Archive for the ‘Yard sale’ Category

Had a follow up with my surgeon on Tuesday. He took the first post-op x-rays and pronounced everything in order. I see him in two weeks and he said, “Bring a regular shoe with you.”


I might be in a legit regular shoe in two weeks?

Feels like Christmas has come early.

It gets better, though. As I changed the bandages yesterday, I realized that fir the first time in nine months, I felt no blister or no ulcerations of any kind. I can’t look at it too well as I don’t want to put any torque on the toe that might cause problems with the healing of the bone, but damn it felt good. I ever noticed that my mood was greatly improved, just with that little news. I might even be able to do the Troeg’s 5K, albeit while walking. I don’t want to risk reinjuring the toe in any way, shape or form.

Wayne's x-ray... note the two "Plaples"

Wayne’s x-ray… note the two “Plaples”

The x-rays look kind of cool. You can clearly see the plaples (combination of plate and staple) that are holding the tip of my toe onto the rest of my foot. The surgeon told me he went that route because he didn’t want an issue with a screw that might work its way out of the bone. I am appreciative, that’s for sure.

Note the "Shoe of Embarrassment" in the background

Note the “Shoe of Embarrassment” in the background

It was a combo appointment, though, as Supportive Partner Woman (badly sunburned!) had a small procedure done to her foot to drain a ganglion cyst that was causing her problems. SPW’s compression bandage should be off today. She says it feels a little better, which I take as a good sign. Or, she could be not minding it due to the sunburn. I guess having the cyst done the way she did beats the old school way, which was to slam it with a heavy book. Ouch.

Other than that, things are moving along.

We also did the local flea market on Labor Day. It was crazy humid and the turnout wasn’t quite as good as we hoped (it was too freakin’ hot), but we managed to unload stuff and didn’t come home with anything extra. That’s a good sign. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but there are some incredibly cheap bastards out there. I understand wanting to get the best deal that you can, but don’t expect me to give it away. Case in point, a woman wandered up to our tables, picked up a barely used (literally, less than five times) T-fal griddle pan. She asks how much it is, we tell her $3. Rather than attempt to haggle, she slams the pan down on the table and storms off. I would’ve taken $2 for it, but I guess she wanted it for free.

It’s good to want, chump.

At any rate, there’s always going to be idiots. It’s not against the law.


So, it’s nine days following the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes. Supportive Partner Woman and I were in attendance, along with 14 of our closest friends and family members, to see if California Chrome could add the second leg of the Triple Crown to his resume.

It would be so easy to jump to race #12 (the main event) and not talk about the entire weekend. Luckily for you, I don’t take the easy route. We make an entire weekend of it.

So, Friday, SPW and I loaded up Mario the Super Honda and headed to South Jersey for the annual pre-Preakness feasting at my sister-in-law’s home. The SIL made a perfectly delicious beef tenderloin roast and there was much mirth and merriment. Various folks stopped by to join in the festivities, but eventually we all hit the rack for some much-needed shuteye. See, it’s a looooong day.

We shoved off about 7:30 AM, headed for Pimlico. For those of you not familiar with Baltimore, Pimlico is not located in what you would call an attractive section of the city. Poverty abounds and the storefronts that are not vacant are occupied by check cashing joints, chicken & trout stands, and the occasional bail bonds establishments.  Preakness is the one time of year it’s pretty safe to go there, as it seems that the entirety of the Baltimore Police Department is deployed in and around the track. It’s also probably the best time to commit a crime on the other end of town (not that I am advocating illegality). Just sayin’.

That being said, it’s an amazing sight to see that decrepit old track filled to the rafters.

The biggest surprise of the weekend was that SPW came home with a pair of high end tickets that belonged to her boss who was not going to the race. These seats were choice… pretty much overlooking the finish line and away from the cigar smokers behind our regular seats  (I don’t have an issue with cigar smoking, but there were quite possibly the nastiest smelling cigars I’ve encountered. No lie… they smelled like burning dogshit). We still opted to spend most of the day on the rail, but we went upstairs for the main event.

