Sunday, August 24, 2008

El Cheap-o

Technically I guess I would be "La Cheap-a", but then again, I wouldn't be saying cheap if I were truly speaking Spanish. I wish I could speak Spanish, but I can't so I'm forced to add "o's" to English words and pretend.
So I don't speak Spanish (even with a minor in it), but I do posses the talent of stealing items from people's garbage cans.
You know those really cute Little Tikes cars that every child of privilege owns? Yeah, well we own two now. We're moving up in the world. I found one at the thrift store--Wait--I mean, at Toys R us, where I only buy new toys for my precious 'you're-worth-every-penny' and a ridiculous -return-policy children.) The other Little Tikes truck came from a garbage can. (Maybe we're not moving up in the world, just down into the garbage can.) I was out for a rare early morning run, and a mile from home I spotted this truck upside down in a garbage can on the street. It was early, so traffic wasn't surging, and I stopped, curious as to why someone would throw away a valuable and coveted item. The wheels worked, so I pulled it out and the only thing wrong with it was a hornet's nest (unoccupied at the moment) and a bad attempt to paint it white. Nothing I couldn't fix.
So yes, I rolled it home. I only wish I could share with you a picture of me running a mile with a little black truck. It was early morning, so I even had an official-looking reflector vest on for awhile, until I took it off and hid it in my little running buddy's interior. I think my girls should give me some sort of prize for subjecting myself to this humiliation for them.
On my way home I had nightmares about the people who formerly owned the truck sending out flyers that would read, "Would the crazy person wearing a reflective vest who stole our truck out of the garbage can please return it? We were just trying to teach our son a lesson, and now he cries every day for his precious truck."
I would have knocked on their door and asked if I could steal it from their garbage can, but it was 6:00ish in the morning. I don't know if they would have appreciated that.
It was in their garbage can, right? It would have just gone to waste if I hadn't taken it. And I totally cleaned it, twice. Besides Kenzie threw her arms around it (after it had been sterilized and the bad paint job removed) and declared, "I love this truck!" And she did love it--for about two minutes and then it was a small plastic bag that she could fill with water that she played with all afternoon. I did not steal that from someone else's garbage can. She found it all on her own.

The stolen toy garbage truck was only part of our exciting weekend. We also refinished the deck, refinished the swing set (another item that was cheaply obtained. Although not from a garbage can, from, and went to the Aquatic center.
The refinished swing set. Now we can invite the neighbor children over and their parents won't have to warn them to stay off the "sliver" machine.

Oh yes, one more thing-- I would like to thank my sister Shaelynn for letting me pretend I was cool and go to the Jack Johnson concert with her and her roomies. I had a great time and tried not to dominate the conversation with stories about boogers and babies.

One last item: My camera is dying. Any recommendations on a good camera? I'm looking at either really cheap and good and small, or really large and expensive. I can't decide if I should move up to an SLR or stay with a point and shoot. Any advice??


The King Family said...

Now THAT is hilarious! Good Job!

Debbi said...

yeah, what I would give to see you running down the street with that black truck and your vest! That had to be a site, I totally would have done it though!

Kathryn said...

SLR all the way ...hello! It's obviously been too long since our Inkleys days.
Granted the SLR is big and bulky but the beauty of it is it actually takes the picture when you push the button (instead of 3 seconds later when the smile and "the moment" is long gone). I love my Nikon D70 but I know there are newer ones out now like the D40 which I've heard are great too. My pictures with the SLR look sooooo much better!
You asked ;)

Nearly Flowers said...

SCORE! That is awesome.

A friend just got a Flip camera. It seems nice and does photo and video, but we are all about the point and shoot, simple, non-pro cameras.

Em Russ said...

I was just thinking a few days ago how I should do a post about all the awesome stuff I've gotten out of people's trash! There's no DI here so people just put all kinds of stuff out in the trash. Maybe I'll copy your post some time!

Also, we LOVE our DSLR. It's big and it's expensive, but it takes AWESOME pictures! If you want to know more you know how to find us... it's not awesome for the diaperbag but I do LOVE it!

(and, I'm totally jealous of the Jack Johnson concert without boogers and babies!)

Scott Little said...

