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Buying Useless Antique Furniture: Globe Wernicke Card Catalog Cabinet with Map Drawers

 

card catalog file drawers cabinet globe wernicke map drawers bookcase oak book shelves

Glamour Shot

Last year I started looking for library card catalog file drawers to buy. Yes, they’re incredibly useful for storing your twine and bags of rubber bands and spare whoopee cushions, but I wanted them for the aesthetics. To me they’re pretty awesome. Maybe it’s the uniformity of the wooden drawers and the little brass pulls. It might be the bookish nature of the card catalog. Either way, I desired one. “The Big Bang Theory” even has a cabinet of card file drawers on its set (but I still wanted one).

So I started checking online and at antique shops. I would see them sporadically, but they seemed either inferior or cost more than I was ready to spend. I even asked 2 of my librarian friends if their libraries had any card file drawers to get rid of now that the card file info was all online. Nope. Their card catalogs had already been poached. The library I worked in briefly during college had already given up its drawers to a former librarian, so I was out of luck there. It seemed I needed to adapt what I was willing to spend.

Fast forward to May– I dropped by an antique mall I’d been to before and there, at the back of the store, stood a 6 and a half foot tall wooden ‘filing cabinet’. But it was more than just a filing cabinet, it was a Globe Wernicke golden oak paneled ‘filing cabinet’ with several layers of drawers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Easter Antiquer

 

magnifying glass with alligator clipsSunday afternoon, I was driving home after spending a great Easter brunch with my brother Chris and his family, when I drove past an antique mall.  I hadn’t been there in several months and was surprised to see a number of cars in the parking lot.  I figured it would be closed on Easter, but it was as open as a head wound (or something else less gross that’s open).  2 and a half hours later, low on fluids, I walked out of the antique mall into the fresh air and sunshine with some pretty awesome items that I totally don’t need.Here’s what I found: Read the rest of this entry »
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Mirror Gate In the Entryway

 

mirror gate in the entryway

I found this mirror gate a while back and knew I had to have it.  It’s not old, but was made as a cool mirror.  I’d seen some small antique gates before that I knew would be great as decorative architectural features on the wall, but the one I found was perfect because it came with hanging brackets and a mirror.  The mirror, of course, helps provide visual depth in my narrow entryway.

I accepted the fact that I’d be putting more anchor screws in the wall and that someday when I sell the place there will be a good deal of hole-filling between these anchor holes and the ones for the stained-glass window and the holes from hanging all the other pictures in the house.  Or someone could set up a Lite Brite.  Anyway, I put this puppy up in my entryway.  I like it.

Mirror Gate Closed in the Entrywaythe secret product is Lite Brite

Linkeriffic!

Drilling Holes In My Wall For Mankind

Antique Stained-Glass Window For the Bachelor Pad

Buying Useless Antique Furniture: Globe Wernicke Card Catalog Cabinet with Map Drawers

Antiquing and the Cylinder Phonograph

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

17 Types of Bachelor Pads

 

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Drilling Holes (In My Wall) For Mankind

stainedglasswindowcathedralchurch hungI just drilled holes in my wall to hang a stained-glass window and it only took me 2 months.  I’m on the ball.

In August, after some searching, I finally found and purchased a cool stained-glass window at an antique shop.  It was awesome.  Once I brought it home, though, it sat leaning against a wall except for when I brought it out to admire it or take glamour shots of it in the moonlight.  I meant to hang it in my dining room, but that required drilling holes in my wall for the screw anchors.  The thing is, I have little recent experience drilling holes in walls, but I have done it before. Read the rest of this entry »

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Antique Stained-Glass Window For the Bachelor Pad

Earlier this summer I found this great stained-glass window at an antique shop in Iowa. It was perfect because I'd been looking around for a nice one at a decent price, but everything similar cost about 50% more or just wasn't appealing enough. This was just right. I even managed to get the seller to come down a bit on price. Score! This 2' x 3' window might not be terribly old, but I like the design and the colors. I also like the cathedral/church window shapes within the window. Read the rest of this entry »

Antiquing and the Cylinder Phonograph

by Jonathan B. Perry

cylinderEdisongoldmouldedphonographamberolLast Sunday afternoon, if you’d been looking, you’d have found me crouched at an antique mall in Omaha sorting through a surprise collection of about 250 phonograph cylinders, checking for condition, price, and musical selection.  I bought 11.  What are phonograph cylinders?  You might know about them, but somehow I went my entire life, until a few weeks ago, without knowing. Now I own a cylinder phonograph, several cylinders, and rock out like Teddy Roosevelt rocking a monocle.

Invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, phonograph cylinders rivaled phonograph disc records for many years, but were no longer manufactured after 1929 (it was discovered that both sides of discs could be recorded on, while cylinders had no such option). Recently, though, novelty recordings have been made using cylinders, including a song by They Might Be Giants, “I Can Hear You”. This year, a British steampunk band, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, released a track on a limited edition cylinder.  I might have gone a few more years without knowing about these little record tubes had I not run across some orphaned cylinders in an antique shop last month.

Not long before, I’d started my antiquing obsession when I came across a beautiful set of antique history books being used as props at an interior design shop and thought they’d look swell in my library.  And they do.  I soon set out to find more nice pieces and maybe an old lantern or two, and knew I needed to visit some antique stores.  I hadn’t been to one in awhile and could sense my lameness.  On my first trip, I went to a large antique mall where I found some cool lanterns, as well as one of those old accordion-type cameras that unfolds.  It decorates a shelf in my living room.

It was the next store where I found some more great books and those fantastic phonograph cylinders.  When I saw them, I was amazed by the packaging, and of course the fact that this was another form of musical reproduction (like the cassette, cd, 8-track) and here I was, a fairly well-read person with an enormous music library, completely unaware of their existence.  In my excitement, I immediately called my brother Jay and had him look up what he could find on the cylinders (another good reason to buy a smart phone).  He saw lots of 25 or 30 cylinders selling on eBay and advised me of actual cylinder phonographs selling online for $800-1200. If nothing else, the cylinders were great novelty pieces and priced moderately, so I bought 3 of them.  And some swell books.  I held off on the nifty furniture, stained-glass windows, and brass miner’s lanterns until a somewhat distant future.

edison cylinder phonograph amberola 30

Cylinder Phonograph (Edison Amberola 30). Not mine (my camera cord is missing)

The cylinders became a footnote as I visited one antique shop after another finding such things as a unique 9″ tall brass mesh sieve and an 1880s 6 volume leather-bound set of Le Comte De Monte-Cristo by Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo to us English-speakers).  The leather book spines have those cool ridges.  I even saw a nice cylinder phonograph with a beautifully decorated horn, but at $800 it was beyond my immediate consideration.  A few days later, though, as I was trekking through Iowa and Minnesota, I found another great cylinder phonograph.  This one played well, but had the horn built into the box, like a speaker.  I was primed.  Listed at less than half the cost of the other, I negotiated, getting an even better deal, and took the piece home.  I had my own musical bit of history.  It was awesome!

Really, I should be rebuilding my modern audio system rather than investing in the 8-track equivalent of the 1st World War, but it was too fantastic to pass up.  Also, such non-electronic devices will come in handy in the fallout shelter after EMPs (electromagnetic pulses) have destroyed modern technology.  Yea, verily.

To me, visiting these antique shops is like visiting museums where you can buy the display items.  It’s strange to see what people are selling and what they’ve collected over the years.  Sometimes the displays are themed, like Victorian or old tool shed or mad scientist, and really give you a small insight into the people behind the items.  It’s interesting to consider the provenance of a piece:  Who were the former owners and what were they like?  Which meth-addicted grandchild is selling off grandma’s treasures?

