•             Welcome

    This is the personal site of Ted the serendipitist, who has interpreted the Wikipedia definition of 'Hunter-Gatherer' (see that page) as meaning someone who visits junk shops, charity shops, antique shops and hebdomadal matutinal car boot sales in order to acquire low-value objects, which no-one in their right minds would want, at low cost (well, apart from antique shops, that is).

    Deluded Ted believes that at some time in the future, some of his acquisitions will be highly desirable and worth a small fortune.

  •       Car Boot Sales


    There are two types of sellers at car boot sales, viz traders and ordinary people. Ted tends to avoid traders owing to the high chance of inadvertently purchasing inferior goods at high prices. However, Ted did recently manage to acquire a large number of pairs of everlasting socks at only 50p per pair.


    Buyers need to understand traders' language; on asked how much the French carriage clock is, the response might be "toonarf." This would be interpreted as £250. There is no first aid on site for buyers who faint.


    Ted has discovered that, 99% of the time, a strange-looking object is either a massager, a fitness device or a CD rack.


    When a husband and wife team are selling their unwanted items at a car boot stall, it is an interesting fact that, whatever position the husband holds at work, be it dogsbody, manager or chief executive, it is the wife who wears the trousers. If someone asks the wife how much the pretty mug is, she'll say, for example, "50p." However, if the husband were asked, he would turn to his wife and say, "Er... how much for this, dear?" - even if it belongs to him.

    At other times the wife can be heard saying, "No, not there - put it on the ground here...", "You need to turn those round", "You can empty this box now..." or "You can pour me a cup of tea now - you did pack the flask as I asked, didn't you?"

    The simple fact is that women are more suited to this activity than the average man is, and so they naturally take control.


    In the early days, Ted's wife would suddenly say, "Ooh, look! They've GOT one!!!" This somewhat weakened Ted's position when he started to haggle. A more appropriate method for achieving a minimal sale price is to pick up the piece unenthusiastically and give a look of horror on hearing the price.

    Some sellers dither when asked the price of an item. At the first sign of this, the buyer should offer a very low price; there is a high chance that it will be accepted, especially if a wife is not in sight.

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eBay – 6th November 2014

Clay Adams Laboratory Counter:  $50 (+ $27.17 p&p + $17.84 duty)

Blood-Cell Counter

Blood-Cell Counter

You know, Ted has wanted one of these for a long time, and so he decided to like take the plunge and pay more than, you know, he really wanted to for it.

Basically, it’s meant to be used for counting like blood-cell types or whatever, but Ted, you know, had a much better use in mind – a Verbal Filler Counter (VFC), sort of thing.

Verbal-Filler Counter

Verbal-Filler Counter

Most teenagers nowadays – and even people in their 20s – seem to, sort of, add like extra words when they’re like talking. They can’t seem to like say a sentence without adding like an extra word, or whatever, to it, kind of thing.

One way to like point this out is to like sit with them with the counter on the table, sort of thing. Then, whenever they kind of add one of these like extra words, a click is heard. They may like wonder what is going on, especially if there is like a slight sort of delay like between the speech impediment and the click.

If the English language corrupter asks like what the counter is for, they can be asked like to work it out for themselves, any like delay being gradually reduced to zero until they like twig. It can take a long time.

After this, a fine of 5p per incident can kind of be imposed so that like the cost of the counter can be defrayed, sort of thing.

Ted has relabelled the VFC so that the labels reflect the type of filler: L for “like”, YK for “you know”, KO for “kind of”, SO for “sort of”, OW for “or whatever”, and ER for “erm” or “um”. He may later add SOF for “should of”, but this is an example of like ignorance rather than a filler, or whatever.


What would the counts be if a teenager like read all this text aloud?




Automatic Clickety-Clackety Sunlight Counter (Mark III)

Ted has just completed his latest indispensable device:

Sunlight Counter Mark IIIFull details, including a video, can be seen on the Inventions page, or you can click here.

eBay – 12th April 2013

3-Volt Counter:  1p (+ £3.35 p&p)

3-Volt CounterIt was only after Ted had entered his bid for this counter that he noticed the words ‘Czech Republic’ as the location; he didn’t even look at where it was coming from, because the postage and packing was £3.35 – pretty typical for small items nowadays.

The starting price was 1p, and so Ted rashly entered a maximum bid of… 1p!

Believe it or not, no-one else bid for this really useful item.  The postage was 98 korunas which is equivalent to £3.11, and so after the PayPal commission the seller sold this at a loss! The strange thing really is that the starting price was 1p – why not make it 99p, especially since there is no eBay fee for items under £1?

Ted will probably use this when he constructs his next Clickety-clackety Sunlight Counter.

The counter apparently came from a mainframe computer.

K’Nex Binary Machine

Ted’s K’Nex Binary Machine

K'Nex Binary MachineTed has been busy – he’s made yet another K’Nex machine from the pieces he has acquired from eBay and car boot sales.

This one works with K’Nex balls and can be powered by solar panels, thus acting as a Sunlight Counter.

There is a YouTube link here.

You can also look at the Instructables entry (which explains how the main sections were constructed).

eBay – 23rd November 2010

English Numbering Machines Tally Counter:  £6.02 + £2.75 p&p

This is a beautiful example of an ENM counter which incorporates a solid metal base.

You may be wondering why Ted would want yet another mechanical counter. Is it to count breadmaking machines at car boot sales, or CD racks, or sandwich makers, or even massage devices? Is it to count his badger holes? No. Ted has had a ‘thing’ about numbers ever since he was about three years old and, having an interest in mechanisms, this combines two of his interests.

eBay – 23rd July 2010

6-Digit Veeder-Root Mechanical Counter:  £3.99

Ted has managed to purchase a 6-digit counter, made by Veeder-Root, for the bargain price of £3.99 (plus £2.80 postage and packing). Since he is already in possession of one of these, albeit made by English Numbering Machines, which is used to count the number of sandwich-makers seen at car boot sales, Ted will now be able to count the number of breadmaking machines he comes across.

Website Find – 17th July 2010

Mechanical Counter:  £1.50

Ted decided to Google “mechanical counter” (or something like that) and came across a chap called Dave who had various items for sale, including this fully-working 3-digit English Numbering Machines mechanical counter which was part of a hand-operated duplicating machine. Dave is a person who simply hates to throw away something that might be useful to somebody.

Ted’s list of potential uses for this contains more entries than can be counted by the counter…