Leader Board Ad

Sunday, November 24, 2013

How To Find the Best Estate Sales (with video)

If you have been estate sale'ing before you know that finding the best one is a combination of luck and strategy. You really need to try different things to find out which is best for you.

 But How?

I had that very problem this weekend. Despite the fact that we are near the holiday season, there was no shortage of sales. Saturday morning found me considering which of my methods would get me to the best sale.

!) Tipsters - Odds are you know someone who is up even earlier than you on the weekend and knows where the good sales are. I have several friends, who will give me some leads – as long as we aren’t searching for the same items.

2) The classified ads - Despite the death of this cash cow of print media, many estate sale services and members of the public still list their ads here. I will often cross check with other sources to confirm a sale’s worthiness.

3) The Internet - There are many national and regional sites that will allow you to search based on preference and location. EstateSales.org, and Gsalr.com will both send email alerts if you register. My go-to site is Nysales.net, which covers much of Connecticut and New York in an easy to read list.

I used my favorite website this weekend and found a cool dig in an old home in a very unique part of Connecticut's waterfront properties. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see one of these homes.
Watch the video I produced below and you will see what I mean.

I had good luck this weekend because I relied upon a website that list's sales in my 2-state region as soon as they are posted. This may not work for you, and you may have found that sometimes the best method is no method. You just have to get in the car and look around and see what you find.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Video Dig Report: What's inside that 3+ Million Dollar Estate?

Not every sale is going to have what I am looking for, but if I don't look, I will never know. That's what I found yesterday when I drove into the Northern part of one of the wealthiest communities in the nation. New Canaan, CT has a large number of palatial homes, some are of a size that boggles my mind. When given the opportunity to see inside one of them, I will go.

Rather than write about what I saw, I set my still camera to record and filed this video update:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blast from the Cover Art Past #2 ( Artist, Rea Irvin)

Here is another New Yorker cover from 1947.  This one drawn by Rea Irvin, who helped start the magazine. He thought the magazine would fold after a few issues. He would go on to be one of the magazine's iconic illustrators and art editors.  He would eventually create 169 covers for the publication.

This is one of my favorites.
You can read more about Rea Irvin here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Found Photo: Geisha or Kabuki Theatre?

Here is a mystery. This image came out of a scrapbook somewhere in it's past so the story is lost. However, it seems to depict either a geisha house or a Kabuki Theater troop possibly from the 40's or 50's. Take a look at the image.
OK, now here is where I need your worldly skills - Who will take a stab at the Japanese characters below? I am not even sure I have this in the right orientation.
 Please leave your translation in the comments. Thanks!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Guest Author, Bob Deakin Returns with "Simple Minds = Complicated Sale"

Simple Minds featuring Jim Kerr (front) on lead vocal and Mel Gaynor (right) on drums
"Simple Minds" By Bob Deakin

Homeowner John Gillespie received a disturbing knock on his door this past Friday evening. The knuckles doing the knocking belonged to Rob Wixted, an attendee of Gillespie's tag sale the previous weekend. Turns out Wixted wasn't happy with his purchase at the sale – an old VHS tape of rock band Simple Minds from the early 1990s.

The videotape is from a 1992 concert shortly after the band's Real Life album release and features original members with the exception of drummer Mel Gaynor, who’d left the band for a brief spell during that tour.

Therein lies the problem.

Turns out Wixted's fixation with Simple Minds begins and ends with the drummer, and he was none too impressed with Gaynor’s replacement.

“If you buy a Beatles album would you expect to hear Ringo Starr playing the drums?” he asked Gillespie rhetorically, from his doorstep. “Sure, Jim Kerr’s lead vocals were great on the tape but Simple Minds is about the symbiotic fusion of art and sound and that doesn’t happen without Mel Gaynor on drums.”

“I didn’t produce the f…ing album,” Gillespie responded indignantly. “I’ve never even watched it. I just had the thing lying around and sold it at my tag sale. Who the hell is Mel Gaynor?”

“Who is Mel Gaynor?” Wixted responds with eyebrows raised above his hairline as he glances to and fro. “He only played the best drum fill in rock history.”

Mel Gaynor on drums in the 90s

Gillespie pauses then suddenly and surprisingly knows exactly the fill to which Wixted refers; the pseudo-march, reverb-laden drum fill late in Simple Minds’ biggest hit, Don’t You (Forget About Me).

“Oh yeah,” he says excitedly. “You mean that fill followed by all the la la las.”

“Duh… Yeah… That’s the one,” Wixted responds sarcastically.

“Love the way he does that roll thing then clangs on the cymbal really loud for the rest of the song,” Gillespie exhorts.

“It’s actually 32nd notes he plays on the snare with syncopated open hi-hat hits followed by 8th notes on the off-beats of the closed hat combined with down beats on the ride,” Wixted declares. “Nobody else could have played that fill and it makes the song, the band and the decade.”

“It makes their career,” Gillespie responds with a laugh. “That’s the only thing they ever did and it’s only famous because it was in The Breakfast Club movie.

At that moment a pall descends over the front porch as Wixted takes a step back in horror at what he has just heard: a hard slap in the face of his favorite band.

“Who are you!” Wixted utters in disgust, his voice quivering with revulsion. “And how dare you say that about the quintessential band of the eighties?”

Gillespie then steadies himself, lifts his head and holds his ground.

“Quintessential band of the eighties?” he asks, pompously, before launching into an impromptu critique of several of the bands lesser hits. “Let’s see, Sanctify Yourself – not exactly Stairway To Heaven. Alive & Kicking…”

Gillespie chuckles as he continues to ridicule the band and the homely looks of the lead singer.


At that, Gillespie pulls out his wallet, peels out a dollar bill and hands it to Wixted, refunding his money for the purchase of the tape before politely bidding him adieu.

“And don’t you,” he pauses, “forget about me.”

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chain-driven, SteamPunk, Hand-held Mystery!

It's fun to go to a garage sale or estate sale and buy a box of junk, just to see what's inside. Most often all I've done is purchased someone's trash and paid them so I could throw it out. You might wonder what sense there is in that, until you find something you've never seen before.

Can you guess this gadget from the first look? I know someone can. Still stumped? Let's try another view.

Certainly there are gears and an axle, but what's it turning?
 Here's the reverse. Some copper pieces and what could be a single magnet arched over the top. More pictures? Sure.

The coloring is a little different due to my experiments using a flash. I didn't show a picture of the wire wrapped armature that spins around the axle. So, it looks like it was meant to create a charge, but for what device exactly, and what year?   If you have questions or guesses, please leave them i the comments. I gotta know.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Costumes were different in the 1940's

I saw these clippings from 40's era magazines and it made me wonder what Halloween was like 70 years ago.

 The games were different too.