So now as Fantasy Baseball season winds down (I have a decent chance of winning 2 championships, if I can survive today oops!), it seems I’ve found an obsession replacement.   In the last 3 weeks I’ve been to a dozen antique shops in 5 towns.  I’ve started visiting garage sales (though I’m not an early-bird shoppers who arrives early for worms) and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on eBay.  I have an idea of what pieces I’m looking for and what my price points are.  At the moment I’m camping out on eBay looking for accidentally cheap, but fancy, 19th century music boxes that play a dozen songs or use weird metal plates or corn cobs.  I’m also checking out strange musical instruments and unusual antique scientific devices in nice wooden boxes.  In the shops my eyes are also open for the nifty furniture, stained-glass windows, and brass miner’s lanterns, knowing I should still wait on the pricier items until perhaps after I’ve had the house re-sided.  But if I should happen upon that rare cylinder with Christmas music on it, I’ll be sure to grab it right up.  You don’t just find that stuff anywhere.

Once I find my camera cord, I hope to post a video of my cylinders in action.  The cord may be in Minnesota.

The secret word of the day is steampunk.

Read These:

Buying Useless Antique Furniture: Globe Wernicke Card Catalog Cabinet with Map Drawers

Easter Antiquer

How I’m Not Really Related to Ben Franklin

Bachelors In History

A Photographic Memory

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17 Types of Bachelor Pads

by Jonathan Bonobo Perry

ABC has a new cheesetastic reality tv show called The Bachelor Pad which seems like it might combine The Bachelor with Big Brother and The Real World after they’ve soaked in a briny vat of The Girls Next Door.  It promises an abnormally good-looking and freakishly healthy cast of cast-offs from previous reality shows being overly-dramatic and dramatically-amorous in a fine and expensive model home.  Pray, what will this bachelor pad be like?  Certainly it has everything.  Entertainment, games, and watery places, perhaps 7 hot tubs (so a few could be decontaminated simultaneously).  This got me thinking about types of Bachelor Pads as theme parks for men or rather types of homes for types of bachelors. What if guys were only one-dimensional and could each be pigeonholed into one tidy category?  Here’s who 17 of those guys would be and how their bachelor pads would be set up to reflect the weirdness.

1 Lothario/Lech Pad-Round spinning bed, cocktail bar, fancy lighting, a fine collection of loungy mood music.  It would be like the digs for Quagmire from Family Guy or for Austin Powers, replete with bathrobes and smoking jackets and lots of velvet.  A hot tub.  This is usually the first picture that comes to mind when one thinks of the classic bachelor pad.  It’s a lie.  Mostly.

2 Gamer Pad-Comfy chair for all that sitting.  Probably plush.  A couple gaming systems (XBox, Nintendo, Playstation, Wii) backed up by a quality entertainment system.  Dice and game parts for various role playing games.  Occupant-pasty sleepy nerd. 

3 Partier Pad-A sufficient supply of food and beverages and, if lucky, easily cleaned surfaces.  Large tv and other entertainment devices:  good stereo, lots of music, the gamer’s gaming system, some board games and backyard games.  Possibly a jacuzzi and a grill in the awesome backyard.  There might be a firepit.  Tiki torches?

4 Handyman Pad-Handmade furniture or carvings.  An extensive collection of tools and parts.  A fine workbench in the garage.  Powerdrill always plugged into the wall.  Multiple projects at different stages of completion spread about the garage and house.  Possibly a classic car parked in the garage being restored.

5 Traveler Pad-Travel books, posters, and paintings.  Souvenirs and maps.  Photo albums of trips.  Several suitcases, bags & perhaps an enormous travel cases like Jimmy Stewart‘s from It’s A Wonderful Life.

6 Collector Pad-The house may be overrun and/or decorated by strange collections:  stamps, baseball cards, license plates, Coca-Cola memorabilia.  Butterflies.  Places to store and display all this stuff have been set aside. The Antique-r is a sub-specialist of collector. Or is it the other way around?

7 Gadget Dude Pad-Assorted collection of the latest and greatest gadgets both electronic and mechanical.  Not only does he have the latest ostentatious Apple product (iPhone, iPad, iTouch), he also has camcorders, ereaders, robots, roombas, gps’s.

8 Reader Pad-Several bookcases, maybe some built-ins for a large a well-organized library (possibly numbered books, as if it were a real library).  There might be a list of books lent out and who has them and why you’ll never get them back.  (Chris?  Marshall?).  If he’s gone gadgety, there might be an Amazon Kindle or a similar ereader.

