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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rebeca's Wheel of Fortune Blog Part 1

If you're here because you saw Rebecca on Wheel of Fortune you need to start here:

So, this is part 1 of a 2 part blog I wrote for Wheel of Fortune-- you can see them online under Contestants at the official Sony Wheel of Fortune website.  They didn't need this one as they went with Craig from the Wednesday night episode, but I had already written it (ages ago)-- so I figured, I might as well add a little to it, and share it here!   There will be another one AFTER the episode airs!

Hope you enjoy it!

I have been a lifelong fan of just about every game show there is, but I love word games so Wheel of Fortune has always been one of my favorites. After awhile, I had to watch only by myself because my friends and family were annoyed with me always solving the puzzle before the contestants on TV and then constantly bragging about it.  What can I say, I’m very competitive when it comes to games!
The Wheel Mobile had come to New Orleans a few years back and just about everyone I knew had gone but I couldn’t make it the first day because I had a conflict.  Everyone else said it was too difficult and didn’t want to go back the second day—I was upset because I did not want to go alone.  I didn’t go and always regretted it.
That’s why when I found out the Wheel mobile was returning to New Orleans in November I made plans to go whether anyone else was going to go with me or not.  I filled out a contestant application online, and read forums of advice from everyone who had ever auditioned.  They all gave tips about what to do on stage (be high energy, clap, have fun), and that part seemed easy because that’s how I am anyway-- but I had no idea how I was going to manage to be so lucky to get my name picked out of the box.  One person suggested to crumple or fold my entry paper so that it would have a better chance of getting picked.
The day of the Wheelmobile was the same as the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival in New Orleans.  A few of my friends were going and I was supposed to meet them at 10am.  We were celebrating a friend’s birthday.   I love New Orleans and won’t ever turn down poboys, so I decided to do both- I would go to the festival, leave early, and head straight to Harrah’s casino. My best friend agreed to come with me and she had no interest in auditioning but I must have been very persuasive about how fun it was going to be!  The next thing I knew, I had five or six friends from the festival carpooling to Harrah’s…  I was so excited that so many of my best friends were coming, I didn’t care how long I had to wait.  I was a ball of energy and was even more excited when we got a table in the front row of the auditorium!  We all piled in and cheered and hollered.   I had crumpled my ballot so much that when they pulled it out of the box , even before they read the name, my friends all said “that HAS to be yours, Rebecca” – and it was!   I played my best and didn’t solve a puzzle but tried to have fun.  My friends screaming and cheering helped me stay upbeat and I had a good story to tell Marty & Heidi (the Wheelmobile’s “Pat” and “Vanna”) about how my mom had lost (and found) a diamond ring at a Wheel taping in the Superdome years earlier.    I am a union opera singer but I was careful not to mention that as there were a lot of singers and dancers there and they all had to display their craft on stage for everyone!  Opera singers don't really like to be told to sing on cue without preparation.  I decided instead to say that I enjoyed volunteering, and did so pretty often for the American Cancer Society.  It was hilarious because the next 3 or 4 contestants after that all decided to "one-up" me in terms of their volunteering.  One girl built playgrounds for underprivileged youth,  the next person did something better, etc.  I was kind of waiting for someone to say they rescued orphans from burning buildings!   Overall though, most of the people up on stage were vibrant and charming!  My friend Megan also got called up and neither of us solved our puzzles but we both got some really fun prizes (blinky pin, hat, keychain, t-shirt, backpack, cooler bag, and a few other things between the two of us).   We split the things up so that everyone got something, and our group was so loud we were constantly called “THAT table”  by Marty.
I thought I had done well but thought I wouldn’t get a call-back because I didn’t solve anything.  I was surprised (and so excited) when I got an e-mail about two weeks later for a second audition.  I only knew one other person going, and she was going at a different time, but I was still excited.   At the final audition there were about 120 people, and we played mini-games of Wheel, and it was super hard because they would randomly call on one of the 120 people by name and initial of last name, and lots of people were caught off guard to have to take on a puzzle in the middle of someone else calling out letters, and I agree- it was difficult, but after the last time, I was determined to solve at least one puzzle and I did.  I won a Wheel of Fortune grocery bag which has the wheel in the shape of a Flower.  I was SO excited, I love flowers, and bags, and Wheel!  It was the best day ever.  We took a written test and I was more than prepared because of all of the word puzzles I had done throughout life.  There was a cut and I survived it, about 20 of us remained.  We played a few full games of wheel (minus the toss-ups) and I was determined to solve as many as possible.  One of them I solved without even spinning the wheel, I just wanted to solve the puzzle.  I solved 4 puzzles overall in the final audition round, which might have been the most of any contestant that day.   I'm pretty sure I didn't see anyone else solve more than two, so I was pretty excited about that-- I thought my chances were pretty good, but it was still so surreal!

