Thursday, August 28, 2008


"Give away Love Seat. Call me."

When I was a child, my mom would always lay these weird guilt trips on me that involved assigning emotions to inanimate objects. Like “That last strawberry is going to be so sad if you don’t eat it,” or “Do you think your bike likes being left out in the cold rain like that?”

Maybe that’s why I feel really bad for this poor love seat. Having served its purpose with humility and quiet dignity, it’s now being cast aside with little more than a Neanderthalic grunt.

Perhaps inspired by Ben’s post about his imagined last days, I’m compelled to offer more to this love seat than a crudely written classified, if only through the magic of Photoshop.

Love Seat, how about you and me go see the sunset in Maui?

Then we can jet back to the mainland and have dinner at Spago. Have you been there before? Neither have I.

Wow, that was good. Even better than I expected. God, how many bottles of wine did we drink? Did we really polish off four? Just between the two of us? Well, what now? What? You want to go to a strip club? Well... okay, sure!

Whoa. I’ve never been to a strip club before either. There’s some mad bitchez up in here! Don’t let that blonde one sit on you, okay? She looks like trouble. Hoo boy, I feel kind of dizzy. Did she slip something into our drinks? Oh well. What now? The 1893 World’s Fair you say? Let’s go!

Oh man. What time is it? Is that the sun rising?

Oh god. What have we done? Who the hell are they? Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


"I would like to have someone pick this up tonight between 6:00 - 9:00 pm."

I like the tone of this - confident, insistent even. An imperative, a command. "I know you're all going to be knocking down my door, but there is a condition I'm really going to need you to satisfy, 'kay?" It appears to be pure wishful thinking to me, though. I would like to be a werebutterly - turning into a butterfly for half an hour or so on every warm, windless, low-humidity day in my neighborhood. But it never seems to happen.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Unicorn Pictures (Framed)

Sadly, the picture was not worth reposting. Suffice it to say that there is someone out there with:





unicorn picture.

Now you know that when you're walking around, passing people on the sidewalk, every one is a possible unicorn cultist. A little suspicion is a useful traveling companion.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vintage Chair

"Needs TLC but still very beautiful."

TLC? I had no idea that meant "Treated Like a Corpse." But that's what this chair needs. It's dead and gone. Have some respect.

I'm also not sure where the beauty is to be found. Perhaps in the courage the chair showed enduring decades of seating someone wearing pants made of sandpaper.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Three very large batteries

"may not hold charge. each weights about 100 lbs like golf cart battery."

So . . . do I have this right?

1. They have a remarkably limited possible set of applications.
2. They are possibly inoperative.
3. They are, to be kind, unwieldy.
4. Oh, and hey! Hazardous waste! w00t!

You're another one of those people looking for free trash hauling, aren't you? You're not going to fool me this time!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Christian Novels

"So we can share with more than one family, please do not ask for everything."

Yeah, share the wealth for Christ's sake. Note that this post was up weeks ago, with the same list of titles. Doesn't look like there's a mad rush on these, after all.

Titles include (with added subtitles):

The Brethren. Lewis.
Not the One About the Supreme Court

Retribution. Ingermanson.
God's Go-to Strategy

The Sweetbriar Bride. Wilbee.
You're Expecting a Romance, You'll Get Moralizing

The Sound of the Trumpet. Hill.
It Blew, We Knew, It's True. Join Our Crew.

Blue Mist on the Danube. Fell.
Will Destroy Secular Europe.

Bamboo and Lace. Wick.
Jesus lives in the East as Well.

A Promise for Tomorrow. Pella/Peterson.
Makes Up for All the Crap You Deal With Today

The Confession. Lewis.
Christian Novels Can Titillate, Too.

