Tomorrow I’m leaving on a road trip so today was a cluster of prep work. I cleaned my camera lenses, laid out the pills that Max would need to take in my absence and baked a few things for my future hosts. I was loading audiobooks onto my iPod when I checked Craigslist on a lark for the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens I’ve been lusting after. and there was one 90 minutes north in New Jersey. Just close enough that I could go there grab it and be back before dinner. I dashed off an email including my phone number and received a call from the seller in under a minute.

Him: Hello, is this Terry?
Me: Yes. I am interested in the 24-70mm, T2i body, and 77mm Hoya filter. I’ll give you $1100 for everything.
Him: Ok, would you like to get together some time during the week?
Me: I need this today. I will leave now and be in your area in 90 minutes.
Him: Oh uh, that sounds good. Um, I’m new to this. How do you pay me?
Me: Well, if I were underhanded I’d ask to pay you in check. If I were honest, I’d pay in cash.
Him: How are you paying?
Me: Cash.

A friend is moving to the area and needed a bed so I’ve been combing Craigslist for a reasonably priced queen-sized bed set and tonight found one. The dealings went down via text message and at 8:00 he asked when I’d pick it up, I said after 9:00 and around 7:30 I began a round of Mann vs. Machine which took me until 8:50. Then, rather than shower, I decided to bullshit in Teamspeak until I was nearly late, threw on my non-exercise clothing and gunned it to Horsham to pick up the set.

I had been walking quickly and sweating quite a bit so there was an immediate sweat stain on my shorts where my the sweating was strongest, i.e. my crotch and it looked like I had wet myself. I parallel parked my dad’s truck and was met by the man selling the pieces who was a special type of plastered.

Me: So why are you selling this stuff?
Him: Lost my job.
Me: What did you do?
Him: Warehouse work. Until they brought in these… Asians do the job as contractors.
Me: I’m sorry to hear that.
Him: You know, everything’s going that way.
Me: What way?
Him: Contractors.
Me: Yep. If it makes you feel better about selling this for 25% its original price, I’m unemployed.
Him: It does. What’s your name?
Me: Terry.
Him: I’m George. If you ever need anything, call me. You seem like a good guy and I’m glad to have you as a brother. You should take this end table, I want you to have it.
Me: Sure…

This man was profoundly white.

I got the mattress I wanted but now sought a box spring and frame and I found a listing on Craigslist containing these items for $40.  I saw the listing had been up for only a few minutes and contacted the seller who immediately sent me a message back that the item had already been claimed by two other people.  Ok, I can understand how someone could be looking for a full bed box spring and by coincidence have beaten me to an item listed for less than 10 minutes but two seemed excessive.  When did crap for full beds become like an endangered species?  Have queen beds become so ubiquitous that the full bed is now the hatchback between the sedan and SUV, squeezed from both sides and finding solace on neither side of the war between efficiency and grandeur?  I suspect that there’s some sort of weather phenomenon correlated with mid-20s men realizing that 72″ is just too short but queen-size is too much if you’re not sleeping with someone.  I will find that front, create the first mattress futures exchange and make a mint.

I’ve been playing email ping-pong with someone who wanted one of my camera lenses and I arranged to meet him at the Market East station at 11 AM in front of the Dunkin’ Donuts (that’s where the convention center guard is, how apropos).  Leading up to the sale, the buyer asked nearly a dozen questions and I was worried I was dealing with a reseller or someone else who’d rake me over the coals and took the train to Philly to find out.

I met him in his imastudent/hobochick coat and he pulled out the most beat Canon 30D I’d ever seen.  I passed him the lens which he nearly dropped and he commented on how he’d finally have a lens with both caps.  He put the lens on and started taking pictures of the floor.  I asked him if there were any problems and he said “no, but maybe just one.  It doesn’t seem to… focus.”  Normally, I’d be terrified but I’d been so bowled over with is confidence that I politely removed the lens hood covering the focus ring and put the lens into manual focus.  He smiled and passed me the money.  I saw the guard shake his head and it was off to the Reading Terminal to enjoy the fruits of my sale:  five bananas and something unhealthy made by the Amish.

My dad asked me to help him find a truck part online and we combined the skills of wading through PDFs, refining search results, and eschewing high shipping to get a price much lower than the manufacturer.  Next he asked me “where can I find used stuff online?”  So we turned to Craigslist and his skills honed from cracking open the “Penny Trader” and “Trade ‘n’ Times” for two decades came back.

“This guy isn’t legit, his photo’s from the Summit Racing Catalog”
“This guy says it’s his garage but based on the address I’m pretty sure it’s a parts dealer in Jersey City”
“This chick only has this stuff because she’s selling her husband’s stuff or because he died.  The stuff will be cheap but she has no idea  what she has”

Me: You’ve taken to this quickly.  How about we look for a used fridge to replace ours with?
Him: I will never own a used refrigerator.


While staying with Chris in Columbus, I tried his single-serving coffee machine.  The “Winter Blueberry Cascade” was wonderful and ranked among my favorite coffee-like drinks and I’m looking for a new warm beverage so I tried to find a machine and k-cup supplier.  Craigslist yielded  a 60% discount through a used machine and I dove into the world of single serving coffee while waiting for my “Kiss of Frost Blend” verity pack to arrive.  The seller included a pile of coffee types and I discovered a few things when I brought the device to work:

  • Those of my coworkers who consume much coffee can smell it even when still sealed in the serving packets.
  • I have no place at my desk for another coffee machine.
  • Everyone seemed compelled to state “what, you don’t like our coffee?”
  • I still don’t like coffee.
  • Coffee gives me a headache when I drink three or more cups in a row to overcome my dislike of coffee.
  • More than four cups of coffee in a short period of time increases my frequency of bathroom visits.