Fighting for Vinyl Records

I just arrived home from a yard sale that had vinyl records. If you’ve been reading my posts from the last couple months you’re probably sick of my vinyl record adventures.

20160924_105458_resized

I got there 5 minutes after the start of the advertised start time but some morbidly obese guy decided to skip breakfast so that he could beat me there for first dibs. Luckily the owners were slow to bring out the records. To make things worse we appeared to have similar tastes in music.

He snagged Michael Jackson’s, Bad and Pink Floyd’s, The Wall. He had some others that I wanted to steal from him but I’m mostly pissed off about those two. I should be happy that I found the ones that I did but I don’t care, I want it all. I used to have Michael Jackson’s, Thriller but I gave it to a girl. Advice for young men…don’t give women anything, you’ll regret it. If she’s not happy with the handmade greeting card you made her then she can get lost.

The fat guy pretty much got everything he wanted because I let him go through most of the piles first. I saw, “The Wall” album first but I knew he wanted it so I didn’t fight him for it. There was even a Rolling Stones album that I offered to him first which he gladly accepted. The only one that he might have wanted from my findings was the Billy Joel album. “Oh, Billy Joel. Nice,” he said. That’s right, you vinyl record hog, I got one that you didn’t. I happened to snag that one from a small pile that I got to first. The truth is I felt kind of sorry for him that he was morbidly obese so I didn’t race him through the piles of records. He had a gut that needed a bra.

Again, there was another Linda Ronstadt record for sale. Now I kind of regret not picking it up just for shits and giggles.

The owner wanted $5 per title. I’m not paying $5 a title at a yard sale. Half the records I buy at yard sales don’t play so well. I don’t like pulling out the Chinese bargaining monster that is embedded in my DNA but he will come out if the opposition refuses to surrender.

“4 for $15?”

“Ummm…pick another one and you can have 5 for $20.”

“I barely want this 4th one..haha.” (C’mon, give in)

I found a few more that I liked enough. “7 for $25?”

We had a deal. At close to $3.50 a title I’m satisfied. One day I’m going to have too many vinyl records and I’m going to sell them at my yard sale for $5 a piece.

Mid-September Adventures

20160918_101714

Since the ad on Craigslist said that there would be vinyl records for sale at this swap meet I decided to go. My first 10 seconds of being there I spotted this mirror. For the last 8 months I’ve been mostly inactively looking for a mirror just like this. It’s from this journey that I learned the definition of ‘ornate.’ I nearly pissed my pants when the guy told me he was selling it for $7. Now I have a mirror that is worthy of holding my image like a mirrorĀ from the Roman Empire owned by men who held high titles of nobility.

Luckily the mirror cushioned the disappointment that the vinyl records were going to bring. There were about 15 records and 4 of them were Rod Stewart albums and out of those 4, 3 of them were the same album. The downside of Craigslist is that there is no accountability for shitty advertising. I want to talk to your manager!

20160915_154545

Go away Coyote! Please go away Coyote? C’mon, just go.

20160915_154605

20160915_154850

At a near by dog park where there are apparently coyotes there’s also blackberries. It’s not the first time I’ve picked n’ eat blackberries here and every time there’s no one else but me doing it. It didn’t make sense to me that I would be the only one taking advantage of free berries. Primitive tribal wiring kicked in and it made me wonder if I was doing something wrong. Are they poisonous? Is it illegal? Is it frowned upon because of some unwritten rule? Do birds shit on them?

20160915_154956

Maybe people are scared of the thorns?

20160915_155002

Maybe the terrain is too treacherous?

20160407_133544

Don’t worry about her, she’s apparently a descendant of wolves.

20160909_171512-e1474247585273

Coincidence has led me to accumulate a total of 3 Linda Ronstadt records in a short period of time. Every yard sale or used record store I’ve visited has had one and I pick them up because they are cheap. I’m not even a fan of her music which might not even be an accurate statement since it doesn’t appear she writes any of it.

However, I’ve decided that track 6 from her Greatest Hits album, Long Long TimeĀ is the song that I will commit imaginary suicide to. I have no idea what the lyrics are even about, probably about some dude who crapped all over her heart and didn’t have the decency to even light a match.

It just has such a sad sad sound. Unfortunately, by the time they find my dead body the song would have ended because my record player doesn’t have a repeat function. I’ll just be some guy who killed himself instead of the guy who killed himself to Linda Ronstadt’s, Long Long Time. If someone tells you there’s no good use for the repeat function, you’ll know what to tell them next time.

