Pear Core

Hello there, just posting a quick update because it’s been a while. The finds have been pretty decent for the last little while, though there haven’t been any “omg” finds. On the other hand, my standard for “omg” is a lot higher than it used to be. I have the attention span of a goldfish these days, which I like to blame on all these modern gadgets that distract us constantly (I think my brain has been basically been re-wired), and I haven’t been doing much reading, writing, or other mindful things. My motivation isn’t all that great either, though I definitely feel more motivated to get out and pick now that it’s nice out.

I’m getting a little sick of having so much stuff. The pandemic shortened the last two yard sale seasons significantly, so maybe I’m feeling a little more “backed up” than I might have otherwise. My garage / office space is currently out of control. Fortunately, a yard sale is a great way to unload some of this junk while also getting some organizing done. I’ll be doing one tomorrow at 922 St Gregoire (near Laurier Park), from around 11am-6pm. Come on out and help me make sense of the hoard of crap that I’ve acquired.

Anyways, here’s a few things I picked from that first pile. It was mostly kitchen stuff, plus a bag of nice purses and one of board games. Here’s the finds that most caught my eye.

Here we have a pretty milk glass candy bowl…

… a set of cute plates made in England by Royal Leighton;

… a footed crystal candy bowl;

… a Goldilocks themed silver plated baby mug;

… and a very nice Dansk pepper mill. I did a bit of research and found out it was designed by Jens Quistgaard.

They’re pretty collectible. Some nerds even made a whole website about them (I don’t see nerd as an insult, it just means that you’re super excited about this one topic. I’m a garbage nerd). Thanks to that website, I was able to identify mine as a Model 1611, which they call “Pear Core.”

According to the pepper mill nerds, “[The Pear Core] mill is a rare design, so we have not had the opportunity to see many of these items in the resale market.” That makes sense, because I did a lot of looking around and didn’t see any quite like mine. Because of that, my 1611 is pretty difficult to price. Based on my research, I do know that Quistgaard pepper mills sell for between 50-1000$, which is a pretty big range. If mine is indeed rare, I like to think that maybe its value is somewhere in the middle, or if I’m lucky in the higher end.

I’ll do a bit more research before I decide, but right now I’m leaning towards doing an eBay auction. The market for these looks pretty healthy, which means that an auction might work well (I try to avoid auctions for more niche items). But first, I have to get that salt stopper piece unstuck. I’ll bet it’s been in the same position for many years. My idea right now is to leave it in the sun, and maybe that’ll loosen it up eventually. I’m not in a huge rush.

Anyways, hopefully I see some of you at the yard sale tomorrow. And hopefully I can write another post sooner rather than later.

Links

1. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay (Canada, US), Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US) – FYI these are Ebay Partner Network links, so I make a few bucks if you sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay using these links
2. Facebook page
3. Follow me on Instagram
4. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that I really suck at email right now, and can’t fulfill most requests for items

1935

This spot in Ahunstic was a one-hit wonder that gave me lots of fun stuff to sort through. I think I spent around two and a half hours digging through all these bags.

There was a whole lot of jewelry, though these people did a pretty good job picking out the precious metals.

The nicest piece was probably the sterling silver rosary. I also saved a pair of silver earrings, and few tiny pieces of gold.

This spot was also notable for its fun vintage ephemera and old photos.

My favourites were a couple of framed shots, this one with a gang of people in front of a train …

… and this one of an old house with “1935” marked on the roof. I’ll probably add this one to my personal collection of found junk.

Here’s some more miscellaneous stuff, including two Expo 67 passports, a couple cute handkerchiefs and a pair of gloves, a miniature sewing machine (not sure if it’s supposed to be functional, or if it’s more of a toy), a bit of perfume, and some scrap metal.

I only started picking up metal for scrap a couple years back, and I wish I’d started sooner. It looks like a pile of junk, but there’s probably about 10-15$ here. All these little bits and pieces add up in the end.

The thermometers don’t really have any value, but I show them because they contain mercury, which isn’t supposed to go to landfill. Over the course of my trash picking career I’d guess that I’ve saved at least 10 pounds of mercury from going to the dump. Sometimes it’s these small household thermometers (most of which, I’m guessing were made before 1980), sometimes it’s a big ol’ sphygmomanometer (blood pressure reader) that used to belong to a doctor (there’s so much mercury in those things that you can hear it sloshing around insider), sometimes it’s antique jars full of the stuff. There’s also some amount in some old batteries, electronics and lightbulbs. So make sure to bring that old mercury to the Eco-Center or other hazardous waste disposal site if you have any.

It finally feels like spring outside, and that definitely helps motivate me to go out and get picking. My luck has been slightly better recently, though I’m still not finding anything mind-blowing. I could really use a nice gold haul right about now.

Links

1. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay (Canada, US), Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US) – FYI these are Ebay Partner Network links, so I make a few bucks if you sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay using these links
2. Facebook page
3. Follow me on Instagram
4. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that I really suck at email right now, and can’t fulfill most requests for items

The attack of the big babies

(FYI, I wrote the first half of this post in early February)

The last month of picking has been challenging. It seems like for every two intriguing piles of trash, there’s one person shooing me away from it. This one guy was particularly deranged. He came out to the street to greet me, and kept going on about how I was “stealing” garbage, how he felt like fighting me and trashing my car, how if we were in the States he’d have a shotgun (to do what, exactly I’m not sure), etc etc.

