Tag Archives: Thrift Stores

Weird Thrift Store Haul

I don’t have a clue what this thing was originally intended to do.

Neither did the people running the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

I watched the value reflected in the price tag for about six weeks falling from the original $50 to $14.95. 

Every time I went in there I folded it, unfolded it, stood it up this way and that way, squinted at it trying to figure out what it was for, but seeing other possible uses the people who designed it never thought of.

This thing is a tough, expensive piece of work. 

It was evidently intended to lock something in, or out.

And clamp to something along one side.

Whatever it might have been, it’s about to become a part of something else.  I pointed out to the manager that it’s been there at least six weeks.

He picked it up and examined it every which way, same as I’d been doing.

What do you suppose it is?”

“I figure it’s a way to block off the wind going through the chainlink door into my chicken house.  They just added a lot of extra parts.”

“Five bucks?”

“I’ll take it.”

“Bring me some eggs next time you come to town.”

Old Jules

Bat in the bug light and other big news and events

Evidently a bat got confused and got snagged in the buglight instead of coming into the cabin to fly around as they usually do.

Every m0rning the chickens feast under that light as soon as I turn them loose.  But I think I’d best unplug it before I poke around with a stick trying to get that bat out of there.

Ah well.  Maybe the chickens will eat it.

This cool morning had me putting on clothing instead of running around with nothing but shoes on to turn out the chickens and feed the cats.  But it reminded me I’ve been almost a year without any gas for the cookstove and no way except the woodstove to knock the morning chill out of the cabin.  I’m going to have to do something about that.

Then there’s this:

It’s coming nigh onto time to haul water again.  Probably also ought to try to figure out what’s wrong with that well pump.  It’s been since last December it quit, but I didn’t want to rush anything.  If I need to pull that pump I didn’t want to do it in cold weather when it happened, but didn’t want to do it in hot weather the rest of the time.

Saw this in the parking lot of the Humane Society Thrift Store the other dayInside the guy was easy to identify, looked about like you'd figure


He was poking around in a box of old LP records.  I tried to start a conversation with him about old music but he wasn’t having any of it.

This old XP’s going kerplunk.  I picked up a replacement at the Thrift Store and if I can figure out where all these wires go I’ll have it in here in a jiffy as soon as I get around to it.

Great day to you.

Old Jules

Food, Books and Other town stuff

FOOD:  There’s an all-you-can-eat pizza joint where you get all the salad you want, a drink and a selection of all kinds of pizza slices as many times as you go back for them and as many kinds as you want for $5.00.  You wouldn’t believe how much salad and pizza a person can eat in an hour-or-so.

Only trouble is I always feel sort of bloated and sometimes have stomach cramps after I eat there.  Maybe it’s something in the food.

Thrift Store 25 cent books acquired:

A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter M. Miller:  Good SF I read every 10 years or so.

Rebel – Bernard Cornwell – I like Cornwell fairly well but I haven’t read this one.  Civil War historical fiction

Quick Silver – Clark Howard – Never heard of the author.  Taking potluck on this one.

Double Jeopardy – Colin Forbes –  Another potluck.  Never heard of the author.

The Heart of the Matter – Graham Greene – I might have read this one sometime.  But the only Graham Greene I’ve ever not liked was Brighton Rock, required reading in some English course.

The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco –  Time I read this one again. 

High Sorcery – Andre Norton – I might have read it 40 years ago.  Usually liked Andre Norton.

Fuzz – Ed McBain – Potluck.  Never heard of him.  Looks like an extortion, cops and robbers yarn.

The Third Man – Graham Greene – Once more before I die.

Hobbit and others – JRR Tolkien – Hell, for .25 why not one more time?

Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco – I dunno if I can do this one again.  I ain’t as young as I used to be.

The Blue Hammer – Ross Macdonald – I read all these 30 years ago, loved them but ran spang out.  Nice finding this one.

The Forge of God – Greg Bear – Never heard of him.  Appears to be SF.

Flashman at the Charge – George Mcdonald Frazer – Sheeze.  I love finding these.  I must have read the entire Flashman series a dozen times over the decades.  They never grow old.

Old Jules


Shaving with sheep shears

I don’t get to town all that often, so I naturally like to put on the dog, spiff myself up a bit.  Sometimes that includes shaving, but I’ve found the average electric just doesn’t do the job.  Add to that the fact the disposables and the replaceable blade razors leave a person with a dangerous piece of throwaway I’ve not yet figured out any use for.

Still, I like to look nice when I go to town, so I use the tool I also use to remove a lot of clogged hair from the two longhaired cats I share the place with.  The shorthairs consider it a blessing to be exempt.

Starting out here’s how it appears:

After.  You can see there’s a difference if you look closely.

Add a John B Stetson, a cleanest shirt and bluejeans, galluses, a pair of deadman’s boots from some thrift store and I’ll have the hearts of the town  ladies all a-flutter with the fantods.

Gotta get moving, dress up and walk up the hill to see if Little Red’s available for the borrowing.  Later this day maybe I’ll tell you what exciting happened there.

Old Jules

A Few Noticings in Town

The sign and that line of people outside the building suggests the Christians in Washington mightn’t have anything in common with regular old actual Christians of the old actual Christianity faith.

I don’t know what they’re doing to help those people in there, being a non-Christian, but they must be doing something.  That line stretches all the way out into the parking lot.

I don’t need a gas grille, but if I did I’d have snapped this one up from the Salvation Army:

It’s missing the burners and regulator, cheap to add and retrofit, looks barely used, but the price is amazing:

Only thing I can figure is the Chinese have bought out Harley Davidson:

Damned thing is 200cc and has a pull starter like a lawn mower.  They charge extra for ape-hangers.

