P$yching Out Vegas


On Thursday night I went to the spot in Cote-des-Neiges that produced the sewing machine and nice old silver a couple weeks ago. There wasn’t much out but I did save a few interesting things.


I found a book called “Psyching out Vegas”; …


… a $1,000,000 money bag bank souvenir from Vegas (copyrighted in 1953);


… two fun vintage postcards;


… a few small boxes, two of which contained very old syringes;


… a collection of watch bands;


… and two old lighters. The one on the left is marked Rolex, but I don’t think it’s the same company that most of us are familiar with. My favourite is the one on the right, which advertises the Sun Life Assurance company in Montreal. It’s likely from the 1950s. I might keep that one for my personal collection.


I also found this odd medallion. It’s made by Huguenin, a prestigious French medal maker. This side says “Sankt Bernhard Schweiz [Switzerland]”, which likely refers to the Swiss mountain pass. It has two holes which someone has put a string of leather through.


It looks to be from the 5-star Arosa Kulm Hotel in Switzerland. My tests indicate that it’s probably plated silver. I imagine it’s from the 30s or 40s, and expect this would be a souvenir of some kind.


I got up for the morning run and came across this pile in Snowdon.


It produced a diaper box full of candles, which I gave away to various people I know who use lots of candles.


My best finds though came from Westmount, which has been very productive for me recently. There were a few good things at the top of the pile, including a painting easel, a wicker picnic basket (filled with decent plastic plates), …


… and a 12″ disco ball! I gave this to a friend of mine who loves disco.


I opened one bag and found a jewelry box. There’s some old tape glue stuck to the top, but it should come off pretty easily.


Underneath it in the bag was a bunch of jewelry …


… which I put back into the box.


There’s some nice stuff here, the best of which I put into one section of the box. All the pieces at the bottom are sterling (mostly from Mexico). The earrings at the top left are silver and adorned with marcasite, which was popular in Art Nouveau days (1890s-1910s) The brooch in the middle is by Monet.


My best find though might be these two laptops, both of which were inside a different black trash bag. One came with its power cable and seems to work totally fine, though I’ll have the reinstall Windows and format the hard drive to get past the password (which is likely for the best regardless). The other has no cable, but I’d bet on it working as well.

These are the most modern laptops I’ve seen in the garbage. They’re not new, but they come installed with Windows 7 which means they were likely made between 2009 and 2012. The one with the power cord is a Gateway MS2285, which seems to go for around 125-200$ depending on the specs (and 50$ if broken). The other is a HP Pavillion DV4 which seems to go for around 150$ if in good working condition. I’ll take a little gamble by buying a power cord for the latter.

I’ve been getting pretty lucky lately. Hopefully it keeps up!

18 thoughts on “P$yching Out Vegas”

  1. Do you think people would so carelessly discard good stuff if garbage was put out in CLEAR bags ? I ask because here in Halifax, eff. August 1, 5 out of 6 garbage bags must be clear. It’s being done coz folk don’t recycle as they should but it might also lessen this sort of behaviour …

      1. I think it just makes it easier to find things.

        As I’ve said, in 1999 or so Montreal put in a law requiring that proper garbage bags be used. People had been using grocery bags and boxes.

        My impression from the time is that suddenly a lot more went into garbage bags. I did notice a different. Before, there had been more accessible, then it wasn’t. They felt an obligation to put things in the bag, so suddenly less was easily accessible.


  2. Hi Martin, I’m interested in the money bag bank if it’s for sale. Please let me know. I tried calling a few times with no luck. I’ll try again. Hope to talk soon.

  3. Love the disco ball! I’ll bet opening that was like hearing the angels sing! What fun! Good haul on the laptops! thank you for letting me tag along!

  4. I really love how you share your finds with friends also. I love the jewelry and that middle pin is so pretty to me. congrats on saving more items from the garbage of our lives!


    1. I like to give things away, not too much though as I also need to make money ha ha. But there’s a lot more to life than money.

  5. More interesting finds for our stalwart scavenger.

    I’m getting to like these shorter, more frequent posts. Have you found you’re saving quite a bit of time with this new format?

    1. It does seem to save me a lot of time yes. This post for example only took a few hours. With the longer posts I worry more about not re-using the same words and phrases and I have to spend more time thinking about how to organize the post.

      It’s also nice because I get more feelings of accomplishment with this format. I like finishing a post, getting likes and comments and all that, which happens a lot more often when there’s more posts. Before, it was more stress and less reward (the satisfied feeling).

  6. Westmount is very productive for you and I can see why.It is very wealthy.I was driving up on Cote Des Neiges boulevard and passed by Rock Ledge Court street on curbside garbage pickup day.There seemed to be 15 or 20 boxes and lots of furniture for the trash truck.I was running late for a meeting otherwise I would have stopped and scavenged.Check out Rock Ledge court street in Upper Westmount.Few scavengers without a car will bother to walk up to upper Westmount on foot.It is too much work.You might have little competition scavenging in Upper Westmount.

    1. When was that? I passed by that area on Monday and didn’t see anything. It’s a good area. Westmount wasn’t very productive for me for a long while but recently I’ve been getting luckier.

  7. I live in Milano,Italy and teach English as a second language.I was born and raised in Italy and also translate books from English to Italian.I came upon your blog by accident while researching some topic on Google about the environment and love reading every one of your posts.I do not admire the throwaway North American culture.I respect collectors,people who conserve the past and even hoarders.Why are you people so quick to discard things?Do you not see how large parts of the world are lacking what you take for granted?So many people around the world can eat only one meal per day.North Americans are champions at food wasting too.I seriously praise thrifty folks and hoarders.

    1. I live in Texas and you are right there is so much excess here and everything is disposable but we aren’t all like that. I love saving things from the “garbage” and sharing with others that need it. I heard a quote one time that I really like. We must “learn to live simply so that others may simply live”. I try and think like that 🙂

  8. Hi! i was looking for the watchbands in your ebay page with no luck. Do you still have them? are they 22 mm?


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