The Rose Legacy. Heitzmann.
Intrigue Through Arcane Apocrypha

Gods & Kings. Austin.
Just Kidding About That Plural Thing, God

Brothers of the Outlaw Trail. 4 authors. 4 stories of the wild west.
Don't Worry, Outlaws and "Wild"-ness Will Be Discredited

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hot Tub

We've talked about hot tubs before, but they continue to appear at such a dramatic rate, that more commentary seems appropriate.

First, have a look at this one. You know the phrase "you like sausage, but you don't want to see it being made"? Well, that's what this makes me think of. Hot tub? I think pleasantly scalding water and vibrant bubbles. Please don't make me think of pipes, ducts and insulation. It ruins the mood. And hot tubs are all about mood.

More important, when you go on to Free Stuff, there are things you expect to see. Everyone in the U.S. has multiple chairs at home. Everyone has a stove. Everyone has . . . you get the idea. But what don't most people have? A hot tub. To have a hot tub, you need things like a single family home, some disposable income, and a strong fondness for the 70's. It is a relative rarity (I know one couple who has one). So you'd expect the ratio of chair to hot tub to be 2000 to 1. But it really isn't. Unscientifically, I'd say 50 to 1. People are desperate to unload hot tubs.

Given the rarity and given the effort it takes to get a hot tub in the first place, you would think they would be cherished by their owners. Prized possessions. Heirlooms, even. But given how many hot tubs are being given away every single day, they must be some sort of terrible white elephant. Children must be drowning in them, or they must put utility bills into four figures, or the neighbors must break in, forcing you to kick them out once a week. Something is terribly wrong with hot tubs. Beware of hot tubs. The Free Stuff section has warned you.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vogue Magazine, 2 Issues

2 issues of Vogue magazine:
* Sarah Jessica Parker on cover, mint condition, Sept 2005
* Madonna on cover, Aug 2005

I received a couple magazines in the mail yesterday. I got the alumni magazine my alma mater puts out from time to time (bi-monthly? quarterly? I just don't pay attention). I also received an industry rag I get every month as part of my professional life. I looked them over ("what are other members of the '93 class doing?" "what's the latest time-saving software I need?"), and I did what everyone, everywhere, does every time: I put them in the recycling bin. It is the natural end of the short lifecycle of the magazine. It does its glossy, informative job, then goes back to the beginning. They are not novels. They are not treatises. They are magazines, disposable and disposed without a second thought.

Is this the best use of a magazine? Probably not. They say "reuse, don't recycle," because recycling takes energy, and just isn't that efficient. So it's better, for example, to use that spaghetti jar to store rice than it is to throw it in with the old beer cans. From that perspective, it makes sense to reuse magazines. Don't recycle, instead, let the paper fall in other hands, let others read the words it contains, let it live on forever.

And indeed we do that with some magazines. We keep Readymade handy in a little magazine box, in case we ever get around to making that chair out of child's car seat and the remains of a pair of bicycles. We have a whole set of them, not in any particular order, but we know we may have cause to go back to them. They're a reference.

Which brings us to two three-year-old issues of Vogue magazine. They probably should have gone in the recycling three years plus one month ago. But this poster has held on tight, guarding the valuable tips and advertising contained in each. Not a collection of Vogues, mind you, just two, from a whirlwind romance with the magazine the poster had in late summer 2005. And for some reason, three years later, the bloom is off the rose. The Vogues are taken off the shelf, removed from their position of honor. But they can't just go in the recycling, not these Vogues. They must live on.

So time is put in taking pictures of the covers,* posting on craigslist, and waiting for responses. This poster is willing to take this time and endure the prospective discomfort of interacting with strangers, just to make sure these Vogues live on.

Vogue poster, no one wants two three-year-old issues of Vogue. Would you drive somewhere for a couple of old magazines someone found while they were cleaning the house? Even if someone did want them, the degree of want would never be sufficient to make them willing to leave home to go get them from you.

