Monthly Archives: October 2013

Taylor-made

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I went out to Ville Mont-Royal (or Town of Mount-Royal to anglos) this morning and came back with another decent haul. VMR/TMR is definitely my favourite route of the week; it’s close to home, it’s flat (and thus easily pedalled), the streets are wide and calm, the air is fresh, and the trees are big and beautiful. Also, the residents throw out some pretty good stuff!

One of the first things I saw was this small bike for kids. It has two flat tires but looks to be in pretty good shape otherwise, the chain even looked well-lubricated. It had probably been in a garage for a while. I should try pumping up the tires to see if they just need some air.

Regardless, kids bikes aren’t super valuable. They make great gifts, however. I’ll probably put this one on Craigslist “free” and find someone who’ll put it to good use.

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The purge of hockey sticks continues. There’s three right here…

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…and here are a couple more.

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All in all I found five hockey sticks, as well as a pair of cross-country skis. I found five sticks yesterday in CDN and three last Wednesday in TMR, meaning that over the last 8 days I’ve saved 13 hockey sticks from the trash.

I find this pretty surprising. I’m thinking that there might be a “winter cleaning” going on where people start evaluating their gear from last season.

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Today was a big day for sporting good, actually…

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I found three tennis racquets sitting on top of the trash can above. They’re actually quite good racquets, especially the one on the bottom which I think is worth from 50$-100$, depending on the exact model (in general it is a Prince “Longbody”). The one in the middle is a little shorter than the others, it’s in nice shape but I’m not sure if it’s a tennis racquet. The one on top is also very nice but the handle is a bit loose. It seems like something that might not be that hard to fix, however. I might just put that one on CL “free” to see if I can find someone who can wants a project.

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The box lying in the background contained this set of left-handed Taylormade golf clubs. It’s not a big set, being only 8-10 clubs (I forget exactly how many) but they’re still quite nice and don’t look like they’ve been used too often either. The box they were in stated that they were made in 2012, which if true would mean that they were only used for one of two seasons before someone decided to throw them out.

I figure I should be able to make at least 50$ on this set, maybe a good amount more depending on the kinds of woods I have. I’ll have to take a closer look in the near future.

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I saw this Tonka truck somewhere along the way and thought it was worth saving. At some point I’ll put a “free box” with this truck and other smaller items out on the curb in Park Ex. My theory is that since there are more poor people in that neighbourhood than, say, the Mile End it’s more likely that these things will be appreciated and put to good use.

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I also found this working toaster oven. Accompanying it were some unopened tins of food (two cans of baked beans, to be specific) and other pantry items. These are all things commonly thrown out in preparation for a move. I’m keeping the toaster oven, I think it’ll make a nice addition to the place.

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Another week, another loaded bike trailer coming home from TMR. Big hauls like this one get heavy, that’s why I love how TMR has no hills!

I think I’ll revisit my old Rosemont route tomorrow morning. It’s the end of the month so maybe some people moving will leave some good stuff behind. I’ll let you know if I find anything.

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For Auld Lang Syne

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This morning I got up very early (6am) and went to Hampstead, a wealthy neighbourhood just west of the Decarie Expressway. It was the coldest morning yet – you can see the frost on the lawns in this picture – but I was pretty well prepared.

Hampstead has pretty strict garbage collection policies. You must use a black bin for your trash, and if you have more garbage than you can fit in your bin you have to use special yellow trash bags that you can buy from the city for 1$ each.

I didn’t make any particularly good finds here, however. I’m sure that there are some treasures to be found made but unfortunately not on this particular day. Too bad, it’s far enough away that I doubt I’ll make it back any time soon, as least not without a car.

It was also trash day in the north-western part of NDG (Notre-Dame-des-Graces) and the western part of Cote-des-Neiges (CDN), which is where I ended up finding some decent stuff.

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I came across this pile on Coolbrook somewhere near Van Horne, which I’m pretty sure rests within the boundaries of CDN. Inside one of the bags was some sporting/outdoors equipment, including a snorkelling set, a life jacket and some rubber boots.

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I also found five hockey sticks and a few golf clubs. I left them in Parc Ex on the way home, I figured someone there will put them to good use. This is the second time in the last week that I’ve saved some good hockey sticks from the trash. Maybe people are buying new ones as the hockey season approaches.

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Inside another piece of luggage were three different jewelry boxes, all of which I think are quite nice, possibly even fancy. The one on the right has a built in mirror that comes out of the top. The one on the left has a few chips of the paint but is still in very good condition. I think I’ll keep these as they (especially the one with the mirror) would make very good display cases for my found jewelry at yard sales.

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This might be my favourite of the boxes, though. It looks like it might be quite old. It definitely has a “hand-made” look to it.

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Lastly, I found this wind-up light/radio somewhere in NDG. It might be useful come wintertime.

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In sorting through the finds from last Tuesday I came across a few more things I had to show you. First are these death notices for JFK and RFK. They have prayers on the back (the same prayer, in fact) and look to have been given out by funeral homes back when they were assassinated. Thinking about it now it seems pretty crazy that these two brothers were killed in such a short time span while both being obviously very prominent politicians. I can understand how shocking these assassinations must have been at the time.

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There was also this beautiful piece of ephemera, a card made in remembrance of a 7 year old girl who died way back in 1910. I looked up the phrase “For Auld Lang Syne” which appears on the front, apparently it’s a line from an old Scottish poem that translates roughly to “for (the sake of) old times.” It’s often used in reference to endings and new beginnings, which include death but also graduation, the New Year, and so on.

The poem on the inside is also interesting, if oddly Christmas related.

I just think it’s remarkable that such a thing, which I assume to be now over a hundred years old, is still in such terrific shape. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. It’s definitely the kind of thing that makes you think.

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Tomorrow morning I’m going to TMR to see what I can find this week. Over the last month it has become my favourite route, providing me with jewelry, oddities, and lots of good ephemera to boot. We’ll see if that trend continues.

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Dumpster Diver

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I’ve been doing more “dumpster diving” since I moved into my new place. One of my room-mates is a master of the art and some of that has rubbed off onto me. He even dumpster dives meat, something I’m currently too squeamish to do. I’ve taken a leap of faith by eating garbage meat that he cooked up, though. I didn’t get food poisoning and the food was quite delicious!

I figured I’d switch things up a bit and show you the food I found today. All this came from a string of three groceries on a stretch of Parc in the Mile End.

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I found a lot of bananas, many of which are fine for eating plain while others would be better for use in a banana bread. I find a lot of peppers in the trash too. Most of the time there’s a little soft spot on them, all you have to do is cut it out and the rest is good to go. Today though I actually found a few peppers that looked pretty much perfect.

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I also saved a couple of melons, one of which I’ve already cracked (it tastes great!) and a bunch of strawberries. What probably happened with the strawberries is that a few went bad on the top so they just threw out the whole package. The same thing happens a lot with grapes and other types of berries.

On top of this I scavenged some potatoes, leafy greens (kale and rapini), fresh peppermint, a sweet potato and some cranberries. This will all go into the “community fridge” where various people will use it to create amazing food.

It’s obviously a shame that all of this was thrown out. Still, this is only a small bit of the food that is wasted every day. I won’t get too much into the numbers and details, however. If anyone is interested in learning more about “dumpster diving” and just how much food our society wastes I’d recommend watching “Dive!”. It’s a great film and you can check out the trailer here.

Tomorrow I’m likely going to head out to Ahuntsic, the part just North of Highway 40. I’ll let you know if I find anything good.

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