A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Flea Market - Memories, Dreams and a Vision

I like the sellers who take pride in showing their wares, displaying them neat and orderly.

 I'll not criticize this seller for a large assortment of small tools like this would be very time consuming to lay out with any sense of order and besides, buyers will rummage through it anyway and make a mess. 

I don't think I have ever bought a rock in my life.  All the rocks I have I've brought home from my travels and were ones that I have found.  Unfortunately very few of them I remember where they came from.  Okay, I just recalled one here in my study.  I gave the donation of $1 at the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota for a fist-sized piece of granite from the sculpture rubble.  

The next two are two different sellers.  They don't have much out there compared to others but maybe, just maybe, someone might want something from a far off land they will never get to visit.

This guy has had these three tackle boxes out for weekends on end.  No one has bought even one.  Maybe he's asking for too much compared to what you can get one for at Walmart.  He might be selling individual items from each and the boxes are for display only.  Could be.

The next two, this guy is not related to the above tackle boxes.  He is out at the flea market maybe only once or twice out of the month of Sundays.  I admire his repair and refurbishing of fishing reels, poles and hand tools.  I always envisioned him having a little workshop out in back or attached to the garage.  A little place where he can get away from the wife, listen to the radio, have a little heater on, a hot plate to the side with a pot of coffee simmering while he tinkers away at fixing and making usable quality items from the past.  One day I had to ask.  He has to pull the wife's car out of the garage where he can roll out a little 4x6 workbench and from that does what he does.  When done for the day he has to roll it back out of the way and put the wife's car back.  

Yes, I walked away that day with shattered visions.  I wished I hadn't asked.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Flea Market - The Regulars

Some sellers are regulars, every Sunday in the same spot.  This guy for example buys two spots and is always on the end.  He hauls all his junk out in that trailer every Sunday, then hauls it all back home at the end of the day.  I usually pass him by for it seems like always the same stuff.  Maybe he has a few "new" items now and then, I don't know.  Plus it is awkward to see what he has.  If you step over on this side to view things you're trapped at the other end and can't get out for the tables he has set up.  If you stay to the left on the outside, you cannot see what is to see inside.  Last week he says to me "Come on in."  I said "How? You need an opening so people can get in to see what is on the other side."  He goes "Oh, I guess you're right" and moves that grey toolbox to create an opening.  This week, he's back to his old ways.

Some sellers want the perimeter spaces so that they can use the chain link fence to hang things from.  She has used toys, stuffed animals, dolls and so on.  You'd think they wouldn't sell but I've watched the families come through and the little ones pick up a toy and they want it.  Putting it back down is not an option.  Sold. This is especially so with the Mexican families.
See, she's cold.

Oh my, Christmas crap is already showing up at the flea market.  Maybe they are just cleaning out their garage you might think.  No, those with tables and sun shades are usually regulars doing this every weekend.  Some buy unpaid rent storage units at auctions and sell what they get at the flea market.  I think the guy at the top is one of them.  Others it seems go to Walmart and buy SALE items or the Dollar Stores and buy things for a buck then bring them out here to re-sell for more.  That's my take on brand new items I see.

 DVD's are a big item.  There is a small stack to the left but every week I see tables and boxes full of them.  Hundreds upon hundreds.  When you see lots of plastic tubs and crates under tables, those are the regulars hauling their stuff back and forth every week.  Cardboard boxes are usually the one time shot, cleaned the garage out sellers.

This lady is out every weekend and I just love her old VW bus.  I think there are sellers out there who look for a good deal at a thrift shop or yard sale, the item they can pick up for next to nothing knowing it will sell at a good price at the flea market.  I think she is one of those sellers.  The astute buyer.  I've often wondered how many regulars actually do well enough to get by on without having a job during the week working for someone else.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Flea Market - The Series

For the week I will do a series on the flea market with today just being overall views.  Keep in mind as how on yesterday's post I was sniveling about being cold, here we'll take notice of how some dressed for the day.

Being a person with little hair on top of his head, I wear a hat most all of the time for it gets cold up there, believe me.  Notice the bald guy (much more so than I).  Guys like him bother me.  How do they tolerate the cold?  I'll not get started on those who purposely shave their heads.

Women who wear off the shoulder tops.  If I were a woman that would seem so uncomfortably annoying.  Why do women wear these things?  Notice short pants in background.

This guy is one of many, especially with the women, going around with sandals on.  It is like they are trying to make a statement - "I'm tough!"  Yeah, well I am not, okay?
Come on people, you make me even colder just looking at your feet!

Another guy who should be wearing a hat; more short pants in the background.

 Okay, the lady to the right.  Hat, hooded sweat shirt, coat, gloves...now we think alike!

When taking these pictures I was mainly after just some overall scenes.  It wasn't until I got to sorting out pictures for the week and putting together this post did I get off on the how people dress in the cold theme.  Had that been in my mind at the time you would have been viewing dozens of exposed feet pictures.  I'll behave for the rest of the week.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Flea Market Find

It was quite cold at yesterday's market.  The first chill of fall, 
a reminder for me that winter will be here soon.

This door is about the only thing I felt really unusual yesterday.  I might have noticed more had I not been grumbling to myself about how I should have worn my heavy coat over my sweatshirt.  Anyway, at the time I thought whoever might buy this would have to make the door frame to match it.  There were holes on the edge where hinges once were attached so it had been in use at one time.  It wasn't until I was putting the picture up on the blog did it strike me as to what the unusual shape represented, at least in my mind - a coffin lid.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Monday Mural - The Steamboat Era

Dothan, Alabama

I'll not grumbled about the backhoe.
(click on the image to view the mural better)

Not as interesting a read as some of the others I have shown, 
probably the third paragraph is the most noteworthy.

