Friday, October 31, 2008

Vintage Microwave Halloween Safety Tips

To help you stay safe on this scary holiday, here are a few helpful tips from your friends at Vintage Microwave.

• Consider making your own costume from things found around the house. Store-bought costumes are often constructed from cheap, flammable materials, and free ones found on the Internet can be, well, really ugly:

"Witch costume. Free, or will trade for hangers."

• Stay in well-lighted areas to avoid dangerous people/condemned play structures:

“You need to put a sealer on and replace four treated 2x4s.”

• If you do find yourself in a poorly lit area, keep an eye out for anyone lying in wait to steal your candy or worse:

“It is sitting in my driveway, waiting for you.”

• And if you find yourself running to escape a toilet, take a lesson from every zombie flick ever made and don’t run upstairs to hide, lest you look out the window and find an entire swarm of them waiting for you below:

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Custom designed handmade coffee table

It's about time something artisanal and unique should arrive on the Free Stuff section. Something created by the hand of someone touched by greatness - there's no other way to say it. Someone who, moved by a desire to make the world that tiny bit better, is willing to simply give away his masterful handiwork. A Custom. Designed. Handmade. Coffee table.

"No remuneration necessary. Your undisguisable gratitude is more than payment enough. I know . . . I'm welling up, too. You're right, this is a great moment demonstrating man's humanity to man. Perhaps the harmonic convergence is finally taking place."

"It is custom. One of a very special kind. I designed it, using not only CAD tools, but also skills passed down through many generations of my family. An accumulated knowledge of craft and beauty spanning hundreds of years. Of course, it's handmade. I suspect no other hands could have delivered so great a gift. In my less modest moments, I consider myself midwife to the muses. Here, take it:

Drum Shell

"Email communication only, please."

What were the other possible means of communicating with you, drum shell poster? Your post contains the craigslist auto-anon e-mail address, and nothing else - because that's all you put there. Mission accomplished. No emphatic further assertions required. You cleverly left out your physical address. You omitted your phone number. Done! You're safe. We can't send a pigeon your way, or a message in a bottle. You give e-mail. We have e-mail. E-mail it is.

What kinds of tricks do you suspect we have up our sleeves? It's the fillings, isn't it? You want us to stop sending pick-up requests through your molars. Well, OK, I guess, but that's my preferred means of communication.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Couch Duo

A duo, but not a particularly dynamic one.

“Get me another Bud from the fridge, ‘K?”

“aww, man, I got the last one, you go get it. I wanna see what the next shape is - this Hole in the Wall show is awesome. Look! That dude just fell in the water!”

“Man, I bought the 18 pack, you need to go get me one.”

“I went and picked it up. ‘I buy, you fly’ is a one-shot deal. I don’t need to keep ‘flying.’”

“I say you do.”

“Fine. Tell me what’s happening while I’m in the kitchen.”

“The shape is like that ‘Artist Formerly Known as Prince’ symbol. It’s moving pretty fast. Oooh, man, he just got swept into the pool!”

“Dammit! I wanted to see that.”


Enjoy your new couch duo. Don’t take their TV show recommendations.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Industrial weaving cones

"Many plastic 12" x 2" tapered cones from industrial weaving. Good for art project, Halloween costume... ???

Pick up M-F 9-5. They are heavy so you will need a vehicle."

Possible Halloween costumes to make out of industrial weaving cones:

• Industrial loom
• Haunted industrial loom
• Slutty industrial loom

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Whenever these are given away, I feel like I'm reading a wordless, anonymous obituary.

This model is apparently called a "Nova Cruiser," which seems almost cruel. No one using this believes they are "cruising," and they certainly don't feel particularly "nova."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Buncha Salt

"I have about 50 of these bags of salt packets. Im in sort of a bind, so i need someone to come pick these up NOW.


If you can already see the DEA walking up your front steps from the barely-parted curtains of your upstairs bedroom window, I don’t think that a posting on Free Stuff is the best way to get rid of your “salt.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Children's Playhouse

“Huge Free Children's Playhouse. PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL ME IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO A CRANE TO LIFT THIS OVER THE BRICK WALL. If you can haul it away, you can have it!! Just needs a little TLC!!”

Another Free Stuff poster chasing a particularly unachievable dream. “Access to a crane”? Come on. I doubt I could even come up with access to an engine hoist, much less a CRANE. Impossibility aside, imagine the tricked-out playhouse one could commission with the money it would take to get a crane, plus the knowledgeable person (or persons), permits, and insurance required to operate one.

And given
the recent spate of disasters, we here at Vintage Microwave believe America to be standing on the precipice of a national War on Cranes. With that in mind, we find it unlikely that anyone could walk into their local crane-rental office looking to “relocate a playhouse” without finding themselves on the terrorist watch list.

100+ Cell Phone Chargers!

"...mostly for Motorolla phones. Perhaps they would make an interesting craft project or one could cover an art car with them."

Living in Berkeley, we’ve seen some extraordinarily ill-conceived art cars (if you can ever call an art car anything but). Old station wagons plastered with underwear, office supplies, or other junk, hatchbacks with plastic animals haphazardly glued to (and falling from) every surface, all manner of vehicles upholstered with Astroturf, and the classic let’s-paint-flowers/anti-establishment platitudes/a portrait of Bob Marley-on-this-bus-with-acryllic-paint-so-a-couple-years-from-now-it-will-be-a-rolling-pile-of-rust. In short, aside from being eyesores that blight our community, they are a colossal waste of human energy.

