Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thomas Register 2003 Full Set

So I read the subject line and think, "what the huh?" Click

I have a complete set of Thomas Register of American Manufacturers 2003.

So something that lists companies? I don't know what I'd do with this, but I suppose I could start junk mailing people (I'm always hoping the Free Stuff section will give me insight into possible new professions, based on crap people no longer need). 2003, though? Doesn't a lot happen in five years? I mean, I don't want to send my circulars to a Production Manager who was fired 3 years ago. Sure, it's free, but it might end up costing a lot in wasted postage: "Return to sender -

does not exist at the address provided."

Also known as the "big green books" and "Thomas Registry", is a multi-volume directory of industrial product information covering 650,000 distributors, manufacturers and service companies within 67,000-plus industrial categories.

Well, I am a sucker for anything with a nickname - I wouldn't care about Frank Thomas if he weren't called "The Big Hurt." So, OK, you still have my attention. I can see myself saying, "let me check the 'big green books;' I'll get back to you."

It was first published in 1898 by Harvey Mark Thomas as Hardware and Kindred Trades.

Wait, this is beginning to feel like a hard sell. An appeal to history? Am I dishonoring 110 years of company-name-publishing if I don't take this? Making me feel bad isn't helping your cause. I'm getting indignant. Actually, maybe it's working. If this has been good enough to get nicknames and last 110 years, I'm kind of a dick if I don't take it.

Thomas Publishing Company, LLC of New York City has been privately-held since its inception.

Bang! Sold, for zero dollars! Yes, I was on the fence, but LLC's are my favorite business entity, and I'm a huge fan of business endeavors that are untraded on major exchanges. I really have no choice. Look out,

you've got mail!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


"good condition"

If this is good condition, what would bad condition be? Wait, let me guess. It would look something like this:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tandy 1000

"w/ original monitor and dot matrix printer come and get it tired of it in my apartment, this is all original gear from back in the day"

A vintage computer, like vintage microwave, is just inconceivable as a desire (outside of a nostalgic yearning to play some game like Pong, but even then).

Let me tell you about the specs of the mighty Tandy 1000. It came with 128k memory. Where are we these days? 2 or 3 gigabytes? It operated at 4.77 Mhz. Again, compare to the multi-gigahertz world we live in today.

What's next? Vintage medicine? "Doc, don't wash your hands, I want you to perform this surgery like in the old days, before they knew what germs were. And just give me a slug of rye, I don't need anesthesia. If I can't pronounce it, I don't need it."

Should I wear vintage lenses in my glasses? "Sure, they're heavy, and aren't within a mile of the right prescription, but if they were good enough for Ben Franklin . . ."

I remember early generation laptops. They were great at the time - they let you erase what you typed without White-Out! But that's really the extent of it. I don't want a vintage computer anymore than I want the local water treatment plant to go "vintage."

Tired of it in your apartment? You don't say.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Girls Gone Wild DVDs

"I have in my possession 5 Girls Gone Wild DVDs that I am giving away for free."

If you have five Girls Gone Wild DVDs, doesn’t that mean you’re kind of a fan of the series? An aficionado? A partisan? You bought one. Then another. And another. All the way to five. You have paid for Joe Francis to buy a few burgers, and he has given you a feast (of some sort) for your eyes.

So why would you get rid of them now?

Did they fail to bring your gay son over to God’s side?
Are you tired of breasts?
Are you just tired of these breasts?
Did you keep buying them hoping the “wild” would one day turn extreme, but you’ve finally given up on the series giving you the girl-on-girl cannibalism you hoped for?
Are they scratched?
Have you finally had it with the shoddy production values?
Did your wife tell you they go or she goes?
Are you upset with how Joe Francis has treated Ashley Dupre?
Have you moved on to the "Women Gone Wild" DVDs?
Have you switched over to Girls Gone Wild on Blu-Ray?
Have you gone blind?
Do you feel misled after going to Daytona Beach for spring break and discovering no one going wild?
Is some sort of “The Ring” thing going on with the discs, and you have to give them to someone to keep naked chicks from materializing out of your television? If so, why would you want to stop that?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


"After cleaning out my desk drawers, I found about 50 coins from countries that are now on the Euro. (France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands). These coins are worthless as currency, but perhaps they would be of use to a belly dancer making a coin bra."

Sure, he could have just posted free worthless coins. I probably wouldn't have commented on that. But he had to go on to suggest a use for those coins, and my mind was blown. Of all the things I might imagine doing with a collection of free coins, making a "coin bra" for a bellydancer is approximately 1,578,770 on the list, after the following:

45 - give to panhandlers who talk on cellphones,* in empty act of largesse

2,286 - sneak into funeral homes, place over the eyes of the dead

10,034 - teach neighborhood squirrels to juggle

196,006 - If there are multiples, play "Concentration" with the faces of deceased political figures in France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands

502, 599 - Create own nation, called Fritsperland; make these fifty coins the national currency; severely restrict immigration

1,578,768 - build five columns of 10 coins each, call it Coinhenge

1,578,771 - Spend 4 years walking through Europe, testing vending machines to see if they will still accept these coins.

