Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Almost Fulltimers

With only two days left before our house closing the pressure continues. We were able to fill this dumpster within a week; a week later I wish I had bought one 50% bigger. Where did we ever get so much stuff? For the past year I have been taking trash almost daily to the construction dumpster at work and still we continue to find more things we don't need or use. Have we been glutinous pigs for material things? Did we own this stuff or has the stuff owned us? I think we've been held hostage for years by this junk, but we are about to escape.

Of course not everything in the house is trash; we have packed what we think we need to take in the RV but look what we've done to the interior of our new home. Where will it all go? We even have a working antique grandfather's clock. Who the hell travels with a grandfather's clock (it keeps perfect time by the way)? Are we nuts or just having difficulty parting with a few of our favorite things? For the most part getting rid of our stuff has been an uplifting, freeing experience but we're both having difficulty dumping some of our things. I think it's hard because it is all happening all at once. For now we will finish with the house and deal with the motorhome next month. I just hope we don't have to leave in a hurry; there is no way we could close up our 4 slide-outs and get back to the legal 102" width! We could always get flags for the Jetta and travel as an oversize load.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flea Market Success!

When we decided to do The Stormville Ultimate Tag Sale we didn't know what to expect. Our only experience doing flea markets had been a much smaller one in Connecticut. At that flea market we only sold about 10% of our stuff and had to repack the other 90% at the end of the day. This was not much fun and we dreaded a similar outcome here at Stormville. Man, oh man were we surprised! When we arrived at 7:30 am we thought we had an hour and a half to get all set up before it officially opened at 9:00 am. The pickers and early birds always seem to find a way into these markets ahead of time and they descended on us like vultures on fresh prey. Anxious to see what was in our many sealed boxes they practically unloaded the whole van for us! During the whole unloading process, prices were negotiated, cash changed hands and by 9:00am we were up over $500. Pretty soon the gates opened up, the crowds came, and the buying continued at a brisk pace. Two of our most successful marketing ploys were the $1 blanket and the $5 table. Both of these areas produced steady sales until about 1:00pm when we decided to cut prices. The $5 table became the $3 table or 2 for $5 table. Sales picked up immediately once we did this and the junk left our booth at twice the rate. By the time we got to closing time at 3:00pm, 95% of our booth was sold. Hallelujah! We had almost nothing to take home!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Movin' on Out!

When the dumpster I ordered showed up yesterday we realized this is really happening. We took this whole week off to hopefully empty this house for the most part. At mid week we have come pretty far with most rooms nearly empty. The only furniture we have left in a dining room set, corner cupboard and a rocker. The bed we are leaving for the new owners so we never have to sleep on the floor.

In addition to packing boxes and filling trash bags we started packing the van to do the "Stormville Airport Ultimate Tag Sale" this coming Saturday. This will be our final effort to liquidate our remaining stuff for whatever cash we can. This particular flea market is frequented by many area "pickers"; so we will want to offer our goods at a price point that will allow them turn a profit when they resell our junk elsewhere.

Our van is packed floor to ceiling, front to back, plus whatever Martha can carry on her lap as well. I hope this sh*t sells! Well, if we don't do well all this stuff had to be removed from the house anyway. What do we do with what's left?

In between all this house clean out business Martha made time to clean a few hundred acorns off the driveway. It's been a banner year for acorns; the likes we haven't seen in 5 years. Every time the wind blows they fall like rain, hence the pith helmet she's wearing is an absolute necessity.

When our couches were taken away yesterday Charlie lost her favorite perch atop the couch pillows. She'll just have to tough it out in this bean bag chair we found in the attic.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mac vs. PC

Recently I purchased a Macbook Pro laptop computer. I could have bought two Windows 7 laptops for the price I paid, but the only way I am going to settle the Mac vs. PC argument for myself is to use both for the next couple years. If looks count for anything, the one piece machined aluminum case is absolutely stunning when compared to my plastic Dell laptop. The Mac is also thinner than the Dell and doesn't have the battery protruding out the back like the 9 cell Dell battery does. Although the Mac's operating system takes some getting used to after using Windows for more than a decade this is what I like so far:
  • The Mac's back-lite keyboard is a joy to use in a dimly lit room.
  • The Mac connects to a WiFi network far better than the windows laptop, and it doesn't mysteriously drop off the network either.
  • The Mac boots up and shuts down much, much faster than the PC, and it doesn't ask you that stupid question: "Are you sure you want to shut down, someone else is using this computer".
  • Web Surfing with the Mac touch pad is easy once you get the knack for it. I don't find myself missing a mouse as much like I do on the Dell.
  • Martha, who unlike me types like a pro prefers the Mac keyboard by far over the Dell. Both machines are 15.4" laptops by the way.

While the game is still running so far it is Mac-06, Dell-zip! The only short coming I see on the Mac is that it has only two USB ports rather than four like the Dell. On the other hand I haven't needed the USB ports because the Mac will connect to my aircard supported wireless network whereas the Dell won't stay connected. This means I have to insert the aircard directly into a USB port on the Dell to connect to the internet. I am trying to solve this problem but for now it looks like the Dell will be relegated to other tasks like word processing and spreadsheets.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Have you tried Restaurant.com? For several weeks now we have enjoyed going out to dinner with a $23 discount thanks to Restaurant.com. To get discounts for as much as 80% off the coupons, you will need to create an account which is free. Next you enter the zip code and radius you are willing to drive. Typically you will get a list of 12 or more restaurants that are participating in the Restaurant.com program in your area.
On your first visit to the site you'll see that a $25 coupon costs $10. But wait a minute, if your patient, in a few days you will get an email with a discount code for as much as 80% off. This means your $25 coupon will cost you just $2! The best part is that this works anywhere in the whole country. And, all the restaurants we dined at readily accepted the coupons without hesitation. Bon Appetit!