more rambling about stuff I bought

So my mom gave me a little birthday money, and I went and spent it at the Antique Depot.  Of course, I was on the search for records.  I was in the place for two hours. o_O  On one hand, I did re-look at everything else in the place in addition to the records because the last time I was here, I had Brandon with me, and he’s too impatient to shop with.  On the other hand, here’s where most of the records live:

(Image nabbed from their facebook page, LOL)

So not only are there a ton of records to look through, but the ones that are stacked vertically on the ones standing upright make it even harder to browse.

I couldn’t look at everything, but I didn’t really expect to.  I came away with these:

Three Beach Boys and one Elvis Costello that I was genuinely shocked to find here. 😛

The copy of Party has a really warped jacket.  The record is fine, but the jacket is kinda rough. But it just so happens that I already have an empty Party sleeve that came from my parents’ house, so it all works out.

As far as Today goes…I really like Today and I have a duophonic copy of my dad’s.  So I found this nice mono copy that still has the shrinkwrap on it and decided to go for it.  Will I be able to hear a difference between the mono and duophonic?  I dunno.  I have an inner ear issue that sometimes messes with my hearing on the left side as well as hereditary hearing loss that I’m sure will eventually strike me down (it’s already started).  So meh.

I should mention that my dad let me take his records with the condition that I return the “good” ones when I’m done with them.  But you have to understand that my dad disassembled his stereo 15 years ago and his records (several hundred between both of my parents) have been sitting in several four-foot-tall vertical stacks in the spare bedroom for over a decade now.  One of the stacks is LEANING AGAINST A HEATING VENT.  They are covered in dust, and my dad has started stacking other crap on top of them.  But he’s convinced himself that the records are worth a fortune.  Spoiler alert: the vast majority of them aren’t.

Part of the trouble is that he didn’t define what he considered the “good” records, but I’m assuming he meant the Beatles stuff.  I’ve already given back half of his Beatles records because I find them to be pretty bland (I know, I know).  I am slowly working my way through the McCartney/Wings stuff (two boring songs for every great one), and I have yet to start the Dylan records.


On the subject of double-dipping on Beach Boys records, here is my dad’s copy of Pet Sounds.  Of all of the “good” records I took, this is the only one that realistically worth what my dad thinks it is.

The thing is, though, that the jacket is in horrendous condition.  It’s held together on three sides with tape (I think my dad did this–he should know better).  It’s got a name written on it, and there’s a holepunch on the upper right.  It’s not super visible on the front, but you can clearly see it from the back:

Oh, dear.

But the thing that has always struck me about this album cover is that the previous owner doodled on everyone’s faces.  I mean, look at this:


Brian is crying angsty black tears, and Mike is the Hamburglar.  I love it.

We never had a stereo set up through most of my childhood, but the records were all kept on shelves in the living room.  I would occasionally thumb through them to look at the interesting covers.  So I never had the chance to this thing as a kid, but the cover has been firmly burned into my memory. The weird title, the strange cover photo, the drawing on the faces. When my dad gave me the okay to take some records, this was the first one I sought out.

The other problem with this record is that, while the disc looks good and plays without issue, it sounds…muddy?  Staticky?  Noisy?  I dunno.  Anyway, I did a little reading online and discovered that this is a common issue with the original version of this album.

I followed the advice of the Internet and nabbed a copy of the album that comes in the two-set with the Carl and the Passions album.  This is supposed to be the best-sounding version of the album that doesn’t cost a fortune.  I paid a small fraction of what the original issue goes for, and it was well worth it.  It sounds completely different.  It feels lighter and brighter, and all sorts of little musical elements that were hidden before just pop out now.  I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that it sounds better than the CD version Brandon got me for my birthday.  That CD, by the way, has spent half of its time here living in Brandon’s car because he keeps borrowing it. 😛  Here’s a family picture:

I own Pet Sounds three times over.  I feel like such a cliche. 😛

Another fun thing that happened today: I stopped at Goodwill after leaving the Antique Depot, and ran into my parents. 😛  My dad is now a full-time eBayer and makes a killing selling clothes from Goodwill online.  My mom assists and for her efforts, my dad buys her whatever junk she finds in the store.  They were there when I got there, and they were inspecting their selections when I left.  My parents were big-time into antiquing and such before they had kids, so now they’ve kinda come full-circle.

Anyway, I’ve written all this in an effort to keep my mind off of the fact that I have an appointment with an oral surgeon in the morning.  I may or may not have to have a biopsy of some weird patches in my mouth.  I am kind of looking forward to this because I’ve been waiting weeks to get this checked out, but ugh.  It’s probably nothing, but ugh.  I am so tired of scary medical shit.  Granted, I haven’t been through half of what other people have to endure, but the mental toll is really shitty.  Just ugh.

