Week of the iPods pt.2

Later that week I happened upon a small pile in Outremont which contained a bit of older tech stuff. I saved several PS2 controllers, an old Apple Airport Extreme, an Apple keyboard and four iPods.

The four iPods brought my total for the week to eight, which is definitely my all-time record. While I think the first ones were thrown out because of a move, I’m not really sure why these were tossed. Maybe Marie Kondo had something to do with it! As for value, these 4th & 5th generation iPod Classics still have some value despite being over a decade old. They all have 60gb of storage, a relatively high capacity, and should sell for between 40-60$ each.

That spot also provided a bunch of sports games for PS3 & XBox 360, a few of which were never even opened. Sports games depreciate a lot quicker than other games, but this collection still netted about 30$ after fees at the auction house. Easy money!

That week was also good for jewellery boxes. The first came from this pile in Nouveau Bordeaux.

It was a nice box in its own right, a Japanese import probably from the 60s. Inside was a music box and a magnetic ballerina that would rotate on the glass. It sold for 20-some dollars at auction.

The contents were clearly pillaged, but there were still a few bits left for me.

Most of my profit came from the three broken bits of 14k gold in the middle, which if I remember right earned me about 80$ (I recently did a scrap gold run). Otherwise, I saved a religious medallion, a miniature Cretan dagger that’s probably a hairpin, a pair of Japanese earrings, and a key fob from Thursday’s restaurant on Crescent.

Better yet was this busted box I found the next day in a richer part of town. The contents were much less picked through, and I salvaged a few great items.

There’s two gold pieces here, including a 10k gold and pearl ring by Birks and a 14k cameo brooch. To the left of that is a nice turquoise brooch – it looks like this one purportedly made by the Zuni of the southwestern United States. It’s probably unmarked silver, and I’d bet that the donkey pendant is unmarked silver as well. I think the pocket watch is 800 or 925 (sterling) silver, though I haven’t yet figured out its hallmarks.

Here’s some closeups of the finer pieces. Overall, they should earn me several hundred dollars. This was definitely one of my best jewelry hauls in some time, but hopefully there’s more coming in the near future!

Otherwise, I brought my first big collection of e-waste to the recycling box recently. I lost track of how much e-waste I salvaged last year, but this year I should be less busy and more able to keep a running tally. In this picture is 4.68kg of electronics, most of which were broken, missing pieces, or not worth selling. I also recycled about 1.1kg of batteries, with most of that weight coming a MacBook Pro battery.

I’m curious to see how much I can recycle over a full year! I can only do so much, so I prefer to focus on cell phones and other small electronics. Laptops too, when they turn up.

That one week was pretty good, but I haven’t had nearly as much luck recently. I did make a good sale though, which I’ll tell you about in an upcoming post.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much done with winter at this point. Here’s hoping the warmer weather is coming soon! Garbage picking is a lot more fun in the spring and summer.


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27 thoughts on “Week of the iPods pt.2”

  1. As a native Arizonan (now in Calif) I can tell you that that style of American Indian jewelry is called “petit point” pronounced in the French manner.

  2. Martin, there are scrapyards that will buy your broken cellphones and electronics. They do not pay much, but if you collect a lot of them it may be worth your while. Also, there is a company called Terracycle that will recycle cellphones and laptops and donate the proceeds to a charity or community group of your choice. They pay for shipping.

    1. I currently use a local deposit box called an Electro-Bac (http://www.electrobac.com) for recycling smaller objects. I like how they will wipe and re-use some items, since sometimes my e-waste is still usable but just not worth any effort on my part.

      I looked up the prices for scrap cell phones at a local yard and found that they’re paying 10 cents a pound (https://www.aciercentury.com/en/price-electronics-recycling). It’s not enough to devote any space to keeping them. This haul, for instance would have earned me less than a dollar. On the other hand, now that I have more space I do plan on picking up other scrap when I see it, especially copper which is currently going for around 3.30$ per pound.

        1. Hmm, that’s much better though I’d still prefer to use this box. The wiping aspect is important as some of the devices might hold sensitive information. From what I’ve read most scrap gets sent to China where the industry isn’t highly regulated.