*Is this a common phenomenon? There are two local panhandlers who are often on cellphones, which I find pretty brazen. Perhaps I'm just old fashioned, but I want my panhandler to at least give an impression that s/he needs money to survive, not to have the accoutrements of today's active lifestyles. I don't have a cellphone.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Three Futons - update

No surprise here, these have been reposted. This time with a new description: "perfect for Burning Man." The final refuge of the free stuff scoundrel.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

DonJoy Custom Contour Measuring Instrument

"intended use: to determine leg contour measurements for the construction of a DonJoy Custom Brace. Instruction DVD included as well as instruction pamphlet."

Yeah, it took me awhile, too, but then a lightbulb went on in my head, and illuminated my future. I've been looking for a way to go into business for myself, and I've found it - with no initial investment required.*

I am now an itinerant DonJoy Custom Brace fitter. I will have access to the clubhouses of athletes in high school, college, and yes, even the pros. I will be known as "the Brace Man." I may eventually expand into clandestine steroid sales (it can't hurt to dream), but only once I've established a reputation as the guy to see when you need help for your knees.

*Screw you, SMC!

Dresser and mirror

" it is a bit heavy so bring a good team of people that can help you move."

I understand that the choices we make about what is or is not completely valueless are subjective ones. It is possible, I suppose, that someone might be happy to have this. Someone suffering from blindness, for instance, or some sort of traumatic or organic brain damage.

From my perspective, however, instead of asking my "good team of people" to help me take possession of this, I would request that they restrain or disable me, up to the point of mayhem, to make sure it doesn't happen.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Concrete Blocks

"two concrete blocks with chains for some art project"

Great big "yikes!" here, folks. What kind of "art project" was the poster up to? And is he posting this from a computer in the prison library?

"Sure, 'art project."'That's what I'll told her anyway. But after her third year chained up out back she started to question the premise of the work. Then the screaming started."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Armchair, cont.

"Comfortable and clean. But it is well worn"

Yesterday, I addressed the "clean" portion of the post. Today, "comfortable."

Can I really be comfortable if I fear contamination? More significantly, can I really be comfortable if I believe my life is of so little value that I should settle for this chair? This chair does not say, “I feel comfortable.” It says, “I am vanquished.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


"Comfortable and clean. But it is well worn"

Clean? There's no way something this ripped-to-shreds has remained clean. The dust mites alone must number in the millions. Add the dust, the invisible-to-the-eye fungi, the old dead skin, and the dormant bacteria, and "clean" is just a random word that has been applied to this chair.

I celebrate the poster's decision to upgrade his decor from flophouse chic. Getting rid of your just-above-homeless furniture is probably one of the twelve steps prescribed by Narcotics Anonymous. But another has to be "stop lying." Clean?

Beds in Berkeley

The students are getting ready to leave, and with that comes mass unloadings of unwieldy materials. Right now there are many futons, mattresses, and box springs available in my town. But whenever I see one, I think of this recent headline and hope they end up in the trash or in a roadside bonfire.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Toshiba T1000

"A very old laptop from the 80s, one of the first laptops."

Remember the old days? When a laptop was just a few scraps of wood and some elbow grease? When it took a master carpenter to create RAM? A steady hand, a level, and a few nails to enable some wicked spreadsheeting? Let's relive those times. We're talking about putting together a barn raising to get this laptop running. But we're not just handing it over to you, English, you have to pitch in. When the young folk get back from rumspringa, we'll get started.

And yes, this is the actual picture

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Well, it's not an Autobot, so it must be a Decepticon.

Barbie Jeep

"It's faded and the two batteries no longer hold a charge"

Well, that spells fun.

"Happy Birthday, Jesse. I wasn't able to land that free Razor scooter, so play with this. Oh, stop crying. It's a boys Barbie Jeep. What do mean it won't go? Use yer damned imagination, and tell your mom I need another beer out here."


This is one of those giveaways whose inherent flaws become apparent with a little context.

Let's say I own a home.

Let's say I have the financial wherewithal to remodel my bathroom dramatically, so that space is made for an additional appliance, and plumbing is rerouted and modified to accommodate it.

Let's say I'm the kind of person who is so obsessed with French mores that I answer the phone with "bonjour," and spend at least a week every year in the same rental in the Marais.

Let us, finally, say I am so equally obsessed with genital cleanliness that a bidet is on my list of absolute-must-haves as I undertake the radical bathroom reconstruction I've undertaken.

In short, I am a hardcore bidet partisan, not a casual bidet hobbyist. There is no such thing as a casual bidet hobbyist. I sing songs about bidets - "oh bidet, the skies were grey, but now you're here to stay, and I'm so happaayyy . . ." I coined a phrase - "Once you go bidet, you never go away.*" I f*cking LOVE bidets. My bathroom remodel is the greatest moment of my life, and I am overpaying the contractor by a factor of 3 to get it done one day earlier.