20160827_095902

The dog and I took a walk to the location of the 2 week expired yard sale that had this picture of African kids.

Hi. You had a picture of African kids for sale at your yard sale. Do you still have it?

Nope

And that was that. Someone else is oohing and aahing guests at their home, telling great fictitious tales of adventure and humanitarianism while my wall that could have been remains lifeless.

20160918_174736

My new goal in life is to adopt a picture of starving African children.

Elderly Abuse

As you may know or may not know, I have a volunteer gig where I drive old people to places. They’re not supposed to give me anything in return except a small amount of money that is calculated by the volunteer agency.

This one old lady I have been driving has been insisting that I take her $10 every time I see her. I decline and then try to bargain down to $5 but I’ve ended up taking the $10 each time. I rationalize it’s not so bad with the following reasons…

  1. It makes her feel good
  2. She thinks she might die soon

I thought I had 3 reasons but I guess not.

Today she pushed me into taking $20. I really didn’t want to take it but she started getting upset so I just accepted it.

About half a year ago I was helping a really old blind guy with his groceries and taking him to the bank. When I got him home he wanted to give me $20. I told him it was too much but he insisted. I thought about it after, that maybe it was too much because maybe he didn’t realize he was giving me a 20. Canadian bills are different colours but still, he’s legally blind.

If they were to call a taxi to take them around it would be much more expensive and would not provide the assistance I give them as well but I still feel a bit bad for taking their money sometimes.

I suppose they want me to enjoy the money they give me so I do. Today I went and bought some used records.

20160909_171512

 

Random Journal Entry

20160827_095902

The ad on Craigslist indicated there was a yard sale selling vinyl records near by my home. At this yard sale there was this framed photo of a bunch of African kids probably from some poor country where their mothers spend 2 hours a day fetching water from the well. I thought about buying it and hanging it on my wall as a conversation piece. The bullshit I could tell people. “I helped build a school for these kids back in 2003. I got malaria but their smiling faces made it all worth it.”

20160824_183320

If I ever get another dog I think I will get the ugliest dog available. Having a cute dog makes me talk to the dog all day and say things like, “oh look at you you’re so cute.” You know your dog is ugly when no one at the dog park comments on how cute or nice looking your dog is. “Oh aren’t you..umm..ahh……a good boy.” You’ll know your dog is really ugly if you’re standing in front of the liquor store with it and people give you spare change.

20160905_214223

The other night I had the bright idea of buying a pack of cigarettes. I haven’t bought a pack in a few years but I felt like a cigarette. $13.75! Being under the influence of substances makes for poor decision making.

Down my block there’s an Angelina Jolie impersonator. She’s a fairly good looking white woman who adopted a really dark African kid with a scar from a cleft lip surgery. Possibly the luckiest kid in the world.

I unconsciously ate junk food the whole day today. While waiting for an elderly, disabled lady at the hospital I bought ice cream. A couple hours later near my home I went and bought potato chips. A few hours later I saw a huge piece of cake in the fridge that had a best before date of Sept 9th. Well, if that’s the case then I have to eat it tonight while it’s still at its best. I ate nothing else today. I’m punishing myself tonight by sending myself to my room without dinner.

 

Incompetent Mechanics

In the year 2000 my 1993 Nissan 240sx was overheating. I brought it to an auto mechanic shop where my friend worked at the time. His boss diagnosed my car as having a bad radiator and since he was going to be in there he suggested the water pump that had signs of water leakage should also be replaced as well as the thermostat.

$700 later and, “your car is not overheating now.” I remember not feeling quite right when he said that to me but I was a timid, naive 20-year-old who didn’t like speaking up for himself in certain situations.

He gave me a politician’s answer. The car was not overheating but it wasn’t fixed. It wasn’t heating at all. The incompetent piece of crap couldn’t get the coolant to circulate properly so he decided that drilling multiple holes through the thermostat was the next best solution. Being immature and one to hold onto resentment I left a scathing review in 2010. He somehow managed to get it deleted. I left another one. God bless the internet.

