Tag Archives: swap shop

Honoring Native American Marines (Including ‘Code Talkers’) — A Framed Jigsaw Puzzle.

by Anura Guruge


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I immediately recognized it, even without reading what it says on the bronze medal (bottom center) that this was about Native Americans who served. I was touched. It was later that I realized that it was a jigsaw puzzle and not a straight painting per se. It was mounted and beautifully framed. A real piece of art.

So, where did I see it. At our (i.e., Alton) famous ‘Swap Shop‘ at the local ‘dump’. There are some high-class folks that live around here. So, you often get high-caliber books and artifacts. I am always on the lookout. I was tempted to get this, but we have no wall space left and it would not get the visibility it deserves. So, I left it there hoping it finds a better home.


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by Anura Guruge


“The Doctor’s Wife” By Elizabeth Brundage — Wow, Quite The Story; Would Make A Gripping Movie.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access the Amazon listing for this book.


Quite the book. Quite the story. I just checked IMDb.com. I can’t find a movie of this book. That is pretty amazing. IF a book was made to be a hit as a movie it has to be this. C’est la vie. Maybe it is still in the making.

It is an ‘old’ book. It had come out in 2005. Deanna had picked it up at our ‘Swap Shop‘. I heard so much about it while she was reading it that I too had to read it.

Very topical. Very powerful. Does make you think and wonder.

She is an incredibly gifted writer. No denying that. She had me in AWE with her writing. I was, thus, amused to see that she won a ‘James Michener‘ award. So, she has to be good.

I will confess that the book was amazingly two-paced — maybe, very intentionally. The first & last chapter are classic page-turners. You can’t wait to see what the next sentence holds. But, parts of the middle were hard going — possibly even a tad boring.

But, definitely a book to read. I might even order one of her others. I am glad I serendipitously stumbled across her.


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by Anura Guruge


What A Cruel Fate For A Good Christian … How Could This Happen … Sacré Bleu.

by Anura Guruge


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Saw this today at our local free ‘Swap Shop‘ at the ‘Alton Dump‘ (our vernacular for the ‘Recycling Center’).

Wasn’t sure how to react.

How could this have happened? Wait 5-years — yes 5-years — to create your OWN Bible and then you discover you have a book missing? God in heaven!

Plus … Plus … Plus.

Then you give it away?

What kind of person would do this? Lose a book, miss a life’s opportunity and then abandon it.

I am at a lost.

One book missing!

Luckily “God’ Final Word” is at that very same facility on a regular basis. Maybe he can find the missing words and complete the works.


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by Anura Guruge


‘Secret Lives Of Bees’ By Sue Monk Kidd — A Strangely Alluring & Satisfying Book.

by Anura Guruge



Don’t make fun of me for recommending a book that was published in 2003. Sorry. I very rarely read a book as soon as it is published — ‘The Da Vinci Code’ the one exception I can remember.

We appeared to have picked up a copy of this alluring book at our local ‘Swap Shop‘ where you can invariably find a good book or two. I think it had been languishing around the house for some time. Having read ‘Hawaii‘, ‘Miracle in Seville‘, ‘The Covenant‘ & ‘ Tales of the South Pacific‘ within the space of 10-months I needed a break from Michener. I saw the book, liked the title and started reading it.

Yes, of course, millions have obviously raved about this book ahead of I. The cover itself has the splash banner that says ‘A New York Times Bestseller‘.

To I it was a less intense version of “To Kill A Mockingbird“! Set slightly later in the South but a story that revolves around the racial inequality and tension of pre-Civil Rights USA. Very cleverly done. Kind of disappointing to learn that it is all fiction. It definitely feels very real.

You want to know what happens next. As such it is quite the page turner. Yes, there is some ‘fluff’, but that is ‘OK’. I assume it was meant primarily for a female audience. That bothers me none. I enjoyed it. I have some familiarity of Black Madonna worship around the world. So, I enjoyed that aspect.

They have made a movie of the book. I watched the trailer. Hhmm. Some actresses from “Hidden Figures” a movie that I have already watched twice. But, from the little I saw, it didn’t seem to jive with the book. So, I am not going to rush into watching it.

Highly recommended. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and read it.


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by Anura Guruge


An Abandoned Royal 440 Typewriter.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

Royal 440 typewriter Anura Guruge Sony a7 II


This was at our (i.e., Alton, NH) ‘Recycle Center’ (i.e., ‘Dump‘) no-charge (i.e., ‘free’) Swap Shop. It was inside, but I carried it out to get better light. It was heavy.

It was in bad shape.

We already have a few working typewriters in the house and I didn’t want one that was this beat up. Appears that I MIGHT have been able to sell it on eBay for a $90! But, that is OK. I hope someone more deserving will get that opportunity.

