Saturday morning’s routine for number two son, after eating a biscuit at Bojangles’, includes hitting yard sales in search of kid movies on videotape. Although the breakfast part might include all or part of the family, usually it’s just him & his mom hitting the yard sales. But Kim was out of town the other weekend, and since Daniel wanted to sleep in, the morning belonged to Jared & me.
Even though the bulk of yard sales are a waste of time for what I would like to buy, I actually like visiting this bit of Americana because sometimes one will find the most unexpected bargains. That was certainly the case on this trip for me not once, but twice.
Several weeks ago I pulled my trusty cassette deck out of the closet to dub some music only to find the machine had gone belly-up. On the final stop of Jared & mine’s yardsaling excursion, I stumbled across an old Sparkomatic automotive-dash-mount receiver with cassette player. Not seeing a price, I asked the proprietor how much. He smirked and said, “A dollar; but you have to take the entire box.”
I understood because I had seen Kim do the same thing at her yard sales.
But as I was about the peel off a one, I noticed some folded up television antennas off to one side.
Although the two were bundled together for sale as one item, I could make out enough detail to decide one of the antennas probably picked up the UHF band. I immediately decided this was a bundle for me because I had recently outfitted our travel trailer with a new antenna for HD (UHF) television reception, and Kim was so thrilled with how well it worked in our driveway that she wanted to outfit the house with one in case cable TV went out during bad weather.
Since the devices appeared to be all but new, I figured this where the man was going to make up for his loss-leader. Nope – He asked a dollar for the bundle. Come to find out, all the stuff belonged to his in-laws who had moved (or had been moved) somewhere else, and a yard sale was the last step before the dumpster arrived.
Returning home, I found the box of goodies included a ready-to-go, self-contained stereo system that just needed to be plugged in to a regular house outlet. To my joy, both the tuner & cassette deck still worked fine, and I was able to listen to the tape pulled out earlier.
At some point, Daniel finally rolled out of bed, and interrupted my “Beer Bottle Polka” sing-along to ask if we could have grilled wings for the night’s supper. I immediately agreed because the meal was infinitely healthier than the pizza I had let the both of them buy for the previous day’s lunch.
Yum – grilled wings, baked fries, and squash on my side of the table.
Peeled cucumber & carrots on their side
They were both good sports & ate enough before we all left a pile of bones & vegetables behind.
Sunday found me unfolding & mounting the antennae on a temporary stand for identification. Various Internet sources agreed the top antenna was the best device for our inclement weather plan.
So the antenna was mounted on a 10-foot mast affixed to the chimney, and pointed toward where the bulk of our area’s TV transmitters are located.
The wall behind the den’s TV got a new 75-ohm antenna jack.
We now have a bunch of digital stations ready in case the TV’s running on generator and the cable goes out.
The “funny” thing is that if we could have pulled in the ABC affiliate, and METV, we would have strongly considered dumping cable altogether. But, by all reckoning, there appears to be a mountain in our way for our part of the city that precludes reception.
Stay tuned – I might find a TV tower at another yard sale; ya never know!