Sunday, February 7, 2021

TW3, or It Was Locusts, I Tells Ya!

 Made it through six days of selling, it had its moments, good, bad, peculiar, but that's selling for you. It was like an entire year's worth of markets crammed into one week.

I posted my ad on Monday and people started showing up at my house on Tuesday. I tried to schedule them so they wouldn't arrive in massive throngs, or thongs, and overwhelm my sense of decorum and equilibrium. That worked pretty well. The site where I advertised demanded that we follow all the government diktats regarding disease transmission, so I observed them only in the breach - no mask for me, if you want to wear one, well suit yourself. Probably 90% of the customers wore masks which made it easy for me to ignore whatever they were saying.

Most of them were polite, followed societal norms, some were odd and did things like stand in the driveway, stare at my house, then jump back in their car and leave, but I figure, as in most social interactions, rejection is protection. One woman sent me a message stating that both her husband and her child had just tested positive for the chinese lung aids, she hadn't, would it be okay for her to visit anyway? I declined - I may be foolhardy, silly, cavalier even, when it comes to this stuff, but no reason to live too dangerously, eh? 

Speaking of "Eh", I had probably a dozen or more Canadians stop by. We had some good laughs, we talked of the Great White North, freezing our tender bits off, Poutine and all things Canadian, carryin' on like we wuz pals from way back, you know, before 1812 or so. That was tremendous fun. 

I may have written before about the things I like about going to market - making friends, having repeat customers, selling stuff, making money, all good points, worthy goals, but most of all I loved seeing the dogs. I really miss seeing dogs and meeting new dogs and getting bitten by pit bulls (that actually happened once) and lo and behold, one customer rolled up and it was all three at once - a repeat customer, a good friend from Mississippi and she and her husband brought their new puppy. Aw, puppy! I was so taken with the little guy I neglected to take a picture, but you can imagine a fluffy puppy with great markings, excellent manners and a sweet disposition. That was this puppy, and he was in my house, he met my dog, they got along well, and the people bought a bunch of bowls. I got to carry around a young dog, talk to it, spoil it with treats, what a wonderful thing.

Speaking of my dog, she was inside sometimes, outside some, hardly ever let me know when people pulled into the driveway, and when she was in here with people she was very well behaved. Didn't bite anyone's face off. Got lots of attention and lots of treats. She liked that.

One pushy woman from Lawn Guy Land noticed that I couldn't hear (duh!) and insisted on jamming one of her hearing aids into one of my ears. I mentioned she was a pushy New Yorker, right? Is that redundant? Anyway, I tried it for a bit and noticed that the damn thing echoed. What the? "Oh, you get used to that" she said. Well, alrighty then. Do you know ASL? Have I got a sign for you! 

Speaking of ASL, at least two visitors did know it, and we had a good ol' time over there on the Group W bench, signing and jokin' and carryin' on. That was fun.

Today a guy showed up and he had some great stories. His grandfather died back in 2019. His death is not the great part, it was his life that mattered. He was born in 1910 and died just weeks short of his 110th birthday. He was the 7th oldest living man in the country at the time. He worked his whole life, had 10 children and attributed his longevity to avoiding food. I am not making this up - the old timer said he mainly didn't eat, didn't like food, worked all the time and there you have it. Shut up, Trooper. 

This is what my bowl room looks like now - I have gone from over 1,000 to about 50 bowls. I like that. That's a good look. Also, I got money. I like money.

At some point during the week I was watching an old movie and then my tv automatically started playing an anthology of old cartoons. Imagine my surprise upon seeing my dog and I portrayed in a cartoon made in the 1940s - talk about dramatic foreshadowing!

In any case, we got it handled, got the bowls moved out, kept the weirdos at bay, and mad stacked the Benjis - all in all, a good week was had by everyone who mattered.

Also my dog has a Cajun name.


I remembered this last night after I hit publish - one day a guy stopped by and asked "Do you know Frank P. (name redacted)?"

Before he could finish his question I said "No", as I don't know anyone in the local wood turning world. I work alone, sell alone, and am a turner, not a joiner (insider humor right there) and I don't want anything to do with clubs or classes or any of that stuff. 

Then what do you know, yesterday Frank P. himself showed up to take a look at what I was selling. Turns out he works with laminated blanks, so our work has nothing in common, but now when people ask I can say "Why yes, yes I do know Frank, hell, he's even been over to my house. We go way back." And that makes me laugh.


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Some Seppo said...

I wonder what it would cost for Sixty to hire movers from northern India. I bet their spammers are cheaper to hire.

Anyway, nice going with the sale. I'm surprised so many unfinished bowls went out the door, but you never know about people. Do all of the buyers plan to sand and finish them?

We just acquired a travel trailer for retirement travels and are so busy buying shit that my CC suspended transactions until I verified the 40 or so I made in one month. That included earnest money for both the new TT and a used tow vehicle. Our moving sale in 15 or 20 years will have lots bowls but they will be Corelle.

