Mar 12 2011

keep austin weird [day 290]

This is one thing I want to buy, a “Keep Austin weird” t-shirt.  I need to find a thrift store and hopefully they’ll have one.  I guess I could offer someone some money to take one off their back.  After being here for one night, I’m not sure I’m weird enough to fit in here.  I’m a dime a dozen.  Now that is weird.

Mar 8 2011

hoarders on craigslist [day 285]

My friend was garage sale-ing and ran across an estate sale from a hoarder house, listed on craigslist.  I had to work Saturday and Sunday, but decided to check it out after work on Sunday.  Unfortunately they had closed up shop but I snapped a few photos while making a few observations.

As we drove up, the obvious signs were the furniture pieces in the front yard.  The front door area was cluttered, and after several knocking attempts, I decided to peer into the window.  Yes, we were at the right house, as one of the windows was blocked with a large shelving unit and the other window being a small display of a very large mess.  I’m not sure how people walked around in there to shop for treasures, but I guess if you’re determined enough, you’ll find a way.

Thinking maybe they have something going on in the back of the house, we walked around to the alley of this corner lot home.  The house itself, probably circa 1950’s, was large and looked nice, yet unkempt.  As we got to the back, we realized they were probably done with the sale.  The driveway was completely clear of any junk or trash.

Disappointed, as we drove almost 20 miles to see this, I thought about how many people must go through this is there are indeed 3 million hoarders in the United States.  (statistic provided by the TV show Hoarders)  As we were leaving, the mailbox made me laugh.  Yes, I know, I have a weird, off-beat sense of humor.

Border – hoarder.  It rhymes.  I don’t know why that’s funny, but it just is.

I decided to look up the word “hoarder” on craigslist just to see how many different listings I could find.  I did this search in all 50 states from at least one city.  I found some interesting listings and I’ll share a few with you.  I’ve shortened these a bit, but tried to keep in all the good parts.  Some were really long.  I’ve also highlighted a few interesting things.


Having a garage sale in my backyard, by appointment only. I have a 32 year accumulation of personally handpicked items. The prices to the public are $1.00, $2.00 and $3.00; with other items ranging over $100.00. THERE ARE NO BURIED TREAUSURES HERE! No furniture, no gold or jewelry. The items are mostly “GUY STUFF”. I know the value of these items, same as you. However I am attempting to offer them to you, at a price where you can make a profit and come back as a repeat customer.
I am offering “YOU’S” an opportunity to cherry pick my estimated inventory of 2,000 pieces [which represents about 20% of all the items needed to be eliminated]. If you like something, you offer me a price, based upon what you think you can sell it for. This eliminates the potential of you having to buy any junk mixed in. FYI, there is no junk, just items you can or can not sell to your customers.

THIS IS NOT A FUND RAISER. I just simply do not understand the value in having such a ridiculous accumulation; causing me to store and periodically to reorganize it. Candidly, despite knowing that I have an item, I seldom can ever really find it in a timely manner.

Predictively the average swamp meeter will have no problem scooping up $500.00 worth of merchandise for their inventories.

Confessions of a potential hoarder..Big Back Yard Sale – $1

We have all seen the show, I opened my storage unit the other day and said I won’t go down that road :^)  Continue reading

Feb 2 2011

where is she? [day 251]

I still need to get rid of some of my clothing.  I downsized by 50% a few weeks ago, but there’s still a few more pieces I could part with.  I was thinking about the clothing again after a short trip I took recently.

I went house hunting last Sunday, no, not to buy one, but to look for an abandoned house.  I’m part of a photo group that goes to small towns looking for abandoned houses, vacant buildings, old vehicles or anything else that has been left to deteriorate and wither away.  We’re never disappointed.  This last trip to Krum, Texas produced an abandoned house, a school bus, a fire truck and a semi truck, among other things.  The abandoned houses are always left full of stuff, but the things that surprise me the most is the clothing and the photographs left behind.  Who leaves a house without taking these things?

Just to give you an idea, this was the living room, going into the kitchen.

These are pics of the clothing left behind.

The nightgown still hanging on the back of the door…

I always wonder what the story is, but have yet to find one.  I’m led to look at the artifacts, ponder the possibilities and create my own fictional tale.

It’s dusk, the daylight slowly fading away.  The stuffed pig is sad, waiting patiently for the missing woman that should be coming home now.  After a long bath, she will put on the flowered gown.  Where is she?  Rarely is she late.  What was that?  A sound, followed with silence.  Silence that has turned to deafness over the years.  Still waiting.  It’s dusk.  Where is she?

Jul 7 2010

the challenge: day 40 [field trip: grover's abacus]

Today is my field trip with Dave!  We’re going to the local hardware store, also known as Grover’s.  Okay, so I’m a little odd, but this place looked so awesome when we drove by.

Now I know I’m not shopping for a very long time, but it’s okay to look.  Dave needed a few small items to do some work around the cottage.

First, he took me to a store named Abacus, a place I’ve heard Elizabeth talk about many times.  This is an art store, a high end art gallery, with some really awesome and unique pieces for sale.  Now I would be lying if I said it never crossed my mind to buy something, however I knew I wouldn’t, even without the challenge.  The blown glass bowl I really liked was almost $400.  That’s nowhere even close to any budget money I have to spend on miscellaneous stuff, nor would I be able to live with myself if I did make the purchase.

I didn’t take photos in this store because they don’t allow it, and I respect the artist’s creations and rights to their designs.  (I did get one of the front display window, although I don’t think it represents the contents of the store very well)  But what Idid I do?  I got inspired and got some ideas for art projects.  No, I’m not going to copy their stuff, but I did get some ideas on a ‘trash’ project I’m pondering.

Onto Grover’s…

First of all, Dave is a regular here , and we have backdoor privileges.  This is the most organized, well thought out hardware store I’ve ever seen.  If Home Depot was like this, they would need cots for guys to sleep over.

Every aisle was color-coded, extremely organized and easy to find anything you’re looking for.  They had an entire aisle of just sandpaper, and don’t get me started on the giant spinning rack of nails and screws.  If there’s a hardware store in heaven, it will be like Grover’s.  The guy working there thought I worked for one of the manufacturers since I was taking a lot of photos.  Once e realized I was just a weird tourist with a camera, he said to take as many photos as I like.

Here’s the sign I saw on the way out of the store…

Although I’m not sure that’s quite accurate, a version of that is probably good.  How about this.

“If you didn’t come in here needing it, you still don’t need it.”

Grover’s Abacus:  art & raw materials.  This is one abacus where not buying anything adds up to a higher level of creativity.