After the auditions were over the twenty or so of us got to talking—the other auditioners were such amazing people.  I still talk to about ten of them today!  We have seen each other through positive life changes and hard times, have had group lunches on more than one occaision, and still have a Facebook group called “We auditioned for Wheel of Fortune because we rock”  where we update each other on what’s going on in our lives.  (To date the group has over 25 people in it, all of the people from our original audition group, plus all of the people we played with on each of our individual episodes!) I am so thankful that it was such a positive experience and that we are all still friends.   I am also very grateful that we had each other to talk to because otherwise I would have gone crazy waiting for my final letter.  I checked the mail every single day… we were told that if three weeks came and went, we weren’t selected, and it came and went, but I was still hopeful.  We had some bad weather and I knew I wasn’t getting packages at work, that’s what I kept telling myself.  Sure enough, one month and one day later, my letter arrived.  I was so excited!!!  I screamed for about five minutes straight.  My puppy Lola thought I was crazy!   I had to read and re-read it to make sure it was real!    I've since heard (  that over a million people a year apply to audition each year for Wheel of Fortune and approximately 600 people a year get chosen as contestants.   I am SO SO incredibly lucky to be one of those 600. 

Tune in on Friday, September 30th, to watch me Spin the Wheel!  I'll be on Spa Fantasy Week!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Good morning!

You guys are probably thinking I'm about to tell you about how many auctions we have this week, or how crazy our garage sale this past weekend was, or how good our last unit was-- and that's all true.  I do have several updates on all of those things  (we DO have about  26 auctions this week alone, we DID have some non-English speaking Asian man make me re-open our sale at 2pm just to give me 30 cents,  and after we posted the videos of our dig, it's TRUE that we found a knapsack full of jewelry... go figure!)....  but first, I need to tell you about the amazing week that Brian and I have been having personally.

First things first-- the thing you already sort of know about.  I'm going to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune, this Friday, September 30th!   Spa Fantasy Week. You definitely need to watch!  Here's Vanna telling you so herself:

This entire trip was amazing and was very integral to our Storage business as well---  while we were in Los Angeles, home of Storage Wars & Auction Hunters--  we were able to make some pretty cool trips and connections with the guys out there.    I was thrilled that Brian was able to come along for the ride, and he's one of the few people that knows exactly what I won or didn't win (we are not allowed to say or discuss until after the episode airs).     The Wheel of Fortune site now has pictures up from my week and it's starting to hit home that my episode will be happening in just FIVE days!   Here's a picture of what the set looked like:

And finally, here's a picture of what I wore that day, taken on that day, in front of the wall outside the Sony Pictures Studios Wheel of Fortune set.

Here's a closeup:

That's my friend Holly, who lives in LA.  I've known her since elementary school and we re-connected through Facebook.  Am so happy she was able to make the taping!

and finally, here's a picture of Brian and I immediately after my taping:

If you're local and want to come out to a viewing party, comment or send me an e-mail and I'll give you the location.

I'll have a blog that is posted later this week giving even more details about the experience.  It was amazing for sure.

NOW.  Onto Brian.  We were super excited making arrangements for Wheel and my party this week, and we were working hard at garage sales and selling things when we heard an advertisement on the radio for a raffle for Sean Payton's Foundation.  For those of you who don't know who Sean Payton is, shame on you-- he's the Superbowl Champion New Orleans Saints' Head Coach.   He's a great guy.   He rarely ever does signings and he's a very sought after autograph.  Plus, I've always wanted the chance to meet him.  So without even considering that they were raffling off prizes, we went down to Aucoin Hart (a local jewelry store) to buy two $20 tickets to get to meet the coach and get a free foam football with his signature on it.  Plus, it's for his Play It Forward foundation, a great cause!  Here's a picture of the advertisement/ticket for the raffle:

So, we each got a ticket, and marveled at the three prizes.   The signed helmet and ball were awesome, the guitar was pretty cool-- it was a special Superbowl 44 edition (the one we won) and they only made 44 of them.   The ring was magical-- I tried it on my finger (complete with saleslady and security guard present) and actually posted it as a mobile upload to Facebook, stating "look at my new $15,000 ring!"    We talked a little bit about which prize we wanted (Brian wanted the guitar, I wanted the ring, and after I pointed out it's value and one-of-a-kindness he decided he wanted the ring too), and we were on our way.

We returned to the store the day of the raffle/signing, and while waiting in line, I showed off my signed football to Brian, the other people in the line, and the news--- we were excited enough to be there, being on the local news with our signed items was a bonus!

When it was Brian's turn for his autograph, Sean Payton stopped cold and said "what is THIS???" to the 5+ year old newspaper that Brian had brought him.  It was a picture of Sean Payton before anyone really knew who Sean Payton was.  They chatted long enough for me to snap about 10-12 pictures just like this, and Brian as ecstatic that he had gotten to talk to the Coach.