California Chrome leads Ride On Curlin' down the stretch

California Chrome leads Ride On Curlin’ down the stretch

Not the best video, but not too bad in the grand scheme of things. I did manage to capture a pretty good still frame of the leaders down the stretch.

All in all, it was a fun day. Very tiring.

The feasting aspect went better this year, though, as my gut isn’t nearly as sensitive as it was last year. I also didn’t overdo it, so there was no issues of malabsorption. The arts and crafts were successful as well. It’s kind of funny when you have a group of 40-60 year olds smuggling booze into a venue like a bunch of teenagers at a Hoobastank concert. Speaking of concerts, though, the infield entertainment for 2014 included Nas and Lorde. In my humble opinion, the quality of infield concerts has generally declined since the first year they were done (ZZ Top), although this year’s crop was better than Pitbull. At the current rate, I expect next year’s acts to include Nickelback.

In other news, my foot is healing at a somewhat steady pace. It’s certainly looking better than it was, but it’s still not fast enough for me. I think I need to talk to the doc and see if there’s something they can do to splint the toe so it doesn’t continue to put pressure on the wound. I’m thinking duct tape or a big hose clamp. I somehow doubt that will meet medical approval.

At any rate, that’s all I have for right now. We have the dreaded yard sale coming up on Saturday, so hopefully I’ll have good stories to tell.

See you on the other side.

I am pleased to announce that I haven’t fallen off a treadmill in four days.

That’s not for lack of trying.

snap0082I should clarify and say that I am not, repeat NOT, actively trying to fall off a treadmill. It’s just that my legs have been awfully rubbery of late, so stepping off the treadmill can be an iffy proposition. The funny thing as that while my hip/posterior was where I thought I’d get a bruise, I actually did more damage to my arm.

It’s a good thing, though… if my legs feel rubbery, that means it was a decent workout. Plus, the more I get my work in, the less time the legs stay rubbery. One thing I do know for sure is that the Balega socks are wonderful. They feel good when you put them on, there’s no seam to rub against your toes, and your feet are wonderfully dry when you’re done. I’m in the process of converting to a mostly moisture-wicking sock collection and selling the old cotton socks at the next edition of The Dreaded Yard Sale®. I figure I can get a quarter a pair… after all, most have hardly been worn, and it’s all for charity!

I also am going to pick up a pair of Balegas for Supportive Partner Woman (She of the ouchy back!). While her feet are nowhere near as bad as mine, she would probably benefit from a nice, comfortable pair of socks.

photo (7)In other news, the Lego 10240 X-Wing is complete. It’s sizeable, especially when compared to the standard X-Wing that was released in 2012. The downside is that the new one is not scaled for minifigs… but I’m keeping Porkins, because, well, he’s Porkins. I’ll probably sell the other one… limited display space is a bad thing. This is why I never bought the Super Star Destroyer.

At any rate, that’s about all I have for today. Tomorrow and Friday bring sessions with the boys and hopefully my arm will continue to feel better. Oh, and I plan on continuing my streak of not falling off of treadmills or other objects.

Song of the Day: In Too Deep – Sum 41

The lowlight of the weekend was getting the inevitable e-mail from AirTran saying that our flights had changed. I booked out of Reagan National in order to save a few bucks and because the times were perfect. Flights were nonstop and avoided the ninth circle of Hell that is Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Nothing against Atlanta, it’s probably a great city. I’d just never want to fly there because I’m sure my luggage would take a nice, scenic detour through the Kamchatka Peninsula on its way to Hotlanta.

So, the email stated that our new departing flight left DCA at 6:01 AM, then we had to change planes AND airlines in Atlanta on the way to MCO, getting in around 11:30 AM. That doubled the length of travel time, which was less than optimal. Same deal on the return flight… obligatory stop in Atlanta, leaving two hours earlier than desired, etc.

I cooled off for a day (otherwise Ensign Furious might’ve sailed up aboard his garbage scow and that’s never pretty) and opted to call them this morning. What a circus.

