Tag Archives: junk

Blessings pt.2


The yard sale was productive, and almost certainly my largest ever. I got rid of a lot of stuff, my friend sold a lot of clothes, and we did a pretty good purge afterwards. However, it was also a really long day, around 12 hours straight with no breaks and not enough food or water. Plus, our landlord’s wife got really mad at us for doing the sale. That was more or less worked out by the end, but it did add some unneeded stress right from the start.

That being said, I’m considering doing another sale if the weather keeps up. I’ve cleared out a lot of stuff, but as I get organized I keep digging up old finds from buried boxes, most of which haven’t made it to my previous sales. I’d like to give some of these items one more chance to sell before winter, because it’s unlikely I’ll want to hold onto them until spring. My plan is to purge all but the best trash at the end of the yard sale season; that way it’ll be easier to stay organized over the winter, and I can start fresh in the spring.

The sale definitely won’t be this weekend, but depending on the weather it could be the next weekend or the one after. I’ll keep you posted.

Today I’ll finish up with the spot where I found all those papal blessings. While taking the pictures of all those frames I forgot to include one of my favourites, which was this series of five pictures from a 1938 Cercle des Jeune Naturalistes exhibition in Rimouski. The exhibit features lots of neat nature-related stuff, including bird wings, a stuffed owl, many different types of leaves, and lots of artwork. Zoom in for a much better look. I’ve never seen any photos quite like this previously, and it’s always neat to find something a little different.

I found a few different posters, including this one from Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It’s definitely vintage and in good condition, so I’ll try to get a nice price for it on eBay.


This poster was cool but ripped a bit in the middle. It was a throw-in at my most recent sale.

I also liked this old French wine map.

I went there one recycling day and saved a whole bunch of vintage cookbooks.

The best of the bunch was this Five Roses cookbook from 1915. The covers were off, but the pages were still in great shape. I sold it at one of my previous sales for 3$.

I saved a few books. None were super exciting, but this one was published in 1782. It’s in poor condition, but it’s not everyday I find something that old.

I saved a few photos, including one that looks to have been taken in an old schoolhouse.


I also found a neat etched portrait from the 50s. I hadn’t seen anything quite like it previously.

There were boxes and boxes of old lamp parts out on one trash day. Most looked to be from junky mid-century lamps, but they could be useful for crafting or repair.

This lamp is made from a repurposed Cognac bottle. I think it sold for 5$.


I found a Quebec flag that looks fairly vintage. Though it looks the same as the current flag, it could have a bit of value on eBay due to its age. I’ve had luck with old flags in the past.

There was also plenty of small junk, which I consider my specialty. This person seems to have collected sand, and you’ll see a few containers in the course of these photos. I remember selling that USSR sticker at one of my previous sales.

The elephant drawing and snakeskin compact are also goners.

The horseshoe sold at my last sale, and that little book on the right is actually a pack of cards.

I found a couple of vintage syringes here. Those cat-eye glasses should have a bit of value online. I was surprised to sell that bottle of Worcestershire sauce at my most recent sale. I like having a few funny things around mostly as conversation pieces, but occasionally they do actually sell. It was a pretty cool bottle, probably from the 60s or 70s. It also contained some sauce which smelled pretty good all things considered.

Here’s another bottle of sand, an Opinel knife, and a MacDonald’s cigarette tin.

Those little seals look to be made from real fur. The antler is neat, and I’m guessing that the thing on the right is an immature antler of some kind. If you know what it is for sure, let us know in the comments!

In this last collection of smalls we have some separatist buttons, another syringe, a Koffoids tin, and a few dolls.

One of the last things I found at this spot was a bag full of books which also contained this hand-sized crucifix. One interesting detail is the skull and bones symbol at the base of the cross, which is something I’d never seen before. From Wikipedia: “On some crucifixes a skull and crossbones are shown below the corpus, referring to Golgotha, the site at which Jesus was crucified, which the Gospels say means in Hebrew ‘the place of the skull.’ Medieval tradition held that it was the burial-place of Adam and Eve, and that the cross of Christ was raised directly over Adam’s skull, so many crucifixes manufactured in Catholic countries still show the skull and crossbones below the corpus.”

