Monthly Archives: January 2013

Left behind

lcd tv

The last few days have been a bit dry. I found this Lloyd’s brand LCD TV Friday evening. It didn’t work (light came on but didn’t turn on) but I didn’t really expect it to. I figured someone might be able to fix it or use it for parts and put it on Craigslist. I got a few emails, and gave it to someone who’s trying to learn how to fix stuff. Good luck to him!

I think that if we as a society focus more on repairing what already exists (or giving it to people who want to) we can greatly reduce our consumption and waste. That’s why I think the Repair Cafe is an amazing idea.

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It’s getting close to the end of the month which means I find piles of stuff left by people who are moving away. I came across a lot of these in the last few days but none of them were super interesting. You can generally tell it’s a “moving pile” when you find the contents of the fridge – half empty jars or pickles, jam, etc – and the pantry amongst the stuff.

tea set made in japan

I did come across this little tea set…

tea set made in japan

I think there’s a few mugs missing but it’s still pretty cute. I think it was intended to be a sort of kid’s play tea set – it’s hard to tell from the picture but the tea pot is really tiny.

captain morgan buckle ikea clock

I also found a new Captain Morgan belt buckle and a working IKEA clock (which was still sealed in plastic).

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Another “moving pile.” I scavenged a couple of decent kitchen utensils but there wasn’t much of interest otherwise. There was a whole cutlery set in there but I don’t need cutlery at all and didn’t feel like fishing around the bag for it. I ended up finding another set of cutlery in the trash later – it seems like a pretty common thing to be thrown out when people move.

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Another moving pile…

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This one contained these four sealed (well, one is unsealed but looks unused) jars of cocktail mix. I’m not a big cocktail guy but my roommate might like them. If not they’ll soon be on the CL free section!

juicer hamilton beach

It also contained this juicer (brand: Hamilton Beach). I don’t often take home this kind of stuff – usually it’s thrown out because it’s busted – but this pile looked like a “moving pile” and the juicer was pretty clean so I decided to take a shot.

It looks good so far! The motor turns and it seems to make juice, though I haven’t tested it fully yet. It performed well on the 1/6th of an apple I threw in there though! These things retail for 60-100 bucks so it’s a pretty nice find. I’m guessing that these people didn’t really use it that often and decided not to bother with packing it.

Anyways, I hope the next few days provide some more interesting stuff. The end of the month is usally pretty good. I’ll keep you posted!

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Small haul

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I decided to bike around and look for trash while there was still light out. It was cold and quite windy. Biking was a bit intense – I basically added a bunch of windchill to an already cold day. I also don’t have the gear for this kind of cold. Regardless I did survive and salvaged a couple of small things.

I saw this big pile of stuff on St Joseph. Big piles are always worth at least a quick look. This specific one though wasn’t particularly interesting. Mostly old furniture and clothes. I wondered if maybe bedbugs were to blame but I got the impression that the person just moved away.

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There were two full boxes chocolate – the kind that kids sell to support charities. It looked pretty old, however, and possibly moth-infested.

I didn’t come away with much from this spot…

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…other than this ziplock bag with 13 pennies in it! I’m going to try not to let this go to my head.

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This little pile featured an old busted up couch. People sometimes break apart a couch when it’s flimsy and it’s just easier to “deconstruct” it than to move it down the stairs. I know this from experience.

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In one of the bags I found this cute little butter tray. No cracks, chips or anything. I’ll probably actually use this for my butter at home!

himalayan pink salt

In the same bag I found this nearly full container of Himalayan salt. Many of the rocks have a nice pinkish hue. I think this stuff is a bit more expensive than usual sea salt. It’s pretty well sealed and expires in 2014 (not that salt can really go bad). I always love finding fancier foodstuffs.

That’s all for now!

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Gas masks and wind chimes

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The Montreal winter is now in full force. The high today was about -15 (not including the windchill) and it’s going to get real cold tonight and stay that way for the rest of the week.

I didn’t look for any trash yesterday because I didn’t feel like braving the cold. I also had a project to do – fix a laptop I found in the trash to use in day-to-day life. I found the laptop on the curb a couple of months ago (though it never put it to the blog). It’s a clean-looking Acer Extensa 5430, which is a reasonably modern machine. It was in a case and had a sticky note saying “No HD” (hard drive) on it. I brought it home, plugged it in and it seemed to work fine, outside of the lack of a hard drive of course. Yesterday I bought a new hard drive (about 68 bucks with tax), installed it, and then got an operating system going.

After trying Windows Vista (the original license is still on the bottom of the laptop) and getting frustrated with the fact that it didn’t seem to want to connect to the internet I decided to try out Ubuntu, the free open-source operating system. So far so good. I must say that I quite like Ubuntu.

Regardless, all this to say that I’m now typing on a laptop, which is kind of nice. It’s a bit quirky – it acts weird when you close the screen sometimes and I’ve had a hard time getting the wireless to work – but overall I’m happy with how it turned out. Definitely worth spending a day figuring it all out.

Today I decided to face the cold and look for some trash. Once I got out I didn’t find it too bad. I guess I’m getting used to it. I ended up walking for close to two hours! Having a beard helps a lot though.

I found the little pile of trash above came pretty early in my walk.

nato canada gas masks?

Inside one of the bags I found these gas masks. I’m not sure if they were ever used – the filter looks pretty white and the masks are otherwise very clean. I decided to look on Ebay to see if there’s a market for used gas masks. I found a few similar looking ones that sold for 20-30$.

More interestingly though I found out these masks were probably used by the Canadian military in recent missions (even if these specific masks may have never been issued to personnel). The closest looking one is this one, mostly because it has the same “Made in Canada” white label. I think the ad is mislabeled – it looks way to modern to be from WW2. This one also looks pretty similar, but doesn’t give a specific time frame as to when it would have been used.

I’d like to know more. Let me know if you have any information about these masks!

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Also in the bags were two sports medals: one for the 1992 Quebec Games and one for a 2002 Women’s Hockey Tournament.

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There were some clear recycling bags placed on the front porch next to the trash. I guessed that they were waiting for recycling day, which is tomorrow. I figured that I might as well take a quick look to see if there was anything interesting. I didn’t see much – typical house recycling mostly – and was about to move on when this caught my eye.

It’s a necklace. The necklace part is a thick rubber band, which is sort of odd. The pendant (and the parts that bound it to the rubber) is sterling silver and looks to me like a map of South America, though I admit that the design could be somewhat of a rorschach test. Something else to consider etsy-ing at least!

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wooden wind chime

I found this (bamboo?) wind-chime in the farthest right box of the picture above. At first I thought it was all messed up (but fixable) but now I’m wondering if I just don’t understand how it’s all supposed to go together. It makes a pleasant, airy clonking noise.

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A bunch of construction materials out on the curb in front of Parc Lafontaine.

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Nighttime now. I went by this second-hand store on Gilford that often puts out lots of good stuff on trash days. You could run a pretty successful yard sale with the stuff they throw out. This time a massive stuffed horse lays on top of a bin and awaits its fate.

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It was too dark to see much. I did find this puzzle with a funny picture which has some definite kitcsch value. Apparently Patof was the main character in a popular Canadian kids show back in the 1970s.

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Here’s some food I dumpster-dived from the trash bins behind the Metro on Laurier. I found some good buns, a bag of apples, and some carrots and cauliflower. Not too shabby, even if the photo is really unappetizing.

That’s all for now!

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