Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Might Even Get This Project Done

Sometimes, maybe a lot of the time, I am much better at thinking of project ideas than I am at completing the project. This is a project that I may just complete.

I bought this 1955 Admiral TV set at auction on Thursday. It does not work and it only cost me $2, but I have plans. (Of course, if I don't get this one done it will cost me $15 to throw out the TV).

I am going to gut the TV and put a flatscreen monitor into the space behind the heavy glass screen.

I can remove the control panel from the front of this monitor and cut a slot for it near the control panel. I should be able to wire the TV's old off-on switch to turn the monitor on. I was ready to start gutting the TV, but the weather turned beautiful (by late October on the tundra standards) so I worked outside today. Now, having taken some measurements, it seems that this monitor will be too big for the interior space. I'll have to track down a slightly smaller monitor.

Mr. Flannery

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boy was it Windy

The title is the under statement of the week. We had sustained winds at more than 50 mph yesterday and overnight. Not as bad as Illinois or Indiana, but a bitter, cold, blowing sort of night. So what did I do? I went to an auction.

The auction was about 50 miles from my house at a place that I go almost every week. I have been eyeing three chairs that were in storage at one end of the auction house. They were there for an upcoming auction, but no one could tell exactly which auction that would be. Well the bill for last night's auction didn't specifically identify those chairs but had "chairs" listed. So I had to attend.

Now the run to the auction house was directly into the wind. My truck bucked and bumped and shuddered all the way there. I am pretty certain that it took an extra quarter tank of gas to get there.

I walked into the auction house, arriving my normal 3/4 hour late. I looked around, not much of interest. And then, there were the chairs. They looked OK, but it was hard to get too close to them with the other attendees plopping their butts into MY chairs. Someone said that they were from a hospital and another said that they folded down into a single bed. I talked to one of my friendly competitors and told him that all I was there for was the chairs. He said no problem, he wouldn't bid on them if I wanted them.

Then came the wait. Usually even a crappy auction will generate a couple of items of interest, or something that is worth bidding on just because it was soooooo cheap. Nothing at this auction. I had a bag of popcorn and a Diet Coke. No bids. I had a crappy turkey sandwich and another Diet Coke. And still no bids.

The entire new steel panel building was shuddering. I was watching a mirror that was hung on the wall swaying above the head of someone who was sitting in another of MY chairs. There was no window there and no air leakage at the center of the insulated steel panel, just the entire building swaying in the wind. The wind was picking up.

At about 7:00 PM (three hours after the auction started) I yelled at the auctioneer: "when are you going to sell the furniture"? Now this auctioneer is notoriously slow and some of us regulars have taken to not so gently prodding him to finish his auctions before breakfast. (In fact he is so slow that I stated, only half jokingly, that by being 45 minutes late I missed the first 10 items). He says "I guess that we can start mixing in some furniture right now". And the ringman grabbed one of MY chairs.

So here we go, after a month of anticipation and 3 hours of waiting they were UP. "Choice, take one or all three". "$500, who'll bid $400?" One of my friends laughed. Finally I open the bidding at $2.50. The bidding moves up, but I hang in there. Then "SOLD, to the guy who hasn't bid on anything all night". I was pleased. And then the attendees plopped their butts back down into MY chairs.

I waited to bid on a few other pieces of furniture, four fancy wrought iron backed, orange seated bar stools (they too are now mine). Soooo very 1970's. And a nice round table that my friend bid on so I skipped.

Now it was time to check out. Not too much of an addition problem in adding up both of my items. And on to loading.

Here's a hint for truck packing affectionados: NEVER TRY TO DEPLOY a TARP in a 50 MPH GALE. I thought that I was headed over the rainbow without Toto or my house. (I would have aimed for Nancy Pelosi for my landing). Nearly full flight without any vehicle. I decided to forego the tarp. Even though I am sure that with some clever rigging I could have made up my gasoline deficit on the return trip.

I pulled into my driveway and there was a huge limb across the road. I tried to push it with the truck and that worked for a little while but I ultimately had to get out and move it enough to squeeze the truck between the garage and the limb. I then moved two trash cans that had blown across the yard and tripped over another smaller limb that I didn't see in the pitch black. Into the house and to hell with unloading.

