Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Gas masks and wind chimes


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.

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!

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

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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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