First of all, the menu. The Voice gives you precious few options, one of which is NOT “Speak to a live actual person”. God help you if you opt to press 0, because the Voice gets a bit testy almost snarling “Invalid Command!” and then restarting the menu as if to say, “Now, where was I before you interrupted me, you ignorant jackass?”

Eventually, if you say or press nothing, you get a real, live person. Maybe The Voice does not like to be ignored. Whatever the reason, I got a guy who was reasonably helpful. After a few minutes of phone wrangling, he was able to get us on a flight out of BWI (much closer to home) that is non-stop and while it leaves a little later than preferred, it beats the trip through Il Purgatorio.

The fun part was when he was surprised when I wanted to change both trips. Why wouldn’t I want to fly out of BWI and into DCA? I could have a car stashed in both places. Seriously? To make a long story short, they changed the flights and didn’t require a change fee. Gotta like that. See, it’s been my experience that when you actually get a live person, they are pretty eager to help.

In the good news department, I didn’t fall off the treadmill today. That’s always a plus. No real damage from Friday’s misadventures other than a sizable bruise. Could’ve been a lot worse.

The Ultimate Collector's Series X-Wing

The Ultimate Collector’s Series X-Wing

Other things accomplished this weekend was replacing the shocks on Mario the Honda. They were pretty well gone and once Jim and I got the new shocks on, well, it rode and handled like a new car. Had to road test it, so we headed off to King of Prussia and the Lego Store. Through a combination of VIP points, a timely 10% coupon and a few other discounts/credits we came home with the new Ultimate Collectors Series X-Wing. It’s shaping up to be a most excellent build. This was followed by a trip to Wegman’s. Saturday night, Supportive Partner Woman and I went to El Serrano for a charity margarita competition in which our favorite bartender, Frank, was a contestant. All told, I had about an ounce or two of real, actual booze for the first time since last year. I’m happy to report that it stayed down. Frank wound up winning and gets to go to Mexico, so kudos to Frank! After that, our friends came over to the Nerd Lair and a good time was had by all.

So, all in all, it’s a positive start to the week. Let’s hope it continues.

Song of the Day: Not the Same – Ben Folds Five


I said it.

I actually didn’t mind the Dreaded Yard Sale® this year. I know somewhere in the great beyond, my father’s ashes are trying to recoalesce so he can give me a brain duster for even thinking the thought.

It’s when I stop to think of why it wasn’t so bad that I realize just how worth it the sale was. See, this is the first time I’ve done the sale where the proceeds are going to something more important to me. As I previously mentioned, all proceeds from today’s sale are going to Team AllEars,

418988_10201352629964288_113381515_nAfter all is said and done, Supportive Partner Woman and I raised $176.

That’s a pretty good chunk of my fundraising commitment. Of course, some people might question us selling baked goods to benefit a running team. All I can say to that is that the running part burns off the baked good calories. Hey… it sounded good in my head. Work with me, people!

I’ve been circling around the point, though, and that point is that I am so happy and pleased to work toward such a worthy goal with such amazing teammates and friends that even the Dreaded Yard Sale® doesn’t get me too down. So, now when anyone asks me if I run, or more to the point WHY I run, I can honestly say it’s because of something far bigger than myself.

That’s all anyone can ask for.

Now, of course, I’m looking forward to another yard sale so I can get rid of some more shit. You can never complain about that.

Song of the Day: Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-a-Lot (No, I’m not a huge fan of Mix-a-Lot, but it was playing on the 90s channel and it almost made me swerve off the road.)

So I made it to the pool yesterday. The pool is actually part of the Rec, just a part I usually don’t go in, mainly because I kind of forgot where it is (don’t judge me).

I showered, got my suit on and went hunting, primarily by feeling the humidity level and smelling the chlorine increase. I made a wrong turn in the locker room and found the hot tub. There was also a Gratuitously Naked Guy sighting. A regular slice of life at the Rec.

As it was Sunday, they had half of the pool sectioned off for family swim. This left two lanes for lap swimming, one of which was occupied by a kid getting swim team coaching and the other occupied by two wizened women. I figured my best choice was to stay on the family side next to the lane rope and get my work in. Everything went well, until I was on my second lap, when I realized that granny had stationed herself about 20 feet from the wall, next to the rope, and was just standing there. I kept swimming, figuring she would see me coming and be courteous. Guess I thought wrong. Granny watched me swim toward her and didn’t move, forcing me to swim around her.