9 Sports Fan Pad-There will be lots of sports memorabilia, some of it plastered to the walls.  Maybe jerseys of the home team.  There could be game highlight footage on DVD.  There might even be sports cards, but certainly sports magazines.

10 Movie and TV-Buff Pad-Huge TV entertainment system with surround sound.  Lots of DVDs.  Lots of VHS tapes with the player.  Possibly a Beta player and Beta tapes for some rare ancient weirdness.

11 Musician Pad-Instruments.  The pinnacle is a grand piano or a specialty guitar signed by some dead rock legend.  Recording equipment.  A fine hi-fi system that spans the years from phonograph to 8-track to cassette to cd to mp3 player.  There will be plenty of albums to play on this system.  There might be busts of musicians and sheets of music.  Perhaps rooms have been modified to adjust acoustics.

12 Fitness Enthusiast Pad-In this pad might be found a bicycle and helmet.  If he’s a daredevil he might have mountain-climbing equipment, otherwise regular (and strange) exercise devices: dumb bells, stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, medicine ball.  He might have his own awards from previous sporty endeavors.

13 Animal Lover Pad-Aquariums, terrariums, cages and kennels.  Leashes and bowls on the floor.  Adorable creatures that want to eat and bite you and need to use the facilities which may or may not be in your house.  Animal hair everywhere.  Unsolved allergy issues.  Hello Kitty stationery?  Maybe that’s just a sub-genre.

14 Hoarder Pad-this comes from mixing too many of the other categories together and having certain psychological issues.

15 Artist/Photographer Pad-Paints and brushes.  Easels and canvas and frames.  Cameras and camera equipment.  Maybe a dark room for old film.  Some of his own work might be framed on the wall as well as his inspirations’ works.  Art supplies and works are spread all over the house.

16 Gardener/Plant Guy Pad-Much of this guy’s stuff would be in the backyard: Veggie garden, flowers, other odd plants.  Sometimes the greenery will come inside and there will be pots of living greenstuff (non-mold) around the house.  There might be books and magazines for gardening ideas and tips.

17 Chef/Cook Pad-This dude has a kitchen full of quality cooking equipment.  Pots and pans and skillets or whatever.  There will be odd measuring devices which might use the metric system or stuff like pinch or smidgen.  He’ll have lots of spices and fancy oils.  The cupboards and fridge are stocked with all kinds of food.

Certainly your type has been overlooked.  That just means you’re weird.

The secret word is pigeonhole

Related Reading:

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

My Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #10: Collect the Right Toys

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

$15 Million Ultimate Bachelor Pad

Tenuously Related Reading:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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Jimmy Fallon As Neil Young Doing Fresh Prince

(and 75,000 Hits)

A few months ago I stayed up way too late (again) and saw Late Night with Jimmy Fallon because sometimes I like to screw with my sleep schedule.  I haven’t quite embraced him as Conan O’Brien’s successor (I’m still wearing black about the whole Tonight Show thing, too) , but I thought I’d give the dude a chance.  Anyway, Fallon isn’t half bad and more importantly he does a hilarious dead-on impersonation of Neil Young singing Will Smith’s (the Fresh Prince) theme song for Will’s old show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air .  There’s art and then there’s art.  Not to be overly excited or anything (and slightly unrelated), but I’ve had 75,000 blog page hits now!  We must celebrate with this video.  And dancing.  And leftover Easter chocolate.  And that egg dish I ended up making that turned out suspiciously well.

Behold the glory.

The secret word is Harvest.

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BACHELOR PROFILES: Vincent Van Gogh

by Jonathan Belgian Waffle Perry

vincent van goghSo, Vincent Van Gogh was a bachelor.  Had a few girlfriends.  Painted some pictures.  Dated his models.  Hung out with Monet and Gauguin.  Lived with a hooker.   Spent time as a missionary.  Went a little crazy.  Cut off his earlobe.  Painted some more.  Killed himself.  Was one of those tortured artist types.  Poor bachelor artist.