But it looks as though they’re also wanting to cash in on some of the automotive company bailouts:

Notice the suicide shift above the right fender.  You have to turn loose the steering wheel to shift gears.  Can’t imagine how they got that through Ralph Nader’s US Department of Transportation and Welfare.

Best for last, though.  Here’s a free crapper and exercycle from Habitat for Humanity:

Tempting, but I’ve already got the one, and I get my exercise just trying to stay alive.  Fact of life.

Old Jules

Loudon Wainwright– Glad To See You Got Religion

Upside Down Thrift Store Horse Trading

This 24/7 music to keep owls from killing my guineas at night  [ White Trash Repairs and Fixes – Owls and Rock ‘n Roll ] is hard on audio equipment.

A while back I was without music to confuse the owl-folk.  I’d spang worn out my Kerrville FreeCycle-donated 200 CD Sony player and was scouting around for whatever the Universe had in mind to replace it.  A couple of months had passed, to I figured the Universe was ripe.

Salvation Army Thrift Store in Kerrville was having a half-price off on electronics sale.  I nosed around among the 8 track tape players, the television sets, the wires with all kinds of connections pretending not to pay any mind to a Sony 300 CD player staring at me as though I was the abyss.  The door was open on it and it seemed a bit battered, but someone had taped, “WORKS” on it, along with a price of $65.  $32.50 with the half-price on electronics.

The guy I think must be the store manager was at the register, and we’ve done enough business over time for him to know my ways and for me to know his.   Between ringing up purchases he was watching me not lo0k at that CD player with a half-smile on his face.  I moseyed over to it scowling, making sure in the corner of my eye he was looking, and tried to mess with the door to get it closed.  Shook my head, then looked up and met his eye.

“If that thing has a door it doesn’t seem to close.”

“Bring it over here and we’ll talk about it.”

I put it on the counter and we both scowled at it.  “That’s a lot of money to have to risk for something might not work.  If I bought it could you write down something so I could bring it back if it doesn’t work?”

We both knew the answer to that one.  It’s sold as is.  “I can’t do that.  But I’d sure hate for someone to buy it and get stuck with it not working.  What do you think it’s worth risk-wise?”

He and I have been through this enough times before to know how we play the game.  “I couldn’t pay more than $20 for it.”

No,” shaking his head, “I’d rather give it to you free than let you pay that much.”

“I’m not taking that out of here free.  I’m not begging.  I’m just trying to find a price we can agree on.  How about $15?”

“How about a buck?”

$10?  I’m not sure I can go any lower than 10.  A man has to live with his conscience.”  I feigned away from the counter as though about to walk off.

“Noo, no, no!”  Him acting frantic.  “How about $5?  Could you go $5?”


He carried it across the counter to the register and started figuring the tax.  “It’s half-price for electronics today.  But you probably don’t want to use that, do you?”

“Naw.  Just ring it up at the full price we agreed to.  I’m not looking for any bargain.”

Old Jules

Steve Goodman- The Auctioneer

Cornering the Umbrella Market in a Drought

Compulsive personality.  That’s the only possible explanation I can think of for this recurring pattern in my life.

Today I had to go into Harper to pay a bill due tomorrow.  I hate to make a trip in without getting full value for the gasoline expended getting there, so after I’d taken care of business I drove around the several back streets.  I was craning my neck, straining my eyes, looking into the back yards of abandoned houses for a cab-over camper or camper trailer I might be able to pick up cheap as a potential way to give myself an escape route if something goes sour here.

I’ll be posting about some of that Harper thing another time.  But after I finished nosing the back streets I went to the Harper Library Resale Store just because it was there.  Picked up $6.00 worth of used books at 25 cents each, moseyed around and eyeballed a wireless weather station with rain gauge, anemometer, all manner of goodies for $20.  But the box was open and there was dust on it.

My computer-like mind registered this and concluded it had been sitting there a while, nobody willing to pay $20 for it.  So I carried my books to the register and while she counted them, “That weather station back there looks as though it’s been here a while.”

She stopped counting and looked at me grinning.  They know me there.  “You want to bargain about it?”

“Wulll. Actually, I’m not sure I want it.  I couldn’t pay more than $10.”

She grinned and pointed to the room where it was located, started walking back there.  “You’re going to TAKE $10?  You ought not take $10.”  Sheeze.  We don’t get any weather here and who cares how fast the wind is blowing?  When we got there she picked it up out of the box, frowning.

“The wind direction doesn’t work is the only thing.”

“Bobby Dylan and I decided a long time ago we didn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

So back to the register.  $16.00.  She holds up an orange card.  “Do you have one of these yet?”  No, I nods.  “Every time you buy $10 worth of anything we stamp it.  When you’ve got $10 stamped 10 times you get $10 off your next purchase.”

“Whoah!  You’re telling me if I spent $4 more I’d have gotten two stamps on there?”

Smile.  “Yes.”

“Okay.  Let me wander around in here a little longer.”

I found four copies of the Texas Historical Review from the 1990s for 50 cents each.  Then I found a pair of good sneakers that fit marked $3.  I carried them back to the register.  “Okay.  $2 for the Historical Reviews and $3 for the shoes.  Give me another stamp on that card.”

She starts adding, mutters, “Men shoes are half price today.  You’re 50 cents short.  26 cents even if we count the sales tax.”

Deep breath.  “I want to donate 26 cents to the library.  Stamp the card.”

Speedometer cable was making noise on the Toyota when it went Communist.  Maybe if the cable breaks I can attach that anemometer to the top of the truck and use the wind speed for a speedometer if I ever get the 4Runner running on pavement again.

Old Jules

Steve Goodman– Vegematic