Saturday, June 9, 2012

Garage Sailing XV: Year of the Third, And Fuckit, the Wacky Titles Were Awesome

It's really strange writing a seasonal blog. It's out of my life for most of the year, but I keep coming back to it.

Things are a little different for me this year. I have a little more money, a lot less time, and a blog about tabletop role playing games which I update much more frequently. I'm a much more disciplined writer now, so it's doubtful I'll put these posts off for any reason. However, given how much more I'm writing (and the fact that I now have a regular gaming group) I'll probably be visiting sales somewhat less frequently.

But enough of this nonsense, lets get to the pictures and stories. Today was a good haul!

In recent months I've become seriously interested in board games. Which isn't to say I've become interested in the kinds of games most people pciture when they think of "board games." Fuck monopoly, that game is a piece of shit.

Most of the games I like are games which people haven't heard of. Games like Hero Quest, Arkham Horror, and Broadside. (That last one I actually got during my first year of garage sailing!) These games aren't simply intended to keep children occupied, or give families with nothing in common something to do together. They generally have a lot more strategy to them, and a lot less random chance.

There are, however, a few common games which I enjoy. Chess and checkers are both obvious examples. Stratego is another good one. There are a massive amount of pieces on the board, with only subtle difference between them. How you position them at the start of the game has a lot of bearing on how the game will play out. And since the pieces' values are kept secret, players who are able to track pieces and notice small details are rewarded.

Plus, I love getting old copies of games. Old box art and piece/board design is always cool. Unfortunately, the blue army is missing 3 out of 40 pieces. The loss can be offset by simply removing those same pieces from the opposing army, but it's still a bit of a pain.

I got a number of great books today. Though, full disclosure: I got some of these from The Good Will. Morrie and I visited it after we finished our sailing for the day, because she was looking for some crafting supplies (which I'll discuss later).

Going left to right, we've got two Goosebumps books. Like everyone else my age, I loved these when I was a kid. They were some of the first books I really became engaged in. As I was graduating from picture books to slightly longer and more advanced books, I was becoming aware that there didn't seem to be any books which I found exciting. Nothing which connected to my interests or involved any real danger. At least, nothing which was available in my school's library. Most books tried to engage me by writing stories about kids 'like me.' What I wanted to read was fantastic tales of adventure, and Goosebumps delivered.

Thinking back on it, R.L. Stine may have saved me from losing my love of reading.

Years ago I turned in all of my Goosebumps books to a bookstore, so I could earn store credit for more books. But recently I've been thinking it would be fun to read some of those books again, and see what it was that engaged me as a kid. I got both of these for a quarter, so I'd say it was a good choice.

By the way, I opened to a random page and read this:
"Nooo!" Nat let out a terrified wail and tried to bury his head in his sister's wet T-shirt.
Aw yeah. This'll be fun to read.

Next is a book written by George Carlin. I like that fellow. He had a big impact on my life.

Following that is a Star Trek novel. I do not normally read Star Trek novels, because they have a much lower standard of quality than Star Wars novels do, and because they are not considered canon. However, I just finished watching Star Trek: Voyager for the first time, and Captain Janeway is fucking awesome. So the story of her life might be a fun read.

Far right on the top row is "The Nitpicker's Guide for Next Generation Trekkers." Essentially it's an episode guide which points out continuity problems and whatnot. I've watched through Star Trek: TNG so many times that I thought it would be fun to pull this out next time I do. Might be fun to watch for all the little problems in the episodes. Though I think 2/3rds of the book is just episode synopses. Not worth more than the dollar or so I paid for it.

On the bottom are some random fantasy novels, and an anthology of Ray Bradbury's works. I've never read Bradbury, despite his writing being mostly in genres that I read. I guess he was on my mind due to his recent death, so when I saw his name I grabbed it. Incidentally, that's also how I first encountered George Carlin. Everybody was whining about how sad it was that he died, so I decided to find out who the hell he was.