After we got out of the madness (hundreds of people wrapped AROUND the building... couldn't even see how far back/around because we were number 18 and 19 in line)...  we hung around for a few minutes before getting into separate cars talking about how lucky we were to get there early enough to be in the front of the line,  how nice it was that he individually greeted everyone, the fact that Brian almost gave him the old newspaper picture because Payton liked it so much, the great pictures we got, friends we made, the interview for the local news, etc (I'm still trying to find that video-- if anyone has it, please let me know, it was on WVUE Fox 8, which ironically is the same network for Wheel).     It had been a great day and we are just both ecstatic!      We part ways and are going to meet up in a few minutes to go to a food truck festival.  I call Brian to tell him to drive carefully because I was woken up at 5am by a dream where I thought he was calling me to tell me he was in a car accident.  In my dream he frantically says, "Rebecca!  I can't go with you to the festival because..."   I never heard the rest.  I just assumed something bad happened and my dream-like mind I guess figured it was a car accident.     So I tell him on the phone to be careful, he says he will be, and that's that.  No less than twenty minutes later, I get a call "Rebecca!"  (I'm freaking.  He never uses my full name, and especially not on the phone, it's usually just "hey--- wake up"   or "hey-- you need to go to the post office"  or "hey--- let's go to auction" -- you get the idea.    So I'm freaking.  And then it happens.  "Rebecca!  I can't go with you to the festival... because I won the raffle.  I won the ring."

His name had been pulled out of the drum and called (winner need not be present to win... although we were actually contemplating going back there just to watch the raffle drawing)--  and apparently immediately some of our mutual friends who were there started texting him and calling him (shoutout to Christian and Jonathan) and he thought they were joking, but Aucoin Hart called him as well to confirm.

I go to him, we high-tail it back to Aucoin Hart, and it's true.  He won.  He takes a ton of pictures with everyone at the store and for their publicity people:

It is AMAZING.  A ring valued at $14,999 -- and it's beautiful.  And it's black and gold!  It's 18k gold, with 186 diamonds, black, white, and yellow.  Our Saints had an amazing weekend (we were lucky enough to be there to watch in the 3rd row, another lucky part of this week), and this is a perfect display of that!   Here's a close-up of the ring:

Since it doesn't fit almost anyone (it goes up to Brian's pinky knuckle only)  (even on me, it only fits on my pinky finger)...  Brian's wife Lily had to be our beautiful hand model:

As for what the future for the ring--  Brian's still unsure about whether he wants to re-size it and wear it himself,  sell it, put it in a display case in the store, etc...  he'll have plenty of time to make those decisions.   Not as much time as *I* have waiting for my Wheel of Fortune money (sigh), but I digress!  I'm not jealous that he won (no one else deserves it more), just in the quickness of his payout!  Meanwhile,  if anyone wants to make an offer on it, let us know!

So, that's our week.   Pretty amazing, right?   Can't wait to see what next week holds!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Our 50th Unit -- Part 2

Here are Brian's videos:

It's more of the same-- the opening the rest of the boxes.  The last two videos though--  pretty interesting!   We were getting ready to leave the facility, and we stopped in the front office-- the ladies in this particular office (shoutout to Kristine and Tonya) are AMAZING  so we hung around and talked for a WHILE.    It's always good to make nice with facility management-- but in this case, we like them a lot so it's a double win!    It started pouring down raining, hard and fast, and before we knew it, the entire area was flooded!  We had to drive through about 6 inches of water in the back parking lot to get out of there!    The perils of living in South Louisiana!     Everything was fine, we got out, nothing was damaged, etc... but it made for pretty interesting videos!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our 50th Unit!!! It's finally time!

YAY!  We bought our 50th unit today!  And it was an amazing one!     It cost us $225 and was, in our opinion, the very best unit of the day.

We started off with our usual just kind of scoping out the unit looking for valuables and to see what we've got.  If you listen closely, you can actually hear the auctioneer in this video-- she hung around to see what we had because she was curious as well!

I was tickled when I found DVDs:

and more DVDs:

Sorry for shaky videos--  a) it's super hard to open bags and boxes with one hand while you're videoing  and b)  there is some kind of sound-delay on a few of these.  If someone wants to be our professional videographer, let us know!

We find savings bonds and savings bond certificates pretty often.  We've tried to cash them and even if they are signed you can't get them cashed, not even with proof that you purchased the contents of the locker.  The only thing you can do is try to contact the tenant and see if he will pay you for them.  We have a unit right now with $250 worth of Savings Bonds and we're offering them back to the tenant for $150-- so far we have not heard from him.