In the morning, I found another bigger limb had fallen on the driveway after I drove through there and the yard was littered with branches. I played lumberjack. I cut up the bigger limbs into manageable pieces and pulled them out of the way with my truck.

I brought the chairs to Gypsy Lea's for the November sale. Gypsy was very pleased with them. I showed her the fold out bed and she was enthralled. I folded it out and she gave it a try. (She had been moving and painting furniture all morning and thought a short nap would be useful). She was then really enthralled. The chairs will be available after November 11th.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, October 25, 2010

Steampunk X-Ray Machine

I was bidding on a few items in a local online auction and this x-ray machine kept calling me. No one has bid on this behemoth and I was starting to get interested. It looked incredibly heavy, but it was sooooo cheap. I decided that I would look at it just before it closed.

I was sure that the bracket that held the chest level screen would make a wonderful industrial chic mounting arm for a monitor or HDTV. And the box with dials and buttons on the right side would yield a bunch of good parts for a Mad Scientist lamp or other Steampunk project.

I knew that it was a heavy pig and that the auctioneer wasn't going to let me leave the parts that I didn't want, but I was intrigued. Luckily someone else bid with about 5 minutes left in the auction. I saved myself.

The guy was loading the machine into his truck when I got there to pick up my items. That is the guy, plus 3 other huffing and puffing men were loading the machine. It was bigger and heavier than I had imagined. I thanked the guy for bidding before I got swept up into bidding.

Mr. Flannery

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Gave Up and Turned on the Heat

Well I officially wimped out this afternoon. I turned on the furnace here on Flannery Bay. It will now be gulping along until April, sucking up that very pricey LP. This is just about as late as I can remember for kicking on the heat. The past two weeks of warm, sunny weather have provided sufficient solar gain to make the house tolerable. But two days of 40*, rain and cloud cover have made it too cold to handle.

I have hot water in floor heating. You don't just flip a switch and get hot air blowing around in a few minutes. The entire granite covered concrete mass on the first floor has to be warmed to get heat moving into the house. This is not the kind of system that you can twist the thermostat a few degrees because you feel a chill. Of course late this afternoon the tile floor in the master bath was a toasty radiator to my stocking shod feet.

I am going to have an interruptable electric heating system installed soon. The current LP system will then become backup if the cheap electric service is strained and cut off. I don't anticipate that happening too often, given that the service has only been interrupted 5 times in the past 4 years and then the longest period was 4 hours. Then that large heated thermal mass will keep me warm until the electric is restored.

Mr. Flannery

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Industrial Chic Floor Lamp

I bought this dental exam lamp at an auction last week. It looks like it just came out of the Restoration Hardware catalog. This is the second dental lamp that I've owned. The first was a turquoise 1950's special with a large lamp head and built in diffuser. Unfortunately I sold that lamp (much to the surprise of Teresa at the Porch in Buffalo). I think that I will keep this one for a while.

Mr. Flannery

Two Old Photos

I really like old photos. I have boxes and boxes and bags of them. I have some old photos that I bought when I garage saled while in college. (We would buy military coats for $.50 and then sell them on campus for $5). Anyway - here are two of my favorite photos.

Everyone is dressed up and eating a big smile shaped slice of watermelon. Fourth of July picnic maybe. Near Annandale MN c. 1880. (The numbers key to names on the back of the photo.)

Two saxaphones, a cornet and she has a slide trombone. Minnesota Iron Range, c. 1920.

Mr. Flannery

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hauling Trailers

I just received news from Seattle that Leigh got the Airstream trailer. Early next week I will go pick it up and haul it back to her lake house. My pickup will handle the weight, but I need to get a larger trailer hitch ball to fit the coupling.

She's going to let it sit for the winter. She'll begin refitting in the Spring. Its going to look great as a guest bedroom. It will sit on a mound north of the house and have a panoramic view of the lake. Not bad for sheets of aluminum.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, October 18, 2010

Airstream Land Yacht

My very long term high school friend, Leigh, was back in Minnesota to check in on her parents, this weekend. We took a little trip around the region to look at some things that I knew that she would be interested in. We took photos of collapsed barns, looked at a farm auction and immediately left, visited Gypsy Lea's to see the wonderful junk available there and EXPLORED an AIRSTREAM trailer that was sitting on the lot of an abandoned gas station for sale.

