In my last post I mentioned that we live in a desert, by which I meant an actual desert, the Chihuahuan.

Soon we will be living in a consumer desert as well, if Herself has anything to say about it.

Her elder sister and niece have been earning some pocket money hawking items on eBay, and their enthusiasm for the activity has proven contagious. Herself has begun working our overgrown unused-goods orchard like an undocumented immigrant, plucking low-hanging fruit like her unworn Oakleys, my still-functional Flip UltraHD camcorder, and our fifth-generation iPods for sale to the slavering hordes of bargain hunters at large on the Innertubes.

She also required me to drag her old Cannondale R800 down to this weekend’s BikeABQ bike swap at Sport Systems, where the 23-year-old machine is certain to fetch dozens of dollars. If anyone in the vicinity needs a low-mileage, made-in-USA, 48cm road bike, this sucker is the last nickel bargain in America.

There’s all manner of crap cluttering up El Rancho Pendejo, and none of it is safe. Soon, if we’re not careful, we’ll be forced to go out and get … more stuff!

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20 Responses to “Unstuffed”

  1. Sharon Says:

    I agree, simple life is a happy life. But I must draw a line at old albums, cds and anything bike related. All other clutter must go…

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The trick is to avoid stuff acquisition. But this is a toughie.

      This bike swap is gonna be nuts. I was there about 10 minutes after check-in started and the place was already packed with folks on a mission to clear out their closets, spare rooms, basements and garages.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Bike swaps are dangerous for me, especially big ones like the GABA Swap in Tucson. The constant danger is coming back with more stuff than you took. Our little swap meet, held in our LBS parking lot, is safer. Most folks are getting rid of things I am not interested in.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That’s one of the reasons I quit going to VeloSwap, Pat. Plus the drive was a horrible pain in the ass.

      This looks like it could be fairly substantial, Albuquerque being the big city round these parts. One dude was hoping to unload six bikes. He must not have the fever the way I do.

      I could probably do without my Steelman time-trial bike, which I rarely ride — but it’s a Steelman! I know the guy who built it. It would be like throwing a bro’ off the ice floe as the polar bears close in.

      Steelman time-trial bike

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        You actually raced and have cycling journalism as a profession. So, you have certainly earned and deserve your affection for the Steelman. I am just a cycling hack, and have little trouble getting ride of cycling things. But, I have grown very fond of my Saga and would have trouble selling it. Whoever painted that frame that gorgeous kelly green was having a very good day. and the welder probably was feeling good as well.

        The next things to go up for sale here are an old, made in Japan, Bushnell spotting scope, a 1996 USA made, cherry cherry burst, Ovation Standard Balladeer guitar, and my last impulse buy, the Eureka 12 by 12 screen house that we used once.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        A gee-tar? Six-string? Whaddaya want for it? I’ve been thinking it might be fun to try to remember what little I knew about playing. And Hal has been taking lessons along with Harrison, and I believe they’ve been sharing a guitar.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Hey Patrick. This is what it looks like. It’s in excellent shape save one very small dent (from a camping trip) in the top which has not led to a crack in over 10 years. I just restrung it. Comes with hard case and custom (has a inkle woven strap that Sandy made) strap. $300 for you. If you’re interested, I will send you up close pix and tote it along when we come to town next month. You really should play it to determine if you want it. It’s the standard version of the custom Balladeer that Marv played so well.


      • psobrien Says:

        Shit, hold the presses! It is a 2006 model, still made in USA, not 1996.

      • JD Dallager Says:

        Huh? I didn’t realize that polar bears actually bicycled; much less on TT bikes.

        Oh…..I get it now! 🙂

  3. David Rees Says:

    The smarter one and I have been in clean-out mode for some time now, without really thinking about doing it. We never really had much stuff, but as we got older we just started moving into getting rid of things we weren’t using anymore, including things we inherited from our now long dead parents (THE hardest stuff to move on from; better pack your bags for a very long guilt trip). Attic above the garage is now nearly cleared out through heavy usage of garage sales, friends who do swap meets and more importantly, donations. We found that clothes don’t do well at garage sales so we’ve been spreading out donations to Helping Hands for the Blind, battered women’s shelters, Vietnam Vets and the like. Very satisfying.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We got fairly ruthless in the last move, David. If somebody around here weren’t fascinated by toys, whizbangs, gewgaws, whatchamacallits and comosellamas we’d have a lot less crap cluttering up the joint.

