Something From Nothing Log

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C40
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 »

The whole idea of cutting a tree off at the trunk and bringing it indoors for a month to dry and die and then throw it in the trash is just F#*king crazy. And making/buying a fake tree to pretend you're doing that is maybe even crazier.

Then there are folks who buy perfectly good food from a farm (pumpkins) and place it on their porch and let it rot.

WE NEED TO INVENT NEW TRADITIONS.

I invented a new tradition at the football games of the University I attended. I was largely motivated to replace a tradition they had of releasing many balloons in to the air (hundreds of thousands of them). The one I invented did catch on, though I/we tied it to a different part of the game than the balloons. They still do the balloons, though less so today, and I think they have started discussing how stupid the idea is.

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

@Ego
Definitely a problem with maintaining titles like 'Minimalism'. I see a lot of people ironically attempting to maintain a certain status that helps validate their existence. They are hugely ironic and especially problematic here in the LA area. Examples I have recently noticed: Minimalists who regularly dump 'disposable' yet usable items. People driving gas guzzlers with bumper stickers stating 'climate change is real'. Drivers driving erratically with stickers of 'caution baby on board'.

Thanks for sharing all of these swap meet finds! Brings back some great memories when my parents and I use to sell at the swap meet every Sunday for about 3 years.

@C40
Lots of traditions need to be questioned and challenged. Glad to hear you made an impact on the balloon situation. Reminds me of the yearly deaths related to balloons. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_b ... _accidents . Some left me absolutely dumbfounded!

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Getting derailed from the fixing stuff but....

@C40 The whole point of traditions is that they mostly don't change. I get what you're saying but I think you're being a scrooge due to not factoring in children (which admittedly is hard to do -- even having two kids here doesn't really make it any easier except you keep getting hit in the face every day with the fact that you don't remember what it is like to be kid).

Our family, by insistence of my mother, even breaks out the candles. Which means some of us make our exit plans along with who grabs which kids along with a check on where the fire extinguishers are. It's pretty cool sitting around a tree with real candles burning (and all the lights off) and singing Christmas songs. Then at the end, you put out the candles. And you have that scent from the pine tree which is quite nice.

Funnily enough, this year at my brother's we went and cut down a fir tree that my relatives wanted gone as it had grown too big by the entrance to their house. In the past, my brother did try to grow a tree in a pot however he stored it on his deck over winter and it died -- next attempt would have to be keeping the root ball in the ground. Or keeping the tree outside and going outside to sing which would be fun. I'd be up for trying that.

Now for me personally, I don't need a tree. But for now, it's kids. Then our parents our going to start reverting to being kids and it'll be for them. Then we'll start reverting to kids and maybe our kids will do it for us (or their own kids). Cycle of life wrapped up in traditions.

bigato
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by bigato »

Kid’s are not born asking for Christmas, we teach them and we can teach them something else. There’s nothing intrinsically special about those traditions that can’t be substituted. I for one, never had that kind of ritual and never missed it. The vast majority of the world doesn’t even have this tradition. It’s possible to open your mind and get creative. The ways one can have fun are infinite.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by SavingWithBabies »

I too never missed a tradition I didn't have :).

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Had some recent luck with some items my neighbors threw out: A Personal Vornado Pivot Fan that I now have on my work desk; after a light cleaning it works very well. An unopened box of kitty litter that I will gladly use for any accidental spills while working on my cars. 6 DEAN FOODS Black Plastic Storage Carrier Milk Crates that are perfect for storage. A wooden rolling pin that I came across while I was on a long run late one night. Im sure most who saw me running thought it was odd I was running with a rolling pin in hand :lol:

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

@Bigato
Agreed! Reminds me of my older brothers Japanese college roommate. In 1999 my family let him spend Christmas break with us since he decided not to go back to Japan during the holidays. My family partook in the whole nine-yards when it came to celebrating Christmas (tree, Christmas lights, presents, etc.). He thought it was the funniest thing spending an evening driving around the neighborhood looking at decorated homes. I didn't understand his confusion since I was 11 and a little naive but it did help me start questioning certain traditions for their face value. Luckily our food tradition of tamales and menudo was our saving grace. He appreciated that tradition :lol:

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I dumpster dive in the college campus down the street at the end of the school year. It cracks me up how many cleaning and food storage items I find (Rubbermaid containers, windex, trash cans and trash bags). It seems like Moms’ buy them at the big box store at the beginning of the school year and kids proceed to ignore them :P.

tonyedgecombe
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by tonyedgecombe »

@Laura Yes, I remember when my wife bought my son an iron and ironing board when he went off to university. You can guess how much that got used.

bigato
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by bigato »

davtheram12: Since you mentioned the Japanese, I had the opportunity to partake in their New Year’s Eve traditions a couple of times in my twenties and they make so much more sense! Like gathering the extended family and friends to make moti rice, which requires some work together and represents solidarity. I miss that.

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

@bigato
Now that sounds like a lot of fun! I do appreciate when people get together to share each others company, cook and eat.

