Tag: thrifting

Some Stuff I Bought: The rest of 2023 edition.

Well, 2023 is almost over. It’s been a tough time around in my neck of the woods, which has affected me writing any substantial articles, and I apologize for this. I’ll try to get back into the swing of things in the new year.

For many years, I’ve documented the stuff I bought because I find it interesting. Around 2022 I started a new format where I post updates every June and December. Naturally, I’ve been keeping tabs of the stuff I bought throughout the year, and since we’re near the end I thought I’d give a recap. Lots of games and really… interesting things. At least to me, anyway.


My collection story resumes in August. My partner and I went to a fancy little restaurant for brunch with a few friends that used to be the home of a pharmacy long ago. So much so that the current owners have embraced that location’s past, which is pretty neat. Better than the sports bar motif it used to hold for a few years. After having brunch with a few friends downtown, me and my partner went to a nearby thrift store that’s about a block or two away from the nearby restaurant we went to. Sadly I didn’t grab a whole lot, but I did grab something that caught my eye:

50¢: Alistair MacLean’s Death Train by Alistair MacNeill

Okay, this one’s a doozy. Alistair MacLean was one of those notable thriller novelists. He passed away in 1987, but before he passed on, he made an outline for a new series of books about UNACO: the “United Nations Anti-Crime Organization.” He wrote the story ideas, of which other authors would put them into actual books. I thought this was unusual, but this is surprisingly more common than I thought. Such as novels in the Ubisoft Tom Clancy games would be written by other writers; or for a more recent example, William W. Johnstone’s books being continued by his daughter J. A. Johnstone.

I am not much of a fan of thriller novels, but I bought this book because I remember a TV movie adaptation released around 1993 called Detonator: Death Train. It starred a pre-James Bond Pierce Brosnan, Patrick Stewart towards the tail-end of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alexandra Paul, Ted Levine, and freakin’ Christopher Lee. Pretty decent cast for a TV movie, honestly.

A trailer for the film that aired on USA Network around April 1993 (shown above) was being repeatedly promoted during USA Network’s 4-hour game show block that I had recorded around this time. Since I watched these tapes religiously when I was young, this particular promo has been burned into my brain. I eventually picked up a DVD copy of the film many years later and it’s a surprisingly alright movie, all things considered. It even got a sequel, Night Watch, which features a long-haired, handlebar mustachioed Pierce Brosnan. Bet it’s just as goofy as the first.

I bet the book itself is a decent read. If not, hey, it’s a paperback I spent fifty cents on. I’m always looking for things to read when I’m bored, and need something to pass the time besides scrolling on social media all day.

I Bought Some Stuff: Winter 2021-2022 Edition.

Wow, it’s been… about two and a half years since I’ve done a blog post on the things I’ve bought. For the most part, motivation was the main reason I didn’t make any, but then there was this thing called the COVID-19 pandemic which made me pretty afraid to really go shop and risk getting a life-threatening illness in the process. Thankfully masking up, vaccinations and a general change in my perspective made me a bit more confident to head out again starting in 2021.

I kinda like doing these posts – previously under the boring, uninspired “Game finds” and the unfortunate initialism of “I Bought Stuff!” – and in spite still of buying things here and there during the pandemic times, I never really compiled enough to make a new post during that time. But I figured with such a hiatus that it would get me the inspiration to write, as well as document some of my hobbies and interests.

For this article, I chronicled all the times I bought something physical throughout last Winter: December 2021 to March 2022. Of which I’ll talk about my reasons for the purchase and any sort of information I could gleam off the internet or remember from the recesses of my mind.

While there is some video game talk in this article, they are definitely not the forefront of this article. So if you decide to tune out of me nerding out about old bands and board games from 50+ years ago, I understand, but I do plead for you to stick around regardless.

But before we get to the nitty-gritty, there’s a handful of things I skipped upon that in hindsight I should’ve grabbed instead:

  • A box copy of The 7th Guest (DOS). The CDs were missing, floppy disks for a bootleg copy of SimCity 2000 were in there instead. Tried to see if the CDs were in the CD section, to no avail. I probably could’ve just bought the box and found a loose CD copy to replace it, which is what I might do from now on if something like this comes up again.
  • Vietcong (PC), a clunky budget shooter made to cash in on the Vietnam War in the early-to-mid 2000s. I was considering this, but then I put it aside and someone else had snagged it not long after me. A shame, I probably would’ve added it to the pile here otherwise.
  • A copy of a VideoNow XP disc featuring The Batman. Youtuber Techmoan had recently covered the VideoNow, a defunct video disc format made by Tiger Electronics, and the XP was the last model Hasbro released before killing the entire product line around 2007. In addition to having viewable TV episodes, XP discs also had interactive Q&A elements. I passed this up because I don’t have any of those players, and finding one in the wild without having to resort to eBay seemed unlikely, so I passed it up for now. (I may buy it again in the near future if it’s still there, so I’m not ruling it out.)

The most ridiculous light gun I own: The Silent Scope Light Rifle.

It’s been a rough month for me, folks. Admittedly the drive to write wasn’t quite there for most of the month until fairly recently, and I do have some actual posts prepared to be published in October.