Remember that bed we got last year? We eventually got mattress and box spring for it, and its quite nice. But do you have any idea how much sheets cost for a bed like that? A single set of sheets costs over $60 god damned dollars! Fuck that noise! I could buy a board game for that much.

This extremely soft comforter was $8. That is a much nicer price.

Remember above when I said Morrie was looking for some crafting stuff? Well, this is the stuff she found while we were out. (Incidentally, none of it was from the Good Will.)

During a recent visit to a gaming store, Morrie encountered wargaming landscapes for the first time. If you're not familiar, it's a little something like this:

That's, obviously, a pretty extreme example. But you get the idea: miniature landscapes. There are numerous games which make use of these things. Generally the idea is that all the players have miniature armies, and battle each other using a set of rules put forth in a book.

She became quite fascinated with the idea, and determined to start making some landscapes of her own. This is great, because making landscapes is actually something I've always wanted to do as well. Neither of us is particularly invested in how the landscapes are used. At present we're thinking of using them for our Pathfinder games (a role playing game similar to Dungeons and Dragons), but if we really start to get into it I'll probably start looking into miniature wargames. Those have always seemed cool to me.

All we found today was some brushes, some construction sticks, a triangle, and some paints. Nothing too exciting, but anything we can get cheaply is a bonus! This is a pretty expensive hobby.

Last, we've got some boring-ish stuff. Some book-ends, and a box full of binders. The binders are great for me, because I produce a lot of notes. I also print out old books sometimes. Mostly stuff which has been out of print for 30 years or so. It's really helpful to have a cover to keep them safe, rather than just clipping everything together.

Funny story: the guy who sold me the binders initially balked at my offer of $2 for the whole box. He said he was expecting to sell them for $1 per binder. I told him I could go as high as $4, and he went accepted it. But the whole time he had this attitude like I was being ludicrous, and ripping him off.

I kinda wanted to remind him that he's allowed to turn my offer down. But it's probably bad form to give advice to your negotiating opponent.

Next sale we went to had a binder for 15 cents. lol


  1. The binder story makes me giggle. You could buy them new for $1 each..*shakes head* I don't think people always grasp the concept of a garage sale.. The purpose isn't to get full market value for items - what makes garage sales fun is selling things for a get to make someone else's day and earn a little extra cash at the same time. ;)

    I am in love with your game board purchases and your books..what fun! I adore strategy games and love the old vintage boxes too. :D You have most excellent taste.

    Fahrenheit 451 holds a special place in my heart because I read it as a youngster and it fascinated me, though Bradbury had other epic writings as well. George Carlin and Goosebumps books were also important during my formative years. *grin* That could explain quite a bit, no?

    The landscaping creation is awesome..I am not familiar with it, but I am floored.. When you and Morrie begin to create your own little worlds, you MUST share pics!

    And you're damn right about the cost of bedding..anything with a decent thread count is obscenely expensive if you buy it new.

    I keep an eye peeled for estate sales..especially ones in the more ritzy neighborhoods. Although most of what they sell will be out of my price range or just uninteresting to me, I've gotten high quality bed sheets, duvet covers, and feather beds for a fraction of what I would in the shops. Anyway, sheets that have already been broken in are deliciously soft. Maybe sleeping on used bed sheets would bother some people, but if you wash them before using them, what's not to love?

    Mmmkay, I'll be quiet now. Thank you for the post! I loved it and it totally made my day! :D

    1. I'm glad you enjoy reading these so much. I think you're the only person who actually does. I very much enjoy writing them, but it's a lot easier to write something when I know somebody will enjoy it!

      I'm sure I'll be sharing any landscapes we produce. I'm not sure how I'll be doing it yet. Maybe on a sub section of Papers & Pencils, or just here.

      I've often found that "nicer" communities are often filled with very bland people. The kind of people who have folksy signs with whimsical sayings on them that they probably ordered from catalogs. I find the best stuff off the beaten path, so to speak.

      You know, it would be interesting if I recorded information about each sale I visited, and tried to find patterns. What kinds of places have the best stuff, etc.