Covet Thy Neighbours' Swag

Sometimes Free Stuff Isn’t Worth It


Here at the house of Hyco, we have just gone through a year-long phase of being a one car family (I mean, not counting the three non-running projects currently sitting at three different relative’s houses parked in long term storage). Now it is time for adding one more to the fleet, so in preparation for this day I have of course been doing extensive research into possible new purchases, mostly on Craigslist. My searches are pretty much all over the place, since I can’t really decide yet what I want. Mid-life crisis two seater? Muscle wagon for family cruising? Real off roader from the original era of sport utility vehicle? Big two door for family cruising in flashy style? Big truck to haul around the projects I already have? It is possible I enjoy the day-dreaming almost as much as the actual purchasing…

But Craigslist isn’t just for auto shopping! They, and other such online classifieds, have nice sections of free stuff! This is your chance to root around on your favorite ad site and see what sort of free outdated techno-gadgetry (or just plain ridiculous crap!) is available in your area and share is in the comments! Our big winner from last time was $kaycog, adding to her extensive resume of amusing free items (Colorado is a virtual fold mine!) with a boatload of kazoos. “Kazoos out of the wazoo!”

Show us what you can find this week!

  • FuzzyPlushroom

    For bad ideas: 88 camaro not running (Lawrence)
    "The customer couldn't pay for the repairs so they signed it over to us. We don't have a use for it. Free to whoever comes to get it "

    Lawrence isn't… the nicest city. And an '88 Camaro isn't the nicest car. Hopefully a local Latino family tows it home and fixes it up.

    For vague ad copy: Pet orek vacuum (Natick)
    "Pet orek vacuum. Piece that holds canister to main part of the vacuum broke (I have it) but works perfectly well. No bags. I also have most attachments for vacuuming car stairs etc.."

    Imagine, a pet you don't even have to feed. And you can vacuum car stairs with it.

    And if you really want some crap: CURB ALERT 20 pieces of furniture FREE (chelmsford)
    "Just left 19 Chairs and a Couch at the Chelmsford Community Trash Disposal Area Next to Town Hall. (next to the hazardous items shed)

    HAVE AT IT!"

    <img src=""&gt;

    The dump can keep them. It's going to rain tomorrow.

    • Felis_Concolor

      For a moment I thought the brown spindly chair left of center was a genuine Baughman recliner; that would be worth a couple hundred miles of driving if so. The orange bucket in the rear is especially comfortable as office furniture goes.

      • FuzzyPlushroom

        Ooh, yeah, that chair in the back might be worth it. The rest, well, whatever's gone might have been, right?

  • $kaycog

    FREE broom! Listing has been pulled, but it said:

    "Hate to put this old broom in the landfill — it has so much character! Could be part of someone's halloween costume or just continued to be used as a broom. I used it to sweep my back deck and sidewalk, but left it outside too much — very weathered — so I replaced it with a new broom that I keep out of the sun now. Let me know how you can use this broom (that way, I know you are a real person responding to the ad)."

    <img src=""width="500"/&gt;

  • Devin

    What about an ENTIRE BARN! Move or dismantle.

    <img src="$_20.JPG&quot; width="500">

  • So, I'd like to continue my slightly on topic memoir of free stuff I got and was it worth it? This week it's the mighty Pioneer RT-909 R2R deck.

    <img src="; width="500'/">

    I've always been sorta curious about R2R technology, and one fine day while cleaning out the storage facility of the Center For Sex And Culture <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( I stumbled over this fine looking deck. The docent told me I could have it, but I had to also dispose of the 2 Betamax machines and the VHS deck.

    Well, I took it to the nice men at the stereo repair shop who still know how to service these things. They gave it a thorough going over, and also gave my wallet a thorough going over, to the tune of $250. Since then I've acquired a lot of R2R paraphernalia like 10" reels, frequency response tapes, empty reels, borderline quality old blank tape, etc. Thing is, over the past 3 years I've managed to record and play back about 30 seconds of audio, not even live audio. Other than that, the deck just sits there, taking up about 2 cubic feet of space (plus the reels and tapes) that could be devoted to my precious Ham Radio equipment.

    Verdict: Not worth it. Not if you're not already a tape head. To get any use out of it, I would have to go out and find or make a bunch of 1/4" stereo tape recordings; all the old tape in the world is degraded and schmears off onto the heads, the new tape is hard to access. I could buy a Nagra and some field microphones and pretend I was Alan Lomax, or I could sell it for a couple hundred (don't believe the Buy It Now prices on eeebay), but it's already taken that much out of me in being a PITA, although, it has cured me of my R2R curiosity.

    • Felis_Concolor

      When recorded at low speed, those R2Rs were the overstuffed MP3 players of the 70s and 80s. I fondly recall wasting many a weekend on the college campus playing board games, reading or simply zoning out to whatever music was being streamed at the time. I don't recall seeing any Pioneers in action, but Onkyo, Teac and Akai were commonplace.

  • Toxic Avenger

    Docent ? We appreciate your wit and wisdom, but stop with 18th century words.

    • On the contrary, it's right there in the mission statement: "We like the obscure. We want to know about random tidbits. We want to learn how we got to where we are…."

      • Vairship

        I'm pretty sure that's a typo. It should be: "We want to know about random Timbits."

    • B72

      It's totally cromulent.

      • Number_Six

        Folks on this site are generally perspicacious enough to not require elucidation through exegesis.

        • True, but I don't let that stop me.

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