Given these conditions, is this the bidet I'm going to choose for the project?

* if people look at me puzzled, I will occasionally add ". . . from the bidet."


"Do whatever you want with it!"

A new day has dawned. The shackles are gone. I suffer no restrictions, save the limits of my imagination.

Do. Whatever. I want. With it.

Bring it to Peter's barbecue next week, set it ablaze and toast marshmallows in its oily smoke?

If that's your thing.

Teach it to speak English in order to have conversations which will enable me to learn whether it is as stupid as it is ugly?

If you're patient enough.

Wave it in front of vampires to see if it has the deterrent power of a cross, garlic or holy water?

Nothing's stopping you.

Invite guests over, whom I've been meaning for years to phase out as friends, seat them in it, and accomplish my goal without so much as a "we need to talk . . ."?

No problem.

Banish it from my sight forever?

Do whatever you want with it.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pool Pump

"when you call, i will give the exact address and set it out on the sidewalk. please say what you will be using it for"

Apparently he wants to be sure to keep this out of the wrong hands. He needs to know you won't perform any of the unspeakable acts a pool pump can be used for.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


"works fine"

It's getting to be barbecue season again, and folks are looking to upgrade as the weather warms and outdoor cooking becomes more inviting.

They're also looking for suckers to take out their trash for them. This does not work fine. The bungee cord alone makes that very clear - "You just need to move that a little over . . . DAMMIT, the 300 degree top just slapped against little Jesse. I'll start the car, you scrape his charred skin off the metal." So does the extending food shelf that is clearly inadequate to the task of food shelfing - "don't put the weiners down on tha- aww, not again." Add to that the condition of the top, which looks caked in the dirt and grease of two decades of burgers, and it's conclusive. To be said to "work," a barbecue, at a minimum, must not inspire dread.

I'm applying almost every Vintage Microwave tag to this one.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

neck massager

“11 years old but still works awesome.”

One of my earliest childhood memories is of going to the county fair and discovering, to my utter horror, this type of motorized neck massager being demonstrated among the other as-seen-on-TV–type inventions. I was thoroughly creeped out the very moment I saw it. There was just something so awful about the knobs slowly rotating under the fabric, like a drugged animal trying to escape a garbage bag, or that scene in Ghostbusters when the Gatekeeper’s monster-arms burst out of Sigourney Weaver’s armchair and drag her into her fiery inferno kitchen.

Either way, the creepiest thing by far about this particular neck massager is the stain. I’m not sure which of the only two possible explanations is worse: 1. Eleven years’ worth of someone else’s neck grime, or 2. A neck massage gone terribly, terribly wrong. “Works awesome” indeed.

New Chassis with $300 Watt Power Supply

Yep, that's all it says. What is a "chassis"? Well, it may be "a car's steel framework." Or it may be "the reflecting enclosure housing the ballast and lampholders in a fluorescent luminaire." Perhaps "the metal box that encloses amplifier parts"?

You may also be curious about how much power is provided by a "$300 watt" supply.

But now you're just being greedy.

It's free, you don't need to know what it is. Come and get it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ski Boots, but not for skiing

"I have a large quantity of obsolete ski boots, unsuitable for ski use since either the outer shell is excessively worn or the inner liner is damaged or gummy. Do you have any suggested uses that would keep these from becoming just more landfill? Use as planters has been suggested, but I'm not sure there's a huge market there."

I open the floor, commenters.

Let me begin with: (1) things that burn create heat, (B) obsolete, my ass, for every skier, there is a boot, (3) you have a crabbed, niggardly idea of what "ski use" is, (And another thing) there are ankles that need gummy protection.

Thanks to Tim for the Boston Free Stuff tip.

Tin/Metal/Sheet metal

"Total about 12' x 30', in sheets of aprox. 6 x 6. I think it's like a galvanized sheet metal."

As I consider possible uses for this, only one comes to mind:

I just discovered yesterday.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Three Futons

"Some stains"

Well, we gave it a try, but we just couldn't make it work. With rents what they are in the Bay Area, health insurance premiums, and the damn "living wage" you have to pay everyone, there's just no way to run a successful three-futon opium den anymore. It's all about economies of scale. You have to be a thirty-mattress operation these days, and we just couldn't raise the capital. Also giving away a few hundred books of matches, and some red velvet curtains.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


"Six foot couch for free. Great neutral colors, will match practically anything."

Things I believe this couch will match, or at least provide an objective correlative to: (1) ennui, (2) faint foreboding, (3) clinically recognizable, if not debilitating, depression, (4) irretrievably lost self-esteem.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

elk trophy

"fiancé is moving in and hates it, so it has to go."

Having been a strict vegetarian for well over a decade, and a staunch hater of hunting for much longer than that (Bambi's mom!), I probably understand better than most people your fiancé's hatred of this wall-mounted horror.

That said, it might be kind of nice for her to have someone around the house who, judging by the expression, shares her feelings about the size of your penis.