Damn, she is beautiful. Its a 1970 Land Yacht that has been almost completely gutted. The bathroom is still in good shape and intact, but the rest is stripped down to the bare wood. Leigh is thinking that it would make a great guest bedroom next to her lake house. I think that it will look like a glistening jewel all buffed up and placed in the woods next to her house.

She is calling the owner about it today. I may be haulin' trailer later this week.

Mr. Flannery

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It Will Be Hoggerific

I'm thinking of having a sale here at Flannery Bay. It will be called:

Days of Swine and Roses.

Mr. Flannery

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Its a Singer

I actually purchased an old sewing machine at auction last week. It was thrown into a lot with some pieces that I wanted. I decided that, even though the machine was worthless, the drawers had some value. The machine was trash, so I disemboweled it out on my driveway. The drawers came out in two nice stacks, the end pieces are fancy cast iron, and I cut out the SINGER logo from the frame.

I going to bring the pieces into Gypsy Lea's for the October sale that started today. I have real business in St. Cloud, so its not a special trip. Maybe someone will be named Singer, or be a singer or maybe a sewing machine collector. We'll see if anything sells.

Mr. Flannery

The 2 banks of drawers and the Singer piece all sold at Gypsy Lea's within the first day that they were there. Maybe I'll watch for guttable machines at auction.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gypsy Lea's October 2010

Kris and Gypsy have been busting their butts getting Gypsy Lea's ready for the October occasional sale. The other dealers have been assisting and the place will look great by Thursday morning. Of course the absolutely worthless City will still have the street in front under construction with blockades, holes and only a chance of sidewalks. We will make it work, but it would be nice if there was some hint that the City worried about the few businesses still in operation in the old downtown area.

Here are some photos of the shop partially set up. I am certain that many of these areas have been changed and look even better now.

Lots of painted furniture, great smalls and a large number of very interesting and unique items will be available next weekend. We hope to see you at Gypsy Lea's.
Mr. Flannery

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hogs at Gypsy Lea's for October Sale

I finally brought a few of my really big pieces into Gypsy Lea's. The green parts bin which is about 10 feet long and the Great Northern Railway cart which must weigh 300 pounds are both finished and in the set up.

This is a Swedish beer case that I coated with amber shellac.

We have been getting all the cool items set up for the sale that starts on Thursday. I will have more photos tomorrow.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, October 4, 2010

Honor, Duty and What's Really Important

“Lindsay Lohan, 24, is all over the news because she’s a celebrity drug addict. While Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, Chase Stanley 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, Sheldon Tate 27, they are all Marines who gave their lives this week, no media mention. Honor THEM by reposting…”

Bruno Behrend 10/03/10

SEMPER FI and Godspeed.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Finally - Some Things are Ready for Gypsy Lea's

I finally have some pieces ready for the October sale at Gypsy Lea's. I get to load them into the pick-up tomorrow for a trip Sauk Rapids.

Do you remember this cubby? I finally repainted the red because I could not find the brand and color that I had used to paint most of it earlier. The red is pretty nice. I put a coat of laquer on the drawer faces to seal them in their partially rusted state. I need to get two small brass knobs for the pull out writing shelf tomorrow.

This is going to be one of my favorite pieces. It is a six foot diameter wood pulley wheel. I sanded and shellacked it today. It was like shellacking a sponge because the wood really sucked up the shellac. I think that the wheel took as much shellac as the entire green cubby bin. Wooden pulley wheels are featured in the latest Restoration Hardware catalog.
Babe helped me finish the green bins cupboard. I will put it together tomorrow after the shellac hardens. I rebuilt the cross members on the steel wheel cart with two by four pieces that I painted black. The HEAVY oak planks will be nailed into place tomorrow.
This is a mundane bookcase, but I did paint it so it can sell at Gypsy Lea's.

Mr. Flannery