Box Art

oregon-trail-2-25th-annversary-wooden-box

RT if you didn’t know that Oregon Trail II: 25th Anniversary Limited Edition came in an AWESOME WOODEN CRATE!!

oregon-trail-2-25th-annversary-wooden-box-b-jpg

…Unfortunately, there was no actual game inside; the store was just selling an empty box. And I almost bought it anyway.

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The 8 Strangest Things You Can Buy at My Yard Sale

It’s finally happening: I’m turning the camera around, and focusing on some of the weird stuff that I’m selling at my own yard sale. Hoisting myself by my own petard, as they say! Slipping on my own banana peel! Dropping an anvil on myself! I think the metaphor got away from me…

Anyway as you know we moved, and we did the thing that smart people do: shipped the entirety of our worldly possessions cross-country, and then decided to cull it down a bit, after realizing we couldn’t physically fit the amount of crap we’ve amassed over the years into our new house. (This is probably Lizo’s fault, since I never amass large piles of garbage.) It was either annex our neighbors’ propertywhich they seemed patently unwilling to agree toor have a yard sale of our own.

our-yard-sale

This is what our yard sale looked like right after we’d finished setting it up. For comparison, here’s a shot I took at the end of the day:

our-yard-sale

As you can see, it would be exaggerating to say that business was good. It would also be exaggerating to say that any business happened at all.

We did have one customer, Bob, who was nice enough to give our weird collection of goods a once-over, all the while providing a colorful running commentary. “Those wooden spoons should be good for spankings!” he told me. “Yeahhhhh!!” (The way he said it sounded like he didn’t mean for misbehaving children.)

Then, as he was looking over some recipe books, there was “Vegetarian cooking?? That’s what FOOD eats! Ewwwwww!!” He actually said “eww” like that, like a child discovering belly-button lint. Later, as we were ringing up his purchases: “I’ll take the knives. …I need to go back and get dressed first, though.” (It’s at this point I should mention that he was wearing a pair of rubber overalls, with both of the straps down, and nothing else.) Bob was great. Things got a little awkward though when someone mentioned the Amy Winehouse documentary, and Bob muttered “another dead druggie.”

Oh, Bob.

Bob wasn’t our only customer, but he was one of maybe a dozenmost of which were neighbors who were out walking their dogs and wondering why we had the entire contents of a Sam Goody circa 2002 dumped out on our driveway. We were asked “did you guys advertise?” at least a half-dozen times, with “because I had no idea this was even happening” politely left unspoken. Then around 11:30, we had a freak thunderstorm (the first rain we’ve seen since moving here) and most of our stuff got water-logged. It was not a very good sale.

Where did we go wrong? Well for one, the house we’re renting is on a peninsula with a population smaller than my high school’s graduating class, so any yard sale we had here was doomed to failure. I guess in hindsight, too, I wish I hadn’t called out “early birds”those people who show up before your scheduled start timein my Craigslist ad like I did:

craigslist-ad

Also, our sign didn’t make it through the rain so good.

All-in-all I sort of hate yard sales now, so this is the end of the blog forever.

Okay I lied. Here’s a sampling of some of the weird stuff we tried to sell to Bob!

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A MYSTERY BOX OF OLD MAC SOFTWARE!

mystery-box-of-mac-software

…Okay, this one’s probably going to be a lot less exciting to everyone than previous boxed lots. But hey, it’s still technically a box of games! Or at least, some of it’s games; the rest is old reference materials; old system programs; and old, totally unusable adult software. (…Sorry, I probably should’ve said “grown-up” software there. Boring software? Whatever. Now I own three copies of Quicken Deluxe ’98.)

But man, what a value! It’s hard to believe they were just giving away the whole box for free, isn’t it?!

(They actually had two boxes, but some punk kid heard me asking about them and then grabbed the other one. I HOPE IT WAS FULL OF GARBAGE.)

Let’s dive in! First up:

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This Was a Triumph

portal-hoodie

Wait, what… Is that… No! It is!

IT’S ACTUALLY SOMETHING COOL!!

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Welcome to Yardsaling to Adventure’s SALUTE TO COOL STUFF, running all this week! Because I guess not everything I find is terrible garbage.

Yes, for as much as I enjoy making fun of people trying to sell piles of their hair at yard salesI mean, the reason I go every week isn’t just to make fun of stuff. It’s because sometimes I also find awesome zip-up Portal hoodies that cost $60 at ThinkGeek but only four frickin’ dollars at Goodwill. (For those of you who don’t know me personally, Portal is a videogame that’s near and dear to my heart. To whit, my wife and I made custom Companion Cube shirts and wore them to the zoo the day after  our wedding.)

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The Computer That Thinks It’s a Toy!

