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.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Garage Sailing X: Only one doesn't mean porn

I had one of the most fantastic garage sailing weekends I've had in a long while. Unfortunately, Morrie was unable to accompany me this weekend, as she was volunteering with puppies(though I think I ended up saving some time through my more aggressive driving). I also had to come home significantly earlier than normal to run a Dungeons and Dragons Game.

But lets jump right into this, I've got a lot to say. So here's the slightly fucked-up "haul" shot, which I decided not to retake:



I absolutely love trench coats. And for the most part, I only ever wear black ones. Unfortunately, coats like this are damned expensive. I spent $150 on my last one, and on top of that, I've yet to find a good selection of them. So, after something in the neighborhood of 5-7 years of consistent wear, my main one starting to fall apart.

This one is just *slightly* too tight across my back, and it doesn't have any pockets inside the coat (which are a big deal for me) but it is otherwise in fantastic condition, fits well, and is of good quality. I normally never even look at clothes at garage sales, but for $8 this was a bargain.


This may have been a poor choice, though I only ended up paying 50 cents for it. I love reading old tech books and whatnot. (I actually have a large collection of tech magazines from the 90s which I occasionally scan advertisements from, just because they're so out of touch with technology of today.)

This sale had a number of things I was interested in actually, including a Nintendo 64, and an original X Box. But electronics from garage sales are iffy enough without a $30 sticker price. No thank you!


Most of these cables were in a free pile at the sale of a very talkative & positive fellow in Sumner. I don't need any of them right now, but they're the kind of spare parts I often find I do need. And all together it's probably $30-$50 worth of cables.

The mouse and extension cords were 50 cents each at different garage sales.


Recently, Morrie and I had to throw out one of our pans because the handle was broken. I can't tell you how many times I spilled a pan full of water because of that damned thing. So, I've been on the lookout for more. The one on the left was from the same garage sale where I got the cables, and was also free. The one on the left was at a massive garage sale I found as I was driving home. I had actually driven past that house earlier in the day, but they didn't set up until 10 o'clock, so I'm glad I took the same route back home, which I normally don't do.

It was a pretty massive sale, with a large selection of items. The people putting it on apparently own an apartment complex, and the sale was of the various items people had left in their units after vacating. I got the pan for a dollar. I'll talk more about this sale later on.


I thought this was going to be my biggest find of the day. A full size, fully functional griddle, which I picked up for $2. The best part about it is that everything else at this garage sale was massively over priced. There was even another griddle right next to it for $5 (also a decent price, but most everything else was much higher.)


Nothing super special here. I've wanted a nice pair of steel scissors for awhile. This one is pretty rusted up, and I couldn't clean much of the rust off with an SOS pad...but it was 25 cents. The dust pat was also 25 cents--and a mistake. I had thought we had broken our dust pan, but when I brought this one home, I discovered that it was the brush which came with our dust pan which is broken, not the pan itself.

Oh well, no big loss.


TMNT for life, dude.

The sale I got this from was super pro. She had actually set up a wooden floor, with a nice 3-sided tarp. The electronics were all plugged in and working, with music playing on the CD player and "A Bugs Life" on the TV. In the end I just got the two extension cables I noted above, and this stuffed doll which cost another 50 cents.

I actually spent a long time staring at this, wondering if I was just going to clutter up my apartment with this stuff. But I really do like collecting memorabilia from my childhood, and TMNT is near the top of that list. So I gave it a pass.


I really like canes, I think they are fun props. I currently have 2 canes which I purchased last year, but I haven't been able to find the wooden one in the traditional cane shape for a few months now. No idea where it went. This one is pretty similar, and I grabbed it for a dollar.



Troy and Thank You for Smoking are two movies which I thoroughly enjoyed. Barring, of course, the massive failure in accuracy as Troy moved towards the end. Still, at a dollar a piece, I was happy to buy them for potential future viewing. I got Star Fox Adventures at the same sale for $3. The game looked pretty terrible to me when it was new, and my view of it has not improved with age.

However, I am probably the world's biggest fan of Star Fox 64, of which Star Fox Adventures is a sequel. So I'm happy I'll finally be able to give it an honest try.


This is a big stack of Dungeons and Dragons cards, labelled "Trading Cards," which I got for a dollar at that same garage sale I mentioned earlier, put on by people who own an apartment complex. I'll talk a little bit more about my experiences there further down. Regarding the cards, there are a lot of them (maybe 50-70% more than I was able to get in the shot) and each has a picture on one side, and some AD&D stats on the other. I'm not sure what this was for...maybe you could use them to supplement your D&D sessions by providing your players with some art for the character they were encountering, with handy stats on the back for your benefit?