But for now, I’m gonna write a fairly short post. This is about something I found unexpectedly at a Goodwill. A rare relic of a bygone era. Probably one of the goofiest video game controllers I own. In a sense, this is part “here’s something interesting I own,” part “I Bought Stuff!”

I know light guns aren’t supposed to resemble real firearms anymore, but this looks so goofy.

No, this isn’t a super soaker or Nerf gun, though I can’t blame you for thinking that. This is the Silent Scope Light Rifle, a light gun made for the original Xbox. I bought this for $7, and in hindsight it probably was one of the more impulse purchases I made that I have a small bit of regret. I’ll explain why in a bit.

I won’t go into a long history about the genre as there’s much better places for such things, but here goes. Light gun games were all the rage during the 8 and 16-bit eras. Duck Hunt, Wild Gunman, Lethal Enforcers, those American Laser Games that practically show up on every system like Doom or Resident Evil 4 does these days… They were fairly popular.

Then, oddly, it slowed down. At least, on home consoles. They still got light gun games, but at a much reduced rate. Some cases like Area 51 on the PlayStation didn’t even support a light gun, opting for PS Mouse support instead, which completely ruins the fun.

It was still thriving in arcades thanks to Time Crisis and later stuff by Raw Thrills like the infamous Target: Terror. But short of Namco bringing out the GunCon 2 for a Time Crisis II port and support for games like Capcom’s Resident Evil: Dead Aim, it was practically a ghost town for light gun games during the PS2/Xbox era. Until the Wii briefly brought the genre back into the spotlight for a brief moment.

I Bought Stuff! 4/16/2018 – One place, three cool things.

I don’t go to thrift stores all that often anymore. I’ve bought too many things over the years that I should write about, but haven’t gotten the time to. It also doesn’t help that thrift store hunting is an adventure in and of itself, so I think I can’t just hit one. But I did just hit one, and it was good to me.

I’ve mentioned Deseret Industries down in Portland before. It’s where I found a bunch of old demo discs from the 90s and 2000s for real cheap. I’ve found PC games I’d never expect to find, even stuff like a cardboard long box copy of NFL Gameday fairly recently. For some reason, this store tends to give me the best luck in finding stuff I wouldn’t expect to find otherwise, whereas I could go to the same Goodwill and be lucky to find a single thing I want, let alone several.

But enough about that, what’d I get?

Well, that’s an unexpected spread of games.

$1 each:

  • Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold (PC)

  • Chronomaster (PC)

  • Concentration (PC)

Mad Dog II is the sequel to Mad Dog McCree, the fairly popular laserdisc-based light gun game. It’s probably American Laser Games’ most iconic game, next to maybe Crime Patrol or Who Shot Johnny Rock. The sequel is however mostly forgotten, however it didn’t stop American Laser Games from porting it to every system known to man after its arcade run had finished.

I honestly bought this more as a lark. These games are fairly simple, easy to memorize, and beatable within 10-30 minutes. It’s just a novelty, through and through.

I bought stuff! 4/18/16: Finding leaks and filling in the cracks.

Sometimes you get bored and lack motivation to do something. What do you do when you’re me, someone who writes silly things on the internet and looking for dumb stuff to write about? That’s right, time to do some thrift store shopping.

I will admit that most of the items I found this time around are random curiosities more than anything. There are some fairly common and interesting things in here, however, and may be something to write about in future blog posts. If all else fails, it’s a good document of all the junk I get and how I got it.

I roamed around the Oak Grove/Oregon City area for this, checking two chain thrift stores and a Goodwill, plus a special hobby shop on the edge of Oregon City. Let’s rock.

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There’s a post-it over Quake III Team Arena because the CD key would otherwise be visible. Can’t let you steal my CD key for a 20-year-old game.

$4: Four random CDs:

  • Quake Mission Pack No. 2: Disillusion of Eternity (PC)

  • Shellshock: ‘Nam 67 (PC)

  • Quake III Team Arena (PC)

  • Disney Karaoke Series: The Cheetah Girls (music CD)

My first hit was a local chain thrift store. I thought I was gonna strike out, but the CDs I got have some interest.

I had Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon, but not the second expansion, Dissolution of Eternity. Now I have both. I remember not hearing too many great things about this one compared to Scourge, but hey, might as well get it to complete my Quake collection.

I also snagged Quake III Team Arena, aka that one game when id Software saw how popular Unreal Tournament was and realized their game didn’t have many team modes, so they hastily put out a paid expansion. Again, I bought this because I wanted to have the complete Quake III experience. Nowadays, Quake Live pretty much covers that Quake III/Team Arena void, so this is more for collection’s sake.

The third and final game is Shellshock: Nam ’67, one of the many Vietnam War games that came out in the early to mid 2000s. This game is notable for being made by Guerrilla Games, the guys who’d be later known for the semi-popular Killzone series. This was the sole game they made before Sony bought them around 2004. I don’t know if this game’s any good, but it can’t be that bad, can it?

Then there’s the last one: A Cheetah Girls Karaoke CD. This is probably the weirdest of the lot, but I bought it because it’s a Karaoke CD that supports the CD+G format that I covered a long while back here. Sadly it’s a different form of CD+G than the stuff featured in the Rock Paintings album, so I couldn’t get lyrics or music to show up. It appears I didn’t know much about this stuff as I thought.

Hopefully I’ll never have to explain why I own a Cheetah Girls CD.