Dec 30, 2009

Swan Lovin'

And now, to cap off a tremendous year of donation sorting, photocopy sneaking, doodad hoarding, and general junk piracy, may I present to you, for everlasting glory upon the internet, the greatest Junk Pirate photo of all times:

I really don't know if any commentary could possible do justice to the creepiness and yet tender loving emotions of the old lady in her kitchen caressing a swan photo that I like to call "Swan Lovin". It probably is even better without any context, even if that context is just how I came across it.
This picture was one of literally hundreds of old photos featuring some guy's transformation from little kid into old man (the most recent photos were from the 1970s). These photos got donated in two giant trash bags in December of 2005. As amazing as this is on its own, many of the pictures featured this guy hanging out in nature with various swans, ducks, and geese. Minds were and continue to be blown.
In fact, the cover of Junk Pirate issue #10 was a goose portrait photo from the same collection. That issue (some of which is reprinted in the Junk Pirate Volume One book) featured a bunch of photos from those trash bags.
Swan Lovin ended up framed and available at the December 2006 Junk Pirate art exhibition. I think it sold for like 8 or 16 bucks. I didn't even scan it or anything. Luckily for me, and all of us, the person who bought it, artist Lisa Romero, was nice enough to scan it for me.

Happy New Year!

Dec 18, 2009

Snakes! Snakes! They're everywhere!

What's worse, dozens of small shedded snake skins, or one giant one?

Dec 14, 2009

Twist this fool's cap back

More awesome toy guns! The little beauties are heavy steel so you feel like a man when you hold them. And the cap-ammo is available over at the Walgreens down the road. 

Dec 9, 2009

S.C.R.E.A.M. : Shredded Cash Rules Everything Around Me

It's is not all that uncommon for us to receive donations of cash... shredded cash that is. Finely shredded US currency that somehow retains a bit a seeming value even though it is really just worthless shredded paper. As a kid I used to think that if I just had the time, I could reassemble enough bits to make me rich. Nowadays, shredded money just reminds me that our unshredded money is still just paper that symbolizes credit and has no real value. Since we ditched the gold standard (1946), and eventually the US Treasury refused to exchange currency for gold (1971), paper money (and coins, too) has value only in theory.

We usually get little bags like the one above or sometimes it's used in a paperweight or pen or something. But the tenuous conceptual hold of paper to value really hit home when some dude donated a couple of trash bags full of shredded cash.

Worthless. Or would you pay 25¢ a handful? 
Shredded cash is fun as a novelty, and could be a useful art supply or perhaps make for decent insulation. I guess it is better than no cash.

Dec 3, 2009


If you think that I won't answer the telephone using a megaphone, you have no idea  how bored we get working at here the Junk Store.

Nov 30, 2009

Pea Shooters

New additions to the Junk Pirate Weapons Stockpile:

A whole grip of Techy-Gloks. With plenty of rubber pellet refills. Not quite as powerful as a pump-action b.b. shooter, but this due quite nicely for defending the loading dock against donation hags in their silent hybrid cars. 

The pellets even load into these realistic clips. Just like a big boy gun.

Nov 28, 2009

The Cap'n

Another breathtaking piece of Junk Store original artwork. 
I call this one "The Cap'n" and he's running this ship from here on out. 

Nov 19, 2009

Sort Dice Good

After a hard day of smashing mugs and precariously stacking bags of scrap fabric at the Junk Store, I like to unwind with some smooth jazz and a fat pile of mixed dice. Nothing soothes my jangled nerves like making little piles and rows of dice.

There are so many ways you can group them. Color, size, material, number of sides, cleanliness, or any way I want them. Once I add any new additions to the collection, I then put them all back in baggies and jars and then back on the shelf until tomorrow. 

Nov 11, 2009

The latest in audio technology

Someday soon I'll take a picture of the 8-track playing Robot, but until that day comes we can all still rock out and rock on with this massive box of classic tracks.

