It’s the end of the month, which means people are moving and leaving stuff on the curb at inappropriate times. Last night I came across a couple of promising looking bags and a kick left me thinking it might be food. I opened it up and found some good stuff. It was probably what was left in the cupboards and fridge after someone moved away.

I found:

Olive oil (smells good!)

Twinings Earl Grey tea (maybe 10 clean looking bags)

Kusmi green tea with almond scent (another 10 bags)

Jar of anchovy filets (unopen)

Little stick of butter (open, but looks clean)

Some soft cheese (open, a few cuts out of it but looks good)

Some hard cheese (unopen!)

A little thing of chocolate (already ate it, and it was good!)

I won’t lie: even though this all looks good from an instinctual perspective it’s still a challenge for me to think objectively about it. I still think about the worst case scenario, even though I don’t really know what that entails.

The fear itself is interesting. What is that worst-case scenario I keep considering? Did someone cover it with invisible rat-poison for reasons unknown, or maybe there was chicken I didn’t see in the bag that oozed a layer of salmonella all over the food? Both these are extremely unlikely, and even if it were the case I would be able to tell that something was up. A more realistic fear is that the food has gone bad, but with things such as cheese and butter and such you can always tell. There’s mold, or it smells funky, or whatever. Even then, a little bit won’t kill you.

So, I’m going to eat this stuff, and share it with friends. I’m thankful I found this in a nice clean trash bag. Somewhere out in Kenya, people are eating straight out of a dumpsite ( because that’s what they have to do to make a living (interesting video here:

(Hey, sorry, there seems to be some kind of problem with WordPress which is effecting the links. If you copy and paste into the searchbar it should work!)

A couple of old (gold?) rings

UPDATE (Feb, 2013): The top ring is gold, but the bottom ring is actually gold-plated silver (vermeil). Thanks to an Etsy shopper for letting me know!

I haven’t done as much picking in the last few days, as I’ve been a bit under the weather. I did make it out briefly last night, mostly to check out a place that has been putting out good trash for a while now. An old Ukrainian woman passed away a year or so ago, and her daughter now has to sort through all her things, so I’ve been told. The old woman never threw anything out, and for about a month many bags have been left out each week as the sorting continues.

Yesterday I looked through what is looking more and more like the last remnants of the stuff inside. Because of what I found here before I have been very meticulous when looking through the stuff.

I found a few bits and bobs, most of which I left on the curb near my place for others to take (and most of which have since disappeared). I also found these old rings, which I suspect could be gold. They were at the bottom of the bag, clearly swept up off the floor with other dust and dirt.


I’m not sure what to make of this symbol on the back. It looks like a leaf, and something else.


I see an 8 (left), something that looks like OCPC, and “875.” At first I was confused, as it looked a bit like gold and possibly had gold symbols on it, but it also looked like it had corroded somewhat. I thought that the dark stuff wouldn’t come off, but just now I tried to scrape it off and it actually came off.


There might be a couple spots I still need to wipe down, but overall that’s looking way better, and definitely more like gold.

If they are gold, I may just bring them to the jewelers and sell them by weight. I remember as a young lad finding a wedding band at my hometown fair. I picked it up, thinking it was just a toy. However, when I showed my mom later, she recognized that it was in fact a gold ring. We tried to find the owner, using “found” signs in local stores (these were pre-craigslist days), but the owner never showed up and the ring was mine. I held onto it for a while and ended up selling it a year or two ago when my finances were particularly bad (and fortunately the price of gold was particularly good). I made 45$ for what I think was an 18 karat ring.

So, what do you guys think? Are these gold? Oh, and what’s that crystal on the second ring made of?

Lots of jewelry and cool vintage housewares

Yesterday I came across this pile of trash only a few blocks away from my place. I ended up finding a lot of cool stuff that might end up making me a bit of cash. I’m glad I snapped this shot of where I found it, because it’s kind of hard to believe some of this stuff was in the trash.

I doubt anyone chose to throw this out, so I figure someone else threw it out for them and perhaps didn’t pay much attention to what they were throwing out. I’m guessing that someone passed away, or perhaps had to move into a retirement home, as a lot of the stuff is quite old. There was a lot of nice looking art, but I didn’t end up taking any of as it wasn’t quite my style. Fortunately, some other people walking by did.

Anyways, there’s a lot of jewelry, a lot of which is sterling silver and quite old. There’s also some vintage ceramics and glass housewares and other odds and ends. Take a peek!