For the past few weeks I have been dealing with a brake hydraulic issue. The brake fluid is not moving properly which causes a stiff brake pedal and the brakes to be slightly engaged when they are not supposed to be. My regular mechanic at the shop was on vacation so I was at the mercy of his colleagues. They charged me $35 to put my car on the hoist to tell me they didn’t know what the problem was. A few days later I paid them $80 for a brake fluid flush that did nothing. Their next recommendation was to replace the ABS pump unit which I agreed to because they’re supposed to be the experts. Since the part cost $2000 brand new the plan was to find a used one. “I’ll call you when I find one.”

Luckily for me this guy was either lazy, an asshole or avoiding this job because it took him 5 days to even start looking for the part. 5 more days after that he probably only called a handful of places. When he said he finally found one and that it would be delivered in 1 or 2 days, it ended up being that he never ordered it and claims that I told him I was going to order it from eBay.

“Are you sure it can’t be anything else?” I asked.

“Ummm…it’s hard to say because it’s hard to diagnose.”

I said I was lucky because my regular mechanic was back from vacation at this time and after hearing about my car problem he wanted me to bring it in so that he could check it out. I dropped off the car to him today and he ended up having 2 different parts on hand that he thought could be the problem…a used ABS pump unit and a new brake master cylinder.

After some hands-on diagnosis he discovered my master cylinder was toast. It was leaking into the brake booster which also may need to be replaced down the road because brake fluid corrodes the material in the brake booster..yay. When it comes to automobiles, one broken part often breaks another.

The circumstances could have easily went the other way. If it were up to the other guy I would have forked out $400 for a used ABS pump unit and labour that would have done me nothing except piss me off. A lot of mechanics don’t want to spend time properly diagnosing because it’s easier and more financially beneficial to just replace parts until they get it right. “Well, you needed a new so and so anyway.”

TGIF…Thank God it’s Fixed!

 

 

 

Vinyl Records

Recently I’ve been getting into vinyl records. If anyone tells you they are better than digital audio tell them to fuck off. I like records though. I like them because it makes listening to music a more satisfying experience. I get to see the record spin and display the large art cover. I totally understand if other people aren’t onto it.  It’s a bit of a fetish thing. 

The downside of records is that Side 1 has ended and I am laying on the couch with the dog comfortably sleeping between my legs.

This record isn’t going to flip itself. If it was iTunes playing then it could play until I starved to death. When auto-reverse was available for cassette tapes people must have wet themselves.

If you think vinyl records are better than digital technology it’s because you are either old or a supreme hipster. “I like the static.”

Unhealthy Japanese Vehicles

In the 90s all the white guys that I knew were loyal to the American brands of automobiles because Japanese automobiles were seen to be unmanly. This was many years after the American brands solidified their reputation of being pieces of shit compared to Japanese makers. As time went on those same guys ended up buying Japanese because they were sick of their Fords and Chevys crapping out on them.

I was delighted when my mother gave me her 2006 Toyota Camry because I thought I would have a great car for years to come. Toyota serviced and mother driven, it couldn’t get any better for a used vehicle.

The car has been with me from 125,000 km(77,000 miles) and the odometre today reads 150,000 km(93,000 miles) and just a few thousand km ago the alternator went. Kind of early for it to be going but whatever. Now I’m dealing with some brake hydraulic issue that my mechanic cannot accurately diagnose but it’s rumoured to be the ABS pump unit or the master cylinder. These freaking parts aren’t supposed to go this early on a Toyota Camry!

Having done some research I’ve found out my car was made in Kentucky, USA. Okay now it makes more sense. Possibly some hick in the southern United States assembled my car while hungover from a 12 pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. A Japanese branded car built in America is like an Asian born and raised in America…you’re going to lose at least some of the work ethic along the way.

Even if it’s some Japanese redneck assembling Toyotas in Kentucky it’s still not going to be the same consistent quality as if it were made in Japan by a bunch of Japanese people who would rather slice their stomachs open than to be off by an allowable 1/16th of an inch.

The 2015 Toyota Camry was also built with 75% American/Canadian made parts which makes the Toyota Camry about as Asian as Keanu Reeves or maybe even David Carradine who was a white guy who played an Asian on TV…an idea that people also bought into.

If most of the parts were made in Japan then it would at least be less like an Asian born American who is the first of their bloodline in history to be over 30% body fat. Instead, most of the parts and all of the assembly has that unionized, self-entitled attitude of “don’t work so hard otherwise they’ll expect us all to work harder.” The same attitude that built the legendary Ford Pinto.