It's all here, man. Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Steppenwolf, Floyd, Zepplin, the Stones, the Beatles, Thin Lizzy, Ram Jam, Neil Young, and even some George Carlin comedy tapes. And if you think the Junk Store isn't equipped with the latest in stereophonic playing devices, you obviously aren't hip to the scene, man. 

Not only do we have a deluxe 8-Track player hooked into the sorting room Hi-Fi system...

but we're also rocking this fashionable "portable" two-speaker 8-track player with AM/FM radio antennae. Sure, it doesn't take batteries, but with enough extension cord (harvested from the office aisle endcap), you can carry the heavy tunes with you down the block, man.

Nov 4, 2009

Damn My Eyes

Look out! We've been seeing lots of good Eyes lately...

Do these go into the eyeball collection, or the rubber ball collection?

Eye N Eye N Eye N Eye N Eye

I was very  pleased to see the warning embossed into the back of this eye-bubble container.

Trip Out.

Doll's eyes: Worth their weight in gold.

And we conclude with the above image of the psychedelic eye bin from the Junk Pirate Archives. 
See you next time. I'll keep an eye out for you. And so on. 

Oct 30, 2009

Manifest Destiny (in magnet form)

We've got another collection on our hands.

Ever so slowly we are trying to accumulate and complete collection of all 50 state magnets. To up the ante a little bit, we are only including magnets that are shaped like the state itself (unless it is somehow really cool, then we'll include it. However, only state-shaped magnets will represent the actual state). USA! USA!

Heck, we'll even include some Canada, Mexico, or even Europe if they get donated.

Since Washington D.C. is technically not a state, we'll have to settle for this US Capitol shaped magnet. 

Connecticut and Illinois both currently have two representatives. 

I'm not too happy with Montana's magnet, but it will have to do for the moment. We're also having trouble getting all these magnets to fit together in the shape of the continental US since the magnets aren't really standardized in scale. That and I really have no idea which state goes where other than the the three on the West Coast. 

Oct 27, 2009

The Rules

So, as stated in the side-bar over there, and probably elsewhere, everything posted on this blog, and included in all Junk Pirate zines, has been willingly donated to the Junk Store where I work as my "day job", sorting piles of junk for resale or reuse and occasionally finding interesting tidbits to photograph or photocopy. "Made with and from items donated to the Junk Store". And as far as I know, nobody has ever donated an item with the intention of it being used in Junk Pirate.
I have, however, received specific contributions to Junk Pirate from friends or fans. Usually these are giving to me directly or mailed to me (often from prison). These I politely decline, or just ignore (occasionally I might keep them for my own personal found art stash), but they don't qualify as Junk Pirate material because they weren't donated to the Junk Store.
Now, there has been one or two item that reside in a fuzzy area: Like the cover photograph for Junk Pirate #11.

This is, in fact, a copy of a photograph I took myself. How could I justify not only allowing this to go into Junk Pirate, but putting it on the cover?!? Let me explain...
When you are a constant hoarder like I am, you are frequently re-donating items back into the flow as space or interests dictate. A few years back I was cleaning out the many, many boxes of leftover personal photographs and so I donated a lot of these to the Junk Store. Nothing too personal in there (I know better than that), but mainly leftover shots from the high school and college years. About a week after donating those pictures, a co-worker unearthed this picture and handed it to me as possible Junk Pirate gold. It took me a moment to realize I had taken this picture myself many years earlier.
Now, obviously this picture rules: Overweight metal guitarist with long hair in his face, a flying-V guitar, and high-top sneakers! Add in a finger covering part of the flash and some other dude's face coming in on the left and you have gold, my friends. 
So, the loophole I'm using to justify this image's entry into Junk Pirate was the quality that it was, in fact, willingly donated to the Junk Store (by me) without the intention of having it in Junk Pirate. If I had simply combed through my old photos and found this one, it wouldn't qualify. I know it is a controversial precedent, but I honestly did not realize I even had taken such an awesome photo until another Pirate had found it.

