Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Monday to Friday


I’ve come up with a couple ideas that should help make my workload more manageable. First, I’m going to try taking some photos outside so that I don’t have to bring everything upstairs (and can also quickly put things into my new storage area – more on that later).

I also plan on scheduling blog writing more along the lines of a normal job. I decided last November to only write one blog post a week (on Mondays), which helped make life a little less chaotic. However, it ended up being hard to actually complete a post on Monday, and it typically ended up being finished on a Tuesday or Wednesday or even a Thursday. As well, I’d end up taking photos on Saturday and Sunday in hopes to get things done in a adequate time-frame, especially when I had a lot to post about! In that case, I’d often end up working at least a little bit seven days a week.

I like the idea of working Monday to Friday and having weekends off, so instead of rushing to crank out a blog post for release on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, I’m going to take my time and try to finish for Friday. It might be done earlier, but my main aim is just to be able to relax and take my time. I don’t mind working hard (especially in this business), but too often I forget how to relax.

In short, watch for my posts to arrive late in the week!

I was walking in the lower Plateau last Monday and came across this small pile. I looked through the bags, found a few neat objects, and then noticed another little pile (clearly from the same place) not far away. Across the street was another pile, and yet another pile near that! Whoever put out the trash must have figured they could face a fine for throwing out too much at once, and put their junk in a few different places to game the system. I’m not sure it really mattered regardless.

I found lots of cool stuff here, including a trash bag full of old music books …

a French-Arabic dictionary from 1885 …

a booklet about learning to draw …

a large print (maybe one meter long) featuring a work by an artist named Gary Old …

a Lion’s Club tin …

a couple old packs of sewing needles …

and some doodads. Inside the wooden container at bottom right is a small vial of perfume, the name of which is written in cyrillic.

There were several sketches inside this old “autographs” book.

All the sketches seem to be of famous actors and actresses of yore. This one is of Esther Williams, an actress most popular for her work in the 40s and 50s.

This one features Jacques Sernas, a Lithunian-born French actor of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Many others are unmarked though (or have very faint markings) – let us know if you recognize anyone!

Inside a leather folder were the type-written lyrics of the Expo 67 theme song. I imagine that someone went out of their way to do this, and that it wasn’t an official handout. Also in the folder were a couple newspaper clippings, and another similarly typed song (Ave Maria).

These two envelopes were stuffed full of postcards.

One envelope was entirely devoted to postcards (mostly unused) from Alexandria (Egypt), some of which are pretty cool!

The other envelope included a couple from Montreal, and nine unused postcards from Expo 67. They’re not worth much, but they make for great yard sale material.

I had to sift through some dirt at the bottom of one bag. It came from a dried up potted plant.

This brooch is one thing that emerged from the earth. It’s fairly large, measuring around 3″ wide.

It had an unusual 916 (91.6%) silver mark, something I hadn’t seen previously. 916 is (or was) the silver standard in Finland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Spain, and Latvia, so that narrows its origins down a bit. Click on the photo for a closer look at the mark!

I uncovered this little chain (maybe a bracelet, but there’s no clasp) with a tiny pendant attached. The chain is pretty cheap, but the little pendant, – which is not even a centimeter tall – looks to be gold. I tested it using acid, and if my understanding of the test is correct (I’m still not 100% of my gold testing abilities yet) the pendant is around 12-14k. Does anyone know the possible significance of such a small piece?

I also saw a few beads in the dirt and spent some time trying to find them all. I thought they looked like bakelite, which the smell test later confirmed. The beads were probably part of a prayer rosary similar to this one on eBay.

That evening I went to NDG to check on a productive spot there.

This reel-to-reel player was at the front of the pile. It has some cosmetic issues, but I figure I can clean it up fairly easily. It’s a Grundig TK-46, a quality (and heavy!) model that actually sells for a decent price on eBay.

I opened one bag and saw some old magazines beneath a few relatively recent newspapers.

I saved one Look and two Life (from 1965-1970) …

five copies of Rolling Stone from the early 70s …

a 1960s House Beautiful

and one called inner space: the magazine of the psychic and occult.

Otherwise, I saved a vintage Sony “tape-corder” …

and a seemingly new neti pot.

Tuesday night brought me to Mount Royal. The person who tossed out the photos from last post this time threw out …

two super heavy Dance Dance Revolution pads by Cobalt Flux. Apparently, these were the best home DDR pads you could buy back in the day, and would have cost 500-1000$ new. Cobalt Flux has since gone out of business, and the pads now sell for around 300$ new. These are used, but still look to be in good condition. If anyone in Montreal is interested in trying them out, let me know and I’ll give you a good deal (and an offer of a refund if it doesn’t work, as I have no way to test them).

The person who tossed the baseball cards and plants last week took good advantage of the heavy garbage night. The driveway was just filled with stuff!

I looked in the bin (at back right, where the mop is sticking up) …

and picked out a boat lamp. It doesn’t look that old, but its cord and lightbulb indicate that it’s actually fairly vintage. There’s some metal broken off the back, but it’s not visible from the front.

I spotted a few pieces of art hiding behind an unspectacular piece of furniture.

One piece was in a sweet old frame. There’s a ding on the bottom left, but it’s otherwise in very good shape. The painting is nice too, of course. The artist’s name looks to be “C.A. Waite”. It’s quite large, measuring around a meter wide.

This similarly large abstract piece is titled “Canadian Landscape” and signed by a guy named Raphael. Pardon the reflection.

The true masterpieces though were this painting of a cat …

and this small print of a duck taking a shower!

The rest of the week was pretty quiet, as has been the trend of late. We’ll see next time around if Thursday and Friday can start contributing its fair share!

In other news

A reader has graciously offered me the use of her porte-cochère for storage and yard sale purposes. Having this space helps me operate much more efficiently. It’s on the ground floor, so it’s a lot easier to unload my junk. It also fairly large (maybe half the size of a garage), meaning I can take more (and bigger) stuff, and also stress less about cramming everything into a small space. It’s great news all around!

It’s supposed to be beautiful out on Sunday so I plan on doing a yard sale. I’ll make a Facebook event once everything’s official. You can also email me if you want the time and address. I apologize to those who have sent me messages that I haven’t responded to. I’ve been pretty busy, and my email response rate (which was already slow) has suffered even further as a result.

Last week’s garbage sales (April 20 – April 26)

1. Antique Birks mother of pearl opera glass: On eBay for 140$. A nice sale, and I’ve already received positive feedback. These were found in the Mile End around the end of December.
2. Collection of 8 busted laptops: To a guy on Kijiji for 30$. I was just happy to unload these, as they took up a lot of space. They’re good only for parts or repair. They were found in various places across the city.

Total: 170$, 15479.75$ since May 18 2014 and 5797.75$ since the new year began. Another relative slow week. This one’s going better so far, though!

Email and links

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at I also enjoy reading your comments! I frequently get behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

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