I kid you not.

After swimming around 300 yards, albeit slowly, I toweled off and headed back to the locker room. I was tired, but I still felt pretty good. I decided to hit the treadmill and did 20 minutes on there. Turned out to be a pretty good workout.

After that, I showered up and headed to the ghetto for the viewing. We weren’t there all that long, just enough to pay our respects. Afterward, I dropped off my mom and I headed home, hitting a torrential downpour that was mercifully brief. I stopped and picked up supplies to add a baked good table to the Dreaded Yard Sale. I got extra flour, sugar, chocolate chips and eggs… hope this adds to the bottom line and allows us to increase our contribution to Team AllEars and the Avon Walk.

That about does it for the day. I plan on mixing dough tonight and getting ready for Bake-a-Palooza. I really hope the sale does well… maybe my cookies will gain new fans.

I can hope.

Song of the Day: Avenida Revolucion – Chickenfoot

Greetings from cow country!

As I drove to the gym this morning, I was stuck behind a slow-moving tractor pulling a manure wagon. It made me think that there aren’t many places left where this is a common occurence. However, smell aside, I like living where we live. On a quiet night, we can here the cattle lowing at the farm down the road. It’s peaceful. It’s bucolic. It can stink to high heaven. But it’s our home now.

I took a half day vacation to handle a few projects for my mom (and to get a blessed haircut), so after my gym session with the boys (totally killed it, too… had the treadmill up to an 11° angle and up to 3.7 mph for a stretch) I headed to the bustling metropolis of Reading, PA.

Now Reading is somewhat infamous for being among the most dangerous towns in Pennsylvania (per capita). It’s a city of around 75,000, lots of city issues, i.e. unemployment, drugs, gangs, prostitution, political corruption. It’s a regular ray of sunshine. My travels did not take me downtown today. I spent part of the time in the suburb where I grew up, and I gotta say, it’s a lot scarier than I remember. Old mom and pop places that I remember have been replaced by tattoo parlors, check cashing places, Walmart, etc. Farm fields plowed under for housing, all the typical stuff you see these days.

It made me sad… I’ve only been out of high school 24 years and the mall I worked in is now I place I will not willingly set foot in.

But, I still have family in the Reading area, as does Supportive Partner Woman (Photographer of great skill!), so it’s a necessary evil that we visit there from time to time, and no, the evil is not seeing our familes, but seeing what has happened to our home town.

One of my daily routines is to visit the Reading Eagle website on a daily basis just to see if I know anyone who got shot, stabbed, or otherwise. I do this every day. There’s just something wrong with that, ya know?

So, I got to my mom’s, moved a big flowerpot for her (and didn’t throw out my back FTW!), and put in her window screens. I don’t see mom as often as I should, but she was really surprised with the changes in me since my operation. She even liked my Beasts. I was very proud of her as she didn’t try to push food on me, as she used to. She understands that my capacity is limited and I appreciate that.

After that, off to work. Now, as for the weekend, SPW will be working (and I might have to work Saturday… the jury is still out on that), but she will be taking time on Sunday to shoot pictures of her parents’ class reunion. As for me, I have to take my mother to a viewing. In a surprise move, she’s not really thrilled at the thought of having to drive into the hood by herself, but since the deceased was the mother of a close family friend, I’ll do it. Dolly was a sweet lady and will be missed.

Next weekend, though, is the Dreaded Yard Sale. This year, all proceeds from the sale are going to Team AllEars and from there to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Should make for interesting writing at the very least. Maybe the fact that the proceeds are going to a good cause will stop some of the cheap bastards from trying to haggle over a nickel.

I doubt it.

Song of the Day: You Just May Be the One – John Flywheel

P.S. As I was at the gym this morning, the “music” channel was playing something from Justin Bieber, prompting me to say, “Is there a volume setting lower than “mute”?