The more you know! I still hold out hope that I’ll save more things from this spot, but a resurgence is unlikely given that I haven’t seen anything there in the last month or so.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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Canadair pt. 2

Link to part one

I haven’t seen anything at this spot for quite some time, as such this will almost certainly be the last post of this series. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted! I saved lots of neat little tidbits here.

One noteworthy find was a large collection of what I believe are old fax jokes from the early 1980s. Maybe you could call them a sort of proto-meme. Anyways, most of the jokes are terrible (largely sexist, occasionally racist, and often rated R) and I don’t want to share them here. However, here’s a couple of PG13 jokes to give you an idea what they look like. This one makes fun of former Quebec Premier René Levesque.

René folds out and turns into four pigs. The fold-out thing is a common trick in the faxes, but most of them result in awful sex jokes. Levesque was last Premier in 1985, which makes me think that they date from a bit before that.

This one was kind of funny, a bit of office humor never hurt anyone. The rest of the collection is currently with a local archivist though I don’t think he has any specific plans for them. I’m sure someone would be interested in the studying them somehow.

This pic didn’t turn out so well, but it’s good enough. The pen next to the Yak Bak is an old Parker 51 with a silver cap. It was pretty beat up, but still sold pretty quickly for 30$. I’m always happy to find a 51 because they’re fairly collectible, and are worth money even if just for parts. Otherwise, the rest is yard sale stuff. The Canadair pin will end up in the Canadair lot I mentioned in my last post. The miniature garbage bin is a fun find for me!

More yard sale stuff. The miniature vintage spy camera is kind of neat. The box on the left contains another dumb sex joke, seems like the previous owner couldn’t get enough of those.

That old coffee tin is a neat find. Otherwise, the promotional cigarette pack holders are interesting – I’ve never seen anything quite like them before. There’s a spot for a huge pack of cigarettes as well as a matchbook.

More yard sale stuff. Some of it is actual junk that no one will ever buy, but I like to have a bit of crap at my sales to make things more interesting. People seem to appreciate seeing things they wouldn’t see otherwise! The vintage Vita hypodermic needles won’t make it to the yard sale though, for obvious safety reasons. Not that I think they’ve been used anytime in the last 40 years but they’re still quite sharp and the box is fragile. Believe it or not there’s a market for that kind of thing on eBay, I’m not sure why.

One night I scavenged some better junk than usual. The best piece is probably the 10k gold Canadair pin, which I’ll include in the Canadair lot. I also had a sterling silver Canadair 5 or 10 year pin but I’m not sure where I put it – I’m sure it’ll turn up though. Here’s hoping that segment of chain on the right is gold as well. The Wade Red Rose tea figurine will look nice once cleaned up. The Quebec pin is sterling silver, but too worn out to be of much value. The Chauffeur safety badge is neat and quite old, probably dating back to the 30s or 40s.

Perhaps the most unusual, and also valuable find here was this collection of 13 vintage hermetically sealed packs of MacDonald’s cigarettes. The packaging probably dates back to the 50s or 60s but it’s hard to pin it down exactly. The fact that they’re hermetically sealed, and also 5-packs (which I think would have been an unusual size) is a bit odd. I suspect they were either part of military rations or given out on airplanes back when smoking on them was legal. The latter might be more likely, if only because it seems like whoever lived here worked for an airline.

Vintage cigarettes stuff is pretty collectible, and sure enough these stale old packs have some value. I decided to list them all for 35$ each plus shipping. Thus far 10 have sold (5 to one person at a bit of a discount) for a total of around 300$. Not bad, and by the time they’re all gone I should make around 400$!

In a lot of homes this kind of stuff would have been thrown out years ago. Thankfully, some people hold onto their old things for a long time and as a trash picker I’m kind of grateful for that. Sometimes it results in some really interesting garbage that I wouldn’t find anywhere else. I wish there was a way for me to know exactly where to find this kind of stuff at any given time, but unfortunately the only way is to bike or drive around randomly and hope you end up in the right place at the right time (and then, go back again and again until it’s clear that there’s no more garbage to be tossed out).

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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The jewel

Spring is officially here and that’s a good thing for us trash pickers. Spring cleaning is a legitimate social phenomenon, and it’s often a lot nicer to travel around especially by bike.