I guess I own a Sega Pico now:

sega-pico-1(Fun fact: “I guess I own a Sega Pico now” was the word-for-word reaction of every kid who ever got one of these in the 90’s.)

The thing cost a dollar at a church sale—and was marked down to fifty cents. It looked so sad, just sitting there, hidden underneath a table, behind a bunch of empty boxes and some plastic bags and, uhm…oops, I hope I didn’t just steal this from someone…

I remember seeing the Sega Pico (sorry, it’s pronounced Pico) in stores and thinking “man, that is the weirdest looking thing” and not having any idea how it was supposed to play videogames. I mean, just look at it! Continue reading

Save the Box

pitfall-toy-bizarre-boxes

Oh cool, a boxed version of Pitfall! for Commodore 64, that’ll probably fetch me a few bucks on HOLY CRAP WHAT IS THAT THING ON THE RIGHT.

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GOOD…

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LORD!!

Toy Bizarre is a 1984 old-school platforming videogame about protecting your toy store from wave after wave of evil robots—but what’s WAY more interesting than that is the game’s box, which is supposed to look like a clown doll bursting through a wrapped package to eat your f***ing skin off. Yeah, that “guarantee” you might’ve seen on the left-hand side of the last pic? Not much consoling there: Continue reading

Marathon in a Fanny Pack

You guys. YOU GUYS! I went to 25 freakin’ yardsales yesterday! It was the best. …At least I think it was; I’ll let you know when I’ve worked up the energy to crawl back out of bed. (Honey, when you read this post, could you please bring me some cereal?)

yardsale-mapSelections from the three (?!?!) maps they gave us for yesterday’s sales.
Crazy-man scrawls are mine.

So it turns out yesterday was my little town’s community-wide yardsale. Yardsales, yardsales as far as the eye could see! (Well, more or less. We actually have burned-out factories as far as the eye can see, but beyond those? Yardsales. Free rusty nail with every purchase.) You could tell it was supposed to be a big deal, because they had way more signs up than they did for, say, last week’s budget referendum. Pretty sure the yardsales had a better turnout, too, which is weird, because they both primarily attract old people and angry bloggers.

They were selling maps for the sales at one of the local diners, rather than just, you know, actually telling us where any of the sales were. I can kinda get why they’d do thatafter all, when you’re selling a product, it makes sense to make it as annoying as possible for anyone to buy said product. It’s the same reason why most grocery stores these days charge an entry fee and nobody really knows where Disney World is.

The first few sales I went to hadn’t started setting up yetwhich is typical of southern Connecticut, where the “start time” is more of an optimistic suggestion than anything you’d want to followbut once they kicked off, they kicked it like they were a horse and you were accidentally standing behind it. (…Yeah, metaphors were never really my strong point. It’s like yardsales are the ocean, and I’m a person who’s really bad at metaphors.)

First up:

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The Puberty Switch

bloody-yard-sale-sign

Was that written in blood?

Like a grizzly bear emerging from her cave after a long winter’s hibernation, yardsale season is now upon us—and like a grizzly bear, you’d better not get too close, one because you will probably die, and two, because you don’t know where that’s been.*

Today’s trip exemplified that like no other, as my little quadrangle of Connecticut played host to estate sale after estate sale after crusty old “hey, is this floor up to code?” estate sale. …Which is kind of an ominous sign, given, you know, why people hold estate sales. Continue reading

Stampin’ Up!

The best yardsale finds make you stop, scratch your head, and say “what the f*** is that?” For example, one of my early finds during this morning’s adventure was this license plate cover:

Is it…promoting tramp stamps? The postal service? Is “stamping up” a euphemism for a new kind of drug? (“Yo man, you got any…stamp?” “No Jimmy, my mom said you’re not supposed to stamp up!” “Your MOM don’t hafta know about it! Come on, just take a lick…”)

Turns out it’s actually about scrapbooking. Okay, how about this plate:

Of course, that’s far from the creepiest plate I’ve ever seen at a yardsale, but it begs several questions, most notably: What the **** is it talking about? Why’s that rooster in the middle have such a smug look on his face? Why are they all roosters?! If I proudly display this in my office, what am I saying—is this an old proverb about how you should definitely not engage in coitus at the pearly gates with two other roosters? Is it okay if you just have one other rooster?

I tried to research this one on Google, too, but all I found were a variety of mousepads and keychains inscribed with the saying; nobody actually seemed to know what it meant. …Until I asked that font of wisdom, the Yahoo Answers community. Here’s what they told me:

…Wait, sorry; that was actually the answer to a different question I was researching. What they actually said was: nothing. Nobody has any idea what this means. Do you, readers? If you know, POST!

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