Oh, I almost forgot the best part of the Antique Depot records: the booths there are all owned by different people, and the items there all come with pricetags bearing the owner’s initials:

WTF, indeed.

More fun with 45s

I am currently on day three of an eleven-day vacation. If I didn’t have a headache that is slowly eroding my sanity, things would be pretty great. But here’s something that will surely make me feel better: pictures of things I’ve purchased recently.

More Thrift Store 45s

More 45s from the same collection at the same thrift store.  In this batch:

Yesterday and I Wanna Hold Your Hand by the Beatles
Brown-Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
Georgy Girl by the Seekers
Rain on the Roof by the Lovin’ Spoonful

Brown-Eyed Girl is one of those things that will forever make me think of my mom.  She called it “our” song because “men only write songs about blue-eyed girls.”  I had never noticed it before, and she wasn’t completely wrong.  Granted, at the time we didn’t know the song was originally titled “Brown-Skinned Girl” and had been changed to be less controversial because sixties.  Lovin’ Spoonful makes me think of my mom, too.

My ~*setup*~

So here is my current music area. 😛  I got a new turntable a couple of weeks ago because everything sounded “off” when listening to my old one.  I did some reading online, and discovered that my old turntable was kind of a piece of junk.  I bought this one as my birthday gift to myself, and the difference is extremely noticeable.  Previously I had thought that my cheapish speakers were to blame, but the speakers are pretty great for what they are.

The CD towers are recent thrift store finds.  A fair number of the CDs are, too.  I nearly always strike out when checking thrift stores for records, but I am usually much luckier when CD hunting.  I would pull out all of my recent finds for another group photo, but pulling everything out of its designated tower slot and then putting it all back is too much work, especially when I already feel like my head is about to explode. 😛


Fun with 45s

Thrift Store 45s

So clearly the best time to go thrift shopping is immediately after a snowstorm. 😛  I got these at St. Vincent de Paul today.  Would have gotten more, but at 99 cents each, I limited myself to songs I know and like. 99 cents is the same price they charge for LPs.

Starting at the top:
Petula Clark – Don’t Sleep in the Subway
Monkees – Pleasant Valley Sunday
Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman and Galveston
Judy Collins – Both Sides Now
Moody Blues – Nights in White Satin
Beach Boys – Fun, Fun, Fun and Good Vibrations

These discs used to belong to a guy named Bob who cared enough about his records to number and presumably catalog them all.  You would think someone like Bob would take really good care of his records, but they’ve been rubbing up against each other in their “protective” case for the last 50 years.  I’ve only listened to Good Vibrations thus far, and the B-side (the lovely “Let’s Go Away for Awhile”) is drowned out by crackle.

There were a few more Glen Campbell and Monkees discs there.  I had just been reading about Glen Campbell this morning, so I took that as a sign that I should get a couple of his.

The case in question.  Yeah, I bought it, too.  It felt wrong to leave it behind.


And the paper insert in the bottom of the case:

Disc-Go-Case Insert

Contrary to the insert’s claims, there were several huge dust bunnies living underneath this paper. 😛

Probably not the most astounding thrift store find ever, but it made my day.  The vast majority of records (and music in general) I find at the thrift stores are religious stuff, boring Lawrence Welk-type stuff, polka, and Christmas music.   It’s primarily religious stuff, though.

Finding Good Vibrations made me almost pee my pants, even though I must own a half-dozen versions of it at this point.  I had a couple Beach Boys 45s when I was a kid, about 7 or 8.  I listened to them quite a bit, but I can’t remember which ones I had. 😛  One of them was probably Surfin’ USA. I am 95% sure I had Surfin’ USA and Surfin’ Safari. Surfin’ Safari has 409 as the B-side, and I remember being confused as to why the song from the cleaning product commercial was on this record. 😛 ANYWAY,  This was around the same time my parents, who never go to concerts or other social events, saw them live, and I was insanely jealous.  Then one day I told my friend at school that I liked the Beach Boys, and she looked at me as though I were insane.  So I stopped listening to them for about 25 years. 😛

I actually found these discs a few days after hitting the CD motherlode at Goodwill last weekend.  There was a stack of about 50 GOOD CDs that were freshly donated.  Another shopper had gotten to them first and had put about half of them pulled aside.  She was listening to all of them on her Discman, then either placing the discs in her cart or back on the stack, depending on whether she liked what she heard.