  3. The cameo pin is very special and beautiful. House keys are brass and you seem to find lots. Copper and Brass sell for $2-3 per pound depending on market conditions. Now that you have more space, keeping brass, aluminum and copper could be lucrative if you have a scrap dealer nearby. When copper and brass prices were high I would go church $5 bag sales and fill them with brass tchotchkes

    1. Now that I have more storage space I do plan on picking up a bit of scrap when I see it. Not to the point of being a scrap metal hauler (ie: the folks who pick up appliances and all that) but I do happen upon plenty of junky brass, and occasionally people will toss out old copper pipes. I see car batteries on occasion (which go for 11$ at my local scrap yard), and the occasional motor which I’m guessing is worth something as well. It would be worth it to collect some of the more valuable stuff and go on a scrap run every once in a while (when I do, I’ll post about it!).

  4. HI Marty – Here is a watch forum website that can help you with identifying the watch maker https://forum.iwc.com. K&M appears to be kriegsmarine, but it also should have IWC or international watch company marketings too.

    1. From what I saw Kriegsmarine usually just marks their watches with a K M, without an &. There’s also no IWC marks, so I’m not sure it’s them. But I could be wrong!

  5. A nice haul of jewelry there!
    That unusual (and lovely) triangular cameo brooch, with what looks like a dove in the apex, might well be a piece of mourning jewelry. It’s a very unique looking piece.
    Love the pocket watch. It’s a beauty.
    I’m so happy you go above and beyond the call of duty in recycling electronics and batteries. You’re a good’un, that’s for sure! 🙂

  6. I might say that the cameo is the Virgin Mary touched by the Holy Spirit whereby Jesus was conceived. Being immersed in Catholicism as a child, that’s what immediately came to my mind.

    1. Interesting, I was not immersed so I appreciate when people fill me in. It does seem plausible that this could be the case. I haven’t been able to find another one quite like it so far…

  7. As a native Californian, now in Arizona, I agree 100% with Ann. The donkey probably was purchased in AZ as well as it is a common sight to see donkeys here in some areas. As for costume jewelry you find that is not gold, broken or things like a singleton earring, you might consider putting them together as a jewelry making or craft loft. People will buy those if there are parts they can use. So glad you recycle all these things.

  8. Is that gold ring woth the pearl available? What size and how much are you asking for it?

      1. Hi,
        I would be interested to know once you decide the price before listing. I live in mtl and could arrange for lical pickup instead of shipping. Thank you,

  9. It looks like you have a “ball” type watch on a necklace. Those can be quite valuable. Worth your time to research.

  10. This is extraordinary work that you are doing,Martin.People throwing out these things without reflection are to be criticized.Too much cleaning is not good.Read this article from a French mag that a friend sent me.

    Une maison trop bien rangée est une maison triste »: une réflexion que nous devrions tous lire

    Peut-être que tout le monde ne connaît pas le professeur Mario Sergio Cortella, mais dans le contexte des sciences de l’éducation, il est vraiment très célèbre, notamment au Brésil.

    Une de ses déclarations a notamment incité les gens à sourire et à refléter l’opinion publique: « Une maison ordonnée est une maison triste ». Mais que voulait dire exactement le philosophe éducateur? De toute évidence, sa déclaration ne faisait pas l’éloge du désordre: il est évident que le manque de propreté dans un environnement ne peut que nuire à ceux qui y vivent.

    Le discours de Cortella découle plutôt d’une tendance sociale: celle d’essayer de manière obsessionnelle de toujours tout mettre en ordre et de perfectionner. Probablement à cause de l’arrivée des réseaux sociaux, sur lesquels nous essayons tous de ressembler à un idéal et non à la réalité, il semble que chaque maison devrait toujours être prête à être photographiée. Coussins en ordre, bibelots parfaitement choisis, cuisine impeccable … tout doit respirer la beauté et le calme. Mais la vie – souligne le professeur – n’est pas comme ça!

    La vie n’est pas parfaite, c’est un tourbillon de hauts et de bas, de problèmes à résoudre, de moments difficiles au cours desquels une maison (et la famille qu’elle représente) devient l’un des points fixes auxquels s’accroche. L’impression laissée par une personne sur l’oreiller, la couverture posée en désordre sur le canapé, les traces laissées dans la cuisine par quelqu’un qui a préparé un goûter rapide… sont autant de preuves de la vie palpitante de la maison.

    La vie, dit Cortella, est composée de vibrations, de changements et de beaucoup de désordre. Vouloir nettoyer et réorganiser notre maison de manière obsessionnelle est le symptôme d’une société qui veut couvrir tous les défauts, qui n’admet plus la beauté de l’exception et de l’imperfection.