*This, I believe, is the first time Vintage Microwave has used italics and bold simultaneously. That should let you know how very strange we find it that the poster put in time taking pictures of the covers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

4 Medical Lounges

Looking at this item, it's hard to see how it could have any possible use outside a medical office of some kind. But there can't be a doctor in the world who would be willing to allow it in the door. "I really could use a medical lounge for exams, but I don't want my patients to be infected by this thing." Maybe some back-alley, small-time criminal doctor? You know, the one in the movies who smokes under the light of a single bulb while removing a bullet from the stick-up man's shoulder? Maybe he could use it. But are there really four of those practitioners nearby?

Maybe a Burning Man medical office will take them.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cinder Block

"Its free, and maybe someone can use it for something fun."

Yippee! Boy do I have fun plans for this! I'm going to invent a game called Block Party. The players will . . . do something . . . with this . . . block. Maybe there will be some kind of tag involved? No, no running, someone might get hurt. Anyhow, I'll come up with something, I'm not letting a rare chance like this get away. I smell fun!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Peterson's Catholic High School Entrance Exam Book

"If your child is planning to take the Catholic High School exam in Jan. This is a great book for practicing the exams."

Sample questions:

Q1: Who is God?

a) A giant white guy with a long, flowing beard
b) A disembodied presence inextricable from everything in the universe
c) A woman named Gaia, often depicted wearing leaves and various other natural objects
d) A multi-armed character with an unpronounceable name

Answer: a - bingo, you're in.

If you answered b, we wish you luck at a small private school that doesn't assign grades, but regularly celebrates your personhood.

If you answered c, your mother would feel bad you weren't in public school - it just wouldn't work out.

If you answered d, well, your people have private schools of their own, don't they?

Q6: Resolved - Jesus is awesome. Why?

a) Turned water into wine, etc.
b) Wore toga-style thing, nice beard, long hair
c) Loves his brothers, peace, and the meek
d) Jesus is my brother's name

Answer: A, yet again. Here at Catholic School, we call undocumentable nifty tricks "miracles" and value them above pretty much everything else.

If you answered b, that's a close second, we dig that stuff, too. In any event, you'll do well at college, on fraternity row.

If you answered c, you've misunderstood the whole Jesus thing. Late era thinking really discounts this side of him. That's for the Unitarians. They don't have schools, but they do have the meek thing down.

Was d your answer? Call us again when your jurisdiction offers school vouchers.

Q14: The Holy Trinity consists of:

a) Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Boston College
b) Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish
c) The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit
d) All of the above

Answer: d. You are entering not only a school, or a religion, but an entire culture. It may seem as though a "trinity" could not contain nine elements, but that is one of God's mysterious ways, as revealed through the Church, by way of headmaster the Reverend Monsignor Flannery.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Railroad Ties

Our Nashville correspondent refers us to:

"6 or 8 large RR ties, they are anchored with steel rods to the ground and each other so you must be able to pry them apart as well as lift them. I would say you need a good truck with a wench or something like that. Don't even think about coming by yourself. They are extremely H E A V Y. It will take two very strong people to load them. Write me with your questions and your plan."

Dear Railroad Tie Poster:

You request that I write with questions and plan. First, a comment (I know, I'm already breaking the rules). I know women who, when asked their dress size, will say "6 or 8." It's a reasonable response - different companies fit things differently, weight fluctuates, some things look better tighter or looser. In short, there are variables. There are no variables, however, in the number of railroad ties you have. Is it 6? Or 8? Or maybe 7? Just do the count.

On to questions. Why on earth would I want 6 or 8 railroad ties? Even if I did, can you imagine me wanting them enough to go through the twelve labors of Hercules you appear to be prescribing? How much do you think it would cost me to put together the team of giants and/or leverage experts required to liberate these ties?

And again, before I do anything, I would really like to have some idea of why I'm doing this. What awesome project can I do with them? Start the world's shortest railroad? Make my yard the neighborhood eyesore? Dead-end my street?

My plan - wish you luck dealing with your railroad ties yourself, request copies of the bills you incur disposing of them, just out of curiosity.