Ramblings

It’s like eBay, but it smells like old.

Today in Blogging 101*, I’ll be discussing where good ideas originate. Blogging ideas surround us but not everyone is tuned into the blogosphere like me. (I run this priceless blog, which several years ago was valued somewhere between Donald Trump’s tax payments and the cost for Donald Trump to maintain his ducktail hairstyle.–This is what we in the blogging business call building Ethos, so now that you trust me, I can move on to the important stuff.)

Like I was saying before I interrupted myself with Ethos, blogging ideas are everywhere. Today we will be looking at blog ideas from an untapped reservoir called a thrift store. There are several types of thrift stores: Upscale stores that sell items that cost more than new items (merch is what I’ll call these items from here on out, which is like an expert way of saying items or stuff), clothing stores filled with merch people wanted to toss in the trash but took a tax write-off instead, and stores filled with merch that wouldn’t sell at a garage sale on a Sunday with a “Free” sign plopped in front of it.

img_4922Here’s our first example. To an ordinary person this looks like a baby doll, but to a blogger, this $25 baby has plenty of opportunities to make humorous comments. For example, I might say, “This is what happens when you put too much sunscreen on your face.”

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I turned the price tag on this velvet Pooh painting around because craftsmanship like this should not be crassly valued. I know what you’re thinking, “Is there a velvet Elvis painting nearby? Why haven’t velvet paintings caught on? Is there a museum of velvet paintings? Wouldn’t Eeyore serve as better subject matter for this medium?” See? This is a goldmine of ideas just waiting to be tapped.

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Signs like this make bloggers mad. Blogging is about breaking down the barriers that society has erected. The difference between a blogger and a regular person is that a blogger looks at this sign and says to his wife, “Get a picture of me riding this thing in just a second.” If you’re lucky, your wife will be a blogger too and she’ll be onboard with another gem of an idea. If you’re unlucky your wife will say, “No.” (This could be because your wife spent her trip to Europe taking pictures of you climbing on statues and has had enough of your stupid ideas.)

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Okay, I know that some people would be offended by an obviously racist symbol on a t-shirt, but not a blogger, a blogger would see this as an opportunity to make some social commentary like, “How can you spot an idiot from a distance?” Or, “Why did the South lose the Civil War? Because their iPods only played Lynyrd Skynyrd tunes so they killed themselves.” Or, “Why are the people who believe in White Supremacy always the greatest evidence that it doesn’t exist?” Or, “How many Lynyrd Skynyrd fans does it take to cut two eye holes in a white sheet? None, they get their sister-aunt-mommas to do it.”

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Before you get your wallet out, think about the value this merch has for a blogger. There are lots of directions you can take this. For me, I think about how much joy this would bring to someone in 1979 if you had a time-traveling machine. Or, you could buy this for a grandparent, load it with Rage Against the Machine’s Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, wrap it up, and your Christmas shopping is done. “Billy, I always wanted one of these. How does it work? Where do I put the earphones? Can you make the words on the screen bigger? I can’t read those little words. Oh, that’s loud. Should I take out my hearing aids?”img_4925

A used bed pan might not be something that you think you need, but you do. Toss this baby in the trunk and you’re ready for anything. Line at the portapotty? No worries. Long drive and no rest stations? You always win with this backup plan. For a traveling blogger, this merch fits in your suitcase and will probably get through security. If you take it on your next European ramble, you’ll be saving tons of money. (I’d wipe it down with antiseptic toilette before using it, unless it is dishwasher safe, then just run it through the pots and pans setting and you’ve got yourself a solution to most problems you’ll face on the road.

Building up a fan base for a blog can be difficult, but if you were known as the traveling bed pan blogger you’ll have to beat off the readers with a rusty ol’ bed pan.

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Every blogger needs awards and for $29 (really?) you can have this baby to advertise how awesome your blog is. You could call the award “The straight Shooter Award” or “Terminator 2 Blogger.” Take a couple of photos of this baby, then find a few other bloggers to nominate and the next thing you know your blog will go viral, at least that’s how I think it works.

