Sunday, 30 January 2011

Thrift Store Fu

Sunday, 30 January 2011 01:09 pm
mutantenemy: (misc::gempunk)
Earlier this month a friend and I felt like treasure hunting. Cash was low, but our sense of adventure was high, so we decided to hit some of the local thrift marts to search of hidden and forgotten treasures.

My friend possesses fierce Thrift Store Fu. Every time he goes he finds jackets, pants, shirts, picture frames, and anything rustic that he can polish up into a new inventive creation. All of this for under $20.

I hate him.

Fortunately during our outing, some of his thrifty mo-jo rubbed off on me. Per usual he discovered cool little chests, a pair of Doc Marten boots, and a nifty bag. I was thrilled enough to find another men's down vest in black (men's vests have better, deeper, and more practical pockets), an old style taper candle holder, an actual Chinese to English/English to Chinese Dictionary from China (for 50 cents!), and then this beauty.

Behold.



That is a U.S. Navy / Marine Intermediate G-1 Flyer Jacket. All leather and in amazing condition. When I first saw it on the rack, I zipped right by it, not even registering on my radar as I was hardcore intent on finding a black leather jacket. Funny how the universe works, eh?

I was about ready to give up when a little voice in my head said, "Oooo, a brown jacket. You like brown." I do. Very vintage and steampunky. Okay, I'll give it a go. It was a men's 44 and I was sure it would be too big for me. Nope. It slipped onto my 5'11" just fine, thank you very much. And the style? Well, my friend and other customers could attest, I look damn good in a fighter pilot jacket. Like I was made for it.

The old street mission we were at was having a 50% off everything sale. For $12.50 I thought, what a steal, my first true leather jacket. Then, out of curiosity, I checked the label.



"That is a military issued label," said my friend. We gave the jacket a closer inspection and discovered air vents under the armpits and "USN" hole punched into the wind flap of the lapel. This was not some knock off or a Top Gun wannabe. This was legitimate. A pilot once owned this jacket.

Sold.

When I got it home I scowered the intertubz looking for any information I could find on the G-1 jacket. I checked out photos and labels. I learned that there were dozens of manufacturers over the decades that had military contracts to make these jackets. I also learned my label was missing one crucial element.

Every label shows four things:
Type of jacket
Military parts / BIN number
Company that made it
Year it was made

My label had everything but the year. After a few hours of investigative work, I deduced mine was mid-to-late 70's. Granted, not WWII era, but very cool nonetheless. I finally found a military antique expert on line and gave them pictures of my bomber jacket. They confirmed it was legit and that it was post Vietnam war era, circa 1975-1979. Maybe even as late as 1980.





I love that I found this find. I love that I cherishly wear a piece of history every day. Sometimes my thoughts wander to the previous owner. Why did he give up his jacket? There is no such thing as an ex-Marine, so why would he part with something that was an important part of him during his training / tour of duty?

I can only come to two conclusions:
1. It is a part of his life he truly wants to forget or wants to move on from.
2. He died.

I'm hoping for the former because it would be cool for a man to approach me someday and say, "Hey, I think that used to be mine. Oh, the stories I could tell!" And I would ask him to tell me.
mutantenemy: (steampunk::dress of gears)
I am a gadget girl.

You can take the meaning of that phrase however you wish, but truth be confessed, I love shiny, techie gadgets. Macbook, iPod, Nintendo DS, PSP Lite, and my cell phone all hold a special place in this geek's hearty heart.

Four years ago I underwent a surprise heartbreak and decided Retail Therapy was the way to go. That is when I purchased my white Sanyo Katana flip phone -- sleek and sassy at the time. I wanted white because EVERYONE had black or grey boring cell phones. I understand needing to keep up with the zippy technological pace, but must we all possess the same thing? *shudder*

Last Saturday, after attending a local Pow Wow and getting a much needed message from the PTB (aka Universe, The Big Cheese, UPG, RPG, what have you), I decided to spend the rest of my afternoon biting the bullet and getting me a smartphone.

I've wanted one for over a year since my contract with Sprint ran out. I had options to go to another carrier and snag the ever coveted iPhone, but I have a policy about signing a contract with Satan. Because as we all know AT&T is Satan. Really.

Verizon is Satan's little brother.

T-Mobile is the weird Uncle Earl that hovers on your back porch waiting for free beer. Crappy beer. Pabst Blue Ribbon "beer".

Sprint is not infallible, they have their "issues", but they have treated me damn well for the past 10 years and some change, so they have earned my loyalty. In return I earned some mega discounts and rebates.

Ladies and Gents. Geeks and Freaks. May I introduce you to my new technokid:



Yes, it's the HTC EVO 4G in white.

**giggles maniacally**

Now before some of you get on the "HTC SUX" bandwagon let me just say this --- as there is no such thing as a perfect cell phone provider, there is no such thing as a perfect cell phone. They all have their pros and cons and thanks to a habit I picked up from my dear friend, Queen Bitch, I've learned to do massive research before buying.

No, the size doesn't bother me because I have long fingers and it fits in my palm perfectly. *wink wink nudge nudge say no more squire*

Overall, it has everything I need and then some. I've had it for a week now and already the shiny is still vibrant as I'm learning all the cool shit this phone can do. NOW I get why people are so in hot, sweaty, luv with their smartphones. Just look at it! IT'S FUCKING SEXY!

Certain apps have been downloaded and I'm keeping my EVO trim by not bogging it down with every "Hip Of The Moment" app that comes out. A few essentials (TweetDeck, eBuddy) and a few fun ones (FX Camera, Moon Guide, Kali Mantras).

I am also one who protects her investments. Before my EVO even took a step out of the Sprint store, s/he had a protective shield on. My case arrived from Amazon just the other day. Yes, I am going for a steampunk theme (I have also caught the irony that my white phone is covered in a predominantly black skin, but at least I KNOW it's a white smartphone).



Even my EVO's homepage has a steampunk wallpaper and a cool old style analog clock with gears and cogs. I am still trying to find a name for him/her. We all do it. We all name our gadgets, our cars, our pets, and our computers. My iPod is Mad Madam Mim, my Macbook is Capt. Rio of the RumRaven, my car is Roxy Sassyass, and my cat is Jameson.

Names in the running are: Babbage, Tesla, Aida, Mae West, and Ambrosine Frood.

Until a name can be found, I want to declare that I hearty heart heart my sexy, voluptuous phone.