For more murals on Monday Mural go to Oakland Daily Photo

Channel Drive

This is Channel Drive, a 2 point something mile road leading into the center of Annadel State Park along it's northern edge.  There is virtually no vehicle traffic worth mentioning on this road.  Just the few hikers who may want to begin their trek at the W.P. Richardson trail head which is also a fire road into the park.  

Just around the bend in the distance is a large dirt parking area ideal for equestrians and their horse trailers.  So other than horse people and the few hikers, the bulk of the use on this road are with walkers, joggers and bicyclists.

There is Channel Trail that parallels the road just up within those trees a few feet offering an easy hike on a dirt trail with no climbing involved.  All the other trails leading into the interior of the park are at the very least a one mile uphill trail before it levels out, somewhat.  

 While the park is all to the south (or to the right as you view it here) just off to the left is a ravine, the State Park property line.  Beyond that are homes, part of my little village of Oakmont.

Most of the time when I go off gallivanting around in Annadel I'll access it from Channel Drive except I don't have to drive the 6 or so miles to access this road.  I drive two miles in my little community and park where I have the Little House on the Highway stored, cross the footbridge over the stream to Channel Drive then decide which of the several trail heads along the drive to take for the day's outing.

Yes, I am a pretty lucky guy.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


I've been fighting with the e-mail program in my computer for way too long now this afternoon and when I finally resolved the issue I didn't have anything left in me to work on my post for tomorrow.  See, I tire very easily when it comes to sitting in front of a computer.  Good thing I was born when I was and my livelihood didn't require having to deal with computers otherwise I'd probably starve.  Anyway, these are some leftovers from my outing last week trying to capture some fall colors.  They are straight out of the camera thus why I've went through all of the above.  I'm too spent to fix them up any.

These trees are right across the street from us and the view I have from my study window.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Four Lovlies

After the Forest Mystery (yesterday) I continued on my way bearing north.  Just before coming upon a known established trail I came across these all fairly close to each other.  What a reward for me after stumbling around in the forest for such a long time with nothing to show for it except a collection of pointy pine needles and irritating burrs on my socks and in my boots.  All of these are about the size of a small dinner plate and very firm rather than soft and fleshy.

This species is like wood when you feel it.  I have a small brush I use to brush off the pine needles and forest debris when actually out searching for mushrooms and fungi to photograph but didn't have it along with me on this day and only my point and click camera for picture taking.

This one had that branch firmly in it's grip and there was no removing it without damaging the fungi or at the very least leaving a tell-tale mark behind so best leave things as they are.

This one looks like it is fresh out from the oven doesn't it?

Once on the trail below this spot I stood there for a long while trying to firmly implant in my mind where I was knowing all I have to do is go up the slope about 30 yards or so to find these again after the first rains this winter with tripod and DSLR in hand.  
I think I can.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Forest Mystery

My hike the other day I was following an animal trail through the forest.  Eventually I lost track of the trail.  I must have missed where they turned at some point.  At any rate there is was with only my compass to go by in finding my way out.  After a mile or so I came across this.  It was solid underneath with a couple of wing nuts holding what must have been a removable bottom in place.  There was open space between the louvers.  No wires or electronics.  In fact it looked as if no one had been around in the area for a very long time as no trail, path or tracks were leading to it.

Nearby a couple small trees had these tags.

 And the entire area was staked off with three of these forming a triangle shaped plot.
The white thingy is in the background just to the left of the tree.

I have found the strangest things just by accident wandering aimlessly through the forests of Annadel.
I am still looking for my first Bobcat and Mountain Lion.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day

I went into the Bay Area to have lunch with a friend the other day.  I never like to go there.  I think about if the "Big One" (earthquake) hits while I am there.  The bridges will be damaged and closed.  Then how will I get home?  
Martinez has a lot of shops in it's small downtown area and we walked around in a few of them.

These antique shops are packed to the rafters with junk.  Way too much stuff for me to take in all at once.  I get easily overwhelmed.   Being at eye level this toy truck caught my eye.  I immediately thought of the little boy this once belonged to and how he must have spent hours in the backyard playing in the dirt.  I did.  I wonder where that little boy is now, all grown up.

I just had that infernal iPhone with me to take pictures with and I never hold it steady enough.  Many of the pictures came out blurry.  This was the better of the lot taken in a back room of the shop.  I guess people collect most anything.

A couple shops later my eyes and ears drew me in.  Music from It's a Beautiful Day was playing.  I haven't heard that album in way too long of a time.

The lady had a really nice display of music from the 60's and 70's.

Being a big Bob Dylan fan this really captured my attention.  She had this nice black and white photo I had never seen before mounted on black board with the lyrics to License to Kill typed out below.

 Then I saw another with the lyrics to Subterranean Homesick Blues.  I don't think they were for sale, just for looks but now I am wondering.  Maybe there was a price tag on the back.  

The photographs were much nicer than my shaky blurry iPhone pictures show here.  Maybe I was just nervous about getting back over the bridge onto the North Bay shore safely before the Big One struck.

If you don't remember It's a Beautiful Day, click on this and see if this tune is not familiar.

Question:  I set up my posts the day before and schedule them to come on in the middle of the night so my Australian followers can see then early in their day.  Well lately the posts have not showed up until like 6 or so hours later in the morning.  I've looked into this on the Blogger Forum and it seems that this has happened before with a number of people.  Anyone experience this and have a solution?  I am changing the time for this post and will see what happens.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rest Stop

I cheated here.  I do little to nothing with the pictures I put on this blog mainly because I don't know all that much about photoshopping pictures.  This one here I messed around with "vibrancy".  Now if I were back in the New England states now as were my plans for the Fall, I'd be seeing fall colors in real life with such vibrancy.  Some day.