Jul 31, 2008

Jul 30, 2008

Freedom Is Not Free

"Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain..."

Jul 26, 2008

Junk Pirate Archive: Dolls

From the Junk Pirate Archive come these pictures of a few of the better mint-in-box dolls we've seen. You got the Trailer Trash doll and the Drag Queen doll (both 1st Edition!) .

The link I used to have for these toys (trailertrashdoll.com) now leads to the "Redneck Warehouse" where you can get such favorites as the "Vintage Jeff Foxworthy Redneck Collection" and "Dancing George Bush Doll". God bless America.

Jul 24, 2008

the Odyssey 300

Holy crap! It's a 1976 Magnavox Odyssey 300, one of the first home video game systems to use a single dedicated microchip. It plays 3 games: Smash, Tennis, and Hockey (basically three versions of Pong) all with the use of only two knobs (instead of six like the Odyssey 200). Ralph Baer and Magnavox (the creators of the original home video game system, the Odyssey, in 1972) would go on to make several other Odyssey versions, plus even more versions only available in the international market.
This specimen comes in amazingly good condition for a 36 year-old machine, with the power cord, in the original box (with some of the original packing styrofoam)! Who knows if it works, and who cares. These systems are sleek and gorgeous and look better on the shelf than in use.

We have gotten some great old gaming systems here in the past: Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment Systems, a boatload of Sega Genesis, Coleco, and even an Intellivision, but I think the Odyssey 300 is the best score of them all so far.

You can see all the Odyssey systems at the pong-story website here.

Jul 23, 2008

Vintage Pencil Sharpeners

Old office supplies are the best.
Back in the day, stuff was made from hardwood and steel. These pencil sharpeners are many, many years older than me yet they still work better than any mamby-pamby, battery-powered electric ones they make today do. With a little elbow grease you could grind a new pencil down to a sharp nub in under 30 seconds. No classroom or art studio should be without one of these. Plus, once you get three variations of a similar thing happening you call it a collection and let the hoarding begin!

I especially love how there are variable hole sizes, in case of the rare instance when you need to sharpen one of those extra thick pencils.

Jul 22, 2008

Skull Mug

File this one under the heading Cool Mugs and Drinking Glasses That Are Shaped Like Things:

It's a pirate skull mug.
Pretty big, too. It probably holds about a pint and a half of grog. Maybe more. The fact that it is glass and not ceramic adds a couple of bonus points.

Jul 19, 2008


I forgot another important category of Junk Pirate donation treasure... weapons! Be it BB guns, machetes, switchblades, ninja stars, bullets, pepper spray, or just a good old fashioned broadsword, weapons always make good donations. You can never have too many instruments of death around in a pinch. Hell, even toys weapons are pretty cool, especially the old kind of water pistols that look pretty real before the law was passed that made them all have neon colors. Here is a picture from the old Junk Pirate archives of one of the many incarnations of the Junk Store Arsenal:

While this donation isn't exactly a weapon, it still qualifies as far as I'm concerned. An authentic wooden ammo-box that housed a World War One missile. Ka-boom!

Jul 18, 2008

Fine Wine

No big deal. We got a couple bottles of wine products the other day. They both look WAY past their prime. We'll see if any of the crew is brave (or desperate) enough to step up to the plate with these bad boys.

Jul 17, 2008

Holy Water

Not one, but two bottles of Holy Water from France.

Aaaaaaagh! It burns!

Jul 16, 2008

Simpsons Dice

Two new additions to the recent resurrection of the dice collection. These are both from different packagings of the Simpsons Trivia Game. There must be a dozen different packaging variations of this game, and apparently some are more classy than others.

On the left we have what is no more than a blank plastic cube with some little stickers on it. On the right we have the real deal, with boldly printed images of Chief Wiggum, Bart, Mr. Burns, Krusty, Moe, and Apu right on the plastic.

Jul 15, 2008

The Ravages of Aging as seen through Note Pads

Here we have five different note pads from Real Estate Agent V. Rodriguez (Your Neighborhood Professional). You can see her growing older in each one. My favorite is the one with her chilling with the "sold" signage. What a pro.

Jul 14, 2008

Drink Beer - Make Plane

Another great piece of beer can art: a Budweiser airplane with bottle cap landing gear and a huge propeller that really spins!

