Sunday, March 18, 2018

My Life has 100% Improved Since I bought that Snap-On Jacket

  Ever since I bought that Snap-On jacket at The Salvation Army, I feel like my life has improved 100% How do I know this for a fact. Well for starters I've been on a lucky streak as of yesterday. I hit the jackpot twice. If you don't already know this by now, I am a Hot Wheels collector. I have hundreds of cars MOC and loose. You're probably wondering where I am headed with this and I'll explain it to you.
  Yesterday my mom sent me into Boscov's to pay her charge card bill. So I happened to check the toy dept just for the heck of it. So it turns out that they just recently restocked Hot Wheels cars. Sadly they weren't 2018 models but they were from last year. So I figured it wouldn't hurt to look through the pegs for a Super Treasure Hunt car. So after browsing the pegs for a couple of minutes a few times over just to be sure there wasn't a treasure hunt car there, I saw something that wasn't like the others. I spotted a 69 Chevelle SS 396.
  I didn't think much of this car at first as I passed over the car a few times that I browsed the pegs. It wasn't until I realized that there was only one of this car on the pegs. Upon this realization that it was a Super Treasure Hunt car, I immediately went to a register to purchase my 19th Super Treasure Hunt car!
  So later on that day I went to the dinner theater to see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. At intermission time, they have a 50/50 drawing. Guess what happend? I won the 50/50 raffle! I won $29. So I guess you can call my Snap-on jacket lucky. I'm on an upswing. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Testing My Promise at the Thrift Store

  I declared yesterday that I am retiring from thrift store shopping. I made a bet with my mom that I won't be buying stuff from thrift stores for a long time after I found the Snap-on Tools jacket. So today I decided to test out my promise that I wouldn't buy anything at a thrift store. Now I didn't venture to The Salvation Army, I went to an independent one. The same one where I've been finding all of those soundtracks.
  Every Tuesday this particular thrift store has everything in the store 25% off with one color 50% off. Today's 50% off color was green tagged. So I totally forgot that it was 25% off today. Well I did test my promise and I held up to it. I did see some real unusual stuff at this thrift store today. I saw 2 cherub table lamps that were $20 each. They reminded me of one that my great aunt had. For $20, that was the last thing I would want to ever buy at a thrift store.
  I then spotted a broken trophy that was missing the top and the name plate. Who even donates a broken trophy to a thrift store? It was the first time I have ever seen a used trophy at a thrift store. I forgot what the price was. I then browsed the clothing racks had a few things in my arms and decided to put them back. My promise can be kept.
  I then looked at the glassware. I like seeing glassware with beer and alcohol brands on them. They did have a few alcohol branded ones. There was an Old Milwaukee goblet and a Miller glass. I did spot 2 Makers Mark martini glasses that were $0.50 that would have been 50% off. I didn't bother buying any. It's ironic that I look for alcohol branded glassware when I don't touch alcohol. The reason I look at them is because we have a bar in our basement.
  So after looking at the glassware I browsed the CD selection. My one weakness the CD selection. I was in luck today, there wasn't anything good to buy today. My wallet is beginning to feel relieved. After browsing the CD's I went on to look at the toys. I spotted some old Jakks-Pacific Titantron Live action figures. I love wrestling figures but these figures were in terrible condition. There wasn't many there but a good majority were missing hands and limbs. They weren't worth buying at all. I did spot a bag of Lincoln Logs for $7something and I put it back on the shelf.
  After browsing the thrift store after making my promise to retire from buying more stuff seemed a bit odd. It seems like I might have relapsed after making the decision to stop buying stuff. I'm not. My decision was to retire from buying things, not browsing. I love to browse thrift stores when they have their sale days. There has been quite a few Family Day's at The Salvation Army where I walked out empty handed. I can resist purchasing things at thrift stores and I will.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Thrift Store Soundtracks.

