I have to admit two things which probably make my wife Megan slightly worried about me. One, I’m a bit of a pack rat, I do try to organize; lately I have been putting up all sorts of shelving in our garage (using salvaged wood from an old desk me and my Dad built way back in 2005, and also some wood from cabinets I pulled from the dumpster at the back of my workplace.) And two, I dumpster dive almost every week.
I know it worries Megan, and yes when I take more than a second look at fun looking things poking from our neighbors trash cans when we walk our dogs it does embarrass her. (Sorry honey! and no, I didn’t manage to get that scooter out, it was wedged under a bunch of crap.) I really am sorry for that, but you have to understand I’ve loved junk ever since I was a small boy.
I collected old computers, bits of stereos, VCRS, old engines from lawn edgers, anything I could get my hands on. I think its how a boy learns about the world; a large percentage of it is from discarded technology, an old this or that.
Truth is, I’ve not shaken the bug yet.
Yesterday I watched a guy toss away what looked like tubing into the dumpster at work. Low and behold it was, soda fountain grade tubing of many lengths (useful 5ft lengths!) brand new, un-used in many colors, sizes and types. I couldn’t help myself. Well, actually I did. When I look at it I see potential; water cooling ? rainwater harvesting ? irrigation ? and its free !
I know Megan doesn’t begrudge me this too much, as it keeps me busy, and also keeps me from spending too much money 🙂
It also still helps me learn to this day. The guy next door is a TV service repair man and I find the most wonderful source of discarded electronics and other useful gubbins out back. I had no idea how a DLP (Digital Light Processor) TV worked until I found an old color wheel, had no idea what it was and researched it online.
An un-ending supply of capacitors and resistors and other bits & bobs is to be had almost every other week. Only one or two components on the board are bad, but they have to chuck the whole thing.
Optics too; occasionally an old projection TV may be sitting back there. I ended up with a multitude of projection lenses, color filters and a huge rhomboid mirror ! Fun to play with for sure 🙂
I’m a kid at heart, but my toys are cheap or mostly free !