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My Robot Is Pregnant theme song!

tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

November 18, 2008

paper commands

my tape player is pregnant

by DSM

Lordy. Old Slim ‘n Sassy himself here, Mr. Jon Rolston. Pro Blogger. Yup. You might not have noticed but there’s been some trouble on the tech side here for a few weeks. I’ve been running up and down the cube farm crackin’ the whip and finally we got some forward movement here. See, for the longest I couldn’t get images to upload from anywhere but my phone. Finally I took the tower of babel down to the apple store and they got me back to fifty percent. I still can’t locate my hard drive and a bunch of other apps are missing. Just wanted to say thanks for sticking with me during that rough patch. Now we can once again enjoy the fine art of Sean MacDonald.

now that Barack’s president…

Thanks Monty, for sending these so long ago!


Any one out there know the make and model on this tag?

BOY magin its a good zample of a seabrook saltbox ….. cus it is // what, an itaint?

So the email read from my brother back in Greenland, New Hampshire. Seabrook being one of many New Hampshire towns that are the butt of northern hillbilly jokes.

how to be a junkman

Poll Brown of Dirtbag Challenge fame lives right around the corner from the pallet guy so I stopped in. No one was home but his two headed chopper.

Someone needed a bunch of pallets hauled away. That was easy. But where do I dump them? All earthly possessions can be divided into one of three categories: things people will buy from you, things people will take if you tell them it’s free, and things you can’t give away and end up paying to dump.

Being a professional junk man – not just a guy with a truck – means you have to know a lot of markets. As we’ve seen recently, markets rise and fall, so you also have to pay attention to the fluctuations. Last I heard, pallets were selling for 3 bucks a pop but only if they’re oak. I had a mixed load of oak and plywood pallets, so how do I name a price for my client? I might not be able to get rid of the plywood skids and then what? I pay to dump them. Not a pro move at all.

What I do is tell my client, “Look.” I start with “Look” because it means, “Look me in the eye. I’m about to be very honest with you.” It also has an air of pompous authority to it as well, and when you’re a junkman, you can get away with that. So I say “Look Marco, I might be able to sell these pallets for three bucks each. But I can’t be sure. So I’m gonna see where they end up, then I’ll tell you how much it’s gonna cost.”

If you’re client doesn’t know you, they might get nervous. Maybe you’re gonna rip ’em off. So let em know the score.

“I’m not gonna rip you off. If I can sell them, you don’t have to pay to dump them. It works out for both of us.”

Build a sense of camaraderie in this adventure. You’re a junk man. You’re a pro junk man. Marco had no idea someone would buy used pallets. But he’s running a business. He doesn’t want to spend two hours hauling pallets across town for thirty bucks. Don’t hide the facts, they won’t hurt you.

Then again, there’s plenty of times when you’re behooved to just keep your mouth shut. I’ve behooved myself into hundreds of pounds of copper, antique paintings, old jazz records, you look around the flea market and I’ve been behooved with all that kind of stuff. Because someone didn’t know the markets and I kept my mouth shut.

A professional junk man is the last man to pass judgment on inanimate objects before they meet their maker in the landfill. I am a God of castaways. Without devolving too far, heaven is akin to living forever, like a fine diamond necklace. Every generation is told of its value and no one throws it out. Staying out of the landfill is salvation. The necklace has been saved. The landfill is Hell. The junkman is God. I cast things into the bowels of the earth.

Remember the three categories of possessions we discussed earlier? Let’s focus in on things people will pay for. I don’t care if we’re talking about poker chips or pallets, different ones fetch a different price. I already tipped my hand when I explained oak pallets are worth three bucks. At the buyback center I learned a qualifying truth: only 40 by 48 inch square pallets are worth three bucks each. And as of last month, they are only worth $1.50. It’s a volatile time in the industry. The gentleman at the pallet building warehouse paid me six dollars for the few pallets I had that met the requirements. He took for free the odd sized wooden ones. Then he shook his head sadly at me when I asked about the plywood jobs. He could not take them from me, not even for free.

Notice the writing on that pallet. It is stamped “Quikcrete” and says, “$14.00 deposit on return”. However, this man I am doing business with will not pay it. He was a generalist. I would have to take this pallet to a pallet specialist in order to get that high value. But there was no time. I did not know where the specialist was. Not even Google knew. I didn’t have space to store it until Antiques Roadshow came around with answers. So I gave it away for free.