Born in 1853 in Holland, Vincent Van Gogh, the son of a pastor, was raised in a cultured and religious household.  Throughout his life he was a bit unstable and lacked self-confidence.  He held positions as a bookstore clerk, an art salesman, and a missionary in Belgium, a position from which he was forced to resign due to over-zealousness.  He stayed in Belgium to study art.  The most famous work of his early Dutch period is the  somber-toned painting The Potato Eaters.

Starry Night

Starry Night

As often happens with those weird free-wheeling artist types, not to mention pastors’ kids gone bad, Van Gogh became involved with one of his models, Clasina Maria Hoomik, known as ‘Sien‘, a former prostitute.  She and her 2 children moved in with Vincent for a time, until Vincent’s brother Theo pressured Vincent to break off the relationship. Not long after, Margot Begemann fell in love with Vincent, but after opposition from both families, she attempted suicide, leaving Vincent very distraught.  To further matters, Van Gogh was shortly accused of fathering the child of one of his models.  He was shunned by the town and moved.

The Potato Eaters

The Potato Eaters

In 1886 he moved back to Paris where he studied painting with Cormon and met Pisarro, Monet, and Gauguin (what a namedropper).  It was at this point he began painting in lighter tones, using a more Impressionistic style, as he wormed his way into becoming a pioneer of Expressionism.

In Arles, France he’d hoped to meet with his friends and start an art school, cuz art schools are cool.  Eventually Gauguin joined him there, but they didn’t get along and during an epileptic fit, Vincent came at Gauguin with a razor, but instead cut off part of his own earlobe.  Another account says Van Gogh left the scene and cut off his entire ear flush with his head.  A further account says Vincent cut off the earlobe, wrapped it in newspaper and gave it to a prostitute named Rachel, asking her to “keep this object carefully”.  (Happy Valentine’s Day.)  Vincent’s fits of madness worsened and he was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.  It was during his stay at the asylum that he painted The Starry Night, often considered his magnum opus.

In 1890, after showing improvement, he was released from the asylum and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise.  Within a few weeks, he shot himself to death “for the good of all.”   He was 37.  During his short life he produced over 2000 paintings and drawings, but sold only one.

Chalk another one up for creative type goes nuts, fails at relationships, and kills himself.

7 Things You Should Know About Vincent Van Gogh

1.  He’s considered a pioneer of the Expressionist Movement

2.  His most famous painting, Starry Night, was painted while he was in an insane asylum

3.  He cut off at least part of his ear

4.  Served as a missionary for a time in a coal-mining district of Belgium

5.  He had a close relationship with his brother Theo, who supported Vincent financially for many years

6.  He walked into a field and shot himself in the chest.  He died 2 days later.

7.  He was a heavy absinthe drinker

Check out other Bachelor Profiles of woe and related reads:

BACHELORS IN HISTORY

Bachelor Profiles: Sherlock Holmes

BACHELORS IN CATHOLICISM

Bachelor Profiles: Mad King Ludwig

Bachelor Profiles: The Bachelor President

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How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

Art waiting to be hung

Art waiting to be hung

by Jonathan Bonnaroo Perry

Even though I moved into my new house about 8 months ago, I still haven’t put up most of my wall art because I’m not fully settled with the furniture placement and want to trade out some stuff, like the couches.  I may not move things around for a bit, but I might put in some built-in bookcases soon and this could affect organization of wall art.  Also, I was originally thinking I’d go with a slight Asian decoration theme (kind of ‘Asian meets French Country in the Suburbs’ aka ‘Bachelor Needs Designer‘), but my art is largely comprised of Egyptian papyrus paintings, so I’m a little perplexed.  I don’t want to be too scattered.  Fortunately, the house has much more space than the micro-apartment and I can spread out the mess so things don‘t look as junky.