Next, I see this super interesting gift box, and I was hoping for jewelry or something cool but instead I get this crap:

And that was it for Day 1.  For the record, it was NOT fish food.  I'm still not sure what it was.. oregano maybe?  Cat nip?  No idea.  But it wasn't what you THINK it was, either.  I guess we'll leave that mystery for another day.  We packed the two boxes of DVDs in the car and took off.   We returned bright and early the next morning-- and as always, Brian was WAY more chipper in the morning than I usually am! :

I moved some boxes and ended up in a storage unit avalanche:

And here's the rest of the dig!  We videotaped almost every box and bag being opened.  Here's all the other videos:

creepy clown card:


There are a few more videos, but we'll post those in a little bit (as soon as Brian figures out how to upload them, as they are on his phone).    Just consider it a little bonus-extra.

This was an extra special unit, not only because of it being our 50th, but also because it really does have a lot of amazing stuff in it!   I hope you enjoyed this video blog!  We've been wanting to try it for a long time so I'd love your feedback on it!

Now, it's time to go prepare for tomorrow's garage sale--  and we hope to see many of you there-- so we're off!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CRAZY Auction Schedule! It's go time! / New Orleans Auction Listing Service

 I just finished compiling auctions for the next few weeks (I do it roughly 2-3 times a week), and WHOA!  There are 28 auctions over the next 14 days.  The busiest times for us each month are always the last week of the month and the first week of the following month, as that is when most auctions are scheduled.   (There are some in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of the month, just not nearly as many).   But this is just wild.   It's obvious that the summer months did very well for us auction hunters and not nearly so well for the storage unit tenants--   not sure if it's summer vacations that kept people from paying their bills or if this is just a coincidence, but it definitely bodes well for us.  I wouldn't be surprised if some of the units are for non-returning college students.  It's about the right time of year for that.

These auctions are all public notice, and can be found in any newspaper or even in Craigslist, but I have all 28 auctions compiled and will be selling the list to anyone who is interested for a low, low price of $5.00.   You certainly don't have to pay -- you can find it yourself, but if you're someone who doesn't like to do your own legwork, that offer is certainly open to you.  I will no longer be e-mailing readers and fans of this blog this information for free, so don't even ask.   I didn't ask you to do my homework in school, you shouldn't ask me to do your homework now.  But, if you want to paypal me, you'll have the list e-mailed to you in seconds.   You can also try looking at for additional listings or if you live in a different area than mine.

Also of note is that we purchased unit #49 a few days ago, so we will be up for #50 VERY soon!   I'm not sure what we will do when that happens, but there will at least be some sort of special blog post so stay tuned.  Maybe there will even be another re-enactment!

Time for bed!  I have to get my rest for the craziness that is ahead!


Oh, PS - speaking of craziness... check out this postcard Brian found the other day while doing a dig  (he VERY rarely digs through "junk drawer boxes" himself, but he did it this time and it certainly paid off!) :

and the back of the postcard, which says:  Why is Daddy In a Dress?  Answering Awkward Questions with Baby Animals

Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't ever come back here again!

 This post was just going to be an update of our latest garage sale, because let's face it, we now have garage sales weekly.  Usually they are pretty uneventful, minus the money made (always a good thing) and the cast of characters (see The Dollars and Sense of Garage Sales ) -- so I thought I was just going to be writing a post containing what we sold, for how much, and what our profits were.  Like my thought that the Eagles would beat the Falcons, I was dead WRONG.

What started out as a pretty uneventful garage sale...

... ended up becoming super dramatic.  But only AFTER Brian and I found (while digging through a previous unit) this... cat... on a noose.  Who DOES that?

Enough digressions. Back to the drama.   Everything is going well and we've done more than a couple hundred dollars -- we'll be closing in about an hour (wonder why the wack jobs always come after 11:30? ) --  and we're tending to customers and wandering about casually, when I overhear (I'm doing a dig on a unit)  Brian talking to this lady about prices.  She is looking at an army duffle bag (we had two of them),  a really nice army duffle bag-- and he quotes her $5.   She then comes to me and asks me the price.   I say $5 (are you guys surprised?) -- she gives me a disgusted face and I tell her if she buys both duffle bags she can have them for $4 each.  But only if she buys two.  She then of course goes to Brian and tells him I told her she could have that one for $4 and he realizes right away what happened. (We're no garage sale spring chickens!)  He also notices that she has put about 10 additional items in the bag.  It was totally obvious that she had done it, too.  So he tells her $15, and she says she doesn't have that much, and it's too much money, because she doesn't have that many items.      Here's a picture of the duffle bag in question:

Just to describe this woman's appearance, quickly-- she was Hispanic (which doesn't really matter to the story except for the fact that it helps explain and understand the Chula makeup style),  she was dressed in a bright pink top and a skirt that totally didn't match at all,  she had her crazy friend with her,  they arrived in an older Toyota Camry,  and she was emanating attitude everywhere.   From now on we're going to refer to her as Lips.  Because not only did she have crazy lips, but she couldn't keep them quiet. Back to the story:

She complains about the $15, she doesn't have that much, and proceeds to start throwing things back onto the table.    THROWING things back on the table.  I'm still kind of pretending I'm not hearing any of this because I'm still busy doing the dig, but also because it's kind of fun for me to watch Brian squirm every once in awhile.  It's only fair-- I get my share of garage sale rejects, too.    After Lips tossing out the items, he quotes her a new price of $10.  Lips completely blows him off and starts walking away (with the remaining items still in her hand), heading toward her car.   I hear Brian say "ma'am, you can't leave, we haven't settled up yet" -- she says, no, she growls "we DID settle, you SAID $10" -- and he responds "yes, but you didn't PAY the $10."   - he's getting increasingly aggravated and I'm debating whether or not I should step in (even though she's aggravating me, at this point, too).. but she makes my decision for me by taking out 2 of the items, slamming them on the stool in front of me, and saying (to me) "THERE.  There's 2 items I put back, you tell him that now I only owe $6."     Knowing our items are all $1, I say "I'm not telling him anything, and by the way, it's $8, not $6."  

Lips scowls at me, and starts heading to her car to get her money, and I again tell her not to bring the items to her car.  She completely ignores me and heads to the car-- I follow her, muttering very loudly something about how "you can't go to Dillard's or Macy's, pick out items, put them in your car, and then come back and pay for them-- why do you think you can do that here?"  --  Lips wasn't even paying attention anyway (she was walking in the other direction), but I'm still following her.     She gets to her car, grabs her money, and comes back to present it to me.    Now, keep in mind, that Lips has vehemently stated that she doesn't have $15.   She's told Brian it was too much, she's told me it was too much.  She tried to steal $10 worth of things from us and she's putting things in the car before she even pays for them, and she turns around and hands me a TWENTY DOLLAR BILL.   I'm not even kidding you.    Lips didn't really even hand it to me as much as she stuck it in my face.  So I snatched it from her long fluorescent finger nails and marched it over to Brian.  "She's paying with a TWENTY."   He looks at her, looks at me, says "SERIOUSLY"  and she's still giving him attitude.   He looks at her and says "no-- I don't want your money."     Lips' face lights up like a kid's at Christmas (or Brian's at a Saints game)  and before she can jump up and down at her luck or congratulate herself for her brilliant tactic of putting her goods in the car before she got to the point of purchase -- he says "No.   I'm not selling you the items.  Go get my bag out of your car and bring it back here.  And bring me back all of the other things in it, too!"   She starts trying to argue, and he says "NO.  GET THE THINGS OUT OF YOUR CAR AND BRING THEM BACK. "  And then proceeds to run-down the list of the things she's done wrong (but still very respectfully, actually)...  just so she understands.

He follows her to her car and she's throwing attitude the entire way.  I'm now paying full attention (as is everyone else at the sale and within a 2 block radius)---   her and her friend get into the vehicle and roll down the windows and she proceeds to throw the things OUT OF THE WINDOW onto the ground.

Here's a picture of the bag on the ground, right where she left it:

Here's a picture of Brian picking up the bag. He also yelled at her "DON'T EVER COME BACK HERE AGAIN!" while shaking his fist.

He shook his fist while she drove off and until the car was all the way down the street.

I was so sad that I didn't get to take a picture of the lady -- she really was a sight to see...  so, here, I present to you folks, a DRAMATIZATION of what occurred.  Brian will be playing the part of Brian and I will be playing the part of Lips.

                                                         "You obviously have items in that bag!"

                                   "Where are you going?  We haven't settled up yet!"

                                "You can't put it in your car -- you haven't paid for it yet!"

                                     "You're paying with a $20??    Bring me that stuff back!"

                                  Lips " Oh jah?  You can take your stooopid bag, mister!"


After THAT, we still had to do another hour of garage sale!  Lips made matters worse by passing by not once, twice, but three times,  each time with the windows rolled down, laughing at us and flipping us off.  She kept passing us by every 10-15 minutes without fail.  I saw her 3 times, but that doesn't mean she didn't come by more.  That's always a little bit scary, but I just kept reminding myself not to take her too seriously, to continue to have fun, and that Love Will Keep Us Together!  Luckily, we were selling this record at the sale:

Who can be angry when there's the Captain?  And Tennille?  And two adorable dogs?

It will be interesting to see if Lips comes back to a future sale.  Or attempts it.  I sure hope she doesn't, but you never know.  Hopefully she doesn't try to get even but just moves on and finds some other people to annoy.   Garage Sales are really teaching us all lessons in patience, but when that's gone, at least we have this blog to vent on!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's time for another giveaway... YUUUP!

Want to win an authentic Dave Hester Storage Wars YUUUP bumper sticker?

Now's your chance!   Comment on this post and next week we will randomly select one person to win it!
It's super special because Brian and I flew to Los Angeles and picked it up ourselves!  So it was flown specially for you with love, and touched by us!  Score!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cigars, Booze, & Art -- the Step-by-Step Dig

So you've all heard talks the last few weeks about this amazing unit we found with cigars, booze, and Jazz Fest posters / art -- it's also the unit where we found a platinum wedding band hidden in a cigar box (that was a great surprise for me when I was trying to sell the cigars) --  we've been so busy unloading this unit and trying to sell the items out of it that we've neglected to write the blog showing you the step-by-step process--    Here that is, today!

