Poésies d’amitié

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I got up early this morning, ate breakfast (my signature fried egg and avocado sandwich) with tea and went out to Rosemont. I considered going to Ahuntsic to spice things up a bit but in the end I felt too tired to go that far out of my way. It’s about 15 minutes just to get to the closest part of Ahuntsic while this section of Rosemont is only a few blocks from home.

I’m happy I stuck with Rosemont. I actually found some cool stuff (both old and new) this time around. I came across this pile on St Dominique near Dante.

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Inside one of the black bags were three cell phones. I’d bet the flip phones work but the Blackberry looks to have a busted screen. They have value still and they’ll eventually go into an Ebay lot auction once I have enough phones to make it worth while. I currently have six including those two I found last week.

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There was also a bunch of change. Don’t get too excited, those things that look like toonies are actually Italian lira. Still, there was about three dollars in usable change.

I put all foreign coins in a jar. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, though when friends go travelling I sometimes give them the money I have from that country.

It seems silly to throw coins in the trash when there’s people walking around looking for cans every trash day. If you really don’t want your change I’d suggest just throwing it on the sidewalk, people will be happy to pick it up. This change is worth around 15 of the big cans and 30 of the small and it takes much less time to process.

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I saw this little box of fishing gear on Fabre. I doubt the rods are much good but the reels look fine. There’s also a couple plastic containers full of fake worms and other things typically used in fishing.

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In another spot I found a box full of kitchen utensils and glasses. There wasn’t much I needed but I opened the box so that passer-bys could see inside. I took these two nice beer glasses.

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My favourite finds came from this spot on Boyer. The contents of the bags looked to have belonged to an older person. There were bags full of Christmas stuff, some of kitchen / bathroom stuff, and also some more interesting stuff.

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There was a fair bit of candle making paraphernalia. I took some wax (“new” in box) and two small containers of candle adhesive that feature a fairly politically incorrect logo.

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There was also a good quantity of party-related supplies. I took this 1950s-era product made for labelling drinks (to help you make sure each person gets the right drink, of course). It’s fittingly called “Rite-Drink.” I googled the name but didn’t find anything like it. I guess it never took off. Still, it’s definitely got kitsch value.

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Some vintage sparklers made in West Germany.

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These two Catholic pieces were hidden inside a little metal Sucrets tin. They look to be made of silver. They’re both quite old, the one one the left being from 1960 and the one on the right 1950.

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This is the back of the one on the right. It was made to be hammered onto a door in recognition of the 1950 “Holy Year” proclaimed by Pope Pius.

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I’m not really sure what this is. It’s marked as sterling silver and looks like it’s meant to stand tall. It’s only 10 cm tall though and makes for an odd decoration. There’s looks to be a handwritten letter engraved on the bottom, maybe an E (the picture is below if that helps). Any ideas as to what it could be?

bottomsilver

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These books have the potential to be the most interesting finds of all – “potentially” because my limited French makes them hard to read. Still, I know enough to understand the basic themes. The one on the left, dated 1898, is a “recueil de poesies d’amitié”, or a collection of love poems. The bottom one is titled “notes et pensées” (notes and thoughts), most of which are very religious and existentially based. Based on the style of the binding I’d say it was written around the same time as the other. Both are written by a “Côté” – the right by a Hélena and the other by what looks like a L.J.V.

These could be pretty cool to look through, too bad I’m not the guy who can do it. If I sit down and focus on them for a while (with a French-English dictionary at my side) I should be able to understand a bit more what is going on but it would still take a native French speaker to truly comprehend the various subtleties at play.

These could be brilliant works or they might not. Regardless, any kind of written word from this time frame is pretty intriguing, and knowing that in all likelihood these writings are totally unique is pretty satisfying. At the very least the handwriting is quite beautiful!

If you’d like a closer look, the top three pictures below are from the black book, the other two from the red.

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I went home and took pictures of all the things above. I wanted to eat something before I started writing so I decided to walk to a nearby Vietnamese place to get a tofu banh mi. I saw these bags on the way and decided to take a look. Inside were some fairly useful things. I left a few items on top of the bags for others to find, including some candles and a few decent purses. For myself I took some more spare change (a quarter and some dimes) and…

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…a working iPhone 3g. I charged it with a docking station I had previously found in TMR. The screen is pretty cracked but the touch screen actually works fine. I can’t use it because of the password but it’s still worth close to 30 bucks on Ebay. Now I have 7 phones to sell on Ebay, I’ll wait to find a couple more before I do an auction.

This was a pretty good day. I found some cool stuff, some of which has some monetary value and the weather was beautiful once again. It’s 5:15 and I’d like to take a nap but I may go out for the Thursday evening Rosemont route. I think this streak of warm weather may be encouraging people to do some cleaning. Basically, I’m feeling lucky.

Liquidated

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The weather has been quite beautiful recently. Temperatures have stayed mostly above zero and the lack of rain, snow, or strong winds benefits me as a trash picker. There was a heavy rainfall on the weekend (when there is no pick-up) which helped clean the ice off the streets and sidewalks, thus making biking around much more pleasant.

Regardless, I haven’t come up with much so far. I went out on Monday and didn’t find anything of note. I went out both in the morning and in the evening on Tuesday and found little, this despite being “on the hunt” for close to five hours. This morning I went to TMR, finding enough to blog about but not enough to be considered a big score either.

