 for the pair of them.

I am concerned for my Teflon, though >.>


A long while ago, I decided I was fed up with cheap, tiny pencil sharpeners. They break the pencil as often as they sharpen it. Fuck that noise. But, being the stubbornly cheap guy that I can be sometimes, I never wanted to pay the money for a proper sharpener.

This one was free.

Well, technically they took a dollar for it. But, when it fell apart in my hands right in front of them, they gave me my dollar back and told me that I could take it to tinker with. I told them I thought I could fix it real quick, but the woman there told me she was "making an executive decision," and I accepted their return of my dollar.

I had fixed it by the time we got back to the car. Now I just need to mount it somewhere.


I've got an old black filing cabinet next to our bed which I use as document storage / bedside table. However, the thing has been falling apart for years. Its gotten to the point where there are no handles, several sharp places where the metal is torn, and the entire thing is generally a paint to deal with. So I decided to replace it with one I found at a garage sale. I see them often enough, but almost everyone wants $10 or more for them.

This one, I got for $2. No rust or anything, either!

After that, we decided to call an early end to our sailing at 1:00pm. But we passed one last garage sale, and on a whim we decided to stop:



$5 for the lego, $4 for the games.

As the youth say, "Hells yeah!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Garage Sailing XII: A Tale of Two Weeks

Shut up. That title isn't wacky.

My garage sailing last weekend (on Saturday the 6th) was short and not really worth mentioning. My sister very rudely decided to waste most of my day with something as frivolous as her marriage. The nerve of some people!

Anyway, I did grab a few things in the morning which are worth talking about, so I've rolled them in with this weekend's items:


As you can see, I did pretty decently well over the last couple weeks! And both outings were, to my delight, able to happen with my dear companion Morrie by my side! I always enjoy having her with me. She has a knack for noticing things which I normally ignore as "big, expensive items." When, in fact, they're something I need at a cost which is very affordable. (One such example is the bike I got a few weeks back, and another surprise item to follow at the end of the post. Though you can peek if you want to. I'm not some kind of scrollbar nazi.)


This item was a bit of a disappointment. I saw a bag of four comic books at the table of a matronly old woman, and it was marked four dollars. Given that they appeared to be of 1970s stock, a dollar a piece sounded good to me. Comic books from that era are always kinda fun and campy to read.

Little did I realize that all four comics were identical.

I guess I learned a lesson though: ALWAYS inspect what you're buying! Even old ladies will try to fleece you!

Morrie suggested I try to take them back. But I told her "Let the buyer beware. It is the Garage Sale Code."

I kinda like the idea of a Garage Sale Code. It makes me smile.


This garage sale was next door to a church sale where a woman tried to hard-sell me on a computer and CRT monitor for $45. Her primary selling point, which she repeated a few times, was "it can run windows 95!"

I may not be on board with smart phones yet, but do I look like I'm fuckin' Amish?!

Anyway, the books were cheap. The James Bond book was a dollar, and the Russia book was 25 cents. I picked up the former because I quite like the films, and thought it might be fun to give the original books a try. I purchased the latter because I returned to it no less than three times to flip through it, before realizing that if I was THAT interested, 25 cents was not a steep price. It's filled with great photographs about life in the Soviet Union, and the book is remarkably charitable for being published circa 1980.


This was one of those "Multi Family" garage sales where they had half a dozen people sitting around figuring out which one of them got every nickle and dime from the items sold. Whoever was hosting the thing must have been a teacher, because there was a TON of early childhood education tools. Among them, two educational card games which appear to be intact.

One of these days I'll find that card game Ms. Mosby, my second grade teacher who was also a huge Trekkie, had us play. It was about the ecosystem in a forest or something. And the cards all had natural predators and prey.


Long long LONG before I got into Magic: The Gathering, I was into Star Wars: The Customizable Card Game. Truth be told, I never actually figured out how to play it. But, as a very very young, very very devoted Star Wars fan, the cards were really neat. One of these days I really would like to sit down with someone and learn the game.

And now, if I ever decide to do that, I've got more cards to play with! The whole stack cost an entire dollar. Doesn't look like there's anything super rare in there though.


Blank CDs. I offered a dollar and they took it, which is a great savings over a store. So woo!


BORING STUFF! Folders with drawer hooks (which we have discovered don't actually fit the drawer we intended to use them in, but thankfully do fit another drawer if we ever decide to use the hooks in that one.

