Speaking of which...
Yet another little annoyance of riding the bus is that I'm constantly spotting perfectly good items that others no longer have a use for, and have dragged to the curb for trash pickup. But the corollary to this is Murphy's Law, which dictates that I'll only see these items when I'm on my way to work or some other place on a schedule, and can't immediately get off the bus and snag the item in question. And I've had to pass up such items as portable TVs*, boom boxes*, computer monitors, computers*, folding chairs, and other items that make life a little easier. A recent frustration is spotting a CD storage rack (which I badly needed at the time) in front of a house whose occupants were moving out. But I had an appointment to keep, and couldn't get the rack right away. to be sure, I made a beeline back to that house as soon as I left my appointment, but by then , someone else had salvaged the rack. C'est la guerre. It worked out, though, because a couple weeks later, I snagged an even better one at Goodwill for 3 bucks.
Still, you can't beat a price of "free for the taking".
Two weeks ago I had the good fortune to come across a perfectly good bedframe that someone in an apartment complex decided they didn't want any more. I was in that area's laundromat (and consequently loaded down with several large bags of laundry) when I spotted the thing across the street from the bus stop. I grabbed it up immediately** without even considering how I was going to get the thing home with the load I already had to carry. I managed somehow, but my fingers and shoulders were sore the next day. And Mama and I have an excellent bedfram that was just the right size for our mattress.
Just this morning, while on my way to work, I looked down at the ground while the bus was stopped at a red light and saw a really nice ballpoint pen lying on the ground. I don't know if the previous owner had tossed it away or it had fallen out of a passing car, but I plan to look for it later on the way home. Hopefully no one else has gotten to it yet.
*I've discovered through the years that these itmes, more often than not, are actually still in good condition, they just need very minor repair, or have a short in the power cord, or some other niggling problem.
**One thing that goes away when you're poor is pride. You might believe you're above going through someone else's trash, but if that prise is the only thing standing between you and not having to pay for something...
Always knew being a packrat was good. Actually, I have two office chairs in storage not even getting used. They're not good looking, but they function.
Have you checked out the Greensboro Freecycle? I haven't used it much, but my friend swears by it. Figured I'd send the link along. Generally people just give away what they don't need to others in the community. Kind of a big swap-meet.
I've been a HUGE San Francisco 49er fan my entire life (never lived there, never been there, and worst of all, I've lived in NYC 29 of my 32 years of life... In other words; DON'T ASK!) :)
When I was a teenager, my friends and I always went to the mall to "hang-out", and I always made it a point to stop by the Sports Memorabilia store to see if they had any Niner stuff. Well, obviously the proverbial "one day" phrase is required here, otherwise it wouldn't be a true "When I was young" story, now would it? :) Anyway, I was 16 years old when I walked into that joint for the millionth time and they actually had a 1986 Jerry Rice Topps Rookie Card for sale; And I HAD TO HAVE IT! The owner of the store knew how much I LOVED the Niners (Joe Montana & Jerry Rice ESPECIALLY!) that he said he'd charge ME only $75 (if memory serves) if I bought it right now! Well, it just so happened that I recently had a birthday and could cover the 3 quarters exactly! So, I plunked down the 3 twenties, 1 ten and a 5-spot on the counter and got that beautiful 1986 Jerry Rice Topps Rookie Card in return!
To make a long story short, I realized that I lost two things on the bus after I got home... My wallet (with my brand-spankin'-new Drivers License! Grounded 2 weeks for that!) AND my 1986 Jerry Rice Topps Rookie Card! It took only the 10 seconds of me not staring at and studying that stupid piece of cardboard (I THOUGHT I put it in my pocket before my stop on the bus! I ALSO THOUGHT that the card would be safe in the same pocket as my wallet!) for me to lose it!
Long story short, the moral of my story is that the old saying "One man's treasure is another man's junk" isn't always accurate... Even though I have more Jerry Rice, Joe Montana and a ton of other 49er memorabilia 16 years later, I STILL can't forgive myself for losing that card! In other words, certain things of value could be replaced, but just consider what it might be WORTH to the person who lost it! I could care less about my driver's license to this day because it was easily replacable; but the opportunity to buy a 1986 Jerry Rice Topps Rookie Card with my birthday money was priceless!
:) Yes, it was an unnecessarily long story to make my point, but it's a great story! Hopefully... :)