The unit was purchased after an all -day marathon of bidding at Public Storage locations throughout the city.  We had about six or seven locations and we purchased this unit and another unit at the very last location of the day, on the historic St. Charles Ave. We were very strategic on this day-- we like to wait for the very last location of the day in a marathon day of bidding because usually the bidders (and funds) taper off by the end of the day so it's a good way to get units for a fraction of the price.   We also knew that Tropical Storm Lee was coming our way and Brian was smart enough to realize that this is the only facility in our area that is completely enclosed, even the parking lot area.  We were able to load 4-5 loads into the van without getting even a drop on anything.   This facility has it's down sides, too-- they have a homeless lady who lives inside a unit and frequents the hallways-- she's done this for years.  They also have an entire level that does not have elevators (it's a terrible ordeal to try to push a cart down the stairs)--  but fortunately neither of our units were on those levels.

 Here is the overview picture of what our unit looked like.   If you see the rubbermaid container on the bottom right (it's blue) you might notice something white hanging off of the edges-- these are moths.  This unit had a severe moth problem and this kept a lot of people from bidding against us.  The other bidders kept commenting about how badly moths smell and how difficult they are to deal with, but things like that don't deter us from bidding--- the harder or stinkier it is, the better for us, because the better the price.  This unit went for $350--- other units the same size and fullness that day went for double that.

 Another view of what the unit looked like...

 Another view...

 The blue moth-bucket along with an empty right side-- this is usually a good sign because it means the people left an aisle in order to take care putting their belonging inside the unit.  Units that are super full are great as well, don't get me wrong, but it's better if you can get one that's contents are not haphazardly thrown in.

 On the first day we did our typical "look for valuables" before quickly getting out of there (to return with the van either later that day or the next day) -- it didn't look like there was anything too obvious but then I opened a trash bag (all the way in the back) , and what did I find but a bunch of posters--- we opened them, and they are all signed & numbered pieces of art, including Jazz Fest posters.

If you'd like to see close-up photos of all of the individual pieces of art, you can click here.

 For reference, the art trash bag was the one to the left of the TV in this photo.

 A close up of our moth bucket-- it really was disgusting, a terrible smell and thousands of dead moths-- but hey, who cares-- we now have Jazz Fest posters!

 More of the moths...

 On digging day I started by opening trash bags-- I was half hoping for more art (who wouldn't be) but I was mainly just trying to get rid of trash first.  It makes a big difference when processing units if you can get rid of the trash first because then you're left with a lot more working space to process the actual items of interest.  Clothing is our least favorite item right now, so it made sense to start there.  Once I realized moth of the clothes (ha... that was supposed to be the word most-- fun and appropriate typo!)  were moth eaten, it made sense just to go through them and search for valuables and then throw them away. And boy, were they moth eaten!

 More moth damage!

 Pile of damaged mothy-moth clothes

 After I got finished with 8-9 bags of mothy clothes... there was one final trashbag...  that had electronics in it!  Score!

 A Playstation and all of its cords was a great find, plus a bunch of outlet cords, co-ax cable, etc.

 More clothes and shoes and belts hidden in every free spot....  there were a few collectible Jazz Fest t-shirts, which is great...

 There was also a Ladies golf tee complete with tags still on it, so that's a plus!

 a close-up of the price tag on the Zurich Classic shirt

 And oh... no pants pocket is complete without a bunch of pens (engineer, maybe?) and foreign currency!

 I almost kept this really cool lamp for my house, but I have a profit-nazi for a partner so I decided against it.  It was really really cool though!

 Ah, the cut-locks pile.  You'll find at least one of these in every unit (when the storage facility cuts off the tenant's lock they leave it in the locker for them because I guess, it is technically the customer's property) -- this one had 3 or 4, so you can tell that this has happened several times before!

More moth stuff...

 This pile is pieces of moth eaten clothing remnants and dead moths.  Glamorous!

 More clothing... at least we got a bunch of nice winter jackets and light coats.  Moths must not like coats. At some point, the man worked for CNN--- so there are a lot of CNN logo jackets.   If anyone wants one, let me know!  You can pretend to be Wolf Blitzer.

 Brand new Birkenstocks!   A shame I'm not a hippie.  They are also not my size (Brian was relieved).  I think they are like a 7 1/2 - 8 if anyone wants them.  Tree optional.

 A brand new photo scanner, in the box-- doesn't appear to have ever been opened!  Must be nice.  Again, I'm pretty sure we'll sell this to you if you want it / price is right.