  11. I hate smug neat freaks! Proud of your tidy home? Get a life, says Catherine Ostler who loves living with clutter
    •Catherine Ostler sees the happiness of family life in household mess
    •Her husband does not share her view and sees it as ‘unstylish mayhem’
    •Catherine believes life is too short to worry about putting away socks

    By Catherine Ostler for the Daily Mail

    Published: 18:06 EDT, 11 March 2015 | Updated: 20:27 EDT, 11 March 2015

    Tonight, some people are coming for supper. The chicken is in the oven, the potatoes are mashed, the wine is in the fridge and I’m nearly ready.

    Only, hang on, as my husband has pointed out, there is one problem: the house is an absolute tip.

    Scooters, discarded boots, a child’s car seat, tennis racquets, magazines and books all over the table — and that’s just the hall.

    It’s when you get into the kitchen that the fun really starts. Its dominant feature is a giant cardboard box I am not allowed to throw away because my youngest child has turned it into her ‘office’. It has ‘double doors’, she says proudly, and within there’s a cushion, cardboard desk and lots of stationery in lurid colours. So, that’s the kitchen floor gone.

    The other battlegrounds in the kitchen are the fridge, the area by the phone and the bookshelves.

    My husband would like to see the clean lines of the fridge. I see no reason why this magnetic surface shouldn’t be used for poems, drawings, and other demonstrations of child creativity, though admittedly this seems to have taken an acquisitive turn of late, with extravagant birthday lists on display: ‘I would like a puppy, a laptop, glitter Converse.’
    The area by the phone displays a hairbrush, lip salve, a few old receipts, a birthday card, piggy bank, glittery ball, hand-painted elephant, half a candle and an envelope with a list of children coming to a party written on it.

    On the bookshelves there are paints, pens, bits of paper, old newspapers (you never know when they might be needed to cover the table for painting).

    A cold, hard look at the sitting room and it does look as if the priority is Lego. There are two competing Lego cities: one by my son, one by my youngest daughter — shoved under the piano when guests come — and a bunch of Sylvanian Families (those tiny toy creatures that come in animal groups), apparently waiting for lessons at home-made cardboard desks.
    For our house, this is not actually all that bad. There have been times when the ‘floorobe’ (that’s the clothes on the floor) exceeds the wardrobe when I can’t decide what to wear. As most of it is black, it all has to come out.

    I have spent hours tidying up after a playdate when nylon fancy dress and soft toys took over the children’s bedrooms and I wasn’t sure whether they had been playing or someone had gone berserk in there. Or both.

    The problem is that one person’s clutter is another’s domestic joy. My husband looks at all this and sees toe-stubbing, eye-blocking, distracting, unstylish mayhem.

    I see the happiness of family life, where a giant box can become a new world and a piece of paper is an opportunity for crayons rather than a menace.

    Admittedly, I can take this to extremes. The worst argument I had with my husband — on a train to a wedding in Yorkshire — was about the whole load of beauty products he had chucked out when we moved house.

    I thought it was neatly stored on the floor, waiting to find somewhere to live.

    He gently pointed out it was perhaps a mistake to store my things in a black plastic bin bag; surely a sign, he argued, that something might be thrown out.
    I won’t offend my mother if I say I didn’t grow up in a minimalist household. My mother had tidy urges, but my father was from the wartime ‘you-never-know-when-it-might-come-in-handy’ school of thought, which I have inherited.

    His mother had a box containing ‘pieces of string too short to use’. I was never sure if that was true or a joke. Like him, I find stuff interesting, cosy, heartwarming.

    People have always differed on their view of stuff, but what I resent is that these days, rather than just being happy to differ, the declutterers have gone all snooty towards us more laidback, ‘bring it on’ types.

    They believe they have the (streamlined, polished) moral high ground. They think that throwing away an old sweater, giving another to charity and shredding a few bits of paper sets them on a more enlightened path and confers on them some kind of holistic glow.

    To which I say: stuff and nonsense. Or rather: not all stuff is nonsense. Any idiot can throw something away. To create a haven out of a cardboard box — now that is magic.

    Yet it seems nowadays every newspaper and magazine features some heart-sinking piece about how to have an immaculate house, as if not to do so were a personal failing along the lines of stealing or cheating; the 11th commandment ignored.

    The high priestess of these control freaks, the mother superior of the cult of tidiness, is a Japanese author called Marie Kondo, whose book, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying has sold more than two million copies to people who need to be told to throw something out if they don’t like it.

