Existence

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!

Links

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: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that I can’t fulfill most requests for items, many are already gone by the time they are posted here.

Pear Core

Hello there, just posting a quick update because it’s been a while. The finds have been pretty decent for the last little while, though there haven’t been any “omg” finds. On the other hand, my standard for “omg” is a lot higher than it used to be. I have the attention span of a goldfish these days, which I like to blame on all these modern gadgets that distract us constantly (I think my brain has been basically been re-wired), and I haven’t been doing much reading, writing, or other mindful things. My motivation isn’t all that great either, though I definitely feel more motivated to get out and pick now that it’s nice out.

I’m getting a little sick of having so much stuff. The pandemic shortened the last two yard sale seasons significantly, so maybe I’m feeling a little more “backed up” than I might have otherwise. My garage / office space is currently out of control. Fortunately, a yard sale is a great way to unload some of this junk while also getting some organizing done. I’ll be doing one tomorrow at 922 St Gregoire (near Laurier Park), from around 11am-6pm. Come on out and help me make sense of the hoard of crap that I’ve acquired.

Anyways, here’s a few things I picked from that first pile. It was mostly kitchen stuff, plus a bag of nice purses and one of board games. Here’s the finds that most caught my eye.

Here we have a pretty milk glass candy bowl…

… a set of cute plates made in England by Royal Leighton;

… a footed crystal candy bowl;

… a Goldilocks themed silver plated baby mug;

… and a very nice Dansk pepper mill. I did a bit of research and found out it was designed by Jens Quistgaard.

They’re pretty collectible. Some nerds even made a whole website about them (I don’t see nerd as an insult, it just means that you’re super excited about this one topic. I’m a garbage nerd). Thanks to that website, I was able to identify mine as a Model 1611, which they call “Pear Core.”

According to the pepper mill nerds, “[The Pear Core] mill is a rare design, so we have not had the opportunity to see many of these items in the resale market.” That makes sense, because I did a lot of looking around and didn’t see any quite like mine. Because of that, my 1611 is pretty difficult to price. Based on my research, I do know that Quistgaard pepper mills sell for between 50-1000$, which is a pretty big range. If mine is indeed rare, I like to think that maybe its value is somewhere in the middle, or if I’m lucky in the higher end.

I’ll do a bit more research before I decide, but right now I’m leaning towards doing an eBay auction. The market for these looks pretty healthy, which means that an auction might work well (I try to avoid auctions for more niche items). But first, I have to get that salt stopper piece unstuck. I’ll bet it’s been in the same position for many years. My idea right now is to leave it in the sun, and maybe that’ll loosen it up eventually. I’m not in a huge rush.

Anyways, hopefully I see some of you at the yard sale tomorrow. And hopefully I can write another post sooner rather than later.

Links

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: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that I really suck at email right now, and can’t fulfill most requests for items

1935

This spot in Ahunstic was a one-hit wonder that gave me lots of fun stuff to sort through. I think I spent around two and a half hours digging through all these bags.

There was a whole lot of jewelry, though these people did a pretty good job picking out the precious metals.

The nicest piece was probably the sterling silver rosary. I also saved a pair of silver earrings, and few tiny pieces of gold.

This spot was also notable for its fun vintage ephemera and old photos.

My favourites were a couple of framed shots, this one with a gang of people in front of a train …

… and this one of an old house with “1935” marked on the roof. I’ll probably add this one to my personal collection of found junk.

Here’s some more miscellaneous stuff, including two Expo 67 passports, a couple cute handkerchiefs and a pair of gloves, a miniature sewing machine (not sure if it’s supposed to be functional, or if it’s more of a toy), a bit of perfume, and some scrap metal.

I only started picking up metal for scrap a couple years back, and I wish I’d started sooner. It looks like a pile of junk, but there’s probably about 10-15$ here. All these little bits and pieces add up in the end.

The thermometers don’t really have any value, but I show them because they contain mercury, which isn’t supposed to go to landfill. Over the course of my trash picking career I’d guess that I’ve saved at least 10 pounds of mercury from going to the dump. Sometimes it’s these small household thermometers (most of which, I’m guessing were made before 1980), sometimes it’s a big ol’ sphygmomanometer (blood pressure reader) that used to belong to a doctor (there’s so much mercury in those things that you can hear it sloshing around insider), sometimes it’s antique jars full of the stuff. There’s also some amount in some old batteries, electronics and lightbulbs. So make sure to bring that old mercury to the Eco-Center or other hazardous waste disposal site if you have any.

It finally feels like spring outside, and that definitely helps motivate me to go out and get picking. My luck has been slightly better recently, though I’m still not finding anything mind-blowing. I could really use a nice gold haul right about now.

Links

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: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that I really suck at email right now, and can’t fulfill most requests for items