Ahh.. a Sterilite bin.   This must have been next to Melanie's bed, judging by the contents.  There were some very... interesting things inside!  Oh, I guess I didn't tell you about the tenants (although I did elude to them in another post... all this time we've been opening things that look like an older man's items (minus the woman's golf shirt and birkenstocks), and as we got to the front of the unit we start seeing Melanie ___ all over everything --  I still don't know the relationship of the couple, but I know it was a 35-36 year old woman and a 45-50 year old man.  He was paying for the locker and his name was on the bill, but it seemed like 65% of the stuff was hers.  Maybe they recently moved in together and had to combine their assets?  I'm not sure).   -- either way, this HAD to have been hers, and it was full of personal, private things.... and some goodies.  First up in Melanie's treasure trove:

 No wonder Netflix does so well-- there are other people like me who haven't returned a video in 3 years!

 Next up... Brian should be super happy with me for going through piles of business cards-- look at what I found in a stack of business cards in the makeshift nightstand-- coupons for Hooters!  That don't expire!  EVER! :)  We used one of them tonight, in fact.   Holla!

 More awesomeness: A gift certificate to Regal Movie theater.... so what if I have to go to a ghetto movie theater-- (not that Regal is ghetto-- if the people at Regal would like to send me more free things for advertising them, they can feel free ;) -- I'm just saying in my particular area the only Regal cinema is GHETTO!)   But, either way--- it's $10 off!

 Moving on to the scandalous drawer...  Well.... we know what HER Plan B is...

 And here are some pictures of our lady at a strip club...  due to the adult content, please click here if you'd like to see it!  Why anyone would go to a strip club, be photographed with a stripper, and then KEEP those pictures is totally beyond me.

 I don't know what the deal is with these Ugly Teeth, but we've been finding them in virtually every unit lately.  Stay tuned, because this may be a Storage Heroes giveaway in the near future.

Anyone know what this is?  Me either.  I opened a bag, and found a wooden bird feeder, a metal pot, and this black... something.  sculpture?  It feels VERY heavy and looks like metal but it feels like porcelain.   If anyone has any idea what it is, I'll give you my... undying respect.

                                                         Here's a close-up of the thing..

 I liked this art (oil on canvas)  so much that I kept it.  It's now hanging in my kitchen.  It's beautiful!  I hung it on the wall of the storage facility for the entire duration of the dig.

 The girl additionally had some tools (pictured above),  paralegal and LSAT books (pictured above-- there are a ton of really nice ones if anyone wants to buy them), Christmas decorations (there are always Christmas decorations), an antique record player (the kind that comes in a desk type piece of furniture that slides open and closed), and some Mardi Gras beads and work paperwork.     In her nightstand thing aside from the naughty pictures and Plan B, we found a letter and a unused gift from a boyfriend in Australia, a letter and a photo cd from a boyfriend in Florida, a really whiny and pathetic letter from a boyfriend here in New Orleans -- see Letters from a Storage Locker #8 and generally a trail of love destruction.   For the record, I did pop the photo cd in my computer (I always do!!)  and it contained the girl and her ridiculous friends putting on lingerie costumes and dancing on bars around town.  There was also a series of pictures at a Mardi Gras ball where people started licking and sucking on each other in the worst possible places ON THE DANCE FLOOR.   Chandelier and wooden floor and all.  Why are WE not invited to those kinds of parties, Brian wanted to know.

Moving on to Chuck's stuff:  Our first random box of goodies...  mainly a desk drawer full of junk but there was a box of cigars that we sold for $100 at a garage sale... not too shabby!

There were a bunch of nice Christmas gifts, including this nautical flag inspired belt.  $5 if anyone wants it.

We have records!  Just 2 records.  This tipped me off to look for the record player, FYI.   When someone has hundreds of records or 45s or whatever, they usually might not have a record player in the unit-- it might just be a collection of vinyl.  But when people have 1 or 2 random records for what appears to be no reason, it's usually because they have a record player that was passed down and they felt the need to keep at least 1 or 2 things to be able to play on it.

A hair straightener, wine gift set,  Sommelier's guide book,  it's turning into quite the gift extravaganza here.  If you're a friend of mine, please disregard this picture because it's very possible one of these items may be under your Christmas tree in a few months!

We found this e-mail forward that was printed out and it turns out to be very patriotic and was sent originally right after September 11th, regarding how we need to take down Osama Bin Laden.   I read it because I thought it was especially fitting given Bin Laden's recent death--   I didn't think about it until later how close it is/was to September 11th that we purchased this unit (I believe it was the 3rd or 4th)
the second page
So far, this is the accumulation of all of the personal belongings.   We have a lot of cards and pictures, and a marriage certificate (and divorce certificate) for Chuck.

More photo albums.    I don't understand why people store photo albums-- they are so easy to just put in a box or on your bookshelf or even under your bed.  PLEASE do not store your extreme-sentimental items.
A really nice Pampered Chef Springform pan set!  Still in the shrink wrap!