I am just glad to share these pictures with you.

Wonder what words were typed on this machine. Just think about that. Every typewriter has a tale to tell … not counting all the tales it already has told.


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by Anura Guruge


 

James Michener’s “Miracle In Seville” — A Marian Miracle, A Treatise On Bullfighting & Probably Autobiographical.

by Anura Guruge


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Click to access the Amazon listing for this book.


An intriguing book. Unlike anything else I have read from the great and incomparable James A. Michener. For a start it is absurdly short for a Michener book. My version, with lots of full-page illustrations, and somewhat large print, only runs to 122-pages. But, one heck of a yarn — though those that are extremely averse to Marian worship and/or bullfighting probably will not get very far with it.

I pick up any and all Michener books I see being given away — the incredible, free ‘Swap Shop‘ at our local dump (a.k.a. recycling center) a favorite and lucrative source. If it is a duplicate, and most of them are, as I now have nearly all of his important works, I give them away. I must have picked this up at the ‘Swap Shop’. It has been in my ‘Michener Corner’ for a fairly long time. (See Below) Earlier this week I wanted a quick read while awaiting a paperback copy of Michener’s “The Covenant“. I have multiple copies of it in hardback, but those are too heavy and unwieldy to read, especially in bed.

I have never attended a bullfight and don’t know much about it other than the obvious basic. This book was encyclopedic in it treatment of that subject — which is the backdrop for the story.

It is about an improbable Marian miracle, As such it does get tedious in parts …

I think it is autobiographical. I know he spent much time in Spain researching for his blockbuster “Iberia“. The level of detail re. bullfighting is quite amazing — and with all the Spanish lingo.

The illustrations, by John Fulton, an American bullfighter, who was living in Spain, are quite impressive — though a tad short on great.

If you get a chance you should have a look at this book.


The ‘Michener Corner’ in my study.
Separate from all the other books.


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by Anura Guruge


Taking Selfies My Way — Part XXVII; My Shadow Getting Attacked By A Tiger — May 14, 2018.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

No post-processing whatsoever!

 


What can I say. We picked up this real cool, and incredibly light walking stick at our amazing ‘Swap Shop‘ at the Town ‘dump’ (a.k.a. recycling center).

When I was walking towards the house, once we got back, I noticed my shadow. I had the stick in my hand. Played around with it. This was the 3rd shot. The other two were OK, but I liked the exposure on this the best.


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by Anura Guruge

Teischan’s (11) Latest Painting Project — A Table For Her Hamster Cage.

by Anura Guruge


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She has embellished it further. Click here to see.


She found this table, for free, at our local “Swap Shop“. It was covered in a cheap, stick-on veneer. She stripped the veneer off and set about painting it. It is meant to be for a hamster cage.

She is working on a large — v. LARGE — wall mural in her room, using the same paint. She is building up quite the collection of paint. Had to get her more yesterday. Seems to be taking her ‘Teischan‘ quite seriously.


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by Anura Guruge


Who Would Throw Away Such An Alluring Nude Drawing?

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


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I found this very well rendered painting, of quite the alluring model, a few weekends ago, at the incredible ‘Swap Shop’ at our Alton (NH) dump.

We always check out the ‘Swap Shop’ (quite often even dropping off stuff to swap) since you never know what ‘treasures’ you may find. I have, over the years, picked up some great books at the dump.

This pictures was inside of a sparsely used, very large, artist’s drawing pad. Most of the pages were blank, but this beauty was in there, still attached to the spiral binding. I had picked up the pad because no paper goes a waste in this house — especially with Teischan around. She is a prolific user of paper for drawing and for her many other craft-related pursuits. Having this picture inside was a bonus.

Kind of feel sad and bad about it. Would love to know WHO painted it. Would love to give it back to them? Was the person forced to get rid of the image? Pity. Was that a real model or was it painted from a picture. I am curious.

IF you know who painted it or you know the subject please contact me. I will gladly relinquish the picture.

But till then ENJOY. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. That was the very first English that I had to memorize, as part of my elocution lessons, when I was about 7 or 8, growing up in Ceylon in the 1960s. Given how badly I speak, which such a pronounced oriental accent, would you have realized that they spent good money, for years, making me attend weekly, sometimes bi-weekly (as in twice a week) elocution lessons. The only good thing was that all my elocution teachers were fairly good looking, young, Sinhalese ladies (if not ‘girls’).