      We pass on a lot of clothing and other items to worthy charities. Since I tend to dress like a homeless person on the rare occasion when I actually leave the house these duds are not often upgrades, but at least they’re in good condition, since as a Professional Blogger I spend most of my daylight hours in my PJs, making shit up.

  4. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    My wife’s been in ebay mode for a few years now – a whole lot of stuff we no longer use has gone away, most recently the SCAPIN bike I put together for EROICA CA. The LandShark/Huffy’s still on-the-block too along with books, tools, etc. Once we pull-the-trigger on the move to Italy we’ll shift into the big-ring when it comes to getting rid of stuff. Our plan is to have everything we need already over there and we’re well on our way with that project!

  5. B Lester Says:

    Damn. Ovation at that price is a steal. If I thought my accountant/spouse wouldn’t object, there would be a bidding war going on here. Of course, I only have the minimum number of bikes (3, per Velominati), cuz I was “convinced” to move the rest.

  6. Mike Frye Says:

    George was at his peek when he came up with that set. The man could write and think. I still have a few worn out LPs of George.

  7. Herb Clevenger Says:

    Trying to sell a rarely ridden 43.5 cm Full Ultegra triple Airborne TI Carpe Diem. You wouldn’t believe the lowball offers I’ve gotten. I thought at $900 people would be fighting over it since anything new remotely spec’d out like it would be $2.5k. They say the fastest money you will ever lose is pulling away from the dealership with your new boat in tow. I beg to differ-high end bikes seem to lose value beyond comprehension.
    The welds on the frame are like fine jewelry yet it sits here in Michigan waiting to be parted out ala chop shop route. Sigh…will keep the gorgeous ti frame as centerpiece for a wind chime I guess.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Word, Herb. Unless someone wants the exact bike you are selling, depreciation on bikes makes boats and RVs look like blue chip investments.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That’s another reason I didn’t haul the Steelman down to the swap. I didn’t care to be insulted.

      I could hear the jeering in my mind: “Eight-speed? Shimano 600? And a steel frame? Bwah ha ha ha ha! $250, take it or leave it.”

      I’ll leave it, thanks. Or keep it, actually.

      Meanwhile, Pat, gracias for the generous offer on the Ovation, but I need to tamp down my covetousness. If I buy any musical instrument it should be another flute to replace my seventh-grade Boosey & Hawkes nickel jobber. It’s the only instrument I’ve actually stuck with.

      Mind you, I mostly play it these days to annoy the cats.

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      My SCAPIN project sold for $1200 via ebay. I figure I broke even on the deal with the + factors a) a fun winter project b) a nice bike to ride at EROICA CA, which were my goals at the start.
      Finding a home for a 43.5 cm anything has got to be tough. I think you’re probably correct – it’s worth more parted-out than complete. We had an offer on the LandShark/Huffy, but the buyer wanted only the frame fork.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Okie dokie Patrick. After strumming it awhile this morning, I think I will keep it for now. Balladeers are known for having a bright tone, but I prefer the more balanced tone of my Ovation Standard Elite LX. Nothing wrong with the Balladeer, it’s probably just my ears. It would probably sound much better if I would practice playing instead of riding my bikes. Seems I am a one trick pony.

      If you want to run the cats off for good, open the window and let me give them one chorus of “Dead Skunk.” That’ll do it.

      I hope you do well with the bike swap. It looks like Bike ABQ has this sale organized really well.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        My mad flute skillz would benefit from a little practice as well. Mostly I pick it up when I hear something interesting on KUNM-FM and try to play along. I’m not even certain I can read music anymore, despite years of junior high/high school band, piano lessons, etc.

        My piano chops were barely acceptable way back when, and guitar was littlest piggy at my musical trough. I think I peaked with “House of the Rising Sun.”

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