This isn't even the first beer-can-plane we've gotten. It isn't even the second. In this classic image of the Giant Foam Head from the Junk Pirate archives we can see a couple of Fosters can-planes on the left. There were also others I didn't get pictures of. Drink beer and get creative, people.

I Want Your Skull, I Need Your Skull

While animal bones and skulls certainly are not a daily donation, they aren't nearly as rare as they probably should be. I'd say we get a skull or two in about three times a year. This is a pretty good haul for one box. Nice variety here.

We also get other bones, teeth, claws, and shedded snake skins now and then. We've gotten two horse skulls on separate occasions (one just appeared when no one was looking), and the greatest donation of all time was a skull... a human skull. I shit you not. That is whole different and crazy story. Here is an older pic from the Junk Pirate archives of the old bone drawer:

Jul 13, 2008

Skate to Create

What is so great about these two remote control "Extreme Skateboard" toys is that they came in with two separate donations about 5 days apart. The Jammer scrounged around for an hour to come up with six double-As and a 9-volt to get one of them running (7 batteries for just one of these things!!!) and all it could do were a couple of 360-spinners. We tried to make a little roll-in ramp but the skater just fell over... just like in real life. Extreme indeed.

Jul 12, 2008


Did you know that the worldwide population of honey bees is dramatically disappearing? What is happening? Where are they going? What is driving them away? The mystery got even deeper when this bottle of dead bees showed up:

Actually, the donation was really just a crusty box of dead bees, but we put 'em in a bottle, cuz, you know, everything looks better in a bottle.
I tell you what, if you want to make your whack-ass collection of garbage stand out in the heap, put that shit in a glass bottle or jar. Putting stuff in jars took my Junk Pirate lifestyle to a whole new level.

I'm Coming Up So You Better Get This Party Started

So, being a Junk Pirate is basically about sorting through donations at the junk store all day. A good deal of the donations are straight-up garbage, and then the rest are sorted into reusable categories like books or toys or clothes or furniture and so on forever. But, from time to time, a real bit of junk pirate gold comes in. The Junk Pirate zine (and book) takes photocopies of all the cool images and photos and stuff and compiles them for fun and profit (believe me, there is no profit). So now this blog can fill you in on all the great finds that aren't really xerox-able. So as long as somebody is occasionally donating batteries from the digital camera, I'm hoping to update this blog regularly with the goods.

I've found it helps to get me through the working day to try to find an "item of the day". Sometimes it is clear what rules, sometimes I just have to pick the best from the pile of crap. The best items fall under a few categories:
  • Stuff I need: not really interesting stuff, but something I've wanted or needed. Like, I could use a new wallet... and here is a new wallet.
  • Stuff that looks cool: like a funny drawing, a cool poster, or a lava lamp.
  • Stuff that is worth money: this rarely happens, but sometimes we get something genuinely valuable in the real world.
  • Stuff that is old: vintage board games or stuff like that. This is more of a sub-category of things that looks cool.
  • Food, drinks, or drugs: I think these items speak for themselves.
  • Collections of stuff: show me one wind-up toy and you got garbage, show me two and you got some fun, show me 3 dozen and we have a winner
  • Stuff that makes you think "what kind of fucking insane person would donate this to a thrift store?!?". This is the best stuff. Be it a dildo, a box of teeth, or a rotten bag of apples. Not something to keep, but well worth taking a photo of and posting it on a blog.
That is mostly how it works. Except there are lots of other fun bits and ways to goof off that might also get included. Realistically, I don't think I'm up for actually posting a new blog every day with some item, but I'll try to stay on it. Most likely you'll get about 4 postings happening all at once every week or so.

And if you think you know the thrift store I work at and who I am, just pretend you don't. It will be better for everybody involved this way.

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter

It's the Junk Pirate blog! Here ye can see the hand-picked treasures from the ever evolving heap o donations at the Junk Store. Armed with me trusty lads, the Junk Pirate team, and me digital camera, I plan to bring the pain and pleasure of the wildest, strangest, stomach churning-est, and downright awesome bits and pieces to you on a somewhat regular basis. If ye like what ye sees on this blog, buy the Junk Pirate book or zines! Leave ye comments below. Donate regularly to yer local thrift stores. Always recycle. Bookmark the blog. Never retreat. Never surrender. Arrrrrrr!