I spent about 15 minutes talking to this dude. Thankfully it never came to blows or shotguns, though he continually felt the need to close talk at me during a pandemic, and went on and on about the “stealing” and how, when I defended the act and legality of picking, I was only “rationalizing” bad behavior. He also spent a fair bit of time trying to convince me how great a guy he was for purportedly giving stuff away on Facebook Marketplace, went on a few diatribes about he wasn’t so well-to-do (despite appearances, and having a lot of expensive & apparently disposable toys), and at one point lied about getting a nice official Habs hoodie (which he was wearing) at Winners for 5$ (I don’t think Winners carries official Habs stuff, and if they did it wouldn’t be 5$). Anyways, I left after spending too long talking to this guy, but not before telling him to seek out a therapist.

I had found some quality stuff here in the weeks prior. One day I found two iPods, one of which I quickly sold for 100$, and another day I found two relatively new Amazon Fire tablets (still have those, need to buy some chargers). I also picked up several packs of unopened printer paper, a bunch of decent books (some of which went to my new Instagram selling account, @garbagefindssells), unopened packages of soap, tea, and toothpaste, as well as barely used cleaning products.

The best stuff though got tossed on the day of our lovely interaction. Fortunately I had 10-15 minutes to pick before he emerged from his castle to yell at me. I probably salvaged most of the good stuff by then, but who knows what I missed. I didn’t go back in later weeks –  I guess I could have gone at like 5am but I didn’t feel like dealing with him anymore. Besides, I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy bashed all his future garbage with a baseball bat out of spite.

Buddy seemed to like buying tools & gadgets and not using them. Here we have a (maybe never used) chisel set, some kind of tack device, a whole bunch of new watch batteries that weren’t close to expiry (I used one for a watch already, which saved me about 5$), and a mini computer that looks to be worth a couple hundred if it works.

That long cardboard box in the intro picture contained mostly long items, including about 10 umbrellas. All were in nice condition, and three were pretty fancy. Two were made by Burberry, and another by Aquascutum. The brand-name umbrellas are worth north of 100$ each given their near pristine condition.

Here’s the last bit of stuff, including the most valuable item – a thermal imaging camera that looked to be brand new in its original case.

I was able to sell the Hti Xintai HT-18 quickly for 300$. This is how it saw my space heater.

Title: “A man and his beloved garbage”

He took a picture of me, so I took a picture of him. Or so I remember… it’s also possible I took it as proof that his trash was on the curb, so it wasn’t “trespassing.” Either way, the photo turned out great so I can’t help but share it here. Made some edits to buddy’s face to ensure his privacy.

A few weeks later I met another pleasant chap (above) on the curb. Unfortunately, I had only a couple minutes alone with the trash before buddy emerged from his garage. He was on his phone, giving neighbourhood security a description of me and my car. We talked briefly, I don’t remember much about his spiel, other than he was more sarcastic & pretentious than aggressive. In those two minutes I pulled out a little box with a few pieces of jewelry inside, including one silver chain.

I went back maybe an hour later because I really wanted to take that one bag with the jewelry for later sorting. My timing wasn’t great though, I passed by neighbourhood security just as I was nearing my destination. The security person pulled me over and gave me a talking to. I tried to debate legalities (I’m not a lawyer, but I often cite this Canadian Supreme Court decision that allows police to look through trash without a warrant, saying the owner essentially abandons their property once they put it out on the curb for collection, and can therefore have no reasonable expectation of privacy given that their trash is accessible to any passing member of the public) but he just gave me the usual talking points. Anyways, there’s not much they can do except tell you to buzz off, but they’ll call in the big guns if you cause any issues, and being a marginal member of society with no money set aside for lawyerly things all I could really do is follow my marching orders. I’d bet that I missed out on some nice stuff by not getting that bag.

I could have tried going back at 5am, but I was feeling discouraged and just wanted to be done with it.

Just a few days later I met a lady while picking outside an apartment building. She was relatively pleasant, noting that I was on her property (ie: 5′ from the sidewalk hanging out with the trash bags) and therefore I had to go. She said this very matter-of-factly, and all I could do is sigh and move on. I think I made close to 100$ from stuff I found there before she came, including a box with several model train cars inside, a red telephone (people seem to like red telephones at the auction house), and some other quality junk.

Anyways, the first two experiences in particular gave me some thoughts about why people are like this. According to popular lore (and confirmed by my mom), a baby will sometimes cry when you take away a toy, even if they weren’t playing with it. They don’t want it, but they don’t want you to have it either. It’s a selfish behavior that has to be worked through. Similarly, adults put their “old toys” in the trash, and then they’ll throw a fit if someone takes interest in it. The adult knows they’re taking the lazy way out of dealing with their possessions, and often know that they’re missing out on money (ie: the 300$ from their nearly new thermal imaging camera) by not dealing with it more effectively, but they’re more mad about my taking & potentially profiting from their old toys and laziness than they are about their own wasteful and selfish behavior. So basically, I’m dealing with a bunch of big babies. The rationalizations might be a little more complex, but in the end the root of the behavior is mostly the same.

Anyways, let me know your thoughts on all this. Pickings have been slim, but I’m excited to see that spring is finally here. At the very least, the warm weather makes picking a lot more fun and feel a lot more casual.

Links

1. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay (Canada, US), Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US) – FYI these are Ebay Partner Network links, so I make a few bucks if you sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay using these links
2. Facebook page
3. Follow me on Instagram
4. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that I really suck at email right now, and can’t fulfill most requests for items