We're snowbirding for 11 days as a first trip next week.

I'm surprised there are so many Yankees and Eskimos in your neck of the woods. Central NC doesn't seem to me to be the place for them, but what do I know.

Sixty Grit said...

Thanks, SS, many of the bowls were sold to turners who will finish them on their own lathes. Others will be used for decoration. Some people think they can just grab a piece of sandpaper form Home Depot and sand them by hand. I wish them well.

In addition to being the "Land of the Long Leaf Pine" NC is also the land of the half backs - far up north types who move to Florida, discover that the heat, humidity, gators, snakes and Florida Man are all too much and decide to move half way back to where they came from. Canucks are funny - they are almost like real people. Noo Yawkers - well, the less said the better. Let me just say that stereotypes are based on facts, eh?

Good luck with your travels - see good things, have fun, and watch out while merging on the highway - I say that as someone who has pulled a trailer across the country a few times.

Some Seppo said...

Thanks for the well wishes and advice, Sixty. I installed a wireless rear view camera atop the back of the trailer so that should help merging somewhat. Look left in the mirror, look to the center stack monitor, then merge.

The biggest thing to get used to is speed limits being more than a suggestion, especially the ones inside the orange signs.

Calypso Facto said...

Wow, that was quite the clear-out, Sixty. Congrats!

I know it's not your usual thing, but didn't you try your hand at some laminate turning too?

Some Seppo -- good luck! Let us know how that's going at some point. Me and the Mrs. have the same plan, hopefully starting later this year. Eyeing up trailers lately.

Sixty Grit said...

I have done some laminations in the past, but once I moved into the forest I realized I could do giant turnings using single blocks of wood and not concern myself with glue, joinery and all that bother.

And while reviewing Frank's work I asked him about the obvious cross-grain situations he created in his laminations. He denied they were ever a problem, started tap dancing about "There is plenty of veneer in there" and so on, but wood is always going to expand and contract with changes in humidity, and boy howdy, do we have some of those around here. So, in summary, let me say that while I have had many laminations in the past, now I don't.

As for the travel bug - it even bit me earlier, but I was leaning more towards a very small RV - once piece, big enough for me and my pets, but then I realized they would not like life on the road. So I will roost here a while longer.

Some Seppo said...

We have a salt shaker and pepper mill turned from laminations. They are pretty.

Calypso, we bought a 20 ft Colemen Lantern LT 202RD brand new. RD means Rear Dinette so it isn't cave-like in the back with the three windows and you can walk around the bed instead of it being crammed in a corner like the smaller sizes. Plus it's double axle, so more stable.

I bought a 2012 Yukon Denali, tow package and 400hp 6.2 liter engine. Should pull fine.

Just the two cost me $12,500 and $12,000.

FICUS (Fraud In Chief of the US)(and a potted plant) will cost me dearly in fuel, but you can't take it with you.

Calypso Facto said...

Thanks for the additional detail, Some Seppo. I didn't want to pry but appreciate the lead. Looks like a really nice unit, and I agree that the rear dinette opens it up.

I've got the same truck, just Chevy vs, GMC. Wanted the 8,000 pound tow capacity for equipment and the eventual TT.

ampersand said...

Beware the Canadians. They're just down here to scope out the some weather ports. Pick em up cheap after the big breakup. As for grandpa, was he really 110 or just felt like he was. Work will do that to a fella.

Amartel said...

Congrats on a great success with the locusts! At least they weren't termites.
The public, as a group, can be quite off putting. Individually, fine. Group, hide!
I can't believe someone forced her hearing aid on you, literally. Yech! Ear raped!
Now you can relax a bit.

Sixty Grit said...

Youse guys crack me up - and yes, the Canadians are invading from the north. They are trying to escape the next ice age, get here ahead of the mile thick glaciers that will soon consume their land. We can't catch a break - invaders from the north and south and here we are stuck in the middle.

And yes - she kind of jammed that thing right in my ear - I was thinking "What kind of ear infection am I getting right here?" The good news is since it has been a year and a half since I have gotten a hair cut my hair pretty much kept that device from seating properly, so perhaps I avoided catching some far up north creepin' ear crude. I hope...

ndspinelli said...

I know some professional arsonists[professionally]. They could have "sold" everything to your insurance company.

Sixty Grit said...

Spinnerman, as tempting as that sounds, I prefer to keep everything honest and above board. No lightning of any faith or creed is going to strike here, unless and until it actually does, of course.

Hold it - now you have got me a bit paranoid - should I be concerned about the "I know people" sort of things going on around here? Dude!

Some Seppo said...

Oops, sorry to be an Internet braggart, Calypso. My brain froze momentarily. The camper was $21,500 OTD and the Yukon, with 124k miles, was $19,500 OTD.

Tennessee has large sales taxes but doesn't charge ad valorum every year you register your vehicle. Camping World has a bunch of add-ons with new campers, including selling and setting up the weight distributing hitch and filling the propane bottles. Huge profit center for them. The used car lot's $299 doc fee pales in comparison.