Well, it’s here and gone. The Yard Sale of Doom has come and gone and our house is still standing. There was, of course, an incredible display of unbridled cheapness, but that’s what happens when you have this kind of function. Let’s review, shall we?

After not getting to bed until around 2:00 or so, 6:30 was waaay too early to be getting up. I knew it would be a scorcher, so I decided to forego the shower, threw on a ballcap (and pants, too) and got to work. The Management and I had done a lot of prep work the past few days, including removing the giant computer desk from my office, so there wasn’t a lot of carrying stuff to do. Dragged the tables outside, displayed our wares, and off we went.

besides the giant desk, highlights included three gently used Lego sets (figured if I sold them for what I listed them for on eBay, I’d be ahead of the game. No eBay fees or PayPal fees), a table that we used in our kitchen, some DVDs, and a few other sundry items. Our friend Cheri also set up a couple of tables, primarily getting rid of children’s clothes and toys. We weren’t seeing much action on our big ticket stuff, so I snapped a quick picture of the computer desk and threw it up on craigslist. Figured it couldn’t hurt. About a half hour later, I check my email and there’s a reply from someone expressing interest in the desk, with a phone number. I start dialling the number when someone asked about the desk. Turns out to be the guy I was just calling! What are the odds?

He wound up buying the desk, along with a printer and router. I was just glad to see it go!

All in all, other than some people trying to nickel and dime us (asking $1.00 for a DVD and somebody offers $0.25. I looked at him and said, “Seriously?” He didn’t buy… cheap bastard. We even managed to take some of the profit and pick up some chicken BBQ from the local fire company. They get $9.00 for a half chicken, baked potato, roll, cole slaw, drink and dessert. Not bad and goes to a good cause. It helps that it is some yummy chicken.

Next chapter of the Yard Sale saga takes place July 7, in bucolic Blandon, PA. If you’re headed up 222 to the Kutztown Folk Festival, look for us on the side of the road.

As an aside, the birdie maternity ward is back in business. Every summer, it seems that a certain dove likes to lay eggs in our hanging flower baskets. It’s actually kind of cool to watch, as she seems to be a very calm bird. Hope I can get some pictures of the hatchlings this year.

Mom keeping an eye on things


(Beep… Beep… Beep…)

Yes, that is the sound you used to hear as I would exit my erstwhile office and full-time dumping ground. It was where junk mail went to molder. Notice I said “Used to…”

See, in the five years that we’ve occupied this house, I’ve done a lot to it. I’ve finished the basement, replaced the fence, rebuilt the guest room, built the Nerd Lair, etc. I always seemed to neglect my office. Not because I had any particular desire to see if junk mail mated and reproduced in the light of the full moon (it does), but just a case of procrastination. Seems both The Management and I are guilty of this. I just find it hard to get motivated to do something mundane, like take a shovel and see if I can find the floor in that room.

It all started on move in day. This became one of the spots to dump stuff that we weren’t sure we knew where we wanted it. This laid the seeds. I kept a paper shredder up there to dispose of unwanted paperwork and I would take the junk mail up to be shredded. I just never got around to the shredding. So stuff would be piling up and we’d get company. The office became the dumping ground for stuff that we didn’t really know where to put but it needed to be but had to be away so our friends and family didn’t think we were complete and utter slobs.

Not quite that bad, but could be without an intervention.

It got to the point that I couldn’t really reach my computer anymore, so I began using the Management’s on a regular basis. I sold that computer and that left the Giant Corner Computer Desk from Hell as yet another place to pile things upon. It is my desire to sell the aforementioned Desk from Hell as A) I no longer keep a desktop in that room; and B) I never had a corner in the room large enough to fit the aforementioned Desk from Hell. There’s a window, a door or a closet.