On the camera front...I vote for both! I really love my SLR, but there are times when it is just to big and bulky to take with me, so I miss photos every now and then. The problem is once you go to an SLR and see the picture quality you will get a little queasy whenever you see photos out of a compact camera. The sharpness and lack of noise are the big factors for me. The quality difference is that big. The responsiveness between SLRs and compact cameras used to be a big deal. I don't think it is that big of a deal anymore.

For the compact I really like the Canon SD890 (5x zoom) or the Canon SD850 (less zoom, but better noise...there is a SD950, but I don't really believe in more megapixels).

On the SLR front I would suggest either Canon's or Nikon's entry level body. Just make sure you invest in quality lenses because they will far outlast the body.

Good luck with the decision...Scott

Natalie said...

That is awesome!I would have loved to be a hornet in that nest!! We have found a lot of steals from Brian checks the free section multiple times a day! I'm also looking for a new good camera. When you find a good one let me know!

Dustin and Alisha said...

You garbage digger! I can't believe it, oh wait, yes I can. You were garbage digging before you had two small children (remember california?)
It's ok though, I'm probably close to that point. I'd steal baby items right now if anyone threw them away :) love ya!

Just one of the Boys said...

Hey, "One mans trash is another mans treasure" I always say. My sister-in-law does this too and she has found some great Treasures.
You are so funny. If this had been me, I would have ran half way home then had to ride the truck the other half.

Anonymous said...

Grandpa's Dad always went dumpster diving. He found some "good stuff". I think he had the best time with his "dumpster diving" career in New York City. What a treasure trove for him. I really didn't find any joy in the old shoes he brought home, however.
:-) hugs, Grandma Bette

Amber said...

At least it had wheels. Last year, I snagged a whicker trunk from a garbage that was several blocks from my house. While still pushing the stroller. It was memorable to say the least!

Hollie said...

I have a funny garbage/Little Tikes story, though not as well written as yours is. We actually had the same black truck (given to us by a neighbor) that got accidentally left "near" our garbage cans one night. The next morning it was gone. Probably some crazy jogger's kid owns it now. True story! Sadly it wasn't even garbage morning. That's what I get for being so "white trash, leave your cans on the curb all week long!"
As for cameras, I like Garrett's Fisher Price one. It takes the worlds crappiest pictures (like .05 mega pixel, you can't even see what the picture is, just faint shapes and random colors) but it has been thrown down the stairs, in the swimming pool and it still keeps in ticking.

Debbi said...

I hope that you were the Mike that left me a comment, or else this won't make senes :) I wanted to do a co-op or joyschool type thing with moms around here, but haven't found anyone who wants to do it, so I guess I'm up to it myself. I just can't pay the price of real preschool, it is soo expensive and I want to know what he is learning!

Stephanie and Co. said...

Oh no Hollie!
I swear this truck was in the garbage can. Not sitting by it. IN it.

dan&tori said...

Holy crap Stephanie! What I wouldn't give to see you running for a mile pushing a toy truck (without your child even in it)! You're hilarious, and a true mother. Your swingset looks really nice too. As for the camera question, I am fortunate enough to own an SLR and a point and shoot. They are both Canon brand, which I totally recommend. The advantage to the SLR is the incredible zoom, clarity, and all the neat features. However, we didn't like carrying the bigger camera around, so the next Christmas we got a point and shoot. It's flat, and small so I just keep it in my purse all the time. It's great because it takes really clear pictures too, and the small cameras now have a ton of features too. However, the zoom isn't what an SLR is, and the SLR still has a few more neat things to make you feel like a great photographer. You should check out also for reviews on all cameras out there. Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I hope this helps! Sounds like life is good in the Chambers household!

Amber Chappell said...

Hey I just left you a comment on a different post about your garbage digging habits and then I read that you are still at it! I'm glad to see you are the same ol' Steph! I've also been known to steal stuff from trash cans too. That's Christmas when you've been in Grad school for 6 freakin' years! Maybe this year my kids will at least get something from D.I. Yeah!


My husband thinks I should star on my own series-Like maybe something called Ghetto Cracker Gone Wild-because I've stopped to pick up many trashy treasures from the curb.

I got an entire set of chairs that just needed to be scrubbed up. My recent find was an amazing rattan sofa that is perfect! Even the white cushions are still immaculate.