Site icon Things I find in the garbage


The ol’ brain hasn’t been working particularly well recently. To be honest, it hasn’t really worked all that well this past decade. I know I’ve mentioned it often enough recently, but I haven’t ever mentioned that the dominant struggle has been with panic & agoraphobia. The main anxiety triggers greatly resemble “existential OCD,” which is succinctly described by Google below.

So basically, I haven’t been able to leave the city for about 10 years. Going “too far” from home (which is currently about a 10km radius by car – one thing my brain is good at is geography, and it knows when I’m getting close to that) results in massive panics attacks that revolve around existence ending suddenly, the foibles of perception and reality, the immensity / tinyness of it all, and all kinds of other things on the laundry list of wild & crazy stuff you can contemplate. These days I can hardly sit down, let alone go anywhere or do anything “fun” without getting these extremely sharp, intense intrusive thoughts that activate the fight/flight reflex and make me want to bolt, but of course you can’t outrun your own thoughts and these grand, unanswerable questions.

I’ve tried a lot of medications and none have done much. I’m on my 11th different one now, and it’s not looking like this one will do much either. I don’t expect any medication to miraculously cure me, just hopefully take the edge off to make existing a little less overwhelming.

The only positives are that I’m still able to leave the house (some agoraphobes become “housebound”), and that I can still drive far enough to access a wide variety of trash days. But after a decade of doing this I’m starting to get a bit squirrely. It doesn’t help that a lot of good friends have moved away in recent years, and that being so anxious and limited basically makes one undateable. As such, I’m also as lonely as I’ve ever been by a longshot, lonelier than I ever could have imagined. But maybe it’s good that the status quo is becoming intolerable, because sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you realize you have to make some big changes in order to move forward.

I’ve been thinking about trading vehicles, switching to a van, maybe something like a Dodge Grand Caravan, that I could camp in (even if it’s lame camping, like in a Walmart parking lot), which could possibly help change the definition of what my “comfort zone” is to something less restrictive. I can always try a new medication and hope it’s the first one that works. But I still won’t get very far without lifestyle changes, including finding new ways to approach these thoughts. That would probably involve more therapy – I recently heard about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which sounds up my alley (CBT and talk therapy hasn’t done much either). Getting away from the computer/tv screen more often could help, but then again, the reason I spend so much time looking at them in the first place is because they provide an escape from all the thoughts.

Needless to say work has been a bit of an afterthought these days. I still get out picking, it’s one of the few things I truly enjoy doing these days, but my appetite to hustle all this junk I collect is at a low. For example, I have a flatscreen TV in my garage right now that probably works fine, but I need to test some features before I can feel comfortable saying that it’s working, and then I’d have to list it on Facebook Marketplace and deal with all the flaky people and the dumb questions there… and that all seems like a lot of hassle for something I’ll get maybe 50$ for. My garage is filled with stuff like that, and I’m a little sick of dealing with the constant influx of these mid-range finds that need lots of effort to sell. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes sit back and wonder “what’s the point?” to all of it.

All that is a bit embarrassing to admit but that’s where I’m at these days. Generally, I think the world would be a better place if people were more open about their feelings and their struggles, so there you have it. At this point, I can’t really pretend I’m “normal” anyways, and even if I could I’m sick of pretending. If you have any ideas, advice or similar experiences to share, please leave a comment!

As for the finds, I’ve had a pretty good few months, but all my good spots have run dry in the past few weeks. The lead photo was a great one-hit wonder. It took me about two hours to sort through all the bags, but I never saw anything there again.

I saved loads of quality yard sale junk. The most notable finds here were a set of new, never worn Olympics hats (which were sold on Instagram), a busted – literally taped together – antique Chinese vase (late 1800s if I remember right), and another nice vase that I’m told is probably Korean. The maker’s mark is below, if it’s anything special please let me know.

I found a good number of 1980s-1990s sports collectibles here;

… a bunch of Atari games (unfortunately, none seem to be super valuable on their own – I also found the console, which sold for around 40-some dollars);

… as well as several vintage McDonald’s giveaways, lots of toy cars, and some other fun stuff. Zoom in for a closer look!

My most valuable finds were a very cool Targetti desk lamp, which sold for a bit over 200$ (mine was yellow – I didn’t take a picture, so I had to borrow one from the internet)…

… and a 10k gold class ring from 1989. Gold wasn’t quite so expensive back then, so jewelry from this time tends to be bulkier than it might be today. Weighing around 9 grams, this is worth about 270$ in scrap. Unfortunately, the price of gold is down a bit lately. Here’s hoping it goes back to something closer to 2000$ US/oz soon, in which case it’ll be worth something closer to 315$.

In other news, I sold that Quistgaard Pepper Mill for a very nice price. I’d like to thank the folks that helped me price it here. I figured I had found one of the rarer varieties, but I might have priced it lower still if not for the tips given here. For that kind of money, this definitely deserves to be recognized as my first “omg” find of the year!


1. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay (Canada, US), Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US) – FYI these are Ebay Partner Network links, so I make a few bucks if you sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay using these links
2. Facebook page
3. Follow me on Instagram
4. Email: – note that I can’t fulfill most requests for items, many are already gone by the time they are posted here.

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