Along those lines, we have a new entry into the Tales From the Junk Store blog:

Yeah, it's a kind hippie "chillum" swirly-glass ganga pipe complete with hand-sewn and embroidered pillow bag. A Junk Pirate no brainer, right? Well, I know the deadhead girl whom owned this piece of paraphernalia really well. In fact, I even encouraged her to donate all her old hippie stuff to the Junk Store when she was clearing out her old storage unit. While I was simply hoping to score some old Fillmore posters or various Jerry memorabilia, I was stoked enough to see this toker in the mix. Now, I am confident enough that she did not intend for anything of hers to end up in Junk Pirate, and that is good enough for me to put it in Junk Pirate.

So I guess that is the rule: Items must be willingly donated to the Junk Store without the intention of having the items in Junk Pirate. Now that that's out of the way, let's all roast a bowl of dank nugs.

Oct 25, 2009


Ahhh yes. Old school manual typewriters. I personally own a 1923 Underwood, which I use for all my non-digital correspondence. But you could do a lot worse than one of these:

A beautiful 1932 (date approx) Royal #10 Standard. Just oil this baby up, throw a new ribbon in there, and [kachunk-kachunk] your on your way to great typing adventures.

Oct 16, 2009

Adventures In Cubed Eggs

This caught my eye from within the heap of dusty donations:

"Makes a square egg", eh? I was just thinking how I was getting sick and tired of my hard boiled eggs just rolling around all over my plate willy-nilly. Square eggs might just be the answer to this breakfast dilemma. So I busted out my employee discount privileges, picked up a sixer of eggs (also a sixer of beer), and could barely sleep through the night in anticipation of right-angled hen-fruit come morning time.

Boil 'em

Peel 'em and plate 'em.

Cram 'em (one at a time) into this orange plastic contraption and crank down the top.

Ta-daaaa... Breakfast is served.

And I failed to even show you the best part...
The box has an illustration of a chicken cursing from the pain of laying a square egg!
You can order yours right now for only 3 bucks right here. No promises on the cool retro cursing chicken packaging, though.

A quick inter-web search will find several egg-cubing videos, plus some photos sets and message board discussions. Apparently putting your egg in the fridge while it is cubing will help it retain the cube shape. 
I also want to point out that I have refrained from using any "egg" puns this entire post. And it wasn't easy.

Oct 8, 2009

The Bubbly

Here's a good way to kick off a dreary Thursday morning at the Junk Store...

While I, personally, prefer the larger 750ml size bottles of sparkling white wine, I'm not adverse to guzzling down 3 or 4 of these 250ml little guys. There's enough here for myself, The Mambo-Jahambo, Big Merl, and maybe even hook-up Babs with a lil' bottle to take home. 

No complaints about a box of champagne.

Oct 2, 2009

Other Peoples Photos: In the Boudoir part 1

Hiding amongst the massive piles of discarded snapshots, vacation slides, and underexposed prints are a few gems. This weekend we'll present a new photo every day from a small collection of b-roll cuts I like to call "In the Boudoir".
Soft focus, lacy undergarments, high heels, and eighties hairdos. And these pictures were all printed in frameable 8x10 size. 

Sep 27, 2009

a Slinky by any other name

Check out this gold plated "Executive Puzzle":

  • Great Stress Reliever
  • Unique Memo Holder
  • Attractive Oak Base
  • Engraveable Brass Plate

Give me a break! "Executive Puzzle" my ass! I know a Slinky when I see one. And exactly how is this a "puzzle" at all?!?

I actually think this would be a cool thing for some high-powered CEO to have on his desk. And employees would say, "Hey, is that a golden Slinky?". And the boss would say, "I'll have you know it's an Executive Puzzle and I use it to uniquely hold my memos. You're fired!"

Sep 25, 2009

We need to talk about your flair...

Nice Outback Steak House pin collection here.

Either somebody was a big fan of the Outback Steak House, or, more likely, somebody was forced to wear all these stupid pins as part of their uniform. 

Some seem promotional, while others seem like badges of achievement for sales or something. Either way... yikes.

We've got Grillers, not Gorillas!