That said, even we find this person’s suggestion a slap in the face to the art car.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Antique Couch

“I got this couch off craigslist, thinking I was going to get it redone, and never had the time. It was left out in the weather for sometime before I got it......"

This post comes from Austin Craigslist, and judging by the pictures, “was left out in the weather for sometime [sic]” must mean at least one, if not all, of the following:

…was used as part of the armadillo enclosure at the Austin Zoo since its founding in 1990.

…was tragically caught in the crossfire of the Charles Whitman tower shootings at the University of Texas, and subsequently moved into a particularly unsavory frat house.

…was severely damaged during the Colorado River flood of 1900, as well as exposed to every other rainstorm in the ensuing 108 years.

…was inside the General Land Office Building during the
Texas Archive War of 1842 where it took a cannon blast at close range, then laid low until 1987 when it was moved to the backyard of Stubbs BBQ to act as an ashtray. It currently holds the title of Most Gruesomely Deteriorated Inanimate Object in Austin, followed distantly by Willie Nelson’s guitar and Matthew McConaughey’s brain.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Christian T-Shirts

"All shirts are in excellent condition and are men's size 2XL, except where noted.

The first has TGIF (Thank God I'm Forgiven), with 1 John 1:9 written out. White background.

The second has 3 nails and says, "Driven. Not by nails, by His love." It has John 15:13 written out, on a gray-blue background.

The third has a skeleton, praying on its knees. It says, "Don't Wait" and has Romans 14:11 written out, on a black background.

Number five says a lot! The front has a hand nailed to a cross, with the words, "When the hammer hit the nail......." plus 1 Corinthians 15:3 written out. The back continues with the words, "....all hell broke loose." Revelation 1:18 is written over a background of red flames, on a black background.

Number six has an empty cross with a hole on the side, with blood dripping from it. It says, "He left you a message, carved in a tree......He loves you. That's the message." Men's size large. Blue-gray background."


In a Vintage Microwave first, I really have nothing to add. OK, one thing - Christian t-shirts sound an awful lot like a death metal band's concert shirts. OK, OK, one more - which of the following do you suppose the poster has lost? (1) Weight, (2) his faith in Jesus, or (3) his taste for ultraviolence? And finally, what happened to t-shirt number four?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


"I don't really know how to describe it"

Let me help. You could go simple, with, say, "ugly." Or get a little dramatic, calling it a "formica monstrosity." Perhaps use a metaphor - "this nightstand is my failure to reach beyond my grasp." A nice simile might be "like a neverending broadcast of 'Crossing Jordan' reruns." In the end, I'd probably go with "it's the nightstand equivalent of a small Rust Belt city: unattractive, decrepit, and generally undesirable."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ice chest

"Medium-small Ice chest, blue, condition unknown"

That's right, condition unknown. I'm not getting near that thing. It's out there. In the garage. I remember seeing it out of the corner of my eye, but I didn't want to get too close. You don't know what that ice chest is capable of. Condition unknown, but I know my fear of it well. You want to know if it still has a lid? You want to know if the plug at the bottom is still there? You want to know if a feral cat has given birth to multiple litters in it? Find out for yourself.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


"About a year ago, we had a fire in our parking area and my moped was burned pretty badly. The fire caused everything non-metal to burn off, the gearbox cover to partially melt, and the rest of the metal to become rusty."

Read. Look at picture. Read again. Look at picture again. Consider everything you know about mechanics, the properties of metal, the nature of rust. Look at picture again. Reflect on how many hours there are in a day, and how many you have free to devote to your moped repair hobby. Assess what you might do with the melted, rusting carcass of a former moped. Conclude that of all the things on the free stuff section, this is the one you want least.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Artistic Lamps

"A piece of Americana! Vintage artisan styled lamps perfect for the collector."

Another noble effort to sell me on your crap. I do respond to the sort of keywords you're employing.

"Artistic"? Sounds great! But is it true? Teh interwebs tells me that one definition of "artistic" is "satisfying aesthetic standards and sensibilities." I have a wide range of friends, colleagues, associates, and accomplices. Hell, maybe even a few tastemakers fill their ranks. None of their aesthetic standards or sensibilities would be satisfied by these. Affronted? Yes. Made uncomfortable? For sure. But satisfied? Never. These are not artistic.

Maybe they're "Americana"! Do you think these lamps are "characteristic of American history or culture"? If so, you hate America. I am not interested in the opinions of terrorists. Begone. These are not Americana.

But, OK, "vintage," maybe they are vintage. My understanding of that is simply "kinda old." I remember containers/cans like that being around in the early Eighties. I've seen the graphic painted on them. If the early Eighties is vintage, all is lost. That aside, I have just learned "Vintage" is a 2003 album by Michael Bolton. So even if you think these are kinda old, you have to agree, they are not a Michael Bolton album.

Not artistic. Not Americana. Not vintage. Is there anything about this post that rings true? Are they "artisan styled"? Well, an "artisan" is a "skilled manual craftsperson." Take a good look at those lamps. Actually, I take that back. Take a glance at them - this doesn't take concentration. What kind of "skill" did that lampshade with the buttons take? I accept that my dog could not have put it together. And perhaps an art-inclined gorilla might not have nailed it. But then, neither did the asserted "artisan" - "purple here, red there, YELLOW! Tilt the shade. AHH!"

But my critique is misguided. It's for collectors. Somewhere out there, someone collects everything . . . including the worst possible examples of the expenditure of human energy.