This afternoon was a condensed lesson in buying and selling. Give me one hundred baseball cards and there will be one that is worth more alone than all the rest combined. As a junkman, I must know that baseball cards in general have a value and I can spare them from the hell of landfill. But I’ll never get rich with a modern day Mickey Mantle because I am a dilettante of detritus. I can’t know all markets, I just know they are out there. I get it for free and sell it cheap. But who needs riches when you have the glory of god?

dairy farm

are you ready to give up the hustle and bustle for life on the farm?

consider becoming a dairy farmer. Especially if you hate driving around all day running errands. A dairy farmer never leaves the farm. Not that I could fix the missing Flash plugin with baling wire and JB Weld. Had to drive across town to the Apple store for that. But as this economy starts to compress into a broken vending machine I should be spending more time at home pruning back the Jade tree and patching the ripped moving blankets. Instead I’m working harder to find work than I ever worked on working. Plus I’m out buying glass to replace the pane Matt and I broke in a domestic wrestling match. I can’t just take a break and read some magazines on the couch. Gotta get to work looking for work. Instead of firing up the French press for some homebrew I head down to the coffee shop hoping some hauling job will come of it. Never have gotten work standing alone in the kitchen drinking joe.

November 16, 2008

baby haley sings!


May I introduce to you, the silky vocal stylings of beautiful Haley McGlamery as she interprets the classic “Holy Shit I’m Sad.”

November 14, 2008

pioneer saloon

photo posted from my iPhone
This is the first bar I ever went in

Got back to my California roots. I dug some holes for Rus down in Woodside. About noon he comes over with a t shirt in his hand. “Got yer phone on ya?” He asks as he holds the shirt up. It says Redwood Rental on the back. He’s had the t-shirt in his truck for years because he loses business cards.

I took off in my truck to pick up a vibrator plate – a machine like a push mower but much much heavier, and a large steel plate that hammers up and down and compacts dirt for foundation work. After two hours walking in smaller and smaller circles I shut it down. Both my hands continued to vibrate for another ten minutes.

“Hey Locke,” I said. He was wearing his beaten old Crocodile Dundee hat and a flannel shirt from Walmart. “How long you think this Depression’s gonna last?”
“I’ve been depressed long as I can remember.”
“Maybe big Pharmaceutical can come up with a cure. Get Barack on the phone. You just solved the economic crisis!”
“It’s to late for me. My boat’s got a lotta holes in it. I’ll be lucky if I have cold beer this time next week.”

Things haven’t changed down here in Woodside. Building a riding ring. Running equipment. Heading to the Pioneer Saloon at three and drinking perhaps the last of cold beer while women with a small meth problem parade around in lingerie selling raffle tickets to win panties or a drink. It’s a strange world, isn’t it?

lilies match the tractor

photo posted from my iPhone

November 13, 2008

bedtime story

Bedtime Story is the new band I’m in. We’re playing a show tonite at Retox Lounge at 628 20th Street off Third. We go on at ten. If you gut nuthin’ bettah, why not try it?

snooze bar

photo posted from my iPhone
Well Miss Sarah Bean gave me this old highboy to haul away and here I am trying to sell it. I gave it a polish and fixed the drawer pulls and I’d take 50 bucks for it. Please hurry, Sarah may want it back now that its looking good.

Another thing the cell phone has killed? The snooze bar. Who wants that ugly am/fm clock radio taking up space when the cell has an alarm built in? I haven’t had a decent days work in weeks, so I’m digging deep in the recesses of the garage, looking for anything that might sell. Who knows someone who’s been laid off in the last month, raise your hand. Only time will tell if people will be buying used furniture off craigslist. If you’re broke, why bother? I got a load of cardboard in the truck and I’m looking for the guy who buys used pallets because I have twenty of them. It’s time to start having children and selling them. ANyone else have any bright ideas?

photo posted from my iPhone

I’ll take twenty for it. The arms both broke but I glued them back together. Real sturdy.


photo posted from my iPhone

How about a hundy for this vanity? It comes with original pulls and has the matching bench. Come on. It’s gotta be worth more than that.

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