The most notable garbage-related news is that I decided to sell off my scrap silver and gold. It was composed mostly of jewellery pieces that were either broken or not worth trying to sell for more on Ebay and Etsy. I haven’t made any big money or easily liquidated finds recently so it was time to tap into my “reserves.” I went to a store on Mont-Royal that I found on Kijiji and negotiated myself a fair price. All in all I made 1200$, 1150 for the gold and 50 for the silver. Not bad eh!

This influx of cash means I don’t have to worry about paying the rent and bills for a couple of months. I still have a little collection of nice gold and silver jewellery which can be sold for a nice profit as well. Overall I’m feeling much more financially secure than I was before. The feeling of security allows me to be more patient selling things on Ebay, and that’s always a good thing when thinking about long-term profits. It also helps me relax a bit because being broke sucks.

My only regret is that I forget to take a picture of the scrap to show you! All that’s left is these gold-crowned teeth that I spared from the transaction because I figured I should show them to you guys. I found them at that spot on Laval in the Plateau a month or so ago. An interesting thing to find to be sure, and depending on the quality of the gold could be worth around 30-60$.

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Now for a bit of trash. Most of my finds came from this place, the same spot where I found some books last week.

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I found a bunch of small bullets, which judging by the price sticker were probably bought in the 70s or 80s. Does anyone know if bullets “expire”? They at least seem to be in good cosmetic condition.

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There were two ashtrays made from stone and two silver-plated cups. I think the ashtrays are pretty cool, they should sell for a decent bit of cash at a yard sale somewhere down the line.

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My favourite find was this little thing, mostly because it’s marked as being 925 silver from Israel. It doesn’t really seem like jewellery as the chain is too small (for reference, the whole piece is about 3″ tall), maybe it’s meant to hang from a wall? Looking closer I think there is some Hebrew script at the bottom, perhaps it could be a religious decoration. I always love finding silver (and gold) and will add this to my collection with the purpose of eventually selling it off. Do you think I should clean it or leave it as is?

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There were other finds but nothing too exciting. I left these on the curb for others to take. There’s a nice wooden storage box, a wine cooler, a box full of clothesline wheels and a bag I stuffed full of miscellaneous odds and ends. I expect a lot of this will be gone by the next time I go outside.

The warm weather has definitely energized me. I plan to push myself for the rest of the week. I’ll go out tomorrow morning to Rosemont, perhaps in the evening too if I feel like it. As usual I’ll let you know if I find anything sweet!

Fresh Start

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I went out yesterday morning to Rosemont but came up empty. I returned home, ate some food, and then left again to do some errands. My cell phone was lost or stolen on New Year’s, and while I enjoyed the brief break from having a cell phone it’s so much harder to plan and connect with people without one.

My first step was to go to a place near Plaza St Hubert to get an old phone fixed, which will unfortunately take a few weeks due to needing to have the parts shipped from China. The second step was to get a new SIM card from Rogers, the closest store of theirs being on St Denis and Mont Royal.

Yesterday was very sunny and relatively warm, it actually felt a lot like spring. Energized, I decided to bike to Rogers from Rosemont in a way that would bring me through a bit of the Plateau trash route (west of St Denis). The pick-up happens around 7-9. You’re not supposed to put out your trash before 4pm but there are always some who put it out early, in this case from around 12-2pm.

I didn’t really expect much, in fact it was more of a jaunt than anything. However, I ended up making my best finds out in the midday sun. I came across these bags on Drolet and Boucher in front of an old age home and saw someone poking his head out of a hole in the bag…

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The person ended up being Brother Andre, an important figure among Catholics in Montreal. He’s made of plaster and as such is probably fairly old. He’s in good condition for his age, just a couple of little chips. There wasn’t much else in the bags and I continued on my mission.

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After finishing my business at the Rogers store I continued casually browsing the streets of the Plateau. I noticed this pile looking down Clermont and decided to check it out. A young guy was bringing down more bags and I asked him if he was moving. He told me the things belonged to his girlfriend who had moved to Berlin, she apparently wanted a fresh start.

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There were a bunch of DVDs, these are the ones that looked to be in good, mostly unscratched condition. I haven’t seen any of these, though I’ve heard good things about a lot of them. Not pictured is “Spirited Away,” which might have been borrowed by a room-mate before I got around to taking this picture.

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There was also a nice little collection of records. There’s some great stuff here, including a couple newer ones (Vampire Weekend, Dark Was The Night) made after the recent resurgence in the popularity of LPs. All of these are in good to excellent condition and should sell pretty quickly at a yard sale.

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I also found four working calculators and a couple of cellphones. The cell phones are only good for parts but will sell on Ebay, though I’ll wait until I have a few more before I list them as a lot. The most valuable calculator is the BA-II Plus (2nd from right) – it’s made for accounting calculations and sells for around 15-20$ on Ebay. The others can bring me a few dollars each at a yard sale.

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My most valuable find, however, was probably this nearly mint condition Lacoste watch.

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It’s an excellent quality watch, not a Rolex or a Cartier but still quite good. It looks hardly used and has a working battery to boot. I did a bit of research and found this very similar watch which sold on Ebay UK for £50.01 (90$ Canadian).

I went back to this spot later thinking that there could be more to find. By the time I got there though most of the good stuff had been taken, including several bags full of clothes that had been there earlier. I was glad to see that someone else had saved what I couldn’t. Still feeling energetic I went to check out a Thursday evening Rosemont route didn’t find squat. All of my “profit” came from my casual, midday outing, proving that so much of trash picking is being in the right place at the right time. In the end I found about 150$ worth of stuff, my best day in monetary terms in quite some time.

The weather is supposed to be quite warm next week. I hope to take advantage and make some cash!