I have some friends in Vancouver BC and they are stuck there. She has needed a hip replacement since summer and is in line for next fall surgery. They have a condo in Puerto Vallarta they can't use this winter. When I tore my meniscus in 2017 and told her how quickly I could get surgery, 3 weeks between MRI and post op PT, she was surprised. But my surgery wasn't "free".

A little known fact aboot Canadian health insurance: If you're out of the country for more than six months per annum you lose your insurance and have to stay for a year to be vested again. Makes sense considering 40% of them are foreign born, including my Croation-Canadian friends.

My wife is planning a post-Covid yard sale. I hope it's soon, but I ain't falling for the hearing aid trick.

ndspinelli said...

There's Jewish Lightning and Greek Lightning. Scottish Lightning would not work.

MamaM said...

"Wow! What an undertaking!!" was my first response on seeing the emptied shelves. And I honestly wasn't trying to continue with the death-resurrection theme!!

But there it was, a massive undertaking completed, with SixtyG as the undertaker, making arrangements for new life elsewhere for his bowls, and possibly for himself down the road. Wow again! What a week of interactions and exchanges after the seemingly endless dearth of all things live-giving from Covid!! To have a house full of life, laughter, and stories, with dogs and deals worth making added to the mix, sounds like a bit of heaven--in keeping with the skull/death theme!

What an ending, and what a beginning, all around. And around and a round and a round--as the bowl turns!!

Congratulations on getting this all together, SixtyG. From start to finish, from the work of taking in something fresh sawed from the outdoors (where it was regarded as broken, old, in the way or unneeded) to sending it back out again in carryable and potentially useful pieces as a valued item, is quite a feat! A lot of life effort expended with a good outcome--one you were able to see through yourself on your own terms. As impressed as I've been with the bowls you've made and shown us over the years, this effort comes through as equally impressive, revealing another amazing overall effort and outcome!!

chickelit said...

You're moving for realz?

MamaM said...

^^^ Life-giving (not live-giving)

It was also heartening (and life-giving) to hear this story, SixtyG, along with the plans of others to move along and forward in ways that work for them. Thanks for sharing it along with the beauty of your finished bowls and work from past endeavors.

What did you notice about the bowls that were left on the shelf? Do they share anything in common? What surprised you most about the sale?

Sixty Grit said...

Did someone say internet braggart? My turn! Today it was so warm I opened the windows storm doors and allowed the warm breezes blow through the house. After a week of having to stay home and sell bowls my last customer showed up around lunchtime and once that transaction was completed I treated my dog and myself to walkies in the warm sunshine. We both appreciated it after being inside for so long. I appreciate my dog's patience in putting up with the long layoff.

There you have it.

As for the hearing aid - if Yankees show up - take their money, eschew their ear molestation.

Sixty Grit said...

Excellent pun, MamaM - I dig it! And that reminds me, I have to urn my next resting place before I finish up my work here - I need to turn a sphere about 8 or 9 inches in interior diameter so I can become a burden to my heirs.

I have already heard back from two of my customers - they sent pictures of bowls they finished from the rough turned ones I started - so the things I started are getting completed by others and I have to tell you, they are coming out nicely. They are doing me proud.

As for the ones that remain, I just checked - the common theme seems to be that they are shallow and not too large in diameter. Also, some of them are odd woods - deodar cedar, hackberry, pecan, and, oddly enough, a lot of white oak, which I have always liked but it doesn't seem to be universally popular.

CL - I am not sure - I am certainly contemplating it, and even if I don't move, it's never a bad thing to lighten ones load (with or without lightning, Spins) and have some options. I was just talking to a neighbor and he is thinking about moving - his house is too large for just him and his wife, and he got a bit more motivated when a small house down the street just sold for over-asking-price with a bidding war. What's up with that, eh? This is not CA! Anyway, that is encouraging, and if I do move I am going to need every dime I can get out of this place to get into a similar situation elsewhere, except for East Texas. Now there I can still find a bargain!

So that's it from here, for now, more to follow, I am sure.

chickelit said...

What's up with that, eh? This is not CA!

It's happening here in Wisconsin too. Borrowing money is still too cheap so prices will rise. I'm guessing that Biden will cause another property bubble.

chickelit said...'s never a bad thing to lighten ones load.... That was some bowl movement on the weekend.

Sixty Grit said...

Interesting. I have always made a bit of profit on every house I have ever sold, but I have missed the big bubbles - I didn't buy a house on Washington Avenue in Sunnyvale - they were asking $65,000 and I thought that was at least twice its actual value. File that under "How to boot away a cool half mil profit".

Sixty Grit said...

CL - I like your new logo - very nice!

chickelit said...

Another reason for inflating house values is that the new zoom economy allows well paid folks to live anywhere. Some of them are leaving places like NY and CA for cheaper digs.