    I particularly object to her and her preachy book since my husband bought it for me as ‘a surprise’. In passive/aggressive defiance, I left it gathering dust in the little war zone by the phone for two months before deciding to read it only so I could criticise it more exactly.

    Kondo’s bossy little book has become a gospel to her followers, with its simple messages: a mixture of the sensible, the obvious and the plain silly.

    ‘Discard everything at once’, ‘keep only what you love’ and (really riveting this one) ‘the best way to store bags is in another bag’. There is lots of talk of Japanese style folding.

    Catherine (pictured) claims those that love to de-clutter have become snooty towards the more laidback, ‘bring it on’ types

    Life is too short to worry about how to put away socks, as Kondo would have us all do. Of course, there is nothing life-changing about tidying up.

    ‘Keep only the things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest,’ she says. ‘When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too. As a result, you can see clearly what you need and what you don’t.’

    Talk about over-extrapolating. One of her clients, she notes, even threw out her husband.

    The glaring fault with Kondo’s ideas, aside from the grand claims and the fact she pretentiously calls it her ‘KonMari method’, is that they are not child-friendly.

    “ I have spent hours tidying up after a playdate when nylon fancy dress and soft toys took over the children’s bedrooms and I wasn’t sure whether they had been playing or someone had gone berserk in there. Or both.”

    Catherine Ostler

    Children introduce mess on a scale undreamt of by the childless. No woman with children could possibly write: ‘I have time to experience bliss in my quiet space, where even the air feels fresh and clean; time to sit and sip herbal tea while I reflect on my day.’

    I’m not sure Kondo actually had a childhood. She has boasted that at the age of five, she ‘organised shoes and pencils’ while the other children played.

    Then she organised her bedroom and those of her siblings until they banned her from touching their things. Then she ‘fell in love’ with the order she saw in magazines.

    All those magazine pictures are stylised and fake so trying to live like that is a foolhardy aim. This woman has prioritised tidiness over play, neatness over life. There is nothing morally superior about that. I’m not sure it isn’t close to a diagnosable condition.

    Nor has she seemed to learn the lesson of sharing. She says, in an attempt to sound emotionally in touch, you should keep things that ‘spark joy’, but what if you share a house with four people and it bugs the heck out of you, but sparks joy in one of them?

    That giant box is beloved of my youngest daughter. However, it is not, sparking any noticeable joy in my husband.

    The two most annoying parts of her book are these. Truly, she is a philistine. ‘Get rid of all those unread books,’ she says, saying if you don’t read a book quite soon after you get it you never will.
    Japanese author, Marie Kondo, has written a book called The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying, which Catherine (pictured) describes as ‘preachy’

    Anyone who likes reading knows that one of the great joys is finding something you haven’t read on your bookshelf.

    To her, books are clutter. To me (luckily my husband agrees), they are comforting, interesting, a wall of possibility, achievement and thought available to children.

    Granted this has led to the eldest child, 11, picking out a couple of unsuitable things (father-in-law: ‘why is she reading about adultery?’) but still.

    ‘Treat your possessions like people,’ writes Kondo, and have a dialogue with things. The woman is bored and lonely. Why not have a dialogue with people?

    Author, Kondo, believes books create clutter, something that both Catherine (pictured) and her husband disagree with

    Of course stuff — toys, packaging, clothes — come cheaper and more readily than in the past. There was a time when people wondered how to get things. In an age of Primark and Amazon, we wonder how to get rid of them.

    Kondo says chuck out old birthday cards and live in the now. I say a parent who chucked out their child’s home-made birthday card would be a heathen.

    For valuing human relationships above empty shelves, I claim the moral high ground for the clutterers, made higher by vast piles of stuff we will never throw away.

  12. Marie Kondo is an idiot or mega-idiot or a genius,depending on how you look at her.But I think she is an idiot.She asks people to get rid of anything that does not give pleasure,even if it is irreplaceable.She lives in extreme luxury because of her simple-minded followers who spend so much money on her.Discard her philosophy.I urge your readers to boycott her show and books.

  13. Hey Martin…..Great finds! I am curious what year is on the Canada War Amps tag on the key ring? If it is an older one I might be interested in it…Cheers,Scott

    1. I’m not sure, it’s packed away now though so too late to check. There seem to be a good number on eBay though, mostly for cheap (it seems like the older ones are more valuable though, good to know).

  14. Looks like the pocket watch is done in a technique called niello. I don’t know the hallmarks but that technique is very popular right now. Its a beautiful piece. I think a lot of it was Russian. That might help with your research. Good luck!

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