I'd love to know more, if anybody knows. I haven't had time to do any research myself yet.


Comic books! I think I got these for 50 cents each, out of a box of a couple hundred comics. I really like 90s era spider man for some reason (probably because that's where I got started with comic books) but the unquestioned best find in here is the old 1970s issue of Marvel Star Wars.


To get the boring stuff out of the way first: Golden Sun was a pretty awesome RPG I borrowed from a friend shortly after it came out. I never finished it because that friend and I got into a huge fight, and feeling that our friendship was over, I returned everything I had borrowed from him. I look forward to playing it.

Okay, so...

FINALFANTASYTWO OMGOMGOMG I can't believe I got this. I was so excited to find it I didn't even try to haggle when the guy's asking price was $10. I was too stunned to try. This is the kind of find I dream about. I ended up spending five hours over the weekend playing it.

Unfortunately, when I went to play it on Monday, my save was gone. Not too surprising that the battery finally died on this 20 year old game. But I've been researching the process for replacing batteries in SNES games, and ordered the bit I need to remove the screws. When it arrives I'll do a test on my Super Mario World cart. The process looks simple enough that I should be able to climb Mount Ordeals so that I can become a paladin in no time. Then all I need to do is sneak into Baron, steal an Airship, and defeat Golbez!


Finding this Final Fantasy II cart is only possibly equaled by this last item:


Nintendo Entertainment System.

The arcade controller is actually from a garage sale I went to early in the day, while the rest of the system is from the last sale I went to. The same one where I got Golden Sun, Final Fantasy II, the Dungeons and Dragons cards, and one of the pans. So...yeah, a good sale.

As I mentioned above, this guy had me totally blown away by how many things I found which I really really wanted, and I didn't haggle anywhere near as much as I should have. The NES doesn't work, and he sold it to me for $5. He also charged me an additional $1 each for the cables. I let myself get ripped off there. But what can I say? I really really wanted it.

I've been researching NES repair for awhile now, in anticipation of finding one, and I intend to research it a great deal more before making any attempts. Based on what this guy was saying, it sounds like the 72 pin connector needs to be replaced, but we'll find out, I guess!

That's all for this week!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Garage Sailing IX: I'm writing a book with this number in the title


As you can see, this was a motherfucking fantastic week, for a somewhat obvious reason. But I'm not going to talk about it until the veeeeeeeeery last item! =D


Morrie grabbed this Pizza cutter, because we sometimes make Pizza and it's a pain to cut. Of course, I found a much nicer one later, which I didn't pick up. HO WELLS!


Morrie loves Batman. Now she can eat off him.

This is an awesome development in our lives.


As mentioned in previous posts, Morrie is growing plants in the windows. She's wanted a larger trough-style planter for awhile. Now she has one!


Huh...I really don't have much to say about most of these items do I? I got these for a dollar total. I know they're completely useless now, and I don't even play WoW right now. But I really miss old world...and I thought it would be fun to thumb through these. I know, I'm a pack rat, but I keep my apartment clean and organized, so I figure it's all good. >.>


Morrie is a big fan of hiking and whatnot. The book is a few years out of date, but I thought we might be able to find some good tips in here about places to go.


This is something I have a few things to say about.

Almost every garage sale has books at it. And nearly without fail, those books are shit. Maybe people only sell their shit books, or maybe people only read shit books. Either way, I'm tired of Nora Roberts, and books with titles like "The Passion amongst the Meadows of my Heart." Very rarely I find books which I would actually read.

So when I saw books sitting on a card table on the driveway of a suburban house, with a 30-something mom sitting, I didn't think anything of it.

Then I saw what the books were. These aren't even all of the good ones, just the ones which looked most interesting to me. And, pleasantly enough, I had a 10 minute conversation about Ulysses with the literary-minded woman whom I jadedly dismissed. Just goes to show you how easy it is to pre-judge.


Working Game Boy Color to add to my video game hardware collection. Totally worth the dollar it cost me.


So apparently I picked it up during a really poor weekend which I chose not to photograph or document, but not long ago I found a purple duck billed platypus Beanie Baby which was OMG awesome. I gave it to a friend who is a huge fan of Perry The Platypus.

Well, today, I found an identical platypus which is four times the size. I might give this one to him as well...though maybe not. =P


Morrie already had a chair, but this chair is much nicer. It had arm rests as well, but Morrie removed them. It's pretty comfortable, and as an added bonus, we now have a spare chair for when company comes over!


Alright, here we go. I've always loved riding my bike. I've loved doing so since I was a wee child. For the last few years, though, I haven't had a bike. In fact, the last time I rode my bike was in the summer of 2008, when I picked it up from my parent's house, took it up to my apartment, and spent a very frustrated day attempting to ride it around Bellingham with a busted chain, busted gears, and just about busted everything.