(17 Types of Bachelor Pads)

In the old apartment, I maintained some essential articles of furniture so that I could, if necessary, sit down.  Upon getting my own Hobbit hole after college, I brought from my dorm room a ratty old grey stuffed chair (I gutted it last year for the coins inside.  It turns out the color was originally blue.).  I found some more shabby items at used furniture stores and answered newspaper ads for an enormous gold couch and 1970s end tables.  Since then, I’ve been upgrading, gradually dumping the crappy items for slightly less-crappy WalMart and Shopko furniture (the furniture styles in my house now average early 1990s).  In the small apartment I had several full bookcases that filled up the walls, then stacked in front of and next to those were a number of boxes and clear storage containers full of decades of hoarded items I’ll never use, but can’t throw away because of the nostalgia disease I inherited from my packrat ancestors.

Early pic of old apartment.  Decoration not visible

Early pic of old apartment. Decoration not visible

Besides the basic furniture crapfest, I decorated the old place a little.  My decorating style started with a delicately balanced mix of framed art (in the living room) and tacked-up posters (in the bedroom and hallway) with some travel calendars placed here and there.  It might have worked if the posters were art nouveau in frames, but my posters were maps, castles and Hindu deities tacked, taped, or puttied to the walls (deities for decoration only, not worship).  There were also a couple small flags from the British Isles.  I rather liked the pastiche nature of it all, but interpret psychologically that I had one foot in one world, a world of mature adults with refined tastes who have framed art, while my other foot was sucked in the mud of another world, a world of childhood, casualness, and bachelordom.  As these worlds pulled me apart, I stretched into painful splits that put undue pressure on my netherlands.

The new living room has naked walls

The new living room has naked walls

My framed art is primarily a collection of Egyptian papyrus paintings that I had mounted at great cost as I found myself conveniently unemployed out of college. They made my apartment living room a pseudo-Egyptian shrine to Ra.  I continued the Egyptian theme with that enormous gold couch (that housed guitars and a neo-Egyptian calico cat I fed), and topped it off with a good sized bust of Tut that doubles as a useful candle holder (the candle is behind the glass eyes, so the eyes of fire can be wickedly impressive).  I even have two hanging Chinese art scroll-painting-things that I brought back from Taiwan which are quite excellent and filled up entire wall sections in my short-ceilinged apartment.

There are lots of other little statues and busts which helped give my place a demented old maid museumy touch.  In the ‘foyer’ I had a bust of Franz Schubert (with glasses) and a bust of one of the Richard Strausses to inspire me musically.  Then there’s the Beefeater bobblehead I brought back from England.  The miniature Scottish knight had his sword positioned in an attack stance above the head of one of the three mini-Buddhas my brother Chris gave me for Christmas a few years ago (one has achieved cage-dancing Buddha status).

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This Chinese Scroll Painting is one of few pieces up

Perched atop my bookcase, the gargoyles stared down judging my sloth and a brass-finished lion judged my weakness.  I’m not sure what the Mayan Chakmul judges or even how to spell Chakmul or if it‘s really Mayan and not Aztec or Incan, but apparently it’s Mexican because my brother Jay brought it back from Mexico (I think my History degree was just voided).  I also had a string of Chinese lantern lights on one bookshelf and a string of bubble lights on another bookshelf, next to which was my groovy lava lamp to remind me that hippies gave something pretty excellent, if useless, to the culture after all.

At this point, despite all my collected junk, I didn’t go overboard and collect a roomful of miniature owls or cats to keep me company during the remainder of my dementia, but this step is a short trip.  I have actually known 2 older women who collected an incredible number of miniature owl figurines, which was impressive and kooky and a really strange coincidence.  What are the chances of knowing 2 unrelated older women at different ends of the country who fill large areas with different sizes and makes of owls?

I think most of my nicknacks won’t make it out of storage into any normal part of the new house.  They’ll probably just stay wrapped delicately in their boxes, in a kind of nicknack limbo, next to the rest of the hoarded items I’ll never use.  Sweet nostalgia.

The secret word is Davenport.

Continue Reading:  Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

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17 Types of Bachelor Pads

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My Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #10: Collect the Right Toys

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

Mirror Gate In The Entryway

Antique Stained-Glass Window For the Bachelor Pad

Drilling Holes In My Wall For Mankind

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

17 Types of Bachelor Pads

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