Since I set upon the course to sell the desk, I had to first find it. I’m exaggerating, but not by much. That translated into a full-scale excavation effort to rival the Panama Canal. The Management always claims she’d like a dumpster. I’m more of a flamethrower fan myself, but that’s beside the point. Through digging all sorts of old papers out of the closet, including BJ’s coupons from 2008 and a reminder card to get the driveway resealed that’s two years old, I’ve been able to find some cool stuff that has gone missing. I even found my old high school cap and gown, which there’s no way I’d fit in. I found some character sketches that The Management and I made at the Art of Disney Animation attraction, as well as a certificate marking our fourth wedding anniversary that was provided to us when we were named Family of the Day at the American Adventure pavilion back in 2008.

I’ve found instruction books and warranty certificates, electronics boxes, extension cords, coupons, even some cash ($0.87, to be exact). And the process is still ongoing. I’ve shredded enough paper to fill six garbage bags and there’s still more to be done.

I’m taking this as one of my small steps toward a better quality of life. If I can change one small thing about myself, then other small changes will follow. Pretty soon this will add up to big, positive changes. If I can make this work, then I will have no problems making more lifestyle changes. Maybe it would be nice to fit in that graduation gown again… after all, I wasn’t always as large as I am.

The moral of the story is this: If you have a room filled with enough shit that there’s a chance you might find Jimmy Hoffa, you might want to consider cleaning it up. You spent a lot of money on nice floor coverings, might be nice to actually see it from time to time. If you are a shredder fan, don’t wait years to attack the shredding pile. Do it more frequently before those innumerable credit card offers start getting busy and spawning smaller offers. Be dispassionate. If you haven’t missed it in five years, chances are you can probably sell it, donate it, or dispose of it. This way you won’t ever have to hear your spouse, domestic partner, mom or whoever describe you as “housekeeping challenged.” Plus, dumpster rental ain’t cheap.

So, it’s heading into summer yard sale season. I’ve been involved with yard sales and flea markets for years. Usually grudgingly. I took that attitude from my dad who used to claim that his role was strictly transport. Well, that and loading/unloading. And foraging for lunch as my mom would sell anything that wasn’t nailed down. Happy meal toys? Sell. Fresh cut flowers? Sell. First born male child? Keep, but I’m sure there were times she would wonder what she could get for me. Back in those days, I would be a buyer. I’d take my allowance money and wander around, one time returning with a crappy Kodak 110 camera, another time with a US Air Force T-shirt that was about 27 sizes too large for me. These were just a few of the “highlights” that I would bring back home. Inevitably, the aforementioned crap would wind up being sold the next time around.

Other than my buying excursions, I hated the flea market scene. I hated the collectors and dealers who would be poking through your stuff before you could even finish unpacking it. I remember vividly one time, some grizzled old goat muttering, “You have any tools?” and my dad looking him straight in the eye and saying, “You want tools? Go to Sears.” I think that the shamelessness of these people offended me even as a kid. I’m all in favor of making a good deal, but there should be an element of fairness. You know, if I’m selling a DVD that’s still in the shrink wrap and asking a buck, don’t try to get me down to a quarter. That’s just insulting. And, for the love of God, don’t be some damn cheap that you’ll try to shoplift.

Anyway, my attitude has softened as my years have advanced. I no longer see the yard sale as a fate worse than the death of a thousand cuts, but rather a chance to get somebody to take something I don’t want and would get rid of anyway, with the added bonus of a little extra scratch in the coffers. Plus, it saves me the trouble of having to dispose of stuff myself. If we can make $50 or so, tax-free, well, that’s worth a few hours dealing with the clientele. At least here in Cow Country. See, while we have the cheap bastards, we get a decent smattering of Amish and Mennonites. They buy and are usually very fair with their offers. Also, they don’t try to abscond with a 25 cent stuffed animal.

So, I’m off to cull through the wreckage that I call an office. The sale is in just over a week, followed by our remote sale in the bustling metropolis of Blandon, PA the weekend after Independence Day. I know I’ll be selling a corner computer desk and a nice kitchen prep/side table, not to mention whatever electronics I have to unload, some PC games, and clothing. If you’re in Cow Country on June 9, check out the neighborhood sale in Bradford Run, located two blocks from Farmdale Elementary School off of Prospect Road. Remember, in the words of The Management, everything has a price and everything is negotiable.

Happy shopping!