Elderly Radios

On the way home from the volunteer office I decided to stop by the thrift store to see if they had any secondhand underwear at a deep discount. In the book aisle, 2 young Asian men were scanning every book with their iPhone. Being nosy, I hovered around them trying to get more insight into what they were doing. Must be a new way of finding books to sell.

On the other side of the store is where they have their electronics. From a distance I spotted a target. Finally, some unexpected stimulation in my life. Upon closer inspection I was prepared for the usual disappointment that often comes with used items. Sometimes you think you’ve found the perfect jacket and then you notice a big hole in the armpit area. How often will I lift up my arms anyway?

Many people would see this beloved radio as a piece of shit while I see it as a gem. A ‘piece of shit’ in this context refers to the uselessness and undesirable nature of something instead of animal dung used for fertilizer.

Power outlets were available to test electronic items. An old Chinese guy was testing his contraption at the same time. I wasn’t getting any AM radio signal. It’s a potential deal breaker. I like AM radio because it has that vintage sound that reminds me of a time of cigarette smoke in confined spaces and when men hid their homosexual desires.

As I suspected though, the old guy’s machine was killing my AM signal. As soon as he unplugged it there was success. The cost was $12.99 and I had to buy a reusable bag to carry it home.


Sony ICF-9580W

This radio was considered a piece of shit 30 years ago. When something is a piece of shit for long enough though it one day becomes cool again. They have this word for it, antique or vintage. It’s like a game people have. If a piece of shit can stick around long enough it begins to get respect. It goes from being a piece of shit to an old piece of shit to cool.

This old gem had some dirt caked on along the edges and knobs from the dead guy who used to own it. I spent some time today detailing the radio. It was actually quite enjoyable. I’m getting old in the soul.


Can you see the difference?

This one goes so far back it’s MADE IN JAPAN. The land where self-inflicted mutilation occurs when one’s work is substandard. In the West we might apologize, and then replace it with another substandard item that hopefully doesn’t break until a few days after the warranty has expired.

More than a few years ago I purchased a similar radio at the flea market for much more money, $50. It’s not as old, the FM doesn’t work on it, it’s not as powerful and it’s MADE IN TAIWAN. Coincidentally and maybe even magically, it’s a Sony as well. I think I lucked out. Or maybe I just got ripped off the first time.


Sony ICF-9640W

Cheap Shopping

It wasn’t too hot today so the idea of checking out yard sales seemed like a good idea. Just another inexpensive fun-filled opportunity made possible through Craigslist. I’d like to shake Craig’s hand and thank him for his list.


I found this item at the first one I went to. I’m not sure what this stand is supposed to be for but I pictured my rotary phone looking good on it. The more I thought about it the more I was convinced it’s a telephone stand. Phone books would go on the bottom, the little drawer is where I would put a small notepad and pen. Marvin called. Please call back.

“$10 but I’m open to offers,” she said which means she will most definitely take a lower price. $10 is okay but I wouldn’t walk away giddy.

Before I gave her an answer I inquired about the salt & pepper mills.


‘Paris’ was imprinted on the bottom of each of them which had me believe they were made in France. It doesn’t take much to sucker me into liking something. She said she would throw them in if I bought the stand. I could live with that so we made the deal. She was probably expecting me to bring out the Chinese bargaining monster.

I’m not sure what use a salt mill has other than keeping the pepper mill company. Then again I’m not sure what use a telephone stand has with a telephone that won’t be hooked up. On food packaging they brag about using real cane sugar. If your large breasts are real it’s something to be admired. People like real yet everyone is pretending. I like how both items are real wood.

The 3 other yard sales were duds. I want to hold one of my own. I’ll dress up as a clown and light fireworks for theatrical value. There’ll be a lemonade stand for the kids but their parents won’t allow them any because the thought of trusting a guy in a clown suit would be unforgiving. The dog will jump through the ring of fire while 2 obese men with their shirts off dance to Rod Stewart. It will be the greatest yard sale ever.

The Kool-Aid

They didn’t make an instruction manual for life. Most never really figure it out they just end up dying so future generations can continue suffering. What they tell us is going to make us happy never does and what is supposed be the end of our world never is. After winning the lottery you get the high and then come back to your regular scheduled programming. Just the same when something traumatically life changing happens…you come back to your baseline. Some will say they wished they never won the lottery and the guy in the wheelchair will say his accident was the best thing that ever happened to him.

All the research says that we’re all mostly miserable or at least not very content with our lives. Well then, it would seem very inhumane to produce offspring who are statistically going  to meet the same fate.

The drug of life will have your optimism at its highest. If you do drugs long enough you’ll know it will just become a short-term escape rather than the never-ending bliss you hoped it would be. I’ve come to realize that drug use is a parody for life. Life just masquerades what you’re feeling as real and it takes longer to play out.

Your beliefs are what carry you through life whether swiftly or miserably. Without strong beliefs you’re just walking dead. Memories are great but when all those people aren’t even in your life anymore it almost feels as if it didn’t even happen. The only thing that makes it real is your brain says it is.




Into the Wild


It’s been challenging to get a blog post out because of the limited internet capabilities in the wilderness. That would be the admirable excuse. The truth is I only ventured out as far as the dog’s crapping station in the backyard.

YouTube videos of a young woman living in her van had me thinking about doing the same. Every big-box store is open late now and has public washrooms. Why do we hate big corporations for making life better? I could shave my head and go many days without showering since it takes many days for me to develop body odour.

A good number of the subjects starring in these minimalist-type videos are good looking which tells me it’s at least partly a hoax. I have yet to see an unattractive fat woman showing off her ‘tiny house.’ You use what you have in this world to squeeze out a win. If you have a symmetrical face then you exploit it to get views on the internet.

The first couple nights I slept in a sleeping bag without any padding on the ground. I’m not sure how the cavemen did it. Perhaps the alphas of the tribe ordered the betas to be their mattress. Maybe they used stacks of animal pelts. By day 3 I bought a self-inflating pad and it is worth every dollar.

It rained that same night which caused humid conditions inside the tent reminiscent of my days in Hong Kong when I was working for the spy agency. It keeps the skin supple but also the pillows moist. I can tolerate the humid conditions but not the mosquito that found its way inside. I was no match for the blood sucker in such close quarters. If I could catch her I promised I would rip off her legs one by one. I wonder if men who lost big in a divorce refer to their ex-wives as mosquitoes?

The mosquito won and I lost. She left me with 4 wounds and escaped without punishment. I surrendered and retreated back to my pillow-top mattress.