Here’s what I walked away with:

(I’ll take a photo and add it in here later, LOL:  The Kinks, Cracker, Elvis Costello, and Van Morrison)

These were all $2 each, with the Kinks set rubberbanded together.  They have been the surprise-not-really-surprise best of what I’ve listened to thus far.


My spacebar is fucked up.  It only works about 50 percent of the time, and I have to smack it pretty hard to get it to work.  Sometimes I hit it too hard and end up with two spaces.  Do you know how hard it is to type with a half-functional keyboard?  The down arrow stopped working about a year ago, too. 😛

My most recent interesting thrift store acquisition:

Music Boxes and Chiming Clocks from the Alec Templeton Collection

Just gonna copy my description from Flickr:

Alec Templeton was a blind pianist who amassed a huge collection of music boxes, many of which were recorded for this disc. This is apparently an early entry in RCA’s Living Stereo series, and it sounds pretty cool. They left in all the mechanical clicks and clacks the boxes make, and you can occasionally hear another music box tinkling in the background. 😛

I have only made it through side A because this isn’t exactly the easiest listen in the world, but this is charming as all hell.  It’s apparently the companion piece to a book.  Pretty neat.

Tonight I have been listening to old mix CDs.  Some of them are CD I made for myself back in the day.  I popped them into the computer to see what was on them.  Spoiler alert: it’s the same shit I listened to all through college.  I also dug out some of the CDs Matt made for me.  Not the older ones that I played to death, but the later ones that I didn’t like very much at the time.  Surprise, I like them more now. 😛

Have I mentioned on here that I am on a diet?  The dietitian I used to see a zillion years ago always wanted me to go on a low-carb diet and the Internet insists that keto is the best diet for women with PCOS, but it always seemed too hard to stick to.  But then I felt so shitty after my miscarriage that I knew I had to do something and finally decided to go for it.  I have lost almost 20 pounds since Thanksgiving. It’s starting to get to the point where people are noticing, and it embarrasses the hell out of me.  Tomorrow will be my three-year anniversary of starting my current job.  I have slowly lost the better part of 50 pounds since then, about half from no longer sitting on my butt at work all day, and half from not eating garbage.

Last weekend I went nuts and bought new jeans at Goodwill because I was tired of having to hike my jeans up all the time.  My old jeans were size 18s.  The new ones are 14s.  I haven’t worn a size 14 since something like the 9th grade.  Yay.  😛

Let’s Take Pride in Keystone Country. Or not.


Taking Pride in Keystone Country

I first found one of these motherfuckers at the thrift store around ten years ago.  It’s a promotional record put out by one of our local news stations.  It’s an amazing little time capsule.  I didn’t buy it because I didn’t have a record player, and I regretted not picking it up for a while after that.

I forgot about it until I found this sealed copy at the very nice Helping Hands thrift store in Tyrone.  This was my first trip there in ages, and was pleased to see what a nice store it is.  The prices are good, and the store and inventory are nice and clean.  In the half-hour I was there, several people stopped in to make donations.  It’s very close to home for me, so I have no excuse to not go back.

Taking Pride in Keystone Country (back)

Back cover with giant Altoona Mirror ad.

Taking Pride in Keystone Country Taking Pride in Keystone Country (gatefold right)

Here’s the stuff inside the gatefold.  Left side has messages from a member of the local chamber of commerce, the head of WTAJ, and Mike Reid, the most famous person from Altoona.  He was a professional football player in the 70s, and became a Grammy-award winning musician in the 80s.

I can only assume that WTAJ got Mike Reid involved in this to trick people into thinking they would hear good music when playing this record. Turns out Mike’s just the narrator.  Sneaky, sneaky. 😛

This was a promo record that was produced entirely in Nashville by a marketing company.  The songs have nothing to do with this area.  The only thing that is relevant to the area is Mike’s narration.  Oh, and the word “Keystone” in the first song.   I would imagine the company could switch out “keystone” for some other descriptor as needed.

I am going to rip the disc and post it on YouTube eventually, but I need to gather the strength to listen to this terrible music again.  😛

In the meantime, if you are local, you should watch this video of Altoona back in the day from WTAJ’s  grandpappy, WFBG:

My parents always talk about old Altoona as though it were some amazing place, but it looks mighty blighty here.  The narrator isn’t afraid to call things as he sees ’em, either.

Really, my biggest disappointment was that this record didn’t include the hit “Meet Me in Altoona.”  In the 70s, Altoona’s slogan was “Altoona Has Hustle.”  The local paper ran a weekly feature on people making a difference in the community.  The lucky recipient was dubbed Altoona’s “hustler of the week.”  What an honor.