If your blog doesn’t get any attention, it isn’t the end of the world, you’ll have this trophy to put in the window of the cardboard box you’re living in.

img_4924

Our final piece of merch is this photo. Any blogger worth his or her salt and pepper can take this simple picture and spin it into an entire series of blogs. Let’s start with an easy one: a comparison of The Mona Lisa and this photo. Mysterious smile: check, Unknown Subject: check, Typical Pyramidal Structure: check. The next blogging idea could be a comparison of resale values of The Mona Lisa and this photo. $47.50 is an odd sum to decide upon unless I’m missing something this photo should be valued at $5. The Mona Lisa will probably increase in value over the next few years. I’m not so sure about an old photo that’s sitting on the floor of a junk shop in Port Angeles, Washington.

I do wonder if the lady in the photo would be happy to know her portrait is plopped sideways on the floor. She looks like somebody who wouldn’t like that much. I believe a talented blogger could run with this idea. A novel? Maybe. A short story? certainly. A blog about photos found in thrift shops? Pure gold.

So, that’s it for Blogging 101 today. If you need a transcript send a check for $47.50 and a self-addressed envelope to my blog: South of the Strait, The Internet, c/o Jon Eekhoff. I’ll send the transcript with 3 credits from Trump University so you can complete your degree in a timely fashion.

*Disclaimer: Blogging 101, is an unaccredited subsidiary of the defunct Trump University. The information given here is not affiliated with Mr. Trump or Trump Steaks but if you place a print out of this in a crock pot  for three hours, with a yellow curry sauce, it will taste better than anything Mr. Trump sells. 

Categories: Ramblings

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18 replies »

  1. The Skynrd shirt is crying for some curvaceous something inside it. I learned in Scotland that Confederate flag comes from Scottish immigrants; it’s the same symbol on their flag that represents the crucifixion of St. Andrew. Weird.

  2. Something about that photo seems oddly modern (am I the only one who sees a little Sarah Palin in her?). Too bad about the no rider horse, though the photo was still perfect. Great post!

  3. I have a $3 thrift shop blazer that I’ve been wearing to work for 10 years and will continue to do so until I get my money’s worth out of it. Incidentally, it comes from a chain of thrift shops in Atlantic Canada known as Frenchy’s. I know.

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  5. Hi there. I enjoyed this immensely. I look forward to lots more humor from your delightful repertoire. However, (don’t you love that word?) I do resemble some of your remarks. I am a southern yet highly educated redneck woman who lives in the largest city in our state. I am also a nature loving eco friendly mother of four highly educated kids, owner of two horses, three dogs, one cat and one puppy I refuse to claim that my daughter brought home from college for the summer. Guess who’s tending it while she’s studying art history in Spain. I’m also a middle aged woman who probably has a few Skynyrd lps in my husband’s massive (1000’s) collection that includes music from all genres and eras.

    I thought about being offended and saying something stupid like “You’re fired!” but decided that was like being the head of the White House and not showing up for the White House Press Corp Banquet. Unlike his majesty, I can take a joke. Or a jab. Or being roasted.

    I’m from the state that is one of the most belittled in the nation and often rightly so. News casts often find the person with the least number of teeth to interview. Oh and the thickest accent who says things like, “I hain’t nere seen notin like it afore.”And yet our state is filled with people like me with a couple of master’s degrees and all of my teeth. (Except the wisdom teeth which may be why I’m joking around with you, not knowing if you really are anti southerner. I doubt you are.)

    Oh, I didn’t tell you which state. Can you guess? We’re the ones with enough time on our hands to make laws about bathrooms. We’re also mostly anti racist, anti bigot, anti stupid but you’d never know it from TV shows or some news media.