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Went on a nice walk yesterday with my DW. As we were finishing up I came across a large pile of items that were thrown out from a neighboring tenant. Decided to keep the 60 CD Logic Case Portable Carrying Case. It was completely packed with lightly used albums featuring Jimmy Hendrix, Bod Dylan, Pink Floyd, Etc. This is my third CD haul in the past two years. I've likely accumulated >200 albums this way. Interesting to think these were all being sold for >$15 a piece when first sold. :roll: I'll likely sell them for a few dollars each once i'm done with them

bigato
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by bigato »

A work colleague came to me today to ask my opinion on a certain potato recipe. Then he asked me if I want his used electric oven, free of charge (he bought a new one). And just yesterday I was talking with a friend how it’s been a while that I don’t have roasted sweet potato hahaha

Yeah I know I could roast the potato using an improvised Dutch oven made of one pan inside the other over the electric stove. I’ve not been doing it because I got rid of the bigger pan I was only using as a makeshift oven - and using rarely.

But I accepted the offer, I’ll get the almost-new electric oven tomorrow :-D
It’s funny how stuff start finding their way to you when you refuse to buy. Just like happened with the foldable table/chairs I’ve got for free a while ago just as I was needing them. Hey Universe, next thing I could use is a blender, ok? :-p

jacob
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by jacob »

bigato wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:38 pm
Hey Universe, next thing I could use is a blender, ok? :-p
Hey, don't jinx it!

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

@Bigato
You say Universe and I say Trash Gods lol. My DW used to always tease me whenever I came home with things we needed yet I managed to find on the side of the road or back alley. I would always exclaim "I'm telling you Boo, its the trash gods. They know when I need something." :lol:

The blender will come. I once found a nearly new one after I donated another that had seen better days.

bigato
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by bigato »

I like it! How does one praise the Trash Gods? By generating less and less trash maybe? That could actually be it! Since I’m working on that the past months. I just hope I didn’t make them mad by sounding entitled heheheh

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

bigato wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:40 pm
I like it! How does one praise the Trash Gods? By generating less and less trash maybe?
I always 'sacrifice/donate' back to the alley. I usually accumulate a few oddities from scavenging that I end up not needing. Once a month I'll gather those items, put them in a box labelled 'FREE' and place them out near the dumpster for other scavengers. Within minutes they are usually picked through. I figure others will catch on and would be willing to put things aside for others to take. The Trash Gods seem to accept this :lol:

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Found on top of the trash last night, vase and all. They must be from Valentine's day but they look fresh-picked.

Image

This morning at the swap meet I was telling a friend about how we are having a party tomorrow and found the flowers in the trash. She is in her late 60s, the wife of a physician, and she loves antiques. As a hobby she keeps a stall at an antique market near her home in one of the most expensive areas of town. We frequently tip off one another to the things we know the other likes. When I mentioned trash picking the flowers she got excited and told me a wonderful trash picking story that I thought some here may enjoy.

Her home has an alley in the back. Across the alley lived the matriarch of the family who owned one of the large mid-western brewery empires. Each year on Christmas eve the entire extended brewery brood would arrive to a lavish party at the house with gifts for the matriarch. My friend hosted her own family party the following day, on Christmas day. One year while parking in the alley a family member noticed the matriarch's maid hauling gift boxes to the trash. They snickered about how the wealth of a blue-collar beer empire bought gifts from Gucci, Ferragamo and other European fashion houses.

My friend couldn't resist the temptation and sneaked away from her party to collect the empty boxes. She was shocked to find that they were all full. She collected them all in her garage then wrote a note to the matriarch explaining what she found, believing that perhaps the maid was robbing her. The matriarch never responded.

For ten years the matriarch continued the tradition and every year the family would have one of the kids watching the trash. Together the entire party would raid the neighbors trash and enjoyed opening the boxes more than the gifts they had brought one another. Finally the matriarch died and the tradition ended.

She told me that last Christmas her sister-in-law who is not one to dumpster dive admitted that those were the best Christmases ever.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

One of my friendly swap meet sellers has been showing up with interesting assortment of items from a grocery store recently. She gets all of the bruised organic fruits and vegetables which she sells by the grocery bag full for $1. Today she showed up with a half-dozen coolers full of heat-and-eat foods and eight Tofurkys. She saved the Tofurkys for me as I'm the only person at this particular swap meet who would buy them. Regular price is $14.99. She sold them to me for $1 each. Expiration date is 2021.

I am seeing this kind of thing more and more. There must be a name for it in the retail world (seppia?) It reminds me of remaindered books. Seasonal foods that get pulled from the shelf and auctioned (or donated?). In the past they would have gone on sale until they were gone. I assume the grocer get a refund from the supplier.

Anyone know what is going on?

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

From what I remember those items would get dumpstered along with anything else that wouldn't sell for any reason. It was tracked by the stockroom because the store would get a refund from the manufacturer.

There are parallels in other industries. Big box home improvement does the same thing. End of season plants that haven't sold go into the dumpster. Older lights and light fixtures that were being replaced by a newer model didn't go on closeout, they went in the dumpster.

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