P.S., Though I was NOT taught this in Ceylon I have later found that “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” is the first line of a poem, ‘Endymion’, published by famed John Keats, in 1818. The phrase appeared without attribution as the end note of the English text book that my then elocution teacher used. I guess she must have liked it because she asked me to memorize it. I wish I could remember what she looked like. Was she a beauty that would be a joy forever. I could not, alas, tell you.


‘Old Spice’, ‘Brut’ Or ‘Bay Rum’ As Aftershave Astringents & Aroma.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


This morning watching MSNBC we discovered that ‘Old Spice‘ was back in circulation due to a very cute and clever viral video on YouTube. Deanna just loved it — though nearly all of her experiences is mainly with daughters. 

Click to access IF you haven't seen it. It is quite funny and cute.

Click to access IF you haven’t seen it. It is quite funny and cute.


oldspicebottle112What amused me about this new interest in ‘Old Spice‘ was that of late, and by that I mean the last 3 months (or so), I have been occasionally using ‘Old Spice’ as an aftershave. A few months ago I, with a penchant for collecting old bottles, saw an old, classic ‘Old Spice’ bottle, more than likely at the (ever delightful) Alton dump swap shop, and picked it up. It was not empty. It was nearly full and it smelt authentic and ‘good’. Well aftershave doesn’t spoil plus I have very thick skin. So I put the bottle on my bathroom sink and use it — not every day, but maybe a few times a week. I have used ‘Old Spice’ in the past but I was never into it — much. I wasn’t that enamoured with its smell.

brutFor as long as I can remember ‘Faberge Brut‘ was my goto aftershave, definitely in my 20s, 30s and 40s. The green bottle, with the suspended badge, was very much a part of my life. I, of course, remember the ‘tall’ brown box, just like in this image. I think the Brut had to do with me having been a ‘Diplomatic Brat‘ in the 1970s. There are certain things whose prices are kind of upside down if you can get them ‘duty-free’ at true, diplomats-only prices — ideally from a specialized store (such as in the UNESCO building in Paris) or from a specialized catalog. Brut must have been ‘cheap’ duty-free, as was good caviar. When I was attending University in Swansea in the early 1970s I could get caviar for cheaper than I could buy cans of sardines. So I would have bottles and bottles of caviar sent to me. I think ditto for Brut.

I had really not given much thought at all to my affectation for Brut until I got an e-mail, in 2001, from a lady who wanted to determine whether I, like her, had worked for Wang, at the iconic Wang Towers in Lowell, MA. She had seen me on the Internet and was trying to place me. Her description of me was: ‘were you the guys who always wore a three-piece suit and smelled of Brut. Us secretaries always knew you were around from the Brut …’. To begin with I was mortified. I had not realized that Brut had become a trademark. Then I started laughing. Well, that had to have been me. The three-piece suit reference alone was a dead giveaway. At that time I lived in three-piece or double-breasted suits from London. So, after I got that e-mail I went and checked. I didn’t have any Brut! Next time I was in Manchester I stopped and got a bottle.

I don’t have any Brut right now either — and that is OK. Deanna used to get me men’s fragrance, usually ‘Perry Ellis’. I think I still have three bottles, of light blue stuff, in various stages of use, in the bathroom. Yes, women have told Deanna that her husband smells good. I am glad — though I am also known to take the occasional shower, whether I need it or not.

BayRumDuring the last 5 years or so, old age having crept in, nostalgia played a major role in my life. I used to remember the Bay Rum they used to put on my head, in Ceylon, after a hair cut. I always liked the smell of Bay Rum. Very robust and masculine. I went looking for Bay Rum. Of course, thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can find anything. I have been using this ‘Ogallala‘ (and what a name) ‘Bay Rum‘, from this blue bottle, for the last few years. I can use it on my hair and on my face. Twofer. I really do like the smell. Yes, I also have a bottle of ‘Brylcreem‘! Yep, this nostalgia thing has bit deep. I am the retro man, 1950s all over again.

I have NEVER relied on aftershave as an astringent. As I once heard, famously, slapping your face alone does as well. I am sucker for LOTION. For 40 years, without fail, day-in, day-out, I used ‘Oil of Olay‘ original on my face. I still use some form of lotion on my face everyday, without fail. I can’t face the day without it. So, the lotion takes care of the skin conditioning. So, for me, the aftershave is just for the smell. For now, I am cool with the Ogallala Bay Rum. But, now that I am thinking of it, I will have to get some Brut and start buying some old, iconic Brut bottles on eBay.

From a 1988 Wang marketing brochure ‘Wang on Networking’. Guess which one I am. And PLEASE don’t ask me about my other hand. It is but a bad optical illusion. I got so much ‘shtick’ for that when the brochure came out. None of us saw the proofs. I now dread that I probably intoxicated that poor lady with my Brut!