Some sort of table?  I don't know.  Captain Trashbag (Brian) wanted to throw it out, but I wouldn't let him.  I think it MIGHT have been an extension of the bar.  No idea.

Another picture of the thing. 

Two pretty cool golden end-tables - we sold these for $30 and a rotisserie chicken (see the Dear too-skinny blonde girl post)

Ahh, the record player!  It turns out that there were TWO of these in the unit.  I think one must have been his and one must have been hers.  But the real question is--- if you don't even have room for ONE record player in your home/apartment/trailer/wherever you live now, or if you aren't going to use it, then WHY store TWO of them???

Chuck's junk drawer (he had lots of drawers from work that he just emptied into boxes).  I saw the $1 right away, that was exciting (other than change, that's all the cash that was in there).  I was psyched about the Katrina Exposed book though because I had one of those awhile back and lost it.   This one is going on my coffee table.

You can always tell a lot about people by what kind of reading material they buy / go out of their way to print out / keep

While going through the man's binder,  I also found the $5 Starbucks gift card in the junk mail (read the gift cards post if you haven't already), and a $40 gift certificate to a restaurant. Since the man worked at a hotel, I also found a free 2 night stay that he authorized.  Checking into whether we can use this or not!   Amazing what you find when you look at things that just look like 8 1/2 X 11" pieces of paper!

Speaking of paper, I also found this note to our guy-- with the key to a woman's apartment!  I kept thinking that CC was him and BB was her because his name was Chuck, but I later learned that BB stands for "Big Boy" and CC stands for "Crazy Chick" -- at that point I think I vomited in my mouth a little.

CC also sent him about 50 postcards from all over the world-- she would be in the most exotic locations possible but would still talk about how much she missed our dude.  A little sad.

In another "desk drawer" box - there was a really cool star nameplate and an old Jaguar model

I  now have enough DVD-Rs  to last an entire LIFETIME!  Apparently our guy spent most of his time making movies at work.  I have about 500 copied CDs and DVDs (each is nicely labeled, also) - I'm keeping the majority of them for myself but check Facebook if you want to see a list of some that will go for sale.  After I burn them to iTunes I might just sell some of them! :)

We found a laptop, so here was all of the corresponding documentation.  That happens VERY rarely in the storage unit business!  Little victories!

Speaking of victories, how about an entire bar?  Most of these bottles were sealed and unopened!  Lots of rums from Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and other island locals. I  guess they were gifts from CC?  Either way, I'll drink to that!

More liquor.  We are selling this at 50-75% off retail value, as long as you can prove you're 21 and over. Actually, scratch that, I'm just going to drink it all.  PARTY!

More liquor (and office supplies)

More... you guessed it!

One decanter was crystal and beautiful, but had a few sips of whatever THAT used to be, so even though Brian said we could clean it (he really does try to get every cent out of a unit sometimes) there was NO way I was dealing with THAT.  Who knows what it would smell like!

In addition to large signed/numbered Jazz Fest posters, we also had an entire postcard sized collection, already framed.  There's 15-20 years worth, here.  If anyone wants them, let me know, otherwise they are going in my living room!

Close-up of the Jazz Fest postercards

Lightbulbs!  I love these ones!

I now have enough lightbulbs, band-aids (and don't forget the DVD-Rs) to last me a lifetime!

But, believe it or not... even with the cigars, and the booze, and the art (two pieces of which are in my house) , and the wedding band we found inside the cigar box (again, see that previous post if you haven't already), and the armoire, and the end tables, and the TWO record players, and the dirty pictures, and the dollar bill....  the two coolest things in this unit, the ones that made me the happiest... were...

Isn't this desk amazing?  It is custom made and I love it!  It's in my living room!

And two... well, watch the video!

What's one of the best things you can find in a storage unit besides money?

StorageHeroes Tip #7:  If you find something you can use, like lightbulbs, office supplies, paper, batteries, etc-- don't sell it for $1, keep it and save yourself $5-10 down the line.   Since we started this process, Brian has probably collected about 240 bars of soap, we have enough stamps to ship a small child (we once sent off a package that required $17.10 in postage with nothing but stamps on it),  and neither one of us will ever have to buy tape or staplers for the rest of our lives.  I have a stash of hand-sanitizer large enough to probably clear up diseases in lots of third world countries.   Extreme couponer people can stockpile and hoard product, this is no different-- except that it's batteries and stamps and lightbulbs as opposed to things like Dandruff shampoo and Fig Newtons.  Not saying you won't ever use those, I'm just saying.  To each his own.  If it's something you can use, keep it.  If it's something you can't use, sell it.  It's that simple.  Don't get greedy and look for the instant profit now- if it's something you can use (even in the not-so-near future), then it's wiser to store it away somewhere.  Hopefully you'll get a cool Sterilite bin or bookshelf or desk that will hold your new loot!


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