Sunny sunny day

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Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day. It was above 0, which is pretty unusual for this time of year. I decided to walk around in the early afternoon to enjoy the sunlight – and look for trash, of course. I came across these bags not far from my home.

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Inside were lots of cassette taps. The woman throwing them out was in and out of her house and encouraged me to take them. I took the ones that were “official.” The more I find cassettes in the trash the more I realize that music pirating isn’t anything new – just the medium has changed. I probably left 2/3 of the collection behind.

Her collection was pretty good. There were lots of big names: Peter Gabriel, Corey Hart (5 cassettes worth – maybe everything Corey Hart ever made?), Rolling Stones, MJ, Depeche Mode, and David Bowie (on his birthday, no less). I’ll add these to my rapidly expanding cassette collection.

I found a walkman too. It’s a “sport,” which I would assume means it’s a bit sturdier than a regular walkman. I tested it and it works fine. Surprisingly there’s still a market for these; on the internet they’re selling for 10-20 bucks, depending on condition.

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There were some books in recycle bags a bit further down the road. They looked like they’d been plowed under the snow, which makes me wonder if they had been there since the big snowfall. I didn’t have any need for these books – most were about computers and web design – so I left them behind.

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I came across these bags on Gilford. One was already ripped open. Inside were some unopened packages of food. I scavenged two packages of organic gluten-free spaghetti and some xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar-alcohol which is apparently just as sweet as sugar but with less calories. I’ll probably give it away to someone but I’ll definitely use the spaghetti.

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This dresser was a bit busted but could have been easily fixed. It looks like it used to be in a kid’s room.

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I went out later in the day (with my bike) and found these new shea-butter soaps in some bags on St Hubert. Shea butter is apparently a pretty good antioxidant due to it’s high phenolic content. It’s used a lot as food in Africa but here it’s mostly used cosmetically. They’re completely sealed up so there’s no way there’s anything wrong with them.

I also found some new-looking women’s clothes. I’m guessing someone got some Christmas gifts they didn’t like.

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Sony Betamax SL-2710

The last item I saved was this Betamax player. It’s a bit funny that I found one because out of curiosity I had Googled the value of Betamax stuff earlier in the day. I had discovered that there was some value there so when I found this I called it a night and headed back home. It was pretty heavy – not as heavy as the 67 pound VCR I brought home a couple months back but still quite heavy (and hard to balance on my bike).

It looks good, turns on and lights up. These simple facts are enough to make it equal to one that recently sold on Ebay for 40$. Apparently this model originally sold for 1300$ (American dollars! – it would have been a lot more expensive in Canada).

I’d like to test it fully to bump up it’s value. All I need to do is find some betamax tapes in the trash and I’ll be set. Maybe on Thursday!

C’est bizarre

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I came across this pile of stuff in my wanderings today. There were more things from the same place behind me as well. A sign next to the pile said “come in – living room sale” but the sale was long over.

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A woman walked by and noticed all the stuff on the curb. “C’est bizarre” she commented to me – “probablement un demenagement.” Rough translation: it’s strange, probably someone moved.

I thought that some students had moved out at first, mostly due to the style of the handwriting on the sign, but I found some stuff that didn’t really fit with that generation. I’d guess that an older person passed away or moved to a retirement home and their kids were helping to clean out their apartment.

Most of the things I took home came out of a plastic bag in this old piece of luggage. It’s pretty vintage and in good shape. I brought it with me and left it on the balcony so I can inspect it fully tomorrow.

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There was a shopping bag full of 8-track tapes as well. Most of them look to be recorded off the radio and self-labelled. Some big artists in here: The Beatles, Garfunkel, Cheech and Chong, and Joe Cocker. I’m going to put them on Craigslist and see if there’s any takers. Also in the picture is a big resealable beer bottle which will come in handy for home-brewing.

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Now for the knick-knacks and little pieces of jewelry. At the top of the screen is a keychain with three hearts that says “I have the hearts for Ed.” Pretty funny eh? Below it are two pins (left) and something to hang from a necklace. I think I’ll try to sell all this (other than the silver chains) on my Etsy store.

The pin in the center looks like the Nazi “Eagle”. The only difference is that this one is holding a bundle of sticks instead of a Swastika. I know the word “fascism” is based on the Latin word fascis which basically means “bundle” so I wonder if there’s a connection there. If anyone has any ideas let me know!

UPDATE: I just noticed that a little chunk is broken off the Eagle pin on the bottom right side. It’s possible that there could have been an axe on that side of the bundle, which would make it a fasces, an ancient symbol of the Roman Empire and Italian Fascism, among other things.

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Here’s some silver and gold jewelry. On the left is a cool (and really big) sterling ring with a bird design on it. On the right is a cool 10k gold piece with a stone of some kind in the middle. Below both are silver and gold necklace chains.

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On the left is a heavy Mexican sterling chain (marked 925 Mex and M028V). On the right is a silver plate spoon marked “Queen Anne Silver Plate.” In the middle is a heavy steel bracelet.

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A couple of watches, a 1983 token for McDonald’s (50 cents off!), a nice old RCMP-themed pocket knife and a couple of other doodads.

UPDATE: I just cleaned some rust off the blade of the pocket knife and uncovered a mark that says “Richard’s Sheffield England.” Apparently it has a bit of collectible value.

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A knife “High Carbon Steel USA” and a bunch of pins. I don’t recognize any of those guys – do you? The guy on the bottom looks a lot like Julian Assange but I really doubt it’s him.

Hopefully I’ll have some more for you tomorrow!

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year all! I hope 2013 treats you well. I have a feeling it’ll be a pretty good year.

I made it out for a trash run before going to a friend’s to celebrate the new year. There wasn’t much but I did come across one spot with some good stuff.

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From the looks of things a boutique closed shop and left some of their old stuff on the curb. The place was called “Boutique Lisbonne,” which is how you spell Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, in French. I figure that the owners were Portuguese as the store was in a part of town where a lot of Portuguese have settled over the years.

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I think this whole trash bin was full of clothes hangers.

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There was a box with a good amount of dishes in it. I took a few, but someone else came by and carried home a good haul. As I was leaving the same guy (who presumably lived nearby) came back to look again. He had an interest in the chairs in the back right of the last picture. Here’s hoping he took some more. It was good to see the stuff getting “saved.”

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The dishes I took. I really like the old “cream petal” plate, which was made by Grindley in England. There’s also a good knife, a small decorative plate of Portugal, and a couple of mugs. I’m not sure why I took the square mug on the right; it’s not very practical. However, it did seem kind of unique somehow.

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I also brought home this nice wood serving tray and a working calculator.

Pioneer cassette player

I rummaged this Pioneer double-cassette player out of one of the bags. It’s in really good cosmetic shape – not even scratched up or anything. The lights come on and it seems to play and rewind well. I haven’t been able to test the audio (or the recording) yet, but all signs so far are positive. If it works well I can probably get about 40$ for it, which seems to be the going price on Ebay.

In other news…

I sorted through the cassettes from the other day. There were a lot of bootlegged cassettes that I didn’t have interest in but there were some good ones as well, including Nirvana, Pantera, and Sonic Youth. I have a bunch of leftover cases and tapes that I don’t really want though. If anyone has an art project involving cassette or something let me know. Otherwise – can you recycle cassette cases?

I think I’ll try to sell the CDs from the same post on Ebay. CD collections still sell it seems, and altogether they may get me 50-60 bucks. Not bad!