Biff Rambles On About … Socially-Acceptable Snooping, Organizing Like a Boss, and Legitimate Slacking

Biff Hiking #3


I won’t keep you long.  I know you all have lots to get done today.

I am up at the unusual hour of 8 AM to begin the day.  What would entice me to awaken at such a freakishly early hour of the day?  I’m not sure yet, but I’m sure it will come to me any minute.

I am recovering nicely from yesterday.  Thanks for asking.

What am I recovering from, you ask?   Good question.

Yesterday I went out estate sale-ing with my daughter.  This is something we both enjoy immensely.  We had given up this tradition that we participated in on occasional and sporadic Saturdays while she was living up In Pennsylvania.  But now that she’s back in Texas, we decided to resume it.

I rarely buy anything during these foraging missions, but it is always fun and interesting to rummage through other people’s things.  Can you imagine someone’s shock and horror if you just barged into their house and started handling their knick-knacks, bibelots, and paddy-whacks?  They would probably call the police.  But if there’s a sign in their front yard that says, “Estate Sale”, all rules of decorum fall by the wayside.

All I bought yesterday was a set of seven mystery books published in 1928 ($7) and an Epson BOSS SF-7500n ($2).  The picture below is misleading as to it’s size.  It measures about 3 inches by 6 inches.


Of the two purchases, I am much more excited about the BOSS.  I have to go get a couple of coin cell batteries today so that I can see if it powers up.

This little gem (vintage 1989) was the precursor to the modern smart phone.   It is certainly not a phone, of course, but it was one of the original “digital diaries”, as they were called.  With them, you could write memos to yourself, keep a contact list, business card list, keep a calendar/schedule, and other such indispensable functions necessary to to be an aspiring Yuppie in the late 1980s.  It packs a whopping 64K of memory (about 0.00001% of what a modern computer has on it).

Why would I buy such a useless piece of outdated technology?

Because it is a thing of beauty.  It is so well designed.  It is so compact and so solid-feeling.  It is able to wring so much usefulness out of a tiny microprocessor that, by modern standards, has all of the computing power of a gnat.

I will keep you posted on my attempts to bring it back to life.  I have already downloaded the user’s manual off of the internet.  Soon you will no doubt hear me yelling from my lab-or-a-tree, “It’s alive!  Ha ha ha ha!  I tell you, it’s alive!  And well-organized.

But I mentioned earlier that today I am recovering from yesterday.  What is that all about?

Well, we were out for about 4 hours, driving from estate sale to estate sale.  The whole time, the temperature readout in the car stayed steady at about 108 F (42.2 C).  After about 4 hours of this we both suddenly became heat-exhausted, complete with a collapse of energy levels, slight headaches, dehydration, and mild nausea.  This is life during a Texas heat wave.

So today I have resolved to mostly stay indoors and do as little as possible.

How is this different from any other Sunday?

It is different because today I have an excuse.









  1. Here we don’t really have estate sales but we have plenty of car boots sales and I love them 😍
    Hope you are enjoying your inside Sunday doing nothing………the best Sunday you can aim for😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love estate sales and yard sales. Even if I don’t buy anything, it’s interesting to see what the house looks like, and what all the person had used. The last time we were out sale-ing it was 104…it does eventually wear you down. We take bottles of water with us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! I love seeing all the different styles of houses and how they look on the inside. Also, I’m not going to lie, it’s very interesting to see how other people live, the sorts of things they buy, etc.

      And, yes, I always take a small cooler with some ice packs and water bottles in it. 100+ temperatures still beat a person down though!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wow … that is awesome! Epson has always made fantastic products. Their printers used to be the best in the business. And little gadgets like this BOSS were very sophisticated.

      I loved it when there was a lot of manufacturing done here in North America. I loved touring factories and seeing how things were made. I loved being in engineering and being able to walk to the manufacturing floor to see my designs being built. I’ve never enjoyed my career so much as in those days. But now all I get to do is manage designs. I don’t get to touch much real hardware any more.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I had one of those! It was like a 1.5 inch screen. The one I had was branded by Radio Shack, but it was probably designed and built by Epson or some other company. I should see if I still have it tucked away in the attic somewhere. Of course, it won’t work any more since all of the broadcast stations went to HD, but it was cool back in the day.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. That sounds like a lovely tradition that you do with your daughter. I like how you did it in spite of the deathly heat! We generally do ‘garage sales’ on Saturdays – the best ones, of course, are in the affluent parts of town, West Vancouver, Point Grey. The thrill of the chase! Love how excited you got about the BOSS. I am looking for an old mini DV or super 8 camcorder for all the old video cartridges we have. Old tech is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m not sure how we got started in this tradition. I think it was because we didn’t have a lot of disposable income when she was a kid and so we’d go pick up things to do for next to nothing (books, roller blades, etc.).

      I need to find an old camcorder, too. Or a VHS player that plays the mini-VHS tapes. I need to get them transferred over to a digital medium someday.

      Liked by 1 person

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