On the other hand, it’s been raining more often than not and trash picking in the rain kind of sucks, especially when it’s a cold rain. The wetness makes garbage look and feel more disgusting than it actually is, and the rain also causes damage to paper items (with snow you can most often just shake it off). Regardless, I’m still very happy that winter is over.

Otherwise, I’ve continued to have issues with burnout and overwork. Perhaps the easy answer is to just work less. For a while I’ve been aiming for a roughly 40 hour workweek, but I would often go over that by working on weekends, doing extra tasks that I didn’t really count as work (such as organizing my junk, yard sales) and so on. Perhaps, knowing that there will always be extra tasks that are hard to plan for, I should just aim for a 30 hour workweek and let those extra tasks bring me up to around 40 hours. I don’t mind working hard, but I don’t want to live to work either.

I won’t be cutting down on my trash picking, as I figure it’s in my best interests to be out there regularly. I think I can safely slow down on eBay listing for now however – summer is generally a slow time for sales anyways, and I’ve realized that winter is the perfect time to get piles of listing done. Also, as I mentioned in my last post there are ways I can streamline some tasks (ie: photography) to make things less stressful. I need a little shed!

It’s funny though that I’ve become a minor workaholic. It’s a good thing in a way because it means that I’m passionate about my work. However, I also value self-care and I haven’t been doing as much of it as I should. I want to do more walking, jogging, reading, and etc.

Anyways, here’s some garbage for you. This place in Villeray has produced some interested old stuff of late.

I love finding old things in their original boxes. This stuff is a bit dusty but that’ll come off easily enough. I’ll add the box of Christmas bulbs to my collection that I’ll list come November. The iron is cool and might be worth eBaying.

I also saved some old Heinz baby food lids; two aluminium Carnation milk lids; two vintage Dairy Queen plastic spoons; a few silver plate spoons, including one marked as being from a 1957 officer reunion in Longue Pointe (in Montreal’s east end); some maybe still good enamel paint; …

… and a collection of vintage plastic swizzle sticks. All originate from restaurants in Montreal’s east end. The one on the right is from a “Sambo Curb Service” – the name sounds garbage related, but apparently it was a restaurant near Sherbrooke and Dickson. Here’s a (French) article about Sambo if you’re interested.

I ended up going to Park Ex one day. I haven’t had any luck there for a long time, and I don’t really have any reason to think that good luck is coming anytime soon. However, the trash there tends to get picked up relatively late, so sometimes I “end up” there after exploring more exciting neighbourhoods.

I came across this little coin bank in front of a recently sold house. I could hear something that sounded like coins inside, though it was a bit muffled. I brought it home, and since the bank wasn’t in very good condition anyways I decided to bust it open.

Inside was a plastic bag containing close to 7$ in American coins. Better than I expected, to be honest!

On the day of the Blue Jay’s first game of the season I happened across a pretty cool collection of Jays ephemera from the late 80s and early 90s. Pretty good timing eh? Unfortunately the Jays have been mostly painful to watch thus far (I’m still optimistic). Anyways, this stuff is cool nonetheless. The season ticket holder’s calendars are my favourites, they’re very retro and seem to be pretty hard to find.

I also liked the old newspaper sections. This stuff should eventually net me some decent money on eBay, but I’ll probably wait a while before listing it.

That spot also provided me a bunch of unopened SAP (some kind of programming) textbooks. I scanned them using a phone app I downloaded and found that they’re listed for around retail price on Amazon. That seems like a good thing as truly worthless textbooks are often priced at around a dollar. However, these ones are still relatively old (mostly published in 2010-2012) and their ranking on Amazon is pretty high (and that’s not a good thing). There’s a chance these are totally worthless regardless of the asking price, but I listed quickly just in case they weren’t. If they do end up selling they could make me hundreds of dollars.

I found even more of these textbooks the next garbage day. It was raining, so some of them got a little wet despite being wrapped in plastic. I listed them as well and we’ll see how it goes.

I happened upon some intriguing bags on the way home from the post office. Inside was a bunch of junk, and also a collection of slides that I later put into an old strawberry basket.