It hasn't been on my mind much these days, as I'm pretty busy. However, Morrie is also pretty interested in bike riding. Her bike is presently in a storage unit in California, but her parents will be bringing it up when they visit in August. So, looking forward to being able to ride with her, I've been looking into bikes.

NEW bikes, though, cost a lot of money. Like hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. Way more than I can afford. I've been hoping to find one at a garage sale, but most of them are rusted to hell.

Then Morrie noticed this one. No rust, perfect size for me, tagged at $45. After a test ride, and a bit of haggling, I forked over $35 and loaded this beauty into my car.

I am one pleased fellow!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Garage Sailing VIII: Some Kind of Bizzare Quirky Name

Morrie and I had a pretty good weekend with this hunt. We didn't find anything which I would call an amazing find--certainly nothing as fantastic as a NES GoldCart Zelda, but the hunt was definitely worth our while.

Lets jump into it, shall we?


First up is the level:


Not a particularly exciting item, but one which I've often found myself wanting whilst working on projects around my apartment. Cheap bastard that I am, I figured I'd eventually find one while out garage sailing, so I didn't get one at the hardware store. Turns out I was right!

The next item has something of a similar story, actually:


For some quirky reason, the walls of my apartment are tough. I have a devil of a time puncturing it with anything less than a nail and hammer. And even when I use those, half the time I end up creating a crumbly hole rather than mounting whatever it is I'm trying to hang.

This can be exceedingly frustrating for someone like me, who tends to surround himself with posters, and whiteboards, and doodles, and mirrors, and all manner of wall-hanging minutia. So, for awhile now, I've been thinking of getting a staple gun. I figured I'd have to get it from the hardware store, but I lucked out and found one at a yard sale out in a rural area where they tried to hard-sell me old used tires.

And, for your information, once I picked up staples, I discovered that this gun can drive a staple about halfway into the wall. Yeah, the wall is that tough.


I don't personally have a lot to say about the cloth napkins, as they were Morrie's purchase, not mine. She's been using them to wrap food for her lunch.


I've been hoping to find a knife block for awhile now. I've got a small one which came with my fisher-price "grown ups' first kitchen" set. Unfortunately, as I gather nicer knives (largely at other garage sales) I find I prefer to use those more, and have no block to keep them in.

This particular block turned out to be, perhaps, not the best choice, as it doesn't fit several of my older knives, meaning I presently have two blocks on my counter. Oh well! It was just a dollar.


This leaf press kit is another of Morrie's finds. She had a class a year or so ago which required her to gather a large variety of leaves to categorize and study. She quite enjoyed it, and still has her collection of leaves and notes on her shelf. This, hopefully, will aid her in continuing to study leaves. Particularly now that she lives in a new area, with (I assume) some different foliage.


A bucket of LEGO bricks hardly needs an explanation. It was actually a collection of LEGO which started me on my Garage Sailing quest last year. On my way home from a D&D game, I saw, and stopped at a Garage Sale. Amusingly, this particular sale had a number of things which I'm now ecstatic if I can find. Including NES games, and a massive bucket of LEGO for $25. One which I would have purchased if I had the money on me. I actually wrote a little bit about it on my Livejournal at the time. Which is kinda funny to look back on only about a year later.

So anyway, the point of that ramble is that when I see LEGO bricks, I buy them, because NEVER GROW UP! >.>


I found a number of books throughout the day. The Unabridged Mark Twain, The Aeneid, Medieval Myths, and The Letters of the Younger Pliny hardly need an explanation. They're classics, or about classics. "Baroness of Blood" is a Ravenloft book, and for those unaware, Ravenloft is a classic Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting. One which I've always been interested in for its darker, Gothic Fantasy style. "The Orc King" is a Drizzt book. Sue me, I enjoyed most of the Drizzt books I've read.

I almost ignored "The Nature of Monsters" the same way I ignore romance and Nora Roberts novels at garage sales. But something about the cover caught my eye and caused me to read the blurb on the back. A story about a pregnant sixteen year old in 1718 who works for a mad alchemist is amusing enough for me to add it to my shelf for future reading.


I've always kinda thought I should have jumper cables in my car. Seems like a common sense kind of thing to have.


This ended up being the item I was happiest about finding this weekend. Recently the somewhat wobbly lamp (which is the first item I ever got while out garage sailing) finally gave out, and has been sitting in pieces on my floor next to my now very poorly lit desk.

After installing an inline switch, and drilling a few holes into my ceiling for hooks, I'm quite happy with the ample illumination this lightweight lamp provides. I would buy more of these if I could find them, no doubt.

And that's what we got this weekend. What did YOU do?