Also a knife sharpener! I've been looking for one for ages! Most people will only sell them with the block, and I've already got a damned block.


The Far Side has been a favorite of mine since childhood (though I noticed on perusing this that it seems to lose a bit of its touch when reading it with some years behind me.

Much as I hate the Star Wars prequels and everything they stand for, and everything they did to my beloved Star Wars Expanded Universe, I've heard a number of times that Terry Brooks did a much better job of telling George Lucas' abomination of a story than Lucas did himself. Knowing Terry Brooks other work in Star Wars fiction as I do, I can believe it.

Alright, now for the super super super fun stuff. FIRST, The DVDs:


This woman had a colossal selection of DVDs all laid out on a blanket on her lawn. There seriously must have been about 80-120 DVDs there. Her asking price was a little steep on a DVD-by-DVD basis (three dollars) but she told me up front that she'd take $10 for 5 of them. Knowing she was willing to price on a sliding scale, I offered her $15 for the lot, and she took it!

Though, it's odd. At the sale itself, and several times in the moments following, I swear I counted 21 DVDs. But either I lost some, or I'm shit at counting, because there sure as hell isn't 21 DVDs there.

Still, it's quite a nice little bump to my collection. Lots of old favorites of mine in here, like Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Silence of the Lambs. I've been meaning to watch Planet of the Apes again, so this huge collection of the entire original series + bonus features and whatnot will be fun. I'm really happy with everything I got, really!


Two busted NESs for $5 each. HELLYEAH!

The couple running this sale was really nice & fun to talk to. I actually found a number of the above items at their sale, and several times they said "If there's anything you're looking for let us know, we just got tired of bringing things out."

I debated with myself for awhile. Should I even bother to ask? It seemed like such a longshot. But, on a whim, I did. And when the woman said "Yeah, we've got two in the garage." I'm sure I must have looked like a kid on Christmas morning.

They were pretty sure the one with the heart stickers on it would work, and that the other would not (there's something loose inside it rattling around.) Unfortunately, after thorough testing, I have concluded that neither work.

HOWEVER, both are exhibiting the exact same diagnostic error: the blinking red light, and the solid color screen. Which, according to probably means that they just need a new 72pin connector. So next month I'll be using my discretionary spending budget to (hopefully) fix all three NES which I currently have. I may sell the other two, or simply give them to friends who would provide a good home for them.

Last but not least, the "surprise" item:


A queen sized bed frame. Price: $30.

We found this just a few blocks from our house, and purchased it from a delightful family who were very friendly with pricing, and holding it for us while we went to get Morrie's larger vehicle to haul it in. Now, this coming weekend, Morrie and I will be using some savings & a nice little refund she got to purchase a box spring and mattress, and we will finally have a bed big enough for the two of us.

Though, truth be told, I'm going to continue sleeping by the air conditioner until things cool the fuck down. God damned summer. >.>

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Garage Sailing XI: This is the last of the wacky titles! Chicken, shoelaces, muhammad!

I got swords.

Seriously, I did. This weekend showed me good fortune! And I got to spend the day with Morrie again!


Killer haul, am I right?

So at the start of the day, I do what I normally do, and I drove down to the grocery store to get a drink, as I normally am not ready for breakfast when I head out the door, but I like to have a nice cool Orange Juice.

As we drove out the parking lot, Juices in hand, Morrie asked me if I had seen the sale right next to the store as we were driving in. Just as I start to say "No," I see it on the right side. A local auto garage was hosting a Garage Sale. We parked, hopped out, and found what were probably our best items of the day.


This kickass pair of swords is definitely well constructed (insofar as cheap, display swords go.) The one looks kind of silly with its nonsensical edges and points. But at $5 each, it's a fantastic little find for a guy with nerf swords and axes hanging above his homebrew D&D map.

But that's not all!


I also got a bucket of lego, also for $5! I rarely spend $15 at a single garage sale, much less the first sale of the day. But this was more than worth the cost.

After that, we continued on our way down to the town of Sumner, which tends to be a really good place to find stuff. Along the way though we passed another sign, which we followed for several miles up steep roads, eventually finding several items. Among them, two DVDs of movies which, while certainly not my favorite of all time, were worth the $1.


We also got a Gameboy game, and Morrie got a T-shirt for work, but I'll talk about those later.

