Sunny sunny day

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Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day. It was above 0, which is pretty unusual for this time of year. I decided to walk around in the early afternoon to enjoy the sunlight – and look for trash, of course. I came across these bags not far from my home.

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Inside were lots of cassette taps. The woman throwing them out was in and out of her house and encouraged me to take them. I took the ones that were “official.” The more I find cassettes in the trash the more I realize that music pirating isn’t anything new – just the medium has changed. I probably left 2/3 of the collection behind.

Her collection was pretty good. There were lots of big names: Peter Gabriel, Corey Hart (5 cassettes worth – maybe everything Corey Hart ever made?), Rolling Stones, MJ, Depeche Mode, and David Bowie (on his birthday, no less). I’ll add these to my rapidly expanding cassette collection.

I found a walkman too. It’s a “sport,” which I would assume means it’s a bit sturdier than a regular walkman. I tested it and it works fine. Surprisingly there’s still a market for these; on the internet they’re selling for 10-20 bucks, depending on condition.

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There were some books in recycle bags a bit further down the road. They looked like they’d been plowed under the snow, which makes me wonder if they had been there since the big snowfall. I didn’t have any need for these books – most were about computers and web design – so I left them behind.

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I came across these bags on Gilford. One was already ripped open. Inside were some unopened packages of food. I scavenged two packages of organic gluten-free spaghetti and some xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar-alcohol which is apparently just as sweet as sugar but with less calories. I’ll probably give it away to someone but I’ll definitely use the spaghetti.

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This dresser was a bit busted but could have been easily fixed. It looks like it used to be in a kid’s room.

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I went out later in the day (with my bike) and found these new shea-butter soaps in some bags on St Hubert. Shea butter is apparently a pretty good antioxidant due to it’s high phenolic content. It’s used a lot as food in Africa but here it’s mostly used cosmetically. They’re completely sealed up so there’s no way there’s anything wrong with them.

I also found some new-looking women’s clothes. I’m guessing someone got some Christmas gifts they didn’t like.

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Sony Betamax SL-2710

The last item I saved was this Betamax player. It’s a bit funny that I found one because out of curiosity I had Googled the value of Betamax stuff earlier in the day. I had discovered that there was some value there so when I found this I called it a night and headed back home. It was pretty heavy – not as heavy as the 67 pound VCR I brought home a couple months back but still quite heavy (and hard to balance on my bike).

It looks good, turns on and lights up. These simple facts are enough to make it equal to one that recently sold on Ebay for 40$. Apparently this model originally sold for 1300$ (American dollars! – it would have been a lot more expensive in Canada).

I’d like to test it fully to bump up it’s value. All I need to do is find some betamax tapes in the trash and I’ll be set. Maybe on Thursday!

A new food source

Not too much to see on the curb last night. However…

I came across these nice orange mugs among a bag composed mostly of rusty tomato juice tins. I left them near a bixi station for others to take.

I decided to look behind the Metro (a Quebec grocery chain) just to see what was up. Usually chain grocery stores make their garbage pretty inaccessible to the public. This store, however, actually had all their stuff outside.

There were two bins that were full of pretty good stuff. One was entirely composed of old baguettes and other breads made “in house.” The other was full of vegetables. There was some cold cuts too, but I don’t really eat those. I took a bunch of stuff, but I barely scratched the surface of what was actual in these trash bins.

I took home two packages of apples (as if I really needed more!), a package of spinach that looks mostly good, three packages of avocados that were ideally ripe, two things of organic celery, three tomatoes, a pomegranite and an onion! It was pretty convenient because I needed celery for this soup I wanted to make (which turned out pretty well).

The only other stuff of note that I found tonight was in some bags later in the evening. I pulled out this container of (delicious smelling) vanilla from the Dominican and a little jar of dried chilies (a few of which I threw into my soup).

I also found a nice pepper mill. A little clean and this is good to go!

Finally, I found this little USB hard drive in it’s original little felt pouch. I plugged it in and it works – it actually holds the same amount as my current hard drive (237 gigabytes). I know, not exactly up to the terabyte standard that seems to have taken hold now, but still pretty good! I may try to get twenty bucks for it, but it might be good to keep around too. It was actually still full of personal stuff when I found it, which is rare because most people know to format their stuff these days.

In other news, I put a few more things on Craigslist, and did a bit more work on my Etsy store. I’ve been slacking off on the idea but I’d like to get it going. I hope to have things up and running soon!

A penny found…

I took a bike ride last night. There wasn’t much stuff, but I did find a few noteworthy things.

There was a keyboard (missing one key) here, along with a stemware (wine glass) holder. I took the holder. Maybe I can sell it.

I found some decent stuff here:

The two containers in the background were loaded with pennies (and a few dimes and nickels too). I left the containers for other to take, but I brought all the change today to the local store where there’s one of those change-sorting machines. You get ripped off if you put anything other than pennies in there, but I consider the cost (11.9 cents / dollar) a reasonable alternative to spending my time sorting pennies.

All in all, I got 5.21 in coins (2 dimes slipped through the cracks). With the dimes and nickels and one 50 cent piece, I made about 6.50. Not bad at all! I bought a nice microbrewed oatmeal stout with the profit.

I also found some food. The tofu is unopened and looks good. The package at the top left is an unopened organic rice-based breakfast cereal. There’s some macaroni which looks fine. There’s also a jar of grape leaves and a package of tamarind. I don’t know how to use these in cooking but I look forward to the challenge. Finding random food offers a unique opportunity to widen your culinary range.

Finally I found this mask thing. Pretty cool. Any ideas as to what culture it originates from?