  I am a huge fan of thrift stores. I love to look at the CD selections they have to offer. However, the one independent thrift store in town has a good selection of soundtrack CD's lately. On the other hand The Salvation Army has been lacking of any good CD's or a decent selection of them for about a good month or so now which sucks.
  Now at the beginning of the year, the last record store in my town closed up abruptly which doesn't leave anywhere in town to buy new CD's except Walmart which sells edited CD's. I'm in a rut since I will probably have to resort to buying CD's on Amazon now or go out of town to buy new music. Thankfully one thrift store has been good to me when it comes to finding CD's.
  I am a huge film score aficionado. My score CD collection overshadows my pop/rock CD collection. I have over 159 hours of film scores in my library. It's insane. Film score aficionado's are an astute type of collector, they prefer physical copies of scores over digital copies. I'm one of them in that demographic. Now onto the thrift store finds.
  As of recently it seems that the independent thrift store has been getting an unusual amount of soundtracks donated to them. The best part about that is that they were mostly film scores which is right up my alley. Now this thrift store charges $0.50 plus tax for a CD. You can't argue with that price. So when I look at the CD's I always check for the dreaded scratches that CD collectors hate. Fortunately I don't buy them if they looked like someone played frisbee with them.
  Now the past few times I've visited this thrift store in the past month or so, I've walked out of there with a bunch of score albums. My most recent purchase was the best one yet in my opinion. About a week or so ago I had to drop off something at my great aunt's house. She lives across the street from this thrift store. So I decided to do a speed run in there. I looked at the hats, and made a beeline to the CD's. I looked through the CD's and I had spotted some score soundtracks. Jackpot. I had bought at least 5 of them, I bought a Hans Zimmer, James Horner, Don Davis, Harry Gregson-Williams, and Carlo Siliotto.
  The one that took the cake was The Punisher score by Carlo Siliotto. Why is this soundtrack so important and unusual? Well for those of you who don't know your soundtrack record labels, it was a La La Land Records release. Why is this unusual? You never expect to find an out of print La La Land Records soundtrack at a thrift store ever. Never in a million years would I ever expect to find a one of their CD's at a thrift store. For $0.50 you can't go wrong with that. Now I didn't know it was a La La Land Records soundtrack until I got into the car and looked at the spine of the CD case and saw their name of my favorite record label there. I almost had a stroke on the spot when I discovered it was one of their soundtracks. The Punisher wasn't one of their limited editions of a few thousand copies to my knowledge.
  Some of my other soundtrack hauls have included, Backdraft, Matchstick Men, and Black Hawk Down all by Hans Zimmer, I also found all 3 Lord of the Rings scores by Howard Shore and Attack of The Clones by John Williams. I hate the Star Wars prequels but I love John Williams. His scores for the prequels were better than the movies.
  Whoever keeps donating these score CD's is my hero. They are the real MVP here. They share the same passion for film music as I do. If it wasn't for me these score CD's would have been sitting at that thrift store for a long time. I gave them a good home on my soundtrack shelf.

My retirement from thrift store shopping

  Well today it finally happened. I finally found the jacket that I have been looking to find in a thrift store for years now. What special kind of jacket is this you ask? The answer is the elusive Snap-On Tools jacket. I see tons of people wearing these jackets where I live. They are kind of like a Carhartt jacket in a way. They are super cool and, you usually have to buy thousands of dollars worth of Snap-on Tools to get this jacket.
  So today I happened to stop by the Salvation Army to look around for anything of interest. I looked at the hat selection which was super barren today. The hat selection is kind of crappy nowadays. I then detoured over to the toy section that happened to have 2 huge bags of toy cars. I looked over the bags of toy cars to see if there was anything in there that was worth buying. Sadly there wasn't any car that I needed out of those 2 bags. Some old lady in a wheelchair asked me to get her down a K'nex Faris Wheel that was on a top shelf. I said I would get if down for her and I did.
A jacket similar to the one I bought
  After I helped the old woman I decided I would look at the jackets just for the heck of it and it paid off. As I sifted through all of the jackets, I spotted a grey jacket with an American flag patch on the left sleeve, I thought to myself that this has to be a Snap-on Tools jacket. I picked up the jacket off the rack and saw that it said Snap-on on it. I froze up upon seeing a Snap-on Tools jacket. I saw the price which was $14.99 green tag. Pink tags were on sale today.
  I didn't want to take any chances on passing up this jacket since I always wanted one. My dad used to buy Snap-on Tools when he had his business, he never got a jacket though. I looked at the size tag of the jacket and it was a Large. Great, it's just my size. Just to be sure, I went to the fitting room and tried it on. The jacket fit like a glove. Great my wish came true. So I decided against buying those 2 bags full of toy cars for the Snap-on jacket. It never occurred to me to look at the price of the 2 bags of cars.
  When I arrived home from the Salvation Army, I told my mom of my final purchase and she didn't believe me since she knows that I will be there next week. As of this jacket find I can finally retire from shopping at thrift stores for the time being. I found the jacket that I've always wanted today. It was a dream come true. In the past I have found several different Snap-on Tools items at thrift stores, a red hoodie with the Snap-on S logo on it and a Snap-on camouflage hat with a tool camouflage pattern on it.
  So as of today I am official retiring from shopping at thrift stores. It's been an exciting run. I've had the wonderful opportunity to buy a plethora of good stuff. From an antique Tonka Jeep to obscure NASCAR hat's, to lots of wonderful CD's. and even a NIN Hat, and even some truck banks. Now it's time to say goodbye to the Salvation Army for the time being. It was a fun run.
  Will this be the last thrift store purchase in my lifetime? Probably not. I'm retiring from buying jackets. It won't stop me from buying CDs though. That's another post.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Now That Mattel has the Jurassic Park License