We eventually did make it down to Sumner, where I found this:


I've actually already got one of these, and let me tell you, they have fantastic power behind those little foam darts. more than I've ever seen a nerf gun have. I've got no problem adding another to my collection--though truth be told Morrie is the driving force behind our nerf gun stockpile, not me.

I think I paid $3 or $4 for this. I might have haggled a little harder, but I felt bad about accidentally shooting one of the darts onto their roof. (in my defense, why the hell did they load it?)

We found a few other things in the area, among them, WONDER WOMAN MUG!


I'm a huge fan of Greek mythology, so it should be no surprise that Wonder Woman quickly became one of my favorite comic book super heroes. The mug is pretty killer too. It's not a single image which repeats around the mug, but a bunch of different images, which is cool. It will be used for tea!

One of the sales we had in Sumner was almost a jackpot find for me. There was a huge box of NES games, including Metroid, and Snake's Revenge. Unfortunately, the guy running the sale seemed to be frustratingly stuck on the idea of making a ton of money off of his possessions. He had printed out price sheets off the internet for the value of the games, and expected an offer "in that neighborhood."

There's nothing wrong with making money, or hell, not even anything wrong with finding out what your items are worth prior to selling them. But if I'm going to pay $10 for an NES copy of Metroid, I'm going to buy it from the same place he got his prices: online.

As a guy running a Garage Sale, he's not selling guarantees, he's not offering a return policy, and if he screws me over there's jack shit I can do about it. In 30 seconds of searching, I found an NES copy of Metroid on eBay for $6.99, from a guy with 100% positive feedback. One, I might add, without the permanent marker writing on the back of it.

*end rant*

I did end up buying a few things from him. Morrie wanted this backpack, which I got for $8 (haggled down from $10) and four PS2 controllers which I got for a dollar a piece. Those things tend to break after awhile, and it's getting hard to find them.



The shirt, by the way, is the one I mentioned Morrie getting earlier in the day.

For the record, despite my frustrations with the guy, he was perfectly nice. He even took care of Morrie's coat after she forgot it there. (had to try on the backpack.) Additionally, some of his NES games were legitimately wroth a bundle. He had a number of the old unlicensed Christian games which were published for the NES. And those are wicked rare.

I should also mention that I ran into my Aunt Lisa and Uncle Ron whilst at this sale, which was a fun coincidence.


The rest of the day was pretty damned slow, which is alright. It happens from time to time. Though there were a few more good finds.

I found one absolutely KILLER garage sale out on some back roads just off Orting Highway (one of my main hunting grounds) but everything there was something I'm currently just not prepared to purchase. I would love, as an example, a nice air compressor, or a table saw, or a hunting bow, or a circa 1980 arcade game table...but not only can I not afford it, I can't store it.

On the way back down that road though, I did finally pick up a few NES games:


The one on your left is Kid Icarus, now famous due to his appearance in one of the Super Smash Bros games. If you've never played it, it's a pretty fun, largely vertical platformer. Nintendohard at its finest. On the right is Crystalis, which I had never heard of before. But when they accepted my offer for fifty cents per game, I wasn't gonna be too picky.

Turns out Crystalis is a pretty awesome game, with a large fan base. I still don't have a working NES, but I look forward to playing it. I thoroughly enjoyed the speed-run I watched.

At the bottom is the Gameboy game I mentioned picking up earlier, from the same sale I got the DVDs from. Dragon Warrior Monsters 2! It may be a Pokemon ripoff, but I love the Dragon Warrior series, and I have fond childhood memories of playing the first game in that series.

Center is Final Fantasy Seven, which is a highly overrated game which I love just as much as every other person who overrates it. My copy is kinda scratched up, and these disks look like they might be in slightly better condition. Plus, my original copy is a "Greatest Hits" edition, which the collector in me doesn't want.

The last item is one I got at the same sale I got FFVII from, and I got it for free...the power pad:


This was a shitty idea when they came up with it, and it was poorly implemented, but I took it for two reasons.

First, I don't have one, and I'm enjoying the process of collecting old NES and SNES gaming equipment. It's fun for me.

Second, it was in a free pile out by the curb. Typically what that means is that if nobody takes it, it goes in the trash. Sentimental fool that I am, I have a hard time bearing the thought of a collectible item like this being lost forever.

And hell, if nothing else, they go for $10 on eBay.