    Just trust me please. We are not all Southerners are swimming in the same stuff. Some are in mud, some in pools. Some are big fish in little ponds and some are like salmon swimming upstream. But, the majority are not big fans of the confederate flag because of what people think it stands for and due to the idiots who raise it, wear it, fight over it, or tattoo it onto their chest beside their… Oh my gosh, I can’t think of a thing to say here that’s funny that won’t offend someone. If I said Bible or cross, people would think I’m being sacrilegious. If I say tractor, I’d be a hypocrite as my husband has a lovely John Deere tractor he uses to mow our farm or quite a few acres.

    I’ve sat right here and written what should be a blog post. Maybe that’s what I should do. Could you edit it for me first though? So, again, I look forward to reading more of your posts. Fun stuff. Is this too big to post as a comment? We’ll see. 1,2,3,post.

  6. Hi there. I enjoyed this immensely. I look forward to lots more humor from your delightful repertoire. However, (don’t you love that word?) I do resemble some of your remarks. I am a southern yet highly educated redneck woman who lives in the largest city in our state. I am also a nature loving eco friendly mother of four highly educated kids, owner of two horses, three dogs, one cat and one puppy I refuse to claim that my daughter brought home from college for the summer. Guess who’s tending it while she’s studying art history in Spain. I’m also a middle aged woman who probably has a few Skynyrd lps in my husband’s massive (1000’s) collection that includes music from all genres and eras.

    I thought about being offended and saying something stupid like “You’re fired!” but decided that was like being the head of the White House and not showing up for the White House Press Corp Banquet. Unlike his majesty, I can take a joke. Or a jab. Or being roasted.

    I’m from the state that is one of the most belittled in the nation and often rightly so. News casts often find the person with the least number of teeth to interview. Oh and the thickest accent who says things like, “I hain’t nere seen notin like it afore.”And yet our state is filled with people like me with a couple of master’s degrees and all of my teeth. (Except the wisdom teeth which may be why I’m joking around with you, not knowing if you really are anti southerner. I doubt you are.)

    Oh, I didn’t tell you which state. Can you guess? We’re the ones with enough time on our hands to make laws about bathrooms. We’re also mostly anti racist, anti bigot, anti stupid but you’d never know it from TV shows or some news media.

    Just trust me please. Not all Southerners are swimming in the same stuff. Some are in mud, some in pools. Some are big fish in little ponds and some are like salmon swimming upstream. But, the majority are not big fans of the confederate flag because of what people think it stands for and due to the idiots who raise it, wear it, fight over it, or tattoo it onto their chest beside their… Oh my gosh, I can’t think of a thing to say here that’s funny that won’t offend someone. If I said Bible or cross, people would think I’m being sacrilegious. If I say tractor, I’d be a hypocrite as my husband has a lovely John Deere tractor he uses to mow our farm or quite a few acres.

    I’ve sat right here and written what should be a blog post. Maybe that’s what I should do. Could you edit it for me first though? So, again, I look forward to reading more of your posts. Fun stuff. Is this too big to post as a comment? We’ll see. 1,2,3,post.

    • This might be the longest reply I have ever gotten. Thanks for reading and dropping in. The south is more of a state of mind than a place I would guess. There are plenty of people all the way up here in Washington who are living in the south in their minds. On the flip side, there are probably lots of southerners who live in the south but don’t subscribe to the racist stereotypes I have floating around in my head. I take it that’s you too. Sometimes I paint with too broad a brush. Thanks for drawing my attention to that…I’m kind of on a blog vacation and working on a few novels. I’ll probably come back in the winter when it is too dark to do anything but write.

      • Enjoy your blog vacation. I have to do that periodically too but unfortunately not with a terrific reason like I’m working on a few novels. Mine is more like “I’ve got to catch up on all the stuff I let go while enjoying reading other people’s blogs instead of writing my own.” Look forward to more from you. “Good stuff” you write.

  7. Oops, sorry for the double post. The second one is better. I tried to correct a couple of typos and it reposted. And there’s still another typo. Oh well. “mow our farm of quite a few acres.”

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