  If you are following the toy industry or are a fan of Jurassic Park merchandise, you probably heard that Hasbro no longer has the Jurassic Park License. This is good news. Why so? Well for starters Mattel has a superior product compared to Hasbro. Mattel outdoes Hasbro in terms of scale and detail.
  Ever since Jurassic Park III came out and Hasbro made toys from that movie, they were never the same. You see in 1997 when The Lost World Jurassic Park came out the action figures of the humans and the dinosaurs were a lot bigger than their Jurassic Park III counterparts. When the third installment came out, Hasbro shrunk the figures down drastically. Instead of being around 4/1/2 inches they became 3.75 inches. That's a huge difference in scale. It seems that in 2001 and onward that Hasbro tended to get really really lazy when it came to scale unlike when Kenner still made them.
  Now onto Mattel getting the license. This is good news for both action figure collectors of the Humans and Hot Wheels collectors because this has so much potential for great toys. Mattel could make a Jurassic Park Movie Masters line that is in scale with the DC Multiverse line. This means we could get movie accurate versions of the human characters and versions of characters that Kenner bothered to make such as John Hammond.
  As for Hot Wheels this means we could possibly get scale diecasts of some of the iconic vehicles from the Jurassic Park franchise. We could see a Ford Explorer, Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes-Benz ML320's from The Lost World Jurassic Park and some of the InGen hunter vehicles from The Lost World. This is some amazing potential that I would love to see in the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment line. Jurassic Park would fit right in with that line perfectly.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How To Fix Dented Buckram on a Baseball hat

  I love hats. One thing I don't like about getting hats from online sellers is that sometimes the structured hat that you bought gets packed into a tiny little box. Once in that box the hat gets squished and the buckram gets all dented and out of shape. When you notice this you get kinda disappointed and probably won't wear the hat because it's all warped out of shape. However you probably didn't know that there is an easy way to fix this problem at home with a hairdrier. Yep that's right a hairdrier can straighten dented and warped buckram on baseball hats.
  A few days ago I received a hat from a buddy of mine who forgot he had the had under the seat of his truck. As you might have guessed the buckram was all dented and it looked like the creases in a fedora. So I decided I would fix the hat with the hairdrier trick. Here's what you need to do.
  1. Take hairdrier and plug it in.
  2. Turn hairdrier to the highest heat setting.
  3. Hold the hat upside down so that the crown is facing downward.
  4. Place the hairdrier inside the crown of the hat for a few minutes so the buckram gets heated up.
  5. Turn off hairdrier and straighten out the buckram with your fingers. Make sure you don't get the buckram too hot to touch
  6. Keep molding the buckram back to it's normal shape of the crown of the hat.
  7. If the buckram is still dented up redo the hairdrier trick a few more times and repeat the steps.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Father Knows Best

  I thought I would write about helpful advice that my father had given my older brother when he took over my dad's appliance repair business. There's an old adage out there Father Knows Best. That is most certainly true. My Father knew how to do things a certain way and could do it efficiently. He's been around the block a few times to know what to do and how to do it.
  Now my father used to buy and use Snap-On Tools for his business. Snap-On Tools aren't by any means necessary cheap tools. They're quite expensive. Now when my brother took over my Father's business he got most of the Snap-On Tools that my dad bought over the years. My brother probably doesn't know what a Snap-On truck is or how to exchange a broken tool or for the most part what they cost. He learned this the hard way when my dad pleaded him to park the work van inside the back yard countless times. My old house had a huge backyard with a concrete basketball court that was fenced in to a certain point. The fence never extended out to the back alleyway. There was a light on the shed back there that illuminated the basketball court. My dad said that would deter thieves if you park the van inside the basketball court. Did my brother ever listen to my Father's helpful advice? Nope. He didn't listen. One night some thieves broke into my brothers van and stole all of the Snap-On Tools that my dad bought over the years.
  Another helpful piece of advice my Father gave to my brother that could have maybe prevented this was to leave all the seating in the van. My brother was using what I believe was a 1991 Chevrolet Beauville passenger van before he bought the 1989 GMC Vandura 2500 conversion van that would eventually get broken into. Anyway my brother was going to take the Beauville to the junkyard and before he did that like a fool, he removed all of the seats from the GMC. This was a stupid mistake according to my dad. You see the GMC conversion van's back bench seat would fold down alongside the 2 captains chairs to make a bed. My dad said he could have laid down all of the seats into a bed configuration and put the toolbox and all of the parts bins under the makeshift bed. This way would be thieves wouldn't be able to see anything. Did my brother take my dad's useful advice? Nope. What my brother did do was unbolt all of the seats and threw them into the Beauville and off they went to the junkyard.
  Now when my father would go on a service call to a gated community he knew that they would watch your speed there. My father always told my brother to slow down in these types of places so you wouldn't get a nasty speeding ticket from the security guards there. I recall my dad telling me that he went to the gated community on a call with my brother and my brother got a ticket for speeding. My father would try not to laugh at my brother for getting a ticket for speeding. He eventually stopped telling him to watch your speed in those places. I think my brother got at least 2 tickets in that gated community.
  One of the most biggest pains in the ass in the appliance repair business is changing a compressor on a refrigerator. It takes hours to do and can slow your whole day up. My father had a method of changing a compressor that was very efficient and time saving. He tried to tell my brother to do it his way but my brother insisted on doing it his way that took longer. I remember when my dad and my brother would return home from work saying we had a compressor to change today. They never liked changing them. I do believe my brother eventually took my dad's advice on how to change a compressor more efficiently.
  So in the long run Father Knows Best when it comes to helpful advice.