Most were tourist slides from the mid 60s to early 70s. I like finding photos from that era because they’re more likely to include some shots of Expo 67. Sure enough, I did find a small box of Expo 67 slides. The market for Expo stuff is good right now because 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the event. I’ll try to get these scanned at some point, and once I do I’ll share them here.

Sometimes I find cool stuff just because I know the neighbourhood so well. These tarot cards are a good example of that. I noticed a house a few weeks ago that had a bunch of recycling bags on the balcony. They looked like they were full of documents, nothing too exciting but enough to make me wonder if they were doing spring cleaning or otherwise clearing house. I forgot to go back that week and the week after, but while walking by the house last week I spotted some bags on the curb and figured I’d take a look. I probably wouldn’t have noticed had I not previously seen those bags on the balcony weeks ago.

Anyways, I counted the cards at home and noticed that two were missing. I went back to the spot and found one more card, but the other was nowhere to be seen. Regardless, it’s a pretty good find. The Secret Dakini Oracle is probably the trippiest tarot deck I’ve ever seen; it was published in 1977 and I’m willing to bet that the artist was on acid. It may have some value even with the missing card – similar complete decks sell for between 100-130$ on eBay.

Here’s some other neat stuff from that spot including a Rorschach test, a collection of large laminated photos (perhaps another type of Rorschach test), and another tarot deck (Le Tarot Relationnel by Jacques Salomé, a French social psychologist).

I went back to that Thursday evening collection in Rosemont. I came across this spot just as the garbage truck was coming up the street. I thought I was out of time, but then the truck stopped collecting and drove off, leaving one worker to bring the trash to the road. It was a lucky break, as I didn’t really have time to look through all the bags otherwise.

This little Apple keyboard made the trip worthwhile. This is the second such keyboard I’ve sold and I’m convinced that they go for a lot more if you mention the term “space saver” in the title. Most similar keyboards sell for between 20-50$ on eBay but I’ve have gotten a fair bit more for mine. This one sold for 75$ not long after being listed.

I also found copies of Adobe CS1 and CS2 here. The software is pretty old now, but people still buy it.

The place that provided the vintage Motorola Startac from my last post produced a Motorola MicroTac, the predecessor of the Startac this time around. It’s in near perfect condition. Unfortunately I don’t think the MicroTac’s predecessor, the DynaTac is coming any time soon. Some of those can be worth a lot of money.

I enjoyed finding this New facts about Marijuana booklet from the early 1970s. It’s safe to say that the authors weren’t big fans of the “stuff.”

Some of my coolest finds came from the Mile End. I stopped at an intriguing spot and the first bag I kicked had a nice ring to it. I opened it up and found a collection of jewelry and miscellaneous junk. I spent a while sorting the good stuff into a blue bucket I had in the car.

FYI, the medicine bottles were either filled with pennies or buttons.

I didn’t have time to take photos of the average stuff but here’s the cream of the crop. I saved four silver rings (most were junky, but still good for scrap), a single 10k gold earring (worth around 50$ in scrap), a ring (bottom left) that’s probably gold as well, a cool St Christopher pendant, a vintage Simmons pocket knife with a gold covered case, and a couple watches.

This watch might be the neatest item of the bunch. It’s a ladies transitional (ie: can be used as either a pocket or wrist) watch that was probably made sometime in the 1910s or 1920s. It’s gold-filled (ie: better than gold plate, but not solid gold) and is marked “Empress” & “A.W.C.Co” on the inside. The case was apparently made in Canada. It actually keeps good time, an impressive feat considering its age. I’m not sure of the exact value, but I bet I could get around 100$ for it.

Otherwise, I saved a cute mahogany (sewing?) table. It needs a bit of TLC, but should still make me maybe 20$ at a yard sale.

I found a kettle, but since there’s no whistle we decided not to use it. We know that someone will eventually forget it on the stove and burn the house down.

I also saw this old clawfoot tub on the curb. It was cut in half but still had some obvious upcycling potential. I went back later and it was gone, so I’m guessing someone else took it!

That’s all for now! I’m going to get to work on that video for Indiegogo soon. Thinking about it stresses me out to be honest, but I have to remember that it doesn’t have to be anything super special. I’m not trying to win an Oscar here.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to Garbagefinds.com

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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