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Thread: Scavenging Success Stories

  1. #1
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Scavenging Success Stories

    As I recently related in the Little Raves thread, my most recent scavenged valuable is a tool storage set of a rolling cabinet and a Snap-on top chest. From a standpoint of "cost to buy new if I set out to have it" it might not even be my most valuable find.

    The most amount on actual cash I've found in one place was nearly $400.

    I've found a wooden table that has an integrated expanding leaf system. Came with chairs too, though they've fallen apart. But the table is still solid--and made of real planks of wood. The top is probably plywood but the rest is made from non-engineered lumber.

    One of my favorite roadside freebies is a solid wood bureau with a matching vanity featuring a small drawer and an oval mirror to go on top. The drawer bottoms are plywood, but everything else is made from proper stick and plank wood. Not a speck of particle board on it. It's missing a brass drawer pull, but otherwise is in excellent condition. I use it for general storage. It's beautiful and it easily would have run near a grand if I'd wanted one new just for not being made of sawdust and epoxy. I'm pretty sure I could stand on it.

    Lesser wins include $20 bills and smaller denominations down to pennies. I once funded my participation in a school field trip with a massive pile of change and a serenity coin I found strewn across the road while biking to school. There was enough to cover my part of transportation and lunch with a beverage!

    On a walk with my dad years ago, we found a trail of vicadin on the sidewalk like some sort of sinister breadcrumb trail from the addict version of Hansel and Gretel. We alternated on destroying these street drugs in passing, crushing them beneath our canes as neither of us was so afflicted with pain as to use found medicine picked up off the sidewalk, and the thought of some child or small animal mistaking them for candy or food was sufficiently disturbing to prompt the action.

    I don't grab upholstered furniture from the roadside though. I've even stopped checking to see how nasty they are.

    I also found a free plastic baby gate I'm currently using to keep my dog from going upstairs.

    What braggable finds have you scavenged from the side of the road?
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  2. #2
    malarkey oxyjen's Avatar
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    I have never picked up anything from the side of the road as the risk/benefit analysis is not worth it. I'm wondering if that would change of I had additional skill sets in woodworking or upholstery, and I don't think it would change anything. Bedbugs van set up shop in almost any furniture, including wooden pieces.

    I've stumbled across money but nothing in the 400$ range. At a certain price point, I would think up ways to return the amount to the owner.

    When it comes to -isms, admittedly I have absorbed some of the attitudes of classism. I would personally feel a certain way about myself taking items from the side of the road, even though it may not be rational.

  3. #3
    chaotic neutral shitpost
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    $5 on the floor of the laundromat.
    WORKJIGGLYPLAY
    HARDxBUTTxHARD

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    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Diatomaceous earth is my prophylactic for the low likelihood of bedbugs in my area. At the time I got that dresser, bedbugs were still something most people thought only existed in a cute phrase to give children insomnia. I was concerned about spiders and termites so gave it a thorough cleaning and inspection before bringing it in the house. No problems.

    I return money if I can determine clear ownership--be it a firm, family, or individual. No identifying info though puts it in scavenging territory.

    I don't turn down free things in good condition I will use.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    I absolutely detest when someone brings in an item that has just been discarded by someone else. When I lived with my little sister, she would bring in several items like that. Small tables, mirrors, just about anything she saw that she thought she could use, but usually didn't.

    I can't even describe how much I absolutely loathe seeing an item that belonged to a stranger, in my space. It's almost like it has their energy - an energy I don't want.

    I'm living in a studio apartment that used to be hers (which I found for her back then), and when she left, I moved in to be with the cat. I've left her interior decorating untouched. It no doubt includes items she picked up off the street. Like the full length mirror, a tree trunk she uses to put things on, and a stand in the corner with a basket she probably also picked up. I try not to think about it. If I were going to stay here, I'd have thrown everything out on the street except for the cats.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Beyond books and tennis balls?

    Nothing.

    But wait, no, I've never picked up a book from the street.
    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    ~ Robert Jackson, Statesman (1892-1954)


  7. #7
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I wonder how much of this is a genuine gender difference. It's a trope that a typical bachelor pad, especially the first, is decorated and furnished with found opportunity.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

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    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Don't see anything worth keeping out here on the street, beyond the occasional piece of furniture/equipment with a note on it left by people wanting them gone for replacements.. this happed more when I was a kid and less so now - society has changed.

    These days, not thing found on the street should definitely be left there.
    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    ~ Robert Jackson, Statesman (1892-1954)


  9. #9
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinny View Post
    Don't see anything worth keeping out here on the street, beyond the occasional piece of furniture/equipment with a note on it left by people wanting them gone for replacements.. this happed more when I was a kid and less so now - society has changed.
    It isn't just society, the materials we make such things out of has changed too. There are more and more disposable furnishings--disposable in the sense that they will not last a lifetime and by the time you're looking for new ones, even if it's because you have the money for a better version, the item being replaced is garbage.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Spartan26's Avatar
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    I haven't really picked up anything in a quite a while. When I was still in college I lived in an apt that was right next store to a apt bldg that had been torn down and in the midst of being rebuilt from the foundation up. One of my roommates at the time was not shy about going next door to liberate scrape building material. I didn't go onto the site but I did end up with a few concrete cinder blocks and 3-4 ft boards that I assembled into shelves. I put atop some coffee table that for the life of me I can't remember how I got. Anyway, it made for a very chic/urban/minimalist stand for my stereo equipment. I can't remember at what point I got rid of it but it did survive two moves.

    One day I got on the elevator and there was a fairly new vacuum with the owners manual and note that said, "Free!" I did have a vacuum but have always felt they tend to last about a year and then lose sucking power. I had thought about leaving it for someone else who may've been in more dire need but then feared that my vacuum would konk out in the next couple of weeks and be regretting that I didn't grab this one. I figured it musta belonged to someone who was moving so I grabbed it. I did think more than twice about what it may've been used to clean up before the owners decided it wasn't worth it to bring it back in. It looked clean, but not too clean, and couldn't smell anything so I brought it in and had two working vacuums. I think about six mos later either a friend posted or we had some random convo in which she mentioned needing a vacuum. I told her I had two and could have one. She said she just needed to borrow it for the w/e until she had a chance to get another one. It was either for a production or vacation spot she was going to. I said she could use it indefinitely but if my other one gave out right before company was coming I may need to borrow it back. I did fully disclose that it may've been used to sweep up uranium yellow cake powder but since I hadn't gotten sick, I don't it was too much. She was cool with it. I was just sorta glad I could help out.

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